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Cost by grey_gazania

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He wonders, after the battle, sitting numbly beside his brother as the healer tends to Makalaurë's shattered leg, what it would have cost to save his cousin. What potential alliances would have tipped the balance, given them the ability to overcome Uldor's betrayal? The answer seems obvious.

Doriath. Nargothrond. Over 50,000 potential fighters, lost to his brothers' arrogance and villainy.

But what could possibly have appeased Thingol and Orodreth? What could even have begun to make up for a daughter or an uncle lost?

Justice. Vengeance.

Tyelko and Curvo. His brothers, the hasty and the skilled - kidnappers, traitors, masters of deception and sedition. Even Tyelperinquar had turned away from them, done what Maitimo had never been able to bring himself to do and renounced his father. Tyelko and Curvo for Findekáno - is that too high a price?

He doesn't think so. Not then, not with Káno's ruined hröa still obscuring his vision, barely aware of Makalaurë gripping his hand and fighting back a soft noise of pain as the healer twists his leg into place.

But later, kneeling blood-spattered on the slaughterhouse floor, surrounded by dead whom the foolish Valar would call his kin, he knew better. Tyelko, the hasty one, all bumps and bruises and scraped knees, bowling them over with his hugs, and how happy Makalaure was to have a baby brother. Curvo, the skilled one, sharp as a sword's edge, peppering them with questions about everything he could see or hear or touch, his wit as sharp as his intellect and as subtle and deft as his hands. And sullen, quiet Carnistir, innocent of Tyelko and Curvo's wrongs, but lost in the middle of his brothers as he often was in life, but for his flashes of furious temper.

Too high. Much, much too high.

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