1. Chapter One
Silly Silmslash. Perhaps slightly AU if you adhere to Laws & Customs among the Eldar (HoMe 10). The characters are Tolkien's; in theory, I have no right to abuse them.
Warning: misbehaviour by two guys who ought to know better, described by a ditto author.
Pairing: Turgon and Finrod. Hit the back button if you have a problem with this.
'...Turgon son of Fingolfin left Nevrast where he dwelt and sought out Finrod his friend upon the island of Tol Sirion, and they journeyed southward along the river... and as they journeyed night came upon them beyond the Meres of Twilight beside the waters of Sirion, and they slept upon his banks beneath the summer stars. But Ulmo coming up the river laid a deep sleep upon them and heavy dreams; and the trouble of the dreams remained after they awoke...'
Finrod's eyes lit up when he saw the visitor was his cousin and best friend Turgon. 'Ah. The great lord of Nevrast finally deigns to inspect my humble dwellings on Eithel Sirion!'
'I had nothing better to do.' With a sweeping gesture Turgon indicated the thick walls of the great watchtower rising in the gap between the teeth rows of the mountains. 'You've erected a potent piece of masonry here.'
'Oh yes, I bet these hard stones will stand for a while yet. Come, let me show you around!'
Finrod's tour of the fortress led the cousins from the top of the tower, with its magnificent views marred only by the distant smokes rising from Thangorodrim, to the dungeons underneath. When Turgon saw fit to refer to them as 'these cosy bowels', Finrod invited him to settle in the underbelly of the fortress.
'I'll leave that to you,' Turgon replied. 'I prefer the spacious womb of Eä. We shall go a-roving, Findaráto, and sleep under the summer stars for a while!'
His cousin hadn't known this, but a horse was saddled and food provided soon enough, and they left before the long finger of the tower's shadow had moved from south to southwest. Their mutual concern was unspoken but prominent to their minds: that visible towers thrust openly towards clear skies might not avail against the stealthy powers of the Dark. But what precisely they were looking for they didn't know.
They followed the river Sirion to the south, away from the view of Thangorodrim. And while the hooves of their horses ate away the long leagues the beauty of the land ate much of their worries, until they began to feel happy again, as of old in Valinor, before the shadow of Morgoth darkened their youthful sheen.
'I wonder whose lands these are,' Turgon said at some point while they rode along the borders of Brethil,
'It's all mine,' Finrod said cheerfully, 'unless my great-uncle Thingol stakes a claim. But he'll never do that; even the woods to our left lie outside the Girdle of Melian.'
'Impressive,' Turgon remarked, 'but you'll need a very long fence to protect it.'
'Are you offering to build one for me?'
'What do I get?
'My everlasting gratitude; and as a first installment, the pearls of my teeth.' Finrod flashed a smile at his cousin.
'The gold in your hair pales in comparison. Your proposal merits serious consideration.'
They both laughed.
The dry weather held, and they traveled further south until dusk, when they dismounted a mile or so beyond the lake of Aelin Uial. As they lay stretched side by side on the grassy river bank, enveloped by the fading evening warmth and gazing up at the sky to see the first stars come out, Turgon suddenly asked: 'Do these parts of Arda also belong to you, cousin Finrod of the Many Leagues?'
'Only if you don't want them.'
'I don't think so. Something is roaring in the distance. Do you think you could silence it?'
'Can I stop the waters of the Great Sirion from falling down a cliff?'
'Ah,' said Turgon, pensively. 'So it's the Voice of the Lord of Waters. I have said nothing.' He sat up and bowed towards the sound, not quite serious, but not quite in mockery either.
'The prolong your silence,' Finrod told him. 'Or I'll never hear what he's trying to tell me.'
'Us, if you please,' Turgon corrected him, evading his cousin's flailing arm. When he lay down again, grinning, he realised it was many years since he had felt so content. All the years of the sun, in fact. Ever since the Grinding Ice, which had taken his wife, leaving him perturbed in body and soul.
Before the currents of his dreams carried him off, he resolved to visit Finrod more often.
He came from great depths, fighting to reach the surface. He realised that his eyes were closed. The lids seemed to be glued together, which was very strange. And only small children slept with closed eyes. He seemed to remember there had been a dream, vague, confusing, ominous: Ulmo's voice, telling him to prepare, to hide, to fence himself in. Very disturbing. Feeling Elenwë's body under his arm was reassuring; at least he was not alone.
Grappling for full awareness, Turgon managed to tear his eyelids apart and detected a shock of golden hair close to his face, slightly tousled. A familiar and beloved sight. Then, realisation hit him.
Elenwe was dead.
He shivered, and tried to regain control of himself. Think. Elenwe was not here. So, the face underneath the hair could not belong to her. Neither could the body he felt under his arm. Also, it was decidedly too hard and muscled to belong to a woman. Therefore, it was Finrod he was holding, as he had held his wife so many times before her fate overtook her on the horrible Ice. In the chill of the night, visited by those troubled and troubling dreams, he must have snuggled closer and closer to the only source of warmth around.
His cousin was still asleep. His eyes were also closed, but only partially; his breathing was quiet and even and his brow lightly furrowed, as if something puzzled him. He didn't seem to notice anything. Turgon warned himself he would have to remove his arm. Though not just yet. He could always pull it away later, when Finrod showed any signs of stirring. Amazing, he thought, that an arm can be so hard to lift. Surely there could not be a more unpersuasive arm in all Arda, right now. The arm obviously enjoyed itself as thoroughly as its owner. How nice it was to lie here so lazily, to watch his sleeping cousin, to follow the outlines of his face: his lashes, his high cheekbones, the angle of his jaw, the curves of his mouth...
He could not have said why he touched Finrod's lips with his own, not then, and later he would never speak of it. But he was unable to stop himself. He had to know what they felt like. Tasted like. Sweet, as he had expected. He withdrew his mouth - but only to have another try, more boldly now, softly pushing those lips apart to create a gateway for his tongue, closing his eyes the better to savour the sensation. As he realised that he was enjoying this far too much, and that this wayward, self-willed arm of his was pressing his cousin's body ever more tightly against his own, his eyes fluttered open again...
... to see Finrod gazing at him, his perfect eyes perfectly unclouded.
One moment, they both remained motionless. Then, Finrod responded to the kiss. For all Turgon knew it lasted for days, and neither of them held back.
'I'm surprised you weren't furious,' he whispered when their mouths separated. His pulse raced.
'It's not precisely my anger you... aroused,' his cousin replied in an odd voice. 'All the same...'
'I know. All the same.' Turgon sighed and rolled away, breathing deeply. His gaze clinging to the cloudless summer sky, he could hear Finrod rise to his feet and walk away.
Turgon sat up. Finrod went down to the riverside, where he began to undress himself, facing the water. It did not take much guessing why he stood with his back to Turgon - who said to himself that his cousin would have to swim far out of sight before he would even think of showing himself naked in his present state.
'Going to douse yourself? How's the water?' he asked, just to say something.
Finrod shed his last garment and gingerly dipped one foot into the stream.
'Surprisingly, given the time of the year, it's cold as ice!'
The waves of Turgon's shock must have rippled all the way to where his cousin stood. Finrod's back went rigid. He spun around, without bothering to hide anything of himself, and came striding back. Dropping to his knees he said: 'That was the single most stupid thing I've said since the rising of Isil. Forgive me.'
Turgon, who didn't trust himself even as far as he could throw himself, lay back into the grass, looking away to avoid his cousin's groin. 'Never mind. Go swim.'
Instead of replying, Finrod began to tug at his clothes.
'Save yourself the trouble. I'm not going in!' Turgon told him.
'That's not what I'm getting at. Come on, bestir yourself, Turukáno. You're lying here like a corpse.'
'And what makes you think I am alive?'
With some effort, Finrod managed to peel off certain items of Turgon's clothing.
'This doesn't look dead to me,' he said earnestly.
'I guess not,' Turgon admitted with clenched jaws, 'but the point is that it shouldn't be alive. It ought to have died with Elenwë - only, it didn't. Listen, I shouldn't have touched you. I'm terribly sorry about that kiss, and -'
'I responded, remember?'
'- and I do hope we can...' Turgon groaned. 'Findaráto! Do me a favour!'
'But that's just what I'm doing!' came the reply.
Suddenly - and he couldn't tell if he was laughing or sobbing or both - Turgon's whole body began to shake, and Finrod's hand being where it was, the effect was remarkable. Despite himself, Turgon thrust his hips upward.
His abject cousin went on favouring him without restraint - quite remarkably so, in fact.
'You're not exactly shy,' Turgon began, 'for someone who never...'
A few heartbeats later, Finrod's face appeared above his own. He didn't say a word, but his eyes were evidence enough.
'But you have. You actually have,' Turgon said softly, utterly surprised. Amarië... 'I'll be damned if you haven't.' And even while he said it, he understood the inevitability of what was happening - and acceptance came within reach. His hand closed around one of the golden plaits that kept Finrod's hair out of his face. With a gentle movement he pulled his head down, while his other hand crept down his cousin's abdomen. 'Well, I'll probably be damned anyway, but at least now I'm...'
'... willing to return the favour? Then let's go ahead and be damned together.' Finrod's wry grin hovered just above Turgon's face.
'You need to get more serious,' Turgon said reproachfully. While his hand found what it was groping for, he proceeded to remove the grin.
'I'm serious enough... But you need to... let go a little more easily,' Finrod said after a while. He seemed to have trouble controlling his breath. With a slight groan, he rolled over and pulled his cousin on top of him.
'Alright, I will let go,' Turgon emitted, every inch of his body on fire now.
That was the last thing either of them said for a considerable time. In the distance, the Falls of Sirion roared.
The morning sun was well above the eastern hills when Finrod broke the silence. 'Well...' he began.
'Let's not dwell on it,' Turgon interrupted him. 'I'm perfectly willing to admit that I love you, but I'm equally certain this was a mere incident.'
'Incidents will happen,' his friend and cousin admitted. He sat up. 'What about a swim now?'
'In that ice-cold river?'
Finrod threw his head back and laughed. 'I love you, too, but all the same you're a coward!' Hurriedly, he scrambled to his feet to evade the fist lashing out at him.
Of course, Turgon chased him until they were both well immersed in the waters of Sirion. In their relief, they splashed and shouted like the boys they had been in Valinor, not all that long ago - two cousins born on the very same day, in the hour of the mingling of the Trees.*
It was only later, when they basked briefly in the last fruit of Laurelin to get dry enough to dress, that Turgon remembered his disturbing dream. Should he tell Finrod? But the dream was a thing of the night, and he wasn't even sure he could explain what exactly it was he had dreamed. Better not bother his cousin about it. He smiled, fondly and indulgently - after having ascertained first that Finrod was looking the other way.
When they set out to continue their journey, they decided to abandon the road to the South and turn West.
*According to the Annals of Aman (HoMe 10), they were born in the same year; the rest is poetic license.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.