Amrod was seeing double: two wine bottles, two feasting tables, two sets of hands, and two Maedhroses in the two seats next to him.
"Ah, Ambarussa," Maedhros' clear voice chuckled, a hand on his back and another removing the goblet from his sluggish grip. "One so young as you should not be drinking wine by the keg."
"I malright," his voice slurred, melting strangely in his own ear. "Where's `Marussa?"
"Ambarussa, you mean?"
He waved it off, rising to his feet.
"He disappeared some time ago—off getting drunk like you, I suppose."
Ignoring Maedhros' amused undertone, Amrod stumbled out of his chair and towards the shore—he knew where his little brother would be.
Amras had always loved the stars—even as a small child, he'd sit on his window ledge and watch the gems of Varda float by, dreaming to be in the midst of them, swallowed in the abyss. Maglor had written a song for his youngest brother to sing when he sat in his window or on the banks of a woodland stream stargazing, and often its haunting melody ambulated through the Noldorin palace halls on the hill of Tún.
And now, stumbling through the shadowy woods on a far away shore, Amrod caught the sweet tones of his twin's voice raised in song. Turning in the direction he assumed to be the shore, he clutched at the threads of song, letting them pull his awkward body to the source. Tripping through a last grove of shadows, Amrod burst onto the sands of a vast and desolate shore. "`Mrussa!"
A starlit figure turned it's head, catching and suspending Amrod in its surprised gaze. "Pitya?"
Laughing, Amrod collapsed at his twin's side. "You never weren't were one to feast…"
A smile ghosted the other's lips. "And you were never one to remain sober where wine was provided."
"True, True." He rested an arm on Amras' shoulder, finding solidarity in the physical connection. "B'd I'm fine. Nelyo thought you'dabe drunk too."
Amras smiled—"You're drunk enough for the both of us."
"That," he slurred, "`salso true."
A gentle silence engulfed the pair, enveloping them in its thick fog. Amras' eyes turned once more to the stars, drinking them like a sweet wine. "Do you ever suppose," his serene voice flowed, "they would be more beautiful if we didn't know how they were formed? If they simply were?"
"Id be boring. And monomatonous…monomanous…montananous…monomotous… montomous," he finally declared frustratedly.
"Monotonous?" the younger corrected.
"`Swat I said." Amrod waved inarticulately out the sea as if warding of demons. "Storiezare meaned to…to make things int'resting."
"But the stars are interesting—they are the most beautiful creation of Eru. Imagine even conceiving the idea of the stars: it's sheer genius. It was the stars our grandfather awoke to by the shores of Cuiviénen, and that give us inspiration to craft precious jewels. It is the light of the stars, partly, that inhabits the Silmarils. The stars are everything." A victorious surge of ecstasy pounded through his veins; a mellifluous spark beamed from his eyes. "If Eru had not thought such a thing, it would never have been, and all might have been lost."
Amrod's drunken mind attempted to seize this information, to process what it meant to him and existence, but it somehow slipped away. "We left th'women."
He grunted softly, accepting that his idea had escaped the other. "There are women. Some brought their wives."
Amrod laughed, resting an arm comfortably on his brother's shoulder, gesturing with an awkward finger. "Wives are not women. You can sleep with women. You can'd sleep with wives."
"If you had a wife, you could sleep with her."
"Nnn," Amrod negated. "Y'have a wife, y'don' sleep with anybody."
The laugh echoed across the water. "You're too clever for me Russa. You alaways were…" His forehead met the others, and his voice took a strange tone. "You always were…"
Amras leapt as lips latched onto his neck, warm and wet. It took only a second to react, but once his brother lay thrown on the ground, he realized what the other had done.
"Wa's the'matter, Russa?" Amrod slurred, seeming to have no idea what had just occurred.
Sitting up, Amrod chuckled. "Don't you love me, Russa?"
He weakly asserted, confused, "I do, but…"
Again the lips came, but a body accompanied, pressing close.
Once more Amrod was thrown off, landing lightly on the white sand. Laughter rolled from the drunken mouth, sharply grating the other's nerves. A hand ventured too close, too close to too many places, and Amras rose swiftly, tearing away—what was going on? It was overwhelming, seeing his brother laughing on the sand after kissing him, feeling him, asking for love. His own brother, his twin, his best friend. His vision clouded with unexpected sorrow—surely they were cursed.
Sensing the resentment blooming in his brother, Amrod offered, "C'mon, Russa…'snobody else here."
He still lay sprawled on the fine white sand, laughing to the stars, mirth slowly fading. "I always loved you Russa…I al'ways loved you…"
That was it—that was all he could take. With an implosion, he turned, his world crumbling. Everything was gone; Valinor, happiness, honour, family, even Amrod. They were cursed by the gods, and the one closest to his heart had kissed him, felt him, loved him. He felt sick.
"Russa!" the voice called after him, pursuing him, invading the confines of a skull desperate to deafen them. "Russa! Come back!" Amrod yet lay on the sand, puzzled as to why his twin would be walking away. "Russa, I was jokin' Russa! Russa!"
It was too late—Amras had already reached the ships, climbing the line to the deck, utterly empty.
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.