7. Preparations for Nolofinwë’s Begetting Day Feast
The bed radiated warmth, although the air in the tent had been unexpectedly chilly just a short while earlier. Maitimo had risen to light the small lamp next to the bed before crawling back upon it to sit and watch Findekáno sleep. The morning must have reached full light, Maitimo deduced from the rising temperature in their sleeping area.
Maitimo couldn’t stop grinning. Findekáno looked thoroughly debauched: his hair, black in the dim light, a jumble of partially undone braids with bits of tangled golden cords still visible, some of them broken and fraying, and his smooth white throat marred by a sizeable purplish-red love-bite. He leaned over Findekáno to kiss him on the soft skin at the top of his cheekbone just beneath his eye. He is intoxicating, he thought, amazed that his own euphoria from the night before had not abated at all. This sense of well-being cannot last. Then, Findekáno opened his eyes, flawless sapphire and widened in unmistakable pleasure. Well, perhaps it can.
Findekáno squirmed, trying to free his legs from the weighted tangle of sheets and blankets. “You look wonderful today. You lit the lamp. Are you getting up?”
“I had thought of making some tea. I think I drank too much last night. I’m incredibly thirsty. I feel like I’ve been eating sand. You look utterly degenerate and despoiled, but perfect, absolutely perfect.” Maitimo relaxed back onto to bed, leaning on one arm and stroking Findekáno across his forehead and down his cheek, tugging gently at a ragged braid before kissing him on the throat. “I am sorry. I made a frightful mark on your neck last night.”
“You haven’t done that since the last night of my final visit to you in Formenos.” Findekáno grinned, looking thoroughly pleased with himself.
“Eru, Káno! Must you continually make references to that dreadful night?” Maitimo reflexively complained every time Findekáno mentioned the incident, but he could not stop smiling.
“Since it was all I had to live on for several years, it does tend to stick in my memory. You were drunk, out-of-control, alternately malicious and maudlin, labile and . . .”
“Káno, please.” He tried to stop Findekáno by covering his mouth with his hand.
Findekáno wriggled free. “ . . . and you made love to me more passionately, with greater vehemence than you ever have--until last night, that is. But, before you ordered me to go back to Tirion and leave you alone, you also told me over and over that you would never cease to love me, and, despite what a hopeless horse’s arse I was--and other far more sinister accusations, which I kindly will not bring up now--that you would always remember me, and begged me to never forget you. Ha! As though that has ever been a possibility.”
“I admit. It was far from my finest hour, but if it makes you happy to remember me like that . . . ”
Findekáno smirked, grabbing Maitimo around the waist and hauling him on top of him. “It was all I had. And, fortunately for you, it was enough.” Maitimo released a little grunt of surprised delight at the added sensation and grabbed the back of Findekáno's head, pulling him into a kiss.
When they stopped kissing, trying but unable to repress a teasing grin, even at a subject that usually made him gloomy, Maitimo retorted, “You would have been thrown out come morning by Fëanáro anyway, after all the shouting and cursing at me you did that night and setting the curtains in my bedroom on fire. You even caused Huan to howl like an ordinary dog, something he never did before and has not done since to my knowledge.”
“Stop laughing. As though I were the only one around your family’s house that ever caused a ruckus. And the fire was an accident. Poor hound. Huan knew we were out of our minds. He is sensitive.” Findekáno was smiling again. “We believed we were so old then, but we were really young, weren’t we? To think that we thought that the worst that could possibly happen to us had already happened.” Káno sees the absurdity and humor in our reactions to the most terrible things. He is right. Maitimo thought, Without him I would be entirely too morose. He would have handled himself in Angband far better than I did, but, more likely than not, would have gotten himself killed.
Maitimo trailed his fingers across Findekáno's lips. “Káno, if you don’t mind, maybe you could make some tea, and then can we work on creating some new memories that will cast me in a slightly better light?”
“Oh, yes. Last night was an excellent beginning. Are you sure you have to have the tea first?”
“Maybe just a little water then?”
Findekáno let out a yelp of enthusiasm, sprang out of bed and returned with mug of water. Maitimo took a long drink and then offered it back to Findekáno who took a sip and placed it on the table. Maitimo inhaled deeply, pulling Findekáno back onto the bed, running his hand over the lean, defined muscle, the velvet-soft skin of Findekáno’s chest, muttering, “So beautiful, so beautiful. My Findekáno.” He felt himself being swept completely under by the familiar, heady and addictive wave of desire triggered by those lust-darkened blue eyes and Findekáno's heavy erection rubbing against his thigh. And yet it was unlike anything he had felt since they had left Aman. Since Thangorodrim, it has been tender, warm, comforting, exciting too, but nothing like last night and nothing like this. It is similar to, but more intense than, what we had those first years we were together. I will never be able to get enough of him. Never.
Findekáno intoned, “Do it. Take me. Now. Please. Please." Lying under Maitimo and holding onto to his upper arms with an iron grip, Findekáno tugged at him and leaned up to take Maitimo's lower lip in his teeth. Findekáno tossed his wild, tousled braids across the pillow. All the while, Maitimo was trying to balance himself on one elbow and reach for the jar on the table next to the bed.
“Shhh. Shhh. I am. I will,” Maitimo breathed into Findekáno’s ear, trying to slow him down a little, to slow himself down, hoping he sounded calmer than he felt. Findekáno writhed and bucked beneath him in the most distracting and counter-productive way. Somehow, despite Findekáno’s still-tight hold on his biceps, Maitimo managed awkwardly and with no small amount of effort to scoop out a handful of the cream, wrench himself up away from Findekáno enough to sloppily smear some on his erection. Findekáno’s eyes focused on Maitimo’s hand, which caused him to make a loud sound of appreciation, something between a moan and shout. He suddenly released Maitimo’s arms and grabbed himself behind the knees, pulling his thighs apart and up, bending himself back nearly double.
Maitimo had seen Findekáno in that position innumerable times before, but it nonetheless struck Maitimo as the most wanton sight he had ever seen. Maitimo froze for a moment, just looking. “You are so beautiful like that,” he said slowly, his voice sounding even to himself to be low, erotic, simultaneously worshipful and teasing.
The expression on Findekáno’s face shifted from pleading to something almost akin to anger. “Just do it.”
Maitimo chuckled softly. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he drawled, exercising every last bit of self-possession he had left.
“Fucking tease. Do it!” Findekáno ordered. At that Maitimo lost his patience entirely. He slapped the remaining large dollop of cream against Findekáno’s entrance and pushed against him. Findekáno was tight, but not too tight to prevent Maitimo from pushing inward.
Before he was even completely in, Findekáno shoved back against him. “Fuck, yes. Yes. More,” following his demand with loud grunts. Findekáno was at all times noisy in his lovemaking and Maitimo loved it. Having somehow managed to throw one leg onto Maitimo’s shoulder, Findekáno used the leverage to pull closer to him. Findekáno also had always been incredibly limber and strong.
Maitimo willed himself to assert some control over the erratic, insistent thrashing beneath him by caressing gently and whispering, “Easy, easy. Just relax,” until he was finally able to establish a rhythm which would give them both what they most desired. Findekáno’s restless heaving and insistent growls finally subsided into repetitive appreciative moans and rhythmic pushes. Finally, they seemed to float somewhere above and beyond themselves yet ever aware of the inexorable pull of their consonant movements.
“Love you. Love you so,” Maitimo said, quietly, as though spellbound. “Don’t ever leave me.”
“Not bloody likely,” Findekáno yelled out, spilling between them. The pulsing of his hot, tight channel brought Maitimo swiftly along with him.
After a while, holding an at-long-last-silent Findekáno against him, having arranged their bodies so they would touch everywhere their skin could possibly make contact, Maitimo was able to speak. Lifting Findekáno’s chin to look into his eyes, he said, “Making love to you in that way is like trying to tame an out-of-control, wild horse.”
“You find it irresistible though, don’t you?” Findekáno smirked, radiating self-satisfaction.
“Oh, yes, I do. You know I do.” Maitimo laughed and began kissing him, not hard and demanding, but unhurriedly, yet with purpose. “But you know that I always like the second time even more.”
“Hmmm. Again? So soon?” Findekáno asked, his eyes half-closed, still languid and drowsy.
Maitimo laughed and threw back at him Findekáno’s plea from the day before: "We're not late yet."
“But your brothers could arrive at any moment.”
“True. They either will come ridiculously early or unconscionably late. We may have all afternoon to ourselves or they could come bursting in now as we speak. But, we of all people cannot expect certitude to rule all of our actions, can we? Is it too soon for you?”
Findekáno’s lassitude vanished. “You are asking me that?”
"It wasn’t a serious question," Maitimo said.
As luck would have it, Maitimo’s brothers did not arrive until late in the afternoon. The usual hugs, affectionate cuffs and protestations of how much they loved and had missed one another, took several minutes. Much to-do ensued around changing clothing in preparation for the feast: trading, borrowing and requests for opinions. By the time Maitimo appeared to be ready for the talk, Findekáno was dying for a drink, but reluctant to add alcohol to the mixture.
The explosion that followed Maitimo’s uncharacteristically hasty and undiplomatic announcement was no better or worse than Findekáno had expected. Maitimo had cut right through his brothers’ nattering by merely clearing his throat and lifting his chin in a manner reminiscent of his father. “I need to tell you that I intend to abdicate the Kingship in favor of Nolofinwë. I spoke with him last night. He will accept my offer on the condition that we support him.” For the length of few heartbeats, the room remained eerily still before the brothers burst into a flurry of activity and sound, all speaking and moving at once.
“What?” Carnistir cried out, pressing his hands onto the tabletop and jumping to his feet, nearly knocking his chair over.
Tyelkormo, whose pale blue eyes popped like someone had tightened a tourniquet around his neck, shouted, “He will accept? Of course, he will bloody well accept it. It’s what he has plotted and schemed for all of his conscious life.”
“The truth is far more complex . . .” Macalaurë began, drawing his words out as though tired and almost bored.
Macalaurë was chopped off by Curufinwë who turned on him with clenched fists. “You conniving little sneak. You knew all about this, didn’t you?”
Despite his desire to be anywhere else but in that tent, Findekáno stayed, ready to assist Maitimo should the need arise. He said little and listened watchfully, largely ignored, except for a few short asides to him from Macalaurë or Maitimo relating to particularly extravagant lapses in logic on the part of one of their brothers. Telufinwë and Pityafinwë said nothing and merely observed, apprehensive at first and later breaking their silence only to grunt or cough in response any unintentionally humorous remarks.
A good two hours later, Findekáno felt comfortable enough to leave the brothers while they were still arguing, however, not before it had become clear that Maitimo had proven himself unbeatable. Curufinwë’s lips had frozen into a thin line, yet his eyes continued to soften and his deepening sighs signaled imminent acceptance of defeat. Tyelkormo was silently getting drunk. Meanwhile, Carnistir's face, flushed a florid red, hid nothing of his confusion and dismay, but he no longer issued any objections. Macalaurë argued on, his voice rising and falling in those ever exquisite, melodic tones, no longer merely backing up his older brother, but delivering killing blows with eloquence and precision.
Findekáno had stayed as long as he did out of nervous compulsion. In truth, he had no illusions that he could do anything concrete to help Maitimo. He at last left, much later than he thought he should have, only to assist his own siblings with the final arrangements for the evening’s festivities. He had promised them he would consult with them to see if they needed help; in his opinion, Irissë was lazy and Turukáno obsessive. If he did not show up at all, at least to admire their work, they would certainly be annoyed with him.
When Findekáno finally returned to his tent, an unnatural silence greeted him--seven sons of Fëanáro gathered in one room and not a single word. Maitimo had dressed in a dark maroon tunic, which softened the auburn undertones of his hair and heightened the luster of the brighter reddish gold. He had fastened his right arm in a black sling, giving the appearance of a convalescent, less to deceive his brothers, he had earlier told Findekáno, than to avoid explaining to anyone why he intended to remain on that side of the Lake for several weeks longer. Findekáno wondered that he did not fear many would notice how well developed were his right shoulder and bicep as a result of his constant focused exercise.
Maitimo's wide-set, grey eyes glittered with renewed assurance. He had, by force of will and timely aid from Macalaurë, forged the House of Fëanáro into a solid monolith, despite a shaky base. The indomitable seven's charisma and staunchness would sway their followers and Maitimo could hold them all together for the foreseeable future.
The quiet of the room seemed more disturbing than the earlier shouting and curses. Findekáno felt as he often had as a young boy, when he barely knew them: a sense that the sons of Fëanáro played a private game and he knew not the rules, the odds, or the cost of losing. If Findekáno had learned anything of them, it was that outward signs of hostility among the brothers could be deceptive. Without apparent motive they could instantly turn inward and become one solid front against any who confronted them.
Maitimo walked to the bed and picked up the crown of Finwë. "Where did Makalaurë take himself? I need his help with this."
“Probably using the privy.” Telufinwë stretched and sat up from his sprawled position on the bed, with his heavy but elegant boots hanging off the edge. “I can help you.” The tone of the offer indicated a manifest assertion of loyalty to his eldest brother.
"Permit me," Curufinwë said, competitive, dismissive of Telufinwë. "I can do it better." Curufinwë motioned to Maitimo to take the chair in front of the mirror. He deftly twisted a thick clump of coarse, curly hair on either side into rough plaits and placed the crown upon Maitimo's head, anchoring it to those braids from the inside with only couple of clips.
"Shake your head. Yes, it's solid. Such magnificent hair you have. It would slip and slide all over mine. Ai, Nelyo, you are such an idealistic fool.” Curufinwë squeezed Maitimo's shoulders and kissed him on the cheek. “Time will prove you wrong and we will be the ones who must live with your error."
“Keep it to yourself, Curvo. I will not tolerate your vicious tongue. This is not a game.” Maitimo’s voice was soft, almost caressing, but dangerous. “If you take your bitterness out of this room do not doubt that I will crush you. You will be lucky to hold onto the comradeship of your own horse.” Curufinwë grimaced and moved away. Carnistir avoided making eye contact with his closest younger brother.
Maitimo reached out and grabbed Curufinwë’s arm. “You and I can talk later, alone, if you wish. But the discussion here has ended for today.”
"Blessed Eru! It suits him, doesn't it?" Tyelkormo asked, his heretofore somber face split into a wide smile. "He looks more kingly than Grandfather ever did."
"Nonsense," Maitimo answered, squinting and pressing his lips together in an attempt to hide that he actually liked Tyelkormo’s observation. "Fine. Thank you, Curvo.” He looked toward the curtain that separated the sleeping area from the rest of the tent. “Ah, here is Macalaurë now. Shall we get it over with then?"
Findekáno was puzzled for a moment. It would be at least an hour before they were expected to appear for the opening of the feast for Nolofinwë’s begetting day.
Macalaurë dropped to one knee in front of Maitimo and took his brother’s hand, his handsome face radiant with intent. Then a realization swept over Findekáno. Maitimo was demanding a pledge of allegiance, a sworn acknowledgement of his authority over his brothers. Findekáno was stunned, impressed, slightly chilled and simultaneously amused that he had not expected it. He thought, for all their horseplay and bickering, the Fëanárians are nothing if not serious.
“Dearest Nelyo, it will be an honor and a privilege for me to go first,” Macalaurë stated in his finest stage voice. “I do sincerely promise and swear that I, Canafinwë Macalaurë Feanárion, will be faithful and bear true allegiance to you, Nelyafinwë Maitimo Feanárion, and to your acknowledged heirs, and recognize you as the sole Head of the House of Fëanáro. I pledge my sword, my honor and my life to your service and to remain alert to defend you against any insult or harm, actual or suspected.”
Maitimo reached to help Macalaurë to his feet, pulling him into an embrace. “I love you, little brother. You are my anchor.”
Pityafinwë spoke up. “Not to sound like an ignorant clod, but if I am going to do this I should understand what I’m saying. What is the thing about Nelyo’s heirs?” All seven broke into laughter, Pityafinwë included.
Macalaurë grinned. “Unless Nelyo has a son, it goes straight down the line, starting with me.” Then glancing over his shoulder he caught Curufinwë’s eye. “I’m not as good at mathematics as some of you, but as I count it, that would make Curvo number five.”
Curufinwë groaned and shook his head. “Yes. You calculated that right.” Again, all of the brothers laughed. One by one they took their places, bent their knees, made their pledges with appropriate solemnity and no small dose of Fëanárian pride, and were helped up in turn by Maitimo, each receiving a hug and a distinctive expression of endearment.
When they had all finished, Pityafinwë spoke first, as he punched Macalaurë on the arm. “I had always heard that musicians, especially composers, had to be minimally competent at arithmetic at least.”
“Hmm,” Macalaurë said, rubbing his arm in a pretense of pain. “First, I hear it in my head, then I have to go through the bother of writing it down. Fine, Pityo, I lied. I knew Curvo was fifth.”
“Ha, ha,” Curufinwë said, his face more relaxed than it had been. “Stick to music, Macalaurë. Comedy is not your calling.”
"Ah, yes, Curvo," Macalaurë answered. "Nor is politics yours."
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.