“Why not? Am I not your son in all but blood?” Elrond shouted back, they faced each other in the small tent, their chests heaving with anger and desperation.
For a moment fire flashed in Maglor’s eyes as he said angrily, “If you are my son, then show some obedience! Elros has accepted to ride with Cirdan for Lindon. You will join him even if I have to bind you to a horse!”
“You are throwing me out now that the end of your oath is in sight?” Elrond asked bitterly, “You no longer need a foster-son.”
“No”, Maglor agreed, “I no longer need a foster-son. And you no longer need a foster-father!”
“So it was all an act”, Elrond spat viciously.
“Yes”, Maglor said coolly, “I was doing a fine job, wasn’t I?”
“I hate you!” Elrond shouted, not caring about the depth of turbulent emotions in his foster-father’s eyes, “Curse you! Damn you to the everlasting voids!”
“I am already on my way there”, Maglor spat back.
“Elrond, Kano”, Maedhros entered the tent, his tunic blood-spattered and torn, “Do stop this. Cirdan is here. Kano, see to him.”
“You were also doing a fine act, my lord!” Elrond said angrily turning on the weary Maedhros as Maglor stormed out of the tent.
“Don’t rip whatever remains in me now”, Maedhros said exhaustedly, “I will not bother. You go with Cirdan, that is final. Even if you say that Macalaurë is not your foster-father anymore, he will support my decision.”
“So the eldest Feanorian once again calls his brothers to the Oath!” Elrond said bitterly, “You will never give up, will you?”
“No”, Maedhros said simply, “This has been discussed a lot, melme. Should we go over it again?”
“I hate you”, Elrond said helplessly as he burst into bitter sobs, “Why now? We have each other, is it not enough? Ada is happy with Cirdan too. Why throw away everything we have?”
“I will make sure to ask that of my brilliant father if ever I meet him in Mandos”, Maedhros said wryly as he made to touch Elrond’s wrist in a gesture of comfort.
“You are not going to die”, Elrond said quietly.
“No”, Maedhros agreed withdrawing his hand, “I will kill more elves and be happy. Elrond, I seem to have some sense of honour left. I will gain the jewels or die trying this time. Why else do you think I am sending you to Ereinion? I want you safe.”
“And bereaved and fading?” Elrond enquired.
Maedhros winced, but stood his ground saying, “You are strong, Elrond, though you don’t realize it now. You have Macalaurë’s strength, compassion and wisdom. You will live.”
“I love you”, Elrond threw himself on Maedhros like a drowning soul, tears flowing down his face, “I love you so much that it kills me.”
“So do I”, Maedhros kissed his brow softly, and pressed a packet into his hands, “Take this stone for me. My father wrought it in the forge of my mother’s house and gave it to her as a proof of his love for her. My mother gave it to me after they were parted. Now I give it to you. Keep it as a reminder of our times together. Remember me, remember my brother. We tried to do our best by you, Elrond, even if, in the end, we fail you.”
“I love you both”, Elrond dried his tears as he opened the package and took out the bright red stone.
“Beautiful”, he murmured softly, “As all of Feanor’s creations”, he looked upon his lover’s face tenderly, “But I shall always love the works of his loins more than those of his hands. Especially his first-born.”
“I have nothing to give you”, Elrond said as Maedhros bent to bury his face in the dark tresses of his companion, “Nothing other my heart and my love.”
“And that is what I have never deserved”, Maedhros whispered as Elrond’s fingers smoothed his slender back, “Nothing I can give will ever compare to it. Not even my heart and love though it is always yours.”
“In love, there are no comparisons, My Lord”, Elrond breathed, as he pressed a tender kiss to the nape of Maedhros’s neck.
“Will you take me one last time before we are parted?” the elder elf asked softly as he pulled back from the embrace.
“If you promise me to return the favour when we meet again”, Elrond implored, “I shall, My Lord.”
He pushed down Maedhros onto the hard, threadbare rug that floored the tent. Maedhros did not even put up a token resistance as was their usual norm before making love. He lay limp, his eyes distant, his body pliant under Elrond.
As Elrond began to prepare his passage, Maedhros spoke quietly, “No, Elrond. Not today. I want to remember this till the end. Till whatever end.” He turned to meet Elrond’s defiant eyes and whispered, “You call me your Lord. Obey me in this.”
“I cannot”, Elrond said stubbornly, his lips quivering as he sought to control his tears, “I cannot hurt you.”
“Do not make me beg”, Maedhros said gently, “Not now.”
“As you wish, My Lord”, Elrond obeyed Maedhros’s will.
He felt himself abandon reason and sanity as they rode higher on pain and pleasure to their climax. They collapsed on the floor, panting and wincing.
“Russandol”, Maglor’s voice sounded apprehensive, “It is time. They wait.”
They helped each other stand. As they fumbled into their robes rearranging their hair to conceal the bruises and the marks of their passion, Elrond looked into Maedhros’s eyes.
“Thank you”, Maedhros whispered, “I have no regrets now. I am as happy as I can be.”
“I suppose you are used to this thing by now”, Elrond muttered as he smoothed Maedhros’s ruffled mane into a semblance of dignity, “Putting on this brave face before you leave on another mad round of kinslayings.”
“Certainly”, Maedhros put on a weak smile for their mutual benefit, “Glad that you finally appreciate my madness.”
“RUSSANDOL!” Maglor’s voice commanded.
“This is it, then”, Maedhros shrugged.
Elrond smiled wanly, “So it seems, My Lord.”
A strange calm pervaded him. He knew what he had to do. He shoved the packet into the folds of his robes and kissed Maedhros passionately with all his being. The elder elf responded and for a few brief moments the world was beautiful again, their tongues giving in and yielding beneath each other. Elrond knew that he would never love anyone with half the passion as he loved Maedhros. Right now, ensconced in their embrace, he did not care at all.
Then Maedhros pulled away saying, “You must leave. Cirdan risks a lot in fetching you now. If the Sindar know, there will be no end of trouble.”
Elrond embraced him once before walking out of the tent. Maglor stood there with a firm scowl on his face. Elrond almost laughed at the similarities of their tempers.
He hugged his beloved foster-father saying, “I am sensible again. Forgive me, Ada, I lost it for a couple of long moments. ”
“Just a couple of long moments?” Maglor raised an eyebrow.
“Rather long moments”, Elrond conceded and Maglor hugged him back saying quietly, “Take care of yourself, ion-nin. Russandol and I cannot watch out for you now.”
“Cirdan will”, Elrond said reassuringly, “You don’t have to worry about me, Ada. If anything, I have to worry about you.”
“We will be all right, Elrond”, Maglor laughed dryly, “My brother and I are rather experienced in kinslaying by now.”
Elrond turned back once as he watched Maedhros and Maglor stand side-by-side to bid him and Elros goodbye. The dim firelight cast their pale, noble features in a red hue.
Maglor seemed taller and slimmer, his dark hair braided back into an austere plait highlighting his sharp features. Maedhros, Elrond’s heart clinched as he met the tormented gaze of his lover, Maedhros’s face was shadowed by pain and despair. One way or the other, Elrond knew that Maedhros would enter Mandos this night. That did not make him scared. He wanted redemption for his beloved foster-father and lover. And death was the only redemption.
Maedhros pressed his left hand to his heart as he met Elrond’s eyes. Elrond repeated the gesture with his own hand, a single tear flowing down his face for all that he felt would be destroyed, including their souls.
Elrond heard of the disastrous attack on the camp of the army of the Valar. He heard of the fall of his lover into a chasm. He heard of the anguish of his foster-father, who had run away in despair to the regions unknown. He heard of his twin choosing mortality.
Elrond did not cry, not even once. With equanimity, he accepted a position in Gil-Galad’s court after choosing the life of the Eldar. He became renowned for his wisdom, bravery and compassion. It was just as Maedhros had predicted. His hand was sought by elves of both genders, though he declined them politely always. It was rumoured that he grieved for a lover who had fallen in the War of the Wrath. His hair was always adorned by a plain gold and silver wrought clasp. And there was a flaming red jewel set in his sword. Memories of a love and a life that was forever lost to him.
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.