3. That's Not Funny! (R-rated, barely)
In their youth in Valinor, Maedhros has a secret crush on Fingon, his younger half-cousin, and Maglor loves to tease him about it.
It was a beautiful day in Valinor, as usual. But that golden afternoon was exceptional. The light of Laurelin danced on each green leaf visible from Macalaurë’s bedroom window. The sky shone a cloudless blue. For hours, he had been promising that he would put aside the piece of music he was writing and take a walk. He heard the kitchen door slam shut and Tyelkormo’s heavy boots on the staircase. Almost instantly, a blond head poked around the doorjamb.
“You really should go outside and watch them,” Tyelkormo said, his eyes crinkling with humor and mischief.
Macalaurë placed his lute on the bed behind him, out of the way of Tyelkormo’s clumsiness. “Them?” he asked. His brother’s obvious amusement gave him no clue. Tyelkormo could find humor in just about anything.
“Nelyo and Káno down in the horse paddock!”
“What is so funny about that?”
“The whole scene. Nelyo looks like he is about to cream in his pants with adoration of Findekáno. Who, by the way, is definitely going to take a First in the equestrian competition at the harvest festival this year. And Káno’s shameless. Looking at Nelyo every chance he gets with that expression of ‘I touch myself in the dark at night when I think of you.’”
“Aww! That’s sad. Shame on you for being so heartless and disgustingly vulgar.”
“Go down and take a look. Then tell me it doesn’t make you laugh!”
“I still think it’s sad. Nelyo won’t admit to anyone, not even himself, how he feels about Findekáno until he comes of age and they have three years to wait.”
“Káno admits it. Well, to me at least. Not to Nelyo.”
Macalaurë approached the enclosure where Nelyafinwë sat astride the fence. Findekáno’s dark hair had been pulled away from his face into plaits fastened with golden cord. In the past several months, the last vestiges of childish softness in his half-cousin’s visage had melted away to reveal a handsome angularity reminiscent of their grandfather. The young rider maintained an erect but supple upper body posture without apparent effort. He held his elbows close to his body, thighs extended downward, legs steady, form pristine.
His horse performed a difficult elevated trot in place as though it were as natural to both him and his rider as taking a long drink of water. Macalaurë well understood the passion for the sport and the athletic ability required by the complete absence of either in himself. Nelyo and his father had given up on him years earlier. Findekáno, on the other hand, had shown such promise that Fëanáro had insisted Nelyo give him extra lessons each week in addition to those he provided.
“Nelyo,” Macalaurë said, slapping his brother on the back. “He’s beautiful. Absolutely perfect. No wonder you enjoy working with him so much.”
Nelyo’s cheeks flamed. He ripped his eyes away from cousin and scowled. “I enjoy Káno’s lessons because he has talent and works hard. That’s all. I’m very tired of your jokes.”
Macalaurë howled with laughter. “Ha! You gave yourself away. I was referring to Findekáno’s form and not your poorly hidden crush on him.”
“That’s not funny! You have a cruel sense of humor.”
Macalaurë wiped the tears away from his face, choking down a chortle. “And you, big brother, have none at all.”
Findekáno, Káno = Fingon
Nelyafinwë, Nelyo = Maedhros
Macalaurë = Maglor
Tyelkormo = Celegorm