It was in moments like these when nostalgia threatened to overwhelm Maedhros, just as he thought he'd taken a step forward, surrounded the grief enough to be able to just be without having it crush him from within.
But then again nostalgia's an easy word, Maedhros reminded himself. Deep down within it, when he took the time to tease and search it, this nostalgia, he found it stretched over a pain so deep, so overwhelming that to see it, to feel it, rendered him powerless before life. Maedhros was reminded of the futility of tomorrow, so he named his pain nostalgia instead, because he needed to wake up tomorrow and attend to whatever it was he needed to do.
The sun reflecting on the water, the dappled surface of it, reminded Maedhros of a simple day before the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. Those were the best days. Nostalgia.
Maedhros remembered him. Remembered Fingon's simple joy, skipping stones across the surface of the lake, a moment taken for an extraordinarily burdened elf. It reminded Maedhros of simpler times in Valinor, watching Fingon explore life around him. Fingon had always been tactile, his feelings worn comfortably on his skin. Fingon alone could draw out Maedhros. Fingon alone.
Maedhros sighed as the sun danced on the water's surface. It was a cruel scene, a delight that mocked him, reminding him of that which he loved the most. Fingon. Till his end Fingon was true to his name. Valiant. Till the end, Fingon was true to him. Maedhros.
"You left me," Maedhros whispered, hoping the beams of light would take his words to wherever Fingon was for Maedhros did not know if there was such a thing as the Halls of Waiting, not for him, not for the lot of them. With his mind Maedhros followed the light as it touched upon the surface of the water. "You left me," he whispered, his voice penetrating the water, to the depths settling upon the lakebed and unto the earth below, into all of Endórë, into all of Arda. "You left me," Maedhros cried out, falling to his knees, sobbing quietly to himself. Unnumbered tears.
Nostalgia, Maedhros reminded himself, sifting through his emotions, trying to catch his tears and memories with a net wrought of character and determination. But this was not nostalgia. This was unencumbered pain. Unnumbered tears. This was living because his physical body willed it. Maedhros desperately needed to reel in his pain, gather it, comfort it, hold it, and carefully wrap it in Nostalgia, but his mind assaulted him, refusing to budge from the memory, the memory of him. Fingon...
Fingon kneeled near the water, his boots sinking into the mucky lakeshore. A pile of stones at his side, Fingon threw the smooth stones, watching them skip across the smooth surface of the water. The sun caught the surface of the stones, making the stones seem like stars shooting across the surface of the water.
Fingon wore a smile that day, Maedhros remembered, but it was no longer Findekáno's smile. This was Fingon's smile, the reserved smile of the High King, of the son who had lost his father, his sister, too many to count really. It was a quiet smile, a small smile for a man who had been joyous, his physicality abundant, his body searching ways to climb the biggest tree, jump off the tallest cliff, defeat an opponent in the bliss of Valinor. He was Fingon the bold. Fingon the joyful. Fingon the beautiful.
Fingon was beautiful and he knew it. They all had been: the best of the Noldor. They were the sons that would inherit a People proud and arrogant, tall and strong, wise and skilled. That is who they were, who they thought they had been. But Findekáno had been that and more, a contradiction, open to it, questioning, feeling his way around the world, talking, and asking questions. Fingon's pride was tempered by humility, a humility that was at times hard found. His arrogance led to wisdom, though he crossed much pain to arrive at it. On the occasions they spent a night together, Maedhros would watch Fingon sleep, watch how he'd try to wipe away the blood from his hands, the blood that stained him in the kinslaying at Alqualondë, the blood from Maedhros' severed limb. Though Fingon would never reveal the reasons for his nightmares, never burden Maedhros with his memories, he too had his demons. These Maedhros knew well.
But on that day, that bright memory in Maedhros' carefully kept box, with the sun shining on the water, the breeze scented with evergreen, Fingon smiled, enjoyed the simple act of throwing stones across the water. Maedhros sat on a grassy slope, away from the muddy shore, watching Fingon, a smile on his own face. A smile also small and quiet. Such an easy moment. Maedhros recalled Fingon standing, turning his smile upon Maedhros who watched Fingon's tall graceful form make his way to him. Though the Grinding Ice had taken its toll on Fingon's body, time and the onslaught of fighting, training, building, made him whole again, his body more broad than he'd been in Valinor. They all bore the bodies of this new land, scarred, tired, and built to withstand the elements, shaped by hard labor and the dogged fight.
Fingon sat beside Maedhros, his smile never leaving his lips. Maedhros turned to watch Fingon as Fingon in turn watched him. They must have sat there for hours, lost in each other as they were prone to do. It was unnerving for others to see, to see how deeply they could loose themselves in each other's gaze. This time, it was broken by Maedhros who reached over to tangle his hand in Fingon's raven hair, pulling his lover towards him, bringing their lips together. Maedhros kissed Fingon softly at first, taking time to breath him in. Fingon allowed Maedhros to lead the kiss, until Fingon became impatient and his kisses became more desperate. Fingon caught Maedhros face in his hands…
Maedhros remembered Fingon's touch, remembered every detail of his beloved's hands. Maedhros knelt by the lake, his eyes closed, memory reaching out to feel his lover. The breeze teased Maedhros, tracing his face with its windy tendrils. Fingon's hands were calloused, from the tip of his fingers to the palm of his hands, the sign of wear, of hard work, of the sword, of the bow, marking him. Maedhros' hand was equally rough doing double duty for what his other limb could not…
Maedhros and Fingon kissed until the two could no longer contain themselves, breaking apart knowing that they would have to wait to consummate the day's desires until the privacy of their shared chamber. Fingon stood and walked away from Maedhros who sat a moment longer watching Fingon retreat into the tree line. But before he did, Fingon turned and gifted Maedhros a smile. It was large, bold and beautiful. Findekáno…
A shuddered breath escaped Maedhros. He was exhaling the pain, breathing in order, putting the memory away, reminding himself: Nostalgia.
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.