Thingol’s heart had climbed up into his throat by the time he emerged from the trees to meet Fingon, though it would have never showed through the kingly, removed exterior he’d be come adept at projecting. But the fact of the matter was—and he’d never admit this, even if he were paid (alright, perhaps then), that he was nervous. Though he would have liked to trust his old friend’s grandson, the truth was that Fingon had been active in the attack on Thingol’s people, on his brother, and that this meeting at the edge of the forest could very well be a trap. Then again, it had been Thingol who had insisted on meeting this way. He would not allow Fingon into Doriath; he had made up his mind that no kinslayers would set foot in his kingdom. But it pained him to leave, as though he had become a part of the place as thoroughly as Melian had, and he felt a responsibility to stay within its borders. And so this was the compromise they had come to.
He had brought men with him, though they would stay hidden in the trees unless they were needed. Perhaps it would be seen as a cruel lack of trust on his part, if they were discovered, but Thingol would have rather chanced it than come unprepared due to some sense of honor.
He had also come armed, Aranruth at his hip. Melian had advised against it, telling him that it would make him look overly hostile and mistrustful. But again, he would rather take the chance and come prepared. Perhaps the weapon’s presence would serve as a warning to Fingon, that if he crossed a line, he would meet the king’s ire.
He had come on a horse, but had left it a bit behind him, so that he might meet Fingon on more equal footing. But it seemed that Fingon had come on a horse as well, and had not left it behind. Regardless, Thingol was tall enough himself that he barely needed to lift his head to meet Fingon’s eyes.
Fingon was attractive in his way, though his face only barely resembled his grandfather’s.
"Fingon," was all Thingol said to address him.
There was only one figure that approached. Fingon thought at first that he was missing something obvious—but it was clearly no herald or messenger that approached. He was too tall, and even from a distance it was clear that he carried himself with too much poise to be one of a lower standing. Fingon did not miss the sword that sat at his hip, either, and he bit back a scowl at the plain statement of mistrust. Not that it surprised him; he was not expecting this discussion to be especially friendly, though he’d hoped to avoid outright hostility.
And then—that greeting. No titles? Fingon’s brow may have raised slightly at that, though he looked down to try and disguise it.
"Thingol," he replied, and he half expected the Sindarin king to offer a hand and help him from his horse. What was he, though? A helpless maiden? It was also tempting to remain on the back of his steed—that Elwë should stand even with him with no such aid was in truth intimidating. But maybe he’d have to stoop to meet Fingon’s eyes, and that gave him a petty boost of confidence.
He jumped down from the horse’s back a moment later, tugging his riding gloves from his hands and securing them beneath one of the straps of the beast’s harness.
"I presume you meant for this to be an informal meeting," he said, looking up—oh. Elwë was unreasonably tall, wasn’t he? Fingon wondered if his neck would ache by the end of this meeting. “I would offer a meal myself, but it’s admittedly impractical out here, isn’t it?” He concluded the statement with a laugh, though he hoped Thingol had understood his point—he’d been an ungracious host, though it was not too late for him to make up for it.
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A faint smile, just barely amused, played at her lips. ”Good,” Thuringwethil said, “You’ll need to.” Of course, she mused, it would be better for him if he could fly—the Maiar tasked with keeping his cousin all did. It was much easier than having to scale the treacherous peaks that reached into the sky, appearing to scrape into the untouched blueness where the stars hung.
But his latter statement made her bristle slightly, although the offense was not enough to overcome her entertainment. ”I never lie, you know,” she retorted at him, though it was impossible for her to not know why he said what he did. “I only deceive.” His expression appeared deadpan, and she suppressed a chuckle, only reiterating, “There is a difference. But very well, sir elf, you’ll not see me again—probably. Though if ever you do feel like expressing your gratefulness, I’d suggest you send a message, rather than climbing here again. You might get my rooms mixed up with someone else’s.” She flashed him a grin, and then wondered what they were hiding—nervousness, perhaps? If he were caught, she would be too; after all, it would be her spell that coated him. She suppressed a sigh.
Looking back up at the mountaintop, and then back at the elf, the Maia quirked a brow. ”I think you’ll manage,” she said, before a teasing undertone colored her voice and she added with a cheeky grin, “Though you are rather short, for an elf.” But the atmosphere was becoming grim, and her face cleared, becoming more warning itself. ”He’s all the way at the top of the tallest one. If you can pry out the chain that holds him, perhaps you can save him.”
Findekáno’s eyes might have rolled slightly, though he tried to disguise the gesture. Deceit, lies… there was no difference, as far as he was concerned, and he had no interest in hearing her explanation towards the contrary. For his part, he wasn’t entirely convinced that he’d make it to the top of the peak without being waylaid by another enemy; as far as he knew, her protective spell might actually be sending out a flare, a bright declaration for every evil thing nearby to come and find him.
But again—it was a chance he had to take.
He wondered what parting words he should, give however. ‘Please don’t follow me’ might be apt, but she showed no sign of desiring to do so anyway, much to his relief. Perhaps he owed her some form of thanks, but he was reluctant to give too much before he was even certain she wasn’t merely toying with him and his hopes.
"I’ll do my best," Findekáno stated instead—his best to express his gratefulness, if she did in turn deserve it, and certainly his best to free Maitimo from whatever torments he was currently suffering.
There were no paths here on the mountainside, so Findekáno could only guess how he might reach the peak where his cousin was being held. His first few steps away from Thuringwethil were tentative; she’d most likely laugh at him for faltering and following a wrong trail, but he was hard pressed to care.
I’m coming, he thought, pretending for a moment that if he thought it hard enough, Maitimo might hear it. Such a thing was impossible, but it was a comfort.
“I’d call him a gentle giant, but you know as well as I that he sometimes forgets his own strength. He’s as bold and reckless as I am, his moods tend to be brighter, and he’s a stubborn little prat!”
"There were times while Maitimo recovered that I was certain he did not even recognise me."
[ Fingon glances upwards ]
"I might not be able to sing the best of anyone—but I can sing loudest in most company.”
“Sometimes I substitute the name of one friend for another when I tell people where I’ve been.”
"Remember when you boasted about drinking twice as much wine as me? I’d been mixing water in all night when you weren’t looking."
Aww, cheers guys. I don’t think my facts are that interesting though. Nevermind, I’ll make an attempt.
alternate universe where there is art of fingolfin and it’s not of him battling morgoth
"My finger is broken, not sprained, but I didn’t want my father to worry. Nonetheless I doubt it made a difference."
“She’s young and golden-haired, and the most beautiful of my relatives. She’s brave and clever, just like my sister, and she’s grown up to be a very fine woman.”
How fortunate. I was about to humbly request yours. Certain documents have been misplaced, and I suggest we discuss it at once.
“We’ve been here before,” said Maedhros, unaware that he’d spoken aloud. He recalled the light of Aman so vividly that it seemed the gold of Laurelin spilled through the window. It gleamed against Findekáno’s braids, and their bindings shone like fire. In a younger voice he uttered the same thoughts in almost the same words, not wearily but passionately. Having known love only briefly, his emotions were raw and easily bruised. It was all so dire, so cataclysmic to hear Maitimo say that they must not pursue this, that too many feuds stood between their two houses, and to fear that secretly the heir of Fëanor did not love him.
Tonight he had spoken as if he loved Fingon no longer. Fearing his own darkness, he believed that they must end this. And as starlight slanted through the room, limning his face with silver, the heir of Fingolfin repeated the same wisdom as before. Parting would not cure their sorrow. Through their tangle of words, they had arrived somewhere so startlingly familiar that Maedhros laughed.
This was all so normal — for them — that at last he knew what to say. “You help me more than you know. It is enough that you’re still here, and speak to me even when your words falter, and believe none of my lies. When the sickness hisses them I still hear you, though I cannot answer.” He reached out his hand and traced the gleam of starlight against his lover’s brow. “My dear Fingon, you have won. If we both yearn to be selfish, we will suffer less together than apart.”
"I’ve won nothing," Fingon sighed.
He’d make it better. Years from now there would be less need to agonise over the perfectly worded diplomatic message, and Anfauglith would be a green plain on which farmers could grow their crops once again; there’d be no need to worry about grain rationing then, or interrupted supply lines. If there would be soldiers to train and posts to assign, it would be a formality, not a necessity.
And maybe, with that changed, they could remember how to communicate and be happy again, though it was a pitiably poor excuse to blame the state of the world for his own inability to cope.
Fingon captured the hand that trailed across his face, tugging it down so he could plant a kiss against the palm. “If you can hear nothing else, at least remember that I love you.” Another kiss, softer this time. “Even if I often misspeak.”