Author: Maggie Honeybite
Web page: www.ithilas.com/maggie/maggie.html
Warning: m/m slash, disturbing themes, (serious unfluff!)
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, nor do I make any profit
from them. Any writing I do is done with a deep respect for Tolkien
and out of an abiding love for his Elves.
Feedback: Would make my day. Constructive criticism always welcome.
Archiving: Sure, archive away! Just let me know you're doing it.
Summary: Fingon tries to keep a promise made long ago.
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to my beta, Tehta, who keeps the muses
He sleeps on his side, the wounds on his back
still too raw to allow direct contact with the bed for long. I
cradle him from behind, barely touching,
not causing discomfort. He breathes
through his mouth and relaxes into my arms.
He is grateful; he thinks I am kind.
In his sleep he is as he ever was: wound up, strong and restless.
Beautiful, too. The shadows in the room cocoon him in
darkness, hiding angry scars and reddened skin.
The moonlight, gentler than the harsh light of day, paints his
with subtle tones, tempers disfigurement.
After nightfall, our hearts beat in unison and my breath on his neck
makes his hair quiver like a bright red flame.
Pretence does not jar so much in the dark, in silence.
When he wakes it is another matter. He
shifts, and I move away -- tender Fingon, considerate Fingon -- my
taunting me in their mockery, though he does not notice. He is
still exhausted, hurt resonating in his
very bones, dulling perception. My voice
is steady, my behaviour not out of character.
I am careful not to give myself away, and he does not think to look for
deceit where there once was none.
"Shh..." I say. "Easy, now."
"Nothing is easy now." His voice
creaks with disuse.
It is not a great joke, but a joke nonetheless.
I had half expected his mind to be affected by his ordeal; it is
not. He is simply less watchful, and I
suspect that half of his thoughts still sleep, too disturbing to
relive. For now, he is content to recapture the old
pleasures and comforts that were once his due.
A clean bed. A good meal. The touch of a lover.
I do not begrudge him. When he shifts
onto his back, carefully, I help him with the pillows. When his
legs stretch out under the blankets,
I caress his thighs. He sighs and closes
his eyes, and I know what it is he wants; we have partnered each other
dance often enough in the past. Slowly,
I move the blankets away and kiss my way down his stomach, concave from
long fast and covered in welts. The
stench of filth, of evil, still lingers, despite the many baths he has
taken. It will linger for some time, I
suspect. "Until he is well," I
think, then immediately correct myself:
"Until he is better."
The blunt truth of the matter surfaces one more time.
His cock is half-hard, and I give a prayer of thanks that this part of
least, is unblemished. His musk is
strong, and his hair coarse and red, bristling like a tenacious plant
his pallid skin. I close my eyes, and
conjure up desire. It comes, slow and
unwilling. Every night it is more
difficult, but I can manage it, just. I
open my mouth and take him in; I give what I can. Only I know how
little that is.
"Slowly," he says, and I heed his
His need is not acute -- not as it was between us when first we touched
Valinor. He is simply glad to be alive;
this near-skeleton once more learning to feel life beneath his
skin. I suck gently, my head cradled in his
navel. His thighs spread further, his
hips lift; he sighs. I know how to bring
He used to like stroking my hair with his right hand when I did this,
cannot do that now.
"Findekáno," he says instead, as if assuring himself that I am
not a dream. I look up, my mouth full,
and see him gazing down at me. He
smiles, lips parting, the gaps where his teeth once were staring at me
ugliness. I want to cry, to run, to hit
the wall with my fist. Instead, I
release him and whisper, "I am here."
I do not say, "Maitimo."
He lays his head down again and thrusts his hips upwards. I
accommodate him easily; this was a game we
often played, and I am skilled at it. My
hands hold his thighs, careful not to squeeze too hard, for Maedhros,
fearsome warrior, is still fragile. His
skin is cold, not hot as it was when we first made love, back when the
was still whole. The bandages covering
his lesions prevent me from getting a good grip.
At last, he tenses and invokes my name like a blessing, and I swallow,
bitterness coating my mouth and passing down my throat. "Will you
warm me?" he asks, and I
move to lie beside him. I brush the hair
from his face, bring the blanket up to his chin and stroke his
cheek. He stirs for a while, then stills; he
sleeps. It is easy for him to fall into
oblivion. This is something I envy him,
though I know I should not envy him anything.
"Do you think we are wrong in what we
do?" he asked me once, lying in my arms after a hunt, our weapons
discarded, the woods whispering around us.
We were barely of age then, and so drunk on the wonder of each other
that we cared not who saw.
"Going out to hunt game and spearing
naught but each other? I'm sure your
brothers would consider it a frightful waste of the hunting season."
My joke earned me an elbow to the stomach
then, and I doubled over, half laughing, half in pain.
"You know very well what I was
asking," he said.
I did know.
I had thought of it often enough, when alone, with the memory of his
hands imprinted on my skin. What we did
was against our people's laws and mocked our families' expectations of
us. And yet, how could we abandon what we had
discovered together when the marvel of it made even the air around us
sanctified? His hand in mine felt like a
natural extension of my flesh; his thighs around my waist rooted me to
warm, living earth; our hair, mingling on the grass, was like the fire
father's forge: dark and light, full of
dazzling possibility. How could this be
"Some would say we are," I answered
at last. "But I do not believe
He raised himself on an elbow, his hair
falling across his mouth. The beauty of
the very sky above me dimmed beside the splendour of that flame of
against his bottom lip.
"Promise me it will always be like
this," he said then.
"Like finding something I didn't even
know was lost, when I'm with you. The
heat of our bodies turning our blood to fire."
I laughed, half-afraid of his reverent tone,
though I shared the sentiment. "You
are no poet, Maitimo."
He pinned me under his weight and would not
be dissuaded. "Promise me."
"It will always be like fire," I said, my mood turning
solemn. I do not make promises lightly;
I meant every word.
"So we will always--"
"Maitimo!" I tackled him in turn, flipping us over until
he lay panting under me. My hands crept
down the length of his thighs. "You
know I am no oath breaker."
He nodded his assent, tugging at my hair to
pull me down for a kiss. Heat rose
between us, fuelled by our touch, cradled by the living earth beneath
backs. No promise had ever seemed easier
The night's cover is almost gone now. The room's contours
emerging from the dark like islands from a sea of nothing. I get
up quietly and walk over to the window,
intent on watching the sun come up behind the hills. Dawn
illuminates the land for miles around. There is not much to see:
stunted trees and
broken rocks, the path weaving jaggedly as if through a great
slagheap. Before the sun's first rays have even broken
through the early-morning mist, I turn away.
Maedhros is still sleeping, mouth slightly open,
the growing light in the chamber making his injuries quite plain.
He was once beautiful, but you would not call
him that now. He is like a great tree
felled by lightning: still magnificent despite its split trunk and
branches, but no longer touching the sky.
Soon the sun will shine in his eyes and he
will wake, asking for water. I will
bring the flask up to his lips and help him sit up, mindful of his sore
back. I am a man of honour; I know where
my loyalties lie, and I do not forsake promises made long ago.
But, when he complains of the chill of the
morning, I will not pull back the covers to lie next to him and warm
with mine. "My hands are cold,"
I will explain instead, walking over to stoke the embers in the
1) Maitimo – Maedhros's mother-name, meaning
"Well-shaped One," given to him because he was "of beautiful
2) Findekáno – Fingon's name in Quenya