The Second Path: 1. Chapter 1

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1. Chapter 1

He walked slowly, his eyes sweeping the surround, as he tried to pinpoint the soft singing. He reached a clearing, there on the ground lay spread lazily, dressed in a tight tunic and leggings, his beloved cousin.

“Maitimo”, Fingon greeted him as he dropped beside his cousin’s tall slender form, “Why are you singing in the woods?”

Maedhros lazily shifted his head into his cousin’s lap before picking up his tune again, the silence between them falling pleasantly as Fingon ran his hands through his cousin’s coppery tresses.

“Why did you leave home?” Maedhros asked finally as he finished singing, “Nolofinwe was very displeased. He came to my father and asked his aid to hunt for you. I was at Grandfather’s house and I did not know until yesterday about your escape. My brothers and our cousins have been searching for weeks in the wild for an absconding prince of the house of Finwe.”

Fingon muttered angrily, “Father wanted me to take an apprenticeship with Arafinwe for the healing arts. I don’t want to do it. I tried telling him, we had an argument, he slapped me.”

Maedhros sat up worriedly, and looked into Fingon’s clouded face, “Findekano, Would you not take up an apprenticeship at my father’s forge? He minds you the least amongst our cousins and mother dotes on you.”

“I would love to”, Fingon sighed as he rested his head against Maedhros’s shoulder, “Russandol, Promise me that you will ask Feanor to convince Father. I will not face him again.”

“I will talk to mother, she will sort it out with father and Nolofinwe”, Maedhros said reassuringly, “Now come home with me, you look famished and ill-rested.”

“What would I do without you?” Fingon murmured as he took his cousin’s helping hand and followed him home.

“Findekano!” Maglor’s musical voice hailed him as they walked up the sloping courtyard of Feanor’s palace, “You are safe!”

Fingon smiled nervously as Nerdanel came out, hearing her second-eldest son’s voice, she looked over him critically before saying sharply, “Come in, pitya, you look starved.”

Maedhros brushed Fingon’s hand reassuringly before he turned back to inform the searchers that their kin had returned.

“What were you thinking of wandering in the wildness?” Nerdanel demanded as she placed well-prepared meat and a glass of wine before him, he made to explain, but she continued firmly, “So, you had an argument with your father? Fine! Was the answer to run away alone into the wild? I thought that you had far more sense than that! Could you not have gone to your grandfather’s home or Arafinwe’s or our home? I will always welcome you here, do you not understand that?”

Fingon ravenously attacked the meat and chewing it with relish explained mumbling, “I am sorry. I saw Aegnor in the wild last week and made south further. I do not know how Russandol found me. Well, I sort of stumbled upon him.”

“He always knows where to find you”, Nerdanel smoothed his unkempt black and gold tresses gently, “Will you stay here awhile?”

“I don’t wish to go back, he slapped me, called me unworthy of being his son”, Fingon sighed.

Maglor came in and kissed his mother before saying, “Father is coming and so are my brothers. Maitimo has ridden to inform Nolofinwe. Arafinwe and Grandfather have been told, they rejoice in our cousin’s return and bade me give their love to him.”

Fingon sighed, of course, his uncle would send only his eldest son to Fingolfin. Fingolfin had a special soft corner for Maedhros and the two got on much better than Fingon or his siblings ever had got on with their father.

“Macalaurë”, his mother said quietly taking in Fingon’s slumped form, “Take your cousin to meet your father and then lead him to the spare bedroom next to your own, for he seems exhausted.”

“Do I have to meet Curufinwe today?” Fingon cringed, seeing Feanor was an ordeal even on the best of days.

Nerdanel smiled, but she did not relent, and Fingon followed Maglor to Feanor’s study, wishing desperately that his elder cousin was here. Maglor gave him an encouraging smile before standing back to let him enter.

Fingon took a deep breath and knocked, then he stepped over the threshold of what he was sure would be the worst place to be in Aman.

Feanor’s stormy grey eyes appraised him quietly before he was beckoned to a seat. Fingon swallowed and obeyed hastily, wondering when his uncle’s fierce temper would rise like the inferno.

“I will not condemn you”, Feanor said quietly, “for it is not my place to do so. But your father has made it clear that he does not wish to have you back in his house unless you apologize and take up the apprenticeship wherever he wishes.”

“He does not want me back!” Fingon spluttered.

“He wants you to apologize”, Feanor corrected him, “Findekano, you are of course to free to stay here, but it is your wish.”

“I wish to stay here, that is, if you do not mind”, Fingon waited nervously.

Feanor said nothing for a moment, but then he said fondly, “I am glad then. You are free to join me in the forge if you wish, of course. You are as a son under my roof, and as such you shall be treated. It is a large family, though. I fear that you might lack the care you are accustomed to.”

Fingon said gratefully, “I get along well with my cousins, Curufinwe. I will help you in whatever way I can.”

“So be it”, Feanor nodded.

Fingon watched curiously as Curufin forged a beautiful sword, his cousin’s face was lit by pride and concentration as he carefully withdrew it from the flames of the furnace fire.

“That is it”, Feanor said approvingly, “Why don’t you try, Findekano? I am sure that you have the art in you.”

Fingon was tired, exhausted to his bones as he made his way to the river. Feanor had made him work in the forge until he had perfected the technique. While he was grateful for his uncle’s willingness to teach him, he hated the dark forge, preferring the open grasslands outside. He paused his mad rush to the river as he heard Maedhros’s voice from the shore. His cousin had arrived only that morning and Fingon had not yet seen him, for he had been in the forge.

He walked softly, and peeped through the undergrowth intending to surprise him. The sight he saw, made him gasp softly.

Maedhros was slowly removing his tunic, a faraway expression on his face as he sung softly. Fingon admired the long, lean flanks of his cousin as Maedhros bent down to untie the lace of his leggings. He shuddered as his cousin’s long, corded legs were exposed to the night wind. Maedhros flung away his leggings as he dove into the river gracefully. Fingon watched as he bathed himself, his fingers running through his coppery tresses as he unbraided his hair from its tight plaits and dunked himself under the water.

Fingon felt a sudden rush of blood to his loins as Maedhros leisurely wrapped his hands about his half-aroused organ and stroked firmly. Fingon felt the undeniable growth straining his own leggings and he undid them, taking his arousal in hand and stroking mechanically in rhythm with his cousin’s hands. Maedhros climaxed swiftly, his seed spurting into the river. He hummed pleasantly and dunked himself once again before drawing to the shore. The sight of his porcelain flesh, unmarred by scars and freckles unlike his own, was enough to make Fingon climax with his cousin’s name on his lips. He covered his mouth with his wet hands, his heart beating wildly as he realized what he had done.

Maedhros was looking about curiously, his head tilted as he tried to ascertain the soft scream he had heard. Fingon remained still. But his cousin seemed relaxed by his bath and his pleasure and wrapped a loose robe about himself as he left the river and made for home. Maglor, who had been watching the scene unfold from a treebranch above Fingon, swallowed in shock. Something told him now was not the wise time to clamber down.

Fingon knocked on his cousin’s door after the family had retired. Maedhros opened, his face lighting up in a brilliant smile as he saw the visitor, he bade him enter. He was still clad in the loose robe, that barely clung to his shoulders. His hair was still unbound and damp after his swimming. Maglor, who had been sitting on his brother’s bed, bid them good night and left, closing the door behind him quietly.

“I heard you took to our family well”, Maedhros asked, a look of concern directed at his cousin, “You are all right here? I have been worried.”

“Russandol”, Fingon began as Maedhros sat down on the bed cross-legged, patting down the space beside him, “I need to talk with you.”

Maedhros frowned as he asked, “You seem feverish. Are you ill, Findekano?”

“No”, Fingon pushed away Maedhros’s hand from his head, “I have come to apologize for the wrong I have done you.”

Maedhros looked baffled, but he did not interrupt as Fingon began speaking falteringly, “I..Russandol….I was about to take a quick dip in the river before dinner. When I saw you…you were bathing, I was watching you.”

“You should have joined me”, Maedhros said bewildered, a frown creasing his perfect features, “I would not have minded your company, of course!”

“I was watching you, you, while…” Fingon murmured wishing that the floor would swallow him whole.

Realization dawned in the elder cousin’s eyes as he whispered, “Oh! Cousin! I am sorry, I did not know you were there. I”, Maedhros blushed a fierce red, “I am sorry that you had to see that.”

“That is not it, Russandol”, Fingon looked up into his cousin’s grey eyes, “I was excited and climaxed myself”, the look of disbelief and horror that crossed Maedhros’s features, Fingon was sure that he would never forget all his life, “I think I like you in a more than cousinly way. I always have loved you, admired your beauty. But today I am not sure what happened, I desired you.”

“You hate me”, Fingon stated brokenly as they passed long moments in silence, avoiding each other’s tentative looks.

“NO!” Maedhros said firmly, “I never can, Findekano, it is that I am”, he hesitated, “I do not know what to say. Let us talk of this on the morrow. I feel I am much bewildered and sorry tonight.”

Maedhros sunk down on his bed weakly after his cousin left with his head bowed down in shame. He was shocked, desire he understood. It was something he had experienced himself, for maids and men alike. But never for a cousin, definitely not for his best friend, Fingon.

He sighed, he had to sort this out without hurting Fingon’s pride and spoiling their deep friendship.

Fingon looked at Maedhros uncertainly as they sat down for breakfast. His cousin was dressed in a tight black tunic and leggings, his hair braided back into an austere plait. Maglor sat next to his elder brother trying to draw him into a conversation, but Maedhros was for the most part reticent and fiddled with the food on his plate.

There was an air of restlessness about him which made Nerdanel finally ask him, “Russandol, what bothers you?”

Maedhros sighed as he abandoned his full bowl of porridge and mumbled, “Nothing, Mother. I feel out of spirits, may I spend the day out?”

“Yes”, Feanor said heartily, “After all you spent a season at your grandfather’s side while your brothers and cousins have been hunting. You deserve a day out.”

Maedhros smiled and kissed his mother and Maglor before bowing to his father and leaving the hall leaving his cousin to swallow in self-loathing. Fingon knew that he was the reason why his cousin left so hastily. Despite what Maedhros had told him yesterday, it was obvious that his cousin hated him. Feanor watched his second eldest son curiously. Maglor’s eyes were following his elder brother until the door had closed behind him.

“Maitimo”, Maglor called after his brother, who was already leading his horse out, “Wait a moment.”

“Yes, Macalaurë?” he asked brushing an errant strand of hair from his brother’s face, “Anything you need?”

“Have you fought with our cousin?” Maglor crossed his arms over his chest, raising his eyebrows when Maedhros began to protest, “Come, Maitimo, you never go riding without him when you are together. What is it?”

“I have not fought with him”, Maedhros admitted, “But I need to spend some time away from him, Macalaurë. I need to think.”

“His presence is detrimental to your thinking?” Maglor asked incredulously, “Brother, you are not making much sense.”

“No, no”, Maedhros sighed as they watched Fingon walk towards the forge, a heartbroken expression on his face, “I want to prepare myself for a talk with him regarding certain matters.”

“What are you not telling me?” Maglor squinted suspiciously at his elder brother, “You have never been able to hide things from me.”

“It is nothing”, Maedhros said turning a deep shade of crimson as blood rushed to his cheeks.

“Whatever it is, Maitimo, do not offend him, you are the only one he trusts. Do not betray that trust”, Maglor warned as he stood back to let his brother pass.

Maglor never heard what transpired in his brother’s conversation with Fingon. But to all outward appearances, the two cousins seemed as close as before. Yet, Maglor noticed that there was a change in Fingon’s manner. Maedhros never mentioned the incident again. They grew swiftly, their exile suppressing their freedom and pleasures. Of the seven brothers, only Maedhros was affected by their isolation for he had left behind many friendships and dalliances in Tirion. Yet he remained loyal to his father steadily. Fingolfin arrived after a few years to take his son off his half-brother’s hands. Maedhros was sad to be parted from his cousin, but Fingon seemed to take the separation more happily.

“Maitimo”, Feanor called his eldest son to his side as they watched the dust settle down after Fingolfin’s riders had left, “I wish to talk with you.”

Maedhros nodded and followed his father into his study wondering pensively what the matter was. He had heard enough of Morgoth’s lies to last him a lifetime and was glad that Feanor had banned him. Fervently, Maedhros hoped that it would not be any political situation.

“Macalaurë is growing”, Feanor said baldly.

Maedhros frowned but nodded anyway.

“Of my sons, only he is yet to learn the arts of the bower”, Feanor said quietly, “We are in exile, yes, but I would not have him ignorant.”

“I do not see what I can do, Father”, Maedhros said humbly, “None of my friends visit any more. Perhaps I can send word to cousin Finrod and ask someone appropriate to instruct him.”

Feanor nodded saying, “Well, I leave it in your hands, he is sensitive, Maitimo. I want you to choose his first carefully. He has been over-sheltered and I do not want him to be hurt. I would talk with him myself. But I am afraid of frightening him.”

Maedhros set about his task with his usual determination. First, he compiled a list of all suitable ellith and ellyn in Tirion whom he considered worthy of his brother. Then he narrowed the list down to those who shared Maglor’s interests. Armed with a dozen names, he hurried to his brother’s rooms. The faint sounds of a harp reached him.

Smiling, he bounded into the room. Maglor smiled back from his position on the bed and moved over to create a space for his elder brother asking, “What is that keeps you inside on such a fine day, Russandol?”

“You!” Maedhros laughed as his grey eyes twinkled in delight, “Father asked me to arrange your deflowering!”

Maglor blushed before chiding gently, “You are crude, Maitimo! Why did he ask you? I am old enough to choose.”

“He knows you will never do that!” Maedhros caressed the smooth hair of his brother, “He wants you to be safe. Now, here are a list of all those whom I think you would like. Choose one, haste! Finrod must be sent for. I plan to have this done in weeks.”

Maglor pushed away the list saying furiously, “I will choose when I feel like doing. You may tell father anything you wish. But the matters of my heart and my bower are my concerns alone.”

Maedhros frowned but abandoned his enterprise. A stubborn Maglor was worse than a stubborn Feanor.

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.

Story Information

Author: JDE

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 02/10/09

Original Post: 10/28/08

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