Maglor awoke the morning after his talk with Maedhros before the sun began to rise. His first waking thought was that his bed was breathing, then he realized that it was also digging into his back. Of course, since his back was not touching the bed, and beds don't breathe, neither could be true.
He shifted and attempted to roll over and see what was behind him. What he had believed to be a pillow cradled in his arms grunted when he moved, and he opened his eyes to find a tiny child staring up at him. Only years of instincts from having five younger brothers prevented the alarmed curse from leaving his mouth.
"Don't squish me."
Maglor blinked and sat up. The object that was pressed into his back was, in fact, Elrond's knee. Both Peredhel twins stared up at him sleepily.
"When did the two of you get in here?"
"Last night," Elrond replied, having woken when Maglor started moving around.
"How did you get in here?"
Elros curled against him and replied, "Maedhros left the door unlocked and we were cold so we came looking for you."
Maglor rubbed the stiff spot in the middle of his back. "I'm sorry, I hadn't thought about you being cold." I haven't thought of a lot of things, how did my mother manage seven of us?
"That's alright, we were warm in here." Elrond pulled himself closer to Maglor and burrowed farther into the blankets.
Oh Valar, even Maedhros and I get chilled here in winter, but these two will absolutely freeze. I believe children and mortals get cold far easier than elves, and these two are both. "You are always welcome in here."
"We did knock-"
"But you didn't answer."
Maglor wrapped his arms around the boys. "Acceptable and understandable given the circumstances." I've kept locking them in out of habit, I hope they haven't been cold too often. He had a sudden, horrid, image of the boys trying the door on their room and finding it locked. In his mind the boys' fingers and lips were blue from the cold. He closed his eyes tightly and shook his head to clear the image. "You would shout, if you were cold and the door was locked, right?"
"Good." He stroked their silky heads, humming and rocking them. He remembered what he had said last night, how he had planned to tell the boys what he had done. He found it much harder to keep his word now that the boys were actually with him though. "Children, there is something I need to tell you." It was difficult to force the words from his mouth; his lips suddenly felt dry and his chest constricted. On how he had dreaded this conversation.
They were both looking up at him with trust-filled eyes. He very nearly lost his resolve. "About your mother."
"What about Nana?"
He could not meet their eager eyes. "I want to tell you the truth, and I understand that you may hate me for this. I was the one who chased her until he jumped." He had planned an eloquent way of telling them this – long and heartfelt, nearly an apology – but instead his words tumbled from his mouth and he hung his head. He struggled to fight tears that were welling in his eyes. "It is my fault she is gone. I would say I wish I hadn't but- but I needed- she had-"
For several moments neither boy said anything, Maglor began to shake from holding back tears; as ridiculous as it was, he wanted them to love him. Then Elrond said, "That's alright."
Maglor's jaw dropped, and he looked up at the child in alarm. "You do not hate me?"
They shook their heads. Elros said, "Why should we? Nana is gone, you are not."
Maglor stared at them for a moment, then he whispered, "She loved you."
"All mothers love their children." His voice broke and he blinked back tears. Why must they make me think of my mother?
"Your mother must love you a lot," Elros chattered, almost as though he had guessed Maglor's thoughts. "Not for the killing people part of you, but for your music and singing-"
"And you're always nice," Elrond added.
Maglor pulled them tightly to his chest, sobbing.
Elrond reached up and clumsily wiped his tears. "Can we eat now?"
Despite everything; despite his feelings, his guilt and the tears still running down his cheeks, Maglor began to laugh.
Maglor ushered the children out into the hallway, then sent them to their room to dress. Just as they vanished out of sight the door to Maedhros' rooms opened and he stepped out. "I didn't hear screaming."
Maglor sighed and leaned against the wall, allowing his relief to consume him. "Is that your way of asking how it went?" the minstrel asked, as he rubbed his forehead.
"Nay. It is merely my way of stating that it must have gone well." When his brother didn't answer, the coppertop said, "They are not the only ones who must change into day clothes."
"Well maybe I don't want to."
Maedhros folded his arms across his chest. "Kano."
"I have pushed my luck too far for one day. I shan't do it."
"Putting on clothes is dangerous now, is it?"
"I could accidentally suffocate myself."
"That is too absurd, even for this family."
"At least I am not the one who once believed-"
Maedhros cut him off, "I shall not stand here to be humiliated like this." He turned back into his room, and pulled the door shut behind him.
Maglor said nothing, but stood in the hall grinning like a fool. Perhaps Maedhros had underestimated his perceptiveness, but he had seen the slight upward twist of his elder brother's lips.
After a moment he crossed the hall and knocked on the door. "I will play nicely now."
Maedhros opened his door. "What is it?"
"Maedhros I was thinking, it is only going to get colder and those boys are only half elven, give or take a bit-"
"Kano," Maedhros interupted.
"Hear me out-"
"There are more likely to suffer than us and-"
Maedhros placed his remaining hand over his brother's mouth. "Kano, it is going to be alright." Maedhros smiled. "We handled much worse than two twins. We will all be fine."
"Are you certain?"
"Yes," Maedhros repeated. "Absolutely. Mother handled seven of us, how hard can two be?"
Maglor was almost convicted, until a crash from down the hall reminded them both that the twins had been missing for far too long.
AN – I'd like to lay the sole blame for my absence on Midterms, Finals, Christmas and a HUGE family reunion, but the truth is, I discovered and FINISHED a new TV series (granted there are only two seasons). Seriously, if you haven't seen Pushing Daisies you should totally watch it (Did I mention Lee Pace (Thranduil) is in it?).
Also, if you haven't seen BoFA yet WATCH IT! PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD AND WATCH IT! (yes it's not the book, but its GOOD) (and Galadriel and Elrond were in it) (Elrond was actually kind of sexy and he's not even my type) (Galadriel was also sexy and she isn't even my preferred gender (but man, she made the line of Finwe proud)) Tauriel had so much potential and they just screwed her over with that stupid love thingy though. And Aragorn should be, like, ten and in Rivendell, right?