Title: Broken Bridges

Summary: The consequences of Fingon's death were deeper than just losing the High King of the Noldor. Without him, the old strife returns anew to divide the Houses of Feanor and Fingolfin. A look at the first few months after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad through Maedhros' eyes. Part of The Fire Within storyline.

Main Characters: Maedhros, Maglor, Turgon, Fingon (posthumous)

Rating: T for character death. NO SEX, SLASH, OR PROFANITY.

DISCLAIMER: The Silmarillion, its characters, and lands are the property J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of others, not for profit.

AUTHOUR'S NOTE: So, here's another one. Remember when I started 'The Fire Within' a while back? Well, I'm going to write that, but in separate stories, marking out main events and then blocking them in. This is one of them.

Many thanks to TulisseFindekano for the title and proofreading!

NAMES AND PHRASES GLOSSARYI use quite a few Quenya names in this story. Here's the who's-who.

Findekano = Fingon

Fin = Fingon, a nickname

Nelyo = Maedhros, shortened form of his ataresse

Maitimo = Maedhros, his amilesse

Makalaure = Maglor, his amilesse

Turukano = Turgon

Findarato = Finrod

Curufinwe = Curufin, his ataresse

Turkafinwe = Celegorm, his ataresse

Nolofinwe = Fingolfin

Feanaro = Feanor

And I may use some Quenya words as well. The list will get longer as the story progresses.

fea = spirit, soul

hroa = body

BROKEN BRIDGES

Chapter One

The smoke was rising still from the battlefield. As Maitimo knew it would continue to do for a while yet. Rain had begun to fall, and Maitimo could have laughed at the coincidence of it.

He would have, would it have been anything other than today. Less than a day after the greatest battle he'd ever known. And the worst one as well. So many had perished that day...

Maitimo bowed his head, a tortured expression on his face. It had been his plan, his strategy... and it had failed due to the treason of Ulfang's people. Had he been able to reach his cousin's host...

Findekano... he thought, Forgive me. I tried.

This was why he was riding over the battlefield, where Findekano's host had fought. This was why he was going, despite his broken arm and the arrow wound in his chest. He hadn't had them treated, but as soon as the remainder of his host had escaped and the battle had ended, he'd ridden out.

His teeth were clenched tightly against the pain he felt. But this pain was nothing compared to the empty hole in his heart right now. He dug his heels into his horse's sides, urging the animal forward across the battlefield.

I have to find him... I cannot leave his hroa out here to decay like a common Orc's.

Maitimo had been fighting harder than ever before when he'd seen a flash of white flame shoot upward. At the same time, he felt a piercing emptiness in his heart. And he'd known that Findekano was dead. During his hesitation at that moment, another searing pain had creased his chest, but this time from a black-feathered arrow.

Maitimo had known that the battle was lost. He ordered a retreat, and they'd fought their way out. During that fight, his shield had been shattered, along with his right arm. He hadn't even had that set yet, he realized, grimacing.

He'd paced all along the edge of camp for hours until the battle was ended, ignoring the pain of his wounds and his brothers' plea for him to have them treated. And then, as soon as he was sure it was safe, he'd mounted up again and ridden off.

Makalaure had watched him go, anxiously, and tried to convince him to wait a while. But Maitimo had ignored him, as he had ignored practically everything else since the battle.

And so he rode on, towards where he'd seen the flash that he knew had signaled his beloved cousin's death.

"Nelyo!" the cry came from behind him, and Maitimo pulled his horse to a halt. Makalaure was riding after him.

"I won't let you go off alone," he said, coming alongside his older brother.

Maitimo did not reply, not seeing how he could reply. He just started forward again. A part of him refused to believe that Findekano was actually dead. He wanted to hope that, somehow, he was still alive. After all, Maitimo himself had been, and held prisoner. Perhaps it was the same with Findekano. But then he knew that it was not so. When he looked up, he froze, jerking the reins to stop his mount again. He had not been the first one to search for Findekano's body.

Turukano was there already. The second son of Nolofinwe was kneeling on the ground, head bowed.

"No..." The word escaped Maitimo' lips, without him thinking.

Turukano lifted his head and turned to look at the two Feanorions, his eyes red and shining with tears. Upon seeing Maitimo, he rose to his feet, starting towards them.

"This is the last time, son of Feanor," he said, angrily, as Maitimo shakily dismounted. Turukano stood a few feet away. Maitimo had to glance upward a little to meet his eyes, and he remembered a time when Turukano barely came up to his knees. Those were happier times, before the strife, before anything had happened.

And now Turukano is the only one left.

But the new High King of the Noldor was not finished yet.

"This is all your fault!" Turukano said, gesturing at the ruined battlefield. "It was you who devised this, Feanorion. And look at the consequences. You killed my brother! You are no less wicked than Curufinwe and Turkafinwe, for you've sent Findekano to his death just like they sent Findarato!"

Maitimo flinched at the utter hatred in his cousin's eyes. And yet he knew that this was his fault. It had been his idea to form the Union, to march on Angband. "I'm sorry," he said, quietly, putting his hand up to silence his brother as Makalaure prepared to jump to his defence.

Turukano looked away. "I shall never again march at the side of a Son of Feanaro," he said, before turning and leaving.

Maitimo watched him go before hesitantly walking over to where Turukano had been kneeling.

He also sank down to his knees, the reservoir of tears he'd been holding back breaking. The corpse was unrecognizable, but Maitimo knew it was Findekano's.

"Oh, Fin..." he muttered, lifting his cousin's broken hroa into his arms, a choked sob tearing itself from his throat.

Findekano was dead. Dead. Never coming back.

And Maitimo wept.

To Be Continued