DISCLAIMER: Simply borrowing Tolkien's fantastic characters (Findekano and the Sons of Feanaro, as well as Morgoth). Some will be returned as corpses (ahemsorrynotsorryahem) but Namo can fix that. There are no OCs involved.
A/N: Hello. Thanks to those who read and etc.! There are bits from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I hope this part is okay..
Who's Who and What's What - Quenya to Something More Understandable for the Less Educated or Forgetful
feär - spirits
TO THE BITTER END :: Pt. III - 2
Morimahtar pulled off the mask and took a deep breath, pulling the cowl of his cloak over his head. The jewels were at the camp, and so was he. Perhaps the last of the Silmaril-chasers were going to come for their jewels. If they did, he would kill them. And the mission would be accomplished. He couldn't hear the Dark Lord's voice in his head anymore, but that did not really matter. Perhaps the Dark Lord had decided to leave him alone for once. The silence was a good thing. He looked around. The tent with those guarding the Silmarils was on the other side of camp. As he drifted from shadow to shadow, he heard a commotion.
"Stand down!" a clarion voice called. "Do not harm them."
Morimahtar turned the corner and saw a massive host surrounding two figures, both with drawn swords and shining lights in their hands.
"At last," he murmured to himself.
The Silmaril-chasers fled from the camp and Morimahtar followed them, knife in hand. It was not long before the camp was out of sight. Morimahtar could hear Moringotto's voice in his mind - not as if he had spoken right then and there, but as if from a memory.
He was almost tired of hearing those words, that same mission, over and over again. Find them. Kill them. That gave him more fuel to finish it.
Morimahtar threw on a burst of speed and ran.
Maitimo saw a shadowy figure and the glint of metal.
"Just run! Save the Silmaril."
As he watched his younger brother run off, the breath was knocked out of Maitimo as someone leapt on him from the side and knocked him to the ground. Impulsively, he shielded his face with his arm — the one that held the Silmaril. His attacker recoiled for a few moments but Maitimo couldn't bring himself to move away. He could see his attacker's face in the light from the Silmaril. He couldn't mistake that face for anyone else.
He was all too familiar, but changed, almost as if Findekano had been on Thangorodrim. His now thin face was marred by several scars, his hair roughly cut short, his face almost unbearably grim and emotionless. And the metal arm.
Everything clicked — the attack. The golden string. The Second Kinslaying. Curufinwe's attacker. I-It's you. It was you. You were there, too. You… killed my brother. How could you?!
Maitimo searched those eyes almost desperately for an answer. The Findekano he knew would have never done such a thing. But then he caught a hint of something — fear. Darkness. And Maitimo realized that it was not Findekano's doing.
"You know me," Maitimo managed as he forced himself to stand.
"No, I don't!"
"Fin... you've known me your whole life." He was breathing heavily. "Your name... is Findekano Astaldo."
Burning pain in his hand. Metal slamming into his face.
"I'm not going to fight you. You're my friend."
Morimahtar wanted to much to silence him. He wished that the elf would just shut up or at least fight him like a real warrior would. He knocked the elf to the ground, drawing his dagger.
"You're my mission."
He transferred all his power to his arm and stabbed him with each word.
"You're. My. Mission!"
"Then finish it," Maitimo gasped. He wasn't sure if Findekano had hesitated or not. The pain was so hard to pierce through. "'Cause I'm with you to the bitter end."
Morimahtar staggered back.
I'm with you to the bitter end…
...to the bitter end…
The black shroud covering his mind was hurled away. Flashes of colour and voices flooded his memory. The redheaded elf. With two hands. Less scars. No sword. No jewel. Younger. His voice. Determined. Strong. So… so different from this elf who refused to fight him. And yet… somehow the same.
"I'm with you to the bitter end." A hand on his shoulder.
A… a smile on his own face. Grim. Equally determined. "If bitter it must be."
He blinked. There was the redheaded elf and the chasm's edge, and then those disappeared. There was bitter cold. Coldness and darkness. There was another elf, standing beside him. Tall. With a grim, hardened face.
My brother. He heard his own voice speaking. "We shall go on. To the bitter end."
A nod. "If bitter it must be."
And again, those same words spoken - sometimes by him, sometimes by the copper-haired elf, sometimes both together - echoed in his head over and over, with flashes of colour. Red. Blue. Green. Black. Silver. Gold.
"If bitter it must be," he whispered at last once it cleared.
And all at once blinding pain crashed into him, sending him down on his knees. But it wasn't a pain that was purely dark and terrible, but a purging, purifying pain.
Findekano found himself on the ground, breathing heavily. Echoes of a scream were carried by the wind across the broken earth. He pushed himself up on one arm, blinking. And then he realized that it was a metal arm. A strangled cry escaped from between his lips. His eyes darted around.
Where am I?
His gaze landed on a figure lying a few feet away on the edge of a fiery chasm, clutching a shining light in between the bleeding fingers of his remaining hand.
"R-Russandol?" The Quenya felt odd on his tongue. Odd, but familiar, as if he hadn't spoken it in a hundred years. He crawled to his friend. The shell-shock turned into horror as he took in the sight of Maitimo's injuries.
"Findekano…" Maitimo's voice was barely audible.
"Stay with me, Russ. Russ, look at me."
"Fin… Fin, you're back."
"I am." He wasn't quite sure what made Russandol say that, but he nodded anyway, tears stinging the corner of his eyes. Please don't die. "Who did this to you?"
Pain clouded Maitimo's eyes, but Findekano knew him well enough to know that it wasn't physical pain but a different sort. Everything Findekano had done in the past eighty one years flashed before his wide eyes.
"No… no…" he breathed, shaking his head. "This can't…"
"Fin, listen to me. This wasn't your fault. You didn't know what you were doing."
A tear rolled down Findekano's cheek. When he finally brought himself to speak, his voice cracked and wavered. "Russ… I can't… I can't take this. I hurt you. I killed-" His voice got caught in his throat and shook his head, not having the courage to say it. "It would be best if I just…" His eyes drifted to the chasm as fire leapt up from it.
"No! Don't you dare!" Maitimo reached out with his stump.
"I can't be given another chance to hurt you!"
"I promise you that when it comes, you won't use it."
"How do you know that? I, I was Moringotto's killing machine. I…" He looked down at his hands.
A loud, sickening crack and then they were falling, falling down through fire on a platform of broken rock. After what seemed like ages or maybe just a heartbeat, they landed on molten rock, Findekano shielding Maitimo from harm. A whispered scream tore itself from Maitimo's throat. And as they lay there in the fire, too pained to speak, they looked into each other's eyes and their minds reconnected.
"I…I'm so sorry, Russ. I'm so sorry…"
"I've forgiven you already," came Maitimo's 'voice'. It was little more than a whisper. "It's all right, Fin."
"This is the bitter end we've been talking about all these years, isn't it? This is it."
"No matter how bitter, I'm glad you're here with me... At the bitter end of all things."
Finally, they surrendered to the chasm and the flames and closed their eyes, embracing the end as they let their feär pass.