The clatter of tumbling stones joined with the peals of wedding bells as Ingwë made his way up the mountain. Something akin to sadness touched his heart, though he dared not show it, any more than his sister Indis might uncover her red-weeping eyes. They had both fled the festival at the waning of the trees.
As he turned at the crest of the road which winds it's way up Taniquetl, he spotted the tents from which he had come. The banners were streaming, the very Lord of the Airs joining in the merriment. Music drifted up to where he stopped, next to a boulder, to look down. The harp and the flute wove around eachother, like lovers embracing, like the earth and the wind and the waters when they mingle at the shore; the notes were high and piercing, made short by skilled fingers. The tune tugged at Ingwë so that he almost reversed his course, and yet he did not, only sat a while longer.
"Ah, I am a fool," he remonstrated himself, when the feeling had passed, though it left an ache deep within him. "I have been through the long dark night, have held dying elves in my arms, have stumbled through Melkor's foul pits where my kin were buried and regrown. Why does this mist cloud my eyes at a simple wedding?"
It had been a long and mirth-filled affair, with songs and games and gifts. Ingwë had brought to his friend the king a sheild of battered bronze. Finwë himself had brought it from the hither lands. Then, it had protected him from many of Melkor's cruel creations, growing tarnished with dirt and blood, but Ingwë had it made to shine, and encased it in crystal, to show that it would never be needed again. Ingwë had added to this gift a sweet song, which he had learned from Yavanna in many days' succession beneath the two Trees. She said it was a song to make life flower, and so even now it must stir the womb of Miriel, who Finwë had taken to his bed.
Yes, Finwë and Miriel had left the festival, though it still went on, and only through that grace was Ingwë able to escape, to ponder his misgivings. As he left he glimpsed Indis fleeing, too. Yet she followed him not up the mountains, for she seldom found heart's ease where Ingwë did. Perhaps she ran to the waters, to add to its depths her own tears, or to the forests, to be consoled by the birds and their song. Ingwë did not know.
With a soft sigh that did not quite escape his lips, Ingwë rose and turned away. He had reached high enough on the mountains that the winds began to lift his clothes and hair, tangling them as it did the grasses in the low fields when the storms came. He reached back with a ribbon to bind his hair, and at the same time walked forward, but he gave his attention to neither of these things. Instead he looked to where the path curved around the mountain, eager for the sight that would greet him ere he finished his journey.
Soon enough he was rewarded, and reached the easternmost place on the path. He was high enough that the mists and clouds obscured the sky above him, yet the expanse below was beautiful and clear: he saw the great cliffs rolling to the ocean, and the blue waters recieve them. He saw the small sails of the swanships far away, with their masts moving winglike, and their beaks lifted proud from the sea. He saw beyond that even the light green-yellow of the far shore, and this above all things he strained to see. Often to glimpse the hither lands was his goal in climbing the mountain, and his sight returned there often, that his feet might be content to stay. Indeed, such was usually the case, that the darkness repulsed him, and Manwë would send a wind from the north with chill in it.
Yet today Manwë remained below, celebrating, and the air that floated by was calm, and the darkness of the hither lands scattered before his eyes. Then he saw farther, and more truly, and found a settlement of elves upon the shore; some rite they were engaged in, some festival like the one Ingwë had left. The ache at once returned to him, and when he could stand it no longer, he turned from the sight.
With quick and sure steps he continued up in the mountain, and this time he gave his gait all of his attention, so that none was spared for worry.
Minë. Atta. Neldë. Cánta. The dust shifted beneath his sandals.
Soon enough, he reached the halls of Manwë.
He paused before the archway, debating whether he should wait outside. While his friendship with Manwë grew always stronger, they had not known eachother long in the span of the Valar - not even half a yen, if he counted rightly. Although half a yen was also half of Ingwë's liftime, and by now he cared for the Valarin king as much as anyone else on Arda, he did not even think to hope that Manwë would feel the same. He wavered, uncertain.
Manwë had always assured him of his welcome, however, and Ingwë wished to sit, for the walk up Taniquetl was tiresome even to the greatest of elves. In the end, practicality and aching legs won out.
The hall was empty, and Ingwë sank to the marble floor. He ran a hand along the stone and found no flaw - indeed, it was perfect. The white marble clouds inset were as pure as their counterparts in the sky, and the dark blue expanse almost a mirror. Ingwë looked down and saw that behind his thick golden hair, his eyes were wide and weary.
"This must not go on," Ingwë said, and the halls echoed his words into the air. "I am not craven, so I must face this strange sorrow."
It seemed that ere the words had left his mouth, he recived a reply, one that hung in the air about him like rain or snow unformed.
//Shall you face it alone?//
"Perhaps, my lord," he said without hesitation, "yet I need not face it now. So please, do not let me disturb you from your feast."
//It is your feast as well. Finwë is as much your friend as mine.//
"No doubt below with you are many who have never met him, nor Miriel either. Feasting is for those of lightest heart, among which you number the greatest, you whose spirit is the wind."
//So it is. And behold! Young Rumil has been drawn to the highest stones and is being made to recite! Such a poem he gave the first time, I should not mind hearing him again... I shall join you later, then.//
Ingwë felt a gentle rush of air across his cheek, and Manwë's presence was gone. Off to honor Rumil with his presence, no doubt, nor was there doubt he would enjoy it - Manwë's delight could be as powerful as his majesty. Ingwë wished for a moment that he had not urged him to leave, yet it had been the propper thing to do.
Then he rose, and crossed to the other end of the hall, where the stone ceiling opened to the sky, and the darkness above overwhelmed the light below. So, too, did the airs block the ethereal fruit of Yavanna's trees, and save for the stars, all was perfect blackness. Then, if one looked down, reflected from the marble floor was no melancholy face but endless constellations, sparkling yet steady in form. Waiting was no trial here.
This was how Manwë found him, head back and eyes to the sky. The Valarin king had felt no need to tarry once the festival was through, and had climbed Taniquetl in a rush of wind, but he assumed Elven form before he spoke.
"Why took you no part in the games?" he asked, seating himself on the throne. Ingwë turned, blinking and coming back to himself, and took his customary seat at Manwë's feet. "You are fleet of foot, and bear the staff with strength, and the sling with the calmest eye. Your pride does not become you, Ingwë, if you cannot stand that you mightn't win."
"'Tis not that," Ingwë assured him. "I cannot stand that someone else would lose."
Manwë paused a moment to ponder this. "Truly?"
"And why is that?"
Ingwë shrugged, a slow and graceful thing. "Perhaps I am too much reminded of the hither lands. There, when we fought, it was no game, and ever and anon he who did not win would lose his life. I came here that no one might lose any longer."
"Still, 'tis but a game," said Manwë.
"Aye, it is that. Yet I think you cannot that for what it is. You would not believe it of us - rather you would raise us to your own level," Ingwë said, and added inwardly, Not that you could. He gazed at Manwë, who had dressed himself for the festival in the finest of robes: flowing blue silk which matched his eyes, lined with sapphires. His hair fell in thick curls on his broad shoulders. He was at once the epitome of beauty and might. Ingwë looked down modestly as he continued, "But we are not. Even the games are not harmless - they seem to me a sign of restlessness."
"And is it that which made you leave the festival?" Manwë asked, so much concern in his voice that Ingwë turned to him unwillingly.
He could only answer, "No."
When Ingwë did not elaborate, Manwë sighed gently, the long, dark curtains that draped against the pillars fluttering as though made of lighter cloth. After a moment he said, "So tell me then, Ingwë, what called you away?"
"Don't you think I would tell you if I knew?" Ingwë replied in a very peculiar tone. Manwë shifted the airs to let the treelight through, and seeing Ingwë's face noted it was tightly drawn. "I do not mean to be resistant, truly I do not."
"I know," Manwë said at once. "Melindo, I know you would be joyful if you could."
"I'm sorry..." Ingwë hesitated to use the endearment, " - melindo."
Manwë did not answer with words. Instead he raised his sidemost finger, and waved in the direction of the window. Bits and pieces of clouds floated in, and Manwë played with them as he thought, sending them chasing after one another or sliding them lazily to the floor to wipe whatever stardust might have settled.
Ingwë watched and did not speak.
Manwë sent a whisp of air to tug at the side of the elf's tunic, gently first, then harder. Ingwë leaned a little to the side, composed himself, then looked up at Manwë, questioning.
"You cannot tell me how you feel, because you do not know it yourself, but I may guess," Manwë said. "Tell me, did you see very many of little elflings at the feast?"
"Aye," Ingwë replied, just as another burst of air ruffled his hair. Wind-fingers grasped his long locks and pulled. "Ouch!"
"And did you see Finwë and Miriel leave the feast, perhaps to create between them another little one?"
Ingwë rubbed the sore spot on his head, and thought he heard laughter very far away, and very close. "Aye."
"And have you your own child to feast with, to love with, to play with?"
The wind returned to pull at his hands and Ingwë said, with a bitterness that surprised himself, "You know that I have not."
Annoyed, he thrust the ephemeral creature away. But it came back, pulling him off his seat, and running around the pillar like a little storm. Ingwë turned to Manwë, to get him to stop, but found he could no longer see him.
Before he could cry out, he found his leg being grasped by tiny hands, and he fell hard onto the floor. His sandal flew off and disappeared behind a row of curtains, and the wind began to tickle his feet. It shrieked in delight.
Ingwë tried to pull away his foot with no success. He squirmed and wriggled and found no handhold on the smooth floor, and soon he was overwhelmed by laughter. Tears streamed down his cheeks and he could barely breathe. When at last he gasped out, "Stop. Stop! Leave my feet alone!" he found himself released.
Turning back to the throne, he found Manwë sitting there, his eyes bright with amusement.
Ingwë rose and brushed his robes off, trying to reassemble his dignity. His foot still tingled with the vestiges of laughter. He resumed his perch at Manwë's feet, albeit somewhat warily, and began to collect his thoughts.
"Well what? My lord."
"Am I correct? Is this the sadness I sense in you? That there is no pitya-Ingwë in your line? For I am not unfamiliar with such sorrow. Yet I know - and I would share with you - the truth that is this: a child you may have that does not come from your seed or womb."
"I have wished at times for an elfling of my own," Ingwë conceeded. "But I have children often about my court, and I play with them, and listen to them sing. I am not so lonely - not for that."
Manwë seemed disappointed. His face wrinkled in thought, and his eyes went distant - he must be reaching far into his memory and wisdom. At last he asked, "What of your sister Indis?"
"What of her?"
"Like you, she did not enjoy the festival, but rather slipped away as quickly as she might, though she came not here."
"Aye, I know. But what has she to do with I?"
"I thought perhaps your sorrows might share a source."
Ingwë quickly shook his head. "No. That is not so."
Manwë paused, suprised. "And how do you know?"
Ingwë would have liked to have kept his sister's confidence, but before Manwë he had no secrets. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Because I love my friend Finwë greatly, but not in such a way."
Manwë blinked once, twice, his blue eyes clouded by surprise and sorrow. "Ah," said Manwë. "Ah. Then perhaps you are troubled on her account?"
"That I am," Ingwë confirmed. "Yet it is a different sort of troubled. Many times I have thought of Indis, and what I might do to help her, and when I find that there is nothing I can do to ease it, the hurt that is hers I feel as well. But I know the pain of my compassion. It is a recognizable thing."
"This is not. I only feel - as though there is something missing." He struggled to find the right words. "It is not a longing I feel, as Indis does, but an absence. But - that isn't true, either. Though it is close."
There was a moment of silence, then Manwë said, his voice heavy, "It does not please me to think your sister is at this moment weeping."
"Aye. But I know her - she would bear this alone. The privacy of her love is all she has left of it, otherwise I would go to her, and I would not leave her side."
Manwë smiled sadly, touched by Ingwë's concern for his sister. "You care for her very much."
It was not a question, but he answered it as such. "Yes, I love Indis dearly, for we awoke side by side by Cuvienen, yet we knew we were not mates but brother and sister. And so we were a family, although we had not mother nor father, nor lovers of our own."
The look Manwë gave him was one of utmost sympathy; there was curiosity in his eyes, as well. "... and have you often wanted one?"
"A mother or a father?"
"Or a lover."
Ingwë hesitated, suddenly warm beneath his robes, yet if he was beyond secrets before Manwë, he was also beyond shame. "At times, yes, I have felt so... - lonely - in a way that even Indis or my friends can not fill."
A tendril of air snaked out and pressed his cheek, and Ingwë leaned into it, grateful for the gesture. He murmured his thanks.
The reply was whispered very softly. "It is the least that I can do."
Ingwë pulled away and shook his head. "That is not true. You have done so much for me, for my people - we are truly indebted. For your gifts, your lands, your protection - "
"And am I not indebted to you? For you have given me something to protect."
"No," said Ingwë, firm in this matter. "It gives me great pleasure that to protect us is a source of happiness for you, and not a burden. But your protection - to we Eldar, is - my lord, you have never known fear. Until you do, you cannot possibly understand."
"Fear?" Manwë repeated, his voice low and almost angry. As Ingwë watched, dismayed, he drew himself up to a greater height, and a gale of wind blew about the tower. "Think you that it is foreign to me? When the lamps fell and Melkor's first great treachery was revealed, when the cold waves submerged us all, and thrust us down below the ground, to where ice met with fire, and above we heard the ringing laughter of Melkor in his utmost power - oh, melindo, I knew fear."
Ingwë was for a moment speechless, but then he began to speak again, and as he did his eyes shone. "It is not the same. It has not diminished you. My lord, it is your sceptre that guards not just the Eldar, but the Kelvar and the Olvar, the stars and the lands and the very airs; they are all under your protection. And you worry, and you fear, but you never weary; no, by fear you are not diminished."
"And you are?"
Ingwë seemed to clutch at his heart beneath his robes, and glance away eastward, before he replied. "Yes. My lord, each step along the journey here I was vigilant, for with my eyes I had watched helpless as Melkor stole my kin beside the lake of Cuivenien, and twisted them, and sent them back to me to fight. And I knew that as we walked we had not escaped the darkness, for the people of Finwë and Elwë stumbled and fell, and lost themselves. I slept not once on the journey, and barely ate. I walked on the outskirts of our camp, fighting away Melkor's creatures."
"And such diminishes you?"
"No - and yes. In the end, I was not strong enough. By the end of the journey I was frightened of shadows and tired - so tired. What if we had not come to Aman when we did? And then, as I reached the shores I surendered my guardianship of them to you with haste and never a regret."
Manwë seemed taken aback; the air about them hung heavy and still. "And you regret it now?"
"No! But shouldn't I? If I am a king, shouldn't it be my role to protect my people?"
Manwë was slow to answer, but when he did his words were firm. "What have you to protect your people from? Not beast or darkness, any longer. That, indeed, is a burden gone from your shoulders. But you have not forsaken your kingship. Still your people need a leader, to give them the wisdom of his mind, rather than the strength of his arms. You will protect them now from folly."
Ingwë had never quite thought of it that way. He gave a soft, relieved sigh of understanding.
Manwë leaned back against his throne and smiled, content. "So at last we have come to ease of your troubles. Next time there is a feast so great as Finwë's, you shall not have to slip away early again."
"I will not," Ingwë promised, though he still did not feel easy. It felt like each worry was being untangled, like the knots in the cord that bound his robes. Soon the robes would slip away, leaving the true problem painfully bare. He rose and walked to the easternmost window, wrapping a hand around one of the pillars as he gazed out over the ocean.
His sadness, like the waves, rose again and overswept him. He wanted to speak, but he could not.
Manwë was so kind even to care for his problems. How could he ask for more, when he himself had so little to give back? In his humility, he thought that his sweet voice and fair form were the only gifts he had to offer Manwë. Remembering this, and feeling much indebted for all the time spent unsuccessfully upon his troubles, he began a tune. It was a favorite of the Teleri, and as he gazed past their shore-homes he slowly, absentmindedly sang:
á tirë i fána cirya,
ëar-celumessen rámainen elvië,
ëar falastala, winga hlápula, rámar sisílala, rávëa súrë... heed the white ship, vague as a butterfly,
in the flowing sea on wings like stars,
the sea surging, the foam blowing, the wings shining, the wind roaring...
He felt, rather than heard, his voice echoing out of the tower in all directons, through the ranges of the pelorí, past the mansions of Aulë and the gardens of Lórien, along the newly laid streets of Tirion and Aqualondë, and across the sea. Would the lost kindred hear it there? Would Elwë hear it, and remember with fondness the land to which he once came?
With joy and regret was the tale of Elwë constantly flavored. The truth was not well known, but Manwë, at Ingwë's request, had told the elf king of Elwë's meeting with Melian the Maia. As glad as Ingwë was that his friend had left them for love and not for sorrow, he could not help wanting such happiness for himself. Of course, he would not hope to claim the heart of an Ainu, but some sweet elf-maiden, or perhaps a warrior of old who shared his wisdom?
But ever and anon, he and Indis were alone and unmarried while others, far younger, wed. Now Finwë had Miriel - and even Elwë's brother Olwë had married and would soon sire children. Were he and his sister to be lonely forever?
Ingwë started. Had he said that aloud? Had Manwë touched his thoughts? He realized that he had long since paused in his singing. "I'm sorry, my lord - "
"Neither you nor she; I promise you."
"How can you say that?" Ingwë asked, his thoughts awhirl. "It is Mandos knows the future, and not even you, my lord, may gainsay him."
"I say no," repeated Manwë. "I will not let the elves I love be alone."
But I am... Ingwë wanted to say. He kept the words so closely to himself that no one else could reach them, not even Manwë. I shall return to a house without mother or father, wife or lover, daughter or son...
But no matter how deeply he buried his thoughts, the pain rose to the surface, spread across his face. Manwë saw the tears gathering behind his eyes, the way long strands of golden hair hid the clenching of his teeth. He saw his friend's wonderful strength, and the loss that was hidden beneath it.
Manwë swept off his throne and took the elf into his arms.
Ingwë tensed a moment, then relaxed, and let himself be caught up in the embrace. What mattered his unworthiness, if Manwë was willing? Never had he felt so cared for, so protected. Ingwë imagined this was what it was like to have a father, and to be held in his arms.
Manwë whispered to him, "Close your eyes."
Without hesitating, Ingwë did so. And as he did, he felt at once let go and lifted up, as the feel of Manwë's elven fingertips changed to the touches of air. He could not tell how far he was from the floor, but beyond his closed eyes, he thought he saw stars.
He was suspended, supported, surrounded.
He was like a child, as before he had been like a father; he was cradled in invisible arms. How wonderful it was to be held, to be loved. He had all empty parts of himself filled up, or all the parts but one...
//You will not be frightened,// came the thought, even as the air shifted around him, again becoming something else. //You will not be worried. You will not be lonely. No. No one that I love.//
A rush of wind went past his lips. Formless hands raked through his hair.
"You don't have to - my lord - " he began, but he was silenced as a tendril of air entered his mouth. It had the pressure of the wind when one rides a horse while speaking, only it was not harsh against his throat, but indescribably tender.
Awed and unbelieving, Ingwë returned the airy kiss.
When he did so, the wind tightened around him. His other sandal was slipped off, dropped, but he did not hear the clatter of its landing below. He felt the light, moist touch of a cloud against his cheek.
A breeze fluttered through his tunic, pressing against his skin. As it passed, the hairs of Ingwë's chest rose and his nipples hardened. The current shifted and returned, sliding over him, stroking him; the front of his shirt fell open. Ingwë shivered at the cold, and in amazement, and in awakening desire.
The wind closed heavily about him to protect him from the chill.
Ingwë felt himself responding to the new pressure, laying back his head so he would be more exposed. As he began to bend to the rhythmic gales the wind, his feet touched the ground; he had barely risen from the floor. He was laid down, gently, and then the wind began it's ministrations again.
It was an agony of sensation: the cold, hard floor against his back, the air surrounding him, stroking him, running beneath his clothes. Yet even as the wind met his movements, it touched only lightly. When another current of air passed him with but a caress, he thought he would rather shame himself forever than be still.
"Please!" he whispered, unable to stop himself, when by rights he was being given far more than he should ever ask for. "Please. Soft - too soft - it's not enough - "
And then Manwë was there beside him, in elven form, golden hair that matched Ingwë's spilling around him; his face was carved and handsome, yet still full of love. Even in his need, Ingwë paused. "My lord - "
"Speak only if this is not what you desire, melindo."
And Ingwë was silent.
Manwë looked down, an almost curious expression upon his face, for he had always made love as a wind in the sky, mingling with the light of the stars and the waters of the seas, sweeping between coupling flowers and carrying the mating scent from beast to beast. He had never been incarnate for such a thing before. But he was keen-seeing, and the way that Ingwë moved beneath him was a great guide. He touched his hand to the damp curve of Ingwë's neck and smiled, that for the first time skin was meeting skin.
Ingwë watched through half-closed eyes as Manwë bent down over him. Softly Manwë placed his mouth where his fingertips had been, and tasted the perspiration there. He lifted his head to give Ingwë a gentle kiss, and the elf felt the flavor of himself on the other's lips, salty and wet and warm.
Manwë placed his hand on Ingwë's smooth lower belly, rubbing his thumb in an ever-widening circle that brushed the elf's stiffening length. Ingwë stifled a moan and pressed against him. Manwë traced his fingers over the hard curved bone of the other's hip, drawing his hand down it, turning as he reached the elf's leg and sliding along the inner thigh. There the skin was clammy and welcoming, and he let his hand lay there, as he concentrated again on his mouth.
Ingwë stirred beneath Manwë as he renewed his kiss, this time bringing his lips down to the elf's chest. A scar long-healing marked his right breast, and Manwë went along it with his tongue, before returning and taking Ingwë's nipple in his mouth. An already hardened little bud, it was difficult to caress, yet it was worth the effort, for Ingwë began to breath heavily. He pushed himself against Manwë, his fingers spread along the floor. Manwë accepted the pressure, lifting his head so that his lips could meet Ingwë's.
The softness of their meeting tongues belied the growing hardness were Manwë's hand rested. Lifting it, Manwë began to stroke, fingers lingering in the golden hair that covered it, tips tangled in the silky strands. As he did so Ingwë's frenzy increased, and Ingwë even released his mouth from the kiss.
"Please," he said. "I can't wait much longer."
Manwë had no urgency, no overwhelming need, yet for Ingwë it was quite the opposite - it was his nature to love with his hroa, yet never having done so before, he was helpless to his desire.
Manwë seemed to sense this, for he guided Ingwë, showing him how to move and where to touch. They shared growing heat, and quickening breath. and the wonder of every new sensation. With Manwë's help, the great elf king was able to show with his body what he had not been able to say.
I want this. He arched his back, trying to surround himself with Manwë's skin, every place he touched alive with fire. I need this. He clutched Manwe's neck as he rubbed himself against him, coming ever closer to the fufillment of desire. I need you.
Even at the moment of ecstasy, their eyes met; Ingwë lost himself in Manwë's, and though his body spasmed it seemed to his fëa that the world was still.
Tye-meláne, Ingwë thought, just as Manwë whispered, "I love you."
Ingwë shuddered and lay still, clinging to Manwë, his seed spilled on the marble floor. Neither of them moved, neither of them spoke; then Manwë exhaled, his satisfaction sweeping like a gale about the room.
Lost as he was in new sensations, he did not notice at once Ingwë pulling away, nor the soft sounds he was making. But when he did, he turned to see that Ingwë was struggling not to cry.
"Ah, melindo," Manwë chided him. "Is there nothing I can give you that will make you happy?"
Ingwë's eyes were filled with anguish, as well as with tears. As he replied, they spilled over. "You have given me too much. I should never have asked this of you."
Manwë shook his head. "Your laws are not our laws, and I would not have offered you what I did not wish to give."
Manwë brought the elf into his arms again, taking away his tears with the soft touch of air. "Do not cry, Ingwë. Please, do not cry. I have tried everything I can think of, and gladly would I try more, yet I do not know what will suffice to make you happy."
Desperate to grant Manwë his request, Ingwë took a painful breath. He still longed to weep, but buried that inside of him, along with the fear that he had done greatly wrong.
Manwë released him, then, and took his great blue cloak and wrapped it around the both of them.
"Now say it. Say what is in your heart."
Ingwë's throat clenched, but he spoke. "You are so great, so kind, so beautiful - what have I to offer you in return?"
Manwë took the elf's trembling hand. "Do you accept the starlight Varda makes for you, and the gems that come from Aulë's hand? Did you follow the guidance Oromë offered you? When you dance through the meadows filled with Yavanna's creatures, do you accept the joy that makes you smile?"
Ingwë nodded slowly.
"Then accept the love I give you - for it is as solid and worthy and unchanging as anything else you can name."
Then Ingwë gave into the sorrow that had been inside him, even as he was released from it, and knowing that he would never have to again, he wept.
The song sung by Ingwe is an edited version of Tolkien's "Markirya" poem, which I found at . Melindo means 'my love', and can be interpreted as either 'my lover' or 'my friend'. Tye-meláne means "I love you".
Many thanks to Deborah, for wonderful beta-ing, thinking up the title, and most of all, for saving the character of Manwë from the unlikely fate of being, as she described it, "a manipulative jerk".