Disclaimer: Maedhros and Maglor et al belong to Tolkien.

Notes: This is a Birthday fic for Finch, although it meets none of the criteria of her request. Slightly OOC too, although at least for this once my elves are residing in Middle Earth.

This takes place some months before my Mayday Fic.

Maglor is standing in the doorway to what is clearly a large kitchen. It is dark. Someone is raiding the large stone cupboards that serve as cool places to store dairy produce and cooked meats. From the size of them, it is obvious they are a full grown elf, and therefore slightly too old to be engaging in such behaviour.

Maglor silently walks up behind the kneeling figure.

Maglor: Ahem!

Maedhros: (Looking startled - half way through ripping at a cooked chicken with his fingers.) Good evening Maglor.

He swallows and licks some of the grease off his hand.

Maglor: What are you doing out of bed?

Maedhros: Eating.

Maglor: I noticed that brother.

Maedhros: I am Lord here. Therefore I am free to raid my own pantries should I wish.

Maglor: You should not have walked so far. The healers will be in uproar. What about your feet? They shall never heal if you carry on at this rate.

Maedhros is barefoot, but his feet are bandaged and obviously swollen.

Maedhros: The healers can go to Mandos. And they can take my feet with them.

Maglor snorts.

Maglor: Dear brother, we have been trying to feed you for the last month. You have refused everything we have to offer. Why do you not show some sense, and rest?

Maedhros: Why do I not do as I am told.

Maglor: You are correct, you are lord here and none may command you. But why do you not take some care for yourself?

Maedhros: I refuse to be fed like a child.

Maglor: What is wrong with you?

Maedhros: Nothing is wrong with me. I just wish everyone would stop treating me as if there were.

Maglor: Please Russandol, let us help you.

Maedhros: You know what I need right now, what I really need? I need to say no and have people listen.

Maglor: Alright. But can I at least get you a plate? It is rather unbecoming to have you gnawing at the leftovers like an oversized rodent.

Maedhros: Rodents have opposable thumbs.

Maglor: (reaching into another cupboard to find some crockery.) Yes, dear Maedhros, and you do not I know. I am afraid you are going to have to live with the fact.

Maedhros: I am so glad that has been decided for me.

Maedhros stands, he is holding a large knife. Maglor is obviously somewhat taken aback. Maedhros ignores him and pulls a large cheese out of the cupboard. With his right elbow he presses down and holds it secure while he cuts several slices with his left hand.

Maedhros: See I am not so useless after all. But as you have obviously decided to fuss tonight, make yourself useful. There is a jar of rather good pickle in the top cupboard. Would you kindly fetch it?

Maglor does as he is told. Rather unsurely he hand the jar to his brother.

Maedhros sits down again and wedges the jar between his knees. He then unscrews the lid and stands back up. He spoons some pickle onto the plate, puts the cheese beside it, then sits back down and starts eating.

Maglor sits beside him.

Maglor: I see you have kitchen raiding down to an art.

Maedhros: It was always a particular talent of mine.

Maglor: I remember. Hardly a night went by in Tirion when you were not with your nose in the larder.

Maedhros: There were no nights in Tirion.

He pauses.

Maedhros: Besides, I had a lot of growing to do. And Atar was such an appalling cook.

Maglor: Experimental genius does not make for culinary expertise.

Maedhros: I know. He always had to add that extra ingredient.

Maglor:(sensing Maedhros' mood has softened a little.) It is good to see you eating again, anyhow.

Maedhros: Oh I have been eating for a while. I just have not been informing anyone of the fact.

Maglor: You are a contrary elf, brother.

Maedhros shrugs then grits his teeth. Shrugging obviously hurts.

Maglor: I wish you would let the healers at your shoulders.

Maedhros: You wish, you wish, you wish! Why not wish for the Silmarils Maglor? It would be of just as much use.

Maglor: It would do you good.

Maedhros: Did I frighten them?

Maglor: You cursed them, didn't you?

Maedhros: Yes, what I said was foul. I know some really pretty words now. My black speech has come on in leaps.

Maglor: I think it would be better if you kept that particular prowess to yourself.

Maedhros: I am more than half an orc Maglor.

Maglor: Do not talk like that!

Maedhros: Well, it is true. I know what those healers said when I was brought back. You may have thought I was unconscious, but I heard.

Maglor: What did they say?

Maedhros: That I could not live. That some spell of Morgoth had bound my Fea to my body while he held me. Now that I was free, I could die in peace.

Once again he pauses.

Maedhros: But I did not die.

Maglor: And everyone is more than grateful for that.

Maedhros: Oh I am sure they are. But I also know what they think. Any decent elf would have died. Any normal, natural, respectable elf would have fled to Mandos. I should be dead Maglor.

Maglor: No. You are just stronger than most others. You are a son of Feanor.

Maedhros: I hope Atar is proud that his lineage has enabled me to survive as Yurch.

Maglor: You are not Yurch, Maedhros.

Maedhros: No I am not. But I am no natural phenomena either. Can you keep a secret?

Maglor: Of course.

Maedhros: I intend to acknowledge Fingolfin as High King.

Maglor's eyes widen.

Maglor: What?

Maedhros: Do not make me repeat myself.

Maglor: But why? Why betray your people, your inheritance and your own father, Maedhros?

Maedhros: Because whatever else I have been left fit for, I have not been left fit to be a king.

Maglor: You are exhausted and still sick. You will recover some sense of responsibility when you get better. And you will stop this merciless self pity.

Maedhros laughs.

Maedhros: Maglor it is not self pity. I could not care less what I am. When you have quite finished telling me what I shall do, would you kindly listen to me?

Maglor: I am listening. I am not liking what I hear, but I am listening.

Maedhros: I do not have the strength to be king. It takes all my strength to carry on living.

Maglor: You may feel differently, if you would let us care for you a little better.

Maedhros: Do you not see? I cannot Maglor. You are right. I am contrary, and difficult. That is what has been left. And while I shall be more than capable of keeping my unruly brothers in order, I cannot risk leading a people, the Noldor, knowing I have these faults. That would be a betrayal.

Maglor sits in silence for a while. He is obviously still unhappy with his brother's words, but can see no point in arguing further.

Maglor: (After a long while.) Alright. If that is your decision I shall of course abide by it. Tell me one thing though - Are you sorry you did not die?

Maedhros smiles.

Maedhros: No I am not sorry to be still alive. It just takes a bit of getting used to.

Some notes:

Maedhros' feet:

In one fic I remember reading but cannot now find to reference, Maedhros damaged his feet while chained on Thangorodrim from pushing against the rock face while trying to breathe. This seems logical to me, so I have gone with it.

Feanor's cooking:

According to Laws & Customs all male elves cooked. Even if they were the heir to the throne of the Noldor (I presume.)