Disclaimer: Characters, locations etc. property of JRR Tolkien. Warnings for implied Maedhros/Fingon slash!
A/N: The name 'Anaíro' is not one of Fingon's canonical names, but for the story's sake I have made it his mother-name.
Characters in Quenya:
Nelyo/Maitimo - Maedhros
Káno - Maglor
Findekáno - Fingon
Telufinwë Ambarussa - Amras
Pityafinwë Ambarussa - Amrod
When Ambarussa saw the stranger walk toward him in the meadow, he felt that he ought to have known him.
It was a most peculiar feeling. Perhaps this is why he did not run away, although he was not fond of people who were not his brothers or his father. This person, on the whole, looked like he could belong to the family. He had hair like Father's – oh, how Ambarussa longed for dark hair like Father's! – and he carried a harp, like Káno, although Káno's harp was bigger and more beautiful.
He stood his ground, the wind at his back blowing his red hair out of its braids, and looked up at the person who was not Father and not Káno.
"Hello, star," the person said, looking back at him.
Ambarussa did not care for the nickname. He was never called anything other than his names at home. Sometimes Káno called both of them "children," usually as a reprimand. Sometimes Nelyo called them "Russandol" for a laugh. He hadn't done that in a while, now that Ambarussa thought about it. Maybe Nelyo, too, was growing up.
Having given the stranger a good long look, Ambarussa returned his greeting in an off-hand, if cautious manner.
"My name is Findekáno," said the elf. The feeling of familiarity heightened ever so slightly. But he, Ambarussa, would have known this person if he really was meant to be known.
So he shrugged and said, "I am Telufinwë Ambarussa," by way of introduction. "Son of Fëanáro," he added graciously, the way Nelyo would.
This apparently made an impression, as the stranger stood looking down at him with an odd, grave look on his face.
"What brings you to our meadow?" asked Ambarussa.
Findekáno put a hand to his heart. "Not an idle walk, I assure you, son of Fëanáro," he said. "I am, in fact, here to see someone."
"And who, in fact, is this person?" queried Ambarussa.
"He is, in fact," said Findekáno, and all at once his voice faltered slightly, "in fact, your brother. Your eldest brother."
"How serendipitous!" said Ambarussa, and paused for effect.
Findekáno was not unimpressed. He raised his brow – just so – there! That was Father all over, that brow. The mystery deepened.
"Then the hour of my arrival is fortuitous?" he coughed.
"Indeed," said Ambarussa. "He is not inaccessible."
"Splendid," Findekáno said, breaking out into one of the nicest smiles Ambarussa had ever seen. Ambarussa could not help smiling back, although he thought 'splendid' was hardly a word to be jubilant about.
Beckoning to him, Ambarussa turned and strode away, his braids streaming back from his face.
That was the trouble with Nelyo. His plans were always utterly reasonable, even if the twins did not like them one bit. Ambarussa suspected that Nelyo's reason did not deserve the importance it received.
Still, they could have done worse. Nelyo was certainly very abstracted these days, but they knew this had nothing to do with them. What if he had not loved them at all?
Ambarussa tugged at the long lock of his brother's hair he had been playing with.
"Put me down, Nelyo," he said for the third time, patiently. Nelyo rarely flew into tempers, but it did not do to be impatient with him.
Nelyo sighed, and snuggled him closer before he put him down. Ambarussa looked up at his face, and then wordlessly slipped a hand into his.
"You'll be too old for me to carry you soon, Pityo," Nelyo said after a while.
"I know," Ambarussa said patiently. "But I don't have to use up all my time before that being carried around, do I?"
"Why not? It's very pleasant to be carried around. You'll miss it when you grow up."
Ambarussa did not think Nelyo was very good at being whimsical. "I don't miss it right now," he said, still patient, "however, if you want to carry me, you should say so."
Nelyo smiled wanly. "May I, please?" he asked.
"Of course," said Ambarussa, and stretched out his arms to be lifted.
The breeze did blow faster past him when he was at a height, he reflected. And Nelyo was a comfortable sort of person by whom to be held, unlike certain other brothers he could name.
He wriggled a little in Nelyo's arms. His hair flew into the older elf's face.
"Mmph," Nelyo said.
"Someone's coming," said Ambarussa, and Nelyo turned.
In spite of the billowing winds, there was an utter stillness between the stranger and Nelyo that the twins could feel almost tangibly. A hand on Telvo's shoulder tightened, even as Pityo felt his older brother's shoulders relax of a sudden.
"Come," Telvo said, and pulled Findekáno forward.
Pityo looked down at his twin and jiggled his eyebrows, because the stranger looked terribly familiar.
"This is Finde—"
"Anaíro." Nelyo's voice was low.
Findekáno Anaíro was looking at Nelyo with a strange, intent expression on his face.
"Your condition is met," he said to Nelyo, slowly. "It is ten years today."
"It felt like a hundred," Nelyo whispered.
"So it did. And yet," said Findekáno, "it is as nothing, now. You. You are all."
Nelyo smiled then. It made the twins feel strange, because of the faintest memory they possessed of that smile on someone else's face.
"I hoped you would – not forget," Nelyo said.
Anaíro-who-remembered had eyes that were suspiciously bright, although it may simply have been the waxing Telperion that made them seem so.
"You were the one who thought I would forget," he said. "Or perhaps that I ought to have. But it will not be so, Maitimo. It cannot be. I have counted every breath since you left Tirion up to this day."
There was another long silence. Pityo slipped down easily to meet Telvo, their fraternal keeper seemingly oblivious to their presence.
"What is ten years today?" Pityo felt honour-bound to ask when the silence stretched on too uncomfortably for them.
"No day at all," Nelyo said, never taking his eyes off the other elf. "Except the most beautiful in all the world."
Pityo ignored this, and welcomed Anaíro to their meadow politely.
"Thank you," said Anaíro, looking down at him then. He had moved closer to Nelyo, brushing his arm against the other's. "You must be Pityafinwë."
"I am," said Pityo.
"Also sesquipedalian, I presume," Anaíro said, although he was now again looking –smiling- into Nelyo's eyes.
"What?" the twins asked.
"What?" Nelyo laughed, crinkling his brow.
"Did you make that up?" Pityo asked curiously.
"How old are you?" Telvo demanded, feeling somewhat cheated by their surprise guest.
Nelyo answered for him. "Seventy."
"You look about that age," Telvo remarked.
After yet another prolonged silence, the twins decided that they were (in fact) being ignored, and wandered off. They were not too far when they heard Nelyo say, "Will you stay awhile, Anaíro?"
They heard Anaíro say, "I have no clothes."
"How did you get here?" they could hear the frown in Nelyo's voice.
They heard a strange sound and turned around to investigate, but the elder elves were quiet, only caught in a gentle embrace. From where Pityo stood, he saw Anaíro deposit a kiss on one side of Nelyo's throat, as Pityo himself did when he was being carried around sometimes, although Nelyo never shivered and closed his eyes as he did now.
"You can borrow mine," they heard Nelyo say faintly, as he cupped Findekáno's face in his hands, tilting it slightly upwards. "Although – they may not fit very…"
The twins ran away, thanks in part to a feeling that they were not meant to be there, but mostly because the conversation had irredeemably deteriorated into incomprehensibility.