An old friendship

The chain held him by one arm alone, straining the muscles and causing pain to rip through his body. His mouth and lips were dry and cracked. He wondered how long he had been there. He didn't really care. All he wanted now was death and nothing more. The sweet bliss of death would soothe his torn body and take him somewhere where he would never have to feel pain again. But he was in the bitter taste of a life that kept him, at the moment, in pain and agony.

He looked down at the rock below him. If only the chain holding his wrist would let loose! He would fall to his death and leave this painful moment behind. He quickened his breathing, for his slow breathing gave him more weight and it hurt.

He reached up with his left hand to hold onto the chain that held his right wrist. For a few seconds he was able to relieve some pressure on his tortured wrist, but he was just too weak and he lost his grip. The weight tugged back on the wrist as his body slammed downwards, hitting nothing, and he cried out it his misery. His arm was beginning to loose feeling at the amount of pain it was receiving, but it never dulled so much as to loose the pain entirely.

His tousled hair blew somewhat mockingly in his face and he left it be, for moving was just too painful. "Valar! Just let me die! I beg of you! Take me from my misery!" He cried, closing his eyes as he felt tears. But it was as if he had no tears left in his broken body.

From somewhere on the other side of the mountain, he heard the cry of an Eagle. He wished the Valar would stop toying with his mind! And then the cry came again and he knew it was not folly. And as the Eagle rounded the corner to his left, he saw a figure riding the giant Eagle, whose name was Thorondor. The figure riding Thorondor's back wasn't clear to him, as he was looking through clouded eyes. "Maedhros? Maedhros! I'm coming, old friend, I'm coming!" He heard, unable to make out the voice through sluggish hearing.

And then the Eagle was under his feet, allowing him to stand awkwardly. The person riding Thorondor was his old friend, Fingon, who immediately stood on the Eagle's back. They did not hurt Thorondor and the Eagle just waited for Fingon to free his old friend. Maedhros rapped his left arm around Fingon's shoulder, relief coming to him that he wasn't straining his arm any further. "I can't free you...oh, Valar...old friend, I can't free your hand."

"Let me die, Fingon, please, take your sword through my heart and end this painful existence." Maedhros clutched onto his friend, a few tears that he didn't know could come slipped past his tightly closed eyes.

"I will not do that, Maedhros, I can free you." Fingon pulled at the chain, tried cutting the chain with his sword and Maedhros hissed in pain each time.

"Please, I'd rather die by your hand then die by the enemy's. Do this one last favor for me, please." Fingon felt tears in his eyes, not only by Maedhros' words, but also by the facts that he could not kill his friend, and he also could not free him.

There was one thing he could do though...

He toyed with the idea seriously and then finally had Maedhros face him. Fingon pressed his forehead to Maedhros' and looked into the blue depths. Maedhros looked back through tired, clouded eyes. "There is one thing yet to do." Fingon said and as he spoke, he placed his sword inches over Maedhros' wrist, brought it back, and then quickly sent it back. It cut through flesh and bone, severing the hand from the arm. Maedhros clutched Fingon's robes and cried out in pain.

Fingon brought Maedhros back to sit on the Eagle, who awaited Fingon's command. Fingon brought Maedhros to sit in his lap and he cradled his old friend. Quickly, Fingon tore some of his own tunic and wrapped it around the bleeding arm. "Alright Thorondor."

Maedhros let his head rest against Fingon's tunic. "Thank you." He whispered, moving only his eyes to look up at his friend.

Fingon nodded. "I wasn't about to abandon you."

"I would...have done the same...thing" Maedhros' dry throat and mouth restricted correct words.

Fingon pulled out his canteen and held it to the Elf's lips. "Here, drink."

The water felt cool against his dry mouth and it quenched his thirst.

"I know you would have." Fingon referred to the Elf's previous comment.

Maedhros smiled and passed out, his pain and weariness catching up to him, and his head fell against Fingon's shoulder.