Disclaimer: i am not tolkien.
Fingon slips naturally back into his flawed, tense life by the lake, though he no longer dreams.
When the question comes: where has he been, the past few empty days, the days that felt as eternities do? He answers: – I needed some time alone – and wishes to bury his head in the sand.
His heartbreaking confidence, legendary valiance is clouded. As the second day begins, he lifts his bow for the first time since the arrow struck.
He chooses his targets carefully, fits an arrow to the string. Perfect aim, grip strong, fingers trembling slightly, unexpectedly. Pose faultless, expression calm, fëa screaming for release. Maedhros's scent is always on the air, exotic and familiar and never to be caught.
Target: the top leaf of the nearest tree; the tiny knot in the dead branch behind it; the centermost Silmaril of Morgoth's crown; Valimar itself, faraway and watching, cursing and mocking.
He sends his last arrow straight into the air, and thinks, that was for you.
His feet lead him to the Fëanorians, the tainted betrayers, the beautiful, bloodstained liars. That name returns to haunt him – Maedhros, a name the tawny color of rust with the bite of the Helcaraxë beneath it. They wave it before his restless form, and from somewhere comes the word, full of defeat:
– You were right.
For they had said it a thousand times: dead, dead, as good as dead. He teaches himself a new memory, a peaceful body lying amongst the stone, red lips smooth and flawless, flawless. Grey eyes shut, torment ended.
Fingon has learned, recently, that it never ends.
– Than where have you been, this past week? – The voice: concerned, disbelieving, in a way that is utterly Fëanorian. Maedhros would have raised his eyebrows slightly as he used such a tone; he would have stepped back with a reserved, withheld emotion that could never quite be defined. Crossed his arms and spoken again, with a clear voice not yet ragged, not yet damned.
Fingon invokes the faux memory, and holds it aloft, as shock and dismay twist themselves around the perverse relief echoed through surrounding eyes. A few elves stumble back, horrorstruck – surprising, after all they have seen – but the others send hands reaching toward him, consoling, reassuring.
Fingon brushes them off and returns to his archery. Twenty points to shoot the moon, fifty for the sun. A thousand for Mandos, but none as Maedhros shut his eyes with grateful acceptance, silhouetted by his own blood smeared across the mountainside.
For blood ye shall render blood, it was long ago said, and Fingon once memorized the facade of crimson staining colorless ice, a desire for retaliation, vendetta coursing through him. Frozen ice, snow, everywhere; ever-white, Oiolossë, though Varda has forgotten them. He remembers corpses that looked more alive than Maedhros's prone body, a twisted and scarred fascia behind which a fëa with the strength and acuity of the Blesséd Realm whispered:
– …if you love me…
Nothing may be eternally holy, aina. Nothing is forever beautiful.
It is twilight, and a hush abides, with murmuring background dialogue combining fluent Quenya with jagged streaks of the New Language. Fingolfin approaches him, Fingolfin who will never be Finwë, father of Fingon who cannot be Finwë-second.
– Where have you been?
Nowhere. It is impossible to exist anyplace with only half a soul, aura frayed around its edges, essence draining into the rocky earth.
– I felt that communication with the Fëanorians was obligatory.
Cold seeps through his words and drips down between them, a bold, open rawness that covers any past emotions with a frosty sigh.
– The traitors, the cowards?
– Yes, them.
– The damned?
– Oh, but we are all damned.
A feud may never be healed in a world so broken.
And Eru, the One, called forth his first Children, and they were called the Quendi, skilled and ageless, fair and unflawed. And among them the Noldor most wise. A trained hand bent a bow, an undying voice called a prayer; one pair of eyes closed, one remained open, and both were flawless.