It wasn't as though he'd never killed before. He'd been hunting, the jest among his family went, since before he could walk. For Eru's sake, he'd skinned and gutted beasts and gone home with the blood and gore still on his hands.

It was different.

He came to this profound realization after the fighting was done, coming back to his own head to find his arms drenched in red, hair caked and matted where blood had sprayed, face only clean for the sweat that kept the stuff from drying.

Really, looking down at his blade, he was surprised at how clean it was. He could remember it getting tangled in at least one person's entrails and halfway through another someone's neck that had been trying to cut down Kurvo from the back…

He began to feel just a little sick, but only a little, and he could have avoided it if he hadn't been trying to pick his way back across the bodies to his brothers and stepped on the hand of what he thought was a dead man. He heard the crack and winced, but it was the soft moan that really made him turn.

"Please…" The voice was cracked and fading, but the eyes of the wounded Teleri were too bright to ignore. Tyelko dropped to his knees and shoved another body off to see what he could do, and stopped.

The gash ran gaping from groin to where his ribs must have begun, glistening with the familiar wet gleam that he knew from hunting when he'd made the same cut in dead flesh. As it did then, the wound stank, and as he watched the skin quivered and rose, breath pushing some of the organs further out of the wound. "Please," he moaned again, and he couldn't hold it in, staggered to his feet and a few paces away before doubling over and vomiting, violently, expelling what felt like everything he had ever eaten.

He was panting when he was done, and there had been no further sound from behind him. Shame made his face color, and he started when a hand settled on his shoulder. He turned to face his younger brother and felt moderately relieved, for a moment, that Moryo looked as sickly and pale as he did.

"Have to," he said and Caranthir jerked his head, slightly.

"I finished it," quietly, "Damn, Turco, you look like shit, you don't mind me saying so."

The color in his face rose further. "So do you."

"Mostly I'm glad to know I'm not the only one emptying my belly over this." His mouth twisted sideways. "Here I thought our great hunter would have stomach aplenty for this kind of thing."

"Aurochs aren't Eldar," he said, and felt sick again. He swallowed it. "I hope it's not this bad every time."

Caranthir looked over toward where the rest of their brothers were already gathered, talking in low voices. "Who knows? I guess you probably get used to it."

Celegorm laughed, a bit hoarsely. "I can't see that."


They walked the field afterward, together, finding the bodies of the fallen elves and dividing them from the Enemy's foul servants. It was heavy, dirty, unpleasant work.

Celegorm found the wounded Elf before too long, kicked the Orkish body off of him and knelt, businesslike and stern. He was barely more than a boy, fair-featured and hardly older than Celebrimbor, just barely into adulthood.

"Please," he started to say, and Celegorm slipped a knife between his ribs.

He drew it out when he felt the heart stop beating and wiped it on the dead Elf's cloak before moving on. He left the body where it lay.