PUNCHLINE

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Disclaimer: I own neither Good Omens nor the Tolkien estates and I make nothing from this except my own entertainment.

A/N: This is for Wormwood, because she imagines such beautiful things and also because she suggested it, and for Thranduil Oropherion Redux, who wanted Maedhros and Fingon chasing tail, popping brewskis and belching. And farting. I am but a channel for their desires, um, wait not responsible in the slightest.

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It's quiet tonight. Well, as quiet as a bar next door to Fëanor's house is ever going to be. The twins aren't old enough to buy their own beer, technically, so they're drinking themselves silly elsewhere with a case of Aulë's Hammer cider they talked Curufin into getting them. The Three Cs are off hunting, or so they told their mother; she's probably better off not knowing what they're hunting down by the docks unless they catch something particularly unexpected. And Maglor's crooning ditties to himself in his room, so that leaves the bar to Maedhros and cousin Fingon, currently warming up for a night on the tiles.

Fingon's swaying already. "That Furing– Thuringwethil –" he's saying, "'m gonna see if she'll pluck my harp tonight –"

The door slams open. In comes Uncle Fëanor, looking so pleased with himself that he contents himself with a sneer for his nephew. He thumps the bar. "Beer!"

"Hi, Dad," says Maedhros. "How's the Project?"

A satisfied smile spreads across Fëanor's face. "Done. You want a look, son?"

"You bet!"

Fingon belches. "Wha' project?"

He's ignored. Fëanor's already reaching into his pocket. His hand comes out leaking white light.

"Wow," says Maedhros, staring at three brilliant chunks of crystal set blazing on the bar. Light dances over varnished wood and sparkles in a pool of spilt beer. The distinct impression creeps over him that his father's plucked Elbereth's stars from the heavens and laid them here disguised as jewels.

A mere 'wow' seems inadequate. Maedhros takes aim at greater eloquence. "Sweet!"

"Yeah," says his father and buries himself smugly in his beer.

There's a woman at the other end of the bar. Maedhros hadn't noticed her before; but she must have been there for a while, because he can't remember seeing her come in. She's strikingly visible in the light emanating from the Project, though, poised on a stool with her long legs stretched out before her, an elbow on the bar and a glass in her hand. Her mouth's as red as her nails and Maedhros has no useful comparanda for the way she's smiling, because this is Tirion upon Túna, the shining citadel of the Calaquendi in the blessedly peaceful West, and the sharpest thing he's run across yet is a breadknife.

Mind you, given the way his mother cuts bread sometimes when his father's said something particularly unforgivable to Uncle Fingolfin...

Fingon's spotted the woman too. He lurches unwisely to his feet. "Hi," he drawls, propping himself up against the bar beside her, and attempts suavity. "You mus' – must be new here. 'm Fingon Fingolfin's son. Wanna drink?"

The woman raises her glass and grins. "Yeah," she says, "sure."

She's got hair down to her waist in copper coils. Her eyes are a colour Maedhros has only ever seen before beating out hot iron in his father's forge. Must be some Maia slumming it, he thinks uncertainly, no Elf has eyes like that.

"Fingon Fingolfin's son, eh?" she adds. "Good name, that. I'd be proud of it. You be proud of it too. Gotta be proud of names, right?"

Next to Maedhros, his father's glowering. Fingon preens. "Yeah. Wha's yours?"

"Call me Scarlett," says the woman with the copper hair. She's looking along the bar past Fingon now. "Say, chaps, those gems you've got there –"

Fëanor bristles. "None of your business!"

"Sure, they're not," says Scarlett, her grin stretching wider, just a notch.

The silken whisper of her legs uncrossing makes Maedhros's mouth go dry. He gropes for beer and knocks over his father's glass, earning himself a clip round the ear, as if he was still just a kid. He'd have complained, only Scarlett's got up and she's coming over to get a closer look, leaning between them with her hair spilling sleek over her bronzed shoulders. Fëanor's open-mouthed, unused to this sort of disrespect.

She touches a stone with the edge of a fingernail. The light shines bloodied through.

"Yeah," she says. "Pretty little things..."

Her perfume catches in Maedhros's throat. It isn't floral.

"Hey," says his father, less angrily than Maedhros would have expected, so maybe he's reached the same conclusion about those orange eyes, "don't touch –"

Scarlett turns her head, and smiles, and something about it shuts Fëanor up entirely for the first time in his life.

She says, "I like you, Fëanor. You're my sort of chap. I like the way you think. I like your little toys..."

"Ngk," says Fëanor. Maedhros can see the whites of his eyes, gleaming.

He can see Fingon as well, still leaning unsteadily against the bar, but in a slightly forwards direction that suggests he's about to ask Scarlett what she thinks about harps, the plucking thereof. Maedhros isn't going to let that happen, not with this woman. He asks it first.

"Bastard!" says Fingon and throws a punch that could have connected only with the ceiling. It tips him off balance, so he ends up swinging round in a circle with his eyes crossed and falls flat on his face. He farts noisily.

Maedhros smirks. "Pussy," he says and kicks Fingon in the head.

Their combined tab by the end of the evening will include four pint glasses, two chairs, a window and the front door. Scarlett leans back against the bar and smiles like a cat who's learned hypnosis. Fingon's trying to throttle Maedhros now, which won't surprise anyone who knows what Maedhros just did to Fingon's chances of producing offspring.

"Lovely boys," she purrs. "You must be so proud."

"Ngk."

Scarlett grins. "Say," she says, and fingers his glowing stones, "you got any harps that need plucking?"

"Ngk," says Fëanor.

Her profile's a bronze edge slicing through the Project's light. Fëanor slides carefully off his bar stool, hesitates, and makes a break for the door. Scarlett shrugs and watches him go.

He'll be back. They always are. And anyway, he's left his stones behind.

She glances around the bar and grins. She thinks she's going to like it here.