Many had been too afraid to even look at Morgoth when he was dragged out of Angband. They stayed in their tents , trembling as the mad god walked by - blinded and with an iron collar around his neck. Grey skin, black hair. From afar he almost looked normal. But the mad god had been limping, for he was missing one foot.
Good. So the rumors about Nolofinwë's deeds are true. No one had ever been able to confirm the tale. But Morgoth's bare chest showed off the scars he bore from the battle.
But they aren't the only ones. Three bright red marks stain the forehead of the god. Like seals. Like a brand. His palms look the same. Burned, from the day Grandfather was slain Doubtful that the pain has lessened over time.
Good. Perfect even.
Morgoth's howls of agony carried over the land for miles when the last two Silmaril were removed, and it brought some ease. To have lived so long, fought so much against enemies, friends and innocents... the sound of Morgoth's anguish will be the only reward he'll ever get.
"Do you have the intention of sitting there all day?" comes the question from somewhere behind him.
Apparently his brother is back.
Maglor never thought he would see the day. He fights down his reaction, doesn't clench his hands to fists like he wants to, and slips on a mask of indifference. But, despite his outward appearance, his heart hammers in his chest. Perhaps he hasn't completely lost the ability to care yet.
"Why not?" Maglor answers and angles his head to look at Maedhros. "Do we have somewhere to be?"
"Not in particular. But I'd like to avoid the incoming wave," Maedhros says, settling down next to him. "I'm not keen on drowning after... well, allof this! Or are you nursing a suicidal tendency I've missed?"
The problem with living in a state of constant war for over a century, is that you tend to develop fast reflexes. They were necessary if you wanted to survive. Hence why Maglor only notices the blood on his fist after Maedhros tumbles backwards into the grass, holding his nose. He glowers at Maglor, who cares very little about Nelyo's hurt pride.
"You said Goodbye," Maglor almost screams. He's on top of his brother, pressing him down into the wet grass. "Your words were 'Farewell, Brother'. How am I supposed to take that? You climbed that fucking rock with the intention of never coming back."
The masks cracks and Maglor's pain spills forth. He wants to hit Maedhros again, and his brother is probably going to let him. But it’s not going to make him feel better. It won't lessen the pain and the betrayal he had felt when his last brother turned around, leaving him to stare at his retreating back.
Maglor's hands dig into the leather of Maedhros' coat. Feeling a warm living body beneath his hands makes him shudder. In recent decades, he can't remember Maedhros taking his armor off for any reason other than changing clothes or treating bruises. The image of the war general covered in the blood of his enemies is so fixed in his mind, that Maglor barely remembers that his brother looked different once. Less like embodied holy wrath, and more like something that possesses a soul.
More like the brother he loves, and less like the creature that took his place after they lost Ambarussa in Sirion.
"I'm sorry, Makalaurë." For the first time in a long time, Maedhros' voice is full of emotion. While Maglor still kneels above his brother because it's a convenient way to make sure he can't simply get up and leave, a hand comes up and touches his cheek. Swipes falling tears away. "I truly am. I didn't want to scare you that much. But you're right... until I stood over the chasm and looked into the fire, I was sure it was last journey I'd make."
"Why didn't you?" Maglor whispers as he buries his own hands in Maedhros' hair and brings their foreheads together. "I can't survive if you do this again. I need you to live. Not just exist beside me, trapped in your own world of pain and madness."
Maedhros raises an eyebrow and Maglor relents.
"Fine, you're not the only one who is a little messed up in the head," Maglor sighs. "But I wouldn't do that to you. I survived Curvo's death, losing Tyelko and Moryo. I lit Ambarussa's pyre in Sirion. I found the strength to send Elros and Elrond to Gil-galad when the time came and I could survive losing you as well."
Silence reigns between them until Maglor quietly adds. "I just might not care enough to try."
Warm lips come up and brush against his, and Maglor inhales sharply. The touch awakens something in him that he thought forgotten. He whines. But instead of bending down to claim another kiss, Maglor clings to Maedhros, intends to wait until his brother has said his piece.
It'd be too much. Getting a taste of hope, only to lose it in the next second.
Maedhros' next words bring the relief Maglor is waiting for. He says, "That's why I returned. I stared into the fire, ready to cast myself and the Silmaril into it. But all I could think of was you. I thought I deserved to die, but leaving you here, alone, after everything that happened... that isn't right."
Arms come up to pull him into a tight embrace. "I'm here, Cáno. You don't need to face the world alone."
With an animalistic sound, Maglor's mouth crashes on Maedhros', hunger for physical contact finally replacing his fear. It's been years since they were that close. In the beginning, there were Nerdanel's doubts if their love was a true one, and Fëanor's constant fear regarding their happiness. But just like their brothers they convinced their parents that their concerns were welcome but unncessary. He conquered his jealousy everytime he saw Fingon and Maedhros together. They survived Maedhros' torment in Angband, the loss of father's legacy, and every difficult year and every argument.
But after Sirion, Maedhros stopped touching him. Completely. Not even a gentle hug after a particularly hard day. They even stopped sharing a bed, and he never got a reason why. Maglor quickly learned to rely on himself to keep his head straight. Fixed on survival as his mind had been back in those days, he had barely even latched on to the feeling of rejection that came back with a vengeance now, simmering below the surface.
Taking care of the twins helped, a little. But Maglor is afraid they are going to inherit more than just his love from him.
"Neylo," Maglor gasps as his brother pulls him down again, kissing him until he's out of breath.
He should let Maedhros feel his anger, let him suffer and make him grovel. But, honestly, that’s not what he needs right now. They had suffered so much already, and the keening sounds tumbling out of Maedhros' mouth are payment enough. After such a long time of nothing but treating each other as near strangers, desperation surges up together with the memory how blissful and satisfying this activity used to be.
When Maedhros cries out beneath him, arching his back because Maglor's wet, scorching mouth is the best thing he has felt in a long while, the younger brother chuckles and forces Nelyo to keep his hips still.
There's nothing better, nothing more beautiful, than when Nelyo whines and Maglor needs to hear him moan his name again.
With the war, Morgoth, and the oath not in immediate vicinity anymore, it's like a floodgate has been whipped away, and Maglor has nothing to focus on but Maedhros' ravenous appetite. The fingers of his hand ghost over his skin as liquid fire, and the rough texture of the stump gliding over his back drives Maglor mad. It's a reminder of what they had lost... and what they had survived. That he got Nelyo back, despite all Morgoth had done to him.
"Yes," Maedhros hisses, throwing his head back when Maglor finally sinks down. "Stars, Cáno... please..."
Maglor admires his brother's flushed face and bathes in the heated gaze. He moves, slowly at first, because he wants to draw this out as much as he can, but neither of them has the patience for it. Their coupling is rough, hurried as if they could make up for the long time spent apart. But they refuse to move, and touch each other right there next to the dying campfire. Maedhros' muffled groans urge Maglor on. He's still on top of him, still afraid his brother could vanish before his eyes if he doesn't press him back down every time Maedhros' hips arch up.
Later, they are wrapped up in each other, legs entwined and fingers comb lazy through wild, tangled hair.
Maedhros has thrown his coat over them, and he can't stop kissing Maglor. He does it again and again until he has Maglor gasping for breath. Pleasure still hums through his veins, and he has trouble remembering why he ever let this go.
"So what now?" Maedhros asks after a while. "Any particular place you wish to go? Or do you want to wait for the wave to drown us both?"
Since Maglor is too comfortable to punish Maedhros properly, he just bites down on the soft part of his shoulder. Maedhros' curse is more than just a little satisfying. Need begins to pool in his stomach, and Maglor wants to repeat what they shared just now, but it's wiser to find higher ground soon. Having reclaimed what he believed lost, he's content enough to live anywhere. Anywhere at all.
"Rumors say that Elros gets his own island," Maglor mumbles against Maedhros' chest. "We could visit him. I bet he'd offer us sanctuary, as long as you offer your expertise in architecture."
Not that it matters where they're going to end up. They're alive and together. Both are healthy enough to hunt and find food. It's not the first time for them to live in the wild and have no one else to rely on. In the end, they're the Sons of Fëanor. It's their legacy and they always had been capable of crafting whatever they needed for themselves.
"I'm not fond of boats," is Maedhros' dry answer after a moment of silence.
A laugh rings through the night when Maglor hits his brother.