There is so much blood, that was Fingons’ first thought as he sawed through the sinew andbone. His blade dulled from time spent on the Ice, from not having the tools to take care of it properly.
He remembered seeing Elves having to have imbs cut off due to frost bite, but he didn’t remember there being so much blood. It was everywhere, soaking through his clothes, soaking through the rags that Maedhros was wearing.
It was only when Fingon realized there was blood on his own hands that he realized his hands were shaking. Fingon almost laughed, of course his hands were shaking, how could they not be? He was cutting off the hand of his best friend. The hand of the one who used to pick him up when he was a child and twirl him in the air, the hand of the same person who helped teach him how to shoot.
The same hand that Maedhros used to run through Fingons’ hair as they laid tangled in bed together. The same hand Fingon held in his own so many times.
Maedhros himself was screaming, raw and angry and terrified. Telling Fingon to stop, to kill him damn it, why couldn’t Fingon just kill him! Didn’t he do enough? Go through enough? Just kill him!
The way Maedhros begged on the last word, choked on his screams and begged Fingon to kill him caused Fingons’ breath to hitch.
“No,” he said, and his voice cracked on the word, “No.”
Maedhros began screaming again.
Fingon ignored the screams, ignored the way bile rose in his throat, and continued on.
Maedhros had fainted shortly before Fingon had finished cutting his hand off. Fingon had panicked for a moment, thinking Maedhros had died, thinking that he had failed and lost his cousin. It was only when he placed his bloody hands on Maedhros’s chest and feel the slow, stuttering breaths his cousin took did he feel reassured.
Maedhros wasn’t dead, but he would be if Fingon didn’t get him help soon.
Their arrival at camp was met with surprise. They had either expected Fingon to return without Maedhros, or they expected him to die while looking for him. Either way they expected Fingon to fail.
The thought almost made him laugh, in some ways, he wished he had.
The memory of Maedhros screaming at him, begging Fingon to kill him would stay with him for as long as he lived. The way blood flowed freely from his wrist, down his cousins’ arm onto his chest would haunt Fingons’ dreams for a long time.
Maybe, Fingon thought, it would have been better to kill Maedhros after all.
He left Maedhros to the healers as soon as he could. He didn’t want to be there when his cousin woke.
He didn’t think he’d be able to handle the screaming again.
His father met him with relief evident on his face.
"I thought you were lost to us." Fingolfin said.
"I’m not," Fingon replied, "But Maedhros might be."
"This isn’t about him, it’s about you. Are you alright?"
Fingon thought for a moment, “No,” he said at last, “But are any of us.”
Fingofin didn’t answer.
"He almost died of blood loss," The healers said, "Before that though he was starving and suffering from dehydration, be careful with him."
They had given him warnings before that but nothing could have prepared him for what Fingon saw when he entered the tent.
Maedhros was pale, so pale for a moment Fingon thought Maedhros had died during his time with the healers. He was thin too, so thin you could see and count each of his ribs and it seemed that his skin was glued to his bones. But what gave Fingon the most pause was his eyes.
His eyes were not the silver he remembered, they did not blaze with light and life. Rather they were dull, flat, emotionless. But most startlingly of all, they were a pale, sickly yellow.
Fingon felt sick.
"Oh, Maitimo," he whispered, "What did they do to you?"
Maedhros laughed then, a wild, humorless laugh that almost caused Fingon to beg him to stop.
It was unnatural.
"Leave," Maedhros said.
I wrote this sometime in 2015 and then orphaned all my Silmarillion related works on ao3. None the less, I was reminded of this fic when I found it in my hard drive and decided to give new life to it.
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