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I'll never pause again, never stand still

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The unaccountable dislike - even hatred - Caranthir bore towards the sons of Finarfin was just that, unaccountable. 

His father, the great Fëanor, failed to even consider the sons of of his youngest half-brother, since their sire was tolerated as an Elf of much good will and of little consequence. No, all of Fëanor's contempt rested on Fingolfin, the half-brother who was given none of the love that only true siblings deserved, that hopeless usurper, and in this prejudice his sons followed, all unquestioning. 

(Save his two eldest only, and they kept their objections to themselves.) 

It wasn't out a confused sense of family loyalty Caranthir nursed a desire to do what he could to get himself away, far away from this those golden-haired dullards, who were, true, fair of face, but not especially gifted in wit or apprehension, or anything remarkable.

(Oh, alright then, Finrod and Galadriel were brilliant, almost as brilliant as his own brothers, but that still left three whose very existence was an offense to him. Especially the one, who had bold eyes and even bolder tongue. He was constant, galling presence in Caranthir’s mind. It was especially offensive when people suggested that they were not so dissimilar. That was almost slander.) 

Often, Caranthir would lay in bed, flushed and sweating, his thoughts running ahead of him, miles ahead, lingering on a golden runner about to be pitched into dark fiery abyss... (It was an odd dream, and probably had some unpleasant sexual connotation to it.) 

Tonight, he woke with a start and muffled curse. The house was silent, it was too soon even for his father's frighteningly early mornings. He dressed carelessly, and after a splash of water to his face -- which left him feeling neither refreshed nor awake, he gathered some supplies and headed off to the stables. The soft stamping of the horses, and the warm gusts of air on his face, all that calmed him a little.

He picked the dappled mare, often Celegorm's favored ride, and saddled her up.

* * * 

The woods were dark, impervious to both the golden and silver light, and their soft mingling. His path was a narrow forest road, that led to a small lake that was still half-alight with a silvery glow. The campsite was deserted, the fire put out. As he tied the horse to a tree, Caranthir realized that he had left things too late. Not that he was disappointed, of course not. This was a bad idea, and...

The sound of a breaking twig alerted him that he wasn't alone. The feel of two arms around him was also a definite clue. 

"I did not think you would come," a voice whispered in his ear. Caranthir felt himself stiffen, ready to flee. Angrod put a restraining hand on him. 

In a thick voice not entirely his own, Caranthir spat out, “How dare you touch me.”

Angrod seemed to shrink from him, for a moment, before he began to circling Caranthir slowly. He came closer, and closer, until they were almost nose to nose. “Did you tire of your hand tonight, dark one?” 

His blue eyes, dark in the murky light, gleamed with fond malice. “Although they do say the sons of Fëanor are ever skilled in the working of their hands.” 

Caranthir licked his dry lips.

“We are not averse to using tools when they are needed. Perhaps I have need of your iron hand...” 

And there it was again, he felt a wave of heat overtake him. His face, he knew, was as red as a beetroot. Of all his brothers, it was only he that had inherited his mother’s excitable coloring. It was far too easy to track the waves of emotions that wracked his brain and his body, too easy... 

Angrod laughed then, a bright, clear, running thing. Despite himself, Caranthir shivered a little with pleasure. 

“You desire me and insult me! Honestly, I don’t know if you’re coming or going these days--” 

Angrod’s other words were drowned out by Caranthir’s mouth. He kissed eagerly, and as if he earnestly wished to silence him, to end those words that meant nothing. They sink to the ground, tugging at their tunics and pulling down their breaches. Angrod hissed in frustration as his tunic tore, and that earned him a sharp nip on the shoulder from Caranthir. 

"No biting this time, I mean it. I'm running out of excuses, and none of my sparring partners are ever that rough," Angrod said. Caranthir made a noise that would've been, with anyone else, a whimper. His tongue flicked over the injured spot, and moved on to the clavicle, to the throat. He could feel Angrod swallow hard. He detangled his own thoughts enough to say, "So tell people that you spar with me..."

It was impossible, he knew it as soon as he said it. No one would believe it. He could hardly believe it, and he was, for all intents and purposes, living it. 

Angrod's hands were busy, stroking there, a caress here, probing, pulling. Caranthir felt like he was being disassembled, bit by bit, and puzzled over. Scrutinized. It had been such a long time since anyone had given him such consideration. He found it ... pleasant. 

Angrod continued, "If anyone ever knew about us..." This ended with a sigh, which lengthed into a moan as Caranthir found an especially tender bit of flesh. 

Angrod slid away, and Caranthir gave chase. "Don't -- Don't," he gasped, "People would be appalled of course, those Finwian half-cousins are at again, they'd say, and..." 

A rock was digging into the small of his back, and so he arched up, only to find himself being straddled and engulfed completely. He managed to strangle out one astute observation before he could speak no more. (It was a testament to his considerable talents.) 

"No doubt they would think one of us is better than they had thought--- and the other worse." 

A pause. 

"Shut up, Carnistir."

They did not speak after that. And they did not stop, or ever slackened their pace. 

There was no time to hesitate, to pause, to regret. 

It was done. 

* * * 


Later, Caranthir rolled away. He got up. He stretched. 

There were leaves in his hair, and mud on his skin.



“I feel wretched,” he announced to all of Arda. 

(Arda was not interested, and besides, it was a lie.)