When Voronwë brought Tuor to Gondolin, Idril could tell she was wearing more steel than she'd seen in her life. But Tuor was a chieftainess in despite of that, even if her people were gone and she was also a slave who tried too hard to seem unimpressed. And Idril had no-one since her aunt had left.
So she took her to her room and fed her and bathed her and clothed her and she sat her in front of the fire, and brushing her tangled hair she listened to her talk about the Sea in that clipped Northern accent her uncles now spoke.
And then she forgot the hair and just looked at her instead, because she'd never seen firelight playing over skin so brown before, and of course she had to notice because Tuor kept shoving the silken sleeves up over her elbows and they kept slipping down because that was the whole point of sleeves and she didn't quite seem to understand that.
Vambraces suited her better, Idril decided.
She is unlacing them now and chattering about coney and pheasant and, to prevent herself from helping, Idril crosses her arms and crosses her room and pretends to look out of the window.
But one never really pretends to look. So the falling glitter of the fountain draws her sight groundward, and she falls still—a bird caught in the netted glance of a snake.
Tuor's warmth is behind her, all blood and grass and purple heather, nothing like a swan at all, and her arms reach around and she pretends to shoot an air arrow straight down at Idril's cousin in the courts. Rabbit pie.
"I hate him," she says.
And Tuor says, "I'll look after you."
Idril laughs to think that the Elvenking's Daughter needs guarding against her own cousin the Prince and the King's Right Hand, and she laughs some more that this Mannish outlaw and runaway should profess to protect her. But the spell is broken and half-turning she looks back.
Tuor is not laughing. Her hands grip the windowsill on either side of Idril. Idril feels this, but she does not see it because she is looking into her own eyes. Into grey mist frozen into sherds of steel and obsidian glass.
Then she flicks her gaze aside. She uncurls the fingers from the window and those brown arms, laces trailing, she wraps around her chest.
Tuor doesn't seem to mind. Idril is a Noldorin princess, after all.
"I shall have to teach you to fight with a sword."
"You do that," she says. Boldly. Staring at Idril with her very own eyes.
And then the world tilts and Idril is being kissed in a way entirely unlike her aunt and she doesn't hear the cry from the Court of the Fountain outside or the blind footsteps racing into the rushing of water mingling with waves rushing crash on crash on the wide, white shores in her head.
Tuor does. She likes it.