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Jan 27, 2023 1:52 PM
war for velgarth
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"Did you know that you have sabotaged my ability to draw buildings? I was working on something the other day and thought I'd draw Tirion and then drew this horrendous monstrosity -" he shows it. It is rather abstract. "I couldn't figure out what was wrong and tried dozens of times and then figured it must be tucked in too close with the spatial-reasoning stuff."

 

(He has noticed that his husband is distracted. Maybe because it's the last time - maybe because Telumë's deciding whether it'll be the last time - they can talk about the god, if Telumë would rather. It's not like he'll remember.)

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"I like it, actually! It is certainly not recognizable as Tirion, though." He runs a hand down Maitimo's back. Talking about the god isn't going to be all that helpful, Maitimo doesn't have any of the requisite background to understand the parts that are distracting him. So. Focus on the moment. Hopefully it won't be the last time, having a baby god in Arda won't trap him there permanently, but - of course, he's never sure, is he? If Sauron starts moving then there won't be time to see Maitimo.

(To say goodbye, some part of him wants to say, even though the hope is that Maitimo survives. But not this Maitimo, not exactly. He thinks that he's going to die if and when Sauron does...) 

So instead, he's going to be gratuitously self-indulgent for an hour. He leans in, whispers in Maitimo's ear even as he reaches for his braid. "I want to hear all the reasons why you love me..." 

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"because you are trying to build a god to kill me" is on the list, and he's not going to mention it, but otherwise he will be quite thorough. He has been learning old languages, reading old books, he knows things about Telumë that he might have forgotten about himself and he can give them back to him, in between distracted gasps and whimpers and kisses. Sometimes if he's very clever and very deft and has learned lots of interesting new things it'll look, for a few minutes in the middle, like Telumë has forgotten that they're pretending. 

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When the hour is over, Telumë doesn't want to leave. He never does but this time is worse. 

He kisses Maitimo's forehead. "Do you want me to sing you to sleep?" The alternative is hauling Melody in here to do it. "I will think about that calendar." And this time, maybe he won't nudge Maitimo to re-braid his hair before falling asleep; he won't remember any of this when he wakes up, but he'll know Telumë was just here. 

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"I would like you to sing me to sleep." He studies Telumë's expression until he is pretty confident in his guess that he'll wake up. 

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Then he will. Learning to sing well enough in this body to get some of the Quendi magic songs to work was debatably a good use of his time, but it's easier to learn new skills when you have a helpful Mindhealer nearby. And he prefers it like this, that his last few minutes with Maitimo are holding him and singing softly, not being rudely interrupted by a third party with mind-control magic.

Once he's sure Maitimo is asleep, he disentangles himself, cautiously. Watches him for a long moment. 

Heads out. "Melody, can you redo the osanwë block, please - Nayoki will come fix the compulsions in a moment." He doesn't always set it up for Maitimo to share his thoughts, sometimes it's too distracting and he prefers not to know, but it's nice when he can avoid making Melody closely watch their sex life even if she apparently doesn't mind one way or another at this point.

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"I'll let him sleep a bit longer before undoing the memory block." Melody offers him a hug. "Are you all right?" 

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"What? Yes, fine." He looks up at her. "Why, is my relationship becoming more concerning?" 

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"It's exactly the same amount of concerning it's been the whole time. I know you're being careful and trying your best. Just - maybe don't see him again for at least a week, all right? You seem off-balance." 

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"That is not about him at all. We are about to do something objectively terrifying." Sigh. "And I will not exactly have time to see him for the next week anyway."

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Melody pats his shoulder. "Good skill." 

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And he collects all his mages and Gates them back to Vinyamar, introduces them to Fëanáro's team, makes sure they're getting settled and everyone's talking to the right other people. He excuses himself, promises to be back before they're planning to start, and heads off to Findekáno's office. 

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He handles Fëanáro's inability to be in a meeting room with him by passing things on to Nerdanel before or if necessary during meetings, and has been handling the logistics of arranging for Quendi volunteers.

"Telumë."

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"Findekáno. I wished to thank you again for all your help with this process." He switches to osanwë. Also, I will not take up too much of your time, but - the usual. I would like your advice on Maitimo, and whether I am still making a reasonable call here. 

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Has anything changed?

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Not hugely? He guessed we are beginning something. He - was thinking I might kill him for the god. Wondering if this would be the last time he ever saw me. He did not bring it up or act differently than usual, though. I found it somewhat more distressing, not being able to confide in him. I...may be less able to afford distraction, going forward. 

(He wonders how much longer they'll have at all, but there's no point trying to poke at that question more, not right now.) 

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Do you think you can make it through to the end of the war without seeing him?

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It depends how long, right? I could handle a month - I have gone nearly that long before, the time I was traveling. It would be harder if he noticed my absence and was very lonely, though, since I would know all about it. And another six months feels very hard in either case. I think I could do it if I had to.

It might not be longer than that even if Sauron doesn't jar them into action sooner; once they're ready, it'll be better to start on their own terms than wait for that. 

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I think if it's mostly distressing you and distracting you - and there's things going on we don't want him apprised of - it might be a good time to go a month. 

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Nod. Melody said the same thing. ...Well, she said a week, but if everything goes smoothly I will probably be in Arda for longer than that anyway. I think that going a month would be wise. Thank you. As usual, he wants to apologize for making Findekáno of all people give him advise on the absurd and terrible state of his marriage, but he's not sure of the right words. 

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Good skill.

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Telumë nods to him, and then heads back out to check on the preparations. 

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Maitimo wakes up. He braids his hair, gets up to eat breakfast. Tries not to miss Telumë, because if Telumë gets more missing-Telumë emotions right after he visits that's terrible incentives. 

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Kalira comes in! She's really delighted to see him and she found an new rare book about some entirely new-to-her species of birds in the south of the landmass! 

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That's really cool! Found it where?

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