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Getting Away (The Silmarillion, Nolofinwë/Anairë)


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I'm sure Tolkien would be rolling in his grave if he saw this fic, but I couldn't sleep until I got it out of my head :P I may or may not continue this in the future.


“It’s a bit of a hike, but the view is just beautiful, especially during the Mingling,” Anairë says to Nolofinwë, one arm looped through his and the other rising to gesture expansively, visualizing the sight that awaits them at their destination.

She’s leading him away from Tirion, down the slope of Túna to a hill she visits often. They’re unchaperoned despite the fact that they’re not yet married, because Anairë told her parents she was going to paint and Finwë expects very little after his eldest child’s extremely rushed wedding.

Anairë has every intention of keeping things proper and respectable, though.

They reach her spot, and she lays out a blanket for them to sit on in the shadow of a beech tree. Nolofinwë catches her up on the recent goings on of court as they half watch the light of Laurelin fade into the Mingling, and she returns the favor with a discussion of a particularly obnoxious client she’s painted for recently.

She’s been talking for a few minutes when Nolofinwë’s intrigued, ever so slightly lovestruck expression drops off into an eyes-half-lidded daze. His hand comes up, pinching at the bridge of his nose, and she stops mid sentence as it becomes clear he’s looking through her, not at her.

“hh- hdDT’shuh!”

He blinks a little, trying to make it look like he’s not recovering from a half-stifled sneeze, and Anaire feels her eyebrows rise a bit.

“My apologies,” he says after a moment. “Please continue.”

“Not at all,” Anairë obliges. “As I was saying-”

But she’s cut off as his hand rises again, nose scrunching.

“S- sorry, I- heh- h’hdt’ch! h’CHht! h’dDXT!” These sneezes are much more neatly stifled than the first, and Anairë is briefly amazed as Nolofinwë, ever the picture of dignity, sniffs wetly and wipes his nose on his wrist, leaving a dark spot on his shirt sleeve when he pulls away.

“Sorry,” he repeats, gesturing for her to continue.

Anairë waits a moment to be sure he’s finished, then does so. But she’s paying closer attention now, even as she speaks, so she notices the next time his reddened nose begins to twitch. His nostrils flare, and there’s the slightest stutter of breath, and then-


Anairë pauses expectantly as Nolofinwë stifles yet another sneeze into his palm. He gathers himself, sniffling.

“I don’t suppose you have a handkerchief?” he asks, rhetorical edged with congested embarrassment as he realizes that even he can’t play at graceful aloofness with his nose dripping endlessly.

“Uh-” Anairë says, casting around for something he could use to tend his nose—and what’s left of his dignity. Her gaze lands on her shawl, and she briefly entertains the thought of simply saying no, as he expects her to, but his eyelids flutter and his lips part and his hands raise in preparation for what looks like it’s going to be quite the fit, and she slips it off her shoulders and over his hands.

His eyes open again in surprise, but he doesn’t get a chance to say anything before he’s snapping forward into a full, unstifled sneeze, only barely muffled by the cloth.

“ha’AD’TSHuh! hat’CHHuh! hhAH’tchuh! hah- hah’dtCH’SHuh! h- hh- huh-”

Nolofinwë lifts his head, his now bright red nose still twitching irritably, expression frustrated and disappointed.

“Done?” Anairë asks, but he shakes his head.

“Stuhhh- hh- stuck,” he gasps out, eyes half lidded.

Anairë is once again left floundering, searching around for some solution to the problem at hand. Epiphany strikes her, and she reaches over to the edge of the blanket, plucking a bloom from one of the many clusters of wildflowers surrounding them.

She holds it up to his nose, and the effect is almost instantaneous. Nolofinwë doesn’t even have time to bring her shawl back up to cover, and Anairë’s fingers catch the spray when she isn’t quite quick enough to pull her hand back.

“HA’TCH’SHUH! HHD’TCHUH! HA’GT’CHSHUH! huh- hah- HAH’HT’CHUH! guh,” Nolofinwë sighs in relief, congestion audible.

Anairë retrieves her shawl from where it’s been left to fall to the blanket between them and folds it over to a dry spot, then holds it up to his nose. “Blow,” she commands, and he doesn’t even pretend to argue, just presses his hand over hers and blows his nose. This is more intimate than she’d expected to get today, she thinks, though not in any way she would have imagined.

“Perhaps we should continue this another day,” Anairë suggests when he’s finished. “Indoors,” she adds at his skeptical look. “Not that I would be entirely opposed to a repeat performance.”

“Indoors,” he agrees, though curiosity alights in his eyes at her words, and he tilts his head, questioning.

Anairë just smiles, and stands to gather their blanket, stirring up a fresh cloud of pollen in the process.

Curiosity turns to interested realization, though it’s short lived, as-


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