“Goodbye, atto, ammë!!” Fëanor said as he followed his class into the plane. Finwë and Miriel smiled proudly, their baby boy was barely thirteen and he was already showing his geniality in international competitions. They were so proud…
If only he knew that was the last time he would be really happy in a long time.
The news of the plane crash arrived like a lightning, striking surprisingly and strongly, hitting them where it hurt the most. And continued, because losing their son was the single blow their perfect little life needed to crumble down. His wife, darling and carrying Míriel, became depressed, barely lifting herself from the couch or talking with whom in another time was the love of his life. She ended up delusional, talking to Fëanor as if he was still there. Finwë ended up taking solace in his work from his chaotic life at home, leaving her to take care of herself.
Again, he should have thought better.
“What happened?” he asked after he arrived home one night to the police and emergency services.
“Apparently, she was hallucinating” an officer informed him. “Witness said that she thought her son have come to visit her from heaven and she wanted to follow him through the window. It ended up with her falling all the way down to the pavement.” He looked up to Finwë. “Your son has just died, no?”
“A few months ago” he informed, appearing cold despite being crying inside. Specially when the morgue workers took Míriel´s body into a van. “When is she going to be… available for me to retrieve? I would like to…”
“Tomorrow, after the autopsy, but…”
“That´s all, thank you” he cut the officer down, walking into his house. Once inside he finally crumbled. He grabbed the first family photo he could reach, a pretty one of the last vacation the three of them spent together, and threw it against the wall. He then screamed, cursing whatever god that came to his mind, cursing them for taking his happiness away from him. It nearly sent him down the same window Míriel throw herself from. To follow them, to be with them…
“I´m sorry for your loss” a hand clapping itself on his shoulder from his old friend Thingol was felt, but not answered. He was irresponsible, not while his wife´s coffin was being lowered into the earth, along with the empty box they buried in place of their son. “Look, if you need someone to talk to…”
“With all due respect, I don´t think talking could help in this situation. Not now”
“But it´s worth trying” Ingwë, his other friend, but in. “You have been depressed since Fëanor died… don´t you dare to deny it. You have never worked an extra hour in your life and suddenly you took all you could? It´s obvious” the blond looked at him seriously. “But really, you need to talk about this with someone.”
“I don´t know who could bear with all of this”
“I know who” the golden haired one extended a card towards them. “I have a sister who studied psychology, Indis. You have met her before, in one of my parties.” Finwë frowned. Yes, he remembered little Indis. He wasn´t sure he had crossed more than one word with her either. “She is setting up her own consult and looking for patients. Try with her.”
“I don´t know”
“Just try! If it didn´t work, at least she could redirect you to someone that can help you” Ingwë assured him. “Look, Fëanor wouldn´t want you to give up and, despite what happened to her, Míriel too. They would want you to fight.”
“Then why did they abandon me” he said before turning around and handing him back the card, abandoning the funeral. His wife´s coffin was now on the ground, there was no reason for him to stay there… but for going home either. And, even if there were, he could not. Not to the place that reminded him to much of his now deceased family. That´s how he ended up drinking in a bar so early in the morning.
“Dude, you look terrible” Thingol said when he found a half drunk Finwë an hour later. “You should stop before you do something you will regret.”
“At this point, I´m just trying to forget”
“Well, that´s not healthy. Or at least that is what Melian told me” the silver blond said before putting a hand on his shoulder. “Look, if you don´t want to go to therapy, it´s fine, but you need help. And it´s time to accept that you do.”
“Míriel is dead, what help is going to change that?”
“Maybe none, but you can still get over it” the other man forced him to stand, throwing his half empty cup of liquor away from him. “Just make the call, go to a few appointments… it won´t be that bad.”
“You have never gone to therapy, Elu, you can´t tell me that it won´t be that bad.”
“Who said I haven´t gone to therapy?” the other rolled his eyes, signalling that for him that was entirely bullshit. “Me and my ex-wife went to a lot of sessions before we decided that the divorce was better than continue together. It took us like a year!!” he shuddered, remembering HER. “That was years before meeting Melian, of course, but I remember them like it was yesterday.”
“Like your idea of Hell on Earth?”
“Yes, but… maybe your experience with therapy is going to be better than mine” Thingol slapped him on his back. “Come on, it´s physically painful for us to see you like this. Trying might give us a rest.”
“And that should be my motivation” Finwë pushed his seat away from his table, throwing some bills into the counter before getting out of the bar. His friend didn´t try to follow and he didn´t want to, anyway. He wasn´t as drunk as to need a babysitter either, so… he wanted to be a few minutes alone.
As for art of magic, he ended up in the restaurant where he proposed to Míriel, when everything was better. He remembered begin nervous, fishing the ring in his pocket that seemed to have decided that moment was the best for disappearing, until he finally managed to pop it out, the question with it. And Míriel, his smart smiling Míriel, told him that only if he promised her that if she abandoned this world before him, he would make his best to continue without her. In that moment, this situation seemed such a distant possibility that he couldn´t help but promise… Foresight? He can´t be sure. The only thing he was sure of, was that he wasn´t making his best to fulfil his promise.
“Hello?” a female voice ringed in his ear. He hasn´t even registered when he called, just that he needed to do something about his life…
“Hello, Indis? Or it´s doctor Indis now? Shit, I don´t know how to address a therapist” he mentally berated himself for cursing in front of his friend´s little sister. “Anyway, I´m Finwë, your brother´s friend. I was wondering if…”
“You can have an appointment?” she finished quickly. Instantly she called herself an idiot. Her brother talked to her about him, that he had recently lost his wife and needed some mental help with his grief. What if she had just scared him? “Sorry, I…”
“I see Ingwë talked about me” the other said, sighing. Well, this made things easier. “When can I have one then?”
“Wednesday at three in the afternoon I´m free” she said after a little check of her agenda. “It´s good for you?”
“Yes, of course” he answered. He could anytime this full month, he was on grieve leave from work, after all.
“Then I will see you then” she answered before hanging, not knowing she had just made a date with destiny.
“Nolo, stop running!!!” Finwë smiled as he heard his wife trying to control their hyperactive ten years old son. It has been a long way, but he ended up doing something he once thought impossible: he got on with his life. Of course, he thought of Fëanor and Míriel every day, but... but now he could get up every day happy again.
“Atto, can you open this?” Arafinwë, his second oldest, asked with a chocolate bar on his hand. He was eight and crowned with a long mop of golden hair that nearly made him a mini clone of Indis. Five years old Findis and three years old Lalwen were more like himself.
“Sure thing, kiddo” he grabbed the thing and opened it. The phone ringed in that moment, but was answered immediately.
“Atar, it´s for you!!” Nolo yelled from the living room, catching his father´s attention. Finwë left his other children in the kitchen to go to him. He put the phone on his ear and answered. Indis found him in that same position more than twenty minutes after the call ended, still trying to process what was happening there.
“Sweetie? What happened?” she asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. Her husband finally snapped, hanging the phone and taking deep breaths.
“He is alive, Indis. Fëanáro is alive” he said, surprising her. That was not possible, right? He had a plane accident when he was thirteen? “I don´t know the details, but… the government somehow found him alive in some facility, along with a lot of people that was deemed death” he shook his head. “They have been kidnapped”
“What?” the Vanya couldn´t believe what she was hearing. Her stepson, Finwë´s long dead son… was alive? He was kidnapped? She couldn´t stop thinking about the implications of that, even during her sessions at work. That same afternoon they were going to pick him up, what was she going to do with him? She didn´t know Fëanor, but the situation he had been in for years must have left physiological marks on him that could be a danger to her family. What was she going to do?
“Hey, there, blondie” one of her friends, a fellow psychologist that worked on the same building, visited her for lunch. “How is it going?” Indis just rubbed her forehead, demonstrating her stress. “that bad? What happened?”
“My long lost stepson was found alive today” she answered. “and I don´t know what to do with him.”
“And why would you need to do something with him?” the other gave her a detailed description of the situation.
“Your situation is indeed troubling. That young man might need constant supervision and even medication… have your husband and you talked about what you are going to do in case he is violent?” she shook her head. Finwë hasn´t let her talk about anything with his happiness. “I can recommend some good treatment centres for him if you want.”
“Yes, please” the Vanya said, grateful. She wanted to reunite with her after work, but didn´t get to. Finwë picked
her up early to go to the airport, where the plane with the survivors of that strange odyssey were going to land. Her husband pulled her forward when the first few people started to exit the landing area. She scanned the young adults, searching for someone with a likeness to her husband´s old photograph.
“Atya?” a child voice caught their attention and there he was, near a redheaded girl of his same age. Not the young adult they were expecting, but the same boy from the photo.
“Fëanáro?” Finwë asked, walking towards the boy. This one did the same and soon found himself engulfed in his father´s arms, with the man sobbing on his shoulder. “Why are you crying? I was only away for a few days” the boy suddenly registered the dumbfounded woman and children behind his father. A blond woman and not his mother.
“What is happening here? Where is Ammë?”
“My child, what happened to you? You are the same”
“Why? What happened?” he continued asking in increasingly distressed tones. “Where is Ammë? Why isn´t she here? Who are this people? Why are they here and Ammë not?”
“Son, please, please, I can explain…”
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” he finally screamed, completely losing his calm. And Indis can relate. Time seemed to not have passed for him, so to suddenly find himself with a step mother and new siblings… she could see why he was distressed.
“Your mother died, Curufinwë” his father answered, using his first name in an attempt to calm him down. As he did every time he wanted to say he was serious. “She is Indis, my… my wife. And they are your new brothers and sisters, our children.”
“Bro… brothers…” Fëanor now felt like collapsing. His Amil was dead? And another woman replaced her? No, this can´t be happening. This have to be a nightmare. A nightmare he would wake up from any second and… and his Amil will be there to calm him down, like every time he needed her. Or perhaps one of his teachers, because he was still in the competition, no? Still… “Dammit”
“Language, Fëanáro” Finwë corrected him. Hours have passed and the boy still couldn´t stomach the thought that his mother was dead and his father had another wife. It was… unthinkable! His atya and ammë were in love! There was no way he could replace Míriel for that blond bimbo!!
“Hummm” he picked on his food, trying not to pay attention to the others around him. Something difficult with Fingolfin pestering him. “Stop stealing my food!!”
“Nolofinwë, leave your brother alone…”
“Don´t pull my hair!!” he screamed to Lalwen, who started crying.
“Can I be excused?” the thirteen years old finally said, having reached his limit for the day.
“Of course” his atya lifted himself from the table to take him to his room. He frowned when he found two other beds in the place. But, of course, that was to be expected. He was no longer an only child, but the oldest of five children. Goodbye room for himself, toys, clothes… everything. “If you want to take a shower…”
“I´m fine for now, thanks” he cut his father, climbing on his bunk bed, just over Fingolfin´s, and putting the covers over himself. “Good night”
“Good night” Finwë said, worried. This wasn´t going as he expected…
Fëanor, for his part, was taking this even worse. His mother was dead, his father remarried and he… he was practically alone. In pain, grieving, furious… all by himself. And he couldn´t even share those feelings with his atya, because he had already done his grieving and he couldn´t ask Finwë to get rid of his other family just because he couldn´t accept them yet. If he ever could at all, because… it was so fast!! Just yesterday he was waiving goodbye to his mother and now he had a step mother and half siblings… and Míriel was dead.
He got up in the middle of the night. He didn´t know what he was planning to do, he just needed to move around, to get it out somehow. He threw a punch to the air, crying… and suddenly the curtains were on fire. His eyes widened. Where had this fire came from? He lowered his gaze and noticed that his own hands were also alight. He started to panic, shaking them and rolling around to douse the fire, but he was only successful in catching more things on fire. He finally tripped in one of his attempts and felt down, finally extinguishing it… and waking up his half-brothers, who started screaming. Finwë and Indis arrived a few minutes later. Between the two of them, they managed to douse the fire. But… the damage was already done.
“Stay away from them!!” Indis yelled at him, holding her two boys close to her chest. Such spite was in her voice that the boy took a few steps back.
“This is too much, Fin, you know it” she said, with her children still in her arms. “He could have gravely hurt them. Or worse!! And don´t tell me it was not his intention to start a fire, because there is no way this wasn´t intentional”
“It… it truly wasn´t… I… It was an accident” he tried to explain himself, but she didn´t let him.
“You heard him, it was an acci…”
“There is no way this is an accident!” she finally lost it. Just as she thought, her children were in danger near that boy and, as much as she didn´t want to hurt her husband or tear a child from the last family he had, he needed to protect them. “I´m calling the police”
Finwë followed her, trying to change her mind, but to no avail. A patrol car came a few minutes later to take him to a detention centre while the investigation was done. It was a strange, inhospitable place and the people inside was violent and strange, but he forced himself to remain calm and protect himself.
“Hello” another intern said to him. He stared at her, surprised when he recognized her as the redheaded girl who sat beside him in the flight home. “Why are you here for?”
“Why are YOU here for?”
“Stealing in shops” she answered, dismissive. “It was a misunderstanding. And you?”
“Arson” he growled. “An accident”
“I believe you” the girl extended her hand. “Nerdanel”
“Fëanáro” they shook hands, both happy to have made a friend in that horrible place.
And it didn’t stop there. Nerdanel then introduced him to her father, Mahtan, who was a really nice artist and, surprisingly, believed the two of them in a way Finwë never did him. He even paid Fëanor a few visits when his daughter was finally declared innocent and released and gave him his cell phone when he himself was to be released, encouraging him to call him if he had any difficulty. He was practically a valarsend.
“He can´t stay at home!! He will try something like that again!!”
“You already heard the arson investigator, he couldn´t have started it without any sort of accelerant, which he didn´t have…”
“But he also said that this fire was not an accident, no?” Finwë and Indis were arguing more than ever before in their marriage, which affected their children greatly. And they, in turn, blame the newly arrived Fëanor, making his life at home unbearable. “Look, I´m not saying that he is evil or something like that, just that he is deeply… disturbed” she continued, still holding some papers in her hands. “That´s why I´m suggesting to send him to one of this centres. They are the best to help disturbed…”
“I´m not sending my son to a mental hospital, Indis!!”
“You need to!! He is an arsonist, he might hurt someone next time!!”
Fëanor´s hands caught on flame again, which forced him to go out of the house. He breathed in and out until the fire was out, then crouched down on the ground. He didn´t know exactly what he was going to do, but Indis suggestion of sending him to a mental hospital, no matter how she called it, was the drop that filled his vase. Nobody believed him, not even his atar, and everybody else wanted him away. And, if things continued like this, he was really going to explode and hurt someone and land himself in jail… NO. Simply NO.
“Hello?” someone picked the phone when he called.
“Hello, Mr. Mahtan?” he asked as quietly as he could. “It´s Fëanáro. I… please, you have to help me.”
“Hummm?” Fëanor woke up in his lab, still hunched over the table where he was revising some chemical formula. He was dreaming about that night again… something he hadn´t done since he went to university years ago.
In the end, going to live with Mahtan was a great decision. The artist lived in a big house in the outskirts of the city, with plenty of space for both him and Nerdanel to train and hide their accidents when it happened. It was also close enough to his home so Finwë can visit every time he wanted, which allowed him to have a good relationship with his father… at least until he left for university. And, finally, it turned out he knew about their little particularities. He had found out Nerdanel´s powers earlier, immediately starting with some sort of artistic therapy that he also extended to Fëanor. It allowed him to gain great control of his flames. Also to have a normal live… semi normal life. And for him and the man´s daughter to fell in love.
“Wonder if Nel would be up to…” BANG!!! His door was thrown down by a SWAT team, causing him to jump to his feet. The men in uniform pointed at him with their guns. He lifted his hands. “What…?”
“Curufinwë Fëanáro” Fingolfin, who he recognized for his facebook page, suddenly appeared in front of them with his own gun and handcuffs on his hands. “You are under arrest for possession and trafficking of illegal substances.”
“WHAT?!” was the only thing he could say as his own brother… half-brother… distant half-brother who he hasn´t seen in years handcuffed him to take him in. And the only thing he could think of was… “Call my wife”