“It is always for Fëanáro!” Indis hated how her voice came out, so sulky and juvenile when she mentioned her step-son, even when the matter was so important. Even when it was of vital importance; the fabric of the city at stake with its perilous peace about to rip away into civil chaos.
Already there were mobs assembling; the King’s Guard had, had to break up a number of brawls between Fëanáro’s supporters and Nolofinwë’s. If he left…
If he left there would be rioting.
“Yes,” Finwë agreed, “it is always for Fëanáro. You knew this when we married. When we courted I told you that Fëanáro is the priority of my life.”
“The priority of your life tried to murder the other priority of your life!” Or should be priority but Finwë was showing that his favouritism prevailed even in the face of heinous actions. It made Indis burn, it made her want to weep, but she kept her face straight and stiff.
“Threatened,” Finwë corrected in light tones that had no place in this conversation, folding another robe and handing it to the pale faced servant who was packing a travelling chest silently, “threatened Indis. But he would not have gone through, Fëanáro is a lot of fire but no heat.”
She chilled at his words. At his casual dismissal of a crime so utterly appalling that…
“He saved my throne once,” Finwë casually added, “I was to be ousted when I thought of marrying you. My court was so appalled at me, they doubted my very moral fibre that they pressed me hard to step down and have Fëanáro ascend the throne. He put a stop to all of that.”
Because he did not want to give up his carefree life, Indis thought sourly, the life he’d continued to live at the cost of Nolofinwë’s; her son carrying on the duties of the Heir without the title of High Prince to compensate him until she had at last petitioned Finwë to address the deficiency (and then had spent the next year with him casting glances at her from the corner of his eye as the aftershocks of Fëanáro's reaction to this continued to roll on.)
“I doubt very much you would have wanted to marry the former King of the Noldor,” Finwë added.
Indis choked. She chilled. Her heart broke.
“NO! How can you say that?!” her voice rose shrilly and she hated it.
“Ah you are right, I am sorry Indis, I am sorry. I have never doubted your love.”
But I doubt yours, she thought miserably. Oh but why was she trying to delude herself? Doubt had passed her long ago.
‘I care for you’ Finwë always told her, ‘I adore you,’
‘You make me so happy’
‘You bring light back to my life’
‘I care for you’
But never love. He loved their children (how he loved their children! So strongly and fiercely and eternally that his actions now made no sense.) He loved her singing. He loved her smile. He did not love her.
The warmth of his hand stroked her cheek, easing away tears, “I am so sorry Indis.”
She jerked away. “I am not coming with you. If you think I am coming to Formenos then you are a fool as well as a pathetic excuse for a father! You may abandon Nolofinwë when he needs you but I will not.”
His broad shoulders rippled in the tiniest of flinches.
There was brief, sour victory that she had scored at least one hit to his usual serene exterior, so cool and calm now in contrast to the furious rage after Manwë had passed his well thought out judgement.
The world froze.
“What?” she asked, her voice coming out as a torn squeak.
“Good,” Finwë repeated, “I am relieved. If you had said you would come with me then I would have had to ask you not to.”
The man she had married, the man she had loved since Cuiviénen, through his marriage to another woman, and his mourning of that woman which had never ceased, smiled at her so gently she wanted to scream. Wanted to dig her nails into his face and rip the expression apart.
“The time has come for us to part Indis,” Finwë picked up another robe, folding it efficiently, “the time has come that you go on with your life. I am sorry for how sorely I have used you at times. I am sorry that you have come to so much pain. With the removal of Fëanáro and myself from the city, I hope you can find some measure of peace and pleasure in the company of our grandchildren and children. And I-”
He gave the robe to the servant and began to pluck off his signet rings, and the heavy gold chain of duty around his neck with its thick, oval medallions set with star-rubies and diamonds.
He shrugged his shoulders to loosen them, sighing in relief at the loss of weight. They were such wide, capable shoulders; even now they exuded strength and gave the impression of being able to carry the heaviest burdens.
“I am tired of being King. This is an excuse, really, to escape what is a prison for me.”
He placed the jewellery into her hands and closed her numb fingers over them, “for Nolofinwë.”
“You-” words failed her.
“Farewell Indis,” Finwë Noldoran told her, and showed her the door to his rooms as though she were a petitioning courtier and not his wife.