Mairon shivered in his arms, whimpering something about the dark and a wave, but he gradually settled down as the herald sang. The tiny maia snuggled close, burying his face in Langon’s chest with a faint sob. His slender shoulders shook, but with tears instead of fright, and something cold and wet began to dribble down his face from his good eye. His crying grew violent for a moment, sobs choking out audibly, and the herald’s chest grew wet.
Finally, even Mairon’s tears stilled, though they left cold traces on his cheek. He had cried himself back to sleep to Langon’s tune, and now clung lightly to him, pressing close to the comfort he offered.
"Don’t leave," the little maia breathed, and was still.
He was quiet now, his song stilled, but Langon did not sleep; he gazed down at Mairon, sleeping in his arms, and wondered at his own response to this little fragment of a once-powerful Maia.
There were still tears drying upon his chest, where Mairon had clung to him and wept so desperately, and Mairon still held onto him, though the little smith’s limbs had relaxed once more in slumber. Don’t leave, Mairon had said, and Langon had no intention of leaving, but the intensity of his own conviction had startled him.
How swiftly he had found himself wanting to protect Mairon — it was strange to him, but Langon dismissed that strangeness. He could think about it later. For now, he merely lay there, with Mairon enfolded in the shielding circle of his arms.