For Finch, of course,

with wishes for many more happy years of Sil-slashing.

As per request: A strict interpretation of the Laws and Customs, a moral choice, and a sacrifice. And Maedhros/Fingon slash. Rated PG for offscreen slashiness.


Of like mind...was Fingon Fingolfin's son, being moved also by Feanor's words...(Silmarillion 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor)

Fingon waited in their meeting place in the forest for a long time the next day. The light of Telperion rose, and that of Laurelin faded, and still Maedhros was not there. Fingon did not understand why. It had only been a kiss. And it had scarcely seemed as if Maedhros had not enjoyed it. Maybe Feanor was keeping him late at the forge. So Fingon waited, and returned the next afternoon, and the next.

By the next day, Fingon was starting to wonder. Was it was guilt that was keeping Maedhros away? There was something of it in his expression as he left that day, although with all the strange new feelings it was hard to tell. Fingon had never heard of two males loving in this way before, but he has also not heard that it was wrong. Was it? Fingon had never paid much attention to the lore regarding marriage. It had never, before, occurred to him to care.

That night he resolved to ask his father, who had a reputation for being wise after all. "Father," he said. "Is there any reason that it would be forbidden for two men to love?"

Fingolfin stared at him. Fingon had a sudden inexplicable feeling that he had done something quite wrong indeed. Still, he wanted an answer. "I mean, to love carnally," he said.

"There are laws..." Fingolfin began. Then he stopped. "I am not going to ask you why you want to know," he said. "But it would be better if you talk about this with your mother."

It did make sense. Anaire kept all the codes of law, and followed the arcane debates about their interpretation. Instead of going to her, though, Fingon went out to the streets of Tirion. He did not know what he was looking for until he found, in a corner of a square, a dozen or so Elves huddled together, arguing heatedly. "The Valar," he heard them say. "Our protectors." "Our masters." "Our overlords."

"Then he heard one voice that silenced all the others. "Look." Fingon obeyed, and there was Feanor, holding a seeing-stone. In it were images of a place he had never seen, a land of large green spaces and dark forests, a place of castles that could be. "Why do we wait here?" said Feanor. "Why do we let the Valar keep this from us?"

Everyone was watching the stone in Feanor's hand. But Feanor's eyes were locked on Fingon, as if his words had meaning for him, and for him alone.

The next day Fingon did go to speak to his mother. He found Anaire in her study, in her very usual position of poring over something old and musty. "Your father told me," she said when she saw him. "You want to hear about forbidden love."

Forbidden? That was more than Fingon was expecting. But he waited as his mother pulled another volume off the shelf, as old and as musty as the one she had been reading. "The Laws and Customs of the Eldar," she said. "You know what this is?"

Fingon nodded.

"Marriage," she read, "is the natural course of life for all the Eldar."

"Natural or necessary?" asked Fingon.

"Not necessary," Anaire answered. "There are those among my mother's people who have chosen strange fates, and spend their nights with their lore, as you know. But I hope you do not choose that path. It is a sad thing, to never touch another in love."

She then read to him all the descriptions of marriage. They were quite specific about the genders involved, with frequent repetitions of 'she,' and 'he.'

"But maybe they didn't write about two males because they didn't think about it?" Fingon asked.

Anaire read on. "At whatever age they marry, children are born within a short space of years after their wedding." She sighed. "Marriage really is for children. That is why the Valar gave it to us. Marriage means you are with one partner, and one only, forever. Would you be satisfied, knowing that no matter what, until the end of Arda you could never have a child?"

With Maedhros I would, he thought. "If marriage is for children, what about loving without marriage?"

"It is the act of bodily union that achieves marriage," she read, "and after which the indissoluble bond is complete."

"Oh." The words 'bodily union' were bringing up images that Fingon didn't want to think about with his mother in the room, and so he shook his head.

Anaire reached out her hand. "Don't worry, she said, patting his shoulder. "Everyone has these questions. I did too, when I was younger. But then I met your father. You'll be happy with your family one day. I know you will."

"It doesn't always end happily, though, does it?"

"No," she said. "But the Valar do what they can. Like for your grandfather. When Miriel did not want to leave the Halls of Mandos, the Valar decreed that if she agreed never to take living form again, Finwe could wed another."

Never to take a living form again. "So she'll never come back? Never?"

"It was what she wanted," said Anaire. "She was a noble and gentle lady, and was willing to make this sacrifice for the sake of her husband."

For the sake of her husband, and of the Valar that demanded it. Fingon kept thinking of what Miriel must have been, standing before the Valar and swearing herself to eternal death so that her husband could love another. It was not something that he could imagine himself doing. It was not something that he wanted to do.

And was that why Maedhros did not return? Did he think to take his grandmother's path, denying himself what it was clear that he desired in the hope that Fingon could find happiness with another, and that the law of the Valar could be preserved?

Fingon went to listen to Feanor again that evening. "They chain us," Feanor said. "We are their thralls. They give us peace, and prosperity. But I would rather have war, and famine, and be free." The crowds were larger this time, and they cheered when he spoke.

The next day Fingon went again to the meeting-place in the forest. He waited for a long time, but finally as the very last golden rays turned to silver Maedhros appeared. He stood at a distance, leaning against a tree, obviously afraid to approach.

"I heard about your grandmother," Fingon began.

Maedhros nodded as if he understood the connection. But when Fingon came near him, he backed away. "No," he whispered. "I am doomed, for I must follow my father. But you..." Leave me, his eyes said. Go home. Go back to your father. Find a wife.

Fingon stopped. "The Valar and their laws are wrong," he said distinctly. This was his marriage-vow, and he would be heard. "The Valar and their laws are wrong. I am going to rebel against them." The he put his arms around Maedhros.

Maedhros tried to pull away, but they were evenly matched in strength, and he really wasn't trying very hard. Soon, he stopped trying at all.

Far away, Feanor watched them in his seeing-stone, and smiled.