"By the Light of Roses" is a story--really, a novella--that I wrote for Alina's birthday. It was way back in December that she lobbed this particular plotbunny at me in the form of a challenge to write a story in the Alina!verse. In the Alina!verse, Erestor was a Noldo born in Aman, loyal to the House of Fëanáro, who later served Maglor in Beleriand, explaining how he came into Elrond's service. This explanation was neat and sensible and appealed to me as an author.
Those who know Alina and me know that we share in common the fact that our minds are both pretty much perpetually in the gutter, right there next to the Wrigley's Spearmint wrapper and the crumpled can of Coors Light. Given this fact, the Alina!verse also has one other interesting aspect: Erestor was not just loyal
to the House of Fëanáro, he was the lover of Fëanáro. And this was Alina's challenge to me: to write this pairing. Not to have them fantasize it or dream it, but that they must actually do
For quite some time, I boggled over this task. I am not much of a slash writer simply because I tend to stick to my Felak!verse where homosexuality certainly exists but doesn't form a center to the story. Yet here I was, with a challenge to not only write slash but to write a pairing that--until beginning this project--really had never crossed my mind. It demanded a pretty tremendous backstory: How an ordinary Elf like Erestor would come into such high regard by one such as Fëanáro, who, in addition to being rather important in the Noldorin scheme of things, was obviously heterosexual enough to be the father of seven children. The more I thought, the more bunnies flooded my office. Erestor began to develop a backstory, as did Fëanáro. Certain other characters demanded a part in the action, and before I knew it, I had a story formulated that would never fit the confines of what might be reasonably called a short story.
So I let myself go and let the story write itself. I started with a vague outline just so I didn't end up with another AMC, clocking in at 350K words, but I let the subplots have their way, and some interesting ideas revealed themselves. The final story ended up at fifteen chapters that are between six and eight pages a piece in manuscript format, meaning that the chapters are much shorter than that which I usually offer. Per usual, I will post a chapter a week here. Since the recent restrictions on the Internet at work, I will be posting on Thursday nights rather than Friday mornings in order to keep Posting Friday as intact as possible.
Before I offer the story, here are the obligatory warnings: This is a slash story, people, meaning a story that explores homosexual relationships. If you do not like slash, then do us all a favor and do not read it. If you decide to read it anyway and find yourself offended, too bad. You've been warned. Complaints about the content of my stories will, as always, be ignored.
I am also giving this story an adult
rating. Certain chapters are certainly family-friendly but the very theme of the story is one better suited for mature audiences, and so I will not be rating chapters individually and I will not be offering PG-13 versions.
That said, this is not a PWP. Or--at least--I hope that it is not. It was not my intention to write hott Elf-on-Elf action so much as to explore how this particular pairing would influence the characters on the individual, familial, and societal levels. I don't know how well I did with this, but such was my aim.
I can't help also thinking that it is somehow appropriate that I am posting this story on my sister Sharon's birthday. I know that she will never read it because she is not interested in Tolkien or fan fiction (or even Elves!), but she is largely to credit for it anyway. When I entered this fandom, I was one of those who didn't mind slash--live and let live, I have always said--but maintained that I would never write it myself. Now, there are certain opinions that I have that beg for expression, and as always, I have chosen to do so in my stories. And so it seems that I have become a slasher after all.
Comments--both positive and negative--are welcome, as always. Posted chapters will be undergoing their third and hopefully final revision, and so I welcome an input readers wish to provide.
My sincerest thanks go to Alina and
Sharon, for inspiring the ideas on which this story was based.( By the Light of Roses--Chapter One )