hhimring (hhimring) wrote in silwritersguild,

[Internat. Day of Fanworks Challenge:] Fallen through the Cracks, by Himring

Title: Fallen through the Cracks
Author: hhimring
Rating: Teens
Warnings: Very mild sexual references (slash, femslash)
Summary: On the Ice, Lalwen makes a disturbing observation...
A crack solution (pun intended) to the problem of some of Tolkien's missing women. Crossover.
Written for International Day of Fanworks Challenge: for the following prompts:
Beyond the Circles of Middle-earth, The Color of .., Season of Change.
(c. 1050 words)

Lalwen cautiously shuffled across the ice, attempting to watch straight ahead and out of the corners of her eyes at the same time for any sign of an insidious incipient crack. Despite all her efforts to windproof her clothing, the chill of the Helcaraxe slid icy fingers in through even the tiniest gap. Lalwen’s last proper meal had been so long ago that her stomach had forgotten what it felt like. But, even so, those weren’t Lalwen’s main concerns.  The ice underneath seemed reassuringly solid, opaque and white, but…
She had tried to drop a hint in her brother’s ear. But Fingolfin hadn’t really listened. Half his mind was always on Feanor, now, and the rest was preoccupied, also: with Father’s death, with the bloody shambles at Alqualonde, with Mandos’s Prophecy and the desertion of Finarfin...  And with Morgoth, of course.
Lalwen had been more direct with Aredhel. She owed her niece a warning at least. But Aredhel , too, was preoccupied, tracking, shepherding Turgon and Idril, hunting whenever there was anything to hunt, trapping and fishing if she had a chance—too busy to take a step back and see the larger picture. The look she had given Lalwen, as she hesitantly expounded her theory, was easy to interpret: she thought recent events had driven her aunt round the bend.
And so maybe they had—those events were enough, surely, to drive anyone mad. But as her brother Feanor had so effectively demonstrated, raving paranoia didn’t mean there was nobody at all out to get you…
It had started with Elenwe: a sudden crack, without warning, opening up directly under her feet and swallowing her up. But she had only been the first. Lalwen’s sister Faniel was the next to go, gulped down by the Ice and once again without warning. The wives of Maglor and Caranthir, poor things—abandoned by their father-in-law in Araman together with the rest, in retribution for a few pointed remarks about boat theft and kinslaying—had been swallowed up together. And others had gone: last of all—only yesterday perhaps, but it was so difficult to measure time out here—Edhellos, Angrod’s wife.
All women. The ice of the Helcaraxe, for its own inscrutable reasons, was out to get only the women among the Noldor—and it was prepared to cheat to get at them. Edhellos had been extra careful, after Lalwen had had a little talk with her. There really was no way that ice beneath her feet ought to have cracked, not where she was standing at the time, and certainly not without taking Angrod along with her…
Oh no.  She had been so cautious, but she had not been cautious enough.
Lalwen saw a deep crack racing toward her where only a moment before, to all appearances, the ice had been solid enough to refuse to yield even to an ice pick. The crack circled neatly around Ecthelion—giving away the game completely if anyone had had eyes to notice—and headed straight for Lalwen. Beneath her feet, the treacherous slippery surface tilted, jogging her off balance so that she began to slide, and then simply tipped her straight into the yawning chasm.
Down. Down, down, down, past gleaming bizarre ice formations, right and left, that offered no hold or way to break her fall. Lalwen braced herself for the final impact, which must surely be imminent, knowing how useless it was…
It was the colours that struck her first. Everything had been dark for so long, drained of colour, even before they had entered the Helcaraxe and its infinite whiteness. Then all had been night and ice: charcoal on blank paper. Here there was blue. There was green.
The blue was sky, but not as she had known it. The green was grass. The light was not the Light of the Trees. It came from a source in the sky. A driver in a chariot pulled by horses?
She did not think this could be the Halls of Mandos.
There were anemones waving in the grass at her feet.
‘It really is quite a fortuitous coincidence, your arrival at this time’, said Queen Hippolyta.
She was wearing a slightly wilted wreath of anemones and narcissi. Apparently, they had arrived during a local festival celebrating the beginning of spring. But that was not what Hippolyta meant.
‘I’m afraid,’ she said, ‘I have no idea where this Valinor of yours is. I have never heard of it—or of the other places you mention.  I can see no way for you to return there. But you are very welcome to stay. There was peace all winter—nobody cares to try and cross the snowbound steppe in force. But now spring has come, the ways are open again and we could really use a few reinforcements… ’
They were rather more exiled than they had bargained for, thought Lalwen, hugging the distraught Elenwe to her side. Well, they had wanted to see foreign lands and had been prepared for danger and adventure, hadn’t they? They would have to make the best of it they could. And maybe, just maybe, in this place, which was so clearly not in Arda, they weren’t cursed or doomed?
Her gaze fell on her sister Faniel, who was looking rather dreamy and not as upset as she might have been. Here was one who would adjust more quickly than the rest of them, Lalwen thought. She had seen how Faniel eyed the Queen’s sister Antiope and was eyed by her in return. That might be one problem solved, at least. Lalwen had been worrying about Faniel for some time…
‘How did it go in Scythia?’ asked Pirithous.
‘Don’t ask!’ snapped Theseus and stalked off in a huff, muttering.
Pirithous caught something that sounded like ‘seven foot tall’ and ‘flaming eyes’, but thought he had probably misheard—although there were some really wild rumours making the rounds about the Amazons and they seemed to have been getting wilder...
‘Well, scratch that, then,’ he thought and felt more relieved than he would have liked to admit.
For some reason, he had never been very happy with Theseus’s idea of carrying off an Amazon bride—seven foot tall or no. There were so many other heroic deeds that he and Theseus could embark on—just the two of them together…

A/N: There are a number of  different versions of the story of Theseus, Hippolyta and her sister Antiope in antiquity  But it seems that in all of them the Amazons get more of a raw deal than is evident from the later allusions in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. It seemed worth sending in a few AU reinforcements to nip all of Theseus's plans in the bud. What training the Noldorin ladies did not already have, the Amazons could provide...
Faniel is (just about) canonical, although HoME has nothing to say about her sexual orientation, I believe. The pairing Theseus / Pirithous, on the other hand, is canonical--sort of.

Tags: challenge entry, international fanworks day
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