This story is rated «R», and carries the warnings «Explicit twincest and slash».
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30 January 2010 | 9294 words
Title: A King’s Woe, or, The Arrival of the Stars
Pairing: Faramir & Elladan & Elrohir
Summary: When you are King of Gondor, you just do not go losing your Steward – especially not to your brothers. And your wife really should be on your side – which of course, she is not. OR: When the two Lords of Imladris arrive in the White City, Faramir finds a new, and unexpected, path in life.
Warnings: Explicit twincest and slash between three consenting males. Maybe an Aragorn slightly OOC. A dash of silliness to start off with.
Disclaimer: Hail J.R.R. Tolkien to whom all these characters belong and blessed be his Middle-earth Empire.
A/N: I can’t help it, I love the twins together. This could possibly be a strange mixture of genres but I hope you will find it readable. Also I found it tricky to rate, so let me know if you think it should be catalogued as something else than R.
Finally, I mean to closely monitor your reactions because there is a much longer F/E/E living in my head… Beware.
A King’s Woe
The Arrival of the Stars
Surely Arwen had played a part in it.
In the days – and, truthfully, years – that followed, Aragorn was never quite satisfied with any other explanation than that his wife truly was most perceptive – and probably cunning as well. Perhaps, then, it was a good thing that few seldom asked him to provide an extended account of the events, for he was doomed to offer them naught but a shadowy version – greatly influenced, too, by the bitter fact that he had lost such a devoted partner in state affairs as his Steward. He knew reason when he saw it, he just did not always approve of its existence.
He had others who could help him, of course, when the piles of parchment grew to compete with the highest peaks of Ephel Dúath. In fact, the Tower was swarming with people who swore their allegiance to him whenever and wherever they fancied. But Aragorn had never particularly liked mountains (they were the epitome of bad hunting-grounds if you appreciated something else in your stew rather than orc-flesh), and people could be awfully longwinded.
He loved his wife, though, but there were limits. He had said so, too, when he was first informed about the happenings.
“But,” he had begun, at which point her smile had deepened unsettlingly. “Surely, my love, you must see how this will end?”
She had tilted her head to the side. “No, I do not see that. Or rather, whatever it is you are seeing, we are not looking at the same prospect.”
“They will lure him away,” Aragorn warned her, though really it was Faramir who ought to be warned. Several times. “They shall whisk him off to Rivendell and we shall never see him again.”
“Aragorn… if this is about paperwork…” He smile was steadily dwindling into a frown. Even with it firmly in place, she was beyond beautiful. Somehow, it always gave her the upper hand.
“It is not about paperwork!” he cried. “I care for Faramir greatly and he is yet young and an easy target for an assault such as my brothers’.”
She shook her head in heartless dismissal, her long braid loosening up a little. The ribbon was in her hand. “He is not that young, for a man” she protested mildly. “And I daresay, my brothers might even be more confused than he.”
“But not more than I am,” grumbled Aragorn. “There are limits, Arwen, to what they may do in my kingdom – and with my staff.”
She laughed lightly and strode over to the mirror, continuing to unbraid her hair as if his counsel were akin to the sweet but weightless gurgles of a babe. “Lucky then that he is your friend and not one of your employees.”
Unfortunately this was true. During the first year of Aragorn’s reign, the office of the Steward had remained intact and the two men had worked efficiently side by side. But the more competent and relaxed Aragorn grew, he had taken care to lift some duties off Faramir’s shoulders, and now that two more years had passed, Faramir acted more as an informal adviser to the King. Technically, he was not needed for the Reunited Lands to function properly.
“He will do much good in Imladris,” she smiled, certain of this though yet it was no more than a looming threat.
“If they ever let him leave their bed.” He was still grumbling. It was hard not to.
This time, her laughter filled the entire bedchamber. “Then he is happy, no doubt!” She half turned towards him and held out a hand. “Come, love… Let it be as it is, and you shall see that all will be well.”
Even under these dire circumstances, Aragorn could not dispel the gloom he had decided lay wrapped around his mind. However, nor was he able to ignore his wife’s beckoning.
“I still disapprove,” he stated obstinately as she pulled him close.
She sighed deeply and dropped her head to his shoulder. “I should never have told you…”
Three months earlier the bleak spring had given way to an early summer that was immediately drenched in sunlight. Even during the night it seemed that stray rays of sunlight pierced the stone. Despite the long and dreary winters, the citizens of Minas Tirith complained: the potted herbs needed watering more often, blankets were too woollen and the winds had apparently taken up residence far off in the West for there was not even the slightest breeze stirring curtains and cooling sweaty brows.
It was entirely possible that Faramir son of Denethor was the only one who did not toss and turn upon his mattress. Though he was no elder – not half as old as his King – he had spent most of the years of Shadow in the wild or behind the water-curtain of Henneth Annûn and this had forever marked him. He knew wetness and chill as well as he knew himself, and he had silently vowed that if he could prevent it, he would never more allow the cold to lull him into a fitful sleep. Therefore, he cherished the heat that had courageously claimed the House of the Kings. At times, he would even lie awake, simply relishing the continuous flow of warmth that gave him such comfort. He believed himself to be, if not wholly, then at least fairly happy.
The twins had entered the City on horseback the day before yesterday. So alike in appearance and demeanour they were that rumours at once had erupted, saying that in reality there was but one rider but that the heat made one’s eyesight unreliable and treacherous. And staying true to its very nature, rumour had not been defeated by intelligence: no one seemed to remember that the – two – sons of Elrond Peredhel1 had dwelt in the City for a short while after the King’s coronation.
Faramir remembered. In fact, he remembered very well indeed.
This time around he had been able to greet the guests with courtesy; unable to tell them apart, he had given them rooms near the King’s private chambers, all the while embarrassed by the vividness of their speech and intensity of their smiles. Surely, the twins would impress anyone they encountered for only one word constantly swam in Faramir’s mind as he regarded them: magnificent.
Equally tall, equally bright of eye and equally proud Elladan and Elrohir were. Their pale skin only served to deepen the hue of their dark hair, and their shoulders were broad and strong. Faramir had never seen them in battle but he was quite certain that should it ever be so, he dearly hoped he would not be their foe.
“Is there anything else I can do for you?” he asked, relieved at least that his voice was stable as his mind was not.
“No,” one of them said with a smile that was too warm to be simply polite, but too polite to be too warm.
“This will do very well,” the brother stated. “Very well indeed.” He suddenly looked up and there was a small frown upon his brow. “We are not too close to Estel, are we? We do love him but we would rather not experience his… enchantment with our sister firsthand.”
At this, Faramir must smile himself. “I think you will be fine. The walls are thick and they keep any secrets to themselves, I understand.”
The twin that he was mainly answering raised an eyebrow but it was the other that spoke. “This you can guarantee, Steward Faramir?”
Never before had his own name sounded so pleasant to his ears. “Should you wish for other quarters tomorrow I will try my best to arrange it,” he said.
“You evade questions very elegantly,” the same twin grinned as he moved to stand closer to his brother. They made an intriguing pair, almost leaning into each other, but somehow still keeping a distance. “There are matters that are best dealt with in private.”
Faramir nodded, sensing that there was something more to what was being said but he could not identify it. So he nodded.
Yes, he had nodded.
He had seen very little of the brethren in the two days that followed, save for at meal times. Arwen, or ‘the Queen’ that he would have continued to call her had she not strictly forbidden him to do so if an occasion was not formal and required it, took great delight in her brothers’ visit that would extend long into the summer. Aragorn’s smiled dulled after a couple of hours when the initial civility gave way to stubborn childhood traditions. His childhood, that was, since the elves were some three thousand years older.
“It is amazing, Estel, that you are still managing,” one of his brothers, Elrohir, said as he stretched out in a low, cushioned chair.
Faramir had listened so intently to the conversation at the start of their meal that he had almost forgotten his food. When one of the twins was finally addressed by his name, he had made sure to register it. Now they had retired to a smaller and more private chamber, and some more wine had been brought to them.
Aragorn grumbled something as a way of replying and Elrohir grinned. He tipped his head backwards and to the side somewhat so that he caught Faramir’s eye. “We never truly believed that he could do it.” He winked and something turned upside down inside the man. “He was always very little.”
“Tiny,” supplied Elladan from his seat across the room. “You should have seen him when he toddled around the fields of Imladris during the first years.” He shook his head dismally. “No one thought that he actually could grow into a real man. If you had been there to see it, sister, you would not be here today.”
Biting her lip, Arwen tried to arrange her face in a neutral fashion as Aragorn glared at his brothers, one by one.
“Oh, I am sure my admiration for him would only have grown…” she tried. Turning her gaze to her husband she could not quench her laughter. “Had I seen you toddle.”
She sat curled up against him on a low sofa, and seeing her like this made it absolutely impossible for Faramir to fully comprehend her age. Aragorn gave her a glare too, but she kept on laughing.
“Hopeless,” muttered Elladan.
“Females,” sighed Elrohir dramatically, “and brothers…”
At this, and even though he was too far away to reach him, Elladan aimed a kick in his twin’s direction.
“Not you,” Elrohir amended. In the candlelight his face softened. “Never you.”
Faramir watched as a lazy smile settled upon Elrohir’s lips as he regarded his brother. Indeed, it was hard not to stare for at once the energy between the twins appeared to change. It grew warmer in the room, and there was no fire lit.
He had one large chair for himself. The twins had claimed similar ones and these two stood facing each other. The royal couple occupied the sofa and were speaking in low voices. Having quickly forgiven his wife, Aragorn had wrapped an arm around her shoulders and occasionally dropped soft kisses into her hair. It was as informal an evening would ever become, and yet there was melancholy stirring in the depths of Faramir’s heart.
On occasions such as these, he wondered if he should have chosen differently, accepting Éowyn’s love when she would have given it to him unconditionally, but truthfully, though he loved her dearly, it was as a brother only. As he witnessed the closeness between King and Queen, he could not help but feel lonely.
“Deep in thought, Faramir?” Elrohir had turned in his chair and was observing him; the way his bright eyes were twinkling made some colour sweep over Faramir’s cheeks.
“Forgive me,” he said. “I am bad company.”
“Indeed,” the Elf smirked. “That is why I decided to interrupt your reverie. It is a shame to see such a handsome face being drowned in misery.”
His blush inevitably deepened and he knew of no way to prevent it.
“My brother is very kind,” supplied Elladan dryly with a glance at his twin. “He wishes for us all to be joyful and he will do his best to achieve it. If you tire of him and wish to ponder other matters, you should not be afraid to shoo him away.”
But Faramir shook his head and sat up a little straighter. “No, I am grateful. Too many hours I have spent brooding, I think.” His cheeks were cooling and he tried a small smile at Elrohir. “I would gladly let you practise on me.”
“Well, well!” said Elrohir and inclined his head. “See, tôren,2 you should not make light of my aim. He is quite willing.”
Elladan smiled but said nothing. Instead he brought his glass to his lips, but even as he drank he let his gaze linger on Faramir.
Again, something stirred within him but this time it was no sadness. A nervous flicker made his next breath harder to draw.
The soft voice of the Queen brought the world back to normal. “Surely, Aragorn, there is no need to rise early tomorrow?” She was resting her head against his chest and he had stretched his long legs out before him. “There is no council meeting, and we have no guests that cannot entertain themselves.”
Faramir half expected the twins to protest, at least on principle, but they remained silent. Elladan’s eyes had moved away from him and had settled on Elrohir.
“True…” Aragorn said. “Let us dine together, but make no further arrangements.” He scanned his brothers suspiciously. “Will you survive and behave?”
“Oh, Estel!” chuckled Elrohir. To Faramir it looked like he very reluctantly drew his eyes from his twin. “We were surviving and behaving – though you may doubt it – long before you were born.”
“I do severely doubt that,” agreed the King and then a hint of seriousness crept into his voice. “Remember that humans also have eyes and ears.”
“Avo ‘osto,”3 Elladan said softly and the melody of his words fell around Faramir like a sweet spring rain. The Elf’s grey eyes caught his reaction and reinforced the message though Faramir did not understand it.
He registered that Arwen had risen to her feet and that Aragorn soon followed her. He knew he should be rising too and dazed he did, and felt Elladan’s eyes follow his every move.
“Goodnight Faramir,” the Queen smiled and she placed a kiss on his cheek. “I shall drag my husband to bed before they truly begin to quarrel. We have more than enough time ahead of us to enjoy that.”
He knew he smiled at her, and he nodded at Aragorn. He watched them leave and still his head grew no clearer. When the door closed behind them, a twitch of anxiety in his breast made it difficult to turn around. With wavering courage he faced his guests and realised that they too had moved. Elrohir stood by one of the high windows, looking out on the City below and his brother was right behind him. Elladan had lifted a hand to his twin’s shoulder and even as Faramir watched, his fingers were tracing small circles upon it, slowly moving closer to Elrohir’s neck.
Faramir stood as if frozen, finding that he could only follow the hand’s steady progress. Gently, Elladan pushed aside some of his brother’s dark hair and revealed pale skin that seemed to glow in the candlelight. Elrohir gave a small dip of his head and under Elladan’s simple ministrations, his body relaxed and he leaned back against his twin.
Swallowing, Faramir wondered if he should leave. He knew not where this was going and the silence in the room grew heavy. Maybe the twins thought he had left with the others? If so, then he should not be here at all for this was most certainly something he was not meant to see. Even so, he had a hard time grasping what he was truly witnessing; he knew very little of the ways of the Elves and was no competent judge.
He made to leave, turning quietly around once more and gave thanks for the soft, low boots he was wearing. But when he laid his hand upon the doorknob and turned it, the click of the lock pierced the silence. With heat once again rushing to his face, he meant to flee before spoken to, but he was given no chance.
Both of them were looking at him but neither had moved. Elrohir still leaned against his brother and Elladan’s hand was still on his neck. There was softness in both their faces, but the light in Elladan’s eyes was less hazy. The way they were standing, the simple act of touching, made something ache inside Faramir.
“I will give you some privacy,” he said, and his voice was not one to be proud of. A shard of meticulously hidden envy finally found its way back into his life.
Elrohir said nothing but Elladan gave a small nod. “Sleep well, son of this land.”
His gentle voice followed Faramir through the doorway but when the emptiness of the hallway embraced him, he knew it would be hours before any sleep found him.
That was why he wandered through the House with no clear intent. He took the longest way to his rooms he could invent. A crescent moon had risen above the City and silvery streams of light pushed through the window-glass. He passed the royal chambers and turned left, trying not to think but seeing very little of the night as the image of the twins was dancing in his mind.
Too late did he hear hushed voices, so too late did he abruptly stop. He realised, though, that it did not matter for Elladan and Elrohir had no spare thought for any nightly wanderers.
They had nearly made it to their door, but only a few feet from it had they succumbed to lust. Fascinated, despite the shock reverberating through him, Faramir could not avert his gaze and he dropped back into the shadows and hardly dared to breathe.
He could no longer tell them apart for they dressed in identical colours. The assailer had pressed the other up against the wall and was kissing him wildly. Hands tugged at clothing and raven hair was mussed and tousled. The elf with his back to the wall did not succeed in quenching a moan, and the keening sound sent a shiver across Faramir’s skin. The brother’s hand landed on slim hips and pulled them closer, rubbing himself against a willing body. Kisses were planted on an exposed neck and another moan shot down the hallway towards Faramir, causing the blood to thunder in his veins.
He stared as hands grew more determined and began tearing at waistbands. The hallway was dark enough to hide any details but the kisses turned more frenzied. The moment he understood that the twins were not going to make it into their rooms before they found release, he spun around with his mind reeling and shame crashing down upon him. He staggered around the corner and sagged against the wall, trying to breathe evenly and chase the images away.
They were brothers… That they should also be lovers was a realisation so alien to Faramir that he could form no words to describe what he was feeling. Such desperate intimacy had hitherto stayed unknown to him, but this display of passion between the brethren had shaken him deeply. Among the proud men of Gondor, no one would ever dare to admit the tiniest flicker of desire for a brother of the blood, and never could these walls have expected anything quite like this. It was just as wrong and condemnable as it was exotic and intriguing.
He made it back to his rooms by turning some more corners, but that was the first night of the season he, too, slept fitfully.
“I interrupt you, Steward Faramir.”
It was neither a question nor an insight tinged with rue that caught him unawares. The Elf was leaning against the doorframe, his body creating an elegant arch, and he was presenting a gracious smile.
Faramir swallowed uneasily but managed to shake his head. “No, no, my lord. My door is open to anyone who wishes to see me.”
His visitor looked pleased but did not enter. “Excellent.”
Faramir put down his quill with a hand that was steady enough. “What can I do for you…?” He briefly considered simply guessing the name of the twin, hoping he would choose the right one but in the end it seemed like a careless gesture.
“I was thinking…” The elf drawled while letting his gaze travel about the walls and corners of Faramir’s small study, “that you may wish to speak with me.” For a second he frowned but then he winked. “Or with either of us, really. Or, maybe, that you may wish that one of us would speak with you. Or both.”
“I am sorry?” Unable to follow, Faramir found he was concentrating hard on the form across the room, perhaps too hard. The dark hair was pulled back and he guessed it was collected in a braid, and the elf had dressed casually and yet his status could not be concealed; his tunic was of plain green linen, richly embroidered.
“Elladan,” the elf said by way of introducing himself. “My brother would have come too, had he not been snatched away by some members of your Council. They wished to discuss patrolling of the borders and such, I believe.”
“And you did not join them?” Somehow it was easier to speak with him now that Faramir knew his name.
Elladan waved a hand in a dismissive gesture. “My brother is the knight. I trust they will leave him exhausted but breathing?”
Faramir could not help the smile that caught his lips. “Aye, most probably. That is the way they work.”
Elladan’s warm laughter easily tore Faramir’s reservations into indistinguishable tatters. He felt himself relaxing and leaned back in his chair. “Please, have a seat.”
The elf strode gracefully over to a chair which did not face Faramir directly but was more or less shoved against the wall to his left. Elladan stretched out his legs and his toes nearly brushed Faramir’s ankles.
“Were we in Rivendell,” he reflected, “I would not be wearing any boots.” He studied his own feet with a hint of surprise in his features, as if someone had slid them into the boots without him noticing.
The sun was slanting towards the western horizon and the golden light streamed through the window-glass. Faramir pushed his chair back a little and angled it so that he could better face his visitor.
“And,” continued Elladan, “I would have convinced you to finish your work in the gardens… ‘Indoors’ is truly a terrible concept.”
Faramir shook his head, but he must admit that it sounded appealing. “Growing up in Minas Tirith meant spending plenty of time indoors. At least for me…” he said. “Until I was ordered to join the Rangers.”
“Hm,” said Elladan, not sounding too impressed. “Forgive me, Faramir, but I cannot agree with your father’s ways.”
“I did not either…” His voice sounded automatically weaker, devoid of all joy. “I still do not.”
Elladan leaned forward. His grey eyes were shining with an odd mixture of compassion and determination. “Come here.”
Puzzled, Faramir leaned in closer. The elf did not smile but stared at him intently. There was a question forming in Faramir’s mind but he found no way or wording it. He opened his mouth to speak, to say anything that might chase away the pity that he feared Elladan was about to express. But he was given no chance for Elladan was the quicker one, and he had no intention of speaking. He caught Faramir’s lips with his own, completely oblivious to the fact that the door was still wide open.
Faramir stilled completely. The memory of his latest kiss, a brief one he had shared with Éowyn some three years ago, was brutally, but inevitably, erased from his memory. Elladan’s lips were soft and sweet, and the kiss was as confusing as any kiss could ever be. Suddenly the elf’s hands were in his hair and a tongue tip was gently pushing into his mouth. Intoxicated, Faramir opened up further, allowing Elladan to explore him thoroughly. He was pulled into the kiss, nearly sliding off his seat, tasting a foreign land on a worshipping tongue.
When it was over, he was breathless.
Elladan’s hand slid to his shoulders but he was not wholly released. There was a brilliant glimmer in the grey eyes.
“Have you ever lain with a man, Faramir?” His voice was deeper, richer, a little hoarser.Dazed, Faramir nodded. “A few times…” He, too, sounded different. “In Ithilien…”
A grin flew across Elladan’s face. “I have not.”
“But..?” Faramir stared at him. “I thought…” He hesitated, both uncertain and uncomfortable all at once. “I thought you and your brother…” he tried at last.
“He is an Elf, no Man,” said Elladan.
For a moment, silence grew between them.
“Do you find it repulsive, Faramir? Some men do.”
“No, not repulsive…” He shook his head in denial. “I was shocked to learn it, though.” Looking down at his own knees, he swallowed. “I came upon you last night. It was not my intention to spy on you, or any such thing. What I saw was not what I had expected.”
“We know.” Elladan’s thumbs were rubbing small circles into his skin. “Elves have excellent hearing even when… otherwise engaged. And my brother spotted you.” He gave a low chuckle that wove itself around Faramir’s heart. “He has excellent eyesight, too.” His voice held a hint of pride.
Faramir glanced up at him. “I do not find it repulsive,” he said again, this time with some more conviction. “You are both beautiful… Together you are stunning.”
Elladan offered him a quick smile but then he grew serious. “We believe that we share the same fëa,4 the same soul. Elven twins are thus blessed and… cursed maybe, some would claim. Though, I cannot conceive of it as a curse.” His eyes grew wistful. “I love my brother more than anything: his soul is my other half. When we are joined in lovemaking, we are no longer separated but pure unity. He is ever present in my mind – and in my heart.”
“You said he would have come here too?”
“Yes, he would. Had he not been seized in the last moment.” Elladan shook himself and grinned. “We both find you quite beautiful, Faramir. And he would have wanted to be here to convince you of it.”
“But…” Faramir rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand. “I do not see why you would want me.” If he sounded like the victim he hated to think of himself as, he could not help it.
“Do you mean me or my brother, or both of us?”
“Well, you… Or Elrohir. Or even both of you!” The mere thought of the twins together, seeking his attention, was more than he could handle at the moment. “I do not know.”
Elladan laughed and gathered him up in a warm embrace. He placed a soft kiss on his hair and it melted through it and seeped into his body.
“Will you join us after dinner?” he murmured softly. “We will not rush you into anything.”
And Faramir found himself nodding.
It was still too early for any moonlight when Arwen rose from her seat and wandered over to the window. “It is a most beautiful evening,” she smiled. “Will you join me for a stroll in the gardens, love?”
Aragorn looked up from his book. “At this very moment?”
Faramir could feel the Queen’s gaze linger on him even though he was too edgy to meet it. Completely at ease now that the Steward also knew of their bond, the Peredhil twins were sharing the sofa, and there was still room enough for one more person beside them. Elrohir had curled up against his brother who was idly playing with a strand of his dark hair whilst reading; the memory of Elladan’s kiss stubbornly lingered upon Faramir’s lips.
“Yes, I think so…” said Arwen. “The sun is still setting. If we are quick we can catch the first glimpse of the stars.”
“Quick?” Aragorn put aside his book and shook his head, but there was a smile spreading on his lips. “And I suppose that you would like me to fetch a shawl for you?”
She was innocence perfected. “If you would not mind…”
“The things I do for you,” he muttered but only got an exclamation in response.
“Hah! I gave up immortality for you! The least you could do is to keep me warm.”
The book came flying through the air and she laughed brightly as she dodged it gracefully.
“Careful with the literature,” mumbled Elrohir from the sofa. “And mind our sister… I suppose.”
Faramir’s attention immediately abandoned the royal bickering as Elladan caressed his brother’s cheek with a gentle thumb. “You awake?”
“Mhmm,” announced Elrohir. “You have a talkative Council here, Faramir…”
“I will tell them to leave you alone,” he offered as he followed the progress of Elladan’s hand. It slid down to his twin’s chest, continuously stroking and mapping the muscles beneath his shirt.
“Noo… Next time I will tell them I am my brother…” He gave a long sigh and shifted a little, leaving a kiss near Elladan’s collarbone.
“Thank you, tôren,” said Elladan dryly, but he was smiling. He caught Faramir’s eye and raised his eyebrows in silent enquiry. With his free hand he motioned at the unoccupied space next to them.
Faramir felt a blush stain his cheeks as he stole a glance at his King and Queen. Aragorn had wound an arm around his wife’s waist and they were speaking softly. But in any moment they may wish to join the rest of the party. Faramir hoped Elladan would understand, see that he could not possibly leave his seat now, but the elf only continued to smile.
The silence was broken by Arwen who disengaged herself from Aragorn’s embrace. “Come, let us go outside.” She threw a glance at her brothers and her eyes narrowed slightly. “Faramir, will you be able to handle… them?”
There was nothing in her tone of voice that should have made him suspect she knew more than he truly had believed she did, but nevertheless, a nervous tingle was born in his chest.
“Yes,” he said with a vain hope that he appeared composed.
She held his gaze for a moment, her eyes still narrow. “Then I wish you a good night.”
If in some way he had displeased her, the fact would lie like a weight upon his heart for many days to come. He swallowed as she paused before closing the door behind them, having practically dragged Aragorn out of the room.
Her cheeky grin was all the reassurance Faramir needed.
The tension mounted quickly as soon as they were left alone. He hardly dared to look at the twins and yet he could find nothing else that he rather wished to focus on. Neither of them had moved an inch.
“Faramir?” Elrohir’s soft call was nearly inaudible. He had his eyes closed.
There seemed to be no words fit for the occasion so instead he rose from his chair and crossed the short distance between them on shaky legs. Wary, he sank down upon the sofa, keeping his hands in his lap. The elf reached out for him with a much paler hand that brushed against his wrist. A small smile was forming on his lips. Elrohir gave almost a purring sound as he ran his fingertips down Faramir’s arm contently.
“My brother says kissing you is lovely,” he murmured. “Would you let me try?”
He moved smoothly as he sat up and leaned closer to Faramir. He did not open his eyes as he, by instinct and with his lips, sought out the man’s forehead, then his cheekbone and finally his mouth. The last thing Faramir saw before he, too, closed his eyes, was how Elladan pressed against his brother’s back, leaving soft, open-mouthed kisses on his neck.
Elrohir’s mouth was as warm as his twin’s, but his kiss more tender and searching. He was holding back, maybe still waiting for approval before he claimed with all he had. Faramir brushed his tongue with his own and Elrohir’s low moan of approval slipped through him and tremble ran through him.
Fingers were tangling in his hair as he traced Elrohir’s lower lip with his tongue tip and automatically the kiss deepened. His own hands left his lap and hesitantly landed on the elf’s thighs. He felt Elrohir smile into the kiss.
It ended with sigh, wrapping around all three of them and when he opened his eyes, he found that it was Elladan who was twinning strands of hair around nimble fingers. The other elf had reached around his brother to touch him and his lips were slightly parted as fascination filled his eyes.
“So enchanting,” he whispered. “Do continue.”
Elrohir scowled but gave his brother a quick kiss on the cheek. “We do not wish to scare you away,” he told Faramir sincerely. His face softened and a line of worry appeared on his forehead. “I hope we are not doing that.”
“No…” Faramir shook his head slowly. “No… But, I admit I am nervous.”
“Nervous is good, beautiful one,” smiled Elrohir. “Scared is worse. We are not aiming for scared.”
Faramir looked down at the dark fabric his hands were resting on. “Do you… take others to your bed?”
It was Elladan who spoke. His hand slid down to catch one of Faramir’s. “Throughout the years, we have, yes. The love that we share is a fundamental need; it is as necessary to nourish that as it is for any of us to breathe.” He paused as if taking great care in choosing his next words. “But that does not mean that we cannot love another. However…”
“However,” continued Elrohir, picking up where his brother left off. “We take no lovers… individually, if you like. Any lover of ours we share.”
“Only males?” queried Faramir after he had integrated this piece of information. “Elves?”
“So far, only male Elves.” There was a smile in Elrohir’s voice. “But there is one Man…”
“Whom we find very attractive,” murmured Elladan.
Faramir lifted his gaze and met two pairs of grey eyes watching him. “I…” he began, but had not the courage to continue.
“We have taken no lovers since the coronation,” revealed Elrohir quietly. “We saw you then – still weak from your illness, but in full splendour. Since then we have waited for you to regain your strength and footing.”
As surprise washed over him, a mess of images from his past three years poured into his mind. All the confusion, the desperate hope that maybe he might fall for Éowyn if he tried just a little harder. The kisses between King and Queen that he, too, cherished for he loved them greatly, but which were a source of loneliness to him in the dark winter nights.
“We could not approach you then,” explained Elladan gently, reading him expertly. “You were still hurting and our advances would have brought only misunderstandings and fear.”
“Besides, what would poor Estel have done without his Steward?” Elrohir grinned, but his brightness soon faded.
Faramir sat in silence, needing to gain control over his thoughts. He knew what they were saying was true, and yet he could not help thinking that these last three years had been wasted somehow.
“I was alone…” he mumbled, afraid that his voice would break too easily if he spoke louder. “Sometimes I hated this place… I would imagine being far away. I know not where.” He fought the old pain that simmered near the surface. “I do not mean to complain. I was lucky. The King saved my life.”
“And for that, we are very thankful,” whispered Elrohir before he placed a chaste kiss on Faramir’s brow.
Elladan gave his hand a squeeze. “Tonight you will not sleep alone unless you wish it.”
There was no deceit in the ways they were eyeing him. There was only honesty in Elrohir’s kisses and in Elladan’s touch.
“I do not wish it,” he said, and he, too, was completely sincere.
So it was that Faramir entered the Peredhil twins’ chambers again and noticed that while one bed was drowning under a mess of light blankets, the other stood perfectly untouched.
“You could have required a room with only one bed,” said Faramir when the twins had ushered him inside and Elrohir was closing the door.
“Too suspicious.” Elladan shook his head. He toed off his boots and left them properly by the wall. It was a strange thing to see: though no one Faramir had ever known was more comfortable barefooted in one of these stone chambers, the elf at once appeared more relaxed.
“And,” said Elrohir as he brushed past Faramir, taking his time to run his fingertips down the man’s back, sending a shiver down his spine, “bedchambers with only one bed tend to be smaller.” He smiled. “We like the space.”
Elladan strode up to his brother and caught him gently by his shoulders from behind. “‘Roh here always brings too much clothes.” His lips slid over Elrohir’s temple and decorated it with a cluster of soft kisses.
“I do not!” Elrohir protested, but even as he was defending his honour, he grasped his twin’s hand and wound both their arms around his waist. “In any case, you bring just as much.”
“I have only seen you in identical wear,” said Faramir with a small smile, turned slightly shy by the open display of affection between the brothers. “If you do not walk around in any other clothes while in here, that means you have both brought an equal amount.”
Elrohir grinned. “He is clever, tôren.” He leaned back against his brother, one dark eyebrow arched skyward.
“Indeed.” Elladan was smiling, too. Twinning long strands of silky hair between his thumb and forefinger, he eyed Faramir with rising interest. “And you should know, pen maen,5 that we are little concerned with clothes in here.”
The sky was steadily darkening and though Faramir had few thoughts to spare them, he did notice the stars glimmering in the deep blue. He shifted where he stood, his arms hanging limp by his sides. The glow from the City below was the only light source and the air was warm and heavy with expectation.
Finally, though he was no more courageous now than he had been only two minutes ago, he drew a deep breath and faced the twins.
“I know not what to do…” he admitted, his voice floating out into the room like a thin shimmer of mist.
It was countered with soft laughter. The brothers disentangled themselves and were suddenly by his side instead. Elladan tilted his head to the side and placed a string of light kisses along his jaw line. As lips explored his stubbly cheek, Elrohir caught one of his hands and threaded their fingers together, providing him with a small flash of stability to cling to. It lasted for a few moments and then Faramir’s world swirled around him as Elladan found his mouth and Elrohir his neck. He closed his eyes as he forgot the very concept of reciprocating. But the elves seemed to mind little, or not at all, for they slid closer and finally he stood pressed against Elladan’s chest, with his tongue delving deep into warm wetness, and with Elrohir’s hands on his waist. The first circling of his hips against Elladan’s groin he was quite certain was not his own invention.
“Waste not your energy asking…” he heard Elrohir mumble into his hair. “Kiss my brother instead. But know that we have no fixed positions.”
During the moment it took for Faramir to fully comprehend, Elladan covered his twin’s hands with his own and together they set a slow, slow rhythm, grinding Faramir’s hips against Elladan’s.
Maybe it was a good thing he was fixed so tightly between them for the next kiss encouraged tiny silver stars to glimmer in his mind. He gave up breath and thought and succumbed perfectly to the will of the twins, dazedly thinking that he wanted nothing else either. Elrohir kissed his way to Faramir’s earlobe and gently sucked on it; the tiny moan that filled Elladan’s mouth was of a kind Faramir was sure he had never uttered before. A low chuckle broke through the spell and he was released from the kiss, and he would have swayed had he not enjoyed the very tangible support from the twins.
“Coherent speech, sweet one, can you achieve that?” Elrohir’s soft voice betrayed a smile.
Faramir would have dropped his head to Elladan’s shoulder but two fingers under his chin prevented him from it. As he looked up, he met darkened eyes and he drew a deep breath.
“Give him a moment, rohir nín,”6 smiled the elf. “Apparently we can be a bit intense together,” he added with a wink.
“We never understood that.” Elrohir was playing with the lower hem of Faramir’s tunic. “We just happen to know what we want.”
With a grin, his brother fastened a stray strand of copper coloured hair behind Faramir’s ear. “Nothing wrong with that…”
Faramir shook his head, threatening to undo Elladan’s work. “Will I survive this?” But he could not stop a small smile of his own from spreading across his lips.
“Of course you will!” exclaimed Elrohir from behind, and then – completely taken by surprise – Faramir was spun around and stood suddenly facing him instead. It took the man a few seconds to find his footing and the room momentarily swam before him.
Elrohir looked content as he leaned in and brushed his lips against Faramir’s. “We like our lovers to be living.”
“That is…” Elladan rested his chin upon Faramir’s shoulder, “if you give your consent?”
“And if I do not, then you will kill me?” asked Faramir with mock suspicion.
Elrohir’s brightness fled his features and he reached for his brother’s hands which were resting on Faramir’s hips, thus sealing the embrace. “We would never force you,” he said quietly.
There was something in the way the elf’s shoulders dropped that was more convincing than any words could ever be. His own arms were trapped by the bodies pressed against him, but he needed them not. He left a timid kiss at Elrohir’s temple.
“Change my world?” he suggested shyly.
As a new smile filled his entire vision he was aware of Elladan pulling him backwards, and probably without much grace, he landed on the bed furthest away from the door.
“Clean sheets,” verified Elladan as they settled down with Faramir still between them. “Though, in truth, we have used both of the beds.”
He was fingering the fastenings of Faramir’s tunic as the man looked up at him.
“Better not give the chambermaids reason to gossip,” Elladan clarified as he scooted a bit closer yet.
Faramir smiled. “I have heard no rumours…” he began but was quickly forced to bite his lip to keep from groaning as Elladan expertly flicked his tunic open and went straight for one of his nipples with a warm tongue. “Oh!”
There was some annoyed movement on his other side. “Very lovely,” said Elrohir dryly. “You are both truly delightful, but if you could spare a few more inches of the bed…”
Elladan lifted his head. “Chest hair,” he announced. “I like it.”
“Well, I am sorry I have none,” muttered his twin. “I am falling off the bed here.”
Faramir could not keep from laughing and he gave Elladan a little push, suddenly feeling almost giddy. He ascribed it to the lack of air when being kissed. “Come closer then,” he said.
“Thank you!” Elrohir glared at his brother while partially draping himself over Faramir. “At least someone here is civilised.”
Elladan rolled his eyes. “Mhm…” He pulled himself up a little and leaned over Faramir’s chest, catching his twin’s mouth in a fierce kiss.
The effect was indeed stunning; Faramir watched wide-eyed as identical lips slid against each other and gray eyes closed in perfect unison. A shiver of arousal ran through him – so different from the reaction the similar event had evoked within him the night before. From a distance, he saw one of his own hands hesitantly stroke silky black hair.
Elrohir ended the kiss by swiping his tongue tip over his brother’s lower lip. “Forgiven, tôren,” he mumbled.
Faramir was only given time enough to see Elladan smile before Elrohir descended on his chest and with the same tongue claimed the other, untouched, nipple. As teeth scraped his sensitive skin, he squirmed on the bed, and the blood ran a little quicker through his veins.
“Some light maybe…”
He heard Elladan rummage around to his left and then the hiss of a newborn flame. Meanwhile, Elrohir was kissing his way downward, eagerly exploring his chest and stomach. When the warm tongue circled his navel, a moan spilled from his lips. He barely had time to draw a new breath before Elladan caught his mouth with his own.
“How thick are the walls, meleth?”7 murmured the elf. He swallowed the next moan as Elrohir began fingering the lacings that kept Faramir’s leggings together.
“Know not,” he admitted as his blood pooled in his groin. He returned the kiss but lost focus when fingers gently tugged at his chest hair. Elrohir’s lips were sliding further and further down and a dull pounding began in the depths of Faramir’s body.
Heat washed over him as Elladan broke the kiss and slid down, too, and suddenly it became impossible to tell lips and touches apart. In an attempt to clear his head, Faramir forced his eyes open and glanced down in time to see the twins exchange a long kiss. He stared for as long as he could, before he grew painfully hard and his head dropped back onto the pillows.
When a hand exposed him fully and landed on his arousal, he gave a helpless whimper. Tentatively, the hand began stroking, setting a pace that was not nearly fast enough. His member was already weeping and at least the friction was blessedly satisfying. He gave a small groan, born out of a mixture of frustration and ecstasy.
“Hush…” wet kisses were trailed down his throat and someone caressed his cheek. “Quiet, sweet one…”
He tried to obey, but then the voice was gone and he must bite back a cry as his hard length was held by its base by determined fingers, while a warm mouth enveloped it. When he had proved he could lie still enough and not alert the servants, the fingers followed the mouth, sliding up and down his engorged flesh, applying additional pressure where lips did not reach.
His release was building quickly and he meant to fight it. With trembling hands he held on to the bed but could not stop a thrust of his hips. Contrary to what his dizzied mind expected, a low laughter wrapped around him and the sucking intensified. It was more than he could endure and without any warnings he climaxed, the mouth that covered him accepting his release without protest.
He lay panting with sweat shining on his brow and a heaving chest when the twins curled against him on either side. If they had not managed to somehow change sides, it was Elrohir who brushed their lips together and kissed him gently. He tasted salty and sweet and Faramir, presently unable to speak, tried to kiss him the way he deserved.
There was some shifting to his left and interfering in the kiss was another tongue and Elrohir drew back slightly to allow his brother to share. Confusion knotted Faramir’s brow when he discovered that Elladan tasted exactly the same. Then he decided that he did not care. As he met Elladan’s tongue with his own and could also feel Elrohir’s lips dancing at the corner of his mouth, it was easy to give up thinking altogether.
A handful of candles were lit and no stone walls had ever looked so warm and soft. All of them wore leggings but nothing else underneath the blanket.
“You know,” said Elladan as he lazily traced circles upon his twin’s palm, making him squirm nicely against Faramir’s side. “We will wake up in a puddle of sweat.”
“Silence, tôren, or you shall reveal our plans,” mumbled Elrohir as his arm that held Faramir close twitched. “And stop teasing.”
Elladan continued caressing his palm. “I never tease…”
Faramir did not bother to hide a smile. “What plans?”
“Nothing…” said Elrohir as he snatched back his hand and rubbed his palm against Faramir’s covered thigh. “It itches.”
His twin grinned and dove beneath the blanket to find one of Faramir’s hands instead. Turning the palm upwards, he continued his ministrations. “I believe my brother was considering a bath – for all three of us.”
Faramir met the grey glittering gaze. “Perhaps then I could…” He felt some colour rise in his cheeks. “Offer you some pleasure as well..?”
Elladan squeezed his hand and his smile deepened, but even so, he spoke with less confidence. “You will not run from us then?”
Faramir shook his head against the pillows. “No, I think I will not.” There was joy stirring in his breast, he could not deny that.
Elrohir shifted to his right and hugged him closer. “Come with us to Rivendell, Faramir,” he whispered. “We will stay for the summer but then we must return…”
“We would not willingly leave you here,” said Elladan softly as he held Faramir’s gaze. “The Valley will be ablaze, all leaves turned golden and red, and the skies will be blue…”
“And the rivers will all be singing,” murmured Elrohir against his neck. “And we need not hide for all there know of our bond and you they will love unreservedly.”
Faramir lay in silence for a while, trying to sort out his feelings. Somehow he had always thought that if he were to leave the City it would be for Ithilien. Yet the days had passed and Aragorn had reigned for a year, then two, and now three, and still Faramir was living in Minas Tirith – not because of any love he might have for the City itself, but out of habit.
“You could return and take up your life here whenever you wish.” Elladan still held his hand but lay unmoving.
That made no sense to Faramir. A smile slowly grew in his features. “I would not wish to return, I think, should I come with you.”
There was a moment of complete silence and then Elrohir abandoned any pretence of being respectful. He gracefully lifted himself off the mattress and stretched out on top of Faramir with a triumphant grin. “Now we will never let you go,” he announced and kissed the man soundly.
Faramir laughed into the kiss as Elladan tried to push his brother aside. Elrohir lifted his head long enough to smirk at his twin. “Oh no, el nín…8 I believe you have kissed him more than I have.”
“I thought you knew how to share,” protested Faramir as the three of them were close to tumbling off the bed as Elladan continued his assault.
Identical faces hovered above him, grey eyes shining and midnight hued hair in similar messes.
“Oh, all will be well,” said Elladan sweetly.
“In a few years, when we are sated.” Elrohir scanned Faramir’s face hungrily.
“Until then, meleth, we suggest you play along.”
Faramir meant to object but found he did not genuinely want to. “Then you had better begin.”
Aragorn stood staring out into the darkness. The first leaves were ruthlessly shifting from green to yellow and the winds were cooler. They had left three days ago – he had been right all along. Unfortunately, no one else seemed to understand the misery that this event had created.
As far as Aragorn was concerned, his brothers could keep courting elves for eternity.
“It makes no sense finding a Man…” he muttered.
Also unfortunately, his wife’s hearing was still admirable.
“What is this about a man?” She padded out onto the balcony, her nightgown flowing around her in pale, silky waves.
“Faramir,” sighed Aragorn for the thousandth time – that week. “And my brothers.”
She came to stand by his side and she ran her fingers through his hair. “So?” She smiled. “Sometimes it happens, you know: those of the Elven kind find humans to love.”
“This is different,” he protested. “My brothers are evil. You are not.”
She bit her lip, probably to keep from laughing. “They are determined.”
When he did not answer, she tried again. “They love him, Aragorn! The sooner you accept that, the happier we all will be.” After a pause, she added, “Besides…”
He turned more fully towards her. “Besides..?” No one could blame him if he sounded slightly suspicious.
She caught his hand and placed it gently on her belly. “Besides, we will have much else to think about this autumn.”
As realisation dawned upon him and he kissed his wife deeply, Aragorn could almost forgive his brothers.
If they stayed in Rivendell. And sent Faramir back to Minas Tirith.
1 Peredhel – Half-Elf (Peredhil is plural)
2 tôren – my brother
3 Avo ‘osto – don’t worry, fear not
4 fëa – soul
5 pen maen – clever one
6 rohir nín – my knight
7 meleth – love
8 el nín – my star
About Elrohir being ‘the knight’: the element ‘rohir’ literally means ‘horse-lord’ (which can of course be found in ‘Rohirrim’, the people of the horse-lords of Rohan), but Tolkien explicitly stated that the meaning ‘knight’ is intended in this case.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Mel