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31 March 2004 | 1978 words
Warning: A/F slash
Disclaimer: LOTR is Tolkien’s; so are its characters
Summary: A quiet night after two weeks of separation and before a significant day.
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A few more hours and the next day would begin.
It had seemed this day would never end. Countless meetings, discussions, and councils later, Aragorn pushed open the door to his chambers in the royal hunting lodge, on the banks of the Anduin. On the last two days of each week, he came here on a hunting trip, while Arwen stayed back in Minas Tirith. The queen could look after the kingdom as well as he could. It was routine, so much a routine, in fact, that this week when he realised council would be necessary as soon as he returned from his sojourn in Pelargir, he had it held here, even though it was the middle of the week. He would return to the city the next day. After all, he had reasoned, all his lords had hunting lodges here.
Throwing himself onto the bed, he waited. He could hear the servants going to their rooms outside.
The wooden paneling scraped as the hidden door opened, and a figure slipped in quietly. Aragorn turned his head and sighed contentedly as the entrant walked up to his bed, and sat down beside him. A hand was placed atop his and a small smile creased the gentle face of his Steward.
“You are tired,” it was a statement, not a question.
“Not any more,” he replied, and watched as a childish delight lit up the grey eyes at his simple words.
“You have ridden far and hard, and spent all day in council,” Faramir said, “You must rest.”
“I have had no rest all these days,” Aragorn said soulfully.
Worry creased the face above him, “Is aught the matter? What ails you, my liege?”
“You were far away from me. How could I rest?” Aragorn said softly. He thought he saw a faint hint of colour in the thin cheeks.
“You sound like a poet,” Faramir said lightly.
“Nay, that is you. I merely state what I felt,” he responded, and sat up.
Each week, Faramir joined him at the lodge, while Éowyn stayed back in Ithilien. Arwen and Éowyn were often irked at not being invited but Aragorn had with all reasonableness pointed out that they couldn’t all be away from their lands when peace had so newly returned. And the King and his Steward should get to know each other he had added. Faramir had said nothing, but he thought he had seen the hint of a smile on his face as the last few words had been said. They had known each other already. They had felt each other already. And this was the easiest way to get rid of all the constraints in their path.
It was, he decided as he inched closer to his Steward, the best idea he had had to date. He just hoped his idea of spending the night here this day would work. Faramir had not seemed to indicate anything seemed to be odd in their spending the night here even though it was the middle of the week.
Releasing his hand from under Faramir’s he pulled the Steward close so that their lips were almost touching, “I missed you so much!” he growled, and pressed down on the inviting lips.
Drawing back he stroked the other man’s cheek, “Two weeks on a visit to Pelargir, talking to that idiot of a crown prince of Harad! When all the time, all I wanted was to be with you.”
The grey orbs were glistening now, “I missed you too,” came the soft admittance, the tone one he had often heard before, a frank, genuine tone. But he had come to expect little else from his Steward.
He gently nudged him down onto the bed, making him lie back against the pillows and then sat over him. Faramir tried to pull him down but he resisted.
“I want to see you,” he said, his voice rough, “I want to see the memory I had to make do with.”
His fingers traced the contours of Faramir’s face brushing against the now wet lashes, the dry mouth, and coming trailing down to his neck. They unknotted the bindings on his tunic, unraveling them, so that the cloth fell aside to reveal the bare torso underneath. He ran his fingers over the chest, giving the swelling nipples an electrifying brush before running his hands down Faramir’s sides. He unknotted the leggings, and without much ado, tugged them down, forcing Faramir to raise himself a little so that they could be lowered down to his knees. Faramir was biting his lower lip now.
“I missed you,” Aragorn said fiercely, and then pulled the leggings and tunic completely off, before pressing down on Faramir once again.
Faramir opened his mouth to speak. Aragorn promptly pressed a finger down on the lips he loved, “Speak not dearest. Tonight the words shall be mine, and you must listen, for these words have stayed in my head so many days and so many nights and now seek release.”
Wetness glistened in the corners of the other man’s eyes.
“Dear heart,” Aragorn said softly, as he kissed him on his cheek briefly.
“Sweet one,” he murmured, as he nipped along his neck. He felt a trace of salt in his mouth and looked up in alarm to see tears coursing down the Steward’s face. But the eyes were not sad. They were filled with love.
“My love,” he continued, in a gentle whisper, and the kisses reached the bare torso.
“Aragorn,” came the hoarse reply from above.
“Ssh.” He kissed a path right down to Faramir’s navel, and then sat up. He was far too uncomfortable now to stay on in his clothes. Faramir’s eyes followed his every movement, with trepidation.
“I am still here,” he said, knowing his reassurance was required. It had taken him a while to realise just how much it was needed, and he still felt sad that the younger man could actually think he might stop loving him. But he had had the perceptiveness to understand that it was borne largely out of insecurity, and he knew quite well the cause of that sense of unworthiness. It only served to strengthen his resolution to let Faramir spend this one night in peace and feel loved. He pulled off his own clothes keeping his eyes fixed on Faramir’s all the while, and then lowered himself upon the slender figure once again.
“My love,” he repeated, before covering the quivering lips with his own. His entire weight rested upon the slim body below him. He knew how much Faramir loved it when Aragorn touched his bare skin, and this was the easiest way to do that. Still exploring the mouth under his, Aragorn slowly moved over onto his side, rolling Faramir along too. He slung a leg over his hips, and rubbed it against his thigh. The expression in the brimming eyes locked in his was enough to tell him what the sensation did to his lover. He pulled his mouth away as reluctantly as Faramir did.
He looked into the silent face of his lover, marveling once again at the amount of trust he could see in it and at the simplicity and sincerity of the love that shone out of it. It was face marked by all the travails undergone in such few years, scars that made Aragorn yearn to fill it with the happiness that was all that could cover them.
A few more hours and the day would be over. And one more cause for the sorrows that had left such a deep mark on his beloved would have been dealt with.
“Aragorn?” the soft voice roused him from his reverie.
Gently, he made love to Faramir, as he had done for so many nights. But this time he would not let him speak. Each time a word came out he kissed him. He did all the speaking this time; terms of endearment that he used over and over again as they gave each other pleasure.
When it was over he held him in his arms, and watched as a single tear coursed out of a closed eye down the left cheek onto the chin and down the neck.
He had missed Faramir deeply. He missed him every day for he sat in Minas Tirith while his beloved prince of Ithilien dwelt in Emyn Arnen across the river. But he would rest then with the security of knowing that he would see him here. Two weeks in Pelargir had deprived him of two such trysts. And it had hurt him more than he had thought it would. The summons for the council had gone out the moment he set off from Pelargir. He desperately wanted Faramir, he had decided.
And then he had realised what day it was. And instead of what it was he wanted, it had become of a question of what Faramir should have. A night of peace and quiet.
The customary memorial would be held on the morrow. He had never known exactly what Faramir had gone through a month ago at another painful memorial. Éowyn had been there with the younger man, and had had the privilege of his confidences. But the sight of the one he loved that day had told him much. It took him all his self-control to not reach out, envelop him in his arms and give him comfort. Éowyn, he had decided, had adopted the wrong cure. He knew the right one. He could give Faramir the comfort he needed. He knew what to do.
The councils were strenuous, purposely so, enough to tire everyone out. And the lovemaking was tender and full of care and love.
Everything that was in his power, Aragorn would do to ensure that Faramir got through the anniversary of his father’s death with as little hurt as possible. In a few hours they would set out for the city. And he would not let Faramir ache as he had done on the anniversary of Boromir’s death. Tonight Faramir would sleep and the next day he would lend him strength to bear the pain he knew he would feel.
He watched the tearing eyes with bated breath, as they opened. All he could read in them was love.
“I love you,” he whispered, resting his fingers on Faramir’s lips.
Faramir needed no words. The eyes said it all.
They rose before sunrise so they could reach the city early. Aragorn awoke first, still holding Faramir in his arms. He watched the younger man open his eyes and look at him, a quiet expression marking the grave face. He brushed the forehead with his lips.
“We must leave now,” he said.
Faramir nodded. As Aragorn turned to rise from bed, he suddenly stopped him. Grabbing his King’s hand he suddenly bent his head and kissed his ring.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
“You owe me no gratitude,” Aragorn said almost fiercely, “I love you!”
“I know and for that I shall be grateful to all the powers that be including that of your heart that finds a place for me in it for you mean everything to me.”
“I told you; you are the poet, not I!”
Faramir’s only reply was to kiss Aragorn on his lips.
The memorial was a fitting tribute to Denethor and while Faramir did indeed look sad, he was as composed as he had been for his brother’s memorial. It was only Aragorn who could see how the grey eyes of the one he loved reflected grief, but at the same time, a sense of peace that had not been there earlier.
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