This story is rated «R», and carries the warnings «Slash and a bit of fluff :)».
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04 October 2010 | 3637 words
Warnings: Slash and a bit of fluff!
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me; all written in good fun with no offence intended :)
Beta: None. Please tell me of any errors!
Author’s note: This is a companion piece which follows on from my earlier work, Blemishes (you don’t have to read that one first, but this story might make more sense if you do!) Here we spend some more time with Faramir and Aragorn, their relationship having blossomed somewhat. I feel it ends a little abruptly but I wanted it to be more like a glimpse into a few hours of their time, and it’s not meant to have a grand conclusion just yet. Stylistically, I tried to do something different with the dialogue so please let me know if it works or if it just reads really awkwardly :D Enjoy! (and yes I will very likely write more set in this universe in the future!)
(The song words that Faramir remembers are something I mis-heard on television (how magical!), and I thought them rather poetic so I used them :))
Faramir lifted up the sponge and watched as the rivulets of cooling water found their way across his skin, little rivers on his chest. He did it again, and watched as the liquid chose a different path each time, wetting the hairs and slipping over faded scars, sliding down in tandem with the blood in his veins, becoming lost forevermore as it rejoined the water of the bath as it lapped gently against his naked ribs.
The sponge bobbed lazily on the surface. Faramir gripped the marble sides of the bath, and shifted, leaning back and submerging himself, lying on the bottom. He opened his eyes and his hair drifted across his face like a river weed. He fancied that he must look as if drowned, and then dismissed the thought for the unsettling feeling it brought. Air bubbles tickled his nostrils. He lay until his heart thundered a protest in his ears and he sat up again, a gasp of air and a smattering of water on the surface, onto the floor. His hair stuck to the sides of his head, matted down by moisture, darkened, straighter. He breathed out, and rose from the bath, sending more water onto the flagstones. The man seated in the chair near the window set his book aside, looking up at him, silent but his eyes said enough. Grey orbs that might have been cold but looked at Faramir with only warmth and only kindness, framed by dark locks that never sat straight.
Faramir stood there dripping for a moment, lost in thought, until a towel was thrown at him and he laughed and began to dry himself, unashamed, unembarrassed. Naked, before the King. It was a strange time indeed. A new Age of men, and, Faramir thought happily, a new Age for him. Faramir: the uninhibited years. He grinned. He was being silly.
Throwing the towel over his head he made a makeshift effort to dry his hair, the result of which was a style only slightly more unruly than usual. A soft laugh, and he looked up, towel falling onto his shoulders. He raised his eyebrows. Aragorn raised his in answer, the warmth of his smile undiminished. Faramir would even dare to say the King looked fondly at him, and he knew he looked fondly upon the King. More than fondness, although he would never say it. Not yet. Those three words, yearning to burst forth and yet unspeakable. Not yet. But soon. Maybe.
To Aragorn’s bemused regret Faramir’s bath had not been big enough for two, so he had bathed first, and now sat by the window, towel wrapped around his waist and hair drying into waves. It had not surprised him in the least to discover the pile of books on the window-ledge, the impossibility of parting Faramir from his reading material even whilst he was in the bath seemed almost obvious in retrospect. Faramir had waved away his suggestion of sending for fresh, hotter water, and had dutifully clambered into Aragorn’s bathwater after him without so much as a shrug. His hair had curled in the steam as he’d sat, where Aragorn now was, and read while the King bathed.
Would you go mad if you found yourself with half an hour to spare and not a single line of text in the room?
I could read to you.
I should banish all writing from the City…
And deprive us of the hours spent deciphering your handwriting?
We would not even know what you had outlawed!
The washcloth was well-aimed, but Faramir was fast. He’d caught it one handed, and just to be smug, thrown it back without looking. It landed square in the middle of the bath, sending water flying. Their laughter chorused together, two sets of eyes dancing with mirth.
The topmost book had been some dreary poetry, which even Faramir had bypassed, and the fictional novel beneath was just as bad, but as he doubted he’d get much in the way of actual reading done Aragorn picked it up anyway. The pages had begun to wrinkle in the damp air when Faramir finally deigned to leave his bath, miniature lakes pooling at his feet, rivers flowing into the grooves between the flagstones.
Aragorn left the unfortunate book on the chair, and stepped between the puddles, opening the towel from his middle and wrapping it around Faramir’s waist too, binding them together. Faramir grinned that grin at him, the one that meant business. There was a fire below, between them, growing. Faramir’s hands slid across Aragorn’s ribs. Aragorn grabbed the towel from Faramir’s shoulders and pulled it over the other man’s head, the pretence of helping to dry his hair ruined by the fact he shook from poorly restrained laughter. Faramir’s fingers danced higher, and further back, until they stroked along the groove of Aragorn’s spine. Blindly, for Aragorn had him imprisoned.
“Are you going to let me breathe?”
“Are you going to stop mocking my handwriting?”
Aragorn’s laugh was contagious and his hands loosened their grasp of the towel at last. Faramir wriggled free and tossed his hair back, droplets sprinkling onto their bare skin. Aragorn quickly brought his arms around Faramir’s waist, lest he should escape so easily, but Faramir seemed to have quelled this rebellious nature for the moment, leaning closer and pressing a kiss to the nape of Aragorn’s neck. A muscle twitched as Faramir’s stubble scraped the skin of Aragorn’s throat. He swallowed, and Faramir kissed his Adam’s apple, his nose scraped by Aragorn’s beard in turn.
“I can warm you up?”
“Are sure you are really Faramir?”
“You used to be shy…”
“I can ignore you if you wish.”
“I would order you to warm me up, in that case.”
Kissing Faramir was so strange. It was always a delightful shock, when Aragorn closed his eyes and his lips parted beneath Faramir’s, to feel stubble against his cheek, and the strong fingers that wove themselves into his hair, and a scent so indescribably male that wound its way into his nostrils as his breath surged through them also. How long had it been now? He’d tried not to count the days, weeks. His tongue slid over Faramir’s, and Faramir, for all his devilish grinning, still kissed him so tenderly, so gently as if he would cause offence by doing anything else. His hands swept through Aragorn’s hair, still silky with moisture. He could be passionate, they both could, in the midst of things, but here, now, when they were at peace and together, Faramir kissed him so lovingly it made his heart hammer so hard he could almost hear it.
When? Aragorn wondered. When could he tell him he was falling in love?
Warmth, at last, and dryness; Faramir welcomed them both as they fell together, in a mess of limbs and towels, onto the fur in front of the fire. Faramir disentangled himself for a moment to retrieve a blanket from the cupboard, draping it over them both as they sat together, backs against the couch. The fire roared. Faramir buried his head between Aragorn’s shoulder and neck and Aragorn pulled him closer, their legs intertwining beneath the blanket and their arms suitably arranged around each other’s still naked bodies.
“I suddenly do not envy the elves, for Valinor cannot be any sweeter than this…”
“That was awful.”
“You say that only because you are not as scholarly as me.”
“ ‘As I ’, surely?”
“Ah, King of Men and grammar I see.”
Long moments passed unnoticed as they kissed, still tenderly, content to let passion wait a while. It was so warm, and so safe, their own haven, their own time together, away from everything and everyone. They would be found out, eventually, they both knew. At some point in the future, a council member would notice the large amount of time they spent together or a servant would become curious as to where they disappeared to, and follow, or start gossip over why their doors were always locked. Faramir dreaded the day this safety shattered, and feared beyond all else the possibility of losing Aragorn, the man who right now was leaving kisses on his neck so soft they were like a dandelion clock counting hours against his skin.
Aragorn, who kissed him in drunken madness so many nights ago, and who he now would give his heart to, if only he could find the courage to speak the words. He sighed through his nose and smiled, eyes closed and neck arched against the King’s gentle lips. Faramir sat there now, practically in Aragorn’s lap, and he could not utter what his heart called out with every beat.
A few weeks ago he’d shyly asked Aragorn if he had ever been with another man before him. Faramir hadn’t, and he said as much and went over again in his mind how peculiar it was that the two of them should find such feelings between them when neither had looked for them in their own sex before. He had been drawn to Aragorn’s friendly, open demeanour. He was honourable, clever, kind-hearted and fair. He was wise and Faramir had been delighted to discover his sense of humour matched his own. And then Aragorn had kissed him and the way he viewed all of these things changed. Faramir knew he was lucky, uncannily so. This was rare, this feeling, this passion and peace between him and Aragorn, and it did not bother him any more, as it had for a short while in the beginning, that they were both men and that they were breaking perhaps every possible rule.
Aragorn’s lips had found their way higher, and Faramir fidgeted a little when teeth nipped at his earlobe. The King hummed the first few notes of a song and planted a kiss behind his ear. Faramir slipped an arm lower, his hand navigating the smooth expanse of Aragorn’s lower back. Faramir sighed, utterly content. The fire crackled and spat. Valinor, indeed.
They made love there, a slow, languid exploration of their bodies, skin mapped by questing fingertips and tongues. Aragorn looked up at Faramir through half-shut eyes. The younger man’s back arched and his eyes were shut tight, his hips moving in an ever quickening rhythm. He bit his lip, but he could not stop himself from crying out, starting with Aragorn’s name and then quickly degenerating into an almost unearthly howl at the end, a noise Aragorn had never imagined Faramir could make.
Afterwards, they migrated to the bed, and lay for a long time, awash with afterglow, until Faramir stirred and his hand snaked its way beneath the bed sheets and between Aragorn’s legs. All the King needed to do was raise his eyebrows and Faramir was upon him once more, and they devoured each other as if the world was ending with marks on shoulders from the grip of fingernails, pulled hair and bruised lips. They came together this time, bodies shuddering and voices indistinguishable.
“I love you too, Faramir.”
“I said, I love you too.”
“But-…I did not-…”
“You practically shouted it.”
“I did not mean-…I wanted to say it properly. I love you, Aragorn. I really do. Oh hell, that was all dreadful.”
“No, dear one. I know that you love me.”
There was a very long pause, and then they both surrendered to laughter at the same moment, foreheads together, grinning, eyes open and crinkled with joy. Faramir wrapped his arms around Aragorn and kissed him, and they held each other until the fireplace began to cool.
The evening crept on. Eventually Faramir slid out from the covers and Aragorn’s arms, reluctantly, for the floor was ice under his bare feet, to light some candles. Aragorn propped himself up on an elbow, and watched him as he padded around the room, eventually gathering up the fur and throwing it over the bed, climbing beneath it. He lay on his back, the King’s warmth pressed against his side. Aragorn hummed that same melody again, reaching to put a stray curl behind Faramir’s ear. It was an old tune, Faramir suddenly remembered, the first line coming to him from the recesses of his memory.
The fire’s ablaze, the beacons’ lit; come set your lanterns ready.
Aragorn often sung to him, a habit Faramir had grown very fond of. It reminded him of days long passed, of his youth and of family. He yawned. Aragorn ran his palm over the younger man’s chest and Faramir smiled up at him. He felt a great peace settle over him. He slept for an uncertain amount of time, slipping easily into unconsciousness; happy, safe. When he resurfaced the embers were still aglow in the grate, and Aragorn had not moved, save his breathing had slowed to a calm rhythm. He did not sleep, though, and began fiddling with something when he saw that Faramir had reawakened. He reached for Faramir’s hand.
“I cannot take this!”
“It is mine to give to whomever I choose.”
“…I cannot, Aragorn.”
“Just for tonight, then.”
“Why? I do not understand…
“Because you are mine.”
The ring of Barahir felt strange on Faramir’s finger, metal warmed by Aragorn’s skin, the jewel glinting in the remaining light. He could not keep it, he would not, but he would wear it tonight for Aragorn’s sake. The significance of the gesture sat heavily in Faramir’s heart. This was the ring Aragorn should be giving in betrothal, and Faramir had gathered that while Aragorn was obviously not proposing to him, it was still something rather immense. A claim upon his heart, though it was already given to the King. He slid his hand up to rest on Aragorn’s cheek, eyes flitting between the treasure now on his index finger and Aragorn’s eyes which were so full of adoration at that moment that Faramir felt like weeping.
It was fast, it had been so fast. The time between that first kiss and the decision, the absolute certainty in his heart that bade Aragorn to all but pledge himself to Faramir with that one gesture. His hand and his heart both felt lighter.
But still, there was fear. Fear of rejection, loss. Typical, normal things to think of in the middle of the night when you are lying there alone. On the nights when they could not be together and Aragorn lay awake in his own bed, so vast and empty feeling without the heat of his Faramir beside him, the fear crept up on him and kept him from slumber. His Faramir, he would catch himself thinking and ask himself; was it wrong to think that? Too soon? To Faramir, he was certainly his King. But was he his Aragorn?
The answer, he now knew, was closer to yes than he’d previously dared hope.
The soft-spoken, often serious Faramir became someone else entirely when behind closed doors and beneath Aragorn’s skilled hands, his voice rising unchecked and crying out unhindered when he reached his climax. He was so vocal when they made love, words and later, other, increasingly animalistic noises spilling forth from his lips as they moved together, heat within heat. This last time, as they’d hurriedly collided together, with none of their previous languor; this last time, Faramir had breathlessly chanted his love, three times, four, the last a strangled yell, degenerating into a moan that pushed Aragorn over the edge himself.
It had been glorious.
Faramir used to be shy. Aragorn had gotten used to, and didn’t mind in the least, initiating everything, for Faramir never refused. Weeks passed, and Faramir grew braver. He would move first to kiss the King when they found themselves alone. He had held himself back during their passion, but now he let loose his tongue and they shouted and groaned together and Faramir’s hitherto hidden confidence shone forth.
When they had first made love, six months ago, it had been rough, and they had fallen onto the bed, lust-drunk, in a mess of urgently half removed clothing and tangled hair. The second time, later that night, when they had awoken in a bemused and slightly embarrassed state to find one another in the bed, they had looked at each other for a long time before Aragorn reached out and ran his fingers though Faramir’s hair and they slowly succumbed to each other once more. They had slept again, in an embrace that the morning light and sobriety unravelled, and they then danced around each other in awkwardness in the light of day.
Aragorn could feel the metal of the ring catch against his beard as Faramir’s fingertips wound their way up into his hair. He had known Faramir would never accept the ring as a gift, a token of love or otherwise, but he had wanted to bestow it nonetheless. It had all begun as an alcohol induced moment of fantasy, but Aragorn now needed Faramir to know he meant to honour him with a place in his heart. He smiled down at Faramir, who now rested his cheek against the King’s shoulder and murmured softly.
Aragorn had found love, and had found it in another man. His Steward no less. But the King was no longer lonely, and that was what mattered.
Faramir awoke again, late in the night. They had moved away from each other in sleep, Aragorn turned on his side away from him, breathing even. The blanket pooled around his slim hips, exposing his naked back to the cool air. The room was quiet. Faramir rose and returned to the bathroom.
It was still dim, but he could see himself in the mirror well enough. He shook out his flattened hair. It was strange to think that the way Aragorn felt when he looked at Faramir was the same as how he felt when he looked back at the King. He was just himself after all.
He saw to his business, then turned to wash. His hand clinked against the basin, and he looked at the ring once more in the pale dawn seeping through from the shutter. It was beautiful, so staggeringly ancient. He brought it to his lips and kissed the knuckle. He would have to give it back, come sunrise; for someone to see it on his hand would spell the doom of everything they had together. Faramir knew that it all must remain secret and that the secret would grow more difficult to keep the longer their relationship continued. As the weeks went on this troubled him more often; doubtless it worried Aragorn too, but they hadn’t spoken of it yet. They were careful, beyond careful. They took care not to be seen together too often. To all outward observers they appeared to be nothing more than very good friends, and perhaps these onlookers took joy from the fact the King and the Steward seemed close; in these new, easier times it was a boon to have their lords so companionable. It set a good example. So long as no-one found out they shared a great deal more than a glass of wine in their rooms four nights out of seven.
They had been careful, and they had been lucky. So far.
The re-entry to a warm bed with a warm body in it was always bliss after the chill of the air beyond. Aragorn’s fingers twined with Faramir’s as the younger slid behind him and hooked a leg over the King’s. If he could stay like this forever, with his face buried in Aragorn’s hair, and heat captured between them from shoulder to toe, Faramir truly wouldn’t mind at all. Tomorrow they would awaken early and Aragorn would dress and leave him, slipping quietly away to his, thankfully nearby, apartments. Faramir hated mornings now for that fact alone. Their parting was always bittersweet, a long, last kiss, a glance, before one or the other slipped through the door and left with nothing but their scent on the bedclothes as evidence of their liaison. They would see each other again shortly, sometimes not even an hour later at an early council meeting. But then it was different. Then; they were no closer than the King and his Steward ought to be.
Faramir loved him, there was no doubt in that. He loved him as his King, and he loved him as his Aragorn.
He tightened his embrace briefly. Aragorn murmured in his sleep. Surely if their love held true, then nothing the dawn could bring could alter that.
“Goodnight, my heart.”
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: ebbingnight , iris , Minx , Mira Took , , Mel