This story is rated «R», and carries the warnings «angst, somewhat AU, hurt-comfort themes, implied het relationship.».
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04 November 2016 | 11924 words | Work in Progress
It touches Faramir very deeply, more deeply than he had made to prepare himself for, that his leader and saviour has bodily reactions as those of a young boy, unspoilt, unpractised, sincere. That this man, who rules the land with a steady hand, with wisdom and composure, whose head is adorned with thin threads of noble mithril, cannot help but unravel at the teasing caress of an unwary hand.
It is not how it should be, not how it should be at all, and the injustice overfills the young lord with such sharp, bitter tenderness that his throat goes tight and sore. Before he knows it, there are tears rolling down his cheek bones and into his ears, and dimly he realises these are the first he has managed to shed since she has gone. He lies limp, sweaty and undone, abruptly thrown ashore, back upon the sticky sheets, back into the thick darkness of his rooms. His head is spinning, and he is not certain that his legs would hold him if he were to try and stand. But in his mind there is a swept, empty clarity, and in his heart a clean, fresh lightness, like cool water flowing, and, without asking whether he would have it, a smile makes itself at home upon his lips.
But then, a dull, winded groan falls onto him, and he feels shallow aftershock tremors scatter through Aragorn’s frame. So he raises his hand to run it over the man’s hair, to move a dampened strand from his temple – and Aragorn bows his head, tucks into the curve of Faramir’s neck.
Shamefaced he may be, but the old ranger is not about to flee. Maybe only because he is too tired, too disoriented to go.
Faramir’s hands overflow with caresses, and his mouth with kisses, and all of his body with the desire to hold, and cherish, and give joy, to show acceptance with his every gesture, with every fibre of his every limb. Instead he closes his eyes and focuses all his thought on drawing the air deep into his breast. It is not the time for sweet abandon, not just yet, and so he should steady himself – and just maybe, with the sheer steadiness of his own breathing, he could also calm his king. To lose oneself in another’s arms for the first time, what was it like? An altogether different state of being, this much he can fathom, yet he cannot properly relate, and it is not a question of years that have passed, for how could this compare to anything he has ever known. There is no point of reference in his system of coordinates against which to set his lord’s story, and he cannot aspire to understand, he can only wait.
And maybe he can also try and beckon Aragorn closer still.
This is not fair play, surely not, for Aragorn’s defences are low and he is taking advantage, pulling him down, lower, nearer. This may not be fair play, but he believes it is justified, for in Faramir’s eyes, nothing works to underscore his lord’s vulnerability like this clumsy spread-legged, bent-over stance he has assumed atop his younger companion, and the cold sheen of moisture that is settling like evening dew on his fever-hot skin. Both of these can be easily remedied, by far more easily than the insecurity that lies within.
So as Aragorn gives in and slowly, awkwardly lowers himself onto Faramir, Faramir grasps for the rumpled blanket and, tugging and pulling with one hand, careful not to nudge the other man in the ribs, manages to haul the heavy cover over the King’s back and at least part of their legs.
Satisfied, he slinks his arm across Aragorn’s shoulders, and whispers, “’Tis alright.” It is best to offer only the simplest of reassurances in a time like this. “You are spent… ’tis alright… everything can wait till later… let yourself rest…”
It is almost too warm, and much more comfortable, and it is exactly then that another matter brings itself to his attention. In any other circumstances surely it would have borne no import at all, but tonight is precisely an exception from all foreseeable normality. With a pang of unease Faramir realises something should be done about his other hand, the one now trapped between their bellies, still quite unequivocally holding the King by the manhood. He had chosen not to pull it away earlier, and struggled with the blanket one-handed, so if he were to withdraw it now when he has no actual purpose for it, the withdrawal will in itself become the purpose.
The King says nothing, does nothing, and Faramir is left to his own devices. If he is careful, if he is very patient, if he takes his fingers away one by one, and counts to ten dozen in between, it will pass unnoticed. The fingers, however, clearly do not take this logic on board, as they remain where they are, safekeeping the precious warmth until he feels the last of the stiffness seep away – and even after that he does not, cannot let go.
As it shrunk, his grasp had tightened with it, and he is now positively holding on for dear life – which would be quite amusing if he were not so desperate for a solution. This is not an end of the world sort of predicament, and that it should be so difficult only goes to show how much out of shape he has fallen in these past few weeks. Naturally, tomorrow he will arrive at the most tactful way to resolve the situation – but he has not been given until tomorrow.
It would be quite obliging indeed if Aragorn were to pull away all off his own accord, or altogether fall asleep – so that Faramir could… Before he can chastise himself for feeble-heartedness, Faramir sees suddenly that it is not the pulling away as such that bothers him, but rather the even more sensitive question of what he will then do with what he has got a full handful of – the slippery, viscous aftermath of the brief enjoyment Aragorn has found in his bed.
And at this, funnily enough, he has no more experience than his king.
He had understood the reasons and never took it personally when the women he had known, the ones before his marriage, attended to things. Too much unnecessary trouble, in every sense of the word, could come their way if they did not. Judging they knew best, simply by virtue of being female, he never tried to participate in the procedures – and after Éowyn it had become even less of an issue, seeing as children were not an unwelcome prospect. For that matter, in all his life he never had much interest of whichever sort in the bodily products that come as a natural accompaniment of disrobed interactions with the opposite gender.
Some men, he heard, like to implement these things into their love play, perceiving romantic or erotic symbolism therein, while others shun them as offensive to the senses or, worse, impingent upon the veil of sacredness that should enshroud the act of intimacy. Faramir did neither. He would wash himself afterwards, which seemed like the obvious thing to do, of no more metaphorical significance than wiping the mouth after a meal – and that would be the end of it.
Adventurousness and variety had never become his pursuits in the private area of life, even if only because as a young man, he had been too preoccupied with the moral dubiousness of the behaviour to further aggravate that preoccupation by exploring the less travelled roads – whereas as a married one… Mayhap if they had been given more time, if things were allowed to evolve… But as it was, his love had been young, and easily pleased, and maybe, in part, cautious.
As a result of all of which, on this dark night they will have to pave a new path – not only Aragorn, but he, too. For whatever had been, had not ended too well, for anyone, and it seems to him now that at least for his part, the sorrow that followed has as though separated him from his previous ways, cut through him in a fashion that allows to reassemble anew, differently – the more differently, the better.
His eyes only half-open, he eases his arm out from between them. This time, he will appreciate what has been given to him.
As the minutes passed, it had grown sticky rather than slippery, but with one broad, generous swipe of his hand, he smears it all across his face – and there is something wondrously heathen about this, something full of the deepest, most sacral of meanings. He tilts his head back as he paints this ritual mask across his features, as he drinks in the scent, as it tickles the inside of his nose and descends down his throat into his spine.
Some rational grain in him insists he should be overcome with emotion now, with something dark and stifling and burning, with shame for enjoying what has happened, for enjoying so earnestly what they have done, what he has just done, a bereaved inconsolable husband as he is supposed to be. So quick to turn a new leaf, so hungry for second chances. But the more he rakes himself for remorse, the more he produces of something else, a confusion so thick and pleasant that it is far too tempting to give up on trying to think his way through it. Such a strange thing, all of this.
And with this thought, Faramir dips a finger into his mouth.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: alecia , ebbingnight