This story is rated «R», and carries the warnings «Semi-explicit slash».
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04 September 2010 | 3788 words
Warnings: Semi-explicit slash
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me; all written in good fun with no offence intended :)
Author’s note: Something a bit shorter now. I’ve just realised that it’s another story concerning rather awkward/drunken moments in bed, and Faramir is asleep again, but I guess that’s just one of my things :P (There is likely to be a sequel to this at some point as well, because it’s a bit short but I really had fun writing it!)
I hope you enjoy!
Faramir was snoring, face buried in the pillow, arm hanging off the side of the bed, blankets twisted around his legs where he’d kicked them off in the night. He was naked too, which made the whole thing all the more impossible. Aragorn was sitting up in the bed, his half of the covers spread carefully across his lap, dignity thus far needlessly protected. There was no-one else in the room, of course. And Faramir had already seen everything anyway. As had Aragorn. The creases in the corners of Faramir’s eyes, the freckles on his back. The way he bit his lip when Aragorn began undressing.
Aragorn was stuck. Previous attempts to move had just worsened the pounding in his head until he was forced to sit perfectly still, eyes half shut, hoping his headache would pity him and subside, and hoping against all reasonable hope that Faramir would not wake up. Not now, not yet. It was all rather awkward in the sobering early hours.
Faramir coughed, once, then rolled over onto his side, facing Aragorn. He had somehow freed one leg from the tangle of the bed sheets. Aragorn suddenly became aware of just how close his backside was to Faramir’s head, and he shifted cautiously, slowly. His head thumped. Faramir slipped an arm across his lap, fingers dancing on the skin of his thigh. Aragorn stilled, placing a hand awkwardly on Faramir’s shoulder. He felt somehow out of place, that he shouldn’t be here, which was of course the truth. The King and the Steward, sharing a bed. It wasn’t exactly the done thing.
It was still early. The window shutters let in a sliver of cold sunlight, a strip of pale dawn that slid across Faramir’s ribs and shoulders, bounced off Aragorn’s stomach and chest, shone accusingly in his eye. He squinted in the glare. It would pass soon enough. The heat from Faramir’s body was insane; the man was like an oven. Aragorn had commented on it in the night. There’ll be no need to send for extra firewood in the winter, he’d joked, if you are here with me. It was almost a promise, an invitation, some sort of hope. Faramir had looked over his shoulder at him and smiled. Winter was months away and the implication had not been lost on him.
Aragorn wanted to discard the blankets entirely now, kick them off furiously like Faramir had done, but that would mean being both hung-over and naked and he couldn’t handle that yet. He remembered Faramir’s lopsided smile, his laugh. How shy he’d been and how quickly he’d forgotten his nerves, forgotten himself, and kissed him back. How his hands had shaken.
It had been a month since the coronation. A month, and here they were. Sleepy and sober. It was outrageous, Aragorn thought, unspeakable. They barely knew each other. He did not know when Faramir’s birthday was. Faramir would not be able to guess Aragorn’s preferences regarding pipe-weed. He leant back and let the carved wood of the headboard dig into his shoulder blades. He had decided he was allowed to make excuses this morning; there was certainly little coherent explanation for the previous night. They had cried out in unison, dissonant, Faramir’s voice cracking. Aragorn had been unable to open his eyes to see Faramir’s face. The noise emanating from his throat had not seemed his own.
His shoulders hurt so he shifted again, sliding down into the bed, lying awkwardly on his back, staring up at the ceiling. Faramir aligned himself along Aragorn’s body, arm over his chest, face buried in the darkness of his hair. He held Aragorn so gently, fitted against him so contentedly, unconsciously doing everything to make Aragorn’s heart twist. Aragorn’s arms remained by his sides. It was too difficult. He told himself he didn’t want to wake Faramir by sliding an arm around him in return. He told himself that was the reason why he lay so still while Faramir snored quietly in his ear with an arm draped over him, fingers resting in the spaces between his ribs. He hated himself, then, at that moment. For not knowing what he wanted, or what he should do.
He’d been awake for some time, and too afraid to let Aragorn know. Too afraid to speak to the man who’d coiled his tongue around his a few hours before. His stomach churned from the hangover and from the terror of the unknown. This was the worst part. Rejection usually came hand in hand with the dawn.
Aragorn had lain down beside him again, and Faramir decided to test the waters. Feign sleep, move over and see if his embrace was returned. It wasn’t. Aragorn lay as still as the dead. Maybe he was pretending to be asleep too. It was a forlorn hope, and Faramir knew it. He’d half expected this, or rather, he’d half hoped, however fleetingly, that this time would be different although he knew full well how ridiculous that was. Aragorn was the King. They had both been drunk. Very drunk. That was all. Aragorn would get up, go to the bathroom, and Faramir could slip out of the bed and into his clothes and out of the Royal bedchamber and they could be awkward around each other forevermore. He’d be left unable to look Aragorn in the eye although he’d barely been able to do that before now anyway.
The King. Not Aragorn. He needed to remember that. Elessar.
The King had a scar on his elbow shaped like a crescent moon, the hair on his chest was darker than Faramir’s, and his freckles not nearly so numerous. One or two, here and there. Faramir had constellations on his back, the King had said, or something like that. The King had looked at Faramir, all of Faramir, for a long time. The King had touched him with a fingertip. The King had bitten his lip, too.
Faramir felt foolish. His face was in Aragorn’s hair and the scent reminded him of last night. Aragorn had looked at him, and Faramir had looked at Aragorn, and they had come to a telepathic agreement that getting out of entertaining these dignitaries was a brilliant idea. His slurred excuse was barely acknowledged. It had been late anyway. Aragorn had pushed him out of the door and they had laughed together in the corridor, formalities forgotten, leaning on each other as they swayed drunkenly. They had walked to Aragorn’s chambers and Aragorn had watched him from the corner of his eye as he spoke of some nonsense, whatever it is that comes out of your mouth when you have put too much ale in.
He liked the King from what little he had known of him. The endless duties that come with reorganising a kingdom had kept them both busy beyond belief, with little time for anything other than formality. The King had chided him gently over titles in a rare, spare, moment but he still couldn’t bring himself to call him Aragorn unless they were alone. Last night was the first time; Aragorn had been Aragorn, and other things besides. And he was Faramir, Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien and he was so lonely it made his stomach twist.
Faramir’s breathing had changed. Only just, but enough. Aragorn knew he was awake. Paralysis was a funny thing. If he moved now, he would need to explain, and he did not have an explanation. What Faramir wanted out of this was plain; although now, if he truly was awake, he would already have come to some conclusion as to Aragorn’s state of mind. So now, an awkward pretence of sleep, a last memory of skin and heat. Ten more minutes of togetherness before real life came knocking.
He liked Faramir. He liked him a lot. He was devastatingly intelligent, witty, charming once you got him opened up and to stop calling you by your title. He’d seemed almost taken aback by Aragorn’s honest and open friendship. Aragorn had wanted to get to know him better and now he knew that all of the hair on his body was the same ruddy auburn as the hair on his head. He was slender, lean underneath the Stewards’ finery. Supple. Aragorn had liked that too.
There was no explanation for last night. He didn’t know why he’d suddenly slid his hands about Faramir’s face and kissed him mid-sentence. He’d kicked the bedroom door shut behind them and when Faramir turned to face him he’d decided that was a good idea. Faramir hadn’t kissed him back, not right away. Aragorn could feel Faramir’s shock, how his body stiffened, how his hands reached up to rest in the crooks of Aragorn’s elbows in feeble protest. For show really. It would do to show some doubt.
Aragorn had to get up. He needed space and time to think, even if it was only for a minute, and even if it was only in the bathroom. Leaving Faramir in the bed was harder than he thought it would be. He slid out from under his arm and watched as it rested on the mattress, embracing the memory of warmth. Faramir would think Aragorn was doing him a kindness, allowing him the chance to escape without embarrassment. He padded quickly over to his bathroom, a small adjoining chamber with a another door, locked, to the far side which allowed servants to deliver hot water without disturbing the occupants of the bedroom. Or, in Aragorn‘s case, the occupant. But the King would never admit that he was lonely.
He looked back once before slipping into the bathroom. Faramir hadn’t moved, still asleep, or pretending to sleep. Aragorn left the door ajar.
Now. Go. He’s letting you leave without having to actually say anything to him.
Faramir sat up, head swimming, feeling atrocious. His insides somersaulted. Aragorn had brushed the hair from his face and kissed him goodnight on the forehead, and now he was hiding in the bathroom hoping Faramir would be gone when he returned. What on earth was last night all about? Why had he dared hope that Aragorn would still want him in the morning? He remembered the look on Aragorn’s face, that barely-restrained desire, the volatile lust, before he’d buried his head between Faramir’s legs and licked him. He shivered, and pulled the covers up around himself. It was cold in the bed now.
He decided he would be awkward. He would wait until Aragorn returned. He would speak to him. There would at least be a proper ending. He deserved that at least. Then he would leave and he would probably be sent away or banished or something, which was fine because it meant he wouldn’t have to deal with any of this. He desperately wanted a drink of water, but for the moment the bathroom was off-limits. He didn’t have to wait long.
“Faramir-…!” Aragorn stood in the bathroom doorway, having not expected the other man to have given up on mock-sleep so soon. Faramir was sitting up, looking at him, not unkindly, arms folded, blankets pulled up to his chest. His eyes darted involuntarily down Aragorn’s unclothed body. Aragorn didn’t know what else to say and so sat down on the bed on Faramir’s side and looked at his hands. Faramir shifted to accommodate him, his feet brushing against the small of Aragorn’s back.
“Aragorn.” It was said simply in reply, and as the silence stretched between them Faramir found it impossible not to fidget. He rubbed his eye, then looked around surreptitiously for something to occupy his hands. He twisted the embroidered edge of the blanket, pulling at the golden threads. He became aware of Aragorn watching him after a moment. He breathed in sharply.
“I will leave shortly.” He began, furiously studying the needlework. “…and trouble you no more, but I want to know-” He got no further, Aragorn cutting him off.
“I do not want you to leave.” It was said quickly, and they looked at each other for a brief moment. Aragorn seemed terribly uncomfortable. Faramir pulled one of the bedcovers free and offered it to the King who smiled back wanly. There was a moment of internal debate before Aragorn placed his hand over Faramir’s in kind refusal, before getting up and walking around the bed. Faramir, for a silly moment, thought he was going to leave, naked and everything. He’d not quite managed to mask his awkward expression of disappointment-turned-surprise when Aragorn lifted the covers on the other side of the bed and slipped in beside him again. Warmth at last.
They sat there, not quite touching. Aragorn could feel the heat emanating from Faramir’s body and could see in his peripheral vision that Faramir was trying nonchalantly to hide behind his sleep-flattened hair. “What did you want to know, Faramir?” If he could coax an answer out of him then perhaps his own mind would sort itself out.
They would talk, then. Faramir began to say something, then faltered. He wanted to say “Nothing.” Make his apologies and leave, now. Confronting Aragorn had seemed much easier when Aragorn himself hadn’t actually been in the room. In the bed. Not quite touching him.
“I was really drunk last night.” He offered. It wasn’t quite an excuse, or an answer to Aragorn’s question, but it was a start.
“As was I.” Aragorn was looking at him again. A pause, then; “Do you regret what happened?”
Faramir looked tortured. “No.” Aragorn could barely hear him. “Do you?”
Aragorn wanted to clasp Faramir’s hand, to brush his hair from his eyes, anything to show that he was indeed still alive. Instead, he answered, “No. I do not.” Last night he had mumbled an unending stream of endearments into Faramir’s ear, incomprehensible through drink and passion. It had been unexpectedly difficult to keep Faramir quiet once they neared the edge. Aragorn had worried momentarily about being overheard, but Faramir had jolted beneath him and cried out, and he had found himself following his Steward shortly after, howling his name. He scratched at the back of his head.
“Do-…” Faramir hesitated again. He really couldn’t ask the question. Do you want to do it again? Is there a future for us? Will you stay with me? Every version sounded horrendous. There wasn’t even a relationship, yet. Though he supposed that was the whole point of this excruciating ordeal. How do you ask someone such a question? How do you ask the King?
“Faramir.” Aragorn had leant forward, peering around the curtain of hair shielding the other man’s face. “Faramir, look at me, please.” Faramir complied, head turning a fraction, the sense of impending rejection still overwhelming. The strip of sunlight from the window lay across the slope of his nose, pooled in the hollow of his collarbone.
“I realise that last night’s…ah, events, may have come as a bit of a surprise, to both of us, I mean.” Aragorn paused, the words evidently coming out all wrong for him too. He decided to soldier on, eyes slipping down to watch the unravelling of embroidery under Faramir’s nervous fingers. “We haven’t had much time for friendship these past weeks.” He swallowed. “And I do want your friendship, Faramir. I would cherish it.”
“And I yours.” Faramir knew he sounded stiff, staid, but he was trying so hard not to come across as pathetic that he couldn’t manage anything else. Deciding that this brief discussion had covered everything neatly he made to get up. Aragorn suddenly put his hand on Faramir’s arm in his first un-awkward touch since sleep had claimed them. Faramir froze.
“You misunderstand, I think.” Aragorn’s slender fingers slid down and stilled Faramir’s clasped hands. “I would cherish your friendship greatly, do not doubt that. But if you wish to give me…more than friendship, I would have that too.” It was rather awkwardly put, but Faramir didn’t care. He looked up at Aragorn properly, an errant curl tickling his forehead. Aragorn looked as uncertain as he felt. It was strangely comforting to know that the King got nervous too.
“But…we have known each other hardly a month, and there is so much yet to do, I mean, with the rebuilding and everything-…and what will happen when we are found out? Because we will get found out, Aragorn, you cannot say we will not!” Faramir paused for breath, looking over at Aragorn who raised his eyebrows at this outburst. Faramir hadn’t ever been this talkative; last night’s ale-loosened tongue being an interesting exception. The younger man had spoken candidly, had whispered things into Aragorn’s ear that, to save Faramir’s blushes, he dare not repeat in the light of day. Faramir looked rather surprised at his uncharacteristic babbling as well, and smiled shyly, hair obscuring his face again as he spoke now quietly. “I would give you more than friendship, as I think you already know. Although most people would think it shameful…”
Aragorn took a breath. “I am not most people.” He fought a grin.
“Me neither.” So did Faramir. They smiled stupidly at each other before Faramir lost his courage again and turned his eyes sheepishly away, nervous laughter bubbling up from within as Aragorn continued.
“I am sorry for before.” It was the older man’s turn to look away. “For not…returning your embrace. You must have thought-…you-….” He picked at his fingernails. “…I knew you were awake and yet I did not….” He trailed off awkwardly and stared at his hands for the second time that morning. Faramir made a face, having gone back to pulling at the threads of the blanket. He felt foolish, and then it struck him how silly they were both being, talking while sitting so close and undressed and avoiding all eye contact. Aragorn shifted and the bedcover slid down his lap a little, exposing the dark hair scattered down his lean stomach, leading below. Aragorn didn’t adjust the blanket, perhaps deliberately.
Faramir suddenly felt brave. Taking the opportunity while Aragorn looked away he abandoned the abused corner of the bedcover and slid his fingers into Aragorn’s hair, turning his face toward him.
Faramir’s kiss was as surprisingly delicate and tender as it had been last night. Aragorn could feel him smiling against his lips, his closed eyes creasing. Aragorn kissed back, of course, his eyes sliding shut as he twisted to face Faramir. His hand danced across the Steward’s chest, over soft hair and pale battle-scars. It ended rather sooner than he had hoped, with Faramir resting his forehead against Aragorn’s and biting his lip. One hand held a fistful of deep, dark waves, the other had migrated to Aragorn’s blanket-covered thigh, where it rested lightly.
“I am sorry.” Faramir opened his eyes, but didn’t move his head. “I wanted to do that.”
Aragorn leant back a little, breaking contact, reaching up to tidy Faramir’s sleep-tangled hair. “I have an idea, Faramir, and I hope you will go along with it.” Faramir looked up between Aragorn’s elbows but Aragorn’s gaze was wholly fixated on his tousled tresses, fingers working out the knots and smoothing the curls down neatly. When Faramir didn’t speak he continued. “I propose that we are henceforth banned from being awkward around one another.” He stroked Faramir’s hair, his eyes twinkling. “I think it would save us a lot of hassle.” He flashed a wry grin which Faramir returned.
“Agreed.” The younger man reached up and pulled Aragorn’s hands down from his hair, letting them rest in his lap, running his thumbs over the knuckles. “Can I tell you something, then? Something, well…it is difficult…” Faramir’s voice quietened, but he didn’t look away this time.
“Of course.” Aragorn opened his hands beneath Faramir’s, palms down, warmth seeping through the blanket onto the other man’s leg.
“I…I am lonely, Aragorn.” A whisper, a statement, a hope that the un-asked question could be answered. Faramir‘s expression was neutral, but his eyes were desolate. Aragorn leaned forward, his hand sliding from Faramir’s gentle grasp to rest gingerly on the younger man’s stubble-rough cheek. He brushed away a fallen eyelash with his thumb, then slid his hand down Faramir’s neck and onto his shoulder, pulling him gently to lie on the bed with him.
“Faramir…” Aragorn let go for a moment to pull the blanket up and over them both, plunging them into heat and darkness. There were a few moments of transition; limbs and bodies finding the perfect alignment. Aragorn’s thigh found a place between Faramir’s own as the younger man hooked his leg over the other’s hips. Their lower bodies fitted together as if made for the purpose. Aragorn exhaled slowly, the warmth from below rushing upwards through his body. Faramir’s fingertips were slowly counting Aragorn’s ribs; up and down and up again. His eyes, which had drifted shut in the comfort of their embrace, half-opened as Aragorn spoke again.
“I will stay with you.”
The kiss was delicate, again, so tender and gentle, until Aragorn surged forward and their tongues danced together, and their hands rediscovered skin and muscle and heat, and the blood pulsed in their ears, and they became tangled in the bedcovers, and Faramir’s hands combed through Aragorn’s hair over and over, and with every spare breath they spoke, whispered and moaned to each other, and they made themselves fit together completely, and Aragorn was shuddering beneath Faramir, and Faramir was pulling Aragorn’s hair, and they were crying out together again, gutteral and wild, arched backs and closed eyes, their names gloriously unintelligible, and then as suddenly as it began the storm passed, the tempest ebbed and they lay panting in the aftermath amid the devastation of the bed sheets.
They lay entangled, for a while, on the edge of sleep, although they both knew they would need to rise soon; separately, of course, and in Faramir’s case, covertly. The sun rose higher. Aragorn counted the blemishes on Faramir’s shoulder; two, three, four. Bells could be heard far below in the city marking the early hour; five, six, seven.
Time to get up.
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