22 November 2012 | 1114 words
Summary: If he allows himself to pretend, you are so very close.
Pairing: Faramir & Aragorn
Rating: PG-13, I think… because of one single sentence.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.R.R. Tolkien
A/N: Because long, cold winter nights exist.
The candle goes out with not even a sigh. The wick simply slides into the warm puddle of wax that fills the bottom of the cracked glass jar. And so the room sinks into a misty wintry darkness, and he rolls over onto his belly.
He listens to the silence, can almost breathe the stillness. Only he has the power to disturb it now and that knowledge is heavy in the soft darkness.
If he would lift a hand he might even touch the invisible strands of yearning that he unconsciously has woven across the room, only by being. They hold him captive in their secret embrace, and they fill his soul with longing.
He raises his head and reaches. Guarded by the night, he need not fear discovery.
So he lifts his head and pulls the pillow closer, and need wins over embarrassment and he closes his eyes and buries his face in the pillow, and finds the smell of you.
It is the sweetest shock. You are there, somewhere, in this gentle sea of feathers and linen, and he can almost pretend that your hair tickles his cheek, or that he is spooning up behind you and leaving sleepy kisses on your warm shoulder. For you are strong and calm, and you are safety and reassurance, but still you like to be held. And he loves to hold you.
He cannot understand how you can be so warm, you know. His own feet are cold already after a moment spent upon the white marble floor of the bedchamber. And he must pull on a shirt as soon as he rises to the new day. But you let the morning light wash over your bare chest and – even more inconceivably – you do not mind breaking your fast clad in only leggings, while he huddles, as close to you as he dares, under a blanket, while the first snowflakes swirl by outside.
He once told you that this is not how Kings do it, but he did not mean to protest or for you to change. He was secretly relieved when you only smiled at his nonsense about tradition. As if this novelty was nothing to be alarmed at. As if time had finally moved on.
Sometimes you look at him as if you care. As if you truly care. And not like his friends look at him, but as… as a lover might – as if the lover had… as if there were something more.
He turns his head to the side and the velvety night protects his secret as he seeks your scent anew. He shifts, dips his nose deep into the pillow and draws a long breath. And one more.
His hopes have led him into this. It is a land that requires courage to navigate, and he only has a little and he fears that you will never notice how he struggles to not shy away.
And he so fears that you will see this and speak words that he will only barely understand. Words that he knows exist but never were meant for him before. Yet he longs for them.
The linen is warmed by his breathing and your scent dissolves into the air. He moves again, presses his face into the blankets on your side of the bed. There are traces, imprints, shadows. He chases them and pretends to himself that you are there beside him again. Your skin, still somehow bronzed by the sun though it’s nearing midwinter. Your hair, soft to the touch like a maiden’s. Your stubbly cheek and your lips that brush his neck when you bend over him, so gentle even as you slide into him from behind. Those kisses, on his neck and his shoulder, they give him goosebumps.
If he opens up his heart just a little… If he dares to believe, then he knows.
Aye, you get along well, the two of you. You work well together. You laugh together. You are like of mind and taste and this is all good. You like each other.
But if he opens up his heart just a little – it need not be much – he knows that he loves you.
He comes to lie in the middle of the bed, on the threshold between himself and you. He pulls the blankets up to his chin and curls around a wish.
The winds are whining among the stones but the chill of the empty night is discouraged by the heat steaming from the braziers. Aragorn watches the shadows play on the canvas and wonders how far the moon has sailed across its blackened sea. If it is dawn soon. If they can move on.
A camp is never quiet. Not really. Men snore, horses whinny, and fire crackles. He resists the desire to pop his head out of his tent and have a look at the sky, but where he lies on his bedroll a familiar urgency gnaws at him from within.
He lifts his hand in the semi-darkness and flexes his fingers. If he lets everything else go, if he focuses, he can almost pretend his fingertips are slowly drawing invisible patterns on a bared chest. He smiles to himself, recalling how the fine hairs on Faramir’s arms would stand on end at the lightest of touches.
His hand falls back to his side and he closes his eyes. It is true that he never liked pretending. As soon as he was come of age and learned what fate awaited him for the single reason of being of the blood that he is, Aragorn son of Arathorn preferred the truth. He came to favour the sharp contours of absolute fact.
But times change. If he lets things slide he can almost feel the caress of moonlight filling the sky above his childhood home. He carries it with him, somewhere close to his heart, and it tells him that he can catch his dreams.
Soon enough this campaign will come to an end, he knows this. And once more he will turn to face the white walls of Minas Tirith and the treasure they harbour.
He shifts onto his side and stares out into the dark night tinged with the gold that spills from the burning coals. If he lets everything else go, he can almost feel Faramir wrapped around him.
Aragorn wishes for this.
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