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Laughter Lines (PG) Print

Written by Eora

26 April 2011 | 1167 words

Title: Laughter Lines
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mild slash.
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. All written in good fun with no offence intended!
Author’s Note: Credit and thanks go to the lovely December who posted 25 Writing Prompts that sparked my imagination from the word go! This little scene was inspired by prompt #24: First Wrinkles. It may take me a while, but I will endeavour to work my way through the rest of the list :)

I do not know who Lady Firiel is, and by the sounds of things neither does Faramir. Also, this takes place twelve years or so from the events in the books, and though we know that our King and Steward’s particular bloodlines mean that they will enjoy long life, there are still issues that crop up now and again, namely vanity ;) Enjoy!


“Look.”

“Faramir…”

“No, look. Right here.”

“I see not why this bothers you so.”

“Humour me.”

Aragorn sighed in laughter and crossed over to the looking-glass, book reluctantly set aside. Faramir stood before it making a variety of expressions as he studied his reflection. Aragorn put his hand upon the Steward’s shoulder and raised his eyebrows.

“Well?”

“Look.” Faramir squinted and pointed at his eye. “I am getting old.”

Aragorn looked at him blankly. “I am afraid you will need to elaborate a little.”

Lines, Aragorn. They are even worse if I smile.” Faramir grinned at himself in the mirror, and Aragorn laughed.

“How old are you, Faramir?”

Faramir pulled the skin downward below his eyelid, smoothing out the creases and garnering for himself a rather lopsided look. “Forty-seven.”

“Still considerably younger than me, then.”

The Steward folded his arms and frowned at Aragorn’s reflection.
“’Twould be a pertinent argument indeed were it not for the fact you have no wrinkles.” He turned back to studying his own face, leaning closer to the glass and regarding himself in profile. “You make me feel quite ill sometimes.”

“Come now.” Aragorn placed a hand upon Faramir’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “There is nothing I can do about that.” He shrugged. “You do not look your age, if that is any consolation.”

“Indeed, I look older.”

Aragorn laughed again, shoving Faramir gently. “Hush.” Stepping behind the Steward, he looped his arms around his waist and hooked his chin over Faramir’s shoulder. They looked at one another in the mirror. “Wrinkles or no, I still love you.”

Faramir made a face, but his hand came to rest upon Aragorn’s absently. “Does it not worry you?”

“Does what worry me?”

The Steward swallowed. “The fact that you will outlive me.”

“Faramir-”

“No, listen.” Faramir pulled away, turning to face his King properly. He took Aragorn’s hands in his own, running his thumbs across the knuckles. “I know the blood of the West runs in my veins too, but your lineage is the purer. There will come a day when we shall be separated beyond recall.”

Sobered, it was Aragorn’s turn to frown. “That day is far off yet.”

“It will come though.” Faramir looked at him, the lines around his eyes set in serious concern. “It enters my thoughts often of late.”

“Faramir, when the day comes that we must part, you know what I would do-

“I would not ask that of you!”

Aragorn raised Faramir’s hands to his lips, kissing each one softly in turn. “I would not be parted from you.”

Faramir lowered his gaze as the King released him. “I would not ask that of you.”

“It is my choice to make. And, forgive me, but you shall not exactly be in any position to argue about it.” Aragorn dared the subtlest of wry smiles, and Faramir’s eyes flashed up in understanding and shock at his audacity.

“How can you say such a thing?” Despite himself, the Steward was fighting a grin. Aragorn shrugged again.

“’Tis a King’s prerogative.” He turned toward the looking-glass, brushing an errant strand of hair from his eyes.

“Your wit is black indeed, my King.” Faramir shook his head and folded his arms once more. “Even so, when I am gone you must not give up life for me. The dead can wait. I will wait.”

“Hush, Faramir, please. Let us not speak of such grim things.” He ran his hand through his hair, aware Faramir was looking at him incredulously from behind. After a moment, when it was clear the King was now occupied with his reflection, Faramir stepped over to the couch and lifted up Aragorn’s book.

“What is this- The Loves of Lady Firiel?” He flicked through the pages and snorted. “Ha! You mock my bookish nature and yet you are too busy reading sonnets to address my concerns in the mirror!” He opened the book properly at random and began to read aloud, laughter in his voice. “’The winter’s sun doth melt mine heart as gently as the early snow-’ The gods only know what this was doing in the library.” He looked up, grinning. “Or did you bring this from Rivendell yourself? Aragorn?”

The King seemed suddenly distracted, combing his fingers through his hair. Faramir discarded the book and returned to the elder man’s side. “Losing your hair?”

“Do you think I am?” Aragorn frowned, pulling back the hair at his temple for easier examination. Faramir laughed and tousled the King’s hair thoroughly.

“No, but it is nice that you can see my point of view.”

“Hmm.” Aragorn did not seem convinced. His reflection, messy haired and frowning, offered no advice either.

Faramir squinted. “Is that a grey hair?”

Aragorn stared at him. “Where?!” Faramir snorted.

“I think I might begin to enjoy this aging business if only for the exploitation of your paranoia…my lord.” He made a face and dodged Aragorn’s hand as he attempted to bat him across the head. Undeterred, Aragorn stepped after him, backing his Steward slowly up against the window sill. “Aragorn-”

“Faramir, that was not very nice.” The King’s eyes were full of poorly concealed mirth, and just enough feigned ire to keep Faramir from laughing in his face.

“You did not take my concerns very seriously, I seem to remember. My memory is still with me, I might point out.” Faramir placed his hands flat against Aragorn’s chest, holding him back from whatever it was the King was going to do to him.

“So, you are saying I should be more sympathetic to the aged and infirm?”

“You are funny.” Faramir smirked. “But I love you. Grey hairs and all.”

Aragorn swept Faramir’s hands away, pulling him close. “I love you. And I promise I will not mention your wrinkles again.”

Faramir had just enough time to look considerably outraged before Aragorn kissed him, fervently and with ardour. The retort could wait, Faramir thought as he was pushed further back against the shutters. He kissed back, running his tongue over Aragorn’s and closing his eyes.

After all, whoever said passion was a game only the young could play?

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: kitty , LN Tora , Mira Took , December

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3 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

Oh, me likes, me does, me wants more!

Seriously now, this is so
beautifully… hm, poignant is the first term to come to mind, though there seems to be more joy in this story than sadness… Perhaps it is for the swiftness of the change of mood, for the suddenness of the revelation of the concern that truly underlies Faramir’s ‘vain’ woes. In canon, it always seemed to me, Faramir’s departure had played a part in Aragorn deciding he’d had enough and it was time to go… In your story, I love the complexity of their relationship, especially how you manage to communicate it in such a short format: the playfulness, the tenderness, the understanding, even the preservation of some boundaries between them – the King’s prerogative, wow, I love how he puts it.

And, I must say, in my personal opinion, a nobly wrinkled Faramir is, perhaps, even yummier than his greener and smoother version, which I am sure Aragorn would not wholly disagree with ;) I always imagined F a man to age beautifully, and in that light it’s especially endearing to think he might be bothered by the signs.

Also, I must apologise for commenting only now, seeing as I’m in some way related to the conception of this story. The reason is kind of silly, really, I just missed this being posted (don’t ask). Anyway, thank you so much for giving time and attention to the idea, and naturally I much encourage your grand ambition of handling the rest of the list, too ;)

December    29 May 2011, 12:56    #

Aaah! I’m so glad you liked it! And don’t be silly, no need to apologise, I’m constantly somehow missing when things get updated or posted and consequently rediscovering them a while later :P

Okay, prepare for a huuuuuge reply!

I’m so, so glad the sort of, I guess, light-hearted aspects of this came across well. When I began, I really had no other idea in my head other than your prompt and the notion that I wanted to write a short piece that was meant to be a little silly and just something fun for me to write, because I simply couldn’t get the image of Faramir worrying at his reflection in the mirror out of my head ;) But as I started writing it, the themes of ageing and death and the future and all those difficult but probably necessary-at-some-point topics of discussion just sort of wove themselves into the story of their own accord, and I think if I’d set out to do that from the beginning I’m not sure it would have worked in the same way. I like that I managed to keep this short, and hopefully sweet :) I do like a vignette, after all! It was also a good opportunity for me to write a story where Faramir and Aragorn are some years into their relationship, because I do write so much about beginnings, but the idea of focussing on some part of their daily life together, a small moment far in the future, is also very appealing to me and before I read your prompt list I’d not had any good ideas at the time on how to go about that.

I always pictured too that they would both age very well, and obviously in this Faramir is not meant to be old, just, well, older, and being a little bit vain about the fact he’s maybe not quite as young as he used to be ;) But it’s just a little light-hearted observation by Faramir himself, and something he will frown over in the mirror but largely forget about the rest of the time, I think, but it only serves as a small reminder of future concerns. I also wanted to portray them as being very comfortable with one another, easy and informal, and though there will always be that boundary of rank between them I like to think that any titles used in private are merely tongue-in-cheek gestures. I wanted to show there was great love between them, both in the sense of great companionship and fondness but also the spark of physical love is still very much alive ;) Lately I’ve found in my writing and reading preferences I very much like to see fondness, or gentle romance rather than, well, smut, though that certainly has its place and I’m not adverse in the slightest to reading that either ;)

Thank you again, for both your lovely words and for the original inspiration for this little story! I will do my best to work away at the other prompts on the list, there were definitely three of four others that I immediately had to write down in a list because they set off little story-ideas almost straight away, so hopefully those will come to fruition soon enough! :)

Eora    29 May 2011, 16:39    #

Well, as the author of course you know better, but to me as a reader, personally, Faramir’s vanity seemed little else than a mask to bring up his concerns about their shared future. I fully agree that he will forget about the wrinkle thing once he steps away from the mirror – but hardly would he forget about the difference in their pace of time. It always seemed cruelly ironic to me that even though Aragorn is much older when they meet, still Faramir is the one to age (and die) the sooner…

But I don’t want in any way to overstress the more sober aspects of this story, for the goodbye is still far, far off, and much joy is to be had in the meantime. I love their ability to speak so matter-of-fatly about this, without drama and rivers of tears, addressing it as any other matter they have to deal with. And I love it that Aragorn very gently tells Faramir to not worry about what it is not his place to worry about. Perhaps the word ‘boundaries’ I used earlier is too strong, what I really meant is that Aragorn does not wholly disappear in his lover, reserving for himself the right to independent thought and decision-making – and I very much respect and like that about him.

On the whole, I must say, your story very accurately channels the emotional tonality of the phrase ‘first wrinkles’, at least as I personally perceive it :) It’s not so much a sadness as rather a first gentle hint at the sadness to one day come, a reminder that one is still young but no longer so young as to believe in the eternity of one’s youth, a reason to laugh about life and maybe heave a couple of sighs, and then move on to the numerous joys still fully at one’s disposal and to new adventures. It’s like 4 in the afternoon on a summer’s day – not evening yet, but you can already feel the pre-breath of evening in the air.

And yes, established relationships are sure a great ground to dig into. When the story is long, at one point or another one has to shed light on how it had all begun and evolved, but in a one-scene piece the history is hardly important, especially when the story itself is about how the past and future are distant and what truly matters is the sweet now :)

December    31 May 2011, 08:27    #

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About the Author


Eora

Hello, I’m Eora :) As well as on this site I collect my writing (and general ramblings) on my journal. If you want to ask me anything you are more than welcome to comment/befriend me there :)