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31 March 2004 | 11024 words
Title: Long Goodbyes
Author: Lilith (email@example.com)
Pairing: Faramir/Aragorn, Faramir/Haldir
Warnings: slash, angst, and AU
Summary: The Galadhrim depart for Valinor, much to Faramir's
dismay. Sequel to "Darkness and Light".
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Tolkien estate;
all smutty ideas herein are my own.
Notes: This is a sequel to "Darkness and Light" by Minx Kat and Lilith. You should probably read that one first; I'm not sure how much sense this will make without it.
Feedback: Please let me know what you think!
Chapter One - 15 Yavannië, Year 1 of the Fourth Age
The grey horse charged down the overgrown path, ignoring the branches that blocked his way, heeding only the relentless urging of his rider spurring him on. The man had ridden for five days almost without stopping. Even so, he feared he would be too late. Already the sun was directly overhead, casting its glittering light on the sparkling waters of the Anduin.
A sharp twig caught his cheek, leaving a light trail of crimson teardrops that slid down his face. The man paid no notice. He knew that he was making so much noise that the elves would hear him even so far from Lórien, but he did not care. He was tired, hungry, and aching from long days in the saddle, but none of that mattered now.
The only thing that mattered was to see the elf. To look him deep in the eyes and ask him why he had kept his terrible secret. To tell him how much he hated him for it and how he could never bring himself to trust him again. To curse him for his selfishness and his arrogance, to wound him as he had been wounded with the agony of betrayal and abandonment. But most of all, he wanted to beg him to change his mind, to pledge all of his mortal love to this undying being if only he would stay.
On the far banks of the Celebrant, Faramir drew up the reins. He had reached Lórien at last.
Five days earlier…
Faramir woke first. It was still early, but the soft morning light was creeping steadily into their bedchamber. In the shadows he could just make out Aragorn's features. He rolled onto his side, resting his chin in his hand to get a better view of the king.
Faramir never tired of looking at Aragorn. If anything, he thought the king had grown more lovely in the two years since his coronation. Mentally he traced his forehead, noting the faint lines that creased his brow. Then down past dark eyebrows to the eyelids that looked so peaceful in sleep, sheltered by long eyelashes. His nose, with the slight bump on the end that rendered his face more beautiful in its imperfection. The tiny dip of his philtrum, barely visible under his ever-scruffy moustache, leading to rosy lips, still bruised from the hard kisses of the night before.
It was hard to resist kissing those lips now, but the king needed rest. Faramir forced his mind to other things. As they often did, his thoughts drifted to Lórien and to Haldir, who claimed the other half of his heart. In both body and temperament, the warden of Ló rien could not be more different from the king. Aragorn was dark and often tempestuous, and Faramir loved him for his passion. By contrast, Haldir exuded calmness and peace, and a flawless beauty that awed Faramir at the same time as it excited him. He smiled as he thought of running his fingers through the elf’s golden hair, long and as soft as silk, and of driving Haldir to ecstasy by gently nipping at his ears. It had taken Faramir a long time to realise that Haldir desired him equally in return, but with that realisation had come a new self-confidence. Both Aragorn and Haldir were beautiful in his eyes, and both had equal claim to his love.
Lost in his thoughts of the elf, Faramir did not at first notice that Aragorn's eyes had opened, or that his lips had curled into a smile. It was only when Aragorn rolled over towards him, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him close, that he was roused from his daydream.
"Good morning, my love," the king said huskily, raising his lips to Faramir's.
He felt Aragorn already stiff against his hip. The king was always insatiable in the mornings, and Faramir had no complaints. In response he deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue past lips that willingly parted for him. He savoured the feel of the tongue intertwined with his own and felt his own erection growing as Aragorn's shaft pressed against his belly.
Faramir ran his hands along the curve of his lover's back, feeling every twitch of his finely muscled body. An encouraging murmur from the king encouraged him as he traced the sharp ridge of his hipbone. Slowly his hands made their way forward, down the crease of his thigh, finally coming to rest at his lover's balls. He gave them a gentle squeeze, his fingers lightly teasing the base of Aragorn's hard length. At last Faramir stroked the long shaft upwards, caressing the slit at the top and teasing out a few drops of hot pre-cum.
Aragorn broke their kiss then. "Faramir, you're torturing me," he moaned, burying his lips in his lover's neck. The younger man gasped as a wet tongue licked the length of his jaw. The king's hands slid down his chest, grazing his taut abdomen as he groped for his cock, and Faramir rolled back slightly to give him better purchase. As soon as the calloused hands touched him, he thrust hard into them. The feeling was exquisite. He clutched Aragorn's cock then, stroking him with a rhythmic intensity that matched the hands on his own body. For several moments there was no sound but the moans of the two men. Aragorn came first with a lusty cry that drove Faramir to orgasm a moment later.
They lay together for a moment, revelling in the closeness of each other's bodies. Finally Aragorn pulled himself up to a seating position and looked down into the young man's shining eyes. "I love you," he said.
"And I love you," Faramir replied, taking the king's hand in his own and drawing his palm to his mouth for a kiss.
Aragorn's fingers stroked the man's dark beard as he tried to remember what day it was. Finally it hit him.
"Won't your brother and his wife be here soon?"
Faramir groaned. "Aye," he replied. "They will arrive before the noon meal. I should rise and make sure that everything is prepared for them."
He moved to get out of bed, but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. He turned back, and Aragorn pulled his mouth to his lips. After kissing him gently, the king said, "Beloved, do not worry about your brother. He loves you dearly and he only wants what is best for you. As we all do."
Faramir nodded, and got up to dress.
The servants' preparations had been flawless, as usual. Clean sheets scented with lavender graced Boromir's old bed, a feminine touch that would never have been allowed in his father's day. On the floor beside the bed was a small cot for the steward's son. Elboron was already a year old, and too big to sleep with his parents now that Éowyn was pregnant with her second child. A pitcher of fresh water and fruit lay on the table, and a lovely bouquet of bluebells stood in the window. Faramir knew that Boromir would take no notice of these little details, but that Éowyn would be pleased.
Faramir was feeling increasingly anxious about his brother's visit. Although he loved Boromir dearly, he was getting tired of repeatedly hearing that he needed to get married and have children. Faramir knew that his brother meant well. Boromir had found great happiness as a husband and a father, and he was very glad of that. The only problem was that Boromir thought everyone should do the same now.
Faramir regretted that Boromir would never understand the kind of love that he shared with Haldir and Aragorn. His brother was a warrior. He had laid with men during wartime, the momentary release found in his brothers-in-arms acceptable only in the face of imminent death. These were quick trysts based on lust and need, not the connection of souls that Faramir had found in his lovers. He had tried to explain the difference to his brother, but to no avail. Boromir had not rejected him as he had half-expected, but he did treat his relationships as temporary aberrations. "When you find the perfect woman you will change your tune, little brother," he had said knowingly. "There is nothing better than a warm woman in your bed, and little ones at your feet."
This was Boromir's nature, he knew, and it had always been so. As children, his older brother had led the way, and Faramir had eagerly followed. Their father's praise, unequally bestowed on his eldest son, confirmed that Boromir's decisions were correct, that his instincts were keen, and that even his whims were wise. Boromir still tried to persuade his younger brother to follow him in his choices today, as if by his example of happiness he could help others.
Nonetheless, Faramir looked forward to seeing his brother and his family. It had been several months since he had visited their home in Emyn Arnen, and he missed Boromir's company. Underneath his brother's sometimes overly forceful personality lay the most generous heart that Faramir had ever known. He was also very fond of Éowyn. She shared his own perceptiveness, and he thought she made a good match for Boromir, balancing his headstrong, compassionate nature with her thoughtfulness and tact.
After a final glance to ensure that everything was in order for their guests, Faramir closed the door to Boromir's room. In the corridor outside he met the queen and Lady Estë, their arms linked as they strolled slowly to the reception hall. He bowed to both.
"Good morning, ladies. I trust you both slept well?"
Estë's fair face reddened at this. She was new to Minas Tirith and still easily embarrassed by any passing reference to her personal relations with the queen. Faramir liked the young elf very much and for a moment wished that he hadn't made this comment, innocent as it had been.
Then he noticed Arwen smiling adoringly at her friend. "Isn't she pretty when she blushes?" she asked, before turning to him. "Yes, we slept very well, thank you. Is everything prepared for our steward's family?"
"Yes, my lady. They will not find King Elessar's hospitality lacking in any way."
Arwen smiled warmly. "Thank you, Faramir." Taking his arm, still holding Estë on her other side, they walked together down the corridor to meet their guests.
As always, Boromir arrived like a hurricane. With no regard for protocol, he greeted Faramir first by rushing up and throwing his arms around him. Then he did the same to King Elessar. Faramir grinned to see the flustered look on Aragorn's face as he was engulfed in his brother's bear hug.
Afraid that Boromir would address the ladies in the same manner, Faramir took his brother's arm as soon as he released the king. Éowyn came up beside him, bestowing a broad smile on her brother-in-law as he presented them to the queen.
Finally they stood before the queen's lady-in-waiting. "May I present Lady Estë, who has only recently come to us from Mirkwood."
Boromir bowed his head at Arwen before addressing Estë. "You are from Mirkwood? Are you perhaps kin to my brother's friend Prince Legolas Greenleaf?"
Estë smiled gracefully. "Yes, my lord, I am his cousin."
"I saw him not two weeks ago. He was in Ithilien with some of the elves that are moving there. Perhaps they are your kinfolk as well?"
"Yes, my lord, several of my relations have chosen to remain here in Middle-earth instead of departing to the undying lands."
"And we are glad to have them. There are too few inhabitants of Middle-earth already. I was sorry to hear that Lothlórien will be abandoned soon as the Galadhrim travel west."
Faramir's heart stopped. "What did you say?"
"Yes, Legolas told me," Boromir continued, confused by the look on his brother's face. "Your grandmother," nodding to Arwen, "and the other elves are all sailing soon, if they haven't already. Something about the age of magic ending or –"
His voice trailed off when he saw Faramir's unnatural pallor.
"What? What did I say?"
Faramir turned and fled the hall, tears blinding his eyes. Aragorn raced after him.
He found the young man in their chamber. He was lying face down on the bed, sobs racking his body. Aragorn laid down alongside and drew the young man into his arms.
"Shhh, there, there, it's all right," he murmured.
Faramir's sobs did not abate, but his arms tightened around the other man. Aragorn kissed his dark hair as he continued to whisper comforting sounds to him.
"Did you know?" he heard Faramir ask in a choked voice.
"No, of course not, darling, I had no idea," he replied. "And I am not even sure if it is true or not."
"It is true."
Both men raised their heads at the sound of Arwen's voice. She came and sat at the foot of their bed.
"My grandmother is indeed leaving Middle-earth. She made this decision some years ago, after the war of the rings."
"Is Haldir going with her?" Faramir asked in a small voice.
Arwen nodded. "He made me promise not to tell you. He did not want to hurt you, he thought it would be better if you found out later, after he left."
Faramir squeezed his eyes tightly shut, but it did no good. His tears fell ceaselessly. "Have they already sailed?"
Arwen hesitated. She had not agreed with Haldir's decision to keep this secret, but did not know if it was right to break her promise. Finally the pain in Faramir's eyes moved her to speak. "They have not left yet, but they will soon. It is a long journey from Lórien to the Grey Havens, and they sail at the end of the month. Yet I believe there is still time...."
A light shone in Faramir's eyes. "Aragorn, I have to go –"
"Yes, yes, of course," Aragorn answered, leaping out of bed. "You just pack what you will need. I will tell the kitchen to prepare provisions for your journey, and get your horse ready. And Arwen will tell your brother what has happened – or that something has happened. Do not worry about a thing."
He pulled the younger man out of bed, hugging him close to his chest. "My dearest Faramir, no matter what happens, please remember that whatever Haldir did he did out of love for you. He would not wish for you to be hurt."
Faramir nodded, his mind still reeling as the king and queen left him standing alone in his room. For several moments he stood there, frozen and in shock. Then he willed himself to move, forcing his body to gather the few things he needed for the journey. His mind was unable and unwilling to think about what to do after that.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Maeve , LN Tora , Blondie