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24 June 2007 | 2653 words
Title: Midsummer Gifts
Disclaimer: all things LotR belong to the Professor.
Note: set post-WotR
Written for the 2007 Midsummer Swap.
Request by El: Fandom: LOTR Rating: NC-17 Pairing: Faramir/Erestor, Legolas, or Glorfindel Would like to see: A predatory Faramir. I have read several stories and found him portrayed mostly as a sweet nice guy or a bit of a wuss. I would like to see a strong, confident and sensual Faramir. I’d like to see him a bit cynical but perfectly willing to take advantage of the moment. I don’t mean as a rank bastard but just… disbelieving or maybe distrustful. I would like it to be sensual… not just a hard fast fuck.
Emyn Arnen in high summer was a place of both serenity and life. Where once only grass and straggly thickets had stood, lay now a small township. Stone houses, carved out of shining granite, formed overlapping half-circles around a large central hall, and further up the slope stood a high building of wood and stone, built in the manner of the Hall of Feasts in Minas Tirith. Its tall pillars were decorated in the manner of those seen in the halls of King Thranduil, a gift of craftsmanship bestoved by the Silvan Elves who had helped rebuild Ithilien after the War of the Ring. There now dwelled Faramir and Éowyn, Lord and Lady of Ithilien.
Prince Legolas, along with a troop of his kinsmen, had arrived in the earliest hours of the morning, when birds still slept and a hush lay over the hills. A messenger from Minas Tirith had been sent ahead to rouse Faramir, and he had relayed his message in breathless tones.
“My lord, Prince Legolas and his kinsmen send word that they will arrive before the sun has risen.”
Faramir had nodded, shrugging on a more presentable surcoat. “I will greet them myself. Thank you for your prompt tidings, Damrod. Take some rest if you do not feel awake enough to break your fast. I will hear your news from the White City in the afternoon when other duties have been seen to.”
Damrod had bowed and turned to leave. “Call me if you have need, my lord.”
The Elves, a small troop of some seven riders, did indeed arrive before the sun had risen. The first tentative rays of the morning sun were striping the lawns when Faramir strode down the paved walkway to greet Legolas and his entourage.
“Greetings, my lord,” said Legolas, giving a slight bow.
“Greetings to you, Prince Legolas,” smiled Faramir. “There is no need to be so formal. I have given you my name to be used, so feel free to do so. Well met to your companions,” he added, bowing. “My home, such as it is, is honoured to have such guests. My wife would surely have joined me in welcoming you, had she not been in Minas Tirith.”
“We met her in the White City, and there received her greetings” said Legolas. “King Éomer also sends his regards and asks me to relay that he will visit you as soon as his dealings with King Elessar are at an end for this time.”
Faramir nodded. “I see that my kingdom is a place much in demand. No sooner have the Dwarven stone-masons left than Elves arrive. It has been some time since last I saw your folk here, years at least. You were here with them, were you not? You oversaw the building of the great hall.”
“That I did,” confirmed Legolas. “My companions will not linger here. They rode with me from Minas Tirith, but will now take the northern road up along the River toward the eastern part of Osgiliath. They came but to ask your permission to travel.”
“Consider it given,” said Faramir. “And consider it extended into the foreseeable future. Your kin need not ask to travel here, for we are allies.”
“Nature is showing its splendour,” said Legolas, looking out over the well-tended gardens that ringed the hall and the entire city. “You have made this a fair land once more, Faramir. No longer is it a barren refuge where things grow out of necessity and habit.”
“Thank my wife,” said Faramir, joining Legolas by the railing of the balcony. “She has taken to her new role with great relish, and the plants welcome her and blossom, it seems, to delight her.”
Legolas had closed his eyes and turned his face to the sun, and Faramir looked askance at him for a moment. “Midsummer is almost upon us,” said Legolas at length, smiling. His eyes were still closed, and his slender form was framed in sunlight where he stood. “All things now teem with life.”
Faramir nodded, though he knew Legolas did not see the gesture. The air was thick with the scent of flowers and blossoming trees, of lilac and honeysuckle, roses and linden. Bees droned in the vines and fresh grass billowed like a great green sea as he looked out over the expanse of the courtyard gardens and beyond. It was a kingdom to be proud of, certainly.
“We, my kin, love all living things,” said Legolas as he let tendrils of climbing wisteria wrap around his fingers. “The forests are never silent, and each tree has a voice.” He looked at Faramir from under his brows, and met Faramir’s nod with a smile. “I hear you are a learned man. Have you studied the history of Mirkwood?”
“Such as it was related by our scribes and by Mithrandir, yes.” Faramir gave a smile of his own. “I know some of it, though certainly not all, and will admit to some sorrow that I do not share this trait. To me, the trees are living things to be revered, surely, but I cannot claim that I can hear them.”
“But you hear the thoughts of other men,” noted Legolas. “It is not so different. And to each kin their own. Gimli speaks to rock and crystal, metal and ore; I speak to trees.”
“Surely you do not speak with words?” Faramir was fascinated, though still reserved, for the idea seemed fanciful. “It is a feeling, not set in speech. It is that way with the minds of men,” he added as he caught the surprised look on Legolas’s face. “I can read what is not knowingly hidden, though oftentimes it is but pictures that are difficult to interpret.”
“Did your brother share this gift?” asked Legolas suddenly.
Faramir felt somewhat taken aback, and it was as though a long shadow briefly crept over him, chilling as it went. “No,” he said softly. “He did not. The blood of Westernesse is fickle and he did not receive the gift of prophecy.” He looked up at Legolas. “But what is hidden in the mind may be read in the body, he used to say. He was an able judge of men.”
Legolas merely nodded. “He was a noble man,” was all he said.
For a moment, there was a tense silence between them, but as soon as it had begun, it ended. A goldfinch trilled suddenly, taking flight from a nearby tree, and Faramir followed its path until the sun blinded him.
“Walk with me,” said Legolas suddenly, no doubt sensing the discomfort his question had caused. “I wish to see all of the gardens.”
As they walked, taking a path leading from behind the great hall and up into higher ground in the hills, Faramir became aware of how Legolas seemed to absorb himself in his surroundings, how he would run his hands along the tips of tall flowering grasses, run his fingers through boughs of newly-sprung leaves and occasionally stop to listen to the calls of birds around them. The tall figure seemed perfectly at ease, and moved with a simple grace that let on that he was accustomed to travelling in the wild. Faramir gave a rueful smile. He was also used to this, having spent hours upon endless hours scouting these same lands, looking for enemies. Now these, his former hunting grounds, were his kingdom.
Legolas suddenly stopped in front of a large and squat beech-tree, stepping into the pool of shadow the wide branchwork provided. “It is fortunate that trees such as this survived the war. Old trees are needed in kingdoms,” he smiled. “Saplings are fine and well, and they will grow into mighty trees given time enough, but old trees…” Here he trailed off, instead leaning on the tree with his palms pressed flat against the bole.
Faramir, curious to see what Legolas was doing, leaned on the trunk of the tree, feeling the rough bark against his cheek. Legolas had closed his eyes, and the hands he held against the tree were perfectly still. Thinking the whole thing something of an affectation, Faramir moved as if to lean back, and started as Legolas suddenly opened his eyes. “You think me strange, son of Gondor,” said Legolas.
“Not you, but your habits,” said Faramir. “It still seems strange to me that you are so attuned to trees and other growing life around you.”
Legolas did not reply, only smiled.
When seen at such close distance, all of Legolas’s form seemed to change. No longer did he look to be a youth, but seemed instead a being without age, and Faramir understood what the old chroniclers had meant when they had spoken of the fairest folk of all. He did not know what compelled him to lean in further, but Legolas offered neither protest nor rebuke. Instead, he allowed the gesture, and settled his free hand on Faramir’s shoulder to draw him closer. Their lips met, and Faramir closed his eyes as he deepened the kiss. He could hear the steady thrum of his own heartbeats, and he suddenly became aware of what he was doing. He broke the kiss and leaned back, casting his gaze down.
“I am sorry,” said Faramir softly. “I did not intend that.”
“There is no need to ask forgiveness,” said Legolas. “This was not an ill deed, and there was no offence taken.” He turned, now leaning his back on the wide bole of the tree, and pulled Faramir along with him, the hold insistent but not demanding. “If you wish to indulge, do so.”
Faramir had little memory afterwards of how their state of half-undress came about, and found that he did not wish to dwell on it overmuch. Perhaps need had overridden courtesy and thought and guided hands where conscious wish had not gone. All he remembered was the soft whisper of summer air on his skin and the curious lack of regard for where they had been.
The grass, unmown and untamed, reached waist-high and whispered against bare skin of his back. When he set his fingertips against the bare skin of Legolas’s chest, he could feel the blood rise to the surface, and beneath it, he could feel the sap of the tree. Thin new branches were uncurling, tight green leaves unfurling, and when he closed his eyes, everything was a soft red. Legolas’s fast hot breath on his skin was soft and coarse at the same time, and he gave a harsh groan as he pressed closer. What remained of his clothing felt intolerably tight and constrictive, the material seeming thick and dense despite its lightness.
The late afternoon sun heated his back, filtering like a cluster of arrows through the canopy of the branchwork above them. Birds were still singing, trilling loudly all around them, and the sound hurt his ears. He pushed Legolas up against the tree again, holding the tall body pinned tight while his fingers dug into Legolas’s arms and his vision filled with white and red.
There was a sense that what he held was something older than him, older than Legolas, a being knit of the very bones of the earth and of the light tendrils of living things that laced through it. The choice to give in was not his, not entirely, but he was not going to deny it. It felt as though he was going mad. A thousand thoughts and words were invading his mind, taking his purpose and twisting it, adding voices to the roar of blood in his ears, and he leaned in, forcing a kiss. Legolas did not protest, though his body tensed. His lips parted under Faramir’s, and the hands that had rested on Faramir’s shoulders tightened their hold momentarily before sliding lower, settling in the crook of the elbow before finally hooking into the waist of his breeches.
“What trickery is this?” Faramir rasped.
“No trickery,” said Legolas, his voice unsteady. “None more than the meeting of minds both different and alike, of living things communing. It is because of your gift of long sight.”
“But it has never—” protested Faramir, stopping mid-sentence. His breath was still laboured as he continued. “Do you mean to say that your thoughts affect me so strongly as to make me act in this way?”
“Yes and no,” said Legolas, his tone unsure. “I do not have experience with these matters.”
Faramir gave a hoarse bark of laughter. “These matters? Which ones?” He shook his head. “I can no longer tell which are your thoughts and which are mine,” he said.
“All are not mine,” said Legolas, drawing him close once more. “What addles both you and I is the nearness of so many living things. Rejoice in this your gift of an open mind, son of Gondor. Give in to what nature now offers you and feel no guilt or shame.”
It did not seem a customary coupling to him, and the scent of flowers and sap around him was intoxicating. His skin prickled with sun and sweat, his lips were swollen with kisses and he could taste mead on his tongue though he had not taken drink for some hours. His body was responding to each of these sensations, and yet he felt no shame over it. Legolas arched up against him, his strong thighs clenching around Faramir’s, and his body seemed curiously human in its reactions.
His hands were scraped raw by the bark of the tree they leaned on, and his knees hurt. Legolas seemed unaffected, his strong body pressing against Faramir’s without a trace of fatigue. His eyes, however, were slightly dimmed, as though there was something addling his mind. Their bodies moved of their own accord, limbs interlocking and hungry mouths seeking to sup their fill of kisses. Faramir gave a strangled groan as Legolas writhed against him, hard flesh pressing against hard flesh.
He nearly lost his footing as he climaxed, and clung to Legolas for support. He felt sun-blinded, though they stood in the shade, and his veins sang with a strange fire. Legolas gave a short cry and tightened his hold so much it pained Faramir.
His breathing slowed gradually, and he became aware of the birdsong and the drone of insects once more. The sun had wheeled overhead, now shining considerably lower in the sky, and a light breeze laced between the saplings and trees. He was still leaning heavily on Legolas, one palm pressed against his chest and the other against the bole of the tree. There was a look that seemed to radiate both bemusement and satisfaction on Legolas’s face, and when their eyes met, the Elf gave a smile.
“What I give is that which I feel is right to give,” said Legolas mildly, sensing the unspoken words. “Do not have misgivings, Faramir. See it as a gift.”
“Strange indeed are the gifts of Elves, it is said,” noted Faramir, his voice somewhat unsteady.
“It is not a gift from the Elves,” said Legolas. “I was but the conduit. This was a gift from the land to its lord on the longest day of the year.”
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: KisaMura