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Power Play (R) Print

Written by Bell Witch

19 December 2010 | 3417 words

Title: Power Play
Author: Bell Witch
Rating/Warnings: Adults only. Mentions of violence.
Word Count: 3190
Author’s Notes: For the 2010 Midwinter swap. Beta by Tal, and I cannot thank her enough for her help with this. Additional beta by Minx. I got help from both of them—any mistakes are still mine. Written November and December 2010.

Written for the 2010 Midwinter Swap.

Request by Erfan Starled: Pre ‘Return of the King’, not after. Nobody dies — definitely not a grief/ loss fic. If violence, there’s a point to it (no gratuitous violence). Faramir is intelligent, thoughtful, never a victim but he can hurt. Faramir is adult not child. Any rating. (Sex not necessary to please recipient).
A dominance fic, done well (nothing throw away or clichéd) would be a great treat from someone who likes writing such things. Prefer power-play to light physical rote scene (not much interested in latter). Does not have to be sexual (could be), could be something where (slash) relationship is ‘in the wings’ and some other conflict is the ‘story’. [No ribbons, please, no silk, no blindfolds!] Writer to choose pairing. [No married people, no threesomes]. Suggestion : anything the writer liked doing is likely to be good. Anything a writer finds a struggle in this theme is not likely to be good; writer could choose story to suit self if chooses this option.


Faramir had laughed the first time Mallen asked. It wasn’t an unkind laugh, more of a startled one, and Mallen wasn’t offended. Faramir just seemed so surprised at the suggestion and likely couldn’t help himself. It wasn’t supposed to be funny. Well, perhaps a little.

“Let me tie you to the bed.”

At least Faramir hadn’t been upset or angry or anything bad. Once the laughter had ended he inquired, seriously, if Mallen really meant that. Of course he meant it, and when he explained why Faramir thought about it. Then he said yes. He looked nervous, but he said it.

Yes. Such a glorious little word, and Mallen closed his eyes and smiled inside and out at being given this chance.

“You were born to lead, Faramir,” Mallen said as he tied the knots carefully. Faramir could struggle against them and work his way loose, if given some time. He wouldn’t be given that time, but it was an issue of safety as well as making Faramir calmer about the whole thing. “You always take the lead when we are together and this is the only way I can think of to keep you from doing that. It’s a game about trust; I trust you completely and I know you trust me.”

He put a large finger to Faramir’s mouth to keep him from speaking.

“You’re so giving and generous that you tend to forget that I might want to give back.” Mallen smiled and shook his head. “I love what you do to me and could take from you and never tire of it. But you deserve to receive as well as give. I can do that tonight.”

The big man spoke so gently that those who didn’t know him well might be surprised, though Faramir shouldn’t be. He’d known Mallen for years, since they were boys, and was aware that the large, powerful body housed a truly gentle soul. If he hadn’t known, how could Faramir ever allow this? As it was, he looked up at Mallen with some nervousness.

He couldn’t know what to expect from it, lying there with his limbs tied with soft rope by skilled hands. Those hands had then touched him and brought him pleasure. Not erotic pleasure at first; they touched to relax. After a first calming hand on a slightly trembling shoulder, they touched to ease muscles just slightly tense from the unusual position and situation. Faramir sighed as they massaged him, so much better than a muscle rub after a difficult sword practice. They eased his nerves, gained his trust, took all the strain from his arms and shoulders, and then moved down. His legs were rendered nearly boneless and when the ankle bindings were passed in favour of the feet Faramir could not keep from groaning.

“I love you,” he said. Mallen smiled widely.

“I know.”

Warmth moved up but Faramir didn’t care. He barely noticed in his relaxed and dreamy state. Barely noticed until it was mouth and not hands, and it was…

“Eru, if you continue that for a minute longer, I will burst.” Mallen did, of course, and continued his smile as they lay together in each other’s warmth deep into the night.


“Don’t play the fool, Faramir,” Mallen said as soon as he could. “I know you better than that.”

It was his turn to laugh some days later when Faramir mentioned that Mallen had taken nothing for himself that night.

“I took what I wanted, which was to please you.” He was smiling and shaking his golden head. “How could I not wish to return the pleasure you give to me so freely?”

Not actually being a fool, Faramir understood and had the grace to look embarrassed.

“I wish to give to you.”

“I know. I love what you do to me, Faramir. I would take and take because it’s so wonderful. But you deserve to have good things too, you know.”

There was often a bit of difficulty in this. Faramir did not do so well at taking for himself, at seeing to his own needs. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy being with Mallen because he obviously did. It was that he was so solicitous of Mallen, of making sure his lover was pleased, that Mallen occasionally found it frustrating.

If having a tender, caring, skilful lover giving you every pleasure could be considered frustrating, that is. Faramir just had the tendency to forget that the lover might want to return some of the love in kind. Thus Mallen had turned to something that he’d never truly thought Faramir would allow.


“Where did you learn to do that?” Faramir asked one night as Mallen released him. He was completely flattened by the evening’s activities, both in body and in mind.

“It’s fairly intuitive. The balance is a bit tricky, but, as I said, you are too careful sometimes and I want to feel this in a few days when I’m missing you.” He was smirking, because he would feel it and remember how wild Faramir had been, penetrating yet being underneath and not in control as he usually was. Mallen felt it headier than the strongest wine to see his usually so-composed love entirely undone.

“Not that,” Faramir said, tapping Mallen’s shoulder lightly. “Not that it wasn’t incredible. I will try harder to give you… harder. I mean the binding.”

“Oh, that.” Mallen was quiet for a moment. “I can’t give you the man’s name, of course.”

“Of course.” Faramir could tell that Mallen was uncomfortable.

“I can’t even say exactly when, but I was young. The fits had only recently stopped for me and I was getting used to the headaches instead.” Mallen’s youth had been marred by falling fits that kept him from many physical activities the boys of Gondor usually enjoyed. Even now he chose not to ride often, though the fits had subsided into brutal headaches. He had done a lot of reading and thus his tutor and Faramir’s had introduced their charges. Mallen was unable to join the military, despite his height and powerful body, remaining at home while his older brothers took service. When Mallen was old enough to run the family estate on his own, his father went back to the army also. Even his younger brother would soon go. “I met the man one day because I had gone out—I was fine at first—and got a headache. He helped me to find a place to sit and got me some water from the public fountain.”

Mallen closed his eyes.

“He wasn’t much older than I in years, but he seemed it. In the end, he helped me get home and I thanked him later with dinner at an inn. It just happened.” Liaisons between men were not well tolerated though they happened. The rule among most seemed to be to pretend such things didn’t exist. “He wasn’t a dominant man by any means, which surprised me… you know, because he seemed older.”

“Well, perhaps it was because you are so big yourself?”

“It could have been,” Mallen agreed. “But mostly it was his way. When he first asked to bind me I didn’t laugh as you did. I thought I had misheard him.

“He wished to explain before he did it, though I agreed right away. It was very like what I did with you, actually. But his reasons were different.” Mallen sighed sadly, knowing this would be hard for Faramir to hear. It had hurt at the time and still did, when he thought of it.

“You and I like women even as we like men. He preferred men exclusively, and he always had. Somehow his father learned this and tried to beat it out of him while he was still young. Not that he’d never had beatings before, but these were to a specific purpose.” Mallen laughed entirely without humour. “As though there really was a purpose. Eventually he ran away and became a prostitute. He got beaten sometimes doing that as well, but it wasn’t by his father, he told me, and more bearable.”

Faramir lay quietly. There wasn’t much to say to that.

“I’m not sure where he learned it, but he found that binding gave him a power he just couldn’t get any other way. He wasn’t vicious at all when he did it, but he was bold when he was usually shy. He even took me a few times, though he was careful when he did. He never would have otherwise, he told me so.”

Mallen enjoyed both ways, though with Faramir he usually played the woman. When he put it that way the first time, Faramir had looked at him sideways. Big, muscular Mallen a woman?

“So he tied you and gained confidence from it?” Faramir asked. “He didn’t hurt you?”

“Never hurt me, though he sometimes hurt himself on me. A little bit like what I just did—and I don’t mean hurt, really. I was too careful with him because I wanted to show him what it was supposed to be like. I was too young to know that sometimes it can be good when it aches a few days later.” He coughed slightly and Faramir blushed a bit.

“I can work on that.”

“I’ll hold you to it, Ranger.” Mallen sighed again. “That’s it, really. I thought an awful lot about why I let him tie me so readily. He’d always been so docile but that could have changed when he had me down and I knew it. Maybe I thought he deserved the chance? But he never caused any pain and he enjoyed himself, really enjoyed himself, especially when he saw that I liked it too.”

Faramir smiled, slightly embarrassed.

“I like it. Perhaps… I might tie you sometime? I mean, you always do whatever I say anyway, but you’re really much bigger than I am.” Faramir snorted at this, because he wasn’t exactly weak, not with pulling a longbow the way he did. As tall and strong as he was, Mallen was bigger. How odd that fate made it impossible for the man to be a soldier when he looked the part so perfectly.

“You don’t need to tie me, but I’d let you,” Mallen said, lying down next to Faramir’s warmth.

“Perhaps next time I’m in the city.”

“Promises, promises.”


“Oh, Mallen. Mallen… please.”

Faramir’s voice was not loud, but Mallen heard every little nuance in it. He’d been listening to the same few words and many not-words for a while now, marvelling at being able to see his usually articulate love brought to this.

“Please. Eru, it’s ahhh…”

Every sense was nearly overloaded with what Faramir was doing to him; because of what he was doing to Faramir. He’d started slowly, continued slowly, and driven Faramir to the point of writhing against the ropes binding him.

It was only the wrists this night, as it would have been awkward to do what he needed to do with tied legs also. Right now those legs were wrapped around him as he drove with greater and greater speed into the nearly incoherent man below him. Difficult position, but so worth it to be able to see Faramir’s face.

“You are so beautiful, Faramir.”

“…” Faramir moaned. “Please. More. Faster?”

Mallen himself moaned and couldn’t help the snap of his hips as he did go faster. This was to teach Faramir something, to show him how good it could be if he were not so careful all the time. Faramir would be aching for a few days and wouldn’t care. Mallen was trying to tell himself that he was selfish: he wanted Faramir to do this for him. He did, but so much of this was to give the same pleasures he’d gotten. Even if there was never reciprocation Mallen would remember this night for a long time.

No one, no one else in all of Middle-earth had ever seen Faramir this way except him. Faramir was completely undone, nearly without words, begging for what only he could give. By the Valar, it was incredible and he didn’t want it to end.

“Please!”

Mallen couldn’t help it; his body would not let him stop. He pounded with nearly brutal ferocity into the body below him and Faramir’s mouth opened in a silent howl of delight that was Mallen’s undoing.

“Faramir!” He spent with a last powerful thrust and held himself through it, unable to keep his eyes open it was so good. He didn’t even realise he’d stopped moving until he looked down and saw Faramir staring up at him in wide-eyed need. Mallen moved quickly, touching and barely wrapping around before Faramir threw his head back and exploded all over the hand and his own chest.

Some minutes later when they were disentangled and cleaned up slightly, the two men looked at each other not quite knowing what to say. Faramir’s wrists were just a bit raw and Mallen felt slightly guilty about that.

“That was incredible,” Faramir said finally, quietly, as if he didn’t want to break the spell between them.

“You were so beautiful. You are. I’ve never seen you that way before.” Tied, but… free.

“You’ve never done anything like that before,” Faramir returned. “I’m not certain it was real.”

“It was real, you’ll be sure of that tomorrow.”

“I can tell.” Faramir was silent a moment. “I understand now. It might hurt a little bit, but not in a bad way. I was worried about hurting you when I need not have been.”

He laughed slightly.

“Me, worried about hurting you. You are larger than I am.”

“Yes,” Mallen answered. “But you’re a soldier and I’m not. And you care so much. That means more to me than anything, that your concern shows through.”

“If you were a soldier…”

“We couldn’t be together,” Mallen finished. They’d had this conversation before. “Or we could, but you never would have let me bind you. You could never allow me to see you as weak, not even if you weren’t my commanding officer.”

“No.” Faramir didn’t feel weak. Well, a little bit, physically, but it had been a demanding coupling. “I really can’t see letting anyone do that to me except you. You’d never hold it against me.”

“What is there to hold against you?”

“Not being in control.”

Now Mallen laughed.

“You might not have been in control of yourself, but that’s what I wanted. It’s safe here with me, and I’ll never hold anything against you. Why would I, when you work so hard to keep us all safe? I should have been a soldier, not you.”

“Do not start, my friend. You could not help being ill as a child.” This was another conversation they’d had a number of times. Mallen’s fits kept him from fighting. He felt it unfair that a man his size should not be fit to protect his country while Faramir, though strong and capable, was not a soldier born as Mallen seemed to be. He had the same instincts Boromir did, but they had no outlet. “You are no coward.”

Faramir snorted.

“What a pair we are. You make me better than I am, Faramir. I love you.”

Faramir smiled.

“I love you too. You show me things I’d never have otherwise known. I can be myself with you in ways I cannot even with my brother. I do not always have to be strong when you’re near, and all will be well.”

Mallen did not say what was on the tip of his tongue—that letting someone in enough to show ‘weakness’ was in itself a great strength. He did not know Boromir very well, but from all Mallen had heard Boromir could not do what Faramir could. Faramir trusted him so much.

“It will be well.” Mallen smiled, wondering a moment. “I can just see your wife one day looking at you as I am looking at you now. She’ll be feeling lucky, just as I do.”

“I would not let my lady wife see me like that!” Faramir protested.

“Why not? You love and trust me, so surely you’ll love and trust her even more.” Mallen shook his head, smiling an odd smile. “Don’t you think your wife will deserve to see you looking up at her and wanting her—just her—so much that it’s like she’s the only woman in the world?”

Sometimes Faramir could be so foolish.

“Well… I would like it if my wife desired me as much as I desired her.” He thought about it, then turned bright red. “Are there women in Gondor so bold as to wish to have their husbands in such a way?”

“By the Valar I hope so!” Both men laughed at Mallen’s outburst. “I must wed one day as well, though it’s not as important for me as it is for you. I do want a wife and children.”

“One day. In truth, I cannot see why you do not court the ladies while so many of us are away. Not that they are not drawn to you.” Faramir teased slightly, because women were drawn to Mallen. His name meant ‘golden-coloured’ and did fit his physical appearance. Even more, the man was handsome and powerful, but even-tempered. Also, in spite of his childhood illness and current bouts with crippling headaches, Faramir did not know of any man except perhaps Lieutenant Mablung with a brighter outlook on life. Even as it was with Boromir, when Faramir and Mallen went out drinking together it was Faramir who was overlooked: Faramir never resented it.

“It’s my curse,” Mallen mock-groaned, “even as yours is your great wisdom. You might not see the fruit of it now, but you will one day.”

They grew serious again.

“In truth, I could not imagine any wife you might have not wanting to see you that way, Faramir. You are calm and wise, but you have so much love. You’ll give and give to her, and she’ll want to return it all even as I did and still do. She’ll have to tie you up just so she can have a chance.” He winked. “She’ll have you there looking like her favourite meal, and there you’ll be finally letting go. Your wife will never let you out of bed after that.”

“Um… perhaps I won’t mind?” Faramir turned red. “Perhaps I might… in return. I mean, now that you’ve shown me how you can make me feel, I would like to see you that way as well.”

That was enough to surprise Mallen. Faramir would consider doing this to his wife? But of course, since Faramir was so giving. That made sense.

“You do not need to tie me to have me in your control, Faramir.”

“I know. Perhaps if I tie you, I’ll finally be in yours.” There was a soft smile that was a little out of place on Faramir’s face, for there was a bit of slyness to it. “Is that not what you’ve been trying to show me all along?”

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Dancingkatz , , Mel

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2 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

I’ve read this story with much liking, much interest and not a little fascination at all the themes running through. On first seeing Faramir, and Mallen, they both made me smile. I’ve messaged a few thoughts on to you (please let me know if it does not arrive). Here, I would like to say that the prompts were ingeniously applied to a pair of warm, likeable characters, in a reciprocating exchange of give and take. Faramir and Mallen take things a step further in trust and enjoyment, driving inhibitions into abeyance. This reduces Faramir to a wilder pleasure than he has been used to, and so in turn he can understand how Mallen might also want to experience the same enthusiastic treatment. Two caring people find out how they can give more, and accept more, as a result of Mallen’s experiment.
The story mentions Mallen’s past as well, which gives another layer of sexual experience, with a young man whose fortune has been less happy. However, he was also able to trust enough to give, and to receive. Mallen’s character, his gentle kindness, his inability to be in the military, Faramir’s insistence on giving rather than accepting, and Mallen’s frustration over this, all make more facets and layers to the story. Humour, enjoyment and warmth pervade the tale from first to last, and Faramir has a lot of fun learning how neither of them need to treat each other with kid gloves. In the end, Faramir jokes about how in taking control he could be giving up control. Giving himself over to passion of a more demanding kind is something that he has discovered he does not mind at all – either way round!
Thank you for a thoughtful, fun, and gentle story, passionate and caring, with people I could warm to and enjoy, and (ahem) blush with! Erfan

— Erfan Starled    19 December 2010, 18:47    #

First off, I am so pleased you enjoyed your story. I had the most miserable time because I kept thinking ‘this isn’t a story!’ all the way through. It’s more character study than story, which is sort of cheating. (At least I think so.)
This was not the bunny I had originally, but I got to thinking about Faramir and bondage and what it would take for him to be involved in something like that. What is bondage about? Trust, to me, and I see Faramir as such a generous lover that it could be (amusingly) frustrating to whomever he was with never being able to get a ‘word’ in edgewise. He could not be with another soldier simply because of issues of rank and command, so who? In thinking about these things, I came up with this. It was a logical progression—where did Mallen learn this? Why isn’t Mallen a soldier? All the little things that answer the plot hole questions, including the ‘what does Gondor in general think about all of this?’
I’m trying to find the blush in this. I suppose that last segment… Sex and love together, who’d have thought? And men together speculating on future wives—why not? These men are both too loving not to share with others in the future. I’m going all sappy, but love isn’t a finite thing and I wanted to imply that maybe in the future there’s a place for all of this in both men’s lives.
Again, thank you for your review and I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

— Bell Witch    20 December 2010, 04:03    #

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About the Author


Bell Witch

Most of my fanfiction is linked through my livejournal Feed link

Finally an update of my profile. I’m behind on linking fics posted here on my LJ, so these are pretty much my LotR fics. The Harry Potter links are on the LJ below a lot of silly quizzes and memes. For sillier results, my online RPG Faramir takes these quizzes also—in character. Most of his results are better than mine. His journal is faramir_hurin, for those so inclined.

I’ve also written a number of segments for the interactive story linked through this site.

I’ve been writing fanfiction for four or five years and I haven’t progressed into writing for many fandoms yet, which may be a blessing for all of those fandoms I’ve not written for. I don’t really count the online RP as fanfiction, though some would. That adds a few fandoms and a new dimension to LotR, as I now play Sauron in his Annatar persona.

As you can see, I am still not skilled at writing author profiles.