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05 March 2010 | 2463 words
Title: Slow Burn
Pairing: Faramir/Boromir, Boromir/Aragorn, Faramir/Éowyn
Summary: Final set. War is over, the time to co-exist has come
A/N notes: Bálin is pronounced Bay-lin… unless my elfish research is crap, which is entirely probable.
Sequel to: Ignite
A finger swept through a wet ring on the wood, lazy patterns drawn without a care; no amount of drunken rabble about the room interrupting the useless task. The door creaked and sunlight sliced into the comfortable dimness; still the vagabond did not turn from the table. Because he did not turn, he did not see the scarred man step into the tavern. But he was not deaf.
The newcomer’s eyes adjusted to the dim room quickly, the door closing behind him with an air of finality. It didn’t take long for the scarred man to spy the beggar at the table, tattered tunic and thinning hat. He made his way past tables and chairs quietly, his hand closing around the hilt of his dagger, hidden in his coat. A feeling of dread gathered with the adrenaline flowing through him. It was not the first time he’d felt it, though he’d not thought to encounter it again. But there was no question that the man at the table must die today.
As he grabbed hold beneath the man’s arms, and his blade rested against the pale throat, he thought it odd the man did not flinch, nor resist. Drunks stared as the scarred man pulled the beggar into the next room, for he had questions before he spilled blood.
“Who pays ye?”
The vagrant did not answer.
“I do not accept yer offer, but counter that if ye answer, I will kill ye quickly, rather than draw it out.”
The only sound was of curious sots stumbling into the room. The scarred man turned toward them, held his dagger out in threat. When they held their hands up in surrender, he turned back to the beggar.
“Perhaps I shall turn ye over to the king. I ‘ear the gallows ‘ave been sorely underused.”
When no reply came, he turned the tramp round, crushing him against the wall, nicking the skin at his throat. “Who?”
The man grinned, wide and toothy, and a slow drawl meandered its way into the scarred man’s ear, “The people pay me. And ‘tis not an offer I bring, but an order… Boromir.”
With that, Aragorn took advantage of his surprise with a knee to Boromir’s groin, and the drunks suddenly sobered, grasping Boromir’s arms and pulling him off the king, tearing the blade from his hand.
Aragorn was glad to be rid of the itchy hat, eager to do the same with the rotting clothes. In all his years in the wild, he’d never had to disguise himself. Yet his agents had not been able to secure the Steward’s heir during the months he’d dispatched them, so he’d adopted the covert task himself. It took an adept whore offering the former outlaw a false contract on the king to draw him out. He’d known Boromir would not actually murder him, and if he was wrong… well, at least he’d left an heir to the throne.
“You did not send your compliments upon my coronation.” Boromir snorted at the comment, turning Aragorn’s annoyance to amusement.
“Ye ‘ave my salutations, Oh Great King. But ye may not ‘ave my ‘ide.”
“Your hide is exactly what this king requires.” The king’s men exchanged glances. Boromir had relaxed in their arms, though Aragorn guessed he was calculating his escape.
“This would be the justice for which the king is so well known?”
“Indeed. For you have past crimes to atone for. And a debt to repay.”
“I ‘ave no debt.”
Aragorn slinked up close to his ear and breathed, “We did not die at the gates. Therefore you owe a debt.”
Realization hit Boromir then and he kicked the man holding his right arm, slammed his head into the one holding his left. Aragorn had been smart enough to step back, and made no attempt to run after him. Right before Boromir passed into the main room he felt the sharp prickle in his neck. He was down before he got to the tavern door.
When Ecthelion I rebuilt the tower some three centuries earlier, a tentative peace lulled, enabling him time to create a masterpiece. But Ecthelion was not a fool. He knew peace did not last, so his architects designed the tower large enough to house the royal family, or the Steward’s family until the king should come, in times of war.
The walls were as thick as the citadel’s and though the tower had a plethora of arrow slots, the top-most floor was entirely surrounded by a balcony, almost two meters in width all around. Overlooking the balcony were windows, wide and tall, facing four directions and covered with wooden shutters which would open when spring swallowed the cold winds.
The room housed a fireplace and enough room for several people to sleep and eat for days. Tapestries hung about the walls, woven with famous battle scenes and likenesses of the beautiful places in the world. The palantir had been relocated, a bed pushed to the center of the room.
It was here that Boromir woke.
Aragorn had laced the dart with enough of the Haradrim drug to keep Boromir out for almost a day, which left plenty of time to whisk him to the capital, the king’s men carrying him up the winding steps, leaving him just outside the door for the king to exact justice as he saw fit. None of them were allowed inside. There was no limit to the rumors flying throughout the city.
Aragorn watched a good two hours before the man stirred. He watched grogginess turn to awareness, Boromir listening briefly before realizing that he was restrained, nude. He watched panic set in, watched the man struggle like a bear in a trap.
“Pulling makes the bonds tighter.”
Boromir calmed marginally at the sound of his voice, but sparks still heated his own growl and Aragorn almost wished he would have forwent the blindfold so he could see his searing eyes.
“I will run ye through when I’m free.”
Boromir sighed. “Then set me to trial.”
“This is your trial.”
Boromir squeezed the flags wrapped round his wrists, a fitting white against his golden skin, the white standard of the Stewards. The banners were looped through the headboard and footboard, his legs afforded more slack. Loose silken rope hung down from the ceiling and wrapped round his knees.
Aragorn circled the bed as he spoke.
“How many men have you killed, son of Denethor?”
Boromir shrugged. “Dozens?”
“Not in battle.”
“Three. Soon four.”
“I’ve heard rumor these men were heinous, that your dispatches were a mercy that left good folk safe. Is this true?”
Again, Boromir shrugged. His head followed the sound of Aragorn’s voice.
“Your theft from Gondor’s armed forces… do not think to tell me these were also acts of charity.”
“They were acts of logic. They ‘ad food, we did not.”
“There are those who have asked me to pardon your crimes.”
“I’d thank ‘im but I doubt he’d speak to me.”
Aragorn crept up close to his ear. “But there is the matter of your debt, Steward.”
He leaned into the mattress without touching any skin and grazed his lips to Boromir’s. Boromir flinched and when his teeth sank into the king’s flesh, he was knocked across the cheek, the pinkening skin making his scar look angry. Aragorn backed away and silently busied himself with practical matters for a good turn and a half of the clock whilst Boromir bellowed his outrage. The sun that had warmed the younger man’s body dropped, the breeze from the open windows leaving gooseflesh across his chest. When the his voice became hoarse the king returned to the bed, careful to touch nothing but his current goal.
The second brush of his lips was ethereal, only sure he actually made contact when Boromir gasped and Aragorn could see the dread in the set of his jaw. He slid his tongue along Boromir’s bottom lip, so gossamer a feeling that Boromir tilted his head up slightly, unwittingly reaching for the feel of human contact. Aragorn was pleased to notice that the man’s cock at least was responding more resolutely than his mind.
And then he backed away, his sudden absence leaving Boromir on edge, and he rewarded the grudging cooperation with a firm stroke along the bound man’s hip, breathing thickening as he worked upward.
And so it went, each time Boromir endured an exploration in unfamiliar places he was rewarded with a solid touch that he knew how to handle. All the while, the fearful resistance in his body slowly ripened into a blazing tension like dark writhing clouds ready to throw lightning down to earth.
The kisses heated as they went, Aragorn coaxing Boromir to answer the query in his lips, his demanding tongue merging their desire until Boromir’s virgin reply swelled and lost them in a haze of need.
He slowly pulled the ropes above, lifting Boromir’s knees in small increments, and though the man was not naïve, the dizziness of lust was an effective distraction. Touches became more firm, more intimate until Boromir’s endurance became acceptance and acceptance drove to quivering anticipation and Aragorn became rabid with want.
Tongue and fingers forged the way with care and passion, but the panic returned in a deluge as Aragorn’s cock pressed between firm cheeks. He grasped golden strands, slipped the cloth from Boromir’s eyes so that he could see that the mastery was also reverent guidance.
Lips and hands soothed Boromir’s bucks until the fear turned once again to passion and Boromir’s hunger joined with a feeling Aragorn had sustained alone for two years. Driving in, Boromir’s rim gripped each inch of his cock as it slid through over and over and Aragorn accepted every gasp and raw twitch as a gift until he could no longer think as a lover, but take as a beast. Matching his strength, Boromir pushed back as much as the bonds allowed, and his heat flared, shooting out to burn Aragorn’s chest as the king followed him into a glorious wildfire.
Passion ebbed into slow kisses, reassurances between long stretches of drowsiness. Aragorn marveled at the wonder within green eyes, but he was smart enough to keep Boromir bound till morning. It was then his lover learned reciprocation was a worthwhile benefit of trust.
The tune stuttered briefly as he waved, Boromir looking back once as they rode, Aragorn’s eyes on the hills ahead of them. Faramir foolishly imagined he could see the scar on Boromir’s cheek from here, though his eyes did not miss the contentment the other two shared, the exhilaration.
Over three years since the war ended, mere months since Aragorn had snatched Boromir from his rabble-rousing in the wild. Before then, it had gotten to the point where Faramir wondered if that street rat down the second circle had all been merely a dream. Odd; when Bálin had been fresh in his mind for twenty years prior.
They’d fished and hunted this week, their first brotherly outings. Aragorn had met with Faramir’s council during the day while the Prince of Ithilien showed Gondor’s newly minted Steward and Captain General the streams and fields of Emyn Arnen.
“Whoa!” A particularly large and feisty trout had brought the object of Faramir’s stare to jerk at his pole. They’d fished for three hours that last morning, Boromir pulling in most of the catch, and laughed a good share, a slow but steady acceptance growing between them.
“If I didn’t know better I’d think you a wizard, so well you guess where the trout lie.”
“Tis no guess. I’d been ‘ere before.”
“Oh? While I was in the north?”
“After the war.”
“There are many orcs and wild men left, searching for food, for trouble.”
“You’ve been watching over us?”
Boromir slid out a crooked grin, reached into the water and splashed Faramir a few times, “Are ye saying ye need watched, Little Brother? Can’t ‘andle them harmless little waddlers all on yer own?”
Faramir had blushed then, elated at the camaraderie, and for the rest of the afternoon hadn’t ached for more. Even now, as he watched them ride from Emyn Arnen, easy laughter bubbling between them, he accepted his limitations. He could not touch the skin of the man he now called brother, but he could hear his joy, share his pain with words, with glances that spoke of a bond about which no one dared enquire.
And that had to be enough. For after Boromir’s return, when Faramir shamefully spied from the shadows his bygone lover at last forfeit his constraining façade, he saw the gift the king possessed that Faramir had not: understanding. Aragorn had learned each corner of his new love’s heart, his perceptive guidance forging a give and take that steered them both to a shivering sated mess. Faramir’s bitterness that it had not been him had drowned in the genuine happiness he felt for his brother. The queen’s open heart had saved Boromir’s.
A familiar whickering stomp stirred him from the view. He laid his lute on the soft grass at his feet and turned toward the flowing tresses of flaxen fluttering round the shoulders of a leather jerkin. “So?”
“Only four?” The amusement carried his voice as he rose to meet her. Éowyn smiled at him then and he melted anew at the enchanting blend of her own wildness mixed with the softness of her heart. “Who bested you?”
“Léod, of course.” The diffident roll of her eyes could not hide her determination. Winning most of the matches was never enough.
“Ah.” His hand kissed the swell of her belly. Soon she would have to forego the breeches. She shaded her eyes and looked to the west and he followed her line of sight. The king had brought enough air from the north to keep the fires of Gondor stoked.
“Did you have the cooks pack them extra food? The King seems to enjoy leading his Steward through circuitous byways.”
She snickered at her own implication, rough and glorious and not at all lady-like. Faramir realized now that she had rescued him that day they’d defeated the straw soldier. He’d always thought it the other way round.
Once more he looked away from the travelers and wrapped an arm round a beloved curve. Faramir had his own hearth to tend now.
“Let us go to the house so that we might discover byways of our own.”
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Ingrid