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29 March 2004 | 13289 words
The CurePairing: Faramir/Aragorn
Disclaimer: LOTR and all its characters belong to Tolkien
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Summary: An extra dosage of a fever cure has side effects that were completely unforeseen. General angst, PWP
Aragorn stood at the window of the room and watched the city of Minas Tirith spread out before him. The faint sounds of someone stirring made him turn towards the bed. He moved towards it and sat by the reposing figure, smiling quietly into the grey eyes of his Steward.
“How do you feel now?” he asked tenderly, pushing a sweat-dampened lock of hair off the clammy forehead.
“Better,” came the scratchy reply.
“Liar,” Aragorn muttered but his features softened as Faramir sighed and curled up on his side facing the King, “Poor thing,” he murmured gently, as he stroked a wan cheek, “You shall feel much, much better soon. I promise.”
Faramir simply grasped his hand in response, but the grip was weaker than Aragorn had ever known it to be.
“You must drink that brew the healers have sent over. It contains herbs meant for such fevers.”
His patient promptly made a face, “It tastes terrible,” he said unhappily.
“If you do not, I shall write to Éowyn in Rohan and tell her you are ill. She shall return immediately, and all our plans for this week shall be disrupted.”
“They have already been disrupted,” came an almost bitter reply, “Because of my stupidity!”
“Hush!” Aragorn scolded gently, and then stroked the distressed face gently, “ There is no stupidity in falling ill, love. It could happen to anyone. Our plans can always be adhered to another time. For now, I merely wish to see you recover soon. You had us very worried, my sweet.”
Faramir gave him a remorseful look, and the dark lashes dropped. Aragorn sighed softly and bent down to kiss him lightly on his cheek.
He had to use up every ounce of self-control to stop there. It had not taken him long to realise that Faramir in a fevered state could present a very arousing picture. Even now, when he was recovering rapidly from his illness, one look at him was enough to stir up a familiar feeling in his groin. The dark hair was strewn wildly, and stray strands stuck to his damp brow. His face was flushed, and Aragorn could not help but notice that the hue went all the way down to his neck. The heat had forced the steward to leave his shirt half open, and it now lay askew over his squirming body, exposing a glistening shoulder and chest as flushed as his face.
Aragorn had not even realised the younger man had been ill, when he had arrived in Minas Tirith a week ago. Éowyn had left for Rohan with Arwen for company leaving the two men to ostensibly discuss matters of state. Faramir had dismissed his ailment as a light cold and paid no attention to his aching throat or the slight headache he felt. They had gone out hunting and been caught in the rain which only served to aggravate the condition. It was not until Aragorn had reached the Steward’s house later that night, that he had realised Faramir was ill. He had found the younger man leaning against a wall in a near faint, and had just managed to catch him in his arms as he had collapsed. The healers had been called in and they in turn had diagnosed it as the new strain of fever that had broken out in some parts of Gondor.
Aragorn had sat by his bedside and watched the ministrations, until he had been asked to leave. He left but then found to his dismay that he was to be kept away from Faramir for they could not have the king of Gondor falling ill. He had protested vehemently, silencing himself only when he was told Faramir wished him to stay away from the houses of healing too.
He had fretted and fumed but to no avail. All that night he lay awake, wondering how Faramir was feeling, for when he had last seen him, his steward had been writhing uncomfortably between the sheets in the healing room. His eyes had been dazed and the king was not even sure if he had heard him speak to him.
The fever being a new strain, they were still developing the antidote for it. Unfortunately Faramir was one of very few whom it seemed to affect very badly. And he was hit the most. His condition had only worsened the first few days and Aragorn had had a hard time controlling his emotions, when he was allowed to see him. It hurt him tremendously to think that the young man was suffering, and on one particular night when the healers had been excessively worried, he had feared greatly that he would lose one who had come to mean so much to him in so short a span of time.
He had insisted on being allowed to hold him and had sat by the writhing, delirious figure, clutching the thinned wrist and stroking the fevered brow for hours. In his heart, he decided that that had helped. For, the younger man’s health had improved and now, some days later, the healers had acceded to his request to move back to his room in the citadel, for the healing houses were a little crowded, and Faramir chaffed to be there.
A knock on the door interrupted them as a servant came in with some food for Faramir, a bowl of steaming broth that made the patient groan.
“I’m not hungry,” he said irritably.
Aragorn took the bowl and dismissed the servant before turning to his Steward, “Of course you are. You have barely eaten anything ever since you were ill. And you know this is all you are able to have yet. Sit up now.”
He placed the bowl on a table and gently tugged the reluctant man up. Helping Faramir sit up against the pillows, he dipped a small wooden spoon into it and held it up to the steward’s mouth.
Faramir simply groaned again and tried to swat Aragorn’s hand away weakly, but was ultimately forced to slowly ingest the broth, spoonful by spoonful. Aragorn held the spoon up to his mouth, each time gazing at the pale lips for a second longer than normal. He longed to simply crush them with a bruising kiss, to feel the younger man’s mouth melt under the force of his passion. Once again, he was made painfully aware of how entrancing Faramir’s body seemed in the flush of fever. Even the warmth of his skin affected Aragorn as their hands brushed.
“Not hungry,” Faramir tried to murmur after a while.
“There’s hardly any left - just a few drops,” Aragorn coaxed, as he held the spoon up.
When it was over, he picked up a wet towel and helped him clean up. Wiping it over the neatly sculpted mouth he let his fingers rest briefly upon the lips. He wrapped an arm around the slumped shoulders and hugged him gently, before bestowing a tiny kiss on the worn forehead, wishing he could make that kiss more forceful, and simply push him down and make love to him.
Faramir sighed in response, a soft little sound that Aragorn was by now used to. That Faramir loved him, he knew. He had said it often, and he said it again now.
Faramir had accepted him as king with an ease that had never failed to amaze Aragorn. The more he had got to know the younger man, the more fond he had become of his quiet natured yet brave and honourable Steward. When the mutual fondness and respect turned to love, he could not say, but it had seemed inevitable. Ever since they had first shared their bed, the love had only grown. It was not a matter they could speak of to anyone for the world of Men would frown upon it, as they were both married. But they loved each other and that was all that mattered.
And that Faramir needed him, he had guessed without being told. But now, in his delirium, Faramir had said much that he would have normally left unspoken. And what Aragorn had guessed had been confirmed. Among those he had cried out for, were the expected ones – his father and brother - both lost during the war of the ring; an experience that had left the Steward more scarred than he cared to admit. But an equally frequent call had gone out for Aragorn.
Faramir curled into his embrace now and shivered a little forcing him to tighten his hold. He slipped an arm around his waist, and at the last moment stopped himself from snaking it any further down.
“You had me so worried,” he said softly as he stroked the limp, dark hair.
“Forgive me,” came the remorseful reply.
“Nay, ‘tis my fault for not noticing you ailed earlier. I was trained in healing after all.”
“No! It is not your fault. You could never do wrong!” the force behind the words startled him as much as the words did.
“You cannot say that,” he said lightly, “Everyone makes mistakes.”
“No,” came the insistent response, “You can do no wrong. You are always good, and kind and just and –,” he broke off suddenly, wearily before whispering, “You do so much for everyone. You did so much for me. The second son of the steward, that is all I was. You made me a prince, though I deserve no such title, and you sit here now and care for me when you should be resting.”
“Hush. You will tire yourself out, if you speak so much,” Aragorn said, his mind still reeling from the words he had heard, “And you are wrong. You deserve your princedom for I know how much you love Ithilien. And you are the Steward now. All that I do for you earned it. And I sit here and care for you, and will do so as long as needed for you deserve that too. I love you much, my Prince, and you must never forget that!”
Grey eyes stared back at him apprehensively, “I am fortunate that you choose to do so.”
Aragorn sighed. Everything that he had normally seen in Faramir’s eyes or read in his actions now seemed to be coming out in words, “That is the fever speaking, love,” he said quietly, “You know I love you and I know you return the feeling. I do not care why I do so, but if you must know, be assured it is because you deserve it. I cannot think that anyone would not love you. But I love you more than anyone else could, and you must never forget that!”
Faramir opened his mouth again but the weariness written across his features did not escape Aragorn's eye. He gently let go of the tired man and nudged him down gently, “Rest now, dear one, and when you wake up, let us not speak of such silly matters.”
Faramir bit back his words and lay down as commanded, but his eyes were still clouded.
“You are ill still,” Aragorn insisted softly, “and you tire yourself out by saying such things. Banish these silly notions from your mind, and do not trouble yourself so, I beg of you, my love. ‘Tis I who should wonder what you see in one so old as I!”
That had the effect opposite of what he desired. Faramir shot up immediately, “I do love you,” he said beseechingly, “I would do anything you ask of me.”
“I know,” he stated soothingly, trying to push Faramir down again, “Lie down now.”
And he did know. He had always been deferred to in their relationship. They met when he wanted to; they made love when he wanted to, and where he wanted to, and, as he wanted to. He would have thought Faramir had no real heartfelt interest in the matter if he had not seen the adoration in his eyes or heard the love in his voice. He had inferred enough to realise that while his Steward could be forceful and decisive in matters of state and put his point across in the council, or in any matter of the mind, when it came to affairs of the heart, he would never take the lead.
They spoke of it just once. He had asked Faramir what he wanted to do, and was told they would do as the King pleased. A suggestion that for once he would like to do what Faramir desired was met with confusion and bewilderment.
“But I desire only to please you, Aragorn,” he had said in a sincere but puzzled tone.
He was scared of losing anyone who loved him, Aragorn had realised. It had struck him very forcefully that deep inside Faramir did not have the belief that he would love him forever. It seemed similar in case of Éowyn. It hurt him but there was little he could do. Faramir himself seemed not to have realised that so he could say little. And that he felt that way was understandable. It stemmed from being the less favoured son of a stern father, who had had no words of love to give to Faramir until too late.
He picked up the medicinal brew now and brought it to the ailing man, “Here, drink this. You will feel better.”
“It smells terrible,” Faramir sighed, “What vile herbs have they put into this?”
“Some new herbs from Khand,” Aragorn said, “You need fear nothing, love. It is safe to ingest. I am sure I remember it from my travels there many years ago. It had a strange name and the leaves had many uses. But the flowers were used for something else . . . I cannot recall what it was.”
Noticing that Faramir looked sleepy, he stopped talking and gently tucked him into bed, coaxing him to lie comfortably, and covering him up.
“Aye, you do everything I want,” he told the sleeping figure, “In your fever you look so lovely, my sweet. If you only knew how much I desire to lie with you now I fear you would forget your fever just to please me.”
Sighing a little he left the room to get some things. He planned to stay by Faramir’s side that night as he slept. He found himself thinking about the herb. He wished he could remember what other use the flowers had for it had been something important and they were rarely used. They gave strength to those recovering from extreme illness yet the people in Khand had used them sparingly.
He returned to Faramir’s room with a blanket and draped it over a chair. The smell of the herbs lingered on in the room. A strange sickly sweet smell, that brought back a fragment of memory. A happy one, he thought, but could not be sure.
He sat in the chair comfortably for it was huge and cushioned, and pulled the blanket over him, trying to jog his memory.
It was when his sleep was interrupted that he remembered what the flowers were used for. Moonlight streamed through the room from the window. Faramir’s face loomed over him as he struggled to open his eyes. Warm breaths fell over his neck and chest.
Long slender fingers were unlacing the bindings of his shirt, even as the other hand slipped underneath the cloth and began playing with his left nipple, the heat of the other man’s skin radiating onto his.
“Aragorn!” came the dreamy voice, “Aragorn! My love!” The dark head bent and nuzzled his exposed collarbone, the warmth continuing to creep across his skin. But this time it wasn’t just the warmth of Faramir’s fever, but that of his own aroused body too.
An aphrodisiac! A voice screamed in his head, as a wet tongue slicked over his throat. The flowers were used as an aphrodisiac in Khand!
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