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20 March 2016 | 5491 words
Summary: It is a wonder how he suddenly came to be the strong one, how a mortal man such as himself can give comfort to an immortal being of the ancient world.
Pairing: Faramir/Legolas, Faramir/Legolas/Aragorn implied
Warnings: Slash and some angst.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: It’s been ages! I don’t know how active this archive is these days but I found this story I wrote several years ago but never published and now I feel like sharing.
The Deepest Pain
There is a vague sense of dread…
The blade tumbled to the ground when his stiff, bare hands were unable to close around the hilt any longer. Any sound the sword might have made as it went down was drenched in the cries that echoed among the hills. The earth beneath him, however, was silent.
The blood was sticky on his skin, mingling with the dirt and the sweat. A tendril of pain was shrieking in his leg. Something had sent him spinning a couple of paces back, made him turn his back to his enemy.
So many… Too many. Where is…?
He fought his way back. Maybe he had picked up his sword again, or perhaps he had found some other means of protection or retaliation. But the shock still rang through him. The fear. The stubborn notion that this was not truly happening, that he was still asleep. When he put his weight on his leg, the world was momentarily blackened out before his eyes.
That he is–
Faramir jerks awake with a harsh cry bursting from his lips. For one hellish heartbeat there is nothing to be understood about the world around him: he hears nothing, sees nothing, feels nothing but utter and complete panic.
Then a hand on his forehead. “Faramir.” Kindly, but sharply.
“All is well.”
He is urged back down. And his head clears.
He can feel his own heart thud rapidly in his breast but familiar shades and shapes are settling around him and he instinctively draws a deep breath.
The night stinks of blood.
But he knows his King’s touch and the realisation that it is Aragorn’s palm that is stroking his forehead and pushing back his tangled hair helps to ease him. Yet in the wake of the sharpest fear, the pain comes rolling back through him. Faramir groans.
And Aragorn chuckles. It is almost imperceptible, but it is not something that Faramir imagines. It should vex him, but in this hour it rather soothes him.
Then again: fear. And he pushes back up, against the constraints, provoking his lord’s healing touch.
“Is well,” the King says immediately. “That is, he is having an arrow shaft pulled out of his shoulder as we speak – it did not go very deep, though – and he was quite severely battered. But he will live and be well again.”
This new wave of relief makes Faramir’s frantic heartbeat slow to a kinder pace. He does not bother to turn his face away as sudden tears sting his eyes. The last he saw of the elf was his long, pale hair flashing in a last glimmer of proper daylight as he ran to fetch his bow and quiver.
In the face of the unanticipated attack, Faramir had been forced to push aside his worry.
“And you, my lord?” Faramir’s voice is somewhat raspy and his throat feels sore.
“Just a couple of scratches.”
For the first time, Faramir tips his head back and comes to understand that it is resting in Aragorn’s lap. He strains to look into his King’s face.
Aragorn looks weary and there are streaks of dirt across his cheeks. His hair hangs in a tangled, sweaty mess around his face. But there is a hint of a sweet smile on his lips.
Faramir regards him for as long as he may. “Thank the gods,” he says, finally.
His lord’s smile deepens just a little. “Aye, thank the gods.”
The Orcs appeared amongst the budding shadows, heavily armed and uncharacteristically soundless. The King’s company was taken by surprise, to say the least. Their foes were not many, but neither were the soldiers of the White City. Now, there are even less of them.
Faramir tries to ignore the smouldering pyre of blackened flesh to the north as he tries to find a comfortable position with his back against a boulder. Around him, those who came away from the battle alive and standing are making impossible decisions. Moans, tainted and desperate, creep across the barren soil and there is the cold song of the sword through the night air as someone is torn from their misery. Faramir closes his eyes and feels his head swim.
The sound of footfall does not penetrate his dizziness until his King is almost by his side. Aragorn bends to press his palm again to Faramir’s forehead. “Are you all right?”
Faramir smiles weakly through the faint ringing that seems to echo between his ears. He swallows against the bile that is rising in his throat. “Fine.”
But his King is not so easily convinced. “Did you take a blow to the head?” He sounds truly worried now.
“No… not that I know of. Usually one notices those…” Faramir grimaces as fingertips explore his skull.
“Faramir, do not be cheeky.” Aragorn’s voice is quite sharp. “I will have none of it. If you are injured you must tell me. And you must not fall asleep,” he adds when Faramir does not open his eyes to look at him. “Not before I have concluded that there is nothing the matter with you.”
Faramir nods, and immediately regrets it. He forces himself to blink his eyes open, however. “I am fine. Truly. There are others who need you more desperately, my lord.”
Worry gleams in the grey eyes before him. “You need me.” He speaks quieter now.
Faramir feels his heart swell. It always does when his King looks at him like that. “My leg, then,” he says.
When he assumes the role of the healer, Aragorn does not cosset. Producing a small knife that glitters dully in the flickering light of the pyre and the hastily lit torches, he deftly cuts away the leather obscuring the wound and Faramir grits his teeth as fingers probe the blood-drenched ridge that has risen in the skin.
“It needs a few stitches…” Aragorn warns him. “But I need to clean it first. We don’t want to lock any dirt inside your body.”
Faramir agrees with a grunt, and another groan as Aragorn explores the twitching muscle. The searing pain returns with such force that Faramir chokes on his next breath. He hears Aragorn bark some orders and when his vision has cleared anew he can see that steaming hot water has been produced and a set of small ominous-looking metal tools. With no care for what Aragorn might prefer, Faramir squeezes his eyes shut and tries not to bite off his own tongue as hot water is trickled down upon his skin and Aragorn scrubs the open wound with a piece of rough-spun linen. He is soaked through with sweat once more.
“Deep breaths,” mutters Aragorn, and Faramir tries to obey to the best of his abilities but he cannot hold back a gasp as a burning salve is liberally applied to the gash.
Then, from a small leather pouch Aragorn extracts the needle and it is little use trying to focus on other matters as its steely bite overwhelms him.
When Faramir opens his eyes again, he is lying on his back on a pallet with straps of linen firmly bound around his thigh. There is a heavy pounding in his injured leg that seems to reverberate in his very bones.
The night has progressed further and more torches have been lit. The air still bears the scent of death, and wisps of pyre smoke, thick and choking, still lingers around the camp, but the warm light pooling in places around him is comforting. He spies dark forms milling about and he raises himself up on his elbows. His throat is dry as old parchment and his body screams in protest, but he will not again succumb to unconsciousness.
“My lord?” A grim-looking soldier Faramir recognises as one of the Tower Guard, steps forth and becomes a silhouette against the dancing firelight. “Can I get you anything?”
Faramir clears his raw throat. “You have been watching over me?”
“King’s orders. He said to keep you under surveillance.”
Faramir has no energy to spare a blush. It always seemed to him that some soldiers can take the hardest blows time and time again, and yet scarcely feel it, but Faramir has always failed to endure much pain. As the Steward of the realm he ought to have suffered through the treatment and then risen to aid the others, not faint like some green weakling. Yet, there is nothing to be done about it now. At least his head is clear and his eyesight steady. He forces himself into a sitting position. “Can you tell me the body count?”
The guard’s face is a design of hard lines. “Five severely injured, marked for Mandos, it is said. Twelve dead.”
Faramir nods and swallows. “And the rest?”
“Much like yourself, my lord, to a varying degree. Injured but alive. Not many came away unscathed.”
“Faramir?” A new shadow appears in the dancing light and Aragorn himself bends down over him. “How do you feel?” He glances up at the guard who automatically has taken a step back out of deference. “Find some drinking water for the Steward.”
When he is gone, Faramir grimaces. “Sore… And I will admit to some pain. My thanks for treating me.”
“I would have no one else do it.” This time, Aragorn’s smile is more solid, though his cheeks sport an ashen hue. “And there is someone who would never forgive me if that wound festered and you lost your leg.”
“Is that so?” Faramir raises his eyebrows. “Apart from myself?”
“Oh, Aragorn…” a new voice interjects, a weary one, and only laced with the slightest hint of reproach. “It is not his leg that matters, though it is a fine one.” And Legolas the Elf steps out from the shadows that have gathered behind the King. His naturally pale complexion would easily rival a ghost’s this night. At the sight of Faramir, his shoulders drop “You live.”
In turn, at the sight of Legolas, the anxiety that has been eating away at him ever since they first heard the rusty clang of savage steel earlier that evening finally evaporates. Faramir feels light-headed. “I do.”
Circling Aragorn, Legolas comes to stand beside Faramir. As he sinks to his knees, he winces and blanches even further. His face is drawn and there are lines of tension around his eyes.
A new stream of worry trickles through Faramir and he lifts a hand to the elf’s elbow, so as to guide him, feebly. “How did you fare?”
Legolas shakes his head. His long hair is roughly pulled away from his face; it is tied up with a scrap of leather into a matted mess, with dried clumps of blood tangled in it. “I’m growing reckless… I left my bow in the tent and before I could get to it, some bastard had me shoved into the dirt and was of a mind to break my back.” With a flash of pain across his face, he comes to sit very close to Faramir.
Guilt assaults the Steward as he remembers their soiled bedclothes and the heady scent of lovemaking that had chased them out of their tent in pursuit of water and soap. Barely dressed, and certainly not armed, they had not been prepared for an assault of any kind when their enemy was suddenly upon them without warning.
“No broken bones,” says Aragorn grimly, somewhere above them, “but I mean to keep an eye on muscle and tissue for a while longer.”
Faramir feels the ground shift underneath him. He gently fingers the intoxicating softness of Legolas’ skin, near his collarbone. Even battle-worn and wounded, he is enough to make Faramir’s insides melt with yearning. Legolas catches his hand in one of his and presses a dry kiss to it. “Worry not.”
Faramir exchanges a quick look with Aragorn who does not appear wholly convinced but not desperately worried either. Even so. “I mean to keep an eye on both of you,” he says. Then he drops his healer’s mask and runs a hand through his dark hair. “I truly thought we were done with fighting.” And he may be King of the Reunited Lands, but now he, too, sinks to the ground beside them, and comes to stare out into the night.
“Not all of the Orcs perished in the war,” says Faramir emptily, as if this were some great wisdom. He is grateful for Legolas’ hand around his. “But I admit I, too, thought them beyond the capacity to strike again.”
“I’m too old for this,” mutters Legolas. “I was looking forward to sun-drenched, lazy days in Ithilien… not more blood-smeared blades and battle cries.” He looks oddly out of place, dressed as he is in his loose shirt without even a belt to hold it in place. Much like Faramir himself must look, he supposes.
They sit for a while in silence. Somehow, despite the horror that surrounds them, there is peace in this moment, too. Here, beside the boulder flecked by torchlight and the blackness of night, Aragorn is no King. There are no vows or commitments to be honoured.
Faramir throws him a furtive glance. The King sits deep in thought, perhaps. His beautiful face is almost expressionless. Then, as if the spell is lifted with Faramir as the audience, Aragorn sighs and rubs his forehead with the heel of his hand. He turns a faint smile to them. “I will check on you later.” His gaze is too gentle to support the wryness of his next words. “You should seek out some rest, both of you. And a change of clothes. Or simply clothes.”
Legolas flashes him a small smile.
Aragorn regards them for a long moment. He does not speak at once but when he does, his voice is very soft. “I would have you alive for many years to come.” His grey eyes are unusually bright when they settle first on Faramir and then on Legolas. “Many years to come,” he repeats, quietly.
Again, Faramir feels a warmth capture his insides. Legolas’ grasp on his hand strengthens briefly. In the corner of his eye, Faramir spots the elf incline his head.
“And you, mellon.”
Aragorn leans in, then, and Faramir is ready to believe that they have been made invisible for the sounds of the dying and the wounded fade away, and even the torchlight seems to waver, as Aragorn presses his mouth to Legolas’.
It is but a faint whisper, but it lingers in the air between the three of them.
Legolas and Aragorn part slowly. The air seems brighter between them. “Meleth,” Legolas amends, ever so quietly, and with a smile.
Aragorn’s lips against Faramir’s are dry and chaffed. But he treasures the kiss so deeply. Faramir’s eyes have fallen closed and he drifts off as Aragorn presses himself gently to him.
It is over too soon.
Aragorn’s eyes are liquid silver as he pulls away and wraps his duties about himself. “Now rest,” he advises them, in a voice that is both rough and kind.
“Am I allowed to sleep?” Faramir asks him, curiously.
It makes Aragorn chuckle, and his face transforms into something much brighter. “You already did. When I set the stitches about your wound. I cannot see that it harmed you.”
Faramir’s cheeks burn but Aragorn mercifully chooses to refrain from teasing him more artfully.
With a last, long, look upon them, the King melts back into the commotion. Faramir is about to ask Legolas to rise with him when the guard appears seemingly out of nowhere, carrying a water skin that looks promising.
“My lord Steward, forgive me, I was delayed.”
Faramir drinks greedily, willing himself not to wonder whether they were seen before, Legolas and the King and himself. The water is cool with a slight metallic tang to it that he can only hope is not blood. Yet he drinks his fill and then offers it to Legolas. Still with some worry churning in his stomach he watches as the elf claims his share of the water, blue eyes drifting closed.
“We’ll keep this,” Faramir gestures at the water skin. “Thank you.”
The guard nods. He looks weary, too, and his mail is spattered with dark blotches.
“Tell me,” says Faramir. “Is the camp undamaged?”
“Aye, my lord. Mostly.”
Knowing it is well beneath the regular duties of a member of the Tower Guard, Faramir still asks, “Please, would you find us something to eat – anything – and bring it to the Steward’s tent?” He shoots Legolas a glance. “And some more water. Half of it for washing. Never mind if it is cold.”
The man does not appear entirely pleased but he gives a curt bow. “Yes, my lord. Anything else, my lord?”
Faramir turns to the elf. “Shall we seek out our bed?”
Legolas’ hands have dropped to his lap and the water skin lies temporarily forgotten on the ground. “Yea…”
It is not particularly pleasant but Faramir has no choice. “I would ask you to aid us with that too, then,” he tells the guard.
Faramir struggles to hold back his gasps as he is half-dragged, half-carried to his tent. Fresh pain is coursing through him and though the journey is not long, he is dizzy after only a few staggering steps.
“My lord?” The hesitation is evident in the guard’s voice when Legolas finally, blessedly, pulls aside the flap covering the opening.
“Help me lie down,” Faramir manages through clenched teeth. “And I’ll pay you handsomely if you keep quiet about it.”
And Legolas laughs, albeit somewhat less gaily than usual. He proceeds to light the coals in the braziers as Faramir is awkwardly guided into the tent. As the coals splutter to life, the makeshift bed with the tangled sheets and the cushions still bearing the imprints of two heads comes into view. Under other circumstances Faramir might have preferred it if this very obvious piece of evidence of his relationship with the King’s closest friend remained unseen, but right now he is in too much pain to care very much. It is, after all, not much of a secret these days that he and Legolas are lovers.
The guard seems most unwilling to help him to bed, however. “My lord…” he says hesitantly, “I could find you some clean bedclothes if you would prefer…”
Faramir waves a hand dismissively. “Tomorrow.” He is pretty sure he will not succeed in standing on his own and he is not interested in finding out if his suspicions are correct. “We’ll sort that out tomorrow.”
In the corner of his eye he can see Legolas coming towards them, carrying the smallest brazier. “Please,” Faramir tells the guard, “just help me into bed and fetch us something to eat.”
Looking suitably miserable, the poor man does as he is told. Faramir gratefully stretches out on his back, biting back a hiss as his wound is tested under the dressings and having the world for a moment turning black before his eyes. When he is finally settled, the guard all but runs out of the tent.
“Oh, but by Manwë it hurts!” Legolas lowers himself down onto the mattress cautiously, his natural grace most definitely curbed. Yet, he sounds more like himself now. “I swear the younglings these days are more modest than they were only generations ago.”
Faramir turns his head to look at him. “You have known many?” He tries to speak casually.
“A few. And they only get worse.”
Faramir meets the blue gaze and he gathers some courage. “Long lost lovers?”
The idea does not hurt very much, and yet he has always tried to avoid the subject. Legolas has seen thousands upon thousands of sunrises and no doubt many of those have been spent in the arms of other men… Men and Elves.
Legolas begins to lift a hand but groans, and it falls back down to his side, defeated by pain. Instead, he maintains eye contact with Faramir and smiles. It is a strange smile, not very joyful. “Some of them… Does that bother you?”
“No…” Faramir bites his lip. “I don’t know.”
Legolas is given no time to reply for the guard reappears, carrying another water skin and a couple of leather pouches. “Dried fish, my lord. Well salted. And some bread. It was all I could find in the confusion.”
“It will do. Thank you.”
Neither of them speak as the man hurries to leave the food by the bed and bow his way out of the tent. Faramir means to say something, to jest maybe, to pierce the sudden bubble of tension that has closed around them, but Legolas’ sigh throws his plans off course.
“I love you.”
Dropping his gaze to stare at Legolas’ shoulder, Faramir swallows. This is difficult.
“I do,” Legolas says quietly. “And you know I do. As you love me.”
“I…” His heart seemed to wait an unusually long while before beating again. “Legolas, you do not need to… I mean, we are grown men… males.” He tried a shrug against the mattress. “We never really made any promises…”
“We never did.”
With a string of muttered curses seldom overheard by Faramir before, Legolas shifts beside him, comes as close to him as he possibly can. “Faramir, look at me. Please.”
Legolas’ own eyes are half closed. He lies on his side, on his good shoulder. There are smudges of blood near his temple, his own or someone else’s Faramir cannot say, and a deep furrow on his brow. His perfect skin is unmarred but not nearly as glowing as Faramir likes to see it. He raises a hand and brushes a stray strand of silvery-gold hair away from the pale cheek.
Legolas’ eyes flutter wholly open and there is something Faramir cannot define brewing in the blue. The elf does not smile this time. “I’ve never been hurt like this before,” he says quietly. “A few scratches… a broken rib, once, when I was little. But never like this. For the first time, I was truly scared.”
Faramir finds this hard to believe. “But you’ve fought so much,” he says, hearing himself how naïve he sounds.
“I have. And I am heartily sick of it.” Legolas reaches for his hand with a grimace that betrays the pain his wound must be causing him and Faramir hurries to give it to him
“But never before have I had my shoulder pierced by a black arrow, or my back nearly broken in two,” Legolas continues. Then pauses for a moment before he speaks again. “I was afraid for you, too. I saw when you were cut.” For the first time in the many months that have passed since they finally fell into a bed together, after long glances, and sweeping brief touches, and much hesitation (and some of Thranduil’s finest wine), Faramir spots something that looks very much like tears forming in the elf’s eyes.
“Forgive me, Faramir…” Legolas’ gaze drifts to their entwined fingers resting upon Faramir’s chest.
“There’s nothing to for–”
“I cannot seem to imagine letting you go.” Legolas speaks very softly but his words are very clear in the aching night air. “If you had fallen today…”
“But I did not.”
Legolas brings their hands to his lips. “You did not.” His words are warm against Faramir’s skin. “You did not.”
Faramir’s heart is doing strange things in his breast. It is certainly still beating but does not bother about keeping a steady pace. “What are you saying?” he asks at last.
“I am saying, that I love you. I am saying that you are precious to me, Faramir of Ithilien. That I could not bear losing you.” He looks up. “You, or Aragorn.”
The image of the King’s face drifts before Faramir’s eyes. “Aragorn,” he repeats.
His lord. There is so much love in that thought, yet so much pain.
Legolas’ eyes meet with his, and no more needs to be said.
When they finally kiss, Faramir forgets his pounding leg or the way that his wound itches. His hand finds Legolas’ cheek, then his waist, then his hip, and the elf moans into his mouth as Faramir cups it and rubs circles with his thumb into a spot near his groin.
“I wish you would take me,” the elf whispers in between kisses. “I just wish you could take me…”
His mere words are enough for heat to collect deep down in Faramir’s belly. “Soon,” he promises, and reaches further to cover the bulge in Legolas’ leggings with his palm.
The elf moves awkwardly against his hand, presses into it with a hiss of pain. Faramir ought to stop, he knows, but finds himself beyond that ability. As Legolas’ tongue sweeps through his mouth, he tears open the leggings and wraps his calloused fingers around his lover’s swollen length.
He strokes Legolas to completion from an awkward angle; it does not take long this time. When the elf is in that mood, he can make himself last for an entire night, but not so this time. He comes shuddering into Faramir’s side, his seed easing the friction of Faramir’s strokes.
Faramir’s own length is straining inside his breeches but with his shoulder hurt, Legolas finds no way of touching him properly. Instead he lies watching as Faramir takes himself in hand and teases the skin that hides the head back, and gives his flesh a tug, seeing tiny silver stars at the edges of his vision.
Legolas’ voice is raspy for an elf’s, “I wish I could taste you.” He gives a small moan as Faramir slides his hand down the hard length. “I want you.”
And he keeps repeating those words, like a song or a poem, in Faramir’s ear as the man pushes himself deeper and deeper into the searing hot sea of pleasure. And then release.
They lie breathing.
Faramir does not know if it is the deepest night or near dawn when he eventually speaks, “I love you,” he says, simply.
Perhaps Legolas has drifted for he stretches a little against the mortal body beside him before he seems able to respond. When he does, his voice is low. “I am no female.”
“I know that.” And despite everything, Faramir laughs. “Neither am I.”
Legolas does not share in his mirth. “I am serious, Faramir. I will give you no children…”
“Little do I care about that,” says Faramir. He cups Legolas’ cheek and brushes his thumb over a pale cheekbone. “It is you I want.”
His words are greeted by silence. The elf looks so tired and so battered, and yet there is something shining in him that has not been there before.
“Do not leave me,” Legolas whispers. “Never leave me, Faramir.”
Their kiss is long and slow. With it returns some of the warmth from the morning past. Faramir shifts even closer, trying as best he can to not disturb his wounded leg, but only partly succeeding. He tastes the fear lingering on his lover’s tongue, and it takes a long while before it has been banished. There is still tension in the way Legolas lies against him but this, Faramir hopes, is more due to pain than anything else. When they part, he cannot ignore the traces of tears on Legolas’ cheeks. He leaves them be.
Legolas sighs against his cheek. “I would speak with you more,” he mumbles, “but I am so tired.”
“Then sleep,” whispers Faramir. “Sleep properly, and heal.”
As Legolas breathing gradually evens out, Faramir is left pondering this: how he suddenly came to be the strong one, how a mortal man such as himself can give comfort to an immortal being of the ancient world.
It is sometime later that the opening to the tent is disturbed and a figure appears in the wasting night.
No words are spoken as Aragorn slides soundlessly into the tent. He is shrouded in a heavy cloak of the same non-colour as the fading shadows of night. Under his hood, his face is drained of everything. As he approaches them, his gaze skids over Faramir’s groin. He has covered himself up but his laces remain untied.
Faramir lifts a hand, holds it out to him and so beckons him closer. His King takes it, allows it to guide him to crouch by the simple bed. He does not even bother to remove his cloak as he pulls a blanket over them all and lies down, curling around Faramir’s side and letting out a long breath.
“Just for tonight…” he mumbles into Faramir’s dirty hair.
Faramir presses a kiss to his forehead.
On his other side, Legolas sighs in his sleep. Faramir yearns to pull him on top of him and wrap his arms around him. As soon as they are healed…
Ithilien, with all its glory is waiting for them, in a world that seems so far away this night.
So far away…
Elsewhere, another is waiting.
When Faramir thinks of the Queen of Gondor, he thinks of Aragorn’s honour. Of his promises. He wonders if she ever suspects, ever sees the shades of longing in him. He is true to her, and that is a beautiful thing, Faramir knows this. So does Legolas.
This is why they do not speak of it.
But here and now, while they are still safe in the dark, he presses a new kiss to Aragorn’s brow.
And his King sleepily turns his face up to him and Faramir seeks out his lips with his own. They do not kiss deeply but their mouths join and they share a heartbeat, two heartbeats, three…
Just for tonight.
Dawn is grey and dreary. Faramir wakes to the first call of the soldiers outside and the bleak daylight which filters through the canvas. He knows at once that he is alone with Legolas in their tent. That the King is again their King.
He rubs his eyes with the heel of his hand and then wishes he had thought the better of it. He is filthy and reeks of dried blood, sweat and dirt. And traces of his and Legolas’ release are visible on his skin, too. Still, he cannot help the smile that curves his lips as he presses a kiss into the matted blond hair. Legolas’ soft breathing is just peaceful enough to make him believe that he might soon see some glorious sunlight again.
“I love you so very much,” he mumbles, breathing in Legolas’ presence.
The elf moves against him. “I feel as though I’ve been trampled by a hoard of Mûmakil.”
Laughing, Faramir run his knuckles down his cheek. “And I could use a bath.”
“A bath,” says Legolas longingly. “Oh, what a blessing that would be…”
“Indeed. Do you think Aragorn will mind very much?”
His lover sighs. “Aye, to tell you the truth, I believe he would. He gave me strict orders not to disturb the bandages or rinse off whatever foul-smelling paste he covered me in last night.”
They have not moved in their sleep, but now Legolas very gingerly withdraws from him and winces as he attempts to sit, the blanket falling away from him and exposing his slender frame. In the greyish light, Faramir can clearly see how his shirt is torn and spattered with mud and dried blood. He swallows hard.
But Legolas groans. “I am beginning to think that all of this consorting with humans has made me more susceptible to pain…”
Though he knows it to be a jest, Faramir is unable to smile at it. “Perhaps…” he begins, his throat grown tight.
“Perhaps…?” Legolas carefully turns around to raise an eyebrow at him. Then his face falls and he speaks urgently. “No, Faramir, you must not say what you think. There is no such magic in this world.” He traces Faramir’s stubbly jawline with a forefinger. “I do not regret coming to Gondor.” He cocks his head to the side. “I love you, adan nín.”
As Faramir looks up at him, and Legolas’ eyes do not leave his, he wonders if perhaps they are both wrong. If perhaps they, too, have made promises, unknowingly.
If they have, he knows he will be like his King: he will be ever true to his love.
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