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12 May 2011 | 4331 words
Title: The Small Hours
Warnings: Slash, sexual scenes.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. All written in good fun with no offence intended!
Author’s Note: Yes, it’s yet another bedroom-orientated scene, but I write what I like (and like what I write, well, mostly.) A little one-shot that demanded it be written in-between the ten zillion other things I’m actually supposed to be writing ;) Hope you enjoy :)
There were nights when sleep would simply not come. Dark hours spent restless, turning and tangling in muggy sheets, staring blindly at nothing while the world slumbered obliviously on. The bed was so uncomfortable, these days; his bones ached, his muscles grew stiff as he lay still, trying to tempt rest. Mostly, on nights such as these, he would suffer the ringing of his thoughts in his head, and let his pulse beat out the minutes in his ear as the sky grew lighter beyond the shutters. But there were nights where not even the deathly, slow silence could be tolerated, and even the air seemed oppressively still. Nights where his heart pounded its questions relentlessly through his body and the blithe ignorance of rest was ever evasive.
It was on nights such as these that he sought comfort, shame-ridden though it was.
The moonlight strobed half-masks upon his face as he passed the windows, bare feet slapping upon the flagstones. The cold sickness in his stomach came from knowing he had given in yet again to the stark despair of loneliness. This should not be; he was supposed to be strong.
He found himself before the door sooner than he expected, his feet now knew the way better even without eyes or thought to guide them. Comfort, safety. Beyond the oak lay a reprieve from the pressure, one that he knew he should not so willingly clutch at. It was not fair upon anyone, but he knew naught of where else to turn.
He knocked, twice, for there was no response the first time and he needed one. He could not face returning to wakefulness alone. A ruffling of sheets, and quiet steps growing closer and then the door was pulled open gently from within.
“I…” Cannot sleep? Am sorry?
Faramir’s eyes widened briefly before he softened in understanding and lay his hands gently upon his King’s shoulders, drawing him into an embrace that was tight and reassuring. Aragorn cannot find his words; those words he must utter in poor attempt to feel better about disturbing this good man’s sleep once again. Forgive me. I am sorry to trouble you so, fool that I am. It was all too easy to crumble, to bury his face in soft, auburn hair and breathe in as Faramir murmured to him with no hint of condescension, or falseness in his voice.
“’Tis alright, my lord. Come here. ‘Tis alright.”
By the time he had seated himself on the bed’s edge he had composed himself, and when Faramir offered him a half-glass of wine he began to feel that familiar foolishness increase tenfold. A man unnerved by a sleepless night? A King? But it was far more than that.
“Speak with me, my lord.” The bed shifted as Faramir sat beside him, legs dangling. He held his own wine in one hand and reached up with the other to draw back the curtain of pillow-tousled ebony from Aragorn’s eyes. Such easiness he would permit to none other, and it is all he can do not to lean into the touch.
“You…must forgive me, Faramir.”
It was almost a ritual now, those words. Faramir was always the same, kind and constant with his wine and his gentle bearing. Aragorn looked at him, the final part of their exchange his to utter. “I cannot sleep.”
“Drink your wine, my lord.” Aragorn drank. It was sweet, and heavy, and liable to knock him out cold if he had too much. But despite his longing for slumber, he wanted to keep his wits about him. Faramir drank with him, and his eyes never once left his King as he raised the glass to his lips. The candles flickered, and Aragorn stared at the wine swirling gently in his hands, wishing he had the nerve to say what he really wanted to say.
“What did you this day?” Faramir leant back, supporting himself with one arm, and though it would hardly do to have a Steward who did not know his King’s daily whereabouts and activities Aragorn found himself answering anyway.
“Council, this morning, of course. There were plans to approve for the atrium. I rode with your uncle, as he wished to see the reestablishment of the Pelennor more closely on this visit.”
“So,” Faramir said, taking a sip of wine. “By all rights, you should be tired.” Aragorn gave a vague gesture. “But you are not?”
“Faramir, I am exhausted. But…”
“But?” Faramir leant down and set his glass down upon the floor. His hair fell forward, and as he sat up he ran a hand through it backwards to show his face again. It had grown long in the time Aragorn had begun these sporadic, shameful disturbances, though the Steward was otherwise much unchanged. The same coppery whiskers, the same laughter-lines. Aragorn himself had only grown thinner, and he shifted on the bed, uncomfortable in the knowledge that the shadows beneath his eyes would be more than obvious even in the candlelight.
“But I cannot sleep.” He finished lamely. He looked down again, and decided he might as well finish the wine too. Faramir’s hand skated across his shoulders in a soft gesture.
“There is something else. Something you will not tell me.” Faramir smiled, shifting a little closer in order to run a knuckle downward over Aragorn’s all too obvious ribs. “I know I will not find out this night, as I have not on any night before now…but still, I wish you would satisfy my curiosity. It cannot be so bad that telling me would do ill.” He did it again, then swept his hand back up to knead at the bunched muscles in the King’s bony shoulder. Aragorn almost let himself shudder; this gentle massage was always welcome, even if the lethargic effects did not last long after Faramir’s door closed behind him afterwards.
“You know I will not say.” A deviation from the script, but Aragorn was tired. He let his head drop forward as Faramir shifted again, bending a leg beneath himself, bringing his other hand up. He pressed his fingertips onto Aragorn’s shoulders, fanning them out slowly.
“So there is something, then?” Faramir asked wryly, but when no answer came he contented himself with his work, humming softly as the King’s head drooped low enough that support from both hands was necessary. When Faramir drew his fingers up slowly to part the hair at the nape of Aragorn’s neck, the older man stifled a sob.
He managed to catch himself just in time, before the choked back emotion could make any further escape. “I will not trouble you any longer, dear friend.” The King rose suddenly, stepping from the bed, but he got no further, for Faramir’s hand slipped from his back to grasp his forearm, and he would not let go. “Faramir, let me leave.”
But the younger man was adamant. “Sit down, my lord.” He pulled at Aragorn’s arm gently, but the King would not submit.
“I should not have come. I trouble you with my foolishness, and keep you from your bed also.” Stricken, Aragorn tried to pull from Faramir’s grip once again, but the younger man was strong, and though he did not force his grasp he was unwilling to yield it. Aragorn did not know what to do. Escape was the only option that he could easily partake of, the other was unthinkable. It would mean admitting-
“If you do not seat yourself my lord I will be forced to make you.” Faramir’s tone is one of mild threat, and there is an attempt at comforting humour, but Aragorn cannot muddle through the miasma of emotion in his head to find amusement in it. Instead, and against his judgement, though he recognised that such judgement was likely long since skewed, he sat back down onto the bed, and Faramir released him finally.
“I must go, Faramir.” He looked at the Steward with what he hoped was a stern expression, but it was likely more desolate than anything. Faramir frowned.
“I will let you leave, my lord, if you tell me why you cannot sleep.”
Aragorn swallowed. Was this it, then? The moment where he drew unknown courage and said what he needed to say. Or would it be as it was before; the moment were he faltered and fled and prayed he would not need to call at Faramir’s door ever again?
But so far, Aragorn’s prayers had yet to be answered.
“I cannot sleep because…I…” It seemed so silly to say, so ridiculous. “I think I am falling in love with someone.”
Faramir laughed. An honest, happy laugh, but still, a laugh. His hand landed upon Aragorn’s shoulders again, this time in the form of a good-natured slap. “Why did you not say so before? You must introduce me to this paramour of yours!” He ran his hand over the King’s shoulders, seemingly oblivious to the effect this sustained contact was having on the older man. Aragorn sighed, unable to meet Faramir’s eyes.
“I cannot. I-…I am afraid it is an unrequited love. And will probably remain so.” He shrugged. “That is why I cannot find rest. I wonder what to do, what is best. I think perhaps that to forget about it might be the right thing-”
“No!” Faramir interjected, gripping the King’s shoulder. Aragorn looked up at him finally, surprised at his fervour. “How can you write such a thing off if you have not even tried telling this woman how you feel?”
Well, for starters… “It would make no difference…we could not be together even if I…admitted my feelings.” He spoke wearily, aware of the irony of his drooping eyelids. Sleep would forever taunt him until he summoned the courage, and he knew that was not likely to happen soon. How long had he been catching himself halfway along the corridor in the small hours, all focus upon the oaken door ahead? He moved away suddenly, catching Faramir’s hand in his own as it fell from his back. “I will let you sleep, at least, dear friend.” He pressed a kiss upon Faramir’s knuckles, and rose, this time without incident.
Faramir remained seated, regarding him quietly with a frown. “Will you not tell me who she is?”
Aragorn was halfway to the door. “I cannot.”
“But you love her?”
Faramir jumped to his feet, striding toward his King who by now had reached the door and placed one hand on the latch. “Tell me.”
“No.” Aragorn gave him a painful look. Faramir’s hand rested in the small of his back, somehow unnoticed until well after the fact.
The younger man raised an eyebrow, and Aragorn felt himself begin to crumble again. In the golden light, Faramir’s face seemed framed by a tumble of beaten copper.
“Goodnight, Faramir. Forgive my intrusion, as always.” But when he attempted to undo the latch, Faramir’s hand covered his own. The King sighed. “Please let me return to my bed.”
“But it is my bed you truly wish to visit, is it not?”
It came out of nowhere, and the causal tone Faramir affected caught Aragorn more off-guard than the meaning of his words, but only for a moment. It was all he could do to stammer his incomprehension. “…of what do you speak, Faramir? What nonsense do you imply?” He tried to laugh, but the sound was hollow to his ears. Faramir softened.
“I am not as guileless as one might sometimes suppose, my lord. Forgive me, but you come to me when you cannot sleep, and when you are distressed, and not to…this ‘lady‘.” His thumb had begun to draw small circles over the back of Aragorn’s hand. “After I ease the knots in your back, if you were to fall asleep beside me, if only for a short while…’twould not be the first time. Would it?”
The King dared not move. It had always been innocent, had it not? Did Faramir taunt him, ply him with his deepest need only to shun him at the last moment, breaking both heart and spirit in one swift stroke?
“Please, my lord.” Faramir gently lifted the King’s hand from the door, stepping back, beckoning him to follow. “Tell me I am right.”
There was a note of desperation in Faramir’s voice so subtle Aragorn was not sure at first whether or not he had imagined it. But, real or not, he found himself submitting to the younger man and following him dumbly back toward the bed.
Faramir sat down upon it, and Aragorn’s shins had bumped against the side of the bed, between Faramir’s legs, before he knew what was truly happening. The young man looked up at him, quiet now, apprehension writ across his bearing, visible in the bitten lip and the shake of his hands as he released his King and set them upon the mattress either side of his lap.
The words came from a deep, unknown place.
“Faramir…there is no woman.”
“My lord, I know-”
“I care about you, Faramir.”
“You have always been kind to me.”
“My lord, please-”
Aragorn placed his hands upon Faramir’s shoulders, fearful of swaying in his exhausted state. Faramir’s hands slid upwards over his hips, rumpling his nightshirt, but going no further. There was a long moment during which they regarded one another in silence. And then, in some strange, unconscious collusion, they moved in tandem; Faramir shifted back onto the bed as Aragorn climbed onto the mattress, kneeling before the younger man and letting his hands drift to the side of his neck, fingers alternately tangling in his hair and stroking his skin lightly.
“Faramir, I…” Aragorn faltered as Faramir’s hands delved gently beneath his nightshirt. He lay his palms flat against the King’s hips, skin upon skin, and waited, gauging the reaction. Aragorn’s eyes fell shut, the breath rushing through his nostrils like waves upon the beach. In all the nights he had begged Faramir’s company, it had never come to this.
The palms slid upward in inexorable slowness, the eerie, nervous silence broken as Faramir’s fingers discovered the hollows of the King’s ribcage. “…you are far too thin, my lord.”
“I…have not…” Aragorn breathed in again, summoning concentration for a moment. “My appetite seems to be in coalition with my slumber. I can find neither, recently.” The heat from Faramir was inescapable, radiating upwards through his chest. The younger man seemed set on undoing Aragorn entirely; a hand left his side and drew itself downward across his belly. Aragorn began to sway slightly. “You…have always been kind to me.”
His erection was obvious, presented to Faramir where no shadow could disguise it, but the younger man did not so much as glance at it. “Sleep here, my lord. Stay with me.” And then, in the ghost of a whisper; “I will keep you safe.”
“I-…I want to…” The words came with such difficulty now; Aragorn knew he was losing the battle. Faramir pulled him close suddenly, arms locking around his back, looking up at him with his chin against the sunken flatness of the King’s stomach.
“Then do so.”
There was a strange, slow tangle of limbs as they fell as one onto the bed. Aragorn’s arms looped themselves around Faramir’s neck, ploughing through the sorrel sea. Faramir hooked his leg gently over his lord King’s hips and breathed out heavily into Aragorn’s hair. His hands did not cease their soothing exploration of the realm beneath Aragorn’s nightshirt, skating over muscle and bone alike. Chest to chest and stomach to stomach, Aragorn found it ever more difficult to maintain a grasp of the situation. Sleep, finally, beckoned, but there was an issue yet to be broached; namely the one jutting from between his legs. Faramir must have noticed by now, for it was pressing into his thigh most insistently. He shuddered, and Faramir murmured something incoherent against his throat. Aragorn tightened his embrace momentarily, unwilling to let this chance slip from his grasp.
“You have become very dear to me, Faramir, in recent months.”
“I had noticed.” Faramir shifted, his own arousal blatant now as he pressed himself closer. “I am rather fond of you too, as it turns out.”
A small fire kindled in Aragorn’s belly, and Faramir’s words only fuelled it. He drew back slightly to look Faramir in the eye. “Would…you mind terribly if I did sleep here tonight?”
“You should know the answer to that, my lord.” Faramir was looking at him, sleepy eyes peering through the shadows; an altogether lusty apparition that Aragorn wished fervently he could become more awake for. But torpor was enveloping him, as slowly and steadily as the heat rising from the base of his stomach, and he combed his fingers through Faramir’s hair tenderly. He felt his own eyes begin to close, and fought the urge to drift, for the view was indeed far too attractive to waste. He felt safe.
Faramir pulled him even closer, and Aragorn found a space between the younger man’s shoulder and neck that fit him as if made for the purpose. Faramir kissed him on the side of the head, and again upon his cheekbone, and then slowly, softly on the very corner of his mouth. He lingered there, a breath away. It was a struggle, but the King managed to say it.
“Will you…promise a kiss when I awaken?”
Faramir smiled, and his beard scratched Aragorn’s cheek as he spoke. “I promise, my lord.”
Aragorn closed his eyes, and felt Faramir shift his arms around him. He smelled mildly of soap, and leather and the trees, of old parchment and of Faramir.
The younger man‘s voice was low. “I could…?” He lifted his hand from Aragorn’s back, sliding it between them, palm to the King’s belly, heading downwards. Aragorn murmured, desire and arousal present but tempered by lethargy.
“I…when I awake…I promise…I will be with you.” It was coming, the inevitable and much longed-for drop into slumber. Aragorn could feel it at the edges of his consciousness, blurring his thoughts as Faramir shifted again and wrapped both arms around him, pulling the King into a haven warm and safe. He had been searching for this for a long time.
Faramir was unwilling to let the matter slide. “My lord…” His whisper had become a rasp, hot and pertinent in the King’s ear. His hips pushed forward, aided by the leg still slung over Aragorn’s midsection. Aragorn let slip a quiet moan, and Faramir’s hands slipped up to cradle the back of the older man’s head. Aragorn opened his eyes and they looked at one another in silence as the light and shadow chased each other across cheekbone and brow and jaw line alike. “My lord.” Faramir said again, drawing his thumb across Aragorn’s cheek. “I am very fond of you. I do not think I can wait.”
“Kiss me, then, Faramir. Do it before sleep wipes from me this memory.” Faramir tilted the King’s head without hesitation, angling his own face and shifting closer until he can press the softest of kisses upon Aragorn’s mouth. He did not stop there; his eyes closed and he kissed Aragorn again, deeper this time, and the King kissed back, finding a long-suppressed feeling awaken within himself. This was Faramir, a man he loved and trusted beyond all meaning. A man he had been yearning for for days uncounted, privately and, when he recognised the nature of his feelings toward him, ashamedly. Aragorn pulled Faramir closer, fingers digging into the young man’s leanly muscled shoulders. He loved him, he had all but said the words.
Faramir hungered, that much was clear. He pushed his hips against Aragorn’s once again and slid his tongue forward into the King’s mouth, eager and tender all at once. Aragorn groaned; Faramir’s tongue was hot and wet, nubile atop his own. His arousal ached, and he pushed against Faramir for the first time, involuntary need wresting the control from him. The kiss became passionate, heated, urgent and before Aragorn could take notice Faramir had turned him onto his back, clambering onto him and bearing down upon him with hips and mouth. The candles were guttering, and their distorted shadows danced across the walls as the kiss ended softly. Faramir turned his head and pressed his lips to the warmth of Aragorn’s throat. The King swallowed, and they moved against one another with little elegance, cloth rumpling in the slow tussle of limbs and heated flesh.
“Yes, my lord?” Faramir looked down at him with heavy-lidded eyes.
Aragorn could not focus, and then Faramir’s hand dove down and began negotiating the King’s smallclothes. Aragorn watched as elegant fingers brought him forth, wrapping around him like they would the hilt of the sword, or the curve of the bow, rigid and hard. He gasped, and Faramir looked up at him again, seeking the last small permission, which Aragorn gave by way of dropping his head back onto the pillow and thrashing beneath Faramir as the younger man began to stroke him.
He knew, even as Faramir’s fingers first brushed against the head of his cock, that he would not last, and indeed, as Faramir’s ministrations gathered speed, the young man’s lip bloodless in its bitten state, he came, jolting between the firmness of the bed and the firmness of Faramir’s thighs, spending himself all over the fingers that held him. The moan shuddered out from deep within, and everything went white.
Faramir was grinning when the King managed to look him in the eye again. His hand rested upon the older man’s hipbone, and in that moment Aragorn could see how little care he had taken of himself in recent weeks. He must begin to eat properly, lest his bones jut any further. He must do it for Faramir, if no-one else. The younger man was drawing patterns upon the King’s skin with lazy fingers, his own erection still prominent underneath the fabric of his smallclothes. He was still smiling, ardent fires burning in his eyes.
Aragorn opened his mouth, but it was Faramir who spoke first, silencing him with a fingertip upon his lips.
“Time to sleep, my lord.” He bit his lip again, in what was fast becoming an endearing habit, and Aragorn, despite already falling under the sway of afterglow-induced lethargy, sat up on his elbows and frowned.
“You have not had your pleasure, Faramir.”
Faramir tilted his head. “I would rather see you at peace.” Aragorn laughed softly, for the first time in a long while.
“You make it sound as if I am dead.”
Faramir leant forward, his fingertips skating over the angles of the King’s hipbones and up to rest between the valleys of his ribs. “Sleep like the dead, my lord, and feel better for it. I will be here when you awaken.”
His last words sent a slow wave of heat through Aragorn’s body. There was an unspoken promise there, an assurance. Still, the King was unsatisfied. “Faramir, I want to-…let me touch you…”
“Hmmm.” Faramir rolled off of him and lay on his side, hand resting in the dip of Aragorn’s stomach. Aragorn looked at him in the dimming light; they were both slender, but not in the same way. Soft scars were visible upon Faramir’s body, pale markers on his hip, his thigh, one right across the ridge of his collar-bone. He was fit, and still young, and his body was lean and tanned. His bones did not stick out. The King reached out a hand to brush against Faramir’s chest, seeking something he could not define. Faramir caught his hand in his, raising it to his lips and leaving a gentle kiss in the palm. Aragorn’s eyes darted to his erection and back involuntarily.
“Let me…” He said, trailing his fingers softly through the hair on Faramir’s chin before reaching down beneath his smallclothes and curling them around the younger man’s cock. Faramir closed his eyes and breathed out slowly through his nose. He was so beautiful. Aragorn thought, as the last candle went out.
After, Faramir discarded all notion of rank and all but scooped Aragorn into an embrace of limbs and sheets so wonderfully cosy the King felt in danger of falling asleep instantly. Faramir murmured something into his hair, sleepy and sated. Everything was warm.
“I…” He could not say it.
“Sleep, Aragorn.” Faramir kissed his forehead and smiled against his skin.
“Sleep.” Faramir laughed softly, and Aragorn smiled despite himself.
“Will you listen to me?”
“If you promise to lose consciousness?”
Aragorn moved his head to look Faramir in the eye. The younger man’s hair fell around his face in a storm of auburn, delicate and comely in the grey light. “Are you trying to get rid of me?”
Faramir grinned. “I would say it was quite the opposite. I would like you to stay, for a long time.” He ran his free hand through the King’s hair. “But I would see you rested and well.”
“You are kind, dear friend.” Aragorn closed his eyes finally, ready to drift. “What I said earlier…”
Aragorn yawned. “About falling in love…I meant it.”
Aragorn smiled, eyes tight shut, Faramir’s warmth an embrace on its own. The King slid an arm around him and focused on a promise as he sank into sleep at last.
I will be here when you awaken.
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