This story is rated «NC-17», and carries the warnings «Slash, sexual scenes and my attempts at humour».
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17 March 2013 | 19768 words
Author’s Note: I thought it was about time I finished this (I know I’m woefully behind on replying to comments but life has been hectic lately to say the least!) Anyway, I hope you enjoy where this little journey has led as much as I enjoyed writing it :)
I’d thought about it for a long time. Years in fact, and I’d dreamt of it once before everything even began. Now, I thought, was time enough.
I found Faramir out on the balcony as he was wont to be these days, enjoying the warm evening breeze, watching the summer sun disappear slowly beyond the hills, nursing wine or a book or often both. He had a chair there, something of dark wood and solidly wrought that I’d gifted him on a previous birthday. This was his space. He’d draped a deerskin over it, soft woven blankets, and there was a cushion for his back, and in the evenings when I read my letters and replied to some by firelight at my desk, he would take himself out for an hour or so by himself, and think his own thoughts. Often I would lean back from my notes, and watch him for a moment, intent on his book, peaceful, happy, I hope. He was older now, we both were, not by too much, but still. He stayed with me now in my rooms when he was in the city, more or less (of course, ‘officially’ he did not, but really the only things he kept in his own apartments were the books that didn’t fit into mine). We’d never come clean about our relationship, never gone public, but I think we would have been foolish to think that some of the more astute (or scandal-hungry) of the inner court didn’t have at least an inkling. Close friends were one thing, but in hindsight I realise now that it was probably quite apparent to anyone who looked closely enough in the early days that we were quite smitten with one another. No-one had ever commented, so I did tend to wonder what all the fuss was about (though I kept that thought to myself, for privately I think Faramir really did fear the reaction, and I was content to let it lie).
This evening I forwent my correspondence and headed straight for the balcony. Faramir glanced up as I passed him, heading for the balustrade, looking over the city out into the expanse of Gondor. He sat with legs crossed, leaning back in his chair, book held open with two fingers. “You’re early tonight, love.”
“Sick of writing,” I said, giving him a smile. “Thought I’d disturb you instead.”
“’Tis no disturbance.” (Our bickering had mellowed out a little over time.) “We might get you a chair; I’d enjoy your company here on nights such as these.”
“But in winter I can bugger off?” (Mellowed, only.) He laughed, and went back to his book. I smiled again to myself. I loved him, I loved him. Time enough.
“Come here?” I said, and when he set aside the book and rose, I slung my arm about his waist as we stood facing the city, the Pelennor, Ithilien, the distant notion of the Riddermark, the earth itself. Rather heavy-handed, I agree, but the moment was spiced with a strange magic beyond that of which I hoped to cast with my impending incantations.
But before I could speak, and weave such charms, Faramir shifted and leant his head upon my shoulder, heavy and soap-scented. I spun a kiss into his curls; blonder now with age, threads of pale gold amongst skeins of copper. My own hair was greying now, silver at my temples and in my beard, but Faramir still came to our bed with undiminished ardour and that was all I cared about.
“What on earth are you fiddling with?” He had lifted his head, and reached for my free hand, dancing on the stone of the railing. I opened my palm; the curve of twin serpents glinted there in silver and green. Faramir lifted Barahir’s ring from my hand and looked at it, running his fingernail along an edge gently. “I don’t think I‘ve ever seen you take this off.”
“Would you wear it?” I asked, leaning away from him a little. He looked at me, nonplussed. The wind caught his hair; he stood with the sunset behind him, framing him with a halo of molten star-fire, his auburn waves alight. His eyes looked into me, a thousand leagues into me, and I was open to him, every part of me. I was his, utterly his, until the last leaf fell and the rivers ran dry. Until the last wave crashed upon the shores of Valinor, I was his. “Will you marry me?”
I didn’t know what I expected but he was quiet for what seemed like an eternity of the earth. He was looking at the ring in his hand, and then I saw the shimmer of saltwater on his cheek, and I fought the almost irrepressible urge to reach out to him. “Faramir, love, don’t weep. You can say no!” I said with a little humour, but the reality of that refusal was something I didn’t like to prepare for.
“I’m sorry,” he said at last, wiping his face roughly with his palm. “I just…I never…” He smiled, a huff of shy laughter that I’d not heard from him in the gods knew how long. “I just…you told me this ring has been in your family for generations. I’m not sure I should have it.”
I took his hand and curled his fingers around the ring. “You will be a part of my family, if you say yes.” I had thought about it, all of it, the practical aspects as well as the romantic; Faramir was not going to bear my children (nor I his, I hasten to add), but he had cousins, and their descendants would be my heirs. The line of the stewards would not longer be kings in all but name, but the line of kings itself. All of this I would tell Faramir later, we could arrange everything, it would be alright. All he needed to do was–
“Then, yes.” I had been looking at our hands; my head jolted up to see his laughing eyes, his warm, close-lipped smile. “I will marry you.” He leaned closer, tilting his head. “Heart of my life.” He kissed me then, so soft a caress, but firm, the sealing of a contract. I could had kissed him back for the rest of my life, but there was one thing I needed to do first. I looked down at his hands in mine.
“I hope it fits, after all that,” I said, and I felt his sigh of laughter dance in the loose strands of my hair. I took the ring, and turned his left hand over. “I know this isn‘t your ring finger,” I slipped it over the first digit where it fit as if made for his hand. “But you might agree we are not the most traditional of betrothed ever to grace this particular balcony.” I met his gaze again, and his eyes were shining. His hands lifted, and framed my face most delicately, thumbs brushing over my cheeks, smoothing over my eyebrows as if he was reminding himself of who I was. I watched him, wordless. His expression was one of wonder, and I wondered myself if he would ever really know how much I cared for him, how inexplicably lucky I knew myself to be for finding the other half of myself in him. Then he kissed me again, differently this time; he surged forward, and held me to him, and we shared the same breath for many minutes. His tongue was tender and hot, thrusting into my mouth not un-gently, and I met him with equal fervour, my longer whiskers catching on his coppery stubble. The sun dimmed, but Faramir was alight, and I wrapped my arms around him.
“Let us never be parted,” he said, his forehead against mine. I could feel his smile. His fingertips ran through my beard endlessly. There was nothing I could do but agree.
One of the nicer aspects of the length of our relationship was that it allowed for a certain degree of easiness with one another; one way of putting it might be that we were just used to being together, but I liked to think it was more our feeling comfortable, though in fairness it was both. Thus, I was often treated to the delightful sight of Faramir emerging from the bath chamber, wringing out his damp hair, reaching for a comb, perhaps shifting a chair out of the way, or selecting a book, pressing a kiss to the crown of my head as he passed before finally deciding at some point to put underclothes on. And sometimes, I treated him to a similar scenario.
This night, some time after my proposal, he did much the same thing, striding from the bathroom and looking around the room, before finally standing in the centre of it all with his hands on his hips and a puzzled expression on his face.
“Lost something?” I lay on my back on the bed, arms folded behind my head, ankles crossed, equally undressed.
“Believe it or not,” he said, moving cushions on the couch. “I’m looking for my smallclothes.”
“Pah, come here instead. I prefer you thus!” I grinned, reaching out an arm to him, into whose reach he eventually migrated. I pulled him onto the bed beside me and mussed his hair annoyingly.
He shrugged, face hidden behind a tumult of strawberry-blonde. He wore naught but the ring of Barahir. “I think only upon the questions the servants might ask when they find my linens in your chambers.”
“Remember when I cared about what the servants thought?” He made a face at me, then yawned, turning onto his front, chin propped up on his elbows to look at me. “I think you hurled them somewhere earlier, though I was hardly in a fit state of mind to record their exact landing position.” Sex as betrothed seemed to stir up within the both of us some sort of internal infernos, at least my blood certainly felt heated beyond all reckoning. Faramir took me, and I forgot my name and who I was for what seemed like my whole life. What on earth did I do before I met him? (Other than put my hands to certain uses.)
“Shift over, will, you? I’m going to fall off the bed.” And I knew then that I was looking at him strangely for he just shook his head at me and shoved me gently. I moved, digging the bedclothes out from beneath the both of us and drawing them up to our chins. I thought it best to leave out my prophetic dreams for the moment, even though now, at last, they had all come true. I knew he knew something of such things, but he was yawning again, and shoving me further over, and I was content to comply. His hand slipped from the covers and pushed my hair from my eyes. “Goodnight, husband,” he said, and kissed me, sweet as the very first time, when snow glinted in our hair, and chilly fingers clasped my own.
My dear reader.
That is the tale in its telling. Is this ending abrupt? Is it an ending?, I might counter, but for now my wrist aches, and the light is low, and my handwriting is bad enough without even such hindrances. I will set aside my chronicle, and beg refuge within a familiar embrace. He waits for me, you know, and though one could say he is used to such things this time I will not keep him lonely for long. Just a moment, I said to him, and the last I saw of him was his bare backside disappearing between the bed-curtains. I will join him shortly. I’m afraid he presents a far more enticing prospect than scribing this account even if he is its subject. Flesh over fiction, I would say, but you must know that everything I have laid out here has been nothing but the truth.
I must of course admit this has been but one side of a story of two halves; for the unbiased account, for an un-tapped slew of disparaging inner-monologues, for the whole truth and everything else, you will have to ask Faramir.
(But you will needs wait until morning for that.)
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Nerey Camille , Minx