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05 April 2004 | 2196 words
Pairing: Aragorn/Faramir, Aragorn/Boromir
Disclaimer: LOTR and all its characters belong to Tolkien
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Summary: Faramir realises his desire his King, but will it be reciprocated?
The battle had long been over when Aragorn entered the healers’ tent quietly and headed straight for the cot where his Steward sat; cradling the broken arm he had received while trying to fend an Orc off his King. Faramir looked up, his face expressionless.
“I came to see how you fare,” Aragorn said needlessly, and then added, “And to thank you.”
Faramir gave him a questioning glance.
“You saved my life,” Aragorn said softly.
“It was my duty,” came the wooden reply.
“Was that all it was?” he wished immediately that he had not asked that, for Faramir’s face lost all colour and the grey eyes that stared back at him now were blazing with an intensity he had seen just once.
“You know that is not all,” the younger man replied steadily, his eyes continuing to bore into Aragorn’s, “I have told you before what I feel for you. I still feel the same,” he said flatly.
Aragorn bowed his head and studied the coverlets, noting the frayed threads at the edges. Looking up, he realised that Faramir’s gaze was directed outwards, away from him. He looked almost like Denethor, Aragorn thought, as he watched his young Steward. He was nowhere near as commanding as Denethor had been, but his eyes now had the same shuttered coldness that Aragorn had often perceived in Denethor’s eyes.
He hadn’t always been like that, Aragorn remembered, and from all accounts even now, the Prince in Ithilien was a very different man from the one who sat by him in court when required. Unless Aragorn himself should be visiting Ithilien, in which case, Faramir would be as he was now, focussed on his work and nothing else.
Faramir gazed up suddenly as though sensing that he was being watched. Their eyes met for a fraction of a second, until Faramir looked away abruptly, his cheeks flushing slightly, his entire posture going rigid. However, even that briefest visual into those grey eyes had shown Aragorn a depth of feeling, and there was little he could do about it. Try as he might he could not do what it would take to remove the anguish and sadness in Faramir’s heart that had been laid bare in that tiny moment their eyes had met.
He could not put Faramir through that once again.
They had both been lonely then, not many months after their return from Edoras. Arwen was away, and Aragorn felt particularly depressed, now that he had the time to do so, and found himself fast getting mired in aching memories he had sought to subdue so far. Faramir, betrothed to Éowyn was going through one of his all too frequent cycles of self-doubt, convinced that she would think she had erred, and that any missive from Rohan would contain news of a cancellation of wedding plans. It always took him much ale to get out of such a state. It took the King much ale to lose his melancholy too.
In the silence of a moonlit garden, they chanced upon each other, and talked. Their conversation was light and friendly as talk between new friends often is. They had much in common and many a subject to discuss. But they must have felt more than mere friendship for soon there were touches between them, the scent of the night blossoms further intoxicating their already inebriated minds. Kisses followed soon after, soft nips to necks, shoulders and hands. An invitation extended was accepted immediately.
The Steward of Gondor would refuse his King nothing. The nearness of the other man awoke in him feelings that none else could, not even Éowyn. It was not unknown for men in Gondor to seek the company of other men, even if they be married albeit behind doors. He knew what those feelings meant, and he knew from the touch of those caresses that there was more than soldier’s comfort here that his King sought.
That his King sought more, he had interpreted truly, and what he sought, he had surmised correctly, but in deducing whom it was the King sought, he had erred. They made love that night. It had only been later that it had become evident that one man had done so with a passion he had stifled to date, while the other had done so to fight the recurring memory of an old lover.
Faramir had accepted the offer immediately for to him it had truly been a dream come true. He had desired it ever since this very man had come to him in his fevered dreams and called out to him, drawing him from darkness towards light. All this while he had kept those desires throttled, not even admitting them to himself.
Aragorn had offered for he remembered Boromir greatly when he was lonely, and in Faramir he could see signs of his late lover.
It had been a mistake, Faramir had realised, too late. He did not realise it when Aragorn had moved his mouth away ever so imperceptibly as he had reached over to kiss him. He did not realise it when Aragorn impatiently pulled them both onto his bed, and undressed him rapidly, batting away his caressing hands in his hurry. Nor even as he lay on his stomach in the sprawling bed in the royal chambers, sheets entwined around his spread-eagled legs, and opened himself up to his King without hesitation. He did not realise it as his repeated avowals of love went unanswered.
He realised it only when, sheathed deep inside his body, thrusting hard and rhythmically, the King screamed as he emptied himself inside Faramir’s unresisting body. He had not screamed for Faramir. The wonderful, headiness that the younger man had been feeling drained out immediately.
He wondered for a brief moment whether the rush of events had confused him, for when Aragorn pulled out, he grabbed him in his arms and showered kisses on his neck and face. Then he looked into Faramir’s eyes and the kisses stopped suddenly. The Steward did not miss the moment of bitter disappointment that had shone through his King’s eyes, before turning into a sad smile. He longed to be kissed again and held in Aragorn’s arms, but found he had no strength to ask for the comforting embrace. Instead, Aragorn gently laid him down and wished him a good night’s sleep before putting out the lamps and lying down next to him.
Faramir found silent tears emanating from his eyes as he tried to sleep, with the King next to him. When he awoke from a fitful sleep, the tears had dried but left their salty tracks across his face. He had a clear memory of the night’s events, but found he still harboured a tenuous hope that he had imagined the disappointment in Aragorn’s eyes.
However, Aragorn had upon his face the same look of disappointment now mingled with a new one of remorse. When he realised Faramir was awake, he smiled quickly, too quickly, it seemed. His mouth may have curved into a faint smile, but his eyes did not reflect it.
Silently, Faramir arose and left for his own chambers. The aching loneliness returned with a vengeance, and he found himself drawn into that despondency all day, more so as Aragorn seemed to have ensured they would not meet all that day. By nightfall, as the shadows lengthened their way across the courtyard, he could stand it no longer. What he had experienced would not leave hold of him, no matter how hard he tried. He was no fool when it came to reading the hearts of men, his included. He knew the feelings that had awoken inside him, just as he knew that they had lain in him dormant for months.
When he met Aragorn, the man he knew now he loved, it was dark outside, a starless night. He watched the beloved face in the shadows, as the King told him of the love he had shared with Boromir. He apologised for his unforeseen error the previous night. and then asked Faramir to treat it as just that - one night.
Faramir knew then, when he spoke not of societal mores, or of his wife, that his king too had felt something as he had. So he spoke up that evening, admitting what nestled in his heart. He was desperate for more of what he had felt, and the apology seemed unnecessary and he said so, admitting also the realization that some spark had been there in the other man’s eyes.
Even as he spoke he watched the way the expression became closed, the eyes distant, the face almost cold, and wondered if he had not crossed bounds he should have left alone. He knew what Aragorn would reply –that whatever feelings he had, were for Boromir, not for him.
“You wish for me to forget what we have shared?” he asked sadly, hoping the answer would be in the negative. It was not.
“It cannot be,” Aragorn said firmly, sadly, and almost lovingly, “I am fond of you, very much so, but I cannot love you as I loved Boromir.”
He closed his eyes, before replying, and when he spoke he sounded to his own ears, childishly petulant, “Can you not love me at all? May we not try atleast?”
“I – I cannot –,” Aragorn said uncomfortably.
He turned away, furious, feeling a salty stinging sensation in his eyes, and a strange constriction in his chest. Aragorn stood behind him, worried.
“Are you alright?” he asked gently, reaching out a hand to smooth a wayward lock of hair off Faramir’s face.
Faramir let out a frustrated half growling sound as the fingers brushed his skin. The strange sensation moved from his chest to his groin. He grasped Aragorn’s hand, and stared back into his King’s face.
“I love you,” he whispered pleadingly.
“Faramir, I –,”
“Lie with me this night, Aragorn. What harm will befall us, if you were to acquiesce? I do not ask for your love. I ask merely to be taken by you. I offer myself to you, my liege, as a subject if you will not have me as a lover.”
“You know not what you speak of,” Aragorn said worriedly, “I cannot betray Boromir’s love. I will not. He was dear to me. I cherish his memory. I made a mistake last night. I will not repeat it, come what may.”
“Do you not care what my heart feels?” Faramir asked in an anguished tone.
“You know not what you feel, Faramir,” came the quiet reply, “You offer yourself to me as a subject. I would never do that to you. I respect you far too much to use you like that. And love you as a lover I cannot. That place is held by another.” His hand was still in Faramir’s grip, and now he gently tried to prise it away.
Faramir stared at him for a moment and then dropped his gaze, releasing Aragorn’s wrist as he did so.
“I know you do not feel for me as I do for you,” Faramir said quietly, “But what I feel does not go away. My heart is foolish, my liege, it does not listen. I hoped you atleast would be different. That you atleast could share the love you have to give away, but perhaps I was wrong.”
Aragorn opened his mouth to reply but found he had no words to offer. Faramir turned around, and walked away as swiftly as his shaky legs and decorum would allow.
Aragorn sank onto a stone bench cursing himself for giving into his lust. The desperation and anguish that Faramir exuded were not to be easily forgotten. None of it, he thought, would have come about if he hadn’t tried to replace Boromir for that one night. Then Faramir would not have got a taste of his innermost desire only to have it snatched away again.
Faramir left for Ithilien a fortnight after that to oversee the building of the settlement there. He came to Minas Tirith as required and met Aragorn often enough, but only because their duties required it. And each time, Aragorn wondered, as he did now, watching Faramir wince through the healers’ ministrations, whether to give in and remove that sadness from those deep grey eyes as only he could. But reason always interrupted that train of thought.
He could never give Faramir what he wanted. All he could give him was false love. He knew Faramir would willingly accept even that, no matter it was false, just as he would willingly risk life and limb for Aragorn. He stood only to get hurt again, and much worse. Aragorn knew he could never lay with Faramir without wishing it was Boromir whom he lay by. He could not hurt his dear friend so.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: LN Tora