This story is rated «NC-17», and carries the warnings «Slash and sexual scenes.».
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24 July 2011 | 3078 words
Title: Wine and Water
Rating: NC-17 (to be safe.)
Warnings: Slash, sexual scenes and a little romance, of course.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. All written in good fun with no offence intended!
Author’s Note: As always, time is a fickle thing and I do believe I am a few hours late in gifting this (well, it is past midnight here so I know I am.) Forgive me, if you can!
For the wonderful Geale, whose beautiful writing inspired it all; on her birthday, with great wishes of health and happiness and many more to come :)
The air in the bath-chamber was muggy, and the King’s body was warm and damp with steam and perspiration, a scalding flank pressing up against Faramir’s ribs as he slung an arm around Aragorn’s waist and lifted a wineglass with his free hand. Aragorn mirrored him, leaning in far too close to tell him what a good idea drinking in the bath had been, not that they had made it as far as the water yet. Toast performed, Faramir drained his glass, steadying the other man who was more than a little drunk as his foot slipped while reaching to place his glass upon the window ledge.
“You almost spilled that.”
“Hmm.” A closed-mouth grin was his answer, and Aragorn leant in again, eye to eye. “Shall we?”
Faramir’s grin was not so coy, and he laughed when the King felt the need to rest his forehead against his Steward’s shoulder. He pulled Aragorn close, just for a moment. “Do you need help?”
“I am too drunk.” The King was laughing, and Faramir snorted quietly. Aragorn lifted his head, tilting it back to look along his nose at the face of the younger man so close to his own. His hands landed gently upon Faramir’s shoulders, and swept down, slowly, into the concave planes of his lower back, around, over his hips, between them, arm twisting to run fingers through the soft hair on the Steward’s belly. Faramir bit his lip, and kept grinning, a rush of electrified breath sighing from his nostrils. The King’s own breathing was hot in Faramir’s ear, chin hooking over shoulder, hips kept apart.
“If I undo your belt, will you manage the rest?”
“I want to manage you-” But Faramir pushed him back, fighting a laugh and shaking his head.
“Belt.” He said, hands and eyes dropping to his task. The metal clasp came undone in moments, the braided leather falling open as Aragorn’s low laughter filled the small room. “There.” He stepped away, over to the window, and heard the sound of cloth landing upon a tiled floor. He lifted the carafe, and refilled his glass.
Aragorn was in the bath when he turned with both glasses, already reaching for the proffered wine with a smirk. The water was clear, and steam rose slowly, garbing the King in mists and flattening his hair until it lay straighter than Faramir had seen in a long time. It was very long, now, too, and Faramir noted how that made him feel when he looked upon it, and did not avert his gaze as he handed Aragorn the second glass. “Do not spill that.” The younger man escaped his own breeches with little fuss, and stepped over the edge of the marble bath and bit his lip at the heat. Aragorn was sitting down on the carved ledge within, cheeks coloured with warmth and wine and something else, and Faramir took back his glass, their thighs and knees bumping as he sat down beside him.
“It has been too long.” Aragorn’s tongue was red from the wine, and when Faramir looked at him with raised eyebrows he laughed and waggled it between his teeth before ducking his head to Faramir’s throat and trailing the very tip of it along the vein that pulsed there. Faramir sat rigid, for a heartbeat, eyes closed in a long blink, before he put a hand upon the King’s knee in warning.
The older man sighed, and settled for resting his head upon Faramir’s shoulder instead, wine glass placed upon the edge of the tub. The water lapped gently against their chests, and Faramir looked down at their nakedness and marked their similarities. He tried to separate in his mind the heat of the water and the heat radiating from Aragorn against him and gave up after he realised it was all one and the same, mingling and enveloping him and casting a dangerous spell. There had been a night, many moons ago, when he had let himself fall under this enchantment, and he had come to know where on the King‘s body his battle-scars were, and how he preferred that they keep their eyes open. Faramir shook his head, dispelling steam and memories, and tried to swallow his wine without incident.
Aragorn was running his hand gently across the water, creating ripples and waves that broke themselves upon their skin. “You should know, I was so glad to see you this morning I had half a mind to cancel my appointments and dog your heels all day.” The warmth in his voice was so clear Faramir did not need to turn his head to see the King’s smile. He reached out, and their fingers wove together briefly just beneath the surface. Stop it, he thought, but Aragorn released him before he could chide himself further. Perhaps the King knew something of turmoil too.
“You are the only thing about this city that I ever miss.” Faramir gazed into his wineglass, then past it, down through the water where his left ankle and Aragorn‘s right lay interlocked. “If you came to Ithilien more often…”
“I will.” The King seemed to sigh, though Faramir felt rather than heard it. “I will.”
“I go back on the morrow. I am sorry my visit is so short, next time-”
“I know.” Aragorn lifted his head, looking at him with an expression that only hinted at sorrow. “Faramir, a minute with you is enough.”
It was too difficult, and the damp air seemed so charged with unspoken truths, and Faramir could not acknowledge it. “Had enough of me already?” The jest was poor, and he barely managed a half-laugh himself. Aragorn, for his part, softened, and smiled. Faramir knew the King was smitten with him, and it hurt, just a little. He should never have succumbed, he thought, often, full of the knowledge that if he could go back and change things, he would not. “Next time,” He grasped Aragorn’s knee again, squeezing gently. “Next time I will stay longer…I will stay with you. I promise.” He knew he did not need to say it, but Aragorn nodded anyway, grey eyes glinting with a soft and silent sadness. Faramir lifted his hand from the King’s knee, and pushed his damp hair back from his own face. “Forgive me.”
“For what? For doing your duty? For your counsel or your friendship? You are my dearest companion, Faramir, and I do not know if you have any idea how glad I am that it is a man such as you who assists my rule.” He looked away suddenly, and Faramir lifted his hand and rested it upon his own knee as Aragorn murmured, almost beyond hearing; “Without you, I am nothing.”
“Aragorn-” It took an attempt or two with a hand on each of the King’s shoulders to get the older man to look at him, but soon their foreheads were touching, and Faramir found himself lifting his hands up to stroke fingertips across Aragorn’s unshaven cheeks and into his hair, again and again. “It is you who…without you…” The King’s eyes were fixed upon his own, eyelids closing as their mouths came so close as to share a breath. Aragorn’s fingers were caressing the skin below his ear, edging closer, Faramir knew, and he could not halt him. “Aragorn-”
“Forgive me.” Their mouths met finally, soundlessly, and with that first sharp scrape of stubble upon his lip there came to Faramir every single thought and memory he had been trying to repress for the gods knew how long now. He kissed back, and kissed back, and kissed his King deeply, turning his head and parting his lips as a hot, pliant tongue came searching. Aragorn was holding him, suddenly, arms wound around the Steward’s shoulders, and Faramir heard a soft moan that he was not sure he could claim. So many months of denial, of dancing around the edge of something that he could not name, of slipping, of finding himself with a hand on Aragorn’s shoulder, too near his neck, of allowing the King to buckle his vambraces, knowing that Aragorn would kiss his palms, softly, once each, when he was done. For your safe return, he always said, and Faramir made himself believe him. Then that night, long ago now, and Aragorn was right, it had been too long, where they had gazed up at the stars, and fallen upon each other with no preamble or fear, tongues and hands and eyes exploring all of the forbidden places. When Faramir had woken up in his King’s arms, dawn creeping in through the shutters, he had slid his hand across the older man’s nakedness, committing every scar, angle, line and hair to memory, for he knew what they had done could not be repeated. But as the water rocked around and between them, and as Faramir reached down to pull Aragorn almost roughly into his lap, he knew, as he had always known, that he would have to stop fooling himself eventually. Smitten? It was something much deeper than that.
Aragorn’s eyes were open, and Faramir looked into them as their tongues twisted atop one another. The ledge they sat upon was narrow enough, but Aragorn managed to hook a leg around Faramir’s back, and pressed against him, and Faramir broke away with a moan, panting, looking down through the bathwater where their arousals jutted proudly. When Aragorn shifted his hips so that they rubbed together, Faramir almost lost his mind, throwing back his head and wetting his hair in the water as his breath escaped him in a rapid gasp. When he looked at his King again, Aragorn was smiling at him, hair plastered across his forehead. He tightened his grip, pulling Faramir almost impossibly close, and they regarded one another in a strange serene intimacy.
“I know I am too drunk…but, you, Faramir. Are you planning on leaving me alone in bed come sunrise?” His expression changed, the humour replaced by a quiet longing, a seriousness tempered by need. “I know why you left, but I must tell you, in truth, it broke my heart when I awoke to find you fled. I had hoped-…” He was almost slurring his speech, drunk on wine and lust and something that Faramir could not bring himself yet to name. Faramir ran his palms up and down the King’s back, back and forth, mapping every bone and muscle, just as Aragorn had done to him what seemed a million years ago. He took a breath.
“I have tried for so long to deny it; to you, to others, to myself. You say I do my duty? I have failed at each and every turn, and you know this well enough. I ask you; how can I serve you, how can I serve the people, work for the good of the realm…how do I give you honest counsel, or point out that your strategy or proposal is flawed if I wake in your bed each new day?” He pulled Aragorn close, and kissed him quickly and deeply, drawing back but a hairsbreadth to whisper, with eyes open; “How do I love both the man and the King?”
They rocked together, gently, with the water, and Faramir found himself wondering if ever a question was posed to a monarch in such a circumstance when Aragorn bit his lip briefly and nodded and said: “I would have you love me, Faramir, that is all.”
Faramir did not last long, a fact that Aragorn pointed out with a grin in his voice, and a jab in the ribs that Faramir rolled over and batted away with a laugh. They lay now in the King’s bed, long since dry, and long since sated, though Faramir was not sure if his pulse would ever slow. The room was a mess of blankets and wet footprints and an upended stool, and Faramir had concluded, as they fell together upon the mattress, that walking and kissing, especially while drunk, and immediately after spending himself after only three thrusts, was not an insignificant task. They had done rather well, he thought, and in the bed he had made up for his lack of stamina in any case, with Aragorn howling into the pillow as Faramir drove into him, outlasting his King and coming so hard himself he forgot his own name and how to think.
Aragorn lay on his side, facing him, and Faramir turned his head from where he had buried it in the linens to meet his gaze. The King’s hand rested upon the younger man’s back, heavy and comforting. “I am not sure that it needs be said,” Aragorn’s eyes darted away, quickly, then back up, regarding his Steward with a look that made Faramir‘s toes curl delightfully. “But I love you Faramir. I do love you.”
“Kiss me,” Faramir said, and their smiles met gently, and Faramir brought his hand up to weave through wavy sable hair. When they pulled apart, Faramir leaned up and gifted a kiss against each of his King’s eyelids, one after the other. “Know that you have my heart, Aragorn, and my love, also. As my King, as is my duty, and as a man who would love his friend too deeply, as I love you.”
“Let us never be parted.” Aragorn’s voice was low and gentle, and Faramir felt the pull of sleep creep over him too. “I will write to you, when you are in Ithilien. I will visit you.”
“Grant me leave to stay a while, and we will not need to be satisfied with parchment and ink until absolutely necessary.”
Aragorn gave a soft huff of laughter. “If anyone is permitted to remain in this city, it is you, Faramir. You were born here, I…merely usurped various things.”
“Like your rightful throne?” Faramir laughed, and the grin that split Aragorn’s features in reply only made the heat in his belly intensify. The King pulled him close, kissing the top of his head.
“Stay forever, Faramir, if you wish.”
The impossibility of it all heavied Faramir’s tongue, and he remained silent for a time, wrapped in the warmth of Aragorn, breathing in the soft scent of soap and clean linen. To say yes, to fall uncontrollably, it was madness, unthinkable. To say no, to leave with the ebbing night, to welcome the embrace of the forests and winds of his estate in Ithilien, it was easy, dutiful, the best, most sensible option where the realm was concerned. It was easy, Faramir knew, to close himself to Aragorn, to fool himself into forgetting his heart bled, to forget he had ever loved a man whose names were yet etched permanently into his memory.
The King’s breathing was slow, and Faramir assumed he had fallen asleep. It was therefore no difficult task to lift the older man’s arm and free himself, slipping out from beneath the sheets and sitting up, hearing his joints crack and pop as he stretched and placed bare feet amongst the cool rushes on the floor. Their path of destruction was more evident from this vantage point, and Faramir let a private smile flit across his features as his gaze followed it back toward the open bathroom door. Stooping first to right the upturned stool, Faramir lifted his bathrobe from the floor and shouldered his way into it. Stepping quietly over the heap of blankets that had made their way to the hearthside, he reached out for the handle of the bedchamber door, pausing only to look back toward the bed, and swallowing hard when he saw that Aragorn was sitting, propped up on his elbows, gazing at him with eyes so openly sad that for the moment Faramir could not find his tongue.
“Faramir…?” The unspoken question hung as heavily in the air as the steam in the bath chamber had. Aragorn sat up further, his hair falling over his shoulders in long, inky strands. His eyes were so piercing, even from this distance, and the look on his face was of quiet confusion. He looked, for an instant, and most un-Kinglike, forlorn, and Faramir felt laughter bubble up within him, a gentle, warm sigh that when released, only served to wound Aragorn further, so it seemed, until Faramir spoke, and the King eyes widened and he began to laugh also.
“We forgot to lock the door.” Faramir turned the key, and stood, facing the bed, robe hanging open and hair bouncing with his mirth. “I thought it best to remedy that possibly disastrous error.”
“I thought you were leaving.” Aragorn reached out toward Faramir as the Steward crossed the room again and sat on the edge of the bed.
“I know.” Faramir felt the mattress shift as Aragorn moved further to pull the robe down from his shoulders. Seeing the King’s quizzical look, he added, sheepishly; “It is cold out-with the bed, too cold, even for a moment. Hence the robe.” He let it fall completely from his shoulders, turning and crawling back beneath the bedcover that Aragorn held open for him. The heat was wonderful, and Faramir closed his eyes and smiled as he slid into the niche made just for him against a warm body that promised everything. Aragorn wrapped a leg and both arms around him, and held him tightly, and Faramir listened to the King’s heart as all worries, all fears, all doubt seemed to fade into the shadows. There were still hours before dawn, before the day and reality came calling. For now, there was only a haze of half-drunken longing, soft, gentle need, the pull of slumber, the safety of a heartbeat, the certainty of unyielding devotion. Faramir closed his eyes, and left a kiss as soft as snow upon Aragorn’s chest.
“I am not going anywhere.”
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Minx , ebbingnight , guest