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Without Air, Fire Does Not Burn... (NC-17) Print

Written by Hurinhouse

29 November 2009 | 5694 words

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Title: Without Air, Fire Does Not Burn…
Author: hurinhouse
Pairing: Faramir/(OMC)/Boromir , Denethor
Rating: NC-17
Warning: AU
Summary: Faramir meets a street rat with a questionable past.
A/N notes: Bálin is pronounced Bay-lin… unless my elfish research is crap, which is entirely probable.

Archivist’s Note: A prequel to this story can be found here: A Spark Forged


Chapter 1

The twinkling lights of the townhouses in the upper circles was a favorite view on the evenings sleep eluded him. The lavender tea rarely did the trick Endahil claimed, though Denethor was loathe to admit it directly. Endahil had come to him from Dol Amroth some twenty years prior, seen him through two tragedies and a major bout of illness without coddling him in false puffery. Though Denethor never told him, the man could not be spared.

To the South, within the seventh level, he could just make out the last lantern in the barracks, difficult to see past the Merethrond but for the height of the Steward’s house. As he gazed, the glow was swallowed in the black night, and he wondered if his son slept more soundly among his peers than in his own lush bed.

His vision descended, lights more scarce the farther down the circles wound, burnt only by pubs and whorehouses, but for the torches on the first circle where the watch was ever in full swing.

“Perhaps I’ll lower the tax on tapers.” Endahil bypassed the townhouses and businesses of the upper levels, followed Denethor’s view down below.

“Most would use the discount for mead and gambling, My Lord. Those who cannot afford wax sleep with the moon. As should you.”

Denethor sipped his tea, glanced back toward the barracks. “No doubt I soon will with your foul brew in me.”


Without air, fire does not burn. It was the perfectly logical conclusion, and yet Lostir had argued with him, claimed that lack of light was the culprit. After he’d replied that fire is light, and demonstrated his air conjecture with a bowl over Durn’s pipe, Lostir had wandered to the opposite side of the tavern, finding a game of dice more appealing than arguing with a pompous thinker.

Faramir lifted the bowl one last time when a renewed series of bellows distracted him. Five men from his barracks stood on the tavern table, chanting the virtues of Mellomir the Maid and her cooking instruments. Faramir wasn’t familiar with most of the terms, but was able to deduce they weren’t boasting of her strawberry tarts. If Denethor knew his only son of fourteen summers was cavorting down level, in the second circle no less, he’d have Faramir locked in his rooms. As it was, he was lucky to be allowed in barracks.

As entertaining as the off-key caterwauling was, it was the more subdued activity just past the table that caught Faramir’s eye. Not Hilros, nor his half laced tunic, nor even the way he straddled the bench like he’d fall into his squash pie. But the boy he leaned against, ran his hands all over. Not exactly a boy. The street rat was older than Faramir though certainly not as old as Hilros. He allowed Hilros to touch at will, but the soldier’s gropes were barely registered.

The young man was aware of everything around him, eyes darting about the room, taking stock of who, when, where. His begrimed shirt was streaked with clean patches, as though he’d been splashed with some liquid. Faramir wondered how he’d weather the coming winter without shoes.

He whispered something that made Hilros lean back and stare at him in question. The answering sly smile was all Hilros needed. Into the young man’s palm he slipped a coin, which disappeared immediately, Faramir knew not where, and the urchin led Hilros by the hand out the back.

Faramir hadn’t realized he was staring until the door slammed shut behind them.

“Oy, Durn won’t be pleased,” Lostir gestured to the pipe beside the bowl, no chance of being relit that evening. “I’d get a lashing for that, not being royal and all.” He’d had more ale than Faramir, fell into the stool beside him.

“So it’s to our joined benefit that you lower your voice, yes?”

Lostir didn’t appreciate the reprimand, but shook it off easily enough. “How long will you stay this time? I see you slipped your leash.”

“My father promised through the harvest.” We’ll see.

Faramir threw back the rest of his ale, scooted his chair across the wood. Fire wasn’t the only thing that needed air to function. He headed toward the door.

“Careful. Hilros and Durn are out there somewhere.”

Faramir scoffed, “I think they’ve moved on to better things than the Steward’s son draining himself.”

The night was chilly. The knots in his laces seemed tighter than usual and the need to empty himself became more dire each moment he was delayed. He leaned against the corner of the pub, trying for more leverage with both hands when he heard a moan behind him.

His hands fell away as he turned. Across the alley, among leaves and fallen twigs, he spied Hilros squeezing his arse forward, then backward, then forward again, his cock disappearing into the mouth of the street rat, who kneeled among the loose chipped stone. Faramir’s need to piss was suddenly cut off by a stronger urge, one he’d never experienced among the men.

The urchin’s cheeks were hallowed as he sucked and Faramir couldn’t imagine how confined he must feel, though he seemed completely unfazed. His hand reached up between Hilros’ thighs. Faramir couldn’t see what he did there, but Hilros’ jerk and sigh told a tale of debauchery.

“What have you here, Hilros? Enough to share?” The street rat tensed, body pivoting slightly, even as he kept to task. His eyes followed Durn, newly come to the garden. Hilros kept pumping, “Leave off.”

“I’ll split the fee with you. He looks limber,” Durn circled. The young man tried to turn, but Hilros began to jerk and his fingers tightened within filthy hair.

Faramir saw the urchin’s hand grope among the leaves when Durn ran a rough hand down his back. Hilros pumped in one last time, buttocks clenched in a perpetual pose. And Slam! Durn got an elbow in the eye for his trouble. “Valar!”

The street rat yanked off, breathing through his nose, as Durn found his feet. Hilros groaned, boneless in pleasure, and Durn slipped his dagger from his belt. Faramir’s heart quickened. He watched the urchin strike the dagger with a large stick he’d found. Durn lunged and the young man smacked the dagger away, pounding against Durn’s arm when the soldier lost his footing. The urchin’s lack of technique reminded Faramir of sparring practice that morning, when Master Teithin explained the difference between raw natural talent and practiced finesse.

The young man spat Hilros’ seed in Durn’s eye, causing Durn to slip on the stones. A lantern shone brightly beside Hilros, and as the urchin turned, Fara caught a flash of green in his eyes, glittering with contempt for the would-be patrons both now sunk to the ground.

Durn rubbed his eye, “Villain! I’ll forge your death!” But Faramir’s vision had room only for the street rat walking down the nearest alley, ire forgotten in the shine of the coin he flipped in the air with each step.

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Thank the author

The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Ingrid

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6 Comment(s)


NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

What a wonderful story.
Please continue, I can not bare such a sad and open ending. What will happen? I must know.
If you don’t I will have to come up with an ending in my head and it will not be nearly as good as your story. You have a fantastic way of express yourself, you leave me as a reader wanting more and more and more.
Than you so much for posting this

— Ingrid    29 November 2009, 16:42    #

thank you so much for your kind feedback. yes, i do very much plan to continue, though i cannot say for sure how soon it’ll be. depends on how well the muse cooperates. thank you!

— hurinhouse    29 November 2009, 21:25    #

What an original idea! I don’t read Faramir/Boromir slash really (I tried this because I thought it might be about the two brothers together). I have trouble wrapping my mind around how their relationship could change from brothers to lovers. But this works — and it’s wonderfully devastating at the end. I hope you continue with a sequel someday. I will certainly make an exception to my rule in order to read it!

— Mira Took    30 November 2009, 03:45    #

thank you so much for stretching your limits for my story! i’m so pleased you enjoyed it. yes, i plan to continue in the near future. thanks!

— hurinhouse    30 November 2009, 11:49    #

A very different and very well-written AU. The differences in the relationship between Denethor & Faramir are especially interesting.

— trixie    4 December 2009, 05:45    #

thank you very much. i figured they’d turn out quite differently without boromir to buffer, though i’ve never believed the denethor-hating-faramir theory anyway.

thanks for reading.

— hurinhouse    5 December 2009, 04:12    #

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