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Dark and Dangerous (PG-13) Print

Written by Helmboy

22 December 2007 | 7800 words

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TITLE: Dark and Dangerous
AUTHOR: Helmboy (Email)
CODES: LOTR, PG-13, AU, Challenge, Odd pairing alert: F/GW, E
DISCLAIMER: No one makes a dime from this. This is for fun.
FEEDBACK is welcomed and answered. I appreciate your thoughts about this effort.

Written for the 2007 Midwinter Swap

Request by Bell Witch: I prefer darker stories but do not require them. Winter theme not required at all. Any rating. I prefer human pairings but dislike incest as a happy relationship. Pairing with Éomer, pre-war with Halbarad, or I would like to see Faramir with Gríma somehow. (Like that would be happy.) Pre-war advisor Gríma comes to Minas Tirith or Faramir goes to Edoras. A rarer pairing, at any rate. Movie or bookverse fine.

Part One

Meduseld, Edoras, Rohan

The air was brisk and the hint of snow in the wind told them in the most emphatic way that winter was coming. The grass that fed the horses so famed in this part of the world was brown and bent over, sullen at the loss of their fine green clothes. Fields had been harvested, fodder laid in and wood and horse chips gathered in mounds by houses to be used in the hard winter to come. Rohan was battening down for the storms that buried the small farmsteads and villages for months until the spring thaw. In that time, people would do the work of getting ready for the next planting season and that greatest time of all, the days of foaling.

At the moment, the nephew of the King and the second son of the Steward of Gondor were licking their wounds on the steps of the great hall after being denied yet again access to the monarch. The King’s ‘counselor’ denied it. Since the death of the heir, Théodred, in battle against the enemy, the King had slipped away from those who loved him and into the embrace of the enemy, the bestial creature, Gríma Wormtongue.

“He seems to be everywhere.”

“It appears so.”

“How do you bear it?”

Éomer considered the question and shrugged. “I have to face the truth and do what I can,” he said, the intensity of his aggravation about the situation evident on his handsome face. “We do what we can when we do not have the King’s ear.”

Faramir of Gondor nodded. “You live my life.”

Éomer of Rohan glanced at his great good friend, noting the flicker of pain that crossed his face before disappearing as swiftly as it had come. A frisson of anger at the source of Faramir’s grief spiraled through him and then was gone. Again, Éomer, fatherless son, was flummoxed at the attitude of Denethor, reluctant father of sons. That man was evil he considered for not the first time.

They stood together on the steps leading to the great door of the Hall of the Kings in Edoras. Faramir had come in place of his brother, Boromir, to discuss incursions by orcs and Uruk Hai on the trade routes between Rohan and Gondor. He had hoped to speak to the King directly but Théoden would not see him. He was told this was so by the King’s ‘counselor’, Gríma Wormtongue, whose smarmy statements thus had made his long journey practically useless. The obsequious little man had offended him in ways that surprised him. “Where did this beast come from?” Faramir asked.

Éomer sighed deeply. “He is the creature of Saruman.”

“Really?” Faramir asked, surprised. “Why is he here?”

“He’s been here for some time. I have had to fight the enemy in the outlands and when I came back, he was here. Since Théodred has gone away,” he said, pausing for a moment around the lump in his throat. “Since that has come to pass, he has made himself Indispensible to the King.”

“Then perhaps you should dispense with him,” Faramir replied, a slight but humorless grin on his lips.

Éomer nodded, his own grim smile in place. “I dream of it daily. He is wily and keeps to places where he can be seen by others constantly. He also keeps his own bodyguard of thugs from many places close about him.”

“I have seen one of them myself in Osgiliath,” Faramir replied.

They were silent a moment and then Faramir shifted, turning to look back at the banners snapping in the constant breeze that swept the hillside. “Then perhaps it might be a good thing to band together and make this problem disappear. Surely, between the two of us, we can resolve this problem.”

Éomer stare out at the plain stretching in all directions, the life’s blood of their people’s hope, grasslands of high quality. He would give his life for this land and her people and consider it a worthy task. Turning slowly, meeting Faramir’s eyes levelly, he nodded. “It would be an act of great patriotism to do this thing.”

“It would bind our two peoples together as adversity always does,” Faramir replied, warming to the idea.

Éomer nodded and then smiled genuinely, the first time since Faramir had arrived. “For Rohan and Gondor,” he said quietly.

Faramir merely nodded.

It was evening the following day when Gríma came to the balcony, filling his lungs with the brisk and frigid air. He was his usual self, unhealthy, shifty and unattractive. He sniffled and wiped his nose on a handkerchief, which he replaced into his pocket. His clothing, of good quality, had not been cleaned in a long time and his hair was unwashed and slicked down with an oil that gave a slightly sour odor.

He had come out to escape the malevolent gaze of the Rohirrim that found his presence an affront to all that they stood for. They hated him with a special fury that tested even his resolve. Saruman had not understood how proud and independent the Rohirrim were but he was finding out for himself. It was another grievance against the wizard that he stockpiled in his mind, a grievance that he would hope to avenge someday. As he stood in the shadow of the open doorway, he heard footsteps behind him. Turning, prepared to fight or run, he found himself staring into the slightly drunken eyes of Faramir of Gondor.

“You surprised me,” he said. “I didn’t expect anyone to come out after me.”

“You underestimate yourself, Gríma,” Faramir stammered, moving to stand beside the smaller man, filling his lungs as he did with the cold air. He exhaled loudly and smiled, looking down at the fascinated creature beside him. “Tonight, I am a friend to all men.”

“Really,” Gríma said, smiling in spite of himself. “It’s the drink talking. I have few who would call me friend.”

“Really?” Faramir asked, rubbing his face with his hands. “Why is that so?”

“Ask me when you are not in your cups, my Lord Faramir,” he replied caustically. “Or better yet, get your slanders from your friend, Éomer.”

“Friend,” Faramir asked, his expression falling slack. “Éomer is not my friend.”

Gríma blinked a moment and shifted his feet, staring at Faramir as if to find the joke somewhere on his face. “You appear to be great and good friends.”

Faramir snorted and turned, glancing around him to find a post to lean against. Finding nothing, he sighed. “You presume a lot, Gríma. I am here for Gondor. I feel nothing for Éomer. He is an uncouth horseman, nothing more. I on the other hand am a man of court and cultured as you can see,” he said, bowing slightly and wobbling. “I am required to be chivalrous to all whom I encounter, even those born in a barn, when I am on a mission for my people, but that is all. Besides,” Faramir said, listing slightly as he turned to glance back at the doorway. Looking with exaggeration that no one was listening, he turned back and whispered, “He’s not my type anyway.”

Gríma stared at Faramir as if he had just fallen from the sky. Part of his mind, the evil and devious side warned him against drawing conclusions that allowed anyone to come too close to him. Another part of his mind was smitten, even fascinated and it began to war with his usually careful and cruel natural bent about people. “Not your type.”

Faramir grinned slightly and moved closer, lowering his voice to a conspiratorial level. Leaning closer, he smiled broadly, winking. “He’s not my type.”

“What exactly,” Gríma asked, his watery eyes blinking rapidly, “ is your type?”

Faramir sighed and took a deep breath again, looking at Gríma with a clearer and much steadier gaze. “I like them dangerous, Gríma. Dark and dangerous, if you know what I mean.”

Gríma looked at him, considering what he was saying with surprise, his innate suspicion rising. “Dark. And Dangerous.”

“Yes,” Faramir said, unbuttoning his tunic and stretching his arms, his chest revealing itself for a moment. Smooth skin, slightly tanned with freckles and a small white scar bared itself, revealing a chest full of well-developed muscles. An accomplished archer and horseman, Faramir of Gondor was deceptively well made and it showed briefly. Lowering his arms, he sighed and shrugged. “You’re a man who has lived a little bit, experienced and worldly. You know what I mean,” he said, turning and nodding to Gríma.

Gríma looked at him a moment and then found himself nodding, even though he was struggling to understand the full meaning of what Faramir was saying. “I do. At least… I… perhaps you can enlighten me. So we both understand each other without confusion of any kind.”

Faramir paused and turned, staring at Gríma with a serious expression. “You don’t know what I mean then.”

“I didn’t say that,” Gríma hastened. “I just want to know if we truly are clear… that is, if we truly are together in what we know.”

Faramir suppressed the urge to laugh as Gríma’s words trailed off. His face was schooled to a seriousness that was hard to maintain but he continued, considering the small and unattractive figure with a regard he did not feel. “You know what it’s like.”

“What what is like?”

Faramir managed to show an expression of slight surprise. “Power. Power and privilege. After a while, when one has anything and everything they want, when they want it, you find yourself craving more.”

“Ah,” Gríma said, nodding. “That I can agree with.”

“Sometimes, when you have sated every urge, every desire and need, you find that what was good once before doesn’t even move you. You find yourself craving other things. Dark and dangerous things.” Faramir whispered the last, moving closer, his eyes narrowing as he held Gríma’s gaze. “You find yourself needing things that only certain people can give you. You find yourself seeking out those who might understand what a man like you or me might desire, men who have known much and wish for more. Things beyond the mundane.” Faramir moved closer, pausing just before the smaller man, making him look upward.

Gríma did not move back, so entranced was he with the conversation and the strain of listening to a barely audible tone. He was entranced with the conversation and the man before him, a tall and powerful man with startlingly intense eyes.

“And it’s about desires, Gríma. Desires that you do not dare share with others. Personal desires,” Faramir whispered. Then he moved back and stared up at the skies for a moment. Turning his gaze toward the silent figure beside him, he smiled slightly. “You don’t really believe that Éomer qualifies as that sort of man, do you? That he has the imagination for such things?”

Gríma swallowed hard and nodded. “No. I do not believe he is such a man.”

Faramir nodded and sighed. “Good night, Gríma.” With that, he turned and walked inside once more. Gríma watched him go and when he was gone from sight, he gasped. He was so surprised and entranced by the strange conversation that he had not noticed he was holding his breath. Licking his lips, he turned and looked out at the darkened plains once more, lost for a moment or two, his thoughts in turmoil as he sought to understand what had just happened.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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2 Comment(s)

Awesome. I’d like to say something intelligent about four sections/four seasons (starting with summer) but I am all hung up on awesome. AWESOME! F’awesome. I totally like my story, it’s awesome!

— Bell Witch    Monday 24 December 2007, 8:40    #

I am delighted you liked it, Bell. Much pleasure back to you on your nice comments. HUGS!

helmboy    Thursday 27 December 2007, 4:02    #

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Read more of Helmboy’s (aka Arctapus) fiction at http://www.ithilas.com/helmboy.html