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Intentions (NC-17) Print

Written by RubyElf

18 March 2012 | 26062 words

Title: Intentions
Author: RubyElf
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Faramir & Legolas

Thranduil arrives unexpectedly, Arwen solves everybody’s problems before dinner, Eomer is looking for his elf, hobbits are unhappy, Boromir is annoyed, and apparently Gandalf has shown up with some plans for Legolas and Faramir that perhaps he should have asked them about first.

Intentions – Part 1

“Lord Boromir,” one of the guards said, looking down over the wall of the guard tower.

“Yes?” Boromir asked, somewhat impatiently, having been interrupted from attempting to make notes about parts of the city’s fortifications that needed repairs.

“Unidentified person approaching the gates, sir.”

“Another merchant,” he muttered.

“Not carrying anything, sir. Just a man in a hooded cloak. Not even a pack.”

Boromir made his way over to the wall and glanced down. He could see why the young guard’s attention had been drawn to the approaching stranger; tall and with his face obscured, he moved with an effortless, stalking grace that somehow did not seem entirely human. Boromir chuckled and patted the guard on the shoulder.

“That’s not a man, lad. It’s an elf. I’ll go down and see what he’s up to.”

The arrival of an elf in Minas Tirith was not terribly unusual, not with the colony growing in Ithilien, but very rarely did they travel alone in these lands dominated by men. Boromir was waiting at the open gates when the visitor entered, leaning on a barrel and watching. The elf stepped into the courtyard, looking around for a moment before throwing back his hood to reveal a head of pale gold, neatly braided hair. Boromir was slightly annoyed to realize that he had unwillingly learned enough about elves in the past few years to recognize the pattern of braids as particular to elves of Mirkwood. When the elf turned his head, though, Boromir knew the face immediately, and grinned as he straightened up and walked toward the elf.

“Welcome back, Berendir.”

The fair-haired elf spun to face him, then smiled at realizing who was addressing him.

“Greetings, Lord Boromir.”

Boromir rolled his eyes. “I don’t recall you feeling the need to address me as ‘Lord Boromir’ when we were fighting side by side.”

“Very well… Boromir,” the elf said, extending his hand.

Boromir shook it, looking the elf over. “Been in Rohan a bit, it appears.”

“Why do you say that?”

Boromir grinned and tapped the embroidered horse head in silhouette on the shoulder of Berendir’s leather vest.

“That’s a mark of ownership of the royal family of Rohan. Éomer must think rather highly of you to let you wear it.”

Berendir failed to hide a smirk. “He didn’t tell me that’s what it was.

Boromir snorted. “Suppose it’s better than writing ‘hands off my elf’ across your chest. What brings you to Gondor? And without companionship, no less?”

Berendir’s smile faded. “I need to speak to my brother.”

“Something wrong?”

“Possibly. I hope not. But…”

Boromir nodded. “Come with me. I’ll have the maids prepare a guest room for you, and then we’ll see if we can track down Legolas. Faramir’s been out on patrol the last four days, but he’s due back today, so the elf will probably be lurking around waiting for him to get back.”

Berendir chuckled as they walked together. “I had never thought to see Legolas as devoted to anything as he is to your brother. He’s an unusual elf.”

“Unusual’s a nice word for it,” Boromir muttered, still smiling. “Bloody daft might be a better one. Not sure what would make the Firstborn decide they ought to come out of their magical forests and play with mortals.”

Berendir raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps because there are some of us who find our fellow Firstborn to be rather melancholy and overly concerned with maintaining their perfection, while we find mortals to have a fire and passion for life that many elves have lost as our race nears the end of its time on Arda.”

“They do seem to be rather grave and solemn creatures,” Boromir agreed, unsure what else to say. “Even your brother seems prone to his moments of seriousness.”

“I fear the information I have for him may be cause for seriousness,” the elf said.

The man and the elf made their way to Faramir’s rooms. No one answered the knock at the door, and Boromir had learned from experience to be cautious about walking into his brother’s rooms without warning, lest he see something he didn’t want to, but since he was certain Faramir hadn’t returned yet and that Legolas would not answer the door, he swung it open and looked in.

“Hello? Legolas?”

Legolas looked up from where he sat at the table, which was covered with arrows in various states of assembly. Seeing Berendir, he smiled.

“Hello, brother! Are you tired of Rohan and its charms already?”

Berendir flushed slightly. “I find that Rohan still holds many charms I have yet to fully discover. But I received some information a few days ago that I needed to share with you.”

Legolas glanced at Boromir.

“With him, too,” Berendir said.

Legolas nodded and motioned to the table. “Please, sit down.”

Boromir watched the other elf’s face as he and Berendir sat down; the dark look that had drifted across the blue eyes reminded him of the shadow he had seen there on the way to Mirkwood. Legolas, though, said nothing, but continued sorting through a basket of feathers and selecting those which were the right size for arrow fletching.

“A merchant arrived a few days ago in Edoras,” Berendir said. “He had come from the Vales of Anduin, the land of the Beornings that lies between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Perhaps you know, Lord Boromir, that the people of Rohan count the Beornings as distant kin, and since it has become safe to travel the roads between them again, there is quite a regular trade between them. This merchant had come with some trade business, but he happened to mention that on his way south he had run across a party of Mirkwood elves. They were instructed by their leader not to discuss their destination, but the merchant shared some of his pipeweed with a few of them and they let it slip that their destination was Gondor.”

Legolas looked up, eyes narrowed. “Their leader did not want them to discuss that they were traveling to Gondor.”

Berendir nodded.

“And did the merchant recognize this leader?”

“He did,” Berendir said. “This merchant usually trades between Rohan and the northern lands, but he has also been a guest several times in the halls of the King of Mirkwood, and he had no doubt that the elf leading this party was Thranduil.”

Boromir’s jaw clenched, remembering his own encounter with the Mirkwood King. He looked toward Legolas, but the elf’s expression was shuttered and his eyes were on the feathers he was carefully trimming.

“I see,” he said, after a moment.

“If he thinks he’s going to stroll into this city uninvited, after everything…”

Legolas glanced up at Boromir. “He’s a king. He’ll do as he pleases.”

“He certainly will not,” Boromir growled. He turned to Berendir. “King Elessar is in his throne room. One of the guards out in the hall will take you there. Tell them the Steward sent you with an urgent message for the king, and he’ll see you immediately. Tell him everything you know about this business. I’ll be along shortly.”

Berendir nodded and obeyed with only a quick glance at Legolas before departing. Boromir sat for a moment, watching Legolas, whose attention was still on the feathers as if he’d heard nothing of interest.

“Legolas,” he said.

The elf said nothing.

“Legolas,” he tried again. “Those arrows are going to fly very badly if you try to fletch them while your hands are shaking.”

Legolas sighed and set down his work, but refused to look up. “My weakness annoys me enough without you pointing it out to me.”

“If I ever see weakness from you, elf, I’ll be sure to let you know. Have you forgotten I was with you in Mirkwood?”

“I haven’t forgotten.”

“And what happened there did nothing to convince you that no one under my protection will come to harm while I’m alive to do anything about it?”

A smile twitched at the corner of the elf’s mouth. “I didn’t know I was still under your protection. You weren’t pleased when you found out about Faramir…”

Boromir scowled. “I’m still not pleased. But this isn’t just about Faramir, you know.”

Legolas looked up, surprised. “It isn’t?”

The man sat back in his chair, arms crossed. “Don’t expect me to say it again, elf… but I count very few people as friends, and you are, for some unknown reason, one of them. And I wouldn’t care if Thranduil was the King of Middle Earth; I still wouldn’t let him harm you.”

Legolas met his eyes and smiled. “Thank you.”

Boromir nodded and stood up. “Well, then… that’s all. I’ll go speak to Aragorn.”

When Boromir arrived in the throne room, Aragorn had dismissed his various advisors and was seated at a table with Berendir, listening intently. Seeing Boromir, Aragorn motioned for him to approach.

“Thank you for bringing us this information,” Aragorn said, offering a hand to the elf. “I will speak to Lord Boromir and we will decide on the best course of action.”

“Thank you, my Lord,” Berendir said, bowing. “What would you like me to do?”

“Perhaps you should go and keep your brother distracted for a while,” Boromir suggested. “He is… concerned by this news.”

Berendir nodded and turned away. Boromir slid into his vacated seat at the table and looked at Aragorn expectantly. Aragorn raised his eyebrows.


“Obviously you don’t intend to allow Thranduil into this city.”

“Boromir, he’s a king.”

“I don’t care who he is. He’s insane and he’s dangerous.”

“Dangerous to who?”

Boromir glared at him. “You know who. Legolas, and probably Berendir too.”

Aragorn frowned. “I understand that whatever happened to Legolas in Mirkwood was unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean that Thranduil intends to harm him.”

“I know perfectly bloody well what Thranduil intends to do to him!” Boromir growled.

“Look, I can’t just turn him away. He’s the King of Mirkwood.”

“And that means more to you than what happens to Legolas?”

Aragorn shook his head. “Since when are you so concerned with that particular elf’s well-being? I would expect your brother to come in here arguing with me about this, possibly, but not you.”

“Since when am I… since he’s my friend, Aragorn! Have you lost your mind? You’re not listening to me. If Thranduil is in this city, Legolas and his brother are in danger. There’s no way Thranduil has decided to let them go without a fight. He wants them too badly.”

“I don’t know what you think he wants from them that he’d risk starting a war over…”

Boromir pounded his fist on the table. “I know what he wants from them!”

“And what is that?”

Boromir scowled. “Legolas made me promise I wouldn’t speak to you or anyone else of this.”

“If you can’t help me understand what’s going on here, Boromir, I won’t know what I’m trying to protect them from.”

“Fine,” Boromir said, jaw clenched. “I am not happy to break my vow, but I would rather that than see Thranduil get what he wants. The elf is mad… quite mad, and dangerous. His sons… he used them… for I don’t know how long…”

“Used them?” Aragorn asked, eyes narrowing.

“Used them. For his pleasure.”

“How can you be sure of this?”

“Because the bastard offered them to me for my pleasure!”

“He did this to Berendir? And Legolas…”

“Not to Legolas. And that’s why he wants him so badly. Legolas is his prize, and he escaped from him. When we were in Mirkwood, his own father drugged him, took him from us, tried to… take him against his will…”

Aragorn listened, his face tight and unreadable.

“You can’t let him in here.”

“Perhaps Legolas and Berendir could go to Rohan for a few weeks.”

“What for? So he could find them there? Pass the problem on to Éomer? Aragorn, you have to put your foot down and let that sick, mad elf know that those two aren’t his to come and claim!”

Aragorn stood up and paced toward the window. “Do we know, Boromir, that this is why he’s coming?”

“Why else would he be traveling to Gondor in secret?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you really going to allow them to come here?”

“I don’t see that I have a choice, Boromir.”

The man rose so sharply that his chair clattered to the stone floor. “What?”

“I can’t refuse the king of a neighboring kingdom a welcome no matter what I know about his private life. The best we can do is keep him away from Legolas and Berendir…”

“And you’re certain you can do that?” Boromir demanded.

Aragorn looked back at him, meeting his glare. “I’ll do my best.”

Boromir crossed his arms, infuriated. “I’m not willing to risk my friend’s life and safety on ‘your best’. I’m going to order the troops to deny entry to any group of elves…”

“You will not,” Aragorn said sharply.

“I am their Captain!”

Aragorn shook his head. “If we must do this, Boromir… I am their King. And you will give no such orders. I’ll give the orders, and they will be obeyed. Gondor does not turn away guests who arrive with no clear intent to do harm.”

Boromir turned abruptly and stormed away. Aragorn watched him go, so lost in thought that he jumped when a soft hand tapped him on the shoulder. He spun to find Arwen studying him with concern, her face solemn.

“Estel? I heard shouting.”

He chuckled wanly. “You’re an elf. You heard every word we said.”

She smiled. “You’re right.”

“Am I wrong about this? Welcoming Thranduil to Gondor, if he really did… those things?”

She took his hand and held it. “It’s much more difficult to think of the well-being of a kingdom over the well-being of a friend, isn’t it?”

He nodded. “I have my duties.”

“I know. And they’re not easy ones.”

“Doesn’t Boromir understand…”

“Give him some time to think about it, Estel.”

“The problem is… I’m not entirely sure that I’m making the right decision. What if something does happen to Legolas because I…”

Arwen squeezed his hand. “Talk to Boromir, please.”

“Why? You think I should change my mind about this?”

“No,” she said, smiling. “But if he’s angry with you, you’ll be in a foul mood, and I have no interest in putting up with it at the moment.”

Aragorn chuckled, then paused for a moment. “Arwen?”

“Yes, my dear?”

“Did Boromir just use the words ‘Legolas’ and ‘friend’ in the same conversation?”

Intentions – Part 2

Boromir stormed into his room, letting the door slam against the wall. Finn, sprawled on her rug by the hearth, raised her head to see if the disturbance involved her and then went back to sleep. The two hobbits at the table did not appear any more startled by this abrupt entrance than the dog, and smiled cheerfully at the man before returning to their card game.

“Hello, Boromir. Do you have any pairs or not, Pip?”

Pippin scowled at his cousin, then at the cards in his hand. Being designed for men, they were rather too large for hobbits, and made the two players appear to be holding large ladies’ fans.

“Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t.”

“Well, if you don’t, I win,” Merry said.

Boromir frowned. “I thought the workers had finished setting up the rooms for you two.”

Pippin looked up. “They’re all finished. They finished yesterday.”

“Then why are you playing cards in my room?”

“We were waiting for you,” Merry said.

“I thought that once you two had your own rooms, you were going to stop wandering into mine uninvited,” he reminded them.

Pippin giggled. “You didn’t really think that would happen, would you?”

“Besides, we were just waiting for you so we could show you our new rooms,” Merry said, before Boromir could become annoyed.

Boromir allowed the pair to lead him out into the hall, thinking to himself that never in the entire history of the kingdom of Gondor had any Steward had to tolerate having his personal space invaded by hobbits. Then again, he supposed that this was also probably the first time that any rooms in Minas Tirith had been modified specifically for use by hobbits, which had been done at Aragorn’s direction (and as a direct result of Boromir insisting that if Aragorn did not come up with some sort of solution to the permanent hobbit infestation in his bedroom, he would not be allowing Aragorn into said bedroom).

“Here,” Merry said proudly, stopping at a door which had the handle relocated to be more easily reachable by small individuals, although Boromir was quite aware that hobbits had no difficulty opening any door they pleased. “Have you got the key, Pip?”

Pippin tugged at the cord around his neck and retrieved a shiny new key.

“You keep it round your neck?” Boromir asked.

“It’s the only way he won’t lose it,” Merry said.

Pippin pushed the door open and waved Boromir into the main room. Boromir surveyed it with satisfaction; the workers had accepted their odd task and had fashioned a table and chairs, shelves, and chests in proper hobbit-sized proportions, and had lowered the lantern hooks on the walls to within their reach.

“There are some big chairs there in the corner if we have company,” Merry said. “What do you think?”

“It’s quite nice. I’m impressed.”

“They did give us two separate bedrooms,” Pippin muttered.

Merry rolled his eyes. “As if Aragorn could instruct them to just make one bedroom. Then everyone in Minas Tirith would know…”

“Everyone in Minas Tirith already knows that, Meriadoc,” Boromir reminded him. “I believe they are under the impression that hobbits must reproduce by magical means, since they have not met any females and the only males they have met seem to be in love with each other.”

Pippin smiled, then paused and looked up at Boromir. “What were you so angry about when you came into your rooms?”

Boromir shook his head, chuckling. “Peregrin, your mind changes directions like a rabbit with hounds after it. I was just irritated, that’s all.”


“Because I was.”

“You’ve been arguing with Aragorn again,” Merry observed.

“I haven’t.”

“You have,” Merry said. “Care to tell us why?”

“No,” Boromir said.

“That’s all right,” Pippin said cheerfully. “We’ll find out anyway. We always do.”

Boromir decided to change the subject. “Are you two happy with your new living quarters?”

“We preferred yours,” Pippin commented, “but since you were tired of sharing it, this will do.”

“Frodo will hate it,” Merry said, “and so will Sam.”


“Because it’s not small and cozy and round like a proper hobbit hole,” Pippin answered. “It’s rather grand, though… like living in a great hall.”

“You won’t know what to do with yourselves when you go back to the Shire,” Boromir observed, chuckling. He saw the expression on Pippin’s face and stopped. “What is it, little one?”


Merry gave Pippin a sideways glance. “Just tell him, Pip.”

Boromir frowned and lowered himself to sit cross-legged on the floor, where he could look the younger hobbit in the face. “Why do you look so sad, Pippin?”

He lowered his eyes and shuffled his feet, for once hesitant to speak. Merry rolled his eyes.

“For Eru’s sake, Pip… I’ll tell him. Our families have sent us letters while we’ve been here, of course… at first they were very proud and pleased, when they first heard about the War and us being heroes and all. But some of them, particularly Pippin’s father, are starting to be rather unhappy with us.”

“Why would they be unhappy with you?”

“Because I’m supposed to be the Master of Buckland one day,” Merry said, “which is a high enough title, but the Brandybucks are a very large family, and there are lots of other available heirs if I don’t come home and claim it. Much as that would irritate my father, he is fond of some of his nephews and I’m sure he’d choose one of them if he had to. But Pip, you see, is expected to become the Thain of the Shire… which I suppose is something like a mayor or a captain or some such thing. It doesn’t come with a tremendous amount of any real authority or anything… since hobbits don’t typically bother with such things anyway… but it’s probably the highest title of any in the Shire, and Pip is the direct heir to it.”

“Is that such a terrible thing?” Boromir asked, suspecting he already knew the answer.

“Well, Pippin’s never cared much for the idea, but he knows it’s what he’s supposed to do at some point,” Merry said, looking toward Pippin, who still had his head down. “But now his father’s letters are saying… well, tell him what they said, Pip.”

Pippin sighed. “That if I don’t immediately put a stop to this foolishness with my cousin and return to the Shire immediately and marry the first available lass they can find, I shouldn’t bother to come back at all.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t mean such a thing,” Boromir said.

“I’m sure he does,” Pippin disagreed unhappily.

“Pip’s the only son,” Merry said. “And his father’s not going to tolerate giving the title to some other relative like mine will… you see, the Thain before Pippin’s father died without any children. So his father wasn’t a direct heir… he was a cousin, but the only one available to pass the title to. So his claim on it isn’t as solid as it could be, and passing it on to another cousin or some other relative would just be stepping even further away from the original line. Hobbits take that sort of thing seriously… not that men don’t… but you see the problem.”

“So why wouldn’t he want you to come back?”

“He wants me to come back,” Pippin said, his eyes shining with tears he was determined not to shed in front of Boromir. “He just says I have to come back and get married immediately and that I’m to stop embarrassing the family and not to visit or see Merry anymore.”

The tears escaped in spite of his efforts and spilled down his cheeks. Merry gave Boromir an expectant look, and he realized he was supposed to be doing something to comfort the young hobbit. Although he generally didn’t spend much time comforting anybody, he remembered drying little Faramir’s tears when the boy would come back to their room after some misfortune. He opened his arms, and Pippin immediately took the opportunity to scramble into his lap and wrap his arms around Boromir’s neck, burying his face in his shoulder. Merry nodded his approval.

“What do you think about all this, Meriadoc?” Boromir asked, as he patted Pippin’s shoulder.

Merry shoved his hands into his pockets and shrugged, his blue eyes slightly narrowed as they always were when he was focused intently on something or lost in thought.

“Me? Makes no difference to me,” he answered, deliberate and even. “I’m not going anywhere that Pippin can’t go with me.”

“But the Shire’s your home too,” Pippin said, turning to look toward his cousin. “Wouldn’t you miss it?”

Merry shrugged again. “I’d rather miss it than miss you.”

Pippin sniffed and hid his face in Boromir’s shoulder again.

“Boromir,” Merry said. “Perhaps you should tell us what it is that you and Aragorn were arguing about earlier.”

Boromir was about to say something sharp to the older hobbit about minding his own business, but he realized that at the question Pippin’s sobs had quieted as he listened for an answer. The man couldn’t help but chuckle; Merry knew his little cousin well and knew that almost nothing would distract the young hobbit more effectively than the opportunity to have his nose in someone else’s business.

“All right, then. We were arguing because there are some people coming to Gondor who I don’t think should be allowed anywhere near the city, but Aragorn says we have to allow it, and I disagreed.”

Pippin sighed; this did not seem like terribly interesting information.

“Who would be coming to Gondor that you wouldn’t let into the city?” Merry asked.

“A certain elf king whose acquaintance the three of us have unfortunately already made.”

“Thranduil?” Pippin exclaimed, sitting bolt upright, his tears vanishing. “Aragorn’s going to let him come to Minas Tirith? What about Legolas? What about…”

“Does Legolas know this?” Merry asked.

Boromir nodded. Merry chewed on his lower lip thoughtfully.

“Perhaps you two should go and keep him and his brother company for a while,” Boromir said. “At least till Faramir gets home.”

“You think he’ll tell us something he wouldn’t tell you,” Merry said knowingly.

Boromir scowled. “I didn’t say that.”

Merry held out his hand to Pippin and pulled him to his feet. “Come on, Pip. We’re off on an intelligence-gathering mission for Boromir.”

“You are not…”

“Oh, I like intelligence-gathering!” Pippin exclaimed.

“For as much as you’ve gathered, you don’t seem to have kept much,” Merry said fondly. “Come on, now… we must go speak to Legolas immediately.”

They vanished, leaving Boromir sitting on the floor and trying to determine what exactly had just happened. After a moment, he hauled himself to his feet and went off down the hall toward the guard station. Aragorn had forbidden him to order the elves kept out of the city, but Boromir could still command the guards to be on the watch for any elf besides Legolas or his brother and to immediately report their every move to him.


Faramir and the Rangers riding with him had lost sight of the ruins of Osgiliath, having finished their inspection of the remnants of the city a few hours before and having found no signs that any of the ugly leftovers of Sauron’s rule in Mordor were dwelling in the ruins or the surrounding area. Two of the younger Rangers had ridden ahead to determine if there might be a good spot to make a quick camp for the night; examining the many dark corners of the ruins had taken more time than Faramir had expected, and with winter bearing down on Gondor the sun was already low in the sky and it would be well after dark before they made it to Minas Tirith if they rode on tonight.

“Captain Faramir!” a voice called, and he looked up find the two Rangers riding back toward him, gesturing excitedly.

“What is it?” he asked.

“We found a spot that would make a fine campsite,” one of the men said.

“Problem is, it’s already occupied,” the other added.

Faramir raised his eyebrows. “Occupied? By who? There are no troops stationed out this way.”

“Not by men, Captain. They appear to be elves.”

“Did they see you?”

“Yes, Captain. Their leader came and asked us who we were, and when we told him we were Rangers of Gondor, he asked if he could speak with our commander.”

“Did he tell you his name?”

“No,” the young man said. “But I was trying to listen to them, Captain… after all, you did teach us a bit of Sindarin… these elves either don’t speak Sindarin or they don’t speak it anything like what you taught us, but I did hear one of the other elves say something that I’m fairly sure was the leader’s name.”

“Which was?”


Faramir’s eyes narrowed. “Are you certain?”

“I’m fairly certain that’s what they called him,” the man said. “I highly doubt that they expected we would know any Sindarin at all, or be listening to anything they said.”

“Thranduil, hmm?” Faramir said, his jaw tightening as he thought of Legolas and the shadow that passed across the elf’s blue eyes when that name was spoken. “And he wants to speak to me?”

“He just wants to speak to our immediate commander, whoever that is. You don’t want to talk to him?”

“Oh, no,” Faramir said, smiling. “On the contrary, I want very much to talk to him.”

He touched his heels to his horse’s sides and rode off in the direction the other two riders had come from. The two young Rangers glanced at each other; they didn’t recall if they’d ever seen their Captain respond quite that way before.

“I thought Captain Faramir liked elves,” the first one said.

“I heard he likes elves a lot,” the other said, snickering.

“I don’t blame him,” the first one said, grinning. “That blond elf that he’s always talking to is far prettier than most of the girls in town.”

“I’ve heard,” the other one said, in a low voice, “that elves can do things in bed that no mortals can do.”

“That may be. But for all that Captain Faramir likes elves… and some elves in particular… he really, really doesn’t seem to like this Thranduil elf at all.”

“No, he doesn’t. I wonder why not?”


Intentions – Part 3

Searching for Legolas kept both hobbits busy for the better part of an hour, but eventually they located him in one of the small gated gardens of the upper levels of the city, sitting at the foot of a maple tree and whittling at a piece of wood with a small knife.

“Hello!” Pippin called cheerfully.

The elf smiled slightly, but didn’t look up from his task. “Hello, little ones. What are you doing here instead of in the kitchen?”

“We were just taking a stroll,” Merry said.

“You’re a very poor liar, Meriadoc,” Legolas said.

“We were looking for you to see if you could show us where to find… err, something,” Pippin suggested.

“You’re an even worse liar, Peregrin. Did Boromir send you?”

“Of course not,” Pippin scoffed.

Legolas chuckled. “Of course not. What do you want?”

“We just wanted to talk to you,” Merry said. “We heard a rumor that there might be a visitor coming to Minas Tirith that you might not be very happy to see.”

Legolas glanced up at the hobbits and then looked back at the scrap of wood he was working on. “You two don’t need to worry about such things. It’s not your concern.”

“Why are people always telling us that?” Pippin asked, scowling.

“Because it applies to almost everything you usually want to talk about,” Legolas answered.

“That may be true,” Merry said, “but if you recall, this one actually is our concern. After all, unless you’ve forgotten, the two of us were along for the visit last time you saw your father, and we do remember what happened while we were there.”

“Good,” Legolas said, refusing to look at them. “Because I don’t. At least not a good part of it.”

“That’s not your fault,” Pippin said, sitting down cross-legged in the grass next to the elf. “You were drugged. You can’t be expected to remember things clearly.”

Merry shoved Pippin over and sat down beside him, watching Legolas carefully.

“What exactly do you remember?”

The elf rolled his eyes. “What makes you think I want to talk about any of this with you two, of all people?”

“Because we’re your friends,” Merry said.

“And because nobody takes us seriously anyway,” Pippin added.

“And,” Merry concluded, “because you know perfectly well that Pip and I are very, very good at this, and even if you are immortal we can probably manage to annoy you to death. We always find out what we want to know, eventually.”

“You still haven’t gotten Boromir to let you molest him,” Legolas pointed out.

“I didn’t say we could make people do whatever we want,” Merry corrected.

“Besides, we did get him naked in a bath with us,” Pippin added.

Legolas raised an eyebrow questioningly. Merry gave Pippin a warning look, knowing that Legolas hardly needed more ammunition with which to bait and irk Boromir when the two were in an argumentative mood.

“Nothing happened,” Pippin clarified quickly. “I mean, except for washing off the jelly. And Boromir didn’t have anything to do with the jelly. That was all Merry’s fault, except for the part that was mine…”



“Anyway,” Merry said, looking back to Legolas. “What parts do you remember?”

Legolas put down his wood carving and his knife and crossed his arms over his knees. “You do intend to get your answers, don’t you. All right, then. I remember having dinner with you two and Boromir at my father’s table. I remember going back to the room and having some sort of conversation with Boromir about not feeling quite right, and that’s when it all goes away. I remember parts of when we left… I remember how I ended up with my face cut, and getting to the stables, and after that, I remember parts of us riding toward home, and everything becomes clearer from there.”

“You don’t remember anything that happened while you were away from us?” Merry asked, giving Pippin his sternest don’t-say-anything-stupid-right-now look.


The hobbits glanced at each other.

“You don’t want to run into your father again while he knows what happened then, while you don’t,” Pippin said, realizing what Merry was getting at.

Legolas shook his head. “Aragorn should hire you two as his official interrogators. Our enemies would be revealing their secrets over a cup of tea without even realizing it was a form of torture.”

Merry crossed his arms thoughtfully. “You know, there’s someone who probably knows exactly what happened while you were drugged.”


“Berendir,” Pippin realized.

Merry nodded. Legolas frowned.

“I am not discussing this with my brother. He has his own memories to live with, without having to trouble himself about mine.”


“No,” Legolas said sharply. “Absolutely not. And before you two sneak off, I’ll tell you right now that I absolutely forbid you to bring this up with Berendir.”

He stood up abruptly, sliding his knife into its sheath and tossing the piece of wood off into the bushes as he strode toward the gate and out into the halls. Merry waited until he was quite certain that even an elf’s keen ears wouldn’t catch his words before leaning over to whisper to Pippin.

“We must go find Berendir.”

“Legolas said we weren’t allowed to talk about it with him,” Pippin said.

“No, he didn’t,” Merry pointed out. “He said we weren’t allowed to bring it up with him.”

“Isn’t that the same thing?”

“No, Pip. Legolas told us not to bring this up with Berendir. But if for some reason Berendir would happen to bring it up himself, he never actually said we couldn’t talk to him about it.”

“You, Meriadoc, are a very clever hobbit.”

“I know. Get up and let’s go find Berendir.”


Riding over the curve of a low hill, Faramir found the small party of elves settling in for the night in a shallow valley under the protection of a small grove of trees. He made a quick count and determined that there appeared to be somewhere around a dozen of them, although it was rather difficult to be certain, since at the sight of him they were all immediately in motion, and most of the darker-haired wood elves were dressed in the same green clothes and were difficult to tell apart. One elf stood out clearly, though; he was very tall, with white-blond hair and a lean, strong face with high cheekbones and golden-green eyes that watched the man’s approach with unwavering attention.

Faramir reined in his horse and dismounted as the fair-haired elf walked toward him, dressed in the same Mirkwood green as the others, but adorned with silver buttons and trim.

“You are the commander of the soldiers who intruded on our camp?” he asked.

“They’re soldiers of Gondor, and this is territory of Gondor. They have every right and reason to question strangers traveling here.”

“Of course,” the elf said coolly. “I forget that men have little knowledge of, or respect for, elves or their ways.”

Faramir had to force himself to keep from chuckling when the elf’s eyes widened at hearing the man respond to him in heavily accented but well-spoken Sindarin.

“Of course. I know nothing of elves.”

“You are a well-educated man, it seems,” the elf replied, in Westron. “Who are you?”

“My name is Faramir. I’m the Captain of the Rangers of Gondor. And you are?”

Expecting a lie or a refusal to answer, Faramir was surprised by the elf’s response.

“I am Thranduil, King of Mirkwood.”

“You’re a long way from Mirkwood, sire,” Faramir observed. “What brings you to Gondor?”

Thranduil studied the man’s face for a moment before replying. “I am looking for my youngest son. I had heard that he had taken up residence in the city of Minas Tirith.”

“Your son?” Faramir asked, feigning casual curiosity.

“Yes, my son. His name is Legolas, and it’s very important that I find him and speak to him.”

“You couldn’t just have sent word to the city for him?”

The elf frowned. “I wish to speak to him in person. We will continue on to Minas Tirith in the morning.”

“Excellent,” Faramir said. “It would only be proper if my men and I escort you to the city, since you’re visiting royalty. I’m sure your son will be very pleased to see you. I’ll send one of my men ahead to notify everyone of your arrival…”

“That will not be necessary,” Thranduil said quickly.

“Surely you don’t wish to just wander into the city unannounced, like a common merchant? That’s hardly the welcome we give to royal visitors in Gondor.”

The elf raised his eyebrows doubtfully, an expression that struck Fararmir as instantly familiar; he had not expected how much of Legolas he would see in his father. After a moment, though, he sighed and lowered his eyes.

“Faramir, is it? Faramir, do you have children?”

“No, sir. I have only my brother. Why do you ask?”

“This is not a royal visit between our kingdoms. I have come to see my son, and I have reason to believe that he may… misunderstand my reasons for seeking him out.”

Ruthlessly feigning innocence, Faramir frowned. “Why would he do that?”

Thranduil frowned. “That is not your concern, even if you are a Captain.”

“No, but it may be my King’s concern.”

“Oh?” the elf asked; it was his turn to pretend he didn’t know what the other meant.

“Your son, Legolas… he’s well-known as a hero in Gondor, and he is a personal friend of King Elessar and his wife, the Lady Arwen. They will certainly take a great personal interest in your visit.”

Something flashed in the green-gold eyes, and the elf’s jaw tightened. Faramir maintained his gaze defiantly as he watched confusion and then suspicion and understanding settle into the Elf King’s expression.

“I do not know what you think you know about my son and I, Captain Faramir, but you will not stop me from speaking to him.”

“Perhaps I won’t,” Faramir said evenly. “But I will tell you that while I am a friend of your son, I’m far from being the most powerful or the most dangerous friend he has, and you could be the King of all of Arda, but if you harm him…”

“Do not threaten me, Captain Faramir,” the elf said sharply.

“I’m not threatening you, King Thranduil. I’m merely warning you.”

He turned, took his horse by the reins, pulled himself into the saddle, and rode back toward his men without looking back. His men greeted him uncertainly, not sure what to make of the unreadable expression on their Captain’s face.

“Captain Faramir? Is everything all right?”

He nodded. “Everything is fine.”

“Did you speak to the elves?”

“Yes, I did. They’re traveling toward Minas Tirith, so we shall accompany them there tomorrow.”

“What should we do tonight, sir?”

“Set up camp, and get some rest. I want a watch to keep an eye on those elves; they’re not to be disturbed, but I want them to know they’re being watched, and if any of them tries to leave before morning, I want to know immediately.”

Leaving the men to prepare for the night, Faramir walked a short distance away and sat down with his back to the camp, leaning against a tree and closing his eyes.


For a long moment he thought the elf would not answer him; it was usually Faramir, not Legolas, who kept the connection between them largely silent, although it had been the elf’s continuous abuses of said connection that had necessitated this.


The man smiled to himself. There you are.

What’s wrong? There’s something. I can feel it.

Faramir frowned. I could ask you the same thing, Legolas. What is it?

Nothing you need to worry about, Faramir.

Hmm. It wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain Elf King, would it?

Perhaps. What do you know about it?

Faramir chuckled at the suspicious tone of the elf’s thoughts.

I just had a nice chat with him.

You… what?

He’ll be in Minas Tirith tomorrow by noon, Legolas. If you want to avoid him…


Are you sure…

This is my home. My friends will be here with me. And so will you, Faramir. Go to sleep. You’re tired and this exhausts you more, talking to me this way. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Faramir might have retorted that communicating across a distance was exhausting for Legolas as well, despite the elf’s denials, but Legolas had shut off the connection between them. The man shook his head and hoped that Legolas was not the only one who knew Thranduil was coming. He’d spoken to Boromir about the Elf King before, and the murderous look that the mention of that name roused in his brother’s eyes reassured him that if Boromir was expecting the King of Mirkwood’s arrival, it was likely to be a less-than-warm welcome.

Intentions – Part 4

Merry and Pippin spent much of the evening looking for Berendir. None of the city guards seemed to know where he might be, and the ones who did have some idea seemed just as likely to have seen Legolas as his brother and to be confusing the two; as a result, the two of them managed to find Legolas three separate times, and not find Berendir even once. On the third occasion Legolas, whose sense of humor seemed to decrease with each encounter, suggested that they give up their hunt and go home or risk unpleasant consequences if they happened to locate him a fourth time.

“You’d think we kept finding him instead of Berendir on purpose,” Pippin sulked, as he and Merry made their way toward the kitchen to procure a nighttime snack before retiring.

“I’m quite certain that us finding him instead of Berendir had a lot to do with him not wanting us to find Berendir,” Merry said.

“What’s he doing? Hiding him somewhere?”

“No, idiot… just making sure that wherever we went looking for Berendir, he was there instead.”

“So where is Berendir?” Pippin asked impatiently.

“I don’t know everything, Pip,” Merry muttered. “We’ll look again in the morning.”

Boromir had just departed from guard station closest to his rooms, having spent most of the day there waiting for any news of strange elves approaching the city, when a lean figure detached itself from the twilight shadows along the wall and fell into step beside him. Boromir kept walking, waiting for Legolas to speak.

“Did you send hobbits after me?” he asked.

Boromir grinned. “Yes. But only to get rid of them, and to cheer up Pippin. Nothing he likes better than being on a mission, you know.”

“I see.”

They walked in silence for a few minutes.

“My father will be here in the morning,” Legolas said, as casually as if he’d mentioned the weather. “Faramir is accompanying him.”

Boromir frowned. “Faramir? Wait, how do you…”

Legolas raised an eyebrow. Boromir rolled his eyes.

“Right, right. You two and your… thing. Does Faramir know what he’s up to?”

“No. I suppose we’re going to find out, though.”

They kept walking, Boromir thinking to himself that elves could be dreadfully annoying when they were in a contemplative mood and wondering when he’d started bothering to notice things such as elves’ moods.

“I would be troubling Faramir instead of you, but he’s not here,” Legolas said. “And I don’t particularly wish to speak to my brother at the moment.”

“Where is he, anyway?”

“Down in the public library, researching the history of Rohan.”

“Is he,” Boromir said, chuckling. “I’m sure that wouldn’t have anything to do with his interest in a certain Horse Lord, would it?”

Legolas shrugged. “I don’t know. I just sent him down there because I didn’t want the hobbits to find him, and I knew they wouldn’t find him there.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because they’ve been barred from the library since they got butter on some very old scrolls and the librarian complained to Aragorn about it. She has his permission to hit them with a broom if they so much as set foot in the door… I think that was Aragorn’s concession to make her stop screeching about it.”

Boromir had nearly reached his door, and he slowed his pace. “Is there a reason you don’t want to speak to your brother at the moment?”

“He has his own worries,” Legolas said evasively.

“All right, elf. You were waiting for me outside the guard station for a reason. Either get on with it or go away.”

Legolas smiled. “I was wondering how long you would try to be considerate.”

“What do you want, Legolas?”

“Do you have wine in your rooms?”

Boromir blinked. “Well, yes. Assuming the hobbits haven’t been in it.”

“Anything stronger?

“I have a few bottles of barley whisky. Rough stuff… Faramir brought it back from his last trip to Ithilien, but he thought it was vile, so he gave it to me.”

“Your brother has refined tastes,” Legolas said, ignoring Boromir’s glare. “I’m not in the mood to be refined at the moment.”

“No? What are you in the mood for?”

“Getting drunk,” the elf said. “Preferably very drunk. Don’t worry… I don’t expect you to match my consumption; I’m merely requesting your company while I do so.”

Boromir stopped at his door, retrieving his key from his pocket. “You know, Aragorn probably has some much better-quality liquors, if you…”

“I don’t care to talk to Aragorn at the moment.”

“There’s rather a lot of people you don’t care to talk to at the moment. What makes you want to talk to me, when you’re in such a mood?”

“Have you turned into a hobbit, with all these questions?”

Boromir chuckled as he opened the door. “Come in, elf. If you want to get drunk, I’m sure I can assist you. And if you’d prefer, I won’t bother to ask you why.”

“I suspect you don’t have to,” Legolas said.

“You know I’ll hear about it from my brother if he arrives here tomorrow and finds you curled up in bed with the blinds drawn and a selection of Aragorn’s headache remedies at your side,” Boromir observed, closing the door behind them as Legolas wandered over to sit down in one of the armchairs by the hearth. Finn looked up from her spot on the rug, taking note of the elf before giving Boromir a baleful glare.

“Sorry, lass,” he said. “Didn’t mean to leave you alone all day. I did send someone to take you out to the garden for a while.”

Finn snorted and flopped back down onto the rug with a dramatic sigh.

“She’s just trying to make you feel guilty,” Legolas said, tossing a log on the fire. “I saw her out earlier today with one of the stable boys and she was as happy as could be. She just wants you to think she was miserable without you so you’ll feel bad.”

“Typical female,” Boromir muttered.

“Some females might take offense at that,” Legolas said.

Boromir chuckled and retrieved the key to his wine cabinet from its location on top of a tall dresser, where he’d placed it to keep it out of reach of hobbits. Not that it had made much difference; both of the hobbits, but particularly Merry, had become quite adept at picking locks on cabinets, pantries, and other such forbidden storage areas. He found a bottle of the barley whiskey Faramir had given him and pulled out the cork, wincing at the sharp, acrid smell.

“Ugh! You sure you want to drink this, elf? I can’t imagine that your kind make a habit of putting anything this foul in your immortal bodies.”

“My kind also doesn’t make a habit of getting drunk,” Legolas said. “Or of chatting with me about what we do and don’t drink, for that matter.”

Boromir retrieved two glasses and sat down in the other armchair. He poured himself a glass of the foul stuff, but before he could pour one for Legolas, the elf plucked the bottle from his hand and raised it to his mouth, taking a generous swallow. Boromir watched curiously, expecting Legolas to spit it out, but the elf just gasped for breath once or twice, then recovered.

“That is quite unpleasant,” he observed.

“I told you, I have…”

Legolas lifted the bottle again and took another large gulp. Boromir raised his eyebrows.

“You’ll do yourself harm at that rate, elf.”

Legolas glanced over at him. “I intend to. Cheers, Boromir.”

“What are we drinking to?”

“I’ll think of something.”

Intentions – Part 5

Faramir made a point of riding at the rear of the group of men and elves as they set off for Minas Tirith in the morning, making sure Thranduil knew he was being closely watched. He had expected the Elf King to avoid him, so he was rather surprised when he found him walking beside his horse.

“Did you wish to speak to me?”

The elf looked up at him with a scowl. “You are to address me as “King Thranduil, or Sire.”

“Hmm,” Faramir said.

“Are all men so disrespectful as you are, Captain Faramir?”

“Have my men been disrespectful?”

“No. They have been very polite. I am not sure where they learned to be, with such an ill-mannered captain.”

“I’m well-known in Gondor for my good manners, King Thranduil,” he said easily. “Now, my brother, on the other hand… perhaps rumors of his temper have spread even as far as Mirkwood?”

“The deeds of mortals do not concern us in Mirkwood.”

“No? I thought perhaps my brother’s antics might be talked about even there. Perhaps you’ve heard of him… his name is Boromir.”

The elf’s face twisted in something between astonishment, realization, and alarm before settling back into its mask. “Boromir, is it? Not the same Boromir who currently serves as the Steward to King Elessar?”

“Yes, that Boromir,” Faramir said, smiling. “You have heard of him, then. I’m sure he’ll be very pleased to meet you… again.”

This time Thranduil could not manage to put his face back together properly, and Faramir had to turn away to keep his grin to himself.

“You didn’t care to mention to me that you are the brother to the man who came to Mirkwood, disrupted my kingdom, wounded and kidnapped my own son, and…”

“Calling it kidnapping would imply that your son was unwilling to leave, and I happen to be fairly certain that the opposite was the case. And as for Boromir disrupting your kingdom… well, that’s to be expected. He does things like that rather often.”

The elf king took a moment to compose himself, and when he spoke his voice was deliberately unconcerned. “And what makes you, Captain, think that you would know anything about my son?”

Faramir leaned over on his horse to face the elf more directly before answering, keeping his tone low enough that only Thranduil would hear him.

“I know a lot about your son, King Thranduil. Perhaps that’s because he sleeps in my bed every night.”

The elf stopped in his tracks. Faramir grinned and rode onward to catch up with his men.

“Wake up, Boromir!” Pippin called cheerfully, pounding on the man’s door.

From inside, the hobbits could hear Finn whining and scratching at the door, but nothing else.

“Boromir! Your dog wants to go out!” Merry shouted.

Again, there was no response.

“Well, the guards said he hasn’t been out of his room yet this morning,” Pippin said, crossing his arms.

“Hmm. Perhaps he was up and left early. Maybe we should let Finn out.”

“The door’s locked.”

Merry rolled his eyes and reached into his pocket, pulling out a key and reaching up to unlock the door.

“I thought Boromir took away your key,” Pippin said.

“He did. This isn’t my key.”

“Then whose key is it?”


Pippin frowned. “If you have Boromir’s key, whose key does he have?”

“The new one the locksmith made him after he realized he’d somehow managed to misplace his,” Merry said, turning the latch on the door.

As soon as the door swung open, Finn bolted past them and off down the hall toward the garden. The hobbits ignored her; after her last escape, the guards on the upper levels had been instructed not to allow the Steward’s dog to leave, so she usually just made her way to the gardens, stopped by the kitchen to beg, and would be found not too much later napping outside Boromir’s door.

“Shame on Boromir, not letting the poor thing… oh, my!”

Pippin’s complaint was interrupted by an exclamation of astonishment as he walked into the room. Merry nearly ran into him before stopping abruptly.

“Well, then… what’s happened here?”

Boromir and Legolas were sprawled in the chairs by the fire, both looking rather disheveled, although only Boromir was snoring. There were several empty bottles and mugs strewn across the floor and a few more had been tossed into the fireplace and now lay half-charred among the ashes, the fire apparently having disapproved of having ale thrown on it. The man and the elf were barefoot, their boots tossed somewhere in the room, and neither of them showed any indication of having heard the hobbits enter.

Merry crept closer, leaning over Legolas and sniffing curiously before backing away, waving a hand in front of his face.

“Good gods! What have they been drinking… Sauron’s piss? That smells terrible!”

Pippin picked up one of the bottles. “Hmm.”

“Has it got a label?”

“Not a label, exactly. But it’s got W-I-S-K-Y written on it in grease pencil.”

Merry snorted. “No wonder… that’s the stuff we found in his wine cabinet that nearly knocked us both on the floor just from opening the bottle.”

“Look at this, Mer,” Pippin said, giggling as he lifted Boromir’s arm and let it fall limply onto his chest. The man mumbled something, but didn’t stir.

“Hmm,” Merry said, trying the same thing on Legolas and discovering that the elf was, if anything, even less responsive than Boromir. “This is an interesting situation, Pip.”

“Why’s that?”

Merry smiled knowingly. “How much trouble do you want to be in today?”

“Oh, quite a bit, I think We haven’t been in any real trouble in several days. I think we’re overdue.”

“This could be more than quite a bit,” Merry advised him.

Pippin grinned. “Then of course we must do it.

It wasn’t difficult to strip Legolas to his underclothes; the elf was quite light, and between the two of them they could roll him around and lift his limbs in order to tug his clothes off. Boromir took quite a bit more work. They managed to get his pants off, but only with one of them pulling quite hard on each leg, and Pippin was in the man’s lap, attempting to get the buttons on his tunic undone, when someone knocked on the door.

“Boromir? I seem to have found your dog…”

“Who is it?”Pippin asked.

“Maybe they’ll go away,” Merry said; he was preoccupied with attempting to pull Legolas out of his chair by the arms.

When the door opened abruptly, both hobbits found themselves staring blankly at the intruder, with Pippin straddling a half-naked Boromir and Merry with Legolas sprawled half on top of him.

“Hello, Arwen!” Pippin said merrily, as if he’d just walked into breakfast.

Arwen raised her eyebrows. “What exactly are you two doing?”

“Nothing,” Merry said.

“Having a bit of fun,” Pippin added.

“Are you undressing those two for a reason?” she asked.

“Is ‘because they’re too drunk to do anything about it’ a reason?” Pippin asked. “Because if it is, we’ve got a perfectly good reason.”

Arwen considered the situation for a moment.

“That seems to be an acceptable reason,” she said. “Come, Finn. Let’s go see what the cooks have been saving for you.”

She closed the door. The two hobbits looked at each other, and Merry grinned.

“Well, then. Shall we carry on?”

“Of course!” Pippin said. “It would be just silly to stop now!”

Some time later, two sweaty, tired, but very pleased hobbits stood surveying their handiwork: a man and an elf, stripped to their underwear, lying on the floor by the fire. To be entirely correct, the man was lying on the floor by the fire. The elf was laying mostly on top of the man, arms draped over Boromir’s shoulders and his disheveled blond head pillowed comfortably on Boromir’s chest.

“Is that it?” Pippin asked.

“Almost,” Merry said. He walked over, grabbed Boromir’s arm, and wrestled it around until he could plant the man’s hand firmly on the elf’s buttocks. “There. That’s it.”

“He’s going to have us hung in the town square,” Pippin said.

Merry grinned. “It’ll be worth it. Now, let’s go find Aragorn and come up with a reason for him to come down here.”

“What if Arwen already told him…”

“Arwen’s not going to ruin our fun, Pip.”

Pippin giggled. “All right. It’s a shame Faramir’s not home.”

“Maybe he’ll get here before they wake up. Now, come on, and let’s go find Aragorn.”

“They do look very comfortable together,” Pippin said, trying to stop his giggling.

“They do,” Merry agreed proudly.

“Do you think we should have taken all their clothes off?”

“I think that might have caused more trouble than even we care to be in, Pip.”

Intentions – Part 6

“I don’t know what you two are so worried about,” Aragorn said, allowing Merry and Pippin to drag him along by the hands toward Boromir’s rooms. “He’s allowed to not answer his door, you know.”

“Yes, yes,” Merry said impatiently. “But we heard some… odd sounds. Somewhat concerning.”

“Very concerning,” Pippin interjected.

“Sort of like… groans,” Merry said.

Pippin nodded in agreement. “Pained groans.”

“And maybe a ‘thud’,” Merry added.

“And possibly… oh, hello, Berendir!”

The green-eyed elf had just come around a corner in the hall and stopped, not expecting Pippin’s enthusiastic greeting.

“Hello to you, Master Hobbits. King Elessar… I’m looking for my brother. He’s not in Captain Faramir’s rooms and none of the guards have seen him this morning. Although several of them did mention that there were two hobbits looking quite diligently for me yesterday…”

He glanced at Merry and Pippin curiously. Aragorn raised his eyebrows. “What were you two up to?”

“I suppose it’d be rather ineffective to tell you it must have been two other hobbits,” Merry said.

“Since you are the only two hobbits in Gondor at the moment, I suspect I’d be unlikely to buy that story,” Aragorn agreed. “What mischief did you two want with Berendir?”

“Why do you assume we’ve always got mischief in mind?” Pippin protested, looking hurt.

“Because you always do,” Aragorn reminded him.

“That’s not true,” Merry said. “We’re quite often distracted by food for considerable periods of time before we start thinking about mischief again.”

Aragorn turned to the elf. “We’re on our way to Boromir’s rooms, and we’ll ask him if he knows where your brother might be, although in my personal experience, if Legolas doesn’t want to be found, nobody’s going to find him.”

Berendir joined them on the walk to Boromir’s rooms. Aragorn reached the door first and knocked briskly.

“Hello! Boromir!”

A low mutter came from inside the room, followed by a loud exclamation of alarm. Aragorn, immediately concerned, turned the handle and pushed the door open, then froze.

“What the bloody hell…”

Berendir looked over his shoulder, and his eyes widened. “Oh, my!”

Merry and Pippin glanced at each other, grinning. From inside the room, they heard Boromir protesting loudly.

“Wait a minute! What… this isn’t what… what the hell are you doing, elf?”

“Me?” Legolas exclaimed.

“You’re the one on top of me!”

“You’re the one whose hand was on my ass!”

“It wasn’t!”

“Then whose hand was it, do you suppose?”

Boromir groaned. “Stop shouting! It feels like there are dwarves with pick-axes working on the backs of my eyeballs.”

“Ugh,” Legolas muttered.

The two hobbits squeezed their way forward, looking up at a bemused Aragorn and an astonished Berendir before peering into the room. Legolas and Boromir were sitting on the floor in their underwear, staring at each other suspiciously and looking very out of sorts.

“Should I even ask what that was all about?” Aragorn asked.

“I certainly don’t know!” Legolas said sharply.

“You were laying on Boromir and you don’t remember how you got there?”

“I told you this was your fault,” Boromir growled.

“My fault? My hand wasn’t on your ass!” the elf argued.

“I don’t know how my hand got on your ass!”

“Well, I don’t know how…”

Legolas stopped suddenly and glanced toward the door. “Meriadoc. Peregrin.”

“Yes?” Pippin asked innocently.

Aragorn glanced down at them and raised his eyebrows. “You two wouldn’t have had anything to do with this, would you?”

Merry snorted. “Of course. First, Pip and I snuck in here last night and poured a bottle of whiskey and several mugs of ale down their throats while they weren’t looking…”

Legolas and Boromir looked at each other guiltily.

“That part was most likely our fault,” Legolas admitted. “But that still doesn’t explain the rest of it.”

“I think that much whiskey probably explains just about anything,” Pippin observed helpfully.

Aragorn chuckled. “Arwen did mention to me that she thought I might find my Steward indisposed this morning. She didn’t specify that by ‘indisposed’, she meant ‘rolling drunkenly on the floor and groping the rear end of an elf he professes to dislike’.”

“Arwen knows about this too?” Boromir exclaimed, horrified.

“She is very observant,” Pippin pointed out. “And I’ve found that…”

“What’s all this, then?” a voice called.

Aragorn, Berendir, and both hobbits turned to look down the hall. Faramir was striding toward them, travel-dusty and smiling, his bow and quiver still over his shoulder.

“Are we having a meeting outside my brother’s rooms?” he asked, joining them. “Is there something… what the hell is all this?”

Aragorn looked at Boromir and Legolas, still sitting on the floor in their underwear, surrounded by scattered clothing and empty mugs and bottles, disheveled and confused.

“I’m not entirely sure, Faramir, but I strongly suspect that whatever it is, alcohol started it, and certain hobbits finished it.”

“It was Merry’s idea!” Pippin squeaked, unable to remain silent one second longer.

Merry crossed his arms and shot his cousin a dirty look. “You helped.”

Boromir glared at them. “I should have known you two had something to do with this.”

“Don’t be cross, Boromir,” Pippin said. “We were just…”

He gave the younger hobbit a look that silenced him mid-protest. “I am extremely cross, Peregrin. With both of you, you devious little pests. I suggest you both go away immediately, before I say something I shouldn’t say to you… and you know me well enough to know that’s more courtesy than anybody else gets from me.”


“Pip,” Merry said, grabbing his arm. “Come on.”

He tugged a forlorn-looking Pippin off down the hall. Faramir stepped into the room, looking around with amusement.

“I’m suspecting that the hobbits weren’t the ones consuming all this alcohol.”

“No,” Legolas said. “I suspect most of that was probably my fault.”

“Oh?” Faramir asked.

“Well, I was the one who asked Boromir to… assist me with distracting myself from my thoughts.”

Faramir chuckled and held out a hand to the elf, pulling him to his feet. He offered his other hand to his brother, who grunted and closed his eyes.

“I think I’ll stay on the floor for now, thank you.”

“If I’d been here, I would have thought of less self-destructive ways to distract you,” Faramir said, handing Legolas his pants. “Your father isn’t here yet, but he will be in a few hours. I left some of my men to keep an eye on him, and I rode ahead. You may want to have a bath before he arrives… at the moment you smell like bad whiskey and my brother.”

Legolas flushed slightly. “Perhaps I’ll do that.”

“Ugh,” Boromir muttered. “How are you even standing up right now?”

Aragorn grinned. “Didn’t he tell you? Elves don’t suffer from hangovers.”

Boromir scowled. “That’s not even remotely close to being fair!”

“True,” Aragorn said, chuckling. “Are you still furious with me, or should I come in and brew you some tea and see about some breakfast?”

Boromir looked up at him, musing. “I think I’m still angry with you, but I can’t quite recall why at the moment, so you might as well come in.”

Faramir laughed and offered Legolas his arm. “Shall we? I’ve been on the road for several days… I’m in need of a bath myself.”

“Go away,” Boromir said, rolling his eyes. “I don’t care to hear about that sort of thing.”

Aragorn slipped into the room and closed the door. Legolas glanced at Berendir.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Don’t worry. Go on… I’m just going to go back to my room and put on some clean clothes and braid my hair. I noticed you don’t wear the Mirkwood royalty braids we used to wear.”

“Haven’t worn those for centuries,” Legolas said.

“True,” Berendir said. “I was wondering how long you’d been wearing braids that indicate you’re… unavailable.”

Legolas smiled slightly as Faramir grinned. “Is that what those braids are about? They’re rather unnecessarily complicated.”

“They’re not made to be done alone,” Berendir said. “They’re designed to require someone to assist you. Preferably the one who has resulted in your ‘unavailable’ status.”

“At least I’m not wearing a Horse Lord’s brand on my shirts,” Legolas challenged, laughing.

“I thought it was a decoration,” Berendir said.

“Éomer apparently thought he’d better put his mark on you before he let you go,” Faramir said. “I’m assuming that means he’s expecting you back.”

“We… didn’t discuss that,” Berendir said, his smile fading. “Go get your bath, Legolas, or you won’t be ready when father gets here.”

Alone now, Berendir made his way down the halls toward his room. He was interrupted by sounds from one of the narrow side halls, and stopped to investigate. It didn’t take him long to find two hobbits sitting with their backs against the stone wall, Merry rubbing Pippin’s shoulders and petting his hair while Pippin sniffled and rubbed his teary eyes.

“Are you all right, little ones?”

Merry looked up at the elf. “We’re fine. Pip’s just upset because Boromir snapped at us.”

“I was under the impression he snapped at everyone.”

“Not generally at us,” Merry said. “But Pip… you know he does get annoyed with us, and he always forgives us.”

“I know,” Pippin said miserably. “But he said we were pests.”

“We are pests, Pip,” Merry pointed out.

“But if we’re just pests to him, and we’re not even that to anyone but him, what’s the point in staying here?” Pippin said, fresh tears spilling from his eyes. “Maybe my father’s right… what use are two hobbits in a city of men, anyway? Maybe we should go home and do all those things we’re supposed to do, Merry.”

Merry frowned. “Shh. Don’t say that, Pip. Of course Boromir wants us to stay here.”

“No, he doesn’t. He loves us, but don’t you think he’d be happier if we’d just go away?”

Merry shook his head and rubbed Pippin’s hair. “I think he would be very unhappy if we went away, even if he won’t say it.”

“He doesn’t care enough to say it,” Pippin sniffed.

“Don’t say that, little one. You know he loves us.”

“If it makes you feel any better,” Berendir said, “from watching him with the two of you, I’m quite certain it would be hard for a man to adore two creatures any more than Boromir adores you two.”

Pippin looked up hopefully. “Do you think so?”

“I do,” Berendir said, smiling.

“Pip,” Merry said. “Didn’t we have some very important questions we were going to ask Berendir when we found him?”

“Oh, yes!” Pippin exclaimed, brightening immediately. “We were looking for you all evening! We’ve got some questions for you, Berendir!”

The elf bowed his head politely to mask his amusement. “Ask away, Master Hobbits. I’ll answer if I can.”

“All right, then,” Pippin said. “First off, I have to ask… when elves do… you know… things… with their…”

“Not those questions, Pippin!” Merry exclaimed.

“Oh, right! The ones about Legolas,” Pippin said.

Berendir raised his eyebrows. “What about Legolas?”

Intentions – Part 7

Boromir sprawled in his chair, scowling, as Aragorn poured a mug of tea from the kettle over the fire and handed it to him.

“Does this taste terrible?”

“Probably. I did put some peppermint in it.”

Boromir shrugged and sipped the tea warily. “Could be worse.”

Aragorn poured himself a mug of the tea and settled into the opposite chair. “It appears you and Legolas had an interesting night.”

“That was the elf’s fault. He showed up and said he wanted to get drunk, and… oh, hell! Where is he? Is Thranduil here yet? Who’s keeping an eye out for him?”

Unable to tolerate the pounding in his head that this outburst ignited, he slumped in his chair again, palms pressed to his temples.

“It’s all right,” Aragorn said. “I arranged for a proper diplomat to meet with him on his arrival.”

“We have a proper diplomat?” Boromir asked, raising his eyebrows.


Boromir contemplated this for a moment before nodding his grudging approval. “I suppose she won’t tolerate any foolishness from him, will she.”

“She will not,” Aragorn agreed. “She has informed me that she doesn’t trust either of us to handle the situation, so we’re to stay here and behave ourselves while she sorts it out.”

“And my brother’s keeping an eye on Legolas?”

“More than an eye, I’d suspect…”

Boromir groaned and closed his eyes. “My head hurts enough without you putting pictures like that in it.”

“That’s no one’s fault but your own,” Aragorn said.

Boromir cautiously opened one eye. “A friend came to me in need of a drinking companion. What was I to do, send him away?”

“I suppose not,” Aragorn said. “Although for future reference, drinking with elves is an extremely hazardous pastime. Last time I agreed to it, I was still living under Elrond’s roof, and let Elladan and Elrohir talk me into coming out drinking with them… I woke up the next morning with aches in some places one doesn’t normally injure by stumbling about or falling down, if you know what I mean.”

“Depends on what you fall on,” Boromir said, smirking.

Aagorn rolled his eyes. “That’s the worst excuse imaginable. Can you imagine trying that one?”

Boromir attempted a bad mimicry of a young Aragorn’s quavering voice. “Oh, dear… Elladan, do you have any idea how I manage to have slipped in the shower and ended up with your cock up my arse?”

“Hmm. Probably the same way you ‘fell’ on your birthday and ended up with my cock in your mouth.”

“That was your fault.”

“Of course it was,” Aragorn said, grinning. “Isn’t it always?”


“Berendir didn’t tell us anything,” Pippin pouted, following Merry down the hall.

“Did you really think he was going to?” Merry asked, giving Pippin a sharp look. “After the questions you asked him, I wouldn’t have told you anything either.”

“It was a reasonable question!” Pippin protested. “Inquiring minds wanted to know!”

“Intelligent minds had better sense than to ask!” Merry shot back. “Did you really think he was going to tell us how many times an elf can…”

He stopped abruptly, and Pippin nearly ran into him.

“Shh!” Merry hissed. “Listen.”

Pippin listened. “That sounds like Legolas and Faramir. They’re in the bath. Wonder what they’re up to… oh, my!”

Merry grinned; one of the two had just made a rather loud and interesting noise that might have been intended to be a word. The two hobbits crept toward the bathroom door, bare feet silent on the stones, and Merry stood on his toes to peer through the keyhole. His eyes widened.

“Good lord, Pip!” he whispered. “That’s one thing about elves I didn’t know… did you know Legolas can…”

“Not fair!” Pippin squeaked. “Let me see!”

“In a minute! Oh, my…”

“Merry!” Pippin whined.

An indignant voice rang out from inside the bathroom. “That had better not be a couple of nosy hobbits!”

Merry jumped back, crashing into Pippin, and the two of them landed in a pile on the floor.

“I told you to be quiet!” Merry exclaimed.

“You wouldn’t let me see!”

They tussled for a moment, stopping only when they realized they were staring at a pair of long legs in green breeches and leather boots. They scrambled to their feet, startled.

“Thranduil!” Pippin gasped.

The Elf King looked down at them with bemused disapproval. Behind him, Arwen tried to hide a smile.

“King Thranduil, I believe you’ve met Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took.”

“I have,” he replied coolly. “Last time I met that one, he had a knife at my back.”

Merry bristled. “Last time we met you, you were trying to make your own son…”

“That’s all in the past,” Arwen interrupted briskly, giving Merry a stern look. “You must understand, King Thranduil, that hobbits are extremely loyal to their friends.”

“Why my son needs hobbits for friends is entirely beyond me,” the elf muttered. “Where is King Elessar? I believed I’d be meeting with him.”

Arwen turned her disapproving gaze on the elf. “I’m the Queen of Gondor. Whatever you want, you can negotiate it with me. My husband is occupied.”

Thranduil scowled. “I would question why your husband tolerates having hobbits running about in his halls, peeping in keyholes and causing trouble.”

Arwen glanced at Merry and Pippin. “I’m certain they are not causing any sort of trouble and were just going off to their rooms now to make sure they stay out of trouble.”

“We were going to…” Pippin began.

“Go off to our rooms now to make sure we stay out of trouble,” Merry interrupted quickly, grabbing Pippin by the arm. “Come along, Pip.”


Inside the bathroom, Faramir and Legolas had both fallen silent, listening to the voices outside the door. The elf’s initial indignation at realizing they were being spied on had evaporated at hearing his father’s voice, and now he was pressed against the side of the bath, wide-eyed and still. Faramir watched him for a long moment after the footsteps had faded down the hall before extending his leg through the water and prodding Legolas with his foot.

“Are you all right?”

Legolas jumped. “Of course I am.”

“He doesn’t have any power here, you know,” Faramir said, as Legolas slid closer and let the man wrap his arms around him. “Really… he doesn’t even get the privilege of meeting with the king; he has to meet with his wife.”

“If he knew how things really got done in Gondor, he’d have asked to meet with her first,” Legolas muttered. “Besides, the only reason Aragorn’s not meeting with him is because he’s tending to your brother.”

Faramir grinned as his mouth found the pointed tip of the elf’s ear and Legolas began to melt against him, sighing.

“You didn’t tell me exactly how you and my brother ended up in such a questionable position.”

“You could have looked in on me last night and seen what I was up to.”

“I tried,” Faramir said, chuckling. “I think I started feeling tipsy from twenty miles away, just from glancing into your head.”

“Serves you right. You’re as bad as hobbits looking in keyholes.”

“Oh, don’t be too annoyed with them,” Faramir said, turning Legolas around to face him. “They just wanted to enjoy the view. Doesn’t everyone?”

“That particular view isn’t intended for anyone but you,” Legolas said. “Don’t you think we should get out of the bath and go see what my father wants?”

“I don’t think we should go and meet with your father until I make sure you can’t talk to him without blushing,” Faramir said.

“Why would I be blushing?” Legolas demanded, frowning.

“Because,” Fararmir murmured, getting a better grip on his elf, “you’ll never be able to look at him with a straight face when all you can think about is what he’d say if he knew you’d just been fucked senseless by Boromir’s little brother.”

Legolas considered this for a moment. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been fucked senseless.”

“Then I have quite the task on my hands, don’t I?”


“Lord Boromir!”

Boromir groaned as Aragorn broke the kiss and looked up. “Someone’s at your door.”

“What do you want?” he demanded, wincing at the volume of his own voice.

“Lord Boromir, a guest has arrived and is asking to meet with you!”

Aragorn sighed and moved to slide off Boromir’s lap, but the other man growled and held him in place.

“Tell them to bugger off!”

Silence for a moment, except Aragorn’s muffled chuckle.

“Sir? You wish me to tell King Éomer of the Riddermark to ‘bugger off’?”

“Éomer?” Boromir said, raising his eyebrows as Aragorn sat up. “No. That would be rude. Tell him to go shove his head up his horse’s…”

“Tell him Lord Boromir will be with him in a few minutes!” Aragorn interrupted, clapping a hand over Boromir’s mouth.

“What does that bastard want?” Boromir asked, when he had pried Aragorn’s hand away.

Aragorn smiled. “I’m guessing he wants his elf.”

“Well, tell him to go get his bloody elf and leave me alone.”

“That’s not very diplomatic, Boromir,” Aragorn scolded.

Boromir muttered some very un-diplomatic phrases as Aragorn climbed off his lap and went to find him some decent clothes.

“Oh, and Boromir?”


“Wash your face. You still smell like whiskey.”

“You think Éomer will care?”

“I think he’ll be annoyed you got horribly drunk and didn’t invite him to join you. Now, come get dressed.”

Intentions – Part 8

Éomer was waiting in the throne room when Boromir and Aragorn arrived, pacing impatiently back and forth in front of the tall windows and hanging tapestries. Not that his pacing meant anything in particular; both men knew the King of Rohan was completely unable to keep still for any length of time and generally preferred to be outdoors and on a horse.

“What brings you here, Éomer?” Aragorn asked, extending his hand.

Éomer grinned and, bypassing the hand, captured Aragorn in an embrace that made him gasp for air. Éomer released him and moved to do the same to Boromir, who took a step back with arms raised.

“No, no! None of that for me!”

Éomer studied him shrewdly, hazel eyes green in the sunlight from the windows. “You’ve been drinking.”

“That’s none of your business,” Boromir muttered.

Éomer grinned. “Just more proof that men of Gondor can’t hold their liquor.”

“And men of Rohan can’t hold their tongues,” Boromir shot back.

Éomer licked his lips. “But there are so many useful things to be done with a tongue, Lord Steward. Or do you need to be reminded…”

Aragorn stepped in quickly. “That’s enough of that. Éomer, Boromir’s not feeling at his best this morning and if you’re looking for a fight, I’m sure there’s a bear or an orc somewhere you can taunt for a while. Assuming you didn’t come here to torment my Steward…”

Éomer shrugged. “Just paying a visit.”

“Wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain blond elf, I’m sure,” Boromir said.

Éomer scowled. “What he’s up to is no business of mine.”

“Right. That’s why he’s wearing the Rohan royal brand on all his tunics.”

“He needed some clothes, so I gave him some,” Éomer muttered.

“That wouldn’t have anything to do with your habit of not bothering to unbutton or untie a person’s clothes before you remove them, would it, Éomer?”

Éomer gave Boromir a sharp look. “I thought you weren’t feeling well.”

Boromir grinned. “Suddenly, I’m feeling much better.”

Aragorn rolled his eyes. “Boromir, why don’t you go and see what the little ones are up to?”

Boromir sighed and turned away, winking at Éomer over his shoulder. “Have fun with your elf. I’m sure he’s around somewhere. Elves are very popular in Gondor, you know.”


“I’m going!”


Faramir watched with some amusement as Legolas turned his head back and forth, watching his reflection as he worked at the braids behind his ears.

“You know… I believe Berendir said someone was supposed to help you with those braids.”

Legolas flushed slightly. “Berendir occasionally fails to mind his own business.”

Faramir rose and came to stand behind Legolas, looking into the mirror over his shoulder. “You didn’t tell me there were braids that meant you were… involved.”

Legolas dropped his eyes. “Technically, they indicate that you’re… courting. Or being courted.”

Faramir chuckled. “And what made you decide to start wearing them?”

Legolas met his eyes in the mirror. “I wanted to.”

“Why is that?”

“Because I have never had the opportunity to wear them before I met you.”

Faramir raised his eyebrows, and his hands moved to rest on the elf’s waist. “You’ve never courted an elf maiden? Or… anyone else?”

“No, I have not.”

“You’re far from inexperienced, Legolas.”

“I didn’t say I hadn’t had my share of… encounters. I said that I had never courted anyone.”

Faramir leaned in closer. “Are you courting me?”

Legolas smiled. “I thought perhaps it was the other way around. It seems to be you coming to my rescue more often than not.”

“Hmmm. You rescued me from being alone.”

“That isn’t very heroic,” Legolas said, shaking his head.

Faramir reached for the braids. “Why don’t you teach me how to braid these for you? That’s how it’s supposed to be done, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so. Here… give me your hands.”


Boromir rounded the corner heading for the hobbits’ room and nearly collided with a tall figure in long white robes. He had started to mutter something between an apology and a curse when he stopped in his tracks and stared.


“No, the other White Wizard,” the old man said sharply. “Where is everyone? You’d think no one knew I was coming!”

“No one did know you were coming,” Boromir said, frowning.

Gandalf raised an eyebrow. “Is that so. What happened to the meeting I am supposed to be having today with Aragorn and Thranduil?”

“With Aragorn and… Thranduil? You know Thranduil is here?”

“Of course I know he’s here! I bloody sent him here! Didn’t he give you people my letter?”

“Not that I know of.”

Gandalf rolled his eyes. “You’re no help. Take me to Aragorn immediately. He is supposed to be expecting me for an important meeting with Thranduil this afternoon, and I am running late.”

“When are you not running late?” Boromir muttered.

“I shall pretend I did not hear that, Steward. Take me to your King immediately.”

Boromir smiled to himself. “Of course. Right away. Last I saw him, he was just down the hall here. Follow me.”

He reached the hobbits’ door and knocked briskly.

“Hello! Is King Elessar there?”

Several loud squeaks and a crash came from inside the room, and someone was telling someone else to put some bloody pants on, and then an excited scrambling, and then the door flew open, revealing two half-clothed and flushed-faced hobbits with disheveled hair. Pippin’s eyes were still a bit red, as he’d been crying till Merry had managed to distract him, but at the sight of Gandalf they both exclaimed delightedly and launched themselves at the wizard.

“Gandalf! We haven’t seen you in ages!”

“Ages and ages! Where have you been?”

“When did you get here?”

“Are you staying for dinner? There’s always something good when you’re here for dinner!”

Boromir chuckled and walked away, leaving Gandalf to deal with the hobbit onslaught. As he walked, he realized with some amusement that he was actually humming to himself, so cheerful was his current mood. Annoying Éomer had nearly cured his headache, and finding out that Thranduil had not come to Gondor of his own accord but on a summons from Gandalf had brightened his day even more; the Istari knew the Mirkwood elves well and was very fond of Legolas, and Boromir was optimistic that Thranduil was not likely to enjoy whatever Gandalf wanted to meet with him about. He smiled to himself and wandered off in the direction of the throne room to find Aragorn and deliver this interesting bit of news.

Intentions – Part 9

“I thought you were supposed to be learning to braid,” Legolas said, glancing over his shoulder at Faramir.

“I’m working on it,” Faramir said, smiling.

“If you’re intending to braid my hair, your hands are in entirely the wrong places,” the elf pointed out.

“True,” Faramir said, leaning forward to grasp a pointed ear with his lips.

Legolas exhaled sharply and arched against him. “We are… supposed to be getting ready, Faramir! Besides, aren’t you properly satisfied after our bath?”

“I’m never entirely satisfied when it comes to you. And we were a bit rushed in the bath, what with all the… activity in the halls. Now I can take my time.”

“I’m supposed to be meeting with my father,” Legolas said, his voice catching in his throat at the man’s hand slid down the front of his breeches.

“Let him wait,” Faramir said, his free hand making its way to the laces of the elf’s tunic, which had only recently been tied. “He doesn’t deserve to have you come running because he said so. He doesn’t command you.”

He felt Legolas shift against him. “No. He does not.”

Faramir whispered close to his ear. “I’m the only person who commands you, Legolas.”

“Is that so,” he murmured, leaning back into Faramir’s grasp and closing his eyes.

“Well, then,” Faramir said, releasing him for a moment and reaching for something. Legolas shivered as he felt a strip of cloth laid over his eyes and tied securely behind his head. He blinked against the sudden darkness and allowed Faramir’s strong hands on his shoulders to turn him around. He felt the man’s breath against his lips just before he kissed him, pulling him toward the center of the room. Legolas could feel the heat of the fire in the hearth growing warmer and could hear the wood crackling, and he realized where Faramir was taking him a moment before the man released him.

“Down on your knees.”

The command was softly spoken and almost conversational in tone, but the elf could feel the heat behind it as intensely as he could feel the flickering fire behind him. He could feel something soft under his feet and knew that when his knees hit the ground, it would not be hard stone floor but the thick bearskin rug in front of the hearth. He waited, hands resting on his thighs, tipping his head upward to try to sense what Faramir was up to, moving around somewhere in the room, opening a drawer, rustling cloth. When the man returned to him, he could tell by the soft pad of his steps that he was barefoot now, and as he stood in front of him, he could smell the man’s nakedness, the exposed skin, still clean and smelling like soap from the bath.

“What do you want?” he asked quietly.

“I’m thinking,” Faramir said.

Boromir expected to find Aragorn still talking to Éomer, and was a bit disappointed to discover him alone in the throne room, standing by one of the windows.

“Where is the Horse Lord?” he asked.

Aragorn turned and glanced at him, chuckling. “He went off somewhere. Didn’t say where.”

“I’m sure he’s not looking for a certain elf.”

“Certainly not,” Aragorn agreed.

“Well, he probably hasn’t gotten to have any fun since Berendir left…”

“Speaking of fun,” Aragorn said, his expression thoughtful. “Wasn’t ours interrupted earlier?”

“I believe it was, yes,” Boromir agreed, grinning. “And there shouldn’t be anyone in my rooms at the moment…”

“Not even hobbits?”

“No… they’re off bothering Gandalf…”

Aragorn’s eyes widened. “Gandalf? He’s here? What does he want?”

Boromir silently cursed himself for ruining his own opportunity. “Yes, Gandalf. Says he’s here to meet with you and Thranduil. In fact, he says he’s the one who summoned Thranduil to come here.”

Aragorn frowned. “That doesn’t make much sense. Gandalf would rather go to Mirkwood than come here; he likes it there. What would he want Thranduil here for?”

“I’m guessing it’s because there’s someone else involved in this business, someone here in Minas Tirith that doesn’t like it in Mirkwood,” Boromir said.

“Legolas?” Aragorn asked.


“Well,” Aragorn said, “at least if Gandalf is involved, it seems that there’s not much chance of Thranduil trying anything he shouldn’t.”

“Does Thranduil know his other son is here too?”

“Not that I know of. He’s been in talking to Arwen, though, and she might have mentioned something. But I suspect Éomer will have located Berendir soon enough, and I don’t think Thranduil wants to fight an angry Horse Lord.”

Boromir glanced around the throne room before stepping closer to Aragorn. “You know, I’m sure Arwen is managing things with Thranduil quite well.”

“No doubt,” Aragorn agreed.

“And I’m sure that Gandalf will find the two of them eventually without our help, don’t you think?”

“What do you have in mind?” Aragorn asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, there’s that small meeting room back there… with a door that locks. And there’s a nice, wide, sturdy table…”

“You’re encouraging me to neglect my responsibilities,” Aragorn observed.

“Possibly,” Boromir agreed, but he was already walking toward the meeting room, and he noticed with amusement that Aragorn was following him.

Faramir had turned his chair so that he could sit comfortably and watch the flickering orange light from the hearth reflect off the elf’s pale skin, leaving it almost glowing. Legolas shifted impatiently.

“Do you want something?” the man asked.

The elf nodded.

“I’m going to guess what it is,” Faramir said, settling himself on the rug behind the elf. Listening intently, Legolas heard the sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle, and immediately caught the familiar fragrance of almond with hints of lavender and sage. There was a soft clink as the man set the bottle on the stone floor, and then he was reaching forward and wrapping his arms around the elf’s chest, pulling him backwards until he found himself between Faramir’s knees, feeling the man’s heartbeat against his back and his breath on his neck.

“I’d play with you a while, but we probably don’t have all day, unfortunately,” Faramir said, as one hand slid down and, now slick with oil, began to stroke between the elf’s buttocks. “And if I wait too long, we’re likely to be interrupted again. Besides, there’s always tonight.”

“I had thought men had limits on the number of times in day they could do such things,” Legolas murmured.

Faramir chuckled. “Yes, but I’m still a fairly young man. And I think being bound to an immortal creature has had an effect on my stamina.”

“I see.”

“Besides,” the man said. “I have the benefit of a most inspiring partner.”

Legolas opened his mouth to answer, but only managed a gasp as two of the man’s broad fingers pressed insistently as his opening before pushing in. Faramir chuckled softly in the elf’s ear as he worked his fingers deeper, feeling Legolas twist and squirm against him. After a moment, he drew his hand back, and Legolas made a small sound of disappointment; he was not in the mood to be teased, especially when his cock was already hard as mithril and his heart pounding against his ribs.

“On your hands and knees,” Faramir said quietly.

Legolas slid forward and rested his elbows on the rug, the heat of the fire raising sweat on his pale skin. Faramir was close behind him, and then the man’s hands were on his hips, arranging him like a piece of furniture, lifting his ass, tipping him forward till his forehead rested on his arms, while he hummed to himself as if this were the most ordinary task in the world. After a minute, he sat back to examine his work.

“There we are. Just right.”

Legolas bit back a comment; he knew Faramir well enough to know that if he kept silent now, he would be rewarded for it, but his usual sarcasm would end up making him wait longer. He felt one of Faramir’s hands resting on his lower back, and the man shifted closer, his other hand guiding his cock as he pushed in.

Legolas thrust back against him, and it was Faramir’s turn to gasp as he had to grab the elf’s hips with both hands to steady himself.

“Behave yourself,” he said breathlessly.

“Make me.”

He heard the man’s sharp intake of breath. One hand released his hip and, even as Legolas shifted to feel the man’s cock move inside him, the hand came down with a resounding slap that echoed in the quiet room. Legolas jerked, more in surprise than pain, but this motion only drove Faramir deeper, drawing ragged groans from both of them.

“Mind your manners,” the man murmured.

Legolas didn’t respond.

“Did you hear me?”


“Very good.”

The slight sting of Faramir’s handprint on his ass only seemed to serve, like the blindfold, as a constant reminder of the man’s quiet dominance, and the elf lowered his head and let the tension in his body melt away. Faramir felt the subtle shift, understood what it meant, and smiled as he stroked a hand up the long line of the elf’s spine.

“Very good.”

He knew what Legolas wanted and rewarded him for his surrender, fucking him with slow, steady, relentless thrusts that rocked the slender body beneath his hands, aiming each thrust as deep as he could manage. The pleasant interlude in the bath had taken some of the edge off his need, and he was surprised how long he managed to prolong this, until they were both slick with sweat, both breathing in unsteady gasps, before he felt his release creeping slowly up on him.

“Touch yourself,” he ordered.

Legolas moaned and shifted to free one hand, reaching down to grasp his cock. A few quick jerks of his hand and he was shaking, crying out as he came. Faramir could never manage to feel the elf’s body tighten and shudder around him without being drawn inevitably into his own release, hands maintaining a tight grip to steady both of them as he pulled the elf tightly against his body.

They stayed like this for a minute, Faramir gently running a hand up and down the elf’s back. Legolas sighed and pressed back against him, feeling the man’s still half-hard cock twitch inside him as he moved. Faramir laughed breathlessly.

“No more for now; sorry.”

“I know. I just like feeling you there.”

Faramir smiled and reached around to pull Legolas up against his chest again, kissing sweat-damp shoulders and neck. “Mmm-hmm. You know… when we get dressed and go to meet your father, he’s going to smell me all over you. And he’s going to know exactly who you belong to.”

“He doesn’t like other people touching his things.”

“Yes, but you’re not his. You’re mine. Mine to touch, mine to do anything I want with.”

“Anything?” Legolas asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Part of the responsibility of possessing you, as I see it, is knowing what I should and shouldn’t ask of you,” he said quietly. “I want only what pleases you too.”

Legolas smiled. “I have no complaints thus far.”

“No complaints? All you do is complain!”

“True. But not about the sex.”

“No. You generally don’t complain about that. Just everything else.”

“Mmm-hmm. Sort of like your brother, right?”

“Hold still!” Boromir growled.

Aragorn, stretched out on the broad meeting table and wearing very little besides an unbuttoned tunic and a pair of boots (and how Boromir had got his breeches off over his boots he still wasn’t sure), chuckled and smiled up at him.

“I am holding still.”

Boromir rummaged in his shirt pockets for a moment before grinning triumphantly. “Found it!”

“About time,” Aragorn said. “I was starting to think about trade agreements.”

Boromir glared at him as he pulled the cap off the little vial of oil and poured its contents into his hand. “It’s not my fault you’re impatient.”

“Well, get on with it.”

Boromir rewarded him for this remark by grabbing him and flipping him over so that his chest thudded on the table. A moment later he felt slick fingers sliding busily, taking only the briefest of moments to prepare him before being replaced by something much larger and harder. Boromir pressed in relentlessly, and Aragorn groaned but pushed back to meet him; he had intentionally taunted Boromir into taking him this way, wanting to feel the aching pull of his body stretching to accommodate him. Despite his usual impatience Boromir almost always prepared him with care, sometimes more than Aragorn preferred, and he liked the days he could piss Boromir off and irk him into taking him this way.

Boromir stopped, his hands on either side of Aragorn’s chest, breathing hard. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m all right.”

Boromir began to move, hips drawing back and thrusting forward again, his breath hot between Aragorn’s shoulders, his cock finding just the right spot with each thrust to make Aragorn shudder underneath him. Pressed against the table with Boromir’s weight on him, his cock was pressed painfully between his body and the wooden surface, but he was willing to tolerate it to enjoy the feel of Boromir roughly, demandingly fucking him. He could feel Boromir’s arms starting to tremble, hear the man’s impending release in his ragged groans, and deliberately tightened himself around Boromir’s cock. The other man’s hands scrabbled for a grip on the table as he thrust once more into the waiting body beneath him, finding his frantic release.

For a moment Aragorn was content to lay with Boromir’s sweaty weight collapsed over him, feeling his racing heartbeat. Boromir, though, almost immediately drew back, grasped Aragorn with strong hands, and flipped him over onto his back again, freeing his still-eager cock and sliding down to wrap his hands and lips around it. Aragorn shouted, half surprised and half overwhelmed by the pleasure of it, and his hands tangled desperately in Boromir’s hair as the other man ruthlessly worked at him until he arched up, with a wail he didn’t care who could hear, and surrendered to Boromir’s astonishingly warm and talented mouth.

They lay draped across the table, Aragorn glancing over at the papers scattered on the floor.

“We should pick those up.”

“Later,” Boromir muttered.

“Aren’t we supposed to be somewhere?”

“No. Be quiet.”

“Well, can we at least go somewhere with a bed? This table’s not exactly comfortable.”

“Mph,” Boromir muttered, his head pillowed on Aragorn’s abdomen as he started to doze off.

“Now, wait a minute!”

Boromir ignored him. Aragorn shrugged, thinking that the table wasn’t really so bad after all, and closed his eyes.

Intentions – Part 10

In the private conference room where the King of Gondor held meetings with his most important guests, Thranduil tapped his fingers impatiently on the table, leaning back in the richly upholstered chair and scowling. Across from him, Arwen smiled serenely, only someone who knew her extremely well might have been able to detect the slight hint of growing desperation. Gandalf blew a large smoke ring, sent several smaller smoke rings spinning through it, studied the ceiling for a while, and then glanced at Arwen.

“Your husband is aware that we’re waiting for him, isn’t he?”

“Of course,” she said. “I sent several of the guards out to find him and give him the message.”

“This is very poor treatment of a foreign dignitary,” Thranduil muttered.

“I apologize,” Arwen said, eyes flashing in a way that made Gandalf move his chair a few inches back from the table. “You’re right… this is much worse than when Gondor sent foreign dignitaries to your realm and you drugged and kidnapped them.”

The elf’s face tightened. “You…”

“That was quite a while ago,” Gandalf interrupted quickly. “No need to rehash it now, is there? I’m sure Elessar will be here soon.”

“And where is my son?” Thranduil demanded. “He knows he is expected too.”

“Perhaps he doesn’t care to come when you summon him,” Arwen said, her voice smooth and cold as a frozen pool.

Thranduil clenched his jaw, but Gandalf spoke again.

“No, but I summoned him, my Lady, and generally when one of the Istari summons people, they make every attempt to arrive promptly.”

She nodded and rose. “I’ll speak to the guards again and see if anyone has managed to locate any of them yet.”

She had just reached for the door when it swung open, and she found herself face to face with a slightly disheveled and sheepish Aragorn.

“I seem to have dozed off, my dear.”

“Of course,” she said, patting his shoulder and straightening his tunic. “Have fun.”

She kissed him on the cheek and darted into the hall. Aragorn turned to protest, but when she showed no indication of turning around, he looked back to the elf and the wizard seated at the table, both staring at him impatiently. He attempted to smile pleasantly.

“A pleasure to see both of you again…”

“Sit down,” Gandalf said.

Aragorn pulled out a chair and sat down. “I didn’t know we were expecting you, Gandalf…”

“No,” the wizard said thoughtfully, glancing at Thranduil. “It seems that someone didn’t bother to mention to you that I was the one who called this meeting.”

“I didn’t think I needed to mention it to individuals who were being impolite,” Thranduil said coolly.

“Well, maybe they wouldn’t have been impolite if you’d bloody told them why you were here!” Gandalf snapped.

The elf king’s lips tightened, but he said nothing.

“Are you going to tell me why he’s here?” Aragorn asked.

“I will as soon as Legolas gets here,” Gandalf replied. “This concerns him too.”

“I thought I saw him on my way here…”

A knock at the door gave Aragorn a momentary respite from the two piercing gazes.


The door opened, and Legolas stepped in, neatly dressed in a fine blue linen tunic, a distinct contrast to the Mirkwood green and brown he usually worse. Before anyone could speak, however, Faramir stepped in as well, tall and serious in his captain’s uniform; Aragorn could not help but notice with some amusement that the young man had nearly managed to match his brother in his stern, determined expression.

“You were not requested,” Thranduil said sharply, glaring at the man.

“Not by you,” Faramir said.

“Who requested that you attend this meeting, then?”

Faramir nodded to the elf at his side. Thranduil glanced from his son to the man and back again, then again, his frown deepening as his eyes fell on the braids tucked behind the younger elf’s pointed ears.

“I assumed this ill-mannered mortal was mocking me when he spoke of having you in his bed,” he muttered. “I would not have believed a prince of Mirkwood would make a whore of himself…”

“Thranduil,” Gandalf interrupted.

“This is between my son and I.”

“No, it’s not,” Aragorn said. “Legolas is a hero in Gondor and a dear friend to me, and you will not speak of him like that.”

“I’ll speak of him as I please! Legolas, what could any foolish mortal possibly do or say to provoke you to such a thing?”

The blue eyes narrowed slightly. “Everything that no one else ever has.”

“Regardless. No mere man deserves to have my son at his side.”

“Not even one who gladly risked his own life to save your son’s?” Gandalf asked, studying his pipe intently.

Thranduil glanced at him. “I didn’t say men could not fight. Perhaps they…”

“Faramir didn’t go to battle for Legolas,” Gandalf said, sharp gaze now falling on the elf king. “He went to the Halls of Mandos.”

The elf king’s eyes widened slightly. “You can’t possibly mean that… Legolas, you allowed yourself to be bound to a man?”

Legolas spoke without emotion. “Would you prefer I be dead?”

“Perhaps I would!” Thranduil growled, shoving his chair back as he stood. “Gandalf, what do you mean by all this? You asked me to travel all this way to give my son away to the one he had chosen to be bound to, and this is what I find? This is ridiculous and want nothing more to do with it!”

He pushed past Faramir and Legolas, throwing the door open and storming out into the hall. Aragorn watched until he had disappeared around a corner before turning on Gandalf.

“What the hell was that all about? You called him here thinking he was going to give Legolas away to his bride-to-be?”

“I’m quite certain I never used the word ‘bride’,” the wizard said, drawing calmly on his pipe.

“What… why?” Aragorn demanded. “You brought him to Gondor for this? Why? You had to know how much trouble…”

“Of course I did.”

“Then why?”

“Well, if you would stop shouting, and Faramir and Legolas would have a seat, I might think about explaining it to you. And at some point we’ll have to have Boromir come in… after all, he’s the closest family you have, Faramir, so this concerns him too, although he’s not going to like giving away a brother any more than Thranduil will like giving away a son.”

Faramir and Legolas glanced at each other; after a moment, Legolas shrugged and sat down.

Boromir was stalking through the halls, torn between going to the meeting even though he’d been forbidden to and going to find Éomer and start a fist fight just because the Horse Lord was asking for one, when he nearly collided with Arwen.

“Watch where you’re… oh! I beg your pardon, my Lady.”

She smiled. “Your tunic appears to be on backwards, my Steward.”

Boromir flushed and dropped his eyes. She laughed and patted his shoulder.

“Perhaps after you go and fix it, you should stop and look in on Merry and Pippin.”

He frowned. “What have they done now?”

“Nothing that I know of. But I believe young Pippin may be in need of some comfort, and you know how they both adore you.”

“I have no idea why,” Boromir muttered, embarrassed. “They never get what they’re after.”

“No,” she said. “But they’ve already got what they really wanted.”

“Oh? What’s that.”

“Your love,” she said, brushing past him. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m nearly finished managing everyone’s tantrums and heartaches for the moment… if I can negotiate an agreement between a certain Horse Lord and a certain elf, I believe I’ll be finished for the day.”

Boromir passed his own room and headed for the one belonging to the hobbits. When he knocked, he could hear Merry shushing his cousin before coming to the door. The older hobbit looked up at Boromir and his face brightened.

“Hello, Boromir! I thought with all the important people in town today, you’d be too busy to waste time with us.”

Boromir winced. “No, little one. May I come in?”

He stepped into the room, looking around for a moment before he discovered Pippin, sitting cross-legged on the rug by the hearth and staring unhappily into the flames. Merry sat down next to him.

“You can sit wherever you’d like, Boromir.”

“I think I’ll sit here with you two,” he said, lowering himself gingerly into a sitting position on the carpet despite some protest from his knees. Pippin looked up and attempted to smile.

“Hello, Boromir! We thought you’d be busy all day.”

“I’m not busy at the moment.”

Merry gave the man an expectant look over Pippin’s shoulder, and Boromir realized he was supposed to say something.

“Why are you so sad, little Pippin?”

The young hobbit shrugged. “Gandalf was in the Shire before he came here, and he brought us some letters from home.”

“Oh? Another letter from your father?”

Pippin nodded miserably. “He says that Gandalf is planning to return to the Shire after his business here, and that he expects me to be with him when he arrives. And he said awful things about Merry…”

Merry rolled his eyes. “Hush, Pip. You know I don’t care what he says about me.”

“I care what he says about you,” Pippin protested. “And he says you’re a bad influence and it’s your fault I’ve gotten into all of this, and that when I get home I’m never allowed to so much as speak to you again!”

“We don’t have to go home, Pip,” Merry said.

“What should we do? Just stay around here forever being underfoot and bothering everyone?”

“Boromir likes having us here,” Merry said, giving Boromir another look.

“Of course I like having you here, little ones,” he said.

“Yes, but you’re the Steward and you’ve got all sorts of people who want to talk to you, and all sorts of important things to do, and…”

“He would miss us if we left. Wouldn’t you, Boromir?” Merry asked pointedly.

“Of course I would. I would miss you both.”

“He would forget all about us,” Pippin said, refusing to look up.

“I would not,” Boromir said firmly.

“No?” Pippin asked.

“Never,” Boromir said.

Realizing he was doing a very poor job of this, and annoyed at the way Merry kept looking at him as if expecting him to say something better, he sighed and attempted to think of what someone with slightly more skill at comforting people might say. As he was thinking, though, there was a sharp knock at the door.

“Lord Boromir!”

“What?” he demanded.

“You told us to alert you if any of us saw the elf king in the halls without a guard!”


“Well, he’s walking around in the halls without a guard!”

Boromir looked at Pippin, who waved dismissively. “Go on. You have important things to do.”

“Lord Boromir?”

“Damnit, I’m coming!” he growled, standing up. “Stay here, little ones. I’ll be back, I promise.”

Intentions – Part 11

When Boromir stormed out into the hall, the guards hastily moved out of his way, pointing down the hall to indicate where they had spotted the elf king. The man stalked off in that direction, now prepared to add disturbing his attempts to cheer up Pippin to the list of grievances he held against Thranduil. When he came around a corner and spotted the elf standing on one of the balconies, leaning on the balustrade with his head in his hands, he had already prepared a fairly thorough and extremely un-diplomatic tirade, but something in the elf’s slumped stance stopped him.

“Lord Steward,” Thranduil said, without turning. “I would recognize your crude stomping if I had not heard it for a thousand years.”

“At least people know what to expect from me,” Boromir snapped. “I would prefer being crude to being deceitful and a liar.”

“I suppose you think you know something about me, then, son of Gondor.”

“I know your own son avoided his home and his family for hundreds of years just to stay out of your grasp because he feared and loathed you.”

Thranduil straightened up and glanced over his shoulder, but there was more weariness than anger in his eyes. “Was that necessary, Lord Boromir?”

“That depends. Tell me why you’re here.”

“I’m here because Gandalf summoned me here. And if you wish to speak of treachery and deceit…”

Boromir almost smiled to himself. “Wizards have a knack for that.”

“He told me that my son had chosen his mate and wished to be bonded to that person as soon as possible, and that I was being summoned so that I might meet this soon-to-be member of my family and that I might give away my son in a formal ceremony, as the Valar consider proper.”

Boromir was about to laugh at the king’s misfortune until the meaning of what he’d said sunk in.

“Wait… but… Gandalf didn’t mean…”

“He summoned me all the way to Gondor to find out that my son… not only has he allowed his immortal spirit to be bound to a male, and a human male at that, but that the cursed wizard for some reason feels it necessary to conduct a formal bonding ceremony to make this union permanent and binding in the eyes of the Valar!”

“Permanent and binding… to my brother?” Boromir demanded, alarmed.

“Yes, to your brother!”

“But… Faramir… he… bonding them in the eyes of the Valar would mean he’s vowing to…”

“To have no other, as long as both of them remain in this world,” Thranduil agreed.

“This was Gandalf’s idea? I’ll have him thrown out of this city on his bony old ass…”

Thranduil smiled slightly, apparently amused by the thought. “Much as I would like to see that, I doubt that one of the Istari would permit himself to be treated such. I fear that I have little choice in this matter. If I refuse to give him away, Gandalf is powerful enough to convince the Valar to bless this union without my approval.”

“What about my approval?” Boromir demanded. “That’s my brother! I’m not giving him away to anyone! He’s the only living family I have!”

Thranduil sighed. “I am rapidly running out of family myself.”

Boromir snorted. “You have dozens of children.”

“I do not have dozens of children,” Thranduil snapped. “Of those I do have, some of them have chosen to join those elves who are tired of this world and sailing for Valinor. Celeborn has arranged to marry some of them off to partners in Lórien or Imaldris, apparently to secure Mirkwood’s ties to the other elf realms. The few who remain have moved to Celeborn’s new territory of East Lórien… apparently he wishes it to be a realm represented by both of our people. I had come here… honestly, because I hoped that Legolas and his bride might return to Mirkwood, and that he might prepare to become king when I decide to depart.”

Boromir raised his eyebrows. “You want Legolas to take your throne? I thought…”

“Much has changed since Galadriel drove the forces of Sauron out of Mirkwood, Lord Steward. Much of the darkness that lay over all of us has lifted. Legolas knows more of Middle Earth than any other elf in Mirkwood… he would make a wise king, and build relationships between Mirkwood and other lands.”

“What about Berendir?”

Thranduil gave him a sharp look. “What do you know of Berendir?”

Boromir realized he’d slipped up. “Err… Legolas speaks of him often.”

“They were fond of each other as children,” Thranduil said. “Berendir left Mirkwood several months ago with a few of my soldiers. The soldiers returned but reported that Berendir had refused to return with them. I don’t know where he is, or whether he is alive.”

Boromir frowned and leaned back against the stone wall. “Well, we must go and deal with this plan of Gandalf’s at once. Perhaps I can talk some sense into my brother… or something.”

“An official union, blessed by the Valar?” Faramir asked, watching Gandalf blow contemplative smoke rings.

“That is what I said, yes.”

“Why? Legolas and I had never asked for such a thing.”

Gandalf smiled. “You two are already irrevocably bound. Do you not wish the Valar to recognize your bond?”

“This isn’t about us, and you know it,” Legolas said sharply. “What are you scheming?”

The wizard shook his head. “Impatient and rude. Do you know nothing of political marriages?”

“What are you talking about?” Aragorn demanded. “How would this be a political marriage when only a few people in Middle Earth could know about it? It’s not like we can parade them before the kingdom…”

“Because it’s only a few people I’m concerned about,” Gandalf said.

“You’re thinking of my father,” Legolas said, eyes narrowed.

Gandalf nodded. “Thranduil is troubled, and he’s weary of this world. The darkness that lived in Mirkwood has damaged him more than any of us may know. I have spoken to Elrond and Galadriel, and we all feel that he should sail for Valinor as soon as possible, in hopes that the darkness will leave him in time once he is free of this world.”

“What does that have to do with Faramir and I?” Legolas asked.

“Thranduil fears for the future of Mirkwood. We’ll never be able to convince him to sail unless he believes that Mirkwood will receive protection and support.”

“From Gondor,” Aragorn said.

“If these two are bound to each other in the eyes of the Valar, and with their blessing, Gondor will have a familial obligation to support Mirkwood and come to its aid if it were ever in danger.”

Aragorn sighed. “What makes you think we wouldn’t have done that anyway?”

“It’s not what I think. It’s what Thranduil thinks. He doesn’t trust mortals, and he has his own reasons for it, but he knows that a vow taken before the Valar is a binding one.”

“If he sails, who will rule Mirkwood?” Legolas asked. “You know perfectly well I’ll refuse.”

“What about Berendir?” Aragorn asked.

Faramir raised an eyebrow. “Éomer?”

“Yes, but I highly doubt Éomer is as devoted to Berendir as you…”

Gandalf choked on a smoke ring. “Wait… Éomer… and Berendir? They are…”

“Fucking each other senseless at every opportunity?” Legolas asked.

“Well, they were,” Faramir said. “Berendir hasn’t had much to say about it since he turned up here.”

“Berendir is here?”

“Well, yes,” Aragorn said. “In fact, so is Éomer.”

Gandalf’s bushy eyebrows raised. “Hmm. This is not at all part of what I had planned.”

“Serves you right, trying to marry me off,” Legolas retorted.

“I’m trying to marry you off to the man you’re already bound to!”

“That’s not the point,” Legolas said.

Gandalf frowned. “I had hoped Berendir might be interested in your father’s throne.”

“He might be,” Faramir said. “I suspect that depends on Éomer.”

Aragorn shook his head. “I wouldn’t worry about that too much. I’ve known Éomer since he was a lad and first came to live with his uncle, and ever since he discovered what that bit between his legs is for, he’s been trying to stick it in everything that walks by on two feet.”

“Only two?” Faramir asked.

Legolas snorted. “If he was up to that sort of thing, I’d think the horses would try harder to avoid him.”

“Maybe they enjoy it.”

“Now, he’s a fine-looking man, but I think implying that he’s proportioned to satisfy a horse…”

Gandalf gave them a sharp look. “I am attempting to have a serious and important discussion that involves the future of both of your kingdoms!”

Legolas glanced sideways at Faramir. Faramir attempted to focus on Gandalf and tried to look attentive.

“If he was,” Legolas whispered rather loudly, “I think we’d have noticed Berendir walking oddly.”

Faramir utterly failed to contain his laughter. Aragorn made a valiant attempt, but could not prevent his face from twitching with the effort. Gandalf rolled his eyes.

“This is as bad as dealing with hobbits.”

“Not quite,” Aragorn said. “They haven’t interrupted even once to ask you if it was lunch time.”

“We’d have interrupted you to ask if it was time for something else,” Legolas said, “but you’re in luck… we already did that twice before we came down here, so we won’t be bothering you with it for at least another hour or so.”

Gandalf gave the elf a sharp look, then glanced at Faramir and raised an eyebrow.


Faramir shrugged.

Gandalf sat back and spoke out of the side of his mouth to Aragorn. “Perhaps I need to spend more time among elves.”

Aragorn smiled with just a trace of smugness. “I married one.”

Legolas raised his head and frowned, listening alertly. “Well, someone’s gone and told Boromir… I can hear him growling from all the way down the hall. I hope you’ve got a good explanation to settle him down, Gandalf, because otherwise something’s likely to get broken.”

Gandalf threw his hands in the air. “Is nothing secret in this place, even for ten minutes?”

“Of course not,” Faramir said. “We have hobbits.”

Intentions – Part 12

Éomer stood in one of the seemingly endless halls of the upper levels of the city, a deep scowl on his face as he contemplated where Berendir might be and whether the elf was deliberately avoiding him. He jumped and had to hold back a yelp of surprise when a light hand touched his shoulder.

“Sorry to startle you,” Arwen said, smiling serenely.

Éomer glared at her. “I doubt that. You’ve always got something in mind, my Lady, so what is it this time?”

She laughed. “You are in a foul mood, King of Rohan! I might think you were engaged in an endeavor which has not been successful.”

“You know who I’m looking for, I’m sure.”

“Of course I do. And I know where he is, too.”

Éomer forced himself to settle down and attempt to be civil; Arwen hadn’t, after all, done anything to deserve his temper.

“And would you care to tell me where he is?”

“I will, but first I need to ask you something.”

“Yes, my Lady?”

She smiled and stepped closer, studying his face as she spoke. “What are your intentions toward this person you seek?”

Éomer chuckled slightly. “Must you really ask that?”

Her smile vanished and she fixed Éomer with a stern look. “Not your intentions for today, Éomer. Your intentions. Period.”

He frowned. “You know very well I’m expected to be married to Imrahil’s daughter.”

“I know that. It’s a wise decision. Lothiriel is a cousin to the line of Stewards as well as a member of the royal family of Dol Amroth, and marrying her will strengthen Rohan’s alliances considerably.”

“Then I don’t suppose I understand what you’re asking me,” he said. “I don’t see how my intentions toward this other individual can be anything but… casual.”

Arwen turned and glanced down the hall before turning back to Éomer. “Would you speak of my husband’s relationship with his Steward as casual?”

Éomer looked surprised. “I… well, no, my Lady. They are… I’m sorry; I never expected to be speaking of them with you.”

She laughed. “I know very well what the two of them share, Éomer, and you know that they’re both honorable men, and neither of them would do this without my full knowledge and consent.”

“You are an unusual and extraordinary woman, Queen Arwen. But I don’t see it likely that Lothiriel will agree to any such arrangement.”

“If she would agree to such an arrangement, what would that mean for you and your other companion?”

Éomer shuffled his feet. “I would like to keep him. But…”

“Lothiriel, I suspect, is not much looking forward to leaving the beautiful seaside land of Dol Amroth and coming to live in the bleak wilds of Edoras. It seems likely that some sort of bargain could be made… perhaps in exchange for being allowed to make extended visits to stay in her homeland on a regular basis, and to enjoy a sort of freedom few wives in arranged marriages are given, she would be willing to bear you heirs and turn a blind eye to your other activities.”

“I don’t know…”

“Do you doubt my persuasiveness?” she asked, smiling.

“No,” Éomer said. “In fact, I wonder sometimes if you don’t have talents that exceed your grandmother’s.”

She lowered her eyes, but her smile did not change. “I won’t live long enough to achieve the skills Galadriel has. But there are… compensations for that.”

She dropped a hand to her belly, the slight roundness barely noticeable through the many layers of her attire. Éomer grinned.

“I had heard that there was to be a new member of Gondor’s royal family. Congratulations, my Lady.”

“Thank you. You’ll find Berendir in the garden down the hall, the one with the tall iron gate at the entrance.”

“Thank you, my Lady,” he said, turning to depart.


“Yes, ma’am?”

“He is a wood elf, after all. If you don’t see him at first, look up.”

“You didn’t tell me that you idiots went and got Berendir involved with a Horse Lord!” Gandalf hissed, giving Faramir, Legolas, and Aragorn a sharp look.

Legolas was about to reply, but the door abruptly crashed open with enough force to make the hinges squeal in protest, and Boromir stormed into the room, fists clenched, face flushed, and shoulders squared. The elf that stalked in behind him looked almost as hostile, but not quite as dangerous.

“Boromir…” Aragorn said.

“Oh, no. I don’t want to hear any platitudes from you, or any sensible comments from my brother, or any clever remarks from the elf, or anything from you, wizard, until I’ve had my say! Thranduil and I have been discussing…”

“You and Thranduil discussed something?” Aragorn interrupted, surprised.

Boromir, temporarily derailed, glared at him. “Yes. We discussed something.”

“It seems that the Steward and I can agree when it comes to the matter of this,” Thranduil said, indicating Faramir and Legolas with a gesture.

“What about it?” Gandalf asked.

“About this plan of yours to join my brother and that elf in a formal bond in the eyes of the Valar!” Boromir snapped. “I don’t know what you think to accomplish, and I don’t know why you would even suggest such a thing… will the Valar even agree to bind two males? And an elf and a man?”

“Have you given any thought to what will happen to my son when this mortal dies, if you bind them together in this way?”

Gandalf rolled his eyes. “I told you, Thranduil, they’re already bound in spirit. That decision was made without my approval, and I would have had some serious reservations about it, considering the risk to both of them in the process, but they both survived it, and it’s why your son is here to discuss this. Now…”

“That’s not the point!” Boromir interrupted. “The point is…”

“Yes, Boromir, what exactly is the point?” Legolas asked, raising an eyebrow.

Boromir glared at him. “The point is that you want to marry them. I won’t give my brother away to belong to that elf…”

“And I will not give my son away to belong to that man!” Thranduil added.

“So I strongly suggest you take your plan and your wizard talk, old man, and go back to entertaining hobbits with parlor tricks, because I won’t agree to this, and…”

“Boromir,” Aragorn warned.

Gandalf waved a hand. “It’s all right, Aragorn. Let him talk.”

“I won’t agree to it either,” Thranduil said. “I have plans for my son, and they don’t involve…”

“If you’re talking about having me take your place as King of Mirkwood, I’m not even remotely interested,” Legolas said coolly.

Thranduil blinked. “What?”

“Even if I’d never met Faramir, I still wouldn’t be interested. First of all, I have no interest in being a king, Second, you’re only interested in me being a king because you know that everyone in Middle Earth knows of the Fellowship, and you know what it would mean for Mirkwood to have a hero and a legend on the throne. And third, you coming here and pretending to care about my happiness and my future does nothing to erase the last two thousand years when you wanted nothing to do with me unless I would submit to your will. If you’re finally convinced of my worth now, it’s only because everyone else in Middle Earth has forced it through your skull. You’ll have to find yourself another heir… father.”

Thranduil glared at him. “If you allow yourself to be formally recognized by the Valar as the partner and equal of an ordinary man, I will disown you.”

“Does that mean you’ll leave me alone?” Legolas asked hopefully. “Excellent. Gandalf, when can we get started?”

Thranduil turned on his heels and walked out, slamming the door behind him.

Faramir looked past Legolas and his eyes found his brother’s face, and to his surprise, Boromir’s anger seemed to have faded. He was smiling now, and Faramir realized why.

Legolas, he thought, I do believe my brother is actually almost proud of you.

The corner of the elf’s mouth twitched. I’m not quite sure what to think about that.

Faramir turned to face Boromir.

“Well, brother… you’ve already made it clear you won’t agree to any of this…”

Boromir scowled. “I don’t approve of it. You know how I feel about that ill-mannered elf.”

Legolas chuckled. “The feeling is mutual.”

Boromir looked surprised for a moment, but then he regained his sullen expression. “I don’t approve of any of it.”

Gandalf tapped his pipe out on the table impatiently. “It makes no difference anyway. If Thranduil disowns Legolas, there’s not much sense in arranging this for the sake of politics.”

“No,” Faramir said. “But it would force Thranduil to recognize that if that bond would be blessed by the Valar, he would accomplish nothing but drawing their wrath by attempting to separate it.”

He glanced at Boromir expectantly.

“Damnit,” Boromir muttered, glaring at Gandalf. “This is your fault.”

Faramir grinned.

Éomer nearly jumped out of his boots when Berendir dropped out a tree and landed neatly on his feet directly in front of him.

“Did I startle you?”

Éomer scowled. “Are all elves as unbearably obnoxious as you?”

“Yes,” he said, studying the man curiously. “What are you doing in Minas Tirith?”

“Paying a visit,” Éomer said.

“Ah, yes. You must maintain good relations with the cousins of your wife-to-be.”

Éomer rolled his eyes. “I told you, I don’t have a choice in this. This marriage has been planned since the day I was crowned king. Imrahil is quite determined that I marry his daughter.”

Berendir nodded, but his green eyes had darkened. “I understand. It was silly of me to think that such things would work out for me the way they have for my brother.”

“I can’t say that it’s been entirely smooth sailing for your brother, either,” Éomer said, eyes moving over the archer’s slender figure. “But…”

“But what?”

“Arwen seems to think that… arrangements can be made.”

Berendir crossed his arms. “Arrangements? With your future wife?”

“Well, yes.”

“I don’t know that I care to share you.”

Éomer resisted the temptation to use one of his typical strategies he preferred when dealing with people who were being unreasonable; he doubted that threatening, punching, or getting drunk with the elf was going to achieve his desired goal.

“I didn’t say it was a perfect situation,” he muttered. “There’s not going to be a perfect situation, though.”

Berendir considered for a moment. “I suppose you’re right.”

“Does that mean you…”

The elf smiled. “Why don’t you convince me it’s worth it?”

Éomer glanced over his shoulder. “Here? In this garden?”

“The gate locks.”

“Does it,” Éomer said, moving to flip the latch on the gate. “How convenient.”

“You know, if you’re going to convince me, you’re going to have to put some work into it,” Berendir said.

Éomer growled and grasped the elf by the tunic, pulling him closer. “I intend to convince you very, very thoroughly.”

“Oh?” he asked, as the man’s hands yanked at the laces of his tunic and bared a strip of bare skin, which he immediately attacked with his mouth.

“Absolutely,” Éomer said, his hand sliding down to stroke the length he knew he would find hardening in the elf’s breeches. “In fact, I intend to convince you until you’re shouting my name loud enough to scare off all those birds that were up in that tree with you.”

“What if I’m cross with you and don’t intend to shout your name?”

Éomer chuckled as he pulled the laces holding the elf’s breeches closed. “I’ll have to make sure you’re done being cross with me.”

“So you think I’ll just forgive… oh!”

Whatever he was going to say trailed off into an exclamation as Éomer dropped to his knees and, grinning up at him, drew his cock from his breeches.

“Will this assist you in being less cross?”

“Oh… yes… that will work… quite nicely…”

Éomer’s mouth was too busy to answer, but he signaled his approval by reaching around and squeezing the elf’s buttocks firmly. Berendir gasped and thrust forward, reaching out to steady himself against the tree. Éomer released him for just a moment.

“Easy, there, elf. I don’t intend for you to come like this.”

“No? What did you have in mind?”

“Hmm. You. On your knees, with your hands on that stone bench over there. To brace yourself, of course, because I intend to fuck you very, very hard.”

Berendir’s reply was lost in a low moan as the man took him back into his mouth and sucked hard. If he had learned anything about the man of Rohan since meeting him, it was that Éomer was always, always a man of his word.

Intentions – Part 13

Arwen had intended to make her way home and enjoy a quiet evening. However, as she walked down the hall, odd noises from the level below caught her attention. She cocked her head, listening with an elf’s excellent hearing; neither of the voices belonged to her husband, and neither to Boromir or Faramir, and definitely not to hobbits. Curious, she ducked out onto one of the small balconies that overlooked the streets and gardens below and looked down.

In the fading light, elven eyes had no trouble making out the two figures below, both naked, one slender and pale, the other sturdy and sun-browned. Éomer’s enthusiasm did lead him into odd positions, she thought to herself, in more ways than one. The stone bench could not be comfortable on bare knees, but the man didn’t seem concerned, and Berendir didn’t seem to be protesting the fact that he was stretched out on the cold stone, Éomer’s leather belt wrapped entirely around the bench and binding his hands above his head. At least he didn’t have to worry about his ass being cold, since Éomer had that gripped in his powerful hands, raised to a convenient angle, and was assisted by the elf’s long legs hooked over his shoulders, heels digging into Éomer’s back. The gasps and muttered curses were apparently an attempt to keep quiet, but Éomer was growling as his hands tightened, fingers pressing deep marks into the pale skin he was clutching, and Berendir had started to arch up off the bench, making eager but not very coherent demands.

Arwen tucked herself into a corner of the balcony, not intending to disturb the show with her presence. This wasn’t a form of entertainment she was accustomed to enjoying; while it wasn’t even slightly difficult to look in on her husband and his Steward, who were both unsubtle and impatient, Faramir and Legolas maintained almost impeccable privacy, so her opportunities for minor voyeurism were limited.

“Are you convinced yet?” Éomer demanded.

Berendir’s response was not a word in any language Arwen was familiar with, but considering Berendir’s slim body and the impressive girth of the cock that was steadily pounding into it, Arwen wasn’t sure a coherent response could be expected.

“I didn’t hear you,” Éomer said, drawing back slightly and grinning. “No good answering in elfish… I don’t speak a word of it.”

Berendir apparently didn’t need any words in any language to answer him, as he had managed to tear his hands free of the belt; in an instant one was clutching frantically at Éomer’s thigh and the other was reaching for his own cock, desperately hard and neglected against Éomer’s abdomen.

“Cheating!” Éomer exclaimed, but his hands were occupied, and in another moment the elf was gasping as he covered Éomer’s stomach with the evidence of his satisfaction.

Before Éomer could respond, though, Arwen heard sharp footsteps, then a turning handle. Glancing at the gate, she noticed with some alarm that Éomer had failed to properly latch it. Éomer realized this too, but only when he found himself staring at a stunned and red-faced King of Mirkwood.

“What is this?” he demanded.

Éomer glanced down at Berendir, whose legs were still draped over the man’s shoulders and who was currently shifting his ass in a way that made it extremely difficult for Éomer to think of any sort of appropriate response to the irate elf king. For a moment he considered attempting to make some sort of excuse explaining why this wasn’t what Thranduil thought it was; under the circumstances, though, it was fairly clear that this was exactly what Thranduil thought it was, so there didn’t seem to be much point in denying it.

“Berendir!” Thranduil demanded.

Berendir tipped his head back to look up at his father. “Yes?”

“What in the name of the Valar do you think you’re doing?”

Berendir glanced up at Éomer. “I thought it was fairly obvious.”

“Hmm,” Éomer agreed. “It’s true; there are a limited number activities you could engage in with my cock in your ass.”

Arwen had to cover her mouth to stifle the gasping giggle that nearly escaped her. Thranduil’s face turned a shade of red that she wasn’t sure most elves were capable of, and his body tensed in fury.

“This is a disgrace!” he sputtered.

Éomer raised his eyebrows. Berendir laughed.

“You think this is a disgrace? You should see the things Legolas lets his mortal do to him!”

Thranduil, with nothing else to say, turned and stormed out of the garden, slamming the gate behind him.

“You should lock that properly this time,” Berendir observed.

“I’m busy,” Éomer muttered, jerking the elf’s hips back into their proper position and resuming his work, leaving Berendir with little thought to protest.

Fortunately for them, Arwen stepped out into the hall and politely suggested to one of the upper level guards, those already chosen for loyalty and discretion, that he might happen to make a short patrol of the halls around the garden and make sure that no one attempted to disturb anything that might be going on inside.

“Not that what might be going on inside is our concern,” she said.

“Of course not,” the guard agreed. “I know absolutely nothing about what King Éomer is doing to that elf.”

“What elf?” Arwen asked, raising an eyebrow.

“As I said, my Lady, I know nothing about any elf. Or King Éomer. Haven’t seen either of them all evening.”

She nodded approvingly, and waited until he had gone on his way before stepping back onto the balcony. It seemed the rumors she’d heard about the Horse Lord’s stamina had some truth to them, and Berendir didn’t seem to object.

The hobbits, of course, knew exactly when Boromir made his way back to his rooms late in the evening, seeing as how they had been sitting in his room, playing draughts in front of the fire and waiting for him to return. The fact that it took the man several minutes to notice the hobbits, along with his rather uncoordinated attempts to get his boots off, gave them a fairly good guess as to what he’d been up to for the last few hours.

“Come and sit,” Merry said, taking the man’s hand and leading him to his chair. He slumped back, watching with a gloomy expression as the hobbits tugged his boots off before stepping back to look at him.

“What have you been up to?” Pippin asked, his own misery abruptly forgotten with an unhappy and rather drunk Boromir to tend to.

“Having a few drinks,” the man muttered.

“Alone, I’m sure,” Merry chided.

“Alone?” Boromir said, chuckling humorlessly. “Of course. Aragorn’s busy attempting to be a diplomat… seems that realizing he’s going to be a father has got it into his head that he’s supposed to be working a bit harder on being a proper king, too. And of course, has to be making all sorts of appearances with Arwen, now that the word is out… everybody wants to see the royal family.”

At the tone in his voice at the word “family”, Merry glanced at Pippin before turning back to Boromir.

“Of course they do. And Faramir’s rather occupied with Legolas, is he?”

“Occupied with him?” Boromir snorted. “I’d say so. Gandalf intends to conduct the ceremony tomorrow morning to officially bind them in the eyes of the Valar.”

“Officially… you mean, like they’ll be married?” Pippin asked, wide-eyed.

“Something like that,” Boromir said, “although I don’t suspect there will be a public reception. Means the same thing, though. Same thing as if he’d taken a wife. They belong to each other.”

“Mmm-hmm,” Merry said, crossing his arms. “And you don’t belong to anyone, do you?”

Pippin glared at him, appalled. “Of course he belongs to someone! He belongs to us, you daft Brandybuck!”

Boromir raised an eyebrow and glanced down at Pippin, who suddenly looked at the floor and shuffled his feet.

“Well, I mean, if you want to belong to us,” he said hesitantly.

“We’d be quite happy to belong to you,” Merry added. “If you’d ask us, that is.”

Pippin looked hopeful as Boromir studied the two of them with an unreadable expression.

“You two belong to each other.”

“We’ve always belonged to each other,” Merry said impatiently.

“And you’ll be off to the Shire together,” the man muttered.

“If we go back to the Shire, we’ll never be together again,” Pippin said eyes large and green and pleading. “Then I won’t belong to anybody. I want to stay here, with you and Merry.”

“Then why don’t you?” Boromir inquired.

“Because you’ve never asked us to,” Pippin said. “I know we’re awful pests sometimes, and I know we eat too much and make the kitchen girls cross, but…”

“Of course I want you to stay here,” Boromir said.

Pippin looked up at him hopefully. “Do you?”

“Well, yes.”

Merry gave the man such a sharp look that even through the fog of a few drinks he felt the older hobbit’s demanding glare.

“All right,” he said wearily, “and the Valar help me if I regret it tomorrow, but yes, little ones, I want you to stay.”

“With you?” Pippin asked.

“Yes, Pippin. I want you both to stay here with me.”

Pippin squeaked in delight and launched himself into Boromir’s arms; the startled man moved just in time to catch the young hobbit as he hit him in the chest. Over Pippin’s curly head, he could see Merry watching him with a satisfied expression.

“We’ll be your family forever,” Pippin said, embracing him. “And we’ll never love anybody more than you… well, except each other.”

Merry chuckled and leaned on the arm of the chair. “I think he understands, Pip.”

“You do realize,” Boromir said, suddenly wary, “that this does not give you permission to take any sort of inappropriate liberties with me. Just because I love you doesn’t mean you’re allowed to…”

“Of course not,” Pippin said, the picture of green-eyed, child-faced innocence.

“Certainly not,” Merry agreed, smiling inscrutably. “We wouldn’t even consider it.”

Boromir rolled his eyes and opened his other arm, making room for Merry to climb up onto his lap. Pippin sighed contentedly and leaned against Boromir’s shoulder, smiling radiantly at his cousin.

“You men are awfully slow sometimes,” Merry said, shaking his head at Boromir.

“Hmm. We get there eventually. Now, be quiet, little ones. My head hurts.”

Pippin yawned and rested his head against Boromir. “Well, after a nap we’ll make you some willowbark tea.”

“With honey in it, even,” Merry added.

“Hmph. Aragorn never puts honey in it,” the man mumbled, eyes drifting closed.

Merry leaned over and kissed Pippin’s forehead. “I told you he needed us, Pip.”

“You’re not always right, you know.”

“Yes, but aren’t you glad I was right this time?”

“This time,” Pippin agreed, yawning again. “Go to sleep, Merry. We’ve got the finest bed in all of Gondor or anywhere else right here.”

Intentions – Part 14

“This is our fishing pond,” Pippin whispered to Merry, as they followed the others down the well-worn path through the woods.

Merry looked up through the sun-dappled trees. “I suppose we can share it, Pip.”

“Boromir looks to be in a rather foul mood.”

“Well, it is rather bright out here. And Gandalf did wake everyone very early. And he did have rather a bit to drink last night,” Merry pointed out.

“And I’m sure it has nothing to do with Gandalf marrying off his brother today,” Pippin murmured.

Merry gave him a sharp look. Boromir glanced over his shoulder at them and gave them a sharp, stop-your-whispering-you-two look.

“I think he’s just annoyed Aragorn made him carry the picnic basket,” Pippin said.

“You know,” Berendir said, looking back at them, “the men might not be able to hear you, but my brother and I can hear every word you’re saying.”

“Good thing we’re not talking about you,” Merry retorted.

Ahead of Boromir and Berendir, Aragorn walked next to Gandalf, heads lowered in conversation. Legolas and Faramir were somewhere behind them, not apparently in any sort of hurry.

“Not that they ever are,” Boromir had muttered that morning. “Not with all the damned braids and such.”

Of course, it was generally assumed that it was not the braiding that was taking quite so long. However, Boromir had managed to get himself into a fairly nice dress tunic without being told to. And Berendir was dressed very smartly all in tanned Rohan leather.

“I think we’re a bit under-dressed,” Pippin whispered.

“Maybe that’s because we weren’t technically invited,” Merry reminded him. “We’re not related to either of the parties in question.”

“Neither is Aragorn.”

“He’s the King, you idiot. That means he’s automatically invited to everything.”

“Wonder what he and Gandalf are muttering about,” Pippin said.

Berendir smiled. “If you must know, they are talking about the fact that Gandalf is extremely displeased that Thranduil has stormed off back to Mirkwood without any arrangements being made, and that Aragorn is blaming Gandalf for being mysterious and wizardly and not doing anything in any sort of sensible fashion like anybody other than an Istari would.”

“Well, Aragorn’s got a point,” Merry agreed.

“What’s that?” Berendir asked.

“Well, Gandalf does have a tendency to show up in his own unannounced, mysterious way and then act tremendously offended when everyone hasn’t been sitting around anticipating his arrival. And It wasn’t really very good diplomacy on anybody’s part to have Thranduil show up here just to find out one of his sons is to be engaged to another man, especially another man whose brother he doesn’t think much of.”

“Walking in on you and Éomer didn’t help, either,” Pippin added cheerfully.

Berendir’s eyes widened and he glanced at Boromir before replying.

“What exactly would you know about that, little one?”

Boromir waved a hand dismissively. “They’re hobbits. They know bloody everything. Don’t ask how. I have no idea. Besides, that just gives me something else to infuriate Éomer with.”

Berendir shrugged. “I’m agreeable to that.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

“Because I’ve noticed on a few occasions that when you’ve pissed off Éomer, I tend to benefit from it.”

Boromir closed his eyes. “I didn’t want to know that.”

Gandalf had reached the edge of the pond and stuck his staff into the soft ground near the water. Aragorn looked up the path impatiently.

“Where are those two? They don’t seem to be taking this very seriously,” Gandalf complained.

“Maybe that’s because it wasn’t their idea in the first place,” Boromir muttered. He glanced over his shoulder and shouted. “Faramir! Whatever you and your bloody elf are doing back there, put your clothes on and get down here before we all get bored and go home!”

Right on cue, Legolas strolled out from among the trees, looking perfectly composed. “You don’t need to shout, Boromir.”

Boromir growled at him. “Where’s my brother?”

“Well, you did tell him to put his clothes on.”

Boromir’s face reddened. “You two had better not have…”

“I’m joking,” Legolas said. “He’s fixing his boot lace. He’ll be along momentarily.”

Berendir grinned and stepped toward his brother, smoothing the braids in his hair and adjusting the seams of his green and gold tunic. “You know, father is going to be even more impossible now.”

Legolas shrugged. “Galadriel can manage him, I suspect. She knows him well, and I imagine she knew perfectly well this scheme of Gandalf’s wouldn’t work, or else she’d have come herself.”

“So why did she let him come and make such a mess of everything?” Berendir asked, frowning.

“Because she wanted father to see that you were never going to belong to him.”

“Hmm. What about you?”

“I think that was just an entertaining bonus.”

“Where exactly did he stumble upon you two, anyway?”

Berendir flushed. “Does everyone know about that?”

Legolas shrugged. “Hobbits.”

“We were in the garden with the iron gate at the end of the hall…”

“Ah,” Legolas said knowingly. “Faramir and I stay out of that one.”


“Well, first, because the gate doesn’t lock properly. And second, because there’s a small balcony up there, and a certain royal lady happens to like to look in on things occasionally.”

“Arwen… you mean…”

Legolas grinned. “Don’t worry. She just likes a glimpse now and then.”

“Has she got a glimpse of you and Faramir?”

“Not yet,” Legolas said, chuckling. “She’s going to have to be much more creative if she wants to get a peek at that.”

Faramir strode down the path, looking a bit flustered despite the familiar dress uniform. Boromir had to laugh.

“Trouble, brother?”

“Bloody bootlace broke. And… did you invite the hobbits?”

“Does anyone ever invite the hobbits?”

Faramir thought for a moment, shrugged, and then walked forward to join Legolas.

“This had better not be long and boring,” Pippin muttered. “I’m hungry and I only come to weddings for the food.”

“This isn’t a proper wedding, Pip,” Merry said.

“Then what’s in the picnic basket?”

“From the sound of it, mostly bottles of wine.”

Pippin shrugged. “That’s fine too.”

They settled themselves in the grass as Gandalf motioned Faramir and Legolas to stand in front of him, Boromir and Berendir on either side. Aragorn stepped back, giving the hobbits a warning look in case they intended to disturb anything.

Gandalf took up his staff and began muttering to himself.

“What language is that?” Merry asked.

“Not one spoken in this world,” Aragorn said quietly.

“I think he’s making it up as he goes along,” Pippin said.

Merry elbowed him. “Shh.”

Gandalf continued his muttering for a few minutes, and it seemed to those observing that the sun over the pond might have gotten just a little bit brighter for a few minutes, and that possibly a breeze stirred the leaves of the trees with what sounded like whispers. Gandalf thrust his staff back into the ground.

“The Valar are listening. Does anyone wish to speak?”

“Hopefully not,” Pippin whispered. “Someone always wants to make a long speech.”

“I don’t believe anything requires discussion,” Legolas said, giving Faramir an amused glance. “The approval of the Valar is more their business than ours.”

Gandalf’s eyebrows shot up, alarmed.

“We’ve managed well enough without their blessing so far,” Faramir agreed.

Gandalf closed his eyes, scowling deeply. There was another stirring of air through the trees, and a flash of brightness across the surface of the water. The wizard shook his head and smiled.

“You two are lucky. It seems the Valar find your irreverence entertaining. They offer their blessing, and say that what has been joined by the Valar shall not be separated until it is their will to do so.”

“Much obliged,” Legolas said, nodding.

“You are the most disrespectful…” Gandalf muttered.

“He can’t help it,” Faramir said, taking the elf’s arm. “It’s just his nature. He can be entirely respectful when properly persuaded.”

Legolas shot the wizard a sharp look. “It won’t be by you, so don’t get any ideas.”

“You’re too young for me, Greenleaf,” Gandalf said, chuckling. “Go play with your mortal. I’m off to the Shire. And are you two joining me, young Brandybuck and Took?”

“They certainly are not,” Boromir said sharply.

“They have more important work here,” Aragorn added, glancing at Boromir. “They’re much needed.”

“Suit yourself,” the wizard muttered. “What a bloody waste this trip has been! Go back to the city and have my bags packed immediately!”

He swept up the path toward the city. Legolas glanced at Faramir again.

“Arwen did have some of that itching powder left from all those pranks, didn’t she?”

Faramir nodded. “She wasn’t keen to allow it to fall into the wrong hands.”

“How did you persuade her?”

“Well, first I made a few concessions,” Faramir said, grinning. “Then I reminded her of what Gandalf would look like trying to get itching powder out of all his clothes, and she was sold.”

Aragorn stared. “Have you two become hobbits?”

“Certainly not,” Legolas said, faking offense. “I am not nearly fat enough to be a hobbit.”

“You’re not nearly good-looking enough, either,” Merry retorted. “Come on, Pip. Let’s go see about some food. Are you coming, Boromir?”

“I do believe I am. And you, Berendir?”

“Éomer and I are riding back to Edoras this afternoon.”

“Hmm,” Merry said. “You’ll have to make sure he leaves you able to sit in the saddle that whole way.”

“Meriadoc!” Boromir scolded.

“It’s all right,” Berendir said, smiling. “Elves recover remarkably quickly. A fact your brother seems to have already discovered.”

“So it seems… where the hell have they gone, anyway? They’re not already off…”

Pippin grasped his hand. “Whatever they’re up to, you don’t want to know about it.”

Boromir shook his head. “Bloody elves. Bloody hobbits. Bloody wizards…”

Merry grinned and motioned for Boromir to come closer. He dropped down on one knee, prepared for the hobbit to whisper something in his ear. Instead, he found four small arms twined around his neck and two sets of lips pressing noisy, wet kisses on each of his cheeks.

“Stop fussing, and let’s go have lunch,” Merry said.

Boromir shook his head and rose, one hobbit in each arm. “All right, then. But no more kissing. You two are worse than sloppy teenagers.”

They headed up the path back to the city together.

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4 Comment(s)

Well, that was just great! I really enjoyed this.

— Ria    Monday 19 March 2012, 2:25    #

Heehee, Hobbits! XD I can almost hear their incessant chatter about each and everything. Of course they would pretend to be all timid and shy – and then make whispered remarks about the other party guests, loud enough everyone can hear.

The whole scenery seems like something that happened during lunch break on the Ring set. Like: somebody (most likely one of the hobbit actors) snatched a camera and then they were going to do their own version of The Secret life in Middle Earth. Thinking about it I´m absolutely positive there is a secret extra somewhere in a sinister corner of the DVD…

And I must say I find the idea of Arwen having fun with itching powder very pleasing – and perhaps she would as well. It must be so annoying to spend all your time being wise and serene, especially with all these lively halflings around. The longer I think about it the more I like the idea of stripping all these over-glamorous characters of their flawlessness – at least a tiny bit… >:)

A refreshing look at a lighter and funnier Middle Earth – I bet there are even such things as fart cushions (in Arwen´s drawer)! XDDD

— raven22372    Wednesday 21 March 2012, 16:23    #

hahaha, I have laughed nonstop at this end! hahah!

— Laivindur    Thursday 22 March 2012, 18:38    #

Oh, I just love Pippin!!! “Makes it up as he goes along!” hahaha

— Laivindur    Thursday 22 March 2012, 19:10    #

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