Email: rykscoogan AT cox.net
"…so startling was the change that (they) saw in him, as if in one night many years had fallen on his head. Grim was his face, grey- hued and wary.1
Aragorn looked so tired, so care-worn and his brothers took note of it, knowing as they did that only at his full strength could he take the path that had been laid before him. Halbarad had told them of his contention with Sauron through the Palantir and all saw his resolution, but Elladan and Elrohir saw something else, a bone-deep weariness and a despondency that would negate all of their efforts should it be allowed to continue.
They had brought the message from their father, and apparently Aragorn had seen in the dark stone that Elrond had been right. Black-sailed ships had amassed at Pelargir, intent on sailing up the Anduin to fight along with Sauron's minions, nearly assuring the destruction of Minas Tirith.
Aragorn was in great fear for the White City, his city, and well he remembered the words that he had spoken in promise to Boromir on the shore of the Great River at Parth Galen. Over and over they had played in his mind, until they had become as an oath, not to be broken, never forsaken, "Minas Tirith will not fall!2"
So single-minded had he become in his purpose that he saw nothing else – neither the friends that had come with him nor the kinsman who had borne the gift. He barely spoke with his brothers and neither did he eat nor rest. And he led the Grey Company with grim determination, relentlessly leading them toward Dunharrow.
Legolas, astride Arod, dropped back to ride with Elladan and together they spoke of their brother, concerned for his well-being and for what was to come.
"He has not spoken of it. Nor will he listen when I talk with him. I fear he will shatter under the weight of it and then all will be lost," said Elladan.
"He has ever taken his own counsel, Elladan. You know he is not one to share his troubles with others, even when he would be better for it," answered Legolas.
"But he is so tightly drawn and his jaw is so clenched that I fear his teeth will fly out if he but ground them sideways," interjected Elrohir, joining them in the conversation.
"Leave it to you to make light of a near desperate situation, `Roh. Do you not have anything more constructive to add?" asked Elladan.
"Well," answered the younger, eyeing both Elladan and the Mirkwood Prince.
"Out with it brother, we have no time to lose," ordered Elladan.
"Do you think that Legolas can, um, help him?" asked Elrohir.
"Do you think you could do it?" asked Elladan, "I would have him refreshed in no other arms but yours. Could you do it? Would you?"
"Ah `Dan, you know that such is no burden to me. I love him also, as well you know, and would do all you asked of me were it within my power. And this is. But I guess that he will not welcome it willingly, reclusive as he has become," answered Legolas.
"Then you must use of all of your many wiles, my beloved Prince. There are none that could resist you at your most insistent. Of that I am most sure. And, I think, least of all Aragorn. Will you go to him this night?"
"I will," answered Legolas.
That night, at Dunharrow, they joined the muster of Rohan and the many Rohirrim who had already gathered for the ride to Minas Tirith. Aragorn took counsel with Theoden and after talking with him rejoined Legolas, Gimli, Elladan and Elrohir at their campfire, but only for a while. He said not much and barely ate, but he sat with them for a time, until restlessness overtook him and he had to walk. He noted the way his brothers watched him, and Legolas, but his mind would not register their concern, so concentrated was he on getting to the White City as soon as possible.
As he walked, Legolas fell in with him, matching him stride for stride, but saying nothing. Once in a while he would look over at Aragorn, an inquiring look upon his face, but the Ranger saw it not. Aragorn could feel his friend's presence at his side, and breathed easier for it, but he did not crumble, maintaining the measured strides and stern mien.
"Aragorn?" beckoned Legolas, his voice small and tender.
When no answer came, he stopped walking, and let Aragorn take a few steps forward. Again he addressed his friend, his voice stronger, more demanding.
The ranger stopped and turned around, but did not look into his friend's questioning eyes. He knew if he did he would break, and could not allow himself that luxury.
"I can not. Not now. Please Legolas, let me be. Please."
Sighing, Legolas cocked his head and fixed his friend with look of such caring, such love that Aragorn could but see it for a moment before tearing his eyes away.
"I cannot," said Aragorn once more, voice near breaking. He took a long breath, turned his back and walked away.
Legolas stood where he was, head down, allowing himself a moment of deep sadness for his friend. Swallowing hard and raising his head, he balled his fists and became even more determined to give the ranger what he so sorely needed.
"You will," whispered the elf, "You can and you will. You must."
Night had fallen and the air was oppressive as Legolas returned to the camp. Elladan and Elrohir were waiting for him, reclining near the fire, and each looked up to him expectantly, needing to see an affirmative answer from the Mirkwood Prince. But they were disappointed.
"He says he will not," answered Legolas, "But I will still go to him, in a while, and do what I must."
Elladan moved closer, sitting to Legolas' right, and Elrohir positioned himself at the Prince's left. Each kissed him softly on the cheek, took a small archer's braid into his hand, and beginning at the bottom, untied the strip of leather that held it and unwound the fine blond hair. Legolas closed his eyes and enjoyed it, the feel of the practiced hands riffling through the long golden tresses.
Elladan untied the large braid at the back, enmeshing the hair with the rest and then took up a brush, smoothing the flaxen hair downward, again and again. Legolas relaxed into it and relished the touch, allowing Elladan to ease his mind for a while.
"Where is Gimli?" asked Legolas.
"He has made his bed near the mountain, within a small circle of rock," answered Elrohir. "He both loves it and fears it I think, but he said that he needs to be near to the stone. It soothes him."
"Well. Even the stubborn dwarf will see reason and take what consolation he can find. Would that a certain Ranger…"
Elladan nudged him, and whispered, "He has returned."
All three watched as Aragorn walked through the camp. He did not acknowledge them as he passed by and silently slipped through the flaps of the tent.
Legolas took a moment to prepare himself, closing his eyes and placing his hands over his face. He thought back to his father's halls and his first joyful coupling with Aragorn, allowing the young man to show all that he had learned at Glorfindel's hands. He remembered Imladris and the soothing sound of the flowing water that had accompanied their joining there. Lothlorien, under the giant mellryn and starlight. He returned himself to the place in his mind that only he and Aragorn alone could share.
He removed his fingers from his face, turned and walked toward Aragorn's tent. He hesitated for a moment at the entryway, inhaled a long breath, opened the flap and stepped inside.
Aragorn was adjusting his pack and weapons when he felt the presence behind him. Quickly he spun around, and saw that Legolas had come to him, his hair unbound. He knew what it meant and longed to touch, nearly dissolving at the sight of the Prince, diffuse orange light glowing behind his fair head, silhouetting his beauty. He breathed heavily, and Legolas saw the brief glimpse of Aragorn's yearning, but it disappeared abruptly as the man narrowed his eyes and fixed Legolas with a glare.
"I told you I did not want this. Please. Just go and leave me alone."
As Legolas took a step closer, Aragorn put out his hands to push him away, but Legolas grabbed them, throwing them out to the side. He grasped Aragorn's hair between his fingers and pulled hard, forcing Aragorn's eyes to meet his.
"But you need it, mellon-nin," answered Legolas, soulful eyes looking into those of his friend as he caressed the man's head with his fingers.
Closing his eyes, Aragorn opened his mouth and loosed a quiet but tormented moan, then ferally, near savagely, grasped at the unbound strands of the blond's hair. He brought their lips together in a ferocious kiss, and Legolas gasped for breath as Aragorn's teeth crushed into his.
Aragorn pushed his body into that of the Prince, unyielding in his need for the feel of the elf. Chest touched chest and legs intertwined and Aragorn ground his hips over Legolas' pelvis, fervently, fervidly undulating his body into that of his lover.
They tumbled to the ground, an insatiable hunger overtaking them both and Legolas felt burned by the fire within the man and loved it, giving everything he had to Aragorn in return. They dueled as they thrashed against one another, first Legolas on top and then Aragorn, grinding his fully awakened sex into that of the elf, feeling Legolas' column hard against him.
Aragorn brought his lips to Legolas' neck and limned upwards, touching the elf's ear with the tip of his tongue. Legolas' "Ah" resonated in his mind and the elf's breath was hot as it came in quick pants and it shot straight through his body, quickening his arousal and increasing his eagerness.
Craving the refreshment that only this elf could provide, Aragorn tugged at the laces on his jerkin, deftly removing it and sliding the cloth over Legolas' head. Then the silver grey shirt, until Legolas' chest was bared to him and without taking a breath, his lips descended upon a nipple and sucked it, wetting it with his tongue, taking it between his teeth.
Legolas arched up to meet him, mouth open and breathing heavily, pushing the pebbled nub farther into the ranger's mouth. Grasping at Aragorn's shirt, he untied the laces and each groaned when they had to separate for the moment that the shirt was withdrawn over his head.
Aragorn could not get enough, never get enough and he slid his chest against that of his lover, growling at the contact, wanting to crawl inside of him. He shuddered in his passion, kissing, kissing his way up and down the muscled chest, licking at the nipples, taking small bites at Legolas' heaving abdomen, dipping his tongue into the elf's navel.
"Ai, Aragorn," called out the Prince, "You will consume me."
"Then let me eat," answered the man, beginning to pull through the laces at Legolas' waistband.
Legolas thrust up to him, but in the same motion and using all of his strength overturned them and laid fully over him, covering him, overwhelming him with his long limbs and lithe body. Reaching to his waistband, he withdrew the loosened lacings and as he laid over the man, pushed the leggings down, kicking them off with his feet.
He hovered over Aragorn, taking the man's shoulders and pushing them down to the floor. In his pleasure, Aragorn deliriously moved his head back and forth and arched his body wanting to touch, needing the contact, but Legolas held him to the ground, demanding that he look into the deepened blue pools of the elf's impassioned eyes.
"Nay, my heart-brother. This night you will surrender to me. And you will surrender it all."
He removed his right hand from Aragorn's shoulder and skimmed it down his body, deftly unstringing the closure at the man's engorged shaft. He worked at the laces and each touch sent a shiver of anticipation through the man. His rigidly aroused flesh twitched against the practiced fingers as the lacings were withdrawn.
Opening the flap, Legolas freed him, wrapping his calloused fingers around the weeping tip and stroking up and down the moistened column. He let go for a moment and as Aragorn helped by lifting his shaking body, Legolas removed the last barrier between them.
Skin touched skin and Legolas bathed in the man's sweat, coating his body with it as he slid up and down Aragorn's quivering body.
Gasping, Aragorn enveloped him his arms, thrusting hard against Legolas' inflamed sex, causing their erections to meet, eliciting an indrawn breath and a moan from the elf's swollen mouth.
Aragorn reached out trying to grab the pack at the head of the pallet behind him. In it was what they needed but his shaking arm could not grasp it and he moaned in frustration as he tried to inch nearer.
"I will get it," said Legolas, leaving the man for a moment. He scanned the inside of the pack with his fingers and felt for the small vial.
"In with the healing herbs," said Aragorn.
Legolas grasped it, and then turned toward his lover.
"Turn around, Aragorn. Turn around and lift yourself up to me. Close your eyes and feel it while I prepare you."
Aragorn grabbed at Legolas' wrist, wanting to be inside him, wanting to take him, but Legolas stayed his hand.
"No. This night you will give it to me. And I will take your fear and your uncertainty. I will take your pain and your useless dependence on only yourself. You will surrender it all to me, melethron. Even as you surrender your body. Turn around."
Aragorn closed his fingers in frustration but he listened to Legolas, exhaling long breaths as he closed his eyes and turned his body. Legolas was right. He wanted this, he longed for it, craved it. Needed it. Needed to give himself up to the freedom of it, the sheer exaltation of spiraling off into oblivion, forgetting all else.
Lowering himself to the floor, he grabbed Legolas' silver grey shirt and wrapped it in his arms, holding on to it, leaning his face into it and inhaling the smell that was the elf, the refreshing smell of "rain-washed leaves and green sap rising and spring bark in the sunlight3." .
Raising his buttocks off of the floor, he presented himself to his lover and with a hitch in his voice, pled with the elf.
Legolas leaned forward, allowing his hair to waft over Aragorn's back, knowing the man loved the feel of it. He opened his mouth and breathed on the bare skin, then touched with his tongue, limning a wet line from Aragorn's waist down through the crevice below. Parting Aragorn's cleft with his fingers; he licked further, until he came to the roseate opening to the man's body. Without warning and in one deft plunge he pushed through the muscle with his tongue.
Aragorn groaned loudly, pushing himself back into it, taking all that he could, relishing the feel of the wet slickness within him. Soon Aragorn felt a hand let go of a taut buttock and felt it as a lubricated finger replaced the tongue, working the muscle, plunging ever further, moistening him, readying him. And then two as Legolas stretched and opened the tight guardian ring at his entrance. Legolas leaned his head on Aragorn's waist and wrapped a strong arm around him, anchoring him as he pressed through the opening with three long fingers, scissoring and widening. Aragorn made himself feel every bit of it, each finger, each plunge. He savored the pressure as they filled him, and he shuddered with each glance over the gland that made everything turn to white light.
Legolas rose up behind him, and took his dripping shaft into his hand. He stroked, once, twice and positioned himself at Aragorn's entrance; pausing just briefly before propelling himself inward, letting the clasping flesh seal over him, engulf him.
Groaning as the slickened tightness enveloped him, he held for a moment, and then plowed farther, filling Aragorn with every last inch, until his tightened sacs met those of his lover and he could go no deeper.
"Give it to me," he gasped as he withdrew and when he plunged inward he repeated the phrase, punctuating each word with a more fervent thrust.
Emphasizing the last word, taking it for himself. Angling each stab to prod at the ranger's pleasure point, he rode him mercilessly, making him feel it, making him long for the release. The sweet surrender of all-out loving, the joyous delirium when all is transported and given to the ether of sheer bliss.
Aragorn wept for it, with it, as Legolas grasped at his sensitized, hardened flesh, and his tears wet the shirt that he clung to, clenching it as tightly as he could, tasting it, holding it in his mouth, biting down.
Legolas touched him, in long, hard strokes, and then Aragorn let go. Long white spools of ejaculate exploded out of him, over him, over his lover's hand. And he screamed into the shirt, screamed out all of the anguish that he had withheld and Legolas milked him, urging every last drop out of him. All of it.
"Yes," said the elf. "Yes."
And he too came to completion, loving the man with every part of him, giving him all that he had to give, filling him with his life's essence and strength. And he clung to him, falling into him as he loosed himself into the clasping tunnel.
Then all was silent and still for time as they savored the moment, embedding in their minds the all- encompassing feel of such euphoric gratification.
Legolas held him, and smiled against his back as he felt Aragorn go limp underneath him. How he loved this man, and wanted the world for him, the destiny that awaited him. All the pleasures of the well-earned victory, the fulfillment of his heart's desire. He willed such into him, nestling his head at his shoulder, kissing lightly at sweat moistened flesh.
Aragorn slowed his breathing, allowing the fingers that had embedded themselves into the shirt to unclench, pushing the cloth out of his mouth. He turned his head to the side, and then turned his body, taking Legolas into his arms. He felt as if the whole dark world was turning upside down, and he smiled in thankfulness for the love of his friend. He opened his mouth to speak, but the words would not form on his lips.
Legolas felt it, felt Aragorn's love for him, felt the gratitude in him, felt the man trying to say it. He leaned up to the ranger and took Aragorn's lips with his own, for one last kiss, taking the man's unspoken words into himself, tenderly assuring him that they need not be spoken.
Legolas looked into Aragorn's grey eyes, needing assurance that Aragorn had understood the full meaning of what they had done.
"You do know, melethron, that this meant much more to me than a mere means to an end."
"With all of my heart," answered Aragorn, embracing Legolas tightly. And his lips then formed the words, and he spoke them aloud.
"Le Hannon, Legolas."
Legolas arose and clothed himself, leading Aragorn to his pallet. He laid him down and covered him, biding him to rest, passing the back of his knuckles over the tear streaked face. Aragorn kissed the hand as it passed, grabbing it with his fingers and holding it close.
"Brother of my heart," he said, before closing his eyes and drifting into unconsciousness and much needed sleep.
Legolas kissed his forehead gently, "Rest well, beloved," and he turned and walked slowly out of the tent.
The camp was quiet, only the sound of crackling wood fires burning lower met his ears as he walked and he looked at the sky, seeking out the stars that gave him peace. He stared at them unblinking, and sent a prayer to the Valar. A benediction to this night.
He turned and re-entered the tent, slid under the covers next to Aragorn, closed his eyes, and rested, until Anor's rise signaled a new day.
They gathered their belongings and packed the horses, Gimli joining them as they prepared for the next part of their journey, the dreadful passage through the Dwimorborg. All the Grey Company was ready and after taking his leave from Theoden, Aragorn came to them, still determined and still apprehensive, but with a new clarity of purpose and a more content heart.
"Come. Let us ride," he said, mounting Roheryn, and leading the way into the mountain.
And he looked sturdy upon his mount, and regal, and his brothers and Legolas watched him, knowing that he had the power and strength within him to face the King of the Dead and all that would come after.
Hope was restored.
Even though this story was written for the express purpose of the Mistletoe in May Fiction exchange, it is in a fashion, part of a continuum. The first part, A Lesson in Loving, tells of how Aragorn learned bed manners under the tutelage of Glorfindel in Imladris. The second part, Evergreen, relates Aragorn's first coupling with Legolas in Mirkwood on his first solitary journey soon after reaching age 20. There are several intervening parts to be written, but this request came quickly and I wasn't quite ready to write the next in series. I fully plan to return to Imladris in the future to rejoin their progressing relationship. Both can be found at http://www.ofelvesandmen.com
Footnotes 1 "…so startling was the change…" – The Return of the King, Houghton Mifflin Company, paperback edition, "The Passing of the Grey Company.", Page 761 2 "Minas Tirith will not fall!" – The Two Towers, Houghton Mifflin Company, paperback edition, "The Departure of Boromir", Page 404 3 "rain-washed leaves and green sap rising and spring bark in the sunlight" – a personal tribute and thanks to my Beta, Rozzan, who in a character sketch, and her marvelous het story, West Wind Over Edoras, Chapter 3, described Legolas' smell in these words. The story can be found at http://www.lotrfanfiction.com. END