A Year Without Despair
A Year Without Despair
by Bailey

Email: bailey.connie@gmail.com

Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas

Rating: PG13

Warning: Man/Elf sex

Summary: On the anniversary of the charge at Helm’s Deep, Aragorn and Legolas renew their vows of love.

Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters and I don’t profit by their use.

Feedback is no big deal in the same way that air is not, until you aren’t getting any.

Thank you to Jean and all the goddesses (and gods) of VOLA.

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“It is hard to credit that just one year ago I stood in the armory of Helm’s Deep and girded myself for what I thought would be my last battle.”

“Yet you prevailed,” Faramir answered his King. “And went on to win the war.”

Aragorn smiled faintly, his eyes going to the slender figure walking through the overgrown gardens. As though feeling the monarch’s eyes upon him, the wanderer turned to look at King and Steward, sitting upon a tumbled stone wall.

“It is so beautiful here, Aragorn,” the Elf called up to the Men on the terraced slope.

“Does Ithilien please you?” Aragorn called back.

“How could it not? This is a land emerging from the long Shadow. It has become bright again, but we could make it brighter so easily.”

A fond smile softened the King’s face as he gazed upon the Sindar. “Then we shall,” he said.

“Not us,” Legolas said. “We shall be in Minas Tirith for that is your seat of power.”

“I will move the Court here,” Aragorn said looking around. “Find a likely spot to plant a sapling of the White Tree.”

The Elf’s face glowed with delight for a moment before reason snuffed the flame. “That would be wonderful, but you cannot.”

“I am Isildur’s Heir, King of Gondor and Lord of the West,” Aragorn replied. “I can do as I wish, can I not?”

“You know you cannot,” Legolas said. “You must do what is best for Gondor.”

“I know,” Aragorn sighed. “But I thank you for reminding me, my heart.”

Faramir grimaced slightly at the endearment and hoped Aragorn hadn’t seen. He might as well have hoped for the Sun to go down in the East.

“If it would be accepted, I would bind myself to Legolas and acknowledge him openly as my Consort,” the King told his Steward firmly.

“I do not need that for my happiness,” Legolas said, as he joined the Men.

“You deserve the honor,” Aragorn said.

“Between my honor and our happiness, I will choose the latter,” the Elf said.

Aragorn held out his hand and Legolas took it, allowing the King to draw him down to sit on the royal lap.

“If you will excuse me?” Faramir said immediately.

The Lord of the West winked at his Steward. “I am certain there are weighty matters with more claim on your time,” Aragorn teased gently.

“Aye,” Faramir returned with more of an edge. “The envoys from Dol Amroth are still cooling their heels waiting on your pleasure.”

The Steward was immediately sorry for his remark when a shadow of the old weariness passed over his liege’s face.

“I had not forgotten them,” Aragorn said. “Feast them well until my return.”

“Soon, Sire? I do not wish to belabor it, but your delay will soon be perceived as an insult to Prince Imrahil. His daughter, Lothirien, is the most sought after maiden in Gondor and …”

Legolas ceased braiding Aragorn’s side locks and turned to focus his remarkable eyes on the Steward. “And King Elessar is the most desirable monarch,” the Elf said simply.

Aragorn smiled. “Legolas is right, to my sorrow. Go and give hope to the panders of princesses, Faramir. I shall return in the morning.”

Faramir did not bridle, nor did he ask where the King would sleep. Aragorn was perfectly capable of spending the night upon the grass with naught but his cloak, and the Elf, for comfort. Faramir had lived rough during the Ring War and now valued his comforts, but it was useless to try and dissuade the former Ranger from camping.

Faramir tried anyway.

“Are you certain you will not ride back to the City with your retinue, Your Majesty?”

Aragorn looked up from nuzzling the Elf’s long neck as if surprised to see his Steward still standing there. “Yes, quite certain. In fact, it will be difficult to leave here on the morrow. I cannot sleep easy within stone walls.”

“Minas Tirith is your City, my lord,” Faramir said passionately. “We fought so hard to save Her; how can you think abandoning Her?”

“I lived too long in the Wilds,” Aragorn said. “We saved the White City, but not for me, Faramir. A roof over my head feels like the lid of a sarcophagus. I feel the weight of all that stone each time I put on the winged crown.”

Faramir’s level eyes flicked involuntarily to the Elf. The Steward knew whence these thoughts and discontent came. The Sindar Prince was never really happy unless growing things surrounded him. And if his lover was not happy, the King was not happy.

“Those days are gone when you could disappear into the forest,” the Steward said simply. “You rule here now and you have …”

“Responsibilities, yes I know,” Aragorn sighed. “That is all my history in the shale of a nut, and I will be back in the morning.”

Knowing further speech to be pointless, Faramir inclined his head to his King and went to join the royal entourage. As always, it was left to the Steward to explain His Majesty’s absence to the various dignitaries and courtiers.

Faramir glanced once over his shoulder before he topped the ridge and lost sight of the hidden garden. The Elf’s neck bent gracefully, skeins of silvery hair half-hiding the Man’s face as they kissed. The Steward stood frozen for a moment, captured by the beauty of the couple entwined in ardent embrace.

Deep in his heart, Faramir wished that this honorable, selfless Man could have his heart’s desire, but the Steward of Gondor knew that could never be. Composing his face, Faramir joined the others.

“I have heard that Lothirien is very beautiful,” Legolas said, as he unfastened the catch of the King’s cloak.

“I have seen what is most beautiful in this world,” Aragorn said, caressing the Elf’s cheek. Legolas smiled the smile that melted the Man’s heart. “Galadriel?” he guessed. “Lady Arwen, perhaps? Or do you speak of your foster-brothers?”

Aragorn wrapped his arms around the supple body and pulled the Elf close. “I could never give you up,” he said fiercely.

“Who speaks of it?” Legolas inquired curiously.

“Faramir. My council. Lord Elrond,” Aragorn enumerated flatly.

“They speak of seeing you wedded,” the Elf corrected.

“I do not wish to wed another,” the King said. “I want only you.”

A charming look of puzzlement quirked the Prince’s brows. “You know you must marry and give Heirs to Gondor. This has been discussed and decided before ever you lay with me.” “Yes I realize that I poured this cup myself, but now I find it is too bitter to swallow.”

“Too bitter?” Legolas stood, pushing away from the Man to stand in front of him. “You speak of bitter?”

Aragorn held up a placating hand as he got to his feet. “I spoke rashly, meleth nin,” he said. “I know that you have drunk the greater part of this poison.”

“I do not reproach you,” Legolas said. “I merely remind you that others have made sacrifices so Gondor might have a King again. That dream would fade aborning should you die childless. The royal line of Dol Amroth has a measure of Galadrim blood; a princess of that house would be a good choice for you.”

Aragorn smiled suddenly. “Thank you, my heart. You have found a way to sweeten this draught. You shall choose my bride.”

Legolas raised a slim brow. “You are pleased to joke with me,” he said.

“No indeed, Prince of Mirkwood. You have the rank to treat with any ambassador and moreover there is none that cares more for my happiness.”

“I cannot dispute your logic, Man,” Legolas said mock-sternly.

“Then it is the first time,” the King teased. “What say you? It cannot be more fearsome a task than facing Saruman’s armies at night in driving rain.”

“You may be right,” Legolas said dubiously. “I know not, but I will undertake this endeavor on your behalf. You gave me heart when I would have despaired at Helm’s Deep. How can I do less now?”

Aragorn drew the Elf close and Legolas’ arms went around the King’s neck. “You are my strength,” the Man said against the soft skin of his beloved’s neck. “You are the very heart of me. If I should lose you, I would be as one of the Nazgul: a wraith borne whither the ill winds blow. I cannot see all ends, but I promise I shall never forsake you.”

“You would find it difficult to be rid of me,” Legolas said, tangling his white fingers in unruly leaf-brown hair. “I was once a Tracker, you know.”

“I know,” Aragorn murmured, his breath warm against an upswept ear. “And if from time to time I forget how much you have given up for me, you must remind me.”

“I surrender it willingly, freely, gladly,” Legolas replied. “And I am not the noble being you perceive me. I am selfish.”

Aragorn drew back slightly to look into the Elf’s chatoyant eyes. Legolas did not flinch from the frank stare, but gazed back steadily, letting his lover read what was to be read there.

“I did not join the Fellowship for the sake of saving Middle Earth; it was your life I was concerned with saving. I did not fight so that Sauron could be defeated; I fought so that you could be King. All that I did, I did for you, so I could have you at the end of things.”

“And now?”

“Middle Earth is free of the Shadow. Sauron is destroyed. You are crowned King of Gondor. We are alive and you love me. Even the heart of this greedy Elf must be satisfied with such riches.”

“Perhaps an Elf’s heart would be satisfied,” Aragorn said. “I am but a Man with all of a Man’s weaknesses. I am afraid that my thirst for you will never be fully slaked.”

Legolas could not but smile smugly at this declaration. “Tis true, I am most skilled at bedplay,” he jested. “But think, meleth nin, of this year we have had without care, with only hope for a brighter future in our hearts. We have been the gladdest creatures under Anor. Is our season in the Sun not worth a few hours toil in a darkened bedchamber?”

Aragorn sighed heavily again. “Of course it is. Let her get with child quickly, if it please the Valar.”

“As to that,” Legolas smiled impishly. “Elven herbalists have ways to ensure a swift pregnancy and a healthy child. Aragorn?” The Elf sobered. “You will be kind to her?”

The King kissed his *concubine’s* perfect nose. “How could I be other? She will be the mother of my children.”

“I meant, you would not neglect her, but give her a full measure of your time and affection.”

Aragorn kissed the Elf’s smooth forehead. “This I vow,” he said.

“And you will allow me,” Legolas paused, his voice catching suspiciously. “If it please the Queen, I hope I will be allowed to know your children.”

Aragorn tightened his arms around the willowy body as though seeking to merge with the Elf. “You will never be excluded from any facet of my life you wish to have a part in,” the King said solemnly. “My royal oath on it. I will divide my heart as once I did between you and the Lady Arwen. My wife I will love because I must to give heirs to Gondor, though she will never feel unloved, I hope. You I will love because I must as you are the other half of my soul, though we must join in secret.”

“Then I am content,” Legolas said, offering his mouth to the Man.

Aragorn paused, a breath away from claiming the sculpted lips. “Ever were the Galadrim friends and guides to the Dunedain,” he murmured. “I hope it will ever be so.”

“For my part, I would also have it be so,” the Prince answered, his tongue brushing the Man’s lower lip.

“Then let us take joy while Anor still shines on the day,” the King said.

“With all my heart,” Legolas replied breathlessly, pulling Aragorn down to the soft grass of reclaimed Ithilien.

The Man went willingly to consecrate once more this last alliance of Elves and Men.

The end.

 

 

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