bailey.connie AT gmail.com
Warning: m/m slash - Explosive material
Summary: A vignette from the time when the Ranger took service with the rulers of Gondor in his mission to protect her borders.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Prof. Tolkien. I like to think he would have smiled in a baffled but indulgent manner if he had ever encountered slash.
My sincere thanks to Piper. She beta'd my first A/L fic and my latest. I hope she will always be there to gently guide my writing.
A/N: Written for VOLA's 2004 Fourth of July Challenge
Not a challenge entry, of course. Just for fun and just because it's July 4th, I'm re-posting this short piece. Hard to believe it was two years ago today. I've left the original header for nostalgia's sake.
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Fete in the White CIty
A great golden dragon spread vast wings with argent scales and opened its maw to spew a fountain of ruby flame. The blazing colors tinted the faces of the Man and Elf who stood some ways above the throngs gazing up in wonder. The coruscating points of light glittered in the Elf's eyes as the Man turned to look at his companion. Above them, the dragon disintegrated into a shower of tiny stars that winked out as they fell.
"Did I not tell you?" the Man said, the barest trace of smugness coloring his voice.
"Mithrandir's fireworks are a marvel," the Elf agreed, "but this I have long known."
"Ah, but you have never seen them from this vantage, have you Prince Legolas?"
Aragorn's grim face was lightened by a smile as he moved to stand close behind the Elf. Putting one hand on the Prince of Mirkwood's shoulder, he pointed with the other to the brilliant display that was almost at eye level for them.
"See how the colors play over the Tower of Ecthelion."
"I see them and they are lovely, but no more lovely than elanor blossoming in Spring or the stars of a Winter night."
*Or your face as I take my pleasure of you, * the Ranger thought, as he slipped an arm around his companion's slim waist, the other looping about the Elf's neck.
Legolas placed his hands on the railing before him and looked out over Minas Tirith. Though it was a place of Men, built of cold, lifeless stone, it had its own beauty, a stark majesty not unlike Mount Caradhras. The Elf did not doubt that the White City was as dangerous a place as the treacherous slopes of that lofty peak and a shiver ran through him. Aragorn rested his chin on Legolas' shoulder and all was right with the Elf's world again.
"Thorongil!" called a passerby, seeing the scintillating light glint on the white gem the Man wore on his brow. "How fares the Eagle of the Star tonight?"
"As all fare this night, young Beregond of the Guard," Aragorn answered. "I am glad beyond telling that the threat of the Corsairs has been dealt with."
Beregond inclined his helmed head. "We need no longer fear their black sails appearing on the river some dark night."
"And it is thanks to the Knights of Gondor and the doughty Captain from the North that it is so," Beregond's companion said in a lovely voice.
Aragorn inclined his head to the young lady. "Such praise from a flower of Gondor is all the thanks one could ask. Good evening to you both."
Though Beregond was a young man, newly promoted to the Guard, those who wore the black and silver were chosen for more than mere prowess with weapons. He saw that the captain had no wish for more company than he already had. The soldier stole a glance at the mysterious figure of Thorongil's visitor from Mirkwood. Beregond had never seen an Elf in the flesh, though he much desired to. As though sensing the Guard's wish, Legolas turned his face toward Beregond as the next burst of glowing colors exploded against the dark canvas of the night sky.
Hair like starlight spun into silk floss fell to the Elf's slim waist, framing a face to inspire a whole troop of minstrels. Beregond swallowed and looked away as the Prince's depthless eyes met his. The Guard's gaze fell on the Man who stood so close to the Elf, and Beregond was struck by a majesty he had not noticed in Thorongil before. The young soldier much admired the dour-handed warrior, so shrewd in the planning of a battle, so single-mindedly engaged in the fighting once it started. That the Northerner was a Man to follow was plain, but now Beregond saw revealed a nobility to equal that of the Steward's.
"Come, lass," Beregond said, pulling his sweetheart away. "Captain Thorongil deserves his rest and diversion."
"They left very quickly," Legolas observed.
Aragorn smiled. "They have tact, my dear Elf."
"Tact?" Legolas echoed.
"I see, but why did they leave?"
"Because Beregond could sense that I was going to do something very like this," the Ranger said, pulling the Elf back from the parapet and behind the hedgerow of the small garden.
Had Legolas chosen to resist, Aragorn would have had no hope of overpowering him, but the Elf went along with the abduction. Behind the screen of dense leaves, the Man embraced the tall frame of the Mirkwood archer, marveling at the lean, hard muscles and the soft skin that covered them.
"It is too long since I held you, most beautiful of beings," Aragorn said passionately.
"Why must Men always exaggerate?" Legolas wondered aloud, as the Ranger's lips grazed his cheek on the way to his left ear, the more sensitive one.
"I am not aware of stretching any truths," the Man murmured.
"Come, Aragorn, you cannot truly believe me to be the most beautiful of all beings."
"I can," the words were breathed into the Elf's upswept ear. "I do."
Legolas snorted his opinion of such hyperbole, and then gasped as sharp, white teeth nipped at his ear point. "So this is the urgent matter that required my attention in Gondor," the Elf said a bit breathlessly.
"Mmh, a very pressing issue has come up that only a Prince of Mirkwood could handle," Aragorn answered, moving his hips so that his arousal slid across the Elvish warrior's groin.
"I understand," Legolas said. "You have won a great victory and this is how Men mark such an occasion."
"It makes my heart light as down when you jest with me, mellon," Aragorn said throatily.
"And you make my leggings tight when you suckle my ears like that," the Elf answered. "Do you intend to finish what you have begun?"
"It is my only intent in dragging you into concealment. Are you willing?"
Legolas took the Man's hand and brought it to his crotch. Aragorn felt the surge of hard flesh under the long tunic and his own arousal twitched against his thigh.
"I have my own small room in the barracks," Aragorn said, "but I thought you might prefer to couple on the grass under the stars."
Legolas could not help but smile. "It seems I am to be seduced. I half expect a scattering of nephredil petals to guide our way to a nest of silken cushions beside a fountain."
"It is not possible to find nephredil here," Aragorn said, "the cushions, however, were easy to filch from the Steward's antechamber and the Bower Fountain has been here since the White Tower was built."
"Now I cannot tell if you jest with me or not," Legolas said, as the Man took his hand and led him farther along the white gravel path. When he saw the piled pillows beneath the leafy canopy, the Elf stopped and turned to his companion. "I suppose you even have athelas oil to ease your way past my defenses."
"A Ranger is always ready," Aragorn quoted, reaching beneath the black velvet cloak thrown over the cushions.
"I have no hope of withstanding your siege, do I?" Legolas asked.
"None whatsoever. Yield to me."
"I surrender," the Elf said gravely.
Aragorn watched in breathless anticipation as the archer pulled off his leather jerkin, bracers and boots. The silken under tunic and wool leggings followed, tossed in a heap on the grass. Legolas lowered himself to the cushions and lay back against the soft black velvet. Letting his legs sprawl wide, the Elf held up his arms to the Man.
"Wicked creature," Aragorn said, devouring with his eyes the lissome white limbs that glowed like mother of pearl in the moonlight. "You could drive the most honorable person to rash acts with one glance of your sinful eyes."
"You commit no breach of faith to lay with me," Legolas protested. "Else I would never fall backward for you," he finished with a phrase peculiar to the deep-woods Elves of his father's kingdom.
Aragorn smiled at the colloquialism. The Prince sprinkled his speech with the idioms of the common Elves, largely, the Ranger believed, because it annoyed King Thranduil so terribly.
"I hope you will always fall backward for me," the Ranger said sincerely. "I have told you of my youthful passion for the Lady Arwen, and how my mother and her father showed me that I aimed too high. I know that is true of us as well, but you are generous enough to take me in your grace, and I will not refuse you simply because you are too fine for me."
"Thank the Valar," Legolas said, a trifle impatiently. "Otherwise I would be forced to humiliate myself begging a Man to bed me. As I seem in danger of doing now."
"Forgive me, mellon," Aragorn said, doffing his helm, toeing off his boots and dropping his leggings in a trice. Another two heartbeats and the black and silver tunic landed in a crumpled heap next to the Elf's clothing. Kneeling, the Man reached for the flawless flesh offered up to him.
"Say abstinent and you will be closer to the mark," Legolas replied.
"I am pleased, I cannot deny it, but I do not ask that of you. I know the fire of creation burns hot in you and the ways of Elfkind are not the ways of Man."
"No, they are not, as I learn each time I journey with you."
"Then I am doubly honored that you are faithful to me," Aragorn said.
"No other satisfies me now," Legolas said candidly. "May we continue? I wish to feel your Manhood in my sheath."
Aragorn's hard length pulsed strongly at the mental image the Elf's words called up. The Ranger pulled the Prince's hard buttocks onto his thighs, hooking one of the Elf's long legs over his shoulder. Legolas held the Man's eyes, a fierce joy kindling between them, charging the very air like the pressure before a thunderstorm.
The Ranger's hands slid up the elegant body, squeezing, fondling, tweaking, stroking. Leaning in, he rested on his elbows and took the Elf's exquisite lips in a voracious kiss. Legolas responded enthusiastically, reaching out for the Man's arousal and caressing it boldly. Aragorn's deft hands roamed the Elf's frame, paying court with his touch.
Legolas had to bite his lip to stifle his cries of delight when Aragorn applied his mouth to the Elf's pretty cock. The Prince's fist went to his mouth when the Man eased an oil slick finger into his nether port while sucking softly on the head of his shaft. A series of whimpers escaped the Elf's clenched teeth as Aragorn exploited his weak spot.
"Ahhhh," Legolas sighed, clutching a handful of the Ranger's leaf brown hair to rein him in. "Now I remember why I keep company with an uncouth Man. Your tongue may be less courteous than an Elf's, but it is clever enough."
Aragorn smiled fondly as the Prince reached greedily for the Ranger's arousal. With fingers callused from hours of archery practice, the Elf took the proud flesh in a strong grip and pumped firmly. The Man's breath hissed in over his teeth at the intimate caress. His right hand scrabbled blindly in the grass, seeking the bottle he had dropped as Legolas' fondling brought him quickly to the brink.
"Hold," Aragorn grunted harshly, afraid he would spurt untimely.
A stricken look widened the Elf's pellucid eyes. He immediately relinquished the Ranger's Manhood and settled back on his elbows. "Was I too eager again?" he asked.
"Nay, it is I who am too eager." The Man soothed his partner with gentle touches. "You did me no harm, my warrior love. Still your fears." Aragorn cupped a delicately pointed ear, rubbing the tip lightly between his thumb and forefinger. "I am only human, but I do not break so easily. I would have you put no constraints on your passion because of my weakness."
"Then why have we stopped?"
Aragorn tilted his head, regarding the Elf with amused affection. "I have missed your body more than words could ever express, but even more I have missed your directness, here in this city of Men."
The Elf's forehead puckered in charming bewilderment and the Ranger's grin widened at the baffled frown on his immortal lover's perfect face.
"I am glad I can amuse you, Aragorn," Legolas said. "I will never understand your custom of stating the obvious as if it were praise. Nor will I become used to your regrettable habit of coaxing me to coupling and then calling a halt in the action because you feel too much, or some such foolish notion."
"As you wish," Aragorn said, applying oil to his arousal.
Legolas watched with avid interest as the Man greased the rosy column of stiff flesh until it glistened. The Elf could barely restrain himself from grabbing the deliciously hot mortal organ and guiding it to his yearning port. Telling himself that he had bruised Aragorn's ego quite enough for one evening, the Prince lay back and let the Man take control.
Sensing his lover's acquiescent mood, Aragorn gratefully slowed down and calmed his nerves. No matter how many times he took Legolas, and there had not been that many, he felt this same anxiety each time he mounted. How dared he even think of thrusting his mortal flesh into this being of light? He tainted this pure creature with each touch of his hands and lips. He was not worthy, not worthy.
"Aragorn, please," Legolas said softly.
"I am not worthy," the Man mumbled.
The Elf's rare anger flashed at these words. "Will you insult me so? If I choose you, how can you be unworthy? Will you say that my taste is vulgar, or that I would ally myself with a weak, honorless Man? Do you think I would give myself to any but an equal?"
"I had not thought of it quite like that," Aragorn admitted, as the last barrage of fireworks went off behind his head.
A play of jewel-toned light danced across the Elf's translucent skin and moon-colored hair, transforming him into a creature seen only in the dreams of poets and true lovers. Aragorn took his staff in his trembling hand and prepared to join with this vision.
"Now, Aragorn! Of your mercy, put it in," Legolas' voice broke into the Man's reverie.
The Ranger took his head from the clouds and gave the Elf what he wanted, but a streak of devilry made him tease the proud Prince. Gently, Aragorn eased the head of his shaft through the tight ring of muscle at the Elf's entrance only to withdraw it again. He pushed forward slowly, nudging the clenched opening, bumping insistently without penetrating, smiling when Legolas squirmed higher on his thighs, aggressively seeking to engulf more of the tantalizing hardness. Aragorn hid his smile when the Elf's eyes opened.
"Aragorn," the Prince said in warning.
Aragorn ceased the game at the serious note in his lover's voice. It was not too remote a possibility that the lissome Elf would reverse their positions and ride the Man's upstanding rod at his own pace. It had certainly happened before.
Grasping the Elf's lean flanks, the Man slid forward, sheathing half his length and then stood fast, prepared for the strong counter-thrust that enveloped another inch of his Manhood. Stroking the taut muscles and tendons of the Elf's inner thighs, the Ranger gave the stretched ingress time to adjust to his girth.
The expert swordsman withdrew as smoothly as he would unsheathe his blade. Legolas moaned, his hands coming up to reach blindly at something only he could see as the curved shaft sank into him again. Aragorn had made an ardent study of the Elf's body and soon found the optimum depth of stroke. Legolas whimpered as the blunt head of the Man's cock pressed rhythmically against his most susceptible flesh.
"I wish we were far from here," the Elf said in rapid, heated undertone. "I wish we were in a glade of Mirkwood where I might shout my joy to the stars. Ah, by Eru, Man, you make me feel as though I could fly if I but wished it."
Aragorn flattened his palm against Legolas' drum tight belly, pressing down firmly. The Elf's moans deepened and his hips pumped harder against the Man's thighs. The Ranger wrapped the fingers of his other hand around Legolas' weeping arousal and squeezed. The Elf's pelvis bucked upward, driving his length into the Man's fist and impaling himself more deeply. Aragorn adjusted his angle so that his shaft dragged over Legolas' sweet spot on its way past, and lost himself in the pleasure of taking this wild creature. Elf and Man moved in concert, racing as one in pursuit of release, their joined flesh meeting with an audible sound as they approached their crescendo.
A feral cry of fulfillment escaped the Elf's throat as Legolas rose from the grass in a fluid motion to kneel astride the Ranger. Slender arms wrapped around Aragorn's neck and he was clasped to the Elf's breast. The Ranger could hear the thunder of Legolas' heart as the Elf's shaft pulsed and erupted in a thick, pearlescent flow. Aragorn's fingers sank into the velvet skin of the Elf's buttocks as he kneaded the muscular globes. The Ranger thrust up into the quaking heat that hugged his aching length like a warrior's fist grips the hilt of his sword. Legolas pulled the Man's head up by a handful of hair and indulged the mortal's fetish for his mouth. Aragorn peaked as the Elf entwined their tongues. The Ranger groaned deep in his chest as a wave of joy crashed through him and his seed unfurled into the tight passage.
"Ai, Aragorn!" the Elf gasped as he relinquished the Man's mouth with a parting nip at the lower lip. "Are you certain you have not been practicing?"
Aragorn was amused by his instant flush of pride in Legolas' praise of his prowess. "Nay, my only one," the Ranger said. "It is you that inspires me. I am at my best when I am with you."
"That is the most lovely thing anyone has ever said to me," Legolas replied, and then exclaimed on a note of laughter. "Stop, Aragorn! No, do not so again. Aragorn! No!"
The Ranger tightened his arms around the lithe frame and rubbed his beard across the smooth chest again. He held fast to the wriggling, breathless Elf as Legolas threatened him with dire consequences if the tickling did not stop. Aragorn chuckled softly and ran his fingers up the back of the Prince's neck.
"Aragorn," Legolas warned. "Do not dare touch my ear. No! Noooo," the Elf's words faded into a helpless moan.
Aragorn's shaft had barely begun to soften. At the small sound of pleasure the Elf made, the Ranger's Manhood twitched. Legolas moaned louder, as the long staff moved in his socket. Abruptly, the Man froze, putting a hand over the Elf's mouth.
"I heard something over here, Bo," said a piping voice that could have been girl or boy.
"We are not supposed to be up here after dark," came the proud, slightly petulant tones of an adolescent boy. "Come on, Faramir! Get out of the bushes. Are you going to spend your life covered in dirt and leaves? Camouflage is all very well for spies and assassins, but we will be Knights of Gondor. We shall wear bright armor with broadswords at our hips. Now stop sneaking about. The fireworks are over and you should be abed."
Legolas' eyes met Aragorn's as the hedge rustled to their right. Neither moved so much as a muscle until the sounds died away.
"But I heard something, Bo, I really did."
"It was probably an owl. Come on, hop on my back and I will be your steed."
"A magic steed," the younger bay cried. "A grey horse that will take me away to the Golden Wood of the Elves."
"Those old tomes fill your head with the worst nonsense. Let us go. The King will come again before we find our beds."
Childish laughter faded away down the path. Aragorn withdrew his shaft from the narrow scabbard and reached for his clothing. Legolas rose to his feet and walked the short distance to the fountain. Leaning over the plangent water, the Elf splashed himself liberally from the crystal pool.
Aragorn came up behind Legolas and handed the Prince his under tunic. Legolas took the garment, but made no move to don it. He stood upright, straight and slender as a birch sapling, pale as bone, as beautiful and deceptively fragile as frost.
"I have been thinking," the Ranger said. "The Umbar peril is quelled for now. The Wildmen are quiet on the borders of Rohan."
"The Orcs and Trolls on Mirkwood's borders have ceased their depredations," Legolas added.
"How I long to roam the Wilds again as a simple Ranger," Aragorn said. "Will you come with me, Legolas?"
The Elf's eyes glowed in the darkness as he turned to gaze at the Man. "Do you mean this?"
"I have defended the eaves of Rivendell against Orcs and other foul creatures. I have fought for Thengel King along Rohan's borders with the Rohirrim. I have served the Steward of Minas Tirith as a Captain of the Guard, here in Gondor, and on foreign shores. I am weary of warfare, Prince, and would hang up my sword for a season."
"Where will you go?"
"There is a great longing in me to travel North and West through the gentle lands to gaze on the lost realm of Arnor."
Legolas finished tying the laces of his leather jerkin and pulled up his boots. "I am ready, Aragorn," he said.
A wide, wholehearted smile transformed the Man's face. "Now?" he asked, his voice bubbling with barely repressed joy.
"Aye, let us be free, mellon: free of all this stone, free of all these folk, free of our destinies. Come, Aragorn, I will race you to the gates."
The Man hesitated, on the point of telling the Elf that duty was more important than personal desires, but the wild and jubilant light in Legolas' eyes burned away his qualms.
"The last one out the gates cooks dinner for a fortnight," Aragorn announced and took to his heels leaving an open-mouthed Elf in his wake.
Legolas recovered from his surprise and scooped up his bow. Eyes gleaming, teeth bared in a savage grin, he set off after the Man.