Shriven

May. 3rd, 2009 02:11 pm
odd_buttons: (my captain)
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Shriven
Summary: "Till my guilty soul be shriven." --Longfellow.
Rating: Slash, Boromir/Aragorn, NC-17
Note: "Shriven" was a Mithril Award Commended Finalist.





Boromir shifts restlessly on his seat as the Fellowship drifts down the river in elven boats. He hears a fell voice say his name, but it is only the wind hissing in the rushes, the thin cry of a bird, water lapping the gray wood of the boat's hull. The near shore seems never to change, and dreary hours drag amidst winter-dead vegetation that passes by like corpses, and yet he starts at every noise, muttering like a man taken by a brainstorm of madness, so much so that Merry and Pippin notice. The young hobbits trade glances from time to time, unnerved. Boromir can see unease in the thoughts that pass their clear faces, where before he had seen nothing but hero-worship and trust in their eyes.

Boromir counts each dip of his paddle, trying to steady his thoughts, yet he finds himself digging the oar deep, driving close his boat to the bow of the next where the Ringbearer drowses. Samwise looks up suddenly, and his glance is not kind. Boromir frowns, ashamed to have been caught, though what it is he has been caught at eludes him. He lifts his paddle from the river. Water drips, small plashes lost in the steady pulse of the river, and the Ringbearer's boat moves ahead, leaving Boromir behind. Though Merry and Pippin speak softly together, he does not comprehend their words: their voices drone like insects to his ears. He is defenseless, he thinks, despite the weight of the sword on his back and the horn on his chest. He is alone on the river. He is exposed under the unremitting sun that glares blearily through the haze like an unblinking eye.

Frustration grows, a gnawing hunger. By the time they camp for the night, Boromir would welcome an army of orcs to battle. He would face any foe rather than waiting. Though he knows he came to Imladris for counsel and not battle, the desire to meet the enemy is rooted deep within him. Better, he thinks, that Faramir came in his stead, for his younger brother welcomed such patient challenges. Boromir throws the thought aside: he is bitten by sudden jealousy for his brother's intellect and the feeling that he is the wrong person for this quest. Boromir wants only the means to protect Gondor; he wants only the opportunity to defeat the Enemy.

He has neither. Nor will he ever, he suspects, and his heart quails at the thought of Gondor's defeat -- until the burning want for a weapon worthy of Denethor's first son grips him once more. It is Minas Tirith he would save as soldiers flocked to his banner. It is Gondor he would protect from the Enemy. Yet even as the banners flutter in his mind's eye and the cheers of his army ring in his imagination, bile rises and leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.

How could this desire feel wrong? All he wants, thinks Boromir, is the chance for victory for his people. And the confusion between heart and mind abrades his spirit. The motley group leaves the river, and while the others unload the boats, he broods, his eyes following Frodo as he patters about the camp. His view is cut when Aragorn steps between him and the Ringbearer. Aragorn looks at the Halfling and then at Boromir, a question in his expression. Rather than answer, Boromir offers to fetch firewood and departs without waiting for the setting of a watch. He hopes solitude might soothe him.

It does not. The Fellowship put their boats on the shore by a small wood, the trees winter-sleeping where they are not dead, drowned from the river. The Sun has touched the horizon, and the shadows are thick about the gray boles. Boromir finds dead wood aplenty: many trees have been blown over in some terrible wind; he climbs over and under trunks both thin and thick, looking for dry wood with which to build a fire. He finds the thought of fire oddly disturbing, as if the small lick of a campfire could reveal him like some great, sentient light, yet he wants badly to watch the flames leap like living things with thought and purpose.

Nothing, it seems, brings him comfort since they left the Golden Wood: nothing but watching the Ringbearer, which brings not comfort but a trembling that feels like a deep itch that scratching initially eases, but then makes worse.

He hears stealthy movement in the brush behind him, someone approaching as softly as one of the Halflings. He turns, hopeful, and stops gathering fuel to search the trees; elven cloaks are hard to track for they fool the eye. It is not Frodo who emerges from the shadows in the gloaming, but Aragorn. The ranger stands close and touches Boromir's arm. "What is wrong?"

"Nothing," replies Boromir, and he looks down at the dead wood in his arms.

Aragorn casts a skeptical glance at him. "Come. Even the young hobbits noticed your unease. Tell me."

Boromir sees both entreaty and command in Aragorn. This is a leader of men: a mighty captain and doughty comrade-in-arms. Boromir has traveled long with Aragorn, and better, he has fought with him. He knows the man has a will of mithril and steel at his core, true and strong as his re-forged sword. Yet Aragorn does not command his friends; he brings about in those around him the desire to do as he would have done, and Boromir responds to the entreaty. To his surprise, honesty emerges from him. "I want what I cannot have."

Aragorn regards him patiently, and Boromir is angered by the other man's endless serenity. He knows it shows on his face; he can feel his features draw into a frown. Aragorn offers a queer smile that reaches past Boromir's anger and touches something forbidden and exciting Boromir hid during all these months of the quest: he admires Aragorn and has from the first time they met in Rivendell. Soldiers sometimes share with each other desires considered wrong among common folk. It is that desire he feels, Boromir abruptly decides: desire for the feel of hard muscle under his hands, a beard-roughened jaw under his mouth, dark eyes shuttered closed in rude pleasure. It was Aragorn he paddled close to in the river, thinks Boromir, not the Ringbearer. Small and soft as a child, Frodo should rouse no such passion in Boromir's heart, and he ignores the harsh whisper that claims take him, take him!

"I want," says Boromir as he looks at Aragorn's scarred mouth, "what has been promised to another."

Aragorn's face changes in the failing light, and he seems at once open and resolute. "What do you ask of me, soldier of Gondor?"

Boromir knows Aragorn calls him soldier with intent, and he asks with his eyes. They sample Aragorn's chest and loins and sturdy thighs before they rest once again at his mouth. Boromir will not allow his request to be so stealthy, for his honor will brook no such cowardice. He meets Aragorn's dark regard and says, "I ask for the closeness soldiers steal in the bivouacs on the eve of battle. It is not for me to ask for such liberties from you, but that is the temper of my desire. I want what I cannot have."

Aragorn's voice is softer this time, thick with comprehension. "There are understandings on the battlefield that do not need explaining off it." Aragorn's gaze falls to Boromir's mouth, and Boromir is lit within by heat. It is at once like the feverish desire he felt on the river with its bite of shame, yet more honest.

This heat is blind.

Boromir drops the wood, pulls Aragorn close and kisses him roughly. Aragorn's mouth is hard under his before it warms, opens, and draws Boromir in. Boromir stumbles on the deadwood under his feet, and Aragorn steadies him with strong hands on his upper arms. Aragorn steps back and turns him even while they kiss. They are not many days from Lorien so Aragorn's hair still smells cleanly of forest and soap. He tastes of smoked meat and the unpleasant tang of pipeweed. Hunger that stalked Boromir the length of the river no longer traps him under a pitiless regard brutal as flame. He burns, and the heat comes pure and hot from his own flesh.

Aragorn breaks from the kiss. His breath comes hard. Boromir clutches his shoulder and demands, "Do not deny me this." Aragorn smiles, a hard little twist of his scarred lips, and he replies, "I am going nowhere. This could be the final night we share in peace. For both our sakes, I would have this last." His hands come together at the fastenings of Boromir's surcoat and one by one they part. "We have ridden with death at our side throughout the quest; now we stand on the very edge of doom. I would take what closeness I can, while I can, now that I know your mind."

Aragorn pushes Boromir against a stout tree hard enough to force a surprised noise from him. Aragorn kisses him, forcing his lips to part. Boromir dislikes the taste of pipeweed but his jaw drops, and he opens wider. He writhes against Aragorn; the exposed rings of Boromir's mailshirt snag along Aragorn's tunic, clutching like odd burrs as his gloved fingers scrabble on Aragorn's back.

Pinned between the tree and Aragorn, Boromir struggles not for freedom but for space to remove his gloves. He backs from Aragorn's mouth long enough to bite the fingertips of one glove and savagely pull it free; the leather groans, and his spit dampens the ends. His freed hand digs at the opposite wrist and peels back the second glove. They fall, forgotten. Aragorn clasps fistfuls of Boromir's hair and retakes his mouth. Boromir struggles again, this time working his hands between their bodies and unknotting the leather belt at Aragorn's waist. His sword falls and hits the ground with a dull sound.

Aragorn is unarmed; with Boromir well inside his reach, distracted by pleasure, he is defenseless, nearly as easy to take as one of the Halflings. An image of Frodo helpless under him, a glint of gold at his white throat, flashes in his mind and Boromir feels himself harden to painful rigidity.

Sweat breaks cleanly, a prickle of heat all over his skin. Aragorn rests his forehead against Boromir's, and then his fingers busy themselves cleverly at the fastenings of Boromir's breeches. He reaches past the folds and takes Boromir out into his hand; Boromir gasps and seeks Aragorn's mouth. This is nothing new to him; in fact, he has preferences, and there is one he wants urgently. He draws back, brings Aragorn's empty hand to his mouth, and suckles in the first two fingers, showing what he wants. Then he presses down on Aragorn's shoulder.

Aragorn's eyes hood and he smiles lazily before he falls gracefully to his knees. The heat and skill of his mouth pleasures Boromir greatly. When Boromir closes his eyes and imagines how easily this very act could be done by one of smaller stature, he feels his hardness jump on Aragorn's tongue, eager for release. He gasps, a fish on the shore smothered by lust; his thighs splay; he twists locks of Aragorn's hair into rings around his fingers. He bangs his head on the tree hard enough to find a measure of control even as Aragorn's hard hands pin his hips and ruin any illusions Boromir might have about who takes him into the hot, wet depths of his mouth.

Boromir cannot last. Too many months has he endured without release even from his own hand, and too long has he burned with craving under the sun this very day. But Aragorn lets him slip from his mouth, the air cool on his wet length, and Boromir can draw a sane breath again.

Aragorn scrambles to his feet and presses Boromir into the tree again. Boromir smells his own musk on Aragorn's breath as he says, "This is how you usually take it from your lieutenants, isn't it?"

"Aye."

"That is not how I give it, Captain of Gondor," Aragorn rasps. He slides his hands flat down Boromir's breeches and pushes them off his hips to mid-thigh before he turns Boromir suddenly around and presses him into the tree. The rough bark scratches his face and Boromir feels a long, hot ridge nestle flat along his cleft. Aragorn's hips shove forward, and the sensitive wet skin of Boromir's hardness drags on the bark as well. He clamps his mouth tight over a cry as much passion as pain.

"Yes, yes," Aragorn hisses. "This is the ardor that frees us; this is the fury we can take for ourselves, that we don't take it elsewhere."

Aragorn's words call to some shred of rational thought deep in Boromir and he recalls the darkest lessons of leadership: how to control the violence of the fighting man, that he does not turn it to rape and destruction off the field of battle. The lesson means little to me, thinks Boromir, for I would never stoop to rape.

His mind laughs at him and throws up an image of Frodo, his clothes ripped, his tender flesh bare from throat to thighs, his eyes tear-stained and his red mouth bleeding. The vision hangs in front of him like reality: Boromir can hear the Halfling's sobs, smell his own spill, and should he reach out, he knows he could feel the bruises rise up from beneath the pearly flesh under a hand heavy with a burden like molten stone on one finger. Shame and lust rend his mind.

"I want what I must not have!" cries Boromir.

"Attend to me, Boromir," commands Aragorn as he turns him around. "Attend to me!"

Light dazzles him, heatless and without source, and Boromir hears a voice full of worry and love calling to him. Through mist Boromir senses a masterful presence seeking him, but he is not afraid: it is the one with such love in the words that roll from his tongue. It is one who brings hope.

Boromir is no longer lost. Vision returns to Boromir's open eyes and there are no phantoms. He sees a king staring at him with a gaze piercing as an arrow that with pain brings comfort. He is grateful beyond words that the hateful apparition of his violence on Frodo has passed, and his eyes slam shut.

Boromir is in the dark, but he is not alone: Aragorn is with him, giving him hope and leading him into passion without taint.

"I am yours, my Captain," whispers Boromir. He finds Aragorn's scarred lips and rough stubble with his mouth and blindly seeks reentry. Aragorn accepts him. All of Boromir's limbs submit to the will of his king, a glorious surrender, and he worries not what Aragorn might take from him, even as Aragorn leads him a few stumbling steps to a fallen tree that rests in the fork of another, nearly horizontal and high as Boromir's gut, and bends him over it.

Boromir's breeches are still around his thighs. Aragorn leans along Boromir and bites his neck. His hardness jerks against Boromir's lower back, painting him with sticky wetness that cools quickly. He turns Boromir suddenly, kissing him hungrily, jaw working slowly to open him wide and delve wetly, deeply. Boromir rhythmically pushes his aching erection against Aragorn's bare hip as he cups Aragorn's, bringing moans from deep in his throat. When they break, panting, Aragorn asks, "Your tin of grease: where is it? Do you have it?"

Boromir's thoughts are hard to gather and he grinds up into Aragorn harder.

"The grease for your leather -- do you have it?" repeats Aragorn.

"Yes," says Boromir, and he fumbles out a small battered tin from a pocket inside his surcoat.

Aragorn turns him again. He puts his hand on the back of Boromir's neck like a collar and pushes. When he removes his hand, the skin there feels cold: a loss. Boromir forgets it instantly when that same hot hand slides greasy and slick over his lower back and down. He is broached with two long fingers. He clenches his teeth and shivers. The plane of Aragorn's other hand steadies his hip even as the fingers twist.

Pain is pleasurable. Boromir bites his leather gauntlet. The hand on his hip snakes under and encircles his aching shaft that hangs stiffly below. Leather creaks as Boromir bites harder. He clenches around the intrusion.

Aragorn withdraws his fingers and lets go with his other hand. Boromir cries out, protesting.

"Peace," Aragorn whispers. "Patience."

He is not sufficiently prepared for Aragorn, but he rides the pain, shoving with his feet and rising up on his elbows as he slowly takes the entire length. Aragorn draws back gently before he pushes in hard, a brutal ecstasy that impels a naked cry from Boromir. He feels Aragorn's hand is around him once more, slick with grease that heats quickly as he strokes. Aragorn's movements lack grace and he makes throttled noises above Boromir -- this cannot last long, and Boromir no longer wants it to. He has been seeking oblivion, though he did not realize until Aragorn freed him from his odd compulsion, and oblivion waits, he knows: a brief, hot moment gathering along the lines of his body, shooting to his groin with ever-quickening sparks of increasing bliss.

Aragorn chokes; his rhythm falters, and he slams forward, a punishing pace that lasts only a few thrusts as he pulls brutally on the aching shriek that juts up between Boromir's legs.

As before, white light enraptures Boromir. He is neither lost nor found: he is unmade. For long moments feels nothing, and it is a relief.



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