Title: The Dark of Night
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Tolkien, am just borrowing them for my own amusement and not very wholesome amusement at that.
Feedback: Always welcome
Authorís Notes: Written for the ĎMÓl ne glossí Challenge.
It was past midnight when Faramir wandered down the silent and deserted hallway. Moonlight fell through the windows that ran up and down its length, casting swathes of light across cold stone. The shadows seemed twice as dark; dense after the brilliance that highlighted it in even flowing stripes. The stark contrast made him shiver lightly in the chill air. Glancing out a window as he passed, he could see the soft blanket of pure white snow that covered everything as far as his eye could see. A smooth layer of virgin white that gave even the starkest landscapes its own soft beauty.
He stepped into the shadows, stopping outside a door. A door like any other, undistinguished and unmarked. It was what was beyond that stopped him. It was why he was here in the darkest hour of the night, when the only company was the cold shine of the moon and the blank sparkle of distant stars. He did not knock, but pushed the door open, softly though he did not hesitate. He paused in the doorway taking in the scene before him.
This room too was lit only by moonlight glancing off pale snow. The curtains were pushed to either side, letting the light spill unabashedly into the room, tiptoeing over the windowsills and across rich furnishings. Faramirís eyes slid over all of that without much notice, his gaze drifting to the bed. The rich mahogany gleamed darkly in the glow of the night, the bed posts rising stolidly upwards, disappearing into the inky shadows and out of the moonlightís reach giving the impression that they carried on without end. Thick swathes of cloth hung from the posts, the color simply a shadow, though Faramir knew by memory the rich red shade of them, like a summer sunset he had always thought. He knew the way they felt under his questing fingertips, slippery soft material filling his grasp.
A man lay in the bed, the bedclothes falling easily over his still form. His chest rose and fell rhythmically, hypnotizing the man who stood there watching him, not even aware of how the cold began to seep into him, the inexorable bite of winter drinking the eager warmth of his body. But he did not care. It was enough that he was here, that he was with this man once more.
He stole silently across the room, little more than a shadow himself. He paused at the side of the bed, his fingertips mentally reaching out and tracing features so familiar he knew them by heart. He had seen them every day of his life and lately every night in his dreams. It was a face that haunted him, cast as it was in shadows tonight. That did not matter, he could see the eyes, dancing with laughter, his mind painted in the warmth and vitality of the man he knew.
The man stirred softly, and Faramir knew the exact moment he became aware of his presence. Then he did reach out, allowed cool fingers to trail across soft skin, let the otherís warmth be absorbed into his own body. The manís hand came up to rest over his own, and he noted that even in shadow the two hands looked alike. Defined by the same strength, the same clean lines. Perhaps the resemblance was more in the shadows. Thatís when it was the most notable.
ďYouíre freezing,Ē the man murmured, each word warming Faramir with the simplicity, the obvious concern in such common words.
The man slid over pulling the bedclothes back, wordlessly inviting the other to warm himself with the heat of his own body. Faramir obliged, slipping beneath the covers, his skin tingling at the warmth that surrounded him suddenly. He could smell the light scent of the otherís skin that lingered on the sheets and he pulled them closer, breathing deeply.
Without a word, the other man pressed closer to him, allowing the heat of his own skin to melt away the chill on the otherís. Familiar fingers brushed against Faramirís temple, pushing back a lock of hair. The other man let his head slide over, coming to rest softly against Faramirís, the almost blond hair falling across hair the exact same shade.
A strong arm slid around his waist, comforting in the simple message it implied, the familiarity. Faramirís heart slowed at the gentle touch, at the words whispered, the soft breath of the man next to him ghosting across his skin making him shiver.
ďYou should not walk around here at nightÖ.you will catch your death of cold.Ē
ďI needed to see you, needed to be with you once more,Ē Faramir replied, not quite whispering, but his voice was soft in the silence of the room.
The man did not answer, but gently turned Faramirís head so that they faced each other, his eyes looking deep into the otherís, blue into green. The colors shadowed by the night until they were the same shade of almost black. His thumb traced tiny circles into the soft curve of a jaw before he leaned closer, his mouth pressing softly against Faramirís. A slow, soft languorous kiss accompanied only by the soft exhalation of breath held in for too long.
Faramir shifted slightly in the bed so that he was facing the other man, their bodies aligned now, slipping against each other effortlessly. The same clean lines blending together without effort, naturally. He fell into the other man, into the purity of this shadowy kiss.
The other man pulled back only long enough to say ďI needed to see you, too,Ē the words so soft that they were nothing more than a breath, but every syllable rang clearly in Faramirís mind. Their mouths found their way back to each other eagerly, not needing even the lonely light of the moon to know a path so familiar it didnít needs directing, it simply was.
* * *
Morning was just dawning when Faramir slipped once more from the room, the hallways brighter but still as silent and deserted. They always were at this time of morning. He moved quickly down the hall, seeking the solace of his own chambers, his arms wrapped tightly around his slender frame to ward off the cold. Not a cold that came from the snow outside, whose icy whispers permeated the barren walls around him, but from somewhere deep inside himself. He longed to be back in the bed which he had left as the first fingers of dawn crept across the sky. The warm rose hues he had grown to hate, that he had long since learned meant not the dawn of a new day, but the end of the night.
It was the first touch of pink in the sky that prompted him from the warm security of his loverís arms and sent him hurrying down a cold and isolated hallway to an equally cold and isolated bedchamber. He could feel the blood in his fingertips begin to grow cool from the chill air and clenched his fists tightly against the intrusion.
It was blood that stopped him. The blood red of the morning sky that drove him to his silent and empty bed. It was the blood in his veins that forbid his love. It was the blood in his loverís veins that forbid it. For that blood was the same. The same blood, the same life force that flowed peacefully through his veins, eternally unaware that its simple existence denied him his heartís wishes. It was this that had him creeping down halls in the dead of night, the only time they could ever have together. It was the reason he slipped down the silent hall in the early morning light. It was why he watched his lover creep from his own room at the first dim light, leaving him alone in his bed once more, the heat of anotherís body fading quickly from the sheets until all that was left was a memory. One that must be kept close at all times. No stray word must betray him, no careless glance must tell the truth. No simple caress to be had save for those hidden in the dark of the night. It was forbidden.
Faramirís arms slid tighter around his body, his clenched fists covered in the material of his bedclothes so that he couldnít see any hint of bared skin, and no hint of what flowed beneath it. Nothing to remind him of why he was in this hallway, why he was pushing open this door, unmarked like another certain door he knew so well, to the chill silence of his bedchamber.
He slipped into the bed, shivering at the cold feel of sheets that had remained untouched by heat for too long, waiting for the warmth of his own body to slowly spread out until the bedsheets shared it. He pulled the blankets up tight under his chin, wishing in vain for the solid warmth at his back of his brotherís body, but the sheets remained cool, warming only where his body and his body alone lent them his touch.
* * *
The dinner was a typical one full of fine food and drink. People were seated all along the length of the table, laughing merrily at otherís comments. Faramir smiled at the young woman who had been seated to his left, not hearing a single simpering word she spoke. His mind focused on his brother instead, his keen eyes never missing one smile, no matter how fleeting, and especially never missing the way the woman he sat next to touched him lightly as she laughed.
A simple touch, but how Faramir wished for the same privilege. How he yearned to sit next to him and laugh, touch his arm, push back the stray lock of hair that fell into his finely sculpted face. How he wished for the simple pleasure of permission to be with him in the bright light of the candles scattered thickly around the room. To allow his arm to brush against his loverís and not have to worry who had seen nor how it looked.
The woman threw her head back, laughing loudly at something his brother had said and Faramir mentally winced. He saw the envious glances of the women at the table, all who did not get the pleasure of Boromirís company. He saw how they were all drawn to him, how they always had been. He has watched his whole life, jealous not of the women who flocked to his brother, he had his fair share of those, but jealous of these twittering creatures being allotted any of his attentions. They did not deserve it. They did not see past his looks, his importance. They did not know the intimate details of this man the way Faramir did.
It had taken years to understand why he felt that twinge in his stomach at every pretty face that glanced shyly at his brother, every demure laugh. They did not deserve him. They could not love him the way Faramir did. They just could not.
With a small nod to his companion and a few polite words Faramir excused himself. Paying no heed to the few curious glances as he passed, he left the dining hall, wandering out into the grounds.
The sharp bite of the winter air against his skin, warm from the glowing effects of the wine that had accompanied dinner refreshed him, cleared his mind.
The snow crunched crisply with every step, a sound that he had always loved. The steady creaking of snow reminded him of childhood days, of rosy cheeks and breathless laughter, racing after his brother across vast snow covered landscapes. Never quite able to keep up with his shorter legs, he remembered how his brother had always slowed a little, never running full out, never just leaving his brother behind. Faramir smiled softly to himself losing himself in the gentle wave of memories. By the time he had been able to keep up, they had long since grown out of childish games. They had had no other choice, responsibility had called to both boys.
He jumped slightly when he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to find a pair of familiar green eyes, the color clear in the evening air.
ďBoromir.Ē He hadnít meant to say it aloud, but it slipped from his lips, simply unwilling to be held back.
ďIs something wrong?Ē
Faramir didnít answer, turned instead and studied the mountains in the distance, the trees laden with a heavy burden of snow, still lost in the long ago echo of childhood laughter
ďThey mean nothing to me.Ē His brother finally said, needing to break the silence between them.
ďI know,Ē Faramir finally replied, turning only for a brief moment to smile at him, reassuring his older brother.
Boromir breathed deeply, icy air filling warm lungs and tingling sharply in his chest. Faramir could tell that he was about to speak, could feel it without even turning, but there came a sound from behind them. A female voice calling to his brother.
Faramir did not turn, did not look away from the blinding white of the view before him, letting it burn into his eyes, the way the cold does to his skin, the way the warm tones of the womanís voice burns into his mind.
ďThey mean nothing to me,Ē Boromir repeats before he left, his voice low and urgent, ďYou are all that matters to me.Ē
And with that he is gone, heading back to the woman, but suddenly Faramir doesnít mind. Doesnít care if she has his attentions for the night. That is all she will have. He has Boromirís love and that is enough for now.
* * *
That night it was Faramir who woke to find a shadow at the side of his bed, who moved aside and wordlessly invited his brother to share his bed. His lover and his brother neatly ensconced in one single body. Tonight it does not matter that the first light of dawn will steal away this warmth from his bed. It is enough to lose himself in feverish kisses and tender caresses. The soft moans that come from a loverís throat are enough to satisfy his craving for the night. The way fingers that look just like his own, only so much better tangle in his hair, the way his own tangle in hair so much like his own. His passion reflected in his loverís face, green eyes looking into blue.
Tonight he pillows his head on his brotherís chest, listening to steady rhythm of his heart, slowing from the passions of the night, the steady thrum lulling him to sleep. Tonight he lets the warmth of two bodies, instead of one quiet the noise in his mind, and allows himself to fall asleep, knowing that when he wakes up, he will be alone in the bed once more.
He knows the morning will bring a new day, one in which he canít let even a hint of his feelings show. One that will be without the feel of his loverís body against his own, as they are now, a thin sheen of sweat between them where skin presses to skin.
He also knows that the morning will bring a day that will be followed by night, the way it always has, the way it always will. And he knows that the night will find himself once more in his loverís arms, his brotherís bed. Just as the night after that will be the same.
He knows the next night will find himself slipping through the shadows and into anotherís bed. But he knows that he will find so much more than mere shadows, that the darkest hour of the night will be when he blossoms. Then he can allow every thought and every emotion to show, far away from prying eyes. A private show for them alone. No raw emotion laid bare to careless eyes, every moment precious, every kiss, every breathless sigh. Not a single moment will sip by unnoticed when they are together once more.
Faramir knows that though the others may have his brotherís attention during the glaring light of day, it is he that will keep it, he that has his love. Like stepping from the shadows into the moonlight, so he had found his light in the darkest hour of the night.