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Fealty

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When King Elessar Telcontar returned from his excursion to the south, he looked much as he had in his Ranger days. His green cloak was tattered by battle and his hair hung in dirtied curls on to his shoulders, framing a face smudged by sweat that the toils of the road. Even as the trumpets of Gondor saluted his return, Elessar wiped his brow, sending up a gust of the strong, musky smell of unwashed skin that Faramir remembered well from his own days in Mordor, figthing what was to become the war of the Ring. It should, he knew, repel him, but instead it brought back memories well buried, cold nights under blankets that were too thin, feet that ached with the damp, and his lips pressed against the shoulders of one of his men, hands hungry for warmth, for skin. A deep, old longing twisted in him, as the King raised his hand in salute, and smiled that old smile of fellowship at the Captain of his Palace guard.
And Faramir raised his own hand in salute, trying not to think of how those same hands had once nursed him back from the very brink of death, as he watched the King and his company file past him, trying not to remember how it had felt to kneel before Elessar - when he had still been Aragorn - and offer up the white rod of his Steward’s office, and how that smile had been bestowed upon him as his King had raised him to his feet and told him that the office would belong to him, and to his line - as long as that line might last.
If the tale had ended there, then it would be Faramir who was again lifted to his feet and embraced as the King returned in triumph to Minas Tirith, but that had all been before Boromir’s miraculous return, when Faramir - in the joy of that reunion - had yielded the precedent as, surely, was only right.
So it was that fell to the Captain of the Guard to debrief the men, and see that the horses were well stabled, his duty to direct the wounded to the House of Healing, to greet old friends and mourn the few losses, while the lot of state and dignity fell to the elder son.
Under his polished helm, surrounded by men who would follow him in to the Shadow itself, Faramir crushed the only trace of jealousy in his heart. It was given to all men of Gondor to serve their King and, for the moment, his duty lay here, in the courtyards and city streets whilst his brother and his King attended to the business of State.
It was some hours before that work was done and he was able to return to his chambers, and trade the parade uniform for his old ranger hood, and the great spear of his office for a bundle of scrolls that demanded the attention of the King’s Grace. He padded his way to Elessar’s chambers, waving aside the guard who told him that his grace was still in conference with the Lord Steward and went onwards. The door to the chamber was ajar, and through it, he could hear voices.
One voice. One, well-known voice, raised in bitter anger.
“And where was Númenor,” Boromir jeered, “when Gondor had need? Where were the Dúnedain when the Dark Lord - ”
Scrolls scattered to the floor as Faramir’s hand found the hilt of his sword. It felt as though his heart would tear its way out of his throat, that his body had found a tension it had not known since his father’s last days. Had Boromir lost his wits?
“ - drove us in to retreat? Eh? Where was Strider when Minas Tirith was besieged?”
Close to the door now, he could see the two men were on their feet his brother paced and raged, his eyes aglitter with challenge. His King stood erect, motionless, regal as a god in his dishevelled clothes, his lip curled in disdain.
Faramir knew his duty and where it lay, however hard it might be for him, knew he should intervene before steel was drawn and his brother damned himself ever further.
But Boromir’s mouth was already opening to continue his tirade. “You deceive yourself, Elessar,” the name was spat, "if you think a son of Gondor will take the knee at a Ranger’s bidding,” and before Faramir could burst in to the room to quiet his brother’s tongue, the chamber resounded with the echoes of a slap.
Still standing, massaging the knuckles of the hand which had struck the blow, the King’s Grace said, “Must I bid you again, son of Denethor?”
“Bid away, Ranger.”
“Kneel.”
Boromir laughed, that short, humourless laugh that had marked Gondor’s darkest days. This was insurrection. This was treason. This was his brother.
With a cruel tightening of his mouth, the King’s Grace reached out and seized a handful of Boromir’s hair, twisting up and back. Boromir still smiled, but there was a flash of fear in his eyes now, and his breath came quick and sharp. Frozen upon the threshold, Faramir watched his King force his brother downwards, all the while with the smile of a tyrant upon his lips. Elessar put one hand under Boromir’s chin, tilting it upwards. “Better,” he said.
Again, that laugh, the mouth opening to shape some insulting words.
“No,” said Elessar.
And with the no, with the hand under his jaw, and the finger still twisted viciously in his hair, a change came across Boromir’s face. As Faramir watched, all the anger, the challenge, even the fear seemed to wash away in to a peace that seemed to flow downwards, through his brother’s shoulders, his stomach, his legs. As Faramir watched, those fingers that had yanked so cruelly in his brother’s hair loosened their grip and changed to a caress, as they stroked the red mark of the slap that was beginning to shine upon his brother’s face. And Faramir’s own hand tugged the locks of his own hair, his mouth dry as he began to understand the game being played here.
“There,” said the King’s Grace, “is this not better?”
His eyes a little averted, Boromir nodded. It was as though he did not quite trust the peace, the surrender that was washing through him.
Faramir knew that he would leave, that he must leave, but his own knees ached to feel the flagstones beneath them, to feel the heat of those healing hands on his face, knew that - in his brother’s place - he would be so drunk on obedience that he would only be able to stare up in to that face, bewitched.
He should go, he must go, but he felt his own mouth fall open and soft as one of Elessar’s hands fumbled at his clothes and slipped out the length of his manhood. The other still caressed Boromir’s cheek, pressing at the red skin the slap had left there.
And Faramir’s breath felt too short, the weight of his hood too much, as his brother’s eyes flashed upwards, all the challenge now lascivious, that fierceness transmuted in to lust. He touched his own lips as his King brushed the weight of his cock against his brother’s mouth, as his brother’s tongue flashed out to lick that dark, heavy head.
Surely he must sink in to the ground from shame, surely the thunder of his heart, the dryness of his mouth would drive him from this place, from watching this private moment, but he could not look away.
Instead, he was fixed, rapt, as Boromir slid his mouth back and forth, letting his lips drag along the length of the King’s stand, stretching his head back to take the whole thing with a little click of a choke that seemed obscenely loud in the quietness - just as his own breath, surely was obscenely loud, just as his own loins, insistent as they, must have been too obvious, too clear. He would be discovered, and what would he say? Stripped of his rank, stripped of his King’s regard, how could he bear the shame?
But the lovers were too intent on one another, as Elessar rolled his shoulder’s back with a Ranger’s easy strength, and thrust himself deeper in to his Steward’s mouth with slow groans of pleasure. And as his King’s hands worked knots in to Boromir’s blond hair, spit dripped over his lips, soaking his beard, his eyes closed in bliss. Faramir wished that he might close his own, for they pricked with a terrible heat.
Then, after a long time, after too long a time, the King threw back his head with that brilliant smile, the smile that made it feel as though you were surrounded by a glow of brightest gold, and drew himself out of Boromir’s mouth, sending great spurts of white jism across his face, his chest, his hair, letting them drip across his wet and open lips.
Faramir pressed his hand against his mouth to stop himself letting out a groan to match the King’s own. He must leave, he must leave now. But it was not until he saw his brother’s eyes open and look upwards with blissful devotion, his tongue almost absently licking the spending from his lips, as his King leaned down to lay a full kiss upon that mouth, that he was able to look away. That he was able to gather up his scattered scrolls, and flee.

Chapter Text

Later, at table, all trace of the road-dirtied Ranger had been brushed away from the King’s Grace and he seemed once again like some nobility stepped from old tale in to these ruder times. Around his face, his hair had been brushed to soft waves, and in the light of the lamps and candles about them, the brown of it touched through with gold. On his brow was the circlet of his majesty, and upon the face - now free from sweat, and grime, the beard neatly trimmed - the half-smile sat as easily as Elessar himself sat enthroned upon the dais.
A little down that high table, upon the King’s left, Faramir closed his hand about his goblet and did everything in his power not to stare. Here, in the brightness and the ceremony, it should be as though the things he had seen were merely some fevered imagining, the afterimage of a night of restless sleep, it should not have been possible to gaze upon that noble face and to think of how it might have felt to have those hands pushing him to his knees, or more yet, pressing him down in to the rich cloth of a Kingly bed, hands upon his shoulders, lips upon his neck, the ends of that brown blond hair brushing his naked skin and…
It was not that he had never know such things. Ceremony, rank, degree, these had all meant rather less beneath the shadow Mordor had once cast. Pressed between the earth, and one of his men, Faramir had known release that way many times in those dark days, for all the world would call it shame. But to lie that way beneath a King? Beneath the Elfstone himself…?
Faramir stared down in to the red depths of his wine and tried again to chase the thoughts away.
His brother, at least, seemed in his very best spirits, calling for more wine, and offering toasts to the King, to Gondor’s glory, and any other thing that crossed his mind. There was no mark upon his face, no indication either of surrender or shame, and Faramir could not help but recall other nights when Boromir had carried himself with such levity, could not but ask himself if that had meant…
“It is more often your brother’s lot to seem so solemn.”
The words called him from himself, the very voice stirring him to pull his spine straight, his gaze away from the wine and the weave of the tablecloth.
“Your pardon, sire.”
“Freely given, my Captain. I meant no criticism.” Elessar tipped his head to where Boromir had his cup raised to the minstrels as he shouted for another song. “Perhaps you felt he showed enough merriment for you both?” A glitter in those deep, grey eyes.
“I do not grudge it, sire. He has earned it.”
“And you have not?”
And Faramir’s eyes found the table once again, “I live to serve, my King.” What would it be to feel the King’s hand, now, as a caress upon his cheek? To feel that thumb push his lips apart, and then to…
No. Even his thoughts gave his words the lie. What was service if only given in return for such things?
“And ask no reward?” The voice was so quiet, it could almost have been conjured up by the troubled thoughts of his own mind.
“I am your Grace’s vassal,” he said, steady as he might.
“And that is its own payment?”
“Even so, sire.” He did not look away from the table, he did not dare.
The laugh of the King’s Grace was as rich and rough as amber washed up upon the shores of the south. “Are all the sons of Denethor so proud?”
The memory of his brother’s face, raised in perfect surrender. “I am known to be the humblest of my father’s sons.”
Again, that laugh, that glance to golden Boromir, still toasting the company with all the splendour of Gondor’s Steward. “I do not doubt it, my Captain. I do not doubt it at all.”