When Boromir blew out a breath in the dark, the air turned ghostly white.
Curse the sun and its fickleness, he thought with a glower into the night. It was only by the grace of three furs covering him and two hobbits curled at his back that Boromir could lay without shivering.
He could not sleep. It was not just the cold, but also unwelcome thoughts keeping him awake. Only hours before, he’d nearly killed himself protecting the little ones—Eru bless him that the arrows had pierced bark and not flesh—and not long before that he’d menaced one himself. The ring bearer. The one he had sworn to protect. The one shouldering this greatest burden. He recalled the betrayed look in Frodo’s wide eyes and the way he had scrambled backwards as if chased by a beast. Boromir grimaced to himself. That damned ring. For such a small thing to overpower him so!
And now the slight little hobbit and his gardener were off facing the evilest of evils while he lay brooding.
Boromir swiftly looked for something else to focus on.
The thing to do, he’d suddenly decided, was to get his mind off it entirely. When he turned his head to the right, he startled upon seeing a figure in the distance, remembering the steel-clashes of sword against sword and orcish battle cries. Muscular and lean, it sat at the edge of the hilltop they’d chosen for camp, head tilted up to watch the stars. Aragorn. His body relaxed. Just Aragorn.
Boromir let his gaze settle there. Though Aragorn shivered in this chill and aged and lost composure like any Man, his regard for constellations seemed Elf-like. Though only his silhouette was clear, the curve of his back caught the eye easily as it always did. If Boromir had benefitted from the blasé nature of Elves and clothing, and from Aragorn’s foster parentage, when bathing in rivers on the road—he wouldn’t say. But even now, with the man clad in thick cloth obscuring much of his form…
After a long moment of deliberation, Boromir slid himself from his furs. The frosted grass crunched under his boots.
“Boromir,” Aragorn greeted softly as he approached. He did not turn around.
“Aragorn.” He sat next to the ranger, attempting to peer into the same spot of sky he did. “You won’t sleep.”
The Man shook his head slowly. “No, not for now. I…” and here he paused, “I am overtired to the point of buzzing in my veins. My eyes hurt to close.”
“That’s all the more reason to rest.”
Aragorn just smiled at the moon in his stubborn, mysterious way. Boromir sensed he would not win the argument; he continued anyway. “You work very hard. I worry you’ll collapse.”
“Ha,” came the quiet reply. Aragorn’s light eyes slid to look over him. “Were you not the man cursing me when we departed?”
Boromir bristled perhaps more than he usually would. “I am not proud of it.” He was aware he sounded defensive. “I would follow you. You know this. I would serve you.”
“Peace. I know.” The ranger's tone was placating, fond. “I will not make light of it again.”
They sat, eyes on the stars.
Aragorn’s voice came again: “And what of you? Have I kept you up?”
As if so quiet a man could. He had not made a sound; surely he knew it. “No,” Boromir told him, eying his reaction. “I already struggled to sleep.”
“Will you tell me why?” Aragorn spoke lightly and without urgency in that Elfish way, allowing pauses after each statement, but he could have shouted it for all the subtlety the question had.
“You have enough to worry on,” Boromir demurred.
“Are we not journeying together? I’d like to hear.”
Kingly the man was, surely, yet even more gentle—it was so difficult to refuse his earnestness! Boromir sat quiet for a moment, aware of Aragorn’s patient presence to his right. The very air was warmer at his side. “It’s getting tiresome,” Boromir finally said, dread in his stomach like a too-heavy meal. “Sleeping alone.”
Aragorn leaned forward without a hint of surprise. “Is that all?”
He could not mean what Boromir suspected he meant. “It—all? You are betrothed!”
“She had many before me,” the ranger said, “and I hope she will have many after. She knows I am content if she seeks comfort while I am away. She wishes me also to follow my heart.”
Boromir did not miss the affection in his tone. He could not find it within himself to be shy—he instead felt a rush of alarm. A strange urge to deny it. “But,” he sputtered, “I have done little but disrespect you.”
“You have helped me.” The eyes in front of him were alight with fond amusement, and Boromir thought his heart might stop. “You have looked over the little ones when I could not. You have saved, I think, more than you know.”
Warmth enveloped one of his hands.
“If I were to find comfort, I would find it in you.”
Boromir swallowed around a lump in his throat, gaze fixed firmly on the ranger’s. His back had gone stiff and his expression stony, he knew, yet Aragorn’s small smile showed only knowing mirth. “What of Legolas?” Boromir asked, suddenly desperate. “He is fair and often walks with you.”
Aragorn chuckled. “I think Gimli would protest. Dwarves are not prone to sharing, hm? And my eyes follow you. Do I have no say in this?”
Boromir found he already had no protests left.
So, as Aragorn grinned infuriatingly at him, Boromir took his king’s face in his hands and pulled him into a kiss. He had intended it to be searing—something which would show his irritation yet also his desire—but his lips pressed to Aragorn’s gently. At the nape of his neck, a hand brushed hair away.
He leaned forward, tasting Aragorn’s lips with a tenderness born of longing.
It was warmer pressed against a body, Boromir soon found. He convinced himself that burying both hands in dark hair was necessary in the climate as the two lay flush, tucked in a quiet, dark spot away from the camp. Lips and teeth stole his breath; the ranger was nipping and sucking insatiably at his mouth. He beckoned Boromir in deeper and deeper as if bringing him closer would fuse them into one—and Boromir sank against him eagerly. It was impossible to ignore the fire now stoked in his gut.
He suspected that had to do with the ranger’s thigh grinding slowly into his trousers.
Between them they had built up a heady warmth, but the cold hung in the air wet around them—they would not escape it. Boromir doffed his overmost coat, ignoring with difficulty the question in Aragorn’s lust-darkened eyes, to tuck it under the ranger and spread the fabric against the frosted ground.
“Clever,” Aragorn whispered to him with a teasing lilt, and Boromir fought a shiver as he took the ranger’s lips again. Yes, yes, he knew this was Aragorn—his reluctant king, heir of Isildur, his fellow in this hellish task, he knew very well—but the speaking… It was somehow more overwhelming.
Blessedly, Boromir was understood, and they proceeded with only gasps and wordless sounds as oil and much slow rocking eased Aragorn’s length into him. Hot, it felt in this chill—like a thick fire-poker opening him, growing fatter and sinking deeper with each shift. Under him, the ranger groaned through gritted teeth. His hands had come to Boromir’s hips loosely once the oil had been applied; they now gripped to aid his movement. Aragorn’s hunger was obvious. Boromir let gravity take him deeper and, through his own shudder, relished in the reaction: a bitten-off curse, closed eyes opening blue to reflect the stars, and parted lips drawing shaky breaths. His hair was tousled, hanging loose in his face with their rocking. Another kiss was tempting, but the view was sweeter. Boromir could not bear to interrupt it.
He instead doomed himself: he looked directly into the ranger’s eyes as he rode his cock. The emotion he found within them was simply too enthralling—that gentleness, under the lust, an intimacy he had not expected—and Boromir released a choked moan, quickening in anticipation for his finish.
Neither looked away. Worse, Boromir again could not quiet himself. Emptying into him with a thrust of pulsing warmth, the ranger cried out loudly enough to ring in the air, and he was undone.
“Aragorn,” he gasped, shaking as his own completion came, “Aragorn!” The dam was broken, and so it seemed he could speak nothing else. “Aragorn,” he repeated in a soft chant with his rocking, slowing as the intensity faded and quieting completely when the ranger brought their lips together, this time with a muted vigor as they kissed and broke for breath and kissed again, hardly separating even while fixing their clothing back decent to escape the cold. Forefront in Boromir’s mind was embarrassment, but despite himself he melted into the affection as he did sleep in the summer. The ranger was holding him—caressing him with an arm and hand to his lower back and the other lain along his spine to rest on the nape of his neck.
“Will we remember this?” came Aragorn’s voice low against his lips.
He did not elaborate. He didn’t need to: Boromir heard the invitation. They’d speak nothing of this night if he wished it so. Still, he finished their kiss, sucked on the ranger’s bottom lip, enjoyed the soft gasp it elicited. He could not deny himself this.
“I should like to,” he replied, and delighted silently in the ranger’s moonlit smile.