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Brothers in Arms

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Part one

I fell in love with him the first time I saw him in Rivendell. I didn't know it for some time, though, and he didn't know for even longer. I remember he was so stiff and proud as he touched the Broken Sword. His blood ran red. He saw me and pretended it was of no matter. I had no idea what he would mean to me as I watched him walk away.

I was so angry at him at the council of Elrond. This stupid idiot from Gondor was going to screw it up for all of us. He had no idea what this Ring was! He had no idea of its power. But he was right, we had no idea what the lands around Mordor were like. We had no idea how hard the men of Gondor had worked and how much they had suffered to keep evil at bay. We would learn. Indeed, we would learn.

While Frodo and the hobbits spent the autumn in Rivendell, Boromir, myself and others ventured out for information. We were bound for Mordor, the Nazgul were about, and none of us knew what to expect. We needed all the intelligence we could get. Boromir was not a pleasant companion. He was angry at who I was, the heir of Isildur. His family had kept Gondor for a long time, and he felt they needed no king, especially not one who had grown up among the elves. He treated me with disdain and refused to call me anything but Ranger.

We were headed back for Rivendell. It was getting cold and was raining, pouring actually. We found a cave to stay in, but we didn't want to build a fire. It was so cold and we were wet. We ate some of the food Elrond had sent with us. I was stubborn and stood guard in the rain. I got wet to the skin and the night grew cold, impossibly cold. Boromir came outside and pulled me into the cave. I was so cold that I couldn't even speak as he led me over to our packs. He undressed me like a child, then he took his own warm clothing off and put it on me, even his cloak. He was dressed only in his ugly woolen undergarments.

"Are you a fool, Ranger? It's too cold to stand in the rain. We have to get some sleep. I'm so tired I can barely see and you've been awake longer than me."

"Too cold to sleep." I finally managed to expel the words from between my chattering teeth.

"We'll have to sleep together, keep each other warm."

He sat beside me, pulled me into his warm embrace and lay down with me. He pulled several blankets us. I was drowned in his scent. He smelled of the forest, of smoke from his pipe, and another smell that I came to know as his own scent. I was comforted and finally warmed by this strange man, this man who perhaps deserved a kingdom more than I did. I fell into a deep dreamless sleep and slept as I hadn't since I was a child.

Morning dawned clear and cold. He was packing our gear when I woke, never saying anything about my weakness. I gave him his clothing back, mine having dried during the night. We set out for Rivendell, to begin our quest. We spoke seldom during our journey. We did sleep in each other's arms every night.

And every night that we were together and not on watch, for the rest of his life.

*****

When we returned finally to Rivendell, all was ready for our little band to set out. Elrond had provisioned us all, and our Fellowship was set: Gandalf the Wizard led us. Boromir and myself were the Men in the Fellowship. Then there was the dwarf, Gimli, the elf, Legolas and the company of hobbits. We left Rivendell on foot, while Sam led Bill with the bulk of our provisions. The country was beautiful, though we noticed little of the scenery. Sam and Frodo kept to themselves. Gandalf still led us all, while Boromir seemed to make friends with Merry and Pippin. Legolas was always watchful and always had an elf's cool detachment. Gimli trod along like an outcast much of the time. As did I.

The weather was growing cold as we headed into the mountains. We all huddled together to stay warm in the cold nights. Sam recited rhymes from the Shire, Legolas sang now and again, Gimli talked of his Dwarf ancestors and the mighty cities they built, and Boromir told the tales of Man. He told his tales with such pride, that I felt like a betrayer for all the years I had dwelt among the Elves. Only Boromir could make me feel so small.

 

One evening I walked away from camp. The night was bright and we could see from our vantage point any who tried to approach. I needed to be away from them all for a while, to think, to calm myself before going on.

"It's going to snow soon." The voice startled me. Boromir walked up beside me.

"I know. I don't know how we'll get through the Misty Mountains before it snows. I wish... oh hell, Boromir, I wish I had never been chosen for this."

He put a hand to my shoulder. I looked into those green eyes. Not for the first time, I wondered how they would look in the throes of passion. I looked away. I told myself that I was Arwen's betrothed.

"Ranger, I feel sometimes that we are all doomed in this quest. I can see it in the others' eyes. Even in yours sometimes."

"Boromir, like you, I don't know how it will end, but I know I have to fulfill my pledge to Frodo." I looked at . He was not as big a man as he appeared, though not small by any standards. His broad shoulders made him look larger than he was. His eyes were so intense, it was hard not to flinch under his gaze. I had roamed all Middle Earth, and no human had ever made me feel so bereft as he could.

"Tell me of your childhood, Ranger. I have never met one such as you, raised by elves."

I found myself smiling as I told of growing up in the forests of Rivendell. I had run wild among the elves, spoiled and pampered, and even thought myself one for several years, until my mother and Elrond told me of my lineage.

"I'm not sure I've ever been so carefree. I grew up a soldier, a warrior devoted to defending my home. We had little time for fun." He didn't sound bitter, and I don't think he was. "Why don't you get some rest, Ranger? I'll stand guard."

"I've gotten so used to your snoring that I'm not sure I can sleep without it." I laughed and turned to go back to camp before he saw the truth on my face.

"Wait..." I turned back to him. He reached a hand to my face, barely touching me. He didn't say anything for a long moment. "Sleep well. I'll be back when it's the elf's watch."

Several hours later, I woke from a fitful sleep as an arm came over my waist. I felt his body close to my back. "Go back to sleep. It's just me."

And I did.

*****

We spent the last few days before the snow came in a beautiful mountain meadow. Everyone needed a little time to rest and relax. I watched Boromir practice sword fighting with Merry and Pippin, whom he called "the Little Ones." I laughed as they tackled him. Could he do more to endear himself to me? I was becoming so smitten with him. I was careful not to show it. I didn't want him to think we were more than friends. I was so scared he'd laugh at me.

Frodo and Sam huddled and talked together. Frodo's injury had taken all the youth out of him. The Ring weighed heavy around his neck. I would glance at him now and again and see him hold it in his hand with a glazed look on his face. It spoke to him then I think. It spoke to us all now and again. I wish I had how much. Oh God, I wish I had known.

It was there in the meadow that I found out that my brother had affection for me, as well. That night is etched in my mind as only a few others are. I was in my tent, checking the medicinal herbs that I carried and putting my pack in order. We would not linger here much longer. Darkness loomed so near. The mission was our last hope. I was just so tired. All those years of riding alone had worn me down.

"Can I come in?" He came in while he was asking. I couldn't help but smile at his boldness. It never occurred to him I might say no. This Man of Gondor had no lack of confidence.

I smiled at him and gestured for him to sit.

"Are we moving out soon? I think we should go through Gondor. My father would welcome us. The Little Ones need rest, Ranger. They are tired. So am I, for that matter." He reached a hand out and touched my face with his palm against my cheek. "So are you." His voice dropped to almost a whisper. He leaned toward me and kissed my cheek. Desire so hot I thought I'd burn up ran over me. I closed my eyes and sat perfectly still, afraid that it was a dream. My body responded immediately, getting painfully hard in seconds.

He kissed my lips, ever so slowly and gently, as if he were afraid I'd run from him. I kissed him back, putting my hand on the back of his head, pulling him closer. He slid his tongue into my mouth, caressing and exploring. He pulled back just as abruptly. My closed eyes shot open.

"What? - "

"I've gotta go."

"But - "

He put a finger on my lips and said, "You're tired, and I told Gimli I'd be there to relieve him soon. I want to do this, but I want to take all night. I want..."

I was speechless. He kissed me a quick kiss and was gone.

*****

It was so cold that the snow froze in our hair and in our beards, and the snow was so deep that Boromir and I had to carry the hobbits. That suited Merry and Pippin. They seemed to adore Boromir anyway. They were the only ones who didn't seem to notice the dark pull of the Ring. But Merry would go wherever Frodo went, and Pippin would go wherever Merry went.

We found a cave for the night. It was large enough to even afford some privacy, which was in short supply on this trip. We ate cold food and sat around cold and shivering in the dark. Gandalf finally made his staff give off enough glow that we could see each other. We used staffs and sticks to section off a few "rooms" for us all. All the hobbits piled into one small area. Merry and Pippin always slept curled around each other like kittens. In the cold, Sam and Frodo did the same. Legolas took watch, along with Gimli. Gandalf sat alone, staring into the night. Boromir followed me to the far corner of the cave. I hung my cloak up to give me a small area of my own.

He seemed to take up all the space as he sat down. He rubbed his cold hands together to warm them.

"It's funny how you forget how painful cold is from one season to the next. My feet still have hardly any feeling in them, and my hands are almost numb, too."

"I've never found but one way to get warm without a fire. Perhaps we should share our heat. It keeps the hobbits warm. They don't even wear shoes." I smiled at the thought of those big hobbit feet treading through the snow, as if it were just a meadow with tall green grass.

He looked at me hard for a minute. Finally, he said, "How much heat would you share with me, Ranger?"

"How much heat do you want?" I was being coquettish and I knew it, but I was scared. I wanted him, gods, I wanted him so much. But I was not very experienced in such matters. I'd never had but two relationships, and none with a human. I had to wonder about him. Did he have a wife? Children? A lover? Had he been with many lovers?

"All that you will give me, Ranger." He sat there, looking at me, waiting for me to decide. I moved over to him, removing his cloak. I carefully removed all his clothing, until he only wore his gray woolen underwear, but his woolen shirt was missing.

"Where did your shirt go?" I was crouched behind him, where I knelt to take off his clothing.

"The Little Ones were so cold, I gave the two I had to them, to keep them warm."

I wouldn't have thought to do something like that for the hobbits. I smiled and ran my hands over his smooth back. I kissed his shoulder, then moved his hair so I could kiss the back of his neck. I felt him shiver. I sat down behind him with my legs around him and lay my head on his shoulder and my arms around him.

"What are you afraid of, Ranger?" He put his hands on mine, bringing one, then the other, to his lips. "I would never hurt you," he said in a quiet voice.

I was afraid to tell him the truth: that I was afraid, afraid he'd be disappointed in me. Or worse, that he'd turn away.

The silence lengthened. He turned so he could see my face. I'm sure the need and desire shone through all the doubt and fear, because he moved so we were facing each other again on our knees. I began to remove my own clothing as we faced each other. When I was naked from my waist up, I looked over at his smooth skin, then back at my own, scarred from the fights I'd had and the battles I'd been in. I ran a hand down from his shoulder to the trail of golden hair that disappeared into his woolen pants. He sucked in a breath as I slid my hand under them. He was hard, so hard. And hot. And silky smooth.

"Yes," he whispered. His voice was low with arousal, almost a growl.

Suddenly, pleasing him was all that mattered to me. I wanted to hear him moan in pleasure, wanted to feel him tremble when he came.

"Tell me what to do." I finally whispered. He lay me down on the blankets and finished removing my clothes, then his own. He lay down beside me. He kissed me, sweet passionate kisses turning slowly to hard hungry kisses. His hands touched me everywhere. I found myself whimpering and writhing under his hands. He turned me over and molded himself to my back.

"This will hurt..."

I remembered the sweet oil I carried in my pack and stretched up to find it. I handed him the vial and moaned as he applied it to my body, sliding a slick finger inside me. When I was ready, he slid slowly and carefully inside me. When he was buried in me all the way, he moaned and whispered, "Aragorn," as he slid his hand over my hips and began to stroke me as he moved. He moved up so his head lay on my shoulder from behind. I felt his hot breath as he moved, heard the sounds he made as pleasure took us both, heard his quiet "I love you," as he drifted off to sleep with me still in his arms.

*****

We headed up the mountain to the pass of Caradhras, everyone was weary, but Frodo seemed to be the weariest of all. The Ring was taking its toll on the once innocent hobbit. His blue eyes looked so sad these days. I wanted to weep for him.

We were heading up a hill and he fell. Boromir was in the lead and I was behind. Frodo took a tumble, falling all the way back to land at my feet. Frodo got up, feeling for the Ring.

I saw Boromir bend and retrieve it from the snow. He held it up by its chain. His face was cold, his eyes filled with lust. My hand went to my sword.

"Boromir."

"It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing... such a little thing." His eyes never left the Ring as it dangled from his fingers.

"Boromir! Give the Ring to Frodo." I gripped my sword so hard my hand hurt.

"As you wish. I care not." He handed it to Frodo , who grabbed it fiercely. Boromir tousled Frodo's hair and turned away. Frodo glared after him. I let out my breath and loosened the grip on my sword.

I was shaking. I would have killed him. I would die for him, but I would have killed him for Frodo, for the quest. When we stopped to camp, I couldn't look at him. I went about my business as if the last few nights had never happened. When time for sleep came, I was on watch. I volunteered. I didn't know if I could handle being alone with Boromir right now. I needn't have bothered. He was beside me before I knew it.

"If I apologize, will it matter?"

"I don't know. You were scary, like someone else."

He looked away, hurt.

"The Ring... It calls me, makes promises to me. Sometimes I'm not convinced that we couldn't use it against Sauron."

"It will not be used against him. It uses us to get back to him. And if it does... I don't think Middle Earth can survive that evil again."

He seemed to be thinking about that. Then he turned to me.

"Promise me something, Ranger. Promise that you will not let me get the Ring. Kill me if you must, but don't let me destroy your chances to rid the Earth of this thing."

"I don't know if I could do that." I looked into those eyes. "I love you."

"But you will do what needs to be done, love." He kissed my cheek and caressed it lightly and returned to the camp. He had known all along that I would fulfill my pledge to Frodo, no matter the cost.

Chapter Text

The snow was deeper and the cold more bitter as we climbed into the high altitudes. Boromir and I still had to carry the hobbits. One of us could have carried Gimli too, but dwarves are proud and tough. The hobbits and Boromir seemed amused by Legolas, who could walk on top of the snow. I smiled as my old friend, Legolas, - walked beside us, keeping watch while the rest of us slogged along in the frozen mess.

We were walking along a narrow ledge covered in snow when Legolas stopped dead in his tracks. "There is a fell voice in the air." All of us knew who the fell voice belonged to. Saruman the White, Sauron's newest ally. The whole top of the mountain seemed to tear away, and snow cascaded down at us.

"He's trying to bring down the mountain. Gandalf, we must turn back!" I shouted.

Gandalf began to conjure a spell to counter Saruman's spell. Soon, a bolt of lightning hit the mountain and a second avalanche buried us in snow. It was tense for a few minutes, but then heads began sticking up through the snow. We were all there and all safe.

We could not pass through Caradhras. Boromir thought we should go through the Gap of Rohan and through Gondor. But I knew it was too close to Isengard. I sometimes wish I had kept my mouth shut. Perhaps I would have known the pleasure of his company all these many, many years instead of... well, let's not talk of that now. I digress. Gimli offered the mines of Moria, and Frodo chose them... so that's the road we took. It took several days to get back down the mountain.

Boromir and I behaved awkwardly toward each other after the incident with the Ring. I had kept myself aloof from him. I could see the hurt in his eyes when he thought I wasn't looking. I hated myself for being cold to him, but I wouldn't show him any weakness either. I always had my pride.

He didn't care at all about my pride. He came stomping into my tent, taking up all the space and all the air as usual. He was so magnificent with his green eyes glittering with anger. My heart always beat faster at the sight of him.

"What do you want?" I asked, trying to appear calm while my heart clanged violently against my ribs.

"A minute of your time, Ranger," he sneered. He could be nasty, sarcastic bastard when he wanted to. It just made me want him more.

"What now?" I said in much the same tone. I could be nasty too.

He pulled me roughly into his arms, holding me tight. He kissed me. A brutal, punishing kiss that didn't stay that way. I sagged against him, letting him hold my weight up. I put my forehead against his, looking into his eyes. I saw my own heart in those eyes. I wished I could be as self assured as he was. I wished I knew more of being a Man than I did, having lived among elves most of my life. He had but one goal, the welfare of Gondor. There were many days when I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. I felt ill equipped for the future.

Tonight, I just wanted to be warm, wanted to feel something, anything, again.

We lay in the dark, holding each other tightly. The sweat was drying on our bodies, and if we didn't hold each other close, we shivered. He had tried to be gentle tonight, but had failed. I loved him even more for it. To see him vulnerable, needy beyond his control, was a great gift for me. I knew that few had ever seen him this way: trembling with need, begging, taking what he wanted, and remorseful at any pain he caused. I assured him that I loved him, and all was well.

I remember thinking how I would be glad to have him as an advisor if we got through this, and I became king. I remember thinking how I'd love to have him show me Gondor. I even remember just lying there, watching him sleep.

*****

We finally got down off the mountain. We headed for the mines of Moria. It took hours for us to get in once we were there. Gandalf was being stubborn and showing off, which all wizards are wont to do at times. Merry and Pippin were getting bored... always a dangerous thing, and I had to help poor Sam let Bill go. Sometimes I thought Sam wasn't suited for this mission. But he loved Frodo more than life itself.

Perhaps that is all that made any of us fit for it... Love.

Boromir and I sat and talked quietly. I would have loved to show how I felt about him in front of the others, but he felt it would cause problems. He was probably right. I had to be content to touch his shoulder or his hand while we talked. I had a sense of foreboding about this place. We all did. Finally, Frodo figured out the riddle of the door. Hobbits love puzzles. That's how we got into this in the first place, I think.

Inside the door... oh gods, what an awful sight. Dead dwarves all over. Boromir called it a tomb, and he was right. The smell of rotting flesh lingered even though the bodies had decayed almost to dust. When we turned to leave, the creature from the water grabbed Frodo with its tentacles. We all started shooting and cutting, but Boromir saved him. He cut the tentacle that held Frodo and caught him when he fell.

Then the opening to the mines caved in as we ran back in! We had no choice but to go on.

I hated those mines. They were cold and dark and full of death. We pulled our swords and set out. Gimli found Balin's tomb... We all tried to stop him going into the room, but he had to. Those few hours were the ones that changed our lives again. Everything happened so fast. When Gandalf went into the fire... I was lost. I couldn't leave him. I couldn't think. But Boromir grabbed Frodo and me, and ran like the very devil himself was after us. The devil WAS after us and he took Gandalf.

I would have stayed if Boromir hadn't pulled me away. He grabbed me, and we ran. The whole mine started to cave in. Boromir grabbed his Little Ones and ran. He and Legolas helped us to get out. I didn't think Frodo and I would make it... I remember thinking how I wanted to tell Boromir one more time how much I loved him. We got out. Out into a cold gray world that had taken one of our Fellows. It was not done with us yet. Not by a long shot.

*****

I drove everyone hard when we came out of Moria. I knew we had no time to spare. Frodo seemed dazed with grief. The Little Ones cried openly. Legolas looked as though his heart was breaking. Even Gimli seemed inconsolable, for he had lost more than just Gandalf. Boromir was angry with me for pushing, but didn't argue. I knew we had to find Lothlorien.

On the way, I laughed at all the things Gimli said about the elf-witch. When Haldir finally caught us and took us to Galadriel and Celeborn, Gimli was completely and utterly smitten with her, as were we all.

Except Boromir, I saw him shake as she spoke to us all, and wondered why.

"Stray but a little and it will fail...." I heard his gasp as she spoke.

Legolas made my heart ache when he listened to the Elves lament for Gandalf. To see the grief, fresh and raw on his face, was very painful to me, almost as painful as losing Gandalf. Someday perhaps I shall tell you a tale of Legolas, but not today. Boromir was restless, too. He wouldn't sit still, and I could feel his fear.

"Take some rest, love. These borders are well protected."

He looked at me, his fear showing in those green eyes.

"I will find no rest here. I heard a voice inside my head. She spoke of my father and the fall of Gondor. She said to me that even now there is hope left. But I cannot see it. It is long since we had any hope."

"My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing. And now our... our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right. And I would. I would see the glory of Gondor restored." He sighed. Such sadness broke my heart. What comfort could I offer him?

"Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver. Its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?" I could see it in my mind, as he turned to look at me.

"I have seen the White City. Long ago."

"One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guards shall take up the call: The Lords of Gondor have returned!"

I smiled and took him into my arms. I wanted to comfort him, to let him know everything would be all right, but I didn't know how. I had no idea what would happen. So I kissed him and led him to our shelter.

I gave him all the love I knew how to give. I held him when he cried and loved him with all my being.

Our days in Lothlorien were not long. Boromir and I had one last night in that place. After dinner, he and I made excuses and disappeared into the forest. We walked the silver paths, until we were out of hearing of everyone. I turned to him and kissed him.

"Let's not waste this night. We'll have little chance to be alone after this."

He smiled and pulled me tight into his embrace. "I think despair would overwhelm me, if you were not here to smile your shy smile, Ranger."

He led me to a little clearing in the strange Lothlorien light. He lay his cloak on the ground. He stood in front of me and removed my clothing one piece at a time, my black velvet shirt, my leggings, until I stood naked in front of him. I was always a little embarrassed by my scarred, roughened skin, until he leaned down to my chest and traced each scar with his tongue. I trembled with arousal and emotion. He began to remove his own clothing, but I pushed his hands away. I removed them for him, till he too stood naked. His skin was smooth with few scars. His muscles pleased me as I ran my hands over broad shoulders and down strong arms.

He pulled me into his embrace then, our hot bodies touching. I groaned as his hard cock rubbed my own. Could anything feel this exquisite? My tongue met his as he kissed me, again and again. Standing became harder, and we gradually sank down onto his cape on the ground. I looked up into glittering green eyes, as he stretched his heavy body out on top of mine. We were touching from out feet to our lips. I was on fire again. He drove me so mad with desire that I was blind to all but him. He moved off of me and began to kiss my body, slowly down to my aching cock.

I almost came, when I felt his wet tongue touch me. I arched my back, gasping for breath. His hands teased me here and there, touching a nipple, running the length of a ticklish rib. I groaned his name, as his mouth closed over me, tangling one hand in his cloak and one hand in his long hair. I couldn't think, as his tongue slithered all over me. The only word that I could make come out was `yes'. I moaned it over and over, as he made love to me with his mouth. Finally, my endurance was at an end, and I managed to gasp his name, as I filled his mouth. When I felt him swallow again and again, I actually thought that I might die of the pleasure. When I was spent, he smiled up at me.

He moved up on his knees beside me. I put my hand around him and stroked him gently, then I moved so I could taste the drop of fluid that was about to drip from him. I caught it with my tongue. Then followed it to its source. He groaned as I did to him what he had done to me. He moved so he was thrusting himself into my throat. I held him, one hand behind, caressing his ass and the other stroking him as he moved in and out of my mouth. He growled and filled my mouth with his tangy essence, and I swallowed it all, licking him clean when he'd finished.

We loved each other till the night became day. We fell asleep as morning made the silver forest gold with sunlight. It was the last night we would love each other. If I had known, I don't think I'd have ever slept at all.

*****

We left Lothlorien with gifts from Galadriel and Cereborn, including Elf-made cloaks that would hide us from others and three boats. Legolas and Gimli took one boat since the two of them seemed to be friendlier now than ever before. I have heard that Gimli had a lock of Galadriel's hair. It would not surprise me. Boromir, of course, shared his boat with his Little Ones. I rowed Frodo and Sam in my boat. The river was beautiful with huge expanses of forests and mountains. I'm afraid we all noticed very little.

The sight of the Argonath almost took my breath away, however. The statues were so beautiful and fierce, standing on either side of the Anduin, guarding the land and warning those who would enter. I pointed them out to Frodo as we came in sight of them.

Finally, we reached Amon Hen. As we got out of our boats, I saw Boromir tremble and shake his head. I knew that the Ring was calling him again. We were getting closer to its Master, and it would use any means to get to Sauron. I didn't say anything.

We settled down to rest. Legolas got that look in his eye. "We should leave now," he said very quietly to me.

I turned to him. "No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for cover of darkness."

"It is not the eastern shore that worries me. A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Something draws near. I can feel it."

Would I have done anything different if I had known the outcome? I don't know. Probably not. We'll never know. "Where's Frodo?" Merry piped up. He was gone.

So was Boromir. There lay his shield, but he was gone. My heart slammed hard into my ribs. I set out in a hurry to find Frodo, praying that he was okay, that Boromir hadn't found him yet.

Frodo stood at beside Seat of Seeing. I called to him. He seemed startled and said, "It has taken Boromir." Everything in me screamed `NO.'

"Where is the ring?" I asked him, trying not to scream at him.

"Stay away." He ran from me, scared of me.

"Frodo!" He paused, looked at me with fear still showing. "I swore to protect you."

"Can you protect me from yourself?" He showed me the Ring, holding it out to me on the palm of his hand. It called my name. I stood there, looking at it. I knelt down on my knees as I closed his hand. He knew it called to me, to Boromir. He was leaving, I could see it in his eyes, those sad blue eyes. My heart ached at what had been done to him, how his hobbit innocence had been taken.

"I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor."

"I know. Look after the others, especially Sam. He will not understand."

His sword began to glow blue. I bid him run and went out to face the orcs. Frodo ran and I fought. Legolas and Gimli joined me. They were not hard to kill, but their numbers were huge. They seemed to be looking for something, the hobbits perhaps.

Legolas yelled, "The Horn of Gondor!"

"Boromir!" I ran down the hill towards him, but the Uruk-Hai cut me off. I heard the Horn again. I killed them, relentlessly, as I tried to make my way to him. I got there just a huge Uruk-Hai was about to shoot another arrow into Boromir, who was on his knees with three arrows sticking out from his bleeding body.

I flew at the Uruk-Hai, all the fear and rage making me fast and strong. He was stronger, but I couldn't give up. I had to save Boromir. Cutting his arm off just aggravated the Uruk-Hai. He laughed at me. I finally drove my sword through him. He smiled a malevolent smile and pulled it deeper. I jerked it back out and with all my strength came around with a long swing that cut his head off. It fell. He was dead.

Boromir lay near a tree. Bloody orc arrows stuck out of his body. He was pale and barely breathing. I had to do something, to save him. I lay down, my body almost covering his.

"They took the Little Ones." His eyes were so sad.

"Be still." I knew he shouldn't be trying to talk. I had to save him. I had to!

"Frodo, where is Frodo?"

I told him the truth. "I let Frodo go."

"Then you did what I could not." No. NO.

"The Ring is beyond our reach now."

"Forgive me, I did not see it. I have failed you all." I could barely breath. He had not failed. He had never been braver.

"No, Boromir, you fought bravely. You kept your honor." I tried to pull one of the arrows out. They had to come out.

"Leave it. It is over. The world of men will fail, and all will come to darkness... and my city to ruin." NO!

This could not happen. NO!

"I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you, I will let not the White City fall, nor our people fail!"

"Our people?" He asked, searching my face. A small smile. "Our people." He reached for his sword. I grabbed it and put it in his hand. He held it to his chest. Blood ran out the side of his mouth.

"I would have followed you, my brother, my captain, my king." I looked into his eyes as he left me. I kissed his forehead, touching his face. When I raised up, tears ran down my face.

"Be at peace, son of Gondor."

I became aware of Legolas and Gimli. Legolas watched, pain in his blue eyes. Gimli looked away.

They gathered water for me to bathe the blood from his body. I pulled the arrows out and dressed him in his best, wrapping the gray elf cloak about him. We placed him in the boat he had shared with his Little Ones, and we buried him there in the falls. I remember holding one of his cloaks to my face as I stood and watched his boat slide over the edge. I wished with all my heart it had been me in that boat.

*****

The rest of our tale has been told many times by many people. I need not tell it again. I have lived a very long life. I married Arwen. She has loved me well for many years and I, her. But I miss him, I miss him every single day. Every night when I sleep, I long for his arms to protect me as he always did. I long for the comfort he gave me.

I am old. My time is short now. I'm always cold, and I sit in the sun every day and watch our great grandchildren play. Arwen begs me to stay with her, but I am so tired these days. Sometimes when I watch the children, they fade and in their stead stands a warrior, a warrior of Gondor. He smiles his sad smile and beckons me to join him. My heart longs for this. Soon, I shall get out of my chair and walk with him. I miss him so.

Chapter Text

I speak the final chapters. Estel has gone beyond. He will speak no more in this world. I miss him. Sitting here in his chair, I can almost feel him here. The Men were the best of us, and Aragorn and Boromir were the best of Men.

 

I have known Estel since he was a tot, escaping to Rivendell for refuge as a small child with his mother. He thought he was an elf for years. I smile to think of the tiny human cavorting about the palace and the wood, never even realizing he was the only child around.

We visited Rivendell often. He grew more each time I saw him until one day, he was no longer a child. He was a man, lean and angry. And so beautiful that he took my breath away. I wanted to know him, to be his friend.

"Legolas, it's been a long time. What brings you here? I was about to leave the forest."

"Why?" As an elf, I never could see why anyone would leave the forest. It gave us strength and provided us with all we needed.

He laughed a bitter laugh. "I'm not an elf. I cannot stay here! My place is out there." He gestured with his arm.

"Where will you go?"

"I have heard of men called Rangers who wander Middle Earth without homes or ties to bind them. I will join them."

I knew he was well trained in combat , but what of the ways of the world? He'd be eaten alive. The world outside Rivendell was a very different place than he had ever known.

"So come to Mirkwood first, then go on to the human world. I would enjoy your company, now that you are no longer a pup. Maybe we could teach you some lessons, before you take on the world."

He argued with me that he didn't need any lessons, but he agreed readily to come home with me. He spent many months in Mirkwood. He learned archery from me and my brothers. He was already good with a sword. Elrond had taught him that. I stood back and watched him sometimes, amazed at his grace and power. He also learned tracking in Mirkwood from me and my brothers. Even though he didn't have the senses of an elf, he was intelligent and observant, and soon could track me all over Mirkwood.

He even managed to sneak up on me now and again.

One night, we were sitting beside our fire in the woods. The sky was dark with no moon, just the stars sparkling in the inky night. He smoked his pipe, a habit he must have picked up from Gandalf, because elves were not fond of pipes as men, hobbits and one wizard seemed to be.

"Legolas, can I ask you a question?" He seemed nervous. "Have you ever been in love?"

Had I? I never was sure about the answer to that. I had companions, male and females that I shared friendship with, or sex, and sometimes both. But love? The closest I had ever come was now, with this leggy man-colt. He made forget what I wanted to say and do.

"I don't think so."

He seemed to debate his next question for a bit. "What about, uh, well, sex?" His voice almost squeaked on the last word. I smiled.

"What about it, Estel?" I was enjoying his discomfort.

"What is it like?"

"I'm not sure what to tell you. Its..." My silver tongue failed me. He had that effect on me.

"Show me?" he asked in a voice so quiet that I would not have heard him had I been human. I slowly looked across the fire at him. His eyes glowed with light from the golden fire and from an inner light.

It was my turn to be uncomfortable. My leggings got were too tight suddenly. I didn't know what to say or do. He watched me, expectantly, hopefully.

I stood up and walked around the small fire. I held my hand out to him. He took it, his big hand in my smaller one. I pulled him into my arms. He shook. I touched his lips with mine, just the slightest of touches. His lips were soft, his breathing shallow. As I kissed him, he leaned into me. His body was lean and hard, his arousal very obvious as he unconsciously ground it into me. I slid my tongue over his upper lip, teasing him until he opened for me. When I finally slid my tongue into his mouth, he groaned and thrust himself against me hard.

I pushed him back away from. He made a sound of protest.

"Shhh," I answered as I worked the fastenings on his pants. He sprang free from them and into my hands.

"Legolas..." he moaned.

"Shhh," I stilled my hands, hoping to calm him a little.

"Please, do something, anything. Please."

I let go of him and drew him down into the soft grass. I unbuttoned his shirt and ran my hands over his chest, feeling his muscles, his hair. I would always love his hairy chest, so different from the smooth skin of an elf. I kissed his mouth, until I was as aroused and breathless as he was.

My hands were clumsy as I stripped my own clothes off, with Estel's help. We finally lay naked in the grass. I kissed his face, the hollow of his neck, his collar bone. He made sounds as I licked his hard, flat nipples. I liked the feel of the hair on his chest as my tongue ran over it on my way down his belly. He sucked his breath in as I slid my tongue into the indention of his navel. He tried to push my head down, but I took his hands in mine and held them. I worked my way down, skipping his trembling erection, even though I wanted nothing more than to lick the tiny drop of liquid that glistened in the firelight. I instead nipped at his thighs with my teeth. He fought my hold on his hands, writhing and growling. I moved to suck gently on his testicles, one then the other.

"Legolas," he ground out. I had tortured him long enough. I licked his shaft from base to the drop on its tip, capturing it with my tongue. I licked him until he was wet enough to take into my mouth in one easy movement, the slid my mouth down over him. He arched up, grabbing my shoulder with a hand that I had freed so I could stroke him. I didn't let up until he was crying out my name over and over, and I tasted him in my mouth. I swallowed it all, loving the odd tangy taste, loving that it was from him.

I raised up and looked at him. He pleasured me more that night than anyone ever had with his eager hands and mouth. When we lay spent in the grass beside the fire, he smiled at me. I was lost in that smile.

*****

I knew he loved Boromir before he did, I think. I wanted to be jealous, but I couldn't. They were well suited, the king and his steward, but it was not to be. When I saw them lying there covered in Boromir's blood, my own heart constricted. Gimli and I gathered water for him to bathe Boromir's body, but I think Aragorn bathed him in his own tears.

I held him when we dared rest after that. I offered more intimate comfort when he needed it too. But it was always so sad for us both. He missed Boromir more then, and I was in anguish for us both every time he cried out 'Boromir' in passion.

The quest ended, but our friendship did not. I visited him as often as I could. I loved no other after him.

There was no one who could ever take his place. He is gone now. Lady Arwen is distraught and wills herself to be gone with him.

It is said that an elf can only be killed by a mortal wound or a broken heart. Both are true. Amon Hen broke my heart, a mortal wound that has pained me these many, many years.

He told me once that sitting here in the sun, sometimes Boromir spoke to him, beckoned him, and that one day, he planned to join him. Perhaps if I sit long enough, they will come for me too.