Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just play in their world.

If there was one thing Arwen hated more than a tightly laced bodice on a hot summer's night, it was wearing a thin cotton chemise and still being unable to avoid the oppressive heat that seemed to permeate the palace.

Gondor had been subject to an intense (and unexpected) heat wave for the past few days, and Arwen found herself in the very unladylike condition of sweating. She momentarily cursed herself for pledging herself to a life of mortality; as an elf, her more pronounced senses had prepared her for dealing with such physical discomforts. Never once had the heat, cold or in between bothered her. Elves adapted far better to nature and all of its little quirks. Mortals, however, seemed unable to conform themselves to whatever weather came their way, and after a year spent living among them, Arwen had quickly realized she was becoming like them.

She fanned her face with a pale hand, raising a glass of water to her lips, and sighing as the cool liquid slid down her throat. Her thick dark curls rested heavily against the back of her head, pinned up in a vain attempt to allow some air to pass over her skin. She thought fleetingly of simply abandoning her shift all together, and lounging around nude, but realization dawned and she remembered that sooner or later she would have to search her husband out, and journeying naked through the palace (no matter how late in the evening it was; others would still be awake) would certainly give cause for her husbands councilors and lesser nobles to talk.

Instead, Arwen sought out a lighter, more flowing robe through which she hoped she might enjoy some more freedom and air. The soft translucent green of the robe barely concealed her silky skin, but as annoyed as she was by the humidity, Arwen could hardly have cared less if her private bits and pieces were displayed outright. Taking a moment to reset her hair, she dabbed a bit of scented oil on her wrists, cynically believing that the hot air would only evaporate the scent soon enough.

She left the rooms she shared with her husband, groaning to discover the halls of the palace were indeed more muggy than her own chambers. Guards, some visibly startled at the current dress (or lack there of) of their Queen, bowed she passed, and Arwen wondered how in the name of Elbereth they could stand to be so weighed down by their armor and woolen tunics. She continued down the darkened corridors, lighted only by dimming candles and small torches. Gazing out from arched windows, She noticed the inhabitants of the palace, some dressed in heavy court robes, too traditional to balk under the heat, despite the obvious sheer lunacy of dressing in such clothes in such times. Others, more like-minded to Arwen, abandoned their usual attire for lighter, shorter, and sleeveless garb.

Trying to decide if her husband would be in his office or the throne room, Arwen stopped to ponder which direction she should take. Just as she was set to walk to Aragorn's office, she heard the sound of his voice drifting from the deep recesses of the hall. She turned and with clear elvish sight saw her husband and his Steward laughing as they traveled from the general vicinity of the kitchen, each holding a stein. Chuckling softly to herself, Arwen thought that her husband and his friend must have decided that drinking was the easiest way to rid themselves of the heat. If drunk enough, one could forget about the sweat gracing their brow and running down the side of their face.

She watched as the two men staggered down the hall, almost laughing outright as her husband slipped and threw his arm out to clasp at the nearest object: a night guard. The man quickly grasped the King's arm to help steady him, and bowed as Aragorn turned blurry eyes upon him.

Aragorn shook his head, trying to clear his addled brain of the effects of the mead. The guard quickly straightened and in a loud voice, addressed his King. "Are you well, my Lord? Might I be of assistance?" Faramir laughed drunkenly, and Aragorn sighed heavily as he looked at his friend, though a smile remained on his face. "I require no help that you can provide, good sir. The only help I need tonight comes from the bottle and my wife, and while I found the bottle, I must admit, I cannot find the wife." He turned drunken eyes on the guard once more. "Have you seen her, perchance?"

The guard answered with a no, and Aragorn clucked his tongue. "Well, I guess I'll have to search her out on my own then." He handed the man the stein, and unsure what to do, the guard took it. "It is so damned hot, and you've done a good job. A drink for a job well done, on your King, my man. But don't tell the others..." Aragorn dropped his voice to a barely audible whisper. "We would not want all of Gondor's guards thinking it fine to drink on the job."

Aragorn straightened, and tried to fix his rumpled and drunken appearance. Smoothing a hand over his velvet tunic, he placed a hand on Faramir's shoulder. "I know we're drunk, but do you think yourself able to get back to your rooms?" Faramir swayed, and hiccupped as he answered. "Ai, Elessar. I'll be fine, so long as I can avoid waking my wife upon my return. In which case, I might need a guard of my own." Eowyn, now deep in the throes of pregnancy, had been showing progressively the darker side of impending motherhood. Her moods shifted erratically, and it took nothing for her to display the temper and stubbornness she had long held in check.

Aragorn laughed. "I think that perhaps you should fear the morning more so than your wife. I believe Eowyn will be far more lenient on you than the mead." Staggering past the groaning Steward, Aragorn waved in farewell as he continued down the corridor. Arwen watched as Faramir returned the gesture and turned back to retreat around a corner, signaling the guard to follow. She smiled as her delicate hearing captured the Setward's muttered "Forget the mead. You're coming with me should my wife decide to throw something heavy."

Gazing once more on her husband, Arwen remained planted at her vantage point, watching as he walked the expanse of the hall, humming a song she recognized as a favorite of his long dead mother's. She quickly gauged just how drunk her husband was when he didn't even realize his wife standing before him. He turned the corner in the direction of his chambers, and muttered something to himself about the heat before he abruptly stopped, his back to Arwen. Turning around, he forced his eyes to focus as they came to rest upon the Queen and her amused expression.

Sighing, Arwen studied Aragorn. Her husband was not one to drink in excess, but tonight she could forgive his indulgence. He had been working so hard these past few days without any substantial rest, not even allowing the heat to stop him from official duties. One night of mischief was all he needed every now and than to break from the mold he had been born to fill.

She came to stand before him, one hand resting upon his chest. The heavy material was damp with sweat, and he smelled of warmth and the thick honey of the mead. He smiled down at her, taking in the knot of braids clumped upon her head, down to the green of her shimmy. His eyes widened as he took in his wife's attire. He blinked once, took another glance, and a sly smile crept at the corners of his mouth.

"Either I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing, or you're a ghost of these halls come to haunt a willing man's flesh."

Arwen giggled, her own eyes sweeping over her garment. It was perhaps a little more sheer than propriety would have decreed, but confound it, it was hot, and she was an Elf? Nudity or the allusion to it hardly offended her people. Mortals be damned if they demanded she wear those heavy velvet gowns in this sweltering weather!

"You are not seeing things, Estel. I am no ghost. Simply a woman tired of needless sweating." She drew closer to her swaying husband, and inhaled the intoxicating scent of his nearness. Even the heat could not compete with the burning desire her husband awoke within her with his scent, the feel of his body pressed so closely to her own. He reached for her, though she was unsure whether it was more out of matched passion or a need to prevent himself from falling over. She laughed as she quickly moved away, watching as his arm fall lifeless to his side, a lopsided grin gracing his handsome features.

"Wench. You would refuse a man support? Especially in this state? Have you no heart or mercy, Undomiel?"

'I figure you managed to get yourself into this state; it is only fair that you get yourself out it." She smiled as he shook his head, his curling dark hair falling over his eyes. She continued to mock her husband, knowing all the while he would not take offense to her words. She doubted he would even remember them when the sun rose. "You are the King of Gondor and Arnor. You helped defeat the shadows of Mordor and aid the ringbearer on his quest. You've killed hundreds of Orcs and journeyed side by side with dwarves. Surely such a man can endure a little drunkenness." Aragorn grunted, and once more to reach for his wife. Again she moved, and again her husband feigned agitation.

Arwen shrugged, her silver shoulders rising, and the strap of her shift fell from her shoulders, baring an expansive amount of skin to her husband roving eye. Catching the material before the dress could slip down any more, she cast her eyes upon her husband a second too late to realize her gown had just conspired to bring about her undoing.

Faster than any man his position should have been able to, he was upon her, pressing her up against the cold stone of the wall. His hands held her in place, and his lips crushed hers in a searing kiss that she could tell was not attributed to any effects of the mead. She returned the kiss, pressing her lips to his with bruising intensity, reveling in the feel of his hands as they cupped her buttocks, drawing her hips closer to his own. Moving from her lips, he kissed the length of her ivory throat and gently nipped a delicate spot he had only discovered not too long ago. He was rewarded with a throaty moan, and Arwen wrapped her long arms tightly about his neck.

Though most certainly drunk, Aragorn seemed to know the proper way to undo his wife's robe. Before she knew it, the lacings holding it closed were untied, and her husband was quickly parting the whispy folds. He bared her breasts, and wrapping his arms around her back, pulled her against his chest, crushing the tender swells and drawing another moan from his wife.

He lifted her easily and braced her with one arm as he loosened the ties of his breeches. She wrapped her legs around his hips, feeling the tension in his muscles tighten with her movement. A sound from deep in the back of the corridor caught Arwen's ears, and she jumped a little. Sensing his wife's sudden shift in attention, Aragorn's eyes flicked to the side, his lips still nibbling at her jaw. Unwilling to be interrupted for anything save an attck on the city, the King resumed his ministrations when nothing presented itself to the couple.

Arwen squirmed as her husband once more set about pulling at the cords of his leggings. Her eyes and hearing remained alert to every sound in the hall, even as her husband's touch threatened to distract her. Aragorn kissed his wife gently, sensing his beloved's unease.

"'Tis nothing, Meleth-nin. A mouse, a bit of wind through the window. Nothing more." He eased the grip in which he held his wife's hips, raising a hand to stroke the side of her face. She looked into his crystalline eyes, and smiled softly. No, even drunk her husband would be aware of all things about him. He'd be damned if another saw the wanton side of his wife that made him weak every night. Not a soul would intrude upon them now, here and brazen in such a public forum, and she relaxed as Arargorn continued his assault on her senses.

Finally free of the confining leather encasing his legs, Aragorn shifted Arwen so that with a well practiced slip, he was deeply inbedded within her. He groaned into her neck, his fingertips digging into her flesh. She winced at the momentary pain, briefly reminding herself that though her husband had been raised by elves and taught by elves in all manners (including the reverent way in which elves made love), he was still human, afterall. In moments of intense pleasure, he could be just as brutish as the other, less knowledgeable men of his race.

Aragorn pressed his wife harder into the wall, leverage her against his hips as his hand ran down the length of her skin. He gathered one breast in his hand and kneaded the mound. He brushed the tip of his thumb across her rosy nibble, watching his hand as it sailed across his skin. He felt a tightness gathering in his loins, and once more began to suckle on the ivory column of Arwen's neck. Feeling himself grace the cusp of fulfillment, he speed up his thrusts, his wife's breathless moans and sighs the only sound in his mind. With one final thrust and eyes shut tight, Aragorn spilled himself deep inside his wife's welcoming body. Grunting, he rested his head on her shoulder, feeling his heart race and head pound. And then, in a sudden flash, the reality of the situation presented itself to the King of Gondor.

He was here, spent inside Arwen. Arwen. The one he had loved all his life, it seemed. Long years spent in separation, so long ago, had not produced dreams sufficient enough to live up to the reality of this; this moment when neither was hindered by promise or honor. When two souls thriving in two bodies met and joined together as a whole, shaking the foundation of their beings and bringing them to an earth shattering collapse. So long he had waited, and now, after a year spent in wedded bliss and mutual contentment, the feeling was just as new as it had been so many years ago, when first he laid eyes on the Evenstar.

And here he was, pressing her into the hard cold stone, her legs about his waist, as though she were some expendable tavern wench to whom no consideration need be given. He drew back as though scalded, and lowered his eyes to the ground, too ashamed of his lustful actions to look at his beautiful wife.

Arwen stared at her husband, eyes wide and unsure. Frightened that they had been caught, she scanned the hall about them, clutching the front of her robe to her, and was confused to find it empty. Looking back at her husband, she noticed his averted stare and felt a pang in her heart. Had she done something wrong? She reached for him, and gave a grateful sigh when he did not resist her touch on his arm.

"Estel? What is it? Did I do something wrong?"

Aragorn's head snapped up, and from the sincere look of shame in his eyes, Arwen knew he had sobered up very quickly. And she had a feeling she knew why.

"You did nothing, Indonya. It is I who have been foolish, taking you here like this without regard for your comfort or pleasure. I'm sorry, beloved. Forgive a drunk man who does not think of others." He ran a hand through his hair, sheepishly looking to her for forgiveness.

Smiling, she reached for her husband and drew him near. Wrapping her arms about his neck and kissing his brow, she leaned in, her mouth a breath away from his lips. "Worry not, Estel. I get my pleasure in watching your face. Your eyes are more than enough to satisfy this woman. And in truth, I rather enjoyed this clandestine encounter. It's exciting, knowing someone could find us like this. In fact, I think it necessary we find other places to ravish each other...more in the open. The bedroom does get boring sometimes." His eyes met hers and an amused albeit confused expression clouded his noble features. She continued on, to validate her claim rather than have him believe her capable of mocking him about this particular issue. "How about the kitchen next time? The tables down there are very long and wide." He laughed at this, and still she went on. "Or how about the ballroom? In one of the archways? That would be lovely-"He kissed her, silencing any further comments.

Their eyes spoke volumes to each other, sparkling in the dim light. He stood back to fasten the front of his breeches, and when finished, pulled the neckline of his tunic from his collarbone, exhaling heavily.

"Cursed heat. What say you we resume this discussion in a bath? A cold bath." He drew Arwen near, and she nodded.

"The colder the better."