The Story: I know this has been done in different ways already, but this is my version. I will say no more, you'll find out as you go along.

Warnings: This is Aragorn/Legolas slash, so if this does not appeal to you, please find something else to do. AU.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Master Tolkien.

Enjoy!

Now

Yes, how I love you.

Even now, I desire you.

Now, when the sun has slanted towards the western horizon, spreading its golden hues over this City of stone. This City, which has been my home for many years. A City of Stone.

To think that I, a Wood-elf, could grow so accustomed to stone! Is it not wondrous, meleth?

Do you remember when we walked the streets, when we saw these lands for the first time after the War? Do you remember how I despaired, how I could not see myself living here? And it hurt you, because in some wild way you had just become King and this was your High Seat.

It is not so now.

Now, I trace your jawline with my finger; my fascination for your stubbly chin never seems to cease. You smile at that, as you always have.

The glowing rays of the sun are gracing us with their last light before night falls. It is not very late but we have retired to our chambers. I wish to be close to you.

You are still smiling. It is the sweet, innocent smile of Estel Elrondion, mingled with Strider the Ranger's wolf-grin, tainted with the regal smile of King Elessar. And a part of it is pure Aragorn. A hint of intimacy, shared during the Quest, experienced throughout many long weeks when we did not know if we would even live to draw our next breath.

I love your smile. Even now, when I am so used to it.

Your hair is tousled. It is lined with silver now. I tease you: I tell you of how you will look exactly like Mithrandir, our dear friend, in a few years.

Lovingly, you smack the back of my head. Then we take a moment to remember Gandalf.

When he sailed I believe we both felt at a loss for a while. His eyes were twinkling, do you remember? He boarded the ship, left behind words we did not understand then, but have found to be our reality now.

Now, when I kiss you.

You roll over slightly, so as to face me. Our bed is large and has found us in many positions over the years. The windows are open for this summer is warm and no wind is blowing.

When the kiss is ended, your voice floats in a whisper, "Thank you."

"Why do you thank me, meleth?" I ask you, once more stroking your cheek.

"For everything," you say, your grey eyes meeting my gaze earnestly. Almost desperately you seem to seek forgiveness. "I know it has not always been easy for you."

It is so.

But even now, I love you.

Even though you almost gave up on us when your adar spoke of the peril of the mingling of mortal and immortal races, and my own adar joined in his worries. You shrank before them, hung your head and was about to walk away from our love.

I ran after you, called after you; I argued, and we argued. I asked you what I was to make of an immortal life that did not include you. You urged me, yes, you even begged me to sail. I could not believe your words.

We did not speak for many days after that. Precious time we should have treasured was lost – I see that now.

Now, when I kiss you again, lightly, and then I forgive you. As I have done before.

Even now…

Even though I still recall those two nights that nearly broke my heart - nights when the King of the Reunited Lands was compelled to fulfil his duties.

Can you still feel the traces of our tears upon our skin, my love?

We were newly bonded, hearts and souls, but I could not give you what you needed. You were practically dragged out of our chambers by force, weeping as you went. As you went to lie in another bed than ours.

I lay awake. No reverie found me where I was, among silken sheets and covers, sure that my very soul was withering. I realised then what fading truly meant.

I cried like I had never cried before, but as the evening grew darker, my tears dried and I began slipping. Fog welled in over the City or perhaps it was simply my mind that clouded over. My heart slowed and breath came in faint puffs.

There was pain. Not the pain of the battlefield, but of another nature. It was vague at first but as it travelled through my body it grew and sharpened. It slashed my stomach and burst into an excruciating firework. Yet I could not move.

I was trapped – and I thought I could never see you again.

Then you came back and I saw that I was wrong. You opened the door, pale and scared. And you fell on the bed where I lay, and you were trembling, asking me over and over again to forgive you.

It ended in that moment. I gathered you up in my arms and we held each other as our tears wet our shirts and faces. Neither of us found any sleep that night.

But how is it that such pain can turn into happiness? It is but a memory, and we are at peace now.

Now, when your sons are grown into fine young men, and I am as well a proud ada. I am even honoured that their naneth is elven. You said you wished them to resemble me even though they are not of my blood.

Even now.

"I love you," you whisper.

"And I you," I reply, tracing circles with my fingertips on your shoulder. "Meleth nin, think no more of it," I ask of you. "It is in the past."

You nod and reach out for me again. Your hands that were once calloused begin to wander over my skin. Every inch of my body is known to you by now.

"I never tire of you," you say as if you can read my mind, and maybe you can.

I see that the smile is returning to your lips. It fills my heart and I silently give thanks. You draw yourself up and there is a gleam in your eyes. I cannot resist so I arch one eyebrow when I read the intent in your face.

"A change in mood, I see," I smile.

"I thought," you say before you lean in to kiss me, "I thought this mood offered more," another kiss, "opportunities." There again is the grin of Strider.

"You better prove it then," I challenge you.

"Oh I will, now that I have you so effectively tapped beneath me."

Now…

Now, you get rid of your shirt and expose tanned skin. The hair on your chest matches the hair on your head: it is sprinkled with silver and I touch it reverently. My own chest is already bare before you and we could not be more unlike.

You caress me with your hands; my throat, my collarbones, my upper arms, my ears are all subjects to your gentle stroking. Your fingertips brush over my nipples. I close my eyes as you lower your head and trace their outline with the tip of your tongue.

Your progress is slow. It takes at least an age before you acknowledge the nubs in the middle even though they have been hard since you began. When your teeth graze them softly, I inhale deeply, and it inspires you. I can tell. I know you.

I have known you for so long. I was a friend before I became your companion, and I was your confidant before I became your lover. Now I am your husband. Is that not inconceivable, when you think of it?

Who would have guessed, when you unfailingly trailed after Elladan and Elrohir in Imladris, tugging at their sleeves, persistently asking them everything there was to ask between Heaven and Earth? Who would have guessed when I first saw you as a small human boy with unruly dark curls – who would have guessed that you would turn into the Man that is now ready to make love to me?

Maybe Gandalf did? Now, I think I sometimes saw it in the way he regarded us when we were older. Now, I wonder at the lack of surprise in his features when we finally told the others.

Now, is a wonder.

It is the movement of your tongue that brings me back to now. It has finished with my nipples and is exploring the area around my waistband. While my thoughts were filled with memories from another age, my body has responded to your touches; I am hardened and uncomfortable in my leggings.

I open my eyes, and I reach down and tangle my hands in your hair.

"Meleth, please remove them," I groan.

You look up with the bright smile of someone who has achieved a great victory for I seldom groan. Often, you tease me because of it, and accuse me of being elvish. Those times, I argue that you cannot understand because you are so very human.

The most wonderful human I ever knew.

You do as I ask, and drag my leggings off me. When you encircle me with your hand, I am hot against your skin. My blood begins to hum as your stroking commences. There is singing somewhere in my soul and I give myself over to your administrations.

Tremors run up my spine and shudders erupt when you take me in your mouth. Warmth and wetness inspire more groans but I do not care anymore, though I am content when your own moans reach my ears.

Your hands are stroking me where they can reach. The sight of your lips surrounding my flesh has always aroused me. Perhaps it is because this was often as far as we had time to go when we were on the Quest. Those times, when we slipped away from the others of the Fellowship, needing moments alone.

Now, I cannot recall quite how it began. I find it strange. There were many long looks at first… I did not know what they meant. I knew you were troubled by who you were; the revelation of your ancestry and your duty to Middle-earth had swung you out of balance. I was surprised at my own strong will to heal the wounds in your soul, but I told myself it was because we were friends.

In Lórien, after we believed we had lost Gandalf to the fire of the Balrog, I told myself something similar, when you kissed me.

When you miraculously returned to Helm's Deep after the fall that should have been fatal, I tried to use the same words to name my feelings, but I failed. Miserably. I kissed you then. You kissed me back and it was glorious.

"Melethron?" you say now, your lips freed from my skin. "Have you fallen asleep?"

I am torn from my memories. Your lopsided smile that is so much you meets my unfocused gaze. I feel my cheeks flush and I shake my head vigorously.

"Nay, meleth, I lost myself to memories, forgive me."

You relax and ask, "Memories?"

"Aye, I remembered our first kisses…"

"Kisses?" You frown, but there is a smile tugging at your lips. "I daresay there are other things to recall in our past."

Your beauty. Our beauty. The beauty that we have shared.

I incline my head at this. "You are right…"

"I believe I am," you grin. "Such as when we pleased each other after the battle of Helm's Deep… rather like… this…"

A spark runs through me as you slide a finger over my opening.

"Your legs were spread wide, as they are now," you muse. "I did not think it was to be – that I was about to make love to you. That you would allow it." You look at me as if you are still in wonder.

"Always, melethron," I say.

"I long for you now…" you say, in that shy voice that does not match your Ranger-smile.

Now.

Now, you resume your stroking. I drag you up to kiss me, tasting my own essence on your tongue. While my mind wandered, you have pulled off your own leggings and your arousal presses hot and hard into my hip. You move against me and I smell the husky scent that our lovemaking brings forth from you.

"Take me," I give my leave to the Man who never needs to ask.

You let me go and reach towards the bed table. Giving me the small bottle, you are silently asking me to prepare you. I take your twitching length and coat it with the oil that smells of almond. You are already leaking but I want to pleasure you nonetheless, even though I really just want you.

Your moans are louder now and when I slip an oily finger over my opening to invite you, you growl and get up. Placing the glistening head right there, you draw a deep breath, and then you push inside. There is no more preparation than this for we have lain together so many times by now.

Now, when both you and I make noises that no one could misinterpret, but which we have long ceased to care about.

You are moving within me and I follow you, meeting your thrusts every time. You hover above me, still strong and still so handsome, while I wrap my legs around your waist. Your hair tumbles down over your face and I grab hold of it gratefully, wanting to hold on to something.

I can remember the day you found the first grey strands at your temples. There was a frightened light in your eyes and it took me the whole day to convince you that I did not care – that only because my appearance did not alter, it did not mean I would not welcome the change in you.

I hold on to it now, as desire spreads through me and pools in my groin. I ache for your touch and again you read me like a book. You sit back – I am forced to release your silvery tresses – making sure you remain inside my body, and you take my throbbing arousal in your hands.

I meet your gaze from behind heavy eyelids and I open up to you. I reach up to caress whatever skin presented to me. You lean down, still stroking, still inside me, and we kiss. I find your tongue and suck it into my mouth.

With a growl worthy an Oliphaunt, you come, emptying yourself deep within me. A few more strokes and I come undone in your hands.

You stay inside my body, resting your head on my chest. We experience every tremor, every shudder, and every tremble together. There is sweat pearling on your forehead and you are stroking my arms and neck.

At long last, you pull out and collapse beside me.

"Is that proof enough for you?" You are practically beaming.

I laugh. Yes, now I laugh… for our life together is brilliant.

"Maybe," I say, "or we should do it the other way around, just to be sure."

You laugh with me, but you do not seem wholly uninterested. You wrap me up in your embrace and I find myself thinking that we are blessed.

Yes, blessed indeed, for you have been granted permission to lands which only a few mortals have seen.

When the time comes, we shall sail to Valinor.

But that is not yet. After our lovemaking, you are a Ranger, completely. You trace the tip of your tongue along my ear and I hear the wolf-grin in your voice when you ask:

"Now?"

Fin

Sindarin translations:

meleth (nin) – (my) love

melethron – lover (male)

adar – father

ada – dad

naneth – mother