The Story: should never have been written. However, now that the damage is done, it might be useful for the reader to know that it is set after Aragorn returns to Rivendell, after the Council of Elrond but before the Fellowship sets out. One might therefore assume that it is pretty book compliant. One would be wrong.
Warnings: The story contains Aragorn/Legolas SLASH. And poetry. Enough said.
Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for this. Somebody else can have it.
Note from the publisher: Please do not complain to Imladris Library. We are only the most humble servants in the service of History.
Chapter 1 – Rivendell, Eriador, Middle-earth
Autumn had waned and turned into winter when Aragorn returned to Rivendell. He had set out with Elladan and Elrohir, but after a while their roads had parted and he had joined the Rangers, travelling along the Greyflood. He was one of all the scouts Lord Elrond had sent out around two months before, only days after the Great Council had taken place. Elrond and Gandalf would have preferred it if the Ring had been sent away immediately but they needed information on many things, and not only the Ringwraiths of which none had had a word since Glorfindel summoned the flood in the ford.
Although no companions for Frodo and Sam had yet been chosen, Aragorn knew that when the time came he would offer the Ring-bearer his services. To the members of the Council he had been revealed as the heir to the Winged Crown and it was his duty to set out on this quest. He just hoped his foster father would choose wisely between those who had arrived for the Council. Particularly one of them, Aragorn would very much appreciate if he was willing to join them. If he would – for once – forget about getting his clothes dirty and his hair tangled…
As much as Aragorn liked living as a Ranger, even in these dark times, he was truly glad to be back. However, much to his dismay, after he had indulged in a quick washing up, Elrond had sent him to the library to write a record of his travels. Apparently, Gandalf's account of the library in Minas Tirith had inspired Elrond to extend his own.
Now evening was far gone and the candles were burning low. Aragorn was experiencing the first poundings of a straining headache behind his eyes. He had written down almost everything he remembered from the past eight weeks but reading through it, he knew he was far from done.
Elves were really picky when it came to words.
With a frustrated sigh, Aragorn fell forward and brutally dumped his forehead against the papers overflowing the desk.
"You will get ink on your skin."
Aragorn turned his head to the side and glanced up at the Elf standing in the doorway with a disapproving look.
"And now you will get ink on your cheeks." He shook his fair head. "Humans."
Aragorn snorted and lifted his head from where it lay. Paper stuck to his chin and he irritably brushed it off before he leaned back in his chair.
"What do you want?" he muttered.
Legolas merely raised an eyebrow and walked into the room, looking around. His elegant movements caught the warm light of the candles which danced around him gracefully. Simply dressed in a dark green tunic, brown leggings and soft brown boots, and only adorned with a leather belt around his waist, Legolas still managed to look stunning.
Aragorn watched him turn left and advance towards a bookshelf, one of an innumerable number. He sighed. He had only come back this afternoon and already things were going less than well.
"Alright," he said, "I am sorry. How are you?"
The Elf spun around and instantly his sour look was replaced by a bright smile.
"I thought you would never ask!"
Seeming to forget all about the bookshelf he had chosen to study, Legolas crossed the room and dropped down in one of the cushioned chairs in front of Aragorn's desk. He stretched out his legs and exhaled deeply.
"You know it has been terribly lonely here without you?" he said.
"It has," Legolas nodded. "The Halflings spend most of the time with each other, Gimli is a Dwarf, and Boromir…" He wrinkled his nose, "Boromir is so very dull and proud."
"And you Legolas, are not proud?"
The Elf rolled his eyes. "Not in that 'I-am-a-son-of-Gondor-and-therefore-extremely-important' kind of way. Tsk, tsk…" He shook his head disbelievingly.
Aragorn eyed him, humoured despite his will.
"And the trees? There are plenty of trees in Rivendell to sit among."
"Trees make no lovers, Aragorn," Legolas seriously informed him.
"True, I suppose." Aragorn could no longer fight his smile. He had missed the Elf far too much to waste time being annoyed.
"True indeed," Legolas confirmed. "Consequently, I am here to encourage you to finish up this silly business and join me in our bedroom."
Reminded of the reason for why he was in the library in the first place, the Man grunted and shoved the papers around his desk. "This will take years," he said.
"We do not have years, meleth nín," protested Legolas. "You have already taken hours."
"I know we do not have years, I have longed for you since the day I left you here after the Council."
"Aragorn!" Legolas cried out causing the Man to almost fall out of his chair by surprise. "Is our love making all you can think of?"
"What? But you said..?"
Aragorn regarded him confused. Legolas had straightened in his chair and his eyes shone.
"Sauron?" the Elf said. "Does that name seem familiar? You know the Evil Master of Darkness… something…" He waved his hand in a vague gesture. "You know, the one with the Ring-issue?"
"Of course I know who Sauron is!" Aragorn cried. "Goodness, what are you talking about?"
"Matters of importance."
"I am quite aware of the peril of Middle-earth, Legolas."
The Elf eyed him suspiciously, then all of a sudden all exasperation flew from his features and he leaned back again.
This was crazy. Maybe Sauron had already let his shadow fall over Rivendell? Aragorn had to admit to himself though, that this type of insanity seemed a very unlikely method for the Dark Lord to use. Or perhaps Legolas had been hit by one of Gandalf's lightning bolts, something that seemed far more likely, come to think of it.
Before him, Legolas continued their conversation:
"Yes, since I suppose you are going on the quest. I would not want the company of someone who has no idea of what was happening around him."
This time Aragorn nearly flew out of his chair, but Legolas only fixed him with a steady gaze, shaking his head.
"Really Aragorn, if that is the only word you will use, it is no wonder you are having trouble writing your report."
The Man did not know whether to scream or cry. Not being able to choose, he at least settled for remaining seated.
"What is this?" he asked finally.
"Oh," Legolas smiled, "I am simply keeping you on your toes." He put on an innocent look. "So… You missed me that much?"
Aragorn tossed his pen at the Elf who gave a sparkling laugh.
"You will definitely get no writing done if you throw your pens around the room."
"I am so weary of this!" Aragorn exclaimed, banging his fist against the table which shook and made the ink bottle jump ominously.
"Come now, what is it you have left?"
Aragorn looked down and sighed. "I have recorded almost everything so there are only a few details left. Travelling reports are required to carry some personal information from their author as well as information on discoveries and trackings," he explained. "The writer must, in the beginning of the report, leave some kind of comment on what it contains."
"It does not sound too complicated," Legolas said dismissively.
"Normally it is not," Aragorn said, "but Elves are not fond of human expressions."
"No," observed Legolas. "They are usually very blunt, boring and completely without poetic beauty."
"Very helpful," Aragorn muttered.
They sat in silence for a while; the only sound heard was Aragorn's second pen rasping against the parchment as he tried to construct sentences which would be acceptable to his foster father and other potential readers of importance.
"Hmm…" Legolas stirred before him. "You could write that your journey was indeed very trying but you had enough strength to wash after you returned?"
"I ought to write that I washed afterwards?"
Legolas shot him an appreciating glance. "Nay, maybe not, I only wished to let you know that I noticed."
"Right…" Aragorn answered him and refocused his attention to his writing. At the moment at least, he needed to be more concentrated on his work than Legolas' ramblings. He had almost come up with a good wording and was trying it out.
As Aragorn read and re-read his may be-introduction, Legolas' voice came floating from far away.
"Or… you could mention how the first rays of the autumn sunrise made you think of your lover's hair?"
Did 'time' really rhyme with 'fine' or was it just wishful thinking?
"Maybe you should point out that you wearing leather breeches makes a certain Elf very excited about the view?"
Was it actually relevant to mention the stars in your Author's Note?
"How about 'Beneath the golden leaves I rest, and dream intently of his chest'?"
Surely, not even Elves could demand that stars be mentioned in every verse?
Then suddenly, his hearing caught up with him.
The Elf was smiling sweetly at him. "Did you like my rhyme?"
"Rhyme?" Aragorn ran a hand through his hair. "What rhyme?"
Rolling his eyes, Legolas sank back into the chair, muttering something about humans and their lack of attention.
"Right, listen… Did you say you might go on the quest?"
Aragorn watched him as he nodded slowly.
"I figured you are going?" Legolas said. "I think it is best if I come along and keep an eye on you."
"Oh, and why is that?"
"Well," the Elf began as if preparing for a long speech. "First we have Boromir and I already told you I do not like him."
"You do not trust him? We do not know he is coming."
"Hah!" exclaimed Legolas. "Of course he is joining the party. He thinks he is too important to be left behind. As for trusting, every time he looked at the treasure his eyes lit up like beacons." The Elf grimaced, most unhappy.
Aragorn pondered this. Yes, he had noticed Boromir's attention to the Ring, but still he was determined to trust him. That was, until the man in question did something to prove Aragorn wrong. But then, Legolas had spent almost two months in the same house as the Gondorian.
"He is after the Ring?" Aragorn voiced his question.
Confusion drew over Legolas' face. "The Ring?"
"Yes? You said-"
"Oh the Ring!" Legolas visibly brightened. "Nah, I meant the other jewel around." A sly grin followed. "Stuck-up Steward's sons have no business eyeing my Dúnadan like he was the only apple in the orchard."
Aragorn could feel colour rising in his cheeks. He hated that. If he had not washed, the mud might have covered it effectively.
"On a more serious note," Legolas went on, "when you are in the same room as Boromir, you must not – under any circumstances – wear those leather breeches."
"Shut up," Aragorn said, feeling too embarrassed to be polite.
Legolas was rolling his eyes again. Probably. He did not look.
"And if you do, you had better be kissing me madly."
"I… Just shut up."
"Gladly," said Legolas, "if it means you get your writing done."
Groaning, Aragorn went back to his stack of papers. It did not take long though, before a thought crossed his mind.
"Do you know," he said, a small smile growing on his lips, "what Frodo told me after I met him at The Prancing Pony?"
"No." Legolas shook his head. "But I can imagine what he might have said if I had been there with you and we were doing some of that kissing we were talking about. Alas, I was not with you to shake the Hobbits up a bit, so what did he say?"
"Well… Naturally he could not be sure that I truly was a friend of Gandalf and not one of Sauron's spies. (At this, Legolas snorted.) When he finally decided I was on his side he explained it by pointing out that one of the Enemy would 'seem fairer but feel fouler'!"
Now grinning broadly, Aragorn watched how Legolas leaped out of his chair with an aggravated cry.
"That was the worst–!"
The Elf spun around almost as if he expected Frodo to be standing in the doorway. When no Hobbit chose to appear, Legolas turned back to Aragorn, clearly fuming.
"He had better come up with a good explanation when I confront him," he stated hotly. "I will let him know that no one – no matter how many Rings of Doom he carries – insults my lover!"
Aragorn found he could only laugh at his anger.
"Easy, Legolas," he said, waving his hand. "Calm down. He only meant well. They were scared and tired, all of the Haflings. Black Riders were all about, if you remember."
Slowing his breath, Legolas' eyes narrowed. "As a rule, remember this, Aragorn: the next time someone is about to comment on your appearance, first you threaten them with my talent for vengeance."
"You have a talent for vengeance?"
Legolas frowned. "I could develop one."
He began pacing the room and Aragorn watched him bemused.
"Black Riders," the Elf muttered. "You know, I could dress up as one and jump on Frodo in the gardens at night?"
"My father would kill you. And so would Gandalf."
Legolas grunted in a very non-elvish way. "I forgot about Gandalf."
"I thought you might."
After a few more strides, Legolas ended his pacing in front of Aragorn's desk.
"So no vengeance," he concluded.
The candlelight flickered and caught Legolas' eyes. Their normal blue shade mingled with the glow and played tricks on Aragorn's mind. The problem with composing the Author's Notes slipped unnoticed to the back of his head and stayed put in a very dark and hospitable corner.
Legolas leaned in, gradually closing more and more of the distance between them. Aragorn's breath caught in his chest and a soft dizziness swept over him.
"You do realise," Legolas spoke in a low tone, "that insulting your looks, is insulting my taste. And I will have everyone know I have excellent taste."
"The Hobbits have no idea about us," Aragorn managed.
"Not yet, no. But sooner or later they are bound to find out."
"We cannot simply–"
"You are talking too much," Legolas cut him off and resolutely placed his lips against Aragorn's.
And that is coming from you?
Legolas' kiss was slow and intoxicating. With the warm and moist tip of his tongue he traced Aragorn's lips, brushing the Man's lower lip with his own. The gentle tongue leisurely caressed the skin it touched and after while, it slipped between Aragorn's lips.
Aragorn welcomed the contact, giving in more and more to the sensation. Memories of the past two months dissipated and ideas on how to spend the night arose. He opened up more, countering with his own tongue and eliciting a small moan from Legolas. This seemed to work as a cue for them both and the kiss became more demanding.
With more force, Aragorn pressed against his elven lover, caught his lower lip and sucked on it hard. Hands were stroking his stubbly cheeks, tangling in his hair and bringing him as close as they could while he was still seated. He felt Legolas sucking on his tongue and warmth exploded within. Now, if he could get a little closer…
A clank and a seeping sound startled them both and with overwhelming disappointment and great irritation, Man and Elf drew away from each other and watched as the ink bottle emptied the last of its dark liquid on Aragorn's paperwork.
"Damn this bloody business," muttered Aragorn frustrated.
"That is what you have to say after our first kiss since you left?"
"You know what I mean."
"It is no huge loss," Legolas said, eyeing the mess on the table. "I see you were trying to rhyme 'time' with 'fine' and that is like trying to rhyme 'giant spider' with 'Isengard'."
"It is not!" Aragorn protested.
"Yes it is. And you are wondering why Elves do not appreciate the written work of Men…"
"'Time' and 'fine' are more alike than 'giant spider' and 'Isengard'."
Legolas sighed. "'Time rhymes with 'lime', 'crime', 'climb' and 'prime' for example. 'Fine' rhymes with 'wine', 'line' and 'spine'."
"Why would I want to use 'spine'?" Aragorn said.
"I do not know! How am I supposed to know what you did on your travels?"
"Apparently, since you are reading my report right now, you might have an idea," the Man grumbled.
"No," said Legolas. "I cannot: it is soaked in ink," he finished pointedly as if Aragorn had lost all logic he ever possessed.
In that moment, the flames of a couple of candles that Aragorn had lit when he first came in, flickered and died. The Man gave a heavy sigh and tiredly rubbed his forehead with his palm.
"There is no way I can finish this tonight," he said, feeling completely exhausted.
Legolas stood in silence, gazing at the black pool between them.
"I tell you what," he said finally, "you clean this up and I will write that introduction for you."
Aragorn raised his eyes and looked at him curiously. "How could you do that," he asked. "As you so rightly commented, you have not read through what I have written."
"Ah," Legolas said, "I know you well by now, Aragorn, and I have read enough reports to be acquainted with the language – the elven preferences anyway. And what is more, I am desperate to get you into bed."
A triumphant smile crossed the Elf's features but Aragorn was not satisfied.
"So you leave me to clean up?" he concluded.
"It was you who tipped over the bottle by trying to stand up."
"You tugged me."
"I am trying to help here. Also…" Legolas mused, fixing Aragorn with an intense look, "if you should happen to get ink all over yourself, I will have the perfect reason to draw a nice warm bath for you. A bath you would obviously have to take naked… and then I just might like to join you…"
"I see… "
"Mhm…" The Elf continued. "And then of course, I can never really trust you to wash properly by yourself, so I will have to check that every part of your body is as clean as I like it to be."
"As you like it?" Aragorn smiled, raising his eyebrows. "What about how I like to be?"
"Oh, Aragorn…" Legolas left his place in front of the desk, circled it and stepped up close to the Man. "I know exactly how you like it."
Without further notice, he swiftly dove forward and placed a kiss behind one of Aragorn's ears.
"As I suspected: mud," his muffled voice came from among the dark locks.
Aragorn pulled him closer and let his left hand trail down the elven back, towards the slim waist where he yanked gently on the belt he found there. Legolas responded by continuing to caress Aragorn's throat, kissing and tracing circles with his tongue.
When Aragorn was ready he abruptly pulled away from his lover and before Legolas even had time to look disappointed, Aragorn raised his right hand and with his index finger, drew a long dark line of ink on the fair skin of Legolas' cheek.
The Elf jumped high.
"Aragorn!" he cried out, violently rubbing his skin, smearing the ink all over his face.
The Man erupted with laughter, much to Legolas' extreme annoyance.
"This is pure evil!" Legolas continued. "You just wait…"
Still laughing, Aragorn watched him, unsuccessfully trying to get rid of the dark splotches.
"The infamous vengeance?" Aragorn panted between breaths.
"Oh, there will be vengeance!" Legolas warned him. "Be careful where you tread, Aragorn son of Arathorn!"
When Aragorn had finally collected himself enough to breathe properly, he cast an indifferent look at the mess they had made.
"I will get someone else to clean this up," he said. "My father can wait for my written accounts another day. Besides, if you are not too angry with me, I would like that bath."
Legolas regarded him warily. "You will not try to dye my hair as well?"
Aragorn shook his head, "I like you blond. It is a beautiful colour, as you are very well aware."
"Good," the Elf said once more. "You know Boromir's hair is much darker?"
"I do not care for Boromir."
"Even better. Then all I have to make sure of is that Boromir does not have inappropriate thoughts about you."
"And," Aragorn placed a kiss on his lips, "how will you do that?"
"We will see," answered Legolas before he kissed back. "We will see. It might just include you and a pair of leather breeches."
meleth nín – my love