There's so much fucking light pollution in this goddam city you can't even see the stars. And oh bloody hell, could I use a squint at them right now.
We've been sitting in this fucking car park for over an hour, waiting for midnight to pass. The hobbits are sitting on the hood of the estate car, and the rest of us are on our Hogs – barring Éomer, the prat, who rented a rice rocket, sounds like a bleeding hornet – tucked behind the garbage bin, watching the entrance in the shadows. Whole string of fairies filtering in, nancing and swishing past the bouncer at the door.
Haven't seen fucking Fairy-Meer yet. Hope Frodo was right.
I lean down, rest my chin on my hands, bent over the handlebars. We've kind of talked ourselves out; not much to say right now. Just fucking waiting. So I can occupy my time sussing out how to take my acushla on the back of this thing . . . let's see, if I sit facing forward, and she sits facing me with her legs over my hips . . . No, wait; might want to tip her back. If SHE sits facing forward, and I face the back, I could brace myself on the handlebars and press her back against the seat –
Ow, dammit! Still haven't changed out of these fucking leather trousers. Might as well bung the bloody kecks in the bin when I get home – can't wear them and think of Éowyn all at oncers. Not that black leather trousers will be standard fare on a horse farm, come to think of it. Better find some jeans. Loose jeans. With lots of room for my fucking plonker when it gets a sniff of my acushla . . .
I rearrange my trousers, look around. It's thick tonight, the air's too fucking heavy. I can hardly breathe . . . can feel the anger of the Valar, settling down on me like a heavy blanket. Whitey can feel it too; he's sitting back, sucking on his pipe, arms folded across his chest, glaring at the asphalt. Maybe he's thinking about what he's supposed to do to Faramir. He won't talk about it, that's for damn sure. Longshanks and Éomer are doing what male Edan do best, namely Brooding, and Grim's picking his teeth and muttering under his breath. The hobbits are playing poker on the hood of the car, Pip dealing, the fecker; nasty little cheat he is; fucking hates to lose, he does. Merry keeps him on his toes, though.
Pay attention, Greenleaf.
Whoops! All right, then, my lord.
I sit up. A car pulls into the car park, a tan Beemer. The little fuck uses the valet parking, guess he can't be bothered to fucking park his own bloody car; when the poncy pink-clad valet opens the driver's side door something clicks inside my head.
I'd recognize him a klick off. Look at that fucking arse-poker slide out his car, look the valet up and down; bold little fuck-head, aren't you, you grotty fucking goddam ankle-biting bendy manky kerb-crawling scrubby soppy arse-fucking cock-up.
Bloody hell, anyone would think I didn't like the little tosser.
"Oi!" I say, and everyone looks at me, then they follow my gaze to the front of the building. They all sit up, looking very alert. Faramir's paying the bouncer, flipping his hand around; what the fuck's he wearing, a fucking sharkskin suit? Looks like it in this light. I hear a little crackly-poppy noise; it's Éomer's knuckles flexing – wants to get his fingers round the shirtlifter's throat – can't bloody blame you, mate.
Frodo speaks, his voice little more than a whisper. "What do we do?" he asks, biting his lip. "We can't just rush up there and drag him back behind the dumpster. He'll start yelling and someone will call the police. Aren't we supposed to do this secretly?"
Everyone looks at me. Fuck it all, what the hell do I look like, a fucking strategist? That's Longshanks' thing; he was the fucking King of Gondor, not I. My idea of strategy is shoot 'em all where they stand, and when you run out of ammo, slit their throats. Not subtle, but oh hell does it feel good.
Wait a few moments, then bring him out.
Yes, Greenleaf, you. Lure him to his chastisement.
Fucking marvelous. Now I'm the Aunt Sally, am I?
In truth, my beloved Greenleaf, you are the only one here who can successfully draw him out from the public eye so that he may be dealt with in secret.
Hm, probably right, there . . . Faramir wouldn't suspect anything out of me, whereas he'd wonder what Grim or Longshanks were doing in a place like that –
Oh fuck, Manwë, you don't mean . . .
Hell shit fuck damn, he DOES mean.
Well, all right. As you wish, my lord.
I sit, biting my lip a minute. Need a lollie, need a lollie . . .
Oh, wait. No, wrong look entirely. Wait . . .
Fuck. That could work. I turn to Frodo. Little Flash Harry he is – naff shirt, but I can see where a bleeding ponce would think it brill.
All right, then. You can do this, mate.
"Frode," I say, "gimme yer shirt."
He blinks. "Huh?"
Everyone's looking at me, confused; then Longshanks' face clears and he covers his eyes with his hand. "Oh, no, Legs . . . "
"Fuck off, Longshanks. Gimme yer bloody shirt, Frode; let's get this the hell over with."
Frodo looks fucking pithed but he starts unbuttoning it. Whitey gets it, he groans too; Éomer just looks like he always does when he needs to suss something out – like his brain hurts but he's game to give it a go. Grim starts, looks spare, and says, "No, Legs – oh shit, no. Oh, you've got to be pulling my leg – "
I yank my shirt over my head, bung it at Frodo and take his. A little tight, but will work in that oofy place. "Anyone have a hair elastic?" I ask as I button it up. No, not all the way, mate; leave it open down to about right there . . .
The hobbits get it; Merry mutters, "Oh, god . . . " Pip dives into the car, digs around the back seat and comes up, holding a small ponytail holder. "Think it's Rosie's," he says, and Sam glances at it and nods. I pull my hair back, twist and snap the elastic round it. Pink – why'd it have to be fucking pink? Well – at least it matches the bleeding shirt.
Frodo's buttoning up my shirt; looks odd on him, too big, too fucking masculine. Everyone's watching me. I dismount, tuck the shirt into my kecks, pick and smooth and adjust it just so. Shirtlifters are so fucking particular. Then I turn to them, arms out. "Well?" I ask. "Do I look like a poofta?"
NOW Éomer gets it. But instead of looking horrified, like everyone else, he gives a great big bloody shout of laughter, comes up to me and cuffs my shoulder. "Perfect!" he says, grinning at me. "Shit, what a brother-in-law you're going to make."
That makes me feel a little bloody better, at least. "Oo, do you really think so, big boy?" I say, shifting my shoulders in a queeny way and rolling my eyes at him.
I was an actor once, after all. Not only have I seen more batty-boys than the average hetero, I can imitate them pretty fucking well. It's a stance, the way you hold your head, move your limbs . . . I try out another pose, putting my hand on my hip.
Éomer shudders, makes a face. "Yech," he says. "You're too good at that."
I snap out of it, hit him back. "Fuck you," I say. "Pip, gimme a fag, will you?"
"Thought that was the point," says Longshanks. Grinning now, the clot.
"Ah, shut yer fucking hole," I say. Pippin holds out the carton and I take a cigarette, stick it in my gob. "Need a light, mate," I say around it. He's grinning too, the little git, lights a match and I give it a puff.
Oh, fuck, have I missed this. I take a long drag, and when I exhale I take it from between my lips – between two fingers, flip it up beside my head. Queeny, queeny, think queeny. "How's that?" I ask, looking round at them.
Everyone's quiet, studying me; none of them seem particularly comfy with the concept. Fucking A, neither do I, mates. Poor Sam looks about ready to vomit. Frodo's looking – well, fuck, a little too bloody appreciative, if you catch my meaning. I glare at him. "Don't get any fucking ideas," I warn him, and Whitey and Grim laugh. Frodo grins.
"Good luck," he whispers, and looks at his feet, still smiling.
"Right, then." I take another fag, tuck it into the front shirt pocket. "You said there was a side door, right, Frode?"
Frodo nods. "Not the emergency exit, but the one by the bathroom. You have to duck behind the stage to get to it. It's dark in the back too – no one goes out that way."
"Fucking perfect." I pause, try to collect my thoughts. Think queer. Think fop. Think bender. Put off the manky greaser gypo and put on the batty-boy shirtlifter.
That's all it is, really, is window-dressing. It's all people see anyway – not what you really are, but the cliché of what you act like.
All right, mate. Do it.
"Go round the back side, mates. Keep out of sight 'til we come out. Don't want to spook him into running back indoors, throwing the abdabs. Wait 'till I've got him. Pull your car over there, Merry; I'll try to get him up against it, so make sure it's at the back of the car park."
"Right," says Merry. He and the other hobbits start back to the car. Whitey, Longshanks and Éomer mount up, but Grim stands looking at me, a worry-pucker between his shaggy brows.
"Be careful, Legs," he growls.
"Aren't I always, darling?" I ask archly, and start across the car park to the entrance, swinging my hips. Gimli's laughing, saying, "Man, he's just too good at that – " I hear the roar as they start up, but I don't dare turn – the fucking bouncer's spotted me.
Sashay, nance, prance, flounce. No swagger, no stomping. Flip ponytail behind shoulder. Take a drag. Blow it out, eyes on bouncer. He sees me watching him. He takes the fee from the two poofs in front of me, but he watches me. I slide up to him, smiling.
"Evening, darling," I purr, put the cigarette back between my lips to take out my wallet. "Busy tonight?"
"It's hopping," he says cautiously. Big fucking oik, bet he's straight as an arrow. What a hell of a way to make a living.
"Ooo, goody," I say, looking him over blatantly. I show him my driving permit and hand over the cover charge. Fucking daylight robbery, that is. I have to bloody PAY you to drink your fucking watered-down, over-priced drinks? Bloody hell.
"Not much action out here, is there?" I ask, fluttering my lashes at him. "You poor thing. Busy later?"
He rolls his eyes. "Sorry, dude, I'm straight," he says.
I roll my lips into a pout. "Oh, damn!" I exclaim, and flounce indoors.
The noise nearly makes my ears curl. Fucking A, what the fuck are they trying to do, pull a Pete Townsend? My sainted aunt, what a place . . . smoky, loud, dark, flashing strobe lights and neon round the stage, a parade of drag queens strutting round with fairy lights worked into their costumes, three bloody bars, and oh leave it out, the dance floor lit from beneath, dry ice blowing fumes everywhere, confetti dropping from the ceiling, crib-boys in leather chaps grinding in suspended cages . . .
Fuck, never thought Frodo'd like a place like THIS. That must've been one hell of a bartender he was dating. Either that or he's fucking good at hiding his kinks.
All right, then. Where is the grotty little poofter?
Got very good at looking for people without seeming to. I work the floor, smile, lower my eyes demurely, take dainty little puffs on my fag, give everyone the glad eye. Getting lots of attention – fuck it, if I wanted to have a queer pull I'd certainly have plenty of bloody opportunities here.
Ow! Who grabbed my arse? Oh well, can't tell – best get used to it, mate; going to get a lot of that in this fucking place. Work it work it work it. You're a poof, a queen, a bender, a slag. Mary-Ann, I'm a Mary-Ann . . . unless of course you want a bottom; then fucking hell I'm a topper. Shit, not really here to get picked up – better watch myself.
Getting some action now. There's a fop sharking me, smiling; smile back, he's at the dance floor bar, you can see more from there.
Hell, maybe he'll buy me a drink. I could fucking use one.
My cig's done, I flick it away, pull out the Emergency Back-Up Fag. I sashay up to him, look at him through my lashes. Batty-boy, I'm the batty-boy . . .
"Got a light, darling?" I ask. He grins, looks me up and down suggestively, which makes my skin crawl.
"I have everything you need, sweet cheeks," he says. I smile, though really I'd rather punch his fucking poncy face, and lean in so he can light my cigarette. He's grinning, the bender, got his beady eyes fixed on my package. Like the leather kecks, do you, shirtlifter? Well, too bloody bad . . . this plonker belongs to Éowyn.
Shit! Don't think about Éowyn –
Well actually, that might work out well. Nothing like a stiffie to make him think I’m the genuine article. A bogus stiffie, to be sure; but hell, whatever works.
"Thank you, darling," I say, and lean against the bar, watching him through the smoke. He turns back to his beer, but his eyes are still on me.
"What are you drinking?" he asks hopefully.
Then I see him. Bing! His back's to me, on the dance floor; he has his arms round some poor kid who doesn't look to be more than twelve, the fucking scrubber, and he's grinding his manky package into the boy's leg. Without blinking I look back at my erstwhile protégé.
"Depends," I say, smiling seductively. "Are you buying?"
"I will if you make it worth my while," he says, and looks pointedly at my plonker again.
I pretend to consider this, take another drag and flip my hair over my shoulder. "I'll dance with you," I concede.
He raises his eyebrows. "Beer?"
"Cosmo," I say, blowing smoke in his face.
He grimaces. "Better be one hell of a good dance."
I lean in, smile at him. "It's what happens after the dance makes up for the drink," I say.
He's got that cosmo on the counter in record time, I have to admit. Nasty bloody drink, though; watery and too fucking sweet. He watches me drink, playing with the little umbrella and turning his beer bottle round in his hands.
"My name's Mike," he says after a minute.
I glance down at the dance floor. Faramir's nibbling on the poor pillock's neck now. The song'll end soon, need to hurry this along.
"Call me Legs, darling," I say.
"'Legs'?" he asks disbelievingly.
I shrug, take another drink – blech! – and throw my hair behind my shoulder. "A nickname," I say evasively. "Has to do with my inside-seam." I stretch out one of my legs to him, show him the black leather and the length. He's very appreciative, oh fuck yeah. "And anyway, you're not really interested in my name, are you, Michael darling?"
He grins at my seductive tone, reaches out and starts fingering the buttons on Frodo's shirt. Oh hell, now he's walking his fingers up my chest – don't cringe don't cringe don't cringe, and above all don't fucking rip off his fucking knacks – "I have a feeling you've got a lot more interesting things about you than your name," he says, his voice husky. Oh fuck this is the mankiest thing I have ever done . . .
Faramir and his current rear-ender are grinding up against each other, lips locked; oh shit I wish I was at home with my acushla . . . focus focus focus, you're a poofter, a fop, a bender – swing swish nance prance, here we go.
I knock back the drink, take Mike by the collar, exhale cigarette smoke and Cosmo breath in his face. Fuck, he must really need a bunk-up if he puts up with this. "Time to pay for the drink, darling," I whisper, and when he stands up I drag him to the dance floor.
My only consolation in fooling him is that he's getting a lot of envious looks from the rest of the shirtlifters here. Let's face it, I might not be a real poofter, but I can turn a lot of homosexual heads – one of those times I'm fucking glad I DON'T look like Frank Perdue. So Mike's being with me on the dance floor is sort of a prize anyway – being seen with the Elf With The Golden Trousers. Need to be pretty, need to be desirable, nancy-prancy-light-and-fairy, as opposed to my usual milieu, which is more the moody-broody-buff-and-hairy type.
Fuck, it's hot in here. Sweat's rolling down my face, my chest; gonna have to pay to have Frodo's shirt dry-cleaned, dammit. Play the part, play the part, quit grizzling . . . bump and grind, arms over my head, let him put his hands on my waist, ick ick ick ick ick, my lord Manwë I must love you a hell of a lot to do this for you . . .
Can feel him behind me, can smell him, always smelt of wood and stone. Swing, pout, move those hips. Poor Mike is loving this but if he grabs my arse one more time I'm fucking ripping his fingers out their sockets. Turn it a little, make it look like an accident, turn turn turn – close your eyes when you're sure he's facing you, make him spot you first – come on, you fucking gobshite, come on –
I can hardly hear him over the Frankie Goes to Hollywood remix. "Legolas?"
I pop my eyes open. Fairy, think fairy – shocked expression, scream like a girl. "Faramir!" And I throw myself into that fucking kerb-crawler's arms.
Yeah, it's sharkskin, all right. Nasty color too.
He pulls back, shocked, though whether it's from my reaction or just from seeing me here, I've no bloody idea. Don't care, either – halfway there now, mate, almost done . . . the little ponce he was dancing with is pouting; Mike looks mad, tries to pull me back. "Hey!" he yells over the noise. "I was dancing with him."
Faramir's gobsmacked, a little wild-eyed, but behind his expression is a faint look of hope – bloody hell, he thinks he's not alone in this. Thinks there's someone else he can turn to who's just like him, the poor clot –
Wait – did I just think that?
I did. That was pity I felt. Bugger.
Harden your fucking heart, Leggsie. Now's not the time to go all soppy.
I have him, though, gripping him by his nasty manky lapels. Not gonna let you go, you fucking Flash Harry. Gonna drag you out of here to the car park if it fucking kills me. Ignore them, Faramir, just ignore them. "Faramir!" I squeal again, bouncing up and down on my toes, and give him another big hug.
Fuck, I'm such a ponce . . . works, though; he hugs me back, tentative at first, then his arms tighten around me. All I can do to not lift my knee and bollock him. When we break the embrace he's grinning, looks relieved, almost happy. "Legolas," he breathes, looks deep into my eyes, searching, questioning.
Harden your heart harden your heart harden your heart
"Oh it is so good to SEE YOU!" I gasp, put both hands on his cheeks, answer the gaze. Look tender, look compassionate, look like anything but how you feel, which quite frankly is fucking sick to my stomach. Is it the noise or the Cosmo? He smiles tentatively, raises a hand to touch my own, presses my palm against his cheek.
"It's – good to see you too, Legolas," he whispers.
Oh bloody hell, it's a fucking Tender Moment. I try to look as though I've been waiting my whole life just to find someone like him. It'd be easier if I didn't keep thinking about all those poor old ladies in Nevada he fucked over . . . I shake my head, feigning incredulousness, and say, "Where've you been, Faramir? I've – " say it say it say it, don't fucking choke on it " – missed you."
He turns his face against my palm, smearing his fucking sweat all over it, brushes his lips against my skin, oh fuck fuck fuck Manwë can I please HIT HIM? Fortunately Mike takes a hand, grabs me by the elbow and yanks me back before I can slam my fist into Fucking Fairy-Meer's oofy face.
"Hey!" he says angrily. "You still need to pay for that drink I bought you."
I turn, look as innocent as possible. "Oh, darling, I'm so sorry," I croon, laying one hand on his chest and touching the forefinger of the other to his sticky lips – I'm going to need a fucking shower when I get out of here, dammit – "I haven't seen my friend in AGES, won't you please give us a moment? Please, Michael?" And I bat my eyes at him, look irresistible, look desirable, look sweet and fuckable.
Oh bugger, didn't need to think that. Fuck the shower; I'm going to need to get disinfected. Just dunk me in a vat of Lysol . . . Mike looks sulky and mopey, but I don't give a flying fuck; I've hooked the prat and I need to land him. And any residual guilt I might feel about nobbling a drink off him disappears when Faramir grabs his little Mary-Ann and shoves him into Mike's arms. "Here," he says shortly; "take this; I'm through with it."
Oh, fucking brilliant! That's the Prince of Emyn Arnen for you – if he hadn't just slipped his arm round my waist I would've been tempted to high-five him. As it is I'd rather break his fucking nose.
Focus, Legs, focus. Reel him in.
Mike and Mary-Ann look at us in hurt surprise; I smirk at them, turn in Faramir's arm, put my own arm round his shoulders. He's a little shorter than I am, he's looking up into my eyes, fucking fatuous adoration plastered all over that dissipated face. I reach up, touch his cheek with my fingers. "Faramir," I sigh, and he closes his eyes and rests his head on my shoulder.
"God, I've missed you," he whispers, barely even loud enough for me to hear.
I glance back at Mike and Mary-Ann. Mike's still got the little prat in his arms; the manky little kerb-crawler is looking up at him with that oh-my-hero-you-rescued-me look in his eyes. Fucking hell, still has a hickie on his neck from where fucking Fairy-Meer was sucking on him.
"Come away from here," I whisper back, and gently lead him round the back of the stage. He's nestled into my side, his head on my chest, fucking nuzzling me – only consolation is I must've tricked him but good.
Frodo was right; it's dark and quiet back here. And there's the door – just a couple of snogging ankle-biters working up to a cottaging; they won't even notice us.
I'm close I'm close I'm so fucking close – don't bish it up now, mate . . . careful . . .
Oh fuck, now we're alone Faramir thinks he's got license to have it off; hardly come to a stop and he's pushing me up to the wall, hands on either side of my face, rubbing his naughty bits on my thigh and stretching up to kiss me. Fuck fuck fuck I have to kiss him back, have to play along until I can get him out of here, fuck fuck fuck . . . pretend you're kissing Éowyn, pretend it's Éowyn; oh bugger I can feel his stubble rubbing my chin, nasty nasty nasty! He's got his fucking tongue in my mouth, tastes like whisky, breathing hard through his nose; he's all hard underneath that manky sharkskin and he's using my fucking leg to masturbate against.
Lysol, hell. Just give me a bathtub full of bleach.
Focus focus focus – almost there, almost there –
"Faramir," I gasp; I can't help gasping, he's shoved up against me so hard my lungs are compressed. He groans into my mouth, tangles his hands in my hair, starts rubbing harder.
"Oh god it's so good to see you, you're so beautiful, oh god I missed you so much – " Amazing talent he's got, talking and snogging all at once; if I weren't about to lose my tea I'd be pretty fucking impressed. "I'm so glad I found you, so glad we're together, so glad you're like me . . . " He looks up at me, oh fuck he's crying, don’t pity him don't pity him don't pity him . . . "I thought I was alone, that I was alone forever – "
"Shush, shush," I croon, brace myself to kiss him back. Oh bugger, the poor sod –
Wait, wait! Remember what he did to Éowyn, remember the old ladies in Nevada! Remember the fucking Valar!
"Wait," indeed. Enough of this fucking shit, time to take this party elsewhere. Besides, if he grinds against me too much more he'll spunk in his trousers, then he'll be all embarrassed, then it'll get bloody awkward – no, keep him hungry, reel him in. I pull back, straighten up. "Wait, Faramir," I say, trying to sound all keyed up and randy. He looks up at me, still teary-eyed, hands in my hair, plonker shoved into the crease of my hip – oh please, don't notice I'm soft; then the gig is up . . . I twitch back just in case. Don't bish it up now, mate. "Not here – my car's outside – come on – " I take him by the hand, tug him toward the door.
Thank the Valar, doesn't even bloody hesitate, the fucking pranny; follows me eagerly, he does. "Yes," he whispers, he's smiling now. "Oh god, Legolas, hurry, oh god how I want you – "
I nearly vomit at that; good thing my face is turned away from him or he'd see me gag. I push past the snogging couple, got their hands in each other's trousers now, open the door, we're outside.
He flinches back. It's dark, smelly. Don't see a soul, don't hear a soul – those gobshites had better be waiting out there or I'm going to fucking kill them. No fucking way in hell I'm bunking up with fucking Fairy-Meer in the back seat of a rental. I turn to him, tug his hand again. "Hurry," I whisper. He doesn't move. Fuck. His eyes are wary, looking round in the blackness, darting round the dark forms of parked cars, of the dumpsters, of the stunted little trees. Hell of a time for his Rangerhood to show its fucking head. Time to pull out the big guns.
I take his face in my hands, kiss him hard at first, then slide my tongue into his mouth. Ick, ick, ick . . . snog him snog him snog him, don't think about it dammit. I can feel his shoulders relax a little. I reach down – oh fuck I don't want to do this – and grab him through his trousers. He gasps, his eyes close.
"You're so hard," I breathe into his ear, and flick the tip of my tongue round the lobe. He groans.
"Yes," he says. His breath is going shallow again. Fuck, he's easy; hasn't been five minutes and I've got my hand on his todger. Okay, Legs, you can do this. Easy . . .
I rub up and down slowly, giving it the kind of pressure I'd like. He groans again, leans into me, pushes his face against my neck. Now his arms are around me again – that's better – come on, you fucking slag, come on –
"Come on," I repeat. "My car. Hurry. I have to have you."
Fuck, I can't believe I'm saying this. And I hope to hell the others can't hear me. Bugger, I'll never hear the end of this . . .
Got him now; I'll have to remember this – if you want a bloke to follow you, just grab his willy.
Now, that's pretty fucking pathetic – hope Éowyn doesn't suss this out.
Or maybe she has already, and I'm just too much of a fucking nit to see it.
Don't have to drag him now; he's practically got his mouth cello-taped to my neck – please, please, no hickies; how the fuck would I explain that to Éowyn? – his hands are everywhere, on my ronson, grabbing my nips, in my hair. Don't touch my plonker, please; I'm Mr. Softee, so fucking turned off I could sick up right now. Where's the fucking car where's the fucking car where the oh there it is, no one in sight, quick quick quick –
"Here," I pant, push him up to the car. He grabs me – stronger than I thought, this one, better watch myself – turns me, my back to the car door, presses up against me, kissing me.
All right, mates, any time now . . .
I let him tangle his tongue with mine, fight down the nausea, let his hands run all over me – not there, dammit, he'll suss me out – my hands in his hair – come on, mates, come on, let's go . . .
"Legolas," he groans, oh fuck he's biting my neck, if he marks me I'll fucking break his jaw, "Oh, Legolas – "
A click, the sound of a foot being placed softly on the asphalt.
About fucking time.
I grab his hair, jerk him back, slam him up against the car, knock the breath from him. Got his arms twisted round his back, pull tight, hear the crack; he tries to yell but I shove his belly into the side mirror and he doubles over. I smash his face against the panel, hear him grunt, then wrench him round, twist, and he's flat on his stomach, my knee in the small of his back, one of my hands holding his wrists, the other gripping his head by his hair.
Got you, you fucking slag.
He can hardly draw in his breath, not lust this time is it, oh no indeed . . .
"Legolas," he croaks. "What the hell – "
"Shut the fuck up," I hiss into his ear. Had enough of this mess, let's end it. Fuck, feel like a year's passed; that's the grottiest, grossest, nastiest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. And that's bloody saying something too, mate. Oh my lord Manwë, do you owe me big.
The steps approach. I look up. Big boots, denim, that's more like it. I yank his face up by his hair so he can look up too.
"You remember your brother-in-law, don't you, Faramir?" I ask sweetly.
Éomer's out front. Fuck, he looks mad. Dangerous looking greasers we are; wouldn't be surprised if Fairy-Meer soiled himself. Longshanks, Grim, and Whitey are to his left, the hobbits to his right, and fucking hell do they look brassed. Faramir gives a little whimper, tries to wriggle backward; I put all my weight on my knee and he stops struggling.
Whitey steps forward. He's got a very nasty smile on his face, and – I'm not sure how he got it – his staff is in his hands. That's it, then. The Valar have given him the go-ahead; there's no bottling out now. I give Faramir a shake by the hair, being very careful to bang his head against the asphalt a few times in the process. Need to pay you back for the biting, you bleeding ponce.
"Going to be a good boy, aren't you?" I say. "Not going to bolt, oh dear me no – have to get real fucking mean then, won't we, mates?"
"Damn straight," says Éomer in a low growl, and flexes his fingers.
I feel Faramir flinch under my hands, flinch back from that big, bloody, belligerent man who up until four years ago had been his brother-in-law, part of his family. He knows, he fucking knows he's bollocked; he knows he's been sussed, the holiday's over. He tries to buck me off but I tighten my grip on his arms, pull them up harder, harder and farther until he's fucking squealing with pain. You stuck-up self-centered manky nine-bob cheating little gobshite, you WILL do what I tell you. I relax them, he quiets and stills beneath me, tense, trembling. I put my face up to his ear again.
"Going to be good?" I ask. He nods once, quickly, and I jump up and get clear.
Everyone else has circled him, hemmed him in. I join Grim, dig a lollie out of my pocket. Fuck, got to get his taste out of my mouth. As I peel back the paper Faramir slowly gets his hands underneath him, looking up at us, face scared and cautious and resentful; up to his knees, then slowly, slowly to his feet, looking behind himself, circling, looking for an escape.
No escape now, Fairy-Meer. You bished it this time, didn't you, you fucking cock-up?
His hands are shaking, brushing off his trousers. He turns round and round, looking at us, looking for an out, for a sympathetic face. Not going to get it here, mate. We know too much.
He runs his fingers through his hair unsteadily, trying to get it back into place. He looks directly at Longshanks; looks like a challenge.
"Well, Aragorn?" he says. Tries to sound brave but it comes out wobbly. "All of you going to gang up on me, beat me up?" He looks over at me, resentful, hurt. "And you," he says, and I can hear real anger there. Oooh, I'm sooooo scared . . . "You just used me, Legolas – used my, my weakness to get me out here." He glares at me, daring me to answer, but I roll the lollie in my mouth, lean back against the car door with my arms folded. You see any regret on this face? Didn't think so, feck-head. He turns to Whitey. "Mithrandir," he says, his voice wheedling, pleading. "There's no need to do this. We can settle this another way. Beating me up isn't going to solve anything. You know that, don't you? There's no reason to resort of physical violence." He tries to laugh, but he meets Éomer's eye and it dies in his throat with a gurgle. He swallows, looks around at all of us. "You're going to do it anyway, aren't you?" he asks quaveringly. "You're going to beat the shit out of me, aren't you?"
"No need, Faramir," says Longshanks. His voice is quiet, but you can almost taste the undercurrent there – anger, sorrow, disappointment. "We're not the ones who will be dealing with you. We're just the delivery boys."
Faramir goes white, he looks around a little wildly. "What do you mean?" he asks, his voice tight. "Who – the Valar? But – " he pauses, looks at me, grits his teeth. Oh, look. The poncer's mad. Boo hoo. "You bastard," he says, balling his hands into fists. "You – you betrayed me, brought me out here just to – to poke fun at me, to mock me, to – to – " He chews his lips a minute, too mad to speak, then he says, "You always hated me – didn't you! Always took Éowyn's side – you always did – you always liked her best."
Like a photograph flashed in front of my face is the image I get, don't know where it came from but it's before my eyes in a heartbeat – my acushla, naked, leaning back in the bed, a lollie in her mouth, her long legs wound around mine, laughing, smiling at me – at ME. I laugh out loud before I can stop myself. Faramir flinches, stares at me, then looks around again – smiles, grins, snorts of laughter surround him. He takes a deep breath. "Stop laughing at me!" he says, shaking his fists at his side. "Stop it! It's true! He always – he – he was always turning her against me – "
"Oh, shut the fuck up." It's Éomer; he's running his fingers thoughtfully over his knuckles, like he's planning to use them for something other than keeping his fingers attached to his hands. "You're the one who turned Éowyn away. Not Legolas' fault she ran right into his arms." He looks over at me, winks. "She was just too much woman for you, O Former Brother-in-Law. Legs, now – he's man enough to handle her. Aren't you, Legs?"
More chuckles round the circle, some sly looks. But the expression of growing horror on fucking Fairy-Meer's face is funnier than anything anyone's said so far this evening. He's staring at me, the bloody berk, eyes wide, mouth open in shock. I grin, my snarky go-to-hell grin, and take the lollie out of my mouth.
"You haven't – " he starts, but can't seem to get the rest of the statement out of his mouth. Mental, this one.
"Insatiable, that pretty little bit," I say, licking the sticky residue off my lips. "Hell of a good time in bed, she is. Thanks, by the way," I add solemnly, examining my lollie carefully. "If you hadn't decided to go arse-fucking, I never would've had the chance to suss out what she's like between the sheets. I owe you one, you slimy git."
Merry snorts with laughter; Pip elbows him. Faramir looks wildly round at them, back at me. Doesn't believe me, doesn’t want to. He licks his lips, eyes darting round, then says, "So – so that's what this is all about – it's my being gay – isn't it? My god," he says, his voice shaking; "you're all so antediluvian – homophobes – it's always the same – "
"Don't be stupid," says Frodo quietly. Faramir looks at him. "I'm gay and they don't care. Put your dick anywhere you like – the issue's not our sexuality."
Faramir stares at him. "What is it, then?" he asks.
Prepare yourself, Greenleaf.
What? For what?
It is coming. Are you ready?
A vista of terrible blackness opens before me. It pulls, drags me down; it's emptiness, it's pain, it's horrible silence.
Are you ready?
Oh, fuck, my lord . . .
No one's seen me Listening; they're looking at Whitey, who's stepped forward, his staff outstretched. Faramir cringes back, still defiant, but terrified.
And rightly so. Oh, fuck.
"Faramir son of Denethor," says Whitey, "you have been summoned here before these witnesses to defend yourself against charges leveled upon you by the Valar themselves. Your depredations are threefold: First, the betrayal of your given spouse, Éowyn of Rohan, and the withholding of her property. Second, the theft of monies belonging to twelve retired pensioners in the state of Nevada." Faramir goes very pale. Obviously he had no idea we knew. Murder will out. "Third, your deplorable behavior in this very establishment, procuring sexual favors without keeping promises. Have you anything to say?" He waits, staff leveled in Faramir's face. The tip is glowing slightly, and I can see Narya flickering in the dimness.
Oh Faramir, you are so fucked.
Faramir swallows, looks from side to side. There's no escape, mate; you're bloody well bollocked. He licks his lips again, opens his mouth to speak, pauses, then drops his gaze.
It is coming.
Stop it. Stop it, my lord Manwë. You can't. Don't do this, please. You can't fucking do this.
Don’t let it come out. Turn the staff off – turn the bloody staff off!
Faramir drops his head, defeated. "All right," he growls. "Okay. So I did. So sue me. I was just – " he casts around for an explanation. "Just trying to make ends meet – to figure out who I am, what I am – " He gestures blankly, closes his eyes, shoulders slumped. "Fine," he says. His voice is very bitter. "I knew no one would understand. No one ever has. It's always the same – nothing ever works out for me. It never has. I've never been able to do anything right, make anyone happy. I can't even make myself happy. I don't care. Kill me if you want." His voice breaks. "I'm so unhappy," he says.
It is here.
Oh, fuck . . .
Will you do this, Greenleaf? You have never disobeyed before.
Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.
Whitey stretches the staff out. The tip approaches Faramir's forehead. It's glowing brightly now, glowing red; Faramir's skin is glowing red.
No. No. Don't make me do this. I can't do this. Oh fuck, my lord . . .
That blackness, the sense of eternal isolation
And pain, pain unendurable
I turn to Grim. His face is sad, regretful, but stern. He knows the punishment is just. Hell, so do I, but –
I've never disobeyed my lord before. Fuck it, I'm not going to start now.
"Grim," I say quickly. I don't want him to stop me. "Tell Éowyn I’m sorry." And I reach forward and touch the tip of the staff.
My brain explodes
someone's screaming my name
oh god it's fire it's running down my veins oh god my head my head my eyes
something hits my head, scrapes my back, oh god that fire, it cuts me slices me flays me
my heart oh god it's swelling my lungs I can't fill my lungs oh my lord help me
help me help me oh god I can't stand it
no more no more no morenomorenomoreohgod
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.