Mael-Gûl: 45. Through The Dark

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45. Through The Dark

Authors note:
Completely A.U. Legolas slave fic. This story was inspired by Bluegolds story "Bound", which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas here with her permission.
Betareader: Many thanks to Surreysmum, who polished this and made it so much better! All still remaining errors are my own.

Warning: Slash, m/m, BDSM, torture, toys, d/s, *very* graphic descriptions; abuse both physical and sexual. Non-con and debatable consent. special warning for this chapter: some BDSM. Please heed the warnings!

Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to me. In this chapter, I lift entire passages and quote extensively from Tolkien's book, again, and stay very close to Tolkien's lines. Proper references to the quoted passages are given in the footnotes. Please bear with me!

Guide: occasionally, I work with flashback scenes. Here is a Guide:
// /flashback/ //; ************Time change within a flashback***********; "speech"; 'thoughts'

For all other warnings, other disclaimers and author's notes see Story Intro.

_________________________


-- Part VIII: A Journey Through The Dark --


XXXXIII. Through The Dark
1

The halls of Moria were tall and wide, and cold and empty beyond Gimli's imagination. There were endless caverns, big hollow halls of naturally formed caves, betraying only by their smooth walls that they had been widened and worked on at the edges here and there; two hundred perfectly hewn stairs that led up from the caved-in western doors up to the first big landing where the Fellowship had taken a short rest and Boromir had found an old torch, together with a supply of fuel to fill it. The torch was ancient, but still intact; there was no way to know if the supply of fuel had been left by the unlucky Dwarven guard whose bodies now lay under the rocks of the caved-in western gate, or if it had been left there by some Orcs, but the company was in no mood to ask. They had been grateful for the added light and eagerly added the precious supply to their combined packs. Now, Boromir and Aragorn exchanged the duty of bearing the torch between them.

The company had been grateful for the opportunity to stop and regather some strength at that first great landing after the ascending stairs; but however exhausted they all had been when they arrived at Moria, the encounter with the creature in the lake had shaken them, and it had filled them with new strength.

None of them had been willing to stay longer close to the western gate than was absolutely needed; and so, just a short while later, they were on the move again, following narrow paths that had been hewn and built thousands of years ago and now mostly fallen in disarray by neglect of maintenance. All around them, they could see glimpses of the vast caverns that were the western part of Moria, sometimes showing them natural rock formations that had been left alone, or cleverly hewn to form rooms for storage or mining shafts; sometimes the walls and ground were hewn, and they could see remains of ladders and mining shafts, leading away. At other places, the narrow path they followed led them across a sheer gap opening beyond, and at some places where once might have been a bridge of wood or stone to ease the way, there was now only emptiness. It took great courage for the Hobbits, but also for the men and even – as much as Gimli was loath to admit it – for himself, to face those dangers and to jump the greater gaps. And yet, all of the Fellowship performed admirably. The Hobbits did their best to hold their own, and where that was impossible due to sheer size, the men helped out.

Even the Elf, who had seemed nearly asleep on his feet as far as Gimli could tell, walking without his usual grace shortly before they reached the lake, now seemed alert again, staring at his surroundings with awe and barely hidden discomfort, but being on his guard; at one especially nasty gap with a disturbing sound of running water deep below, it had been just his quick reflexes that had saved Sam from being lost when he jumped barely too short, and when Pippin hesitated afterwards to dare the jump, the Elf had simply crossed back again and made the jump across holding the Hobbit, landing both of them safely in the arms of his Ranger. Gimli admitted grudgingly to himself that the Elf so far had proven his worth admirably. He recalled the reluctant respect he had felt the night before during that fight against the wolves. Free or not, the Elf was a warrior to reckon with, and as such, he had earned the Dwarf's grudging respect.

Gimli wondered what the two men were thinking.

Gimli stopped a moment and turned to cast a short look at his companions. All of them followed the wizard grimly. There was little talk among them; Gandalf had reminded them of being quiet, so that hopefully their presence might go unnoticed. Only Sam was muttering now and then about the poor pony they had left behind and wondering if it was safe. Gimli nearly scowled.

The pony! Sam was concerned about the fate of the beast?!

Not that Gimli had felt any animosity towards the poor animal, well, apart from that moment he had been forced to ride on it! But compared to his sorrow and concern about the fate of Balin's colony, and the poor guards whose remains they had found at the doors, he thought the concern of the Hobbit gardener for the horse somewhat unfitting.

He wondered if the other members of the Fellowship – beside Tharkun2, of course – were aware that he probably had known the dead guards they had found and left behind by name at some point, that he had worked side by side with them and had shared work and laughter with most of them. The time had been too short – and the corpses had been too decayed – for him to get any clue about their identities, but they had come from Erebor, and he had known every single Dwarf of Balin's company by name, so strongly had he hoped to be allowed to accompany them at the time. And to find them like this, not even properly buried – on that account, at least, Gimli was glad for the cave-in.

It meant that the bodies of those guards were now buried under stone, as any proper child of Mahal3 should be.

Gimli had been badly shaken to see the remains of his people. They could not stem from the original inhabitants; those must have turned to dust and stone a long time ago, and these bodies had been too fresh. And in the war between the Dwarves and Orcs some two hundred years ago, Moria had not been entered. No, these bodies could only have been part of Balin's colony, and the fact that they had not been buried properly did not bode well for the fate of their comrades, nor for Balin himself.

When Balin's expedition had started all these years ago, Gimli had been excited and eager and like a lot of their young people; he had wanted to come along. Gimli's father Gloin had denied him that, firmly claiming that he was needed at the Lonely Mountain and that the Dwarves of Erebor could not afford to send off at once all descendants of Durin's line into an expedition with an unsure outcome. Gimli, who had been denied the participation in the quest to regain Erebor before already, had been badly disappointed, but at the time he had acquiesced. But he had always wished to follow his older cousin and see Khazad-Dum one day.

He had, however, imagined that opportunity quite differently.

Despite the fact that he and his family at Erebor had not heard anything of Balin and his colony for years, until tonight Gimli had not really forsaken hope that his cousin might be alive and his colony was well. Traveling was dangerous these days; and the endeavor of recolonizing Moria was a huge project that would take long years of arduous labor. It might have been that Balin simply had chosen to exploit all his resources for the greater need to strengthen his foothold in the mines before he set word home. Or so Gimli had hoped.

The events of tonight had put an end to all his hopes, and now he feared the worst.

Leaning himself on his great battle axe, Gimli let his gaze travel over the line of his companions, and his gaze came to rest on the Elf again. The pointy-eared princeling looked pale, even given the scarce light Thakun's staff and Boromir's torch were casting; the flickering light of the torch caused eerie shadows dancing around them. In their light, the elven archer seemed even more slim and fragile than in daylight, and his face seemed to glow in an odd light of its own, emphasizing its paleness. He looked around again and again, his eyes wide, trying to pierce the darkness around them, and his movements missing any semblance of calm or grace; he seemed nervous and nearly skittish, as if spooked by the shadows. Gimli guessed that he had rarely been that deeply underground, or that deeply in a cave, although as far as he knew the Elf's father and his people were living underground. But then, Gimli doubted that those Elven halls could really compare to Khazad-Dum, even in the rare state of what had been left of it.

It was nigh unbelievable that this flimsy creature should be a deadly warrior who could hold his own and be of any use to the Fellowship, beside the more uncouth uses the two men of the company forced on the Elven slave. And yet, Gimli recalled only too well that humiliating moment a few days ago when he had found himself flat on the ground, an Elven blade at his throat, without a clear account how he had ended up in this position; and he knew that but for that Elf giving in to Aragorn, he would have been dead, his throat cut, without so much as a chance to free himself in time.

And he recalled grudgingly the endurance and hardiness the Elf had shown during that storm on Caradhras, and the grace and deadliness the archer had displayed during that fight against the wargs just the night before. Both had earned him Gimli's reluctant respect.

Gimli thinned his lips. He knew that he should feel grim satisfaction at the Elf's obvious discomfort at his surroundings. And yet. The disregard and spite he had felt at the start for that flimsy-seeming son of the hated Elvenking who had once imprisoned Gimli's father seemed oddly hollow, now, like one of the things placed in his mind by that weird otherness he had felt during the confrontation with the Elf six days ago.

Gimli shuddered. Even now, the memory of red haze fogging his thoughts and slim tendrils of hate and cruelty winding around his mind and pushing him made him shake with rage and filled him with anger and shame. He refused to let himself be tempted or possessed again, especially not by that thing Frodo carried; that he, a child of Mahal, made to resist such influence, nearly had fallen for it made it only harder.

He had not yet found any opportunity to apologize to the Elf, beside that one, short promise he had given. He had planned to mend that, here, and yet keep the pride of his family.

It had been the perfect plan.

Once they'd met up with Balin, Gimli would have made sure that Legolas was treated not as an unwelcome intruder, the son of a hated enemy, but with all the honor due to a royal guest, according to his original status as a prince of his people. Gimli would have made sure that the Elf would have been given his own chambers and all the respectful treatment given a honored envoy. It would have been the perfect revenge, a shameful slap both to Legolas' father, who had once treated Gimli's own father and Balin himself so very differently and would have nicely been put to shame by the greater generosity of the Dwarves, and to the two men of the Fellowship, who still insisted on treating their Elven companion as a slave. Especially, it would have put the arrogant Ranger into his place. And at the same time it would have been the best apology Gimli could give to Legolas himself, better than any words.

Gimli had been sure he could have talked Balin into going along with it.

Gimli sighed and bowed his head. Very obviously, that plan was impossible, now. He doubted that Balin was yet alive, and even if he was, he would hardly be in a position to grant anything. It did not look as if the project of recolonizing Khazad-Dum had been a success.

Gimli sighed once more, turned and started to walk again. Quickening his steps, he soon caught up with the wizard and retook his place at the top of the company, second in line after Tharkun, which he had held ever since the company had entered Moria.

They had yet a long way to go tonight.

__________________ o ________________


Legolas stared out into the darkness of the cave, straining all his senses. Behind him, on the secluded platform they had reached, he could hear the quiet noises of the Fellowship, settling down for rest; after what seemed like hours of walking Mithrandir had finally decided to let them stop for tonight. The platform was about twenty feet broad and carved into the rock like a natural shelter, and on the left and right it was bordered by great boulders of stone sheltering it from the narrow path they all had followed for the last three hours; to the fourth side, it ended in a gap, the bottom of which was swallowed by fathomless darkness. It might fall hundreds of yards down until one reached the bottom, or just forty; he could not see how deep it was in the dim light both the wizard's staff and Boromir's torch provided. Their light threw odd shadows to the lifeless rocks around them and on the far side of the gap, seemingly causing them to move.

Legolas felt his mind starting to drift. The moment earlier tonight when he had gained new strength by the gift of the trees seemed far gone. He could not say how far they had traveled since they had entered the mines. There was no way to judge how far the night was advanced; no moon to light the way, no stars to turn to, no Tree-Song, in fact not even traces of the Song, since he could not tap into stone. All around them was nothing but darkness and stone, and a big, hollow emptiness devoid of noise, except the small sounds of the company themselves.

And yet...

There was something out there. Waiting, lurking, evil... something old, something powerful...it was as if the shadows were flowing together, taking shape...


Suddenly, arms closed around him from behind and he nearly jumped.

The grip on his forearms tightened.

"Shhh... Easy, Little Leaf, it is only me!" Aragorn said, and at the same moment, Legolas' subconsciousness registered the familiar smell of pipe-weed, the well-known sounds of his master's rasping voice.

He relaxed. But in the next instant he tensed up again and bowed his head guiltily.

"Forgive me, My Lord, I just..."

Instead of a reply, Aragorn simply turned him around. He shook his head, signaling his slave with a simple look he wasn't angry. His hands on Legolas' arms traveled up, reached his shoulders, his neck, trailed through his hair...

Legolas closed his eyes, simply savoring the sensation. Estel...

Aragorn's voice, when it came, was soothing.

"Shhh, it's all right," his master said, "I know you must be nervous."

Legolas opened his eyes again and met his master's concerned gaze. Aragorn's hands caressed his ears, causing him to shudder, then they found his face, caressing his cheeks.

"You are dead on your feet, Little Leaf," Aragorn chided gently. "When did you last find restful dreams?"

He could not mean the last two nights, Legolas knew, but during the time before.

Legolas bowed his head again and quickly looked down. He did not answer.

Aragorn frowned, then he took a deep breath. His hands on Legolas' face hesitated for a moment.

"I see," he said roughly, "Never mind. 'Twas a stupid question."

His hands took up their caress again, traveling along Legolas' features, through his hair to his ears. Very quietly, he added: "I'm sorry, Little Leaf. But I still think it was the right decision."

Legolas only nodded. "I know, Estel," he said in a equally low voice, "I'm sorry. I just..."

Aragorn's fingers on his lips silenced him.

"Shhh, it's all right," his master said, "I never expected you to like it."

The fingers traveled up to the sides of his face again.

Legolas dared to look up. He met Aragorn's gaze again, read the slight grief within his eyes, mixed with determination.

He nodded. "I know, Estel," he dared to say, "thank you!"

Then he drew a deep breath. There were more important things to address right now. "Estel," he began again, in an urgent tone, "there is..."

Aragorn laid a finger on his lips again and stopped him. He changed to Silvain.

"I know," he said in a low voice, "I feel it, too. There is something out there, and it is very evil. The sooner we leave these mines again, the better."

Legolas gave him a questioning gaze, and Aragorn briefly shook his head. "Do not alarm the others. We can do nothing about it, now, and we can only hope we do not alarm it to our presence."

His grim expression told how likely he thought that possibility to be.

But he was right, and Legolas only nodded.

At least, if Estel felt it, too, his mind was not playing tricks on him.

Then he thought back to last night, and began again, still speaking Silvain:

"As you wish, My Lord. Estel..."

Aragorn raised a brow, inviting him to continue, and Legolas plunged on, very seriously:

"Thank you. Thank you for your request to Gandalf. I..."

Aragorn drew a deep breath. His fingers found their way to Legolas' lips again, for a third time stopping his words.

Very seriously, Aragorn said: "It is nothing more than you deserve, Little Leaf. I told you I would free you if I could."

His voice was rough, and he clearly struggled with inner turmoil. After a moment, he continued: "Alas, I cannot, at least not yet. But if there is any chance to see it done, I would at least have Mithrandir free you of that spell and know you safe and healthy on your own again."

Legolas stared at him, wide-eyed, but Aragorn just shook his head. There was pain and sorrow in his face, though it was hardly visible in the dim light.

Legolas hardly dared to breathe. After a moment, his arms came up and clung to the Adan. "Estel!" he uttered, then he kissed the fingers still trailing his lips and breathed: "Thank you! Thank you, Estel!"

Aragorn leaned forward and stole a kiss that was willingly given.

"Do not thank me too soon," he said raspingly, "we do not know if it will even work, yet."

Legolas clung to him, closing his eyes. He did not answer. For long moments, he just savored his master's touch, Estel's familiar feel and smell. It felt as if he had been deprived of him an impossibly long time. Aragorn did not stop him, but just held him, burying his face in his shoulder.

Legolas gave himself over to the sensation in gratitude. Warmth filled him and gave him new strength, and dimly he felt that he started to drift into dreams again.

Then, after what seemed like a small eternity, Aragorn withdrew a little and sighed.

"Legolas..." his master began, and then he added with regret: "I believe it is Boromir's turn, again, tonight."

Legolas' eyes flew open.

For a moment, he could hardly bring himself to trust his ears. He stared at his master's face, startled and alarmed.

Aragorn looked at him with visible regret, but clear determination.

Legolas swallowed. "But, My Lord..." he began, and then took a deep breath. Finally, he gathered his wits again.

"Boromir changed his mind in that regard, My Lord. He has released me of the bargain. He told me so this evening."

Aragorn frowned. He stepped back, his face clearly showing his irritation.

"You asked him to release you?" he demanded disbelievingly.

Legolas braced himself against his master's anger. He shook his head.

"No, My Lord, I didn't," he said. "My lord Boromir made that decision on his own. He said... that he would still be willing to help me out if there was need, and he would not deny me if I requested his help, but he would no longer demand it."

Aragorn narrowed his eyes. He nearly turned to shoot a dark look at the Gondorian, who had settled down somewhere behind them, but then he aborted the motion. He shook his head and took the face of his slave into his hands again.

"I am glad to hear that he apologized to you," he said, "and that seeing you fight apparently caused him to treat you with respect, again. Still, I wish he would not have gone that far."

He took a deep breath. "Legolas... I still deem it best if the spell remains well fed. Last night..."

He did not finish.

Legolas looked down. It was nothing more than he had expected. And yet...

He nodded. "I know, My Lord," he said tonelessly. "Still..."

Finally, he looked up again. "Please, My lord, not tonight. I..." He trailed off and looked down again.

"Forgive me," he whispered, "I..."

Aragorn looked at him searchingly and puzzled. "I thought you said he apologized," he said. "Did he hurt you?"

Legolas shook his head. Aragorn's frown deepened. Then he suddenly gasped. He hesitated.

After another moment, he asked, very gently: "Would you prefer if it was me with you tonight?"

Legolas could not help himself. He looked up again and met his master's eyes. Aragorn's eyes were dark in the dim light, but he could see both the desire and the slight grief in them.

He shuddered. He knew this would be nothing like their coupling just three nights ago when Aragorn had given himself to him. This time Aragorn meant to feed the spell. He would be back at his cruel games again.

Still, it would be Estel's hands on him, this night, it would be Estel with whom he shared himself, Estel who held him and soothed him afterwards. He did not believe he could bear anything else right now.

He nodded.

Aragorn swallowed hard.

Nearly tonelessly, he said: "I would have to hurt you again, Little Leaf. I had hoped..."

He trailed off, voice broken. Behind him, Legolas could see the sharp eyes of the wizard watching them.

He shivered. How much had Mithrandir heard of their exchange?

They stood a little apart from the others , to the side of the platform and near the gaping fall; during their exchange, the others of the Fellowship had settled down for the night and made camp. So far, they had been granted privacy; Boromir and the Hobbits, and even the Dwarf, had settled in a circle, relishing the light of Boromir's torch, and sharing a meager meal, and the Hobbits even politely turned their back to the Elf and his Ranger. However, Legolas could see Boromir, and also the Dwarf, shooting an occasional, narrow-eyed glance at him and Aragorn; and so did the wizard now.

Finally, after a long moment, the Istar looked away again, apparently distracted by a remark from Frodo.

Legolas shook himself. He concentrated back on his master.

Aragorn regarded him with a familiar mixture of guilt and grief. Barely louder than before, he said hoarsely: "I had hoped Boromir and you would like each other, and you'd get used to him, and he and I could share in keeping the spell well fed for you. I... thought if we kept taking turns, I could..."

He trailed off again. Legolas stared at him, wide-eyed and stunned.

He understood perfectly, and he barely dared to breathe.

So, that was what Estel intended. If Boromir would feed the spell, then Aragorn would not need to play his cruel games and they could be together in more tender ways, like they had been that wonderful time a few nights before. If Aragorn was not required to feed the spell, he could be gentle. It would not be as satisfying for him that way, but still...

Legolas did not know if he should drown in grief or be overwhelmed by gratitude. He only knew one thing: It was Estel whom he needed to be with him, tonight.

Gathering himself, he said quietly: "I do understand. But please, My Lord, not tonight. Do not send me away from you, tonight."

He drew a deep breath.

"Please, Estel. Let me be with you, tonight," he pleaded.

Aragorn drew a sharp breath.

"Are you sure?" he asked, nearly tonelessly, his voice hoarse and his eyes wide and dark with desire.

Legolas nodded.

Aragorn swallowed hard. Then he gathered himself.

He let go of Legolas and straightened.

"All right, then," he said, "I believe I saw another broader place just about thirty yards back down the path. It was around that last bend, and well secluded. We could take the torch with us for light, and we would not be long..."

He took a deep breath. "Let's eat, and then get our packs," he decided. "I cannot wait to have you on my own again!"

Legolas bowed to him and went to the place where he had left his pack.

He braced himself.

He knew this was not going to be easy. This would be nothing like their tender coupling a few nights ago.

But at least Legolas would be with Estel again.

And that was what he needed more than anything, at the moment.

________________ o _______________


The place Aragorn had mentioned was indeed some thirty yards down the path they had come, a smaller platform than the one where they decided to made camp, secluded from the sight of their comrades both by a bend around the rock and by several big boulders which crowded the path on both sides and which had made passage earlier strenuous for the taller members of the company. But now that very fact served to provide them the privacy they needed, and also a small measure of security; for if any attackers crept up on them, they could come only from the path they had come with the Fellowship earlier that night, and they would be warned by the noise that attackers would need to make in maneuvering through the passage.

Aragorn signaled his companion to halt and settle down, and watched as Legolas acknowledged the mute command with a respectful bow and set out to create a small and temporary camp suited for their purposes. The Ranger shed his own pack and set it in easy reach, then he waited. Legolas worked with quiet efficiency, placing their packs to the side, securing the torch with a few stones, spreading out the blanket for their use, finally getting rid of his quiver and bow and placing them to the side, within easy reach. He made hardly any noise; the silence around them was deafening.

All Aragorn could hear was his own, harsh breathing, and the occasional quiet sound of Legolas' preparations; and also, occasionally, there was the faint noise like an echo of the quiet chatter of some Hobbit-voices, coming from the general direction of the other camp up their path. They weren't loud, but eerily distorted; every sound was amplified and thrown back by the walls of the cave.

He swallowed hard, looking back at his companion. He still could hardly believe that Legolas had chosen him, had asked him for this encounter, although his slave must know what that meant. There was hardly any way he could be gentle. That Legolas would want him to take him, even so... it filled him with wonder. Hot desire surged through him at that very thought.

And yet.

He recalled only too well his longing at those memories of their time in Gondor, and at their gentle coupling a few night before... the idea of causing his companion pain again, to simply return to their familiar games, filled him with grief.

But there was hardly any other choice.

He was haunted by shreds of his vision again. Legolas' pale face, frozen in horror... shivering with need... his face grey, the clear eyes filmed over, the body burning in fever and yet cold to the touch... Gandalf's face, laced in sorrow, telling him they had to let the Elf go... loss, loss too overwhelming to even contemplate...

He gasped and shoved the images away.

It would not happen, now! He had made sure of that! And if he needed to force Legolas to share himself with Boromir and even Gimli every second day, he would not let him die of the accursed spell if he could help it!

Breathing harshly, he brought his inner turmoil under control. Suddenly, he felt an overwhelming need to touch, to reassure himself that his Elf was alive and was indeed still his to use and enjoy.

Legolas finished the preparations and rose again. He stepped in front of his master with a respectful bow, waiting for his attentions.

Aragorn stepped close and took him into his arms again. He buried his nose in the neck of his Elf and breathed in his scent deeply for a moment, tasting the unresisting neck under his lips, needing to feel the calm, sure pulse. He hugged his slave hard enough to stop his breath.

Legolas was astonished at the fierce embrace, but suffered it obediently. It lasted only a moment, then Aragorn left off a bit and took his mouth in a deep, demanding kiss. Legolas opened up for him willingly and enjoyed the familiar taste of Estel on his tongue, the reassuring strength of his master's arms around him. He felt his own body react, felt himself fall into arousal and desire. His arms came up against his master's back, daring to touch. He knew he had not been allowed to do so, yet, but did not care. If Estel wished to punish him for that, so be it!

But Estel merely hugged him back, and Legolas allowed himself to float in the familiar embrace.

Had he ever really thought that he could kill this man? The mere thought sent a stab of guilt through him, and he felt himself clinging more fiercely. Estel!

After a moment Aragorn let him up for air. Withdrawing a little, his master said:

"How I have missed this, Little Leaf! How I have missed you!" One of his hand's came up, caressing Legolas' face.

Aragorn withdrew a bit more and looked at his slave. Desire surged through him, ever mounting, and heat began to gather in his groin. Hoarsely, he said:

"I cannot wait until we reach Lothlorien. Imagine! Maybe we can ask again for that special talan. There I could take care of you again, with proper toys and privacy. I can hardly wait!"

He pictured Legolas and himself in that flet and felt saliva gather in his mouth.

Carags of every size, a selection of paddles and whips, and more intricate toys... restraints... and, even more importantly, privacy, safety and time for a long, elaborate play, one that started gently and grew slowly in intensity, one that Legolas could bear and maybe even enjoy...

He felt his groin harden.

Legolas started. Fear and dismay surged through him, and he blanched a little. But he had known that that waited for him there, so it was hardly a surprise. So why should he suddenly feel such disappointment?

Aragorn had seen the expression in his eyes and caressed his face.

"Do not fear," he whispered roughly, "I will do nothing that you cannot bear. Not there, and not here. I will do only as much as I have to." He swallowed.

Legolas met his eyes. He gave a little nod. "Thank you, My Lord," he said quietly.

Aragorn decided to move on and start their game. Cocking a brow, he said casually:

"But we have nothing of that here, so we must do with what we have, You realize, of course, that we will have to be very discreet tonight. I may have to gag you."

Legolas paled a bit more, but he only swallowed and bowed his head. "If it pleases you, My Lord," he said tonelessly.

The note of obedient and helpless resignation in his voice went directly to Aragorn's groin, and his arousal rose another notch.

He let go of his slave and stepped back. "All right, then," he ordered sternly, "undress and kneel! I wish to see you! It is time we got started; we do not have all night!"

Legolas could not repress a shiver at his tone. Wordlessly, he obeyed.

It did not take him long. Aragorn meanwhile shed his sword and weapons and set them beside Legolas' bow. He then stooped to his quiver and retrieved that special package that held the small selection of toys they had brought from Rivendell. Standing again, he observed with grim satisfaction as his slave knelt before him, naked, legs apart, head respectfully bowed and waiting for his command. He allowed himself to savor the sight. He saw the Elf shiver with apprehension and an idea began to form in his head.

There was hardly any way he could be gentle. But maybe he could try something different...

He took a deep breath. "Beautiful!" he said. "You know, no matter how often we do this, I can never get enough of you!"

With a fluid and graceful movement, he knelt down and reached out to tip up his slave's chin.

"I choose not to tie your hands tonight. But I wish you to stay as you are now and do not move. Whatever I do to you, you are to bear it gracefully and not to move without my permission. Do I make myself clear?"

Legolas shivered. He gave a nearly imperceptible nod. "Perfectly clear, My Lord," he whispered. "At your pleasure."

Aragorn smiled.

"Good," he said, "because I have quite some plans for you, tonight! And since we do not have great choice of toys, I will take measures to make it even easier for you to concentrate on my attentions."

Legolas gave him a puzzled look.

Aragorn ignored it and reached for the bundle holding their toys. He opened it and took out a blindfold.

Legolas paled.

Aragorn lifted the blindfold so that Legolas could see it better.

"Turn around," he commanded. "Legs apart, hands to your sides. Hold still so I can put it on."

Legolas obeyed. He shivered harder. He nearly jerked as his master brought the black cloth up to his head. He had a very good idea what his master intended. And of course, it was not the first time Aragorn chose to blindfolded him during their games - but never under such circumstances. He could hardly suppress a gasp as the black cloth covered his eyes, cutting off what little light there was.

He swallowed, trying to fight his mounting panic. 'Tis only a blindfold,' he chided himself, 'it will come off again' – but as his master fastened the cloth behind his head, he could feel the darkness reaching for him, becoming even more palpable...

Aragorn fastened the cloth, then let his hands trail over the naked body of his slave. He savored the shivering, the nearly visceral reaction to his touch. His grip on the trembling body hardened.

"There," he growled, "that's it! Now stay like that! Don't move, whatever happens! Do you understand?"

Legolas swallowed a sob. "I do, My Lord!" he whispered.

"Good," Aragorn growled, "for I have yet a few things in store for you, and I plan to enjoy you thoroughly!"

And one of his hands trailed down to Legolas' yet flaccid groin, massaging and stroking.

Legolas gave a little gasp. He was grateful for the touch, since it grounded him; and yet, he felt exposed. Aragorn's hands trailed up to his nipples and began to caress them, coaxing them to attention. Then his hands were gone. Legolas shivered in the dark, although he could hear his master rummaging nearby. The short moment of lost contact was nearly unbearable.

He could feel the darkness coming closer, reaching to swallow them. There was something out there that he had never felt before, something beyond his imagination...

He nearly jerked as the hands of his master were back on his body, fastening the clamps on his nipples. The pain was small compared to his mounting panic; indeed, it gave him something else to concentrate on besides the darkness. And yet...

Suddenly he could not stand it anymore. He gasped.

"Estel," he said, "the blindfold... I cannot..."

He tensed a little, waiting for a blow. He knew he was breaking the rules, but he just could not help himself.

Aragorn's hands on his body froze.

"I have blindfolded you before," he said.

Legolas shivered harder. "I know, My Lord," he said, "I'm sorry! Still..." He trailed off. "Please!" he finally said.

Aragorn hesitated. He watched his slave critically and hungrily. As it was, his little idea had worked beyond imagination. Legolas was nearly in panic, and the visceral fear and terror of his slave transferred directly to Aragorn's groin, making him hard and ready. A part of him wanted to savor this, was loath to stop now. Still...

There was no immediate danger, he knew; if there had been, if Legolas had heard someone creeping up on them, the Elf would be already on his feet, ripping the cloth off. This had to be different. And yet. It was not like Legolas to break the rules in such a drastic way. If he did, it had to mean that he could not bear this,

Aragorn groaned inwardly. He felt his groin react.

The temptation to draw it out, to savor the terror of his slave, was nearly overwhelming. He could see that Legolas was close to jumping up, be it to flee or fight he did not know. His slave kept himself in his place despite his panic just by will, and just to stay obedient to his master.

The sense of power that went along with that thought was like strong, potent wine and made Aragorn's head swim.

And yet. He had promised...

"All right," he finally said, reaching up and unfastening the cloth, "I'll take it off. But listen closely! Here is what I want you to do. You are to keep your eyes closed. You are to keep them shut, whatever happens, until I give you permission to open them again. Do you understand?"

Legolas gave a early imperceptible nod. "I do, My Lord!" he said.

Aragorn grabbed his hair and jerked his head back. Bringing his mouth directly to one pointed ear, he growled: "If you disobey, if you defy me, I will make you wear the cloth all night. Do you understand?"

Legolas gave a gasp. "I do, My Lord," he whispered.

Aragorn let go of his hair and returned to unfastening the cloth. "Good," he said, "for I want you to appreciate what I have yet in store for you, and to give it your full attention. And I plan to savor you thoroughly, tonight!"

The cloth came off. Legolas gave a little gasp of relief. He resisted the urge to open his eyes, to see the dim light of the torch again, but kept them obediently shut, as his master had commanded. Even so, the blindfold gone, his panic somewhat subsided.

Then Estel's hands were back on his body again, caressing, and Estel's mouth was back at his ear, teasing and nibbling a little.

"Brave Little Leaf!" his master said, "I know that this is hard on you. But you will obey me none the less, will you not? You will be brave for me and trust me and savor all I will do to you!"

Legolas breathed deeply and concentrated on the rasping voice, the caressing touch. The darkness retreated.

"I do trust you, Estel," Legolas nearly inaudibly breathed, "I do trust you."

Aragorn gave no sign that he had heard him. Instead, he drew him back against himself, and his hands took up their journey on Legolas' body again, finally settling on his clamped nipples, toying and teasing. The pain was small and familiar, and meanwhile, his master never stopped kissing and teasing the captive ear under his lips, in between telling him how beautiful he was, how brave, how much Aragorn had missed being with him...

Under the steady caresses Legolas finally felt his body begin to react again, not just with pain and fear, but with desire, and his groin stirred. He gave himself over to the sensation.

__________________ o ______________


When it was over, Aragorn held his trembling, shivering slave in his arms and severely loathed himself.

True, it had not taken much for him tonight. Legolas' complete obedience, his willingness to endure Aragorn's needs, and his trust in spite of his erstwhile palpable fear did a lot to build Aragorn's desire and get him all hard and ready; and the fantasy of what he would do to his slave once they had privacy and proper toys again had spurred him on; so much indeed that on top of that, it had needed only a few more choice cruelties for him to reach completion.

Even more, he had made sure to see to his companion's needs as well and to bring him to climax with his mouth before he took him. Still, the night had been hard on Legolas again, and now he could feel his companion cling to his body, shivering, suppressing tears, obviously still in pain.

"It is all right," Aragorn finally said, kissing his slave's still shut eyes, "it is over. You can open them again, now." He added a caress to his slave's back. The ban on movement had been lifted earlier during their joining, already.

Legolas obeyed. The look of grief and desperation in his eyes went directly to Aragorn's heart.

He bowed his head.

"That's it," he finally said. "Tomorrow you will go to Boromir again. From now, he will be the one to give you what you need, at least until Lothlorien."

He saw Legolas' eyes widen and shook his head.

"Nay, do not protest," he said. "I will not touch you again to take my pleasure until we reach Lothlorien. There we will have privacy, and time, and I can at least try to make sure that you can enjoy our joining, too. Here, we have neither. I cannot do this to you again, Little Leaf. I will not!"

His voice was hoarse.

Legolas started. He looked at him, wide-eyed and disbelieving.

"But, My Lord," he began, and then he said: "Estel!--"

Aragorn silenced him with a finger on his lips.

"I know I cannot cease to hurt you completely," he said, eyes full of grief, "at least not unless Gandalf succeeds in breaking that spell on you. I wish I could, but I can't. But... I won't do it here, again. Not like this."

He kissed his slave's forehead. "Boromir can take care of you, for now. He will be good for you. He will not need to hurt you, to..." He trailed off.

Legolas' eyes were wide with grief and understanding.

"Estel," he carefully began, "I asked to be with you, tonight. I..."

Aragorn kissed him again.

"I know," he said. "I know, Little Leaf. Still..." he trailed off.

He shook his head, falling silent. Finally, he said: "I am right, and you know it. Please, obey me in this!"

Legolas held his gaze for a moment, his own eyes wide in wonder. He read the grief and hurt in his master's eyes and felt the answering grief in himself.

Curse Elrond for what he had done to them, not only to Legolas' people, but also to this man, who had once been his own foster son and who had been and was the man who still owned Legolas' heart, in spite of everything!

After a long moment, Legolas finally reacted.

He stole a kiss. Then he gave his master an obedient bow.

"As you wish, My Lord," he said. "I will seek out Boromir again, tomorrow."


___________________ o ________________



-- TBC --


Notes:

(1) I remind everyone again that this story is based on Movieverse. Bookverse, the Fellowship is three days and two nights in Moria and travels mostly through hewn or natural tunnels and halls; also, they have no other light than Gandalf's staff. Movieverse, however, when we see the Fellowship enter Moria, Gandalf states firmly that it is a four-day-journey to the other side; then we see them traveling through the mines, which appear mostly as part of a big system of natural caves, which the occasional opening to the outside to let dim light in; and Boromir holds a torch. When they arrive at the three way gateway, Gandalf says to Frodo that Gollum has been following them for three days, meaning they have been at least three nights in Moria. All events afterwards happen in the course of a few hours. I decided to follow that time frame here. Please, bear with me!

(2) Tharkun – Khuzdul (probably): the name the Dwarves used for Gandalf. Meaning unknown.

(3) Mahal: Dwarven name for Aule, the Vala who created the Dwarves according to their own mythology.


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.

Story Information

Author: Crowdaughter

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 05/11/11

Original Post: 12/23/06

Go to Mael-Gûl overview

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