Rating: PG-13
Main Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas
Archive: Asking permission = Yes. Not asking permission = Can of whup-ass getting opened on you.
Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings and such-like belongs to Tolkien's heirs, New Line, and a bunch of other rich people types.

Summary: A simple touch can mean so much...and forever change someone's life.

Notes: Movie-verse. Don't like movie-verse? Then shove off, and stop whining, because *I* do. Anyway, to those of you still here, this a short fic for Windy McDohl, who drew me a pretty picture of young Aragorn and Legolas. And I did something really weird in here. Instead of inferring traits of a movie character onto the actor, I inferred traits of the actor onto the movie character. Hence Aragorn's artistic abilities in this fic. (Viggo Mortenson, the actor who portrayed Aragorn, is an artist, although he's more of a painter, not a sketch artist.) As for Boromir, well, I always wondered why his attitude changed suddenly towards Aragorn in the movie, after the whole snowy mountain moment with the ring. Here's my explanation why.


By Eruntalince


"We will rest in here for the night."

Boromir shivered in the rain, grateful that Aragorn had finally found somewhere for them to rest after their misfortunate trek up the mountain. Gandalf nodded in agreement, looking over the three caves Aragorn had found.

"The hobbits and I shall take the largest," Gandalf said, glancing with concern at the four young hobbits, who looked torn between collapsing in exhaustion or passing out in terror from the events earlier that day. Boromir felt like they looked, only for different reasons.

"Legolas and I shall take this cave," Aragorn said airily, choosing the cave next to the one Gandalf was ushering Frodo through, casting another warning glance at Boromir. The intense look of reprisal in those jade-colored eyes made Boromir shiver again, but not from the rain.

Boromir looked down at Gimli, who was already trudging into the last cave, mumbling to himself in Dwarven. Boromir knew precious little Dwarven, but he did catch the word "nursemaid" and the phrase "foolish Men" in Gimli's grumblings.

Boromir sighed and closed his eyes. He tried so hard not to think of the golden ring Frodo wore on a chain around his neck. Would it not give him peace, even for a moment?

The wind blew, reminding Boromir of how could he really was. He stumbled inside the last cave, which seemed to be the smallest. Gimli was starting a fire, and Boromir gratefully flung himself beside it, stripping off his wet clothing and digging around in his pack for drier clothes.

Gimli did the same, and then the pair cooked their dinner. Boromir cooked some salted fish he had caught in a stream three days ago, and Gimli shared the bread he had tucked away. That, and some spring water Legolas had procured for them two days ago, filled Boromir's aching belly, and the dull ache of his heart partially eased.

Gimli talked about himself, and how wonderful he was at everything for a little while before dropping off to sleep, mumbling about barmaids and barstools, his helmet tipped over his eyes. Boromir found that sleep was eluding him, despite the fact that Gimli's monologues about himself put even Frodo to sleep at the worst of times.

Boromir felt so empty, so uncompleted, so unfulfilled. Loneliness was driving him mad. He felt like the outsider, the unwanted member of the Fellowship. Gandalf and the hobbits were all great friends. Even Legolas and Gimli were starting to get along, sparking off a rather interesting friendship. And Aragorn seemed to be everyone's friend but Boromir's. Boromir would think of himself as a third wheel, if it weren't for the fact that he was the ninth.

True, it was not as if Boromir was terribly popular, even in Gondor. Women simpered over him, all trying to attract his affections simply because he was the steward's son. Men tried to befriend him for the same reason. He had no real friends, and the only person who he could honestly say he loved, and who loved him in return, was his ailing father. And the only thing beside his father that he loved was Gondor itself. How he loved his kingless kingdom...

Boromir would rather have liked to have had a friend. Someone he could speak to as a equal, relate to about his emotions. But when he thought of people whom he could become friends with, his mind inevitably turned to the humble, yet strangely proud Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

Isildur's Heir was nothing like he expected. He was a natural leader, and yet, he refused to lead. He was a wild man, yet as genteel as any lord Boromir had ever met. He was both lover and warrior, a man full of contradictions. If any man deserved to rule Gondor, Boromir, knew it to be Aragorn, whether he liked it or not. He was jealous of Aragorn, of Aragornís blood, Aragornís skills, Aragornís roughened beauty, Aragornís friendships. Boromir resented Aragornís very existence.

Aragorn mistrusted Boromir, and with good reason. He was cautious around the other Man, even skittish. Almost as if being so close to someone of his own race intimidated him. Aragorn had been raised by Elves, and while he had an easy way with those fey creatures, he seemed uncomfortable around other Men, almost as if he wasn't sure how he should act around them.

Aragorn and Legolas seemed to be very close friends, and there was something between them Boromir did not fully understand. They were as brothers, and yet, they were different. Perhaps it was the fact that the Elven Legolas was rather androgynous with his glorious blond hair and smooth, sensitive face, but the intensity of their emotions, the bond of their friendship seemed odd to Boromir. But then, everything about Elves seemed odd to Boromir. Boromir knew that Aragorn was betrothed to the daughter of Elrond, the Lady Arwen, perhaps the loveliest Elf Boromir had ever laid eyes on. It seemed even Aragorn's desires were for Elves.

Gimli was snoring, and Boromir sighed, tired of dwelling on Aragorn. He had the sinking feeling he would never measure up to the ranger, and didn't wish to think of why tonight. Boromir leaned against the rock wall and his eyes fell on a large crack in the back of the cave that he had noticed before.

Boromir walked over to it, and noticed that the crack was large enough for a Man to walk through easily, and travel a bit through something of a tunnel. Judging by the light at the end, Boromir guessed it lead into the cave Aragorn and Legolas were in. He could hear the soft tinkle of the Elf's musical voice, and the purr of Aragorn's soft baritone. He could hear low moaning and soft cries from them both, cries that sounded suspiciously like cries of pleasure.

Boromir held back for a long time, listening to the sounds of unmistakable pleasure from Aragorn and Legolas. It faded away after time, replaced by soft whisperings, and gentle utterances that Boromir could not make out clearly.

Boromir never thought that Aragorn was the type who dallied with his own gender. Boromir had heard stories of Elves and their sexual freedom, but it didn't occur to him that a Man, even a Man raised by Elves, would adopt these strange customs. But instead of being disgusted, Boromir found himself intrigued by the idea of Aragorn and Legolas. Dallying with his own gender was not something Boromir truly wished to engage in, but it certainly made him curious, especially since he knew Aragorn was supposed to be betrothed to Arwen.

After quite some time, when silence overtook the other cave, Boromir's curiosity overtook him and he clambered through the tunnel, creeping as silently as he could. The tunnel was actually a dead end, and the light was breaking through various holes of Aragorn and Legolas' at the end. Crouching down, Boromir peered through the crack, wondering what sorted scene he would find in Aragorn and Legolas' cave.

The scent of sex wafted past Boromir's nose, combined with the smell of burning sandalwood, and the smell of blossoms that Legolas seemed to exude. He was both disappointed and relieved to find that the scene was not as scandalous as it could have been. To his surprise, both Aragorn and Legolas were awake. He wondered if now he would be caught by the Elf's keen senses, or the ranger's observation skills, but he needn't have worried. For the night, no one else existed to them but each other.

Legolas lay on their combined bedrolls, his lovely body resting on his side, as he propped his beautiful head up with his hand, his long hair spilling about the blankets and furs. The small fire shone off his porcelain skin, and made his hair gleam like gold itself. Boromir's breath caught at the beauty of a naked Elf, his eyes roaming every curve and dip of Legolas' body. And yet, despite his glory, Legolas remained definitively male, the picture of masculine beauty.

A light sheen of sweat shone on Legolas' body, and his face was still flushed from making love with Aragorn. His eyes were half-lidded, and the dark blue depths were fixated on the Man who sat across from him.

Boromir tore his eyes off of the beautiful Elf, and glanced over at Aragorn, who despite not being an Elf, stole Boromir's breath as well. Aragorn's shaggy black hair hung in his handsome face, and he was hunched over something. His skin shone bronze in the firelight, the same sheen of sweat and flushed cheeks as Legolas. The soft body hair on Aragorn didn't detract from his beauty at all, whereas it would have looked horrible on Legolas. Sculpted muscles, more prominent than Legolas' slender musculature, rippled on his back and arms as he seemed to be scribbling something. Aragorn was rough where Legolas was smooth, dark where Legolas was bright. They seemed to match each other, like the moon to the sun.

Aragorn paused whatever he was doing for a moment, and smiled up at Legolas, reaching out to run a hand over the Elf's face. It was a gentle, impossibly tender caress of smooth skin, splaying about Legolas' high cheekbones, and brushing over Legolas' creamy throat. The touch seemed to electrify the very air around them, and Legolas closed his eyes, smiling in such a way it broke Boromir's heart to look at him. Never had Boromir seen anyone touch another creature in such a fashion.

Aragorn drew back his hand and returned to what he was doing before. Boromir could see better, and realized Aragorn was sketching Legolas. He had a piece of charcoal in his hand, and a piece of parchment in his lap, and was bringing life to Legolas on paper. It seemed he was sketching Legolas' face at the moment.

After a short while, Aragorn reached his hand out again, and brushed it across Legolasí chest, running his battle-roughened palm over the smooth skin, and gentle muscles. Legolas closed his eyes, his smile lighting up the cave, despite the softness of his nature. Boromir glanced at Aragorn's face, and saw a look of pure euphoria as he ran his hands over Legolas' skin. Everything about them seemed to come alive with the touch, making it seem as if they were but animated corpses before they touched.

Aragorn withdrew his hand after a while, and returned to sketching in Legolas' chest. It was as if he need the touch to reassure his ability to draw the Elf. And from what Boromir could see of the parchment, Aragorn was doing Legolas' ethereal beauty justice.

Again, he touched Legolas, running his hands over Legolas' stomach and sides, tracing the contours and dips of the Elf's abdomen, causing Legolas to sigh loudly, his smile never wavering. How two people could touch like that, and then actually separate themselves astounded Boromir. It was as if the very air was saturated with electrified emotion. Passion, desire, devotion, and love permeated the entire area, soaking into even Boromir's being.

Did they even realize how much they loved each other? With every touch they exchanged, every stroke of the charcoal Aragorn made, every soft sound Legolas made...they radiated love. How could he have not seen it before? It was so obvious...

Boromir watched them most of the night. Aragorn and Legolas didn't make love in the conventional sense, but the simple touch of one's hand on the other's flesh was worth a thousand moments of passion. They conveyed pleasure by the stroke of one's fingers across skin, by eyes filled with emotions, and with smiles not meant for others to see.

Boromir should have felt jealous. He should have felt spiteful, and angry. He should have been disgusted. He should have felt even more empty, and even more lonely. He should have felt insignificant.

But true love doesn't work like that.

Boromir didn't understand the details of their relationship, or the nature of it. He didn't know how the Lady Arwen fit into it, if at all. He didn't understand how Aragorn could love two people. He didn't know if Arwen didn't know, didn't care, or even encouraged their relationship. He didn't understand how long, or how much longer their relationship existed. But what he did know was that...

... Aragorn loved Legolas...and Legolas loved Aragorn...

It was as plain as day, as glorious as the sun, and as beautiful as a goddess. Instead of feeling lonely, hateful, angry, and jealous, Boromir felt happy and fulfilled to be able to see such a love, if even only for a night. For that night he could forget about the One Ring, about the turmoil his country faced, and the duties he was bound to. He could forget about his lonely, empty life. For just one night, Aragorn and Legolas allowed him to view the splendor of their love.

Boromir left Aragorn and Legolas to each other when they drew close, embracing tightly as Aragorn drifted off to sleep and Legolas' eyes became glassy as he entered the reverie that Elves entered while they rested. Boromir lay on his own bedroll, closing his eyes, and realized he was no longer jealous or resentful of Aragorn. Any man who could love like that was worthy of Boromir's respect and devotion, no matter what.

It wouldn't really change anything past this night. It wouldn't make Boromir a better man, or aid him into perfection. He was but a Man, and when darkness fell on him, and grief and desperation drove him to try and take the One Ring, no thoughts of love passed through his mind. He faltered, he made a mistake, he misjudged, he forgot.

But perhaps, just perhaps, the glimpse of pure love on a rainy night allowed Boromir to realize his mistakes and die a hero. Maybe the memory of the love that Aragorn and Legolas shared unknowingly that night with Boromir was what stopped him from succumbing completely to his desire to take the ring.

For love, any love, is a light that remains, even when all other lights go out.


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