Mael-Gûl: 21. Resolution

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21. Resolution

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.
Warnings: Slash. M/m, BDSM, d/s, torture, toys, non-con and debatable consent. Very graphic descriptions. Special warnings for this chapter: None.
Please heed the warnings!

Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to 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.


_____________________________________



XIX. Resolution


In the evening, Legolas made good on his resolve to eat a greater portion of the meal the Hobbit Sam provided, and as he had assumed, his weariness caught up with him soon afterwards. He did not feel up to another conversation with Boromir or with any other member of the Fellowship. So he excused himself as soon as he could and retired to his bedding. It was later, when the light was less and most of the Fellowship had retired, that Aragorn shook him awake to tend to his injuries again.

While his master gently applied salve to his back and rear, he asked casually: "I saw you had quite a long talk with Boromir today."

Legolas could not help it; he tensed up. Would he now be punished for this? Would Aragorn be jealous?

Aragorn felt his sudden tension under his touch and sighed. "You are not forbidden to speak here, Little Leaf," he said. "We are not in Rivendell anymore. I have never forbidden you to speak without permission outside of Rivendell, or of Lothlorien, save at some rare, special occasions, and then with very good reason. You know that."

Legolas bit his lips. Of course. Still, he could not help fearing his master's mood might change.

Very carefully he said: "I'm sorry, Estel. Thank you."

Aragorn was silent for a moment. Then he started to apply the salve again. Casually, he asked: "So, what did you tell him?"

He felt his slave shudder under his hands and bowed his head. This was harder than he had thought. He waited patiently. Finally, Legolas answered: "Not much. He had guessed I was injured, so I acknowledged that. And he had also guessed that we are.. lovers. So I acknowledged that, too."

Aragorn quirked a brow. "And that was all?" he asked.

Legolas shrugged, then stopped half-way through the movement and hissed. He felt his master's hand on him, giving him support through the pain, and felt a burst of warmth. Estel... then the warmth was swallowed up by bitterness, and he wanted to scream.

"He wanted to know a lot about my home, and about Elves and Dwarves," he offered. "I told him what I could, which is not much, anyway."

Aragorn sighed. "I can imagine," he said. "It is well that you try to become his friend. I think the best we can do is to knit this Fellowship fast and close together, so that if they ever learn the truth, it won't matter anymore. And they will probably learn the truth if we go through Lothlorien."

Legolas flinched. "Do... will we have to do that?" he asked alarmed.

Aragorn hesitated again. "I do not know, Little Leaf," he said. "Two days ago, I was counting on it. By now I'm not so sure. It was hard enough to get the Ring out of Rivendell again without Elrond taking it. Imagine what temptation it will be for the Lady of the Wood!"

Legolas trembled. "But... if we go that way.... the others will learn--"

Aragorn nodded. "Yes. But do not fear. I will talk to Gandalf tomorrow. Maybe I can convince him to take our chances with the Gap of Rohan," he said. "And in any case, as soon as we come into a fight and have to stand together, your status won't matter anymore. We have seen it before among my Rangers."

Legolas did not answer. He did not think he could bring out a sound through the lump he felt in his throat.

So he suffered through his master's gentle ministrations in silence and was grateful that Aragorn did not require him to say anything more.


____________________ o ______________


Aragorn walked the perimeter of the camp, looking around to make sure there weren't any dangers. They were just two days from Rivendell, but still they could hardly afford to lower their guard. The Fellowship was sleeping, and the small fire they had dared to build this close to Rivendell was nearly dead. There was no hint of anything amiss, no hint of danger. All was quiet, except the soft noises of the night and the deep breaths of his sleeping comrades and the soft but persistent snoring of the Dwarf.

Yet suddenly he heard a faint noise, small but as unsettling as persistent: a quiet, helpless whimper.

He looked at first to the Hobbits. He knew Frodo was haunted by nightmares; he had been ever since Aragorn met the four Halflings in Bree, and the close encounter at Amon Sûl had just made it worse. But the Ring Bearer was not sleeping at all. He just sat up and Aragorn met his inquiring gaze.

Frodo slipped out of his bedding, careful not to wake Sam. The whimper continued, and Aragorn heard a few nearly unintelligible words in Sindarin amongst it. He cursed inwardly. Legolas! Within the whimper he could now discern his own name: "Estel..."

He looked to his Elf and saw him toss around in his dreams. Legolas' eyes were closed. Healing sleep, Aragorn knew, although it still felt unsettling to him.

Frodo was getting up, and quickly he shook his head at the Hobbit and went over to the sleeping Elf himself.

"I will take care of this," he whispered to Frodo, "leave him to me!"

With that, he knelt quickly down beside his Elf and gathered Legolas carefully in his arms. "What is it, melethron?" he whispered gently, although he could well imagine.

Legolas was deep in dreams, and he did not wake up. Aragorn took care not to touch his back, where he knew the whip marks were, or his rear or thighs, where the marks were worst; he cushioned the body carefully against his chest, petting the golden hair.

Legolas huddled against him, yet he still sobbed in his sleep, and now Aragorn could make out his words.

"Saes... darech(1)... please! Please stop! Please don't hurt me anymore, Estel! Please, I cannot bear it! Please..."

The sobbing ebbed off for a moment, then returned. "Please, please! Estel--" the sentence ended in a soft, hopeless whimpering.

Aragorn swallowed hard.

He bit his lips. Legolas was deep in Elven dreams. So deep that he did not even wake as his master touched him and petted him gently, although he somehow seemed to recognize the scent and touch of the one who held him. Yet he was not really conscious. This was not the brave face the Elf used to show his master during their games, or even under severe torture if Aragorn demanded it of him; or at least the face he tried to show, until what his tormentor put him through finally became too much.

This was what his Elf really felt when he subjected him to his cruel pleasure.

The begging and despair Legolas normally swallowed since he was well aware his master did not wish to hear it, or even allow it.

Yet it had been years since these sobs and the pain had last haunted his slave even in his dreams. Since he had last pushed Legolas so far that the Elf could not even control his dreams any more. And that had been quite early in their time together...

"Please, Estel," the slave murmured in Sindarin, "please don't! Please stop! Please do not do that! No, no--" Another sob. "Please do not hurt me anymore... please... Estel..." Again, the voice trailed off in a whimper.

No 'master'. No 'My Lord'. Estel.

It broke Aragorn's heart.

True, he had been harsher that last time than he had ever been before. Yet he had not fully realized how deeply he had truly hurt his Elf, how close he had really come to breaking him.

And that was something he'd never intended.

Very carefully, he enfolded his Elf in his arms, anxious not to touch anywhere he would hurt him. He did not say anything at first, since he could hardly manage to find his voice; he just held him fast. His eyes burned with unshed tears. His heart hurt deep within his chest.

Briefly he debated what to do. He could try to wake Legolas up, yet the Elf desperately needed his sleep, since he was in such dire need of healing. Or he could just continue like this, and hold him, as he had so many nights before.

Of course, during those times, it had usually not been him who caused Legolas' nightmares.

Finally he managed to whisper with a raw, broken voice: "Shh, melethron... it's all right... don't cry..." He fought for words. After a moment he continued: "I won't hurt you again... not tonight... shh..."

His voice broke. Swallowing hard, he said hoarsely: "I'm sorry, Little Leaf! I'm so sorry!"

Then he felt his eyes well over and allowed his tears to flow freely at last. Quietly he promised: "I'll give you time to heal. I'll be gentle... as gentle as I can. Please don't cry anymore, Little Leaf! I'll try, I promise, I'll try to be gentle with you next time, as much as I can, melethron..."

The sobbing of the body in his arms did not stop, but slowly it subsided to silent weeping.

Aragorn continued to pet his Elf. He was at a loss what to do. He did not wish to leave him, yet he had to continue his watch, and he could not do this staying by Legolas' bedroll.

Finally, he gathered him up and rose. It took him alarmingly little effort; sadly he noticed that his Elf was still lighter than he should have been. Well, Legolas had not eaten that much these last few weeks at all, had he? Grimly, Aragorn carried him over to the watch post he had chosen earlier that night, a little above the camp, where he had a good look around. There he settled down again, placing Legolas beside him. He laid him carefully half on his side and half on his stomach, cradled the head of his Elf in his lap, and returned to petting his slave's head and shoulders tenderly. Barely audibly he began to sing. It was the Lay of Luthien(2). He was all too aware of the grim irony.

He heard a sudden rustle and laid a hand to the hilt of his sword, but it was only Frodo who settled beside him.

"What ails him?" the Hobbit asked quietly in Common.

Aragorn was careful with the phrasing of his answer. He knew Frodo was fluent in Sindarin, and all too perceptive, too.

Still, the first thing that sprang to his mind, the bitter words: 'I am what ails him, Master Hobbit!'-- were hardly anything he could confide to the Halfling.

After a moment he merely said: "He has very bad dreams."

Frodo looked with sympathy at the Elf. Carefully he said: "I did not know Elves had bad dreams, too," and Aragorn suddenly asked himself how much Bilbo had told his nephew about him and Legolas or about Rivendell. Did Frodo knew--?

Of course he could not ask. So he said quietly: "This one has them sometimes."

Frodo looked at him. "The two of you are together?" he asked.

Aragorn looked back at him. Wasn't that obvious? Carefully he answered: "We have been comrades for a long time."

Frodo shook his head, obviously a bit irritated. He regarded him questioningly. "Just comrades?" he asked.

Aragorn shook his head. He couldn't answer.

Exasperated, Frodo specified his question. "The two of you are lovers?"

Aragorn looked at him, then at his Elf. "Yes. For a long time," he finally replied.

In a fashion, it was true. In a fashion, it was heartbreakingly close to the truth – and yet as far apart from it as one could possibly get with that answer.

And yet he called his Elf 'beloved' for a reason.

Frodo nodded solemnly. "Do you want me to take your watch?" he offered at last.

Aragorn looked at him inquiringly. Frodo looked right back. "So you can care for him," he explained. "He needs you!"

Aragorn seemed grateful, yet still reluctant. "Yet you also need your sleep," he said.

Frodo shrugged. "I cannot sleep," he said. "I will take the watch for you."

Aragorn looked at him for another moment, then he shook his head. "I will be grateful if you share it," he said, "since as it is I cannot sleep now, either. I'll have to watch over him."

Frodo smiled. "Then I will be over there and leave the two of you alone for a while," he said, nodding to the other side of the camp. He stood up.

Aragorn smiled back at him. "Thank you, Master Hobbit. I owe you!"

Frodo wandered off. Aragorn resumed his quiet and sorrowful caring for his Elf. He continued to pet Legolas' head, combing his fingers through the silken hair, and quietly singing to him. Finally he trailed off, and finished with his song. There were still a few hours until morning, and he doubted his voice would serve that long.
He decided to light his pipe. He filled it and lit it, then took a few, calming breaths.

Legolas in his lap had long ceased weeping under his touch and soothing voice and had finally slipped into a deeper sleep, apparently away from haunting dreams. But now, the Elf twitched a bit and gave a disgruntled murmur of protest.

Aragorn jumped a bit, then he smiled at the familiar reaction. "I know you do not like my pipe, Little Leaf," he said, "Yet I have to inform you that within this Fellowship, you are sadly in the minority with this. I believe only that man of Gondor does not enjoy the weed. I am afraid you will just have to suffer our habit. At least, it should serve nicely to drown out the smell you complain so often about."

The gentle teasing was sheer nonsense, of course. It had been long since Legolas last dared to complain about the pipe – or the smell – of his master. Not counting the one, small, hesitant teasing that day after Aragorn had returned to Imladris with the Hobbits.

That seemed to have happened an impossibly long time in the past right now.

To his relief and secret joy, however, the still half sleeping Elf now wrinkled his nose and replied: "Nothing could drown out the smell of delayed bathing, Adan! And you did not even change your bedroll after your last journey when we set out again this time. Nor your coat."

Aragorn let out a quiet, delighted chuckle. "Nor my boots, nor my breeches, nor my gear," he added wryly. "There simply was no time!"

He caressed the golden tresses of his Elf, glad that obviously, Legolas was better. "How long have you been awake, melethron?" he asked quietly.

"Not long," Legolas replied. "Your burning pipeweed woke me. Your watch is already over?"

Aragorn tenderly caressed his head and face. "No, melethron," he said quietly. "Frodo took it over. You were crying in your sleep."

To his dismay, the Elf turned to him, alarmed, and winced as his hurting back and rear came in contact with the ground. Realization dawned.

"I am sorry, ma-- Estel," Legolas stammered, fearful and wary again. "I just--" He shrank a bit into himself, obviously in fear of new punishment. It made Aragorn's heart bleed.

Sadly, he shook his head and silenced his Elf by placing a finger to his lips. Carefully he traced over them. "No matter. You had very bad dreams," he said. Then, even more quietly, he added: "Frodo knows. He guessed that we are... lovers."

Legolas swallowed hard and looked even more appalled. His eyes held a clear, yet fearful question. Aragorn looked back at him with grief.

"Just lovers," he answered the unspoken question. He traced his fingers gently over the fair features. There was still so much fear in his slave's eyes...

Brokenly, he added: "Don't fear, melethron. I will give you time to heal before I... take you again. And I will try to be gentle. As much as I can."

The Elf looked back at him questioningly. "I dreamed of you," he stated, "didn't I?"

Aragorn bowed his head. "No matter," he said bitterly. "It's not as if that wasn't enough to give you nightmares."

Then he added, a little more precisely: "Yes you did. But it was nothing I should not have expected."

Quietly, he added: "I am so sorry, Little Leaf! I will try to be more gentle with you from now. I promise! I just--"

His voice broke.

The Elf swallowed. Suppressing a groan of pain, he rose to his knees, pried the pipe out of his master's hands -- smiling a little at Aragorn's slightly alarmed look-- and set it aside on a stone. Then he took his master's face in both hands and kissed him.

"Thank you," he said to his surprised master as he let him go and handed him his pipe again. "Thank you, Estel!"

It sounded genuinely relieved, and for the first time in days without fear. And with that, he stood up, gave the huddled form of the Ranger a last caress and made his way back to his bedroll. There he lay gingerly down again and slipped under his blanket. Soon he was deep in Elven dreams, and for the first time since that fateful night they were peaceful and undisturbed.

As Aragorn later woke the Dwarf for the third watch and settled down beside his Elf again, he found Legolas still deeply asleep. Yet as he recognized his master's scent, the Elf snuggled unconsciously closer until he could settle back into his arms again. Aragorn found sleep, cradling his Elf against his chest, and slept peacefully until the morning watch finally woke them.


_______________- o _______________



The following day was easier for Legolas. His back still hurt, and the quiver still chafed on the remaining welts and bruises, but he found he did not grow exhausted so fast anymore and was not as taxed by the simple task of trudging on. The undisturbed healing sleep had done much to restore his strength and speed up his body's healing.

But even more his master's apology and tenderness had restored his strength. Estel's heartfelt apology and his promise to let him heal had finally silenced the doubts and bleak despair that had tormented Legolas so much and that had torn him inwardly apart. He was able to trust in his master again, and that, more than anything, gave his mind the peace and his body the strength he needed to heal.

While the Elf walked on, he still was attacked by the occasional painful memory, but now he found it easier to block them out or to control them. And for the first time in days he found himself capable of paying attention to his surroundings again and found strength and healing in the signs of life around him, even subdued as they were by the approaching winter3. The wild beauty of the living land soothed his nerves and restored his hope. Soon he was even capable of smiling again.

At the midday meal, Legolas made a point of getting himself back into the good graces of the Hobbits by accepting and eating his share of Samwise's cooking and giving it some – well deserved – praise. He even exchanged some friendly words with Frodo. He found his master's eyes on him, and when he met Aragorn's gaze, he saw relief. Still, Aragorn insisted on carrying his pack during the day, and made sure again the walk was not too long.

In the evening, Aragorn tended to Legolas' injuries again. He was surprised and pleased with the progress his Elf had made; while the flesh was still tender to the touch and bruised from the fading whip marks, it was already much, much better. Briefly, his mind was flooded by the thought how it would feel to subject his slave to a round of rough love making now, while the Elf's rear and thighs and even his passage were still marked from the recent abuse and the flesh was still hurting at each pressure. He swallowed hard in sudden arousal.

He fought it down. Legolas needed to heal. And even more, he needed to know that he could trust in his master's promises again. As tempting as it was to make use of his slave's still sore state and relish forcing himself on the Elf's still hurting flesh, he could not do that. He had promised Legolas to let him heal before he took him again, and he would keep his word.

So he simply applied the healing salve, then placed a kiss on the shivering shoulder of his slave.

"Your healing has sped up," he said aloud, "I'm pleased! In a few days you will be well again, Little Leaf. You'll see! It will get better now!"

He placed another kiss on the bare shoulder and then signaled his Elf with his touch to get up. Tenderly, he helped him to dress again, then he directed the already nearly dreaming Elf back on his stomach and tucked the blanket around him. He placed another kiss on the golden head.

"Sleep, melethron. Tomorrow it's your turn to take one of the watches, but tonight you may be undisturbed," he said and got up.

His slave murmured a sleepy "Thank you, Estel," before he slipped into Elven dreams. Relieved, Aragorn saw that he was finally sleeping with open eyes again.


The night was quiet. Aragorn had taken the first watch again, and as he walked the perimeter of the camp, he thought of his Elf.

He took a sharp breath at the sudden images. Legolas writhing in his bonds, his shaking, fearful voice begging for the next blow... the sore, bruised buttocks just begging to be squeezed and fondled; the marked thighs, still sore to the touch... And then the unwelcome, but tempting thought of how satisfying it would feel to force that hurting rear down on himself, breach the tight passage, make Legolas ride him, hear the Elf's sudden gasp of pain as his buttocks came in hard contact with the pelvis of his master... and again, and again, and again...

Aragorn groaned and bit his lips at his suddenly too tight leggings. He shook his head in disgust and resisted the urge to reach down and give himself release. Damn it, Legolas was healing, and he had promised him to leave him alone until he was well again. And that was what he would do! All the Elf needed now was another broken promise of his master!

Yet deep in the back of his mind, a persistent voice whispered: 'He is your slave! It is his duty to serve your desires! He should be pleased that you want him again, pleased of the opportunity to serve you as you most desire him...'

Grimly, Aragorn shook his head free from the images and shoved the voice away. With determination, he took up his walk again,ignoring the uncomfortable bulge between his legs.

And he had warned Legolas about the influence of the Ring only the other day?

Oh yes! He had known what he had been talking about!


_________________ o ________________


-- End of Part IV --


-- TBC --


Notes:

(1) Saes... darech -- Sindarin: stop (dar - stop – in the second person singular, not the imperative, as in Daro!) Actually, 'Saes' is not real Sindarin, but 'Grelvish'. While I normally abhor Grelvish, I decided to leave it in here because there simply is no word for 'beg' or 'please' in Sindarin to my best knowledge; and I needed one that would work here. Please, bear with me!

(2) Lay of Luthien: Song of Luthien, the Elf princess in the First Age who gave up her immortality to share the fate of Beren, her mortal lover.

(3) There is a little problem with the time-frame here, since in this matter book-canon and movie-canon are falling apart. Bookverse, the Fellowship began the journey two month after the Council, on December the 25'th. But Movieverse, they started directly after the Council, at October the 26'th. Since this story is based loosely on the Movieverse, the Fellowship starts the journey in autumn, not midwinter.

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

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