Going South, Day Twenty: Above the Dimrill Gate

by Sasjah Miller

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'Stealing the watch', his men used to call it, back in Osgiliath when two would wander off together in the black of the night that would cover a multitude of sins.

A sin it was, although Boromir would allow it, knowing how much needed it was to be able to relieve the battle stress or re-forge lovers' bonds that were impossible to keep in Minas Tirith: for some men it was a relief to be on guard duty in Osgiliath, even if they were under constant threat of death. Boromir always let them be as long as they would not leave their posts unguarded, understanding the need although he had never given in to it himself. A Captain of the Guard did not have the same privileges as his men.

His father, naturally, would consider it a capital defense. As he did everything that would distract someone from keeping his glorious palace intact and his city and himself along with it defended from his foes. Boromir had never tried to imagine what would happen if Denethor had become aware that /both/ his sons would let their men sneak off in the night together. And be jealous that their station would not allow them to do the same...

And now he was here himself, pressed against the cold hard rock of Moria, his lover's body against him, stealing a watch, and it was not enough.

It was never enough. There was never enough time, never enough rest, never enough chance to steal moments for themselves between forever standing guard and the fitful sleep they desperately needed for next day's journey. Both their lives had always been filled with necessity, with the needs of others around them, the curse of being a leader, and now that they had found each other, the wishful dreams of cool clean sheets and undisturbed sleep in each other's arms could not be more in contrast with the harsh reality of pine-needle makeshift beds under a cloak that was always too short or too damp, or sleeping fitfully on hard rock that seemed to suck the warmth out of their very bones at night so they would wake up stiff and in much pain. They both were no longer young men.

He wanted to disappear, to be swallowed whole by the rock that pressed against his cheek, against his body, to glorify in the feeling of Aragorn's warmth and need against him, his hands claiming Boromir's body through the thick leather of his jerkin. He had never been so wanted before in his life and it frightened him.

Because this was more than sneaking off with a fellow warrior to a quiet place to release the tension before a battle, or maybe even a lovers' tryst that stood no chance in the White City under the scrutinizing eye of his harsh father. This was more; what they were building here would have its echoes in the world as they knew it. And yet Boromir knew that the world would have to change beyond recognition before they could ever be together. Politics and love were always a bad combination, and they had both of them in abundance.

A moan left his lips and Aragorn's response was immediate; he pressed his lips against Boromir's ear and whispered: "Silent, my love, silent. We are stealing a guard, and silence is golden."

Boromir froze as Aragorn's hands slid between his body and the walls of Moria and held him, caught between a rock and a hard place. He balanced there, for ever it seemed, until he could hold out no longer and turned around, throwing all caution to the wind, finally acknowledging the fact that he, too, deserved love. Just like all the men he'd let wander off into the night, to return with a guilty happy look on their faces in the morning.

He leaned into Aragorn's kiss, relaxing against the cold stone, feeling neither its hardness nor the cold and let Aragorn's body warm him. He did not protest that Legolas or Gandalf might hear them, trusting them to stand guard for them like he had done for so many other men, and his heart filled with joy that finally, love had come his way as well.

"If stealing a watch is always like this, my love, we must do it more often," he whispered afterwards, as they held each other, the dark and political implications momentarily forgotten. "And if that makes us thieves, I'm more than willing to follow a life of crime from now on."

Aragorn smiled, kissing the lips of his beloved, enjoying the soft feel of that warm mouth against his own.

"You already were a thief, my love," he whispered, tying up Boromir's jerkin for him, pausing to kiss every knot he lay in the leather straps that closed it over his lover's body. "For you stole my heart when we first met. And don't you dare try to give it back, not ever, because I hope I am a thief as well and stole your heart in return. But now we must return to our duties and stand guard for what's left of what passes for night in here."

And with those words Aragorn shouldered his bow and walked away, a scruffy Ranger once more, so he did not hear the answer Boromir gave him under his breath.

"You're not just a thief, my love, you are a murderer as well, because you've killed every chance that I could ever love someone else but you and there is no chance that we can ever be together after this quest. Aragorn, my love, you will be the death of me."

The End

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