--------------------------------------------------------Khazad-dûm. It looms darkly above, broken corners of broken, distant roofs. Shadows shaping the air in the darkness. Cold, and obscenely menacing, like darkness breathing, watching. Waiting. The white tower of Ecthelion has never seemed so remote, so unreachable, than here in the living darkness of this tomb that has once been a kingdom. Moss and bones and dried bloodstains. This is all that is left. But then Aragorn is kissing him-- and the soft shuffling noises in the dark are hobbits sleeping-- shifting closer, friction of leather on leather, hot breaths mingling-- Gimli mourning his kin with restless hands going for his axe, even in his sleep-- fingers running through strands of hair, entwining, pulling-- Gandalf's staff brings a dim white light in the unseen underworld of crumbled stonework-- sliding his tongue past sealed lips and clenched teeth and unspoken denial-- making the silvery hair of Legolas, standing watch somewhere in the vast ruined hall, shimmer like starlight imprisoned in the night. Aragorn is kissing him. "Do not fight this," Aragorn says in his mouth, and his hands now work at the fastenings of his leggings, fast and sure, familiar with their task. "Do not," Boromir says, taking a shallow breath of air and darkness, "waste my time talking." Shocking coldness over heated flesh is the reward for his boldness, but it lasts only the time for a hissing curse. Strong, firm fingers that know their way find him, cradling. "Tell me," the smooth, unhurried voice commands in his ear, "what shall I do for you tonight." The darkness has eyes, ears, and mouths. They laugh at Boromir's choice now--flutters like wings, rippling the night's stillness--at the need burning him in his most secrets depths, ever burning, ever shameful, uncovered only under a veil of darkness. And never without a fight. "Tell me," Aragorn urges, not without kindness. His fingers are gentle, too. Gently stroking, caressing. Maddening. Boromir turns his head on the unforgiving stone, is silent. Only his heart would be heard, the drumming of a crazed host of foes launching itself from the darkest recesses of his being. "Tell me," Aragorn says again, and his other hand slides lower, and this too is familiar by now, even though this, too, is never, never acknowledged-it cannot. The first breach is almost Boromir's undoing; it has often been. Yet he has learned control now, and only a soundless gasp escapes his lips--it could be some small blind creature scurrying to its nest in the eternal blackness, unaware. "Ah, Boromir," Aragorn says, in that way he has, the odd accent used to speak words of a high tongue with high lords that had seen the first dawning of the Sun--and this is even worse, this can sometimes slip past all of Boromir's walls and conquer the inner fortress. Sometimes it has. No more. Not tonight--tonight the darkness lives and the shadows are watching, and Boromir wills himself to relax on the hard cold floor, dust and death breathing around them, and lets his legs part, his inner thighs cradling the man on top of him. Aragorn takes his mouth again, hard shivering kisses while his thumb plays in and out of Boromir's body, hot and slick with the herbal oil he has taken to carry in his belt--he moans hungrily in Boromir's mouth when Boromir flexes around his finger, trying to keep him in, and another finger is added, the motion faster now, their breathing louder, harsher. Sometimes this is all that Boromir craves, this fast and sure moving of Aragorn's hands, taking what they like, giving what is needed. Sometimes the motion is slow and undemanding, and Boromir can go to sleep under Aragorn's ministrations, rocked gently against Aragorn's chest, held safely in Aragorn's arms. Not tonight. Tonight it would not be enough. Boromir tears his mouth away from Aragorn's, almost angry. He grabs Aragorn's hips with urgent hands; he is hard, commanding, pleading. There is awkward fumbling above him, then hot, hard flesh is pressed against him, and finally into him, deeper and deeper inside--conquering all there is left to conquer. "Boromir," Aragorn breathes, hot slap of flesh against flesh, every contact a lightening of awareness that gives darkness its true shape. Aragorn hooks one arm under Boromir's knee, lifting it higher, so that he can stroke the sweet secret place inside with every new thrust of his hips, and Boromir lets his head fall back on the floor, hitting it again and again and again, his own hand moving faster and faster on himself. "Tell me," Aragorn gasps, every word punctuated by a new thrust, a new flash of light behind Boromir's closed eyelids. "Let me hear you," Aragorn breathes, and it is strange to hear him this way, as though he is pleading for an answer that cannot be uttered, for something that cannot be. "Boromir," it is all Aragorn says then, and just like that, he pulls out, pulls away. Boromir, bereft, empty, can hear him reach his completion with a few strokes of his hand, a sobbing curse escaping his lips. The knowledge is enough to bring Boromir to his own climax as well, biting hard on the leather of his bracer between his teeth, a silent scream that deafens him alone echoing in his ears. It always happens like this. Even tonight. Gandalf's white light shines no brighter than the last sickle of the waning moon; the hobbits are quiet now in their sleep. Legolas is sitting close to them, maybe dreaming the Elves' waking dreams; Gimli is a darker shadow against the black chasm of his people's broken rule. The air is salty, tears or seed or blood, it hardly matters. The worn leather of Boromir's left bracer is marred by countless biting marks. In the mindless recesses of the darkness, death is alive. And watches them. And waits.