Going South, Day Eight: Turn

by Sasjah Miller
Icon graciously provided by X

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He said nothing. How could he speak now when all he wanted to say had already been said, wordlessly, every time his eyes met Aragorn's?

He did not listen. There was no need to when all he wanted to hear had already been said by the way Aragorn's mouth had closed around his wounded finger, several days ago in the reeds.

They had said it all. Said it in between the lines of innocent conversation; whispered it by building a campfire together in perfect unison; shouted it by invariably ending up guarding the rear together, walking close, bodies almost touching.

And no one it seemed had heard them, except maybe Legolas. Sharp-witted, keen-eyed, Legolas, who had looked at them with something close to regret, but who had also given them unspoken permission by walking in the lead with Gandalf, engaging Gimli and the Hobbits in friendly conversation.

No words were needed when they strayed off together in the dusk to gather wood for tonight's fire and perhaps catch a rabbit or two. They moved soundlessly through the forest, the soft voices of their companions slowly dying away until nothing accompanied them but the soft crunch of twigs breaking underfoot and the slow susurring of the wind in the darkening treetops.

Wordlessly, they had slowed down their pace until they had stopped here, where the silver birch trees stood so close together that their branches made a filigree pattern against the early evening sky. They looked at each other, waiting, the sound of their breath mingling with the wind in the treetops. Boromir had dropped the firewood he had gathered and leaned against the tree trunk closest to him, his arm wrapped around it, fingers picking at the peeling bark. They stood there, gazing into each other's eyes until Aragorn broke the silence that hung between them.

"She said she'd understand."

It was enough. Those words were all that Boromir needed to be free forever and he sighed softly as his hand moved up to touch Aragorn's arm while Aragorn cast down his gaze, wondering now what tale they would live to tell. But Boromir's hand continued to slide upwards, over Aragorn's shoulder and neck until he felt the warmth of Aragorn's face, the stubble on his chin and the line of his jaw against his palm with a clarity he had never felt in anything else before.

"Don't. Don't say a word, Aragorn. It will not be true until we say it is."

He smiled softly, the words caressing the air around them, closing the two of them in, pulling them together by the strength of his whisper. Then he leaned in, infinitesimally slow, holding on to the white tree, gaining his strength from it, until he felt Aragorn's breath on his face, saw the little pores of his skin, the tiny creases in his soft lips, the long black lashes obscuring the other man's gaze and the dark weary smudges under his eyes.

He kissed him then, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what would happen next. He merely knew that all the roads he could have taken would eventually lead to this: a silver birch forest in the dusk, his mouth against lips so soft, oh, so soft and welcoming, the warmth of Aragorn's body enflaming him, drawing him inexorably closer to the fire.

A passion rose in Boromir, a passion fanned by guilt and kisses returned and he knew that this was what he wanted. He wanted it more than the soft linen sheets in his bedroom in the White Tower, more than the honor of the throne of Gondor and the cheers of his men before battle. Perhaps even more than victory against Sauron. And it was given to him freely, here in the darkening forest where the silver bark of the birches shone gently in the dying light. He kissed Aragorn and agonizing thoughts of Kingships, betrothals, and political intricacies flowed away, drifting from his mind like mist disappearing before the rising sun. For Aragorn had sealed their fate without words when his arms reached up and enfolded Boromir, pulling him close against him and returning his kiss.

 

The End

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