Disclaimer: Not mine.

WARNING: Slash, Aragon/Legolas, lots of musing.


To Hesitate

Part 1 - Aragorn: Elves

By Gelfling

       

I ask myself what Iím waiting for.

Iíve never been one to hesitate; once I know what it is I want to accomplish and the best route to proceed in, I do it.† Itís the way a king is supposed to act.† Decisive, justly, and accurate.

So why do I hesitate now you ask?†

The reason is quite simple actually, and itís waiting for me in Rivendell.† It would wait for me for eternity, faithful and vigilant and everything I could possibly ask for.†

Do not mistake, I love her still; Iíll love her always.† I have entrusted my heart and soul to her, and she to I.† She was the embodiment of all my dreams and hopes, a tiny piece of heaven that I should have never found and she wanted me.† For the longest time I thought one of us was either insane or delirious, but time proved me wrong.

Then I found him.

Despite what many might assume, the attraction wasnít instantaneous.

I hadnít wanted him with us, plain and simple.† I would have kept him from coming at all if Elrond had not been present and we had not been in his raceís territory.† The quest to destroy the Ring was going to be challenging enough without having a sniveling royal-born elf to baby-sit.†

I have respect for the elves as a race, but they lack a violence and brutality that I have found necessary to live in this world, especially on the road, especially alone.† Outside their forests and castles, I doubted that they would last long.†

Though I possess these qualities, Iím not proud of them, though they have preserved my life.

The remaining members of the party had my approval, even grudgingly the hobbits, though they had no combat skills and could be simple minded and hopeless at times.† I abandoned whatever hope I ever had of making them into self-sufficient travelers on the road; they were doomed to the domestic life, and had no talent for the roughness of the road.†

Yet they were likable creatures in their innocence, and had won my respect with their loyalty and bravery.† Gandalf exceeded my own abilities, and I was relieved to know that we would have someone as wise as he leading us.† The dwarfís brashness and strength would prove extremely useful in a quest such as we would undertake, and Boromirís ambition would keep him from falling too far behind.

But the elfÖone tends to rely on their instincts when life is so uncertain that one isnít certain if one will be free and breathing in the next 3 hours.† And my instincts said no.

Emphatically, absolutely, definitelyÖno.

He backed down easily when the dwarf challenged him for protection of the ring, and I have no reason to believe that he would back down just as easily in battle, even against the most second-rate opponents.

Clerk.

The carefully combed hair held back from his face, high cheekbones and delicate nose and mouth.† The soft, muted colors of his garb, the way it refracted the light when it undulated the way water does.† The slender pale hands, more apt for inscribing documents or playing a musical instrument than handling a sword or bow.† The gentle, refined warmth in his eyes that spoke of protection from the horrors from the outside world.†

Clerk.

So different from my own eyes and body, with the calluses on every ridge of my hands, the scars that are hidden by the long sleeves of my tunic, the weathered, weary look that my own face constantly projects.† The severe, frosty shine that my own eyes glimmered with.

My form spoke of adulteration, rawness, and a darkness.† The power lust and greed passed on from my fathers to myself, for me to be susceptible to their weaknesses and atone for a crime that I didnít commit.

The elf was everything I wasnít.

Untouched, pure, perfect.† Quite beautiful really.† Very beautiful.† Even in all the natural beauty that Rivendell possessed, he still shone brightly.† Indeed, I did consider him beautiful the way one might regard a landscape or delicate glasswork beautiful.† But that did not imply that I would ever willingly entrust even my boots with him, much less my life.† I would rather walk barefoot and most likely die before make that error in judgment.

Understand, Iíve never found males attractive, and to this day I still donít.† Iíve had my fair share of tavern wenches, and always found the opposite sex desirable in a mysterious, fragile way.† In the environment that has molded me, males are to be considered rivals or enemies.† They can be tools though, and comrades as well thoughÖbut Iím not much of a people person.

I still found himÖsomewhat pleasing.

 

       

 

And then thereís Arwen.†

Not surprisingly, the same qualities that drew me to her are the same that I notice in him.† The divinity, the morality, the perfection that seems to be native to their race.† The selflessness.†

She would give up her immortality for me, be willingly to feel the pain of age and time for our love.† As I now ponder her action and implications by the campfire, I realize in essence that I am her murderer.† If not for me she would live far longer than now that she has met me.† She must realize it, yet she retains her vow.† When I return, we will join, and she shall die.

What she sees in me, what makes her think I am remotely worthy of her sacrifice, I have no idea.† Why the others trust me to lead them now that Gandalf isÖhas gone, is also a mystery.† Has not my bloodline already proven itself unworthy of leadership or even stable morals already?

ItÖfrightens me some, to know the amount of responsibility that has been laid across my shoulders.

He would be a better leader than I would; I see that now.† I judged him too harshly.† He proved that in the battle in Moria.

He still looks like a clerk and he still acts like a clerk with his manners and elegance, but this clerk can shoot.† And shoot quite accurately.† He saved my life, to my surprise and shame, as well as slayed the troll that we thought had killed the Ring Bearer.†

He proved himself a warriorÖand yet still retains the innocence in his eyes that first caught my eye.

How he manages it, Iíll never understand.† No human could face the peril he did and kill with the same accuracy he did.†

He has earned my respect, as well my interest.

 

       

 

Itís my watch now.

I miss Boromir, and his vanity and brazenness.† His trust and friendship that he gave me.† I miss Merry and Pippin, wherever they maybe and I fear for their safety almost every waking moment.

Gimli sleeps curled up under blanket with his back to the fire, the snores audible over the crackling of the wood.† Heís worn out from the pace that we have adopted to find Merry and Pippin all the faster, dwarves arenít built for covering ground quickly.† Dwarves are a hardy folk, and he hasnít complained, but his fatigue even outweighs mine.

Heís not the one my eyes are on though.

Is it because I miss Arwen?† Have I seen too much death and loss too quickly that it is making me more sentimental?† Has Saruman placed a curse on me and turned me into some unnatural being?† Am I fallingÖinto something I shouldnít?

I am vouching that this is wizardry.† Definitely wizardry.

He sleeps with his eyes open, hands clasped against his chest thatís reminiscent of the manner of Boromirís hands were laid, clasping his sword while the river took him.† His eyes are slightly glazed over, like a 3-hour corpse on the battlefield.†

I canít tell if heís sleeping or dead.†

He could be either, or he could be awake, studying the stars and completely aware that Iím gawking at him, and have been every time itís my watch.

At first I thought he was all elegance and warmth and beauty.† I still think that, but now Iíve noticed a coldness about him, a weariness that comes with living some thousand years.† He is in many ways a clerk and a corpse, child and a murderer.† He is still alien to me, but I think I understand him better than what I once did.†

I want to understand him better.†

I want to look in his eyes and be able to identify every emotion that swims inside them, and commit the exact tones and hues of the fingers of color that make up the retina of his eyes to my memory, and treasure it.†

I want to touch his skin, and feel if itís really as smooth and fine as it appears to be, or rough the way human archers and warriors are.† I know his skin would be cold, as his race demands, but how cold?† Icy as snow?† Cool as summer rain?† Metallic like the blade of a sword, or organic like river water?† I itch to touch him, so badly that my fingers twitch and rub against themselves while the sides of my neck and temples become unnaturally warm.†

Itís all I can do not to reach out to brush the hair from his face, heís so close and I doubt he would awake or even notice.† And even if he did I could brush it off easily, and he would not suspect an ulterior motive.† He trusts me that way.† It would be so easy, and so rewarding.† At least then I would not be rubbing my fingers raw at the thought.

Why do I hesitate?

He inhales suddenly, his chest rising with the movement and his eyes widen slightly.† I inhale as well, captured by the slight movement that still displays the grace that he exerts in everything he does.† His lips move slightly, as if he were quietly mumbling, or stretching, but no sound arises.† A slight rise in the chest, miniscule arching of the neck and back, like he were rising toward something beautiful.† Then the moment passes.

I am left in the aftershock of it, breathing heavily and my heart racing at the quiet, innocent act of eroticism that I have just witnessed.† Effortlessly, perfectly, executed and everything I could ever ask for or want.

How would he taste you ask?

I dare not think the thought, for I would not be able to control myself if I did.† I can barely control myself now, for it is no longer my hands that are only shaking but my entire body as well.† My tongue stokes my own lower lip, while I chew gently at the inside of my cheek.† I dare not even imagine the act, though my body refuses to obey me.

Why do I hesitate?

I donít confuse him with Arwen.† I had long hoped that was only what this was, a simple mistake of identity and nothing more.† Nothing worthy of my concern.†

Iíve thrown that idea out the window and outside the castle walls and straight into the next country.

Itís true that they share similar qualities.† Itís true that they are of the same race.† Itís true that they are both beautiful.† But there the similarities end.

While Arwen would give up her life for me, I am not certain if he would.† While he also holds otherís concern close to his heart, he is also concerned with himself.† While there are stories of Elven maidens forsaking their immortality for a mortal love, there has never been one of an Elven male doing the same, much less a prince, and certainly not a warrior.†

I do not think that he would let me hurt him.† He has his own pride and honor, and I doubt he will forsake those easily.† He will someday be a king of his people, and cannot afford to be that kind.† He will need to be strong, to defend his people against the hunger and greed of the world who would wish to have his country as their own.† He will need to fight against the greed in the world, against demons, against humans.†

And, perhaps, against me.

I must someday take the throne, as will he.† Due to our different life spans, I severely doubt that they will be at similar periods.†

HoweverÖif we were ever to both be kings at a similar time, and if my country were dying and in need of supplies, I might need to attack another country in order to obtain it.†

Perhaps his.

Perhaps not.

The greed and hunger of Humanity runs deeply in my bloodlines; I will not tempt them.

So it is as much for his own protection as for Arwenís and my own that I stay my hand from even dipping into what-could-be.† I would not be able to stop myself, and would be endangering our friendship and the Fellowship and all of Middle-Earth in the process.†

So I stay my hand.

But that does not stop me from staring.† Nor does it ease the desire I feel in my heart and soul.† Where it simple lust, I think that it should not bother me as much as it does.† Lust I have felt before and have been able to remedy with time, a cold shower, or a few shameful minutes of self-indulgence lost in the woods and in the pleasures of my own hand.† Lust, I know how to deal with.† But what I am experiencing now, this is not it.† It reminds me passingly of what I felt for Arwen at the first turbulent moments in our relationships, but running deeper inside.†

I had no idea I could feel so vast a void inside me and not find a hole running through my body, or even that I could feel a passion so intense outside the battlefield or bedroom.†

An unfounded passion, with little to fuel it save a couple stray touches when passing a water skin or a borrowed knife, yet the feeling will not abide.

I donít understand it.†

Itís definitely becoming a problem.† Iím too distracted to even be on guard properly, much less detect the signs that will lead us to Pippin and Merry.† Itís making me weak, and needs to be remedied quickly.† One needs to understand a problem before it can be solved.

I donít understand it.

I donít understand him.

Iíll stay my hand.† For now.

But this cannot continue.


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