Down the other route, Aragorn brings Richard to the city almost immediately.
Both have their plusses and minuses and I really haven't decided which way to go. This piece would be part of a story line where Aragorn brings Richard to the city to look after him.
This thing also really needs to be de-Arena-fied. But I posted it in it's current form, anyway.
The rest of the Project, such as it is.
Title/Chapter: The Curative Properties of Honey
Author: muck_a_luck, posting in brainofck
Pairing: Richard Sharpe/Elessar Telcontar
Rating: PG-13 to NC-17
Summary: Mr. Sharpe has a difficult morning in the fog and
Content/warnings: Crossover. Violence.
Disclaimer: No infringement on anybody's copyrights intended. Fan fic worries some authors, because they find that they get a note from a fan or see something posted and it parallels something they were planning to write and their publishers flinch and they lose a whole storyline. Well, my sincere and abject apologies to Mr. Cornwell or any representative or asignee of the Tolkien estate who was considering a Sharpe/Middle Earth crossover novel. I swear by all that's holy that I will not claim any copyright in your publication. Dude.
Archive rights: Absolutely none. My journals only: muck_a_luck and brainofck
Further Disclaimer: This is an unannounced WIP. Beware bad!fic and rough drafts
Special glaring to: uisgich, who started this with some bath!slut!porn one boring afternoon while I was working, pretended she wanted to write with me, then dropped it in my lap. *glares*
Richard woke in a wide, warm bed, in a large room flooded with sunlight. He shifted a little. Nothing hurt as much as it had, but his back was stiff and his right side still felt weak and numb. He struggled awkwardly to sit. His movements woke an elderly woman sitting by the fire. She exclaimed and leapt up, rushing over to help him, rearrange his pillows, and generally fuss. He tried not to be embarrassed, and she was relatively quick. She mimed what was clearly meant to be, "Don't you move a muscle," then nearly ran from the room. As she left, he heard what sounded suspiciously like a key turning in the lock.
As soon as she was gone, he shoved the covers aside and slid out of the huge bed. He was very, very stiff through the back and legs, and he desperately needed a piss. And annoyingly, completely naked. As he had been practically since he woke up in this damned place days ago. What the hell had happened to his clothes?!
He found the ___________________ [AN- need the technical castle word, but Small Boy returned all his castle books to the library.] to the side of the bedchamber, then followed the sunlight out onto the balcony, snatching a coverlet from the foot of the bed and wrapping it around his waist as he went.
The view was stunning. A tiered city, stretching down and out below him, and beyond it a plain of green fields. Beyond that, in the very remote distance, he thought he could make out another city and the ribbon of a river. Where was he?
A voice behind startled him. The man from before. Aragorn. Richard watched him warily, uneasy in his unclad state, but also certain that this was not a man to be trusted.
Richard hadn't been able to piece together everything from his fever dreams, but he was certain that this man had slept with him and touched him. Yes, what little he could reconstruct of the time in that inn made him very leery of the man.
Yet. He seemed so familiar. Like Richard should know him, though he was sure he didn't.
And he also remembered that kiss from the glade after he'd fought those monster-men. It had been a passionate, desperate kiss. The kiss for an old lover, thought lost. Richard felt himself flushing at the memory. Or perhaps it was the man's eyes on him and the possessive way Aragorn had watched over him all these days.
And in spite of everything, Richard trusted him, too. How could that be? It didn't make any sense at all. Aragorn was as confusing and disturbing as everything else in this place. Richard shook his head, and didn't return the man's bright smile of greeting.
Instead, he turned to the view behind him. With a broad sweep of his arm to illustrate his question, Richard asked, "Where are we?"
Aragorn looked at him curiously, then walked across the balcony to join him at the low wall.
"Minas Tirith," he said quietly, indicating the city below them, with it's white gleaming walls, and green gardens.
"Pelennor," he continued pointing to the green fields outside the fortifications.
And beyond them, "Osgiliath. Anduin."
Then with a wide movement of his arm, similar to Richard's earlier gesture, "Gondor." There was a strange glow in his eyes. A pride in his voice.
Aragorn was watching him for a reaction. None of it made any sense to Richard at all. And it certainly wasn't any language of Europe that Aragorn was speaking to him. He shook his head again and scowled over the fresh golden morning.
Aragorn sighed beside him.
"Richard," he said, his tongue working around the strange new word. Richard ignored him. Aragorn took him gently but insistently by the arm and said, "Richard. Breakfast."
That was enough to get his attention. Richard gave him his best approximation of a grateful smile, and allowed himself to be lead back into the tower.
There was breakfast on a table in the room outside the bedchamber, and that was where Richard was headed when Aragorn took another firm grip on his arm.
"What?" demanded Richard, trying to keep the irritation from his voice and failing. He was never fit for company before his tea. But it was clear he was dealing with a general here, not a sergeant. He tried to be patient.
Aragorn was tugging him back toward the bed.
"No," said Richard, digging in his heels, "I'm hungry, and breakfast is that way." He gestured back toward the other room, and used Aragorn's word for the meal.
Aragorn grinned at that and nodded, but still urged him back towards the bed. In his slow careful speech, Richard picked out words Aragorn had used before about his back and injuries. He sighed and gave in, dropping his kilt-blanket almost defiantly, and easing back up onto the high bed.
Aragorn muttered over him. He sounded worried. Richard tried to relax into the down of the coverlet. He picked out "Legolas" from Aragorn's musings, and wondered how many more people he was going to have to face with no clothes on this morning.
Aragorn's light touch nearly sent him off the bed, it was so painful. He bit down hard on an unmanly screech and turned it into a grunt of pain instead. Aragorn tsked at him.
"Sorry," he muttered. What he needed was something to hold onto. But the ornately carved headboard was solid, without slats or spindles. He sat up and looked around the room.
"We should do this somewhere else. I need something to grip," he said, he grasped the chair by the bed and braced himself firmly, by way of illustration.
Aragorn looked thoughtful for a moment, then smiled in a way that made Richard distinctly nervous. He went to the drawers by the bed and began opening and closing them. In the third drawer he found what he was looking for. He pulled out a knot of leather strands.
"No. Absolutely not," Richard nearly shouted. He was on his feet and backing away before he even knew what he was doing.
Aragorn looked at him hard, then shook his head. He untangled the strands and then looped one over his own wrist, winding the other end through a convenient opening in the carving. He pulled hard on the restraint, and it held fast. Looking up to check that Richard was still paying attention, Aragorn deliberately took the end of the binding loop with the same hand and with a firm tug, loosed the knot and freed himself with a flick of his wrist.
Something about the very existence of the cleverly designed equipment, and Aragron's obvious knowledge of it, sent a shiver and a flush though Richard and he regretted that he had leapt from the bed without his blanket.
"What the hell have you done with my clothes?" he muttered as he went back to the bed.
He'd done this - well, not quite this - before, and he hated surrendering. Aragorn took his forearm in a strong grip that brooked no arguments, and Richard made himself relax and accept the loop over his wrist, Aragorn selecting another hidden loop hole in the carved headboard so that his arm was held firmly but not uncomfortably. Richard was suspicious that the thing had been carved for exactly that purpose.
Then the bastard just left him like that. Naked and helpless and exposed. Well, not so helpless. Not really. He tested the bindings reflexively, reaching experimentally to the releases and feeling reassured that they worked just as the man has shown him they would.
Aragorn went to the same chest where he had found the bindings. There was a tray on top, with a clay jar. Aragorn lifted off the lid and poured out a thick, creamy substance into a bowl. He then took a second jar of viscous amber liquid, and poured its entire contents into the bowl. As he stirred the mixture with his hand, Richard recognized the tangy smell of fresh yogurt, overlain by the sweet floral smell of honey. The crisp fresh smell made his stomach growl. Aragorn chuckled.
"Don't laugh, you bastard," Richard said testily, knowing the man couldn't understand a word he was saying, "It's your fault I haven't eaten. You couldn't have done that first?" he complained, tugging hard on both arms to emphasize his point, then wincing and wishing he hadn't.
Aragorn laughed again. They both knew his bondage wasn't real. Giving him a sly grin, Aragorn lifted his dripping fingers from the bowl, thick with the poultice, and reaching across the rumpled linens, offered them to Richard.
That was really the final straw.
"There is no way I'm sucking breakfast from your fingers," he snarled, not the slightest bit amused, "Could you just get on with this?"
Aragorn's grin widened to just short of maniacal. He took his fingers back, and sucked one himself, before returning to his concoction.
Warm, calloused hands spread the mixture over his stiff muscles and healing wounds. The cool of the yogurt was soothing to the fevered tissues around the wounds he couldn't see. The honey was grainy. He could feel it combined with the creamy texture of the yogurt. Rubbed into his skin, it was strangely reviving, and the tension that had accumulated in his muscles from the strain of pain and enforced bed rest seemed to melt away under its influence.
The man's touch was gentle, but pressure hurt in strange and unexpected places and more than once he jerked involuntarily on his restraints. He had to admit that Aragorn had been right that he would need them. He dreaded whatever the man was going to do that made him so certain Richard would need to be tied down. It was going to hurt.
The next touch was so strange that at first Richard couldn't identify it.
Then he felt the warmth of Aragorn's breath on the newly exposed skin, and the touch again and he realized it was Aragorn's tongue. Aragorn licking the newly applied salve from the skin of his back. Tracking the scars, carefully avoiding the new wounds. Richard opened his mouth to protest and all he could manage was a low groan, as Aragorn began to lap at him, thoroughly cleaning the skin of the sweet tart mixture.
"No. You can't do that," he finally managed in a thick raspy whisper. Aragorn paused, stopping to dip his fingers into the bowl. But instead of applying the salve to his skin, Aragorn offered Richard his fingers again, leaning in to murmur words of encouragement against his ear.
This was insanity. Richard was nearly certain now that Aragorn had planned this as a seduction all along. That the pieces of his fever memories that he had dismissed as impossible were in fact real.
And despite that, Richard shut his eyes, breathed in the scent of meadows and reached out with his tongue for the taste on Aragorn's palm. The man's whimper was as sour sweet as the yogurt on his fingers, and Richard began to work in earnest, licking, sucking, wrapping his tongue around knuckles and between fingers, taking Aragorn's smallest finger into his mouth.
After a few moments of watching Richard raptly, Aragorn responded in kind, shifting and half climbing on to the bed with him so that Richard could have his hand while Aragorn returned to his cat-like licks, delicate and quick and maddening. Richard sucked two fingers into his mouth and resisted the urge to bite as Aragorn moaned against his damp skin. Richard pulled against his restraints not quite deliberately, the sense of struggling sending his heart beat tripping. Aragorn was nearly panting over him, and under them both, Richard was hard and leaking against the soft linens and rough quilts.
When Aragorn actually climbed on top of his thighs to get to the rest of his back, Richard found himself thoroughly immobilized. The new feeling of being trapped and held generated a shocking surge of lust. Richard gave a sobbing cry, and bit down hard on the pillow.
Behind him, Aragorn went very still. He sat up carefully, and eased off Richard's legs.
"Oh, no, no, no," Richard hissed, realizing that Aragorn was stopping. "You cannot just leave me like this!"
Two quick tugs and he was free, thinking regretfully somewhere in the back of his lust-addled brain that maybe that was a game for another day. He was quick enough that he lunged and tackled Aragorn before he had managed to extricate himself from the massive bed. Richard dragged him back by his shoulders, tipping him back into the comforters.
Aragorn didn't struggle as Richard straddled him. But he wouldn’t meet Richard's eyes, either, guilt written in every feature of his profile. Good. He should feel guilty.
"I don't know who you think I am or what you think you want from me," Richard said. It should have been menacing, but somehow it came out differently. Softer. Gentler. Richard reached out to brush his fingers through the man's soft hair, tucking a stray strand behind his ear. Aragorn tuned wide eyes on him.
"We are going to finish this, one way or another," Richard murmured, then leaned down to taste the honey on Aragorn's tongue. Richard was soon lost in the kiss. Another surprise, the feel of a large strong hand curved around his skull, long fingers tangled in his hair, Aragorn's other hand wandering carefully over Richard's shoulder and side, down to caress the curve of his buttock, resting and kneading there.
Aragorn shifted and spread his legs, allowing Richard to settle more snugly against him, and bringing them together into perfect alignment. The feel of their hard cocks pressing together through the soft, fine fabric of Aragorn's clothes was maddening. Richard needed to make good on his own threat and finish it.
He shoved off the man under him and went for the laces on his breeches, drawing breathy laughter from Aragorn as he fumbled and cursed. He paused to glare at the man under him.
"If you'd waited til after breakfast, like a civilized person..." he muttered, returning to grope at the fastenings, til Aragorn shoved his hand away to undo them himself. As Aragorn's erection came free, Richard acted on a moment's inspiration and dipped his right hand into the bowl of yogurt mixture. He shifted foward and wrapped his sticky slick hand around both of them, getting a surprised yelp from Aragorn, who bucked up against him.
As he set the pace, he reached over with his other hand to the bowl, then took them both in a tight two handed grip and stroked. Long hard strokes that had them both groaning from the beginning. He tried to draw it out, keep it slow and steady, pay Aragorn back for taking advantage of him and manipulating him. But he never had any control in morning lovemaking, and he was soon driving them fuirously over the edge. Aragorn came first, in long hot spurts. Watching that was so shocking and fascinating that Richard paused for a moment, bringing yowl from the man under him. Richard gave him a cruel little twist of his lip.
"I'm not done yet," he said, and that time it did sound menacing. Then, without freeing Aragorn's spent cock, Richard resumed stroking from the same hard pace before the pause. Aragorn, hypersensitve after his orgasm, bit his own fist to muffle the scream that came on Richard's third pump. Aragorn managed to control himself after the first yell, changing what might have been screams to sobbing gasps and curses Richard couldn't understand. He writhed under the weight of Richard on his hips and the vision and sound and feel of him shattered Richard's thin control and he pulsed out over his own hand, his seed mixing with the last remnents of the yogurt on his hands and smeaing over Aragorn's tunic.
When he was fully spent, he slumped forward over his lover, leaning in for another kiss, this one long and languid and tasting of nothing but Aragorn.
After a long time, Richard's stomach growled again, and Aragorn snorted and laughed into the kiss. Richard grunted and sat back, scowling down at the mess they had made of him. He couldn't even brush at it. His hands were as disgusting as the rest of him. He looked accusingly at Aragorn.
"What the hell have you done with my clothes?"