Dawning by Poncing Ponies

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Story notes: I've not done A/B before, this plot feels fairly botched, but it was the only one I could and wanted to write. Feedback would be very welcome.

Beta Note: Thank you MJ for sticking with me despite my unatural love of non-hobbits.
Boromir beheld the dark beauty of the woods. It was very late and the rain was falling. From a corner in the inky sky, a bright white light appeared. He thought it might be the evening the star, but no, it was Aragorn's pale face.

The heir of Isildor dragged his long limbs tiredly as he approached Boromir with a grim, desperate look in his eyes. Slowly, as if each word would open a new wound, he said: "The Lady of the Woods has refused the request."

"Alas, I was right all along," Boromir made light of the news with a weary smile.

"I am sorry." Aragorn knelt down on the ground, leaned over his friend and attempted to untie his own cloak. Cursing when his fingers, stiff with anger, would not co-operate. "For hauling you here all this way, and yet to find no rest in Lothlorien."

Boromir shook his head vehemently, but a cough choked him so he could only wave his hand in denial. But the gesture could not placate Aragorn.

"I have failed you most miserably. Against advice from Gimli and Legolas, I've exhausted you on this backwards journey, all for the sake of my foolish pride, that the Elf Queen would do as I command!" At this, Aragorn caught Boromir's hand between his palms, bending down until his forehead rested against Boromir's heaving chest. Panting as he began to weep. "And now, I have let the dew drench you, and you are cold and shaking."

"It is not I who is trembling," Boromir patted Aragorn's head awkwardly. He allowed Aragorn to cover him with his weatherproof cloak because it gave Aragorn comfort to see Boromir warmed. "And stop that awful singing, I am not stiff yet."

Aragorn sat up immediately, turning his back on Boromir and quickly wiping his face with his sleeves. For a moment they sat in silence, Aragorn holding Narsil in his hand, touching its smooth sheath with a frown in between his brows. At last, he said with eyes closed and jaws clenched, "She cannot do this. She cannot be wise and yet so unkind. If Elrond were here, he would treat you. If Arwen was near, she would waste herself into an echo, if only it would help you."

"You love the Elves," Boromir sighed, lying against the roots of a tall tree, using Aragorn's back as a hot strong prop. "You are upset because for once, one did not act as peerlessly as you've come to expect of them. Callous creature that I am, I have little faith in holding the interests of the fair-kind. Or, for that matter, in being as gentle and good humored as Hobbits. Nor perfection-loving as the dwarves nor as wise as Gandalf the Wizard. I've known only the company of men, how they fight and lose, and yet still live. It is men I love."

Boromir gave his friend a long look, but Aragorn did not seem to notice.

"I pleaded with her but she said she would not interfere. She fears the fellowship walks on a knife's edge, but I cannot see how this denial could be for good." Aragorn's fist tightened on Narsil's hilt. "And then, she said . . . other things."

"She has not forgiven me for assaulting Frodo." Boromir stirred, his face red with the effort. "And she is right, for I hurt him and pushed him into the ground and I was violent with him. Poor Frodo, he was so terrified of me, that he would put on the One Ring to escape."

"No, Boromir!" Aragorn caressed the cheeks that were enflamed with shame and regret. "None of us can resist the ring, it is not your weakness alone. We were ensnared as soon as we left Lothlorien, the water spoke many charms and lured us to dock at that treacherous bay. We grew unnaturally dull witted, and though Legolas paddled fast with all the strength of an Elf, he could not catch up to warn you and I, as if the currents themselves worked to speed us up and hinder him. Even loyal Sam fell into a restless sleep and cautious Frodo wandered off by himself. Can't you see how we were divided, until you were alone with the Ringbearer, for all the seduction of the One to work on you?"

"That is not entirely true," Boromir was not appeased by those words. "Gandalf was much tried in Hobbiton when he was left alone with the ring for hours. And you, too, have resisted its power, on many occasions. It is not impossible, it only asks for one true of heart."

"Now you talk of me, as I once spoke of Galadriel, of perfection," the Ranger gave a bitter laugh. "Many things tempt me and I fear that soon you will know me to be a man of bad faith."

"Tell me, Aragorn, of this great crime," Boromir smiled, lifting a corner of his coverings and offering Aragorn the spot beside him. "And let me be the judge."

Aragorn hesitated, his glance darting towards the shelter made by the stretch of one of Boromir's shapely legs, a prominent tree root and the thick covering of Aragorn's cloak. All round them the forest was lonely and harsh and that small space along-side Boromir seemed as steady as a fortress and as comfortable as a Hobbit hole. And in any case, if Aragorn was to make his confession now, he might as well take the sweet with the acrid.

"I am the one who broke up the fellowship," said Aragorn, crawling in next to Boromir and held the man's waist with his arms. "Because I could not let you go. Now our fate is changed, but I am glad in any event to be here with you."

"I don't quite understand," Boromir stared up at the sky hidden behind a canopy of Elmwood leaves, but Aragorn noted his cheeks were flushed and his eyes had a wistful shine in them.

"I believe you do." Aragorn stroked the gently blushing face, the heat felt searing to his fingers. "We did not like each other in the beginning . . . "

"I remember. I belittled your family heirloom," Boromir chuckled softly. "And so you let me cut my finger on it."

The reminder made Aragorn close his eyes in guilt. What a horrid omen for Boromir.

Aragorn felt a nudge in his side as Boromir shifted minutely, and then the press of a quick forgiving kiss to his temple.

"It is all right, it is true," whispered Boromir in the darkness. "Why should I have worshiped you, a king without a crown, I thought. My very existence taught me that we, the able independent men of Gondor, had no need of you. All my life, I despised you . . . Now finish what you were saying, Aragorn, about us not liking each other. Please, I would like to hear it."

Aragorn let out a sigh and a long moment passed before he was able to speak. "Boromir, I have fallen in love with you."

"How absurd," Boromir laughed, after savoring another silence. "So have I, with you."

Aragorn blinked, taken aback. "Thank you," he said at last, lying still and letting the knowledge of it sink into his skin, flesh and bone. "I am glad."

Aragorn expected some gesture of affirmation from Boromir, but none came. The men held one another and endured the night. In a haze, Aragorn drifted to sleep, long after Boromir's breathing had evened out.

He was awakened by nothing he could fathom. Only that he could hear Boromir's ragged breath as if he were struggling to talk.

"Though I have one concern," Boromir said as if there weren't a break in their conversation. "Is it these that made you love me?"

He indicated his heart, his middle and his thigh.

The tears dropped onto Boromir's face from his own before Aragorn could stop himself. "No," Aragorn vehemently shook his head. "Yes."

"Do you pity me?" Boromir licked his lips, where a few droplets had fallen. "That is a kind of love, too."

"No, I love you." Aragorn touched his hand to Boromir's heart and middle and thigh. "But I did not know it until I found you on the battlefield and loss struck me then. It intensified as I traveled back with you. As you worsened and ailed, I saw your beauty as it slipped away. And loved your strength as you lost it."

"Will you tell me what Galadriel said?" Boromir smiled. "All of it."

"She said," Aragorn surged forward and slipped his tongue into Boromir's mouth, licking until the taste gave him the courage to break free and speak again. "That I should not have taken out the arrows against your wishes. That I should not have forced you to suffer these two days as we re-tracked for Lothlorien. You are dying, Boromir, and she would let you, because I do not have the strength to do that."

"She is right," Boromir held Aragorn's hand over his heart. "You've robbed me of the glory and ease of falling on the battle field, for this unclean end."

Aragorn bit his lips and Boromir knew there was a scream trapped inside Aragorn's mouth. He kissed Aragorn, at first over the white flesh stretched painfully over the bite of Aragorn's teeth. Then, coaxing the jaw to unlock, he nipped the bruised lips, finally squashing their mouths together.

Boromir forgot his pain and his doom. He could almost, but not quite, feel a vague pleasantness in his member, which Aragorn was rubbing against carefully with his own. Aragorn was hard and virile and gasping for him, open mouthed and with two wide shimmering bands of wetness trailing from the tips of his drooped lashes, past the lines by his mouth and down his chin and neck. Boromir made an effort to taste the patch of wet glistening skin at the base of Aragorn's neck. And when Aragorn embraced him tightly and reached his apex, Boromir thought how sweet it was, the sweetest taste he had ever had in his mouth.

Aragorn was asleep when Boromir felt the sting that woke him. The night was the darkest shade of black. Boromir studied the glow of Aragorn's face and saw it brighten into a blinding, encompassing light. This, Boromir decided, compensated amply for the dawn that did not come for himself.

The End.
Chapter end notes: W

Canon happens, deal with it.
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