Title: One Season in Edoras
Author: Talullah Red
Beta: Many thanks to jaiden_s, beta extraordinaire and saint of lost causes. All remaining mistakes are mine.
Request: Théoden/Imrahil; Imrahil is sent to foster briefly in Edoras when he is 17/18, where he becomes fast friends with the future King (Théoden would be 24/25). If you can work in riding lessons (whatever you want to take that to mean ;)), late night drinking and first time awkwardness, that would be fantastic. Doesn't have to be smutty, but I wouldn't turn it down; squicks: mpreg, heavy kink, character death.
Summary: As request.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and others. No disrespect intended. No profit made.
Note: According to this timeline, Imrahil is seventeen and thinking about sex and having it the best possible way. So sue me already.
Deor from Meduseld; Belegalph from the Barrowdowns Name Generator
Edoras, 2972 Third Age
Imrahil felt the muscle on his jaw jump. If his host saw it, he did not acknowledge it, though. The king, Thengel, was far too shrewd to care about the misgivings of a youngster, Imrahil imagined. He barely contained a sigh, stealthily looking around him appraising Medulseld. The structure was imposing with its high arches and finely carved stone, but the décor was more reminiscent of a tavern than of the dwelling of a king. The long speech of Belegalph, his father’s ambassador, continued unrelentingly monotonous. He had been exiled into barbaric lands and judging from this inauspicious beginning, his was going to be a very long summer indeed. The muscle in his jaw jumped again as he tried to contain another yawn. This time it did not go unnoticed; Imrahil saw a distinct twinkle in the king’s eye.
Thengel expertly used one of Belegalph’s brief pauses for air with such skill that Imrahil was impressed. For a barbarian covered in furs, the king had a good grasp on how these things were done. Thengel rose and with open arms and a wide grin, too fast to be completely natural, he officially welcomed them, effectively interrupting Belegalph's torrent of ill placed words. Belegalph bowed in thanks and so did Imrahil, moving forward as was his duty to kiss the king’s ring. With a wave of a hand Thengel bid one of his men forward.
“Deor, our guests are tired. Would you see them to their quarters?” Then he turned to Belegalph who helplessly opened and closed his mouth trying to regain the thread of the conversation. “Lord Belegalph, I thank you deeply your kind words and the trust your lord Adrahil has shown in me by handing me his fine lad for the summer. Rohan has ever been Gondor’s ally and the new proposals you’ve brought us will certainly deserve more attention, but now I insist that you take some rest, if not for you, then for young Imrahil.”
From the barely perceptible wink Thengel gave him over Belegalph’s head as they were lead out of the main hall, Imrahil suspected that Belegalph’s fawning and overlong exposition had bored him, too. For an instant, he was amused enough to forget he hated Rohan and everyone in it.
His quarters were really just a room, albeit one partially divided by a stone arch and a curtain hanging from it. The room was slightly larger than his in Dol-Amroth, but the dark wood furniture and the heavy draperies made everything seem too full, even in the bright sunlight that came in from the south window. The view was grand, that he had to admit. His eye caught the city below, if the name could be given to such a rural agglomerate, and beyond it, a sea of grass. It was late spring and so the mild winds rippled through the verdant grass, creating patterns of waves. Only in the horizon did the flatness of the land build into a dark mass, a speck in the immensity that spread ahead. Imrahil gratefully took in a breath of air, the smell of freshly cut hay dissipating the slightly mouldy scent that seemed to pervade every place he had passed by in Medulsed.
When he looked away from the window, Thengel’s servant was gone and his clothes neatly hung in the closet. He cast a wistful look to the solid four-poster bed. It was broad daylight but the voyage had been slow, dull and paradoxically taxing. Belegalph was an inexperienced diplomat, too eager to please and a terrible rider, two motives to grant him Imrahil’s dislike. He had understood his father’s reasons for his coming and the usefulness of letting Belegalph learn by himself in a friendly environment, but he still felt the frustration of being forced to come. Dol-Amroth had other sons and Gondor other princes. He could be at sea now, earning his first command. Their escort had also felt impatience, he could clear tell. At least he would have the afternoon to himself, he thought as he tossed himself to the bed, preparing for a nap.
He had only closed his eyes when a knock sounded. Gritting his teeth, he decided to ignore it. Whatever Belegalph had to tell him could wait. Covering his eyes with his arm, he blocked the sunlight and relaxed, appreciating the fur coverlet beneath him. Its softness said something for the barbarians’ skill, though he could imagine that in one month’s time the weather would be too warm for it.
The knock returned more insistent. Imrahil turned in the bed, burying his face in the fur and covering his head with a pillow. Elbereth, but were they ever insistent! He turned on the bed with a furious twist. 'Go away,' he shouted in his head. There was some rustling of feet outside and the intruder was gone. Imrahil relaxed, relishing the feeling of his body melting into the soft fur. Staring at the wall, he waited for the drowsiness to return, in vain. The insistence of the knocking had rattled his nerves, bringing a surge of irritation to the surface that would not simply fade. His father called those 'the pangs of the age'. He hated that, how everyone assumed things about him because of his age. He was a man by all standards, for Uinen's sake, and youth was vigour, not stupidity or impulsivity as it had often been implied. He had gone to sea more times than could be counted, he was steadily climbing up the naval ranks - his father insisted that he started from the bottom no differently from anyone else, and he could-
With an angry punch to the mattress, Imrahil decided it was time to stop brooding. He knew his moods and the longer he stayed in bed trying to sleep and chewing his pet irks, the more foul his mood would be later at dinner where he would be expected to provide pleasant conversation or at least a reasonably polite demeanour.
The sunny plain invited him out, though he knew he would not have time for riding. Maybe the town had some hidden charms... Taking his dourness outside through the maze of dark hallways, Imrahil found himself at the back of Meduseld, amidst busy maids, a lazy milk cow, and bickering chickens. A little way back, a line of sheets flew wildly in the wind, in a manner suggesting sails and gulls... Imrahil frowned and looked away. It would not do to think of home before he was sitting on his saddle facing the road to Gondor.
He found a path to his left leading away from the courtyard and followed it. The vigorous breeze made him feel more awake and the cruel brightness of the light invited him on. He made his down through cobbled streets, then though paths of hard soil, hammered into a solid mass by centuries of hooves beating. The few people that crossed his way did not say a word of greeting, but acknowledged his presence with friendly nods and even some smiles, in the case of children.
There wasn't much to see. The market was easy to find, but predictably it was closed in the afternoon. He wanted to see horses, but for that he supposed the best place would have been the stables of the palace where some mythic Mearas were reputed to live. His irritation had abated somewhat, but after an hour walking he felt more tired than when he had begun and ached for a drink. Squinting against the light, he looked around, trying to remember on which street he had seen an inviting tavern. Left of the square, yet, he saw it now two houses down the corner. Looking back over his shoulder, Meduseld looked small and distant on the top of the hill. Yes, he would need a little fortifying before heading back.
Considering the available choices, he made his way to the tavern that looked not quite so glamorous as it grew near. The chipped paint on the once gaudy sign spoke of neglect. Well, nothing here looked too clean or well-groomed, Imrahil thought to himself. He would do better to get used lest he starved himself to death during his stay. He pushed the door open and found himself in a dark vestibule that reeked of smoke and stale beer. Refusing to leave his jacket behind, he entered the main room, nodded back at the plainly bored patrons and took a seat by the bar.
He could hear voices coming from the kitchen but a small eternity passed before a maid of thick limbs and heavy bosom came out.
"What will you have, love?" she asked in a painfully accented Westron.
"Your finest ale."
"We only have one ale, ducky," she replied, pulling a tankard from the shelf, "but I am sure it will be good enough to quench your thirst."
Imrahil waited for her to serve him, silently wishing that it was true. The stains in the counter were not promising. The waitress was about to place the tankard in front of him when the doors opened and a loud group of six or seven men came in. They were laughing boisterously, and from the dusty look of their clothes, they had been out riding for several days. That, or their personal hygiene habits were quite lax. They immediately headed for a table at the end of the room and sat, greeting the waitress on the way with excessive familiarity. She giggled and delivered a few replies that seemed awfully saucy to Imrahil's ears, though he couldn't quite understand what was being said.
He lowered his eyes to his tankard and mustered his courage for the first sip. To his surprise, the ale was quite good. He took another braver sip and found it indeed excellent. He was utterly absorbed in this newly discovered nectar when another group came in. The men were fewer and dirtier and instead of picking a table, they sat at the counter flanking him. They're arrival didn't affect the loudness of the group at the table, but Imrahil was interested to note that the smile on the waitress's face vanished. They ordered their pints and gulped them down in silence. The man directly to his left was the first to slap down his tankard on the counter with a loud bang followed by a monstrous belch.
The brute then turned on his stool making it obvious that Imrahil was the centre of his attention. Cursing to himself for not having left earlier, Imrahil pointedly ignored him, until a supposedly congenial slap hit him in the back, almost making him spit his ale out.
“And who be you, my affluent friend?” the man asked in the worst Westron that had ever graced Imrahil's ears, caressing the silk of his sleeve.
“Just a traveller,” Imrahil quietly replied.
“Who wouldn't be interested in playing a round of cards and talking business, perchance?” Despite the intonation, the man had not made a question, as his tight grip on Imrahil's arm attested.
Imrahil quickly assessed his chances: he was alone against four and stupidly he had only brought a dagger. Still, he refused to let himself be robbed by these brutes. Mustering his most charming smile, he said, “Excellent idea. Why don't we take a table?”
The man grinned and winked at his fellows with no trace of discretion. As he made to rise, Imrahil stood in a fluid movement and tripped him over the man behind him. Then, leaping over them and crossing to the door was just a matter of swiftness. Even on the street he could hear the clatter behind him, the curses flying and his stalkers giving him chase. He had some advantage and it was likely that they would leave him alone once they saw he was headed for Meduseld... if only he could find the way. It looked perfectly simple, getting out of the town square and heading up, but Imrahil had taken an unfortunate bad turn and now he ran for his life through a maze of tiny streets until he came to a dead end.
When he realized what he had gotten himself into he tried turning back, but it was too late and his stalkers closed his way out. He looked pleadingly at a woman who had come to put out some trash, but she quickly closed the door, barricading herself inside her home.
Imrahil straightened his back and pulled his dagger out. The men advanced. Two flanked him and the third, the leader who had tried to goad him, came from the centre, while the other two stayed behind.
“Too good to trade with us, my friend?” he leered.
“I'm not your friend and it isn't trade what you're looking for.” Without waiting for their first move, Imrahil ducked, turning swiftly to deliver a timely kick to the groin of the man on his right, purchasing his balance by sticking his dagger on the foot of the one to his left. The leader jumped blindly forward and caught Imrahil by the ankle. Imrahil kicked him in the head but the man seemed to be impervious to his coups. In the midst of all the cursing and shouting, he heard the sound of hooves on cobblestone and the other two men issuing an alert. The leader suddenly let him go and all three men scrambled to their feet and started running, or better leaping away. As Imrahil stood up, a group of riders stopped by his side. One of them lifted his helm and greeted him with a terse nod. Imrahil recognized him as one from the pub.
The other riders seemed to be inclined to follow the thieves but the man stayed them. “Let them be. We'll catch them soon enough. Bloody Dunlendings.”
“Everything alright?” the rider asked.
Dusting his hands to his breeches, Imrahil looked up. “Yeah, now it is. Good thing that you showed... I wouldn't have minded it a few moments earlier, though.”
“You seemed to be doing all right.”
“We *would* have been here sooner if Éomund here hadn't suddenly felt the overwhelming need to piss,” the rider said, clapping the back of the man to his side with a mischievous wink. “Théoden of the Mark,” he said, stretching out his hand.
Despite his surprise, Imrahil clasped it immediately, feeling the underlying strength. A man with this grip seemed likely to be a staunch ally. “Imrahil of Dol-amroth.”
Théoden sat back on his saddle, casting an appreciative gaze upon Imrahil. “Ah, our illustrious guest.” Turning to his side, he addressed Éomund. “Hah. You owe me money.”
A few of the riders murmured in approbation, but Éomund muttered a curse and spat to the side. “Later.”
“A bet's a bet,” Théoden insisted. “The lad is not the helpless whelp you all thought. I told you these sea people are tough.”
Unwittingly, Imrahil beamed and Éomund growled as he awkwardly searched his pouch. “Here!” He tossed a few coins at Théoden.
Imrahil watched the exchange in silence. He had been in Edoras for less than a full day and already he had been lost, mugged and apparently the subject of bets. Maybe the summer would be less dull than he had expected.
“Are you going to Meduseld?” Théoden asked.
“Yes... if I can find the way,” Imrahil painfully admitted. He suddenly felt weary and not too eager to find his way through the dark.
“Well, hop on,” Théoden said, offering his hand.
Imrahil took his offer, settling behind Théoden with some awkwardness. With a short bark from Éomund, the men grouped and trotted off through the streets. Imrahil held on to Théoden as they wound through the streets, trying not to fall off the horse. Imrahil had endured his equitation lessons like any other good son of nobility, and was amply considered proficient in Dol-Amroth. Yet, he felt like a novice, holding on to Théoden, whose riding style like nothing he had experienced... it felt some how more natural, as if the man had been born on a horse.
Imrahil held on and tried to figure out why they were drifting away from Medulsed instead of drawing closer. He understood as they stopped by a house and one of the men said his goodbyes to his fellows and went in the house where a woman and a child waited him. They went to other similar houses until only him, Théoden and Éomund were left.
“We head off to Meduseld now,” Théoden said over his shoulder. “Éomund comes with us, as he's always sniffing around my sister's skirts these days.” Dusk was falling but even in the low light and with the helm, Imrahil thought he saw embarrassment spreading through Éomund's cheeks. Good for him.
The galloped up the hill and in no time they were by the stables dismounting and handing over their steeds to the stable boy.
“See you later,” Éomund said, as he hastily left for the palace.
Théoden shrugged. “Don't mind his manners. He's been like that since the day he realized my sister Théodwyn had grown boobs. Talks of nothing else, thinks of nothing else... it's a good thing I know he's a good fellow otherwise he'd be in serious trouble.”
Imrahil shrugged. “I've sisters too,” he said, thinking on Ivriniel and the headaches she had given their father before being wed.
“So you know,” Théoden concluded. “Do you want another pint?” he offered as they reached the kitchen door.
Imrahil looked at the sky. “Shouldn't we be getting ready for dinner?”
“We have time. Come on!”
Imrahil let himself be seduced by Théoden's boyish grin and followed him through the kitchen, amazing at how everyone seemed to want to greet him, then through the halls, until they were in Théoden's room. While they waited for the lass with the ale, Théoden divested himself from several weapons and lit the fireplace. Taking his invitation, Imrahil sat by the fire.
“Thank you,” he said.
“For what?” Théoden seemed genuinely surprised.
“For delivering me from a pinch,” Imrahil said with sincerity. “And for putting your money on me,” he added with a wink. “That was an extraordinary leap of faith.”
Théoden let out a hearty laugh. “Not as much as you'd think,” he said, switching from Westron to a fluid Sindarin. “I lived in Minas Tirith until I was five and I've been returning there now and then. We meet all sorts of people and I already knew the sea fold are anything but frail.”
“I could have been the exception... pampered and all.”
“Nah, you're fine. You just need to learn how to properly ride.” Théoden winked.
The remark coming from anyone else would have vexed Imrahil, but Théoden's carefree teasing wasn't in the least annoying and besides he had witnessed first hand the suppleness of his riding. Now that he was not concentrating on staying on the horse, Imrahil blushed, thinking on how good Théoden had felt.
Not knowing the true source of Imrahil's embarrassment, Théoden laughed it off. “Don't worry. I'm sure I'm terrible on a boat, too. If you want we can go ride together and work on that. I don't have patrol duty until next month.”
Imrahil grinned. “I'd like that.”
The maid came in with the ale and reminded Théoden that dinner would be soon. He dismissed her with a cheeky grin.
“Cheers,” he said, clicking his mug to Imrahil's. “So, tell me how are things in Gondor? Still a nest of gossiping vipers?”
Imrahil laughed and assented. They started talking about Gondor and their mutual acquaintances, the trip to Rohan, life at the borders, ships and sea storms, all that spiked with ample laughter and much ale... until the jar ran dry and Théoden looked outside to the now completely dark sky. “Damn! Something tells me we're late for dinner.”
Imrahil chuckled, aware that he was probably a little drunk. They scrambled to their feet and strode out of the room, with Imrahil almost running to catch up with Théoden.
When they arrived to the dining hall, every head at the table turned to them.
“Hail Thengel King!” Théoden said and went to his father with a swift stride, kneeling before the king.
Thengel laughed, offering him his hand to help him up. “Welcome, my son. I should have known you were behind our guest's mysterious disappearance.” He winked at Imrahil who bowed to hide the colour in his cheeks.
“You must think me a terrible host, but the food was getting cold and we started without you. Belegalph here assured me you wouldn't mind our informality...”
“My lord, I am deeply sorry.”
Thengel chortled. “Nah, you aren't. You're just embarrassed, but you look like you've been having a good time. Come, sit and tell me all about. And I also want to hear news from the mark, my son.”
They sat with the king and started their meal. Imrahil could feel Belegalph's murderous glances on him for the breech in protocol, but soon he found himself involved in conversation with Théoden and his father and several other men of the Mark of high stature and despite his slight inebriety, he had great fun. After many hours of conversation and more rounds of ale than he could recount, all retired to their homes or their rooms. With a happy sigh, Imrahil tossed himself over his fur coverlet and fell asleep contentedly.
Théoden kept true to his word. The following morning, so early that the sky was still tinged with the colours of dawn, there we was knocking at Imrahil's door.
“Go away, Belegalph!” Imrahil couldn't believe that he was being woken at such an hour, not after the excesses of the previous night.
“It's Théoden, sleepyhead. You're giving the men of Dol Amroth a bad name,” Théoden bellowed.
Imrahil rose from bed and grumpily walked to the door, opening a fringe. “What?”he said, upon espying Théoden looking fresh as a rose on the other side.
“Time to go riding. Don't tell me that a couple of tankards last night rendered you useless.”
“Fuck off.” Imrahil opened the door back and returned to the bed, where he picked up his scattered clothes, wondering when exactly he had taken them off. He dressed quickly and splashed his face with water from a basin.
“There, I'm ready. But I want to munch something down before we go. My stomach feels like it's full of knives.”
Théoden snorted. “You wimp. You can get some bread from the kitchen on out way out.”
They went down and pushed their bread down with a mug of fresh warm milk, then left for the stables.
“I've the sweetest little mearh for you. We won't be using your horse because the poor beast has caught bad habits by now. We can work on it later.”
Imrahil sighed. This could be a lot of fun, but his head was still pounding.
“How do you do it?” he asked between yawns.
“Do what? Get up early?” Théoden snorted. “You'll see.”
They reached the stables and apparelled the horses. Then they mounted and Imrahil followed Théoden though the city until they were out on the plain. Théoden stopped and dismounted, but stopped Imrahil from following suit.
“I want to see you ride.”
So Imrahil rode for a couple of hours, obeying Théoden's instructions again and again, but never reaching the point of satisfaction. He was tired and the sun was getting hotter, and his head pounding but he didn't want to play the weakling, not in front of Théoden. Finally, Théoden took mercy on him.
“Let's find some shadow.” They rode in silence to a lone tree in the distance, dismounted and sat down. Théoden took some victuals from his saddle bag and proffered them to Imrahil who greedily took them.
“Uinen, I had no idea on how hungry I was,” he said through a mouthful of bread and ham. Théoden snorted.
“And you have no idea on how sore you'll be tomorrow.”
“Hardly. I rode all the way here,” Imrahil countered.
“Yes, you rode your way and you've adapted to that but we've been doing something different here today. Or at least trying.”
“I feel like lumber on top of the horse when I do the things you tell me,” Imrahil protested.
“Exactly. I couldn't have put it better myself. You don't trust the horse enough. You're always trying to control it and that just takes too much energy. We'll try something different, but right now, I'm going to take a little nap.”
Théoden pulled his kerchief over his face and leaned against the tree, slowly sliding into a comfortable position, leaving Imrahil gaping at him. Imrahil wanted to protest but he was tired. He quickly followed Théoden's example and fell into a comfortable slumber.
The sun was much lower in the sky when Théoden shook his shoulder until he woke. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Wow, if that's the Rohirric secret for long nights drinking I'm all for it,” he said as he stretched. He winced and when he tried to rise from the ground he whimpered.
“Told you so,” Théoden said with a grin, offering his hand. “We over slept but I can show you what I wanted while we ride back home.”
Imrahil cringed inwardly but nodded his assent. Théoden mounted and looked back to Imrahil as he tried to climb back up to his impatient mearh.
“Nah, you come with me and she will follow. I daresay you both could use a rest from each other.”
Imrahil felt slightly humiliated but he understood Théoden was showing him some mercy. “All right.”
“Now listen and feel,” Théoden said as they started out in a slow pace. “Put your hands here,” he said, taking Imrahil's hands from his side and placing them on his hips. “Feel how I move with him, same rhythm, no forcing.”
Imrahil let his hands where Théoden had left them, but he couldn't think of riding or suppleness or anything horse related. He begged Ossë not to let the tingle in his groin grow into something else, doubling his humiliation and potentially creating a diplomatic incident.
“Good, good.” Imrahil heard Théoden's voice as if coming from afar, so deep he was in his thoughts. “See how well you ride when you're not letting your mind get in the way?”
Imrahil almost snorted. “Yeah,” he said with little conviction.
“Now put them here,” Théoden said, moving Imrahil's hands to his hard stomach. “Can you feel how I sit? How every muscle works together.”
Imrahil certainly could. This was torture.
“Now run your hand down my back. Feel the alignment.” Imrahil obeyed.
“See?” Théoden asked. “You don't need to look like you have a broomstick up your arse to sit straight on a horse.”
Imrahil couldn't think of brooms or sticks or anything of the sort, not with Théoden's strong back moving just so under his palm. Thankfully, they were quickly upon Meduseld, and he excused himself right at the stables after tending to his horse as fast as he could.
“I want to take a bath and get to dinner on time tonight. Your father's court is much more relaxed than ours but there's not need to be late and in dirty clothes every day.”
“All right,” Théoden said cheerfully. “You were doing really well this last bit, though I felt you were perhaps a little absent... We'll make a proper horseman out of you.”
Imrahil smiled and ran up to his room, requesting warm water as he passed by the kitchen. A maid and two boys promptly brought him the hot and cold water, reaching his room only a few moments after him.
“We always keep a supply by the fire when we have guests, m'lord,” she explained.
Imrahil thanked her, cursing her slowness in getting out of the room and as soon as she was out and he was stark naked, he slipped into the water with a happy sigh. His thighs protested against movement, but thanked the soothing warmth. He relaxed in the tub, trying to ignore his groin. He was half-hard and the more he thought about Théoden's shapely arse moving right next to his cock, the harder he got. He had not been fully aroused by the end of their ride for sheer strength of will. He liked Théoden. He was fun, educated, spoke wonderful Sindarin, had the most splendid body... Imrahil whimpered and touched his own stomach, remembering the ridges of muscle on Théoden's. The thighs were also strong and well-proportioned and even the wild, unkempt hair had its allure. Imrahil took himself in hand and with only a few strokes he brought himself to a shuddering release. Damn unforeseen complications. He wanted to be Théoden's friend but with an unrequited crush in the middle it was not going to be easy.
He washed, got dressed and went to dinner. Like the night before, the meal was a mere excuse for boisterous laughter, many tales and heavy ale drinking. If Théoden had noticed his burgeoning arousal on the way or his embarrassment he didn't seem to care and Imrahil allowed himself to relax.
The following days were similar. Théoden took him out riding in the early morning, they ate and napped for a while, then the rode some more. To Imrahil's mixed relief and disappointment, Théoden didn't suggest anymore riding together, though he often touched Imrahil, correcting his pose, with the same maddening effect. On some afternoons they rode idly around Edoras and Théoden patiently showed Imrahil his favourite spots and told him a more personalised version of the history, economics and politics of Rohan than what Imrahil had read in the books.
Apart from his pesky infatuation, the trip to Rohan was proving to be one of the most interesting things he had done so far in his life. Occasionally, they met some of Théoden's friends and they often visited the infamous tavern next to the town square. Imrahil wondered how he would manage to endure the following month when Théoden was to go to the borders again. He'd be cooped up in Meduseld listening to Belegalph fawning over Thengel for sure... Or maybe not. Under the hand of the shrewd old man, Belegalph had come a long way in discerning courtesy from excess and his company had significantly improved. Still, Imrahil would sorely miss Théoden.
Time had flown by and Imrahil had been caught by surprise: less than a week was left before Théoden was to ride out again. They were heading for the tavern to meet with Théoden's men, when Théoden turned and asked him,
“How would you like to come with us? We're not doing anything too exciting, but it would be a good opportunity for you to see one of our most impressive stands, Helm's Deep.”
“Yes, I'd love to!” Imrahil exclaimed even as Théoden spoke.
Théoden laughed. “Don't get your hopes up. We'll be there for two weeks more or less doing repair jobs and such so there won't be Orc slaying or anything too adventurous.”
“I don't mind hard work,” Imrahil replied. “I'll go.”
“Great! You'll like it there. I've spoken with my father and he doesn't mind that you go, neither does Belegalph after a bit of reasoning. Officially you'll be under my responsibility and I'll have to answer to your father if anything happens to you.”
Imrahil snorted. “Since when are you so serious?”
Théoden was about to reply but they had reached the tavern. They went in and sat with their friends, spending the evening in lively chatter. Imrahil understood now some basic Rohirric which was not enough to hold a conversation, but more than adequate to get the jokes. For his benefit, many of the men spoke slower and used abundant Westron and Imrahil felt perfectly comfortable in their company. The night went on, and since most men had families, they slowly disbanded.
After a while, only Théoden, Éomund and Imrahil lingered on.
“By the balls of the gods,” said Éomund. “I'm plastered. If Théodwyn sees me like this I'm gonna hear sooo much...” he slurred.
“You sound like you're already married,” Théoden chortled. “If she catches us getting back home I'll tell her it was all my fault.” He winked at Imrahil.
“We're sloshed anyway, so let's have one more for the road,” Imrahil proposed.
“Good man,” Théoden approved.
They drank, not one but three more, and only when the waitress held the door open and told them to leave so that she could close, did they leave.
They made the way back to Meduseld arm in arm, singing a bawdy song of which Imrahil only understood the dirtiest half. He sang loudest and was duly cheered by Théoden and Éomund. When they reached the palace, they hushed each other and, as was their habit, went in through the kitchen door, which was left on the latch for the provident staff precisely for that end. They crossed the kitchen with only two minor bumps on furniture and crockery, awaking the dog and scaring a cat. Then they found their way through the corridors until they deposited a half-asleep Éomund just inside his room. Théoden's room was closer so they followed there.
“Wanna drink,” Théoden offered.
Imrahil burped. “I don't think I have room for any more beer. I need to piss.”
“I have something stronger and you can piss right here.”
“All right.” Imrahil shrugged with the carefree manner of the truly drunk, avoiding the doorjamb by mere inches as he stumbled into Théoden's room.
Théoden found an onion bottle inside a cabinet and brought it out from his inner room to the sitting area. On his other hand he carried a chamber pot. Imrahil tossed himself on the fur rug laughing. “I hope that's not for using as a cup. Gimme that, silly,” he said scrambling up and taking the chamber pot back into the sleeping division where he relieved himself.
When he went back to Théoden two cups were already full waiting for him. Théoden had lit the fire – the nights were always fresh in Meduseld – and had sat by the fire on the soft rug. “Here,” he said offering the drink.
Imrahil took the mug and sat with his back against an armchair.
“You know there won't be women out in Helm's Deep,” Théoden said. Imrahil stuffed his nose into his mug.
“I don't recall having heard you mentioning lasses ever since we got here,” Théoden continued, removing his shirt. “It turns out it was hotter than I thought,” he explained, although Imrahil had said nothing. The sight of Théoden's rippled abdomen had almost made him choke on his drink.
“I'm don't think it makes for good diplomacy to go around seducing the daughters of the Rohirrim...”
Théoden snorted. “Good point, but you don't even look at them...” Théoden pushed back a stray tress of golden hair. “I was wondering if your tastes ran in another direction.”
Imrahil had been set alert by the course of the conversation, but he had not expected such forthrightness. He decided to forego tiptoeing, too.
“And if they did?” he asked, boldly facing Théoden.
“Nothing of it. Many men find it hard to stay for months at the mercy of their own hand while we ride out. If people meet in the night to scratch an itch and no one is the worse for it, why should it be a problem? I imagine that sea voyages can be awfully lonely too...”
As the pieces of the puzzle Imrahil frowned, drank, pressed his lips, then laughed. “Are you propositioning me?” he asked unbelievingly.
“And if I were?”
Imrahil took his shirt so fast that the seams creaked. “I'd be all for it,” he replied, his wrists still wrapped in stubborn cuffs.
Théoden rose to his knees and crawled over to him. They stood on their knees, face to face, so close that Imrahil could see Théoden's hair moving under his breath. Suddenly, Théoden broke the impasse and kiss him. Imrahil let his impetus push him back and tried to reply as best as he could the furious onslaught to his mouth.
“I thought you were getting hard the day he rode behind me,” Théoden said, moving quickly to nibble on Imrahil's neck. “I could have sworn.”
“I was,” Imrahil gasped as Théoden twisted his nipple. “I was trying not to be.”
“I didn't want to scare you off...” Théoden said before thoroughly kissing Imrahil again. “Let's see now,” he whispered, sliding a wily hand beneath Imrahil's breeches.
“Too tight,” Théoden complained when his hand was trapped. “Let's get them off.”
“Yours too,” Imrahil said as his hands ran to Théoden's crotch.
“Oh, that feels good,” Théoden said with a ragged sigh, as Imrahil freed his hardness and cupped it in his hand. Imrahil smiled and did his best to continued pleasing Théoden, although it was supremely hard to concentrate while Théoden's hand was moving so relentlessly on him and his lips were all over. For a moment, he felt helpless and utterly inadequate. As soon as the liqueur fog lifted from Théoden he would realize the painfully obvious: Imrahil's experience was rather limited.
“You taste so good,” Théoden said, kissing Imrahil again as he cupped his buttocks and pulled him closer. Imrahil let him rub their erections together, whimpering and pushing against Théoden to the rhythm the older man set.
“Do you think you could still use some riding lessons,” Théoden leered, moving his hips suggestively.
Imrahil froze. Maybe he had been to hasty in showing his interest to Théoden. There were things he had never done and that he didn't know how to do and that would probably hurt like Morgoth's fire, though there were plenty of people that seemed to disagree, and he fully trusted Théoden but on the other hand wasn't he drunker than a cask of wine and if-
“Imrahil? What's wrong?” Théoden interrupted the course of Imrahil's thoughts.
“Uhh. Nothing, nothing,” Imrahil said. Théoden cocked his head, searching Imrahil's eyes until further enlightenment came. “Uhh... You see, I'm the lord's son and therefore the sailors are not as forthcoming with me as they are with one another and, you know, a person can watch a lot of things but it's... it's sorta different when it comes to actually doing. There.” Imrahil looked into Théoden's eyes, defying him to poke fun at his virginity.
For a few moments Théoden looked at him with confusion in his eyes until it dawned on him and a grin spread on his lips. “I'll be damned...” He nodded to himself, as if still reasoning, then kissed Imrahil lightly on the lips. “No worries, I'll make sure you have a good time... that is if you still want it.”
Imrahil nodded. “Yeah, I do.”
Théoden kissed him again, this time in a less fierce manner, allowing Imrahil to also explore and eventually dominate the kiss. Then he gently pushed Imrahil until they were lying on the fur rug and lay by his side, exploring Imrahil's body with hunger but also a certain delicacy, until Imrahil felt confident enough to return the caresses and improvise his own. Théoden laid a trail of kissed down Imrahil's torso, until he reached his navel, where he teased the trail of dark hair leading to Imrahil's groin with his fingers, ignoring his erection, except to gently blow warm breath over it now and then. Imrahil withstood with as much patience as he could until he was left whimpering and took himself in hand. Théoden swatted his hand and took him into his mouth in one long gulp. A squeel of mixed pain and pleasure came from Imrahil's throat.
“You don't like that,” Théoden immediately asked.
“I like it... except for the teeth.”
“Oh, all right.” Théoden returned to his task with much gentler probing, concentrating his efforts on the crown of Imrahil's cock, quickly bringing him to the brink of ecstasy. Imrahil writhed and desperately thought of the most improbably things, trying for the world not to come too soon. At last he gave up and gently pushed Théoden away.
“Did I hurt you again?” Théoden asked concerned looking up.
“No,” Imrahil panted, “but if you keep doing that I'll spend too soon.”
Théoden rose to his knees with a predatory grin. “That good, uhh?”He wriggled his eyebrows and Imrahil laughed.
“Yeah... but you should know, right?”
Théoden pursed his lips. “Well... mmm. No.”
“You meant that-?”
“You're not the only one who's the son of the lord, all right?”
The edge of irritation on Théoden's voice only caused Imrahil to laugh harder.
“How much older are you than me?” he asked between giggles.
“You know how much, and I'm not exactly virgin either. It was just this thing that I hadn't done.”
Imrahil sat up and gently pulled Théoden for a kiss. When the parted, he tasted his lips. “I like the way I taste on you.” Suddenly, he felt very sober and adult.
Théoden cupped the back of Imrahil's head with his hand and kissed him deeper. “All right,” he said when they parted. “Here's the deal. I'm supposed to inherit the crown, right, so I've received advice from more people than I care to remember to never suck the cock of a man I will have to give orders to, nor accept it up my arse.”
Imrahil nodded. His family put things less bluntly but he had received similar warnings regarding putting himself in perilous positions either with males or females.
“I'm not your subject and it's not likely that I'll become one.”
“I know. This is why I risked... hoped...”
Imrahil shook his head. “We've talked already too much. Just lie down. I want to return the favour.”
Théoden immediately fell back, his long hair spilling on the rug, his arms invitingly open. Imrahil studied for only an instant before he dove in and sweetly tortured Théoden with all the skill he could muster. Soon Théoden cradled his head, griping so hard that it almost hurt. Imrahil debated with himself if he should finish Théoden off in this way or not when the decision was taken from him. Théoden came in his mouth, panting out the syllables of his name as he pumped into his mouth. Imrahil tried to swallow the streams of thick bitter cream, but he couldn't. He just focused on not letting Théoden choke him. Thankfully, the moment was intense but brief. The shock to his taste buds and the ferocious hold on his scalp had been almost too much. Discretely, he let the semen and saliva out from his mouth onto Théoden's sated cock. The mess was such that an extra mouthful wouldn't be noticed. He looked around, trying to find a graceful way of taking a swig of drink, any drink. Théoden, still panting from his orgasm, reached out behind his head and handed him the bottle.
Imrahil guiltily took it and rinsed down the shocking new flavours. Théoden stretched out his hand in mute invitation and Imrahil lay by his side.
“That was incredible,” Théoden said. “No one would think that you were untried.”
Imrahil snorted. “Why, thank you!”
Théoden was blissfully sated, but he was still hard and wanting. Almost demurely, Imrahil moved his hips against Théoden, reminding him of his state. Théoden looked at him through bleary eyes and slowly turned on the rug, offering his back in mute invitation. Imrahil covered him with his body, kissing his neck, biting gently, then exploring lower with his hands and mouth until he was massaging the small of Théoden's back and his buttocks.
“I need something...” he said.
Théoden nodded and stretched an arm, reaching for the saddle bag he had left near the fireplace. With one hand he emptied it and procured a jar of grease normally destined for the keeping of his weapons.
Imrahil prepared him the best he could, but when he tried to penetrate him, he found he couldn't. He tried again, using his weight to push in, but Théoden's body resisted. Imrahil took more grease and prepared Théoden further, and then brought him to a kneeling position. Théodred placed his weight on his elbows and looked back.
“If this hurts I'll kill you,” he said, pushing back as Imrahil moved forward. This time, Imrahil penetrated him, and for an instant, the incredible tight heat of Théoden's body deafened him to the whimpers from below.
“Sorry, sorry,” he said when he realized, stilling himself midway into Théoden's body. “Does it hurt?”
“Not hurt,” Théoden said with muffled voice. “It burns. Put more grease in.”
With a supreme effort of the will, Imrahil obeyed, moving forward and back ever so slowly, until every moment between them was perfectly smooth and Théoden actually moved back to meet his thrusts. Both adjusted to each other, until Théoden let out a ragged sigh and begged, “Again!”
Imrahil complied, many times, watching the Théoden's perfectly shaped ass moving in tandem with his hips, listening to the slap of sweaty flesh, inhaling as deeply as he could the musky scent pervading the room... His own inexperience and eagerness brought him too quickly to the edge of release, and still he tried and tried to make it last. When his climax hit him, he almost sobbed. It had been the most intense experience of his life.
He dropped onto Théoden's back and both slipped down to the rug. He could feel himself wilting inside Théoden but he didn't want to move and leave the heat. Théoden finally nudged him off and both fell asleep by the fire, happily entangled.
As customary, Théoden woke with the crack of dawn. He nudged Imrahil awake.
“What?” Imrahil asked with an obvious hangover.
“Let's go to bed for a while.”
Imrahil sat up and looked at the clearing sky. “Shouldn't I get to my room? The servants...”
“They never come to my room until late... and besides, I owe you a nice thorough ride.”
Despite his need for sleep and a slight urge to strangle Théoden for waking him, Imrahil followed him to the bed, considering how badly his gait would be affected. Judging from Théoden, not enough to want to stop their riding lessons anytime soon.