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You, me & world war three

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1

Some days are easy. Some days are hard. Then there are the others.
He's fifteen minutes late when he arrives at the Balzac coffee shop. Quickly he changes into his work-clothes and flashes his co-barista a bright smile that falls the moment he turns around.
“I saw that,” he hears Aragorn chuckle behind him, ignores it. No time for that.
It's the third week that he works at Balzac and with every day he has grown to hate the place more and more.

Not enough that he has to deal with rude hipsters until 8pm (yes 8pm because apparently that's how life is in Berlin), no there is this other problem, too.
Said problem just walks in. Said problem has the size of 6' 3” smartly tucked into a Burberry suit. He strides in like he's on a cat walk. He kinda owns it, with his chin tilted up, nose somewhere in powder-cocaine heaven and these damn oversized dark eyebrows. (But he won't admit that)

“Fuck you,” Legolas mouths when his step-father approaches him. There is no move in Thranduil's expression, not a twitch in his botox-face. (He's not actually sure it's botox but he likes to think so.)

There are three other people before him, but Legolas is already annoyed beyond measure. He hands out coffee and cake with brisk, short-cut movements. And he knows that Thranduil notices. Of course he does. It's not like his step-father could go to the other coffee shop, that one right across the street from his bureau. No, he'd rather walk these five minutes and pay him a visit at work. Thranduil knows how much Legolas appreciates it.

He does not even try to force a smile on his lips when he looks up at his step-father's face.
“Yeah,” he says, raising his eyebrows.
“Manners,” Thranduil says and smooths his long, champagne-coloured hair back gracefully.
Legolas raises his eyebrows a bit higher. Thranduil's lips curl just ever so slightly, then he takes out his wallet.
“A coffee leche y leche,” he says, tips a long, slender finger against his lips and adds, “and a piece of cheese-cake. To Go.”

“Not the rum-cherry-cake?” he asks as he turns around to the espresso machine.
Thranduil doesn't answer him, but he's sure he took the hint. And he does so like hinting when his step-father has so many habits worth hinting at.
He fills the cup, scribbles something on the cover and hands it to Thranduil. Without a second look Thranduil pays, takes cake and coffee, nibs carefully. The feeling of warm satisfaction in Legolas' belly is priceless when Thranduil nearly spits it out. He turns around to him swiftly, dark brows knit together.
“What's that supposed to be? I said I wanted—”
“Not on the card,” Legolas shrugs. Gives him his best take-it-or-leave-it glance.
Thranduil turns around and does leave it. Casually Legolas takes the cup behind the counter, saving it for later. Well, that means no car for at least the next week. Worth it.
“Keep working,” Aragorn pushes his elbow into his side and grins.

 

The next day is worse, just in all aspects. He had, as expected, to take the bus to school. That certain bus that always comes too late to that certain class where you really don't wanna be. So extra chemistry homework. For Christ's sake! Of course, it's not like he's a got a life of his own. Though, to be honest at the moment he doesn't. Not since three weeks ago his step-father had decided he needed to be more of a father figure (dry laughing) and had cut him off the money.
Time to be a responsible adult, Thranduil had said with that slight tilt of his head, glass of wine in hand.

So, two possibilities, going without the extra cash or, well, working. Boy London pullovers and clubbing need to be paid. So yeah, there he went.

And now it's busy and two people are talking to him at the same time and correcting their orders at least twice. Yeah, you fuckers, decide that before you open your mouths.
Aragorn's hand reassuring on his shoulder, just briefly. Somehow it manages to cheer him up. Slightly. So he takes orders (Thranduil would like that choice of words so much) and keeps on working.
It's half past five, the usual time. Any minute now.
And as he had thought before: this day just worse in every aspect. Because this time Thorin Oakenshield pays him a visit, too. He might need to elaborate on this one.

Thorin Oakenshield is working in court, just as his step-father does. He works for the rivalling firm. They kinda have a history. That kind that involves Thranduil drinking vintage wine all night and watching documentaries about killer whales when he tries to sneak off to a Thursday night party. Also that kind that then makes Thranduil ground him for the next two weeks without even looking up. They have this prosecutor-solicitor thing going on.

Oakenshield is a short man, but everything he lacks in size he makes up with his bulky statue and the muscles underneath his Tom Ford suit (oh Thranduil will hate him for the suit). He has a well kept, black beard, thin lips, bit of a hawk nose and piercing dark blue eyes. Also the raspiest, deepest voice Legolas has ever heard. It's quite pleasant, he has to admit.

Oakenshield gets in line and just a second later Thranduil strides in. So not good. He gets behind Oakenshield without even acknowledging him and stares right over him.
“Oh fuck,” Legolas murmurs and Aragorn who just comes out of the kitchen gives him a worried look. Legolas nods to the two in line and Aragorn cocks an eyebrow. Right. He doesn't know it yet. He will soon enough.

Thorin orders a cappuccino and a piece of strawberry cake. Simple, classy taste, but with a sweet tooth.
“To go?” he asks and glances at Thranduil.
“No.”
“All right, just a second.”
Thorin moves to the side while Aragorn fixes his cappuccino.
Legolas looks up at his step-father with just the tinniest hint of a smirk.
“Cappuccino as well?” he asks.
“Latte macchiato. Non-fat milk.”
“To Go?”
“No.”
“Cake?”
“Don't be annoying, Legolas. Get me my coffee,” Thranduil purrs, the low, velvety sound sending shivers down his back.
“Right,” he mumbles.

 

They watch them from afar.
“So they are competitors, your step-dad and this dude,” Aragorn chuckles and leans back against the counter.
“That's an understatement.”
It's not busy for now and they have a clear view of the two parties sitting in opposite corners of the café. Oakenshield's brows are knit together as he eats his cake in pitch-black earnest. Thranduil in comparison gracefully turns the spoon in his latte as if he was conducting a Vivaldi aria.
And then it happens. They look at each other.

“Oh,” Aragorn makes.
In this stare there is so much resentment, volcano-hot and glacier-cold. Thranduil tilts his head ever so slightly, his hair following the motion. The corners of his mouth move up a fraction, barely visible. An acknowledgement.
And Thorin's brows knit even closer, the piled up anger and wrath in his stare intensifying a thousandfold.
“Just look at them. Hate-flirting,” Legolas says.
“To me it looks more like … just hating,” Aragorn replies.
“No. No, there is passion involved.”
“You don't seem to like it,” Aragorn lays an arm around his shoulder.
“I hate him,” Legolas breaths with as much spitefulness as he can muster.
“Whom?” Aragorn asks.
“Both.”
Aragorn laughs lowly in his throat.
“Don't,” Legolas says, “you don't know what that means for me.”

When Thranduil would come home this evening, Legolas is sure he'd get bent. Like, seriously. And when Thranduil is shit-faced he gets even more of a bitch. Dramatic laughing and shutting doors violently and all. Shouting at their neighbours … oh god. The last time he told them not only to go fuck themselves after they rang the door bell the fourth time but also... he remembers the precise words to be: “You fucking scum-cunts in your rags, do try Louis Vuitton for a change.” And with that he had shut the door in their faces. Who had to deal with the police later? Exactly, him. It's either that or animal-documentaries.
“Well what does it mean for you?” Aragorn cocks an eyebrow.
“Hopefully penguin.”

Legolas watches them a while longer, now concentration on their coffee again.
Gladly he accepts Aragorn's offer to go and clean the tables for him. Aragorn is the only one so far not intimidated by his lawyer step-father. When he watches him now, Aragorn has a smooth smile on his lips, swiping the table nonchalantly. He takes Thorin's plate and cup first, then moves on to Thranduil.

Legolas can't stop the grin spreading on his lips when Thranduil sizes Aragorn up. Oh, oh if disapproval were a human it'd be Thranduil.

He follows his gaze to Aragorn's dirty fingernails, then back up to his bad-boy smile that he gives Thranduil and that Thranduil pointedly ignores.
The always present stubble on Aragorn's chin, the untamed dark brown hair, the way he always rolls up his sleeves. And the fact that he is in his late thirties which means older than Thranduil and still works as a barista. And absolutely okay with that fact and doesn't give a shit.
Yeah. Thranduil hates him.

Not that Aragorn cares. Which kinda makes it worse.
Legolas feels proud having him as his boss.

 

When they close up this evening it's already half-past eight. It's not yet dark outside but the street-lamps are already on. Legolas sighs softly and flings his old leather-backpack over his right shoulder.
“See you Monday,” he says to Aragorn and they hug briefly, patting each other on the shoulder.
“Don't get too shit-faced,” Aragorn replies and grins.
“Greet Arwen from me. Tell her she can come over any time if she leaves you.”
“Never gonna happen,” Aragorn says winking.

They part ways and Legolas walks to the underground, plucks in his earphones and turns on The Cure's Friday I'm In Love.
Half an hour later he is home. It takes another two hours—in which he texts several people what's going on tonight but nobody has time—until he hears the door falling shut and steps in the living room.

It's a strange thing, he thinks, how one can live with someone one barely knows. Ever since his mother died three years ago he feels kinda alienated. One might think he is a sad child and of course he has his dark places and moods that happen every now and then. And of course he wishes she'd still be there. But he's a survivor, has always been. And he's learnt early that life goes on, no matter what happens. Life doesn't give a shit.

His dad left them when he was ten, just like that. He could be dead now for all he knows.
He'd taken him on adventures. Always grand and enchanted.
Once when they were driving home Legolas had pointed to the sky and told his dad, voice shaking with excitement, that there was a hot air balloon in the sky. Without further ado his dad had changed their plan of going home to following the balloon. It was their Chase After The Forlorn Balloon.
He had told him stories, before bed and breakfast and in-between.
The Indian girl Little Trout who build a watering system for her tribe; the pterosaur Macheins who could fly faster than sonic speed. And he read to him;Treasure Island, when he was sick in the winter holidays, a fever melting the words into pictures. Prince Valiant when school started again, and he still remembers, remembers the stories of the Singing Sword, of the Misty Isles where Val meets Aleta— The Prince Valiant comics are still save in his bookshelf.

Then his father left and he didn't come back. It has taught him that a lot of shit happens to a lot of people. And that it's OK to experience pain. It shapes people. Makes them who they are.
And he likes who he is.

He'd lived alone with his mother whom he'd loved but who had not understood him. He should've appreciated her more, that he knows now.

It was only a year before she died that she met Thranduil. He sparked off something inside her that made her bloom. She was a tall, blonde woman, pretty with her bright blue eyes. Thranduil looked more like her brother than her lover, but somehow they fit. Thranduil was different back then. And even if they had not been married it was no question to him that Legolas would come live with him.
Thranduil changed after her death. Or maybe he just went back to who he was before he met her.
He was an intriguing person and charming if he wanted to. Naturally he knew his way around in the world. Soon Legolas had learned he was steel-edged and had no problem defending people who were clearly guilty. “Their life is not my domain,” he'd say.
Also, he has a habit or two, Legolas is sure his mother had not known about.

It was like living with a stranger who let him live in his flat and paid for his school and his stuff. And paying he did until three weeks ago. Somewhere in the back of his mind Legolas knows Thranduil is probably right about cutting him off, but the bigger part of himself is simply pissed. It's not like Thranduil has a small pay cheque and neither does he lead the life of a saint. Legolas suspects it's a thing with lawyers that they like expensive suits and showing them off. And Thranduil does care a great deal about his looks. That vain motherfucker.

A knock on his door. He nearly jumps.
Then Thranduil walks in without waiting for an invitation. Asshole.
“You know I have the right to have some privacy,” he says and turns around to his step-father.
“You have no rights as long as you live in my flat for free.” Thranduil casts a look around, over the posters of Bowie and The Cure, the pictures of Sus and Oscar pinned to one wall and the half naked lady next to his computer screen. His clothes are all over the floor and it's been a while since he took all the plates back into the kitchen.
“Oh cut it,” Legolas says and stands up. Thranduil has a bottle of wine in his hand. Now he holds it up, offering a thin smile.
“Why! You share your precious alcohol?” Thranduil rarely does.
“I have reason to celebrate,” Thranduil says and leaves the room, Legolas following on his heels. Asshole he may be, but his wine is always good. He won't say no to a glass or two.

Thranduil sits on the sofa, one arm draped upon the backrest. His tie hangs loosely around his neck, first buttons of his shirt open, revealing a slender, pale neck. His blazer is folded neatly over the back of a chair.

Thranduil's smile is all teeth when he pours them two glasses and he is generous with the amount.
“So what's the occasion?” Legolas asks and takes the glass.
“Won that case against Oakenshield.” Thranduil says it casually but he's gloating that's for fucking sure. Sharing his wine. Can't fool him now.
“Congrats I s'ppose,” Legolas mumbles and nibs at the wine.

“Are you planning to go out tonight?” Thranduil asks at some point.
“Wanted to. But apparently nobody has time,” Legolas answers with a sigh. His step-father chuckles lightly.
“You could turn your attention to your studying.” Thranduil's smirk suggests very clearly that he knows it's the last thing Legolas has in mind.
“No?” Thranduil cocks one of his thick, dark eyebrows and tilts his head, brushing his hair over his shoulder.
“An appointment with a girl, perhaps?”
Legolas snorts snidely.
“A boy then?”
“Thranduil!” Legolas exclaims, shame reddening his cheeks. He really can't do the who-are-you-dating-talk now.

“What's the matter, dear? Can't I ask you a question?”
Obviously, Thranduil takes great pleasure in this.
“No. You are not my father, you have no right to do the parent-molesting thing.”
Thranduil bares his teeth and laughs lowly. The sound sends shivers down his spine. Maybe he should go now. This man sitting opposite to him is a predator and he's no fucking prey.

“Don't you want to tell me your secrets?” The last word is but a hiss. The next second Legolas is on his feet. Casts a short, regretful glance to the wine bottle and turns around.
Behind him he can hear Thranduil's laughter. Fucking maniac.
“Get off the fucking cocaine!” Legolas shouts before he slams the door of his room shut.

 

He spends the rest of the night and the next day locked into his room (just to make sure) and streams TV shows. He only goes out every now and then to fetch something to eat from the fridge and use the toilet. Fortunately Thranduil is no where to be seen.
It's half past one and he never even changed out of his pyjamas when his phone buzzes. It's a text from Oscar. So, there is this party tonight. His mood changes from lazy and a bit sleepy to sudden excitement. God, yes, he needs to get drunk. Properly this time.

It's 2:30am when they arrive at the club. Oscar picked up his not-girlfriend Sus to come along. Oscar is a tall guy with black hair, cut short on the sides but that falls over his eyes in unruly curls. He's got dark brown eyes and nice cheekbones. Sus is tiny, she's got basically the same haircut except it's in pink. She likes to wear Oscar's oversized cardigans, leggings and 90s buffalos.
He grins at them. Legolas went for Doc Martin's, tight black jeans, and a Joy Division shirt (collar and sleeves cut off).

Now they're on their way to one of the bars. It's full. The smell of smoke and perfume and sweat mixes into the hot air. An electro beat blasts out of the speakers in pure force. They have to scream at each other when they are on the dance floor. People everywhere, dancing and laughing and drinking. Most of them don't wear as much as they do, sweaty skin glistens in the light that changes from blue to violet to pink and green and yellow.

Finally at the bar Legolas orders vodka-energy. Now he's glad he has chosen to work at the god-damn coffee shop, otherwise he couldn't get drunk here. But he loves the place. It's a former heating plant and got three floors, all packed with people, metre long pictures on the wall and not a single mirror in the bathrooms or anywhere else for that matter.

So they drink and they dance and at some point Sus disappears to the toilets, dragging Oscar with her. Legolas goes to the bar and orders two shots of Jägermeister. Downs both of them in one go. While goosebumps crawl over his arms from the bloody grog he turns around and goes back to the dance floor. There are some hot girls out tonight and a few pretty boys, too, but for now he's fine with simply going crazy to the techno beat.

His head is pleasantly dizzy, the music hammering in his skull like the crash of an anvil. Moving bodies. Sweaty skin.

And suddenly he sees him.
He descents the stairs like a fucking god, chin levelled high, back straight, his long flaxen hair framing his pale face left and right. Half-lidded eyes beneath pronounced brows, cheekbones high, not a twitch of his lips. He wears some kind of see-through, semi-lustrous thing in black with wide sleeves that has no buttons and is tied on his hips like a dressing gown. Black trousers like a second skin. Several loose necklaces swing around his long, slender neck and a chain swung over his shoulder ends in a petite fucking Chanel bag.

Then he starts moving. Eyes flutter shut. Beat gets faster. Arms up. Body moving. Beat. Beat. Beat. He throws his head back in one fluid motion, lips parting in a moan.
Legolas has stopped moving without noticing. His brain can simply not grasp that this is Thranduil. He stands there dumbstruck. Watches. Then it happens. Thranduil opens his eyes and looks.

Within a few seconds he's there, closing in on him. Legolas moves backwards until his back hits something and Thranduil's lips stretch into a smile. He's the devil with pink stripes of plastic in his hair. Ringed fingers press into the wall behind him and he's close. Dilated pupils like black-holes beneath dark, curved lashes.

He smells like champagne and smoke and he's never been more terrifying than now. He feels like his heart might stop any second. Thranduil towers above him, so tall, then bends down slightly. He's tipsy, but somehow still manages to be classy in the way he tilts his head. He lets his salacious stare sweep over him. Legolas has never felt more exposed. Thranduil chuckles darkly and crouches down more. Legolas can feel his breath on his lips. Heat crawls under his skin and through his veins.
“I will do bad things to you,” Thranduil whispers, lips brushing his ear-lobe.

 

2

“Had a good weekend?” Aragorn asks as he puts on his apron.
“Dazzling,” Legolas croaks. His voice is still hoarse from all the pot he smoked with Sus and Oscar the other day. And he had needed that. He's still not sure what happened Saturday night. Thranduil had been so close, pupils dilated like fuck. His body had felt hot, eventhough they had not touched, as if he radiated off the warmth. Who knows what would've happened if someone had not just grabbed Thranduil's hand and pulled him away. He can still hear his low, velvety voice, breath hot and moist against his ear and that brush of lips … A shiver runs down his spine.

He's not yet decided what to think of it. He had stood there wide eyed when that woman dragged Thranduil to the toilets to snort some more cocaine or pop another pill. He's pretty sure he was on ecstasy already. Why else would he have done what he did? Hell, he doesn't want to think about it. Fortunately his head feels still pleasantly numb and hazy. So he pushes the thoughts away and starts working.

“Well straighten up, buddy, we are busy today,” Aragorn says and nudges him gently. And they are busy. So for a while all that occupies his mind is latte macchiato, cappuccinos, non-fat and soy milk (these bloody hipsters), strawberry cake and the cinnamon-apple pie they started serving.

Everything goes well until … well until it doesn't. His stomach turns when he sees Thranduil entering the café. He's shortly followed by Thorin. Damn awkward walks that must be, Legolas is sure they walk on different sides of the road, ignoring each other pointedly, never even sparing a glance and then entering the café nearly at the same moment. Twats.

“Trouble in paradise?” Aragorn asks when he looks at Legolas, probably seeing how he's drenched from all the blood in his face.
“You don't even wanna know,” Legolas replies.
Aragorn raises his eyebrows.
“You have my attention alright,” he says.
“I'll tell you when they've ordered.”
Aragorn nods.

Thranduil looks composed and calm, as always. Legolas swallows.
“A latte macchiato, non-fat milk. And …” He muses a moment, lets his gaze sway over the pastries and falters when he sees the pie. “… and a slice of cheese-cake. To Go.”
He moves around the counter and Aragorn takes Thorin's order while Legolas prepares Thranduil's. For a short moment he thinks of Thranduil's look at the pie and grins, eventhough adrenaline still rushes through his veins and tickles in his stomach. There had been that day in school where all the parents had to cook or bake something to donate for, he really can't remember for what. Thranduil mentioned he'd simply buy something and Legolas' teacher Mrs Galadriel had looked at Thranduil with such intense wrathfulness and a soft smile that he had yielded.

Legolas had gloated of course. There was not a second he had left Thranduil alone while his step-father had been baking. Strawberry pie with honey baked into the crust. One could not have been less careless than Thranduil but when the day had come and they tried the pie, it was a fucking hit. A bit of an unfortunate miracle. People at his school still talk about that pie. And they still ask Thranduil to bake every time some kind of event is deemed suitable enough to collect food for.
He wraps up the cheese-cake and fills the Latte into a paper cup. Then he hands both to Thranduil, their fingers brushing lightly. He flinches away and hates himself for it, but turns around before his step-father can get a look at his face. At least Thranduil doesn't say anything.

When it's a bit less busy, Aragorn takes him to the side.
“So what happened?” he asks.
And then Legolas tells him. In hushed words, faltering every now and then and definitely leaving out that Saturday night (or morning rather) he had laid in bed, hand sliding down his body and all he could see behind his closed eyes was Thranduil's razor-sharp smile.
But the implications and the blush on his cheeks are already enough.

Aragorn cocks an eyebrow. “Say something. Or no. Don't,” Legolas mutters. Aragorn's hand gently at his arm.

“So it's a bit unconventional,” he says nonchalantly.
“He's my fucking step-father!”
“Yeah. Means, not your father. So basically this young, hot dude you happen to live with.”
“He fucked my mother.”
“So what?” Aragorn shrugs and goes back to work.
“So what? So everything!” Legolas shouts after him.
He can't believe Aragorn's lack of appropriate shock. He keeps working, but can't concentrate properly. Fortunately, no-one makes any complains about his drifting-off gaze and his slow movements.
“Well, I'm sure you're not the first to fancy a step-something,” Aragorn says while putting some cream on a coffee.
“Excuse you. I didn't hear that,” he answers.
“C'mon, who's young and wild and adventurous?”
“Apparently my inner-age excels yours. Which is not that difficult to be honest.”
“I'm still your boss, mate. Don't try your luck.”
“You …” But Legolas doesn't finish his sentence. Aragorn claps him on the shoulder and grins.
“Yeah, stay happy while I look at the fuming pieces that once were my life,” he grumbles.
Now, that gets Aragorn laughing.
“Oh boy,” he says, trying to catch his breath, “you are such a teenager.”
“Fuck you.”

The weeks pass by and still Legolas flinches when his fingers accidentally brush Thranduil's. Thranduil in comparison couldn't be more himself. All day long he bitches at the charlady that this is not clean enough and that does not belong there and what the fuck she thinks he pays her for. No wonder they have quite a waste of charladies, but Mrs Berry is tough and she takes insult with the patience of a mother waiting for her raging child to calm down. Also, when she'd been young she went to Visage and The Cure concerts. And of course Bowie. She likes to tell Legolas about it, eventhough she admits there is a lot she simply can't remember (but how does that saying go? If you remember the 80s you haven't lived the 80s).

So every time Thranduil is close to firing her, Legolas threatens him to tell Mrs Galadriel Thranduil would be willing to bake another pie. It's not a threat he can use forever, he knows, but for now it does just fine.

So Thranduil bitches, gets bent, buys more unnecessary expensive stuff and gets bent again. His mood darkens so drastically at some point that Legolas starts drawing pictures and writing little messages on Thranduil's paper cups in the coffee shop. They are always something along the lines of buy a new louis bag & cheer up, u mad again- pluck ur eyebrows, y so =( did OakS beat u(again)?!! and so on and so forth. The ones about Oakenshield he really does not take kindly to. After grounding Legolas for a week he thinks twice of writing something about him again.

So there's trouble in court. No wonder Thranduil is still in his working room after he comes home late, does phone calls even after midnight. Well something is going south and Thranduil's mood rides along.
Can't say Thranduil doesn't deserve it. Bitch.

Aragorn doesn't stop making comments about him now. He might've gotten a taste. Legolas does not appreciate it. It seems, his boss takes an interest in embarrassing him. Maybe it's some kinda challenge. How to make a schoolboy blush. Yeah, so funny.
Worst part is, Aragorn succeeds.

“Any wet dreams about that step-dad of yours lately?” Aragorn greets him with when he enters the coffee shop.
“Only those in which I drown him,” Legolas says, pursing his lips.
“With your come?” Aragorn asks and smirks.
“You're disgusting.”
“Why? Wouldn't you like to see that? His arrogant face all flushed, lips puffy and your come in his hair?”
“Maybe you should fuck him then,” Legolas snaps and puts on his apron.
“I don't like blondes,” Aragorn says apologetically, as if it was an option.
“Well thanks,” Legolas says. Mood having a sauna somewhere down in hell.
“I'd make an exception for you.”
“I'd make an exception for your wife,” Legolas says while flashing him a bright smile.
Aragorn laughs at that one. Then he pats him on the back, a bit too roughly to be brotherly.
“You couldn't handle her, my boy.”
“I sure could handle her better than my own step-father.”
“Bet he could handle you though. Quite nicely with those long, slender fingers inside y—”
Legolas cuts him of with a quick move of his hand and wide eyes. The door falls shut and Thranduil comes in.

“Well fuck me,” Legolas curses.
When Thranduil is next. Legolas glances up at his step-father after he has ordered. Then his brows move closer together. There is a long red hair on the sleeve of Thranduil's suit jacket.
Legolas points at it with an accusing finger.
“Is that a hair from your assistant? Tauriel?” Thranduil looks at him, eyes narrow, lips tight.
“Oh come on no way you're not fucking her, even if she's not blonde. I'd fuck her,” Legolas coos, but his step-father only forces a smile. Doesn't say a word.
“Except … oh. Oh. You want to—but she doesn't? Well, feel free to use the toilet and snort a line of coke so you can get your ego back up into the sky.”
“I think that is none of your business,” Thranduil finally says and grabs his coffee and cake.
Legolas grins at the retreat. Also his stomach turns a little.

The days go by and every evening Thranduil's brows are knit more tightly than the day before. He doesn't scream at the neighbours anymore. But he starts bringing home women.

It's not like it hasn't happened before. After his mother died Thranduil had had a mourning phase and then went back to his former life. Of course Legolas had accused him then that he hadn't loved his mother enough. That he didn't care. He doesn't do that anymore.

The women Thranduil brings home look like clones. It's a copy and paste kinda thing. All tall, blond, slim with high cheekbones and pale eyes.
Basically, Thranduil prefers to fuck women who look like him. Legolas is not sure if it's still narcissism or already mental illness.

Now he can't count the mornings that one of these barbies disturb him when they sneak out, or more often than not, Thranduil kicks them out. His one-night-stand procedures don't include having breakfast. Legolas would argue, he just uses them and throws them away, but hell, if he could he'd do the same. (He doesn't admit that though.) So he gets a good look at as much ass and tits as possible and gives them a compassionate nod before they walk out the door.
It gets a bit creepy when it's another man. Or boy. It happens rarely. He can count them on one hand, but still. A few of these boys could be his brothers from the appearances and if that did not freak him out then, it sure as hell does now.

Legolas doesn't deal with that many girls (there is Sus, but not really that many more) but he is sure that when they have their period they are as moody as Thranduil is now. He tells Aragorn that and Aragorn only nods, completely serious. It's a thing.
Also, the thing gets worse. Unfortunately it does not end after a week. Mood swings and tantrums follow each other like April weather. Who said spring is always sweet and lovely and all flower-perfumed and butterflies? Thranduil is more vigorous and violent. If not in a physical way but Legolas feels it like a constant slap in his face. It's exhausting.

One day, Thranduil even drives to his school because Legolas forgot one of his books. That Thranduil got the afternoon off probably means they have postponed the hearing and that usually is not good. But yeah Thranduil takes it out on him in his very subtle ways.
It's already bad enough that all the girls in his class think Thranduil is his 'hot' brother. And therefore they follow some law of the universe and fawn, giggle and blush when they see him stride through the corridors wearing his Burberry suit and his botox smile.
But the boys of course think he's a wimp.

It doesn't help either that whenever Thranduil is at his school he calls him “dear” and “sweetheart” and “darling”. Legolas is so god-damn ashamed he could both sink into the depths of hell and rip Thranduil's throat out all at the same time. And he swears Thranduil knows and smiles all the sweeter for it.

 

“I wanna fucking murder him and his eyebrows,” Legolas says when Aragorn is in the back-room, taking some pie out of the fridge.
“I hear teenage-wrath. What's he done now?” Aragorn asks when he comes back out, smiling at the customers and stuffing the pie away.

“He's pissed all the time. You have no idea. I feel like he is the teenager, not me.”
“Yeah he seems to be the kind,” Aragorn chuckles.
“What do you mean?”
“That composed image he presents. How d'you say, calm waters run deep.”
“Yeah, except in his waters live sea monsters.”
“I don't doubt that.”

While handing out coffee and pastries, Legolas notices the sign Aragorn must've put up that morning. It says “people need love as much as bread – Balzac.” Haha. Fuck you.

He sighs heavily and condemns each and everyone of that assholes who stand in line for coffee to hell. This whole servicing thing does not work out, he really doesn't know how Aragorn does it everyday and keeps a good mood 90 percent of the time. There is great strength in that. Much more than in what Thranduil does, and he sure as hell does not keep the good mood up, neither privately nor professionally. He's only ever seen Thranduil in court once. It was for a school thing where they had to write a report on what their parents do, so Thranduil took him with him.

He had worn a ripped shirt, tight black jeans, Doc Martin's when everyone else walked around in a suit. He'd taken a short look at his half chipped-off black nail polish and then followed Thranduil and took a seat in the audience. He'd felt the people's gaze on him, judging and questioning at the same time. Well fuck them, he'd thought. And then the hearing had begun.

Thranduil was like a panther on the hunt. A wild, graceful beast. His stance was perfectly straight, his movements fluid when he strode through the room, hands folded lightly on his back. His voice had been neutral, but his words ice-cold and steel-edged. Legolas had shifted on his seat, hands sweaty and clasped in his lab.

Then it'd been Oakenshield's turn. The tension in the air had been like before a thunderstorm in April. The smell of spring flowers mixing with moist heat: vigorous and promising violence.

Oakenshield's deep, raspy voice thundering in the court room. Thranduil's sharp replies. Then Oakenshield had publicly insulted Thranduil. And Legolas will not forget Thranduil's face in that moment, not until he's six feet under. The widened eyes, lips slightly agape in unbelieving amazement.

If it had been anyone else, it might've seemed as if Oakenshield had slipped. But he'd managed to make it seem justified. Rightfully even. Thranduil had taken it like the warrior he was in court. When they'd been home though, he'd wiped his desk clean with one fluid motion of his arm, taken the crystal paper weight from his shelf and smashed it against the wall.
Afterwards he'd drunk a bottle of wine in the ruins of his working room, the chaos surrounding him.

 

It's Friday night when he stumbles back home, drops his keys in front of the door and needs a serious minute to pick them up and unlock the door. The cool night air has failed to rid him of his drunkenness. He tumbles inside, somehow manges to throw off his shoes. Pale light falls into the hallway from the living room. Quickly he checks his phone, it's 7.32 am. Why the fuck is Thranduil awake? For a moment he considers just going to bed, but the adrenaline kick he just received won't let him sleep for another while anyway. He slouches into the living room.

The sight he beholds does what the night air could not. He feels painfully sober.

Thranduil lies on the couch in his grey, silken morning gown, naked legs thrown over the edge. His hair is in disarray, clings sweatily to his face and neck. His eyes are heavily lidded and red-rimmed. His skin looks wan. On the honduran mahogany table is a silver tray, remnants of white powdery lines sprinkled upon the mirroring surface. Next to the tray is a bottle of wine and an empty crystal glass.
“What the fuck,” Legolas says and approaches him slowly.
“Oh shut up, it's just a bit of K,” Thranduil says sleepily.
Legolas presses his lips tightly together, anger rises up in his stomach. Thranduil looks like a fucking wreck. He's not supposed to.

“It's disgusting,” Legolas says.
Thranduil glances up at him and chuckles, corners of his mouth twitching.
“That's not god damn funny!” Legolas shouts and is next to him in a second. He twists his fingers in the front of Thranduil's gown and yanks him up.
“I don't give a fuck if you take coke or ecstasy or keta, but could you at least not do it here?”
Now Thranduil grabs his wrist, eyes wide.
“I believe I can do however I please in my home,” his voice is but a hiss.
“Look at you,” Legolas breaths, “aren't you ashamed?”
Their faces are mere inches apart. Something changes in Thranduil's expression. His jaw muscles clench and unclench.

“Take your hands off me,” he says.
Legolas does. Then he turns around. He can't do this, not now, not ever. If he had more guts, this'd be the time to tell Thranduil he'd be out the next morning. But he has no idea where else to go for good. He is nearly at the door when he hears a muffled sound. It freezes the blood in his veins.

It's a sob.

For a long moment, he just stands there, unable to understand what he just heard. His fingers clasped into tight fists, nails digging into the skin of his palms. All he wishes for is to make undone what just happened. But he can't. So he turns back to Thranduil.

The man sits there, crouched over. All his grace is gone. Long tresses of flaxen hair fall down over his shoulders. He has his face buried in his hands.

It feels utterly wrong. Legolas goes to him anyway, kneels down in front of him. He takes a deep breath and then carefully takes Thranduil's wrists and pulls his hands away from his face.
Thranduil's lips are parted, gently, his eyes are cast downwards, there is no expression on his face. There doesn't need to be, the tears say already too much.

Legolas shouldn't be in this situation. This position. This is neither his place nor his duty. There's a fist in his stomach and it clutches around his guts violently, nausea shuddering through him.
Thranduil's shoulders tremble. Legolas pleads: please don't, please don't, don't, don't. Thranduil bites down on his lower lip. Then he moves forward, like on instinct, and flings his arms around Legolas' shoulders. God, fuck, no. Carefully he puts his arms around Thranduil. And Thranduil weeps silently on his shoulder, tears wetting his shirt. It's that moment that he wants to cry, too. Because, why is he here now? Why does he need to hold him and why does it hurt?

Time drips away like the salt drops from Thranduil's cheeks. Legolas can't tell how long they stay like this. How long he simply holds on, to Thranduil and the last bits of his strength, too.

Until Thranduil moves. His long, slender fingers slide over his shoulders and up to his neck. A warm, wet mouth on his jaw. His pulse springs like a bird's noticing a cat. Then he feels Thranduil's hot breath hovering over his mouth and Legolas keeps his eyes closed. Now he trembles.

He holds his breath when their mouths touch languidly. A hot tongue slips slowly between his lips. And he blacks out everything else.
Thranduil tastes like the wine he has drunk, tartly and a little bit rotten. There are his fingers, twisting in his hair, stroking over his jaw.

He knows somewhere in the back of his mind that it's wrong, but he can't think. Not with Thranduil so close, cheeks still wet, but mouth burning hot.
When they part, Thranduil whispers into his ear, “Sleep with me.”

Shivers run down Legolas' back as they get up and go to Thranduil's bedroom. They slip underneath the covers, then he's in Thranduil's arms, their mouths pressed upon another. Warm hands roaming over skin, soft sighs and low moans. He doesn't know when he's opened the knot that tied Thranduil's morning gown on his hips, but now he tosses the cloth over the bed. Thranduil lies naked underneath him. And the dim light of the crack of dawn seeps in through the rolling shutters and paints him in monochrome. Ebony and beige. Salty traces on his cheeks, dilated pupils, his hair messy. He is broken and he is beautiful, but he is a predator still. The tilt of his lips still holds power. It still makes him bent and bow down to him.
They only kiss and touch until they are too tired, too exhausted. Then Thranduil holds him tight to his chest, one hand buried in his hair, and they fall asleep.

 

When he wakes, the alcohol is still in his blood.
It's warm underneath the covers, his skin sweaty. And there is Thranduil's arm around him, his mouth pressed to Legolas' neck.
He shivers. Thranduil is still naked. And he can feel the heat of his body at his back. He shifts, moving against him ever so slightly. Thranduil's breathing changes: he wakes.

For a moment his mind is blank. Then there are hands, sliding over his skin. God, he should get up and out. He doesn't. Instead he moves his hips against Thranduil's. A wet kiss on his shoulder, a gentle bite. Shivers run down his spine. They rock against each other. Low sighs and moans fill the air. Thranduil's lips on his jaw, underneath his ear, whispering filthy nothings against his skin. Then there is Thranduil's hand, slipping into his pants.

Slowly, leisurely Thranduil strokes him, lips and tongue at his neck. Legolas has done this before, but only a handful of times and never like this. Never with someone who's beauty he is afraid of and intimidated by. Because, yes, he is all that, and more.

It does not take him long to spill over Thranduil's hand. In the heat of his climax he blocks out everything else. There is only pure, red-framed pleasure ripping through him and squashing the air out of his lunges. It takes a moment to come back to his senses. Tentatively he grabs behind himself, fingers curling around Thranduil's hardness.

“You don't need to,” Thranduil whispers. But damn, he wants to. So he turns around, heart beating quickly and starts to move his hand up and down on Thranduil's cock. He sits up a little and casts his gaze downwards. A smile curves Thranduil's swollen lips, a flash of teeth. His glacier-eyes are heavily lidded, a veil of lashes blurring the blue. His long, champagne-coloured hair tossed over the pillow like strands of un-spun silk. Then Thranduil's hand moves over his and guides him over his cock more slowly.

“Yes,” Thranduil hisses, “yes. Like this.” And his voice sends shivers down Legolas' spine. Thranduil sighs, moans and there is no sound in the world more beautiful and bewitching as this.

Thranduil takes his time for his pleasure. He savours every moment of it and Legolas watches as if under a spell. Until Thranduil's movements become harsher, the thrust of his hip sharper. A hand slides into Legolas' hair, pulls him closer. They look each other in the eye as Thranduil's whole body tenses, muscles taut. Then his back arches beautifully as Legolas notices with a short glimpse, before turning back to him. Just in time to see his eyes roll back under his skull, lips parted in a swallowed moan. Warm, hot wet on his hand. With a sigh, Thranduil relaxes, eyes falling shut.

He takes a few deep breaths.
“That was beautiful,” Thranduil whispers.
By now, Legolas is hard again. He trembles underneath Thranduil's gaze. Thranduil, who's lips stretch into the smile of a lazy lioness, satisfied enough not to lash out. It's the generosity of a predator when Thranduil sits up and bends down, licking over his erection. Legolas shifts without thinking, giving him better access.

He wishes, he could draw it out as long as Thranduil had, but he knows already he won't be able to. Not when Thranduil engulfs him in his hot, wet mouth, tongue sliding against the underside of his cock. Unsure what to do with his hands, he fists them into the bed-sheet. Thranduil moves above his waist like the feasting lioness. No longer is he giving out favours, now he is devouring the prey.

Legolas would not have it any other way. If not for the sight of Thranduil he would fall back on the bed, but so he watches eagerly and in awe. Again and again, Thranduil takes him down his throat, sucks, mouths at the head of his cock and plays around it with his tongue.

For the second time he comes then, not as forceful as the first time, but longer now, pleasure not crashing over him, but sweeping him away anyway.

He lies there, spend and satisfied. Slowly his breath becomes more even again. Thranduil stands up and wipes his mouth with his hand; smears a few drops of come over his lips. A pearl-shiny smile.
Then he turns around.

“I'll take a shower. I believe you can make breakfast yourself.”
And with that he leaves Legolas to himself. As the seconds pour into minutes, he starts realising. And as always realisation hits him like the hammer of a Norse god.
“Fuck,” he breathes.
Then he does what he often does when confronted with unpleasant realisations: deny.
He gets up, hurries into his room and closes the door. If the alcohol weren't still in his blood, he'd so kill the rest of that bottle of Jack in his drawer. Fortunately for him he'd been excessively enough the night before. Or maybe unfortunately. But he does not think about that.
He feels exhausted and sick.

He spends the rest of the weekend at Oscar's place, they smoke up and at some point Legolas takes out And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks from Oscar's shelf and throws it over to him. Oscar snorts and flashes him a smile.
“One of my favourites,” he says, brushes back a curl, and starts reading out loud. They get until page 71 before their stomachs start grumbling. It's already 1 am. They make pizza (thank god, Oscar moved out with 17 and thank his posh parents for paying his apartment).

The next day they spend watching Breaking Bad and cooking a halfway acceptable dinner while listening to The Smiths. Oscar doesn't ask why he can't go home but his curious glances are enough to push Legolas out of the door and into the early evening at Sunday. Thranduil isn't there when he gets home and still asleep when he gets up.

 

He goes straight to work after school, his mood takes on Poe proportions, he doesn't laugh about Aragorn's well aimed bad jokes and doesn't insult the costumers in his head.

“Seems something got on your nerves, boy,” Aragorn says and pats his shoulder. “Does it have to do with a certain step-father of yours?” Legolas ignores him and cleans the counter with a wet rag.
“C'mon, 'Las, tell me.”
Legolas sighs and glances up quickly. There are no costumers in line at the moment.
“Something happened,” he murmurs under his breath. Aragorn tilts his head.
“Did you fuck?”
Legolas opens his mouth, then shuts it again. He breathes in and gives Aragorn a look.
There is silence. And he can see how understanding slowly dawns on Aragorn's face.

“Well.” he says after a pause, “At least you're not a motherfucker.”
That leaves him speechless. He's not sure if Aragorn's utter lack of appropriateness or his weightless acceptance shocks him the most. All he knows is, that what happened is neither acceptable nor appropriate. That day neither Thranduil nor Thorin set foot in the coffee shop.

When they finish up he is extra careful with cleaning and takes way longer than he usually does. With the key turning in the lock, Legolas looks over his shoulder and asks: “Can I come home with you?” He is embarrassed to mouth these words, but the thought of going back to Thranduil lets shivers run down his spine.

Aragorn looks down at him wonderingly. “If you like,” he says then.

They sit next to each other in the underground. They don't talk. Legolas feels out of place, feels like intruding on Aragorn's life in a way he's not supposed to. But Aragorn does not seem to care. He pushes his hair back, then that certain lazy smile shifts the left corner of his mouth.
“C'mon,” he says, “we gotta get out here.”

When Aragorn unlocks the door to his flat, Legolas feels a rush of adrenaline through his veins.
The metallic sound of keys being hanged on a nail on the wall. For a second he hesitates, then he takes off his boots.
“Not very big, I know,” Aragorn says with a twinkle.
Legolas breaths in the warm air, it smells faintly of food and there is the sizzling sound of onions frying in a pen. Well, let's not talk about clichés now, shall we, he thinks and follows Aragorn. The smell becomes stronger.

“Oh hello!” And there she is, the woman Aragorn talks so often about. She wears a white gown and has bare feet. Her smile is dazzling like a night sky. Her hair is kept loosely in a bun and a few wavy black strands fall out of it on her milky shoulders.
“You must be the lovely creature my husband talks about so much.”
Meanwhile Aragorn turns to the stove and continues whatever Arwen has begun.

Twenty minutes later they sit at the kitchen table, window open, all orange-yellow lights and soft hushes. The flat is furnished with russet wood (Legolas can't tell what kind).
Except for the kitchen there are books everywhere. The piles of them on the floor look dangerously like little towers of Pisa. Aragorn didn't seem to him as the reading type, he just guesses they're Arwen's. (He's caught glimpses of books about Jugenstil, middle ages, a travelling guide to Vienna, but also Nietzsche and Machiavelli and Virgil's Aeneid plus some titles who mean nothing to him.)

They move to the living room after dinner (simple but brilliant penne with tomato sauce and spices he's never even heard of). The curtains are drawn, they sit in the twilight. He thanks them for the food. Tension makes him straighten up on the couch.
“Relax,” Arwen says and leans back into Aragorn's arms. The way the move together is so natural, so balanced. More like one being than two. It strings a chord in Legolas that resonates disharmoniously. He doesn't know why. Maybe because what they have is such an alien concept to him. Something he only perceives through his TV shows and his books: an ideal he has never seen come to life.

They smoke a joint together. After that he he slumps back, lets his head loll on the headboard.
“You know...” Aragorn's voice is a bit harsher than before, “sometimes things are OK, even if your head tells you they're not.”
“You mean my step-father …”
“Yeah. Look, if you didn't like what happened, you shouldn't do it again. But if you did … then just do what feels right. Take what you want as long as you take with consent. The world is vaster than 'acceptable' and 'not acceptable'. Conventions are something in your mind, 'Las, they are vapour and fog, they're not real.”

“You think it's okay if I fuck my step-father.”
“If it's what you two want.”
“But how would that even work out? I can't have a relationship—”
Arwen cuts him off with a swipe of her hand. Then she says gently: “You don't need to be in a relationship with him. Just do and try what ever you want …”
This all sounds a bit too much like hippie-bullshit to him. He exhales slowly and shifts his glance from Arwen to Aragorn and back.
“You don't understand,” he says.
“What?” Aragorn asks and tilts his head to the side.
“It's like … I mean. I grew up with him. He was together with my mom. That's just... that's just sick. There should be clear boundaries. No transgression-bullshit.”
Arwen chuckles and he feels anger rising inside him.
“Dear, boundaries are made by humans more often than by nature. And they change throughout history and culture. Plato for example didn't regard sibling incest as wrong. Your step-father is not even a relative. He had a connection to your mother and I understand, I truly do, that that troubles you. But we seek and find connections anywhere, not only where it's 'appropriate'. You made a connection. Do you feel desire for him?”

“... yes,” he murmurs, still his eyebrows drawn together.

“Then that's all you need to know. If you like, fulfil it, if you don't then don't. But do what you choose. What you want. Think about what you want. Not further.

Relationships are concepts and concepts often make people unhappy. Because they are exactly that: concepts. You can't generalise people, not when it comes the individual person.

“Aragorn for example does not hold me back from anything. I do as I please and so does he. It doesn't mean I'm not jealous, or that he is not, or that we don't love each other enough. But we: you, Aragorn and I, we are free creatures. We belong to no-one.

“Now love is different to desire and yet it can assume a lot of different shapes. As can desire. And there are things in-between.”
“It doesn't make things easier,” Aragorn says with a benign smile, “but it makes them reality.”
Legolas takes a sip of his wine and then leans back again.
“Have you talked to him?” Aragorn asks.
Legolas shakes his head slowly.
“I don't think he wants to talk about it,” Legolas says.
“Do you?”
“'m not sure,” Legolas mumbles.
“Well, what do you want?”

 

3

He's uncertain if he understands, but something has changed.
It's not only what Aragorn and Arwen have said. It's him. It's what has happened between him and Thranduil.

That night when he comes home, he turns the key in the lock of his room. He goes to bed and peels of his clothes, layer by layer. Until his bare feet touch the ground and the soft breeze from the tilted window dances on his naked body. When he lies down, he pictures Thranduil.
His finger find their way without a second thought.

He dreams of Vienna. He's never been. But he knows he's there. There are baroque houses, smeared with the dirt of exhume gases, alley ways that whisper of disease and old mould-over-crept dreams. In the centre there is a slim tower made of obsidian. The sun is shining brightly, vitrifying everything with a sheen of gold. He is in the tower now and in front of a window he notices a tall figure with long blonde hair.

“Thranduil,” he says. The figure turns around. It's his mother. Reality shifts and her features are replaced by those of his step-father.

“Yes,” the creature calls, because no, he's not human. He's too tall, his skin soaks up the sunshine and bleeds it out in liquid gold. It pours over his limbs, over his marble skin. It pools underneath his naked feet. The creature sinks to his knees.
“Come hither,” he calls. Legolas is in front of him, he's on his knees, too. He looks up into his eyes, they're framed by long, curved black lashes. The colour of his eyes is a light blue, a morning sky over a desert.
The creature dips his index and his middle finger into the gold. Then he smears it over Legolas' lips.

He wakes to a knock on the door.
“What the—”
The handle is pushed down, but he locked the door the night before. Another knock.
“Legolas, get up. It's already have past eight.” He can hear annoyance in Thranduil's voice.
“Fuck!” He's up the next second and throws over a shirt, slips into his black jeans. He tumbles to the door and opens.

Thranduil has his hand up, just ready for another knock.
“You are late,” he says, stressing every word.
“Oh really,” Legolas says and turns around, pulls on socks and stumbles around the room to get ready as quickly as possible.
“I can take you with me,” Thranduil offers and leans against the door frame. He wears a neat, dark-blue suit (it's the Burberry one). Not a hair is out of place. He smells fresh, like a forest after rain. He also wears a sickeningly smug smile. Anger prickles in his stomach while he shoves books into his jute bag. Thranduil only cocks an eyebrow and tuts lowly.

They sit in the car together. Thranduil's other car, the one Legolas usually uses, is in the repair shop.
Thranduil turns on the radio and Madonna's Revolver blasts out of the speakers. Thranduil hums along and starts the engine. Sometimes Thranduil's love for trashy pop songs really pisses him off, but today he doesn't care. He feels shaky. Adrenaline rushes through his body.
Thranduil takes out his sunglasses and puts them on, turns his head to Legolas and offers him a sharp smile. It's not sunny outside. They don't talk until Legolas steps out, not looking back.
“Bye,” he says and feels like a fool.

The next day Thranduil comes to the coffee shop again. He wears his hair in a braid. Champagne coloured hair spills over his left shoulder. His back is straight, his step light. If it was not for his lips pressed together tightly he would look relaxed. Legolas can tell he is not.

He orders with a stiff voice, lets the money strumming on the counter instead of laying it into Legolas' offered palm. Legolas exchanges a quick glance with Aragorn. He swallows thickly and turns around to prepare the coffee. Aragorn takes on the next costumer.
When Legolas hands him his cup, Thranduil doesn't look at him. A moment later he is already gone.

It's Thursday evening. Dawn fills the streets with a gentle orange-red glow. The setting sun is reflected in the windows looking West. Legolas sighs. He rummages around in his jute bag to find his iphone. He calls Oscar. They talk until he exits the tube. Their words fill his head with a pleasant hum. Exhaustion lays heavy upon him. He exits the lift at the fourth floor and takes out his key. Moving works without thinking. Before he can blink he's taken his shoes off and is on his way into the kitchen. He furrows his brow when he hears low voices. Moans.
“What the hell,” he murmurs. Suddenly he's awake, the flame of his mind ablaze.
He turns around the corner into the living room from which he has direct sight into the kitchen.

Frantic movements, fabric crumbling. His eyes widen.
There is Thranduil bent over the kitchen table. Behind him Thorin Oakenshield. They are both still dressed, though Thranduil's tie hangs loosely and his shirt is open.
“You like that?” He can hear the rasp of Oakenshield's voice. Thranduil braces himself with his fingers splayed wide on the surface of the kitchen table. His hair falls over his eyes in tangled strands. Legolas can't see his eyes, but he can see his mouth. Swollen lips, parted around a silent moan. He holds his breath. Then Oakenshield grabs Thranduil's hair at the base of his neck and pushes him down. Thranduil's cheek against the table. A harsh moan escapes Thranduil's mouth. Meanwhile Oakenshield moves against him. Legolas can hear the slap of flesh against flesh. And something else. Something that sounds slick and intimate.

He's about to turn around when he hears Thranduil's voice.
“Yes,” he breaths, “fuck me harder.”
A shiver runs down his spine.
“What is that you say?” The smugness in Oakenshield's deep, raspy voice makes him nauseous.
Oakenshield's movements slow down, but become sharper. As do Thranduil's gasps.
Legolas recognises he's been holding his breath only when he lets it out.

He turns around.

Goes into his room without comprehending what he's just seen. But his body comprehends. He's aroused and repulsed. He feels sick to the bone as if jealousy cauterised through his flesh. He turns the key in its lock. Then he takes out his headphones, puts them on and turns on the music on maximum volume. Jeff Buckley's voice is as haunting as the images that scratch the insides of his eyelids.

A week passes in which he barely speaks to Thranduil, barely speaks to anybody. Aragorn seems worried, but he doesn't say a word. All he does is being polite and careful, he treats him gently and Legolas is glad. He still doesn't know what to think, but every time he remembers he feels nauseous, his stomach twisting and turning.

He'd always suspected there was some kind of sexual tension between them but nothing less subtle than heated looks and hateful comments. The reality of what happened is more than he can swallow. But then again, it makes sense. Oakenshield, who's only a bit older than Thranduil, successful, his rival and not at all unattractive. With his deep, raspy voice, his broad shoulders, strong arms, his heated glare and thin-lipped smiles. He is everything Legolas isn't.

The women are one thing, and of course he doesn't have what they can offer, but he is still closer to them. He could fit into that pattern. Especially with the few boys Thranduil has had. That works. He can picture it. But Thorin? He stands no chance against him. And really what does he have to offer? Inexperience. Puberty. He hasn't even finished school yet. Also, it's a fucking risk. Against all what Arwen and Aragorn have told him, about freedom and choice, even if he thinks like it—what about Thranduil?

He is his ex-girlfriend's son for fuck's sake. And when on earth did Legolas himself stop being bother by that? (Never really, but he's pushed it aside.) This whole thing is just fucked up. It cannot work. He should face it. But he doesn't want to.

Fuck, he knows it's a big pile of shit, but he can't let go now.

The next day, he holds Aragorn back at his sleeve when he wants to go home. Aragorn turns around and offers a gentle smile. He doesn't say anything, just touches his shoulder.
“It's Thranduil … I … I saw him and Oakenshield. They fucked in the kitchen.”
Saying it feel vulgar, like chewing dirt. It gives the thing a reality that's even uglier than the memory.

“How do you feel about that?” Aragorn nudges him gently.
Then it pours out of him. The words spill over his lips, quietly but heated, then cold, until he's said everything and feels like he's said nothing at all.
Aragorn puts an arm around his shoulder, loosely.

“Listen, 'Las, just because he has something going on with Oakenshield, doesn't mean you're out of the picture.”
“What do you mean? I don't have a fucking chance against that old fucker.”
Aragorn shakes his head.
“You don't understand. It's not an either-or thing. There's no battle. People take different things from different people. You don't have to compare yourself to Oakenshield. It's not the same. I understand that you do it, but you need not to. Sometimes I have an affair or a one-night stand with other women, you know.”

“What?” Legolas gasps, forgets his own problems for a second.
“Yes, and so does Arwen. And of course I'm jealous and of course she is. But you see, when I take another women to bed, it doesn't mean she can give me what Arwen does. I might want her and need what she can give, but it's not the same. And none of them mean to me what Arwen does. I want to be with her for the rest of my life. That doesn't mean that she is all I need and the only thing I need and want. Thing is, there are different categories. Different values.

“When I didn't know her I often had things going on with more than one woman. But I didn't see it as a competition. There was one girl, Louise, I loved her voice and the way she talked about her Chemistry classes. Then there was another, Victoria, she had great legs and could always make me laugh. And though I do have a certain type I like, a lot didn't fit into that and I desired and loved them the same way I did the others. What ever your step father wants and needs, is most certainly not only Oakenshield or you. We take what we get and that's not a bad thing. There's no black and white here, eventhough a lot of people believe that.

“And if he chooses one of you only, then there are different reasons for that. Though, honestly, he doesn't strike me as the type to only choose dinner, if he can have lunch and breakfast as well.”

His way home is quick after that. Strings of sentences from Aragorn flow through his thoughts. It's hard to comprehend what he means, but something inside him says he's right.

He feels so young. He feels cheated. Robbed. Adulthood is in sight but with it everything else drowns in fog. This is not how he expected things to be. This is not how they are supposed to be. And it makes him angry, that Aragorn had to tell him, stuff he still only half believes and yet feels so much more real than what books and television and fucking everybody told him his whole life. Sure, he's heard people fucking in the toilets, has walked past the Dark Room in clubs and sometimes peaked inside. But that was always something separate. Something on the other side. (The 'sinners' so to speak. The black to the white.) Now he has the strong, inescapable feeling that that's not all. That there is not only marriage or swinger-clubs. There is a whole world in-between. And what the fuck is it supposed to mean anyway? People can be as unhappy in a marriage as people sleeping around. As well as people sleeping around can be as happy as people in a marriage.

And there's not only that as well. There are things like Sus and Oscar have, being friends and fucking and sometimes, he had thought indeed, that what they have is worth more than some hypocrite lovey-dovey relationship in which none is actually happy. (He starts to see it.)

Which doesn't mean that monogamous relationships are bad or un-true. They're simply not all there is. He has never dared to think this far, this bold. What had Arwen said? Relationships are concepts. Concepts we try to fit into. Concepts he had tried to fit into. Then lying to himself and to others. He's only ever had one relationship. It had worked 10 months, then he'd broken up with her.

He hadn't been in love. But that was hard to admit, even to himself.
And it had been so convenient. It had felt good to be desired and adored—until it it hadn't been enough. He'd got bored and fed up and until it got too hard to lie to himself.

He's never put these feelings into actual thoughts.
Maybe this is more about being honest with himself. Of not judging his desire. Of accepting what he feels. Of not being ashamed because he 'should' be ashamed. Of not feeling guilty to have desires and acting on them.
God, his head feels like exploding.

“It's about being gentle,” Aragorn says when he comes to work the next day. “It's not about always telling all of the truth. Tell as much as is needed. Sometimes the truth hurts people for stupid and unnecessary reasons. Being honest does not equal being good. Of course it doesn't mean you should always lie. But you have to get a feeling for when the truth is needed and when it's more destructive than productive. That's towards others. To yourself you have to be ruthlessly honest.
And don't hurt people. Though I do understand if you do. If you want to break hearts. The cracks often are beautiful. And even that is OK. It is human. Everybody breaks hearts and everybody's heart gets broken. That's life. Just don't make a habit out of it.”

He doesn't see Oakenshield at the flat after that one time, but Thranduil sometimes doesn't come home and then he smells of Tom Ford's Noir at these silent breakfasts they share. With Thranduil's shirt crumpled, his hair barely in place and love-bites just visible on the line of his collar. Thranduil never seems particularly happy these mornings. It is balm on the gritty jealousy that coats his thoughts.

Life doesn't change and he starts to believe that this is what it will be like in the future.

At some point Thranduil has stopped coming to the coffee shop. It must be at least a week and a half ago that he's set foot into it the last time. Legolas is not sure how he feels about it. So they just have their breakfasts and dinners. They lash out against each other every now and then. That's when Thranduil grounds him and he tells him to his face that he doesn't give a shit. It's these moments when he can see Thranduil's carefully composed features shift a fraction. His eyes narrow down, the blue in his iris becoming seemingly more intense. The balance between them tips over the edges of their relationship. Legolas smiles at him and satisfaction flushes through him along with the adrenaline.

“This will have consequences,” is what Thranduil tells him then, voice calm and yet so much more threatening than any shouting could ever be. It's the promise in his tone that makes him shiver with anticipation.

Something between them has turned sour.
When Thranduil drives him to school every now and then he leaves the radio off. Silence and his reflection in Thranduil's Chanel sunglasses is all he gets.

One day he gets home and when he falls down on his bed, he notices the doors of his wardrobe are open. He sits up slowly, takes a closer look. At least one third of his clothes are missing, more precisely all his Boy London stuff, as well as a few other items. “What the fuck,” he murmurs.
When he walks into the living room, Thranduil is splayed out on the couch, a glass of wine in hand. He doesn't turn his gaze from the papers he's working on.

“What have you done with my stuff?” Legolas asks, voice trembling with anger.
“Your stuff?” Thranduil replies and cocks an eyebrow without looking up.
“You know exactly what you mean. This is an invasion of my privacy. That was my stuff you took.”
“Oh?” Now Thranduil does look up, the left corner of his mouth turning up. God, how he hates him in that moment. “You mean the things you bought with my money?”
“You can not do this,” Legolas forces out. His hands tremble, he turns them into fists to keep them still. Thranduil's lips split into a slim smile, a glint of white teeth. And somehow he manages to look down on him, even while laying lying on the couch. He tilts his chin up, his lips curl.

“But I can, my dear,” he says.
The anger in his stomach is about to spill over, rage climbs up his throat.
“What the fuck do you want from me?!” he shouts. Hell, how he wishes to wipe that benign smile off of Thranduil's face. And what does Thranduil do? He chuckles. Lowly, amused. Then he stands up, slowly and gracefully. But there is a threat in the way his muscles work, in his towering height and in the disgustingly beautiful lines of his face. Legolas feels sick. Helpless, fucking helpless. Because, yes, Thranduil can do this, can treat him like this. And in the end, Legolas can't change a fucking thing. In a second he curses his mother, his fucking real father, his youth and Thranduil all at once.
“You see, Legolas, this is how it works,” Thranduil says and bends down to him. Legolas feels like spitting in his face. Again a low chuckle. Then there is Thranduil's thumb stroking over his cheekbones.
“Don't fucking touch me,” Legolas breathes. And there it is. A flicker of rage.
This is all he needs.

“This is how it works then? You do what you want. You fuck whom you want. If it's Oakenshield or ,” and he breathes that last word right into his face: “me.”

His head flies to the side. Pain shoots through his body where Thranduil's backhand hits his face.
For a second shock silences him. Then he laughs into his face.
Thranduil's control slips and god, he's never been so satisfied before.
“You impertinent brat,” Thranduil hisses. He has his hand around his throat and pushes him against the wall.

“Yes, go on,” Legolas spits out. “C'mon, show me you're stronger than me. Hit me again. Come on!”
Thranduil growls, his fingers push into his flesh, leave marks. He presses harder.
He steps back. His hand falls down, limply.
“Out,” he says. For a second fear washes over Legolas. “I said out!” Thranduil hisses, his eyes an electric blue.
Legolas swallows, he starts shaking. He storms into his room, grabs his jute bag and is out of the door the next minute.

He walks the streets for at least half an hour before he calls Aragorn. His voice is shaking when he asks him if he can stay at his place. Another 30 minutes later, Aragorn opens up his door and lets him in. His hair is in disarray and he smells of cheap whiskey. They go into the living room. Arwen is no-where to be seen.

“What … what is ….?”
“We had a fight,” Aragorn murmurs and pours both of them a glass of whiskey. Legolas takes it hesitantly.
“What about?”
“Something stupid.”
Then the reality of his situation hits him with a brutality that quenches the air out of his lungs. Suddenly tears veil his view. He feels embarrassed, desegregated. He swears quietly, turns his face away. It seems to sober up Aragorn in an instant. He gently puts a hand on his shoulder and shushes him.
“Hey, it's okay, come down, it's okay,” he murmurs soothingly and after a moment Legolas can breath again.

“I'm sorry,” he whispers.
“No need, it's okay, 'Las, look at me.”
With a sniff he turns up his face and Aragorn puts a hand in his neck and draws him close. Their foreheads bump together.
“Hush. It's gonna be okay,” Aragorn says earnestly.
“Thanks,” Legolas breaths.
They share some whiskey, never mind that Legolas has to be in school at 8am the next day.

Aragorn puts on a vinyl and Nick Cave & The Badseeds fill out the empty spaces between their voices.
Between the books and dark brown-red wooden furniture, the half open curtains and the warm, dim light he starts to feel less lost. The whiskey in his mouth and Aragorn's pleasant voice while he sings along to Weeping Song make him sleepy and forgetful.

The next morning is harsh to say the least. The alarm on his iphone goes off and he needs a moment to remember where he is and why. There is a pulsating ache in his skull. He opens the app for the BVG to look how to get from here to his school and groans when he notices that he will be late no matter what.

He stumbles out of Aragorn's flat, leaves him a thank-you note and hurries the fuck up.

The day passes too slowly and too fast at the same time. The hours stretch but are suddenly over. He feels sick and can't answer Oscar when he asks him what's going on. He just shakes his head. Sus next to him shrugs and tells Oscar to leave him be. He's partly furious at them for not being more persistent and partly grateful that he doesn't have to explain what happened. He stays out, he doesn't have to work today. He walks through the city (from Mitte back to Friedrichshain), eats some ice-cream and plays with his phone until the battery is empty. The thought to go back to Aragorn rolls around in his head all the while. But it's not solving anything.

The way back home (and the word home tastes bitter) adrenaline rushes trough his veins.
He unlocks the door as quietly as possible and slips inside. In the background the telly is on, makes enough noise for him to get to his room without being noticed. (In the time of the French Revolution people did not even know of dinosaurs. Furthermore, if someone where to look at Earth, this is what could be seen: The French Revolution. 220 years back from now. In fact, no-one can know we do exist by looking at our planet...)
Legolas shuts the door of his room behind him and turns the key in the lock.

The next morning Thranduil is not there for breakfast, but he's there when he comes home. Legolas wants to slip into his room, but before he can do so, Thranduil calls him. Suddenly he feels cold. His heart beats quickly. Slowly he comes into the living room. There is a plastic bag on the table.

“Have some,” Thranduil says when he gets out of the kitchen with two glasses and a bottle of wine. Legolas walks over and opens the bag and opens the aluminium-plastic package, it's duck with green curry and vegetables, his favourite dish. Well. The smell is so delicious that his stomach rumbles. He goes into the kitchen and takes out some cutlery. They sit down, Thranduil pours them some wine.

“Eat.”

He does. Thranduil is silent and watches him. He's half-way through the curry when he can't take it anymore.
“What the fuck is this supposed to be?” he says.
“Excuse me?” Thranduil says.
“This. Dinner. Wine. D'you think this makes things OK again?” He lets his fork fall down and stands up abruptly. Anger rises inside him like a boiling flood.
Thranduil stands up as well.

“I don't need to make anything alright,” he says calmly but there is an edge to his tone, something sharp and dangerous.
“No? You think … you think hitting me is OK?”
His breathing goes faster, his hands start to tremble again.
“I suggest you stop there, Legolas.”
“Why? Does it bother you? 'Cause I am right?”
“Be quiet.”
“So that's how this gonna be?”
“Yes. This is how it's gonna be. You live here with me in my flat and I owe you nothing. So shut your mouth and eat.”

“Well, why the fuck do you let me stay anyway then? Huh? Do you think of my mother? Did you think of my mother as well when you sucked my cock?”
With a step Thranduil is in front of him, bending down, mouth twisted and fury in his eyes.
“You didn't seem to mind when I swallowed your come,” he hisses. It sounds vulgar, but it stirs something inside him. He takes a step back, suddenly silenced. The corners of Thranduil's mouth turn up, skin shifts under his high cheekbones. His eyes narrow.

“I thought as much,” he murmurs and a shiver runs down his spine. He bites his lip but can't stop himself from looking into that electric blue of his eyes. And he feels the part, as if electricity sizzled through his veins. Before he knows what's happening they are kissing.

Thranduil's tongue pushes between his lips and he pushes back. He fists his hands into Thranduil's long hair, pulls and swallows the sigh that escapes him. The heat of their bodies pressed together, there are hands on his chest, his thigh, his back and then one on his ass and Thranduil squeezes. A shaky sigh falls from his lips and Thranduil licks along the line of his throat, tongue hot and wet and so good. Then he bites down, only to kiss the abused flesh a second later.

“I fucking hate you,” Legolas breathes and Thranduil laughs. He claws his fingernails into Thranduil's back as revenge for that. Thranduil growls low in his throat.
“Stop it,” he demands. Legolas pushes his nails a little deeper and looks up to him.
“Why don't you make me.”

He's not quite sure how they get to Thranduil's bedroom but by the time that they make it there, he's lost his shirt and Thranduil is about to pull his belt out of the loops of his skinny jeans. Meanwhile he opens the buttons on Thranduil's shirt as quickly as his fumbling fingers allow.
Suddenly he's pushed to the bed, he lands face first. A second later he feels Thranduil pressing against his ass, can feel his hard cock and breaths in shakily.
Then there are lips on his neck, a hand pushing his hair out of his neck.

“What do you want me to do?” Thranduil's whisper is honey sweet.
“Undress me,” he stutters and adds “now!”
Laughter against the skin of his neck.
“So impatient.” Long fingers move along his spine, then around to his front and lasciviously stroke over the outlines of his erection. Legolas sucks in a shivering breath.
“You want me to make you come? How …? With my hands? Shall I stroke you or shall I suck you off? Or … do you want something else?” Thranduil's murmurs are dark and full of promises. Pictures manifest themselves behind his eyelids, of alabaster skin and wet lips and champagne-coloured hair spilling over broad shoulders.
“Fuck,” he moans and moves against the hand at his cock.
“Yes my dear?”

Thranduil robs him of the rest of his clothes, socks included and then sheds his remaining so he stands naked and glorious in front of him. God damn. His skin is milky white, smooth over hard muscles. Legolas licks along the freckles on his shoulders. Then Thranduil is sitting on the bed and pulls him on top of him, he folds his legs behind Thranduil's back.

“Oh yes,” Thranduil murmurs and licks his lips, when he pulls Legolas flush against his chest and their cocks are pressed together. Legolas moans and moves against him by lifting himself up a little, elbows against Thranduil's shoulders. Soft moans and hissed sighs, and god the heat between them. Thranduil's hands, cupping his ass and moving him against him slowly, deliciously. He'll come apart like this, their cocks rubbing against each other and Thranduil's hands guiding him.
Suddenly he's on his stomach. His surprised gasp is muffled by a pillow. Hands and tongue on his back, Thranduil licks along his spine and goes lower and lower—

“What are you …?”
Involuntarily he blushes, heat coiling in his stomach. Then he feels a hot, wet tongue on his entrance and shudders. All kinds of thoughts rush through his head why Thranduil shouldn't want to do this, but then he's inside.
“Oh god,” he gasps. Thranduil's hands grab his cheeks while he twists his tongue inside him.
He grabs the sheets and shuts his eyes forcefully. Slowly Thranduil starts push in and out of him while one hand moves around to his dick that is trapped between his body and the bed, his long fingers curl around him and stroke him in rhythm with his tongue. He feels his eyes roll back in his skull. He'll come here and now if Thranduil doesn't—

Thranduil slips out of him, fumbles something from the drawer and pops something open. A second later a wet, cool finger enters him. It feels a bit uncomfortable compared to the tongue, but after a moment he relaxes. He starts doubting where this is going to go and if he wants it to go there when suddenly stars explode behind his eyes.

“Oh,” he makes and arches his back.
“Hnn,” Thranduil makes. Then he adds another finger, and his tongue again. He works him open, slowly and efficiently, and he's on the brink of coming when Thranduil pulls his fingers and tongue out again.

“Don't stop,” he hears himself saying, shivering. Thranduil laughs and flips him on his back again.
He's on his knees, moves over him and takes his chin into thumb and forefinger.

“Open your lips darling,” he says and pushes his cock into Legolas' mouth. Legolas takes as much as he can (which isn't really that much) before he chokes on him, but pleasure runs hot through his limbs when he lets his tongue slide against Thranduil's cock-head.

Above him Thranduil moans deliciously. He starts sucking and Thranduil with his thighs next to his shoulders starts moving in and out, grabbing his hair and trying to push in just a little further. There is little air, but somehow Legolas enjoys it. God, yes, he feels the pre-come on his own cock when he reaches up and fondles Thranduil's balls while pressing his tongue against the underside of his cock. Without noticing he reaches for his own arousal with his free hand, but Thranduil slaps it away.

“No, you concentrate on my cock in your mouth darling,” he whispers, voice slightly hoarse.
Legolas groans around his Thranduil's dick. Lets him command the speed of his movements, licks and sucks and slides his tongue against him, trying not to choke and god, it's delicious.

With a low pop Thranduil slides out of his mouth and moves down again, brushes a thumb over his now swollen lips. Then he kisses him forcefully, bites his lip and it stings, so he scratches his nails down Thranduil's back. Their bodies press against each other and he spreads his thighs to let Thranduil settle between them. Immediately one of his legs is grabbed, pushed over Thranduil's shoulder.

He feels a little shaky when Thranduil rips open a condom and rolls it over his cock, before smearing lube on his hands and giving his cock one, two quick strokes.

He grabs his cheeks and positions himself and—nothing. Legolas has screwed his eyes shut and now carefully opens them again. Thranduil's face is so close to his own, he feels his breath on his lips. Can see the lust glittering in his eyes. But something else as well. Uncertainty. Doubt? He sucks in a heavy breath.

“It's fine if you don't want to,” Thranduil says quietly, but with earnest.
“I …”
“I don't want to hurt you now.”
Legolas looks at him, looks deep into his eyes searching for the malice and arrogance, finds it but there is also genuine, trembling doubt. It sends a rush of power through his veins and a smile spreading on his lips. He moves up on his elbows and licks over Thranduil's lips.

“It's too late either way,” he murmurs and moves his lips towards Thranduil's ear. “Come on,”
He slides down on his back and reaches for Thranduil's cock. It lays heavy and hot in his hands, he strokes it once, twice, feels a shiver run down his back.
“Ruin me,” he breaths.

Thranduil looks down at him through narrowed eyes, lips slightly parted. “Tell me you want it,” he whispers and his voice is so demanding Legolas feels his cock twitch. He bites his lip, looks into Thranduil's blazing eyes and slowly, hotly murmurs: “Fuck me.”

Pain. Thranduil pushes in and with one thrust is buried inside him completely. His eyes roll back in his skull, his lips twist around a soundless groan. Fingers curl around his cock, stroke him with precision and Thranduil starts moving. The stretch hurts, thrust after thrust. But at some point pleasure bleeds into the pain until he can't distinguish them anymore.

And then there's a red-hot explosion behind his eyelids when Thranduil pushes against that point again. Except this time with the head of his cock and not only a fingertip. It feels amazing. He opens his eyes and looks into Thranduil's. And god, the smile spreading on Thranduil's lips is so sharp and beautiful he fists his hands into his hair. Here it is again, all Thranduil's power and force, all predatory edges and angles of his face, his cheekbones and his chin, his eyes, the curl of his lashes.

He's so beautiful it frightens him. Yet here he lies, opened up and vulnerable and enjoying being Thranduil's feast. And hell, Thranduil enjoys him, too. Somehow that evens it out, gives him power as well. It's like a fever dream, hot and moist and the slap of flesh against flesh. When he tightens Thranduil's eyes roll back in his skull. Suddenly he feels like he's the one consuming Thranduil. And he wants all of him, the curve of his shoulders, the gentle lines of his neck, the shape of his chest and the smooth skin over his narrow hips.

With a sudden movement he turns them around, Thranduil slips out of him. He straddles his thighs then sinks down on him slowly. The way Thranduil's cock-head feels when he sinks in... He breaths out slowly then tightens around him again. Hands leaving bruises on his hip, heavily veiled eyes looking up at him. He moves in his own rhythm now, Thranduil's one hand on his cock, the other on his thigh. At some point Thranduil sits up and lays his arms around him, capturing his lips in a messy kiss. And then he speeds up his movements on Legolas' arousal.

“Come for me,” he whispers between their lips. It doesn't take much for Legolas to oblige. Not when Thranduil's cock-head rubs so deliciously against that spot inside him, not with his now hoarse voice so close.

For a moment there is only white-hot bliss. He rides Thranduil through his orgasm and when he comes back to consciousness Thranduil's eyes are closed, brows furrowed and lips slightly parted. He comes with a groan that Legolas knows he will recall in lonely nights.

Thranduil's face contorting in bliss burns into his memory like a stigma.
They fall down on the bed, exhaustion clawing at their intestines. Thranduil slips off the condom and tosses it on the floor, then he turns towards Legolas. Legolas shivers, suddenly feeling vulnerable again. Then Thranduil strokes over his hair and smiles. Fear burns through his veins like acid. He closes his eyes.

Softly Thranduil traces the line of his jaw up to his ear, then lets his finger glide over his cheekbones.
“You truly are beautiful,” Thranduil murmurs. There is an edge to his voice. Something raw and too honest. Legolas opens his eyes again. It's like looking at Thranduil for the first time. As if suddenly, he can see him, really him. And he doesn't know him and maybe he never will. For one, guilty second he wonders whether his mother knew him. Whether there is one big secret that explains him. Then again, people are not like that.

Thranduil bends forward and kisses him. It's a chaste kiss, only a press of lips. There's something desperate in it, something that leaves a bitter taste on his tongue. He's intrigued and repelled at the same time.
“I'll take a shower,” Thranduil says. “Care to join me?”

The next day in school, Thranduil is all he can think about. Him and what they've done. Moreover, his body doesn't fail to remind him. Every time he sits down, every time he turns his head. The ache is raw but sweet. He wonders whether the scratches he left on Thranduil's back burn. (He hopes they do.)

When he arrives at the coffee shop that day, Aragorn is in a bad mood. He's never seen him in a bad mood before. He's still polite, but short in his questions and answers to the customers and no smile graces his lips. His hair looks even messier than usual and there are dark circles under his eyes.

The next free minute they have (which is already closer to evening than afternoon) he asks him what happened.
“Arwen is still not back. She won't answer my calls. I'm … I'm afraid this time.” It's the first time that he looks at Aragorn and realises his age. As if sorrow stripped him bare of all remains of youth and instead repainted the lines in his face with a heavy hand.

“Can I help?”
“I don't think so … but thank you.” He looks tired when he says that and it hurts Legolas more than he'd admit.
“I'm sorry …”

Aragorn offers him a small smile, rough around the edges, but genuine. It makes him feel bad for the happiness that seers through his every thought. Makes him feel undeserving. Aragorn catches his mood the way he always does.
“And who made this love-bite on your neck?” he inquires. He actually seems to brighten up a bit.
“Thranduil,” Legolas says, and yes he blushes a little and yes he's embarrassed that he does.

“I'm glad,” Aragorn says with a twinkle. “How do you feel?”
“A bit exhausted, but satisfied.” That makes Aragorn laugh.
“Go easy on him, 'Las, alright? Old men like us can't do it all day.”
Legolas chuckles. “He seemed rather keen,” he says.
“You dirty bastard.” Now he has to laugh.
“Now, you don't worry about me and Arwen,” he says then, earnestly, “we always make it work. She's the love of my life.”
“You're the best couple I know,” Legolas confesses quietly. Aragorn sends him a thankful glance, then turns to the next customer.

Sometimes it's weird how life goes, Legolas thinks.
When he comes back in the evening, Thranduil is working, hunched over some papers and he wears nothing except for his silken robe. The always present glass of wine in hand. He doesn't say a work when Legolas takes some ice cream out of the fridge and retires to his room.

The next morning he comes to late, because the moment he wants to open the door, Thranduil presses him against it, goes to his knees and sucks him off. The hand-job with which Legolas returns the favour messes up Thranduil's trousers, so he has to change before he can drive him to school. (The other car is still in the repair shop.) He's not really listening when his teacher gives him a tongue lashing because he thinks about Thranduil's mouth around his cock.

They settle into some kind of routine. It's nothing he's ever expected to happen to him.
Thranduil drives him to school nearly every day, sometimes they have dinner together, sometimes Thranduil doesn't come back until morning. These days Legolas is in a bad mood and bitches at the customers in the coffee shop (neither Thranduil nor Oakenshield have come in since what feels like a life time ago.)

Other days, Legolas goes out with Sus and Oscar, enjoying the uncomplicated friendship they share. When he stays over night, Thranduil is watching animal documentaries the following evening, claiming not to be pissed off in a manner that suggests otherwise. They fight as well, but more times than not it resolves into either of them on their knees.
The days Thranduil sits on the couch, silver tray next to him, sprinkled with white powder are the days he doesn't like to think about. (He's angry then. Banging his door shut behind him, listening to Beethoven or Slayer. These are the days he knows it can't end well.)

Most of the time though, he doesn't think about an end. Most of the time he simply lives.

And he's still learning. About this world and about himself. Sometimes he feels like finally he's understood it all, just to realise there is so much more. He feels humbled every time.

Meanwhile Aragorn and Arwen have worked out whatever it was that stood between them. When he's at their place, she says “I will never leave for more than two weeks. I just can't stay away longer than that,” she says it with a smile but with a gravity that holds hardship but even stronger love. She says “It's not always easy loving someone so much,” but she says it like it's a gift, with a smile and a joyous glance towards Aragorn. (Aragorn pulls her close and she kisses his forehead.)

He still has no idea where all this is going. Aragorn laughs at that, not unkindly, and says that's how it should be when one is young. And maybe he's right. Maybe he doesn't need to know.

(Sometimes he curses all of it, screams and shouts at Thranduil, that he's a fucking pervert and that he's using him and that it isn't fair. He knows he might be half right in some aspects, but that doesn't mean he's not enjoying it. That knowledge hits him hard. Sometimes he doesn't know himself anymore. Sometimes he's just empty and doesn't give a fuck. Well, c'est la vie, right?)


School is as annoying as always, except when it's not and they're actually learning stuff he likes. He's good in biology; and literature delights him. They read Goethe's Faust and he and Oscar are quoting it for weeks while Sus just shakes her head (mostly because they forget bits and pieces).

They're also reading Macbeth and run around the corridors shout “All hail Macbeth that shalt be king here after!” and when he's alone at home he reads it to himself: “Stars, hide your fires …”

It's the end of summer and the heat is mostly unbearable. Even worse is that every four days the temperatures drop to what feels like 10°C. It's a period of headaches. Something that affects Thranduil more than him, and he gets bitchy every time. Though a good blowjob usually lightens his mood.

In the coffee shop temperatures are bearable, and Aragorn makes up for close to everything with his low-standard jokes. Every now and then Aragorn, he and the other guys who work with Aragorn when he's not get some drinks together. Though he prefers to be at Arwen's and Aragorn's place and talk about books while they smoke up.
It's Wednesday afternoon and the whole day there has been tension in the air, heavy anthracite clouds and sizzling tension, the low rumble of thunder in the distance. And god, everybody's anticipating the storm like the birth of Jesus Christ.

A girl orders some fresh mint tea with elderflower syrup when the door bells ring. He looks up.
Thranduil strides in, all business in his dark-grey suit (Versace), sunglasses and the hint of an arrogant smile in his direction. He's the next in line. He takes off his sunglasses and orders a caramel caffè latte with soy milk. Legolas makes him a cappuccino instead.