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The Dark Fire Will Avail You

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Sérelókë stayed as impassive as he could, only wincing a little as the whip of fire lashed Fëanor again and again. To Sérelókë it seemed that fire leaked from the rents in the Elven-king’s skin, as though his blood ran hot with molten metal, until he began to seem nearly Balrog-like himself.

Two spirits of fire, striving unto the death: Sérelókë knew it was not impossible that an Elf of great force could defeat even one of the Maiar. It would be a fascinating thing to watch. To defeat is one thing, to kill is another. Can the Ainur truly die? All Sérelókë’s research had led him to believe that material forms could be temporarily destroyed but the essence would remain, taking flight to build another shape. Which, of course, had implications that he could apply to himself. Yet the Valaraukar had long been subject to the corruption of Melkor’s influence - Morgoth, as the Noldor called him now - and that had the potential to warp and change even the very fëa of a being, did it not? For the Balrogs were not as they had once been. They would have had to surrender something in exchange for what they gained when they threw in their lot with him.

And what they had gained was clearly on display: the power and the potency in that great molten muscular body, the fierce horned head, the whip of fire - the terror that went before them that did half the fighting for them, for even some of Fëanor’s stalwarts had quailed before them. This was power that some would bargain for dearly and deem no price too high.

Sérelókë quivered in his particles and felt helpless in bearing witness as Fëanor’s doom came upon him; it was a greater flame than his own, and he would burn like the swan ships at Losgar. The dark and heavy words of Mandos weighed in Sérelókë’s mind, oppressive and binding. Unpleasant and uncomfortable was this knowledge, that he could not stand between Fëanor and the death that he had chosen - while Sérelókë had not even yet made up his mind that he wished to try. Nothing made Sérelókë want to attempt something more than being told he must not, especially by a voice that seemed to invade from within the walls of his own thought.

Yet as quickly as the sense of geas came upon him, it seemed to lift again, and as Sérelókë watched the sons of Fëanor rally to their ailing father, to protect him and bear him away, he felt power surge through his own spirit. The fána that his will shaped was taller and stronger than his usual form, lit from within by a blue steady flame that burned cool, as much air and water as fire. He stepped forward, as his nature dictated in that moment he must.

“What did he give you, Gothmog?” Sérelókë called out in a voice meant to carry. “What did he promise you? What claim does he have on the Maiar of Aulë? Is it the desire to create - after all, did Aulë himself not overstep his bounds? Ah, but it was forgiven since he acted out of love, and the sheer joy of making. Or so we are supposed to believe. What was in it for you? There is no love of creation in you. Forge-fire of the world! Mover of stones, smelter of mountains!”

The Balrog turned aside from the victory he gloated upon, blazing eyes fixed now on Sérelókë. Gothmog brandished his weapons with boastful joy, and his mouth opened in a vast predatory chasm of a grin, full of sharp teeth like new-forged blades.

“I delight in war. I delight in fear and pain. Much opportunity does He grant me,” said Gothmog, seeming not to mind as Fëanor’s sons bore their father away with little further fight. Gothmog’s damage was done, Sérelókë could see, and nothing now could hold Fëanor’s bright spirit within the confines of his ruined body. But there was still much Sérelókë could learn from Gothmog, and if occupying his attention had the side effect of allowing some survivors to escape, then so be it.

“So it is pain that you love, is it?” Sérelókë said, eyes of blue fire narrowing, the staff in his right hand turning into a scourge of many tails to match and master Gothmog’s own flaming flail, dripping silver sparks. Keeping his sword at hand, utterly uninterested in using it, he focused everything on his own multi-tailed whip and let it stretch and shimmer and strengthen, growing peaks of ice at its tongue-tips, tendrils flowing cool and clear. Ossë, he thought. Not to be trusted, but Uinen keeps him right. They lend their aid, perhaps because it amuses them. Perhaps I will swim with them one day. Sérelókë felt his ridiculous new fána’s face twisting into a mask of fierce delight as he spun the whip round and sliced the air with a snap of his wrist. “Do you only torment others, or can you appreciate the pleasure of receiving it yourself?”

Gothmog laughed deep and dark, bubbling magma and hissing steam. “There is only One who can hurt me as I require.”

Sérelókë laughed. “We shall see about that!”

“Do you dare to challenge Melkor himself?”

“I do not - I don’t see him here, do you?” Sérelókë sneered, sensing a weak spot. “He hides in his throne room and unleashes the likes of you to do his gruesome work. I challenge you.”

Gothmog’s roar was as much delight as wrath, and Sérelókë thrilled to hear it, feinting forward and dodging gracefully as the great black axe swung at his neck, passing through air with a harmless but haunting howl. So Gothmog would want to expend some of his energy playing with weapons then - well, Sérelókë could indulge him there. The Balrog’s flame had already dimmed slightly but noticeably in his thrashing of Fëanor, and perhaps he was not up to the elevated standards of his boasting. Sérelókë was fresh and nimble, and his aura of wind and water took less power to maintain.

And as they whirled and danced, he found that Gothmog clearly expected his axe could break Sérelókë’s sword and was proven wrong time again and again, which meant that he did not think quickly enough to adapt his strategy. A bit of a disappointment, but expected, as Melkor was unlikely to keep too many thralls who could outthink him. Sérelókë found Gothmog was mighty, but limited in scope. Clearly the Balrog had never gone up against a truly clever opponent one-on-one before, or in so long as made no difference.

Whip and sword, whip and ax clashed and missed. Gothmog’s wings were more insubstantial than they first appeared, made of shadow and flame as much as muscle and bone and leathery skin. If Gothmog could fly at all, it would not be very high or for very long. They could be vulnerable in battle, but they could also be useful for spreading sheets of fire and and waves of smoke to burn and choke and blind. Sérelókë surmised that they functioned mostly as a sort of bellows to bring more air across his ember skin when his light and heat got too low.

And of course, as he had known from study of the kind, a form of plumage to be used in indescribable mating displays - dormant and hidden the rest of the season, and even Sérelókë did not know how long the mating season of the Valaraukar might be, nor was he certain he had any idea what a female might look like.

After all, any observer with functioning eyes would not need the wings to tell that Gothmog was very much male and in a state of full physical excitement. The combination of the season of heat - even more heat than usual - come upon him, and the raw pleasure of rending and burning and killing, had clearly worked on Gothmog potently. That was an impressive weapon he wielded, far more frightening than the black axe or the whip of fire, and made it all the more important that Sérelókë win this match - for though he supposed he might not be averse to someday experiencing his own secret arts from the other perspective, he would not choose to do it now, impaled upon that molten stalactite.

For all that Gothmog’s form was as a mockery of the shape worn by the male Ainur and the Children alike, it had a terrible beauty, not least of all in that deadly member and its heavy dangling coals beneath. Gothmog had already realized that this rather tedious battle was only a prelude to the more rarefied challenge Sérelókë was offering. What Sérelókë lacked in brute force, he made up for in agility and grace, altering the density of his form by turns as he leapt high to strike a blow and then crashed to the ground, shaking the broken stones that littered their field of battle. Now he was wont to imbue his movements with a dancer’s turn when he could, putting his cunningly crafted assets on swaying, rippling display.

He thought Gothmog may have caught a hint of this intention and was not entirely opposed to it, for those baleful, glowing eyes moved boldly all over Sérelókë’s form now, and he was minded to give the Balrog a good view, abandoning all pretense of the illusion of clothing. With a twist that felt nearly flirtatious, Sérelókë deliberately over-reached, feigning slowness, and let the whip of fire rake his shoulder. The burning filaments wrapped and tried to ensnare him, and yet he rolled away free of them, hissing in sincere (glorious, stinging, burning, purifying) pain and yet exaggerating the effect of his wounding.

That enabled Sérelókë to surprise Gothmog when Sérelókë came up swinging, keeping his sword out of the fray and yet at the ready, and distracting Gothmog with the glint of light at its edge. Tracking Gothmog’s gaze, Sérelókë lashed out with a delicate strike, using his whip of cool blue light to deliver a flicking sting to Gothmog’s rampant member - one swift kiss of cold at the slit, just enough to bite - and then dancing away again.

Gothmog gave a startled roar, at much as the audacity of the strike’s placement as at the pain. He turned to face Sérelókë, curling jets of superheated air spewing from his nostrils as he huffed like a bull, and he split his fierce mouth into a deadly grin, showing rows of sharp red teeth. “You dare?”

“Oh yes,” Sérelókë said, letting his tongue slide across his lips - such as they were, cool and blue - “I dare.” This time he stood nearly still for Gothmog’s whip-strike, and he let it pass right through him, hardly acknowledging the lines it burned black across his chest. The marks pulsed with searing pain for a moment and faded to grey, absorbed into the ethereal shifting of Sérelókë’s loosely-constructed approximation of flesh.

From the corner of his eye Sérelókë glanced behind him, and the scramblings of Elves and Orcs on the battlefield seemed small and far away. Dangerous to be distracted now. The Elves who could take care of themselves would do so, and those who could not were now beyond him.

Forcefully Sérelókë shoved away thoughts of one in particular, who was nearby although he had never been of Fëanor’s company, and turned all his focus upon Gothmog. “You are of the Ainur as am I, fallen into shadow because you caught the eye of a Vala, and not just any Vala, no - He Who Arises in Might himself. I’m sure he does exactly that with you, doesn’t he? Burns his coal in your furnace? Ah, but then there was that other Aulendil, the pretty one - what was his name? Fairer and fouler and fiercer even than you, and for now he has taken your place. But no one has a place with him, nothing they can trust.” Sérelókë braced himself for another whip-strike, dodging aside to avoid its strangling wrap around his throat, catching it in the chest again instead. He closed his eyes and shivered, tempted for a moment to let that delightful brutality take him over.

Show willing, that was all Sérelókë needed to do, just for a moment. And then he pressed his own advance. Something that felt like the cool rush of a white-watered river flowed through his whip arm, brightened the ice at the tips of each lash, and suffused Sérelókë with a sense of power that pulsed cool but strong. Renewed and refreshed, Sérelókë advanced upon Gothmog with a fierce and frenzied smile and a primal hunger he felt no shame to let show in his body.
The hunger of the conquest, the delight of subduing. Sérelókë nearly let Gothmog repeat his own maneuver back upon him with a flick of the whip of fire at the juncture of his thighs, but he spun aside and just felt one burning kiss graze his hip, inflaming him.

They were fairly well-matched in this showpiece of a battle, and both were drawing on a power greater than their own. Sérelókë knew this fight could go to stalemate for ages before Gothmog finally was able to admit what he wanted - for his blazing eyes gazed at his true object, and his whip tried to strike it, and once nearly succeeded. Then Sérelókë was actually forced to cut with his sword at Gothmog’s hand, drawing black blood that hissed and steamed in the dust.

On the back swing with his whip Sérelókë caught Gothmog full across the throat and let the tails wrap, and the Balrog roared as cool blue veins broke out in his neck, darkening the embers of his skin. Sérelókë drew his whip back, pulling Gothmog along by it - and then he flicked his wrist and snapped free before the black axe could hew his arm. A quick dart of Sérelókë’s sword distracted Gothmog long enough that Sérelókë could strike a chilling whip-blow that burned with cold around the Balrog’s mighty thigh, causing him to stumble a moment - and then return full of fresh fire.

His arts now stretched nearly to their limit, Sérelókë leaned into the heat, protected by the sense-memory of the bone-biting Helcaraxë, the crisp revitalizing winds of Taniquetil that carried the great Eagles on the errands of Manwë. These still whirled fresh and clear where Sérelókë carried them in the winding halls of his mind, and shielded him some from the toxic gases of Angband. Gothmog’s heat was a beacon that drew him; entranced now as he was by the patterns made by the tails of his whip as he struck again. Still wary of that terrible axe, one part of his thought forever upon it, he saw that it sagged and dragged as if its wielder had nearly forgotten it. With another part of his sight, Sérelókë kept his attention fixed on Gothmog’s mighty prick, watching it as well for signs of waning attention. There were none. Good. Very good.

“You cannot hide your true desire from me,” Sérelókë said as he accepted another of Gothmog’s strikes, absorbing the pain easily now - “You are neglected by your Master in favor of another, and you are clearly come into your season of rut. You find no satisfaction in venting your lust upon these thralls - they break and burn too easily, and even the Trolls cannot please you, being little better than humping rocks.”

“And you think you are the one to give me relief?” Gothmog growled, black axe at the ready. “You, freshly come from Valinor with the stink of the Valar upon you, weak and pure, you who would faint and fade if ever you saw our thrall-pits and our playrooms? I who reshaped the roots of the mountains, I who drove off the great spider when she threatened our Master.”

“Ungoliant, I remember her well,” Sérelókë said in deep, leering voice, a deadly grin overtaking it. “How she quivered in her bonds when I trapped her. How she reached for me with all eight legs, wanting more of what I gave her. How I tormented her and pleasured her - and how I escaped her. I am alive to challenge you now, not dissolved in her belly. Will you not now credit my worthiness?”

Boldly now did Sérelókë display himself - the shimmering sinews of breast and thigh, the speed and sharpness of his strike, the lusty feyness of his gaze. He grew in brightness as Gothmog’s eyes followed the lines of his hips to the arrogant jut of his cock. Not as ostentatiously large, but it need not be - it need only be ready and eager and unwithering in the face of a Balrog’s natural emanation of fear. “Come to me, Gothmog. I cannot give you true release, you whose true name is lost, but I can give you relief. Not from pain, but through it.”

Gothmog seemed to ponder this, but in truth he only bode his time and feigned his thinking to gather strength for one great axe strike, meant to cleave Sérelókë in two. But it was foreseen, and it was checked with a jab of sword - now shining ice that pierced the Balrog’s shoulder and froze his arm, leaving him howling as the axe tumbled to the ground, and lines of cold blue followed each curve and weave of muscle from his shoulder to his hand.

“See you now what I can do?” Sérelókë said then, following his sword arm up into the curve of Gothmog’s arm, feeling that inner fire turn his cool humid aura into steam, shivering a little with its deadly pleasure. Sérelókë released his blade from the place it had stuck, and Gothmog whimpered just one moment in relief as his heat kindled again and his pinned fingers came back to life with stings and tingles. No sooner had Gothmog finished enjoying that sensation when he felt Sérelókë’s cold hand about his throat. Not squeezing, simply chilling, letting his watery force cool Gothmog’s lifeblood and turn the very air in his lungs to winter. Fire purified, but so did ice.

And now that Gothmog was bladeless - and Sérelókë did not imagine for one moment that some part of Gothmog’s will had not played a role in that too-easy disarming - Sérelókë felt now no hesitation in letting the head of his cock stroke Gothmog’s hip, cool seeking heat, giving himself a stinging pleasure with each small suggestive stroke. Oh, he looked forward to this - for how would Gothmog look bound and begging, how intense his searing heat inside…

Sérelókë’s mind raced ahead in an excess of words and visions: muscle, sinew, lashed buttocks, begging - Melkor had seduced Gothmog by violence, slammed him down a mountainside until his pride broke, lying willing and spread-thighed in the wreckage, willing to beg and loving the debasement of begging. That is not how I shall conquer him, no - I am knowledge, I am lore, I am memory and foresight, I am doubt.

He and Gothmog circled each other now, a tense and heavy sort of dance, with fixed and flickering eyes, twitching whips swirling the air in red and blue. A warrior’s stalk it might appear, but well both knew it was a courtship dance now, a dangerous manifestation of desire.

“Was that satisfying? You killed him. He won’t survive. You know that. But you didn’t kill them all - would you, even if you could?”

“I could have done,” Gothmog said, the hot wind of his breath coiling in Sérelókë’s hair. “Easily I could have. They drove the Orcs before them like cattle, and even my troll guard could not stand against them. But I am Valaraukar. I could have ended them all.”

“As I suspected,” Sérelókë said, leaning in now, drawing the circle tighter. “You do not want the game to end too soon. Or perhaps your Master does not.” Sérelókë neglected to mention that Gothmog had very little army left, and Fëanor had seven strong sons who could have given him more of a battle than he’d actually fought. There would come another time, though, that was certain.

“The end will come for them.”

“Oh yes, yes it will,” Sérelókë said. “But you get bored, do you not?” He threaded a strain of his Will into his words, husky, inviting, slightly mocking.

“Do you come to cure my boredom?” said the Balrog, advancing, leering, pointing his rampant cock forward as a promise and a threat.

“To relieve it for a time, perhaps, but do not underestimate my own,” said Sérelókë, and put forth a small blue puff of fire from the palm of his left hand, which Gothmog’s eyes tracked, helpless, unresisting.

And then Sérelókë’s whip struck, an artful turn of his wrist to spin the whip just right so that its tails obeyed his commands, reaching out like searching, grasping fingers. As an extension of himself the long tails wrapped like vines around Gothmog’s burning member, cooling it and grasping it and sending a few drops of a molten red fluid tripping to the ground as the Balrog howled and lashed out at Sérelókë with claws and wings at once.

A mistake, a miscalculation, for what Sérelókë lacked in force he made up for in speed, and one of his hands bunched in the delicate leather of Gothmog’s right wing, its long bat-like bones grinding in his grip. He squeezed, and savored a sound like steam hissing, a gasp of pain, a flash of fear from one more used to causing it than feeling it. He twisted, and leaned into the burn of it rather than away, as the edge of Gothmog’s wing fluttered against him. With a grunt, Sérelókë pressed Gothmog ahead of him, toward the wall of stone. He drew his whip hand back, tightening its coils around Gothmog’s massive prick, and through his shimmering, shifting skin Sérelókë wove every memory he had of cool water - waterfalls, rain, the frigid sea of the Helcaraxë with its deadly blades of grinding ice.

Steam poured from Gothmog’s back as Sérelókë pushed in, pressing against him, pinning his wings and raking his belly with icy claws he’d willed himself to grow, breathing chill, damp fog against the thick sinews of his neck. Gothmog’s horns struck the cliff face as he thrashed and roared.

“Does it hurt?” Sérelókë demanded, panting now and letting himself rut against Gothmog’s hot cleft, his member prodding at the base of the Balrog’s tail. “Did you doubt that I could hurt you? That I could make you moan and roar for me?” He jerked the handle of the whip hard, and felt Gothmog lurch against him, pinned flat to the stone.

“I am . . . Not displeased,” Gothmog growled. “You’ve begun well. Can you follow through, little Maia?”

“Not so little,” Sérelókë snarled, shoving against him. No, not so little. Gothmog lifted his rear instinctively like the beast in heat that he was. And if this was not quite the relief his body was shaped to expect, Sérelókë thought that he still would take it in his time of need. Slowly, guardedly, knowing this moment of relaxation was a dangerous one, Sérelókë let the whip uncoil from Gothmog’s cock, waiting for the warning of movement in the Balrog’s back and shoulders.

The expected attack came from an unexpected quarter, as Gothmog’s tail whipped around suddenly, its sharp barb lashing Sérelókë across the backs of his thighs. Sérelókë shouted, in surprise as much as pain, feeling the stinging burn peak and then subside as he diverted some of his will to cool and soothe it.

“Now,” Sérelókë said in a low, dangerous voice, scraping sharp teeth across Gothmog’s ear and reaching forward to grasp him at the base of one of his horns, to shake his head against the stone. “I am a little bit angry with you.” For just a second he dodged his hips away, enough to lash Gothmog between his legs, tips of ice clawing his bollocks with cold. Gothmog whined and jerked. Yet his struggle was not entirely earnest - it was more of a ripple of his spine and a shiver of wings, sending sparks and steam showering down over Sérelókë’s chest and hips.

With a gnash of his teeth, Sérelókë thrust forward, giving Gothmog a push against his firm, tight rear end beneath his tail, daring to spare a hand to grasp him there, raking the back of his thigh with cold claws. He was taking a lot of risks. Gothmog could throw him off balance if he pushed against the cliff wall just right, could even knock him aside enough to leave him open and cause some damage. The simple fact that he was choosing not to told Sérelókë a great deal - that he had almost won. He could not plunge too soon, could not let Gothmog know that he’d sensed the surrender just yet.

So Sérelókë leaned forward and studied the curve of Gothmog’s shoulder beyond the beating, struggling wings that he’d crushed between their bodies. He found the right spot, the thinnest, most graceful hump of the upper curve, and he bent to test it - he made his tongue long and pointed, and as cold as he could - there, there, a small experimental lick, and Gothmog groaned. There. He tasted of sulfur and roast meat, he smelled of charcoal and the hot smoke of blazing wood. Sérelókë gave him a bite, sharpened by his will, needles of ice latching into the flesh and letting the burn absorb within him.

Gothmog shuddered violently as Sérelókë continued to move his mouth, in little stinging nips as he crept his hand around, scraping his knuckles on stone and leaving little trails of cold water, scratching at Gothmog’s chest, marking his flesh with sharp nails.

Was this it? Sérelókë wondered. Can’t possibly be all he has to give - he can’t possibly give it up this easily, can he? Melkor must have him trained better than Sérelókë would ever have thought - and neglected him sorely. To break a thrall to command so thoroughly, and then leave him with no satisfaction for his needs, no commands but the purely utilitarian one any war strategist could generate in his sleep - well, Sérelókë now thought even less of Melkor than before.

And as Sérelókë rippled his spine, pressing as much of his cold flesh against the Balrog as he could, relishing the brief agonizing burst of burning with every rolling motion, he noticed something else - he would have thought that Gothmog would have at least attempted to change his form by now. Instead, he relied on brute strength, trying to strike with spike-clawed wings and spear-tipped tail, reaching back with his great hands so easily caught and pinned, whip of fire only occasionally striking home now, as much by accident as by design. And then he realized fully what that meant.

“You are trapped in this form, aren’t you?” Sérelókë muttered, his voice a deceptively kind crooning in Gothmog’s ear as he bit it again and again, tasting sulfur and smoke. “Your Master’s will weights you and holds you in place. Even these very stones that you shaped for him, the flesh that you risk and the blood that you shed for him - it binds you, it shapes you.” He pressed in and touched the stone wall under Gothmog’s hand. With his hand, he tested it, and with his will, it moved, only slightly, until Gothmog pushed it back in place. “As forms to be bound in go, you could do far worse,” Sérelókë purred. “I rather like it. I wonder if I could fashion one similar. Oh, but I would not try it now, for that would be to give up my advantage.”

“Advantage,” Gothmog sneered. “You have no advantage.”

“You’re wrong. I do,” Sérelókë said, and seized Gothmog by the wrists, pressing his huge clawed hands up against the stone. Again the stones moved, and this time Sérelókë had control as rock rose up around Gothmog’s arms, binding him there.

Gothmog roared in fury, but his hindquarters spoke differently, rising up against Sérelókë’s loins as the Balrog’s huge clawed feet dug in the dust and raised him up on his toes.

With that movement, Sérelókë was aligned well, and he felt it - the crinkled tightness of Gothmog’s entrance was well-positioned at the head of him, and Gothmog was all but begging for it.

Sérelókë drew his hips back, with-holding. What they both wanted was not yet quite earned. Nor would he be caught quite so unawares yet.

Sérelókë pressed the handle of his whip of cold wet light against Gothmog’s throat, just under his ear. There was a thick miasma of hissing steam, and Sérelókë pushed Gothmog’s head forward, until his horns melted the stone, and Sérelókë froze the edges around him, holding him tight. “Do you now doubt my advantage? Will you even now deny my mastery?”

Gothmog said nothing, but writhed, and Sérelókë thought perhaps he could not tell the difference between agony and longing, or perhaps there was none anymore. “Ah,” Sérelókë said. “You cannot speak the truth. You are afraid. You are afraid that your Lord will hear you confess your submission to another - even where he cowers in his throne room far beneath the mountainside. You believe his control of you is so complete, and that you can do nothing but he will know of it. You believe he will call you weakling, and traitor, and torment you as he has never done before. That you will beg for death, and perhaps you both will learn to your grief that he cannot give it.”

“He could,” Gothmog growled, shivering under the cold pressure of Sérelókë’s forcing weight against his back. His wings tried to close in on themselves against the onslaught of cold, but they could not, for Sérelókë’s body held them splayed, twitching. “He could kill us both with a thought, do you doubt that?”

“I do doubt it,” Sérelókë said. “I wonder at you, for our kind are not accustomed to being trapped in immutable bodies. And yet I sense your fear, as I temporarily damage yours. You’ll recover quickly. But you will not just change form to avoid injury. That must be because you cannot.”

“Or because I desire it,” Gothmog hissed.

“Convenient fiction,” Sérelókë growled. “But I am glad that at last you spoke the words I so longed to hear.” Viciously he yanked on Gothmog’s tail, sinking nails of ice into the fire-scaled skin, and Gothmog gave a cry that shook the stone. This angled Gothmog’s body just right, and the Balrog stayed in position quite willingly, helplessly eager in the throes of his painful need.

Sérelókë and Gothmog both screamed as Sérelókë’s member sought out Gothmog’s entrance and drove home. One was cold, so cold; the other hot, so hot. The rending, exquisite pain was perfectly shared for a long, long shuddering cry that must have reached the ears of Melkor himself below the earth, might even have carried as an eagle-shrieked rumor to the heights of Taniquetil.

Sérelókë shuddered for a moment then held still, feeling Gothmog writhe upon him, angling for more. Forcefully he shoved the Balrog against the wall of stone and dug his icy claws into the back of one burning thigh, hoisting him up higher. “Beg for it,” Sérelókë growled, low and commanding, and felt the rush of the secret fire flow through him in its ice cold purity, throat to loins and back again, making Gothmog tremble with the pain. “Beg for what I can give you, or I shall not give it.”

“You shall give it,” Gothmog groaned, face muffled by the sheer stone cliff that was beginning to steam and seethe beneath his desperate breath. “You must. With all that have you have. If you wish to destroy me, it will take more than this act.”

“Fool,” Sérelókë said, smiling wildly and testing with his arm for room to flick his whip. “You see. You hear. You feel-” and with this, he gave a snap of his hips for emphasis, driving his cock slightly deeper into Gothmog’s steaming grotto. “and yet you do not observe. Destroy you? No. No, that is not my object. Ruin you for the touch of any other for a good long while, perhaps. Send you back to your master with a message.”

Gothmog moaned again as Sérelókë’s blows began to lick his skin once more, writhing in terrible delight. “Come with us,” he said, his voice beginning to crack beneath the strain of his pleasure. “Join us. Imagine . . . your power. My lord would . . . take such delight in you . . . the torments of our . . . dungeons would please you.”

“No,” Sérelókë murmured, and wove his voice into his sharp bites to the back of Gothmog’s neck, his controlling grasp on one hard carving horn. “No. If your master wants me, he must come and find me himself. That is my message to him. But I do not speak to him now. I speak to you. Beg and I shall give you what we both desire.”

Gothmog made a terrible sound then, for his yearning was at odds with his orders - for long ages now he had spoken no supplicating word, but to One only. To yield to another with his pleas, that would drift a rift into the very heart of the order of Angband. That was the very reason Sérelókë had demanded it, was it not? Or was it simply the Maia’s domineering pride?

Sérelókë wrapped the whip’s silver tails across Gothmog’s throat and drew tight, feeling the Balrog quiver and shake against him as the mighty chest struggled to expand and take in air. The reeking mists of smoke had dispelled, and the air Gothmog’s lungs strained for was crisp and cold and clean and searing, painful to his struggling gasps. Sérelókë released him a moment and then tightened his grip again. “Beg,” was all he said, pulling his hips back and letting his thick member drag and stretch within Gothmog’s passage. “Just beg, as your heart desires.”

The Balrog’s body seemed to shake with his struggle, with a terrible tension of sinew and bone as his wings shivered in vain and his spine rippled sinuously, as if he wished to both escape Sérelókë’ completely and also draw him in as far as he could go.

Sérelókë leaned in, nuzzled Gothmog’s ear in a nearly gentle gesture. With a snarl, he snapped his teeth upon it. Gothmog howled, and the earth shook.

“Please,” came Gothmog’s hiss, like escaping steam - a low sound, a hidden and a desperate one, a long quiet cry from the depths of his throat. “Please.”

“Did I not promise?” Sérelókë said, his voice low and dark, and beginning to break a little with the strain of his own pleasure, throbbing between his thighs as Gothmog’s tight heat gripped him. “I keep my word. You would do well to remember this, when you are subject to the whims of he who does not.” He pressed in then, and with his free hand he cupped Gothmog’s hanging, burning bollocks, squeezing and rolling them as he gave a hard, sharp thrust inside - and then another and another until his lower belly slapped the base of Gothmog’s tail and the whole aching length of him stretched Gothmog open.

The sounds the Balrog made were high and piercing. “Yes, yes,” was the rough meaning of them, and yet his voice was choked, as though his joy was much begrudged. As though a force were working upon him to deny the shameless free expression of his pleasure.

So even as Sérelókë swived him in the full power of his nature, and relished the searing burn of the fiery clench upon his member with each spasm of ecstasy, he sensed that Gothmog’s body had become a field of struggle in which the Balrog was no longer the true rival he faced. Sérelókë clenched his teeth as he fought for clarity, fought to hold off his own climax. His eyes narrowed as he detached a small shard of his thought, to speak to another. You see me, yes, he said silently to the one who watched. And I see you. So behold me and my works. Witness me taking charge of your servant. Vent not your cruelty upon him, for he is now my thrall but soon will again be yours. I send him back to you with this memory. If you seek vengeance for your pride, come and find me.

Sérelókë’s hand moved but a little, enough to wrap its large cold grasp around the mighty column of hot stone at the base of Gothmog’s belly. With every stab of his own cock inside, Sérelókë worked Gothmog’s shaft with a stinging, twisting squeeze.

The surface of Gothmog’s prick was soft as molten stone, and what lay beneath was hard and hot as new-forged iron. The rhythm of the tugs and pulls came as natural art to Sérelókë, and their pants and gasps aligned. Sérelókë drew in breath sharply as he felt his own crisis building, heightened by the knowledge that he would hurt Gothmog sore when his own essence spilled into him, for that would be cold as the waters of the Helcaraxë. Therefore it would be kind to ease that sting by making sure they reached their peak together. Sérelókë stroked harder - and twisted around that slickened cockhead as he gasped and closed his own eyes and fell, into the brief abyss of that particular shining oblivion.

Molten magma it was that burned the rock wall in hot jets as Gothmog roared out his agony and relief in his release, red and black streams of liquid stone that ran harmlessly around Sérelókë’s feet.

 

***

 

For all his experience in war, for the all the terrible deaths he had witnessed as in his work as a healer, Iaun had nothing to compare to the passing of Fëanor as his sons bore him away. Bodies simply did not do that, falling to ash as if consumed from within.

Yet he did not dwell on this horror, for soon his attention was all consumed by the battle between the Balrog and the entity he barely recognized as his own companion of the road.

Mesmerized, Iaun watched. Reluctantly, he swung down from the back of Certhasath but kept his hands on the horse’s neck watching in amazement. Truly, he felt he was witnessing a clash of legends. Yet the tales he had been told in his youth of daring feats of strength had not involved nearly so much . . . bold and unashamed arousal on display as both boast and threat. Even warriors’ tales, bawdy as they could be, kept veils more decently drawn.

Glad he was now to be no longer be astride that shrewd and knowing horse. What he was seeing shook the earth beneath his feet and all the certainties of his heart. For all that his heart pounded in terror for his friend’s sake and his hands itched to string useless arrows, a throbbing between his legs was a rising, forceful treachery.

Iaun leaned forward as far as he dared between the rifts in the rocks. He watched the conflict between silver and red, water and fire, heard the grunts and cries and curses of physical battle, though his ears could not discern the words that passed between the fighters.

He was out of his depth. He had nothing to contribute, no possible way of helping.

Long did the conflict of whip and curse and veiled speech continue - and long did Iaun’s eye linger on strong bodies limned in fire and ice, and shameless display of proud male organs between great elemental-muscled thighs. Long did Iaun’s hand press against his own yearning, firming flesh, unwilling to relax his watch for long enough to take relief, yet also unable to stoically ignore its craving.

And in time he opened his breeches and took himself in hand as he watched Gothmog mastered, the mighty head bowed and back and shoulders spread and bared in supplication, the glowing wings that sparked embers opened and lowered. With his own desperate staff of flesh all a-throb and aching, Iaun heard the Balrog’s cry of terrible ecstasy as he submitted to the lightning blows of the whip of ice. And as the Balrog lifted his tail and presented himself - and as Sérelókë did the unthinkable - pressing into him, accepting that dread offer, taking him - Iaun’s knees buckled and he leaned against the stone, stroking himself helplessly.

Long had it been since Iaun had felt any intimate touch but his own, too long. Even longer since he’d known a companion who could read his most veiled desires, and feared not the ones that shamed him most. That was the reason his need overwhelmed him so quickly at that sight, why his desire drowned out all trace of revulsion or fear and intermingled with his awe to bring him so close to crisis in such desperate haste - or so he was wont to believe in that moment.

His own strong but simple body was not made to survive the violent entangling he was watching. Sérelókë and the Balrog promised death with every thrust and roar - and yet all of Iaun’s flesh was wracked with aches of longing that began between his thighs and quickly took him over entirely.