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Fine Physic

Chapter Text

With the War of the Ring won at last, Elrond and his household took their leave of Rivendell. The great riding of that lordly company, one horse at a time over Rivendell’s slender western bridge, took most of the day to depart. It was not until the twilight that those who remained, less than a quarter of what the household had been, noticed the deep silence filling the valley of the riven dell.

The new lords of the stronghold had done their rounds of the Last Homely House. Elladan and Elrohir had paid reassuring visits to everyone who remained. It had been a somber pleasure. At the end of it, Elrohir realized that he had, in distraction, left his keys behind in the horse-doctoring stable. Elrohir wondered at it when Elladan joined him on the walk to retrieve them. With the way Elladan had been working to get the great ride under way, he would have understood if his brother had foregone this errand, born of his own foolishness.

He did not wonder long. “I will help with the horses, if you wish,” said Elladan. “But I feel I can scarce bear the main house tonight. It feels so… hollow, without Father.”

"These woods are quiet as well,” said Elrohir. “At this time of year, elf-song should be ringing through the night.” They progressed through the twilit September woods without speaking. Elrohir was pleased enough to be his brother’s first refuge against loneliness that he decided not to mention that there were no injured horses that needed tending that night.

Elrohir had to light a lantern when they arrived at the dark, empty outbuilding. Even Elladan approved of how orderly it was, fitting, he declared, for a place of healing. The cupboard of herbs and physic was shut, and all the oddments of horse-tack were looped neatly to their hooks. The wide tiled floor, with its central drain, was clean. The bundles of hay stacked to the sides were fragrant and tidy. The only item not hidden for order’s sake was a broad leather sling hooked to four chains, strong enough that a convalescing horse might sway supported while a wounded leg or foot healed. It still hung from its crossposts on the ceiling.

The silence of this place, and the memories it contained of their fair friends, made Elladan sigh sadly. “We may almost be alone in Rivendell, it is so still.”

Elrohir’s back was turned to his melancholy brother as he retrieved the keys. “Almost alone?” he repeated. Elladan nodded, lugubriously. Elrohir was so keenly attuned to his twin he felt the agreement without looking at him.

“Nigh undisturbed?” he added. Elladan muttered in assent.

“But the word has gone out to all the Elves who remain, that they may pass through Rivendell as a way-station to the West,” said Elrohir.

Elladan said, “That is so. But the thought of strangers does not cheer me. Nor are they here tonight, these wanderers and their tales.”

When Elrohir turned to him at last, keys in hand, he was grinning, and his narrowed grey eyes sparkled. “And a good thing, say I. When have we ever had such privacy in Rivendell? For a few weeks, at least, we might indulge in…” Elrohir breathed deeply, his face alight as he looked at Elladan; his brother, his twin, and, in deepest secret, his lover. “Everything.”

Elladan managed a wintry smile, then looked away. “True. But tonight, sorrow for all this change weighs my heart like a stone.”

Elrohir looked at him for a moment. He knew that Elladan, with his mind as fast as a water-wheel, would fret himself into grimness, trapped in the circle of his thoughts, unless something distracted their turning.  Despite Elladan’s response to his entendre, he decided to try another advance. “Melancholy, are you? Perhaps I have a cure for your unbalanced humor.” Elrohir hung the lantern on a hook, opening its shutters so that golden light filled the stable’s main space. He drew shutters and door-bars fast, then rolled up his sleeves as he approached Elladan.

Elladan smiled in earnest, this time. “You always say that you are a horse-doctor before you are a healer of Elves. Do you mean to check my shoes for stones? Dose me for worms, perhaps?”

Elrohir opened his mouth to protest, and then stopped. A strange idea had come to him. To buy himself some more time, he paused before reaching Elladan to embrace him. Instead, picked up some straps of leather horse-tack and began to fiddle with them as he spoke. “D’you know, I don’t think anyone worked as hard as you did, to see our folk set off on their last ride. Between packing up half the library, and listening to all Father’s directives, and making all that crew from Lorien feel that they had enough lordly attention ---“

“It was only my duty, and with Father leaving…”  Elladan began. Elrohir waited to see if he would go on, describing each of the annoyances that had bedevilled his day. Elladan did not; he shook his head, as if it ached, and only said, “It was wearing.”

Seeing that Elladan seemed, for once, weary of thought, helped Elrohir decide to carry through on his idea. He wound a long strand of the tack in his hand and said, “Horse-doctor I am, and I have seen what ails you before. Such sad weariness is not unknown in horses. It comes about when they are worked like engines of Sauron, not cared for like creatures of Orome. They hang their heads, their spines sway. It is not only an illness of the body, either. Such steeds need soothing, need to know their riders care for them.” Elladan blinked as his sibling looped the line of leather tack around his waist, then used it to pull him close. Keeping the leather grasped in one hand, Elrohir wrapped his free arm as well around Elladan. “Such is the physic this horse-doctor would give you. I would make much of my favorite steed tonight; I would ride no other. Is it well?”

One who knew Elrohir less deeply might have been offended, to be compared to a horse and handled like a lassoed beast. But his brother knew that Elrohir loved little better than horses. Next to Elrohir’s warm body, looking into his loving grey eyes, Elladan thought, No steed would ever deny Elrohir his wish; and nor would I. He half-kissed Elrohir as he murmured, “My brother. Yes, it would be well.”

Elrohir laughed for joy and mirth and stood back, still holding the strap around Elladan. “Now, were you a horse in sooth, would you be chestnut or grey?”

The question reminded Elladan of games they had played as a child, and he chuckled, “Chestnut, of course.”

“Of course,” Elrohir agreed, fingering Elladan’s thick brown braid. “And you seem to be calm and biddable. Very unusual, considering that you are not a gelding.”

“Ah, but I adore my rider,” Elladan said. “Others would find me fiery and troublesome.”

Elrohir’s answering laugh had a wicked edge. Releasing the line of tack at last, he replied, “I have ridden you hard many a time, my stallion. Let me see what physic I may give you! Go forwards and grab that ring, there. Back straight, as you stand. Go on! ”

Startled, Elladan stepped up to the hitching-ring on its post, grasping it with both hands, just as curiosity gripped him.

For Elrohir, the sight was irresistible. Elrohir sauntered up behind him and began to stroke his back. Elladan relaxed into the touch. After their long years as lovers, Elrohir knew just where to caress the loremaster’s shoulders when they ached from hours at a desk. “There, my stallion. Turn so I can see your head.” Elladan flinched in shock as Elrohir ran two fingers along his proffered face, then casually slid them inside his mouth. Without thinking, he nipped Elrohir, who only laughed.  “Sharp teeth and a soft mouth, well and good. Still fair and young, in your prime! And your mane shows your fine condition. “ Elladan felt his tight braid released with one swift tug, with Elrohir still chatting softly, as if to a horse he meant to examine.

It came to Elladan at last that Elrohir had not been jesting when he meant to treat his brother as an unwell stallion needing cosseting. Wondering how far this game would go, Elladan tossed his head so that his released hair would fall neatly, only to have Elrohir cuff his shoulder lightly. “Ah, ah! Not so restive, my beauty. Let’s get you out of this harness, hey? Foot up.” Elrohir released the line of tack at last, untangling it from Elladan’s ankles. By “harness,” Elrohir evidently meant every stitch of clothing as well.

Soon, Elladan was free of every visible restraint. Invisible ones were loosening as well, though not undone. He was beguiled by the attention, but not fully engaged in the game, yet.

Elrohir ran caressing hands over his back and arms. “A little sore, are you? You’ve been worked too long in harness. Overdue for a good ride, I would say. Stand as you are.” Another touch upon Elladan’s skin made him jump, for it was not Elrohir. He glanced and saw, shocked to the core, that Elrohir had a soft currying-brush in his hand. He made no excuse, only said, “Easy! Easy now.” Elrohir dashed the brush across Elladan’s touch-reddened skin. Its scouring massage was strange, but agreeable. Very agreeable. Elrohir interspersed the strokes of the brush with digging massage, as horse-doctors would do for a tired palfrey. Yet Elrohir did not offer up any touch that would have been out of place on a horse’s back, nothing sensual.

He did purr more stableman’s flattery. “Yes, you’re fairer bred than the horses of the North, even finer than the steeds of Rohan; from the line of the elf-steeds of old, with even a touch of the Mearas.” Not knowing what to say, Elladan stayed silent. Elrohir had never spoken like this to him before, as if he was…what Elrohir was treating him like, which was nearly unnameable.  This was appropriate, he realized. After all, horses did not talk.

Elladan shivered to feel Elrohir’s touch run down the hair and muscle of his legs. “Yes, your legs are cool; too cool, almost. And you’ve still got a racer’s rump!” Elrohir gave him a playful smack across the arse, making Elladan arch forwards and moan. The strike jolted him breathless. He did not have any time to recover before Elrohir, fully clothed, pressed up against his back, grinding his groin against Elladan’s stinging muscles.

There had been more than one reason for Elladan’s reserve as Elrohir touched him. He had set aside the inescapable wrongness of sensual congress with his brother, accepting that he would pay the price one day. He was now drawn into the strange role of adored and chastised steed that Elrohir would have him play tonight. Only one reason remained, and he could delay dealing with it no more. “Elrohir, a moment,” he gasped, “I must relieve myself. It won’t be an instant.”

Instead of releasing him, Elrohir’s arms shot up to pin him where he stood, close by the wall.  “Is that all? Why, you need not break our tryst for it. Horses know no shame in that. Stand as you are, and ease yourself.”

It was easier said than done. Elladan struggled to quell both embarrasment and rising desire, which would make the matter impossible. He managed to start at last, and once started, it was difficult to stop, even though he shuddered to hear the jet of his piss splashing against the wall behind the hitching stand. He gasped when Elrohir reached about and grasped his cock. The affectionate handling, deliberately or not, sent the hot line of fluid down along his own thighs. Elladan accepted this, but leaned forwards to keep any drops from Elrohir. When the golden stream stopped, Elrohir rewarded him with firm strokes along his hardening rod. Elladan cried out and bucked back.

Elrohir declared, “Your restlessness goes too far. You need to be reminded who is master, as strong stallions must be, at times. Hold fast!” His voice, unusually, was all mastery. Elladan’s eyes flew wide at a hard, snapping sound, and he turned.

Elrohir had drawn forth a crude riding-crop, left behind by some traveller or woodman. “Is your hide tough enough for this?”

Elladan licked his lips, staring. Eagerly, he nodded. He had tried to coax Elrohir before to give him this most severe of pleasures, but every attempt had failed, ending in a fight or sensual distraction. Elrohir had never cared for ansereg. He admitted freely that he was useless in the formal circles where elvish warriors tried their strength. Yet he was all power and confidence here in his stable, where he had dealt out life and death many a time. Had he known that this game was what it took to get a thrashing from Elrohir, thought Elladan, he would have shown up at his brother’s chamber hauling a bale of hay years ago! When Elrohir said, “All right, then,” and raised the crop higher, Elladan attended to the post, tensing in delicious anticipation.

At the first smack of the crop’s tip, gentle for all Elrohir’s hard words, Elladan shook his head, and even kicked back. This playful show of disobedience worked. Elrohir hit him harder; and his brother rejoiced.

For all that Elrohir disdained ansereg, his instinct for what his brother liked remained true. The strikes he dealt out were worthy of boasting about, crisp, perfectly spaced, perfectly timed, pattering down his back, then along his legs, blows lingering upon and returning to his arse. The beating was just painful enough to make Elladan glow. It did not last long enough, by Elladan’s reckoning, but what horse ever asked for more discipline? So when the blows stopped, he bowed his head, showing that he was ready for whatever Elrohir wished.

Breathing hard, Elrohir reached around and felt his brother’s groin. His cock was as hard and upright as a horseshoe pinned for luck. “Now that you are biddable, I shall ride you. How I shall ride you! Place yourself ready to be mounted.” Elrohir stepped aside briefly to rummage the herb-cupboard. Elladan looked at the empty horse-stalls, but decided not to go there. Instead, he knelt across some of the fragrant bundles of hay. One of the bundles slipped from beneath his hands. By the time he gained his balance again, he was less kneeling up than kneeling on all fours. Before he could rearrange anything, Elrohir was at his side, saying, “Ah, perfect for mounting,” and so Elladan remained.

They had only trysted in this stable once before, and it had been a harsh coupling, in the grip of hunger and recklessness. This time, Elrohir came to Elladan gently. Clicking his tongue, he petted the welts left on Elladan’s rear. “My beauty, my favorite. Be still and I shall soothe you.” Tenderly, Elrohir stroked some salve from a jar over the marks. Elladan spread his legs, making a voiceless sound of hunger, hoping Elrohir understood. The stray thought flitted through his mind that, after this night, he would have far more sympathy with voiceless beasts.

Elrohir did understand. “Look at you, stiff at the ready. Can’t wait to couple, can you? Always eager to be bred. My favorite stud.” Elrohir continued his endearments as he stroked, greased, and probed Elladan’s proffered nethers. The murmuring voice he loved and Elrohir’s absorbing touch stilled Elladan’s mind from its roving. When he felt the slick bluntness of Elrohir’s own hardness sliding between his thighs, he arched up, encouraging Elrohir to enter him.

Elrohir’s murmuring sputtered out as he rode Elladan. It did not matter, any more. The thrust of his hips was firm, and he gripped Elladan’s hips firmly, the same way he directed a horse when riding bareback. Elladan gave him a long, rough ride, bucking back into him. The glowing ache of his arse and thighs felt so good, diffusing the pleasure that pierced him, making him eager to drive their bodies together, hard. He was groaning without hearing his own voice, and he did not realize that he was gripping his own throbbing hardness until he felt Elrohir touch his wrist.

“That’s good,” he heard Elrohir grunt. “Do it. Spend like a stallion, so much, so much it spills onto the floor.” The filthy image made Elladan writhe. Seconds later, he spurted helplessly. He felt Elrohir’s fingers close around his cock-head at the most sensitive moment, and another spurt flooded his brother’s hand. Groaning in animal bliss, Elladan bucked back one last time. Elrohir arced into him with a shout, then, gasping, curled his body to meet his brother’s.

Very gently, Elladan let himself sink onto the hay bale where he had knelt. Elrohir slid out slowly, then rolled off him. The hay beneath them flattened from a rounded bale into a pile as they curled together, their shared breathing as rough and sweet as the scented hay.

Elrohir eluded his brother’s gaze, nuzzling into the tangled mane falling down Elladan’s shoulders. “That was wickedly enjoyable. Thank you,” he murmured.

Elladan caressed his twin’s hot shoulders. It was disconcerting to use his hands, at first, and strange to speak again. “Elrohir. It was my pleasure, too. But -- why in Arda would you have me as a horse?”

Elrohir half-sat up to let his reply tumble out. “You said I was a horse-doctor, so it came to mind, we were here; and it felt right. I wanted to give you –“  he fumbled for a moment, then held up the crop “– what you said you wanted. You’re so sharp and bright, and I love you so much, I never want to hurt you. I love horses too, but sometimes, I must be rough with them. So thinking that way…Was it all right?”

With a tender smile, Elladan drew his hand down the fur of Elrohir’s chest. “Elrohir. It was magnificent. I almost wish I could move in here and be your stallion.”

Elrohir grasped his wrist and pulled that hand all the way down to cup his groin, swelling warmly at those words. “You’re getting me going again.”

Elladan clasped him there, but spoke with gentle sternness. “I did say almost. I think I would grow restless…and you do, too.”  Elladan let his hand tighten further as he said, “Who says that we are done sporting this night? Let us rest briefly. Then we might how I can please you deeply. I owe you. Whatever you wish of me, Elrohir. Whatever you want me to do; lie back and do naught, if you will.”

Elrohir sat still. Leave it to Elladan, he thought, to make me have to think at a time like this. It was a challenge to dwell on anything but those knowing fingers caging his erection. After a moment, he parted his legs somewhat, creating an inviting cleft for Elladan’s hand. “Deeply, eh? Well, it has been a long time since…”

Chapter Text

Elrohir’s request meant that they would stay in the horse-doctoring stable for a time. Elladan, declaring himself chilled after rinsing off in the water-trough, got dressed again and braided up his hair once more. Elrohir perched on one of the rickety stools, nervous and anticipating, both thrilled and fearful that Elladan had agreed to his second desire of the night.

It had been hard to choose. Elrohir had been strongly tempted to ask to be treated as a steed by Elladan; but he decided to save that for another time. Asking for it tonight, he had a feeling, was asking for a thrashing, and he never cared to be beaten, himself. For another choice, he always loved having Elladan’s mouth please him, especially spilling his seed all over Elladan’s smooth face at the climax. However, he felt Elladan’s dignity had bent enough that night. More, they did not need any of the special gear nor isolation of the stable to do that – Elrohir even preferred to steal that pleasure in the spaces where they spent their days and nights as a rule. Elrohir had made his choice when his eyes lit on the hanging sling. When he had made his request, Elladan’s eyes had lit up with ravenous joy. This was a relief for Elrohir, as he knew from experience that what he had asked of Elladan was no easy task.

Elladan tied the end of his braid, then came and stood tall and proud before Elrohir. He had emerged from his submissive tameness as swiftly as he had entered it, Elrohir observed. To him, it was part of what he adored about his brother, hunger and surrender hidden carefully away behind lordly reserve, a secret Elladan shared and Elrohir kept.

Elladan’s view was different. He had pulled himself together by an act of will. The forceful yet delicate pleasure Elrohir requested would require all his faculties. He looked down and read the slight uncertainty on Elrohir’s face. After one breath to shed his own nervousness, Elladan said, “Let me be completely correct, here. You want me to, as it is said, fist you; you want my entire hand slid up your arse.”

“Yes. I – I do,” said Elrohir, and heard himself stammer. Elladan was so clean-cut and severe, with a gaze sharp enough to pierce his spirit. Elrohir confessed, “I want you to do that, deep and hard. It hurts, but it feels so incredible. I’ll lie in the horse-sling so you won’t even have to kneel on the floor.”

Elladan nearly growled, “I like that idea. The height will help. And there is more here to aid us. I’ve never been able to prepare you for this as I should. But you’ve got everything I need here, don’t you? Water, soap, herbs; and clysters.”  Elrohir finally understood the mix of strictness and love standing before him. It was the air of a healer of a different sort than himself. A healer of men and Elves, who might justly demand to hear him speak every secret of his loins and bowels, with the patient’s embarrassment the tithe of true healing. Elladan leaned forwards and whispered, “We’re going to get you so clean I could put my arm in you up to the shoulder and take it out stainless.” It was Elrohir’s turn to shiver.

Elladan turned to the cupboard, left ajar, and opened it. The lower shelves held an assortment of equipment. One shelf, at the bottom, held the clystering devices. There was a range of sizes, each for cleaning the channels of beasts ranging from colt to destrider. Each clyster, with its chamber for purging fluid, and its press to send the fluid through a long, narrow funnel, had been cleaned with spirits and boiling water until its brass and steel shone. One of them was truly fearsome, made to hold near a gallon of fluid. Elrohir scrambled up. “Let me get you the one that would work for someone my size.”

“All right. And then be at your ease! I still must get ready. Be patient, my beloved,” Elladan said, seeing his brother look fretful. “It will be well worth it.” He placed an efficient copper kettle, filled with water, over a brazier. With the brazier lit, he said, “Before you undress, where was that most excellent salve you had?” Elrohir retrieved the jar and, impatience gone, happily shucked the rest of his clothes.

While the kettle heated, Elladan urged his brother to rest once more upon the hay. With Elrohir reclining, he lubricated the muscular cleft and tight ring of Elrohir’s arse with loving, taunting slowness. The delicate probing and pushing felt delicious. Elrohir was sorry when the kettle sang and Elladan leapt away to tend it. Turning lazily, he saw Elladan place a handful of slippery elm bark to steep in the hot water.

After the count of sixty seconds, Elladan filled the clyster with a mix of the hot elm tea and cool water, testing to see that the resulting fluid was blood-warm. He set the clyster’s plunge in place with a satisfied grunt. “Both you and this are ready. Go you and kneel in the middle of the floor, by the drain. Oh, very fair. Can you bend over, now?”

With a deep breath, Elrohir bent his face to the tiles. Elladan’s warm fingers slid into him once more. Then they were removed for the point of the clyster’s dripping tip. The point piercing him, sharp and hard after Elladan’s digits, was immediately followed by the soft sensation of water building up inside him. At last, the clyster let out a metallic creak of emptiness. “Stay still,” Elladan said. Elrohir looked over his shoulder and saw him step back to the kettle, to prepare another dose.

And thus Elrohir had to wait, with the press of warm water in his gut. He had just discerned a strange ripple in his insides, a pulse of irritated muscle, when Elladan stepped back over and administered the second clyster. His gut felt as tight as a drum. He was embarrassed by the feel of liquid along his legs, though he knew it was only dripping water. “Leave it a moment more, if you can,” Elladan said.

Through gritted teeth, he protested, “Elladan! I’m like to burst!”

“You did give me the smallest clyster of the lot to fill you with. All right, if you must.” Elrohir rocked backwards to kneel over the drain and emptied himself.

Elrohir looked back to ask for a rag or handful of leaves, and yelped to see Elladan filling the clyster yet again. Elladan raised a fastidious eyebrow. “Just one more, to be sure?”

Elrohir inhaled. He was starting to wonder if Elladan had not subtly resented being his stallion earlier. “Meant what you said, didn’t you?”

Elladan looked concerned. “Does it pain you? Should I stop?”

Seeing his genuine care, Elrohir felt embarrassed for a different reason. “What, with the smallest one? Of course not! I’m just eager to have something up there I can feel, not that feeble clyster’s pizzle.”

“For one who deals out physic, you are very impatient. Bend again?” Elrohir swayed down and raised his arse with an insouciant tilt. Elladan chuckled merrily at his bravado. However, this time he made Elrohir wait to release until he had used a horses’ tooth-file to smooth down his nails while Elrohir watched, and he chuckled more as as Elrohir jostled himself in impatience.

After the second time, and attendance with linen rags and the last warm water, Elladan fingered him once more. “You are as clean as my work-table,” he declared. Elrohir was about to say something saucy when he gasped, shocked to delighted silence. Elladan had leaned over and warmly tongued the cleft of his ass. Elladan let his mouth linger for a moment, and his right hand lifted to stroke Elrohir’s substantial shaft with his newly smooth finger-tips. When he heard Elrohir’s sensual moan, he straightened. “Are you ready for what you wanted?” asked Elladan, standing. Elrohir nodded, and let Elladan pull him to standing. For a moment, they lingered before each other, hands still clasped; one nude, strong yet vulnerable, one clothed with an air of rapt and loving authority, and yet each other’s mirror image.

The gentle sombreness of that moment was shattered in the hilarity of trying to get Elrohir into the raised sling. After several clumsy clamberings, Elrohir pitched his shoulders back as Elladan seized his brother’s thighs. Held partly aloft, Elrohir squirmed back along the leather, the sling swaying and jingling all the while. Finally, Elrohir was entirely bundled into the sling, and Elladan was leaning between his spread legs, both of them helpless with laughter.

“We sound like we’re drunk,” laughed Elrohir.

Elladan stiffened. “Not even that would be a good enough excuse, if anyone found us. The door is barred. But let me do this one thing!” Elladan placed both hands on his brother’s waist and, after three deep breaths, sang a cantrip of warding. Elrohir was still with awe. Elladan’s hands were fiery warm, and when he opened his eyes, all his intensity was focused on Elrohir. “There,” he whispered. “Now, the only person who knows you are here, like this, is me. I am the only one who shall have you.” Slowly, he took his hands away, and began to roll back one sleeve.

Elrohir tilted his head up to watch Elladan slick his left fingers, wrist, and arm with great handsfuls of salve. Like him, his twin was left-handed. It had made them both highly efficient with a broadsword. He eyed the muscle and bone of Elladan’s arm. Elladan flexed his salve-oiled fingers, then swiftly clenched a fist. Suddenly Elrohir, though lying flat on his back, felt unbalanced with nerves.

But he could feel Elladan’s shining, focused confidence. It seemed that Elladan could sense his undermined resolve, in turn. He stooped over Elrohir, shielding him from the lantern’s harshness. Even as his greased hand slid along the cleft of Elrohir’s croup, he said, “My brother. Tell me how much you like it, being touched along here, like this.”

“A lot,” he admitted.

“This much?” murmured Elladan, sliding one finger into him. When Elrohir admitted that it was that much and more, Elladan smiled and began to move the finger in small, maddening circles inside him.

With touch and speech, Elladan seduced Elrohir into desiring what he had asked for brashly. He poured distracting assurance into Elrohir’s ears as thickly as he had laved grease over his hand and arm. Of course Elrohir was an endless well of virile lust for every act. Naturally, he had hungered to be so caressed inside. At his lover’s urging, Elrohir admitted that the clyster had been a reed-thin tease, and the one spiralling finger was not enough, nor were two digits prying him ever more open with lusty cleverness.

Elladan’s breathing was fast, and his eyes had brightened strangely. “I never was much of one to stand and deal out in ansereg. But this, I adored; this art whereby you reach up and touch someone’s heart.” By now, he had worked four fingers into Elrohir’s nethers. “It was the only thing that made me feel as close with another as I do with you, my twin. And to do that with you will be…” He shut his own eyes in an ecstasy of concentration. Elrohir, astonished for a second, shouted out as Elladan’s hand took him fully.

Elladan sweated to feel Elrohir twist in the moment’s pain. “It’s all right, it’s all right. Breathe!” Elrohir sucked in air and released it in another bestial shout while Elladan slid his hand an inch deeper.

“Still, stay still,” begged Elrohir. Elladan froze. Slowly, Elrohir arched his back, willing himself to relax. He was so taken, so deeply full. He sent one unsteady hand to touch the wonder of his brother’s wrist, sunk into his flesh. This touch alone made his hand silken with salve. Then, he stroked his scrotum, tightening with desire, and gripped his half-softened cock. “Now,” Elrohir breathed. Elladan’s fist rolled slowly inside him, and at the deep, driving joy of it, Elrohir’s rod sprang stiff into his hand. Remembering to breathe, he touched himself in time with the rhythm invading him, surrendering. He shut his eyes and felt his loins glow like a smithy as the deepest pleasure was forged.

Elladan moved his wrist, gently at first, increasing the firmness with all the subtlety of a branch rocking in the breeze. He inhaled his brother’s sweat and lust, the smells of salt and flesh overlain with a warm, clay-like note. The sleeve of flesh that rippled along his arm was blood-hot, and he could feel the tight, secret contours of Elrohir’s vitals, every beat of Elrohir’s heart. Besotted by sensation, he forced himself to open his eyes. It looked incredible, to see his hand subsumed in his brother’s flesh. This was closer to the two of them becoming one than nearly any other act. He was stiff inside his breeches, but heedless of it. Every iota of his being was driving his hand, invading and urging to delight the strong, beautiful elf-man who had opened up his body’s life to him.

It was too much for Elrohir to do anything but moan, blissfully tormented. He was nothing but channel and shaft, flesh and burning blade. He discerned no difference in touch between his brother’s hand and his own. Nothing was too much. He could never have enough of this bliss. Mindlessly, he rocked his body so that the sling swung, driving him onto Elladan’s arm.

The clink of the sling’s chains undid some of Elrohir’s trance of lust. He remembered that he had eyes, and opened them. Elladan’s visage was unexpectedly harsh, teeth gritted, brow creased, and irrational fear took him anew. “Elladan, you’re so quiet. Say something! Please, anything!”

Elladan groaned, as helplessly as if he was being ravaged himself, “I love you, I love you, I love you…”

“Valar, YES!” Elrohir roared, flooded with joy at this. “Drive it in deep!” They surrendered coherence as Elrohir arched into a shuddering, spurting, keening climax.

He was still gasping as the beloved, invading arm slid out of his convulsing body. “No!” he protested.

“It’s all right,” said Elladan, just as he had at the beginning. “You clenched me so hard inside you, I would not pain you.”

“Don’t go,” Elrohir insisted.

In response, Elladan cupped his hand, pressing his fingers against Elrohir’s orifice. “I’m here. Shh. I’m here.” With his right arm, he stroked along Elrohir’s thighs, and he leaned against his brother in the sling, comforting him with his presence.

It was a few moments before Elrohir was calm enough to truly see his brother again. Elladan was sweaty and dishevelled, nearly reeling as he stood. The strange intensity had left him. Instead, he was smiling; not the widest smile, but it seemed the complete expression of the radiance that possessed him.

“Can I do anything for –“ Elrohir began, but Elladan cut him off with a gesture.

“I need naught. Your pleasure was mine,” he said.

Elrohir sat up in the sling and peered at him. Judging his brother returned him to himself at last. Clearly, Elladan was coasting on the triumph of what he had done. As well he might, thought Elrohir. After that ravishing, he was sitting up without a pang of pain, and Elladan’s left hand wore its grease as a clear and stainless glove. “That was the best I’ve ever had it, even from you.”

The words were so inadequate that they belittled what he had felt. Elrohir was out of the sling with one graceful slide, falling neatly into Elladan’s embrace. “It was so much, I forgot to say that I love you, too.”

Elladan crushed his swaying brother in his arms. “You didn’t need to say it,” he whispered. After another crush, he said, “Nest again in that hay. I will bring you water.”

Nothing would do but that Elladan escorted him the few steps and eased him down gently. Feeling his pulse pound in his throat, Elrohir watched him as he had earlier. His voice was languid when he spoke. “For how long does the ward you cast keep us doubly safe?”

“Until dawn.” Elladan sat down and raised a cup to Elrohir’s lips. “Did you forget your keys a-purpose, to draw me here for your fine physic?”

Elrohir swallowed and blinked. “Physic?” Then he remembered how the wild night had begun, and smiled. It had not been deliberate; indeed, the way it had all turned out was a wonder to him. He struggled to try and make that thought speech, wiping his mouth to buy some time.

But Elladan was as fast to forgive as to accuse. “If so, it worked,” he whispered, and softly kissed his lover. The shared kiss stayed gentle, yet endured, until the lantern gently guttered out.