A remix of "No Stain" by Lily Baggins, which is my favorite story of Lily's. This probably won't make sense without knowing the original. NC-17 slash, Frodo/Aragorn and Frodo/Boromir. Many thanks to Baranduin for beta-reading services, and for organizing the Interspecies Remix Challenge. All the remix stories can be found at Breelanders.

by Laura Mason

Perhaps it was wrong to always watch Frodo so closely. It wasn't Boromir's glare that made Aragorn question himself, but Sam's concerned gaze and Legolas' grave nod whenever Aragorn would leave a friendly fireside conversation half finished to follow where his eyes had already roamed, seeking the Ringbearer.

He'd gained unwelcome knowledge that first night when he followed Frodo, knowledge that burned in his heart and made it difficult to appear calm and at peace, even here in the Golden Wood. When the Lady Galadriel looked at him, he saw clear understanding in the depths of her eyes, and what almost looked like amusement. Celeborn, thankfully, didn't share her power to read mortal hearts.

But even if it brought Aragorn pain, he would continue to shadow the Ringbearer and ensure Frodo's safety on his quest, as he'd vowed to do. The heir of Elendil would not allow petty personal feelings to interfere with the age-old battle against the Enemy. Aragorn put all his skills and stealth to work, remaining outside the Fellowship's sleeping pavilion while inside Frodo crept to Boromir's bed as he did every morning, no doubt glancing around the room to be certain the others still slept.

Frodo must be ashamed of slaking his lust with Boromir, for why else would he avoid kissing or touching the man in front of his companions? On the road to Rivendell it had been different -- there was no time for anything beyond the hot, hard kisses they'd shared during Aragorn's watch, while the other hobbits, exhausted, slept like the dead. Aragorn still remembered it all: the feel of Frodo's compact body in his arms, the strength in his hands as he clutched at Aragorn's arms, the honey-sweet taste of his mouth as those sinful lips reddened and grew swollen, and the way Frodo writhed and moaned when Aragorn pulled apart his clothing and reached inside to stroke and claim...

This day, when Frodo finally left Boromir's arms, Aragorn followed him deep into the woods. His bright green cloak was easy to spot against the silvery mallorn bark. Frodo's wandering seemed aimless, and Aragorn felt reassured that he was doing the proper thing. Frodo's task was too important for him to be alone without any protector. If Boromir truly loved the hobbit, he'd be here with him, not off doing whatever he was doing. But Boromir couldn't be trusted alone with Frodo. Even if he were here, Aragorn would need to remain watchful.

He'd almost failed Frodo once, at Amon Sul. He wouldn't fail again.

Thinking of Frodo's wound and his arrival in Rivendell, Aragorn grew tense and careless. He stumbled over a log into a pile of dry leaves. Frodo started at the noise, and Aragorn covered his blunder with a hasty "Frodo. There you are," as if he'd been seeking the hobbit rather than following him. His steps slowed, then he almost stumbled when he saw the look on Frodo's face. He was upset -- Boromir! Aragorn would kill him slowly and with great pleasure if he'd hurt Frodo. But first he must find a way to make Frodo confide in him.

"We are to meet with the Lord and Lady tonight, Frodo, to discuss the best path to take tomorrow upon our departure. I'm sorry to intrude on your privacy..." He paused a moment, then pressed to find out what Boromir had done. "Are you unwell?"

"No, I'm fine." It was a lie badly told. Aragorn knelt and reached out, glad for an excuse to touch the hobbit again. His hand trembled as he grasped that beautiful face and turned it to meet his eyes.

"Then why are you so upset? It's Boromir, I know it." Frodo nodded, and Aragorn dropped his hand before anger caused his grasp to tighten painfully. "What has he done to you? If he knowingly hurt you, I'll..."

"No, it's nothing he's done," Frodo protested. "The Lady Galadriel ... last night, long past midnight she came to me... She asked if I would seek guidance in her mirror. What I saw gives me no hope, and what she said... She believes Boromir might... might be tempted to take the Ring." Frodo's hand clutched at his shirt -- no, at what lay beneath his shirt, chained to his neck. His burden, Isildur's Bane, which sang to them all. How could Boromir, trusted with Frodo's body and his heart, listen to that foul music? The blood of Numenor had truly failed in the house of the Steward. "I've seen the way he looks at the Ring, and heard how he talks of going to Minas Tirith. I'm afraid it's true," Frodo whispered.

Aragorn sat down beside him on the cool earth, wondering if hobbits could feel the living spirit of the woods the way elves did. "So I have suspected, Frodo, and I am sorry." He carefully placed an arm around Frodo as he continued, "I would never presume to tell you what to do, yet... perhaps.." Frodo pulled away with an odd grimace and, stung, Aragorn spoke in anger. "You should reconsider your current," and he loaded his next word with scorn, "situation with Boromir."

Frodo's eyes flashed with anger and his own words were equally disdainful. "We are to meet tonight, a tryst. Boromir has something special planned, and there is no reason for me to refuse him. He is free to love me, Aragorn, as you never were and never will be."

Those horrible days when Aragorn returned to Rivendell from his scouting and found Frodo unwilling to speak to him returned. If only he'd been there, to explain, before Frodo heard about Arwen from others...

Frodo began to stalk away, stiff with anger, but Aragorn couldn't let him go. He rushed after the hobbit and somehow they wound up together on the ground, wrestling amidst the crackling leaves. But Frodo's struggles ceased as soon as Aragorn's mouth met his. Months of painful estrangement were forgotten in the press of frantic, needy bodies.

They clutched at each other in wild abandon, unaware of the passage of time as they kissed as if they would devour each other. Frodo's moans as Aragorn stripped him and rolled him to his belly in the soft dirt were the sweetest music, and the feel of his hot body opening to Aragorn's fingers was sublime.

Yet even better was the way Frodo's body yielded to Aragorn's cock, his groans matched with Aragorn's panting grunts as they pushed and pulled at each other. When Aragorn was fully seated inside him, he reached around and found Frodo's cock, hard and needy. A little spit and soon Frodo was rocking between the flesh impaling him and the hand pleasuring him. Aragorn knelt back, pulling Frodo atop him, and sank even deeper inside the perfect tightness of that living sheath. Frodo cried out and spilled his seed, his body heavy in Aragorn's arms as he thrust madly, striving for completion. In the end Aragorn pushed Frodo to the ground again so he could drive into the willing body over and over again.

Aragorn screamed out his triumph as at last he spilled within his lover. Frodo was his again, reclaimed from the usurper.

But when Aragorn came back to himself, he realized Frodo was crying, tears streaking his dirty face.

"Have I hurt you?" Frodo didn't speak but shook his head, his face the picture of misery. "Frodo, my love," he began.

"Don't! Don't call me that, don't... I... Boromir trusts me, he loves me, and I did this..."

"Frodo, you don't love him," Aragorn insisted.

"I should love him, Aragorn, and I most definitely should not love you. For this to happen today of all days... Do you know what this date means to him, Aragorn?"

"No. What is so special about this day?"

"I... I shall tell you, so you'll understand that what we have done is even more heinous on this day." Frodo stumbled into a story of a Gondorian holiday honoring lovers, but Aragorn was only half listening to him. He knew the story of Valacar, of course, and it only reminded him of his earlier thoughts about Boromir's lineage. Truly, the mixing of blood had been a curse to Gondor in many ways. Thank heavens the northern line had remained pure.

But Frodo's voice was breaking again as he described Boromir's plans for a private meal. As he listened, Aragorn's eyes clouded with a red rage of jealousy. They'd just rejoined after so many months apart, and Frodo was already thinking of another?

"So you see, Aragorn? I can't do this to him today, I just can't. I must go now, and meet him ... and at least try to pretend that everything is all right."

He couldn't speak calmly, not immediately. Frodo stood, filthy and half naked, reeking of sex, and waited with apprehensive eyes. Aragorn swallowed and said, "Then you must do what you must do."

The relief in Frodo's eyes was so beautiful Aragorn couldn't stop himself from reaching forward to trace those puffy lips, glad that Frodo no longer flinched from his touch. "Knowing Boromir has brought you to tears rips my heart out. If there is anything I can do, you've only to tell me."

"I know. Thank you." Frodo stared off, his eyes seeing something beyond the trees around them. "Perhaps the Lady was incorrect. Maybe she saw something that will never happen. She told me her mirror should not guide our paths."

"Perhaps, but Galadriel is far wiser than you or I, Frodo, and her advice is not to be taken lightly. Boromir is an honorable man, but my heart tells me that once we are out of the safety of Lothlorien, you must be very careful." Frodo nodded but his eyes were still far off, and Aragorn's jealousy stirred again. Was Frodo still thinking of Boromir? "I cannot help wishing to protect you, and it has nothing to do with the Ring, Frodo."

That brought Frodo's eyes back to the present, full of knowledge and responsibility again, as well as the glowing love-light that had been missing for so long.

Aragorn continued, "I regret nothing we did today, Frodo, except as it gives you pain to feel you have betrayed Boromir."

Frodo smiled then, and Aragorn smiled back at him, reaching to embrace him. He didn't want to let Frodo leave. No, he wanted to push the hobbit down in the leaves and take him again, gently this time, just as he'd done with Arwen that long-ago day...

Almost as if he'd sensed Aragorn's thoughts, Frodo pushed away, and his withdrawal was visible. "I appreciate your help, Aragorn."

With a wry smile he matched the hobbit's newly-formal tone. "I'll make my way back now, and see you later, when the Company meets with our hosts." He moved off into the woods, circling carefully.

Perhaps it was wrong to follow Frodo, again, to watch him bathe and intrude on his privacy. Aragorn knew it was wrong to exult in knowing Boromir would see the bruises Aragorn's hands had left on Frodo's fair skin.

It might have been wrong to shadow Frodo even after Boromir found him, and to follow them to their trysting place. But the shadows in Frodo's eyes as he greeted the other man made Aragorn glad he'd done so. If Boromir was indeed being tempted by the Ring, it was not wise for Frodo to be alone with him so far from aid.

Full of smiles, Boromir led Frodo to a shimmering cloth spread under trees hung with glowing lamps. Aragorn followed closely enough to hear Frodo's delighted exclamation over a plate of mushrooms, and he smiled even though Boromir dared to kiss his hobbit.

Aragorn hovered nearby as they ate and talked, and watched Frodo's face relax into innocent joy. Boromir was full of smiles and laughter, too. The man was happier than Aragorn had ever seen him. But when Boromir pushed the remnants of their food aside to enfold Frodo, Aragorn turned away.

He still remained within hearing, just to be certain there would be no attempt to claim the Ring. He gritted his teeth and listened to their moans and cries, knowing he should be happy there was no danger to Frodo, merely an excess of lustful feelings on Boromir's part.

Of course Boromir felt physical desire for Frodo -- the hobbit was beautiful, inside and out. And because of the holiday, Frodo was indulging Boromir's lust, out of kindness. But what they shared was only lust and nothing more.

Not love. Whatever else he questioned, Aragorn was certain of that.



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