Characters: Young Halbarad and Young Aragorn
Warning: M/M slash implied.
Source: It didn’t happen… apart from in fevered imaginations.
Disclaimer: Tolkien didn’t want this bit.
Notes: It was remarked that I hadn't written responses to Bathing, with bathing... so, here ya go. Look at the icon - you have been warned! ;-p
They were late arriving at the inn, the kitchen was closing for the night, but their host let them in when they showed him a purse that jingled with silver. “Only got ‘nuff hot water for one bath, gentlemen,” said the landlord, “Who’s goin’ to be first?”
The two young rangers looked at each other; they were both covered in dust from the road, sweaty, tired and footsore.
“How big is the bath?” said Halbarad.
The bathhouse was neatly tiled, with clean, scrubbed pine floors - inviting… especially when you’ve been on the road for days.
“This’ll do nicely!” Halbarad said.
The landlord’s face was professionally bland, ‘so what if they used it together, he was still going to charge twice… after all, they’d use two lots of soap and towels. He left them, promising ales and cold suppers of bread, sliced meat and cheese would be in their room.
Steam rose enticingly from the recently filled, very large wooden tub, nearby stools held dishes of soft soap and wash cloths. Aragorn smelt it, pine and maybe… jasmine.
Halbarad kicked his boots off, rapidly shucked his clothes and climbed in, “Dibs on washing first. You can do my back.”
Aragorn sighed, stretched tired limbs and undressed, taking care to move a bench, placing his sword close enough to reach if need be.
Halbarad wallowed chest deep - bliss! Shortly curtailed by Aragorn’s grimy hand prodding his shoulder. “Move forward if you want washing, I’m not squatting on the floor.”
Halbarad grinned and bent his knees; water surging around him as he shifted. Aragorn climbed in behind him, giving an involuntary groan of satisfied pleasure as he settled into the bath. He looked around. “There’re razors, but no mirror.”
Halbarad leaned back against Aragorn's chest, “I could give you a close shave…”
Aragorn’s chest rumbled with quiet laughter, Halbarad felt it through his back as they paused, skin to skin, enjoying the opportunity to relax, if only briefly. Aragorn closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the wooden rim. Halbarad shifted to ease himself, then shifted again, reaching for a fistful of soft soap. He lathered his hands, arms, chest… reaching down below the waterline to soap more of his body, shifting his position, pressing backwards gently.
He felt Aragorn’s intake of breath, heard a throaty growl in his ear “I’m not sure a cold shower wouldn’t suit you better.”
It was Halbard’s turn to laugh softly, “hot water and soap are such rarities – shame to waist them on merely getting clean,” he murmured.
The water, soapy and fragrant, surged around their naked bodies as they shifted around each other, slowly soaping, kneading, washing away grim and dirt from aching muscles, smoothing soapy calloused hands over slippery flesh that grew more heated than the water… before they subsided with muffled groans… relaxing again, chest deep in slowly cooling water.
“I didn’t wash my hair,” said Aragorn, trailing his fingers through now filmy soap-suds.
“Maybe tomorrow morning. We could try again?”
It was almost as much pleasure to dry themselves with clean towels, to feel their skin was clean before they dressed. Each had a spare shirt in their pack, but the rest of their clothing was travel-worn and stained. “We could perhaps stay a day… the landlord would have them washed, for a price. We could repair our gear before we leave…” said Aragorn.
Halbarad nodded, “I need some leather to mend my boot, and there’d be hot food. Of course we’d have to stay upstairs if the maids washed everything…”
Aragorn tightened his belt, “Would that be a hardship?”