Black Traitor

by Milly of Isengard

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Gandalf/Saruman

Disclaimer: no $$$ made, needless to say - all Characters belong to Tolkien ( except Saruman, he's MINE!! Just kidding )

Warnings: Angst / Violence / Strong Slash / Rape / Implied Torture / Seduction

Summary: Gandalf had gone to Isengard to meet with his 'friend' Saruman. The truth had come out, and now Gandalf languishes atop Orthanc Tower.


GANDALF

Eyes of obsidian flame, glittering with malevolence and madness- I see my tormentor approach me, through sight blurred by pain and the stinging wind.

I shiver against the bitter cold, and my back is pressed painfully against the wall, dangerously close to the edge - in more ways than one.

His hand reaches for me - long, elegantly cruel fingernails. I do not flinch, but I allow him to touch me. Why does he do so?

So high above the world, we are, and we are alone together.

He thinks nothing of the danger.

Does not even consider it.

am hobbled by my own adherence to the Light. And well he knows it.

"Don't you wish I were dead, Gandalf? Don't you long to kill me, to murder me now? Have I awakened the beast in you yet? Coward! Fool!"

Smirking, hateful. Mocking me.

He caresses my face with obscene affection, and I realize with mingled shock and horror, that he does so with some sincerity, and even lust.

I don't know what I feel. I do not hate him. I once loved him as my guide, my teacher, yes, even a friend. My only true peer.

His touch reaches something inside me, and it stirs to grudging life, unbidden.

I am huddled on the icy stone floor, and he kneels down slowly to me.There is a look on his face, that I cannot read. There is a feeling in my body and soul, that I cannot determine, as well.

"Gandalf? Answer me! What do you feel? What are you thinking? Will you see it my way, now, and save your life? For I would much rather have you at my side, than dead in the ground! Come, will you not see it my way now? Must I lose you, fool that you are, I would still desire your life over your death!"

Closer, now. He leans in very close. I can easily smell the pipeweed on his heated breath.

"I will kill you, if you force me. Or cripple you. Do you doubt it?"

His hand again, gracefully and strangely touching my hair, and then he whispers in my ear:

"Do you choose death? Or will you live? Tell me, what is your decision? What action will you force me to?"

I ought to be repulsed, enraged, repelled. His closeness to me should be maddeningly awful.

It is maddening.

But in a different way.

I shift uneasily, as I become aware of my - my excitement. Yes, it is true, I am perhaps under the spell of his Voice, that notorious and irresistible Sound.

Is that it?

He straightens up, suddenly, and I immediately feel regret for it-

(Stay down here with me, cease your foul deeds and words, drop those flowing white robes on the black floor of your Tower, lie with me here on top of the world, do no more evil and say no more lies, only -only do not leave me like this)

You have already crippled me.

Ah, you are a demon, you are.

Beautiful, horrible being.

Without thinking and without reason, I reach out with both hands and wrap them around his hips- he tries to back away, alarmed, with a startled snort of anger.

But I hold on tightly.

"Gandalf!" He snarls at me in dark curses- the Black Speech - but he does not do the obvious thing, and push my hands away.

I find my strength returning, out of nowhere, and Saruman realizes his mistake, too late.

In the blink of an eye, I have gotten the upper hand, and I grasp him fiercely, relentless.

Still, he does not even attempt to take my hands off him, my hands wrapped tightly around his waist, and now it is he who is against the wall.

He looks at me in horrified disbelief- most likely believing I am about to throw him off the Tower. Perhaps I ought to. No one would fault me for it. Except myself.

"Gandalf- no! No!"

I see the fear in his eyes, but I do not force him over the edge, to certain death below, after an agonized endless fall.

I push him down, instead, to the floor, down to the frozen black crown of Orthanc, with the mystic lines drawn into it, a silent enigma.

"Yield to me, Curumo." I say quietly. He looks at me with relief and confusion, then understanding. "Yield to me." I say again.

I trace my hands down his sides, and he starts to say something in Quenyan - "Be silent!" I shout at him, unwilling to allow him any chance to use the Voice.

Saruman stares at me as if I am something he has never seen before, and falls slowly back onto the floor.

(Be silent, be silent, submit, and be silent. YIELD to me, fallen brother, black traitor)

TRAITOR.

I whisper it to him, as I slowly lower myself on him.

You sold us all.

BLACK TRAITOR.

And now it is his turn to be mesmerized, as I work my own magick, and he makes no sound, no sound at all, save for a soft, labored breathing.

The look in his eyes is one of stunned amazement, and some fear, even. Dread, and yet, bitter anticipation. The conqueror conquered, longing angrily for release, unwilling to admit either defeat or desire.

The air hundreds of feet up is painfully cold, and yet I feel only heat now, and the ache.

Ah, the huge, swelling ache.

"I ought to kill you." I whisper in his ear, as my hand finds, and then loosens the reptilian clasp of his outer cloak. My tongue curls up under the long grey beard, and I hear a muffled moan from him, barely audible.

(YIELD to me, Curumo, surrender to me, and perhaps I will yet spare you.)

All the fight, all the viciousness, is gone from him. He lies under me, scarcely moving, and nearly silent. I pull the grey cloak off his shoulders, and then search for the belt for the inner robe.

I am so anxious, the delay is unbearable.

I ache, oh, how I do ache now. There is a mighty living staff under my own robes, and it will suit him better than that metallic one, and he has already dropped that to the floor. It lies like a forgotten plaything in the sleet.

I do what I will to him- my magick is strong, and I work it on him without remorse, taking him over utterly.

My hand feels under his gleaming robe, and I find what I seek- and as I strongly suspected, he too, is suffering from the same malady as I am.

Hard as the pitiless walls of the Tower. Hard, and hot, hot as the fires that his demon Uruks are stoking below us.

( What would they think, if they saw us here, with my hand on your cock, my old friend? What do you think? You lying under me, in all your subdued anger and hate, allowing me to do this to you, what would they think when they see you come in my hand, or perhaps it will be in my mouth, what would the Orcs think? Would they still fear you and respect you? )

I grasp him, and stroke slowly. And now that I have his full attention, he gasps loudly, and clutches at me. I ignore his response, but smile under my beard.

Wordlessly, I turn him with one movement, and I press him down to the floor again, face downwards, not enough to harm him, but just that fine line to keep him under control.

My control, now.

He understands, finally, what I am about to do, and so feigns resistance. His struggle against me is unconvincing: he is very powerful, and I have no doubt he could put up a fierce fight.

( yes, I understand, you must make me believe you are trying to resist. I understand. But you must understand I will not let you go. This is the end of your dominance over me. You will submit, and let it happen. What I desire, and what you desire as well.)

"No, Curumo, stop trying to move away. There is no escape." And now there is perhaps, a real sense of panic: he is not used to being made to submit, ever.

Does he think I am truly going to harm him? Perhaps he does. Well, he will soon understand. Everything will be clear.

In a last attempt to regain the upper hand, he makes a lunge for the staff, and I merely kick it away from him. "Really, Saruman, you are only making this more difficult.", I tell him calmly.

He makes an angry, wild sound, and I restrain him, pushing him down hard to the floor. I don't want to hurt him. I do want to make him understand- that it is over.

His wicked dream of psychotic domination- is OVER.

In a matter of seconds, I am on him, and I find my way swiftly, carefully, gently even.

My fingers probe and push, and my "unhappy" partner thrashes under me, and as I slip my finger deeper, his sounds become different, much different.

The movements are more like a writhing now, than the frantic, panicked attempts to throw me off him.

"Calm yourself, I am not hurting you, as you well know! Why must you cling to deception, even now? There is no need for this, it is only you and I here, alone with the sky. Allow yourself some pleasure again, don't you recall what it was like?"

I try to reach his heart, as I reach this inner part of him physically.

I withdraw my fingers, and in their place I put something more appropriate; I can hear him muttering in Quenyan, confused, strange ranting.

I push against him very slowly, and then move back and forth gently, letting the liquid that is already trying to erupt forth from my painfully hard organ, smooth and ease the way.

No more delays, I cannot wait any more, not one moment longer, I am about to explode.

I push into him as slowly as I can bear to, and he makes a quiet, throaty moan as I do so; I begin to move inside him and he does not protest, or try to pull away, but only gasps softly.

Ah, such ecstasy: beyond all describing.

He is trying to say something, I lay my face close to his from behind and kiss his hair, listening.

"Olorin- Gandalf- please..." - his voice is intense, excited, urgent: "Hard- harder. Do it - harder- !"

I wrap my arms around him, and give him the full benefit of my eight inches, although not as roughly or as hard as he might have wanted.

He trembles violently under me, with a long shuddering and a deep sigh, and I feel my own time is come, and I flood his insides withthe river of my passion for him, that until tonight, lay like a sleeping giant inside me.

EPILOGUE THE FIRST

We sit together, drinking the dark wine he loves so well.

He is, of course, technically a prisoner of war, but he is hardly treated as such.

There had been angry talk of executions and banishment, and I had used all my influence to restrain those who would see Saruman come to a more fitting end.

He has escaped execution, and all punishment. Well, nearly all punishment.

I keep him here, in this place, where I come when I will, and leave when I will.

He is under my Will.

I keep him firmly under control, and never resistant to me.

I will not ALWAYS keep him this way, of course.

There will come a day when I can bear to let him go, go wherever he likes.

But not yet. Not yet, my Curumo. Not today.

Perhaps - perhaps tomorrow.

The Prisoner

SARUMAN

My eyes open slowly, painfully, to a world I no longer recognize; a storm is battering the roof and windows of my strange prison, and I can hear the thunder pealing in tremendous crashes. It is an unusually violent storm, and I wonder at its ferocity- perhaps I will ask Gandalf about it, when he returns.

IF he returns.

I always wonder what will become of me, if one day he does not return here, to bring me provisions, to bring me company- even his company is better than none at all.

I no longer recognize even myself, now.

I look into the one mirror in this dark and secret cottage, and I see a tired, drained old face, weary unto the point of death, beyond all hope of recovery. My beard has grown even longer, down to my chest, and he does not let me even trim it. My hair is down my back, and seems to become whiter every hour. The color of an old man's hair, the color of approaching death.

Gandalf always chastised me for my pride, and I mocked him for his insistence on "playing by the rules".

But I suppose my pride really has been my downfall, now, after all.

How I long for my great Staff, how I miss it. I could conjure a million crebain to do my will, or summon a black and furious windstorm, to tear down the rooftops of the dwellers in the Vale below.

And now I am just - just a servant, really. His servant. His prisoner.

Once, when I made angry mention of regaining liberty over my own Will, Gandalf took me firmly by the shoulders, and looked me straight in the eyes, and said:

"Do you still not understand? Outside there, outside in Middle Earth, the whole world is crying for your blood, for your head on a stake! There is nowhere to go, that is safe for you, save right here! Sauron does not cease to search for you, and your Orcs and Uruks have been commanded to turn on you, and bring you to Mordor. You asked me once, if I chose to live or die- now I ask you the same thing. Pray, choose wisely, for I will not let you do otherwise. I cannot bear to see you fall into his tender clutches!"

Is he lying to me? I often wonder. But most likely not, I know. I have made many, many enemies. And I already knew Sauron desired my death, and even more, to make an example of me for defying him.

Gandalf does not try to deceive me, about controlling my Will and my actions. He says he allows my thoughts and desires to be unencumbered, but he must retain control of my activity.

I often wish he had killed me, on top of my great and much-missed Tower. I suppose I do not truly mean that, I am actually quite loathe to die, for then what will happen to me?

I have not exactly "behaved well" in my time on Middle Earth. But I only did what I believed was best, I swear it.

Perhaps not seen as wicked as Sauron, or Melkor before him, but still- I desperately dread being called upon to face Manwe - yet he will no doubt be forgiving - to a point. It would be better, if I can dwell here longer, and perhaps think of a way out of this. Some way, any way at all.

Well, I suppose Gandalf will put in a good word for me- at this thought, I am tempted to nearly burst forth in shrill, hysterical laughter, and I only barely control myself.

I am startled out of my self-pity by a commotion at the door - Gandalf, coming in from the morning storm. Come back, to bring food and wine, and - that power- that ability - which truly keeps me subjected.

He looks like a large shaggy grey wolfhound, dripping from the cold rain, and hair even more tangled than usual. I feel the usual confusion of warmth and hate for him. That old feeling in my heart, partially deep contempt, and yet intense fondness as well.

He looks at me and harrumphs, shaking off his cloak and that dreadful ancient hat, and finally speaks- something inane, of course, what else? - "Are you alright, Saruman? No troubles here?" I stare back at him with dislike and desire competing for my expression, and finally settle on impassivity:

"No, you have missed nothing, nothing but the endless hours of what remains of my life."

The exaggerated pathos was a bit over the top, but I truly do feel that sorrowful. Never mind, soon I will be alright again.

He considers me thoughtfully, and then opens his arms to embrace me : "Come here, Curunir. I have missed you."

I hesitate- he ought to know I hate blatant displays like this- but the urge to begin- to have it begin- is too powerful, and I slowly get up - but I do not approach him. I make him walk over to me, and he does so, with a heavy sigh, and wraps his arms around me tightly. I do not embrace him, but remain in my enforced, angry coldness. He holds me for what seems like a very long time, nevertheless, and I cannot deny the effect it is having on me.

I shift ever so slightly in his embrace, so as to be at a better angle - down there - where I am already coming to life, silently, fiercely - I do this with great care and precision, as I do not want him to be aware of it.

But of course, he does notice.

He moves to accomodate our best position, saying nothing, and I suddenly feel the hard and living attention I have inspired in him, and he presses against me urgently, and despite the stunning pleasure it causes, I push him away, albeit slowly.

He berates me gently:

"Now, what is wrong, hmm? Of a mind to resist your own self again? Nay, do not do so, do not waste time being cold, I am already cold from the storm, but your heat is rising like Mt. Doom itself, can you deny it? Come, warm me, and I will do likewise for your frozen condition!"

If we do this - if I let him do this to me - I will never have my own voice again.

And once, I had such a Voice, the Elves trembled for fear of it.

"I am your slave! Your prisoner! That does somewhat dull my sense of arousal, yes!", I snarl at him, knowing he will not heed any of my words.

Gandalf the Grey- the shaggy headed and soft hearted Istar in command of my existence and future, regards me silently.

Instead of what I anticipated - kind words and smooth caresses - he merely stares at me in an unusually cold way. It is, for once, my turn to have my blood chill.

"Saruman- I have told you many times that if you leave this place- you are as good as dead- or much worse. Aragorn, and those in my company - the Fellowship- have seen it my way, though grudgingly, and they will not make a move against you. But do you recall King Theoden? When he learned of your - your lack of trustworthiness, shall we say- he was determined you would be called to account for treason. He said it to me, and I could not dissuade him."

"Treason?!" I spit the word back in his face, "I owe him no allegiance in the first place!"

Gandalf looks at me with an unreadable expression, and nods his head:

"Perhaps not. And I cannot protect you from everyone who would do you ill. Nor should I have to: you are no child! But- and hear me well, for the last time - the Dark Lord still seeks you. You have never allowed yourself to understand what he will do to you, if he captures you. I know what he did to Gollum, for no crime, but only to extract information. If you only understood, you would never seek to leave the sanctuary I have been able to make for you here!"

"And what kind of existence is that!", I shout at him angrily, frustrated, all the more so, because all he has said rings true.

He straightens up, and looks at me with that old sternness, and simply replies:

"You are not being torn apart by red hot pincers, or scalded by boiling magma from Mt Doom, or harmed in any way, but your dignity and pride, and sense of inhibition. Do you think you ought to escape entirely unscathed, Curunir? Are you really so arrogant?"

I look away, as I have no real answer for that. Nothing he will like to hear, anyway.

Another heavy, unhappy sigh, and then he delivers it: his FINAL WORD:

"And you must remember: when the War has at last been lost or won, then it will all be settled, and you will not need to stay here like this. If Sauron- Eru forbid- but if Sauron should prevail - I have already made a last resort plan of action- for us."

I look at him in mingled respect and dread, and I know what he is saying: Sauron must not capture us, either of us, ALIVE, for it will be too terrible a thing to allow.

I do not want to know, and yet I must ask:

"What will you do?" I ask him, in a grave whisper.

Gandalf looks at me firmly, and says softly: "Very well, you deserve to know, you have a right to. If it is obvious that we have truly lost, and there is no means of escape- I will-" he swallows hard, and continues:

"I will stop your heart with a spell - painlessly of course- and then the same for myself." I stare at him blankly, and then I simply nod in agreement.

He looks at me piercingly, and his radiant blue eyes become gentle again, more so than I have ever seen.

"I love you, you fool, don't you understand that?", he says, reaching for me, and I back away, and must stifle a laugh at his words.

Love? Love, indeed. I succeed in restraining my laughter.

Before I know what has happened, I am on the bed with him, and I know it has begun. My Will, slipping away from me, my rare outburst of defiance, so short-lived, is already fading from my mind, as we entangle together, and I gasp as quietly as I am able to, as his hand finds and caresses me, finally; I sigh deeply, and relax, in what is rapidly becoming an intense state of excitement.

His mouth upon mine, tongues seeking each other, liquid passion flowing and swelling. My rebellious words are dying on my lips, as his tongue thrusts deep into my waiting mouth.

The problem is this: when it begins, as it has now, and I really start to feel this immense and breathtaking pleasure, I no longer care that that I am a prisoner.

The door could be swung wide open for me, and I would never leave.

Gandalf kept me here in the beginning by the power of his magick, with a few words of restraint and domination- but now-well, now I am a slave to an entirely different power.

The power- the addiction, even- to an experience that cannot be had in any other way, or with anyone else. What I will soon feel - what keeps me as subdued and tamed as a caged dragon- what I refuse to do without- is an orgasm that is so intense, and so shockingly powerful, that it literally chokes off my breath when it comes, and nearly renders me unconscious. The world ceases to exist, the universe fades into unimportance, in those moments of surreal ecstasy.

Perhaps it is because we are so very uniquely matched, as Istari, that it is so overwhelming. I do not know. I do not even care.

But I will not give it up, willingly.

On my knees, I take him in my mouth, I am not interested in his pleasure, and I believe he knows that, I am only getting it ready-for my pleasure. I lick and drench the massive organ, and he places his hands on my head, stroking my hair, telling me again how much he loves me, how he fears for me - I have heard it all before-

And as he hovers above me, and turns me over easily with a word of magick, I lie face downwards, and I submit.

I loathe doing so, it is against my nature, it ruptures my very soul, and tortures my pride, yet I do so, despite it all. I submit to him, and I am nearly trembling with anticipation of what is coming.

His hands under me, pulling me up tightly against him, his strong belly against my back, his long legs entwined with mine, and I am so aroused, I can hear myself groaning, as if from very far away. He buries his face in my hair from behind, and kisses me- ah- the excitement has grown to a painful swollen fury, now, and he does not make me wait any longer, and I feel his well-moistened cock -dripping with my eager oral ministrations- pressing against me, too gently, too carefully, just do it then, all of it, now!

Oh, deep, deep, does he push into me, so deep I cannot even make a sound, so overcome with pleasure I cannot move or even think. Only feel, ah yes, just feel it. Perhaps in a moment I will be able to scream, but even that will not convey the feeling.

So very huge, he is, and his tremendous cock stretches me open, blissfully plunging into me, and I arch up and rock myself against him, and he matches my movements, pushing hard, hard, ah, I am truly ready to cry out, but somehow, the sounds will not come.

The bed crashes against the wall, moved by our furious passion, over and over, and creaks loudly. He likes to make it last, caught up in his dream of love, but my desire is for what he is doing to me, and for that alone.

If I was capable of love, it would be him. If.

And now it arrives, the sweet rush, the drowning, sweeping tidal wave of climax, and I again am shocked by the thunderous intensity. My long nails dig fissures into the silk of the bed, and I alternately rise and collapse, nearly howling like a rabid warg in explosive sensation.

I feel him tense above me, and moan softly into my ear, pushing deepest of all now, and I suppose his moment has come for him as well.

I am not too interested in that, of course.

I must rest, I must sleep.

Tomorrow, perhaps. Tomorrow I may be able to bargain for my release.

But not tonight. Tonight, I will simply lie here, drifting into sleep, with my fellow Maia's liquid gushing out of me in hot rivers, dreaming of freedom.

Oh yes, and Power.

The Price of Mercy

SARUMAN

It is simply no longer enough, not even close to it. The pleasure has been beyond belief, and I have been made to experience feelings and sensations that seem almost dream-like, in their power over me.

But it is not enough, now.

I feel dangerous again. I yearn to kill, to hurt someone- I have been locked up too long, and the rage has built up to a deadly intensity.

I look for a means of escape- and find none. The door is bolted shut with not only a physical lock, but magick as well.

Before my jailor had left this time, I asked him sourly what would happen if a fire were to break out, as I had no way to escape. He looked at me for a moment, and then, with a laugh, said the cottage would probably be a loss. But what about me? I said evenly, fighting to keep my temper, and knowing he was setting me up for some sort of idiotic joke. Well, he replied, with a twinkle in his eye that fairly drove me to fury, I am afraid you would be a total loss as well. Upon seeing the look on my face, he immediately grew straight faced, and said :

"By the Valar, you do know that was only a bit of foolish humor, don't you? I would not let you be harmed like that!"

I turned away from him, angry at being made a fool of, and then he put an annoyingly gentle hand on my shoulder, and tried to soothe my mood:

"Really, Curumo, you must not think such things. I would never let you burn to death. If there was a fire, the spell would release. I promise you that. I have- arranged it so. Do not be troubled."

I said nothing, and finally he left, telling me he would return in a fortnight, and that I ought to have more than enough of everything I needed until then.

As soon as I hear the hoofbeats of Shadowfax fade in the distance, I begin to contemplate the idea:

If he is telling the truth, all I need to do is light the cottage on fire, and I will be free.

But what if he is lying? Or more likely, simply in error : I can believe he arranged the spell in this fashion, but what if it does not work correctly?

Then, I think bitterly, I shall indeed be a total 'loss', just as his stupid joke implied.

I agonize over it, and finally one day, nearly come to the point of attempting it, and then the icy hands of fear close around my heart, and I cannot do it.

Flushed with searing, impotent anger, I sit down and begin to think it all out again- for the hundredth time.

Something occurs to me: Gandalf is at least seven days late in returning.

I have been so immersed in this idea for escape, I have not even realized it, until now.

But now I am suddenly deeply worried, and a new fear roars to life, driving away my plans for roasting my way to liberty.

I take inventory- always take care of business, or it will take care of you, I used to tell Grima, as we took stock of our plans for conquest, tallying up our stockpiles- Grima- what ever happened to him? - I have enough food to last for three more days, if I eat as I have been doing. But I will not do that. I immediately will cut back drastically, on everything. I must buy some time.

Four days go by- and then a soft rap on the door, one afternoon- I am badly startled by it, though I do not move or make a sound.

This can only be bad news- Gandalf never knocked - and who else knows I am here? The knock again- louder; I remember who I am, after all, and answer with what authority I can summon:

"Yes? Who is there?"

"Legolas- Legolas Greenleaf. I have brought you word from Mithrandir- and food!"

Legolas? the young Elf? What is he doing here, how did he know to come here? I weigh my options, and they are found wanting, drastically, so I go to the door and speak again:

"Well, young Prince- I cannot open the door. Even if you unbolt it, it is charmed shut!"

The door opens suddenly, easily, as if there were no spell at all on it. ( but I just tried it this morning, I ALWAYS try the door, just in case- )

Legolas appears in the doorway, and I narrow my eyes against the sunlight- Gandalf always opens the one window of the cottage wide when he is here, lecturing me that keeping all the natural light out is very bad for me, so on, and so forth. There are, of course, bars on the window.

I feel the breeze come in, and the sweet smell of the forest. Oh, I yearn to be free.

Legolas has a large package in his hands, and I wait for him to enter the cottage.

He is looking at me with great wariness, and well he ought to: I have already briefly fantasized about seizing him and wrapping my hands around his throat, and the thrill I will feel when I hear that crack of his neckbone - and - well, it is only a lovely fantasy.

"Come in then!" I say, with obvious impatience, and make a sarcastic sweeping gesture with my arm. "Enter my grand Hall, Master Elf!"

But he is no fool, and does not come in fully, but instead hands me the package cautiously, and says:

"Mithrandir sends word to you, Curunir, that he will return in two more days- he was delayed- but I am to give you this- it is Lembas bread, and other things as well. It will be enough until he returns -"

"Were you one of the ones?" I ask him. "What-what do you mean?" he says, and I continue: "Were you one of the ones who wanted me dead, Legolas? What about Galadriel?"

He regards me with a look of that which I hate more than anything- pity- and replies:

"Nay, Curunir- I am not one of those- I asked that you be - sent away. As for Galadriel, she also petitioned for mercy for you. We felt- that you are not as you should be - I mean, your mind is not quite -right -"

I suddenly feel the urge to hurt him again. "Liar. All of you. Liars!" My voice sounds distant to me, and I feel faintly dizzy, and it is true: I am not "quite right", not at all. My blood is hammering in my ears as the anger boils out of me, and I reach for him.

Alarm appears on his youthful face, and he makes a move to back out of the door, and he is quite fast, this young Elf, but not fast enough.

I strike out at him like a snake, and as my hand seizes his collar, I pull him inside, at the same time shoving a chair against the still-open ( OPEN!! ) door.

I throw him to the ground with all my strength, and my fury erupts from my bitter soul in cascades of rage- again and again I strike him with my hand, until the blood flows from his mouth. The little fool-he has come to me with no weapons at all- not even an Elven blade- and then I suddenly remember my main priority: ESCAPE.

I kick him hard in the ribs, and he cries out very softly, and I feel great pleasure at hearing it. I kick him again, and I hear the satisfying snap of at least two broken ribs. I feel regret I do not have enough time to shove them into his filthy Elven lungs, and then I flee out the door- OUT - I am OUT-

I grasp the reins of his horse, and the horse shies away from me in terror. No matter, I mutter a word to it and it lowers its head in submission, and I climb on it, and fly to freedom.

(what have I done- what will Gandalf do to me)

The madness passes, and I only feel the cool air on my face, again at last.

I force away the growing fear of the consequences of what I have just done to Legolas- a fear so huge I am suddenly nearly ill from it.

I ride like the wind itself, the hills and trees passing as grey blurs - I ride to save my very life.

To Catch A Traitor

GANDALF

He will recover, he will recover, I remind myself grimly, as I ride off into a scarlet dawn. Legolas had been badly beaten by Saruman, and three ribs had been broken, but at least - he will recover.

I had come back to the cottage, several days late, and very tired, and found no Saruman- only a small still shape on the ground. To my horror, I found it was Legolas, and he weakly told me what had happened.

"Don't harm him for it, Mithrandir. He is not in his right mind anymore."

Good hearted Legolas, anxious to spare Saruman from my anger and sense of justice.

But he is right, and although I feel great wrath at the moment, I will not act upon it.

However, Saruman must be found- and the sooner the better. Obviously, he is very dangerous, not only to others, but to himself as well.

If Sauron finds him first- I cannot dwell on that idea, it will do no good.

All day, I ride, searching the countryside; I know he is riding in full terror to escape me, but he is riding into great danger as well.

I must find him.

I think with dismal memory, of how I searched for Gollum, hoping to find him before Sauron, and failing to do so. The Dark Lord had tortured him for days and days, and I could perceive it all in chilling clarity, but I could not find him.

I shudder, and ride on.

Miraculously, I do find him, and even more miraculously, I see him before he sees me : in a dark glade of Fangorn Forest, a few hours before nightfall - where was he going?- Isengard? I do not know, I do not think he knows where he is headed.

He is sitting on a large boulder, his head in his hands, with a general look of great exhaustion and grief.

His - actually- Legolas's horse- stands in the shadows, lathered and foaming with weariness. Poor creature, he has ridden it nearly to death.

Silently, I walk up behind him- I clutch my Staff tightly, suddenly nervous- I do not intend to hurt him, but if what he has done to Legolas is any indication, there is tremendous danger here.

"Curumo- " I say his name very softly, trying to minimize the shock, and he looks up at me, wild-eyed, an expression of mingled fear and hatred on his face.

He makes a move to try to get past me, and I bar his way with the Staff- he backs away, looking at me with dark, glazed eyes that have no sanity in them.

I try to reach him:

"Calm yourself - I have not come to harm you! Listen to me- I will not try to make you stay as a prisoner again- I swear it to you- but we must leave here, we are in great danger, as you must realize!"

"Leave me, Gandalf! Go away, leave me alone!" "I cannot do that, Curumo- you know I will not leave you here like this."

"Why won't you go away? Why?" his voice is almost pleading, and very unlike him. "I tried to kill your Elf, Gandalf, but I ran out of time. I suppose I have run out of luck, as well. Is he dead?"

I manage to control myself, and I tell him: "No -he is not dead. Saruman- Curumo- you are - not well. Let me help you. I will never lock you up again like that- I promise you! But please- let me take you back. Just you and I, alright? I will never lock the door again. But we must leave here -"

"I am sorry he is not dead, I really did give it my best try, Gandalf! If only I could have broken more than just a rib or two, I wanted to choke the life out of him, I really did, but I ran out of ti-" -I cut off his hateful, insane words with a hard, backhanded blow to the side of his face- he staggers backwards, reeling from the force of it. I did not intend to lose my temper, and I immediately feel deep sorrow for it.

Saruman looks at me as if I have driven a sword through his heart, and collapses on the ground in front of me, clutching his hair with shaking hands, making a strange half-sobbing sound.

Immensely sorry for having struck him, I kneel down to him, and put my arms around him.

He does not resist, and I can feel the mental disease in him, that is driving him to do these things, his Master's malignant gift to him.

"It is alright, it will be alright, come back with me, no one will touch you, no one will harm you, I won't allow them to. Get up now, my dear Curumo- come on, pull yourself together."

I gently help him to his feet, and he whispers to me in a voice filled with anguish : "What has happened to me, Olorin? What is happening?"

I consider my words carefully, and then I tell him:

"Sauron has had a terrible effect on your mind, through all the many years. He has slowly -" I was about to say, "driven you mad", but I don't want to alarm him anymore than he already is- "He has had a very negative effect on- on your mind. But you will be alright, trust me, it will be alright."

I suddenly hear something utterly horrible- a sound that turns my blood to ice in my veins:

the eerie, sweeping sound of Ringwraiths on flying dragons. And they are, of course, coming closer.

I grasp Saruman very tightly by the shoulder, and tell him in an extremely firm voice:

"They are coming, Saruman- we have to go- NOW. Get your mount, quickly, quickly!" He looks at me vacantly, his eyes still moist, and I elaborate: "The WRAITHS- they are coming- I hear them! Hurry!"

And now there is the realization that dawns, and the horror on his face, and I push him roughly towards the horses in mind-numbing panic, and we struggle to untie our mounts quickly enough to escape- I look at Saruman's horse again, and I remember how exhausted it was, and I am about to shout to him to get behind me on Shadowfax, but he is already galloping away at full tilt.

I ride close behind him, and I can hear the approaching Wraiths, I can hear the wingbeats of the dragons echo in hollow, terrifying resonance across the woods.

As I feared, Saruman's weary horse lags quickly, and I ride up alongside him on Shadowfax - I hear the Wraiths so close, and as we ride into the open fields, it seems as if they are almost upon us.

Saruman lags even farther behind, and he begins to whip the horse with the end of the reins, trying to gain some ground, but it is no use.

He falls far behind in a matter of seconds, and as I wheel around to ride back to him, I see, to my great dismay, a huge black shadow come down - I raise my Staff, and it sends brilliant White Light at the shadow, but it is too late:

As the flying demon pulls back up into the air, it carries with it a struggling, writhing prize - Saruman.

I cry out in grief and anger, and I fire another bolt at the dragon, giving it all I have, but it has risen too high now, and although it screams as the Energy hits it, it only scorches one wing.

I can only watch in sickened disbelief as the Wraith disappears into the sky.

My mind gibbers wildly, putting thoughts together too fast for them to make sense.

Barad-Dur - the black heart of Mordor - I must go there - and I will plead for his life. And I will doubtless need to plead for my own as well, since I will most likely be immediately shackled and imprisoned -

As I turn to follow the flying devils, racing to cheat fate, I suddenly hear a strange sound behind me, and in the moment before it knocks me off Shadowfax, and into unconsciousness, I understand that it is another Wraith, and there is no time to react, no time at all.

Then the great talons strike me, and there is only the Dark.

The Reckoning

SARUMAN

( Saruman is unconscious- and dreaming "true" of the Gandalf to come- the White)

Where is this place, where am I?, I wonder groggily, as I struggle to focus my sight - I feel a warm touch on my arm, and I look to see who it is-

Gandalf- Gandalf the Grey- or is it Gandalf the White? No, I am the White. Aren't I?

I feel more dead than White.

He looks white, though, by the Valar, he is fairly SHINING, he is glorious to look upon.

His smile lights up the sky like a dazzling sun, and he reaches out to me, and pulls me into his radiant embrace.

I relax into his arms, and feel his powerful chest against mine. I am enjoying this, yes, very much, but it all feels so strange somehow.

Why am I - why are we- doing this? I hate Gandalf- no, I do not hate him, but I must bring him back under control. He has forgotten who is the Master in this relationship, that's all.

So why am I submitting so totally to him, as if he is the one in command?

Do I love him? And if I did, what would that mean? My mind is shrouded in a thick fog, and I cannot get my thinking to work to any degree of accuracy.

I think I do love him. I am not really positive what it would feel like, but I think that is what I feel. I -

My thought is cut off sharply by a sudden blackness that has fallen over us both. I am startled by it, and afraid, for some reason.

"Oh, Curunir." Gandalf the White says, looking down at me - why am I under him?- with great sadness.

"Curunir, what have you done?" - I don't know what to say, what have I done?

Only what was best, best for us all. I chose LIFE. I think I did, anyway.

I begin to say so, to explain myself.

He places a quieting finger over my lips, and shakes his head, saying: "No, don't, it's too late, Curumo. It's too late now."

He looks very severe now, and he says, in a very different, almost thunderous voice: "It's too late. But I love you, even so. Even now."

Now he is nearly crushing me with his strength, and I hear his voice, far away, far away-

"The Aratar has fallen, now rises a new day - now I am you, and you are - who are you, Curumo? Who will you betray this day?" - he kisses me roughly, not gentle at all, and I am alarmed, as well as somewhat aroused.

But I don't know if I like this new Gandalf. There is a new coldness in him- or perhaps it is simply utter determination.

I know him, but I do not recognize him. He is shockingly different, changed somehow. Power- of a kind I have never had myself - flows from him in tangible waves of energy. I know, somehow, he could kill me with a mere glance, and I am suddenly, brutally aware of it.

I want to escape, I need to escape him. No, I refuse to be afraid of him.

He has me in thrall, and I lay limply now in his arms, and I suppose he can do with me what he will.

He is staring at me, and I look away, unable to meet his relentless, accusing eyes. I only did what I had to!- I think frantically- I had no choice! Don't you understand, there was no choice?

I close my eyes, so I don't have to look into that implacable visage. Intense, disappointed love.

And I hear his words in my mind: You are- forgiven- but not redeemed.

He crushes me tighter, and I gasp in pain. His hands, always so easy with their touch, feel more like the talons of a bird of prey. Much more. Why, I can nearly feel talons!

"We must prepare for what is coming, Saruman. The time is nearly upon us. Prepare!" His mouth on mine, sweet, smoky taste, loving tongue, he kisses me gently now, more familiar.

We are falling, falling - I swear, I can feel the wind in my long hair, my hair is flying all around me, falling -

"Be strong!" he whispers from somewhere, and then there is a hard jolt, and I open my eyes again and see -

The dream leaves me, like the ending of a beautiful day, and now there is only the night.

In full wakefulness, I see where I really am:

the dragon has dropped me from its grasp, from several feet up, onto the the hard soil of a courtyard. I am at Barad-Dur. In Mordor. Oh, I am in Mordor, and the Dark Lord cannot be far away.

Perhaps- just perhaps- he does not know everything, and still sees me as a loyal and mindless accomplice.

I must behave- indeed, I must make it feel true -that all is, as it was, before I decided on trying to obtain the accursed Ring for myself. That I am still a good and loyal servant and partner.

What happened to your "last resort" plan of action for us, Gandalf? I think to myself angrily.

It is, indeed, 'too late'.

I am confronted by not one, but several large, and shocked looking Orcs- "Sharkey? Saruman? What are you doing here?", one asks me, in genuine surprise, and I tell him I do not know.

Another Orc walks up, and looks at me with a strange, almost embarrassed, expression on his unpleasant face:

"Lord Saruman - I don't know how to say it, so I will just spill it: we gots to throw ya in the clink! I'm sorry, I don't understand, I have to do it, we have to do it, ya know- or he will kill US."

I try to maintain, through my rising horror:

"You must be mistaken! You know better than to dare address me that way!"

The Orc looks at me in dismay, and replies in a shaky voice: "Direct orders, my Lord, from HIM. I likes ya, you know I FEARS ya, but I fears him a little more!"

I don't want their filthy, treacherous paws on me, so I nod and say: "There is, obviously- a great error. Take me to your Lord, then!"

Might as well face him, and get it over with. I feel waves of nausea roll through me, but somehow, I keep my stomach intact.

I am going to my death, I think numbly, and I swallow painfully.

We enter the Great Hall of Barad Dur, and my already shattered world descends into oblivion and terror.

From Hell's Heart

GANDALF

Screaming - someone is screaming, screaming to burst their very lungs. I lay back on the hard, uncomfortable cot- really more of a ledge with a rough cloth over it- and listen in mute horror to the awful sounds.

I am all too aware of my surroundings, I know exactly where I am, but it is not a pleasant knowledge.

I came back to awareness after crossing over the Black Gate- as we flew over it, everything swam back into dreadful focus.

Saruman! I leap up from the cot, and strain to hear the voice again- it is the sound of a nightmare, tortured, and in its last extremity.

I have tried the bars, many times, in desperate need to find a way out. Of course, there is none. My magick will not avail me in Mordor, as I have found, at least not as far as breaking out of this cell.

Ah, so this is how it feels, I think gloomily, to be imprisoned.

No wonder Saruman went mad ( but he was ALREADY going mad - that was the problem )-

Alas! If only I had not been waylaid, and had to send Legolas in my place. None of this would have happened.

I hear footfalls - two Uruk-Hai are bringing in a large, bundled shape- they handle it carefully, almost reverently, and deposit it in the cell next to mine. They look at it for a moment, and then leave, ignoring me.

I realize the shape is moving - writhing -tossing slowly about. Soft, muffled sounds emanate, and a hand drops limply to the ground, shrouded in the gray cloth. I look more closely: with a shiver, I recognize the long tapered fingernails, and I know it is Saruman in the cell.

What have they done to him!

He thrashes in slow, weak movements, arching up, and then sinking down again.

Anguished, I try to force the bars apart yet again, using all my magick, as well as pure physical strength. No effect at all.

I whisper as loudly as I dare: "Saruman! Curumo? Do you hear me?" But there is no response, only the quiet moaning, and the agonized writhing.

One of the Uruks returns, and I take a chance: "You there! I must go into that cell- you must transfer me to it, now!"

The Uruk looks at me as if I am insane, and then laughs an ugly, unfriendly laugh - "Are you mad, Wizard? I take my orders from the true boss around here, and besides that, you are not fit to be in the same cell as - as Lord Saruman!" He says the name with unapologetic reverence- and I realize the Uruks still feel a great allegiance to Saruman, despite being forced to obey Sauron.

I try again: "Do you not know what is being done to him? Let me in there with him- I need to try to help him!"

The Uruk snorts, amused - "Kill him, you mean?"

I fight my anger at the obvious ridiculousness: "You allow him to be tortured, and yet you will not trust me to try to help him? How have you been protecting him, in all your great loyalty? He does not look well, to me!"

The Uruk looks at me hard, and yet I see I have reached him, somehow -"Do not lecture me on loyalty to Saruman, Wizard - I never wanted any harm to come to him. This is not my doing. Should I join the two of you in your doom?"

"So, you will let him die, slowly, and in agony? Even if I did kill him, I would do it quickly! Where is your sense of honor? I thought Uruks were better than mere Orcs, a higher sort!"- I goad him dangerously, praying for success.

The Uruk walks up to me, very close, and looks me in the eyes - for a long moment we simply stare at one another- and then he shakes his great shaggy head, and does the unthinkable: with deft movements, he unlocks first my cell, then the adjoining one.

Then he looks at me again, and snarls: "You had better save him, then, Wizard! My fate is most likely sealed now, so don't let it be for nothing!" - and before I can speak, he leaves, turning around abruptly and closing- but not locking- the heavy black door.

I waste no time, and rush to the cell - my heart is thundering in my throat, and I kneel down by the still moving, heavily cloaked form on the ground - my hands are trembling, as I carefully move aside the layers of cloth, somewhat in dread of what I may find.

Suddenly Saruman comes to life, and grasps my robe, gasping, clutching me with a terrified grip :

"Gandalf! Oh, is it you? Is it really you? Help me, please, please -" his nails dig into my arm painfully, and I am overcome with horror at seeing him like this; I wrap my arms around him and hold him tightly, tightly.

"Don't let them take me again- don't let them, please, Gandalf, don't -" his voice is broken, devastated - I rock slowly back and forth, holding him as tightly as I dare without hurting him even more. He clings to me, gasping, clutching me in a deathgrip. He is shaking so badly, and I take off my outer robe and wrap it around him. Still, he trembles violently.

I will not ask him what they have done to him, if he feels he can tell me, he will, but I will not ask him.

"It's alright now, see - I am here with you, we are together, I will protect you, no matter what." I whisper to him quietly, firmly - he seems to relax slightly, and I try to think what to do, how to get us out of here.

There is, of course, the option of which I had spoken to SarumAuthor's note:

that fatal spell, which would carry us both painlessly away from Sauron's power. But will it even work here, in Mordor? I had very little luck with the bars of the cell. And if a mistake was made with a spell meant to end a life - well- that could end very badly indeed.

I don't want to risk it.

"We have to get out of here, now, right now! Can you- do you think you can walk?" I ask him. "I will try." he answers, and I slowly help him to his feet - but he is far too weak , and too badly hurt, and his legs give way. I gently lay him back down on the ground again -and again ponder our desperate situation.

And now, like a living nightmare, Sauron himself walks into the dungeon room, driving away all my rational thought, and causing Saruman to nearly break my spine, with his terrified grip around me.

"Oh, oh no, no, no " Saruman is nearly moaning, and I can only stare in awe and horror at the magnificent and wicked Being in front of us:

Seven or eight feet tall, eyes of glittering violet fire, and a face of shocking, unspeakable beauty.

Annatar the Fair.

"Olorin, my old friend. So nice to see you again."

He smiles, showing beautiful white teeth, and advances on us.

Annatar the Fair

SAURON

Look at the two of them, huddled together like two ancient children! I am amused, and yet intrigued, as well.

Olórin- facing me with unabashed courage, hmm, well, I suppose I grudgingly respect that. It will do him no good, of course, but at least, he will die with his pride. Good for him.

I also see in his expression something else- he is shocked by my appearance, thinking, perhaps, I had become a monster under the black branched armor.

I see the plain and naked desire on his face, and I could return it, easily enough.

I am, actually, very disappointed:

I had looked forward to the day when I could have them both, and pleasure would flow like wine, and I harbored the very pleasant fantasy that they would both submit to me.

Oh, I have harbored many fantasies about these two.

Alas, Curumo! How he has crumbled under my - correction - how brave he was, when plotting to steal my great prize! How utterly swollen with arrogance, and obscene conceit!

Truly, I have never seen as treacherous a being as he. More grudging respect.

I have had some very dark and feverish dreams of you, Curumo.

Dreams in which my screams were louder even than yours, and I shared my power with you in a very unique way.

But I think you would have rather had it turn out this way, then ever truly submit to me.

Olórin regards me with such concern- and I see he is even now trying to cover his fallen brother Maia as much as possible- trying to protect him! What, are they rutting each other these days? What have you kept from me, Curumo?

Strange, these Istari.

I suppose I should say something:

"Olórin, why are you trying to protect Curumo? Do you truly think he deserves it? Has he not betrayed you, yourself? What value do you find in him? Are you fucking each other in these last days?"

I smile as I say it.

Olórin looks at me now, as one would look at an errant child- ah, how that angers me! - but I wait to hear his reply:

"Sauron, I do not know what you have done to him, but have you no sense of shame, or any honor at all? He may have turned at the last, but did he not serve you well for many years? After all, we both know the soul-shattering call of the Ring! He could not resist! And for this, you torture one of your own?"

And now I do laugh, and Olórin shakes his head and looks away from me.

Cradles his treacherous brethren, oh so tenderly, and it only enrages me all the more.

"You did not answer my last question. Or perhaps, by failing to do, you have.You are a very slow learner, Olórin, but that's alright. I have time. You may hold that viper in your arms, for now, but only for now. Perhaps, when he recovers he will service you."

Olórin mumbles some inane words now, trying to coax me into surrender.

My laughter erupts again. The fool!

Curumo dares to look around, coming out from under Olórin's wing - he suddenly has a different look, than the beaten dog I saw only a moment ago.

Ah, I recognize this: the fearless and ever so clever Istar who thought he could defraud me. I see again that old arrogant look, the haughty gleam in his dark eyes.

Not wise enough to stay silent, he makes the unfortunate choice of speaking:

"Lord Sauron, Olórin speaks naught but the truth-but I do not need another to- to defend me! Ever I served you well, and tho' I have been judged and condemned for it already- I have never said I intended to do any ill or wrong to you!"

Olórin gets a look on his face of alarm and dismay, and I am certain mine is merely one of some considerable anger. Saruman however- looks- oh, the absurdity!- he looks SINCERE!

It could not be any more blatantly insulting, if he walked up to me and slapped me in the face.

I step forward, and notice, for the first time, that the cell door is unlocked- how interesting, I think- but I do not say a word.

"Get up, Curumo!" I command, daring Olórin to defy me.

But Curumo does stand, and faces me - I see again the nobility of his features, and the beauty of his fierce ebony eyes.

I cannot, however, show any laxity- and so I draw back my hand- still in a black battle glove- and strike him across the face, pulling back the last second so I do not kill him.

My blow sends him reeling back to the floor of the cell, and he glares up at me with a savage hatred.

Olórin- of course!- goes to him immediately, and Curumo pushes him away, and stands again to face me.

Perhaps I misjudged my fellow Maia!

Oh, without a doubt, he plotted and schemed against me, and everyone else.

But it just may be, I can make something of him, after all. I no longer dismiss him as a cowering fool.

"Explain yourself, then, if you have anything to say I have not heard!"

Curumo looks at me with pure scorn - and THAT will not do - I make ready to strike him again- and he backs away quickly, saying:

"Do not do so, my Lord Sauron- I can tell you many things that you still have need of hearing! I will not grovel at your feet-but I have ever been your comrade in arms! What do I need to do, to regain that which I have lost?"

Curumo- ah, Curumo- my chosen - you, whom I let come closer to me than anyone since Melkor-

My heart softens, and my cock hardens, suddenly beginning to stir to life under my armor.

I want his white bearded mouth on it, and his elegant, filthy, lying tongue -

yes- venom drips from your words, Curumo- the great Deceiver, you of the magickal Voice, lies, so many lies, even to out-do anything I have ever known.

I have been fierce, and I have been bold- and yes- cruel, very cruel.

But you, Curumo: you are that Serpent I used to dream of, sly and wise in your wickedness- sweet as a killing blow, and darkly arousing as blood drenching the sand -

I make a decision:

"Very well. I shall think of a way for you to prove your loyalty to me. Refuse it, and I will kill you- not easily, either, you know how I like to do things, don't you, Curumo?"

He meets my gaze unflinchingly, and I remember why I chose him:

That unspeakable arrogance, and relentless pride. He cannot allow himself to admit OR submit, and it may perhaps work out in my favor-

- and I know just what to demand.

Death and Passion

GANDALF

He IS fair, I think to myself, in a haze - I am disturbed -spellbound, really, by his face:

Radiant, vividly handsome, and those eyes- I have never seen a hue of violet so clear, and intense, with malignant beauty shining through. When his helm was on- all you could see were the twin orbs of fire- I cannot tear myself away- but I must.

His dark hair, a sort of blue-black, falls over his shoulders in a midnight cascade.

With an alarmingly fierce effort, I try to compose myself.

His armor- as black and pitiless as Sauron himself- is heartbreakingly open just a few inches, around his midriff, and I catch an unwanted but powerfully exciting glimpse of his belly, hard muscled, lean.

Inviting me.

Bewitching me.

Old habits die hard- and I try to reason with him.

"Annatar, will you not come back to sanity? There is hope for you yet, it is still not too late, if you will turn back from your onslaught, and leave these lands, I promise you mercy!"

He laughs at me - a bell-like musical laugh - not light and sweet, but deep and ominous - and yet musical- and I relent.

But to my horror I understand that he is aware of my - interest- and he looks back at me- with a sordid small smile, half mocking and half receptive.

Curumo suddenly attracts his interest, and they exchange words.

I realize dismally that I am in a strange state, half hypnotized.

Annatar- Sauron - says something and Curumo rises, although a few moments before, he had not been able to stand. I can see the pain in his eyes as he does so, but valiantly he does stand, and faces Sauron.

Out of my fog, I see Saruman go flying to the ground, and I am startled back to lucidity.

I go to him, and yet he shoves me away, and again faces Sauron.

I cannot read either of their faces. There is something going on here, that is much more than meets the eye.

Sauron gives Curumo an ultimatum of some strange sort, and then he turns his attention back to me-

His mind overtakes mine, although I try with all my might to resist it ( or am I? )-

Sweet words slither into my head, coaxing and cajoling, like mental tongues, caressing my thoughts, arousing my body and mind at once.

We are all Maia, Olórin, you and I, and Curumo here- come, be with me, be part of me, and I shall join with the two of you.

Let us love together, no need for all this hate and war.

Join with me, Join with me.

Let me love you, why must it be otherwise?

No more pain, I swear it. Only pleasure. No pain, no war, no dying.

He stares at me, his soul boring into me, and I feel my strength ebb away.

Dimly, I am aware that Curumo is staring at me, as well, with a look of horrified fascination.

Again, Annatar's seductive, narcotic mental voice:

Do you want to kill me? To harm me? Do you?

Mentally I answer him, as if in a deep dream:

You know I loathe killing, and harming another- even an enemy such as you. I offered you a chance, did I not?

You have given us so little choice, Sauron, we are all fighting for our lives.

Then do not plot to harm me, and do not scheme for my death. Join me- you will not lose your life, and neither will Curumo. And neither will all those you hold dear -

The Halflings - the Elves, Gondor -

I will spare them. I can make it be so. Or it can be the other way. Let me speak clear to you, isn't that what you prefer?

Olórin- let me- let me- love you - all of us - together. Don't deny your desire for me, I see it plainly! Making love together, the three of us, for all eternity, why, we will stand against the Valar themselves!

A Vision forces- rapes - violates my seething, inflamed thoughts:

Sauron- no, Annatar - he prefers Annatar-descending onto and into me, his black form enveloping me utterly, invading me with his cock- so gigantic, painful, ecstatic- and invading me with his soul-

He rips into me with vicious intensity, and I hear my own dream-like cries, as his enormous organ drives into me -he will split me in half!, I think -

And then my sounds are mixed with his loud and deep groans, and there is another with us as well- I see in the Vision, Curumo is atop Annatar - and he is moving with brutal, hard thrusts, shoving into him with wild passion.

Annatar seems larger than life, and so does Curumo- it is as if we are in some formless Void, the place beyond.

Together- the three of us- we move in unison, writhing, moaning, wailing, convulsing. We are locked together and our mutual sweat drenches us, uniting us-

And over us all- the Eye- with flames raging in a circle around it - and then I am back- back to reality, and to sanity- but with a sense of loss, as well. It was only a Vision.

"Olórin? Olórin - come back to me- listen to me-here is how it will be, now- listen carefully!"

And Annatar whispers to me, words born in evil, thoughts conjured in wickedness, and I listen.

Curumo listens, as well.

Eru help us all, we both listen.

Redeemed

GANDALF

Shall I tell this part, the last, and by far the most painful?

I will tell you that for seven weeks, Saruman and I feigned allegiance to Sauron, and there were many trials, and many tests, and we passed them all.

Once, Sauron forced Saruman to prove his loyalty-we knew that test was coming, of course - and ordered him to slay me.

As Curumo stood over me with a broadsword, I saw - for the first time since we had come to this wretched place - the old look in his eyes, the look of evil and madness.

The look of a traitor.

I understood that he truly was prepared to carry out Sauron's command, and I grieved - more than anything- at having lost him again.

In what I believed to be my last moments, I made a silent plea to the Valar, that if I could not save our lives - I could at least save my old friend's soul.

Sauron laughed with hearty wickedness, and bade Curumo to lay down the sword.

With obvious genuine disappointment, he did so, but said almost conversationally to his Master - for Sauron truly was that:

"My Lord, your indulgence, but if we do not see this through now -"

Sauron had looked at Saruman with something like true love at that moment, and had answered him in tones of deep malice:

"No, it will be alright, but Curumo- you surprise me- albeit pleasantly!"

I must tell you, that there came a night, when the chance to escape appeared, out of nowhere, and I forced Saruman at the point of a blade to accompany me.

How he cursed at me, through clenched teeth, and I truly understood that while I had feigned my submission to Annatar, Saruman certainly had not. But I refused to let him go again. I forced him to freedom, to his very last chance.

And I will tell you that we were pursued by the Wraiths, who this time were not out to capture, but rather to kill.

They cornered us, and I fought them all alone-Curumo was of no mind to do battle- alas, he ought to have understood that he was considered an escapee now, as guilty as I.

On the brink of finally driving them away with the Light, one of them drove his deadly sword into Curumo, deep into his side, and he made no sound at all, but collapsed immediately.

I used the last of my energy to drive away the Fallen, and tended to Saruman, who lay groaning quietly on the cold ground.

He was by nature pale, but now he looked ashen and grey, and his eyes had rolled up in his head.

I took him up in my arms, and he struggled weakly against me then, but it was a half hearted battle.

And what came then, as he lay dying in my sorrowful embrace, was a tale only I could tell:

he was unconscious for much of the time, and mercifully so. The Wraith's malignancy had flowed into him from the sword thrust, much as it had done to Frodo - and now, within a matter of moments, he was fighting for every breath.

It is a tale I tell with regret, and yet hope, as well, as you will understand, at length.

Seemingly endlessly, Curumo thrashed and moaned in the grip of the mortal evil coursing through him.

I held him all the while, leaving only for a moment here and there, to try to maintain my grip.

It is very difficult to watch even an enemy suffer - and this was my blood brother - one of my own very rare kind - together for so long.

And then the fever came, on the fifth night, with a fury I had never seen before in an illness.

His temperature was so intense it was painful to touch his skin, and the delirium alternated with a near-coma.

Once, he sat bolt upright, startling me, and then frightening me even more by looking at me with a total lack of recognition. I could see in his eyes that he had no idea who I was. It is only the fever, I had told myself then.

But it was to be much worse.

For three days and three nights he lay in sweltering, unnatural heat. It was, most likely, his own body trying to defeat the invading cancer of the Wraith's sword. Any Man or even Elf would have been dead by now, yet grimly he clung to life, as his fever climbed to such intensity I could feel its heat as I held him.

One morning, the fever suddenly broke - and I had a powerful intuition that something had been cleansed, somehow - purified. There had been a purification that would have been impossible otherwise. From where the knowledge came, I do not know.

Saruman opened his eyes and looked at me - "Curunìr? How are you feeling?" I asked gently, fearful of his response.

He stared at me, as if trying to remember something, and then said, in a toneless voice: "Gandalf - Mithrandir -? I - I have felt better -I think -" - his deep confusion was obvious, and I will not bore you with the details of that morning, but suffice it to say that Saruman remembered very little, after the devastating fever:

He knew me, but little else. No memory of the Ring, or Sauron, or the War. Or anything he had done or said, for good or ill. Not even what our Mission had been to Middle Earth, or who had sent us.

And all his learning, as if it had never happened at all- gone. All of it.

But he is still guilty of what he's done!, Theoden had cried angrily, when I had grimly informed them of the situation.

I had stared at him hard, with great anger, and he had clenched his fist, and turned away from me, muttering.

The others had been, for the most part, first shocked, then compassionate, merciful. I was grateful, and relieved.

EPILOGUE THE LAST

He is waiting for me now, in that same cottage, only the door is, of course, not locked, and there is no need to forbid him anything.

Saruman often reads the books and manuscripts I bring him - the vast loss of his memory, not quite total but very nearly so, has not touched his wisdom and intelligence, and his desire to learn is as powerful as ever.

Treebeard comes to him, and visits with him, speaking in gentle rumbling Entish tones, never mentioning anything of the past, but only teaching ( re-teaching ) him on the ways of nature -

No one speaks of the past to him.

Sauron? He eventually was defeated, and was sent to Mandos, for another attempt at his own redemption. There were many rumours flying that he had been utterly destroyed, but Eru does not discard his children that way- even very wicked children. There is always hope, isn't there?

Penance, I think to myself sometimes, as we lay in each other's arms through the dark night, penance, and redemption.

The penance had been very hard, but the redemption- well, that is priceless, isn't it?

FIN