Life Everlasting - The Secret of the Istari

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Gandalf/Saruman

Summary: The Early Days of Curumo and Olorin on Middle Earth

Warnings: Angst / Sexual Situations / Slash / Trauma / Drama / Hurt / Comfort

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

Chapter Four

Centuries later

( the time is one year before Frodo Baggins sets off with the Ruling Ring. Gandalf has wandered far and wide, but maintains a stormy and intense discreet relationship with Saruman )

I look over at my troubled, enigmatic lover, as he sleeps a strange, unpeaceful sleep; my time of living at Orthanc with him has long since come to an end:

I could no longer bear his violent, dangerous rages, and worse still, the knowledge of what was happening at Isengard, under my very nose. I cannot betray him, I will not betray him, but for me to live here, and allow it, was unthinkable. We have had many confrontations, far too many, and his temper is too unstable; I do not wish to ever harm him, and nor do I wish to allow him to harm me.

And we had been approaching that latter point very swiftly, or so I feared.

The very last day of my living here with him had come to a nerve-shattering end five years ago, when I had come back from a journey to the Shire ( he loathed the Hobbits, and grew increasingly angry when I would visit them )- I had walked upstairs, travel-weary and bone tired, and seeking the comfort of his bed, and received the shock of my existence, when I opened the heavy door of his quarters, and beheld an appalling sight:

There, bound and beaten, was a young wood elf, his frightened face streaked with sweat and tears, and standing over him was Saruman, clutching his Staff with a talon-like, desperate grip; the look on his angry face was pure, undiluted madness. He turned, hearing me come in, and as if we were about to sit down to a carafe of wine, said conversationally:

"Ah, Stormcrow- good to see you. It has been far too long!"

I had merely gaped at him, speechless; finally I found my tongue and said:

" Saruman- what are you doing-??"

He smiled at me then, a curious expression of great warmth, and waved aside my question, replying :

"Ah, it is nothing. Do not concern yourself with it. Go to my chamber and await me!"

- and then he turned to the elf again and struck him with great force across the face; the elf moaned softly but did not cry out. He looked up at me then, silently asking for my help, and I could not simply stand by and watch this.

"Saruman- Aratar - I do not mean any disrespect, but you must not do this, what has he done to deserve - "

I could not finish my words, because a great bolt of energy from the Staff silenced me, striking near me with a frightful jolt. Saruman was frowning at me with great rage, and as he moved towards me, I backed away from him, alarmed. The Staff still crackled with dangerous life in his hand, and I found my back against the wall- cornered, I tried to think what to do next, how to calm him.

He moved in on me, and I saw the fevered storm of madness in his dark eyes. He leaned in towards me, and with one hand stroked my hair-

"Gandalf - lisse Gandalf- I fear I must remind you- do not oppose or question me, ever. Not under any circumstances. Do you understand me, elen?"

- his voice was soft and loving, but in the depths of those black eyes was a warning, and great threat. I nodded slowly, and he glared at me for some time, staring deep within my soul. Finally, he backed away, and allowed me to leave the corner.

As I watched the nightmare unfold before me, he turned again to the elf, and wordlessly, and without any warning whatsoever, struck the elf with the side of the Staff with great force, and the elf crumpled limply in a heap. Saruman looked over at me, and smiled again, and I saw nothing but insanity.

I fled his terrifying, murderous presence, and did not return for six months.

Saruman spared no effort and no expense in searching for me, and I often saw his crows flying overhead, looking for me. And as much as my heart ached for him, I could not bear to return to him yet.

I finally did return, after I could bear it no longer to be without him. We never spoke of the killing of the elf again, but I knew the evil was upon us both now.

"Why must you go among those filthy halflings? You reek of their stench!"

Saruman thus awakens me one morning, and I open my eyes to find him staring at me angrily; I fight to gain full lucidity, in order to deal with this new problem.

We have just spent a harried, and unpleasant evening in the Council, and at the conclusion Saruman had become livid and stormed off. There had been a general consensus that the threat of Sauron must be now be met and dealt with immediately, and this had not set well with him.

Of course, by now I was fully well aware he was seeking the Ruling Ring- though he never admitted it, and never spoke of it. But in his blind lust for it he grew very careless; he often collapsed in exhausted sleep over his manuscripts, and one night, motivated by my deep fear for him, I carefully moved his hand draped over the page he was reading, and hastily looked at it. It was a treatise on the Rings and their history, and how they had corrupted the kings who had accepted them, but before I could read anymore he began to stir, and I quickly replaced the book.

I had eventually been able to look at a great many of the books he was studying, and the ones that did not speak of the Rings, dealt with Melkor and Sauron, and the long ago battles for Middle Earth. And then there were the books of Forbidden Magick, of the blackest varieties.

All my fears were true, and I was at a loss as to what to do next. I had decided to simply try to buy as much time as possible.

And so, this dark and rain filled morning, Saruman the White glowered down at me, and muttered curses against the halflings, and Galadriel, and anyone else he could think of.

So changed you are, proud and exalted one! I thought to myself sadly, recalling the great Istar who had taught me all his art, and so many wonderful things, all steeped in the Light, with no evil in his soul.

But of course, these days, at least it is no mystery what is ailing him: I know very well what is wrong, but I do not know how to cure it. And I do not speak of it to anyone else, and I will not, unless I am given no choice.

I will not betray him to the Council, or to the Valar, although it is ridiculous to believe they do not know. My fear is that he will insist on betraying himself, and everyone else as well.

What would they do to him, the Valar?

I fear for him terribly, and yet I do not believe the Valar would do him any injustice or cruelty. But he is already risking censure of some grave sort, as he is pursuing some very negative paths at this point. Banishment, perhaps, or -? I do not know. I trust in the great goodness of the ones who sent us here, and in their mercy and wisdom.

Saruman gives up on me, and with a derisive snort turns away; I decide to make an attempt to soothe the ruffled feathers, and I move up close to him, and touch his hair gently, trailing my fingers down the long white strands. All the black is gone, or nearly so: there are traces of it, here and there, at the temples, and in the long beard, but for the most part the long centuries have turned his hair a pure white, with a shimmering of silver.

He closes his eyes as I stroke his hair, and his nostrils flare ever so slightly, which I have come to understand is a sign of agitation- there is something of an ancient dragon about him, all white fire and flames, and deadly intent. I lean in close, and kiss him on the lips softly; he opens his dark, piercing eyes and looks up at me, saying nothing.

He has taught me so much, over the long years, and much of it has been sexual in nature. He has taught me how to bring both of us to climax after climax, nearly to the point of unconsciousness, and shown me the way to make an orgasm last for minutes instead of seconds. There is not one part of him I do not know intimately, or any part of me, that he has not explored in totality.

He is so wise in these things, and yet so unwise in other things.

Other, more dangerous things.

I know him so well, so very well; I know the soft sound of his breath catching, the moment before the explosion comes for him, when we are in bed; I know the exact way he will dig his long nails into me at that moment, and the scent of him, musky and rich, potent and immensely masculine, and how it will fill my senses as we move together. I know, with vivid accuracy, the thunderous sound of his heartbeat after we make love, as I lie my head upon his broad chest.

And yet, I will find, I am in love with a stranger.