by Milly of Isengard

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Gandalf/Saruman

Disclaimer: no bread made, of course. Saru belongs to me (I wish) everybody else JRR's.

Warnings: strong slash / angst / violence / torture (halfling and otherwise)

Summary: Gandalf goes alone to Isengard in an attempt to parlay Saruman into surrendering - or failing that, to at least bring him back alive. It goes badly, and Gandalf falls prey to his former friend. To make it even worse, the halflings Merry and Pippin are captured and brought to Orthanc.

Chapter 10 - The Way of Pain

Mithrandir weighed his options quickly - Saruman was standing right beside him, wielding the dangerous metal Staff - there were numerous Orcs and Uruks in the room, but he was not too concerned about them.

Saruman was the only real opponent to be concerned with.

What had happened to his mind?, Mithrandir wondered sadly. He seemed to have totally lost all reason, and yet - his speech was calm and cold, without any trace of madness.

But that laugh!

Strange and soft, it was the laugh of a madman -

And the sheer insanity of it, being brought upon by watching the little halflings being tortured!

He had to try something. Anything.

He turned carefully around to Saruman again, who was utterly absorbed in what was happening in the dark room - Merry was now being singed by one of the Orcs, and a hulking Uruk was lashing Pippin mercilessly.

They screamed hoarsely, their terror and pain seeming to echo off the stone walls.

Make haste, or he will have them killed!, Mithrandir realized, desperate and horrified.

He looked Curunír in the eye and saw that - oh, he was grinning, fiend that he had become now! Poor, insane, lost Curumo!

"Saruman! Will you hear me a moment - are you even listening?"

"Hmmm?- ?"

Curunír had a far away look, as if he were in a wonderful dream-

Mithrandir could bear no more - he seized Saruman by the shoulders, and held him firmly-

Saruman stared back at him, disinterested, in some sort of fog, but he did not raise the Staff-

"Have you no fear for your soul? Do you fail to understand what this will earn you? I told you, you may go too far at some point! You are on the brink of a precipice-!!"

His voice shook the room, and the Orcs recoiled - Saruman stared back at him, his dark eyes beginning to show anger, and alarm as well.

Mithrandir had taken on a vivid appearance, shining with some unearthly power - his strong hands held Saruman by both shoulders with irresistible Will.

Saruman was riveted to the spot, and he realized to his horror that he could not move-

"Let go of me, Gandalf! Let go, do you hear?"

But he felt his own Will beginning to weaken, and his strength was fading. He had to fight back, or- or-

Dizzy, he began to succumb to the overwhelming feelings - Gandalf, he thought drowsily, is draining my Will, draining it away - using his power on me -

he closed his eyes, on the edge of sleep, listening to the gentle words from his enemy:

"That's it, yes, that's much better - be at peace, now - everything will be alright - trust me, Curumo - trust me, I will not harm you -"

Curunír tried weakly to shut out the hypnotic words, the powerful sedation of the sound-

"Be easy, Curumo - you are not well, I will help you, I told you that - no one will harm you-"

The Orcs and Uruks shrank back in horrified fascination, watching the incredible scene play out before them-

Even Merry and Pippin ceased their frightened wailing, and gaped at the sight of Saruman and Gandalf, both blindingly white, Saruman swaying slowly, eyes half-closed, and Mithrandir slowly reaching for the black Staff-

With a jolt, Saruman suddenly snapped out of the spell and forced himself to clarity-

A savage animal-like snarl tore from his lips as he whirled on Mithrandir with unnatural swiftness, pulling himself out of his grasp - he raised the Staff high and brought it down across Mithrandir's shoulders, knocking him down.

Again and again he brought the Staff down, and finally Mithrandir sank under the crushing blows and collapsed.

"I warned you!", Curunír gasped, "I warned you not to take the way of pain! But you have done so, despite my warning! And so you shall take that path, to the fullest extent, as you have desired!"

He grasped a handful of Mithrandir's long silver white hair, streaked now with blood and their mingled sweat, and shouted to the Orcs:

"Which is the most painful? Of all this, what is the worst?"

"The worst, my Lord? That would be... the rack, maybe? They are all painful, my Lord!"

Curunír frowned darkly - Gandalf had been right, he did not understand pain - he could not fathom the different degrees of it -pleasure, he understood - better now than ever, since their - coming together.

Somehow, in his mind, pleasure and pain seemed to be two sides of the very same coin. But how could that be?

But no matter - no one needed to ever know that, as he had watched the halflings being tortured, an excruciatingly painful erection had strained to burst through the folds of his robes.

He had been very close to release, in fact, too close to orgasm to even care if he was observed, when Gandalf - the fool! - had interrupted him.

So close.

Thinking about it now refreshed the frustration, and he struck Mithrandir across the face with his long hand, and began to drag him over to the rack.

"Make it very bad, very terrible for him!", Curunír hissed to the Orcs, and they hastened to comply, taking Mithrandir and lifting him onto the rack. They swiftly secured him, and Curunír looked down at him, feeling a sense of mingled emotions.

Lost in haze again, his mind was clouding.

He reached out to Mithrandir, and absently stroked his hair.

He had a sudden, strong desire to lean down and kiss him on the lips - thrust his tongue into his mouth, awaken him, and then they could - they could - but no - he could not do that - not with all the foul Orcs watching - leering - not understanding.

Understanding what?, his mind reeled - What are you thinking of, and why?

For a brief moment, he came very close to ordering that Mithrandir be taken off the rack.

And then the voice screamed in his head, and it was no use:

Now you have him! Finish him!!

He touched Mithrandir's bloody, bruised face. "My Lord?" came a hesitant, confused voice - this time outside himself.

"My Lord... we ought to begin, eh?"

Saruman stared at the Orc blankly - and again the voice inside came, burning him like fire, it had never been like this - this was pain, certainly!


Saruman shivered slightly, and looked again at Mithrandir, who was slowly opening his swollen eyes - he reached over again, and once more ran a taloned fingertip over Mithrandir's face, trailing it slowly over his lips, frowning again, excited and terrified all at the same time -


Mithrandir tried to speak - "Curumo- Curumo, listen to me - please, listen to me!"

Curunír looked down at him, without words, and Mithrandir could see the hesitation in his expression-

FINISH IT!!!!!!!!

Curunír clenched his fist, startled - he backed away from Mithrandir as if burned-

"Curumo! Don't listen to him! I know the Dark Lord torments you! Close your mind to Sauron!"

Mithrandir strained against the iron shackles of the rack, and then he saw Saruman raise a hand, as if in invocation-

And then the rack began to come to life, and the great wheels turned.