A Taste for Honey

by Nefertiti

2004 Mithril Award Finalist

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and make no money from them.

Author's note: This story was written in response to Edan's challenge at Library of Moria. Looking for something with a lighter mood after the long romantic epic of Gandalf and Frodo in the "Thrice Returned" series, I thought accepting that challenge would provide inspiration. For one thing, the convention in Gandalf stories is usually that the wizard is the one who gets seduced-presumably because it would seem squicky for such a powerful figure to apparently impose himself on weaker characters. Beorn offers a chance to have Gandalf play a more active role in the seduction.

At first, though, it appeared rather daunting to try and get these two guys together. Upon rereading the Beorn scenes in The Hobbit, however, it suddenly seemed not only possible but obvious. Just why does Beorn become so very jolly and cheerful all of a sudden? Killing wargs and goblins? Or something more? Just why does Gandalf take Beorn's horse back rather than sending it and opting for a more direct route south toward Dol Guldur? Just why do Gandalf and Bilbo settle in for months with Beorn on their way back to the Shire? Just why . . . well, you get the picture. Mostly set during Chapter VII of The Hobbit.

Thanks to Elanor for betaing and Sarah for general encouragement.

Gandalf sat sipping his mead and staring down the length of the table at Beorn, speculating on just how this giant fellow and Radagast had managed to have sex. There seemed little doubt that they had done so, probably a number of times. Radagast had a distinct inclination to kiss and tell-one reason Gandalf had never slept with his fellow wizard. Gandalf also thought that Beorn had looked him in the eye a little too quickly and curiously when he mentioned his cousin Radagast. "I used to see him now and again." A bit too offhand, perhaps? Radagast had been discrete enough not to explain the logistics of their couplings to Gandalf, who had considered that more than he wanted to know-at least at the time. But the problem was undoubtedly challenging. Beorn was somewhere in the neighborhood of twelve feet tall. Gandalf himself was distinctly under six feet. That was fine for making love with Elves or Men, who tended to be just a little taller than he-but sex with this giant?

Still, Beorn had turned out to be unexpectedly charming. Gandalf had been much more nervous about approaching the man than he let on to the Dwarves or the Hobbit. But Beorn had welcomed them with far less resistance than he might under the circumstances. He was quite friendly in fact, and lively, humorous, a good storyteller-a quality that Gandalf admired, being a storyteller himself. He even found himself tentatively approving of the fellow as a possible bedmate. Well, not bed, he supposed. The sleeping arrangements seemed too communal for that. But for a bit of fun, at any rate, wherever they did it. Given the isolation of Beorn's farm, the man might welcome such an opportunity. Apparently he had been pleased to welcome Radagast most warmly during his occasional visits.

Ordinarily Gandalf did not assess just anyone he met as a potential lover. Indeed, he smiled at the irony of his having to contemplate a dalliance with this fellow, considering that he had been traveling for some time now with fourteen companions. Their company had, however, been most frustrating. Dwarves as a general rule were very tight-knit, insular and secretive, disinclined to trust those of other races--let alone be intimate with them. And Bilbo, while a pleasant little chap, hardly seemed an intriguing or indeed willing bedmate. Gandalf recalled his own long and occasional relationship with Bilbo's grandfather Gerontius, or the Old Took. Now there was a dashing, vibrant, witty, thoroughly pleasant hobbit. He sighed, thinking how sad it sometimes was to establish relationships, either simply friendly or more intimate, with mortals. He had outlived so many of those he had known.

But, the long and the short of it was, he saw no hope at all in any of the members of the Quest of Erebor. To be sure, the Elves of Rivendell had been most welcoming, as usual. He smiled abstractedly as he recalled in particular his final night there, spent with Glorfindel . . . But it had been many long days now since they had set out from the Last Homely House to cross the Misty Mountains and head on toward Mirkwood. Even worse, Gandalf reflected, would be his upcoming long journey to the southern area of Mirkwood and his participation in the attack on Dol Guldur. Once he deposited the members of the Quest at the edge of the great forest, there would be quite a long dry spell to come, he thought ruefully. A very long dry spell indeed.

And despite his size and rugged appearance, Beorn was reasonable attractive physically. He had scrubbed thoroughly since his strenuous day in the fields, and his freshly laundered hair and beard were fluffy and glowing in the firelight. In short, he looked as neat as someone with that bushy a beard could. Gandalf, who was himself as fastidious in his personal hygiene as long stretches on the road permitted, approved of what he saw. He also wondered, however, if he could indeed contrive some sort of sexual encounter, how they would handle the beard problem. In all his two thousand years of considerable experience with a great variety of partners, he had seldom slept with anyone who had more than a neatly trimmed short beard or a few-days growth of stubble. And since Beorn was over twice as big as he, his beard was proportionately larger. Would we get all tangled up with each other? Gandalf wondered in amusement. Trapped in a kiss by one's beard-it sounded rather romantic.

The next evening, after he returned from his long day tracking Beorn's journey toward the Misty Mountains, Gandalf ate a big meal and told the Dwarves and Hobbit a bit about what he had discovered. Bilbo persisted in being quite obtuse about the whole thing. Was the Hobbit never going to display those sterling inner qualities that Gandalf kept insisting he had? After Bilbo went to bed, Gandalf sat for a while listening to the Dwarves singing. He kept one ear open for the return of Beorn. Eventually the Dwarves also retired for the night, but Gandalf still lingered, smoking his pipe. Soon he heard what he had expected-the sounds of quite a few large animals moving about outside. This went on for about an hour. Once it had died down, the wizard judged it time to go out and greet Beorn. He was a bit anxious to know more specifically the results of the man's lengthy expedition. He also suspected that this might be his only chance to be alone with Beorn for a possible bit of pleasant recreation.

The moon and a dazzling array of stars illuminated the garden outside strongly enough to cast shadows. As he first looked around, the wizard wondered if Beorn had left again, but hearing the sound of soft hammering, he followed it out to the gate. There he was momentarily taken aback to see a goblin head staring vacantly at him, impaled on a tall stake. A good sign, he thought. He moved over to where Beorn was just finishing nailing a warg-skin on a tree. Slipping the hammer into the pocket of his tunic, he turned and saw the wizard.

"Good hunting, I see," Gandalf greeted him. "I congratulate you."

Beorn grinned. "This is only a sample of what my friends and I accomplished today. I noticed as I was returning that you had followed me for quite some distance."

Gandalf nodded. "Yes, I admit I was curious. Absurdly enough, when I returned and told the others what I had seen, Mr. Baggins was convinced that you were going to bring the goblins and wargs back here to attack us all! I still don't think he's figured it out."

Beorn chuckled. "I take it you're not worried about that-at least not after seeing these little trophies."

"Oh, I never was worried. I am well aware of the Beornings' hatred of goblins and wargs." They stood staring at each other, and Gandalf wondered if he saw the same speculative look in Beorn's eyes that he imagined was apparent in his own.

The wizard decided to make his move. "It's a beautiful night. You're probably exhausted after your long and strenuous day, but I would not object to a bit of talk, if you feel so inclined."

"Definitely. I'm still a bit exhilarated by what has gone on, I must say, and besides, I have had little to eat all day. Would you care to join me in a late supper?"

"Thank you, yes. I dined when I returned, but what with the questions being hurled at me from all sides, I had to cut my meal somewhat short."

Gandalf waited by the door as Beorn quietly entered and fetched some bread, honey, cheese, dried fruit, and mead. "Quite the chorus of snores in there," he remarked, and the wizard sighed. Yes, another reason he was glad he would soon be leaving the Quest. He followed his host around to the same porch where he had told the tale of the goblins and introduced the Dwarves. Beorn lit a couple of small torches, and the pair sat on one of the large benches, leaning on cushions propped up against the wooden wall behind. As Beorn ate hungrily, Gandalf nibbled on a bit of cheese and sipped his mead. He was not in fact particularly hungry, but he had welcomed the excuse to stay and talk with Beorn, whom he found he liked even more as the conversation proceeded. The man gave him a brief account of that day's battle with the goblins and wargs, and then Gandalf entertained him with a comic account of the Dwarves' encounter with the three trolls.

At last a comfortable but slightly tingling silence fell. They looked at each for a moment, and a wordless agreement passed between them. Little anticipatory smiles played about their mouths. Again Gandalf wondered just how they would manage. He began to realize what Hobbits must feel like when faced with the prospect of making love with an ordinary-size man. But of course Beorn had some experience in bedding wizards. He would let the man take the lead.

As if sensing this, Beorn raised the remains of a small piece of bread to his lips, took a bite, chewed, and swallowed. His lips were coated with honey, but he made no attempt to lick it off. Gandalf's smile widened, and he got onto his knees on the bench and leaned forward, stretching up a bit to slowly run his tongue around Beorn's mouth, gathering every bit of honey and then tickling to be admitted. Soon the kiss deepened, and as the taste of honey faded, Gandalf detected apples and mead as well. It would not occur to most people to call this giant fellow "sweet," and yet he was, quite literally. He felt Beorn unbuttoning his shirt as his own hands played with the man's ears and ran over his broad shoulders. The wizard had to drop his arms as Beorn pushed him away slightly and removed the shirt altogether. Still not quite sure what to do next, Gandalf sat back down and watched as Beorn picked up the honey jar again and, sweeping Gandalf's beard up and to the side, pushed him back against the cushions. The wizard grinned as Beorn moved the little spoon above his chest, letting the sticky strings stretch down and drop onto the smooth skin and relaxed nipples. Gandalf's eyes closed, and he sighed and gasped as Beorn's tongue drifted across his chest, lazily lapping up the thin tracks of honey. A moan escaped the wizard, and then a whole series of them as Beorn lingered over each nipple, teasing it quickly into a hard nub and flicking harder as Gandalf buried his hands in the man's hair and pressed against his open mouth.

Soon Gandalf was completely hard, and Beorn's fingers were gently running up and down his shaft. After the honey was completely gone and the man had suckled at Gandalf's nipples a bit longer for good measure, he eased the wizard down to lie along the bench. His hands were surprisingly gentle as they unlaced Gandalf's trousers and tugged them down slightly, freeing the rampant purple cock and stroking it. The wizard watched for a moment, then lifted the honey jar. "Have you had enough?" he gasped. Beorn grinned and shook his head. He removed his hands as Gandalf sat up and drizzled honey onto the tip of his erection. It felt marvelous as it oozed down, slowly coating his shaft in little streams of amber liquid. He lay back down and squirmed slightly as the end of Beorn's tongue explored the sensitive skin teasingly, then enveloped it as Beorn began to lick more eagerly. Finally the man raised his head and impaled himself on the upright member, quickly taking it in until his lips pressed against the wizard's balls.

"Oh, yes," Gandalf whispered. In his two thousand years in Middle-earth, the wizard had never experienced anything quite like this. Beorn's mouth was large enough to allow him to swirl his tongue freely about the shaft while the entire thing was buried in him, and his tongue was most dexterous. Gandalf struggled to control himself, to savor the wet, soft heat surging around him, and Beorn, apparently sensing this, slowed his pace slightly to let the wizard luxuriate in bliss. At last Gandalf began to tremble with growing need, and Beorn gripped his buttocks, pushing him rhythmically up into his mouth and sucking very hard. Ecstasy hit the wizard with stunning suddenness and force, easing very gradually as he pumped streams of come down Beorn's throat.

The man released him and sat up, licking his lips. "Very pleasant to taste a new flavor once in a while," he rumbled. "Honey by itself can become a bit dull."

Gandalf was beginning to catch his breath. "On the other hand, I think I could fancy a bit of honey myself in a moment or two." He watched as Beorn stood briefly and slipped his tunic off over his head in one smooth gesture. No nonsense about this fellow, Gandalf thought with delight. Not surprisingly, the man's body was incredibly muscular-and hairy. Gandalf did not recall ever seeing anyone with quite so much body hair. Not that he found it unappealing, but it was . . . impressive.

Even more so was the huge erection standing straight up along that hairy belly. Gandalf stared unabashedly at it. Quite a task he had before him. Probably not enough honey left in the little jar for that, he reflected, and stifled a little laugh. Beorn frowned in mock annoyance. "Something funny, wizard?" he asked, nodding downward.

Gandalf let his laugh out and explained. The man sat down beside him, and Gandalf reached into his lap to slowly stroke and tickle the enormous member. Beorn sighed and leaned back against the wall. "Well, whatever honey is left can go onto it. I'm not going to put any on my chest. Unpleasant, a torso covered with sticky, matted hair. Not much fun, either, licking honey off it! And I shouldn't feel it much even if you were to try. But as you can see, I'm already quite prepared, so . . .

Gandalf drew his hand back and watched as Beorn poured the rest of the honey directly from the jar. It certainly was not enough to cover that giant erection, but from Beorn's delighted sigh, it was enough to feel quite pleasant. The wizard had never experimented with combining food and sex in this fashion-oddly enough, not even with hobbits--but it was a charming way of going about things, he was fast concluding. He stood and pulled his trousers up, tying them loosely, and then tossed one of the cushions down to save his knees from the rough grain and knotholes in the floor. The perfect height, he reflected, realizing he would not have to lean down into Beorn's lap at all. He did have to pull that upright column down a bit to get at it, however. As he tentatively swiped his tongue over the end, the intense sweetness, combined with the silky feel of both the honey and the skin beneath, delighted him-and Beorn as well, to judge from the grunts and sighs he was emitting.

Gandalf began to lick the shaft in earnest, feeling the large veins throbbing under his tongue and the sweetness fading slowly. One hand stroked and tickled the large testicle sac while the other-the thumb and fingers not coming even close to meeting around the shaft-pulled and squeezed energetically. It was difficult to judge how fast and hard to go with this fellow. He did not want to end the pleasant torment too soon-but he half wondered whether what he could manage would be enough for Beorn's pleasure. Gradually he realized, however, that the man was reacting much the same way his other partners usually had, and he stopped worrying and worked hard to bring Beorn to ecstasy. As he felt the man quiver and his balls clenching, Gandalf pressed his open mouth over the tip, sucking and feeling the first gush of hot, thick liquid fill his mouth. He managed to swallow and to keep up with the successive, gradually diminishing spurts. He circled the tip once more with his tongue and then rose to sit beside Beorn as the man relaxed and slumped slightly against the wooden panels again.

"Yes, quite a pleasant combination of flavors," Gandalf murmured. "Do you always use honey when you indulge in this sort of thing?"

"Oh, not invariably. But quite often, yes. Especially when I am with someone for the first time. It tends to add a little humor to the situation and quickly banishes any sense of awkwardness, and well . . . it tastes good. So why not?" His rich laugh shook his body.

Gandalf nodded, then yawned. "Well, I think I should turn in. We must set out again tomorrow."

"But not on foot. We can work out just what you will need for the journey eastward."

"Well, what the others will need. I shall be leaving them soon and heading southward." And without giving too much information, he sketched his plans in relation to the Shadow that had arisen in southern Mirkwood. Beorn nodded approvingly at intervals.

The big man smiled after Gandalf concluded. "Well, it would not be too far out of your way to drop by here after you see the group off into Mirkwood. I could give you supplies--and other things you will not be able to get in the Wild."

"I had already been thinking that I might avail myself of your hospitality again, and now I think it would be utter folly not to do so," Gandalf said with a grin.

They stood and went into the house to get a few hours of sleep before dawn.

The next morning, Gandalf was amused to see how very jovial Beorn was and how the Dwarves and Hobbit seemed just a bit puzzled by this change. When the man told them about the battle with the goblins and wargs and showed them the grim trophies displayed at the gate, they perhaps attributed all his cheerfulness to that-though the wizard knew better.

After Gandalf left the members of the Quest at the eaves of Mirkwood, he indeed did return, taking the horse and ponies back to their host and spending two very pleasant days with him. They further discussed the situations in various parts of the world, and Beorn proved surprisingly well-informed for one living in such isolation. He also had good ideas about strategy, which, Gandalf reflected happily, gave him an excuse to linger a bit and sample the various sorts of honey that Beorn's bees produced.

Later still, he realized how very fortunate he had been to make Beorn's acquaintance, despite the desperate events that had led up to their meeting. After the attack on Dol Guldur and the departure of Sauron, Gandalf journeyed north again, and on his way to the Lonely Mountain he visited Beorn. His liking for the chap deepened even more-and not just for the physical pleasure they gave each other. He realized that he could rely on Beorn as an ally in the conflict that was all too obviously going to break out soon. His friend promised to lend his aid if needed-and it certainly looked as if it would be.

That proved vital, in fact, for it was Beorn's timely arrival at the Battle of Five Armies that turned the day in the favor of the Men, Dwarves, and Elves-and one Hobbit. Gandalf was delighted at their reunion after the Battle--for many reasons--and despite the fact that the wizard had his arm in a sling and Beorn had not brought any honey along, they managed to celebrate their reunion quite pleasantly in the wizard's tent. All in all, Gandalf found himself reluctant to part with his friend, and they planned a long, leisurely journey back to the Carrock area and a considerable stay at Beorn's farm for the wizard and Bilbo. "Too wintry by then to try going over the mountains," Gandalf said with a grin, and Beorn nodded with an answering one.

If Bilbo was a little baffled as to why they lingered quite so long at Beorn's farm, he nevertheless enjoyed himself there, what with all the celebrating of the victory and the great quantities of food. After a few months, however, the mountain pass was clearing under the warm spring winds, and the wizard reluctantly had to admit that it was time to leave. The abundance of cream and bread-and especially honey-was beginning to fill out even his thin figure slightly.

Finally, one morning, Bilbo and Gandalf were packed and ready to depart. As they walked slowly toward the gate with Beorn, the wizard reflected that this quiet interlude had been exactly what he needed after all the dangers and exertions of the previous months. He smiled quietly at the thought of the pot of honey packed in his luggage. Glorfindel would undoubtedly appreciate that little gift-and demonstrations of how to use it.

As Bilbo and Gandalf stopped at the gate to say a last farewell to their genial host, Beorn smiled down at them. "I hope to see you again one day, Mr. Baggins," he declared. "And you, Gandalf, you pass this way every now and again. You will look in on me when you do, I presume."

Gandalf gave him a very contented and affectionate smile. "Of course! I find I have developed quite a taste for honey."