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A moment between worlds (PG-13) Print

Written by Fawsley

24 June 2007 | 1059 words

Title: A moment between worlds
Alpha: fiction fabricated by fawsley
Beta: dusted down by the delightful dock_leaf
Pairing: Faramir/Who was that mysterious ranger?
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: nicely angsty
Disclaimer: not my original characters, I just play with them for fun, not for profit
Note: some lines snaffled from The Professor – extra points if you spot them!

Written for the 2007 Midsummer Swap

Request by Empy: Pairings: Boromir/Faramir, Faramir/Damrod, Faramir/Aragorn. Genre-wise, I’d prefer smut, but gen is fine if you find yourself blocked. I’d love it if the smut was of the outdoor variety, but this isn’t a must either. (Extra cookies if you manage to write smut set in Henneth Annûn. *g*) Toppy Faramir is a definite plus. I dislike fluffy fic, but strong kinks aren’t my tipple, either. Just give me realistic men and I’ll be happy.


A moment between worlds

He was amongst us for just a single night.

The patrol that brought him in insisted vehemently on his not being one of the enemy; how could one who had single-handedly laid waste to so many Orc be under the Dark Lord’s thrall? I found it hard to believe that he had acted alone, felt sure others must have been involved, but my men were adamant.

He was no prisoner. The men had gone to his aid and afterwards, naturally, he returned with them to our base at Henneth Annûn where food, rest and recovery could be found. He was brought to me simply to speak with, yet still I was on my guard, unsure of who or what he was, not having seen with my own eyes the feats my men reported so vividly.

I suppose I expected pride and bravado, but of course I didn’t get them. Quite what I did get I am still trying to understand.

Humility tempered by nobility worthy of the kings of old. Sorrow balanced by great joy in life and all it might yet bring. Lightly worn years, yet weighted by wisdom and a burden I could not fathom. Within moments I understood my fellow rangers’ behaviour, what it was that this ragged man inspired in them. It was reverence.

He was one of the Northern rangers, one of the straggling remnants of the Dúnedain, my own distant and mysterious kin. He greeted me with respect though in truth it was I who should have deferred to him, for I knew the blood of Númenor ran more true in his veins than in my own.

I could say that it was the slender ties of blood, the mutual fellowship of rangers or the quiet dignity he bore. I could insist that it was simply loneliness or the certainty of impending, inescapable war. I could blame ancient magic or present madness. Or, I could admit that as my own defences faltered under his cool grey gaze I felt a bond unlooked for and unexpected, the strength of which I had never known before.

After all these years I can explain it no better than that.

Into the screened side-chamber where we sat my men lugged a great wooden tub, then came jugs and bowls of hot, herb-scented water, soapwort, and even one of the rough drying towels we rarely bothered with. This was not all. They brought a leathern mug filled to the brim from the ale cask, a plate of bread, cheese and dried meat accompanied by a rare apple. I had not ordered these things, my men had not asked for permission to provide them, yet I had no complaint to make of their actions.

He ate as the tub was filled; told me of years of wandering, a quest seemingly without end, a man without hearth or home. His eyes shone, and his voice was rich and deep. Then he stripped for his bath and I beheld the glory of his nakedness. Lean, but strongly muscled, scarred, dirtied by long days – months? years? – upon the road. And yet he was beautiful beyond compare and I wanted him.

His ablutions complete, he stepped away from the towel I held out for him, instead letting me smooth the clinging droplets of water from his skin as I ran my hands down his flank, through the soft pelt of hair upon his belly.

‘I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship. But there, I believe my looks are against me.’

I did my best that night to dissuade him of this notion.

When I took him he cried out ‘My Prince!’ A strange thing. It has always puzzled me.

Of course by daybreak he was long gone, and so were my clothes. The guards were shamefaced at having been so deceived, confused to find me naked amongst them when they thought I had left bundled in my cloak some hours earlier. I laughed, proud and impressed by my nameless ranger’s audacious skills.

For a while I hoped that our paths might cross once more, but this was not to be. Who he was or what became of him I never discovered. No doubt he died long ago. I can but hope that his end was swift. That it was anything less than brave cannot be considered.

Over time I came to believe it was that one night we spent together, that one night when he knew he was loved, which gave him the strength to go once more to his ceaseless quest. I gave him the strength not to stay.

Why is it that I think of him tonight? Because this is like that other night, a moment between worlds?

This coming day I shall most likely ride to my death, ordered by my own father to sacrifice both myself and my men in a futile charge upon Osgiliath. Strange, then, to think that I would one day have become Steward in my father’s place. Stranger still is the knowledge that I would gladly renounce such unsought honour to be with my ranger, should he have ever returned.

When the foul arrows of the Orc pierce my flesh, as my life ebbs away and the darkness takes me, it is my Northern ranger that I will remember, his face I will see, and his dear voice that will call me to his side.

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5 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

sigh

This is so much more than slash! I guess Tolkien himself would feel very proud and would even give a muffled squee at reading this!

hugs simply gorgeous!

— Kissa    24 June 2007, 15:36    #

Wow. Just wow. This was a fantastic story, atmospheric and with just the right faint taste of angst. The characters are sketched very skillfully, and the narrative voice is excellent. (And you set it in Henneth Annûn! Yay!)

The last sentence carries such impact, and ends the story on a perfect note.

Thank you so much for this lovely gift!

— Empy    24 June 2007, 18:21    #

Trying for the bonus points: shall I just say ‘They are – at first sight at any rate!’, so not to spoil the game for anyone else?

That’s the only one I could spot – so if there are any more, you blended them in beautifully!

Wonderful work, and that ending is especially enchanting.

iris    27 June 2007, 11:02    #

Well done! Points are winging their way to you as I type. Though there are indeed more words of the Professor hidden in there somewhere…

— fawsley    27 June 2007, 11:30    #

This was just so beautifully done…
The final sentence is haunting and somehow the whole piece feels so atmospheric it is ethereal. Thank you for it..

— sian22    28 August 2014, 03:17    #

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About the Author


Fawsley

A complete list of Fawsley’s fics is available at her LiveJournal (friends only!). Failing friendship, her work can be found at sons_of_gondor, rugbytackle, tolkien_weekly and drabblechalleng.