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07 January 2012 | 49161 words | Work in Progress
Pairings: Faramir/Boromir, Faramir/Aragorn and quite a few others…
Disclaimer: Alas, none of the characters or settings belong to me.
Warnings: Angst, underage characters, death (nothing AU), violence, implicit rape, mild het, miscarriage, homophobic attitudes.
Summary: When it all began, you simply took a blind dive into the unknown. But would have you offered your love to the one you worship, had you known the price he would have to pay for loving you back? Would you trust yourself to know between right and wrong? If you could see the hopeless end of your journey, would you still take the road? And when all was over, would you be blind to see a new road lying at your feet? Would you dare follow it? Would you, Faramir?
Notes: Story is based on Book canon re character looks, events and dates.
Thanks to LJ for beta on Chapter 1.
This is a very long tale and may take a while to be finished. I appreciate the reader’s patience.
If you like having some music to go along with your reading, “Falling Into You” by Celine Dion would be the song.
Book One. Brotherhood
‘There are two tragedies in life.
One is to lose your heart’s desire.
The other is to gain it.’
George Bernard Shaw
Chapter 1. A Little Less Conversation
“I am telling you, they were looking at you! I mean really looking,” Boromir gave a throaty laugh and clapped his brother on the shoulder as they walked down a shady palace corridor.
Faramir blushed but said nothing, for he too had noticed how the girls were eyeing him earlier that day, and had heard their giggles and hushed whispers as well. It had made him both excited and uncomfortable: only recently had he started to develop an interest in such matters, and the whole business still seemed to him somewhat awkward and embarrassing. Fresh out of childhood, he was not at all used to this sort of attention.
Meanwhile Boromir winked at him and pressed on: “They are visiting for just a week, you know. I wouldn’t miss the chance if I were you.”
“Miss the chance to do what, brother?” Faramir asked exasperatedly. He did not appreciate the way the older brother made fun of him over this highly sensitive subject. Secretly, he had hoped that feminine affection would make him look more grown-up in Boromir’s eyes. Alas, he had naively overestimated his brother’s capability for consideration, as usual.
“Do what?! Pray do not tell me you do not even know what you are supposed to do!” Boromir was so obviously enjoying himself. His taunting was good-natured, of course, but it was taunting all the same. “You do know, right?”
“I… Well, certainly.”
“And…?” Beaming, Boromir raised his eyebrows, awaiting further explanation. He had turned around, and was now walking almost backwards to see the better into the boy’s face.
“Oh, let me be! For Valar’s sake, it is not as if you actually expect me to talk of it!”
“Believe me, brother, once you get a taste of what they have to offer, it will be the only thing for you to speak of day and night.” The young man laughed again and shook his head amusedly. He still marveled at the recent changes in his brother’s appearance and bearing.
Faramir could not see it, of course, but in the last couple of years he had become very different. Always a charming child, he was now turning out to be an exceptionally handsome youth. Although very alike to Boromir he appeared, there was a special, gentle loveliness to his looks that the older brother did not possess. The same grey eyes, same noble features, same shiny raven hair, same tall and agile frames they sported; yet whereas Boromir had always had around himself an air of power and sheer masculinity, Faramir’s fair face and grace of movement produced a more sensual and delicate allure. And they were different in conduct also: Boromir’s charm was in his strength, pride and confidence; but Faramir won people over with his kindness and attention, with his genuine desire to understand the heart of another. It showed in his bright intelligent eyes, for he could look at you like you alone mattered to him.
Now, as nature began preparing him for manhood, there emerged the first hints at how he would look when fully grown. Faramir had stretched taller and broadened in shoulders, legs and chest no longer childishly skinny but sporting lean and defined muscle, which made his protruding hip bones and clavicles look endearingly boyish by contrast. He dearly wished to have a beard like Boromir, but there was little hope for that, as his chin and upper lip were smooth as ever. His eyes were still very pure, and his lips full and rosy like a child’s, but his other features were changing: his jaw and cheekbones were becoming more prominent, outlining the future shape of his face. He was in between two stages of life, neither boy nor young man. But already his looks were attracting glances at least as much as did his lineage. What more, he seemed disarmingly unaware of his own beauty, as close to complete innocence of body and mind as a boy approaching fifteen could possibly be.
That innocence had but a little while left to last, no doubt. In fact, Boromir was surprised it had lasted so long. But he was certain that in no time his little brother would find all the doors of the adult world open to him. Actually, they were already open, only Faramir was hesitating to enter.
And really, Boromir could not help picking on his little brother over it, for, although the young man did not admit it to himself, did not even realise it, this recent change was unsettling him. He was used to being completely comfortable with Faramir, but now there were some things – things which had been perfectly enjoyable three, even two years ago – but which Boromir instinctively felt to have somehow become inappropriate. Like when coming home on a particularly cold day they would fight over who was going to take the hot bath first, and in the end would just climb in together. Or that favourite entertainment of Boromir’s, when he would unexpectedly pounce on Faramir, fell him to the bed, pin him down and mercilessly tickle him half to death, making Faramir shriek with laughter and squirm, letting go only when the boy was so breathless and exhausted he could only moan and kick his legs faintly.
Not to mention that incident when Boromir came to their chamber early, only to find Faramir there as well, sitting spread-legged on the bed’s edge, hand working feverishly inside his trousers. This behaviour was perfectly natural and only to be expected, of course, and such a situation was bound to have happened sooner or later, yet for some reason it had rendered Boromir so horribly, monstrously embarrassed that his first reaction had been to make fun of his brother so viciously he had nearly reduced the poor boy to tears.
And now this thing… Not in a thousand years would he be able to explain why, but he did not like it.
Deep down he knew he ought to leave Faramir alone already, but it only made him itch to pester the boy all the more.
Luckily for Faramir, at that point in the conversation they left the palace grounds and entered one of the narrower side streets leading to the busy main avenue. Boromir was not malicious enough to humiliate his brother in public with his teasing. So for the time being he let the matter rest.
Although there were plenty of spare rooms in the royal quarters, neither of the brothers had ever expressed a desire to occupy a separate chamber. However, now it was more and more seldom that Boromir spent the night in their old bedroom. Sometimes he would be gone for days serving his duty as Captain; on other occasions it was only for the night that he left. In the latter case he would return by morning, tired but apparently pleased, his clothes rumpled and a smell of mead and something sweet and unfamiliar around him. Strange as it may seem, it was on such nights and not during long military expeditions that Faramir missed him most. Both envy and jealousy the boy had to fight, awaiting sleeplessly the older brother’s return. And always a great relief he felt when before dawn Boromir finally strolled inside and gave him a conspiratorial wink. For it meant that whoever’s company he had enjoyed in the darkness, he never stayed with them but came back to Faramir.
The autumn had brought chills and a freshness, as well as early sunsets. Little light was coming from the tall window, and Boromir went to set fire to the logs in the hearth. He squatted in front of the fireplace, and Faramir, who was sitting on his bed, braced himself. Boromir’s laughing eyes had been too intimidating, and now, when the young man had turned away, was the moment.
The boy asked tentatively: “So, Boromir, you truly think I should do something about… about Linnith and Tiriel?”
Boromir shrugged and answered absent-mindedly: “Well, if you want to…”
“I would… But…um…”
“But what?” Forsaking the logs, Boromir looked at Faramir over his shoulder, and the boy blushed instantly. This time the older brother’s face was wholly serious and he frowned in disapproval. “You are giving this matter too much thought. Leave it to the ladies to construct elaborate strategies and brood over the meaning of your behaviour. You are to be a man very soon, Faramir. So learn to do it like a man. We are meant to live by action, to do things. You see an opportunity, you take it. It’s that simple,” and at this he returned his attention to the flame. It had already started a happy little dance on the dry wood, and warm reflections were flickering on Boromir’s face and clothes.
“But I don’t know what to do!” Faramir half cried, half whispered in desperation. It was humiliating to be saying this, to be lectured on manly behaviour, yet far less humiliating than losing face with one of those bright-eyed, dark haired girls.
“There is nothing to know, brother.” Although Boromir still sounded annoyed, he spoke more softly now. “There is no theory I could teach you. Just as I could not teach you through words alone how to ride a horse or wield a sword.”
“But I am good at learning through words, Boromir. Explain as you will… Or just… just tell me how you do it.”
This time it was Boromir who blushed, for that side of his life had never happened to be discussed between them. Slowly he walked to his own bed opposite Faramir’s and sat down, his eyes on the hearth. Although there was a distance of several feet between them, the young man almost physically sensed the boy’s agitation and awkwardness.
“Learn well you may, but I am not a good teacher, Faramir. I do not know how to speak of these things. I was only jesting earlier today, I’ve never really talked of it. With girls there was never a need for words,” at this he grinned and rubbed the back of his neck, as though remembering a pleasant moment.
At this point, unexpectedly even for himself, Faramir stood up and challenged him: “Then be true to your words, brother! You say to live by action. So let us not talk of it, just show me.” His voice had started loud and daring, but finished in a barely audible whisper. Instantly he was abashed and filled with regret, and a fierce red flooded his cheeks. He lowered his face in trepidation of Boromir’s reaction.
In the meantime a look of uttermost amazement had come upon the young man’s face, and his mouth dropped slightly open. He contemplated Faramir for several long moments, at a loss for what to answer. Sometimes his little brother could really astound him. Then Boromir threw his head back and laughed heartily. Startled, the boy looked up at him in bewilderment.
“Well said, Faramir! As ever a master of words you are. Never again shall I speak lightly in your presence.” Boromir spread his arms, acknowledging defeat, a broad grin still upon his lips. “But I shall be true to what I preach. I’ll show you.”
He paused, and as he accepted this new role his expression changed unrecognisably; and Faramir was swayed by what he saw. Never had he witnessed such a look on his brother’s face; and that look made him feel suddenly dizzy and hot inside his clothes. Boromir appeared at ease with himself and relaxed, but a bright, dark fire had lit up within his usually cool eyes. And he regarded Faramir in such a pleased, contented manner, as though there could not be a sight more comely under the stars – and Faramir became acutely aware of the two of them being alone behind closed doors.
Slowly Boromir raised his hand and thoughtfully caressed his short smooth beard, as meanwhile his gaze shamelessly moved up and down the boy’s body. This must be how he is with women, Faramir thought vaguely, no wonder they swoon when he is around.
Boromir spoke: “Come over then,” both an invitation and a command, the voice giving it warm and playful.
At these simple words Faramir’s already pounding heart beat even faster. He did as he was told, and a strange lightness was in his head. He stopped in front of Boromir, not looking at the man, yet sharply sensing how close they were.
Boromir took him softly on the shoulders and motioned for the boy to kneel. He was now slightly above Faramir, and he put his hand beneath his brother’s smooth chin and beckoned him to lift his face. A pure and lovely face it was, and to the young man it seemed only natural that he should be the one to take its innocence. Boromir waited patiently until at last Faramir looked up and met his eyes. There the boy saw emotions he knew no names for, yet they spoke to him more clearly than any words could. And he felt the same forces waking up in himself for the very first time, and it rendered him powerless and vaguely afraid, and he held still, unable to do anything at all, just holding his brother’s gaze, just looking into him…
The hand beneath Faramir’s chin traveled in a gentle caress along his pronounced jaw line, brushing lightly on the neck and behind the ear, sending shivers down his spine. Unaware of it, he leant into this warm touch and pressed his cheek into his brother’s palm.
Boromir watched his brother as though mesmerised, and traced his thumb to the corner of Faramir’s mouth and below his full, bright lips. The lips parted at his touch, and he felt a hot and restrained breath on his skin.
Time seemed to pause in its passage…
And then Faramir knew it would happen. Boromir looked searchingly into his eyes, and then his gaze slid to the boy’s lips. Letting go of his reservations, the older brother exhaled through his mouth and lowered his eyelids. The last thing the younger one felt before his senses left him, was that the warm hand on his cheek trembled. And then Boromir leant forward and kissed him.
Instantly he drowned in the soft shyness of Faramir’s lips. He was tempted to wrench them open and pry inside with his tongue, to devour this mouth, to claim it completely. But his brother was so diffident in returning Boromir’s advances… and the young man forced himself to progress slowly. First taking Faramir’s upper lip in between his own and pressing on it gently, he then did the same to the lower one. This he repeated again and again, each time gaining a more enthusiastic response. The boy’s mouth grew warmer and warmer until it seemed almost feverishly hot. Then Boromir tilted his head and kissed him sideways, spreading Faramir’s lips wider apart.
The boy’s hands acted as though off their own accord and came to rest on the man’s arm and heaving chest. When the tender, uncertain hand covered the very spot beneath which his heart was beating, Boromir drew away for a second, as though in a last vain attempt to escape the inevitable. He had a really bad feeling about this. It was not what he had expected, not what he had signed up for at all… And then all his resolves crumbled. Grabbing Faramir on both shoulders, he pulled him forcefully forwards, and bit ravenously into his mouth, and thrust his tongue in between the burning hot lips, and moaned aloud when his actions were all too eagerly returned. And they opened their mouths as far as nature allowed, pressing and rubbing lip against lip, tongue against tongue, all surfaces becoming equally heated and moist, flesh colliding and breaths mingling. Faramir’s arms snaked around Boromir’s neck, and the boy held on as if for dear life.
The air around them had grown dense and charged as though before a storm, filled with a heavy and hypnotising scent of desire. Faramir felt disoriented, oblivious to the hard cool floor under his knees, to his brothers’ fingers gripping him none too gently on the shoulders. He had entered an altogether new state of being, where nothing but them was real. All consciousness was burned to nothing by the flame of his brother’s body and touch. Only the heat, the senseless need was left within him, and Faramir did not resist it, could not think of resisting it. A primary want awoke inside him, sending a fiery ache down his spine straight into his loins. His aroused manhood demanded attention, and unconsciously he pressed it against the inner side of Boromir’s thigh.
Without thinking, Boromir reached down and cupped the bulge between Faramir’s legs with his hand. Faramir’s mouth slid away from the kiss as the intensity of the sensation shook him. This touch was almost too intimate, too erotic to bear. Pressing his hardness into his brother’s probing hand, he searched for Boromir’s mouth again, the wetness of the boy’s lips smearing across his brother’s face.
But instead of helping him reseal the kiss, the young man drew sharply away and leapt to his feet, in the process shoving his brother to the floor. Faramir took the fall hard as it came unexpectedly, the sudden pain in his shoulder and arm jolting him back to reality.
Boromir stared down at him, bewildered, guilty and almost disgusted at once, his face contorted. The young man raised his hand and ran it across his mouth and cheek, tracing Faramir’s touch. He shut his eyes as though to look at the scene was more than he could bear, and a tremor ran through him.
“Boromir, please…” Faramir reached out to him, unable to think of anything else to say.
But the sound of his voice seemed to have become the last straw for Boromir. He groaned desperately and rushed past Faramir and out of the chamber.
That night the Steward’s younger son spent alone.
Boromir walked the streets mindlessly for some time. He did not watch where his feet were taking him, and eventually he found himself in the lower city, where the citizens dwelled. The sky was by then completely dark and littered with stars, the streets illuminated by warm yellow lamps hung from house walls. Passersby were scarce, and those who came his way and saw his face drew back hastily.
In his hurry Boromir had not thought to take his outer clothes, and was beginning to shiver as the night’s chill crept under his linen tunic. He swore under his breath. Going back was out of the question, but neither did he fancy the idea of staying out in the cold, one on one with his conscience. What else? He could go to the soldiers’ quarters, there would always be a place for the Captain. But coming there in the middle of the night in his house clothes would look queer, and he hated to look queer, especially before his men. Anyway he was in no state to join a company now, his feelings in turmoil, the shameful longing still torturing him.
But then he thought of something. And the more he thought about it, the more he liked it, and even grinned ironically to himself. It was a brilliant solution, actually. It would deal with several problems at once: it would give him a warm place to sleep, and distract his mind, and relieve his body.
Not far from where he had come in his wandering there was a small house. A young woman lived there all by herself: a soldier’s widow, still young and fresh. He visited her once in a while to accommodate his manly needs, nothing more. She always obliged him and never asked anything of him. It was a most convenient arrangement.
She was in her chamber preparing for bed, when she heard a knock on the door, such that only Lord Boromir made. She did not bother to take a light with her when she went to open, for she knew it was him. He terrified her, when he had hardly let her close the door after him and grabbed her by the wrist, and practically dragged her to the bedroom. For a moment she even thought it was not him after all. But in her chamber a candle was burning, so she saw that it was indeed Boromir; and his face was frightful to look at.
The young lord was none too gentle with her. He pinned her to the bed with his weight and wrought her mouth open with a rough and painful kiss, groping her breasts at the same time. He wanted it over quickly, and not bothering to undress her or himself, he merely hiked up her skirt. But just as he was about to lower his trousers, he suddenly realised that he was not ready yet. This was most extraordinarily strange – he had never been slow to arouse.
The man halted and looked her in the face for the first time that night, and she seemed to him like a cornered animal before a hound. She stared at him in fear and incomprehension, for he had never been like this to her. But she did not dare resist.
Boromir sat up and exhaled heavily. At once he felt very tired, and it seemed absurd that he should be there, doing what he was trying to do. But he did not give up, it was not like him to abandon a venture midway.
“All right,” he said, “a bit slower now. Take off your dress and we shall do it properly.” As she complied, he also pulled his tunic off over his head. But when his eyes fell on her naked body, his already dwindling desire died altogether. The ripe roundness of her breasts, the feminine breadth of her hips, the full curves of her thighs – all the things which used to excite him so, now caused only aversion, repulsion almost. And then he became aware of her scent, the specific womanly scent that had once made his instincts flare up at once. It seemed now sour and pungent, and he could not get rid of it.
Boromir did not say anything this time. Absently he stood up, took his shirt and left.
It would be a long cold night after all.
When morning came, Faramir felt little better. Pale and weary, his eyes underlined with dark bluish circles, he left the chamber and descended to the Tower Hall for breakfast. Denethor was already there. Deep in thought and looking rather pleased with himself, he paid little attention to Faramir appearing.
Only two plates were set, and the boy wondered why no meal was served for Boromir. Yet he was afraid to ask, suspecting his brother’s absence had to do with the events of the previous night. Faramir had prayed all would be forgotten with the coming of the new day, and hoped Boromir would already be there, devouring the food and speaking animatedly with Father. Now the empty chair opposite him made it more than clear that his prayers had gone unanswered.
Having barely eaten, he excused himself and headed for the gardens at the Houses of Healing, one city circle below. It was the only green place in Minas Tirith, and Faramir hoped its serenity and seclusion would aid him in collecting his senses and deciding how to act next. Perhaps he ought to act as though nothing had happened? Actually, nothing ?? has happened, he was only helping me practice,?? the boy told himself. We got a bit carried away… But it means nothing!
Faramir slumped onto a marble bench and bowed his head, clasping fistfuls of dark hair in his hands. Inexperienced as he was, something told him that what had happened meant more than nothing. Far more… Moreover, in his heart of hearts he yearned for it to recur, and wished in shame that Boromir had not stopped. Would he not lose his mind if Boromir kissed him on the neck as he had on the mouth, if he tore apart his shirt and sucked on his nipples, if he undid his trousers and…?
It was impossible to see beyond the clouds of emotion swirling in his head. He groaned just as Boromir had done the night before. The situation was too complicated, too complex for him to untangle, to even understand. Yet one thing was clear: the blame lay on him. I have started it all, I made my brother do it by challenging him to keep true to his words. I have caused him great distress, I am responsible. It would be despicable to pretend it had never taken place!
With a fresh resolve to seek Boromir and clear the matter, Faramir hurried out of the garden. He hastened to find his brother lest his determination crumble before fear and uncertainty.
Not knowing where to start the search, he headed impulsively for their chamber. To his surprise, Boromir was actually there. The young man was standing with his back to the door, his soldier’s possessions spread on the bed and floor before him, a large saddle-bag in his hand, another one lying at his feet. He did not turn as Faramir walked in, yet the boy saw him grow stiff with tension.
“Boromir…” he began and was dismayed to have his voice catch in his throat.
“Father has sent me on a mission with the troops,” the older brother interrupted in an expressionless tone. “I must be gone very soon. Please do not bother me, I need to pack my things.”
These words were like a blow on the solar plexus, and rendered Faramir breathless. Never had Boromir spoken to him thus, never had he dismissed him as a nuisance, as a nosy child. Tears suddenly welled in the boy’s eyes, and he forgot everything he had been meaning to say to his brother.
He ran out and let the door slam behind him, no longer caring what Boromir would think.
In the evening the Steward and his younger son ate alone again, as Boromir had departed at noon. Faramir could not taste the broth he was absently spooning into his mouth. His life had been split at the very core, and little mattered to him now.
“I wish to speak with you, child,” Father said pushing his empty plate away. “For you worry me.”
Faramir froze with the spoon midway to his mouth. He knows. Oh, Valar, he knows!
But Denethor looked concerned rather than wrathful, scrutinising the boy with his heavy eyes. “You know well enough a father’s heart is large enough to love all his children at once. Yet it will grant its love to those only who are worthy of it. You are strong of body and sharp of mind, my son, but where is your spirit? We live in a dark time, a time of war, but you do not wish to fight. You brother this morning came to me begging to let him leave the confines of safety. He yearned to be gone with the men, to protect Gondor with his sword. Boromir cannot stand inaction, but what of you, Faramir? Does it not shame you that others die to grant you peaceful living? Would you not take pleasure in slaying our enemies? Do you not strive to make me proud? All your reading, all these songs and tales – all that would have been very nice in a different time, but –”
“He begged you to let him leave…?” Faramir’s spoon fell heavily into his bowl and sent a fountain of soup in all directions.
“Aye, that he did. And I see you are surprised, for Boromir has acted in valour but did not boast to you. Take heed of my word, son, make his action an example for yourself. Do not force me to be disappointed in you.”
Faramir was speechless with outrage. ‘Father sent me on a mission with the troops’, you said, dear brother. Father sent, my arse! You coward, you fled from me, you would not even look me in the eye! How little do I mean to you if you could forsake me like this?!
“I am sorry, Father,” he turned to the Steward at last, his voice for once defiant, his glare ablaze with hurt and offence. But Denethor mistook the emotions in Faramir’s eyes for pride and ambition, and was glad.
“I must have forgotten my place and duty,” the boy went on, and the words he was saying seemed to him not his own. Now his father was the only person whose opinion of him mattered. And Denethor had made it perfectly clear how his favour was to be won.
“Pray forgive me and grant me a chance to prove my worth to you. I shall do whatever deed you see fit for a Steward’s son. Send me wherever I am needed.”
“Truly, you give me a reply I had hoped for yet did not expect to hear.” Faramir winced slightly at the diminishing words but held his father’s gaze steadily. “On the morrow a group of Rangers are setting out to join the patrols on the Eastern borders. You are good with the bow, you may go with them.”
The Eastern borders.
Any Gondorian knows what those words stand for.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: pi , Petey