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Borderlines (PG-13) Print

Written by Gemenice

14 May 2011 | 6096 words

Title: Borderlines
Author: Gemenice
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Faramir & Haldir
Warnings: very mild slashiness, possible OOCness, slight AU
Gemi: This is NOT my fiction. But it's one of my best friend who is too shy to put this up and I'm putting this here with her CONSENT. So... please read and review :) Disclaimer: LOTR is not mine… though I'd like some of the characters to be *drools*

Faramir sets on a journey in Boromir’s tracks in hopes of finding peace… what he finds is slightly different from what he had hoped for. mild SLASH, HaldirxFaramir


The traveler pulled up his cloak tighter around him as he entered the forest, trying his best to not disturb the profound silence that enveloped the first trees of this sacred place. He hadn’t known where exactly his trip would take him and if he weren’t on the kind of journey he was, he would even feel excited. At that moment, his mind was still disturbed by the news of his brother’s supposed death. Faramir couldn’t believe it – even though deep down he knew it was the truth, that Boromir was no longer present in the land of the living… it was too terrifying to accept easily.

So he had taken a horse and a few supplies, and stormed off into the night, hoping to understand where and how his brother had come to his end. He needed to know – needed to see places only Boromir had seen, for his own sake, and also for Boromir’s… Faramir knew that if Boromir had lived through the war, he would’ve wanted to take Faramir to all the foreign places he had seen, show him all the miracles he had witnessed. And seeing as he was now deprived of that right… Faramir just had to go and see for himself. See the places his brother saw… see the bank of river Anduin where Boromir had died. See it all with his own eyes so he could finally draw a line and believe that his brother was gone from his life forever.

Faramir’s eyes stung and his foot slipped. He had left his horse in Rivendell when he was there, because he wanted to travel as Boromir had, by foot, taking the longer route no matter the fact that it wasn’t very safe. Stray orcs were still wandering the lands of Middle-Earth, barely a few months after the last battle, and Faramir had met a few, killing every single one. Usually he would feel too sorry for creatures like that, who lost their purpose in life and wandered aimlessly, searching for food where they could. Usually, he would spare their lives – but he couldn’t now. In every orc he saw the murderer of his brother, death of Boromir… and he couldn’t restrain himself as he drew his sword and killed the creatures, weakened by their loss, with almost animalistic fervor.

He had gone barely a hundred feet into the forest when a tip of an arrow appeared in front of his eyes, immediately joined by three others. Faramir looked up, not even daring to guess how many elves were still hidden in the trees, pointing their arrows at him.

I bring you good tidings,” he greeted the one closest to him with his best Elvish accent, and he could see the merciless look on the blonde Elf’s face melt a little – mostly from surprise, about that Faramir had no illusions. They would shoot him without hesitation if he showed any sign of being dangerous, no matter how fluent he would be in their language.

“What is it you seek in Golden Woods, human?” one elf asked sharply and Faramir deemed it appropriate to raise his hands in a gesture of peace.

“I am making a journey to honor my brother’s memory. Maybe you have heard of him. His name is… was Boromir, son of Denethor.”

The elf looked quite skeptical and Faramir could see that they did not believe him, but before he could say more, another voice echoed through the forest, deeper and softer than the first elf’s.

“I knew your brother, Faramir of Gondor.”

Faramir couldn’t help but stare when an elf stepped in front of him, his bow already down. His pale skin shone even in the dim light that filtered through the thick leaves and his eyes bore deep down to Faramir’s soul as if the elf could read his intentions like an open book. It left Faramir feeling naked, bare under the elf’s gaze, but he didn’t dare speak again.

It felt like he didn’t even have to, because the elf nodded to one of the others and all the arrows suddenly disappeared. His dark eyes never left Faramir’s face, and the man suddenly felt very small against these elves, some, if not all, of them millennia old and millennia wise.

“And- I can tell you this: what you seek is not what you shall find here,” the elf spoke slowly and Faramir’s heart clenched as if the elf had bewitched it. He never saw such perfection in any other being, no other man or elf, and his soul yearned to stay in this creature’s presence for a little longer.

I do apologize for my insolence, but I ask for permission to enter Lothlorien,” Faramir tried Elvish once more, and was granted only a raised eyebrow.

Knowing the words does not change your heart,” the elf answered, and Faramir’s eyes widened.

“What do you mean…?”

“You hold too much hatred in your heart, Faramir of Gondor,” the elf replied, seemingly undisturbed by what he was saying. Faramir, on the other hand, trembled at his words. Hatred… no. He was never one to hold grudges, not even as a child. That was always Boromir, getting so passionate about the smallest things… Faramir shook his head.

“Surely you must be mistaken.”

“I wish I were,” the elf smirked, and there was so much superiority in his beautiful face that Faramir’s throat tightened. He already knew the outcome, even before the elf spoke it out loud. “You are not allowed the entry to Golden Woods.”

“But…”

“Do not push your luck, son of Gondor. You were not harmed only out of respect for the memory of your brother. I wish you safe journey back home.”

The elf turned to leave and Faramir took a step forward instinctively, raising his hand to stop him. The tips of all the arrows were practically shoved in his face immediately and the elf looked at him with a small smirk on his full lips.

“Yes?”

Faramir took a deep breath. He couldn’t leave now. He was so close… already in Lothlorien, even if only on its borders… too close to just give up. It would be another failure in his life, something Boromir had managed and he couldn’t. No… after he had learned of his father’s death, Faramir had sworn to himself to never fail again. To begin anew, without restraining himself, never disappointing those who depended on him.

If he didn’t manage to do even this simple journey… if he returned home now… it would just bring back the life he had been trying to forget.

I will not leave,” he spoke firmly, and the surprise in the elf’s eyes filled him with mild satisfaction.

“What did you say?”

“I will not leave. You can banish me from Golden Woods, but I will not leave these borders until I am granted the permission to enter.”

The elf’s full lips quirked into a sneer again, and Faramir could hear soft chuckles around him, but he didn’t back down, his expression as fierce as in a battle he could not allow himself to lose.

“Suit yourself, Faramir of Gondor. You shall die of old age before you are allowed to see Caras Galadhon.”

He turned to leave and this time, they all disappeared before Faramir could even try and stop them. The forest was immersed in threatening silence and Faramir’s heart was beating like mad in his chest. He didn’t dare step further into the forest – he knew that the elf was telling the truth and he wasn’t harmed only because of Boromir’s memory. Should he step beyond the invisible line, he would be killed without a second thought. The elven lands were not ruled by the laws of men, and the Steward of Gondor was just an ordinary human here.

With a sigh, Faramir retreated to the edge of the forest and sat under a large tree, leaning against its trunk and closing his eyes. He had nothing else to do… and it was more than probable that the elf was also not lying about how he would sooner become an old man than be granted entry.

He took out his sword and started sharpening it, thinking about the hatred that was supposed to be in his heart. He didn’t understand that… could the elf mean his father…? Was it possible that Faramir still had not forgiven him for the way he had treated him… or Boromir? Could the elf mean the slight tinge of jealousy that colored every feeling Faramir had for his brother…?

He shook his head – no. He had respected and loved Boromir to the extent that far outweighed jealousy or sense of unfairness. As for his father… Faramir had long given up on that part of his memories, so even now, with the night falling on the borders of Lórien, he didn’t allow himself to mull over the old wounds. He lay down on the mossy ground and closed his eyes, covering himself with his cloak and with hope that the rulers of the Golden Woods wouldn’t leave the Steward of Gondor sleep at their gates for more than a night.

It was two days later that he realized the elf guard might have spoken the complete, terrible truth. No one had bothered to come and get Faramir, no one even approached him, though with his senses of a man who spent years guarding Ithilien, he knew that they were there. It wasn’t like he heard rustling of leaves or cracking of dry twigs – the forest was as quiet as a forest could possibly be, the only sounds caused by the wind or small animals (which Faramir had come to appreciate when his supplies of food ran out). But he felt presence and watchful eyes from time to time. The guards were probably checking if he had given up already.

On his third night out, he decided that just sleeping under a tree wasn’t a very good idea, and walked around the edge of the forest, trying to find a better place to stay. He found a creek with clear, sweet water and not far from it a giant tree with roots old, thick and raised above the ground to such height that they had created a small cavern, protected from rain and wind. Sleeping in there proved to be far more comfortable and so, Faramir’s greatest enemy was boredom. During the first few days, he sharpened his weapons, made some basic arrows to hunt down his dinner and kept on looking towards the depths of the forest, hoping for someone to come and get him.

But the hope started to weaken over the course of days, and what was left was discomfort and restlessness. Faramir wasn’t used to idling around all day. He had been a busy man since he had been old enough to take up arms and go out protect his city. Even in Ithilien, where days passed mostly peacefully, there was always something to do, someone to talk to. Here, it was just silence, him and his own thoughts, and that wasn’t good. Here, he had enough time to think about what he had left back home: Gondor that didn’t actually need him anymore as it had its rightful ruler, Ithilien which had been offered to him by the thoughtful King as a consolation prize, even if it could pretty much rule itself as it had all these years, Éowyn who expected him to marry her when he got back from his journey. It wasn’t like any of those especially bothered him: he was pretty much used by now to Gondor not needing him or to being assigned unimportant missions and places. He had also always known that one day he would be required to marry someone, and Éowyn was just as good a woman as any other, maybe even better with her courage and with her memory of battles that no other woman could share with him.

But, Faramir realized, it also wasn’t like any of those facts actually pleased him very much.

“Already feeling like giving up?” an amused voice startled Faramir and he had his sword in his hand before he could even register the intruder properly.

It was the elf guardian from before – the beautiful one. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement as he raised his hands in surrender, though Faramir was painfully aware of the unguarded expression on his face. The elf probably didn’t even see Faramir as a threat – which was quite understandable, considering that the man was still just a child in the elf’s eyes.

“I will not leave until I’m granted entry,” Faramir frowned fiercely, and the elf sighed, letting his hands drop to his sides just as Faramir lowered the tip of his now razor-sharp sword.

“I know that, Faramir of Gondor. That is exactly why I have come today.”

Faramir raised an eyebrow at that: the elf’s tone sounded far less formal than the day of Faramir’s arrival – he couldn’t even remember how long ago that was. Nine days…? Ten?

“…has the Lady of Lórien given me permission…?” he asked hopefully, but his hopes were quickly extinguished by the shake of the fair-haired head.

“I’m afraid not. You see… there is no Lady of Lórien anymore. Lady Galadriel sailed west a few weeks ago, and… Lord Celeborn is not in favor of admitting any non-elven visitors.”

Faramir’s mind swirled with questions and he had a hard time focusing on just one of them. The elf seemed to understand as he gave Faramir a small, though genuine smile, as far as the man could see, and continued:

“I know you are wondering why. The age of elves has come to an end. You probably know this; it is just a matter of time until we all… go.”

To Faramir, it seemed that the elf himself wasn’t quite comfortable with the thought.

“Therefore, Lord Celeborn wishes for the race of elves to remain separate, so we can leave in peace. There is nothing more we can give, there is nothing more we need to take – those are his exact words.”

Faramir sat down heavily on the ground, staring into the high grass. So it was all in vane… he wouldn’t be able to finish this journey. He wouldn’t be able to make peace with the ghost of his brother that haunted him day and night… he wouldn’t be able to draw the line he craved to make.

His eyes rose to meet the elf’s.

“Why are you telling me only now?”

“Because this is my first day off since you came,” the elf shrugged, and stepped closer, sitting in the grass opposite Faramir. He gazed at the water sparkling and prancing in the stream, and Faramir had a strange feeling that the grass the elf was sitting on didn’t feel the weight of body as much as the grass under himself did.

“You would be left waiting until you gave up,” the elf said quietly, and then averted his gaze from the creek. His dark eyes met Faramir’s, and suddenly the man found so much soul in them he was taken aback. Strange creatures, these elves… he had been fascinated by their race since he was a child, and now, finally able to meet one of those he had admired most, the Lórien elves, he didn’t even notice until now. Maybe he was too preoccupied with his self-inflicted quest, maybe he just got used to the presence of elves because of Queen Arwen and some of her kin that came to visit. But somehow… this elf felt different, and Faramir realized he was interested in him.

“So why…?” he began, and was cut short immediately.

“Out of respect for your brother. I knew him, and if you have half his persistency, you would really be here for years. And that is far too long for a man to waste by waiting on something he will never acquire.”

That was insight he would have never expected from someone millennia old. As far as he knew, all elves tended to forget human mortality far too quickly… even Arwen, fully aware of the fact that she was giving up her immortality, aware of the aging of her husband… even she seemed detached from reality, like her mind was halfway somewhere else most of the time. Elves always seemed unapproachable to Faramir, divine, royal… and even though the air around this elf was a little bit like that, too, he seemed unusually down-to-earth.

“What is your name?” Faramir asked into the silence, and the elf blinked, then nodded:

“I apologize. I am Haldir, the Marchwarden of Lórien.”

Faramir’s eyes widened in shock. Yes, he had expected this one to be someone important, but he didn’t think it would be Haldir himself. Faramir had heard tales about his courage and standing from Legolas and Aragorn, and even Gimli seemed to have taken liking to this elf – which was something, seeing as Gimli only liked Legolas and Galadriel from the entire elven race.

Please, accept a sincere apology for my previous rudeness,” Faramir bowed his head, trying his best to not make any grammatical mistakes in his polite Elvish. In the next moment he could feel a warm hand over his arm and when he raised his eyes, he saw that Haldir was actually smiling at him warmly:

“Enough with the formality. After all… it’s not like the station means much now,” his voice was a little bitter and a shadow crossed his flawless face – in that moment, Faramir could relate to him.

“My title is the same,” he nodded, and when the elf looked at him again, he could feel a kind of strange connection forming between them. Two souls of the old world, both completely lost in the new one.

“You are much less alike to Boromir than I imagined,” the elf smiled, and this time it was Faramir’s face that was crossed by a shadow.

“Unfortunately, I have to agree.”

Boromir would never give up like that… he would probably not be denied access to the Golden Woods. No… Boromir had this royal air about him that everyone acknowledged… no one would deny him anything.

“On the contrary, I believe that is what spared your life,” Haldir smiled softly, and Faramir looked at him inquisitively.

“Do you know something about Boromir’s…?”

The almost dead flames in his heart burned anew – he had almost come to terms with the fact that what Aragorn said about Boromir’s death might be true – that Boromir died protecting the Hobbits in battle. But somehow… even if that death sounded quite heroic, something was telling Faramir it wasn’t the whole story.

Haldir looked at him for quite a while, and Faramir was starting to feel uncomfortable, but didn’t avert his eyes. He wanted to know the truth, and if this elf knew at least some bits of it… that would have to suffice for now.

“I do not know much about your brother’s death. The only thing I know is that he was far too proud for his own good. He lacked the ability to bend his will, to accept that someone might know better than him.”

“He was a great warrior,” Faramir frowned – what the elf was saying didn’t sound like a praise, and Faramir was so used to hearing only good things about his brother that he automatically jumped to his defense.

But the elf just smiled again:

“I agree on that. But you could be a far greater man.”

Faramir’s eyes widened and his cheeks colored in embarrassment. Oh, how he had longed, secretly and bitterly, to hear those words just once when he was still just a boy. How he had hoped that one day, his father would acknowledge his abilities for what they were, not for how he couldn’t compare to Boromir in any possible way. How he hoped that he would find someone who wouldn’t look only at Boromir with awe and adoration, who would deem him worthy of his or her time.

None of that ever came and Faramir had come to terms with the fact that he was the lesser brother, that he could never earn as much respect as Boromir did. And now… in the foreign lands, on the borders he wasn’t allowed to cross, an elf had said what Faramir’s soul thirsted for the most. His heart thumped against his ribs as he stared at the elf, wide-eyed and amazed, unable to say anything, because he could only deny what the elf had just said, and that would be too painful to endure.

Haldir must have sensed what was going on in Faramir’s mind, because he shifted closer and squeezed his shoulder:

“You have compassion, even if it is blurred by hatred right now. That is what your brother lacked…”

Faramir shook his head with a sigh.

“I could never be like him.”

“You have your own path to take.”

Faramir looked at the elf. Maybe he was right – but he had still not discovered a path he could take without feeling guilty, inferior, unimportant. Maybe that was his next journey… hopefully with a better ending than this one.

“I will leave tomorrow,” Faramir said, his throat squeezed tight, and Haldir’s hand on his shoulder squeezed again, feeling unusually warm and welcoming, even though Faramir knew the Marchwarden could not grant him entry.

“Take your time. And cast away your hatred and your doubts. Forgive yourself.”

With that, the elf was gone again before the words could fully reach Faramir’s brain, and the man sighed. What was this about hatred again… maybe… maybe Haldir understood that Faramir couldn’t compare to his older brother. Maybe he should really forgive himself and deal with the fact that he would never be the man Boromir was… Faramir sighed and settled into his makeshift moss bed.

He didn’t know when he had fallen asleep, but he woke up to a sound of rustling and creaking. He got up as quietly as he could, drawing his sword, and as he circled the tree, he could see a group of orcs even in the darkness of the night. Five, maybe more of them, all looking starved and restless as they approached the spring and started drinking loudly.

Faramir’s expression hardened and his hand gripped his sword tight. There they were… the murderers of his brother. Still roaming the Middle Earth free, no one getting rid of them… oh, but he would. He would pay his tribute to his brother’s memory, so Boromir could rest in peace as his death was avenged. Faramir stepped from behind the tree, the orcs shrieked something he knew was half-warning, half-battle cry… and then he lost himself completely, his sword flying with deadly accuracy, his mind hazed with feeling of righteousness. They were the bearers of all evil, lowly, ugly creatures, and every time his sword screeched against the bones of the creatures, every time he deflected an attack of one of them, Faramir felt like his existence was worth something.

There were more of them – after he killed four, six other appeared. He beheaded the one that approached him first and plunged his sword deep into the neck of another, bathing everything in stinking blood of those evil monsters. They lost the will to fight after seeing the dead bodies of their foul comrades and turned away, but Faramir would not let them go. When he got the one that was running slowest, he slew him without mercy, his mind full of images how these ugly bastards didn’t have any mercy either when they sank arrow after arrow into his brother’s body.

He started after the last three, but something stopped him – literally. The steel grip on his sword hand tightened and Faramir looked around, prepared to slay an orc he had not spotted before… but instead of seeing an ugly face of a monster, Haldir stood there, frowning, but beautiful even in his obvious anger.

“What are you doing?” the elf demanded, and Faramir became painfully aware that he stank like an orc himself, covered in their blood, against the elf’s purity.

He couldn’t answer, for he didn’t know what it was that became of him whenever orcs were near. It was like his mind had a completely different side that took command of his actions… like he was trying to avenge his brother so desperately that he wasn’t able to think clear.

“Stop it!” Haldir hissed at him, and Faramir, to his horror, felt his throat tighten and his eyes sting as he looked at Haldir’s beautiful face. The elf was so very different from the world of killing orcs, so pure as he stood in anger before Faramir, probably enraged that someone dared to dirty the borders of Lórien with orc blood… Faramir suddenly felt like a lowly creature himself.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled and tried to swallow the sob that threatened to escape him. He squeezed his eyes shut, his trembling fingers releasing the sword to the grass. He really wasn’t worth entry to the Golden Woods…

He expected to be told to leave immediately, but suddenly he felt warmth and he realized that Haldir was embracing him, putting his arms around him and pulling him closer to his chest. Faramir released a shaky sigh – it felt so unreal… so dreamy, to be so close to an elf, to Haldir who had been so nice to Faramir… the man remembered the elf’s words. You could be a far greater man. Faramir opened his eyes in horror. He had betrayed yet another person’s expectations, and the fact that it was Haldir made it so much worse. Not because he was an elf, or because he was the Marchwarden of Golden Woods… but because Faramir had felt as if Haldir believed in him… and now he had ruined it too.

“I’m sorry,” he sobbed weakly and brought his hands to rest on the elf’s back. Only the he realized that he was dripping orc blood all over Haldir, over his silvery hair, over his tunic, his skin… he felt nauseated at dirtying such beauty so much. Father had been right… Faramir was not able to do anything… only spoiled things.

His chest constricted painfully when he felt a hand caressing his hair softly.

“Didn’t I tell you to let go of your hatred? It’s destroying you, mellonamin…”

A louder sob escaped Faramir’s lips. Mellonamin… after all he had done, the elf called him his friend. Faramir felt shame burning him from the inside and he tried letting go of Haldir, but the Marchwarden was stronger than he looked, and didn’t allow Faramir to escape his embrace.

“Look at you, covered in blood… was it worth it? Are you satisfied now?”

Haldir’s voice didn’t sound angry – it was that soothing, quiet tone that Faramir remembered back from his childhood, when his good nursemaid tried to explain what he had done wrong. And the silly thing was that he really felt like a disobedient child at that moment, in Haldir’s strong arms, as a child who had done something against the will of his parents and didn’t have a clue how to make it right again.

“No,” he gasped and Haldir’s hand caressed his back, and Faramir felt like something in him broke and let go of the despair he had not known he held inside him. It was like all those tears he couldn’t shed when he learned of Boromir’s and Father’s death were trying to come to the surface now and suffocate him. His loud sobs echoed in the cold night air and Haldir just stood there with him, muttering something in Elvish Faramir couldn’t understand, but it was strangely calming, to hear that language, ancient and melodic, so close to him. It felt reassuring, as if the sound of Haldir’s voice was a proof that he would survive this, that he would outgrow his fears and wounds and stand strong again. Maybe that was what Haldir was saying after all, Faramir didn’t know. When he calmed down finally, Haldir released him from his embrace, but his pale, slender fingers stayed on Faramir’s shoulders, gripping them as if to anchor him to the reality.

“Let that hatred go, Faramir,” Haldir whispered, and Faramir’s name sounded so intimate, coming from the elf’s lips, that the man looked into the dark brown eyes in astonishment. Hatred again… he didn’t feel hatred… he felt helpless, lost, guilty… incapable of accomplishing anything.

“I don’t… hate anyone,” he spoke slowly and looked down as the intensity of Haldir’s knowing gaze became unbearable. He stared down instead, on his feet, and on his hands covered in thick orc blood.

His eyes widened with realization.

“The orcs…” he looked up for confirmation. Did he… come to hate the orcs? Did he slaughter them out of meaningless hatred instead of for Boromir’s sake…? He shivered at that thought.

But Haldir shook his head, his silvery hair gleaming in the moonlight that filtered through the trees.

“The hatred you hold inside yourself,” Haldir brought his hand to Faramir’s chest, and the man felt his heart thump hard as if in an attempt to meet Haldir’s fingers, “is far more destructive than vengeance. The hatred I was talking about… is hatred of yourself.”

Faramir gasped and took a step back. He… hated himself…? Shaking his head in denial, he glanced up at Haldir’s face, waiting for another word or two, saying that it was just a joke. No… he… didn’t hate himself, right?

But the elf just stood there, his shining beauty not at all marred by the dark bloodstains now covering him. It looked like a crooked, terrifying metaphor of Faramir’s role in the world, like wherever he went, it got destroyed, whatever he did went wrong, his Father’s name got tarnished by Faramir’s useless existence just as Haldir now got dirtied by those dark stains just by being near Faramir… and in that second, the man realized that there was definitely something about the tales of omniscient elves of Golden Woods. Haldir’s eyes seemed to read in the depths of his soul where even Faramir couldn’t see clearly… and with a painful clench of his heart Faramir knew that Haldir was right.

He hated himself… for not being able to do anything. For never being as good a man as Boromir… and Father. For not being able to do anything to help his Father and save his life… for not saving his own brother.

Faramir dropped to his knees, a pained sob tearing out of his chest as his hands gripped the grass, staining it with blood too.

“I let him die!” he roared, his voice not loud enough to drown out the yells that went on inside his head. You let him die… because of you, Boromir died… it should be you… the voice was the same for all of them. It was his Father’s voice, and Faramir shut his eyes tight, trying to overcome the fear that gripped his heart. But it was there, dark and strong, with roots so deep down in his soul that he couldn’t find a way to make it disappear.

“I let them all die,” he repeated, a little quieter as his throat already felt sore. Next moment, he felt those strong arms around himself again and he clung to Haldir like he was the only one who could prevent him from drowning in his own memories and feelings. It was like a dam had broken in Faramir… and whatever had been hidden behind it was flooding his mind dangerously.

But Haldir was there, like an anchor to help him to the safe ground again, and when Faramir was too tired to cry any more, Haldir’s soft voice echoed over his head again.

“Your only fault is that you are not one of the Valar. You could not have changed Boromir’s, or Denethor’s, fate. They made their choices… it is up to you now to make yours.”

Faramir sighed… it was hard to believe that, hard to change his mind after all those years… but with Haldir, it seemed possible. Difficult, but… possible. Thinking that it was Boromir’s fate was cruel, and left something in Faramir gasping for an answer to the question ‘why him’, but… also lifted a weight from his chest that had been preventing him from breathing freely. Hearing those reassuring words from Haldir was… liberating. If the elf, the Marchwarden of Golden Woods, thought so… it was probably true.

Faramir released the tight grip he had on Haldir – he didn’t even realize he had been squeezing the elf so hard and felt a little embarrassed at causing discomfort to him, but then, he became even more embarrassed when he became conscious of the fact that Haldir could probably withstand much more than any ordinary man.

His soft smile was a proof that he wasn’t mad at Faramir for… anything, and the man dared to smile back at him.

“Thank you,” he said simply, because he couldn’t find any words to tell Haldir just how thankful he was to him. He had not felt this light-headed in years… if ever. Just looking at him made Faramir feel at ease… as if Haldir was water for Faramir’s thirsty soul.

He felt burning in his chest, but not that of vicious kind. It was a flame, but it warmed instead of destructed, it was languorous instead of fierce. This kind of flame Faramir welcomed in his chest… and his cheeks burned too when he realized just what brought it on. He told himself that it was probably just thankfulness to the one who had led him out of his darkness… but still, he couldn’t help himself.

“Is there any way… I could spend some more time with you?” he asked quietly, looking hopefully into Haldir’s eyes. The elf’s presence healed Faramir like nothing else, like a magical salve applied to his gaping wounds, and he felt that he needed more to be able to feel complete, unbroken again.

“I am on duty for the next three days,” Haldir started and was immediately interrupted by the man’s eager voice.

“I’ll wait!”

Haldir just smiled, in that mysterious way of his, and touched Faramir’s hand, softly squeezing it in his own.

Aragorn broke the seal of the Golden Woods, unrolling the parchment as he sat down on the nearest chair and began reading.

Greetings to the King!

It has been a long time since you wrote to me, friend. At first, I admit, your letter with your request seemed strange to me, but when I have met him, I must agree. Faramir had gone through too much. He is healing slowly, but it will take some time.

I will be honest with you, Aragorn. I want him close. I am used to his presence by now, and I would miss him dearly were he to leave Golden Woods. With Lady Galadriel gone, Lord Celeborn is just a shadow of his former self. He barely talks anymore, barely comes out of his talan. I practically run things here, but it does not bring me much pleasure.

Fortunately, Faramir has yet to show any inclination that he would like to leave. Thus, I would like to ask you for official permission for him to stay here as long as he wants. I know he has quite a standing among men, and I know this might sound selfish to you – I will not deny a great part of my personal interest in the matter – but I would like you to ask Lady Éowyn to not wait for his return. It is doubtful that Faramir will return to Ithilien any time soon, and it would be unfair to keep her waiting.

How is Arwen doing? She should come and visit her Grandfather sometimes. It would do him a lot of good.

There was more, but Aragorn couldn’t help but smile and look out of the window dreamily, in the direction of Golden Woods. So Faramir was finally happy… Éowyn would have to deal with the fact that she was not going to be his Queen. If what Haldir was saying – or more like, what Aragorn could read between the lines – was true, then the young man already had someone to rule his heart.

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2 Comment(s)


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It’s so nice to see faramir finally finds his peace. Thanks for this story~ :)

— Erica    14 May 2011, 23:26    #

Great story ,thanks :-)hope you write more with Faramir and Haldir :-)

— blondie    14 December 2013, 19:00    #

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