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Home and Away (G) Print

Written by Acacea

07 March 2007 | 1127 words

Boromir had always liked this little courtyard by the walls tucked in a quiet, sun-drenched nook behind the stables, away from the bustle of the city, accessible only through a narrow path overgrown with grass and wildflowers.

It was paved with dulled white stones, and bordered by a narrow strip of wild grass. An old lemon tree stood in one corner, its laden branches hanging over the walls; and a small stone bench placed beneath it for anyone wishing to enjoy the view in comfort. He and Faramir had often sat here on warm afternoons, watching the plains and the river, a winding band of silver with tiny boats bobbing up and down it. If one leaned out a little and tried, as Faramir was doing at that moment, one could see all the way down to the quays, and even the hazy green land across the river.

It was just the place he wanted to be right now.

He had to leave the next day to join his troop at Pelargir, after a fortnight on furlough. He was not meant to be home this early in the year but he had received a nasty cut to his sword arm at Osgiliath, and had been ordered to report to the healers in the city. Much as he had relished the time spent at home, he found he was anxious to rejoin his troop. Yet at the same time he felt unhappy at leaving behind his younger brother who seemed so much older now than the last time he’d seen him. With Faramir set to join the rangers in a year’s time, Boromir suddenly felt very unsure of how often they could spend time together like this again.

He had completed his duties for the day. He had risen early, packed away most of his things, then breakfasted with his father so that they could discuss the situation with the corsairs yet again. Then he had written out all of the myriad reports his father seemed to want before he left, working swiftly yet meticulously. The time was well spent for it had left him free to spend the afternoon here with Faramir. They had had very little time together on this visit, first with the healers cooping him up, and then the situation in Pelargir necessitating endless meetings with his father and the council.

They had brought food with them; it was late in the afternoon and they were both famished. Boromir had brushed away the ripened lemons that had fallen on the bench and placed the food there. There was warm, soft bread straight from the kitchens, newly churned butter, fresh, crumbly cheese, a pot full of orange-scented, golden honey and a basket of plump red and green apples.

They talked a little while eating, exchanging bits of information, most of it trivial, but nevertheless entertaining. Faramir spoke about the new books he’d read and of all the far-off places that were described in them, strange lands where high mountains swept towards the sky, barren deserts stretched for endless miles. Boromir told him of what he’d heard of Pelargir, and how some of the houses there were built on arches in the water.

“It all sounds fascinating,” Faramir said wistfully after a while. They had finished the honeyed bread and the cheese and were eating the apples now.

“It is,” Boromir agreed slowly.

“I miss you when you’re gone,” Faramir said softly, and munched his apple thoughtfully.

“I miss you too,” Boromir replied quietly, and slung an arm around the smaller boy’s shoulders, “But I need to go. I need to rejoin my troop.”

“I know you have to go, that it’s your duty. You’re protecting the city,” Faramir said quietly, “But I wish I could go with you.”

He did not miss the glance Faramir darted towards his arm.

“I’d like to see these places,” Faramir added.

He would be going to Ithilien the next year to join the rangers; both of them knew that. He was a skilled swordsman but a better archer. He tended to be impatient at times, but being in the rangers would take care of that. Boromir had seen them at work, and marvelled at the quiet, meticulous manner in which they did their work. Faramir had been quite excited about it the last time Boromir had come on his furlough some months back. He had been poring through texts, maps, poems, lays, even old harvest songs – learning everything he could about Ithilien.

The rangers would surely suit Faramir well; Boromir thought, as his younger brother doggedly spoke of wishing to see new places. That Faramir wished to see new places, he did not doubt; nor did he doubt what it was Faramir actually worried about.

“You will,” he said simply.

They cleared up what was left of their small meal in silence, each lost in his own thoughts.


Faramir sat in Boromir’s room later in the evening, watching him finish his packing.

When Boromir was done, he sat down next to the younger boy.

“I have something for you,” he said quietly.

“What is it?” Faramir asked curiously, and Boromir knew he was wondering why he hadn’t given it to him when he’d arrived. He pulled out a leather bound book from his pack, and handed it to his brother.

Faramir opened it curiously; and then began to leaf through the pages eagerly intently studying the sketches that covered each sheet.

Boromir had taken to drawing to while away time, using the charcoal left over from the cooking fires. There were sketches of his men, of their horses, of the places they had been to; there were buildings, trees, flowers, boats in tiny dockyards with waves lapping against them, an old wood cabin up in a hillock, strange flowers unlike those that grew in the city. There had also been maps, but those he had removed and kept aside.

Faramir leafed through each page in awe, exclaiming now and then at some fascinating sight, which he would then ask Boromir to explain.

“It’s beautiful,” Faramir said finally, after they had gone through all the sketches.

“It is for you,” Boromir told him, “So you can know what all these places look like. From now on, whenever I send my despatches, you’ll be able to imagine just where I am.”

“That will be nice,” Faramir said softly, “To picture you there.”

Boromir smiled and ruffled Faramir’s hair.

“I’ll still miss you though,” Faramir mumbled.

“I know. And I’ll miss you,” Boromir said softly.

He drew a new sketch that night; of the small courtyard with the lemon tree and two boys standing at the walls. When it was done, he placed it in the pouch that contained his maps.

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Acacea

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