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Legacy (NC-17) Print

Written by Carla Jane

30 March 2004 | 95430 words

[ all pages ]

Title: Legacy
Author: By Carla Jane (jimcarla@hotmail.com)
Beta: Erika
Pairings: Boromir/Denethor, Boromir/Aragorn, Boromir/Faramir, Éowyn/Éomer… and on a secondary level Faramir/Lothiriel and Éomer/OFC
Rating: NC17, very NC17
Summary: An (extremely) alternate universe story that portrays the Stewards of Gondor as Gondor’s royalty… and Aragorn is a magical being that is bound to the service of Gondor’s royal house. There’s no Fellowship and no quest in this story. Please look at the ‘notes’ for more information. Disclaimer: Tolkien, Jackson and various artists created this version of these characters that I am now mangling beyond recognition.

WARNING: This story contains incest, some of which is non-consensual, male/male sex, male/female sex, and sexual abuse. Boromir, Éowyn and Éomer are all underage (by American standards) when they become sexual active. If you’re a sensitive reader… please do not continue any further.

Authors Note: Okay, we know Denethor married Finduilas and begat 2 boys, Boromir and Faramir, now imagine that Denethor also married Theodwyn and had 1 boy and 1 girl, Éomer and Éowyn. Yeap… I’ve messed with timelines and ages as well as the lines of parenting… but what the hell, if I’m doing an alternate universe, I might as well do an ALTERNATE universe.

Archivist’s Note: Cut into ‘chapters’ by the archivist to reduce download size.

In another Middle-Earth:

Her tutors had taught Éowyn that her father was the greatest Gondorian king of this, or any other, age. In his younger days Denethor had ridden through lands torn by strife and disharmony with the magic of the ancients at his shoulder to build the largest kingdom in all the lands of Middle Earth. He had reunited Gondor and Rohan, the two most powerful human holding, back into one unstoppable entity and spread it’s boundaries to create an empire. Although the union was forged by strange powers and strength of arms, the new country had been secured by doing something that no other man in this enlightened age would dare to do. Unheeding of the fact that he already had a wife and son, Denethor had taken the first lady of Rohan, the sister of a man he had just destroyed, as his bride.

Finduilas, Denethor’s first wife had been left in the carefully guarded upper reaches of Minas Tirith. Theodwyn, Éowyn’s mother and Denethor’s war-bride was kept, under lock, key and guard, in the Golden Hall of Meduseld. Neither woman ever laid eyes on the other.

Éowyn just wished that she could say the same thing about her father’s children. Denethor, intent on impressing his will over his vast kingdom, had left both sets of children alone for years but in Éowyn’s eighth year everything changed. A strange coincidence destroyed the semi-comfortable lives of Éowyn and her brother.

Accompanied by the wails of Theodwyn’s private staff, Éowyn and her older brother Éomer watched their sweet, protective mother fall ill and die within the span of week. Upon her death messengers were dispatched to Minas Tirith, where King Denethor was said to be staying as of late… only to return in less than two hours with news that Queen Findulias lay dead as well and Denethor was already riding into Edoras. It was almost as if a punishment had been visited on the victims of the power- hungry king, rather than on Denethor himself.

So it was that Éowyn and Éomer were swept out of their mother’s presence before her hands could even grow cold. The crying children were forced into their finest clothes, planted on the stairs to the throne, and slapped into silence when they attempted to protest.

Denethor paced through the wide-swung doors into the Golden Hall while Éowyn was still wiping at her burning cheeks. The stern-looking, only vaguely familiar king paced up the stairs and practically threw himself onto the comfortably cushioned throne. A tall, sullen-faced, blond boy trailed in the dour man’s wake.

“Sit, Boromir.” Denethor flicked his fingers absently to the queen’s empty chair.

Éowyn couldn’t contain her screech of rage as the strange boy took her mother’s throne without a wisp of hesitation. She would have flung herself at the interloper and torn his eyes out if Éomer hadn’t grabbed hold of his sister and held on tight.

The display, however, drew the king’s attention. Intense eyes examined the children. “These…” A finger pointed. “Would be your brother and sister, Boromir,” Denethor announced to his eldest child.

The young teenager seemed even less pleased than his father with Éomer and Éowyn. “I have no sister,” Boromir said coldly. “And my brother is back in the White Tower… where I wish to return.”

Denethor stared at the Prince, glaring fiercely, until Boromir looked away. The boy seemed to be as miserable as his half-siblings. “I came to deliver you a Prince to be trained and collect my wife,” Denethor addressed the hall in a booming voice. “Only to discover that I have arrived too late to see my wife. This situation makes me uncomfortable about leaving my firstborn behind at this time.” His expression was stony. “I will stay only long enough to meet with the staff and nobility to make certain everyone is still suitable for their positions and then I will be taking my children… all my children… back to Minas Tirith. Everyone must be prepared to present their cases for maintaining their stations when summoned this evening.”

Boromir sat up straight, visibly brightening at what the announcement meant for him. His excitement faded however thanks to a dark glare from his father. Boromir’s head bowed and long blond hair fell into his face, hiding his eyes.

Both Éowyn and her brother quaked in reaction the news that not only was their mother gone, but now they were about to be torn away from the only home that they had ever known. “NO!” Éowyn screeched out her denial. “We won’t go! You can’t make us!”

The childish protest brought a scornful smile to Denethor’s lips. “You will do whatever I wish, little one. You are my child and…” Cold eyes shifted to pin Boromir. “ALL my children do as I tell them to. Isn’t that right Boromir?”

The blond teenager answered with softly mumbled agreement and down-cast eyes. “Yes, sir.”

“I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!” Denethor’s roar made all three of his offspring, as well as the entire court, cringe. “Speak up.”

The response was loud enough that everyone in the hall could hear the quaver in the prince’s voice. “Yes, Father.” Boromir had retreated as far back into his chair as the padding on the throne would allow. “Anything you say, my lord.” The words were clearly enunciated this time.

Denethor nodded in satisfaction at the improvement in his son’s diction. “I will take just a little time to rest and refresh myself, and then I will see to any matters that require my attention. Run and make sure that body is removed from the royal suite before I get there,” he snapped at one of the nearest attendants. Denethor rose abruptly to his feet. “Pack up those damned children and their belongings. Have them ready to leave by morning. I have no stomach for yet another burial service. Putting one wife in the ground was trial enough; besides, I have wasted time enough on this trip. Tend to Theodwyn after we are gone.” Cold eyes shifted back to the prince on the other throne. “Accompany me, Boromir. The death of my wife and the delay of your installation at Meduseld changes much. We must reassess your situation.”

A brief shiver ran through the young blond but he stood and moved in the direction his father indicated. His steps took him past Éowyn and Éomer who were both bawling and attempting to cling to one another as their nannies tried to remove from the king’s sight.

The halls of Meduseld were travelled in grim silence, but as soon as the heavy wooden door closed Denethor and his eldest son into the royal suite and away from any chance of an audience, the king exploded. “This is intolerable!” Denethor slammed his hand on the inside of the portal. “Years upon years I spent building this kingdom. Years in the company of filthy soldiers, bloody-minded rivals, devious politicians and that damned creature… away from the comforts of hearth and home to ensure that when the time came that I wanted to rest I would have everything I needed,” he raged. “And what do I get? A few paltry months with a tedious woman who’s beauty faded by the day. A wife who wilted under every touch then died. Another woman who vanishes like smoke before I can even reach her bed.” The bellow grew louder with every word. “Three children who cringe and whimper like babies at the slightest provocation and another who scowls at me as if I was an enemy. This is what I fought, bled, and killed for?”

Boromir stood in the centre of the room, arms crossed over his chest and silent. His nose wrinkled at the heavy smell of medicine and death that still lingered in the air.

“Your mother was a wonder in her youth.” Denethor’s tone softened as he looked at Boromir. “You have her hair… and her lips.” The king paced over to stop right in front of his eldest. “She was about your age when I married her, just turned fifteen.” Denethor still had to look down at his son, but that might change soon. Boromir was growing fast this spring.

“I loved Finduilas from the moment I laid eyes on her. She was standing on the walls of her father’s fortress, looking like a vision from the old tales. Her hair was loose and blowing in the sea breeze and her dress clung to her legs. She was such a delicate, beautiful girl. I had my servant fetch her down to me that very night and I married her in the morning. Her father’s resistance crumbled just as quickly as her virginity had torn once he realized I had stolen away his precious Finduilas.”

Dark eyes locked onto Boromir’s face. “I had thought it would be best to bring you here, to separate myself from the temptation you present… to settle for Theodwyn’s company.” Denethor’s tone was faintly distracted. “But why should I? Why should I deny myself anything? I have worked for the good of Gondor and my family all my life. It is time I was rewarded for all I have sacrificed. I am the king. I make the rules.” A strangely disturbing smile crossed his father’s face and Boromir’s body tensed. This new mood that had seized Denethor wasn’t quite the same as the times when fits of violence against his wife and children resulted, but Boromir found this frame of mind just as frightening in its own way. When Denethor touched his cheek, Boromir couldn’t contain the instinctive flinch that followed.

“Do not shy away from me, boy!” Denethor scolded, his fingers catching hold of and digging into Boromir’s chin. “You are stronger than the others. You are the oldest, the bravest, and the best of my children. You shouldn’t ever be afraid of anything, least of all, me.” His grip eased and Denethor’s touch drifted, fingers brushing back into long golden hair. Boromir was petted, like a favoured dog. “I was foolish to think I would be able to leave you here and ride away. You are my favourite, Boromir. I love you better than anyone… even better than I did your mother or Theodwyn. You are my most precious jewel… and my only comfort now. Fate has stepped in. Fate has taken your mother and Theodwyn to show me the way… to clarify things for me. It’s you. It’s always been you. I realize that now.” Denethor chuckled, his breath ghosting across Boromir’s cheek. “There is your brother, but Faramir is too young and too weak to handle the demands of being my dearest one, don’t you think, Boromir?” Denethor’s tone became suggestive. “Or should I try him when we get home?”

Gray-green eyes widened with sudden realization of what was happening, as well as what was being threatened. Swallowing, Boromir held himself from pushing Denethor away and running with only the force of his will. “Please father, leave Faramir be. He’s just a little boy.”

“I am weary of being alone, my darling one. I am weary of fighting against my desires for the sake of petty propriety. The world is what I say it is.” Denethor brushed his cheek gently against soft blond hair. “First your mother was too sick to accept my attentions… then there had to be a time of mourning and the long trip to Edoras. It has been unfairly long since I’ve kissed another’s lips, my dearest, most beautiful boy.”

At least twenty retorts were on the tip of Boromir’s tongue, including a suggestion that Denethor go find one of Theodwyn’s ladies in waiting, but one look at the king’s face dried up every one of them. The threatening glitter was there, the one that preceded acts such as Denethor throwing Faramir half the width of the nursery and into the wall. It was an expression that Boromir knew all too well.

Boromir had been kissed before. Stable-boys, kitchen-girls, and children of the guards had all been happy to experiment with the heir to the throne. He had also shared countless kisses with Faramir, but that was something altogether different. He had never kissed any adult but his mother before and Boromir suspected that wasn’t the kind of kiss Denethor was expecting from him.

“We will be back with Faramir in a matter of weeks,” Denethor reminded in a falsely mild tone. “And I will soon have a third son in the tower should something… unfortunate… happen to your little brother.”

Boromir’s heart skipped a beat. There was no mistaking the threat in the simple statement. Trembling, he rocked up onto his toes and obediently pressed his lips to Denethor’s. The reaction was instantaneous. Denethor’s arms wrapped around Boromir and pulled him tight. Boromir let out a yelp as the chaste kiss he’d been practicing with his age mates was turned into something altogether different by a tongue pushing into his mouth. He was unable to stop himself from gagging and struggling.

Denethor released his son with a gasp. “You are sweeter than I ever imagined.” Hungry eyes travelled from the top of Boromir’s head to his toes and back up again. “I have wanted this for years. There is no longer any reason that I should be denied.” The only break in his greedy gaze was when Denethor glanced over at the bed and nodded. “It is empty. Good. Undress for me, my darling one. Right here, where the light is best. Undress and climb on the bed. I want to see you, to finally touch you.”

Boromir’s mouth opened, only to snap shut again when Denethor struck him across the face at the sign of protest. “It’s not too late to leave you here in Edoras, boy. It’s not too late for me to leave you behind and go home to Minas Tirith… to your beloved little Faramir.” All the strength seemed to drain out of Boromir at the threat. The sight made Denethor nod. “Yes, that is lovely, just perfect. Now you look like mother even more. Such a beautiful boy.”

Defeated, Boromir lifted trembling fingers to the fastenings on his tunic.

The trip to Minas Tirith took its toll on every member of the royal family with the exception of the king. As children of the finest horse- lords in the world, Éomer and Éowyn were accustomed, even happy to, spend long hours in the saddle despite their youth but recent events and the cumbersome pace of heavily loaded wagons took all delight out of the ride. They were assigned a place well behind Denethor, which ensured that they spent all day breathing dust. Their regular mounts had been taken away from them, having been deemed too high-spirited for such young children. Éomer’s much-beloved stallion, a Prince among horses, was given to Boromir, while Éowyn’s finely-bred gelding now carried one of Denethor’s officers.

Éomer had attempted to creep over to visit his horse one evening after dinner, only to return to Éowyn with a bright red handprint on his face. It seemed that Éomer had surprised Boromir, who had been leaning into the animal’s other flank when Éomer had approached. Éomer explained the slap had come after he asked why Boromir was crying. The question was answered with a vicious strike and a tear-strained shriek that insisted that the crown-prince of Gondor NEVER, EVER cried. Éomer had been forced to sit on his sister after telling the story to keep her from storming over and kicking Boromir where she was certain it would cause enough pain to make him cry.

That encounter set the tone for every instance that Éowyn and Éomer interacted with their half-brother. Boromir was as cold as ice to both the children. He snapped at them when they intruded on him and ignored their existence the rest of the time. The entirety of the travelling court, followed the Prince’s example since Denethor seemed indifferent to the pair, wrapped up as he was in doting on his eldest son. Even the ladies that Denethor had appointed to mind the children treated them with distaste, as if the women were annoyed at being demoted to nannies when they had been intended as the companions to a new queen.

One evening, Éowyn, who was feeling particularly trapped by the increasing press of fences and farmland they were now travelling through, felt the urge to wander. Catching Éomer by the hand, the young girl drew him away from the fire and into the gloom. Wandering without purpose, the pair were surprised to come upon Denethor standing in the darkness, looking up at the night sky. Éomer walked right into the king because he had been watching his feet rather than his surroundings.

“And what do we have here?” Denethor caught Éomer by the back of his tunic and lifted the ten-year-old.

“Put him down!” Éowyn kicked at Denethor’s leg, causing the king to seize her as well.

“Behave yourself child.” Denethor shook Éowyn hard enough to rattle her teeth, and then tossed her casually aside. “YOU look uncomfortably like your uncle, boy.” The king squinted at Éomer in the moonlight. “The man was an intolerable nuisance… just like that little sister of yours.” Denethor pulled Éomer close to his face. “I had him torn apart by four of his own horses. It took a fair long time to rip him to shreds. I would think your sister would pop apart much more easily.” Éomer was tossed after Éowyn, landing hard enough to knock her over once more. “I would suggest that you teach her some manners, boy. I have little need of a daughter.”

Astonished and uncertain if the threat was real, Éomer caught his sister by the arm and dragged her backward. “Yes, my lord. I will, my lord.”

The wagons were still in line and half the riders were still mounted when a fair haired boy came tearing down into the courtyard of the White Tower to throw himself at Boromir. The greeting was met with the first laugh to come out of Boromir in weeks.

YOU CAME BACK! I was afraid you were gone forever.” Small hands clutched at the fabric of Boromir’s tunic, holding on for dear life. “Never leave again. Never ever. It was horrid here without you.” The boy’s face burrowed into Boromir’s chest.

Boromir bent his head to inhale the scent rising off strawberry-blond curls. “I’ve told you and told you… I will always come back to you, Faramir, just as soon as I can,” he promised. The restless petting Boromir stroked over his little brother soothed them both. “I missed you too, desperately.” Hoisting his brother with some effort, Boromir hugged the boy tightly.

The pose held only as long as it took for Denethor to dismount and pace over to where the sons of his first wife stood. The king cleared his throat and Boromir immediately set Faramir back down on the ground.

“My lord father.” Faramir preformed a sketchy semblance of a bow toward the king even though his eyes continually flicked back to Boromir.

Denethor rumbled menacingly at the sign of disrespect. His hand twitched.

“Please Father.” Boromir’s whisper attempted to pacify the king.

“I can afford to be indulgent today,” Denethor finally allowed. “I am eager for a long bath and the feel of proper mattress beneath me once more.” He smiled. “But I am certain there are a great number of problems that need my attention. I will not be retiring until quite late this evening, Boromir, but there are some considerations I wish to discuss with you right before bed. I will expect you in my chambers.”

“Yes, my lord,” Boromir responded meekly. “Thank you, my lord.”

As soon as Denethor walked away, Boromir swept his brother up into another crushing hug. Faramir laughed and squirmed in the tight hold, returning it in smaller, eager bursts of energy.

“Missed you, missed you, MISSED YOU!” Faramir practically crowed out the words.

Drawn by the strange sight of grim, silent Boromir bestowing such obvious affection on child, Éomer and Éowyn edged a little closer. The movement caught Faramir’s eye and he wriggled around to get a better look at the strangers.

“Who’re they, Boromir?” Faramir questioned his brother.

Boromir glanced sideways momentarily before turning back to Faramir. “They are that woman’s children.”

“Oh.” Word had come ahead of the travellers about Theodwyn’s death to prevent them from riding into a celebration, but the children had not been mentioned in the missive, at least not to Faramir’s knowledge. “Are they going to stay here now?”

“I suppose,” Boromir answered dismissively. “Never mind about them.” He swung Faramir around once before setting him down. “Tell me everything you’ve done since I’ve been gone. Every thought you’ve had, every book you’ve read, every moment of each day.”

Under the warmth of his adored brother’s full attention, Faramir was content to leave his curiosity about the new children for another time. “I found a wonderful hiding place in the cellars. Would you like to see it, Boromir?”

“Clever Faramir, yes, of course I would.” The elder ruffled his brother’s hair before setting off toward the entrance to the citadel.

Unclaimed, Éomer and Éowyn stood amid the bustle of the horses and belongings being hauled off in different directions. They waited, holding hands as the courtyard quickly cleared, but everyone ignored the slight blond children as if they weren’t even there.

“We should leave. We should go home,” Éowyn whispered as the last of the stragglers began to depart.

“It wouldn’t work,” her brother countered in a flat tone. “That city we rode through is huge. There were loads of gates, six or seven, and soldiers everywhere. Besides, I don’t know if I could find our way out even if no one stopped us… and the Riddermark is weeks away on foot.”

The yard was practically deserted before help came. With a rather confused look on his face, a page who didn’t seem much older than Éomer wandered over to the siblings. He tossed an uncomfortable look at the last vanishing adult before speaking. “Who are you?”

“I am Éomer, son of Theodwyn, Queen of Meduseld, the Lady of the Mark.” The boast wavered a bit, but he held his chin high. “And this is my sister, Éowyn.”

The page-boy looked astonished. It seemed absurd that the king’s children had been abandoned like orphans at the foot of the tower. “All right, I suppose then…” He hesitated. “I suppose you’ll be in the nursery with Prince Faramir then. Come along and I’ll show you the way.”

The brother and sister were sitting quietly on one of the two beds in the large nursery when Boromir burst into the long, low roofed room and tossed Faramir playfully onto the other bed. Both boys were laughing and grinning.

“You need to get dressed for… oh.” Boromir halted in mid-sentence. He straightened up and stared down his nose at his half-siblings as if they were invading insects.

“Hello.” Faramir bounced back onto the floor and padded over to the newcomers. “Are you waiting for me?” Bright blue-green eyes studied the pair. Hardly anyone ever waited on his attention. Hardly anyone much bothered with Faramir at all beyond Boromir, except their teachers and a few of the lesser servants. This was quite a treat. “I wasn’t expecting company, but you’re more than welcome.”

“I doubt they are supposed to be HERE, Faramir. I’ll have someone take them elsewhere.” Boromir took a step towards the door.

“No, please, Boromir. Let them stay,” Faramir asked with a pleading smile. “It’s been ever so quiet in here since you moved out. I’d be grateful for the company.”

Boromir sighed. “Well… the girl will need her own room. It wouldn’t be proper to have her in here with boys, not at your ages.”


“It just wouldn’t.” Boromir’s head shook.

“I won’t leave Éomer!” Éowyn screeched as soon as she heard the statement. “You can’t make me.” She latched even tighter onto her brother’s arm.

“It’s all right,” Faramir soothed. “I’ll make sure that you aren’t far off. I know how you feel. I hated it when father made Boromir move into his own rooms.” He smiled at Éomer. “If you’re Theodwyn’s son, then you’re our half brother, right? How wonderful.” Faramir ploughed on without waiting for an answer. “You can come to lessons with Boromir and I from now on. We do weapons training and horses in the morning and then I have to go for tutoring in the afternoon. They make me do court stuff sometimes after dinner, but not all the time.”

Éomer’s returning smile was hesitant. “And Éowyn can come as well?”

Surprised, Faramir looked at the girl. “Not to the morning lessons, of course, but the afternoon ones… I suppose so, yes. I should think she will have to do sewing or some such girl stuff in the morning.”

Two faces pinched up at that bit of information. Éowyn’s head shook. “I ride. I can fight. I’ve been learning with Éomer.”

“Girls do not fight. That would be barbaric,” Boromir interjected. “I’ll see to having a nursemaid assigned to you at once.”

“But in the Riddermark…” Éowyn began.

ROHAN,” Boromir corrected. “Belongs to Gondor and in Gondor women do not fight.”

Distracted, Faramir whirled about; reminded of a question he had meant to ask earlier. “I thought father was giving Rohan to you, Boromir? That’s what our tutors told me. Not that I’m not ever so happy you came home… but what happened?”

“He changed his mind. I can have it when I am older. When I’m twenty- one, he says.”

“NO!” Éowyn interrupted again. “The Riddermark belongs to Éomer and I. Our mother was Queen there. OUR grandfather was king. It’s ours!”

Eyebrows rising, Boromir glared down at her. “You own nothing.” He said the words in a crisp, clear tone. “All you will ever have, little girl, is what my father gives you while he is alive or what your husband shares with you, whoever father decides that will be… and when King Denethor is gone I will be king and I will get everything… then I will give ROHAN to Faramir.” Tired of the conversation, Boromir turned away. “I will see you in the morning, Faramir.”

“What a horrible beast he his,” Éowyn complained as the door closed behind Boromir.

“He is not!” Faramir objected. “Boromir is clever and kind. He takes care of me. He’s the finest swordsman in Minas Tirith… outside of the Tower guard. He tells the most wonderful stories and everyone in the city adores him.”

“He’s grumpy, mean and selfish,” Éowyn snapped back. “If he wasn’t the prince no one would put up with him.”

“You don’t know anything about Boromir,” Faramir defended. “He’s just been frightfully upset since our mother died. He’s wonderful, really. You’ll see. He’s my very best friend in the whole world. He loves me more than anyone. He’s taken care of me since I was a baby.” Frowning at Éowyn, Faramir retreated to the far side of the room.

“Boromir took my brother’s horse,” she shouted after him.

“He’s the prince.”

“Éomer is a prince too… and I’m a Princess, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to be SO MEAN!” she raged.

“Boromir isn’t mean. He just… has more important things to do than anyone else, so he gets everything special. He earns it though. Boromir HAS to be the best at everything or father punishes him.” Faramir threw himself backwards onto his bed. “You’ll see. In a day or few… you’ll see.”

“What’s the matter with you today, Boromir? Stand up straight and defend yourself!” The arms-master was finding himself in the unusual position of having to shout at the crown prince of Gondor and he was clearly uncomfortable with the situation.

Boromir clenched his teeth and straightened up despite the fact all he wanted to do was curl up in a ball and rest. A sharp pain had been lancing through his gut on and off since father had taken him to bed last night. He didn’t dare complain about the strange, new ache or Arms-master Melador would send him to the healers and Boromir wanted nothing to do with explaining the act that had caused this pain.

“Come on, Boromir. You’re the best swordsman in the Tower. I know you’re better than him!” Faramir shouted out the encouragement from his place at the sidelines. “You’re supposed to soften him up for Éomer and I.”

A quick glance, and a grimace that might be mistaken for a smile, were shot in Faramir’s direction. Pushing past the nagging ache Boromir lunged at Melador. Faramir had a point. If Boromir didn’t tire the big man out first, Melador would likely knock the daylights out of the two younger boys when their turn came. Turning all the frustration and hurt of the last few months outward, Boromir set upon the arms-master as if he were the cause of everything bad that had happened.

“Yes. Wonderful. Much better. There’s my boy!” The man sounded delighted.

The phrase infuriated Boromir beyond reason. It was uncomfortably close to other endearments that he was quickly learning to hate. “I.” Boromir hacked viciously. “AM” The attack backed Melador up. “NOT” Steel against steel clanged loudly. “A” Boromir screamed out the last word. “BOY!” A wild swing slipped under the arms-master’s guard and if the man hadn’t thrown himself backward onto his arse the tip of Boromir’s blade would have sliced his gut open. As it was Boromir straddled the prone form and his sword hung, shaking, right at Melador’s throat.

“Boromir.” Faramir was at his older brother’s side in the blink of an eye. “Boromir.” His hand lifted to rest cautiously on Boromir’s trembling forearm. “You can stop now.” Faramir’s other hand moved to cover the shaking fingers wrapped around the sword’s grip.

A faint haze still marked Boromir’s grey-green eyes even after he turned them on his little brother. “I’m not…” Boromir licked his lips. “… feeling well. I think I need some water.”

Faramir nodded and tugged at the sword. It came free and Faramir had to strain to hold the heavy weapon up.

“I didn’t… sleep well… last night.” Boromir stepped clear. A thin smile crossed his lips and vanished just as quickly as it had arrived. Boromir stroked the backs of his fingers along one of Faramir’s cheeks. “I’m sorry. I’m trying my best to keep you…” His mouth snapped shut. “I’m going up to my rooms. I need just a little rest. My stomach… it must be something I ate.”

“I’ll come too. I’ll read to you,” Faramir offered.

Boromir’s head shook before he found his voice. “No. Keep to your lessons.” A measuring glance was tossed Éomer’s way. Perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing after all that Faramir had someone to keep him company. “Come up later. Maybe after your lunch. Stay with Éomer for now, little one.” Turning away, Boromir disappeared inside, leaving his sword in Faramir’s hands. The abandonment of his weapon, more than anything else, had everyone in the training yard frowning and staring after the departing prince.

Thunder rattled the shutters and lightning flashed through cracks in the wood showing everything in the room in stark lines. Faramir, sitting up in his bed, considered going to Éomer. The other boy had proven pleasant company since moving into Faramir’s rooms, but he was just another boy. The long-repeating nightmare that was still hovering at the edge of Faramir’s mind, and the storm-tossed night, demanded a more reassuring presence.

It was a long, dark path, but Faramir knew the way by heart. He took it at a quick run. Fragments of his dream were still clinging as they always did, and Faramir just didn’t have the heart to face them tonight. Considering the complete desolation of the stairways and corridors it was either very late or extremely early.

Faramir let himself into Boromir’s suite and crossed the sitting room without the slightest trip or trouble. Boromir’s tightly closed shutters were newer and better fitted than those in the nursery. Only the sound of the storm invaded the room, no light. Faramir found his way to the bed by memory rather than sight.

Even slipping into the warmth of Boromir’s blankets was soothing. “Boromir.” Faramir wiggled into the wide bed, moving over until he was touching his brother. “Boromir, can I stay here tonight?” The question was a formality. Boromir never refused.

“Nightmares again, little one?” Boromir’s tone was muzzy with sleep. “Snuggle close.” Strong arms sought out and wrapped around the smaller, chilled boy. “Was it those black eyes again, Faramir? Or was it about Mama this time?”

“The eyes… and the wings too, or maybe it was a cloak in the wind. The thing with those eyes, it takes you away and you never come back. I scream and scream, but you don’t listen. I hate that dream. I just hate it.” Faramir whispered. He pressed his forehead into Boromir’s shoulder and small fingers clenched in the material of Boromir’s night-shirt. “I don’t think I want to talk about it. Not in the dark.”

“I’m not going anywhere, love.” Boromir’s fingers carded through his brother’s sweat-curled hair, lifting it to allow the fear to dry up with the moisture. “I’ve got you, my love. I’ll protect you. My sword is hanging just over there. Nothing can get you here, not while I’m guarding you.” Each word puffed reassuringly against the top of Faramir’s head.

“Not a dragon?”

“I would chop it’s head off.”

“Not a ghost covered in seaweed and chains?”

“I would turn it inside out and toss it from the window.” Boromir let out a faint laugh.

Faramir shivered and burrowed closer. “What about those eyes?” The third question, as usual, was the only one that mattered.

“Not even them, my only love. Trust me.” Boromir pressed a kiss to his brother’s soft hair. “Would you like a story, Faramir?”

“Not a war story tonight,” came the whispered request. “Something safe. Something about you and me… and mama. Something from when I was a baby.” Faramir sighed. “Something with lots of sunshine in it.” The long pause gave away that Boromir was having a little trouble with the request. It was likely the sunshine part, Faramir realized. Mama hadn’t been allowed to venture out past the inner-most circle of Minas Tirith after Faramir was born.

“You were very little,” Boromir finally began. “Just learning to walk.” He smiled against his brother’s scalp. “It was early in the morning in the middle of winter so we were all inside. Mama was sewing so she cracked open one of the shutters to let some light inside. A beam of light so bright it turned mama’s hair into a crown… and as warm as spring… fell inside. When mama sat down and settled her sewing this cloud of dust lifted up.” Almost unconsciously Boromir rocked Faramir. “Every little bit of dust lit up like fireworks. You laughed and clapped your hands which made it swirl around faster… then you tried to dance with the sparkles.” Arms tightened on both sides of the hug. “I had to catch you because you got dizzy and fell over. We lay on the floor and you kept pointing. Every now and then mama would shake her sewing so more bits of dust would swirl around.”

“I love you, Boromir.” Faramir mumbled absently, his body softening into sleep. Another sigh gusted out against Boromir’s skin.

“Later that day mama and I hung strings up from the ceiling of the nursery with little twists of gold thread dangling from them… right above your bed. You’d blow and they would move… but I kept having to untangle them.”

“Mmm… you always take… such good care… of me.” Anything further was lost as Faramir drifted off, his breath growing slow and even.

In a reversal of the last time a large gathering of soldiers and gear filled the courtyard of the White Tower, Éowyn was now watching the spectacle from the side-lines while everyone prepared to leave. The past year had added a bit to both her and Éomer’s height. Éowyn’s hair was longer and carefully styled, Éomer was beginning to widen at the shoulders and both of them were more richly attired than last year.

“Must you go all the way to the Lefnui?” Faramir was standing down in the yard, holding tightly to the stirrups of Boromir’s saddle. “You’ll be gone ages.” He stared up at his brother with a clear look of grief.

STOP YOUR WHINING!” Denethor bullied his own horse up to Faramir, forcing the boy to release the straps and step away or be trampled. “I can not run this kingdom if I stay in the Tower for years on end,” the king announced loftily. “And Boromir can not learn the land he will someday rule simply from dusty maps and other men’s accounts of the world.”

“When will you return?” Shifting foot to foot, Faramir attempted to see past his father.

“Likely by winter,” Denethor answered vaguely. “Perhaps later, depending on what we discover during the tour.” His attention drifted. “I want those wagons to start out now. Take the route I outlined as quickly as possible. I expect a site waiting for us when we arrive in two days.” They planned to stay at inns whenever possible, but Denethor had arranged for longer stays in some areas.

Taking advantage of Denethor’s distraction, Boromir caught Faramir’s gaze. “I will send messages whenever the situation allows, little one.”

“Just come back safely. Please, Boromir. That’s all I need.” Faramir called before backing out of range of stamping hooves and large bodies.

“I always do. I always will.” Boromir’s smile was dazzling. “I’ll always come back for you, little brother. I promise.”

Moving had brought Faramir close enough that it was only a matter of a few steps for Éowyn and Éomer to stand alongside of their half-brother. Hesitantly, Éomer’s hand lifted and came to rest on Faramir’s shoulder, offering comfort. The contact caused a surprised look to cross Faramir’s face, but the gesture wasn’t shaken off. Boromir’s expression was less kind when he saw the action. He frowned darkly until Denethor jostled into their sight-line once again. Under the king’s scrutiny Boromir’s emotions frosted into a mask.

“Mind your teachers and stay out from underfoot of my ministers,” Denethor instructed, yet again. The king gestured impatiently for Boromir to ride, before urging his own mount into a quick walk.

Faramir couldn’t contain himself. He shook off Éomer’s hand and ran a few steps across the courtyard, chasing the riders. “BOROMIR!” Father would scorn him for the outburst but Faramir had give voice to the emotions tearing through him, just in case something were to happen while they were apart. “I LOVE YOU, BOROMIR!” It would be months before the reckoning for the womanish display and with luck Denethor would forget all about it.

No sound drifted back, but Faramir, who’s gaze was locked on his brother, saw Boromir mouth the words ‘I love you too’. That would have to be enough, for father chose that moment to kick out at Boromir’s stallion, startling the beast into a faster pace.

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Carla Jane All Carla Jane’s fiction: http://disanddatbycj.com/ficish/homepage.htm


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