This story is rated «R», and carries the warnings «Violence, slash».
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31 March 2004 | 3883 words
Pairing: Aragorn/Faramir, Implied Aragorn/Boromir
Disclaimer: LOTR and all its characters belong to Tolkien
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Warnings: Violence, slash
Summary: The newly crowned king of Gondor, in deep mourning for his dead lover, decides to prove that he was irreplaceable. Slightly dark themes.
It had all probably been sparked off by a stray remark earlier in the day. The king had been crowned barely a month earlier and things such as court routines were still in a state of flux, since there was so much to be done. There was a great deal of re-building and rehabilitation to see to and emissaries to be met and treaties signed. In general the scene in the king’s palace every morning was one of organized chaos.
It had been no different that morning but for the subject under discussion. It centred on a memorial service scheduled for the morrow. For Boromir, the deceased elder brother of the current steward, and one of the nine walkers whose efforts had so recently helped rid Middle-earth of a great evil. It was while they were all talking about it that one of the lords sighed and said heavily, “We will miss him greatly.”
Faramir the steward glanced up at that and nodded sadly. He still felt bad every time he heard about his brother and sitting through the talk of a memorial service was proving to be difficult. His brother would probably have laughed at the idea of having people make commemorative speeches for him. He moved away from the table he had been standing by and drifted towards the window, staring out at the city. He could hear King Elessar speak behind him.
“Yes, he will be greatly missed. He would have made an excellent steward,” he said softly. It seemed to Faramir that there was more than just a little sadness over a friend’s death in that sentence. There seemed to be something deeper.
“Well, it is a good thing then that you have Faramir yet,” that was the voice of one of the oldest councillors, Merdil, a man whom Boromir and Faramir had both been very fond of, and one who knew the king well from his earlier days in Gondor as Thorongil, “Whatever you may have been told by others, they are not very different. Even Boromir would have told you that his brother is as good as he.”
“Nay, my lord,” Faramir turned and tried to silence the councillor, “There could never have been one like he.” Boromir had been Gondor’s best captain general ever. Only perhaps the king could better him in Faramir’s heart, “There will never be one like him,” he said sadly. His eyes fell upon Elessar’s face and he realised that the king had a very strange expression on his face. One that almost seemed like annoyance.
The councillor opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by the king who called the short one on one meetings that seemed to be taking place all over the room to order.
“Let us finish the work ahead of us first,” he said shortly.
Aragorn was preparing for bed, trying to block out old memories, when he heard the knock on his door. He bade the visitor enter and was surprised to see it was Faramir.
“If you are preparing to sleep, sire, I can come later,” his steward offered.
“No,” Aragorn replied shortly, “what is it you want?”
“I was speaking to Legolas, Sire and he said you and Gimli and he –“
“You wish to speak of Boromir?” Aragorn interrupted trying to sound impatient. He had known this would come of course but he was still not happy about it.
“Yes,” Faramir nodded, relieved, “”that is, if – “
“What exactly do you want to know?” Aragorn asked sitting down in a chair. Faramir remained standing.
“Everything,” the steward blurted out.
Aragorn gritted his teeth in anger. Why couldn’t everyone see he hated speaking of Boromir. It hurt too much to remember. But of course, no one could see. What he and Boromir had shared was not something that would be approved of. And Arwen must definitely not know of it! But Faramir? He stared at the younger man and remembered the conversation from the morning. It had angered him greatly. How could anyone consider that Boromir could be replaced by anyone at all? He decided he had to make that point clear. If he heard such stupid words again, he wouldn’t hesitate to clap his own steward in chains on the charge of treason perhaps. And perhaps once Faramir knew the truth he’d stop pestering him like this.
“I loved your brother,” he said without preamble and rose and walked to the window.
Faramir smiled at that, “I would be surprised indeed if you didn’t. He was not very good at dealing with strangers so he would often appear a little hasty in the beginning but once you got to know him, you would surely love him.”
“You do not have to sound so patronizing about Boromir, my lord steward,” Aragorn turned on his heel and gave Faramir an icy glare that completely shocked the younger man.
Aragorn took a deep breath and then still holding Faramir’s gaze, repeated forcefully, “I loved your brother and he loved me. Do you understand now? Do you realise now why I do not wish to talk of him and why it is that I wish you would not force me to speak of him? Now will you leave?”
Faramir’s mouth hung open at that. Elessar and Boromir! “When -? How -?” he asked. It hardly made a difference, but he could not think of anything else to say.
“You will not leave me alone will you?” Aragorn snarled suddenly.
“I – I just wished to know - ,” Faramir stumbled miserably as he realised the reason for Aragorn’s annoyance all these days. He finally picked up the courage to ask the one thing he really wanted to know, “Was he – was he happy? Was he at peace when he p-passed out of this realm?”
Aragorn glared with even greater ferocity at those words, “He was very happy with me, if that is what you ask. And yes, he died in peace because he died for his land.”
“Very well, I shall ask you no more,” Faramir said quietly and turned to leave but was prevented from doing so when Aragorn shot out his arm and grabbed him by his shoulder. He stared at the angry eyes in surprise.
“What would you like to hear of your brother?” Aragorn growled tightening his grip.
“It will help you as much as it will help me if you speak of him,” Faramir said calmly, even though his heart was racing wildly. Aragorn looked extremely furious and he had no idea how to deal with him.
“It will help me if I talk to you?” Aragorn asked grimly, “Whatever makes you think that?”
“Boromir can never be brought back,” Faramir began soothingly only to be interrupted harshly.
“And you think you can replace him as Merdil said?”
“No!” Faramir winced as he felt the anger radiating from Aragorn’s voice.
Aragorn suddenly pushed him roughly against the bed. The younger man fell heavily, and for a moment simply lay there recovering his breath.
The king continued speaking harshly, “Would you like to hear what he felt like to touch, how it felt to hold him, to kiss him, or how it felt when we made love under the leaves in Lothlórien?”
Faramir pushed himself up halfway before Aragorn shoved him back, and held him in place with a hand on his chest, “Would you like to hear how he sang and spoke with us, how the hobbits loved him, how bravely he fought? Would you like to hear what a man he was? And would you like to hear how I was incapable of bringing Minas Tirith’s loved son back to her alive? There will never be another like him to walk these realms. And I could not bring him back.”
Suddenly he rose, and pulled the slender man off the bed. Grabbing him brutally by his arms, he dragged him over to the window, pointing out to the city below them, “Do you see that? He should be here now, seeing this, seeing his city in peace and prosperity. And he is not. We may have won the war but at what price? I have let him down greatly! I did not support him enough when he was weakening or he would never have never felt so bad about trying to take the ring from Frodo that he went off after the orcs with no care for his own life.”
Faramir finally opened his mouth, ignoring the ache that was travelling from his arms up his neck and down his back, “Nay, Sire, you must not speak so. He would be glad to see that peace his returned, even if he may not be here to witness it.”
It appeared nothing he said that day could please the king. No sooner had the words left his mouth, than Aragorn pulled him around and shook him hard, “What do you know? You think you know your brother? How could you? You are nothing like him.”
Faramir bit his lip as Aragorn’s fingers pressed into the wound on his shoulder, a relic of a southron dart, “I am nothing like him in looks ‘tis true, but we were not all that unalike, my lord, and –“
He was suddenly shoved hard before he could complete his sentence.
“You have heard of his last moments. Let me tell you of his other moments; of his happy moments. Of how he felt a joy he had never felt before, not even in your company. You were merely his brother. What satisfaction could you afford him?” Aragorn asked his voice reduced to a dangerous whisper.
“I am – I am glad you were happy together, Sire –“ he started only to be interrupted.
“And then you dare to walk in and think you can replace him?” Aragorn raved.
It took Faramir a while to react as the shock of the accusation assailed him. Aragorn loomed over him all the while, fuming.
“I would never-“ the younger man began.
A hand reached out for his tunic and pulled him up, “Let me show you why you can never replace him,” Aragorn hissed, and tore at the tunic, managing to rip it open completely, in his rage. Faramir stood completely bewildered, shivering as a cool draught hit his bare upper body listening to the words cutting deep into him.
“His mouth tasted as sweet as honey, and when he spoke of his home, it was in a voice full of love. When he spoke to me, it was in a voice full of love such as I have never heard.”
He grabbed Faramir’s chin and brutally raised his head. Bending his head down, he assaulted Faramir’s mouth with his own, pushing his hand around his neck, and grabbing at the shoulder length hair as his tongue explored Faramir’s mouth, the younger man responded instinctively to the kiss, and Aragorn pushed further. He could feel Faramir’s body tensing under him, as they remained interlocked. The other hand he slinked around the younger man’s waist, and slipped into his breeches causing an expression of alarm to light up in his eyes. Faramir tried to pull away placing his arms against Aragorn’s chest. The king reacted instantly.
He assaulted the tender lips violently now, attacking with his teeth, feeling Faramir trying to draw back. He dug his nails deep into the other man’s soft buttocks, causing him to struggle further. Without preamble, he let his fingers slide into the crack, and pushed one up the unprepared entrance, ramming it into the tight channel. He felt Faramir begin to flail his arms, and tightened his grip around his neck, his mouth still working on the other. The steward tried to pull away as his lungs started screaming for air, but Aragorn had much greater stamina.
Finally he pulled out and let him go. Faramir buckled, gasping for air, and ended up on the floor on his knees, taking in large gasps of air, tears filling up involuntarily in his eyes.
“Boromir used to love it when I kissed him,” Aragorn said. Faramir stared up at him still breathing heavily, an almost frightened look in his eyes, wincing as he felt the pain shoot up his lower back from Aragorn’s rough handling. It had been a long while since he had been touched like that, and never had he faced such brutal treatment. Aragorn hissed in annoyance and pulled him up, holding onto him by one arm, the same arm that hurt him if he exerted it too much. He ran a derisive glance up and down the half-naked figure.
“He was strong and sturdy. Broad of chest with large arms and strong legs,” he said running his hands over the slim chest, feeling ribs instead of muscle, finding bony joints in the thinned arms instead of well-developed muscle. His lips curled in annoyance, and he looked down at the lanky long legs.
Aragorn continued to speak softly as though in a dream, “When I touched him he smiled, and wept with desire. When I kissed him, he asked for more. He had a beautiful mouth, such luscious lips,” he said softly, wonderingly as he traced his fingers along his steward’s now bruised lips.
Faramir tried to take the hand in his as Aragorn was beginning to scare him truly now. It seemed the king was not himself but Aragorn grabbed his wrists twisting them away, causing the younger man to grimace.
“No! You will not touch me!” Aragorn said coldly, and brutally shoved his steward onto the bed. Faramir felt himself fall on the huge wooden bed once again but this time he lost his balance and his head connected with the heavy bedpost causing a sickening crack to sound out. He lay sprawled across the white sheets his head ringing with pain and everything around him lost in a grey haze.
He did not even realise that Aragorn had pulled off his breeches in one swift motion leaving him completely unclothed. Then he realised Aragorn was grabbing his thighs hard enough to leave bruise marks on the skin, and pushing his legs apart. But Faramir was still in too much of a daze, and hardly able to believe what was happening, to prevent him. He tried to get up slowly but found himself being pushed down again. Aragorn’s face glared close to his.
“I do not want to see your face!” he spat out suddenly and grabbing him roughly by the waist flipped him onto his stomach. Faramir lay face down in a tangled heap of arms and legs, his breathing still very jagged and his head continuing to ache with a dull throb. Aragorn hissed in annoyance and pulling at his aching limbs violently, made him lie straight. His legs were thrust apart once again, this time with greater force, as the hands clenched his skin tighter. An arm snaked around his stomach lifting his hips off the bed. Simultaneously, Aragorn’s other hand strayed to his rump. The steward tried frantically to move away and then gasped audibly as Aragorn suddenly pulled at his hair.
“He always smiled when I touched him.”
Faramir retreated into silence after that, his only reaction being to clench the sheets of the bed tight, as Aragorn’s nails dug into his flesh. He could feel the entire weight of the other man on his body and he felt suffocated. An arm was wound around his chest and his nipples were pinched with brutal ferocity. The back of his shoulders stung as Aragorn bent his head down and bit him every now and then. He found himself biting into the pillow under him to stifle his cries. His eyes were smarting with unshed tears as Aragorn continue to touch him everywhere.
He felt the hand return to his rear and stiffened as a finger entered him yet again, stretching mercilessly this time. Another followed, ramming in without remorse and he found himself biting his lower lip till it drew blood. He knew what would happen next but he also knew he was not ready for it at all. Any second now, he expected Aragorn to enter him.
Instead Aragorn pulled out his fingers as roughly as he had pushed them in, “I would take you now but you are not he. You live while he is dead. Dead, defending a righteous cause. The hardiest man in Gondor is that not what the lords called him? And yet he is the one who does not survive, while you do,” he whispered bitterly while under him Faramir felt as though someone had placed a cold hand on his heart as he heard those dreaded words. Words he had heard before though spoken differently, words he often said to himself in bleak moments of despondency. He felt something wet fall on his lower back. A teardrop, he realised in dismay.
“May you enjoy this life you have, my lord steward!” Aragorn moved away and raising himself, shoved Faramir violently off the bed and lay down.
Faramir flew right off the bed and crashed nosily against the wall his time hitting his back and shoulders. He could not stifle the cry of pain eliciting a derisive snort from Aragorn who had turned his back to him. Straightening himself painfully, Faramir stared at the prone figure of his king.
He moved towards him cautiously and leaned over, intending to talk to his king. He was confused.
Tears ran freely down his king’s face through closed eyes. Faramir bent over unsteadily, and gently wiped them. Aragorn would not open his eyes. He simply swatted Faramir’s hand away and lay there not speaking, not opening his eyes, just crying silently.
“I owe you this life that I have,” he said softly, “You healed me.”
Aragorn turned around and Faramir nearly flinched as grey eyes glared at him. Aragorn opened his mouth as if to say something, then clamped his lips together and turned away closing his eyes again.
“Leave,” he said finally.
Faramir stared at the lying figure wordlessly. The king opened his eyes.
“Leave, I said! Now!” Aragorn’s grey orbs glared at him, his voice icy.
Feeling as though a cold hand had clutched at his heart, the steward of the realm slowly and stiffly arose and swung his long legs off the bed. His entire back hurt tremendously as did his head. He stood up and not without difficulty, still feeling a little wobbly, and flinched as his tunic and leggings were thrown at his face.
Pulling on his clothes as quickly as he could, trying not to look at the ugly bruises that were forming all over his bare body and ignoring the aches and pains, he began to hobble his way out of the king’s chambers, even as Aragorn turned his face into his pillow and began to sob heavily, crying out for Boromir again and again. He stopped and turned around, heading back for the bed.
“Sire,” he said gently, placing a hand on Aragorn’s bare shoulder.
It was shoved away immediately as Aragorn turned and sat up, his eyes raging.
“Do not touch me again, son of Denethor!” he said through gritted teeth, “ No one touches me in that way, except one who will not return. You will never take his place, do you hear me! Steward you may be now, but you will never be your brother. Now, leave before I call in the guards and have you thrown out of my chambers!”
Faramir backed away his gentle face creasing in an expression of alarm and sadness. Backing into the door, he stared at Aragorn one last time before turning around and walking out, leaving a sobbing king to himself.
He returned to his room and pulled out a letter from a wooden box. Boromir had written it in Lothlórien and left it with one of the elves to deliver to Minas Tirith. He seemed to have been unsure of his fate for he had written to Aragorn as well. The letters had come two weeks ago with a messenger. Aragorn’s mood had turned from restrained unhappiness to completely foul unless with one of the halflings.
Faramir read the letter again, specifically the last part where Boromir praised Aragorn as a true king and leader of men. The steward could finally catch the undercurrent of love in the words.
And one last line:
Should I not return, look after him, my brother, protect him and guard him and be a steward to him as our ancestors were to their kings. Minas Tirith will need him.
He returned to the king’s room to find the older man hunched over a similar parchment and sobbing. Aragorn glanced up when he entered, the eyes red and puffy and cheeks stained with tears. He stood by quietly waiting for Aragorn to react, wondering if he should leave when Aragorn shouted at him again or stay, as his brother would have liked him to. But Aragorn said nothing, so he stayed.
Seating himself on the bed, he gathered his king in his arms and held him. Aragorn did not push him away this time. And he knew it must be from what Boromir would have written to Elessar for his king sobbed quietly on his shoulder till his tears dried out. They sat like that for hours not talking, nor meeting each other’s eyes until finally Aragorn drifted off to sleep.
His only words in that entire phase of time had been repeated mumbles that Faramir had made out to be, “You are not he.”
He had continued to hold onto the older man.
Then, Faramir left for his room. The entire city slept in peace that night, save for these two, who wept through the night, mourning the same man in their own ways.
The next day, Aragorn glanced blankly up at the younger man when he came across him, desiring to pre-empt any talk of the previous night and found himself glancing into expressionless grey eyes. The steward’s voice was as steady as ever, although a very discerning ear might have detected a hint of tonelessness in it. Aragorn’s voice held the same timbre in it that he held when speaking to any other than his kindred or his fellow walkers. The steward fitted into neither.
That particular morning everything had been organized neatly and perfectly for the memorial service. The entire city had turned out for the memorial, as Boromir had been much loved, and so too had the remaining members of the fellowship. He was mourned by all, and especially by his brother, Faramir and also, as many people noticed and appreciated, by King Elessar.
It seemed to the courtiers that the king seemed more at peace with himself, while their grave young steward seemed to have added on to his shadows.
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