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21 December 2012 | 2754 words | Work in Progress
Title: Memory and Time
Author: Mira Took
Summary: Aragorn struggles to help a suffering Faramir; h/c, post-Ring War with flashbacks.
Disclaimer: The characters and legendarium are Professor Tolkien’s. I have no permissions and make no profits.
Warnings: Bad parenting. Do not do this at home.
Notes: I have adjusted the canon timeline: Steward Ecthelion II dies when Faramir is three years old, rather than a year old. Aragorn remains in Gondor as Thorongil until that time. I have also made a slight deviation from the request: Aragorn helps right after Faramir’s birth, rather than with it. All other discrepancies are unintentional.
Written for the 2011 Midwinter Swap. With profound apologies to the requester for the continued delay.
Request by LN Tora: Either one of the following: Aragorn/Faramir: Aragorn helped with the birth of Faramir and stayed until he was three, thinking he was in good hands with his family. After taking the crown he discovers just how wrong he was. Double hurt/comfort: Aragorn helping Faramir heal from Denethor’s abuse, and Faramir helping Aragorn with his self perceived guilt. The abuse can contain a sexual element, or not if the writer is uncomfortable with it. Requires: Ara/Fara pairing, and happy ending. Angst along the way encouraged.
Boromir/Faramir: Post RotK, Boromir!lives. Surviving the Ring War, Boromir slowly discovers Denethor’s mistreatment of Faramir was far worse than he suspected as he tries to cope with Faramir’s emerging PTSD. Negotiable: (regarding incest) While I’d like to see Boromir as the main character to help Faramir, he doesn’t have to be the one Faramir winds up with, so long as the other party is still male. Requires: Happy ending, slash pairing, road to recovery.
“Captain, the steward calls for you. The child is crying out in his sleep.” The servant peering around the door to wake Thorongil was a familiar face in the barracks. He was nominally a footman waiting upon the Lady Finduilas, but he had trained as a swordsman and his particular charge was keeping an eye on the lady’s safety and that of her young sons: eight-year-old Boromir and three-year-old Faramir.
Thorongil released the hilt of the dagger he had reached for when the door began to open, swept his blanket aside, and pulled on his boots. He had slept in his second-best uniform, ready for travel, and it was necessary only for him to pick up the small satchel from beside the bed before following the servant out the door.
“Lord King, the steward calls for you. He is crying out in his sleep.” The servant was unfamiliar, but the summons was so close to the memory he had been lost in that Elessar took a moment to look up from the last embers of his evening fire and answer.
“Prince Faramir? Has he taken ill, do you mean?”
“I couldn’t say, lord. He shouted loudly enough to be heard in the corridor, and when the lass doing her night’s work ventured to see if he was wanting anything, she found him … well, moaning is what she said. She came running for me — I’m in charge of the under-servants for this wing, lord — and I went to the steward’s rooms. He’s asleep, sure enough, but he’s not resting easy and he keeps calling.”
“For me?” asked the king, who had risen from his comfortable chair to pull on a pair of boots and gather up a few things into a satchel.
“Well, lord, if you’ll pardon me, the name he says is ‘Aragorn.’” The man shifted uneasily, as if he might be taking a liberty by knowing that this was the king’s given name. “We tried but couldn’t rouse him, so I left the lass with him and came to you instead of the healers. I hope I did right, lord.”
“You did, thank you,” the king returned, taking a moment to direct a smile of gratitude at him. The servant straightened his shoulders and stood tall. In the days afterward, Pelham the footman would never allow a word of criticism of his king to be uttered in his hearing without offering to take the speaker outside for some of the homebrewed.
As king and servant approached the steward’s rooms, they could see a young girl leaning half out of the doorway, looking rather forlornly at an abandoned mop and bucket in the corridor. She came out as they drew near, dropping a curtsy, and then looked back and forth from one figure of authority to another. Elessar nodded in response to her salute, but moved immediately toward the door, so Pelham said “get on with your work, then,” and took up his own position hovering at the threshold.
Pelham much preferred the corridor and the maid her mop, because the scene in the steward’s chamber was distressing. The bed curtains had been drawn back, perhaps by the servants, so that the suffering figure on the bed could be seen at once. The Prince Faramir lay on his back, shivering violently and keening under his breath, with his eyes wide open and staring sightlessly at the canopy above him. As the king came to his bedside, Faramir seemed to seize up as though in pain. As the tension left him again, he moaned, “Aragorn.”
“I am here,” Aragorn said. He knelt beside the bed, so that he could lean his long frame against it and reach out with both hands to cradle the younger man’s head. “I am here with you, dearest Faramir.”
Faramir’s eyes still stared without seeing, but the shivering and moaning gradually began to fade away. Aragorn remained still, holding on and stroking one thumb ever so slightly against Faramir’s temple. After a while, he spoke, “Faramir … Faramir.”
Faramir’s body relaxed against the pillows and his eyes closed. Aragorn waited another moment before saying again, “Faramir.”
This time when Faramir’s eyes opened they held real, if somewhat bewildered, awareness.
“My king.” Not a greeting, just a half-asleep acknowledgement of who was before him.
“My prince.” This said smiling.
It was rather a joke of theirs, started in the days just after Elessar’s coronation when both had been learning to respond to their new titles. Elessar had called Faramir “my prince” once, and Faramir had objected on the grounds that it sounded as though Elessar was acknowledging allegiance, as when Faramir himself used the words “my king.” Elessar had pointed out, with solemn mien but a glint in his eye, that he had bestowed the title on his steward and so it was only fair that he be allowed to use it. His steward, equally straight-faced but with an undoubted glint, had pointed out that in that case he needs must address his lord as “your most high and excellent majesty” — a title Faramir proposed to bestow on him forthwith — since Faramir had not given Elessar his plain title of king and so in fairness could not use it. At which point the quiet joke had turned into something more serious, as the king told his prince that Faramir had indeed bestowed his title and his kingship upon him, the moment Faramir woke to see Aragorn before him. Faramir had smiled and lowered his eyes and they had not spoken of it further, but there remained something of that laughter and that seriousness between them when they addressed each other thus.
“Lord?” asked Faramir, shifting onto his side as Aragorn moved back a little from the bedside. “Did you need me? Is something wrong?”
“A personal matter,” said Aragorn slowly. “Come and sit by the fire, while I send away the good servant waiting outside.”
He did so and turned back to find Faramir had seated himself on the footstool near the hearth, leaving the armchair for Aragorn. There were other chairs in the room, but the arrangement struck neither man as unusual, though it was only Aragorn who remembered sitting before the fire with Faramir this way. The king sat now, half facing his prince, half facing the fire, and asked, “Faramir, what do you remember of the place the Nazgûl sent you? The place where I found you?”
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Minx , Susana