19 December 2009 | 4329 words
Rating: err? I don’t know how Americans rate things – a PG?
Warnings: Un-beta-ed unfortunately – dratted snow… , no Éowyn/Arwen either – also no sex (sorry – any attempt I made was truly terrible, and no-one wants to read that)… think that’s it
Disclaimers: All canon character’s and places mentioned belong to the Tolkien Estate. Any others are purely fiction and I release them (but not the story) into the public domain. Please contact me otherwise if you wish to copy/edit/change/etc the story before you do so ?
Notes: Whoever this is for, I hope this satisfies your wishes.
Written for the 2009 Midwinter Swap.
Request by Mira Took: Faramir/Aragon, post-ring war. I like a kingly and understanding Aragorn, and a quietly intelligent but deeply scarred Faramir. Story should focus on their developing relationship, maybe some agonizing misunderstandings ending in love or maybe Faramir finally accepting what Aragorn?s offering. (I imagine that the hobbits have gone home and Éowyn is off being a happily single shieldmaiden). Sex is optional (!), but I would love to have some hair-stroking, tear-wiping, or holding-for-long-periods-of-time. (Not looking for strong kink, by the way, but always a fan of hurt/comfort.) My biggest request, besides the pairing, is that there be endearments: Aragorn saying ‘dear one’, ‘my Faramir’, or ‘my any adjective one’. Faramir can say ‘my king’ sometimes if he likes.
“Your correspondence sire.”
Aragorn, King of Gondor and Lord of Minas Tirith, looked up to see a large amount of parchment leafs and scrolls in the aide’s arms. Eyes widening slightly, and a small sigh escaping his lips, he indicated that they should be placed on top of the already large pile of documents that needed signing, amending, scrapping etc. It looked like the ride Aragorn was looking forward to wasn’t going to happen.
“Thank you, but please – no more is to be brought until I’ve worked through at least some of this” Aragorn smiled ruefully at his aide, wishing already that somehow all this paperwork would disappear.
“If I was to be so bold sire, I suggest looking at the missives at the top of the pile – they are of lighter and more interesting subjects.” The aide bowed his head and retreated from Aragorn’s office. Aragorn tilted his head slightly at the door – he could have sworn the aide was smiling slightly. No matter, the advice was sound.Aragorn started his way through the pile and only 5 leafs through, he realised that they were all requesting the same thing – to preside over marriage ceremonies in the coming months. Not that this was bad, on the contrary, with it nearly a year since the Black Lands fell with the destruction of the ring, not to mention the dawning of the Fourth Age, many people had finally slowed down from the frantic pace of rebuilding and decided it was time to get married. Except, this pile – which was about 3 foot high – was all requests for him to perform the marriage duties.
“Oh Valar, this is going to take some doing – I don’t even know what to do…” Aragorn groaned aloud, and dropped his head on the desk in frustration.
“Do what, exactly?”
Aragorn looked up and the first smile of the day graced his face. His trusted Steward Faramir was here – if anyone in Minas Tirith knew about Gondorian custom, then it would be him. His advice and work over the last year or so had been more than invaluable. “My Steward, tell me – what do you know about marriage?”
Faramir cocked an eyebrow in surprise. “Are you planning a proposal my Lord?”
Aragorn laughed “On the contrary, I’m planning to preside over successful proposals – unfortunately I need to preside over what seems to be 400 and doubtless, there will be more to come”
Faramir nodded in understanding “With the major rebuilding mostly complete, I guess most people have finally found the time to also complete their proposals” Faramir moved towards the pile inspecting the top sheaf “Councillor Tereth and Lady Whitley? Are you sure that will even work in the long run?” Faramir was surprised that Councillor Tereth was even contemplating marriage – being as cold and as harsh as his own Fa- no Faramir, let’s not think about that…
Aragorn looked over Faramir’s shoulder and smiled “No doubt you can foresee trouble ahead for the pair. No, it’s not the couples that I need advice on, it’s the actual ceremonies. I know that there are several customs and speeches that must be performed, but I am also interested in investing these marriage powers into other high ranking officials, so as to spread the workload as such.”
Faramir, whose face had oddly gone impassive suddenly sprung back to life with a smirk “I somehow doubt that certain members requesting your presence at their wedding would be happy being passed off onto another official”
Aragorn rolled his eyes and sighed “There is not much I can do about that – I am, after all, only one man and I can only be at one ceremony at one time, not to mention I am supposed to be running a Kingdom as well. But irrespective of that, can you help at all?”
Faramir smiled and looked into his king’s face. Gods, I wish his eyes would not look so alluring at this time of the morning. “I err… I can help, but not off hand. I must admit that I am a bit rusty on marriage custom. Fa… Denethor did not preside over many marriages, so he never deemed it necessary to be learnt. I do know where the books are in the library though and I can give you a briefing on the basics an evening this week?”
Aragorn looked at his Steward. Valar, he is still so hurt. My poor Faramir, he did not deserve what happened to him because of his father. “That would be very helpful – as you can see, the paperwork is mounting and I haven’t ridden in a while – I reckon there’s still time in the day for that though.”
Faramir smiled, although the smile did not reach his eyes. Damn you Denethor – you had to make me socially incapable at holding a casual conversation without making me remember your… comments. “A ride would probably be good for you my king, the air outside is refreshing – although this is comment from the stable master. I haven’t ridden myself in a while.”
Aragorn appraised his Steward “We should go riding at some point together – today perhaps? If not, then definitely tomorrow”
Faramir looked slightly shocked, then resumed his normal demeanour “My Lord, I couldn’t intrude…” I couldn’t cope being alone with him for a whole day out!
“Faramir, I’m asking you to come along – this afternoon” Aragorn put his hand on Faramir’s shoulder. He felt it immediately tense up. There has to be so many issues, I wish he would just let me in…
“Well I shall leave you to your work and return to mine. I have managed to finish most of my paperwork for today already. Good day sire” Faramir stuttered, as he seemed to literally fly across the room and out the door.
“Lord Steward” Aragorn called out, after watching Faramir practically run out of his office. He knew something was up, and the last statement revealed a little too. Faramir was efficient, but it was only just before noon. Considering they get similar amounts of missives and he’d been up since early morning, Faramir was likely not to have been sleeping again. It looks like we’re going to talk.
Both Faramir and Aragorn arrived at the stable at the same time in the afternoon. Aragorn smiled at Faramir and gestured that he should enter first. Blushing slightly, Faramir hurried inside to his horse and began to saddle up, leaving Aragorn to his own horse. The silence that started outside continued.
“So, how has your paperwork progressed today my Lord?” Faramir asked, seemingly trying to break the now awkward silence that had suddenly descended.
“Ah excellently thank you, I placed the marriage pile to the side awaiting your briefing and finished most of the defence reports and masonry budgets instead. Not terribly exciting, but necessary.”
Faramir looked as white as a sheet. “Did you want the briefing today? I mean, I could go do it now if you need-”
Aragorn was startled, he didn’t expect that reaction. “My Steward, I asked for it sometime this week, not today. And in any case, aren’t we supposed be riding now?”
Faramir relaxed and smiled “Yes, you’re right – I’ve actually been looking forward to this all day” Oh that was cringe worthy wasn’t it – about as subtle as an angry orc. The smile had now gone.
Aragorn watched Faramir’s expressions – something really was up and while he wasn’t so sure at the moment, he could certainly use this opportunity to find out.
“So, where shall we ride to? – There is not much time left in the day and I do not fancy camping out either. What about a brisk ride around Pelennor? There is a nice stream by the Rammas Echor on the southern point.”
Faramir looked up interested. “I know that stream; it is very pretty around there indeed. Yes, I think that would be an excellent ride – shall we go then?”
Aragorn smiled “After you”
Faramir returned the smile, and then surprising Aragorn yet again, quipped “I’ll bet I’ll get there first” and on his horse shot out the stable. Aragorn looked stunned. This is really confusing – he’s sad, then happy and now he wants a race. Well, if he wants one, he’ll get one! “Go!” Aragorn cried out to his horse, which immediately leapt into pursuit after Faramir. Certainly not what I was expecting, no not at all…
Aragorn hoisted himself off his horse. It had been a close race, but he had the sneaking suspicion that Faramir let him win. I’ll ask him. He didn’t want a race to be fixed because of his position. You challenge him and you should expect to only give it your best. Aragorn looked over to see a panting Faramir – flushed and tired but unbelievably handsome.
“Looks like your challenge didn’t end up in your favour Steward – did you slow down towards the end?”
Faramir looked up, brushing his hair to the side. “I did slow down, my horse was tiring and we do need to get back before the sun sets. Excuse me while I take the horses to the stream.”
Aragorn arched an eyebrow, but then rationalised it in his head. That’s a fair comment, but even so, he was only a few hundred yards away from the stream. I’ll let him have that, but nothing else.
Faramir had led the horses to the stream and was in the process of taking a drink for himself. Of course he slowed down, because it was hardly proper for a steward to win against his king. Still, it was exhilarating… to be the best, the frontrunner…
“Faramir, come sit with me” Faramir spun round and saw Aragorn sitting on the bank of the stream, looking across to the setting sun. The golden light and light breeze in the air made him look majestic and kingly – it took his breath away. Gods… do I love him? With this thought bouncing round his head, Faramir made his way over to Aragorn and sat next to him. He could smell pipe-weed, the curious herb that Pippin had introduced to him on the air and the faint sound of Aragorn breathing. It was a perfect moment for Faramir.
“Faramir, tell me what’s wrong” Aragorn had turned to look at his steward.
“What do you mean my lord?” Faramir replied, trying to evade that difficult question.
“My Faramir, please call me Aragorn when we are not in other’s company. We’re friends and formality can be a barrier” Aragorn didn’t take his eyes off Faramir and it was making Faramir uncomfortable “I think you know what I mean – you’re on edge for some reason, and I don’t think you’re sleeping right either. You have to talk to me before I can help, my Faramir” Don’t push it too hard Aragorn…
Faramir was shocked. Aragorn was probing deep and was hitting the nail on the head as well. Did he open up, did he run away. All his life he wished someone would ask him this question, ask him what he felt, what was wrong – and now the time had come, he had frozen in place. What do I do, what do I do, what-
“Faramir?” Aragorn asked again.
“It is time we returned to the city – the sun is setting and I know Beregond, the Citadel Warden, will be worrying.” Coward
“My Faramir, you never answered my question.” Aragorn sounded almost disappointed. Come on Faramir…
Faramir had already got his horse and was mounting it. “There never was any answer to give. I shall see you tomorrow at the council meeting.”
The sun had set by the time Aragorn couldn’t see Faramir against the city.
Faramir was having a bad day – a bad week actually. The ride he had with Aragorn, now over a week ago, was still nagging him and was in the progress of triggering memories that Faramir would rather forget. Denethor – while a father to Boromir – was a tyrant to Faramir and while Faramir had over the years been successful at blocking out most of what happened, there were times when try as he might, his mind was determined to take a trip down ‘memory lane’ and relive these moments.
“… Your mother has died.”
“But… but that means she’s not coming back, doesn’t it?”
“How very observant of you Faramir – now, not another word while I talk to your brother”
Only the start of course
“… Faramir, please tell me why you are reading that… ‘Elvish’ book when you should be at sword practise?”
“Father! I was studying the old treatises on the alliances of the second age. They’re really interesting and-”
“Dead. Stop wasting your mental resources on politics long gone and do something productive with your time! Sword practise – Now!”
As he got older, the shouting got worse.
“How many times Faramir? I couldn’t care less about your new found interest in Beren and Luthien when I see that you have only come second in sword skills!”
“But first place is Boromir-”
“Precisely – because he is the better son, especially in comparison to you. If you want to gain respect, you have to be the best, and you are not the best – not by far. Get out of my sight.”
The public humiliation was the worst.
“Councillors, the Captain of the Rangers is officially requesting more resources to be sent to Ithilien. As Lord Steward of Gondor, I formally deny the request.”
“My Lord! I believe under law I have the right to know the reasons-”
“The reasons, Captain, for denying your request is that you get plenty already – you need to be more efficient and frugal with what you have”
“My Lord, if I may point out, the Rangers have increased in number recently but with no corresponding increase in food or equipment. We are stretched as it is, surely-
“The Lord Steward has passed judgement – now please stop wasting the council’s time so we can progress with the day’s matters at hand.”
“Thank you councillor, now the garrison at Lindir has requested an increase of food resources; I feel that given the circumstances of the leadership there, we should grant them this request…”
“Well said, my Lord!”
“Indeed, I fully agree”
“… Captain, why are you still here?”
And that fateful day Denethor sent him to his death
“Think better of me when I come back”
“That depends on the manner of you return”
The hits he could take, the cold stares and the barbed comments just came with the territory, but the lack of caring or bother Denethor took with Faramir was awful. Faramir was so deeply scarred by this – all he ever wanted was some sort of acceptance or friendly comment from his father. Boromir, while the only constant source of affection he had, never quite could replace the role of father for Faramir, even though he desperately tried to. In this new age though, Faramir knew that at least his father did care something for him, even if it took his near death to prove it. This didn’t make up for everything that had happened of course, but it was something.
Faramir looked up. It seemed that he had drifted for a little bit – Arnor was moving into the last part of her journey across the sky and nearing sunset – it had been only just been past midday when he settled into the library. The desk and the shelves around him seemed to be in a mess. He looked at himself. Rumpled, slightly dishevelled. What had happened?
The creak of hinges alerted Faramir to someone entering the library. Startled, and still remembering his father’s reactions, he childishly hid behind some shelves further back behind the desk, waiting to see who was coming into the library. A brisk and purposeful walk, some rustling of some papers and an intake of breathe made clear that Aragorn had come to see where he was. Thank the gods I hid.
“Valar, what has he been doing?”
“This will not do – it seems I’m going to have to talk to him about this and more this evening.”
Oh Gods, what have I done?
Aragorn picked up a sheaf of paper and scanned over it sighing,
“This is disappointing… very disappointing”
I’ve disappointed him, oh Gods, Valar, I need to go- get away, anything, not again, not now.
Aragorn placed the paper down again and walked off, a dark look on his face. Faramir waited until the door creaked shut again and then crept out from his hiding place. A single tear slid down his face.
Not again – I’ve become a disappointment again.
Aragorn was waiting. While spending years as a Dunedin Ranger had made him accustomed to waiting, this was different. He really needed to talk to his steward and although he had made it clear, after a week of avoiding him, Faramir was to meet him after dinner, he still hadn’t turned up.
Aragorn was worried. He had been distracted all week with the exchange at the stream and now, with the report due on marriage customs, he was going to use this meeting to get to the bottom of the matter. He already knew that he could only divest the power to only 2 others, which would still press on his time anyway. That was thanks to the document Faramir compiled and he read when he visited the library – it was exactly what he wanted, even if it didn’t bring favourable news. It did seem though that Faramir had been working there recently, and had left briefly. It was a mess and it look like he’d slept there as well – again, something he wanted to bring up – but of course, he couldn’t do that if his steward wasn’t there!
His patience wearing thin, Aragorn decided to go find his steward. The citadel is large though, I’ll start from the back and work my way forwards – maybe his office? His pacing down the hall echoed loudly in a quieting castle. The sun had now set, and most people were settling in for the night. Aragorn nodded at a guard, and took a turning for some stairs. He then stopped and turned to the guard.
“Have you seen Prince Faramir at all?”
The guard paused then answered “I saw him about an hour ago, he was heading back to his chambers in some sort of rush. In fact he didn’t look happy at all, but it is not my place to ask these things sire, y’see?”
Aragorn rolled his eyes in his mind, but understood the guard’s position “I understand, but have you seen him since?”
The guard answered immediately “No sire, just me for the last hour.”
Good, he’s in his room. “Thank you, you can return to duty” Aragorn smiled at returned on his way, now heading purposefully in the direction of Faramir’s chambers. I wonder what’s the matter with him? Aragorn didn’t need long to find out though. He got to Faramir’s room and heard a faint sound – like a mewling, but it was sad, heart wrenching. Aragorn immediately opened the door and saw Faramir on the floor by his bed, crying his heart out – various clothes and bits of equipment strewn across the floor, with a carry case nearby. Did he mean to leave?
“Faramir!? What in the name of the Valar is wrong?” Aragorn cried out and immediately went to him, picking him up and holding him close. Faramir froze solid and choked out.
“But- but- you… you hate me!”
The look of shock and horror on Aragorn’s face was enough to start Faramir going again and Aragorn just kept hold of him, waiting for the worst to pass. I could never hate him! Where could he have got that idea? “My precious, precious Faramir – I could never hate you. You mean so much to me – you mean everything to me! Valar, come and lie down – you are so cold!”
Aragorn had become very protective all of a sudden; scared almost that Faramir was going to bolt. It looked like he was going to anyway. Valar, I’m glad I came looking for him. “Faramir, I have many questions, but first off, were you trying to run away?”
By now, the pair was on the bed, with Faramir leaning back on Aragorn’s chest, and Aragorn’s arms surrounding him in a tight, protective embrace. Subconsciously, Faramir snuggled into the warmth of Aragorn, and Aragorn started to stroke Faramir’s hair soothingly. But the question was hard, embarrassing almost and Faramir tensed up slightly.
“Yeah, I was… it was foolish, but I… I… I heard you say you were disappointed in the library and I thought you meant me.” Faramir said guiltily, looking up into Aragorn’s face, hoping that he was going to be proved wrong.
Aragorn looked down and saw the pleading expression and was disturbed, but willing to put right some misunderstandings. “Faramir, I was commenting on the document – it was of excellent quality” he hurried to add “but the information wasn’t what I wanted to hear.”
Faramir nodded in understanding. He knew what Aragorn meant, but was this what he also meant when he said ‘talk with him’?
Aragorn stroked Faramir’s hair again. “Of course dear one, you didn’t think that running away would achieve anything? You are the Steward of Gondor remember? If you had gone missing, I would have sent out half the population looking for you!”
Faramir chuckled slightly through his misery. Yes, it wasn’t exactly the cleverest of all his ideas but it had been a stressful week. “I’m sorry my king, but I’m so…”
Aragorn held Faramir closer and pressed his lips to Faramir’s hair. Screw it, he needs it. “You’re so what, precious one? I need you to tell me – I know that you are not sleeping properly, and I also know you still suffer with nightmares from past memories, but I need you to help me before I can help you. Tell me what’s wrong Faramir – what is wrong?”
Faramir shook slightly and tears streamed down his face. “It just hurts… all I ever wanted was his approval and I never got it.” He sniffed and carried on “When you said you were disappointed, I thought it had happened again – that I had failed to gain your approval and that I was a failure. My king, I was so scared you thought I was a failure…”
Aragorn turned Faramir around and looked him squarely in the eyes. “You are not a failure. You are more than anything I could ever ask for, and it is your father’s loss that he never saw it.” Faramir sniffed slightly at the mention of his father, but nodded as if he understood. “You mean more to the Kingdom and myself than anything else – don’t you forget this.” Aragorn held Faramir tighter as if he meant to reinforce this. Faramir smiled slightly and whispered
Aragorn just rested his chin on top of Faramir’s head and said “I think we need to rest – it’s been a tough week for both of us. Anything else can wait.”
Faramir looked at Aragorn oddly “You’re staying here? With me?” The confusion in Faramir made Aragorn look sad for him “Of course I’m staying – you mean too much for me to leave at the moment – if ever. Now, shall we?”
Faramir just nodded and went under the covers with Aragorn, being held tight by him and enjoying the feeling of being loved. Nothing had been said between them about their new relationship, but Faramir was for once in his life certain this would never be the same for them again – in a good way of course. I feel safe. I feel loved… glad I’ve been reading up on marriage.
Aragorn felt Faramir fall asleep gently, calmer and quieter than before. He smiled and drifted himself. I’ll ask him in the morning whether he’d consider bending the law so someone else other than a councillor could preside over our marriage…
The moonlight played across their faces and the breeze blew gently. Ithil smiled at the pair and progressed across the sky – the world was at peace.
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