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Shadows (R) Print

Written by Minx

12 December 2012 | 29219 words

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Title: Shadows
Pairing: A/B, Faramir – no pairing
Summary – he war is over, Some things have changed and others have not. Everyone is slowly settling into their routines – some old, some new – of life, work, duties, family, friends and love. For Faramir life before the war was not easy, and he still needs to recover from all that he endured. But neither he nor those around him have realised that yet.

Written for this challenge on ruby_story_swap
Setting: Post RotK
Theme: Hurt/Comfort
Elements: PTSD
Event: Nobody, not even Boromir, knows just how bad Faramir’s childhood was. He has hidden it pretty well, but now that everything is straightening out after the Ring war, his mind decides it’s safe enough to deal with, whether Faramir wants to or not.


Prologue

The darkness was receding, replaced by a pale glow. And then faint colours and shapes materialised. The harsh unidentifiable sounds faded away, replaced by gentle, almost musical notes. A soft, kind voice called out to him.

“Faramir…”

And then a whimpering sound that he realised emanated from his throat. He took a deep breath.

“He’s coming to…,” Aragorn said. He sounded tired and grim but relieved. Boromir darted out of his chair. He rushed to Faramir’s bedside, slumping down to his knee. He wanted to pull his brother into his arms and hold him close but Faramir was injured and he didn’t want to hurt him further. He brushed the sweaty strands of hair off his damp, pale face. The younger man’s eyes were still closed, but his breathing seemed less laboured, and the fever had clearly waned. He had stopped shifting restlessly now. Aragorn continued rubbing a cloth soaked in athelas water over the bare chest, moving carefully over the bruised portions.

Faramir let out a soft, shuddering moan and shifted, and then moaned again.

“Aragorn,” Boromir said worriedly.

“The poor lad, he’s still in pain,” Gandalf said quietly.

“He’ll be all right soon,” Aragorn soothed and moved forward, gently stroking the gaunt face.

Faramir opened his eyes, and stared at the king.

“My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command,” he murmured, moving to rise.

“Hush, lie still. You are injured,” Aragorn said, and gently held him in place with a strong hand. The younger man looked confused.

“Th-the battle… the river yielded… where am I…?”

“In the houses of healing, youngling,” Boromir said, relieved to see the familiar grey eyes, still blinking but the gaze clear.

“B-Boromir! Boromir! Where -,” Faramir turned towards the familiar voice. He pushed away from the restraining hold, and reached for his brother ignoring the pain that flared up in various parts of his body.

“Aye, he lives!” Mithrandir spoke from the other side, “As I told you he would, had you but heeded my words.”

“Y-you live?’ Faramir asked, “W-we thought…”

“Yes, so I heard. But I was merely wound. I am quite well now,” Boromir said and gently pushed his younger brother back against the pillows, “Which is more than can be said for you! Do lie still, child. You were gravely wounded and you must not jostle that shoulder so.”

“We retreated,” Faramir said unheeding, flashes of the battle racing through his mind, the red southron banners, flashing silver swords, the dark winged shadows, the despair that had overwhelmed all his physical pains, when they were forced to retreat.

He gasped. “My men!”

“Lie still!” the king’s voice was gentle but insistent, “Boromir! Make him lie back and have this brew. He is still very unwell, and he will feel the pain later!”

“The river… we yielded…the city…” Faramir continued. He felt the wetness in his eyes, and the despair returned.

They had retreated, the river had fallen, orcs and Southrons had swarmed the Pelennor. And he had lost so many men. Father had spoken truly. He was the cause for Gondor’s fall, he thought miserably.

“Hush, the city stands,” Boromir said soothingly, gently chafing his wrist, “We reached with a host from Rohan. ‘tis all well now, worry not little one. Rest now.”

“The city stands,” he stared wonderingly at Boromir. And then realised it must be true, as he finally took in the familiar surroundings of the houses of healing.

“You and the king saved the city,” he said, gratefully.

Boromir had saved the city. Father had spoken truly. Faramir had failed. But Boromir had thankfully saved them.

Father would be so displeased with him.

“F-father,” he shuddered. Denethor would be so angry with him! He had effected such a colossal failure. He truly deserved whatever punishment would be meted out to him now, surely. Even if he could still feel the effects of the last one he’d received.

“Faramir, father…” Boromir’s voice broke slightly.

And then he remembered, the crackling flames, the smell of wood and oil and singed flesh…

His hand flew to his hip, stilling as he felt the padded cloth under the nightshirt. He stared at himself. A loose, thin nightshirt was all he wore. The ties were undone exposing a bandaged shoulder and a bruised and marked torso. He slid the bottom section up, unusually uncaring of modesty. There was bandaging above his hip, and on his thigh.

“The fire,” he said, “Father is – gone, is he not?”

“Yes,” Mithrandir told him.

Faramir felt tears prick his eyes. And then they coursed down his cheeks. He was unsure why he cried – his thoughts mingled all at once. So many of his men lost, his failure in defending the river, his father must have thought all was lost, his failure had sent his father into further despair, his father lost… and yet Boromir was back. And the king too had arrived. Boromir and the king had saved them.

And somewhere far away he thought, they would not punish him as Denethor would have, much as he deserved it.

He wept miserably, as pain and unhappiness filled him. He heard Boromir’s alarmed voice and then his brother’s arms wrapped around him, pulling him against the broad chest, where he stayed until sleep claimed him.

It was not until he woke again that he felt aware and cognizant and calm enough to understand the events that had transpired. He was still tired, and in much pain but he felt hopeful now, as he never had for so many months.

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Thank the author

The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Susana , , Mel , Nichol

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6 Comment(s)


NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

Heart wrenching, stomach twisting and wonderful! Absolutely loved it!

— JD    14 December 2012, 07:36    #

Thank you JD:) I’m really glad you liked it.

Minx    17 December 2012, 17:32    #

After reading this in bits and pieces as you wrote it, I finally had the time to reread it front to back in one sitting last weekend. That’s some first class angst! Well done!
Although… according to h/c standards and conventions, I think this poor chap is due some more hugs and cuddles. Might have to imagine those myself. But then stories that get my imagination going are my favourite;) So many thanks for this one!

Iris    30 January 2013, 17:48    #

Awww…. thank you! :) I think he needed more hugs and lots of cuddles too…. :o

Minx    31 January 2013, 19:00    #

I enjoyed this very much, Minx, as sad as it always is to read of Faramir going through such things! I’m glad that his brother and Aragorn were able to help him, even if it took some time for them to figure it out!

— Susana    18 June 2013, 05:47    #

Thank you Susana! I’m delighted you enjoyed it.:)

Minx    23 June 2013, 20:04    #

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Minx

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