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06 June 2013 | 8607 words | Work in Progress
Title: Shattered illusions
Author: Finduilas Minyatur
Pairing(s): Faramir & Éowyn
Warnings: Domestic violence, child abuse
NB: English is not my primary language and that the grammar and spelling mistakes, witch I know there must be quite a lot, are all mine.
How many times he repeated what had happened in his head he could not make it undone. He had hurt his wife, the one he swore to protect with all his power. He had lifted his hand and struck her fully aware of what he was doing.
Is Faramir really as loving and caring as so many seems to think? What if years of always comming second and never feeling anything else but ‘sufficient’ have become to much for him to handle?
Added: Chapter IV
The man sat on the damp and cold stone floor. His back against the wall and slumped shoulders. The old hay, which was laden out to provide at least some sort of warmth, smelled of mold and of something familiar to rotten apples. A few drops of brownish blood decorated his once white tunic and his knuckles were slightly scratched. The dark hair hung in sad, unwashed strands past his cheekbones, slightly angular chin and covered most of his face. The grey eyes that usually had a certain spark seemed dead and dull like a curtain had been pulled down over them.
“The King is ready for you now.” A guard stood on the other side of the bars. The guard’s eyes held nothing but pure loathing against the man he once had looked up to. Trusted and even, on some level, loved. All of that was gone. For how could anyone feel anything but disgust for a man who would do such a ghastly thing as to hit his wife?!
Faramir rose from the floor. His whole body ached from sitting in this cold and small cell the entire night. He approached the bars but was met by a violent sound as the guard slammed his sword against the iron. Though the impact was loud and certainly would have caused at least a flinch out of anybody, Faramir didn’t. He didn’t even seem to notice it.
“You villain, I will take great joy in watching your head being separated from your body. Men like you disgust me. The only sad part is that I won’t be able to do it myself.” The guard spat at his former captain before he turned and walked away. Leaving Faramir to wait for the King to come and listen to his side of the story. So that Elessar could deal with this matter as justly as possible. But what other punishment besides death could he expect? The crime he had committed was too severe to be dealt with in any other way.
He felt empty. Like he was nothing more than a shell of the man he once had been. There was nothing he could do but accept his punishment. Whatever it would be it would be justified. How many times he repeated what had happened in his head he could not make it undone. He had hurt his wife, the one he had swore to protect with all his power. He had lifted his hand and struck her fully aware of what he was doing.
He heard the door open and clasped his hands behind his back. He tried to stand up straight but the pain that flared from his ribs and the lower of his back up to his neck made it very difficult. It was dark in the dungeons with just a torch here and there. But it was light enough for Faramir to see the face of his king. Aragorn’s face was hard as stone and as unmoving as the stone statues of the high kings in the great hall.
“My Lord,” Faramir bowed his head in respect. Aragorn unlocked the door and opened it for his Steward.
“Faramir.” The man’s voice was tired and broken. It was filled with hurt, disappointment and grief. Without saying anything else he walked towards the small chambers that had, in the early days, been used to make people tell the truth with a bit more drastic methods. That however was a long time ago and now the room held nothing more than a table and two chairs. Aragorn sat down on one of them and nodded to the other.
“Sit.” The order was short and left nothing for the receiver to argue with. Not that Faramir would have. He took his place on the other side and met Aragon’s grey eyes with his own equally grey, however more dull and shadowed.
There was a small pause, where Aragorn just stared at his friend… No! Faramir was no longer a friend to him. A man who had it in his heart to raise his hand in anger towards his wife would not be a friend to the King of Gondor. But it grieved Aragorn even more that the one the deed had been done by, and been done to, was one he held close and dear to his heart.
“Help me Faramir. Help me understand how you could do something like that.” There was a pleading in the older man’s voice and it almost tore Faramir’s heart in two. He swallowed the bile that threatened to rise in his throat. There was nothing he could say that would forgive him for his actions nor ease the pain that was so visible in his King’s eyes.
“She angered me,” he said with that hollow voice that never had been linked together with the man Faramir was.
“She angered you?” Aragorn looked as though he could not believe what he was hearing. “Your wife is close to dying, from your hand, and all you can say is that she angered you?!”
Faramir nodded. Not daring to speak, scared that his voice would break and give him away.
“For how long have you done this to her? Please Faramir, the whole truth now.” To ask Faramir to tell the truth was as necessary as to ask the sun to rise each morning. But Faramir was cunning. He found loop holes in every law or rule. That could be a tremendous gift, but also very dangerous. The former steward folded his hand in his lap and turned his eyes towards the wooden surface of the table. He traced the lines that time had created in the tree before it had been turned to furniture.
“For seven years I have tormented her,” Faramir said in a low voice. “Almost our whole marriage I have plagued with my actions.”
Aragorn took a deep breath as to calm down. Never in a million years would he have picked Faramir as a person who would hit his wife. And that was not only due to how Denethor had treated him and brought him up. Aragorn had early learned of the old steward’s way of disciplining his youngest. He had seen some for himself when he would visit the White city in disguise as Thorongil. He had seen how Denethor, without as much as a tiny bit of hesitation, had slapped his youngest son hard on the cheeks on a fair number of occasions. Also, Boromir had told them. He told them about a stern man, not as cold and heartless as so many thought him to be, but more unforgiving than most fathers. Every father disciplines his sons in one way or another and in Gondor a stinging slap on the cheek or a belt brought down on a bare back was not something that would cause a debate. Frowned upon, absolutely and not used in general, but not by law forbidden.
Old Denethor had never been lenient with disobedience and young Faramir had often, more so and frequent than Boromir thought reasonable, found himself alone in their father’s study. All Boromir could do was comfort his brother and help clean and put healing ointment on the boy’s wounded back. Boromir knew firsthand the force of their father’s hand. Not as often or as unforgiving as Faramir, but enough times for it to have left a few marks still visible. And Faramir had always been there to help tend to his wounds. Of this though, he had not spoken a word. Still the Fellowship had been appalled that a father could hit his own son in any way at all.
Aragorn looked at Faramir. He searched for another answer to what had come over Faramir to do something even remotely to what he had done. Faramir had one of the gentlest spirits that he had ever seen or known. How could this be?! How could he condemn this man, his steward, his friend, to death? Faramir would never hurt another living being if not justified… But how could he, the King of Gondor, rightfully pretend that Éowyn, in this very moment, didn’t lie dying in the House of healing? How could he pretend that it had been a simple fight between the spouses? Aragorn had learned that people could betray you and often would. But it hurt more when the betrayal came from someone as close as Faramir had become.
“What about your son, Elboron? Have you ever done to him the same thing that Denethor did to you when growing up?” Every bit of kindness that may have been in Aragorn’s voice before was now gone. All he could see now was not a man but a coward! He saw someone who was weak, a monster and not worthy to be called a friend. “You have hit him? Haven’t you?”
At the mentioning of his son, Faramir’s eyes shot up.
“I have never in my life even considered hitting him. I would never harm or humiliate or belittle him. He is my son for Valar’s sake!” Faramir rose from his sitting position so violently that it sent his chair dropping backwards. It clashed with a loud noise on the floor but didn’t break. Faramir’s chest was heaving and his hands were balled into tight fists. For a couple of seconds the two men just stared at each other before finally Aragorn broke the silence.
“Then how do you explain that the boy has some rather ugly bruises on his upper arms, a slightly bruised cheek and a split lip that he refuses to tell the healers how he got?” Faramir’s shoulders slumped but he visible tightened his balled fists. He lowered his eyes and slowly shook his head.
“Fool of a boy,” he whispered silently and swallowed hard. Aragorn was about to say something but was interrupted when Faramir continued. Obviously more to himself than to his king and most likely didn’t think of the fact that said king sat in front of him and could hear everything.
“I am so sorry, my child. I am so sorry for what I have done to you. Will you ever forgive me?” On hearing this, Aragorn rose too, leaned forward and grabbed the other man by the front of his tunic.
“So you have hit him! It was you who left the marks on him? Let the Valar have mercy on your soul for I will not!” Aragorn let go of the younger man so violently that said man lost his balance and fell with a loud thud to the floor. In his rage Aragorn did not see the pained expression that crossed Faramir’s face and clearly telling that something was wrong.
“If Éowyn dies you will suffer the consequences by be hanged from your neck till you are dead. If not you will be put in exile in Fangorn forest with only the Carrion birds as your company. You will never harm your son or your wife ever again.” With that the King strode out of the chamber, yelling for one of the guards to lock the ‘monster’ up again and left Faramir on the floor. The man pressed his hand to the arch of his ribcage in a useless attempt to ease the pain from the broken ribs.
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Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Nerey Camille