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Stealing Time (R) Print

Written by J_Flattermann

10 November 2011 | 2752 words

Title: Stealing Time
Author: j_flattermann
Fandom: LOTR
Pairing: Éomer / Faramir
Raiting: PG-15
Beta: ingrid44
Disclaimer: Pure Fiction. None of these characters are mine but rather belong to the JRR Tolkien estate. No copyright infringement intended.
Warnings: Moderately slashy. Slightly gloomy.
Summary: Éomer decides that Faramir needs a break.

Written as part of the 2011 Trick or Treat fic exchange at Sons of Gondor for recipient foxrafer.
Prompt: Two pictures of lovely Autumn Landscapes. Please see original post. I love either new or established relationships where the friendship is key; a series of vignettes and scenes is just fine (as opposed to a plotty fic).

Stealing Time

Éomer and Faramir were waiting outside the Hall of Kings. The sun shone warm on the top level of Minas Tirith. Éomer had accompanied his uncle to Mundburg. As far as he had understood it Théodred had got himself into trouble again. He and Boromir seemed to clash all the time.

“What do you think? Who get’s the blame this time?” Éomer wondered and the young Gondorian chuckled. “You know Father, nobody puts the blame on his favourite son.” “Aye, I feared you would say that.” The Eorling laughed back, looking into the friendly face of the young man standing opposite.

“I only fear that Uncle will not accept it this time. Theo is his only son.” “You fear the clash of the Titans?” Faramir laughed even more but then looked around to make sure he wasn’t seen or heard by anyone to be having such a good time. His thoughts darkened and he fell silent.

The sun now standing at it’s zenith burned the place and the two young men pressed themselves closer to the Hall’s walls to get into the small strip of shade. “Gosh it’s so hot today.” Éomer complained, sweating profusely in his full armour. “I wished I was a Ranger. At least your clothes look much lighter and cooler.” A small smile crept over the face of Faramir. “Oh. It just looks like that. These are made of thick hides. Not much cooler than yours. Lighter maybe.” He replied.

As the smile faded again, Éomer leaned forward. “You need a break. It is heartbreaking to see you like this.” The news of the troubles the young man had with his father had reached Edoras a long time ago. Everytime Theo came home this subject always came up in discussions.

“I have an idea.” Éomer beamed very proud of himself. “And I am sure it will work.” He added. Faramir looked up with a puzzled expression. “Of course I need to ask Uncle if he’d be agreeable but I can’t see why he wouldn’t be.” Faramir looked at the young horse-lord in wonder. “What are you up to?”

“I shall tell you in time. Leave it with me for now.” Was the only answer he could get. Then the doors to the Hall flung open and out stepped a seemingly very angry King of Rohan.

The tavern on the third level was not very full so Éomer easily found a table for his uncle. He went to the maid and ordered strong mead. This would revitalise his uncle, he knew.

The first mug went down accompanied by complaints of Theo’s headstrong nature. “Oh my, oh my, he has gotten himself into deep shit again.” Éomer thought. He knew his older cousin all to well. His head strong nature clashed with Boromir’s and was a regular topic of discussion ever since the Prince of the Eorlingas had been sent to Gondor for training. Boromir and Theo were of the same age and the fact that both youngsters were future rulers didn’t help either. But this time Theo must have done something really bad, for Théoden still hadn’t stopped complaining after another one and a half mugs of mead.

At last he calmed down. “Uncle I would like to ask a favour.” Éomer began very cautiously so as not to rouse the anger again. But Théoden had always loved his sister’s son as if he had been his own. So he looked at the youngster and smiled. “What is it then?” He asked in return.

“It is really more about Faramir than about myself Uncle.” Éomer said. “I have spoken to him whilst you, you know.” Trying carefully to avoid reminding his uncle of his unpleasant confrontation with the Steward of Gondor. “He looks so worn and sad. I think he needs a break.” Éomer looked searchingly into his uncle’s face, trying to read the man’s thoughts.

“Go on. I bet you have a plan worked out, haven’t you?” King Théoden smiled and Éomer sighed in relief. “Actually, yes. I have. I was thinking I could invite him to Aldburg for a week or two. What do you think? Oh, and Uncle, if Theo is in deep trouble, he could always finish his training with me and my men.” Théoden laughed out loud. “You are such a trickster. I have to admit that you do not have that from me. It must be a trait your father passed on to you.”

After another mug of mead the plan was agreed and Éomer excused himself to bring the good news to Faramir.

“I doubt it will work. Father will never let me go off on a holiday.” Faramir shook his golden locks.

“Oh, you have to be more cunning, Faramir Denethorson.” Éomer said, grinning widely. “Who says that your father needs to know that this is a holiday? Oh no, I am taking you out on a drill. To the Gates possibly, hmm, let’s see. If you refuse to come, wouldn’t that lure your father into sending you?” “Good lord, Éomer, what in all the world? What brings such plans into your head? But thinking on it, it might work. It certainly would work if Boromir would support your plan whilst I am opposing it.” The mind of Faramir started to hum like a well oiled machine. Yes, if he could get Boromir to side with them …

Denethor looked at his younger son with suspicion. Why was he against this training? It would do him good; Boromir had quite rightly put it before him. The plan he and Éomer had made to improve Faramir’s fighting skills was detailed and perfect. No he would not allow his younger boy to become a cowardly weakling.

The three young men grinned and high fived as soon as they left the Hall. To trick their father into agreement had been as easy as robbing a baby of his favourite toy. “You are the master of cunning, Éomer Eomundson. I only wished I had you by my side when the next training tournament starts. Your cousin is driving me ballistic.” Boromir said and clapped the youngster’s shoulder.

This was high praise for Éomer who was the youngest of them. So he beamed with pride and his chest swelled. A kick to the shin brought him back to reality. “Let’s go, before Father changes his mind.” Faramir said and pulled him away by his sleeve.

“Forget what I told Uncle Théoden, we will not stay at Aldburg, you and I.” Éomer confessed as they were riding out on the Great Western Road towards the old capital of Rohan.

“Your father will most certainly question you about the Gates. We will ride up North and I show them to you so you won’t get into trouble. But that trip can wait until the last couple of days.” Éomer was beaming with self satisfaction that his little plot had worked out so well.

Faramir though eight years older had never thought it would be so easy to lure his father into allowing such an adventure. But then again he had not known of any place to go to aside from visiting his older brother. And Boromir on the other hand was stationed in Osgiliath and that was by no means far enough.

The two young men rode in front of the small entourage Éomer had brought when Théoden had called upon him to accompany him for a visit to Mundburg. Now that they had turned away from the road to Edoras the young men were relaxed and even joked and teased each other.

“Why are we going to Aldburg, if you are planning to take me to another place?” “I have to make a few arrangements. It shall not take to long and we will head out straight afterwards. I promise. But first I have to arrange for my captains to take over for two weeks and let them know where I shall be. You know that our northern border lies against Mordor. So we always have to be on the alert.” For a split second Faramir paled. Of course he knew; Éomer hadn’t mentioned the Gates for a reason. But suddenly he became aware that this part of Rohan shared a long borderline with Mordor.

“And you are responsible for the patrols there? Gosh, your uncle must have great faith in you.”

He glanced at the youngster riding next to him. He was still so young. Eight years younger than he himself. How could King Théoden leave such a dangerous task in this young man’s hands?

But on a closer look he saw Éomer’s stance and the confidence he displayed. Here was a strong willful man despite his age. A man who knew his strength. Faramir wondered but then he clearly saw a man rather than a boy riding by his side. There was nothing childish about this young horse-lord.

On arrival in Aldburg Éomer made a dash to the offices of his captains, whilst leaving Faramir in the trusted hands of his old tutor. The old man showed Faramir around, explaining and praising the young leader of the East Mark with every word. For a split second Faramir felt jealous. Here was a protected childhood and love and adoration shone through every word. A situation he had also noticed during the time he had joined Éomer and Théoden on the journey. The King of Rohan had been kind and warm to his orphaned nephew and whenever he had asked something about Éomer, the King’s replies had been filled with love and admiration.

They had ridden north for several days and Faramir had been astonished to find such complete changes in the landscape. Aldburg was situated in the foothills of the mountains of the Ered Nimrais. Very steep hills covered with mainly pinewood characterised the surrounding lands. Aldburg was not at the same high altitude as windswept Edoras and it’s barren plains. Soon after they crossed the Entwash they had come across vast farmlands with colourful fields and meadows. Small hamlets every now and again offered living quarters for the people and shelter for the two travellers.

“I am afraid I will have to inform your father that you will need to stay longer than anticipated.” Said Éomer grinning one evening on the back end of their first week. “I need to tell him that our progress towards the Gates is much slower than I had estimated.” “He will blame it on me, you know. And I think he will let you off for that same reason. I don’t think he will miss me, if it is that what you fear.” Replied Faramir. Éomer laughed and refilled their mugs with freshly brewed wheat beer.

“Now that I am with you, I fear nothing.” He said and bent over to kiss his friend.

“The wrath of Denethor will not reach this far I believe.” Faramir took the mug out of Éomer’s hands and pulled the young man closer until Éomer’s head rested on his breast. “This first week went so fast. I never had thought that I could, well, feel like this.” He kissed Éomer.

Faramir woke warm and cosy against Éomer’s skin. Carefull not to wake the young sleeper he got up and stepped outside the little wooden house. The sudden cold made him shiver but at the same time the view took his breath away.

Before his eyes was the great river with the morning fog just about to dissipate. The sun lit the trees on the other shore as if a wildfire raged through their tops. Gold and red in all shades was mirrored in the water and set against the dark pines dotted in-between. On the horizon in pale blue the Emyn Muil; further up the river there would be the Argonath, he knew. He’d been there once as a child and the memory of the sight of those magnificent statues had burnt into his brain.

He remembered Gandalf had often spoken to him about the ancestors but only after he had seen the Argonath had he begun to understand.

A pair of arms wrapped around him from behind and soft kisses like butterflies landed on his shoulders and neck. “You are tickling.” Faramir complained laughing. “Your beard always tickles me.” “I am not going to shave it off, if that is what you are after.” Éomer responded. “And what kind of ‘good morning’ welcome is this?” At this Faramir turned, took his young lover into his arms, hugged him tight and kissed him deep. “Mmmh, that is much much better.” Éomer purred, then peeled himself out of Faramir’s arms. “I need to piss.” Faramir roared with laughter, “You unromantic sod.” He said but reminded himself that he too had gotten up for quite the same reason.

The landscape had changed again and the mountain range of Emyn Muil lurked dark and brooding over them. The river still running calm in its bed flowed between the hills and cliffs. The early morning fog fell thick in the steep mountainsides and was ghostly illuminated by the rising sun. Beyond the mountains began the even spookier Nindalf and the Dead Marches. The patrols would ride along the mountain range until they came to the only stable bridge of land between the two bogs. Once across the bogs they would then continue past the Morannon on the Dargorlad going further northeast until they reached the Emyn Muil again. The last two days had seen little skirmishes in front of the Gates. “Nothing unusal.” Éomer had said to Faramir to calm his nerves. Nothing the Rohirrim couldn’t deal with. Éomer and his captains were used to these little tests of power.

If only the land with its cursed gloom wouldn’t dampen his spirits so much. And the dark and grey diffusive lights weren’t helping very much. Éomer sensed his discomfort of course. So he had taken his captains aside and told them that he would take his guest back to Aldburg and then home. The captains had all agreed. These skirmishes were nothing; they all had seen worse. “Not to worry, Lord Éomer.” Elfhelm had said. “We can manage. Do you need a patrol to ride with you?” But Éomer had shaken his head in negation. Nothing he couldn’t handle himself. Besides he hadn’t planned to take the route along the Ephel Duath. No they would cross the Anduin again and then make their way back through the Wold and East Emnet.

A biting wind was sweeping across the uppermost level of Minas Tirith. Éomer and Faramir pulled their collars up and huddled close against the wall of the Kings Hall. “This time he’s in real deep shit.” Éomer said. “I don’t think Uncle will let him stay after that stunt.” Faramir shook his head. “No. That was the last straw, I think. Why is your cousin so? How foolish to act against Boromir’s command! He endangered the entire squad.” “It’s his thick headedness. He can’t tolerate taking commands from anyone I fear.” Éomer scratched his beard and then smiled. “Oh what I wouldn’t give to just grab you and we both go off back north again.” He mused.

Faramir blushed a little but a warm fire burnt in his eyes. “Shshsh, don’t give it away. Or I shall never ever be allowed to come with you again.” He whispered. Now Éomer blushed, “would you like to? I mean, come with me again? Another time?” Faramir shot a quick glance around to make sure nobody saw them and then he nodded and moved forward to press a quick kiss onto the surprised youngster’s lips.

He wasn’t sure how, but he promised himself that one day soon he would try and persuade Denethor to send him to Rohan again.

Continue to An Unexpected Visitor.

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