04 April 2004 | 5507 words
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Tolkien.
Summary: Faramir is about to be reacquainted with the Red Paddle
Series: This is number three in the series that started with ‘Grief’ and ‘Elf, Wasps and an Angry Wizard'. Continued in Human King, Elven King and one Stubborn Steward.
Aragorn was sitting at his desk in the King’s private study adjoining the throne room. The room had two entrances; one led to the throne room and the other to the main corridor that serviced most rooms on this level. It also contained a large fireplace around which several large, comfortable chairs had been placed. The newly appointed King was looking out the glass doors directly behind his desk having completed the morning petition session and enjoying a bit of solitude. The glass doors led out onto a balcony that overlooked a private garden, the same garden that Legolas had sought out recently in a rather insane attempt to escape an angry Wizard. Aragorn smiled and shook his head at his friend’s latest altercation with Gandalf – trying to run away from a Wizard! It never ceased to amaze Aragorn how old and how young Legolas truly was. Although very old by human standards, by elven standards Legolas was more of an age to Faramir. Aragorn was pleased to see the growing friendship between his young Steward and Legolas. Faramir seemed to bring out the impishness in his elven friend. What was more surprising to Aragorn was that Legolas brought out an impishness in Faramir that he had not realised existed in his serious Steward.
By what Aragorn had heard from others and what he had been able to piece together for himself, Faramir had had a life devoid of love and friendship with the exception of that which he received from his brother Boromir and both Gandalf and his uncle Imrahil on their infrequent visits. Faramir’s father, Denethor, had shown his son in a myriad of ways how unworthy he thought the young man was. In doing so, Denethor had sanctioned others in authority to show Faramir the same disdain. Even now some of the councillors questioned Faramir’s suitability as Steward, although not overtly Aragorn thought wryly - given the King’s public defence of his Steward. It was no wonder that Faramir sought, and still seeks, solitude and the company of books over the company of people.
It had been a week since Gandalf had thoroughly chastised the King’s Steward for needlessly endangering his life on the high tower wall. Aragon had not been aware of; how strong the bond was that existed between Gandalf and Faramir, how deeply Faramir had been affected by his father’s words and actions, nor how stubborn his Steward could be. Aragorn was worried. Faramir was still too thin and even more haggard looking than he had been a week ago, in Aragorn’s opinion. It was obvious that his Steward was still not eating adequately nor was the young man allowing his still considerable wounds to heal properly.
The King was diverted from his dark musings by a knock at the door, directly ahead, that led to the main corridor.
“Come,” Aragorn commanded as he turned his chair back towards the desk.
One of his aides entered and bowed.
“Sire, Beregond is here to see you as requested,” the young man said.
“Please, show him in,” Aragorn instructed as he rose and walked around the desk.
The young aide left and Beregond, Faramir’s right-hand man, entered and bowed to Aragorn.
“Beregond, please take a seat,” Aragorn greeted the man with a smile, as he gestured towards one of the chairs near the fireplace.
Beregond sat down and looked to his King. Aragorn remained standing and started to pace nervously. Realising suddenly that his pacing might be making Beregond nervous; Aragorn sat down in a chair near the man.
“I called you here to…uh…discuss a matter of some delicacy…to do with Prince Faramir,” Aragorn started somewhat nervously. “To put it bluntly, I am worried about him. He is too thin and he is working too hard...” Aragorn let out in a rush on noting the look of wariness on Beregond’s face.
“Thank the Valar! Finally!” Beregond exclaimed with a great sigh of relief. On seeing the surprised look on his King’s face he continued. “Many of us are worried about the Captain. Lord Boromir was the only one who could control the stubborn son of a…” Beregond stopped abruptly and gulped, as he remembered to whom he was speaking and about whom he was speaking.
Before the man could stammer out an apology, Aragorn laughed heartily.
“Yes, stubborn…is a very apt word when referring to my Steward,” Aragorn chuckled, shaking his head in consternation. “What I need to know from you is how Boromir handled his brother.”
It was Beregond’s turn to chuckle.
“Handled…is probably a very apt word,” Beregond commented. “I will tell you Sire, for I am beside myself with concern, but if any word of who told you the tale gets back to the Captain, he will hack off my privates with a very blunt knife and proceed to feed them to me,” Beregond said with such conviction that Aragorn wondered about the displays of temper from his Steward that could have engendered such earnestness.
“I promise, he shall hear no word from me,” the King vowed.
“He will find out anyway for he is uncommonly intelligent and cunning,” Beregond said with a shudder.
“I will order him not to hack at anything about your body,” Aragorn said trying to keep the smile from his face at the sceptical look from Beregond.
“I have known the Captain all his life. Lord Boromir was more father to him than the old Steward ever was. When Lord Faramir reached twelve, he became very unruly. The punishments he received from the old Steward were becoming progressively worse but to no avail,” Bergond related, his voice betraying his anguish at the memory.
“Lord Boromir was beside himself with worry that permanent damage might be done to the young Lord. So he decided to take matters in hand, so to speak. He took Lord Faramir down to the carpenter’s shed in the lowest level of the city and asked the carpenter to help his brother fashion a paddle for use on a bare backside. The carpenter confided in me later that he did not know the young Lord could curse fluently in so many languages. It was not long, though, before the paddle was complete.
“As a final touch Lord Boromir had his brother paint the paddle red with the warning that every time he was forced to use it on the young Lord, he would not stop until Lord Faramir’s bottom was as red as the paddle. As soon as the paint was dry, Lord Boromir paddled his brother thoroughly for swearing at him and the carpenter,” Beregond finished the tale with a chuckle.
“And did it work?” Aragorn asked.
“Yes it did Sire, because it was done out of love,” Beregond said with a tear in his eye. “Although the paddle has required a few new coats of paint in its time,” Beregond added with a chuckle.
“Do you know where the paddle can be found? Can you bring it to me?” Aragorn asked seriously. Beregond blanched. “I assure you, it will be done out of love,” Aragorn said with such gentleness as he placed a hand on Beregond’s shoulder, that the man’s eyes filled with tears as he relaxed and nodded his head in the affirmative.
Beregond rose and was escorted to the door by Aragorn.
It was not long before Beregond returned with an item wrapped in cloth. He handed the item, reverently, to the King. “It drove the Captain near mad that he was never able to find this. Beside Lord Boromir, only Mablung, the Captain’s Lieutenant, and myself knew of its whereabouts. Please help him Sire.” Beregond implored as he turned and left.
Aragorn returned to his chair in front of the fireplace and gently unwrapped the cloth. Inside was a bright red paddle. Aragorn laughed. The words “Faramir’s Bane’ had been carved into the wood - obviously the work of Boromir. Aragorn could not help testing the paddle out on this hand. It certainly did have a sting he thought as he shook the sting out of his hand. This will do very nicely he thought, very nicely indeed!
Faramir, if he had a slightly less stubborn disposition, would have admitted to himself, long ago, that he felt terrible. Instead he persevered in the face of declining health. The young Steward had managed, much to his own relief – if no one else’s, to avoid the King, the Wizard and the elf for nigh-on a week. No mean feat given their various attempts to ambush him. Right now, for instance, he could detect one…two…no three elves skulking in the shadows.
The three elves in question had been following him all morning. So far, in the company of a long serving Ithilien ranger, he had: visited the local orphanage to discuss their needs and the resources available; inspected three construction sites – for the city had taken much damage in the war and assisted in moving a particularly large piece of stone wall that was threatening to topple onto several dwellings. And it was not even noon.
Feeling decidedly tired and hot after the exertion, Faramir sought shelter from the heat under the shade of a tree in the square across the road and sat on a conveniently located bench.
“Begging pardon, Sir,” said the long serving ranger. “You look bloody awful!” The Steward of Gondor gave the man a look that would have cowed any but a long serving Ithilien ranger. “Well you do!” the ranger exclaimed.
Faramir simply gave an exasperated sigh as he wiped sweat from his brow.
“And why, pray tell, are the three of you skulking about in the shadows? Hmmm?” Faramir asked.
The ranger looked at Faramir as if he thought the Captain had seen too much sun for one day, when movement within the shadows took the ranger by surprise.
Three elves, one golden and two dark-haired and mirror imaged, walked towards them. The golden elf laughed whilst the dark-haired twins looked sheepish.
“Are you, perchance, conducting a survey on what a Steward does in a day?” Faramir enquired in his usual quiet, modulated tone. “Or perhaps…”
“You look terrible,” Legolas interrupted the Steward as he stopped in front of him and looked Faramir directly in the eyes.
Faramir rolled his eyes and shook his head in amused exasperation.
“It seems everyone, is taking a perverse delight in telling me that today” Faramir retorted as he looked at the ranger and then back to Legolas. “I am a little tired, that is all.”
The Elrondion twins snorted in unison.
“Why do I get the distinct impression that people are doubting my word,” Faramir questioned with a frown of mock bewilderment.
“It is not your word we are doubting, mellon-nin, but your sanity,” Legolas responded as he continued to examine the young Steward.
This time the ranger snorted but then drew himself to attention as he caught a glare from his Captain. The ranger, however, was not able to eradicate the smirk from his face completely.
“I do not know about you, gentle elves, but I have work to do,” Faramir said as he rose from the bench.
As Faramir rose, a wave of vertigo overwhelmed him. All saw the blood drain from the young Steward’s face and his eyes roll back. Faramir would have fallen heavily if it had not been for elven reflexes as Legolas caught the young human and lowered him gently to the ground.
Legolas felt Faramir’s brow.
“Ai! He is burning with fever!” Legolas exclaimed in distress. “I will take him to the Houses of Healing,” the concerned elf said as he lifted his ailing friend off the ground effortlessly.
“I will tell Ada,” Elladan offered as Legolas made his way to the Houses of Healing.
“I will tell Estel,” Elrohir called out as he ran ahead.
By the time Legolas reached the Houses of Healing with his precious burden, a room had been made ready and Lord Elrond was in attendance with his son Elladan. The elven Lord directed Legolas to put Faramir on the bed. Elrond and Elladan proceeded to remove the young Steward’s clothes. Elrond was dismayed at the strength of the young human’s fever. The two elves had almost finished disrobing Faramir when Aragorn came rushing through the door followed by Elrohir.
“How is he, Ada?” Aragorn asked in a breathless voice as he approached his unconscious Stewart.
“He is fevered, Estel,” Elrond said as he and Elladan removed Faramir’s under-tunic.
Aragorn gasped and then cursed as he saw the bloody bandage that covered the arrow wound Faramir had received when his father, Denethor, had sent his son to his death. Aragorn cursed again when he saw that Faramir had indeed lost more weight. Elrond removed the bandage revealing a festering wound.
“When he recovers sufficiently, I am going to kill him!” Aragorn said angrily. “I saw this wound but a week ago and it was healing.”
“It seems your Lord Faramir has been overly exerting himself and has reopened the wound,” Elrond concluded as he finished his examination of the wound. “Elladan, Legolas, fetch me hot water and bandages,” Elrond commanded. Both elves nodded and left to fetch the requested items. “Elrohir?”
“Prepare a healing poultice and a brew for fever and pain,” Elrond instructed.
“Yes, Ada?” Aragorn replied, still looking at his young Steward.
“Help me bathe him,” Elrond asked gently, seeing how upset his son was.
Gently, Elrond and Aragorn bathed Faramir. Elladan and Legolas returned with the hot water and bandages.
Faramir’s wound was cleaned, poulticed, and bound. The young Steward was made comfortable and covered with a blanket. To Aragorn’s dismay his Steward did not stir once throughout, still deeply unconscious.
Faramir remained fevered and non-lucid for three days. During that time he was never left alone. Aragorn, Legolas, Gandalf, Gimli, the twins and Arwen all spent time bathing Faramir’s face and arms, talking or singing to him and soothing away his many nightmares.
On the morning of the fourth day Faramir regained consciousness. As he opened his eyes the young man was greeted by the sight of Gandalf and Lord Elrond. Faramir attempted to say something but his throat was parched. Elrond held a glass of water to his lips as the young Steward sipped the water.
“Well you young fool of a human, how do you feel?” Gandalf asked as he put a hand to Faramir’s brow.
“What happened?” Faramir asked, still trying to piece together what he last remembered.
“You have not been eating, you have been overexerting yourself and you allowed a wound to fester which led to a fever and your subsequent collapse,” Gandalf relayed sternly, glaring at his young pupil. “Do you think that covers the sequence of events, Elrond?” Gandalf asked as he continued to glare at the young human.
“You left out the part about him being unconscious for three days, mellon-nin,” Elrond replied, also looking sternly at the young human.
“Oh,” was all that Faramir found himself capable of saying under the baleful glares of the Wizard and elven Lord. Faramir again felt like a rabbit caught in a bright light, as he lay stunned, unable to look away from the dual glares.
“You also left out the part about Estel being frantic with worry and spending every available moment with the young Steward here,” Elrond added sternly.
“Well you should, young one, for Aragorn will be having a long, long, hard discussion with you when you are sufficiently recovered,” Gandalf said with some relish. “Now Lord Elrond and I have to leave you for awhile so get come rest, young one,” Gandalf added as he and Lord Elrond left the room.
Faramir winced. He had a sinking feeling about the form the discussion would take and how ‘hard’ it would be. He was not looking forward to seeing the King.
“That is not exactly an incentive to recover, now is it?” Faramir asked of the now empty room in a quiet, aggrieved tone.
Light elven laughter answered the young Steward’s question.
Startled, Faramir sought out the location of the laughter and discovered Legolas sitting on the sill of the window to the right. So intimidated by the Wizard and elven Lord, Faramir had not realised that Legolas was in the room.
“You, mellon-nin, are in trouble,” Legolas clucked as he moved from the windowsill to sit on the end of Faramir’s bed.
“You do not have to sound quite so pleased about the prospect,” Faramir grumbled.
“You frightened Aragorn, Faramir,” Legolas said seriously. “And Aragorn does not react well to being frightened.” Legolas could see that Faramir was struggling to remain awake. “What you need now, mellon-nin, is rest.” Legolas stayed until the young human fell asleep.
Faramir slept on and off most of the day. Lord Elrond came to see to him twice but he was mostly left to sleep. On awaking late that evening and feeling much better, Faramir decided to make his escape. The young Steward hated the Houses of Healing passionately. He wanted nothing more than to sleep in his own bed, having barred the doors and windows first.
Faramir threw off his bedclothes and rose from the bed slowly. He felt weak and had to wait for a wave of vertigo to pass before he made his way to the door. The young Steward opened the door and leaned out into the corridor. Seeing that the way was clear in both directions, Faramir walked out into the corridor, turned and closed the door.
“And just where do you think you are going, my young Steward?”
Faramir jumped startled. Still facing the door, with a hand on the doorknob, the young Steward leaned forward placing his forehead on the door and sighed.
“Inside,” was all that Aragorn said as he walked out of the shadows towards his Steward.
Sighing again, Faramir turned the doorknob, opened the door and stepped back into the healing room.
Aragorn followed his Steward and closed the door behind him. Faramir moved to the bed and sat down as Aragorn lighted a few more candles. The King then took a chair that was sitting against a wall and placed it directly in front of his Steward who at the moment seemed to find the floor of the room fascinating.
“We are going to have a very…long…talk my young Steward,” Aragorn said in a quiet angry tone.
Faramir sighed in resignation and garnering his courage, looked up from the floor. The Steward’s courage dissipated abruptly when he saw what Aragorn was holding. Faramir’s eyes widened to the size of saucers as the colour drained from his face.
“What…how…who?” Faramir stammered, as his frantic thoughts could find no sentences. Understanding came swiftly to Faramir as it always did. “Beregond! I will hack off his…” Faramir growled as he attempted to rise from the bed to go and confront the man. A very heavy hand on his shoulder, pushing him back down, brought the young man back, abruptly, to his own predicament. Faramir tried to gulp down the lump that had suddenly lodged in his throat.
“There will be no hacking,” Aragorn said sternly as he kept a firm grip on Faramir’s shoulder and looked his Steward directly in the eyes. “What Beregond did, he did out of love.”
A quiet knock at the door drew Aragorn’s attention away from his Steward.
“Come,” Aragorn commanded.
Legolas entered silently.
“You were not outside…” Legolas began but stopped as he took in the scene before him. Faramir looked subdued and Aragorn looked positively thunderous. The elf’s eyes widened. “He did not try to…?”
“He most certainly did,” Aragorn growled as he turned back to glare at Faramir again.
“Ai, mellon-nin!” Legolas exclaimed as he looked at Faramir in astonishment. “I would like, very much, to take you back to Mirkwood as proof that I am not, as my father is wont to think, the most stubborn, troublesome being in Middle Earth.”
Faramir winced under the intense scrutiny of both King and elf. The young Steward would like to have defended himself to the elf but thought, given the current circumstances, it would be wiser to remain silent.
“You are just in time Legolas, as I was just about to ‘discuss’ a few concerns with our young charge here,” Aragorn said as he continued to glare at his Steward.
Faramir’s thoughts turned again to rabbits and what an unhappy lot the lives of skittish rabbits must truly be.
Aragorn placed ‘Faramir’s Bane’ on the bed beside Faramir. The young Steward eyed the paddle with loathing and fear, as if it was a device of torture. Aragorn thought this was probably a reasonable reaction given use frequent enough to have required several new coats of paint. Aragorn rose from his chair slowly and in unhurried movements; moved the chair to the centre of the room, returned, took up ‘Faramir’s Bane’ from the bed, walked back to the chair, sat down and placed his feet firmly on the ground.
My arse is toast, Faramir thought as he watched the King’s unhurried movements in ever increasing panic. The young Steward was just about ready to bolt, when Legolas, recognising the signs through his own bouts of panic, put a restraining hand on Faramir’s shoulder.
“Do not even think about it, mellon-nin,” Legolas whispered to the panic stricken human. Faramir took a deep breath as he tried to regain control over his reflexes.
“When you are ready, my young Steward,” the King commanded.
Taking another deep breath, Faramir rose from the bed and moved to stand by the chair on which Aragorn was seated. Faramir loosened the ties on his leggings and pushed them to his knees. Carefully, he lowered himself over the King’s thighs. Aragorn settled his Steward with care, so as not to place undue pressure on the healing wound. Aragorn pulled Faramir’s shirt to his waist to expose his young Steward’s posterior.
Taking his cue from advice that Gandalf had imparted to him about Denethor’s ‘punishments’, Aragorn began by asking Faramir why he was in his current ‘upended’ position.
As always, when he found himself in this position, Faramir could feel his temper rise. This time his temper manifested itself in stubborn silence. After a few moments of silence from his Steward, Aragorn let loose with one mighty swing of ‘Faramir’s Bane’.
Faramir, stunned by the force of the swing, could not contain a startled yelp.
Legolas winced in sympathy.
“I may not have the Wizard’s stamina, my young Steward, but I can certainly keep this up long enough,” Aragorn said as he landed whack after whack on Faramir’s exposed buttocks. “I ask you again, why are you in this position?”
“For not taking proper care of my wound,” Faramir yelped out between gasps for breath.
Aragorn is fully as merciless as Boromir, Faramir thought in dismay.
“Aye, that is one reason, two more to go,” Aragorn said, thankful that his Steward was talking.
“Two!!” Faramir yelped.
“Yes, two!” Aragorn replied as he continued with the blistering pace.
Faramir’s whimpers grew louder and his squirming became more violent. He could not, for the life of him, think of what the other two reasons could be. If only Aragorn would let up for one moment, Faramir thought, he might be able to think of reasons. Faramir’s buttocks had turned from white to pink and were fast on their way to red before Aragorn took pity on his Steward and gave the clueless man a hint.
“Sustenance,” Aragorn supplied.
“Oh!” Faramir yelped as understanding dawned. “For not eating regularly.”
“Almost correct, my young Steward,” Aragorn chuckled. “For not eating at all, is closer to the truth.” Aragorn corrected as he continued to apply ‘Faramir’s Bane’ with gusto.
“I do eat!” Faramir yelped indignantly.
“Tell me then, when was your last meal?” Aragorn asked his Steward.
Faramir tried to remember when he had last eaten. He was sure he had eaten just recently!
“If you would stop blistering my arse for but a moment, I might be able to remember,” was Faramir’s frustrated response.
Legolas was impressed. Even whilst being blistered with a lethal looking paddle, Faramir could still argue. Aragorn moved his attention from his Steward’s buttocks to the young man’s thighs.
“And the third reason would be…? Aragorn prompted, getting the discussion back on track after the small side trip.
Faramir’s temper flared again.
“I do not have the faintest idea what you are trying to intimate!” was Faramir’s ill-considered and angry response.
“I suggest that you reign in that much feared temper of yours, my young Steward, given your current position,” Aragorn admonished as he continued to paddle Faramir’s buttocks and thighs.
“Slicing…dicing…carving…mincing…” Faramir spat out between each swat of the paddle.
“I have already decreed, my young Steward, that there will be no hacking!” Aragorn said adamantly as he continued to blister his Steward’s bottom.
Legolas blinked and then shook his head in bewilderment at the sudden non sequitur.
“You will have to give me a hint, Sire, for I have not a clue,” Faramir ground out angrily through gritted teeth.
“Working yourself to exhaustion!” Aragorn exclaimed.
“But Sire, that is not fair!” Faramir complained. “You cannot ask me to do less. I am a poor enough excuse for a Steward as it is!”
Legolas cringed as he could see Aragorn’s temper flare brighter than the noonday sun.
“You are the finest Steward, Gondor could ever wish for - you young fool!!” Aragorn growled as he let loose with a few truly memorable swats with the paddle.
If Faramir’s posterior had not been as red as the paddle, Legolas would have laughed at Aragorn’s contradictory phrasing.
At the Kings words, Faramir’s whimpers of pain turned into sobs, the same eerie silent sobs that Aragorn and Legolas had witnessed on the top tower. Aragorn felt the change in Faramir and knew that his young Steward was close to voicing the true source of his pain and thus the cause of his current predicament.
“Tell me, little one, what eats at your heart so?” Aragorn asked gently, easing up on the strength of his swats.
“It should have been me!” Faramir wailed in despair. “Father was right! I should have died and Boromir lived. It should have been me!” Faramir’s silent sobs gained voice.
Aragorn stopped the chastisement immediately upon hearing the words and threw the paddle to the floor. Faramir slid to the floor and pulled up his leggings. The young Steward made a feeble attempt to move away, as he sobbed bitterly, but Aragorn put comforting arms around his distressed Steward, as the King too slid to his knees. Aragorn rocked Faramir as Gandalf had done on the tower.
“I thought we would journey back to this place,” Aragorn said with gentleness and understanding as he softly crooned to the young Steward. “It is hard on you, Boromir’s death, but I tell you little one, if you lost brother and father in Boromir - Boromir, if he were in your position now, would have lost brother and child. Boromir would have been destroyed by your death. No parent should have to bury their child.” Aragorn whispered as tears rolled down his cheeks.
For a long time the King of Gondor rocked the Steward of Gondor as the young man cried out his pain, his loss and his loneliness. Exhausted, beyond reason, the young Steward fell asleep in the arms of his King.
Legolas rose from the bed, surreptitiously wiping tears from his eyes as he approached the two humans. The elf bent down, slipped an arm around the young Steward’s shoulders and the other under his knees and lifted the sleeping human as effortlessly as if he were a child. Legolas carried Faramir to the bed and laid him gently on his side.
Aragorn, wiping tears from his eyes as well, rose from the floor and followed the elf. Aragorn checked Faramir’s wound to assure himself that he had not added hurt, other than to his Steward’s posterior. The King and elf removed the young Steward’s leggings and settled him on his stomach. Both Aragorn and Legolas winced at the colour of Faramir’s buttocks and thighs. Legolas sat back on the end of Faramir’s bed and Aragorn moved the chair close to the bed and sat down. Aragorn leaned over and gently brushed hair back from Faramir’s face.
“How could a father wish one child dead in the place of another?” Legolas asked as he looked upon the face of the young human. “How could a father hate a child so?” Legolas added bewildered.
“Oh mellon-nin. The greatest tragedy in all of this is that Denethor did not truly hate Faramir,” Aragorn sighed as he continued to stroke his young Steward’s hair. At the look of disbelief from Legolas, Aragorn continued. “Findulas, Faramir’s mother and sister to Prince Imrahil, was beautiful to behold, intelligent and gentle. But she was also very stubborn,” Aragorn chuckled at the memory of the battles of wills between the newly married Steward and his wife, that Denethor inevitably lost.
“Denethor loved his wife truly. When she presented the Steward with Boromir, Denethor must have felt that his life was complete. Five years later, Faramir was born. The birth did not go well and Findulas never really recovered. Five years later she died. Denethor, stricken with grief, felt anger towards his youngest son for being the cause of his beloved wife’s death.
“Faramir was doubly damned, for I doubt that Denethor would have been able to look at his youngest son overlong, for Faramir is the image of his mother. Denethor, to ease his own pain, closed his heart to his youngest son, keeping him at a distance both emotionally and physically. It was only at the end that Denethor realised his love for his son. But alas, it was too late to undo the damage.” Aragorn concluded mournfully.
“To have lived a life devoid of acknowledgement and affection from the one person it should be expected from…” Legolas said in despair. “No wonder he is having such difficulty dealing with the death of Boromir.”
“Aye, he still has much healing to do.” Aragorn acknowledged softly. “He has no love for himself and that worries me, mellon-nin.”
“We can but take it one step at a time, one day at a time,” Legolas said as he looked at Aragorn. “You look tired, mellon-nin. Go sleep. I will stay with our young charge.”
“Thank you, mellon-nin. I will see you on the morrow.” Aragorn said as he rose, stretched and walked from the room.
Faramir woke abruptly. He was in pain but it took him a moment to realise what pained him. It took but a moment on locating the pain to realise why he felt such pain in that particular area. Faramir, as memory returned, let loose a soft, heartfelt, virulent, dwarfish curse.
“I do not think that is physically possible, mellon-nin. Especially with dwarves!” came an altogether too cheerful elven voice.
A knock at the door stayed Faramir’s rather testy response.
A tray of food, brought in by a servant, was placed on a table in the corner of the room. Aragorn arrived as the servant left. Faramir still lay on his stomach and was not going to attempt to turn over. Legolas collected the tray and brought it over to Faramir so that he could eat whist lying on his stomach. Although he was not hungry, Faramir did not think his arse could stand any more ‘discussions’, so he ate whilst Legolas and the King had a lively discussion.
Aragorn, satisfied that Faramir had eaten, had to leave to attend another petition session. As he was about to open the door, Aragorn spied Faramir’s Bane still on the floor where it had landed the night before. Aragorn bent to retrieve the paddle.
“You have no idea how much I hate that thing,” Faramir grumbled as he looked at the instrument of torture in disgust.
“It has been put to constructive use from what I have heard,” Aragorn teased.
Legolas’ eyes widened and he choked back a laugh as yet another very soft, very inventive rohirrim curse came from the young human.
“Beregond!” Faramir growled. “Gutting, hewing, loping…owwww!! Sire!!”
Laughing, Aragorn departed with ‘Faramir’s Bane’ leaving his young Steward in Legolas’ capable hands. Aragorn knew that whist Faramir might not be above making it a little uncomfortable for Beregond, he would never do anything to hurt the man who had saved him from the fire.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Merle , Adria , Key , RB , Leitha o Lorien