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The King and The Ranger (R) Print

Written by Minx

30 March 2004 | 60419 words

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Chapter 12

It seemed for the next few days there was talk of nothing but the upcoming wedding. Whether it was the gossip in the local inns or the chatter among the palace servants or the small talk among council members, everything invariably came back to the wedding. Talk of the treaties invariably turned to the wedding too. Everyone in the council knew that the envoy from Harad would arrive on the day of the wedding.

Tarlong was literally on tenterhooks, keeping his men posted around Aragorn day in and day out. No new reports reached them about the assassin, and each evening when the friends met, they found themselves simply cooking up more and more theories.

“Is it just one man or a claque of them?” they often wondered but found no answer.

Boromir’s men diligently kept their quarries in sight only to find that like everyone else around the councillors were all caught up with working on negotiations and treaties, while the servants worked round the clock to prepare for the festivities.

Legolas and Gimli stuck to Aragorn all through the week. It annoyed him but their endless arguments kept him occupied. Boromir when he was not busy with his duties stayed near Aragorn too, and at the same time kept a concerned eye on Faramir. His younger brother seemed to be going through his duties in a daze, making the steward wonder if he had erred in getting Faramir to open up to him.

They had sat quietly in the garden after their little talk. Then he had helped his brother up, for Faramir had seemed completely drained. They had come across Aragorn on their way back inside.


Faramir had stared back at him out of tired but impassive grey eyes.

“Aragorn, is something the matter?” Boromir had asked him.

He shook his head in reply, unwilling to tell them he had been listening to their conversation.

“Let him enjoy his little night-time strolls, Boromir,” came Gimli’s booming voice suddenly, as he leaned down from the balcony he stood upon, “In a few days’ time he will be busy doing other things at night,” the dwarf tittered.

“Yes, more productive things,” Legolas walked out of one of the entrances and joined them by the trees. Boromir joined in the laughter. Aragorn gave a half-smile and turned towards the grey eyes.

Faramir’s face seemed pale; paler than he had ever seen it. And he had shut his eyes and was leaning a little against Boromir’s arms. He opened his eyes a second later and then moving away from Boromir, shrugged a little as he said, “I must take your leave now, the hour is late and I need to wake early on the morrow.” His gaze had barely flickered over Aragorn.


Faramir stared at the papers in his hands. He had reams of paperwork to deal with before he could return to Ithilien. The treaty negotiations would begin in a few days. He was sure that would keep all of them more than busy, so he had to finish all his work now. He had sat down with it, hoping it would occupy his mind, and help him forget.

It had not worked so far. He could not forget the one thing that was the most popular topic of discussion all through the city.

He kept telling himself not to think of it, not to think of Aragorn, or the few snatches of time they had spent together. But he could not. In Aragorn’ s bed a few nights ago, he had been filled with emotions and feelings he had never felt before. And he had thought Aragorn had felt similarly.

All it had taken was one letter to shatter their illusions. What they felt mattered no more. All that mattered was that Aragorn marry and beget an heir.  Even that he might have dealt with, but Aragorn loved Arwen. And that only worsened the whole situation.

Or perhaps he was wrong and Aragorn had felt nothing for him barring perhaps, sympathy? Had he been the one to throw himself on his king unnecessarily. Maybe all that Aragorn wanted to do was not hurt him?

Finding himself going nowhere in his thoughts and having not done even a tenth of his work by the time evening had fallen, he finally stacked his papers away and decided to take a weak in the gardens.

He was walking through the hallways with his head bowed down, annoyed with himself for feeling so miserable. But he didn’t have the strength to feel otherwise. Sleeplessness had returned with a vengeance to plague him as though to make up for all the nights of calming sleep he had had. He clamped his teeth purposefully. Those nights were not nights he wished to think of, anymore. They left him feeling bereft as the knowledge of what he was to lose dug deeper and deeper into him. The more he tried to stay away from Aragorn the worse it became when he caught even so much as a glimpse of him. To him it felt like a knife was twisting itself into the core of his heart.

He never realised it when he collided full tilt with a tall figure rounding the passageway.


Aragorn pushed out his hands to balance himself as he felt someone bump right into him. For an entire half-second he wondered if he was being attacked, before his eyes fell on the familiar grey eyes that were riddled in confusion. A small gasp sounded from the younger man’s lips.

Aragorn realised he had one hand against the wall, and the other against Faramir’s back. Faramir’s eyes were still riveted on his face as though hungrily drinking in his sight. He stared back into them, then at the curve of his lips. They were standing within a hair’s breadth of each other. He could feel a heat swirling in his lower belly, at the thought of Faramir’s nearness. Every hair on his body seemed to stand up.

Then the dark head bowed and Faramir stepped a few paces back.

“Faramir,” he began, uncertain of what he wanted to say, unsure of the maelstrom of emotions choking him from within.

“Sire?” came the bland reply. The face remained bowed.

He did not know what to say. What could he say after all? What right had he to say anything at all? He could do nothing in the current situation.

“Sire? Can I be of help?” came the expressionless murmur. This time he looked up as he spoke, his features as blank as his voice.

“No.”

There was no help he could see. Faramir seemed to have decided what to do, so he must simply follow his example. They should forget their few hours together. He would marry Arwen, Faramir would marry someone else, and all this would be forgotten.

“Sire, is that you?” one of his guards rounded the corner, “I thought I saw someone –“

“It is all right,” Aragorn told him as the guard recognised Faramir and bowed to him in greeting.

They departed wordlessly and Aragorn found himself clenching his fists for no reason. Suddenly coming across Faramir had left him feeling very tense. He sighed soundlessly. He loved Arwen. This was Arwen, whom he had pledged himself too, so many years ago, Arwen who would provide him his heir, Arwen whom he had once wanted to spend all his life with.

Thinking of Arwen calmed him but then Faramir would enter his thoughts and he would tense up again. He felt a fire racing through his veins. He could not think of Faramir. He had to be practical. He was a king and he had to marry.

And he knew somehow that Faramir would know and would understand. But that thought gave him no solace. And he knew it would not give Faramir any solace either.


The day of the wedding dawned warm and clear. The streets were bedecked with banners and flowers to welcome the elves who had accompanied Lady Arwen to Minas Tirith. People had gathered to watch them and exclaim over their flawless looks. But the one to capture everyone’s imagination was their future queen herself.

The wedding was to take place later in the day. The preparations had reached a frenzy. Those close to the king were soon tearing their hair in frustration as preparations for the ceremony began to collide with preparations for the envoy’s visit. Aragorn had very wisely been packed off with his foster-father Elrond so that he at least would have no such worries.

In Aragorn’ s study, his friends sat trying to do two or three things at one time. Boromir was going through the envoy’s schedule as well as the daily reports of the commanders. Faramir was rapidly going through the paperwork he had been stalling all these days and at the same time trying to combat the weariness in his limbs from long hours spent lying awake in each night. Gimli and Legolas were reading through the reports from Boromir’s men and at the same time discussing the ale drinking session that had taken place the night before in celebration.


Ale had flowed like water. And no ordinary ale either, but instead the strong variety that Gimli had stockpiled in Minas Tirith especially for such occasions. Faramir had debated over whether to join in or not but had realised that avoiding Aragorn was not going to be the solution.

Instead, avoiding his feelings towards Aragorn he had decided would be the best solution. He was the only one to drink sparingly there. There were only two choices before them – dwarven ale and wine from Dol Amroth. The wine he had never liked. Childhood memories of his father’s breath reeking of that same wine as he ranted at some other minor misdemeanour of his were too strong. Dwarven ale he did not mind, although it was strong. But for some reason, on that day, he was in no mood to drink. He thought later that he might have subconsciously been trying to avoid any loss of control, especially around Aragorn.

Whatever the reason may have been, it took barely an hour for two men, a dwarf and an elf to drink themselves absolutely silly. They cracked absurd jokes and laughed themselves mad over them Faramir found himself laughing along too, for a while able to get away from the emotions that tormented him.

It was while talk centred on the quest that Gimli suddenly asked Aragorn if he’d remembered a song he had been singing in his sleep.

“I don’t sing in my sleep,” Aragorn protested.

“Oh, but you did – something about long hair and the look of Luthien –“

“Nonsense,” Aragorn said hurriedly.

“Oh, is that the poem you once wrote for Arwen,” Legolas asked with big huge eyes.

“Poem?” Boromir nearly choked over his mug.

Faramir turned away from the window where he had been standing.

“Let me see,” Legolas started, “how did it go now – My – my – no – love – no - beloved – my only – oh! Aragorn, you must tell us, I cannot remember how it went.”

“I wrote no poem,” the king of Gondor mumbled refusing to look up at his friends.

“I’m sure we can ask Elladan or Elrohir tomorrow, they will surely remember,” Legolas said wickedly.

Aragorn paled visibly, “You must not! It took me so long to make them stop reciting it every time they saw me. I never found out how they got to read a poem meant for Arwen – Legolas – did you -?” Legolas!”

“I remember how it went!” Legolas announced suddenly.

“My dear and only love, I walk here –“

“Stand here –“ Aragorn said with a sigh.

Faramir poured himself another mug of ale and shut his eyes and leaned against the window. Between Legolas and a now completely drunk Aragorn the poem was recited in entirety. It was long and dwelt with loving detail on the virtues of Arwen Undómiel.

Then Gimli asked for an encore.

And this time Aragorn sang it to the tune of an old well-known love ballad.

Then Boromir asked for an encore.


Legolas and Gimli were busy arguing over the merits and demerits of the wine and the ale. Legolas had wisely stuck to the wine, claiming it to be very like the ones they got in Mirkwood and therefore better than the ‘vile concoction Gimli brewed in his caves’.

“The envoy needs an escort from the Rammas to the city,” Boromir said suddenly.

“I could do that,” Faramir offered softly, laying down his quill.

“Very well, after the ceremony is over, get ready to leave.”

“Should I not leave earlier?” Faramir asked dully, “We cannot have him waiting.”

“No, it is all sorted out. He sails up the Anduin from Pelargir and the boat does not arrive until at least two hours after the ceremony is scheduled to end.”

“And he will join us in the dinner in honour of the queen tonight.”

“When do the negotiations start?” Legolas asked, “Does Aragorn have time to fulfil his duties?” he smirked.

“What duties?” Faramir asked confusedly as he rifled through the pile of parchments and papers searching for a requisition form. He was feeling extremely tired.

“Why, his duties as a husband, of course,” Gimli said grinning broadly while the other two burst out laughing, “Do you think Aragorn’ s room is filled with roses from the vales every day?”

“Oh,” Faramir stared down at his the desk. His hands were almost shaking as he remembered how Gimli and he had bumped into one of the palace housekeepers who had been carrying a big basket of roses up the stairs.  She had shaken her head at him as she had often done when he was a child but instead of chiding him softly, had smiled broadly as he had picked up one of the roses that had fallen on him and stared at it surprise.

“What are these for?” he had asked in confusion.

Instead of replying, the woman tittered and shaking her head once again excused herself saying she had tarried too long. Faramir looked to Gimli confusedly and all he got was a smirk.

The rose he had picked up lay on the table in front of him.

They grabbed a hurried noon meal before leaving to prepare for the wedding ceremony. Boromir and Legolas took it upon themselves to help Aragorn get ready, with the aid of his twin foster brothers. Having met them and spoken to them during the noon meal, Faramir had a feeling Aragorn was going to be in for a chaotic time. He felt a slight pang hit him at the thought.

Aragorn was getting married. It was a fact that was sinking in very, very slowly.

Accept it, he told himself sternly, He must marry; he is king. And if marry he must, it must be with a woman. He is marrying one he loves.

When he reached the place where the ceremony was to take place, it was well nigh evening. Aragorn was already there, dressed in beautiful silken robes, his face grave and handsome. The Lady Arwen joined him, resplendent in a beautiful gown and decked with flowers. No one could miss the happiness in Aragorn’ s face when he saw her or in her face when she saw Aragorn. It was a short and simple ceremony. Faramir sat through it, his heart pounding furiously, trying desperately to think of something else. He tried to divert his thoughts by reciting poems he had learnt as a child, in his head, and somehow all he could remember were the ones about romance and undying love. He tried to count the number of banners wound around the tall trees around them, but that was of no help either.

Aragorn is getting married, he thought to himself dumbly.

He felt his heart constrict as he watched the handsome king speaking solemnly. The lips moved and words came out but he never heard them. He merely saw the lips move and remembered how they had felt on his bare skin.

The cheering around him pulled him back to where he was with a jolt. The ceremony was over.

Gondor now had a queen.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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Thank the author

The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Ophelia , traveller , maeglina , Lily Of the West , Radical , kasumi , Stacia , Melogale , , Mel

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11 Comment(s)


NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

This story was AMAZING! I loved how
1) There WAS a plot!
2) There was actual chracter development between Faramir and Aragorn…my FAV couple!

Great Job! Keep it up!

— FA4ever!    15 December 2008, 06:16    #

Hi FA4ever! Thank you for your kind comments. I’m really, really delighted that you liked this story so much!:)

— minx    18 December 2008, 22:06    #

Hi! I loved your story! =) It’s really great, Faramir and Aragorn are perfect, so are the other characters. Especially Legolas who is wonderful! ^^ (Arwen is scary! XD)
I read other fanfics you wrote, and I loved them as well. Your writing is very good!

(hum… Sorry, English is not my first language! :S )
Bye, Lily

— Lily Of the West    11 February 2009, 21:16    #

Thanks Lily! I’m very glad you liked the fics.

Thanks for reading and taking the time out to comment!

— minx    12 February 2009, 20:10    #

I so love your fics!!! I am very addicted to Fara/Ara stories. Perhaps is there a sequel awaiting. Please, say yes!!!!!!
Hugs
Ca.

— camille    24 February 2009, 19:16    #

Thank you Camille:) I’m not sure of a sequel to this one but yes, there are lots of A/F stories on their way:) thank you for reading this!

— Minx    1 March 2009, 18:42    #

Oh! It was gorgeous! It was simply unique! Especially the ending! You are a great writer!
Oh, poor Faramir… No, poor Aragorn… How long he waited that!!!
Thank you very much, Minx!

— Anastasiya    10 September 2009, 16:08    #

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

— minx    12 September 2009, 21:22    #

Wonderful story! Thank you for posting it!!

(Even though I know it’s been awhile…)

— Radical    28 May 2010, 03:46    #

Thank you Radical! I’m very glad you liked it:)

— Minx    4 June 2010, 20:19    #

Hello, just wanted to stop by and say how much I adore this fic. I must have read it a dozen times over the years. I hope Aragorn has been making it up to our sweet Fara all this time ;-)

— Laurelote    19 August 2012, 19:32    #

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Minx

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