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The King and The Ranger (R) Print

Written by Minx

30 March 2004 | 60419 words

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Chapter 3

A sharp stinging feeling hit Faramir’s shoulder and he felt the momentum propel him and Aragorn forward.

Cover him! his mind screamed.

Another stab of agony hit his side and he felt the pain course through his exhausted body like a fire, his distraught mind overtaken by the pain. He felt his head slump forward against the strong muscular chest of his king, and as a fresh burst of pain washed over him he unconsciously buried his face deeper against the other man’s chest, taking comfort from the very feeling of proximity, and the reassuring sound of the king’s heartbeat, regular and rhythmic, merely a little rushed from the current excitement.

A grey mist stretched before his eyes. Then he felt someone trying to push him off. Then something brushed against the wound to his side, and the agony intensified. Lifting up his head a little he realised Aragorn was trying to get up. Through the mist he could make out clear grey eyes mired in confusion.

“Stay down, sire!” he hissed out, before his head fell forward again, refusing to stay up as pain shot across his shoulder and through his neck.

He sensed movement around him, sounds of running feet. Hands reached out for him, and he panicked as he felt himself being pulled away from Aragorn. Being moved away from his king. No! his mind screamed and he gritted his teeth determined not to expose Aragorn to any more danger. Struggling to keep his eyes open, he flailed out at the hands holding him, ignoring the red-hot skewers that seemed to be pushing into his shoulder. He heard an unearthly moan, not realizing it came from his own throat. To his befuddled pain-riddled mind it seemed to come from another source. The king! Frantically he tried to pull away from the restraining hands.

“The king,” he managed to whisper, through the pain.

“I am all right,” the gentle, regal voice of his liege filled his heart with relief and joy. Then someone’s arms closed around him in a comforting embrace. Strong arms held him against a strong, reassuring body. A familiar voice was speaking softly and soothingly to him. A soft smell of herbs hit his nostrils and he leaned into the embrace wearily, letting the dense mist overtake him.


Aragorn stared at the blood coating his fingers, and promptly tried to get up. Faramir’s head rose, and grey eyes clouded with pain stared back at him. Before he could realise it, a young ranger captain was practically ordering him, the king of Gondor and Arnor, to stay down! Then to his dismay, the dark head slumped forward again and this time lay there. The sound of running feet made him jerk his head to one side.

“My lord!” he heard the Tarlong, the captain of his guard cry out.

“Sire!” he heard someone else call out in alarm, it sounded like Mardinel, “Sire, are you hurt?” Mardinel knelt by him staring wide-eyed at the arrow embedded in Faramir’s shoulder, “Faramir-?”

“I am unhurt, help Faramir,” Aragorn croaked out, and watched with concern as the captain of the guard and Mardinel gently lifted the ranger off him, taking care not to hurt the injured man further.  A pain wracked moan slipped out from the pale lips on the ashen face of the younger man. Aragorn scrambled up in concern as the weight shifted off him, and moved forward as the injured ranger tried to get away from the restraining arms, and called out for him in a voice reflecting his suffering.

He grabbed at the struggling figure careful to avoid the arrow.

“I am all right,” he said soothingly, as he slipped one arm around the almost unconscious man’s uninjured shoulder, and the other around above his wounded waist and tried to calm him down, holding him in his arms as he would have held a young child. He felt Faramir collapse against him with a relived sigh.

“Sire,” Tarlong pleaded, “You must move out of the open.”

“I doubt if the archer will attempt anything again immediately,” Aragorn replied, “We must see to Faramir. He is wounded.”

“I will call a healer,” Mardinel told him.

“Yes, he should not be moved,” Aragorn replied and looking up, he noticed with approval that Tarlong was effectively barking out orders to the guardsmen, dispatching some to search for the would-be assassin and others to guard the entry and exit points in the palace, for it was clear that the arrows had been fired from one of the windows a few levels above the balcony. One of the guards was shutting off the doors to the balcony. Any news of an assassination attempt on the king might lead to panic, and he wanted to ensure the news did not spread if Aragorn did not want it to.

Aragorn stared worriedly at Faramir’s wounds. A thick, wicked looking arrow protruded from the back of the right shoulder and the injury to the waist was still bleeding. The arrow seemed to have merely nicked it, but although it might not have ordinarily been cause for too much concern, the flow would have to be stemmed soon especially given that it was not the only injury Faramir had suffered.

The drawn face was covered in beads of sweat and extremely pale now, in striking contrast to the raven hair that fell over it in disarray, “It was meant for me and you are hurt, my friend. You should not have! “

He gently lowered the inert figure onto his stomach, and examined the arrow in the shoulder, his lips pursed tightly. He looked up as he heard footsteps to notice that one of the healers had entered, with herbs and cloths in hand, his face creased in worry.

“It will have to be removed immediately,” he declared indicating the arrow, “Hold him down. I am going to remove it.”

The healer nodded, well aware that his king was as good at the art as, and maybe even better than, the warden of the houses of healing. He clamped his arms down over Faramir’s uninjured left shoulder and upper body, and watched tensely as Aragorn gripped the arrow’s shaft with both hands and pulled. It came out cleanly, coated in blood that even now dripped off its point, and a pale sticky coating to it that made the healer suck in a deep breath, and Aragorn’ s face take on a stern expression.

“Poison,” the healer muttered needlessly. Blood seeped out of the wound and Faramir gave out a sickly moan, but immediately slipped back into unconsciousness. Aragorn felt a tug at his heart as he realised how much pain the ranger had put himself through merely to save him.

He examined the arrow and the wounds wordlessly, and then heaved a sigh of relief. It was not an uncommon poison and one that they would be able to treat quite easily, fatal if it hit the heart, but in such cases as this merely causing a mild fever and much pain to the victim. Swiftly they stripped Faramir of his tunic and pressed clean cloth against the injuries, to stem the blood loss.

“The poison needs to be cleaned out and the shoulder needs stitching but it would not be wise to move him very far. The wounds are deep, and they have bled much. He will be in considerable pain,” the healer said quietly.

Aragorn nodded, “The nearest rooms are my new chambers. We will shift him there for the time being. And later, when his condition improves he can be moved to his rooms. I would not like to move him to the houses of healing. It is too far away to carry him.” His tone left no room for argument, so that finally the still unconscious Faramir was placed gently and carefully on the bed in Aragorn’ s chambers, so that the healer could finish cleaning out the wounds, stitch up the shoulder and bandage the cut to the waist. Outside, Tarlong informed Aragorn that the archer had not been found yet, his tone making it abundantly clear that Aragorn was going to find himself constantly on guard from now onwards. The captain of the guard was quite distressed by what had happened. After all, the king had almost fallen, and the captain of the Ithilien rangers now lay wounded.

It was a while later that Aragorn entered the chamber, having spoken to Tarlong and also swiftly concluded his meeting with Mardinel, his eyes not missing out on the fact that the guard seemed to have been doubled around the palace. The healer had finished his work and left so Aragorn left orders to have Boromir sent to his chambers the moment he returned, and then came and stood by the wan, still figure reposing on his bed, injured in the effort to protect him. The healer had offered to send someone to sit by Faramir but he had refused, not entirely sure why, but aware somehow that he should be the one to be there. Tarlong had promptly agreed relieved that his king would be indoors, and it was only the circumstances that had prevented Aragorn from pointing out that he would not stay locked within four walls tomorrow or the day after that.


Faramir felt exhausted. Terribly exhausted, and sick. He wanted to get up, but found himself unable to move, unable even to summon enough energy to open his eyes. He buried his face deeper into a soft pillow, taking in the warm deep smell, herby in nature that helped soothe him strangely. It smelt of something, no, someone. Someone like . . . the king! The king was in danger . . . He struggled to get his eyes open. He needed to warn Elessar. Something was very wrong. He tried to rise. How could he lie here sleeping, knowing his liege was in mortal peril? The resultant sharp stab of pain almost sent him hurtling towards an encompassing blackness.

A soft moan escaped from his lips, and almost immediately he felt someone’s hand running through his hair. It felt a familiar feeling, and he knew he must open his eyes. It seemed to take forever, but he finally managed to focus through half-lidded eyes on the hand that was gently stroking his cheek and hair. A strong callused hand, with long fingers. It looked so familiar. And it felt so cool as it ran over his fevered face. He reached out to touch it, but his shoulder seemed to be on fire, and he could not prevent the cry that escaped his lips. He could not move his hand! The thought galvanized him into action and he promptly tried to turn over, but the movement simply sent a wave of pain through his entire being. He was being held down now, those same strong hands were wrapped around his back and holding him down, all the while softly speaking to him.

“Lie still,” the gentle voice spoke into his ear.

“The king . . .” he whispered again, his fevered mind going frantic with worry. He could not let Elessar down. He owed him too much. His own life, and Boromir’s life, for his brother had told him of how Aragorn had healed him of the injuries inflicted by the Uruk Hai during the quest.

“Sshh, it is all right. I am fine,” the voice came through insistent, he knew that voice, “Do not move, you are injured.”

He took a deep breath and turning his neck painfully opened his eyes fully, gazing up at the face bending over him.


Aragorn quietly adjusted the blankets around Faramir’s prone body after the healer had left. Although sweat glistened on Faramir’s exposed body, the weather was so unpredictable these days as the winter was beginning to inch its way through, that in his weakened state, the younger man’s condition could easily worsen. The ripped and bloody tunic lay discarded on the balcony, so he was still bare-chested, his upper body displaying other scars from prior battles. Trophies that all men in Gondor carried as a sign of the years of strife that the realm had had to live through. He sighed as his hand brushed against the bare upper back, and he felt the warmth radiating from the pale, soft flesh. He could feel the guilt surge through him. Faramir’s wounds were not fatal but they were hurtful, and he would not be able to use his right hand for a while yet, and it was all because of him!

All these years Aragorn had been used to defending others as a ranger of the north, as a member of the fellowship. Even as a king he had felt his first duty lay with his realm, his life above the safety of the land. But now it had been borne out to him that he seemed to have entered the class of the defended rather than the defender, a thought that left him bemused. Sitting on the bed, he reached out for the dark mop of hair and stroked it lightly, taking in the pale face underneath.

Faramir turned his face into the pillow, and Aragorn realised the younger man was trying to wake up. A low cry of pain confirmed his suspicions. He gently stroked the ranger’s face trying to get him to relax. He could feel the muscles tense up, and wondered if he might need to use the sleeping draught the healer had left behind. Faramir was obviously confused about his surroundings.

“Go back to sleep,” he whispered softly, still stroking gently, but his words went unheard. Faramir’s injured shoulder twitched and Aragorn realised he was trying to move his hand. He promptly but gently held him down although not soon enough to prevent a pitiable moan from the injured man. Leaning forward to soothe him, he heard him call out once again. Softly, but in a clear voice, he tried to reassure the distraught figure in his arms that he was all right, when the younger man’s eyes opened, and the grey orbs settled on his.

“K –king Elessar,” Faramir gasped out.


Faramir stared back into the deep grey eyes, as he had done all those weeks ago. He had awoken then, pulled out of the darkness where he had been wandering restlessly to see the face of his king. The same face that was giving him a look of – concern? Why? He felt a tug of pain on his shoulder but ignored it as a rush of memories flooded into his mind. An arrow! Aimed at Aragorn. A frightening vision from his dream last night entered his mind. Aragorn lay on the ground, someone over him, blood flowing. A convulsive shiver ran through his body and this time the pain that coursed through him made him sob loudly and harshly.

Aragorn was speaking to him, asking him to lie still.

“No, it is not safe,” he sobbed out, his mind racked by sights from his dream, “I will not let you get hurt.”

“You did not,” Aragorn said soothingly, “It is safe now. Here, drink this.”

He felt himself gently being moved onto his side, and wondered why it caused so much pain. He grunted as the ache intensified. More soft, comforting words were whispered in his ears. What was happening? Where was he? This was not his chamber . . . and where was his tunic? He could feel a firm hand on his bare back, a strange touch, but not totally unwelcome, in fact he liked it. It made him feel secure and at peace for the first time in many months.

Strong hands held him in place, and then something was placed against his mouth and he instinctively swallowed the liquid and the dreams returned.


It was almost an hour later that Aragorn sat back, heaving a sigh of relief. Faramir had blacked out almost immediately after ingesting the sleeping draught, and Aragorn had guessed the injuries and fever had much to do with that. But it had not been enough to keep the dreams away, for the slight body had shivered more than once and the worn face had contorted with spasms, that would not leave until Aragorn had slipped his arms around the sleeping figure and comforted him slowly. It was only now that the young ranger had managed to slip into a peaceful slumber, lying on his side, so that his face was now clearly visible. The small dosage of sleeping draught would keep him out for at least another couple of hours, and he would certainly wake up in a much better state than now.

He stood up stretching himself, thankful that his duties for the day had been dispensed with. He would have been loath to leave Faramir alone in such a condition. He had had his leftover paperwork brought to his chambers, and now he sat on a couch near the bed rifling through it, at the same time wondering whom the would-be assassin might be. He found himself unable to concentrate, his thoughts instead getting diverted to the young man on his bed.

Faramir looked so very young despite the dark circles around the eyes and the lines on his face. The pain he suffered was etched on his face, making him look extremely vulnerable. He remembered the first time he’d seen him, it had been in similar circumstances, for Faramir had been in the throes of a fever that would not abate after being injured while defending the city. It had been a brave effort, a small defensive measure but much needed, and forgotten now in the glory of the following larger battle and the destruction of the ring. He had awoken and given him a look of love and reverence that had made him realise just what being a king would mean and how he would forever carry the aspirations of the people of his realm and reassure them just by his very presence.

He had not progressed very far with his work two hours later when the urgent knocking sounded on the door of the outer chamber, rapid and loud enough to make the sleeping figure on his bed stir a little. He strode out to the door and opened it, presuming it would be Tarlong.

It was Boromir, a very worried and anxious Boromir, followed by Legolas and Gimli both just as worried and anxious.

“Aragorn! You are all right!” his steward cried out, “Tarlong sent us right here, he said you had been attacked!”

“Does anyone else know,” Aragorn asked, letting them into the outer chamber. He had no intention of letting out the fact that the defences in the palace had managed to let an assassin through.

“No,” Gimli assured him in a loud voice that Aragorn felt was sure to wake up the injured man inside, “Tarlong said you would not have the news let out. You are safe then? We were worried.”

Aragorn raised a regal eyebrow, “Did Tarlong not tell you I was all right?” he inquired, his heart sinking a little as he wondered how Boromir would react to his brother’s condition. The last time he had been in a state of near panic.

“Yes, but he was in such a hurry to oversee the changing of the palace guard, we were not sure what he meant when he said you had been inside here all day. He seems to be personally supervising everything today,” Legolas told him, “But what did happen? Who is the assassin, and how did he attack?”

Aragorn said quietly, “We know naught of the assassin yet, save that he is an archer. I am all right. Faramir is not.” He reached for the dismayed steward of Gondor and propelled him towards the inner chamber where Faramir lay.

“Faramir!”

“Ssh… he rests,” Aragorn cautioned him casting a worried glance at the sleeping figure, “Although he should waken soon. The effects of the herbs seem to be wearing off.”

“What happened?” Boromir was as frantic as he had thought he would be, “Is he very badly hurt?”

Aragorn pushed him towards the couch, forced him to sit down, and then quietly related the day’s events to him.

“He will be fine in a day or two. He is in much pain now, but it will abate, as will the fever, though he may feel discomfort from the shoulder injury for a few weeks yet,” he concluded to the worried group.

His clear quiet voice carried through with conviction so that by the time he finished the three listeners were relieved enough to wonder about the assassin. They discussed it quietly, Boromir having moved to the bed, where he sat beside his brother, stroking the dark hair gently, frowning as he felt the slight heat radiating from the skin. They were still talking when Faramir stirred under the touch, and turned his face towards the palm that lay on his hair. Immediately his eyes flew open.

“Boromir,” he gasped out weakly, and Aragorn noted that this time, the grey orbs were clear and lucid, and the pain did not show up so much. The sleeping draught usually worked as an effective painkiller too.

His brother simply nodded, as though not trusting his voice. The sight of Faramir’s face almost as white as the sheets he lay on had obviously hit him hard.

“What happened?” the same weak voice continued.

“Do not try to move,” Aragorn came forward, “You are hurt.”

“How -?” the younger man tried to move, only to be held in place by Boromir.

“You were hit by arrows meant for me,” Aragorn came and knelt by the bed.

Faramir’s eyes widened at the memory, “Are you all right, sire?” he blurted out frantically.

“Yes, my friend, I have not suffered even a scratch,” bemusedly he watched as F

aramir gave a relieved sigh, and then leaning forward gently took his uninjured hand in his two hands and gripped them tightly.

“Thank you Faramir, but you should not have endangered yourself so. You saved my life, but you have hurt yourself and that grieves me,” he said softly. The wan face of the other squirmed in embarrassment. His reply was barely a whisper but in the silence of the room, it reached everyone’s ears clearly.

“I would do anything for you, my liege, you need but ask. I owe you everything. You brought my brother back to me.”

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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