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The King and The Ranger (R) Print

Written by Minx

30 March 2004 | 60419 words

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Chapter 4

Faramir felt his voice dying to a croak, but that was not what was uppermost on his mind. What struck him was that Boromir seemed to have frozen in his place, and that Aragorn was clutching his hand tight.

Then the steward suddenly bent and brushed his lips on his forehead, unmindful of the presence of the others in the room. Faramir blinked his eyes in reaction, feeling a wetness in the rims of his eyes, as he smelt the air of the outdoors from him. And of horses, and saddle leather. How glad he was that Boromir was alive!

“It is good to see you are all right, little brother,” Boromir said softly, his own grey eyes shining a little.  And then as if aware of the presence of others in the room, he bit his lip, “How fare your wounds?” he asked a little gruffly.

Faramir felt his throat had never been so dry before.

“I am well enough,” he replied his voice not as strong as he would have liked it to be.

Boromir’s eyes narrowed a little at that and he seemed ready to dispute the claim but instead simply placed the back of his palm against Faramir’s cheek.

“You are still fevered,” Aragorn broke in. He was still holding his hand. It felt nice and comfortable and strangely reassuring.

“I feel fine, sire,” he replied flushing a little, feeling the strong rough fingers tighten around his hand.


Aragorn clasped the hand he held tightly. He could feel the pulse racing rapidly in the slender wrist that his fingers were wrapped around. The slender, long fingers entwined around his hand were callused from wielding a bow. He watched as the worn face suddenly transformed with Boromir’s display of affection, showing him a glimpse of what it might have looked like in happier times. When curing Boromir of his near fatal injuries it had never occurred to him that he might have been inadvertently giving joy to more people. Watching the grey eyes blink rapidly, he was suddenly very glad he had used his skills effectively.

“You look not very fine, my young friend,” Gimli said gruffly but with concern as he came and stood over Aragorn’ s shoulder. The king watched with concern as the young ranger coughed, his face grimacing as the movement stretched both his shoulder and waist.

He found Legolas holding out a cup of water and taking it from him, quickly pulled Faramir up in his arms in one swift motion and held the cup against his lips.

A sharp cry of pain escaped from the pale lips at the sudden movement and made Boromir lean forward in concern, but the water was gratefully accepted.

“Should he not eat something?” Legolas asked suddenly, “Are you hungry Faramir?”

“He should be,” Aragorn replied promptly, “He has been sleeping all day long. Some broth and a little bread perhaps.”

“No -,” Faramir murmured weakly.

“Yes,” came Boromir’s emphatic reply.

“I will go and tell the kitchens to prepare some,” Legolas offered. Aragorn gave him a grateful smile, while continuing to hold Faramir in his arms, for it felt to him that he seemed to feel comfortable in his embrace, noting the soft texture of the skin and its warmth. He adjusted the blankets around the trembling frame. It had gotten cooler for the sun was sinking below the horizon outside.

“Did they catch him?” Faramir asked suddenly, his eyes were closed, and his voice slurred, enough indication that he was not yet completely awake.

“No, not yet,” Aragorn admitted.

“Then you are still in peril,” Faramir exclaimed worriedly, and sat up straight, his eyes wide open, only to slump down again with a grunt of pain. Aragorn promptly tightened his grip around the flailing body.

“Do not move!” he said sharply.


Faramir suddenly realised that he was in Aragorn’ s arms. He found himself unconsciously leaning into the embrace. It was unlike Boromir’s hugs. There was a completely different quality about it. One that he could not place anything about, other than the fact that he liked it. One strong arm was wrapped around his chest away from his shoulder, and he could feel the fine cloth of Aragorn’ s sleeve against his bare back, while his hand lay loosely across Faramir’s chest underneath the thick blankets. A strange tingling feeling ran through him, stronger even than the pain that dully throbbed on and on.

And then he realised he was half-undressed. He felt his face redden up, and tried to pull away, causing another jolt of pain to travel through him. And that the room he was in was not his. He glanced around in confusion, the sheets were white, his sheets were grey, the walls – that drapery?

“This is not my room,” he said slowly, sitting up stiffly, ignoring the protests from his injuries, while Aragorn loosened his grip but continued to keep his arms around him.

“No, you were in no condition to be moved too far, so I had them bring you to my chambers,” Aragorn said. Now feeling even more embarrassed, he tried uncomfortably to shift away from the embrace, and the king as though realising it, finally released him, but pushed him back to lean against the pillows, half-sideways to avoid hurting his injured right side.

Boromir spoke up then, “Can he be moved now? I would have him lie in my chambers, in case he is ill at night.”

Faramir stared back at his brother and realised with a start that the older man looked quite worn out. He remembered that Boromir had been out all day seeing to the troops. It must have tired him out.

“You look tired,” he said quietly, his voice still feeling very hoarse, “I would not have you forego your sleep on my account. I will move back to my own chambers.”

“No,” Boromir said angrily, his grey eyes glinting like steel, an expression that Faramir rarely found himself at the receiving end of from his brother, “You are ill. And you know your dreams get worse when you are ill. I will not let you sleep alone.”

Faramir felt his face flush. Why did Boromir have to expose his weaknesses to an audience? There was only one person he could appeal to. He turned to Aragorn who had been watching the exchange quietly.

“Sire?”

Aragorn stared back at both of them appraisingly, “Boromir, you look exhausted. I think your brother is right my friend. Faramir, you will stay the night here. You have not fully recovered.”

“Here?” Faramir felt his heart sink at those words, “But I cannot –“


Aragorn stared sternly back at the protesting young man, “I command you to stay here! Not just as king but as a healer too.”

Grey eyes filled with unhappiness and pain stared back at him as he continued, “I will sleep in the next room.”

“But –“

“Faramir, you take arrows meant for me, but you will not do this little that I request you to?” Aragorn put on his most persuasive tone.

The eyes fell, the long, dark eyelashes a striking contrast to the paleness of the thin, lined face. He spoke even more softly, placing a hand on the uninjured shoulder, “It is merely for a night. If you will eat food you will heal faster.”

Boromir sighed, “Aragorn, I –“

“No, Boromir, you seem to be asleep on your feet!”

“Very well,” the steward retorted a little tensely.

“But you could get Faramir a nightshirt. Something warm. Ah, Legolas, thank you my friend,” this to the blonde elf who had just entered followed by a servant bearing a tray full of food.

Aragorn dispatched the others to get ready for dinner for they had come to his rooms straight from outside. Then he watched the slightly built young man sitting up on his bed, with the blankets tucked around him, toy with his food awhile.

“Eat,” he implored softly. Faramir coloured a little at his words, his eyes still remaining downcast. It took a while but finally the bowl of soup was emptied and the chunks of bread consumed. He watched silently as the young ranger blinked a few times and then closed his eyes and slumped down against the pillows a little, still favouring his left side, while the herbs he had added to the soup began to take effect.

“Sleep well, my friend.”

Boromir returned with a nightshirt of a soft grey fabric, and they swiftly dressed him in it, wincing as the unexpected movements forced the sleeping man to moan unconsciously.


Faramir welcomed the sleep out of sheer tiredness. All that movement had hurt him a lot although he had tried his best not to let it show. And he felt extremely confused about taking up Aragorn’ s room for the night. It was a beautiful gesture on the king’s part, but he surely did not deserve it. But he had no energy to protest, and Aragorn would not let him either. Gondor was truly lucky to have him as her king. He was strong, and intelligent, and well versed in matters of war and strategy and politics and diplomacy, and a very handsome man.

The young man felt himself relax almost instantly as he slumped against the pillows, pillows that Aragorn normally used. He could smell pipeweed, a strange smell he had taken a while to get used to. But now, he welcomed it as a familiar smell. Thoughts turned to dreams and he pictured Aragorn through his closed eyes, as he had first seen him, dressed in a grey travel-stained cloak, worry staining his handsome face, as he had pulled him out of the dark void he had been wandering in. And then the next time he had seen him, as a king in full regalia, with the crown on his head. There had shone then on his face the look of the kings of old, that Faramir had imagined from the tales he had read and heard. Images ran through his head, of Aragorn smiling, Aragorn laughing, Aragorn bending over him in concern, Aragorn holding him up and giving him water, Aragorn’ s hands on his skin, and the strange feeling that it caused in him, the strange but nice feeling, Aragorn’ s hand gripping his fingers intertwining. It kept the nightmares at bay for a while. There were no clear dreams of fire or water. Each time he sighted the star shaped island or saw the endless whiffs of smoke, Aragorn would suddenly appear and hold him in his arms, stroking his hair and face, and whispering soft words into his ear, the steady beating of his heart a constant reassurance to his terrified self.  When his father’s stern face dismissed him curtly, Aragorn comforted him, wiping away his tears, and soothing him so that he would not feel the aches that assailed his body.

But then, Aragorn fell… and there was blood everywhere.


Aragorn shifted uncomfortably on the bed in the next chamber. The bedding was too soft for him to sleep properly. After years of living outdoors, he found he slept easiest on hard beds, and had accordingly made a few modifications to the huge bed in his rooms. It suddenly occurred to him that Faramir should be sleeping on the soft mattress instead of him, but he could do nothing about it now. Then he heard the soft cry. He was up in a flash and by the younger man’s sleeping frame within seconds.

He pulled him into his arms carefully, checking underneath the nightshirt to see if the wounds had re-opened. The soft cry came again, and he heard unintelligible words being murmured, interspersed with moans of pain, each time he tried to shift him. Finally he manoeuvred him into a comfortable position, the dark head lying limply against his broad chest, his hands wrapped around the slim torso. He frowned a little as he felt the bony frame. Faramir was slight in build, even more so when compared to Boromir’s burliness or even Aragorn’ s muscled proportions. He was not weak, merely slender with no extra mass on him. But now he seemed to have thinned somewhat.

He quietly held onto the ranger, gently stroking his hair, and telling him to calm down. Then he heard words he though he could make out, talk of fire, and of smoke, and his face cleared a little even as Faramir’s became progressively more clouded.

“It is all right, my friend, it is all right now. You are safe. Do not fear,” he whispered softly, remembering what had been told to him of Denethor’s suicide, and Faramir’s near death. He ran a hand against his cheek, once smooth but now roughened by contact with sun and wind and rain. Faramir did not have the strong handsome features that characterized his brother. But he did have a gentle look, one of culture and patience combined with gravity, something of an elvishness in them, perhaps handed down from his mother’s kin. If he smiled, Aragorn decided, it would be like setting a place alight.

The pale lips continued muttering incoherently, he was calling for his father now, and mentioning his brother, and a boat, and a dream. Aragorn vaguely remembered the steward of Gondor mentioning something about Faramir dreaming of seeing his brother’s body in the Anduin. Tears streamed down from the half-lidded eyes now, wetting the thin fabric of Aragorn’ s tunic. Aragorn felt his heart grow heavy as he heard the pitiful tone begging an unresponsive father for forgiveness.

“I should have gone,” came the quiet voice heavy with tears. He could think of no response, and instead simply hugged the unhappy man close and silently wiped the tears from his cheeks, wondering how to get him to sleep peacefully.

Steadily he rocked the sleeping figure gently, taking care to ensure it did not aggravate his injuries, and then the shout came.

Aragorn!


There was blood everywhere. Aragorn was on the ground. Arrows flew through the air. Then the background blurred. They were outside now, in the open, and Aragorn had fallen to the ground. And Faramir was so far away from him.

Aragorn lay unmoving. So he ran towards his king. Screaming his name, till he reached him. Till he could touch him, feel him.

Till he found himself back in his arms and realised it had been a dream. Merely a dream.


“I’m here,” the king of Gondor whispered into the ears of the young captain of his realm as he cried out for him, anxiety and pain filling his low voice.

“Ssh,” he said softly, as he continued to rock him slightly, and then stroked his hair and face. The gentle face was contorted in sorrow and ache, the effect of the injuries manifested in the lines on the young countenance. Aragorn sighed and felt his heart wrench at the sight of the trembling ranger in his arms, who was clutching at him desperately as though seeking some hold on the real world away from dreams. He hugged him possessively to his chest and brushed his lips lightly against the other man’s forehead.


Aragorn’ s lips hovered over his face and settled on his brow, and he felt he could ask for no more at all from this world. The touch seemed to fill his body with peace, and he felt himself falling back into a deep sleep. A dreamless sleep.


Aragorn awoke the next morning with the sun, as was his wont, feeling a little sleepier than usual, after having spent much time trying to get Faramir to sleep. Only when he was completely sure the ranger slept peacefully, did he himself lie back, and, not in the other chamber but on an armchair in the same room, ready to go back to the younger man should he need him. But the need did not arise.

The sun streamed in through the windows and Faramir slept on, his exhausted body setting off on the path of recovery. He felt the pale forehead, and was happy to find it only moderately clammy.

Outside, he found Boromir and Tarlong in conversation, along with Legolas and Gimli, and joined them. There was no knowledge of the archer whatsoever. The arrows were all they had to go on. A popular local variety that everyone and anyone in Minas Tirith could get hold of and use.

“Except that they were sharpened further and coated with poison,” Tarlong concluded grimly.

“Well, we will just have to look closer, and question everyone yet again. Someone must have seen something!” Boromir declared, “And Aragorn your guard must be doubled.”

Aragorn raised and eyebrow at that but was given no chance to speak, as the rest of the listeners nodded in agreement.

“Is the council meeting to be held today?” Legolas asked him.

“I cannot delay it further. The peace treaties have to be discussed and presented before them. I cannot tarry further,” Aragorn replied.

“Eredil will oppose it, as will some other old-timers,” his steward warned him.

“Yes,” Aragorn sighed in agreement, “Well, that we shall have to see when we meet. Come my friends let us go eat now.”

Legolas and Gimli went ahead while Boromir and he stopped by his room for a few minutes so the steward could see his brother. The warden of the houses of healing too appeared just then, and joined them. After examining the sleeping figure, he looked up satisfied, and gave them permission to move the young ranger back to his rooms.

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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