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The King and The Ranger (R) Print

Written by Minx

30 March 2004 | 60419 words

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Chapter 5

Boromir watched quietly as his younger brother ate. His right hand lay in a sling now, and he was sitting propped up against the pillows on his bed where he had been shifted earlier. Boromir had broken his fast with the others and then taken some food to Faramir’s room, where he had found him waking up. Sunlight streamed in through open windows, and a cool breeze played through the drawn curtains. The room was a mess of books as expected. They lay strewn over every surface possible, the subjects varying from an account of a military commander from their grandsire’s grandsire’s time to a slim volume of poems in elvish to a more recent play by a rising author from Dol Amroth.

Faramir’s love for the written word was well known. And something that Boromir had grown to accept and understand, for he had not let it stand in the way of his duty towards the realm. The captain general of the white tower was well aware that his brother was one of the best soldiers in the land and an excellent leader of men. It was a proven fact now. Faramir had defended Minas Tirith against the forces of Sauron, helping the white city hold out till Rohan could ride to their aid. He had been so proud of him.

He smiled suddenly as the sun played on the younger man’s face, which had more colour in it now. The stormy grey eyes glanced up from the tray of food balanced carefully atop crossed legs, reflecting the gentle answering smile.

“You look much better now. I was worried last night,” Boromir explained, “you seem to have slept well.”

“I did,” Faramir smiled a little wider now.


Aragorn drummed his fingers softly but impatiently on the wooden arm of his chair. He had called a council on one matter and instead they were discussing another. Peace treaties lay forgotten as the members of the august body argued over the identity of the previous day’s interloper. Nothing he would say would induce the men to change the subject.

Eredil was forcefully repeating yet again that the man would have to be an outsider, possibly from Harad or Khand, and that any peace proposal from either place should be rejected. At the other end of the table, Lord Firiel saw no reason to accept why the assassin could not be from Gondor itself.

“We may have a traitor amongst our people, it is not impossible,” he stated.

“You are suggesting one of our people would betray the king? What manner of speaking is that?” Eredil seemed to take the statement as a personal affront.

“I see nothing wrong with the assumption,” Boromir stated calmly.

“My lord steward –,” spoke yet another councillor.

“Lord Firiel makes a very realistic statement. Every man has his price,” Mardinel spoke up.

Near Eredil, another councillor snorted loudly, “The likelihood of it being an outsider is higher. What better way to throw Gondor into disarray than launch an attack at her newly crowned king? Why, just news of this can demoralize our people.”

“Which is why I ask you once again to refrain from mentioning this matter,” Aragorn spoke up, “I cannot doubt that the citizenry know something has happened, but the extent I am told is unknown to them. Let it not get beyond the fact that an intruder was caught in the palace. Now, if we may turn to the matters at hand?”

“My liege,” Eredil spoke with a slow drawl, “Surely you do not think of signing peace with a land that may at this very moment be plotting to rid Gondor of her ruler?”

“I cannot let mere suspicions come in the way of the work at hand, Lord Eredil. Let it be proven that either of these nations has a hand in an attack that has injured one of my captains, and I myself will react harshly. But until then, we must discuss these.”

After ten minutes he began to wonder if he had indeed made the right decision by changing the topic of discussion. Firiel had been speaking about Haradrim customs all this while, in a slow monotonous tone, and showed no signs of quietening down in the near future.

He found his thoughts wandering to Faramir. It still troubled him that the ranger should be lying ailing in bed right now because he had been hurt trying to protect him. If Faramir had not pushed him away in time, the arrow he had taken in his shoulder would have hit Aragorn in the heart. And here he was, hale and hearty while the younger man endured pain and fever on his account. He hoped he was sleeping easier today. Boromir had told him he had put him to bed immediately after giving him something to eat.  Aragorn decided he would visit Faramir’s room and check for himself as soon as this meeting got over. If it ever got over . . .

He directed his gaze idly towards the open window, wishing he were outside and not in a stuffy room where everyone loved the sound of their own voice. His guard had been doubled now, after the incident, and it only served to stifle him some more. Silently sighing he remembered his plans for a ride with Faramir. That was definitely off now, the healers had said his arm would be immobilized for a few weeks at least, and he was sorry for it. The experience of calming down the younger man after his dreams only served to intrigue him more. There was much he wanted to learn about him; much he wanted to probe for. And Faramir’s quiet, moderate speech would be welcome after listening to his councillors in session.

Firiel continued to speak, and he soon realised he was not the only one twitching uncomfortably. Boromir looked openly bored, and he had a tough time trying not to chuckle. His steward took his duties as the captain general to be more important than his duties as the steward. As he often reminded Aragorn, the king was here now. It struck him once again that there was a great difference between the two brothers. Boromir was boisterously friendly, he had been formal in the beginning but later had eased up as their friendship had grown and they had fought side by side. He wore his loyalty to his realm and his king on his sleeve. A warrior, if ever there was one. To him Aragorn was king, friend and fellow soldier all rolled in one, worthy of respect, love and loyalty all together.

But Faramir was intensely formal. Aragorn was the king, worthy of his respect, and no more, no less. As he had proven, his loyalty was unquestionable. He was a soldier and a scholar, and one that Aragorn longed to know better, and to talk to. He was sure they could find much to talk of, and much in common.

Firiel paused finally, a small pause, probably to take a swig from the cup in front of him, and Boromir seized the opportunity with both hands, “So, it is decided then?” he asked, turning towards Aragorn, “We invite the envoy from Harad into Minas Tirith to discuss this further?”

His statement was met with an overall assent but the negative rumblings were not altogether silent.

It was already evening when they finished. Aragorn remained seated in his chair and waited for the councillors to filter out till only his friends remained.

“How does the lad fare?” Gimli asked Boromir, as the door closed behind the last man to leave the room.

“He is much better now. I made him eat a little food before going back to sleep,” Boromir replied.

“Is he still in much pain?” Aragorn asked, “Does he sleep well?”

“The pain is still there, though he will not say it,” Boromir’s face creased a little, in worry, “But he seems to have slept well last night. I was worried for him. He tends to sleep badly at such times. He did not disturb you last night, did he?”

Aragorn shook his head gently, “I would not consider it a disturbance.”

“I am grateful, Aragorn,” the steward said, his usually booming voice much softer.


Faramir stood leaning heavily against the pillar on his balcony watching the stars start to appear in the evening sky. Boromir had been over for a short visit some time earlier. He wondered why he felt so fatigued when he had lain in bed so long. The healer had put his right arm into a sling, and he could not move it at all, adding to his irritability. At least Boromir had helped him clean up a little and change into fresh clothes that morning. It didn’t occur to him that his would be a natural reaction from one who had lost some amount of blood and suffered a mild fever from poisoning. To him, it seemed he was indulging in a criminal waste of time. And, as he realised it was not just his time he was wasting. His memories of that day before and the night were slowly returning. Aragorn had spent all day with him, by his bed. He remembered hearing his voice, and most of the night. He had no right to impose on Aragorn like this. But it had felt so nice, he heard a small voice pipe up inside him. Warm and comfortable and nice. He had felt loved in Aragorn’ s arms.

Shutting his eyes, he sighed in confusion. He could not get the thought of those strong arms wrapped around him, out of his head. The smell of pipeweed as the older man whispered softly in his ear, the gentle voice, the touch of his fingers, everything seemed imprinted hard and fast in his mind, and refused to go way.

He had kept the dreams away last night. Driven them away from Faramir’s head by his mere presence. He knew it. He knew it because he had dreamed again today, and this time there had been no one to drive the monsters away, and he had woken in a cold sweat, scared by all he had seen but with no clear memory of what he had seen. It was not one of his old dreams and that scared him.

“Faramir!”


Aragorn wound his way through the long passages and corridors to Faramir’s room. He had meant to come earlier, but there had been much work to handle, and Tarlong had come up with an entirely new set of plans regarding the defence of the palace much to Aragorn’ s amazement. He had thrown his hands up in despair but had been persuaded by Boromir and Legolas to hear them out, and then approve them. Boromir had told him his brother had been sleeping when he had taken his lunch up to him, so he had decided not to disturb him.

He stopped short at the doorway when he saw the empty bed. It had been made rather cursorily, with some semblance of neatness as though the owner had tried to make it neatly but found himself unable to. He took in the sight of books and manuscripts lying on every spare surface.

Is this a library or a room? And where is Faramir!

Then he realised the papers were fluttering in the breeze created by the curtains drawn across the door leading to the balcony, and quietly walked over. Faramir’s slender figure was leaning against the pillar, and neither the slump in the lean shoulders nor the tired tilt of the dark head went unnoticed by the king.

“Faramir!” he called out softly.

The younger man straightened and turned, slowly, still using the pillar for support, revealing a drawn face and sunken eyes.

“You are meant to be resting,” Aragorn chided gently, as he walked towards the slim figure.

“Sire,” Faramir’s voice held a strange tone to it, one Aragorn could just not place. He was wearing a deep wine red tunic and light grey leggings that along with his raven hair only accentuated his pallor.

“You look tired,” Aragorn commented, as he clasped him by his other shoulder, taking on the weight the pillar had supported. Faramir held himself stiffly. He seemed reluctant to rest his weight on him.

“Have you slept well?” Aragorn inquired.

The dark lashes dropped, and then quickly rose again as Faramir made a non-committal noise.

“Very well, then. I take it you have not. Come back to bed. You were not supposed to get back on your feet so soon. You had a fever.”

“B-but I am well now,” Faramir finally seemed to have found his voice, and searching his desperate face, Aragorn saw something he recognised only too well. His young friend had no wish to be tied down to a bed. The wind rustled through their hair.

“Very well, then just for today. Rest and recover your strength and tomorrow you can rise, although I deem it too early! Perhaps you will join us at the table for your meals?” Aragorn suggested, still holding onto the ranger, “I’ll have some food sent up for you now and you must eat it and then sleep.”

Faramir didn’t respond, so Aragorn took his silence to be assent and pulled him back into the room.

“I do not wish to take up so much of your time,” Faramir began only to be cut short.

“I’m going to tell someone in the kitchen to send you something. Get into bed, and stay there,” came the stern command, as his king stepped over the books on his way out.


Faramir sat at the edge of the bed, trying to combat the strange dizziness he felt. Aragorn’ s nearness seemed to induce unknown feelings in him. He couldn’t place them, merely that they seemed to make him feel like he had been through a minor upheaval. His breathing had quickened, and he tried to calm himself down first. Aragorn had been right, he was tired. And perhaps, if he listened to him, he could leave his room the next day. He was beginning to hate it here. The walls seemed to close in on him.

Feeling thirsty, he looked around the room for the water jug, still wondering why it was that Aragorn’ s very presence made him so nervous. In front of the king he did not feel like a captain of rangers, a grown man with a command. He felt inexplicably different, as though after years he had found someone to lean against and to confide in, to reveal fears he would reveal to no one. But that was foolishness, he screamed back at himself, as he reached for the jug and the cup next to it.

In his troubled state, and unused to holding his food in his left hand, he ended up spilling the water on himself. The balcony was still open, and a cold gust of wind told him he would have to change his clothes if he wished to get healthier soon. The water had splashed onto the front of his tunic and his leggings. He would have to change. He decided he might as well change into his nightclothes, and began unfastening the string holding his leggings with one hand. It took some effort to do it one handed.

When Aragorn returned, Faramir was sitting on his bed, his sling removed and legs bare, trying to take off his tunic with one hand. It was a very loose shirt reaching down till his thighs, with buttons halfway down it, but with only one hand in working condition, the young ranger seemed to be having trouble not just unbuttoning it, but also pulling it off. He had been able to open only half the buttons, revealing a smooth slender chest. And now he was trying to pull it over his head, unable to stretch around much, hampered by the injury to his waist. A sharp hiss of pain sounded from the struggling figure.

“Do you need help?” Aragorn asked, stepping through the doorway.

The young man looked up at the sudden voice in his doorway, his face reddening a little.

“N- no, I was just –“

“Come, let me help you. You do not want to hurt yourself further, do you?” he gave him a critical once-over taking in with satisfaction the colour in the cheeks. Moving forward he helped Faramir unbutton the remaining buttons, reaching down till his midriff, pulled his uninjured arm out of the sleeve, and then carefully, helped slide the right sleeve over the other arm, while looking at the now healing wound. The long fingers roughened by years of rough living and weapon yielding brushed against his bare skin countless times, a feeling he yearned for more and more.

Each touch of skin by skin sent unseen shivers through his slight frame, confusing him greatly. The tunic slid down slowly, over his body, exposing his skin inch by inch till it lay bunched around his lap.

He was breathing with no little ease now, a fact that did not escape the king’s keen grey eyes.

“Does it hurt?” came the prompt demand.

Dumbly, he shook his head, wondering what these strange feelings assaulting him were.

“Now where are your nightshirts? These?” Aragorn opened the closet door, and picked out the first robe that came to his hand, and a towelling cloth.

Faramir shivered suddenly as a cold gust of air blew through the curtains drawn across the open balcony, and hit his naked chest and back. He had managed to stand up, and slip the tunic down and step out of it. Sitting down swiftly, he had covered his nakedness with the sheets, but his embarrassment at the situation had no shield. His body was reacting in a completely unfit manner, and he had no idea why it was happening so. At first he thought it was due to the chill, but then he realised it had been the touch of the other on his body. He was not used to hands as caring as these coming in such close contact with his body.

Aragorn came up to him and dabbed at his wet skin with the towelling cloth. Faramir felt his mouth go dry as the hands ran across his chest and stomach. Then Aragorn helped him slip on the sleeping robe. His hand brushed against Faramir’s throbbing lower body and the young man felt a heat begin to spread out from between his thighs, and shivered half in excitement at the intensity of the feelings that were running through him.

“You are cold!” Aragorn exclaimed, frowning, “back into bed now!”

Faramir tried shaking his head as Aragorn gently pulled his right hand through the sleeve, and replaced the sling, but the pain that that act set off was so intense he found himself stifling his voice with a groan instead. He felt himself fall into Aragorn and being caught by the other man’s arms. Lifting his head, he looked at the curve of Aragorn’ s lips as if in a daze. Those lips had kissed him last night. They were beautiful, he decided. Pink and full, and shaped exquisitely. What did they taste like, he wondered idly, and what did they feel like. His hand twitched to finger them, to feel them, to trace out their shape slowly and imprint the feeling forever in his mind.

Kiss him, a voice spoke up in his head, he has done so much for you, show him how much you care, kiss him now . . . Aragorn was whispering something, but his own mind was speaking too loudly for him to hear anything else. Slowly he raised his uninjured hand to reach for that entrancing mouth . . .

The sharp rapping on the door made him sit upright, sending pain shooting through his shoulder and waist both this time. He stifled another cry, as Aragorn rose, and patting him reassuringly went to the door. He returned soon with a tray full of food in his hands, while Faramir tried to reign in his overwhelming emotions. He had almost kissed Aragorn. What would the king have thought? He would have been disgusted with him, and would probably never step near him again. He could not do that!

If he wanted Aragorn nearby, he must never let him know these terrible feelings that had begun to assail him. He must keep his emotions in check. If Aragorn turned away from him, he would be unable to stand it! He found himself being helped back against his pillows and the food being thrust into his hands.

“Eat now,” Aragorn said softly, and sat by him while he ate.

“Will you like me to stay till you have slept?” the king asked, as he took the tray away from him when he had finished.

“No. You have done more than enough,” Faramir said quietly, “I cannot impose on you like this.” Every fibre in his being seemed to be on an alert, as he waited for Aragorn’ s reply.

“Faramir, I will stay till you sleep, do not worry about my time, I will just catch up on my – reading!”

“N- no, they must need you for other business. I would not have the work of the realm held up on my account.”

“Ssh, you are here in the first place because of me,” Aragorn said caressing his face gently, and the touch nearly took his breath away this time.

Emboldened, he gently took Aragorn’ s hand in his and pressed his lips against his ring, “My liege, I am yours to command.”

“Then sleep now,” Aragorn said sighing, “you need it. And always remember that there are many here who love you and are loathe to see you hurt, and I count myself among them.” He squeezed Faramir hand tightly and lightly kissed the bunched up fist before laying down his hand and helping him cover himself up. Then he left.

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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