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Unholy Light (NC-17) Print

Written by December

09 February 2019 | 3871 words | Work in Progress

Title: Unholy Light
Author: December
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Faramir & Boromir
Warnings: Non-con, torture, psychological torture, AU canon divergence, dark!fic
Author's note. Alright everybody, I am sorry about this. It's my first (and quite unplanned) dabble into the dark fic realm. I blame it all on watching too many compilations of the GOT most brutal scenes in one go. This may never live up to that standard

Things go a little pear-shaped towards the end of the quest to destroy the One Ring, and Boromir is left with some impossible choices on his hands as his darkest hopes are dragged to the light.
Added: Chapter 4



‘Now it is a strange thing,
but things that are good to have
and days that are good to spend
are soon told about, and not much to listen to;
while things that are uncomfortable,
palpitating, and even gruesome,
may make a good tale,
and take a deal of telling anyway.’

“The Hobbit”


Part 1.

As the sun rises, the page comes running to tell the new Steward that his younger brother has finally awoken.

That walk to the Wards seems like the longest journey in Boromir’s life.

It is a bright morning, the empty corridor airy and full of light.

He stands silent before the shut door.

Gathering strength.

He draws a heavy breath, feels his fingers curl into his palms. He would rather face a horde of Uruk-hai, than this.

It had taken weeks, and all of the healing wisdom left in the land to nurse Faramir back to life, and Boromir should be rejoicing in it more than anyone, and yet…

The knot in his stomach is so tight there is a distinct possibility that he might literally be physically sick.

Without warning, the door opens in his face.

The erstwhile leader of the Fellowship, dressed all in white, steps out, wiping his hands dry on a towel as he walks.

His expression is pointedly contained, as though he has no reason to have anything other than practical tasks on his mind.

“I was just changing his dressings,” he explains. As though it is actually important.

Boromir purses his lips, nods. As though what they say now makes any difference.

The older man wipes his hands some more, then glances at him sideways, without quite meeting his eyes.

“Boromir, I…” he shakes his head at the futility of trying to put the unspeakable into words. After a moment of hesitation, he places his hand on the man’s shoulder. “Just remember, please. It was not your fault.”


“You were a good sport, my old friend.”

The Steward raised his head with as much pride as the iron collar around his neck allowed.

“I am no friend of yours, beast.”

The grey lips curled, showing the fangs.

“So clever, aren’t you just? Thinking you can provoke me into giving you a quick death. How adorable. You mortals never cease to amuse.”

“Your arrogance is pathetic.”

The armoured hand came close enough for Denethor to feel the raw heat against his cheek. He did not flinch.

“You would like this, old man, wouldn’t you? I could burn you to a shell in a minute.” The hand was withdrawn, another twisted grin. “But no, that would not do us justice at all, would it now? All those years you gave me, staring into your magic ball in your little tower. That was good fun.”

The Steward turned away in distaste.

“You will look at your master when spoken to, Gondorian scum.” An invisible force gripped him on the chin and forced his face to turn. Again that self-satisfied sneer. “What we have is special, it would really be quite ungenerous to kill you without repaying the debt. Let no one say I am not a fair-minded lord. Let me entertain you in turn.”

He called something quick in the Morgul tongue.

Denethor’s eyes widened as a young man was dragged into the chamber and thrown to the floor, but he withheld any further emotion.

“You seem unimpressed, your grace. How disappointing. My boys went to all this trouble.”

The captor regarded the bound shape at his feet, struggling to get up against the many tight loops of chain, then gave it a disinterested prod with the pointed tip of his iron boot. Like a cat undecided if it will bother to play with a new toy.

“Oh, but that’s right, how very foolish of me. This one was never your favourite, was he? Good thing I have a back up option for you.”

At this, the Orc guards returned, dragging in a second man, so alike the first, if a little older.

“No!” Denethor strained against the chains even as his knees went weak and left him hanging by the hands and neck.

The yellow eyes in the visor lit up with interest, the narrow pupils widening into a hungry, gaping void.

“Well,” the heavy armour rang and scraped as Sauron came to stand over the two warriors. “We shall enjoy this very much, shan’t we?”

Part 2.

A nonexistent noise rings in the young Steward’s ears as his feet carry him into his brother’s ward. Can this actually be happening at last?

The bed is empty. The crumpled blanket thrown aside. Glass-paned doors into the gardens stand ajar.

Boromir races outside, breathless.

He stops in his tracks when he spots him on a bench nearby. What had he expected? That Faramir had been abducted in the past two minutes, or jumped off the open balcony onto the white roofs far below?

It is late in the spring season, and the gardens are very green, the slender birch next to the bench swaying softly in the breeze.

If they had not had to crop Faramir’s hair so short, it would have moved in the breeze too.

“Faramir! Should you be up so soon?”

Faramir slowly turns his face to him, or at least as much of his face as is not wrapped in layers of loosely woven hospital gauze.

“Brother,” he says in greeting. His voice sounds disconcertingly the same as before. “I did not mean to startle you. My body was growing sore from lying down, and I wished for some fresh air.”

Of course. It would have been his first chance at any fresh air since…

Boromir swallows, does not quite know what to do with his hands, or the rest of himself.

Faramir still cannot sit up quite straight, but his pose is as collected as can be, knees together, hands in his lap.

Boromir takes an uncomfortable breath, unable to get rid of the sensation that in his bulk he is hovering over the now much thinner man.

“Do you wish me to leave?“ 

Faramir closes his eyes.

“No.”

Boromir cautiously lowers himself on the far end of the seat.

He heaves a silent sigh, studies his hands.

“How… how are you? I mean…”

“Tired.”

He glances over at his brother, sees Faramir try to offer him a peaceable smile.

“Boromir, ‘tis… ‘tis fine. I shall be fine.”

For a long time Faramir says nothing more, visibly drained by any little activity.

“So, I hear you are Steward now. How are you finding it?”

Boromir shrugs. “Ah, you know, a bit too much desk work.”

The corner of Faramir’s mouth moves, but it is but a shadow of the grin he would have given in response to these words under more normal circumstances.

Boromir swears under his breath.

“Faramir, look, I… I am so -”

Faramir shakes his head, with a calm resoluteness that implies he had long thought through what would come next.

“Brother, please, there is no need. Do not torture yourself.”

“Myself?! Torture myself? Faramir! I -”

With a pained intake of breath, Faramir hauls himself up to his feet.

“I am sorry, I think I may need my rest.“ 


No natural light could find its way into the dungeon. The torches often went out as well, and were not lit again until the guards felt like it.

What little food and stale water was brought to be forced down their throats, came at equally random intervals.

Before long, they lost all track of time.

Sometimes it got frightfully hot in the cell as far below in the bowel of the earth heat shifted around, and the walls shuddered and groaned. Then at other times, for no apparent reason, it got equally cold, gripping joints with a gnawing ache, paralising the mind into a half-awake stupor.

Once Denethor was satisfied with the account of how the brothers had been captured, no one spoke much. The surroundings somehow felt less real this way.

Faramir seemed particularly withdrawn, and although Boromir at times greatly yearned to hear his voice, he feared that to call out to him would disrupt his apparent composure. How Boromir envied his calm.

More than water, food, daylight or to be able to sleep lying down, Boromir grew to crave to be unchained from the wall so he could pace this cage of a room.

Stuck somewhere inside a stupid volcano, no doubt to be tortured to death once Sauron could find a free afternoon in his diary – while the others were still out there, fighting.

If only father would stop rattling his chain when the lights burned out.

Every now and again a wave of hot anger would rise in him. Faramir had not said a word about it to father. That Boromir had gone against his counsel. Not just that, dismissed Faramir’s concerns with a chuckle. Took unnecessary risks, as usual. And here they both were. Along with perhaps a few dozen other men, or however many of them that had not been butchered yet.

He wanted Faramir to yell at him, curse him with foul, well-deserved words. So he could yell back, so he could cry in the dark when they could not see him.

But Faramir said nothing.

Part 3.

Steward Boromir has no map to navigate this surreal terrain.

This, in the austere hospital bed, is a man he has known nigh all his conscious life. His beloved younger brother. His closest companion. With whom he had always been as honest and unguarded as only the circumstances permitted.

But that, too, had long ago become habit, the unthinking norm. Something that was under no threat of change.

To now have to lose his wits over every single thing. How to sit. Where to sit. By his bed, by the wall? Maybe not sit at all, maybe he has not earned that? Whether to look at him, if so, how.

What to say.

When nothing he could say can possibly make anything any better. Although can easily make things a lot worse – somehow. He is not certain as to exactly how. Which does nothing to assuage the black dread firmly rooted into the pit of his stomach.

Without quite meaning to, he falls into an evasive pattern. He comes when Faramir is resting – which naturally is most of the time. He perches himself on the small stool at the head of the cot, watches the rhythm of his brother’s sleeping breath.

The burn scars setting above his ear, somewhere under the layers of bandages, are pulling the skin a little tight over Faramir’s cheekbone; lifting and lengthening the edge of his eyebrow, which is just beginning to grow back. But all this is easy enough to almost not notice, as he lies relaxed in his slumber.

When he begins to stir, the rise and fall of his chest quickening, breaking into an uneven mess, Boromir quietly excuses himself.


Faramir was the first to feel it, long before there was anything to be perceived with the bodily senses.

He lifted his head, all of a sudden completely alert, listening intently.

He glanced over to Boromir, quickly, urgently. It seemed he wanted to speak, but would not, ever remembering the ears in the walls.

Boromir stifled a sigh, pursed his lips in grim confirmation.

His hairline began to itch as beads of sweat started to form.

One broke and trickled down, right into his eye. He tried to blink out the sting, shook his head, willed himself against the futile clenching of fists in their iron cuffs.

The heat continued to rise, and soon their lungs were labouring to pull in enough air. Father was wheezing, but Boromir knew not to acknowledge this.

Then, descending from far above, that grating sound.

Armoured footsteps.

If those could be referred to as feet. None of them knew what was inside that suit of warped black plate that looked as though it had melted and reset several times over. He would be happy to leave it that way.

The monolith door flew open like a screen of parchment, and a hot, parching wind swept into their cell. It grew dark at once, and yet not so, as though the darkness was inside his very mind.

The glare of that dreadful gaze blazed like liquid gold, yet only sucked in what little light was there to begin with.

Boromir tried to swallow away the scratchy dryness in his throat, but there was no spit left.

Unhurriedly, Sauron surveyed them one by one, before stopping at Denethor.

“So filthy, just look at them. Have you taught your litter no self-respect? Worse than animals, the lot of you.”

Boromir’s nostrils flared.

“We shall tell you nothing!”

Slowly, Sauron turned to stare at him.

It seemed he was about to ask something, when with a scrape of his helmet he threw back his head, and a strange booming, abrasive noise flew from his gaping mouth in a fountain of sparks.

It took Boromir a long moment of dragging pain in his ears to realise their captor was laughing.

“You poor idiot, you actually think you hold in your possession anything of use to me. Isn’t it tragic, that this is what your father prides himself on so much, a sack of sinew and bone, and no brain at all. What a waste of flesh.” He pointed at Denethor. “You, remind me not to let my boys eat him afterwards. Stupidity of such degree could be contagious.”

Strolling back over to Faramir, “This one, on the other hand, I might just keep for myself. Not much meat left on him, but he’ll make for a decent pudding.”

He tilted his head to the side, studying the young man with obvious curiosity. “Aw, come now, nothing? You have a sharp mind, you do, though hell help me if I know where you got it from.”

Faramir looked ahead with calm resignation.

Sauron’s eyes blackened in agitation. “Give us something, you know you want to. While you still have a tongue to speak with.”

Faramir considered, and seemed to decide against antagonising him further without necessity. “Only that one has to doubt you truly expect to find me agreeable in the form of pudding – being unlikely as you are to own the bodily structures which to digest it with.”

The pupils collapsed back to slits.

“Hm. Poking fun at an elder for his carnal limitations, how unimaginative. Your father is right, you hardly live up to your potential.”

Sauron turned away and ordered something to his Orcs, who scurried out of the room.

As he watched them go, he spoke to no one in particular: “Soon enough, my strength shall be returned to me in full. You wandered upon something of mine, and you think your flimsy mortal design holds enough power to wield it against me. Little do you comprehend your spirit can withstand its pull no more than your skin can hold when molten rock is poured over it. Your little friend, he will bring it to me, right here to my door step. We must make haste, for it is not long now until he does, and when I am whole again, I could not come within ten feet of a mortal thing and not burn its shell to dust.”

Denethor scoffed.

“That did not hinder Isildur when he chopped you down.”

“Ah, another unoriginal tactic, waving an old ghost around. I will give you that, losing a body can be an inconvenient setback. But that is all behind us now, here you are, guests at my house. And what of Isildur? The river eels feasted on him way back when, and the last of his inbred progeny was brought to me not seven nights past. You must understand, I could not pay you lords a visit before I was done with your would-be kingling.”

Boromir strained at his chains. “You lie!”

Sauron did not answer, as the Orcs returned, carrying in a large table and an assortment of well-used equipment, bits of clothing and decomposing flesh still hanging off the protruding parts.

“How long, do you reckon, before you all envy me the gift to escape my skin?”

Part 4.

He wonders, sometimes, if Faramir is not, in fact, sleeping.

Never had his brother been one to play tricks and deceive, least of all him.

But neither is Faramir a man who enjoys pointless confrontation, and when feigning unconsciousness is such an easy, harmless way out, why not use it?

He wonders, sometimes, if he is going mad.

They made it through, they are among the fortunate few.

But it does not feel over. It does not feel any different from when they hung trapped in the belly of the smoke-belching mountain. The decorations have been changed, his costume has been changed, but he is firmly stuck in the previous act.

He wonders if he should stop coming. Has his poor brother not been made to suffer enough? Just leave him in peace.

Faramir’s breath catches, his eyelids flutter.

Boromir rises, on quiet feet makes for the exit.

As his fingers wrap around the door handle, a voice husky from slumber catches him from behind.

“You do not have to leave when I awaken.”

Boromir lowers his face, inhales slowly, shuts his eyes.

“All right. I shall stay… next time.”


“You will have to forgive me my doubts as to your ability to fully appreciate what I have prepared here,” Sauron pointed to the table and various equipment. “It would be a shame to have you go in unprepared, so I have enlisted an assistant to demonstrate.”

On cue, the Orcs slipped out and returned dragging in one of the rangers from the brothers’ Ithilien company.

His leather gear looked tattered and faded, useless and unimpressive next to all the tools of torment.

“Damrod!” Boromir cried when the man looked up.

Damrod’s cheeks were sunken, his eyes deeper than Boromir remembered. And he had a beard now, like the rest of them, the only proper indication of how many days had lapsed since the ambush.

It took the man a moment to focus his gaze.

“My lords! Woe take us, it is true, you are here!”

“You were not brought in to talk,” Sauron spat.

As he whipped around to face the ranger, Damrod’s eyes went so wide the whites were visible all around. He screamed and thrashed uncontrollably in the Orcs’ hold, but could not look away.

Sauron stood over him until the man’s knees gave out from under him and he sank to the floor. “At least this one knows the etiquette for greeting the King of Kings, unlike his dumb masters. Perhaps we should reward that with a faster death.” He waved to the Orcs, “Go on then, tie him up before he passes out.”

Boromir gritted his teeth.

“Save this spectacle, we require no demonstration!”

Sauron looked over at him, with what appeared like satisfaction, but said nothing.

Boromir could not tell whether the next stage took hours, a day, or the better part of a week.

When Damrod lost consciousness from the pain, the first time they splashed a pail of dirty water in his face. After that no one could be bothered to go fetch more water, so the Orcs took turns rousing him with pissing.

Boromir’s ears were sore and ringing from Damrod’s prolonged screams, which went progressively more shrill as more and more sophisticated methods were showcased on him.

Father tried not to watch, his brow furrowed and face turned away. Faramir watched quietly, intently, his expression unreadable, only tears flowing freely down his face. Boromir knew his brother loved Damrod very much.

Eventually they unchained him, or what was left of him, and he slipped to the floor softly as though there were no bones in his body.

Sauron nodded to the Orcs, and they hoisted the man up, holding him by the armpits. His head lolled, he blinked groggily.

In no apparent hurry, Sauron walked over to him.

Damrod shuddered and wheezed under his gaze, but could no longer make a louder noise.

Boromir saw Sauron lift his hands, unclip his helmet in the back.

The Orcs whimpered and cowered, turning as far away as possible without dropping their charge.

Sauron pulled the helmet off.

Boromir did not even get a look at the back of his head, for his eyes could not leave the ranger’s face. After everything the man had been made to endure, still Boromir had not yet seen a distortion of such absolute horror on his features.

Damrod gaped to inhale but it would not come as though an invisible force were throttling him. His eyes bulged. Slowly his face turned red, then purple. Still he could not break the eye contact. Suddenly his body arched taut. His head whipped back with a sharp crunch, and his corpse went limp.

Sauron adjusted his helmet back in place, gave it a little twist this way and that.

“This session would have been quite educational for the lot of you, I should imagine,” he observed as the warrior’s remains were carried out.

He said nothing more for a while, so as not to distract his captives from the commotion behind the door, which sounded most unambiguously like a body being ripped to pieces and hastily consumed. It would appear the two Orcs who had held Damrod expected exclusive rights to the spoils, while some others who had waited in the corridor disagreed.

“Now, where were we? Ah, yes.” The yellow eyes focussed on Denethor. “I shall give you the honour, for old times’ sake. Which one shall we use for our fun first?”

Boromir suppressed a growl. This pretense had to be worse than the actual torment.

“You cannot seriously expect my father to nominate one us for torture!”

A strange noise came from behind the visor, as though a snort. “You underestimate your father, boy. Now, old man, no need to be coy, you are not a fair maiden watching over your virginity. We both know your mind, so speak it – don’t be discourteous to those who need ears to hear.”

But Denethor only averted his gaze, visibly drained by the weight of that burning stare on him. He exhaled heavily and shuddered as Sauron turned away from him at last.

“His grace will not oblige, so what are we to do. Take them both down.”

“No!”

“Oh?” Sauron leant in with mocking attentiveness. “Which is it then?”

Denethor swallowed, took a breath.

Boromir saw Faramir lift his face.

“Leave my father be. I shall be the one.”

Sauron nodded to the old steward. “I can see how you’d grow tired of him. Must be bothersome, to be read better than you like to show. But isn’t he right?”

“Father!” Boromir cried. “Father, don’t do this!”

Denethor would not meet his eyes as he said: “Yes, it is so.”

Sauron regarded the two young men some more.

“Ah, well. Take them both down anyway.”


Thanks for reading! To be continued…

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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8 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

Intriguing and disturbing at the same time. Actually, I’m a bit into this kind of thing, disturbing and nerve-racking, so I’m happy with your choice of darcfiction genre)) Another ‘thank you’ for Denethor, I believe his character to be too complex to be wasted just as a reason of Faramir’s eternal sadness, so it’s nice to see him again. And I really like your choice of words. Please keep writing.

— LCD    22 November 2018, 18:38    #

Thanks so much, LCD! Again, your commentary is very thoughtful :)

Well, we shall see what I can make of this genre!

Denethor is an interesting one. I’ve said this elsewhere before, he is indeed more complex than that. Can’t say I exactly like him as a person, but I definitely like him as a character. He is a flawed person who’d had a pretty rough run of it in life, with things getting progressively worse. It doesn’t mean he is an inherent tyrant and madman. If anything, he had endured and fought for a very long time before succumbing. And his relationship with Faramir was not entirely one-sided either.

Thank you for reading!

— December    23 November 2018, 09:30    #

Can’t wait for you to finish this fic! Perhaps you wouldn’t mind also posting this on An Archive of Our Own so that way readers can get chapter update alerts. I’m afraid I don’t check this site often.

Romanse    2 December 2018, 08:05    #

Thank you Romanse! Yes, I always publish both there and here.

— December    6 December 2018, 08:43    #

Please, carry on this story as fast as possible. But be merciful. Did you read “The War of the Ring? I’m reading now, and it’s fantastic, especially the relatonship of Faramir and Denethor. :)

— Liza    14 December 2018, 10:13    #

Thank you Liza! No, I have not… Where can I find it?

— December    14 December 2018, 10:56    #

It’s the 8th book of The History of Middle-earth series, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

— Liza    14 December 2018, 13:47    #

Liza, ah, of course it is. With my fanfiction tunnel-vision, l thought it was a fic and tried to look for it on this site! Can’t believe I did not know there was extra material on Faramir out there, and I didn’t know!

— December    15 December 2018, 00:02    #

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About the Author


December

Greetings, fellow fan, and welcome!

What to expect to find here: All the stories are based on Book-verse for looks and personalities, although you will often find the canon bent (hehe) in terms of events. Please prepare for an unhurried, often bitter-sweet read with lots of sexual tension.

A bit about me for those interested: feisty redhead headquartered in New Zealand. Living in a wooden house in the old forest not far from the sea – probably goes some way to explain why I write what I do. Other than reading and writing, my passions are music, visual arts, travel, gardening, dance, horses, acrobatics, medieval martial arts, jewellery making, banter, and above all chocolate.

Was introduced to Tolkien at the tender age of six, was never the same since.

Always keen to collaborate with all ye good folke in the fandom. Feel free to get in touch if you’re looking for a beta reader, too. Please, also, if you’re one of the dudes in the fandom, I would really really appreciate if you could please take a moment to share a bit of your perspective on how authentically my stories portray relationships between men.

Also, if you’re looking to visit New Zealand, happy to offer a bed and breakfast (second breakfast negotiable).

Cheers.