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Yule-Tide in Aldburg (PG-13) Print

Written by J_Flattermann

24 December 2011 | 1683 words

Written for lotr_advent
Prompt: Snowflake
Author: J_Flattermann
Pairing: Éomer / Faramir
Genre: Slash
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1,635
Disclaimer: Pure fiction. Written for lotr_advent advents calendar entry 22nd December.
All characters belong to the JRR Tolkien estate.
Am a bad girl again, beta’ed by my good friend ingrid44* and I forgot to mention it. Bad me.

Yule-Tide in Aldburg

Denethor had always believed that his younger son was of a weak nature and feebleminded. He never understood how his two sons were so different. Faramir could do with some toughing up Denethor decided and contacted his old ally the King of Rohan.

“The boy is to weak. Can’t keep his mind on one thing. Always dreaming the day away.” Théoden was told. “He needs some toughing up. Spend some time with your boy and the other one.”
Théoden had spoken to Théodred who had only shaken his head. “I am not going to babysit for Denethor, Father.” The Prince of Rohan had dismissed the idea. Théoden couldn’t blame his son, Faramir was after all so much younger than he. Maybe the young Gondorian wouldn’t mind if Éomer, his sister’s son, would spend time with him.

True there was an age difference of eight years between Faramir and Éomer but his beloved sister’s son was so much more mature relative to his youth. Since last summer Éomer resided in Aldburg having taken over the responsibility of guarding the East Mark. Despite his lack of years he hadn’t faltered once when asked to take the job even though this meant leaving Edoras and his family behind. Now he spoke to the young man and when asked to take on the training of the younger of Denethor’s boys he had not faltered there either.

So Faramir had packed his bundle and made his good-byes to brother and father before setting out on the Great Western Road. The wind had blown cold the last couple of days, very cold. Winter was in the air. Faramir huddled deeper in his cloak and spurred his horse into a canter. ‘Thank god I don’t have to go all the way down to Edoras.’ Faramir thought. Aldburg was much closer to Minas Tirith.
Faramir had met Éomer only once. He and Éomer had been much younger then. Éomer, Faramir remembered, had just arrived from Aldburg with his sister. The siblings had lost both parents and their uncle the King of Rohan had assumed the responsibility of his niece and nephew.

Faramir knew how it felt to lose a parent. His mother had died only a few years ago. His father had changed after that. Changed for the worse. Not that he and his father had ever been close. But after his mother’s death his father’s disinterest had turned into disgust. There was nothing he could do to please his father. He had tried so hard for so long. He was ready to give up. At least he had Boromir. He didn’t know what would have become of him if he didn’t have his older brother to look up to and to be protected by.

A gust of wind hit him head on and he shivered. He looked ahead and there before him rose Aldburg on the hilltop. He turned away from the Great Western Road towards Aldburg. The road leading to Aldburg was a steep climb and his sturdy little horse slowed down. The trail serpentined up the hill and so the ramparts of Aldburg meandered from left to right as he made his slow approach.

With not many more leagues to go it started to snow. Flakes landing on his face, hair and coat melted easily at first but as the snow continued to fall, it grew thicker and heavier. The snowflakes started to accumulate on his hair and coat. His face and hands grew frighteningly cold. His horse laboured under his weight and the steep climb, sending billows of steamy breath into the cold air.
Before he even reached the large wooden portal of the old capital of Rohan, it was pulled open creaking on its hinges. Guards greeted him wearing thick felt coats, hands protected by woollen mittens and mufflers wrapped around their necks. Each man had a woollen hat under his helmet. ‘They are clearly better prepared for the cold weather than are we Gondorians.’‘ Faramir thought.

On top of the levelled hill stood the old Great Hall, once the centre of the Kingdom. In the doorway stood a tall young man with windblown long golden hair. ‘This must be Éomer. He’s grown tall since last we met.” Faramir walked up to the young man. His horse taken by the guards was led in to one of the many stables where it would be cared for. Faramir knew that his animal would be well looked after. The Eorlingas were horse-people.

Faramir gingerly crossed the frozen ground of the inner courtyard and slid twice only just managing to catch his balance. Éomer stepped down the stairs and caught him in his arms the second time. The young Eorlinga laughed. “Welcome to Aldburg, Faramir Denethorson. Come inside and warm yourself at the hearth.” He hooked his arm under Faramir’s and helped him the rest of the way preventing the Gondorian guest from falling.

Faramir knocked the snow off his shoes and coat. The snowflakes in his hair started to melt sending cold rivulets of water down his neck. On Éomer’s command a maid brought a heated towel and Faramir dried his hair and neck. “Come on lets move closer to the fire.” Éomer suggested and led the way into a large assembly area. The room was heated by several braziers and a large fireplace holding a huge log. “OH! You have the Yule-log in already.” Faramir shouted astonished but then remembered that the Rohirrim had different traditions than the Gondorians.

Éomer smiled “It’s Yule-Tide for us already friend. I know that you celebrate in a different style away there in Mundburg. Tell me of your traditions and this year you will see ours with your very own eyes.” A servant holding a tray with two mugs of mulled wine approached scarcely bowing before the Lord of the Eorlseld . “The guest first, Hamling.” Éomer corrected in a friendly manner. Faramir wondered, if this had happened in Minas Tirith the servant would have been severely punished for his mistake. His father would attend the punishment in person to make sure it was properly applied. His eyes clouded at the memory of the last punishment they all had been forced to witness.

“You must be tired friend Faramir. The ride in the cold from Mundburg to here must have been unpleasant.” But Faramir shook his head, “Let me stay with you for a little longer. I am so glad to be here. Yes, the journey was not as pleasant as it would have been in summer. We Gondorians don’t seemed to be properly equipped for bad weather unlike you and your men. I noticed that they are all wearing warm garments.” Éomer sat down next to his guest a mug with the hot wine in his hands. He nodded at the remark. “We are people of the North.” He explained, “We are used to cold temperatures and know how to stay warm even when forced to work out in the cold for long periods of time. I anticipated that your clothing would be insufficient for the weather you’ll find up here . So I have ordered warm garments put in the cupboard in your room. And proper boots as well.”

Faramir had to laugh recalling the sliding instances he had out in the courtyard. When he told Éomer the young Eorlinga joined in the laughter.

The fire in the braziers was burning down. Only the Yule-Log in the fireplace was left to throw its flickering light on the men’s faces. Faramir suddenly felt wearied to his bones and had to stifle a yawn. Éomer stood up. “Time for bed my friend.” He said reaching out to his guest and pulling Faramir out of the chair. A servant rushed in carrying candles but Éomer took the candlestick out of the man’s hand and waved him off. “I will show you to your quarters. Follow me.” He said and led the way out of the assembly hall by a side door. They climbed up a set of stairs and Faramir followed Éomer into a corridor. The light of the candles illuminated the Eorlinga’s broad shoulders and small waist. ‘He doesn’t look like he is eight years my junior.” Faramir mused unable to take his eyes off the younger man walking before him.“He looks so much older than his age. Maybe because he lost his parents at a young age? Maybe that is why his uncle has entrusted him with the safety of the Riddermark? He certainly looks like he can handle it.’

Faramir came out of his musings when Éomer stopped short and opened a door. The room was sparsely lit. There was only the light from the glowing embers in the hearth. A large bed with a heavy fur cover had been prepared for the guest. The windows were covered with heavy curtains woven of thick wool. In the dim light Faramir could not identify the colour.

Faramir stepped inside wishing his host a good night and Éomer closed the door after returning the good night wishes. Fur carpets lay thick on the floor and his feet felt warm stepping on them. He walked over to the bed and sat testing the softness of the mattress. It felt good and he was sure he would sleep well this night.

He turned towards a chair and began to unbutton his shirt then kicked off his shoes. Faramir didn’t notice a secret door in the wall panel opening as he stepped out of his pants. With his back to the bed he folded his clothes tidily before crawling under the bedcover. He stilled, stopped breathing for a split second when he felt the warm body waiting for him between the sheets…


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