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Grief and Hope (NC-17) Print

Written by Minx

21 April 2013 | 40330 words | Work in Progress

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Chapter 10

Note: This is much delayed, years really. I’m truly, truly sorry. I was stuck, and distracted by RL, and a fic that had a similar theme, and couldn’t get myself unstuck. Thank you all ever so much for reading on! You’ve all been so lovely and supportive. big, huge hugs I hope to somehow trundle to a finish soon

Faramir spent a pleasant evening after that. He supped alone, as Andreth had accompanied Denethor to dinner at the king’s chambers. After eating, he sat by the fire in his room a while. He’d changed into his nightshirt but wasn’t ready to sleep yet.

The king was everything he had thought him to be, everything he dreamed of. If only the council dinner had not been planned; they could have perhaps spent more time together.

He quelled the uneasy thought of how differently Elessar viewed their…situation. To the king, it would be no more than a tryst. He must also think of it as no more. After all, he reminded himself, Elessar was king, and a married man. Besides, while Faramir lived in Minas Tirith, he could expect naught else from any other man. Even if Elessar was unlike any other man Faramir had known.

He felt his breath quicken as his thoughts wandered back to all that had transpired in the king’s study. He stared down at his hands, remembering how they had looked wrapped around the large, engorged penis. He felt a warm flush cover his face and throat as he thought of how beautiful it had looked and how firm it felt. And he remembered too the touch of Elessar’s fingers on his erection. He found himself hardening at just the thought of those long fingers, the skin rough with calluses that had scraped against his sensitive skin and sent tingles along his back. He wondered how they would feel on his nipples. He undid his tunic and slid his fingers over the small brown nub on the left side of his chest, pinching lightly, as he often did when seeking to pleasure himself. Now though, his fingers felt very different, short and stubby and unexciting. He scraped a nail in circular motions over the tiny surface trying to simulate the rough sensation of Elessar’s fingers. He watched the small mound peak and sighed pleasurably as his penis twitched. He moved on to his right nipple, and then raked his nails down over his lower belly down to his hardening shaft. He came quietly spilling into his fingers, blushing a little as he realised that he’d had managed to release again so soon after his encounter with Elessar.

He cleaned himself and lay in bed, feeling much more relaxed and pleased than he had in many nights now. When he slept that night he dreamt of the king’s bed and of himself lying in it completely naked, silk sheets soft against his bare skin while Elessar made love to him, slowly and pleasurably, all night long, all the way from sundown till sunrise.

Faramir woke the next morning feeling strangely elated, even though his sheets were damp and sticky. His dreams had left him with a pleasant buzz and full of a happy sensation. He found himself waiting eagerly for the afternoon. At breakfast he almost hummed. Denethor glared at him, but even that was not enough to quell Faramir’s happiness. He went through his arms practise diligently and his paperwork rapidly. He lunched alone, wolfing down bread and soup. He felt a little too excited to eat much.

“You did come. Good! Do you want some mulled wine?”

Elessar was actually waiting for him, Faramir realised and felt a thrill go through him, and almost squeaked a yes in response, blushing at the way his throat betrayed him. The king looked lovely as ever, his eyes bright and smiling, and he smelt of fresh mint and lavender soap.

“We need to look at the maps for South Ithilien,” Elessar said. And Faramir felt a cold ball of unhappiness settle in his stomach. He forced his gaping mouth to close as Elessar smiled pleasantly at him.

Aragorn grinned. He knew Faramir was anticipating their other activities this afternoon as much as he was. But he couldn’t help wanting to play this little prank when Faramir had walked in his expression so full of restrained anticipation and that light blush that went all the way down his neck. He held out the goblet of warm wine.

Faramir looked so confused right now. As he took the goblet. He even seemed to have paled a little. And the effort he was making to regain his composure and bring back that sedate sober look, made him look more like a stuffed frog than anything else. Oh dear, Aragorn thought, he was spending too much time with foster brothers. Poor Faramir. The younger man stood in front of him, straight-backed and formal now.

“Of course, sire,” he said, his voice just slightly higher pitched.

“After we finish with what we began yesterday, of course,” Aragorn said, finally taking pity on the other man.

It took Faramir a few seconds to register what he said, and even then he seemed a little unsure. The blush returned, redder than earlier. He made to step forward and then paused.

Faramir wasn’t really sure if he and the king were thinking of the same thing. He bit his lip. What is the king was still talking of maps? They had after all been through maps yesterday as well, before… he swallowed uncertainly.

“Come,” the king said cheerfully and grasped his arm. “I’ve had the smaller chamber prepared for us. So you needn’t fear interruptions.”

Faramir stared at the king’s smiling face. A part of his body proclaimed that that beautiful, wide smile made the king look far, far more handsome, and those lips on Faramir’s would probably reduce him to a quivering mess. The other part was still desperately trying to process what the king wanted.

Aragorn finally decided to resolve the confusion.

“You don’t mind if we leave the maps for later, do you?” he asked and reaching cupped Faramir’s buttock through his pants. The younger man blushed again. “And fuck instead,” Aragorn deliberately used the word, knowing that the prude Gondorians frowned upon it. Faramir blushed even deeper.

“N-no,” Faramir said, realising finally that the king had just been having a little fun, “I mean – I don’t mind.” He thought he must clarify the point, just in case.

Elessar pulled Faramir into the small private chamber adjoining the study, his fingers clasped tight around Faramir’s arm. The fireplace had been made up, a large cushioned chair had been pulled in front of it, and rugs and cushions had been piled up on the floor. He nudged Faramir towards the rugs. A bottle of scented lebethron oil lay on a table beside, alongside a jug filled with more mulled wine. They placed their goblets near it. Through the open window the scent of wild roses floated in.

“I – I could – any time you -,” Faramir found himself stammering and then felt the words dry up as Elessar removed his heavy ceremonial robes. He wore a thin tunic under it, and Faramir felt his mouth go dry as he noticed the outlines of the king’s well-muscled torso under it. His nipples were brown and a line of dark hair ran down to his navel. Faramir wanted to rip that tunic off and run his tongue all over the solid flesh.

“We should have done this last night,” Elessar murmured as he knelt on the rugs and undid the bindings on his pants, “I was so distracted all through dinner, just wishing I hadn’t had to be there!”

And he had. He’d found his thoughts constantly dwelling on the visions of Faramir’s mouth wrapped around him, the sensation of being so completely pleasured, for there was no other way to described how he felt after that. He’d had to force himself to not think of how it might feel to have Faramir’s tightness encased around him again. That night in Ithilien seemed so long ago now!

“Oh?” Faramir said, his own fingers fumbling with the ties of his pants. He managed to lower them though, his eyes distractedly wandering all over Elessar’s beautiful body instead. He had still kept his tunic on and just lowered his trousers, his semi-erect penis jutting out.

“Yes, I wished we’d continued,” Elessar said, his voice hoarse as he poured some scented oil over his hands, and took his shaft in his hands, “I – wished I’d been inside you,” he said, and felt almost surprised at such an open admission.

Faramir blinked and moved forward, almost tripping over his lowered pants. Stepping out of them he scrambled forward.

“L-let me,” he said aching to feel that hardness on his fingers in his mouth, deep inside him. He quickly coated his fingers with the oil, and ran his hands lightly and hurriedly over the king’s shaft feeling it harden rapidly as he kneaded it gently, Elessar moaning appreciatively along, his strong thighs trembling just slightly, and his oil slicked hands gripping the rugs behind him. Faramir wished those hands were touching him instead.

“I – desired that too,” Faramir said, feeling himself redden further, as he recollected his dreams, and the way in those dream the king had taken him again and again, gently and lovingly on silken sheets, his fingers and mouth covering every inch of Faramir’s body outside while he filled him completely inside, leaving him completely undone.

Elessar was completely erect now, his long thick shaft glistening golden in the light of the later afternoon soon and the flickering flames in the fireplace. Drops of semen glistened at the tip. Faramir stared at it and swallowed. His groin and nipples felt tight. His shaft was half-hard, bumping against his thigh.

“You have the cleverest fingers,” Elessar murmured, as Faramir slid his fingers off, and sat back. He wanted to remove his tunic and feel Elessar’s hands on him.

Elessar gently nudged him down, turning him over onto his stomach on a cushion so that Faramir’s rear was raised.

Aragorn stared down at the younger man lying sprawled on the rugs below him. He had taken his pants off completely. His legs were pale from too much time spent inside and on the skinny side, the muscle tone still not returned after his convalescence. He wore a blue tunic that ended just over his rear. Aragorn pushed it up revealing the pale, rounded globes. He rested his sun browned hands against their softness. As his hands cupped Faramir’s buttocks, the younger man moaned, sounding almost relieved and immediately parted his legs.

“Pl-please,” Faramir mumbled as he felt Elessar’s hands slide between his buttocks. The rugs were rough under his knees and hands.

“Please what?” the king sounded a little amused though hoarse. His fingers were still hovering between the rounded cheeks, not dipping further inside

“In – in me,” Faramir said, shocked at how crude he might be sounding, but his groin ached at the thought of the king’s erect shaft so close by. He made to move, but the king placed a hand on the small of his back and he almost whined.

Aragorn nudged Faramir’s buttocks apart, exposing the tiny entrance and slid a finger in. The younger man was so tight, and he couldn’t wait to feel that tightness around his full shaft. Faramir gasped softly and twitched a bit as he adjusted to the intrusion. Aragorn slid another finger inside and stretched.

The king’s finger slid inside, stretching Faramir. It stung, and a little of the tightness in Faramir’s stomach went away. Another slender digit slid in, scissoring through his tight passage. He shifted trying to accommodate them, wishing the king had used a little more oil on his fingers. And then suddenly a probing finger bent slightly and brushed him deep inside and he forgot everything as he let out a guttural sound. His groin tightened again, and he moaned desperately.

“Faramir?” Elessar stilled, his tone questioning as Faramir grasped at the rug.

“M-more, please?” Faramir almost begged.

The fingers slid out, leaving him feeling empty, and then to his relief, he felt the wet tip of Elessar’s shaft against his entrance.

Aragorn pushed in eagerly grasping the younger man’s hips. Faramir moaned aloud as his passage was filled. Aragorn smiled. The younger man wasn’t exactly quiet, and some of his sounds were quite odd, like the strange grunt he let out now.

The king’s fingers dug into the soft skin above his hips, and Faramir let out a garbled sound as he gave into the whirl of sensations all around him. The large shaft inside him, thrusting closer and closer to that tingling place inside him, the oil softened fingers digging into his soft flesh, his own hard penis pressing into the cushion under him. The silken threads embroidered in some floral pattern that Faramir had barely noticed brushed against his sensitised skin. The rough texture of his tunic shifted against his chest as he moved with Elessar’s regular rapid thrusts. He slid a hand under his body and moved his tunic up, tugging the bindings open, and sliding forward so that the rough wool of the rugs came into contact with his partly bared torso. He felt something catch against his left nipple scraping the peaked mound and let out another whimper. He scraped his nails over his other nipple roughly, and dragged his hand down to his aching shaft.

And then as Elessar thrust in deeper, hitting him at just the right spot and for a while all Faramir could feel an overwhelming sense of pleasure. He tightened himself around the king. Elessar let out a surprised grunt, a sound so erotic that Faramir thought he could come just from that. And then his passage filled with the hot, sticky spurts of Elessar’s release. Faramir tugged at his aching shaft and felt his own release spill onto the cushion and his fingers.

Aragorn took a deep breath and slumped down over Faramir as his shaft finally went limp, still inside the younger man’s passage. Faramir sighed. Aragorn shifted, pulling out of him. Faramir let out a soft, sighing sound. Aragorn sat up, and stared bemusedly at the younger man, with the legs spread apart, streaked with trails of white stickiness that trickled out of him onto the cushions and rugs. His tunic had ridden up revealing his lower back and the sharp bones of hips as he shifted.

The younger man turned slowly over onto his back. His face glistened with sweat, his eyes were half-lidded and his hair in disarray. His tunic had come half undone revealing his thin chest, as pale as the rest of his body but marked with pink indentations from the rug. One streak extended to his nipple, a small brown mound. Aragorn realised a little guiltily that he’d forgotten about the younger man’s pleasure but clearly Faramir had taken care of himself. His lower belly and the front of his thighs were streaked with his own release; his spent shaft lay limply against his thigh.

Aragorn rose slowly, and tied up his pants. He picked up the wine goblets and poured out some wine for both of them. It was still warm, he noted with surprise. The sun was still high outside. He hadn’t realised how quickly they were done.

Faramir was rising now, slowly and unsteadily. He looked a little dazed but pleased. He bent to pick up his trousers, giving Aragorn a delightful view of his rear. Much as Aragorn expected, Faramir wanted to wash up before joining him for wine. He came back, looking damp, but much happier than Aragorn had seen him in a long time.

They finished the work on South Ithilien maps quickly. Aragorn sat back with a sigh of relief and pulled out his pipe.

“That’s all for today,” he said firmly.

“Tomorrow…” Faramir asked a little uncertainly. He hoped Elessar too had enjoyed their coupling today.

“Tomorrow, the council meets after the noon meal. We will not have time to meet on Ithilien,” Aragorn said thoughtfully.

“Oh,” Faramir said, and tried not to let his disappointment show. Of course, they could not meet each day and lie together each day. He needed to remember, this was no more than a mere diversion for the king.

“But we could meet after the council meeting,” Elessar suggested, smiling at Faramir.

“Oh,” Faramir said.

“Just to fuck,” Elessar said grinning, and Faramir reddened, “And then you could stay for supper. It will help you build an appetite perhaps.”

Faramir wished the king would ask him to stay back today, so they could – lie together again. His rear felt a little sore, but the thought of lying with the king, being – in his word, fucked – by him again thrilled him nevertheless.

“And since there are no maps, we could use the table,” he said trying to contain his embarrassing flush.

Elessar raised an eyebrow at that, “I should like that,” he said, “If the council gets too boring tomorrow, perhaps I will think of that – fucking you while you lean over the table. Perhaps you could wear your robes tomorrow. Just the robes. It might make our work easier.”

Faramir let out a slight squeak at that.

“Rest well,” Elessar said softly, when he was leaving, “You look tired.”

“But it is a nice tiredness,” Faramir told him, though he had to bite back a yawn. He supped in his chambers and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

As it turned out quite unfortunately, the council meeting the next day was delayed due to Iriel’s late arrival, and then stretched late into the evening. Incursions were reported on the Rhunic borders and the matter needed much discussion. Aragorn strictly banished all thoughts of the younger man and got into the discussions.

Faramir had changed into his robes in the late afternoon, as he awaited a note from the king to come over. He’d had a bath using fragrant oils and scrubs so he too would smell as pleasant as Elessar did, when he wasn’t smoking pipeweed. And he’d taken some of the lavender oil onto his fingers and coated himself with it. He still felt a little sore and he’d realised that Elessar was unused to slower lovemaking. And then he’d reminded himself that they were not making love.

A note came later in the evening to say the council would stretch longer; they could meet later. The council stretched into supper. The lavender oil was beginning to feel sticky and Faramir felt more than a little odd in just the soft robes and nothing else.

He sighed as he read the second note that arrived just as Andreth informed the servants that Denethor would not arrive for supper.

Elessar regretted that they could not meet today.

Faramir changed out of his robes, cleansed the oil off him and joined Andreth for supper. It was a quiet awkward meal, as Faramir realised that he and the younger man barely had anything to converse of. He tried, asking politely about lessons, and receiving short, but equally polite responses.

Supper was over very quickly and both men retired early. Faramir wandered restlessly around the house for a while. After a while he returned to his rooms, and decided to read in bed instead, an old text from Anorien on political strategy. He could barely finish a page before he found himself rising.

He retrieved an old worn book from the depths of a trunk. He had been given the book once by a young Khandrim minstrel he had met in Pelargir. They had met when Faramir had used a few days’ furlough to visit the ruins of an old castle there. The minstrel had been comely, and charming, and had taught Faramir much, and not just Khandrim romantic poetry. The book itself was a collection of illustrated songs. Faramir had understood that they were romantic songs about male lovers but on later going through the poems and illustrations realised that they were of a more erotic and instructive nature. He had in the past often leafed through the book and wished he could have a lover whom he could practise some of the more exciting illustrations. He’d tried some, including one where he’d let himself be tied down. That had been interesting. He turned some more pages till he reached the illustration where the table was used. He ran his fingers over it.

He moved over to his table, and leaned against it. He pushed himself up so that he was sitting at the edge of the table. Moving further up, he raised his nightshirt and parted his legs, folding them so that his heels rested at the edge of the table, exposing his groin and buttocks. His hands rested behind him for balance. He imagined Elessar, standing between his legs, his hardened length pressing between his buttocks, his fingers playing with his sensitive fingers, his mouth dipping down to tongue at Faramir’s navel.

He felt his breath quicken. His groin tightened and involuntarily one hand moved to clutch his own hardness.

They tried the table two days later when the incursions had been curtailed, and Elessar was finally free to meet him. They’d spent an hour on the Ithilien work first though, the scribes needed the notes.

Elessar had made him lean over the table and lowered his trousers to his thighs. The carved edge of the table pressed against his bare belly. He had leant over it, and Elessar had entered him swiftly. They had come all over the table, and Faramir had been very glad they had removed all the papers from it.

It soon fell into a comfortable pattern. Faramir would join Elessar in the afternoon, they would work for a while, and then quickly spend some time in the smaller chamber. It would usually be quick and rushed coupling, with both men barely undoing their clothes.

He’d tried other things, but Elessar reacted largely with bemusement, and Faramir would be forced to recollect each time that the king much like other soldiers would see another man differently. He had explored the king’s chest once, with his hands but when he’d tried to use his mouth on the king’s nipples, the older man had moved away discomfited. And he didn’t seem to want to explore Faramir’s body either.

“I am unused to such intimacy with men,” he’d admitted, when Faramir had once undone his shirt and stammered out a request for Elessar to touch him.

Aragorn stared at Faramir’s brown nipples on his pale flat chest and thought of Arwen’s beautifully rounded pert breasts, and the pale pink nipples, just the colour of the wild roses outside their window, her flat, smooth stomach, and the round navel. He had spent hours exploring those with his hands and tongue. The curves moulded around his fingers perfectly, so unlike the awkward feel of sharp bone and muscle tones in a male frame.

Faramir therefore, fell in with Elessar’s pattern, willing to acquiesce to anything that gave him at least these few moments with the king. He found that that precious bit of time in a day when the king lay with him, left him far better suited to face the world than anything else did. With the thought of spending time with Elessar in his heart, he could tolerate Denethor’s increasingly frequent outburst, Andreth’s indifference, the rudeness and scorn of various councillors, and his own worries for himself.

It was some days later that Faramir realised the queen would be returning soon.


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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: iris , kabaue , catspaw , Laurel , Christine , Hanjeu , ebbingnight , Kelly , Jo , pinbot , elufuir , Karai , erin , Eve , Drenagon , eve , Haily , Sue , Sue , Emma , waterwolf , Signe , kasumixkira , Finduilas Minyatur , Nimrodel , Lily , Lacy , Josephine , Vaughn , Lin , Melvina , Bennie , Mackenzie , Bruno , Janelle , Reyna , Letha

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76 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

More please! It’s a lovely beginning. I’m enjoying the originality of your idea, as well as the tantalizing glimpses into Faramir’s pain.

— Laurel    7 May 2007, 03:43    #

gasp That’s it?! Please, please please. I’m loving the dynamics you’ve set up thus far. Please continue posting.

— somerset    7 May 2007, 14:41    #

Minx, you are wonderful. I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, and you do not disappoint. I can’t wait for more!

— sweet baby turtle    7 May 2007, 17:14    #

i’m hooked! more please?

— traveller    8 May 2007, 23:56    #

Oh, I can’t wait for more. Poor Faramir. I hope Aragorn doesn’t forget him.

— crazy kitty    9 May 2007, 05:21    #

I love how Minx writes Faramir stories. :) Please update Grief and Hope as soon as possible.

— Vicki    16 May 2007, 01:46    #

I’m loving it :)

— Ness    23 May 2007, 17:12    #

Poor Faramir! And the “grief” part is still building up isn’t it? Looking forward for the updates on the “hope” part!
Great writing Minx!

dream.in.a.jar    6 June 2007, 15:38    #

Damn you for catching me in a WIP! Interesting mix so far, especially Andreth.

— Bell Witch    7 June 2007, 02:07    #

awwe my poor sweet faramir!hugs

— daze    20 June 2007, 02:23    #

Wonderful! Looking forward to the next part, hopefully soon!
You are the best!

— zion    25 June 2007, 12:55    #

This story is heartbreaking, I ache for Faramir and it’s like I have this constant knot in my stomach… you write his despair wonderfully, I really feel for him.

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest, I have to say.

— Mouse    2 August 2007, 22:01    #

Thanks Mouse. I’m glad you like the fic.:)

Minx    5 August 2007, 14:44    #

This story is absolutely wonderful! I’ve read most of your stories, Minx, and I love them all, but this one..This one is really catching me. “Walk No More In The Shadows”, with Iris, is the other one I’m really addicted to, I’ve read both of them many times..I hope you update this one soon. Again, wonderful job!

— Christine    10 August 2007, 00:21    #

Thanks a ton for such lovely words Christine) I’ll be updating very soon!

Minx    10 August 2007, 18:59    #

I would like to congratulate you on a story well done. I love the way your wrote Faramir but Denethor is something else. Can;t wait for the next chapter.

— balrog    12 August 2007, 09:35    #

I’m absolutely adoring this story, and I’d like to congratulate you too. I’ve read a few of your stories on another site, so imagine my pleasure to come across this little treasure trove! :)
I love how you write Faramir (in this story and the others too). It’s so beautiful. I do enjoy a troubled Faramir.. aren’t we sadists? Bah… I won’t care if you don’t :)

I hope to be able to read more of this soon!!

— Chel    18 November 2007, 22:30    #

Are you going to write more? You really, really need too. It’s really good so far; and I love the way you write about Faramir.

— Faramir's Fan    6 January 2008, 21:12    #

thank you Faramir’s Fan:) More is in the offing, and should be up soon!

Minx    25 February 2008, 16:02    #

oh, i can’t wait for the next chapter and for aragorn to find out about faramir’s back.

— Lisa Poole    5 March 2008, 19:41    #

love it; so glad to see you update, have been waiting for it for so long, and i have to say it is worth.

— traveller    6 March 2008, 22:37    #

@Lisa: Thank you for reading:) I hop eto have the next chapter up sonner than I had this one up:o) Aragorn and Faramir are sure going to have interesting times ahead!

@traveller: Thank you! And thank you for keeping up with the delay:o I’m delighted you liked it!:)

minx    9 March 2008, 11:13    #

I’m enjoying your story very much, and am very glad to have found it. I’ve been poking about your other stories as well and I have to say you’re my favorite Faramir author around. I hope you plan on adding more to this story soon!

— Silverkit    25 March 2008, 04:46    #

Thank you Silverkit for such kind words! I’m delighted you liked this and the other stories as well. Hope to update soon:)

minx    26 March 2008, 16:51    #

I love both characters in this, and am looking forward to some tenderness between them, as I think you write those scenes so well.

— pinbot    16 April 2008, 21:51    #

Thank you pinbot! I’m delighted you’re enjoying the fic, and I do hope to have some reasonably tender scenes coming up some time.

minx    27 April 2008, 11:01    #

Can’t wait until you have more for me to read. This new chapter is very well written and now I’m tensed to see what shall happen next.

— Elindil    11 May 2008, 19:55    #

I am SO glad that there is a new chapter of this wonderful story! Thanks, I look forward to next one.

— Melogale    3 June 2008, 16:28    #

This latest chapter is so moving, as it captures the sadness of just how little Faramir is willing to settle for, as he doesn’t feel worthy of being loved….

— ebbingnight    3 June 2008, 17:21    #

I am so loving this story. More please whenever you can.

— Kelly    3 June 2008, 21:17    #

What a treat to have another installment by my favorite author! Normally I stay away from WIPs but this one has been irresistible. Please Minx, drop everything else you’re doing and write more!!

— Laurel    4 June 2008, 04:37    #

have i tell you how much i love this story? and this chapter is SO sexy! love it, more pleeeeeeeease!!!

— traveller    5 June 2008, 16:11    #

Elindil: thank you:) I’m delighted you liked this chapter. Hope to have more up soon.

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:08    #

Melogale: Thank you for reading! I hope to have the next chapter up quicker than this one:)

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:11    #

ebbingnight: I’m glad that works. Faramir is indeed willing to settle for very little right now… he doesn’t feel either loved or wanted by anyone:o

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:18    #

Kelly: thank you! I do hope to update sooner:)

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:18    #

Laurel: thank you for reading:) I understand your relutctance to read WIPs so I really appreciate that you read this. I would love to drop everything and write more of this:)

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:18    #

traveller: Thank you for loving this story:) I’m glad this chapter worked. hope to have more soon!

Minx    7 June 2008, 06:21    #

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this story thus far…I can’t wait to see what happens when they get to ithelien (is that how you spell it?) I kinda hope Arwen doesn’t become totally pissed off, but whatever you do I’m sure it will be great!

eringobraugh007    1 July 2008, 05:13    #

I really liked this story, just wanted to let you know! Please continue!! :)

— Haily    5 December 2008, 05:37    #

thanks Haily. I hope to have a new chapter up soon.

— minx    18 December 2008, 21:04    #

I love this story so much! It feels a little like it’s my birthday with each new chapter ;)
Thank you for writing this – you’re the best!

iris    20 January 2009, 17:10    #

As much as I like this story (and have been following it since you first started it), all the emphasis on the “grief” part of “grief and hope” is a bit depressing. Is Faramir forever going to be stuck in a cycle of depression where he is constantly reminded of his “inferiority”? Will he ever show the confidance we know he’s capable of? Will Aragorn/Arwen/anyone else be anything more than indifferent to him? Will he ever get the guts to talk back to Denethor? It’s my personal hope that you will have a positive ending to this story (however long it is ;D), but if not it’s certainly a good worst case senario if events in LOTR didn’t happen as Tolkien originally wrote them. Eagerly awaiting the next chapter!

— Chantal    20 January 2009, 19:01    #

Aaaargh!!!! You’re killing me! Why does Aragorn have to be such a bastard? Why is Arwen such a bitch? And poor wubbly Faramir! Come to me honey! I’ll love you! Sigh. I know you’ll get to the ‘hope’ part soon (right???), just after you finish torturing us all. Glad Arwen is going away for awhile – that’s hopeful right? My big fear is that in naming it ‘Grief and Hope,’ you didn’t make any promises. ‘Hope’ after all doesn’t equal ‘satisfaction.’ Hope can be unfounded, unfulfilled, unmet, unrealized…Please let my fears be for naught. Please?

— Vanwa Hravani    21 January 2009, 17:58    #

Iris: I’m truly delighted you like this:) I hope to give you birthday time again soon:))

— Minx    22 January 2009, 19:10    #

Chantal: I’m really delighted you like this story! About the grief aspect being more, and Faramir being less confident… well, part of the thing in this AU is that Fara does not get the same opportunities here that he did otherwise. Here, he’s sort of unimportant, because he has no role really. Denethor is lready steward and he’s not even next in line right now:o But yes, he will probably evoke less indifference later down the story and have a slightly better and more hope-filled time:)

— minx    22 January 2009, 19:12    #

Vanwa Hravani: You’ll have to queue up to hug Fara:) I think the hope will get realised a bit, just maybe not right now. Arwen may be away but these two are still very new to each other:o)
Thank you for reading:)

— Minx    22 January 2009, 19:16    #

I really enjoy this story, and in the spirit of 5 years of this wonderful site, I thought I’d let you know. There are just oodles of feelings work into this and nothing seems as straightforward as it could be. I do hope you’ll update soon and let us know a bit more about where this story is going!

— Jo    6 March 2009, 14:05    #

Thank you Jo! Yes, nothing is as it seems here:) I’m very glad that the feelings come out, I felt it would be needed in an AU like this. I do hope to update soon, RL notwithstanding. thank you again!:)

— Minx    8 March 2009, 10:54    #

Oh Minx, I don’t know what to say. first I would like you to know how truly in love I am with your stories. This one and Walk no more… stories are my favorite ones. I’m sure you alredy know this and I don’t think that my oppinion will matter, but you are a true writer. You have such a way with building up the tensions and nothing feels puched, everything happens for a reason, not just because. I would also like to thank you for starting this whole website, if you could call it that. hte stories that are here, and mainly yours, have helped me to see that there is still hope and also I now feel that I am aloud to cry. For the first time in almost sixteen years I am crying and it feels so strange and yet so reveling. You have made my sleepless nights easier, and the times I wake up from my nightmares I know that this stories are here to comfort me and take my minds elsewhere. I’m sure you get this types of comment all the time but I just wanted to say Thank you.

— Ingrid    27 May 2009, 13:12    #

I absolutely adore this fic, I hope it gets updated soon!

— Sue    26 June 2009, 13:56    #

Ingrid, Sue: thank you! I’m sorry for the delay in responding. But, yes,
I am trying to get the next chapter up as soon as I can

— Minx    17 October 2009, 11:43    #

I, too, adore this fic and hope that it has not been forgotten.

— pinbot    1 May 2010, 19:20    #

I, too, adore this fic and hope that it has not been forgotten.

I second that! ;)

iris    2 May 2010, 13:45    #

Me three :)

— Ingrid    2 May 2010, 21:24    #

Pinbot, Iris, Ingrid: Not forgotten… but I did get a little stuck last year in RL, sooo… but I am in the middle of the next chapter, so here’s hoping:)

— Minx    3 May 2010, 18:37    #

Hurray! What an amazing surprise. Thanks for the satisfying, if still very painful on Faramir’s part, update.

— pinbot    16 June 2010, 20:51    #

I’m echoing Pinbot’s hurray … I keep re-reading this story so I’m very excited to see an update.

— Mira Took    17 June 2010, 07:02    #

Breaking our hearts all over again, are we? Lovely to see this update at last!

— ebbingnight    17 June 2010, 15:53    #

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

— fëawen    17 June 2010, 19:49    #

Pibbot, Mira, Ebbingnight, Feawen: Thank you all so much for continuing to read despite my awful slowness! Poor fara is definitely going through the wringer here… hands him around for hugs and kisses

— Minx    21 June 2010, 19:07    #

More please! This is the best fanfic ever! Please don’t end it :)
I like Denethor-Faramir scenes
maybe u should write more about those two
it’s nice the way u write about how denethor torture his younger son

— A    15 July 2010, 07:58    #

A: thank you! I’m delighted you’re liking it. there will be more Denethor-Faramir scenes, never fear:) Denethor has quite a bit he wants to say to his son!

— Minx    19 July 2010, 17:33    #

This story is wonderful! The way all of the characters interact with each other is extremely believable and the slow progression of their relationships is very realistic. I’m a little bit in love with your writing style.

I do hope you haven’t forgotten about this because I’d love to find out what happens next. :)

— Isabel    28 November 2011, 23:34    #

Isabel: I’m so sorry, I missed out o your feedback earlier. thank yoiu for your lovely words… I’m really delighted you like the way it flows. I haven’t forgotten about it, I’m just looking for a long run of quiet time :o sigh hopefully will get some soon!

Minx    26 January 2012, 11:10    #

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I NEED YOU TO CONTINUE THIS. I need Aragorn to understand how he’s affecting poor Faramir, and I need Faramir to gain some closure on this whole ordeal and stand up for himself in Denethor’s presence. Please tell me that you aren’t giving up on this amazing and complex story. It’s paining me to see Faramir go through all of this.

— Fan    26 January 2013, 02:28    #

Fan – Thank you so much for reading! I’m sooo sorry it’s been on hold for so long. I sort of reached a block on it, got stuck with other stuff in RL and then got blocked further more. It is as you say, a little complex so returning to it is taking me very long :( But I’m trying to finish it, I haven’t given up on it…. I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to unblock myself and progress. Thank you for the support…

Minx    29 January 2013, 14:10    #

Ooh!! “Completely smutty” is what you promised, and completely smutty is what you delivered! But it’s not just straight-up, mechanical porn smut — or at least not for F’s part. I love the bitter sweet longing; F’s so happy to get just this, but at the same time so desperate for more.
Great stuff — as always. Thank you so much for sharing!

iris    22 April 2013, 20:34    #

Tsk tsk tsk, bad Aragorn playing pranks when he´s awaited so desperately! (slap) ;) And apart from that: Beautiful work! And now I have to go thinking about the more juicy complicate parts…

— raven22372    23 April 2013, 09:22    #

Thanks :) I love this story. I am waitinng the next.

— katiedaly    23 April 2013, 15:34    #

Сan’t wait for more. For some mysterious reasons absolutely in love with your deprived and unfulfilled Faramir, though the state you are putting him in makes my heart aches. Pain is so close to pleasure:)

— LID    25 April 2013, 10:42    #

Iris – thank you!:) I’m so glad all of that worked…:) hugs

Raven – yes, he’s baaad :) I’m very glad you liked it, and happy thinking juicy thoughts:)

Katiedaly – thank you ever so much for continuing to read despite my tardiness. i’m delighted you liked it!

LID – Thank you:) I’m glad all of that worked! It’s always nice to come across a fellow lover of deprived and unfulfilled Faramir :)

Minx    25 April 2013, 17:22    #

Dear Minx, I first came across this site and this story several years ago, yet I never left a comment despite the way this particular work moved me and drew me in from the very first sentence. So now that I’ve happened to find this site again, I thought it was high time I actually told you how much I admire your writing and how beautifully I think you capture everything you set out to do :)

It’s been truly heartachingly wonderful to reread this and even more so to discover that since then you’ve actually written some more chapters and seem to never have entirely forgotten about this, when no doubt it must be difficult to get back into the story and its emotional frame of mind time and again. Faramir’s sorrow and tentative hope, too often quashed as not to get lost in the inevitable despair of unfulfilled longing, his grief over both his brother’s death and the seemingly ever-growing impossibility of being a family with his father and nephew, his wish to find a place – any place, really – to belong and feel secure of, the bittersweet tenderness of his observations and the perpetual struggle to not totally accept perceived shortcomings as his own, his curiosity and need to learn of other cultures and the wish to not give up – all these aspects of Faramir’s personality are quite palpable and render your portrayal of him as believable and touching and human as can possibly be done. I really enjoy that there is far more to Faramir than morose and unhappy feelings, that underneath it all he is still the scholar, the gentle soul and faithful integrity.

But Aragorn, too, is remarkably complex. It’s amazing, I think, that with these few glimpses you’ve given us we still know him to be a stern but kind ruler, a loving husband and father, a grieving friend and, of course, the ranger of old. He, too, seems so very believably human in that he succumbs to the ever-present comparison of Faramir to his dead and beloved brother, even though he still tries to see beyond that and reconcile what he sees with what Boromir told him about his brother. His bemusement at Faramir’s wish to touch and be intimate in more ways than he is used to with men also gives his character another interesting aspect. Heartbreaking as it is to feel Faramir’s resigned acceptance and his decision to be content with whatever affection Aragorn may offer him, Aragorn’s obvious different views and feelings make sense in themselves and show him to be a person still open to grow and learn.

I also appreciate how you write Denethor. It’s nice to see him as more than the stereotypical abuser. Rather, it seems indeed as if his violent and abusive behaviour towards his son stems from his own unabated grief, his inability to come to terms with everything that happened and maybe even as part of the madness the palantír stirred in him.

The last point, however, I’d like to mention, and the one which makes this story, in my opinion, even better than your character portrayals already do, is the many questions these chapters keep bringing up. What, I wonder, will be Lady Idril’s part in this? Is Denethor finally looking for a new love? Is she just a friend or will she become one more reason for Faramir to feel left out of the family? May Denethor in time even wish to remarry and want his son out of his home? Or could she be someone to bring Denethor to at least view his son in a more positive light, even if he may never come to realize his worth?

What about Arwen? What do her glances and inscrutable looks mean? Is she aware of Aragorn’s intimacy with other men? Has he told her about Boromir? Does she read both Faramir and her husband’s hearts more shrewdly than they do themselves? Does she perceive a threat? Is there perhaps more to her comments and does she, as well, wonder about the Steward’s family?

When will Andreth start to ask questions? How much does he already know? Will Faramir’s financial worries become more urgent? When will the King finally catch on to just how much wrong there is about Faramir and his father’s relationship? And what of the Northern rangers? Is there too little communication between them and their Southern kin for word to reach Aragorn just how much of a capable captain Faramir used to be? Does he even know how Faramir helping Frodo and Sam on their way in Ithilien changed the outcome of the war? So many questions … :)

So, thank you so much for writing and sharing this! This truly is one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever read and I’m really glad I remembered this site, after all.

Have a happy New Year and may the muse visit you again some time in the future, even if it may be another year from now :)

— Loreley    13 January 2014, 23:00    #

@Loreley: Thank you for taking the time to leave this review and such a detailed one at that. It really made my day to read this, and also made me wish I could be a lot more regular in updating this fic. I’m sorry to take so long to respond.

Thank you for such lovely words. I’m only too glad there were some new chapters for you to read. I have been undeniably slow on this one. I’m heartened that Faramir comes across as you have written, with his wish to find a place he belongs to and his thirst for learning. He is certainly still a scholar and in this particular story I think gentle is one word that describes him very well. It is all the more a contrast to Denethor’s anger at him.

I am extremely glad too that Aragorn comes across as complex and human. He is used to a different kind of male friendship especially when it is more sexual than platonic – one where the friend sees himself as an equal and has the same expectations out of their intimacy that Aragorn has. Faramir unfortunately enough does not quite see him as an equal – he is too overwhelmed by Aragorn’s rank and achievements and also cowed down by his perceived shortcomings. He is also cowed down by a given cultural context where he may not allow a non-platonic relationship to progress beyond a point simply because it is not the done thing. And Aragorn doesn’t really understand right now how much he means to Faramir. In my mind while Faramir has fallen headlong in love with Aragorn, Aragorn himself has not really reached a stage where he thinks of himself in love with anyone other than Arwen whom he has loved for years. Even with Boromir, while he recollects him vividly, it is more from a sense of brotherhood and the joint tribulations of their journey together. With Faramir he has no such linkages and no such experiences, but as you rightly point out he may still learn what it could be like to slowly fall in love with another person.

Denethor is indeed still coming to terms with everything. He would rather concentrate on Andreth and to him Faramir is possibly just a distraction and an unpleasant reminder of what he lost.

As to your questions, well, Lady Idril will have a brief role and may indeed steer Denethor to some direction. Arwen will have something to say of Aragorn’s intimacies in the next few chapters. Andreth is aware that there is strife, but he is young and like most young men he’s not really cognizant of what happens in the lives of others. He grieves for Boromir and misses him and he is fond of Denethor so may care of what he goes through. But with Faramir his relationship is undeveloped. I like to think Denethor involuntarily made it so, by keeping Andreth close and encouraging him to be more like Boromir and less like Faramir. Aragorn knows at the back of his mind that Faramir has once been a capable captain. But he is for now more concerned about the now. And Faramir’s injuries have reduced his physical capabilities. What Aragorn and others need to realise is that hi mental acuity for now remains strong.

I wish you a very happy new year too and thank you again greatly for your lovely review. It encourages me to be a little more diligent in getting back to this. I have been very distracted by RL but I do want to work towards finishing this. :)

Minx    20 January 2014, 09:41    #

update soon, please!!!!!!

Archivist's note: Please don't nag the authors for updates (or at least not until you've said something nice about the story first!;)). Remember they all write in their spare time. Instead, try investing some of your time into writing a nice review as a way to say thank you - that's what keeps authors motivated and inspires them to write more! For more info, see our commenting etiquette under the Rules & Help button.

— Nimrodel    15 April 2014, 00:20    #

More than a year later, and hello again!

Recently I’ve had some time to come back here and re-read not only this favourite but also some of your other stories. It was great to find that this story is still as emotionally captivating to me as it was the first and all the other times after I read it, when sometimes I find that I’ve changed so much that I wonder what exactly it was about a story that got me hooked. Your writing, and “Grief and Hope” in particular, however, still have the same pull they used to, perhaps even more so than before – after all, so much time has been spent wondering and asking questions and hoping Faramir might yet get the happy ending he deserves that it feels I’m more invested than I would be if I’d already had all the answers. Finding a positive side to a long time in-between updates :) Still true, though.

In comparison to your other longer works, though, I feel that this story is more balanced somehow. At least, I get the impression that all the characters are more complex here than in your other stories, making their development and substance both more believable and real to me as a reader. I’ve enjoyed all the different takes on Faramir you’ve done, yet this Faramir is “more” to me in a way than the Faramirs in your other writings. There is a very delicate subtlety in your portrayal of him that makes him more tangible and accessible. Please don’t get me wrong, I, like most of the readers on this site, love hurt/comfort stories and so don’t mind a more subdued and cowered Faramir, but I still really like the quiet strength Faramir has here, even more so than in “The King and the Ranger”. Plus, I’m a huge fan of Denethor (flaws and all, to me one of the most fascinating characters in LotR), and as I’ve said before, I like what you’ve made of him here.

So while, of course, I would love to see this story continued sometime in the future (and who doesn’t know RL taking more time than we’d like?), what you’ve written so far stands well enough on its own, and I’d like to say thanks again for sharing this much with us readers already. Some unfinished works are still so much more satsifying and moving to read than many finished stories, and as long as I can come back here and enjoy all the splendid work, I’ll be content and happy with what you’ve accomplished so far. Great work!

— Loreley    19 April 2015, 17:52    #

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