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Shadows And Dust (PG-13) Print

Written by Empy

04 April 2004 | 2365 words

Title: Shadows and Dust
Author: Empy [Email]
Pairing: Boromir/Faramir
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the Tolkien estate. No infringement is intended and no money made.
Warning(s): consensual sibcest, non-canon character death.
Feedback: Yes, please.
A/N: Can be read as the companion piece to Leaves of a Past Autumn

The woods are heavy with shadows, the cold air seeming harsher to breathe for all the dust the riders have stirred up.

The waning light blurs the trees into a wall of darkness, and my hand is ever ready at the hilt of my sword. It is not a weapon I wish to use; yet I will do so if I must.

Gathering the reins to calm the skittish gelding I am riding, I turn to survey the paths around us. There are but few of us left, and we are all weary. As soon as my gaze leaves the forward path, I sense something is wrong. The swift rushing whisper barely reaches my ears before the pain flares through me, black and fear-filled.

An arrow, steel-tipped and black-fletched, quivers in the wound it has made in my chest. The force of the impact knocks me backwards, off my steed, and as I strike the ground, the shadows widen until I see naught but blackness.

It is strange how memories return to me in my fever, how they are vivid in both sight and sound, when I can neither see nor hear what happens around me.

I was always proud of my brother, and always waited by the gates as he returned from battle, and was the first to greet him.

Smell of smoke and grit and blood and man when I pressed my face to the crook of his neck, my hair catching on the metal loops of the mail shirt, but I did not mind it. He had returned, my most loved brother, and I did not want to let go. Every return was a blessing.

He would laugh, then, and ruffle my hair even though I was a grown man.

Knowing I could make the dark grey of his eyes glimmer with mirth filled me with pride. And lost myself in those eyes every time, fell helplessly into the love I saw.

I remember that he would not grant me permission to leave for Imladris. How he said it to be too perilous and took the task upon himself. The last night before his departure, I cursed every passing hour. How I later wished I could have plied him not to leave, yet realized my death would have been as sore a blow to him as his death had been to me.

There was ice in my heart on the day I saw him ride out, the sun briefly glinting on buckles and clasps, and I forced myself to be strong.

The fourth morning of Cermië, when grey dawn still lay.

So many days without word. Stretching into months, long and dreary, and perhaps I fostered some foolish hope when I was sent to Ithilien that I would again see my brother. Oh, but fate was crooked, and the sight that greeted me on the banks of the Anduin nearly caused my downfall.

The twenty-ninth of Nénimë, when the winds wailed.

I still remember the pain, slicing though me and draining me of all strength. I did not want to believe it, wanted it to be a dream, wanted to be assured that I would wake from it any moment and find Boromir next to me. But there would be no waking from this.

The boat was foreign, high of prow and silvery of colour. It floated slowly, and as it turned towards me, allowing me to glimpse what lay in it, I froze in agonized shock. I was hard pressed to say which was colder, the pain in my heart or the water I stood in.

Cradled in crystal water lay my brother. His sword, shattered to pieces, lay across his lap. The silver-tipped horn of the Firstborn, the heirloom he had carried with such pride, was not to be seen.

His face was stilled in death, the expression on his face the same as when he slept, and for a single foolish moment I indeed thought he would wake. Then my gaze fell on the many wounds he bore, on the ruined fabric of his tunic. I saw the garish stains of blood, those most gruesome of rubies, amid the threads of silver. His dark hair floated in the shimmering water, and droplets tinged his brow. He looked to me a slumbering god.

“Boromir!”, I cried, my voice breaking. “What is this?”

No reply was there, and Anduin reclaimed now her traveller, the boat slipping back into the stream. Heated tears stained my face but no laments would pass my lips.

My men told me they were forced to lead me out of the frigid water, for I did not stir, but stared at the river. They say I uttered no words for many long hours, and when I at length spoke, it was the name of my brother and nothing more.

The shards of the horn were buoyed on the inky waves at a pace slower than the boat, and I found them spinning in the foam-flecked water within two days. In a deed of folly, I lifted the twisted mouthpiece to my lips, thinking I could taste a final fraction of his kiss. Salt and the rust of blood only to taste, and I flung the pieces of the horn to the gravelled ground.

A final kiss to remember him by. The last kiss blood and metal, the very opposite of the first.

I remember the first kiss as I remember all the other kisses.

I remember stealing glances at him as we sat side by side in the hall of the master library, an ancient scroll spread on the table in front of us, a chronicle of past battles. It was the kind of lore that delighted him the most, the tales of bravery and wars. I started a little as he laid his arm around my shoulder, yet went on reading aloud from the scroll, following the lines. When his fingers trailed across my cheek in a caress far too intimate for brothers, the lines blurred and I could not go on reading.

“Do you know what it is I miss the most on my travels?” he asked, his mouth very close to my ear. “Your company, brother sweet,” he continued, not waiting for an answer. “I miss your voice and your face. You are dear to me,” he said, his voice low and husked, and a chill raced down my spine. Oh, I know it was folly to lust after him, to feel desire for my own brother…

“As you are to me, brother,” I forced out, my mouth barely forming the words.

His fingertips rested under my chin, and he turned my face towards him. A moment, then, in which he looked at me so intensely I felt sure I would stammer and blush. Then, the kiss that made it feel as though my world fell to pieces.

Nothing felt more right in that moment than his mouth on mine. The scroll I had held curled up on itself, forgotten, as I held him, my fingers mapping his beloved face. Slow, enticing fire in this kiss, the seductive taste of temptation.

Brother, I burn.

His hands held my face so that I could not have broken free even if I had wished to do so. When at length the kiss was broken, his hands slipping to clasp my shoulders, I was shocked to see a tear glimmering on his cheek. A single tear, yet it looked so incongruous. Touching the tips of my fingers to his cheek, I wiped the tear away, and then lifted my fingers to my mouth, tasting the salt.

Dark grey eyes watching me, fire in their depths, and it was like falling, like rebirth, to see oneself in those eyes.

The deepest of folly, so say the wise of love such as ours. Gandalf, Mithrandir to the Eldar, knew of what I shared with my brother, yet he did not rebuke either of us. He reminded me of the legends of old, of the folly of those who fell to liaisons with their closest kin, yet ruefully noted that our union would bear no children.

Our kinship was both a blessing and a curse. The same quality that forbade it allowed it to go undetected. No one would question our closeness, for it was nothing but natural that brothers should rejoice in each other’s company, and even more so in times of conflict.

Each shadow was an ally, each dark hallway offering him a chance to steal my words with a kiss.

I remember the rain and the thunder of the first night I shared my body with him, remember his storm-grey eyes. I remember everything.

We were resting in the same bed, as we had done when we were younger, when the winters were cold and the nights too dark for the child I was then.

Months had passed since the strange kiss among the scrolls of the library, and it had been repeated in dark archways, as though it were a secret. And so it was, one I hid deep, lest my father see it, for his mind is shrewd and his gaze goes deep.

Even then I felt a strange mixture of guilt and love. When his lips sought mine in a kiss, I did not fight – for I did not wish to do so.

I feared where it was leading, this strange dance of careful motions. It was forbidden, banned, a deed that could bring only pain and sorrow. And yet I longed for it, burned with a desire so strong it frightened me. It would close the circle. We would be complete.

The step from love to lust was so very short, I realized, and it was one I would willingly take. Every burning kiss led me closer to the edge.

The night air was cold, and his skin on mine so hot it seemed he was fire contained in a frail shell. My hands fisted in the sheets as I fought to breathe evenly. Light and shadow, heat and ice, all senses intermingling into a confused rush as his lips touched my skin. My entire body tensed under the stroke of his fingers, and I clung to him, wishing to be part of him, closer than was possible, brother-lover of mine so close.

So close. So complete.

I remember the taste of blood in my mouth as I bit down on a moan at the sensation of being breached. Boromir’s fingers laced with mine, holding hard as he moved slowly, and I came to forget all pain. This was the circle closing. I forgot all the words of warning laced into legends of old, for how could anything so glorious ever be counted malicious?

Pain spilling over into desire, white-hot and dazzling. A few stray tears ran down my face, into my hair, and he wiped then away, as he had so many times in the past, my protector and brother, my god and my lover. He was my all.

Then, the dizzying peak, star-bright and glorious, and I gave a wail, arching further into his arms, melting in his embrace, breathing the air he exhaled. The fire of him, and the weight of his words: “Love eternal.”

Our lovemaking was slow, drawn-out, a revel in the luxury of time spent together. And I remember each soft-warm caress, my own marvel over how hands so merciless in battle turned silken on my skin. How I would trace each scar, blessing it with lips and tongue, willing it to fade.

I can hear a foreign voice talking to me now, the speech muffled and warped. It is the age-old words of healers, yet they do not hold any comfort to me. I do not wish to follow his guiding voice back to the living life. What have I to go back to? My brother is dead, and the defences of our city are failing.

“Faramir.” A voice cuts through the haze of fever and pain, the sound and lilt so familiar. So missed and longed for.

He is waiting for me. Boromir brother-mine. I care not that it seems to be a dream-vision only, for the feeling is so strong. Would I not know my brother? I rise, finding I can walk, and the cold chamber melts away from around me, dissolving into greyed mist.

Folly, my mind calls. Nothing but shadows among my ailing thoughts.

He is standing with his arms out-stretched, and it is like coming home again, feeling the solid body in my arms, feeling the tender kiss to my mouth.

“I love you,” I say, the tears running heated down my cheeks, and his calloused fingers wipe them away gently, just as when I was a mere colt, confiding secrets to my brother. He always understood, always cared, even when our father Denethor buckled under the responsibility that his reign forced on him.

Another kiss from him, sweet and prolonged, the familiar heat creeping through my bones, setting me aflame.

“You asked me once if I would die for you,” I say, recalling the day of battle and the promise made. It seems an eternity ago now, lost in the mists of the past.

“You remember,” he murmurs, resting his forehead against mine.

“I said I would. And I shall.”

It is strange, I reflect, how little regret I harbour. It is strange how easy it is to let go, to let all the voices of the waking world fade.

To let the waking world fall to shadows and dust.


Additional notes regarding the dates mentioned:
Cermié = July
Nénimë = February
The dates given are based on Appendix B, “The Tale Of Years”, and the usage of Quenya names for the months is described in Appendix D, “Calendars”.

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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Empy For more stories, visit "LiveJournal":http://empy.livejournal.com/tag/fic.