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06 June 2013 | 8607 words | Work in Progress
Title: Shattered illusions
Author: Finduilas Minyatur
Pairing(s): Faramir & Éowyn
Warnings: Domestic violence, child abuse
NB: English is not my primary language and that the grammar and spelling mistakes, witch I know there must be quite a lot, are all mine.
How many times he repeated what had happened in his head he could not make it undone. He had hurt his wife, the one he swore to protect with all his power. He had lifted his hand and struck her fully aware of what he was doing.
Is Faramir really as loving and caring as so many seems to think? What if years of always comming second and never feeling anything else but ‘sufficient’ have become to much for him to handle?
Added: Chapter IV
Aragorn hurried down towards his and Arwen’s bed chamber. He heard the almost panicky crying from the boy before he even reached the doors. He opened the door and the sight that met him was chocking. Elboron stood in pressed up against the wall, tears streaming down his face and eyes wide open. Arwen stood in the other end of the room and tried her best to make the child feel at ease by just talking to him. It was obvious that it would never help. When Aragorn came in to the room his wife hurried up to him. He immediately opened his arms to hold her close to him. Arwen pressed her face against her husband’s neck and tried in vain to stop herself from crying. Aragorn, even though he wanted to comfort his wife and was aware of the state she was in, was more concerned about the young boy.
“Little one, won’t you calm down and tell me what has happened?” he said with his soft and calming voice. But this time it didn’t have the effect that Aragorn had hoped. Instead it seemed to add to the boy’s distress.
“I want my papa!” he screamed and sank to the floor, while the hopeless crying continued. “I want him, I want him, I want him” Aragorn met Arwen’s face but she just shook her head. She had no idea what to do. Carefully, the king let go of his queen and started to approach the boy slowly, so that he wouldn’t scare him.
“Elboron, listen to me,” he said, still with the same tone and voice. “You must listen to me. I know you love your papa and that he loves you too but your papa is not fit to take care of you or your mama. He is a bad man and he has hurt your mama for too long and now you have suffered his anger as well.” Elboron started to tremble. He heard the same meaning in the words from the king’s lips that he had heard so many times from mama and papa. That papa was a bad man and it was his entire fault. Even with his eyes opened he could picture all the times his mother came in to him with a concerned expression on her face, sometimes with streaks of blood on her face and clothes. She used to hug him close and say with tears in her voice that he shouldn’t disturb father for a while, that father was a bit upset and needed some time alone, she would ask him if he was scared and if he said ‘yes’ she would hold him tighter and promise him that this was the last time. There was no need to tell anyone. That everything was alright and it had just been a little argument. Sometimes father came in instead. They both said almost the exact same thing, with the slight changing that Elboron should leave mama alone for a while and papa always said how sorry he was, that he didn’t intend for this to happen. He too had tears in his eyes, and even if he tried to hide them the boy both saw and heard them.
“Papa is not a bad man” Elboron said for the second time this day. “It is not papa’s fault that mama gets sad and upset.” Aragorn swept the child up in his arms and tried to calm him down by holding him and whispering comforting words. But the boy did not accept the comfort. Instead he tried his best to wriggle out of the man’s arms.
“Hush, little one. You don’t need to protect your parents. Your mama will be alright and your papa won’t hurt you anymore.”
“It is not papa’s fault that mama hits him!” Elboron finally screamed from the top of his young lungs.
In the dungeons, back in his cold and unfriendly cell, sat Faramir and focused on keeping his breathing under control. He knew what broken ribs felt like. This was not the first and would most likely not be the last time something like this happened. Faramir closed his eyes and his mind drifted away as he thought about what would happen if Éowyn survived or not. If she didn’t he would be executed. Maybe that would be for the best. With his both parents dead maybe Elboron would grow up in peace and not always having to listen to what he had grown up hearing. He wasn’t worried about what was going to happen to him if neither of the boy’s parents were there. All they ever had caused their child was sadness. At least Faramir himself had only brought screaming, fighting and tears to his family. Faramir knew that both Arwen and Aragorn would look after Elboron. He would be safe and that was the most important thing. Nothing else mattered.
If Éowyn survived this ordeal, he would be banished from Gondor and would never be allowed to see his son ever again. He did not think that he could survive that. It pained him more than the multiple floggings and other punishments he had received during his life. It wounded his heart just to think that you would be alive but not able to hold your son, see him riding for the first time, hear him say his first Elvish words. Strangely enough, how much it hurt and saddened him, he was also almost glad. He knew that whatever happened, his son would not grow up without a loving father figure. Not only would the king be there. But his uncle, King Éomer, and the queen’s brothers, the hobbits, they would all of them be there and care for the boy. Make sure he was safe. That was a comforting thought.
A loud crash awoke him from his stray of thoughts. His eyes met those of Aragorn. The anger that shone in them made them dark as coal. Faramir scrambled up to his feet, ignoring the pain. But before he had the chance to say anything, Aragorn had already opened the door and come up to him. Faramir was roughly gripped by his upper arms and he swallowed the moan of pain that threatened to escape from his lips.
“Why did you lie to me?” The king’s voice was harsh and torn. It almost sounded like he was on the brink of crying. “Why didn’t you tell me? Do you think so little of me?” Faramir looked completely taken back by this sudden outburst. He had no idea what the king spoke about.
“I am sorry, my Lord, but I don’t know what you are talking about. I have never lied to you,” Faramir assured with so much honest in his voice that no one could eves suspect him of anything but.
Aragorn let go of his former steward and placed his hand on each side of the younger man’s face instead. Faramir almost recoiled but forced himself to at least pretend to be relaxed.
“I have spoken to Elboron, your son. He told me everything. He told me about the beatings, the screaming and the hidden tears.” Faramir paled visible upon hearing these words and swallowed hard. His little boy, sweet and caring Elboron…
“I never wanted him to see, I tried to keep it at secret. He should not have seen or heard. No one should have. I tried to talk to him, but I tend to forget that he is still so young…” he whispered and looked away from the king. But Aragorn would not have it that way. He could not just let this be.
“Look at me Faramir, please,” Aragorn begged and searched for Faramir’s eyes. Since it was almost an order, Faramir did what he was told, he had followed orders his whole life and been well trained not to disobey them. His eyes were shining with unshed tears but the same time they were clouded with shame. “Why didn’t you tell me?” The king repeated his question. “I could have helped you.”
Faramir softly shook his head in deny. What did the King suggest he would have said? He took a deep breath and swallowed hard. He had already shown too much weakness.
“I would not have thought you weak, I would have listened,” Aragorn said with concern as if he had read Faramir’s troubled mind. Faramir closed his eyes and suppressed the snort in disbelief that he felt the urge to utter. He felt his body go rigid, the flairs of pain made him even more vulnerable. The tightness in his throat and chest made it hard to breath and he almost started to feel a bit dizzy. He had fought hard for seven years to keep all of this a secret and he was not about to spill out all of his shame so lightly. But what else could he do now that his King knew?
“The truth is that Faramir, Steward of Gondor, prince of Ithilien, a soldier and former captain of Gondor, has hurt his wife their whole marriage and that has now left her on the brink of death.” Aragorn let go of the younger man in frustration and let out a sort of strangled noise.
“Stop this, Faramir! Didn’t you hear me? Your son told me!” The king sat down on the hard floor and stared in front of him. His hand’s pressed against his knees and lower lip quivering. Faramir swallowed hard and sat down on the floor too. A lonely tear fell down his pale cheek as he stared at the stray beneath him. “Why don’t you trust me Faramir? I thought we were friends. Friends tell each other when they need help,” Faramir closed his eyes and took a deep shaking breath. So now they were friends again? No more than a few hours earlier he was a monster in the Kings eyes. Not worthy of even being called a human being. “All the bruises, broken bones and cuts, were all of them from her?” Aragorn continued even though he was afraid to ask. The younger man seemed to be too upset to urge his vocal chords to work, but after what (to Aragorn) seemed like hours, Faramir nodded.
“But it’s not her fault. I make her so mad and upset that she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” he whispered softly. “I know I’m not an easy person to live with so don’t blame any of this on her. The fault is mine and mine alone,” Aragorn listened to the same words that he heard Éowyn utter earlier this day. How could a man of Faramir’s intelligence not see for himself how completely irrational it was that it was Faramir’s fault that Éowyn used to beat him. But before Aragorn had the time to object, his young friend continued. “And I did tell you one of the first times she hit me. Don’t you remember what happened?” the man asked in a low, but almost lighthearted, voice.
“You did? I don’t remember that at all,” the king said most bewildered. Surely he would remember if his friend had told him about how his wife had hurt him. Faramir smiled a sad and weak smile. It could in fact hardly be called a smile.
“I actually thought that you would have remembered it. Both you and prince Legolas seemed to find it most amusing by the way you were laughing.” Aragorn paled and his mouth fell open. He could not believe what he had just heard. Their friend had told them that his wife had hit him and they had laughed?! What horrified him even more was that he started to remember the time Faramir spoke about and the younger man was right. He remembered the split lip, the blood and the almost blackish mark on the man’s cheek. Both he and Legolas had laughed upon hearing that Éowyn had struck him with a candle stick and first asked him what he had done to make her so mad. They had even taunted him with it. Telling him with much amusement that he should be more careful with what he said or did around Éowyn. And next they had asked him what had really happened. They had made it perfectly clear to him that they didn’t believe him. And if she really had struck him it was his own fault and that he was to blame.
“I remember,” Aragorn whispered. “It was your first birthday after the War of the Ring.” Shame was all the king of Gondor could feel. Sure he had questioned if Faramir was capable to hurt Éowyn, but only in his minds. He had looked upon it as something shameful to not believe that Faramir could do something so vile. But when it came to Faramir, they had laughed at him and made fun of him. They had never once even considered that he told the truth and if they had believed him none of them thought that it was anything serious. A woman could not hurt her husband and if she did the man had brought it on himself. That was the way people reasoned. The king himself did it also. Aragorn knew that when someone witnessed a girl give a man a slap on the cheek everyone thought that the man was a brute who probably had been with another woman or something like that. But when the roles were turned, someone almost always came to the woman’s aid.
Aragorn felt sick. He called himself Faramir’s friend and yet he had stood there and mocked the younger man when he tried to ask them for help. He looked at Faramir with sadness and remorse in his eyes. ”Please Faramir. Tell me what happened that night, the whole truth, no more twisting and changing. Please, from the beginning. I promise I won’t laugh ever again.”
Faramir looked up and Aragorn felt his stomach turn when he for the first time saw the scratch marks on the man’s face. He had seen them when he came to question his steward, but he hadn’t seen them. Not for what they were. Then, they had been marks of self-defense, but now… Now they were something else, something that told a story. Something that if you had seen it upon a woman’s face would not have been turned down so lightly.
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Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Nerey Camille