This story is rated «NC-17», and carries the warnings «Violence, injuries, acute misery, comfort sex (slash)».
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18 October 2013 | 8901 words | Work in Progress
Title: Naval Training
Author: Nerey Camille
Disclaimer: Middle-Earth and Faramir belong to Tolkien, I don’t claim ownership and I don’t make money from this.
Summary: Faramir and Éomer experience together the hardships of life at sea. They are both young, noble, and seasick. Can they find comfort in each other?
Notes: No beta (so far). All the technical details about navigation and life on board are written from my own sailing experience – you may trust that this is a reasonably accurate picture about life at sea. A couple of ideas are drawn from the marvellous novel by François Ponthier, Le dieu aux yeux verts (The green-eyed god, meaning Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea). There’s also a wink to Harry Potter – can you find it?
Written for the 2011 Midsummer Retakes.
Request by Phytha: Faramir/Éomer, h/c, Éomer physically or psychically hurt, NC17, sensual feeding, sex with gloves
The Gilgondor was listing on her starboard side as she sailed up the Anduin in a wind that got stronger every minute. The sixteen men on deck had to hold on to something to keep their balance. From his watching post near the foremast, Faramir could see the stern of the ship, where the boatswain Nargorn was anxiously gauging the distance to the eastern shore; and the leeward side, where Éomer of Rohan stood tensely waiting. The lad’s face was earnestly turned towards his commanding officer, though every time the ship listed harder under a gust of wind, his eyes drifted towards the rising waters and a green tinge coloured his face. Though he himself was not exactly feeling reassured, Faramir felt a surge of pity for his friend. He felt sure Éomer would have feared nothing on a wild horse, but being carried by a ship was an entirely different matter. No one who had lived all their life on land could be blamed for feeling uncomfortable with it.
“Ready to tack!” shouted the boatswain, his voice barely reaching their ears in the wind. Faramir guessed, more than he saw, that Éomer’s muscles went taut. It was a very precise manoeuvre: the movements of the whole crew must be exactly coordinated. A tricky business in such wind.
The helm man pushed the tiller to starboard. The Gilgondor came eagerly into the wind. Men loosened and pulled ropes with brisk determination, then waited. The two great sails were triangular-shaped, held up by long yards. One end of the yard down and forward, the other up and backwards. Right now Éomer had to ease out his line, so that the starboard end of the yard of the foresail could come down and forward, to be fastened into its new position by Boron. The ship hanged in irons for a second and started to bear away to port. Suddenly, the wind caught the other side of the sail, precisely at the moment when an unseen gust struck the ship treacherously. It all happened very quickly. The line ran out between Éomer’s hands before he could make it fast; the yard came down out of its due path; the tip of it tore a dreadful hole into the jib and fell heavily on Boron’s head. The man collapsed on the deck without a cry.
In that moment, Faramir didn’t think. His mind went blank and some unknown instinct took over. Before any of the men had recovered or made a single move, he had jumped to the other side of the ship and made fast the end of the yard. Then he released the jib, and the racket of the torn sail flapping without control seemed to jolt the men. They sprang into action to bring down the jib and secure the foresail in the new course. Faramir knelt next to Boron.
“Call the healer,” he snapped to Éomer, who alone had not moved and was staring ashen-faced at the wounded man. Their eyes met for a moment and Faramir was surprised to see terror in the adolescent’s face. All of a sudden, Faramir realized that Éomer was going to be harshly punished for a fault that was hardly his.
Yet the day when Éomer had joined Gondor’s war fleet had been so full of promises. Faramir remembered the open face of the boy, the look of wonder and excitement as he had set foot on the Gilgondor. Captain Aerandir had called Faramir into his cabin to introduce the two young midshipmen to each other.
“I count on you, Lord Faramir, to help our new recruit from Rohan learn the ropes,” he had said. And Faramir had taken up the task gladly. After showing Éomer to the cabin they both would share, they had returned on deck so that the Rohir could have a good look at the ship.
“I won’t be the youngest on board any more,” rejoiced Faramir as they emerged into the sun. “They’re all seasoned men, and I do feel such a clumsy boy sometimes. It feels strange too, being the highest-born among people every one of whom is much more adept at any simple task than you are.”
“I have a feeling I will soon know what you mean,” said Éomer somewhat less than assuredly.
“Oh, you will. There is so much to learn.”
“How long have you been here?”
“Only a few months. I have chronic seasickness, otherwise I would have started sailing at your age, or even younger. My naval training was delayed for years – indeed I came to hope it would never take place at all. In the end, though, my father decided no Steward’s son could be unfit for the sea. And here I am, four and twenty. Quite an inglorious record of lateness for an officer to start his apprenticeship.”
Éomer’s face must have shown surprise at Faramir’s words, because the Gondorian laughed gently.
“You think that I shouldn’t speak so openly of my own failings, don’t you? There are no secrets on a ship, that’s the first lesson about life on board. You would have learned it soon enough. I’d rather tell you myself so we can draw a line under it. Come, let’s give you a tour of Gilgondor.”
Éomer followed, trying to remember everything that Faramir told him about the ropes, the sails, and the parts of the deck. There were so many names. Faramir seemed to know them all, though. As he listened, Éomer reflected on his new shipmate. Everyone had told him in Rohan that Gondorians were strange folk, and here was the strangest of young men. Someone who admitted to weakness and shame wouldn’t have been praised by his fellow riders in Rohan; and yet Éomer found himself unable to despise this Faramir. There was something about him that conveyed reassurance, and he began to think that this voyage on a sea horse would not be such a nightmare, after all.
Until they turned to the stern and saw the man coming toward them.
“That’s Nargorn, the boatswain,” whispered Faramir. “Second in command. Talks little and sees much. A bit harsh, but none better to correct your mistakes. Good morning, sir.”
“Morning, midshipman. So this is our new recruit. Éomer of Rohan.” He looked the youth up and down with such loathing that it took Faramir’s breath away.
“Report to me in an hour, to start learning your new duties.” He stalked away, and Éomer turned to Faramir.
“That man hates me,” he said in hushed tones.
“Nonsense. Why should he?” said Faramir. But Éomer couldn’t help noticing that he seemed a little worried.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Addie