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A Father’s Love (PG) Print

Written by Faramir_Boromir

30 March 2004 | 827 words

Title: A Father’s Love
Pairing: Faramir/Boromir
Rating: PG
Warnings: Brotherly incest
Disclaimer: It all belongs to the Tolkien estate. Really.
Summary: Faramir muses on how his father’s love changed, and how that change affected him. For the contrelamontre challenge about change over time. Written in 80 minutes, no beta. See a mistake? Tell me.

When I was little, I thought some things would always be the same. The stars in the night sky, or the way Osgiliath looked from the highest rampart of Minas Tirith. The way my brother could always defeat me when we wrestled, or how Cook made rabbit stew. I could rely on those things—they would never change.

But as I grew older, I realized that not everything stands still like guards before the City gate. Even they gave up their watches, and were replaced by others who relieved them. The day came when Boromir could not best me as we brawled, for I had learned his weaknesses as he knew mine. And the day came when Cook was sick, and another’s hands made rabbit stew but forgot the potatoes so that it did not taste right.

I can remember when Father still loved me.

I remember him throwing me high in the air, catching me as I fell back to earth, the two of us laughing and laughing and laughing. I can recall when he stooped beside me, as I stood too close to flames in the fireplace and poked them with a stick; he pulled me away, a warning given and a kiss placed gently in my hair as he guided me back to a nurse’s waiting arms. I can still feel the water and sand between my toes, when he held my hand and took me nearer to the crashing waves for the first time. I was scared but he was not. His smile convinced me that sea-water would not really hurt, and he was right.

I thought his love would always be the same. But as I grew older, I realized that not everything stands still.

Memory is a peculiar thing. I can tell you the exact day I overpowered Boromir at wrestling for the first time. Or the first time I visited Osgiliath, and saw it not in the distance from a rampart but on foot among the ruins. Yet I cannot recall when Father’s love departed, staying for my brother yet not for me.

All was changed by the time I was eight, that much I know. When Boromir was eight, so he tells me, he was given a specially made shield and sword, suited to his size, so that he might begin learning the soldier’s craft. When my eighth birthday came, a page reminded Father of the occasion after half the day was gone; Cook had prepared me a surprise and wanted him to know beforehand. At the evening meal, Father appeared with a chess set, a little battered in the wearing, and gave it to me with an injunction not to break its pieces “for they belonged to Ecthelion, your grandsire.” While I was pleased to have such a gift, I knew he had not chosen it for me, not truly.

In after years, Boromir and I talked about this, lying sprawled before the fires of his room or mine, conversations held when nights grew long and deep. He was the only one I could speak to about Father, for only he might note the change and see the difference. Only Boromir knew how the lost love wounded.

He would repair that loss, mend all by becoming all. My brother ever cared for me, though even his love has altered, expanded to a new role in recent years. When he first kissed me, touched my face and called my name, not as a brother might, I knew. I knew even his unceasing love was remade. As brother, as lover, Boromir’s love is how I know that I am loved. And that our Father does not love me. At least, not as he used to.

Were it not for Boromir, I might go mad, bereft of parental love. What child deserves such abandonment? Children whose parents died in a plague, or the blows of war, or some great calamity—those children are orphaned but not deliberately so, callously so. In like fashion, I do not blame my mother for the absence of her love: being dead, she must be held harmless. But what of the child with a parent still living? Does that child merit the parent’s disdain and disregard?

When I was little, so many things seemed fixed and immovable. Yet now, of all I know, only two things seem constant: the stars, and my brother’s love. There should be another in that list, the love of my father. But I have grown used to its absence—time has lessened the ache, and helped me learn to live with the grief of a parent who does not love.

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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