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Borne Upon a Dark Wind (NC-17) Print

Written by Ithiliana

18 December 2005 | 25334 words | Work in Progress

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Minas Tirith, 3 days later

‘You’re wrong! I will not support your folly!’

The angry words rang in Boromir’s ears, drowning out the cheerful voices in the streets. His anger burned so hot within that he had left the Hall and passed through three Gates before realizing he’d left cloak and weapons behind.

Pausing near one of the wells that served all the families who lived near the large courtyard, Boromir wiped his face. Warm weather had come suddenly to the City, and he did not need the heavy lined cloak. And if the day came when the Steward’s son had to be armed to walk through Minas Tirith, Boromir did not want to see it.

Ithilien would be coming into her spring loveliness now. The thought made him curse under his breath, startling the children who were waiting in line, chattering, to draw water. They looked at him with big eyes, and he forced himself to smile at them, nod, and wish them a good day before leaving. They knew nothing of the news that had come.

Days of councils since the first news came that Ithilien was taken. Osgiliath was under attack, Cair Andros had fought back one force. And the Steward did nothing!

Borormir walked slowly, not sure where he would go, knowing only he could not return to the Citadel, could not face the man sitting in the black chair, unmoving, refusing to see the threat to Gondor that must be answered. Refusing, moreover, to admit that Faramir lived. The second message, the one that had so angered his father, had said as much. Denethor claimed that it was a lie, a deception of the Nameless Enemy, and had burned it.

“My lord, please, I bring news of your brother!”

The words as well as the desparation in the deep voice caught Boromir’s attention even before he saw the green and brown cloth. He did not recognize the man standing before him, hair lank and clothes filthy, a dirty cloth wound around one arm, but he was a Ranger.

“What?”

“He lives, but is taken captive.”

The man swayed, and Boromir caught his good arm. He looked around, saw the tavern sign, gold on blue, across the way. He walked the man the short way, held the door, and got him inside, on one of the benches, as quickly as possible.

“Ale,” Boromir ordered hastily and, after a look at the drawn face, “and food, whatever’s fastest.”

Drawing up a chair, Boromir sat. He forced himself to wait until they were served and the man had wolfed down bread and meat.

“What’s your name?”

The man sat back, wiping his mouth, swallowing a mouthful of ale. “Rhisiart of Morthond. I know what’s happened in Ithilien, but Faramir told me to come to you.”

Boromir nodded grimly. He looked around. The tavern was nearly empty at this time of day, save for the fat man behind the bar talking in a low voice to two oldsters who sat close to each other. It was safe enough, Boromir thought, safer than the Citadel at any rate.

He tugged his chair closer, speaking in a low voice. “Tell me what’s happened.”

Rhisiart drained the tankard and set it down on the bench beside him. The clank of pot metal hitting wood was loud in the silence. The two oldsters had left earlier and the fat man was in the cellar. Gold dust floated in bars of sunlight from the window and open door.

Leaning forward, arms on his knees, looking down at his clasped hands, Rhisiart continued. “I left him a knife, my lord. I could not free him, barely made it out myself.”

Boromir felt his anger chill, harden, as molten metal cools to a blade. The scattered men who had made it back to Minas Tirith from the Ithilien ambush could say little beyond the news that men who were not Easterlings or Southron fought against Gondor. That had been shocking enough. Later messengers from Cair Andros and Osgiliath had told of Orcs, great and small, fighting side by side with these unknown men. Two of the men who came back had seen Faramir fall and reported him dead.

What Rhisiart had brought was a great gift, not only the size and identity of the forces and the leaders—northern Dunedain in alliance with Mordor!—but even more than hope would have allowed, news that Faramir lived.

Pushing aside his shock at learning who led the forces, Boromir realized he was relucant to share this news directly with the Steward of Gondor.

He did not trust his father. Putting that thought aside to consider later, he stood.

“You did well, more than well,” he said. “We had heard none of this before.” Hesitating, he asked, “What will you—,” and found himself stumbling over words, caught in a cool green gaze. There should be no question of what they did next. He should take Rhisiart directly to the Citadel. There should be a council. Another council.

The tall man stood, eyes level with Boromir’s. “Captain Faramir told me to come to you,” he said. “Not the Steward. When Aragorn questioned him, he made it clear he did not think his father would act. I assume you will. My Lord.”

Boromir thought absently he should be angry at the way this man’s tone and stance managed to undercut the words he used, making his doubt of those in authority absolutely clear. But since as Faramir’s brother, he felt much the same, he could not in justice punish Rhisiart.

“I will,” he said. “But not in too much haste. Come with me.”

Boromir left the tavern, turning to lead Rhisiart through back ways to the Houses of Healing. As they left the main street, the creaking of the sign drew Boromir’s gaze. The Five Armies. He wondered what had inspired the name as they moved through narrow and winding ways.

Rhisiart followed in silence until they had drawn near to the Houses. The gates stood open, but Rhisiart paused before entering to touch Boromir’s arm.

“My lord, I fear for your brother.”

“Aragorn’s message spoke of an exchange. He will keep Faramir alive, surely.”

“I do not fear for his death.”

“What do you fear?”

Rhisiart’s face coloured and his eyes shifted away. His voice was so low Boromir had to step closer to hear.

“When I saw him last, he had been stripped. And when I was with the men, they spoke, joked, of Aragorn’s pleasure in—torment. I think there is need of haste.”

Boromir heard a hollow roaring in his ears, felt his face burn, but kept a firm rein on himself. This man deserved nothing but thanks of him, and he could not lose control in front of the commanders or his father. Promising himself that he would kill Aragorn, Boromir pulled more coins from his purse.

“Go in, find a Healer. When they are done with you,” Boromir gave the coins to Rhisiart, “go back to that tavern, can you find it again?”

Rhisiart nodded, pocketing the money.

“Take a room. I want to speak to some of the commanders. And to my father. I’ll send a message to you when I can.” After a moment, Boromir clasped Rhisiart’s shoulder. “My thanks,” he said softly. “For everything.”

Watching Rhisiart pass through the gate, Boromir decided he would go to Dol Amroth first. Imrahil would be the one most likely to agree with him on what should be done, not only to relieve Osgiliath but to rescue Faramir.


Faramir woke.

He lay still, blinking, trying to clear the mist of dark dreams from his mind.

Slowly, he realized he was no longer in the small cave. He was lying on his back, on a softer surface. The grey stone overhead and to the side was the same. He turned his head, realizing that he was tied to one of the low beds they kept for those who were injured, naked but warm under soft blankets. He tugged, then pulled, but the cloth that bound wrists and ankles to the frame was firmly knotted, did not give.

Frustrated he tried to lift his head. Lamps burned in several niches and on a low table. He could see two men in beds on the other side of the cave, muffled under bedding, and one, standing.

The bed creaked as he moved, and the standing man turned, coming across to him. He was tall, black hair and beard flecked with grey, his face lined. He wore robes, green and black, and smiled. His accent seemed strange to Faramir.

“You’re awake. Good.”

Kneeling by the bed, the man placed his hands on Faramir’s head. He tensed, expecting pain. The man’s eyes half-closed, and he did not move for several moments. Opening his eyes and smiling again, he released Faramir.

“I believe you’re recovering.”

“From what?” Faramir was bewildered, wondered what had happened. “How long?”

“This is the third day since Lord Aragorn brought you to me. Head injury.” The man sat back on his heels, shaking his head. “I thought you would die, but his skills are great.”

“He healed me?” Faramir heard his voice rise.

The man nodded. “Are you hungry?”

“Yes, but—

The man stood and left his side before Faramir could ask to be untied. Craning his neck, Faramir tried to see where he’d gone, but the entry must be behind him. After some time, he heard voices behind him.

“Here we—Lord Aragorn!”

“I’ll take that.”

Faramir stiffened, straining uselessly at his bonds.

Aragorn appeared beside his bed, holding a bowl. He was back in the dark clothing he’d worn the first night, armed, wearing one of the green and brown cloaks the Ithilien company wore to pass unnoticed in the woods. He tugged the blankets down to Faramir’s waist, then turned and sat.

As Aragorn pushed his cloak back over his shoulders, water dripped on Faramir’s face and chest. He could smell the wet wool and the scents of Ithilien. Making himself comfortable, Aragorn slid closer to Faramir, thigh and knee pressing against his side, laying a hand on Faramir’s chest. The silver ring gleamed, the green stone seeming to watch him.

Panting, Faramir watched, wary. Aragorn said nothing. Finally, Faramir could bear the silence no longer.

“He said you healed me.”

Aragorn nodded. “I did.”

“But, you were the one—”

“I struck harder than I meant to, that night, and your head hit the wall. I do not mean for you to die.”

Faramir remembered the feel of the knife in his hand, the blood staining Aragorn’s skin. Obviously the injury had been slight, but, “I tried to kill you.”

“Tried and failed.” Aragorn’s hand stroked across Faramir’s chest. “You are,” he thought a moment, smiling as Faramir tried to pull away, pressing down, “a prize, little Captain, not one I would willingly lose.”

Dizzy and sweating, vision blurred, Faramir subsided under Aragorn’s hand.

“You’re still weak. You need to eat.” Aragorn spooned some of the liquid from the bowl and offered it to Faramir who turned his head away.

He heard the hiss of breath, the clink of the spoon, felt the warm weight against him shift away, then back. He was expecting the hand which stroked down his throat, did not move.

“I thought you had learned your lesson. You can eat from my hand. Or I can call others to force you then leave you tied to this bed until you die in your own filth.”

The calloused hand slid up to grip Faramir’s chin, force his head back around, to see Aragorn bending over him.

“Your choice, son of Denethor.”

Faramir thought of Rhisiart. If he’d made it to Boromir, if he knew Faramir was alive, he would act. Which meant Faramir needed to stay alive. Boromir was too wise in the ways of war to challenge Aragorn alone or with the Rangers, however many survived. That meant moving Gondor’s forces into Ithilien. If Rhisiart had passed the River safely. Remembering the man who’d half-carried him from the battlefield, Faramir felt sure he had.

Time. Boromir would come, Faramir knew, but it could not be soon.

He opened his mouth. He swallowed the gruel which Aragorn fed him, trying not to see the triumphant smile, knowing the bitter taste was not in the food.

When the bowl was empty, Aragorn set the bowl on the floor. Still smiling, he tugged the blankets further down, sliding his hand between Faramir’s legs, grasping his member.

Shaking, Faramir waited for the pain, the memory of it sharp. He gasped when slow warmth began to build, pleasure catching him off guard, sweet as honey in the mouth on a winter day when summer seems long dead. Gentle fingers teased him, silk strokes twining round. Helpless, he moaned, rocking, felt the slide of fingers down, around, pressing against him, pulling pleasure out and feeding it back for an endless moment. He spasmed as he spent into Aragorn’s hand.

Aragorn wiped his hand on the bedding, pulled the blanket over Faramir and patted his cheek.

“You need more time to recover, and I need to go to Osgiliath. They will care for you here, but know that if you escape or harm any, I will punish them. And you. Wait for me, little Captain.”

Lying with his eyes closed, hot and humiliated, Faramir heard him speak to the others, calling them by name, and then giving orders to the Healer. Then there was silence.


A week later.

Boromir made sure the hood of his cloak was tugged down before opening the door of The Five Armies. The night was warm but wet, the fragrant spring rain giving him more than enough excuse to cover his face. He had borrowed a pair of ragged leggings and a tunic from Beregond, who had clearly thought a woman was involved, and had covered them with an old grey cloak of his own. With rumours running through the City of war and capture, he did not wish any talk of The Lord Boromir meeting with Ithilien Rangers in a tavern to get back to the Citadel.

The tavern was warm from the press of bodies and the heat of the roaring fire. As Boromir slid through the crowd, slowly making his way toward the back stair which led to a few rooms, one of which Rhisiart had rented, he heard strains of at least five different songs. One of the singers, turning suddenly, spilled his ale down Boromir’s front. The look of affront disappeared as Boromir smiled and slid coins into his hand for an apology, then ducked around him.

The scent of the ale, dark and sharp, whetted Boromir’s thirst. He’d discovered that the owner, Butterbur, had some of the best ale Boromir had ever tasted. Moving quickly up the stairs and down the dark hall, Boromir tapped on Rhisiart’s door.

It swung open a crack. Boromir did not recognize the man inside who peered out, nodded, and stepped back, opening the door wide. Boromir stepped inside, pushing his cloak back. The smaller room was cooler than downstairs, but nearly as packed. Boromir counted at least a dozen men although it was hard to tell in the dim light. There was the hum of quiet talk.

Rhisiart stood to welcome him, handing him a mug of ale, then withdrew across the room to sit on a bench in front of the empty hearth. Nodding, Boromir drank, the ale as good as he remembered.

“It’s settled,” he said. The room was quiet, their attention focusing on him.

“We’ll be leaving for Osgiliath the day after tomorrow. We’ll relieve the men there, and start to move into Ithilien. Another force will march to Cair Andros. The plan is to try to push the enemy out of Ithilien using both forces.”

A buzz of satisfaction greeted his words.

Boromir drank again, hiding his grimace behind the mug. The memory of the councils, what had been needed to persuade his father, was bitter. Not only had it taken time, too much time, given what Rhisiart had told him, but he had fought with his father. By luck or chance, it had been in private, but Denethor’s anger had been plain the following days.

Denethor had rejected the idea that an anonymous Ranger’s account of Faramir’s escape from the ambush could be true. The report had been anonymous because Boromir had not wished to risk Rhisiart being known to the Steward. It had taken Boromir’s open threat to leave the City, to deprive Denethor of an heir, as well as Imrahil’s more subtle work during days of meetings, to force Denethor to approve this strategy.

“What do you want from us?” Rhisiart spoke over the others in the room, standing to face Boromir, arms folded across his chest. They were the only two standing in the room.

Boromir set the mug down on a rickety chair that had been shoved into the corner, most of the men no doubt realizing it would collapse under their weight.

“I want your help,” Boromir said carefully, feeling his way, trying to get a sense of what these men felt.

“Your father doesn’t.”

This time Boromir did not try to hide his frown. It was true. Denethor had decreed that the survivors of Ithilien would not fight in this battle.

“I know,” Boromir said. “And I tried to change his mind, more than once.”

A few nods, mutters of agreement. While some men served in Ithilien only, others had served in the City and then Ithilien. They had their ways of learning what was discussed in the Citadel.

“He’s wrong. But his error can be turned to Faramir’s benefit.”

“How?”

“You know what this Aragorn looks like.”

Rhisiart nodded, uncrossing his arms, body relaxing.

“I want you, and all the other Rangers who are willing, to start for Ithilien tomorrow. I’ve given orders for you to be given horses. I want you to spy out the enemy, see if Aragorn is with the forces besieging Osgiliath. And if you get a chance, take him captive. If he’s not there yet, I believe our attack will draw him out, there or at Cair Andros. I don’t know what he’s asking for Faramir’s return, but I would wager his men will trade Faramir for their leader.”

Boromir told himself not to smile as he saw Rhisiart’s jaw drop. Picking up his mug, Boromir saluted Rhisiart with it and drank. By the time he’d finished the ale, Rhisiart was nodding, half smiling.

The noise in the room rose, not that any would hear it downstairs, and Boromir smiled as he moved around the room, talking to the men, getting names of those he did not know, asking after others he remembered from his days in Ithilien. When he moved to Rhisiart’s side at the end, before leaving, they stood side by side a moment in silence.

“What will happen to you when the Steward learns what you’ve done?”

Rhisiart’s voice was low enough not to be heard by any of the men around them.

Boromir shrugged. “If this ruse suceeds, he will not care what I’ve done. Victory is its own justification. If it does not—” Boromir paused, thinking a moment, then looked at Rhisiart. “If it does not, then I care not what he thinks.”

Rhisiart nodded once.

Boromir made sure that his cloak shadowed his face before leaving the room, and the tavern.

As he walked up the winding streets and came into the Courtyard, he felt the wind against his face. The rain had stopped. Looking up, Boromir saw that the clouds were drawing back. The stars shone more brightly, as if cleansed. Feeling comforted, Boromir went in to sleep. He could do no more tonight.


A week later

Faramir followed the man to whom he was chained over the crest of the hill. After two days of travel, he was able to keep pace within the limits of the chain which was wrapped around their waists. The days spent in the cave had left him starved for sunlight and the breath of wind on his skin, and despite their destination, he had been happy to be outside as the small group traveled through the woods and vales of Ithilien. That respite was now over.

The men stopped, clustered, commenting on what lay before them.

Osgiliath. Under siege.

Faramir could see black smoke rising, hear the sounds of battle dulled by distance. As they started down the twisting path, Faramir could see the forces massed around the ruined city. He strained to see all he could, knowing that any information he gained might be useful. He was shocked to see orcs side by side with men. As they entered a camp, Faramir looked up and across the River. The white flag of Gondor was set high on one of the broken buildings. Gold flashed in the light from the westering sun.

Faramir was sure Boromir was in Osgiliath.


“Inside,” Halbarad ordered, holding the canvas flap open. The men holding Faramir’s arms hauled him inside and forced him down, chaining his hands behind his back and around the central pole that braced the large tent. He was left sitting, back against the tentpole, legs stretched before him, as they left, speculating on what would be for daymeal.

Shifting, Faramir tried to make himself comfortable for what he expected to be a lengthy wait. He was sitting on thick rugs, plush and woven of many colors. To one side he could see a bed, low but wide, piled with bedding of deep blues and greens. A frame holding armour and racks laden with weapons were on the other side. The tent was dim as the sun slid behind mountains and warm with the scents of crushed grasses and sweet herbs mingling with hot metal and leather. Straining, he could see the dull gleam of metal behind him. A brazier perhaps.

What had seemed to be an incursion into Ithilien by a small force had clearly become an invasion. Faramir wondered if Aragorn planned to move against Minas Tirith, and when. It had been at least two weeks since Aragorn had left Henneth AnnĂ»n although Faramir had lost track of the days he had spent in the Healer’s care. The man had a long, tongue-twisting name, which Faramir could never pronounce correctly, finally settling on Varthandra. He refused to say where he was from or how he had come to be with Aragorn and the Dunedain, but he would speak to Faramir unlike the rest of Aragorn’s men who ignored him.

Faramir rested his head against the hard wood, stretching his legs, trying to relax. As he had began to recover, he felt more and more as if he was a spirit, unable to speak or be spoken to, touch or be touched. Even when they brought him food or, most recently, chained him and marched him to Osgiliath, it was as if Faramir was at best an animal. He had at first expected blows or other punishments. At first relieved at their absence, he soon came to believe that such isolation was its own torment, leaving him vulnerable in unfamiliar ways. Even when he had tried to provoke some response, he had failed.

He did not know why he had been brought to Osgiliath. He did not wish to imagine what reasons Aragorn had.

After some uncounted time, Faramir heard voices, Aragorn’s laugh rising over them. Feeling his heart beating faster, Faramir wondered how he could recognize that voice among all the others. As the canvas flap was opened, he could see light from flickering torches touching colour from rich fabrics before Aragorn ducked inside.

He was wearing a long tunic of rich cloth, green with gold embroidery, over dark leggings and boots. He stood, holding a lamp, smiling at Faramir. Swallowing, his throat dry, Faramir felt his heart racing, realized he was tensing, expecting an immediate attack. He clenched his hands and stared at Aragorn.

“You’ve recovered.” Aragorn moved behind him.

Faramir heard small noises, strained to make sense of them, turning his head as much as he could. Metal against wood, metal against metal. The splash of liquid being poured.

When Aragorn came back into view, he was holding a silver cup that looked small in his hand. He knelt by Faramir’s side, laying a hand on his head.

“Why am I here?” Faramir’s voice sounded strange in his own ears after so long in silence. Her jerked his head sideways as Aragorn stroked him from brow to jaw.

“I’ll be meeting with the commander of Gondor’s forces tomorrow,” Aragorn said, hand settling on Faramir’s throat.

The touch was light, unsettling. Faramir tried to ignore it. He would not ask. It had to be Boromir.

“Ithilien will be mine.”

“No!”

“You are mine.”

Turning to look as directly into the blue eyes as he could, Faramir shook his head. “I am Gondor’s. Living or dead.”

“Gondor has abandoned Ithilien, withdrawing across the River, leaving some of her fairest land to be plundered and despoiled by Orcs.”

“Orcs are your allies,” Faramir said bitterly. “Do you think your rule will be any different?”

Aragorn shrugged one shoulder, draining his cup and setting it aside. “We shall see.”

Moving so quickly Faramir could not respond, Aragorn shifted, settling over Faramir’s legs, settling his full weight on him, pinning Faramir despite his belated attempt to resist. Straining and twisting, Faramir struggled, bruising himself against wood, finally subsiding, panting, feeling sweat soaking through his clothes.

Aragorn leaned forward and unlaced Faramir’s shirt, pulling it open.

“We have all night,” he said. “And tomorrow, I will have either undisputed lordship of Ithilien. Or of you. And perhaps of both.”

“No.”

Aragorn tugged the too-large shirt off Faramir’s shoulders, down as far as his elbows, to bare his upper body. Despite the warmth of the air, Faramir could not help shivering.

“We shall see,” Aragorn said and slowly bushed the tips of his fingers across Faramir’s chest, trailing from the base of his throat out and down, across his nipples.

The sensation shocked Faramir, a light brush followed by not pain, but the tingling warning of pain, as Aragorn’s touch moved down. Feeling the hardening nubs, Faramir breathed out, cautious, as Aragorn stroked his chest and sides. As chill rain on the face wakes a sleeper, cold knifed across his ribs.

Trying not to breathe out, Faramir pressed back against wood, watching Aragorn’s eyes shift from face down to body as his hands slid around Faramir’s waist. As palms pressed against him, Faramir could feel cold striking deep. He forced himself to relax under Aragorn’s weight, head tilting back. He shut his eyes, trying to let the cold slide off him as he’d learned to do during winter watches.

Cramps seized him as Aragorn’s fingers pressed deep into soft flesh, and Faramir arched, crying out.

The agony subsided as he looked at Aragorn. Feeling tremors within, Faramir waited, watching Aragorn’s eyes gleaming blue through half-shut lids.

“You’re very responsive,” Aragorn said softly, shifting forward. “But don’t do that again. Watch me.”

“Or what? You’ll punish me?” Faramir almost laughed.

Head tilting, Aragorn smiled. “It’s not punishment,” he said as he slid his hands up and over Faramir’s shoulders, flexing against him. “You’ll learn.”

As Aragorn moved forward, shifting his weight onto his knees, Faramir pulled his up sharply, bracing his feet and thrusting up, throwing Aragorn off balance, toppling him over. Recovering, Aragorn rolled easily to his feet, avoiding Faramir’s kick, and gripped his neck, pressing. Light and dark swirled in front of Faramir’s eyes as he gasped for breath.

“You force me to teach you what punishment is.”

Aragorn’s voice followed Faramir down into darkness.


Arms and legs aching, Faramir woke fully when he tried to move and could not. He blinked, realizing he was chained, stretched out across Aragorn’s bed. He strained and lifted his head enough to see he was naked.

“Is it ready?” Aragorn’s voice came from behind.

“Almost. You want to do it?” Halbarad.

“No.”

Appearing by the side of the low bed, Aragorn saw that Faramir was awake and nodded. He slid onto to bed, lying over Faramir, the rich nap of fabric sliding over skin, hands resting against his sides.

“This is your punishment,” Aragorn said. “Since you resist me, I have to mark you.”

Faramir shook his head, confused, but said nothing.

A moment later, Halbard appeared, a rod in his gloved hand. The end, a complicated figure, glowed red.

Pain cut through wrists and ankles as Faramir pulled, but between the chains and Aragorn’s weight, no movement was possible.

Smiling, Halbarad stood over him. “Where?”

Eyes wide, Faramir held his breath as Aragorn considered him, then touched his chest on the left, just below his collarbone on his shoulder.

“There.”

Before Faramir could respond, could even think, glowing iron struck his skin. The sizzling reek of burned hair and flesh drowned all thought even as pain greater than any he had known seized him.

Drenched in sweat, Faramir swallowed blood, realizing it was over as he opened his eyes to see Halbarad’s back moving away. The pain retreated to his shoulder, throbbing, as Aragorn leaned closer, eyes half shut, smiling. His hands moved across Faramir’s chest.

Metal sounded against metal then Halbarad spoke. “Is that all?”

“For now,” Aragorn said. “My thanks.”

Faramir lay, focusing on the sounds as Halbarad left the tent, the voices outside, as Aragorn stroked him, then rose. Watching through half-closed eyes, Faramir saw Aragorn strip, dousing the one lamp, then pull bedding up over Faramir, sliding in next to him.

Aragorn slid one arm under Faramir, shifting him until he was lying half on his side and half against the strong body behind him, the other arm over him. Their bodies touching, wet skin sliding against skin, a hand slid slowly down and along Faramir’s belly. He could not move without touching Aragorn in some way, without feeling him respond to the touch.

Clinging to the pain in his shoulder, the only defense he had against responding to the warmth of the hand that moved slower, to the closeness, Faramir tried to endure. There was no penetration, no further forcing, just the sly caresses, stroking that both calmed and excited, pulling a moan from Faramir.

Wetness spread across his skin as Aragorn whispered, almost too low to be heard, “You will learn.”

No. With every breath, every beat of his heart, every pulse of hot pain, Faramir refused.

He did not know when the darkness behind his eyes became the darkness of sleep.


The sun warmed him as he was marched across the camp and the battlefield near the river but the ground under his feet was cold. Faramir refused to look at any of the dark figures around him, ignored the jests and laughter, kept his eyes on the white stone of the ruined city over which still flew Gondor’s banner.

He had been shaken awake earlier, unchained, given a cup of water and a stale oatcake. The men had not spoken to him but had let him piss and pull on leggings and shirt before chaining his arms behind his back and tugging him out of the tent.

He was stiff and sore, the skin on his chest and shoulder burning. The unlaced shirt hung open nearly to his waist, and the smell of the ragged clothing seemed stronger than before.

Faramir realized they were approaching a large tent set in open ground surrounded by armoured men, some of Gondor.

He moved more quickly, almost tugging free of the man on his left, as they entered the tent. The hum of talk within silenced as Faramir was pulled forward, stumbling, to stand beside Aragorn who was one of half a dozen seated around the large table.

Imrahil leaped to his feet, face reddening, his hand on his sword. “By the Valar!” His voice was loud, breaking the silence.

Halbarad stood in turn, facing Imrahil.

Faramir paid him little attention and hardly looked at the others who shifted, cursing under their breath, or who started to their feet. He could see only Boromir who sat opposite Aragorn, unmoving, one hand resting on the dark wood of the table, the other on the arm of the large chair.

Sitting so still that the light from the candles did not flicker on shining mail, Boromir watched Faramir. Seeing the green eyes move, then narrow, just slightly, Faramir relaxed, lifting his head.

The men who had brought him to this council released him, leaving with no word.

“I told you he lived,” Aragorn said, his voice mild, leaning back in his chair.

“You did,” Boromir said. “Yet I had no reason to believe you.”

Aragorn nodded, clasping his hands in front of him. “I do not lie.” He had not looked at Faramir, keeping his eyes on Boromir.

“Then speak your terms.”

“The rabble of Gondor shall withdraw beyond Anduin, taking oaths never to attack Lord Sauron again. All these lands east of the River shall be Sauron’s forever. West of the Anduin as far as the Misty Mountains shall pay tribute to Mordor. Saruman shall rule from Isengard, and I from Ithilien.”

Faramir opened his mouth but checked when he saw Boromir shake his head. When Boromir spoke, his voice was level. “That is much to demand for the return of one man, so much that otherwise you and your Master must fight many a war to gain.”

“These are the terms. Take them or leave them.” Aragorn stood easily, placing his hand on Faramir’s shoulder.

Ignoring the pain caused by pressure, Faramir spoke. “We reject your terms utterly. Ithilien is Gondor’s.”

“The Captain of Ithilien speaks for Gondor,” Boromir said. “We will not give up lands to one who is faithless and accursed.”

“Then I shall plan on keeping your brother by my side, day and night,” Aragorn tugged Faramir back a step. “He shall never be released until maybe when he is broken, tamed to my will, when I may send him back to you to see what you have done.”

The last thing Faramir saw as Aragorn pushed him toward Halbard with a muttered order was Boromir rising to his feet, face twisted with anger. As Halbarad dragged Faramir out of the tent, he heard Boromir shouting.

Halbarad dragged Faramir after him, half-running, half stumbling, across the open field and back to the camp. There, he gave orders for horses and men, cursing when only half a dozen animals could be found.

“Forget the horses, then,” Halbard ordered. “Take him back to the caves. Lord Aragorn will be following in a day or two, but he doesn’t want him in the camp in case they send in men to rescue him.”

Numb with despair at the thought of returning to the darkness of the caves, Faramir stood, shoulders slumped, as the men gathered supplies and rations, muttering among themselves. As they gathered together and began the march, he kept his head down.

As they climbed the hill, a flicker of hope grew. They had not chained him to one of them, as had been done earlier. Perhaps he would be able to escape somewhere in the woods of Ithilien.

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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1 Comment(s)

Thank you dear for posting the story at the Faramir fiction archive!
I loved this story, “Borne upon a dark wind”, and i hope you plan to continue writing this story, or as you mentioned, write sequel of this story at some point. I really want to see how dark Aragorn will go, and how his power will grow over Faramir. Can Faramir stand a chance to overpower Aragorn’s dark control?
Thanks!
dream

dream.in.a.jar    Monday 2 April 2007, 13:54    #

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