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Both Have Fallen (PG-13) Print

Written by Phentalon

20 September 2009 | 3354 words

Pairings: Faramir/Pippin, Faramir/Boromir
Warnings: Incest, men/hobbit, angst, character death
Summary: In the turmoil of war at Minas Tirith, Pippin is left behind, with much too much time alone with his thoughts…

Heaven bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight
Truth be told I tried my best
But somewhere long the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
But the cost was so much more than I could bear

Pippin wandered from room to room of the lowest tier of Minas Tirith, hoping to find a face he recognised. He knew there would be no one. He irritated the ever-patient Gandalf at the best of times, let alone in such tense days. And not having Merry around to joke with and look to made it even harder. He was just generally miserable. How many of his adventure- lusting friends back in the Shire would give up both breakfasts every day to be smacked in the middle of the greatest battle of this age, with a sword in their hand and a chance to be a great hero? Yet all he wanted was to be back in farmer Maggot’s field, racing Merry down the furrows of carrots tops, yanking them out; to hear the wind whistling tunelessly in his ears from the highest branch of his most favourite tree.

But no more. Late at night, He remembered all Merry had said, about spreading fires and burning forests; that the Shire would fall. It pained him more then he could have even told his cousin and best friend, even if he had been there. And so, amongst the terror of impending war and battle plans, he was left behind, quite alone.

He only had to wait ‘til the following day. With the fall of a river- fortress would bring a rise in his spirits not even Gandalf could have known to come.

Pippin held fast to Gandalf’s cloak as he rode them out across the plain, towards the approaching men and Nazgûl. A white light speared the darkness that seemed to emanate from the creatures, which withdrew with their ever- piercing shriek. Gandalf turned Shadowfax smoothly, and joined the last ranks of the soldiers. He fell instep beside one particularly war-weary man. Pippin cricked his neck turning to look at him. Even in safety, he looked sad. Beaten. Pippin could not explain it, not even in his own head. They came through the gates and he followed the rider with his eyes as best he could. Then he made back towards them. Pippin kept a look on him all the while he talked with Gandalf, but himself was ignored.

“Mithrandir. They broke through our defences. They’ve taken the bridge and the west bank. Battalions of Orcs are crossing the river.” Pippin made mental notes of his defeatist tone, hard breathing and panicked efficiency. Never stopping to wonder why. Fear and Men were new indeed to the hitherto sheltered halfling, and so he learned to question nothing of his own feelings. Another man addressed Gandalf in outraged tones.

“It is as Lord Denethor predicted! Long has he foreseen this doom.”

“Foreseen and done nothing.” Snapped Gandalf. Faramir, at that moment, saw Pip for the first time. He just, stopped. He had never had time for sympathy for halflings, those in Ithilien had been shown no courtesy. But this one was just so innocent, so naïve. He saw it in that one look, under which Pippin broke and turned away in discomfort. He felt so pierced and centred by this war torn-

“Faramir?” Then he understood. He had seen the sadness in Faramir, which was merely reflected in his own loss of Boromir. He grieved for more then faceless armies of doomed soldiers; he grieved for kin.

“This is not the first halfling to have crossed your path.” Said Gandalf, softly.

“No.” Pippin’s muddled comprehension was interrupted by this, as Faramir answered.

His eyes lit. “You’ve seen Frodo and Sam?” Faramir nodded, no less dumbstruck then moments before. He could have counted every crease in that quick smile. But Gandalf demanded his attention.

“Where? When?” The urgency snapped Faramir back to his usual self.

“In Ithilien. Not two days ago.” He paused, weightily. “Gandalf, they are taking the road to the Morgul Vale.” Pippin was wholly at a loss, other than it was bad. The word itself, ‘Morgul’ implied twisted and dead things.

“Then the pass of Cirith Ungol.” Faramir nodded.

“What does that mean? What’s wrong?” Gandalf ignored Pippin.

“Faramir, tell me everything.”

“Morning Pippin.” He jumped from his spot, rested on the windowsill, at the sound of Faramir’s voice. “How are we?” Ironically, Faramir seemed less than well. His brow was permanently worry-creased and his clothes, adorned with the silver bows of the White Tree, were worn and muddy. Yet he mustered a smile for the sad halfling.

“I’m… fine. Yourself?” Faramir shrugged, more to release the knots of tension in his muscles then to answer the question. Losing Osgiliath was a hard blow, especially when it would cause his fathers’ opinion of him to plummet once again. A grown Man, for Gondor’s sake, he was far too old to worry about such things. But he did. Silently, to himself. But it did give him great satisfaction to know that their father would fair disown both him and his exalted brother if Denethor knew their secrets and-

He remembered too late the he had promised himself not to even think about Boromir. The grief clouded his judgement, and that he could not afford.

“So, you are to pledge honour to my father?” He asked it in passing, but it worried him mightily.

“Yes…” Pippin was beginning to think he had made a mistake. The way Gandalf spoke about Denethor, and the way he had seen him act personally, made Pippin sure he was not a man he could trust. He smiled to himself. Surely such a person could not have brought forth such a noble pair of siblings? A spilt second later he was again sad. Boromir still haunted his dreams, the guilt of doing nothing and the sickening thud of every arrow entering the strong body. He was taken with Faramir, the way he had certainly been with Boromir. And the secrets he had told in the night, to him and no other, both shocked and prided him. It was not often he was trusted, but with something that… and yet he could not find exactly what to think. Hobbits were not, by nature, judgmental creatures, but even they had their limits.

We all begin out with good intent
When love is raw and young
We believe that we can change ourselves
The past can be undone
But we carry on our back the burdens time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
I’ve held so dear

Pippin shook the flask warily. The slosh of liquor sounded shallow in its leather pouch.

“In the face of such danger, I have never seen a creature so frightened of running out of drink.” Boromir laughed and ruffled Pip’s hair. Pippin blushed very slightly. “I don’t blame you.” Boromir remarked, shivering with the cold to illustrate his point. About them, there was only bare rock with dabs of snow. Pippin walked a little ways away from the sleeping fellowship, and looked from the flask, to the ground, to Boromir, before holding out the former. The warrior was greatly surprised, but took the bottle and swigged from it. He swilled it round, sighing as it warmed him.

“You know, lack of this stuff has likely left me susceptible to its effects.” After a few more offered draughts, his smile had become crooked and his words slurred. But unlike hobbits, who generally became rowdy and inclined to sing, Boromir was quiet, and thoughtful. Quiet here meaning low of voice, but no less loose of tongue. Pippin came to know of all Boromir’s secret life. Of his young brother Faramir. All he did not wish to know, yet he did not run from Boromir’s tales, nor hush him: Curiosity once more burned in his mind. He learned more in those few hours than the whole of his life, not all to taste.

“And yet…” Boromir finished. “It died away. Our father, unknowingly, drove us apart with his love of me and dismissal of him. For that I will never forgive him. Even as brothers, the gap was cast. But as anything else, we soon found solace elsewhere. Even here.” Pippin jumped from his reverie of words.

“Here… you mean, one of us?” Boromir had the grace to look ashamed, but with a touch of the rascals about the expression. Then Pippin was against a boulder. Boromir’s hand and drunken breath was upon him, and he squirmed. Boromir looked directly down at his, fondling his cloak at
Pippin’s neck.

“Do I frighten you?” Hanks of hair fell into Boromir’s face and he touched Pippin’s own brown locks.

“No.” He made to sound certain, but it came out as barely a whisper. He barely breathed, muscles stiff with awkwardness. Then, with inordinate courage for such a tiny movement, he pushed his face to Boromir’s hand. Four fingertips stroked on his jaw line. The face was so small beneath his hand.

“…That we should suffer so much fear and doubt, over so small a thing.”

The light broke, blue, and clear, over the mountain tops. Boromir’s back ached from leaning against rock, his legs, and backside cold from being on the frozen ground. Yet he had never felt looser and calmer, in some while. Pippin was curled up to his chest, cocooned by the Man’s crossed limbs.

His light, sleepy sounds kept him awake all through the night, low though they were. He was simply too fascinated by this little creature to miss a moment. The way his spine curved to the inside of his thigh, and the short arm, which was around his waist as far as it could go.

Faramir’s eyebrows had gone up almost into his hairline. Pippin clapped his hands over his mouth. He was forever doing things like that, to quiet himself. Much good it would do him. He looked at the marble floor, deeply shamed.

“He told you?” Faramir accused him.

“I didn’t tell anyone, sir, honest I didn’t!” Pippin stumbled over his own words in his haste to get them out.

“You told me.” Pippin was confused.

“But you, I… I thought since you-”

“No, you didn’t think. There could easily be a guard standing right behind you, and you would have been none the wiser.” Pippin spun and looked around. Of course there was no one there. Faramir laughed.

“I was having fun with you. If there had been anyone here I would have run you through minutes ago.”

“Oh.” Pippin smiled, more from relief then humour.

“It’s unusual,” Said Faramir, surveying him openly. “To have someone here who can stand still long enough to have a conversation, without having to report to my father or be somewhere.” Pippin gasped.

“Oh no! I am supposed to see your father!” Faramir chuckled again.

“Speak of the devil indeed. So must I. Come.” Together they made for the very top of the great tower.

Though I’ve tried I’ve fallen
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here and
Tell me I told you so

Pippin knelt in the great, cold hall, at the feet of this great, cold man. As much as it pained him, he thought of Boromir and spoke the words that would bind him to Denethor, and more likely than ever before, to death. “Here do I swear fealty and service to Gondor. In peace or war, in living or dying. From-” He choked on the words, but managed to feign forgetfulness. “From this hour henceforth, until my lord release me, or death takes me.” He heard a stone fall, somewhere inside him. Silent drums telling him he had done that which was not undoable.

“And I shall not forget it. Nor fail to reward that which is given.” Denethor stood, and held out his ring. Pippin was sickened by the arrogance of it, but tapped his lips to it quickly. Denethor put his hand to Pip’s chin, and it was all he could do not to shudder. Faramir almost coughed; he felt a need to alert the king to his presence. But he resisted. “Fealty with love.” Denethor moved away and Faramir’s chest unclenched. What on Middle-Earth was wrong with him? “Valour with honour,” Continued Denethor. “Disloyalty with vengeance.” He turned his attention to Faramir. “I do not think we should so lightly abandon the outer defences. Defences that your brother long held intact.”

“What would you have me do?”

“I will not yield the river in Pelennor unfought. Osgiliath must be retaken.”

“My lord, Osgiliath is overrun.”

“Much must be risked in war. Is there a captain here who still has the courage to do his lord’s will?” Faramir had always known, but never said it…

“You wish now that our places had been exchanged. That I had died and Boromir had lived.”

“Yes. I wish that.” Pippin had watched with disgust at Denethor’s irrational requests, but now he would happily take his sword to the Steward’s neck. He watched tears form in Faramir’s eyes.

“Since you were robbed of Boromir, I will do what I can in his stead. If I should return, think better of me, Father.”

“That will depend on the manner of you return.” Faramir made for the doors, and Pippin, not waiting for permission from his new master, followed.

“Faramir! Faramir!” He caught up by the tree. Faramir looked at him, expecting him to speak. Pip had nothing to say. He opened his mouth. Then closed it. “I…” Faramir turned away. But the Halfling followed. Indoors, down stairs and corridors. Until, without warning, he keeled sideways against the wall and gave a racking sob. He slid down onto the floor. Again Pippin said nothing, but knelt before Faramir and wiped the tears from his face. Then wriggled in between his knees and lent there. Closing his eyes, he was back on the chilled mountainside, with Boromir.

The sky was pink when Pippin woke up. No one was up yet, so he stayed where he was. He put his hands on either side of the (he thought) sleeping Boromir’s neck, but Pip was surprised when Boromir leant forward and pressed his mouth to his forehead. “What have you done to me, Halfling?” Asked Boromir with a smile. He pulled Pip right up close to him, and Pip nuzzled his face into Boromir’s taught neck. He smelt faintly or iron and earth, of war strategies lain to intricate detail on curling maps. But none of that worried Pip as he played with the strap of Boromir’s sheath, which was flung across his chest.

But he was not Boromir. He was Faramir. Because Boromir was dead. Pippin grieved every day, but had not yet wept for him.

Faramir pushed his hand under Pippin’s shirt. His hot skin reached from the tip of his middle finger, which up between Pippin’s nipples, all the way down to the heel of his hand above his belly button. Boromir never touched him like that, with the flats of his hand. He always held Pippin
as if he feared he would break. Now, he could feel every line and callous on Faramir’s palm. Many times he had opened his mouth to ask Boromir to do that, but could not come anywhere close to forming words, even inside his head. Tossing caution to somewhere far further then the wind whistling past outside, he arched his back into the warmth.

Faramir caught Pippin’s chin and kissed him; Hard, licking down on his lower lip to part it from the top one. Pippin melted readily into this new technique. He disliked being treated like a glass statue. But the sharp, cold crack inside him proved otherwise, when Boromir would trace the very shadow of his fingers on Pippin’s spine.

“Boromir… Please…”

He jumped and struggled from Faramir’s tight, caring hold, shaking his head hard.

“What’s wrong?” Standing in that empty stretch of marble prison, Pippin wanted to cry. It would have been a good time, but he refused. “You loved him, didn’t you?” Faramir asked him sadly. Pippin nodded before thinking. Faramir gave a great, tired sigh.

“All our lives I stood in his accidental shadow. Even in death he is denying me my wishes.”

“I’m sorry.” Pip no more than mouthed it, before dashing away. It was unfair on Faramir; the comfort Pip found in him was only a shadow of Boromir, and naivety or foolishness aside, he was far too much of a good person to lead him on. He just… felt so very alone.

Gandalf dashed from where he had been looking over the parapet, down a spiral staircase. Pippin followed instinctively.

“What’s wrong? Gandalf!” He lost sight of the wizard, and barrelled his head into the crowd. He did not see the front when it came, and so almost fell under the hooves of passing horses. He looked up, and Faramir towered above him. While Gandalf reasoned with him, Pippin was still getting his mind around the fact that Faramir was riding away to die. Just had Boromir had run to the Uruks, so his brother went with head held high. Difference being that then, Pip could do nothing. But now, he had a say.

“Please!” He ran up and put a hand on the flank of Faramir’s horse. The Man’s eyes were cold.

“Go, speak with my brother. Ease your conscience.” While he watched, Pippin put a hand to his chest, then back onto Faramir’s shin, all he could reach.

“Don’t make me say it, here, in front of everyone. I will.” He gripped the top of his boot. Faramir could almost smell the desperation.

“Whatever you have to say, can be said upon my return.” He lied, before spurring his horse away, all the while screaming inside to go back, and have the halfling say it, again and again.

“And why should your songs be unfit for my halls?” Denethor badgered. “Come, sing me a song.” Pippin’s reluctance wavered. He obeyed the order. Just one song he knew could express a measure of his feelings.

“Home is behind, the world ahead… and there are many paths to tread…”

Why was he finding this so difficult? He had promised Boromir nothing, even in life, so why cling to a memory? His loyalty did not mean anything to anyone, other than hurt to himself and Faramir. It served no purpose, yet he held.

“Through shadow, to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight…”

How long would he go, forcing himself to wait for the day that Boromir would once more smile upon him? He had seen Boromir’s body on the ground, spiked with cruel arrows. Yet when he and Merry were dragged away, he still breathed. It was possible.

“Mist and shadow, cloud and shade, all shall fade…”

No. The last thread holding this lie in the air snapped, plunging it into darkness. But now it was too late. He could never redeem himself. Faramir was dying, believing Pip to still love the dying image of his brother, rejected once again.

“All shall… fade.”

So he wept. Just once. For both the siblings who loved him, and for both the siblings who had died.

Heaven bend to take my hand
I’ve nowhere left to turn
I’m lost to these I thought were friends
To everyone I know

Oh they turn their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don’t see
That it’s one wrong step one slip before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed

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2 Comment(s)

Oh, so sadly, I think!
Poor Faramir, he was worthy of great love… Then let Pippin understand what Faramir truly means for him. His generosity, his kindness, his beauty and “Yet suddenly for Faramir his heart was strangely moved with a feeling that he had not known before… He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love. He was a captain that men would follow, that he would follow, even under the shadow of the black wings”.
Yes, ne was not Boromir, but he was his brother – the man, whom Boromir loved the most. Please, let Faramir be happy!
Thank you, Phentalon!

— Anastasiya    Monday 21 September 2009, 6:56    #

Wow! That was the best written and saddest story with this kind of plot! Great job!!!
sob sob sob

— Laivindur    Tuesday 29 May 2012, 15:30    #

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