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Healing (PG-13) Print

Written by Minx

30 March 2004 | 3998 words

Pairing: Faramir/Elrond
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: LOTR and all its characters belong to Tolkien Archiving: Drop me a line before you do
Warnings: Slash, sappy angst
Summary: One of the greatest healers of the time finds some use for his skills in the midsummer in Minas Tirith, and gains a little healing of his own in return.
Feedback: Would love it! – greenrivervalley@gmail.com

A/N – I don’t know how this has come out. It’s an unusual pairing and a slightly angsty fic. I’ve tried to keep both characters in character as far as possible, but may have slipped on occasion. I can only hope that it works. So, all feedback would truly be welcome.
For Lysander who wanted this pairing to be written many months ago. Apologies for the delay – I plead writer’s block combined with laziness.:-(

Minas Tirith
Mid-years’ Day, 3019 T. A.

Elrond’s eyes roved the room, seeing yet unseeing, as the sounds of merriment filtered into his ears. One did not need to be of elven kind to discern that much merriment was taking place. But his heart was heavy. He wished greatly for Arwen’s happiness, but he himself was not totally happy with what guaranteed her that. Estel, he knew would love her, and she loved Estel, but he was a father and he could not forget that his only daughter was giving up her immortality. He would sail west in the days to come, but she would not be sailing with him, and neither could he look forward to her joining him ever.

But all that had been discussed and ruminated over time and time again. He sighed silently and tried to distract himself from his thoughts, looking around the gathering instead. There were many faces, familiar and unfamiliar. He noticed Mithrandir speaking to a tall, good-looking man whom he recognised as the prince of Dol Amroth, having been introduced to him the day before.

Elsewhere a boisterous group was making its presence felt, and he turned towards them, unsurprised to fond his twin sons in it, along with the elf prince from Mirkwood, and Gimli, the Dwarf. They were soon joined by a group of halflings, and he smiled to himself at the mixed group.

His eyes kept roving until the finally rested on a slender young man, standing alone some distance away from everyone. He had been introduced to him too. Estel’s Steward, he remembered, and Boromir’s brother. Like Elrond, he stood alone, watching everyone a little wistfully and even the noisome antics of the elves and hobbits would not bring more than a very faint smile to the serious face. Once in a while he would join others in conversation for a brief moment, his expression always remaining grave and courteous.

Elrond soon deduced that the arrangements for the wedding were probably done by him, and made a mental note to thank him later for it, for everything had certainly been organized beautifully and right down to the last detail. He would do that, he decided, soon, as soon as this strange moroseness left him, if ever it would.

He knew why he felt the way he did. But there was nothing he could do about that.

He turned to watch the younger halflings up to their antics again. They were running around now, laughing, when suddenly, they brushed past the Steward in their hurry. For a second it seemed Faramir had almost been knocked over. He seemed to rock back on his heels, his face twisting into something like a grimace, his hand flying to clutch the shoulder that had been bumped. The entire sequence barely lasted a few seconds, for almost immediately the hand flew down and the features schooled themselves back into impassivity.

Elrond frowned a little and then shook his head sighing. This war had taken much from everyone, he thought tiredly.

Elrond entered the tiny garden in much the same frame of mind. The celebrations continued late into the night. There was singing and dancing all over the city, and not just in the citadel. Torches flickered everywhere, bright as the stars as night approached. The residents of Minas Tirith were still celebrating but here in this small patch tucked away near the citadel, all was silent. But, as he walked down the narrow grass path, he realised he was not the only one here, as he observed someone seated on a stone wall overlooking the city.

He frowned, not for the first time that day. He suddenly felt quite unlike himself. He no longer felt like the Lord of Imladris. He felt depressed. He had wanted to be alone. But solitude was obviously to be denied to him today. He walked forward and realised that the man on the rampart was Faramir.

The Steward turned as he came and stood at his shoulder.

“Lord Elrond,” he said, standing up in greeting.

“My lord Steward,” Elrond replied formally.

They stood in an uncomfortable silence.

“You are not at the festivities?” Faramir asked slowly.

“And neither you,” Elrond replied coolly, making no attempt to cover his displeasure at being questioned about his movements. It was really none of Faramir’s business where he went.

“There is naught the matter, is there?” came the worried question, and Elrond realised that the original question had only been asked to ensure all went well.

“Aye,” he said in a kindlier tone, “I merely wished for some time alone.”

“I shall leave you to your thoughts then,” Faramir bowed formally, recognizing the obvious dismissal, and when Elrond simply nodded, he turned to leave.

As he turned, he seemed to lose balance at the abrupt movement. Elrond dashed forward and grabbed him.

“I am sorry, just a spell of lightheadedness. It must be the wine.”

The lines on his face told a different story. But Elrond decided not to pursue it further. He too was feeling weary.

“I must offer you my felicitations,” Faramir murmured.

“Felicitations?” he could not hold back the bitterness in his tone.

“For your daughter’s marriage,” Faramir began.

“I gave my daughter away,” he whispered, almost to himself, “I have lost her.”

“My lord?”

Elrond shook himself. He must really be tired, he decided, to ramble like this in front of a stranger, and one so young, at that. What would Faramir understand of his loss? He was young still. He looked at him now, and noticed once again the lines on the slightly pale face. Too many lines for a young one, the healer in him said. Then he remembered the Steward had been injured during the war. He seemed still to be recovering.

“You are tired,” he commented.

Faramir stared at him confusedly. He ignored the look, and began walking back to the building, signaling Faramir to join him.

“I hear you spent much time organizing the wedding. It was very well done. You have my gratitude.”

“We have never had a wedding such as this in Minas Tirith before. And after all these days, it was good to have something to celebrate about,” the voice sounded a little strained now. Elrond looked sideways at the Man walking next to him. His pace was slow, and he held one arm to his chest as though it hurt.

“Does your injury bother you still?”

“Nay. It is healed. Elessar, he – the hands of the king are the hands of healer.”

“Let me see it,” he offered, “I know a little healing myself.”

The somber face suddenly broke out into a brilliant smile, “You jest with me, Lord Elrond. Elessar has often referred to your abilities as healer. He said you taught him all he knows.”

“Estel is as my son,” Elrond said very softly, his voice tinged with affection and pride, and yet, unmistakable unhappiness.

There was no reply from his companion.

Once inside, he made Faramir lead him to his chambers, insisting on taking a look at the injury. It would give him something to do, perhaps give him some rest. He always felt at peace when he was healing others. He led Faramir towards the bed and made him sit.

“A light tea should offer respite from the pain. I will get some herbs from my room,” he said.

“There are some in that pouch,” Faramir pointed to a table. Elrond moved towards it, and pushing away a pile of books found the pouch. Examining it, he pulled out what he required for a brew to soothe the Steward.

“I understand, not entirely, but a little . . . I do,” Faramir said quietly. Elrond turned and raised an eyebrow at him, as he crushed a few herbs into a small bowl.

Shadowed eyes looked up at him, “How you feel,” came the faltering explanation, “But you – you must – do not let them feel that . . . you are angry,” the words now hurried out tripping over each other, “You are not, I know that. I can see in your eyes that you love them both. I know you are unhappy, but you love them. And they know you love them. They are fortunate, and so are you.”

“Fortunate?” he felt the angry bitterness seep into his voice, feelings that he had locked away for years, “Fortunate that I will now lose my daughter as I lost my brother once. Fortunate that they made a choice and I could not prevent it.”

“Because you did not want to,” Faramir said softly, “Because you knew it is what they desired, and your love for them is strong.”

Elrond added a little water to the crushed herbs, and glanced at the Man with an irritation that he did not bother to mask, “Not strong enough to prevent me from losing them. My brother and my child.”

“It is not so,” Faramir began insistently. Elrond felt a furiousness build up in him, as he had never felt before. He lashed out promptly, a reaction he had never indulged in before.

“What do you know of losing one as dear as a daughter?” he snapped out, grasping his wrist tight. Faramir’s face paled. He unclenched his fingers immediately, remorsefully yet still irked, and watched as the young man took a deep breath, and straightening up stiffly stared back at him out of clear grey eyes, that seemed to reflect a hint of sadness and, as Elrond suddenly noticed, a trace of wetness.

He realised with horror what it was he had said. But he could not help it, he realised desperately. He should not have taken his ire out on Faramir, but it was so easy to do that.

“Forgive me,” he said quietly, and picked up the bowl. He should leave, he decided, before he said anything else that he had not intended. He was still angry and Faramir’s words were only fuelling his ire even more.

Faramir opened his mouth to say something, but Elrond forestalled him by handing the brew, “Drink that Lord Faramir, and speak not of matters you know naught of.”

Faramir looked contrite at that, “You are right. I know naught of matters of the heart but perhaps I will learn soon,” he murmured, “The Lady Éowyn has agreed to marry me.”

“You have my felicitations,” Elrond said flatly. He had gleaned some such thing when his sons had made a few canny remarks about the Steward to the lady in Edoras. He was truly feeling tired. The events of the day had taken more of a toll on him than he had thought they would.

“This brew will soothe you and help you sleep,” he told Faramir, who seemed to have sensed his disinclination to talk and had returned his glance to the bowl in his hands. His voice came out harsher than he intended, and he could see a fleeting expression in the young man’s eyes, almost as though he were trying to restrain himself from cringing away from the Lord of Imladris.

He berated himself inwardly. This was unlike him. He had never before lost control of his emotions like this, but seeing Arwen being wedded today and knowing that he could not look forward to seeing her in the Undying Lands was finally taking its toll on him. He had to maintain his stoicism in front of his children and Estel for he had made a word and he must keep it.

“Thank you,” came the quiet response.

It was when he returned to his room, that he concluded he had acted in a truly shabby manner. He had taken out his anger at the situation on a young man he hardly knew, and one whom he had offered to heal. The long walk to his chambers had made him think back to his conversation with the Steward, and he realised how restrained the young man had been despite everything he had said.

*What healing must I have provided? * He thought bitterly, *I made him sad. He has lost much more. *

Making up his mind, swiftly, he returned the way he had come, not even bothering to change out of his ceremonial robes.

When he reached Faramir’s chamber, he notice to his consternation that the Steward was not in bed. He walked in quietly, and then noticed that the young man stood slumped against the wall in the balcony, the moonlight streaming onto a pale visage with eyes closed, and hands clasped tight around the chest. From where he stood, Elrond could make out the unmistakable silver glint of tears marking his sunken cheeks. And on the table lay the bowl full of brew. Down below, lights were still on all over the city, indicating that the celebrations continued. Strains of music wafted up to their ears, as did sounds of laughter and joy.

“Why are you not sleeping?” he demanded a little annoyed to see his instructions had not been followed. He had thought from the young man’s behaviour that he was serious and sensible, and would do what he was told in such matters, for he seemed the type who would not like to let his work suffer. He had not realised that, like his foster son, this human, too would require to be force-fed medication.

Faramir turned in surprise, his expression changing to an almost wary one as he realised it was Elrond who had walked in. He shrugged unhappily.

“Can you sleep?” the voice was low and haunting, tinged with a note of bitterness, “Can you sleep, Lord Elrond, at the thought of separation from your daughter?”

Elrond did not answer. The question hit him and he found himself walking up to the Man. The wan face turned towards him with questioning grey eyes, and he shook his head automatically.

“Then atleast rest yourself knowing that you have not let her down,” this time the bitterness was unmistakable.

He reached out for Faramir’s shoulder, but the Steward simply flinched from his touch. His face had developed an ashen hue.

“Do you love them, my lord?”

He found himself nodding immediately. He had always treated Estel as his son, he had given him the love of a father, and now he had given him his daughter.

“Then, tell them My Lord that you do so. It will not have the value from another’s voice that it will have from yours.”

The voice continued in that same haunted tone, “We tend, do we not, to forget what remains over what is lost and what will be lost. But, it is not the fault of those left behind that they were left behind, is it?”

Elrond found himself getting a little worried. Faramir’s eyes seemed glazed over at some kind of thought, “Or perhaps it was my fault after all. Had I gone in Boromir’s stead, father would still be alive. But I did not. And he is dead and so is father, and I live on, but what is life worth without them?”

“You must not speak so,” Elrond started uneasily.

“Look at them, My Lord,” Faramir cut in, pointing down at the lights around the city, “They are happy and content. Why do I not feel so?”

“You must rest awhile,” The half-elf said quietly.

“You spoke truly, My Lord,” Faramir continued unheeding, “There is nothing fortunate in watching others leave you. But you – you will avoid that when you sail west. What shall I do? Remain here, and rue my existence each time the city celebrates and I feel disinclined to join them?”

Elrond opened his mouth to speak, but then noticed Faramir sway slightly. He was by his side in an instant, and helped him onto his bed promptly, forcing him to lie down against the pillows. Belatedly, he realised the Steward still wore the ceremonial attire he had donned for the wedding. It seemed just a little crumpled. Faramir had an air of imperturbability that seemed to have penetrated down to his clothes too.

“Why did you not have the brew?” he demanded.

“It tastes vile,” Faramir muttered tiredly.

Elrond sat by him, and gently ran a hand through the soft hair, hoping the constant motion would calm him own and put him to sleep. His fingers touched the dark circles under one eye a little tentatively.

“When did you last sleep for an entire night?”

“I cannot remember,” came the slightly hazy reply, “I have always had dreams. Even Éowyn heard me dreaming once in the houses of healing. She was very scared, but she still helped me.”

Elrond could see there were more than vivid dreams to the haggardness he could plainly see.

“Would you like me to stay a while with you?” he asked quietly. He still felt a little guilty over how carelessly he’d behaved earlier. Faramir had lost his family, was alone except for his uncle, and had had to trust the realm to a new king. With Estel getting married, Faramir’s responsibilities could only have increased.

Grey eyes looked at him with longing now before the look slipped away, “You must be tired,” came the murmur.

“I will stay with you for some time,” Elrond said, stroking the pale cheekbone lightly, causing Faramir to sigh contentedly, “but you must have that brew.”

He helped him sit up, and still keeping an arm around his shoulder, handed him the brew. He supported him with a hand against his back, feeling the bony spine against his fingers. Faramir was unlike Boromir or even Aragorn in build, slimmer and more graceful, and Elrond remembered the tales of there being elven blood among the people of Dol Amroth, for surely this young man had the wisdom of the Eldar about him. He was sipping the brew slowly now.

He helped him take off his long tunic, a rich blue adorned with fine-threaded embroidery in many colours. Elrond examined his shoulder. The dart had left a wound that was now just an angry, red scar.

Faramir’s expression was still a little strained and tense when he had finished the tea. Elrond tightened his hold on him, and quietly took the bowl from him. Placing it on the table nearby, he grasped Faramir’s hands, and held them gently until the young man looked up at him, his face now relatively composed.

Gently he took the lean face in his hands and placed a light kiss on the lined forehead, surprising Faramir a little. He suddenly laughed bitterly, causing the young man to glance questioningly at him, “This is it, is it not? We are both here, alone, and pitying ourselves. Come let me give you company this night then.”

“Your company I would never refuse, My Lord,” came the heartfelt reply.

“And some comfort also I may offer, I daresay. There is much we can speak of together, I am told.”

Faramir smiled a little, “You will not let me indulge in self-pity then, my lord? Very well, I shall give you company this night and accept what comfort you may give, and offer much the same in return. I hear your library in Imladris has many wonders?”

Elrond laughed at that and then responded to Faramir’s quizzical expression, “You are the first person I have come across who asks of the library first,” he said, still laughing.

Faramir smiled almost ruefully at that, “I -,” he started and then realising there was nothing he could say in response simply shrugged expansively.

“It must be beautiful,” he said finally, and then on impulse, clasped Elrond’s hand where it rested on his lap now, and holding them, continued, “These hands, they built the wonder it is.”

Elrond stared at the Steward bemusedly, as he continued running his fingers over his, and spoke on, “And they heal.” Bending his head down he kissed Elrond’s fingers.

“Yes, child. I can only hope they would heal you too.”

“They already have, My Lord.”

Elrond lifted his other hand, and gently stroked the damp face in front of him. Something in him seemed to melt at the touch. He felt an intense desire to offer more than just a simple comfort to his young friend, for he could think of him as nothing else now.

Their lips met soon after that, neither entirely sure, later, of the sequence of events, just that they were soon holding each other and comforting each other with lights caresses and kisses. It seemed to Elrond that this one night, he needed companionship to an extent he could not recall yearning for many centuries now. They fell back against the soft bedclothes, and made love gently but not with the slow, pleasurable pace of long time lovers. It was gentle, yet not lingering, it brought not so much pleasure as comfort, an act designed not to be repeated but to be remembered.

They held each other as though afraid that letting go might let go of the entire moment and neither wanted to be deprived of the other this night. They lay awake after that, not speaking, but quiet.

When the rays of the sun wafted in through the windows, Elrond stirred a little, forcing Faramir to look up. He looked into the young man’s eyes, startled by the depth of clarity he could see in them. He had wondered what to say, but now he knew he would not need to say a word. Faramir understood. Elrond could see that. He could also see the depth of gratitude shining out of those eyes, where the night before he had merely seen despair and sorrow. His own heart felt at rest today.

“I must leave,” he said, knowing Faramir would understand, and that he would hear the gratitude in his own voice.

Faramir nodded. They let go of each other, and rose silently, pulling on their clothes. When they parted, it was with the usual formal assurance of seeing the other at the morning meal.


14 August, 3019 T. A.

He had just one last farewell to bid. It would hurt, he knew. He would never see his daughter again. It hurt already. He sighed as he looked into the grey eyes that patiently rested on him, as he stood in front of Faramir, clasping his hands, and wishing him happiness and joy. They had spoken oft after their night together, the young man’s endless curiosity and Elrond’s patient explanations perfect foils for each other.

He now bent forward and lightly kissed him on his forehead, before embracing him briefly. Moving apart, he glanced towards Arwen, and felt a light, reassuring grip on his wrist. He nodded his farewell to the Steward, knowing he had in him a friend for what was left of his life on Arda and then moved away to talk to his daughter. He would say what he had to say, listen to what she had to say, and then leave. For there was much to be done in Imladris, before he left for the west.


The End

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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3 Comment(s)

A good story, sad and moving.
Thank you for sharing.

— lille mermeid    Wednesday 27 July 2011, 22:44    #

Thank you Lille! I’m glad you liked it.

Minx    Sunday 31 July 2011, 19:29    #

this was so perfect on so many levels…the characterizations, the intensity and lightness intertwined, the comfort and learning they both did in unexpected ways. Thank you so very much

— sian22    Sunday 28 December 2014, 0:50    #

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