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Innocence Burnt to Ashes (PG-13) Print

Written by Kissa

15 January 2007 | 2218 words

Title: Innocence Burnt to Ashes
Author: Kissa
Un-betaed cuz it was late… *hugs her Laurelote anyway*
Rating: PG13
Pairing: (implied) Boromir/Faramir
Warnings: mention of prior cruelty, death

written to the sound of “Nocturne”, played by Secret Garden

The recently built, gruesome outpost in Ithilien was silent and plunged into darkness for the night and Faramir was tossing in his bed. He wanted to be home, not here in the wild, where he could do nothing besides get in the way of the trained soldiers. He was only a fourteen-year old boy, still smitten with his books of ancient tales and history.

He twitched when he sensed movement behind him all of the sudden.

“Shh, Faramir, ‘tis alright… I returned earlier from the hunt!” Boromir said in the dark when he lay in the bed and felt his young brother stir and mewl in distress.

“Did you bring me anything?” the boy asked, turning towards his brother and curling himself around him to transfer some of his warmth to Boromir’s shivering body.

“As a matter of fact… yes, I have!” Boromir replied. “I will only take a short nap, then return to looking after it.”

“What is it?” Faramir jumped into a sitting position, fumbling in the dark to light up a candle. “A kitten? I want to look at it! Bring it here, to sleep between us and purr! Please Boromir!”

Boromir groaned and squinted in the sudden light.

“Faramir, you already have enough cats back at Minas Tirith!” Boromir remarked. “I have not brought a new one from the forest. It is bigger than a kitten, and it is injured. ”

Faramir had read too many stories at his age, and he had even read the history books and practically everything on the lower shelves of his father’s library, because he simply could not reach the books on higher shelves. But he thought it was very natural that all he had read there would really exist.

“Is it an animal?” he asked, although he knew Boromir would not have made such a fuss over a wounded animal. “It is an elf, is it not, Boromir?”

His brother eyed him in shock.

“How do you know about elves, Faramir?”

“I read. All those times when you are out sparring or scouting or doing something thrilling, I have to stay in our room and play! So, I have made the library into my playground, ever since Mithrandir has shown me how great books can be!” Faramir spoke. “But it is an elf, isn’t it? May I see it… him? Please!”

Boromir sat on the edge of the bed and pulled his younger, smaller brother to sit on his lap.

“Faramir… the elf I have found is dying… he is wounded and torn. I shall go and watch over him, but I do not expect for him to live to see the dawn. I do not know if…” He stopped, seeing Faramir bolt out the door at an amazing speed.

He had wanted to save his innocent brother from the trauma of seeing the majestic, ancient creature in agony. But Faramir had always had the power to coax him into doing anything the little one desired.

He stood up and hurried down the halls, going down the several flights of stairs, catching up with Faramir in the small room where the two guards watched over a motionless form, tucked into Boromir’s cloak.

“Go and try to rest, I shall watch over him and Faramir.” Boromir said to the men, who left after bowing respectfully to their captain.

Faramir unwrapped the cloak to have a look and gasped at seeing the condition of the creature. Shuddering, he turned to burrow into his brother’s comforting embrace.

Boromir held Faramir even tighter.

“Now do you understand why I did not want you to see this?”

“But upstairs you said… you had brought him for me!”

“I was cranky and cold from walking in the snow carrying him!” Boromir defended himself, making a mental note he was not cut out for parenting as he could not remain in a position of leadership in front of a sweet pout and puppy eyes.

“Anyway, it was said and you cannot take those words back. Let me watch over him, I have little else to do here. Please?” Faramir pleaded.

Sighing, Boromir nodded.

“But you have to be very careful… he is in great pain, you do not want to add to that!”

“Will you help me wash him, Bora? I shall need your assistance as we will need to undress him and turn him to wash him all over.”

Seeing his elder brother nod, Faramir cautiously began to unwrap the blood-soaked cloak from around the shrunken form of the elf. His heart wept for the creature’s misery, seeing the long, white locks of hair almost fully tinted red by the blood which had seeped from the deep gash at the back of the elf’s head. It was a wound that could have killed any man, and the area was so sensitive that Faramir decided to protect it before he went on with cleaning the other injuries.

Boromir anticipated his brother’s request and brought him two sticks, a wider, flat chunk of wood and a sheet ripped in long strands, so they could set the creature’s skull and spine.

It was Faramir who did it all, surprisingly, because although Boromir was the eldest, he was also more impressionable and his hands were shaking terribly.

“What did this to him, can you tell?” Faramir asked, using a damp cloth to clean the deep sword wound which went from the elf’s right shoulder to his left hip. The spine had only miraculously escaped from being split.

“Wargs, I’d say…and Orcs” Boromir whispered, tracing the rugged edge of a bite wound and, looking closer, fishing a tooth out of it. “See?”

“But Orcs… wargs are not quick enough to catch an elf!” Faramir spoke in a small, broken voice, while cleaning the elf’s hips and lower back, picking up a dagger to cut the fabric of the leggings away.

“He was restrained when we found him… He had no chance against the beasts.” Boromir said softly, pointing at the ligature marks on the wrists, ankles and across the chest.

“Who can even begin to think of hurting such a beautiful being?” Faramir cried, rinsing the cloth he was using to clean the elf and beginning to wash the clotted blood out from his hair.

“Orcs… they get bolder and bolder these days and they hate all that is innocent and pure, Fara dearest.” Boromir said, taking Faramir’s hand and making him stop cleaning the creature. When the twin blue orbs were fixed on him, Boromir continued: “Here is why I begged you in the past and plead with you now, never to venture out in the forest alone.”

For a moment, there was a silent spell floating between the brothers, the young one feeling overwhelmed and humbled by Boromir’s love and care. Together, they finished washing the elf clean of blood and stinking warg drool.

Now the ancient creature lay naked onto the table, its eyes shut, undoubtedly from the pain.

“Let us carry him to our room and provide him with our warmth, maybe it will hasten his recovery!” Faramir said, tenderly stroking the elf’s temples in an attempt to soothe him.

Boromir nodded and easily lifted the elf in his strong, warrior arms. There was a faint yelp from his charge, but the Gondorian felt the naked form glue itself to his front, clinging to him. At 19, he was already battle-hardened and insensitive to Orc-inflicted horrors, but somehow this elf’s suffering moved him beyond what was comfortable for a trained warrior. Maybe it was because of Boromir’s sense of justice that he let himself be so affected, for he could not fathom why such an ethereally beautiful creature should be subjected to such pain and humiliation.

Faramir led the way, lighting the path ahead of Boromir, and when they got to their room, he fluffed the pillows so that the elf could be settled in the middle, as comfortably as his current state allowed it.

“Boromir, I do not want our elf to die…” Faramir whispered, coming around the bed to hide his face in his Brother’s chest.

Boromir wished at that time that he were a god, that he could give away the gift of life to anyone whom he deemed worthy, because right then, he would have done anything to dry the tears in his beloved brother’s eyes.

Unfortunately, he could not give his little brother a satisfactory reply, so he remained silent. He could not tell Faramir that the elf’s light was fading visibly and that he would be dead by dawn.

“Boromir!” Faramir’s head shot up and his eyes were lit up with hope. “I know how to save the elf!”

“Faramir, precious, we’ve done all that was possible!” Boromir almost squeaked. He dreaded having to tell Faramir the sad truth.

“You have to bond with the elf to save him!” Faramir said abruptly, and the words sounded like a sentence in his brother’s ears. Unlike Faramir, who had just read it in books of healing lore, Boromir knew what the bonding actually meant, and knew that even if he had done so, it would only buy the elf a few years before death claimed them both, and those would be years of slavery to both of them, because the elf probably had a loved one somewhere and Boromir’s heart was already given away.

It took all of Boromir’s strength to say those three words:

“I cannot, Faramir.”

“What do you mean? You can do anything you want, and I am begging you, Boromir!” Faramir pleaded.

“I cannot give something which does not belong to me!”

Faramir wanted to say something in response to that, but he froze as he felt a cool shiver sweep through him, like a presence entering him and making his skin tingle from within. He realized the elf was trying to reach out to him in another way, since he was in no condition to talk.

Little one… Faramir… you have to let me go, please! My time has come and there is no way I can fight the pull of Mandos’ Halls now. I thank you for your generosity, but you have no right to ask your brother to give his heart away at your command! It belongs to you and only to you, though he shall never say it aloud… Thank you for easing my passage and for restoring my dignity before the end. May the Valar always keep you in their grace, Jewel of the Númenor!

Faramir burst into tears and knelt near the elf’s broken body, watching him struggle for breath.

Boromir, fearless warrior… Thank you for giving me the chance to go in peace! Love your brother as well as you can, and always protect him, even with your life. He will make hope rule over your beloved City, and he will see the White Tree blossom! In him lies the fate of Gondor…

Amazed, Boromir received the elf’s words in his mind and shuddered, a single tear running down his already weathered cheek. Moving closer, he wrapped his fingers around one of the elf’s cold hands, while in his other hand he took Faramir’s smaller one.

“It is not fair that you go alone, you will be cold and lonely in the darkness!” Faramir sobbed, moving closer and hugging the broken form, kissing its closed eyes, the perfect face and the frozen lips.

With one last effort, the elf opened pain-glazed, but nonetheless beautiful azure eyes and graced Boromir with a piercing look.

Guard him with your life…

As the understanding passed between the two of them, and as Faramir’s sobs intensified, the eyes slowly grew cold and a small rivulet of blood ran down from outside one of the corners of the now white mouth.

The brothers cried until there were no more tears to be shed, Faramir still refusing to let go of the elf’s body.

The sun was rising when Boromir carried the elf outside and laid him in the snow, carefully as if he risked damaging him, while the other men of the outpost built the pyre and left them alone, planting the torch in the snow for the lord to pick it up after they were gone.

Once the elf was settled onto the pyre, Faramir stood aside while his brother set the wood ablaze.

They held on to each other almost desperately, standing still and watching the flames consume the remains of the magical creature.

Snow still fell quietly, the fire burned forcefully, their eyes stung from the smoke, but they would not move.

Boromir’s heart hardened even more, leaving him cold to any other feeling than the burning love he had for his treasured little brother. He would now strike down any opponent with the force of the wrath which boiled in him. His last bits of faith and innocence had burnt away along with the elf on that pyre.

Faramir vowed to himself that one day, in his lifetime, the world would be a safer, less cruel place to live in.

~ 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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5 Comment(s)

this is a beautiful story! on one hand, it’s telling the lost of innocence, but on the other hand, it’s telling the begging of awareness of a strong relationship which existed already. i really love it, thank you so much!

— traveller    Tuesday 16 January 2007, 0:02    #

thank you dear!
This story means a lot to me and receiving such a nice comment for it is stroking my soul-cat :P purrs

Kissa    Tuesday 16 January 2007, 16:45    #

One of the best stories I have read on this site. Excellent. Cat

— jpurcat    Thursday 18 October 2007, 2:03    #

Thank you for the appreciation and for the wonderful comment! I hope I can rise to the same level in the future as well! hugs

— Kissa    Saturday 20 October 2007, 20:42    #

A very nice story, so sad and yet so good.

— lille mermeid    Saturday 30 January 2010, 10:25    #

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About the Author


For more stories by Kissa, see her LiveJournal.
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