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It's the thought that counts (G) Print

Written by Bluegerl

09 January 2013 | 1959 words

Christmas challenge. nos. 4 and 9
Title. It’s the thought that counts.
Author bluegerl
Posting to ruby_story_swap
Category: FPF. Elrond and Faramir. Mention of others, like Boromir, naturally.
Rating… G.
Words 1880
Disclaimer. The Professor Tolkien gave us these wonderful Characters, Peter Jackson brought them alive, and now we have endless pleasure, playing with their joint achievements. I do hope they would not be too upset, since we make our precious people do the daftest things. But sometimes, they do do the most thoughtful of things…. read on.

On the days after the near tragic fall of the Main Gate belltower, Faramir remained in convalescence. The bruises on his back muscles restrained any weight-bearing, so he was confined to a comfortable couch with cushions, or his bed. And Faramir, being himself, was so bored. He couldn’t get to his books because sitting up was painful, and lifting his right arm nigh impossible.

Boromir kept dropping in, being unbearably possessive, and boring. He wouldn’t stay away, kept pressing his hand on Faramir’s brow, and gazing deep into his eyes, then holding a finger up before Faramir’s nose and telling him to watch it while he waved it from side to side. Faramir knew it was something Boromir had picked up from watching the healers treat head-wounds, and Boromir was being obsessive about Faramir’s eyesight.

They had nearly come to blows over this nonsense, except that when Faramir went to push his brother away to go and do something useful, like fetch a jug of mead, or the chess game. Boromir would do neither.

“The Healers say you mustn’t drink alcohol, and deep concentration could give you terrible headaches after that bang you had.”

Faramir grunted. He’d hidden the jug of honey’d wine behind the cushions, but it was nearly empty; and Boromir wouldn’t play chess because his little brother always won. Boromir was easily distracted from a plan if it involved conjecture and inanimate objects. Moving a rook to King’s Knight four was not exactly going to make Boromir’s adrenaline rise sufficiently and he’d gaze out of the window at the sunshine, or listen to Aragorn talking to Brego below in the garden.

Aragorn was potty about that horse, Faramir thought, he’d take that to his bed if he could. He sniggered at the thought of Boromir, Aragorn and a large dark bay horse sharing the only bed. Who would have hoofprints on him in the morning?

Except that Boromir did have that special birthmark, just like a small pale brown hoofprint. Aragorn had come to him one day and asked if he, Faramir had the same mark. Faramir, who had had a crush on Aragorn for simply for ever, had no hesitation in rolling over, pulling down his breeches and smallclothes and baring his arse to the Ranger. He’d felt such a thrill when Aragorn’s callused hands had touched his hip, then stroked down the white cheek, and probed at the tiny mark. He had a hoofprint too, but it was paler than Boromir’s. That had been so long ago, before Boromir had returned, and Faramir was but a stripling almost. Certainly young enough to have had a late-late-adolescent-type crush on the man who was now his King, and for whom he was Historian.

“Have you had your piss examined today?” Boromir folded up a napkin from the tray left from his break fasting. “You need that to be measured in case any part of you is failing. I worry with those bruises on your back. I had bruises like that once from fighting, and couldn’t piss comfortably for bloody weeks. And my back hurt inside as well as outside. Do you hurt inside there?”

“Boromir, will you please, please, please, sod off and go and do your Stewarding. You were worried about your King being happy with your work and all that, and if you don’t bloody well leave me alone and go and do what you are paid to do, I shall tell him you are becoming besotted with me. Then you’d have some explaining to do!”

“Look, I’m just worried about you. You took such a whacking from that bloody bell. Damn thing thrummed all over Middle Earth I swear. I’ve had woolly ears ever since.”

“Boromir. Sod … off! Do I have to shout it again, to get through your woolly ears? S. O . D. off!”

Faramir tried to fling himself over and pull the covers over his head but squawked involuntarily as the muscles in his back caught. Boromir immediately dashed forward, flinging the napkin aside and thrusting hands to his brother’s head.

Finally peace reigned. Boromir shuffled out of the room, glancing back as Aragorn’s hand pulled firmly at his collar. He knew when to obey his King.

Then the day lingered. Faramir tried ironing out the creases in the linen sheet with his hands. Not much point doing that. He played ‘I spy’ with himself for a whole hour, and won. He tried whistling, but his ribs still hurt and big breaths weren’t very comfortable.

The maid – the big ugly one with the wart on her nose, and the three chins brought up his midday meal. That was delicious, but being pulled up into a sitting position was soremaking. He did see that someone had cut up his meat and that he had extra crispy potatoes. The custard after was delicious.

Allowing the tray to slide to one side, Faramir managed to lower himself into the big fluffy pillows, and found a way of passing the time. He fell asleep again. The Healers had said he would, and to allow himself to do so, because it was for healing the damage to his body. Faramir was an obedient boy; from his childhood he had obeyed, trying to please his Father. That wasn’t so difficult now, Denethor seemed to smile a deal more and look almost fondly at he and Éowyn. When he had been told of the coming child, Denethor had actually grinned, and Faramir had actually seen his uneven teeth bared in something that wasn’t a scowl.

Faramir snored gently. Birds sang ouside the window, Aragorn continued to chide Brego for eating his sugarlumps too quickly. The sun moved certainly on its course. Boromir was nowhere to be heard. Faramir woke feeling most content.

There came a gentle knock on the carved oaken door. Faramir turned his head and saw Elrond’s locks beneath his daytime crown slip at an angle around the door in a silent enquiry. Faramir thought Elrond’s eyebrows were the most active of all. Legolas could raise his left one in the most insolent of queries, implying roguish or indecent thoughts, Arwen could merely indicate displeasure by a twitch of hers. Aragorn’s darted all over, because as soon as he had thought a question, he’d be thinking of something else. Boromir’s met more often in the middle than anyone’s.

“Come in, Sire, please enter. I am afraid I cannot rise to greet you.”

“Of no matter, dear man, no matter. We are here as part of your family, your friends. Do not I pray you use that word Sire again!”

“Right Sire.. erm Yes, King Elrond, Ouch!” As Faramir tried to pull himself up to a more suitable position.

Elrond came to the bed, and gently inserting an arm beneath that of Faramir, pulled him forward. With his other arm, he reached behind and fluffed up the cushions, making a most comfortable rest. Then he lowered Faramir back. “There now, you didn’t look very happy, all scrunched up. I hope I may speak a while with you, if converse is what you may wish? As long as you call me Elrond, as that is my name.”

“Oh yes, please, I want to hear about all that’s going on. I’m fed to the back teeth with Boromir forever saying the equivalent of ‘don’t bother your pretty little head over anything, I, the great bossyboy Boromir am here.’”

Elrond let out a very un-elf-king-like guffaw. “Lords protect me from a protective, though loving, brother. At last I have Celebrian trained to stop fussing if I have a cold, and now she becomes almost acerbic if I complain of a back pain, or an object in my eye. It doesn’t suit well with us men to be at all unwell, in any form.”

Faramir grinned, “Éowyn likes my ‘illnesses’… “ He blushed suddenly, looking remarkably like his elder brother. Elrond leant forward in his chair, and smiled

“Your ‘illnesses’? Could they be… certain… “ and his eyes wandered to the bedclothes at the level of Faramir’s thighs.

Faramir blushed even more furiously. He wished he would stop being so impetuous sometimes in his speech. Since he had no longer to watch every word he ever said, he seemed to be making the most naif of gaffs.

“Ah, yes. That is a splendid notion. Something that requires heating, stimulation, a little massaging…. most enjoyable and usually very effective. You are to be congratulated on being a wise young man. You didn’t get that idea from your brother, did you?” The eyebrows rose quizzically.

“Oh gods no, Boromir has no need, he couldn’t even start pretending…” Faramir giggled. Boromir and he were different in some respects, and Éowyn was a most calculating vixen when she wished. Boromir had no women to tease and giggle with, for which Faramir felt a small sadness. He enjoyed his wife tremendously.

Elrond coughed gently. “I thought, as you were bedridden, and finding it difficult to hold heavy books, but with your love of reading … “ He reached into the bag Faramir hadn’t taken notice he’d brought into his room. “I had the idea that the Clerk of the Books could assist me. So I asked him to … “ Elrond lifted a pile of papers to his lap. “I asked him to dismember the book you were exploring and researching, before the accident.”

He laid on a small table beside Faramir’s bed a tidy pile of parchment leaves, clipped with a most intricate and finely-wrought silver clasp. “You could hold these more easily and read to your pleasure. I am assured by the Clerk that it will be no bother at all to restore the pages back into a book, The sewn holes will still be there, and he quite understood the reason for my request. The clip, you may keep, it is from Rivendell. Bilbo used to use it for his book, but returned it when his Book was sewn and bound.”

Faramir looked down at the pages, each one laid upon the other. The silver clip shone with the elven-light he saw on the leaf hanging round his brother’s neck.

“My Lord Sire. Lord Elrond. I am overwhelmed at your thoughtfulness. This is a wonderful idea, and I can lift these pages and then the next without fatigue or pain. And the clip. When I have read and the book is rebound, I will return it.”

“No, Faramir. The clip is for you. For your own use and heritage. I wish it to remain with you. When you are Prince of Ithilien, and rule your own city, take it with you. It is yours.”

Elrond rose, then leaning over the bed, he kissed Faramir’s forehead, then his lips.

“Stay well, little brother. Your heart is as great as any other of these great hearts here. Stay well.”

The door closed with barely a click. Faramir lay back, his fingers feeling the pile of leaves beside his hand. He could be so ‘busy’ when Boromir came next time. Faramir laughed. He had such a marvellous excuse to ignore his brother, and find peace. And his eyes worked perfectly, no more finger watching!

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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2 Comment(s)

Pffffft, Faramir the couch potatoe..! XD … Excuse me, the obedient reconvalescent, I mean. (snicker) And Boromir as a nurse? Cobbler, stick to your last! XDDD I can only assume he´s the (involuntary) healers´secret weapon – to make sure the patient gets back to his feet as soon as possible. XD

Heehee… delicious! If fics were dishes, yours would be a light, fruity strawberry desert with green pepper and a touch of ginger. HMMMM NOM NOM NOM! Cookbook, please!

— raven22372    Saturday 12 January 2013, 13:49    #

Ohhh, this was wonderful. What a lovely gem of a story to make my night! Thank you. :) I loved all of the backstory behind the clip… and it’s always nice to see Elrond in a story. Please, write more!

— Morwen    Thursday 17 January 2013, 2:35    #

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