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Shadows (R) Print

Written by Minx

12 December 2012 | 29219 words

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Chapter 9

“This Haradric wine is lovely,” Boromir murmured, as he shifted into a more comfortable place on the rugs by the fire. He let out a noisy sigh of contentment, “And how did the kitchens know I felt like having warmed sweetcakes.”

“Did you give those books from Harad to Faramir?” Aragorn asked.

“I forgot,” Boromir said sitting up a little, “With his illness and everything else.” He looked thoughtfully at the tray in front of him, “Faramir loves these cakes too. Perhaps I’ll take him some and the books now?”

“I’ll come along,” Aragorn offered.

They strolled leisurely down to the younger man’s rooms, having decided to spend the rest of the evening there. It would be a tight fit in the small chambers but they would manage.

“I don’t suppose he would have fallen asleep yet,” Boromir said, as he balanced the tray with the cakes, a jug of wine and three goblets.

Aragorn, who was holding the books, didn’t think he would have. From what he had seen, Faramir didn’t sleep very easily.


Faramir tried not to remember the number of times Inglor had on his father’s orders held him down, stripped off his shirt and caned him. He felt a wave of dizziness course through his head. He was already panting heavily from just his fall.

Inglor tightened the grip on his nightshirt and hauled him out. Inglor was strong, despite his age, and Faramir was still weak from his illness. To his utter humiliation, he realised he had not enough strength in him to resist Inglor. Faramir cried out as he was dragged along the hard, cold floor.

They came out into the courtyard. The moon was out, and its pale light reflected off the ice that coated the paving stones. It looked beautiful and desolate. A cold wind blew through the drab, grey space, sending up a few browning leaves.

Inglor dragged him over to a bench at one side of the courtyard.

“L-l-leave me,” Faramir stuttered, shivering as he spoke, “S-stop…wh-what…” he could barely mange the words, as the cold night air hit his barely covered body.

Inglor tugged at his nightshirt viciously, with practised ease, for he had often had to forcibly pull Faramir’s shirt off when the younger man had resisted. The thin fabric ripped easily. Inglor pulled the torn garment off to expose Faramir’s naked body to the cold breeze.

“N-no,” Faramir moaned, the cold and the memories both assaulting him.

“You hurt Lord Boromir,” Inglor raged. He shoved the handle of the whip into the tender skin below Faramir’s chin. Faramir stared at it fearfully.

It was an oliphaunt hide whip, that Denethor had been gifted recently. He’d used it once on Faramir – a very painful experience the younger man hated to recall. The cuts had been deep and the bruises had lasted weeks. He let out a strangled sob.

“Cry you will, craven child!” Inglor snorted in contempt, and lifting him threw him roughly onto the bench. The stone surface was also coated with a thin layer of ice, and Faramir whimpered at the sensation, as it came in contact with the bare skin on his chest and stomach.

Faramir lay shaking on the bench, tired and aching and humiliated by his nudity and his reactions. He felt his breath come out in quick panting gasps. He needed to move, but he was so exhausted. He heard the swish of the whip cutting through air, but it could hardly prepare him for what followed.

A searing pain flared up, across his buttocks. He screamed, a strangled half sob, as he felt the whip cutting into his skin, and being dragged through the cut. A warm trickle of blood slid down the curve of the left buttock, and the back of his thigh. He sobbed harshly. The whip cut through air again. A second strike landed over almost the same area.

The next strike was across his lower back. He cried out again, and tried to rise, stumbling off the bench, even as the whip caught him across the back of his shoulders this time. He rose, tottering as a drunken man would, twisting round to face his attacker. Inglor’s face was full of fury, and he spat at him in anger, continuing to rage at him. The words Denethor often used tripped easily off his tongue.

He barely gave Faramir a chance to say or do anything. He grabbed him by his hair and shoved him down again, throwing him bodily across the stone bench, with far more force than previously. Faramir’s lower abdomen hit the edge painfully. He yelped and turned over, making to rise again. But the whip was already moving and landed now, forcefully across his unprotected stomach.

Faramir howled in pain as it cut the tender flesh. And again. And then his chest. Pain flared up all over his upper body, superseding the cold. He stumbled off the bench onto the icy cold ground, gasping as his bare skin came into contact with the wet and cold earth. The whip landed on his side, and then a thigh. Across his buttocks again. And again. His back again. He wept, unable to do any more than that. Each cut left a burning sensation followed by such pain! His cries were softer now, barely heard over the whisper of the wind.


Aragorn frowned around the empty room. Faramir’s room was warm but empty. Clothes lay neatly folded on a chair. Surely the lad wasn’t wandering out in naught but a nightshirt!

“Where is he, do you suppose?” he asked Boromir as he placed he books on the bed, “And in his nightclothes?”

“He’s probably gone to the library, then, to get something to read at night,” Boromir said with fond exasperation, “He used to do that often. Though knowing him, he may well have sat there to leaf through something, and will end up sleeping there.”

“It’s cold, and his cloak is here. Let’s go find him” Aragorn suggested. Young Faramir needed a little talking to on what all he could do while still recovering from illness.

They set off down the citadel again.

“We can cut across the courtyard,” Boromir said, “Maybe I could race you across it,” he added cheerfully.


More strikes landed on him, as he curled into himself shivering, trembling, unable to do any more than that to defend himself. An unexpected kick aimed at his midriff sent him onto his back, the torn flesh coming into contact with the hard ground. He thought he screamed, unsure of what happened the next few minutes as a second well-aimed kick landed between his legs, straight on his groin, sending an indescribable pain all though his lower body. As he lay gasping for breath, tears streaming from his eyes, the whip continued landing on his unprotected stomach and chest.

Boromir and Aragorn had neared the hallway to the corridor when they heard the soft pain-filled cries.

“Faramir!” Boromir gasped, and broke into a swift, running stride. Aragorn followed him. He skidded to a stop at the edge of the courtyard, staring horrified at the scene in front of them. A naked Faramir lay on the ground, his bare skin as pale as the ice on the floor. Inglor was standing over him, a huge whip held in one hand, even as he lifted his leg and kicked Faramir viciously.

Faramir moaned, as Inglor loomed over him, breathing heavily, his face contorted in rage. He lifted his hand again and brought the whip down.

Boromir screamed as he saw the whip flicking through the air and landing on Faramir’s unprotected stomach. A bright line of red appeared, even as Faramir cried out, his voice full of pain.

He ran out onto the courtyard, followed by Aragorn.

“Inglor, stop!” he shouted.

“Horrid, nasty boy,” Inglor shouted at the barely conscious Faramir, “Needs punishing!”

They pulled Inglor away, not before he’d managed to lash Faramir again across his chest and groin, leaving purpling welts on the bare skin.

Faramir had curled into himself, and lay shaking.

Inglor pulled away furiously and kicked Faramir hard in his groin again, twice, before he was pulled away again. Faramir let out a pained whimper but stayed where he was.

Boromir fell to his knees, by his brother’s side, horrified at what he was seeing.

Aragorn hauled Inglor angrily across the courtyard into a hallway. The older man was shaking now but still angered. When they reached the hallway, he collapsed against a wall, and sat there, still furious but clearly tired.

Aragorn returned swiftly to Faramir.

Boromir stood over Faramir trembling, sobbing harshly. Aragorn stared at Faramir and gasped. The man lay sprawled on the courtyard, completely naked, his skin almost as greyish white as the icy floor, and littered with thin lines of red. Blood trickled from his cuts onto the ice, specks of bright red against the gleaming ice. His breathing was shallow and laboured, his eyes were wide and unseeing.

Boromir pulled him into his arms, tears still streaming down his cheek. Faramir’s head lolled against his shoulder.

“Boromir,” he whispered.

Some of the commotion must have been heard upstairs, for they could see lights flaring up in the windows around. The other servants would be here soon.

Aragorn removed his cloak and used it cover Faramir, giving the younger man at least some measure of modesty. Aragorn then picked him up, holding the trembling, smaller man gently so as to avoid touching any of the cuts.

“Ssshhh,” he said soothingly, as Faramir let out a soft pain-filled cry, “Just a few steps, and we’ll have you comfortable, little one.”

“N-not h-healers, p-please,” Faramir whispered, two spots of bright red colour his cheeks.

“My chambers,” Boromir rasped out. His eyes were brimming with silent tears as he followed Aragorn inside.


The whip had cut into the tender skin, sharp edged and deep. Aragorn cleaned the cuts, washing them with water and then an herbal potion. It must have stung, for Faramir whimpered in the pain as it was rubbed over the open cuts on his buttocks and chest and stomach. He and Boromir then applied a paste over the welts to heal the bruising.

They moved on then to the large purpling bruises on Faramir’s lower belly, from where Inglor had kicked him. “We need to check this bruising,” Boromir said gently.

Faramir nodded miserably. The salve on the cuts was stinging, and he felt incredibly tired and unhappy. Aragorn felt the tender areas as gently as he could. Faramir bit his lip, and his face turned paler. He huddled into Boromir’s embrace, as fingers prodded his lower abdomen, and groin.

To his intense mortification, the king even examined his crotch where Inglor had kicked him. He turned his face away, as the hands prodded his limp shaft, and testicles. Boromir continued to hold him close.

“You’ll have to lie on your side for a few days,” Aragorn said wearily. Faramir had endured enough already, without adding further pain. “I’ll get you something for the pain and to help you sleep.” He looked up at Boromir, “I’ve asked the guards to escort Inglor to his chambers and confine him there. We can decide how to deal with him later.”

Boromir nodded.

“N-not his fault,” Faramir said hoarsely.

“Faramir!”

“H-he thought he-he was obeying orders – father – sometimes -,” he sighed helplessly, as a wave of tiredness swept through him.

“Ssh…,” Aragorn said gently. He held a small cup out, “Here this will help you with the pain, and to sleep.”

Faramir took a few sips, too exhausted to protest, and then closed his aching eyes. Boromir held him cautiously, feeling increasingly distressed as Faramir tried not to whimper each time he moved.


Aragorn left for a while to see if his orders had been followed and returned.

Faramir was curled into Boromir’s arms. Boromir had his hands wrapped protectively around the smaller frame, and was gently whispering into his ear.

“He’s sleeping,” Boromir told him quietly.

They lay the smaller man back against the bed, and covered him. Pain marred the wan face even in sleep. Boromir gently brushed a strand of hair off the clammy forehead, and dropped a soft kiss there.

They watched over the younger man as he slept fitfully through the night. His sleep was marred by nightmares, and Boromir had to hold him close and soothe him more than few times.

“How could Inglor do this to him?” he murmured in an anguished tone.


Faramir spent the next few days in a haze of pain and sleep. Boromir and Aragorn cared for him gently and patiently all through. The cuts took some days to heal, and Aragorn had to clean them every day. Faramir bore the pain and discomfort stoically. He said nothing about his ordeal, but his nightmares continued in his sleep – dreams where he was being hurt, or where Boromir was leaving. His intense despair and loneliness came out strongly and it hurt Boromir to just hear those terrified thoughts being vocalised.

Inglor was pensioned off. Faramir had been distressed at the thought of any sort of punishment to him.

“He’s so old!” he’d said softly, “and he didn’t know. He thought father’s ways were the only right ones.” Aragorn had hugged him gently then, more than a little moved by the younger man’s unselfish nature.

Inglor had a cottage in Anorien, and a daughter who would care for him. He had caught a chill that night, and the illness had left him weak and disoriented. At Faramir’s request Boromir had tamped down his anger and met the older man, and convinced him to take a rest now, after all these years of service. Inglor, ill and unsure of his young master’s reactions now, agreed.

He also had Tarlong have a word with the rest of the servants to ensure that Faramir would be treated with more care and concern from now on.

Legolas and Gimli had returned too, and all four of them carefully planned it out so that Faramir would always have someone by him. Slowly and gently, they tried to draw the shy young man out of his cocoon of pain and despair and loneliness, spending time with him, talking, reading or just sitting quietly.

And they managed even to speak to him about all he’d been through. Boromir had sat by Faramir, trying not to cry as he talked of how awful he felt at not having realised.

Faramir had shaken his head.

“It wasn’t your fault. I felt so – I didn’t want anyone to know… I –”

Boromir hugged him.

“I-it hurt,” he whispered miserably, “A-and it felt so cold in the study… Y-you must be so ashamed of me – I’m a craven fool. Being held over the table for a beating like a child.”

“No,” Boromir soothed him.

“I – I didn’t what to, at first. I tr-tried to stop him. But he made Inglor hold me down… and – and remove my clothes. And then he’d hit me. Sometimes he would instruct Inglor to punish me, if he were busy.”

Aragorn leaned forward then.

“No one will punish you again,” he said softly but fiercely, “I don’t know why Denethor adopted such methods with you, but they were wrong.”

Faramir slumped into Boromir’s chest, crying unhappily. Aragorn gently stroked his back.


A few days later, Boromir walked in with the others into the room where Faramir was sleeping. His younger brother seemed to be resting so peacefully, he didn’t want to wake him. But it was late into the morning already. He stroked Faramir’s thin cheek with the back of his hand. Faramir stirred, opening his eyes. He looked a little confused and dazed, but smiled as his gaze fell upon Boromir.

“B’omir,” he slurred and made to rise. He realised Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were there too.

“Sit back… you still need rest,” Aragorn told him gently, and nudged him back, “We have a little surprise for you.”

“F-for me?” Faramir asked, sounding surprised.

“Yes,” Boromir said, “Two really.”

“One is that Merry and Pippin will be visiting next week.”

“Oh how wonderful,” Faramir said delightedly.

“And for the other, you must come with me,” Boromir said. He scooped Faramir out of the bed.

“Wh-what…”

“You’ll know soon,” they told him as he was carried out of the room.

They walked a short way down the hallway to a set of closed doors. Aragorn held them open and Boromir entered carrying his precious load.

“Wh-where have you brought me?” Faramir asked doubtfully, “Oh…. look at all those books!”

The room was large but still had a comfortable, cosy look. A huge bed and a large fireplace took up one side, while a half-filled bookshelf lined an entire wall. There was a beautifully carved wooden table and chair in another corner. A pretty bowl held a mass of white and pale pink winter roses, their fragrance filling the entire room. A large balcony opened out to a view of the plains and the river. Rows of potted plants lined its edges, and in one corner a small fountain spurted water. The rugs, curtains, sheets and blankets were all in beautiful shades of green and blue.

“Do you like it?” Boromir asked anxiously.

“Y-yes…,” Faramir said, a little confused.

“Good!” Aragorn said with satisfaction.

“This is your new room. I had your chambers moved here,”’ Boromir said, “Closer to mine.”

“It’s lovely,” Faramir said, a little embarrassed to feel tears pooling into his eyes, “B-but you needn’t have… it – it…”

“You deserve all of this and much more,” Boromir retorted. He placed him on the bed, and Faramir sank gratefully down into it. It was so soft! He let out a low, pleasurable sigh.

To the others’ amusement and relief, he fell asleep right there shortly after a fine breakfast.


The hobbits arrived as promised the next week, and their arrival helped Faramir’s heart lighten some more. He was still supposed to be resting, but they brought a whirlwind of energy right into his bedchamber and he looked forward to the time they spent with him. It wasn’t too long before Aragorn declared he could be allowed to work for a few hours and to set out on short rides. To celebrate the hobbits organised a little picnic in an island on the river. They planned to spend an evening there, camp overnight, and return leisurely the next day.

They set out on a fine, warm, afternoon, riding over to a small stretch of grassland by the river. They spent a fine, lazy afternoon rowing around the small stretch of river, fishing, playing small games, reading and eating and preparing more food. Pippin had had the kitchens prepare everything Faramir liked having managed to get the information out of Faramir a lot more easily than anyone else could.

Faramir helped and participated as much as he could, although he still tired easily. But the fact that no one criticised him when he couldn’t catch a fish or over his inability to light the woodfire, made him feel different already.

They had been there for a few hours, and the sun was beginning to dip. Their tents had been set up for the night, and a fire lit. Soup had been placed to warm on it. The Halflings began a noisy game by the river. Legolas and Gimli joined them. Aragorn, Boromir and Faramir stayed by the fire, the younger man leaning against his brother.

“That looks like fun,” Boromir said.

“Oh yes,” Faramir said and then tried to hold back a yawn. All the exercise had left him tired but in a very nice way.

“But tiring,” Boromir said, “I’ll stay back here.”

“Looks infantile,” Aragorn murmured.

Faramir yawned.

“Rest now,” Aragorn suggested gently, “There’s enough time to play tomorrow.”

“Yes,” Boromir said softly, holding him closer.

Faramir sighed and burrowed into his brother’s arms. Aragorn pulled a blanket over him.

“You’re safe here,” Boromir murmured, “Everything will be fine now.”

The sounds around them became softer – someone was singing a sweet lilting melody, the chirping of the birds muted. The setting sun was sinking lower, spreading a golden glow over the river.

Faramir relaxed into the hold and closed his eyes. Everything did feel better now. All would be fine.

—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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7 Comment(s)

Heart wrenching, stomach twisting and wonderful! Absolutely loved it!

— JD    Friday 14 December 2012, 6:36    #

Thank you JD:) I’m really glad you liked it.

Minx    Monday 17 December 2012, 16:32    #

After reading this in bits and pieces as you wrote it, I finally had the time to reread it front to back in one sitting last weekend. That’s some first class angst! Well done!
Although… according to h/c standards and conventions, I think this poor chap is due some more hugs and cuddles. Might have to imagine those myself. But then stories that get my imagination going are my favourite;) So many thanks for this one!

Iris    Wednesday 30 January 2013, 16:48    #

Awww…. thank you! :) I think he needed more hugs and lots of cuddles too…. :o

Minx    Thursday 31 January 2013, 18:00    #

I enjoyed this very much, Minx, as sad as it always is to read of Faramir going through such things! I’m glad that his brother and Aragorn were able to help him, even if it took some time for them to figure it out!

— Susana    Tuesday 18 June 2013, 4:47    #

Thank you Susana! I’m delighted you enjoyed it.:)

Minx    Sunday 23 June 2013, 19:04    #

That was fantastice.
Good job honey, well done.
Ohhhh…my poor little Faramir.
It such a relife that he finally has someones who care about him.
Thank u for creating this

— Elahe    Friday 5 November 2021, 11:16    #

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Minx

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