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The Flame That Burns Within (R) Print

Written by Eora

23 December 2012 | 12161 words

[ all pages ]

Title: The Flame That Burns Within
Rating: R (to be safe)
Pairing: Faramir/Beregond
Warnings: Slash, sexual scenes, angst.
Disclaimer: None of these characters and locations belong to me. All written in good fun with no offence intended!
Author’s Note: And so begins the worry that my recipient may not like this; I sincerely hope that you do enjoy it, and if you do not, then I apologise most deeply. The request did not specify whether I should choose an existing guard character or come up with my own, and since I do not quite trust my creation skills I chose Beregond, but if he is not to your taste, I have been purposefully vague as to his looks to that you may more easily substitute another in his place, and imagine that two men of the same name exist :P I really do hope this story is okay, and that you enjoy it! Thank you for this lovely request, for some reason my Swap fics have tended to overshoot the ‘one-shot’ length a little but I also tend to get happily lost in the universe I create and I hope that experience is contagious :)

I have used a bit of artistic licence in dealing with the canon, so please don’t be too critical of all the alterations (and inaccuracies, especially in regards to the geography of Minas Tirith) I’ve made to the events and timeline surrounding the siege of the White City! The Houses of the Dead in Minas Tirith are referred to as the Stewards’ Houses below.

Written for the 2012 Midwinter Swap.

Request by Eldalie: I would love to see a nicely written Faramir and a member of the Minas Tirith guard. You know, the seeing each other only when he goes back to the city, all the awkwardness of soldiers who know they will not be allowed to live this freely. Obviously within oneshot limits. :)


Prologue.

It all started in the healing houses, when the lord Faramir was lying on the precipice of death, a single footfall from going over the edge and being lost forever, leaving the pale, prone shell of a man whose spirit and good, kind soul had left its lodgings and gone on to lands unseen by living eyes. Well, Beregond, thought, if he was being honest with himself he would have to say it began a long time before that, but now, right now, with war ongoing, with darkness and terror and grief and fear palpable in the air and in the earth, with the city walls themselves shaking and crumbling and the stone beneath their feet vibrating as the great battle-machinery of the enemy rumbled ever closer, now at least he could show his love for his lord and captain in something other than an unspoken capacity. His hand found Faramir’s upon the blanket, and curled around it.

If not love, then loyalty. Duty too, he supposed. No-one questioned it, no-one seemed willing to bring him quite yet to justice in the wake of everything. He was left to watch over his fallen captain on the promise that he would not leave the ward himself and then he was left, there to guard for one last time the well-being of Faramir of Gondor.

He had saved his life. Sort of. But to do that, to do what he had to do out of loyalty and duty and out of desperate love he had spilled the blood of a good man who was not his enemy. Perhaps in the end it will have been for naught. Perhaps Faramir would die. Perhaps he would live and Beregond would discover that the love he felt did not burn back in the same manner. Perhaps Faramir would thank him, and then sit on the jury of the court that would, at some point, no doubt decide his fate.

Murderers were executed, even those who killed in wartime, even those who killed men set to halt them in the prevention of a madman murdering his last remaining son. Men who were only following orders. Beregond put his head in his hands.

Part of him wished they might both die, so to find one another in the next world, away from rules and propriety. But it was not something he could put faith into. In eleven months he had never been sure of Faramir’s love. Not for a moment.

The king had been here, had held his palm against Faramir’s brow and clasped his hand, and spoken words to him that none else in the room could hear. Beregond fancied the look the king swung him as he hovered by the door was not one of ire, or anger or disgust, but maybe of pity, a brief reprieve of understanding before the day arrived where this selfsame monarch would raise a sword above his neck and end it all. Death for love.

But it was not love. Love is not a stolen glance. Love is not a wine-stained tongue and an opportunity, nor is it a disused citadel sitting room with a lockable door. Love is not a quick shuffle of clothing, the buckle of a belt falling open and striking repeatedly against a thigh. Love is not the nameless sating of an urge. Beregond had surmised Faramir’s indiscretions were to be kept subtle. Their kisses were mostly lustful, and though Faramir was never rough with him, Beregond had known without needing to be told that this was not going to blossom into some wondrous romantic partnership. Faramir’s fingertip on Beregond’s lips. The flash of his eyes. The way candlelight glinted in the reddish hairs on his belly when Beregond‘s hands clawed his shirt up over his head. None of these things were love. Love did not last this long without being acknowledged. But Beregond fell for him anyway and now he sat by a bed in a healing ward and knew not what would become of him.

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5 Comment(s)

Very nicely done! I like the quiet tone of the fic, it suits both the characters and setting.

Minx    Sunday 23 December 2012, 18:04    #

Thank you Minx! When I was writing it I got this overwhelming feeling of, not sadness, per se, but a more sedate, quiet atmosphere that carried me through it, which I hope sort of complimented the private nature of the relationship (or maybe not, but I tried!) :)

Eora    Monday 24 December 2012, 15:26    #

What beautiful imagery! I love the way you capture both men!

— Ria    Monday 24 December 2012, 17:29    #

LO, WHAT AN EPICAL JOURNEY! O_O

When I read the first part, my immediate thought was: Exactly what this old, dull tomb needs. XD And then the narrative river broadened and the story grew and grew (quotation!) until I was drawn into the siege of Minas Tirith once more, so vivid and moving as if I witnessed it for the very first time. My dear friend, you are obviously made for the biggies! Not only that you are a master of headspace and inner dialogues, no, you also know how to propel the ´real´action. You might be pleased (or scared to the bone) to learn that now I will lean back with a cup of nice hot tea and a plate of scones in order to await the release of your first 1.000-pager… :)

Nevertheless there ar one or two aspects I like to point out in particular. First: As irritating as it sounds, I loved how horrified Beregond is by the prospect of being Faramir´s groundbreaking experience. Many cultures have this strange ´virginity´ thing running that, apart from other nonsense, alleges that it´s immensely desirable to be the first one, while ignoring the huge responsibility that comes with it. As long as you are just one amongst many, it is no big deal. But as the first one, you are responsible for shaping somebody´s idea of sexuality. Of course not a hundred percent, but there´s still a lot depending on you. All the cleverer men I know have decidedly declared their fondness for experienced partners. Quotation of ex-boyfriend: “Oh no, not a virgin! Crap!” X)

And second: Faramir failing at bringing his leader the `Great Secret Weapon`. Why yes! Most of the time all we (which is: me) see is how injust Faramir is treated by his father after rejecting the ring. BUT: As a matter of fact what he did was refusing not only the wish of his father but also the command of his military leader, this not even once but twice (a) when he did not give order to shoot the Hobbits once he spotted them and b) when he had the chance to get the ring). From outside it must indeed look as if he had betrayed his city, his people and the efforts of his brother. And then, when reporting those incidents, instead of apologizing (and promising not to do it again), his only self-defense is “I did what I judged to be right.” Let´s face it; Denethor´s reaction might seem cruel to us, but in his capacity as a ruler he would have been entitled to do a lot more to his undutiful son than just giving him an oration.

And the meaning of this pointless raving? Just that reading your fic brings up all sorts of deep and not-so-deep thoughts – not to mention that it makes me customarily crying. ;) Oh, and just since this is the perfect occasion: MERRY CHRISTMAS OVER THERE! :)

— raven22372    Tuesday 25 December 2012, 18:04    #

Ria- Thank you! :) I think I mention to everyone who ever leaves me a comment but to receive any compliment on characterisation is the best thing I can hear as I maintain that it is my biggest weakness (not that the rest of my writing is at some sort of golden standard but you know what I mean.) I’m glad you enjoyed, thank you for reading!

Raven- First of all, a VERY Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you’ve had a lovely day (and goodness, I hope I didn’t actually make you cry on Christmas day!!! D: ) The best thing about today was that they showed Fellowship on tv, with Two Towers tomorrow evening (and RotK on the 29th) !

Ohgrfdgbdfnbf, I really don’t know what to say. Thank you AGAIN as always for reading my stories and for always leaving such gorgeous feedback, I honestly sit here blushing like a fool whenever I read your thoughts because the things you say simply cannot be true at all, but thank you so very much anyway for saying them. 1000 page epic? Ahem, well, the longest story I’ve got in my archives is a paltry 60 pages, but as I was very lucky to receive a new laptop today (I talk as if I didn’t know about it- I paid for two thirds!) I’m sure we can try and beat that target! I’ve not even transferred my files over from the old one yet but I’ve already begun a story (cough something about a night before the coronation? cough although I hope you forgive me if this little accompaniment to your wonderful artwork doesn’t quite reach those lengths! ) Is this the longest fic I’ve published on this site? I didn’t check! I have so many plans for long stories that I can never quite get finished, though I do work on them on and off, so maybe, one day!

I was terrified of writing events during the siege. I still don’t think I’ve really captured it very well but I did try my best, but there was so much to fit in and I sincerely hope that my efforts are at least coherent. I really wanted a sort of mournful overtone to the whole story, only becoming happy at the very end, which I hope I’ve achieved. There were so many things I needed to include in this story and I hope I didn’t go overboard with the issues and events and emotions; Beregond’s sort of ‘…erm…’ over finding out rather abruptly that he is probably Faramir’s first experience with a man I tried to make out of a sort of pity that isn’t quite pitiful. I think he feels sorry for Faramir more than anything else, how he never seems to have anything nice happen to him, and that he feels the need to deny himself or to postpone the exploration of his inner feelings for so long. I hope he makes Faramir happy (and I think he does :)) Faramir’s not meant to be wholly without experience, but he’s never had cause or courage to look boldly at another man in this scenario.

Generally I just felt really sorry for Faramir during all of this :( He is the better son, in my opinion, though Boromir is in no way a bad person nor dishonourable but I think Faramir’s innate kindness and gentle mercy make him a more rounded individual. Obviously, Boromir is wholly on Faramir’s side but even he can’t stop the whims of their father from casting Faramir in the poorer light always. I wanted Faramir’s deep sense of duty, both to the realm and to his family, far outweigh his personal feelings, and his dislike of war, so much so that he wouldn’t even really voice his disinclination when he knows he rides out to an almost certain death. He might justify it to himself by knowing that he is doing the ‘right’ thing, retaking a city that he failed to hold as penance for letting the ring slip from Gondor’s grasp, and also, riding out, he may well be reunited with his brother soon enough anyway. These were the sorts of things I had in my mind when I was writing thing, perhaps not overtly but I tried to keep that mood and feeling at the forefront when I was writing Faramir’s character. I needed him to be sombre, deeply sad but quietly so, almost shrugging in the face of insurmountable woe as if to say ‘why bother getting upset, it changes nothing, and I must do my duty.’ Poor Faramir. I have so many angsty, sad story ideas concerning these things but I must give him something nice and fluffy to enjoy first I think :) (namely Aragorn’s chest-hair, ha!)

Thank you again for taking the time to read this story, and again, a most Merry Christmas to you! (And your parcel will be on its way very shortly!)

— Eora    Wednesday 26 December 2012, 0:29    #

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About the Author


Eora

Hello, I’m Eora :) As well as on this site I collect my writing (and general ramblings) on my journal. If you want to ask me anything you are more than welcome to comment/befriend me there :)