Where History Has Been Fixed
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Shadow of Himself: 6. VI
"You are thinking of keeping this information from Faramir." Gimli was the first to break the melancholy silence.
"No," Legolas corrected, though cautiously, "We are going to keep this information from Faramir." He expected Gimli to immediately fly into a rage, to rant and shout against such a decision.
But instead, Gimli only regarded Legolas thoughtfully. "You think Bor -- Randîr --," Legolas flinched, "you think he is right in his reasoning."
"Yes," Legolas said, "I do, old friend." He glanced out the window at the busy port, trying to collect his thoughts. "I do not know if I think it is the Valar's doing that he is alive, but who am I to say?" He looked back at Gimli, whose face was alarmingly unreadable. "But I think he was right when he said that knowing this will injure all who knew him as Boromir. Particularly Faramir -- though the loss will always be an ache in his heart, he has come to terms with his brother's death. He has healed, as much as one can from such a sorrow. Should we tear that wound open, and watch him bleed when his brother does not know his face? Would it serve any good purpose?"
"You do not think Faramir deserves to know his brother is alive?" Gimli's voice was even, devoid of emotion, and this made Legolas very uneasy. "Aragorn, the hobbits, Imrahil, his friends and comrades of war do not deserve to know?"
"Do they deserve to feel what I am feeling now?" Legolas countered. "What you are feeling now, for all that your face is as blank as stone? Would you willingly inflict such pain on any whom you call friend, Gimli son of Gloin?"
The Elf looked away again, and Gimli could see the tension in his friend's shoulders that meant that Legolas was on the verge of weeping. "I would not," Legolas said at length, "I will not. I will not speak of this to any, for I would keep this desolation, this bleak despair from them. Such sorrow I would not have predicted, knowing that he lives. And yet to hearing him denying all ties with his past -- nay, not simply denying his past, but repudiating it so forcibly -- this is more hurtful to my soul than thinking him dead in battle."
There was a long silence, again broken by the Dwarf. "He was right," Gimli admitted, and Legolas turned, startled, face tear-stained, "if we were to bring back the news that Boromir the Fair is alive, Pelargir would be swarmed with visitors from Gondor - everyone from Aragorn to the lowliest drudge in the stables would come to gawk as if he were an animal on display. Randîr and his family would never know another moment's peace, and none of Boromir's kin nor acquaintances would profit from the knowledge." Gimli did not bother to try and conceal his emotion.
"I know I have not profited -- indeed, seeing that Randîr knew us not, and had no wish to know us, cut more deeply than any wound I have taken in battle." He wiped the tears from face with his beard. "I cannot imagine how it would cripple Faramir to confront such a thing. Though Randîr utterly rejects us as companions of old," Gimli's voice broke, and he was obliged to pause a moment, "I do not reject that Boromir was a friend whom I respected greatly. And in honour of that friendship, I will say nothing. It is the last thing I can do for Boromir."
Legolas went to Gimli and placed his hands on the Dwarf's shoulders. "Then shall we lift a glass, and bid our friend farewell?"
Gimli stood, back straight, yet face sorrowful. "Aye," he nodded. "Tonight we will drink to Boromir."
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