16. About Boromir
Merry frowned at him in concern. "Are you all right?"
"I am tired." he admitted.
"That is my fault." Man and Hobbit both looked at the King in surprise. "I have pushed you too hard before you were fully healed." Aragorn explained. "Mistress Estella would be most displeased with me."
"Then we will not tell her." Boromir smiled. He hoped that was all it was but it had occurred to him he might have only a limited time to complete his mission before being called back to the Halls whether it was done or not.
"You're always in a hurry, Strider." from Pippin, then to Boromir. "You should have seen the way he drove us from Bree to Rivendell!"
"Sun up to sundown and no meal breaks." Merry chimed in.
"Shocking." Boromir said, but with only half a mind on the banter. Aragorn was right. He would have to give himself a few days to fully heal if he was to have any chance of winning his fight. But after that he must stop wasting time, there was no telling when he might run out of it.
The High King waited until the next morning to break the news: "You will not ride with us to Rhudaur but remain here in Fornost." he told Boromir. "That arm must have time to heal."
For a moment he thought the Man was going to protest but then Boromir seemed to think the better of it. "As you wish."
Aragorn eyed him warily, he had not expected to win so easily. "Merry and Pippin will stay with you."
"You bet we will." Merry muttered under his breath.
He managed to get the King aside just before he rode out with his escort and a company of bowmen. "I don't like it, Strider, it's not like Boromir to give in like that."
"I admit I expected more of an argument." Aragorn conceeded. "He said he was tired, perhaps he is being sensible."
Merry snorted. "I've come to know a great many Dunedain over the last twenty years and 'sensible' is the last word I'd use to describe any of you!"
Aragorn laughed, then said soberly: "I am counting on you and Pippin to keep a close watch on our friend."
"Don't worry. We won't let him out of our sight." ****
"Is this possible?" Gimli asked, not of Faramir but Legolas.
The Elf frowned. "Luthien and Beren were permitted to return so their son Dior could be born, or so I was taught. Certainly such a thing would not be allowed save for some great reason of Doom."
They were in the Dwarf's great chamber at Aglarond; a long natural cavern, walls polished to a rippling finish by ancient waters and veined with glittering metal ores and gems, and lit bright as daylight by crystal lamps. Gimli sat in his great chair, lovingly carved from a single huge agate, upon a low dais with the Man and Elf seated before him in chairs of bronze wrought in the form of interwoven tree boughs.
"Boromir himself feels he has been sent back to slay the Wolf-lord in atonement for his attack on the Ringbearer." Faramir explained.
Gimli snorted. "What nonsense! He saved Frodo's life twice in Moria and died defending Merry and Pippin. Surely that counts for more than a brief moment of weakness?"
Legolas too was shaking his head. "The Ring had set its will on him, it is no wonder he succumbed. But he freed himself from its power and that was a great deed, few have done the like. Does he not understand that?"
"Apparently not." Faramir sighed. "Well we'll just have to talk some sense into him then!" Gimli growled.
Faramir smiled. "I thought you might wish to accompany me."
"Indeed! I wonder that Aragorn did think to tell us himself." The Dwarf sounded slightly hurt.
"Perhaps he assumed Faramir would do so." Legolas suggested, then smiled a little grimly. "And it would seem he has other things to think of."
"Boromir himself was against sending word to any of us." the other two looked at him in surprise and Faramir continued: "He does not expect to be in Middle Earth long it seems, according to King Elessar he is convinced he will die killing Draugoth."
"Scarcely seems worth the trouble of coming back in the first place." Gimli grumbled.
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