1. Alone and Forsaken
Sleep would not come.
Hours had passed since the argument, but Boromir's heart was still hot within him. His mind was filled with turmoil and doubt which could not be stilled or reasoned away. He lay stiffly, wrapped in cloak and blanket, staring up at the stars as he rehearsed the heated words which had passed between himself and Aragorn. Over and over again he relived the quarrel until he was sick at heart over the matter. But he could not forget it, nor could he forgive the words that had been said to him -- such angry, bitter words!
'Your City,' you said! thought Boromir resentfully. 'I would not lead the Ring within a hundred leagues of your City!' You claim to be our king, yet you disown us and speak scornfully of your people! Is it not your City as well, if you are the King? How can you then turn away? You might have been the one to save us -- you and your Sword out of legend! I tried to tell you this, tried to convince you of our need; did you not listen, even then? You have turned away from us, even as you turn away from me! Now what hope is left?
Boromir rolled onto his side so that he could see Aragorn where he lay sleeping, wrapped in his blanket on the far edge of the clearing. Tears pricked Boromir's eyes and he rubbed them away angrily.
You claim there is no strength in Gondor that can avail us! he fumed silently. You are ever careful to remind me of that lack, Aragorn!
I have done what I could -- more than you, who have wandered in the wilderness while our people have fought and died! I have given all I could give and it has not been enough! I have spent my life for my people against an impossible foe -- and you belittle those efforts! You continually gainsay my warnings and my advice, when my only thought is for our safety, and the safety of the Company. And yes, for the safety of Gondor. Of course there is no strength in Gondor! What strength can be left in a kingdom that has been beaten to its knees? You were my last hope, Aragorn -- you and the Sword you carry...
Boromir's heavy sigh was loud in the silence of the night. He caught his breath anxiously and stared at Aragorn, fearful he might have awakened at the sound. But the Ranger did not stir.
Why do you turn away? Boromir fretted sorrowfully, half regretting that Aragorn slept on.
There is nowhere left for me to turn... no one left! You are a Man; I thought you would understand the needs of Men. But no! You seem to care only for the ancient things, Elvish things... we of Gondor are nothing to you! Why is that? Why are you afraid to accept your duty to your own people? Are you only strong when you rely on others for leadership? Others, such as Gandalf? The Elves? Surely not! You are a descendent of kings! Perhaps... perhaps even the Heir of kings. Why, then, can you not accept your duty to us? Why do you leave me alone?
Boromir bit his lip in dismay at the sudden sorrow that welled up inside him; a feeling of utter dejection overwhelmed him as he gazed at Aragorn's still and silent form.
Alone! he moaned silently. That is how it shall end, I fear. They will all forsake me and follow you into the darkness of Mordor. Frodo will turn away from me. He heard what passed between us -- I know he did! I heard his shuddering sigh, and saw how stiffly he lay wrapped in his blanket afterwards, feigning sleep.
I am lost! He will side with you, Aragorn; he will not come to Minas Tirith. He will go to Mordor, and you will go with him. The Company will be lost, the Ring will go back to Sauron, and my people will fall into darkness!
Turning away, Boromir rolled onto his back and stared up into the blackness of the night. High up in the sky, clouds blew across the stars and blotted out their light. The wind quickened, and with it came a drizzle of rain. Boromir let the misty rain fall upon his face, and it mingled with his tears.
Now what hope is left? he thought desperately. The Sword will go East, and with it the Ringbearer. My last hope, walking straight into the arms of the Enemy. The Sword lost -- the Ring taken! No chance then to save my people; after all we have done to prevent it, we will become slaves. Death would be better than the slavery that will surely come to us when the Ring is taken!
The Ring! he sighed. If only they would see that it is folly... folly to throw away...
Boromir lay suddenly still, as Pippin strolled nearby. It was the hobbit's watch, and he was walking up and down to keep awake and warm in the rain.
Sleep, Boromir thought, willing himself to relax. I must try to sleep! I shall need my full strength and all my wits about me in the coming days... if the decision goes against me...
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.