17. Homeward Bound
A/N: Sorry it's taken me so long to get this ending up, folks! I've been ill, and life got in the way for a while. Thanks for being patient with me!!!!!
The car ride home had been a quiet one. At first, Morgan barraged Boromir with questions about his visit to Dr. Larkin, believing his unusual behaviour related to being back at the mental hospital. Boromir's answers had been short and few.
What worried her the most, however, was how he never once looked at her the entire ride home. His face was always turned away, staring out the passenger side window.
They stepped in through the front door, Boromir stomping past her with giant mission-driven strides as Morgan punched in the alarm code. With the slam of the door, he shut himself up in his room. Morgan's mind ran wild, trying to remember if she had said or done something, anything that would cause him to be so upset. She could think of nothing, and so simply stood in the hall, not daring to even call out his name.
After several silent minutes, Boromir marched out fully clad in his Gondorian garb, his eyes bloodshot. He was just fastening his leather belt about his waist, when Morgan begged, "What's going on?"
"I am leaving," he said, still not daring to meet her desperate gaze.
"Leaving?!" she repeated. "Where to? To visit Carl?"
"Nay, I go home...to Minas Tirith."
"What?! Why?" Her voice was now cracking and panicked.
Boromir shook his head, his eyes cast downward to the floor. "This is folly, Morgan. This world of yours is mad, and turning me mad with it. I detest this place! I go!" He took a step forward, but she was quick to block his way, insisting he look her squarely in the face.
"What's happened?" she pleaded, her eyes swiftly filling with tears. "I'm not letting you leave here until you tell me what the hell is going on!"
"That man told me, Morgan..."
"Man? What man?"
"At the hospital. I broke his nose..."
"Davis?! He's the one! He's the one who shot Moglie! I just found out!"
"It was he who killed Moglie?"
"And are you in the custom of bedding such men?"
Morgan felt as though Boromir had stabbed her in the heart. She could barely breathe. A lone tear streaked down her cheek, but she did not even notice it.
Boromir took a step back, taking the look on her face as a confirmation of his accusation. How it devastated him! "It is true, then? That you should give yourself so freely; I feel as though I do not know you!"
Morgan clasped a shaking hand over her mouth; she could feel the tears flow over the back of her hand.
Boromir's chin trembled, and he let out a small sniffle. "To lead me to believe you were a lady of honesty...a lady of virtue..."
Morgan's eyes shot open, but now they were filled with rage. "How dare you! How dare you try to make me feel guilty about something that in this society, evil and demented it may be, is acceptable! I'm sorry that I'm not who or what you thought I was, but I've only ever been myself around you. What happened with Davis is in the past. Have I ever reproached you for Halleth?"
"I did not bed with Halleth!"
"Sleeping with him was a mistake; I'll be the first to admit it. But one thing you should know about Davis is, he's a jerk! He's cruel, and thoughtless, and totally self-absorbed!"
"And yet you did not tell me of your past relationship. I told you of mine..."
"Did you really want to know? What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, ya know? It's the same about the past. I've never lied to you."
"There was certainly no lie last night upon your coming to my bed!" Boromir said, his voice rising, as well as his heartache. "I see now you are used to such debauchery!"
"Are you mad at me because I'm not a virgin?! Well, sorry! You missed out on that blessing a long time ago. But, I'll be damned if I'm going to stand here and let you shame me for something that is normal, and I'll bet normal in Gondor, too!"
"We do not! My people have a high moral standard..."
"High moral standard?" The words pained Morgan. "So, I'm immoral, am I? What other words would your society have for a woman like me? Slut? Wench? Whore? Is this what you think of me?" She hid her face in her hands, and wept openly.
It made Boromir ache to see Morgan in such distress, whether injured by her or no. His manner melted slightly, and he put a hand on her shoulder. "I do not. I never said such. It is just...I am used to women...giving themselves but to one man...and that only in marriage..."
Morgan leaned toward him, and felt the returned comfort of again being in his arms. How it tortured her to have him think so poorly of her! She looked up into his face. He was openly weeping as well, and was not shamed by his tears. "I thought I was in love," she whispered. Was it a lie? Even Morgan wasn't sure. Upon Davis's arrival at the hospital, there had been a lot of flirting, and then the infamous date. Davis had been a brutal lover, rough and unmerciful. After such a wake-up call, she was compelled to give him the cold shoulder. But how was Boromir to understand? How was he to comprehend that here, sex was an acceptable part of life? That only in the rarest of cases did love not have a role to play.
Love... Boromir mused over what Morgan had said. Was love to be the exception to the rule of propriety? It was true that he had been considerably tempted in the previous night. Morgan had come alluringly to his bed, willing to give him his heart's desire. He had refused, but barely. His mind and heart struggled with what felt right, and what he knew to be socially correct. How he had hungered for her last night! So much so, his insides seemed to burn with need! Had he yielded and coupled with her, he knew it would not have been decorous, but would it have been wrong? Would she then have diminished in his eyes for not being his wife?
However, there was still one question left to be answered. He held her in his arms, his tears drying, and said, "I have one other question which I feel I must ask you."
Morgan's heart dropped. Davis's revenge had been severe. He had thrown all his cards in, entirely in an attempt to ruin the only chance of happiness she had ever had. "What?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper, though not at all wanting to hear the question.
"The day you first brought me to the hospital. Do you recall?" He grasped her shoulders, needing to see the truth in her eyes. "Did you perceive what would happen? Did you know they were to take me away to that place?"
Morgan couldn't lie. They had come too far, and her love was too great. She didn't know if it was pride, or that he had just accused her of having no moral value, but she didn't have it in her to deceive him anymore. "Yes."
He let out an anguished cry, let her go, and stepped back. He held onto the wall for support, and his knees seemed to quake. "Are you lost to all goodness?! All kindness or feeling?! How could you condemn me to such an existence, to be shut up with the mad!"
"I didn't know! I didn't know you! How could I know that you were telling me the truth? It all sounded so crazy at the time!"
"Crazy...mad... Aye, I suppose I am mad, to have lingered here so long..."
"Boromir, I love you!"
"As I love you," he said quietly. He wiped his face, and again grew calm. "Yet, what hope is there for us? There is too much betrayal, Morgan."
"Haven't you ever made a mistake? That's what it was, Boromir, a mistake! Oh, God! I would take it back within a moment if I could, but I can't. I realized months ago what a mistake I had made, and I've been trying to right it ever since! Are you so perfect? Are you so righteous and pure that you've never done something that you wouldn't give anything, anything to undo, but you just can't? There is no saying sorry, and making it okay. There's no way you can even forgive yourself, it's just so bad..."
Boromir sighed, and looked into Morgan's pained, tear-streaked face. "I am sorry, Morgan," and he strode to the door, and left without a backwards glance.
He had heard Morgan's heart wrenching, agonized cry as he strode down the front steps, but could not turn back. He knew well the way through the forest to the river's edge, and took scant time in reaching his destination. His elven boat lay still and overturned near the water's edge. He effortlessly upended it, for it was light and easy for one man. He carelessly tossed the oars into the boat, and pushed it up to the water's edge. His ankles in frigid water, he suddenly stopped, not letting go of the stern.
He doubled over, as if going to be sick, his hands gripping with tortuous agony onto the vessel. The whimper had been small at first, but soon it grew, him letting out all his sorrow and misery.
He pulled the boat back onto the shore, but did not ease his grip.
Morgan loved him, and he loved her, but was that enough? Was their love strong enough to steer a straight coarse through the tests of time? Halleth's love had proven untrustworthy. What would he do if Morgan's love proved likewise as variable?
Halleth had been sweet, gentle, and good, but his love for her had been naught compared to his fiery devotion for Morgan. She made him feel with his whole body and spirit, and delighted in all that he was as a man.
Yet, Halleth had been virtuous. Never did it enter her consciousness to attempt to couple with him, whereas, Morgan had been previously bedded, her purity gone. Were there more lovers? Even if he did marry her, would he be her last?
He was better off alone...at home. He pushed the boat back into the water, yet stopped again.
Regardless, he thought, she was human. She had never claimed perfection, and he saw now that he had placed her onto a high pedestal, perhaps unjustly in doing so. He had loved her regardless of her faults, as she had loved him. Her defects were her own, and they made her the woman he loved. Was it right to reproach her for having them? And, she had not wed that unworthy man... Nay, she had left him when he showed his true mettle. Morgan loved him.
He pulled the boat back again to the shore.
However, she had betrayed him. She had condemned him to the horrible hospital, convicted him of madness! He had endured such horrific humiliations whilst there, and borne untold agonies. Upon knowing that such sufferings were sustained because of her, a torrent trembled within him. But, even now, he was loath to reveal too much of himself to strangers lest they think him mad. Who here, with such close-minded opinions, would deem him otherwise? Yet, in the end, Morgan had believed him when others did not...
Who was he to judge her? Her words came back to him of mistakes and ill-judgements. Had he ever been guilty of a crime that was too terrible to be forgiven? Did not such an offense haunt him to that very shore?
He thought of Frodo, and remembered the day he tried to take the Ring by force. Had he turned mad? He did not rightly know. Even in recalling his actions it seemed madness, for he knew that he had committed a far worse act than Morgan. He had betrayed his friend, one whom he had sworn to protect and keep safe from all peril. Somehow, he knew not why, he had become Frodo's peril. Could Frodo ever forgive him? Could he ever forgive himself?
His heart throbbed, and he longed for relief from his tormented suffering. This was to end, once and for all.
He gripped firmly the boat, and ran knee deep into the cold river. He let the boat loose from his clasp, yet made no motion to climb aboard. It drifted farther and farther out of his reach, lightly floating away down river. "Farewell Father, and Faramir. You think me dead. Let it remain so." The elven craft drifted farther ahead; he blinked, and the boat was gone! Did it disappear, or simply turn round the bend, hidden by brush and foliage? He neither knew, nor cared; his choice had been made.
He could no longer carry the guilt and heartache he felt toward Frodo. Perhaps, thought he, by forgiving Morgan, he had earned forgiveness for himself.
Reaching into his doublet, he pulled out a small, velvety box, and opened it. A silvery ring glistened in the afternoon sun, its sparkling stone proclaiming to all that love would will out. Closing the box, he returned it safely next to his heart, and set off for Morgan and home.
A/N: Please continue on to the Epilogue, and review!!
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