From Afar: 4. Mercy

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools

4. Mercy

Chapter Four

“Mercy”

It was with some trepidation that Boromir again entered Morgan’s house. He did not fear her, but merely wished that she could trust him. Despite his expectation to be returned to his bedchamber and bound, she aided him to the long bench and examined him a moment. Her hands felt smooth and warm against his frozen, rugged skin. He knew not if the fever and lack of food were the cause of him being so dizzy, or if it be the sweet scent of her hair as she came close. Regardless, weak and helpless in such a able maiden’s care, he already felt on the mend.

“Will you be alright on the couch for a minute? I need to get dressed.”

“Certainly,” Boromir replied, his eyes shy and unskilled.

Morgan strode off to change out of her pajamas, her mind a squall of confusion. As a nurse, she should never have let Boromir leave; she knew he had not been in a fit state to go anywhere. At first congratulating herself for being rid of him, the days following his disappearance had led her to reconsider. She hadn’t missed him. Had she? She wasn’t sure. He was funny; she never knew what harebrained thing he was going to say next. And yet, missed him or not, like him or not, there was one unequivocal thing she could not deny.

She had finished dressing and tidying her unruly short brown hair, her mind now firmly made up.

Obediently, Boromir had not moved and could not help but smile upon Morgan’s re-entrance.

“Boromir,” she began seriously, “I’m worried about you. Your feverish and there might be infection. I’m thinking pneumonia.”

“Is it grave?”

“It can be, so I really think we should go to the hospital. They’ll be able to do chest x-rays, and determine if it’s pneumonia or bronchitis, and see if there’s any infection from your wounds.”

Boromir had understood little of what she had just said. “What is a hospitable?”

Morgan blinked, and could not help but smirk and shake her head. Just when he was seeming so normal... “A hospital, Boromir, is where you go when you are sick.”

“Ah, we have just such a place in Minas Tirith, though it is known as the Houses of Healing. Are there learned people there who are familiar with such illnesses as mine own?”

“Yes. Doctors and nurses. That’s where I work.”

Boromir grinned, and for the first time, Morgan noticed how his entire face beamed when he was smiling. “You did not mention so before!” Boromir said. “Aye, you make a very good healer! But why can we not stay here?”

“The hospital has medicines, Boromir, that I don’t have. I really think you should go.”

His smile faded. He sensed there was something of which she was not telling. “If it is your wish.”

- - -

Boromir may have felt trepidation upon re-entering Morgan’s house, but upon entering her car, he felt nothing short of terror. Had he had more strength, he could have put up more of a fight, but as weak as he was, she easily muzzled him.

“What do you call this death chamber?” Boromir said, his eyes wide with anxiety.

“A Honda,” Morgan said, buckling her seatbelt, and then turning the ignition. The car roared to life, and Boromir gave a shudder.

Smoother than by horse, Boromir granted, but much too fast! They travelled swifter than a wagon pulled by twelve Rohan steeds, and as if that were not unpleasant enough, the car suddenly began to make the most high-pitched, horrific sound imaginable. “I fear your Honda is dying,” Boromir said, his hands covering his ears.

“Huh?”

“Can you not hear that dreadful sound? It requires healing, I think...”

“No Mariah Carey, huh? Well, to each his own.” Morgan turned the dial, from which then an Eminem song came on. Boromir looked horrified. He obviously wasn’t a fan, Morgan noted. Continuing to turn the dial, she came across a Celtic music station, and at once, Boromir looked more at peace. The woodwinds, drums, and fiddle played in rhythmic harmony, and Boromir smiled. “But how is this possible?” he said, closely examining the radio. “What magic is this?”

Morgan smiled, but it was a piteous smile. He reminded her of her nephew...all child-like wonder and innocence. “It’s not magic, Boromir,” she said, gently. “It’s a radio.”

“But how does it work? Are there little men playing in there?”

Try as she might, she could not suppress a laugh. “No, no little men in there. You see its made by...” She was about to explain the intricacies of radio waves, and of satellites, but what the hell for? He wouldn’t understand anyway. Or at least, pretend not to.

He continued to stare at her intently, his face now sweaty with his fever. “Alright, you caught me,” she said kindly. “It is magic.”

Boromir smiled, and gawked at the radio, it’s blue lights glowing even in the light of day. “Such wonders...” he said quietly, and settled back, watching the white world fly by, listening to ‘Danny Boy’.

Nothing in Boromir’s life had prepared him for what came next. He sat in the car, mouth agape at the phenomena flying past. Hondas flooded the grey road, a sea of colours moving in every direction. Tall towers blocked out the sun, and shined with mirror-like stars blinding him. Giant birds soared overhead, loud and thunderous were their cries of fury as they circled.

Morgan had been eyeing him on the drive. “He’s either one hell of an actor, or he’s really lost it,” she thought to herself as she drove further into the city, pausing at a stoplight. “Ever been to Portland before, Boromir?” she ventured, curious to see his reaction.

Boromir simply shook his head, eyes attempting to take in all the fantastic wonders around him. “Never would I have dreamt that such a place as this existed.” He watched the passers by in awestruck amazement. There was so much diversity and marvels to behold! “Are they all from this land?” he said to Morgan, pointing at people crossing the street. “Shall I find kinsmen of mine own in the great city?”

“I dunno, Boromir,” Morgan said vaguely. “I haven’t heard of anyone else from Gondola.”

“Gondor,” he said without looking at her. It was all too incredible for words. Had his father this technology, they would certainly defeat Sauron! Such knowledgeable soldiers must exist in such a helpful city! Boromir’s spirits brightened at the prospect. He should never have tried to take the One Ring, but it mattered no longer! Here he would at last discover a weapon powerful enough to destroy Sauron!

Morgan drove her car into the Mercy Hospital parking lot, and parked at the staff parking. Turning off the ignition, she announced, “We’re here. Are you okay, Boromir? You shouldn’t be nervous...”

Boromir had always prided himself on his bravery, but in such a foreign land, his courage failed him, and he sat shivering in his boots. However, he could not bear the thought of Morgan believing him to be a coward, and so he merely said, “I fear nothing.”

Morgan didn’t really believe him, but hadn’t the heart to wound his pride more than he was obviously suffering.

With Morgan’s aid, they walked through the sweeping doors of the ER, and approached the reception desk. At first the receptionist didn’t recognize Morgan, but at once, her face lit up. “Hey, Morgan! What are you doing here? Isn’t it your day off?” Her gaze gravitated toward the tall, muscular man to Morgan’s right, and she did a double take.

“Yes, Franny, it is. I just had to bring in my friend, here. He’s not doing so well.”

Franny eyed Boromir dubiously. “That’s an understatement,” she said. “Curtain three is free.”

“Thanks,” Morgan replied, ushering Boromir into a small room with hospital beds and curtains lined up in a row.

“Morgan, this is naught like the Houses of Healing,” Boromir said with more misgiving than expected.

“No worries,” Morgan knowingly assured, helping him onto the bed. “I’m here. No one’s going to hurt you, I promise.” Boromir closed his eyes, and Morgan, without thinking, grabbed Boromir’s chart, beginning to fill out the necessary paperwork. She stopped dead on the first question, ‘Name’. “Oh, mercy, me!” Morgan breathed. If all that Boromir had so far told her was any indication, she didn’t know who they’d think was more crazy, her or Boromir. Nevertheless, this was why she had brought him here. She couldn’t wimp out now.

“Uh, Boromir, just a few questions. Um...name?”

“Morgan, you know my name,” Boromir said, gazing at her. What she truly so forgetful?

“Remind me.”

“Boromir son of Denethor,” Boromir replied, laying his head back down upon the pillow.

“Uh huh,” she said, copying his every word down onto paper. “And, uh, address?”

“I do not understand...”

“Street, town, you know...”

“Minas Tirith in Gondor, he said, now shaking his head. “But Morgan, you know all this!”

“I just don’t want to get something wrong,” she said, using the clipboard to hide her guilt-ridden face. “Marital status?”

“Unmarried.”

Morgan had not dared look at him, but she felt the oddest yippee of joy upon hearing his answer. “Date of birth?”

“April twentieth, in the year twenty-nine seventy-eight of the second age.”

For nearly a solid minute, Morgan could do nothing but stand there stupidly, not having nerve enough to look at him and say, “Cut the crap!” Instead, she swallowed her resolve and moved onto the next question. “Employee information?”

“I am Captain-General of my father’s army, and High Warden of the White Tower.”

Morgan bit down hard on her lip. Shaking her head, she wrote down his reply, cursing under her breath.

Boromir heard her utterances, and asked how she fared.

“Oh, I’m fine! Just dandy! Do you have any insurance?”

“I know not what other assurances I can make to you, but I swear...”

“No, that’s okay,” she said, writing “none” on the line. “Um...next of kin?”

“My father and my brother, Faramir.”

“I didn’t know you had a brother,” she said, peeking out from behind the chart.

“Aye, my younger brother.”

“And he lives with you in...Minas Tirith?”

“Aye...”

“Just checking.” Morgan sighed. This was harder than she thought it would be. “Medical history?” She couldn’t wait for this one.

“Well, the five arrows - that you already know of. I broke my wrist a twelvemonth ago in battle, and three ribs falling off a horse when I was nine.”

The pen continued to scratch along the paper some moments after he had finished talking, Morgan quickly copied every word, including the word ‘twelvemonth’ which she thought odd. “Any blood diseases that we should be aware of? AIDS, Hepetitis, HIV?”

Boromir looked at her as though she began speaking another language. He made no answer, and again she peeked at him beyond her clipboard. “No? Okay,” and left each box blank. She placed the clipboard in its holder at the end of the bed, and could not look at him.

“Morgan...”

“Hm?” Morgan replied, still not looking at him, but finding the ceiling tile suddenly very interesting.

“Morgan...What troubles you? Do you not think I will be welcome here, for if we should go...”

“Nooo!” Morgan replied, now looking at him. “It’s alright. We should stay. It’ll be alright.”

“What have I done? Have I said something to offend you? Is it because I have never before spoken of Faramir? I will tell you all about him if you wish it...”

“No, it’s okay, Boromir,” she said, getting a better hold on her emotions. It was evident that he was sensitive to them. “I’m alright. I’m just...worried about you.”

A pregnant moment passed, and Boromir was about to answer when a tall man with short black hair wearing a white coat entered and picked up Boromir’s chart. “Harris? What are you doing here?” He appeared very happy to see her, Boromir jealously observed, until he, himself, was spotted. “Who’s your friend?”

“Davis, this is Boromir. Boromir, this is Dr. Gavin Davis. Boromir’s a friend in need of some...help.”

Davis took a swift glance at the chart, and then looked incredulously at Morgan. “I don’t have time for this, Harris! If this is your idea of some kind of stupid joke...”

“No joke,” Morgan said calmly. “No joke.”

Davis stared at Morgan a moment, still skeptical of her seriousness. “As a nurse, then, would you recommend him to see the psych consult?”

“Yes.” She knew Boromir had no idea of what they were talking about; it was written all over his face. She turned away from his trusting eyes, pleading silently for answers and confirmations. Why did this feel like a betrayal?

“Alright, then,” Davis replied, seemingly convinced. “Go and tell Franny. I need to have a word with your friend, here.”

Morgan stepped out from behind the curtain, and felt numb. Boromir had trusted her, but she had no choice. She knew she had no choice. He would be better off. He would get the help he needs. He would be safe.

“Alright! Fess up! Who’s the hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin’-love you got stashed in there?” Franny said as she approached.

“Just a friend.”

“What is he, English? I thought I heard an accent...” Franny said, straining her head to try and get a better look.

“Something like that. Listen, can you order a psych consult for curtain three?”

Franny looked taken aback. “For your friend?”

Morgan merely nodded. She was so tired all of a sudden. Why did she feel so guilty?

“I’ll call right now,” Franny said, curious, but unwilling to pester her friend into confessions.

Morgan didn’t know what to do with herself. Her anxious hands felt restless, so she put them to work doing dishes in the staff room. Elbow deep in soapy water, she raised her head only when the door opened. Davis strode in. She had expected to get a razzing from her co-workers about her unusual friend, but Davis didn’t seem to find it so funny.

“What rock did he crawl out from?” he said, clicking his ballpoint pen repeatedly. “Where do you know this guy from?”

Morgan looked up at him, but didn’t smile. Davis was gorgeous. He had a strong, Grecian profile, but zero sense of humour. “To be honest, I’ve only known him a week. I don’t know anything about his history, just...what he’s told me...what I put on the form. He’s harmless.”

“Whoa, wait! You just met this guy?! Harris, what are you doing with a screwball like that? He could’ve killed you!”

Morgan didn’t reply. She pulled the plug on the sink, and the vacuum of the water made a deep, regurgitating sound.

Davis sensed he was being ignored. “Is this your thing? I mean, is this what you do? Meet some random guy, fuck him, and...”

Morgan whipped around, her eyes dangerous. “Get over yourself, Davis. You and I had one date, one night, one big mistake. Boromir is none of your business, but for the record, we haven’t. Alright? He needs help...”

“...obviously...”

“...so I brought him here. Got a problem with that?”

Davis looked seditious. “He’s asking for you. I’m still waiting on the psych consult.” He left, and flicked the door so hard it banged into the wall leaving a mark on the mint green paint. Shaking her head, Morgan cursed herself. She should’ve taken Boromir to a different hospital.

Morgan went and sat beside Franny at the reception desk. Without asking, she began the sort the mountain of folders loaded atop Franny’s desk, desperate for a reason not to go see Boromir. Seeing her friend was in distress, Franny let her continue. “Your friend’s been asking for you...”

Nodding her head, Morgan made no motion to go to him. She simply sat there with a look of confusion upon her face.

“Your friend not doing too well?”

“He’s lost his marbles,” Morgan replied as though she were commenting on the weather.

Widening her eyes, Franny struggled for what to say in reply. Thinking it best to maybe change the subject, she said, “Have you seen your brother? He just brought in a DUI.”

“Morgan? There you are! I heard you were in!”

Morgan turned to see a very familiar face. He had eyes like hers, but he was much taller in stature and frame, and he wore a blue police officer’s uniform. Smiling, Morgan turned and hugged her brother. “Wyatt! Haven’t seen you in weeks.”

“It’s been slow with the weather; everybody’s been staying home. Just brought in a drunk driver who crashed into a hydro pole. It’s not even noon, and the crazies are already out. Are you working? Where are your scrubs?”

Morgan shook her head. “I’m here for a friend.”

“Oh no. Who? Anyone I know?”

Morgan shook her head. Just then, Boromir began to shout Morgan’s name at the top of his lungs. Morgan rushed to his side, Wyatt on her heels, and Davis standing at the foot of the bed looking severe.

“Morgan!” Boromir bellowed, confused and agitated, but upon seeing her, he felt relief at last. Such a disorienting place. The bright lights irritated him, and he was now fastened to tortuous devices. It all became too much for his stout heart to take...

“It’s okay,” Morgan said, quickly grabbing his hand. “Don’t be scared. I’m here.”

“Somebody call for a consultant?”

Everyone turned to see a chipper looking man with a beard standing along side Wyatt.

“You’re at the right place,” Davis said darkly to the psychiatric consultant. “Morgan, Boromir’ll need to be examined, and we need to talk.”

Boromir held on fast to Morgan’s hand. Never should they have come to this deplorable place. He longed for space, and air to breathe. A fear suddenly came upon him that she was going to abandon him here. “Do not go Morgan, I beg you...”

Morgan sensed the pleading in his voice, and saw the look of absolute terror on his face. “I’ll be right outside the curtain; I promise. It’ll be alright.” She smiled at him, and after a moment, his hand relaxed and let go of hers. The psych consult swung the curtain closed, and Morgan, Wyatt, and Davis huddled together.

“What’s with the kook, and how does he know your first name? I thought all you nurses and doctors refer to each other by last names,” Wyatt asked.

“He’s Morgan’s boyfriend,” Davis said viciously.

“What?”! Wyatt said, eyes now wide. Morgan was really getting sick of that ‘Are you crazy?’ look.

“No, he’s not! Davis, grow up. He’s just a friend, Wyatt. I could see he was having some problems, so I’m trying to get him the help he needs. Isn’t that what a friend should do, after all? My God, the way you both harp on me! I’m trying to do the right thing; he obviously needs professional help!”

“You got that right,” Davis said, his eyes grim and unforgiving. “He says he’s from Gondor. Do you know where Gondor is?”

Morgan shook her head. “There’s actually a place called ‘Gondor’? I thought he was off the deep end!”

“He is off the deep end, Harris!” Davis said, cruelly. “Gondor was the name of the planet in ‘Star Wars’ with the stupid furry Ewoks. He thinks he’s from another planet!”

“No, that’s ‘Endor’,” Wyatt said, correcting him, but suddenly feeling like a really big nerd. “Regardless, where did you meet this guy?” Wyatt said, turning on her.

This was the explanation Morgan was dreading. Looking back on her actions and where she found him, she knew it sounded crazy, but what else could she have done? Luckily, Davis replied for her, relieving her of her explanatory duties.

“Probably some seedy bar...” Davis replied snidely.

“Watch it, that’s my sister,” Wyatt quickly shot back.

Just then, the psych consult opened the curtain, and joined the circle. “Well, verdicts in.”

“And?” Davis asked.

“Oh, he’s insane,” the consultant said, smiling, and much too chipper than he should be, Morgan thought. “I’m recommending him to be moved to the main facility where he can be properly diagnosed.”

“What do you think’s wrong with him?” Morgan said, not sure if she really wanted an answer.

“Oh, could be schizophrenia, or maybe psychosis...” he said, popping a Tic-Tac into his mouth.

Morgan swallowed hard. She knew she had done the right thing, and yet she felt so terrible. He was to be locked up in a loony bin, and it was all her doing. She didn’t want him free if he could get the help he needs, and yet it still didn’t feel right. “Do you think he’s a US Citizen?” she said, throwing the thought out.

That was a thought that had not previously occurred to any of them, because for a moment, each stood and contemplated the logistics of such an idea.

“He does have an accent...” Wyatt noted.

“Seems unused to our culture,” Davis granted. “The freak called me a ‘healer’.”

“It’s possible,” the consultant said, now chewing on the Tic-Tac. “I’ll make a note of it, and get them to run his prints. He’s probably already in the system.” With that he smiled, and strode off to do his paperwork. Davis sneered at her, and marched away. Wyatt said a quick goodbye before going to check on his own patient.

Morgan was then left alone outside Boromir’s curtain. How was she to face him, knowing where he was to go? He trusted her, and he was utterly clueless as to his near future.

She heard him shift in his bed, and give a soft moan. Gathering her remaining courage, she pulled aside the curtain, and peeked in.

Boromir lay upon the hospital bed, IV tube in arm, dressed in a hospital gown, and hooked onto several machines. His face was careworn and pale under the flourescent lights. She sat upon the bed, and held his hand.

“Hey,” she said, full of guilt. “How ya doing?”

“I have been better,” Boromir replied.

Morgan stared at him, and saw only the shell of a man who had been so full of venom and fire but a few days before. This experience seemed to have striped him bare, and mercilessly robbed him of all strength and vigor. Where had the man gone who threatened to slit her savage throat?

“Morgan, pray, when can we leave this wretched place?”

Morgan again swallowed hard. She put on her bravest face and said, “I’m afraid you’ll have to spend the night. They won’t hurt you. Everyone only means well here. I promise you’ll be okay.”

“Can you stay with me?”

“They won’t let me. I’m sorry, but I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Reluctantly, Boromir agreed. He felt he had little choice. If not for Morgan, he would have broken free of his strange confines, and escaped. However, all he had to believe in, in this bizarre country, was her. He trusted her unwaveringly. He would stay.

Author's Note: Well, what did you think? This one was a really long one, but I couldn't trim it down. Please let me know what you think! Thanks again to those who commented last time!!!

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.

Story Information

Author: Lizbit

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/08/09

Original Post: 01/31/08

Go to From Afar overview

Comments

WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

From Afar

lubartow - 14 Feb 08 - 11:59 AM

Ch. 4: Mercy

A good chapter, but the story seems to be taking an ominous turn - how is she going to get Boromir out of there?  Morgan was quite right when she said she should have gone to another hospital but the basic problem is the same.

The basic premise, that the 21st century C.E. would completely disorient any strangers from milennia earlier, is believable.

(I have to admit that I usually don't like stories set in the modern USA rather than "authentic" ones from Middle Earth, but your writing is so good that this tale has "grown" on me.)

From Afar

Peregrin_Ionad - 21 Feb 08 - 9:09 AM

Ch. 4: Mercy

Hey! great so far!

"I fear your Honda is dying,"  *snigger*

I wouldn't normally read things with Boromir in...but I'm rather enjoying it!

Pip Scuba


Read all comments on this story

Comments are hidden to prevent spoilers.
Click header to view comments

Talk to Lizbit

If you are a HASA member, you must login to submit a comment.

We're sorry. Only HASA members may post comments. If you would like to speak with the author, please use the "Email Author" button in the Reader Toolbox. If you would like to join HASA, click here. Membership is free.

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools