Prince of Horses, Lord of Stone: 25. Aftermath

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25. Aftermath

 

They found the healer's camp after a short walk; already it was filled with the wounded, and to one side the row of blanket-covered forms was lengthening.  The healers were sombre faced as they went about their business.  Elves that normally tended the animals in the garths and clearings of western Lorien made themselves indispensable by acting as litter-bearers.  They helped exhausted warriors to sit, passed out water and flasks of miruvor, helped undo buckles to remove mail coats from fatigue-numbed bodies, and sometimes just sat quietly in companionship beside a warrior whose life-comrade had fallen to the orc's onslaught.  All had been warriors in the past,  and would be again when they decided to take up bow and knife once more – though that choice looked to be coming to them sooner rather than later.

 

Tasarion found Boromir a quiet spot under an oak tree a little way away from the main group of elves.  He helped the man ease to the ground before slumping down beside him.  There they sat in silence, seemingly oblivious of each other and their surroundings.  Tasarion propped his folded arms on his bent knees and rested his head on them.  Boromir leant back against the tree, eyes unfocussed, his gaze wandering from the treetops to the group of his Galadhrim sitting gathering their thoughts, regaining their breath, and back again to the leaves against the rapidly lightening sky.  He was tired, tired beyond coherent thought.  His shoulders ached, his head throbbed dully and he just wanted to close his eyes and sleep, but too many thoughts chased themselves through his mind: he was concerned for the injured, mourned for the dead, needed to plan for what may lie ahead, was enraged that the yrch had burned his trees… and where was Haldir?  The last thought came strongly to the fore. 

 

Behind all these were fleeting, unclear visions of other places, Caras Galadhon viewed from a high place, the eastern land and the dead orcs strewn around their borders beyond the reach of the trees…  Boromir let the impressions pour through him, helpless to stop them, not entirely able to understand them all, but knowing above all that they must prepare – this would not be all that Mordor could muster. This was but a probe to their strength.

 

He saw Haldir nearby outside the Healers' tents, supervising the injured being brought in for aid.  Boromir felt one part of his heart leap and he gasped aloud, starting forward.  Tasarion lifted his head sharply to look at him.  As quickly as the deluge of love, relief, distress at seeing blood staining Haldir's sleeve came, it passed, fading rapidly along with the jumble of alien thoughts.  It happened so suddenly that Boromir felt alone, abandoned and exposed… while a small part of him was roused to anger that he was being ridiculous to feel bereft!  A gentle glow of calm washed through him then, reassurance that there was no cause for alarm and he was not alone…  He sank back against the tree, his suddenly rapid breathing slowing to normal.  Tasarion continued to stare at him until a passing helper stopped to offer them water and ask what they needed.

 

Boromir's limbs felt leaden as he reached for the water-bag.  From across the glade he saw Haldir's head jerk up, then turn to seek him out before he slowly nodded acknowledgement.  Boromir began to shiver.  After the exertion of the battle, his sweat-drenched clothing felt clammy; increasingly shivers raked his body in spasms.  Tasarion frowned, pushed himself to his feet, and after giving Boromir's shoulder a clasp of encouragement, he moved off stiffly towards the centre of the camp where the assisting galadhrim had prepared hearths for heating water.  He returned shortly with horn beakers of hot tea; he had to fold Boromir's fingers around his cup, his fingers had become so stiff with the unaccustomed movements of drawing a bow, and now with cold.  As Tasarion knelt in front of Boromir chaffing his other hand, Haldir approached them, a cloak over his arm.

 

"Well?" he said.

 

"He's chilled.  The battles excertion's… He is still not whole."

 

Haldir nodded. He proffered the cloak.

 

"Cover him in this – and sit behind and wrap your arms around him.  Your body heat will help warm him."

 

"Me?" gasped Tasarion.

 

Haldir cocked one eyebrow. "He will not bite you!"  He said, before he swept away.

 

Somewhat reluctantly, Tasarion shuffled behind Boromir so that the man rested between his legs and leant back against his body.  He encouraged the man to finish his tea as he drank his own, and then pulled the cloak around them.  Some nearby elves cast curious glances in his direction and Tasarion reddened a little under their gaze before studiously ignoring them.  He shrugged the cloak closer about them and leant back against the bole of the tree; Boromir's weighty solidness heavy upon his chest.  The man sighed; his shivering grown less after the hot drink and the elf's warmth at his back.   His head dropped back against Tasarion's shoulder and he drifted into exhausted sleep.

 

The elf was young, barely six hundred years old, he had rarely seen a man before, and then only at a distance; to be so close was… disturbing.  He could smell the man, a strong unfamiliar scent of sharp muskiness. After a short while his nose adjusted to and it seemed more like sun-warmed leaf-mould by the river… but there was also something animal to the scent… Horse?  Not entirely.  Maybe there was a touch of the dairy?  …Dog?  No, not so much - a wet dog smelt more strongly… but… fire-warmed cat's fur by the hearth?  In the end, he could not define it and decided that the warm-sour-sweet-earthiness was simply… Man.

 

Haldir glanced across the glade and nodded to himself approvingly; the young elf was sunk in reverie and his charge leant against him, mouth slightly open, fast asleep.  Boromir shifted his weight and Tasarion moved to accommodate him, their combined warmth beneath the comforting shelter of the cloak increasing their lethargy.  The elf sank deeper into reverie, his own tiredness finally getting the better of him.

 

When Boromir woke, the sun was high.  His sudden stirring roused Tasarion from his reverie.  Boromir blinked and stretched.  The activity around them in the glade was less, but from beyond the trees to where they had battled, they could hear both singing and elven curses, and the rhythmic thud of spades hitting the ground.  Graves were being dug for the fallen.  Further off, orc corpses were piled for burning, for no galadhrim would even consider burying carrion-eating yrch in Lothlorien's soil.

 

The man struggled up; the elf rose more nimbly, but still a little stiffly from being under the sleeping man's weight.  They made for the cooks' tents and were given beakers of tea and day old bread with cheese, which they took to the far edge of the hearths were some of the injured sat.  One sat head bowed, silent tears falling in large drops to drip and stain his leggings with dark wetness.  His pale hair was streaked with dried blood, but the torn gore-stained tunic he clutched to his chest in his hands was evidence that his grief was not for himself.  Another elf, one who by his garb had not fought, sat close beside him, occasionally speaking very quietly into his ear.   Eventually the weeping elf allowed the tunic to be removed from his grip; another swiftly spirited it away to be disposed of.  The distraught elf was about to protest but the other wrapped him in his arms and rocked him, holding him fast, and he subsided against him with barely audible sobs. 

 

The grief was too much for Boromir, who hurriedly rose and moved away.  Tasarion followed, for he'd been charged not to let Boromir out of his sight.  They sat facing in the opposite direction, looking towards the trees of the forest; thin sun-light shafted down between the trunks in pale golden beams that made the woods look suffused with mist.  They finished their break-fast in silence.

 

"Will…  Will the elf recover?"  Boromir finally said.

 "Probably – with the help of his comrades.  Maybe the one with him will become his life-companion and fight at his side..."  Tasarion hesitated, not sure if Boromir understood the ramifications of such a joining.

The man nodded.  "I'm glad he will not be alone." 

The silence continued.

 

"I had a… companion, once… I think," Boromir frowned before he went on, "If I were lost to him… I'd want him to find another…"  But Boromir could not bring himself to say the words 'to love'.

 

Tasarion nodded, "I have not found such a partner; perhaps one day.  But your companion still lives…"

 

Boromir swung round to him, "Mine…?"

 

"Yes – the Golden-haired One. I was told that he had to go to the aid of his father and king.  He left Fangorn to go south the morning before we travelled north…"

 

"My companion…?"

 

Tasarion touched Boromir's arm in sympathy, "Is he not still in your heart…?"

 

"My… he has light hair, but… he is here…  No…" 

Boromir struggled to clear his thoughts and regain memories of a face to put with the pale shining hair, but the face was haughty… and elven.  It could not be his life-partner, but it was, and he knew they had loved passionately with unswerving devotion for...  '…so long!  He had not been alive so long!'

 

Boromir shook his head in confusion.  He knew he had sworn an oath.  He remembered… someone holding his two hands between theirs and… and there had been tears on his cheeks, and a fall of wild, golden hair… and a bearded chin! …He just could not see the face clearly, not at all - and that unnerved him.


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: Elen Kortirion

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 09/02/09

Original Post: 04/03/08

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