6. A Brother's Love
Two weeks passed and Faramir still did not stir. Boromir, nigh unto frantic, found heeding his uncle's advice for patience strained him beyond endurance. One night, as he relieved Denethor, he wept openly, the first time since his return to Minas Tirith.
"Father," he whispered, "may I speak with you a moment?"
Denethor nodded, kissed Faramir on the forehead and moved from the room, knowing full well what his eldest needed to say.
"I can no longer sit at his bedside and watch, Father. Please, let me go and find Mithrandir."
"A fortnight only has passed, Boromir. Trust me. If he is not found, I will send you, but not yet."
Boromir furiously wiped the tears from his eyes. "You hate him! That is why you let him lie thus. If it was me, you would have gone yourself."
Stunned by the harsh words, Denethor walked away from his son. Only a few paces forward, then he turned and spoke softly, "I love him. Not in the way I love you, Boromir, and if it appears otherwise, then I am to blame. But I love him. You may not go. Not yet." He turned again and walked away, shoulders slumped.
Boromir fell against the wall and sobbed. "I am sorry," he whispered. He walked back into Faramir's room, collapsed on the floor next to his brother's bed and let his grief and despair overcome him. He wept long into the night, ever holding his brother's hand.
As morning broke and Imrahil's watch approached, Boromir stood, and on impulse, took Faramir into his arms, carrying him to the window. "Little brother," he whispered. "Look. The sun yet shines, though night tried to keep it away. Will you not shine again?" Tears feel in endless streams. "Will you let the night keep you away from me? I who love you so?"
He leaned against the window's sill and let the sun cover them both. Almost asleep, his head snapped up as the body in his arms twitched. "Faramir," he called quietly. Naught. Still, he held his brother in the sun's warm glow.
Another twitch and a small moan. "Faramir!" Boromir kissed his brother's cheeks. "Faramir, you are safe. Your brother holds you and the sun is shining. Wake up. Wake up." He called to his brother as he had done when they were children. A thought came to him and he began the little song their mother used to sing:
"You must wake up.
You must wake up.
You must wake up and play.
The birds are up.
The bees are up.
I even think the trees are up.
You must wake up,
You must wake up,
You must wake up today.
The lambs are up,
The pigs are up,
I even think the twigs are up.
You must wake up,
You must wake up,
To greet the jolly day."
Faramir's eyes fluttered. "Oh, Faramir. Please wake up. I can stand this no longer." Again, he kissed his brother's forehead.
The sweet eyes opened, then closed. 'No,' Boromir's mind screamed, 'only one. But one is enough,' he told himself sternly. 'Even none if it means Faramir yet lives.' He called again, "Faramir," and this time an opened eye rewarded him; one gray eye looked into gray and smiled. "Oh, Faramir. Faramir, my love." He held his brother tightly and wept.
"Do not speak. Your jaw is sore. It will heal soon and then you may sing again. Would you like to sing again, little brother?" The tears did not stop, but fell for joy, not sorrow. "Let me take you back to your bed and fluff up your pillows. You may want some water?"
At Faramir's nod, Boromir took his little brother and laid him gently upon the bed. He took each pillow and fluffed it, replaced it, then kissed his brother lightly. Turning to the door, he stopped as a hand held his firmly. "Oh! I will not leave you. I am just calling Siriondil." At the pain in the eye, he stopped. "Well, then. I will not leave you at all. You will have to be without water for a few more moments. Uncle Imrahil has come to Minas Tirith and is due to take my place. He will fetch you some water. I will hold you, if that is what you want."
The eye blinked and Boromir sat on the bed, pulling his brother into his arms. Lying back against the headboard, he softly sang their mother's morning song again. He felt Faramir shiver, so he began to stroke his hair.
Imrahil opened the door slowly and sobbed at the sight. 'Poor Boromir,' he thought. 'He is taking this ill. If Faramir does not wake, I know not what will happen.'
Boromir opened his eyes and smiled. He nodded his head and Imrahil entered, wondering at the change in his nephew's countenance.
"Faramir, Uncle is here. Would you like to bid him good morrow?"
Faramir opened his eye and Imrahil cried aloud, "Faramir!" then knelt beside the bed and took his youngest nephew's hand in his own. "So good it is to see you awake. How do you feel?"
The boy shuddered and Boromir kissed him once again. "You are feeling fine, are you not, little brother? How else could he feel, dearest uncle, wrapped in my arms and safe?"
"Yes. Yes, Faramir, you are safe. At home where you belong and in your brother's arms."
"He is thirsty, Uncle."
Imrahil jumped up, "I will return," and ran from the room.
Boromir smiled. "He is happy to see you. He will probably call Father too." Faramir shivered again and Boromir held him close. "He was beside himself with grief, little one. He has sent out half the knights of Gondor searching for Mithrandir, hoping the wizard would be able to help you."
Faramir leaned closer, laying his head in the crook of Boromir's neck. A deep sigh escaped him.
"Tired already, little one?"
"All right then, rest now. You do not need to see Father yet. Lean on me," he pulled his brother closer and closed his own eyes. And promptly fell asleep.
Just moments later, Denethor opened the door, stopped and watched his sons sleep. Imrahil stood behind him. "I suppose we should call back the errand-riders."
Denethor chuckled. "Yes. And perhaps you can begin to plan for your trip home."
"I will leave in a week. I would like to spend some time with Faramir. I have some... experience with returning soldiers."
Denethor looked at his brother by law and shrugged. "We have healers with much experience."
"Perhaps he would find it easier to speak with his uncle."
"But not his father?"
A heavy sigh greeted Denethor's statement. "Would you have discussed such things with Ecthelion?"
Denethor laughed sourly. "You are wise, little brother."
Imrahil joined his brother in quiet laughter. "Only in matters of fathers and sons. My own is quite... forceful."
"He is. I never thought it possible to win Finduilas' hand." His brow furrowed and Imrahil put an arm around his shoulder.
"She was a fragile thing, Denethor. You did all you could for her. I believe that."
Taking in a deep breath, Denethor let it out slowly. "Faramir is her mirror."
"He is. Both in looks and sentiment. I love him dearly for that. Let me stay a bit longer, Denethor. Let me help him if I may."
"Whether he speaks with you or no, your presence will gladden his heart, Imrahil."
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.