8. Healing Begins
Boromir handed the cup to Faramir who promptly sloshed its contents over his arm. Frustrated, the young man clenched his teeth. That motion sent rivulets of pain up his now-healing jaw and into his empty eye socket. The cup dropped and Boromir caught it.
Blushing in shame, he sighed, "I am thorry. I cannot do thith."
"No, Faramir, you can. I have told you, it will take time to adjust. With only one eye, you must compensate, but soon, I promise, it will be as if you have both. Your body will adjust."
His younger brother sighed. "I am impa-- Ow! Impathient." He held his jaw and grimaced.
"You have been the embodiment of patience. I would have thrown the cup." Boromir laughed and Faramir joined him.
"Ith the patch weady?"
"The eye patch? It is. I think Siriondil planned to try it on today. See how it feels."
"Good. I... I do not wike otherth theeing me thuth." The young man's face blushed in shame. "Hath the thwelling lethened?"
"Has the swelling lessened? You still look like one of the spoiled, fat babes in cook's family."
Faramir chuckled, but laughter is a thing for pain, when one's jaw is not quite healed. He hissed and lay back on the pillows.
"Here, Faramir," and Boromir handed him another cup.
"You awr merthileth, Bowomiwr," Faramir cried out.
"Take the cup."
Tears filled Faramir's eyes, but did not spill. "You think I am wowrth aw thith twouble?"
Growling, Boromir smacked Faramir on his good arm. "Take the cup!"
Faramir reached for it and finally grasped the cup without spilling or dropping it.
"See," Boromir congratulated him, "you can do it. By this time tomorrow, the peas will not spill from your fork."
"I doubt that. Unleth you gwue them to it." Faramir smiled.
"Unless you? Oh, glue. That will be enough for today, Faramir You did well. Rest now. Ioreth will be here soon to read that horrid book."
"It ith not a howwid book. It ith fathinating. Laer Cú Beleg, the Thong of the Gweat Bow. It ith about the Elfen awrchewr, Beweg."
Boromir smiled. "I only tease, sweet Faramir. I know your love of the bow; listen and be lifted by the tale. Though if I remember rightly, Beleg is killed?"
"That he ith, but nonetheleth, the book ith thtirring. The thong toucheth my heart."
"Then I will leave you to Ioreth and Beleg."
He kissed his brother lightly and turned to leave. Before his hand touched the door, he heard a small sound and turned to find Faramir in tears. "What, Faramir? Do you hurt? Do you need help?"
"I wiwl nevewr be able to dwaw my bow, wiwl I?"
Boromir angrily strode towards his brother's bed. "You will not only be able to draw it, you will win at next year's tournament." He knelt and took Faramir's hand in his own. "I promise it."
"I cannot thee it. My weft awm..."
"Is intact. It will take time to rebuild the muscles, but Faramir, you have such a gift for the bow. That is the important thing, the gift. When your arm is strong again, you will find the gift has not abandoned you."
"Ath you have not," Faramir whispered.
Boromir lunged forward and took his brother in his arms. "I will never abandon you, little brother. I would die first."
Faramir returned the embrace as well as he was able. "Do not die on me, Bowomiwr. Pleathe."
His brother smiled and stood. "Tell that to the Orcs." The stricken look on Faramir's face cut him. "I am sorry!" he cried aloud. "I am so sorry."
"Nay. I am aw wight. I wust do not want to think of Orcth at the moment." He buried his head in his good arm. "I have tawked to them too much, of wate."
Heartsick, Boromir knelt again at his brother's side. "Think not on it. I am a fool. A damnéd fool."
"Then it muht wun in the bwood, for I am one to wet it bothew me."
A knock at the door interrupted them. "Rest now," Boromir touched his brother's cheek. "I will return for the daymeal."
"Pleathe do not, Bowomiwr. You have thpent the night with me. Take thome weth yourthelf. I wiwl thee you tomowwow?"
"I will be here. Father will spend the night with you."
"Then go and reth, Brothiwr. I wove you." The whispered words were not heard; Boromir was already out the door.
Siriondil waited in the corridor. "I have the patch ready, but I am not happy with it."
"May I see it?"
The Master Healer held out a small black cloth with ties attached. Boromir hissed. "It is rather large, is it not?"
"It will fit the eye. I measured thoroughly."
"Of course you did. Mayhap if it were white. It just seems so... so... By the Valar, Siriondil, it will draw attention to his missing eye, not turn it aside!"
"I think, no matter what the color, it will give it prominence. But not nearly as much as the empty socket does. Black is the usual color for these things."
"I suppose you are right." Boromir's head hung.
"How does he this day?"
"Frustrated." At last a small smile lit Boromir's face. "He calls me merciless, but he was able to take the cup without mishap."
"A good sign. He is adjusting."
Boromir bit his lip. "His foot, Siriondil? Will it permanently maim him?"
"Yes and no. It depends upon his attitude."
"Will he be able to ride again?"
"He will. Our craftsmen are creating a boot for him that will help him walk with only a small limp. He has feeling in the foot, and that is a good thing. His leg is more of a concern at the moment. The knife slashed through muscle, but I believe it is healing. He will need strong thigh muscles to hold onto a horse, to compensate for the foot. It will take months to regain such muscles in that leg."
"Then it will take months," Boromir stated flatly.
"I understand you gave up your commission?"
Boromir flinched. "Do not tell Faramir. He would... He would blame himself."
"Is your father speaking to you?"
Laughing lightly, Boromir shook his head. "Not yet. But he will, when Faramir is recovered and returned to duty."
"You have hope that he will return to duty?"
"Dearest friend, when we were but children, my uncle told Faramir and me tales of pirates with one eye and a stump for a leg who ran about ships and ordered about men and wrecked havoc on Belfalas' boats. If a brigand can do that, then I know Faramir can. That is why I turned in my commission. If I work with him every day, if I show him I believe he can return, then he will. He is resilient, Siriondil, and brave beyond description." Tears fell.
Siriondil bowed his own head. "Then I will help you in whatever way I can."
"Boromir!" the overloud call of Ioreth interrupted them. "Is aught wrong? Has there been a relapse?"
"Nay, Ioreth. I am tired. Did you bring the book, the one with the song?"
"I did. I have it right here and a marker for where we stopped, though how I would ever forget as we are now at the part-"
"Good," Boromir interrupted the steady flow of words. "Faramir is anxious for you to continue."
"As am I. Boromir. I am delighted that he allows me to read to him. I do so love a good story. I-"
Siriondil raised his hand and Ioreth closed her mouth. The healer put his hand on Boromir's shoulder and squeezed it. "Are you well?"
"Please, Boromir. I have been your family's healer since before you were born. I read distress in your eyes."
"It is difficult, sometimes, keeping up Faramir's spirits."
"Ah. He suffers today?"
"Not in body, well, no more than usual, but in mind. He is impatient with himself."
Siriondil smiled. "Then he will enjoy listening to Túrin. The Man was always impatient."
"Thank you, Siriondil."
"Boromir, take your horse and go afield this afternoon. Once Ioreth is done with the book, I will stay with Faramir and your father has promised to be with him tonight. Spend time in the sun, with fresh air in your face."
"I promise, Master Healer. After a bath and some food."
"Do not let any waylay you. You must care for yourself too, if you are to have the strength to carry Faramir."
Siriondil let go his shoulder and motioned for Ioreth to enter the room. Boromir heard the happy call of welcome from his brother and his face lit in joy. Slowly he made his way back to his own rooms and fell onto the bed, asleep in moments.
A/N - From The Silmarillion: Chapter 21: Of Túrin Turambar - Laer Cú Beleg, the Song of the Great Bow.
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