Chapter Six – Acceptance
The song of the cardinals lessened as night drew near. Botomir stirred.
"The evening meal is being served." Gannellas stood beside Boromir.
"Where is Faramir?"
"I left him on the hill hours ago. I have not seen him since."
Boromir lifted his eyes eastward. "I best go to him. When Father was angry, Faramir could hide forever."
"Are you angry with him?"
"Nay. I sorrow for him. I must speak with him. I have accepted my place here in Edhellond. I must help him accept my fate."
"I will bring food here. In an hour's time?"
"Best make that two." Boromir smiled. "My brother and I have much to discuss. And thank you, again, for your friendship, dear Gannellas. I cannot imagine being alone now." Boromir turned and trekked up the hill.
Faramir looked up, then turned his eyes downward.
"I sometimes treat you like you are still twelve and not Steward of Gondor." Boromir sat. "I have something unpleasant to tell you. As I said, I cannot return to Gondor, but it is not for the want of it."
"Gannellas told me."
Boromir watched a tear fall down Faramir's cheek. "I find Elves have no qualms when it comes to meddling in others' lives. Legolas used to do it, too."
Faramir laughed. "Hobbits must be related to Elves, then, for Frodo told me some things. I deduced quite a bit from his words and those he kept to himself."
Boromir sprang to his feet. He paced, twirling his ring. "He had no right. I would have told you."
"If you lived." Faramir chuckled.
Boromir sat down hard next to Faramir. "If I lived." He began to laugh and Faramir joined him. "And what might the Dwarf have told you?"
Both brothers guffawed at the thought. Boromir had to stand so he wouldn't choke on his laughter.
Faramir stopped before Boromir did. "He said you were a doughty man and a great friend."
"He would have." Boromir sighed. "So you know all my failings."
"If you consider them failings. Even Elessar understood."
"Faramir, I have made many mistakes over the years. Losing Frodo's friendship was the worst. He is a fair and noble Hobbit."
"You have not lost his friendship. You have his love. He spent long hours consoling me while we both recovered in the Houses of Healing. We spoke of you often."
"Tell me of that time, Faramir. With Father. Hold nothing back." Boromir sat by his brother's side. "Though I loved him well, I knew his weaknesses."
Boromir listened for hours as Faramir told of hearing Boromir's horn in the distance, his meeting Frodo and Sam, his disagreements with their father, and after many other events, his wounding and the aftermath.
Boromir listened in wonder. Faramir never wept but told him as if reporting to his captain. At last, Boromir could stand it no longer. He pulled his brother into his arms. "I am sorry. You should have gone on the Quest. I see it now."
"Nay, Boromir. The Valar sent you. You fulfilled their purpose and paid with your life."
"And you paid with yours, little brother."
"If not for Elessar… I must return to Minas Tirith tomorrow, Boromir. Elessar marries his Elven princess and I have much to prepare. Look for me. I will return."
"Let us down to my glade, as Gannellas calls it. Mayhap he and his friend, Mablung, will play their instruments for you." He stood and walked with Faramir down the hill. "Gannellas insists I learn an instrument. Do not look so surprised, little brother." He punched Faramir's shoulder lightly. "I can learn to play something. How difficult can it be?"
Faramir's laughter filled the glade.
Gannellas joined them an hour later. "You missed the evening meal, but I have brought some refreshments." He opened a bottle of wine and handed glasses to them. He poured. "Here." He offered a platter of cheeses and fruit. "I hope you do not mind. I asked Mablung to join us."
The Elf entered the glade, carrying his bag.
When he opened it, Faramir's eyes widened. "What is that?"
"A double flute." Boromir stood and welcomed the Elves. "It is a unique instrument. You will love the sound." He turned to Gannellas. "I would ask a favor? Might you play the Lay of Mithrellas for us?"
"Of course, Boromir." Gannellas sat and plucked the harp's strings.
Mablung blew into his instrument. "I am ready," he said.
They began to play.
When they finished, Boromir wiped tears from his cheeks. He smiled and wiped Faramir's. "I thank you, Gannellas, Mablung. That was beautiful. I have to say this. Though Mother sang without accompaniment, her interpretation was exquisite."
"Of course it was. She sang from the life force of your ancestress. We are pleased we could bring back the memory."
"Gannellas, Faramir leaves on the morrow. Is there aught he must do?"
"What mean you?" Gannellas asked.
"Since I cannot leave, I thought, mayhap, that there was some ceremony he had to endure to leave?"
Gannellas smiled. "Nay. Faramir will join his countrymen and return to Minas Tirith. There is nothing special he must do."
"Thank you, Gannellas. Mablung." He watched the Elves leave then sat on his cot. "Look, they arranged for a cot for you. Lie in it and look up, Faramir."
"The stars! They are brilliant here," Faramir exclaimed.
"They are. I have forgotten a few of their names. Might you instruct me again, little brother?"
Boromir watched all night. When Faramir fell asleep, he noted and smiled. It felt good to lie near Faramir, as they did when children, and listen to the gentle breath of his brother. Valar, he thought, I will miss him.
The cardinals' song woke Faramir. "You did not sleep?"
"I have slept for the last many months. One night without should not harm me."
"I would you could come with…"
"Hush, Faramir. It is not to be. Accept that, little brother. We will see each other. I expect you to wear a path to Edhellond with the number of your visits."
"Éomer. Wonderful news. I will tease her, when I see her. Give my regards to Aragorn, Faramir. If he is able, I would be most happy to see him again."
"I will give him your message." Faramir embraced Boromir. "Be happy until I return."
"You also, beloved brother, you also."
Faramir mounted and rode off, turning twice to wave to Boromir.
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.