He is here, my brother, and I struggle to my feet. Some part of my mind tells me that this cannot be, but I ignore it - hearing only those dear familiar imperious tones. As always, he is in front of me, calling me on: thus was it ever so through our childhood.
The world is grey around me and my feet find the unseen ground uncertainly. Times I wish to stop, to rest, to give up – but always that voice calls me on. It chides me, encourages me and comforts me. When I falter it steadies me, when I know not where I am going it guides me and when the darkness of shadowed wings sweep over my mind it warms as once his arms did after nightmare’s flight.
“Come on – you can do it,” my brother whispers - and I believe him. Just so did he say it to me, and just so did I believe him, when he taught me to swim, when he kissed me farewell before I left on my first campaign and when he dared me to climb the watchtower. That time I did fall and break a leg, though, I remember with a dry chuckle. The greyness around me seems to lighten as I laugh and I catch a glimpse of my brother far ahead. There is sun where he is and it catches on his armour and mighty shield, so he is limned in gold like a god of old, terrible in his beauty. Some long forgotten pain catches at my heart and I call, “Boromir!”
He turns, just for a moment, and I think I see him smile.
“Come, Little Brother Snail!”
With a lazy wave of his hand, he turns away and bounds up the mountain again, vanishing into the clouded grey so I am left once more to follow his voice. The way is steep and a dull weight seems to press me down. Once, twice I fall and stumble. Darkness drags at my thoughts. Only for Boromir would I have got up again. When I am weary beyond exhaustion, his voice offers caresses: baby names and endearments that he used when I was a small child and our mother was gone. In memory I feel his arms around me once more, and feel the hot tears he pressed against my neck even as he soothed me.
My brother’s voice is all I know now. Scarcely do I notice the shadowed greyness fading from around me; scarcely do I notice the levelling of the ground beneath my feet. I step unnoticing through the last clinging filaments of grey and stand panting, breathless with surprise and exhaustion, in a sunlit field. Boromir is there, and I can see him clearly at last. He stands smiling at me, both pride and affection in his grey eyes.
“Well done. I knew that you could do it.”
I smile back at him, albeit shakily, as I remember all the other times I have heard those words from him. It is warm here and I sink down on a nearby stone, feeling the heat soak up into my bones. The air is full of a fair fragrance: memories stir of my mother’s garden where roses and all lovely things bloomed. I look over at Boromir to share the memory and see for the first time that a light still shines from him, a clear light that wavers across him like water. For a moment, sadness marks him and then the light fades into a golden warmth. Bathed in it his face is as peaceful and strong as I have seen it on a thousand battle eves.
“Another will take you now, Faramir.”
He half-turns, nods as one soldier to another at change of duty, and is lost behind the light. It is another face that I see now beyond that radiance and another voice I hear.
*For Annmarwalk’s birthday
*What can I say – I think I’ve been reading too much Star Trek fanfiction ;-)
*The last line is taken directly from ‘The Return of the King’.
*All feedback and nitpicking welcome.
*Definitely AU to what Tolkien intended – slightly AU in hard cold facts.
*Yep, I know unnoticing isn’t a word.
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.