Boromir was envious and there was no other way to put it.

He was sat on his cloak on the grass, watching the others. The fellowship was only four days out of Rivendell, and the others had just about developed a close bond. The hobbits trusted Aragorn and Gandalf, and they had just about accepted Legolas as well, with him being the graceful, pretty elf that he was. Only he and Gimli were still on the outside.

And now, to top it all off, he was jealous. But not because Legolas had been accepted so quickly into the group of four hobbits, one man and a wizard, it wasn't that. It was the youngest two hobbits he was envious of, and not because they were the youngest and got the most attention, well apart from Frodo, obviously, who Boromir tried not to interact with any more than possible. He would rather not have the attention if he had the choice. No, it was the fact that they got to do everything he had had to do in secret. All the things he would have loved to do in public, they could. And they did.

It wasn't fair, Boromir knew this, yet he didn't hold a grudge against the two youngest hobbits, Merry and Pippin, because he also knew that it wasn't their fault, and he didn't want to take away their freedom to do what they wanted to do in public, like his had been taken. So instead he sat and watched from a distance, making a vow not to get too close.

For getting too close, would mean disaster, for all of them. Especially for him and Frodo. Either way it was going to end badly for him, but only one way could it end badly for Frodo and still be his fault. And he would not allow that to happen. It could still end badly for Frodo anyway, without his problems added on top, so he was going to make sure that no one knew of what was going on in his heart and mind. This was is last journey, that he was certain of, for he was not going to allow his problems destroy Frodo, and therefore, they would destroy him. But that was ok, for they were his problems, not Frodo's. Frodo didn't need any extra burden; he had enough to do as it was. No, it was better this way, with his problems only hurting him. They could destroy him, he didn't care about his own life anymore, but he would not allow them to hurt others. Especially not on this quest. It was perilous enough as it is.

The little ones, as Boromir had come to think of the hobbits especially Merry and Pippin, had just about settled down now, getting ready for a good nights rest. Boromir knew that he would have watch duty tonight, but he didn't mind. He didn't sleep much as it was anyway. He was used to going without sleep because normally it was a matter of survival. He was still sat on his cloak, not really paying attention to anyone else and he only just managed to say his thanks when Gimli gave him a plate of food. He and the dwarf had had a few conversations, because both of them felt on the outside, which was understandable.

Boromir picked at his food, not really hungry. He saw that the youngest members of the fellowship had already devoured theirs and where now looking pleadingly at Gandalf, Aragorn and Legolas, but they didn't seem to be having much luck. Chuckling quietly to himself, Boromir snagged the warm bread bun on his plate just as he managed to make eye contact with Pippin. Motioning the hobbit over to him, he handed him the plate of food, telling him to share it between himself and his cousin Merry. Pippin looked as though he couldn't believe his luck and Merry turned round and graced Boromir with a smile when Pippin came back with the nearly full plate of food. Boromir returned the smile somewhat sadly. He had never had enough to eat as a child, and neither had his younger brother, Faramir.

Thinking of Faramir turned out to be a bad idea. It instantly brought worry for his younger brother, although he knew he was a survivor. They both were. They had had to be.

Laying back on his cloak, Boromir watched the sky go through several shades of blue, each one slightly darker than the rest. He lay a little away from the rest of the fellowship and the fire, not joining in with the conversation. Instead, he kept his eyes focused upwards and he drowned out the sounds of the conversation going on near by and instead concentrated on the sounds of nature.

Presently the fire began to go down and every one was curling up for a sleep, hoping that they would get some, out here in the wilderness. Aragorn asked him if he would take the third watch and Boromir quickly nodded his agreement. Moving a little closer to the rest of the fellowship, Boromir once again stretched out, this time wrapped up in his cloak, because the night would get chilly.

Merry and Pippin, encouraged by the fact that he had gave them his food settled down next to one another near him, causing Boromir to smile a bit, but he was still going to stick by his vow not to get close to anyone. He wasn't going to get any closer than necessary. And necessary meant knowing others fighting styles so that he could match and protect, not mucking about and telling stories. Depending on circumstances necessary also might include comforting others, but he would see how it went.

He closed his eyes, feigning sleep. Gandalf had first watch, then Gimli, then him and then Legolas. With his eyes closed, Boromir's hearing increased in sensitivity. A few paces away he could hear Merry and Pippin tossing and turning, trying to get comfy. Boromir himself wasn't exactly comfortable but he knew how to lie still and bear it. Besides he had been more uncomfortable, so it wasn't much to put up with.

Towards the middle of Gandalf's watch he could still hear Merry and Pippin moving about, obviously not asleep yet. Cracking an eye open all Boromir could see was a tangle of arms and legs because they had huddled together in an attempt to stay warm. Hearing at least one set of teeth chattering, Boromir sat up and removed his spare cloak from his bag, the one with the fur lining, which he was saving for extreme circumstances. Quietly approaching where the two young hobbits lay he made sure that they knew of his presence before he tucked his fur cloak around them, wrapping them up tightly in it. He then retreated to where he'd made his own bed and in a few minutes he heard Merry and Pippin's breathing even out, showing that they where finally asleep.

Closing his eyes again, Boromir silently cursed himself. So much for not getting close to any off them! Well, he supposed it was necessary he reasoned with himself. After all, they'd be terribly cranky if they were tired tomorrow because they couldn't sleep because of the cold, so in a way he was doing them all a favour. And it wasn't as if he was using the cloak, so they might as well.

He dozed of for a while and when he next opened his eyes and bleary-eyed Gimli was on watch. Merry and Pippin where still asleep and he could see two curly heads sticking out the top of his cloak. He couldn't help but smile.

After another ten minutes of laying on the uncomfortable ground Boromir knew that he wasn't going to get anymore sleep so he stood up, surprising Gimli. He walked over to where the dwarf was sitting and told him that he'd finish off his watch as well as doing his own. The dwarf looked at him, slightly concerned, before agreeing and going and rolling himself up in his own blanket.

Boromir stood and walked around the perimeter of the camp, looking at the sleeping figures that were his fellow companions. He knew that they'd end up going through a lot together, but he didn't know how much he could rely on them and for that reason, his problems would remain just that. His problems. He wouldn't share them with anybody, because nobody deserved to have the burden that he had on his shoulders. He was torn between doing what he believed was right and doing what he had been ordered to do. Either way his life hung in the balance, either way he was almost certainly facing sure death or a life of exile. And either way the prospects did not look good for him. They also didn't look good for his brother. His little brother who he love so dearly.

They were as close as Merry and Pippin, Faramir and Boromir, although they did not often show it, not in public. That would end in pain and only pain, for both of them. However, in private, when there was just the two of them, they were just as close as Merry and Pippin. Always sharing hugs, sitting side by side and generally enjoying each other's company. And that was how it should be with brothers! Not the cold indifference they showed in public.

He couldn't wait to see his brother again, but he knew that the next time he did, it would not be under pleasant circumstances. For the circumstances for both brother's was dire.

Thinking of he and Faramir, Boromir once more glanced over at Merry and Pippin, still curled up in his cloak. Seeing in them everything he and Faramir could have been, Boromir felt a strong surge of protectiveness towards them rise within him. He immediately quelled it as soon as he felt it begin to rise. He would not get close to anyone. He settled down on a rock and kept a good look out for the rest of his rock, determined to do his duty to the best of his ability, as he always had, both when he had wanted to and when he had had to, two very different things.

Several hours later he heard someone begin to rise and he knew that it was Legolas, whom he should have woke about two hours ago for his watch.

A hand touched his shoulder. "Boromir. You should have woken me hours ago, yet you did not. Are you feeling ok?"

"I am fine, my friend. I would not have been able to sleep anyway, no point in two of us staying awake when there is only need for one," Boromir told him.

"Well, try to at least get some sleep now, my friend," Legolas told him, echoing the friend part which Boromir had said without thinking about it, it had just felt right and he didn't even think of the consequences of saying such a think until Legolas said it back to him.

Boromir laid back down on his cloak and this time when he closed his eyes, he did manage to get some more sleep. This time when he woke up, it was to a hissed argument.

"Not fair! Where did you two get that?!" Someone complained and Boromir managed to recognise the voice as Frodo's, the ring bearer.

"Good question," another voice joined in, and it wasn't difficult for Boromir to recognise it as Aragorn's. He sat up to see what the argument was all about, wondering what Frodo was complaining about.

Mostly the normal goings on were happing at the camp, as had happened for the last four days. Sam was cooking breakfast, Gimli was collecting firewood, Legolas and Gandalf were discussing the route for today and everyone else was milling around getting ready for another days journey. This morning however, Frodo was complaining about something and Aragorn was backing him up. Boromir wondered what it was that was causing the fuss.

"So, Merry, Pippin, where did you get that?!" Frodo asked, sounding quite upset, which Boromir thought sounded quite childish. Hang on, where did Merry and Pippin get what? Not his cloak? Surely one cloak wasn't causing an argument!

Apparently it was. Merry and Pippin was sat close together curled up in it, but where apparently ready to go, they were dressed and washed as much as possible out here in the wild and they just needed something to eat before they were ready for another long march. The long march which was ahead of them all.

Frodo had crossed his arms by now, but Pippin just grinned at him. "If you must know we were cold during the night so Boromir lent us his spare cloak. Right Boromir?" Pippin confirmed when he saw that Boromir was now awake.

Boromir just nodded and pulled his outer tunic over his head. "And I must say," Merry commented. "It's very warm!"

Frodo looked outraged and Boromir could see Merry and Pippin teasing him for a while about how he had lent them and not the ring bearer the warm fur- lined cloak, but Boromir couldn't change that fact now and he wasn't at all regretting his decision from last night.

Trying to repay Boromir ever so slightly Pippin brought his breakfast over, while he was repacking the few things he had gotten out of his pack. Boromir smiled his thanks and packed his fur-lined cloak at the top of the pack, so that it was within easy reach in case he, Merry or Pippin needed it again anytime soon.

Boromir ate the bread bun Pippin had put on the side of his plate and discovered that he wasn't going to be able to eat much more. He had a little piece of bacon and some water before giving the rest to Merry and Pippin once again. And once again they both looked overjoyed.

Once again Boromir had to remind himself of his vow not to get to close to anyone. It would end up badly for all of them if he did. He knew that it was going to end up badly for him anyway but that was no one's fault really. He didn't really have the heart to blame his Father. And neither did Faramir, although when they talked about their situation together, they both often agreed that it was their Father's fault.

The fellowship where getting ready for another days walk and Boromir put on his cloak and shouldered his pack. He saw Pippin having a bit of a struggle to get his own pack on and instantly moved to help, making sure that the youngest member of the fellowship didn't encounter more difficulty than needed. Boromir instantly moved to help, because too often in his own youth, no help had been offered and he knew how hard it was.

Steward's sons or not, he and Faramir had had to learn to survive on their own. Decide what was right and wrong on their own and decide what kind of people they wanted to be. The only role models they had were bad ones, so this was very difficult to do, but through all the trials they had come out stronger, and closer together than most brothers ever are.

This was something that Boromir admired about Merry and Pippin, they were only cousins, but they were almost as close as him and Faramir. Almost, but not quite. He wasn't sure if anyone could be as close as him and Faramir just because all the things they had been through and had come out of the other side together, stronger, choosing the right path.

Gandalf was starting to lead them away now, towards the cover of some trees. Boromir signalled to Aragorn that he would act as the rear guard and dropped to the back of the line. He didn't notice when Pippin and Merry came with him. He was too busy weighing up the odds, his back or everyone else's back. He decided that his back was better to sacrifice, but in reality he had know that already, he was always going to sacrifice his own back for the rest of the Fellowship's, he had known that when he joined the Fellowship.

A hand slipped into one of his and he looked down to see Pippin staring back up at him. The hobbit offered him a small smile, which he returned somewhat hesitantly. He could not get close! To do so would be the death of them as well as him!

"Are you ok?" Pippin asked. "You seem to be in a world of your own."

"I am fine," Boromir reassured him as Merry took his other hand. Legolas was not too far in front so Boromir had no fear of them falling behind. "I am just simply worried about my younger brother Faramir, we are as close as you two are. You remind me a lot of Faramir and myself in many ways. And in other ways not at all."

"In other ways not at all?" Merry questioned.

"We were brought up to be quiet and serious," Boromir told him with a smile, if you could say that the lessons their Father taught them could be called an up-bringing at all.

Merry smiled back at them and Boromir increased the pace at which they were walking gradually, without either hobbit noticing, so that they made good time.

Boromir warned himself not to get too close to the two hobbits he was now walking along holding hands with, but it was hard. He decided that this could not happen again. He had to put them before himself and keeping his distance was what was best for all of them. As much as he wanted to get close to them, he couldn't.

On his list of priorities, he was bottom, with Faramir top and Merry and Pippin not far behind now. To keep his brother safe he knew he'd have to betray Merry, Pippin, Frodo, Sam, Gimli, Legolas, Aragorn and Gandalf and that was something he was not willing to do, so how could he keep his brother safe? He'd have to hide Faramir away and then put his trust and hope in Aragorn, his king.

Boromir knew that Aragorn's rule couldn't be worse than his Father's. In fact, he hoped that it would be much better. At the council, however, he had had to keep up appearances because he did not want Gandalf and Elrond to know how pitiful his life was. He respected Gandalf so much, no matter what the wizard thought of him.

He would protect his little brother at all costs, but not at the price of the Fellowship. His and his brothers only hope lay in a total stranger, who they had to hope was the rightful heir to the throne. He had put his life in the hands if a stranger, who did not seem to trust him.