A/N: Yes, it's true, I'm writing movieverse for this one. You can all stop passing out from the shock now. ;)
The reason I wrote this was that one of my biggest disappointments with the ROTK EE was that the scene with Aragorn healing Faramir got cut, especially since I had seen a pic of it. (It's this one, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, but you haveto delete the spaces in the URL...http:www. wenham-wonderland. net/ photos/ Lady-ArwenAragornandFara. jpg) Anyway, this is how I imagine this scene might have gone, had PJ deigned to include it instead of oh-so-important things like skull avalanches...Ok, I'll stop ranting now.Hope you enjoy it. Feedback always welcome, as usual.
The Hands of a Healer
Aragorn could feel his weariness swiftly catching up to him as he made his way up the winding streets of Minas Tirith. But he forced it aside; he had to find Éomer. Though he had not spoken with the young Rohirric lord often, he had heard his cries of horror all too clearly when he found his sister's body lying on the Pelennor. Though they had realized soon after that she was still alive, he could not help but feel responsible for Éowyn's presence in the battle in the first place. The despair in her eyes when he had walked away from her in Dunharrow still haunted his memory too clearly for him to think otherwise.
He knew she had been taken to the Houses of Healing. They were easy to find; all he needed to do was follow the steady procession of those who were still carrying the wounded into the city. Even now, as darkness was falling, many were still on the fields, seeking out the living among the dead. Pippin was one of those, and if Aragorn knew the Halfling, he would not rest until he had found Merry. Legolas and Gimli had also stayed behind in order to aid Pippin in his search; the Elf's keen eyesight might spot a sign in the darkness that mortal eyes would miss, and Gimli's stubbornness would keep him searching long into the night, if that was what it took. Aragorn would have stayed behind as well, but his own guilt pressed him on to see if there was anything he could do to help Éowyn.
As he entered the Houses, he did not see Éomer anywhere; everywhere he turned, there were only the swift motions of the healers as they moved from patient to patient, ascertaining who was beyond aid and who might still recover. As he wove his way among the pallets, a flash of white caught the corner of his eye, and he turned to see Gandalf sitting beside one of the beds, his shoulders slumped. He had seen the wizard like this only once before, as he watched over Frodo in Imladris, and wondered who it was that Gandalf was so deeply concerned for. With his curiosity getting the better of him, he stepped closer.
As he laid eyes upon the young man lying on the bed, his thoughts involuntarily flashed back to Amon Hen and watching over another fallen warrior—one that, in spite of how often they had argued, he had considered a friend. Aragorn blinked in disbelief, and when he opened his eyes again, he realized that the man was not Boromir. The resemblance to his fallen comrade was too strong to deny, however, and he unconsciously touched one of the leather gauntlets he still wore to honor the man of Gondor.
Gandalf finally sensed Aragorn's presence behind him and turned. At Aragorn's questioning look, the wizard sighed and said, "His name is Faramir, son of Denethor, and now last of the line of the Stewards." Aragorn nodded slightly, his suspicions confirmed. Boromir had never spoken much about his family, but on the rare occasions that he did, the love he had for his younger brother had been clear.
Gandalf spoke again, seemingly half to himself; his face looked far older than usual. "He was always following me around as a boy, always asking questions. Denethor never understood…" The wizard paused, and Aragorn could clearly see the pained look in his eyes; obviously he held the man in high regard. Gandalf finally looked up at Aragorn and spoke again, his voice low. "I've done all I can for him, but my skill lies not in healing. He needs the hands of a king."
The hands of a healer. Aragorn knew the old saying well, but Faramir looked like he was beyond the aid of any mortal man. Still…he had to try. He had been too late to save Boromir; the least he could do was attempt to save the life of the brother he had loved so dearly. "I'll need athelas," he finally said. Gandalf nodded and rose from his seat.
As Aragorn sat down next to Faramir and took his hand, he could feel how high his fever was; he realized he didn't have much time left. Aragorn laid his hand on the sick man's brow, smoothing away the reddish-brown hair that clung damply to his forehead. His eyes closed as he softly called out, "Faramir!" There was no response, as he knew there would not be. The hold the Shadow held upon him was yet too strong. He concentrated hard to seek out where the young man's spirit had fled to, a new determination arose in him—he would not let Faramir die.
When Gandalf returned with the athelas leaves and a bowl of steaming water, Aragorn was still sitting like that, with one hand holding Faramir's and one resting on his brow. Aragorn's own forehead was beaded with perspiration from the strain of fighting for Faramir's life. Gandalf set the bowl down stepped forward, ready to aid Aragorn however he could, when the Ranger opened his eyes and smiled wearily. "The worst is over," he said to Gandalf, taking the athelas leaves and crushing them in his hands before dropping them into the water. Then he took a cloth, dipped it in the warm water, and began bathing Faramir's brow with it.
After a long, tense moment, Faramir finally stirred. As his eyes opened and focused on Aragorn, they widened slightly. He stared at the Ranger, a mixture of wonder and disbelief in his eyes. Then he said, in a voice soft and slightly hoarse from inhaling the smoke from his father's pyre, "My lord, you called me. What is the king's command?"
His surprise prevented Aragorn from answering right away. Somehow, this man had seen and immediately accepted what it had taken his brother months to admit.
He did not release the younger man's hand as he said, "Walk no more in the shadows, my friend. Rest awhile, and be ready when I return." Even as he spoke the words, he sincerely hoped that he would have the opportunity to get to know him. Aragorn could sense that there was much more to this man than he had originally thought; he would be a powerful ally in rebuilding his country. And, perhaps, a very trustworthy friend.
Faramir smiled weakly. "I will, my lord. For who can lie idle when the king has returned?"
Aragorn's face softened into a grim smile, and he released Faramir's hand. "I must go; there are others who need me."
Faramir nodded, his gaze darting over towards Gandalf. Aragorn could see the questioning look, but all Gandalf said was, "Rest now, and recover your strength, Faramir. My heart tells me you will be needed here for things other than war." Faramir nodded, then glanced over towards Aragorn once more, as if to assure himself that he was not dreaming. Aragorn met his gaze, then turned away as Faramir closed his eyes. He still needed to find Éowyn, he knew. His work that night was far from over.