All Save One

Disclaimer: Boromir, Frodo, and the other members of the Fellowship do not belong to me, nor do any of the other characters found in the Lord of the Rings. That honor goes to J.R.R. Tolkien and his estate, and to some degree, to Peter Jackson.

This story came about while I was watching Return of the King, yet again, and it made my heart ache to see the Fellowship reunited at the end, except for Boromir. So, I give you All Save One, in which Boromir is there. In a manner of speaking.

Dedicated to Sean Bean, who broke our hearts as Boromir, and to Freya, for picking up what I missed.

Back together again. He could scarcely believe it. . .they were all together again, for the first time since Moria! Gandalf, Merry, Pippin, Gimli, Legolas, Aragorn. . .and Sam. Dear Sam. They were all here. The Fellowship was at last reunited.

But. . .not quite. Aye, they were reunited. All save one. Frodo had known for some time that Boromir was dead, though he didn't know how the warrior from Gondor had fallen. He wanted to know. He. . .he wanted to see Boromir again. Tell him that all was forgiven, that there was nothing to forgive, that Frodo understood now. Oh, he understood too well!

There were so many things that Frodo wanted to tell the son of the Steward. That it was over. . .that they were both now free of the Ring, that evil, evil little Ring. He wanted to tell Boromir that he did understand, that he didn't hold anything against him. He wanted to tell him. . .he wanted to tell him that he was sorry. So terribly sorry. For all of it, for what the Ring had done to him. And. . .he wanted to tell Boromir that he would miss him. Miss his compassion, his smile, the sound of his laughter as Merry and Pippin tackled him to the ground. He would miss the patience Boromir exhibited with Frodo's two young cousins.

He never truly had the opportunity to know Boromir, as Merry and Pippin did. And he regretted that. He regretted it deeply. Just as he regretted that Boromir wasn't here with them now. He should have been, and then the Fellowship would have been complete. And yet. . .what was that? Frodo frowned thoughtfully, ignoring the happy reunion around him. . .and then his breath caught in his throat.

For, even as he thought of his fallen companion, a figure stepped out from the shadows in the corner. It was one who was known to him. Tall and broad-shouldered. Dark gold hair, and though Frodo couldn't see the eyes, he knew that they would be green. He mouthed, feeling tears in his own eyes, Boromir. The shade, the spirit, the ghost just smiled at him, a smile filled with sadness, with understanding, with compassion.

Hello, little one, he answered. The man's lips didn't move, but Frodo heard the words, just as clearly as the sound of Gandalf's laughter when he awoke. Oh, there were so many things Frodo wanted to say to him, he had no idea where to start! And. . .was he the only one who could see Boromir? It was not right, they should all see him! The Fellowship was one at last, even those whose mortal lives were snuffed out.

A soft gasp from one of his cousins gave Frodo the answer to his question, followed by a hoarse, "Boromir?" It was Pippin, the elder hobbit realized, and a quick glance away (very quick, he didn't want to look away from Boromir, lest the man disappear in the meantime) told him that there were tears in Pippin's eyes. Tears of grief, tears of love. Oh, how his two cousins had loved this Man!

Now the rest of the Fellowship could see Boromir as well. Legolas, who inclined his head gravely to the Man. . .Gimli, who was beaming at him, chuckling, "Well done, laddie. . .well done!" What that meant, Frodo had no idea, and it really was not important. Merry just bowed to him, his own eyes filled with tears. Aragorn was smiling faintly, inclining his head as Legolas had.

And Gandalf. . .Gandalf looked as moved as anyone. He smiled at the shade almost sadly and said, "All will be well now, Boromir. The King has returned, and your brother. . ." Boromir smiled, and now Frodo could see his tears. That made the hobbit tear up further, and to regain his composure, he looked away. Looked at Sam, and almost feared what he would find. Through a haze, he could remember what Sam had said to Faramir at Osgiliath. . .'the ring drove your brother mad!'

Would Sam be able to forgive Boromir? There was no need for him to worry, in the end. There was nothing but forgiveness in the eyes of his faithful friend, in the eyes of his Sam. Yes. Now, after carrying the Ring for a short time, Sam did understand what the Ring had done to Boromir. Frodo spoke aloud for the first time since he saw the warrior, "You kept your word, Boromir. . .at the Council, you said that Gondor would see it done. And it is. . .it did. All will be well now."

The shade just smiled, that wonderful smile which they saw all too little, and again, Frodo heard the voice in his mind, Good-bye, little one. Tis time for you to find your own peace, as I have found mine.

"Good-bye. . .my friend," Frodo answered. Boromir's smile widened. And then. . .he was just gone. In the days and weeks ahead, Frodo would learn the truth of Boromir's death. . .how he came to the aid of Merry and Pippin, and fought to protect them, even after being so gravely wounded. He would learn how Boromir told Aragorn of his attempt to take the Ring. But for now, it was enough that Frodo understood what Boromir meant when he told him to find his own peace.