A/N Entropy is not my friend. I haven't touched this story in over a year. For a while I just wasn't feeling the call to write. It's come back. So I'm, dusting this bad boy off and mean to continue on.
Standard disclaimers apply, people you don't recognize are most likely mine. I'm not making any money off of this. It's movieverse, because Sean Bean and David Wenham are just too cute for their own damn good. For the grown up Sean Bean fans out there, I highly recommend "Lady Chatterley's Lover." All I've got to say about that is um, dang! For you David Wenham emotional torture fans (and you know who you are), "After the Deluge", which also has Hugo Weaving in it.
This is as much the story of Denethor, Finduilas, Faramir and the Fellowship as it is Boromir. We are reflected in those we surround ourselves with, willingly or not. Now I present to you the life of Boromir the Fair from beginning to end.
A Most Welcome Arrival
Denethor squinted as the sweat ran into his eyes and hope for victory withered. Rudh's squire was a fine fighter. His cuts were clean. His blows flowed smoothly from one to the other. No step misplaced, not a bit of wasted energy in his blocks. It was as if he already knew the outcome; as if had fought this battle a thousand times in his dreams. Denethor smiled to himself. He probably had. All good fighters did; dreamt blow, block, and parry. Faultless combinations, calls and responses as mechanical as a tinkers machine, as dependable as the tide. How did one combat predictable perfection?
A growl started low in Denethor's throat and a feral smile curled his lips. His opponent hesitated and took a step back. Had the son of the Steward just growled at him?
On the inside Denethor crowed with expected triumph. His opponent's minute hesitation and retreat had lost him the fight. Pressing an all-out attack, without thought to defense; Denethor, in a matter of moments, had the squire disarmed and flat on his back, a cloud of practice ring sawdust settling in his hair.
Gasping victoriously, Denethor offered his hand to the fallen fighter. The squire reached out tentatively, as if still half unsure whether or not the Steward's son would bite. Denethor threw his head back and laughed, grabbing the meekly proffered hand.
"Well fought lad! What's your name?" he boomed heartily pulling the boy to his feet.
"Telgaer, my lord!" A grin half a league wide split the squire's face. The Steward was asking for his name. Denethor clapped him on the back and sneezed as a cloud of sawdust rose from the boy's arming jacket.
"I suppose you want to know how I beat you." The boy's head nodded up and down quickly.
"Remember, old age and treachery will win out over youth and ability every time. I was able to break your concentration by doing something unexpected. Your technique is flawless, yet technique is but one part of the puzzle. You must not only fight with these," he indicated the lad's bulging arms, "but with this," a strong index finger drilled into the center of the lad's brawny chest, "and this!" Denethor tapped a finger to the lad's temple and clasped his shoulder companionably. "Heed Sir Rudh, he will guide you on the path."
"Thank you sir ! I will sir!" Taelgar's smiled widened further than Denethor would have thought possible. And his keen eyes didn't miss the glance and smug smile thrown over his shoulder to one of the other boys, presumably a rival. "My Lord Denethor!" a voice carried across the square. Denethor turned to see his seneschal hurrying across the salle. He did not pause or slow down as he crossed the fighting field until he arrived at the pair's side.
Denethor put a companionable hand on Rudh's shoulder, "Your Telgaer here is a fine fighter. I fully expect to see him wearing spurs soon." Denethor looked back at Taelgar with a sly grin, "Though like all young bucks a little humility would not be remiss."
High color blazed from the young fighter's cheeks as his shoulders and back straightened perceptibly and he stared at a point somewhere over his liege lord's shoulder. "I will work on that sir. I promise."
Denethor and Rudh shared a knowing smile. "I know you will lad, I know you will. Back to your studies then."
Taelgar sketched a bow and jogged off to the waiting knot of squires who were anxiously awaiting a report. Denethor's keen hearing, a gift of his Numenorean heritage, picked up some of the questions the boy was peppered with. "What did the Lord Denethor say? Are you in trouble?"
Denethor turned his attention back to his seneschal. "He's a good lad, Rudh. You did a fine job."
Rudh beamed as did his squire. But as quickly as it came, the man's smile fell.
Denethor noticing his discomfort, waited patiently, but the man held silent, eyes averted.
"Come, Rudh, speak," Denethor said not unkindly.
Reluctantly Rudh began deliver his news, "I've come from your lady wife's apartments sir," and again Denethor's liegeman fell silent, his complexion taking on an unnatural pallor.
"Out with it man! Time marches on even for ones with blood such as ours," quipped Denethor uneasily.
"It is time my lord," Rudh whispered and nearly sank to his knees from the strength of the grip on his shoulder.
Without a moment's further hesitation Denethor ran from the ring, stripping and dropping armor as he sped, hurrying to Findulais's apartments.
He hesitated at the door of her outer chamber, his courage nearly deserting him. He reached for the door when a scream shocked him to his soul; a scream torn from the throat of the person whom he loved the most upon all of Arda. He sat back on his heels, guilt rising in his breast and nausea settling in his belly as another scream echoed through the hallway. This was his fault. He had done this.
A heavy hand descended on his shoulder, "Get up boy!! Why are you squatting on the floor like some brainless savage? You are my son. Or so your beloved mother claims and I have yet prove otherwise."
His father's crude laughter rang so loudly his ears he wished he could clasp his hands over them.
"It is time," Denethor muttered and shrugged diffidently, his father's stare weighing as heavily on him as his hand, "I am worried for my lady wife."
Ecthelion snorted, "You have no one to blame but yourself. Had you married that wide hipped girl from Lossarnarch like I told you, she'd have dropped the pup already and you'd be back in the practice ring losing to your seneschal's squire. Again. But you were in love," Ecthelion sneered.
Denethor flushed, embarrassed that his father had been watching the battle and had found his own performance so wanting.
"I married with your approval my lord."
"Of course with my approval," Ecthelion roared again, "the court was thrilled to find that you for cared for women at all. Much was in doubt after the incident with Thorongil."
Ecthelion's gaze narrowed and his voice dropped to a whisper that pierced, "What did happen between you to cause Thorongil to leave m- the White City?"
An ugly blush stained Denethor's normally pale cheeks. His father's slip of the tongue had not been lost of him. No doubt it had been purposeful. Ecthelion had ever blamed his son for his beloved Thorongil's defection. Anger, jealousy and shame chased themselves in Denethor's heart, but he was saved from having to respond by a piercing scream so loud that even Ecthelion turned to the door, a worried frown appearing between his heavy brows.
The scream was followed by a lusty wail of a different pitch and Ecthelion's face lit up. He cuffed his son so hard on his shoulder he almost knocked him over. No mean feat for Denethor stood over six feet and was built very similarly to his bear of a sire. Ecthelion placed his hand on the door knob and threw open the door. Propelling his son into the room, he ignored the scandalized stares of the midwives and walked up to the bundle nestled in his daughter-in-law's arms, and already feeding noisily.
"Well?!?" Ecthelion demanded. "Has my son finally proven that he is of the house of Hurin and sired the 27th Steward?"
Denethor winced and looked to Finduilas, an apology in his eyes for his overbearing father. She looked exhausted, spent and supremely happy. She smiled soothingly at her husband and cooed to the bundle in her arms.
"You have a grandson my lord. His name is Boromir," Findulais nodded in the direction of her overjoyed husband.
"'Faithful jewel.' Hmmm well chosen boy! I freely admit I had my doubts about the both of you." He turned his steel gaze to Findulais, "I thought you far too fey to bring a healthy heir into the world, but you did well daughter and I am proud." Denethor's ire rose at the bald insult to his wife, but Finduilas eyes and manner gentled him as always. The Steward missed the exchange and turned to his son.
"And as for you," Ecthelion did not finish his thought, but his eyes spoke volumes. "Well, let it just be said that Gondor will breathe a bit easier now. Well done, my boy!"
A few more teeth jarring claps on the shoulder, and Ecthelion left the couple alone. The midwives busied themselves tidying up the room.
Denethor took Finduilas's free hand and kissed it. Tears of joy, relief and love escaped and spilled slowly down his cheek. He let them fall. His father was not here.
Leaning down, he gently kissed his newborn son's blonde head and then softly kissed his wife, "Thank you, my love."
"You are most welcome, my love."
Denethor watched as emerald green eyes followed his every move. A son. Thank the Valar. The succession was assured.