A/N: This is an AU story. I have kept the characters and their personalities intact but I have adapted some ages and minor details to fit. I don't own anything familiar, it belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien
Faramir sat with his back against the stone wall, his arms wrapped around his knees. He couldn't remember ever feeling this cold or this alone. He shuddered in the dampness. His eyes could barely pierce the gloom of the room.
"Is this what it feels like to die?" he thought to himself as the door creaked open sending a shaft of light into the dimness.
"Let me go!" a young female voice cried out as the door slammed shut.
Boromir pulled up sharply as he surveyed the scene before him. His brother's bodyguards lay slaughtered on the ground but there was no trace of Faramir. He dismounted and knelt beside the lifeless bodies, rage building inside him. He pulled a piece of cloth from one of the men's hand. "What is this?"
Mablung, one of his father's best soldiers crouched beside him. "It looks like a uniform of Rohan."
"Rohan? Why would soldiers of Rohan attack my brother?"
"I don't know, lord Boromir." The ranger shook his head. "I cannot fathom why they would take him."
"Mablung…." The young man hesitated over the sentence. "Do you think Faramir is alive?"
"I don't know. We can only hope that he is."
Boromir remounted his horse. "It's a three day ride to Edoras." He stated his voice as hard as stone.
A week later
Eomer knelt beside the lifeless body of his sister's horse. The animal was pierced with several green feathered arrows, blood pooled on the ground.
"There's no sign of Eowyn, cousin." Theodred's grim voice came from behind him. The prince of Rohan stood tall with the setting sun behind him. His blond hair whipped around his face as the wind picked up. The air was thick with tension.
"Where is she? It's not like her to disappear, especially with that coming." Eomer rose to his feet looking out over the plain. In the distance black clouds were building, thunder rumbling ominously.
"I know." His cousin's eyes followed his. Suddenly a shout interrupted them.
"My Lords!" Grimbold hurried over to the pair. "Signs of a struggle, lord." His gaze automatically travelled to the prince.
"Show me." Theodred commanded. He and Eomer followed the Rohirrim commander into the woods. There they found the corpses of Eowyn's bodyguards as well as that of another man.
"That's a Gondor uniform." Eomer breathed. "What is a Gondoran soldier doing in the Riddermark?"
"I don't know." Theodred answered. "But I fear it is an omen of evil."
Eomer closed his eyes for a moment as the first patter of rain began to fall. He shook his head, his blond locks rippling across his shoulders. "If she is harmed…" he didn't finish the sentence as his cousin gripped his arm.
"We will find her cousin." the prince said fiercely. "And if need be, we will avenge her."
The two young men quickly rode back to Edoras through the rising storm. As they stabled their horses, they noticed four unfamiliar horses in the stables. Eomer plucked at his cousin's sleeve as he pointed out the tree of Gondor branded into one of the animals' flank. His blue eyes hardened into stone as he outpaced his taller kinsman into the golden hall.
"Where is my sister? What have you done with her?" Eomer snapped, his voice echoing in the chamber. His gaze focused on the four standing before the throne his uncle sat upon. Theodren put a hand on his shoulder trying to calm him as the young man standing slightly in front turned to face him.
"I am Boromir, eldest son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor. I come as an emissary from my father to plead for my brother's safe return."
"So you have your men take my sister in exchange for your brother?" Anger radiated from every fiber of his body.
"No. I did not know of your sister's abduction before now. Why do you blame Gondor?"
"I saw one of your assassins, dead in the trees." Eomer all but shouted the words.
"Peace, cousin. Let him speak." Theodred cautioned softly as he saw Grima, his father's advisor whisper in the king's ear.
"They are no men of Gondor and they do not act with the authority of the Steward." Boromir's tone turned cold.
"Enough!" Theoden's voice echoed in the hall. "Son of Gondor, you are no longer welcome in this hall. Leave my presence immediately."
Boromir turned back to the king. His face was carefully composed but his eyes were full of pain and anger. "As you command, King Theoden." He bowed then strode from the hall, his men with him.
"We have to talk to him before he returns to Gondor." Theodred whispered to Eomer.
"Why?" His cousin was still angry.
"Because I believe him." The prince murmured softly. "He didn't know Eowyn was missing." He waited until no one was watching him then slipped out one of the side doors. Eomer waited a moment before he followed. They hurried to the stable, arriving just as Boromir was leaving. The young heir of Gondor blinked as Rohan's prince appeared in front of him.
"I thought you wanted me to leave?" he said pointedly.
"My father does." Theodred said calmly. He walked past Boromir into the stable and led out his horse. "I'm just going for a ride." He quickly saddled then mounted, Eomer just behind him. He winked at the other men as he spurred his horse out of the yard.
Boromir glanced at Mablung who just shrugged. "I guess he wants us to follow him."
"So it would seem." The men from Gondor hurried from the stable in the wake of the prince.