This is a mini-story, 319 words (despite FFN's claim, the body of the story is 319 words!), in which a young Boromir and Faramir have a nighttime chat. No slash, incest, etc.

Disclaimer: I am not old, male, or dead. I live in the United States, not the United Kingdom.

What Everyone Says

"Boromir?"

"Unnnn…"

"Boromir, please. Please wake up! Boromir, it is cold. Boromir!"

The ten-year-old reluctantly gave up on sleep and rolled over to face his brother. Five-year-old Faramir was peering at him anxiously from the side of the bed. "Faramir, for the love of Gondor! It cannot be dawn yet."

Faramir shook his head. "It isn't," he whispered. "Boromir, I'm frightened."

For the first time, Boromir took in how his small brother was shaking. "What happened, little soldier?" When Faramir did nothing but shiver, Boromir sighed and pulled back the coverlets. "Come here, Faramir. Tell me what you are so afraid of."

The smaller boy eagerly scrambled to his brother's side. "Boromir…I heard…" He bit his lip. When he spoke again, his voice was scarcely more than a whisper. "I heard the healers talking about Mama. They said terrible things, Boromir! They were saying that—that Mama is going to—I don't want Mama to die!"

Boromir's spine stiffened. "She will not," he said fiercely. "Mama will not die, do you hear me?"

"The healers said—"

Boromir swore violently. Faramir edged away and stared up at his brother with tear-filled eyes. "I didn't mean it, Boromir! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to!"

"Shh, Faramir, shh. I am the one who should be sorry. I'm not angry with you," the older boy said quickly. "Come here." Faramir obliged, and Boromir pulled him into a one-armed embrace. "I should never be angry with you for something that is not your fault. It's all right, little soldier."

"But Papa said—"

Boromir swore again. Faramir watched him warily, but Boromir shook his head. "When will you stop listening to what others say?"

"Never!"

The elder brother jumped at the vehemence in the small child's voice. "Why not?"

Faramir snuggled closer, until he was using Boromir's chest as a pillow. "Then," he whispered, "I would have to stop listening to you, too."