Title: "A Brother's Vision"
Rating: K+, just to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer: The characters of "The Lord of the Rings" were created not by me, but by J.R.R. Tolkien. No copyright infringement is intended or should be inferred. I am not making any money off of this, but I am sure that the good professor would understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and thus would not want anyone to sue me.
Characters: Boromir, Faramir, OCs
Summary: A story of how Faramir's visions affected his relationships with Boromir and Denethor, and how Boromir protected Faramir. H/C. Bookverse. Reviews as always are greatly appreciated!
At the end of their practice session, Boromir exchanged bows with the Sword Master, and returned his wooden practice sword to its sheath. The Sword Master advanced and clapped the ten-year-old boy on the shoulder. "Well done, Boromir! You shall be a sword master yourself one day."
The boy wiped the sweat from his brow with his forearm, and grinned up at the adult. "Thank you, sir. I would be happier if I could practice with a real sword, though."
The Sword Master smiled at him. "That day will come sooner than you think, my lad. In the meantime, continue with the wooden one, and I will see you tomorrow for our next session."
The Sword Master sheathed his own practice sword and left the room. As he did so, the Heir of the Steward heard a faint whimper from behind him. Boromir turned to see his younger brother on his knees, slumped against the wall, crying almost silently. Boromir glanced around for his brother's nurse, and noticed with irritation that as usual when she was needed, there was no sign of the woman. She seemed to find child care boring; she was certainly easily distracted, and could more frequently be found gossiping with the other servants than looking after her young charge. Boromir jogged over to Faramir.
"What is wrong, little one?" Boromir asked. "Have you cut yourself?" Faramir usually read or played quietly while his brother practiced, but there were certainly enough weapons about for a five-year-old child to injure himself. That was yet another reason why the nurse was needed. Boromir had previously mentioned to their father the Steward that Faramir's nurse was neglectful, but their father had been too preoccupied of late to do anything about it.
Faramir's face was wet with tears, but his expression was curiously blank and he seemed to be gazing at nothing, in a way that made the older boy uncomfortable. The word "seizure" was not in Boromir's vocabulary, but he knew enough to realize that this was unnatural, and it made him concerned. He put a hand on his brother's shoulder and shook him lightly; only then did the younger boy blink and seem to rouse. "Faramir? What is wrong?"
Fresh tears welled up in Faramir's eyes. "Mama," he whispered. "I saw Mama, Boromir. She was dying."
Boromir felt cold. Their mother had been ill for some time and not only was she not improving, she had recently taken a turn for the worse, but the younger boy was not supposed to know that. Boromir had been given this information only a few days ago by their father, who had also cautioned the older boy that Faramir was not to be told how serious the situation was. Denethor believed that his younger son was too young to understand and would only be frightened and worried. "Don't say that."
"I saw her. Just now. She was lying in bed, surrounded by the healers. Father was with her—"
"Faramir," the older boy interrupted, striving for reason, "you could not have seen our mother. She isn't here."
"I did see her, Boromir! I did!"
"You had a dream? You fell asleep?"
Faramir shook his head vigorously. "I wasn't asleep. I saw her, just like I see you now. I was here, then I wasn't. I was in Mama's room—or I could see Mama's room—and I saw her, just as I said. I tried to speak to her, but I couldn't. So I started to cry…" Faramir blushed and lowered his eyes at that. Even though he was only five years old, he had been told often enough by their father to stop crying, for the sons of the Steward did not cry. "I'm sorry, Boromir."
The older brother gave the younger one's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "It is all right, little one. Bad dreams can be frightening."
"I didn't dream it! I saw it! I saw Mama!" Faramir shouted.
"Ssshhh!" Boromir looked around frantically. Where *was* that nurse? The woman was never around when she was needed!
Faramir lowered his voice, but continued talking rapidly. "When I couldn't make Mama hear me, I-I started to cry. She seemed to know I was crying, though, b-because sh-she opened her eyes, looked right at me, and said: 'Goodbye.' I knew then she was dying. Then I was back here."
Boromir gave his brother a hard shake. "Stop saying that! Mama is not dying!"
Faramir's expression crumpled, and tears filled his eyes once again. The older brother was instantly remorseful. He sat down on the floor, putting his arm around the shoulders of the younger boy and pulling him close. "I am sorry, Faramir. But what you think you saw…you could not have seen it. Mother is not here. This is not her bedchamber. You must have fallen asleep and had a bad dream, that is all."
Faramir shook his head against Boromir's chest, but did not try to argue again, nor did he pull away. For some moments, the older boy held the younger and rocked him in silence. Then at last the nurse came around the corner, looking flustered. She stopped dead when she saw them and exclaimed to Faramir; "There you are! I have been looking all over for you!"
Boromir looked up at her and growled, "You could not have looked very far or for very long. He has been right here with me the whole time!"
"Don't be impertinent," the nurse said, and moved to take the younger boy from the arms of the older one.
"Just a moment," Boromir said, and looked down at Faramir. "Would you like to have dinner with me tonight, little brother?"
"Yes, Boromir!" Faramir was pleased, but surprised. "Are you sure?" As the younger child, Faramir had traditionally been given his dinner earlier, and then bathed and put to bed by their mother, who in spite of her exalted rank insisted on performing many of the child-rearing tasks herself, although of late such tasks had been left to the nurse. Boromir, being older, dined with their parents and had a later bedtime.
"Of course I'm sure!" Boromir said heartily. What Faramir did not know was that since the advent of their mother's illness, Boromir usually ate with their father only, or more frequently in the last few weeks, alone.
"I don't know about that," the nurse began officiously, but the words died on her lips as she saw the expression on Boromir's face. The older boy rose to his feet, and then stared the woman down.
"Listen to me," he said coldly, every inch the Steward's Heir. "You will take my brother—who, you will remember at all times, is a son of the Steward—and give him a warm bath. You will not leave him at any time, particularly when he is in the tub." Boromir feared that if Faramir was incapacitated by another vision, and if it occurred while he was bathing, he might drown if left alone. Boromir took a deep breath. "Then you will bring him to have dinner with me, and then, he will spend the night with me." Boromir smiled at Faramir. "Would you like to sleep in my bed tonight, little brother?" Faramir nodded vigorously.
The nurse hastily curtsied to the older boy. "Yes, my lord," she said quickly, without a trace of sarcasm.
That night, they slept together, Faramir cuddled in Boromir's arms. It was just as well that they were together, for it made things easier when in the very earliest hours of the morning, while it was still dark, they were summoned by their father's order to come to their mother's bedchamber at once. Even so, they were still too late. Lady Finduilas had died in the night, under circumstances identical to those in Faramir's vision.