eyeus: (White Tree - Bloom)
Title: Hope Prevails
Fandom: Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Pairing: Boromir/ Faramir
Rating: NC-17
Words: 3300 (76900 total)
Summary: “You are a warrior,” says Aragorn. “Of Gondor.” His hand closes tight over Boromir’s shoulder, as if lending Boromir his strength, tethering him to life. “Is there one for whom you fight? A lady-love?”

In his agony from the Uruk’s wounds, Boromir’s answer is entirely too honest. “A brother,” he gasps. “I have a brother.” In arms, in blood, and in bond.

“Then think of him, and live,” Aragorn commands. “He will look for your coming from the White Tower, and you will return home to him.”

A/N: Boromir Lives AU. Boromir survives the events at Amon Hen and reunites with Faramir, but together, they face an even greater peril still.

Incorporates a mixture of both movie and book canon, for a gentler version of what could have been. OST notes will be included at the end, for a sample of the official LOTR tracks and other independent pieces that inspired certain scenes or that scenes were written to.



~


They set out at dawn, Aragorn leading the vanguard, with Boromir, Éomer, Gandalf and Legolas riding behind him. Each rider besides Aragorn and Boromir bears another passenger of their own, these including Gimli, Merry, and Pippin.

Before their departure, Faramir had once again slipped away from the healing halls into the stables where Boromir was readying his horse. Guided him into a deserted stall, away from the others. They had not exchanged words then, only desperate, clinging kisses that banished the fear and stirred the courage in Boromir’s heart, until Faramir had broken away, his lips red as candied apples. Snarled hands in Boromir’s cloak, the Elven gift from Galadriel that Boromir dared wear again at last, to ride into battle beside his king.

“Come back to me,” Faramir had whispered, fierce, despite the waver of his voice. As if he was choking back a sob. Then he was gone, a shadow wrapped in Boromir’s fur-lined cloak, gone before Boromir could say I cannot promise that, Faramir. You know this.

Boromir had, with a laugh, suffered Gimli’s good-natured jibes and congratulatory back pats after, praise for Boromir having the vigor to go for a 'roll in the hay” before battle. Especially when it was found that Boromir had bits of straw in his hair he had forgotten to pick out, occupied with Faramir as he was.

It is the thought of Faramir that spurs Boromir on in the nearly week-long ride to reach the Black Gate. The memory of his kiss-swollen lips. His hopeful, clutching hands.

By the time they arrive at Sauron’s stronghold, their armies have been sorely depleted; they had started out seven thousand-strong, but there were those who had quailed at the thought of bringing the fight to Sauron’s doorstep, and no amount of patriotic banter could rally their courage. Those men were sent on to retake Cair Andros, while those less faint of heart had carried on.

Boromir looks behind him now and catches the eye of Mablung, one of Faramir’s trusted Rangers, and they share a nod; Faramir had spoken with Mablung to lead a contingent of the Ithilien Rangers in his stead, and they flank Gondor’s cavalry now, each Ranger just as skilled as his brother in battle, each of them just as brave. Their stout courage warms Boromir’s heart, reminding him of Faramir’s, and for a moment, it is as if his brother is here in spirit, at least, if not in body.

“Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth!” cries Aragorn, as Boromir and the rest of the vanguard come to a stop beside him. “Let justice be done upon him!”

With a cantankerous groan, the spiked gates of the fortress open, and a being rides out, twisted, dark, with blood on teeth. “My master, Sauron the Great, bids thee welcome,” it says.

Aragorn graces it with a look that is all kinds of unimpressed, and Boromir bites his lip, swallowing a laugh. Never before has he seen one with the ability to manage such contempt and disdain in one look.

“Is there any in this rout with the ability to treat with me?” the creature asks, unfazed.

How dare it think that the armies of Men had ridden over land and stream to join Sauron’s ranks! Boromir starts forward, his hand on the hilt of his sword, but Gandalf stays his hand with a minute shake of his head.

“We do not come to treat with Sauron,” Gandalf replies sharply. He outlines their terms: that the armies of Mordor are to disband and that Sauron is to depart these lands, never to return. But their faith is shaken when the being tosses Frodo’s mithril shirt at Gandalf in response; gloats, at how the Halfling was captured, tortured. How he had suffered.

“Who would have thought,” mocks this servant of Sauron, with another of its sinister smiles, “that one so small could endure so much pain?”

Boromir feels his teeth clench, tight. He would cleave the foul creature’s head from its shoulders if he could, were it not an open act of war. They had taken Frodo, then. Taken Gondor’s last hope at vanquishing the armies of darkness that had spread like a miasma across the land.

Aragorn urges his horse closer, nodding wisely, sage, as if heeding the being’s mocking words—about being Isildur’s heir, of how it takes more to make a king than a broken Elvish blade—then promptly cleaves its head from its shoulders, the motion swift and sharp, leaving a gout of blood spilling forth from its neck.

“I do not believe it!” shouts Aragorn, as he turns to Gandalf, to Merry and Pippin who seem most stricken by Frodo’s demise. “I will not!”

Gimli harrumphs from behind Legolas. “Well. I suppose that concludes negotiations,” he says, with his usual cheek.

Boromir can only assume that Gimli, too, had wished to act as Aragorn had, as his fingers twitch at the haft of his axe, and he snorts a laugh; even in the face of near-certain death, the Black Gate, and all that might bring Middle Earth to ruin, the Dwarf remains undaunted.

As the gates of Barad-dûr are thrown wide open to reveal the might of Sauron’s army, Boromir shares a look of grim determination with Éomer, glad now that he fights beside friends, alongside allies, of Rohan, of Gondor, each united under Aragorn’s banner, the standard of the White Tree of Gondor. Takes heart in Aragorn’s words of fearlessness, words that stir the very fire in his soul: A day may come when the courage of Men fails…but it is not this day! This day, we fight!

But when the armies of Mordor close in around them—foul Orcs and trolls and a gamut of accursed creatures, snarling and snapping from every direction, a sea of writhing bodies with no end—Boromir has not the time to laugh, or to muse upon Aragorn’s reflection of his words from so long ago, of there being courage and honor to be found in Men.

There is only time to fight for his life, for Gondor, and for freedom from Sauron’s pervading darkness.

~


Faramir nestles into his brother’s fur-lined cloak during the cold nights. Holds it like something dear to him, the pleasing warmth of its fabric not only a safeguard against the drafts sweeping the healing halls in the darkest hours, but against loneliness, worry, and pain.

And if he curls into its soft fur, tight, pretending its warmth is that of Boromir’s embrace, that is for no one to know.

He watches for their return each day, gazing out toward the fields of Pelennor. Hopes, with each passing day, for the sound of silver trumpets, heralding the army’s triumphant homecoming. For Boromir’s safe return.

Faramir is stationed at his unofficial post by the archways of the healing halls again, when a draft sweeps past, prompting him to pull Boromir’s cloak tighter about his frame. To pretend, as he usually does, that it is Boromir’s arms that circle his shoulders. With a wistful sigh, Faramir bunches the collar in his hands, breathing in the lingering smell of Boromir’s musk, the traces of its earthy scent. Toys at the silver clasp, his fingers tracing the engraving—intricate lines that fan out to the edges from a corner, like wild feathers from the wings of a great eagle—and wonders if Boromir has traced the same design with his own fingers, time and time again. The same clever fingers that could bring them both such pleasure

“You treasure your brother’s cloak,” says a voice from behind him, amused.

Faramir instantly drops the cloak where he has bunched it in his hands and turns to see who it is that speaks.

Éowyn, a shieldmaiden of Rohan, nods at him from beside a potted shrub. He has heard tell of her triumphs on the battlefield, including the defeat of the Witch-King of Angmar at her hands, and she shows now the same confidence. Demonstrates that she is no shrinking violet when speaking her mind.

He gives her a slow, careful smile. “A keepsake, nothing more.”

Her fair hair glows brighter than the sunlight, her skin ivory-pale, but for all that beauty, it is her smile that heartens him, gentle in its understanding. “There is no shame in holding it dear,” Éowyn says, moving toward him, with a gait that is all litheness and grace. Her eyes rest on the cloak lining her own cot, its royal green with gold trim, proud colors of Rohan, marred by dust and blood. “I, too, have a brother, who has marched to the Black Gate.”

Faramir dips his head in acknowledgement, and says no more, though it warms his heart that he has perhaps found an ally in her.

Éowyn tarries for a while longer by the archway, watching the fields for a sign of movement, hopeful for the glimpse of a returning army, as Faramir is. Slips her hand, small and cool and pale, around Faramir’s for a fraction of a second.

“They will return,” Éowyn says simply. She squeezes his hand, quick, encouraging. “They must.”

~


Faramir had insisted that Boromir carry his shield with him, to fend off wayward arrows at the least, and Boromir takes the order to heart now. Dashes through clusters of Orcs, stunning them first with his shield before slashing through them with his sword, or bashing them in straightaway with the shield. At other times, it provides him a measure of protection, allowing him to strike at the underbelly of an enemy in the same instance.

“For Gondor!” Boromir shouts, as he cuts down foe after foe.

In time, however, his battle-cry transforms, almost without him noticing, so subtle is the change. He had started his charge into the fray with For Gondor, before it becomes For Faramir—that his brother could not be here, that Boromir is fighting for him, to get back to him.

For the future they might have.

Faramir’s name on his lips gives him strength. Gives him hope. But the sound is lost amid the clanging of steel and the wet rending of flesh. Blends into the cries of his comrades, similar, brave, hopeful. He hears For Frodo and For the Shire among the others, but only one name matters to him now.

Each person fights now for what they believe in, for what is most precious.

“Boromir!” Aragorn shouts, as a troll in plated armour bears down on him, its club glancing off Aragorn’s sword reforged, throwing off wild sparks with each blow.

Boromir weaves his way through the Orcs, ducking under swinging axes and narrowly dodging a volley of arrows from Faramir’s Rangers to help Aragorn fend off the armored troll that seeks to crush him. Throws himself bodily into the bulk of the troll. And when the troll falls, its unprotected midsection exposed, he and Aragorn make quick work of it, driving swords deep into its flesh.

There is but a short moment of reprieve, before Boromir leaps to defend Éomer’s back from a great Orc-sword that would have cleaved him in two; Éomer tips a nod of thanks in Boromir’s direction, before raising his sword to cut down another, then another, in the endless sea of Orcs.

Boromir turns to face his own set of enemies, slaying Orc after Orc with his sword, broad, sharp, the same warrior’s blade battle-tested at Amon Hen, when a troll armed with a coat of spikes slams its club into the ground before him.

Thrown off balance by the shockwave, Boromir staggers back, stunned. In the time it takes for him to regain his bearings, the troll swings at him again, wilder, brutal, with the reckless strength of one who knows they have caught their prey. Shatters Boromir’s shield, splintering the wood as if it were no more than a child’s plaything.

Boromir tries to dodge the wild downswing of the club, again and again, but his head is already swimming from the first strike and he topples to the ground. Sensing its advantage, the troll raises its filthy, mottled-grey foot, trodding upon him, crushing him, bearing its full weight down on his chest.

It pains Boromir, this pressure, this crushing weight, and for a moment he is tempted to give in. To let the massive creature grind his flesh and bone into the ground, as if he never was, when all that awaits him should he live is more battle, more slaughter.

No! Boromir thinks desperately. Faramir—I must see him again!

Boromir pulls out a dagger, the brother to his sword remade, and stabs the troll in the calf. Twists the dagger, hard, drawing a welling gout of foul, black ichor from the wound. With a roar of rage, the troll snatches up an errant spear and drives it into Boromir’s shoulder, and despite Boromir’s best efforts to roll with the strike, the force of it drives the breath from his lungs.

Sends his sword skittering away into the fray of Orcs and trolls.

Boromir scrabbles for another sword nearby, splintering the shaft of the spear with the sword and breaking it off. Cleaves the troll’s arm from its torso as it raises its club high above its head for a killing blow, and presses his advantage, swinging for its head. The spear’s injury has sapped his strength, however, and his swing has not force enough to behead it.

He succeeds only in partially severing its stout, thick neck from its head, and a spray of blood stains his armor and cloak as it falls. Marks him, with dark streaks of crimson, as one of the brave who would dare contest the strength of Sauron.

An Orc takes the opportunity as Boromir staggers back from the dead troll to slip a shiv into his thigh, underhanded and sly. And though Boromir slaughters the Orc with a roar, pulls out the spear from where it was lodged in his shoulder, it is in this moment that another two Orcs flank him—one driving a knife into his back, vicious, rough, while the other’s blow strikes home, its blade finding his old arrow wound from Amon Hen, slipping deep into barely-healed flesh and rending it anew.

Boromir sways unsteadily, impaled by this two-pronged attack, as a sharp pain lances deep and cruel through his chest. He cannot move his body—cannot summon the breath or strength needed to swing his sword arm, can only fall to his knees, helpless.

An archer’s arrow flies true, slaying the Orc behind him, and heartened, Boromir tries to struggle to his feet, but to no avail. The Orc in front of him pulls its blade from Boromir’s shoulder with a sickening schunk. Raises it high above its head, ready to cut him down.

Distantly he can hear Gimli’s roar of “No!” and Merry and Pippin’s twin cries of panic, but they are too far away. Everyone is too far away; none will ever reach Boromir in time.

Oh, Faramir, Boromir thinks sorrowfully, hoping by some miracle that his thoughts will reach his brother. I am sorry I cannot return to you.

It strikes him as ironic, that his last thoughts are once again of regret, that he will never return home to Faramir. But there is a measure of peace the same, that he was given time to be with his brother again, however short it was.

Blood trickles into Boromir’s eye from a cut over his brow, warm and wet. Clouds his vision, a crimson bloom staining it the red of the battlefield.

I love you, Faramir, Boromir thinks, with all his might.

I love

~


“You must take some rest, Lord Faramir,” says Círeth, one of the healers.

Faramir only shakes his head, with the façade of a smile. I will find no rest here, he thinks.

He spends long hours of the day at his self-imposed sentry, joined occasionally by the Lady Éowyn, hoping for a glimpse of the returning army.

Even in the night, he is granted no respite, his slumber plagued with nightmares of Boromir falling in battle, far from home. His mind cycles through older visions, other close scrapes with death Boromir has since come to tell him of: an Orc’s arrow a hair’s breadth away from his head in the depths of Moria; being knocked senseless by a cave troll and nearly killed by an opportunistic Orc, before Aragorn saved him; nearly falling into a bottomless chasm en route to the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

But none of those are as terrible as his recurring nightmares of Boromir falling at Amon Hen, pierced by arrows, black-fletched and cruel, again and again, with Faramir powerless to stop it. Of Boromir attempting to warn him at Osgiliath, only to be—

Enough! Faramir wants to roar. Cease the visions of things that have already come to pass, and show me that which is! Show me how my brother fares this moment!

But it seems his worry wreaks havoc with his gift for prophecy, as Faramir is given nothing in the way of his brother’s fate. Nothing to set his mind at ease or bring him solace. That, and the fact that the Valar only grant visions when they wish, and not when the seer calls.

A week from Boromir’s departure to the Black Gate is the only time Faramir receives anything remotely close regarding his brother’s fate.

The night it happens, Faramir is reliving a happier time in his dreams, a memory of himself and Boromir as children, playing on a hillside not far from the Great Gate.

Boromir had smiled, bright, as they crouched in the grass. “We are the same,” he whispered, nudging his nose against Faramir’s, for it was true: they were similar in likeness, voice, and spirit, despite their differing temperaments. Boromir had crowned Faramir with a garland he had woven from daisies, ivory-white and fragrant, and Faramir had wound his small fingers through Boromir’s, their hands sticky from the candied nuts the cook had given them as a treat. Had laughed, joyous, bright.

“We are,” he had said, but this time the scene shifts, the way things do in dreams: the day is no longer sunlit and warm, the sky overcast with dark clouds and biting wind.

And instead of what he usually says in the memory, Faramir hears Boromir’s voice from a great distance away, as if it has been carried to him on the wind. Not his voice as a child, but as a man. It is warm but inordinately sad.

Oh, Faramir, he says. I am sorry. I cannot return to you.

“No!” Faramir cries, bolting upright in his cot. He wakes with his eyes wet with tears, reaching for Boromir, but his hand lights on empty air, reminding him of just how far Boromir is from Faramir’s side, where he should be, always. Faramir flushes when he notices the healers and other wounded soldiers eyeing him curiously, but they turn away soon enough; night terrors are not uncommon in this wing of the healing halls.

Faramir settles back into his cot, wiping the chilled sweat from his brow as he tries to slow his breathing. Curls harder into Boromir’s cloak, his dearest keepsake of his brother.

Please, he begs of the Valar, of Eru, of any divine being that deigns to listen to his pleas. Bring Boromir home to me, safe and unharmed. He has never begged like this before, then convinced of his brother’s infallibility, but Moria, Amon Hen and Osgiliath have shown how untrue that belief is.

Please, begs Faramir. He tangles fingers tight into the soft, worn cloth of Boromir’s cloak, clutching it to his chest.

Please.


(tbc - Chapter 9 )

End Notes:
- “Come Back To Me” – Art Commissioned by Hvit-Ravn
- I’m including these commissions on good faith, so please don’t spread them around Tumblr, or Instagram, or any other such social media. I’d really like to share the work of these amazingly talented artists, but if I find them appearing on Tumblr or the likes, I simply won’t post any more of them. Thanks for understanding!

OST:
- The Host of the West, at the Black Gate: The Black Gate Opens – Howard Shore
- The Battle Begins: As The Hammer Falls – Brian Tyler
- Faramir and Éowyn, on Brothers: Saya’s Love – Mark Mancina

This entire fic is a labor of love, so if you’ve enjoyed it, or it moved you in some way, I’d love to hear from you!
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