eyeus: (White Tree - Bloom)
Title: Hope Prevails
Fandom: Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Pairing: Boromir/ Faramir
Rating: NC-17
Words: 4220 (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.



~


I am sorry, Faramir, Boromir thinks, as the Orc above him raises its cruelly-curved blade. A killing strike—one Boromir cannot evade, wounded as he is.

Just then, the scalding cries of the Nazgûl sound overhead, and the land gives a great shudder, a heaving breath. From above, the eye of Sauron stills, its swiveling gaze paralyzed, as if something has stolen its core, sapped its source of power, and it is left with no choice but to consume itself from within.

There is one moment in which everything is absolutely still, a terrible calm before the storm, before the tower, long the seat of the Great Eye, collapses in on itself. Takes with it Sauron’s all-seeing gaze. And around Boromir, the dark fortress begins to disintegrate.

Frodo, Boromir mouths in realization, a fierce and sudden joy taking hold in his heart. And Sam!

He would weep with relief if he was not a moment away from being killed, because this means the creature at the gate had lied. That their Halflings have managed to destroy the ring, spelling the end of Sauron and Mordor, and all the things Boromir has been fighting against his whole life.

When even the ground upon which the fortress stands begins to cave, the armies of Mordor start dispersing in disarray, leaderless, Orcs and trolls alike making their frenzied attempt at escape.

The Orc above him twitches its head sideways. Turns to look between its fleeing comrades and Boromir, unsure of whether to join its brethren in fleeing the collapse of the tower and the earth around them, or to stay and claim credit for a mighty kill.

Its decision is forcibly made for it when an axe flies through the air, splitting its skull with a bone-splintering crack.

Up, laddie,” Gimli urges, suddenly at Boromir’s side. He wrenches his blade from the Orc’s head and hoists Boromir to his feet. “Up.” Gimli presses a sword into Boromir’s hand, the blade broad, the hilt familiar and worn, but is not until Boromir fits his palm to the grip, his body remembering each nick and groove, that he realizes Gimli has returned his own sword to him.

Boromir’s fist tightens over the grip, his hope renewed by the return of his sword and the fall of Barad-dûr, and he takes Gimli’s helping hand. Drives the sword into the ground as a support as he rises unsteadily to his feet, feeling ungainly as a newborn foal. “The others,” he manages, his throat dry, parched with the dust and debris surging all around them, even as Gimli hefts Boromir’s arm over his shoulder. “Aragorn. Legolas—”

“They can take care of themselves,” Gimli growls. “For now, run!”

They lope along, a strange, lopsided scuttle of Man and Dwarf, away from the destruction of Mordor, escaping the force of Sauron’s empire collapsing around them until they are far enough away from the Black Gate and the dying will of Sauron’s land.

“Is it—” Boromir touches his tongue to his lips, uncertain. “Is it over?”

Gimli watches the destruction that unfolds below them, gravely. Turns his eyes toward Mount Doom, where liquid fire and destruction rains upon the land below. Neither of them voice the hope that it is indeed Frodo and Sam’s doing, by destroying the ring.

“Sauron’s army is scattered,” Gimli offers, finally. “And the Great Eye destroyed. They’ll not be bothering us for a long time yet. If ever.”

Boromir’s gaze sweeps the land below, watching as the Nazgûl and their fell-beasts are devoured by flaming debris. Looks on as Orcs and trolls and all manner of Sauron’s foul creatures are swallowed by the earth in what was once a bloodied field of battle.

Not ever, Boromir thinks grimly. If the ring is truly destroyed, then let Sauron’s forces never again darken these lands.

He swallows his hopes, not daring to voice them aloud, but the way Gimli grips Boromir’s arm hefted about his shoulders shows that he feels the same thrill of anticipation, a mix of eagerness and dread the same.

They stand there, watching the darkness fall away around them, their hearts in their throats, watching, waiting, hopeful.

~


It takes the better part of the day before Boromir and Gimli are reunited with the others. Aragorn’s armour is stained with battle and blood, and while the others are much the same, only Gimli wears them as a source of pride, falling to bickering with Legolas about their kill count as Gandalf looks on with an expression of fond disapproval.

They stop to make camp before the march back to Minas Tirith, taking care to avoid the slag heaps and refuse that mark the remainder of Sauron’s lands. Aragorn is readying a dish of athelas, grinding it with mortar and pestle to treat Boromir’s wounds, and Gimli is away fetching fresh bandages, when Merry and Pippin—streaked with blood and filth and splotches that suspiciously resemble food stains—fight their way through the barrier of Aragorn and Legolas to reach Boromir. Carve themselves a niche by Boromir’s side, tucking themselves into the crooks of his arms.

“We’re sorry!” begins Pippin breathlessly, his hands worrying at Boromir’s vambrace.

“We promised Faramir we’d protect you,” adds Merry.

“—but we couldn’t,” Pippin says finally, and he looks so utterly forlorn that Boromir moves his good arm, wincing as he does, to tousle Pippin’s curls. “There were so many Orcs, and then a troll tried to—and then Legolas found us—”

“Hush, little ones,” Boromir laughs. “I shall tell Faramir that you did, and he will be none the wiser.”

In response, they burrow guiltily into his sides, hiding in his cloak, until Gimli returns, harrumphing, and nudges them aside with the blunt heel of his axe. “Away with you, now,” he grumbles. “You’ll do more harm than good like that, you will.”

Boromir bites back a hiss of pain when Legolas straightens his arm to expose the wound in his shoulder, and the Halflings wince in commiseration.

“You should not have fought, with your wounds yet unhealed,” Legolas chides gently, as Aragorn presses athelas to the wound, its sweet smell wafting through the air. “You have undone all our hard work with your recklessness.”

Boromir hangs his head. “I know. I only wished to…” To atone. To do right by Gondor’s king, as his Steward. To see the destruction of Barad-dûr myself. With these answers warring in his mind, Boromir instead says nothing at all, casting his gaze elsewhere, ashamed.

Aragorn, however, tips him a nod, one that tells Boromir he has an inkling of the answers in his heart. Winds new bandages around Boromir’s arm, gentle, and when he has finished, clasps Boromir’s uninjured shoulder. “You fought well, Boromir—you have naught to be ashamed of. Your father would have been proud.” He smiles, accentuating the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. “And your brother.”

Boromir flexes his arm slowly, feeling having gradually returned to the limb as soon as Aragorn pressed leaves of the precious plant to his wound. “Proud that I am growing so well acquainted with the athelas plant, perhaps,” he says wryly, though a hint of a grin tugs at his mouth.

Aragorn chuckles, and as he moves to join the other healers in tending to the wounded, Legolas urges Boromir to rest. “You will see the White City again, my friend,” Legolas says. His smile is reassuring, kind. “But not resting will not hasten your return.”

There is sense in that, but even as Boromir settles uncomfortably on a makeshift cot that night, he cannot help but wonder if Faramir worries for him. How Faramir himself fares, alone in the healing halls but for the company of the healers and the other wounded.

Peace, brother, he thinks at Faramir. I am coming home to you.

He repeats the thought in his mind, like a mantra, a prayer, hoping some tendril of the warmth and affection in his thoughts will span the distance between them. Will give Faramir a measure of comfort, and ease his heart.

I am coming home to you, he thinks, until his eyes drift closed, heavy with sleep, and slumber, dark and cool and forgiving, takes him.

~


Faramir burrows into the soft sheets of Boromir’s bed, biting back a whimper as he cocoons himself, safe, in his brother’s scent.

He has not gone to Boromir’s bed before this, unable to bear the thought of Boromir’s comforting smell fading from his sheets. Prefers to stay in the company of the others in the healing halls, where there are yet others haunted by the war, others who relive its horrors in their sleep.

But Faramir gives in tonight.

He needs this—needs the comfort of Boromir’s presence, and proof of his existence, from the warm sheets wrapped around Faramir to the collection of keepsakes and trinkets in Boromir’s room. There is the pelt of a wild boar hanging on the south wall, one from their first hunt together, that Boromir said would do nicely in place of a tapestry. A ‘sword’ Faramir had carved himself when he was barely at Boromir’s waist, that was little more than a sharpened stake, standing in a place of honor in Boromir’s arms collection. And books on weapons, filling a shelf and a half, hastily borrowed from the archives of Minas Tirith, that Boromir has forgotten to return.

Faramir winds himself further into the bedding now. Pulls the duvet over his shoulders, smiling to himself as his fingers press into familiar crimson cloth. He traces the embroidered white trim, gentle, before curling back around Boromir’s cloak, breathing deeply of the scent of leather and metal and earth. Catches a hint of his own soap in the fur, and chuckles at the palpable evidence of his frequency in Boromir’s company.

Being surrounded by Boromir’s belongings eases Faramir’s troubled mind little, but enough for him to find rest, if only for a moment; he has had a fitful rest since Boromir’s words of a week ago, dying words quickly tempered by an overwhelming sense of comfort and warmth.

Please, Faramir begs of the Valar, before slumber takes him. Show me what has become of my brother.

But ever does the present elude him; tonight, of all nights, his dreams show him not the past, not each of Boromir’s brushes with death, but comforting, soothing things. Things that Faramir wishes with all his might will come to pass instead.

They are kind, merciful, dreams, showing him a future of laughter and love: of him and Boromir riding together, carefree, beyond the walls of Minas Tirith. Drawing up trade treaties and performing the tasks of the King’s Steward together.

He dreams of being loved by Boromir in their bed, and of loving him in return. Of kissing him on the castle rampart. And the last vision, the sweetest yet, is of Boromir standing tall by Faramir’s side, silver streaking his temples. Of Faramir reaching out to tuck that silvered hair behind an ear, his own autumn-gold fading to the same shade, and Boromir caressing his cheek, as they smile and laugh and share the whispers of secret nothings they have been wont to do all their lives.

Somehow the Valar have deduced Faramir’s most ardent desire, the secret he keeps hidden in his heart of hearts: of growing old with Boromir, after having spent a lifetime together. Of peaceful days to follow their life of war, when they can love as they wish, and live as they choose.

Faramir hoards each of these visions, each a small, precious seedling of hope, but he will not set much store by them; will not trust to what he sees in the dreams, until he has Boromir safe in his arms again.

He knows the danger of wanting something, someone so badly that he might fall prey to believing such falsehoods. Grasp at lingering threads of hope and delude himself with fantasy in place of a future he cannot bear, one without Boromir by his side. But he decides to put his faith in his brother, in the feelings of warmth and love and affection he is sure come from Boromir himself, from beyond the walls of Minas Tirith and eastward, from Mordor.

His visions of their future are interrupted by the clear, triumphant ring of Minas Tirith’s trumpets, and Faramir could weep at the sound, the bright, resonant tones seeming so undeniably real.

They signify that the army has succeeded, that it has returned.

That Boromir has finally come home.

~


The clear ringing of silver trumpets, heralding the army’s return, is as sweet a sound as Boromir remembers.

He relishes the melody as he and the others ride through the Great Gate. Gazes in awe at the banners flying high from the White Tower of Ecthelion; each now bears the standard of the White Tree of Gondor, and the morning breeze unfurls each one in its full splendor, the sun’s light accentuating their deep cobalt hue.

“Well then,” Aragorn says, riding at Boromir’s left, as they make their way through the procession of cheering people gathered along their route. “It is as you hoped. Our paths have indeed led us here. And the Lords of Gondor have indeed returned.” He nods solemnly, before a wisp of a smile graces his lips. “We now only need the tower guard to take up that call, and your vision shall be fulfilled.”

Boromir tries to summon a smile but manages only the ghost of one; the cost for this final victory has been too high, the price for this peace too dear. All he can do is be grateful that the shadow of Mordor will no longer darken these lands.

He had hoped to thank Frodo and Sam upon their return, to laud them for their courage, but they had been sent ahead to Minas Tirith, borne by the Great Eagles that Gandalf had led. The extra time is a boon, as Boromir needs to gather his courage to face the two Halflings he feels he has wronged—though he is sure Faramir would have some choice words to say about that.

His brother has let him know, in no uncertain terms, that the so-called wrongdoing is a misconception on his part. Will not let him wallow in guilt or self-pity over it.

The city’s people cheer as Aragorn leads the returning army home, but Boromir informs the others of his departure, turning from the procession before they reach the White Tower for a debriefing of the battle. Makes a quick excursion to his chambers to strip off his armour, already weighing him down and adding to his exhaustion, before he will return to the healing halls.

He knows he will find all the hero’s welcome he needs in Faramir’s arms.

It had taken all of Boromir’s self-restraint to keep from galloping across the Pelennor Fields, where they had made camp the night before, to Minas Tirith, where he knew Faramir would be awaiting his return. He hastens now toward his chambers, hoping to divest himself of his armor quickly, that he may catch Faramir while he is still resting in the Houses. May revel in his brother’s full embrace, warm and encompassing, when he sees Faramir again.

It comes as a surprise then, when he finds Faramir neither in the throngs of people welcoming them home, nor in the healing chambers, but asleep in his bed.

Faramir is huddled safely under the duvet, and when Boromir lifts the edge of it gingerly, he finds Faramir curled around his cloak, his face nestled in the soft fur, like a baby mouse keeping warm.

Boromir smiles to himself, thinking Faramir’s face looks softer, more vulnerable in his sleep. Wants nothing more than to slip into bed and fit himself into the space behind Faramir, to soak in his warmth and wrap Faramir in his arms, secure. As it is, Boromir is still smudged with dirt and grit from the trip home. He would not sully Faramir’s soft, pale skin. Would not mar his clean, golden curls.

He kneels by the bed, allowing himself to card only the cleanest fingers through Faramir’s hair, gentle. Lets the fine strands slide from his fingertips, spilling like a spool unraveled of red-gold thread on the pillow.

Faramir stirs at the touch, shifting and blinking blearily, but at the sight of Boromir, his hand darts out, catching Boromir’s wrist. Squeezes tightly, as if not daring to believe this is more than a dream. “Boromir?” he whispers, and Boromir’s heart nearly breaks at the naked hope in his voice.

“Yes.” Boromir laces the fingers of their clasped hands together. “Yes—” he manages, before Faramir throws his arms around Boromir’s waist and embraces him, hard. Buries his face in Boromir’s chest, his belly, knitting arms tighter around Boromir than he can bear, but he lets Faramir have this, lets him have the assurance that he is safe, that he has come home.

“Faramir,” he says softly, letting an arm settle around Faramir’s shoulders. Rests his other hand in Faramir’s hair, stroking, petting, comforting.

When Faramir finally loosens his grip, frees Boromir from his deeply possessive grasp, he allows Boromir all of a moment to sit level with him on the bed, before they are hugging again immediately, tight, neither of them letting go. Surging into each other for a kiss that is hot and hard and wet, each brush of Faramir’s lips against his an aching tenderness Boromir has sorely missed. He snarls fingers into Faramir’s hair, savoring its softness, its scent, as Faramir claws at the shoulders of his armour, both of them anchoring themselves in the ways they know how.

“The worst is behind us now, little brother,” Boromir says. He buries his face in Faramir’s hair, breathing in the sweet scent of fig soap and the healers’ mint salve. Lets his fingertips trace the ringlets that curl at the nape of Faramir’s neck. “There will be other skirmishes, to drive Orcs away from the surrounding lands, but Barad-dûr itself has fallen. The worst of the battles are behind us.”

“Good,” Faramir hisses, his hand twisting tighter into Boromir’s hair. His other hand he slips beneath Boromir’s cuirass, seeking skin and warmth and further proof of Boromir’s presence. “Good.”

There had been moments, Boromir reflects, when fighting the Orcs in their near-hopeless battle, that he thought he would not have this again; would not feel Faramir’s fingers in his hair, or taste the sweetness of his mouth, like honeyed wine. Would not hear the easy cadence of his laughter, relieved.

Now, at the sight and sound and touch of Faramir, Boromir finally feels as though he has truly come home, because Faramir is home.

When they finally let go, Boromir can see the anxiety and worry melt away from Faramir’s features.

“Thank the Valar,” Faramir murmurs, “for bringing you home to me.” He clasps Boromir’s face in his palms, warm and rough. Traces the crease in Boromir’s brow, born from worry and happiness both, before smiling, sheepish. “Forgive me, Boromir. I should have been the first at the Great Gate to welcome you home, but I…” He trails off, embarrassed, his gaze settling on the evidence of having fallen asleep in Boromir’s bed.

Boromir takes in the sight of rumpled sheets, remembering the way Faramir had been curled around his cloak, and grins. “No matter,” he says. “My brother in my bed is all the welcome I require.” He delights in the pleasing flush that rises from Faramir’s neck and fills his cheeks with color at that. Thinks to kiss each spot of crimson from his cheeks and see just how far down that cherry flush will spread.

“It is a poor excuse,” Faramir says, shaking his head. “I even heard the sound of trumpets, but thought it was part of my dream.”

Boromir pinches the side of Faramir’s belly, gentle, and laughs when his brother yelps in surprise. “This is no dream.”

“Yes, yes,” Faramir says hastily, “I see the error of my assumptions now.” He pauses in his work of helping Boromir unbuckle his cuirass, thoughtful. “Have you any pressing engagements, with your friends and comrades?”

Boromir shakes his head, lifting his arms as Faramir tugs the cuirass off and sets it on a nearby chair. “They plan to see to the wounded in the Houses of Healing. I would not be missed for at least another day.” He lets Faramir undo the lacings of the tunic he had worn beneath his cuirass and divest him of it, laying it atop his armour. Pulls his own trousers and boots off as Faramir shifts his way back into bed.

“Perfect,” Faramir sighs, his feet tangling into warm sheets as he holds out a palm in entreaty. “Come to bed with me, then.”

Boromir hesitates, hovering at the edge of the bed; he knows how he must look—haggard and worn, his underclothes caked with dust and filth from the journey home—but his mind is made up for him when Faramir grips his wrist and tugs him into the bed. Wraps arms around him all the same, holding on tight as if Boromir is something precious and dear.

In the face of this acceptance, Boromir slides his arms beneath Faramir’s tunic and around his waist, sinking fingers into warm skin. Lets Faramir circle his shoulders with his arms as they settle into each others’ spaces, hips and knees and toes slotting together naturally, perfect.

He chuckles when he finds Faramir pressing soft, feathery kisses to his brow. Trying to coax him into ardor with tiny, nibbling kisses to his lip.

“Faramir,” Boromir manages, between a few sleepy, open-mouthed kisses. “I must rest now.” He is battle-weary and soul-tired, and though he wishes for nothing more than to meet Faramir’s kisses with the same ardent fire, he cannot bring himself to move another aching muscle. To stay awake for what Faramir wishes him to do. “Wait for me, for just a little longer.” He touches a kiss to the tip of Faramir’s nose. “I promise I shall make it worth your while.”

Faramir frowns, and the sight of his mouth curled so in displeasure, resembling a pout, makes Boromir laugh.

“You should not frown so,” Boromir says, grinning. He presses a thumb to the furrow at Faramir’s brow. Smoothes it out with careful, brushing strokes. “It will make you look old well before your time.”

Faramir huffs a laugh and pinches Boromir’s thigh in retaliation. Tugs at a lock of Boromir’s hair, already starting to grey at the edges. “I will show you who is old,” he says, though he quiets when Boromir presses fingers to Faramir’s shoulder.

“When I have the strength,” Boromir declares, “I shall kiss you here—” he touches fingers to Faramir’s chest, “—here,” a light press to his belly, “—and here,” he finishes, slipping his fingers, daring, just past the waist of Faramir’s breeches.

“Then you had best recover quickly, that you may keep your word,” says Faramir, his laughter a warm wisp of air against Boromir’s skin. He presses a sweet, lingering kiss to Boromir’s mouth, his lips soft as he cups Boromir’s cheek in his palm. Opens his arms wider for Boromir to nestle into, snug.

Just as Boromir starts drifting off, however, Faramir’s fingers brush the shallow score of a blade, right at the crest of his hip.

“This is new,” Faramir says, frowning, as Boromir sucks in a sharp breath. He traces the edges of the wound, careful. “You should have it treated at the Houses.”

Boromir shifts minutely into Faramir’s side, every movement causing an ache anew in his already battered body. He is too tired to make a long protest. “It can wait,” he says. “I, however, cannot.” He nudges at Faramir’s shoulder, hoping his request for Faramir to simply hold him makes it through. That Faramir will realize he values their time together far more than tending to his wounds at the healing halls.

Faramir hmms thoughtfully, before drawing Boromir tighter into his arms, and they lie together, silent, safe and warm. Breathe each other’s air, slowly, softly, as they find peace in each other’s arms.

For the first time, Boromir dares to dream about more than just hungry Orcs, with their greedy, gaping maws; more than the terrible Uruk-hai emblazoned with the White Hand of Saruman; he dreams of Gondor restored to its former glory, its cities once more the bastions of light, and beauty, and music. Of Minas Tirith, his home, its white walls and towers awash with the sun’s light. Of the White Tree and its first pale blossoms of hope, a herald of peace, and life, and renewal.

Above all else, he dreams of Faramir, his eyes finally free of the shadows that haunt them, alight instead with mirth. Of his red-gold hair fading into an ageless gray, the same shade as Boromir’s own, as they stand together beneath the flourishing White Tree. He hears his brother’s laughter, coupled with his own, the sound of true happiness—theirs.

And while prophetic dreams have ever been Faramir’s realm, Boromir looks into those dreams, at the future they might have together, and allows himself to hope.


(tbc - Chapter 10 )

End Notes:

OST:
- A Time to Rest and Heal: Healing Winds – Junichi Nakatsuru (Soul Calibur III ver.)
- Boromir, At the Gates of Minas Tirith: A Hero Comes Home – Robin Wright-Penn
- Reuniting with Faramir: My Home, Sweet Home - Final Fantasy V
- Dreams of Hope: Saya’s Joy – 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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