A/N: Okay, this is far-fetched and is, at times, liable to get a bit….strange. So sue me. What are you going to get out of it. A 1986 Prelude? Good. Means a new car for me.
Disclaimer: If I owned it, then Peter Jackson would’ve paid me for the movie rights and I would be hanging out with Viggo, Orlando, David, Sean, Sean, Elijah, Billy, Dom, Craig, John, Liv, Cate, Miranda, Peter, Fran, Philippa, and all the other amazing, incredible, talented people who worked on the movies!
‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’The Citadel in Minas Tirith
In the dead of night, Faramir, Steward of Gondor, woke in a cold sweat. Desperately, he tried to remember what it was he had been dreaming, but the dream eluded him. Frustrated and irritated, he threw back the bedclothes and tossed on a robe.
For a week now, he had woken up in the same manner. But he was never able to remember the dream that invaded his slumber. After donning his robe, he splashed water from the basin on his face, hoping to quell his rising irritation. It did not help, however, and so he resorted to opening the doors that led to the balcony of his room.
It was a windy night and the breeze whipped around him as he stepped outside, but Faramir didn’t care. He leaned against the doorframe and looked out across the horizon, sighing heavily. This dream was plaguing him constantly, ever since Eowyn had returned to Rohan with her brother. He did not understand it at all. Why could he not remember? Was there something special about this dream?
“Say, that wind’s a bit chilly. Why are the doors open?” said a voice from across the room.
Faramir froze, wondering who on Middle Earth would have the audacity to enter his private chambers without bothering to knock first. And he hadn’t heard the door open. Slowly, he turned in the direction of the voice. With no light except the moon and stars, it was very difficult to see at first. But, as Faramir’s eyes adjusted, he was able to see the speaker very clearly. And, when he saw who had spoken, he turned as pale as Eowyn herself. Alarmed, the speaker started towards him, but Faramir sprang away from him in an instant, grabbing an ornate statue off a bookcase as he passed it. He brandished it threateningly at the intruder, who backed away.
“I do not know who you are, sir, but if this is a joke of some sort, it is in very poor taste.”
“I assure you, it is not a joke.”
“Then you are obviously a trick of the Enemy, left over from one of his plots that was never brought to fruition. No doubt, now that he has been destroyed, you have been left to your own devices. I sympathize with your….lack of direction, but you are not welcome here. We can bring you to trial and decide your fate, whether you will be destroyed or…”
“Faramir! For Eru’s sake! Are you not capable of carrying on a conversation without making a speech?”
“How do you know my name? Oh, of course. All part of the plot.”
“Faramir! It’s me.”
Faramir narrowed his eyes and studied the man in front of him. The hair, the eyes, the build. The voice. But it couldn’t be.
“No. You are not my brother. My brother is dead!” the Steward exclaimed, dropping the statue to the floor. He turned and walked out onto the balcony, leaving Boromir alone in the room. The man sighed and shook his head, then followed Faramir outside.
“Faramir,” he began.
“No! I will not listen. You are in my mind, Boromir. Would you have me driven mad, as our father was?”
Boromir winced at this, but he persisted.
“Are you comparing my powers to that of the palantir? Truly, Faramir, you flatter me.”
“Or perhaps you insult me,” Boromir concluded.
“That was my intent,” came the reply.
Again, Boromir winced. This was not going well at all. Of course, he hadn’t expected it to be easy. Taking a deep breath, he walked up next to Faramir and looked out on the courtyard. In the distance, he saw the lights of Osgiliath and he couldn’t help but smile.
“ ‘I swear to you, I will not let the White City fall’,” he said. “Aragorn is rebuilding quickly, isn’t he?”
“I am not in the habit of listening to voices in my head. Leave me.”
“Faramir, I know this is a shock. But please listen to me. I am not a voice in your head. Here,” Boromir held his hand out his younger brother. “You can touch me, you can see me, you can obviously hear me.”
“But you’re dead! Aragorn saw you die! He and Prince Legolas and Master Gimli sent you over the Falls of Rauros! You died defending Merry and Pippin! How can you stand before me now and tell me that none of this is true?!”
“I never said it was not true, Faramir.”
“Then you are a ghost? Well, that is much better than hearing voices in my head.”
The sarcasm was not lost on Boromir.
“I am not, precisely, a ghost. I much prefer the term ‘spirit’. It’s much more….spiritual.”
“How very droll.”
“Faramir, please try to understand me.”
“Understand you?! I should not even be talking to you! You are dead, Boromir! Dead! That means that you can no longer talk to me! You can no longer be with me!”
Boromir stared at his brother, unused to seeing him so angry. So that was it.
“You are angry with me, Faramir?”
“Of course I am! YOU LEFT ME!!”
The words hung in the air between them as they regarded each other, Boromir’s eyes full of shock, Faramir’s eyes snapping with anger. The younger brother no longer cared if he was imagining things or not. The past week of his elusive dream had pushed him to the very limits of his temper. Now, all of a sudden, he was confronted with the specter of his brother.
“I see,” Boromir said quietly. “But I never truly left you, Faramir. And here I am to prove it.”
“And where were you when Father ordered me to retake Osgiliath?”
“I was there. You survived, did you not?”
“What about when I was placed on top of my own funeral pyre?” Faramir inquired cuttingly.
“I was there. How do you suppose Pippin found the strength to push you off that pyre?”
“You did not help him.”
“No, not in the physical sense. I was not allowed. But I was with him. Just as I was with you. Faramir, the longer you argue with me, the more time we waste.”
“What time? You can only remain here for a certain amount of time?”
“No, of course not. Don’t be ridiculous, Faramir. But do you really want to stand out here on the balcony and argue with me?”
“What I want to do is go back to bed and get a decent night’s sleep. That, unfortunately, has not happened for the past week.”
Faramir looked over at his brother.
“How else was I going to get your attention?”
“You’ve been sending me that dream? Boromir! Have you any idea what that dream has been doing to me? I haven’t been able to sleep at all! Even when I’m awake, I keep trying to remember what it was that I dreamed the night before.”
Boromir frowned, not liking the direction the conversation was going. Faramir had only just calmed down a little and he really did not want to get in an argument with his brother again.
“I am sorry, Faramir. But if I had just appeared in your chambers one night, while you were of perfectly sound mind, you never would’ve listened to me for this long.”
Faramir started to say something, but suddenly saw a grain of truth in what his brother had just said and changed his mind. Sighing, he turned and went back inside.
“Where are you going?” Boromir inquired.
“You’re the all-knowing one. You tell me,” Faramir shot back. Boromir rolled his eyes and trailed his brother.
He deduced from his younger brother’s actions that Faramir must have grown tired of the night air, for the young Steward was busily lighting candles in the room. When he finished, he closed the doors that led out onto the balcony and leaned against them heavily.
“Faramir? Are you alright?”
“Oh, yes. I’m fine. Just haven’t had much sleep in the past week and now I’ve been carrying on a conversation with my dead brother for the past twenty minutes,” Faramir retorted, pushing himself away from the doors and crossing over to a small chest on the other side of the room. Wisely, Boromir did not make a witty retort, as he would’ve done in the past. Instead, he merely watched as Faramir opened the chest and pulled out a bottle and a small glass.
“What is that?” he asked.
“ ‘Whom’,” corrected Faramir absently. Boromir smiled at the correction of his grammar, but said nothing. “I received it from Elladan and Elrohir when I was officially proclaimed the Steward of Gondor.”
“Aragorn’s foster brothers?”
“Do you know of another Elladan and Elrohir?”
“No, I do not. And I thank the Valar for seeing fit to bless the house of Lord Elrond with only two of them.”
In spite of his rather foul and somewhat confused state of mind, Faramir could not stop the corners of his mouth from turning up slightly. He had been somewhat surprised at the amount of mischief the king’s foster brothers had managed to stir up during their lengthy visit to Minas Tirith. Surprised, but pleased. And doubly pleased when they let him in on their little intrigues.
“But what is it?” Boromir asked, coming closer to Faramir as he poured the liquid into his glass.
“Miruvor wine, if you must know,” the Steward replied. “I have been saving it for my wedding night. But I feel like I need it a bit more right now. Somehow, I don’t think Eowyn will mind.”
“And you won’t offer me any? I love miruvor wine!”
“I don’t mean to offend you, Boromir, but could it have escaped your notice that you….are….dead? Hmmm?”
Boromir glared at his brother.
“Well, you don’t have to be so blunt about it,” he snapped.
Faramir settled into a chair with his wine, trying desperately to make sense out of the entire situation. His brother, or something that claimed to be his brother, was walking about his room and talking to him! Truly, Faramir would’ve thought he was going mad if it were not for the fact that he was quite sure he was nowhere close to the edge of insanity.
Was it truly so hard to believe that Boromir had been watching him these past months? Was it truly so hard to believe that Boromir was in this room at this very moment? Faramir studied the man that was now pacing back and forth, muttering to himself in low tones. Well, if he wasn’t Boromir, he certainly was giving a good imitation of it! The same mannerisms, the same nervous habits. Why, he was even fingering the cuff of his tunic the way Boromir always did when he was thinking about something.
Faramir frowned thoughtfully as he took a sip of the wine. ‘Never be afraid to believe in things you do not understand’. Now where did that come from? Oh, yes. Faramir did not remember very much about his mother, but he remembered that she was the one who told him that. In fact, she had told him that quite often. Was he afraid to believe that this was Boromir? Would it really be so horrible if Boromir were to come back? Sighing, Faramir set the glass down on a small table and rose, then walked over to where Boromir had been pacing back and forth.
“Why are you here, Boromir?”
The question was simple. There was no undertone of anger or hurt, just curiosity. Satisfied that his brother seemed calm, Boromir decided to answer.
“I have a promise to keep. Unfinished business, if you will.”
“Oh, you do?”
“Yes, I do.”
“And what would this promise be? Who did you make the promise to?”
For a moment, Faramir thought Boromir was going to answer him. But the moment passed and was soon replaced by a look that the younger brother knew all to well.
“I can’t tell you that.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I can’t tell you that. I’m very sorry, Faramir, but it’s against the rules.”
“Yes. We all have rules, you know. And we must abide by them. I belong to a terribly strict organization.”
Faramir shook his head and returned to his chair.
“This conversation is getting entirely too strange for me. I’m not entirely sure that I haven’t already had the whole bottle of miruvor wine and that it is the cause of this vision.”
Instantly, Boromir was completely serious.
“You must believe me, Faramir, when I say that I am not a vision. I am here. I am real. I am, unfortunately, not alive. But I will be with you when you need me.”
“Hmmmm. And probably when I don’t need you as well.”
“Well, that was rather uncalled for.”
“Oh, Boromir. I was only joking.”
“I know. Feels rather good to joke again, doesn’t it.”
“Yes. Boromir…..Boromir, I have missed you.”
“I know you have. I’ve missed you as well. And I’m sorry I had to leave you, brother. It broke my heart to know that I was leaving you behind. But, as I just said, I’ll be here in a manner of speaking.”
“Will anyone else be able to see you?”
Boromir shook his head.
“No. Only you, brother. You’re the only one.”
“So I suppose that telling Eowyn about you would only make me seem like a raving lunatic.”
“Ah, yes. Eowyn. As long as we’re on the subject of Eowyn….”
“Oh, no. Never mind. I do not care to get into a discussion with you tonight about my future wife.”
“No. Besides, I’m feeling very tired all of a sudden.”
“Yes, I’m sure you are,” remarked Boromir dryly.
“Yes, I am. Whatever you have to say about Eowyn can wait until the next time you decide to interrupt my wonderful slumber with a hellish dream that I won’t be able to remember when I wake up.”
“Oh, I won’t have to use that method next time. That was just necessary for an introduction.”
Faramir scowled as he took off his robe and climbed back into bed.
“You always were theatrical, Boromir.”
“Yes, well, I try,” replied the older brother, bowing with a grand flourish.
Faramir’s scowl deepened and he tossed a pillow at the offending spirit.
“I am tired, Boromir, and you have given me quite a lot to think about. Please….”
“Good night, brother. Remember. I’ll always be here.”
Faramir had just closed his eyes when Boromir said the last part. He bolted upright to protest his brother remaining in his room only to find that the room was empty. Smiling, Faramir laid back down.
“Good night, Boromir. I’ll remember.”
And the Steward of Gondor slipped into the first untroubled sleep he had had in a week. But his encounters with his brother were far from over.