It is the first time without Finduilas around. How is the Steward’s family dealing with the pain? And what about the nearing holiday?
Author: Sivan Shemesh firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warning: Mention of Character Death. Some mentions of child abuse. AU, angst/family.
Summary: It is the first time without Finduilas around. How is the Steward’s family dealing with the pain? And what about the nearing holiday?
A/N: Written for Yule Exchanges Fics for Bonnie.
Denethor stared at his children that were now left without their mother to take care of them. He glared at Faramir in hatred as if the little boy was the one that caused Denethor to lose his wife. He liked more to blame his youngest then his oldest.
Boromir at the age of ten had taken it upon himself to look out for his little brother who was only five years of age.
Denethor went toward his little child, wanting to hit him as his rage was beyond control, but Boromir did not let him get near the child, and not near to him as well. Boromir would not let his father near his little brother whom he had had a connection with since Faramir was only a baby, as he had watched his brother while their parents were away.
Boromir now knew that he had to deal with his father, and yet find a way to keep Faramir safe from his hero.
Denethor turned his glare toward his oldest, whom had stopped him from doing what he might regret later, and now Boromir found a barrier between his brother and his father.
Faramir, though only five, could feel the tension between the two, and a plan started to form in his young mind. He did not wish to let his brother protect or defend him from their father, he knew that he needed to act fast as the night was fast approaching, and he hoped that his brother would be alright with his leaving.
Later, as the dark night showed the stars sparkling in the sky, Faramir crawled from his bed and then he took the bag he had prepared before readying himself for sleep; he slipped through the open door that led toward the dimly lit hallway, he hoped that he would get out as soon as possible, knowing that he was not welcome in this place he had once called home.
The boy smiled as he passed by a guard, and then slipped toward the large, iron doors as a large amount of guards appeared on the other side.
So far, it seemed that his plan was going well; he checked both sides, left to right, seeing if it was safe to walk, or rather run, in the cold night in the search for a welcome atmosphere and maybe a warm family that really wanted him. He wanted to feel useful, an he missed terribly the feeling of being loved, and most of all, he missed his mother, and kept asking himself why she had left him to deal with his a father had once been soft, but had now become a menace.
With that thought, Faramir walked through the darkest and coldest night, running away from the guards he though he saw; running down the levels of the city, he finally bumped into a woman on the way.
The woman stared at him, and Faramir believed that he saw in her eyes the same thing he saw in his father's eyes: the desire to hurt him. So he took a step back, raising his hands to protect his face, and then he ran away, not daring to look back.
“WAIT!” Faramir heard, but still he did not turn; his mind flew back to the painful memory of his father hitting him when Boromir had not been around to protect him, and Faramir did not wish for history to repeat itself.
Facing his father without Boromir beside him was enough for the child, as he believed it. Faramir did not wish for his brother to continue facing the man he had worshiped, just to protect his brother; neither did he wish to believe that his life was worth it, and he had to ask himself why his mother did not take him with her, as he certainly did not feel useful and needed.
‘One level left… I need to get away from him; I need to pass the grayish white long gates… I have to.’ Faramir wished, as he stared at the bunch of mounted guards that were riding in his path. Faramir did not stop running, his eyes were on the path to the exit from his dreadful and painful life - it was so close. He kept running, hoping that the guards would clear a path for him, and he did not care.
“STOP!” Faramir heard the shout, but did not stop; only one path was designed in his mind, a path for freedom.
“STOP THE HORSES!”
“PLEASE!” the last shout seemed like a plea from a voice filled with begging that the boy would listen.
The guards stopped the horses from running onward, and for the first time they noticed the boy who ran toward them; they could only stare at the child in astonishment over the brave - or rather foolish - thing he was doing.
They turned around, noticing that the boy kept running, a bag on his shoulders; he ran around another corner, and they wondered what fear and pain the boy was running away from.
Then they turned back, and noticed an older boy and a woman staring at them with relief shining in their eyes, though the boy seemed to be tired and breathless.
“What is wrong with the boy?” one of the guards asked the boy who still stood near to the woman.
“He is my brother, and I better leave to reach him and find out the problem.” Boromir replied, then he thanked the woman who had let him know the direction his brother ran, and then he gratefully thanked the guards for saving his brother's life.
Boromir continued quickly on his way, thinking of what the woman had told him of Faramir's reaction, and the ten year-old tried to figure out what the problem could be; but he could not think straight as the only thought he had was to find his brother and find out he was running from.
The five-year-old boy kept running until he got closer to the gate and saw it was closed; no one left or came in through it. The boy was tired, scared and breathless; he walked toward the closed gates, and stood near it hoping that it would opens soon.
The ten year old kept running, though he was tired, but one thought spurred him onwards even though his muscles hurt; he knew that he needed to keep looking for his brother. Boromir sighed in relief when he noticed that the tall iron gates were locked tight. Now all he had to do was to see where his brother was hiding, and then fix the problem.
“Faramir.” He called, but received no answer.
He kept walking toward the closed gates, hoping to catch sight of his brother, but he saw nothing other then the darkness; he kept tripping on things that lay on the ground, hidden from sight from the lack of light, and yet he continued to look for his missing brother.
“Faramir, please come out, I know that you are out there, and I am worried about you.” Boromir's voice begged for his brother, but he still heard nothing.
Heavy in heart and with shoulders slumped in defeat, Boromir left the gates, turned around and walked back toward the house that seemed now so far away. The wind blew in the face, and he knew that he need to walk several levels just to get back to his and welcome bed.
He heard a noise, and he turned around to see what this sound was about, and found his little brother's eyes staring back at him. Boromir ran toward his brother and hugged him tightly, not wishing to lose him ever again. “I missed you little brother.”
“Please do not hate me…” Faramir said weakly to his big brother, not daring to raise his eyes towards him, and see his eyes.
“Why should I hate you, little brother? I love you.” Boromir asked him with surprise in his voice, and confirmed his brother of how much love the bonds of their being brothers were, and he would not let his father ever hurt him again.
“You do?” Faramir asked, doubtful; he raised his gaze to meet his brother's. The five-year-old boy noticed how a lone tear fell from his brother’s eyes.
“Boromir, why are you crying?”
Boromir smiled at him, and replied, “I am not crying because I am sad, young one, I am crying because I do love you as my brother, and I am glad that I found you.”
Faramir only nodded but said nothing more.
He let his brother to take his bag, and hold his hand; Boromir kept telling him to never run away from home, and from him, as he loved him dearly as a brother, and did not wish to lose another member of his family.
When they finally reached the house on the seventh level, Boromir could feel how tired and limp his brother had become, as he was now holding him tight. He helped Faramir walk toward the house as he passed the open gates, letting the guards close them, and then he walked his brother toward the dim lights in the hallway. He guided Faramir to the room that they shared since the five year old was a babe. Boromir helped his brother to his bed, and then glanced over at his own; he made a decision then and there to make sure his brother did not try and leave again like he had done earlier.
Boromir forsook his own bed, and lay down next to Faramir, making certain that they were both covered and protected from the cold breeze the night had brought with it.
The next day, Boromir was almost in a panic when he woke up and he did not see his brother in the bed; he hurried from their room, and saw Faramir in the bath room, and their father stood near the young boy.
Boromir hurried over, and his eyes opened wide when he noted the blood and black bruise on his brother's cheek and jaw. He ran to stand between his brother and his father, facing Denethor with a glare on his face, angry about what their father had done to his brother.
Once Denethor had left the small room, Boromir turned around and stared closely at the bruise on his brother's face; he moved his hand to touch it as gently as he could, only to see his brother flinch away from his touch.
“Faramir, what happened to you?” Boromir asked in fear as he still tried to touch the bruise; he took a bandage from the closet, and some herbs that were inside the cabinet; he tried to take care of his brother.
Faramir seemed ashamed, and lowered his head, not wishing for his brother help or pity.
“I am worried about you, Faramir, and you can call me if father tries to that to you again, as I will never let him touch you if I am near.” Boromir assured his brother, and hoped that Faramir would let him take care of his hurts. “Please look at me, Faramir.” He pleaded with his brother as he could not see how much his brother was hurt; the bruises and the blood seemed too much for him already.
Faramir raised his head and stared at his brother who used it as an advantage to take care of his injuries as gently as he could; Boromir cleaned them, not wishing for them to get infected or to see his brother more sick; he wanted him to be healthy and smiling again, it hurt Boromir to see Faramir in so much pain.
His gray eyes watched his brother as Boromir carefully took care of him, and Faramir was expecting to see pity in the depths of his brother's own eyes but instead saw nothing but love and care in them.
“Now, after I will take care of the bruises you have, I need your help.” Boromir said gently to him.
“With what?” Faramir asked in curiosity before he bit his tongue at the pain of the bruises crawling under his skin, burning like a rising flame that wished to burn him.
“Have you not noticed the white blanket we have outside? Or the coldness instead of the hot days we had?” Boromir asked him, as he finished treating the bruises his brother had on his face.
“No, I did not as father grabbed me from the bed, and slammed my back in the wall and hit me.” Faramir replied and then he lowered his head again.
“Look at me, Faramir, I cannot see you like this, it hurts me too much to see you hurt, and I will do anything to see you happy again.” Boromir said, and then he smiled at his brother and asked, “Do you want to make a snow man?”
The boy nodded, and asked, “Can we make one that looks like mama did?”
“We can do it,” Boromir confirmed to his brother; taking his hand, he added, “Together, we can do it.”
Faramir nodded and followed his brother outside the house, and they soon began playing, throwing snowballs at each other, and then after becoming soaked, they sat next to each other and started to speak of what they remembered of their mother.
“I miss her…” Faramir said and stared at his brother.
“I miss her too, now let us make her in the snow crave, of how we remembered her, as her beauty and love that she brought upon us.” Boromir suggested to his brother.
While in the house, near the window, Denethor watched his sons as they played in the snow, and went to create something in the snow.
The Steward’s heart began beating harder and faster as he remembered the glare that he got from his oldest and the fear from his youngest; shame burned fierce in his heart, and he thought of his lost wife, wondered what she would say about his attitude. He covered his head in his hands, then he moved his head to look at the window, as the tears falling down from his eyes, felt sorry of what he had done to Faramir.
But he could not help it, as he saw Finduilas in his youngest son’s face.
He sighed heavily, and then he left the house, heading outside into the cold; standing in the gates, he watched his sons closely, not wishing to lose sight of them. He had heard about what his youngest son had done the night before, his heart beating faster and harder, at the thought of his youngest son almost running away; Denethor did not wish to know of what would have happened if the tall, iron gates were open, or to think of his older boy still laying in his bed, sleeping with no worries for his little brother.
Denethor was grateful to know that Boromir was worried about his brother, that he left the room, and went to look after him.
When he had heard from the guards what had happened during the night, Denethor had been so furious the he had taken his littlest child from his bed, led him toward the bathroom and slammed him against the wall, beating him repeatedly; he had only stopped when he saw the blood that flowed, and he froze, not even daring to apologize about what he had done, and now Denethor wished he could disappear.
Faramir was the first to notice their father standing at the gates, watching them; Faramir stopped, and then ducked behind his brother to hide.
Boromir noticed his brother moved; he turned toward his brother and asked, “What is it Faramir?”
“Look at the gates.” Faramir only replied, not daring to look toward the gates himself, as he believed that his father wanted to hit him again.
Boromir turned around and noticed his father staring at them, but he could not bring himself to figure out what it was that he had seen in his father’s eyes. He did not know if it was love that showed in Denethor's eyes or rather hate.
He moved one hand to protect his brother, not wishing him to be near their father if he came toward them.
Denethor watched with wet eyes the scene before him. He was ashamed of his attitude earlier toward his youngest child, and he wanted to go to them, apologize for his act; he noted how his oldest moved to protect his brother, and Denethor turned around and entered the house again.
But he came right back outside again, and he did dare to walk toward his children and try to talk to them.
The boys almost sighed in relief when Denethor walked back into the house, but their hearts almost stopped beating when he came back out and was coming toward them, with tears falling from his eyes.
Boromir still stood in front of his brother, protecting his younger sibling from their approaching father as they stood near the snowwoman they had created from the snow.
Denethor noted the snowwoman, and that she looked like his wife; he wondered about their creation as he swallowed his anger, and spoke softly, “It is beautiful.” Denethor noticed the blush that creep into their faces, and smiled. He added, “Did you two create it? It is a masterpiece.”
The boys only nodded, but did not dare to say something for fear that it might send their father over the deep edge and cause him to beat them.
“Who had thought of that idea?” Denethor asked, as he hoped that at least one of them would say something to break the ice and snow line between them.
It was Boromir that first spoke, as he replied, “It was Faramir’s idea.”
“No, it was yours.” Faramir said and stared at his brother, he could not bring himself to look at his father.
“It was your idea, little brother.” Boromir was teasing his brother, hoping to see his beautiful smile, the joy of life shining in his eyes as he laughed was what Boromir wanted to see.
Faramir only nodded, not allowing other words exit his mouth, he still watched the white snow flax that fell from the sky.
“Look at me, both of you!” Denethor said sternly, and soon regretted it as his own voice echoed in his ears. “Look at me my sons.” Denethor asked again but with a pleading voice.
Boromir looked into his father's eyes, and so did Faramir as he held his brother's hand for protection if Denethor walked closer to him. He held Boromir's hand tight, and noted how his brother trembled slightly from fear of their father.
Denethor stepped closer to his sons, kneeling in the cold, white snow as he tried to reach out to them, but his sons took a step back; fear radiated from his youngest, but the glare from his oldest was a different story.
Boromir kept his brother behind him, keeping him safe as their father tried to reach for them; he knew that his brother still feared him.
“I want to hug you, just want to hug you.” Denethor told them softly.
Boromir walked first to his father, and let him hug him. Then he turned around to his brother noticed him shaking, and his eyes still held fear.
“Come brother he only wishes to hug us, nothing more.” Boromir said to his brother softly, and almost sighed in relief as he saw how his brother took a small step toward them.
Faramir noticed how his father opened his hands toward him; he took another step toward them, and then he ran through the snow, he fell but stood up again, and kept running to the house, trying to escape his father’s wrath.
“Go after him, my son,” Denethor told Boromir who still stood beside his father, unsure if he should run after his brother or stay with his father. His legs were rooted to the snowy ground.
So did Boromir ran toward the house, though he did it carefully unlike his brother had, watching out and making sure not to slip and get his body injured; the young boy hurried toward the warm house searching for his brother.
While outside, Denethor sighed heavily, then he stood; he stared at the white tree that was now covered with snow, all thoughts left him, save one cheerful one. He had a Yule to prepare for, and he wanted to see both his sons happy and laughing once more, and he vowed that he would never again raise a hand to them.
Denethor walked back towards the house, and then to his room that he and his late wife had shared; he had hidden the last gifts they wished to give them, though her death gave everyone quite a shock. Seeing what his sons had created in the snow had changed things, and he remembered that he and her had hidden gifts under their bed. Soon the Steward was ready and started to create some decorations, and then he left the room, heading outside. He walked toward the White Tree, and started to decorate it with colors that would shine from the snow that covered its branches.
Boromir found his brother in the bathroom, crying his eyes out. “Faramir,” Boromir had called, and noted how at first his brother flinched at the voice, he then added, “It is only me, little brother.”
Faramir turned around and saw his brother with worried eyes staring at him.
Boromir saw the red-rimmed eyes of his brother as tears continued to fall from the hazel orbs; he walked toward his brother, to comfort him. He wished to soothe him, and give his brother a shoulder to cry on. He spoke, “He only wished to hug you little brother, nothing more, though if he would do nothing else, you know that I will always be at your side.”
“I… know… but…” Faramir said, as he raised his head from his brother, and stared blankly into space.
“I know, the memory of what he had done was lingering in your mind and you believed that he wanted to hurt you once more.” Boromir spoke aloud of what he believed his brother felt. Faramir nodded, saying no more.
“Since we are both in the bathroom, and we are soaked to the bones, I suggest that we could use the warm water, and play with the bubbles in the tub, as I do not wish you to be sick, little brother.” Boromir suggested with a grin on his face, as he stared at his brother, hoping to see some change in his sad eyes.
Boromir received only a nodded from him though, but said nothing that could bring more hurt to his brother, wanting it to come freely than been forced.
Then when they finished showering and dried themselves, they walked to their room, and collected some dry clothes, and Boromir helped to dress his brother, not wishing him to get cold.
He then noticed his brother walked toward the window, staring with surprise on his face.
“What are you so amazed of, little brother?” Boromir asked as he drew abreast of his brother and watched as well as their father continued to decorate the yard and the White Tree, which was not the same white was before, but decked with varying colors.
“I believe, little brother that the Yule has brought some miracles to our life.” Boromir said with a smile, but not seeing one from his brother worried him some.
“I will believe it when I see it, Boromir.” Faramir said to him with a cold face; then he went to sit upon his bed, and remembered the time when his mother smiled at him in the last Winter Solstice, as his father played with his big brother. It was indeed a great memory to be reminded of, that he cherished in his heart.
Boromir laid his brother back in his bed, and noted how he seemed to be unbalanced; he helped the younger boy get settled under the blankets that would protect him from the chilly wind that came with the snow.
The ten year old boy stayed with his brother, watching him sleep so peacefully in his bed; every once in a while, Boromir would reach out to stroke the younger boy's hair.
As the night fell outside, Boromir took his rest beside his brother and slept without sound or complaint, as he had loved to watch over his brother, the one that had brought a smile to his life since he was only a baby.
Then at dawn the two brothers were awoken by guards appearing in the room, and tried to wake them for an urgent call.
They walked sleepily, as both boys were still tired, with their eyes still half closed; the guards helped them stay upright as they walked toward the hall where the last king had stood, and surprise held them.
Boromir's eyes were wide open, as amazed as his younger brother was; they noticed the gifts near the throne.
Faramir was hesitant if he should walk towards the gifts and find out what he had received; he turned his gaze to his brother, unsure of what to do anymore.
“Come, Faramir, let us see what father got for us.” Boromir teased his brother a bit, hoping that he will go with him toward the gifts.
Luckily, Faramir did follow his older brother.
Denethor watched from afar, and then when he noticed the smiles and laughter that set upon his sons' faces, he walked toward them.
“Boromir, what have you got there?” Denethor asked him with a smile, as he noticed how cute his little child was when he smiled.
“It is a tiny wood sword for me to practice and be a warrior like you, father.” Boromir replied, and then he turned to his brother and asked, “What have you got in there, little brother?”
Faramir smiled, and lowered his head from the embarrassment that he might get for the present that he had received, “I have got several books of ancient manuscripts, but I cannot read it very well yet.”
Boromir raised his little brother’s face, and with assurance in his voice he told him, “Have no fear, little brother, I will teach you, and I will read one to you every night.”
“Thank you.” Faramir told his brother.
Denethor only watched as he could not bring himself to do anything else, seeing them only brought tears into his eyes, as it was the first time without his wife around, and he deeply missed her.