Boromir got up from the ground and wiped his tears away. He had failed in the worst possible way. How could he ever make amends? He shook his head and pulled himself together; he had to think rationally. Should he survive to return to Gondor he would give up his claim at the throne and give it to his beloved baby brother; Faramir who had always looked up to him and seen him like a hero. Somehow he would make sure he remained that hero for his brother, somehow he would rebuild his honor.
Then his thoughts caught up with him. Aragorn was King now. Neither he or his brother had any claims to the throne anymore and strangely enough Boromir was okay with that. Aragorn was a great leader and would make a great King. However he wished the best for his brother and surely there would be room for someone as intelligent and compassionate as Faramir at Aragorns court? He would beg Aragorn to give Faramir a title and position if he had to even though he felt he was unworthy to ask Aragorn this favor. He found he had no pride left in him; only sadness, regret and a deep desire for redemption. He didnt care about what would happen to himself, he would get by one way or another but his baby brother...he had always looked to him for help and protection and Boromir had never and would never let him down. He loved him too deeply for that. All during his childhood Faramir had been his only friend and the only one he had truly loved. His father had always been distant and a very strict and at times cruel teacher. He was his father but Boromir had never called him dad, only Sir.
He hadnt thought he would ever love anyone like he loved his brother, he had accepted he would be alone forever. Then he had met Elia and everything had changed. They had had an enchanted year together before she had brutally been taken from him and as he had held her bloody and broken body in his arms he had known he would never again open his heart to anyone.
Sudden screams for help caught his attention. While thinking he had began to walk back towards camp but the scream made him freeze. It was...it was Merry and Pippins voices. During the time he had been with the Fellowship none had a place as special in his heart as those two Hobbits. He had come to love them like they were the sons he would never have. They showed such defiance, pride, and spirit yet also carefreeness and innocence that they had stolen what had been left of his heart.
He couldnt let them suffer, he wouldnt. Determined to save his friends Boromir raced across the land, sword in hand. He spotted them and also saw several Orcs standing around them. They didnt have a chance. Hobbits were peaceful creatures and though Merry and Pippin both carried a sword they didnt know how to use it. Yelling a Gondorian war cry Boromir ran towards them, cutting down every Orc who stood in his way. While he neared the Hobbits, his sword dripping in blood as he cut his way through, he reached for the horn that hang in a leather band by his hip and blow in it. The Horn of Gondor was given to the Steward of Gondor and was said to call help from afar to help Gondors son when in need.
Boromir reached the Hobbits and stood before them, guiding them behind him as he tried to defend them from all sides at once. He hoped someone had heard his call because he feared he wouldnt be able to withstand the increasing among of Orcs for long. His eyes caught an Orc who pointed his bow and its deadly arrow straight at his chest. Should he move to safety the Hobbits would be hit. Boromir lashed out in frustration and killed another Orc. It wasnt a conscious decision but it was made never the less......for his love....he would give his life. Agony ran through him like fire when the arrow hit him in the chest and forced him to his knees. The pain was intense, worse than anything he had ever felt before. As in a haze of pain he vaguely heard the Hobbits cry and call his name. Remembering he had to save them he painfully got to his feet and began to cut the nearest Orcs down, breathing heavily, blood running down his once so fine clothes. Suddenly another arrow hit his chest and again he was forced to his knees. He had thought it impossible but the pain doubled in intensity, so strong he almost cried out loud. Instead he just lifted pain-filled and clouded eyes up and he saw his killer aim at him again. The Hobbits....he had to protect them. With an out of this world strength that only the ones who are too stubborn to die have, Boromir got to his feet and tried to swing his sword at a nearing Orc. Though terrible weak he succeeded in bringing a few more Orcs down until a third arrow hit his chest and this time when he hit his knees he was unable to get up. He felt how his lifeblood was slowly leaving him, his mind was clouded in agony so burning hot it was indescribable yet he still found the strength to lift his head to look at his killer. With sadistic pleasure the Orc aimed a fourth arrow at him. Forcing himself to be calm, to steady his breathing, Boromir tried to face what was to come with as much dignity as possible. So many thoughts and memories ran through his mind. Memories of him and Faramir playing together, of him protecting Faramir from teasing kids at school, of his father at his graduation, of Elia and her love, her warmth and her beauty. He should have died with her then, he should have stayed with her forever as he had promised her. Now he would fulfill that promise. He had fears for his country, for Merry and Pippin who as soon as he was gone would be defenseless, for Aragorn...for the entire Middle Earth. He was left with an overshadowing concern; had his honor been destroyed? Had he made amends and been forgiven? There were no one to answer that so Boromir tried to ignore the Hobbits cries and protests, hoping they through his actions knew of his love for them. He looked at his killer again, as ready as he would ever be. Then suddenly Aragorn was in the clearing. He jumped unto the would be killer and began to fight him. Exhausted and weak Boromir breathed heavily in and out, almost too far gone to feel the strong concern for Aragorns safety that was within him. Gimli entered the clearing and began fighting Orcs to cover for Aragorn, Merry and Pippin. Seeing this the two Hobbits went to Boromir and stood beside him, looking very sad and shocked, tears running down their cheeks.
"Well help you. All will be alright," Pippin promised and Merry nodded.
"Yes, all will be alright," there was only sorrow and no conviction in the voice.
"I.....love.....you both," Boromir rasped weakly, succeeding in lifting his hand and stroking first Pippins and then Merrys hair.
"We love you too," they choired, tears falling from their eyes. Suddenly the Hobbits were brutally taken from Boromir and he tried weakly to reach for them but the Orc who now carried one Hobbit beneath each arm only laughed at his futile effects and kicked him away.
"Boromir!!!!! HELP," the Hobbits cried and reached out their arms towards him. Boromir fought to get up as pain and fear filled his heart but he was too weak; he could not. He had to stare in agony after his small friends, knowing whatever awaited them wouldnt be pretty.
He succeeded in crawling towards a tree and leaded heavily against it. Time was running out, he knew it but he had to hang on just a little longer. He needed to ask Aragorns forgiveness and beg him to save his two Hobbit friends. With pain-filled eyes he watched Aragorn battle his killer and he prayed that Aragorn would win.....Gondor needed its King.
* * *
Aragorn reached the clearing and saw Boromir on his knees, 3 arrows in his chest. Merry and Pippin stood behind him, sobbing and yelling. Desperate Aragorn searched for Boromirs attacker and found an Orc aiming yet another arrow at the fallen Nobleman. Sorrow was replaced by rage as Aragorn ran as fast as he could and bumped into Boromirs would be killer, spoiling his aim so the arrow went wild. All rational thoughts disappeared as Aragorn fought the Orc, hitting and kicking all he could. They got up together, still locked in a savage embrace but then Aragorn broke free and kicked out after the Orc, bringing him down. The Orc was quickly up again and Aragorn drew his sword, swinging at him and cutting his right arm off. Shocked Aragorn saw that the severe injury didnt seem to bother the Orc who kept coming at him. Using a backhand stroke he knew well, Aragorn beheaded the Orc who finally gave up the fight. Aragorn drew hard breaths as he tried to regain his focus. Suddenly he remembered why he had been fighting in the first place; Boromir. He looked around and found his countryman leaned against a tree. With growing fear he noticed that he seemed very tired, looked very still and he had fallen down a bit so he was almost laying flat down on the grass. With his heart in his throat Aragorn reached Boromir and knelt beside him. The arrows were still in his chest and he knew the pain had to be agonizing. First now as he stood to lose the man did Aragorn begin to realize how deeply he had come to care for him. He fought to keep his emotions in check and fought back tears though he knew they were visible in his words.
"Stay still," it was more a plea than a command. Aragorn was too good a fighter not to know in his mind that Boromirs wounds were fatal yet his heart didnt want to admit it. They had been through so much together already. He just felt he had begun to see the real Boromir and he had liked what he had found. Boromir was one of very few humans he could call friend and like Gandalf he stood to lose him too.
"They took the little ones!" Such agony was in his voice as Boromir said it. It was his first thought, it was this that had kept him fighting the burning pain and beginning darkness. He had to make sure the little ones were taken care of.
"Do not worry. I will see them safe," Aragorn promised though he knew it was a promise he would have to fight to keep but as he now fully began to understand Boromirs deep love for the two Hobbits he would strike to do his utmost to fulfill Boromirs last wish.
"Frodo. Where is Frodo?" Boromir rasped weakly, blood running out his mouth. He had to know. His weakness, his failure had driven him away. He had lost it all; his honor, his country and his life.
"I let Frodo go," Aragorn answered softly, not wanting Boromir to worry or trouble himself now.
"Then you did what I could not", Boromir sobbed, letting the tears run free. He had to say it; he needed to say it. "I tried to take the Ring from him," he didnt know why he said it; to see Aragorns disgust or hope for his forgiveness?
"The Ring is beyond our reach now," Aragorn simply answered and smiled softly at his friend. He had known Boromir would probably try and take the Ring yet now it all seemed so insignificant. He knew Boromir had had the purest of intentions and he knew his heart was filled with light; not darkness. That wasnt an excuse but it was an explanation.
"Forgive me. I did not see. I have failed you all," Boromir cried and hung his head in defeat. He could feel his agony spreading, the blood and his strength leaving him.
"No, Boromir," Aragorn denied hotly. "You fought bravely. You have kept your honor," he continued and that he meant it was evident in his tone and eyes. Desperate to try and do something; anything Aragorn reached for the shaft of an arrow and began to pull it out.
"Leave it", Boromir asked weakly, stopping him with his words. "It is over," he knew it was. He could feel it. Strange but now the agony was gone. He now only felt cold. So very cold. "The world of Men will fall, and all will come to darkness. And my city to ruin," there was such agony in his voice, such pain that it cut Aragorns heart to pieces.
"I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you, I will not let the White City fall--nor our people fail," Aragorn swore and knew he would do anything to keep his word.
"Our people," Boromir repeated and tasted the word; our. He had forgiven him, he had accepted him back as a man of Gondor. Boromir smiled weakly. "Our people."
Boromir knew time was running out, he wished it wasnt. There was so much more to do, so much, too much, now rested on Aragorns shoulders. He wished he had time to tell Aragorn all what was in his heart, explain...explain it all. He reached for his sword that had fallen beside him but he was too weak to reach it. Aragorn saw the gesture and gently put his sword in his hand. Boromir laid his sword on his chest, above the heart.
"I would have followed you, My captain," Boromir got out, hanging on just a little bit longer. That he was; always had been. "My brother," he continued weakly, fading fast. My brother, he thought fondly. Yes, Aragorn was as dear and beloved to him as his blood brother; Faramir. He was sad that he didnt get a chance to say farewell to him. "My king," he got the last word out and forced a smile at him. Yes, my King, he thought. That he was. From the beginning, even when he had fought it, he was the King....he had always been. Then even his strength and stubbornness wasnt enough anymore....and darkness claimed him. His eyes stayed open and focused...starring right at Aragorn who was bent over him.
Tears running freely from his eyes Aragorn bent down and softly kissed Boromirs brow, taking his head between his hands.
"Be at peace, son of Gondor," he whispered brokenly and took his right hands thumb to his lips, then guided it to his heart and bowed his head as he cried. Be at peace, he thought sadly. In the time Aragorn had known him never once had he seemed happy or at peace. He prayed that death would be kinder to him than life had been.
Aragorn was too consumed by sorrow to notice Gimli standing behind him, bowing his head in sorrow as he saw the fallen warrior. All the Orcs had either been killed or ran away so first now did he have time to see the terrible price they had had to pay for todays battle. Something in the sky caught his eye and Gimli looked up to see Ororo come flying towards him with Legolas in her arms. They landed beside him and Legolas went to Aragorn and laid a calming hand on his bond brothers shoulder. He was too late. As soon as he had finished healing Ororo she had flown him to where Aragorn was but he was too late to save Boromir; he couldnt raise people from death. Through the new Healers Link he shared with Ororo he felt her distress, sorrow and guilt as she stood beside him and saw Boromirs body and Aragorn bending over it in tears. Hadnt Legolas been saving her he might have been able to save Boromir.
"Oh, God," Rogue said shocked and hid her head by Logans shoulder as she, Logan and Scott reached the clearing after all the Orcs they had been fighting had also either been killed or ran away. Apparently they had been after only one thing; the Ringbearer and being unable to see one Hobbit from another they had taken the ones they could find; Merry and Pippin.
"Bloody bastards," Logan swore at Boromirs attacker as he saw what state his body was in. Rogue began sobbing by his shoulder and Logan stroked her hair while whispering calming words of love and comfort but within hot fury burned. He would see all those Orcs dead one way or another!
"Murderers. Sadistic murderers!" Scott swore hotly, feeling grief overcome him. He hadnt known Boromir for long but he had found much in him to admire; courage and strength.....a strong will and a great warrior. He would see that he was avenged; one way or another.
* * *
Scott was beginning to think if not Logan was right. Boromir was the second member of the Fellowship they had lost during the travels. So far only Aragorns group had fallen but what if it was his? What if it was Ororo, Rogue or Logan? Logan was right, this wasnt their fight. He couldnt let his people die in a battle not even theirs. On the other hand if they left now, where should they go? Lord Elrond had said Rivendell was under attack so that was out of the question. They didnt know this land or its people so they wouldnt know where to go. On to of it all if Sauron really was as evil and strong as Aragorn had let on then soon there wouldnt be any safe place anywhere on Middle Earth. Could he just run and hide while innocents suffered? No, he had an obligation to help no matter the cost.
Scotts attention was brought back to the task at hand when Aragorn walked by him and towards the boat wherein he had neatly laid Boromir. The young King had refused anyone but Legolas anywhere near the dead Steward. He had himself removed the arrows from the mans chest and carried him to the boat where he with Legolass help had cleaned him up, washed his face clean from blood and dirt, washed his hands and his chest. It had been agonizing to watch but Scott could see that strangely enough none was as moved by Boromirs death as Aragorn. During the entire time he had focused on the task at hand but there had been such raw emotion and pain in his eyes that it had cut Scotts heart. In his sorrow Scott felt like he had seen the true, human Aragorn and what he had seen so far he liked.
While Aragorn with Legolas help had gotten Boromir ready for his last voyage Scott, Logan and Rogue had went in search for the missing Hobbit; Sam while Ororo and Gimli had stayed guard to make sure Aragorn and Legolas were safe while they prepared the body. Aragorn had told them that the Orcs had taken Merry and Pippin, news that had shocked them all as they recalled how much Boromir had cared for them. He had also told them he had let Frodo go to find his own way to Mt. Doom, saying it was safer that way so none would be tempted by the Ring. In their sorrow Logan, Rogue and Scott had been happy to have a task to try and force the dark thoughts of Boromirs death away though his face, forever frozen in agony, would haunt them all till the day they died. After several hours they had returned back to the others empty-handed. Legolas concluded Sam had gone after Frodo and that they were surely together now. Having seen the love between the two Hobbits, Scott agreed that Sam would do anything for his friend.
Boromir was now ready for burial and they were all gathered to see him off. He had been washed and cleaned. The arrows were gone, there was no visible blood, and his hands were neatly folded above his chest, his sword between them. He lay in a boat, his shield at his feet. He looked almost peaceful...like he was sleeping.
"Someone should say something," Scott whispered through the lump in his throat. Rogue sought support by Logans chest, his arms around her. Ororo stood by Legolas who had one arm around her waist. The normally perfect looking Elven prince seemed as affected by Boromirs death as the others; his long blond hair flew widely around his head and his clothes were dirty and messed. His eyes showed deep sorrow as he gently bent down and softly kissed the top of Ororos white hair. Gimli and Scott stood alone, lost in thoughts and trying to fight back tears. Aragorn stood forth and tried several times to start a sentence but his voice failed him every time. His eyes seemed so much older and a world sadder than when they had started out this morning. His clothes had always been dirty and torn but to it he had added Boromirs armbands; their fine design, fitting a Nobleman seemed out of place on Aragorns plain Rangers clothes. The tears he had cried had left a white, clean trail down his dirty cheeks.
"Boromir....," he finally found his voice but almost broke down again just at hearing his name. "...he was a man, a warrior.....a Nobleman and the son of the Steward Of Gondor," he finally lifted his eyes to look at the others. "But he was so much more than that. I saw the real Boromir too late. I found he was filled with deep emotions; he loved his country deeply and I know he would have made a good leader," his lips curved in a smile as he remembered. "He also loved Merry and Pippin who he affectionately called little ones. He defended them and cared for them since the beginning of our journey and till his...death. Well never know what in them awoke such quick and easy love from him but we know it was there," he paused for a moment and stroked a loose hair out of his eyes, not noticing the tears he cried. "Be at peace now, Son Of Gondor," he whispered and went towards the boat.
"He was such a complex person. Im very sad I never got to know all his layers and true depths," Scott said softly as Aragorn went to Boromirs side and gently kissed his brow and affectionately stroked some hair out of unblinking eyes before he pushed the boat off the shore and out into the water. First Scott thought the boat would just sail forever until he noticed a waterfall further ahead. With strange and morbid fascination everyone followed the boat with their eyes until it went out over the waterfall. For a long while afterwards everyone kept looking towards where Boromir had disappeared, some with a foolish and childish wish that if they looked closely enough he would come back towards them from where they had lost him from their vision.
Authors notes: As always; LOTR fans
calm down. Yes, I changed Boromirs past and Legolass abilities but it fitted here.
A sad chapter I know but I hope you enjoyed it. As always thanks to those who have stuck with me so far and as always I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
I dedicate this chapter to Bani; forever loved, forever missed. Rest in peace, lov.