Tribute

by Sasjah Miller

Aragorn did not actually remember what day it was when he found himself standing in the dying winter light of the evening before the Halls of the Kings where the remains of all the Stewards and Kings would rest until Middle-Earth would be born anew. All remains save one. For there was nothing left of Boromir, save the broken horn of Gondor, the vambraces and the dried blood on the arrows that Aragorn had carried with him on his journey until he had brought them here, where his own body would one day rest as well.

As he entered the vault, the guards bowing their heads respectfully before they continued their watch, Aragorn felt a wound reopen, a wound that had never fully healed, but had only been covered by the scab of daily worries and tribulations heaped upon a newly crowned King in dire need of healing a broken kingdom.

For he knew then with absolute clarity that last year at this exact hour he had cleansed Boromir's wounds, lain his broadsword on his chest and kissed his cold brow one final time as they placed him in the Elven boat and sent him off to Rauros Falls. The exact day and hour that he had buried Boromir.

A moan escaped from Aragorn's lips as he fell down on his knees, remembering that he would never lay eyes on beloved Boromir again, nevermore fight beside him, their swords singing a bloody song together, never again feel his body warm against his own, the crackling of the fire concealing the sound of their whispered endearments from Elvish ears.

"He would not have you mourn him so, my Liege," a soft voice spoke and a gentle hand came to rest on his shaking shoulder. "I knew my brother well and I know that he would not have his loved ones be so heartbroken over him."

The reassuring weight of his Steward's hand on his shoulder and the gentle words steadied Aragorn and he rose slowly, turning towards Faramir, who held a flickering torch, their only illumination; it had already grown fully dark outside.

"Nor would he have you grieve you alone, my Lord. 'Joy and misery should be shared with those you love' he used to say, when we celebrated a hard won victory and mourn those we lost in battle, our goblets raised high in praise of honour and love. "

Faramir smiled wistfully, the torch light reflecting in his shining eyes, as he took Aragorn's hand and lead his King towards the crypt that held the only things that still remained of Boromir.

"Come. Come with me. We will remember him together. We will honour him here today with our tears and grief, and honour him the rest of our lives by serving Gondor the best way we can. The way he would have done."

And Aragorn wept again, tears flowing freely and beside him Faramir wept also, and they spoke long of lost love and honour regained. Finally there were no more tears left and no more words to be spoken, and they stood up and bowed a final time. When they emerged from the crypt together new guards greeted them solemnly and in the East the first soft light of dawn was glowing.

The End

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