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Reasons

Chapter 1: Reasons

by Saralitazie

It was a quiet, deep night, the evening before I left Minas Tirith. The city below was subdued, silent in its very being. The citadel seemed possessed by the spirit of some elusive ghost chasing through it. I sat at my window, watching the moon, Ithil, make his way carefully across the sky, his path never wavering. Ithil, the elves called him, and 'twas to the elves I was going. I was to embark on a journey to a land none here had ever seen, its location unknown. Imladris, or Rivendell, as many name it.

I thought of my father's reluctance to let me go. Ever did he clasp me to his breast, lauding me and all that I did. Always he ignored my brother, Faramir. I often think that he holds Faramir responsible for our mother's death, though it is an untruth. Faramir often despaired of ever receiving any sign of love or even respect from our father.

As I sat in contemplation at my window seat, my reclusive brother Faramir slipped into my room and sat opposite me, not speaking. Neither of us broke the silence for a long while, merely sharing breathing space, until at last, Faramir spoke.

"You should not be the one leaving on the morrow," said my brother quietly. "You are the Captain of the White Tower, heir to the stewardship." A moment passed between us, heavy with unspoken words. "The men need you," he stated, his brow furrowed. I knew what he meant; he did not understand why I took this task upon myself and did not let him take it.

"And what of the Ithilien Ranger, younger son of the steward?" I asked lightly. "Is he not also needed? Do the men not follow him as well?" I leaned forward, resting my hand on his, trying to convey to him the love I felt, but could not speak of. "I have their respect and their allegiance, true, but you have their love." At his look of denial, I continued, "They look to me, as heir to the stewardship, with the respect men give to a good leader. To you, they give their love and their lives." I curved my back to the wall behind me, putting some distance between us. "Your Rangers – and others – would follow you, willingly, to their death, and be glad of the chance to serve their beloved leader one last time."

My brother looked into my face a long while, assessing and judging what I had said. When at last he spoke, his voice trembled as he whispered, "It is as you say, brother. How is it that you can always speak words of comfort to my troubled heart?" A smile turned my mouth upwards.

"I am older and wiser, of course," I said half-jokingly. "And perhaps, because I know you better than you know yourself. 'Tis I who has been your constant companion for most of our lives, brother." He sighed softly, acknowledging the truth of my words.

"Still, I would have gladly taken this task on myself, and not laid it on your already burdened shoulders." His gaze held mine, his eyes shimmering like pools of blackness in the dim light. "Why?" he asked quietly.

I regarded him, my brother. I noted the quiet strength of his shoulders, the way he held himself, the lines on his face, and the look of unbreakable determination. "It is a journey fraught with much peril, Faramir." He waited a moment to see if I would say anything else, but I did not speak.

"And yet, you pursue it."

I sighed heavily, noting that Ithil was drawing close to the edge of the horizon. "I would protect you as best as I can, little brother." I drew one leg up under me, resting my chin on the knee. "I suppose it is because I….love you." Three little words, so simple and yet so hard to say. Always, I have wondered at and pondered how it is that women so easily express their love for those around them, yet men cannot. I was reminded of my mother, her loving eyes and sweet voice, the tender words of affection and loving caresses she ever bestowed on us, her sons. I closed my eyes, imagining that I could feel her arms around me once more, telling me how much she approved of me and loved me.

Oh mother, how I miss you.

Instead, I felt my brother's hand. No less loved, no less appreciated, but decidedly different.

"And I love you, Boromir." He spoke softly. I looked into his smiling face, seeing anew how much like our mother he was. We clasped hands in a brotherly show of affection, I thinking how ironic it was that those three simple words could turn a stone-hard warrior into a smiling fool. Two smiling fools.

"Mother would have been proud of you," I said impulsively.

"And of you," he returned with a laugh. "Do you suppose we shall ever see her again?"

I shrugged, having asked myself the same question many times. "Who knows, Faramir. None can say where mankind goes after life, but perhaps we shall be so gifted." He grinned suddenly, a mischievous grin.

"For such a fierce, battle-hardened warrior, you can make words do a pretty dance for you, brother." He teased easily. I mock-glared at his levity, though I smiled internally.

"I would say that my ever-studious brother has rubbed off on me, would not you?" I reached out swiftly and ruffled his hair. He yelped, dodging away from my seeking hand.

"At least you didn't call me a prissy wuss," he said ruefully. We both grinned at each other, remembering our young days. Constantly, he would immerse himself in his books, and just as constantly, I would pull him out of his studies to practice swordplay, archery, or anything but studying.

"Do you remember the last time I did?" I inquired with a grin. The smile on his face broadened as he recalled the incident.

"I gave you a bloody nose," he triumphed, looking only a little shamefaced.

"Or rather, your book did," I added with a wry smile.

The cool day had progressed into late afternoon when I had gone in search of Faramir. He had promised to practice with me earlier that day, and I was determined to make good on that promise. Poking my head into the library, I found him with his nose in a book, as usual.

"Faramir!"

"Uhhm," was his only response.

"Time for practice, little brother. You promised, remember?" I pulled at the book, hoping to gain his attention.

"Why don't you go bother someone else?" he grumbled crankily. "Go chase that pretty girl you were watching last night at dinner." I blushed a deep red, shamed that he had noticed.

"I was not watching her! Now come along, you've studied enough for one day!"

He laid his book down with a thump, lowering his eyebrows at me. "One can never study enough, brother." Yawning and stretching, he stood. "I have to put away these books first." We each picked up a stack of books, Faramir grunting with the effort.

"Prissy wuss," I grinned impudently. He ignored me, walking towards the bookcase, and promptly tripped on the carpet. The books flew out of his arms, one of them hitting me in the nose. I dropped my armful of books and yelped in pain, feeling liquid start to drip out of my nose.

Pinching my nose and wincing, I asked Faramir if he was all right.

"Fine," he groaned and sat up. "You?"

"My nose is bleeding," I said with a scowl. He looked concerned for a moment, and then started laughing.

"Serves you right for calling me a prissy wuss, brother!" I merely grunted and pinched harder.


Silence fell once more between my brother and I, both of us watching Ithil and waiting out the night. Eventually, I noticed that Faramir was asleep, the side of his cheek pressed against the window frame. Chuckling silently, I kept my window seat vigil until dawn, looking out over the White City and watching my brother during his precariously placed sleep.

The dawn came at last, both hoped for and hated. I saw the ever-lightening sky reflected on the city, on my brother's face, and throughout all the land surrounding Minas Tirith. Sighing quietly, I repeated the riddle to myself once more before retrieving my things and departing into the grey light.


Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That doom is near at hand,
For Isildur’s Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.


I worried this puzzle that was presented to my brother and I in our dreams. Would I ever find Imladris? Whose counsel could be stronger than a Morgul-spell? Was this doom it spoke of the downfall of Gondor? Would all that I held dear be lost and broken? I did not think much of whether I would ever return to the White City, for in my heart, I knew I would not. How and why, I did not know, but I knew that I would never again see its towers, gleaming in the rising sun.

Still, I had hope that I was wrong. Hope is eternal, some say, both a blessing and a curse. And even if I never returned to my city, I still had the love of my family. That would stay with me always.

I stood softly, quietly gathering my things and trying not to disturb Faramir. I looked at him long before leaving. I pressed my lips to his brow in farewell, whispering, "Sleep on, my brother." Twisting around, I padded softly to my door and opened it before he spoke.

"Boromir," said my brother sleepily, sitting up. I turned to face him, my bag hanging limply over my arm. "For honor," he said solemnly. A grin flashed over my face; he would not let me leave without our traditional farewell.

"For glory," I returned proudly.

"For Gondor!" we finished together. And for my little brother, my thoughts echoed. I smiled at my brother one last time, saying farewell in my heart.

"Take care of yourself, Faramir. Stay alive and keep out of trouble for my sake, at least." He gave me a cheeky grin.

"The same to you, astalder." I raised an eyebrow at him, waiting for a translation. I had neither the patience nor the mind to learn Elvish.

"It means 'brave one', Boromir." He smiled tenderly. "Come back quickly, brother."

"As quickly as I may, Far'mi." He smiled at his old nickname, born of my mouth when I was too young to properly say "Faramir". One last smile, and I turned and strode swiftly out the door and down the hall.



I readied my horse, checking all the straps and my supplies one last time. I patted him gently on the nose, hearing the soft footsteps of my father's approach.

"Boromir," he said sternly, as was his wont. Ever glacial and grey, rarely smiling, and never at my brother. Once more, I felt the injustice of how he treated Faramir, but brushed it aside and turned to bid my father farewell.

"Father," I said calmly, stroking my horse's nose.

"Safe journey, my son." He clasped my arm in the traditional manner, then released me and motioned to me to mount. I swung astride my horse, ready to begin my journey.

"Farewell, father. May your days be blessed until and beyond our next meeting."

"And yours as well, Boromir." Raising his hand in farewell, my father bid me begone. I nudged my horse into a walk, making my way out of the upper circles. I looked at my father again before turning the last corner that would carry me from his sight, and drew in my breath sharply. Faramir had joined Father in the courtyard of the citadel, but my eyes were on the figure beside them. My mother stood there beside them, her countenance shining and beautiful. I blinked, and in that small moment, she vanished.

Gathering the scattered threads of my composure, I rode through the city, nodding and smiling at all those who had gathered to bid me safe journey. When at last I had gained the field beyond the city's gate, I halted and watched the sun rise on the White City, making the bleakness flower into a mirage of colors and light. Home.

This was home.

So I left Minas Tirith to seek out a land remembered solely in stories as a land of myth and mystery.