Boromir knew his brother never locked his door for the night. Sometimes, indeed more often Boromir would care to admit, he thought there to be a special reason for the unlocked door. Faramir must have sensed something. Perhaps he was hoping Boromir would finally have the courage to open the door, so he left it unlocked, welcoming Boromir when he was ready to come.
Yet, every single time Boromir's mind strayed into those curious thoughts, he found his hopes unfounded. How could Faramir ever think of him as anything beyond a brother? In the end, he always reasoned that leaving the door open for any visitor was merely the way Faramir did things, trusting his home to be a safe, protected place where nothing bad could ever happen.
It was long past midnight, and Boromir was standing in the unlit corridor, holding only a half-burnt candle. He set his fingers on the door handle and gave it a light push. There was a creak much louder than Boromir had anticipated and he held his breath for a while, nervous thoughts rushing through his mind. He could be caught at any time. He should have not been there. He should have been in his own room, in his own bed, sleeping, as he had no explanation were he seen entering a room not his own.
Yet sleep would not come to him, had not come for weeks now, and he knew he could not find rest until he had spoken to his brother and asked for, if not understanding, then at least forgiveness. Finally, Boromir calmed down, realizing how ridiculous and irrational his fear for being caught was. He was only Boromir. Why would Faramir be angry with his brother for entering his bedchamber? Why would he or anyone else be suspicious of Boromir's intentions? A brother visiting a brother was not perhaps the most common of things in the midst of a peaceful night, but neither was it completely unheard of.
Finding his peace, Boromir opened the door wider, golden candlelight creeping into the dark room and flickering on the walls. "Brother?" he gave a low whisper, but was not quite certain whether he wanted to hear a reply or not. He stepped in, shielding the delicate flame with his palm. When it settled down again, he closed the door behind him, fearing for another creak that did not come.
Walking deeper into the dark room, Boromir reached his brother's bed, and placed the candlestick on Faramir's nightstand, right next to Faramir's own candelabra. He looked at Faramir for a while before sitting down on the bed, careful not to wake the sleeper up just yet. Faramir was lying on his back, the sheet covering him from waist down, his chest bare and pale in the warm candlelight. His face was turned to the right, towards Boromir, but his eyes were closed and his breathing slow and heavy. Boromir felt at ease as he knew Faramir was fast asleep and most likely would not be disturbed by Boromir's sudden presence if Boromir should want to retreat before doing something he could not undo.
There were so many things Boromir had wanted to do or say when he had stood in his own chamber, desperate to find some other way then there was none. He had promised himself to tell Faramir everything when the time was right. Yet it never was, and he knew this night would be as good as any other night. Now that he was finally sitting next to Faramir, he found he could not go through with any of his plans. He cleared his throat nervously, preparing himself to say aloud the things he had only spoken in his mind. He could hear the soft humming of his blood coursing through his veins. The heavy breathing of his brother became louder, and even the darkness seemed to get a voice of its own. Every sound around him became unbearable noise overcoming him, and he could not say a word.
Boromir allowed himself a tired smile as he learned he was not the brave man he was expected to be. No heir of a Steward should be as weak as he was, certainly not in the matters of mere family. Perhaps it would do in war when everything was lost, but not in his own home. He had found the courage to go to his brother, but now that he was in the chamber, looking at the dark waves of Faramir's hair rippling onto the white pillow, he could not do what he wanted to do. He could not lean in closer to whisper Faramir awake. He could not reach his hand out to brush off the strayed lock on Faramir's forehead.
He knew he should not want what he could not have, because everything he truly wanted was forbidden. It was forbidden by the laws of Men and by the laws of nature, and those were both powerful enemies. No man could ever win the fight. Boromir could not explain even to himself why he had come there, or why he had thought Faramir could ever understand, let alone forgive him. Perhaps his mind was blurred by the wine, or perhaps the desperation had finally won. Yet, if he did not confess now, he knew he might never do it, and to never do it was the thing he feared the most.
He set his hand on Faramir's warm shoulder and called his brother by name; a name he did not wish to speak with such feeling. Were Faramir any other man, there would no be such a struggle. Were he a man of another family, Boromir could face him without fear, even if his feelings were to be rejected. He waited, but Faramir did not respond. Certain that it had been a mistake to come to his brother's bedchamber without a proper reason other than his indecent feelings, his lust for his own brother, Boromir stood up quickly and took the candlestick from the table. He should leave before anything happened. He had not noticed how much his hands were shaking, and he dropped the candle.
The clank of hard metal hitting the floor was so loud Boromir thought even their father would wake up. Denethor would wonder where the noise came from, and he would search for the source. He would find Boromir in Faramir's chamber, and he would ask questions. Those would be questions Boromir could not answer, for he could not be honest in this matter, and Denethor always knew when he was lying. It would be the end of him and it would be the end of Faramir, for Denethor would not think his other son to be completely without blame. If anything should happen to Faramir, it would be Boromir's fault, and he found he could never forgive himself if that happened. In the darkness, he knelt down and searched for the candle frantically.
Suddenly, there was a sound Boromir had hoped and feared to hear. Faramir had woken up. "Who is it?" Faramir asked in a strained voice and, judging by the sounds Boromir could hear, he had sat up and was now looking for his own candle. Boromir did not answer, for he wanted to escape unseen and unheard before anything happened. He would remain a stranger who had somehow passed the guards.
After this night, Faramir would become careful and he would start locking his door. Boromir realized this was the only time he could speak up and confess, but he could not bring himself to do it. He was too afraid; afraid of his own brother. He found the candlestick and the candle, and as he stood up, he could hear more shifting and shuffling from where his brother was; bare feet on the floor, cloth brushing against cloth as Faramir dressed himself in the darkness.
"Boromir?" The voice was now soft and inquiring, and Faramir sounded more curious than afraid. Even when revealed, Boromir did not find himself able to give Faramir the answer he was hoping for. He rushed to the door, opened it forcefully, and heard the familiar creak. Thankful for the surrounding darkness, he stepped into the corridor, pulling the door closed behind him. He leaned his head against the wall for a while, wiping his burning eyes with the sleeve of his tunic and cursing himself.
Faramir called for him again, now in a stern, worried voice, and stumbled for the door, but Boromir stayed silent and began to make his way towards his room. He was not ready to face his brother after what had happened. He was not ready to hear the true story behind that one single word that was his name, spoken by his brother, for he was certain he had heard more to it than was there. Madness, he thought to himself. He should know better. He should know that in the darkness it is too easy to make incorrect interpretations, especially if based on wishful thinking.
Reaching and entering his chamber, Boromir locked the door, hating the small, metallic sound more than ever. Faramir's door would doubtless be locked from now on, and Faramir would never feel as safe and protected again. Someone had invaded his privacy, and even when Boromir could easily offer an excuse, a lie, and say he had been sleeping in his chamber, the incident had had its effect on Faramir who would grow wary and cautious, and the only one to be blamed for that was Boromir.
He leaned against the hard doorframe, staring into the darkness but seeing nothing. "Why must he be Faramir?" he asked himself over and over again. Were he called by any other name than that of Boromir's brother, there could be a chance, however little it may be. Now there was only guilt and suffering. He should have not been so weak and foolish as to go to Faramir like a thief during his sleep. He should have not gone to him, at all.
There was a light knock on the door, and Boromir knew it was his brother. Quietly, he stepped away from the door. His heart was pounding and he wanted to escape, but all he could do was to hope Faramir would leave soon. "Please, open the door. I need to speak with you." The voice was quietened by the door, but the words were as clear as if Faramir had been standing in the room with him. Boromir walked to his bed, sat down, and waited. Soon, the knocking ceased. Boromir could hear Faramir's steps as he walked away, back to his own chamber. Boromir did not have the courage to go and see if the door had remained unlocked.
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Story notes: Warning: Incestuous thoughts.
Thanks: To Empy for the beta.
Chapter end notes: ---