A Brother's Memory

Note: fic for , who wanted festivities. Hope you like it, sweetie – and merry Christmas!

There were not many celebrations in Faramir's memory. Life in Minas Tirith was somber most of the time, the result of the darkness Faramir could feel growing both in his father and on their borders. He could still remember his mother's smile, could remember the sound of his father laughing, but those memories were dim and growing dimmer all the time.

What did shine in his memory, though, was his brother.

Boromir and he had always been very different, yet, despite what their father might say, this had never stood between them. Boromir did not always understand his little brother, but Faramir was content to know that he tried, and that he accepted their differences. So, while Faramir did struggle hard to please the Lord Denethor and excel in the arts of war that came so easily to Boromir, when it was just the two of them, the brothers knew that there was no competition between them. Sometimes Faramir even thought that, had he been less of a thinker and more of a fighter, there would be more of a distance between them, since Boromir had always had the need to be best, to be leader. That, had Faramir ever stood a chance in beating his older brother in combat, Boromir would have seen him as a rival.

It made Faramir almost glad that he was such a disappointment to their father. He could not have born to be cut off from Boromir's love the way he had been cut off from his father's.

The way things were, Boromir won the battles, while Faramir did the best he could, knowing exactly that it would never be good enough for their father. Therefore, when the battle was won and Denethor had withdrawn into his tower after once more heaping praise upon his eldest son and shame upon his younger, it left the two of them in the midst of their celebrating men, the proud smile on Boromir's face all the praise Faramir ever needed. And when, later, after lots of food and song and wine, Boromir pulled him into a dark corner and held him close, Faramir reveled in his brother's heat, his passion, his love the one good thing that would never fade, never be tainted by their father's bitterness. It was just the two of them, lips seeking lips, hands fumbling with the fastenings of armour, breathing becoming harsh as their bodies found each other, over and over, in a rhythm they both knew by heart despite never talking about it.

There was no need for talk, just for feeling and letting go and holding onto each other, making sure they were alive to fight another battle, as they both knew was inevitable. Faramir knew even more, had seen it in his dreams, darkness and destruction and fire, so much fire, and a broken horn.

With a sigh, Faramir held onto his brother's body and closed his eyes, storing away this memory for when the days grew dark again.

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