Chapter 4: Hazing Gondor's Youngest Captain
Yes, I cheated and posted two in a row. What can I say? A bunny bit me. I could have made it one chapter to stay within the rules (but they're 'more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules' anyway), but then there wouldn't have been the extra Elven option in the previous chapter.
"Halt!" Boromir yelled ahead, jumping off his horse at the same time.
"Good God, little brother, what did you do that for?" he say, mock-angry, but immediately adding "Did you hurt yourself?" in softer tones, pulling Faramir upright and slicing the ties at his wrists and ankles with Faramir's own dagger.
"Boromir! What are you doing here? What is all this?"
But Boromir ignored him. The other men had gathered around the two brothers, and Boromir spoke to them instead, " It's getting dark already. This seems a good enough place, let's set up camp here." And with a wink and his characteristic blazing smile, he turned Faramir, "Or don't you agree, Captain?"
Then it finally dawned on Faramir. He had been so preoccupied with his new unit, getting to know the men, trying to get to grips with all his new tasks, that he had completely forgotten. He was a Captain now...
"Oh, don't look so!" Boromir couldn't help but laugh at his little brother's crestfallen expression. Of course the ale he and his men had consumed that evening in celebration of their victory didn't help much either. The other men around the campfire too visibly had trouble restraining their mirth.
"At least you held out for more than a month; when I made Captain this here lot allowed me get captured after just three days!" Boromir all but giggled, poking his brother in the ribs, trying to get him to loosen up.
"That is hardly fair!" the man Faramir recognised as Boromir's lieutenant protested, "When you became our captain, Captain," -the obviously drunken man sniggered at his own words and needed a moment to compose himself- "When you became our captain", he tried again, swigging his tankard in Boromir's direction to emphasise his words, "every unit in Gondor was after you. You being the Steward's son and all. But now that he's turned captain," tankard tipping towards Faramir, "you've bullied everyone into leaving him alone, wanting him for yourself! Hardly fair comparing that, I say!" And as to celebrate a point well made, the lieutenant took a long drink at the end of his speech, spilling much of his ale down his front.
Faramir observed the bacchanal abhorred, more grateful by the minute that his Rangers were a quite different group. "Don't you have more important things to do than play these childish pranks?" he asked dismayed.
"Ah, but it is important!" Boromir insisted, "'tis good for moral, you see?" he said, putting one arm around Faramir and pulling him close, while with the other he gestured around the ring of men, all jolly, chatting away with each other, sharing a common victory -however meaningless.
"In Rohan the different units try to capture each other's banners. Theodred told me, because his unit had just taken one of those banners last time I was there, see, and he was thinking of all the things he could make that other unit do to get their banner back. He thought that was the best thing ever, I say this is far more fun!" Boromir said, grinning at his brother again, breaking into a full-on laugh as he saw Faramir pout.
"Come on you, time for bed." Boromir said getting to his feet while pulling Faramir up with him, "I'll have to tie you up again, can't have you sully our victory by running away during the night. Your men will have to come capture you back fair and square. And if they can't, I'll just have to think some other way they can get you back."
What happens next?
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