It is Elrond’s voice. He will examine Faramir assisted by younger elves of your choice
Chapter 7: Elrond's Examination
"Is that absolutely necessary?" asked Thorongil.
Faramir turned to him, surprised. Given their difficulties over the last few days, he wouldn't have expected support from that quarter.
"Yes," said the dark haired elf, the one they called Elrond. "We cannot waste time; follow me, Faramir. All of you remain here, except for Estel, Elrohir and Haldir."
As they left the talan, Faramir had time to feel acute embarrassment. He had no worries that they would find him unacceptable; the universal preference for Boromir meant that he was entirely untouched. And there lay the humiliation: no man of his age should have so little experience of that kind. He knew perfectly well from the talk of his rangers in Ithilien that many men relieved themselves of their virginity at the first opportunity, often before they became men. Boromir certainly had. Faramir had received no offers from men or women, and precious little chance to seek any out for himself. Even the servants had made it clear they weren't interested.
After Thorongil's rudeness on the journey Faramir had been determined say nothing which might be interpreted as childish whining, but he nearly broke his vow when Elrond said, "Undress and lie on the bed. Haldir, stand guard by the door."
In Minas Tirith, if a healer asked one to undress they usually looked away. Or maybe they did so if the patient was the son of the Steward. Elrond watched, his face inscrutable, as did Elrohir, and only Thorongil looked at the floor.
"We don't have all day," said Elrond.
"If you weren't wedding me to him with such haste I'd have more time," Faramir's patience was finally beginning to wear thin.
Elrond blinked, "It seems your young one has teeth."
"He has, ada," said Thorongil. "He has displayed them on occasion before."
By now Faramir had removed his boots, leggings and jerkin, and stood in a plain linen shirt and his smallclothes. "That too," said Elrond, indicating the shirt. With a sigh, Faramir pulled it over his head. "And those. It is not cold; aren't you a bit overdressed?"
"That's what they wear in Gondor, ada."
"It looks uncomfortable."
"One becomes accustomed to it," Thorongil said. He looked down as Faramir removed his smallclothes. Once again they were talking around him as if he were a statue which just happened to be in the room, and Faramir gritted his teeth. He stared at Elrond.
"Lie on the bed."
Faramir gave Elrond what he hoped was a poisonous look and did as he was commanded. He lay on his back, and looked up at what he supposed was the talan above. He wasn't quite sure what Elrond was going to do to him and probably anything would have been a surprise, but he really hadn't expected anyone to hold his head and look into his eyes from above and behind. Elrond covered one of Faramir's eyes with his hand, and looked into the other intently, then repeated the procedure with the second.
"You are a good bowman."
"Adequate," said Faramir. In truth he was better than Boromir, but his father had never witnessed this. That could be just as well: that Boromir could be beaten at anything probably wasn't information Denethor would take well to discovering.
"Better than most," said Elrond, but not as if it were a question, so Faramir didn't answer.
Elrond moved down his body, asking him to move this way and that, bend his arms in particular ways and curve his neck and spine. He didn't ask what the intention of all this was, discovering it only when Elrond said, "He's more flexible than you," to Thorongil.
"He's younger than I."
Faramir was sure he could hear irritation in Thorongil's voice, and was surprised that anything in this situation could amuse him.
Elrond turned his attention to his legs, moving his feet and knees and testing the flexibility of his hips. Faramir struggled against the temptation to give the elf a shove in his midsection with his heels. He was surprised at how hard he had to fight the impulse; it would have been so very satisfying to see him thrown backwards across the talan.
"Lie still," said Elrond. He had finished amusing himself with Faramir's limbs, and sat for a moment on the side of the bed, his flat hand against Faramir's belly, eyes closed. The hand was warm, warmer than he had been expecting, and it was surprisingly restful. "Interesting," he said as he removed the hand. "Onto your side."
"I need to examine you further. Your side, please."
Faramir noticed that at least he got a 'please' this time, and did as Elrond had asked, turning to face away from him. There was a moment's silence, then, Elrond's voice, "Haldir?" Faramir heard light footsteps across the talan and felt his face heat, knowing how he must look.
Then the cool voice, "Elrond?"
"How did he get these?"
Faramir felt tears prick at the backs of his eyes; he hadn't known this level of mortification was possible. He felt Elrond's hand touch one of the more painful bruises on his back and he heard other footsteps move behind him: the tread of Thorongil's boots, and the second set of elvish footsteps which indicated Elrohir.
Elrond spoke again, "Haldir, these marks are from spears. You are in charge of those guards and responsible for their conduct. You must make it clear to them that not all visitors to Lórien are spies to be abused. I shall have to speak to Celeborn."
"And you must find some way of making amends to Faramir. After all, think who he is to wed."
This time Haldir sounded rather sulky, "It shall be as you wish, Elrond."
"See that it is."
The light footsteps moved away.
"Now," said Elrond. "Draw your knees more up to your chest." Faramir did so, and after a moment he felt Elrond rest one hand on his hip and then a finger, it felt as if it was greased with something, probe between his buttocks.
He jumped at the unexpected sensation. He had been wrong before: it was possible to feel yet more humiliated. He wanted to object, but was sure that if he spoke his control would shatter and he would scream. He gasped as the muscle was breached and the finger moved within, then turned. It had to be a finger from the feel, but Elrond felt to him have fingers more reminiscent of a mountain troll than an elf. He gasped again, partly from pain and partly from sheer temper at being handled like this. At last Faramir's control broke. "That hurts!" he said.
The finger was removed. "He is untouched," said Elrond.
"How do you know?" said Faramir, he turned over onto his back and sat up. "I might be the slut of the citadel barracks..."
"You are not," Elrond smiled, the first time Faramir had seen him do so. "It seems Denethor guarded you well: from your reactions, you have scarce been properly examined by a healer before, let alone had someone in your bed."
"So I could not be replaced by Boromir." The words were out before Faramir could stop them.
Elrond and Elrohir exchanged glances. "What do you mean?" said Elrohir.
"If he," Faramir indicated Thorongil, "whatever he is calling himself here, for he changes names like other people change clothes, needs to wed a virgin son of the Steward, Boromir would not be suitable."
"And you know this how?" said Thorongil.
"I'm his brother; I'm also his friend. I know more about him than anyone, including the bedmates he imagines he keeps secret from father."
"He could be attempting to protect his brother..." said Elrond. He turned away, and started to wash his hands in a basin of water.
"I would gladly have him here in my place," said Faramir. He decided he would no longer tolerate being ignored. "The prospect of wedding a man I barely know is hardly enticing, and he is welcome to such honour as it bestows. May I dress now?"
"Yes," said Elrond. He turned back.
"Is there ought else I should know? Do I have some disease he should be informed about?" again Faramir indicated Thorongil.
Elrond looked mildly amused at Faramir's words. He said, "You injured your left ankle in a fall when you were twelve. The horse you have been riding is two fourths of a hand too small for your frame. Was your sword originally given to your brother?" Faramir nodded; how had Elrond known that? "I thought so. It is a little too heavy for you and not particularly well balanced. Estel will see to it that horse and sword are replaced with something more suitable. When you have finished dressing, return to your talan. You will need to be ready to eat in about an hour."
Despite what he had been told, Faramir did not go to the talan he was supposed to share with Thorongil. He walked instead along the greensward outside the city gate. After a time, he saw someone coming towards him.
What happens next?
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