The other man is Aragorn

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Aragorn smiled at him, and Faramir’s eyes took in the way the handsome face creased and the way the warmth reached the grey eyes.

“Drink it all up,” the king repeated, and came and sat by him and quaffed down his own mug of brew.

He sipped the brew, grimacing a little for it was very hot. He sipped again, and this time he could taste spices and herbs in it. The king continued to sit by him, watching him. It made him feel a little uncomfortable. There were many things he needed to discuss with the king, which he’d been avoiding.

Unsure of what to say now, Faramir continued drinking from the mug, and gradually felt the warmth flood back inside him. The strange trembly feeling he’d had earlier had now entirely passed and he unconsciously sat up straighter on his bed.

“There, isn’t that much better?” Aragorn said, and took the mug from him when he’d finished. He placed a hand against Faramir’s forehead and then at the base of his throat. His fingers felt cool against the exposed skin on the top of Faramir’s chest.

“Yes, thank you, sire,” he replied quietly, “But – but you really needn’t have bothered.” He flushed as he spoke, feeling a little annoyed with himself. He must have shouted in his sleep, he supposed and awoken half the household.

“It was hardly any bother for me, Faramir. I was on my way out for a ride,” Aragorn said quietly, “And I heard you call out. The others are still asleep so I took the liberty of brining you some of that tea. Would you like to talk about it?”

There came that dreaded question. Faramir looked up at Aragorn’s kind and gentle and face, and then looked away. He didn’t want to talk about it. He felt the coldness returning, and pulled his blanket up over his chest.

Aragorn sighed, “Will you be able to sleep again?”

Faramir shook his head numbly in reply, fearing as he did after each nightmare that every time he’d close his eyes, he’d see those hurtful images again. He shivered slightly now and bit his lip.

Strong hands wrapped around him suddenly and still in some degree of shock and confusion, he accepted the embrace of his king and allowed himself to lean his head against his chest as he fought to hold back his tears.

“I thought as much,” Aragorn sighed again, “Would you like to join me on a ride? I planned to ride out to the Pelennor.”

A ride did sound fine, Faramir thought, and moving out of the embrace in a stilted and embarrassed manner, nodded thankfully. They could go for a ride. The fresh air would feel good, and he wouldn’t have to think about all these dreams and other confusing things.

But he did wonder how long he could keep that up.

There were things he and Aragorn needed to speak about, which he had been avoiding till now. He couldn’t even speak to Aragorn properly about these dreams that plagued him or about his frequent headaches. How was he ever to speak to him of the other matter.

How could he talk to him of these matters?





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