Without Footprints

Lord of the Rings. Boromir/Faramir. PG-13. 250 words.

Faramir found that his eye lingered, and swiftly looked away.

Without Footprints

Late in the year they rode high into the mountains, speaking little along the way.

The air was cold, and Faramir kept his cloak tightly drawn about him. Further along the trail, Boromir did the same, his broad back outlined beneath the dark green cloth. Faramir found that his eye lingered, and swiftly looked away.

He could not tarnish the moment. Not when it was the quiet times, such as these, that made up the sum of the memories he treasured most. There were precious few of them, and he kept each one close, warmed near the fire of his heart.

The higher they climbed, the fewer birds there were that fled their path, and as the light grew weak, he and Boromir came upon a field of snow without footprints. Freshly fallen, it was beautiful and perfect in a way that made Faramir’s chest ache.

As he looked upon the field of white, his brother came to stand beside him and placed a hand upon his shoulder. There was perhaps a greater question lurking in Boromir’s eyes when he turned with a ponderous look upon his face. Minutes passed, long minutes that threatened to break Faramir’s heart and made every breath a struggle.

When at last Boromir grew tired of waiting and pressed a gloved hand to his cheek, Faramir shook off the touch.

“Let us ride around,” he said. And to his deepest regret, led the way back to where the frozen earth would carry few marks of their passing.

*

End

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