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The Undiscovered Country by Linda Hoyland

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The Undiscovered Country.

B2MeM Challenge: Courage

"Down the swift dark stream you go
Back to lands you once did know..."

Format: ficlet
Genre: angst
Rating: PG
Warnings: canon character death
Characters: Aragorn, Boromir
Pairings: none
Summary: Aragorn prepares Boromir for his final journey

With thanks to Raksha

The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. I make no profit from this story.

Aragorn fought to hold back his tears. He had not been greatly close to Boromir, nor especially liked the Man of Gondor. Boromir had been too like to Denethor in his haughtiness without his sire's wisdom.

For all that, his heart was torn asunder by his comrade's passing.

Aragorn recalled the fair babe he had once known; Finduilas' tender love for her child and Denethor's fierce pride in the boy as he grew.

Aragorn closed his eyes and recalled memories of the chubby toddler clutching a tiny wooden sword and running towards his devoted parents. Denethor had been delighted at his heir's early interest in the arts of war, while Finduilas had looked anxious and haunted, as if she foresaw that her son would one day fall in battle.

Ecthelion, too, had doted upon his grandson, delighted that the succession of the House of Húrin seemed guaranteed. In repose, Boromir had resembled his grandsire and did so even more so in death.

Aragorn wept afresh. He had betrayed Ecthelion once by departing without leave, sending a letter instead of making a proper farewell. Now he felt as if he had again betrayed the man who had been both lord and friend to him. As Ecthelion now welcomed Boromir beyond the circles of the world, what must he think of his trusted Captain Thorongil, who had led Ecthelion's beloved grandson to his doom?

Alas for the House of Húrin, so sadly diminished! Now all that remained were Denethor and Faramir, the younger brother of whom Boromir had spoken so fondly. What manner of a man was Denethor's second son? Did even still draw breath in these dark times? If he yet lived, he would wait in vain beside his father for his brother's return. Aragorn could pity Denethor now. It had long grieved him that he had no son and heir of his own, but how much worse to have one torn from you! A son should not die before his father.

Aragorn put such sombre thoughts to the back of his mind and forced himself to concentrate on the tasks that needed to be done. Boromir must be properly prepared for his final journey. Aragorn gently washed the blood from the fallen warrior's face and combed Boromir's long dark hair. Beside him in the boat, he placed his helm, and his shattered sword and cloven horn. Around his waist, the golden belt of Lothlórien gleamed, worthy of a king of old.

Together with Legolas and Gimli, he pushed the boat out into the current and watched the Anduin take its fallen son.

Aragorn watched until Boromir vanished from sight on his final journey. The warrior was now discovering the most mysterious and distant realm of all; the realm of death, which no man knows the road to, and yet all men must one day journey to.

What discoveries was Boromir now making? Did he see wonders beyond mortal comprehension and enjoy joyful reunions with those gone before, or did he still sorrowfully lament trying to take the Ring from Frodo? Aragorn could only hope his final smile meant that he was at peace.

Alas that Boromir would see his beloved White City no more, and that no silver trumpets would herald his return.