i. the wind's complete unrest
Boromir cannot feel his legs anymore, nor his chest, aside from the tide of blood in his lungs. He barely has feelings in his hands; just enough to close his fingers round the hilt of his sword.
The light is fading from his eyes, and all he sees is Aragorn.
"I would have followed you, my brother." He struggles for breath. "My captain." He cannot feel his sword. "My king."
Before the darkness falls completely, he hears Aragorn speak.
"You will not fall. Not this day."
Boromir struggles to smile, but then everything is black.
ii. still more difficult to find
He comes awake, barely, at the jolt of being set on the ground. His mouth tastes of blood, and he cannot seem to move. He manages to force his eyes open, and wonders at the quality of light, why the trees seem placed differently than he remembers.
He's lying on the forest floor, and above him stands Aragorn, and a woman. No, an elf, he realizes, recognition ringing faintly at the back of his mind.
He cannot understand their speech, but they clasp hands over his body, then the elf--the lady Arwen, he remembers--kneels, brushes her hand against his forehead, then over his chest.
He wonders why he's in so much pain, then she brushes her hand over his eyes.
He protests, raising his head, but Aragorn kneels by him.
"You will wake, I promise you." Aragorn bends, places a kiss on his brow. "Rest."
At that, Boromir lets his head fall back, and sleeps.
iii. words at once true and kind
He first becomes aware of the dull throb of his chest, the constriction of bandages around his ribs.
Gradually, he comes more awake, noticing the warm billow of the blanket encasing him, and the soft down of the pillow under his head.
He opens his eyes, and is startled to see stone. Turns his head, discovers a window, and a finely carved chair. He recognizes the place, curses his memory as he struggles to name it, but he cannot get his mind to work properly.
"You are in Rivendell," a voice tells him. He raises, wincing, to a sitting position, and recognizes Arwen. "You have been healing for many a week," she says, handing him a small cup before seating herself in the chair by his bed.
"How--" His voice comes as a croak, and he clears his throat. Sips from the steaming cup, and tries again. "How did I come to be here?"
"You fell in the battlefield. You were dying." She says it calmly. "On the road to the Grey Havens, I turned to find Aragorn, and you."
He turns this over in his mind, letting it fold amongst the many tales he has heard of the elves. "And Aragorn?"
"I do not know." Boromir looks up from his broth, sees her lips tremble. "My father told me they fight at Helm's Deep. I do not yet know what has happened."
Boromir drinks again, then sets his cup aside. "It is truly war, then."
Boromir meets her gaze, holding it. He sees moisture pool in her eyes; she looks away.
"He is fierce on the battlefield, my lady," Boromir murmurs. "He will not fall."
"That I know." She smiles before looking at him again, and her eyes are bright. "Yet it is difficult to be at ease, regardless."
Boromir takes a deep breath, wincing at the sting of his wounds. "I would rather be at his side than here."
Arwen stands, takes his cup, and nods. "As would I."
He watches her as she leaves the room, and only when he can no longer hear her footfalls does he ease himself to sleep again.
iv. talking in bed ought to be easiest
As he recuperates, limping out of bed, walking steadfastly to gain his strength, Boromir finds the halls of Rivendell empty, save for Arwen and the lord Elrond, and a handful of others.
Elrond's company is cool at best, and aside from brief, curt exchanges when they cross paths, Boromir does not converse with him.
Arwen is a better companion, helping to tend his wounds, bearing his company as he paces from room to room, and making sure that he does not weary himself.
After the noon meal, he often excuses himself to his rooms to rest. At times, he curses this need, feeling like an invalid, but Arwen demands, gently, that he allow his body to heal as it will.
One afternoon, he dreams of Frodo, and of the Ring, and wakes weeping. Arwen finds him in his bed, heart full of self-loathing.
At her inquiring look, he spills out the story of his betrayal. He bows his head, expecting her to turn on her heel and leave him to his misery.
Then, her hand slips under his chin, raising his head, making him look at her.
Her eyes are wide, but there is no hatred there, and Boromir feels something quiet leap in his chest.
"Few could withstand the Ring," she says, voice mournful. "Sauron's power grows greater each hour." Her hand slides over his cheek, cradling it. "You have kept your honor."
A tear, and another, slip from his eyes and fall against her fingers, but neither of them look away.
v. an emblem of two people being honest
Elrond leaves on an unnamed errand, and in the end, it is Boromir who looks over Arwen as she convalesces, drained by the darkness that has fallen over the land outside of Rivendell.
She grows frail as the days pass. Boromir grows frantic, going so far as to brew a tea that he remembers his mother drinking, but to no avail.
"It will soon be over," she whispers, but when he asks her what she means, she shakes her head and smiles.
Then one evening, she gasps, bringing Boromir to her side. He helps her sit up, supporting her with an arm around her shoulders.
"The Ring is gone," she tells him. "The shadow fades."
Boromir tries to comprehend a world without the Ring, and he feels a twinge of emptiness.
Arwen takes one of his hands in both of hers, and he blinks, that faint pain easing away at her smile. "It is over, Boromir."
Weeks pass, Elrond returns, and Arwen grows strong again. She persuades Boromir to go riding with her, to the boundaries of Rivendell and beyond.
One day as they ride, Boromir hears the lonely thunder of a horse's hooves, and he shouts warning to Arwen. Instead of riding back to him, she laughs, sets her horse into a gallop.
Boromir curses, then follows her.
There is a single rider coming toward them, a familiar one.
When Arwen swings down from her horse, running to the rider as he dismounts, Boromir recognizes him, just as he sweeps Arwen into his arms.
"Aragorn!" he shouts, slowing his horse to a halt, leaping out of the saddle to clasp hands with his king.
"Boromir." Aragorn draws him into a rough embrace. "You look well."
"Better than last you saw me, I hope." He smiles, but Arwen comes forward then. He looks at her, then to Aragorn, and bows. "I will leave you to your reunion."
He turns, feeling hollow, and tries not to think why.
"Boromir." Arwen catches up to him, touches his shoulder.
He faces her, painfully. "My lady, I cannot--"
She sets her jaw, runs her hand behind his neck, and draws him down for a kiss.
Boromir sinks into her for a moment, then jerks back, an apology already forming on his lips.
Aragorn forestalls him, shaking his head. "Boromir." He grasps his arm, takes Arwen's hand.
"My lord?" Boromir battles confusion, looks into Aragorn's eyes, and understands.
They set out that day, horses laden with supplies, as well as dresses that Boromir teases Arwen about, for the heaviness of their beading.
It is a joyful trip, as they travel over lands that Boromir had not expected to see again. They revel in the land, peaceful and bright under the sun.
Under the stars, they revel in different things.
When they gallop up to Minas Tirith, impatient for home, Boromir reins his horse in. He drinks in the sight of the city, and the sound of trumpets heralding their arrival.
Arwen and Aragorn catch up to him, flanking his horse, and the three of them clasp hands.
"I thought," Boromir chokes, overwhelmed, "I did not think I would see this again."
Arwen squeezes his hand, and Aragorn leans closer, claps a hand on Boromir's shoulder.
"Come, Boromir." He grins at him. "It is time the lords of Gondor return to their home."
They race to the gates, and the guards cry them welcome.