Light of a Thousand Suns

Faramir silently opened the door, his face grim and his eyes downcast, set upon the sagging form of his brother's shoulders as he sat alone by the fire burning in its hearth, the only warm presence in the bitter room.

His brother's shoulders shuddered and he heard a near inaudible sob escape his lips, and he fell from his bed, crying more bravely without any thought of his pride. Faramir slowly closed the door behind him and stood a distance away, listening to Boromir's broken and sorrowful moans; the sound crept under his skin and into his heart until he could not bear it anymore.

He approached Boromir and placed his hand on his arm, kneeling down beside him. His older brother would not even look at him, his eyes set upon the blankets that swaddled the precious form of his firstborn son. His only son. The life had finally gone from the newborn's cheeks after barely a night outside of the womb.

"Boromir," Faramir whispered gently, "there is nothing you could have done."

The tears poured down his face as he stroked the infant's cold forehead, rocking back and forth as a mother would to send her child to sleep. "Boromir," Faramir repeated, holding back tears of his own. "There is nothing you could have done. No child could survive a fever like that."

Boromir shook his head in desperate denial, unwilling to accept it. "No," he said, his voice dry and cracked. "This is impossible."

"Boromir, come with me to our father, and we will all mourn, but you should not be by yourself."

"Why?" Boromir looked into his younger brother's eyes defiantly, filled with anger and desolation. "What more could I lose? What more could death possibly take away from me?" He bit his quivering lip. "What more..."

Faramir finally cried along with him, grabbing his brother into a tight hug. Boromir took tight hold of his tunic and buried his face into Faramir's shoulder, as if afraid to let ago. "I've lost her..." He wailed, his voice muffled by Faramir's tight embrace.

"I've lost her..."