It took Faramir quite a while to find his brother, and when he finally did, he was caught off guard by the infatuated way Boromir was staring at the ceiling, obviously rather distracted from his studies. Faramir came to stand beside him, and glanced upwards with him. "What's so interesting?"

Boromir shook his head, as if coming out of a trance. "Oh, nothing, I just..." He smiled a bit and stretched, putting down his quill. "I'm just a little tired."

Faramir raised his eyebrow and looked down at the piece of parchment Boromir had been writing on. He reached for it. "What's this-?"

Boromir snatched it away. "It's nothing."

"Then why are you hiding it?" Faramir grinned, trying to grab it from him. "Come on, let me see!"

"No!"

They wrestled for the piece of paper but finally Faramir managed to wring it away from his brother's grasp and jumped away before Boromir could tackle him, unwrapping the crumpled sheet of paper. "'With hair the color of golden wheat, and eyes that shine as the-what is this, it doesn't even rhyme!"

"Give it here!" Boromir said desperately, but Faramir evaded him, holding the paper above his head.

"Who is this about? Did you meet someone? Is she pretty?"

"Come on, we're too old for this!" Boromir sighed, and Faramir handed over the parchment.

"You know you can always tell me anything," Faramir said, a little disappointed.

"I know, I just wish you did not have to see that." Boromir crumpled the paper and threw it away.

"How did you meet her? What's her name?" Faramir asked, crossing his arms.

Boromir smiled as he remembered. "She was dancing."

"Dancing?"

"And singing. Her voice..."

"Spare me your verse, please," Faramir begged, laughing a little at the completely captivated and far-away gaze of his older brother. "Well, what is her name?"

"Melian." Boromir said, and added proudly, "she's Elven."

Faramir's look of amusement faltered. "Elven?"

"Yes, what's wrong with that?"

"Well, a lot of things." Faramir said with concern. "For one, she is immortal."

"So?"

"Meaning she probably is far older than you, and will live longer when you pass away."

"All women outlive men." Boromir pointed out. "Especially if they are the wives of soldiers."

"Wives?" Faramir said with worry. "Boromir...you really think that her people will allow her to fall away from them for a non-Elven man?"

"Why not? I am the son of the Steward of Gondor. Isn't that considered a high honor, even among the Elves?" Boromir asked, now a little irritated with his brother's tone of voice.

"I can see there's no changing your mind." Faramir said, shaking his head. He set his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Just step carefully. Do not anger her family...or ours."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The words of Faramir, as annoying as they were to Boromir, had some truth in them. Boromir had not thought of what it meant to pursue a woman of a different race and age. Could it be that such a beautiful girl would not accept him for being a mortal man?

"Immortality," Boromir said aloud, dwelling on it a long time. Would he have the nerve to ask a girl to give up an eternity for a few short years with him?

"What troubles you, my firstborn?" Denethor asked, entering Boromir's room. He sat down beside him on his bed, as his son stared intently into the burning fire.

"Many things." Boromir said quietly. He hesitated, and continued. "Father, would it be wrong of a person to...ask another to give up...his...life for him?"

"His?" Denethor said, pursing his lips. "If I recall correctly, Faramir mentioned that what troubles you is no man."

Boromir looked at his father and scowled, irritated that his brother dared to say anything of this to anyone, but let it go for the sake of Denethor's advice. "I met her a few days ago. She is Elven."

"And you are determined to have this young woman?" Denethor asked, anticipating his answer.

"I want her more than anything," Boromir said quickly, "but to ask her to give up her immortal life, for that of a short existance filled with grief...is that at all right?"

"Why don't we find out." Denethor said, patting Boromir's back. "I know of this girl you speak; Melian, she is called, and she is the daughter of an Elven emissary, sent to watch the borders of Mordor. I have invited them to dwell in Minas Tirith, and I will hold a banquet in their honor."

He smiled. "You shall see her again, and I will make sure to speak of this matterwith her guardians."