It was one winter evening when she came to him in his assigned rooms at Imladris: Elrond's only daughter, the Lady Arwen. Fires had been lit throughout the Last Homely House, with special care taken for those in the guest rooms, to stave off the icy wind blowing outside, and she found him seated comfortably in an armchair by the hearth, as she knocked and entered on hearing his response.
"My lord Boromir", she said in her usual soft tones. "I would speak with you privately, if now is a convenient time."
He blinked for a moment in surprise - this was the first time in the weeks of his stay that she had made any such overtures, or indeed, attempted to speak with him at all beyond the usual pleasantries. "Indeed, Lady Arwen? And about what would you like to speak?"
She moved further into the room and sat down in the other armchair, gazing at him steadily. "About the Quest you are shortly to undertake. About your city, and your love for it. About how the other might affect the one."
Boromir tried to hide his shock at her words. "I'm afraid I'm not entirely certain what you mean, my lady."
She raised an eyebrow, but looked more sad than surprised. "Are you not? You wished the Ring to go to the salvation of Gondor, everyone in this House is aware of that. Your young hobbit companions have loose tongues. Have you accepted, then, that that cannot be?"
He sighed. "If you are aware of that, then surely you also heard of my pledge to do as Aragorn, the wizard and your father wish, foolhardy though it may seem? Is that not enough?"
Arwen looked at him, the sadness in her eyes growing. "I wish you also to wish it. For your own happiness, as much as for the safety of the Ringbearer and the success of the Quest."
Boromir stood, sharply, and began to pace before the fire, striving not to raise his voice. "How can I wish it, when I see my city failing and its last hope denied? It crumbles, my lady, day by day, and I am being kept from the one thing that could stop the rot. I will do what your father and Gandalf wish, but I cannot in all truth say I agree."
"As my father has told you", she responded quietly, "the Ring would not be your city's last hope, but its destruction. There is only one way to win this war, and we can hope that will come to pass before too many die."
He stood still at last, looking at her with defeat in his eyes. "What would you have me do, my lady? I have said I will join this Quest, is that not enough?"
She rose, then, and went to him, taking his hands in hers and drawing him towards him. "I would have you rest with a mind untroubled by doubt, Boromir, for as long as may be. Accept that what is, must be. That is all."
He glanced down and away, unwilling to meet her eyes. "I will do my utmost to obey, my lady. I will do what must be done."
She sighed, accepting that all had been said that could be. "Then rest with me", she requested softly, drawing him down into a gentle kiss. He jerked back in shock, as soon as her lips touched his, stammering, "My lady - Lord Aragorn - "
She laughed a little, keeping her grip on his hands. "Lord Aragorn is aware of what I deem necessary. He and I have talked on this, and I have his agreement. He might, perhaps, join us, if you are willing. A little later."
Boromir of Gondor was a man of the world. He had travelled widely, and considered himself sophisticated. But even his eyes widened a little on hearing that. To his credit, he thought a moment before answering. "Perhaps… a little later", he allowed, before bending to renew the kiss he had broken. He was almost certain she would not lie on such matters as these.
Drawing back after a long moment, she turned and led him to the bed. And though she was a highborn lady, it soon became clear she was not entirely inexperienced in such matters. He could only assume the elves saw things differently in terms of courtship prior to marriage, though she and Aragorn were certainly betrothed beyond breaking.
But that was irrelevant. She achieved her aims - he forgot the Ring, and what he would do with it, if only for one night. And as he lay in her arms, sinking into sleep in the afterglow, he heard the door open and footsteps cross the room. He felt a third body settle into the bed, on the other side of her, and hands brush his skin, closely entwined as they were, as arms slid around her. And, barely aware of it, he smiled and let himself rest.
He was the only one even slightly surprised when, the following evening, he found himself outside Arwen's door instead of his own. After a moment standing in thought, he simply smiled and raised his hand to knock. Over the remainder of his stay, he was to sleep in his own rooms only rarely. And in the arms of the lady and her lover, he found some measure of peace, short-lived and temporary though it must be.
He bore the memory of such peace as he had gained through the long months of the Quest, drawing as much warmth and strength from it as might be, until the day came when that strength would no longer suffice. But in his last moments of life, even in the knowledge of his failure, the memory returned, clearer than ever before, as though bolstered by some outer force, to grant him strength and comfort once again. And though he did not - could not - die with a smile, the presence of Aragorn, physically, and Arwen, ephemerally, helped to ease his passing somewhat, and let him rest for the final time.