21 February 2011 | 7582 words
Title: I, Faramir
Pairing (sort of): Aragorn/Faramir
Disclaimer: They’re Professor Tolkien’s; I’m just playing in the corner of his garden.
I sit here looking at this blank page, with that silly title inscribed at the top. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t be so rude about it, since Aragorn ordered me to use it. “Don’t give me that look, Faramir,” he said. “I mean it. It’s a direct order. No excuses. When you get home to Ithilien, I want you to take at least an hour every day and write about yourself. For at least a week. And you are to put the title, ‘I, Faramir’ at the top of every page to remind yourself that you are not writing about the history of the Stewardship, or the cross-influences in Human and Elven minstrelsy arising from the Ringwar, or any of the other fascinating topics that usually occupy your pen. Nor are you to waste your ink on the goings-on here at court, though of course you must discuss other people if they have an effect on you. Just write about yourself, Faramir, for a little bit.”
“And should I hand in my lesson to you when I return to help you with the Rohan conference in ten days?” I asked sarcastically. Normally I am not so free with him, but to be truthful, I was feeling a little put-upon and in some way unfairly criticized, though I could not quite say how or why.
He sighed then, and put a hand on each of my shoulders in that way he has, making me look at him. “I won’t be reading it, Faramir, not unless you specifically say you want me to. I’ll never ask it. Bring it with you if you like, and we’ll burn it, unread by anyone except yourself, in this fireplace here. But will you do as I ask? Just to please your old friend?”
Well, when he asks like that, I’d paint myself blue and jump naked from the highest tower of Minas Tirith; that’s no secret to anybody. Éowyn says she’s never seen a man who could inspire the kind of devotion Aragorn does, just by giving someone a look or a pat on the shoulder at the right moment. And when I asked her once, a bit worried, whether the depth of my fealty to Aragorn bothered her, she hugged me very tight and kissed me with more warmth than she usually shows in the daytime, and told me no, that it only made her love me more. And I think she meant it.
So, where was I? Oh yes – I agreed. A bit ungraciously, I must admit.
“You want to know why,” he said. “Of course you do.”
Well, I was feeling rather ashamed of myself for making such a fuss already, so I just gave him a rather tight smile. He smiled back, and steered me over to the table where he poured a glass of wine and pressed it into my hand. And then he poured some for himself, and if he thinks I don’t know him well enough to realize he was taking the time to find a nice way to put what he was going to say next, he has another think coming.
He sat down in his big chair, and gestured impatiently till I sat down in the other one.
“For the last couple of months, I’ve had a rather grumpy Steward,” he told me eventually, almost apologetically. “I realize it’s a terrible strain for you, travelling back and forth all the time… “
“I like it, actually,” I interrupted him. And I do. That familiar journey with a home at each end, and no responsibilities in the middle, has become something I really look forward to, no matter the season or the weather. It gives me time to think a few thoughts, and sometimes (although I’ve never even told Éowyn this), I make up my own songs and sing them aloud to the cattle in the fields as I pass. They’re remarkably uncritical, those cattle!
There’s the dinner bell. Oh well, that’s the long and the short of it. I’m grumpy, apparently – well, he may have a point about that – so I have to write a diary. Kings. One can only roll one’s eyes. Only the Valar know what I’ll find to write about tomorrow.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Mira Took