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Tales from a Cat's Eye View (PG) Print

Written by Susana

03 September 2011 | 6650 words

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Title: Trials, Trouble, and Torment
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours, Tales from a Cat’s Eye View, 6
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Rating: PG-13
Warning: AU; Real emotional and verbal abuse of a teenage child in this ficlet. Please do not read if that will upset you.
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s
Summary: Denethor and Faramir without Boromir, when Faramir was a young soldier.
Beta: None, all mistakes are mine.

A/N: This takes place when Faramir is 18 or so, and in Minas Tirith on leave from the Ithilien rangers.

“Your brother never tried my patience thusly!” The Steward Denethor yelled at his younger son. Faramir had gotten so occupied in perusing a scroll, that he’d forgotten to appear at dinner, to sit beside the Steward after their council defeat of earlier that day. The world was falling apart around Denethor, and because of Faramir, who would rather lose his head in some ancient manuscript than pay attention to the real world, Denethor did not even have his wife to stand beside him. Denethor was furious, and Faramir was…a target who had never fought back. At least to his father.

Trouble jumped down from her book shelf, and went to stand by her boy. Well, he was a man, now, but Faramir was still hers. She twitched her tail as she reflected sadly that Faramir would stand up for others, even to Denethor, although he usually tried to have Boromir do so for him. And Faramir would even stand up for himself, with Boromir and Imrahil and even his academy commanders or Captain Andacar, who cared about Faramir and listened to him, as much as they’d listen to any teenager of Faramir’s age, experience, and maturity. But Faramir would never stand up to his father-who-wasn’t-really-his-father, at least not to Denethor’s face. Trouble wasn’t sure why, and rather thought it was a shame, as Denethor might have reconsidered a Faramir who argued back with him. Or hated him even more…

Faramir merely stood silently, bearing the verbal abuse. “I am sorry that I lost track of time, my Lord Father. And that my brother is not here, sir.” He said softly.

Denethor scowled, “Well, I couldn’t trust you as I do him, that is for certain. You flinch at killing the enemy.”

Trouble blinked as Faramir stiffened, and curled her tail around herself, turning to look at Denethor as Faramir answered, “But I do kill them, do I not? I am what I am, Father. I am less than my brother, but I, too, serve Gondor to the best of my abilities.”

Denethor sneered, “I might as well have had a daughter,” he spat at Faramir viciously, before leaving, and slamming the door behind him. Denethor meant, he might as well have lost Finduilas for nothing. Faramir knew that.

Faramir sighed, and knelt down to gently scratch Trouble’s head, just the way she liked.

“Well, that’s always unpleasant, isn’t it?” Faramir murmured softly, continuing, “Yes, my father is always in a foul mood when the Council blocks him on something. And yes, he takes it out on me. Although he is quite right, I should not have lost track of time, and missed the chance to show him and the Lords of Gondor my support at dinner. Boromir would never have forgotten something like that.”

Trouble purred, because she loved her Faramir and he knew exactly how to scratch her head, but really….“Mrrowwl.” She told Faramir sternly, but with love.

Faramir huffed a laugh. “I don’t know what Boromir would think, of how Father acts. Boromir’s rarely if ever seen it. It’s just how things are, when he’s not here. It’s better, Father’s less….like that, when Brom is here, or Uncle Imrahil, or even another Lord of Gondor or one of my friends. But…” Faramir’s face settled into the lines Trouble was growing to know and hate, the lines that said Faramir would do whatever he had to do, sacrifice whatever he had to sacrifice, “My father apparently needs an emotional punching bag to be the Steward of Gondor, in these dark days. And if that’s what he needs, I can be that.”

Trouble purred, because she loved her boy. Even though she wasn’t happy with the situation, and she knew Faramir wasn’t, either.

“Meow.” Trouble assured Faramir, reaching up to rub her face gently against his, marking him as hers so that Denethor might know to leave him alone. Trouble would do what she could…Denethor’s hounds loved their master, but they loved their master’s son, too. And so they had stopped chasing Trouble, when she went to Denethor’s rooms after rolling in the poison ivy, and rolled on his sheets. And her fur was the same color as theirs, so Denethor would never suspect her.

“Ah, Trouble.” Faramir cautioned, “I’m not exactly sure what you’re thinking, and I know enough of command to know that one does not pen in one’s capable allies with too much in the way of supervision. However, ah, please keep in mind that my father does need to rule the Kingdom, in the King’s stead.”

Trouble just purred. Denethor was already grumpy, being itchy couldn’t make him much worse, in Trouble’s considered opinion.

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Minkicat , Minkicat , Aneyrin , TrollCookie

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1 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

Thank you for such a lovely story! I love cats (and Faramir, of course) so the combination is terrific.

— Moni    12 September 2011, 10:49    #

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