Genre: angst, humour, friendship
Characters: Faramir,Gandalf, Merry, Ioreth
Creators notes:With thanks to my LJ friends especiallyelwenlj for their helpful suggestions.
Summary: Faramir seeks answers concerning his father's actions while Merry is upset by the Warden's decree
Faramir tossed restlessly upon his bed. The healers had bidden him rest, but sleep eluded him. His mind was in turmoil. How could his father have acted as he did, abandoning his post in Gondor's greatest hour of need and trying to kill his own son? How could he have brought such shame upon the House of Stewards? Lord Aragorn and Pippin had told him that his father's mind had been poisoned by the Dark Lord and he had lost his wits. How could this have happened though? Denethor might have been a cold and hard man, but he had long been an able ruler and spent his life fighting against Sauron.
Faramir sighed as he tossed and turned. The Host departed on the morrow. He might never have the answers he sought.
Dame Ioreth bustled into the room, “Here's a visitor for you, my lord. I told him you were resting and not to be disturbed, but no, he wouldn't have it, he would see you tonight though I told him that the Warden said-”
“Thank you, Dame Ioreth, you may go now. I would not keep you from your duties.”
Ioreth glared and bustled away.
“Mithrandir!” Faramir sat up in bed. He managed to smile at his friend.
Gandalf glanced after Ioreth. “I am sore tempted to turn that woman into a toad for the difficulty I had in being allowed to visit you!”
Despite his melancholy. Faramir laughed. “She has a good heart and has been kind to me. I presume you did not come here to talk about Dame Ioreth, though.”
Gandalf's expression grew grave. “Indeed, dear boy. I came because I thought you might have questions for me. Aragorn told me that you asked Pippin about your father. I would have preferred you not to know the truth until you were stronger. I had hoped you would assume he died with honour in the battle.”
“Would that he had done so!” said Faramir sadly. “Why, Mithrandir? Why did he choose such an ignominious death?”
“Because Sauron is the trickster, the great deceiver, Faramir. He allowed your father to think that using the seeing stone gave him knowledge and wisdom when he saw only what the Dark Lord desired him to see.”
“So it is true about the seeing stone then? Long did I suspect it. My father would not even tell Boromir why he would go alone to the tower for many hours.”
“The Ruling Steward has the right to use the palantír, but alas, your father trusted in it overmuch and did not realise that the Dark Lord was controlling what he saw.”
Faramir shook his head sadly. “My father was a man of great learning and wisdom. How could he be so easily deceived?”
Gandalf patted his hand. “Even the Wise, can be deceived, dear boy, Saruman deceived even me with his wiles and imprisoned me at Orthanc. I had no idea that Saruman the White had become Saruman the Many-Coloured. Your father was not alone in being deceived by a trickster. Now try to rest and regain your strength, Faramir. Gondor will have need of you in the days to come. I must return to my discussions with the other leaders. Farewell!”
Gandalf was halfway through the doorway when Faramir called him back. “Stay but a moment longer, Mithrandir. I have not yet thanked you.”
The Wizard raised his eyebrows. “Thanked me for what, dear boy?”
“Thank you for saving my life. Pippin told me how you came to my aid.”
“It is the young Hobbit you should thank. I trust you to take good care of his kinsman when we leave.” And with that, Gandalf was gone in a flurry of white robes.
Faramir found his heart was somewhat lightened by his visit. If even the Wise could be so deceived, what chance did his father have? He was about to try to rest again when Merry rushed into his room. The Hobbit looked very upset.
“What ails you, Master Meriadoc?” he enquired of the downcast Hobbit.
“I thought I saw Gandalf here but he'd gone before I could speak to him. Then I thought you might be able to help, you being Lord Steward and all that.”
“There is little I can do confined to my bed,” said Faramir.“If it lies within my power to aid you, I will, though.”
“The Warden of the Houses has said I cannot have second breakfast because of the need to save food,” said Merry mournfully. “A Hobbit needs his second breakfast!”
The young Steward thought for a moment.“As you are the only Hobbit within these Houses, I cannot see that depriving you of second breakfast will much effect our food supplies,” he said gravely. “I will speak to the Warden before second breakfast on the morrow and tell him that Hobbits need their food more than Men do.”
Merry beamed at him. “Thank you, Lord Faramir.” He almost danced out of the room.
Watching him go, Faramir felt torn between laughter and tears. If only all sorrows were as easily resolved!