A/N: This story is, I am afraid to say, the most un-original story I have ever written. It is basically JRR Tolkien's own storyline, with some of the missing gaps filled in. I felt a need to tell it from Beregond's perspective, as Beregond is one of my favorite minor characters in the books, and I always thought that he should have been fleshed out more. Then when they totally cut him out of the movie...well, this story took shape. There are three chapters to this, so look for more in the future. Enjoy, and don't forget to review!

[Thoughts are in brackets]

For Captain Faramir

By Dimfuin

I watched him riding out of the city that day, head held high and proud, a captain of men, but with that look of pain in his eyes that had been there so often of late...at least since his brother died. He was silent, not responding to the cheers and smiles in the crowd, nor taking the flowers held out to him by several of the women. Indeed, he seemed to be in a totally different world altogether. His horse trotted swiftly down the paved roads at the head of his host.

"They give him no rest. The Lord drives his son too hard, and now he must do the duty of two, for himself and for the one who will not return." Muttered one of the guards at my side. I glanced at him swiftly, nodding shortly. We all saw it...why could the Steward not?

"Faramir!" A strong voice down below broke through my thoughts and I turned my head to look at the speaker. Mithrandir. "The will of Denethor has turned to madness! Do not throw away your life needlessly!"

"Where does my allegiance lie if not here?" Asked Faramir quietly. The city held it's breath, following the exchange. Mithrandir looked after Faramir as he rode away determinedly.

"You're father loves you, Faramir, and will remember it ere the end. Farewell." Mithrandir's voice was soft now, sorrowful. I watched a silent tear slip down the face of a woman on the level below mine as she handed a bunch of flowers to her husband. He took them, his gaze fixed on hers in a long lingering goodbye look. [This is not right.] I thought desperately, [They should not be going to their deaths like this. Someone must stop this madness!!] But no one could. Captain Faramir rode out of the gate, intent on following through with his father's commands. The men followed diligently, and the gate shut with a clang.

As they began the long ride over the fields towards Osgiliath, the sound of a song came wafting out of the great hall. It was the halfling, I realized with a start, singing a mourning song. As his song continued, the men charging grew smaller and smaller, becoming mere dots. The whole city watched as they drew ever nearer, nearer. Peregrin's voice behind me faltered, and then we saw the black dots falter as well. [They are shooting them down.] I thought bitterly, bowing my head so as not to see anymore. [That is the end. Rest in Peace, my brothers.]

Would Denethor care when he heard the news? Would he grieve the loss of his son...the son he sent into needless battle to die at the hands of the enemy? I turned from the scene below just as a screech filled the air and I clapped my hands to my ears. All around the city men yelled as the black sound of the Nazgul filled their hearing, and everywhere dread stole into our hearts and held tight. We had just seen our beloved captain die in battle...would not the whole world be plunged into blackness and death?

"Open the gates!" The murmur spread through the city quickly, washing some of the fear that the oncoming host brought with them away for a moment. The gates creaked open slowly, a lone horse straggling through. It dragged something...a man.

"The Lord Faramir!" Someone called, and hope surged through my veins. A man stooped to cradle his head, then looked up.

"It is he!" he cried, "Bring a bier! We must bear him to Lord Denethor!"

As they passed through the streets, men called out with cheers, then fell silent at the look of the steward's son. He was not dead yet, but it looked to be only a matter of time. They bearers bore him swiftly to the highest level, past my post and upwards.

Several hours later, as I stood at my post, I heard the light pattering of feet and turned. It was the small form of a hobbit that I beheld, and I called out to him. "Whither do you run, Master Peregrin?"

"To find Mithrandir," his small voice panted behind me.

"The Lord's errands are urgent and should not be hindered by me," I said, worry knotting in my stomach, "but tell me quickly, if you may: what goes forward? Whither has my Lord gone? I have just come on duty, but I heard that he passed towards the closed door, and men were bearing Faramir before him."

"Yes," The little hobbit said, grimly, "to the Silent Street."

All of my fears rushed upon me and I bowed my head as the tears squeezed slowly out. "They said that he was dying," I murmured, "and now he is dead."

Pippin shook his head vigorously, pulling on my sleeve. "No, not yet. And even now his death may be prevented, I think. But the Lord of the City, Beregond," his voice turned urgent, "has fallen before his city is taken. He is fey and dangerous, and he means to burn Faramir alive instead of waiting for his death."

I caught my breath. "Lord Denethor is then completely mad," I sighed.

Pippin nodded. "I must find Gandalf at once."

"Then you must go down to the battle," I said, surprised that this little hobbit would risk so much for one he knew hardly at all.

"I know. The Lord has given me leave. But, Beregond, if you can, do something to stop any dreadful thing happening." He turned to leave.

"The Lord does not permit those who wear the black and silver to leave their post for any cause, save at his own command!" I reminded him.

"Well, you must chose between orders and the life of Faramir," the hobbit sighed, "And as for orders, I think you have a madman to deal with, not a lord. I must run. I will return if I can." And he was off.

I stood stricken. I could not let Faramir die, nor would I lightly abandon my duty. Oaths I had taken, and one cannot break them lightly. But this...was this a worthy excuse? The penalty would likely be death, but what was my life compared with Lord Faramir's? How could I forgive myself if I let him die? Cursing, I dashed up the hill. In no time I was at the door to the sacred places. [Delthain.] I thought breathlessly. [Not good.] I raised my voice, looking steadily at the porter. "Let me pass, Delthain. There is urgent business to attend to inside."

"You were sent for by the Steward?" He asked cocking an eyebrow.

I sighed. "No, I was not. But you do not understand...he means to burn Lord Faramir alive!" my voice turned almost pleading. Delthain was unmoved.

"No doubt Denethor has control of his own affairs, Beregond, guard of the citadel." His voice dripped disdain. "I will not let you pass, for I at least do not forget my place, nor my duty." He looked me in the eye angrily.

His words bit deep, deeper than anything ever before. No thought is worse for a soldier than to know that he has broken troth with his lord, and to have others look down upon him. I swallowed, trying hard to wipe away the sting of his words. "Precious time is being wasted!" I growled, placing a hand on my sword hilt. "Every moment Faramir is more endangered!"

"I will not let you pass," he said obstinately, his own hand flying to his sword. I drew mine forth slowly, and he followed suit. "I do not want to fight you, Delthain," I said, looking past him through the door.

"You will have to," he snapped. I sprang forward, trying to slip past him, but he was to quick. He swung his sword just inches from my neck, and I fell back. He advanced slowly, and then with a cry jumped at me. I slashed out quickly, dodging his blow...and hit my mark.

"For Captain Faramir." I whispered as he crumpled to the ground without a single cry. Tears blinded me as I rushed down the corridor. Killing a fellow guard had not been one of the things I had set out to do. [I am too far into this now.] I thought, [I cannot back out.]

Five guards moved slowly about the room, carrying wood and oil. I saw at once their purpose and destination, the door at the end of the hall. Dashing forward, I planted myself firmly in front of the door, slamming it shut with my left hand, my right still brandishing my sword. "Stop!" I cried, shaking the hair out of my eyes. "Do you not know what you are doing? The Lord Faramir is ALIVE!"

The foremost guard narrowed his eyes at me. "A renegade guard? Why do you try to foil his Lordship's plans? Turncoat!" Their insults fell thick on my ears, but I paid no heed to them. The only thing that mattered right now was my captain's life. Again the foremost stepped forward. "Move, or we will slay you and tread over your traitorous body."

I raised my sword higher. "I will bring down as many of you as I can before that happens! My duty is by Lord Faramir's side, and I will stick with it." With a yell, he too sprang at me. Our swords rang out in the sacred hollows loudly, a sound that had not been heard in that place since the building of the city. Before long I had slain him too, and then the next sprang forward. Alas, I slew him as well, and my count that day was soon three. The other three glared up at me in disdain.

"What goes on out there?" A rough voice called from within the doors. "Who dares disobey my rules?"

The three guards frowned. "'Twould not be honorable to come at you three at a time," one said, "but it seems that we shall be put to it."

I grasped the handle of my sword tightly, readying myself for them. But they never came. A strong voice broke the stillness, shouting, "Stay! Stay!" Mithrandir sprang forward out of the shadows. I breathed easier. "Stay this madness!" He went on.

"Haste! Haste! Do as I have bidden! Slay me this renegade! Or must I do so myself?" The voice from within came nearer and I felt the door beneath my left hand jerk violently. It flew open, causing me to fall against the wall. Denethor filled the doorframe, fire spitting from his eyes. He clutched a drawn sword.

Before he had time to do anything, a white flash startled us all and we covered our eyes from the brightness. When again I opened them, I saw Mithrandir springing up the steps, anger in his face. I quivered as it were, but I should not have liked to have been Denethor. With one swift movement, Mithrandir lifted his hand and Lord Denethor's sword flew out of his grasp. He stepped back, amazed.

Mithrandir's eyes smoked. "What is this, my lord?" he asked, walking steadily forward, "The houses of the dead are no places for the living. And why do men fight here in the Hallows when there is war enough before the gate? Or has our enemy come even to Rath Dinen?"

"Since when has the Lord of Gondor been answerable to thee?" Denethor asked, his voice low and dangerous. Any moment I would not have been surprised to see him jump at the wizard...though it would be utter stupidity to try. He went on, "Or may I not command my own servants?"

Mithrandir stopped. "You may, but others may contest your will, when it is turned to madness or evil. Where is your son, Faramir?"

A shadow passed across Denethor's face, and his eyes faltered. His voice came in a whisper. "He lies within. Burning, already burning. They have set a fire in his flesh. But soon all shall be burned. The West has failed. It shall all go up in a great fire, and all shall be ended. Ash!" He cried loudly, "Ash and smoke blown away on the wind!"

We all stared at him, our hearts stopping. For a moment I too almost gave up hope, but then my glance fell on Mithrandir's face. He set his teeth and pushed forward, Denethor giving way before him. Peregrin and I followed Mithrandir in.

Inside, Pippin and I stopped and caught our breath. There, on the table, lay Faramir, surrounded by wood. [Has it come to this?] I thought miserably, [That Faramir lies, shaking and wounded, his clothing drenched in oil on a bonfire about to be lit by his own father? The will of Denethor is indeed turned to madness! He needs not a tomb, but a healer!]

Mithrandir uttered something which I did not catch, and then sprang lightly onto the table, atop the wood. He picked Faramir up gently and bore him down. As he walked, Faramir's face changed in his dream and he moaned, calling hoarsely out to his father.

Denethor shook himself and his keen glance fell on his son's face. His eyes filled with tears. "Do not take my son from me!" He said brokenly, "He calls for me."

Mithrandir did not stop. "He calls," he said, "but you cannot come to him yet. For he must seek healing on the threshold of death, and maybe find it not. Whereas your part is to go out to the battle of your City, where maybe death awaits you. This you know in your heart." He looked at Denethor then, long and hard. Denethor did not blanch.

"He will not wake again," he spoke out of tight lips, "Battle is vain. Why should we wish to live longer? Why should we not go to death side by side?"

Mithrandir laid Faramir gently on the bier on which he had been borne to the place. "Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death. And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the dark power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death." His voice shook with rage. Pippin by my side looked up at me, then back at Denethor, who stood looking at Faramir, his face dreamlike.

"Come!" Mithrandir finally spoke, "We are needed. There is much that you can yet do."

At the moment when Denethor drew himself up tall, laughing at the wizard and then showing the Palantir he had as a pillow, my attention was in another place. One of the guards at the foot of the steps moved, and my heart faltered. By my hand was he struck down, was it not right that I should go to him as he died. Perhaps there was something he wanted to say.

I slipped down the stairs, Denethor and Mithrandir being in hot debate. Kneeling, I took the man's helmet off slowly, then looked into his eyes.

"Forgive me, brother." I whispered, "I slew you out of dire need."

He choked, blood frothing in one corner of his mouth. His words and breath came in rasps. "You did....what you thought....right. Do......something....." He faltered, closing his eyes. I leaned in.

"Yes? Do what?" I pressed.

His eyes reopened. "For me," he gasped. His eyes began to dim. "Lay...my sword.....on.....my grave......for.....me," he said. I nodded slowly. He smiled, and then his spirit passed from this world into the next. I bowed my head, and then words greeted my ears.

"To me it would seem that a Steward who faithfully surrenders his charge is diminished in love or in honor," Mithrandir was saying, "And at the least you shall not rob your son of the choice while his death is still in doubt."

I saw Denethor's eyes flame up, and he shifted the Palantir to underneath his arm. Drawing a knife from some hidden place, he strode towards the bier and my captain. In two leaps I was up the steps, sword in hand and ready to kill him. I had killed three already, and to save my lord I would kill yet again.

"So!" Denethor screamed, "Thou hadst already stolen half my son's love! Now thou stealest the hearts of my knights also, so that they rob me wholly of my son at the last. But in this at least thou shalt not defy my will: to rule my own end." He turned to the steps and the waiting guards. "Come hither! Come if you are not all recreant!" He shot a look at me, and the insult again stung fiercely. I stood still as the guards ran up the steps towards him. Denethor grabbed the torch out of one of the guards hands, and then darted into the house. He thrust it into the wood, and then leapt onto the table. It crackled and burst into flame, and Denethor with it. He smiled, picked up the staff of the stewardship and broke it ruthlessly on his knee, casting the pieces into the fire. Then he grabbed the Palantir and lay down.

Mithrandir sighed heavily and shut the doors, quickly. A shout came from inside, and we all looked at one another. "So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion." Mithrandir said grimly, "And so pass also the days of Gondor that you have known; for good or evil are they ended. Ill deeds have been done here; but let now all enmity that lies between you be put away," we glanced at each other sadly, "for it was contrived by the enemy and works his will. You have been caught in a net of warring duties that you did not weave. But think, you servants of the Lord, blind in your obedience, that but for the treason of Beregond Faramir, Captain of the White Tower, would now also be burned." He looked at me and smiled, and hope sprang afresh in my breast and kindled the tiniest of flames. Then with a sigh, he turned to the guards.

"Bear away from this unhappy place your comrades who have fallen. And we will bear Faramir, Steward of Gondor, to a place where he can sleep in peace, or die if that be his doom."

The guards moved silently to pick up the men I had slain, and Mithrandir and I took up the bier that held Faramir. I looked down, for in the triumph of the moment I had forgotten the grave danger Faramir was still in, and now looking at him, I realized that his condition was serious indeed.

Once we had placed him in the care of the warden of the Houses of Healing, I came once more to my post. And there it was that Pippin found me. He looked up at me solemnly.

"Beregond, will he live? Gandalf has gone back into battle, and I have no where else to go. What hope is there?"

I shook my head and looked down. "Not much." I said slowly.

Pippin was silent, gazing out at the battle still being fought. "Just a fools hope," he whispered, and then looked at me. "Just a fools hope, Beregond. But it was just a fools hope that got Frodo and us safely to Rivendell, wasn't it? It was a fools hope that helped us survive in the Mines of Moria, and it was a fools hope that got Merry and me free from the Uruk-Hai that had us. It was a fools hope at the battle of Helm's Deep that got us through, and just a fools hope that followed the Ents to Isengard to finish Saruman. It was a fools hope that is helping Frodo and Sam at this very moment, and it was a fools hope we both shared that got Faramir out of the clutches of Denethor. And it is still a fools hope..." He stopped and squinted his eyes into the growing light of sunrise. I gazed hither to, then blinked. The hilltop was growing thick with something...men, I realized with a start. A horn wafted up to us, then hundreds followed. Pippin turned back to me, grinning. "Just a fools hope that Rohan would come to our aid."

I smiled at the halfling, and of it's own accord my heart lifted so that I felt I could fly. I had no idea what half of what he had said meant, but... "You truly are a wonder, Master Halfling," I said, "But then perhaps I am a fool."

"We are both fools," Pippin said, "And glad we are to be them too."

To be continued...