First I did not mean to write a follow up. I am a bit uncertain about it. Please review!

I still do not own the characters.

Denethor´s Farewell

After Faramir had left the hall, I asked the halfling to sing me a song whilst I had dinner. With every minute I became more uncertain; whether it had been a wise decision to send my now only son back to Osgiliath in order to reconquer the city. Finally I could stand my inner tension no longer and I left the hall to go to the White Tower.

I intended to look into the Palantir, where I hoped to find relief and answers to my burning questions. I entered the room and went to the table with the covered magic ball. Removing the cloth, I found a folded piece of parchment. Surprised, I picked it up and upon unfolding it I recognised at once Faramir´s sweeping handwriting.

How like him to sit down and write a letter, instead of preparing himself and his men for battle properly, I thought. I read the letter with increasing disbelief. He dared to blame me for his constant failings, even though he had proved his disloyalty and disobedience by releasing the ringbearer! Any other captain would have paid for such an offence with his liberty if not with his life. Faramir, as the Steward´s son, enjoys the privilege of being given another chance to prove his qualities. Instead of showing gratitude, he attempts to transfer the blame to me. I felt my rage growing and after I had finished the first paragraph, the parchment slipped from my trembling hands. Falling down it brushed the still uncovered Palantir. The magic ball reacted immediately and started to glow inwardly as I approached with curiosity.

When the picture became clear I saw myself and Finduilas with a newborn baby. Finduilas was very weary and pale after the delivery which nearly had cost her life. I looked at the boy with dismay – I had wished for a sweet little daughter, as I already had a perfect firstborn son.

Next I saw a little boy of about three years with fearful widened eyes, who refused to climb a tree as he tried hard to suppress the trembling of his lip. His mother hugged him protectively and I reproached her for pampering the son of the Steward.

Then we were in front of a tomb, my children and I. I suddenly felt the grief for my beloved wife as freshly as if I had buried her yesterday. Faramir – every time I look into his expressive eyes I am reminded of that loss for she never recovered from his birth.

I saw ten year old Faramir, proudly presenting me with his gift on my birthday: He composed a song and performed it himself, playing the harp. Mithrandir stood in the background with a warm glow in his eyes, although I would have preferred his support in my attempts to have my son learn more useful skills than music, literature and history.

Now Faramir at fourteen - nearly a man, and a very talented archer – but his swordplay remained poor. I watched again a particular tournament, when he won the archery competition, but lost every sword duel, and I forbade him to continue his lessons with Mithrandir. He probably never forgave me, but I knew what was best for my son....

I had to choose which son I sent to Rivendell, to that vital council, but it was never seriously in doubt. Faramir wanted to go, eager to abandon his duties as a Gondorian captain, but I would only entrust Boromir with such an important task.

Then the Palantir showed me the Ringbearer in Osgiliath, overtaken by the Ring and saved by his companion in the very last moment. I could see the terror in his huge blue eyes, when t he halfling realised that he had nearly stabbed his loyal friend. Faramir kneeled in front of the Hobbit and the realisation hit me like the heavy strike of a sword. At last I understood why he let them go! Yes, it was the only possible decision and I was proud of him that he took it bravely knowing that his life "is forfeit"!

Forfeit: I saw a host of soldiers riding towards the ruins of Osgiliath into a hopeless battle. The orc released the arrow towards the breast of the Captain, and I can almost hear the deadly vibrations of the string – I know that the aim of the arrow is true and I can do nothing but watch as my son falls... "Faramir!" I heard myself shouting.

I swayed and picked up his farewell letter to read the end despite the tears in my eyes.

"Good-bye, my beloved son.Why didn´t you ever tell me about your feelings?"

Immediately the answer resounded in my head.

"Because you would never have listened, Father!"