Faramir was nervous.

He sat there at the desk, absorbed in his thoughts. How had he ever come to this? This was not like him, and that was putting it mildly. This was not something that he, of all, should be involved in! His father probably would have had him horsewhipped for getting into something like this… unless of course he knew that Thorongil was the target of the operation. It hadn't entirely been his fault though, there were so many of them, and they has decided that Faramir was "a necessary diversion for their cause." So many, who were so powerful, and they, by their power, overruled his reticence about this.

The trouble was, Faramir was entirely aware of what he was doing, he just could not believe that he had allowed himself to be swayed into doing it. Faramir had always had an incredible ability to put himself in another man's place and he knew that if someone had set this up against him he wouldn't exactly appreciate it.

He had been working with King Elessar all day in his study and striving not to show how nerve-wracked he was. The King was famous for reading men all too easily, though, and Faramir felt sure that he would not be able to hide. However, it seemed that there was enough other work to occupy his majesty, for he had not given Faramir so much as a curious look, though Faramir was glancing over at his King in surreptitious sympathy constantly.

There had been a few close calls, once or twice Aragorn had gotten up saying that there was some item he needed to retrieve from his chambers. Faramir knew that they weren't ready for him yet, and would jump up and smile, saying he would be more than happy to do the errand for him, telling the King that he needn't trifle with such minor things and begging him to simply relax and concentrate on whatever task was at hand. If he'd let the King go to his chambers before it was time and the plans were made ready, someone would probably have Faramir's head.

Every time he walked through the chamber doors, his co-conspirators would give him a grave look, as if to warn him about not keeping a closer eye on the king. They'd push whatever was needed into his hands and shove him out the door again, threatening him as a reminder that he would do well to not let on.

They were all there, waiting, waiting for his beloved liege-lord to seek his rest after a long day of running the Kingdom. And when he walked into his chambers… well, Faramir knew how he would feel and it did not bear thinking about too much. Not if he was to go through with this task.

And how could he not? There were so many others in on it. So many with more power than he himself had. Faramir had not been in on the original planning, of course. He never, ever would have come up with such a thing. But when an insider was needed, someone who was so loyal he would never be suspected, someone who could lead the King right into their trap – that was where Faramir came in… if grudgingly so.

They had all but hunted him down, setting upon him one night in a shadowy back hallway. A hand had clasped over his mouth and pulled him into an unused room filled with about 40 people. The first thing he was told was to be silent. As his eyes adjusted to the low light he could not believe that he was seeing there some of those faces. People who he thought were just as reliable and honest as he himself was.

This was not honest business though. There was more deception within the White City now than Faramir reckoned there had ever been. They had him though, and honest business or not, there was nothing Faramir could do now. This thing was too far-reaching. He guessed that the only person who was not in on this was their target.

That day, the appointed day, was the most trying Faramir could remember. So many times, he had nearly confessed the whole thing to his Lord and one he had considered a friend. Something held him back though, likely the many sharp and pointy weapons that those conspirators knew so well how to wield.

How could this have gone on, Faramir wondered. How could Aragorn not know? He who was so good at sensing these things surely could not be fooled so easily.

Ah, but there was nothing easy about it. It was a very complex plot, and that was only what he knew about it. Faramir had only been given enough information to complete his task in this deed, the rest was unknown to him, and for that he was grateful. Just what they planned to do when his beloved lord walked through that door, ushered there by himself, he did not want to know.

Maybe it was that Aragorn knew and was deliberately pretending he didn't know. Maybe there was another, more loyal and less easily persuaded than Faramir was feeling, one who secretly defected from the plan and came clean to the King. Maybe he was planning a counter-strike of his own. Faramir did not know and, again, he was grateful.

Faramir glanced out the window, evening was coming on quickly and before long Aragorn would set aside his work for the day and rise to go to his chambers and get ready for supper with his beautiful wife. But even Arwen was behind this, and some speculated that it had been her idea to begin with, thinking that she had been planning for years, ever since their wedding day.

The prearranged time came and Faramir began to shake. He might have been steady and detached when conducting this sort of covert operation in the woods of Ithilien in years gone by, but that was the enemy they were plotting against then, not the King, his King, the one who had changed so much, and done so much for all of Arda.

Faramir stilled himself when Aragorn got up and stretched. "My Lord, shall I walk back to your chambers with you?" Faramir offered, managing to keep the fear from his voice, covering it with a more formal tone than he usually employed with his friend, and hoping that wouldn't be suspicious.

Aragorn chuckled, thinking his Steward to be teasing, and accepted the offer, chatting amiably all the way, not even slightly aware of what was in store for him. Faramir went quiet as they turned into the hall leading to the King's spacious chambers. Faramir wanted to take the King's hand and ask his forgiveness for deceiving him and for what was about to go down. Instead he only gave his sovereign a sympathetic and apologetic look as he himself laid his hand on the door handle and opened it, stepping back to let Aragorn in.

Suddenly the room that had been dark and silent was filled with light and shouts and calls of excitement as all the conspirators rushed forth at once toward the King of Gondor.

Aragorn turned to look in uncertainty at Faramir, who could only smile sheepishly and say, "Happy Birthday!"

This was a little something that popped into my mind after a surprise party we gave at work last week. I thought of keeping this until March 1, Aragorn's birthday, but i couldn't. But, today was Elvis Presley's birthday, and he was also the "King"... so, there you have it!