Heirs of the Stewardship Part II: Missing

Summary: Faramir is missing, and Boromir takes the responsibility upon himself to find his younger brother. Part two in a series that delves deeper into the mind of Faramir, his relationships to Boromir and Denethor, and his reflections on his brother's untimely death. All reflections take place during "The Two Towers".

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, since they are Tolkein's. I also do not own any of the lines that I have used from the movie, which I think is one. Lol!

A/N: Hey, I'm glad you guys liked part one! I thought that I would get this one up soon after so that I can get the last three up before school starts. Scary thought… Anyway, this one takes place a few days after Boromir returns home from Osgiliath. Faramir is now eleven, and Boromir is still fifteen. No slash in these stories at all, just brotherly love. Hope you enjoy this one too!

Panic rose up in the older boy's chest. Missing… Faramir was missing. His father hadn't put much effort into the recovery of the boy, so Boromir had taken the responsibility upon himself to find his younger brother.

Faramir hadn't been anywhere in their large palace home; Boromir had checked every corner more than once. His dread was rising with every step that he took as he entered the courtyard. Where could he have gone?

"Faramir!" Boromir shouted urgently, looking desperately around for any sign of his brother. "Faramir!"

"Boromir?"

The soft, unsure voice reached the older boy's ears, and Boromir looked around him with confusion. The voice he had heard had definitely belonged to his brother and he sounded near, but he couldn't see him.

"Faramir, where are you?"

"Here!"

Blinking in surprise, Boromir realized that the voice was coming from above him. He cast his eyes up and gasped at what he saw. Sitting in the high branches of the tree next to him was his brother. "Faramir, what are you doing up there?" he asked, taking a couple of steps closer.

"Hiding," Faramir muttered quietly in answer.

"From what?" Boromir wondered, clearly confused. "Come, little brother. What has gotten you so worked up?"

Faramir looked down on his older brother, clinging tightly to the tree branch he was sitting on. "Father…" he whispered, his eyes brimming with unshed tears. He wiped them away with his sleeve, though more came to them since he was still able to hear the steward's words echoing in his mind…

"You may be skilled with a bow, Faramir, but that skill will not get you far here. If you were half as skilled as Boromir at wielding a sword, then I might consider you becoming a captain of Gondor."

Boromir's face darkened when he heard his brother's one word answer. "What did he do to you this time?" he muttered, sadly knowing that his younger brother didn't particularly please his father.

"I was practicing my archery," Faramir softly began.

"Which you are very skilled at for your age," Boromir said, hoping to make Faramir feel slightly better. But he was discouraged to see that his brother didn't even seem to hear him.

"Father came into the courtyard, silently watching me practice," Faramir continued on. "Then, he said… he said that he would only consider me to become a captain of Gondor if I was as skilled as you. He's always telling me that I'm nothing compared to you! I want to be like you, Boromir, I really do… I'm trying…"

Boromir sadly looked up into the tree's high branches. "Come down from that tree, Faramir. There is something I wish to tell you."

Faramir looked down on him, but his eyes faltered. "I can't…" he muttered.

"Why not?" Boromir asked with confusion, looking around him at the empty courtyard. "Father is nowhere around, I promise you."

"I'm stuck," Faramir said in a fearful whisper, clinging to the branch above him so that he wouldn't fall. "Help me, Boromir…"

Boromir wasn't expecting that response from his brother, but he knew that he had to get him down safely. "Hold on, Faramir," he replied as he used his arms to lift himself up into the tree's lower branches. "I'm coming."

"Hurry…" Faramir whimpered.

Hearing the fear in his younger brother's voice drove Boromir to climb through the branches at a faster pace. Soon, he came to a stop a few branches beneath the boy and extended his arms out toward him. "Faramir, come on. I'll lower you down."

Faramir shakily looked down on his older brother, and he believed him. He slowly let go of the higher branch and cautiously moved toward the edge of the branch he was on to get closer to Boromir.

Then, Faramir gasped when his foot suddenly slipped on the lower branch, but he fell straight into his brother's sturdy arms. "There now, you're all right," Boromir muttered, holding the boy securely against him as he began to climb down through the branches. He wasn't surprised to feel Faramir's arms wrapped tightly around his neck.

Soon, the two brothers were out of the tree. Boromir knelt down on the grass so that he could look into Faramir's face as the younger boy slowly released him. "Faramir, listen to me very closely," he told his brother. "Do not listen to Father when he tells you that you are nothing. He couldn't be farther from the truth."

Faramir looked back into Boromir's face, his expression still strained. "But I am not like you," he muttered unsurely.

"No, you're not," Boromir replied. "And that is why Father is wrong. True, I may be more skilled with a blade than you are, but you will get better. You are young yet. It is only a matter of time. But you have certain skills that I am not so good at. Your skill with a bow will one day match that of our finest archers, that I can see. But what Father truly cannot see is where your strength comes from."

The confusion Faramir felt was evident. "Where?" he wondered.

A small smile appeared on Boromir's face as he gently placed his hand on the boy's chest, over Faramir's heart. "From here," he said softly. "And that is the best kind of strength."

Faramir looked down on his brother's hand as he moved it away, but then his gaze moved up and met Boromir's. "Will you teach me, Boromir?" he asked quietly. "Will you teach me to properly wield a sword?"

Boromir's eyes saddened as he looked back at Faramir. He knew that he did not want to learn merely to improve his skill, but to be able to live up to their father's expectations…

"I will, little brother," the older boy answered, placing his hand on his brother's shoulder. "But not today. You have been through enough already. Come. I'll bring you inside and get you a snack from the kitchens."

Faramir sighed as he followed Boromir toward the palace, slowly reaching up and holding onto his arm. His eyes warily scanned the building as he walked, not wanting to see who was waiting for them inside.

For he knew that he would never live up to the man's expectations.

Xxxxxxxxxx

"You may be skilled with a bow, Faramir, but that will not get you far here."

From his hiding place in the trees and tall grass, Faramir watched keenly as the servants of Sauron marched before him and his men. One hand tightly held his bow while the other reached for an arrow.

Well, Father, it's time to see how much truth is behind your words, Faramir thought as he took careful aim. Boromir seemed to be the only one that ever valued my skill… Then, he loosed the first arrow.

A volley of arrows flew up from around him as the men with him followed his action. Faramir watched as the two Oliphants staggered and as some of the men were killed. He knew that Boromir had always treasured the skills that the now young captain of Gondor possessed, and he also knew how blind his father was to his successes. It was always Boromir that he cast a proud, loving gaze to. Always Boromir…

Suddenly, Faramir's eyes narrowed in confusion when he saw two figures a distance away, watching what was unfolding before them. The smaller of the two had dark hair, the larger having lighter. A third creature was inching backwards, anxious to leave the scene without the other two noticing. Who were they?

Then, the young captain saw that one of the Oliphants was heading straight for them, oblivious to their existence. He quickly moved through the grass to get a clearer view, knowing that the two strangers could be crushed if the large creature got too close. Then, making sure his aim was true, Faramir loosed the arrow.

The Oliphant veered off course as the man controlling it fell dead to the ground from Faramir's arrow. Proud of his shot, Faramir looked at the spot the strangers were laying, but he was startled to see that they were no longer there. Beginning to wonder if he had truly seen someone or not, he lowered his bow as his men finished the rest of the dark servants. Then, one of his soldiers came to him, reporting that they had caught two small beings running from the area.

As Faramir approached the point where the soldier led him to, he saw with surprise that the two strangers truly were small. They seemed to be children, but their features clearly were not child-like. He had not seen anything like them before. But as the captain looked from one fearful face to the other, he silently made his decision.

"Bind their hands."

A/N: Hoped you liked it! The reflections for this one clearly take place when Faramir finds Frodo and Sam. Thanks for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated. See ya' later!