Author's Note: Written specially for Cressida, and made public at Christmas, because I think it has just the right mood. Largely inspired by her story Snow.

A Snowball

Faramir looked up from his pile of various accounts. He got up from the desk, stretching slowly, and walked over to the window.

The sky was no longer frowning upon the world with heavy dark snow clouds. The ones that were left now let an occasional sunbeam shoot down onto the fresh dazzling cover on the White City, which now deserved her name even more.

On an impulse, he pulled on a warm cloak and tall boots and went outside.

It was quiet; quiet in that almost mysterious manner that snow often brings with it. Faramir smiled and scooped several handfuls of snow, making a neat round lump.

Slowly, he walked to the wall and looked down at the circles beneath him. Then, his eyes rested on the snowball, and a smile lit his face, mixing with the sadness already written in his eyes.

How fervently he wished for his old playmate to attack him with a snowball from behind. He would then cry out indignantly and respond in kind, and a flurry of little white missiles would follow.

Finally, they would make it back inside, wet and panting, amid much laughter, and be greeted by a clearly disapproving look from their father, who would make a comment about their behaviour…only they would both notice how the corners of his mouth were starting to curl up just as he was about to leave…

Faramir sighed, his eyes focusing on the snowball again. Slowly, so slowly, he raised the hand that held it; and then, with a smooth, confident, but playful motion he sent the little ball up.

His eyes followed it until one of those sunbeams dazzled him, and he had to blink. He stood on the spot for a little more, and then turned slowly and went back to his desk full of work.

Faramir found himself smiling as he unfolded another document. He had made sure he was not sending the snowball in the direction of some busy street, so it probably hit a roof.

But I never saw it fall…

Amused by the childishness of his own thought, he nevertheless did not refuse to entertain it…

…perhaps it never hit the ground again.

Perhaps it disappeared elsewhere…where those beyond the circles of this world would catch it and smile upon it too, sending another sunbeam to their loved one who yet had a life to live.

THE END