Of Palantíri and Paper Towns
Aragorn and Faramir
B2MeM Challenge Carolling- A beautiful sight, they're happy tonight; Book Titles: Paper Towns; Beasts - horse; Snippets of verse- if it could weep it could arise and go; The Steward and his sons - palantír; Talents and Skills- weaving; Last Lines- I wonder if she is as stubborn as I am; Tolkien's trees - Bay; Colours - orange
Characters: Aragorn, Faramir, OFCs
Pairings: Aragorn/ Arwen, Faramir/Éowyn
Summary: Aragorn seeks to raise Faramir's spirits.
These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
Faramir regarded the palantír grimly. Try as he might, he could see nothing save the gruesome image of his father's withered hands within it. He had so hoped that the passing of time would have somehow cleansed the stone and made it fit to use again. The King was planning a journey to the North soon and they had hoped they might use the palantíri to swiftly exchange messages.
"I will stow this away under lock and key," Aragorn said gently. "Trouble yourself not over it." He threw a cloth over the globe, lifted it from the plinth, and locked it within a wooden chest.
"If it could weep it could arise and go," Faramir said bleakly. He had turned pale and sweat beaded his forehead.
Aragorn squeezed his shoulder. You are too stubborn, ion nîn. There is no need for you to distress yourself so. The Orthanc stone suffices for me and you are competent in its use too."
"It saddens my heart that my father should have destroyed this ancient thing that our House guarded for so long," said Faramir. "And the grim manner of his death that was almost mine too!"
"The House of Hurin kept my kingdom well," said Aragorn. "It was a great pity that Sauron caused your father to lose his mind, but I thank the Valar that you live and thrive!" He was silent for a moment, wondering how best he might comfort the son of his heart. "We have an hour or two before our ladies are expecting us to join them for the evening meal," he said at last. "Shall we go for a ride across the Pelennor? That is, unless you would rather join Éowyn and your children now?"
Faramir shook his head. "I would be poor company for my lady and little ones at present," he said. "She has little understanding or patience with palantíri. I think she might have given my father good counsel had she but had the chance!"
"Then let us exercise our horses," said Aragorn. "The fresh air will do us both good. We have no pressing duties, so we ought not remain indoors on so fine a day."
"Thus speaks the Ranger!" said Faramir.
"A Ranger who would lighten a fellow Ranger's heart," said Aragorn.
The two men, followed at a discreet distance by their guards, made their way to the stables. Roheryn whinnied excitedly at his master's approach, while Iavas lifted her fine chestnut head and shook her mane when Faramir greeted her.
King and Steward were soon cantering along the Pelennor, enjoying the motion of the noble horses that bore them, and greatly relishing the feel of sun and wind upon their faces.
They rode alongside fields of flourishing crops and many fair trees. What once had been a battlefield had now been restored to its former fertile glory. When they approached a grove of dark leaved young bay trees, which had been planted to honour the fallen, the reined their horses to a halt and paused and bowed their heads in silent tribute.
As they rode onwards, the shadows lengthened and the blue sky gradually turned to flaming orange.
"What a splendid sunset!" Faramir exclaimed. He brought his Iavas alongside Roheryn. The two riders brought their horses to a halt and gazed at the orange and pink tipped clouds while the sun became a flaming red ball that gradually sunk beneath the western horizon.
"Beauty seems all the more precious after so long living in the fear that we might lose all," said Faramir.
"I cherish each sunrise and each sunset," said Aragorn. "The more so that now I no longer walk the wilds alone. To enjoy Arda's beauty with Arwen, my children, and you, mellon nîn has made victory and peace even sweeter than I dared hope."
In unspoken agreement, the two friends urged their horses homeward.
Arwen, Éowyn, and the older children were awaiting Aragorn and Faramir in Arwen's beautifully decorated sitting room.
Arwen was engrossed in weaving a tapestry, which depicted her husband's great deeds in battle. Éowyn was watching Eldarion brandish his wooden sword while the boy told her of the new moves he had just learned. Meanwhile, Elestelle was building intricate paper towns, helped by her cousin, Elbeth.
"A beautiful sight, they are happy tonight," Aragorn murmured in Faramir's ear as they greeted their ladies and little ones.
"What are you building?" Faramir asked his daughter.
"A town for my dolls to live in," said Elestelle.
"It is beautiful," said Faramir, admiring the intricate design. "Is it meant to be Minas Tirith?"
"No," Elestelle said firmly. "It is Edoras."
"Oh," said Faramir. "I thought it looked just like Minas Tirith. Why, there is the Tower of Ecthelion!"
"It is Edoras," Elestelle insisted.
"It began as Minas Tirith then Elestelle decided she wanted to build Edoras instead," Elbeth explained
Aragorn smiled at the domestic scene. It was good to see that Faramir had recovered from using the palantír, while the sight of Arwen and Eldarion never failed to gladden his heart.
Faramir looked again at his daughter's paper town and shook his head, before raising his eyebrows and saying, "I wonder if she is as stubborn as I am."