A Party of Special Magnificence
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These Dreams: 1. These Dreams
These Dreams by Mar'isu 9/16/2006
It was late, Aragorn thought as he sought the comfort of his bed. Leaving his office, King Elessar used the quiet walk to his chambers to reflect on the day. Gondor was starting to run smoothly now that her King had stepped foreword to claim the throne. There had been surprisingly little fuss over Faramir returning the reigns of command to Isildur's heir.
Or perhaps more fuss than he was led to believe, he thought as he saw the firelight creeping under the door of the study Faramir had claimed for his own. Nudging the partially open door further into the room, Aragon looked first to the desk. The young Steward took his duties too seriously in the King's opinion, and it would be in the boy's nature to shoulder a heavier burden than was wise simply because he refused to deny any request brought to him. The large, imposing stone block was painfully neat, with a single pile of well-stacked sheets of parchment and an orderly pyramid of scrolls bearing the seal of the house of Mardil. Scrolls and parchment alike bore small, careful rows of script from the quill pen that also rested on the desk. But Faramir was not behind the desk.
Puzzled, Aragorn stepped into the room. The fire in the hearth threw his shadow on the wall behind him, where it mingled with another shadow. Faramir sat staring into the fire, so caught up in his thoughts that he did not hear the erstwhile Ranger creep into the room. "It is late, Faramir, rest," Aragorn instructed.
The Steward jumped and turned slightly to see who was also awake at this hour. Seeing who had intruded upon his thoughts, the young man scrambled to his feet. "My lord," he greeted in a rush, as if to make up for the neglect that allowed the King to enter his study without being properly hailed. "What do you wish?"
Aragorn smiled at Faramir's eagerness. "I wish my Steward would not wear himself out." Seeing Faramir's uneasy shifting, Elessar moved quickly to reassure his friend. "As I said, it is late. Why are you still here? What so weighs on your heart that you do not seek sleep?"
Faramir dropped his eyes. He did not want to think about the reason he was afraid to fall asleep. His dreams when the Black Breath lay upon him had not diminished. If anything, he saw more and more clearly with each repetition. "It is nothing, my lord."
Aragorn caught the Steward's chin as Faramir attempted to lower his face and looked into the young man's eyes. "It is not nothing," he stated. "What do you see?"
Sighing, Faramir reluctantly began to remember his dreams. "A black wave, sweeping over the land. Three ships, limping into port. Seven stars, seven stones and one white tree." Faramir met the King's eyes which were wide with amazement. "I should not see these things, my lord. Every night, I live the life of another, and always the wave comes."
"The Akallabeth," Aragorn whispered. "The breaking of the world, when all paths were bent." The King shook his head. "You see what few of even the Kings have seen. You see Númenor-that-was." The blood of Númenor ran nearly pure in Faramir, a trick of fate, perhaps a gift of his Dol Amroth heritage.
"I do not wish to see it!" Faramir cried. "I close my eyes for a moment and I die again. I cannot be your Steward, my lord, if even my mind conspires to betray me." The young man turned away, fighting the tears that threatened to unman him before his liege.
"Then do not be my Steward," Aragorn offered reasonably. Faramir gave a start and turned around forgetting the moisture on his face in the wake of the King's shocking statement. Seeing that he had the young man's attention, Aragorn continued, "Faramir, son of Denethor, you have been through more than many men twice your age. If you cannot fulfill your duties as Steward, lay them aside for a moment."
"But, my lord-" Faramir began to protest, but was quickly cut off.
"In this I am not your lord. I do not want a Steward, Faramir." Here the young man hung his head, assured that he was still as useless as ever. "I want a friend." Faramir's head snapped up, his eyes wide and unsure. Aragorn pressed on. "You are your own man, Faramir. As a friend, I counsel you to speak with myself or Gandalf about these dreams. They cannot be allowed to continue as they have. As your King, I say that I would rather lose my Steward for as long as it takes to get him back whole than to lose him because he did not seek aid when he needed it."
Dazed, Faramir sank into the chair he had recently vacated. Was it possible? Could he truly open up to the Ki- Elessar, he sternly ordered himself to call the King by name. Letting his head fall into his hands, he stared at the fire through a curtain of raven hair, feeling all the while, the steady presence of the man behind him. A man who offered friendship when he did not need to. Searching the flames for answers, he began to talk.
"The land is beautiful, but empty and sad. Like the air in a room that has been closed for the winter. Always, I am some citizen, living a peaceful life . . ."
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