13. Comfort Me
Comfort Me ("...they comfort me.")
Faramir sat alone on a bench, staring at his hands. With one finger he traced a raised vein on his left hand, and then he held both hands as still as he could, watching for them to shake. But they did not. Though his hair was grey, and though a few wrinkles gave a wise look to his face, Faramir was of Numenorean blood and did not show extreme age even when more than a century old. Bowing his head, a breath escaped him; she whom he had just seen laid in the grave had looked many decades older than he, though she had been twelve years younger. The curse of longer mortality was hard to bear.
"Grandfather?" came a soft voice from behind him. He knew that voice, the voice of his eldest grandson. "Grandfather, you are not ill?"
"Nay, Feamirë," he answered slowly. "It is but heartsickness, and no cause for alarm."
Feamirë sat down by Faramir's side, and let one long hand rest on his grandfather's shoulder. "Why have they left you alone? You should not bear this pain without companionship."
Faramir offered a painful smile to the concerned Feamirë. "I believe, my young one, that they are attempting tact, knowing how I often wish to take care of my feelings in solitude."
"I believe that what you wish and what you need are quite in disagreement here," said Feamirë firmly. "You have been solitary far too much, and so I will not leave you, unless you command me."
Faramir raised a hand, and let it brush Feamirë's cheek. "Do you know," he said very softly, "that is just what she would say if she lived still."
"I am—sorry," said Feamirë, stumbling a little. "I did not wish to worsen your grief."
But Faramir gripped his arm as he began to rise, and his grasp was no less powerful than it had been in his warring days. "No, Feamirë, let not cold words check a kind deed. Sit down; I command it."
Feamirë sat, and Faramir looked into his face steadily. "You were in the right, my young one," he said, his voice warming a little as the pain slowly decreased. "Too long has it been since I let another give me comfort."
A/N: From what I understand of Faramir, he seems to be rather a loner, and yet also the sort of person who needs people. Feamirë is an OC, the eldest son of Elboron and older brother of Barahir, and stars in my story "New Seasons".
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