Denethor did as he knew he would. Naught that his captains said could change his mind. Osgiliath was too dear, for the moment, and could not be lost, not yet. He sent Faramir off to the fallen city, to hold it for one more moment, one more moment to give Rohan time to respond to the Red Arrow. As the Council adjourned, I padded quietly after his son. I heard Denethor call me, but I did not turn. Pippin too watched in surprise.
Faramir returned to his rooms, laved his face, and put on new livery. He pulled the armor of a Knight of Gondor from a cupboard. I had not seen him wear the armor in many a long day. 'So he goes to fight a new battle, a different kind of battle,' I thought forlornly.
"Ah, Alqualondë," he noticed me at last. "Why are you come here? Does not my father need you? Now more than ever?"
I watched as he sat by his window, looking out upon the Pelennor. "I suppose there is hardly any sense in planning any sort of strategy. It is open and shut; we go to hold them until we can hold them no longer. No matter how many we lose in the holding." His words were bitter. "Even if I am lost."
I jumped upon his lap. I could not let him leave like this. 'Your father loves you and trusts you. He will not abandon you.'
He jumped up and I flew from his lap. "Did you speak? It is not possible." He walked back and forth in the small chamber. I sat and waited patiently. "It is not possible," he finally whispered and sat back upon the sill. I carefully jumped up and tentatively lifted a paw to his face. He started, then took me in his arms. "You are one of the reasons he has so much knowledge, little Swan? How foolish of me not to know. How were you so gifted? Did he?"
I smiled. 'Nay,' I thought to him and told him my history. Ever the lore master himself, Faramir understood immediately. 'I am glad for him, Alqualondë. He needs someone like you. I wish I could..."
'Take care of yourself in Osgiliath, Faramir. There are places that are easily accessed by the Enemy. Though there is no bridge, that will not stay his forces. Keep a watchful eye upon the River. Wear your armor always.' I felt like a mother with her kitten. 'Remember always that he loves you and needs you. No matter what you think. No matter the bitterness in your heart. He needs you in the City. When the final attack takes place, he will need you by his side.'
"Mayhap, Alqualondë, when all of this is over, if the victory is ours, mayhap we two might travel down the Anduin and find the strange craft that carried our Boromir. Find it and his body and put him to rest, once and for all. What think you of that, dear cat? Then you and I and Father can sing the songs of rest over him." Tears welled in Faramir's eyes and he held me closer. "I am grateful he has you. Take care of him 'till I return?"
I promised and watched him go out the door. I hopped back onto the sill and watched as he exited the Tower and walked to the waiting horse outside the Seventh Gate. He looked back towards the Tower and I knew he did not look for me. He looked for his father and my heart broke. I put my head down, curled into a tight ball, and wept.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.