"My Lord Steward, may I speak with you for a while?"
Faramir stopped and turned. He was walking out of the King's House after a supper with Aragorn and his family. He was not surprised to find that it was Eldarion who called him. It did not pass his notice that the young man had looked at him rather curiously several times during their meal.
"Surely, my lord. Should we go to the tower? I thought of going there to see the stars and your company would be most welcome. Perhaps we can even see Menelvagor."
They went through many passages and climbed up several staircases, and at last, through a little door, they came out upon a small balcony almost at the top of the Tower of Ecthelion. From there they could see the White Tree and the fountain, the houses in the lower circles, and even faintly the homesteads in Pelennor. Above them the stars shine brightly.
"The Swordsman is not here tonight," Eldarion remarked.
"The stars are always there," said Faramir. "It is just that we do not see them sometimes. But the sky looks beautiful tonight, even with only a few stars visible."
Eldarion looked at him as one who is surprised with what is said. Then he said, "You are truly a remarkable man, Uncle Faramir."
"Ah! So we are back to 'Uncle Faramir' now. Good! You need not tell me the reason of your sudden formality, but tell me, why do you think I am remarkable? Is it because I am easily contented by few stars?"
Eldarion smiled, but he answered with a voice as solemn as a young man of fifteen could muster, "Because you are contented in seeing the White Tree in bloom and Minas Tirith in peace, though it means surrendering your office."
"You have been reading the account of your father's coronation," said Faramir.
"I read that and the Annals of the Kings and Stewards years ago," said Eldarion, "and the way you welcome the return of the King has not left my thoughts ever since. But recently Master Peregrin told me about your first encounter with the Ringbearers."
"You seem to like story much, Eldarion."
"Just like you," the young man said softly. Then he looked intently at the tall man before him. "What you did was very noble, Sir. To surrender your authority, after long years of labour, to a king who was so tardy in coming ... I think only a very brave man can do that."
Faramir returned his gaze. "What would you do were you in my place?" he asked.
"I would do what you did, Sir," Eldarion replied after a moment hesitation, "though perhaps with a slight resentment towards the King. But I would not shirk my duty, and would not cling to an authority which is not mine."
"Thus saith the King's heir," said Faramir, "then I was right to be content."
That night they continued to speak of many matters. When they were about to went back, suddenly Eldarion cried with excitement, "Look! Is that not the belt of the Swordsman?"
Faramir looked up and indeed, there were three stars shone brightly, as if they were gems set at a belt. "Look to the left of the belt, Eldarion, and you can even see Borgil."
That night the Steward and the King's son descended the Tower of Ecthelion with contentment, but the most part of that was not due to the appearance of Menelvagor.
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.