Pippin and Faramir in the Houses of Healing

by Froda Baggins
Pippin hesitated before opening the heavy wooden door looming before him. He wondered if perhaps Faramir was sleeping, or maybe he didn’t want to be disturbed by a hobbit. Pippin knew that Faramir had been seriously injured during the battle which had happened a few days ago; he had seen Gandalf carry him in Minas Tirith on his horse. Pippin had been scared when he saw them. Faramir had been limp and unconscious, with blood all over him -- he looked almost as if he were dead.

But the Healer had told him that Faramir was doing better and that Pippin might visit him.

Summoning his courage, Pippin reached up, lifted the latch and pushed the door open. It creaked about on its hinges, and the hobbit heard the soft rustle of blankets as the bed’s occupant turned to see who it was. He slipped through the doorway and pushed it shut behind himself.

Faramir smiled and let his head fall back when he saw who it was. “Welcome, Halfling,” he said softly. He still looked pale and worn, but his face was peaceful. “What do you wish here?”

For a moment Pippin felt very shy, but then he kicked himself out of it. This won’t do! he scolded himself. Speak to him now!

He bowed, still standing by the door. “My name is Pippin Took, sire,” he answered. “I....well, I wanted to see how you were doing,” he confessed.

Faramir smiled again and motioned to him. “Come over here, Pippin, and sit down. I daresay the chair is too large for you, but you can manage, can’t you?”

Pippin tugged the chair over to the bedside and climbed into it. Tucking his legs under himself, he grinned. “Nothing to worry about, Faramir, sir -- by now I’ve gotten used to everything being to big for me.”

Faramir laughed quietly. “I daresay you have,” he said. “You long for your home, don’t you?”

Pippin nodded. “We both do, me and Merry. But the thing is, now we’re here to try and do something to save it. I’m not doing very much, though, stuck here.”

Faramir raised an eyebrow. “Would you call cheering up a wounded Ranger doing nothing?”

The hobbit’s eyes widened as he realized what he had said. “I beg your pardon, sir! It wasn’t that at all I meant---”

Faramir was laughing again. “Peace, small one,” he chuckled. “I was merely teasing you. And don’t call me sir; Faramir is fine.”

A relieved grin spread over Pippin’s face; he reddened slightly. “All right, si-- Faramir.”

“But tell me,” went on the Ranger, “what made you come to me? We have not spoken before now.”

Pippin fingered the edge of his jacket. “I guess there’s many reasons,” he said finally. “You met Frodo, for one: I wanted to ask you about him. And I was worried about you after Gandalf brought you in,” he confessed. “The men said you were a great warrior; they were worried too.”

Faramir was touched by the simple, honest words. “I am honored by your concern,” he said quietly. “So they say I am a great warrior?”

Pippin looked up, surprised.

The Ranger smiled at the hobbit, and then he sighed. “So they say, I have heard it myself. But it not the sword that makes the warrior, Pippin, nor is it deeds of war which give greatness. Sacrifice, loyalty despite scorn, and courage are what truly makes a warrior -- or a man, for that matter. Remember that, Halfling.”

Pippin was silent for a moment, pondering the words. “I believe you,” he said simply. “Frodo is not a warrior, he is only a hobbit. So is Sam. But they’re doing the most for Middle-earth.”

“Frodo is a remarkable hobbit,” said Faramir. “I have never met anyone like him. To be able to carry what he does, for so long, and resist it! And he must take it into Mordor, as he said. That is courage beyond what any man I have ever known possessed. He has a strong spirit, and a wisdom different from any other kind I have met.”

“He is brave,” answered Pippin. “He almost died more than once, but he never gave up. He was so determined to do the task. I don’t think anything short of death will or can stop him.”

“Let us hope that it does not come to that,” said Faramir softly. “It would be a sorrowful thing if we were to lose such a incredible spirit.”

Pippin nodded quietly. He glanced at Faramir, who had closed his eyes. When he did not open them for a few minutes, Pippin ventured to speak. “Faramir.....?”

Faramir’s eyes snapped open. “Pardon me, Pippin,” he said. “Terrible manners, to be sure, falling asleep in front of a visitor!”

Pippin laughed. “It’s happened before for me,” he said, “and I wasn’t even wounded then. You’re tired, aren’t you? I’ll let you sleep now; I daresay Merry is waiting for me to go and have a smoke with him.”

Faramir grinned. “Best not to keep him waiting, then,” he said. “If Sam is any example, hobbits can get rather sharp with the tongue when annoyed.”

In spite of himself Pippin chuckled as he slid off the tall chair. “He can, and yes, all hobbits can. Goodbye, Faramir! I’ll be around again.”

“I’ll be glad to see you when you can come, Pippin. Say hello to your cousin for me, and thank you for coming. You’ve cheered me up greatly.”

“I will, and you’re welcome.” Trotting across the room, Pippin pushed open the door and went out, glancing back as he did so. Faramir had already closed his eyes again, weariness plain on his fair face. Smiling gently to himself, he shut the door as quietly as he could and went to find Merry.