"'Mir?" Faramir swung his legs aimlessly as he perched on the gate, watching his
brother fence with shadows flitting across the stable walls.
"Mmm?" The older boy paused long enough to wipe the sweat from his
"Do you ever wish you weren't the Steward's son?"
"What?" Surprised, Boromir stopped stabbing at invisible enemies, sheathed his
sword and walked over to lean on the fence next to Faramir. "What do you
"Do you ever wish," Faramir persisted, "that you weren't Father's son? That you
didn't have to fight? You could live a different life." His tone became wistful,
"Maybe you could be a farmer? Or a blacksmith. Or," he stared studiously at
his boots, "a teacher."
"No." His voice was gruff, but certain. "Why would I? One day I will take over
for Father, and I will protect Gondor to the best of my ability just as he has. I
will rule strictly, but fairly. I will keep Minas Tirith free from the infection of the
Shadow." He looked beyond Faramir, gazing at an unseen battlefield, clearly
caught up in the fantasy. "I will lead our great army into battle. I will defeat the
Nameless Enemy. And I'll do it all," he clapped a gloved hand on his brother's
shoulder, "with you by my side."
Faramir smiled sadly at the older boy.
"Besides," he laughed and ruffled Faramir's hair, "if I wasn't around, who would
look after you?"
Unsheathing his weapon, Boromir returned to his solitary sword practise.
Faramir, silent again, watched and wondered at what might have been..