The Esquire

by Agape4Rivendell



I tried not to cry as I begged him. He did not approve of tears. My father was there, I told him, and I would join him. Surely the Steward would understand that. But no. His eyes flickered in anger. I knew my request was denied. I saluted, turned and took my customary place by his side. Silence ensued. I stilled my thoughts, attentive as ever to his needs. When I felt him stir, I looked. Tears streamed down his cheeks. "My Lord?" I questioned, dumbfounded.

"You love your father dearly."

It was a statement, not a question. I nodded, trying to still my heart at his obvious grief, keeping myself from falling to my knees to comfort him. I had seen this same grief as he held Boromir’s Horn in his lap; as he watched Faramir walk from these halls to near certain death in Osgiliath.

I loved him, too. Almost as a father. I had been his esquire for two full years now. Though gruff to most, he showed me little acts of kindness. From the first day, when I stood trembling before him. His eyes twinkled. He did not smile, but I saw it in his eyes and fear left me.

"Do not tell anyone," he whispered conspiratorially. "Else I lose my power over them."

I nodded, smiling.

"Wipe that smile from your face, Esquire. No emotion in these halls."

I shuddered for a moment until his eyes brightened again. I saluted him. "Where would you have me stand, my Lord?"

He pointed. "Next to my chair. Just a bit back so it does not look as if you were concerned that I would fall out of it at any moment."

A laugh escaped my lips. His own tightened in what I now knew was mock anger. I apologized profusely.

Over the years, I watched as hope left him, replaced by resolve. I had been afraid that the Enemy would triumph when first I entered this Hall as his esquire. I fear no longer. He is stone – as marble from Mindolluin. I know Gondor will survive. No enemy can beat my lord.

I wait upon him. The silence grows more profound.

"Go."

"My Lord?"

"I said, go. I will find another to take your place."

I knelt and kissed his hands, tears flowing from my eyes. "Your sons love you as I love my father, my Lord. I have seen it. And, mayhap Boromir will return."

He stood and flung my hands from his. "Leave me before I change my mind."

Now that the moment was upon me, I found myself torn. How could Ieave him alone?

He sat upon his Chair, the Rod cradled in his arms.

I saluted him, tears streaming down my face. Some part of me knew I would never see him again.

I ran to the outer battlements and my father hugged me tightly. I fell that day. But the Lord Denethor's name was upon my lips. May the Valar protect him.


A/N - Pippin takes this esquire's place in ROTK, The Siege of Gondor.