1. As Others See Us
Beside him, eyes closed and head resting against the back of his chair, the Steward smiled, too. "He is healing well. He has almost forgotten to be careful of that arm tonight."
Pip turned, grinning. "You miss nothing! I thought you were asleep,"
"Just thinking," Faramir replied. "About family, same as you."
Missed nothing, indeed. Pippin had been happily considering just that, but he was not sure how to answer Faramir on the subject. He decided to simply speak his mind, as he always did in the end.
"Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking about. How good it is to feel connected. To my old life…" he gestured with his pipe toward his cousins, "and the new." He nodded, acknowledging his companion.
"To the new," the steward agreed, raising his glass to hide his expression.
"It does not surprise me that you and Merry have become friends," Pip continued as they watched the conversation in the corner, a book held open on two laps and Merry happily pointing out some passage. "You often remind me each of the other. But I am more pleased still that we have become friends, when we are so different."
Pip paused, watching the Steward's hooded eyes. He wanted to thank him for many things - most of all for never treating him as the youngest, most ill-prepared, willful Hobbit ever to have left the Shire, but as his own companion, sworn-man and friend. Circumspection did not always come easily to him - had he managed to say enough? Faramir's eyes showed a glimmer of surprise, but whether at the sentiment or the fact that he had spoken, Pippin was not sure.
"Not so different." Faramir smiled as he put down his glass. They both knew that was also true. "Perhaps it is Merry, then, who lets you see so much in me. But if I am like Merry, why should you be surprised that I would wish us to be friends?"
"For the same reasons I sometimes wonder why Merry would!"
They both laughed, but Faramir's dark eyes were serious. "Well, then - my truth is this: I also see my best friend in you. You speak your mind; you are daring if a little impulsive; the loyalty of your heart is beyond question. And when you are faced with…" he hesitated for a heartbeat, playing with his glass again to cover the moment before raising his eyes to Pippin's face "The impossible… you find the strength to do what needs to be done. It is a friendship greater than any accident of blood."
Pippin's eyes were wide. "I… remind you of Boromir?" he whispered.
It was Faramir's turn to grin, and he nodded. "Yes, my friend, sometimes you do."
"Well!" Pip sighed, his hand softly stroking the white tree on his tunic. "Imagine that!"
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.