24. A Strange Legacy
They sat and talked for at least an hour. I still sat on Faramir's lap enjoying the gentle hand stroking my back. Merry told Pip a little about the battle, while Faramir listened, eyes haunted. "I should have been there. If not for Father's..." He drew in a breath and Pippin looked at him. Faramir could not speak of Denethor again, not so soon for his mind was confused and his body still ached. "I think it time that the both of you went off for food. And I will rest, for I am weary."
Both Merry and Pippin sighed. "You're right. We are hungry. It's been hours since we broke our fast. Must be almost time for second breakfast."
Faramir's brow furrowed. "Another thing I must ask about," I heard him whisper wearily, but his eyes were closing as he spoke.
Pip and Merry smiled at him. "He looks like Boromir, doesn't he?" Merry whispered.
"He does. I love him, Merry."
The Hobbit looked at his cousin in surprise. "Well, he seems nice enough. I'm glad you're his friend, Pip, he seems to need one." I smiled at the look Merry gave Pippin, but kept quiet.
"That he does, but now I need food. Fare well, Alqua, I'll be back a little later." At last, the two left us.
I stretched. I was surprised that the other Hobbit, Merry, had not approached me about talking. Pippin had told me that his cousin knew. Now why had he not asked about it? Hobbits! I do not think I will ever understand them. Another thought and I cringed in surprise. Denethor said they were polite little things. Mayhap he waits for me to address him! Now would that not be a surprise and rather a nice thing, too. Meriadoc, you have gone up a measure in my regard. I must remember to properly introduce myself, next time we meet.
I made sure Faramir was resting well, then curiosity overtook me. 'I think I will find this Strider, this mayhap King, and talk to him.'
I left the room, nodding to Beregond as I did so, smiling slightly at his discomfiture, and padded purposefully out of the Houses. Walking towards the gardens, I jumped lightly upon the wall that looked out upon the Pelennor. I could only gasp at the sight before me. Hundreds of horses, hundreds more of tents, and ten thousand men at least walked upon the farmlands of the Pelennor. Great gouges were dug into the Field itself. As far as I could see, the ravages of war laid the ground black. I bowed my head and mewed in grief.
After many moments, I looked up again. Somewhere on that field was a tent that held Strider. I must speak with him. I jumped lightly from the wall and hurried down the Circles. When I reached the Great Gate, I stopped in surprise. It was totally destroyed!
I gingerly stepped between fallen granite and bodies still not cleared away. I steeled my heart to the sights and sounds. Why are there no healers here? Is this the legacy the King leaves?
A large tent was set up before all the rest; I recognized the livery of the guards standing in front of it. This must be Strider's. Nay, I cannot call him that. He introduced himself as Elessar and as Elessar I will address him.
I refused to go by way of the front door; the guards would surely stop me; I no longer had any authority. Denethor was dead. Instead, I walked towards the back of the tent, knowing none would stop an ordinary cat from meandering the fields looking for mice.
I snuck my head under the canvas and stopped the gasp that tried to escape. So many crowded the tent; some I knew, some I did not. But in the middle of it all, stood the man who had held and comforted me. Elessar. And next to him, I shuddered, stood the wizard.
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.