this was a faramir icon fic, except, in my head there was like, all this stuff about how Boromir taught Pippin to fight! and then they'd take a walk and see that the other person in the 'royal' wing of the hospital was Eowyn, and Pippin would tell him, "she took out the Witch-King of Agmar" and Faramir would fall in love. right there. except I forgot and so now there's just this.


He wakes up to a small person bending over him and pouring dribbles of cool water down his neck. Faramir jumps, hand instinctively grasping the one holding the cloth. "Where am I?" he says, and then looks around, sees two other beds and a curtain covering the entry. "What happened?" he says next, since he recognises the room as belonging to his own keep. Why he's laying here with a stranger over him seems to be the more pressing question.

The small figure steps back when Faramir releases his arm. "You've been hurt," and then, "I wouldn't move around too much if I were you."

He's suddenly painfully aware of a raw ache in his side. Arrows. "I remember Osgiliath," and oh, does he remember. "I fell off my horse," he says. "How did I survive?"

The person - he looks like a child - replies, "your horse is smarter than you give it credit for. He brought you home."

"Home." Faramir grunts, but even that's painful. He looks at the person for the first time, and then he - "you're a hobbit." One of those halflings. "Why are you in here, anyway?"

The little person gestures to the second bed in the room. It's a child's cot, it looks like it might have come from the royal nursery. One of their cots, perhaps. "Merry, there was no where else out of the way to." He stops. "I apologize for intruding, my lord. I'll leave."

The - hobbit, Faramir realizes, another hobbit, he's lying on the cot, pale and breathing shallow like the colt he and Boromir had to put down when they were small. Faramir hadn't wanted to. "No," and Faramir holds a hand up. "I did not realize you weren't here to see me."

There's an itching at the back of Faramir's skull. He remembers the smell of oil, the sound of crackling wood. He rubs his arm, and feels the tightness of a burn. "Whatever you think," the hobbit says quietly, "it was just a dream."

Faramir accepts it because at least for now, he wants it to be true. "My father?"

"Killed in battle," the hobbit replies. "I'm, I'm sorry, my lord."

"I don't know if I am or not," Faramir tells him, and then pushes himself upright. The motion makes his side pull, burn, but at least now he can see a little of the world outside the archway. "Tell me your name."

"Pippin," the hobbit says. "Actually, we've met before."

He takes a good look. "Yes," Faramir says, "yes. Yes, we have. You were travelling with Gandalf." When Pippin nods, Faramir says, "I hardly recognise you."

"A lot's happened since you saw me last," Pippin tells him.

Faramir feels a bolt of ice down his spine. The battle. "What did--"

Pippin shrugs. "We're alive, we won. Frodo destroyed Sauron."

"The wonder of hobbits," Faramir says, more to himself, to the room, than to Pippin. "March right into Mordor, fight in war." He turns to Pippin. "And what now?"

Pippin looks away, to the figure on the cot. "Lord Aragorn is crowned king, I suppose, we toast the fallen, and we go," and he pauses, "home."

"Crowned?" Faramir blinks. He never really considered the stewardship of Gondor, especially not with Boromir around. He would have followed his brother and gladly, and moreover, he knew Boromir would have made a good steward. "Another thing I've lost my father," Faramir mutters.

"He was." Pippin steps closer to the bed. "He was wrong," he blurts. "He was wrong."

"Perhaps," Faramir says. "It matters little, now."