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9
IX. Cold Fire (AU, Faramir)





And here in the wild I have you: two halflings, and a host of men at my call, and the Ring of Rings. A pretty stroke of fortune! A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eyes glinting.

The Window on the West, The Two Towers





For once, perhaps the only time in his adult life, Faramir took a perilous chance without pondering all its consequences. To have so potent a weapon within his grasp, a weapon that could stave off the Enemyís advance for years or even forever, was surely a gift of fate! Now, fate had appointed Faramir to bear that Ring to Minas Tirith!

He took the Ring from the struggling Frodo; his Rangers restraining the impertinent servant. At once, he knew a heady joy, as if he drank deep from a wine long stored in dark cellars. This time, it would be Faramir who led the defense, Faramir who stopped the Enemyís creatures long before they befouled Gondorís borders!

Faramir had the two Halflings bound and brought with him, to save them from running into harmís way. The gangrel creature he slew; for it was too much of a nuisance, with its evil eyes and whining voice, to leave alive.

The power of the Ring strengthened Faramir against the flying shadows that swooped down towards him as he led his men across the Pelennor. He noticed the look in Mithrandirís eyes when the wizard saw what Faramir bore, but chose not to heed it. Faramir graciously released the weary halflings into the Grey Pilgrimís hands. He marched to the Citadel with his head held high, the shouts of his name ringing from the lips of his people as he passed.

In the White Tower, Faramir met his father. He saluted, but did not bow. Did he not bear the Ring of Rings? Denethorís stern face fell into confusion at the sight of him, a thing both strange and satisfying. Denethor reached toward the Ring that burned warmly, a steady heartening flame, at Faramirís throat. Faramir pushed the Stewardís hand gently but firmly away, raising his own hand high to forestall any further interference. Then he told Denethor how he had captured Isildurís Bane.

Faramir had watched pain and sorrow score deepening furrows in Denethorís face over the years. Now, for the first time, he beheld a weary, frightened old man sitting in the Stewardís Chair, staring out at his son in puzzlement. But the familiar sentiment of pity failed to stir within him. Something else did. Faramir looked upon his father and felt only a distant sense of scorn, rising up behind the comforting warmth of the Ring like a cold flame.

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