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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: The characters and world belong to the Master himself, Tolkien. I am only borrowing them so they can come out and frolic a bit, not intending any copyright infringement of any sort. I do own my original characters, but they are available for parties!

A/N: This was written for Erfan_Starled for the Drabble meme. Her request: Faramir after Osgiliath has fallen - any time after that of your choosing. No fluff please, though happiness is fine.

Faramir stood ram-rod straight while he waited. He had failed. Osgiliath was lost, overrun – the hard-fought city in ruins.

The Steward’s younger son would not duck his head or delay his consequence. He well knew what was to come; how very badly his father needed to keep everything Boromir had ever touched, as though that could keep the reality at bay. But Faramir had been unable to keep what Boromir had gained.

As the advisor stopped talking and moved away, Denethor turned cold grey eyes upon his son… his only living flesh and blood. “Tell me… why are you here… and not still fighting. Is Osgiliath so secure?” His mocking tone did not penetrate his son’s frozen mask.

Faramir knelt on one knee, his head dipped slightly, but he would not plead. He was a soldier, but more than that he was the product of this man who sat on a throne beneath the true King’s place. “We were badly outnumbered. The place was swarming with foul creatures. Gondor’s Rangers fought bravely, but there was nothing we could do.”

Denethor regarded his son coolly, no emotion on his face, but his words were chipped, like ice, “Nothing? You swore to hold Osgiliath with your very life. Fulfill your oath… to me… to Boromir.”

Faramir was dismissed. He had his orders and he would not fail this time, for this time nothing but his blood would suffice. He was forever paying for not being Boromir, for being the child whose birth had taken Finduilas from his father.

Saluting, he turned sharply on his heel and left. Faramir would take only those with no families, no loved ones.

Grimly, they rode for Osgiliath and they bled and died. They died for their beloved Captain, but the mad Steward never knew nor cared.
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