Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Summary: Faramir celebrates in Ithilien, but his thoughts are with his brother, far away.
Notes: For those who may not be familiar with Middle-earth, mettarë is the midwinter holiday in the realm of Gondor. May your own midwinter holiday be joyous, Eledhwen!
The great waterfall thundered as always; Henneth Annûn lay too far to the south for the stream to freeze save perhaps in direst winter. Faramir had never known it to, nor had any man to whom he had spoken.
Nonetheless the air was chill on this mettarë night, and he shivered. The last scarlet and gold rays of the sun flickered through the water, bathing the walls of the cave in ominous red. Somewhere out there in the unknown wilderness was Boromir, seeking aid from the north, an answer to a dream.
Damrod's voice called softly, scarcely to be heard above the roar of the falling waters. They cultivated quiet, these Rangers of Ithilien. It was a good quality when hunting Orcs, and so he too had muted his speech. Another thing to infuriate his father the Steward, that Faramir spoke low and quiet as his mother had, but since nothing Faramir accomplished could please Denethor, it was not worth troubling about.
"I am coming."
Faramir took a last look through the Window of the Sunset, and followed. It would be a poor celebration here tonight, compared to the festivities he had grown up with in Minas Tirith, yet by the standards of his company a feast indeed. Mablung had shot a deer, their traps had yielded partridge and rabbit, and the seine net in the Forbidden Pool was filled with silvery fish of many sorts. Faramir could smell the venison roasting now, seasoned with the thyme and marjoram and rosemary that grew wild throughout the land of Ithilien, testament to the land's former repute as the garden of Gondor.
Cold dark enveloped them in the passage and he pulled his cloak more tightly around him. Then there was light and warmth and the low rumble of hushed male voices—Faramir longed briefly for the high laughter of women—and the scent of roast meat was stronger, underlain by a sharper tang of greenery brought in to deck the rude stone.
The men turned to him expectantly as he entered, and quieted.
"I thank you all, as ever, for your service to Gondor," Faramir began, uncomfortable as usual with speech-making. "May the year before us be better than so many have of late. I wish you all a joyous new year... and now to meat, before it grows cold! "
That brought a cheer and a general movement to the benches, knives slipping from sheaths to cut off their portions. Later there would be hot spiced wine, and sweetmeats, and Faramir would give each man a gift in the name of the Steward. For now he ate with the rest, savoring the rich meal, and hoping that wherever Boromir was, he too sat among friends to greet the new year.