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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

This one was hard; I couldn't think of a story for the longest time (because I wanted to do something unique), and it was difficult to cut it down to 500 words. In the end, I cut it down to exactly 500 words without the title *grin* I think it's not the smoothest it can be, but I like it well enough. Anyways, I hope you all enjoy :)

Prompt Six: 'Outdoors'
Ficlet: Old Habits Die Hard
Rating: G
Third Age, Minas Tirith

He would be one of the first to admit that Elessar intrigued him. When he had seen him first in the Houses of Healing, he had thought him a noble and just man. He was surprised that he would serve him as Steward, but the thought gladdened him; he wanted to learn more about the king, and he would certainly have plenty of contact with him as Steward of Gondor.

However, some of his habits and preferences were definitely a bit odd. Faramir had heard from wagging tongues that the king did not let his esquire dress him, and that he often lit his own hearth or went to the kitchens to serve himself an early breakfast. One of his odder habits was his tendency to smoke westmansweed, or pipe-weed as he called it. It was supposedly a very common habit in the North.

Faramir rapped upon the door of the king's office, and he heard Elessar call him in. He opened the door, and looked around; it was once his father's office, and like his father, the office had been dark, but organized and very clean. The king's office could be considered the exact opposite. The curtains were pulled open to let in the sunlight, and piles of books and papers were all over the place. The large desk at the end of the room was unoccupied; instead, Elessar was lounging in a cushioned chair right next to a window, reading a document. He looked up at Faramir and immediately smiled.

"Faramir! What a pleasure," he said, standing up and letting the document fall onto the chair. "What brings you here?"

"Sire," said Faramir with a bow, but Elessar shook his head.

"No formalities necessary; Aragorn would do just as well."

"Aragorn, then," said Faramir with a smile. "I wanted to inform you that the report on the damage to the city walls has been completed." He handed the king the document. "In it should be included what exactly needs to be done in each area."

"Good," responded Elessar. He glanced over it, nodded in satisfaction, and set it down on his desk. He then walked over once more to the cushioned chair and looked outside. "I never thought I'd miss it," he muttered.

"Pardon?" Faramir asked.

The king nodded towards the window. "Out there. A large portion of my life I've been outside. Often I wished to be indoors and to never sleep outside again. Now that I am here, I am wishing to be outside again."

Faramir nodded; for the last month he had been indoors, whether he was recuperating from his wounds from the war or doing state business. He had rarely had any time to go outside, and now that he was Steward, he knew he would not be leading the Rangers through Ithilien ever again.

"Aye," the younger man responded quietly. "I know exactly what you mean."

When he left the king's office, Faramir supposed that the king really wasn't that odd at all.

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