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He found himself at the door of Rath Dinen. He could not quite remember how he had come here, nor how he had left the Houses. His last recollection was when Mithrandir left him. The wizard had been kind. The army was leaving and, in case they did not return, Mithrandir thought it best Faramir knew of his father’s last hours.
Now, he found himself at the entrance to the Silent Street; dust and soot hung heavy. There was no guard; the little guardhouse still had blood pooled at its feet. None had cleaned up here; the City itself needed the bodies of the dead removed, food brought in, water sources checked. There was so much to do in the City proper that the care of his father’s last resting place was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
Well, almost anyone’s. His mind had come here the moment he had heard. And his body, as soon as he could slip away, found its own way here.
Aragorn, Mithrandir, Imrahil, Éomer, Pippin, Beregond… all on their way to their own doom or, if the Hobbit succeeded, to the salvation of Middle-earth.
He was left alone. With Merry and with Éowyn.
Yet, his feet had flown to this place. His heart sank as he walked forward. Not often had he visited these tombs, for the horror that had filled Gondor these past few years left precious time to tend to the dead. He could not let that happen to his father. Someone had to come and grieve. Someone had to give him obeisance. Someone had to offer a moment’s silence.
He gingerly stepped through the wreckage of the House that once was second only to the House of the Kings. There was no door left; it lay fallen to the side, sundered by the heat. He felt his chin wobbling and shook his head. He would need to be able to see well; he could not trip and fall. None would ever find him. He batted away the tears.
The center hall still smoldered. He walked to where the table should be and found only melted marble and… he cried aloud. The Palantír sat in the midst of the destruction. He picked it up, knowing it was the very last thing his father’s hands had touched. A shudder ran through him, but he did not drop it. He clung to it tightly, but refused to look. Though in some dark part of his mind he heard his name called, he did not look.
He sat in a corner, near what had been his mother's final resting place. There was naught left of her mummified body. It had succumbed to the flames that brought the ceiling down. He looked a little further to his right and noted that Ecthelion’s body was gone too. The shaking of his chin became worse. At last, he bent his head, leaning it against the cold stone, and wept bitterly.
When once he could breathe again, he offered up every thought he could to the Valar, to any who would listen. He loved Denethor with all his heart. He could not leave him to turmoil and everlasting pain.
“Give him unrelenting peace. Please. He was a good man. He served his country well. He loved his own and he loved Gondor. He was unyielding in the face of the Enemy; he spent his entire self and all those he loved to find peace for his people and his land; he was unswerving in his duty. Please, please do not let him spend eternity bereft. Please, give him unrelenting peace.”
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