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EPILOGUE: MINAS TIRITH
Frodo sat upon a low stone wall, overlooking the Courtyard of the White Tree. It was rare for him to have a moment alone since the coronation--usually Sam was by his side, or one of his cousins. But Sam’s presence had been requested in the gardens of the Houses of Healing, and both Merry and Pippin had duty that afternoon for their respective kings. In the meanwhile, he simply enjoyed basking in the spring sunshine. He closed his eyes, and swung his feet, and felt the breeze playing through his hair. Nights--nights were still difficult. But in the bright sunlight of day, he could be glad he was alive.
Suddenly he was aware of the presence of others. He opened his eyes, and smiled to see Boromir and Faramir standing before him.
“Good afternoon,” he said. “It’s good to see you.”
“May we join you, Frodo?” asked Boromir.
At Frodo’s nod, the brothers sat down by him, one on either side.
Frodo turned to Faramir. “Your foresight is remarkable, Faramir!”
“Why what do you mean?” the Man asked, amused.
“Well, here we are ‘sitting on a wall in the sun’ though we had been beyond all hope of ever seeing one another again!”
Boromir chuckled. “It is good to be together. I am more grateful than I can say to know that all of us came through this Quest, alive, if not completely unscathed. To have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat is no small thing.”
“And it is a victory we owe to you, Frodo,” said Faramir.
Frodo drew a deep breath, but let it out again slowly. He would not argue with his friends--he’d done too much of that lately. None of them seemed to understand his feelings of failure, for claiming the Ring at the last moment. Instead, he merely shook his head, and said “It was a victory achieved by many, and the two of you not least.”
Faramir shook his head. “I did nothing remarkable.”
“You allowed me to go my own way. I did not appreciate at the time what that could have cost you, but I have heard things since I came here that make me realize--you could easily have forfeited your life, allowing me to go on, not bringing me back here to face your father.”
Faramir shuddered, and did not reply.
“And I owe much to you as well, Boromir.”
“You owe me nothing, Frodo. I was one of the Company, and your friend, as well.” Boromir shook his head. “If anything, I owed you my service, after nearly taking your life long ago.”
“You more than repaid that debt, Boromir. You protected my cousins as best you could.” Frodo stopped for a moment. “More than that, you resisted the Ring.”
Boromir looked at Frodo in astonishment. “You know about that?”
Frodo nodded. “It was overhearing your own struggles that made me realize I could not continue to protect the Company from Its constant blandishments. Had I not known, I do not think I would have found the courage to strike out on my own. Though I did not find it possible to leave Sam behind.”
Boromir flushed. “It should never have come to that. I should not have listened even for a moment.”
“No, Boromir, you could not have stopped your ears, nor your mind. But you were able to keep your heart true--and for that you have a clear conscience.”
Faramir smiled. “Aye, brother! And all has ended well for the West and the Free Folk in the end.”
“It has, hasn’t it?” asked Frodo, and for that moment in time, at least, he was able to cast aside all his doubts and enjoy the companionship of good friends.
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