Fire and Ice
Pippin’s heart still raced, though he walked with measured pace beside the Guardsman in black and the Wizard in white, and the bier upon which they carried the flushed and fevered body of Gondor’s new Steward. The tang of oil clung to his skin; the cloying smell of burning, and the grit of ash was everywhere, inescapable, drowning his senses.
In his mind, Pippin was still seeing the old Steward, eyes agleam with flame. He sprang forward, reckless in his madness, brandishing a knife in his right hand and a torch in his left as he stretched out his arms toward his fallen son.
The fine hair on Pip’s arms and neck rose in a chill that tried to make a lie of all the burning. He felt his heart blaze now with cold, as his hands and face had on Caradhras, long ago, in the swirling, blinding, snow.
The steward’s other son stood suddenly beside him, sheltering him and Merry with his body and his cloak from the winds that blew across the Redhorn. Wraping his arms about them, he begged for their comfort, knowing it would come at a cost.
"What do you say to fire?” he heard Boromir ask Gandalf. “The choice seems now between fire and death.”
Looking down at Faramir’s smudged and sweaty face, Pippin could not understand how a father could make such a choice.