The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.
With grateful thanks to Raksha
Aragorn frowned deeply at the letter he was perusing.
“What troubles you, my love?” Arwen enquired.
“There is more trouble in the coastal regions,” Aragorn said grimly.
“Maybe it is time you paid the coastal towns a visit?” Arwen suggested.
“We went to Dol Amroth when Lothiriel married Éomer,” Aragorn protested.
“And how long were we there? All of three days, I recall.”
“I cannot be everywhere at once!” Aragorn retorted.
“You have managed to visit realms outside your own borders,” Arwen pointed out. “Why not investigate to the coastal towns while the Council is not in session and everyone is preoccupied with harvest?”
Aragorn looked thoughtful. The idea of leaving Minas Tirith for a while during the heat of summer was most appealing. ”It would be a gruelling trip for you, vanimelda,” he said.
“I think it would be better if you took Faramir with you,” said the Queen. “Let the people see that their King and Steward support one another.”
“I would be glad of Faramir’s company, but I will miss you so, my love!” said Aragorn.
“I shall miss you too,” said Arwen, ”but someone has to care for Minas Tirith while you are away!”
“I bless the day I insisted you should have the same rights as Faramir and Imrahil to rule in my place,” said Aragorn.
“I have had far more experience than all three of you together,” Arwen said rather smugly.
“I fear we must postpone our hunting trip,” Aragorn told his Steward. “The coastal towns require my presence.”
Faramir swallowed hard, trying to conceal his disappointment. ”Please convey my warmest greetings to my Uncle should you visit him,” he said.
“No, I cannot do that,” said Aragorn solemnly, ”not when there is a far more appropriate man to do so!”
“And who might that be?” the hurt in Faramir’s eyes was evident.
“Why his nephew, of course!” said Aragorn, grinning. “We leave in a week’s time, which should allow you to visit your lady first. That is: assuming you want to come with me?”
His eyes alight with joy; Faramir hugged his friend and King.
A week later, soon after sunrise, Aragorn and Faramir met at the Great Gate, with their escort.
Although the King and Queen had made their farewells in private, Arwen had come to watch her husband ride away. It was not a duty she relished; but at least this time Estel did not ride to war. “Take good care of my husband, Faramir,” she said to the Steward. “ I trust you to protect him from danger.”
“I shall guard him with my life, my lady,” said Faramir.
“We shall return soon,” Aragorn promised his wife. “Until then, farewell, and may the Valar protect you!”
“May the stars light your path!”
Aragorn gave the signal and with Faramir at his side, they rode away.
Arwen stood gazing after them; knowing that much could happen in two weeks, brief though the time was in the lives of Men.