"Then the prince went from his horse, and knelt by the bier in honour of the king and his great onset; and he wept. And rising he looked then on Éowyn and was amazed. 'Surely, here is a woman?' he said. 'Have even the women of the Rohirrim come to war in our need?' 'Nay! One only,' they answered. 'The Lady Éowyn is she, sister of Éomer; and we knew naught of her riding until this hour, and greatly we rue it.'
Then the prince seeing her beauty, though her face was pale and cold, touched her hand as he bent to look more closely on her."
Genre: angst, romance, humour
Warnings: mention of battle
Characters: Faramir, Éowyn.
Summary: Éowyn has a bad dream.
Disclaimer:The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.
With thanks to Raksha
Éowyn shifted uneasily in her sleep and cried out.
“Wake up, my love!” Faramir called gently. He lit the candle on the bedside table.
Éowyn opened her eyes. They were full of dread.
“Were you having a bad dream?” Faramir asked.
Éowyn nodded. “I dreamed of him.”
“No, the Witch King. The way he looked at my fallen uncle and then at me. How he made me feel ;drained of everything that is good in this world!” She shuddered.
Faramir held her close. “I know,” he said. “I saw him when he pursued me and my men. Only Mithrandir’s intervention spared our lives. You did a great and glorious deed when you slew the lord of the Nazgûl!”
“I wonder…” Éowyn broke off, lost in thought.”
“Would I have ever rode into battle if I had had any idea of what it was like?”
“Because of your desire to follow Aragorn?”
My desire to live or die at Aragorn’s side was only one reason that decided me to don Dernhelm’s guise. Do not look so troubled, Faramir, it is you I truly love as a woman loves a man. I had but a foolish infatuation for Aragorn. Had I married him, I would have exchanged one cage for another! Arwen is a far better queen that I ever could have been. Long before, I met Aragorn, though, I dreamed of becoming a Shieldmaiden. I desired to win glory and renown that the bards would sing of for generations to come. I practised long and hard with sword and bow and dreamed of fighting against our enemies. It was not until we charged into battle that I realised the full horror of it. The screams of the wounded and dying, the noise and the stench and the carnage, and above all the fear that churned up inside me. From my brother’s tales, I thought battle would be a glorious adventure.”
“Men tell but one part of it,” said Faramir. He tenderly stroked her long hair that gleamed golden in the candlelight. “We speak only of honour and glory, as not to distress our womenfolk, and to encourage one another to return to the field. Those who have first-hand knowledge of the battlefield know that it is far from glorious. Most men fight because they must. They try to keep the women and children in ignorance of the horror of it all.”
“I would not be ignorant,” said Éowyn. “I hope, though, that I shall never again have to return to the field.”
“I shall defend you now, my love,” said Faramir.
Éowyn pulled away from his embrace and glared at him. “I would take up my sword again in an instant to defend those I love!” she said. “Why should I not protect you if we were assailed?”
“Not many men are blessed with such a wife as I!” said Faramir. “You can indeed wield a sword as well as any man, but it is a man’s instinct to protect his loved ones.”
“And a woman’s instinct to protect her husband and babes.”
Faramir’s only answer was to kiss her tenderly. “Your glorious deeds will live as long as memory endures, beloved,” he said after a while.
“And I shall die content that I have known both what it is like to be a Shieldmaiden and a wife and mother,” she replied, returning his kiss.
“Sleep now, beloved,” said Faramir. “I am beside you.”
“I have battles aplenty to fight in the morning,” said Éowyn. “Elboron refuses to take the medicine for his cough, the herb garden is becoming choked with weeds and I have a stubborn colt to break in.”
Faramir kissed her again. “The bards should commemorate those deeds too,” he said.
Éowyn laughed. “The saga of Elboron the stubborn!” she murmured sleepily.
Faramir smiled as she drifted off to sleep in his arms.