1. Remember Me
She awoke from dreams of darkness and endless night to an unfamiliar room, full of unfamiliar shadows. Terror seized her once more and she scrambled from the bed to kneel at the open window. Facing eastward, whither all hope had gone – whither he had gone – she saw only endless night stretching out before her. An unnatural veil covered the stars and she could not see where earth and sky met.
Thunder rumbled, echoes of the fury of Mount Doom, and a hellish red light flickered over the peaks of the Mountains of Shadow.
The end has come, her mind whispered. The end has come.
Sleep eluded him that night, his mind plagued by dreams of Númenor, and so he directed his wandering feet to the gardens. At the entrance he paused and drew a deep breath, a thoughtful expression passing over his face; it was here that he had first beheld the White Lady of Rohan. Fair beyond comparison he thought her, but sick at heart; for she had sought death and it had fled from her.
Shaking his head slowly, he clasped his hands behind his back and began to walk once more, his bare feet making no sound against the soft grass. He had not gone far when he realized that he was not alone.
Seated beneath a tree and wrapped in a blanket, fair hair spilling over her shoulders, was the Lady of Rohan herself. As yet she had not noticed him and her eyes remained fixed on the sky, gazing at the few lingering stars not yet veiled by shadow. Pale she was, abnormally so, and despite the blanket he saw that she shivered.
'My lady,' he said softly, stepping forward.
She turned swiftly in his direction. 'My lord,' she returned, after a pause, her voice no more than a whisper. Another pause followed, longer than the first. At last she spoke again. 'What brings you here, at this time of night?'
Faramir bowed his head, a faint smile touching his mouth. 'That which undoubtedly led you to this place; I found no companion in sleep, this night.'
The lady looked away, saying nothing, and regret tugged at his heart; a companion for a time would have eased his spirit.
'I have no wish to disturb you,' he said, bowing his head. 'Good –'
He stopped, surprised, hearing something akin to panic in her voice. The face she now turned on him was strangely tight.
'No,' she repeated, a little less forcefully. 'You are not disturbing me. I –' She broke off, her fingers plucking at the folds of the blanket.
'Then perhaps I might join you?' he asked.
She simply nodded and he read the relief in her eyes before she could hide it. Letting his hands fall to his sides, he approached the tree and sank down onto the grass next to her.
She said nothing, though from the restless movement of her eyes and fingers he felt that she wished to speak but could not find the words. The Lady Éowyn would not readily speak her heart to him, for though young she was also cold, and he did not expect to give her peace in one night...but he would offer what comfort he could.
'Is your new chamber to your liking?' he asked softly.
She twitched, as if startled by the sound of his voice. 'I thank you – yes,' she answered, after a moment. She hesitated and looked down at the ground. 'Has – has there been any word?' Her voice had sunk to a whisper once more.
Faramir shook his head. 'No, my lady.' In many ways it was a pointless question, which he felt certain she knew; the army had not yet been gone long enough.
Éowyn sighed, then, and drew the blanket more closely about her shoulders. 'No,' she murmured, 'we shall hear nothing before the end. The night will overtake us and all will be lost...and forgotten.'
He turned to look at her; her head was bowed and her eyes closed. 'We may yet see the dawn,' he said gently.
''Tis a fool's hope,' she snapped. 'I do not seek false comfort.'
'I do not offer it,' he countered. 'But a fool's hope is still hope, my lady.'
She raised her head and studied him, her grey eyes dark within her pale face. He did not know what she found when she looked at him, but at length she nodded and turned away, and he thought she seemed less troubled than before.
They lapsed into silence, hearing only the wind that whispered through the grass; the night was still, now, as though the world held its breath, awaiting the sunrise.
Closing his eyes, Faramir leaned his head back against the trunk of the tree. Whether they stood on the brink of darkness or dawn he could not say – but he clung to hope, fragile though it might be, for the King had at long last returned. Surely neither he nor Éowyn had been drawn from the shadow so that they might perish so soon afterward...they might yet live to see these days renewed.
For the Lady Éowyn's sake, at least, he prayed it might be so.
He felt a gentle bump on his side and opened his eyes to see Éowyn's head resting on his shoulder. Her eyes were closed in sleep but he found little rest in her pale face. I would have you smile, he thought. I would have you laugh and cease to grieve. I –
She stirred beside him, moaning. He frowned and touched her arm. 'My lady,' he murmured.
Her eyes flew open and she jerked upright, shivering uncontrollably.
His concern deepening, he pushed away from the tree and knelt before her. 'My lady?' he repeated.
Her eyes found his face and focused, and her trembling eased. 'Is it dawn?' she whispered.
Faramir shook his head. 'Not yet.'
She said nothing and gazed up at the sky, clutching tightly at the blanket. The silence stretched and he was about to suggest that they return inside, when suddenly she spoke.
'My lord?' she said, her voice low.
She looked at him and he saw a maiden, young and sad. I would see you smile again!
'My lord, if...' She hesitated, and when she spoke again her voice was lower still, sad and wistful. 'My lord...if the night overtakes us...will you remember me?'
He smiled softly and reached out to draw the blanket higher on her neck.
'My lady, I will.'
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.