2. Grown to Grace
It was with great trepidation that Faramir stood before the chambers of Eomer King. The pale rose of dawn filtered through the high windows of the Citadel, but the light chilled him in these halls of stone. Or perhaps it was his racing heart. Facing his own father had never made his heart thunder so, but he had no more time. On the morrow, Eomer and Eowyn would leave for Rohan with the fallen Theoden King, and Eowyn wished to troth-plight in her homeland.
Taking a deep breath, he rapped on the lintel. After a moment, Eomer himself opened the door looking disheveled and newly woken. This did not bode well. "Forgive me, Eomer King. I did not mean to disturb you."
"It is no matter. Only the dead can truly sleep in peace here. Come."
Eomer went to a side-board and washed his face in the basin there, while Faramir waited nervously by the door. "What brings you out so early?" Eomer wondered. "It was only a few weeks past that you were on the brink of death. I am surprised that some busy-body or another isn't in an uproar about the early hour."
"Oh, the Master Healer himself shall probably have a word with me after my steward Meneldil tells him, but it is a risk I am willing to take. You are a difficult man to catch."
"I've sat with you in council for the better part of a week."
"Yes, well, to catch alone. I wish to speak with you about a personal matter."
"Oh?" Eomer pulled out a chair for himself and offered one to Faramir. "What might that be?"
"In these days of gladness, my joy has been made greater still by your sister Eowyn."
"You are keeping good on your threat, then?"
Eomer laughed heartily. "Do you not remember? When I heard it was you who prevented Eowyn from coming to me, I knew her fate was sealed."
"I did not prevent..."
Eomer waved away his protests. "You stole her heart when she was still in her innocence, Wandering Jewel of Gondor."
"What in the world are you talking about?"
"You have truly forgotten? I wonder if Eowyn has." Eomer leapt to his feet and walked down a corridor to a side door. He rapped loudly and called "Eowyn! Are you awake?"
"I am now," she answered, her voice rough from sleep. "What do you want?"
"Your company for a while."
Eowyn emerged from her room in an even more disheveled state than Eomer. She wore a robe over her rumpled nightgown and her braid was falling out. Seeing Faramir, she turned and bolted back for her door, but Eomer was quicker.
"You could have told me he was here," she hissed.
"I have an audience with the King in an hour, and I have no time for you to preen. And I suspect this conversation may be important for you as well." Then firmly holding her elbow, he walked back to Faramir.
With all the dignity she could muster, Eowyn sat in her nightgown beside Faramir.
"Faramir has come to make good on his threat."
Eowyn looked sidelong at the man who would be her husband. "What threat might that be?"
"More than seventeen years ago, a certain son of the Steward accompanied Gondor's emissary in his visit to Rohan. I caught him in a chamber alone with my sister, and she in her nightgown too."
"That was you, Eomer?" Faramir rocked back as the memory resurfaced. "And you!" he exclaimed, looking to Eowyn. "You were the dancing damsel who spoke of blood and valor?"
Eowyn began to laugh. "And you were the grave young man of letters? I knew you were with the emissary, but I did not know it was the son of the Steward I had lamed in dancing!"
"And when I asked you what you were doing," Eomer continued, "you said you'd steal her away to Gondor. Are you here to take her away from me then?"
All nervousness was gone from Faramir, so shocked was he to learn that the little girl of Rohan was Eowyn. "To ask for her hand in marriage, yes."
"And has he spoken to you, Eowyn?"
"Aye, and I wish to marry."
"Then I give you both my blessing." Eomer smiled and clapped Faramir on the shoulder. "And if a man can offer advice to the husband of his sister, do not dance at the wedding." Eomer rose to his feet then. "Now if you'll excuse me, I am due to meet with the King in less than an hour. Sister, Faramir."
"What do you suppose he meant by that?" Eowyn demanded as Eomer went to his dressing room. "No dancing? Ridiculous!"
"Well, it was not me stepping on toes, if you recall."
Eowyn giggled at the memory. "I was only seven. I am far more graceful now."
"Is that so, White Lady?" Faramir stood and bowed. "May I have this dance, then?"
Eowyn laughed and took his hand, and together, they whirled about the room to his humming. Despite her nightgown and unkepmt hair, he thought her more beautiful than ever. "You are indeed grown to grace, White Lady most fair!"
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.