1. Love Needs No Presents
"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." C.S. Lewis
Faramir smiled gently down at his sleeping wife, waiting for her to acknowledge the morning. She was curled on her side, facing away from him, her tangled cloud of golden hair framed by the white pillows. Beautiful and peaceful, and he could not wait to reveal his surprise.
It had been seven years since they married, to the day, and he was going to make this lucky anniversary special. The idea had come to him when he was cleaning out his father's study—a heart-wrenching experience, but filled with insight. There had been so many mementos, so many memories, that for a while it had overwhelmed him. But one thing had leapt out at him, and that was the seven-year day. Faramir had found a list of all the things that Denethor had planned to make that lucky day even luckier for his wife, and he had tucked it away, hoping to use it himself.
And today was that day. Little Elboron had been sent to "Unca Leggy" in North Ithilien for the day, the servants had been given a holiday, and Faramir could splurge and pamper his wife without any interruption. He had sent for chacalat, an expensive luxury from Harad; he had commissioned a necklace with the tree of Gondor and the horse of Rohan entwined around a ruby heart; he had Eomer send a fine new mare with a specially designed saddle; there was nothing that a Prince of Gondor could buy that Faramir had not gotten for his wife. It would all be hers; all she had to do was wake.
And then, a stir, a ripple of the blanket, and Faramir moved in closer, his smile growing wider.
"My love," he whispered sweetly. "Are you awake?"
But she did not answer, only made a funny noise and shifted. There was a moment of silence, and then suddenly: "Kershew!"
"Bless you," said Faramir. "Are you all right?"
"No," came a croak, as Eowyn turned her head. There were dark circles under her eyes, her nose was red, and her lips dry. "I do not feel well at all."
Concern came quickly over Faramir, and he touched a hand to her brow. It was burning hot. "Shall I fetch the healer?"
"No," rasped Eowyn. "It is just a fever, it will pass without help."
As his wife was a healer herself, Faramir trusted her judgment. Gently kissing the fevered forehead, he asked quietly: "Would you like me to do something for you?"
"Could you send Elboron somewhere safe? I do not wish him to fall ill," she said.
Faramir smiled wryly. "Of course. Anything else?"
She curled up again, head cradled in her hands, and said: "Just tea, and sleep."
"Of course," said Faramir, and he rose to fetch her what she needed.
Late that night, as he watched the sun set in a rosy finale, he thought of the day that was planned, and the day that had transpired. He had meant to give gifts, but had not expected that they would be blankets, tea, juice, and soup. He had meant to stay by her side, but had not expected to cool her head with a washcloth and give her a handkerchief to sneeze into. He had meant to give her what she wished for, but had not expected that what she would most want would be to be left to rest.
And yet—he was not unhappy. All the chacalat and jewelry in the world could not have made her respond so gratefully as she did before going to sleep, when she looked up in his face and gave him a cracked smile, whispering: "Thank you, Faramir." Love did not need fancy presents, it only needed caring.
Faramir leaned over and planted a soft kiss on Eowyn's cheek, whispering: "I love you." And as he drifted off to sleep himself, his last thought was that this was rather poetic justice. For Denethor had also never accomplished his list; Finduilas was giving birth to Faramir on their seven-year anniversary.
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.