11. With Me
With Me ("...for you are with me...")
With a cracking yawn, for mornings were not friendly to him, Faramir ran his fingers through the black mane of his mount, soaking up the last bit of sleep that was floating around his head.
"Are you going before breakfast?" came a quiet voice from behind one of the marble pillars. A breeze wafted the skirt of a small nightgown into Faramir's view.
"Liri," said Faramir, shaking his head, "both you and I know how many times you have been informed not to step outside on your own. I shall not leave until you are safely back in the house."
"Then I will stay here forever," said Elliriel, grasping the cool marble firmly.
Faramir began to speak, but a yawn took him, and so he walked slowly back to where his littlest daughter stood. "What is it?" he asked as soon as he could speak.
"You are leaving me again," she said reproachfully, but did not cry.
"The King calls me," he answered, squeezing her hand a little. "And what does that mean?"
"That all other duties fall behind," she recited, and then let go of her pillar and hugged his arm. "But I am not a duty, why must I stay behind?"
But both she and Faramir knew why, and so he said nothing, and she squeezed him tightly.
"I hate it when you go," she said. "I hate it that I am too small to ride as fast as you."
"Hate is a strong word, Liri," said Faramir. "Do you not know what you should say instead?"
"No," she said.
"Dislike. It is a softer word. If you do love me so much," he said, giving her tummy a little tickle, "then you shall work on your riding every day, and as soon as you are old enough, you may always be with me."
"Always?" Elliriel asked. "Even Mama is not always with you!"
"Sometimes duties pull us separate ways," said Faramir. "But, if you are able then, I will not send you away again."
"Truly?" she asked, pulling his head down to look deep in his eyes.
"Truly," said Faramir, dipping in to plant a kiss on her nose.
"I suppose that means I have to go inside now," she said, sighing.
She walked nearly silently back into the house, pausing only to look back with a flash of a smile and a whispered "Goodbye, Ada." Faramir followed to make sure that the door was secured, the warmth of her little hands on the side of his face staying with him for a few seconds, and her words inscribed on his soul, child after his own heart. Smiling a little, and stifling another yawn, Faramir mounted his horse. Though she could not feel it, he knew that she would always be with him in spirit.
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.