15. A Joyous Reunion
Eowyn had never been so glad to have Faramir's friendship. After breakfast, he asked her to go for a walk around the city, with approval from the healers, of course. Up until now, he was only allowed to go as far as the dining hall but he was feeling much stronger now and Eowyn would be with him if he should need help. He was granted permission and they left right away.
For the first time, Faramir saw the damage from the war. It hurt him to see the White City in such disarray. Eowyn heard him sigh and looked to see the sadness on his face.
"Honestly, it looks much better now than in the beginning. Much has been done already. And remember, this is only the first stage of the restoration and you have a master craftsman to help. Gimli, son of Gloin, is beyond skilled with stone. He will do a wonderful job, him and Le…" She stopped herself from saying his name for it brought up too much hurt right now.
Faramir felt her heartbreak and was angry at the Elf. Something had happened between them. "Are you alright, Eowyn? I can tell something has occurred lately. I know you were crying earlier."
"What, were you spying on me?" she said accusingly.
"Your eyes were red and swollen when I met you in the hall. It was not hard to tell. Do you want to talk about it? Is there anything I can do?" he said ignoring the tone in her voice.
Eowyn looked at Faramir. He was so kind. She noticed that he had not said anything about her mood and knew he was waiting for her to open the dialog but she couldn't talk. She was still in denial. After all, Legolas had only just left a few hours ago. Maybe he would change his mind.
"Legolas and I just had a little disagreement last night and unfortunately, he was gone before I awoke." she said.
"Then go after him." Faramir said enthusiastically.
"I can't." she said softly, shaking her head.
"But that has never stopped you before. If he has just left, you may be able to catch up to him."
"Faramir, really, I can't." she said a little more annoyed.
Faramir thought he was helping her to gain some confidence. "Where is that strong will and determination that I remember? Go after him."
Eowyn stopped walking and faced Faramir who looked so proud of himself for, what he thought was, helping a friend. "I CAN'T." she yelled as she starred at Faramir with wide eyes. He was taken aback at her outburst. Then her face fell into her hands and she began sobbing uncontrollably. It had finally sunk in that Legolas was really gone. She was crying so hard, she could barely stand up. Feeling like he did or said something wrong, Faramir put his arms around Eowyn. She buried her face in his chest and cried giant tears. Eowyn felt like she had been thrown against a rock wall as everything from the night before came washing back to her mind.
"Eowyn, please, let's go somewhere quiet. You need to sit down." Faramir said and led her to a quiet spot in an abandoned garden nearby. There was an old rickety bench where they could sit and Eowyn could collect herself. She cried for the longest time. Faramir didn't say a word but just held her as she did. He could smell her hair and her skin and a flood of his own memories of long ago came to the forefront of his mind. He had longed for the moment when he could hold her once again, but not like this; not with her being so upset.
Finally she regained some self control and sat upright again. "I'm sorry, Faramir. I do not mean to make you feel uncomfortable."
"Nonsense. You are upset and I am glad to be here for you. Do you want to talk? I don't mind if you do." he said smoothing down her hair around her face.
"Legolas is gone." she managed to say between sobs.
"Yes, you told me he left for Mirkwood this morning." Faramir said.
"No, he is gone from me, from my life. And as much as I want to hate him and make this all his fault, I cannot for I knew deep down, for a while now, we could never be. He did the right thing."
"I don't understand. You seemed so happy together. You were inseparable." Faramir wiped the tears from her face.
"Last night I agreed to bond with him. We were," she paused to look for the right words. "We were attempting the ceremony when something happened. At first we thought there were Orcs close by in the woods but Legolas said it was more than that. We were being stopped because it wasn't supposed to happen. But you know what the strangest thing was? At that same moment, I felt the same way. I have always felt so protected and loved by Legolas. I never doubted my love for him, even with him being an Elf. It always felt right with him. But at that very moment, that split second, I knew it was wrong. We were not meant to be. I hated myself for thinking it but Legolas was stronger and proved to me why. I cannot say more right now. I'm still letting everything sink in."
Faramir laid his hand on top of hers. "I am glad I could be here for you. I don't like to see you hurt, you know that. I'm afraid I myself have been the cause of pain to you. Let this be my restitution to you and anything else I can do for you. Just say the word and I will be there for you. This I promise, Eowyn, Lady of Rohan."
Eowyn looked into his eyes and saw that there was still love there, the same love she'd seen long ago and she was glad. But her heart hurt too much to think about that right now. Now was a time for healing and friendship, Faramir's friendship. This was all she wanted from him and it was all he would give in return. Eowyn reached out and laid a gentle hand to the side of his face. She smiled at him with puffy, tear filled eyes. "Thank you for being my friend, even after all we have been through." Then she leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. His skin was soft and warm and she memorized the feeling. She had missed him so much. It was a blessing to have Faramir back in her life.
Several months had passed now. Faramir and Eowyn spent most of their free time together. Their relationship had remained purely platonic and they were happy with the way things were. Eowyn had learned a lot about Faramir in this time. He was a very sweet man, always thinking of her first. He had helped her through those first few weeks when Legolas had left. A lot of the time she was not hungry and refused to join anyone for meals. When she was like this, Faramir made sure to bring something to her room and watch her eat. He worried for her a lot during this time. She was doing much better now as she was busy helping with Aragorn's coronation. The ceremony was to take place in a week and last minute details needed taking care of.
Faramir was busy in Osgiliath lately. He had healed completely and was now allowed to leave Minis Tirith. There was a lot to do in his new city and as Lord he needed to be there to make most of the decisions. But when he had some spare time or a quiet moment, he always sought out Eowyn. He would tell her about the progress in Osgiliath, even asking her opinion sometimes. Actually, he was rebuilding the city with her in mind. He wanted her to be comfortable there. He wanted it to feel like a home to her because he hoped Eowyn would choose Osgiliath as her residence. She had mentioned a few times that she should return to Rohan where she could be closer to Eomer. Her brother had finally found true love and planned to marry within the next year. This would give her the chance to get to know her future sister-in-law. Eowyn had a feeling she would become an aunt not long after the wedding and looked forward to being around children.
Lately, Eowyn had dreams about having a baby, a girl with blond hair. She was the most beautiful child she'd ever seen. But what stood out most were her crystal blue eyes. They reminded her of Legolas' eyes. Then she knew it was just a dream for he was gone from her life now. She told Faramir about the blue eyed child in her dreams though she never mentioned Legolas to him. That name was not to be used around him. Faramir still felt ill towards the Elf. Eowyn tried to explain to him that Legolas did nothing wrong, but Faramir wouldn't hear of it. All he knew was that the Elf caused Eowyn great pain and that was enough.
One day, Faramir and Eowyn were riding out to Osgiliath. It was Eowyn's first visit and she couldn't wait to see the progress. The first thing he showed her was a garden. It was surrounded by hedges with a white trellis for the entry. Soft grass covered the ground and there were flowering cherry trees along the edges. Flowers surrounded the base of the trees. There were mounds placed here and there with more flowers. Butterflies flew from flower to flower. The garden was so full of life.
"You took my advice about the garden. It looks beautiful." she said to Faramir who was grinning ear to ear. He followed her around and would get goose bumps every time she noticed something which was her idea. "You actually made my ideas come to life. I thought you were asking me advice just to make conversation."
"I want you to feel at home here. You deserve a place of your very own. And I hope you will stay in Osgiliath. I would miss you if you returned to Rohan." Faramir hoped he wasn't expressing too much of his feelings.
"I have felt very welcomed here in Gondor. I must admit, there was a time when I wished to never step foot in this land again. But you have changed that and your people know it. They are much happier with the way things are. This is how Gondor was meant to be." Eowyn stopped walking and leaned up against an oak tree. Faramir stood next to her, watching her as she looked up into the tree. His heart pounded as he thought about how beautiful she was. Faramir wanted badly to become more than friends and profess the love he still held for her. But he would not rush things while she was still considering going back to Rohan. He wanted her to stay in the worst way.
Eowyn wanted to stay in Osgiliath with Faramir but there were two things to take into consideration. The first being that Legolas would return to Ithilien's forest soon and make it his permanent residence. But she could deal with that. She had come to terms with what had transpired between them. Of course it would be hard to look upon the handsome Elf at first. But she knew Legolas was above such petty things and all would be forgiven.
The second thing was Faramir. He seemed very content to be a friend to Eowyn. But he hadn't discussed taking it to the next step. She realized within these last months spent with him that she wanted more from him than friendship. Unfortunately, Faramir hadn't given any sign of feeling the same way. She didn't want to lose their friendship but she could not stay here waiting either. The dreams of having a child had set her biological clock into motion. She needed to move on with her life, fall in love again and settle down with a family of her own. That's what was missing now. It was time to open the lines of communication.
"Faramir," she said, still looking up at the oak. "Do you ever think about settling down?"
Faramir did not expect this but he went along. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, do you ever think about finding a wife, getting married and starting a family?"
He wanted to tell her he thought about her in that way every day, every time he laid eyes upon her. "Well, I… I guess the thought has crossed my mind once or twice."
"Yeah, me too. Since I have had these dreams it has been on my mind." she said. Eowyn looked at Faramir with a smile. "Has some fair maiden come across your path yet?"
This was his opportunity to tell her how he felt about her. She started the discussion and was searching for an answer from him. But he was afraid. What if she didn't return the feelings? Then she would most definitely return to Rohan. The old Faramir, timid and unsure, began to resurface.
"No. I have not had much time what with all the happenings in Osgiliath." He cringed inside. Why could he not tell her his feelings?
Eowyn was hoping his answer would be different. They had spent their spare time in each others company and hoped his feelings for her had grown. But he seemed to not be interested.
"Well, I'm sure one day you will meet that lady who sweeps you off your feet. You know, maybe you have not met anyone yet because we spend too much time together. You are very handsome, Faramir. I have seen the looks you get from the maidens. And maybe they think you are taken if they see us together all the time. I think you should meet new people. Aragorn's coronation would be the perfect opportunity."
Faramir was uncomfortable. He didn't want to meet anyone. He only wanted Eowyn but the words would not pass his lips. "I have not been completely truthful. There is someone who has caught my eye but I don't think she knows."
"Will she be at the coronation?" Eowyn said enthusiastically but on the inside she felt a stabbing pain. Now she understood why Faramir hadn't approached her as she wished he would. He was in love with someone else but had put their friendship first.
"Yes, she will be there." he said hoping she would figure out he was talking about her.
"You should approach her and ask her to accompany you to the celebration. You are a Lord of your own city now and your people will want to see you with a possible Lady for their land. It will give them hope which many still lack since the war."
"Oh, well, I… I don't know. I'm not sure she will return my feelings."
"She will never know if you do not tell her how you feel. The worse thing that could come of it would be for her to say no."
"That's what I'm afraid of. I care for her very much and if she declined my advances it would destroy me."
Eowyn looked at him carefully. Same old Faramir. She thought he was past his shyness. "But what good does it do you to stay silent? Maybe she feels the same as you. If she says no then she was not meant for you and you should not waste any more energy on her. Otherwise you may miss out on the real thing."
"And what do you mean by the 'real thing'." Faramir asked.
"True love. A chance to have a loving relationship that will last a lifetime. I deeply want to feel true love again. I thought I had it with Legolas and had we not been so different, I think we would still be together. But the Valar had other plans and we were not a part of that."
Faramir felt his anger build at the thought of Legolas. "I don't see how you can forgive him so easily."
"Faramir, please, you just don't understand. It was a mutual decision. I am fine with it now. Yes, it hurt to lose him but it was also hard to lose you." She spoke before she knew what she was saying. Faramir looked at Eowyn as if suddenly thrown back into that time long ago when their fate had changed.
"I would never have hurt you like that. We were torn apart against our will and then lied to. I would have never left you. I loved you." He took her hand. "I still do." There! He finally said it. The words flowed past his lips so easily. Faramir waited for her response. Why was she taking so long to answer?
Eowyn remembered what Legolas said about evil overthrowing their fate, how it was not their choice to separate. She finally understood what he meant.
"After all this time and all our turmoil, we have managed to come back together, albeit as friends." Faramir went on. "And still, there is a love there, is there not? For I know there is for me."
"It is why I could not bond with Legolas. A piece of my soul will always belong to you. You were my first true love. And it was for this reason Legolas and I were not meant to be. I never told you the whole story of what took place that night when we almost joined. When we heard the Orcs, we ran to hide and I stumbled across your hiding place, the cave you brought me to. You told me once that if I ever needed a place to hide, I should go there. Like magic, I fell backwards into its opening. I took Legolas with me and we were safe from danger. We ended up all the way in the back, where the makeshift bedroom is. That was the beginning of the end for Legolas and me. He said it was a sign from the Valar that we ended up there, that the cave represented what was to be the beginning of our life together, you and I. But our fate was interrupted and the path was broken and we went our separate ways. We weren't supposed to. Evil was strong at the time. It played a big part in your father's life. I don't know if you knew this or not, but your father had a Seeing Stone. He was not himself in the end. Sauron's hold on him was strong though Denethor didn't know it. With the One Ring in the hands of man, Sauron knew they would destroy themselves quicker than any of his armies. And that's what brought about the forced marriage to Boromir and his role in the fellowship. But eventually good won over evil. The war is over and now here we are."
"And just where does that leave us?" Faramir asked.
Eowyn wanted to tell him the truth that she wanted to pursue a relationship once again but he had mentioned someone else who he might be in love with. She was not about to ruin any chance of love for him. "I believe we are friends who care about each other, love each other." She paused but before he could say anything she continued. "But what about this maiden who has stolen your heart? Will you not pursue her?"
Faramir had to laugh at himself. Eowyn thought there was someone else, not realizing the maiden he spoke of was her. He decided to go along with the misunderstanding and play on her uncertainty for an idea just popped into his head. "Oh, well, I still love her very much. And if she will have me then I would be the happiest and most lucky man in all of Middle Earth." Faramir watched as her face fell and she looked like she might cry. In that very moment, he knew she still loved him more than as a friend.
Eowyn put her emotions aside and got very serious. "Then you should go after her. You deserve all the happiness coming to you. Maybe I can help you."
Without hesitation, Faramir answered, "I believe I will take you up on your offer. And I think I know just how you can help."
"Oh yes, of course, whatever you need just ask it of me." Eowyn was ready to get started.
"I know she will most definitely be and the coronation. How about this, after the ceremony, during the festivities, I will play the roll of a secret admirer and have a single white rose sent to her. Then you will know who she is and convince her that we are meant to be."
Eowyn was excited to help Faramir. She wanted to see him happy. "Alright, it is a plan. A beautiful lady, a single white rose, got it. I'm sure it will not be hard to convince her. You are quite a catch Lord Faramir. And when I get done with her, she will melt in your arms and Osgiliath will have a Lady. This is so exciting. I can't wait."
"Neither can I my Lady Eowyn, neither can I." Faramir's plan was already underway.
Eowyn smiled. "I am so glad we are friends and you are in my life again."
The day finally arrived. Aragorn was to become King and the forth age of man would begin. Never had there been so many people in Minas Tirith. The city was filled to the brim with Men, Elves, Dwarves and all the free peoples of Middle Earth. The morning was glorious. The sun shone brighter than usual. There was a crisp breeze to make the white banners wave and the White Tree was flowering once again.
Eowyn had her work cut out for her today. Lord Elrond and many other Elves from Imladrias had arrived the day before. Among them was Arwen, Aragorn's true love who he thought had sailed into the West. Eowyn was in charge of making sure she was comfortable without being discovered by anyone, especially Aragorn. She wanted to surprise him and she hoped he would be happy with her choice to stay. But this was the least of Eowyn's worries. The thing that was on her mind at the moment was getting Faramir together with the lady he had fallen in love with. He was supposed to meet her for breakfast and go over some last minute details, but he never showed. It was very unlike him to go back on his word. However, Eowyn knew as Lord of Osgiliath, he had his own set of duties today as he was to represent his own city at the celebration. She just wished they could have talked first.
Eowyn made her way down to the dining hall. She was not ready for the site she came across. Standing together were all of the members of the fellowship; Gandalf and Aragorn, the four hobbits Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam, Gimli and looking just as handsome as ever Legolas. Eowyn's heart jumped into her throat at the site of the Elf. She hadn't heard or seen him since he left many months ago. He was still beautiful to look upon.
She tried to move but her feet seemed to be stuck to the ground. She wanted to avoid being seen by Legolas. She just wasn't ready for this yet. And then before she could leave, his gaze caught her and she froze. It was as if he knew she was there and he looked right at her with his crooked smile. Damn the Elf, she thought to herself. Just when she thought she would shrivel and slink away, there was a firm hand on her arm. Eowyn released herself from Legolas' stare and turned to find Faramir next to her, wearing his most warm and comforting smile. When she needed him he was there and it felt so right. She never looked back at Legolas, almost forgetting he was there. Faramir's presence was overwhelming, something she hadn't noticed before. He reached out with his arm and she took it letting him lead her any where he chose. It was at that very moment that she realized just how much she admired and loved Faramir. With him by her side she was whole. No one could tell them they could not be together. No one would try to keep them apart. No higher power would separate them because of their differences. They had none. Just as her heart was bursting with pride and love for him she remembered that his heart beat for someone else. But how could that be? Wasn't this the path she was meant to take? Wasn't Faramir her true love for eternity?
Taking Eowyn's arm, Faramir turned slightly and gave Legolas a nod as if to say, 'she is with me'. It was very superficial and Eowyn hadn't noticed, even when Legolas returned the nod. Today was to be the day Faramir admitted his feelings for her and he hoped having Legolas close by would not hurt his chances. After Eowyn explained everything, Faramir tried to find it within his heart to forgive Legolas. He understood that the Elf only had Eowyn's best interest at heart but he still felt slight anger towards him for abandoning her.
"I'm glad you showed when you did, Faramir. I don't think I was ready to see him. I knew Legolas would be here but I hadn't given it much thought until I saw him." Eowyn said as Faramir whisked her away.
"It gladdens my heart to know there are times when you still need me." he answered. "Now let us get something to eat. Today is going to be a very long day."
They went to a different part of the hall and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast together. Then they went over plans to introduce Faramir to his love interest.
"Now we will wait until the celebration tonight before we make our move." Eowyn said. "There will be too much going on at the ceremony itself to be able to do anything. I will look for someone with a single white rose and approach her. We'll strike up a friendly conversation and on your signal I will bring your name into the mix. I'll tell her about you and then, when I look at you, you will come over. I'll introduce you to her and you will ask her for a dance. Then it will be up to you to charm her."
Faramir had to laugh to himself at Eowyn's enthusiasm. She wanted so much to see Faramir happy she was willing to put aside her own feelings for him. There was no one else he wanted. She was perfect for him and he wanted her badly. He almost could not wait until later to make his feelings known to her.
"What are you going to say to her?" Faramir asked curiously, circling around behind her as they left the hall.
Eowyn stopped walking. "Well, I'm not sure. I'll just let the conversation go its own way."
"I mean, what are you going to tell her about me?" he said with a raised eyebrow.
"The truth. That you are very kind and handsome of course."
"What else." he said in a low tone, whispering in her ear.
"Your heart is true and when you love someone, you love them with your whole being, that any woman would be lucky to have such a wonderful man in her life." Eowyn could feel his warm breath on her neck. Why couldn't she be that woman?
Faramir circled back around to face her. "You don't think that is too much? I don't want her to be frightened away." Faramir said pushing a strand of hair out of her face. His finger brushed over her cheek and a spark ignited and lingered on her flesh.
"If she is frightened away, then she was not meant to be with you. You deserve someone very special, Faramir." Why was she getting mixed signals from him? A part of her wished he would not touch her like that, a very small part. However, in her heart she wished he would carry her off somewhere and never let her go again. She put her thoughts aside.
"I think we have a plan." she said regaining her composure. "Now, I must go. There is still much to do before the ceremony and I need to check in on our surprise guest." she winked. Faramir knew who she spoke of.
"Before you go, I would like to ask if I can escort you to the coronation. It would be my honor to have you by my side. After all, we have both played our part in the events which have led to this moment." he said taking her hand in his.
"I would like that very much. I'll see you later then." Eowyn reached up and kissed his cheek. She thought maybe she shouldn't have but it might be the last time she would be able to show him such affection. After he won his hearts desire, there would be no room for her in his life. He would not need her anymore. He would have a new love to depend upon to help make decisions and to talk things over. She would miss their conversations very much and her heart broke a little at that moment.
The courtyard outside the Citadel was crowded. Aragorn stood on the steps in front of the great doors which led into the hall of kings. Gandalf and Gimli stood at either side at the bottom of the steps. The walkway leading away from the steps was lined with all the leaders of the different realms. Eomer stood with his wife to be, Lothiriel. She was beautiful, Eowyn thought, for she had never met her before and looked forward to getting to know her better. The four Hobbits were among the guests, representing the Shire but looking rather uncomfortable around all the Big People. Eowyn caught Merry's eye and winked at him. He smiled and seemed to stand a little taller. He elbowed Pippin next to him and each in turn elbowed the other until their attention was on Eowyn. They bowed respectably to her and she curtsied in return. Their confidence was restored. Dwarves and Elves also lined the walkway but not Legolas. He was the only fellowship member not among those in the line up and she wondered where he was.
Faramir stood with Eowyn and he looked very handsome in his regal attire. He looked very much like a king but for his face. No king had ever looked as kind as he did.
The ceremony was about to start. When Gandalf started his speech, Faramir grabbed hold of Eowyn's hand. She looked down to see their fingers intertwined with each other. Here they were in Minas Tirith, at the Citadel, where it all began. This is where she met him and this would be where he would move on without her. Somehow, a calmness came over her and she was alright with the outcome. Faramir was happy and that's what mattered most. She loved him so much as to see an end to his loneliness and help find the joy he deserved, even if it was not with her.
Gandalf set the crown of the king on Aragorn's head and formally introduced him as the new King of Gondor, thus beginning the fourth age of Man. There was a roar from the crowd of acceptance for the new King. Everyone quieted down and Aragorn sang a song in Elvish marking this day in history. Then he made his way down the steps and along the walkway. He stopped and bowed to each leader, lord and king. After he passed by Eowyn, she turned to Faramir and winked, squeezing his hand. The moment of the big surprise was about to happen.
Eowyn watched as a group of Elves came forward and met Aragorn at the end of the walkway. Legolas led them. Eowyn's breath caught in her throat at the site of him. He glowed with pride as he stood with his fellow Wood Elves, now inhabitants of Ithilien. He was beautiful, his hair loose about his shoulders and a silver circlet resting on his head. She had never seen him like this before. He himself looked like a king. He stopped in front of Aragorn and laid a hand on his shoulder. They exchanged words in Elvish and a smile. Then Legolas and the others stepped aside and the most beautiful elleth Eowyn had ever seen stepped out from behind two identical Elves. Arwen had been hiding behind her brothers and now stood before Aragorn. His mouth dropped and without waiting another moment, he ran to her and scooped her up into his arms, spinning her around. It was such a beautiful thing to be a part of. He loved her so much but thought she was gone forever. Now they were back in each others arms. They were so happy once again. Aragorn turned to the crowd and announced the beginning of the celebration. Everyone cheered. Some danced, some hugged but all were happy.
Eowyn turned to Faramir. "That was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed. They are so blessed to be together again. I hope that I should experience such joy myself one day." she said more to herself than to Faramir.
"I believe your time will come sooner than you think." he said and brought her hand up to his lips placing a delicate kiss upon it.
Eowyn felt her cheeks blush, something she had not felt in a long time. "Well my lord," she said playfully. "Are you ready to meet your hearts desire?"
"I most definitely am." he said in return, knowing his moment of truth was very close now.
The festivities were well under way by now. The music was joyous, the food was delectable and the wine was plentiful. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Laughter filled the air. It was a wonderful evening.
Eowyn watched as Aragorn and Arwen danced the night away. They were inseparable. She wished to find that kind of love some day. For now it was time to set the plan in motion. She watched as Faramir walked into the room. He caught her eye and nodded to let her know the rose was about to be handed to the secret lady. Merry was given the white rose. Eowyn watched as he weaved in and out of the crowd. He would stop next to someone and look to Faramir who would tell him when he approached the right lady. Each time he stopped, Eowyn's heart would jump, thinking this was the one. But Faramir would shake his head and Merry would keep going. Then she lost sight of him. He disappeared into the crowd. Eowyn watched Faramir to see if he had spotted the Hobbit. Finally, he was looking towards where she was standing and a smile spread across his face as he nodded in approval. Merry had obviously found her and surprisingly she was close to Eowyn. She looked around trying not to be too apparent when there was a slight tug on her dress. She looked down to find Merry at her side, smiling and she smiled back.
"Where is she, Merry? Give her the rose so I will know." Eowyn said. To her amazement, Merry handed her the rose. "No, Merry. You must give this to Faramir's lady, not me." she said urgently, thinking he had made a mistake. But before she could stop him, Merry had already disappeared back into the crowd and was gone. Oh no, she thought. Merry has made a mistake. What should she do now? She looked back to Faramir who was across the room. He stood there smiling with love in his eyes. Eowyn was confused and looked on either side of her but there were no other women standing near her. She looked back to Faramir. He was still focused on Eowyn. That's when she realized who the rose was meant for. It was her. She was Faramir's desire. Eowyn had hoped and prayed but never thought it would come true. Just to make sure, she looked around again and then back to Faramir who seemed to be laughing. Eowyn pointed at herself and mouthed the word 'Me?' Faramir nodded and motioned for her to come to him. They both approached each other across the dance floor and met in the middle. The music had stopped as if on cue to let the floor clear so that they could walk without getting bumped into.
They stood face to face. Eowyn was still in shock and a little confused. "Has there been a mistake?" she asked almost afraid to hear the answer.
"There has been no mistake. Merry has made the right choice. You hold the white rose and my heart. Eowyn, I have never stopped loving you. I wanted to tell you sooner but I wanted to make sure the time was right. We have both been through so much and we needed time to heal and make amends. Now more than ever, I am sure you are my heart's desire. Since I first met you, in this very hall, I knew you were the one for me. I don't think it was a mistake that we went through such trying times. It was a test to see if our love was meant to be and here we are, back where it all began and my love for you has never faltered. Please tell me it is the same for you." Faramir stopped and waited for her answer.
Eowyn felt tears well up in her eyes and could barely speak but managed to say, "Yes, it is the same for me. I have always loved you. You have no idea how I wished this would happen. But you spoke of another and I just wanted you to be happy even if it was without me. You have made my dream come true. I love you so much, Faramir." She could no longer hold back the tears as they rolled down her cheeks. Faramir scooped her up into his loving arms and held her tight. Eowyn wrapped her arms around him and for the first time in a very long time, they both felt complete.
He broke away from her and took both of her hands in his. "Eowyn, my love for you is stronger than it ever has been, especially now that I know you feel the same way. In the beginning, our relationship was like a whirlwind, moving so fast we could not see where we were going. Then we were separated which was like having my soul torn away from me. We have been apart longer than we have been together. Tonight, I wish to change all that. I will never lose sight of you again. I want to be with you until the end of my days. Eowyn, will you marry me?" Faramir got down on one knee and waited for his answer.
Eowyn had waited so long for this moment and now that it was here, she could hardly believe it was true. Her eyes welled up with tears of joy as she looked down into the face of the most handsome man she'd ever laid eyes upon. "Yes. Yes, I will marry you. I love you, Faramir."
Faramir stood and looked deep into her eyes and saw the love he had missed for so long. He drew his head in towards her and kissed her slowly and passionately as if they were the only two people in the room. Those who took notice of the scene unfolding before them began to clap for the happily united couple. It seemed Faramir was not the only one who knew about the surprise, Aragorn and Arwen, Gimli, the Hobbits, Gandalf and Legolas clapped, along with a few others who just happened to witness the occasion. Faramir and Eowyn took no notice of them but instead held each other and kissed.
Finally, the music started up again, something slow for the happy couple. Eowyn came up for air and noticed the attention they had collected. She looked around at each one of her friends as they nodded with a smile. Her eyes fell upon Legolas. She immediately felt guilty for displaying such public affection in front of her former lover. Legolas gave her a warm smile and a proper elvish bow as if to say, 'It is alright. I am happy for you.' She smiled back, relieved. Then she turned back to Faramir.
"You have made me the happiest woman in all of Middle Earth. I love you, Faramir. I always have and I always will." she said melting into his arms.
They danced and everyone joined them on the floor. It was such a wonderful night and neither would forget it as long as they lived.
Eowyn was in heaven. She stayed close to Faramir all night. Many people came up to them and congratulated them. Most were people who were to settle in Osgiliath. They were glad to see their lord had finally chosen his lady.
Faramir was called away by Aragorn. He had something to discuss with him that couldn't wait until the morning. "I will only keep him from you for a moment, my Lady." Aragorn said.
"Is it that obvious? I do not wish to leave his side but I think I can let him go to be with the King." she laughed.
"I won't be long, my love." Faramir said and gave her a fiery kiss before he went away.
Eowyn decided to take this moment to get some fresh air. She went out into the courtyard. What a beautiful evening it was. The sky was littered with stars. The air was crisp but not cold and the fragrance from the blossoms of the White Tree was overwhelming. Couples walked about arm in arm around the grounds. Love was definitely in the air tonight.
"Congratulations." said a silky voice from behind her. Eowyn closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Before she even turned around she knew who it was.
"Hello Legolas." she said calmly and turned to face the Elf. "How are you doing?"
"I am fine, my lady." he answered properly.
"Please don't call me that. We know each other too well for such formalities. It has been some time since we spoke. I hope you know I hold no ill feelings towards you."
"Of course, our parting was mutual was it not?" he said looking at her.
"It was just so sudden. We almost bonded that night and within the same moment you were turning me away but I understand why. The Valar would have never blessed our union. We would have been faced with many difficulties. But I can honestly say I do not regret any of it. I learned so much while we were together and I think it prepared me for my reunion with Faramir."
Legolas laid his hand on her arm. He wanted to feel her warmth again but something was missing. The fire was gone. There was no charge. "Are you truly happy, Eowyn?"
"I am. It is as though we are starting where we left off." she said smiling as she thought of Faramir.
"Then you have found your correct path once again and I am delighted for you. Faramir is a good man. He will take care of you. He will be good for you. He is your true soul mate." Legolas let go of her arm and looked deep into her eyes. Eowyn returned his gaze, wondering what he was thinking.
"Will you find love again, Legolas?" she said with concern.
"An Elf loves only once in his long immortal life. My future has been laid before me, unless the Valar intervene. I will be fine so do not worry for me." Legolas did not have the heart to tell her that he already began to fade.
Eowyn looked away from him. The thought of Legolas never finding true love made her sad. He would always love her and no one else. She knew she could not return the same feelings, not as she once had, though a piece of Legolas would always be tied to her heart. Somehow it felt like a small part of the bonding had taken and Legolas would always claim a small piece of her soul.
"You will always have a place in my heart, Legolas. I truly hope you will be allowed a second chance at love. If anyone deserves it, it's you. You have done so much and helped so many. You still do and that is what I admire most about you. I hope we can remain friends and I look forward to visiting you in Ithilien."
"I will always be your friend if nothing else. I will always be there if you need me. That was a promise I made long ago and I will uphold it until I no longer walk these shores. This I promise you for always." he said and he turned her chin so that she was once again looking at him. "Always." he whispered making sure to get his point across.
They seemed to be frozen in time as the moment lasted longer than she thought proper. Eowyn tore herself away from Legolas. "I must be getting back inside now. Will you join me?"
"I believe I will stay out here in the gardens for a time. I have not been within these stone walls for very long and already I miss my fair forest. Go and enjoy your evening. Faramir will be lost without you. He is very lucky to have your love."
"As I am to have his in return. Goodbye Legolas. I hope to see your forest before too long." Eowyn said before she went back inside.
"You are always welcome and need no invitation. Goodbye Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan, soon to be Lady of Ithilien." Legolas watched as she went away to find Faramir.
Eowyn returned to the festivities just in time to see Faramir enter on the other side. Their eyes found each other in record time and they shared a smile across the room. He made his way over to her and took her up in his arms. It felt good to be surrounded by him and her heart rejoiced. This was the only place she was ever meant to be, her destiny, her forever love.
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.