What Paths We Take: 16. Visiting

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16. Visiting

Over the next few months, Eowyn was busy with wedding plans. Unfortunately, they were not her own. Arwen was to finally marry Aragorn in a grand ceremony. Once again, Minas Tirith would be filled to its fullest. The festivities afterwards would top that of the previous celebration. The King had his Queen and all seemed right in the world.

Eowyn and Faramir decided not to rush things. They never had a proper courtship the first time around and Faramir insisted on doing things the right way. He wanted to give Eowyn everything she had ever imagined and that included a beautiful home in Ithilien. Knowing how much Eowyn loved to be close to nature, he decided to make their home in Emyn Arnen. They had both had enough of the city life and wished to settle in the countryside where they would overlook the nearby forest. At first, Eowyn was unsure about this arrangement knowing Legolas' home would be just beyond the trees. But a most unlikely friendship grew between Faramir and Legolas. They seemed to get along rather well and discovered they would have been friends long ago if things had been different. Eowyn was glad. She considered Legolas a dear friend even with their passionate history. Things change over time and she felt safe knowing Legolas and the Woodland Elves would be at her back door.

As for now, Eowyn was still living in Minas Tirith. Faramir was busy rebuilding his princedom and their new home. They would not live there until after they were wed. Now that the King and Queen were married, it was time for Eowyn to plan her own, with Arwen's help of course.

The wedding would not take place until the spring. By then their home would be complete. Most of the wedding plans were in order and Eowyn had some spare time. Faramir's work was also ahead of schedule and the couple decided to travel to Rohan. Eowyn was an aunt. Eomer and his wife, Lothiriel, recently had a baby boy and Eowyn could not wait to see him.

She had not been home since her brothers wedding. She missed Rohan very much. Most of all she missed her old duties there when she helped raise the foals. She had always had that motherly instinct. Now, it was at the forefront of her mind as she desperately wanted a child of her own. Every once in a while, Eowyn would dream of the fair haired child. Faramir knew when she had this dream by the way she would flirt with him the next day. But they had agreed to stay celibate until after the wedding. Faramir insisted on a proper courtship. Eowyn liked the fact that he wanted to make things right but she also had needs. She tried to seduce him once or twice when he visited her in the city but he held strong to his beliefs. Even though he put up a good front, Faramir was just as concupiscent as she was.

Eowyn was outside the Meduseld one evening when Eomer joined her. "My dear sister, I have missed your company since you moved to Gondor. It is good to have you back if only for a while."

"It is good to be back. I miss Rohan. I miss the times we shared picking vegetables and herbs for the cooks. It warms my heart to know that the traditions will continue when your son is older. He is a beautiful child." she said with a sigh.

"You seem to be in another place tonight. What is on your mind?" Eomer asked.

"I want a family. I want a baby of my own but Faramir insists on a proper courtship of a respectable length of time. I know he means well but if it were up to me, I would whisk us off at the first chance we came upon and marry immediately."

"You never were one for fanfare." Eomer laughed. "Always the Shieldmaiden, wild at heart."

Eowyn smiled. "Yes, you're right. But now I am going to be a princess of sorts, Lady of Ithilien. That seems like a lot to live up to."

"And you will perform your duties as well as you always have. I have no doubts about your future. Just be patient and soon your life will fall into a comfortable rhythm." Eomer said wrapping his arm around her shoulder. "For tonight the men are off to enjoy some time together while the women will stay here and do whatever it is you do." he said rolling his eyes. Eowyn elbowed him in the ribs and he doubled over, laughing.

"The women will have an enjoyable evening sharing stories about our men while you are off playing your drinking games. Now, don't go getting Faramir into any trouble. I want him returned to me in one piece."

"Of course, my lady." Eomer said mockingly and gave her an exaggerated wink of his eye.

Eowyn laughed. "You are incurable, dear brother. Some things never change."

~^~^~^~^~

The women spent the evening in a cozy room filled with furs and tapestries talking about whatever struck their fancy. After a couple glasses of wine, the conversations heated up a bit when they began to reveal some of the secrets of their men, especially in bed. Eowyn felt uncomfortable since most of the men she knew quite well as she had grown up with them. It was something she never thought about before and didn't care to know. Lothiriel acknowledged her discomfort and would not talk about Eomer in this fashion. Eowyn was grateful for that. There were some things her ears just weren't meant to hear. The wine was quickly rushing to her head and she excused herself for the evening, retiring to her room. She wished Faramir was there but he had insisted that they have separate rooms since they were not yet married. The wine warmed her as did the thoughts of Faramir's hard strapping body. She fantasized that he would come to her in the middle of the night and take her. She would scream his name over and over until her last bit of energy was spent. Then they would drift off in each other's arms. The morning would bring on more love making as they would wake with the sun.

Eowyn heard voices in the hall. It was late and it seemed the men were just returning for the night. She picked up on Faramir's voice and her body responded with a shiver. His room was just down the hall from hers. She waited until the voices disappeared and she heard Faramir's door shut. Eowyn got out of bed, slipped out of her nightgown and replaced it with nothing but her robe. She went to the mirror and somewhat fixed her hair by running her fingers through it. Then she went to her door and put an ear up to it. The hallway seemed quiet. Very carefully as to not make a sound, she opened her door and looked out. The hall was deserted. She could see Faramir's door. A golden light flickered out from the bottom. He had lit a fire. Suddenly a vision of them naked in front of the fireplace filled her mind and she began to ache for his touch. She could wait no longer. The wedding was too far off. She wanted him badly and she would have her way tonight.

Eowyn snuck down the hall to Faramir's door. She tried the latch. Good, it was unlocked. She gently opened it a crack and peeked inside. He wasn't in her line of sight but she could hear a rustling noise. He must be getting undressed, she thought. Faramir liked to sleep without a stitch on. The thought of catching a glimpse of his naked form compelled her to proceed. She opened the door a bit wider and, looking around, entered his room. Carefully, she closed the door behind her as her eyes swept the room but he was not here. Where could he be?

Suddenly, she was grabbed from behind. Strong arms captured her by the waist. She jumped and struggled as she was caught off her guard, unusual for a trained Shieldmaiden, but then the wine abated her reflexes. Eowyn spun around to find a very handsome, half naked Faramir gazing down upon her. He wore nothing more than his leather breeches. He smelled of hay and ale and she knew he was in no better form of sobriety than herself.

"You should not be here." he said as his eyes drifted down her body. In her struggle, her robe had slightly come undone and he could see the curve of one of her breasts. Eowyn followed his line of sight and felt her body respond to his gaze. She traced her fingers along the edge of her open robe as if she meant to close it but she only teased.

Lifting her eyes she said, "I heard voices and only meant to check on you. I know how things can get out of hand with my brother and his idea of an evening with the men. I told him I'd have his head if he brought you back in any other condition than the one you left with."

"I am no worse for wear though I must admit, we sampled quite a bit of the kings' finest ale." he said not taking his eyes off of her body. "I'm sorry if we were too loud and woke you."

"I could not sleep as my mind kept wandering elsewhere." As she spoke, she pulled him closer to her so that her breasts pressed against his bare chest. Faramir lowered his head and touched his lips to hers. Eowyn's heart raced as she parted her lips, inviting his tongue into her warmth. Her hands roamed over his chest and in between their bodies. His own hand came up to join hers and she guided him inside her robe. He began caressing her, his thumbs circling her erect nipples. Eowyn moaned into his mouth. She felt his hardness press against her belly and let her hand wander in that direction. She stroked him through the leather and his hips ground into her.

"Faramir, my love, it is so long until our wedding. I cannot wait much more. Every night I dream of having you consume me with your love. We have indulged in this dance but once. I beg you to remind me of our first night together. I want you, please." she begged as her body writhed in his arms.

Faramir kissed her neck, making his way down her collarbone. Eowyn lifted her leg and wrapped it around his waist as her arms snaked around his neck. His hand traveled down along her spine, coming to rest on her backside, squeezing it firmly. Her hips thrust forward involuntarily.

"You make it impossible to deny you." he said in a low seductive voice. He lifted her and she wrapped both legs around him, feeling his hardness. Only the leather separated them. They kissed wildly as he backed her up against the wall, using it for better leverage.

Eowyn sucked on his earlobe and whispered wantonly, "Take me now, my love. I need to feel you inside me." Her hand undid the laces of his pants as her feet helped to push them down. Faramir freed one hand and untied the belt on her robe. What remained of their clothes was now lying in a pile on the floor.

Faramir lifted her slightly and held himself at her entrance. Her legs tightened around him as she impaled herself on him, unable to wait any longer. Faramir buried his face in her neck and let out a low growl of satisfaction. It had been more than two years since they first made love. She was a virgin then and he was very careful with her but not tonight. He felt like he was experiencing her to the fullest for the first time. They were free to love each other. No one could tell them otherwise. They belonged together and would soon be married. The thought of this excited him even more as he set his rhythm.

This was not how Eowyn remembered him that first time but rather how she imagined it would be when they finally came together again. His body felt incredible as it pulsated deep within her walls. Her breath quickened and her moans became louder with every thrust. Faramir kissed her to capture her sounds of bliss. The walls in Rohan were like paper compared to the stone in Minas Tirith. Eowyn cared not who might overhear their love making. They were breaking no one's rules but their own and she could live with that.

Faramir increased his rhythm as he felt his desire build deep and begin to spread throughout his body. "Eowyn, you feel so good. I will not last much longer."

"Faster, my love, faster." she panted. Faramir carried out her pleas and thrust deeper until he touched that one place which sent Eowyn over the edge of her own desire. As her inner muscles squeezed around him, she called out his name. That was all it took and Faramir felt his own climax, spilling his essence. Their bodies shook with the aftermath of their orgasms. They were finally one, one body, one soul. Sweat beaded and rolled down their bodies. Eowyn's back was scraped slightly from the wall, but it was a good pain. Faramir noticed her wince.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked.

She laughed as she was still trying to catch her breath. "We'll consider it a battle wound, a right of passage."

"Oh my beautiful Shieldmaiden." he smiled. They kissed again and he lowered her to the ground, instantly missing their connection.

Eowyn sensed his loss and pulled his naked form close to her. "I love you so much. I have dreamed of this moment for so long. I just could not wait another day to feel you. We have missed out on so much being apart for so long."

Faramir's strength returned and he scooped her up in his arms. "We have a lot of making up to do, two years worth if I'm correct. I have missed you. This all feels so right." he said as he carried her to the bed. "This time I will not hurt you." He examined her back. The scrape was not bad.

"You could never hurt me." she said looking deep into his eyes. Faramir returned the stare and climbed onto her body. With all their pent up desire spent, they would take their time now. It was nearly time for the sun to rise by the time they fell asleep, making love many times that night. And secretly, Eowyn hoped his seed had taken root.

~^~^~^~^~

Needless to say, they slept in late the next morning. They did not join the others until the midday meal. As they strolled into the dining hall, Eomer looked at them with a raised eyebrow. He watched them as they entered hand in hand and a new glow upon their faces. Eomer had been around long enough to know what had taken place in the night. He smiled and looked to his wife. She got the message, covering her mouth with her hand to stifle a laugh. She was glad to see them, satisfied.

Eomer went to them. "It is good to see you this morn… I mean afternoon. Eowyn, you look absolutely radiant today." He leaned in close to the couple so no one would hear him. "Is it possible there may be reason to move the wedding to a closer date?"

Faramir's face turned crimson but Eowyn held her own with her brother. "One may never know." She slapped Eomer on the arm. "That will be enough from you. It is none of your business. But if there is need to change the wedding date, you will be the first to know." Faramir laughed at the way Eowyn and her brother interacted. It reminded him of Boromir for a quick moment. Eowyn pulled on Faramir's arm. "Come, my love, let's get something to eat. I'm famished."

Later that day, Faramir went off hunting with Eomer. They hoped to bring back a kill for another festive evening. Eowyn stayed with Lothiriel and her baby, Elfwine. She loved holding her nephew. He was so small and felt good in her arms.

"What was it like, being pregnant?" Eowyn asked.

"At first it was not bad at all. But as the baby grew, so did my belly. It was a little uncomfortable in the end. But I would never change a thing. It was such a beautiful experience knowing I was bringing a life into this world. And Eomer was ecstatic to know he had a son. We created this wonderful little being and it has brought your brother and me much closer."

Eowyn smiled as she looked at the sleeping babe in her arms. "I can not wait to have one of my own. I have visions sometimes. I believe Faramir and I will have a daughter."

Lothiriel laughed. "Do you think you achieved your goal last night?" It seemed to be the talk in the Meduseld that morning when they hadn't come for breakfast. "Not much escapes our eyes or ears in this small city."

"Were we that obvious? Or were we too boisterous last night? I think I might shrink up and hide if everyone heard us." Eowyn said with embarrassment.

"Now don't become bewildered. It was not like that at all. When you hadn't come down for breakfast, one of the maids went to check on you and found your room empty. And since Faramir was also missing from the breakfast table, we knew where you two were. I think it is wonderful that you are finally together again. Faramir is a good man and will make a wonderful husband and father. And if your activities last night have created a child, we will just make the wedding sooner. We will know soon enough and spring is such a long way away. Why wait so long if you are so in love?"

"Faramir insisted on a fitting engagement. He is building our home and wants everything to be ready before we marry. Up until last night, we were following our plans quite well." Eowyn said.

"You were going to wait until the spring before you two… ?" Lothiriel said surprised.

"That was Faramir's idea. He is very sweet to want to do things respectably. But having him so close here and the wine and him smelling of the sweet hay, well it proved to be too much for me."

Lothiriel went to Eowyn and took back her son who was beginning to stir. "Well, your secret is safe with me. I believe this was a good exception to the rule. You know you are getting married and you have already been together have you not?"

"Yes, when we first met. But that was more that two years ago. So you see why I could not wait any longer. And if a life has been planted within me then so be it. I am ready. It is what I want more than anything, except for marrying Faramir."

"You are a bold woman, Eowyn, and I admire you for that. I am so glad to have you as my sister-in-law." Lothiriel said and she hugged Eowyn.

~^~^~^~^~

Eomer and Faramir had a successful day hunting. They managed to catch five quail, three rabbits and the main part of their feast, a wild boar. Eomer sent the rest of the party back with their catch while he and Faramir stayed behind. Eomer wanted to talk to Faramir.

"That was mighty fine hunting, Faramir. You are quite the bowman. You handled yourself very well in taking down that wild animal." Eomer said patting him on the back.

Faramir smiled. "Ah yes, well, I've had some experience with the untamed. After all, I am courting your sister."

Eomer laughed. 'I always did say I felt sorry for the poor soul who married Eowyn. She can prove to be quite a challenge. You'll have your hands full."

"It is nothing I cannot handle." The two men laughed to themselves at Eowyn's expense.

They walked a few more paces, Eomer out in front, when he stopped and turned to Faramir. A more serious look was upon his face. "Something has been on my mind which I feel I need to express to you. After you left my sister, I was very upset at how you treated her. I did not know then the truth of the matter. I soiled your good name to more than a few men and for that I am sorry."

"There is no need to apologize, Eomer. You were misinformed as we all were. I would have done the same if I were in your situation. But I want you to know, I would never hurt Eowyn. I love her more than life itself."

"I know. I see how you are with each other. I must admit, I am glad she has separated herself from the Elf. Even though I gave my blessing, it was not a healthy situation. But it was her choice at the time and I will always support my sister, no matter what."

"Say what you will, but Eowyn loved him very much." Faramir said.

"Does it worry you that he lives so close to your home? It seems an odd circumstance to be placed in."

Faramir nodded. "Yes it was, at first. But Legolas and I have talked and we have become rather good friends. The Elves are so different from humans. They can remove themselves so much easier than we can. I know he will always love Eowyn but he was the one who let her go. It was Legolas who set her back on the path to seek me out. He knew and he accepted it. And I trust Eowyn with my life. She would not betray me. She loves me otherwise we would not be getting married."

Eomer shook his head. "You are a good man and true to your heart, Faramir. I could not think of anyone more deserving for my sister and I'm proud to call you my brother-in-law."

The men patted each other on the shoulder in a brotherly way. Faramir liked and respected Eomer. He reminded him so much of his brother. It felt good to have family again.

~^~^~^~^~

For the rest of their time in Rohan, Eowyn and Faramir shared a room. She managed to convince him that this was alright. She did not need to have the textbook engagement. He had told her of his guilt about the forced marriage to Boromir and he wanted to assure her he would never make her do something she didn't want to.

"You should never compare yourself to Boromir, or your father for that matter. You are nothing like either of them. You are kind and gentle. You have a respect for all you come across. I have seen you go out of your way to help those in need, putting your own desires aside. This is why I love you. You need not prove anything further to me. I am yours for always and forever."

After her little speech, Faramir decided to move back to Minas Tirith for the remainder of their courtship, though he still insisted on separate rooms, just to uphold certain appearances for the residents.

The time had come for the couple to go back to Gondor. Their horses were readied as they stood by the gates. Eowyn hugged Lothiriel and held her nephew one more time. Faramir watched her as she cradled the baby in her arms. He was filled with a warmth and a love he'd never felt before. For the first time he saw Eowyn in a different light. She would be a wonderful mother one day. He saw in her smile and in her eyes how much she wanted this and it made him smile.

The stable hands brought the horses. Eowyn hugged Lothiriel. "I guess we won't see you until the wedding. I will miss you." Eowyn said.

"Good luck in all you do, dear sister-in-law." Then she whispered in her ear. "I have no doubt you will get your wish. You will make a good mother. Maybe some day soon?"

Eowyn blushed and nodded. "I hope so."

Eomer and Faramir shook hands and laid a hand on each others shoulders. "Take care of my sister. We will see you in the spring."

"I will look after her every need." Faramir answered. They mounted their horses and were off.

~^~^~^~^~

It was a week's ride to Minas Tirith but Faramir hoped it would take longer. He knew as soon as he got home, he would need to get back to work. He had left some of his most trusted men in charge and was sure much got done while he was gone. It would also mean seeing less of Eowyn. This wedding could not happen soon enough.

Eowyn was busy with arrangements for the ceremony. She wanted to get everything ready, just in case the wedding needed to be pushed up. Unfortunately, she got her answer a few days later. She was not pregnant. It was just as well. People would talk and rumors would spread like wildfire. She didn't care what people would say. She never had. But she worried for Faramir's reputation. He was their ruler and had a certain amount of respect to uphold. So it was probably better that she hadn't conceived in Rohan, though it would have made a good story.

It was good to be home. Eowyn spent a lot of time with Arwen. The Elf Queen was having a very special dress made for Eowyn's wedding day. It would be elven in style yet there would also be touches of the Gondorian characteristics. The two ladies were sharing a quiet meal in her garden one afternoon when Arwen announced that she was with child. Eowyn was so happy for her.

"I know I will have a boy. I have seen him in dreams. Aragorn will get his son which he wants so badly. I would like to have a girl some day, to pass along my womanly knowledge to."

"It is funny you speak of having dreams of your child. I have often had a vision of a child. I see a girl. She is very beautiful and I cannot take my eyes off of her. Her hair is as golden as wheat and her eyes are as blue as the ocean. But I don't know if it is just a dream or am I really seeing my child. It seems so real at times." Eowyn said.

Arwen took notice of how Eowyn described the child in her vision, very unique. "It is not very common for a human to envision their own flesh and blood, though it has happened in legend. And I dare say your story is not common at all. You have led a unique life, Eowyn. And the birth of your child may not be any different."

Eowyn frowned. "I just want to be married already. It has been very difficult not to share living quarters with Faramir. I miss having his arms around me as I sleep," she smiled impishly. "Among other things."

"Why I thought you were… well… staying celibate until the wedding." Arwen said, mocking surprise.

"Things changed in Rohan." Eowyn said looking down and picking a flower. She twirled it in her fingers. "We just couldn't wait any longer."

"Want to know a secret?" Arwen asked her. Eowyn looked to her. "Neither could we." The two laughed as Aragorn and Faramir came strolling into the garden.

"There is my beautiful wife." said Aragorn. "Now what is so funny?"

"Never mind. We're just having some girl talk and you do not need to know the details." Arwen said smiling up at her husband.

Eowyn jumped up and ran to Faramir who caught her in his arms and spun her around. "I didn't think I would see you until later tonight." she said.

"Things are going according to plan and I think it is time we spent some time together. As a matter of fact, I spoke to Legolas this morning and he has invited us to join him this evening for dinner. He says he has a surprise for us." Faramir explained.

"A surprise? I wonder what he has gone and done." Eowyn replied.

"Well, I know one thing. The forest is already growing faster than I ever thought possible. Every day I look out from Emyn Arnen and see more color than the day before. Even the trees seem to be taller."

Arwen smiled. "Before Galadriel left these shores, she gave Legolas the gift of soil from Lorien. It is very special and the reason the mallorn trees grow as they do. It is also the reason for the rapid growth of the forests in Ithilien. You are very blessed to have such a gift."

Eowyn wrapped her arms around Faramir. "Well, I cannot wait to see it. It sounds beautiful."

That evening Faramir and Eowyn arrived in Ithilien and were greeted by a host of Elves. They took the couple deep into the forest where they came upon a city in the trees. Eowyn remembered how Legolas had explained how it would look and it was exact down to every last detail. There were beautiful talans in the trees. Some were joined by hanging walkways which were adorned with an arch at each end. Rope ladders hung down in places, at the bottoms of some trees. This was the only way up to the Elven homes.

On the ground in certain sections of the forest were exquisite huts made of stone of different colors. These were the homes of some of the Men who decided to live here. Not everyone enjoyed living in the city.

Back further into the forest, where the ground seemed to climb rather steeply, were mouths of caves whose entryways were lined with Dwarf runes of silver, no doubt mithril. Eowyn was sure Gimli lived there and that the design was his creation.

The Elves led the couple to an area where some of the biggest trees grew. Two of the Elves climbed a rope ladder at the base of the widest tree. Another Elf gestured for Faramir and Eowyn to follow. Eowyn had never climbed such a ladder but she found it quite easy as did Faramir. The rest of the Elf party followed. The ladder led them to a simple platform. From here there were stairs which wrapped around the trees and led to different areas of the talan.

This particular talan was very high in the trees. It looked like many talans joined together to make one big living area. When Eowyn reached the top she looked around and instantly recognized it from descriptions Legolas had given her. This was Legolas' home. It was grand and built for none other than a prince. There were archways joining the different areas which represented Rivendell. Some rooms were enclosed by close growing vines and covered by the canopy of the trees themselves, very much like those in Mirkwood. The height of the talan and the way it spiraled around the trees was indicative to those in Lothlorien. It was beautiful, Eowyn thought, and was very much like Legolas.

A figure emerged from a doorway and came towards them. Legolas was dressed in a robe of silver. He wore dark grey leggings and, of course, his boots. His hair hung loosely around his shoulders, no braids. He smiled warmly at his guests and welcomed them to his home.

Eowyn looked around. "Legolas, it is stunning. You have truly outdone yourself."

Legolas smiled, happy that she found his home so appealing. "I am glad it is to your liking. My Elf companions and I have worked very hard to bring the forest back to its original semblance. Of course there is still much to do and some things will take years to develop but I believe it is a good head start."

"Ever have I wondered about the magic of the Elves." said Faramir. "And once again I am amazed by what I see. Middle Earth will not be the same without them."

A beautiful dark haired elleth approached Legolas and whispered something in elvish. "Le hannon [thank you], Nieriel." he said to her. "It seems that our meal is ready. Would you follow me to the dining area? I believe you will find our feast quite enjoyable." Legolas said and lead them up a flight of spiraling stairs to a wide open talan. There was a long table in the middle covered with a rich green tablecloth. Silver place settings were carefully laid out before each chair. Some of the Elves were already seated but stood when Legolas, Faramir and Eowyn entered the room. They all wore a smile and nodded as Legolas walked by. He nodded in response as he passed each Elf. Legolas sat at the head of the table with Faramir and Eowyn on either side of him. After they were seated, the rest of the Elves sat. Many beautiful elleth came down another flight of stairs at the far end of the room carrying trays of food which they sat along the middle of the table. There were trays of fruits, cheeses, breads and venison. Then there were sweet buns, jams and jellies of almost every kind. The Elves loved all things naturally sweetened by nature and Eowyn noticed there was plenty of it. They didn't normally eat meat and figured the venison was in her and Faramir's honor. Legolas always did like to make sure everyone had something they would like. He was very accommodating just as he had built his home.

Legolas stood and spoke in Elvish. "Suilad, mellynen. Sen baren. Telo, medo a sogo uin mereth. Nanithach maetolo si uireb."

He then turned to Faramir and Eowyn waited for the Elf to translate. But it was Faramir who spoke. "He says, 'Greetings, my friends. This is my home. Come, eat and drink of the feast. You will always be welcome here.'"

Eowyn was shocked. "I did not know you spoke such fluent Elvish."

"Legolas has been teaching me a thing or two." Faramir said.

"And what else has he been teaching you when I thought you were hard at work, building our home." Eowyn said with a raised eyebrow. Some of the Elves, who understood what she said, laughed under their breath.

Faramir expected this from her and smiled. He stood up and went to her, getting down on one knee. "Ech pan i olthannen. Melithon chen uireb."

Eowyn noticed the Elves all smiled and some of the elleth awed. "What did you say?" she said in a kinder voice.

Faramir leaned into her ear. "You are all I dreamed and I will love you forever." he whispered then gave her a kiss on the cheek before returning to his seat. Eowyn blushed and made a mental note to thank him later when they got to their room.

Legolas sat back down and the feast began. There was plenty of food and wine. Everyone had a wonderful time. Those who spoke the Common tongue translated for those who could not. Eowyn and Faramir found the Elves to all be wonderful beings and were glad to have them in Ithilien.

When they were done with their meal, the Elves retired to their own talans. Faramir and Eowyn stayed with Legolas in his home and had some wonderful conversations, mostly about plans for Osgiliath and Ithilien. Eowyn sat back and watched Legolas and Faramir as they became engulfed in their talk. How did it ever come to this? How was it possible that the only two she had ever loved were now such good friends? She knew Legolas still loved her but he kept his feelings to himself. She wondered if Faramir knew. Maybe this is why they all remained friends. There were no secrets between them. When Legolas realized Eowyn was not meant to be with him, he encouraged her to go back to Faramir. And as it turned out, it was the right thing to do. Her heart was full with Faramir back in her life. Legolas made a huge sacrifice when he let her go. The loss of love could send an Elf to his death. It was because of Eowyn that Legolas would not despair. She remained his friend and still held a love for him that only they would know. It was what kept him from fading. Legolas knew the risk but still chose to open his heart to her. It made her sad to think about it so she tried not to. But she could not help it right now as she watched him. She was glad he was still a part of her life and now Faramir's. She was just worried for his future.

The night was getting late. Legolas led them to the guest talan where they would stay for the night. It had all the comforts of home. Legolas hadn't forgotten a thing. They said goodnight to him and retired for the evening. In the morning, Legolas would show them the surprise he had for them. Although it was for both of them, it was meant more for Eowyn. Legolas hoped that once they moved permanently to Emyn Arnen, they would visit more often. He looked forward to having Eowyn walk through his forest. Everything he did, he did with her in mind.

Eowyn could not sleep. Being here so close to Legolas made her mind rush with thoughts of his future. He deserved so much more. She got out of bed, careful not to wake Faramir, threw on her robe and headed out of their talan. A set of stairs led to a higher level where there was a sitting and gathering area. She had seen it earlier. Eowyn made her way there and went to the edge, looking out across the land. Everything was so quiet and peaceful. There was a chill in the air as it was late autumn. Winter was just around the corner. She shivered in the night, deep in thought and unaware of what was around her. Suddenly, she started to feel a warmth spread across her, as if a fire had been lit but there was no light. She turned and found Legolas on the other side of the room, leaning against an archway, watching her.

"You are not sleeping. Is everything alright? Is something not to your liking?" he asked, not moving from his spot.

"Everything is fine. It's more than that actually, it's perfect. I have never felt more welcomed than I do here. I just could not sleep. My mind will not rest. Tell me, Legolas, how is it that I felt you enter the room?"

"What exactly did you feel?" Legolas asked stepping further into the room.

"I don't know how else to explain it except that I felt… warmth."

"Yes, I felt it too. It is love that you felt, the love I still hold for you. I do not want to make you uncomfortable. Maybe I should leave." Legolas said turning toward the doorway.

"No. Please don't go. Can I talk to you about something?"

"Of course. What is on your mind?" Legolas walked over to where Eowyn was standing.

"I am worried, Legolas."

"About what?"

"About you. About your love for me. About what will happen to you when I die. You will fade, this much I know. But how does it happen? Will it be painful and how long will it take?" Eowyn asked.

Legolas put his head down. He didn't want to speak of this but she wanted to know. He explained it to her the best he could but left out the part about feeling the fading already. "Once an Elf loves, it is forever. If he is separated from the one he loves, he will fade and die. I will not see Valinor but instead my soul will go to Mandos."

"But I don't understand. Your mother died when you were very young yet your father has lived. They were separated and yet Thranduil did not fade. Why?" she asked.

"Because of me. He had a son to raise, a son which he loves very much and I am a part of my mother. There are different types of love, Eowyn. I think my father is overly protective of me for this very reason. If something had happened to me, he might have faded. But I am still here and Thranduil lives.

Eowyn felt tears well up in her eyes. "But our fate is different. I will never sail for I am human. Will you have no choice but to fade when I pass?"

Legolas hated having to tell her this but she must know. "I'm afraid this is my destiny. But please do not cry for me. I knew what I was giving up when I gave you my heart. I would rather die than to never have known your love. This was my choice and I would not have changed a thing."

"You don't understand, Legolas. I did not understand all of this then and maybe if I had, I would not have chosen that path. I could have avoided you. I could have said no to you and then you would live. It is my fault that you will die. My fault… my fault." Eowyn began sobbing and repeated the same words over and over into her hands as they covered her face.

Legolas did the only thing he could at the time. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his chest. He held her close as she cried, resting his chin on top of her head and whispering soothing words in Elvish to try and comfort her.

"I'm sorry Legolas. I'm so sorry. I don't want this for you. You deserve so much more. You deserve eternity. I'm sorry." she sobbed into his chest.

Faramir reached over to pull Eowyn into him and found her side of the bed empty. He sat up and looked around the talan but she was not there. Then he heard crying and jumped out of bed. He ran up the stairs, following her sobs. What he found made his heart sink. Legolas was holding her as she cried. Why was she so upset? And why had she gone to Legolas for comfort? He stepped into the doorway.

Legolas immediately saw Faramir as he came into the room. He whispered into Eowyn's ear. "Eowyn, Faramir is here. Go to him. Tell him why you are upset. Keep no secrets. He can help you heal. I can no longer comfort you in this way. Please, go." he said and released her.

Eowyn realized what this must look like to Faramir. As she looked at him she noticed the confusion and hurt on his countenance. Legolas moved away from her and walked toward the door. As he passed Faramir, he stopped and laid a hand on his shoulder.

"Eowyn needs you. Let her explain why she is upset. Be with her." he said to Faramir and left the room.

"What is wrong?" he asked. "Why did you leave our bed?"

Eowyn ran to him and threw her arms around him. When she managed to calm herself, she told him about Legolas, their love and his fading. Faramir listened to everything and comforted her. He walked her back to their room and got her back in bed. For the rest of the night, he held her in his arms. Eowyn noticed how perfectly their bodies formed to each other. This was where she needed to be. This was right. If only she could help Legolas then she would be completely content. She would never stop trying to find a way to save the Elf. This was a promise she made to herself and she never told Faramir of it.

~^~^~^~^~

The morning brought with it a sense of calmness and renewal. Faramir woke early and let Eowyn sleep as she had cried most of the night. Faramir found Legolas on the terrace above his talan. He had a tray of food ready for his guests this morning.

Faramir nodded to him. "Eowyn sleeps late this morning. She needs her rest."

Legolas motioned for him to join him at the table. Faramir walked up and took a seat across from Legolas. "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable in any way last night. I surely did not mean to."

"It is alright, Legolas. Eowyn explained everything to me. I had no idea any of this was taking place. She never told me about her concerns. And I was quite shocked to learn of your situation. I just don't know what to say. I know you loved Eowyn but I didn't know it came with a price."

"It is alright my friend. I have accepted my fate. Now, how about you? You are getting married soon. How is your home coming along?" Legolas said, changing the subject.

"It will be ready before the wedding. Everything is coming along nicely. The move to Emyn Arnen will be an easy one."

The two friends enjoyed each other's company as they discussed plans for the new city. After a little while, Eowyn came in. Faramir went to her and escorted her to Legolas' table. Then he excused himself from the talan. "There is something I meant to do this morning. I will be right back."

While Faramir was gone, Legolas talked to Eowyn. "Is everything alright? You were so upset last night. I hate to see you so forlorn."

"I am fine. I guess I had never realized what all was to happen. I apologize for my outburst. I care very much what happens to you and it was a hard thing to accept. But it comforts me to know you will be here throughout my lifetime. Thank you for talking to me about it."

"I'm glad I could be of help to my lady." Legolas proceeded to serve her some sweet rolls and jam.

Faramir came back just then with a bouquet of flowers. "These are for you my darling. I know how much you love fresh flowers."

"Where did you get them?" she asked.

"Legolas let me in on his surprise and soon you will see for yourself." Faramir said smiling.

Legolas stood up. "Shall we go now? Let us put an end to the suspense. Consider it an early wedding present from me to the lucky couple."

They walked down the winding stairs until they came to the rope ladders and then made their way to the ground. Eowyn had almost forgotten they were up in the trees. Around a corner or two and they came to a garden. It was beautiful and it was filled with all kinds of trees and plants and flowers. Upon further inspection, Eowyn recognized the plant life.

"Legolas, everything in this garden grows in Rohan. Look Faramir, these are the kind of flowers my brother and I used to bring to my mother. And these trees are like the ones we used to sit under and tell stories with our friends. Oh, the smells bring back so many memories. But how did you know? How did you acquire all these plants?"

"I am an Elf. I have my ways." he said and Eowyn gave him a look.

"Well, it's absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much." she said.

"You are welcome to visit here any time you like. This is your garden to do with as you please." Legolas said and bowed respectably.

Eowyn looked at Faramir as if to ask a question and he nodded. Eowyn went to Legolas and hugged him. Faramir smiled. He knew it was important for them to keep their friendship solid. No more secrets and no awkward moments. This was just the way things were. Faramir trusted Eowyn and Legolas. They still needed each other, mainly for Legolas' survival. He accepted it and was glad they could all be friends.


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.

Story Information

Author: L8Bleumr

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 11/06/10

Original Post: 08/26/10

Go to What Paths We Take overview

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