26. A Time Of Renewal
The sadness and loneliness Eowyn felt was diminishing a bit. Her mind was becoming more and more preoccupied with the birth, which was only a couple weeks away. Haldir stayed very close now. He took it upon himself not only to be her protector but also to monitor her throughout the pregnancy. After all, this was not just any child. This was the child of a prince, an heir to Mirkwood and granddaughter to its king. This would be the last birth seen in Lothlorien. Haldir was proud to be a part of that and took his job very seriously, which is why Eowyn and Faramir had very little time alone together.
The two had spent many hours walking amongst the mallorns, talking about their journeys since departing from each other. A friendship blossomed between them, though there was always the underlying desire to rediscover love. Eowyn was glad Faramir was here. He brought with him a sense of home. Lothlorien was a magical place where a human could become easily lost in its ethereal feel. He kept her feet on the ground so that she did not lose her way.
Faramir, on the other hand, was falling in love with her all over again. He would not show his feelings though, keeping them locked deep within his heart. She was the key and the only one who could release such feelings. He would wait patiently for her to see what he kept tucked away in secret. Quite often, Arwen's words came back to him. She had foreseen their reunion and spoke of it many times that day in the courtyard. He held on tight to this memory in hopes that it would one day come true. There was no reason to doubt the granddaughter of Galadriel.
One day, as Eowyn was enjoying a beautiful sunlit morning, she heard whispers on the gentle wind that blew across her face. She closed her eyes and listened. At first, she could not make out the words. She thought it was just her imagination when she heard it again. 'Today' it seemed to say. Then a familiar scent filled her head, of flowers in bloom and life anew in the spring. Her memory swept her away to the garden in Ithilien that Legolas gifted to her. It was her favorite time of the year when every living thing, be it plant or animal, seemed to be reborn. It was a time of renewal, an awakening of the mind, body and soul, new hope for a better life than the one before.
As she became lost in thought, the wind blew again but this time brought with it another familiar scent, this one of spice, of man. Without opening her eyes, she spoke his name. "Good morning, Faramir." she said with a smile.
"How did you know I was here?" he questioned.
"I sensed you." she said, remembering how Legolas had done the same with her. "My senses have heightened lately. I think it is the child growing within. I have absorbed some of her elven traits. It is a wondrous thing to experience."
Faramir carried with him a tray of fruit. "I thought you might like something to eat this morning. It was strange. I was on my way to deliver this food to your talan when I felt a breeze, which redirected me to this spot. Imagine my surprise when I found that the wind had led me here, to you. It was almost as if I heard voices."
At the mention of voices, Eowyn turned to Faramir for she had had a similar experience just a moment before. "It is this place, this forest. It is magical and sometimes it draws us in."
Faramir looked at her, love showing in his eyes. "It draws us to each other." he said and quickly looked away. "Anyway, I have brought you all of your favorites. I didn't know what you were in the mood for this morning."
He sat the tray down on the railing and looked out into the distance. "Do you miss home?" he said unexpectedly.
Eowyn had to think about this a moment. Where was home for her? Rohan was her birthplace but she had not been back in a long time. Minas Tirith was her home briefly but she did not belong there. The forest of Ithilien was Legolas' home. It was where she felt the most comfortable at one time but it would not be the same without him there. Emyn Arnen was her palace once, when she was with Faramir, but she could not claim that now. Lorien was much to elven for her to stay indefinitely. It was where she wanted to bring her baby into the world so she could claim it for her birthplace, the fairest of all elven lands.
Faramir thought she seemed saddened by his question. "I'm sorry; I did not mean to ruin your morning."
"It is alright. You have brought something to my attention that I had not thought of before. Many take their homes for granted. Until you realize you do not have one of your own will you understand how important it is. I have traveled to so many places I can claim a little bit of home in each of them, but none is permanent. Now my home will be wherever it is most suited for my daughter to dwell, at least until she is old enough to choose one for her own."
Faramir stood silent for a moment, considering what Eowyn had just told him. He remembered the promise he made to Legolas, to never let her be lonely. "It would ease my mind if you would agree to return with me to Emyn Arnen."
Eowyn had not expected him to say this. She did not know what to say. The wind blew again and she could hear Legolas' words come back to her; I asked him to keep a promise. Don't turn him away.
"I will take what you said into consideration. Thank you for offering this to me, and to my baby." she said as a friend.
Faramir smiled and reached for a piece of fruit. Eowyn did the same and as they both made to attain the same slice, their hands touched. They both looked down, neither one willing to be the first to pull away. Another wisp of air caressed Eowyn's ears. Let him in it said and she found herself weaving her fingers with his.
"I have missed you." she finally said. The words seemed to escape her lips without thought but she still could not bring herself to look at him.
Faramir's heart leapt from his chest as she spoke. He reached out and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I have missed you also." It sounded like an afterthought, not at all what he really wanted to say. He let his fingers slide down the side of her face to her chin and tilted her head so she was looking at him. In her eyes, he saw confusion but somewhere deep was love. He leaned forward slowly, giving her a chance to back away. When she did not, he lightly kissed her on the lips, remembering how she felt, how she tasted.
Eowyn could not stop herself. In a realm where she seemed so out of place, this one thing was familiar to her. She was lost in the moment, reliving those days so long ago when their love was new, and feeling the stirrings of guilt for wishing it was Legolas. That was when she knew it was time to make a decision. Like the smell of spring on the air, it was time to start anew. She was not diminishing. There was still a lot of life for her to experience. To wish for the things that could not change was a waste of energy. Legolas was leaving. Faramir was here. He still loves you she heard. Let him in. Legolas had given her the freedom she needed to move on.
The kiss ended and she once again gazed into his eyes. She saw his love for her. It was as strong as ever, like the time they first shared a kiss very much like this one. Eowyn touched the side of his handsome face and drew him towards her. Another kiss sealed the promises they had both made to Legolas. Just as Eowyn was about to deepen the kiss, a voice seemed to scream through her head. TODAY it said and suddenly she felt a pain like never before. She pulled away from Faramir and doubled over.
"Ow. Faramir." she said, panic in her voice.
This caught him completely off guard. "What is it? What is the matter?" he said holding her by the shoulders.
Another sharp pain left her helpless as she collapsed in Faramir's arms. "Get me… to… the healers. The baby…"
She lost consciousness and Faramir lowered her to the ground. He looked around for help then remembered the one who was always near. "HALDIR!" he yelled and the Marchwarden came running.
"What happened?" he said accusingly.
"I don't know. One minute we were… talking and the next she is crying out in pain. We need the healers. She said it's the baby." Faramir was beside himself.
"Stay with her. I'll get help." Haldir said and sprinted off to the healing talan.
Faramir removed his cloak and put it over Eowyn. Her eyes fluttered open and she saw Faramir hovering over her. "What… what happened?"
"You fainted. Are you still in pain?" he asked. He sat down and laid her head in his lap.
"I think the baby is coming, but something is not right. They told me it would not happen so quickly and it is too soon. The baby should not be here yet." She was afraid for the safety of her daughter. Another wave of pain came over her and she had the overwhelming need to push. She sat up and held her breath hoping it would pass.
Meanwhile, Haldir came running up with the head healer. "We need to get her to the healing house." he said to Faramir. They helped her up and laid her on a stretcher.
"The contractions are coming every few minutes. They are strong. She is in a lot of pain." Faramir told Haldir who repeated it in elvish to the healer.
"The healer said he was afraid it would be like this. Eowyn is a human giving birth to an elvish child. They were not sure what to expect. It looks like this baby is coming a little bit early. Let us just pray the child is healthy and safe." Haldir told Faramir as they entered the healing talan.
They put Eowyn in a bed and examined her. It was determined that the baby was coming. The extensive pain weakened her. She was not sure she had enough energy to get through the birth.
Haldir never left her side, even pushing Faramir out of the way. "Everything will be alright my lady. I will help you any way I can."
"Thank you Haldir but I would very much like Faramir to be with me too. I need him here with me." she pleaded.
Haldir wrinkled his brow. "I mean no disrespect, my lady, but what does this man know about your situation. I have been here since you first arrived. I'm not sure he is able to help you as I can."
Eowyn smiled up at the Marchwarden. "Be careful, Haldir. Your compassion is showing. You have a reputation to uphold, remember?"
Haldir glanced around the room and Eowyn laughed. "There is no other Elf here that I want to share this experience with. I want you to stay Haldir, but Faramir is special to me also. I need him by my side. He is a good man no matter what you might think. Please, bring him in here with me."
Reluctantly, Haldir called for Faramir to join them for the delivery. As Faramir enter the room, he bowed to Haldir who scrutinized him with the slits of his eyes. However, their moods changed quickly as Eowyn started having another painful contraction. Both Haldir and Faramir went to her. The healers informed them to stay out of the way and remain calm. This was not going to be an easy birth and if either one became a problem, they were going to be asked to leave immediately.
The Elves brought in clean water and towels, and sat herbs and salves on a table nearby. The healer spoke to her and Haldir translated. "He says it is time to push, my lady. The baby is coming and your body is ready for delivery."
"I don't know how I'm going do this. I am so tired. The pain is too great." Eowyn said, exhausted.
Faramir took her hand. "You have no choice in the matter. This child is coming whether you are ready or not. But it will be over quicker if you cooperate."
She looked to Haldir who was standing on the other side of her. "Do you know any elvish lullabies? I think hearing your language will sooth me."
Panic spread on Haldir's face. "I am not versed in any and it has been too long since I remember any taught to me as an elfling." As he finished speaking, Eowyn yelled out in pain again.
Unexpectedly, Faramir began singing in elvish. It was the song Legolas taught him on their journey to Lothlorien. Everyone in the room looked on in amazement as this man of Gondor sang one of their own songs. Eowyn began to relax and Faramir continued singing. The healer motioned for him to climb on the bed behind her. Eowyn sat up and Faramir sat at the head of the bed. She leaned back against his chest and let the vibrations of his voice carry through her body. As the contractions came on, he would lean into her ear and whisper words of encouragement, sometimes in elvish, sometimes in their own language.
Eowyn pushed harder each time they told her until Haldir spoke. "He says the baby is almost here. He can see the head. It is almost over, my lady. You are doing just fine."
She smiled and laughed between breaths. Then, with one final push, the baby entered the world. Tears streamed down Eowyn's face and she looked down to the healer. Right away, the sound of a crying infant filled the talan. An elf maiden wrapped the baby in a blanket and handed her to Eowyn. The tiny infant blinked and looked at her mother. Eowyn instantly recognized the blue eyes that stared at her. "Caladwen." she whispered and kissed her daughter's forehead.
Faramir looked over her shoulder at the baby lying in her mother's arms. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever experienced and the closest thing to having a child of his own. "She is beautiful, just like her mother."
Haldir stood in silence as tenderness filled his eyes and a smile spread across his hardened face. It was a moment none had ever witnessed before, save Eowyn. It was brief as he suddenly observed the other Elves in the room smiling back at him. It gladdened their hearts to know their Marchwarden had a soft side. The smile disappeared and the compassion of his eyes turned back to their usual harshness as he glared at the Elves. "Breathe a word of this to anyone and I will have you removed from my forest immediately." he said in his native tongue. The Elves turned from his stare and heeded his warning, leaving the room immediately.
Eowyn was recovering from her trials when she looked back at Faramir who still sat behind her. "I could not have done this without you." Then glancing at Haldir she said, "Either of you." Eowyn smiled. "Come Marchwarden. You have been my guardian throughout this pregnancy. You will be the first to hold her."
Haldir looked at the healer who remained in the room. He nodded to Haldir and the Marchwarden took the tiny babe in his arms. She looked at him right away as he spoke in elvish. It was a beautiful moment for everyone. He handed the baby back to Eowyn.
"What did you say?" Eowyn asked.
"I made a promise to her to be her guardian and watch over her as long as she roams this world." he said in a quiet voice.
Eowyn smiled. "The Guardian of the Light." From that moment, she knew there would always be a special connection between Haldir and her daughter.
The healer took the baby just to give her a thorough examination, and then laid her in a bassinet next to the bed. Eowyn looked at her and smiled with such joy in her heart. "Celeborn was right. It is a love like none I have never felt before. If only Legolas were here to see her." she whispered.
A few days later, she received permission to leave the healing house and return to her own talan. The room was stocked with things she needed for herself and her newborn daughter. Haldir had been in charge of seeing to her needs. He visited often just to check on Eowyn but she knew he developed a special attachment to Caladwen. Her happiness and wellbeing seemed to be his new objective. This was important to him and she would not tease him about his newfound diversion. Eowyn sat by and observed in silence. She saw something in the Elf's eyes when he looked upon Caladwen. He loved her. He had felt a connection to her since he first felt her moving in Eowyn's womb. Eowyn knew Haldir would always be her protector. She would never be alone as long as the Marchwarden was near.
Everyday, Faramir arrived with fresh flowers for Eowyn. He knew which ones were her favorite and made sure she had beautiful blooms each morning. In return, Faramir had the joy of seeing her smiling face each time he visited. They shared meals and conversation but never mentioned the exchange they had the day Caladwen was born. Faramir knew now was not the time. The newborn was at the forefront right now. Everything else could wait. In time, they would discuss these matters further.
Caladwen was now two years old. She was not a typical child. From the beginning, she slept through the night. There were no 'middle of the night' feedings. Eowyn heard the stories about babies being up all night and parents getting no rest. Actually, she woke up every morning completely rested. However, during the daytime, the child never napped. This was the tradeoff.
Caladwen was an extremely happy baby. She hardly ever cried. The only time she did was when Haldir left after visiting her for a while. The crying was brief as Eowyn would rock her and sing songs.
Faramir was quite helpful, too. Every night, he sang elvish lullabies to her, lulling her to sleep. He remembered every word and every note Legolas taught him. In the morning, after bringing Eowyn's flowers, he told the stories Legolas taught him. Faramir had a knack for making them sound like fairy tales.
Eowyn and Faramir became very close, as close as two people can with a child around. They were rediscovering their feelings for each other once again. Faramir moved into her talan, taking the spare room of course. The couple had fallen into a comfortable routine but Faramir longed for more. He had not known Eowyn felt the same or he would have acted upon these feelings much sooner.
The Elves witnessed what was transpiring between the couple. They smiled and whispered when they saw Faramir and Eowyn holding hands or stealing a quick kiss. Love was in the air in Lothlorien. The birth of Caladwen brought them such joy as they had not seen in a long time and they were thankful. Now it was their turn to return the favor.
Celeborn and Haldir approached the happy couple with a proposal. "Celeborn has brought it to my attention that you are both quite preoccupied with Caladwen. We think you need some time for yourselves. I would like to offer my services." Haldir looked around, making sure no other Elves were around. "I will watch Caladwen so that you and Lord Faramir may have some alone time with each other." Haldir seemed to rush his words, his stone face never faltering.
Eowyn smiled. "Are you saying you wish to be a babysitter?" she laughed.
Haldir's face hardened. "Absolutely not, my lady. I would be known as her teacher, a mentor if you like."
Eowyn could not help but smile at this Elf who had been her friend for the past couple years. "That is a very generous offer."
"Actually, a few of us would like to help out." Celeborn spoke up. "You need time together and we would be glad to take Caladwen when the occasion should arise. It is the least we can do for you."
"Thank you Lord Celeborn, Haldir." Faramir said with a bow. "I think we will take you up on your offer. How about tonight then?" He turned to Eowyn. "Is that alright with you?"
"That would be wonderful." Eowyn said as she gazed into Faramir's eyes. "Tonight would be just perfect."
"Very well." answered Celeborn. "Haldir, would you like to baby-sit… uh I mean teach tonight?" he said with a smile, standing behind the Marchwarden.
Haldir could not see him but he could feel his smirk. He merely rolled his eyes. "That will be fine. I have no other plans this evening." Then, under his breath, he added. "I may never have plans again if you insist on teasing me in such a way."
Later that evening, Haldir arrived at Eowyn's talan with some books. Eowyn took them and read their titles. "Herb Mastery? A book of Elven Lore? Haldir, she is two. She is too young for any of these."
"She is half-elven, my lady. She will learn much faster than a human will. The elven mind must be constantly challenged." Haldir held his composure.
Eowyn sat the books on a table and handed him a book of children stories. "She is half-human and I say she is not ready for Herb Mastery. You will read her this book. It was my favorite as a child and it is what I read to her at night. Now, I left a list of do's and don'ts on the table for you and if you wish to keep this job, you will follow my rules. Do we have an understanding, Marchwarden?"
"Very well. Children stories it is, for now anyways." Haldir answered.
Faramir stood in the background and silently observed the exchange between the seasoned elven warrior and the Shieldmaiden. There was no confusion as to who won this battle.
Eowyn kissed her daughter on the forehead and gave Haldir one final hardened glance as she left the talan. Faramir followed her and paused to pat the defeated Elf on the shoulder.
As they walked through the forest, Eowyn seemed preoccupied. "Herb Mastery of all things. Honestly, does he not have a clue?"
Faramir laughed. "He only wants the best for her. Actually, he seems quite taken with her."
"Yes, I have noticed that. He will get his chance to teach her the ways of the Elves. He will be good for her. Haldir has such a strong, overwhelming personality. If Caladwen is anything like me, those two will have quite a battle on their hands when she's older." Eowyn reached for Faramir's hand. "So where are we going this evening?"
"I have found a place of such beauty it cannot be matched, save yours." he said squeezing her hand.
Eowyn felt her cheeks blush. She could not remember the last time that happened. She stopped walking and Faramir turned to her. Eowyn reached up and lightly kissed him.
"What was that for?" he teased.
"For allowing me to remember what it is like to be young and innocent." she said, kissing him again. Passion flowed from her lips this time. Faramir held her by the waist and pulled her into him. He deepened the kiss and tongues entwined. He parted from her and the couple gazed into each other's eyes.
Faramir smiled to her, lost in the moment. "Come, we are almost there."
They rounded a corner and came out of a line of trees to a sight they would never forget. A small waterfall poured into a shallow pool of crystal clear water. Next to this was a small clearing blanketed by lush green grass. Trees with leaves of gold lined the clearing. The setting sun made them seem to be on fire.
Eowyn's mouth gaped at the beauty of it all. "I never knew such colors existed in nature. This is gorgeous, Faramir. How in Middle Earth did you ever find it?"
"Haldir told me where to find it. He said he used to frequent this place quite often in his youth."
"And not by himself, I imagine." she smirked. "Remind me to ask him about that later."
Faramir walked to the pool. "Feel the water. It is quite pleasing."
Eowyn reached down and swirled her hand on the surface expecting the water to feel cool. "It is warm."
"It is a healing pool. The water comes up from underground, bringing with it minerals. It is said the pool will help to heal the tired soul."
"I would very much like to come back here sometime and test its powers." she said drying her hand on her skirt.
"What about now?" he whispered into her ear, his tongue trailing along its edge.
"You are too brash." she answered. Her body was responding to his seductions.
"Eowyn, I cannot keep up this facade any longer. We share the same living space yet we sleep in different rooms. We spend all our time together yet I'm rewarded with a quick kiss." Faramir paused and searched her face for disapproval but found none. "I want to be back in your life. I am tired of sleeping alone. I want you curled up in my arms again. I want…"
Eowyn did not give him a chance to finish. She covered his mouth with hers and kissed him urgently. "I want that too. I know Caladwen is not your child, but I want us to be a family. Faramir I… I… I love you."
"It feels like a lifetime since I've heard those words. I have never stopped loving you. Even during my darkest days, that part of my heart did not falter. Sometimes that was the only thing keeping me alive." Faramir kissed her neck and shoulder. 'Let's go home. Haldir can take the baby to his talan for a bit. I want you. I need you, Eowyn."
"I can not wait that long." Eowyn said, unbuttoning his shirt. "I want you here, now." She pushed his shirt from his shoulders and explored his bare skin. There were more scars now then the last time she had seen him. It saddened her that someone who never wanted to be a warrior had seen so much war. Those days were well behind them now.
Faramir unhooked her dress and pushed it down her shoulders. He looked upon her creamy white skin. "Oh Eowyn." he breathed into her breasts before tasting them.
They quickly finished undressing and stood before each other. They came together, arms entwined, kissing wildly. They entered the healing pool and lay down in the shallow water. Faramir stretched out on top of her body. She parted her legs and invited him in. He buried himself in her depths and let out a moan of satisfaction. It was as if he held his breath for years. Only now could he release it.
"I love you, Eowyn and I will never stop proving to you just how much you mean to me." he said, setting his rhythm. Eowyn met every thrust and soon the couple hung on the edge of their climax. Like the warm waters of the healing pool, the heat of their ecstasy engulfed them as they came together for the first time in years.
As they recovered, Eowyn felt a satisfaction not only from making love but also for reaching a decision. She wanted Faramir. She thought she would live her life alone but not now. Faramir would be there every step of the way. She could finally live the life she had always dreamed of having. There was only one thing left to do to make it complete.
"Faramir?" she said kissing his face. "Will you marry me, again?"
He laughed. "Always the Shieldmaiden." Then he smiled and kissed her. "Yes, my love. Yes, I will marry you… again."
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.