30. As It Should Be
It seemed not long before word came to Lothlorien of the happenings outside their fair woods. Faramir's attention was drawn to a small group of Elves gathered around the young Elf messenger. He hid in the shadows and took notice of the excitement in the Elf's voice. He spoke in elvish which Faramir understood enough of to know what he was saying.
"Celebrations are underway as we speak." the Elf messenger said. "The Elf Prince of Ithilien stays."
"But how did this happen?" asked another.
"They say Prince Legolas was on his ship and just about to set sail when a figure came, cloaked and hooded, riding in fast on a horse. It was soon reveled to be a woman shrouded in the cloak of Lothlorien. She jumped down and ran to the docks, informally shouting the Prince's name. He went to the side of the ship and looked down upon the traveler. She called up to him, asking him not to go. Most thought she was just some poor soul smitten with one of the fair folk, unable to accept their choice to leave Middle Earth. Imagine their surprise when the Prince leapt down from his ship and went to this woman. He scooped her up into his arms and lifted her off the ground. That was when it was realized this woman was the Lady of Rohan. The proof was in the kiss they shared and the look of joy on their faces. And so the Prince stays." The messenger finished with his brief account of his story.
Faramir felt his heart sink. So she has made her choice, he thought to himself. There was suddenly a hand upon his shoulder. Faramir looked back and found Haldir standing there.
"You should not take away too much of what the messenger says. He has been known to exaggerate for the sake of a good story." Haldir said softly.
"It is alright, Haldir. Somehow, I knew it would come to this. She belongs with him. They are a family, the three of them."
Haldir seemed to understand what Faramir knew all along. "What will you do now?"
Faramir laid a hand on the Marchwarden's shoulder. "It is time for me to go home, my friend. My city needs me. It is time to set things right in Osgiliath. It will once again shine as bright as the stars." he said proudly.
Haldir smiled. "It will once again be known as the jewel of Minas Tirith." Haldir walked with Faramir as he made his way to his talan, Eowyn's talan. "May you go with peace, Lord Faramir. You are always welcome here in Lothlorien."
"You will take good care of Caladwen until Eowyn returns?" Faramir asked.
"Of course. The child has hardly left my side." Haldir said and Faramir saw the slightest smile in the corner of the Elf's lips.
As they entered the talan, Caladwen jumped down from the elleth's lap, who had been watching her, and ran to Faramir wrapping around his leg. "Will you play with me, Daddy? I like when we play in the garden."
Faramir reached down and scooped her up in his arms. "I cannot refuse a chance to play in the gardens with you. Come, let's go."
Caladwen looked at Haldir. "Come play with us." It was more of a demand then an invitation.
"Not today, pen vuin (dear one). Today is for you and Faramir. Tomorrow we will play." Haldir said. He knew how much Faramir loved Caladwen even if she wasn't his own. She would miss Faramir when he left. Haldir would be there for Caladwen. It would not be the only time he would comfort her in her time of sorrow.
And so, Faramir and Caladwen spent the day together. He tried to explain to her his reason for leaving but she was too young to fully understand. He told her he would still visit her and maybe one day she would visit him. He let her know how much he loved her and always would. That night, Caladwen was missing her mother so he let the child nuzzle up to him in his bed and read to her all of her favorite stories until she fell asleep.
The next morning, Faramir took Caladwen to Haldir for her daily lessons. Before he left, he gave her one last hug. "Mama will be back soon and she brings your ada with her. You will finally be a real family. Be good for your Mama and listen to Haldir. He has a lot to teach you."
"Alright, Daddy." Caladwen said, not understanding what all was happening.
It pulled on his heartstrings to hear her call him that though it would be the last. From now on he would be known as Faramir, not her daddy. She would finally have her real father in her life and Faramir would surely be forgotten.
As he left the room, he bowed to Haldir. Haldir returned the gesture, something he only ever reserved for Lady Galadriel or Lord Celeborn.
Osgiliath was coming along nicely. Faramir was proud of all the hard work that had been done in his absence. His captains took pride in their accomplishments. A celebration was in order for the return of Lord Faramir. The people wished he would have his lady by his side this day, but it was not to be. Faramir put up a good front telling everyone he had expected this outcome and had accepted it long ago. It was a lie though. The loss of Eowyn to Legolas was still very new to him. He hid any signs of desolation from his people only allowing himself to grieve when it was late and he was alone in his chambers. Even then he tried not to dwell in this state for too long. Life must go on. There was no telling what the future would bring, perhaps another chance at love.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
A few months had passed. On this particular day, Faramir was at his home in Emyn Arnen, enjoying a quiet morning. There was a crispness in the air. Autumn was well on its way. It was his favorite time of the year. He looked forward to the changing colors of the forest. It was a beautiful scene to witness the oranges, yellows and reds of the leaves, however briefly it lasted. He decided to take an example from nature. The world was shedding its former self, becoming a clean slate. The winter would give it time to hibernate and learn from past mistakes. Nature would plan for the future with these in mind so that it would come back in the spring, ready to take on life again. Faramir would do just that. He would take time to think about all that had happened in his life so far. But there was a lot of life left for him. He would emerge a different man, stronger and greatly educated in more ways than one. He was, after all, a scholar at heart. He would take up his original love of documenting the events of the world. This would occupy his time and help him deal with the ghosts of his past, however recent they were.
He was sitting on his terrace one day, scripting his experiences in the battle for Osgiliath when he heard many voices down below. People were talking about a celebration taking place soon. When Faramir peeked over the railing to see who was conversing, his eyes widen for he did not expect to see the scene below. Many people were gathered around three tall glowing figures, Elves; not just any Elves, but the brothers of Lothlorien. Many young ladies surrounded them for they had never before seen Lorien Elves. They were quite different from the Ithilien Elves, broader in the shoulders and hair more silver than gold. Their smooth alabaster skin made them seem to glow and they stuck out like the brightest star in the night sky.
Faramir had to laugh at himself when he saw the look on Haldir's face as the young ladies all seemed to be fighting for his attention. Haldir merely rolled his eyes and paid them no mind. Rumil and Orophin were not left out of the ogling. They just seemed to tolerate the attention better and Faramir thought they might even be enjoying it a bit.
Finally, he heard Haldir raise his voice, as he was becoming a bit perturbed with the women. "Ladies, if you would kindly just tell me where to find Lord Faramir then we can be on our way and you can get back to doing what ever it is you do."
Faramir let him suffer a moment longer and then shouted down from his balcony. "Aye, Haldir of Lorien, you have found him. Come up and join me for a glass of fine elvish wine."
Haldir had a look of relief when he saw Faramir and made for the door. Rumil followed his brother but Orophin seemed to have caught the eye of a particular maiden who purposefully pranced around him like a cat in heat. He was enjoying this strange show of affection when Haldir called to him in elvish to hurry and 'leave that one alone for she was trouble'.
The Lorien Elves made their way up to Faramir's study where they were showed the way in. Faramir stood behind his desk smiling to his newfound friends. "Haldir, Rumil, Orophin it is so good to see you. What brings you to my fair city?"
"We have been told there is a new jewel in Gondor's crown and came to see for ourselves. Your people have done an excellent job, Faramir. Osgiliath shines brightly once again." Haldir said. "And you look particularly well. It seems city life has done you good."
"I never realized how much I missed my home until I got here. I promised my people I will never again be gone for such a long time." Faramir gestured for them to sit while he poured them some wine. They accepted graciously and seemed to relax a bit after all the formalities were out of the way. But Faramir knew Haldir well and there must be another reason for his visit.
"Come now, Haldir. What is the real reason for this meeting? You do not wander from your Golden Woods so easily, least of all to just roam about Middle Earth, visiting." Faramir said with a raised eyebrow.
"You are correct in your assumptions, Faramir." Haldir started. "Actually we have journeyed here as escorts for a special party of travelers. We wanted to tell you before you heard it from the streets below."
"Tell me what?" Faramir asked suspiciously.
"Prince Legolas has returned to his forest home in Ithilien." Haldir stated simply.
"Oh, I see." Faramir said trying not to seem disturbed by the news. "Well I'm sure the Elves that remain there are thrilled to have their Prince back." Faramir paused a moment. "And is Eowyn with him?"
"She… has returned." Haldir answered with a strange tone to his voice. "There is to be a celebration in honor of the Prince's return this evening. I have come here to personally invite you to the festivities. Being that you are the Lord of the lands of Ithilien, I thought it best to do this myself."
Faramir thought for a moment before answering. "I for one am glad beyond a doubt that Legolas has decided to stay in Middle Earth. He is and will always be a good friend. But I think I will choose to welcome him back on a more personal level and not join in the festivities tonight. Please send him my most sincere apologies. I will visit with him when he has settled back into his daily routine."
Haldir stood up, along with his brothers. "Very well then. I will let him know, though he will be disappointed by your exclusion." Haldir's countenance softened. "But I understand your reasoning." The Lorien Elves made to leave but Haldir turned to him once more. "It is very good to see you again Faramir. I can sense your contentment. You have done well."
Faramir wasn't sure what the Elf meant by that or why he smiled so slyly. Then again, he never much understood Haldir to begin with.
A little while later, there was a knock at his study door. "Come." he said and the door cracked open.
"My Lord Faramir, you have a visitor." said a maiden in a quiet mousy voice.
Thinking it was Haldir again, trying to convince him to come tonight he answered, "Send him in."
Faramir went back to signing the papers on his desk. He heard the door open and without looking up he spoke. "Haldir, I gave you my answer. No amount of pestering me will make me change my…"
He looked up as he was talking and stopped mid sentence when he saw it was not Haldir who had come.
"Eowyn." he whispered as if he were seeing an apparition.
"Hello, Faramir." she said quietly. "May I come in?" She almost expected him to send her away.
"Of course, please, come in." he said standing up at once as was proper etiquette when a lady entered the room.
Eowyn walked in, looking around his study. It was much brighter than she remembered, but those had been dark days then and had long since passed. She walked up to Faramir's desk. He gestured for her to sit but she refused. "Haldir tells me you have turned down Legolas' invitation."
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I will see him soon though." Faramir said feeling like a child who was caught in a lie. "You look beautiful as ever." he said trying to divert her attention.
Eowyn felt a blush coming on but fought it back. "Thank you. Osgiliath is magnificent. The recovery efforts have gone well beyond expectation."
"I take no credit for that. Most of the work was done in my stead. My men have gone to extremes to get the city back in order before my return. They are very proud as am I." Faramir said, not being able to look away from her.
Eowyn felt his eyes on her. "Is there something wrong?" she said looking down and checking her attire.
"No, no. I'm sorry if I stare. It's just… you seem different to me. It's like I'm seeing you for the first time. You seem… whole." Faramir tore his eyes away from her. "I'm glad you found what you were looking for." he said knowing she had given her heart and soul to Legolas.
"Faramir, I'm glad you noticed. I am finally whole again but there is more to the story than you know. I would like to tell you if you will lend me your ear for a bit." she said innocently.
"Eowyn, I'm not sure this is such…" he started.
"Very well." he said giving in. "But let us go out on the terrace. It is far too beautiful a day to spend it cooped up inside. I'll get us some wine."
Eowyn smiled and took a seat on the divan which was covered by the shade of a nearby oak. Faramir came back with two goblets of wine and some bread. He handed Eowyn her wine, sat the bread on a nearby table and took a seat across from her on a comfortable chair.
Before he let her start he had one question. "Where is Caladwen?"
"She is with Legolas. He is showing her around Ithilien." Eowyn paused looking into her glass. "You know, she missed you terribly when you left."
"I'm sorry, Eowyn. I never meant to cause any distress. My time had come and I needed to get back home."
"Why did you not wait for me?" she asked.
"There was no reason to stay any longer. I felt I had no place in Lorien since you had made your… choice."
"And how did you come to find out about my choice before my return?"
"I heard the young messenger Elf telling the others of a woman draped in a Lorien cloak and of how she lured the Prince from his ship with nothing more than the sound of her voice. There is more but I shall not repeat it." Faramir didn't think it appropriate.
"I know the messenger of whom you speak. He is quite the storyteller, the way he exaggerates things. And so from the message of a flamboyant Elf you decided to leave?" Eowyn prodded.
"Well, you seem to know more. Tell me your story then." Faramir said, nestling into his chair and sipping his wine.
A few months earlier…
Eowyn rode as fast as she could with Rumil and Orophin leading the way. They only rested long enough for their horses to recover. When they were within sight of the shore, the Lorien brothers halted. They sent Eowyn on the rest of the way by herself. It was not far now.
It was late morning when she arrived. The first thing that caught her eye was the ship. It was magnificent with its white sails billowing in the wind. She saw the familiar faces of some of the Ithilien Elves at the dock. And then her eyes fell on Legolas. He was standing up top, looking towards the sky. When Eowyn followed his stare, she saw the gulls circling overhead. The sea longing she thought and hoped it wasn't too late. She jumped down from her horse and ran to the docks.
"Legolas. Legolas." she shouted but he seemed not to hear her. Slowly he turned toward the direction of her voice.
Legolas thought it was a dream. Was that really Eowyn standing on the dock calling his name, or was he caught in another dream like all the other ones? He rubbed his eyes and looked again but she was still there.
"Legolas." she called again and he ran to the edge of the ship looking down on her. "Please don't go. Please stay. Stay for us, for your daughter if nothing else, but please, don't leave." she cried. Eowyn had finally found her voice.
Legolas stood there a moment, a tear in his eye as he heard the words he longed to hear. Gimli came up next to him and nudged the Elf with his elbow. "Well, what are you waiting for? Go to her."
With cat like movement, Legolas leapt over the side of the ship and landed on the dock below. "Say it again, meleth."
"Don't go, Legolas Thranduilion." she said between sobs.
Legolas went to her and embraced her in his arms, lifting her from the ground. He kissed her and they laughed like never before. The other Elves watched the scene play out before them. The Prince of Mirkwood would not sail this day and they were glad. Legolas was given a reprieve all because Eowyn had found her voice.
And so Legolas, Eowyn, Rumil, Orophin and Gimli all returned to Lothlorien. It was a day full of joy. Even the trees seemed brighter that day. But the best part of the day was when Caladwen saw Legolas again.
"Ada, you're back." she yelled and went to him as fast as she could. Legolas' face lit up at the sound of her voice and a new life seemed to emanate from him. A special connection, a bond seemed to form between father and daughter. Legolas lifted Caladwen high in the air and spun her around, laughing. His eyes were lit up and he was glowing.
That's when Eowyn realized what she was meant to do all along. She had to set Legolas free, free of the bond that they shared. It was not for her to hold any longer. Caladwen was to be the bond which held him here in Middle Earth, just as he had been for Thranduil. The words of the she-elf from her dream came back to her. Eowyn was not, nor could she ever be bonded to Legolas in the way of the Elves. It was time to release him and in the process, free herself.
Later, when Caladwen was asleep and all was quiet, Eowyn and Legolas went for a walk. The stars and the moon came out from behind a cloud and Legolas stopped to admire them. "I guess the stars will have to wait a while longer." he said. Then he took Eowyn in his arms and kissed her. "Thank you for coming back. I had accepted my fate long ago but always hoped there was some other way. Your love for me halted my leaving."
Eowyn looked to the ground. "But my love is not strong enough to keep you here. You know how much I love you, Legolas, and I always will. Yet, I cannot be the reason you stay. You must stay for Caladwen. She needs you now."
Legolas studied Eowyn's face. He knew what it was she needed to do. He waited for her to continue. Eowyn wrapped her arms around him and nuzzled her face in his chest. She could hear his heart beating. It was strong. He was so alive, more than he had ever been since they admitted their love for each other.
"Legolas, I have to release you. I can no longer give you my soul. You have another bond which will tie you to the earth. The love between a father and daughter can never be broken but you must be whole. Legolas, I release you from our bond. To set you free means to set myself free also."
Legolas held her close to him as if he couldn't let go. But as she spoke these words to him, he could feel a change. He could no longer sense her. She had separated from him. It was done. At the same instant, he felt a tugging sensation towards another, his daughter. He could be with her, raise her, and teach her. She would become the most important thing in his life. He would not fade, nor would he sail before his time. The promise he made to Aragorn and the fellowship could be fulfilled. Not until the fellowship had dissolved would he sail to the Undying Lands. A sense of relief and loss washed over him.
"I accept this release." he finally said. "I understand why you do this." He took Eowyn's chin and tilted her head so he could look into her eyes. "Your choice, it was always Faramir. Never have two people been through so much and still manage to find their way back to each other. I think we are all back where we belong now. I meant it when I said I will always love you. That I cannot change but your heart and soul should belong to him."
Eowyn couldn't help crying but it was a mixture of tears of sorrow and tears of joy. "It is true that the human heart can love more than just one for I will always love you too, Legolas." She wiped the tears from her face, took a deep breath and looked up to the night sky.
Legolas watched her and as she exhaled, he saw a shift in her demeanor. "How do you feel now?" he asked with his crooked smile.
She looked at him, touched the side of his face and answered with a smile. "Whole."
"Let's go home." he said.
"Home." Eowyn repeated. "I will finally have a place to call my own."
Eowyn finished her story and sat silent. Faramir stood up and walked to where she sat. He got down on his knees and drew her into an embrace. "I thought you were gone, that your mind was made up. It seemed like the obvious choice, to be with the father of your child. I didn't think I had anything more to offer. I'm sorry I left Lorien."
Eowyn cradled him in her arms. "I made my choice long ago and that has never changed. I love you, Faramir and I want to be with you, to marry you. I gave you my heart long ago when we first shared in a secret kiss. Now I give you my soul."
"For so long it has seemed but a dream that you would be with me." Faramir said looking into her eyes. "Without you, I cannot breathe. You are the reason I live. This is it my love. This is finally our time. I promise to never let you go again."
"And I promise to never leave your side." Eowyn said, a tear running down her cheek. "This is our forever."
Faramir brushed the tear from her face, letting his fingers linger on her skin. He leaned into her and brushed his lips across hers. It had been a long time since he felt this same spark. It was as if they shared their first kiss. Nothing had ever felt so right. He deepened the kiss and their tongues touched and caressed. "How long do we have before Caladwen is brought home?"
"Why, whatever are you suggesting my lord?" she said playfully.
"I want to ravish you. I want to take you in my arms and feel your skin on mine. I want all of you." he breathed into her ear, setting her body alight.
"We have all day. I do not think we will be disturbed for the rest of the day, at least not until the celebration tonight." she said as Faramir kiss her neck.
"I almost forgot about that. It seems I will be able to attend after all." Faramir lifted Eowyn in his arms and carried her to the bedroom. "That is, if we can manage to tear ourselves away from our bedchamber." He lowered her onto the bed and began undressing her.
"I think we will have worked up an appetite by then." she said as she unlaced his leather breeches.
Soon they were both naked and laying side by side on their bed. Faramir kissed her all over, starting with her neck and working his way down to her breasts. Eowyn arched into him. She could feel his arousal pushed against her thigh. Her hands went into his hair, fingers entwined in his long waves. Faramir rolled them so that he was lying on top of her. She eased her legs apart, inviting him to continue. Faramir rested just at her entrance. He gazed longingly into her eyes.
"I finally have you, all of you." he whispered as he slid into her body. She was warm and moist with want.
"Forever, my love." she answered, feeling him fill her.
They set their rhythm. Their bodies slid against each other, writhing and thrusting together until the first wave of their climax rose to a new level of ecstasy. Together they yelled out each other's names as they reached the ultimate pinnacle of love making. Slowly, they came down from the heavens and once again gazed upon one another.
"Wow." Faramir panted. He was still trying to catch his breath. "I have never felt anything like that before."
Eowyn brushed the hair from her face. "Neither have I. You were… that was… magical… unearthly…." She couldn't think of the right word.
Faramir kissed her and smiled. "Eternal, my love."
After a very brief rest, the lovers began all over again, many times actually. They spent the whole day in bed, enjoying their newfound love for each other, undisturbed.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the nearby forest of Ithilien, Legolas was playing with Caladwen, enjoying fatherhood. Haldir sat with them, upon Caladwen's request. Suddenly Legolas stopped what he was doing and looked out into the distance. Haldir noticed the change in his demeanor.
"What is it Legolas? What do you sense?" he asked.
Legolas closed his eyes and smiled. "A new life has been conceived." he said and looked to his daughter. "It seems Caladwen will have a little brother." Even Haldir managed a smile at this bit of news.
Legolas breathed deep, enjoying his new strength and bond with his daughter. "Everything is… as it should be."
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.