Title: "Unescapable"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: LOTR-ROTK
Rating/Classification: PG, Eowyn/Faramir, ficlet.
Disclaimer: TolkienTolkienTolkienJacksonTolkienTolkien.
Summary: Healing occurs in many ways. Filler for both the book and the movie.

She belongs to him, this proud shieldmaiden of Rohan.

It is not from a poisoned mind that this thought springs, but still he errs on the side of caution, does not speak to her of this unshakable truth.

He gains some private seed of satisfaction in knowing that her sword callused hands find comfort in his own. That the king to whom he owes his allegiance healed only her body, but not her spirit...for one cannot so easily re-forge what was so easily broken. This...this is not a task for the noble Aragorn Son of Arathorn. For Boromir of Gondor. No...this is his charge and only his.

Like his father before him, he is Steward...but only of this one precious stretch of land.

He looked upon fair Eowyn with pity when they first met one another in the gardens, seeking respite from the tide of battle that neither could effect. Together, they prayed for the safety of their halfling hope, Frodo, of their loved ones, and for the destruction of that great and terrible eye. For light in the face of darkness unescapable.

There is a light.

"My lord," she whispers, nary a note higher than the whisper of her gown against the blades of grass that bow to her grace. "Are you troubled?"

He is a soldier...long unused to laughter. And yet more unused to a lack of troubles. "I am well, my lady," he assures, softly, growing accustomed to the smile that has favored his lips of late. "As healed as one may be in times such as these."

She does not confirm her own healing. Her arms clasped about her waist speak of the grief she still holds deep in her womb. So much loss. Cousin, uncle, love, country...innocence. She cannot slay the beast of time, of age, of war. He cannot slay it for her.

But, nonetheless, he will try.

He belongs to her, this brave lady of Rohan.

Perhaps on the morrow he will ask for her heart and offer his own. Perhaps on the morrow, they will stand on the edge of ever-encroaching darkness and the end of Man.

Tonight, he simply asks for her hand, tucks it into the crook of his arm, and walks with her.

Tonight, there is a light.

***

Walks in the garden, hands held by moonlight...vigils kept over the malevolent eye in the distance. Chaste kisses far more soothing to the spirit than any healer's balm on her skin. These are the things she knows. The things that she has become accustomed to.

She does not know how to come to Faramir of Gondor's chamber as his bride. She trembles...not with the fear of one bending to the shriek of the Nazgul...but with the simple fear of the unknown.

"My lady...?" His large hands are warm against her shoulders. She draws comfort from them, strength, as she did in the Houses of Healing. "Eowyn?" His breath whispers against her hair like the wind on the Mark.

In the distance, she can hear the roars of revelry. Of the men of both their houses celebrating this union, this victory. Tonight, even the horses have drunk their fill of ale.

All who need know understand that the rule of Men has begun.

She is of the Rohirrim no longer.

"And I am no longer of Gondor, dear one."

It begins here.

In the tender strokes of the comb against her hair. One-thousand-and-one, her nursemaid would count. Her husband does the same, removing each hidden pin, the simple circlet that crowned her head as her brother joined their hands. She wonders, now, if someone secreted old Neona here and they exchanged confidences...but the thought is idle. For she knows, all too well, that her lord Faramir needs no counsel on how to gentle her. How to soothe her.

How to woo her.

The moon hangs high outside of the window. He sets down brush and comb and takes her hand.

Once, she was told that the walls of her bower would close around her. That winter would cripple the spring of her youth.

That fate will not come to pass.

This is to be their garden. Their own place of healing. A bed strewn with flowers and fragrant herbs. And they will not walk...

"Perhaps...perhaps, we will ride?" It is bold of her to jest, to tease such. But are not shieldmaidens bold? Are not warriors bold? Are not brides far bolder?

"You are the accomplished rider, my lady...not I, " he teases in return. "I am but your servant."

Her words are soft against his mouth. "Nay, my lord...you are more. *We* are more." Soft but firm.

It begins here.

Tonight, there is a light.

On the morrow, it will burn all the brighter.

--end--

December 30, 2003.



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