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4
'Twilight's Daughter' by Marta

Characters: Faramir/Éowyn
Rating: PG (sexual suggestion)
Word Count: 748 + Notes


~~~

Éowyn sat on a rock just breaking through the pool's surface, her hands braced against the stone wall behind her. Henneth Annûn's waterfall struck the pool's surface just to her left, and the mist wetted her hair and linen shift. Overhead the moon peeked out from behind a cloud, and the silver light coloured her golden hair an ephemereal white Faramir had never seen in waking life.

Yet he could not help but notice her legs were crossed, clamped tighter than the Teeth of Cirith Ungol.

She smiled at him, but Faramir was not fool enough to take that as encouragement; she was enjoying this. He took off his shoes and waded over toward her.

"Éowyn, leof..." he began. Her eyes hardened, and he stopped where he stood, the pool up to his waist. Very well, no Rohirric then. "What have I done, love? Tell me, for I truly have no idea."

Éowyn's smile faded and she looked Faramir in the eyes. "Sir Peregrin sent Beregond the latest chapters from his memoirs. It seems that Bergil enjoys reading about the Great Events as they are written, and Beregond thought I might enjoy this installment, as you feature prominently in it."

Faramir scoured his memory. Several months past Bergil had asked him how the Dead Marshes preserved the body. What had happened next? There was the incident with the wraiths on wings, and the march on the Gates, and then...

"It was when you held Frodo and Sam here, at Henneth Annûn."

"Is that what upset you?" Faramir asked. "That I did not give two strangers free leave to wander Ithilien in those days?"

"Nay. My own brother faced prison for doing the same; I wouldn't fault you for fulfilling your lord's command."

That same mischievous grin returned, but it did not reach her eyes. Quickly Faramir searched his memory for anything that could have angered her so. She was no innocent when it came to battle, and his men had not been overly savage to the Haradrim. And surely she had seen her kinsmen question a foreign captive. But if not that, then what?

"Middle Men," she nearly spat. "You truly called us Middle Men?"

Faramir's jaw dropped a little. "I meant it as a compliment, truly! And I did say you were better than the Easterl—" A mudball struck him squarely on the nose.

"A compliment?" Éowyn asked, blinking in fury. She slid into the water and lumbered toward him, and Faramir felt himself shaking. She had promised she would be a shield-maiden no more but, just now, Faramir would rather face a legion of orcs than this fierce warrior from the North.

Éowyn placed firm hands on his shoulders. "How am I to take it then, my lord? You are of the High Men. Am I only a twilight wife, not fit company under the sun?"

"Never!" Faramir protested. He raised his hand to her face and traced a line down her cheek and let it rest on her neck. "Frodo is a Halfling, and thinks that all Men are alike. Had he come to Minas Tirith, he would have heard the foolish speak of how different we Dúnedain are from 'lesser men'. I did not want him to think your people were at all like Sauron's servants."

Éowyn's arms relaxed, and Faramir stepped nearer. "I told him of your golden hair and bright eyes, and how you learned much of our ways while still holding on to your own traditions. That is an insult?"

He kissed her forehead. She rose onto the balls of her feet and planted her lips against his own. Faramir parted his lips and breathed in her scent of ale and honey-bread. His breath quickened, and he let his tongue venture into her mouth. Surely that had been forgiveness in her eyes?

Éowyn took one of her hands from his shoulder and reached beneath his tunic, caressing his chest. Faramir began to fumble with his belt buckle with his free hand. Éowyn pushed down on his chest and shoulder, forcing him into the water, and broke the kiss just before she fell with him.

She walked away as he kneeled in the pool, gasping for breath. "Never trust a daughter of the twilight," she called over her shoulder.

Yet something about the way she swayed her hips led Faramir to hope. He followed her, vowing to make her see his apology as genuine if it took him until dawn.

~~~

Canon After-Note:

"Of our lore and manners they [the Rohirrim] have learned what they would, and their lords speak our speech at need; yet for the most part they hold by the ways of their own fathers and to their own memories, and they speak among themselves their own North tongue. And we love them: tall men and fair women, valiant both alike, golden-haired, bright-eyed, and strong; they remind us of the youth of Men, as they were in the Elder Days. Indeed it is said by our lore-masters that they have from of old this affinity with us that they are come from those same Three Houses of Men as were the Númenoreans in their beginning not from Hador the Goldenhaired, the Elf-friend, maybe, yet from such of his sons and people as went not over Sea into the West, refusing the call.

"For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West, which were Númenoreans; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the Twilight, such as are the Rohirrim and their kin that dwell still far in the North; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness. ("The Window on the West", The Two Towers)

Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

"I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun," she said; "and behold the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer." ("The Steward and the King", The Return of the King)


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