He stood still on the wide, flat slab of rock. High above him, fair Ithil descended the night sky, the moon’s pale light shining upon the distant Ered Nimrais. Below him, the Ithilien rangers slumbered peacefully in chambers of deep stone. How many dark hours had he spent here, watching the moon, the waterfall, and the land he had guarded?
The sound of shuffling feet reminded Faramir that he was not alone. His companion, unused to the high stone, had shifted weight.
“You are far away,” a clear voice spoke.
“Six years have passed since I stood here with Frodo and Samwise,” Faramir answered. “And so much has changed. Neither Frodo nor I thought that we could survive the perils that beset us. I lived to become Ithilien’s lord. And Samwise, bless his stout heart, has prospered. Alas that Frodo did not!”
“The Ring-bearer would not begrudge us our good fortune,” his lady said, coming to stand at his side.
“True. Still, I would that he could have seen Ithilien bloom after the victory he gave us at so great a cost.” Faramir lifted his eyes up to the heavens and the white orb for which this land was named. “Think you that Frodo can still espy the moon from Elvenhome?”
“Yes, I believe he does,” Éowyn replied unhesitatingly, leaning against him. “And when Frodo looks at the moon, he will surely remember Henneth-Annûn, and think of your kindness to him and Samwise.”
Faramir turned his gaze from the distant moon to the nearer, and dearer, face of his White Lady. He kissed her brow; then he took Éowyn’s arm. “Come, my heart; let us return to our beds. One day, we shall bring our children here; and tell them of the hobbits’ part in the story of this refuge.”
Author's Note: This vignette was originally written for the Sixth Anniversary/Founders' Day of the Henneth-Annun e-list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Henneth_Annun/), and posted there 4/6/08.
Thanks, Branwyn, for more excellent beta assistance!