Faramir stood by his beloved's grave. He felt as he had that long ago spring evening when he returned to the White City and found his lady open to him, as she had not been since the death of his son. She had been sitting at her tapestry board, her hands moving slowly with needle and thread, when he sat beside her.

He had been heavy with a leather jerkin and travelling gear, but she had turned and clung to him, her hands caught in his shoulders, her face buried below his neck. He touched her soft hair with his fingers, and said, "I'm sorry." Her voice was harsh as she pulled him closer, "I missed you so much." Tears started from his eyes as he finally felt Éowyn close enough to comfort, and he buried his head in her shoulder. He whispered, "I know, I ached for you". He had missed her - for even when she had been by his side, her spirit had been far from his, and unable to touch him.

He did not know how long they clung to one another that night, nor how many tears he had shed, he only remembered the tranquillity he had felt at its end. She was his home - once he had thought that a city or a house could give could provide it for him - but in truth only this wonderful woman had ever been able to give him a home. He sighed, and ran a tired hand through his hair. A twinge ran down his back as he lifted his arm - he was old now - as he whispered his hope that he might return home soon.

* * *

They sat in the gardens of Emyn Arnen, glad of peace. It was the mid- afternoon of an early autumn day. The air was very still as Éowyn and Arwen spoke softly. Eldarion and Lalaith were wondering the grounds in a haze of young love - Morwen and Elboron had elected both to go riding with their spouses - so the 'old' ones were free to observe the young couple at length.

Arwen asked her friend, "What think you of them?" Éowyn seemed to consider for a moment, "I think they will make each other very happy my Queen, but it is a little strange." Éomer looked at his sister quizzically "Why? She is very like you when you were young. I mean, that young."

Éowyn said, "Perhaps, but this maiden is happy". Faramir knew why she found it so disconcerting - for Eldarion was as like to Aragorn, as Lalaith was to Éowyn herself. It must be odd to see a wish of your past played out in present, but he detected no hint of wistfulness in Éowyn's face, and determined that it was that strangeness alone that bothered her.

Aragorn said softly, "It puts me in mind that I never saw either of you before your betrothal. Was it like this?" Éowyn laughed lightly, "No indeed my King". Faramir glanced at her sharply, but she continued, "When I first met Faramir I was afraid of him." Faramir sat up sharply, "What? You never told me that."

Éowyn smiled and grasped his hand with hers, "I did not think it important my love. It was a long time ago." Arwen looked at Éowyn, and couldn't help but ask, "Why were you afraid of him?" Éowyn smirked and said, "You will find this hard to understand my Queen, but the only other man who thought me beautiful was Gríma. I was very foolish, but that is why."

Aragorn and Éomer snorted as she spoke; when she asked them for an explanation Éomer merely said, "Éowyn are you so foolish as to think that the only men who ever thought you fair, were those who said it?" Éowyn sighed as she said, "I think that is a little beside the point is it not brother? I was not looking for compliments - I was merely explaining. It is good to see two young ones in love."

They all turned as she spoke, to watch as Eldarion escorted Lalaith into the woods for a walk and, knowing their children, probably a few stolen kisses as well. The leaves were starting to turn, and Éowyn leant back against her husband in thought. She smiled up at him, and brushed a few hairs from his face, but then turned to say to her Queen, "There will be another wedding for you to prepare Arwen - how many of us do you intend to drive to insanity this time round?" Aragorn answered for his wife, "Only as many as is appropriate Lady Éowyn". The lady snorted and turned back to her husband, "I am so glad we caught the turn of the year - it lasts such a short time, but it is most beautiful to see. Am I not right?"

He reached a hand up to stroke her hair away from her face, and said, "Aye, you are right Éowyn." She smiled, and he could not but smile back.