Disclaimer: Everyone belongs to JRR – I just think about them constantly.

Note: Based on movie canon – extended edition of Two Towers. I know, I know, in the books the Battle at Osgiliath was on June 20 and it was pretty much a rout, and then Boromir left for Rivendell on July 4, but in the movie was a successful fight, and he looks to be leaving the same day... let's not bicker and argue! All that is important is that so many of us fell in love with those adorable Gondor boys on the ramparts of Osgiliath. (Thank you Sean Bean and David Wenham!!)

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Eowyn awoke early. She always did when they stayed at Minas Tirith. The chambers set aside for the Steward were spacious and beautiful, and always ready at a moments notice, since they visited the city so often. But Ithilien was home, and she was most comfortable in the rambling house Faramir had had built for them in the foothills of Emyn Arnen.

As usual, no matter how early she awakened, her husband was already up, the rumpled sheets tucked around her lovingly. Looking around the room, she saw him standing before the large window that looked towards the east. It was open to allow in the morning breeze, and the sunshine pouring through it scattered golden flashes through his hair. She watched as he shrugged into a fine linen shirt and began absently fastening the buttons, his gaze fixed on the distance.

Suddenly, he rested his hands on the stone window sill and his shoulders slumped. He sighed deeply. She hurriedly got out of bed and went to put her arms around him, resting her cheek against his lean back. She could feel the tension in his muscles. He remained motionless for a moment, then straightened.

"I do not want to do this today," he said sulkily, turning to meet her eyes. "I do not want to be in a crowd of people."

"I know," she murmured, hugging him even tighter for reassurance. "But I think it will be good for you."

Gently dislodging her arms, Faramir crossed the room and sat on the edge of the bed, elbows resting on his knees and his head cradled in his hands. Eowyn followed, and sat down beside him. She tenderly stroked the back of his head, twisting her fingers loosely in his chestnut hair. After a few minutes he leaned over, resting his head on her shoulder and sighed again. She stayed silent and continued her stroking. They had only been married a few years, but she knew how to read his moods.

"I just want to be alone, today of all days." Faramir's words were muffled against her shoulder.

"I know." She repeated her earlier response. "But that is not necessarily what is good for you." He raised his head to look at her, and she saw the sadness in his blue eyes, but she plunged ahead. "You were alone last year, and the year before that. In fact, as long as I have known you, I have always let you have this day to yourself. It has been five years, Faramir." She paused. "He would not want you to grieve so."

Faramir jumped to his feet and strode back to the window. "How can I not, Eowyn?" He whirled around, his face twisted. "How can I forget that today was the last time I ever saw my brother alive?"

"No, no," she quickly returned to his side and clasped his hand. "I did not say forget. Never forget. But you cannot let sorrow eat you up. Look outside." She gestured out the window. "It is a beautiful summer day. Your country is prospering again, your people are happy. Boromir would not have you remember this day with sadness."

He said nothing, only looked out across the city, sparkling before them in the sunlight. "We only had a few moments together." He spoke softly, as though to himself. "Just a quick drink together, before Father came, and ordered him to Rivendell." Eowyn had heard the story many times, but she remained quiet. "He did not want to go...it should have been me...."

Eowyn reached up and laid her palm against his cheek. His eyes met hers and she saw the tears gathered there.

"He said 'Remember this day, little brother' before he rode away." His gaze wandered out the window again. "Sometimes I wonder if he knew he would never come back," he finished in a whisper.

"Perhaps he meant remember happy times," Eowyn ventured, knowing he would not accept her suggestion.

"Happy times?" Faramir gave a derisive snort. "Our family had very few happy times, you know that." He pulled away from her and stalked back across the room to pull on a pair of dark green trousers. She stayed silent by the window as he tucked in the shirt, then sat on the chair and tugged on socks and his leather boots. He slipped his arms through a light tunic and began rummaging through their mingled things on the dresser. "Where is the brush?" he mumbled irritably.

Retrieving the hair brush from the stand beside the bed where she had left it last night, Eowyn went over to him. "Here, sit down, let me do it," she said.

"I can brush my own hair." He tried to take it from her. She stepped back and he frowned and reached for her again. "Eowyn, I am not in the mood."

"I know exactly what kind of mood you are in, my Lord." She said it with just a bit of temper. "Let me help you." She reached out and took his hand, softening her voice. "Please, let me take care of you, just for today."

He seemed to wilt a bit, and she took advantage of her minor victory, pushing him into the chair and then standing behind him to brush back the wavy red-blond hair. He wore it a bit longer now than when he had been a Ranger, and she brushed with slow, even strokes. He sat unmoving, leaning back against her with his eyes closed. At last his hair lay shining across his shoulders. "Do you want to tie it back?" she asked quietly. He shook his head. "No."

She went to return the brush to the piled up possessions on the dresser, but he caught her hand and drew her back.

"I'm sorry," He said softly. He pulled her into his lap. "I do not mean to be so hard to get along with...it is just..."

She smiled at him and kissed him lightly. "I know it is a hard day, my darling. But you can get through it."

He gave a slight shake of his head. "I hope so. I cannot understand why the King had to choose today."

"Perhaps he does not know," Eowyn said.

"He knows what this date is to me," said Faramir. "We have spoken of it several times before."

"Well, he is always considerate about things like that when he can be, so there must be a reason," Eowyn said. She got to her feet and began looking through her own clothes. "Perhaps he wanted the people of Gondor to celebrate a new beginning in Osgiliath on this date, rather than think of war and sadness." She cast a quick glance at her husband. "Did you ask him why he picked today?"

Faramir looked away. "I did not bring it up, it seemed petty..." His eyes returned to her. "I might suspect you of having something to do with the King's choice of date." She saw the flash of a challenge in his gaze.

"Me?" she gave a small laugh. "No, my Lord, I had nothing to do with it." She gathered up a rust-colored gown with yellow trim. "But if he HAD asked, I would have told him exactly what I have told you, that it will be good for you NOT to be alone this year."

"Well, I will certainly not be alone," he said with a grimace. "Not with at least half of the city's population planning to show up."

"It is a big day for them." Eowyn went behind her dressing screen. They might be married, but she had never been one to casually dress or undress before her husband's gaze. "Now that the docks are completely repaired, and the markets are up and running in Osgiliath, more people will be willing to move there, and the rebuilding will go faster." She came from behind the screen, pulling her long blond hair from the back of her dress. "Minas Tirith will not seem so alone, anymore, with another populated city so close." She looked up to see Faramir smiling at her. "What?"

"You are beautiful," he said quietly, causing her to blush with embarrassment. "I mean it, you are." He stood and took her hands in his, then leaned down to kiss her. "Beautiful and wise and intelligent, how did I ever manage to win you?"

She kissed him back and tucked a stray hair behind his ear. "Because you are good and kind and true. How could I not love you?" They hugged each other close. When they stepped apart, Eowyn handed him the brush. "Your turn." He smiled.