Author's Note: A plot bunny that took me for a ride. I just held on tight. Fourth-Age Éomer & Lothíriel ficlet, the title of which is inspired by the Beatitudes ('blessed be the peacemakers...). Much thanks to The Narrator for her excellent beta-reading. Please review!

Blessed Be

"They have started to call you 'Éadig', you know."

Éomer pensive thoughts were interrupted by his wife's statement, and he watched as she slipped out from the hall, her feet silent on the stone porch.

"The name does not fit," he replied as she slid her arms around his waist. He continued to stare out at the plains of Rohan as he pulled her closer to him.

"I think it's quite marvelous," she said. "I know how hard you have worked to ensure this country's stability and prosperity, and I think it's only right you be given that title."

"But we still have problems. Too few men, constant threats from roving bands of orcs on our borders-"

"Problems every ruler has. My father often writes of enemy threats and fears that his Swan Knights are too few," Lothíriel told him. " have done much good with the means you had. Men will be born. Enemies will be vanquished. You deserve the title."

Éadig. Blessed. Éomer did not want to object any longer. He kissed the top of her head. She was right. Despite all his fears, he had worked hard. He had spent many hours away from home in an effort to unite his fragile country. He hadn't realized how devastated Rohan was until he had assumed control.

Villages burned to the ground, the population scattered, fields salted by hordes of men angry at Rohan and stirred into action by Saruman. Too many men had died at Helm's Deep, outside the walls of Minas Tirith, and at the Black Gate. The population of men his age was roughly a little more than a third of what it was before the war. The Riders of Rohan were still strong, and he knew that as the young boys came of age, they would be added to eoreds as quickly as possible. But right now, what concerned him most was the multitude of young women who would be without husbands to give them children.

"This happens after every war," Elfhelm had said, words that eased the mind of the king little. "After a loss of a great number of men, a generation of women will grow to be old without bearing children." The Marshall had meant well, but the facts were not comforting.

Éomer had felt guilty for not taking one of his own people as his bride. Marrying Lothíriel, while a decision that had pleased his heart and his advisors who wished for a political alliance such as this, had upset many women in Rohan of noble birth. Imagine – to have an outsider as their Queen, when Rohan hadn't had a queen in years? A travesty!

"You had Morwen," Lothíriel had said when the matter was brought before her. It had been in the early days of their marriage, and Éomer was not there to overhear the exchange between his wife and a lady of the court who had, apparently, said something a little too loudly in an effort to make the Queen remember her place as an outsider.

"Thengel's queen was not of Rohan," Lothíriel said to the woman. "In fact, she was of Belfalas - kin of my people. Rohan did not have a problem then, so I do not see why it should have one now."

The woman did not speak loudly in court ever again, and Lothíriel had made sure their first daughter was named Morwen.

As he looked down at his wife, Éomer decided that marrying her had been his greatest achievement. Without her help, he would never have had the courage to stand up to his advisors with some of his plans – the rebuilding of villages as opposed to condensing them, the renewal of old trade agreements that had been dissolved in the later days of Théoden's reign - to name a few. She had told him firmly that they were great ideas and he was a king - he was obligated to lead his people in the way he saw fit.

She was his heart. She was the one that stayed up with him late, debating ideas and plans and fell asleep next to him on the floor of his study, a blanket wrapped around them. He was grateful for the years her father had her attend council meetings, because her greater experience with politics was invaluable. After all, Théodred, as Théoden's son, had been next in line for the throne. As a child, Éomer could (and did) ride horses all day, free of the concerns of being the king's heir.

"Are the children asleep?" he asked, his mind drifting to the present day and the task she had come from. Lothíriel nodded.

"Yes," she said. "Though Morwen was a little difficult tonight. I had to tell her not one but two stories, and then threaten no riding for a week if she did not go to bed. You would think her bruised arm would calm her a bit."

"That was harsh," Éomer said, laughing. Lothíriel hugged him tightly.

"I am a 'Bad Mama'" she said, giggling. "She has your sister's personality, Éomer. There must be something in Edoras' water..."

Éomer laughed and held his wife closer. Perhaps Éadig was an appropriate name for him. After all, he had a wife he loved and three children who filled the golden hall with laughter and the happy scamper of youthful games. After all the years of silence and gloom, the children of Éomer and Lothíriel were rays of sunshine dancing through it, all three of them of them golden-haired with shining grey eyes and as loved by the people of Edoras as their mother and father.

It did not escape his attention that the ladies had taken to Lothíriel as soon as she provided a healthy heir, and with each successful pregnancy their respect for her grew.

Elfwine had turned ten this year, and was visiting his cousins in Ithilien at his aunt's request. Morwen and Laurëriel, seven and three, had stayed here, angry at not being invited and aiming to cause trouble because of that. Or, rather, Morwen, the more active of the two, aimed to get into mischief. With Laurëriel tagging along, they had already seen that their parents were not given a moment's peace despite the promises from both that, once they turned ten, they too would go to Ithilien. Lothíriel had borne the burnt of the two's mischief, mischief that seemed to come to a halt when Morwen had fallen from a stool in the cold store. What she was doing in there Éomer did not dare to guess.

"So we only have two children in the house," Lothíriel whispered into his ear, pressing a kiss beneath it. The warmth from her lips seemed to flow through his body. Twelve years of marriage and it often felt as if they were newly wed.

"What are you suggesting, my Queen?" he asked her, his voice low and husky. Her eyes met his and he saw the desire clearly in her eyes.

"Merely that we are practically alone," she said, a hand trailing up his chest. "And the people think you are blessed already, having three children. A fourth wouldn't hurt."

"You're with child?" Éomer asked, surprised. Lothíriel laughed a wicked gleam in her eyes.

"No, no – but I don't mind the work required in having another," she said.

With a grin, Éomer threw her over his shoulder and took her into the house. Her laughter sounded off the walls though he knew, soon, it would turn into soft sighs and moans matched by his own.

Blessed, indeed.