A/N

I am so sorry about my delay in updating. The site has been on a read- only mode for a few days, and I wasn't even able to log in! Hope you don't mind. I swear that I was going to post this 5 days ago. It's not my fault!

Chapter Four: Return

She stood wavering on the edge of a great mountain. A terrible darkness spread out before her, and her eyes could not penetrate to the heart of the abyss. A deep and ringing silence resounded through her ears, and a sense of foreboding spread through her. The darkness began to creep to the edge of her vision, and she realized with horror that it was slowly yet surely closing in on her.

She tried to move, but her body did not respond. A great scream tore from her throat as she helplessly allowed the despair to wrap around her. There was nowhere to turn…for all was gone. All was lost to the darkness.

……………………………

The White Lady of Rohan stared out across the Pelennor fields, to where her uncle, Theoden, had fought his last battle. He had died with honor, a true warrior. He had rode out to battle with the forces of Sauron, with despair.

Eowyn wiped away a tear, reprimanding herself silently for allowing herself to show weakness.

She had slept little that night, and when she did, horrible dreams intruded upon her rest. When dawn finally arrived, she had instantly gone back to the gardens in the Houses of Healing. Eowyn wished to watch for the return of Aragorn and the others. If they did return.

……………………………….

Faramir was distracted. Although still weak from his wounds, he had been able to find some jobs to fill his time that would be otherwise spent in idleness. But, for some reason, he could not seem to focus on these tasks anymore. Instead, he would often be found simply sitting and staring out towards the east. That was what almost everyone in the city was doing. They could not be blamed.

The White City stood quivering at the edge of Mordor, of darkness. Whether or not all of them lived or died depended on the fate of two little halflings and a small army led by a strange man from the North. A tenseness filled the city, with an uncertainty in the air that was almost tangible.

Sighing heavily, the wearied Steward got up from his bed, where he had until now been sitting upon and looking out his east-facing window. Needing to be in a more open area, Faramir went out into the gardens.

For a few minutes, all he did was stroll around a bit, trying to take his mind off Aragorn, his only living friend, and the certain doom that he had rode out to. He tried not to picture his king lying dead on some hellish battlefield. Alone. But in the end, they were all alone. They all faced the darkness sooner or later. And when they did, they were alone. Like he, Faramir, was alone now.

Looking up for a brief moment, he saw, with great clarity, Eowyn of Rohan. Her sorrow and beauty saddened him. She has faced so much and endured so much pain. Is she to die within these walls, away from her people? With great care, he made his way slowly over to her, thinking to offer some small comfort after having so distressed her in their last meeting.

"My lady," he spoke, softly and clearly, "I wish to apologize to you for the discomfort I caused you last time we met. If I have shown you any discourtesy, please tell me. I would do all in my power to make your stay here as comfortable as possible."

Eowyn held her head down. Glaring angrily at the stone floor, she contemplated briefly how to reply. What to say to this man, who, with his great grey eyes filled with tenderness and patience, she was afraid to even look at. She felt so childish, so unruly and uneducated before the great compassion of the Steward of Gondor. Trying to hide her uncertainty, she said,

"There is nothing that I would wish from these fine houses, for all that is needed for my…physical comfort… has been provided."

She carefully averted her gaze, not wanting him to see the truth behind her words. Faramir saw this and understood. He knew what troubled her, as it troubled all of them.

"Lady Eowyn, there is no shame in confiding in me your fears. All within these city walls are afraid of the same thing you are. We all stand in the shadow of Mordor, and it is our fate to hope that it will fade."

She looked up, eyes blazing with hurt.

"There is no hope." She stated quietly, "The shadow will consume us all."

They both stood there, upon the wall, a long while. The noon sun hovered high in the sky, obscured by clouds. Faramir gazed upon Eowyn thoughtfully, and slowly reached out his arm to her and touched her shoulder, gently, as a friend would touch his comrade in arms.

"There is hope. We must believe there is, for without hope there is only despair. To sink into despair is to die a death of the soul, which poisons the minds of even the strongest. And I know that you are yet alive, and so there must be hope within you."

And, taking her golden head into his hands, he kissed her brow in the manner of a good friend. She allowed him to pull her close, and rested her cheek on his shoulder. Faramir's words comforted her greatly, and she knew that what he said was the truth. There was hope.

Suddenly, a brightness pierced her sight, and she tried to shield her eyes from the blinding light that suddenly blazed up from the Pelennor fields. A trumpet cry rose into the air, wild and beautiful, crying victory to the world. Both Eowyn and Faramir were filled with a great jubilance, for they saw, riding towards Minas Tirith, a host of warriors, led by Aragorn, king of Gondor.

They all had their weapons raised in triumph, and the sunlight which now showed through the departing clouds reflected off the metal. It appeared to them like a sea of shimmering swords, and the light seemed to enter their souls, echoing the trumpet calls of returning hope. Despair melted from their beings like a shadow melted from light.

For where there is hope, no despair can be found.

For there to be a beginning

There must be an end

And where there is despair

No hope can descend

So there is a beginning of hope

And an end of despair

As day destroys night

Silence ends, trumpet blares

A/N

Well, that was not one of my best poems, but I don't think it was one of my worst poems, either. Thank you to all who have reviewed, and please keep reviewing! No flames, please.

I did not put the eagles announcing Aragorn's triumph in this fic because, basically, I want to keep some of my own creativity. After all, the purpose of this fanfiction was to rewrite the tale of the Steward and the White Lady, and to try to understand their character and their relationship. I only wanted to write about what I thought would work best in this fic, and I hope no one objects.

Lilan and thayzel: Hmmmm. Well, now that I look back on the third chapter, I guess that Eowyn's outburst probably was a bit too sudden. Sorry, I'll try to develop my character's feelings a bit more.

lindahoyland: I was a bit at a loss for time when I wrote that chapter (I've been a bit busy lately), and I didn't want to waste time writing about her gaining an east- facing room. So I decided to write as if she had already been put in the room to save myself energy (bad me).

Rebby-Eowyn and Kaladelia Undomiel: OH MAN! I am so sorry! I did mean to put Shieldmaiden of Rohan! Ugghhh! I must have overlooked that part (even though I read over my story about five times already).

thayzel: Sorry, I tried to write a love poem but every time I did it sounded really cheesy. Hope you don't mind the poem I ended with.