A/N: It's been entirely too long since I wrote a F/E fic. I'm sooooooo sorry about that, but I've been extremely busy with the projects (that I promised wouldn't interfere, I know) at fiction press. Thanks for being so patient with me and waiting for new material, and thanks to everyone who's just discovering my work right now. Please, read, review, and read another of my F/E fics. I really appreciate your support.

Disclaimer: I don't own Faramir, Éowyn, or the setting.

The Courtyard

By Bressa W.

Love is blind, Faramir reminded himself as he gathered his courage. Love is not selfish or proud, or rude, or cold. It sees the good in all things, and is willing to look past the bad. And yet he still suspected that Éowyn would turn him down when he proposed to her. If he even got the nerve to get that far, that is. Knowing himself, he would more than likely run before he could get the words out.

Faramir sighed, resigned to his fate. It was now or never, he reminded himself as he walked towards Éowyn, who was waiting for him in the courtyard of the Citadel. It struck him that "courtyard" was a very appropriate name for the small outdoor garden area. Every stage of his relationship with Éowyn that was worth remembering had progressed here.

She smiled as he approached, and kissed his cheek. "I've been waiting for you," she said, a playful glint to her eye. Her happiness gave him confidence.

He kissed her lips fleetingly, gesturing for her to sit down. She did, and gave him a quizzical look. Faramir smiled as much as he could muster, and took his own seat beside her, petting her hand fondly. "Éowyn, we've been through a lot together, haven't we?"

"Yes, we have," she replied, wondering where this was all going, not daring to believe that what was happening was what she thought it was. "Faramir, are you quite all right?"

"I feel better than I have in years," he said firmly, believing every word. His sudden courage was failing, however, and the fear that he would somehow botch the most romantic words he would ever say to her was overwhelming. "Éowyn, I love you more than I've ever loved another before. You're beautiful and kind and intelligent. I honestly don't understand how or why you put up with me sometimes." She chuckled, but remained otherwise silent, more curious than ever. "Nonetheless," Faramir continued, "I want to ask you to put with me for a little while longer, and perhaps to spend a bit more time with me."

Now the good feeling she'd had in her stomach was gone and Éowyn was frightened that his speech was about to take a dangerous turn. "What's going on? Put up with you? What are you talking about?" Genuine concern flooded her voice.

Seeing the panic in her eyes, he hurried past the rest of the romantic jargon he'd prepared and launched the big question. "Éowyn, daughter of Éomund, will you marry me?" Hope and expectation seized him, and he was stuck in the most uncomfortable position he could have possibly placed himself in. Fumbling, he produced the ring from his pocket, Mithril silver set with diamonds.

Éowyn gasped, now realizing that she'd been entirely wrong about his intentions. Total elation seized her and it was all she could do to keep herself from squealing. Memories of the months she'd spent with Faramir came to mind, and she held tight to them. The first time their eyes met, when she realized that she loved him, their first long, lingering, earth-shattering kiss, the first time they'd made love. Éowyn remembered in painful detail every moment of her time with him, and she knew that she wanted more, needed more. There was one answer to his question, one true response that would decide her fate and bind her to this beautiful Man for as long as she lived, and keep her satisfied for all her life, leaving her only with the want of more days with him. "Yes," she whispered as tear gathered in the corners of her eyes, threatening to spill down her cheeks. "Yes, of course, Faramir. I want to spend every moment of my life with you. I want to marry you." She chuckled and threw herself at him, forgetting about the ring and the dowry and all the monetary and political advantages to choosing him, knowing and remembering only that she loved him.

Faramir held her close to him, kissing the top of her head, pulling her even closer, almost too close, until both of them were in pain from the pressure of each other's bodies.

"Just a little looser, my love," Éowyn gasped. Faramir relaxed a little and they could breath again.

"I love you, Éowyn," he whispered, gazing into her clear blue eyes, with their hints of vulnerability and of steel. "I've loved you since I met you, and before, when I first saw you, nearly broken, in the Houses." His eyes went misty with sentiment, and he rambled on with the speech he'd prepared, originally intended for before this moment. "I wanted to help you in that instant, I wanted to take away the pain you didn't deserve. I wanted to make you see that I could do that for you."

She chuckled, embarrassed that he'd cared so much for her immediately, and all she'd felt was irritation and frustration that he wouldn't release her to fight. "All that, huh? Didn't jump in, I'll give you that much."

He scoffed, feigning offense. "I'm trying to be romantic, and you're making fun of me!"

"I'm just teasing you, love," she replied, kissing him softly, and then more urgently, until he released a moan of pent-up emotion. She broke the kiss; needing to share just a little more with him about how much she truly loved him. "I did feel attracted to you, Faramir," she told him, "Very attracted, truth be told. But I thought that I would eventually be able to tear Aragorn from Arwen, that's how wretched and blind I was." He looked at her, quizzically, having never heard this story before, although he had known that Aragorn was involved somehow. "If I had just seen…had just opened my eyes a sliver, I would have seen the brilliant light you shine in casts him into shadow. And now…" she trailed off, staring into the far reaches of her past. "Now…if given the choice all over again…I would never choose him." Éowyn kissed him again, not even bothering to start softly, feeling a utopian high build in the most private places of her body.

Faramir felt it, too, and something else. He felt the future of their life together. He felt happiness, and joy, and love, and children, which he desperately wanted. Faramir felt the marriage ceremony, and somehow felt in his bones that the services would take place right here in the courtyard that had shared so many of their memories.

Yes, he thought, chuckling inwardly as he gave himself completely to his love for Éowyn, "court"yard, indeed.