In the months that followed Eowyn's departure for Edoras Faramir felt his old doubts resurface. They crept upon him slowly, whispers from court worming their way into his mind like a poison.
She accepted him only because she was denied the King. She does not love him. He is a convenient compensation and a good political match…nothing more…nothing…
He became restless, sleeping and eating little, instead spending his spare moments lost in memories and confusion. Often he sought the familiar quiet of the gardens of the Houses of Healing at night, seeking to put his pain at ease by reminding him of her. It brought only a transient relief for he would also be reminded of her gaze turned Eastward, searching…waiting...
And he would wonder, again, if her acceptance of him had been in view of making the best of her situation, for surely she would be expected to take a husband and they had, at least, friendship. Perhaps she would never love him, though she had declared that she did.
You doubt me only because you doubt yourself…her words floated back to him and he ran a hand through his raven locks, releasing a frustrated breath. It had been easy to believe her then, when her bright, beautiful eyes had bored into his own, resonating with truth and compassion and love. What he would not give for a glimpse of her at this moment, to have her dispel his fear with a gentle laugh, to feel her hand within his once more, squeezing and reassuring. Because he knew, had seen that she meant it then, that she had loved him. And it had oft stayed his hand when penning her letters. He wondered if it made him a coward that he could not ask her if she truly loved him without seeing her glorious face, if it was merely a selfish wish to hold onto this dream.
If this is a dream, I would have it last for always…
When the time finally came for the coronation of Eomer as King of the Mark it was plain that Faramir was plagued by doubts. He had lost the little colour and weight he had regained upon healing and his grey eyes were shadowed by sadness.
"My friend, I had thought that you would be overcome with joy this morn, for you will see your lady again…" Aragorn's soft voice pervaded the younger man's thoughts, startling him from his reverie. He turned about in his saddle, tearing his eyes away from the Golden Hall to rest upon his King and close friend.
In the wise eyes before him Faramir saw understanding and sympathy.
"I said to her once…if this is a dream, I would have it last for always…I cannot but feel I am about to wake…" Faramir admitted, speaking in elvish so that only Aragorn would hear of his woes.
"But it was no dream and you will not wake. Faramir, do not let the gossip of court taint your happiness." Aragorn said, falling silent once more to observe the play of emotions on the other's face.
Anguish won out and he lifted helpless eyes as he next spoke.
"I cannot silence their voices Aragorn…I cannot, because I hear the sense in their words…the truth. I have always been nothing, why should it not be so now?"
Sadness filled the King's gaze, and a hint of steel came into his eyes as he thought of the one who had fed such poison to his son's mind.
"You have never been nothing, mellon nin. Never." He said, placing a gentle hand upon Faramir's shoulder.
Their discourse was interrupted as they finally reached the gates to Edoras and as he passed through Faramir's gaze fell upon her. And she was lovelier even than he recalled. She looked resplendent in a rich green velvet dress, her long hair unbound and shining as it tossed in the wind. Queenly. At last he came to her, after everyone else had been ushered inside the Golden Hall, and she smiled radiantly at him as he stood wordlessly before her.
"Oh Faramir!" she breathed, rushing to embrace him. His arms closed about her form and suddenly he felt hole again though he found he could not speak for the lump in his throat. After a moment she pulled back a little to look into his eyes and compassion washed over her face as she saw the brightness they held, the pain.
"Is something wrong?" Eowyn asked gently, confusion clear upon her face. Her hand reached up to caress his cheek and he leant into it, breathing deeply, closing his eyes.
"I was afraid I would wake up…" Faramir said, his voice husky and deep, full of suppressed tears.
And she understood then. Remembered.
"Look at me, please," she commanded softly. When their eyes locked she smiled in disbelief, thinking how lucky she had been to find this man. "I love you, Faramir of Gondor, for now and always."
This little drabble is a sort of tag along to my story Hopes and Dreams, meant as thanks to all those you reviewed the story and who I have not responded to. I have recieved all messages gratefully, though it appears that I have forgotton how to respond with the site (oops!), so for that sorry.