The Picture

Faramir stared out of the window, wondering if it was possible to will someone into being by just staring at the spot that person was supposed to be long enough. He tried it, glaring and glaring at the White Tree, but no such luck. Boromir, as it was, was utterly refusing to materialize, even though he was due home today.

He heaved a sigh and turned back to his book with considerably less interest than he would normally have. It was a great story, of wizards and queens and a great deal of evil folk, but he simply could not be fascinated by it.

He missed Boromir quite a lot. He had been gone for a month, which was the longest Faramir had ever been without his brother. Boromir was only fifteen, just five years older than Faramir, but he had been selected to ride with the soldiers – the soldiers! – to Rohan to meet with the Rohirrim and the Government and such and such. Usually it was only Father who went, but this was apparently part of Boromir's training. It was also apparently a great honor to be 'selected' to go. Faramir didn't really care that he wasn't selected; he wasn't too fond of any of the soldiers, and he preferred to be at home, with his books, than out riding with soldiers. Who, as stated above, he was not too fond of.

He sighed and turned his attention back to his book. It really was quite good, but a bit dull. There was a lion that talked. How very peculiar.

Boromir! Where was he? How long did it take to go to Rohan, discuss Things, and come back?
He sighed and closed his book at last. It was rather late, ten thirty. But he was determined to stay awake until Boromir came. Determined!

Perhaps he would close his eyes for a bit though. There was no harm in closing one's eyes. Images of a white queen and a talking lion and four little children danced in front of him as he slowly succumbed to sleep.

"Brother! Ah, have you fallen asleep already, brother? Not even up to meet me?"

Faramir jolted up. "I'm not awake – I mean asleep!" he cried, slamming his book shut and jumping up to hug his brother. "Boromir! You're back!"

"I am!" replied Boromir cheerfully. "Ah, Faramir, it was great, just great.."

"Tell me – tell me everything!"

"No, 'Mir, you gotta get to sleep, it's nearly three, Dad'll be here in a second.."

"How was it though? How was Rohan?"

"I'll tell you in the morning, go to sleep."

"But – "

"Sleep, Faramir! Now! Morning! Promise! Get!"

"Okay." Faramir stumbled into his bed, half asleep.

"What on earth are you reading now?" asked Boromir, picking up his book off the floor. "The Lion.."

"It is a good book," mumbled Faramir. "G'night, 'Mir."

"Night, 'Mir."

"Well?" asked Faramir the next afternoon, after breakfast had been eaten and lessons had been done and the brothers were sitting on Boromir's bed together.

"It was lovely," said Boromir with a wide grin. "Rohan, it was just – it was fantastic, Faramir, I have to take you one day.."

"Hm. I don't care much for horses."

"But it's more – it was so much more, there, I used to think it was that too, all horses but it isn't, it's such a nice place, everyone smiles so much – it's not nearly as good as Gondor, of course, but it's quite fantastic."

"Did you meet anyone of interest, then?"

"Mm, there was a boy about my age. Very somber. His parents'd just died, see."

"Well that would somber one somewhat."

"Probably. He was nice enough though. King's nephew, see, he lived with him – him and his little sister. And by Eru, Faramir, you should've seen his sister. She was something else."

"What d'you mean?"

"She was about your age, I suppose, and she had the longest hair I've ever seen, it was ridiculous – "

"Longer than Lothiriel's?" interrupted Faramir. Faramir did not know too many girls, but he was very good friends with his cousin, Lothiriel. He considered her hair to be very nice, but he didn't know much about hair, in general.

"A bit. A lot lighter than hers, and ours. It was golden. Like Mama's used to be, but a bit lighter."

"Oh." Faramir tried to imagine a girl, his size and age, with long golden hair. It wasn't coming to him; the only thing he thought of when he pictured golden hair was his mother, who he missed a fair bit and tried not to think of too much. "Why was she something else?"

"Well," said Boromir, and then he laughed. "There is no way to describe this girl, Faramir, honestly. She came to the meeting – "

"She came to the meeting?"

"She did, sat right up there with her uncle and listened to every word that was said – you could tell that she was taking it all in, all of it, she even spoke up once or twice."

"How was the meeting, then?" The whole point of the trip, Boromir had explained to Faramir before he'd left, was to keep the alliance between Rohan and Gondor strong. It was a meeting where they discussed both country's problems, pursuits, and how they could help one another. It sounded dead boring to Faramir, but that was him.

"Dead boring," said Boromir frankly. "Only bad part of the trip, having to listen to them all drone on and on and on – dunno how that little girl took it all in, honestly. I was drawing half the time and talking to Eomer for a bit of it, but he's pretty rigid 'for the country' as well, listening to – well, nearly every word."

"Tell me more about the girl, then," said Faramir, unable to stop himself; he was intrigued. "What else was she like?"

Boromir studied Faramir for a moment. A fragment of an idea that he dismissed immediately slipped through his mind. His brother was barely older than five. "Well, she liked horses."

Faramir snorted. "Everyone in Rohan does."

"No, but this girl, she was obsessed with horses. I don't think she got off of hers – she called it something funny, I don't remember what – until of course the meeting. Then she was right up there with the men. Funny little thing."

"Was she."

"Yes. She read a lot, too."

"Reading and horses." A vague picture of this strange girl began to form in Faramir's mind. "And talking with the men."

"Yes. And talking with me – the way she did, though! Like I was – like she was my age, and my height at that! No shame whatsoever, she chatted away with me merrily."

"Was she nice?"

"How d'you mean nice?"

"Well, was she..friendly?"

"Oh very. A bit too, to be honest, but it was all right. She was a sweet child for the most part, good disposition – until you got fired up. Oh, you didn't want to get her fired up!"

"Why, what would she do?"

"Well, at one point, after the meeting was over for the day, us three – Eomer and her, and me – we went out to the courtyard, and she was riding her horse and me and Eomer were talking and then she got off, came and sat with us and started talking like she was – and I asked her, 'aren't you a bit young to be at the meeting?' and she just sort of rolled her eyes, and her brother advised me not to go on, but I had to, of course."

"Of course."

"So I started teasing her a bit, saying how she was practically a boy herself, wasn't she, or she certainly acted it, and then she went mad at me, but in a really scary way too, because she didn't start shouting or beating me up, she just went..cold. Like ice. She had grey eyes and they went silver, and she just glared at me. And it was really terrifying. And she stayed like that until I said sorry." He shrugged. "She was a strange one."

"Mm." She sounded quite lovely to Faramir, but he wasn't about to say that to Boromir. "So – what'd you draw then?" Faramir enjoyed looking at Boromir's pictures. He was a good artist.

Boromir reached for his sketchpad and flipped it open. "A bunch of horses," he said, turning the pages. "This was the king of Rohan, and this was the prince..this is just Dad, I got really bored.. aha, this is that girl!"

"Oh!" Faramir stared at the picture, momentarily entranced. Boromir hadn't mentioned how rather – lovely this strange girl was!

Boromir had only drawn her face, but it was a very nice face indeed. Maybe it was just the way his brother had drawn her? But no, it couldn't be, it was virtually impossible to draw an ugly face that nicely!

She had very strange eyes. Not in a bad way strange. They were different from any eyes he had ever seen before. They were girly, but not the way Lothoriel's were. They were stronger, in a strange way, like she'd seen a lot more than she was supposed to have seen at such a young age, but they also held a certain air of innocence, like she was entirely disregarding all that she had said.

And her hair was long and slightly tanged and drifting in the wind that Boromir had failed to illustrate. It was presumable, though, that there was some sort of wind, because it was kinda floating there. Or maybe it was just that it was long? He still wasn't very good at describing aspects of humans.

Her face was soft and wide and clear and open and she had the biggest smile on her face. She looked very friendly indeed. She looked like somebody to be friends with. She made him feel happy, just by looking at her and hearing about her and – by Eru, what was wrong with him?

Boromir was looking at him as if he was thinking the exact same thing. "Rikes, Faramir, you don't fancy her, do you?"

"I haven't even met her," pointed out Faramir. "In any case. You draw well. It's a good picture."

"Yes, I'm sure it's a good picture."

"Shut up, Boromir," said Faramir, going scarlet.

"Ai! Shut up! I'm five years to your elder, little brother..though you wouldn't know your age, the way you're looking at the girl, look far too old for your own good – "

"Shut UP, Boromir!"

Boromir laughed. And laughed, and laughed, and laughed, leaving Faramir to ponder what good brothers were anyway. There didn't seem to be any point to them, except to first tell one about lovely girls and then laugh at said one when one acknowledged said loveliness.

"What was her name, then?" asked Faramir hesitantly when Boromir finally stopped laughing.

Boromir stopped and thought a bit. "I think.." he mulled it over. "I think it was Eowyn."

"Eowyn," repeated Faramir. "Eowyn.."

The End