Fic: Beginnings & Endings Chapter 7: Part II: Morning Chat: Bankruptcy and Sea-Kin

Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien's

Chapter Summary: Faramir and Eowyn get ready for the day, and Faramir tells Eowyn about his Dol Amroth family.

Series: Desperate Hours: Story: Beginnings & Endings

Warning: AU. Discussion of attempted rape (not graphic). Also, unexpectedly erotic Eowyn.

Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien's

A/N: I had to break Chapter 7 up, since it became too long. But it was always supposed to be the same chapter, so I'm posting it together. The next chapter will be more of Faramir in the city. It will be the last chapter without Aragorn in it.

Chapter 7 Part II: Morning Chat: Bankruptcy and Sea-Kin

After that they both fell back asleep, at least for a little while. For Eowyn was always up with the sun, and Faramir woke to her movement.

Sleepy still in the cool sweetness of the early morning, he told her, "Oh, I almost forgot to mention - it is a good thing that the Steward's office will cease to exist within the week, for I have bankrupted it."

Compared to Grima's machinations, the siege of Helm's Deep, and facing a Witch-King in battle, this statement from her husband-to-be didn't faze Eowyn. She did make a mental note that it was lucky Faramir had not picked a delicate flower of Gondor for his wife. Such a woman might have felt overwhelmed by her fiancee's bankrupting his office. Eowyn merely inquired "Oh?" with a calm smile. "And how did you manage that impressive feat, my Love? You have only been acting fully as Steward for one day."

Faramir suppressed an answering smile, appearing pleased at Eowyn's equanimity. "I used what is left of the Steward's budget to purchase most of the goods standing in Gondor's warehouses at a discounted price, the profits upon eventual sale to be used to pay for the additional food I insisted be ordered by the council for the winter, to feed the populace. No matter how good the harvest is this early this fall, it will not make up for the...recent disruptions."

Eowyn nodded. "That sounds needful to me." Eowyn's dimples flashed as she commented, "Though I do see some nepotism involved here - it is a good thing your Uncle Imrahil is said to be fond of you, since I expect you will be commandeering his ships."

Faramir smiled back. "My cousin Erchirion's ships, actually. Chiri will be grumpy, but philosophic. It shall give his navy an excellent excuse to go poking about in all sorts of foreign ports and markets. Who knows what they may learn?"

"Erchirion?" Eowyn asked, "He is the Prince Admiral, correct? The one who is closest in age to you?"

"That is Chiri.." Faramir confirmed. "Elphir is the oldest of my cousins, a few years older than I. He is Imrahil's regent and right hand man in Dol Amroth. Lothiriel is the only lady of the six of us, and fulfilled the function of my uncle's chatelaine until my cousin Elphir's recent marriage to Aliisa, a cousin of Lord Golasgil of Anfalas. Amrothos is the baby of the family, and newly made a Captain of the Swan Knights."

"Amrothos is the one who travels with your uncle, Chiri is the one who is at sea, and Elphir and Lothiriel, and now Aliisa, guard Dol Amroth?" Eowyn clarified.

"Aye," Faramir explained, "Uncle Imrahil is accustomed to visiting Gondor several times a year, to coordinate the activities of Dol Amroth's navy with Gondor's army. That, and to provide a more, ah, diplomatic perspective on foreign affairs. My father had many strengths as Steward, but diplomacy was not one of them."

Eowyn sighed. "My brother Eomer is much the same, in that." She explained. "I am somewhat concerned about the coming months as he settles in as King of Rohan, though at least Rohan is, ah, more accustomed to blunt leadership."

They had spoken at length of her brother, but Eowyn did not know much of Faramir's remaining family save that his Uncle Imrahil had saved her life and his own, and that Faramir was quite fond of them.

"What are they like, your Dol Amroth kin?" Eowyn asked, toying with the laces of the tunic he had just put on, "I mean, beyond what they do."

"What are they like?" Faramir mused back, stilling her fingers by catching them and kissing them, so that he could keep dressing for the day. "My Uncle is wise, and kind. He came to leadership in the navy very young, as my grandfather Adrahil was well into late middle age by the time my Uncle was born. He is quiet, save when he has something to say. Fiercely protective of his children, and of his sisters, and of...of Boromir, and I."

Eowyn made a face at having her nefarious plot for early morning affection thwarted, but then gamely began to dress herself. Faramir rewarded her with an amused half-smile, his own desire plain in his eyes, but banked. Self-control was very important to Faramir. To Eowyn as well, in some ways, but she was younger, and less concerned with being perfect.

"My Aunt Lorias," Faramir continued, a ghost of old and aching sorrow in his voice, "Was the quintessential mother. Pretty and plump and unashamedly proud of her children and all of the princedom. She never forgot to ask one of us about how we had come by a hurt or arrived at a triumph, and she remembered every birthday, graduation date, promotion, well, any milestone really." Faramir turned his gaze again to Eowyn, smiling in fond remembrance, "She was practical, perhaps more so than anyone else I've ever known. Aunt Lorias and Uncle Imrahil were the only ones who insisted that I let myself be a child when I was with them. And it was Aunt Lorias who stood up to anyone who tried to involve me with responsibilities beyond my years. She even stood up to Mithrandir, one summer when I was spending most of my free time helping him with research."

Eowyn hid a smile of her own. She would have loved to have seen that. Faramir grinned back, as if reading her mind. Then his smile faltered, as he added, "She died of a fever thirteen years ago this spring. My cousin Lothiriel was just nineteen years old, then. But she took over her mother's roles, in Dol Amroth and in our family. She is much like her mother, but more fond of hawking and hunting a-horseback." Faramir smiled a bit mischievously, "She is also more of a cheerful flirt and match-maker. But then, I did not know my Aunt when she was that young, so perhaps that last distinction is incorrect.

Listening with interest, Eowyn mis-tied her own bodice. Faramir huffed a laugh, and reached down to fix it for her. "Does she have an intended, your cousin Lothiriel?" Eowyn asked, when she'd gotten her breath back.

"Nay. She has never found anyone who captured her interest. And until Elphir's marriage, her duties in Dol Amroth consumed most of her time." Faramir paused, "Perhaps she will, now. Many things are possible, now."

"And Elphir, and his new wife?"

"Elphir is stone-steady." Faramir told her, "Always responsible beyond his years. He and Boromir got on very well." Faramir shook his head with a smile, while pulling on a boot, "They both lorded being the eldest over the rest of us. But it was Boromir who most often lured Elphir into trouble, him or Erchirion. And Aliisa...she is lovely, but shy. She will do well once she gets her feet under her, I think. And she has Lothiriel, until then."


"If Elphir is stone, then Erchirion is fire." Faramir told her, "Fire which burns on water. And like so is his temper - quick to ignite, difficult to defuse. But he's fierce and loyal and the best sailor of us all." Another sad smile, "Of us all, Chiri is the most like Boromir in temper. Eru forgive anyone who threatens any of us should Erchirion learn of it, for he will not."

"And Amrothos, the new-made Captain?" Eowyn asked. She already felt some sympathy for the youngest Prince of Dol Amroth. She had been the baby of her family as well, and knew it to be a frustrating thing, at times.

Faramir laughed, "Amrothos is trouble. And speaking of which, I'm in some of my own." Blushing a bit, he told her more of what he had been up to yesterday, and of the lecture that he'd gotten from the King's Man, Ethiron."

"Oh," Commented Eowyn brightly, "And look who has joined us for breakfast." A clearly annoyed Ethiron sat at the breakfast table in the garden, right between Samwise and Nessanie.

Faramir put on his most serene smile. "Ah, yes. Time to play Steward again." But Eowyn rather thought that he did not mind being Steward, and having the power to do what he thought best to protect his people, a power he had long been denied by Denethor. Eowyn even thought that Faramir did not mind Ethiron. She'd already observed that Faramir liked people who could keep up with him. And she felt honored to be one of them.