The Shieldmaiden Unleashed

Genre: hurt/comfort, family, humour

Rating: PG

Warnings: mention of violence

Summary: Faramir suffers a mysterious injury

These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.

"You are hurt, Faramir!" Aragorn exclaimed as his Steward entered the study, carrying a large sheaf of parchments under his arm.

"It is nothing; do not trouble yourself, my friend." Faramir smiled ruefully. He placed the documents on the table, ready to begin the morning's work.

"But that bruise on your face looks painful. I have some comfrey salve that might help," Aragorn insisted. He went over to the side of his desk where he kept a satchel of healing supplies and took out a large jar.

Realising that resistance was futile, Faramir meekly submitted to the King's ministrations. "Ouch!" He winced as the ointment touched his skin.

"The sting will soon wear off and you will feel a soothing warmth," said Aragorn. He patted his friend on the shoulder and put the jar away. He then rubbed the salve off his hands with his handkerchief and seated himself at his desk ready to begin the morning's work.

"Thank you, it feels much better now." Faramir smiled at his friend. He turned his attention to the mountain of parchments. "I should have been more careful. I feared it might happen ever since I decided to wed. Still, how could I help but love my sweet one, even when she strikes me. The way she smiles at me just melts my heart every time. She does not mean to injure me."

"You mean this is not the first time?" Aragorn looked up sharply from the document he had been studying.

"I have been black and blue, but my tunic concealed the bruises."

"You should have told me about this before."

"The bruises soon heal. I have become accustomed to it."

"I suppose being married to a shieldmaiden might at times be hazardous. It troubles me to hear that she strikes you, though, Faramir. You should not take it so lightly."

"It scarcely matters to whom a man is wed. It is just one of those things that one lives with." Faramir shrugged and turned his attention back to his work.

"Would you like me to speak to her as her King?"

"She would not understand you. Surely you have experienced your fair share of bruises too?"

"My beloved Arwen would never strike me!" Aragorn retorted sharply.

"Neither would my sweet Éowyn!" Faramir sounded horrified. "Surely you did not think?"

"You said that your injury was a consequence of being a husband?" Aragorn regarded his friend with a bewildered look.

Faramir began to laugh. "When a man marries he hopes that he might have children. And children can be somewhat rough at times. Last night I was playing with my baby daughter and she accidentally hit me with her rattle!"

"So little Elestelle is to blame for your hurts?"

"She has a strong arm for a baby. I think Éowyn and I have a little shieldmaiden in the making!"

"By the way you are smiling, you are proud of her strength."

"She is sweetest babe that ever lived and the strongest too! Fatherhood is worth a few bruises. As soon as she is a little older, she will learn to be more careful and not to injure anyone when playing. Until then, I shall either have to find her a lighter rattle or duck more swiftly."

Aragorn grinned. "Now that I think of it, Eldarion has dealt me a few blows too. One needs all one's warrior skills of evading lethal blows when dealing with infants!"

"Maybe all our years fighting Orcs were simply a preparation for fatherhood!" Faramir replied.

A/n this is a revised version of a story written for the "Teitho" dialogue challenge, where it was placed equal second. You can read the original on my LJ or my Yola site. A link is on my profile page.