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Author Topic: like little fireflies  (Read 2789 times)

Éowyn

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like little fireflies
« on: November 28, 2016, 07:45:20 AM »


timeline: post-War, pre-Eomer's coronation and Eowyn's marriage, late T.A.3019.

"Truly, there is no need for you to accompany me. I have little need of an escort in my own home."

It was said more hastily and with more fluster than she would like, and yet not with half as much imperiousness and hauteur as she would have preferred. For Eowyn did not, indeed, require any such thing as an escort in Edoras of all places; the place where she had grown strong and to adulthood herself, on streets where despite the hard look of the folk and the grim specter the green-clad guards of Meduseld, the people were generally kind and generous, despite the mark the last years of war and loss and famine had left upon them.

And if there was ill news and folk of ill intention (for there always was, where beings of any race gathered in groups) about? Well...her hand still ached, but even if the shieldmaiden was not sure of her own abilities, there was with no doubt always a man of the Golden Hall, nay of the very Rohirrim, who would be there in a heartbeat if called. Edoras was not as large as Minas Tirith, after all.

Or would there be? The thought came swift and stray, and Eowyn felt briefly the cloud of melancholy pass over her heart and cause it to ache with a newfound well of grief. Indeed, she knew it to be folly in part, for not all of their people had been lost-- it was here in evidence now, in the industrious toil of the folk about her where she now stood with her red lady of a mare (stroked her soothingly even as she herself agitated, for "LuLu" would start at the sound of grating metal still with what could only be the equine condition of "battle-shock"). Life still went on, and there was indeed still men in green who watched over Edoras...though their numbers were less than what they once were.

They still watched, though, and perhaps this too was why Eowyn attempted to kick up such a fuss at the predicament now before her. She could not, if keeping with good breeding, refuse if the Steward of Gondor wished to see Edoras, of course. On the other hand, she rather wondered if 'in keeping with good breeding' even still applied where Faramir was concerned. They had been first placed in close quarters, after all, when they had both been at their absolute worst-- their weakest, their sickliest, their darkest and most vulnerable moments.

Yet, Eowyn still tried, even as the ridiculous flush suffusing itself underneath the faded freckles over her nose belied entirely her concerted attempt to behave in a manner that was, if not calm, then at least something along the lines of imperious and...commanding?

She wanted to resent him for that...the question mark that was at the end of her own thoughts. Wanted to resent him further still for his ability to fluster her as easily as he'd come to be the one who brought solace to her thoughts in the Houses of Healing, for the thud of her heart against her ribs even as it ached with the remnants of grief and loss, and the slight muzziness of her mind that prevented her from articulating a sharper and more eloquent response...even as sharper eloquence in the mind coalesced just so with the sweet, aching thud of her heart, and made her feel keenly for a moment the thoughts her Uncle, rest his soul, might entertain if he could look down upon the scenario before him.

The thought drew Eowyn's gaze brief and unbidden to the immense and open-to-the-skies foundations that was the first of Meduseld which travelers beheld, the place in which she had spent many an hour, in company and alone. As if Theoden King would appear by the will of her thoughts alone.

He didn't, of course. And Eowyn could only sigh softly, before turning a more soulful (rather than indignant to hide bashfulness) and gentler, if still worried, gaze to the man before her.

"You have barely been here a night and a morning. Surely you need to rest?"
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 07:46:02 AM by Éowyn »


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 04:21:10 PM »

On the journey to Edoras, an almost boylike wonder had stolen over Faramir.  The great plains of Rohan were like an ocean of grass, its rolling hills reminiscent of waves.  Here, the sky seemed larger somehow, stretching from horizon to horizon in a brilliant shade of late summer blue.  The prince feasted his eyes and indulged in his senses, the wind carrying to his nose the fragrance of Simbelmynë and, to his ears, the distinguished tones of the Rohan tongue.

Although there was a diplomatic element to his presence (and never once did he forget the pain and sorrows that led to his being here) his love for Lady Éowyn was just as responsible for the visit.  Now that King Elessar sat upon the throne of Gondor, the alliance between their two great nations was at a zenith.  Faramir had hope that, in time, relations of a much more personal kind could prove just as devoted and steadfast.

Having arrived the previous evening, dressed in armour and silver-stitched garments appropriate of his station, Faramir had immediately found the garb set him apart from the Rohirric people.  Perhaps that was why, today, he had opted instead to adopt the more comfortable attire of the Rangers of Ithilien.  It was more discreet, though the lone tree emblazoned on his cuirass announced him as an outsider even before his soft, lilting voice could be heard.

Pale blue eyes shifted, from the familiar planes of Éowyn’s fair face to the red mare being stroked, the shieldmaiden’s hand gliding soothingly over her silky coat.

“It is less a question of need and more one of desire,” Faramir responded with obvious sincerity.  Long, soul-baring conversations in the perfumed Houses of Healing had revealed to him a fear of helplessness in Éowyn.  In a way it was unsurprising that one so brave, and so empowered (at least by Gondorian standards), would reject any and all attempts to diminish her freedom.  He could not – would not – be one to clip the Rohirrim’s wings or impose himself upon her as others had.

The flush of colour that marked Éowyn’s cheeks could have been born of frustration, embarrassment, or perhaps even fondness.  Faramir felt and hoped it was the latter.

“It would please me to go with you.  Never have I been so far from home and, while the opportunity lasts, I hope to see as much of Edoras as I am able,” he continued, gentle even in his efforts to persuade.  There was a softness to his expression, the whisper of an adoring smile on his lips, watching with admiration as the breeze played with the shieldmaiden’s long, honeyed hair.  “If there is a hand needing held, Éowyn, it is mine rather than yours,” Faramir dared add.  “Besides, I will sleep long and sound tonight.  Of that, you have my word.”

Éowyn

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 01:29:11 AM »
The breeze that Faramir so admired for shifting her hair so was the same breeze that blew against her neck and sent a shiver down her spine, and Eowyn was not quite able to suppress the shiver it caused in time. This only served to raise her disconcertment to levels bordering on the indignant and wounded pride, and the lovely, sweet man standing before the White Lady of Rohan was given quite the scowl— the only response she could think of, at present, that conveyed how miffed she was without resorting to ruder, more childish means of communication.
 
The truth was, though…the truth was that she felt thrown off. Unbalanced, certainly not at the present the more composed, cool creature she had become accustomed to as a means of good sense and defensiveness in her grim, suspicious world. Only, the world at large around her was not, she knew, as it had once been—not quite healed, either, but there was less and less need by the day, logically, to be the way she still was. It was, in its own way, the very kind of “battle shock” she subscribed to the red mare now leaning into her, and not something that could be fixed in one sitting simply by the grace of a kiss and the acknowledgement that there was, in fact, a future in this world for her.
 
Maybe that was what was throwing her off the most right now. She was already thrown off some, still adjusting to a new, safer world; still coming to know who she’d once been and had the potential to be again. To have the very same man who had helped her find the foundations to move on so also causing her some distress, no matter how pleasant, wonderful and silly it made her insides feel now…
 
To say Eowyn was not quite sure what to do was an understatement.
 
Lu-Lu was not so much leaning and crowding into her now, and the realisation of that was enough to drag Eowyn guiltily from her thoughts, if only for the moment. Faramir was still there, of course, not cowed in the slightest by her set jaw and her bluff attempt at imperious courage—was speaking again, to boot. Something about sleeping well—oh.
 
This time, the blush that stole across her cheeks stayed there. Her fingers bunched briefly into her horse’s mane as she considered Faramir, caution warring with tenderness in an expression that would, by this point, be rather a familiar conflict of feeling seen on the Lady’s face where he was concerned.
 
Tenderness won the day after a moment, and with a little sigh, Eowyn capitulated, if only for the sake of preventing herself further embarrassment (or so she told herself). Pushing Lu-Lu’s muzzle away from where the horse was nibbling now around her ear with an idle kind of annoyance, the Lady jerked her chin towards the barn across the way from them some, where the steeds of the royal house were kept.
 
“You’ll want to saddle your horse then, if seeing as much of Edoras you possibly can is your agenda.” That said, the Lady led Lu-Lu to a raised set of bricks constructed exactly for the purpose of mounting up, turning a quiet and troubled scowl instead to the bricks and the offence they presented. She had never, in her life, had to use them to mount up until recently, and to need to do so was degrading to pride to the point where it almost hurt. But alas, she had no choice in the matter, for her wounded arm was still not capable of bearing her weight in full, and so there would be no mounting up from the ground for some time yet. Certainly not with a mare who still could not bear the weight of a properly mounted saddle against her scarred side.
 


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 04:16:31 PM »
There was a quiet vulnerability in the shiver that rolled through the Rohirrim’s frame, in her hesitation and uncertainty both.  It was impossible not to adore her, even as the smooth skin of her face crumpled into a frown that might have turned the bellies of lesser men to water.  It would take more than a bold, stormy look to spook Faramir, however, and he did not judge her for the lull in conversation that followed.  The Lady was drawn deep into the well of her own thoughts.

At her side, the red mare leaned close, seeking comfort in the presence of her mistress.  The prince’s gaze was stolen by the beast only briefly, before returning to Éowyn.  Slender and fierce, all willowy limbs, noble features and tumbling, golden hair.  Conflicted emotions showed in her face, their battle taking place in plain sight.  It was an expression that Faramir had long grown familiar with, one that he would weather patiently, taking the Lady’s final decision as law.

Ultimately she yielded, albeit reluctantly.

There was such goodness in her, such compassion and tenderness of heart.  Seeing Edoras was not his only agenda, as well she knew, but Faramir did not press the point.  “You have my gratitude, Lady Éowyn,” he murmured his thanks sincerely, with no hint of a teasing or sardonic edge.  Pale blue eyes followed her gesture towards the stables.  By the time they sought to return to the Lady, they watched instead as she moved away, approaching the stacked bricks that served as a mounting block.  In an effort to preserve her dignity, Faramir accepted her dismissal.  Éowyn was a proud woman, one surely frustrated by the current limitations of her war-weary body.  She would not welcome an audience.

Quiet footsteps carried him to the stables, the hem of his cloak whispering along the ground.  The shadowy space was heavy with the familiar scents of wood, leather, hay and horse.  A chestnut creature, not so bright in the coat as Lu-Lu, peered curiously at the approaching figure, fondness in its soft nicker of greeting.  Three white socks and a still-knitting arrow wound on its shoulder marked the beast as the very one that had survived against all odds, only to drag Faramir all the way to Minas Tirith from Osgiliath.  Yet another being to whom the steward owed his life.

Meldir,” Faramir greeted quietly, in softly spoken Sindarin.  Friend.  For that is what the creature had become to him.  It had carried him even as he flirted with the fringes of death.  Holding out a hand, he allowed the destrier to snuffle at his palm, before stroking her thick, silken neck and powerful shoulders, fingertips tracing around the still-shifting scar.  Sedryn - meaning ‘faithful one’ – had proven every inch her namesake.

It took some moments for the Gondorian to locate his tack, the process of cladding his steed thoughtful and unhurried.  Once Sedryn was readied, Faramir took hold of the reins and led the horse out into the sunlight, mounting her just beyond the stable doorway.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 01:29:35 AM by Faramir »

Éowyn

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 02:11:47 AM »
Though her pride wouldn’t allow her to admit to it (for it admitted aloud her physical weakness in turn), Eowyn was grateful for the moment, chosen with intent or no, that Faramir turned away. As a result, she at least appeared a great deal calmer in expression upon his return, though her nose crinkled slightly in mild reproach at his ability to still mount from the ground. She fidgeted too, with the cloak she’d donned – Rohirric in colour and make, one of her own (for the blue mantle of Finduilas was far too precious for a sojourn through Edoras in the dustiness of Autumn), before dismissing such fussing with a silent snort of self-deprecation, ultimately leaving it to drape carelessly against Luceva’s hindquarters as a means of self-punishment for worrying so over her appearance. She was no longer in Minas Tirith, after all, and though the loose breeches she was clad in were still just that— breeches, she was home in Rohan once more, still a known shield-maiden in spirit despite the slow, steady acceptance of peace and gentleness in heart, that process begun in a time that already seemed so long ago.
 
Lu-Lu’s ears swivelled back predictably when Eowyn urged her to meet Faramir and his chestnut halfway, though the mercurial creature became immediately the picture of innocence at a warning in the Rohirric tongue to mind herself. That red head turning away from their companions entirely earned a quietly incredulous snort from her rider, Eowyn taking a moment to glance pointedly at where Luceva’s eye was rolled back to look at her before she reached out, gently so, to stroke just shy of the healed shoulder wound of their fellow chestnut mare.
 
“Don’t listen to a word she says, Sedryn,” she remarked, her brain quickly supplying the name Faramir had given the mare when they had spoken of horses in the Houses of Healing, “She’s all bluff and air.”
 
Even as she was speaking sweetly and scratching the healing scar tissue about the faithful little mare’s neck, Eowyn was somewhat aware of how ridiculous it could potentially look to a foreigner, speaking to a horse as if she was a human being. However in this, the Lady would not be disconcerted, for the one foreigner currently present would learn quickly, if his brief time in Edoras had not clued him into the fact already, that the very lives of the Rohirrim were built on the backs of their horses in more than just what the scribblings of an eccentric scholar might remark upon.
 
It wasn’t only that, though. It was the fact that no matter how he had taken to flustering her so or how he had annoyed her not moments previously, Eowyn knew with an instinct now familiar that Faramir would neither torment nor patronise her.
 
“I cannot promise you all of Edoras and its surrounds this day,” the Lady said, sitting back against Lu-Lu and urging her through the gates while eyeing her companion with a kind of contrite wariness. “There are…matters I must see to, while I show you around.”


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 03:04:42 AM »
While it was apparent that the White Lady of Rohan needed assistance to mount, once in the saddle her injuries proved little limitation.  At least, there was no frailty immediately evident to Faramir’s keen eyes.  Her movements were fluid, confident and subtle, her posture relaxed and open.  She was the very image of the Rohirrim, of one entirely at home astride a horse.

Unlike her battle-shocked steed, Éowyn was not all bluff and air.  She was indomitable and enduring, but no less fair or womanly for her strength.  These commendable traits reminded the Steward of the black-crimson dahlias that bloomed even in winter, unfaltering in the frost and snow.  It was with this thought in mind that he watched fondly, admiringly, as she reached out to pet Sedryn.  That the Lady recalled his mare’s name was met first with surprise – very few of his kinsmen would deign to remember the name of another man’s steed – but Éowyn was no Gondorian and of that he was glad.

Faramir could swear that the soft whicker reverberating in his chestnut’s throat was a response to the Rohirrim’s quietly spoken words.  He found no absurdity in the unusual exchange, having no doubt that the Lady could gaze into a horse’s eyes and know their thoughts, or that she could read their feelings and emotions in even the smallest of cues.  It was a wonder to him and only served to add to his already considerable awe for Éowyn.

It also begged the question of whether she could peer into his own heart so easily.

A light, brief press of heels saw Sedryn falling into step beside Luceva as the pair moved out through the gates.  The autumn breeze ruffled his red-blond hair and was partly the reason for the genuinely joyful smile that lit his features.  Mostly, however, he was simply glad to be in Éowyn’s presence, to breathe the air she had been raised on.

“To where do we travel first?”  Faramir enquired, moving his reins into one hand so that he could stroke his mare’s silky neck with the other.  Of course a noblewoman would have responsibilities, in serving both her lord and land, but which of these could go hand-in-hand with chaperoning a foreigner?  “I would not seek to hinder you in your duties, Lady Éowyn.”  The response was earnest, the prince’s pale blue eyes glancing to the shieldmaiden who rode at his side.  “Perhaps I might instead be of service?  I would have you use me, if you feel I could be of assistance.”

Éowyn

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 12:04:35 AM »
Luceva snorted and so did Eowyn, though for vastly different reasons. The mare’s noise was one of anticipation, one that mingled with quickened step to communicate her gladness at being out in air that was not only familiar, but safe.
 
For Eowyn, it was incredulousness that coloured the majority of the noise made, though whether she willed it consciously or not, there was a kind of wary amusement to it too.
 
“Try to not be quite as agreeable as you always appear to be, if you have a real need to assist. Goblins have more conscience than those I must pay a visit to, should they scent weakness.”
 
The glance Faramir was given was of a rather similar expression to the tone adopted to convey that warning, though for a brief moment near the end of that look, one could swear there was, just so, a hint of mischief before that too was gone. Then the feminine half of their little company was ahead, strides lengthened to that of the horse eager to have their descent down hill over and done with. Luceva’s solid form lurched briefly as she popped over the small ditch at the bottom, Eowyn choosing to let her mare circle a wide turn rather than yield a shoulder sharply so they could await Gondor’s Steward their descent to them.
 
It didn’t bother her overly now, if she was honest about it. Having the company along with her, even if there was still a feeling of apprehension that tugged, deep down and present for so long that it seemed instinctual, in the pit of her stomach. Watching the pretty little (figuratively speaking, of course) mare and her rider that was not overly handsome and yet somehow by the grace of his nature made himself exceptionally so from here, Eowyn could admit safely if only to herself that it likely wasn’t the company itself that caused such feelings. It caused feelings most certainly (though the word seemed rather base now when attributed to the human emotion it actually represented, even to her soul and it’s contrary, choleric-phlegmatic response to poetry), but not of the negative kind she was so used to.
 
And maybe that was a significant part of the problem, really. Eowyn had spent such a large portion of her life ill at ease with the attentions of the opposite sex even as her nature craved affection, to the point where she’d craved to be the opposite sex as much for the sake of feeling secure as for want of glory and action. To simply have a man not her family want to be with and in her presence for the pure sake of it was a concept as new and thus uncertain to her as stepping into the role purely of healer was, no matter how with confidence she proclaimed her intention to do so.
 
She could resent him for it, if she tried hard enough. Friendship such as theirs that had developed before anything else in the Houses of Healing was far easier to navigate. But even Eowyn, stubborn though she could be, knew that to do so bordered on the irrational and unfair. For Faramir, all teasing about it aside, was just agreeable enough, just gentle enough, to never even dream of forcing feeling or sensation on anyone. He extended a hand, and it was simply up to the creature—human he was extending it to as to whether or not they would take it.
 
Ultimately, the Lady wasn’t aware of the expression on her miens as she watched the approach of horse and rider, though perhaps she was better off for it. To be aware was to shut herself away from softness and scrutiny, and so if Faramir chose to look, he would catch the tilt of Eowyn’s head that was something like inquisitive and something like careful – not overly sure of stepping closer to the contact on her own, but unable to quite mask the wanting to do so.
 
But then Luceva huffed, the exhale billowing her sides, and Eowyn’s attention went elsewhere to the need to shift accordingly with her mount, glancing down as she lifted herself some to settle again against the warm hide, though doing so without the possibility of accidentally and painful jarring her loins against LuLu’s broad shoulder ridge.
 
“We might visit the market place, if that please you milord. I need to purchase new leathers for this one eventually anyway.”


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 11:06:36 PM »
Over the days, weeks and months - and with countless hours spent in one another's company - the veil of hostility and sorrow that had once shrouded the Lady of Rohan slowly dissipated. Cautious and enigmatic though Éowyn remained, Faramir felt now he was privy to flashes of her true temperament. Those soulful instances were a gift as far as he was concerned, with each glimpse of the shieldmaiden's untamed soul fuelling his adoration.

“Your associates lack the conscience even lowly goblins possess? Faramir echoed, surprise and amusement marking his features, before giving way to lingering curiosity. He arched an eyebrow almost playfully, Éowyn's brief flicker of mischief answered in kind. “If not for the fact that I insisted on accompanying you, I would fear an ambush lay ahead.” With those words, the prince's noble face relaxed into an easy smile. “While I thank you for your fair warning, I also accept that I am doomed; there is no time to amend my nature.”

As dear Luceva extended her stride and descended the hill, Faramir followed a little behind, relaxing his grasp of the reins and allowing Sedryn to pick her own path through the carpet of grass tuffets. The sure-footed mare moved with steady purpose, her chestnut head lowered, nostrils flaring as she breathed deep the autumn air. Here the terrain was uneven, punctuated with the occasional rabbits’ warren, the land wild and hardy in ways that the familiar Pelennor Fields were not. It was rather in keeping with the people of this nation, oddly reflective of the resilient, unbridled Rohirrim.

This thought caused Faramir to smile again, his pale blue eyes landing on Éowyn and noting how she rode bareback with such easy confidence, in the way of one truly at home when astride a horse. Riding seemed to be as natural to the lady as breathing, her movements as instinctive as they were effective. While it was an observation commonly made of the Rohirrim at large, Faramir couldn't help but think that even in horsemanship Éowyn was exceptional amongst her kin.

Drawing Sedryn level with Luceva, he listened to his companion's suggestion and immediately tilted his head agreeably - despite the earlier warning. “It pleases me,” came Faramir’s unfaltering response, no less true for its politeness. “Conduct your day as you would without me at your side. In your company, I am content.”

Éowyn

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2019, 01:56:06 PM »
"They're very well might be," Eowyn muttered darkly, though there was a twitch to her mouth that, just a little bit, belied the underlying threat to what they might be facing on this sunny, brisk Rohirric day. Because it wouldn't have surprised her, quite frankly, if there was something waiting for them when they reached the outskirts of the village-- considering the last time she'd visited the house for the Cartef Blant, there had been just such a thing waiting for her. It was a sobering though in it's way though, despite the playfulness intended behind such things as childish ambushes, because she knew in a way, the elder children especially used such playful antics as a light-hearted cover for the possibility of more serious situations. Situations that had become all too familiar to the Rohirrim, and which still hadn't disappeared simply because both Isengard's Betrayal and the War of the Ring had passed.

One among many a thing she would be spending long nights discussing with her brother, though she had faith that Eomer already had it in the back of his mind, amid the myriad other things that must now take residence there.

"Well, I've given you the obligatory warning, so my conscience is clear." That was said a little louder and with no allusion to the sober nature her thoughts had taken. Though no less drily, the illusion of innocence in the bland, wide-eyed glance Faramir was tossed before Luceva pushed forward into a jog. A gesture in itself that gave away the strength of emotion in the rider even if the rider themselves tried not to show openly their feelings, eager or reluctant in energy though they might be, with the mare's sorrel tail swishing and arching in protest when she was checked before she was given leave to move more forwardly again.

Eowyn said nothing, for her part, in response to Faramir's desire for her company-- only continued to ride quietly alongside, the appreciation in the words more in the absent-minded mindfulness that was ensuring her horse stayed abreast of Sedryn, rather than surged ahead. Partly because she wasn't sure even another wittier than her would find something appropriate to say, and partly because, well, she wasn't coy enough to pretend it wasn't an obvious or a fair statement after their time together in that other realm, such as the Houses of Healing had seemed.

Which begged a rather awkward question, Eowyn mused-- though before she could, a clamouring call from one of the hillocks that became more prominent now they were closer to the edge of Edoras startled her out of her thoughts and near straight out of her seat. Her hand reached instinctively for a sword that no longer sat in its' regular place at her hip, before her conscious brain reasserted itself enough to realise that it was not, in fact, an attack or an ambush-- or if it had been the ambushers had been promptly startled too upon realising who it was.

"Mae'n Eowyn! Piria, Piria, Mhoben! Mae'n Arglwyddes Eowyn!"

"Mordekai, Eodred, don't..." The protest trailed off weakly as the red-headed culprits both disappeared-- though one reappeared momentarily at his name (she hadn't a clue which one), before offering a sunny grin and disappearing once more. Their exuberant Rohirric echoed back to the riders, and as the clamour grew with a turn around the corner to more than a simple pair of twin boys, it became clear Eowyn's discomfit at being so singularly--well, adored perhaps, or simply having others so happy to bear her company, was not reserved exclusively for Faramir. The Lady's shoulders were hunching up in quite a display of mortification, colour stealing abashedly across her pale cheeks-- though not even that could keep the crooked smile from appearing as the two 'scouts' drew a number of heads out of the sprawling farm house now before them. The one adult body that had materialised in the doorway-- a striking, flame-haired beauty nigh on as pale as the Lady-- was the one to break from the safety of the house, steps as light as the children's and tears in her eyes despite the fierce scowl on her lovely features as Eowyn was (still cringing in a rather interesting way) given but a moment to dismount her mare before she was near knocked from her feet by the force of Piria's hug.

"Piria, no..." Oh, but there was no avoiding the half-stifled giggle as the exuberance of the moment sent them back a wobbling step or two, and Eowyn was given barely a moment to contemplate what her Gondorian companion might think of the gesture before Piria's voice was in her ear, loving and cursing in a way that made her among the very few who seemed able to do so without offense-- in Eowyn's limited experience, anyway. At least it was all in Rohirric, so she'd be spared the added mortification of Faramir understanding that she was being roundly accursed as a fool-- something that put a stop to her thoughts for a moment and made Eowyn swallow hard, knowing Piria hadn't meant ill (ill only in that they were caught up in the moment) but only able to return the embrace so as to prevent too much escape of her emotions-- though still glad at the appearance of the middle-aged, greying man that had followed his red-headed companion.

Berlios gave her a swift smile in response, the illusion of calm amid the storm as he settled the little girl on his hip and turned to cock his head at Faramir, assessing with an intensity that was somehow noninvasive and, quite simply it seemed, appraising for the facts presented physically before him. Then he smiled, small in comparison to many of his kin, but with no warmth lost in the composure of it, nor any dimming in the glint of mischief there momentarily when he spoke aloud.

"Mae govannen, ernil."


---

"Mae'n Eowyn! Piria, Piria, Mhoben! Mae'n Arglwyddes Eowyn!" - "It is Eowyn! Piria, Piria, Everyone! It is the Lady Eowyn!" [Rohirric]

"Mae govannen, ernil." - "Well met, oh prince." [Sindarin]


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2019, 12:37:10 AM »
There was a rare beauty in Edoras, something exceptional in its distinctive position in the low, wide valley.  All around them snow-capped mountains rose skyward, cradling and shielding the capital.  Here the sky seemed impossibly endless, the azure horizons fast becoming one of the prince’s favourite aspects of Rohan.  No malignant darkness bubbled in the distance, poisoning hearts and minds with the constant threat of danger.

It was amusing that, just as Faramir’s mind turned to jeopardy, a cry arose from a nearby hillock.  The sound was boyish to the prince’s ears and, perhaps because he himself had once been a youth content to wile away hours with such games, he reacted only with a surprised smile, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the sun.  From the corner of his gaze, he was aware of Éowyn's initially reflexive, defensive response, pale fingers reaching for a sword that was not there.  The lady had endured much, so much so that even in the warmth of day, even in the familiarity of her homeland, it seemed possible that peril waited around any corner.  It was understandable, given the shadow she had once lived under.

The cheerful sound of Rohirric reached their ears, whilst a weak protest fell from Éowyn’s lips.  Turning a corner, they were greeted by twin boys, topped with matching flaming hair.  Mischievousness was written into their mirrored expressions and Faramir was reminded, briefly, painfully, of Boromir and the shared escapades of their youth.  The boys were surely Mordekai and Eodred, as Éowyn’s objection had revealed.

The lady’s demeanour even now was one of embarrassment, the weight of her mortification bending her body, though the smile on her lips spoke of the joy she felt.  Having arrived at a farmhouse, they were able to watch as a comely red-haired woman stepped outside.  Fleet footed, she all but flew across the ground, throwing her slender arms around Éowyn the moment she dismounted, the pair giggling and grasping lovingly onto one another.  Her adoration for the Lady of Rohan was apparent, and the shameless display of affection from Piria - as Éowyn’s further protest named her - causing Faramir’s heart sing.  It came as no revelation to him that the kind-hearted, dutiful shieldmaiden was beloved by her people.

It was with a faint, amused smile that he dismounted.  As the two women spoke hurriedly to one another in Rohirric, the prince was reminded that he was an outsider here, and he decided then that he would redouble his efforts to learn the language.  Having no desire to intrude on what was clearly a warm reunion, he contented himself with stroking a hand lightly over Sedryn’s forehead, at least until a middle-aged man - with a young girl perched on his hip - exited the farmhouse.  Faramir was aware of this greying man regarding him for a long moment, but did not anticipate the words that would fall from his tongue, nor the language he would use, nor even that the man would know who he was.

Mae govannen, Faramir greeted in return, smoothing a hand over Sedryn’s velvety muzzle.  Im carú ist na dang I melui deng o Sindarin sen haeron od bâr.  The prince smiled then, warmly, surprised at how grateful he was for this small taste of home.  The question of how this man knew Sindarin, or even how he had been able to identify him as a prince, were not so pressing as to be asked immediately.  Instead, Faramir tilted his head towards Éowyn, who was still caught in Piria’s embrace, and continued on with a fond and simple observation - He sen mela.

-----

“Well met.”

“I did not expect to hear the familiar sound of Sindarin so far from home.”

“She is loved.”

Éowyn

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2019, 01:57:28 PM »
The older man smiled, though whether it was at the Prince of Ithilien's words or the eagerness at which he grasped at familiarity was hard to say. Perhaps both, in the same way in which his gaze was a sort of aged and sorrowful, even as his expressions were free and gently given.

"He golas dilthen -o ha an hen immo, pitya hen ambar affach ha anaië."*

Berlios paused, as if to say more (not missing the glint of enquiry in Faramir's gaze, though the reasoning for it was likely many), before turning tongue to Westron (for enquiring and kindly or no, their association was still infant even with the familiarity in a foreign place).

"I learned the language of the Elves of the Woodlands in my childhood. My sire, Bema guide his soul, was a man of Thengel-King, and took his sons with him when he swore allegiance to her grandsire." Berlios inclined his head to the women, his gaze lingering on the chestnut mare now nosing at Eowyn, and there was a moment in which Faramir might identify keenly even without foreknowledge the particular shadow of loss (and lost, an ageless feeling) that deepened the ageing man's gaze, before it passed on for the time being when the toddler in his arms wrapped the chubby appendages around his neck, and the gesture-- or perhaps simply the sensation of being watched, finally caught the attention of the excited, chattering women.

"You never asked if I spoke Sindar, aranel*, so spare my soft heart that wrathful and accusatory stare."

Berlios' expression was mild, but his eyes twinkled now as he preempted (not inaccurately) the very same look he described from the Lady even as Piria led them to the men, though it was clear by his teasing reference to her in Sindar that the old man was as afeared of her as he might have been of a newborn, if rambunctious, foal. It was easy to see though as clear the respect there, when the glower given by said Lady of the Shieldarm was belied in the same breath -- quite literally, where it touched the leathery cheek with her own in a rarely initiated gesture of physical affection, a soft exhale that took in scent even as it was both nothing and everything in the timelessness of the beloved returned home safe when so many could not.

"Well, for the sake of 'propriety'," That was greeted with a snort from Piria, studiously ignored by the Lady, though the former's gaze was frank in its' curiousity (and, perhaps, admiration) when Eowyn drew them to Faramir's side once more, "My Lord Steward Faramir, this is Berlios; his father served my grandsire and later, my grandmother, during Thengel's tenure in Gondor. And this is Piria, who watches over this place and it's little ones for me."

"And knows not a jot of that pretty Elf tongue. Some of us are far too preoccupied to minstrel about."
There was no rancor in the woman's accented voice, though, impertinent as the glint in her gaze was (never mind the curtsy), and her grin was as gregarious as any of her horse lord kin or indeed, the rarer, wide smile of the Lady who's hand now bumped surreptitiously against Faramir's in response to whatever passed silently between the women before Piria, with a chuckle, turned airily for the large farmhouse.

"We shall talk later, my Lady. I promise you this." Again with keen insight, or perhaps simply keen eyes, Berlios spoke and then inclined his head to the pair still present, though his strangely sad and cheerful gaze lingered a moment on the aforementioned Lady (and indeed, the red chestnut horse still nosing idly at her back). "Come in and take your ease, for now. The little goblins have missed you greatly."

"And you don't think you're handsome. She was eyeing you off."
That was muttered to Faramir by Eowyn herself once Berlios had begun making his way to the house, and though it was said noncommittally, the hand that had moved over his suddenly had reason (or ulterior motive) attached to it.

.:.

* "She leaves little of it for herself, sparse in her world though it has been."

* "Princess"
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 12:01:19 PM by Éowyn »


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Faramir

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Re: like little fireflies
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2019, 12:16:33 AM »
He golas dilthen -o ha an hen immo, pitya hen ambar affach ha anaië.

How those words pained Faramir, the aching fondness in his heart compelling him to glance back to Éowyn, her fair face lit beautifully by the almost-autumnal sun. This man was astute and it seemed he intended to say something more - only to instead lapse into silence. A multitude of questions lingered quietly on the tip of the prince's tongue, though he felt it would be rude to ask them in eagerness. Fortunately for Faramir's curious mind, the older man spoke again, shedding light on how he came to know Sindarin, at least. There was something wistful and nostalgic in the telling, and Faramir found he was endeared by the man's soulfulness.

Before he had a chance to respond to the revelation, the sweet little girl folded her arms around her bearer's neck, and the women looked their way. This man, whose name Faramir did not yet know, teased the approaching Lady of Rohan in the manner of one dear and trusted. Wrathful and accusatory indeed, though the affection and respect between the two could scarcely be denied, given that Éowyn leaned close enough to bump her cheek against the man's own. The shieldmaiden was truly among those dear to her and Faramir could only hope that her heart sang, that she realised how treasured and beloved she was.

His attention was stolen, however briefly, by Piria, given her incredulous snort. A redhead of immense beauty - the powders and elixirs women painted their faces with in the noble halls of Minas Tirith could not add to what she naturally possessed - regarded him with blatant curiosity as Éowyn made introductions. Faramir had the distinct sense there wasn't a single thread she failed to take notice of, nothing escaping those wide and attentive eyes.

My Lord Steward Faramir. Those words, so simple and innocuous, were what pulled his focus back to Éowyn, adoration softening his features. A common introduction, certainly, and yet the possessive language stirred a yearning in the prince. How he longed to be hers, more so than he already was.

"An illustrious history," Faramir remarked warmly, sincerely, glad to be introduced to Berlios and to know his name. "King Thengel was dearly beloved by Gondor, as was Queen Morwen. The halls of Minas Tirith were all the brighter for their presence." Their marriage had bonded the two nations and, given his feelings for Éowyn, now gave Faramir hope. The prince inclined his head, his gaze shifting to Piria. Her remark - and her impertinent curtsy - won a small, fleeting smile. "A kind heart and busy hands, I deem."

With a grin and a chuckle, Piria turned back to the farmhouse, and Faramir was left to savour the light touch of Éowyn's hand against his. So delicate and subtle was the contact that it would be easy to believe it unintentional, though the prince suspected otherwise. As much as he itched to take her hand in his, he contented himself with simply pressing a little closer, hungry for the small affection, his fingers brushing gently against the lady's own.

Something in the intensity of Piria's appraising gaze had triggered this gesture, he was sure. Perhaps it was a small act of possessiveness, dominance or protectiveness - whichever it was and whatever the cause, Faramir rejoiced in its intimacy. How alien it was to be desired, and to see this new vulnerability in Éowyn. Surely she did not perceive Piria, pretty though she was, as any sort of threat?

Berlios, with a promise to speak to the Lady later, also retreated towards the farmhouse. Faramir now had a sense of the place they had come to - an orphanage of sorts - with Piria likely acting as a mother to all of the 'little goblins'. That playful term of affection brought a smile to his face.

And you don't think you're handsome. She was eyeing you off.

Faramir chuckled softly, and shook his head. Éowyn's observation seemed to confirm his suspicions, and in that moment the urge to hold her hand became almost irresistible. "You are mistaken, my lady. Piria admired only the embroidery of my cuirass - and likely wondered why a prince would dress so plainly." He turned to her then, regarding the shieldmaiden fondly, wishing he knew better how to respond to the compliment in her words.  "Even if you are correct, my heart is already occupied." There was a pause as he struggled inwardly, buoyed by the lady's kindness, by her generosity. In this beat of silence, his fingertips grazed the back of her hand tenderly.

"It is a blessing to see you in the company of those whose hearts are filled with love for you, Éowyn." No title preceded her name, Faramir speaking to her with the familiarity that had its foundations laid in the Houses of Healing. But this was neither the time, nor the place, to say anything more sentimental. "Twice now I have heard it said there are goblins lying in wait," Faramir spoke with amusement in his voice, a glimmer of rare mischief colouring his eyes as he glanced towards the sprawling farmhouse. "It would be unseemly of us to keep them waiting."

 


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