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Éomer’s Bargain (PG-13) Print

Written by Bell Witch

22 December 2007 | 3505 words

Title: Éomer’s Bargain
Author: Bell Witch
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for attempted coerced sex. Sap. (Odd combo, I know.)
Word Count: 3408
Author’s Notes: Thanks to Estelle for the beta. Written Nov-Dec. 2007.

Written for the 2007 Midwinter Swap

Request by Helmboy: Anything with Faramir and Éomer. :)


The party has left for Dwimordene, leaving me here as not-yet-crowned king of Rohan. I have been training for this as much as possible given the short amount of time I’ve had. The respect given me in Gondor helped greatly. It is simply that these are my own people and they have known me since I was born. Now I am their king at twenty-eight and an unprepared one at that.

I am unprepared to be king and I am unprepared to face this time of peace. How could I be? Most of us never expected to live to see peace, myself among them, and now I must lead blindly. Not entirely blindly, praise the Valar, because Aragorn is there to help and advise. I love him as a father already, much as I did my uncle. Without the knowledge of his existence I am certain that I would be in a near state of panic.

If that is not enough, I have to consider Éowyn. Not consider my sister exactly—more accurately, I must consider her marriage. It is not something I can postpone dealing with because her future husband is here, waiting. There has been no formal betrothal and that is the problem.

Had it been done in Minas Tirith I would not have had so much time to think about it and likely would have given my blessing immediately. The ride across Gondor and Rohan gave me ample time to consider and observe Éowyn and the newly-crowned Prince Faramir together and apart. Now I do not know what I should do.


I was hoping that once he stood before me I would somehow know the right words to say to Prince Faramir. That hasn’t happened and I grant him leave to sit in an attempt to hide the uncharacteristic doubt I’ve been feeling in his presence. It is not right that he should sit so perfectly calmly while my mind races to find something more than a formal greeting for a man I’ve been speaking with plainly for several months.

“By what right do you claim the hand of the White Lady of Rohan?” That came out more harshly than I intended and even I can see that he is surprised by my using that title. I’m more surprised about it than he is and he recovers before I do.

“I have many answers to that, though the first and most important is that I have asked her and she has accepted me.” Faramir’s eyes are clouded, surely having expected the conversation with me to be a mere formality. I did allow him to believe that. “If I must state other reasons then I can say that there is no higher-ranking available man in Gondor, as the combination of titles steward and prince set me above even Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth. You know my lineage, as do many in both Gondor and Rohan, and I do not see how you could fault it without offending a fair number of people. Your sister will be well cared for and our union would create a stronger alliance of our two countries.

“If that is not enough, then I can speak of my love for her until long after you are tired of listening. There is no woman on Arda with her strength, her beauty, her skill, her fire… I do not desire to wed another.”

Then he looks at me with eyes full of hope, younger than mine though he has seen more years.

“How certain are you that it is you she loves? Her heart was set on Aragorn and then suddenly she wishes to marry you?” I observe him closely. “Does that not strike you as suspicious at all?”

I’ll say this much, he recovers faster than almost any man I have ever seen. There is a bare flicker of hurt, which I would have missed were I not seeking it, and then his features are entirely neutral again.

“I would not pry into my lady’s spirit like that. I know what she has told me and I trust those in the House of Eorl to speak truth.” He holds my gaze with no fear, despite the base tactic to bring him low. “I believe her when she says she accepts my suit, also when she tells me that she looks forward to the challenge of living in Ithilien and building Emyn Arnen into a safe place to settle and live. I believe it will be better for her there than the stone of Minas Tirith.”

“There is nothing in Ithilien! You would have my sister live in the wilderness?”

“There will be a home for her before she gets there, and I have not seen Lady Éowyn as a woman who enjoys being coddled. Rebuilding the Garden of Gondor is a challenge worthy of her and I would be proud to have her by my side as we face it.”

He speaks sense and I know it, so why do I not wish to hear? Éowyn will be close enough to visit, and she will visit me, but something keeps me from saying yes to this innocent-looking man who I know to be a fine commander and efficient soldier as well as a scholar. Whatever it is, I grow irritated.

“Do not tell me what my sister would want!” That turns him a shade paler but he dares not respond. “I’ll consider what you’ve said, just… get out.”

Another fine quality in the man; he takes orders well.


I have been thinking. My reasons for refusing were genuine even as were his reasons that I should grant permission. I should speak again with Faramir and say that I give my blessing and will announce the betrothal. This is the honourable thing—why can I not do it?

Faramir. I could hide behind lies but there is no reason to do that here in my own mind. It is Faramir himself that stops me from agreeing to this betrothal. Why that man, among all others? Why my sister’s betrothed? He has the body of a fighter, an archer, but the mind of a scholar and statesman. There is physical strength such as a man has combined with the durability of women, who are usually more patient than we are. He has the forthright manner of a man in command combined with the courtesy of a woman; he is equally skilled with sword or pen. Faramir is so… I hate not being able to make decisions, not knowing the right words. I have never been indecisive and I examine again the person who is making me so. There are images that flash through my mind, like bits of battles only there is no fighting.

Faramir is so desirable. I will speak with him again as soon as it can be arranged.


I have no more knowledge of the words to say to Prince Faramir than I did the last time we spoke, but at least I have an idea to follow.

I watch him sit and wait, as custom says that he cannot speak until I do. He is hopeful, though curious as to why I called him only to say nothing. If I did not say anything for an hour, he would not speak either—Denethor taught him that.

“I have given your words much thought and have come to a conclusion that would give us both what we wanted.”

“I listen, your majesty,” Faramir returns. The curiosity burns, the hope shines; how did he stay so young after all he has endured? After all Middle Earth has endured?

“Listen and hear—I grant you my sister’s hand provided that you do me a service.” Either the words or the smile I give him may well be the cause of the look on his face.

“What service does the king of Rohan require of me? I could not imagine that your own men could not perform it better.” He thinks some more. “Need you some assistance in Gondor?”

If he did not know the friendship between myself and King Elessar, he might well expect spying or something of that nature. He would never do that, not for any reason.

“No. I wish assistance from Gondor, from you.”

“From me?” He still does not see. ‘Gondor’ means the king and that thought does not interest me at all.

“I will announce the betrothal between you and my sister only after you have lain with me.”

Some things, some things cannot be concealed no matter how much a man is used to hiding. His eyes go wide and his mouth opens slightly in shock; he has high points of colour on his cheeks. He is so still I believe I could see him breathe and hear his heart beating in time.

“I…”

Yes? Say yes.

“I have not… ever… considered such a… such an arrangement.”

I tilt my head.

“Do you consider it now?” I ask. He looks even more flustered.

“I have never considered such an arrangement with anyone. I don’t know exactly what you mean.” His face is shining red from embarrassment and he could not possibly know what affect that has on me.

Prince Faramir of Ithilien is unknown to other men—he’d be mine, first and only. Those thoughts I had, the flashes of dreams, they were not like this. He gives me such dreams already, and now…

“That is not important, I do not mind.” I do not mind and am ecstatic, in fact. “I will show you all you need to know, I’ll be careful. I do not wish to hurt you.”

He considers. He considers not because of me, but because he sees this as a way to get something he wants. I knew that before, knew how much he desired Éowyn for his wife. He sees her as the only woman for him and he may well be right. He’d be a fool to let her get away from him; I know he is no fool.

“I love Éowyn with all my heart and do not wish to imagine a life without her.” His voice is quiet and a bit hesitant at first, but is determined and grows in strength as he speaks. “She cares for me also. I would not disappoint her and I cannot lose her. I will lie with you as you wish and the next day you will announce the betrothal.”

I hadn’t meant to announce it quite that soon, leaving open the possibility that Faramir and I might be together more than once—more than one night, really. Once he understood what I could do to him, for him, I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded. Even if he had, he would do nothing to chance the betrothal not happening. Perhaps he will want more on his own; a man’s body and his heart are separate, after all. No matter about any of that, I will have my night with him.

“Agreed, Prince Faramir. I will send for you as soon as I am able.”


He has come as he said he would, as I knew he would. Of course—Faramir of Gondor is a man of his word. It has been a few days since we made the bargain but I did not have an entirely free evening until tonight. After he agreed, my dreams of him took a turn and became… I have never had such dreams, not even when I first became interested in women. Do they burn hotter because they are about a man?

No matter why, they have caused me to wake wet and sticky several times. I can almost hear that voice issuing from parted lips, moaning for me: his face is flushed and his skin golden where the firelight hits it, not pale because of his recent ailments. He has not regained all of the weight and muscle yet but there’s enough. He looks so young and right and absolutely desirable; he is fit for a king.

“Your majesty?” Faramir asks, making me start from my reverie. I open my door to him, amazed that he could affect me so much. So much, just from seeing him.

Now that he is in my rooms I note hesitation, diffidence instead of the self-assured manner I am accustomed to seeing in him. Why, why does that make me desire him more? I like my women bold but Faramir keeps his eyes downcast slightly and his cheeks have high spots of colour from embarrassment. By the mearas, he is striking. It’s not the strong glow of health that makes me notice a man, usually. I see that in many of my soldiers and I do not ache for them. Faramir is simply beautiful.

“Would you like some mead, Faramir?” It is my turn to pull him out of his thoughts.

“No thank you, your majesty,” he responds, so quiet but elegant. I use words to describe Faramir that I have never used before in my life—but I find I need them. My hand reaches to gently tilt his face up. I am only slightly taller but he has been looking at the floor.

“I am Éomer and you are Faramir, nothing else for tonight.” His eyes widen as I move down his body. He wishes to move away but I am the swifter, my arm moving around his waist to hold him as I kiss him for the first time.

He had no mead but I imagine he tastes of honey. I imagine many things—that his arms come up around me, that his breath quickens and his lips part in shy invitation, one that is accepted. My tongue seeks his, searches diligently for the key to make him melt, anything to entice those sweet cries he makes in my dreams.

He is so warm and solid—shoulders and back, the part of his hip that I can reach. Mmm, his throat now that I have woven my fingers in his hair to tilt his head back. He has closed his eyes and his mouth is open, just as I imagined. The gasp when I move back to his mouth goes directly from my ears to between my legs. I wish for him to know what he has done, to feel how wonderful I feel. I reach for his waist again to pull him close.

Then I notice that he has not touched me. That was just a thought, a hope. His arms are loose at his sides though there’s some tension in the shoulders, likely to keep them there and not push me away.

“Faramir?”

“Yes, your… Éomer?” His eyes open and there is something in them that I do not recognize. It is not fear but some other unpleasant emotion.

“You need not be so tense; I would have you touch me as I touch you.” I want him shaking beneath me, not shuddering in disgust—I cannot lie and say that it was anything else. But he controls himself and turns back to look in my eyes.

“I will do my best, Éomer. I have not done anything like this before and so I do not know what is expected. Simply say what you wish and I will grant it; there is nothing that I would not give to gain Éowyn for my wife.” The names are so much the same but there is so much more feeling when he speaks of Éowyn. “I never imagined what my wife would be like, always assuming that Lord Denethor would be choosing her for me. No matter what I could have thought or dreamed, it could never have matched the reality of Lady Éowyn. I love her and have been blessed enough to have her love me in return, and my cowardice will not destroy the life we might have. Truly, there is no finer woman on Arda than your sister so I will give everything not to lose her—or I will regret it for the rest of my life.

“We have made this bargain and tomorrow you will announce the betrothal. I am here as agreed so tell me your desire and I shall give it, before the night is through and your chance is lost.”

Before he spoke I ached for him, after it is twice as bad, or more than that. I ache for him physically but that is not what has grown, truly that became less. My heart begins to see something more than the friend it did before and I understand that I love the man who stands before me.

It is so much more than a kiss he did not return. Telling him what I want and having him comply is not enough—it would not be enough no matter how many times I had him and I have one night only. No matter what he gave it would never be worth it, not to see in his eyes that I do not have his respect, either as king or wife’s brother. Should Éowyn ever find out I would lose her respect also, and earn her ire as long as she lives. No, what did I imagine would happen here? That Faramir would find that he desired me also? I’m a fool but not a dishonourable one.

“Faramir, no,” I begin, my voice softer than before. It does not cajole or beckon, it only speaks. “I shall not tell you to do anything because you need not do anything more than you already have. Coming here tonight as agreed was enough and I should not have done more, should not have put you through more strain than life has already given you.

“It was a test—to see what you would do for Éowyn.” Wait, did I just say that? That’s not true, is it? “And I see that there is nothing you would not do for her, no part of yourself that you would not give.”

Faramir’s look is skeptical, though I don’t know what it is that he can’t believe. For anyone else I’d think that it was no longer having to submit—but Faramir, being used to complicity, was prepared to do whatever it took. I suppose it would be difficult to trust my words, considering the desire with which I was kissing him. No lies there, I wanted him and I want him still.

“I do not think much of your method, Éomer King, though I can understand why you would not wish the last of your family away from you.” He looks in my eyes with such feeling—after all he has been through and not broken, how could I consider adding to that burden? “I will give Éowyn everything I have. She will have every consideration, every honour, and she will rule jointly with me in Ithilien. You will be more than welcome there, as I know you will always welcome your sister here.”

“I will always welcome you here as well, Prince Faramir. Éowyn knew what she needed in a husband and has found it. In testing you, I insulted both your intentions and her own knowledge of herself and her wishes.” I was not thinking at all, I see that now. I could have done something horrible. “I ask your forgiveness, my brother, even though I do not deserve it.”

Faramir smiles slightly and the shadow moves from my heart.

“You have it. I, too, would do anything to keep my family close to me. Would have done, though there are uncle and cousins now that I will see more often.”

“And your wife,” I am quick to point out. “The betrothal will be announced tomorrow as promised, and I will be proud to do it.”


Standing in front of the assembled group at table, I raise my cup in honour of my sister and her husband-to-be. Not all knew of the arrangement but many did—though it was not as certain as they believe. These cheers could have been silenced and the smiles quelled by one man, the only person in Rohan with power over the White Lady.

My own dreams and desires I have put aside to make the right decision as a loving brother and a wise decision as a young king. Looking now at Faramir and Éowyn and the love they share, I could not have done anything else.

End


A/N: This is not the original plot bunny I had. That was a comedy about Éomer and Faramir in a contest to get the better present for Éowyn for either her birthday or an unnamed winter festival. My brain could not come up with the requisite weird presents to make that story work. Call it a plot bunny for anyone else with less duh than I have.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: traveller , ginny-wade , dream.in.a.jar , Plussydum

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10 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

I am just speechless, with these simple words, you bring Faramir and Eomer alive and yet have kept them as close to what JRRT intended and I simply find this the most beautiful story I have read in a very long time.

Getty

Getty    27 January 2008, 16:36    #

Thank you very much, Getty. It ended up being my ‘love is more important than sex’ story, which is not terribly common in slash. I’m very glad you feel that it worked and that they are in character—Eomer is painfully difficult for me to write.

Bell Witch    28 January 2008, 01:55    #

Such a flawless, yet frustrating story! You’ve really captured the essence of the characters, even Éowyn despite the fact that she doesn’t enter the story in person until the very end. The frustrating part comes from my deep, illogical desire to see Faramir and Éomer together, but you’ve certainly made the right choice here by keeping them apart. All the best.

Spot

— spot_of_bother    16 April 2008, 13:51    #

Faramir loves Eowyn enough to give up a lot for her, even as Eomer does. It’s about Eomer doing the right thing despite being able to get away with it if he doesn’t. And the Faramir/Eowyn is so canon. I’ve always liked both of them.

And your user name is awesome.

— Bell Witch    16 April 2008, 23:55    #

What a lovely story! I’ve never read this pairing before, but you handled it so perfectly. Contrariwise, now I want to find a story of yours where the love is returned! Thanks for writing.

— Mira Took    8 November 2009, 17:21    #

A very good story.
With a sense of longing and honour.
And I like how you portrayed the characters.

— lille mermeid    2 May 2010, 18:14    #

Thank you lille.

— Bell Witch    2 May 2010, 19:57    #

I loved the exploration of Eomer’s desires and his character here. I really enjoyed this.

— Chloe    15 February 2013, 08:46    #

I’m glad you couldn’t get your plot bunny to work because this is awesome. You kept the characters true and turned some great lines when they threatened to slip out of themselves (like when you described Eomer’s softening voice as ‘not cajoling or beckoning -only speaking’ -what a simple but important line). I REALLY loved this. It was moving because it was so believable. But I confess I couldn’t help laughing at the end when I read the line “These cheers could have been silenced and the smiles quelled by one man, the only person in Rohan with power over the White Lady”. Even though that is technically true I couldn’t help thinking, “yeah right, good luck with that Eomer!” I immediately got an image in my head of that timeless sibling rivalry position: Eomer flat on his back in front of his whole court and Eowyn straddling him, holding him down, slapping his face with his own hand and saying, “Why’re you hitting yourself, huh? Why’re hitting yourself?” (I have 3 brothers -could you tell?) Thanks for writing this – I see the date here is really old so I hope you are still writing and will maybe even post more here!

— Amdirien    17 February 2013, 11:26    #

Amdirien—Yes, I can see that you have brothers. It’s more of a theory that Eomer has power over his sister, and that because she respects him. I think she’d respect him enough to do the hitting routine in private, couldn’t have the people seeing their king that way, could we?
I’m still writing, though writer’s block means that it’s pretty much just for the exchanges. I keep trying for more than that and failing.

— Bell Witch    18 February 2013, 02:04    #

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About the Author


Bell Witch

Most of my fanfiction is linked through my livejournal Feed link

Finally an update of my profile. I’m behind on linking fics posted here on my LJ, so these are pretty much my LotR fics. The Harry Potter links are on the LJ below a lot of silly quizzes and memes. For sillier results, my online RPG Faramir takes these quizzes also—in character. Most of his results are better than mine. His journal is faramir_hurin, for those so inclined.

I’ve also written a number of segments for the interactive story linked through this site.

I’ve been writing fanfiction for four or five years and I haven’t progressed into writing for many fandoms yet, which may be a blessing for all of those fandoms I’ve not written for. I don’t really count the online RP as fanfiction, though some would. That adds a few fandoms and a new dimension to LotR, as I now play Sauron in his Annatar persona.

As you can see, I am still not skilled at writing author profiles.