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02 April 2011 | 14742 words
Title: I, Faramir: the latter days
Pairing: Aragorn/Faramir (with several others implied)
Rating: soft R
Disclaimer: As always, just a little weed in the corner of the Professor’s beautiful garden.
28 Narvinyë, 35th year of the 4th Age, Emyn Arnen.
We buried Éowyn three weeks ago.
I look at those words on the page, and in some ways they still don’t make sense to me; they don’t seem real. And yet, it was far from a shock when my White Lady finally left us, peacefully, thank the Valar, with a faint smile on her lips as I held her hand. She had been ill for many months. We both knew the end was near, and were as well prepared as it is possible for any mortal to be. She believed with all her heart that Eru will reunite us at the end of days. My faith was never as strong, but I know if anyone can compass our reunion it will be my Wynnie (how she hated that name! – and yet she loved it too, or so she said, because I bestowed it).
It is quiet here at last. It is ungrateful to complain, I know, but Wynnie was much loved, and our guest rooms here at the palace of Emyn Arnen were full of family and dear friends, all desirous of saying their goodbyes during her final illness. Then they stayed to comfort each other and me during the sad rites; Éomer and Lothiriel, his wife, have been most kind and lingered to help with the difficult, necessary tasks, making sure that all my wife’s bequests were carried out, her little knick-knacks given to those who would care for them, and her warmer clothes carried down to the villages, as she had requested, to help some of the village women through this cruel winter.
I have never seen Éomer so broken, poor man. As the years have passed, he has grown more and more like a bull, solid and sturdy and slightly bad-tempered, but when he came out from the bedroom after viewing his sister’s lifeless body, his face was white and he seemed fragile. I could tell he was at his wit’s end to keep from breaking down in tears, so to spare him I asked him to look in on Wynnie’s gelding, to see whether he was in a fit state for sale, for I knew he would never be ridden here again. Éomer practically bolted down to the stables, where he could express his grief to the dumb beasts without shame.
Éomer left a few days ago, and my son Elboron and his wife Gwennie have taken young Barahir home to their own house; this darkened, rambling palace is no place for a youngster. So now I am alone, except for the servants, who keep their voices low and try not to disturb me. Indeed, I wish they would, and once or twice I have tried to join them in the kitchen for meals, but though they welcome me politely, I can tell my presence below stairs embarrasses them. They think it’s not quite proper. I regret now that I have been so unintentionally aloof from them, bound up in my scholarly pursuits practically to the exclusion of everything else since I retired from Minas Tirith.
I am lonely, and that is the whole truth of it. Perhaps after all I should take up the invitation to Minas Tirith that Arwen proffered three weeks ago, even though at the time I turned it away so brusquely. Maybe just for a few days.
Oh yes, Arwen and Aragorn were here. It was the first time they have crossed the threshold in the five years I have been gone from Minas Tirith, but I do not blame them for that. We sent them the usual invitations, but Arwen knows the difference between a genuine request and a pro forma one, and Aragorn, I am told, blames himself – unfairly, very unfairly – for my craven departure from his court and his company. He will not inflict his presence where he believes it to be unwelcome. If he but knew. I miss him terribly.
Yes, Aragorn was here, and when he tried to give a friendly embrace to a bereaved old comrade, I stood like a stick in his arms, and turned my face away from his comfort.
I am an old fool. Or a confused one. Or both. Maybe I should not go to Minas Tirith after all?
I cannot decide. Let me go to bed and weep instead. Oh, Wynnie…
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: LN Tora