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30 March 2004 | 11127 words
Author: Lilith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: The King is not the only one with healing powers.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Tolkien estate; all smutty ideas herein are my own.
Notes: This story is set in autumn about three years after Return of the King. Aragorn and Faramir's relationship at this point is somewhat inspired by Minx' wonderful story "The King and the Ranger" (particularly Arwen's acceptance of it), with the exception that Boromir is indeed dead. Many thanks to my beautiful beta readers Minx Kat and Lottie!
Feedback: Please let me know what you think!
"Dearest, you look tired." Arwen's graceful elvish hand reached out to brush her husband's cheek. He gave her a wan smile before burying his head back in his councillor's missives.
Arwen sighed as she stood up and walked to the west window. Gazing out at the woods of Anórien, she noticed the first signs of autumn in the trees.
"I always love this time of year. It reminds me of Lórien when I was young."
Aragorn had no response.
"And yet, I always feel sad. The leaves there no longer turn gold, you know."
Again, there was no response from her husband.
"Of course, they say the purple rabbits there are very striking now."
When even this failed to evoke a response, Arwen sighed again, more loudly this time. Aragorn looked up with a slightly dazed expression.
"Sometimes I wonder what these councillors did before I came along," he grumbled.
"They managed, they just brought the same problems to Lord Denethor."
At the mention of the steward, Aragorn's eyes narrowed reflexively. His motion was so subtle that none would have noticed it, save an astute elvish eye.
Arwen had never met the old steward, and what she had heard of him made her glad of it. When she had pressed Legolas, he had told her of Denethor's favouritism towards his eldest son. He stressed that Boromir had always been apologetic, though his father's behaviour seemed to have been caused through no fault of his own. Arwen was glad that Faramir had a brother who loved him dearly, since his father had not.
Faramir! She had first met the handsome young captain when she arrived in Minas Tirith three years earlier. He was recovering in the Houses of Healing, and she had often found her husband-to-be at his bedside. She immediately saw the almost tangible connection between the two men, like lightening bolts charging the air around them, although she was sure that they were not even aware of it yet. Men have such limited sight, she thought, not for the first time, and yet somehow they still manage to find love.
Arwen smiled sadly as she thought of the young steward. She had never met anyone who cried out for love so loudly, save perhaps his friend Éowyn. Perhaps this was why their friendship had never blossomed into anything more. Both needed love desperately, but they could not fill each other's voids. For that, they had both turned to Aragorn, her husband, the king.
The princess had returned to Rohan unrequited, wounded perhaps, but not fatally. Faramir, on the other hand, had languished after her marriage to the king. Arwen had watched both men suffer as they tried to deny their feelings, until she had finally taken matters into her own hands and left them together in Ithilien. How long ago that seemed now! Her smile broadened as she thought of her husband's puzzled look when he realized that she wanted – nay, needed him to be with his steward.
And maybe that was what he needed now.
Aragorn looked up from his papers and saw the smile flicker across his beautiful wife's lips.
"What are you thinking of, my dear?" he asked.
Her smile grew broader as she answered, "Ithilien."
Aragorn started. "And just what do you think about Ithilien?"
"It is lovely this time of year, is it not?"
"Ithilien is lovely at any time of the year," replied the king, his voice catching in his throat.
"But especially now. You are tired, Estel, and you cannot go on like this without rest. And you will not have rest while you are in Minas Tirith." The queen gazed out towards the west. "No, you need the touch of the forest."
They both knew whose touch she really meant.
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Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: KisaMura , Miyu , GUest