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The More Things Change (NC-17) Print

Written by LadyLovelace

22 January 2011 | 7351 words

Title: The More Things Change
Author: LadyLovelace
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Faramir & Éowyn

Post-war (in a universe where Boromir didn’t die), Faramir goes to Rohan for an important affair of the heart.

As she watched Éomer and Boromir heading off together once they had been reunited and set free of any further ceremonial duty, Éowyn turned her attention to the younger of the brothers. Whilst she had always thought Boromir attractive in a distant, largely indifferent way that made for a good escort to official functions, so that he wouldn’t embarrass her at the time and would be happy to allow her to slip away, and therefore an invaluable ally over the past few years, Faramir was a different matter altogether.

She had heard rumours that the younger of the two Sons of Gondor had grown into a handsome, charming young man with a great deal more patience than his brother, she had not expected to be so taken with him. But as he sat, awkward and alone for having been temporarily abandoned by his brother, Éowyn was forced to admit that she was, and the plan to do something about it had already taken root in her mind by the time she sat down on the opposite side of the table in the largely empty hall.

“We haven’t had the chance for a real introduction, have we?” She smiled gently at the young man in front of her, “seeing as this is your first time.”

Faramir smiled, apparently unable to help some shyness from creeping in to it. “But of course, I know who you are. My brother’s reports have not done you justice,” Faramir blushed, “then again, I suppose he isn’t really looking the way others might.”

“No, he does seem only to have eyes for Éomer, doesn’t he?” Éowyn smiled brightly at the shock that came over Faramir’s face, “oh, it is well known what they get up to. And if you don’t want to see more of your brother than you had ever hoped to, you might wish to avoid anything that sounds like they’re fighting. They’re not.”

The young man cleared his throat awkwardly, and stared at the table in the hopes of hiding his blush. Éowyn thought that this was a good sign for what she had in mind. “Not that I am in the least interested in talking about them. I’d rather hear about you.”

Faramir blushed more deeply, but looked up this time, able to deal with embarrassment that came entirely from himself, “I am an open book to you, my lady. What would you wish to know?”

Éowyn considered for a moment before deciding on the direct approach – which would at least be entertaining, if not overly likely to yield fast results – “To be perfectly honest with you, I would be most interested in knowing what it would take to get you into a room with a bed and a lock on the door.”

The depth of the blush that ensued on the attractive Gondorian was definitely worth it, as far as Éowyn was concerned.

“I… I, uh, that is to say… umm…” Faramir flailed for something intelligent to say in response, “we can’t?” He wasn’t sure why it was a question, but it had certainly sounded like one.

“Of course we can. Boromir and Éomer do so without worry for consequences. I wouldn’t dream of calling foul play, either. I like peace, and I’m not trying to do away with it. In fact, you can call it diplomatic manoeuvring, if you like,” she smiled sweetly at the still-blushing young man across the table, “it works for your brother.”

“I don’t… I think you’d find… I am perhaps not the best choice available to you,” Faramir blushed deeply, “on account of a certain amount of inexperience in some areas.” He had gone back to telling this to the table, which Éowyn thought oddly sweet.

“I thought as much. As long as you’re an eager student, though, I’m sure you’ll be perfectly acceptable.”

Faramir made a sound suspiciously like a squeak and nearly broke his neck tripping over the bench he was sitting on as he hurried away from the deeply terrifying prospect of making a complete fool of himself in front of someone quite so important, and who would be likely to tell Éomer, and Éomer in turn his brother, and then he would never hear the end of it.

Éowyn tried not to laugh as the poor boy of just barely eighteen ran with his tail between his legs away from her. She knew better than to take it as an insult, and as such was only mildly annoyed at having to endure a self-satisfied Éomer with no such impressive conquest of her own to brag of.

Several Years Later

Éowyn smiled at the new arrival being presented to her at Edoras. She had enjoyed Faramir’s company during the final days of the war, and in helping to set Minas Tirith to rights. The young Steward had proved himself to be charming and learned, after all, and would likely be more entertaining than his older brother.

“I see Gondor is sending me tribute already. I would have thought it too soon for you to have heard.”

Faramir frowned up from his low bow, and then gathered the sense to straighten up and look puzzled, “my lady?”

“Your Highness, if you please,” Éowyn smiled teasingly, “you were looking for Éomer, weren’t you?”

“Well… yes, I was. Though I cannot say I find myself disappointed to have found you instead,” Faramir deferred cautiously, “your Highness,” he bowed deeply again.

“It is entirely the fault of your brother, you know. Éomer has decided that if Boromir can give up his Stewardship and instead head up the military, he himself is also entitled to give up the throne. If you see him, you might explain that it has to do with the King’s attachment to Boromir, not Boromir’s attachment to the army.”

“Actually, your Highness, I would be forced to say that it is to do with both things, in equal measure. Or rather, it is Aragorn’s attachment to Boromir that means he can do more or less what he likes,” Faramir smiled wryly, “which mostly involves keeping a standing army, and splitting his time between training young recruits, and the King’s chambers, if your Majesty will excuse the mental image.”

“Why would I excuse it?” Éowyn grinned wickedly, “I should prefer to have engravings done.”

Faramir looked up in shock, but could think of no suitable answer, and so said nothing on the matter aside from, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Your business, then, my dear Steward?”

“Ah. I am afraid it has become rather more complicated, given the circumstances,” Faramir shifted uncomfortably, “as I was here… ah, with hopes of… forming something of an alliance between our people. By way of, ah, marriage.” He did his best to look as charming as possible, but suspected the effect was ruined by the fine trembling in his hands. It might have been ridiculous for a man his age to get nervous around women, but this was no ordinary one – and now as a Queen, she would likely have no use for him as anything more than a casual acquaintance whom she could use as she liked. Which, Faramir considered, wouldn’t be a terrible alternative.

Éowyn looked at him in a way that Faramir didn’t entirely like, “and you were going to approach Éomer first about this?”

“I… well, that is, umm,” he suddenly felt eighteen again, “I thought it best to have permission first?” Here he was, asking questions that shouldn’t really have been questions once more in front of this same woman who was more than a little frightening to his inner teenager.

“Well, that is easily solved,” Éowyn smiled, but Faramir didn’t entirely trust it as a gesture that meant he was forgiven, “ask permission to court me.”

Faramir cleared his throat nervously, “your Highness, it is my fondest wish to be allowed to make attempts to win your hand. Would you be agreeable to my doing so?”

“Are you sure that you really want this, Faramir? There are tests to pass, you know, and I would be disappointed if you were to back out before I’d made a decision.”

Wondering what he was about to get himself into, and fully aware of the possibility that he might end up starting a war, Faramir paused for a moment before replying “yes, your Highness. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to attempt any test you might put before me.”

“Good boy. Go and get someone to have a room prepared for you – you will be spending quite some time here, I think.”

Having found a room already prepared for him, Faramir sat idly on a suspiciously nice bed, wondering if he was likely to be called for in the near future, or if he should send word to Gondor that he was probably being kept prisoner, but not to bother sending help. Possibly with a note on the end mentioning that Éomer was still as bad as Boromir, and that Boromir was still a terrible influence on everyone, even if he was a good teacher.

Partly, he had expected to come here and find Éowyn changed – she had been gentle and caring in the Houses of Healing, after all, and he had thought that perhaps age had turned her into someone he could simply curl up and grow old with peacefully. That this was not the case seemed to be doing unexpected things to areas below his navel, and he wasn’t entirely sure what to think about that, other than realising very clearly that if anything, his goal had become even more important to him now.

He didn’t really have time to worry about that before the softness of the bed pulled him into an exhausted sleep very much without his permission, but certainly with his gratitude.

When he woke again, it was to the distinct sensation of being watched.

“I hope you aren’t prone to rolling over and falling asleep,” came a familiar voice from the foot of the bed, “that would be incredibly disappointing.”

Faramir cursed himself for being sneaked up on like this, and then scrambled to gather his wits, “it has been many years since I was eighteen and terrified of embarrassing myself in front of a pretty girl. Though not prone to bragging, I have become fairly confident in my prowess.”

He was fully aware as they left his mouth that his words had not been a great display of wisdom on his part, but by then it was too late to stop talking.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Éowyn began pleasantly enough, “I shall raise my expectations accordingly,” she almost purred from somewhere just above his ear. Faramir reminded his nether regions firmly that now was not the moment, thank you, and that would only make the situation worse.

“Are you getting up?” The Queen asked with audible amusement, “or would you prefer to take this last chance to back out?”

Even if he hadn’t been determined at this point to marry the slightly infuriating but nevertheless enchanting, intoxicating, stunning woman who was now somewhere beside his hips, Faramir couldn’t have backed down from so direct a challenge. Making a mental note to blame Boromir for that later, he climbed out of the bed as gracefully as he could, aware of having slept in his shirt and leggings, and that his hair was likely sticking out all over the place.

Éowyn looked him up and down as he might have done either a new Ranger, or a new horse. It worried him a little that she was leaning towards the horse side, and he almost expected to have his teeth checked. And yet, he could not find himself any less interested in her because of it.

“Strip,” came the curt, completely unexpected order, and Faramir blinked stupidly at Éowyn for long moments. “I said, strip,” she repeated, clearly amused under her feigned impatience. Faramir was too busy being shocked to think much on the nuances of the command, though.

“Surely…” he both began and finished lamely, unsure of what objection he might raise other than indignity, and even that was shaky at best, for he was quite certain he had nothing to be ashamed of. At least, he had been until Éowyn had requested to see it.

“Surely what? Surely we should wait? Surely that would be improper? Surely I shouldn’t be worried about what you might be like under your clothes?” She raised an eyebrow and fixed Faramir with a look that would have had all of Gondor stripping bare in the streets for her had she asked, “surely you have the good sense to realise that not following my orders isn’t going to do you any good?”

After another moment of internal flailing, Faramir stripped off first his shirt, then his leggings, and finally the woollen undergarments that late Autumn in Rohan called for. He couldn’t remember being so unsettled by his own nudity since he was very young, and just realising that there was a difference between boys and girls, and that words like ‘adorable’ were not ones you wanted to hear when you were naked. Especially from girls.

The appraising hum from the particular girl in question was less than encouraging to Faramir’s ears. Which, he assumed, was not doing him any favours, so he tried not to think about it too much. He held very still as Éowyn approached, breath held as he waited for her to do something – anything – that might tell him what he should do. Suddenly, there were two smallish but rather strong hands on his chest, which was almost nice. Almost, except that again, Faramir felt like some kind of livestock being checked for overall health.

“I like this,” Éowyn played gently with the fine hairs dusting Faramir’s chest, “it’s different. Not like the fur of the local Men, but not like an Elf, either,” she blew gently against him, and Faramir gritted his teeth against reacting in any way. However, he was aware that it wasn’t his teeth that were likely to cause him a problem.

The hands trailed lower and prodded gently but firmly at his stomach. “Is it an easy life, being a Steward?” Éowyn asked mildly.

“Well, that depends on how one defines ‘easy’, I suppose. Mentally and in terms of temperance it can be very taxing, but I suspect you have discovered, or rather noticed, that physically, it is somewhat lacking,” Faramir paused, grasping for an excuse or a promise that he might be able to keep, but was far too slow for the quick-witted Queen.

“I can see that you are quite mentally taxed, indeed,” Éowyn smirked, though even Faramir could see that there was no hard edge for it. She prodded at him again, testing the depth of softness she’d discovered. “I think I like it, for now,” Éowyn smiled teasingly, “for a man your age, you are in reasonable shape. And I suppose that marrying a much younger man would be seen as unwise.”

“I cannot see anyone being so ungracious as to think you unwise, your Highness. Or so unwise themselves, at least, to say so out loud.”

“You think me a tyrant, Faramir?”

“Not in the least, your Highness. Merely, I think you very wise…” he had intended to say something more intelligent, but was greatly distracted by the hands that had made their way down to his belly and were stroking along the line of fine hairs that lead to places that he would be very grateful to if they would cease taking any interest in what was going on.

“Getting distracted?” Éowyn smiled slyly at him, “perhaps Éomer had the right idea all those years; dealing with matters of state in bed would be the easy way of sorting things out quickly, wouldn’t it?”

Faramir closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Perhaps for foolish children, my lady, but you and I are both well into our adult years, and perfectly capable of having adult conversations, or so I should think.”

The hand that had been inching dangerously low stopped and withdrew, and for a moment, Faramir suspected that he had done something very stupid indeed.

“There is more to you than first appearance, isn’t there?” Éowyn seemed to be asking a rhetorical question, so Faramir remained silent. “I would have expected begging by now.”

“Whilst I am not averse to begging if your Highness requests it of me, I see no need to do so in earnest. I will either get what I want through merit alone, or not at all. I have no interest in being pitied.” Faramir hadn’t intended to turn the conversation quite so serious, but he couldn’t have helped it. A comforting hand alighted on his shoulder as he finished thinking that showing his sore spot like that would be the fatal mistake.

“I would never ask it of you earnestly, for I know your history well enough. I do not test you for your worth, Faramir.”

“Then for what?” Faramir asked thickly.

“To be certain in my own mind that we could make one another happy,” the hand on his shoulder moved up to his cheek and stroked softly, “I know your worth already, and that you are more than capable of being an excellent husband to somebody. I’m just not certain that somebody is me, yet, and I can’t help but wonder if you are.”

“I wasn’t,” Faramir admitted, “my original motivation was as much political as it was personal, and as far as personal went, I hoped to marry a friend who I could grow into a comfortable love with,” he paused, and looked straight at Éowyn, “that has changed. I know now that I could fall very passionately in love with you, given the chance to do so.”

Éowyn paused for a second, searching Faramir’s face in an attempt to judge the seriousness of his statement. Eventually, she made a small sound of satisfaction, and nodded once sharply. “Thank you for your honesty,” she raised herself on her toes to brush a very light kiss over Faramir’s lips, and then settled back and away from him. “I have one or two things to attend to. I imagine you do as well,” she smirked almost imperceptibly, and Faramir noticed that there was a slight but very real change in her demeanour now, “so I will leave you in peace. As long as you manage to bathe and dress in a manner fit for your station between now and this evening, I don’t mind what you do with your day. Although if you are at all indifferent towards horses, you might start learning to like them, or your time spent here will be considerably less enjoyable.” Éowyn turned away and swept gracefully out of the room without another word or look to her potential husband.

Deciding that he had more or less been given a royal order to do so, Faramir lay down on the soft bed, closed his eyes, and allowed his hands to drift down, more inclined today to pretend they were smaller and more delicate, and belonged very specifically to the woman who had just left. Not prone to elaborate fantasies, at least, not since he was much younger, Faramir was greatly surprised by the ones which presented themselves. Especially considering that the content seemed to suggest that he was rather enjoying the forcefulness he had been subjected to so far.

Finding his release rather unexpectedly, Faramir spent several moments gasping and wondering if it was somehow possible to inherit a penchant for sex on horseback or if he’d taken Éowyn’s last words more to heart than they might have been intended. Or perhaps not, come to think, if that sort of thing ran in families.

This had all gotten very complicated very quickly, Faramir realised as he rose to make himself presentable, though for what purpose he hadn’t quite decided yet.

Faramir was heading towards the stables before he realised that perhaps today was not the ideal day to be sore between the legs. Not, he remembered, that this had ever bothered him before, but if ever his prowess was really going to count, it was going to count tonight. Or so he hoped, at least.

In deference to this, he moved instead towards the training grounds, deciding that watching horses would be the next best thing. It wasn’t as though he had an aversion to the poor creatures, merely that he wasn’t especially attached to them, either. At least, not the way the people of Rohan tended to be, but then he wasn’t one to believe rumours and he was fairly certain that Boromir would have noticed that kind of thing going on before now. Unless he was doing it as well, of course. Faramir decided that now was probably the moment to stop thinking about that, and instead concentrated on enjoying watching the horses being put through their paces.

At some point after being completely absorbed by what he was watching, a large presence came to rest beside him. It took him longer than it should have to realise that said presence was Éomer, and he probably wouldn’t have if the other man hadn’t spoken.

“Now there’s someone I haven’t seen for a long time.”

Faramir jumped a little at the voice, and then looked around to see him. “Éomer,” he smiled brightly, “don’t I get a hug?”

He did get a hug, and returned it enthusiastically, the nearly crushing strength oddly comforting. He would be lying if he ever suggested that he couldn’t see what his brother saw in the other man. “Are we on the verge of war, or is this a social call?”

“We aren’t on the verge of war, as far as I know. Well, at least, not at the moment, though it occurs to me that I may be stepping into dangerous waters. Have you spoken to Éowyn lately?”

“Not for a few days. I suspect you know that she’s in charge now?” Éomer let go of Faramir at length, but remained unselfconscious in his proximity. It was a nice change to be around people who saw little wrong with physical contact.

“I had heard, yes. She blames Boromir, you know.” Faramir smiled wryly.

“I can’t imagine she holds it against him, though. She was always better at organising things. A little like you, I suppose. I can’t see why the smart one shouldn’t be in charge,” Éomer explained cheerfully, reminding Faramir so much of his brother that it would be impossible to forget how much time the two of them had spent together. Had he been so inclined, he could see himself coming here to visit this man instead of Éowyn.

“I can’t see why the elder one should be allowed to forgo responsibility in favour of fun, but I also know that the position would make both you and my brother miserable, and only make myself and Éowyn a little weary.”

“You should get together to commiserate, I’m sure you’d both enjoy the whining.” Éomer grinned.

Faramir nudged him playfully in the ribs, unconcerned over doing any damage, considering that the man was built as though he had armour under his skin. “Actually, that’s exactly what I’m here for,” he looked around to see that they were away from prying ears, “can you keep a secret?”

“The secrets I am keeping on behalf of your brother… well, let’s leave it at that, and say that I would be happy to extend the courtesy to you.”

Nodding cautiously, and glad that Éomer had stopped short of describing the nature of any secrets he might be keeping for Boromir, Faramir leaned in closer to the larger man, “I’m here to court Éowyn. I want to marry her.”

The few moments of apparently stunned silence that ensued were, to say the least, worrying. “You are a braver man than I thought you were,” was also not the response Faramir was most looking forward to hearing. “Though I will be most pleased to count both you and Boromir as family, if only because it would upset him.”

“So you think I may be successful, then?” Faramir asked hopefully.

“I honestly hope you will be. She could use someone like you. Patient and level-headed. I’m afraid a quick temper runs in the family. But so does a great deal of affection for our loved ones. You could both do much worse, and I will support it if the question ever comes up.” Éomer nodded decisively.

“Thank you. It means a lot to me to know that. Shall I send Boromir your greetings if I see him before you do?” Faramir smiled honestly at the older man, glad of his allegiance in this matter.

“If by some chance you do, you’ll have to send him back to Minas Tirith. I’m riding out tomorrow to follow up on a special invitation from your very charming King, and I am under the impression that he is necessary to the purpose of the meeting. What do you think of the man, if I might ask for an honest appraisal?”

“I think him balanced, noble, and apparently both very attractive and in excellent physical fitness for his age. I’m sure you will enjoy his company,” Faramir smiled knowingly, “Boromir certainly does. Frequently.”

Éomer grinned at this news, and patted Faramir on the back forcefully, “thank you. I’m glad to hear that my journey is unlikely to be wasted.”

“Enjoy yourself, my friend. And in that case, send Boromir my love when you see him,” Faramir called after the retreating Rohirrim, who waved in acknowledgement before disappearing into the crowd that now teemed through Edoras as it did in Minas Tirith. It was good to see that both cities were back on their feet again.

Not knowing when ‘evening’ had actually meant, Faramir retired to his room in the late afternoon to wash thoroughly, and dressed himself appropriately for diplomacy, as opposed to travel, which he had been the day before. Nerves sped him up considerably, and the sun was only beginning to set as he began to pace restlessly in the room, afraid of being elsewhere if he was being looked for.

The moon had risen high by the time a servant came looking for an increasingly nervous Faramir. As he was led into a room that he would not have known of the existence of before, so small it was, he was reminded by his stomach that he had forgotten to eat since breakfast on the previous day, which only reminded his manners that he would need to be particularly mindful of the speed and delicacy with which he ate.

The half-second of disappointment when he realised that he had actually stepped into a bed chamber was soon overwhelmed by everything else that entered his vision, and soon after his mind, upon looking properly at the room around him. The most notable feature that went beyond the expected luxury of such a place was Éowyn, dressed in a very thin linen slip that finished mid-calf and left almost nothing to the imagination, propped up on her elbows on the fur-covered bed.

Faramir realised after a few moments that he was staring, and his mouth was hanging open. He swallowed thickly and cleared his throat before making any attempt to speak. “My lady,” was all he could manage to think of that wasn’t likely to embarrass him.

Éowyn smiled at him, more honestly than she ever had before. “I’ve been thinking a lot about you today, Faramir. Would you like to know what conclusions I’ve come to?”

Unwilling to attempt a verbal answer, Faramir merely nodded.

“I have concluded that you are kind, gentle, learned and charming. These are things I already knew, of course, but they bear repeating. As I said earlier, you would make an excellent husband for any woman. In addition, it would do Rohan a great deal of good to be married to Gondor, instead of… simply relying on Boromir and Éomer’s special friendship. Your suitability to appear as a representative of either nation is not in question, and any political difficulties will undoubtedly be easily smoothed over with a little whispering in your King’s ear by your brother, if not yourself. So, it occurs to me that the only thing standing in the way is that you did run away last time. I trust this won’t be a problem again?”

Faramir shook his head. “This decision seems to have come about rather quickly, your Highness. Should I be concerned?”

“You must know the value of being able to make an informed decision quickly in our line of work, Faramir. I am only one piece of information short of being sure of you, and the only way to get it is to put you through your paces. It would be nearly impossible not to be endeared to you – I am that already. And I do not think I would face much argument if I stated outright that you are very attractive. However, a shiny-coated horse with a good temperament is useless as anything but a pet if it lacks certain other qualities. I do not wish for a pet, Faramir, for you and I both know that I could have my pick of docile creatures who would quietly follow orders and be sufficient. I would much prefer a husband who would be my equal.”

“So this is all going to come down to my… ah, performance this evening?” Faramir asked, trying desperately to hide his incredulity and remembering an echo of advice from his older brother that had gone along the lines of not even bothering to try to figure women out, because they’re always ten steps ahead of you.

“Yes,” Éowyn nodded firmly, “problem?”

“Not at all,” Faramir congratulated himself for having the good sense to rest for most of the day, “I look forward to the opportunity to prove myself.” He tried to convince himself that he was indeed going to do so.

Éowyn smiled slowly and rose from the bed at length. “You know,” she paced towards the slightly stunned Steward, “I can’t help but wonder if you will remain perfectly polite, or surprise me with fervent passion once we get started.”

“It occurs to me, my lady, that it would only be polite to show such a magnificent woman as yourself the utmost heights and depths of passion. So perhaps you may yet be treated to both?”

“You seem to have a very clever tongue, Faramir. Shall we put it to better use?” Éowyn raised herself on her toes a little, and leaned in as if to kiss the man before her, but stopped just short. With confidence that seemed to be coming from places he had never explored before, Faramir closed the scant distance between them and kissed her almost forcefully. He broke away after a moment to see if that had been the right thing to do.

Éowyn was clearly already considering the same question. For what felt like an eternity, Faramir stood waiting to be judged, patiently as ever, and bracing himself for an answer in the negative. It was with more than a little surprise, then, that he followed as Éowyn took up his hand and tugged him gently towards the bed.

The time spent removing clothes was a blur in Faramir’s mind. He suspected, though, that they would be mostly unusable and was most gratified by this realisation. Being wanted enough to have his clothes torn from his body, especially by someone like the woman he was currently entangled with, was not something to be taken for granted. Somewhere, there was an old piece of advice rattling around in the back of his mind about this not being the way a lady should behave. If he was feeling very brave later, he might tell Éowyn about it. So it was somewhere between unlikely and impossible that she’d ever know.

Urgency, though he certainly felt it, would do nothing to help his case, Faramir realised, and so slowed himself down enough to encourage Éowyn to lie on the bed properly. Once she had relented, apparently content for the moment to allow him to direct the proceedings (though he held no illusions that this would be a permanent state of affairs), he knelt beside her and simply looked for a moment.

“Are you going to tell me I’m beautiful?” Éowyn asked with clear amusement.

“Surely that would be redundant, your Highness? I would think you unlikely to suffer such a poor compliment, and besides, I should not call you beautiful.”

Éowyn looked at him dangerously for a moment, but didn’t say anything yet. Faramir leaned down to kiss her neck softly. “Beauty is a quality usually remarked up when accompanied by a lack of other worthy qualities. To call a woman beautiful, especially when she is already aware of the fact, suggests that the speaker can think of nothing more important to say about her. I shall instead call you perfect.”

A low, darkly amused and, if Faramir was being perfectly honest, fiercely arousing laugh was the first response, which was entirely expected. “I am far from perfect.”

“I disagree. Nothing that was faultless could truly be perfect, since a lack of faults leads only to boredom and monotony. You are the perfect blend of virtue and vice, and I would defend your character over all others. Furthermore, you are perfect in my own perception, and I would like the chance for that to have some weight with you,” Faramir trailed his fingertips up the inside of Éowyn’s thigh, tracing small circles over the silky skin there.

“And we are back to your clever tongue, then,” Éowyn shifted a little, not willing yet to betray how much she was enjoying the small touch, “which, if it is not soon put to better use, will be cut out.”

Faramir chuckled and kissed down along neck, shoulder, and breast, before delving further along a pale, firm stomach and finally to where he had practically been threatened into going. He would be loathe to admit it, but Éowyn’s occasional threats and very direct orders were having rather a pleasant effect on him. He began by placing a soft kiss to the pink flesh before him, and then began using his tongue to stroke firmly, having realised that prolonged teasing would be met with scorn.

At some point when he hadn’t been paying attention, Éowyn had threaded her fingers through his hair and was holding his head quite still. He didn’t notice this until he tried to move and was held in place additionally by a very strong pair of thighs. Instead, he concentrated on flicking at the little nub above, which earned him a fairly loud shriek at first, and afterwards a series of very satisfying whimpers (as he was certain he would be made to do before the evening was over), before the thighs wrapped around his head finally went slack, and the hand which was previously gripping his hair began to pet it. For a moment, he considered the possibility of simply falling asleep where he was, since he was perfectly comfortable at the moment, and had at least done his best once.

“Acceptable,” Éowyn stated, still obviously catching her breath, “I am unfair to you. More than acceptable, Faramir. You do yourself great justice in this as well.”

Faramir looked up to see that Éowyn was smiling softly at him, and he felt a flutter run from chest through to belly at the gesture of approval. He smiled back, confidence greatly bolstered, and pleased with himself. Placing a soft kiss to Éowyn’s thigh, he settled just where he was for the time being.

“Comfortable, are you?” Éowyn seemed to have regained most of her self-awareness by now, and was obviously amused, but not in a way that was at all cruel.

“Very. If you’ll promise not to make attempts to crush my skull for a second time, I’ll do that again.”

Éowyn laughed, this time with clear delight, “there is every chance that you will be doing that for a good number of years. If you can be bothered to move, I’d like you to come up here.”

At length, Faramir managed to get his limbs under him in such a way that they might move him to where he had been requested. He was busy not getting his hopes up over there being ‘every chance’ that he might have to get used to this. He quickly discovered that flopping down beside the Queen was a mistake, as he was soon pinned between her and the mattress. That he was apparently unsurprised by this made Éowyn smile.

“You know me already, don’t you?”

“I would like to think that I have been able to form one or two conclusions about your preferences, your Highness.”

“Good,” Éowyn shuffled back to come to rest on Faramir’s thighs, deliberately avoiding any contact with him until she sat back, “this is impressive,” she reached out to touch Faramir’s cock lightly, “for a Gondorian, at least.”

Faramir cleared his throat delicately, realising that the idea in these cases was to fight back, not apologise for something that wasn’t actually a wrongdoing at all, “I note that it is much larger than yours, your Highness.” He didn’t at all trust the smile he got in return.

“Oh, it’s really not. But I think we’ll save that for another day, hmm?” She stroked up and down teasingly, playing with the soft skin almost as though she was cuddling a favourite pet. It occurred to Faramir that this was probably not terribly far from reality, even as he wondered what she could possibly mean by the former statement. He remained silent on both subjects, though.

Smiling slowly at him, Éowyn shifted forward and without preamble sunk down in a fluid motion that betrayed her as rather used to the position. Faramir was not quite naïve enough to believe that this came entirely from horse riding, but he couldn’t honestly say that he minded that, either.

“How long would it take for you to ask me to move?” Éowyn enquired slyly.

“Longer than you yourself could wait, your Highness,” Faramir was already running his fingers up and down Éowyn’s thighs again, “whilst I consider you a woman capable of great patience, I doubt you hold it up as a particularly desirable quality.”

Éowyn leaned down towards Faramir with a truly delighted smile on her face. “I like a man who stands up to me, you know. Most are too afraid, or too lazy to fight back. Especially as they know that I am unlikely to leave them mid-act unless they do something incredibly offensive.”

“I would not dream of treating you as though your assertions did not deserve an honest response,” Faramir replied calmly, “doing so would only hurt us both in the long run. I never wish to lie to you.”

In a gesture that Faramir could only interpret as a reward, Éowyn rolled her hips once, and then once more. He sighed with relief at the feeling. “I take it I am being trained, here?”

“Of course,” Éowyn replied with another roll of her hips, “I may as well start now. That way, should I decide that I do wish to marry you after all, I’ll have had a good start,” she sat back up again as she finished talking, and began a slow rise and fall, moving her own hand down to pleasure herself, only to have it plucked away and replaced by Faramir’s. The smile of approval this earned him made his insides clench pleasantly, and it wasn’t long before they fell into a rocking rhythm that felt as though it could easily last for hours.

“Faramir, can I ask an entirely inappropriate question?” Éowyn asked slowly once she’d settled into this new rhythm.

“I shouldn’t think there is such a thing as an inappropriate question between… us.” Faramir was rather pleased with how intelligent the response had sounded.

Éowyn smirked, “I wanted to ask if you’d ever done this with Aragorn.”

Unable to answer straight away, Faramir simply blinked stupidly up at Éowyn and continued everything else he was doing automatically, his brain occupied in contemplating the fact that whilst not precisely an inappropriate question, it couldn’t really be called relevant, or one that he especially wanted to be asked. Ever, but especially at the moment. “I am fairly certain that I haven’t.”

“Only fairly certain?” Éowyn lit up, though why precisely, Faramir wasn’t sure he wanted to know.

“There was an awful lot of drinking being done to celebrate his return. It is entirely possible that I have, though I certainly can’t remember it,” Faramir explained honestly.

“Pity,” Éowyn made her movements more forceful now, “I should have liked a first-hand account of what it was like from someone equipped to show me.”

Faramir decided not to respond to that just yet. Instead, he shifted the angle of his hips slightly, making Éowyn gasp, then moan as she was forced to lean forward into his hand. Only moments later, Faramir felt the Queen tense all over and then relax, stopping only for a moment afterwards and then speeding up enthusiastically, making her small, perfect breasts bounce in a way that he imagined would have been unpleasant if she was paying attention at all.

Feeling the tension building in his own lower regions, Faramir bit down hard on his lip until after what seemed like an age, Éowyn tensed once more and he allowed himself to let go, his vision turning white for a moment before he felt Éowyn’s hands at his waist, and now her full weight leaning on him. He allowed himself a moment to catch his breath and gather his wits.

Éowyn drew off slowly, and then quite unexpectedly lay down on top of him and rested her head on Faramir’s chest. Without having to think about it, Faramir reached up to run his fingers through her hair. She sighed happily and relaxed into him as a kitten might, which was in many ways ridiculous, but no less endearing for it.

“I hope you’re not going to roll over and fall asleep,” Faramir teased, “that would be disappointing.”

Éowyn kicked him lightly in the shin. Faramir smiled honestly and happily, positive now that he was not mistaken in his choice. “I have no intention of rolling over. You’re quite comfortable.”

“I am pleased to be of service to you, my lady,” Faramir replied good-naturedly.

“You have been much more than of service, thank you. I enjoyed that more than I have done in years.”

“It’s lucky I didn’t disappoint you when I was a mere boy, then, I think. You might never have wished to give me a second chance.”

A contemplative hum was the only answer Faramir received for long moments, and he was beginning to think that Éowyn had fallen asleep after all, when she spoke up again, “you have a great deal of potential, I think. I may require several more test runs before I can make a decision, though,” she smiled, eyes closed, but Faramir could see that they would be dancing if they were open.

“I am at your disposal for the duration of my stay, which will be as long as your majesty requires my presence.”

“Good. I intend to make very thorough use of you, in that case,” Éowyn explained tiredly, “I may just have to keep you for good; you are wonderfully comfortable to sleep on, you know.”

“If all you ever want me for is a pillow, I will be more than happy to oblige,” Faramir replied, though whether Éowyn heard it before she fell asleep was a matter for debate. Either way, Faramir followed her soon after, content for the moment to be the Queen’s lover, if that was all he was ever allowed.

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