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Subject: The Morning After

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Date Posted: 17:05:22 09/17/02 Tue

Eowyn opened her eyes. Her face was sore with the dust of dried up tears and the cold light stung. Her hair was damp with sweat and the blankets of her bed had been flung so that they were piled in an unruly heap on the floor.

Eyes so familiar and so sad.

She shivered and picked up the blankets, wrapping then tightly around her. Moving over to the window, she looked down at the courtyard. The sun was high and it reflected off the clean snow which smothered everything. The White City was completely camoflaged by ice.

Any other time she would think this morning beautiful and enjoy the freshness of winter, but now it just seemed harsh, cold and dead.

Everyone she had ever known surrounded her, staring at her with un-seeing eyes.

She shook herself roughly and tried to fall back into her usual morning routine of washing and dressing. Pull yourself together. It was just a dream. But as much as she reassured herself, she couldn't shake the images, nor the fear they had produced.

Giving in, she went to Faramir's rooms to calm her nerves. Knocking timidly on the door, she didn't wait for a response and pushed it open. The room was empty. His bed was neatly made and the sheets were crisp and clean. His familiar and inviting smell lingered only slightly in the airy room. Obviously he had not slept here last night.

A panic rose up in her throat but she calmed herself. Surely there were plenty of logical reasons why her husband would not return to his quarters at night...

But then, yesterday had been a perplexing day. She thought back to stories he had told her of when he was younger. Where would he go if he wanted to be alone to think? Certainly not his rooms where he would be easily found and plagued with servants, messages and paperwork all day.

She set off. The library was quite a way - a small room on the floor below and to the east. She had never understood why he liked it there. Everything was covered in dust and there was barely enough room for the old desk, where the legs were uneven and the draws often stuck. It smelt stale and the air was heavy. The grand library was far preferable - spacious and resourceful.

It took her almost ten minutes to reach this room at the far end of the corridor. She opened the door carefully. The hinges creaked and it knocked into the bookcase on the opposite wall. But Faramir, sitting with his head on the desk, did not stir.

His chest rose and fell gently and his eyelids flickered slightly. She noticed how his brow was damp and his skin pale. Taking the blanket which was still wrapped around her, she covered his shoulders with it.

Closing the door, Eowyn returned to her rooms and picked up a warm white cloak. Not caring for breakfast, she went straight outside into the cold to try and clear her head.

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