3. Night Terrors - by Gwynnyd
In the dark, still hours of the night Faramir started awake, blood pounding in his ears and sweat slicking his body. He gasped once and swallowed against the dry hardness of his throat. Forcing himself to lay still against the resilient feathers cushioning him, he closed his eyes to the shadows and listened. Éowyn, for once undisturbed, breathed easily next to him, her lips puffing out gentle exhales. The cicadas had ceased their nightly buzz and a few desultory cheeps showed that dawn was still a distant promise. Faramir, still gripped with the premonition that had woken him, heard nothing else no matter how hard he strained.
If that fool woman had closed the door in a misguided attempt to give Éowyn more rest, he would flay her. Slipping cautiously off the bed, he saw the door to the nursery propped open, with a faint glow of the night candle within, and quickened his step. If the nurse slept, he would strangle her with his bare hands. He paused in the doorway, his hand gripping the frame. On this warm summer night, no fire burned in the hearth, but the candle showed the nurse quietly hooking a length of wool in her hands.
He sleeps, she mouthed, her lips curved in a smile for his folly.
Faramir approached the net-hung cradle and gnawed his lip at the sight of his son. Healthy, happy babes could die in the night without warning. Not his son, not tonight, not yet… Not ever, he told himself firmly. The perfect bows of Elboron's lips pulsed in a dream of eating, and his eyes moved under their fine dark-fringed lids. One hand had worked its way out of the swaddling and lay out flung on the sheepskin that cradled him. Faramir gently touched the tiny, perfect fingers with their pink shell-like nails and the hand clamped down on his finger with the strength that always surprised him. The boy drew the tip of Faramir's finger into this mouth and sucked vigorously. Making a moue of frustration, he spat the finger out and opened his fine blue-grey eyes to stare accusingly at his father. The small face started to crumple.
"Nah, nah, my son, no need to cry," Faramir soothed him as he slipped a hand under him and pulled the babe up into his arms, carefully supporting the boy's head to carry him to Éowyn.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.