After a moment of frozen fury she stormed back over The Shelf (everyone skittered away), grabbed her new sword and shield, and marched back over.
"FINE, I'M READY," she said. "TAKE ME TO HIM."
Faramir looked at her, and he looked at me, and then he just walked away. My heart sank. I expected maybe a torn-between-two-lovers lip quiver from Eowyn or something--I was fully prepared to slap her if so, because look: you can't have it both ways--but she at least had the decency to hold her head high. If you're going to be a moron, you gotta own that shit, is all I'm saying.
"Edward...? You got a visitor."
He actually looked a bit hurt when he saw her approach, brandishing sword and shield--probably not on a personal level (I'd only ever heard him refer to her as "the grabby blonde") but certainly in terms of feeling sensitive about his loathsome uncontrollable monsterosity or whatever. However, I'm not sure if he stood behind Butterscotch to show her that he wasn't going to attack, or if to prevent her from jumping him.
Eowyn had no intention of doing any such thing. The moment she rounded the corner, she stopped. The sword went a bit slack in her hand. "What the hell," she said.
"You wanted to know where he's been," I said, a bit perplexed. "Well, here he is."
"What the hell. What is this."
"I... I gave him my old ponies to take care of. You know. So he'd have something to do. Something constructive, and meaningful, and..."
I couldn't tell if she was taken aback because he couldn't be content ranching tiny rainbow-colored horses and still be her tiny broodsome Jaaaaames Deaaaan, or if she was legitimately repulsed by the ponies. I think it was the latter, though, because Moondancer approached and she actually tried to ward her off with her shield.
"What are THOSE FREAKS."
"They are not freaks, they are HORSES," rejoined Edward, covering Butterscotch's ears, "and they have feelings too, you know."
"THOSE ARE NOT HORSES. A horse is a wild strong thing of sinew and thunder that races the wind--a horse is a tall sleek thing flying through the seas of grass beyond the mead hall, sun-proud, river-fast, a silver king in the esteem of men." She paused for breath. "You can't really be happy doing this."
"I belong here with my kind," he said grimly. "My sparkly, sparkly kind."
"But you're so much better than--"
"Why do you care?" And for once, I really think he was not being a drama queen--he genuinely could not understand what the hell her damage was. "Because I don't. Why can't you go back to the man who actually loves you?"
"He does not. He doesn't understand me! He doesn't care!"
Don't slap her. Your hand is very big and she is very small. Also, she has a sword. Don't. slap. her.
"He does so," he said impatiently. "In fact, he's racked by despair right now. Fairly deep despair, actually."
"I thought you agreed not to listen to people's thoughts?"
"Do you want me to help you out here or not?"
"... Keep going."
"Really? What is he thinking?" she asked, breathless.
With a huff of resignation, he cocked his head as if he was listening to something. Well, not "as if"; I guess he actually was. "He's afraid I'm killing you right now... but no, no, surely Miss Cleo wouldn't let me do that... he's ruined everything, what a stupid thing to do... he would have never disrespected a lady so, but he was afraid for her, and thought it was what he was supposed to do... what book is this he's thinking about? Something about an apple?"
"Nothing, nothing," I said quickly. "What happened was, Eowyn said she wanted to come out here and he said she shouldn't, and she said she would, she does what she wants, and he grabbed her by the arm to stop her, if you can believe it--"
"What's so terrible about that? That's a true sign of love, if you ask me."
"Well, that's why we didn't ask YOU--"
"He doesn't love me," said Eowyn, in a tone that quivered for contradiction.
"Oh, stop being an idiot, you know he does! He gave you the mantle, he hangs around you all the time--"
"Then why doesn't he ever SAY anything! He never says anything important! We just go on and on day after day, because he doesn't really care--I was convenient, Galadriel just offered me to him on a plate--"
"OH GOD, CAN YOU GET OVER THAT ALREADY?"
"--but now THAT WITCH is here and oh, now he's thinking about throwing himself at her--"
"He finds you very intimidating," said Edward, nodding at her shield--and her sword, which she happened to be waving around indignantly. "What happens when you decide he isn't worthy of you? He worries about this a lot. Apparently you already did that once before? He despairs of ever being good enough for you. It's all he thinks about."
"That's not true..."
"YES, IT IS COMPLETELY TRUE, OR ELSE I WOULD NOT BE TELLING YOU IT WAS," said Edward, who was clearly getting frustrated. "I shouldn't violate someone's privacy like this--I shouldn't be telling you his thoughts at all--but..." In the interest of getting you off my back was implied here, I think. "... he writes poetry about you, and..."
I jumped in: "He really does. Faramir Two wanted to show it to you and Faramir One nearly had a heart attack. He is intensely protective of his creative expression--much the way Edward is, you know--I mean, Faramir is also a man of great feeling. Not that you shouldn't go ahead and tell her about it anyway--Edward, please continue."
"Does he really?" whispered Eowyn.
Edward rolled his eyes; I'm not sure if what came out next was a sigh or a throat-clearing. Then he furrowed his brow and recited, haltingly or hurriedly depending on how readily the lines resurfaced in his memory,
"She walks in beauty, like the bloom
of evermind upon the hills, pale spring,
cold morning not yet come to noon:
High and fair, in her voice the ring
of steel, pronouncement of my doom,
White Lady, shieldmaiden, daughter of kings--"
"He wrote that about me?"
"It's not bad, if completely derivative, and also ignoring the fact that the rhymes are not perfect and the meter is off--"
She turned, threw down her shield, and ran.
I started to get up--I was sitting on the floor, of course--but Edward grabbed the frayed edge of my jeans leg and shook his head. "You're going to want to leave them alone for a while."
None of the Shelfians saw either of them again for a very long time, and, in fact, the next time I saw Faramir, he ran over to The Littlest Edward, grabbed him up in a bear hug, squeezed him very hard, and then ran away again.
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