Title: Daisy Chains
Characters: Faramir, Arwen, little princes
Warnings: shameless fluff
Disclaimer: All of Middle Earth is from the hand of Tolkien. I own nothing. I make no profit from the drabble.
A/N: Ahem...there is no real reason for this, and rather little literary merit, I think. I just had the intense desire to write something shamelessly happy. :) I may go back and add Eowyn later, seeing as she might have a comment or two.
Sunlight streamed down from the wide sky until the stones of Minas Tirith glowed. Gondor’s queen raised her face to the sky and basked in the light as she passed through the garden. If Estel had taken a moment’s rest from his work, she would find him here, for much as the former ranger had adapted to a life of stone walls and castles, he still felt most at ease when surrounded by living, growing things. Rather like a Hobbit, really, Arwen thought with a chuckle.
It was not Estel, however, that she saw beyond the next copse, and Arwen paused, not wanting to disturbed the scene.
Faramir, Steward of Gondor, lay blissfully sprawled in a pool of sunshine, back braced against the base of a tree. Judging by the drowsy slowness of his breathing, he had been there for some time. His eyes were closed in sleep or something close to it, his head pillowed on his arm atop a thick root as he soaked up the afternoon sun with a faint smile.
The area surrounding the peacefully cat-napping Steward, by contrast, was alive with activity. One small boy, no more than three, perched on the root beside his father’s head, while a slightly older one alternated between pointing authoritatively and darting back and forth picking flowers.
“See, Boro, like this.” Eldarion sat down next to Elboron and carefully demonstrated proper form for weaving a daisy chain. “This is how my Naneth likes them,” her son said proudly. He handed several flowers to Elboron, who beamed and set about clumsily braiding them together. Brandishing his own completed garland, the crown prince hopped down off the root and tiptoed to Faramir’s side. With intense concentration, Eldarion threaded the flowers into the Steward’s hair.
The boys missed the movement, but Arwen saw Faramir obligingly lift his head slightly so the prince could reach his other side. One sleepy grey eye cracked open. The children had not heard Arwen’s approach, but the former ranger had. Faramir glanced at her hiding place, his small smile widening to a crooked grin as her son and his fussed over him.
Arwen smiled back.
“Here, Boro,” Eldarion said. “Put some blue ones here.”
Arwen watched Elboron snuggle up beside his father, reaching to tangle tiny star-shaped blossoms into red-gold curls. He carefully positioned the flowers to hang like a diadem across Faramir’s forehead. Faramir lowered his head so the 3-year-old could reach, while shifting sleepily to accommodate his crown prince’s attempts to tuck a daisy behind his ear. Elboron giggled gleefully as his father nuzzled against him, stubble tickling his cheek.
“What brings you here, Eldarion, Elboron?” Faramir mumbled, still somewhere between wakefulness and slumber.
“Don’t wake up yet, Uncle!” Eldarion protested. “We aren’t done.”
“We’ve got a surprise, Ada!” Elboron added proudly.
Faramir chuckled and closed his eyes, surrendering to the whims of his young companions. Arwen restrained a laugh as Eldarion suspiciously poked Faramir’s cheek with a flower. The tiniest hint of a smile quirked the Steward’s lips. He did not move.
Satisfied, the two boys set back to their original business of adorning their father and uncle as generously as a herald of spring. Laughing quietly to herself, their aunt and mother waited nearby incase she had to rescue her captive Steward.
Later that day, the Gondorian Council was rather stunned to see their Steward appear in a flurry of flower petals, garlanded and crowned with blooms like a forest spirit.
As Faramir took his post opposite Aragorn, bowing as was his wont and in the process dropping a daisy onto the table, Arwen found it rather difficult to maintain her dignified greetings. Instead of laughing, as she dearly wished to, she favored the Steward with a grin. When Faramir straightened, he returned the expression.
Aragorn looked quizzically from his Steward to his queen, giving each a look that expected a later explanation. Then, eyes twinkling, he smiled and convened the council without comment.
Several council members seemed to find it difficult to coherently argue with a man shedding flower petals as he shook his head.
After the councilors were dismissed, Faramir approached his king and queen. To his credit, Arwen observed, he was doing remarkably well hiding mirth from his expression. Aragorn raised an eyebrow as he took in the full extent of his Steward’s decoration. Some of the flower chains had unwound, scattering white flowers all over Faramir’s dark blue formal robes, leaves stuck out of his hair every which way. The crown of blue flowers Elboron had bestowed upon him earlier was now skewed sideways across his eyebrow.
Faramir beamed under Aragorn’s scrutiny. “I am happy to report, my lord, that your son has already shown himself to be a great leader of men. Between Eldarion and his eager pupil, I am hard pressed to recall a time I have been bedecked with more skill.”