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Chapter 1: Unspeakable

by Fyalee

Author's Note: This one-shot came to me unexpectedly. There is so much grief that my characters in By the Sea have to endure, that I thought it would be a nice to give them a little happiness. So, enjoy ladies!

Summary: A fluffy one-shot from Éomer's view that gives an alternate perspective on how he and Lothíriel met and fell in love. I think it's quite a different take from what others have written, but I'll let you be the judges.

Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to Lord of the Rings, that honour belongs to J.R.R Tolkien.




She drew.

She did not speak, but she drew.

Éomer was not a man of words. He was not poetic nor was he an avid scholar of any kind. But with her, it did not seem to matter. He did not have to spew great words of love because ultimately, she did not speak to him. Not one word. So he endeavoured to watch her, whenever and where ever he could.

Her hand drew many things; of birds and trees, and the rising sun against yonder mountain-tops. Of loved ones laughing and singing, or of their silently private gazes that stared despairingly into nothingness, when they thought themselves alone. But she would watch, her eyes observing them—regarding every minuscule detail of life that surrounded her.

Oftentimes, Éomer had wondered how she would draw the plains of his homeland, if she ever decided to grace his country with her presence. Would it be as beautiful to her as it was to him? Would the rolling hills and endless grassland be just as stunning to her silvery grey eyes that reminded him of star-light? Would they, would they, would they?

So many questions were left unanswered to him, for he was too afraid to speak, too afraid to ask in fear of what her response would be. But he was not a skittish mare. His people likened him to his brave stallion, Firefoot, whom she had drawn on many an occasion after their first meeting—secretly, and without his permission, though he did not mind that she was interested enough to draw his war-horse, especially when she showed them to him. In fact, he felt strangely honoured. So then why could he not converse with her?

Why could he not simply muster the courage needed to pose the relevant questions he desired answers to? It would be so easy to converse, just a few simple words smattered here and there; their words could even grow into a decent conversation!

Secretly, Éomer wished to speak so that he could see and hear her laugh. But it was a rare occurrence that he noted, and gifted only to her family and dearest of friends. He desperately wished to be her friend. Perhaps... Perhaps he wanted to speak the unspeakable. Or perhaps he simply wished to hear the hidden drumbeat of her heart?

But he never said a word to her. No, he did not dare to.

Oh, they were all smiles and politeness during the continuing celebrations that were held on the Field of Cormallen in Ithilien, after the War. Only then would they deign to speak to one another, haltingly, he might add. They spoke only at those brief moments, when propriety demanded it and never before. And certainly not after they parted ways in comfort of the public's eye.

Yes, the silence she offered to him during their unplanned meetings was golden.

Éomer learned to cherish it and covet it because he had been denied that form of peaceful reprieve for so long. Not since the days of his parents' demise had his mind stilled so completely in the presence of another. Just because of her. Because she drew and did not speak. Though he often secretly wished to hear her soft voice, he mostly enjoyed the silence and stillness surrounding her when she drew. It was as if nothing around them existed. Absolutely nothing. They were much too impervious to fall prey to outside intrusion.

The first time he found her drawing, was on a fine morning upon the Field of Cormallen during the celebrations.

The Swan Knights' tents had been drawn up close to the Rohirrims' due to the fond relationship Éomer shared with their Prince. However, that morning, it was still too early for the merry-makers and revellers of the night to be out and about.

A new party from Dol Amroth had joined them only the night before—she had also journeyed with the new arrivals—and much raucous joy was caused by their presence. It was the celebrations of the previous night that had much to do with the subdued atmosphere of the morning.

Éomer had winced when he realised that there was still a good two weeks of the celebrations to endure before Lord Aragorn's coronation on the 1st of May. If the constant pounding of his head was anything to go by, it would not be an enjoyable occasion.

On that morning, only a few had been bold enough to venture out into the cool morning, some eating breakfast by an impromptu fire started up by a few members from the kitchen staff.

As he made his rounds of the area, surveying his horse and the steeds of other Riders, he found that he could not remember much of the night before. It was a blur of ale and laughter. Some of his laughter had been forced to appease certain rambunctious guests, but for the most part it was done in good faith. Especially at the antics of a few certain Hobbits.

Bleary-eyed and tired to boot, as he checked his faithful steed it was at that moment he saw her. Sitting nearby upon a large boulder, with her back to him, gaze fixed upon the open landscape of the field presented before them. It was certainly an awe-inspiring sight, but he had never seen a person so engrossed by their surroundings.

Éomer had watched her privately for a moment, curiosity causing him to shift his position so as to get a better look. As he squinted at the figure through lethargic eyes, he realised that he recognised her from somewhere... But could not put his finger on the doubtful instinct that stirred within his gut.

Moving slightly closer, he spied a view of her profile and concluded that she must be a member of kin to his friend, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth.

Éomer could vaguely place her face as the daughter of the Prince, whom he had been introduced to the previous night, and had forgotten about instantly as more ale and merry-making came his way.

He gazed at her for an unwarranted amount of time, before starting with surprise when she turned her head and caught him red-handed, spying on her.

Éomer, of course, had the decency to blush and force nod in her direction. She returned it in the same stiff fashion before he averted his stare to a more appropriate object of interest. His horse.

But for some odd reason, his eyes kept being drawn towards her still figure. She sat like a pale, marble statue with her eyes upon the endless expanse of the field. He could not help but wonder what she found so fascinating. What an enigma, he concluded to himself.

And then, she did an extraordinary thing. She moved her head down and began to... Draw. From his position, he could not see the parchment in her lap, supported by a wooden slab, but it was there. And the strangest thing of all, was that she did not look up from her task as she drew. Apparently, she did not have the need to, he realised belatedly. For her memory was as sharp as the dagger that was nestled in his belt.

And so it went that Éomer noticed her at various intervals throughout the celebrations, sometimes sitting off to the side as she drew to her heart's content. On one such occasion, he gathered enough courage to sit beside her. He said nothing; simply sat and watched her draw with the utmost concentration. Like before, she would observe her surroundings, and then she would not look up from the parchment as she drew.

It was a marvellous thing to see. He had never seen a person commit to such a thing before. And if he had been honest, he would have admitted that he was more than intrigued by the factors that prevented them from conversing.

It seemed like she was waiting for him to do something. But what? He could not be certain and that was his sad attempt at a guess.

But by Béma, she was astounding to observe... And she was quite easy on the eyes. Midnight black hair, a small and delicate frame and eyes the colour of watery steel, as was the wont of her people. Her graceful demeanour often reminded him of the Elves. Apparently, her ancestors were descended from that bloodline.

And so it was, that during a singular moment of his vigil, he came to realise he had fallen for her silence.

After that revelation, Éomer somehow managed to find a way to sit beside her at every given opportunity, spying her from beneath hooded eyes as he watched her draw. But still, she did not speak to him. Beyond the page of parchment in her hand, the world around them would dissolve away until only she and the object of her attention remained. As a warrior, it fascinated him to no end how one person could be so utterly unaware and oblivious of their surroundings. But as a man, it was most desirable to perceive.

He, Éomer-king, had come to love and anticipate the strokes of her charcoal drawings created in such a way that words could never describe them adequately. They enraptured him in their decadence and ensnared him so completely, that he had not realised the stirring in his heart until it was too late. Until she had almost vanished from his life.

He realised that he wished to see her draw, everyday. Not just for the short time they spent in one anothers silent company. But everyday. It was as if her drawings spoke words to him that no sound of voice could ever convey. Her drawings spoke to him—spoke to his heart and offered him solace. If felt as though he was staring into the very depths of her hidden soul when he looked upon them.

With her drawings, she seemed to voice the unspeakable. And it brushed against his heart like nothing before.

"Dreaming again?"

Éomer smiled at the breathy voice that interrupted his thoughts, bringing him back into the present, as it whispered it's way into the sensitive folds of his ear. Lazily, he leaned back in his chair and found his shoulders cushioned by a pair soft, comforting arms. Tilting his head back against the warm, fabric-covered stomach behind him, he looked up and gazed longingly at the amused but soft grey watching him diligently from above.

"What were you thinking about?" She asked again, her voice lowering to an unimaginable pitch.

Grinning, he raised his hands up behind him and brought her face down to his so that it was horizontal with his own head. He chuckled as she playfully pressed her forehead against his trimmed beard. "Mm... Incredibly prickly, my lord." This was announced by her, quite teasingly.

"Thank you," he said, chuckling outright at her easy manner. In turn for the comment, Éomer pressed a kiss to her forehead before speaking. "I was not dreaming."

She snorted in a most unladylike manner. "Nonsense. You know, you are a terrible liar," her pouting voice murmured against his own forehead.

Stepping back from him, he found himself moving into a far more agreeable position; standing face to face with one another. He looked down at her petite frame for a moment before whisking her up into his arms, thus causing a series of girlish squeals and giggles to erupt from her pretty, kissable little mouth. Which was exactly what he did. Béma, he loved it when she laughed. The sound was something akin to the whistling wind that engulfed Edoras—pleasant and wild.

Reluctantly, they parted, only to find her looking at him with deep seated curiosity. "What?" He asked in amusement.

She shook her head and shrugged. "Why won't you tell me where your thoughts were gathered?"

Smiling in a beguiling manner, he pecked her nose. "They were gathered upon you."

"Oh? And were they agreeable?"

"Most agreeable," he whispered softly, moving in for another lingering kiss.

This time, she pulled back and waited expectantly for him to elaborate. He sighed, casting a withering glance in her direction as he held her up from the floor. "I was thinking about the first time we met. And how we did not speak."

A fondness in her eyes grew from the memory he offered, like a flower unfurling petals in the sun's dawning rays. She sighed and smiled contentedly, but brightly. "I remember it well."

"I am glad, for I would be most upset if you didn't!" He found himself exclaiming, though it was in jest.

When she remained silent, lost in thought, he slowly began the steady trek from his study to their chambers. The sun had set an hour prior to her surprising appearance in his study and he was glad for the interruption.

"Do you ever wonder how it came to this? Or how we came to be from the silence?" She asked, startling him by the abruptness of the question.

"Aye," he concluded softly. "I have often wondered, but could never draw any solid answers from my thoughts," Éomer paused, appeasing his wife with a soft smile. "You were not silent, Lothíriel. At least, not to me. You said the unspeakable through your drawings."

"You fell in love with my drawings?" She uttered the words in such a dry fashion, that it made him burst out laughing. Laughter that would have been scarce ere the time he met and loved her. "Well," she sniffed, "I'm glad you find it funny!"

"Silly Gondorian," he teased mercilessly. Her indignant squeak only furthered his amusement before he grew serious. At length, he lay down beside his wife and moved closer to brush his thumb across her cheek. She only gave him wearied glare, to which he responded with a cheeky wink. "Your drawings, little wife, spoke more to me than any words ever could. They showed me your heart, your soul, Lothíriel. Do you see why I came to love you?"

His wife nodded, still a little doubtful. "I must admit, I was quite surprised when Adar came to me with the announcement that you'd asked for my hand in marriage. He seemed most bewildered," she laughed at the memory, turning on her side to look upon her husband. "He did not know how I had caught your fancy; but I think I had an inkling."

"An inkling, you say?" Éomer quirked his brow suggestively, earning a playful slap in return from his young wife. He glared at her mockingly whilst rubbing his arm in a pretend gesture of pain. She chuckled and shook her head at his childish behaviour.

"Honestly," she huffed. "I don't see why you could not have proposed to me beforehand," his wife accused him gently. "I thought you were mute!"

At this, Éomer let out a bark of laughter. "And I thought you were mute." He reached out to clasp her hand, moving closer to lay against her desirably curved form. "Perhaps we are both to blame?"

She nodded. "Or perhaps, you are right and some things are better left unsaid?"

He drew back with a small smile playing upon his lips. "Do you mean the unspeakable; things of love and that nature? Yes, they are not meant to be trifled with... Mayhap it is best to leave it to chance? Like we did?"

Lothíriel tilted her head thoughtfully. "I think, dear husband, you are absolutely correct in your assumptions!"

"A first, indeed! One of many assumptions to come, I hope," Éomer cried sarcastically, earning himself another slap.

Though they began to speak to one another during the time of their betrothal, Éomer could never forget the first moment he fell in love with his wife. It was ingrained in his memory for all time, like the carved statues of ancient Kings from long ago. Lothíriel had spoken to him like no other; through her heart and talent of her sketches.


Added Notes: Ahh, the fluff! I was fever-induced when I wrote this, so forgive me. I'm still unsure if I should branch this out into a longer saga, but maybe I will when 'By the Sea' is finished. I hope you enjoyed this little vignette.