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Colder Nights

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A pair of strong little feet kicked out against Théoden’s side and he grunted quietly in response, rousing from sleep and blinking one eye open.

He quickly shut it again, however, as a little hand reached up and plopped itself against his face, its owner absent minded of any discomfort she was causing her poor uncle.

“Eowyn...” The King muttered tiredly, not nearly loud enough to wake the girl, who was sprawled out on top of him as she slept, one chubby little cheek resting just over his heart.

Had she not been nearing her fifth year and grown now since infancy, it might have been to Théoden like holding a newborn again.

Though, a bit heavier than she used to be, the girl was still light enough that she didn’t seem to be restricting his breathing. Therefore, the King allowed her to stay were she was, sound asleep with her little eyelids fluttering in the midst of some dream that she would surely tell her uncle about upon awakening.

Théoden sighed deeply and opened the eye that was not covered by Eowyn’s palm.

His son’s peacefully sleeping form laid at his left side, his face pressed against his pillow as he laid flat on his belly beneath the blankets.

His father smiled softly as he heard the mutterings of sleep speech that Théodred often spoke in the night.

He couldn’t make out the words, if words were even being formed, but the little prince grumbled on, as if he were having the clearest of conversations with a dear friend.

The King chuckled as silently as he could manage, turning his head slow to glance at the snoring assailant to his right, who once more kicked out a foot and gave his uncle’s ribs an unconscious jab.

Eomer had taken that little habit from his mother, who had once kicked her sister from their bed entirely when she was a child.

“Oh children,” Théoden yawned deeply, shutting his eyes again to be lulled back to sleep by the harmony of Eomer’s snores and Theodred’s murmurs of half spoken words.

The colder nights never brought peaceful sleep to Théoden King, but at least the little ones were able to stay warm as they all lay huddled together beneath the heavy throws and furs.