104. Chapter 103 - December 1440
The Thain’s parlor was warm and cozy, while outside the windows the snow was coming down in heavy flakes. In other words, a perfect Yule.
Merry sat on a couch, one arm around Estella, the other holding a cup of warm mulled wine. They’d had a busy day of celebrations at Great Smials for Yule, but in the evening families retreated to their own rooms to spend time together.
The boys were sitting in front of the fire, helping Bori play with his new blocks. Bori was cuddled in Fari’s lap, laughing and clapping with delight as Theo and Eomer made tall towers, then brought them crashing down again. “More, more!” he’d squeal, and he’d reach for blocks to help his uncles build another tower.
On the opposite side of the boys, Pippin sat on another couch, singing softly to Willow. Willow was cuddled in his arm, staring up at her dad in rapt attention as he sang her the song, one of Bilbo’s by the sounds of it. Merry wondered if he’d had the same look on his face as Pippin--complete adoration--when he had looked at Ivy as a baby.
Ivy was lying next to Pippin, her head resting on his thigh, sound asleep. Pippin’s hand was softly stroking her hair. Ivy was pregnant again--about two months along, Estella figured--but though she was tired a lot, this one seemed to be going easier. Bori was an independent toddler now--almost two, Merry thought with amazement--able to go play with Fari or cousins, and Willow was nine-months old and no longer completely dependent on her mum, so Ivy was able to take more time for herself.
Pippin ended his song and made faces at Willow, making her giggle, and it struck Merry just how happy Pippin was. Just a few years ago, he would never have thought it possible for Pippin to ever be happy again. He hadn’t even been sure that Pippin would live much longer, drowning himself in his misery and the whiskey. This was the Pippin that Merry had always known, smiling and laughing all the time, content to cuddle on a couch and make silly faces at his daughter. The Pippin who had been married to Diamond was like a whole different person--bitter and miserable, barely able to care about himself let alone those around him. That Pippin was now long gone, thankfully.
He looked back at the boys, who were now building walls with the block. He wished Fari could have always had this Pippin as a father, like his brother and sister. Pippin had done his best given the situation, but Fari’s early life had still been marred by his parents fighting, his father’s drinking and his mother’s coldness. Merry didn’t know how much Fari remembered of it, but although he was now in a happy family, there were times when he still seemed quiet and melancholy. Merry worried about him sometimes.
Fari seemed happy enough now, though, playing with his cousins and little brother. Fari adored Bori. For a ten-year-old, he had an incredible amount of patience for the toddler. Bori, in turn, would follow his big brother around like a shadow.
If he’d had foresight like the elves, if he could have seen how happy Ivy and Pippin would be in the future with their growing family, Merry would never have been against their relationship in the first place. He was just glad he had Estella to set him straight on those things. He leaned over and surprised his wife with a kiss.
She smiled at him. “What was that for?”
He shrugged, grinning at her. “Just because.”
She snorted. “Are you drunk?”
“Not at all,” he said. He set down his cup of wine and wrapped his arms around her. Estella snuggled closer, resting her head on his shoulder. “I’m just very happy,” he said softly. “I have you and the boys. Ivy has Pippin and our beautiful grandchildren.”
She giggled. “You are drunk, aren’t you.” She poked him in the stomach with a finger.
Estella grinned and grabbed his collar to pull him down for another kiss. “I’m happy to have you, too.”
Ivy tucked Willow into her crib and leaned in to give her daughter a kiss, then ran fingers through her reddish-brown curls. Willow was definitely taking after her Took side. She mostly resembled Pippin. Her blue eyes had already started to get a greenish tint to them.
Ivy changed into her nightgown and got into bed. Pippin wasn’t back yet. He’d gone to Bori’s room to tuck him in. Bori had probably begged his father for a song or a story before bed.
She lay back, suddenly wide awake. She should be tired after the celebrations, but she’d napped on and off all day. This pregnancy was making her tired again, but at least she hadn’t gotten morning sickness so bad this time around. Just a few days of not being able to keep anything down, then it was done. And it was easier, too, with Willow being older. She’d definitely learned her lesson about spacing her pregnancies.
Pippin returned, taking care to keep the door quiet as he closed it and tiptoeing into the room.
“I’m not asleep yet,” she said softly. “And Willow’s completely out.”
“All right,” he said. He came over to the bed, unbuttoning his waistcoat. “Bori wanted a story,” he said, smiling.
“I figured.” She rolled over on her side to watch him undress. He dropped the waistcoat and started on his shirt.
“He fell asleep before Bilbo even got to Rivendell,” Pippin chuckled. “I think the boys wore him out today.” He dropped the shirt on top of the waistcoat. His skin was golden in the glow from the fireplace. Ivy got that feeling low in her belly.
“It was fun today,” she said. She smiled. “Dad and Estella certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves this evening.” They had been quite cuddly on that couch, then had gone to bed early, claiming to be tired. Right. She giggled. “Probably still enjoying themselves.”
“Ivy!” Pippin admonished. He shook his head at her, then stepped out of his trousers, leaving him naked. He reached for his nightshirt draped over the back of the chair.
“Don’t bother,” Ivy said, and pulled back the blanket on his side of the bed.
He raised his eyebrows at her and grinned. “All right, then.” He left the nightshirt where it was and climbed into bed next to her, scooting over to take her in his arms and kiss her.
She sighed and wrapped herself around him. “I hope we’re still like that at that age,” she murmured.
Pippin snorted and pulled back to look at her. “I’m fifty, Ivy. I am that age. And by the time you’re that age, I’ll be...” He thought for a moment. “Old.”
“I don’t think we have too much to worry about. Didn’t the Old Took father his last child when he was in his seventies?” She slid her hand from his hip to his belly, then lower. He was hard already. “I think you have many useful years ahead of you.”
“Useful?” He chuckled and patted her bottom. “Is that all I’m good for?”
“Hmmm.... yes?” She giggled and rolled on top of him, sitting up to straddle him. “Among other things.”
He smiled and ran his hands over her, over her thighs and to her belly. She gasped when his hands moved higher to caress her breasts. He tugged at her nightgown. “I think this is in the way,” he said.
She squirmed slightly to pull the nightgown from around her legs, which had the added benefit that she was grinding against his erection and made him squirm. She grinned and pulled the nightgown over her head, then tossed it onto the end of the bed.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered.
“So are you.” She leaned forward to kiss him, at the same time reaching down to guide him inside her. They stayed like that for a while, just kissing, with Pippin inside her. She broke the kiss and looked in his eyes. “I love you,” she said.
“Love you,” he murmured back. He grasped her hips, pushing her down as he thrust deeper. They kept their eyes locked as they moved together, slowly at first, gradually increasing intensity until Pippin groaned and thrust hard, spilling into her.
She kissed him, then slid off to lie next to him, his arms around her. She sighed happily. “I think I’d like another thirty years of that.” She lifted her head to look at him. “Even longer, if you can manage it.” She grinned.
He snorted and shook his head. “I’ll do my best, love.”
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.