70. Chapter 69 - May 1436
He stared at the whiskey bottle on the table next him, nearly empty now. He’d seen the bottom of a lot of bottles lately. It usually dulled the pain in his life, but not this time. Even in his stupor, he knew he had made a very big mistake. How could he have been so stupid? It would probably cost him Merry’s friendship, because his friend would find out. Pippin was going to tell him.
He had held Ivy afterward, forcing himself to stay awake until she was asleep, thinking about what they had done. He decided he would confess to Merry and clear his conscience. When Ivy’s breathing had evened out in sleep, he had slipped out of bed and left, leaving his armor on the floor. He had looked down at the White Tree emblazoned on the black coat and suddenly he didn’t feel like a Knight of Gondor anymore. They were supposed to be honorable. What would Aragorn, or worse, Faramir, think of him, bedding Merry’s daughter?
Since leaving Ivy he had sat here, trying to drown his guilt, going over and over in his head what had occurred, berating himself and wondering why he hadn’t acted differently. He had tried to refuse. He had! But she had gotten to him. It scared him, how much he had needed her.
A figure appeared in the doorway. “Pippin?” It was Merry.
Pippin swallowed, fighting the urge to throw up. He didn’t want to bed Merry’s daughter and throw up on his rug.
Merry came towards him. “I was wondering where you...” He stopped and grabbed the bottle from the table. “Pippin! What did I tell you?” Merry moved the bottle away from him, setting it on his desk. Like it made any difference now.
“Sorry, Merry,” he said, his voice breaking as he broke down. He couldn’t stop the sobs. “’m sorry.”
“Pip.” Merry knelt in front of him and put his hands on Pippin’s knees. “Please don’t do this to yourself. Diamond...she’s just not worth it.”
Pippin shook his head. “I don’t care about Diamond. She can do what she wants.” He wiped at his eyes, keeping them focused on his lap, not able to look at Merry. “They’re in my bed right now. I heard them planning it.” He shrugged. “But I can always get another bed, right?” He broke down again, thinking of the one who had told him that.
“Pip,” Merry said softly. “Let’s get you to bed. It will be better in the morning.”
Pippin shook his head and pushed Merry’s hands away. “You’re too good to me Merry,” he said, finally looking up at his friend. “You should hate me. You will hate me.” He hated himself, after all. Why shouldn’t Merry hate him, too?
Merry sighed and stood up. “Right, Pip.” He looked around. “Where’s your armor?” he asked.
Oh, here it comes, the end, thought Pippin. “It’s not here,” he said, suddenly needing to delay the inevitable.
“I know it’s not here. Where did you leave it?”
Pippin brought his hands to his face, ashamed. “I’m sorry, Merry! Forgive me!” he sobbed.
“What are you on about, Pippin?”
“I bedded her, Merry!” And he hated himself for it.
Pippin took his hands away from his face and looked up at his friend, his best friend, his dearest friend. But not for much longer. “Ivy,” he whispered.
Merry just stared at him, brows furrowed, confused. Then his face changed. Pippin had never seen anything like it, the rage that suddenly came over Merry. “What?”
“Ivy,” Pippin repeated. “I’m sorry, Merry, I--”
Pippin wasn’t surprised at all by the fist to his jaw. He was a bit surprised that it knocked him out of the chair. And his neck hurt now. He felt hands grab him and flip him over. Merry was on top of him, his face livid.
“You fucked my daughter?” His eyes were dangerous, deadly. “How could you?”
“I’m sorry, Merry! I’m sorry!” He had never dreamed he would ever see Merry look at him like this.
Merry pulled him up so he was propped against the chair. His cousin’s hands held his shirt tight at his throat. He wondered if Merry would strangle him and if it would take long to die that way.
“Did you get her drunk?” Merry yelled. “Make her promises? Force her?”
“He didn’t do anything wrong!” Ivy’s voice.
Merry turned to look at his daughter, standing in the doorway. “Get out, Ivy! You don’t need to see this!”
Pippin heard the patter of feet as Ivy ran over and dropped next to him, grabbing her father’s hands. “Let him go, Dad,” she pleaded. Pippin looked up at her. She was so pretty. But he’d left a mark on her neck. He frowned. After he was done killing him, Merry would probably beat him up for that.
“Ivy, go back to your room!”
“No! I won’t let you hurt him! You’ve said you want me to be happy? Well, he makes me happy!” She looked down at Pippin and gave a slight smile. “I love him. “
Merry let him go suddenly and slid back, slumping against the couch behind him.
Pippin rubbed his throat as Ivy slid over next to her father and took his hands. “He didn’t force me. He didn’t promise me anything. And you can see I’m cold sober. He’s the one who’s drunk. If anyone was taken advantage of, it was him.” She turned to him. “I’m sorry, Pippin.”
Pippin shook his head, squinting at the wave of dizziness that caused. She had no reason to be sorry. For all his initial protests and his guilt, ultimately he had wanted her just as much as she wanted him. He had never been with someone who loved him. Even if Merry killed him, at least he had experienced that before he died.
“Gods, Ivy...” Merry shook his head, staring at the floor. “Why?” he whispered.
“What we did is no different from what you and my mother did.” Ivy said. “We needed each other, Dad. Pippin needs my love and I’ll never find anyone else to love me.”
“Why wouldn’t anyone love you?” Merry scoffed.
Pippin sighed. The whiskey was really starting to hit him now and the world was going fuzzy. “Because we’re hideous giants,” he slurred to himself, not realizing two others heard and turned to look at him. “Unless we’re in Gondor. Then we’re too short. Too tall or too short.” He passed out.
Merry got Pippin into bed in his guest room, then turned to Ivy. “Where’s his armor?” he asked, his voice barely concealing his anger.
Ivy turned and went towards her room. He followed her. He went inside and scooped up the coat, mail and sword from the floor. His eyes lit on the bed and the rumpled blankets. There was a spot on the blanket, a small smear of red-brown. Blood. Maiden’s blood. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. This is not happening.
He turned to Ivy. She was standing inside the door, her arms wrapped around herself. She could barely look at him now.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I know you’re angry, but please don’t blame Pippin. I--”
“We’ll deal with this tomorrow,” he said, cutting her off and walking past her out the door and into the hallway. He stopped when he heard her start to cry, but then he kept going. He couldn’t deal with this right now.
He went back into Pippin’s room. Pippin hadn’t moved. Merry dropped the armor on the floor and went over to the bed. He turned Pippin over on his side, in case he threw up, then regarded his cousin sadly. He knew Pippin had been celibate for seven years, loyal to vows that didn’t deserve his loyalty. If this had been any other lass, he would have been happy for him. But Ivy? Merry clenched his fists in anger. He’d deal with him tomorrow.
He closed the door and went down the hallway to his room. Estella was already in bed. He sat heavily on the edge of the bed, his shaking legs finally giving out on him. He noticed for the first time that his hand ached. He looked down at the swollen fingers, just starting to turn red and bruise. He should probably have Estella look at that. Tomorrow. He leaned forward, head in hands, too upset to sleep. He should have known this would happen. He’d seen how Ivy was behaving. But he’d trusted Pippin. Why, Pippin? Why did you do this? Merry covered his face. His dearest friend had betrayed their friendship.
“Merry?” Estella sat up and lay a hand on his back. “What’s wrong?”
“Ivy...” he said. “Ivy and Pippin...” He couldn’t say anymore, overwhelmed by the anger and pain of this betrayal.
Estella crawled over to sit next to him. “Tell me what happened.”
Ivy climbed into her bed and curled up under the blanket, wiping at the tears that still trickled down her cheeks. Everything had gone wrong.
When she had awakened earlier, it was dark already and Pippin was gone. She had got up in a panic, nearly tripping on his sword on the floor. She threw on her robe, running out to go look for him. She was worried what he would do if he felt guilty, that he’d start drinking again. He wasn’t in his usual guest room, so she ran out to the main part of the Hall. That’s when she’d heard her father’s angry voice in the study. Oh, Pippin, what have you done? she thought as she ran to the study door.
She wanted to be angry at Pippin for telling her father, but she couldn’t. Not when he’d looked so hurt. Not when he’d clung to her like he was drowning and she was the only one who could save him. And he was very drunk. Of course he wasn’t going to make wise decisions. Like telling her father. Or bedding her in the first place.
She swallowed back the tears. What if tomorrow came and Pippin wanted nothing to do with her? What if he was angry at her for doing this, for taking advantage of him when he was so drunk? How could she have done this to him?
Because it’s the only way you’d get a lad into your bed? a hurtful voice nagged inside her.
She buried her face in the pillow. It smelled like Pippin and she pressed her nose into the fabric. She loved him. She was certain of that. But she didn’t know how he felt about her. She’d told him she loved him, but he’d never said it to her. Not that it mattered. This was just for comfort, right? He didn’t owe her anything. So why did it hurt so much?
And what would she do about her Dad? He didn’t believe her, that she could love Pippin. She only hoped Estella would listen to her, because her Dad... She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes. Her Dad was angry at Pippin. Furious. He’d been willing to hurt his best friend because of her.
She sniffled and turned over, hugging the pillow to her chest. Everything had gone wrong. And it was all her fault.
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.