81. Chapter 80 - December 1436
She sighed and went back over to her chair. She plopped down, wrapping her arms around her stomach, her knee bouncing in frustration. She stretched the tension from her neck and noticed the candlesticks on the mantle were off-center. She got up to fix them, then went back to the window. A few flakes fluttered down and she sighed. She didn’t want it to snow again.
She turned to go back to her chair, but stopped halfway there. She didn’t want to sit anymore. She’d been sitting all day. Waiting. She was tired of waiting. She turned back to the window.
“Pacing isn’t going to get him here any faster. Why don’t you go see if Estella needs any help?”
She turned to her dad, sitting in his chair across the room with a book in his lap. He was watching her with a smirk on his face. She pursed her lips and turned back to the window. “Estella won’t let me in the kitchen. I almost cut myself this morning.” She couldn’t help it. She’d gotten thinking about Pippin, about the last time he’d kissed her, and she hadn’t noticed she’d reached the end of the carrot. Estella had caught her hand in time, then shooed her out of the kitchen, grinning at her the whole time.
She rolled her eyes at her dad’s snicker. Estella must have told him about the carrot incident. Now that he was getting used to the idea of Pippin courting her, her dad had started to tease her a little. Maybe it was better when they weren’t speaking?
The door opened and Estella came in, followed by... “Pippin!”
She ran to him and he caught her in his arms. She pressed her face into the scarf that smelled of wool and pipeweed and Pippin. The knot in her stomach let loose, uncoiling into a flutter of butterflies.
“Hello, Ivy,” Pippin said softly. She lifted her head to look at him and he kissed her.
“It’s a good thing you’re here,” her dad said, coming up to them. “She was wearing a hole in the rug waiting for you.” He and Pippin both chuckled. Ivy stuck her tongue out at her dad.
Ivy noticed Fari standing back near the doorway, eyes on his feet. She had a hard time telling what Fari thought of this. He never said much. “Hello, Fari,” she said.
“Hello,” he said and looked up at her. His face was unreadable. He’d become good at hiding his feelings.
“Theo and Eomer are in Theo’s room, I think,” Estella said, brushing a hand through Fari’s curls. Fari smiled and took off down the hallway. “Why don’t you two go for a walk in the garden,” Estella said to Pippin. “I think Ivy needs to work off some nervous energy.” Ivy glared at Estella.
“Alone?” her dad said. “It’s really not proper--”
“What could they possibly get up to in the garden, in the winter, in the middle of the afternoon?” Estella asked her husband, her eyebrow raised in amusement. He shrugged. Estella shook her head. “You two have fun,” she said to Ivy and Pippin, then she took her husband’s hand. “And you can help me with preparations for the party,” she said and pulled him after her out of the parlor.
“How about a walk, then?” Pippin said, holding out his arm.
Pippin waited just inside the door of her room as Ivy retrieved her cloak from the wardrobe. She grabbed her winter cloak and turned back to him. Pippin was gazing into her room, eyes dark, lips slightly parted, his breath a little fast.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, worried, hugging her cloak to her chest.
He startled, then closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He looked up at her. “I haven’t been in here since...” He shrugged, a blush coloring his cheeks.
Ivy walked up to him and looked into his eyes. He looked embarrassed. She looked back over her shoulder, following the direction of his gaze. Her bed. Her breath hitched slightly and a thrill ran up her spine. She looked back at him. “Were you thinking about it?” she asked, a little breathlessly.
He squeezed his eyes shut and his skin flushed a darker shade of red. He nodded. “Yes,” he whispered.
He opened his eyes and looked at her and she got a shiver from the desire she saw there. Then he bowed his head and reached for her cloak. “Let me help you with that.”
She nodded and turned around so he could drape the cloak over her shoulders. She pulled the neck together to fasten the ivy leaf brooch Gimli had given her, keeping her eyes on the bed across the room. “I think about it all the time,” she said. Every time she got in that bed, she thought about him.
He briefly rested his hands on her shoulders, then gathered her hair to pull it out from under the cloak. But instead of letting it fall free, he pulled it to the side.
“What are you--?” She gasped when he kissed her exposed neck. She tilted her head to the side and moaned as his tongue painted swirls and his teeth gently scraped over the delicate skin. He slipped his hands around her waist, resting his hands on her belly. Then he lifted his mouth to her ear.
“I think about it all the time, too.”
She sighed and it came out a moan. She lay her hands over his and considered just forgetting about the walk, just shutting the door and pulling him over to her bed.
“Sorry,” he murmured, resting his head against hers. “We should probably go.” He kissed her cheek and stepped away from her.
“Yes,” she said, just a little disappointed. She didn’t think Pippin would have done anything anyway. She turned around and took his arm.
The garden at the back of the Hall was kept shoveled in the winter, so they didn’t have to wade through the snow. Pippin led her over to a bench and they sat.
“Excited about your party tomorrow?” he asked, forcing a smile. Ivy guessed he was a little embarrassed by what had happened.
She shrugged and took his hand. “I’m more excited I get to spend it with you. Not hiding anything.” She smiled at him, suddenly feeling a little shy, and bowed her head to study their entwined fingers.
He reached over and brushed some strands of hair behind her ear. “How are things with the relations? Any trouble about the courtship?”
She shook her head. After the initial surprise, her relatives seemed to be fairly supportive for the most part. Not like the Tooks. Only a few had any real objections. “Remember Marroc Brandybuck?”
Pippin shook his head.
She held up her fist. “I broke his nose when I was five.”
Pippin chuckled. “Oh, yes. Him.”
“He said it was a disgrace the Thain was courting a ‘giant’.” She snorted. “Like I care what he thinks.”
Pippin leaned close. “You didn’t punch him again, did you?”
“No.” She giggled and shook her head. “Theo did.” Pippin laughed and Ivy grinned. “It’s a bit scary, how much my annoying little brother has grown up.”
“Little brothers aren’t all bad,” he said, winking at her.
“Would your sisters say that?” she asked.
“My sisters adore me!”
“That’s right! Because you’re their adorable little baby brother.” She giggled. “They told me that when you were four, you--”
Pippin clapped a hand over her mouth. “I think it would be best if you didn’t talk to my sisters anymore.”
Ivy laughed behind his hand. Then, on impulse, she stuck out her tongue.
“Hey!” Pippin pulled his hand away. “You got my hand wet!”
“I could lick somewhere else, if you like.” She kissed him and brushed her tongue across his lips. He smiled against her kiss and leaned closer...
The padding of feet on the walkway, accompanied by whispers, interrupted them. Theo, Eomer and Fari came into the snowy garden and sat on a bench opposite them.
Ivy frowned at them. “What are you doing out here?”
Eomer piped up. “Dad said we could have extra dessert if we followed you--ow!” Theo had elbowed him sharply in the side.
Ivy rolled her eyes.
“I’ll let you have extra dessert and you can stay up as late as you like if you go find something else to do,” said Pippin.
The boys didn’t even have to think about it. They whooped and ran off towards the stables.
Pippin put his arm around her, pulling her close. “Now where were we?” he asked.
“About here, I think,” said Ivy and she kissed him again, opening her mouth slightly to him. He leaned in and deepened the kiss. She threaded her fingers into his hair and relaxed into his embrace as he explored her mouth with his tongue.
A sharp cough interrupted them this time. Her father. He frowned at them, then looked around. “You haven’t seen the boys, have you?” he asked.
Pippin snorted. “They seem to have gotten a better offer.”
“Pippin!” Her father crossed his arms, trying to look stern. Ivy clapped her hand over her giggle.
Her father grumbled something, then said, “You should be coming in now. It’s....getting cold out.” He turned and stalked back into the Hall.
Pippin slipped away from Ivy’s birthday party, leaving the noise of the great hall behind him to make his way down the quiet hallways. Ivy had gone to visit Elanor, who was minding siblings in the nursery, quite a while ago. And he was starting to miss her.
He heard their giggling voices as he approached--Ivy, Elanor, and Rose, too, from the sounds of it. He quietly looked in the doorway.
Hamfast, Daisy and Primrose were playing at their sisters’ feet. Ivy sat in a rocking chair next to Elanor and Rose, little Bilbo cuddled in her arms.
Pippin had to catch his breath at the sight. Ivy was laughing with the girls, not even minding that Bilbo was tugging at a fistful of her long hair. Diamond had always had a bloody fit if Fari had grabbed at her hair. Ivy looked down at Bilbo and whispered something to him before kissing his curly head. Then she looked up and caught his eye and smiled at him. It was the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen.
“I was wondering where you got off to.” He walked into the nursery and knelt in front of her. “Hello, Bilbo-lad,” he said and tickled Bilbo’s stomach, making the baby giggle. He looked up at Ivy. “I see another lad has stolen your heart.”
Ivy smiled at him. “It’s easy for him to steal hearts, but I think mine already belongs to another.”
They gazed at each other and Pippin touched her cheek. Elanor and Rose giggled and he pulled his hand away, blushing a little. He’d forgotten they were there.
He stood and scooped up Bilbo from Ivy’s lap. “Sorry, Master Gamgee, but I’m going to steal my girl back.” He handed Bilbo to Elanor and turned back to Ivy. “Shall we?” he gestured to the door.
Ivy said good-bye to her friends with quite a bit of whispering and giggling. He had to wonder if he was the subject of the giggling he’d heard earlier. Then Ivy took his arm and he walked her out, back towards her party.
Pippin glanced at her as they walked down the hallway. Her loosely coiled hair was coming undone, she had a spot of spit-up on her shoulder and he thought she had never looked more beautiful. He pulled out his handkerchief and handed it to her. “Bilbo made a mess on your shoulder,” he said.
“Oh!” She dabbed at the spot, but it had already started to dry. She sighed and handed him back the handkerchief.
“Would you like to go change?” he asked.
She shrugged. “No. It’s just baby spit. I think Rosie’s dress has the same spot on it.” She shrugged. “Maybe we’ll start a new fashion.” She laughed and absently pushed her loose hair behind her ear. Pippin stopped and pulled her around to kiss her. Seeing Ivy with little Bilbo made him think of a possibilities. She’d be a wonderful mum. And the thought of Ivy pregnant, heavy with his child...well, it did things to him. Like make him stop in the middle of a hallway and kiss her deeply while his hands caressed her belly.
He broke the kiss and both of them were breathing hard. “What was that for, Mister Took?” she asked, breathless and smiling.
He looked into her eyes and nearly told her his thoughts. But they had only just started courting, she had only just turned seventeen... discussing babies was better left for the future. “Just...” He shrugged and smiled at her. “Happy Birthday.”
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.