97. Chapter 96 - December 1438
“You look tired.”
Ivy smiled up at Pippin and nodded. “I think I’m done for the day.” She looked around at the guests still celebrating her nineteenth birthday. The maids had only just started lighting lanterns and candles in the hall, but she was already ready for bed. She didn’t know how she could be so tired--she’d spent most of the party sitting in her chair. Pippin held out his hands and she took them so he could pull her up. Standing up on her own was difficult now that her six-months-pregnant belly was the size of a small pumpkin.
They walked--well, Pippin walked, she waddled--over to say goodnight to her Dad and Estella. Then Pippin took her arm and they left the noisy hall. She sighed when they went through the doors into the quiet hallways. It was much cooler out here. Of course, she seemed to always be too warm these days, no matter what the temperature of the room.
She really shouldn’t complain. She’d had a relatively easy pregnancy so far. No morning sickness, really, just a little nausea in the mornings that lasted only a week or two and was easily cured with peppermint tea. Her only real problem had been bouts of dizzy spells which had started not long after her argument with Pippin about riding. So the argument had been for naught--she wouldn’t get on a pony if there was a chance she’d faint and fall off. The healer at Great Smials, Lily, had told her not to worry, that the lightheadedness wasn’t unusual, but still told her to give over some of her duties to her sisters-in-law and to make sure she ate well and got plenty of rest. The dizzy spells soon passed, but by then the roads were icing over from autumn sleet and it wasn’t safe for riding anyway.
She thought she’d go crazy, without much to do, but once the harvest was over and everyone was settling in for the winter, Pippin had more time to spend with her. He fussed and fretted over her like a mother hen. He’d been with her, walking in the garden, the first time she’d fainted and she’d scared him half to death. And though his sisters repeatedly assured him that she was fine, that everything was going quite normally, he still worried over her. Not that it was so bad--it was actually quite nice being pampered by her husband.
They reached their room and she was glad to see the maids had already been by to stoke the fire. Being hot all the time didn’t make a cold bed feel any better.
She stripped off her loose blouse and kicked off her skirt, but before she could reach for her nightgown, Pippin came up behind her. “Love you,” he murmured into her ear as his arms came around her. She smiled and leaned back into him, letting him caress her. He was completely enthralled with her pregnant body. Estella had warned her that some husbands were a little disturbed, maybe even frightened, by their wives changing bodies and not to hold it against Pippin if he was that way. But Pippin was the exact opposite. He was aware of every change in her, measuring her growing belly with his hands and kissing every stretch mark she complained about.
He finished his caresses and picked up her nightgown to help her into it. He took down her braids for her, running his fingers through her hair to pull out the tangles. Then he hugged her, her belly pressed between them, and kissed her. A strong kick made them break apart. Pippin grinned and put his hands on the spot. “He’s awake.”
“Yes,” Ivy sighed. “He always seems to know when I’m getting ready for bed.”
Pippin chuckled and led her over to their bed and tucked her in. Then he pulled off his jacket.
“You can go back to the party,” she said. “You don’t have to stay with me.” She yawned. “I’m going to be boring company, because I’ll probably be asleep soon.”
“I’d rather stay with you.” He shed his own clothes and Ivy watched him, amazed again at the strange things pregnancy did to her. It wasn’t so long ago that the sight of her husband undressing would have aroused her, no matter how tired she was. Now, she could only think how nice it would be when he was cuddled next to her to sleep. Not that she didn’t have any desire for him anymore. On the contrary, she also had occasional feelings of intense desire--perfectly normal, Estella had assured her. She’d had to drag Pippin away from the party earlier, to take care of a sudden bout of that problem. Pippin certainly didn’t seem to mind.
He got into bed and cuddled close to her, his hand going right to the spot that had been kicked.
“He’s moved a little,” Ivy murmured, taking his hand and sliding it lower. More little flutters and pushes inside her, right under Pippin’s hand. She loved to watch Pippin’s face, glowing with happiness, when he felt the baby move.
He scooted down the bed and pressed his cheek to her belly. She heard him murmuring softly. He liked to talk to the baby, not caring whether it might hear him or not. She felt sorry for him, that he’d never been able have this with Fari, to feel Fari move and grow. Not that she wished he’d had a different relationship with Diamond, but she wished he’d been able to at least have this connection with his son. Pippin had told her he rarely saw Diamond during the pregnancy--outside of meals she kept herself hidden away in her rooms, as if she were embarrassed by her condition. Which, Ivy thought bitterly, she probably was.
Thoughts of Fari chased away bitter thoughts about Diamond. Fari had been so excited when he found out he was going to get a sibling. Ivy smiled. Sometimes, she couldn’t tell who was happier about the baby--Pippin or Fari. Fari was convinced he was going to get a brother. Though she couldn’t remember it, Estella had told her she’d been the same way before Theo was born, convinced she’d get a sister. Ivy sighed. She hoped Fari wouldn’t be too disappointed if the baby was a girl.
She stroked Pippin’s hair, running her fingers through his curls, wondering who their child would look like. She had a sudden pang of fear at that thought, a fear that had been plaguing her lately. She hoped the baby was like Pippin...a hobbit. She wanted it to fit in as a hobbit and not be like her. Estella had told her that their children would most likely be close to normal sized. Ivy was half hobbit, after all, and Pippin’s height came from the ent-draught and didn’t seem to be passed on--Theo, Eomer and Fari were all normal height. But it didn’t stop Ivy from worrying. She’d had a few dreams, of a tall hobbit girl who looked like just like her, but with bright green eyes, angry at her for being born different...
“Are you all right, Ivy?” She startled from her thoughts. Pippin was watching her, brows furrowed with concern. “You look upset.”
She shook her head. “It’s nothing. I’m just tired.”
Pippin nodded, then leaned down to kiss her belly. “Well, wee one,” he said to the mound, “I think we need to let your mum sleep now.” He shifted up and lay next to her, a hand on her belly, and kissed her. “You’re sure you’re all right?”
She smiled and nodded. “I’m fine. Really.” She kissed him and patted his cheek. “You worry too much.”
He shrugged. “Can’t help it.” He settled down next to her, cuddling close, his nose next to her ear. “Good night, love,” he whispered.
“Good night,” Ivy murmured. She wasn’t lying. She was tired. She just didn’t want to worry him with her dreams, especially not on her birthday... Her eyes snapped open. “I haven’t given you your gift yet!” She’d knitted him a new scarf, to replace his ratty old one, while she’d been resting during her dizzy spells.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said softly, sounding a little sleepy himself now. “You can give it to me tomorrow.” He sighed and kissed her ear. “You’ve already given me more gifts than I could ever have dreamed of.”
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.