99. Chapter 98 - March 1439
“The winds of wrath came driving him, and blindly in the foam he fled, from west to east and...” Fari gave a frustrated sigh. “What’s this one?”
Ivy opened her not-quite-napping eyes and leaned over to look at the page in a book of poetry Legolas had given her to continue her Sindarin studies. She had started teaching Fari the elvish language. She enjoyed it, a way to spend time with Fari. Just the two of them. Fari seemed to enjoy it, too. When he wasn’t getting frustrated. “Errandless,” she said.
“Oh.” He sighed and slumped back into the corner of the couch they shared in the parlor. “I’m never going to learn these words.”
“It’s not easy at first,” Ivy said. “And I had nearly two months with Legolas before I was at all capable of even a basic conversation.”
He wrinkled his nose and shrugged. Ivy smiled. She supposed it was a little harder to be patient at these things when you’re just short of nine years old.
“Do you want to try a different one?” she asked. “Eärendil the Mariner is a little hard. Here, at the beginning, there’s--” She didn’t get to finish, because she was distracted by a snuffling that quickly turned into a full out wail. Her breasts tightened and tingled in response. Time to nurse. “Sorry, Fari,” she said.
He shrugged again. “That’s all right.” He really didn’t look upset by the interruption. In fact, he was smiling. He was always happy when Boromir woke up.
She got up--gingerly, as she was still a little sore from the birth last week--and bent over the cradle next to the couch. “Oh, Bori-lad. Is it time to eat again already? Or are you wet?” She picked up her squalling son, cuddled him against her shoulder, and patted his bottom. Wet.
“Fari, could you get me a diaper, please?”
“Sure!” Fari hopped up, his book falling to the floor, forgotten. He trotted into the bedroom and was soon back with a clean cloth.
“Thanks, Fari,” she said. She laid Bori down on the couch.
“I can do it,” Fari said.
Ivy smiled and stepped out of the way. Fari loved to do things for his brother. He grabbed every opportunity to spend time with Bori, even changing diapers. How many dirty diapers that would last, Ivy didn’t know. But she’d take the help while he was willing to give it.
She picked up the fallen book and set it on the table, then took his spot on the other side of the couch.
“Hold still, wiggle worm,” Fari said. He was kneeling in front of Bori and working at the ties on the diaper, but Bori was still squalling and squirming, making it difficult. “There’s no need to be mad,” he said patiently. “I’m working as fast as I can.”
Ivy watched them, smiling to herself as Fari deftly switched wet diaper for dry. Fari seemed to be the perfect big brother. She wondered if she’d been that patient with Theo.
“Done,” Fari said proudly. Bori was still crying, but he wasn’t squirming so much.
Ivy smiled at him. “Now it’s time for your brother to eat. Again!” She opened her blouse and scooped up Bori. “Are you hungry, dearest?” she murmured as she cradled him to her breast. He latched on quickly and she winced at the slight ache in her breast. Estella had told her it wouldn’t be so bad after a while. At least the cramps nursing caused in her womb had stopped. Those were worse.
Fari sat next to her and stuck a finger into Bori’s fist. “He’s strong,” Fari said.
“Hmmm,” Ivy sighed. Her eyes were drifting closed. Nursing always made her sleepy, though not getting much sleep didn’t help either. “I know,” she mumbled sleepily. “He’s grabbed my hair a few times.” She had a sudden memory, of baby Fari grabbing her hair and screaming in fear. She opened her eyes, startled by the feelings that sent through her, fiercely protective of the boy who was now her son on paper.
Fari was bent over her arm, watching his brother and playing a little ‘tug-o-war’ game with the small fist that gripped his finger. On impulse, she bent down and kissed his head.
Fari looked up at her with that ‘Yuck! A girl just kissed me!’ look of a young boy. “What was that for?”
She smiled at him. “For being a big help to me,” she said. Because I love you like you really were my own son, she thought to herself.
He shrugged. He looked embarrassed. “I like to help with him,” he said. He sighed. “I can’t wait until he’s old enough to play with.”
“It won’t be long,” Ivy said. “Then you’ll wonder how you got stuck with such a nuisance.”
Fari cocked an eyebrow at her. “Are you talking about Theo?” She giggled and he grinned at her.
She relaxed back, eyes closed, smiling in contentment at the rhythmic tugs of Bori’s suckling and the warmth of Fari pressed next to her. She quite liked being a mum, even if it was exhausting right now. And Pearl was right, the pain of birthing Bori was fading into a distant memory now that she had him in her arms.
A painful kick to her full breast woke her from a doze, reminding her she couldn’t sleep quite yet. “Ready to switch, love?” she asked Bori. He was starting to fuss, waving fists and feet. She switched him to the other side and settled back. Fari had retrieved his book and was now curled up next to her, whispering poems to himself.
She watched Bori nurse for a while, marveling again at how perfect he was. She touched his wispy, blond curls, his tiny pointed ear, and ran her finger over the silky skin of his cheek. He wriggled and batted at her hand. She smiled at him. “Sorry to disturb you,” she whispered and leaned back again to rest.
The next time she awoke, it was because someone was touching her cheek. She opened her eyes and looked into Pippin’s green ones. “Do you want to go lie down?” he asked.
She blinked a few times to wake up and looked around her. It had started to get dark during her nap and Estella was lighting the candles in the parlor. Bori was asleep again, cuddled against her bare breasts. Fari had fallen asleep as well, the book clasped to his chest. She yawned. She probably should go lie down for a while. She had to grab sleep when she could. She nodded and passed Bori to Pippin, then buttoned her blouse. She started to push herself up, but a twinge in her back stopped her. That’s what she got for napping while sitting on the couch.
“Need help?” her dad asked.
She nodded and took his hands so he could pull her up. “Thanks, Dad.”
“I should wake Fari up, too,” Pippin said. “Could you hold Bori for me, Merry?”
Her father snorted. “That’s a stupid question, isn’t it?” Ivy smiled as her dad took Bori in his arms, a big smile on his face. He loved being a grandfather.
Ivy walked to her room, still sleepy, and Estella followed behind her.
“Have you had anymore bleeding?” Estella asked once they were inside.
“No.” Ivy lay down on her bed. “I haven’t had any cramps today, either. I’m still sore, though.” She yawned again. Being in her bed made her realize how tired she was.
“That’s to be expected.” Estella smiled at her. “You’re recovering nice and quick, though.” She sat on the edge of the bed. “You’ll want to wait a while before having relations, once you’re feeling better. Just because you don’t have your monthly doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant again. Poor Rosie nearly wore herself out having Goldi, Ham and Daisy so close together.”
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about,” Ivy mumbled. “Too sore. Too tired.”
“That won’t last much longer,” Estella said. She might have said more, but Ivy didn’t know because she was fast asleep.
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.