29. Chapter 29
Theo leaned over to slip his arm around Rose’s waist. “Would you like to get out of here?” he whispered in her ear.
Rose turned her head to face him and smiled. “Love to,” she said.
Theo smiled back. He treasured the time he was able to spend with Rose, he didn’t exactly like spending the time in the crowded and noisy Green Dragon. He looked across the table at their chaperones. “We’re going for a walk,” he said.
Ivy and Pippin looked back at him. Theo had been very happy when Rose’s dad had agreed to Ivy and Pippin acting as chaperones. Theo knew that they had managed to get away from their chaperones quite a few times. They couldn’t very well get upset if he wanted to do the same! Besides, this trip to Hobbiton was a holiday for them away from children and Great Smials. He was fairly certain they would welcome the opportunity to be alone as well.
“Well,” Pippin shifted in his seat and looked around the room, “seeing as how the Dragon is full of Cottons and Gamgees, I think we’d better go with you.” He leaned towards them. “At least until we get down the road a ways,” he whispered. He grinned and turned to his wife. “What do you say, love? Want to go revisit some of our old hedges?”
“Ugh!” Theo covered his ears. “I don’t want to hear it. My poor innocent ears!”
“Oh, really, Theo,” scoffed Ivy. “Your ears aren’t that innocent. I know what you gossip about.”
Theo dropped his hands and shrugged. All right, she had him there.
“What does he gossip about?” asked Pippin.
“Things our randy relatives get up to with the maids, mostly,” Ivy said, rolling her eyes.
Pippin raised an eyebrow and leered at his wife. “What kinds of things?”
Ivy gave him a coy smile. “If you’re good, perhaps I’ll show you later.”
Theo made a gagging noise and wrinkled his nose at Ivy. Rose just gaped at them, wide-eyed, her cheeks going red. Theo chuckled. He supposed she wasn’t expecting to hear the Thain and his wife talk like that.
They left the pub and walked down Bywater Road until they came to a grassy spot on the riverbank popular for picnics. Ivy and Pippin seated themselves on the shore to enjoy the sunset.
“You two can go...whatever...for a while,” Pippin said to Theo with a wave of his hand. “Just don’t do anything stupid, like getting her pregnant, because your dad and Sam will kill us both.”
“Pippin! Really!” Ivy scolded. Pippin gave her a cheeky grin.
“There won’t be any worries about that,” Rose said quietly, blushing again.
“Good girl,” said Pippin. “Don’t give in to the Brandybuck charm.” He shrugged. “Well, what passes for charm with the Brandybucks.”
“Hey!” Ivy punched her husband on the arm. “I’m a Brandybuck!”
“You must get all your charm from your mum, love,” Pippin said sweetly. He leaned over to kiss her.
“Eww! Time to go, Rose!” Theo grabbed Rose’s hand and led her away from the couple, who were now locked in a passionate embrace. He did not need to see his sister doing things like that.
They walked farther up the river, away from the town and the buildings that dotted the shore. They reached a small grove of trees and Theo grinned. He knew that just on the edge near the river, there was a tiny clearing hidden from view by some bushes. “Remember when we used to play in here?” he asked, ducking down into the little bower and lying back on the leaves.
“If I recall,” Rose said, peeking in through the branches, “you boys used to chase me and Elanor away if we tried to come in. You threw mud at us and threatened to put spiders in our hair.”
Theo patted the spot next to him and wagged his brows at her. “You can come in now,” he said in a low voice.
She made a show of thinking about it, then pushed in through the branches and crawled over to sit next to him.
Theo didn’t waste any time. It had been a while since he last saw her, at Pippin’s birthday. He wouldn’t see her again until his father’s birthday at the end of July. And he rarely had time to be alone with her. He reached up, threading his fingers through the soft curls at the base of her neck, and pulled her down to kiss her.
Rose was half on top of him, her hand splayed out on his chest. He moved his other hand to grasp her waist, holding her close to him. He could have stayed like this forever.
When they finally broke apart, Rose lay back next to him. Theo rolled over on his side to look at her. He touched the mithril chain around her neck, and ran his fingers along the delicate strand to the pendant that hung just at the valley of her breasts. “I love you,” he said, his fingers caressing the knot and the soft skin underneath. “Always.”
“I love you,” Rose said and lay her hand over his, “but you’re not getting any of that, Mister Brandybuck.” She smirked and pulled his hand away from her bosom, moving it up to her shoulder.
“Sorry,” he said and leaned in to kiss her. “I just want you so much,” he whispered.
“I know.” Rose caressed his cheek. “But we have to wait, Theo.” He nodded and she gave him a slightly apologetic smile. “Besides, I don’t want our first time to be groping in a pile of leaves. Or sneaking around at the Hall or up in a hayloft.” She twined a curl of his hair around her finger. “I want our first time to be at Crickhollow, after we’re married and there’s no rush and no worries.” She smiled. “When Ivy got married, me and Elanor and Mum decorated Crickhollow for them, with flowers and candles, and it was so beautiful. Goldi said they’re going to do the same for us. That’s what I want, Theo.”
Theo kissed her. “I know, Rose. I’m just being a lad. I don’t mean to pressure you, it’s just that...” He leaned close, the tips of their noses touching. “I am looking forward to the honeymoon very, very much.”
She laughed and pushed him away. “I think I figured that out a while ago.” Then she leaned over and kissed him. “I’m looking forward to it as well. Which is why I want to wait for the right time.”
Theo nodded. He did understand why she wanted to wait. But it was such a long wait...
“I think we should be heading back.” Rose said, peering up through the branches. “It will be dark soon and we don’t need my dad getting upset over us being late!”
“No, I certainly don’t want to upset your father. He’s killed orcs and giant spiders. I’d be easy for him.”
Rose laughed and Theo stood up, pushing aside branches so she could climb out without tangling her skirts. Then he took her hand and they headed back to Ivy and Pippin. Theo was relieved that they were just sitting on the bank, talking, and not doing anything else.
“Ready to go?” asked Ivy. She and Pippin stood up and Theo led Rose up the hill to the road.
“Wait!” called Ivy. She came up to them and pulled a leaf from Rose’s red curls. “I think you need to clean up first.” Rose blushed bright red. Ivy went around behind her and brushed the dirt and leaves from Rose’s skirt and pulled a few more leaves from her hair.
“You’re supposed to pay attention to things like this,” Pippin said to Theo, plucking a leaf from his hair as well. “It will save your life.”
“That’s why you have chaperones,” Ivy said to Rose. “You can’t expect the lad to pay attention. Especially when they’re Brandybucks and Tooks.”
“You’re a Brandybuck and a Took,” Pippin pointed out.
“It’s only the lads I’m talking about,” Ivy said. She turned to Rose. “We lasses seem to have gotten all the common sense.”
Pippin huffed indignantly, but his eyes had a twinkle in them.
Ivy and Pippin continued their bickering most of the way back to Hobbiton, but the way they looked at each other told Theo that the arguing was only in fun. Rose squeezed Theo’s hand and whispered to him, “I hope we stay in love as much as Ivy and Pippin.”
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.