47. Chapter 47
Fari reluctantly opened his eyes. Ivy was standing over him, shaking him. “Get up, Fari,” she said. “Your father wants to see you in his study.” She went over and opened the curtains, and Fari had to shield his tired eyes from the light. She turned to him, looking a bit grim. “The Gamgees are here.”
Fari shut his eyes and put his hands over his face. A few choice curses floated through his head. They must have found out Goldi had snuck out. He wondered how much else they knew.
“Fari?” Ivy pulled his hands away from his face. “Don’t keep them waiting.” She gave him a look that hovered somewhere between sympathy and disappointment, then left.
Fari sat up and looked at the clock. It was two in the afternoon. He’d gotten home at around eight that morning. He’d ran into his Dad coming in and told him he’d been out to the pub, keeping his distance so his dad wouldn’t realize he didn’t smell like ale and smoke. His father had believed him.
He got dressed, his shaking fingers barely able to do the buttons. He was dead. Dead, dead, dead. If Uncle Sam didn’t kill him, his father surely would. He’d lied to him this morning, after all.
He shuffled down to his father’s study, passing Bori and Ari on the way.
“What did you do?” Ari asked. “They do not look happy.”
Fari shrugged and Bori grabbed his shoulder. “Don’t worry, we’ll come rescue you if Uncle Sam tries to kill you,” Bori said. He grinned. “Because neither of us wants to be Thain!”
Fari rolled his eyes. “I’m so glad you both love me so much.” His brothers laughed and continued on their way.
Fari sighed and kept walking until he was at his father’s study door. It was open. His father was sitting at his desk, tapping his fingers. Uncle Sam was on the couch, his arms crossed, his face stormy. Ivy and Aunt Rosie were talking quietly near the door.
“He’s here,” Ivy said. She gave him another look, purely sympathetic this time. Rosie followed her out and her look said she was disappointed in him. That hurt him, that he’d disappointed Aunt Rosie. He stepped inside the study. His father got up from his desk and came towards him. But instead of stopping to yell at him, he kept walking, towards the door.
“Dad?” Fari grabbed his arm. “Where are you going?”
“This is between you and Sam,” his father said, not even trying to hide his disappointment.
His father shook his head and pulled out of his grasp. He left, closing the door behind him.
He couldn’t believe his father was leaving him in here to get killed. He looked up at Uncle Sam. He was glaring at him. Fari shivered. He crossed his arms and stared at his feet, not sure what to say.
They stayed like that for a while, in silence, then Sam spoke. “I’m very disappointed in you, Faramir.”
That went straight to Fari’s heart, that he’d let them all down. It probably would have been easier if Sam hadn’t said anything at all and just punched him.
“I trusted you with my daughter, that you’d obey my rules. And even if you are betrothed, she’s not of age yet and has to abide by my rules.”
Sam stood up and came towards him. Fari shrank back, expecting the worst. “I’m not going to hit you, Faramir. But I need you to understand what you’ve done.” Sam sighed. “You’ve risked my daughter’s reputation. What if someone saw her sneaking out. Now, maybe that’s not such a big thing for gentlehobbits, but it’s very important for a regular lass.”
“But I’m going to marry her,” Fari said.
Sam shook his head. “I know. But things can happen. Maybe you’ll get angry at each other and break it off, or maybe something will happen to you--”
“We won’t break it off!” Fari found some of his courage and glared back. “We won’t--”
Sam held up his hand. “You don’t know that, Fari. And what are her prospects then, if she’s got a poor reputation and needing to find another suitor?”
Fari stared at his feet. He wanted to argue, but he knew it was pointless against Sam.
“So, until you’re married I expect you to treat Goldi like my daughter, and not your wife. Agreed?”
“Yes, sir,” he said. He looked up to meet Sam’s eyes. He’d do anything to make up with Goldi’s parents.
Sam nodded. “Can you promise me that you will not go against my wishes and that you will not meet her alone outside of proper courting.”
“I promise, Uncle Sam.”
Sam shook his hand on it. “I’m sure I can trust you Faramir. You’re a good lad, if a bit of a troublemaker.” Sam gave him a small smile. “Well, I think we’re done here. But I think your father is wanting to speak with you as well.”
Fari nodded. He’d figured that, but the worst was over. “I know. Thank you, Uncle Sam. I’m sorry for disappointing you and Aunt Rosie.”
Sam gave him another curt nod and left, leaving Fari alone in the study to wait for his father.
Fari saw Goldi again at Bori and Willow’s birthday party. He wanted to talk to her about that night, but he knew someone would notice if they snuck away together, and then Uncle Sam would be mad at him again. And his dad. His dad had lectured him on pretty much the same things Sam had said, that he had to think about Goldi first, but he’d been more specific, that he needed to keep his trousers buttoned because they were still too young to have the responsibility of a baby thrust upon them. Fari had nodded in agreement with that. He definitely wasn’t ready for babies.
He needed to talk to her, to find out if she was mad at him, but they were stuck, awkwardly sitting together while
Well, he was thinking about Goldi. All the time, it seemed. He wanted to know how she felt, if she was mad at him--but they were stuck sitting awkwardly together with their friends, barely saying a word to each other.
Ivy must have noticed and decided to take pity on them. She enlisted their help to get some things from the kitchen, then told them she needed to go to the cellar. “It may take me some time to find the wine I want,” she told them, giving them a pointed look.
She disappeared down the cellar stairs and Fari turned to Goldi. “I’m sorry I got you in trouble.”
“It was the leaves in my hair,” she said, keeping her eyes on the loaf of bread Ivy had given her to slice. “I came to breakfast with leaves in my hair. And when Dad started in on me about it, Daisy broke down and told him I’d snuck out.” She set down the knife and took his hand. “I’m sorry you got in trouble, because I was careless and--”
He put a finger to her lips and shook his head. “Well, it worked out all right, at least. Your dad didn’t kill me.” Fari sighed. “We just can’t touch each other for two years.”
Goldi leaned over and gave him a quick kiss. “Well, we’ll let him cool off a bit. I don’t think he’ll mind us having a few kisses.” She grinned. “In another month or two.”
Fari rolled his eyes and Goldi turned back to slicing the bread. “At least mum believed me, when I told her we hadn’t done anything.” She blushed.
Fari touched her arm. “I’m sorry. About what happened. I didn’t mean to...do that. I just wanted to tease you and...it just kind of...happened.”
She nodded. “I know, Fari. I wasn’t mad at you. It just surprised me.” She shrugged, her face flaming. “I should have known what would happen.” She gave him a shy glance. “I shouldn’t have run. But it was a bit scary, that I could make you...” She dropped the knife and covered her face with her hands.
Fari smiled and leaned in close to her ear. “You can do it again, if you like.”
She groaned and gave him a shove. “You’re such a pig!” she scolded, trying to sound angry, but Fari saw she was fighting a smile.
He reached out and tugged on her braid. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, even though you’re a pig.” Then she kissed him.
A cough startled them. “All set then?” Ivy asked. She stood in the cellar doorway, a smile on her face. She came over and handed him the bottle of wine. “Why don’t you and Goldi take this out for me. I can finish up in here.”
“You didn’t need us to help with anything else?” Goldi asked.
Ivy shook her head. “Oh, no. I’ve got it. You two go back to the party.”
Fari nodded. He supposed Ivy knew what they were going through, because she hadn’t been allowed to talk to his dad alone after Merry found out what they’d done when she was sixteen. “Thanks, mum,” he said.
She smiled and bent down to kiss his cheek, then turned to slice the bread.
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.