52. Chapter 52
Fari pulled out the key he had taken from his father’s study and opened Crickhollow’s door. They needed a few hours rest before they continued their journey to Bree. The sun told him it was around noon and his stomach was growling from missing three meals. He hoped there was something in the pantry, because he didn’t want to have to use their supplies just yet.
Goldi came in behind him. She looked exhausted.
“Go lie down, Goldi. I’ll see if there’s anything to eat.”
She nodded and shuffled into the master bedroom. Fari headed into the kitchen. He found jars of preserves in the pantry--pears and plums. They would do to fill their stomachs.
He found Goldi curled up on the bed. “Here you go, love,” he said, handing her a spoon. He set the jars on the little table next to the bed.
“Oh, I’m starving,” she said and dug into the pears.
“Well, we’re going to have to get used to it on the road. We may only be able to manage three meals a day.”
She looked at him, horrorstruck.
“Still want to do this?” he asked.
She nodded. “I’ll do what I have to,” she said and reached over to squeeze his hand.
They finished the preserves, then Fari went and settled in the rocking chair in the corner.
“Aren’t you going to sleep?” Goldi asked.
“I’ll sleep here,” he said. “I don’t want to sleep too long, so the bed is right out. I’ll wake you in a few hours.” She looked like she was going to protest, but then nodded and lay down.
Fari sighed and ran his hand over the well-worn arm of the chair. He had vague memories of Estella rocking him in this chair. She’d treated him just the same as her own sons. He sighed and closed his eyes. He missed Estella.
Fari was exhausted when they reached Bree. He had only managed to doze, too wound up by what had happened. He had woken Goldi just as the sun was starting to come through the west windows. After another quick meal of preserves they’d set out again. Poor Goldi was still dead on her feet, but she bravely pushed on. They had to get to Bree and get married before their dads showed up. He knew they’d be after them as soon as they got the letter and it was fairly obvious they’d be going to Bree first.
It had taken another long journey through the night. Fari was just glad there had been a moon to light their path. They finally reached Bree just after dawn. Goldi was nearly asleep in the saddle, her head bobbing onto her chest. When Fari reached over to touch her arm to wake her, she startled, nearly tumbling from the pony before Fari could grab her arm to steady her.
“Sorry, love.” He let go of her arm and pointed over his pony’s ears. “We’re here.”
Goldi looked up at the tall wooden wall and sighed. “Finally,” she mumbled.
They rode through the gate and into the city. The road was nearly deserted this early in the morning, only a few merchants setting out wares. They stopped in front of The Prancing Pony. He’d get them a room there, get Goldi into bed, then go find the Mayor to talk about a marriage ceremony.
The Pony was quiet, only a few scattered customers in the common room. Traders, Fari thought, judging by the heavy wagons, some laden with goods, lined up along the road.
“Master Took, how nice to see you!”
Fari cursed Mr. Butterbur’s occasionally sharp memory. “Hello, Mr. Butterbur. I need a room please.”
Butterbur raised an eyebrow. “Just one?”
“Oh,” Fari turned to Goldi and took her hand. “This is my wife, Goldi.”
“Oh, well, a pleasure to meet you.” Butterbur leaned down to shake her hand, then straightened. “I didn’t hear you’d gotten married. I thought I heard Hugh Underhill say it was another two years.”
Fari glanced at Goldi. “Uh...”
“We had to,” Goldi said. She blushed a deep red and patted her belly.
“Oh!” Butterbur’s eyebrows shot up and his cheeks reddened. “Well. Will you be wanting breakfast?”
“No. Goldi needs some rest and I have some business to take care of. We’ll come down for lunch.”
“Certainly.” Butterbur turned and gestured to one of the tavern girls. “Show these two to the far room,” he said. He turned back to them. “It will be quieter there for your rest,” he said to Goldi with a fatherly smile.
“Thank you, sir,” she said with a little nod of her head. They followed the girl to the room. It was in a part of the Inn that extended into Bree Hill and was cool and quiet.
Goldi sat on the bed. “What do we do now?”
“You sleep,” Fari said. “I’ll go find the mayor and ask about getting married.”
“Shouldn’t you sleep?” she asked.
“I should, but we need to do this quickly. We’ve probably only got a few hours before they come find us.” He reached over and patted her belly. “And you need your rest, ‘Mum’.” He chuckled.
“I had to say something!” she said. “It’s the obvious reason for a quick and quiet wedding.”
Fari smiled and kissed her. “Sleep. I’ll be back soon.”
“Do I look like I’m stupid, Master Took?”
Fari squirmed in his chair in the mayor’s office. “No, sir?”
“I know who you are, Faramir. I know your father. I know you are not yet of age and therefore I will not be performing any marriage ceremony for you.”
“But, we have to--”
“Is she with child?”
“Then you don’t ‘have’ to, Master Took. So what is it? Running off with someone else’s betrothed? A girl your father doesn’t approve of?”
“No! We’re already betrothed. Honestly. It’s just...” Fari took a deep breath. He knew the real explanation would sound more fantastic than a lie. Mr. Longhill obviously wasn’t going to cooperate. “Forget it,” he said. “We’ll...” He thought quickly through their options, other places he could go. “We’ll go to...Rohan, I guess.” He got up and left the office, heading back to the Pony. He actually planned on heading to Rivendell. He’d just put it around they were going to Rohan. Hopefully, it would throw everyone off their trail.
He slipped into the inn, avoiding Butterbur, and went back to their room. Goldi was curled up on the bed, sound asleep. Fari would have liked nothing better than to crawl in to sleep next to her. In fact, he had been hoping to do a lot more than that after their wedding today. But there was to be no wedding and they had to leave again.
He sat next to her. “Goldi,” he whispered, brushing his lips against her ear.
She smiled and sleepily opened her eyes. “Are we ready?” she asked.
“No, there’s a bit of a problem,” he said. She came completely awake then, and sat up. “The Mayor knows who I am. He won’t marry us.”
“Oh,” she said. “Then...”
“I told him we’d go to Rohan instead.”
“Rohan? Fari, Ivy’s uncle isn’t going to allow us to marry!”
“We’re not really going to Rohan, though. I just told him that. We’ll actually go to Rivendell. We’ll get some maps there, and then go on to Lake Town.”
Her eyes widened. “Lake Town?”
“Where Bilbo Baggins went, near the Lonely Mountain. Nobody will know us there. We can get married.”
“Yes, I know where it is.” She sighed. “That’s an awful long journey, Fari.”
“Do you want to go back?” Fari snapped. Hadn’t she said she’d do anything?
Goldi flinched. “No, Fari, I’m sorry...”
Fari sighed. The lack of sleep must be getting to him. “No, it’s me. I’m just tired.”
She pressed her hand to his cheek. “Sleep then. We’ll leave later.”
He turned his head to kiss her palm. “No. They’ll be here soon, looking for us. We have to keep going.”
Goldi didn’t say any more. Just nodded and got out of bed. They gathered up their packs and headed out of the inn.
“Leaving already?” Butterbur asked. Fari cringed. He’d hoped to avoid him.
“Something came up,” he said. “We have to go to Rohan.”
“Rohan?” Butterbur looked at Goldi. “Are you sure she should be making a journey like that when she’s--”
“I’ll be fine, Mr. Butterbur,” Goldi said. “Thank you for asking.”
The elderly man shrugged. “Well, I’ll at least reimburse you for the room. You only had it an hour or so.”
Fari nearly refused, they didn’t have time to wait, but then he thought they might end up needing the money.
“Thank you, Mister Butterbur,” he said. Butterbur went in the back for a while, then came back out with some coins.
“A safe trip to you and your lady, Mister Took.”
“Thank you,” Fari said, nodding at the innkeeper. He took Goldi’s hand and they headed back out to the stables.
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.