56. Chapter 56
“Theo!” Frodo waved to him from the parlor door. Their families were all at Bag End celebrating Rose’s birthday. Elanor and her family had made the trip home to Hobbiton, and they decided not to make her travel all the way to Buckland as well. It was only had a small party, just their families. Rose didn’t want anything big, what with Fari and Goldi missing and their fathers gone looking for them.
Theo got up, avoiding the game of tag going on between the Gamgee’s and Took’s youngest children as he crossed the room. Frodo led him out into the front hall. Theo recognized one of Brandy Hall’s stableboys.
“Sir,” the lad said, bowing. “This came for you this morning. From an elf. Master Berilac said I should bring it straight to you.”
“Thank you, Nick,” Theo said and took the parchment.
“There’s food in the kitchen,” Frodo said to the lad. “Help yourself.”
“Thank you, sir!” The young hobbit bowed and scurried away.
Theo opened the letter. “It’s from Dad,” he said, scanning the letter.
“Really?” Frodo looked over his shoulder.
“He says they’re in Rivendell, but they’ll be leaving again very soon. Lord Celeborn said they’re about a day behind Fari and Goldi. Those two are heading to...Lake Town?” Theo shook his head. “Fari you’re an idiot!” he muttered. “Anyway, Dad says Celeborn sent Elrohir to follow Fari and Goldi through the mountains, to make sure they got through safely.” Theo read some more, then cringed. “Apparently, they’re heading to Lake Town to get married, so that Diamond can’t keep them apart.” He handed the letter to Frodo. “If he’d just stuck around for a week, he wouldn’t have had to do this!” He shook his head. “Tooks!”
“What’s wrong with Tooks?” Ari asked, coming out from the kitchen with a plate piled high with food.
Theo frowned. “Your idiot brother is a prime example.”
Ari grinned. “Which one? I’ve got four, you know.”
“Guess,” muttered Theo. He took the letter back from Frodo. “Let’s go in the parlor. Ivy and your mum need to hear all this.”
“Help! I need some help here!”
Fari ran out of his room at the cry that echoed down the Smial’s hallway. Uncle Sam was in the entrance hall, carrying the limp body of his dad.
Aunt Pearl reached him first, giving a strangled moan at the sight.
“He’s alive,” Sam said. “But he’s bad off.”
They hurried down the hallway to his father’s room. Fari followed behind them, but a hand grabbed his shoulder and held him back.
“Come with me, Fari-lad,” Uncle Reg said. They stepped back to let Aunt Vinca and Aunt Nel rush past.
“I want to see Dad,” Fari said, trying to shrug off Uncle Reg’s hold. But Uncle Reg wouldn’t let him go and Fari found himself being lifted into strong arms.
“You let your Aunts take care of your Dad. We’ll just get in the way.” He tweaked Fari’s nose. “How about if we go find some cake in the kitchen.”
Reg carried him down the hallway and they passed his mother. She was laughing.
“He’s dead!” Diamond laughed. “Dead and gone, and it’s his own fault for drinking too much.”
“No!” Fari cried. “He’s not! He’s not! He wouldn’t leave me!” But now he was standing in the cold graveyard and they were putting the box holding his father’s body into the ground, like they did with Aunt Estella. But that wasn’t right, because Aunt Estella was standing with Uncle Merry and they were crying. And Ivy was there, too, but it was Ivy when she was young, before she went to Gondor. Wasn’t she supposed to be in Gondor now? She was on her knees in the snow next to the dark hole and she was weeping. “I’m all alone!” she sobbed.
“You’re not alone, Ivy,” Fari said, kneeling in the snow next to her. “You’ve got me and Bori and...” His voice trailed off when she looked up at him. It was a grown up Ivy who was looking at him now and she was shaking her head at him. “They won’t be born, Fari,” she said. “Your father left us.”
Fari was angry then, that he’d lost his brothers and sisters, too, because his dad...
“I won’t leave you, Ivy,” he said and he tried to go to her, but a hand held him back. He looked up, expecting to see Uncle Reg, but it was Diamond.
“Ivy’s not your mother,” she sneered. “I am.”
“Don’t touch me!” he yelled, trying to squirm away, trying to reach Ivy. “Ivy’s my mother!” But the grip tightened, fingers digging into his shoulder.
“But she’s not, dear Faramir,” she said in the sickly sweet voice. “She didn’t marry your father. Because your father drank himself to death. Because he didn’t care about you.” She laughed again. “He left you, Fari.”
“No!” he screamed. The hand was still on his shoulder and he knocked it away, rolling away from the touch. “Don’t touch me!”
He scrambled backwards, his back hitting something hard. He looked around wildly for a moment, confused, trying to figure out why there was suddenly so much bare rock in the Shire.
“Fari?” the voice said again, softer this time. He turned his head away, squeezing his eyes shut. He didn’t want to see Diamond. He wanted her to go away and leave him alone. He didn’t want her to take him away from his dad. But his dad was dead, wasn’t he? His dad had died and left him.
“Fari?” A gentle touch on his knee. “It’s me. It’s Goldi.”
Goldi? He turned to look at her. She was on her knees, leaning forward to touch him. She looked frightened. Fari blinked and then he remembered. They were in the Misty Mountains. They were going to Lake Town to get married. And his dad--and all of his brothers and sisters--were alive. He sagged against the rock, heart pounding, drenched in sweat. It had only been a dream.
“Do you want to tell me about it?” Goldi asked. She crawled over to sit next to him and he pulled her close, embracing her tightly. He didn’t know what to say to her, so he just held her.
They stayed like that for a while, then Goldi pulled back to look at him. “That was the worst one so far. You’ve been kicking in your sleep a lot,” she said. She ran her fingers through his curls, her touch soothing him. “Do you always have those dreams?”
He shook his head. “They’ve only started since--” He took a deep breath. “Since she showed up. I hadn’t had any in a long time, not since before Dad married Ivy.” She took his hand and the words finally came to him. “They’re a lot like the dreams that I had when I was little, but some things have changed. Aunt Estella’s in them, but now I know she’s supposed to be dead. And Ivy...Ivy wasn’t in them before, but she is now.” He took another deep breath and squeezed his eyes shut. “I dream that my dad died of the pneumonia when I was five.”
“Oh, Fari.” Gold squeezed his hand and leaned close, laying her head on his shoulder.
“The dream starts out just as it really happened, when your father had found Dad and brought him home. But then after Uncle Reg picks me up, it’s different. I don’t remember seeing Diamond when it really happened, but she’s there in the dream and she says Dad is dead. And I tell her he’s not, but then we’re at the funeral, only now Ivy’s there and she’s crying...” Fari paused for a moment, trying to push away the image of Ivy weeping over the grave of his father. “And now I know that my brothers and sisters won’t be born, because Dad died.” He felt that pang of anger again, that he’d come close to losing his siblings as well. “And Diamond’s always there, laughing at me, because Dad left me.” He hugged Goldi close then, needing to touch her. “Don’t ever leave me, Goldi,” he said, his hands clutching at the back of her dress.
“I’m not going to leave you, Fari,” she said. “Not ever.”
“I love you,” he whispered and kissed her deeply. He slid his hands to her sides, then up to caress her breasts. “I want you,” he murmured against her mouth.
“Fari, wait.” She pulled back and grabbed his hands. Her face was flushed. “I don’t think it’s a good time for that. You’re awful upset.”
He shook his head and pulled his hands from hers. He started loosening her bodice. He needed her, had to feel close to her, had to know she was his. “Please, Goldi. I need you.”
She sighed. “Fari...” She gasped when he slipped his hand into her chemise and over the smooth skin of her breast. He leaned in to kiss her again, but she moved away, pulling his hand away. “No, Fari. Not right now.” She tugged her chemise up.
He hugged his knees to his chest, utterly rejected. He just wanted her to know how much he loved her.
She finished tying her bodice and pulled her cloak closed around. “So why do you think you dream that your dad died?”
He scowled. “I don’t know. Because of Diamond, I guess.”
“But it’s not really about Diamond. It’s about your dad dying, Fari. And--”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he muttered. “If you don’t want to be with me, fine! I’ll go back to sleep.” He crawled away from her, over to his blanket. He lay down and pulled his cloak around him, his back to her.
He heard her get up and come over to him. She lay down next to him and looked at him for a moment, her brows furrowed in concern. “I’m just worried about you,” she said. She scooted closer and kissed him. “I love you.”
He nodded and lifted his cloak, inviting her in. She cuddled next to him and rested her head on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured to her.
“There’s nothing for you to be sorry for, Fari,” she said soothingly. “Nothing at all.”
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.