14. Prepare a Table
Prepare a Table ("You prepare a table before me...")
"No, no—" said Merry, shaking his head and coughing a little. He took another sip and cleared his throat. "You cannot serve pork with anything but apples, Faramir, and soft sweet ones at that."
"I beg pardon for such a mistake," said Faramir, his voice with a rare creaking warmth. "What other counsel can you offer?"
"Listen to your steward," said Merry, his old white head nodding. "That is, I believe, why you have him."
Faramir shook his head. "Alas, Master Meriadoc, but not in this matter. As his father was before, Astafon is too frugal to plan a banquet." He sighed, and looked west to where the sun would be setting in but a few hours. "Nay, I always had another organize these."
Merry was inwardly cursing himself, as even his own memories flashed images of a fair princess of Ithilien who was now forever gone. "Well, that is what hobbits are for, eh?" he said with a gruff tone. "For when men fail in matters of food and drink."
"Of course, my good friend," said Faramir. "Now tell me, shall it be Rohirric ale?"
The hobbit's face wrinkled with disgust, and Faramir let loose a small smile before they continued planning the feast.
A/N: Tolkien says that Merry and Pippin went to Gondor after Eomer died, which I imagine is a year before the death of Eowyn, and as shown in my story "The Gift of Men", Merry lives with Faramir and Eowyn. This is the last of the fics centered around Eowyn's death...this fic took a sad turn that I wasn't expecting it to.