Summary: A hungover Frodo attempts to piece together the happenings of the previous night.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, legally or otherwise. Do you? Can I buy them? I have $10 Canadian and some gum... All the toys will be put back in the box once I am finished.
WARNINGS: Alcohol abuse, cow tipping and mild language. There is really only one line of slash in this story, so feel free to ignore the One Line (to slash them all!)
An Eventful Party
by Fairy Laughing
"And I say way-hey-hey,
It's just an ordinary day,
It's all your state of mind.
At the end of the day,
You just have to say,
It's alright, it's alright... it's al-right!"
From "Ordinary Day" by Great Big Sea
Morning light filtered through the circular window that faced east. It washed across the floor and the furniture, draping the cozy little room in a sheet of molten gold. It fell on the child-sized furniture, knot-work rug and glossy wood floor. In this light the shadows of leaves falling outside passed. The room went dark for a moment, as a wayward cloud obscured the sun, and then the light came back with renewed force. This light was unfortunately bright, and it had chosen to pry maliciously at the eyelids of the room's only unsuspecting occupant.
Frodo had been sleeping, and he had been quite happy asleep. But that accursed light would not let him alone, and so, though slowly, he awoke. For whether it comes quickly or slowly, after a night on the town, one must eventually wake up and meet their hangover. Presently Frodo was becoming very well acquainted with his hangover, in particular the pounding headache. It felt as if there were dwarves mining Mithril in his head, or as if someone where pounding on his door... pounding... pounding... his eyes flew open.
Why, there was someone at his door!
Groaning, Frodo forced himself to sit up and stumbled to the door, trying to blink the haze away. It felt as someone had replaced his brain overnight with porridge and his joints with sticks."'Ello." Frodo said. And then he realized that he was greeting the inside of his linen closet.
With another, louder groan Frodo finished stumbling down the hall until he came to what he was sure was the door. If he had known what was good for him, he would not have opened that door. But alas, poor Frodo suspected nothing and his muddled head was not functioning very well at all. So, with deceptive innocence, the door swung open to reveal a very angry looking, very large (for a hobbit, mind you) farmer.
"Mister. Bracegirdle, good morrow to you." He paused, blinking wearily and noting the red face. "What brings you here so early?"
"It is well past noon," Mister Bracegirdle replied curtly, and then went on to raise his voice, "And would'you believe what I found this mornin', Master Baggins. My cows, Buttercup and Spot... some horrid dolt tipped them right over while they's were sleepin' last night. And I haven't been able to find Nanny, my goat, anywhere this mornin'."
"Oh my!", Frodo attempted to sound interested, but it probably came out more like vaguely amused.
"I asked about, an' I heard that you an' your cousins had been seen near my fields in the wee hours, but I know that'yah would never do such a thing, gentle hobbit that you are, isn't that right, Master Baggins?" Farmer Bracegirlde leered at Frodo.
"Of course not." Frodo said, forcing himself to use an indignant tone, which honestly just came off as cranky.
The bigger, older hobbit squinted down at him, "Yah look a mite pale... are you ill?"
"Oh, no. I was out last night celebrating my birthday with my cousins and probably drank a bit much."
"But you didn' tip my cows or steal my goat?" The elder hobbit asked, his beady eyes narrowing suspiciously.
"I think that I would most certainly remember if I had." Frodo grumbled, by now thoroughly irate. It was bad enough that he had a hangover, but to be accused of a crime that he did not commit, so early in the morning was absurd.
Farmer Bracegirdle muttered something incoherent, looking around and squinting. "Would you know who did it then? Yer young cousins perhaps?"
"Merry and Pippin? I highly doubt that. And besides them, am sorry, but I don't have the faintest idea." Frodo bristled, "Now if you'll excuse me, I do have a few things to be doing right now, thank you."
Like clamouring back to bed and out of the damnable morning light!
With that, Frodo closed his door, not slamming it for lack of energy. He leant against it and sighed. So he probably had tipped the cows, if he had been in the area at least. But last night for him was still a blur, and there could be no saying for certain. It probably had been Pippin's idea, now that he thought about it. With a sigh he heaved himself up from the floor and staggered towards the kitchen to put on some tea and find something to eat. Maybe something light, Frodo mused; like crumpets with honey, a few hard-boiled eggs, three slices of fresh, buttered toast and some fried bacon and onions. (Well, light for a hobbit.) He had barely gotten the kettle on the big, black wood-stove and the eggs on to boil, when Frodo heard a loud banging on his kitchen window. Looking up, he gave a gasp.
Why was Pippin pounding on his window? There was a perfectly functional door. Sighing he unlatched the window with the intent of speaking with his cousin. He did not intend to have Pippin squeeze through the rather small, circular window and land directly on him. On the other hand, Pippin had certainly intended that, and therefore did so with flourish.
"Pippin?" He muttered, dragging himself out from beneath the frantic hobbit.
Pippin looked as if he had not slept at all the previous night, and there was a wild, hungover look about him; his green eyes widened like those of a frightened rabbit, his hair uncombed and the clothes from their prior drinking binge rumpled and dirtied. He stood up and his gaze darted about, at last resting on the pantry room door, which he dashed into and latched with speed Frodo, in his state, could not follow.
Frodo heard Pippin's ragged panting and knocked politely on the pantry door, cursing the latch he had put in there for when Sam came in to 'help cook supper' or 'take a break from gardening'.
"Are you going to tell me why you're hiding my pantry Pip?"
"He's out to get me an' Merry."
"Let me guess," Frodo drawled. "Did he declare that you tipped his cows and stole his goat?"
There was silence.
"Which you did, perhaps, while we were drunk last night, correct?"
"Can I stay here until he goes away?" Pippin whined pitifully. "Please Frodo, you were there too..."
"I don't know... harbouring criminals..."
"I'll treat you to a drink later?"
Frodo turned green at this suggestion; he did not want to even think about consuming alcohol, in any form, at this point.
At his silence, Pippin suggested something else. "Dinner... fresh roasted chicken stuffed with mushrooms and I'll cook it for you."
"With your special cream sauce?"
"Of course! I know how much you love it."
"Then you may stay."
"Thank you so much. You're my favourestest hobbit-cousin, Have I ever told you that? Why, just yesterday I was talking to Merry, and you know what I said? I said that Frodo, he's one fine hobbit, why I bet he cou—"
"Are you going to come out of my pantry any time soon?"
"Suit yourself. But hand me a loaf of bread, okay? Shelf to your right." Quietly Pippin handed Frodo the loaf, hiding behind the door as he did so, and helping himself to some also on the shelf.
"Where's the cheese?"
"To your left, top shelf. Want a knife?"
"Naw, I can break it apart myself."
Frodo then heard the disturbing sound of what could only be someone pounding a block of cheese against his pantry door... his good, pickled cheese if he wasn't mistaken. Sighing, he continued about the kitchen making his brunch while humming 'The Road Goes Ever On' to himself. His pantry giggled, and then snorted, and then let out a most unrestrained laugh. Frodo paused in confusion, and stared at the door, not knowing if he wanted to know.
Unfortunately his curiosity got the better of him and he asked, "Pippin, what is it that you find so amusing?"
"Last night you were singin' that song an' dancin' on the table."
"I see..." Well, dancing on tables was normal behaviour for drunkards.
"An' you were, uhm, disrobing while doing it..."
"Pardon?" Frodo cried. Moaning, he wondered just how drunk had he been? How had he been talked into drinking in the first place? Well, it had been his birthday.
Before Frodo could further question Pippin, another knock came from the door. Could a hobbit not prepare his brunch in peace? Sighing he went to answer the door, finding a frantic Merry standing on the stoop. Merry looked a little better than Pippin, for the sake of having a night of sleep, but was even more frightened than Pippin had been.
"Merry?" Frodo asked softly.
"I-need-to-stay-here-an-hide." Without a second look at Frodo, Merry rushed in and dashed down his hallway, feed thudding all the way down, to the guest rooms where a door slammed.
Frodo closed the front door and rubbed his head; confused and feeling ill from the drink, he was not certain that he wanted to know, especially if he had been drunk enough to undress on a table while singing 'The Road Goes Ever On'.
Almost immediately after closing the door, Frodo heard another knock and he opened it, glaring at whomever was standing there. But the hobbit standing there was fuming just as much as he was, more even. Sam was pissed off, and with reason. Angrily he flung a note written on the back of a book page to Frodo and waited for him to read it.
Frodo squinted at the text, attempting to read it despite his throbbing eyes. At last he managed to make it out, and it read as follows:
i borrowed your rack to go fisheng, and will give it back lattar
Looking back up to Sam hazily, Frodo asked, "Merry took your rack?"
"My rake." Sam glowered, "The cotton-brained ninny took my rake, and I need it this time of year!"
"Would it make any difference if he took it some other time?"
"That's not the principal of it Mister Frodo." Sam said, with utmost seriousness. "He took it without asking my permission."
"Well," Frodo ventured, "Why are you asking me where he is?" Better to ask Merry what had happened to the rake, in case he'd been involved with the situation as well. Maybe Merry could tell him just what had happened the night before.
"We saw him come by this way."
"Maybe he is out hiding in the orchards. You know that he can climb those trees, and he's probably out eating the fruit."
"If you say so Mister Frodo." Sam said; he hadn't known that Merry could climb... that had always been Pippin's thing.
Sam left and Frodo closed the door, again, sighing, again. This time he locked the door, and went on to find Merry. While he had thought that Merry was in a room, he had actually dashed into the kitchen and soon Frodo found him and Pippin eating his food and drinking his tea. Frodo huffed and grabbed himself some toast and sat across from his cousins. For several minutes the only sound was that of three gorging hobbits. Eventually this died down, and they started to converse between bites.
"So Merry, what'd you do with Sam's rake anyway?"
Merry looked shifty eyed, and then admitted. "We went fishin' with it."
"Fishing?" Frodo asked
"With a rake?" Pippin echoed.
Merry nodded, looking shamefaced. "Some one had said that the catch was really being raked in this time of year.
"Maybe we were drunker than we thought." Pippin voiced quietly.
All three hobbits nodded solemnly, each vowing not to do what they had done while drunk ever again (though they had well forgot about that by the time Yule rolled around.)
"Say, I saw a goat in your garden Frodo. Did you get one?"
"I don't remember doing that... nor anything else we did last night."
"Frodo," Pippin asked. "Don' you remember anythin' about Lobelia?"
"No," He paused. "Why, should I?"
"Well—"Merry was about to answer when there came yet another knock at the door.
Frodo sat up. "Just a moment."
"No!" Pippin cried, his eyes going wide.
"I won't let Farmer Bracegirdle or Sam know where you two are, don't worry. But I really should answer it in case it's someone important. Gandalf said that he might stop by, and I'd rather not upset a wizard like him."
But Pippin's eyes remained wide, and he and Merry exchanged worried glances. They knew who that could be.
Muted yells came from down the hall.
A sharp whacking sound was heard, something akin to an umbrella coming in contact with someone's head, and then a heavy THUD as Frodo hit the floor Merry and Pippin came running. With a swishing of skirts Lobelia stalked off leaving one unconscious hobbit in her wake.
Merry grabbed Frodo under the arms, and Pippin lifted his ankles so that they could drag him to his bed and set him on it.
"Last night I tried to tell him that smoochin' Lobelia was a bad idea, but would he listen, nooooo," Pippin commented. "Frodo had drunk so much that even Lobelia was lookin' appealin'. In fact, I think I remember him trying to smooch the barkeep too... and declarin' his love for everyone."
"And if I remember correctly, it was you who dared him to kiss Lobelia."
"I did no such thing!" Pippin declared.
"Well, we know that either way he'll have to wake up sometime."
"How soon'll that be though?" Though lapsed into silence.
"Let's get something to eat." Merry proposed.
"Good idea." Pippin agreed.
Yet, as their luck would have it, the two hobbits didn't even make it out of the room and to the kitchen before the pounding on Frodo's door announced the presence of another guest. Merry and Pippin looked to each other, their eyes wide.
Merry looked back to Frodo, who was still obliviously unconscious. They could refuse to answer the door, but what if it was Gandalf? Surely Gandalf would know that they were within, and invoking a wizard's wrath tends to be a bad idea. Even Pippin knew this.
So, armed with an end table, walking stick and some toast (food for courage) the brave (feel free to snicker here) hobbit duo walked towards the door, wielding their weapons at their sides. Pippin tried to balance his staff and toast, eventually stuffing the toast into his mouth and opening the door with his free hand. They jumped back and held out their weapons. There stood Farmer Bracegirdle and Sam, both red in the face, apparently fuming with anger. Between them stood a goat, a bit of red flora sticking out of her mouth.
"You tipped mah' cows and stole mah' goat!" Farmer Bracegirdle bellowed at Pippin.
"You stole my rake and let a goat eat my babies – er - prized begonias!" Sam nearly punched Merry, he was so angry about his precious begonias.
"We did not!" They both cried in unison, and turned tail to run back into the pantry and locked the door behind themselves. Farmer Bracegirdle continued pounding on the door, and it wasn't long before Sam came returned with an axe.
The following scene is censored.
"How did the goat get here anyway?" Sam asked later on, once he had gotten the door open and finished his verbal lashing. Merry, having apologized and promised certain favours to make amends, was in the process of fixing the door as his first task.
"We tried to ride the cows an the goat home, but they didn't wanta' move." Merry explained, earning him some very odd looks. "This one took quite a shining to Frodo..."
And so it came to pass that Merry and Pippin spent the rest of the day, and the next few days, replanting begonias, helping on the Bracegirdles' farm and repairing the pantry door.
Frodo, despite being extremely achy for the next few days got off easy because it had been his birthday and everyone knew that he had been talked into it...
Lobelia was asking after him and they were nice enough to pretend that he didn't exist. Pressing Lobelia upon him was just a little too much punishment. Granted, he did wake up to a goat eating his floral bedspread and drooling in his hair, but, well, it could have been worse.