This fic is set around four years after Frodo and Bilbo sailed off to the west with the Elves and Gandalf, but I have also slightly tweaked the timeline so a very important little character can be introduced as well ^^
I hope you enjoy reading it!
The sun rose high and warm into the blue sky of the Shire, nestling neatly into the thick puffs of white cloud that dotted the sky around Hobbiton.
It was now high summer in the world of the Hobbits, and everyone was busy doing their part; some of the Hobbit's where harvesting the grain needed for the winter, others where picking the ripe fruits off the trees, and lots more where in their gardens and vegetable patches, sowing the seeds needed for the next year.
Peregrin Took was doing none of these things, however. He was more content with sitting under the biggest tree he could find with a book and a leather pouch of the finest Pipeweed he could lay his hands to.
It wasn't that he was lazy-on the contrary, he could work with the best of them; it just wasn't in his nature. He liked watching the others work, maybe giving them a hand if they need it, but mostly he was the more laid-back of the Hobbits.
'Hey, do you want to help with this fruit picking any time soon?' Merry called over. Pippin had managed to find a tree that had already been picked, and what also happened to be placed right in the middle of the orchard, where he could watch Merry and Sam pick the other trees.
It was now four years since Frodo had sailed off into the West with the elves and Bilbo, and while Pippin thought none of them would ever really get over his loss, they had started to get relatively back to normal. Life still went on, no matter what happens in it.
'Once I finished this chapter I will-it's getting interesting now!' he called back with a grin, nodding his head at his cousin's sweaty face.
'The book will still be there when we finish-come on, we could all do with a rest, but first we need to do this!' Merry argued, putting his hands on his hips.
Pippin sighed dramatically and shut his book. It was time he did some work anyway, he figured.
'Well, since you asked so kindly...' he said, picking up some gloves on the way to his friends.
'You finally got him up?' Sam teased as Pippin got into picking-place next to him.
'Ha ha, very funny-give me a leg up here would you Sam?' Pippin asked, trying to reach up to a particularly juicy looking red apple.
Before Sam could do anything, however, all three of the Hobbits heard the sound of hooves coming down the road next to the orchard.
Pippin gave the others a questioning look. No horses had been down here in a while...who could it be?
'I'll go and have a peek, shall I?' he asked, and without another word he bounded off to the entrance of the orchard, leaving Merry and Sam looking on after him.
Pippin cautiously looked around to the road, not quite knowing what he was expecting. No one had bothered the shire for some years now; it was unusual to see anything other than another Hobbit these days.
'Whoa...' he heard a man's voice say, low and calm, to his horse.
He would recognise that voice anywhere...
'Faramir?' he asked, stepping out fully onto the path of the horse, stopping it in its tracks.
The man riding it looked down and smiled broadly down at the Hobbit.
'Pippin? Is that you?' he asked, before getting off his horse.
'It is you! What are you doing down here?' Pippin asked, grinning ear to ear.
'I was passing, and thought I would drop by, see how you all where...' Faramir smiled, overjoyed to see his old friend.
'Why would you do that?' Pippin asked, still unable to take the smile off his face. It had been so long since he had seen anyone of the old days.
'Well, it was actually King Aragorn who requested that I came down, just to see how you where getting on and things-I am pleased to see you, you know.' He said seriously.
'And I you Faramir' Pippin smiled, before he turned quickly back to the orchard.
'Merry and Sam would love to see you!' he said, before grabbing on to the end of Faramir's tunic and pulling him to the entrance.
'What about my horse?' Faramir asked, looking back at his black steed as it stood out in the road.
'Don't worry, it can't go anywhere...' Pippin replied, and he continued to drag the Prince of Ithilien into the orchard and into the shade of the apple trees.
Faramir watched with faint amusement as the faces of Merry and Sam changed. At first they had expressions of confusion, but in mere seconds it had flashed between shock and surprise, to a look of happiness that shone on their faces.
'Faramir!' Sam called faintly. He remembered his courage and 'quality' of letting Frodo and himself go on to Mordor when he had captured them before, and now he only had respect for the man.
'I see you are more than a gardener now!' Faramir replied, smiling at the baskets of apples around him.
'Well, since Mr Frodo's been gone, I don't have much gardening to do...' Sam said, sadness tingeing his voice.
Faramir bent and put a hand on his shoulder. 'I have heard about the departure of Frodo-do not worry, he is safe and well, just as my brother is.' He said kindly, squeezing his shoulder lightly.
'I know that sir, it's just... it's still hard, you know?'
'I do know-I am still grieving for Boromir, even after all these years.' Faramir said, before clearing his throat and smiling. 'I see I come at a bad time-you are surely busy with your harvest and crop collecting.' He said, looking around at the ripe fruit still hanging on the trees.
'Well, we would have been finished a while ago, if Pippin helped when he was asked.' Merry said, smiling at Pippin. He looked up and shrugged at Faramir, a slightly guilty look on his face.
'Well, I am here now-what say I help you? I could do the top branches while you all stick to the bottoms?' he ventured.
'Could you? That would help us a lot!' Sam smiled, hardly believing what he was hearing.
'I most certainly could-pass me a bucket, then I shall get started!' Faramir smiled.
Together they spent the rest of the hot afternoon picking the apples off the trees and stowing them in big wicker baskets. Faramir took the time he was picking to also look around the place.
It was much different to anything he had ever seen-everything was green, but not a bland colour; it was the deepest green he had ever seen, and it made him think of never-ending summer and good times.
Every now and then he would see another Hobbit poke their heads into the gaps in the bush that fenced the Orchard, and he had to keep stifling smiles as they looked at him with pure shock and darted back out.
When the sun was beginning to set, and the wicker baskets full to bursting, the Hobbits declared that it was now time to go home.
'Just leave the baskets there; they can be collected in the morning.' Sam said as he watched Faramir reach down to grab one.
'Oh, I wasn't going to pick it up-'he said. It was his turn to look guilty. He bent down again and picked up a ripe apple and rubbed it on the material on his arms.
'I was going to sample the wares of the Hobbits-can I?' He asked.
'Of course you can!' Sam grinned, shaking his head. 'What's ours is yours-you did a lot for the shire. We owe you our lives, really.' He said.
'Well, I don't know about that...' Faramir shrugged, taking a big bite out of his apple. It tasted delicious, sweet and firm.
'These are good...' he said, nodding at the Hobbits.
'Aren't men full of simple pleasures?' Pippin teased, nudging Merry, who laughed.
'Indeed we are, master Pippin.' Faramir grinned, walking over to them.
'What do you usually do now?' he asked. He was itching to see the rest of what the Hobbit's had to offer.
'Well I'm going home to see Rosie and my Daughter.' Sam said, feeling proud to say it.
'You have children? That's great news!' Faramir was slightly surprised, but happily so.
'I do, her name is Elanor, and she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.' He said even more proudly.
'I do not doubt that.' Faramir smiled.
'I'll be going to the Green Dragon this evening with Merry-why don't you join us?' Pippin asked, raising his eyebrows.
'Won't the rest of your people be worried about me coming in there? I will sit outside, if you want me to.' He said, walking with the Hobbit's to the path again, where his obedient horse was still waiting for him.
'They might be a little wary, but we shall explain when we get there.' Pippin said with a nod, and they began to walk down the path that led into the village again, making their way to the Pub.
They waved goodbye to Sam as he turned off at the next road, bound for his own home.
'It was nice seeing you again Faramir!' he called.
'And you Sam.' Faramir nodded back, waving at the Hobbit as he went on his way
'Well, if you're sure the rest of your folk won't mind...' he said. He did not want to interrupt the balance for these creatures.
'I am, now speak no more of it-you'll worry your poor horse!' Pippin said with a grin.
'I-why...never mind...' Faramir replied with a grin. He had always liked Pippin's peculiar humour, and he was just how he remembered him.
They reached the Green Dragon just as the moon came up, and Faramir could see that it was very full already. He could hear laughter and loud talking, and suddenly he felt, even in this place, a bit small and out of place.
'Relax...' Pippin said, nudging him into the door after Merry went in. 'We don't bite-much!'
The whole room fell silent when Faramir walked in.
He looked around, and nearly forty faces looked back. He cleared his throat and managed to smile.
'Hey everyone-look who we found wandering the Shire!' Pippin said, walking in behind him.
The room was still silent, the stony faces now turning into confused ones. Surely they would have known if they had seen someone like this before?
'This is Faramir, the Steward of Gondor-you know, big white place, high towers, nasty battles?' Pippin could see he wasn't getting anywhere.
'He's just popped in for while-then he'll be on his way, right?' he looked up at Faramir, who gave him an alarmed look.
'Uh, yes-just for while, no longer. I'm just passing through...' his voice tittled out.
Merry nudged Pippin. 'Maybe he should go outside.' Faramir heard him whisper.
'No, he's our guest-its cold outside...just go and sit in the corner, and I'll get you a drink!' he said to Faramir, who walked awkwardly in the silence to a table.
Merry came and sat beside him, smiling encouragingly.
'Are you friends always this...welcoming?' he asked, looking around again. The Hobbits had now gone back to their own businesses, only giving him furtive glances once or twice.
'Yes, we don't see much of the outside world nowadays-it's always a surprise when someone comes in.' Merry said.
They talked a little about what had happened in Gondor whilst Pippin got the drinks, and pretty soon the Hobbit was back, carrying three mugs of Ale in his hands.
'Sorry, we only have Hobbit mugs here...' he said as he gave Faramir his. Faramir chuckled as he tried to hook his hand into the handle of the mug-not even two fingers could fit.
'It's fine, really.' He smiled, and he drank a mouthful, only realising he had drunk the whole thing when he looked down again.
'Well I'm not buying them if you going to drink them like a fish!' Pippin said in a mock indignant voice, before laughing.
'It was very nice, a very fruity tasting ale.' Faramir complimented.
'Why do you think we have all these orchards?' Merry chuckled, before drinking.
While the hobbits where drinking they talked about a great deal of things, from the wellbeing of King Aragorn, to the adventures Faramir had been on since the war of the ring had ended.
'...Then, just before I was speared by the troll, I managed to roll off the rock, and his weapon smashed, and I was able to kill it as is stood there, wondering where the tip of it's spear was!' he finished, chuckling as Merry and Pippin burst into peals of laughter.
'Oh I miss the adventure of it all-you've brought it all back now...' Pippins grinned, wiping tears out of the corner of his eyes.
'Maybe one day I shall come to collect you, and you and I will go on an adventure together.' Faramir said, draining his sixth mug of Ale. They didn't seem to have any affect on him, but by the looks he was getting off the other Hobbits in the room, what he was drinking could have put one of them on the floor, drunk for a week.
'I should really be getting back to Diamond, she will be wondering where I've got to.' Pippin said, gulping down the last of his own ale.
'Diamond? You are married?' Faramir asked, standing up and tucking his chair in.
'Yes- and there's also someone I want you to meet before you go as well!' Pippin grinned, giving Merry a look.
'See you tomorrow then Pippin-I'll stay here and have another Ale.' Merry said, nodding at Faramir as they left the table and made their way outside.
As they were walking down the road Faramir caught sight of his horse again, and sighed. 'I was told only to check up on you. I shall ride for home after I meet your family, I am sorry.' He said, putting a hand on Pippin's shoulder.
'I wish you could stay longer, but I suppose it can't be helped.'
'I will be back another time, I am sure there is more to you and your people than untrusting neighbours and apples!' he chuckled.
'That there is, that there is...' Pippin nodded, smiling.
Soon they had reached Pippin's home. A light was on, and as they reached the path the large front door opened and a brown haired Hobbit marched out, hands on her hips.
'And where have you been? You said you wouldn't be long, and here you are after dark and-oh...' she trailed off as her eyes travelled upwards and met Faramir's.
He nodded politely. 'My name is Faramir, and I am sorry if I caused Pippin to be out longer than he should of. He was pointing me around the haunts of the Hobbits.' He said.
'I-that's ok...I was just worried about you. Come in, come in, both of you...I'll put on some tea.' She said, standing aside as they walked down the path. Pippin gave his wife a kiss on the cheek and went in, Faramir once again nodding at her as he ducked down to enter their home.
It was warm and colourful, with child's drawings tacked on the walls. The smell of cooking food wafted from a large pot in the kitchen.
'You have children too, Pippin?' he asked.
'Only one...he should still be up-it's a pain getting him to sleep in the summer, the heat won't let him drift off.' He said, before poking his head around each room, looking for his son.
'Boromir had the same trouble...' he said, looking down at Diamond, who had a confused look on her face. 'Oh, my brother-he was a light sleeper too.' He said.
'Oh I see, it is hard-please, sit down...' she ushered him into a seat in the large sitting room.
He sat surprisingly snugly into a large armchair, and he looked around. The room was large and welcoming, with many cushions scattered around the place, giving it a lovely lived-in feeling.
Seconds later, Pippin reappeared into the room, carrying a small Hobbit of about two years in his arms.
'Faramir, meet Faramir!' he said with a flourish, gently sitting the Hobbit child into the man's arms.
For a moment Faramir couldn't say anything; he sat, looking down at the small Hobbit, who looked in turn up at him, big brown eyes wide.
'You... named him Faramir?' he whispered, not wanting to upset him with his loud voice.
'After the bravest person I know, yes.' Pippin said proudly.
'I...I don't know what to say, really...' he said, now smiling down at little-Faramir, joy and pride settling in his chest.
'You don't need to say anything if you can't think of anything. You deserve some recognition; actually, that was probably why you got so many strange looks-they might've thought my son had turned into a giant Hobbit!' Pippin laughed, before turning and accepting the tea from Diamond.
'Looks like he might be sleepy tonight...' she said, smiling at Faramir, who was now dozing in big-Faramir's arms.
Faramir cuddled the little one closer, before reaching down into the small bag he kept in his belt and bringing out the small blanket he used to wrap around his face in the cold. He gently put it over the little Hobbit and tucked it in, rocking the child to help send him off to sleep.
'Your a natural...are we going to see any more little Faramir's popping up in the future?' Pippin smiled.
'I do not know...not yet at least.' Faramir said, thinking of Eowyn, who was helping her brother in Rohan at the moment.
'Maybe some day.' Pippin nodded, sitting down and watching his son sleep in his namesake's arms.
Faramir sat, looking into the embers of the fire, rocking the child in his arms.
After a while, however, he looked at Pippin, who himself was dozing slightly.
'Pippin? I am afraid that now I must go-I must be back in Gondor by noon tomorrow.' He said, before looking down at the sleeping Hobbit again, not really wanting to part with the slumbering little one.
He gently bent and kissed the forehead of little Faramir, making sure he didn't disturb him in the process, before looking up again.
Diamond stood up from where she had been sitting and gently scooped her son into her arms before carrying him out of the room and presumably into his own.
Pippin sighed and rubbed his eyes. 'So soon? Can't you stay another day?' he asked, standing up and stretching.
'I wish I could, really I do, but I cannot. I am sorry.' He said, looking apologetically down at the Hobbit.
'Say goodbye to Merry and Sam for me, I wish I could myself, but I must go.' He said, walking out into the corridor and meeting Diamond.
'I thank you for your hospitality, your tea was excellent!' he smiled.
'You're most welcome-anytime, as a matter of fact.' She replied, smiling fondly at him.
'Thank you.' He said sincerely, before making his way to the door and opening it to the cool night air.
He quickly walked and got his horse, which was nibbling at the hedgerows of the next house.
He turned back to see Pippin standing directly behind him.
'It was really good seeing you again; almost like old times.' He said, smiling up at him.
'Indeed it was, and I meant what I said-if you want, I will come and collect you, or we shall meet some place, and we can ride back to Gondor, or to another adventure.'
'I would, but alas I have a wife and child now-maybe when Faramir is older.' He said, smiling.
Faramir smiled at him, shaking his head fondly. 'I cannot thank you enough for what you have done-it is a great honour to be the namesake for your son.'
'Well, I can only hope he will grow up to live up to his name.' Pippin smiled.
'You are much too kind Master Hobbit...' Faramir smiled, climbing on his horse.
'We will meet again, some time-I will make sure of It.' he said, before turning his horse around.
' I am sure of it too-now go, otherwise you shall either be late back to Gondor, or Diamond shall rip you from your horse and take you inside; I think she has taken a shine to you!' he grinned, before turning around and making sure his wife wasn't in hearing distance.
'Then I think I should go!' Faramir teased, before making his horse walk forwards, and into the night.
'Goodbye my friend!' he called as he went round the corner, before he was out of sight completely, the sound of the horse's hooves the only way to tell he was still here.
'Goodbye Faramir...until next time.' Pippin whispered, watching his friend go, before turning back and walking into his house, smiling fondly at his wife as she passed.
He closed the door gently to the night and to his friend. He hoped he would see Faramir again-it was good to see someone from the old times again, just to remember.
Now he had to live in the present, and that suited him just fine.
I hope you enjoyed this story, and that it wasn't too long for you-I did wonder whether to make it two chapters, but I couldn't find anywhere to stop it, so I hope this was ok ^^
Thank you for reading!