Characters: Denethor, Finduilas
Disclaimer:Not mine, merely borrowed.
Author's Note: For the Luncheon/Nuncheon challenge: Three drabbles, related only by the fact that 1) they have something to do with expectant Finduilas and Denethor; 2) I couldn't be bothered to think up catchier titles for each of them.
The First Three
Each morning he held her hair back as she retched, then wiped her face, ashamed at the relief he felt when her maidservant finally arrived with the dry rusks and tea that were all she could choke down.
By nuncheon she usually felt a bit better, and could manage soup or custard. His meal was sent up on the tray as well. Afterwards, he would read to her until she slept, then return to his office and the mundane tasks that kept him from going mad with worry.
Surely, our child will be worth this, he thought. He must be.
The Second Five
Then, like the spring flowers, she bloomed.
No more dry rusks and tea - she called instead for eggs, bacon, toast; the kitchen staff danced for joy. Mid-day he would join her at the table he’d set up in the garden: cold chicken, fruit and cheese, roasted almonds, goat's milk. Merrily as magpies they’d chatter: news, gossip, boy's names, girl's names, hopes and dreams. Once she discovered that he’d played the lute, there was nothing for it but for him to sing to her.
Later, he looked back on those days and nearly wept at the sweetness of those memories.
The Last One
Late summer; the city sweltered. In the midday heat she craved only sweet melon and lemon water, until one day –
"Oysters," she whispered.
"Smoked?" he asked hopefully. She shook her head. He sighed.
They made a great contest of it, capturing the city’s imagination: a sack of gemstones and pearls to whoever could deliver Dol Amroth oysters first and freshest. 'Twas a scruffy vagabond, a pirate (or so some said) who won the race. To Lord Denethor’s amazement, he turned down the prize. "Ever at my lady's service", he murmured; bowed and slipped away before anyone could catch his name.
"My Lady wants oysters? – He sent his swiftest ships with barrels and ice to keep them sweet till they be brought to her. And what did she do? Smelt them! Not one did she eat; just had them opened that she might inhale the scent of the ocean, she said." From "The Sky Wept Diamonds" by Elen Kortirion (kortirion)