A/N: Well, this is the end. The first chapter LotR fic that I've ever finished, and I have to say that I'm proud of it. This is my first fic to break thirty reviews, let alone over a hundred, lol! I hope you all enjoy the ending very much, like I enjoyed your reviews.
Chapter 13: Dawn is breaking
That...light...hurt! Why didn't someone turn it off? That would make it so much easier to open his eyes! Voices were buzzing in his ears, and it was rather annoying when you already have a headache to have lots of little noises you can't quite comprehend.
"...Nothing more you can do?"
"He'll...just needs rest." Gandalf? Had he heard Gandalf? Breathing heavily, and cursing in his mind, he forced his eyes open. He was in a bright open room, somewhere he'd never been before. His head and chest hurt. Actually, now that he thought about it, everything hurt! With a soft groan he turned his head toward the light, and blinked painfully. His father was standing by his side, one hand in his own, talking to someone in the chair next to him. That someone had a tall pointy hat, a long staff, and flowing gray robes.
"Gandalf?" He choked in a whisper. Talking hurt! Both Saradoc and Gandalf turned to him, both with looks of mild surprise.
"Merry!" Saradoc yelled, and looked as those he was about to burst into tears, a thought that rather alarmed Merry. His Papa never cried!
"I'm alright Papa, really." He gave his father a weak smile. Saradoc grabbed his left hand and rubbed it against his own cheek.
"Merry, I love you. More than anything in the world." Warmth spread over his whole body, and the smile he gave his dad then was a whole hearted one.
"I know, Papa."
"You really scared me!" Saradoc kissed his son's bandaged forehead. "Promise me you'll never do that to me again!"
"I promise, Papa. Really, I do." Saradoc smiled at him lovingly, and gave his son's left hand one more squeeze.
"I'm going to go get your Mammy. She's been worried sick about you!"
"Mammy?" Merry's eyes lit up, and he tried to sit up but that hurt too much so he just looked at them. "She's here? She's okay?" Saradoc nodded.
"I'll explain, Saradoc," Gandalf smiled at the hobbit gently, "you go look after you're wife." Saradoc nodded, appreciatively, let go of Merry's hand and left the room. Merry tried to struggle up to his elbows, but Gandalf lay a gentle hand on his shoulder and pushed him back down again.
"To much movement will reopen those wounds, Meriadoc." Merry blinked at the old wizard in surprise.
"Gandalf what happened? How'd I get here? I thought that I had..." Merry didn't finish, but he didn't need to. Gandalf looked at him, with twinkling blue eyes.
"So did everyone else. You're father and some others found you naught a half hour after it seemed your spirit had parted from this world. They brought you here to the Great Smails and were very surprised to see me and Bilbo standing there."
"What were you doing there? Or is it here?"
"It's here. And I was just on my way to see the poor old fellow, when he came charging down the road looking very distraught. Seems that young Peregrin's sisters showed up on Bilbo's doorstep, and explained that you had run away from them. He remembered what one of his cousin's had said yesterday about wolves, and ran to go find him because he thought no one else would. We'd only just gotten to the Smails, when your father showed up with you in his arms." Gandalf took out his pipe, and lit it, before continuing. "At first glance we thought that you had been killed by that wolf, but then we realized that you were breathing faintly! I worked quickly, and bandaged the worst of your wounds. I also set your arm. The whole time Peregrin was running around my feet in a panic."
"Pippin..." Merry whispered, and looked at the wizard urgently. "Is he alright? That wolf never did manage to hurt him, did it?" Gandalf smiled at him.
"No. Thanks to you, little Pippin remains physically unharmed. And it seems that you're bravery has stopped this war entirely, Meriadoc."
"Bravery, sir? I'm not brave! I..."
"Simply stood up to a full grown wolf that could have snapped you in half without much trouble?" Gandalf motioned to Merry's bandaged chest with his pipe. "The mark is a good four inches wide and very deep. According to Pippin, that wolf was bigger than you."
"Yes, it was." Merry said in surprise, as if just realizing it.
"Paladin has made an official order as Thain," Gandalf gave him a warm smile, "no one is allowed to beat a Brandybuck simply because of their name anymore. He said he can't do anything about what they might say, but he wishes he could."
"No, that's fine!" Merry gasped in delight. This was something he had not thought about. "So all is forgiven then?"
"Yes, it is. Because of you're courage."
"This means I can see..." Something small flew into the room, climbed onto the bed, and had buried its face in his side before Merry managed to finish his sentence. "Pippin!"
"Merry I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean for you to get hurt, and I never hated you Merry! I'm really really sorry!" Merry smiled, and hugged Pippin gently with his left arm, and kissed the soft brown curls.
"I know Pippin, and I'm sorry I ever doubted you."
"You almost died because of me, Merry!"
"No," Merry whispered soothingly, "I almost died because I love you." Pippin hugged him gently, very much aware of the bandages around his cousin's chest.
"I love you too, Merry! You're my very best friend in the whole wide world!"
"And you're mine too, Pippers."
"And we'll always be friends forever, won't we?"
"Yeah, forever!" Both laughed, and looked over at Gandalf when he cleared his throat.
"What is it Gandalf?"
"Merry, did any of the wolf's blood get into your cuts when you killed it?" Merry blinked, fighting to remember.
"Yes...I think so. Why Gandalf?"
"Oh, no reason." Merry shrugged at Pippin, who shook his head back. Suddenly a clear tenor voice rang throughout the Smails.
"MERIADOC BRANDYBUCK I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" Both young hobbits' eyes widened. Frodo had been told.
End A/N: I hope you all loved this story as much as I did! *grins* I hope you all are looking forward to my upcoming attractions, Ohana and More Naar.
More Naar will explain why Gandalf wanted to know about the wolf blood, don't worry ;). Bye all!