|Frodo's Bane and Pippin's Stomach
Author: Analyn 100 PM
Pippin blames himself for Frodo's wounding at Weathertop because he thought more about his stomach than his cousin's saftey. Book&Movie-based (No slash, sex, or profanity)Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Peregrin T. & Frodo B. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 33,489 - Reviews: 110 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-14-05 - Published: 06-15-03 - id: 1383112
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Eleven: Windows to the Ring-bearer's Soul
Setting: Middle of Nowhere; October 13, 1418 (six days from Weathertop)
The first ray of light shone through the trees and warmed the confused face of a lost and bewildered Took.
"Lost again, are we?" a hoarse voice croaked next to him.
Pippin shifted his weight to support his weak cousin, who had stubbornly insisted he had rested enough for the night. The fact that they were facing the sun told him that he had turned the right way, so then where was the pony? "No, Frodo, we aren't lost. But it would seem as though Bill is. I'm certain I tethered him right here. And I was right, theirs is rope." Pippin sighed and looked at the rope on the ground when he heard no response from his companion. "So what do we do? Just wait here? Frodo?"
"No." Pippin turned around to find that Look in Frodo's eyes, that stubborn Baggins determination and he knew what was coming. "I have to get to Rivendell. Something's happening to me. I don't know what it is. But Strider thinks the Elves can help and they can't help if we sit here, and who knows when the others will find us. They know our goal! We'll meet up there. We're wasting time waiting for them."
Pippin nodded. He knew his cousin had the right of it, but that still didn't chase away the knot and butterflies in his stomach. Pippin knew from the start that it was pointless, but he could not keep silent. "Frodo, this is madness! You can't walk all that way, you'll wear yourself out!"
"I have to and I will!" was the predicted reply. The hobbit in question turned his back to his cousin and began walking with his head held high and a painful grimace spreading across is face. "Frodo, where are you going?"
"To Rivendell, of course. Silly little Took!"
"No, you are not. That way will take you back to the Shire. Rivendell is to the east and you have the rising sun to your back!"
Frodo stopped in his tracks. "Are you sure?" Pippin had been told all his life that staring was impolite, but at this moment he couldn't help it. He walked cautiously toward his cousin, hoping that this was all a stupid joke. But as Frodo hadn't been in good humor as of late, that was not likely to be the case. "Frodo, how many fingers am I holding up?"
"Three," Frodo answered correctly. Pippin sighed in relief. "Well, at least you aren't blind." But he wasn't entirely convinced. Frodo was staring straight at the sun, oblivious to the bright rays shining on his face. Anyone with a working pair of eyes would have been squinting or at best, shielding their eyes with a hand. But Frodo was doing neither, and did not look bothered at all. Then Pippin got an idea. He bent down and picked a flower off a near-by bush. "Frodo, what color is this flower?"
Frodo frowned at him, puzzled by the question. "White, of course."
Pippin swallowed and gaped, glancing frantically between his cousin and they yellow rose in his hand. Something was definitely wrong. "Come on!" He hoisted his pack on his shoulders and took a firm hold of his cousin's hand. "We're getting you to Rivendell straightaway!" Frodo made no effort to breakaway from his cousin. He was rather surprised that Pippin had relented to continue on the journey without their companions, so quickly. Even more puzzling was the fact that he could hear Pippin's stomach grumbling, but he had not even taken some breakfast from his pack.
In the meantime, their handy Ranger studied the earth while Merry and Sam kept their eyes open and alert for anything abnormal that might lead them to their lost companions. But they had no such luck as of yet. But Strider insisted that their plan was foolproof. They would simply follow the pony's hoof-prints back to where Pippin had tied him up. With any luck they would find Frodo and Pippin still sleeping behind a bush or in a log or something. If not, well, it had not rained in several hours so it was likely that hobbit footprints would be relatively unobstructed. They were fortunate, indeed, that their pursuers had very little in the way of eyesight. "Well, this is the end of the line," Merry mumbled hopelessly. They had reached a tree and at the base of it was Bill's abandoned lead rope. Merry bent down and picked it up.
"That's where you're wrong, Meriadoc," the Ranger amended. "Their tracks go off in this direction. Let's go." Merry couldn't help but roll his eyes, trying to remind himself why they had brought the Ranger along in the first place. It wasn't as though they couldn't track footprints on their own. But upon recalling Weathertop, he quickly remembered. If not for Strider and his flaming torches, they would all have been killed that night. He ran around the front of the pony, over to where Aragorn was surveying the dirt, or rather, the mud. "Strider, you never told us how you came by those torches that night!"
Strider looked up for a second at the small figure crouched in front of him. "As if an intelligent young hobbit like yourself, didn't know."
Merry frowned, not knowing whether he should take that as a compliment or an insult. He only shrugged his shoulders, for lack of a better response. "I could be wrong." The Ranger smiled at the hobbit's quick recovery. He had thought it was plain enough, but apparently it was not so obvious to one who was not a Wanderer such as he. "If you must know, Master Hobbit, the four of you left your supplies on the ledge before you ran up into the dell. I merely grabbed some large sticks from the forest floor when I saw the smoke form your small fire. I feared what had happened and ran up the hill and then used your matches. Simple enough, is it not?"
Merry felt the blood rise to his face in embarrassment. The Ranger's keen eyes certainly saw this, but he was gracious enough to make no comment as he returned to his little investigation.
It just made no sense. He had been wounded with a sword blade, not a foul poison. He knew the risks of infection, but if that be the case he would feel the onset of a fever and the site of the wound would be red and swollen. As it was, that was not the case. It had healed over nicely with a faint white scare. That was another thing, why white? Wounds were supposed to heal a lighter shade of pink than the rest of the skin, not white as the first winter's snow. From the speed he was moving at and the urgency in his voice, Pippin had at least some of the answers that he sought. But Frodo decided to keep his silence, deciding that in cases where nothing could be done at the present moment to remedy the situation, ignorance was bliss. There was nothing they could do, other than to alleviate the pain with athelas every so often. True healing would come in the form of Elvish medicine only when they reached the haven of Rivendell. Just the thought of a painless night, propelled Frodo's feet onward, hoping that every step they took would lead them one step closer to their goal.
Pippin knew he would have to be deaf not to hear the sighs, groans and occasional sobs from behind him, but he chose to ignore them to the best of his ability. He knew that Frodo often tried to conceal his pain, not wanting to burden or worry his friends. Frodo had to know that such a thing was impossible in his current situation and he also (undoubtedly) knew that there was nothing to be done to alleviate the pain at the present moment. They had some athelas, yes, but most of the supply had been on the pony and they and they had to use it sparingly, or they would run out. He could possibly take his cousin in his arms and comfort him with lies and a warm embrace. That he promised to do, but not until Frodo was no longer able to even attempt concealing his pain. At which time, Pippin would suggest a break for food and then he would put to use every comforting trick he possessed when they were already taking a break. But they would press on towards their destination for as long as Frodo was able to. Time was too precious to waste in relaxation and food whenever the desire struck.
To Be Continued
Now, don't anyone say that I never update or that I've forgotten about this wonderful and not-so-little story. I've got I've got Writer's Block. This story will pick-up speed once I work out some plot problems. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter in the meantime. Hopefully I'll figure out something out soon. If you have any suggestions, my new email (yes, I've recently changed it, it's now arwenbaggins88yahoo