Divided we fall -by Cunien

Hellooo! This is the next big story I''m going to try and tackle after Lament ( which I have to say I was very chuffed about, what with all the reviews and positive comments. So thanks incredibly muchas to anyone who did R n' R that one!).

This one is going to be along the same lines, but will hopefully veer off them by about the third chapter! Please stick around, cos I'm going to try and do something a little different here!

(Oh and by the way I know the title isn't very imaginative. All my energy has been sapped from spending a day writing an essay on The Bell Jar' and The Yellow Wallpaper'. bleh.

Summary:
On Caradhras, the Fellowship stumble into a little trouble when they come to realise the true meaning of the phrase United we stand, divided we fall.' Lot's of flashbacks, and Merry and Pippin!

Disclaimer: I ain't done nuffin gov'nor! I don't own anything, no one can prove anything, and they wouldn't dare sue me after all the money I've spent on anything even remotely Tolkien!


Chapter 1- Snowball fights.


Don't be so silly now, Pip. It's freezing - let's go inside.

There was no answer.

Come on Pippin! My feet are getting cold!

Silence, except for the barely perceptible hiss of falling snow.

Everyone is sorry. They want you to come back in.

Pippin couldn't think of anything clever to say in reply to this outright lie, so he just went , and stuck his little nose, red with cold, into the air with a great show of indignation.

He had decided that he wouldn't come back inside, ever. Everyone treated him like a baby, and he certainly wasn't one! Just because he was only 12 didn't mean that he was stupid!

I'm tired of everyone pat ... patronagizing me.
You mean patronising' you-
That's what I said! Pat ... you're doing it now Merry!!!

The little hobbit heard Merry sigh, and then some shuffling, but he refused to turn around to see what he was doing. After a few minutes of silence though, Pippin was sure Merry had gone back inside, which annoyed him greatly.

Well, that just showed how much Merry really wanted him to come back inside, didn't it!?! How dare he give up so easily!?!

Pippin stood up, clenched his fists and stamped his foot in anger. What was the point in refusing to come back inside when no one had even noticed, or cared about his refusal?

He was just about to turn around when he felt something cold and hard hit him in the back of the head, knocking him flat on his face with a little scream.

Pippin could hear Merry chuckling away. He believed himself to be rather a connoisseur of snowballs, much to the annoyance of Pippin (who was normally on the receiving end of one of Merry's well-made projectiles).

Pippin was just so angry at the whole world, (including his absolute favouritist cousin) at that moment, that he didn't feel like getting up at all, so he just lay face-down in the snow, enjoying the feel of it melting beneath his warm breath.

All that Merry could see though, was his youngest cousin, who had always been rather small and fragile, lying unmoving in the snow.

He stood there for a few moments, the grin slipping from his face when he saw no movement from Pippin.

he squeaked in fright, after he had overcome the initial shock. He scrambling over to his cousin, slipping around in the snow. Merry grabbed him and turned him over roughly, unable to think of anything but that Pippin must have hit his head on a rock concealed in the snow, and was unconscious.

Merry!Merry you're hurting me! yelled Pippin, trying to bat his cousin away.

Merry, realising that Pippin was conscious and quite alright, sat back in the snow and tried to stop shaking.

What's the matter Merry?! asked Pippin, confused. His only reply was a sharp slap around the head.

Ow! What was that for!
You had me frightened to death, you silly goose! I thought I'd killed you!

Pippin surveyed Merry, now covered from head to foot in snow like himself, and dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Merry, your snowballs aren't that good you know!

Merry could do nothing but laugh.


*
For some reason, Merry couldn't stop thinking about that one day. It was so long ago now that it was practically lost in a hazy blizzard of snowy days spent with Pippin.

And to think I used to jump with joy every time it snowed in the Shire! huffed Merry miserably. He and the other hobbits were finding it difficult to make their way through the drifting snow. On even, flat ground it would have been hard enough, but on the steep slopes of Caradhras it was becoming an impossibility. Pippin was finding it especially hard going, as he was small even for a hobbit, and his usual bright spirits seemed to have been blown away by the blizzard. He had even stopped complaining, which Merry found a little unnerving.

Up ahead, they could just make out the faint figures of Boromir and Aragorn, clearing a path. The problem was that the snow was falling so quickly that it soon began to cover any opening made through it just minutes before.

Gandalf, they cannot go on like this much longer. Each time one of them falls they take longer to rise again. shouted Gimli, who was walking rearguard with the old Wizard.

Yes, yes. We shall have to stop soon I think.

Gimli grunted at Gandalf's reply, as he had been saying the same thing for hours now. But, sure enough, around the next bend was a small overhang relatively clear of snow, and it was here that they found the rest of the Fellowship taking shelter. It was likely this was the only place for miles that they would find room for them all to rest.

You can jump for joy now Merry, if you can sum up the energy. said Frodo when Gandalf had decreed that they rest for the night. He tried to smile, but his face was so wet and cold that it was difficult to move, and so it resulted in a sort of cross between a grimace and a smirk. Merry however, was too preoccupied with trying to get some feeling back in his numb nose by
rubbing it vigourously, and so didn't notice.

Their makeshift shelter was a natural overhang in the rock, from which the snow had frozen and created a curtain of sorts. A large snow drift had built up at it's base and had grown until it almost met the overhang, forming a small tunnel-like space. It was large enough to accommodate the entire fellowship, (including Bill the pony) and was successful in blocking out most of the driving snow. The only danger was that the blizzard could block up the tunnel, but Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir and Gimli took their turn at clearing the opening at either end every half an hour or so.

Once inside, and after the initial misery when Gandalf declared it still unsafe to start a fire, the hobbit had huddled together to conserve warmth and to talk quietly. After a while, a drowsiness descended on the company. Merry felt exhausted and desperately wanted to get some sleep, but he had positioned himself between Sam, (who was snoring gently now) and Pippin, who kept coughing and waking Merry up as soon as he had begun to drift off.

He was mumbling sleepily to Pippin to put his hand over his mouth when he coughed, when he felt the weight of his cousin being lifted off him, and opened his eyes to see Aragorn lifting him up and trying to set him on his feet.

That's quite a cough you have there Pippin. Can you stand up for me Pippin?

Merry was wondering why Aragorn was talking to Pippin in such a patronising way (Or patronagizing' as Pippin would say), when he realised with a start that the younger hobbit really couldn't stand up without the man's help.

He sat up with a start, jerking Sam awake, who in turn woke Frodo, who had buried his head in Sam's shoulder.

What's the matter Pip? Aragorn? Merry asked, concerned.

But Aragorn just ignored him and kept on trying to make Pippin stand by himself.

Merry didn't like the look of worry on the man's face, nor the way Pippin's head was lolling around.

Alright ... alright. mumbled Pippin, trying to support himself without leaning into Aragorn. But as soon as he managed to stand properly he was wracked with another bout of phlegmy coughs.

He's shaking. frowned Boromir, coming to kneel over beside Aragorn.

We're all shaking. mumbled Sam, eyes closed and half awake.

Ignoring this comment, Aragorn felt Pippin's temperature on his brow.
He's burning up. he said, as he picked up the hobbit and sat down with him in his lap.

Merry, are there any spare blankets? asked Boromir.
Merry got up, and in his search for blankets stood on Sam, who was just beginning to drift off again. He found a spare one beside Frodo, and handed that to Boromir, along with his own blanket. Merry watched as Aragorn wrapped Pippin up, but he could still see the little blanketed bundle shaking in the Ranger's arms. He turned around and whipped Sam's blanket off him, and gave that to them too.

said Sam in surprise. You just won't let me sleep will you!

snapped Merry, Pippin needs it more than you!

What's the matter? asked Frodo groggily.

Pippin may be a little bit ill. Aragorn said in answer, but he exchanged a look with Boromir which worried the other hobbits.

Come over here, Merry. Boromir said placing a hand on Merry's shoulder and leading him further towards the entrance and away from Pippin and Aragorn.

It looks like Pippin may have pneumonia. Has he ever had it before? Boromir asked in a hushed voice. Merry knew then that he was trying not to frighten Pippin, which only made Merry all the more afraid.

Y ... Yes. Merry said, though he couldn't take his eyes off the little coughing bundle that was shivering in Aragorn's lap. He was just a lad. He still is just a lad. I was young too, and the adults wouldn't tell me much, but I think it was quite serious.

Well, let us not worry too much yet. It's very likely that he will be fine. Pneumonia is very rarely lethal.

Merry's eyes widened at this, and Boromir realised, too late, that his words may have caused more harm than good.


*

Come on Pippin - I mean it now. It feels like my feet will fall off if I stay out in this snow for much longer!

What ever do you mean, Merry?! It's lovely out here! I'm not cold at all.

Hmm. Well that won't work because I can see you shivering Pip.

I am not!

Yes you are.

Am not.

But Merry had already stood up and was walking away, so Pippin had no choice but to run after him, protesting all the time that he really wasn't all that cold.

*
TBC...

Not much yet but it will get more exciting! Brownie's promise! I will also love you for ever and ever amen if you read and review?!
If not, well, Pippin may not recover from his little illness.......
The ball's in your court! Mwa ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa...ahem....x.x.x.