A/N: I'm having a go at a different type of story here, that being a little happier.

Some background info: Bilbo has been very busy the past few years and has not had time to visit the Tooks. The last time he saw Pippin, Pippin was just a babe and he doesn't remember Bilbo one jot. This is my interpretation of their first meeting (first as far as Pippin is concerned).

'Merry!' my aunt called to me from the kitchen. I rushed in there, as I knew she was busy cooking, trying to get the roast dinner perfected before uncle Bilbo arrived. 'Go get your cousin will you? He's around somewhere.' Pippin was often around somewhere. Once he became detached from his mother he'd wander anywhere. You could set him down facing in any direction, give him a push and he'd carry on walking until he ran out of energy, like a clockwork toy.

I walked out of the steamy kitchen and called Pip's name, but Pippin didn't always want to be found. He'd not always hide but he'd definitely not make any effort to reply. It looked like he was in one of these moods again.

I searched high and low in the hole. In my room, his room, the living room, my aunt and uncle's room and even up the chimney. He'd once escaped for half an hour up there, which may not seem long to you and I, but to a three year old, that certainly takes a lot of patience.

I finally found him outside in the garden, throwing stones at a tree. Thrush, a new furry addition to the Took household was curled at his feet.

'Come on now Pip.' I said, 'What's the matter?' Pip always threw stones at a tree when he was annoyed, when he'd first started throwing he'd used the people around him as targets but he realised that he would quickly become very unpopular and now used trees.

'I want to go out.' He said in his high pitched childish voice. He was used to having freedom but today he had to stay home to meet Bilbo, it would be the first time they'd met each other, other than when Pippin was a small baby. It should be a happy time but when Pippin was in one of his moods not much would cheer him up, he was so stubborn!

'You know you can't go out,' I said to him, 'So come inside and get cleaned up.'

'Don't want to get cleaned up. I want to go for a walk!'

'We can go with Bilbo once we've had dinner. Now stop being so stubborn and get inside!' Pippin giggled his sweet little giggle and looked up at me.

'You sound like daddy.' He said smiling cheekily up at me.

'Yes,' I said, 'And you know what your father does when you don't listen to him.' Pippin threw another stone at the tree and then angled his head to look up at me with a look that said "you wouldn't dare" and I raised my eyebrow to say, "you want to find out?"

'I want to see Frodo.' Said Pippin, returning to his throwing and changing the course of the conversation.

'You know Frodo's ill.' I said to him.

'Well if he's ill, then why can Bilbo come here when he should be looking after Frodo! He can't look after Frodo and come and see me at the same time.'

'So is this why you don't want to see Bilbo?' Pippin was becoming quite the little thrower, he'd have a strong arm when he grew up.

'Well, well, maybe.' Said Pippin a little lost for words for once. 'Not just that though,' he admitted, 'he's faced dragons and trolls and things and he's been burnt all over and he's got scars everywhere and his teeth are rotting and, and he spits when he talks.'

"Hold up there Pip, where did you get all this from?' I asked. He got as far as 'Fat-' before he clamped his hand over his mouth and wouldn't say anything more. He'd already said too much though and he knew it.

'How many times have I told you not to believe everything you hear? Especially not from Fatty. He's just winding you up.'

'When was the last time you saw him?'

'A month ago, at most.'

'He might've changed since then.'

'Look here Pippin, he looks after Frodo and Frodo loves him so he can't be all that bad can he? Give him a chance, even if he is all scarred and burnt black by dragon fire.'

'But he's not looking after Frodo, Frodo's ill.'

'Frodo's 26 Pip, he's perfectly able to look after himself, even if he is ill. And anyway, he's getting better.'

Pippin glanced at me, to make sure my face was straight, to see that I was telling the truth. He may only have been four, but his ability to see through my lies was quite unnerving.

'Alright then.' he said after a moment's thought. And he took my hand and I led him into the hole.

TBC