A short, silly ficlet written for Baylor's birthday.  Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER:  Of course. The characters don't belong to me, I just get to think about them day and night.

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Can You Sing, Master Hobbit?

"What do you mean, you're not coming home with us?" Merry gasped in disbelief.

Pippin folded his arms in front of his chest, looking pleased.  "Faramir's offered me a recording contract."

"What's that?" Frodo asked.

"You won't believe it, Frodo," Pippin said excitedly.  "Here in the south, you can get paid to sing!  Paid a lot!  I get my own house, entourage, everything!"

"When did you learn about words like 'entourage'?" Merry asked worriedly.

"Pip, you can't stay here," Frodo cajoled.  "Don't you want to see your parents again?  The Shire?"

"They never appreciated my gift," Pip said haughtily.  "Gondor will treat me like royalty."  He suddenly looked Frodo up and down, and grinned.  "Stay here with me, Frodo!  You sing pretty well -- you can be my cute backup singer and get all the leftover girls and food and such."

"Do you think so?"

"Mr. Frodo!" Sam gasped.  "You're not thinkin' of stayin' here with Mr. Pippin?"

"How about it, Sam?" Frodo turned to his loyal friend.  "You stay, too!  Be our bodyguard and keep the groupies away.  But not too far away."

"Well, if you lot are staying, I am too," Merry sighed.  "Someone will have to manage the money and tour dates.  Groupies, you say?"

"Great!" Pippin cried.  "But if you're staying, you have to wear these."  He passed out t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Pippin's Posse" in glitter.

Frodo held his at arm's length and examined the wording critically.

"Is this the name of your group?"

"No," Pippin replied.  "At first I wanted to use "Queen" -- you know, to honor Lady Arwen.  And then I thought of "Sting" -- but, well, I never got to use Sting, so it didn't seem right."  He thought hard.  "How about "Prince"?  Short for 'Prince of the Halflings'?"

"Don't worry, Mr. Pippin," Sam said encouragingly.  "You'll think of something good eventually."

"Off with you now, lads," Pippin yawned.  "I have to go rest my voice, have lunch, and then a nap.  Being a musical genius is hard work, you know."

"Come on, Sam," Frodo said.  "Let's go practice our autographs."  He motioned to the pretty girls on the street who were already eyeing their glittery shirts.  "Aren't you glad Bilbo taught you your letters?"

"I surely am, Mr. Frodo!" Sam grinned.  "I surely am."