A/N: What should I be doing? Writing character profiles for the Tempest. What am I doing? Writing this. Think yourself lucky that I'm so stupid and unorganised.

Enjoy!

Observations of a Sister

Pervinca Took peered into the living room where her brother sat, outlined in his chair by the light from the fire. The smial was dark and everyone was in bed, she herself was in her nightgown. She crept into the room a little further.

"Pippin?" she called quietly, she wasn't sure if her brother had fallen asleep in front of the fire or if he was thinking. Pippin's form jumped and he turned sharply to look at her.

"What is it?" he snapped. Vinca was startled by her brother's abrupt reply, he never used to snap so. Perhaps he was just tired. It had been a very long day.

"I was just wondering if you were planning on going to bed a all tonight. You've been sitting here for an awful long time. What have you been doing? Thinking? It's not like you to think. At all!" Vinca was relieved to see a smile grace her brother's face.

"Well, I wouldn't say it was particularly in character for you to positively beg to sleep in the same room as me. I seem to remember you complaining whenever you were 'unfairly forced' to share a room with me."

"It's different this time isn't it? I've not seen you for a year, I used to live with you day after day. And I never complained!" Vinca and Pippin fell into the age-old routine of a bickering brother and sister.

"Just because I was ten, doesn't mean I can't remember anything! You quite plainly went moaning to mum because dad had done something you didn't like,"

"Yes, well... Are you coming to bed or not?" Pippin's grin widened as he stood up, grabbing the last from a plate of biscuits. That was more the Pippin she knew. He bowed formally and with minimum smiling,

"I will join you shortly. First, I must change from the clothes that I use as my day-wear into-"

"Yes, yes. You need to get ready for bed, no need to use any outlandish ways to explain that to me!"

"I have been in outlandish places, how could I not pick up outlandish ways?" Vinca suppressed a yawn.

"Just get to bed, you!" she said. Pippin chuckled cheekily as he walked past her and out of the room towards the bathroom. Vinca smiled and turned towards the bedroom. It was Pippin's bedroom.

This bedroom had been empty for over a year, emptier than the smial seemed without her brother's noisy presence. The door had always been closed and Vinca had missed being able to peer into the room at Pippin's mess, knowing that if anyone was worse than her at keeping their room clean, it was Pippin. Walking past that shut door everyday had just been a reminder that her brother had run off into unknown danger. A lot of it as well, if what Fatty had said was to be believed. Tears came to Vinca's eyes just thinking about the quiet nights of worrying over her baby brother.

But her brother was back, albeit taller and not quite the same. This was why Vinca had asked to sleep in the same room. She wanted to make sure he was back and, more importantly, make sure he wouldn't run off again.

A second bed had been moved into the room and Vinca was just settling into it as Pippin came into the room.

"That was quick," she remarked.

"Speed is of the essence!" said Pippin, folding his clothes away.

"It is? Why?"

"I don't know, it just seems to have been lately." Pippin climbed into bed at long last and tucked his blanket in all around him. That was something new, Vinca knew well from experience that Pippin often threw the blanket off altogether. Or perhaps he didn't anymore.

"Night night," started Pippin,

"Sleep tight," continued Vinca,

"Mind the bed bugs don't bite,"

"See you in the morning."

Both hobbits dropped off to sleep quickly. Vinca's dreams were less troubled than they had been as of late. For her, everything was back just the way it should be.

For Pippin though, it would be a long time before everything was right again. The dreams, whether he remembered them or not, weren't always the most cheerful of dreams. This is what woke Vinca for the first time that night. A small whimper.

Vinca turned over to look to where Pippin lay. A quiet moan. Vinca hadn't a clue what he was dreaming about but before she could do anything she heard a soft sigh and the room lapsed back into silence. She strained her eyes to see Pippin's face but it was too dark so she contented herself with imagining that he was smiling and before long she was back asleep.

The second interruption of her sleep was an hour or so later. A long stream of swearing worked itself into her dream, it was a very odd thing to hear an apple pie say. She awoke to find it not the voice of a pie, but the voice of her brother. The last word uttered was very harsh and certainly didn't seem like a word that would come up in conversation too often. Indeed, Vinca had never heard anything like the word before, though it brought to mind the ruffians that had occupied the Shire up until no more than two days earlier.

"What's the matter?" She croaked. Having only just woken up, her voice wasn't up to its usual standard.

"Stubbed my toe," answered Pippin simply.

"Where did you learn language like that?"

"I picked it up on the plains of Rohan,"

"Is it something the people of Rohan say then?"

"Not exactly,"

"What are you doing up at such an unearthly hour of the night?"

"Morning," corrected Pippin,

"Morning, night, no difference. Why are you up and about?"

"I'm looking for a candle so I can read," said Pippin, continuing his search.

"Pippin, there's one next to your bed." Pippin turned and looked at Vinca, or at least, she assumed that was what she did.

"Why does no one tell me these things?" he sighed as he shuffled carefully back towards his bed.

"There's always a candle beside your bed! This room's hardly been touched since you left you know,"

"It most certainly has," said Pippin as he climbed back into bed, "I never left it in such a good condition. There were at least three apple cores lying about, a good number of clothes and who knows what in the corners!" Pippin lit the candle, giving something for Vinca's eyes to focus on at last, rather than just her ears. "Now where's my book?"

"You shouldn't be reading anyway! Go to sleep!"

"I can't!"

"Why not? What's troubling you?"

"Nothing is, I just tend to wake up in the middle of the night,"

"Why?"

"I don't know, at first I thought it was because this was when I usually had my watch but then it just stuck," there was a silence. Then Vinca started giggling.

"They let you watch?" another short burst of giggling, "Who in their right mind would let you watch? You need to be able to concentrate to be on watch!"

"I can concentrate!" said Pippin indignantly.

"The last time I saw you concentrate, you were trying to wrangle another slice of pie out of mother."

"I see why you asked to sleep in here now," said Pippin, pointing an accusing finger, "You just wanted to be able to insult me in the middle of the night!"

"It's your fault I'm awake Pippin!" she took this opportunity to yawn, "If it weren't for you, I'd be sound asleep,"

"If it weren't for me you'd be in your own room,"

"If it weren't for you I would've had a worm-free childhood,"

"If it weren't for me your memories would be far less interesting,"

"If it weren't for you my memories would be far less traumatising,"

"If it weren't for me more people would be dead." Said Pippin quietly. He then promptly opened his book (having found it under his bed) and started reading,

"Really?" asked Vinca.

"Really what?"

"Would more people really be dead?"

"Well, perhaps one more person... maybe two,"

"Did you actually save someone's life?" Vinca was now looking at her brother's uncomfortable face in awe.

"Gandalf was the one that really saved him, I didn't do that much."

"But Gandalf wouldn't have saved him without you?"

"No. But someone else might've,"

"O Pippin! Stop being humble! You saved a man's life! Who's this second person?"

"What second person?" Pippin was now regretting saying anything. No doubt Vinca would fuss and ruffle his hair or something equally unbearable.

"You said 'maybe two', who's this 'maybe two' person?"

"He might not've died if I wasn't there, just be-"

"Pippin! Just tell me what you did."

"I killed a troll," said Pippin under his breath.

"You did what?"

"I killed a troll," mumbled Pippin again.

"You killed a troll?" shouted Vinca.

"Keep your voice down and yes I did. It's not much compared to what everyone else did though,"

"I don't care what everyone else did, everyone else is not my brother!" Vinca grinned at the ceiling, "My brother killed a troll!" She giggled but then gasped, "Have you told Pimpernel yet?"

"No I haven't, now go to sleep." Vinca's grin grew wider; not only had her brother killed a troll but she knew something her sister didn't. Pimpernel was an expert at picking up all the gossip, she seemed to know some things before they even happened.

Vinca went back to sleep a very happy hobbit.

The third interruption of her sleep was some while later when it was light but still no time for a respectable hobbit to be up and about. It was at this point that Vinca realised Pippin was leaving the room.

"Where are you going?"

"If you must know, to get washed and dressed and then have a pipe."

"All right," she said, closing her half-open eye without the energy to argue that getting washed and dressed at six in the morning was quite ridiculous.

She dropped off to sleep very quickly, completely unused to such an interrupted and short span of actual unconsciousness.

The fourth and final time she awoke, it was not the doings of her brother but her nose. She could smell the most delicious breakfast of eggs and bacon. She couldn't stay in bed while that was being cooked so she was up and out of bed in no time.

On her way out of the room with her dressing gown half on she bumped into Pippin. Pippin smiled at her,

"I was just coming to get you," he said.

"You should know better than to have to come and get me when there's a breakfast like that cooking!"

"Yes, I suppose I should but I've not been around many hobbits lately."

"We'll soon fix that!" Pippin smiled but became serious quickly afterwards.

"I wasn't too horrid to sleep with was I?" he asked,

"Yes," replied Vinca "But you're my brother and I'd do anything for you,"

"Good, because I've already done everything for you and mum and dad and Pimpernel and Pearl and the rest of the Shire," said Pippin with a sly grin.

"Yes you have, killed a troll! My little Pippin killed a troll!" she gave Pippin a sloppy great kiss on the cheek and ruffled his hair. Pippin batted her away, as was the expected reaction. "Thank you, Pippin." She said most sincerely with an equally sincere kiss.

"It's nothing Vinca, not when it's for everything you've ever known and loved."

-FIN-