Pippin was sitting, at his regular table in the 'Green Dragon'. His half pint of ale before him, strangely untouched. It had been three days, no word or sound from Merry. He was starting to wonder what had happened. As strange as that sounded, Frodo Baggins couldn't leave him be.

"Pippin!" Frodo cried. "Where have you been, I'd thought you'd be flirting with that girl you like…her name escapes but..."

"What do you want Frodo?" Pippin asked, with enough venom to scare a rattle snake.

"Well I thought you'd like to know Merry is back. I saw him about three o'clock, looked quite distressed actually."

"What!?" Pippin choked, though he had not been drinking. "He is….back! Why didn't you tell me?" Pippin screeched, rising from his seat. Staring at Frodo with a face that could melt lead.

"I wasn't really in the mood earlier." Frodo told him calmly.

Pippin smacked Frodo hard in the face.

"You bloody idiot!"

Pippin ran from the pub as fast as his hairy feet would carry him. 'Merry where are you?' Pippin thought, as he dodged past a startled pig.

Soon though he came across Merry's home, but to his surprise and dismay, they were packing up Merry's things into a large cart.

Pippin dashed into the house.

"Merry?" he screamed.

"What?" a disgruntled voice returned.

Pippin ran towards the voice, it lead him to Merry's room, he went in to see his friend dressed in a strange assortment of clothing.

"Merry? What the hell are you wearing?" Pippin asked still startled by his friend's ridiculous get up.

"Pippin?" The disgruntled Merry asked. "Who let you in here?"

"What? What is that supposed to mean? How about 'hi Pippin, sorry I've been gone for three days but I'm back now etc.' Not bloody 'who let you in here?'"

Merry walked up to Pippin and handed him a large bag of money.

"Here, now go I'm very busy." Merry said turning.

Pippin threw the bag at Merry's head, knocking him over.

"What the bloody hell is going on? When do you become such a prat?

Merry stood up and wiped his clothes. Pippin noticed something glint on one of his fingers. Pippin walked over carefully and grabbed Merry's arm.

"Merry where did you get this?" he cried, pulling at the ring.

"No where, let go you buffoon!" Merry cried, trying to pull his arm free from Pippin's grasp.

"No…!" Pippin shouted.

Pippin pulled with all his might, but the ring would not budge! Finally he let go, exhaustion ripping at his whole body.

Merry on the other hand looked calm, as if he hadn't been fighting at all.

"Oh dear Peregrin you seem to be in a spot of bother. I'm sure I can find some kind gentlemen to help you out." Merry answered, his voice lathered in malice.

No more then an hour later, poor Pippin though all ready exhausted to his limits, was battered and bruised. He did not understand what had happened to his dear friend, but knew he would not be able to find out alone.