Chapter 1

Merry and Pippin lay huddled together in the cold, damp cell that they occupied at Isengard. They had arrived five long days earlier, and had since then been subject to Saruman's wrath that they did not carry the ring. Their clothes had been taken from them to be searched, and had then been returned to them. The two hobbits had been whipped and tortured by the men and orcs in Saruman's service. In the beginning, they had lived in constant terror of death, but even in the short time that had past they had come to long for death to fall upon them. They spent the little time they had alone huddled in each others arms, trying to comfort each other, but secretly wishing that the suffering would end.

Merry looked around the cell for what seemed to be the thousandth time, searching for some weakness in the wall. Pippin was sleeping, and Merry was reluctant to wake him, the younger hobbit had been getting beaten and tortured much worse than Merry had been, and had few moments for rest. Merry shifted himself slightly, trying to get into a more comfortable position, but he was chained to a wall, and chains were not long enough to allow either hobbit to move freely. Merry gave up and leaned against the cold wall. He ran through his memories of what had happened since that fateful day when their Fellowship had broken, and Boromir had fallen. Merry shuddered at the memory of Boromir leaning up against a tree with those three arrows protruding from his chest, causing Pippin to whimper in pain, and instead tried to think about the other members of the Fellowship and what they would be doing. Where would they be? Merry tried to recall a map that he had been shown back at Rivendell, and where the remaining members of the Fellowship should be at this stage, but he was left vague, as he couldn't remember where the Fellowship had been going to go after Parth Galen. Pippin stirred weakly beside Merry as a loud thud was heard from the stone corridor outside the cell.

"What time is it, Merry?" he asked his voice croaky.

"I'm not sure, it should be about mid morning again, but it's difficult to tell." Merry whispered, looking at his young companion. Pippins youthful face was much thinner that it had ever been before, and their were bags underneath his eyes. Merry smiled, trying to reassure Pippin.

"It will be alright Pippin, you'll see. We'll be saved, I promise."

"By who? Aragorn and the others will have gone with Frodo and Sam, if they survived the attack. Our situation is much better than their's"

"Have faith in our friends, Pippin" Merry told him, raising Pippin's chin slightly, "They are alive; I can feel it, Frodo and Sam too. We'll see first hand what Saruman's reaction to his Master's downfall will be, because we'll be alive to see that too, and then the others will come, upon Sauron's destruction."

"That really isn't all that reassuring, Merry" Pippin grinned weakly, before beginning to cough. Merry inwardly frowned. He suspected that during Pippin's last beating, his friend had sustained a broken rib, and he feared greatly for Pippins life. When Pippin's coughing had subsided, Merry looked over his cousin's battered body, some of which was covered with the ripped remains of the smaller Hobbit's clothing. He could see deep welts that had been left there by the whips of Saruman's men and Orcs, as well as dark fist and boot shaped bruises that decorated the Hobbits abdomen, back, and torso. Merry shook his head, tears sliding down his face.

"Pip, I'm so sorry, I should never have let you get hurt like this." He whispered. Pippin shook his head.

"It's not your fault, it's mine. I should never have left Rivendell, Lord Elrond said that much, but I insisted on coming. Poor Gandalf was the first to pay the price, then Boromir. It's my fault they both died," tears were sliding down Pippins face now, "Gandalf was right, I'm a 'Fool of a Took', and I went and got us caught, it's my fault, Merry." Pippin sobbed and leaned his head back against his wall, while Merry shook his head.

"No, Pippin, that's not true. You're not a 'Fool of a Took,' you are my friend, and It's not your fault that any of this happened"

"Merry, can you state any one occasion where I did something good for the Fellowship?" Pippin asked, his face serious, though tears still trickled from his eyes.

"I can recall many occasions where you did something good for the Fellowship. You were there to help us laugh. You made us laugh when we were at our lowest points. You were the heart and spirit of the Fellowship. You took our minds of what needed to be done, and I can tell you that what you did, it meant more to Frodo than a whole lot of other things." Merry told Pippin, tears running his face once more. Pippin sobbed.

"Merry, don't try to weigh me down with honors. I don't deserve it"

"What? Pippin, you do deserve it!"

"STOP IT," Pippin yelled with surprising force, "Merry, I'm dying. One of the Orcs scratched me with a dagger, and I think it was poisoned. I need to prepare for this. I'm going to die" Pippin whispered the last sentence, while Merry's jaw hung open.

"Pippin, your, oh no" he gasped and fresh tears ran down his face. The door of the cell opened, revealing a small, sallow faced man. Merry recognized him as Grima Wormtongue, an aid of Saruman's. A large, Southern looking men, similar to Bill Ferny's friend in Bree, and many others they had seen in Isengard, entered the cell behind him and unchained Pippin. Pippin weakly struggled, but it was no use. Merry could only watch as his best friend was carried out of the cell and the door boomed shut.

A.N. Ohhh, cliffe! I really didn't intend on making Pippin so depressed in this fic, but that's just the way it turned out. Please Review