A/N: So we finally worked up the courage to do a Lord of the Rings fanfic. Here's the deal with this one: There are fifty drabbles in each chapter. If anyone wants a drabble to be expanded on, write us in a review and we'll probably write it. If not...well, there may be expanded ones at the end. Happy reading! Happy 2010!
Merry and Pippin
And whither then? I cannot say. JRR Tolkien
When they're up on the mountain and all the rest of the Fellowship were worrying about getting into Moria without dying, Merry was worrying about Pippin, because he was so cold his lips and fingers were starting to turn blue.
Merry didn't have to go on the Quest. In fact, he was dead set against it, preferring the quiet, slow ways of the Shire. But Pippin was going, and he really didn't want to be anywhere Pippin wasn't, so he went, and though he regretted many things since then, he never regretted that.
Boromir didn't really agree with bringing the Halflings on the journey, but when he saw the youngest, Pippin, shivering on his side, Merry curled up close, both of them barely the length of his own legs…well, a man could go without a blanket for the night, if it meant those two would stop shaking.
Sometimes, Frodo would get a pang of jealousy in his chest, because though he and Pippin and Merry were all cousins, it seemed like the other two were closer to each other than they would ever be to him.
After walking for so long his legs were still twitching when he sat down, Merry was surprised and touched when Pippin tucked a chain of posies into his hair for good luck.
Snow came to the Shire rarely, so walking right into a huge pile of it was terrifying and exhilarating, and if it hadn't been for Pippin's wide smile and accurate aim, Merry didn't think he'd ever learn the exact purpose of a snowball.
Though Pippin was the most talkative and energetic of the Fellowship, all the members found him a useful sounding board. Even years later, Pippin never had the heart to tell Gimli he hadn't listened to a word of the dwarf's lessons on Moria and mining, and that, in fact, he'd only pretended to listen because of the expression on Gimli's face when he was talking about his home was so happy that he couldn't bear to see it disappear.
Gimli would still remember feeling his heart seize up when he saw Pippin's feet sticking out under that huge troll carcass, because damn if he didn't feel something for the lad after thirteen month journeys.
Aragorn hated patching up Pippin's numerous scrapes, because he would inevitably have to tell Merry, in as curt words as he could manage, to leave, because he was making his patient too rowdy.
Even though Aragorn forced Merry to leave Pippin's side when he was injured, the young hobbit would always wake up to find a groggy Merry keeping vigil until he was better.
When Merry lifted up Pippin's tunic in the middle of Fanghorn forest, he knew that those orcs were lucky they were dead, his height be damned, because no one should be able to beat his cousin so severely and get away with it.
No matter where they are or what situation they're in, every time Pippin upset or frightened and turns to find his cousin, Merry's hand is always there, waiting, as if he knows exactly how to help.
Merry can carry a tune as well as the next hobbit, but Pippin has one of the most beautiful voices in the Shire, a soprano that tiny girls would weep at, wishing their voices were as pretty. And as often as he could, Merry would cajole his cousin into singing, because suddenly their surroundings didn't seem as bleak anymore.
Pippin used to get them when they were younger, and Merry would always be willing to stay up late into the night and cuddle the hobbit as he cried. They had stopped for a while, but on the journey they began again, and every time Pippin woke from one of the dreams he'd hear his cousin's voice at his elbow, "You're okay, Pip. Go back to sleep. You're okay." And somehow, after that, he was.
They are about to leave Rohan, and Aragorn has been looking everywhere for the smallest member of his tiny Fellowship (now much smaller than the original.) Somehow, he finds that he can't berate Merry for running back nearly a quarter of a mile to get the pipe weed Pippin had given to him. After all, with the many skirmishes just outside of Gondor, it could be all the lad had left of his best friend.
For the first time in a great many years, Legolas finds he has someone to talk to about forests who loved them as much as he. Tiny Pippin barely comes up to his waist, and could not even see the tops of most bushes, but he grins happily every time they travel under green boughs, and the expression is enough to make old Legolas smile, too…
Somehow, even though Merry promised he was old enough to watch Pippin for the day (in fact, he'd put his hands on his hips and said, "I'm not a baby anymore, I'm nine!") He wasn't ready for a four-year-old with a fever, begging him too make him stop hurting.
The first time Merry got on a horse, he was thirty years old, and he fell off. They were higher and more cumbersome than even the most ornery of ponies and he declared that he would never again be riding on those damn things, preferring to walk with Gimli. Still, he had to smile when Pippin came galloping by behind Legolas, tiny fists raised above his head in triumph.
When they were old, tottering hobbits wandering around Gondor, all Merry had to do was look at Pippin launch into an animated story to remember exactly why he was still alive.
#19: Grey Havens
"It would be an adventure." Pippin had whispered in the carriage. They both knew, or guessed, that Frodo would be leaving with Bilbo, that the invitation was open.
But Merry squeezed his hand, "I think we've had enough adventures for one lifetime, Pip." And that was enough for Pippin to stay, for why would he want to go anywhere Merry wouldn't follow?
Aragorn came to Pippin as Strider, not the King of Gondor, when he told him that Merry had died on Pellenor Fields, and he was lying in the Houses of Healing, and would Pippin like to see him? The stricken, awful look on the lad's face was enough to make Aragorn reach out and try to comfort the little man, holding him in his arms and humming softly, making assurances that Merry's death hadn't been in vain and not believing any of them.
Never had Merry been more scared than when he figured out they were being taken to Isengard, because how was he supposed to protect Pippin from the torture that would inevitably befall them both there?
#22: The White Wizard
The entire Fellowship looked on with wondrous bemusement as Pippin cajoled and teased Gandalf, acting very much like a young puppy attempting to bait an old dog into playing, and they were all surprised when Gandalf let loose a firework of fiery butterflies, "just to quiet the boy."
Even as a child, Merry never understood Pippin's fascination with flowers, and it was only years later that a sheepish Pippin told him that the first flower Sam had ever let him plant had been the exact same shade of Merry's hair, and he knew that he wanted to make more of that color.
The first time they stole mushrooms, Merry was eight and apparently 'corrupting' the three-year-old Pippin by bringing him down to Uncle Bilbo's and striking up a conversation with Sam just long enough for Pippin to grab an armful of the newly-ripened food and run out, laughing in a very un-secretive manner.
Merry always told Pippin that, though the younger boy owed Merry his life many times over, Pippin had given him a life worth living, and that was so much more important.
Pippin grew up with three sisters. Merry was an only child. When Boromir began talking about Faramir, two weeks into their climb through the Misty Mountains, Pippin had squirmed until he was under the big man's elbow and said, quietly, that he would be Boromir's brother, for a while, if he wanted…
Even though it was five am and the sun is barely up, and he must have been tending the fire and been on watch for hours, even though it was cold and he was using the last of his leaves, Merry still has tea ready for Pippin when he woke up in the morning, with plenty to share with the other members of the Fellowship
It was comforting, after waking up in a strange place in a strange city with a lot of people who were much bigger and stronger than him, for Merry to see Pippin perched on his bed, half-asleep and bruised but very much alive. "'Morning, Pip." He murmured, content that he at least had this one familiar thing and suddenly able to drift back to sleep.
When they were young, Pippin never won at hide-and-seek, because his laughter would always give him away. Of course, Merry would pretend he didn't hear it and walk away, making the younger hobbit laugh louder.
"Don't let me die alone, Merry." The plea came in the dark of the night, when the hobbits had just bedded down near the shore of the Anduin.
"You're not going to die, Pip." Merry had said lazily, rolling over under his blanket, trying to ignore his talkative cousin.
A hand reached for his; small, calloused, "Please don't let me die alone." It was so heartfelt, so serious that Merry felt a tear roll inexplicably down his cheek.
"Of course not, Pippin. Of course not."
It was Gimli who came to Merry and told him about the troll, about rolling the tiny boy over and finding him already blue, already dead. "He couldn't have felt no pain, lad. He was too far gone for that."
But Merry had already turned away, because he remembered the one thing Pippin had always asked for was to not die alone.
Like every little hobbit, Pippin had learned his letters and numbers and how to read, but not much more than that. Still, he found a passion for writing poetry, for singing out the words, because it made Merry smile at him from across the table.
#34: Allegro Moderato
He knew he should be happy, the day that his wife gave birth to a son, but even after holding the child, naming it, he still couldn't get over the fact that this Merry would not be quite the same as the other one he'd loved and lost.
Merry learned how to tell time by how energetic Pippin was, because while the sun changed from season to season, Pippin always acted as himself.
Pippin never took the quest lightly, no matter what his outward appearances were. He just wanted to make sure that, while they were busy saving the world, his friends didn't end up worrying themselves to death, and that was a pretty good mission to him.
They were jokesters who took nothing seriously, but when Merry left a snake skin in Pippin's pack (Pip had always been afraid of snakes), he'd forgotten that the snake's mate would curl up beside the dead one. It took both Legolas and Aragorn to bring Pippins fever down, with a trembling Merry holding his hand the entire time. "No more pranks." He promised quietly, and for the first time in two days Pippin's eyes looked up at him without fever.
"You'll never be able to do that, Merry." Pippin knew him so well.
Despite the danger and the odds that the tiny hobbit would never return, Aragorn could not find strength in him to call Merry back when he charged at a gang of goblins in the Mines of Moria. If he'd been swifter, smaller, and unoccupied by the troll, he, too, would have followed his burning blood and chased the goblins through their tiny tunnels if it meant finding Pippin.
"Do you smell that, Merry?" Pippin took a deep, steadying breath, the sobs coming out through his voice. But even when he thought of Gandalf (Gandalf, who had always been gruff, aloof, but who had also permitted him and Merry on the quest, and that must be something, right?), dead in Moria, he still couldn't help but stare at the brilliant blue.
Pippin sniffed again, smiling even broader, looking radiant through his tears. "It smells of the Shire."
They knew they were small. Whether they were called hobbits, Shire-folk, or Halflings, they knew they weren't the height of the Big Folk, of men and elves or even dwarves, and they didn't really want to be, but when Merry was surrounded by three huge, drunk, bitter men complaining about wars and Halflings and rings that had no place being found in the first place, Pippin rushed to his rescue, and would have hit the men, small as he was, except for the tiny hand on his shoulder, begging him not to.
Though Merry didn't care as much for keeping a green lawn as his younger cousin did, when Pippin was sick with the pox and unable to be seen by anyone who had never contracted the disease, Merry included, all he could do was tend the garden, hoping that its owner would be alright.
The first time Merry realized that Pippin idolized him, he was seven years old and running through the woods with a toddling Pippin in tow. When he jumped onto the Brandywine Ferry, he never suspected that Pip might try to do the same. Only the sight of his tiny cousin, sinking through the river, made Merry dive into the water, swimming skills be damned. From then on, Pippin called him a hero, however ill-deserved that title may be.
Maybe it wasn't odd that, when they had sons, Merry's first born was named Peregrin and Pippin's was named Meriadoc.
Whenever they argue, which is more often than anyone realizes, all Merry wants to do is apologize, but he can't seem to find the words to break the silence
He'd never wished for anything more than taking back those words, yelled in anger, irrationally. "Get away from me, Pip! I wish I never met you!" The stunned, hurt look all of Pippin's face was enough for Merry to want the words back immediately and yet he knew, at the same time, neither would ever forget them.
In the houses of healing, with Merry's arm and soul and mind on the line, Pippin curled up next to his cousin, ear to his chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart to assure himself that his best friend was alive, for now.
It's only Pippin's arm on his shoulder and a small, sad smile that made Merry realize that maybe, maybe, Boromir's death was not his fault.
It's only a plant, a dead plant at that, but between the time he and Gandalf left Rohan and the time that he found Merry again on Pelenor Fields, he never let go of that bundle of pipeweed, never smoked it, because he was afraid that it would be the last thing Merry would ever be able to give to him.
As the snow and rock that they are standing on in the Misty Mountains begins to crumble, and boulders and ice are raining down from above, Pippin can only reach for Merry, because he knows that he would rather die with his best friend then live alone.
Seconds before they take off running after Aragorn, a suicide mission directed at the Black Gate, Merry's hand touches Pippin's and he squeezes it quickly. "I love you, Pip." He murmured the youngest member of the Fellowship, the boy who'd grown up too fast in eleven months, to his favorite, only little brother.