DISCLAIMER : Tolkien Characters are owned by tolkien. I'm not going to make any money, etc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This is a story about Pippin and Diamond, they meet in Lothlorien because Diamond's mother was moved there and she helps him deal with Gandalf's death.

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- I believe in you. -

Setting : Lothlorien
Time : Just after Gandalf's death.
Type : Angst/Romance
Summary : Pippin is trying to forget when he meets a young female hobbit named Diamond who happens to be visiting Lothlorien with her mother who has ties to Galadriel. This happens while Merry and Frodo are struggling with the Elvin Wraith in my story "Following the Ring".


Pippin watched Frodo follow Merry away, trying hard not to feel left out. Merry was his friend too…but they were all avoiding him now. He knew what was in the back of everyone's mind because it was his fault. He turned away and balled his fists, gazing in the direction of the feast. Maybe food would help him take his mind off of it… yea … It always did.

He started forward when he heard two voices, Legolas and Gimli, and ducked behind the tree as they went up the past. Gimli's arms were crossed and he looked annoyed, Legolas was depressed.

"I don't think he really understands, and 'twer not his fault. Gimli, I think you should just drop it, and leave him alone." the soft voice of the elf whispers in the wind.

"We should leave him here." Gimli's voice was gruff and unreasonable, as he glared up at the elf. "He's nothing but trouble."

"Gimli, Pippin didn't mean it. Everyone makes mistakes." Legolas' defense was half-hearted, but still the only true words of defense that Pippin had heard that day yet. Frodo had not spoken to him, Merry was not exactly avoiding him but refused to talk about anything serious, Sam just glared at him, and Aragorn and Boromir ignored him.

Gimli grunted, "One day mebbe, a *mistake* will cost the ring. If you ain't going to talk to Aragorn. I -am-."

Their voices soon became too difficult to hear clearly as they approached the feast in the distance. Pippin sighed, and leant against the tree, burying his face in his hands. He sunk down, and stared up at the sky. They were right after all. What did he really have to offer the fellowship? Merry was far more intelligent and capable. He…was just there.

"Hello…" a surprised feminine voice came from somewhere nearby, he turned…and blinked. A female…hobbit? He stared at her in utter shock as much as she was staring at him in the same way. "I -know- you." she clapped her hands, blonde curls bouncing and aquamarine eyes twinkling. She was about…20-25? Maybe younger…it was difficult to tell. She was dressed in the clothing of an elf, but she was most definitely…hobbit. She was holding a basket of wildflowers. "Pippin Took as I live and breath! I never forget a face." She laughed brightly, "What in the Shire are you doing here?"

"Uh.." Pippin scrambled to his feet, looking around wildly. "W-Who are you?" he stammered., mouth hanging open. Normally Pippin had a lot more words to say when it came to females but he was dumbstruck. Where were her parents? A young hobbit lass in the woods alone? His mind whirled. What….in. So far away from home? How could this be…he had to be dreaming.

She continued to laugh, obviously having no idea as to why he was there or what had recently happened. She noticed the look on his face though, and held her laugher for a moment. "You really don't remember." she shakes her head and appears a little embarrassed, looking at the ground. "Well…" she knew that it really wasn't proper to explain…"Its me…Diamond…from Long Cleave." She saw no hint of recognition in his eyes, and attempted to figure out a way to make him remember so that it would be proper to speak to him. Well, she guessed it was a long time ago, and not surprising that he didn't remember. "We had the same tutor. Your mother knows my mother, we danced at Bilbo's party…and I had to leave the next day. You wanted to call on me…" she blushed.

The gears shifted into place in Pippin's mind. "I remember." he nodded slowly. A night he had long pushed to the very back of his mind. The night that Bilbo had vanished. The night he had decided to tell her…that she was the girl of his dreams and had been told the following day that she had left the Shire with her family, and would never return. How was it that she was here…he searched her for an explanation, a lump developing in his throat. Was someone playing with his mind? "Di?" he swallowed incredulously.

"Yes." she nodded enthusiastically, still having no idea what had happened to bring him here. She smiled then, and all his troubles flew away for at least that one small moment in time. "Pippin…I don't believe it. I never expected to ever see anyone from the Shire ever again…"

He reached out to touch her cheek, trembling. "You're real?" he looked at her in wonder. "How did you come to be here?" he pulled away his hand, "I don't understand…"

She jerked her head slightly to the side, "C'mon, Pippin. I've still got a few more flowers to find for my mother before supper. We live in a burrow that Lord Celeborn let daddy make, about a twenty minute walk away. Walk with me?" she knew that the bounds of society would be shocked at the idea of her walking alone with someone who was not her relative, but they were not in the Shire here.

The idea of food sparkled in Pippin's mind and that was really all it took. He nodded, "All right." and fell into step at her side. "Tell me…Why are you here? How can this be?"

"My mother, Pippin." she attempted to explain as she looked for particular flowers here and there. "Gandalf sent us here all those years ago because she needed Lady Galadriel."

"Why Lothlorien and not Rivendell?" Pippin wondered, his eyes carried a pained look when she spoke of Gandalf. He would have to tell her…but not yet. It was just so nice to walk with someone who didn't know what had happened, or what he had done. Someone who didn't look at him with a vague accusation.

She smiled at the endless questions that had always seemed to flow from her old friend's mouth. "Her eyes, Pippin." she explained someone lamely. "Mother is a seer, and she was troubled by terrible visions such that one day she would not wake up from them. She still suffers, but here at least…Lady Galadriel can help her. That night we came back from the party, she went into hysterics. Gandalf came by and sent us off to Lothlorien the day after with an elvin guide. It was awfully odd, but Gandalf seemed to be aware of what was going on and that it might happen. He had been talking to father a lot about it. I am just glad he was nearby at the time." she looks away, "I had no time to find you. I'm sorry."

He looked at her then and smiled a bit, "That explains it a little, I guess. Mother was not pleased when I told her I was going to ask…" he stopped himself, stupid. Sometimes he was surprised at his own tongue the way he just didn't seem to be able to do anything right. "I-" he stopped, "Di…" he looked at her miserably, his eyes filled with self-loathing and doubt.

She frowned, seeing his expression. "Pippin….what's wrong?" she set down her basket of flowers and rested for a moment on the ground. They both sat down, him rather heavily as he rested his head in his hand, his elbow leaning against his knee. She reached over and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. She had no idea what was going through his head, nor what had happened with Gandalf. Their family lived apart from the elves in Lothlorien, as welcome as they were, they were only there because of her mother's illness.

Pippin looked over at her again, he felt his heart might burst as he stared at her and he felt that he was going to cry. He did his best to keep everything bound up as he tried to speak. "I killed him, Di…" he let out a long shuddering sigh. "As sure as if I had dragged him into the shadows myself…" the first time he had spoken in a long time words that did not contain questions before or after. But within them, were their own questions. And the answers to them he could never find and the questions himself he could not dare ask. "Its my fault."

Diamond's brow furrowed as she studied Pippin, "Pippin, whatever happened…I'm sure it wasn't. Tell me about it?" she reached over to take his hand in hers.

It was the comforting touch that he had longed for since Gandalf's death, but would she still touch him like that once she knew what happened? Questions ravaged his mind as he cleared his throat, gulping back tears. And he began to speak. The words fell from his lips in a somber summary of the terrible events that lead up to the wizard's demise, and once he was done, the tears were falling. Wretchedly, he looked at her. "Wouldn't it be better…for everyone…if I just went home?"

She listened throughout his tale, quiet and true. Every so often she would squeeze his hand to remind him that she was there. And when he was done, she saw the look in his eyes her own filled with tears. "So that was what they were lamenting for. Dear Pippin…" she drew him into her arms and held him as he cried, rocking him gently. It felt so strange to her that she would still be as close to him as she was all those years ago, that he would still hold a special place in her heart. She would have to find something to say to him, something to tell him so that he could gather his courage and face the challenge that was going to make him strong. Perhaps this was one of those 'reasons' that Galadriel was always talking about. Father was talking about sending her back to live with her Aunt in the Shire so that she did not have to stay in Lothlorien. "Pippin…" she whispered his name gently when it seemed that he had calmed down a little and was simply resting in her arms, clinging to the moment for as long as he could. "Pippin you did not kill Gandalf." she cupped his cheek in her hand. "Look at me, now, and hear my words. You did not kill him. It was an accident. Those creatures…they would have found you anyway. Listen to me." Diamond was truly well-spoken for a hobbit. It came from her time with the elves, and her learned father. He was a great scholar and teacher, and perhaps she was a bit of that herself.

Pippin looked at her through the haze of tears and self-loathing that was clouding his vision. She smiled at him, yes…he could see it. She was smiling, she was not accusing him…She didn't look as though she despised the very ground that he walked on. He looked at her in wonder. "What do you mean? Not an accident?" he asked, swallowing.

"I just know it wasn't. Do not ask me how. I just know." she spoke definitively, as though she was not going to accept any more questions on the subject and that the only explanation that he would have is her word. "Pippin. I know what you want to hear. And what you want to hear is that its all right. I'm not going to tell you that. What I have to say is something that you will have to deal with and accept on your own. "You are with your friend for a reason, and its not because you just decided one day to follow him. Its not because Merry told you it would be a good idea. Its because you -want- to follow him. You know that he needs you. You know that he needs true friends who will stick by him through thick and thin. True friends who will go even into the fires of Mordor if that was where he lead. True friends who will not try and take the One Ring. I know where your fear is. You think that because Gandalf is dead through your action that somehow…something will happen to Frodo because of what you do. Your strength is weakening because your faith in yourself is gone. You're wondering how long will it be before you want the Ring?" Her words seem to come from far away, as though they may not even be coming from herself alone. "I know you Pippin. I saw it in you that night that we danced and I see it in you now. You have the courage of a lion wrapped within you. You're a leader, not a follower. You must let it loose instead of filling your heart with self-doubt. I believe in you."

And those were the words he needed to hear for the fear to leave his soul, and the light to return to his eyes. He stared at her in fascination for quite some time before she laughed and cuffed him playfully. "When we come back from Mordor, I'm stopping back here." he declared suddenly. "Can I see your father?"

Diamond laughed again, rising. "Come on Pippin, yes." she helped him up. "Supper should just about be ready." She never did explain to him just how she knew what was in his mind, or how she seemed to be so emphatic. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that her mother was a seer. Supper went well, and Pippin had asked her father. Arrangements were made for Diamond to return to the Shire and wait for Pippin. Throughout it all, Galadriel and Diamond's mother watched in amusement, for they had known the reasons why long before anyone else.

***And that's why Pippin was in very good mood when he finds Merry and Frodo again***