I don't own any of this and it's not for profit.
AN Sorry about the wait everyone. Life got in the way and I didn't realize how long it had been since I'd last gotten a chapter. Hope you like this one.
"Squeet squeet squat squat deetily doink."
Gobo peaked behind a rock, silently tracking his quarry as it ambled down the tunnel. It wasn't too hard due to the noise Wembley was making but he was still worried about losing sight of him. He turned back to look at his companion who was lagging behind.
"Come on Boober," he hissed, "We're gonna lose him."
Boober caught up to Gobo, breathing hard, and stopped to catch his breath for a moment
"*pant* Gobo…*pant*…explain to me again…*pant*…how I let you talk me into this." Boober gasped.
"Hey, it was partly your idea remember?" was the snide answer.
Boober held up a hand in an attempt at clarification.
"When-when I said that we should do something about that fact the Wembley sneaks down here regularly, I sort of…*pant*…sort of meant something along the lines of you talking to him. Not tracking him down some tunnel to spy on his wild delusions."
Gobo nodded distractedly as the two started walking again before they lost Wembley's trail. Ever since Wembley had come to the four of them, raving that there was a silly creature in one of the tunnels a few weeks ago, he'd been seen sneaking back down it every now and then and returning after spending some time there. Gobo had asked about it one time and all Wembley had said was that he was just going out for a walk and then promptly changed the subject
"I want to know where he's going," he said in response to Boober's comment. "I have a feeling that we're not going to have much luck convincing him that he's seeing things unless we know what he's doing down here."
Boober nodded in acquiescence.
"I suppose that's right," he agreed grudgingly. "Although I'm wondering what will happen if we can't convince him he's sick again. We'd have to confine him to bed…well…possibly indefinitely."
Gobo grimaced at Boober's insinuation. A sick Wembley was easy enough to keep abed. But if he didn't think he was sick then they were sure to have a bit of a war on their hands.
"Well, let's see what we're dealing with first," he replied as the two continued on. They slowed their paces after a while upon hearing Wembley's voice. It was apparent that he had stopped and was talking to someone (or thought he was at any rate). The two fraggles crept up quietly so as not to startle him.
They were almost there when Boober paused. Gobo, who had moved up a few more paces, looked back, confused.
"Boober what-" Boober held out a hand quickly, motioning him into silence. He waited a few more moments before looking at Gobo.
"Gobo? Do you hear that?" he whispered.
Gobo listened for a moment to the action happening up ahead. They were now close enough that although they couldn't see Wembley, they could hear him clearly.
"…yea I don't think they'd believe me even now." He was saying. "They'd probably say I was sick and put me to bed again."
"Oh, that's too bad, I keep hoping to meet them." another voice answered.
Gobo's eyes widened and he and Boober exchanged looks. Another voice had answered Wembley. It was high enough that it had blurred together with Wembley's voice when they were far away but now that they were close enough they could make out a clear distinction.
"Gobo," Boober piped up, breaking the silence between the two, "Wembley's definitely talking to someone."
Gobo nodded in exasperation, "I know Boober," he said.
The two stood in brief disbelief for a moment before Boober spoke.
"So we know what he's doing now," he commented wryly. "Now what do you suggest we do?"
"I'm thinking, I'm thinking," Gobo answered hurriedly.
Gobo was shaken from the middle of his puzzling when a new voice joined the conversation.
"Pippin? What are you doing in here?"
Whoever it was, was someone that the other two were not expecting due to the fact that a surprised yelp issued from both of them. Gobo and Boober heard a loud *thunk* and suddenly the voices of "Pippin" and whoever it was that had joined in sounded muffled and further away, as if they were in another room.
"Now's our chance Boober let's go," he said and the two made their way the last little bit to where Wembley was standing, his ear up to a boarded wall. He looked a little bit startled but wasn't making any attempts to run away. In fact it was almost as if he appeared to be waiting patiently (well, as patiently as Wembley could be.) He looked up when he saw Boober and Gobo coming towards them and smiled.
"Gobo! Boober!" he greeted with an excited whisper, obviously trying to avoid being heard by the occupants on the other side. "Wow, this is wonderful. Now I can introduce you to Pippin at least."
The two older fraggles looks at the younger one in disbelief.
"Wembley," Boober finally spoke, "We do not want to meet any hostile creatures that could be on the other side of this wall."
"They aren't hostile," Wembley argued. "At least Pippin isn't."
"Then why aren't you still talking to him?" asked Gobo.
"Well because someone else came into the room and I'm not sure who it is just yet," Wembley reasoned as he continued to listen to the conversation.
"Really cousin," Pippin was saying in a skittish voice, "Wh-Why would you think someone's in here?"
"Because I heard you talking to someone," came the answer. The speaker didn't sound angry, more annoyed and, did Wembley detect a hint of worry? "What do you expect me to think?"
Wembley could tell that Pippin was floundering as he thought up an excuse. Meanwhile, Boober and Gobo were looking at him impatiently.
"Come on Wembley," Gobo said, "Let's go. If we hurry we can be out of here before the other silly creature decides to come looking for us."
"Just wait a second Gobo," Wembley insisted. Pippin had finally found words to speak and Wembley wanted to hear them. "I want you to meet Pippin but I need to wait until whoever he's talking to leaves. He'll get them to leave don't worry. He promised to keep Fraggle Rock a secret."
"Frodo, it's complicated," his friend's voice came from the other side at the name Wembley's eyes widened and he gasped in excitement.
"It's Frodo!" he exclaimed excitedly, oblivious to the shushing sounds made by his two friends, and without further thought pushed the loose board away.
"Wembley!" Gobo shouted at the same time Boober wailed "Wait!" and made a mad grab for the retreating fraggle's tail. But Wembley was too far ahead of them for anything to change.
"Pippin it's alright!" Wembley said as he scrambled out of the hole.
"Ah!" the new occupant yelped and back away quickly from the hole. The yelp startled Wembley to stop where he was and waited for Pippin to calm Frodo down. Actually, Wembley thought Frodo seemed relatively calm, more startled than frightened.
"Frodo!" the hobbit said loudly, "Frodo it's okay. This is…this is who I was…talking to…just now.
The new hobbit started at Wembley for a few moments. His hair was darker than the other hobbit's and his skin color was even paler than Pippin's. He looked older than Pippin but only just a little. However, his eyes, which were incredibly wide and bright blue, seemed to hold a wisdom and experience older than the hobbit's physical appearance. Kinda like Mokey's he thought to himself. Wembley realized that the hobbit was studying him cautiously; trying to digest what it was that was standing before him and whether or not he should be worried about it.
"Pippin" Frodo said slowly, "What is that?" he asked cautiously.
Pippin looked over at Wembley worriedly and Wembley nodded in encouragement.
"It's okay Pippin," he finally said. "The way you talk about Frodo I trust him."
On the other side of the wall, Boober and Gobo exchanged glances.
"What's he doing?" asked Gobo incredulously. He was peeking through a crack in the wood and Boober had his ear pressed against the board.
"He appears to be making friends with the silly creatures," Boober answered then looked again. "And succeeding quite well at it," he added.
Gobo gave an exasperated growl.
"Wembley if this turns into another Gorg incident…" he muttered under his breath.
The two looked back as Pippin started speaking again, this time more confidently.
"Frodo, this is Wembley Fraggle. He's a…well…a Fraggle…"
Boober looked back at Gobo.
"Cat's out of the bag now," he said in a defeated tone
Wembley for his part just stood and waited for Pippin and Frodo to talk it out before doing anything. Frodo still appeared shocked but not as nervous as he had been.
"A Fraggle?" he asked uncertainly but with that hint of curiosity that Wembley had heard in Pippin when they first met.
Both Pippin and Wembley nodded in unison.
Frodo slowly sank down to the floor till he was sitting.
"I've never heard of a fraggle before." He commented.
"Well, we have something in common then," Wembley said lightly. "Until a few weeks ago I'd never heard of a hobbit before either."
Frodo grinned a little bit at the answer; it was such a simple one.
"That makes perfect sense then I guess," he responded. He then stood and bowed to Wembley.
"In that case, Wembley Fraggle, I am Frodo Baggins, at your service and your family's."
In addition to the same look of awe that Wembley had when Pippin had last bowed to him, Wembley had a slight look of confusion on his face.
"Gosh, Pippin bowed to me when we first met too. Do you really like me that much?"
Pippin couldn't hold it in any longer and burst out laughing. Frodo was finding it hard to not join in with him.
"What?" he asked, rather hurt that they would laugh at that question. He thought they liked him.
Frodo finally stopped chuckling enough to get coherent words out.
"We hobbits often bow in greeting," he explained as he sat back down.
"Though that's not to say we don't like you," Pippin quickly interjected.
"No, no, of course not." Frodo reassured.
Wembley nodded happily
"Alright then," he replied. He furrowed his brow a little bit then tried to position his arms the way Frodo and Pippin had.
"In that case," he continued. "Wembley Fraggle, at your service and your family's too."
Frodo stopped chuckling but the elated smile stayed on his face.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Master Fraggle."
Wembley dropped his arms and grinned, glad that he seemed to have done it right. Then he remembered something.
"Oh, wait one second I want you to meet someone," he said before dashing back into the hole to Gobo and Boober.
"Guys guys guys!" he said happily. "C'mon, you gotta come meet my friends."
"Wembley-" Gobo tried to protest but was cut off by his best friend grabbing his arm and pulling him through the hole and into the room.
"C'mon c'mon!" Wembley said excitedly as he pulled Gobo and pushed a protesting Boober. Soon though, despite the resistance and protests from the others, they were all standing by the wall in front of the two hobbits.
"Pippin, Frodo," he exclaimed excitedly. "I'd like you to meet my friends, Gobo and Boober Fraggle." Wembley turned around to face the other fraggles and finally noticed the look of fear on Boober's face as he hid behind Gobo and the look of slightly less fear, caution and curiousness on Gobo's. Thinking that maybe if he explained these looks might go away, Wembley simply continued.
"Uh Gobo, Boober this is Pippin Took and Frodo Baggins. They're hobbits. And Pippin is the one that I saw in the tunnels that one day. See, see I wasn't crazy or sick or anything. Isn't that great?"
There was an awkward silence for a few moments as Gobo and Boober tried to decide how to respond and Pippin and Frodo tried not to startle them any further. Finally, Frodo broke the silence.
"Um, hello," he greeted.
Out of instinct Wembley, Frodo, and Pippin moved forward. Wembley to help and Pippin and Frodo just a little but still ready to help if needed.
The movement behind him finally roused Gobo out of his stupor. He looked behind him to see Wembley helping Boober come to his senses. So he turned back to the others. He noticed that Frodo had pulled Pippin so that he was sitting down next to him. They weren't nearly so intimidating when they weren't standing up, he thought to himself. In fact, he noticed that they weren't much taller than he was. The one who lived in the room where he got Uncle Matt's postcards was huge.
"Uh, h-hi," he answered back nervously. Wembley finally got Boober back on his feet. The two staggered up next to Gobo.
"Terribly sorry about that," Frodo said contritely to the two of them before looking at Boober. "Are you alright?" he asked.
Boober stuttered a little but nodded his head shakily. There was more silence before Gobo thought to speak again, but more to himself than anything.
"So, there really was something down here," he said quietly.
"I know isn't it great Gobo," he answered.
"Well yea, sorta," Gobo agreed. "It's just…just…" he trailed off as he thought about how he felt about the fact that he was actually speaking to two silly creatures.
"Wow, I wonder if this is how Uncle Matt felt when he first started interacting with silly creatures," he mumbled.
"Silly creatures?" Frodo asked.
"That's what they call us," Pippin explained to his cousin. "It's like how we refer to Big People."
"You have an Uncle who's met Sill- uh, hobbits before?" he asked. "Funny, I don't remember anyone mentioning fraggles before."
"Well, I dunno if he's ever met a hobbit before," Gobo explained. "I mean, the only other silly creature I've ever seen was really tall. Unless hobbits get taller than the two of you are now."
Frodo shook his head.
"No, not much taller. What you've referred to sounds like a man or an elf," he explained.
"A man OR an elf?" Boober asked, finally breaking his silence. "Good grief, how many kinds of silly creatures are there?"
Wembley watched as Frodo and Pippin looked at each other, thinking a moment before answering.
"Well," began Frodo as he counted off on his fingers. "There are hobbits, men, elves, dwarves, and I suppose you could count wizards if you're basing things by appearance. And there might be others that we don't know about yet."
At the word "wizard" Boober snorted derisively.
"Wizards," he muttered under his breath.
"What" Frodo asked, hearing the remark.
"It's just, we have a wizard in Fraggle Rock," Gobo answered. "Actually I guess we had one. He would come to the Great Hall from time to time and do magic shows. But that was before he decided to sell banana tree shirts."
"And good riddance I say," added Boober. "After that whole business with the poison cackler and switching places with Wembley."
"He switched places with you?" Pippin asked.
"What's a poison cackler?" Frodo asked at the same time.
"Well, yea," Wembley admitted. "He and I looked similar and with the fake beard he wore, you'd never know it wasn't me. But it felt nice to be noticed at the time. Oh a poison cackler is this huge fearsome creature with big teeth and lots of legs. Apparently it was after him because it wanted his smoke pellets. So since we switched places it came after me instead."
"It didn't hurt you did it?" Pippin asked.
"Oh no," Wembley assured him. "No we threw the pellets down the cave and it ran off after them."
"Nothing but trouble in the end," Boober finished.
Frodo sat back and nodded a little.
"Yes, that's what they often say about Gandalf," he said softly.
"Gandalf?" Wembley asked.
"Yes, he's a friend of ours," Frodo added. "He's a wizard too. But I'm afraid he's a little different than the wizard you know. He's-he's kind and wise and…well you'd have to meet him to quite understand him. But he has gained a bit of a reputation around here.
Frodo chuckled and Gobo picked up a distinct air of reminiscence. "He showed up years ago and convinced my Uncle Bilbo to go off on an incredible adventure with him. Oh sure Bilbo met some extraordinary people and did some wonderful things. But many hobbits just think of Gandalf as being a disturber of the peace."
"He sure sounds like it," Boober commented.
"Perhaps," Frodo agreed. "But if you ever met him I think you might have a change of heart. At the very least he's much more than someone who would do magic tricks."
"Well I'll just take your word for that for now," Boober said with a decisive nod."
Wembley noticed that Gobo was studying Frodo intently.
"What is it Gobo?" he asked.
"Oh I was just thinking," Gobo said quietly before addressing Frodo. "You're Uncle Bilbo reminds me a bit of My Uncle Matt."
"Really?" Frodo asked with a smile and a raised eyebrow.
"Sure, he goes by Travelling Matt and he's an explorer like I am. He left a while ago to explore the great unknown beyond Fraggle Rock that we call Outer Space. He sends me postcards every few days of all the discoveries he makes." Gobo looked up upon finishing his explanation and was shocked to see that Frodo's expression had changed from one of curiosity to melancholy.
"I wish Bilbo would write," he pondered quietly. Pippin scooted closer and rubbed his cousin's arm.
"Why do you wish he'd write?" Gobo asked, "Didn't he come back after his adventure?" Frodo nodded.
"Oh he did. That particular adventure took place even before I was born. He's told me all sorts of stories about his adventures. He's met men, elves, dwarves, and all sorts of other creatures. He's considered a hero amongst some of them and he's travelled to all sorts of places. He's writing it all down in a book he took with him," he finished.
"Really?" Gobo asked. "Uncle Matt left me a book he wrote. It's about all he had explored up until the time he left for Outer Space."
Gobo was delighted to see a grin spread across Frodo's face.
"Well, then perhaps we'll have to exchange stories someday Gobo," was the eager suggestion.
Gobo's agreement was no less eager.
"Oh, I'd love that."
"Me too," Wembley joined in.
"Uh," I think I'll leave the storytelling to you guys," Boober said.
"Anyway," Frodo continued his narrative, "Bilbo left again a few years ago for Rivendell, that's one of the places he's been on his adventures," he quickly clarified. He continued with a wistful sigh. "I don't blame him. When you've been everywhere he's been I would imagine it'd be hard to go back to the way things used to be."
"Isn't that what Travelling Matt said?" Wembley asked Gobo, "That time that he came back and we found the Crystal Caverns?" Gobo nodded.
"Yea," he said to everyone, then explained to the hobbits "He told me he was coming back to stay once. But he was barely back a day before we could both see that he wasn't happy in Fraggle Rock, not after everything he'd seen in Outer Space. But he comes back to visit every now and then."
"Perhaps Bilbo will someday," Pippin interjected hopefully. "Or maybe we'll go see him one day.
"Maybe," Frodo said softly.
"Well, until then," Gobo said as he reached into his pocket and pulled something, "Maybe this will help some. It's a postcard my Uncle Matt sent me the other day. They bring me inspiration. Why don't you take it?"
Frodo reached out and took the offered gift, his eyes already skimming the words written on it as he began to speak.
Dear Nephew Gobo,
The other day I realized something about the silly creatures that quite astonished me. Some of them have trouble walking. For the most part I have seen Silly creatures walking around upright and unaided, much like us fraggles. But those who have trouble walking for themselves have found a way that they can still walk. They tie themselves to hairy monsters not unlike the one you and I have seen, and the hairy monsters pull them along. The silly creatures are often so thankful that they shower the hairy monsters with affection at every chance they get.
Remember, nephew, never forget to show appreciation to those who help you.
Will write again soon. Much love,
You're Uncle Travelling Matt.
Frodo smiled as he finished reading.
"Your uncle seems like a very insightful fellow," he said to Gobo. Then he glanced over it one more time and added. "Though for the life of me I don't have any idea what he's talking about."
Gobo had already read the postcard once but it was nice to hear it again. And he had been delighted to see the hobbit's eyes perk up a little at the card as he read.
"Well, he does go all over the place," the Fraggle responded. "Maybe this is a culture different than you hobbits or something."
"Sounds as good as any other explanation to me," Pippin said with a shrug.
"At any rate, thank you for sharing it with me," Frodo said as he went to return the card. But Gobo pushed it back.
"You should keep it," he offered sincerely. "I know Uncle Matt isn't Bilbo but, it might help when you start to miss him. Frodo nodded a watery smile on his face.
"Thank you very much most noble Fraggle," was the heartfelt gratitude.
"You're welcome…uh…most noble hobbit," Gobo answered, ignoring Pippin and Wembley's snickering at his answer.
"Um, I don't mean to interrupt this moment," Boober cut in, "But seeing as how Wembley's not hallucinating or sick or crazy, we should get going back. I've got laundry I need to finish or it'll start to get mildew."
"Aw, c'mon Boober," Wembley insisted. "This is fun isn't it?"
"Well, yes," Boober agreed albeit a little reluctantly. "It's been okay, although possibly quite…odd. And I don't mean any disrespect it's just-"
"No, you're right," Frodo cut in. "We should probably get going anyway, it'll be supper soon. It has been a pleasure meeting all of you."
"You too," Gobo said, "Both of you. It's been wonderful actually being able to talk to a silly creature. I can't wait to tell Uncle Matt about it."
"Bye Pippin," Wembley waved. "I'll be sure to come back again soon."
Pippin just waved as the fraggles went back out through the hole in the wall.
"That was fun," Gobo said as the trio continued back towards Fraggle Rock.
"I told you they were real," Wembley smirked.
"But are you sure all silly creatures are like them?" Boober asked.
"What do you mean Boober," Gobo asked.
"Well, it's just; some of the creatures Matt talks about in his postcards would wreak havoc on Fraggle Rock if they ever got there. How can we be sure the hobbits aren't creatures like that?"
"Oh c'mon Boober," Gobo argued. "They seem nice enough."
"And even if they weren't, Pippin promised me that he'd keep Fraggle Rock a secret. And the way he talks about Frodo I'm sure that Frodo can keep it a secret too."
"Okay," Boober answered, "as long as you're sure."
"Let's just say that this is something I won't have to wemble about," came the confident answer as the trio walked the rest of the way home.