Chapter 7: Happy Reunion

Smurfette, Handy and Nat watched the young human sadly. Peewit had long ago stopped being delirious. Instead he just slept, devoid of any strength. His breathing was coming in less and less and he was as pale as a ghost. The Smurfs watched the horizon somberly, but more out of habit now than anything else. They didn't hold much hope that Peewit would survive by the time the others returned.

"Do you see anything Clumsy?" Handy asked watching the Smurf on the tower.

Clumsy looked through the Smurfiscope hoping to catch sight of them, but so far saw nothing. He was about to reply in the negative when he heard horse hooves racing from far away. Clumsy's ears perked up. Could it be?, he thought. He picked up the Smurfiscope and looked through hoping beyond all hope. He never saw another image that made him happier! He whooped with delight. "I see them, I see them! They're coming!" he hollered. All the Smurfs ran out of their homes in delight as Clumsy tumbled out of the tower. Smurfette, Handy and Nat also ran to greet the travelers.

Johan dismounted Bayard and let the Smurfs down. Papa Smurf handed him the bottle as he ran to his sick friend's side. Johan reached Peewit and gently held him up by one arm.

"Let him drink and then put it on his wound," Papa said to him.

Johan poured some of the liquid into Peewit's mouth. He then opened his friend's shirt slightly and dripped the remaining liquid on the wound. Nothing happened. Johan and the Smurfs bowed their heads in silence.

Suddenly, the wound disappeared and Peewit started to regain his breath. His pale color became rosier as he slowly opened his eyes. He looked up at Johan and gave him a weak but impish smile. "What took you so long?" he said lightly.

Johan smiled and embraced his little friend tightly as the Smurfs cheered and hugged each other. Biquette bleated happily as she ran towards Peewit, jumping onto and knocking over the laughing jester. She greeted him enthusiastically, lapping him all over his face with her tongue.

That night the Smurfs held a celebration in honor of Peewit's recovery and the safe return of their friends. The little blue creatures lit lanterns and hung them up throughout the entire Smurf Village. A red-hot bonfire was lit and illuminated the sky with a bright glow. A table was laid out with lots and lots of food to Peewit's delight, as he quickly regained his appetite. Even Johan ate quite a lot into the bargain.

As soon as Brainy finished his meal, he stood up and started to lecture the other Smurfs. "Greed is a very wicked thing. I really don't think you should eat all that food….". He didn't finish because he was pelted with pies and cakes. "Oh, Smurf up Brainy! Don't be so greedy yourself!" laughed the other Smurfs.

What with all the food, singing, dancing, and fun they were having ,everyone had exhausted themselves by the early morning hours.

Johan and Peewit stayed a little while longer after the celebration had ended, until Peewit was feeling well enough to ride. When they left, the Smurfs wished them goodbye as they rode off into the horizon.

Hefty was watching them leave when the Smurfette's laughter caught his attention. He turned to see her happily chatting away in deep animated conversation with Handy, Dreamy and Jokey. What could they be saying to her to make her laugh so much?, he thought. Hefty then heard someone behind him clear his throat to get his attention. He turned to see Brainy. "What is it?" Hefty asked.

"I wanted to apologize for what I said in the mountain, they were words spoken out of error," Brainy said.

Hefty grinned. Brainy didn't have to translate that line. "No, it was my fault. I was way out of line."

"Blame it on both sides I suppose." Brainy said.

Hefty smiled.

"Would you like to join me for a glass of Smurfberry juice and I can help you with some advice on how to win the Smurfette?" Brainy smiled.

Hefty eyed him skeptically, but then shook his hand. "You're on!"

The male Smurflings walked up to Sassette. "So, now tell us, what happened in the mountain?"Nat asked.

"Yeah, did you see any monsters?" Slouchy added.

"Come on tell us, don't keep us in suspense." Snappy agreed

Sassette grinned and gathered her male companions around. "Well, when we reached the mountain, there was this real pretty lady….."

Papa Smurf watched as Sassette told the story and the rest of the Smurfs returned to their normal activities. He then went inside his house to record the adventure in his journal.

Two days later, Johan sat on a stone bench in the courtyard and sharpened his sword with a flint stone. Occasionally, he would look up to gaze at Princess Sabina, who sat by her window brushing her long red hair and humming to herself, unaware that she was being watched. He and Peewit had returned to the castle to hear the news that when Sir Phillippe and the other knights had reached Balthazar's lair, the evil wizard had disappeared leaving no trace that he had been there. That news didn't bother Johan at all, but something kept entering his mind.

"I thought I might find you here," said a merry voice.

Johan looked up to see Peewit standing next to him. The jester sat beside him with a concerned look on his face. "You know, for a guy who just saved his best friend's life, you look bluer than our blue buddies. Would you rather I had died?"

"No! Of course not! Peewit, don't joke about that." Johan said. "I'm all right."

"You don't sound all right," Peewit said. "What's the matter? You can tell me."

Then Johan told him everything that had happened on the journey. Peewit shuddered audibly at the fire gate and clicked his tongue at the mention of the earth gate.

"What if the Elementals are right?" Johan asked. "What if I am the evil monster they say I am?"

"No, you're not," Peewit said just as determined. "Listen, I have known for you for years. Those Elementals only knew you for two days. They don't know the real you like I do. Would Johan the Black Hearted go through that kind of hell for his best friend? No, I don't think so."

"But, you followed me," Johan said. "I forced you."

"No, you didn't force me, I came on my own," Peewit said. "When you want me to come with you, I do so because you're my best friend and because I want to. Okay, so sometimes you have to persuade me a little more, but I do it because I care about you. It's my own choice, got it? So, don't go taking the credit for it! Maybe, the Elementals were warning you, telling you what you could become if you don't watch yourself. But, I know that won't happen."

"How do you know?" Johan asked.

"I know because my heart tells me so," Peewit replied.

Johan smiled for the first time since the celebration at the Smurf Village, but couldn't think of anything to say.

Peewit cleared his throat and rose. "Come on, enough of this gloom and doom stuff. Let's go to Bell's tavern! I'll buy," he smiled.

Johan stood up next to him and raised a quizzical eyebrow. "All right, but what if her brothers are there?"

Peewit gasped and stammered. "All right, you go into Bell's ahead of me."

Johan laughed at Peewit's response as he lightly tousled the jester's wild shock of blonde hair.

The two friends walked out of the courtyard and into the village, both of them feeling happier for the first time in days.

The End

Well, that's the end of this story. It's been really fun writing this and I hope you enjoyed it. Part two coming up in the near future :)

Thanks so much for all your reviews.