A/N: As all my other stories, this is AU. Sorry Professor, but I just think writing non-AU stories would subtract from your masterpiece. So in order not to make it worse or better I make it AU ^_^. The first bit, up until he actually takes it, is direct quote from the book so TTT spoiler warning

Disclaimer: Half the stuff I write would make Professor Tolkien turn in his grave, and he's the one that owns it not me.

Summery: An AU, for Two Towers, where I exaggerate the thing with the Palantir, and say what I think (or originally thought had) happened to Pippin while he was in the stones power. Lots of Pippin angst and good Merry being a good cousin stuff! *Non-slash one shot*

Even Fallen Angels
By: Prince Tyler Briefs

"What's the matter?" asked Merry. "Are you lying on an ant-hill?"
"No," said Pippin, "but I'm not comfortable. I wonder how long it is since I slept in a bed?"
Merry yawned. "Work it out on your fingers!" he said. "But you must know how long it is since we left Lorien."
"Oh that!" said Pippin. "I mean a real bed in a bedroom."
"Well, Rivendell then," said Merry. "But I could sleep anywhere tonight."
"You had luck, Merry," said Pippin softly, after a long pause. "You were riding with Gandalf."
"Well, what of it?"
"Did you get any news, any information out of him?"
"Yes, a good deal. More than usual. But you heard it all or most of it; you were close by, and we were talking no secrets. But you can go with him tomorrow, if you think you can get more out of him- and if he'll have you."
"Can I? Good! But he's close, isn't he? Not changed at all."
"Oh yes, he is!" Said Merry, waking up a little, and beginning to wonder what was bothering his companion. "He has grown, or something. He can be both kinder and more alarming, merrier and more solemn than before, I think. He has changed; but we have not had a chance to see how much, yet. But think of the last part of that business with Saruman! Remember Saruman was once Gandalf's superior: head of the Council, whatever that may be exactly. He was Saruman the White. Gandalf is the White now. Saruman came when he was told, and his rod was taken; and then he was just told to go, and he went!"
"Well, if Gandalf has changed at all, then he's closer than ever that's all," Pippin argued. "That- glass ball now. He seemed mighty pleased with it. He knows or guesses something about it. But does he tell us what? No, not a word. Yet I picked it up, and I saved it from rolling into a pool. 'Here, I'll take that, my lad'- that's all. I wonder what it is? It felt so very heavy." Pippin's voice fell very low, as if he was talking to himself.
"Hullo!" said Merry. "So that's what is bothering you? Now, Pippin my lad, don't forget Gildor's saying- the one Sam used to quote: 'Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.'"
"But our whole life for months has been one long meddling in the affairs of Wizards," said Pippin. "I should like a bit of information as well as danger. I should like a look at that ball."
"Go to sleep!" said Merry. "You'll get information enough, sooner or later. My dear Pippin, no Took ever beat a Brandybuck for inquisitiveness; but is this the time, I ask you?"
"All right! What's the harm in my telling you what I should like: a look at that stone? I know I can't have it, with old Gandalf sitting on it, like a hen on an egg. But it doesn't help much to get no more from you than a 'you-can't-have-it so-go-to-sleep!'
"Well, what else could I say?" said Merry. "I'm sorry, Pippin, but you really must wait till morning. I'll be as curious as you like after breakfast, and I'll help in any way I can at wizard wheedling. But I can't keep awake any longer. If I yawn any more, I shall split at the ears. Good night!"
Pippin said no more. He didn't sleep, but he couldn't talk. He could still feel the weight of the stone between his burning hands. He didn't know why he wanted this stone so badly; it was only a glass ball after all.
'I don't really want to have it,' he thought, 'I just want to look at it and that is something entirely different.' His mind made up, whether he was aware of it or not, he got to his feet. He walked around the camp as quietly as a hobbit could, and found a stone of the right size and shape. Sneaking up to Gandalf he waited patiently for something, he wasn't sure what yet. Then the perfect opportunity presented itself. In his sleep Gandalf reached up and scratched his nose.
Quicker than Pippin knew he could, he reached out and grabbed the stone, replacing it almost instantly with the stone he'd found. Guiltily the young hobbit ran off to the relative shelter of a hill, wondering what had possessed him to do that. He silently removed the cloth, getting the guilty look of a child doing something he knows he's not supposed to. With wide, innocent eyes, Pippin stared into the darkness of the orb.
At first nothing changed, he just kept staring with fierce intensity. Suddenly his eyes widened in fear, and made a motion like he was going to throw the thing away. But he couldn't take his eyes off it and he froze again. His gray blue eyes widened in utter terror, his mouth moving soundlessly, and he began to tremble violently. This went on for several minutes, each second adding terror to his eyes and ferocity to his trembling. Suddenly he let out a strangled cry, dropped the ball, and collapsed backward, eyes open and glazed, jerking, twisting, and trembling in a seizure like way.

Pippin's cry wasn't very loud, but still it aroused the guards. They went in search of the source, and found Pippin like that. Fearing for the life of this charming little creature (te he), they ran back to the others arousing Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and last of all, Merry. Without explanation they led them back to the still convulsing hobbit.
"Pippin!" Merry let out an anguished cry and tried to run to him, but Legolas stopped him for fear he'd get in Gandalf and Aragorn's way. Gandalf threw a cloth over the stone while Aragorn ran over and took Pippin's hand. At Aragorn's touch Pippin instantly froze still and then went completely limp.
At this point Merry let out a sob, and pulled against Legolas' grip. "Pippin! Nooo! No Pip you can't be dead!" Merry's knees collapsed and he let out several chocking sobs as Legolas held him up. Aragorn picked up Pippin, gently rocking him and wiping sweat sodden curls from off his brow, muttering something in Elfish.
"What mischief have you down now Pippin! To yourself and to all of us!" Gandalf's tone was harsh, but his face and eyes held a worried expression for the young hobbit in question. He leaned close to Pippin's mouth, listening for breath. He then placed his hand on Pippin's forehead and muttered something in a tongue even Aragorn did not know. Pippin shuddered as if suddenly very cold, and closed his eyes, allowing tears to fall onto his too pale cheeks.
Legolas and Gimli let out sighs of relief, and Merry managed to get away and race to his cousin's side.
"Pippin! Pippin!" In an almost comical overly protective way Merry pulled Pippin right out of Gandalf and Aragorn's grasp, holding him close. "My poor Pippin. What have you done now?" He whispered soothingly, brushing back his curls and planting a light kiss on the younger hobbits forehead. Without opening his eyes Pippin wrapped his arms around Merry's neck and sobbed into his chest, gasping for air and coughing. Tears fell from Merry's eyes at seeing his cousin so terribly frightened. He rocked back and forth, smoothing Pippin's hair and holding him as close as possible.
Aragorn's heart was torn at the sight of the youngest of the hobbits so terribly frightened, obviously wanting nothing other than his cousin. Obviously if he was so frightened he couldn't have been swayed to the side of evil could he? He turned sad blue eyes to Gandalf.
"Could you wait until morning?" Gandalf shook his head, gravely.
"I must have all the details, while they are still fresh in his mind." Aragorn nodded, not to say he agreed by merely to show he knew Gandalf was right. Gandalf took a step toward the hobbits, and softly called.
"Peregrin?" Pippin turned to look at him and shrunk back, clutching Merry harder than ever, burying his face in the older hobbits chest in terror to frightening to run.
"No stay away! Go back! Don't let them get me Merry, please don't!" Merry stared down at his trembling cousin.
"Get you? Pippin what in the name of the Shire are you talking about?" Pippin began to sob hysterically.
"They want the ring, all of them! They want to hurt Frodo; they want to take it for themselves! They'll kill me Merry, to get it. Because I know where Frodo is, I know! He told me!" Pippin was now in hysterics, muttering incoherently about something and sobbing in between. Merry stared up at them, eyes a mixture of fear, trust, and alarm.
"What's he going on about? Whose he?" Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli exchanged fearful glances. They, like Gandalf, had guessed the nature of the stone. What had Pippin revealed in his terror upon meeting the dark lord? Gandalf didn't say anything. He simply went over and tried to pick Pippin out of Merry's grasp. This was too much for Pippin; he tried to run, fighting against Merry's firm grip.
"No! No please! I won't tell you, I won't give Frodo to you! You can't make me!" Merry assumed that Pippin was trying to run in terror simply because he knew he would tell, if it came to torture, and didn't want to risk Frodo's life. Whether this was loyal or cowardly Merry wasn't sure, but at the moment it didn't seem to matter. Frodo, the quest, none of it seemed to matter. All that mattered, at that instant, was Pippin. All Merry knew was that Pippin was terrified out of his wits, not himself, and in some half delusional state. Merry gritted his teeth and pulled Pippin closer to him.
"Pippin, Pippin, it's all right. I won't let anything happen to you."
"Do you promise Merry?" For the first time that night, the two locked eyes. Merry's heart wrenched at what he saw. Those soft gray blue irises were glistening with pain and terror, emotions not usually shown there. And something usually there was gone entirely. The angelic innocence that all tweenagers had, EXCPECILLY Pippin, had vanished. He pulled Pippin closer to him, holding him tightly.
"Yes Pip, I promise. I will let no harm befall you." 'Never again,' he added to himself, 'never ever again.' Gandalf watched this exchange in silence, his eyes pleading with Merry to get Pippin to talk to him. Merry, despite what he liked to appear, was far from stupid and got the hint immediately.
"Now Pippin, you must listen to me and you must trust me. You do trust me, don't you Pip?"
"With all my heart." Came the instant, almost child like, reply. Merry smiled at him reassuringly, a small twinge of guilt at having to make Pippin go through this. But he had too. He'd understand one day.
"Now Pip, you've known Gandalf since you were a we hobbit lad, right?" Pippin nodded slowly, having a small hunch as to where this was going.
"He's never done anything to hurt you has he Pip? I mean really hurt you, not just pulled your ear to get you to behave." Pippin looked down at his trembling hands, leaning back into Merry's warm, protective, embrace.
"Yes." Merry looked at him in surprise, then turned fierce eyes to Gandalf who looked equally shocked.
"When Pippin?" There was a small sniffle.
"He calls me a fool of a Took. I know I'm a fool but...I didn't mean that thing in Moria! I didn't mean for the...orcs...and the Balrog..." The young hobbit could not bring himself to say more and broke down into hysteric sobs once more.
'Ah so that's what this is about.' Merry thought to himself, cuddling his little cousin closer. 'There's more to this than that stone or I'm not a Brandybuck!'
"You're not a fool Pippin. I promise you. Young, naive, impulsive, of course you are. You're a Took; you're born that way. But you're not a fool Pippin, never a fool." Broken tears fell down Pippin's face, and he turned to hide himself in Merry's shoulder again. Merry rubbed his back in small circles as he hiccupped and coughed.
"Pippin you have to talk to us. We need to know what said Pippin, we have too so that we can fix it." Aragorn winced at the sob that escaped Pippin's throat at this statement. He sounded so much like an elf he'd rescued from orcs once. That elf had been beaten and torched until he was an inch from death, and they broke his spirit by making him suffer so. That elf had never been the same again, being called the Fallen Angel by everyone else forever after that. He hoped with all his heart the Pippin's tears were not that of a fallen angel.
"Don't make me Merry, please don't make me! I can't bare it again, I can't! Please Merry, please!" Legolas thought his heart would break, between the combination of Pippin broken sobs and Merry's pained face. He wanted to help, so badly. But it was to late to help Pippin now. Mentally he cursed his elfin ears for not hearing the young hobbit get up.
"Please Pippin, we need to know so that all we've done is not in vain. Peregrin tell me for the Shire. For Frodo? For Sam? For me?" Pippin pulled out of Merry's embrace, kneeling on the ground. He looked at Merry with pain filled eyes but nodded.
"I will say, if only for the sake of those things alone." Merry gave him a small, reassuring, pain filled smile. Pippin took a great shuddering breath, and slowly turned so he could see Gandalf and the others, taking Merry's hand and tightly intertwining their fingers.
"It was dark, and I could see stars. They were clear as ice, almost like I was looking above me, and as cold looking as ice too. Not the warm guiding light of Elvin stars, more like stars of a forgotten time..." the detail Pippin was putting into this amazed Merry, but he said nothing for fear of having to convince Pip into talking again. He didn't think he could stand it if he had too, "every once in a while the stars would flicker, like giant birds were flying over them. I looked really hard, and saw they weren't birds but black riders on wings! I tried to cry out for help, but then one swooped toward me. He came closer, and closer, and I thought he was going to come right out at me! I tried to throw it away, but then he disappeared. The next thing I know I'm surrounded by red fire, and he...he's there...the dark lord! I tried to run, tried to scream, tried to do SOMETHING, but I couldn't. I was frozen. He could see me, all of me, I knew he could. He asked me who I was, what I was, and I answered him. 'Peregrin Took is my name. I'm a hobbit.' I said. An' he told me he knew all about me, and wanted to know why Saruman hadn't contacted him in so long, an' I told him I didn't know but I'd ask him next time I saw him. He didn't seem too happy about that, and told me to tell him were I hid the ring. I wouldn't tell him an'...Merry he hurt me! I wanted to scream and cry and I couldn't do anything but stand there. He told me he could see into the others minds, and they wanted the ring. They'd kill me to get me to tell them where it was if they had too. An' Merry it was horrible! It hurt so badly. An' then, he turned away, and left me alone. After hours more of that torture he let me go an...an..." The poor tweenager could say any more. He hid his face in his hands and began to sob, silvery tears slipping through his fingers. Merry reached out and pulled him back into his lap, and Pippin immediately turned to bury his face into the welcoming embrace, his thin shoulders trembling visibly in the moonlight.
Gandalf and the others watched this silently for a few minutes, Merry looking pleadingly at each one in turn. Finally Gandalf spoke, his tone harsh but not angry.
"Peregrin Took.... you were a fool to take the Palantir, and you were an even bigger fool to look into it, but in a way it has benefited you for now you see what we are up against in its purest form, it is better to understand your enemy then to fear it and never know it." Pippin nodded through his tears, shivering. Legolas and Gimli sent him looks of sympathy and pity, while Aragorn turned away.
"Get Pippin a blanket please Merry, and gather his things." Nodding in a confused sort of way, Merry reluctantly let go of Pippin. Pippin cried out and tried to latch onto him again, but Merry shook his head. Gandalf was wise, and they were not. He had to follow his council. Gandalf picked up the hobbit, who was still whimpering for his cousin. When Merry came back he wrapped Pippin the blanket, and took up the hobbit's meager belongings. Carefully he climbed up on Shadowfax and turned to Aragorn.
"We will await your arrival in Gondor. Do not tarry long." Aragorn nodded solemnly. Gandalf gave him a reassuring smile before turning Shadowfax and bolting off into the night with Pippin. The other four watched them go in scilence. A single tear fell down Merry's cheek.
"Remember Pip," he whispered off into the shadow, "even fallen angels can fly again."