West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Pippin, a bird, and the consequences of eavesdropping.
Timeframe: Settled a couple of years before the beginning of the LOTR trilogy
A/N: You never write a story completely on your own. There are always people helping you when things get rough, people inspiring and encouraging you. Therefore this story is dedicated to four wonderful hobbits. To eretria, who released the plot-bunny, guided me all the way through and always keeps my faith up. To Fran, who rescued 'Reníad'. To Ambersky, whose beautiful artwork never fails to amaze me. To Gabby Hope, who's a jewel amongst the guild of beta-readers. Thank you all.
It was a fresh spring afternoon and the sun was warm on his face. Above, thick white clouds were rolling lazily, rearing heavily over one another on their slow journey. They looked like sheep in no hurry. Clasping his hands comfortably behind his head, Pippin smiled up at the blue sky.
A beetle soared up from a nearby flower and landed promptly on the tip of the hobbit's nose. Pippin watched the fellow trip and wag his feelers. At length the hobbit wrinkled his nose and watched the beetle buzz off to find himself a less shaky place to sit on. Stretching his limbs, Pippin sat up and yawned broadly. Splaying his toes, he leant back on his hands and drew a deep breath. The green grass about him smelled young and fresh, inviting him to stand up and walk under the friendly sky. Which was exactly what he planned to do.
From the slope he sat on he could easily survey the blossoming valley below. Emerald green treetops spread to the banks of the Brandywine River. Leaves twinkling in the sunlight promised a batch of adventures yet to be discovered under the foliage. A broad grin plastered over his face, Pippin stood up and confidently placed his hands on his hips. He'd known this would be an extraordinarily fine day the moment he had jumped out of bed. Whistling cheerfully, he started down the slope. Of course, his aunt's idea of what to do with him had been slightly different, but Pippin found it much too beautiful a day to spend it with a wash-board and soap. Especially if he was to do the washing with the household's burly cook. Somehow she still hadn't forgiven the frog he'd accidentally left in her underskirt.
Throwing his jacket over his shoulder, Pippin hopped over a stone and dived under the trees. Beneath the trunks and brush, spring just had come. The new moss had tiny white blossoms that were a shame to step on, so he avoided them as best as he could. His eyes darted anxiously around, but to his profound disappointment, the forest was awfully quiet. Chewing pensively on his lip, the young Took stopped under the overhanging branches of an old oak. What to do now? He could still go back to Brandy Hall and see if Merry had returned from the market he and his father had gone to. On the other hand, the risk of running into his aunt was quite high. At the thought of mother Brandybuck's resolute scowl, Pippin's face screwed up uncomfortably. No, it was probably not a good idea to show up before nightfall.
Scratching his neck, he looked up. Sunlight glistened on the leaves high above and threw golden patches on his cheeks. Through the maze of twigs and branches, his sharp eyes discovered the outlines of a little brown nest. As though on command his stomach grumbled loudly.
If I'm not completely mistaken, Pippin thought, it's actually time for tea. As things were, tea would be a little difficult to procure out here, but in the meantime some eggs would do quite well. Mentally preparing for his climb, Pippin dropped his jacket and reached up for the lowest branch. His lithe hobbit limbs easily found hold and carried him high up into the tree's top. Carefully hanging on to the last branch, Pippin approached his goal. With his tongue clamped between his teeth and brows furrowed in concentration, he pulled himself the last bit forward. Already his mouth was watering. His eyes peeked carefully over the nest's edge, hoping for at least two eggs to be his loot. What he didn't expect was the blur of feathers and the high pitched cheep right in front of his nose. Taken over by shock, the hobbit jolted up, making him almost lose his balance. Just in time, he threw himself forward and clutched the branch he sat on fiercely with both arms and legs. Through disheveled curls Pippin saw the nest sway threateningly, then it fell off the branch before he could do as much as reach out a hand for it. Holding his breath, Pippin stared after the nest as it disappeared downwards with a cracking rustle. For a moment he kept hanging on to his branch, eyes opened wide and fingers digging into the rough bark. Then he gave out a small voiced cry and scrambled backwards as fast as he could. Quickly he climbed down the tree with shaking legs. As his feet reached the ground, his heart was beating fast. He discovered the fallen nest at once on the moss and leaf covered soil. Yet, if something moved inside it, he could not tell. Hesitantly, he approached the mess he had made. Shock and horror paled his cheeks. It had been a little bird inside and he had pushed it from the tree. What if it was hurt? What if... . Biting his lip in fear, Pippin knelt down. Some leaves clung to the network of twigs and boughs and hid what lay inside. Carefully he plucked them away.
The nestling was still there, a small ball of pearl gray feathers, but it did not move. Tears welled up in Pippin's eyes and his hand sank down.
Oh, what have I done? he thought, close to despair. He did not feel the sting in his maltreated lip, all his thoughts revolved around the irreversible damage. Since his early childhood, Pippin's second name had been mischief, but never before had someone been seriously hurt by his ferocious adventures. The fact he'd finally gone too far was painfully sobering. Peregrin Took had a wild spirit but a gentle heart. To see a helpless creature harmed by his misdoing anguished him gravely. Blinking back a tear, Pippin lifted his hand and reached out a trembling finger. Inwardly he cursed his impetuosity, his unbridled appetite, and, most of all, his Tookish foolishness.
They always told me it would end badly some day, he thought, hearing the voices of scolding elders in his head. The young hobbit swallowed hard as his finger carefully poked the motionless feather ball and suddenly a jolt ran through the little being. Pippin's finger-tip had hardly touched the nestling when a tiny beak shot out of the tangled plumage and pricked the hobbit's skin. With a squeak, Pippin jumped back, stumbling over his feet and landing right on his backside. For a moment, the wood surrounding him swam out of focus. Shaking his head quickly, Pippin regained control over his vision and stared unbelievingly at his feet. The nestling peeped over the nest's edge with glaring, black eyes, daring Pippin to try a thing like that again. Pippin gaped for another moment, then broke into a hearty laughter, startling a nearby hedgehog into a ball of spikes. A heavy load slid secretly from the youth's heart. Chuckling, Pippin wiped away the tears, which were still flowing.
"Hullo there, little fellow," he addressed the nestling, "full of beans, aren't you?" Quickly brushing away one last tear, Pippin scrambled up to kneel in front of the nest again. Sighing in relief, he brought one finger close to the bird's beak.
"I'm sorry," the young hobbit whispered. The nestling looked suspiciously at the finger as if it considered hard to pick on it again. Smiling still, Pippin leaned forward and lifted the nest off the ground. It was so light it felt as if it had no weight at all. Inwardly Pippin sent a mute note of thanks to good fortune that the nest had not been damaged on its rather rough way down the tree. As if to rightfully rebuke, the little bird tilted up his head and chirped.
"There, there, Mr. Tiny Feathers," Pippin said, "I suppose we better get you back up there, huh?" Furrowing his brow, the hobbit looked up and searched for the place the nest had formerly rested on. Nodding as he found it, Pippin straightened up and marched back to the tree's trunk. He swung up into the branches once more, transporting the nest securely trapped inside his shirt. Quickly he climbed the tree and carefully seated the nest on the exact branch it had been pushed off. Satisfied with his successful manoeuvre and still feeling overly relieved, Pippin crawled backwards. He had almost set his left foot on the branch below, when a sudden thought made him hesitate. Suddenly the face of Brandy Hall's old gardener appeared before Pippin's inner eye. The young hobbit remembered last fall when Merry and he had been watching the gardener hang up some wooden birdhouses. The old man had warned the cousins to stay away from the birds' homes once the eggs would be hatched. All too clear Pippin heard the gardener's voice, telling the youths that once the nestling was touched by a stranger, the mother wouldn't take it back again. With a blank expression, Pippin sat back on the branch. He had touched the nestling. So what now? Staring at the nest ahead of him, Pippin mulled the situation over in his mind. He had only touched the bird fleetingly, maybe that wasn't enough to scare the mother off. But if it was? Indecisively, Pippin chewed on his thumbnail. Could he just leave? The tip of a little wing showed over the nest's brink and disappeared again. Pressing his lips together in a firm line, Pippin began his climb downwards, preparing for a long wait at the foot of the tree.
The sun had already set low when Pippin sat on the particular branch again. A few inches away the nest lay still and unaltered, its inhabitant as quiet as the tree itself. Pippin had waited for hours, attentively observing the tree's top. For a fidgety hobbit and furthermore a Took, it had been a hard task. Still, Pippin had neither complained nor strayed from his watch, not even a single time. His eyes and hopes strictly stuck to the branches above. Once there came a fully grown bird to the tree, landing on the very branch the nest laid on. Yet, the bird did not come near the nestling, and instead it flew away only a few seconds after it had appeared. Pippin assumed it could have been the mother, which would mean the gardener's warning had come true. But in the end the young hobbit came to the conclusion that the nestling's mother might as well be dead. Either way he couldn't leave the small thing up on the tree all alone. So in the end Pippin conquered the oak a third and final time.
Now the nestling was moving in its lair as if it sensed the hobbit's presence. Avoiding rash movements, Pippin drew a little closer and steadied himself on the branch. Carefully, he reached out and took the little bird out of its nest. It was so small, it fitted neatly into his palm. First the nestling wriggled in protest, but then it was eased by the warmth of Pippin's hand and the hobbit's soothing hushes. Finally it snuggled into Pippin's hold and waited. Carefully not to destroy the newly gained trust, Pippin rested the nestling into an inner pocket of his vest. The bird seemed to like it in there. After making sure the little creature was really safe, Pippin slowly began his descent and reached the ground in no time.
On a thatch of soft moss he knelt down and, after a moment of consideration, began to dig into the earth. Throughout the last minutes of his wait, it had come to his mind that the bird must be hungry. He could easily guess the bird's feelings. After almost half a day without food Pippin knew a good deal about being hungry. Beneath some small stones and nearly rotten leaves, Pippin finally found what he was looking for. With some effort, he closed his fingers around a fat, white maggot. Soil clung to his fingers and palms, as he lifted his loot high in the air. An excited "cheep" out of his vest informed him that his little friend had seen the promising meal already. Pippin folded back his vest and held the maggot close to the tiny beak. Soon the hobbit found out the nestling's appetite was quite a match for his own. For a moment, Pippin's eyes rested on the little bird.
"Well now," Pippin said, while the bird was looking up at him, "what do you say about me taking you home? We can search for some other worms of the tasty kind on the way."
It seemed like the nestling agreed eagerly.
Dusk was already at the threshold when Pippin returned to Brandy Hall. The overgrown walls of the Brandybucks' home gleamed faintly golden in the setting sun, the scrubbed panes blinking from afar. Carefully, Pippin lifted his chin to peek over the hedge. To his utter relief he saw no one on the lawn ahead. It seemed that all the folks were inside and, only a good distance away, Pippin spotted the gardener trimming the far end of the hedge. Quickly leaving his shelter, Pippin crossed the lawn and reached the Western side of the Hall unnoticed. Checking his surroundings one last time, he ducked under the blooming rowan trees, sneaking towards a small side-door and sliding noiselessly inside.
Shadows stretched along the corridor Pippin found himself in as the lamps had not yet been lit. As the light faded, a timid cheeping out of his vest reminded the hobbit that he was not alone. Pippin opened his vest and soothingly patted the little bird's head. "Hush," he whispered, "we're almost there." He listened closely but all he could hear was the clattering of dishes a couple of smials away. Instantaneously a low rumble in the center of his stomach became audible. Pippin pressed his lips together, but the thought of steaming stew and baskets full of bread was not at all easy to shove away.
Not yet, he reminded himself, but couldn't help to give forth a pitiful sigh. Once more, he took a look around. If this day's lucky streak didn't leave him right now, he could make it to his room without meeting one of the Hall's many habitants. His feet padding on the bare floor, Pippin walked swiftly up to a staircase. His room lay only a few steps away from the stairways upper end and he already believed to be the luckiest Took in Buckland. Then all of a sudden, Pippin heard a door fall shut and voices approaching him. Sharply sucking his breath in, he ducked low and hid behind one of the banister's broad poles. Heavy footsteps echoed over the floorboards and soon a pair of curly heads came into view.
"I just don't know what to do," one of them said and Pippin immediately recognized the voice to be that of Saradoc Brandybuck, Merry's father. So Merry's already returned, Pippin thought, good. I can ask him about the bird, then. Below, Saradoc and the other hobbit, who was Saradoc's brother Merimac, opened another door and disappeared into the room behind. For a split second, Pippin hesitated in his hiding place. The grave tone of Saradoc's voice tempted him greatly to find out what bothered his uncle so. But on the other hand, should he risk to be discovered just now? In the end curiosity won and Pippin sneaked down the stairway. As noiseless as any hobbit could be, he approached the door the two elders kindly enough hadn't closed.
Seems to be my day after all, Pippin thought with a grin. Coming as close as he dared, the young hobbit pricked up his ears. Saradoc's deep voice sounded clearly behind the crack in the door.
"I do my best to raise my son a respectable heir," Merry's father said in obvious anger, "and again and again I hear people complain about his crude behavior."
Behind the door, Pippin had to clamp a hand over his mouth to prevent himself from chuckling. Oh Merry, he thought, what is it this time?
"It's all the fault of this unbearable Took," Saradoc spat, causing Pippin to freeze on the spot. "The very moment the lad set his foot into my house, trouble moved in." Some further words were muttered angrily beneath his breath, before he continued loudly: "Peregrin seems to be born for mischief. He never misses a chance and all the time he's been here, he proved to be nothing but a terrible nuisance." Outside, Pippin winced at the hard words and instinctively took a step back. There was a little pause before Saradoc sighed and went on. "I wonder why I let myself be talked into taking him in. Tooks ... since when did anything useful come from this branch of the family?"
"Saradoc," his brother ventured, but the other gave him neither the chance nor the time to speak.
"If it wasn't so important, believe me, I wouldn't mind," Saradoc continued, his words laced with deep sorrow now. Pippin imagined him shaking his head with furrowed brows. "Meriadoc will have a great responsibility one day and with the influence of the young Took I doubt he will be ready for it."
Pippin didn't notice the hesitant move in his vest. Inexorably the heard words sank in and cut into his heart much worse than any knife ever could. The rest of what they spoke behind the door drifted to his ear in a haze.
"Don't worry, Saradoc," Merimac said, "the lad's still young and easily influenced. But just you let some time go by and he will grow into a reliable hobbit like the rest of us. Merry's a good boy."
Saradoc sighed heavily. "You're right, I guess. Besides, he's eight years Peregrin's senior. In time he will get bored of the youngster's companionship."
"Just what I said," his brother agreed.
Slowly, Pippin turned his back towards the door. His feet carried him to the stairway, but he was hardly aware of it.
A burden ... and a nuisance ... . So this was how they saw him? And was it true? Taking one step after the other, Pippin swallowed although his mouth had gone completely dry. His heart beat hard against his chest and in a curious way he found it difficult to breathe. Pippin was used to elders scolding him, even elders shouting at him, but the firm conviction in his uncle's words was something new. Pippin knew how he kept the others on edge, but never before had the thought occurred that his mischief making would cause serious trouble. Then the worst thing was not even that they had called him a troublemaker. It was what they had said about Merry and him that bewildered Pippin the most.
... will get bored of a youngster's companionship ... It couldn't be true, or could it? Their bond was something special, regardless the difference in age. But doubt had already begun to worm its way into the young hobbit's heart. Pippin reached the end of the stairway and walked on to his room. As he laid his hand on the door knob, he suddenly felt unable to move. Pictures of Merry appeared before his inner eye, blue eyes sparkling as the two of them were on the way to farmer Maggot's fields. Then he saw an altered image of his cousin, eyes distant and much older. For the blink of an eye, Pippin had the vision of a grown up Merry, with shoulders straight and a deep-going sense of graveness about him. It was so unlike the Merry he knew and so unlike himself. Suddenly Pippin felt the shade of a vast difference between them and for once he felt choked with fear. What if Merry really left him behind? What would become of him, burdensome and pesky Took that he was?
He forced himself to open the door and step inside the room. Like a sleepwalker he approached his bed, a hundred thoughts swimming behind his forehead. Would there come a time when he had to watch Merry walk away from him? Seeing the distance between them grow without anything he could do? If Pippin ever brooded about the future, which happened scarcely enough, he always saw himself next to Merry. A life without his cousin had been unthinkable. Until now. Weakly, he dropped onto the edge of his bed. His glance strayed to his scarf, carelessly thrown over one of the bed's poles. Quietly he took it and held it in his lap. Again the elders' conversation echoed in his mind, each word gaining more meaning every time it repeated itself..
Pippin's hand slid inside his vest and retrieved the little bird he had carried all the way to Brandy Hall. Gingerly he placed the small fellow into the folds of his scarf. Being seated in a quite comfortable new sort of a nest, the bird tilted up his head and its black eyes met those of Pippin. Trust and wonder were mirrored in the nestling's wide irises and it cut even deeper into Pippin's heart.
Of course they were right. They always were. All the time he had been here, all his life, he had done nothing useful. Today he had thrown a nest from a tree, driven by unbridled craving. He hadn't thought about the consequences, just as he never thought about them. A tremble ran through Pippin's body and he felt the coldness in his hands, all warmth fleeing his body. Now this little bird was torn out of the circle of its kin and loved ones. Maybe it would never see the peaceful woods again. It was his fault. The nestling could have died; only the mercy of fate had prevented the worst. Defeated, Pippin lowered his head. He was no use to anyone. Not to the little bird in his lap, not to the people of Brandy Hall and not to his own parents, who had gladly given him away over the spring. What else could come out of him besides a fool, merely tolerated by those around him? It was only natural that Merry would have to go on alone to be great.
Darkness extended inside the young Took and a door to forlon chambers opened in his heart. He would lose Merry. As he looked down, the bird still watched him and it seemed like even the little thing was touched by the sadness. Neither of them heard the approaching footsteps.
"So tell me since when would a Took miss dinner?" a questioning voice sounded from the room's entry. When Pippin lifted his head slightly and looked up, Merry stood in the doorway.
"Merry," Pippin said tonelessly, "you're back."
"Quite so," Merry agreed, "say, did you meet my father yet? Is he still seething?" Casually scratching his neck, he turned to shoot a look down the stairway. " When we came to the market Mrs. Goodbody unfortunately recognized my face as belonging to one of her nightly apple thieves," Merry set out with a smile, "of course, father was not exactly pleased." As he still got neither an answer nor any kind of reaction from Pippin, Merry took a closer look at his cousin. Bemused by the other's uncommon silence, he frowned. The line between his brows deepened as he became aware of the shadows below Pippin's eyes. "Pip?" he asked with stirring concern. "What is it?" Then he discovered the nestling moving in Pippin's scarf. Raising both eyebrows, Merry came closer to the bed.
"It fell out of its nest," Pippin whispered, as Merry bent forward to examine the wee bird. A smile appeared on Merry's face as he reached out a finger and stroked the bird's plumage. But then he raised his glance and his bright blue eyes seemed to bore straight into Pippin. Returning to a frown, Merry sat back on his heels and laid his hands on Pippin's knees. "Cousin, what is wrong with you?" he asked.
For a moment, Pippin stared at the other who had been his closest friend for so many years. The urge to tell him everything was strong and clutched his heart fiercely, but the words wouldn't come. Shamefully, Pippin averted his eyes, unable to look at his cousin any longer. Then, when he felt a slightly callused hand touching his cheek ever so gently, he could hold back no longer. Quickly turning away, he shook Merry's easing touch off.
"Pippin..." Merry said, stunned. One more time he tried to reach for his cousin, this time grabbing him by the shoulder. "Pippin, you're scaring me."
"Let go off me," Pippin exclaimed, his head snapping back, and at last Merry was faced with the bright tears in his cousin's eyes. "I'm nothing but an obstacle to you," Pippin cried out, "so don't come near me. They explained it, explained it all. How I'm the cause for all this trouble."
Raising both eyebrows, Merry straightened, bewilderment clearly reflected on his face. Now that the wall was down, the words poured out of Pippin in a desperate rush. "Don't you see? I'm good for nothing. Oh, I..." His pleading eyes stared up at Merry, his breathing ragged with helpless sobs, "It's all my fault. You will disappoint your father and he depends on you so much and I have pushed the nest from its tree and you will go away. You'll go away soon and I'll be alone." The tears had long since began to course down his cheeks, but Pippin didn't notice. Shame and despair seizing his mind, he slumped and hid his face in his hands. "How could you ever bear to stay with me," Pippin whispered, "How could anyone. I even hurt a fair little bird."
Silence settled in the small room. Not even the nestling dared to move. Fearfully, it hid in the folds of Pippin's scarf. After what seemed to be an eternity, Pippin let his hands sink down.
"I'm so sorry I didn't understand earlier," he murmured. Slowly he raised his head. Merry was looking down at him with an unfathomable expression. Pippin swallowed and lowered his gaze again.
"Who told you all this?" Merry asked quietly.
"I eavesdropped on your father and uncle," Pippin whispered, "They said I had a bad influence on you. That because of me you wouldn't be ready for the tasks ahead." More tears escaped his eyes and found their way down to his jaw-line. "They said you have to leave me behind to be a good person. I guess they're right."
"Pippin, this is nonsense."
At Merry's words Pippin's head snapped up in surprise. His cousin had his arms crossed in front of his chest and shook his head, unbelievingly.
"How could you ever think something like that?" Merry said.
"It seemed perfectly sensible," Pippin returned, his voice timid and weak. His glance returned to the little bird that snuggled deep into his scarf. Then all of a sudden Merry crouched in front of him and closed his slightly tanned hand around his cousin's. "It's perfect nonsense," he said softly. Hesitantly, Pippin lifted his head and looked into Merry's eyes. The warmth he met there easily slid through the haze and fog that fear had created.
"So you don't want to get rid of me?" Pippin ventured. The line between Merry's brows returned and his grip on Pippin's hand tightened.
"'Course I don't."
A small sound escaped Pippin's throat as the firm ring of overwhelming emotions - fear and grief, despair and hurt - loosened around his heart. Still the young hobbit was too shaken to stop his eyes from moistening again. His glance fell on the nestling in his lap.
"What about the little one?" he asked.
Merry also looked down; the small bird comfortably stirred in its woolen nest. Without saying anything, Merry took the scarf and bird out of Pippin's lap and walked over to the room's single window. There he placed the huddled bird on the ledge and sat down beside it. Pippin watched the two of them for a short moment, then he stood up and rubbed his nose with the back of his hand, sniffling. Reluctantly, he followed Merry to the window. Once there, he perched quietly beside his cousin.
"See here," Merry said, softly stroking the little bird's head, "it's full of trust and hope." He raised his glance and fleetingly looked outside the window.
"I remember the day you first came to the Hall, you know," he mused and a soft smile appeared on his features, "You were so small, bright eyed, and full of trust. I looked at you and I knew," he stopped and returned his glance to the little bird, "I knew I would take care of you. I would see to that no one would ever hurt you, I would catch you every time you fell and I would keep you out of the trouble you summoned. Looking into your mischievous eyes that day I knew it would be a job to last a life-time."
Pippin stared wordlessly at his cousin, who serenely stroked one of the bird's wings with his fingertip. A movement stirred inside the young Took and his eyes widened. Smiling, Merry caressed the little bird's throat, then he cupped his hand over the tiny creature, so it could cuddle into the warmth of his sheltering palm.
"Always take care of it the way I take care of you," Merry said, "It will always know it is loved, then."
A breaking sob on his lips, Pippin slid down from the ledge and threw himself into Merry's arms. The tears ran freely as he buried his face into his cousin's shoulder. Merry closed his arms around the younger hobbit and eased his trembling with a soft whisper. Pippin didn't see the other's eyes brim with tears, as Merry stroked his tangled curls.
"And some day you will have to let it fly free," Merry whispered, lifting his head from Pippin's hair. Almost inaudible he spoke and shed his own tear: "It will be the hardest day of your life." Softly he patted the other's head. Once again, silence filled the room, only this time it emerged from comfort.
Tears dried and sobs calmed, Pippin leaned against his cousin. Through the other's vest and shirt he could hear Merry's heart beat, a soothing sound which drove away all the confusion and brought back the silence. There was no sadness anymore. The doubt was gone, forever banned from Pippin's heart. Not breaking the contact, Pippin shifted. What had not been necessary to be expressed before had now been spoken out aloud. From now on, they wouldn't need to talk of it again.
Pippin rested his cheek against the hollow of Merry's neck and watched the little bird at the window. The small creature had fallen asleep, his head covered by a tiny wing. In his heart Pippin promised to take care of the little thing. He would watch over it and keep it safe. Because of the love he was given, he could give the little one even more.
Contentment and serenity dwelling inside him, Pippin closed his eyes. Before he fell asleep, drowsy from the day's anxiety, he heard Merry hum the melody of a song they had made up a few years ago. It was only one of the hundred threads weaving their bond.
In the end it was good to fall asleep next to someone who cared for you. It was good to feel understood and accepted. But the best thing was to know it would last for a lifetime and longer. What their friendship meant, Merry and Pippin knew in the depths of their souls. Or maybe it was just one soul, shared between the two of them.
Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet.
(from Celine Dion's "Fly")
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