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Stained Lilies by bfb

Author: bfb 
Title:  Stained Lilies
Rating: PG for mild suggestion of adult themes
Theme: Hearts & Flowers
Elements: first love, heart of stone, lily (purity)
Author's Notes: Sorry it's late!
Summary: The morning when Pippin and his friends set out to help Frodo move, he finds himself unable to sleep due to niggling thoughts.
Word Count: 990

Stained Lilies

The sun had barely begun to peek over the hills, casting the faintest pink hue in the dawn sky, when the back door opened and Pippin crept out into the Bolgers’ yard. He hadn’t been able to sleep all night and at this point it was just an effort in futility. He knew he would probably later regret the decision to give up, but if he lay in bed alone with his thoughts a minute longer, he knew he’d regret it more.

The adjacent bed had been empty for hours, as Merry had slipped out at some point to go speak to Estella. Pippin had wished him luck, knowing his cousin would need it. To explain their foolhardy mission and come away unscathed would be a tricky thing, especially in the middle of the night. But Pippin hadn’t heard any shouting, so he supposed Merry had done a good job.

Now he walked down the garden path past the rose bushes, and though he was happy for them to be able to say goodbye properly before he, Merry, and Fredegar left for Hobbiton, he couldn’t help the strange niggling thought at the back of his mind. The same bitter thought that had plagued him as he’d tossed and turned for the last five hours.

At least he gets to say goodbye. At least he gets to see her before he goes.

But once again, as he’d done each time the thought crossed his mind before, he shook his head and tried to reason with himself. It wasn’t at all the same and he needed to stop torturing himself with the comparison. Theirs was a real love, not an infantile fancy.

He paused in front of a patch of lilies and remembered the last time he’d seen her. In balmy June, at Brandy Hall, at the last of the Big Families’ parties...

They weren’t inside with the other merrymakers, safe from the weather. He’d followed her out to the yard in an effort to keep her from making a fool of herself over a petty squabble. There’d been lilies there, too, but they were not yet ripe, still fat bulbs sitting in the damp earth. The soil grew steadily muddier as the drizzle turned into a shower.

And as he begged her to come to her senses and go back inside, their conversation turned into an argument. In her passion and her fury, she slipped, causing the lilies as well as her dress to become drenched in mud. He tried to help her up, but she stubbornly refused his hand.

Once she finally got to her feet, she gave him such a withering stare that he felt himself pierced to the bone.

“I’m only trying to help you.”
“Why? I don’t need your help. I’m never going to need your help.”

Shocked by the outburst, he stammered the first thing that came to mind.

“I can’t help it if I want to take care of you.”
“And who are you to do that? How is my well-being any of your concern?”

He took her soggy hand and tried to muster all his bravery now.

“I’m your friend. And... and...” He faltered, unable to get the words out. “Lawks, Mundee! Don’t you know how dear you are to me?”

She stared at him, a look of disdain marring her usually pleasant features. Her eyes that were normally so bright and warm were now cold and hard, like two icy diamonds. Her given name suddenly seemed so much more fitting.

“Well, you are nothing to me and no one. And you’d be daft to think that will ever change.”

If she’d have slapped him, it would have hurt less. His eyes stung terribly as he watched her storm back into Brandy Hall.

But back in Budgeford, in cool September, Pippin sat in front of the clean white lilies with dry, albeit tired eyes. He’d rather have today’s dark circles than the damp puffy bags he’d endured the night after that confrontation. No, he thought to himself as he shook his head for the umpteenth time; no, he was done with all that sentiment. He’d resolved himself to be done with her and her stone heart months ago.

Whatever had passed between them, whatever faint concept he’d had, it was now very much dead and buried. And frankly he had more important things to worry about. What were lasses and delusions of love when such an enormous task loomed ahead?

Almost as if on schedule, the back door opened again and Merry came out, looking quite exhausted himself. He spotted Pippin in half a second and came down the garden path to meet him.

“You’re up rather early,” said Merry, noting the slightly lighter dawn sky. “Didn’t you sleep well?”

“Oh, quite well,” said Pippin with feigned cheerfulness as he stood up. “I just couldn’t lie about any longer. I was too excited about our journey.”

“I see,” said Merry, a strange glint in his eye. Pippin wondered whether his cousin could tell he wasn’t being entirely honest. He braced himself for an interrogation, but then Merry sighed and shrugged; it seemed he wasn’t going to pursue the topic.

“Very well,” he said as he turned and headed back to the dwelling. “We’d better get ready to leave, then. Wouldn’t want to keep Frodo waiting too long.”

“If by ‘get ready’ you mean ‘have breakfast,’ I wholeheartedly agree!” said Pippin with a laugh as he followed after Merry, who chuckled and rolled his eyes.

“That is just like you, making everything out to be about food,” said Merry, shaking his head. “Do you ever think about anything else?”

Pippin stuck out his tongue and made a rude noise, but when Merry went through the door, he lingered outside and gazed back at the garden. He gave the lilies one last firm look, took a deep breath, and disappeared through the door.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, a Conspiracy story! I LOVE Conspiracy stories!

Poor Pippin! Whatever he and Diamond had quarreled over, she certainly was hard on him! Of course we have the luxury of knowing they will make it up at some point, but right now, poor Pippin hasn't a clue.
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
Haha yeah, that's part of why I love writing Pippin/Diamond and Merry/Estella... because you know so little about them as couples other than the fact that they eventually get married. I like imagining that the journeys both relationships took went all over the place before both pairs eventually settled down.
Feb. 19th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
Yes! I love seeing all sorts of different takes on their romances, and had my own take on it in "It Takes a Took". It's fun seeing all the different ways people think they could have gotten together.

The only ones I don't like are those that make Diamond rather cold, and give poor Pippin an unhappy marriage. He doesn't deserve that.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
They both have to wait quite a while for things to pan out since they don't get married for another nine years! Lots of opportunities for more heart ache and fun and drama and adventures.
Feb. 16th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
Poor Pippin!This must have been hard for him.He will never see lillies in the same way again.
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
Indeed not! Unless something happens eventually to change that connotation.
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, Pip!
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
He's my favorite character so it's often something of a chore to force myself not to write about him, but sometimes the prompt is just too perfect and I can't stop myself. :P
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
I really like how you've captured him so I'm glad this prompt was the perfect one for him!
Feb. 17th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
I can see why he's having difficulty sleeping! Poor guy. At least we know he'll reconcile with her and together they will most likely go on and do well as the Thain and his lady.
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Haha, exactly! This is why I relish writing melodramatic angsty stories about them because everyone knows eventually they end up happily ever after. :P
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
Poor sweet Pippin and his first heartbreak. This is beautifully written and feels very right for the character.
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! I'm glad I did him justice.

(By the way, I don't know if I've said this before, but I love your icon! Gooo Firefly! :D)
Feb. 19th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
stormatdusk made it and I'm hard pressed to switch to another one; I love those characters and I love that show. :-)
Feb. 18th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Well, you are nothing to me and no one.

Poor Pippin! He's much too good for this sharp-tongued lass.
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
Haha, aww, that's harsh but probably true (for now). Anyway, she'll get her comeuppance when he comes back from the war a big tall hero who doesn't pay her any attention.
Feb. 19th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, poor Pippin.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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