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Author name: aliensouldream
Recipient's name: kimby1967
Title: Friendship's Journey
Rating: PG-13
Request: Anything featuring Pippin post-Quest.
Summary: Pippin misses the Fellowship.

That Peregrin Took was a changed hobbit after his adventures in strange foreign parts was obvious to everyone. For one thing, he was decidedly taller.

'Grown up, 'e has,' some said, while others harumphed to show what they thought of hobbits who grew themselves above a respectable hobbit height.

But the changes ran deeper. From a mischieviously uproarious tween, he had changed to a confident, compassionate and wiser being. Husbandhood, even fatherhood, sat easily and happily upon him, and his own little fauntling was now the laughing playmate of his inner child's heart.

He was content enough. The Tookland folk managed to forgive his height impertinence because he gave himself no airs and graces but was still completely down to earth, passing the time of day and cracking jokes with the tenants and downing a pint in the tavern on market day.

But something was missing. Every so often a sense of loneliness would creep upon him unexpectedly. He would take out his Gondorian Guard uniform and look at it, its mended tears and silver embroidery speaking so many memories to him, memories he could never share or begin to explain to his family.

He had thought, in the glorious homecoming, that they would all be together forever, rejoicing in triumph, victory and salvation. But it hadn't turned out that way. Each had his family and his place, and his duty and had to tend to it. Trials and burdens, as well as fresh joys, had sundered them. Worst of all, his boon companion, Merry, was often kept busy with the work of his family's estate and the intervals between their glad meetings grew longer and longer.

What had happened to them? Where had the time gone? When he looked up now from the business of living, it was sometimes as if their adventures were a long dream from which he had awoken. The bond of fellowship was forged in his heart, never to be broken, but the details of places and people faded more and more each year. Life in Tookland was staid and simple, hardworking and in tune with the land, and it was for this very way of life they had fought. Yet he had known marvels and horrors, beauty and terror, and his blood had raced, his heart quailed and he had found courage in himself undreamed of. Would he never again be surprised and terrified by life?
Set foot in unknown countries, taste the wine of hard-won victory with friends?

Frodo and Sam had had to battle the dragons of destruction in Hobbiton and surroundings, the pillage and despoilation of the countryside and the fear awoken in the people. Though Merry and Pippin had been desperate to help, Frodo had accepted only so much from them once the villagers had managed to get back on their feet, rebuild and resow their crops.

'You both have family and communities depending on you. We're not the only ones to have suffered. I have resources enough to continue supporting Hobbiton and Sam's Gift will do the rest. Now you must devote yourselves to your own homes and families. No one here will ever forget what you've done for us.'

Pippin smiled at the memory of his friends, then frowned as he remembered it had been too long, months, since he'd seen them. He decided that tomorrow he would organise a reunion. Summer was waning and it would be wonderful to see Hobbiton blooming again.

That night he dreamed of Gondor. It was a dream he'd dreamed before. Vaulting marble corridors peopled with statues and heraldry. The streets of the lower town with vibrant markets and haggling traders. And overall, a shadowy disturbing presence watching from the walls. It was a mosaic of images and feelings that left him glad to wake to the sweet Shire morning light.

One thing he had never told anyone, not even his friends, is that the vision of the Seeing Stone had never quite left him. In his dreams and more rarely in his waking hours, he would sometimes see an echo of those images that he had glimpsed in the stone or other scenes of strange distant shores, himself as an elder with white hair all alone or of the Shire invaded by Men in an Age yet to come. But he knew from experience these were only shadows of things that might be and he would not let himself be troubled by them.

There was only one thing he knew for certain. He loved his friends. For as long as he lived, they would be a part of him. He must make space for them, as time went on and his life flowed in new directions. He must hold onto their comradeship, which he needed now just as he had in those other desperate times.

He got up and went to his writing table, pushing aside contracts and invoices. On a sheet of writing paper he began, 'To His Most Respected Majesty, the High King of Gondor and Arnor.' Then he stopped and crumpled the sheet of paper and began again on a fresh sheet. 'My dear Aragorn ...'

The reunion was the finest one they had together. Pippin and Merry journeyed south first for a visit to Hobbiton, which was indeed in magnificent bloom, with young trees regreening the landscape. Pippin had taken along a present for Frodo, a litte puppy from his own favourite pet's litter, and it gave him happiness to see the brightness and laughter the little creature brought his friend. They had many happy nights in the Green Dragon, the four of them and rebonded over the old stories. Sam's family had increased and he had become greatly respected since the Troubles, a cause to his friends of both joking and pride. Invitations to Tookland and Buckland were exchanged and accepted.

Then, in the autumn, they all travelled north, to Fornost, where Aragorn had arrived with a small court and where during their visit he laid the foundation stone of a new palace. He had been meaning to, he said, but Pippin's letter had been the water that nourished the root of intention. The urge to see his friends had been so strong that he had set forth as soon as he could on receiving he invitation. A royal retinue might have unsettled the inhabitants of Hobbiton or Buckland, but here at Fornost they could enjoy a visit together without scrutiny. There were feasts and tales and long nights of song and laughter. Vows of friendship were renewed. Invitations to Gondor were renewed too, and accepted although postponed until the time seemed right.

'Three years,' sighed Pippin to Merry on their way homeward. 'I can't believe it's been three years since the end of our Quest. But it was so wonderful to see everyone again.'

'It was. Shame it's such a long journey to Gondor,' said Merry. 'I don't know when we'll ever have the time to make that trip. That's why I'm so glad the four of us all live within travelling distance. We'll always have each other to understand and relive old times with.'

'Let's do this again next year,' said Pippin. 'Our adventures these days might be tamer but they're a lot more fun.'

By the following year things were different, never to be the same again. Pippin cleaved even closer to his dear friends and never a season went by without seeing them in person and toasting absent friends together.

And sometimes, riding in the commons on his pony or hiking in the hills or walking in his garden, he would get a sense of something drawing him away. When he closed his eyes briefly, he thought he could see Frodo, white haired and smiling, waving to him from the top of a white tower on a pearl starlit shore far away.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, I *love* that vision of Frodo. I have no doubt that it's real, considering how Pippin and Frodo both were able to 'see' in very special ways. I'm sure that Pippin's heart was more peaceful knowing that Frodo was well, and remembered him.
Jan. 1st, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
What a lovely and evocative piece!

And sometimes, riding in the commons on his pony or hiking in the hills or walking in his garden, he would get a sense of something drawing him away. When he closed his eyes briefly, he thought he could see Frodo, white haired and smiling, waving to him from the top of a white tower on a pearl starlit shore far away.

I really love this ending.
Jan. 2nd, 2015 02:38 am (UTC)
This is such a beautiful, heart-tugging story.
Jan. 2nd, 2015 11:18 am (UTC)
So beautiful and so heartwarming.

"When he closed his eyes briefly, he thought he could see Frodo, white haired and smiling, waving to him from the top of a white tower on a pearl starlit shore far away."

I love this image of Frodo.

Thank you so much, my dear.
Jan. 2nd, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
I love my Yuletide present. I love any fic that promises a family reunion on the other side. I can see Frodo smiling and waving to his cousin too. Thank you so much-this is beautiful.
Jan. 2nd, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! It just seems like Pippin would be one who would feel the need to be with his friends physically -- I'm so glad he took those steps necessary to make it happen!
Jan. 3rd, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful. I love Pippin's vision of Frodo. *sniffs*
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:33 pm (UTC)
So beautiful!! Pippin's vision of Frodo tugs at my heartstrings. I love that the Travellers that remain, at least, can all get together when need arises. And after all, Aragorn's home in the North will be much closer to the Shire than Gondor...
Jan. 7th, 2015 02:42 pm (UTC)
That was sucha nice Yule tale. Well done!
Jan. 9th, 2015 06:52 am (UTC)
Movie-verse, I see. Good reason to reach out to those he has come to love and honor before all others. And I rejoice Aragorn came north that summer--they needed one another, I deem.
Jan. 17th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
A wonderful tale, and I learned a new word from canon -- fauntling! Gorgeous prose, and the sweetest sentiments woven beautifully. xox
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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