Stories by Legion

One Ending

Frodo hesitated, torn as to whether or not to confide in Aragorn. Ultimately he decided that, while the Ring-bearer might not wish to speak with Gondor's King on what was surely an insignificant matter, a small Hobbit far from Shire and hole would do well to speak with the Ranger he had learned to trust on the desperate journey to Rivendell. Relief coloring his voice, he admitted, "I don't seem to need much rest at all, Strider. A few hours a night is more than sufficient."

Aragorn went very still, pipe paused in mid-air, but his expression was so very encouraging that Frodo went on. "Indeed, I don't have any needs at all. As much as I savor the taste of food, a few mouthfuls satisfy me, and where I once had no tolerance for ale, I could now drink Merry and Pip under the table without effort. It no longer has an effect on me." Frodo rested his chin on his crossed arms and sighed. "It is as though my lust for the Ring took all my other hungers and needs to fuel itself, and when the Ring was destroyed, naught was left behind but memory."

"All needs?" Aragorn asked, with gentle emphasis on the first word.


Merry had to drop back down to hide his face against Pippin, lest he laugh out loud. The whole thing reminded him far too much of the many times the two of them had lain in bed pretending sleep while their parents debated waking them to rebuke them for their latest mischief. The major difference was that during the exchange between Faramir and the woman, Pippin's hand had crept down to the hilt of the weapon he carried.

Peeking up through his lashes, Merry saw that wonderfully wicked grin of Pippin's in place, and his flash of humor became something warmer and deeper. Mayhap Pippin had grown up a great deal if he thought to reach for a sword to make his point, but his Pip was still there as well, and that was a very comforting thought. He had often wondered what sort of adult Hobbit the irrepressible Took would be when he left his tweener years -- and if he would love him as much. Now he knew, and he did, and Merry let sleep take him, content for now to have Pip watch over him.