Except that as he remembered from what he had heard from older hobbits trying to explain to the young ones what death was about, he was under the impression that when one was dead, one didn't do things like recollecting. Even as he considered this, he found that he could just wiggle the toes on one foot a bit. And since he was doing those things, perhaps he wasn't dead. But then, as he further considered, perhaps death might have been a preferable circumstance.
There were, Pippin was all too quickly realizing, numerous disadvantages to being underneath a troll, especially a large troll and particularly a large and dead troll. For one, the smell was quite horrendous. Rather like the mulch pile behind the Hobbiton stables, on a very hot day. He was sure the stench would have made him sick, except for the fact that he was able to breathe very little of it due to the troll's tremendous weight upon his far inferior size.
'A pity then,' thought Pippin, 'that no sooner do I grow taller than I also grow flatter.'
And he certainly felt flattened, as the troll's weight had forced him into the not-hard-but-not-nearly-soft-enough ground until he could sink no further, and it now required all of his meager efforts to draw any sort of breath.
He wasn't properly sure he really wanted to continue breathing, either, as he was more than a bit pained in his present dilemma. Extremely pained, more so even than the time when he was maybe six years of age and he had fallen from an apple tree while obliging Merry's request for a specific apple, and had broken his arm (and even as he remembered, he knew he had done so again.) If Pippin could have smiled then he would have, remembering not the pain but how terrified Merry had been, first believing his antics had killed his little cousin, and then realizing even if he hadn't killed Pippin, his Aunt Eglantine would certainly kill him. And Pippin's mother certainly had made Merry quite sorry about the whole affair.
He wished Merry were here now, not that there was anything Merry could do for him in his present circumstance, or for that matter anything that could be done by anyone. He would certainly be dead long before anyone would find him, if indeed they would ever find his body. Pippin wondered if anyone had noticed he was missing yet, and found himself again wishing Merry were there; certainly Merry would be searching for him. 'Poor Merry,' Pippin thought. 'He'll be quite lost without me, I'm sure, as I would be without him.'
It was just then Pippin thought he heard voices, but they sounded distant, and they were not moving any closer. 'Well then, I suppose that's it for me. They've come to bear off the bodies, and they shan't even find mine,' he thought morosely. But then he thought the troll's horrid body shifted its weight just a bit, and then it moved slightly more, just enough to cause the most agonizing pain so that Pippin wished very much to scream. But being as he couldn't breathe, he could not scream either, and so he took the next best option, and he fainted and recollected nothing more.
Gimli peered in long and hard at the man's fallen body, a man wearing the colors of Minas Tirith. At length, Gimli decided the man yet breathed, and called for a litter to bear the man back to his city.
"You have found another?" Legolas called from nearby, where he also searched the battlefields for the living. "My friend, you seem to have found another calling."
Gimli answered him with a grunt. Truth be told, he was finding he rather enjoyed Legolas' teasing, and while he found his heart to be surprisingly light despite the carnage about him, it would not do justice to the brave and fallen to be joyful. "A calling I'd rather not have, but perhaps will not be needed again," he shouted back. "I have heard that the eagles found the halflings even as the mountain burst, and they still lived."
"Indeed, so I too have heard," Legolas responded. "But I have heard nothing of young Pippin, and I would not have the heart to return without him."
"Nor would I," Gimli answered. Their army had won the day, Sauron was defeated, and most of those of the company of greatest importance to him had survived, but he would not be properly and fully well with the victory until he had found the halfling. The men who had fallen in this area were all men of Minas Tirith, mostly of the Third Company, the same company where Pippin had been assigned, and Gimli was certain Pippin would never have left the company of his own accord.
There seemed to be few men alive here, and Gimli was prepared to continue his search elsewhere when he sighted the fallen troll-chief. 'How mighty a warrior was needed to fell such a beast as this? I should wish to meet him in good company, should he still be alive,' he marveled as he considered the size of the troll. Nonetheless he had work to be done, and he was about to continue onward when he thought he saw what appeared to be a bare foot protruding from beneath the carrion. 'What warrior would take to the field of battle with naught upon his feet?' he wondered, 'unless…' and then he knew just where he would find Pippin.
Moving with surprising speed, he leapt over a pile of bodies and lunged against the troll's corpse, but he could scarcely cause it to move. Quickly Gimli looked for Legolas. "Here!" he shouted. "I've found Pippin!"
Legolas did not waste time in answering, but raced to Gimli's side pausing only to bring two men with him. It was well he had, for it required the strength of all four to push the troll's corpse aside and reveal the battered hobbit crushed beneath.
Gimli dropped to his knees beside Pippin. The halfling was far too still. Gimli searched desperately for breath but found none, an absence made all the more painful as he saw Pippin had fallen with his elven blade turned upward and still dripping with black ichor from the wound it had inflicted on the troll. "Of all warriors on this field, and the smallest destroys the largest, and yet there is nothing to be done," he cried.
Legolas also knelt by Pippin, but with his calm and knowledge he found what Gimli did not. "He breathes yet, but not much longer," Legolas raised Pippin's body in his arms as he stood. "We must bear him to Aragorn." And he raced back to the camp carrying Pippin gently as Gimli followed.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.