Long While Ahead, A: 1. A Long While Ahead

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1. A Long While Ahead

The chill wind scattered leaves and debri across the camp, waking Pippin from his sleep. Pulling a well-worn blanket closer, he attempted to close his eyes and rest, but found he was unable to silence the unknown worry that lingered at the back of his thoughts. As the long night wore on, the worry began to manifest itself into the fear that one of his companions would die. More time passed, and the fear became a terrifying premonition of sorts. Someone is going to die, the young hobbit thought, shuddering. Someone is really going to die.

"What woke you, Pippin?" a strained voice asked out of the darkness, startling Pippin.

"Oh, Frodo, it's just you." The hobbit sighed in relief, sitting upright. "Nothing, just my thoughts."

"Oh." Silence again filled the camp, except for the occasional sound of a body tossing and turning over a blanket or fallen branch or twig. "Well, if that is all it is, why can't you sleep?"

Pippin opened his mouth to answer, but shut it, wondering, Why can't I sleep? "I've just been thinking, that's all." Frodo joined his cousin near the dying fire, obviosly interested by Pippin's thoughts.

"What kind of thoughts?" Frodo asked, looking at his cousin with concern. "Thoughts can be dangerous sometimes, if you allow them to linger in your mind for too long."

"I keep feeling as though someone is going to die," Pippin admitted reluctantly, waiting for his older cousin or some listener to tell him how foolish his thoughts were. They always do, he thought in annoyance, studying the shrinking flames.

"Like who?"

"Oh, I don't know," Pippin said, thinking. "I suppose Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Sam, Merry, you. . ."

"In other words, everyone here but yourself," Frodo said, amusement in his voice.

"Yes." There was a long pause, interrupted by Pippin's sigh. He waited patiently for Frodo's response, but his cousin said not a word. After several moments, he asked impatiently, "Well?"

"Well, what?" Frodo asked, sounding confused.

"Aren't you going to tell me how ridiculous I am, or try to 'comfort' me? That is what everyone else here does."

"I don't have any advice at the moment," Frodo answered kindly, "but I certainly don't think you are ridiculous." He studied the camp site, squinting to make out the shapes of the other Fellowship members in the darkness. "You needn't worry, though. Most of those here can hold their own in battle. Gandalf is a wizard, Aragorn is skilled with the blade, Legolas is an elf and has had thousands of years to perfect his art, and Gimli is an expert with his ax."

"What about Merry, Sam and you?"

Frodo smiled slightly, and said, "I think that we will be fine."

Pippin also smiled, comforted by his cousin's words. A thought suddenly filled his mind unbeckoned, and it chilled him to the core. What about Boromir? "Boromir . . . he will be fine, won't he?"

"Of course!" Frodo answered, heading back toward his sleeping spot. "His father is the Steward of Gondor, and no doubt he's practiced with the sword for years." He paused, sitting down on his blankets. "Besides, he's only in his early thirties, and has a long while ahead of him."

"Good night, Frodo," Pippin called lightly, laying his head down on the ground. Don't worry, he told himself, feeling sleep call him. Boromir has a long while ahead of him, just like Frodo said.

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.

Story Information

Author: Cold Like Fire

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 11/17/04

Original Post: 11/12/04

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