"It's like somebody leaving their front door open all the time." Legolas sat with Merry on a flat rock in the sunshine, Gimli perched alongside of him while Gandalf and Aragorn were away about their business. "You know you can go in, but it's still polite to knock."
"How do you knock?" Merry was not sure he would be able to master this strange new ability, but he was very anxious to learn if it meant he could talk to Pippin more. "Is that when I say your name?"
"That's like a tap on the door and helps the one you are calling to realise you are making contact." Legolas was finding it difficult to explain. He had never had to actually teach anyone telepathic manners before. "What is more important is learning to walk past the threshold of the door and not go in too far before you are invited."
"So that you don't intrude into others' private thoughts." Merry lifted his face up to the warmth of the sun. He loved the sensation as it helped him to imagine the fields and trees and blue sky. "Can you listen to my thoughts?"
"I wouldn't." Legolas assured him. "Not unless you invite me. That's what you have to train yourself to do. You send thoughts to others and hear what they send you. Everything else should remain private, unless they invite you further inside. That is where I have to go to help Pippin with pain, but I don't read his most private thoughts."
"How did I feel the pain as well?" Merry asked blanching a little at the memory of it.
"It was too intense in both Pippin and me and spilled over into you." Legolas took Merry's hand as he saw him shudder slightly. "In fact you probably suffered more than Pippin did, although of course his was the reality."
"Legolas, can I ask another question?" Merry seemed a little unsure.
"Does it annoy you, Pip and me in your head like that?" Merry squirmed a little uneasily. "Only… sometimes we must seem rather… rather hobbity for a mature elf like you."
Legolas laughed. "It does not annoy me, Merry. It's delightful. You and Pippin have charming minds, so naïve and refreshing. I love to hear you talk to each other."
Then he added silently, '…and don't be shy about what you say – I've heard it all before.'
Merry felt his face flush slightly and knew that he had turned red when Gimli chortled, "What's the matter Merry? I do believe you're blushing – what's Legolas been saying to you?"
'legolas? it go more, more easy talk at you'
"Gimli – what ever are you implying?" Legolas smiled at the dwarf, then added. "But Merry, we should converse out loud when we can." Legolas reminded the hobbit. "Because the others will not be able to hear us and I don't think I want any one else in my brain."
'shall 'membrer…' Merry began "I'm sorry, I mean, I will try to remember that."
"I must give you some more lessons soon." Legolas stood up and pulled Merry after him.
"What in?" Merry clasped Legolas's hand. He was on strange ground and did not want to fall. "Mind grammar? So that we can talk like you do."
"No." Legolas laughed again. "I like the way you talk, it's very 'hobbity'."
Legolas suddenly turned round to Merry and dropped the little hand to take hold of the hobbit's face. He gazed at the unseeing eyes and then looked up and all around him.
'legolas?' Merry was confused. Not sure what he was supposed to do.
i can't' almost fearfully.
'See the trees…'
'In my mind… Look!'
'can see… see them, l-legolas! I see gimli and… and…a fl-f'owers – sorry mean flowrers… and… and… a blue… some b-blue sky… oh – it gone now!'
"I'm not able to do that for too long." Legolas smoothed Merry's curls from his brow as he broke the physical link. "It is very taxing, but did you enjoy that, little one?"
"Oh yes! Thank you so much, Legolas." Merry now had tears in his eyes. "I-I d-do miss seeing…" He broke off, suddenly remembering the last thing he had actually seen was Pippin being carried off. That made the tears fall and the hobbit fell to his knees in the grass, his head in his hands as a wave of grief overwhelmed him.
Legolas knelt down next to him and put his arm around the shaking shoulders. "I'm so sorry, Merry. I truly did not mean to upset you."
"N-no – I-I'm s-s-sorry. It-it's n-not your fau-fault." Merry had resolved not to cry anymore, but the thought of Pip in the Dark Tower had suddenly rushed over him again and spilled out in sobs. The hobbit drew a deep breath and bit his lip, determined to pull himself together.
Before he could, a small cry in both their heads caught their attention.
'legolas? merr…? go talk i please'
'Pippin? We're here. Are you all right?'
'not know – too dark – not see no things'
'pip? where you go in dark?'
'lock door – not know' a small sob followed. Merry remembered that Pippin wasn't exactly afraid of the dark, but he always seemed to make excuses not to be alone without a light.
'Don't cry Pippin, tell me did the orcs lock you in a cell, little one?'
'in cell – did – not 'fraid'
'good – not go hurt you more pip'
'not go hurt i now – throwed i here – lock door – no light – i not 'fraid!'
"He is afraid " Merry spoke out loud to Legolas. "Pippin hates the dark."
'Pippin, are you sleepy? You must be tired little one. Try to go to sleep. Are you lying down?'
'not – stand i – next wall i'
"Pippin find a corner and lie down and close your eyes. I want you to go to sleep.'
'go lie, legolas – not good – i do you say – i go now'
'you good, brave hobbt, pip – you go curl tight – feel i hug to you'
'lie down i merr… curl tight – eyes go shutted – got hug'
'Think of all the nice things you can, Pippin. Nice things that happened, things you like, happy times or make up nice thoughts.
'try – go think you mer…aaaiee! thing touch - on i - on foot – go move'
'It's probably just a little mouse, Pippin. Don't think of it. Think of Merry."
‘hug i you tight pip –love i you pip – come get you when can get way go'
'merr… get i now… please… hic…' A small plaintive sobbing took the place of words.
'Hush, Pippin, go to sleep now.' Legolas breathed a sigh as he thought of the ultimate bribe 'I'll let you see Merry if you promise to sleep.'
'go see i merry! where? please!'
'Just in my head. Think hard now.'
Legolas took Merry's face in his hands and gazed long and hard at his features. He even ran his fingers over the contours of Merry's chin and little pointed ears.
'can see! merry i see you!'
'you sleep now, pip and 'membrer i look like – legolas – i – we go wait here – you call you do need us… you go be safe now, pip'
'safe – go sleep now – will go try'
'night night pip – love you'
night merr – love you too'
A few minutes later Legolas could tell that the little hobbit was sleeping. He pulled back a little from the link and took Merry's hand again.
Merry stood up ready to follow the elf and the dwarf back to the camp, but Legolas swung him round again and caught the little hobbit by the shoulders. "What did you mean by that?" The elf demanded.
"Mean b-by wh-what?" Merry stuttered anxiously.
"Don’t play the innocent with me, Master Brandybuck." Legolas sounded very stern. You told Pip, 'come get you when can get way go.' What are you planning?"
"N-nothing!" Merry was an excellent liar when at his best, but right now he was caught a little off guard. "It was just something I said, you know, to cheer Pip up."
"No it wasn't." Legolas looked to Gimli for backup. "Tell him Master Dwarf he is not going to try sneaking off with no vision into the most deadly place in Middle Earth."
"You let Frodo and Sam go." Merry was giving his intentions away now, so the truth would be best. "But I don't have a plan, just a vague idea that if the chance arose, I would go and try to save Pip."
"We know you would young hobbit," Gimli put in. "We all would, but you must not attempt anything so foolhardy on your own."
"Gimli's right." Legolas scolded. "Now promise me you won't try."
Merry fixed his sightless gaze on the elf. "Really Legolas – would you make such a promise?"
Gimli and Legolas exchanged shrugs. The little hobbit's determination was misguided and doomed to failure – but he was right – they would not make such a promise either.
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.