'no!… no!… noooooo! not do!… not do!' Merry broke through Gandalf's disguise to scream in anguish through Pippin's mind. 'pleasssse no!'
'THE OTHER PLEADS NOW – IT IS TOO LATE! THE DARK LORD WILL SPEAK WITH YOU NO MORE – THIS ONE WILL BE DEAD WITHIN THE HOUR.'
'please! get i – not go kill pip – please! i wait you – not go kill…!'
"Merry! Merry! Stop at once!" Gandalf was holding the distraught hobbit's chin tightly in his hand and shaking his head from side to side to try and get his attention. "Come away now!'
No response. Gandalf slapped Merry's face hard, once, twice. Still nothing. Drastic measures were needed. Gandalf decided he had to risk the mental link, it was too late for poor Pippin now, at least he could save Merry.
'aaaaiiiee! pip… pi…'
"Gandalf! You broke the link! Why did you?" Merry was hitting the wizard with both his balled up fists, "Please let me go back! I have to get to Pip!"
"Merry, no." Gandalf stood up and held the hobbit's arms to stop the wild flailing blows against his chest. "I cannot let you give yourself up to the Witch King. It will not save Pippin whatever you do now – please try to understand."
Merry flung himself to the ground, his whole body wracked with heaving sobs, "No! No! No! No!"
Gandalf knelt down beside him and gathered the agonised little form up into his arms, holding him close and rocking him slightly. "I know, I know. But Merry I cannot let you go back. Sauron is gone from Pip's mind now, but you might tell the Witch King things you should not."
"I w-won't!" Merry sobbed into the wizard's cloak. "Gandalf – he's going to k-kill Pippin! Didn't you hear? I can't leave him now – pl-pl-please don't m-m-make me! please!"
"Merry, how can I? You already…"
"Pip! Gandalf, he's calling me – please l-let me at l-least st-stay with him, s-s-say g-g-goodb..."
"Merry, the state you're in now, you won't be any use to Pippin, you'll just make him more frightened." Gandalf reasoned.
"No I won't – I p-promise. I'll be c-calm." Merry scrubbed at his eyes with his sleeve. "We can't just abandon him. He'll think n-no one cares."
"But I'm worried for you too, Merry," Gandalf held him by the shoulders speaking level with his anguished tear-stained face and lowered his voice to a gentle whisper. "What will it do to you to hear Pip, when… when…"
"What will it d-do to me to n-not be there?" Merry sobbed back.
Gandalf breathed a deep sigh. He knew it was not the sensible thing to do and that it was fraught with danger. But he had known these two since they were children and Merry was right, they could not just abandon little Pippin. "I will come with you…"
"But…" Merry began to protest.
"No, that is the only way I will allow it." Gandalf said firmly.
"Perhaps you will find a way to save Pip?" Merry knew he was clutching at straws. "Persuade the Witch King to trade him for me."
"We cannot do that." Gandalf said softly. "He would just kill both of you or use you one against the other."
"If you s-say s-so." Merry knew it would be futile to argue with Gandalf. "But c-can we hurry. Pip is frantic, I hear him c-calling again."
Gandalf took Merry's face in his hands.
'I WILL BE SILENT WHILE YOU TALK – I DO NOT WANT THE WITCH KING TO FEEL MY PRESENCE. CALL PIPPIN NOW.'
'pip i come'
'merr… got do bye now' Merry heard a tiny sob that Pippin tried to hide.
'pip feel hand? i touch'
'SO YOU ARE BACK! COME TO SHARE THE OTHER'S LAST MOMENTS? OR PERHAPS TO GIVE YOURSELF UP?'
'no… not kill pip… please to not…'
'NOT QUICKLY – NO. HE IS FOR THE ORCS AS THE GREAT SAURON DECREED.'
'ABSURD BRAT! SAURON DOES NOT SHOW MERCY! NOR DO ORCS, THEY WILL USE IT – ABUSE IT AND THEN TEAR IT LIMB FROM LIMB.' the cruel being's laughter cut into Merry's very soul. This was his Pippin's destruction it was talking about.
'IF A SLAVE SERVES NO OTHER PURPOSE IN THE DARK TOWER – IT BECOMES FODDER!'
'why d-do you f-fear this littlel one so – that you m-must b-break him?' Merry realised that it was Gandalf speaking in his voice. He had obviously decided to intervene after all.
'I DO NOT FEAR IT. IT IS JUST OF NO USE.'
'then let he go – he may lead you go to what you want.'
'THE LORD SAURON HAS SPOKEN. I WILL NOT DEBATE THE OUTCOME WITH AN INSECT.'
'you may get more from let he go than his destruction.'
'WHAT ARE YOU? YOU ARE NOT THE HALFLING! THIS IS ENDED. I WILL SPEAK NO MORE WITH YOU.'
And it was gone… Silence. Wait… a beat… a pulse.
'pip? what go happen?'
'big orc holded i… one first bringded i'
'oh pip – where go?'
'down go now steps.'
'pip did feel hand i?'
'holded tight you hand'
'see face? got 'membrer'
'do always go 'membrer… merry?'
'big 'fraid – sorry i do… not brave'
'not go think it, pip – think else – think shire – think frodosam think applels be red – think mush-rooms taste – think blue-bells – think sky…'
'no go think more merr… too sad i not go see'
'think us – be 'gethrer…'
'pip hold tight – i love you'
'love you merr…aaiee!… sorry i go – not stay you merr…'
'what it pip? what go happ?'
'not stay merr… you do 'bye now… go now…'
'not send me go please pip – need stay – you need i stay…'
'orc squeeze-ed i neck – go hurt… merr… go big hurt soon – you go now…'
'no pip – you go hurt – i go hurt too'
'merr? think it hurt big much – go die?'
'not go cry merr…'
'sorr… i not…only go miss you… sorry pip… cry latrer'
'not go cry big, merr…'
'merr - how legolas be – did he be good – not go die?'
Gandalf put the lie in Merry's voice 'he go fine pip'
'good – go say i 'bye he – say i love he too'
'say 'bye all else ones – say gandalf i sorry bad… and say strider'
'you not go be bad pip…'
'aaaiiieeee! go down at orcs… merr… hold i now!'
'pip! Pippin! I love you – I hold you forever!'
'uuurrrrghhhh! no! no! not! – merr… hel-pp… no you go – too hurted'
'pip…my pip – hold hug – arms go round you…'
'hug feel – hurt i too – merry – hurt bad… sorry… aaaaaiiiee!'
'pip love you – always love you – sorry not get you… please pip… sorry…'
'merr orc go i – aarrhhh – you go now merr…please you go… 'bye merr – i got… not seeing morr-ed…'by-e…go bye merr…love you mer…'
'Pip! Pippin! Pleeeeeasse! Pippin!'
"Nooooooo!" The little voice had suddenly vanished. Merry could no longer feel Pippin in his heart or his head. He fell against Gandalf sobbing and sobbing as the wizard felt his own eyes leak tears down his face and into his beard.
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.