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Dreamflower's Mathoms II  by Dreamflower

(Written for Dana) 


The further they walked into the trees, the more closely they drew together, until they were walking arm in arm. They’d spoken lightly enough about what had happened to them, but they’d avoided speaking of their actual capture. It was far too painful to remember their last sight of Boromir. And even worse was wondering what had happened to the others.

“We failed,” said Pippin suddenly, a sharp and unaccustomed note of worry in his voice. “We failed, didn’t we, Merry?”

Merry stopped walking abruptly. “Whatever do you mean, Pippin? I am hoping very much that we have got clean away from those Orcs!”

Pippin shook his head. “No, I mean, we’ve failed Frodo. We said we’d stick with him, but now he’s off somewhere without us. And we are who knows how many leagues away in the wrong direction.”

Merry was quiet for a few more moments, trying to think how to answer.

They came to an area filled with tangled roots, and clambered over, their ears straining at the sounds behind them. They could still hear the clangor of battle.

On the other side, they halted briefly. Pippin started to lean back, and then stopped, remembering the last time he’d leaned against a tree.

“I don’t think we did fail, Pip,” Merry said, after Pippin had thought he was not going to reply at all. “I think we helped him.”

“How can you say that?”

“Well, it’s pretty clear that those Uruks were sent to capture ‘halflings’. What do you suppose they’d have done if they hadn’t caught *us*?”

Pippin looked startled. “They would have kept looking…”

“That’s right. They would have kept on looking until they laid hands on Frodo and Sam. But once they had us, they quit looking.”

“They did, didn’t they?” Pippin sighed, and then smiled. “Well, that’s a relief. I guess it’s up to Sam to look after Frodo now. Do you think the others went with him?” He didn’t speak of his vision of Strider following them--it felt selfish to hope that was so, when Frodo needed the help more.

Merry shook his head. “I think Frodo did just what Sam said, and tried to slip off without anyone. But since the Orcs didn’t capture Sam, I hope and believe that at least he’s with Frodo.”

Pippin nodded. “I think you are probably right.”

“I usually am,” Merry said with a smile, and an attempt to lighten the mood once more. “I would think you’d know that by now.”

“Insufferable Brandybuck!” Pippin chuckled.

“Cheeky Took!” He flung his arm around Pippin’s shoulders, and on they wandered, into the Wood.

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