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25 January 2013 | 23258 words | Work in Progress
Title: The Gifts in Small Packages
With: Pippin, Aragorn, Unknown
Summary: Pippin will never speak of it. And then he does.
Warnings: angst, faintly AU.
Disclaimer: I own none of this, only enjoy it.
Archivist’s Note: Raven22372 has illustrated this story:
At first, he had not known why he has returned. Or, to be more accurate, he prefers to think that he had not: it feels less silly this way. Although indeed he had never imagined it would go this far.
He had only felt a strange discomfort, a vague sensation of something lacking – like his stomach being empty, only he could not quite place the feeling. He had so yearned to finally come home after a whole year of absence, to see the beloved green hills and meadows, and familiar Hobbit-faces – to be back where he belonged. Only he did not belong there any longer.
It took him nearly a year to realise the restlessness and longing would not go away. He was not accustomed to having to figure himself out, and initially he had blamed it all on the state they had found the Shire in, had thought his heart ached for their defiled land. Time passed, and reparations were quickly made by many a dedicated pair of hard-working Hobbit hands, and the signs of the gone war were soon outshadowed by the fresh and crispy signs of a new – and safer – life. But Pippin’s dissatisfaction only gathered strength, and when one day in the first spring after the War he caught himself growing languid and morose at the sight of a young cherry tree in bloom, he knew something was wrong.
Then followed the endless inward monologues where he reprimanded himself for being weak, and selfish, and hard to please, for having unreasonable expectations from life. He had already had his Big Adventure, now was the time to settle down and enjoy the normal existence of a young and healthy hobbit that he was. And he had earnestly tried to do just that, to enjoy it – but no amount of supposedly satisfying physical work he piled upon himself and no amount of the cheeriest entertainments he tried to drown himself in proved to fill the odd void in his chest.
None of the things that had once brought him contentment and happiness held any meaning. It was wrong, it was simply all wrong. Everything had as though become shallow, devoid of substance, lacking a dimension…
Whatever Gandalf may have called him, he was no fool. He looked at Sam, bursting with affection and pride for his new family, for his new wife who consisted as though solely of smiles, dimples and cosyness; he saw Sam overflow with energy, so busy getting everything ready for when the little ones would start arriving – one could light a splinter off him. And he looked at Frodo, who seemed to be getting more and more lost in his own world, turning more and more towards the past and some strange lacuna of time between yesterday and forever; he saw Frodo’s increasing propensity for solitude, saw his seemingly unmotivated sadness. He was no fool, so he made comparisons – and conclusions.
Solitude is not healthy for a fellow.
Sam was always working blisters on his feet doing things for someone, and look how robust and happy Sam was, how firmly rooted, how content. Whereas solitude provided too much time to dwell on one’s own… On one’s own what? Problems? But he did not have any problems. Fears? But what was there for him to fear, now of all times? On one’s own – dreams…?
Not that this made too much sense either, although…
What he knew for certain was that when Peregrin Took is left overlong one on one with his own self, he is bound to eventually go and get this self involved in some highly imprudent typically Tookish endeavour. Just as it had later gone to show.
Slowly the decision ripened in him, and was made long before he knew it. When finally he acknowledged it, immense relief poured over him, and he felt clean and light, as though filled with air, with a cool fresh wind.
Maybe his Adventure was not over just yet.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: LN Tora , waterwolf , lovethosehobbit , Anni , Kathy , Julia , ebbingnight , dream.in.a.jar , raven22372 , alecia , Laivindur , fdk3ojfd