|Fic: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream, Interlude
||[Apr. 3rd, 2008|09:06 pm]
(Between Piplover's posting Chapter 8, and Lindelea's posting of Chapter 9, there was a rather lengthy time in which poor Pippin and his friends languished, neglected by the writers. In order to encourage the group to continue the story, Gryffinjack posted this rather humorous reminder to get a move on, LOL! It did, indeed, renew our determination to finish, and we all thought it too darn funny not to include in the archived version of the story…) |
Authors:: Piplover, Lindelea, Auntie Meesh, Slightly Tookish, Cathleen, Dreamflower, Rosietook, Ariel, Pearl Took, Budgielover, and Gryffinjack
Summary: A plot against the newly crowned King leads to possibly deadly consequences for his smallest Guardsman; and disturbing questions arise for the new Steward to answer, as the entire Fellowship rallies around. Written as a group story by the PippinHealers mailing list.
Rating: PG-13 for angst and some violence
Warning: An OC character death and mention of drug abuse
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Chapter 1: Lindelea
Chapter 2: Auntie Meesh
Chapter 3: Slightly Tookish
Chapter 4: Cathleen
Chapter 5: Dreamflower
Chapter 6: Rosietook
Chapter 7: Ariel
Chapter 8: Piplover
Chapter 9: Lindelea
Chapter 10: Dreamflower
Chapter 11: Dreamflower
Chapter 12: Cathleen
Chapter 13: Ariel
Chapter 14: Pearl Took
Chapter 15: Budgielover
Chapter 16: Piplover
Chapter 17: Lindelea
Closing his eyes for only a moment, Peregrin Took, Knight of the Citadel, allowed his feet to carry him over the edge.
Knowing that someone would be there to catch him.
He fell. And he fell. And he fell some more.
"Isn't anyone going to catch me?" he wondered to himself. "It seems like months have passed since I first began to fall."
Frodo and Gandalf waited in a small room outside the room where Aragorn and the other healers were tending to Pippin. They had been working on him for an awfully long time.
"Gandalf, I know I should not complain, especially when Pippin is so ill and fighting for his very life, but does it not seem like we the healers have been operating on Pippin for ages?" asked Frodo.
"It does indeed, my lad," said the wizard gruffly. "It seems as long as the First, Second, and Third Age put together."
"Are you sure Aragorn knows what he is doing? Does he have a license? Does he have insurance?" Frodo asked. "What if he's a fraud just trying to get into Guiness' Book of Middle Earth Records for conducting the longest operation ever recorded?"
"I should not worry about such things, Frodo," Gandalf reassured him. "I have known Aragorn for a long time now and I have never known him to be concerned with such pursuits. However, I do wish he would move things along a bit. My new white dress robes are beginning to look grey again from sitting here so long."
Just then, an enormous growl came from Frodo's stomach and he quickly crossed his two hands on top of it to try and still the noise. "I'm getting awfully hungry," he said apologetically.
"As am I." Gandalf reached for a plum that had been sitting so long that it now resembled a prune much more than a plum. He looked at it for a moment with a frown, and then plopped the shrivelled plum in his mouth, careful to remove the pit before he swallowed. "Not very satisfying I am afraid. And we are the fortunate ones to have food brought here while we wait."
"What do you mean?" asked Frodo.
"You are dear to me, Little One, but I am afraid I am tiring of operating on you," said Aragorn as he stood over the tiny unconscious form of Pippin.
The other healers in the room woke from their stupors and stared at him, aghast that their new king should say such a thing about the Ernil i Pheriannath.
Aragorn looked around at their stunned faces and his cheeks reddened with
embarrassment. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say that aloud?"
All assembled in the room nodded. Well, except for Aragorn and Pippin.
"I do apologise," said Aragorn. "It's just that my hands are beginning to weaken from operating for so long. My strength is failing and I fear that I may not be able to continue much longer. How long has it been now?"
"Two months and more, my lord" one of the healers volunteered, stifling a yawn.
"Over two months?" Aragorn stared at her incredulously, his mouth agape. "Do I get paid overtime for this?"
"I am afraid not, my lord. You see, there is a clause in the contract that you and the Ernil i Pheriannath signed before we began trying to save him from his foolishness. It says that no amount of overtime is to be charged unless it is the fault of the patient," replied the healer.
"Well?" Aragorn gestured toward Pippin and then stared back at the woman.
"What do you call this? Had he not been foolish enough to take such a drug in the first place..."
"Yes, but that is why you are allowed to charge for the surgery. The delay is not his fault," the healer retorted.
"Well then, do enlighten me. Whose fault is it?" said Aragorn sarcastically. The strain from months of performing surgery really was beginning to get to him.
"It is nobody's fault, my lord. The writers have simply had a delay due to events and other things happening in their own lives," she explained. "Incredible as it may seem, there is more to life than what goes on here in Middle Earth."
"Hmmm... I do seem to recall Lord Elrond and Mithrandir discussing events in realms that we mere mortals will never be allowed to go. Perhaps that is what has befallen the writers," said Aragorn thoughtfully.
"Yes, my lord," agreed the healer.
"But I do wish they would hurry," Aragorn continued. "I want to finish in time to see if I can audition for a role in 'The Hobbit' if they ever untangle the legal mess and film it."
Just as Frodo had picked up a shrivelled plum to eat, having given up hoping that fresh food would be brought to them as they waited, the doors to the room burst open. At Frodo's gasp of alarm, Gandalf put a firm hand on the hobbit's shoulder as he looked toward the doors. "Steady now, lad."
They both stared at the newcomers and waited for an explanation.
"Well?" asked Gandalf finally.
"They're dead," said Gimli sadly. The Elf next to him tried in vain to look hurt and confused as he pondered this thing called 'death.'
Each of them had a dead hobbit. Legolas was carrying the body of Sam in his arms while Gimli was holding Merry's form across his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Well, he was shorter than Legolas and Merry was tall for a hobbit, so it only made sense that it was more difficult for Gimli to carry a hobbit than for Legolas to do so.
"What did they die of?" asked Frodo, tears pouring down his cheeks.
"Starvation," Gimli replied. "If you recall, Sam and Merry went off to their room to get some sleep while Aragorn operated on Pippin. Well, the writers never came back to write that they had woken up, so the poor lads have been asleep all this time. Asleep with no food or water. Eventually, it was too much for them and they starved to death."
"Oh, how awful!" cried Frodo, horrified. "Sam! Merry!"
"They shall not awaken, Frodo," said Legolas. "They are as dead as Boromir is or Gandalf was before he made a miraculous comeback." Legolas turned to Gandalf in confusion, "It's things like that that make it difficult for me to truly understand death."
Gandalf shrugged his shoulders weakly by way of explanation. "It's that Tolkien fellow. I was all prepared to die, but he had other plans in store for me."
"Well, we cannot blame Tolkien for the deaths of Merry and Sam," Frodo sobbed. "I want my cousin and my gardener back! Here I was, supposed to be worried about Pippin dying, yet he appears to still live while Sam and Merry are dead!"
"Is there no hope, Gandalf?" Gimli asked weakly through his own tears.
Gandalf thought upon it for a moment, stroking his beard. "Perhaps if these writers are able to pull themselves away from other matters for a few moments ... perhaps they could find the time to write that Sam and Merry were still alive. That may just be enough to do it."
Frodo stopped his sobbing, his incredibly large, blue eyes still red and filled with tears. "You mean there might still be hope?"
"There may just be at that," smiled the wizard. "That is, if the writers cooperate."
"Oi! Strider! Healers! Is anyone out there?" cried Pippin. "I'm really pretty tired of falling now. And I wouldn't mind if this operation were over either. I promise I won't take drugs not prescribed to me anymore, and especially not without checking the label for the proper dosage for a tweenaged hobbit grown taller from having taken an Ent draught or two."
Silence. The only noise being made was Pippin's body whooshing through the air as he continued to fall.
"You know, I think I've had enough hurt now!" Pippin yelled to anyone who might listen. "Would someone please write some comfort?" he implored.
And this is the end of the PippinHealer's Round Robin story, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream".
I hope you've enjoyed it.