The Way Home (Part 3) - The story continues!

Sam was in a deep dream when he was shaken forcefully by Merry and Pippin. When he did not stir, Pippin kept shaking his arm nearly shouting. "Wake up Sam! Wake up!" Sam turned over and mumbled something about too many pies and opened his eyes.

"M-morning already Master P-pippin?" He asked yawning while he spoke the question.

"No Sam!" he replied "Listen." Sam sat up and listened for a few minutes. He was about to lay down again and sleep when he heard the noise they had been listening for. It was a heart-stopping, bone-chilling howl. Sam was wide awake in a second.

"What is that?" he asked.

"How should we know?" Snapped Merry in reply.

"Well then! What do you propose we do?" Sam asked Merry nastily in return for his snap.

"We should go see what that is. I mean aren't we hobbits? Able to go anywhere without being seen or heard?" He answered.

"Well," said Sam "I guess we could..."

"No!" yelled Pippin interupting Sam in midsentence. "I'm not going out there!"

"Thats ok Pip." Merry said comfortingly. "We need someone to make sure our things remain safe."

So Merry and Sam took up two pieces of long wood and lit one end in the fire to make torches, and gave one to Merry and said, "If we are going to find this creature tonight, we ought to get going then!"

"Ok Sam. Pip don't worry, we will be back within the hour, ok?"

"Alright. Don't worry your things will be safe."

Without another word, Merry and Sam turned and walked out of the cave. Pippin, on the other hand, sat by the fire and kindled it, drew his cloak around him, and waited.

After what felt like an eternity to Pippin, he saw Merry and Sam walk into the cave and throw the now dark pieces of wood into the fire. Pippin jumped up from where he was sitting and ran to them. "What happend?" He asked fearfully "What did you see?"

Merry answered soothingly. "There was nothing Pip. Don't worry we couldn't find anything out there."

"Even so. we should have a watcher, one watches while the other two sleep. We can take turns." Pippin said.

"Ok. Master Pippin." replied Sam. "We can draw lots."

They drew lots of wood. Merry wound up getting the first watch then Pippin, then Sam. And so, Merry sat by the fire with his cloak, while Pippin and Sam walked over to thier own and slept.

Merry was watching the flame dancing with his eyes, yet his mind was miles away, in the Shire with Pippin and Frodo on one of their many mushroom raiding escapades. "Poor Farmer Maggot." he said to himself. Now-a-days he couldn't steal mushrooms anymore for he was now an adult hobbit and was expected to carry out his responsibilitys, and besides it wasn't much fun anyway, because after he helped restore the Shire after Lotho got to it, Farmer Maggot kept giving him mushrooms! So even if he wasn't to old to steal, he didn't need to. But back then it was one adventure after another for this hobbit.

Anyway he thought about that until his back, needing a crack, told him he had been sitting for a few hours at the least. So he got up and walked over to wake up Pippin.

It took a few attemps, but in the end Pippin awoke and said."Whose bright idea was it to have watches anyway?"

"Yours." replied Merry with a smirk

"Well it was a dumb idea."

"Would you rather be in a wolf's belly?"

"If that means I get to sleep." Pippin replied laying down again.

"Pippin!" Merry yelled shaking him again

"Ok. Fine I'm up."

"Good."

Pippin stood up and walked over to where Merry sat earlier, grumbling to himself, and sat down. Merry handed him some wood, walked over to his cloak and layed down and closed his eyes, and said "Pip you are going to have to kindle the fire sometime soon. Make sure it is burning bright for Sam's watch."

"Ok. Good night Merry."

Merry didn't reply for he was asleep already. Pippin got up from his log and walked to the mouth of the cave and looked up. For the first time in days it wasn't cloudy and he saw all the stars. It was very beautiful. He closed his eyes again, trying to get that sky fixed into his memory forever. He got down to his knees and asked the stars if they would be able to guide Frodo and Bilbo around in the Grey Havens. And also for the first time in days he felt at peace. He finally relized that maybe them going there was for the best. He kind of knew all the time when Frodo was home in the Shire that it wouldn't be the best place for him. Frodo was too wounded emotionly and physically and mentaly. The Grey Havens would be like rest after a very stressfull day for both Frodo and Bilbo, and for Gandalf it would be like coming home. So in a way, to Pippin's mind Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf were finally home. And that made Pippin happy.

He looked up again, and saw that the stars had significantly shifted. So he got up and walked back inside, threw a log on the fire like Merry told him, and woke up Sam. It didn't take much effort to wake him this time.

"Another wolf?"

"No Sam. It's your turn for watch."

"Oh. ok." He got up and walked over to the fire. Pippin layed down on his cloak. and chuckled to himself. "I wake up a mere hobbit, I go to bed a philosipher." and fell asleep.

Sam was by now busy with his own thoughts. Thinking of all the times when he kept watch, while poor Mr. Frodo tried to sleep. As he thought about this though, he came to the same conclusion as Pippin. That while Mr. Frodo survives in the physical form, he will continue to be wounded. He wanted nothing more then to see his master again, yet he wanted him to be happy and not suffer anymore. "And if that means I can't see him then so be it! I may not like it, but it is the best thing for my master so it is good for me!" At this he pounded the ground with his stick, hard. Merry awoke at the noise and walked over to Sam.

"Are you alright?"

"We are never going to see them again are we?"

"Well Sam, the way I see it is this, they are now in spirit, so they will never leave our sides. Through thick and thin. Isn't that what friends are for? They live alright. In here." he said pointing to Sam's heart.

"In me?" he asked.

"Yes Sam. They will always be a part of us and live in us. They will be there in our joys, and sorrows."

Sam reached over and hugged Merry. With a thick voice he said "Without you, I don't know what I would do. Thanks Master Merry."

Merry was touched. He hugged him back and said in a thick voice. "Sam, You needn't call me Master Merry anymore. We have gone through so much together. Just call me Merry."

"Well, Ma-Merry sorry. I will try."

They broke apart and Merry looked at him and said "I will keep the rest of your watch with you. We shouldn't wake Pip anymore."

"Ok Merry, Thanks."

"Anytime Sam. Anytime."

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