A Letter for Merry

by Tori*Took
1484...In the spring of the year a message came from Rohan to Buckland that King Eomer wished to see Master Holdwine once again. Meriadoc was then old (102) but still hale. He took counsel with his friend the Thain, and soon after they handed over their goods and offices to their sons and rode away over Sarn Ford, and they were not seen again in the Shire. It was heard after that Master Meriadoc came to Edoras and was with King Eomer before he died in that autumn. The he and Thain Peregrin went to Gondor and passed what short years were left to them in that realm, until they died and were laid in Rath Dinen among the great of Gondor. (Taken directly from the appendices of the Lord of the Rings)

This story takes place in the short time between when Meriadoc and Peregrin died.

It was a beautiful day in Gondor. Being early spring, the trees were all blossoming, the sun was shining, but it seemed everyone was crying. That was the day that Master Holdwine, Meriadoc Brandybuck passed away. The ceremony took place and Meriadoc was laid among the great of Gondor. That day, you could not have found anyone quieter than King Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Thain Peregrin Took. When they had finally laid Meriadoc to rest, Pippin walked up to his cousin, and slipped something into his pocket. His small voice was heard saying "Merry..." Nothing else was said.

The object which had been slipped into Merry's pocket was a pouch for pipeweed, and inside the pouch was a letter that read:

My dearest Merry,

If only I could have gone with you. I don't ever remember being without you, except during that short time during our journey. Our journey. Do you remember how you felt at the beginning? I remember you told me that you did not quite know how epic it would be, but you just had a feeling. You just knew that you needed to go along with Frodo and that something amazing would happen. Can you believe it? We saved the Shire. Of course, it was really Frodo and Sam who saved the Shire, but you knew that we had a part in it.

I remember how you brought me into the conspiracy in the first place. I had not yet come of age, and was in no way mature, but you trusted me and told me about everything. You always included me. You never felt that I was inferior. It was you who thought of every prank, and if I had done something on my own, you would take the heat, even if you didn't do anything. Maybe you just wanted credit for it. Maybe you really did not want me to get in trouble. Either way I did get in trouble, but you were always there with me.

I remember how you would protect me when I was young. I would always run to you if I was hurt, and you would laugh and say "That's nothing, you can handle that." and I would handle it. I remember when Gandalf fell, you, even though you too were grieving, you held me, because there was no one else there to hold me. You told me that it wasn't my fault, and that Gandalf wasn't mad at me. When we were taken by the orcs, every chance you got, you tried to get me to smile.

I remember how scared you looked when I had to leave you and go to Gondor with Gandalf. You were scared for me. You were afraid that you would not see me again. And then, on the battle field later, I found you. I felt my heart lurch when I saw you. I ran to you and you were still alive. You always have had amazing strength to carry on. "Through thick or thin, to the bitter end." We had not even started our quest yet and you seemed to know what was ahead.

Merry, I will miss you terribly. My heart aches to say goodbye. It is not like when Frodo left, because I knew that he was still alive. But death is just another part of life. Gandalf told me....white shores...and a far green country under a swift sunrise. Was he right, Merry? When you left me, did you see white shores? Was Frodo there to greet you? And Sam along with him? Were you healed of your scars? Did your heart mend of the memories that hurt so bad? The memories that made you sad...did you forget them? I hope you did not forget everything Merry......when I join you, promise me you will talk with me.....we'll walk along the shore and smoke our pipeweed, and remember.....remember everything.....

Dearest Merry, goodbye....I hope I shall see you again soon...

Pip

A full nine days later Peregrin Took passed away. They placed him next to his cousin. King Aragorn spent the whole day sitting by the fire with Gimli and Legolas, smoking his pipe, remembering the little hobbits.....when he first saw them burst into his room in Bree with candle sticks and a chair....how Merry had not trusted him at the beginning, and how they wanted to stop for food every chance they got. How they, even after the quest was over, insisted on calling him Strider. How they came along and surpassed everything........They fought with passion, because they had something to fight for....thier home. They became warriors and still loved to sit and talk about such small things as the weather and how good the ale in Hobbiton is. Aragorn loved these Halflings, these Hobbit warriors. He could not have been any more proud of them and what they did for all...everyone in Middle Earth.....

Fourth Age (Gondor) 120.....In this year on March 1st came at last the Passing of King Elessar. It is said that the beds of Meriadoc and Peregrin were set beside the bed of the great king. Then Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien, and sailed down Anduin and so over Sea; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf. And when that ship passed an end was come in Middle-earth of the Fellowship of the Ring.

"What can you see on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call? Across the sea a pale moon rises. White ships have come to carry you home. And all will turn to silver glass. A light on the water, grey ships pass into the west......."