He hears them - teeth chattering in the darkness.
They’re cold, afraid. The creature in the water has shaken them, more than their stout hearts want to admit.
Enveloped in the creeping black of Moria, they shiver with more than cold. Horror curls about them like the musty air. Too proud to admit it, they huddle together finding little comfort in their mutual terror.
Strength can only be gained from strength.
“Merry. Pippin. Come here.” He coaxes gently, offering them protection against the night.
Eagerly, they obey nestling like children against his sides. Wrapped by his courage they sleep in peace.