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28
Among Friends

A triple drabble to accommodate Az's request for a Fellowship drabble.


~~~

"Do you think it's the water here?" Merry asked.

Boromir snorted. "More likely the wine!" he replied, and Pippin coughed, having sipped from his cup at just the wrong moment.

"If so, even Sam and I'll be fast friends, despite the blanket plot," he said. Sam rolled his eyes, cheeks reddening. Aragorn shook his head, but Rangerly reserve lost to mischievous impulse:

"Wagers on how long it will last?" he asked. "I give it a week."

"Three days," Frodo said unexpectedly, a gleam in his eye as he grinned at Aragorn, who raised a skeptical brow back at him. "My pipeweed stash is running low; I'll look forward to replenishing it."

"Wretched stuff," Boromir opined, but said, "I give it the night. And I look forward to air I can breathe about you lot!"

"And if you lose?" Merry demanded, deliberately puffing on his pipe, and laughing when Boromir gave an exaggerated grimace of disgust. "What then?"

"Then you'll have coin enough to buy a field of the noxious weed."

"Then I'm in," Pippin declared. "Five days."

But in the end, all wagers came to naught, for the days drifted by in Lórien, and neither Dwarf nor Elf seemed inclined to shove the other off a riverbank or a tree limb—seemed, indeed, to spend ever more time together.

"Who'd've imagined it?" Pippin said, incredulous one morn, watching as Gimli and Legolas escaped into the trees for the tenth day in a row.

And to the surprise of all, it was Sam who replied: "Well, I could've told you. It weren't the water nor the wine. It's in the air here—hear it all the time, them Elves singin' about him."

A silence settled on the Company. Then Aragorn chuckled. "Samwise, indeed!"

Thus did the spirit of Gandalf live on.

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