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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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The Purple Berry Truce
Submitter: Date: 2008/7/10 Views: 130
Summary: Author: Hyel
Summary: Pippin finds out the best way to end a feud is... pie. Crossover with Discworld in the feeble sense that Annagramma Hawkin is originally a Discworld character, hobbitified here for the purpose of a random-pairing challenge.
Rating: T
Genre: Humor, romance
Pairing: Pippin/Annagramma
Warnings: a more or less positive attitude towards narcotics
Disclaimer: J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett own LotR and Discworld respectively.

Merry used to trail after healers as a boy. He was fascinated by all the uses of herbs and concoctions. Pippin was mostly just bored by them, his feet itching to dance and his mouth ready to sing, but even so Pippin had always trailed after Merry, and so couldn't escape some education in the art.

'If you take tea made out of this root, it'll relieve any pain. You won't be able to get up and do much of anything, of course.' Merry pointed out a mushroom. 'And that mushroom -'

'-is not for eating,' Pippin said, who had been trained since very young in the art of the mushroom.

'No, not unless you know what will happen, anyway,' Merry murmured.

'Isn't it poisonous?' 'It is if you have too much. If you have just a little you'll see things that aren't there, like oliphaunts, moving trees, or the gardener slaying gigantic monsters with a pocket knife.'

'Or a Sackville-Baggins's conscience?'

They laughed, but Pippin didn't forget. He had always rather wanted to see oliphaunts.

It was a few years later, with Pippin well into his tweenage, enough in, in fact, to worry about the time when he would have to start acting responsibly, that he was reminded of the power of plants.

He had been embroiled in a small-scale war with the healer's apprentices in the Great Smials, wherein Pippin and his Golf Club (members including, so far, himself, Merry, Fatty and his sister Pervinca, and activities including drinking, dancing, philosophical discussion*1, and on occasion, golf) would find out by way of eavesdropping which concoction was to be attempted next, and steal the vital ingredient; and in which the apprentices retaliated by acquiring and holding hostage their golf clubs. Pippin's crew was down to a single mashie, and so the situation called for action.

'All right, Pervinca, they don't know you're with us, so you can distract Annagramma while Pippin sneaks in through the back door and gets the clubs.'

'What if there's more than one person there?' asked Fatty nervously.

'Then Vinca will have to be particularly distracting.'

In the end the plan was only partially followed. Pervinca was forced to engage an unexpected sentry outside the healers' kitchen*2, Merry was assigned to sneaking duty, and Pippin slipped in to distract the formidable Annagramma Hawkin, healer's pet and the possessor of a truly vicious tongue.

He adopted a technique he'd heard about in the pub. It was quite brilliant, really. He sauntered in and began. 'Ms Hawkin, I have come to offer a truce, and some pie.' He held up his trump, the beautiful blueberry pie that he had somehow managed to nibble on only a little bit so far.

'Pie, you say?' Annagramma, whose expression at first had been hostile, began to melt. She was a hobbit, after all. 'Perhaps I'll hear you out. Sit down.'

As she set down their plates and he began to cut the slices, Annagramma said, 'I hope this isn't some ploy to distract me, because it won't work. Our storage closet is carefully boobytrapped.'

'You wound me,' said Pippin, while composing in his head a quick appeal to the stars for Merry's protection.

'Or some truly wicked idea, such as slipping dreamberries in with the blueberries.' She took a bite and murmured a few words of devout appreciation.*3

'I wouldn't even know what a dreamberry looks like.'

'Liar,' said Annagramma with a smile. 'Look here.' She went to a cabinet and pulled out a jar. She opened it under Pippin's nose, revealing purplish berries with a sweet aroma. 'If it weren't for the effects, they'd be as good for baking sweet tarts as blueberries.'


'They give you visions and dreams, and take away your pains.' Annagramma sighed. 'Sometimes I'm almost tempted to try it.' She turned to replace the berry jar in the cabinet, but then Pippin had his idea.

'Well,' he said, springing out of his chair and moving up behind Annagramma. 'Why don't you?' He placed one hand on the jar, one on her waist.

Annagramma blushed angrily, but didn't move away. 'Because it's meant for the wounded and sick, who need relief. What an idea! Do you think I can't deal with the world unsupported?'

'I don't need pipeweed to live,' said Pippin, though he knew that was probably a lie. 'That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it.'

'No, thank you,' said Annagramma icily, still gripping the jar tightly.

Pippin moved closer. Annagramma really was a rather pretty hobbit, if thinnish and quarrelous. Almost without thinking he took a berry from the jar and put it to her lips.

The lips parted and admitted the berry, as much, it seemed, to Annagramma's own surprise as his. She chewed it slowly, thoughtfully, eyes fixed with his. Then, almost reluctantly, she picked up another berry and put it to his lips. He took it eagerly, and let his tongue flick over the tip of Annagramma's finger. The girl was blushing now, amazed, out of breath, and very pretty. Pippin suddenly found himself feeling quite soft-headed for her, and it must have shown, because a gleam lighted in Annagramma's eye, and in the next moment they were kissing, berry juice meshing and smearing between their lips.

Some time later there was loud crashing and cursing from the closet, but Pippin and Annagramma, in their position beneath the table, paid it no mind, being much too occupied with touch and moan and with speckling each other with purple smears.

More time passed, and then Pippin was marvelling at the exceptional clarity of the bumblebee climbing a chair leg. He was stumbling haltingly down from his high.

'The most impudent--! If Madam Ammie hears a word about this I will wring your scrawny little neck, you fool! You won't be able to taste a thing without worrying what I might have sneaked into it!' Annagramma was flushed red with anger. She continued to berate him while rearranging her skirt and buttoning her stays. Despite her shrill tones, Pippin found himself still very much attracted, and his lazy answering smile caused Annagramma emit a kind of a yowl of frustration.

'I won't tell, Anna, if you don't want me to,' he said.

'You wouldn't dare to!' she said proudly.

'Of course it could be that Merry heard us.'

She stopped dead.

'I think I heard him, all right.'

'Pippin, please...'

'Just let us have our clubs and we'll call it a day, eh?'

'All right, Pip,' she said soothingly. 'And you won't interfere with us anymore, will you?'

'You have my word as the club chairman.'

She smiled a little, haltingly, as if taken by a wholly new experience. 'Thank you,' she stumbled, and leaned down to kiss him, confused but pleased. Pippin grabbed her around the shoulders and pulled her down on top of him for a proper kiss, and kept it on till they were both red and laughing.

'I say the truce calls for celebration,' said Pippin. 'What do you suggest?'

'Singing, dancing and philosophising under the stars, with good friends and pipeweed all around.'

'All right,' said Annagramma, and leaned closer. 'And perhaps, after that, some more... pie.'


*1 This always took place after the drinking.
*2 A second, smaller kitchen in the south wing, where the doors were locked if the room was unattended, and had been ever since the unfortunate events of 1393, when the Thain's decision to make a mayor out of his favourite hound was questioned by many hobbit families, before it turned out he'd been to the healers' kitchen looking for snacks just previously. As with his progeny, the Thain's fondness for mushrooms caused him no end of trouble.
*3 Tookish pies are no idle pastries, but widely appreciated works of art.

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