Lord of the Rings. Aragorn/Pippin. PG. ~400 words.
Away from the rooftops of the town, the trees of the forest hissed…
All was quiet, but it was a tense, troubled quiet, the likes of which one encounters when the world holds its breath before a storm. This great unease could not be attributed to approaching rainclouds, for they had already moved west and left the streets of Bree thick with mud.
Away from the rooftops of the town, the trees of the forest hissed, their great, leafy arms shivering at the touch of a wind which brought only ill tidings.
Pippin shivered as his mind wandered to what lurked outside the four walls of the room, and his arms turned to gooseflesh beneath his sleeves. It was a foul night, and not even Merry’s warm body slumbering beside him seemed to keep away the chill.
Sleep continued to elude him, and it was with tired eyes that he looked towards the window. A fresh chill ran from his toes to his neck, as he was startled to find that the man, Strider, no longer kept watch.
Quiet as a fieldmouse, Pippin slipped out of the bed and went to where the door stood unlatched and open the width of a hobbit’s hand.
Pippin jumped away from the door at the sound of Merry’s voice, and turned swiftly with an explanation ready on his tongue.
“I don’t think that’s supposed to go there,” Merry said, his voice thick and garbled with sleep. He mumbled again and turned onto his side, throwing a heavy arm over Frodo.
Pippin jumped again, and only barely held back a shriek, when a Man’s large hand lighted on his shoulder.
“Come now,” Strider said, bending down to speak quietly into the hobbit’s ear. “Should you not be resting?”
“I can’t sleep,” Pippin said, but the touch that had first sent fear through him, now both calmed and warmed him, and he felt the words he had spoken become a falsehood.
“You’ll find it harder still if you remain speaking with me,” Strider said. He stood to his full height and lightly pushed Pippin towards the bed.
Pippin went unresisting, and as he nestled beneath the covers, his mind no longer dwelled on thoughts of monsters, but rather of the strong and gentle hands of Men.