42. Another Anniversary
'Meriadoc, fight it! Stay with us.'
'What did he say?'
'He's cold. Let's add another blanket. Put another log on the fire, will you?'
'His right hand is like ice. Is it always this way?'
'Always, but by morning he'll be better. And the next day he'll be completely himself again.'
'Yes, beloved, I'm here.'
'Sor... I'm sorry...'
'Ah, love, do not worry. I promised to marry you, warts and all. There now, that's a nice smile... you don't have any warts, do you?'
'Laughing's good. It helps him fight. Hold on, Merry. Don't let it pull you down.'
'Stay with us, Son.'
'What did Frodo say, cousin?'
'Stay close to home...'
'I think we can manage that... so far we're doing things right, it seems, at least according to your Cousin Frodo...'
'Estella, you interrupted him.'
'I'm sorry, beloved, what else did Frodo say?'
'Merry? Are you still with us?'
'What is it, Meriadoc?'
'Friendship... and laughter... Frodo said...'
'Merry? Don't drift away. We're right here. Merry!'
'Merry, beloved, can you hear me?'
'What... what time is it?'
'It's tomorrow, cousin. Just think, you don't have to go through this for another year.'
'Thanks a lot, Pippin.'
'Merry? Are you going back to sleep?'
'Oh, Estella. I'm sorry.'
'Why are you sorry? It's not often you take the whole day off of Hall business, and I get to spend an entire day in your company without interruptions...'
'I love you.'
'I love you too. But you never answered my question.'
'Do you have any warts?'
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