One Year As A Brandybuck: 7. Doubt

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7. Doubt

For the next several months, things went along peacefully. Well, as peacefully as they can go with two mischievous little hobbits running around. Acacia settled well into her life in Buckland. Saradoc and Esmerelda took a great liking to their adopted daughter and often said how they wished she would rub off on Merry a bit, rather than the other way around. But she did, really. Everyone thought that Acacia’s coming had been a great blessing. Merry was far better off now than he would have been, left to his own devices after Frodo’s departure. Somehow, he even picked up some of her good manners, when he felt like using them.

They never could find out where she was from, though. Whenever they questioned her about her past or her home, she’d always respond, “The past is the past. This is my home.” They didn’t want to push her, so they usually let her be. “Let her have her secrets,” Esmerelda had said once, “She lets us have ours.” In fact, Acacia never asked more about this world and its people than the other hobbits wanted to say, which wasn’t much, outside of the Shire. She was fine with that. It didn’t matter to her what the rest of the world was like or how she’d gotten there. She was just glad she was there. In fact, she tended to think that if she knew too much about this world, it might suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke and send her back to her other life.

But as time went on, she began to think that might not be such a terrible thing.

Merry found her one day in late November sitting on the bank of the Brandywine River. He snuck up behind her, intent on pouncing on her and maybe even getting her wet. But, he stopped when he saw the way she was hunched over, hugging her knees and drawing in the dirt with a rock. Instead, he just sat beside her silently.

When she didn’t turn to look at him, he asked, “Are you all right, Acey?”

She let out a light sigh that would have been adorable if it hadn’t been so sad. “It’s almost Thanksgiving, you know.”

He looked confused. “What?”

She turned to him, her eyes large and glistening with unshed tears. “A holiday where I come from.” She looked out at the river, lost in memory. “When I was little, we’d always go to visit my grandparents on their ranch. Grandma would make a great big meal with mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and even the special stuffing I like with the corn in it.”

Merry was staring off into the distance, grinning. “Mmmm...” he murmured. When he saw her face again, he snapped out of it.

She looked into his eyes and he could see the great sadness in them. “In these past few years, it’s the only time I remember my family being really happy.”

He finally understood her grief. “Your other family,” he observed.

She nodded. They sat in silence for a long time. Merry couldn’t figure out what to say that would cheer her up. Finally, she asked him, “Merry, do you think I’ll ever see them again?”

He put his arm around her shoulders. “I don’t know, Acey. But even if you don’t, you know you’ll always have a family here, and we’d be very sad to see you go.” She smiled at him and he wrapped his other arm around her. She clung to him for several seconds, savoring the comforting embrace.

But it soon became too much for the young hobbit-lad, as he seemed to reach his mushy limit for the week. An evil grin spread across his face. He leaned back, sending her off balance and falling on top of him. Before she could get there, though, he tucked his feet under him and as he rolled onto his back, he pressed his feet into her stomach and launched her back over his head, using both of their momentums against her. She went flying across the riverbank, screaming as she went. She landed a dozen feet away on her back. When she scrambled up, her look of absolute astonishment shifted to playful anger as she saw Merry sitting on the ground, laughing his butt off. A smile flashed across her features, then it was back to scowling.

“Grrrraaahh!” she yelled as she rushed toward him like an angry warg. His laughter turned into girly screaming, but by then it was too late.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Samus

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/02/04

Original Post: 01/21/04

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