Summary: Frodo awakens to his feelings for Sam.
Categories: FPS > Sam/Frodo, FPS, FPS > Frodo/Sam Characters: Frodo, Sam
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes
Word count: 5062 Read: 7121
Published: September 01, 2012 Updated: September 01, 2012
This is a four-part story, the first proper slash story I ever did. I wasn't sure whether to submit chapters individually or not, but it's not *that* long, so here it is all in one.
I had a weird inspiration moment in a free period where psychology was meant to be. I swear you could see the light bulb 'Ping'ing above my head. As usual, feedback appreciated if you're willing to give it. It brightens my dreary days!
1. Chapter 1. Dreaming by Haeharmaiel
2. Chapter 2. Waking by Haeharmaiel
3. Chapter 3. Learning by Haeharmaiel
4. Chapter 4. Living by Haeharmaiel
Chapter 1. Dreaming by Haeharmaiel
The Eye burned into him, scorching and intense, a heat so great the very air around them quivered in fear. Frodo was stood with Sam at the edge of the precipice, clinging onto Sam as though he was the last remnant of everything good in Frodo's life. Sam was The Shire. He was the freshly ploughed fields, earth warm beneath the toes. He was the steady, glittering stream of the Brandywine as it meandered along the border. Even far, far away from home in the black hollow of Mount Doom, Sam symbolised Home. Even facing him – The Dark Lord – Sam still had the air of a solid Hobbit lad merely giving a stern telling off to one of the Cotton children.
Sam stood tall and proud, with Frodo cowering behind him, quivering from head to toe. "Don't you fret now, Mr. Frodo," Sam said as he turned to his master. "We'll just sort things out and we can be going home."
Frodo took a step backwards. How could Sam ask him to give up something as precious as this, just like that? 'I can't do it.' "No." His whisper was hoarse and grim. "I won't."
He unclasped the chain from around his neck. Time slowed almost imperceptibly, and all Frodo could feel was The Ring. That was all that mattered. He held it up, admiring it as it shone in the red glow, gleaming and eternal. He could hear his heart beating, and every pulse pushed more power through him, burning and freezing at the same time, charging him with an ecstasy he had never felt before. The Ring...The Ring...The Ring...
And then, he did something that would change his life forever. He slid the gold band onto his finger. The Eye flared and engulfed them both. A red hot gale pushed against them, and they were surrounded by flame and darkness combined. Frodo revelled in the heat, in the pain.
He had come to claim the Ring, as his own, and nothing – nothing – would take away this pleasure. It was his. A cry momentarily distracted Frodo, and he turned to his companion. Sam was weeping. Eyes the colour of autumn leaves in their full glory shed tears as sweet as the morning dew of Hobbiton. His eyes were pleading desperately with Frodo to stop. The essence of Frodo's home and heritage was at contest with the power of The One. Frodo realised what he must do. Every nerve in his body screamed in protest as he tugged the Ring from his finger. The fire receded and Sam screamed, again and again, before falling to the rough ground.
The sound of his body falling echoed throughout the chamber, and Frodo's breath caught in his chest. Not heeding the danger, not really taking anything in except Sam, he ran to his friend. His very best friend. Taking Sam's lifeless hand in his own, Frodo wailed with misery, tears seeping down his gaunt, dusty cheeks as he mourned the loss of the one he had loved above all else. And he had never told Samwise how he had felt. The waves crashed upon the rocks and lapped at the shore.
Frodo awakened with a gasp, and sat bolt upright. His gaze darted around the room, and he understood. ''I'm in my room. In Bag End. It was just...'
A nightmare. Another one. Frodo groaned and leaned against his pillows, wiping the sweat away from his face. The bedroom door creaked open, and Sam entered with a candle. Its soft glow lit Sam's warm brown eyes, so used to smiling and laughing. Frodo felt Wraith-like in comparison to his friend as he took in every single detail of Sam.
"Mr. Frodo? Are you alright?"
Frodo's voice shook as he replied. "Y-yes Sam. Just another nightmare I'm afraid. Nothing to worry about."
Sam's forehead creased in concern. "Are you sure?" Frodo smiled, but it took great effort, and did not reach his cerulean eyes. "Yes Sam, I'm sure."
Sam sat on the edge of the bed, and pushed Frodo's dark curls away from his face. His touch was warm and gentle, and Frodo wished he could stay like that forever. He knew he was safe with Sam there. He closed his eyes and sighed gently. 'When will it end? When?' Sam stayed with Frodo for a little while, and then returned to his bed at Frodo's insistence. As Sam shut the door softly, Frodo knew that he had truly awakened.
Chapter 2. Waking by Haeharmaiel
Rosie put the plate down in front of Frodo gently, as though any loud noise would break him like a fragile porcelain figure. Certainly, Frodo looked delicate that morning; he was pale and drawn, with dark blue-black smudges under dull, vacant eyes. He gave Rosie a weak smile of thanks, and looked down at his plate with a small sigh. Rosie had loaded the plate with bacon, a boiled egg and brown toast cut into soldiers, with golden butter melting into them.
Frodo got to work on the bacon as Rosie served her husband and then herself, sitting down next to Sam. She looked radiant in the morning light streaming through the kitchen windows. Her cheeks were pink and her eyes bright. She was positively glowing. Tendrils of her rich chestnut hair curled around her shining face. She turned to Sam, who gazed at her fondly and leant over and kissed her on the cheek. Rosie beamed, lost in her love for Sam, who cleared his throat awkwardly and glanced pointedly across the table. Frodo hit the top of the egg with his teaspoon, staring resolutely at the yellow yolk running down its sides.
An awkward silence filled the kitchen of Bag End. "How long 'til the baby is due, Rosie?" Frodo enquired in an attempt to restore the conversation. Rosie turned her warm brown gaze on him.
"Not too long now Mr. Frodo," she replied happily, "about a month, the doctor said." Rosie rolled her eyes. "Sam's been fussing around me like a mother hen since I went to see her." Sam blushed and ducked his head, busying himself with a sip of tea. Frodo looked at his breakfast again as his stomach turned over.
Just last night he had considered telling Sam how he felt. But in the fresh light, his dreams of having that love returned had evaporated, leaving him feeling hollow. It would be selfish to do it, terribly selfish. Rosie and Sam had a baby on the way, and they were happy. Sam was happy, you could see it in his eyes. More than anything in the world, Frodo wished happiness upon the one who had done so much for him. He decided there and then that he would not face Sam on the matter. He must not. He would bear the burden, as he had bore one other, not long ago. Not that long ago...'If only...' Frodo's hand reached to his neck, longing to touch the chain, and feel the heavy, reassuring weight of –
"No!" he cried, startling Rosie and Sam almost out of their wits. They stared at him in alarm. "I-I'm sorry," Frodo whispered, his eyes brimming with tears that he blinked away. He had promised himself never to let them see him cry, lest he cause them even more worry. Frodo stood abruptly, scraping his chair back. "I'm going out for a little while. Thank you for breakfast." He hurried out of the kitchen and through to the hall. Sam followed him immediately; Frodo knew he would, and was ready for him.
"I'm sorry for being so very rude Sam." Frodo swirled his cloak around his shoulders, and turned to face his companion.
"Oh, Mr. Frodo, you weren't rude," protested Sam, taking a step closer to the elder Hobbit. "But we are worried about you. I can't remember the last time you hand a good night's sleep and..." he trailed off, staring at the floor and shuffling his feet nervously. Frodo hesitated, then reached out and clasped Sam's broad shoulder, trying to comfort him.
"I know Sam. But I shall be fine. All will be well soon, you'll see. I'm just going through a bad time, that's all. Please don't worry about me, you've far too much to worry about already."
Sam looked slightly hurt. "But I do worry." He stared intently at Frodo, who returned his gaze as steadily as he could. Sam lowered his voice. "I love you, you know."
A heavy weight settled on Frodo's heart. 'I know. And it pains me that you cannot love me in the same way you love Rosie. Sometimes it hurts so much it's like the pain is the only truth in my world, and nothing else is real.'
"Thank you Sam, I mean for everything. And I love you too." Frodo's voice cracked on that last sentence, and he turned his face away from Sam, gathering his strength. "Now," he continued bracingly, "I really must be going. I shall be back for dinner." He walked to the door and opened it, letting a fresh breeze in and stir his unruly hair. He smiled wanly back at Sam and stepped outside, closing the door behind him. "Goodbye, Mr. Frodo," Sam said softly. With a sigh, he turned away.
Frodo exhaled deeply as he paced along the road, hands stuffed in his pockets. Time had no meaning to him as he passed hole after hole, paying no heed to anyone else on the road, nor the hushed whispers that followed him. He made good time, and by noon he was where he wanted to be, walking alongside The Water, east of Bywater. Spotting a large willow tree he and Bilbo had been fond of, he approached it with a feeling bordering on reverence. As he reached out a shaking hand to touch the rough bark, he recalled all the happy memories that the tree brought back.
He had spent countless afternoons here with his uncle, reading, singing, talking and laughing. Frodo slid down the trunk and sat down on the springy moss. How he missed Bilbo. 'Perhaps if Bilbo were here, he could help me.' Frodo's eyes filled with tears again, and they spilled down his cheeks unchecked. 'How did this happen?' But he did not know. All he knew was that he loved Sam dearly, and that he longed for him. Sam could make his heart race with just a fleeting touch as he passed Frodo sugar for his tea. Sam's very presence could brighten Frodo's day. It always had. Even in those days of darkness, Sam was like the light of the Lady Galadriel's star-glass to Frodo, constantly making sure he did not fall into the deep void It had created. To be held by Sam, touched by him was what Frodo desired most in the world. To be kissed by him. Only that would complete him.
Sam thought no more of himself than a sturdy Hobbit, simply living his life as he should. But Frodo knew differently. During the Quest, he and Sam had shared everything. Frodo had seen beyond that typical Hobbit front, and looked into Sam's very soul. 'Or at least, I believe I did.' Sam had fit in with the Hobbit society immediately after his return. To him, integrating back into the community had been as easy as getting into his old gardening clothes again. Easier perhaps; the Quest had given Sam a new-found confidence and self-assurance.
Not so for Frodo. He had done everything he could to save his home, but it was not the same. Perhaps The Shire had not changed, but Frodo had. Snuffling, Frodo wiped the tears away and tried to compose himself. Sam loved him in one way at least, even if it wasn't the way Frodo wanted. The Water sped past him, and Frodo regarded it thoughtfully. As it flowed, it changed colour, turning greyish green and stormy. He watched with wide eyes as it widened before him; an expanse of turbulent waters rippling almost enticingly. Frodo gasped and the vision faded, leaving the river as it had been. He shivered and stood, huddling into his cloak. Glancing back at The Water every now and then, he began to make his way home. But still, the waves crashed upon the rocks and lapped at the shore...
Chapter 3. Learning by Haeharmaiel
"Are you sure you should go out this evening, Rosie love?" Sam said as he peered out of the window with concern painted on his round face. Heavy grey storm clouds loomed ominously on the horizon, and thunder rolled in the distance, threatening rain.
"Oh Sam, don't fret, it's only rain! Besides, if the storm gets too bad, I'll just have to stay there, won't I?" Rosie tutted as she scurried about the hall, gathering her belongings to take with her. At last she was ready, and gave Sam a peck on his cheek.
"Give my love to your Ma, won't you?" said Sam. "I would come with you, but..." His gaze darted to the door, and Rosie understood. "I will," she reassured. She left Bag End, humming to herself as she ambled down the lane.
Sam shut the green door and walked into the living room. "Well Mr. Frodo, it looks as though it's just you and me now. Rosie's gone home to see her mother for the afternoon."
Frodo was sat in his chair by the fire, gazing absently into the flickering flames. At the sound of Sam's voice, he glanced up.
"Oh." He tried to keep his tone nonchalant. Sam sat down opposite Frodo, and Frodo's heart gave a little flutter as he watched the shadows waver across Sam's face. Sternly he told himself to stop it, and wrenched his gaze back to the book lying on his lap. He took a deep, steadying breath and turned the page.
By four o'clock, the rain was cascading down in sheets from the steely sky. Lightning forked with almost terrifying ferocity, and the thunder boomed so much that the whole of Bag End shook with every clap. By half past five, Sam knew that Rosie would not be returning that evening.
"Rosie'll be staying with her Ma tonight," Sam said, breaking the long but comfortable silence between them. Frodo marked his place with a finger and looked up at Sam with a peculiar light in his eyes.
"Really?" he asked quietly.
"Yes. We shall have to be making our own dinner tonight I'm afraid Mr. Frodo."
Frodo gave a slight smile. It was a small one, but a smile nonetheless, and it warmed Sam's very insides to witness it.
"Oh don't worry Sam!" he exclaimed. "I'm sure we can manage on our own. We did before after all. Why, it'll be just like old times."
Sam grinned. "Aye well. Shall I go get some taters and veg from the pantry? I reckon they'd be fine in a pie."
Frodo nodded, his enthusiasm growing. "Yes Sam, and while you're there, I shall begin on the pastry." Sam nodded and they strolled into the kitchen. He turned into the pantry, leaving Frodo alone. 'You stop this nonsense right now, Frodo Baggins. It'll only lead to more pain. Just enjoy this evening while you can."
He rolled up his sleeves and managed to locate a large mixing bowl. He took flour from the shelf, and found some butter in a shady corner of the kitchen. He measured both ingredients into a bowl. Reaching in, he began to methodically rub the fat into the flour.
Just then, a particularly violent clap of thunder jolted him out of his reverie. Startled, he stopped moving his fingers and looked outside. The rain was pouring in torrents, turning the puddles into streams, and the streams into rivers. 'And all rivers eventually lead back to the Sea.'
Sam came bustling in with a small bag of potatoes and an armful of vegetables. He deposited them on the table and looked over at Frodo. "Honestly Mr. Frodo, you'll get nowhere like that!" He stepped over to view the contents of the bowl. "Here," he said kindly, "let me." Frodo's temper flared a little, as it was prone to do when he was criticised. But as usual, he quelled it, reminding himself that Sam only did it because he cared. He nudged the bowl nearer Sam, who stuck his hands in as well. Frodo felt a shiver travel down his spines as Sam's fingers brushed his, emphasised by a simultaneous flash of lightning.
They worked efficiently, and a few moments later, Frodo was binding the mixture into a dough while Sam rattled through the cupboards in search of a pie dish. Soon the pie had been assembled, and was stewing in the stove. They seated themselves at the table, and Frodo leaned back in his chair. He had relaxed, and felt more at ease than he had in a long time. So at ease that he said, "Do you miss them?"
Sam frowned. "Sometimes. I miss Strider the most, I think. Never trusted him at first, but..." He shrugged. "Now I've seen – you know – almost everything, I sometimes feel The Shire's a little rustic. I love it dearly and no mistake," he hastened. Frodo nodded eagerly, silently urging Sam to go on. He needed to hear more. "But I do miss the Elves," Sam continued with a sigh.
"Lothlórien seems a dream," commented Frodo, with sadness in his voice. Sam reached out and took Frodo's hand in his two, rubbing his thumb along Frodo's palm. A tremor ran through Frodo's entire body, and he bit his lip, anxious not to give himself away. A silent understanding passed between them.
However, Sam stood up, smiling apologetically, and went to go see to the pie. By half past seven, Frodo and Sam had eaten the dinner; the whole pie and some rich fruitcake for afters. Sam had noted happily that Frodo had eaten more in that one meal than he had all week. He looked over at Frodo, whose cheeks were now flushed and eyes bright, and decided to ask.
"Mr. Frodo..." he began tentatively.
"Might – might we perhaps read a book together tonight, like we used to when I was learnin' to read?" Frodo looked acutely surprised. "Why of course, I'd love to. What would you like to read?" Sam's cheeks reddened a little. "Something Elvish. Remember the Lady Strider sang about?"
Frodo's eyebrows knitted together. "The leaves were long, the grass was green, The hemlock umbels tall and fair, And in the glade a light was seen, Of stars in shadow shimmering," he muttered. "The Lady was Luthien Tinúviel." Sam nodded happily. "Mr Bilbo had a book, as I remember, in Elvish it was of course." Frodo's face lit up as he recalled it. "Oh yes, it's in the study. I'll just go get it. Shan't be long." He padded off and returned a few minutes later with a large volume. He settled himself on the sofa, and Sam stoked the fire before sitting down next to Frodo. They balanced the book across their knees, and began to read aloud, turning the crackling, ornately decorated pages with great care.
When they had finished, Sam sat back contentedly. "I do love that tale. I didn't really understand it when I first hear it though."
"Why ever not?"
"Well, I didn't really know what love was then." Sam blushed and stared at his feet. Frodo's heart sank. Now he'd have to listen to Sam talk about his love for his wife. He felt as though the pain was so intense it would tear him in two there and then. ' And the evening had been going so well.'
He decided he had better respond. "W-what do you think now then?"
Sam tore his gaze from the rug. "Loving someone," he said slowly, "isn't necessarily getting married to them." Frodo reeled and tried to arrange his facial expression so it wouldn't betray him. Sam continued. "To love someone, you have to know them inside out, and be able to see into their very soul. Even if - " he took a deep breath. "Even if that love ain't considered n-natural by others." Frodo gripped the arm of the sofa so hard that his knuckles turned white. "If you love someone," said Sam, "nothing should take that away. You can pretend to everyone, even yourself, but the heart shines through." His brown eyes smouldered like dying coals in the fire as he stared at Frodo almost meaningfully.
Frodo opened his mouth, trying to speak, or find something to say, but his breath seemed to have left him completely. "Do you know what I mean, Mr. Frodo?" Sam whispered shyly, leaning a little closer to the other Hobbit. Frodo found his voice at last. "Sam...I-I-I think - " he stumbled over his words. "What about Rose?" It was inevitable that the question was asked, and Sam pulled away and averted his face. "Sam?" Frodo lightly touched Sam's shoulder and Sam turned to face him, tears glimmering in his eyes. "She's a dear thing," he whispered, "but oh, I feel so divided. I love you so much." Frodo's whole world spun, and he was so overwhelmed he could hardly find the words to express his feelings. "Do you know how long I've wanted to hear you say it like that, Samwise Gamgee?" he said evenly. Sam shook his head mutely. "Neither do I," Frodo laughed gently. "But it feels like forever. I love you, my Sam with all my heart and soul." Sam smiled, and to Frodo it was like the sun coming out from behind a thundercloud, no matter what was going on outside. Frodo returned the smile, a smile that was warm and genuine, and that reached his deep blue eyes this time. "Oh, you are beautiful," Sam breathed. Frodo looked down, abashed.
Sam leant forward and tilted Frodo's face towards his. And, in a heartbeat, he placed a soft, kiss on Frodo's lips. Frodo gasped a little, and then kissed Sam back tenderly. Sam's arm reached around Frodo's shoulders as he ran his fingers through Frodo's dusky curls by the nape of his neck. The kiss deepened, and Frodo felt as though he had very nearly lost himself. After an age, they broke apart and surveyed each other wordlessly.
Sam's hand slid down to Frodo's shirt, and he undid the top button, raising an eyebrow questioningly. "Only if you want to as well," he said huskily. Frodo reached out a trembling hand and tucked a stray lock of sandy hair behind Sam's ear. "Yes. Oh Sam, I do want to. I need to. I need you," he murmured.
"And I need you."
That was too much for Frodo. Overcome by his absolute happiness, the knowledge that Sam truly felt the same way he did, and the terror that he could lose it all, he burst into tears, burying his face in Sam's neck. Sam rocked him back and forth, comforting him, and eventually the sobbing lessened, and he reached up to kiss Sam again. Frodo surrendered himself, and outside, the storm raged on.
The grey pre-dawn light filtered in through the window of the master bedroom, and Frodo stirred, wondering for a moment why he felt so comfortable. Then he remembered. Last night he had – He scrambled up and sat bolt upright, panic rising within him. But Sam was still there, propped up on the downy pillows, wide-awake. "Good Morning." Frodo's voice was blurred by sleep.
"Morning Frodo," he replied.
"I thought maybe you'd left me."
Sam frowned. "Why's that?"
"Well, Rose will be returning, and - "
"We have a while yet," Sam interrupted him, "and I wouldn't leave you, not ever. And I won't." He trailed his fingers down Frodo's chest. "I'll always be here," he let his hand rest over Frodo's heart, "even if I'm not with you." Frodo put his hand over Sam's and twined their fingers together.
"I love you," he murmured, snuggling closer to the other Hobbit. Sam traced the outline of Frodo's delicately pointed ear. "I love you too."
He waited until Frodo's breathing became deep and even. Then he bent down and kissed his forehead, brushing Frodo's hair out of his eyes, just as he had done when Frodo had had the nightmare.
He got out of bed, and with one last look at his love, he slipped out of the bedroom as the sun rose.
Chapter 4. Living by Haeharmaiel
Sam had somehow managed to get through the journey without crying. Sometimes, while Frodo slept, Sam would think about life without Frodo. He simply could not imagine it, and try as he might, he could not cry over it. Not while Frodo was still with him.
It wasn't until the ship had left the shore that Sam felt the full impact of his loss. He lingered a little while longer, gazing out across the Sea, remembering what he had once said to Frodo. "The heart shines through."
No matter what, Sam would love him. No matter what, Sam would see him again.
He arrived home one evening with a heavy weight on his heart. Rosie greeted him warmly and little Elanor, bright as ever, seemed overjoyed at her father's return. But after supper, Sam grew weary and decided to go to bed early. He walked sullenly to his room, through the twists and turns of Bag End. He paused however, outside the door to Frodo's study. It was ajar, and Sam opened it with a degree of uncertainty.
It seemed as though his Frodo was still there. The room had the exact same atmosphere it always had, but the fire in the hearth had dies to ashes. Sam collapsed into the armchair by the fire – Frodo's favourite – and stared listlessly into the empty grate. His gaze was eventually drawn to the elaborately carved mantelpiece. There, resting on the worn oak ledge was a wooden box. An envelope was propped up against it with 'Sam' written across the front in what was unmistakably Frodo's bold, slanted handwriting. Sam's heart leapt when he saw it, and shaking slightly, he retrieved the box and letter and settled himself back down with both objects on his lap. He slowly slit the yellow envelope open, and withdrew a single piece of parchment. He lit a candle from the table next to him, and leaning forward in anticipation, he began to read.
I've tried so many times to put my thoughts into words that this letter hardly makes sense to me now. I have been through reams upon reams of parchment in an attempt to tell you what I feel.
On the night of the storm all my dreams and aspirations actually came true. I cannot begin to explain to you how ecstatic I was. But I only hope I need not, because you felt it too.
I love you so much. I think I always have, but did not realise it. Even before the Quest, you were there for me, keeping me company after Bilbo left. Every single thing you have ever done for me, you bravery and loyalty, remain with me in my heart, and they will forever.
But understand Sam, that I had to leave. All I have done for Middle Earth has come to nothing, for I remain in the clutched of the Ring. Sometimes when I al alone, I yearn for It so much that I can barely breathe, let alone force my thoughts away from it. And in The Shire, I am not really wanted. It seems I am doomed to follow in the footsteps of my uncle, and become a 'Mad Baggins'. My only choice left was to leave, and it was the hardest choice I have ever had to make.
You must understand that I did not leave because I did not love you. For I left simply because I love you, and I want to know that you can live your life to its very fullest. I know how fond you are of Rose, and of little Elanor. I wish more than anything in the world that you will be happy for the rest of your days, and I take comfort because I know that you will. I have left you a small gift, to remind you of myself and of us. It is Bilbo's pipe, and a fair supply of Old Toby that somehow managed to evade capture before our return to Bag End.
All that remains is to tell you once more how much I love you, and that I will always be thinking of you, no matter the distance between us.
Sam opened the box and lifted out a beautifully crafted pipe. It had been lovingly carved out of walnut wood, and gleamed magnificently in the candlelight. The smell of good pipe weed wafted up from the box. Sam carefully replaced the pipe and closed the lid.
The sudden sound of someone clearing their throat from the doorway prompted Sam to leap from his seat. There stood Rosie, silhouetted in soft warm light. She smiled at her husband. "I see you found it," she remarked.
"I noticed it there when I was cleaning. What is it?" Sam wordlessly handed her the box. "Oh Sam, it's beautiful!" she breathed as she examined the pipe. Her loving eyes studied her husband's face intently.
"What's wrong love?"
Sam shrugged, looking at the floor. "It's just...I don't think I really deserve it. He's done so much for us already, and I never really gave him anything."
"Yes you did," Rose said firmly. They stood in silence for a while, remembering. Then the moment passed, and Rosie retired, leaving Sam alone with his memories and his tears.
Frodo stood on the shore, allowing himself to take one last look towards the East. His tears streamed freely down his cheeks, as salty as the Sea itself.
They weren't the same as the tears he had cried before The Storm. Those were tears of angst and frustration. But these were tears of a bittersweet and melancholy pain, spilling because Frodo knew how he loved Sam, and was loved in return.
Frodo inhaled the crisp, bracing sea air that whipped his cloak around him. The waves crashed upon the rocks and lapped at the shore. Frodo had said goodbye. 'But perhaps not forever...'
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