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.
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Awakening by Haeharmaiel
Story notes: 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!