Title: Alone
Date Posted: 22 January 2002
Author: Van Donovan
Rating: PG
Characters: Sam, Frodo
Pairing: Frodo/Sam
Word count: 2,778
Warnings: Spoilers through Return of the King
Summary: Frodo remember Sam, and speaks with Gandalf.
Notes: Written for fun. I own nothing.


"Hold me, Sam."
The sky was black above with night, and the stars winked down on the two hobbits who sat against each other on the grassy hill on the outskirts of Hobbiton. Frodo's voice was soft and quiet, like he were off somewhere else in thought. It was warm now that summer had come and the night was filled with the whirring of crickets. The two of them had gathered their long pipes and trekked out to their favourite star gazing hill, away from the village lights of the Shire. It was relatively quiet here, for no hobbits other than they ever ventured this far, especially not at night, and it had not been burned or torn up during Sharkey's reign at the end of last year, so it was doubly special to them now.
Frodo's pipe sat beside him, unlit and unsmoked. He had his knees drawn to his chest with his arms wrapped around them, looking cold and vulnerable even in the warmth of the night. Sam sat with his back to Frodo, for they often sat back to back to star gaze, and so the younger hobbit looked over his shoulder at the inquiry; it was a strange thing for Frodo to say, and he wondered if he hadn't misheard. "I feel so alone, Sam." Sam felt Frodo shiver a little against his back and so he turned, his eyes looking saddened suddenly. Frodo looked to Sam, his eyes startlingly bright and equally moist, shimmering with stars. Sam gasped at the face Frodo gave him.
"Why what's the matter Mr. Frodo? You look nigh on tears sir!" And he opened his arms wide and pulled the smaller hobbit to him as per request.
Frodo swallowed hard and melted against Sam's embrace, letting his tears slid down his cheeks as he pressed his face into Sam's shirt where they were dried. He did not cry more than that, nor shed anymore tears, for Sam was holding him now, and such a warmth could not allow for tears of sadness. "What's this talk of being alone?" Sam said quietly into his ear, patting Frodo softly on his back, his pipe smoking on the grass beside him where he'd rested it. "Sam's here, Mr. Frodo, and Rosie and Tolman back home, sir, and many more. You aren't alone, not at all." He stroked the curly black hair on Frodo's head.
"No. You're right Sam," Frodo softly said, his voice not betraying the ache of his heart. There were hobbits and then there was he and Sam. Sam was both Ringbearer and hobbit, and Frodo wondered how his heart could be both. With the faintest of smiles, he knew it was because Sam was so pure and innocent a thing like a Ring could not corrupt him as it had Frodo. Sam had not had the Ring for the years that Frodo had had it, and he had not had to bear it all the way up Mount Doom, although Frodo did not doubt he had toiled hard and long to help destroy it. Still, Sam found hope for the flowers on a gray day when Frodo saw only rain. In this, Frodo was utterly alone, for he had not even Sam to share his longings.
"That's not what ails you, is it sir?"
Sam sometimes had the subtlest ways of speaking, and Frodo remembered again why he found such a great source of strength and comfort in the other hobbit. "No, it's not," he replied, lifting his face from Sam's shoulder, looking into Sam's eyes deeply. Sam blinked back, stunned at the depth of the emotion that shone back from them.
"What is it sir?"
Frodo found his smile, however old and sad it felt, and sat back a little, letting Sam's arms drop back to his sides, although his missed their comfort. "I must tell you something my lad." Although what he had to say was not the sort of thing you smiled at.
"What must you tell me?"
"It will not be nice to hear, dear Sam, and you may think ill of me afterward."
"Nonsense, sir, I,"
"Here me out first, Sam."
Frodo had raised a hand to silence Sam, and now he closed his eyes, searching not for the words to begin, for he had composed those in his head long ago, but for the courage. Strength he always drew from Sam, and so even now he reopened his eyes and looked into that soft worried face and found warmth blossom in his breast. "You know you mean so much to me, Sam my lad, and I would give the world to see you happy."
"And I you, sir."
Frodo smiled tightly at that, then pressed on. "This past year, we have become so much closer than I ever dreamed we would, or would ever need to grow." Sam nodded, for the trip they had shared to Mordor had shaped and changed them both in ways they could have never imagined without the dangers and horrors they had faced together. "Yet despite the love I have for you, and the friendship we have always had, there was a black moment in my heart for you upon that wretched mountain." Sam opened his mouth to protest, but Frodo shook his head, "No, let me finish, or I fear I never will." So Sam sat back and was silent.
Frodo took a breath and spoke again. "The Ring bore me down, with every step and breath I took closer to the place it had been forged. It knew what was in my heart, Sam, that I had come to destroy it, and it fought against me. I have never wanted the thing, that wretched accursed band of horror, but as we stepped into the Cracks of Doom it took my heart, and suddenly I was as vile and as dark as it. I knew I could not destroy it, for to do so would be to destroy myself as well." He shook his head, watching Sam's expression tighten. The younger hobbit had not expected this to come from Frodo's mouth.
"I cannot explain it to myself, Sam, nor to you, but I was taken there, and I knew if I did not act quickly, you would come and find my hesitancy and would try to take the Ring from me." His hands tightened on the legs of his pants, "So I claimed it for myself. I would not let you, or anyone, have it. Gollum came, and he fought me for it, and how he saw me I do not know, but he did, and for him we both are thankful, so I shall no speak ill of him. Yet as we fought, I saw you come to, for he had beaten you so great was his desire to keep me from destroying the Ring. You had blood in your eyes Sam, and as I felt all the power of the world swelling inside me, coursing from the Ring into my veins, I laughed." He paused, to take a breath. "I laughed at you, Sam, for being so foolish. You had come so far on such a horrible journey with me all for nothing. What good had your love and noble heart done for you on this journey? Nothing, and now you would die at the steps of the end of the quest. It seemed such an ironic fate. Then I was angry, for you fought on, and hope did not die in your eyes. Gollum had me distracted, so I could not do what I wished, but in that instant I hated you Sam.
"You were noble and fair and beautiful and pure, with an iron will and determination and they were all things the Ring hates, and so I hated them. I wanted to bring down the mountain upon you, to destroy all that you were, for you reminded me of someone I could no longer be. Had I not been stopped, I would have destroyed all that reminded me of you, no doubt the Shire and the elves, if I could, for you were so fond of them. But even as these horrible thoughts swelled in my head, the Ring was taken! And as I became simply Frodo again, Gollum completed the quest for me." He forlornly held up his right hand, and looked at the empty hole where the Ring had once sat. "And there you were, running to capture me and carry me away." He smiled bitterly at the memory, "From the fires of hell into the destruction of hell, and my heart could only weep for the loss of the Ring.
"It's is a wondrous thing, Sam, having such power. I felt it in truth for just those moments, but I knew then how Sauron felt. I understood what Galadriel said to us when she refused the Ring, for I would have become even more powerful than she with the Rings' aid and I had lost it only moments after I had it." He sighed, glancing down, unable to look into Sam's pained eyes. "Such a short time I had it, and for that I am glad, for as you brought me outside, the sun found my face and I returned to myself. There was still an ache, in my hand, yes, but my heart too, an emptiness, but the burden was gone. It was such a wonderful thing, Sam, to stand without feeling it's weight. Still," he looked back up at Sam, whose brows were furrowed in worry and confusion, "still, sweet Sam, my heart has not returned entirely. And I can never forgive myself for hating you, even for just that moment; even if it were only by fluke of the Ring, I cannot forgive myself for I love you like no other Sam. You and Bilbo are all I have left, and even he could not stay in the very Shire he had lived in."
Sam let out a breath of tensed air he'd been holding, looking at Frodo with both hope and dismay on his face. He had never guessed the depth of the burden claiming the One Ring had left on Frodo. "It's over now, though, sir, and I forgive you for what thoughts you might have had. They were black and you are only light, so they could not have been yours. I will never begrudge you for the evils that Ring made you do!"
Frodo smiled but tightly squeezed his eyes shut, perhaps because those were not the words he wanted to hear from Sam. Sam could love anything he opened his heart to, from a broken old chair to Frodo to the moths in the field. Sam's heart was big, and his love was pure and strong, so there was never a place for hate or room for grudges. Frodo loved this about Sam: his light, his love, his honesty. Still, all the same it made him weak with a sort of jealousy: Sam could show the same dedicated love and affection to a lost kitten that he could show to Frodo, although he knew the kitten could not appreciate it as much as he. Perhaps the Ring had instilled greed into Frodo, for he had never had it before, or perhaps it was the journey with Sam through the Brown Lands and the Dead Marshes up past Shelob's Lair and the plains of Gorgoroth and into Mount Doom itself that had made him so very fond of him. For Frodo had realized something worth keeping in Sam, and it was very special to him, and he found he wanted it all for himself. Then there was Sam, who could not love one thing alone and Frodo could never ask it of him, for to do so would be to take away all that made the young hobbit up.
"I know, Sam," Frodo breathed, very lightly, and the words crushed his dreams for they were a dismissal: he knew then Sam could never love him the way he needed to be love.
He did not start when the hand fell on his shoulder and the soft singing of crickets faded into the incessant roaring of the sea, but he did not open his eyes either.
"He will come, when it is his time."
Frodo refused to let his tears fall at the old familiar voice, but his heart quivered at the words. "I do not know if I will make it, Gandalf," he said, his voice but a whisper.
"You are strong, Frodo. Do not doubt yourself so." The wizard squeezed Frodo's shoulder, and then said, "now look up my lad, and see why they are named so."
Through blurry eyes Frodo lifted his head and looked out over the stern of the ship. Beyond the dark sea that spread like a carpet of night before him stood the shoreline covered in a foggy gray mist. They were yet in the Gulf of Lhûn, with the sea in front of them, but Frodo and Gandalf stood at the rear of the ship, and Frodo's mouth opened in surprise, for the peaks of the Tower Hills rose from the mists, the only friendly sight before them, and they opened as though they were wide, safe arms to come home to. "They are Mithlond, the Grey Havens, for so fondly did Círdan love this view of them, ere he came back to Middle-earth, that he named it thus, so all should know the lands beyond were safe and fair for those who traveled here." He smiled and Frodo let the wind from the sea dry the tears that touched his eyes.
"I know your heart, Frodo my lad," Gandalf said gently and Frodo's eyes flickered from the shrinking Grey Havens to look into the wizened eyes of his friend. "I know your love for Samwise runs deeper than it ever has between hobbit men," Frodo looked back over to the sea, to the shores where he could imagine Sam was still standing, watching him as his ship sailed away. Part of him longed to turn it around again and to run back to Sam and let himself feel those warm arms around him again. He closed his eyes against the thought, and the fading mountains, for he knew even if he returned, that was not what would have awaited him. "You have made the right choice, Frodo, for you have set him free. He will always love you for that, for he would have been shorn in two had you told him. Fear not: he will never forget you, and when he comes he will have all his love for you."
Frodo was silent for a long time before softly saying, "it doesn't seem fair, Gandalf, that I should suffer so much, so long, while he has happiness and love back in the Shire." Gandalf took his hand to his mouth, to pull out the pipe he had hanging there.
"No, it does not seem fair, young Frodo, although do not think you will not find happiness beyond the sea, for while you may not have that which your heart now desires, you will have the acceptance, admiration and respect the rest of your body craves. As well as the peace and joy of the Elves, which cannot be found in Middle-earth, not even in a place such as Lothlórien." He took a pull off his pipe and when he exhaled, dancing elves skipped over their heads and floated off over the sea. Frodo was touched with a smile.
"I do very much want to see the Isle, Gandalf. Only, I fear I will only be evermore lonely without Sam near me. He is the only one who could comfort me back in the Shire."
Gandalf withdrew, shaking his head sadly. "To be a Ringbearer is to be alone, Frodo." He sighed as Frodo's head dropped at those words. "Do not begrudge Samwise his happiness."
"I do not," Frodo replied softly, "I only wish I could be a part of it."
"You are, Frodo, even if you do not see it."
"I'm glad you and Bilbo are with me, Gandalf, for I would be utterly lost without you," he said, pulling away from the stern as even the Tower Hills faded into the gray mists. Gandalf turned to go join the rest of the companions on their journey.
"Come Frodo, you have left Middle-earth behind you; it is now time to see what the sea has in store for your future, and trust me, young Frodo:
"You will not be alone."

--the end--

( Leave feedback )