There was a cry. A terrible sniveling pitiful cry that wailed in Sam's ear and strangled to a whimper. Sam's features softened. He felt the muscles on his arm, tight and gripping Sting's hilt with all his might and fury, ease and go limp. The sword lowered and he looked at the creature in front of him, cowering.

"Pleasse!" It begged and the voice was frightened whisper. "Pleasse don't hurts uss preciouss. Not with nassty cruel ssteal." Gollum's eyes were clenched tight, his arm shielding his face from the blow. And in that moment Sam had a vision of his dear master, lying forlorn and naked in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. His face screwed tight with pain and terror, his arm shielding that fragile faces as his whole thin frame trembled. Sam shook his head fiercely.

"Tell me, Smeagol!" Sam called in the most menacing voice he could muster causing the creature to open his eyes and stare wide and frightened up at Sam. "Tell me why I should not rent you in two!"

Gollum flinched at those words and he could feel his stomach tighten as the cruel hobbit used his name for the first time. "Because-" Smeagol began cautiously trying to clear his throat. "Gollum!" he choked and felt his wretched heart tighten at the sound. Yes, even now he loathed himself for saying it. Every time he said it he could feel a new knife drive into his gut. "Oh how many knivess there are preciouss." He said aloud.

Sam sneered at the wretched creature but did not waste his time in questioning such nonsense. "You are mad, Smeagol," mumbled Sam, "You've lost your mind long ago."

Smeagol pulled himself into a sitting position and gazed at the cruel hobbit. "Yess, preciouss," he looked at the ground sorrowfully. "Like masster."

Sam's eyes flashed with cold hatred. His head jerked up and immediately his grip tightened around Sting. "Aye! Don't you be sayin' such lies about me master!" Anger made his voice shake and once again Gollum fell to the ground and curled into a tight ball of fear rambling in his high pitched voice.

"No! Preciouss! Don't hurtss uss! We only speak the truth! Don't lie to cruel, wicked hobbitses!"

"Cruel and wicked, aye?" Sam growled, "We would have been nice until you said such things about our master." He mocked Gollum.

"But we saw him preciouss! We seen him! He talkss, talkss with- with the preciouss! Yess he does!" Gollum defended himself. "In dark when the white eye watches uss we watch the masster, yess, and he's not masster any more preciouss, no." Gollum seemed to end on a sad note and he looked away to avoid Sam's cold gaze.

"What are you rambling about, you filth?"

Gollum tried to ignore the insult though it cut him like a blade. He winced once and a dark light flashed in his eyes, but was instantly replaced with sorrow. "He cannot go back, preciouss. Gol-" he cleared his throat but repressed the sound best he could.

Sam felt his heart jump to his throat. Images of his master writhing on the ground with his hands wringing his own neck choking "gol- goll-" flashed before his eyes. He faltered and took a step back.

"No."

Gollum did not look at Sam therefore he did not see the shock and horror across his face. Gollum's eyes were fixed on the ground and a small circle he was drawing in the dirt over and over. "Once the preciouss is destroyed all Gollum will be destroyed too," whimpered the pitiful creature. "We will die! Preciouss die! Just dust and ash! Part of masster will die too. Part of master. is already dead."

There was a clash and Sting fell to the ground with an echoing and hollow clatter. Sam's hand shot to his heart and gripped it as if to stop it from beating out of his chest. Gollum looked up and saw Sam's face contort with heart-breaking anguish. Sam took no more heed of the creature and bolted off in the direction that Frodo went as fast or even faster than his legs could possibly carry him. Gollum was left alone in the dust and a darkness crept back into his eyes...

~~~

It came so suddenly but not unwelcome. The booming tumult and unrest that wrenched through the heavy air of the deep heart of Mount Doom was silenced to a dull throb. Frodo could feel the sounds make the pit of his stomach tremble and the heat of the fire singe his fair skin and sweat drenched curls. The bowels of the mountain lay strewn about him as it gurgled and wretched more of the fire and foul ash all around him. Shadows lived on the walls as they seemed to dance and grope angrily at him. But no more. He could not see, he could not hear, he could not feel. A sluggish venom seemed to work in his veins replacing all the hot surging blood as terror had once rushed through him. It was gone and he could not be more thankful. The only sound was a soothing throb and a mesmerizing hum.

Frodo moved, as if in a trance, and gazed down into the fiery depths of the mountain. It rumbled all about him and the earth shook and cracked under this terrible stress. He did not seem to care. Dancing with death, at the edge of the mountain, and nothing seemed to matter. He gazed down, entranced and amused. It was so bright, so very bright like his pretty little ring. Ah yes his ring, it would so very much like to see all of this. Instinctively he unclasped it and held it out.

He smiled and his body swayed, his feet gripping the edge as small stones fell to the fire below. "Isn't it pretty?" he smiled holding out the Ring his body swaying drunkenly once more. There was a soft humming song in his head and it replaced the crash and boom of the mountain.

But there was also a voice inside of Frodo screaming for some sanity. Wailing in the depths of his mind and he frowned. "We don't like it. Go away." He muttered.

But the voice did not cease and there seemed to be a brutal fight of consciousness inside of him making the weary body sway this way, then that.

~~~Where once was light Now darkness falls Where once was love Love is no more~~~

He did not care. The Ring would survive. Middle Earth would become a desolate wasteland of death and decay. All that he knew and loved would die and fade away into nothingness. Phantoms of those he wronged would forever haunt him. But the burden would be gone.

~~~Don't say good-bye~~~ ~~~Don't say I didn't try~~~

Oh! But they were just cowards! They laid this burden to him! They knew it would destroy him! Tear him to shreds and yet they let him carry on with his false hope. They let him slowly deteriorate into the nothing that he now was. He screamed and such a woeful sound it was. It was wretched and tormented and he screamed at the voices inside of him pressing him this way and that. Destroy it! Keep it! Rule! Die! Live! Fall!. fall.

He looked down into the fiery depths and shuttered all over. fall.

~~~These tears we cry Are falling rain For all the lies you told us The hurt, the blame!~~~

"You accursed wretched Ring! It's lies all lies! That's all you ever do is lie!" he whimpered.

"Use it! You have suffered enough!" he muttered.

Silent tears fell.

"They will never accept you now, for the wretch that you are. Use it!" he growled.

"If you do you fail!" he accused.

"You have already failed and they already blame you! They hate you!" he hissed.

"No! No stop it please." he whispered.

~~~And we will weep To be so alone We are lost! We can never go home~~~

"Lost! Lost!" he cried.

"Fall just fall!" he pleaded.

"You will never go home. They will never accept you now!" he wailed.

"Wretch!" he screamed.

"Stop!" he begged.

"Please! I beg of you make it stop! I'll do it! Whatever you want! Just please make the pain stop!" He fell to his knees trembling, begging, pleading.

"They hate you! They hate you!"

~~~So in the end I will be --- what I will be No loyal friend Was ever there for me~~~

In the moment Frodo thought he had heard a cry behind him. Sam! Some protest it sounded like "Frodo" but he could not be sure. His hands gripped his ears and he could feel the Ring burn into his palm. The cry was cut short somehow. He spun around almost losing his balance when he saw some terrible creature advance. Sam's limp form was splayed in the shadows barely visible in the dancing firelight. A dark form was slinking up to him now, teeth bared, hissing terribly.

A crazed light passed by Frodo's eyes and all at once he rose to his feet and raised the Ring in one hand. "I claim this as my own! Now be gone, Gollum!" He slipped the Ring onto his finger and the pursuing creature stopped looking around furiously.

~~~Now we say --- goodbye We say --- you didn't try.~~~

But this did not stop Gollum for long. He screamed a horrid screech of anger and fury and hissed some inane mutterings as he bounded about the cliff's edge seeking the invisible Frodo.

It was Frodo who's insane mind thought to seek and destroy his malicious foe and once he was safely cloaked by the Ring pounced on the enraged creature. But both monsters did not anticipate the others strength and the war that was waged on those cliffs was greater and more fierce than any on the battle fields of Middle Earth.

Sam's vision was swimming. He rubbed his head and a blurry vision of Gollum scrambling on the edge, fighting an unseen foe, appeared before him. There was a scream and it wrenched through the air like that of a dying creature. Sam saw Frodo's form huddled on the ground, cradling his hand. He was about to run to him when Gollum reached down and grabbed Frodo by the neck. Sam screamed in terror and fury.

Gollum cackled and lifted the swooning hobbit over his head and in one terrible motion tossed him like some filthy rag doll against the wall of the cave. The next thing he heard was something Sam would never forget. There was another heart-wrenching cry, weaker and more feeble yet desperate than the last, and a terrible cracking noise as bone met stone. Sam was at Frodo's side in a flash who seemed to be in the most twisted position, unmoving on the ground. He did not notice Gollum dancing for joy or the terrible hiss as it echoed down below the fires. But he did feel the earth shake and the fire belched forth from the mount. He gathered his broken master in his arms and ran to the entrance and exit of this wretched place. He looked back once to see it falling in on itself and then spun on his heel to fly down the mount as quick as his hobbit legs could go.

Sam did not make it far before his body could not catch up with his legs and he tumbled down the rest of the ways. When he looked up he saw Frodo lying a short distance in front of him an he crawled to his master, weeping and screaming his name.

When he reached his side Frodo gasped desperately. "Sam!" he cried not opening his eyes, "I'm afraid to go alone!"

Sam kneeled and lifted his master's head in his lap. Frodo's eyes snapped open as he cried out again. Sam found his lap had been drenched in Frodo's blood and the wound in the back of his head had been reopened. When Sam drew his hand away he could not keep in the terrified gasp as he saw a chunk of Frodo's hair in a pool of blood swimming in his palm.

"Oh Mr. Frodo!"

Frodo's eyes stared up at the sky unseeingly. "I'm sorry. Sam. I'm sorry. I've failed and now I must go alone into darkness. It is all that I deserve and I shall be forever imprisoned there never to see or hurt you again."

"But Mr. Frodo you didn't fail! You are a hero! What darkness? Where are you goin'? You never hurt me Mr. Frodo! It's not your fault! None of this is your fault! You are good! You are good!"

"Oh Sam. I cannot be any longer. part of me shall die. the rest is lost. I cannot escape it. He was too smart. he. he knew. that once he was gone he could still.. Trap me. where. I. never get.. Free.."

"Mr. Frodo! Oh please don't go! You cannot go without your Sam! Do not leave me all alone!" Sam sobbed and wept over his master's broken form. "It's just your arm, Mr. Frodo! That's what hit the wall! And you got a bit of a bump on your head! But! No! No! No! You can't die! You can't! Not like this! Not like this!"

~~~These tears you cry Have come too late Take back the lies The hurt, the blame!~~~

Frodo gasped and his eyes went wide in agony. His back arched until he sat almost bolt upright and he screamed his last words to his beloved friend, "Cuio nin mellon! Im wanwa na inwisti! A uume nyenye ten nin!" With that the hobbit fell back trembling and spoke no more.

~And you will weep When you face the end alone You are lost! You can never go home~~~

Sam wept long until darkness took his mind and he thought he was soaring high in the clear, bright skies upon the mighty backs of eagles as Bilbo had done once upon a time. But even his sleep was no untroubled with images of his dear master and his last gasping words.



TBC.



Yes this story will be continued but not in this fic. I will continue it in the sequel "Imprisoned" which should be up shortly so I shan't torment you for long. I hope you enjoyed reading this fic as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for the lovely reviews. And if you're wondering what Frodo said it was "Farewell my friend! I am lost to my mind! Do not weep for me!"

::sniffle:: I know I was about to cry just writing this though I hope I am not overestimating my work. REVIEW please or I shall certainly end up like Frodo!!! ::puts hand to forehead dramatically::