Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, just the plot.

Author's Note: Hello, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. (Mine was good, though I did some schoolwork.) I saw a TV spot for The Return of the King during the game between the Lions and Packers. It was all scenes from the trailer, only it was less than a minute long. I cannot wait for December.

This short, one-chapter vignette takes place four months after the hobbits have left the Shire.

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Standing Alone

"Why do you refuse all the others who are interested in you?" Tom quietly asks his sister.

Rosie looks up from the mug she is drying. "I believe I do not have to accept any of them, if I wish," she says in a low tone.

Tom sees the hurt and pain which she tries to keep from showing in her eyes. He hates what she is doing to herself; whatever hope she has is in vain. She should move on, not keep on having her heart break with each passing day. She should let go of whatever feelings she had toward him and accept another's heart that is truly given to her.

"He is not coming back. Why do you still hold onto hope?"

Rosie stares into space for a few moments and then meets his questioning gaze. "There is still hope," she breathes.

"How?" Tom demands. "Sam could be thousands of miles away. He could be dead. Is it obvious he did not want you? I know you noticed how he became distant the few months before he went off. How can you hope for him to return when he rejected you? You will only experience more heartache if he returns." And I hope he doesn't return, Tom muses to himself, because I will make him wish he never shows his face here again -- after what he's done to Rosie.

Rosie feels a stab in her heart as old memories rush forward, and she recalls them as though they had only happened yesterday. Yes, Sam had avoided her before going. She had been so confused, for they had been courting for a while, and she felt sure he would soon speak. And she had not understood, though maybe he had done it because he felt he could not ask her to wait for him. She then suffers another stab, which is equally as painful, at Tom's saying her waiting is folly. Her own brother's words suggest that he does not have hope and that she should move on.

"I love him," is all Rosie says in answer.

Tom's eyes flash with frustration. "You must stop dreaming with your head in the clouds. Return to reality. There are many lads who have been sweet on you for years; you still have a chance for happiness." Tom searches his sister's face, wishing she would see the reason in his plea and just let go…

"You don't understand…" she says sadly with a sigh.

Irritated, Tom stomps out of the kitchen. He pauses in the doorway and looks back at her. "You don't understand. Just move on, Rosie." He then disappears from her sight. 

Rosie puts the mug away. She then looks out the window and hugs herself tightly. Tears gather in her eyes, and her heart sinks. She stands alone, holding onto hope, waiting for Sam to return.

"I won't move on. I won't give up on you, Sam," she vows.

THE END

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Please let me know what you think.