Many thanks to Gentle Hobbit, Shirebound, and Elwen for suggestions and corrections. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and make no profit from them.


To Valinor


Frodo stood at the railing of the silver-white ship that was taking him further away from all that he had ever known with every passing minute, and he felt new tears welling up behind his eyes. He could not even say if they were tears of pain, or tears that were a reaction to an unknown bliss that was rushing through him.

Unknown? He was not quite sure, for he thought he recognised this bliss as a common feeling he had had in earlier days. And not only once. Days that he could remember but vaguely - before the Ring had been gnawing at his mind and had buried his soul in dark ashes. He could now breathe again without feeling pain and agony.

The ship was gliding into the sunset. The little hobbit stood still, his eyes focused on the horizon, and breathed the fresh and salty air. Frodo suddenly felt light-hearted, for he knew now what the grace given to him by Arwen Undomiel really meant. He clutched at the white jewel that hung around his neck and was warming his breast. But while he touched it, his fingers relaxed and loosened the grip, while the tension slowly dripped away and the feeling of relief was intensified.

"Hannon le..." Frodo whispered, not sure to whom he was speaking.

Were these words meant for his friends -- Sam, Merry and Pippin -- who had always been there for him until now? Frodo cherished the last moments they had together at the shores of Mithlond, cherished every single breath, every single embrace, and every single tear shed of melancholy, of affliction, and of hope. Frodo was grieved to leave with the thought that he would be missed intensely, but he also saw a bright future for the three hobbits that remained in Middle-earth.

'My own way lies hidden before my eyes...'
Frodo thought. But he was not afraid anymore.

Dawn came, and still Frodo felt no need to go inside, nor the need to sleep after a night of pondering and wondering about what his future might look like. With every breath Frodo felt lighter, and peace came to his heart ever so slowly.

Suddenly Frodo heard a noise. When he turned around, still in a dream-like state, he saw Gandalf approaching him. The wizard was smiling, but he did not say anything. Gandalf stood behind the hobbit, and he laid a hand on Frodo's shoulder, reassuringly and soothingly. Frodo laid his hand into Gandalf's in return. They were watching the waves, waiting quietly. Both were surrounded by a warm light that could as well have been shining from within the hobbit and the wizard.

"Hannon le," Frodo said once more, and this time he knew to whom he had spoken.

Gandalf ruffled Frodo's curls with a fond smile, and Frodo leaned back, being at peace.

He was about to come home.