A/N: Just a short little story, an almost AU version of Frodo's departure from the Grey Havens. Told in Merry's POV.

Disclaimer:.....do I have to?.....

Genre: Angst/General

Rating: G

Summery: Merry's take on Frodo's Departure. Short and almost AU. *One shot Non- Slash*

Title: Tears of Glass

Authoress: PTB (beeppedersen@hotmail.com)

Chapter 1/1

I watch your ship leave, Frodo, with Pippin and Sam by my side, and I find myself torn in so many places I am unsure as how to make them whole again. You offered Sam comfort Frodo, yet you offer to me nothing but a pat on the shoulder. It hurts that you are leaving with naught more than a goodbye.

Can't you remember, Frodo, how close we used to be? Before Bilbo came and took you from me, you and I were inseparable. I was your comfort after your parent's death, and you were my older brother and teacher in the ways my father never could be. You and I completed each other for the longest time.

I would have gone with you into the fires of darkness, into the very depths of despair, had you but allowed me too. I would have been as Sam, never leaving your side, had circumstances proven but a little different. Would it have been so hard, Frodo, to give me the ring in Lorien when I asked it of you? You didn't understand, I did not want the ring for the ring's sake. I wanted only to save you, Frodo. That's all I ever wanted. You told me it was your burden to bear, and I told you that you needlessly bore it alone.

I would have saved you if I could, cousin mine. Almost I had Bilbo convinced to leave the ring to me, though at the time I knew only that of the ring I got an ill feeling and wanted to spare you that. Almost, many times over, I saved you from your horrible fate.

Now I break from Pippin's grasp and run down the dock, turning down toward the shore. I hear Pippin and Sam yelling after me, but I do not care. I run through the water, it is cold but I hardly notice, and out toward the ship, until the water is up to my waist. I stand there, allowing the tears to fall down my face freely for the first time in a long time.

I am crying, Frodo. I did not cry when we left home, when we had all our wearisome adventures and suffered so much. I did not even cry when they brought Pippin to me, with the appearance of being dead, for by then I was beyond tears. But Gandalf told me that not all tears are evil, and so I'm crying now. I'm crying for what should have been, Frodo.

You should have found a lovely hobbit lass, you could have had your pick of almost any in the Shire, and settled down in Bag End. You should have had many wonderful children that I could adore and love as an Uncle, and then you should have died, old and happy, surrounded by those that love you.

You shouldn't have seen the darkness of this world, Frodo. You never did like pretending you were anywhere but Buckland or the Shire. It was I who loved to pretend I was off fighting a dragon, or performing death defying acts of courage. I was the only hobbit that loved the tales of the battles that longed to fight. I blame my Brandybuck blood.

I should have been the one to carry the Ring. I was the one that longed for battle, for glory, and a heroic end to my story. Yet I shall have none of that. I shall stay here, living out my quiet existence, and I shall be the one to die surrounded by loved ones, peacefully in old age. You will never see me wed, nor see my children grow, and that in and of itself is enough to tear my heart to pieces.

I scream your name across the water, and the ship is not fast enough for you not to hear me. You look back at me, standing there in the water, tears falling down my face. You offer me a hopeful smile, and a wave. I do not want that. I want you to tell me that I, also, will not always be torn in two. That perhaps someday I will find my own ship to bear me to where you are, just as Sam will.

Pippin tugs at my sleeve, begs me to come home with him, but I feel as if my legs have turned to stone as I watch the ship sail out the harbor. You do not turn back again. Is this it, Frodo? Was one backward glance all I meant to you? Again I yell your name, and again, and several times over, but you do not look back, your eyes are fixed only westward to the light of the elves undying lands.

That was it, then. Our childhood memories, our childhood adventures, they mean nothing to you. You are leaving with no regrets, not even me. All our friendship meant to you is what all the "almosts" and "could haves, should haves, and would haves," mean to me. And I stop crying then, though inside the wound only deepens.

"Come on, Pippin," I whisper, trying to hide the hurt in my voice, "lets go home." We do, and I don't look back either.