Title: What May Come
Author: Frodo Baggins of Bag End (FrodoAtBagEnd)
E-mail: febobe at yahoo dot com
Characters: Celebrian, Frodo, Elrond; Gandalf, Bilbo, various others.
Rating: PG-13 or so. It's probably just PG-13, generally, but I don't know angstiness and h/c level for every single chapter yet. This chapter - the prologue - is really just about PG or so.
Summary: Frodo's healing in the West is not as he had hoped. . .and yet it is more; in Tol Eressea he finds a new home and family, and a different kind of healing. . . .
Feedback: Welcomed. Constructive only, please. . .no flaming.
Story Notes: I am delighted to finally publish a story that I began work on more than a year and a half ago, though to this day I cannot say it will not undergo further revision before some final version. However, it is very dear to my heart, and I thought I might go ahead and share it here as a work-in-progress - open to you all the drafts, notes, etc. - of the past many months and hope that you, too, will enjoy them. The interpretation, of course, is purely mine and was touched upon in "The Memory of Taste" (original publication of first chapter 1/18/03). . .others may disagree, or may share this view, but this is an old project of mine and simply a view I hold. If you wish to hear my reasoning, please ask, and I'll dig up links to my LJ comments dicussing the tale or engage in a discussion with you. But I hope that whether my rational is important to you or not, you will enjoy the story. . .I don't think it's necessary to know the reasoning behind my thought pattern in advance to find pleasure in the tale. :) At least I hope it isn't!

Warning: pure fluff (sometimes angst-filled, sometimes not) written for its own sake. It's not intended to have a grand plot. Lots of Frodo h/c in this, though, so if you like that, you'll enjoy this, especially if you like food detail! If you don't. . .my apologies; to each her (or his) own taste. :) I make absolutely no claims whatsoever that this is a canonically thematic portrayal of the West, though I have attempted to follow some canonical points, at least, of what we know, including that there was never a guarantee of how Frodo's healing would come, if it did, but that he might seek it there. . .as well as in some other matters, such as some of the book's characters actually being there at this time. Beyond those little points, I'm not even attempting to create a canonically purist story. This is purely for pleasure.

FYI: I'm toying with two possible titles: "What May Come" or "Beyond Repair." Feedback welcomed on that matter especially.

For permission to reproduce any part of this fanfic, please e-mail your request to febobefics at yahoo dot com.

DISCLAIMER: The characters, places, and story of The Lord of the Rings are the property of J.R.R. Tolkien and consequently of the Tolkien Estate, with select rights by Tolkien Enterprises. This piece appears purely as fanfiction and is not intended to claim ownership of Tolkien's work in any way. Please e-mail me if you have concerns. Original characters are my own work; please do not use my creations in your work. Please respect my original contributions. Furthermore, please do NOT consider any treatments or remedies within this story safe or effective for use: these are included as fictitious hobbit care, not real human medical practice, and while some can indeed be traced to actual therapeutic practices, could be dangerous. Please consult your health care professional before treating yourself or others for any condition or symptom.

Part I: Prologue

Elrond, who had remained unwed through all his long years, now took to wife Celebrian, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn of Lorien. His children were the twin brethren, Elladan and Elrohir, and Arwen Undomiel, the fairest of all the maidens of the Third Age, in whom the likeness of Luthien her foremother returned to Middle-earth. These children were three parts of Elven-race, but the doom spoken at their birth was that they should live even as the Elves so long as their father remained in Middle-earth; but if he departed they should have then the choice either to pass over the Sea with him, or to become mortal, if they remained behind.

-The Peoples of Middle-Earth (HoME v. XI I), 234-235.

Yet it is said that bitterest of all the sorrows of that age was the parting of Arwen and Elrond. For they were sundered by the Sea and by a doom beyond the end of the world. For when the Great Ring was unmade the Three Rings of the Elves failed also, and Elrond was weary of Middle-earth at last and departed seeking Celebrian, and returned never again.

-The Peoples of Middle-Earth (HoME v. XI I), 265-266.

It was in the year 2509 that Celebrian was captured while crossing the High Pass and wounded with poisoned blade. Though her husband was the greatest healer in all Middle-earth, and did all that he could to aid her, she recovered in body alone, healing insufficient for one of elven-kind. Her fea was wounded beyond the repair he could give, and she wandered the halls of Imladris as might some shade.

Elrond was much grieved to see her sorrow, and did all within his power to assuage her pain. But the Lady Celebrian's grief was of the kind that could not weep, and she began to speak of passing over the Sea. This recourse she delayed, knowing the doom spoken at the births of her children; but at last Elrond came to her on an afternoon in their rose-garden, which had failed for the first time to bloom.

"I would not have my wife fade before me, though it break my heart," he said, "and that choice presses hard upon us, does it not?"

But she turned away, and said to him, "Indeed it does, but you know what was spoken of the twins, and of Arwen. That choice is yet before them, and yet my heart foretells that I shall not see them again, though they claim no judgment as yet. And a great darkness gathers over Middle-earth: shall I see you again? Sauron's power grows mightier with each passing day, and the shadows press about the walls of Imladris, and I fear for what may come."

But this thought was more than Elrond's heart could bear, and he turned from her with these words: "Surely Arwen, at least, would not choose thus. She will pass over the Sea when I come to join you, surely as we will come. Would you rather your children watched their mother fade in Middle-earth, and Sauron's purpose be the more accomplished in your passing?"

And Celebrian's heart was broken with these words, and she chose to sail from the Grey Havens into the West. But at that bitter parting, she gave unto her daughter Arwen Undomiel a white gem upon a chain which she had been wont to wear since her earliest years. Then she took her leave of Arwen, and kissed her, and did likewise with her sons and her husband before boarding the ship, and nevermore has she been seen this side of the Sea.

-The Recorded History of Imladris,
Continued by the Parvasson Lomendil at the Request of Elrond Half-Elven

Her breath caught.

Trembling, she rose, glad to feel the smooth floor beneath her bare feet as she got up, wandering the lit corridors - after all these years, she still preferred lights at night, though her terror of darkness had long ago passed away.

But the visions. . .

The visions she had thought gone when she left Middle-earth, though a few had come to her since. But never had they concerned any save her children.

Arwen would not come.

She knew that already.

Arwen would wed a mortal, and die as did the Secondborn, and they would never see one another again. . .just as my heart foretold, Celebrian thought, wincing, as she gazed out into the darkness of the rose-gardens.

Her brothers would stay as well - Elladan and Elrohir would not sail. Their grandfather would remain with them for a time, but - Celebrian smiled - Ada would eventually come, and this much she felt certain of, at least.

But Ama was coming.

Ama would be allowed to come.

And that thought still brought her to tears, shaken, every time she remembered. Always she had been brought up to think that they would be separated forever - and now it is my daughter instead who will be separated from me, she mused with a wan smile devoid of amusement.

None of this had confused her in the vision - the absence of her children and Adar, the presence of Ama, not the glimpse of her husband - all that seemed familiar, like a picture seen many times before. What confused her was something - rather, someone - else.

He - for it was clearly a he - was small, the size her twins had been once, but looked - frail, his small limbs wrapped in a cloak like her own, like one made by her mother's people, so small she could easily gather him into her arms like an elven-child. Yet by his features she could see that he was no child, but one grown, and filled with sorrow beyond imagining. Most breathtaking of all was that he seemed not like others, but - there was a light about him, a light that reminded her only of what she had seen in the eyes of those who had seen the Trees.

A light like the light of the Silmarils themselves.

If he had seen the things she had seen in that nightmarish vision. . .

Cold dark ice falling falling ice frozen come to us come to us the Ring the Ring frozen can't move can't breathe so cold

She winced, shivering slightly as a breeze began to blow: the house sometimes caught a hint of the winds off the water when there was a good sailing wind. At first, during her earliest days in Tol Eressea, she had come into these gardens when the nightmares woke her, terrified, trying to escape them.

Hurts don't leave me don't leave me hurts so can't breathe cold so cold so cold so cold thirsty so thirsty

Sometimes at night she dreamed that she could still hear their voices.

Even now. Even years into her own healing. Rough voices, and the screech of a Nazgul's shrill cry.

Thirsty. . .cold. . . .

Tears filled her eyes.

Yes. Of course.

Turning, she went back inside.

There was much to do.

-to be continued-