A/n: Sorry it keeps taking me so long to post but I only have acces to the internet about once every three weeks or so ! I'm glad everyone seems to be liking this so far and I hope you continue to. I also hope that you continue to REVIEW! (gives readers pitiful pleading stare) please? By the way- I changed the end of chapter 2 slightly but you might want to go back and read it anyway. Also- I'm sorry there isn't much of a point to this chapter- which is why its so short. I promise longer chapters later- HONEST!

heartofahobbit: Heh- who says they're going to escape...

BraellyraLeatherleaf: I'm glad you are enjoying this and the ending of the last chapter.

L1t4: Thanks! I just love reviews like that! I'm glad I'm not clumped with the other stories you mentioned. I completely agree with you that those stories are rubbish (especially "girl teleports to ME") A work of fanfiction should be some sort of tribute to a book and its author- not thoroughly murder it.

FrodoBaggins87: To tell you the truth I have absolutely no idea where this is going so I haven't quite decided yet.

yellowrose, Larner, & char: I'm glad you like this so far!

Disclaimer: I do not own The Lord of the Rings.

"Sam. Oh, Sam- wake up."

Sam felt the darkness about him ebbing like an engulfing tide that was slowly seeping away.

"They've gone. They've left us alone."

A pale blur swam dimly before him.


"Mr. Frodo?"

A wave of relief flooded Frodo's mind. For too long he had silently watched Sam lying crumpled and gasping before him, praying that whatever battered spirit was left in him didn't flee its broken shell.

Sam struggled to keep his feeble hold on conciousness. The world about him was a swirling haze of blood coloured sky and leering torchlight. Frodo's pinched face flickered in and out of his sight. With a wavering hand he reached out, searching for some way to anchor himself. Slender fingers tangled with his own and firmly clasped his hand. He struggled to pull himself to sit but an angry fire awoke in his back. He fell face down against the stone as viens of darkness wove through his mind.

"Don't move Sam, you'll be all right."

Frodo gently wrapped his arms about his friend and lifted him to lie against him. Sam settled his head against his master's chest, his eyes closed as he listensd to the steady lulling heartbeat. But then it all came into focus. Everything that had happened the last few hours (days?) rushed back in painful detail. Their capture, the long torturous hours of endless running, the stabbing ache of the whip... being caught.


"Shh, Sam. It's all right." Frodo soothed, resting his chin in Sam's curls trying to ignore the blood that was seeping through his friends shirt in long, thin lines.

"N-no, begging your pardon,sir, b-but... but i-its not!" His voice crackled with sobs that were once more swelling in his throat. "Nothin's b-been right i-in a long t-time." Frodo tigtened his embrace and slowly rocked them both back and forth as though Sam was again a small Hobbit-child, frightened by the shadows in the night. "And I d-don' think it's g-goin' to." Sam finished with a whisper, gazing up, tears beginning to flow from his deep, sorrow-filled eyes. "Oh- Mr. Frodo, w-what's goin' to happen to us?" Frodo was not even able to begin to summon an apology.

"I don't know, Sam. I don't know... and I don't know that I want to!" Frodo felt ill- he did know. He had heard the mutterings of the orcs through the night. They were going to the Black Gates. There the orcs would meet an army of men led by a King and a wizard. There the Halflings would be shown and offered as a bribe for a forfeit. But they would not be let free- they would be slaughtered as though they were part of a sacrifice. But sacrificed to what?

"T-they're going to... to kill us, a-aren't they?" The quavering innocence of the question threatened to put tears in Frodo's own eyes as well. How could he answer that?

"Please, Sam... I can't..."

"A-and w-what then? After we're-"

"I don't know !" Frodo sighed. "I don't know!" He cried to himself. "And if I did, how could I tell you?"

"They'll find it and then it'll all be over and I'll have failed?"

"No... t-to us." Sam's voice was no more than a strangled sob.

"Oh!" He breathed. "I... I don't know. I-I just don't!" His stomach twisted. This wasthe very questionhe had beenhiding at the back of his mind for six long months. And one thing that was a constant plague on his concience-that at any moment he would discover the answer.

"Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe it all fades away- just like that- and we're left with nothing. Just that endless night... no stars- not even our thoughts..." He looked again at the small body clinging desperately to his own and felt such hollow pity swelling inside.That soul was so strong, and though now it was broken-it wouldn't ever die."But then...maybe there's a light at the end of our way."

"B-but how c-can it ever end? H-how c-can it j-just be over?"

"Nothing ever ends, Sam." Frodo bowed his head to softly press his lips to Sam's brow."Not quite."

"D-death d-doesn't end."Sam choked, nearly breathless.

"But does anyone know that?"

"W-we will. A-and probably s-sooner rather t-than later this time."

Something in Frodo's heart flared. In the last few moments one little light had gone out. His Sam had gone away and he didn't know where he could find him again.

"After i-its happened,"

Sam stared up at him but now his watery gaze was void of hope as Frodo brushed the tears from his flushed face.

"W-will we ever meet again?"

"Shhh." Frodo pulled him closer still. "Yes, Sam. We will. If only in dreams."

"Sam?" The Hobbit in his arms was trembling violently- shivering- though he was hot to the touch. "Oh, no." Sam suddenly clutched Frodo's hand with a force that Frodo could never have dreamed remained in him. "I'm here, Sam." I should have known. "I'm not going to leave you."

"Oh- Mr. Frodo, w-what's goin' to happen to us?"

"There's only one thing I'm sure of anymore."

He looked to the dark and hellish Heavens.

"This road ends not in mercy."

But even as he began to bend worridly over Sam, the rust-like curtain of clouds parted ever so slightly and one small star shone through. Frodo thought he could have smiled, even as he began to weep.

These days and night blend into one,
but one more night is all I need.
Another chord from the symphony.
To float above the world for now,
to lose control is bliss somehow.
And wring the color from the grey,
another chance to get away, oh.

Until this empty place is filled, I'll keep pretending.

Hey! Wait! Knock me down and I'll get up again.
Oh! Pain! A remedy that can erase your sting.
I'll keep holding, and I'll keep trying.
I feel this fight, it is slowly dying now but I feel painless...