Title: Loss

Summary: Bad title yet again. Just a mini-fic. Boromir is concerned for Frodo after Gandalf's fall. No slash. Rated PG to be safe. Slightly angsty, as usual. Movie based.

A/N: This is my first attempt at a Boromir fic, so bear with me. Please tell me if you think I'm destroying his character.

Loss

"Fly, you fools!"

And he was gone. My mind went blank with the shock of what had just happened. Gandalf, our leader… he couldn't be gone.

One of the hobbits rushed past me, and on reflex I grabbed the Halfling, wanting to keep the little ones as far from the edge as possible. With some surprise, I realized it was Frodo. "No!" he screamed. The anguish in his voice echoed in my otherwise unhearing ears.

I held the Ring-bearer tightly, for he threatened to escape my arms. "Aragorn!" I called, seeking to mentally revive our new leader. "Lead them on, Aragorn," Gandalf had said. So Aragorn was the new leader of our Fellowship.

Aragorn ran to the beginning of a passageway, followed by Gimli, Legolas, the Halflings, and myself. He halted at the base of the stairway, allowing us to run past him. He stood there for a moment, and then followed us out into the light outside the Moria Mines, out of the Darkness of Khazad-Dum.

There I finally released Frodo from my arms. He turned to look at me, the agony and grief in his eyes twisting my heart with sympathy. Then he turned slowly and walked away, his steps seeming awkward and stumbling, as if walking wasn't coming naturally to him. I watched him go, my heart aching for the Ring-bearer.

Suddenly something crashed into me from behind. I turned around to see Pippin, looking up at me sadly. "Sorry," he apologized, his voice dull.

I lifted him and set him beside Merry, who put a hand on Pippin's shoulder. Pippin sat for a moment, and then lay down on the rock in front of Merry, sobs shaking his small figure. Merry rubbed gently on Pippin's upper arm with his hand in a comforting gesture, though tears were streaming freely from his own eyes.

I looked around for the fourth Halfling, Samwise, to see how he was faring. He sat on the ground a few feet away from Merry and Pippin, his head in his hand. Tears streamed down his face and choked, trying to keep from weeping. The fact that he wasn't taking notice of Frodo as he normally did proved how distraught he really was, no matter how he attempted to stifle his sobs.

"Legolas! Get them up!" I heard Aragorn's voice call, echoing slightly over the hard rock.

My eyes widened. At least allow the Halflings a second to deal with their grief! "Give them a moment, for pity's sake!" I called to Aragorn. I was surprised to find my voice so tearful.

"By nightfall these hills will be swarming with orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothlorien," Aragorn said, pointing to a fairly large forest off in the distance. "Come Boromir, Legolas. Gimli! Get them up!"

I turned to raise Merry and Pippin, clasping each of the young hobbit's shoulders reassuringly as they stood, tears still falling from their faces. Their grief must be a thousand fold more than mine, I thought with dawning realization. They had known Gandalf before all this happened. I had just met him a few weeks ago.

"Frodo? Frodo!" I heard Aragorn's voice call. Turning to look in the direction of the call, I saw Frodo already far away from where the rest of us sat. As I watched, he turned slowly toward us. From this distance, I couldn't tell whether he was weeping or not, but thinking back to how close he was to Gandalf, I imagined he was.

Gandalf was our leader. I had known that he was a wizard, but I had never quite realized the magnitude of the power he possessed until I saw him fight and almost defeat the Balrog. And now he was gone.

As we continued towards the woods of Lothlorien, I found myself walking next to Pippin. The hobbit was silent, uncharacteristic of him. He didn't seem too aware, either. Even as I watched, he stumbled and would have fallen had I not reached out a hand to steady him.

"Thank you, Boromir," he said softly, after another moment of silence.

Seeing that he didn't want the others to hear, I kept my voice low as well. "For what, Pippin?"

"For grabbing Frodo before he reached the edge. He probably would have thrown himself in, if you hadn't," Pippin said, sounding miserable.

"Why do you think that?" I asked, politely curious. I knew that Frodo was close to Gandalf, but not so close that he would commit suicide.

"Frodo's lost a lot of people in his life," Pippin said sadly. "He's an orphan, did you know that?" I shook my head. "His parents went out boating on the Brandywine River one night and never came back," Pippin summarized, remorse in his voice.

I closed my eyes for a second at the thought of that. I knew what it was like to lose one parent, as my mother had passed away, but both at the same time…

Pippin continued in the same sad tone I had heard from him since Gandalf had fallen earlier. "I wasn't born yet then, and neither was Merry, but Bilbo told me about how Frodo had acted his first few nights at Bag End. He was … I can't remember the word Bilbo used. It began with an 'D.'"

"Distressed?" I suggested. Pippin shook his head, thinking. "Diffident?" I tried again.

"Diffident, that was it," Pippin nodded in agreement. "He was diffident, and almost never came out of his room for the first few days. But then he got to know Bilbo better, and was less … diffident."

I nodded, agreeing that diffident would be how someone would act if they lost their parents and went to live with a new person, all in a short space of time. Reserved, lacking self-confidence, and quiet.

"Then Bilbo disappeared," Pippin continued. "Frodo was distraught at that. Merry, Sam and I helped him to get over that. Merry had me cause a lot of trouble so that Frodo would be too busy keeping tabs on me to be too sad.

"And now Gandalf is gone," Pippin said, tears in his voice. "I wasn't sure if he'd be able to deal with it. I'm still not sure, Boromir. He and Gandalf were close friends. I hope we reach this Lothlorien soon, so me and Merry and Sam can help him get over this like we did with Bilbo."

I nodded, understanding but slightly shocked. It was no wonder that Frodo hadn't spoken since Gandalf had fallen. He had had more loss in his life than anyone in this Fellowship probably ever would.

Noticing Merry walking close behind me, I assumed he had probably heard all that was just said. He looked at me with a pleading look. "Anything you could do to help us Boromir, would you?" Merry asked.

"I will, Master Merry," I agreed. But now came the problem. What was I supposed to say to Frodo? I began to think.

Later that night after reaching Lothlorien, I had finally come up with something I could say to Frodo that wasn't too gloomy but wasn't overly cheerful. Just some kind advice.

As Aragorn conversed with the elf Haldir, I noticed Frodo looking around at all the members of the Fellowship. Finally his eyes came to rest on me. "Gandalf's death was not in vain," I said gently. "Nor would he have you give up hope. You carry a heavy burden, Frodo. Don't carry the weight of the dead."

In Frodo's eyes there was a slight flicker of what could have been gratefulness. It was enough to assure me that what I had said was right. Just to be sure, I looked to Merry and Pippin for approval. Merry gave me a small smile, and Pippin nodded once in an accepting sort of way. I nodded back, glad I had said the right thing.