Rejoining the Fellowship
by WSJ

Years and years after Frodo and the others sailed into the West, Pippin, Merry, and Sam, now quite old, meet with a young elf lass, one of the few still living in Middle-Earth, indeed, almost the last, and she tells that their time has come.

I don't own LotR, but I DO own Angeline.
Samwise Gardener, now almost 132 years of age, sat quite comfortably in his big old easy chair by the fire. Rosie had long since passed away, much to his sorrow, and all of his children were grown and gone.

He lived alone, in good old Bag End, which he had bought back from the Sackville-Bagginses after Frodo had gone west. Merry and Pippin both lived just down the lane, their own families grown and gone as well.

There came a knock on the door, and tiredly Sam rose to answer it. The rain pounded the windows and he sighed. "Who would be calling on an old hobbit at this time of night?" he mumbled to himself as he pulled the round door open.

Before him stood an almost frighteningly tall person, garbed in a dark green tunic and leggings, with soft leather shoes encasing his feet, and a black cloak and hood swirled down from his shoulders.

Two memories instantly flashed through Sam's mind; a tall wizard, clothed in grey, pulling him up and through the window under which he had been crouched... A Ranger dressed in black smoking a pipe in the cornor of the Prancing Pony Inn...

Sam shook off the memories as he noticed the Elven bow and quiver slung over the stranger's shoulder. An Elf! Most of them had gone across the sea with or following after Elrond and his company. It had been long thought that after Legolas and Gimli crossed, that had been the end of the Elves. But most obviously, it had not been...

"Where are my manners!" he exclaimed. "Please come in!"

The stranger smiled and ducked to make it inside the low doorway. Shivering behind him stood...

"Merry! Pip! What are you two doing here?" Sam exclaimed as he shut the door behind the trio. Wordlessly they pointed at the Elf, who was standing with his back to them in the low hallway, taking off his cloak to reveal strait blond hair, with bits of it done in braids, which strangely reminded all three of the hobbits of Legolas.

Turning once more to face them, the Elf hung up the cloak and smiled at their cries of surprise.

"You, you're..." Pippin choked.

"Yes. I am an Elf, as you have already guessed, and I am a female. But I am much more. Is there anyplace we can sit comfortably so as I may explain, Master Samwise?"

Sam was so startled that the lady knew his name, that he couldn't say anything, but lead them into the sitting room, where Gandalf and Frodo had sat so many years before, and thirteen dwarves and a hobbit years even before that.

"Now, I already know of you, Masters Sam, Merry and Pippin, so I will tell of myself. My name is Angeline, and as I have seen from your faces I remind you of someone."

"You do indeed look very much like our old friend Legolas." Merry noted shyly, (the first time in his life he had done *anything* shyly).

Angeline nodded. "As I should, seeing as I am his sister. I remember, years and years ago now, walking through Rivendell and watching a most strange party of four hobbits of the Shire tramp all over the place as if they owned it."

Pippin hung his head in shame, for it was he who had done most of the tramping.

"After the council was over, I begged Elrond permision to let me join the Fellowship, but he would not hear of it. I missed out on a great adventure, so it seems."

"Indeed you did! It was great fun! Well, sometimes..." said Merry, causing each to think of their own unpleasent memories.

"Well, I did end up getting my wish. When everyone else sailed over the sea, I was put in charge of watching over the remaining members of the Fellowship, you three, plus my brother and the dwarf Gimli, until it was time for them to join the others. As you no doubt know, Legolas and Gimli have already gone, and I have come to tell you that it is now your time to rejoin the Fellowship as well." Angeline stated.

That was the best news any of them had heard in a long time, and even in their old age the three hobbits leaped from their seats and began to cry and hug each other in joy.

Sam turned to the Elf-maiden, tears shining in his eyes, and took her hand. "Oh how can we EVER repay you Lady Angeline?"

Angeline grinned and shook her head. "Not lady, simply Angeline. I am no great queen like Galadriel or Arwen."

"Oh but in our hearts you ARE!" Pippin cried, throwing himself upon her in a great hug, which she returned and was soon joined by the other two.

Suddenly Angeline's face hardened. "Get to the floor and stay there until I return!" she whispered harshly. The hobbits had spent long enough around Elves to know to obey. They dropped flat to their chests as Angeline crept toward the door, bow in hand and arrow on string.

There was the slight squeak of the round green door opening, a soft screech, all too familiar to the three on the floor, and then the comforting hiss as arrows flew through the air. A scream came, and then utter silence.

The hobbits were beginning to get worried, until they heard a shrill Elvish laugh. "Come on, you're safe now!" Angeline called.

They got up, and moved into the entry hall where Angeline stood just outside the door, surveying the bodies of two orcs, both shot full of Elvish arrows and quite dead.

"Orcs!" Sam gasped. "Why are they here?"

"Because they know of you, but more because they know I am here. They have been following me ever since they knew I was heading for the Shire. They know that soon the last of the Fellowship, as well as the last of the Elves, will be leaving Middle-Earth." She winced slightly as she moved to go back inside, and Sam's hobbit-nature and compassion overtook him.

"Angeline! Are you hurt?" he asked.

She nodded. "Only a bit." She pointed to the orc arrows stuck onto the wooden door. "One of them grazed past my leg."

"Come inside and let me take a look. I learned a few tricks during my time with Legolas and Aragorn." Sam said, pulling her back inside. He made her sit down while he wrapped her thigh, where a deep cut resided from the encounter. Merry and Pippin took up watch possitions at each of the small windows on either side of the door.

"Thankfully it wasn't a poisoned arrow, I've seen enough poisoned blades after Frodo's encounter with them on our journey." Sam said.

Angeline chuckled as she stood up and walked to the hall, limping slightly. "I should think so! But come, we must hurry if the orcs know I have reached here."

She grabbed her cloak as the hobbits scrambled about, gathering food and other things. Sam in particular disappeared for a moment, and then reappeared out of his bedroom dragging a heavy oak chest.

He opened it and handed well-worn, grey, hooded cloaks to each of the hobbits. He also offered a human-sized one to Angeline, but she declined, saying her own cloak would do well enough.

At the very bottom of the chest sat five short swords and an Elven longbow, much nicer and sturdier then the one Angeline currently carried.

This, he also offered to the Elf, which she graciously accepted. As she inspected it she gave a small cry and pointed to a line of Elf-runes running along the curve of the bow. "These spells out our family name, this was Legolas's bow!"

Sam chuckled. "Yes, I know, I was wondering if you'd catch that. He left it with us, saying we'd have need of it someday, and I guess he was right."

"He usually is." Angeline commented dryly.

To Pippin and Merry Sam handed their old swords, and he looked carfully at the three remaining ones. Catching Angeline's curious gaze, he explained. "One was mine, one was Frodo's, and the other is Sting, which was first Bilbo's and then Frodo's."

Angeline gazed at it in wonder. "Sting. I have heard of it. I would recomend you take that one Sam."

"I was going to anyway, but I appreciate your council." Sam said, picking up the sword and drawing it around his middle.

"Um... Sam, we've got commpany!" Merry called from one of the windows as Pippin struggled to bar the door. Sam and Angeline looked up, and Sam cursed slightly under his breath. "Orcs!"

"Yrch!" Angeline echoed in Elvish, already halfway across the room to help Pippin with the bar. "How many Merry?" she asked.

"A dozen at least." he said after a pause.

"Out the back then!" Sam said, and all four ran for the door which let out on the other side of the hill and (hopefully) the orcs hadn't got around to finding yet.

"Do you have horses anywhere around here?" Angeline asked as they ran.

"I keep some to pasture almost directly across from this door for my grandkids to use when they come." Pippin said.

"Great! It may be harder for you hobbits, but the only plan I can think of right now is to run like the Balrog of Moria is after us across the pasture, leap the fence, grab a horse and go." Angeline said as she cautiosly opened the door. There was not an orc in sight. "Alright... Go!"

The Elf-maiden threw the door open and ran, and the hobbits trailed after her, surprisingly still pretty fast after all their years of sitting at home.

Reaching the fence that was about as tall as Merry, she vaulted over it, and then turned to help the hobbits. In doing so, she saw the orcs just rounding the hill. She hauled Pippin over with a jerk and waved them in the direction of the now cowering ponies as she pulled an arrow and let it fly.

Several were shot in return, but none came even close. In return, Angeline had the satisfaction of seeing several orcs fall under her arrows before Sam rode up beside her, holding the reigns to a large (as hobbit-ponies go) white mare that was just about the right size for an elf.

Angeline swung into the saddle and then the two ponies shot off down the path after Pippin and Merry, who were already a fair distance ahead. Just before they rounded a bend, Sam glanced back at Bag End, around which so many legends and memories revolved, and knew he would never see it again, only in his dreams.

By nightfall they were well on their way. Angeline urged them to ride strait through till morning, as it would be a good four days hard ride anyway, but by early morning they were forced to stop for at least a breif rest, after which they drove their ponies as hard as they dared.

When they finally reached the docks, only two and three-quarter days later, Angeline looked at Pippin in admiration. "Why you fool of a Took! If I didn't know better, I'd say these were Rohan ponies!"

Pippin's blushing indicated they were, or at least desended from them.

Walking to the end of the dock, Angeline drew an arrow, carefully lit it on fire, and shot it high into the sky. She repeated this twice more, and then a ship could be seen sailing at them out of the mist. The huge sails were white, and bore a logo none had ever seen before, a golden ring, through which sailed an Elven arrow and a sword such as the kind a man would use. Underneith was a dwarvish axe, and above it all was four stars in a tightly constricted diamond pattern, with the one at the top being the largest.

Angeline turned to them with a smile on her face. "The good ship *Galadriel*, which bore Elrond, Frodo and the others so long ago, bearing the seal of the Fellowship of the Ring!"

Merry, Pippin and Sam looked at each other in wonder, realizing that each thing in the seal stood for something, and the three smaller stars were them (the larger being of course Frodo).

It was then they became concious of shouting and waving from the deck of the ship, and indeed there stood Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, not looking a day older then they had the day they'd left, and Bilbo actually looking quite a bit younger.

As soon as the boat docked Pippin, Sam and Merry ran right aboard, and shared joyful reunions with the rest of the Fellowship. They suddenly were quite young again, same as when they had first left the Shire for Rivendell. "Amazing." muttered Sam, staring in wonder at himself. "I don't look a day over fifty!"

"Of course you don't!" Frodo cried, slapping him on the back. "And you never will again! After all, the West is a land of magic and long (and I mean LONG) life! That is where the Elves come from, remember?"

"Elves!" Pippin, Merry and Sam exclaimed at the same time. They rushed to the edge of the ship, above where Angeline still stood on the dock, talking with Legolas, who was leaning over the side of the ship.

"Angeline! Aren't you coming too?" Sam asked.

Angeline grinned at him. "Are you nuts? There are still orcs, and goblins, trolls and balrogs to contend with! I'm part of a team of Elves, Men, Dwarves, and even some hobbits whose goal is to rid Middle-Earth of all such gruesome things. I shall join you some day, but for now, farewell!" She began to turn away, but then stopped. "Oh, and Sam, make sure Pippin and Merry don't get into *too* much trouble with out me!" She winked and Sam thought instantly of Rosie, and Galadriel, and Arwen, and countless scores of other beautiful women he'd seen over the years all rolled into one.

"Good bye." he whispered.

The ship began to depart, and Angeline stood waving on the shore until they were out of sight. Then she turned and headed back towards the woods, several Elves and a Dwarf joining her from behind various trees, and then she was gone.