My apologies to those who have already read this story. Technically there are no new chapters. When I first posted it, I had all the chapters bunched up into one. That is a horrible way to read a story. So I have put it into proper chapter format. Also, when I originally posted this, Tauriel was Itaril-the original name floated for the character during the writing of the films. As you can see, I have edited the story to reflect the name change.
The story is BOOK canon compliant, except for the addition of Tauriel, and a couple of asides. If anyone catches a mistake, please let me know.
The Adventures of Bilbo and Tauriel
The choppy waves sprayed a salty mist over the side of the ship. The sun climbed higher as the red tint of dawn gave way to a crisp clear day. The wind was cold and sharp in the younger Hobbit's face.
Tears stung his eyes. He peered back towards the horizon of the Rising Sun. He was traveling the path of Earendil for the first time in his life. This thought comforted him a little, as he had often longed to traverse the seas.
But his ebullience was cut with the pangs of longing for the Shire and the shores of Middle Earth which he would never see again. They had slipped beyond the horizon before nightfall the previous eve, and land was no longer visible. All about him was Blue water and Clear sky.
He felt an arm clasp his shoulders; he was no longer alone. The Younger smiled with his glistening eyes at the Elder stooped beside him.
"I didn't hear you sneaking up behind me Uncle," he laughed sadly.
"This brisk Sea Air has given me back my legs already," replied the Elder cheerily. He looked at the Younger with concern.
"Are those tears Frodo?"
"N…no…," stammered Frodo. "Just a splash of sea water Uncle Bilbo."
"It's alright, my boy. Let it out. There will be time for Joy soon enough. For now, let your grief flow."
And the tears streamed down Frodo's cheeks unabated.
"I miss the Shire already Uncle. I didn't really fit in there any longer, but I feel as if I have left half of me behind."
"Ah, that is as it should be Lad. You wouldn't be alive if you didn't feel that way," Bilbo smiled kindly at Frodo.
"Thank you Uncle Bilbo." Frodo wrapped his arms tightly around the wizened Old Halfling smiling wetly. "I feel better already."
"Of course you do Frodo." After a moment they fell apart.
Bilbo had a sparkle in his eye, and a single tear trickled from the corner.
"What is it Uncle?" There was something odd about Bilbo's look.
"Frodo…my boy…I…I have something to tell you that I've wanted to say for a very, very long time. And when I've finished, you may not want to call me 'Uncle' any longer."
"Don't be silly Uncle. There's nothing you can tell me that could diminish my love for you." He peered quizzically at Bilbo.
"Frodo, I'm going to tell you a story that I've never told anyone…noone…only one other knows for certain (though others no doubt suspect)—and I hope to see her again in Valinor."
"Uncle," Frodo was beginning to feel alarmed, and very puzzled. "What do you mean? Who are you expecting to see in Valinor?"
"I…I…I probably should start at the beginning my dear, dear boy." And for some reason Bilbo turned very red-faced.
"Come Frodo. Let us sit, I may be feeling spryer than I have in ages, but this is a long tale and it—you—deserve a proper telling."