Blue orbs could be seen beneath half -lidded eyes. Frodo had been like that for the past two weeks since brought back from Mt. Doom. He had carried out his task as asked, on the very brink of death before being called back by the future heir of Gondor.
The same heir, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, sat vigil over his friend for the same amount of time. He spoon fed broth to the perinnath for nourishment and liquid when the little mouth would permit it. He dared not go the other route for fear of retaliation from the hobbit's cousins. Aragorn bathed him, not permitting any of the healers to assist. He felt he owed his life and his future to the brave hobbit and so he would be the one to nurse his friend back to health. It was the least he could do.
The White Wizard walked into the tent surveying the King sleeping beside the cot cradling the healing hobbit. He then proceeded to sit on the stool on the opposite side of the cot, not taking notice of a slight movement of blue following him. His limbs creaked before settling comfortably as one could on a stool, lying his staff across his knees, the wizard took the hobbit's left hand into his, patting it.
"My dear boy, where do I begin?" the wizard sighed. "You did well, carrying out your quest, but at what cost to you?" Gandalf contemplated as those old wizened eyes took in the white bandage that covered the half-ling's missing finger. "I wish at times that I did not have the power to see one's mind, but I needed to know if you had been mistreated. I felt the pain in your mind, trying to distance yourself from the lure of the Ring. There was no way you could have avoided it, Frodo. You need to know that your heart has and always will be pure. The love you have for the Shire, your fellow hobbits and all living creatures will always carry you wherever you go. I was not so far away the day you had the nightmare where you had seen me fall. I just want you to know that I could not deter you from your quest. I had to help the heir of Gondor complete his quest as well. It was wise of you to separate yourself from the Fellowship. It was meant to be and everyone you encountered was set as well. Especially Gollum," Gandalf continued, straightening the covers over his small friend. The scars on Frodo's neck and chin had healed significantly since the first day he had brought Frodo from the exploding mountain. Gandalf placed a crooked finger upon the Ring-bearer's face, caressing the marred skin. "Can you ever forgive me, or better, can I forgive myself for sending you on this quest?"
"I do not think he could hold a grudge," the heir of Gondor said to Gandalf, surprising the aged wizard. Aragorn was aware for most of the conversation between the wizard and the unconscious hobbit, but when the question was asked, he could be silent no longer. "Do you not feel the same way? Hobbits still surprise me even after all the years protecting their borders and now that I have actually traveled with them the one thing I have learned, especially from this one, is that they have so much love to give that holding a grudge is not in their nature. Frodo just wanted to save his world as he knew it," Aragorn reasoned.
"He counted on me to be there, to guide him. I failed him at Weathertop and in Moria. I felt elated to know that Sauron had not captured him as we were led to believe, but I fear the worst is yet to come. Frodo expected to die on that mountain as was the last impression I received from him and Samwise."
"I felt it as I had a difficult time at first reaching him to bring his fea back to us," Aragorn admitted, looking fondly into the resting hobbit's face. Then he took his hand and placed it over Frodo's forehead for a brief moment. Aragorn took a deep breath and opened watering eyes. He quickly looked into those half lidded blue eyes and saw tears.
"What is it Aragorn?" Gandalf asked hurriedly taking notice of the heir's change of emotions.
"Frodo is with us and he says there is nothing to forgive," Aragorn softly spoke as he wiped the tears away from his own eyes and Frodo's. "He is awakening, Gandalf."