Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah. I don't own any of the characters, J.R. Tolkien (the genius) does. The story; however, is mine. Friendly, constructive criticism: I accept. Flames: I use to make s'mores and hot dogs. And if you didn't notice, I'm a newbi. So please review, but please be nice.

A/N: Yes this will eventually lead up to a slash story (but a mild one). I'm just one of those "pervy Hobbit slash fanciers." LOL. For those of you that live under a rock and don't know what slash means, it is a homosexual relationship (either f/f or m/m). If you don't go for that sort of thing (Bridget don't hate me, lol, just read it first), then don't just sit there making grotesque faces and going on about how disgusting that is, just leave now. Don't bother sending me anti-gay flames either. I wear a flame- retardant suit.

It's angst right now but, don't worry, it will get better. I'm planning on making it a multi-chapter story (hmmm…that's the third hyphenated word I've used so far...let's see how many more I can incorporate before I'm done). Well I think that's about it. Enjoy the story!

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A Winter's Tale

Ch. 1 Lonely

By: Kate

Frodo felt wretched, simply miserable. The cause: loneliness. It was the beginning of winter in the Shire, and Bilbo had just left that spring. Frodo was now alone in Bag End. It was horrible, the loneliness. He felt it all day, everyday. He could be standing in the main street of Hobbiton, surrounded by every one of its occupants, and still feel lonely.

Not that Frodo wanted to be surrounded by all of Hobbiton. Just about every Hobbit, there, didn't really like him and he knew it. They all thought he was a bit odd like his Uncle Bilbo, whom many had dubbed as "Mad Baggins" or "Crazy Bilbo Baggins." Frodo chose to ignore these insults and kept to himself. He felt the accusations of Bilbo's madness were unfair. Just because Bilbo once went on a grand adventure involving Dwarves, Elves, a Wizard, and a dragon, didn't mean he was crazy. Unfortunately for Frodo, he had inherited his uncle's adventurous tendencies and curious personality. Since Bilbo's departure, Frodo found himself traveling the many roads in the Shire; always eager to explore places he had never been to before. Besides liking adventure, Frodo liked to learn. He studied his uncle's books and writings, listened to his stories, and was even taught Elvish.

To all the other Hobbits in Hobbiton, these were some of the things that made Frodo "odd." Oh sure, they were all very polite and friendly to him, always addressing him as "Mr. Frodo," given his wealthy inheritance and obvious upper class. But Frodo knew that whenever he came across a group gossiping madly that suddenly stopped at his approach, they were talking about him or his uncle and all the weird things that believed to be kept in Bag End. So Frodo chose to take refuge in his home and avoid the crowded streets of Hobbiton.

Frodo sighed. He was sitting on a cushioned window seat, in his living room, and staring dejectedly out at the gray sky. Large, dark clouds were forming and the wind was picking up. Already snow was falling thickly.

"Looks like the first blizzard of the season has begun." The Shire was known for its harsh winters.

Frodo shivered, rolling down his sleeves, and glanced at the dying fire. He left his window seat and, hugging himself and rubbing his arms, wandered down the hall and into his darkening bedroom. He opened his closet and took a thick burgundy blanket down from the top shelf and wrapped it about himself.

"That's a bit better. I'll just add another log to the fire and then make some tea and a bite of supper."

Frodo hurried back to the living room, now the only lighted room in the house. He brought the fire back to life and, after a few minutes of basking in its warmth, threw off his blanket. He walked into the kitchen and set a hobbit-sized kettle on the stove to boil. While he waited, his gaze drifted to the window above the kitchen sink. Snow was now swirling wildly around outside. His once beautiful garden was now blanketed in eight inches of snow. The sight of his garden brought Sam Gamgee's face to Frodo's mind.

The Gamgee family was probably the only family in town that held Frodo and Bilbo in the highest respects. Hamfast Gamgee, or more fondly known as the Gaffer, had been Bilbo's gardener for years, working for free despite Bilbo's insistence on pay. However, when Hamfast's number of clients grew, he passed down the large job of taking care of the Baggins garden to his young son Samwise. Sam was just as good a gardener as his father and knew as much about plants and growing things. He also had a curiosity and craving for learning, which made him stand out in his family. He loved listening to Bilbo's stories, especially ones involving Elves. Frodo and Sam developed a fast friendship, and Frodo spent many a sunny day just sitting with Sam outside, watching the younger Hobbit's sun-tanned hands sifting through the dark soil.

The whistling kettle brought Frodo back to the present. He sighed again and poured the steaming liquid into a teacup. He dunked a tea bag into the cup and, using a spoon, stirred it around. He set the cup down and went into the pantry, hairs prickling at the sudden damp coolness.

"Now for some supper…Yes right, good one Frodo," he muttered. "When was the last time you had a real supper? A real meal for that matter?"

It was true that Frodo's meals had been very small lately. He'd always had a small appetite, for a Hobbit, and he and Bilbo were never any good at cooking. Yet lately his meals had been very meager. He'd even started skipping second breakfast and tea.

Frodo found an apple and a quarter of a loaf of bread. Putting the apple and bread on a small plate, he grabbed his tea and left the dark kitchen. Back in the warm, dimly lit living room Frodo, once again wrapped in his blanket, settled into a large and comfortable chair with his supper. He picked up his book, Mirkwood: The Forest of Mysteries, and, taking a bite of apple, picked up where he left off on Mirkwood's royal Elvish family. I wish Bilbo was here…he thought sadly.

Outside the wind howled…



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Did you like? Review, and I'll work on getting that 2nd chapter up for y'all.