Gollum spread his long, thin fingers around the rock, dark eyes observing 'master' as he sat on the precipice. The pose awoke something in him, and he slipped into his Smeagol persona, hopping up with eyes bright but face sad.

"You hates it."

Frodo turns, tucking the precious, his precious, their precious away, and for once he ignores the urge to grab it.


"You hates it, You loves it, but no matter what you WANTS it."

Frodo blinks, opens his mouth to say something, but Smeagol has disappeared to find fish, and he is left alone with his thoughts.

When he curls up in his cloak that night he finds a single roughly-hewn cube of raw fish.

He makes sure Sam isn't watching and pops it in his mouth.

He is somehow sad as well as being relieved that it doesn't taste good yet.