Standing on the Edge of the Earth
by WSJ

I heard this song and knew I had to write a story for it. I don't own LotR or the song.

Note: This is an alternate universe fic that just popped into my head when I heard it. It's a kawaii lil Rosie/Sam romance. Enjoy.

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Rosie Cotten Gamgee glanced up from washing the dishes as she heard the sound of a pony clip-clopping down the lane. She whiped her hands on a dish towel and picked up two-year-old Elanor from where she was sitting by her mother's feet playing with her blocks.

"Sam!" she called, walking back toward their room. She put Elanor in her hand-made crib as she passed it, smiling fondly as she remembered the day two years earlier when Pippin and Merry had spent the morning wrestling with each other and it to get it finished before baby arrived.

Rosie walked into her and Sam's bedroom and when she saw him her heart sank down to her toes. He was dressed in dark green riding breeches and his best shirt, with his tattered grey Elven cloak slung over his shoulders. As she walked in he was just buckling his old swordbelt around his waist empty-sheathed, since the orcs had stolen his sword long ago in Mordor.

He glanced up and smiled at her saddly, folding her into his arms, made strong by years of gardening and months of fighting. "Everything has to be as close as it can be to what it was." he said when he caught her looking at the cloak and empty sheath.

"Frodo's here." she said, wishing Sam would hold her forever. She breathed deeply, memorizing his scent that was something like a lot of freshly tilled earth with a hint of the spicy scent that seemed to characterize Elves and those who knew them well. But as she knew he would he gently pulled away, offering her a soft kiss, as if he would never have another.

Then he was gone, leaving Rosie standing alone in the bedroom as she listened to two ponies riding away from the house. Tears threatened to overtake her, although she didn't know why. Sam had said he'd be back, and he always kept his promises. He just wanted to spend some time with his best friend, away from the cares of work and the worries of wife and child. But none of these things did anything at all to reassure her.

*I knew that this moment would come in time*
*That I'd have to let go and watch you fly*
*I know you're coming back so why am I dying inside?*

Rosie had anticipated that Frodo and Sam would be gone a good while, so she wasn't worried that night when she went to bed and he still wasn't home. The dream she had, however, had her up in the middle of the night crying and wishing he was there with her.

In the dream she stood on a beach, apparently looking through someone else's eyes as Frodo, Bilbo Gandalf and several tall Elves she knew to be Elrond, Galadriel and others, although she'd never met them, board a great grey ship and begin to sail away. She felt tears in her eyes, and with a start realized she was watching the scene through Sam. He began to run after them, out into the water. 'Don't leave me Master Frodo!' he called.

Rosie sat up with a start, tears of her own falling down her cheeks. She tiptoed into Elanor's room, then, satisfied that she was sleeping soundly, she drifted into the living room and curled up on the wide windowseat Sam had built for her since she loved to sit in the sun and read. Muffled sobs shook her shoulders, slim even after having Elanor. She was sobbing so hard, in fact, that she didn't hear the quiet, insistive knock until it had been repeated for the third or fourth time.

She quickly uncurled herself and made her way to the front door in the dark, wondering who on Middle-Earth would be visiting at this time of night. One of Frodo's tales crept into her mind, and her heart began to pound as she pictured dark-robed Nazgul on the other side of the round wooden door.

Stifling her fear she took a deep breath and pulled open the door, releived beyond words to see the dim forms of two hobbits there. She shivered slightly as the cold wind blew against her tear-streaked face and ushered the two inside, closing the door softly behind them. She had a feeling she knew who they were, and had been almost half-expecting them without knowing it.

As the two visitors hung up their cloaks Rosie reached for the lamp that hung over the coat racks, but one of the two placed a hand over hers and shook his head. She nodded to show she understood and the three moved into the kitchen, where dim moonlight bled through the thin curtains in the window.

All of this was done in silence and only after they were all seated around the round wooden table did they speak. "Sam's going to follow them." Rosie said quietly, her eyes downcast.

She more of felt rather then saw their looks of surprise. "You had that dream too?" Pippin asked, slightly awed. "Merry and I both did, we met up on the way here and compared notes. That's the reason we *are* here."

Rosie nodded. "I fig'red."

Merry looked at her. "Pippin and I are gonna try to catch up to them at the Grey Havens. You can come too."

Rosie glanced up in surprise. "Who would watch Elanor?"

Pippin grinned, his pale teeth glinting in the moonlight. "We can drop her off with the Gaffer on the way out of town." he suggested.

Rosie nodded, grinning herself. "Now that's a good idea. Come on you two, You can bed down on the couches tonight."

As it was, Rosie ended up curling up on the windowseat, because she couldn't bear to sleep in that vast, empty bed without Sam. Dispite crying herself to sleep, she was out long before Merry and Pippin, who sat up long into the night talking and debating about what to do. Rosie didn't even twitch when Pippin covered her with a light blanket.

The next morning the four set out right at first light, Elanor snuggled down comfortable and desidedly sleepy in 'Unca' Murri's' arms. After leaving her with her Gamma and Gaffer, the trio really took off, driving the poor ponies as hard as they dared. Yet even so, it took them two days to reach the Grey Havens, and they were just in time.

As they galloped up, Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo and the Elves were just bording the ship, and Sam had a scared, hungrey look on his face. The others knew he wanted to go with them. When the trio pulled their tired mounts to a stop everything froze. Rosie slid off her pony and ran across the sand, launching herself into her husband's arms.

They shared a long hug, but after pulling back the hunger had not entirly left Sam's eyes and then Rosie knew.

She reached up a hand and traced the lines that had become visible across his weathered face, the streaks of grey beginning to show in his sandy hair. He was leaving, and she wanted to remember every detail. Sam seemed to be trying to form words, tears gathering in his eyes. As for Rosie's, hers were already brimming over. She placed a finger to his lips, to forstall any explinations.

"I love you." he said simply, his voice choked.

She nodded, tears running rivers down her fair features. "Yet you love Frodo more. Agape in motion." (Agape is a Greek word meaning 'I'd do anything for you'. It's not a romantic love, but one of extreme devotion.) Sam nodded. "Do me one thing," Rosie added.

"Anything!" he said furvently.

She was almost to choked to say her wish, and she burried her face one last time in his shoulder, somehow managing to make him hear her tear-riden and muffled request. "Wait for me."

She looked up a minute later, and his face was turned away from her. Yet there was no mistaking the pain in his eyes. He was being torn in two different ways, she knew. Sencing her gaze, he turned back to her and kissed her one last time, urgently, passionately. Then he gently pushed her away from him, into the waiting arms of Pippin and Merry, and turned to board the ship.

But even as he called back and commanded Pippin and Merry to protect her and Elanor, she could hear the tremmer in his voice, the shake of his shoulders and hands.

*Are you searching for words that you can't find*
*Trying to hide your emotions but eyes don't lie*
*Guess there's no easy way to say goodbye*

Suddenly, in one last burst of longing, Sam ran back, and pressed something into her hand. "Master Frodo gave it to me." he told her. "It will be your light in the dark and will remind you I'm always here."

Rosie was so choked up, and could think of no way to reply except by an old poem she once heard Bilbo recite, and later made him teach her.

"I'll be standing at the edge of the earth
Hoping that someday you'll come back again
I'll be standing at the edge of the earth hoping for someday."

Sam smiled at her through his tears. "That's my girl." he said. "But I won't be coming back."

"And yet perhaps..." said Merry from behind them. "Perhaps it's *us* who will come back to *you*."

Sam looked past Rosie and smiled at his two old friends. "We can hope." He then turned and left Rosie for good, and the three hobbits stood on the shore until the boat was long out of sight. Pippin and Merry shouted and waved, but Rosie simply stood, tears running down her face, the Vial of Galadriel clutched to her heart. Quietly, so even the other two didn't know she was doing it, she recited the last part of the poem, knowing Sam could hear.

"I want you to know that I stand right by your side
And I know this may be
The very last time that we see each other cry
But whatever happens know that I'll....
I'll be standing at the edge of the earth
Hoping that one day you'll come back again"

Forty years later, Pippin, Merry and Rosie traveled at leasure to Gondor, to say what they believed to be their good-byes to Aragorn and Arwen, but to their surprise the two royals insisted on coming with them.

"Legolas and Gimli have already left." Aragorn said, his age evident on his weary, weather-beaten face and grey hair and beard. "I do believe it is time for the Fellowship to all be together once more. Our son is well ready to rule, and I have long dreamed of this final journey."

And so it was that the party of three was raised to five. They reached the Grey Havens on September 22, which would have been Bilbo's 172nd birthday, and Frodo's 94th. They sat on a grassy hillside right up next to the beach and waited.

When the shadows began to lengthen and evening came upon them Aragorn jumped up and pointed out to sea. "I see something! There is something headed this way!"

By now everyone else was on their feet as well and sure enough, on the horizon was a smudge of grey that was drawing slightly but steadily larger. Across the water, softly at first but growing louder came a voice, singing a song that warmed Rosie's heart and broke it all at the same time.

"I'll be praying for whatever it's worth
Believing that one day you'll come back to me
I'll be standing at the edge of the earth
Hoping for someday."

"Sam..." Rosie said it barely above a whisper, although everyone heard her. She plunged her hand into her breast pocket and yanked out the Vial of Galadriel, holding it high, aloft and bright, guiding the great ship in.

In less then an hour it had docked, and the five on the shore stood simply staring as one by one their dearest friends appeared on the deck above them. Arwen was the first to shake herself out of her stupor, as Elrond appeared. Tears of joy shining in her eyes the Elfess lifted her flowing skirts to well above her knees and thundered aboard the boat as if the Balrog of Moria was after her, all the time shouting "Papa!" like a schoolgirl who had been away for a long, long time. She launched herself into her father's arms and the two embraced.

Next to appear on deck were Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and... Boromir? This was Aragorn's thought precisely, and hurried aboard to take up matters of staying dead with the now-very-much-alive warrior himself. As soon as he had stepped off the gangplank and onto the deck, his wrinkles all but disappeared and his hair flashed full and raven colored again. The Gondorian king stopped mid-stride and stared at himself in wonder, and everyone realized with a start that everyone on the ship was back to the age they had been during the whole Mordor incident, even as another familiar face appeared from the cabins.

"Frodo!" Pippin and Merry shouted at one, scurrying one on top of another up the gangplank and toward their dear friend, peppering him with questions, comments and 'how-dare-you-leave-us-behind-last-time's.

As for Rosie, there was only one person she was longing to see, and when he finally appeared they simply stood staring at one another as if they could not quite believe the other was really there. Sam's eyes filled with tears, as Rosie's were, because both knew that Rosie could never go to the Undying Lands.

"You shouldn't have come." Sam said, his voice choked by the lump in his throat. "Now we're both just going to hurt all the more."

Rosie knew he was right, and her vision was so blurred by tears she didn't see Gandalf aproach and place his hand on Sam's shoulder. "And why not?" the old wizard asked, fixing the sandy-haired hobbit under his stern gaze.

Sam dropped his eyes, clearly hurting inside. "She was not a Ring-Bearer, nor of the Fellowship. She had no real part in the War of the Ring other then to capture my heart."

Gandalf smiled. "That is indeed a great feat Samwise Gamgee, and the Valar lets those who *he* will into the Undying Lands. He has told me personally that Rosie is to join us in the Land of the Elves."

Both hobbits jerked their heads up and stared into each others eyes. It seemed almost as if everything else had disappeared as Rosie hiked up her skirts and ran onto the ship, much the same way Arwen had, and launched herself into Sam's arms. She breathed deeply, treasuring the spicy, cinnimony, earthy scent Sam wore like a cloak. Tears leaked out from under their lids as she and Sam pulled back.

The ship began to move away from the Grey Havens, never to return to Middle-Earth for anyone or anything. No one noticed when a young hobbit lass, having followed them all the way to Gondor and back without anyone noticing, stepped out of the shadows and turned to go home to an empty house that previously had held her, her mother and her two 'uncles'. She was on her own now.

As the shore became farther away and dimmer, Sam and Rosie looked at each other, tears of joy streaming down their faces, and laughingly recited the last bit of the poem together, knowing now it would never again be true.

"And I know this may be
The very last time that we see each other cry
But whatever happens know that I'll....
I'll be standing at the edge of the earth
Hoping that one day you'll come back again."

Or at least, that's how Elanor tells it.

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What do you think? I always thought it was kinda sad that Sam and Rosie had to be seperated since they loved each other so much. I mean, think about it: Rosie dies, and then Sam goes to the Undying Lands. He would've had to spend eternity without her. I like this version much better! ^_^ Reviews please! Tanky!