Title: Unrequited Love
Category: Romance
Characters: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Bilbo
Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine; no money here, thank you!
Rating: PG
Warnings: none (bring kleenix)
Feedback: Yes, please!!!!

Story Notes: This story was written as a challenge to a friend who wanted "A Frodo Love Story." I decided to do it, and what's more, I'm trying to stay true to the book. We'll see how well that goes. Story is in progress; will try to upload a chapter every other day or so.


September 20, 1421, Shire Reckoning:

Frodo had all but finished his business with Sam; he had the keys to Bag End, and the Red Book was ready to be handed on. He stood in the front study--Bilbo's study--the very same study where only two years prior he had stood and said farewell to Bag End to leave on his journey to take the Ring out of the Shire, and then on towards his quest to destroy it . . . Only two years, was that really possible? So much had happened. He had been changed into something almost unrecognizable. But he felt so alone, even with dear Sam and Rose, he was utterly alone.

Sam entered with a plate of cheese, looking Frodo over with concern.

"Are you hungry, master Frodo? Rosie's not going to be home from the market for a couple of hours so dinner will be late, I fear, but this here's wonderful cheese. I can fix you up a plate, if you like."

"No thank you, Sam. I'm not very hungry," Frodo said, smiling. Sam shrugged and began eating; he looked well these days; all the weight was back on him, and he positively glowed with fatherhood. The thought sent a pang to Frodo's heart; wouldn't it have been nice if he could have found a hobbit lass like that, been able to settle down . . . but it was not to be.

He loved one he could never have.

Sam frowned, apparently noticing the direction of his thoughts. "You don't have to go, you know. It will only hurt you to see her--oh come, don't stare at me like that, sir, I know the whole reason you're going to Rivendell must be because she's there; you've been moping around for weeks."

Frodo almost snapped at him; his "moping" was just as much because of the ills he still felt from his wounds, which had absolutely nothing to do with this, and at the secret he'd been keeping from Sam, that he was not in fact going to Rivendell, but preparing to leave Middle Earth entirely for the Grey Havens. Yes, perhaps he would see her, before he left . . . but after their last parting, it was just as likely that he would never see her again.

He'd resolved not to tell Sam of his destination; his dear friend deserved all the happiness in the world for what he had done for Frodo. If he told him, it was likely Sam would try to stop him, and he simply couldn't. Frodo needed to see the Havens. He needed to understand.

"I've never told you the whole story, have I Sam. You know a part of it, but not everything. Perhaps I should; it isn't in the Red Book, and I do not wish for it to be; it is too personal, but perhaps at least one hobbit should know," he began, pacing before the little stone fireplace, where the Ring had first revealed its fiery writing . . . Too many memories here. This was why he had to leave. Too many memories.

Sam put aside the plate, leaning forward, his dark brown eyes intent on Frodo's movement. Behind him the sun filtered through the round window and the flowers of the garden outside, making a dappled mosaic on the table, lighting Sam's sandy brown hair in almost an elven halo. Frodo stood before the fireplace and looked deep into his friend's eyes. When Sam spoke, it was in a low hushed whisper. "I won't tell a soul, Mr. Frodo. You know you can trust me, heart and soul."

Frodo nodded; heart and soul, yes indeed he did. And it would feel good to give it to him; perhaps lift off some of the weight of his heart. He sat down across from Sam. "I will tell you the whole story."