NOTE: Story Complete! Chapter 2 went back in time 20 minutes (to Sam's POV), and Chapter 3 goes back 20 minutes more (to Frodo's POV).

DISCLAIMER: Of course. The characters don't belong to me, I just get to think about them day and night.

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"Go now to rest --- but first tell me only, if you will, whither you wish to go, and what to do. For I must watch, and wait, and think. Time passes. In the morning we must each go swiftly on the ways appointed to us."

"I was going to find a way into Mordor. I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there."

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers



THE WAYS APPOINTED TO US

Chapter 3 --- Frodo

Forgive me, Gandalf, I couldn't hold out any longer. No hobbit has ever had to keep such a secret, for so long, after so much pain and grief. I'm so tired, no one will take it from me. So many people of such worth, such honor, and no one will take it. When Faramir refused to even look upon it, I knew he was such a one. I trust him, but even if I did not, we are prisoned here. The only way we can leave is if Faramir allows it. Yet do I want to leave? Where are we to go now?

I can feel it all draining out of me, strength, resolve, what bravery I have left. Everything is going hazy and dim. Too much, it's all been too much. The way Faramir is looking at me, with amazement, concern. But there is no greed, no conflict in his eyes. I know what it is like to see that, I will never forget what I saw in Boromir's eyes.

Boromir dead, no, how could it be? What of the others?

Everything is blurring, I feel faint. Strong hands catching me, lifting me. Such gentleness. He smells of leather and wood smoke and deep green forests. So tired, I can't stop shaking. Voices, I can't make out what they're saying. Don't ask me anything more, I just want to rest.

No more questions tonight, he's laying me down. I want to tell him I trust you, thank you, make sure Sam is all right. Soft, a bed again after so long. Just leave me here. I could sleep for a week or more. Can't keep my eyes open. I can be brave again tomorrow, Gandalf, I promise. Warm furs and gentle hands and a soothing voice. You're safe here, rest easy. Sleep now. Sleep.

** END **