Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over J.R.R. Tolkein's works or characters. I am not making any profit from this fan work.

"Go and rest now, Samwise. You won't do your master any good by worrying until you're sick as well."

Sam looked up dolefully. He sat on the edge of the bed with both hands clasped around Frodo's cold one. Frodo tossed and turned in a fitful sleep.

"I can't leave 'im, Mr. Gandalf. Not now."

"Sam, Master Elrond is going to try to remove the Morgul blade tomorrow. There's nothing we can do until then."

"And that'll make him better?"

Gandalf hesitated. Elrond had been reluctant to say anything for certain; too much of Frodo's fate still hung in doubt. Gandalf did not wish to lie to Sam.

"Hopefully." There, that was a safe enough answer. Indeed, there was still hope for Frodo. Deciding it would be futile to argue with the stubborn hobbit, he gave Sam a reassuring pat on the shoulder and quit the sickroom.

Suddenly Sam's eyelids felt terribly heavy. Everyone else was asleep now, even Mr. Bilbo, who had spent all day at his cousin's bedside with Sam. He willed himself to stay concious. Who would watch over Mr. Frodo? But sleep tugged at him in spite of himself…

When Gandalf returned hours later, he found the two hobbits holding each other close, sleeping softly. Tears prickling the corners of his eyes, he hoped against hope that by this time tomorrow, the danger would be passed and all their hearts would be lighter.