'Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot always
be torn in two. You will have to be one
and whole, for many years...'
- Frodo in The Grey Havens
A soft knock brought Sam out of his slumber, and he forced his eyes to open just a crack as heard her soft footfall cross the room. A soft, warm hand reached down to touch his brow even as the Elven woman seated herself on his bed. She smiled as he opened his eyes fully to look into her face.
'I just thought you would want to know, we'll be arriving at Tol Eressëa soon,' she said.
Sam nodded, 'Thank you, Lady Meldewen.'
The golden-haired Elf rose, and silently crossed the cabin that had been Sam's since they began their voyage West. She paused at the doorway, turning to look at him, 'Have no fear, Master Samwise, your seasickness will soon be at an end as soon we'll all be setting foot on the dry land of the Lonely Island.' He watched Meldewen leave before he sat up in the bed, and placed his feet on the floor.
He was grateful for her presence in the voyage, as Meldewen was the only healer on board in this last company of Elves who journeyed West. Meldewen Ilce was a healer in the House of Elrond, and she had spent much of her time during the voyage generously attending to him as Sam had spent the better part of their journey in bed, ill.
So, he thought as he dressed. We're almost there. Soon - the wait will be over...
The Tower Hills
Westmarch of the Shire
Elanor had kept a vigilant watch over the roads that led towards the West, hardly leaving her self appointed post lest she would miss her last opportunity to say her last good-byes to her father. Over and over she calculated in her head how long it would take him to journey from Bag End to the Westmarch. She had reached the same conclusion each time, and she knew today would be the day of their last goodbye.
Elanor waited for her father all morning and into the afternoon time and still she did not see her father come riding over the hill. Hours still went by and just when she feared he might have already ridden through the previous night as to forgo a tearful goodbye with her that day, she heard the sound of a small pony coming down the road. Elanor immediately returned to the road, and she heard the sound of her father's voice singing verses from the Red Book.
Finally, Sam appeared over the hill, and as his eyes fell onto his daughter, Sam stopped his pony. He climbed down off of the animal, and went to Elanor's waiting arms. Elanor was tearful as his arms encircled her, and for a moment she could nothing but hug him.
After awhile, Sam pulled back and caressed her golden hair as he gently spoke, 'Oh, Ellie, my Ellie, what's wrong?'
Elanor was tearful as she spoke, 'Daddy, when you didn't come and didn't come today - I had thoughts that perhaps you already rode through last night. I thought that I wouldn't get to say good-bye to you!'
Sam gently led her towards an old fallen log on the road's side so they can sit down, all the while he held her close. 'Ah, my sun-star, I could NEVER leave without saying good-bye to you."
Their time together seemed all too short for both Sam and Elanor. An hour was just too short of a time to say all the words that they needed to cover a lifetime of loving each other as father and daughter.
Elanor walked with her father back to his pony, pulling a sealed envelope from her apron's pocket even as Sam pulled a large Red Book from his saddlebags. Elanor gasped when she saw the Red Book and she reverently took it from him.
'Daddy, I thought for sure you'd leave this to Frodo,' she said as she looked as its cover.
Sam sighed. 'No, I thought of leaving it with your brother but the more I thought about it the more it seemed right to leave with you to keep. Ellie, it's up to you now to keep alive the memory of the Third Age and the Great Danger, even if you only keep it alive in the memory of our family. Don't let people forget the sacrifices that were made so that they could live free of the evil of the Dark Lord.'
'I won't let people forget, Daddy, I promise," Elanor replied, and she handed him the sealed envelope.
Sam looked at the envelope and on the front of it he saw the word "Daddy" in Elanor's familiar script. He started to open it when Elanor's hand stopped him, and he looked back up to see tears streaming down her face.
'Please don't open that letter until after you're on board the ship and it's left the harbor,' she said.
"Oh, Daddy!" Elanor said, hugging as best she could with the Red Book in her hands. "I love you, Daddy."
Sam fought back tears, holding her tightly, "I love you too, Elanor."
Even now, Sam had to wipe away tears at the memory of his last goodbye with his oldest daughter. For the rest of his life he would miss her but he also knew in his heart that he would see her again when it was time but truly they had said their good-byes for this lifetime.
Finally, after he finished getting dressed, Sam went over to the small table on the other side of the cabin where Elanor's letter had been set with care. With much care, Sam picked it up, pulled the parchment from the envelope and he again began to reread her last letter to him.
Sam had just placed Elanor's letter into the pouch hanging from his side when there was a soft knock at the door. A second later, Meldewen reappeared at the door, a smile on her face.
'We are entering the harbor of Avallónë, Master Samwise. I thought perhaps that you would like to come up to the main deck so that you can see the Blessed Realm and the Sun Rise as we dock,' she said.
'Thank you,' Sam said, 'I'll be right up.'
It didn't take Sam long in following Meldewen onto the ship's main deck. When he stepped out onto the deck, he noted that most of all of the Elves who had boarded the ship at the Grey Havens were present. All of them were turned towards the bow of the ship, and they all stood as though the sight of the green land before them memorized them.
Sam found it an easier task to make his way past them than he would have guessed. Weaving in and out between them, Sam came to stop at the ship's bow as a soft melody began to permeate the air. There was singing on the air, a haunting song in Elvish that Sam was sure he had never heard before in all of his time spent with the Elves.
He listened to the song for a moment, and realized that it was coming from the Island itself. As he looked out over the bow of the ship, at the fast approaching dock, Meldewen joined him.
'What are they singing about?' Sam asked her. He hated to interrupt the beautiful singing that they heard but he wanted to know what they were saying.
Meldewen's smile was joyous as replied; 'They're welcoming us home.'
They stood in silence, listening to the voices of the Elves on the Island and they to Sam's wonder all the Elves onboard the ship began to sing a reply. Their song would last until the ship was moored and the gangplank lowered so that the passengers come disembark.
Meldewen saw to helping Sam gather the last of his things before she herself left the ship to find the waiting arms of her parents.
Sam watched her with her family for a moment before he turned to search the crowd for one particular face...
'Sam!' a single voice yelled, cutting short his search.
Sam turned in the direction of the voice, and standing off a little in the distance was Frodo, waving his four-fingered hand. As soon as he saw Frodo, Sam dropped the bag he had been carrying, and he ran as fast as his legs would carry him to the arms of his best friend.
'Oh, Mr. Frodo,' Sam sobbed, holding tightly onto Frodo.
Tears streamed down Frodo's own face as he contentedly said into his friend's ear, 'You're home, Sam. You're home at last!'
Author's Note: I would like to note that I was NOT attempting self-insertion into this fic by naming the Elf onboard the Westbound ship, Meldewen Ilce. Meldwen Ilce is an Elf I created nased off of my real name - Meldewen is a translation from my RL name - however she is NOT me as I am only 23 years old and she is over 4,600 years old!
With that said, the character of Meldewen Ilce MAY NOT be used without my prior knowledge OR permission!