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The Eye Of The Storm - Written By: Eeva

SUMMARY: A misunderstanding leads a young Frodo to desperate deeds…

CHARACTERS: Frodo Sam Bilbo

Lightning strikes. Thunder rolls. Raindrops fall over the lands of the Shire, giving new life to nature...they fall down on a young hobbit’s face, gently caressing his soft skin and his tender features. He holds out his hands and lets the rain pour down on his upturned palms. A thin beautiful curl of his dark brown hair falls softly over his closed eyes as a silent tear rolls down his cheek...the grief that he feels can be almost touchable. All at once he opens his eyes and stares blankly into the void...his weak body suddenly collapses and he falls to the ground...his grief has overcome him...he closes his eyes again and passes into dark unconsciousness...

His vision was still blurry as he woke up, but the voices around him he could hear clearly..."I don’t know what he was doing outside in the rain, he should not have been standing out there for so long!"..."It has been some time, but the memory is still too painful for him to bear"..."Look! He’s awake!"..."Mr. Frodo! Are you alright?"...Frodo’s eyes came slowly into focus and he gasped slightly for breath. "What...happened...?" were the only words he could find at the moment. "You passed out, my dear boy", said a gentle voice as a warm hand was laid on his brow. Frodo closed his eyes and slowly opened them again. "Uncle Bilbo...?" he whispered quietly. "Yes, Frodo my’s me. And Sam and Merry and Pippin are here too. None of us has left your side ever since you fainted. You’ve slept for almost five hours, good gracious me!" "Do you want me to bring you anything, Mr. Frodo?" That loving gentle voice raised a warm smile at Frodo’s lips. "No thank you, Sam. I’ll be alright" "Are you sure? I can make you some tea if you...", but Frodo simply took Sam’s hand and shook his head, "Sam, I’m alright, really" "Well, alright, Mr. Frodo, if you say so...oh I’m so glad you’re well again!", and Sam threw his arms around Frodo and would not let go for a long time.

A few hours later Frodo was already able to get out of bed and walk around the house for a while. It was still pouring outside and the thunderstorm seemed to be getting worse. Heading towards the library Frodo passed the kitchen doors and happened to hear Bilbo and Sam talking. He was just about to join them when he was stopped by the words he heard being spoken. The thunder covered most of it but he clearly heard Bilbo’s voice saying "What will become of Frodo, the poor thing? He is still mourning over the loss of his parents, although it has been some time since their death" And then Sam’s voice added "So that’s why he fainted, poor Mr. Frodo! His body was so weak and his mind was too confused, he had been grieving so much" Then Bilbo spoke again, but a deafening crack of thunder swallowed up most of his words but through it all Frodo heard him say "I took him in to live with me completely out of pity. I really did not want to...Where would the poor little wretch be without me, I wonder" Frodo felt as if a thousand knives were stuck into his heart. And all the while he had thought Bilbo actually wanted him to come and live with him at Bag End. It had all been a lie...Frodo’s eyes filled with tears and he refused to listen any longer. Overcome with panic and desperation he accidentally fell back against a table in the hallway causing a terrible crash. In the kitchen Bilbo and Sam heard this and after one quick glance at each other they dashed into the hallway only in time to see Frodo disappear out the door. Crying bitterly he ran out of the house right into the very clutches of the violent storm outside...

He ran for an eternity or so it seemed to him. Heedless of where he might end up, not caring if he ever would return, he pressed on in the pouring rain, crying hysterically. After a while he didn’t have the strength to go on anymore. The same weakness and sorrow he had felt before came back to him. He stopped running and looked around. He had entered a part of the Shire that he did not know very well and found himself lost. And still the rain fell. It did not feel gentle and caressing anymore, but rather hard and beating...every drop felt like a lash of a whip tearing into his skin. At last Frodo made his way to a high cliff with a river floating underneath it. Sobbing uncontrollably he sank to his knees and looked miserably up into the dark sky. "Mama...Papa..." he whispered weakly, "Why did you have to leave me? I miss you so much...please come me...I don’t know what I should me the right way, guide me through all of this! I need you...! What am I to do? For I am all alone now, with no one to love me like you did...I can not face the evils of this world alone! me..." And Frodo buried his face in his hands and sat there crying, lost in painful memories.

Suddenly a hand was laid on his shoulder and he shivered under the touch. And a familiar voice spoke to him from behind him "You are not are not. I heard your prayer, Frodo. You have to believe me when I say that you are very loved and there are so many who care deeply for you..." Frodo turned slowly around and saw the gentle friendly faces of Bilbo and Sam. But suddenly remembering the words he had overheard, Frodo quickly got to his feet and stepped closer to the edge of the cliff. "Stay away!" he shouted furiously, "Don’t come any closer! I will jump, I swear I will!" Bilbo reached out his hand towards the young frightened hobbit. "Frodo...don’t do this...come on...give me your hand..." "No I won’t!" shouted Frodo through his tears. "Why should I live?! There is nothing in this world for me! Nothing!" "Yes, there is, Mr. Frodo!" shouted Sam, "There’s me, and Mr. Bilbo and your dear cousins and friends! There’s love, Frodo...the love that we all hold for you! Now please give Mr. Bilbo your hand and then we can all go home!" But Frodo turned away from them. " don’t one could ever one..." he whispered and took one more step towards the brink.

That’s when Bilbo and Sam both threw themselves forward with a shout and grabbed hold of Frodo just in time before he could fall. Carefully they helped him back to safer ground and held onto him for dear life. "It’s alright, Frodo, dear boy, it’s alright..." whispered Bilbo as he gently rocked him in his arms. They were all sobbing by now as they sat there in the rain holding onto each other. At last Frodo spoke quietly, "You saved my life..." Bilbo and Sam exchanged glances in amazement. "Why, of course we did, Mr. Frodo!" said Sam, "because you are so dear to us. The mere thought of losing you is too terrible to even imagine!" Frodo choked back another sob, "But...I heard you! Bilbo, I heard you say that you did not want me to live with you, that you took me in only out of pity!"

Bilbo was even more shocked than Frodo, "Nonsense, child! I would not even dream of saying such horrible things! You must have misunderstood my words, I said to Sam that I did NOT take you in out of pity, but because of your strength and your effort and...because I care for you so deeply" "He did say so, Mr. Frodo" added Sam, "He said that he really did not want to see you being raised by anyone else" Frodo’s eyes brightened immediately at hearing that. It had all been a misunderstanding; he had not heard Bilbo’s words properly because they were covered by the crash of thunder. Things had been judged with too much frustration and haste. Frodo felt so embarrassed by his sudden actions. He took Bilbo’s hand and kissed it with joyful tears welling in his eyes, "Please forgive me, Uncle Bilbo...! Forgive me for ever doubting you...I don’t know what came over me...I am so thankful that you took me in to live with you! I can not ever...ever express my gratitude...oh thank you Bilbo...thank you..." and Frodo laid his hand on Sam’s shoulder and smiled at him, "and thank you Sam...where would I indeed be without you?" Bilbo and Sam smiled back gently and Bilbo kissed Frodo’s forehead and said, "There is nothing to forgive, dear foolish child...I know I can never replace your dear parents, but I will be there for you whenever you may need me" "And so will I, Mr. Frodo, and Merry and Pippin too" added Sam, "we will never let you down, and you can be sure that wherever you go, whatever you do, there will always be someone there. Always" And once more emotions took control and they all embraced each other warmly and did not say anything for a long while. And Frodo felt the genuine love coming from both Bilbo and Sam, and that feeling he never wanted to let go of. Then, at last they got up and started to walk back towards home. And Frodo said, "Look! The rain has stopped. And I can finally see the Sun!".

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