It was getting quieter now in the Baggins household. The party had been going on for long hours, almost the
full day in fact. But everyone was having a grand time. It was Sam's birthday...most especially his coming of age. It was
a very special night for Sam indeed. Through the whole party, he could not get over the suprise of it all. Sam felt special
beyond anything he coud remember. He had all his friends there of course, including Rosie Cotton and her family, and even
Gandalf himself had managed to make a suprise visit. Sam was amazed...but no more so when Gandalf brought out his fireworks
made especially for him. It was a beautiful day, followed by a much more amazing night. Sam got so many gifts he couldn't
count them all, and he began to think after a while that he had just a few too many ales. Things began to spin a little, and
his head felt especially light. But his eyes kept wandering to Frodo for some reason he did not know. He felt especial connection
with Frodo, and whenever he would watch him, Frodo would smile and laugh a little.
It grew to be later, and finally the guests began to dispurse. And after some time, even Frodo dissapeared. A little depressed
that Frodo didn't even say goodnight before going to bed, Sam went outside with the Cotton's to see them off, and they left
him and Rosie for a moment close to each other and talking lightly. Rosie meant to give Sam a peck on the cheek, a birthday
kiss for luck in life, but at the last moment, Sam turned his head to watch a falling star, and so Rosie's lips landed right
on Sam's own. And this of course made Sam blush a deep red, but he smiled just the same. Especially after the kiss lingered
a little longer than they both expected. Rosie blushed and looking back at Sam once more, she then left quickly after saying
goodnight. "I guess you really are of age now Sam," came a voice Sam knew well from the darkness after a moment. Sam jumped,
and turned around to see Frodo who was smiling from the shadows. "Mr Frodo! I hadn't realized...I thought...," "No Sam I apologize.
I came out here a bit ago for some fresh air. I meant to leave of course, but I couldn't...not then. I'll leave now though
if you want." "Oh no! Of course not!," said Sam quickly, coming forward and taking Frodo's hand. Frodo laughed a little, and
squeezed Sam's hand. "Really I'm sorry Sam. I didn't know...," "Neither did I Mr. Frodo. Things just sort of...happened I
guess. A suprise to the both of us I'm certain," said Sam, taking his hand away and looking after the cart in the distance.
"But she's a wonderful cook, and quite beautiful if I may say so...and she's smart too." "Of course you may Sam. I agree with
you. And what more could anyone ask for?" Sam took his eyes away from the cart with a slight sigh...and went to stand close
to Frodo in the darkness. "Ahh...what more indeed Frodo? I wonder about that...I wonder..."
Sam looked at Frodo and took his hand again, caressing it gently. He had his eyes on Frodo's hand, and Frodo wasn't certain
what he was thinking about. He thought perhaps Rosie, but when Sam finally glanced under lowered lids into his own, he supressed
a sigh of hapiness. Frodo was leaning against the side of the house, and then suddenly Sam came forward, so that he couldn't
move from where he was. "What more could YOU ask for Frodo?," Sam asked, with a sound in his voice that Frodo had never heard
before. Frodo was shocked of course, but he wasn't certain he was thinking clearly still. He thought the effect of all the
ales they both had been drinking was getting the better of them. He leaned slightly forward, wavering a little, and said quietly,
"Well...it's your birthday Sam. Don't you think I ought to be asking you that?" "Frodo...," said Sam with a sigh, closing
his eyes and taking Frodo's shirt and pulling him closer. "Sam...it's your birthday you know...you'll be missed very quickly
if we linger out here any longer...,even though most of the guests have gone home who aren't staying here for the night."
Frodo said breathlessly, his face about an inch from Sam's. "And??? I don't care Frodo. It's nice being out here don't you
think so? Besides, I've hardly been able to see you much since I've been working and you've been away visiting your cousins
so much. Please Frodo...," he said with a heavy sigh.
Frodo took a deep breath, and let himself be pulled into Sam's embrace. He hadn't realized that they'd been apart so much.
Well, he tried not to think so at least. "Well, it is lovely to be out here in the fresh air. And I apologize Sam if you haven't
seen much of me lately. Merry's had a lot of things going on lately, and it was at his request that I be there to help him
out." "Oh of course Frodo...I know that...I know. But it's just...I've missed you...I almost thought that you wouldn't be
coming, but Mr. Gandalf told me otherwise of course. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed you until he mentioned that you
would be here. I nearly whooped for joy then and there, but didn't of course, because it wouldn't have been...appropriate."
"Of course not Sam. And I missed you greatly as well. But really...we ought to be getting back inside because if I...," and
here he pauses as Sam turns his head slightly and becomes closer than he's ever been to him, "...if I...know my cousins...Sam...then...they...,"
It is a tense moment, but it doesn't last. For suddenly the sound of talking and a light appeared in the doorway. The moment
is broken. Sam pulls away from Frodo very quickly but with a slight groan, and Frodo looks away to the dark outside. "So there
you two are! We were beginning to wonder...Thought you'd sneak in a little time ALONE and without us for company did you?,"
asked Merry with a wink. He stumbled off the steps and landed right into Sam's arms and ruffled his hair. "Of course not....I
mean, I just came out here to see the Cotton's off...and...," "And I was out here long before...you know that Merry." "Oh
I know I know Frodo. I was just trying to catch you two flustered is all. No harm." And Pippin suddenly jumped off the step
then and landed right into Frodo's arms since he thought he had fallen and tried to catch him. He laughed when Pippin did
though, realizing the fall was on purpose. "WE wanted to thank you Frodo for letting us stay for the night. It's so wonderful
of you! Now perhaps Merry and I won't have to get lost on our way to the Green Dragon." "Green Dragon?!," asked Frodo, his
eyes going wide. "Oh no you don't! To bed with you, for I think its plain to see that you've had too many ales like the rest
of us!," said Frodo laughing and hugging Pip to try and get him to stand on his own. "I hope you don't mind sharing a room
together though. With all of our other guests, it just wasn't avoidable...," Frodo added, looking at Merry. "Oh no of course
not Frodo! We'd rather be put up in a room together than with Sam's Gaffer or Gandalf per say." Frodo laughed again, "I thought
not. Unless of course you would rather stay with me Merry, or Sam?" Merry looked at Sam for some word or sign, but Sam was
resolutely pretending to watch Pip swaying a little, so he said, "Oh no. Pip's more used to me than Sam or you Frodo. Thank
you just the same though. Well, I'm about done in for the night, and that's saying quite a bit. I'm glad you had such a splendid
party Sam. Coming of age is quite the day wouldn't you say?" "Oh yes indeed," said Sam with a smile as he turned to face Merry.
"It's the best party I've ever had, and I feel very blessed indeed. Thank you again for the gifts." "Oh our pleasure Sam.
Anything we could do for you is just amazing. We love you Sam!," said Pip with enthusiasm, hugging Sam with all he had in
Merry and Pip both said goodnight after some more talking and
joking with Sam and Frodo, and then Merry helped Pippin to get back up the stairs and into the house. When they were both
inside, Frodo turned to Sam. "I hope you don't mind staying Sam. Gandalf wanted me to insist, even though you don't live too
far away. He thought some horrible things would happen and you might end up in Rivendell or something." "Oh no Frodo! I mean..of
course I don't mind. Not at all." "Well then, let's go inside before we have to end up carrying one another to bed. I don't
know about you Sam, but I think I've had a bit too many ales." Sam laughed and put his arm around Frodo's waist. "Funny you
would say that because I was thinking that exact thing just a while ago. Until I came outside anyway, if you take my meaning
Frodo. But at least this will give us more time for talking and such."
They reached Frodo's room, and went inside. After a few minutes of Frodo looking through
his dresser, and Sam looking around Frodo's room, Frodo spoke again. "So you've had a good birthday then Sam?" "Good?? Oh
Frodo!" Sam came up and hugged Frodo close to him. "It was the best day I've had in my life. Thanks to you." "To me Sam?"
"Yes to you. Gandalf told me." "Told you??," said Frodo and he pulled away from Sam's embrace. "Yes. Told me that you planned
this...all of it...to the last details. I can't believe how much you were able to do without me knowing at all! I had no clues
that there would be a party until this morning." "Oh...well...I just wanted your day to be special Sam..." "I know Frodo...I
know," and he came so close to Frodo that he was just an inch away from him. "I feel very special indeed for all you did.
And Gandalf was even more of a surpise too! Fireworks and all, just for me." "Well...Gandalf had to return by this time Sam.
He promised me he would try. He had something to bring back..." "Bring back Frodo??," asked Sam a little confused and he stepped
"Yes Sam. Bring back. I have something for you...actually two things. But one is just something I've wanted to show you."
"More gifts Frodo? You've already given me so much already...," said Sam as he took Frodo's hand in his and caressed it. "I
know Sam. But I can't ever give you enough. Besides...this is special...and it's worth it Sam...believe me." "All right Frodo,"
said Sam as he dropped his hold on Frodo's hand after a moment. Frodo went to the wardrobe closet, and pulled from the floor
of it, a package. Wrapped in a light colored wrapping that seemed to glow of itself, Frodo brought it forward carefully and
handed it to Sam. Then he sat himself on the side of the bed and watched quietly from there, his hands clenched on the side
of the post. "It seems almost to glow does it not?," asked Sam tentitively as he pulled apart the bindings with great care.
Frodo said nothing yet, for he is watching Sam unwrap his gift with apprehension, and at the moment Sam takes out the gift,
he is not disappointed. "I hope you might like it Sam. I begged Gandalf to go to Rivendell, so that it could be made by the
Elves for you. I hope I got the measurements right...I got them from Marigold, and went a size up or two so you would grow
into it per say...," "It's beautiful Frodo...," said Sam finding no other words to say, and holding up Frodo's gift with great
A nightshirt, made by the Elves, because Frodo had known that he loved elves above most things. It is green, light in color
like the leaves themselves, and light in material. It's material he's never seen before, soft to the touch, and thick in spite
of it's look, in case it might be cool. He became overwhelmed suddenly, and ran forward into Frodo's arms making them both
fall backwards. "Sam...this wasn't quite the reaction I expected...but I'm glad you like it just the same. I was hoping you
might...," "Like...it doesn't seem enough of a word...I love it Frodo. It's the most wonderful gift I've ever recieved. And
it was made by elves! Elves Frodo!! What could be more wonderful??"
Frodo smiled, and then laughed suddenly, a little breathless as he answered, "Well, if you let me up, then I can show you
Sam." "Oh....yes...I suppose...of course...if you want to...," added Sam tentatively, sliding off of Frodo silently and helping
him to his feet. Frodo smiled and Sam did also, blushing heavily as he just realized then how close they had been. But Frodo
didn't seem to mind at all, which relieved Sam greatly, and he watched as Frodo took hold of his hand and squeezed it gently.
"Come on then Sam...," he said quietly. Frodo led Sam out of the house, and through a path Sam had not seen before. It was
very well covered, and the leaves that hung from the vines overhead swept so low that they brushed his face often. They were
both silent, thinking their own thoughts, and Frodo almost willing them both to be as silent as they could. Sam didn't speak
because he was too busy watching Frodo walk ahead of him. He had a gracefullness about the way he moved, that made Sam think
he was one of those very rare and special people who was able to hear a type of music in the life around him, and tears stung
at the back of Sam's eyes whenever he thought of it. It made Frodo more beautiful than anything else in Sam's eyes. And Sam
loved Frodo because of it.
They walked a while, and then finally Frodo motioned for Sam to stop and went ahead a few paces. He parted the branches
and leaves and knew then what he sought. He went back and brought Sam forward gently by the hand. And Sam looking, was more
amazed than he had ever been in his life. Elves...so many of them. Walking forward on a path that Sam knew would lead them
out of the woods outside of Hobbiton, and to the Sea. He watched for a moment as he realized then what was happening. He couldn't
even turn to Frodo who leaned close to the ground beside him, and said in no more than a whisper, "Where are they going?"
And Frodo's voice was quiet and a trifle distant when he answered, "They are leaving Middle Earth Sam. They are on their way
to the Gray Havens, and waiting there will be a ship, to take them across the sea...," "They're leaving us? Whatever for?,"
asked Sam passionately, taking it as a personal affront. But Frodo was a few more minutes before he answered, "Just imagine
Sam, living an immortal life. Seeing terrors and dangers and evils beyond anything we've known. They've lived long Sam, and
the curse of being immortal is to remember everything. They are leaving yes, to find a peace for themselves across the Sea.
To join others in the Undying lands in the West." He was silent for a few moments, and then said suddenly with a heavy sigh,
"I think I might do the same if I could. I couldn't imagine living with the knowledge of the ages...and remembering all that...and
being able to do nothing about it. It's a wonder they have any hope left at all, or think that anything could be beautiful
after seeing such ugliness. It's such a pity they don't take others with them isn't it?
Sam watched for a while thinking lonely thoughts, unable to believe what he just had heard. And Frodo said nothing either,
content to just watch and hope that some day he might be lucky enough to go on such an adventure. And in fact, neither spoke
for some time, while all the elves dissapeared into the mist and to the Sea. But then Sam finally said, "I don't think I would
leave if I were an elf...," "No?," asked Frodo, his voice far away as he watched the mist disappear with the elves. "I'm not
certain. There's something in me, I don't know what, but if it were me, I'd remember...but I'd want to do something with that.
With what I remembered, if you follow me. To prevent it per say if I could...or at least to make people remember what happened
and try and live for it. Because I think that in itself...might be a way to prevent such things from happening again. Besides,
it's not all terror and horrors Frodo. There's love and friends, and beauty beyond anything in the life around us. In the
things that grow around us. In life that grows around us for us to see? That's what life is about isn't it?"
Frodo looked at Sam suddenly with tears in his eyes. "Oh Sam!," he said with compassion in his voice, and threw his arms
around him. Sam held on back, not wanting to let go. Perhaps he glimpsed into the future for a moment, but he never wanted
to let him go. They stood there for a long while, until at last Sam picked up Frodo gently and layed him carefully on the
ground in the thick grass. Then, he layed down next to him, and wrapping their arms around each other, they both fell into
sleep in the darkness of the world around them.