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Promises - Written By: FrodosFantasy
CHARACTERS: Frodo, Bilbo, some Took relations, and others.
WARNINGS: None really...just a bit of angst and emotional trauma.
SUMMARY:  This story is set directly after the death of Frodo's parents, Drogo and Primula. Frodo despairs, and Bilbo is there to help show him he is not alone. 

"Oh thank goodness you've come Bilbo...," Paladin Took said with great relief as he hugged Bilbo. "I got here as soon as I heard...I've been out of town on an errand. How is he?," asked Bilbo with concern. "He isn't well I'm afraid. I think it's the shock of it all. He wont take food, he won't move from where he is. I'm...not even sure that he knows where he is..," "Is it really that bad? Have you spoken to him at all?" "I've tried - believe me I've tried. It's been 5 days already, and he doesn't even see me. He doesn't see anyone. He just lies there, staring at the ceiling, and speaking some language I don't know." "Language??," asked Bilbo curiously. "Yes, language. I can't understand any of it," he said with exasperation. "Perhaps if you go in an listen, you may know it." "Perhaps," said Bilbo, following Paladin down the hallway.

The room was dark save for a single candle that was lit. The curtains were drawn open, and there was a light breeze that blew in and made the candle flicker. Eglantine sat next to him, stroking his hand, but he wasn't aware of it. Paladin had been right. He was lying on his back, staring at nothing, his voice very quiet but even in the dark eve. Eglantine got up when the door opened, and she quietly went to Bilbo and hugged him as well. Bilbo returned the hug warmly, but the figure on the bed was of the most concern to him. He let go of Eglantine and sat on the chair next to the bed. He bent over a little towards Frodo, trying to listen...and was astonished. "It's elvish...," he said with a gasp. "Elvish? I didn't think he knew it...," said Paladin with amazement. "I didn't think he knew it that well...," said Bilbo breathlessly. "I've been teaching him a little, but this goes well beyond what I've taught. He must be learning on his own somehow." "What is he saying Bilbo?," asked Eglantine.

Bilbo listened quietly for a moment. "He's saying...'I must be lost...stranded somewhere in the unknown...I can't find my way...I can't go home...This must be a dreamworld...because...," and Bilbo paused and took a deep breath and lowered his head. "...because reality is too painful to bear...I have to wait...I have to wait...until they come for me...they promised me...they would return...they promised me...we would always be together...we would never be apart...I have to wait...they will come...they promised me.." "Oh the poor darling...," Eglantine said with tears in her eyes. Frodo continued talking, his voice nearly gone from talking for days straight, and he heard not, with tears now sliding down his cheeks. His withdrawn look became much deeper, and he spoke much quieter. Biblo continued translating, but his voice was strained, and he spoke haltingly. "'There is too much this dreamworld...I can't find my way...I have to wait...there must be a way...a way to find them...for them to find me...for...for...,'" and Bilbo suddenly stopped, and picked up Frodo in his arms. "No...Frodo please...please don't...don't speak anymore...don't please! This is too much for you...too much...just sleep my dear boy...," and Frodo at once closed his eyes wearily and was deep in sleep.

It was silent in the room now, as Bilbo held Frodo in his arms. He sat for several minutes in silence, with Eglantine and Paladin looking on quietly. And still Bilbo sat, rocking Frodo gently, and stroking his hair softly, until finally he sighed and said quietly, "I couldn't let him go on so. So much much torment. I've never seen it all from one person before. It was well too much for him. I shouldn't have let him go on that long, I should have stopped it. But I wanted to know...what he was feeling." "It's allright Bilbo. It's natural for him to be upset...they were his parents after all," said Eglantine with empathy. "I know...I know...but there is a slight problem. He thinks they are coming back for him. Because they told him they would be back. And now his mind is setting itself up for the ultimate heartbreak." "Well, at least you got him to finally rest Bilbo. Even the healer was uncertain about what to do. He went back to his office to get some medicinals." "Yes, I'm thankful he's sleeping. But I do wonder about the sleep itself...," Bilbo said a trifle absently, going back to Frodo and gently straightening the coverlet over him. "Why are you worried about that? He should be allright shouldn't he? Sleeping usually helps in times like'll bring things into better perspective per say."

"I don't think so Paladin," Bilbo said sadly, as he watched a slight frown form on Frodo's face. Bilbo reached out his hand and stroked his cheek softly, but even then the frown increased and he moaned heavily. Bilbo tried speaking softly in his ear, "It's allright's allright...," but Frodo didn't hear. Tears fell from his eyes which were still shut, and he spoke in a ragged whisper, "No...please...don't go...don't go...don't leave me alone...don't...please...," "No're not alone...," Bilbo said with a bit more urgence in his voice. But suddenly Frodo's eyes snapped open and he sat up screaming as best he was able to, but in complete agony. "NO!!! PLEASE NO!!! COME BACK!!! PLEASE COME BACK!!!" Bilbo moved immediately, and held on, refusing to let go as much as Frodo fought him. " don't believe it...I don't...," he said wearily after a while of struggle, his energy waning. But Bilbo did not let go, soothing and holding on until at last Frodo himself held on. He wouldn't let go, nor did Bilbo want him to...not even with he again drifted into sleep. "I shouldn't have let go," Bilbo said sadly as he remembered suddenly that the others were still in the room. He looked back to see that they were both sobbing too, in torment themselves because they had never witnessed such agony.

"You were right were right. And I'm sorry I didn't see it as you did." said Paladin sadly. "It wasn't a very good sleep at were right. What is there that we can do?" "Some good strong tea would be wonderful...this may be a long night. And in the morning, perhaps some light broth? I'm not certain he'll be ready to eat of course, but he has to try or things will not look promising. But I won't let him go, I can promise you that. I promised his father I would always look after him, and that I intend to." He turned back to Frodo, and said quietly, "There must be a way to arrange it...I promise you Frodo...I won't let you go...I made a promise...and I won't go back on it."

It was a long night indeed, but it wasn't as terrible as Bilbo thought. Frodo woke several times sobbing uncontrollably, but Bilbo held onto him, not letting go and easing him back into sleep. It was a long night of tormented dreams, and dreams of pleasant times. And at last, it seemed like there were no dreams at all. Bilbo drifted in and out of sleep, always waking every once in a while just to be certain that Frodo was still in slumber. When daylight broke, he woke at last with dark circles still underneath his eyes. He was pale and silent, watching the ceiling until Bilbo spoke to him quietly. "Hello Frodo lad..." he said. Frodo for the first time saw something. "Bilbo...when did you get here?" "Last night," Bilbo said smiling, thankful that Frodo was showing interest. "Did you just get back? How was Rivendell? Was it as beautiful there as you remembered?," he asked quietly. " was as beautiful..perhaps even more so. I told them all about you Frodo...," "You did? What did you say?" "I told them all how smart you were...and handsome...and gifted..." "Gifted?," Frodo asked a little absently as he turned to look out the window. "Yes...gifted.'ve been learning on your own. You've been keeping things from me." "Keeping things from you? I don't understand...," Frodo said, clearly confused. "Last night...when I were speaking Elvish. And very well I should say! I didn't teach you that you must have been studying a little." "I...spoke Elvish...fluently??," asked Frodo. His eyes were wide, and he suddenly lost view of the outside world. He was alarmed indeed, for he didn't remember. Nothing at all.

"You've worried quite a few people Frodo...," Bilbo said gently. "I have...," Frodo said more absently. He was trying to remember...but things were so unclear. Everything of the past days...were so incomplete. Ever since....and the memory suddenly came back to him. He closed his eyes tightly. Bilbo saw, and knew then what was wrong. "I'm so sorry...I wasn't here...," he said. "NOTHING HAPPENED!!! NOTHING!!! I DON'T BELIEVE IT!! I DON'T!!!" Frodo shouted suddenly. But Bilbo came and sat with him on the bed, wrapping him in his arms and refusing to let go. "Nothing happened...nothing...," he kept repeating, until finally his voice fell silent, and he sat quietly in Bilbo's warm grasp. "It have some decisions to make Frodo lad...about what you want to There are things that need to be thought of...and well...I thought maybe perhaps you might like to stay with me...," "With you?," Frodo said, picking up slight interest. " don't have to answer right away...these things need to be well thought out...but after all...we share the same birthday Frodo...its only natural for us to be together to spend them...and I care so much for you. I promised your father and mother both I would always look out for no matter what you decide, I'll be happy as long as you are. But I promise you Frodo, that you'll want for nothing...and I'll be there for you as I am able to...and I'll go away whenever you want some time to yourself." "You really want me to come with you?" "I do Frodo. We're so much alike. And you are so like your mother and father both. Such spirit, and life. "Life...," Frodo said with no emotion and fell silent.

Bilbo took a deep breath and thought before he answered. He hugged Frodo tightly and said, "Yes life Frodo. Life doesn't end. It goes on. And somewhere your parents have gone on. Gone on to a place where they can be with you all the time and no matter where you go." "Where is that?," Frodo asked with a sob. "Your heart dear boy. As long as you think of them, and remember them, then they will be there." "But...they promised they would come back for me. Why couldn't they try at least? They promised me...," "I know Frodo...I do know. But some things...we just can't do. As much in our hearts we wish we could. They wanted to stay with you Frodo, and this I know. But they found a way to stay with you always. To be able to look after you and never be parted." Frodo was silent for some time, and Bilbo let him be. He felt he needed the time for thought...the time to decide. After some time in which neither spoke, Bilbo stroked his cheek softly. "Now how about you be a good lad and try and take some food hmmm?" "All right...," Frodo said quietly as he continued to stare into nothing.

Several days passed. Bilbo stayed to make certain Frodo was healing. He even slept in the same room just in case he woke during the night. And he did several times, but each time Bilbo got up immediately and went over and comforted him until he was able to fall back into sleep. He went outside at last, and Bilbo stayed at his side. Though he still didn't speak much, Bilbo thought that Frodo was doing much better. He kept telling Frodo stories of his most recent journey, and Frodo would listen avidly and dreamily at the same time. He even caught himself laughing once, but he stopped once he started, and fell silent very quickly. And he stayed silent for the remainder of the day, until when Bilbo was sitting by his side saying goodnight. Then he spoke up suddenly, "I didn't think I could ever laugh with them not here...," "I know Frodo. But you can. They loved to hear you happy and laughing. And they do still." And Frodo actually smiled.

"Frodo," said Bilbo quietly one night. "Bilbo? What is it?" "I...have some things to attend to. I have to go away for a short while." "Go away?," Frodo asked turing pale. "Yes, some things in Hobbiton. But they are good things Frodo, I promise you that. I shan't be gone very long." "Oh...," Frodo said and turned away silently. But Bilbo knew Frodo very well, and came around to face him. "Hey now...," he said as he brushed his hand softly against Frodo's face. "Everything's going to be allright...I promise...but this is a suprise, otherwise I'd tell you to come with me. Something for you...,understand?" "Yes...I understand," said Frodo with a sigh. "I should only be gone a few days I hope. It depends on how well things go of course, but it should be no more than 5 days. And your cousins will be here as I will not to keep you company." He hugged Frodo very hard, and for some reason, Frodo seemed rather reluctant to let go. But at last he did, and right as Bilbo reached the door to be on his way out, Frodo ran to him and stopped him. "Bilbo...I want to stay with you...I can't think of anyone else I'd rather be with...," "Oh Frodo my lad!," Bilbo shouted, grabbing hold of Frodo and holding him tightly. They were silent for a little while, until Bilbo said happily, "Oh Frodo, I'm so glad...happy so much I can't tell you! But it will be wonderful I promise you...I promise you. This will make your suprise much better Frodo! Much better indeed! Oh I can't wait...I must go immediately." He kissed Frodo's cheek and hugged him again to make certain he was still smiling before he walked out the door whistling.

Bilbo was gone a week already, but while he was gone, the Took's noticed that there was a change in Frodo. He was much quieter now than when Bilbo had been there, and even with his cousins there with him, did not seem happy. He often spent time alone, looking out to the horizonline, and seeing nothing. He grew pale and lost his appetite, and the dark circles came back underneath his eyes. When the next week came, Frodo asked if they had word of Bilbo, and when they said no, he grew a little more pale, but still went back outside. On the 9th day of Bilbo's absence, Frodo did not eat, and went to bed instead. When Eglantine came into the room sometime later, she found that he was curled up as tight as could be, and though sleeping deeply, was quietly talking to someone in his dreams. She heard what he said even though his voice was quiet, and it worried her greatly. It did not seem a pleasant sleep at all to Eglantine, for when she walked closer to him, he tossed and moaned and then fell suddenly silent. He was fevered, and sweating, and try though she might, he did not wake.

She stayed for some time with him, trying to comfort as she thought Bilbo would have done, and finally at last, he seemed to let out a heavy sigh, as if something very wonderful had happened, and a smile came to his face. He spoke again, but it was a trifle harder for Eglantine to make out the words. But his smile stayed, so Eglantine quietly kissed his cheek, and left the room to make him some tea in case he might wake. She was so busy and interested in what she was doing however, that she did not some time later see Frodo walk silently down the hall. His eyes were almost closed, and he did not seem to be aware of anything.

It was just a half hour later, when Bilbo arrived. The tea was finished as were some very special cookies she had made just in case Frodo changed his mind about eating when he woke. "Bilbo! How wonderful to see you back again. Frodo has been missing you terribly I think...," she said while hugging him. "Oh?," said Bilbo with interest, tho a silent alarm was going off somehow in his mind. "Yes, he quite lost his appetite. He didn't eat at all today in fact, or much of anything yesterday. He stopped speaking mostly, but just sits outside and thinks alot. But you're back now, so everything should be wonderful again." "Where is he now?" "Oh, he went to bed, he wasn't feeling well. I sat with him for a while, but then his dreams seemed very pleasant, so I left to make this out for him, in case he might change his mind about taking something. I'll go wake him if you like." "'ll go...," said Bilbo distractedly as he hurried down the hallway. He pushed open the door, but of course Frodo was not there. "He's gone!," Bilbo shouted, running down the hallway.

"Gone??," Eglantine gasped. "But...he was asleep...,I can't have left him for...more than...," "How long?? How long exactly?" " mustn't have been more than a half hour or maybe a bit more. Why do you ask?" "I'm trying to think....did he say anything? Anything at all? Right before you saw him last??" Eglantine thought for a moment, and remembered the dream he was having. "He said something like....'I knew it...I knew it...I knew you would come for me. We together now...just like you promised'." "Oh no!," Bilbo said wringing his hands. He thought very quickly. Where would Frodo be...? And the thought came to him even more quickly, and he let out a gasp and ran for the door. "Where are you going Bilbo? Do you know where he is??" But Bilbo said nothing, for the fear of what came to him suddenly was that he was going to lose Frodo...and not to Drogo and Primula.

There are some evil elf-like creatures in the world. Some are good, some are not. Those that are not, are usually called sprites, and they like doing things to make others join them. And Frodo, with all the hope of what might be, had started to lose hope again. He thought he was alone again. He didn't think Bilbo was coming back for him. And the voices he heard by his side once he had started to doubt and worry, made him further think that fact. They told him that Bilbo would not be back for him. Not only that, but that he was a burden to the rest of his family. They told him he should have died with his parents. Tears came to his eyes when he would think of it, and in his heart he was beginning to wonder if pehaps his living was a mistake. He stopped sleeping, and his already lack of appetite failed him completely. But, to his greatest joy, when he was despairing for the beauty and happiness of life, he heard the voices he loved and knew more than anything. His parents. He thought they really had come back at last...that they had found a way for him to go with them. "Come to us Frodo...come to we can be together...come to us Frodo love..." And so he went. In sleep, in dreams, he got up and left the house they had shared together.

They led him to a short cliff that overlooked the river. It was mostly one of those spots that was used for fishing, but was rather dangerous if you didn't know where to step or where to go next. As he stepped closer, Frodo's fear of the place came back to him...a vivid memory of his father telling him that he should never go there because not only was it dangerous, but there were so many other spots better to fish. "Come out closer Frodo...come to us," said the voice. But Frodo hesitated, and his brows furrowed a little in uncertainty. "Are...are you certain it's ok?," he asked, his voice shaking a little. "Yes...of course Frodo...don't be's the only way we found we could take you with us. Now come and give me your hand..." Frodo was very much afraid...but he stepped further out on the ledge and pressed himself into what he thought was his father. "There we are...much better we can be together and you won't have to go with that sneak Bilbo." Frodo was even more uncertain now. He'd never known his father to say anything unkind about anyone. He woke up fully now, and when he started to pull away, he knew it was not his father. "''re not...," Frodo stammered, realizing the awful truth. "No...not who you thought. But now at least we can take you with us instead!," said the voice loudly as he put his hand on Frodo's forehead. And for some reason he wasn't aware of, Frodo suddenly fell into a deep sleep, but as he was falling, he thought he heard a strange voice from far away. "Get away from him!," it shouted. And before everything grew dark for Frodo, he saw a shadow of someone much taller than a hobbit.

And it was. A ranger, a man called by Bilbo The Dunedain, and so we shall call him that too until he is known by other names. He was close by, paying his respects to his friends, when he had seen the scene from his not too far away hiding spot. He knew Frodo, though Frodo did not know him, and he knew what the sprites were after. He fought through them, for more than 10 appeared from the shadows when they heard him call. When it became clear that he would be the victor, the sprite holding onto Frodo let him go, and he fell over the cliff and landed with a small splash in the water. But the last one was the toughest to fight. He didn't want to lose his prize of a new recruit. But the Dunedain was by far the better swordsman, and finally he triumphed. And at once he dived off the cliff and into the water. He came up again once for breath before he went back down again to continue his search. But he did not give up, because of his love for those friends he had lost.

Bilbo by now was aware of Frodo's absence. When he ran to the shoreline, he saw a figure coming back to the shoreline he knew well. It was the Dunedain, and he had Frodo in his arms. The man was a little breathless as he reached the shore, gathering up Frodo and laying him on the grass. "Dunedain! How did you find him? Is he allright??," shouted Bilbo running as fast as he could go. But Frodo was pale and quiet, and his eyes were still closed. He didn't move, even when Bilbo finally came up to them, or when the Dunedain tried to wake him. "He's going to be all right isn't he?," asked Bilbo as his voice was shaking. He took hold of Frodo's hand, but it was cold and limp. "I'm...not certain Bilbo...if there's anything more I can do...," said the Dunedain sadly shaking his head. "But perhaps I can be of help," said a voice coming from a little distance away. They both turned astonished, and Bilbo in his shock, dropped his hold on Frodo's hand. For walking delibertately towards them, was the ghostly shadow of Drogo Baggins. He reached them and knelt down beside Frodo. And he looked searchingly for a moment, a look of extreme sadness coming over him. Both of the others said nothing. They were trying to believe it themselves, but wanted to believe that the shadow could help.

While they were watching, the figure of pale light suddenly passed his hand slowly over Frodo's eyes. And at once, Frodo let out a small gasping breath and a low moan. And once that happened, the figure no longer seemed to be a shadow only, but of solid shape. The light was still surrounding it, and it shimmered in the dimming sunlight. Drogo smiled sadly and spoke to Frodo quietly as he stroked his cheek softly, "'s time to wake son...," And Frodo's eyes opened slightly and he sighed with both weariness and happiness. His voice was very quiet when he was able to speak, as if the effort was too great. " that really you this time...?," he asked. "Yes's really me," said Drogo with love. "I' sorry...I didn't mean to go up there...," said Frodo, coughing a little as tears came to his eyes. "No Frodo...don't think of's all right...," Drogo said, taking Frodo with care and holding him in his arms. "...You didn't didn't know. And I'm sorry Frodo...I'm so sorry." Frodo closed his eyes again, and he answered much quieter, "You...sorry...? What for Papa?" "For not keeping my promise Frodo. I told you I would come back that night. And I didn't....I'm sorry son. But we wanted to tell you that we did try."

Frodo could say nothing for some time, for he was getting very tired again, and the words seemed to be coming from a far distance away. Finally he spoke again and his eyes opened slightly. "But you are here now...and...that's all that matters...," he said, trying to take a deep breath and failing. "I know Frodo. I know. I was allowed to come try and save you from the sprites." "I'm sorry...I only wanted to be with you and Mama. I wanted us to be together again...," "Shhh...I know Frodo. I know. Oh this is so very hard for us to do Frodo. We wanted to be with you too. But this way we can be Frodo my boy. We can always watch over you now...," "It's not the same thing...I need you here...," sobbed Frodo. "I know Frodo," said Drogo shakily as pale tears fell from his eyes. It took a moment for him to continue because he held Frodo a little closer to him, and spoke to the air next to him. But Bilbo and the Dunedain could not hear what he said at all. They watched for a moment, and then he continued. "But that's why we sent Bilbo for you. So he would be able to watch you and love you as we do from where you are...while we could be with you from where we are." "But he's not here...he left...and he's not coming back...," gasped Frodo. "Oh I'm right here...I said I would come back for you...," Bilbo spoke up suddenly. He took hold of Frodo's hand again and came closer to him so that he would be sure to see that he was there. "You...came back. They said you wouldn't...," said Frodo wearily. "They lied to you Frodo. I told you I would come for only took me a little bit longer than I thought it would because I wanted to take care of some things...for you Frodo. Just for you."

Frodo smiled a little, and squeezed Bilbo's hand with the little strength he had left, but suddenly he grew very pale and his eyes rolled a little and he fell limp in his father's arms. "Frodo??," Drogo asked with great concern. But Frodo didn't answer, not even when Drogo passed his hand again over his eyes. "I must try bring him back. It may be that the fates have decided after all....but I don't know for certain. If he does come back, he may sleep for a while, but he will wake I promise you. I may not be able to come back again however. Just...take care of him for us will you?," he asked as he faced them both and placed Frodo in Bilbo's arms gently. "Of course we will," said Bilbo, not taking his eyes off Frodo. "I promise you I will as often as I can Drogo. As I love the both of you for the friendship we shared, I will him as well." "We...thank you...both of you...," and suddenly the figure became a shadow and again vanished as soon as it had come.

Dunedain picked up Frodo from Bilbo's arms, and carried him back to the Took house with Bilbo following next to him. He stayed for a day or two, while Frodo slept soundly, but at the end of the second day, he went to Bilbo. "I must go Bilbo...I have arrangements to make and things to plan." "I can't thank you enough Dunedain...for everything you've done," said Bilbo greatfully. "Think nothing of it Bilbo. I'm always glad to help when it comes to the safety of my friends and loved ones. But when I do come back to see you, it may be quite at unexpected times. I think I may have shocked your relatives when I first came in the door with Frodo." He smiled a little, and Bilbo laughed. "Yes...I daresay you did. But very well. I'll always expect you then Dunedain! I'm awake quite a bit writing as you well know." "Of course...your book! Well I expect I'll be back when the next chapter's finished then!" "Yes...though I always wonder how you know exactly when that is?" "Most rangers have that gift Bilbo, of course. I know many things...things you may not think I know." "Ahh...of course. One of these days I'll have to have you tell me what you do know!," said Bilbo with a wink. "Goodbye then," Dunedain said, hugging Bilbo and gripping his hand. "Goodbye...and don't be too long away this time," Bilbo said with feeling. "I won't be...and you can count on it," Dunedain said walking out the door.

It was hours later, and Bilbo still sat by Frodo's side watching him sleep. But at last, he sighed and woke. His eyes opened and he looked for a moment at the ceiling, as if he couldn't quite remember where he was. But then he turned his head and saw Bilbo sitting there in the chair. He smiled, and Bilbo took hold of his hand and kissed it. "Bilbo...I'm so glad you're back. Have I been asleep long?" "A few days now," said Bilbo as he ran a hand across Frodo's cheek. He was silent for a moment watching Bilbo with a small smile across his face. But then he spoke again, dreamily, "I had such a strange dream when I was asleep Bilbo...," "Oh?," asked Bilbo with interest. "Yes...I dreamt that I was tricked by sprites, and then someone came and rescued me. And then...for a while...I didn't know anything...and all I saw was dark. But then, I heard my father calling. He took my hand and brought me back from whereever I was. He came back to me, and it was the most wonderful feeling I'd known. I saw my mother there too, but it was like she wasn't able to say anything out loud. I saw her faintly, and she had such love coming from her to me." He was again silent for a while, but Bilbo said nothing. He wanted Frodo to see for himself.

"They said they were in a wonderful place where they could watch me always, and we would always be together...just like you said. But I thought you were gone, and told them that...but then you were there...and everything...just felt like it would be allright again." He turned and smiled again at Bilbo, who was still smiling even though there were forms of tears in his eyes. And Frodo continued with a sigh, "But then...I don't know what happened. I got so tired, and for a while I was lost. I couldn't tell where I was but it seemed dark and very cold and windy." He again stopped for a while, shuddering a little in rememberance, and Bilbo still said nothing. And when he began again, he sighed happily, and facing the ceiling again he said, "And then again, I heard them calling for me. But I couldn't wake for a while still. But when I did, we were all together. They hugged me and held me close to them for a while. I was in and out of sleep mostly, but every time I woke, they would be there with me. It was so wonderful...being there together again." He smiled again, and sighing, he once again turned to face Bilbo. "But the last time I was awake for some time...and they told me some things I didn't know...things about you mostly I think...I can't remember some of it...but it made me want to come and find you...knowing that I wouldn't be able to see them except in dreams. But you know something?" "What's that Frodo?" "I was glad...glad to be coming back to see you. To be able to be with you." He smiled and yawned a little sleepily, and then took a moment to stretch his limbs, which felt rather stiff. "Bilbo?" "Yes?" "Can we go home now?" Bilbo smiled amidst his tears, and held Frodo close to his heart. "My dear boy, I thought you'd never ask. Of course we can!" And Frodo held onto Bilbo tightly, knowing that he would be going with Bilbo to a new life...and a new adventure.

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