Of Frodo and Gilbo
I' Herule Periannath
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Note: Names (except for Gilbo) inventions of the great mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings. I ask that you not take any of this material without my consent.
The Fellowship had finally neared the Bridge of Khazad-dum, the Balrog hot on their heels. Gilbo Proudfoot stumbled after Frodo as the fled forth. Frodo looked back at her, fear and urgency in his eyes.
"Gilbo! Make haste! Run!"
Gilbo grimaced painfully. "Frodo, I can't!"
Frodo glanced ahead, looked back, and stretched his travel-worn hand out to her. "Yes, you can! Gilbo, take my hand!"
Lunging forward, Gilbo intertwined her fingers with his. Frodo turned forward again and pulled Gilbo forth, helping her along.
Gandalf, who was at the head of their Company, stopped them in front of the Bridge. "Go single file, or else you shall fall and perish!"
Frodo looked nervously at Gilbo and tried to smile reassuringly. He patted her hand gently. "Go ahead of me." Gilbo shook her head. "Oh, come on now," Frodo tried to sound comforting as he patted her hand a second time. "You'll be fine." He smiled, rubbed her back affectionately, and sent her forward onto the Bridge.
Gandalf came up behind, like a shepherd after his flock. The Balrog came upon them in a roaring torrent of rage and flames. It stepped forth onto the Bridge, as if challenging Gandalf.
"I AM A SERVANT OF THE SECRET FIRE!" Gandalf bellowed to the horrid creature. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" And with that, he slammed his staff upon the stones, which gave way instantly beneath. The Balrog, with one final shriek, fell into the abyss below. It released the flaming sword from its left hand, but took the whip down with it. In a last effort to destroy his bane, he lashed out with the whip, catching Gandalf round the ankles, dragging him down. Gandalf clutched in vain to what was left of the Bridge of Khazad-dum. With a final effort, he said to the Company, "Fly, fools!" And with that, he released his white-knuckle grip on the stones and fell to his doom.
Frodo's eyes went wide in horror and despair. He made for the edge of the Bridge, trying to follow after his beloved friend and mentor, but Aragorn held him back with great difficulty. Aragorn swung him around towards the exit, trying his best to herd the distressed hobbits out. Gilbo stood, dumbstruck, until Aragorn finally persuaded her to move. "Fly! Fly! The orcs are upon us!"
The Fellowship sat in disbelief outside of Moria. Merry sat trying to calm Pippin down, while trying to staunch his own tears. Sam sat near by, head in his hands as his loud, snuffling sobs rent the air. Gimli sat upon a rock, shoulders quaking and head hung. Aragorn looked out over Dimril Dale as Boromir looked back to Moria, shaking his head sadly. Legolas walked aimlessly about, kicking absent-mindedly at rocks and plucking the string on his bow. Gilbo's head was buried in Frodo's shirt, her tears flowing openly down his chest. He had his arms wrapped tightly around her, his cheek resting on top of her head. Frodo's tears fell onto Gilbo's sandy brown hair. "Sshh, sshh," he purred comfortingly, smoothing her hair back. "C-crying won't bring him back."
Gilbo gave a loud sniff and lifted her red, tear-stained face. "Y-you don't h-have any r-room to talk." Gilbo looked upon Frodo's lean face. His skin was darker, from dirt or sun, or both, she did not know, and was blotchy and tear-stained. His dark hair curled untidily about neck and pointed ears. A rim of tears settled in the bottom lids of his brilliant blue eyes. His face creased into a small smile as he pulled her closer.
Aragorn turned and looked at them, smiling sadly. He then turned back to staring across the Dimril Dale and addressed Boromir. "The little halfling doesn't know what she's getting into. Love is a perilous thing."
Boromir looked upon the two hobbits embracing each other. "How can you tell that it is love? Maybe she is just looking for comfort after what happened."
"Boromir, Boromir," Aragorn chuckled softly, "I know love when I see it, and that is what is what the both of them are feeling."
Boromir shrugged. "I will take your word. I have not known love for a long time. I have almost forgotten what it is like."
Aragorn stared wistfully out across the Dale, thoughts of Arwen flooding his mind. He suddenly seemed to come to his senses. "We must go. The orcs will be upon us soon." He began to step down the rocky incline.
"Give them time. Let them rest! They have faced more perils and sadness than anyone should in such short a time! Let them recover!"
"When we get further from Moria," Aragorn said dismissively.
"I will hear no more of it, Boromir. I must now take on the responsibility of leading this Company." A horrible, rending screech came suddenly from behind. "Come! We must go!" With that, he urged the Company down the rocky slope to the vale below.
The rest, Dwarf and Elf, followed solemnly with out question, but the five hobbits lagged reluctantly behind. "What is it? Why do you not come, halflings?" Aragorn asked, urgency in his voice. "The orcs will be on us soon, and you will surely be killed and your persons plundered if you do not hasten with us."
With muttered apologies as they passed Aragorn, the hobbits obediently followed, picking their way down the rocky hillside, heads bowed in sadness and shame. As they neared the bottom of the hill, the orc cries and screams were shrill in their ears. Aragorn looked around in search of some cover. "Quickly, the trees! Climb up!" The hobbits, who were short and not as strong of limb or sure of foot, had difficulty scaling the trees, but soon were safely in the middle branches.
Gilbo looked down. And seeing as how hobbits are notorious for their discomfort with high places, Gilbo soon felt nauseous and dizzy. Frodo looked across at Gilbo as her face turned pale. "Just don't look down, and you'll be fine."
"This is horrible," Gilbo groaned. "I can't abide heights. Ugh." Gilbo leaned her head back on a branch and gazed up into the branches of tree. There was a pleasant warm breeze, accompanied by a dry, relaxing temperature. The sky was a bright blue, and stars were beginning to shine and peak out of the sky.
Frodo climbed cat-like onto the branch above Gilbo's head. Gilbo gave a sigh of contentment. "You know," she said, "you remind me of someone, or something, but I can't put my finger on it."
"Really?" Frodo smiled. "I thought I just looked like a hobbit. A regular, ordinary hobbit."
Gilbo squinted in the failing light. Frodo's face was lean and strong looking for a hobbit, as was the rest of him. He was taller than most hobbits, and his smile seemed to have some kind of enchanting property that wasn't possessed by most hobbits. His eyes were a bright blue and consoling. Frodo seemed more refined than any hobbits Gilbo had ever known also. She sighed contentedly again. "I know what you remind me of. An Elf. You're not like most hobbits. You're so…well, I don't really know, but whatever it is about you, I like it."
Frodo lowered himself back beside Gilbo. "Thank you." And with that he wrapped his arm about her shoulders and pressed her head gently onto his shoulder. Gilbo took one last look at him before settling wearily into slumber. The gentle warm breeze of spring ruffled his hair, and the budding stars glowed dimly on his face, making him seem even more Elvish.
Gilbo blinked drowsily. The stars had now come out fully and the moon had risen. The air was still warm and gentle. She looked up. Two pale green orbs seemed to glow high in the tree above her. Nervously, she placed a hand on Frodo's shoulder to wake him, but he was already awake, his arm still round her shoulders.
"Frodo, Frodo, there's something up there. I…"
"Sshh. I know. Just don't let him know you know he's there. Go back to sleep."
"But I'm not tired."
"Then just sit here with me, and we can talk."
Gilbo scooted closer to Frodo and sighed. "I miss the Shire. It's beautiful on nights like this. I would sit outside late into the night with nothing but a pipe, a book, and the light of the moon and stars and stay there for hours. And it would seem such a pity when the morning came, because the night seemed so peaceful. There was no one else to be bothered with-not that you're a bother-and there wasn't any noise or unpleasant heat. The wind carried the scent of basil and lilacs and…" Gilbo wiped a tear away quickly at the memory of home.
Frodo reached over and stroked her cheek delicately with his knuckles and laid his cool cheek on her forehead. "I miss it too."