Written for the LOTR Community "Pairs" challenge. For AnnMarwalk for her birthday. Beta by RiverOtter. A true drabble.
The Hobbits of the Shire stared in fascination. Long had they said “When the King returns” and meant Never! But today King and Queen stood upon the Brandywine Bridge and gave honor to the Mayor, the Master, and the Thain and their Ladies, and laughed at Pippin Took’s sallies, nodded at Sam Gamgee’s aphorisms, and spoke of future plans with Merry Brandybuck. When the King lifted a glass of wine in honor of Frodo Baggins, though, all were surprised to see tears in his eyes, and grief on the Queen’s face.
But he cared not for the Shire, they thought.