Written for the LOTR Community "Lost and Found" challenge. For RiverOtter. A triple drabble.
It was past midnight by the time the party headed for the Grey Havens stopped for rest. The Elves did not require such rest, of course; but for the three mortals traveling with them it was necessary. Swiftly gathered bracken laid beneath the spreading limbs of a linden tree served as a bed for the three Hobbits. Frodo lay embraced by Bilbo, with Samwise Gamgee lying in guard at their feet. Elrond Eärendilion and Galadriel Artanis stood looking down upon their sleeping forms, seeing in the expression of Frodo Baggins the contentment he’d not truly known since he’d lost his innocence to Sauron’s Ring.
Galadriel murmured, “He is not the only mortal to make the journey, and Lord Samwise understands his decision. I believe that for the moment that is enough for him.”
Elrond gave a single nod of acknowledgment. “He can never have his innocence restored to him as he’d looked to know, but I pray we will see him once again find his peace and come to appreciate the benefits conferred upon him by what he has experienced.”
Galadriel examined Sam’s face with compassion. Tears were caught in the gardener’s lashes, although his own expression was now peaceful as he slept. “And in time this one will find again the treasure he willingly loses now. He will so miss his friend and Master; but he shall know fulfillment he could not have known were Frodo to remain here to endure continuing pain and grief.”
Bilbo opened one eye to look up at them. “Shh!” he whispered. “Let them sleep now.” With that he laid his head against Frodo’s shoulder protectively, and in a moment they could hear his soft snore. His own dear boy lay safe in his arms—what more could the old Hobbit wish to know?