Montage by AStarryNight

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Movieverse


"Montage"

A/N: I do not own any of the songs used in this fanfic, nor do I own anything oriented to LotR. Enjoy!

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Then I felt to the ground
Tasted ashes on my tongue
Thinking that only the dead
Are forever young

The air itself seemed to be roaring its fury, reverberating with the anger that had been set loose upon the wasted land as the end came. The Black Tower has fallen, and so had Sauron’s strength with it as his lifeline, his Precious, was lost in the fiery pit that had created it. Mount Orodruin stood in crumbling ruin, its mouth opened wide and belching its poisonous innards out onto the blackened land.

The One Ring had been destroyed, and Sauron had died with It, his essence scattered upon the Western winds.

‘It’s raining ash!’ Sam Gamgee thought, and then he shook himself, unsure if he was even fully aware or if his thoughts were running off with him into delirium. The awesome heat of the magma, its color so bright it made his eyes ache, was making him light-headed. He coughed, his throat so parched he thought it was cracking, and when he tried to breath in deeply it set him off on another round of hacking, this time much more violent than before. Ash was coating his mouth and tender throat, and desperately he brought the filthy sleeve of his ragged shirt to his mouth to try and filter out the dirt and the ash for a breath of fresher air.

“Sam?”

His master’s voice, hoarse and low, caught his attention immediately, and he turned to look at Frodo, who was lying beside him upon the rough stone of their temporary resting place. Reaching down, Sam gripped his master’s hands in his own, careful with the right one and the stub that was all that left of a finger, wanting to weep with the cruelty Frodo had had to face, even unto the very last.

“I’m here, Mr. Frodo,” Sam said, his voice just as worn as his master’s. He wasn’t sure if Frodo was lucid either, or if he was losing himself to the dizziness affecting them both.

So let mercy come and wash away what I’ve done

I’ll face myself to cross out what I’ve become

Erase myself and let go of what I’ve done

“Sam…” But before he could continue, Frodo’s body shook with coughing of his own as his body tried to rid itself of ash and fumes. It was a heady cough, but dry, with no phlegm to bring up with it. When finally the fit passed, he looked up at Sam again. “Sam, I need to… to beg your forgiveness.” His voice, strained as it was, broke for a second, and Sam, for one terrible instant, was flung back to a moment not long before where his master’s voice had been even weaker.

“I’m naked in the dark. There’s nothing… no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I can see Him with my waking eyes!”

Sam’s eyes burned with tears brought upon by the memory, of Frodo so utterly spent, dying, in his arms, blind to all but the Eye and the Ring. But he could not cry now—he had run out of tears from weeping as they had huddled together waiting for the end. Instead he swallowed, trying to work moisture into his mouth.

“For what, Mr. Frodo?”

His master looked at him with familiar bright blue eyes, and for the first time they were free of fear or anger or madness—although they were darkened with guilt.

“I… hurt you, Sam. I sent you away when I never should have. I allowed Smeagol to twist my mind and send you away—you, the one who has always been loyal! Please,” his voice was a whisper now, so quiet. A plea. “Forgive me.”

Sam couldn’t bear to allow those eyes to remain so guilt-riddled. He knew Frodo was looking for peace before death, for absolutions for his sins.

“There’s nothing to forgive,” he answered just as softly. “I blame Stinker, and the Ring—never you.” He had known that there could be no blame or resentment as soon as he found Frodo in the tower and his master had looked up at him as he lay shirtless and bound upon the filthy floor.

“Oh Sam, I’m so sorry, sorry for everything.”

 It had been the Ring’s madness that had caused him to send Sam away in the first place. It had been Gollum who had manipulated him. Perhaps Sam was too naïve to place any blame upon Frodo’s head, but he knew he couldn’t. He cared for his master, cherished him, loved him, and he supposed that was how love worked—by being there, and forgiving what crimes had been committed.

And perhaps Frodo sensed that, and knew that Sam had indeed felt no ill-will for what had before transpired, because his eyes closed in obvious relief and he exhaled softly, the tips of his mouth curving upwards in a smile.

“Thank you, Sam,” he whispered.

Sometimes I wish I could save you
And there're so many things that I want you to know
I won't give up till it's over
If it takes you forever I want you to know

 Sam shifted, shaking his head. “No need to thank me, Mr. Frodo.”

He realized that his master was looking at him with a widening smile, and it surprised him. Blinking the dust from his eyes, almost unaware of the roaring in the air, he frowned. “What’s wrong?”

But again Frodo surprised him—this time by laughing. Granted, it was a low, hoarse sound that again very nearly sent him into another fit of coughing, but it was a laugh nonetheless, and it made Sam’s heart soar hearing it. It had been so very long since either of them had even thought about doing such a thing.

“There’s nothing wrong, Sam!” Frodo finally said after he had fought off the coughing. “It just warms my heart to see that you have become your own master. You are a stubborn ass, indeed, but that is what got us here successfully. Without you, I would have long ago given up and died in the dust.”

Sam’s bleak mood returned with his master’s remark, and he looked around. The heat with as unbearable as ever, and he could see that more of their island was being worn away by the magma—they would soon be overcome. “It seems that all my stubbornness has been for naught, Mr. Frodo,” he answered. “The end’s going to be the same as before. Death.” He shook his head. “Mr. Gandalf was counting on me to see this through, and I did, but I can’t forgive myself for not saving you from all of this.”

Frodo frowned and struggled up into a sitting position—it seemed that his strained and aching muscles had stiffened as he lay, and it didn’t help that he had lost a copious amount of blood from his hand, which he held wrapped in his shirt. “No one could, Sam,” he answered softly. “It had to be done. You did your part. You saw this through. You never gave up.”

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

 “I just wish we could see Merry and Pip again,” Frodo said wistfully, and his gaze turned to the West, to the direction of the Shire, and Rivendell and, unknown to him, the remnants of the Black Gate, where the hosts of Rohan and Gondor were standing in awe at the ruin of Mordor.

“And Strider,” Sam agreed. “And Mr. Gimli and Mr. Legolas. Poor Mr. Boromir. He may have been corrupted by It but he should have lived to see this. It was what he wanted. Do you think he knows? About this, I mean?”

“Perhaps,” Frodo replied. “It may be that Gandalf has told him about it.”

“Dear Mr. Gandalf!” Sam sighed. “What I wouldn’t give to believe that he was still looking after us.”

He felt Frodo’s arms wrap around him like they had before, just after the Ring had been destroyed, as much for comfort as for comforting. He didn’t speak, but Sam didn’t need to hear words to know that his master agreed. He didn’t need to hear a goodbye either—it had already been said.

“I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee. Here at the end of all things.”

Ultimately, they were at the end just two friends who had each other—even if it was just to meet the end. They held each other, all forgiven, all forgotten, and drew indescribable comfort from the knowledge that even at the bitter end, when everything was in ruin, they were together and not alone.

~”And so it was that Gwaihir saw them with his keen far-seeing eyes, as down the wild wind he came, and daring the great peril of the skies he circled in the air: two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill, while the world shook under them, and gasped, and rivers of fire drew near. And even as he espied them and came swooping down, he saw them fall, worn out, or choked with fumes and heat, or stricken down by despair at last, hiding their eyes from death.

Side by side they lay; and down swept Gwaihir, and down came Landroval and Meneldor the swift; and in a dream, not knowing what fate had befallen them, the wanderers were lifted up and borne far away out of the darkness and the fire.”~

“The Field of Cormallen”, Return of the King

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A/N: I normally don't care for Frodo and Sam's relationship in the films, and I don't like how Frodo was written at all in them, but this was something that just wouldn't let me go. Hope you enjoyed!

 




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