A Matter of Perspective by Dreamflower

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“Bilbo, how could you do that to them?” There was more than a hint of anger in Frodo’s voice.

“Do what to whom, my lad?” although the old hobbit already had a fair idea of what his cousin was talking about.

“Talk Lord Elrond into sending Merry and Pippin along on this--this--this expedition!”

“First of all, I did not *talk* him into anything. I am the senior family member present here, and he *asked* for my opinion, as well as that of Gandalf.” Bilbo spoke firmly, and Frodo wilted a bit under the scorn in his tone.

“I’m sorry, Uncle Bilbo. I did not mean to be impertinent. But I’m sure you could have dissuaded him from such a thing.”

“Probably. But would that have been wise? Why did you allow them to come along in the first place?”

Frodo flushed. “Because they made it clear that short of my tying them up and leaving them bound in Crickhollow, they would follow at my heels.”

“And what makes you think anything has changed now?”

“Because *now* the journey is even more dire than we had supposed, and far more deadly!”

“Let’s put this in different terms Frodo. What if the Council had accepted *my* offer?”

Frodo’s eyes grew wide. For one brief second, he had almost feared they would.

“Would you have stayed here, or returned to the Shire?”

“Of course…not…” his voice trailed off uncertainly. Chagrined, he looked at Bilbo, whose eyes twinkled gently.

“You see, lad? That’s what family is about. They would not abandon you for anything, and if you arranged for them to be forcefully left behind, they would never get over it.”

He sighed, and nodded. “I know. But I worry about them.”

“As do I. And as I will worry about all of you. Please, lad, stay safe.”

“Oh, Bilbo!” And Frodo threw himself into his older cousin’s embrace.

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