Frodo lay motionless on the flet listening to the wind rustling through leaves, and gazing at the stars, which were shining like diamonds against a mantle of black sky. He could hear the sounds of his companions sleeping; Sam was gently snoring by his side.
Two elves, hooded in grey cloaks, sat at the edge of the flet speaking to each other softly. Frodo lay there trying to ease the pain and discomfort on his side. The wound from the orc-chieftain’s sword was beginning to cause him pain again. The Athelas that Aragorn had bathed it with had helped for a while, but he found himself growing stiff.
He looked at Sam, Merry and Pippin and wished that he could find sleep as easily as they had. He smiled remembering the fuss Pippin made about never being able to sleep among the treetops, “No Hobbit from the shire in his right mind would sleep at such a height” Pippin had said, yet here he was sleeping as peacefully as a child in his own bed.
Frodo was glad when it night approached, it was the one time of the day that he was left to be alone with his thoughts. Most of the day he was cared for by others and everyone constantly watched do see how he was doing, especially Sam. He loved Sam greatly, but wished that Sam would look after himself as well as he watched over Frodo.
He missed the Shire and Bag End and most of all his privacy, he was to have his quiet nights.
Frodo lay back and rested his left hand under his head. His heart ached, he missed Gandalf already, and did not know how it was possible to go on without him. He had been Frodo's strength and his protector.
Frodo's mind wandered back to the events on the bridge of Khazad-Dúm It was the first time in all the years Frodo knew the gentle wizard that he ever saw the power he possessed. Frodo watched in horror from the opposite side of the bridge as Gandalf faced the Balrog.
"You Cannot pass!" Gandalf shouted sternly
"Gandalf!" Frodo shouted, wondering why Aragorn and Boromir did not help him.
"I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udún. “
The Balrog made no answer, the fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew, and it stepped forward slowly onto the bridge, and suddenly drew itself up to a great height. Its wings spread from wall to wall, but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom. From out of the shadow a read sword leaped flaming; Glamdring glittered white in answer. There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then stood still.
"Go back to the shadow!" cried Gandalf rising his sword and his staff high above his head. "You Shall not pass!"
Crying aloud he smote the bridge in front of him, there was thunderous clash and a blinding white light. The Balrog stepped back for a moment, then charged headlong onto the bridge. The bridge broke and cracked at his feet, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness. With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled around Gandalf's knees dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell and was dragged to the brink, where he clung for a moment.
"Gandalf!" screamed Frodo, and without thinking lunged toward the bridge in an effort to save the wizard. Boromir screamed "No!" And with great effort grabbed hold of Frodo and would not let him go. Frodo struggled and grasped Brormir's arm. Frodo looked at Gandalf his heart seized in terror. For a moment Frodo thought he would be alright, Gandalf swing your leg over. You can do it, get up! Gandalf returned Frodo's gaze, what was it Frodo saw in his eyes? Fear? No, acceptance! It seemed Frodo knew what was going to come next but it was too horrible to imagine. Gandalf held on a moment longer looking at Frodo, there was so much to say and no time to say it all he could manage to say was "Fly you fools!"
Gandalf released his grip on the stone ledge and slipped silently into the black abyss.
"Nooooooo!" screamed Frodo in horror, trying to turn away from Boromir's grasp. But Boromir picked him up and ran for the stairs calling for Aragorn as he ran.
When they reached the outside the light was blinding compared to the darkness of the mines.
"let me go!" cried Frodo. Boromir set him down and Frodo began to walk away. He felt that he had to get away! Staggering along the rough rocky terrain, he could hear the sobs of his companions behind him. He was feeling as if the very breath had been knocked out of him, and as if his heart had been ripped from his chest. He could hear Aragorn calling for him.
Frodo kept walking.
Frodo turned toward the sound of Aragon's voice, a single tear rolling down his cheek. His grief was all consuming. He wanted to scream, How was he expected to go on?
This was too much, too great a loss! Who would lead them now?
Frodo opened his eyes, The Elves were gone and he was still the only one awake. His heart was aching he began to think about Gandalf and what the Wizard had meant to him. He was more than a friend, he had become a father figure to him. Frodo loved him very much and he didn’t think he had ever told him. Now it was too late, the wizard would never know Frodo’s true feelings for him.
Frodo was Despaired at his loss. It seemed to Frodo that attachments to others were bought at a very steep price. It occurred to him that everyone he had every loved had been taken from him. His Mother and Father, Gandalf, even Bilbo had left him. Frodo was unsure that he would ever see Bilbo again and that saddened him greatly. He looked at Sam, Merry and Pippin, “at least I have them” he thought to himself.
A feeling of danger began to well up in Frodo’s heart. He felt that he was endangering the lives of his friends just by being with them. Isn’t that why Gandalf died? Hadn’t Frodo been the one who made the decision to go into Moria? He had just been so cold, the avalanche was too much. He didn’t think he could bear any more snow. Then he looked at Merry and Pippin and Sam it seemed as if they would freeze. He had to choose Moria, didn’t he? Maybe not, maybe Gandalf’s death was his fault. Oh what he wouldn’t give for the chance to make that decision again. But alas all was lost, Gandalf was gone forever and it had been his fault.
“Gandalf, I am so sorry, Please forgive me!” Frodo cried, buried his face in his hands and began to sob quietly. His heart breaking within him, his grief was inconsolable!
Frodo felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a soft voice asking
“Are you alright Frodo.” Frodo looked up fully expecting to see Sam sitting beside him, but it was Pippin.
“I’m sorry Pip, I didn’t mean to wake anyone up he said wiping the tears from his face with his sleeve. “You can go back to sleep. Yes, I’ll be alright.”
Pippin searched Frodo’s face for an answer for he didn’t believe his cousin, he knew Frodo was not okay. He moved closer to Frodo and placed his arm around the older hobbits shoulder.
“it’s okay Frodo, you can cry. I’ll listen if you want to talk.”
Frodo lay his head against Pippins shoulder and began to cry. They sat there saying nothing, listening to the wind rustling through the treetops. After a long time Pippin spoke up.
“You know it’s not your fault Frodo.” Frodo looked at Pippin with a confused look on his face. “Gandalf’s death was not your fault.” Continued Pippin. “I would have made the same decision to go through the mines. We had no other choice, I think that everyone would have made the same choice given the chance. Don’t give up hope Frodo, you are the tie that binds us all together. If it weren’t for your spirit we all would have given up a long time ago! Remember that even the wise cannot see all ends, I believe there is a purpose for everything. And some day we shall see the greater purpose of Gandalf. And yes, he loved you greatly too, and I am sure he knew of your love for him.”
Frodo drew back and looked at Pippin in astonishment. “Who are you, and what have you done with my cousin Pippin.” Said Frodo with a smile.
Pippin smiled back, “I am not as silly and stupid as you all think. I see and hear a great many things Master Frodo when you all think I am not paying attention.” Just don’t tell Merry for he is my main source of most information. I don’t want him thinking I know so much, It’s bound to get back to my father and that would make for so much responsibility,” replied Pippin with a Twinkle in his eye.
Frodo laughed, “Why Master Peregrin Took I do believe that you are going to make a wonderful Thain someday, and don’t worry you’re secret is safe with me. And we all know how good I am at keeping secrets.” The two Hobbits embraced and sat there to greet the sunrise that was now beginning the shine through the trees. At that moment Frodo knew that he had to figure out a way to leave the fellowship. If he stayed with them all their lives would be in danger. From that day forward Frodo looked for an opening to depart. As the days progressed Pippin watched Frodo ever closer as he saw his cousin become quieter and more withdrawn. He wanted to help Frodo but didn’t know what to do. Sam was always with him and didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary, maybe pippin was overacting. But ever since the night on the Flet Pippin felt that his cousin had begun to withdraw emotionally. Pippin was worried and vowed to talk to Aragorn about it just as soon as they were done with these blasted boats. Oh how nervous they made him and how pippin wished that Merry had taught him to swim!