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Antane's Anthology  by Antane

The Never-Ending Argument

Sometime after Frodo and Sam accept the Gift...

If Frodo and Sam thought the Undying Lands were full of splendor, light and healing peace, it was nothing compared to being in the very Presence of the One. And if time seemed to be slow or even almost non-existent in the Elven lands and in the West far beyond them, it was still not to be compared with true timelessness. Yet while in time, there had been a small matter between the two hobbits that had not been settled by the time of their deaths, and so they still argued about it from time to time in the time-honored manner they had adopted more than a century before when they had first tried to settle it.

The shining soul that Frodo had become turned to his most beloved friend and brother. I still believe you are the sweetest, most heroic and loving of all hobbits to ever live, my Sam, or even will ever live. That last was a new part to the argument, but being in eternity gave the elder a new perspective.

Sam was not put off. And I so still believe the same about you, my dearest master and brother.

Frodo brought up another ally, one he had not often been able to bring to bear, but now could. What about you, Rose, wouldnít you agree me?

Rose smiled. Of course, Mr. Frodo.

And you, Elanor? And Frodo-lad? And...

All of Samís children were addressed in turn and all agreed with smiles and laughter. Frodo turned to his Sam, looking quite pleased with himself. Well, my Sam, you canít gainsay all these votes in your favor, can you?

Sam was not at all convinced. I still donít believe I am any better than you, me dear. You canít hardly use me own family as reasons to think you are right.

I agree with Iorhael, came a new Voice.

If a soul graced to stand in the Presence could look smugly triumphant, Frodoís did, as he was quite convinced that at long last, he had finally won the argument. There you see, my Sam, even the Creator Himself agrees with me and you canít argue with Him!

Sam was indeed at a bit of a loss at that, but then the Voice spoke again, gently amused.

I also agree with Panthael.

If Frodoís mouth could have fallen to the ground, it would have. His brotherís soul shone brighter than ever to be so vindicated in his thinking.

Frodo, however, was not about to accept defeat. He turned to another beings beside him. Help me, Strider! Tell Sam heís the best hobbit there ever was so we donít spend all eternity arguing about this.

The king smiled. Iím sorry, Frodo, but you are quite right, you canít trump the One, and He has agreed with Sam.

But He agreed with me first!

Iím afraid you two are quite an impasse, arenít you? came another voice that tried to show concern, but was too amused to be entirely convincing.

If Frodo could stamped his foot in frustration or looked cross, he would have. You arenít helping, Uncle.

He looked around for someone else to help him. He looked around for someone else to help him. He knew already, or guessed well enough, what the Queen would say, and had his suspicious confirmed when she smiled at him. He didn't even bother asking.

Sorry, laddie, came yet another voice, I think you are both right as well.

There was a sigh or what could have been one. Humph! You arenít helping either, Gimli!

Frodo looked around for another ally. He knew he couldnít ask his parents or Merry and Pippin, who, of course, would vote for him, so he didnít even bother asking those beloved souls. He found another though that he thought could be more impartial. Boromir! What say you?

The man thought for a bit, earnestly wanting to cast a fair vote. Frodo certainly could be the best because of all he had done in service to Middle-earth in bearing the Ring. Right glad the two had been to see each other again, whole and healed and at peace. But they wouldnít have been able to do that without Samís steadfast love and support. An impasse indeed and one the warrior could not see himself through. Iím sorry, Frodo, but I must agree with the One.

Was that a groan? Frodo cast about desperately. Faramir!

Iím sorry as well, dear friend, for I must agree with my king and my brother.

All those gathered could have sworn they heard a frustrated scream, if such were possible. But He chose both of us!

Exactly, my lad, came Gandalfís amused voice. You are both the sweetest and most loving hobbits to have lived, and Iím afraid you are both going to have to settle for winning.

Frodo would have thrown up his hands if he could have. The others were smiling at him, Sam most of all. This isnít over! he insisted.

Of course not, we have eternity to settle it.

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