…And so Suki found them hours later, when she returned, crawling and creeping down the path out of the gloom ahead. Sam sat propped against the stone, his head dropping sideways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo’s head, drowned in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam’s brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his master’s breast. Peace was in both their faces.
Suki looked at them. A strange expression passed over her lean hungry face. The gleam faded from her eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist her, and she turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking her head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then she came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously she touched Frodo’s knee — but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen her, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried her far beyond her time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo’s side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other was using his small voice.
“I will take the cat,” he said.
(happy anniversary, babe!)