Originally written in 2005 and a sequel to The Worth of the Shire.
The Mathom-house was still and silent as Sam made his way with unerring footsteps through the dark building. He knew precisely where he was going; he had come here often over the years, when his duties as mayor kept him overnight in Michel Delving.
A bright shaft of moonlight fell upon Frodo’s mithril shirt, setting it aglow. Sam swayed as a sudden vision came to him: a moonlit bedchamber in Minas Tirith, and Frodo turning from the window, smiling at him and saying, “Help me with this, Sam?”
Blindly, Sam stretched out his hand, touching the cool metal, half expecting to feel the rise and fall of Frodo’s breast beneath it. He reached higher, seeking, but no soft skin or rapid pulse of blood met his questing fingers, only smooth polished wood.
For once, the reality brought him no pain.
With hands that trembled, as they had that long ago night, Sam removed the mithril shirt from its stand, and wrapped the shining mail tenderly in cloth.
The Road to the Sea was a ribbon of silver, unwinding before him. The stars seemed to dance above his head.
Sam urged his pony to a quicker pace.
He was going home.