Disclaimers: I do not own The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings and other Middle-earth works belong to J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers, Turbine and Standing Stones Games. All other canon material belongs to their respected owners. All original material—original characters, original locations, etc.—belongs to me, the authoress of this fanfiction story.

Summary: Analise Grimsby was living her own life. It wasn't until the moment ended, where she found herself in Middle-earth. On her journey, she follows Frodo Baggins, who may not be all that he appears. A short story fanfic. Alternate Universe. Challenge: October Fanfics 2020.

Inspiration for Fanfic: The mirror scene is inspired by a brief story found in the comments section, for Derek Fletcher's song, "Dance of the Shadows".

Inspiration Theme Music for Fanfic: Lindsey Stirling's song, "Between Twilight". Peter Gundry's songs, "The Vampire Masquerade" and "The Weirdos Waltz". Lucas King's song, "Ghost Waltz".

Warning! This chapter is Rated M for sensual content.

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Happy October everyone! :)

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~1~

Analise worked on her term paper. She was on her way to getting her Masters in Creative Writing. This term paper must be good. Otherwise, what else was she fighting for?

She sighed, observing the landscape. It was so green. So beautiful. For a moment, she saw a flickering, bright golden light. Then the landscape changed to present her with a hilly landscape and a tree nestled on top of a hobbit hole with a green front door.

It was so beautiful. She wondered if she could stay here. Her term paper forgotten, Analise set her pencil down, observing the landscape again.

She wore a pretty white and blue dress, and while her hair was brunette, blonde highlights were naturally woven into the hair. She had pale skin, fair features, and bright blue eyes. It was a wonder she made it here to this land. Her brown boots climbed all the way up to her knees, making the leather stand out.

She looked up at a hobbit figure as he inched closer to her. He had bright blue eyes. His hair was soft, thick, curly, and dark brown, while his skin was lighter-than-usual, due to the Fallohide blood on his mother's side. His features were elvish, while his ears were pointy. He was donned in a white long-sleeved dress shirt, while he wore tan suspenders, and brown knee breeches. His feet were covered in dark brown hairs, making him seem more hobbitish.

She knew this hobbit, even as she sat down at the picnic table, while he sat down next to her.

"Hullo," the hobbit man said, impressing her already. "What's your name, miss?"

"Analise," Analise said in introduction.

"Hmm. No last name?" the hobbit man asked.

"Grimsby. My last name is Grimsby," Analise stated, counting the ways.

"Hmm. What brings you here, Analise?" the hobbit man asked, curiously.

"I'm studying for a test. This term paper will give me good grades," Analise said, interested in her term paper now.

The hobbit man chuckled, smiling at her, "I see."

Analise looked up, asking, "So, what brings you here, Frodo Baggins? It is Frodo Baggins?"

The hobbit man chuckled, answering her, "It is. My reputation proceeds me." Frodo sighed, standing up, "Well, we must be going. I'm afraid that'll have to stay."

"What?" Analise looked again. The term paper was gone and so was the picnic table. All that remained was a brown wooden bench, which she sat on while Frodo extended a hand to her.

"I'm afraid we must go. It's time," Frodo said, keeping his hand extended to her. "Come on, Analise. I think it's time for you to see your homeland, for where we're going," he smirked, "you'll love it."

Analise took his hand, not waiting to see what was around the corner. "Okay, if you say so. But I don't…" she gasped in wonder. Before her stood a ballroom with dancing girls dressed up in red and yellow ballgowns. The men wore white and black tuxedos. It was a dance she was familiar with and unfamiliar with.

Analise looked at Frodo, finding he was dressed in a white dress shirt, complete with its own dark purple jacket and lilac knee breeches. Frodo smiled, right as Analise gasped at the sight of her yellow ballgown, resembling Belle's ballgown from the animated movie, "Beauty and the Beast". She was amazed she could fit into this dress at all!

Analise checked her hair, finding there were curls in it, as well as it was pulled back and tied up in a white bow.

She looked at Frodo, gasping, "I don't know how to dance. I mean… it's a bit much."

"Then follow my lead," Frodo said, leading her out onto the ballroom.

Analise had seconds to figure out there was something amiss. Before, she was outside. Now, she was inside a castle with wide glass windows and many pillars. A stone balcony stood atop the ballroom's second floor.

A wave of a hand sent shockwaves up Analise's spine. She turned around, spotting a ghost couple dancing to the tune, waltzing as they went. Another hand passed through Analise's arm. She freaked out at the way the bright gold light made her arm turn white, as if with cold. She turned to Frodo, finding a hand passed through his head.

No! No, it couldn't be!

"Frodo, are—are we dead?" Analise asked, cautious.

Frodo nodded. "We are." Analise gasped. How could that be? Frodo looked at her with a smirk, telling her, "But not to worry. These things will pass with time. Soon, we will return to the mortal world, alive and well."

Analise sighed. Good. She feared the worst.

"Frodo, how did we die? I mean, of course, you're a fictional character. You cannot die," Analise asked.

"Hm hm. It is true. I am quite the character. But yes, this is how I died. Some random person gets in my way with the carriage. Lo and behold! I pass away seconds later. I was only twelve years old, or so the story goes," Frodo said with a warm chuckle.

Analise didn't believe him.

Frodo eyed her, suspiciously, saying, "Oh right! How I died. Well, then I was sixteen years old and trapped in Barad-dur. You could say that I died there by accident, or else Sauron took hold of me." He sighed, placing his hand against Analise's shoulder. "Here's the thing: we characters tend to die a lot, and often we come back to our favorite spots, to be with our beloved writers and our love interests. Sometimes our love interest is a writer, such as you. You want that creative writing degree, before you died on the street by a semi. Is that not correct?"

Analise gasped. How did he know?

Frodo waved his hands in the air, in an attempt to calm her. "Not to worry. I remember you walking down the street when it happened. It's your dream to be a creative writer with that Master's degree, right?"

Analise stood there, confused. What? How did he know? Did he know she was pursuing this, right before her death? He must have. How else would they be here?

Frodo smirked, laughing. "Ah, not to worry. You're safe with me. Frodo Baggins, at your service." He extended his hand to her, hoping she would take it.

She eventually did, recomposing herself moments later. "Analise Grimsby, how good to meet you."

Frodo patted her shoulder, getting a whiff of her scent. He smirked, laughing as he said, "Well, well, my dear, your scent smells divine. Shall we proceed to the dance floor?"

Analise looked around. They were dead. So, why not? She looked at him again, nodding. "Of course, we shall. I can't wait to dance more with you."

Frodo smirked, delighted as he moved her out onto the dance floor.

.oOo.

~2~

Frodo held onto one of her hands, while his other hand pressed against her back. He pulled her in fast, moving with her as they danced on the dance floor.

"I must say, you are beautiful." Frodo took in another whiff of her scent. "Mm. So divine."

"I—I told you before, I—I can't dance," Analise said, feeling betrayed.

The dance floor was crowded with ghosts, waltzing to the beat. Analise couldn't help but stare at her ghostly friends and newcomers, half of them her family members.

She looked again at Frodo, as he gazed directly at her. Something about this place felt off.

"I'm sorry. I can't—" Analise said, backing away. She ran away from Frodo, searching for some way as to get out of this mess. There wasn't any way out. She kept running, surprised the dance floor stretched on for ages. There was no end! She ran until the building collapsed and the world spun.

She collapsed, finding the ballroom in shambles. She looked this way, checking to make sure she was alone. She wasn't alone. She looked up at Frodo, as he stayed there with her.

She couldn't believe what happened next: the building repaired itself. All the ghostly guests were staring at her, hardly believing what they saw. She wrecked the building with her running. Or else, her frantic mind couldn't comprehend what was happening. That was the reason the building collapsed? She hardly wondered that as Frodo made his way towards her, kneeling before her with such intensity.

"Do you want to dance? I know this is a shock, but you are dead," Frodo said, extending his hand to her.

She was hesitant. "No—Nooo! No, you can't make me!" She didn't know what to do. Her legs were planted to the dance floor. She rested her arms and her head against the marble brown stone floor, crying. She didn't want to be here.

She relaxed the moment Frodo placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I know this is hard. You are dead and we are here, celebrating your loss. If you will please get up, then we can celebrate. You'll be with me. You may even head back to my world. It is your dream to see and hear me, isn't it?" The way he smiled at her made her smile.

"The way you wanted to touch me, to feel me," Frodo said, wrapping his arms around her waist and stomach, holding onto her and not letting her go. She caught a whiff of his scent, strong, alerting her senses as she fell into his embrace. "Feel me! Be with me! I can make you into a queen, the queen that you need. Hmm? What do you say? Be with me?"

Analise looked at the dance floor, petrified and lost. She looked around, facing him as she said, "Will we be dancing?"

Frodo chuckled, "Always."

"Then let's make this count," Analise said, as Frodo helped her to her feet.

Frodo smirked, taking her back to the dance floor, where they waltzed. "I must say. You dance pretty well for a ghost."

Analise smiled. "So, do you." She was welcomed by a kiss, thanks to Frodo kissing her. The kiss was sweet, tender, making her blush. She wanted more. She wanted to be with him, to stay in this moment.

Sadly, she didn't know when this moment would pass. A tear streaked her face. The sounds of the dead were around her, humming a chorus like she wouldn't believe. She could see the choir dressed in hooded cloaks, black and blue, as they sang their ghostly tune.

She looked around again at Frodo, as he took her in, kissing her on the lips a second time. She loved his kisses. She didn't want them to stop. And they didn't stop, for she fell into his embrace, watching him as they danced with the other spirits in the room, not stopping and not wanting to stop.

She looked up at the sound of another tune. A siren sang her song, breaking the trance. The other spirits heard it, too, enthralled. They began their hum in tune with the siren's sound. She couldn't believe what the spirits were doing. Was this a dream? Or was it a reality?

She looked at Frodo as he kissed her a third time. She was surprised they were still dancing. For a moment, she felt Frodo's hand moved down her arm. Shockwaves filled her brain as her heart raced. She felt his heart race, too, beating in tune with hers.

She moaned, not wanting his kissing to stop, even as he kissed the side of her neck. She opened her eyes, surprised to find her hand holding onto his soft, thick, curly, dark brown hair. It was true! His hair was so soft, it smelled like bark. But then, maybe Frodo did die while he was outside. So, maybe that explained the bark scent.

"Is that bark?" She asked, getting his attention.

Frodo leaned back, saying, "Yes, it is." He moved again for the side of her neck, kissing her as she embraced him fondly. She hadn't a clue they were inside a bedroom—Frodo's bedroom—until she discovered they had levitated and moved there.

Frodo propelled her onto the bed, where he kissed her knee with such passion. She moaned again, not wanting this moment to end. But he did stop, the moment he moved her dress down to the floor. Her heart raced, each second a never-ending wave. Why did he stop?

"Why did you stop? It was beautiful," Analise said, applauding him for his efforts.

"Eh. Hmm. It wouldn't feel right," Frodo said, standing up, extending his hand down to her. She had no idea she was sitting on his soft, cushioned, light brown bed stool. Floral designs were on the front of the bed stool's cushion. Oh, how she wanted this to be real! She must have dreamt it! She couldn't conceive how such a place existed! Was there no other way to tell if it was real?

She looked at his hand with hesitation. What should she do? Should she take it or should she go about her day?

"Come with me," Frodo said, keeping his hand steady. "It's all right. This is your death day. It's mine, too. We're celebrating our death day together. How about it? Will you dance with me?"

Analise looked at his hand in wonder. She didn't understand what happened, or how they were close to making out. But she took his hand, knowing she was safe.

Frodo smiled, grateful for this. "Good. Then let us proceed to the dance floor, where we are welcomed by our friends and families."

"I can't wait. Lead the way," Analise said, as they made their way out of Frodo's bedroom.

.

Analise followed Frodo out to the dance floor. Her family and friends were there, as was Frodo's family and friends. Their friends and family members that were present were long gone but far away. Analise smiled. Some part of her knew she fell in love with ghost stories, but to have Frodo as a ghost made her dreams come true.

She had fallen in love with him, since she first watched "The Lord of the Rings" movies. To hear that Frodo died more than once sent a chill up her spine. It was something she couldn't ignore.

She turned towards a table, covered with white, grey, and black cloth. Before them was a five-tiered white cake, decked in buttermilk frosting. She turned to Frodo, giddy. It was as if the child in her didn't really die, if only she could admit that. Some part of her wanted to be here.

She smiled, forgetting her past life, forgetting the old world that fell away from her. This was where she wanted to be.

"Frodo, let's have some cake!" Analise cried, dragging Frodo over to the table.

"No, Analise," Frodo said, warning. "That cake is for the living. I wouldn't touch it."

"Why not?" Analise asked, picking up a paper plate with blue lines wrapped around the edges. On the paper plate was the cake with a marble layer on the inside. The marble pound cake was baked with chocolate and vanilla swirls on the inside. She placed her plastic fork in her piece of cake, munching down on it in a hurry. "Mm! Oh, this is divine!" She took another bite, loving the pound cake and the buttermilk frosting's creamy texture. The frosted red rose tasted so good. Oh, she wanted more.

She finished her piece of cake, diving in for a second piece. She couldn't believe how starved she was.

She looked at Frodo, seeing the horrified expression on his face. "What?"

"Analise, your turning white," Frodo said, pointing to her flaky skin. "I'm losing you! Analise!" He grabbed her, right as she collapsed. There was something in the cake that made her feel alive. She looked at Frodo, tears filling his eyes. She caressed his face, telling him:

"Don't forget me," Analise said, feeling life resurge her.

Frodo shook his head, "I won't. I promise. Analise, wake up! Analise!"

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Analise awoke inside a hospital room. Her eyes opened, her breathing irregular. She tried to calm down, trying to remember all that happened to her. She remembered the car crash and how she was thrown onto the ground in a heap. She recalled the ambulance picking her up, taking her to the Charity Hospital in New York City.

That was all she could remember. As far as the dream she recalled… it was too good to be true. She was with Frodo. They were… they were… dead! No, she couldn't have died. Did she die? And what of Frodo? Where was he?

"Relax. You're awake. You're alive," her nurse stated, dressed in blue work clothes. "You've been asleep for two days. You slept well. The doctor got to work on you. Nothing's broken, thankfully. Just bruised. You hit your head pretty hard. We feared the worst."

Analise huffed. She sighed, relaxing as she felt an invisible arm holding her waist. She looked around; sure, she saw a ghost. Or maybe it was nothing. It sure felt like Frodo's arm wrapped around her. But no. Frodo was a character. A fictional character. There was no way he could exist! Or could he? This world was strange. Maybe she was, too.

"What day is it?" Analise asked the nurse.

"It's Halloween," the nurse stated. "No, you didn't miss anything, but it is early. You should be fine. I'll get you some breakfast. And then we can work on discharging you." She walked out of the room, leaving Analise in peace.

Analise sighed. How did she get so lucky? That kind of car crash might have broken something. She tried to sit up, finding it hard to do so. A shot of pain scorched her legs and especially her butt. She sighed, lucky that was the only thing that hurt.

She reclined on the hospital bed, turning on the TV. So far, there wasn't much on. She didn't mind turning on the local news, just for some comfort. The news was always good in the morning, happy. Just like she was right now.

She sighed; the moment Frodo's arms wrapped around her. She closed her eyes, embracing him. Somehow, more than anything, she hoped the ballroom was real. That the Shire was real. It couldn't have been a dream, could it?

She closed her eyes, falling asleep. Before her eyes, in another dream, was her death day ceremony. It was Frodo's death day ceremony, too. They were celebrating with cake. She still ate from the living cake and not the death cake.

It wasn't time for her to eat the death cake, a cake that had black buttermilk frosting, grey and blue frosted roses, black frosting wrapped around the corners of the cake. On top of the death cake was a married couple. It was her and Frodo, kissing.

She looked at Frodo, wondering if she could go near the cake. Frodo grabbed her wrist, stopping her from going near the cake. "You are not dead yet. So, don't waste your time. You are not ready."

"When will I be?" Analise asked.

Frodo looked at her, chuckling, "You had an accident. You're in one piece. You cannot come with me yet, but I'd be happy to eat from the death cake, if I could. But not until you're ready. And so, I wait for you until you decide to come home." He sighed, "I really miss you. I hope you come home."

"I miss you, too," Analise said, kissing him. Some buttermilk frosting was on her lips, which Frodo licked off with his tongue. Analise giggled, noticing Frodo had a decision to make, too.

Frodo looked at her, coming over to a second cake, a blue cake with blue buttermilk frosting and royal blue frosted roses on top. He ate a piece from this cake, finding the blueberry pound cake delectable.

"Mm. It's good," Frodo said, eating the cake. He admitted, with a wink, "Oh, I'm sorry. This is a character cake. That cake you have is a real-life cake. I can eat the character cake, but I can't really eat the real-life cake until I get back home. So, that's why I'm eating this cake."

"Oh," Analise lowered her head. "So, you're leaving me now?"

Frodo shook his head. "No. Not really. I want you to eat this cake next, when you're ready. Then we can transition to the death cake when it's time for you to leave. I'll be with you, too, eating from the death cake."

"What happens when we eat the death cake?" Analise asked, curiously.

Frodo shrugged. "You move into the next life. There's death and then there's rebirth. The death cake completes your cycle, before you transition over to the next life. You're not ready to go yet, but I will haunt you until you are. Then we can meet up."

Analise nodded. "Frodo, thank you."

Frodo smirked, patting her shoulder. "You're welcome." He moved in close to her ear, saying, "Analise, you can wake up."

.

Analise did, finding she was back in the hospital, in her own room. She sighed, grateful to see her breakfast had come to her. She scooched in, eating her breakfast that was on the tray. She ate slowly, but yet she couldn't help but notice how good the hospital food was. She wanted more, imploring that this was right!

However, there was something about the food that seemed strange. Almost character. She was eating character food!

"Now, you're ready," Frodo murmured.

She knew she was alive, but Frodo! It wasn't a dream! This was real. It was no wonder she ate the cake. She wanted to be alive, but she knew she wasn't ready. Unless…

…unless Frodo had put something in her food, turning her into a character. Could such a thing be possible? Well, in this world, anything was.

"You'll soon be a character, like me," Frodo murmured, his voice cunning.

She smirked, delighting in eating the character food.

.oOo.

~3~

Analise returned home hours later. Her father had taken her blue Ford car in to get fixed. It turned out the damage wasn't so bad. She just hit a tree and it turned out the tree was fine, while her right fender needed to be fixed.

She was surprised that was all the damage her car had suffered. How? How did that happen? She remembered her car was in worse shape when she fell into that coma… wait. Did she have a coma? The whole world had gone topsy turvy, since her near death experience.

She was surprised she could remember her near death experience so vividly. It was almost as if she had died and come back to life.

She sighed, grateful to be back inside her apartment complex, undamaged for the most part, except for the bruises.

She was relieved when her dad helped her get inside her apartment. She took a seat on the couch, grateful to chat with her father for a while. She hurt, but the bruises weren't bad. At least, she was lucky to be alive.

"Father, do you wonder if we're being chased by ghosts?" Analise asked her father. It was a strange question, but one she felt needed to be answered.

"Why yes, I do," her father said, patting her hands. "What you experienced is something your grandmother knew plenty of. She may not be here, but she was a decent woman with a knack for sewing. She believed in the supernatural, and she passed that unto us."

He sighed, admitting, "I have had my fair share of experiences with the fae, even worked with them when I was younger." He smirked, "No, I believe what you're experiencing is real. What you saw in your near-death experience is something you should keep to your heart. Only then, you may find the answers you seek."

Analise smiled, admitting, "Thank you. You mean more to me than you know."

"Well, I'm just trying to take good care of you," her father said with a smile. "Now, I'd best leave. Your mother is expecting me for dinner and I do not want to disappoint her."

"Of course," Analise stood up. She watched her father leave, but not before telling him, "Papa, thank you."

"Don't mention it," her father said, waving to her as he left her apartment.

Analise rushed over to the door, closing and locking it. She was alone, with only her black and white cat for company. "At least, I've got you, Mittens. You'll keep me warm."

"Meow!" Mittens mewed, brushing up against her legs and purring.

Analise smiled, petting her cat with much joy in her heart.

Analise sighed. Yes, this was right. For now. She sighed, longing for Frodo to come and take her away. She moved away from her cat, entering her bedroom and closing the door behind her.

She watched with a gasp as her cat leapt through the door's wood, entering her bedroom in no time. The way her cat had moved through the door's wood was almost as if a silvery portal had opened up in the door. Her cat was fine, but the experience made Analise a little leery.

What did she expect?

She pushed the thought away, feeling as if her death was close at hand. She turned towards her dresser's mirror, swaying to her own tune, as if she had fallen into a trance.

"Oh Frodo, if only you're here! You would come with me now," Analise cried, stunned to find two hands holding the back of her wrists as she swayed. She turned around, surprised to see Frodo standing with her, dancing to their own tune.

The ghostly music left her feeling as though she were leaving her own body. It turned out that's what happened, for as her body separated from her soul, her body landing on the floor in moments. Her soul did not, for her spirit followed her soul and Frodo's soul through the dresser's mirror, as they continued to dance.

.

To Analise's surprise, her cat followed her through the mirror, joining her as she and Frodo danced their ghostly dance.

Yes, it was time. She rested her head against Frodo's shoulder, falling for his scent. They floated into the ballroom, where the ghosts were dancing.

"This moment couldn't be more perfect," Analise said, staring at Frodo in wonder.

"Hm. You've come home. I knew you would," Frodo said, kissing her on the lips. The ballroom turned golden and shimmering. Frodo smiled, raising an eyebrow at her, "Happy death day, Analise."

"Happy death day, Frodo," Analise said, sighing.

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End Credits Song: Beck's song, "Wave".

-x-

Thanks for reading. :)