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Antane's Anthology  by Antane

A Little Comfort

Frodo gets a little mothering from Rose on the March 13th Sam is gone.

Rose had promised to look in on Mr. Frodo while Sam was gone replanting the damaged Shire. She checked his bedroom and found him curled around himself, tangled in his sheets. She straightened them out as best she could without waking him and draped them back over his trembling, too thin frame and wished she could do more.

Frodo raised his head at the gentle touch and looked at her with eyes that did not quite focus. “Mama?” he murmured.

Rose looked into those tormented eyes and realized he was not awake, but lost in a dream. Well, she decided, if he needed his mum, she’d do her best to accommodate. “Yes, lovey?” she asked.

“It hurts, Mama. Why does it have to hurt so much?”

Rose bit her lip to keep from crying as her heart broke within her. What had happened to him and her Sam out there? Neither would speak of it, but their eyes, especially Mr. Frodo’s, and his maimed hand that he was always trying to hide, gave mute testimony of horrors she knew she couldn’t even imagine. But she wanted to. She wanted to know. She knew it wasn’t her place, but Mr. Frodo needed his mum so she sat down on the edge of his bed and stroked his curls gently. “I don’t know, sweetling. I’m so sorry it does.”

“Can you make it go away?”

Frodo looked up at her with such pleading and hope in her eyes. Rose continued to follow her strong mothering instinct. She took him into her arms and rocked him gently as she continued to stroke his curls and sing to him softly the same song her mum sang whenever she or one of her siblings were ill. Frodo hung on tightly and slowly relaxed.

“Thank you, Mama,” he breathed and slipped into deeper sleep.

Rose continued to gently rock him. Her song became a soft hum, then when she was sure he was truly asleep, she laid him back down. In the moonlight that shone in the window, she saw how beautiful he looked, how peaceful. She kissed his head. “You’re welcome, dearling. Sleep well.”

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