Date: Friday, December 27, 2002 7:30 PMTitle: ...I Thee Wed Author: Kate Bolin Email: email@example.com Site: http://www.dymphna.net/ Media: Lord Of The Rings Summary: Rosie Cotton marries and mothers with a shiny gold ring on her finger. A late response to Dale's Ring Challenge at http://www.oggham.com/ring/ Rating: PG Warnings: Alternate Universe, characters gone bad Archiving: List sites, Dale's site. Feedback: Privately, save Silverlake's Feedback Friday. Disclaimer: The characters and universe belong to Tolkien Enterprises, currently licensed to New Line Cinema. I could get the full copyright info dead easy, but I am tired, and all I can say is that they're most definitely not mine. Author's Note: For Mary, who has made everyone love Rosie. Massive thanks to Dol and Megs for beta duty.
He came home to me just when I had given up hope. I sat in the remains of the Baggins' garden, amid the wilting flowers that shared my name, and I sobbed -- great girlhood tears for the lad I had been sure would do right.
My mother would have despaired if she had seen me in such a state, wasting tears over a Gamgee when there were barrels to be tapped and mugs to be washed, but I bore her no mind, not when I was convinced that my heart would break in two.
I looked up, as I had several times in the past, hoping that he would be standing there and then slowly dying each time he wasn't, but, this time, he was.
Sam. Covered in mud and dust of places I couldn't even dream of, his body thin and his eyes bleak, he came close to me. Each step of his cracked and bleeding feet were tentative, as if the ground would vanish under his feet.
"Sam?" I asked, perhaps foolishly, but needing to know. "Sam?"
He closed his eyes at my voice, slowly and sadly, realizing that this was not a dream and that everything that had happened were true.
He took a deep breath, his eyes opening and glittering with unshed tears. "Mister Frodo..." he paused, the words seeming to cause him pain. "Mister Frodo's dead."
I remembered the quiet boy who told tales at the pub, his laugh as he threw Sam into my arms, the gentle hands against my shoulders as we talked. "Oh Sam..." I said, unable to say more.
Tears were slipping from his eyes, and he looked down at the ground. "Mi-Mister Frodo, he... before... he told me..." He took a deep breath and looked up. "I mean to marry you, Rose Cotton." He pulled out a small gold ring, a trifle, something he must have picked up on his travels, and held it in front of me.
I took the ring, the tiny slip of gold, and, looking at him, never moving my gaze from his, slipped it on. "I'm yours, Samwise Gamgee. I was always yours."
The voices began after the wedding -- the faintest whispers, the softest sighs matching my own moans and shouts upon the marriage bed.
They spoke of power, of control, of shaping the world in my image. They spoke of death and murder, and blood upon rocks in a land far away.
I lost my first babe, its twisted form bleeding from me in the night. Sam wept as he buried the creature in the garden, and the voices whispered of the future. How my children would be powerful and strong and rule the land wise and fair if I would just let it happen.
I placed my hand against my empty belly, the ring upon my finger hot and alive, and I agreed.
Sam and I lived in Bag End, a strong and beautiful couple ruling the Shire from our elegant home. Our children were brave, and strong, and powerful -- taller and smarter than their playmates, more beautiful than I imagined children of Men or even children of Elves could be.
Sam loved them all, but I saw his looks when they were together -- suspicious, protective, possibly even scared. He spent more time in the garden, the flowers seeming to require more care than the children. The children noticed and turned to me, their eyes wide and questioning. "Mum, why does Dad never play with us anymore? Mum, why doesn't Dad eat with us? Mum, why is Dad in the garden again?"
I tried to answer their questions, but every night, when Sam would finally trudge to bed, his body stiff and sore with hours of work and his eyes tired, he would dodge anything I asked him, turning over in the bed and ignoring my pleas.
He would take me late at night, waking me from my sleep with his body pressed against mine. His eyes would be closed while he filled me, dreaming of other places, other people. My hand would slide down his back, my ring glinting in the moonlight, and I knew I would soon grow with child again.
The birth of my final child nearly killed me. The midwife fussed, and Sam cared for the babe, feeding it and holding it, and treating it with the gentleness and care that he only showed his garden.
When I was able to rise from my bed, I saw him in the kitchen, slowly and gently laying the babe down, tucking in the swaddling tightly. Perhaps he did not mean to wrap the babe's mouth, but her laboured breathing pulled me towards her, picking her up and holding her close to my body.
He looked at me in surprise, then turned away from me again.
I believe he did not mean to kill my child. I believe he does care for them, and for me. But the whispers tell me things, and the look in his eyes says more than he can say to me.
My children must survive. No matter what their father wishes.
My children will rule.
"You have sufficiently William Shatnered yourself in my eyes."
Kate Bolin | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.dymphna.net | AIM: DymphnaNet
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