Bilbo rushed to the kitchen and began cooking soup for his young cousin. Bilbo knew that right now, he could not be more proud of Frodo. He had most likely saved the life of another hobbit that hated him. He risked his life for Lotho Sacksville-Baggins! A hobbit that had done nothing, but show cruelty toward him. Bilbo knew then that Frodo truly was something special.
As soon as the soup was warm, Bilbo brought it to his young nephew's room.
"Here's your soup, lad." Bilbo said, smiling warmly.
Frodo sat up slowly, ready to take the bowl. Bilbo handed it to him and then sat in a chair near the bed.
"This is lovely, Uncle. Thank you." Frodo said, as his trembling began to come to a stop.
"You're welcome, my boy. Do you know how proud of you, I am?" He asked, taking the finished bowl from Frodo and setting it on the bedside table.
Frodo did not answer; instead he gave his uncle a rewarding smile. Then an almost urgent look came to his face. "I couldn't let him die, Uncle. Not like my parents!" Frodo cried, almost hysterical. Tears started streaming from the young hobbit's eyes, changing them from glorious blue to a sad green.
His cousin's eyes had always amazed Bilbo; no one in the Baggins family had eyes quite like them, not for generations anyway. He had always noticed how they would change to a hazy green color whenever he was very upset and how bright blue they could be when he was happy or excited. But, Bilbo knew that this was not a good time to waste for musing.
Frodo began to sob rather loudly as Bilbo encircled him with a warm embrace. Frodo felt embarrassed as he noticed that he was quite unable to calm himself. He held tightly in to his cousin. How he wished he could be in the comfort of his own parents arms! But, he knew that was impossible.
"Oh, Frodo. My poor dear. Your Uncle is here for you. I'll be with you as long as you need me." Bilbo said, rubbing Frodo's back.
Frodo was soothed a little by his uncle's touch and his sobbing lost a bit of its intensity. "I miss them so much, Bilbo!"
"Of course you do, Frodo. Of course you do." Bilbo held his nephew closer to himself. Bilbo knew that his parents' death had been very hard on the poor boy. He had been much more cheery than he had in the last couple of years, though. But, Bilbo understood that Lotho's almost drowning had put a strain on the young hobbit and brought up some rather painful memories.
Sam, who had still been standing by the front door since he arrived at Bag End, began slowly making his way to his sobbing master's room. His thumb had not left his mouth since he had first glimpsed his master unmoving by the riverside.
When he finally reached Frodo's room, he stood at the doorframe and looked towards Frodo and Bilbo without really seeing them.
A moment after Sam's arrival Frodo's sobbing had ceased and was replaced by huge, sad tears running down his face. He pulled back from his uncle enough so he could look at him. As he did this, Bilbo noticed that even the hot tears of sadness stopped flowing down Frodo's face.
"I'm alright now, Uncle. I really needed that. Thank you." Frodo said, smiling.
Bilbo smiled back. Frodo's eyes were puffy from all the crying and now they seemed to be a dull green color. "Are you sure, lad? You know I'm here and I will take care of you."
"I know, Uncle. I will be fine in no time. I just need to cry every so often." Frodo said almost, apologetically.
'Bless him.' Bilbo thought. "Well, you can do just that Frodo. Whenever you need to. And I'm here if you need me." He released his hold on Frodo.
Frodo was looking at something behind his uncle. Bilbo turned only to see young Sam in the doorway. "Why Samwise! Come in and see to your Master, son!"
Sam did not respond. He looked as if he had not even heard Bilbo. Bilbo thought this odd, because Sam was usually so attentive. Then it occurred to him! Sam hadn't spoken once since they had found Frodo by the river. 'The poor boy must be in shock!' Bilbo thought sadly. He knew that Sam had always been terrified by water and Frodo was a dear friend of his. Perhaps all he needed was some time with Frodo. To be assured that his friend was all right. He quickly formed a plan.
"Frodo?" He said, leaning near the boy's ear so Sam wouldn't hear. "I think that Samwise is in shock. I think he needs to be sure that you are all right. I think he was rather terrified by this whole event. I'm going to leave him in here with you. Frodo, you must see what you can do to reach him. If you can't get him to talk, Samwise may not survive. Shock is very serious. I don't want you to worry though. If you can't get him to respond in a few minutes, come get me and I will send for the doctor."
Frodo's large eyes grew at what his uncle said. He couldn't allow any harm to come to Sam. Why was he in shock anyway? He knew it had to do with the whole river episode, but what aspect of it, he could not determine. It suddenly came upon him, that it didn't matter. Only Sam's getting better did. "I will do what I can, Bilbo." Frodo said, quietly and in fear.
"That's my boy." Bilbo said, walking around Sam to leave the room. He shut the door behind him.
"Sam?" Frodo said, unsure of himself.
Sam looked up at Frodo, but did not say anything. 'This is an improvement from his reaction to Bilbo!' He thought. But, he also noticed that it seemed like Sam was almost looking through him.
Suddenly an idea came to him! "Sam, would you mind getting that brush by the mirror for me?"
At first Sam didn't move, but after a few seconds, he picked up the brush and walked over towards Frodo's bed.
Frodo picked Sam up and hoisted him unto his bed. Just as he was about to grab the brush from him, Sam climbed up on the pillow behind him. Moments later, he felt the brush working through his still wet hair, with a gentleness that almost reminded him of when his mother used to brush his hair.
"Sam, you don't need to…oh never mind." Frodo started. He always found getting his hair brushed to be one of the most soothing things in all the world. And that was what he was hoping to do for Sam, but if he was brushing Frodo's hair, he must not be so bad off.
As Sam continued to brush his master's hair, he could feel himself starting to come out of a very thick fog. He still felt that he was dreaming. After all, Frodo was dead, wasn't he? And all because of Lotho! Well, since he was dreaming he figured he should make the best of it.
As he continued to make his way through Frodo's curls he suddenly smiled to himself. He had never seen hair quite the color of Frodo's. Sometimes it looked a rich brown color, but other times it seemed to take on a deep shade of black. While it was very uncommon to have light colored hair as Sam did, it was even more rare to see a hobbit with hair as dark as Frodo's. But, none of that mattered now. Sam's greatest friend was dead. How he wished he had kept quiet about the hobbit in the river! Then, he really could be brushing his master's hair.
Sam thought back to earlier that morning. He had woken to a harsh storm. Sam was always curious, and felt the need to experience a little of the harsh weather, to look for adventures. No one else was yet awake in his home, so he took it upon himself to wander around outside.
There were many big mud puddles and Sam made a game of trying to jump over all of them. Needless to say, he fell into many more than he actually jumped over successfully.
There was one particularly big mud puddle. Sam was about to try jumping over it when he heard someone in the distance. Curious, he began to follow the voice. As he got closer, he could hear someone frantically yelling for help. He ran as fast as his little legs could carry him, until he came into view of the river. Sam never liked rivers; he always thought them to be extremely dangerous. He then noticed that hobbit was in the river! He did not know what to do! He couldn't swim and neither could anyone else in his family.
Then, an idea came to him! Mr. Bilbo was very smart. He would know what to do! He then hurried to Bag End.
He should not have let Frodo go! He should have fought Bilbo harder. Frodo was too kind to die! And he was Sam's dearest friend, even though he had only known him for a few days.
"I miss you Frodo!" Sam suddenly cried.
"What? Sam…" Frodo trailed off, so surprised at Sam's outburst, that he hadn't noticed that Sam had dropped the Mr. He turned around and took the boy into his arms, sitting him on his lap. He hugged him tightly to his chest. Sam began sobbing almost as loudly as Frodo had done earlier.
"Shhh, Sam. It's all right. I'm right here and I won't leave you." He promised. Frodo took the brush from Sam's hand and began brushing his sandy curls. After awhile, Sam's sobbing began to subside.
Moments later Sam twisted around in Frodo's lap so he was facing him. "Please tell me that I'm not dreaming, Master." Sam said, quietly yet desperately.
Frodo smiled sadly at Sam. "You are not dreaming Samwise! You are right here with me and we are both doing just fine!"
"Oh! I'm so happy!" Sam exclaimed, once again bursting into tears. But, this time they were of happiness.
Frodo dropped the brush on his bed as pulled Sam into a tight embrace. "I am too dear Sam."
After awhile, Sam's tears once again subsided and he looked up at Frodo. Frodo smiled at his friend, but then frowned at the weird look on Sam's face.
"What's the matter, Sam?" Frodo asked.
"Mr. Frodo! Your eyes were green, but they just turned blue again!" Sam exclaimed, smiling widely.
"Oh, Sam!" Frodo said laughing, his eyes sparkling with intensity, as he hugged Sam to himself once again.
Within minutes, the two were asleep. Frodo still holding Sam protectively to his chest.
Next Chapter: Frodo receives the down-time he so deserves!
Disclaimer: The Frodo hair brushing idea belongs to Obelia medusa and I. It's our precioussssss! If you read her story, The Making of a Ringbearer: Anchored, then you know just how it came about. If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?
Now to my reviewers! (As Obelia says, reviews are precious to usss!)
Katani Petitedra: I'm glad you love this fic! I think Lotho would be properly punished if you had anything to do with it!
Michelle Frodo: Don't worry about not reviewing the last chapter! I know what it's like to be busy with nasty tests! I'm glad you like my characterizations of Frodo and Lotho in this. I guess I answered your question about Sam being out in the storm. He's a sneaky little hobbit, and a good thing too! Well, it's true that my Sam is sort of based on little Elijah, but I've never had to see him react to such a thing thankfully! Heh heh last Sunday, he wouldn't talk to me at first, then he was running around saying, "Run Jessida! Run Jessida!" I was so happy that he finally said my name. Then, he picked some flowers and gave me one. Then he informed me that he was Luke Skywalker and I was Darth Vador and he pretended to sword fight with me with the flowers. He's not even three yet and what an imagination! And then he wanted me to sit next to him during church. I hope that you can better understand now why Sam wasn't talking. He was really mixed up in his head. Hey and last time I watched Huck Finn I paid attention to the music, and you're right. It's really good!
Hmsgirl: I'm glad you liked that line. I thought it was something a little different. My Lotho is not completely evil. He's more like a bully.
Obelia medusa: Do you like my disclaimer also? Now I think we both successfully pulled off Frodo hair brushing scenes. And at first we thought it could not be done! I'm glad you like how I did both Frodo and Lotho's pov. Lets just say, that despite, Lotho's pov, we don't know all of what he's thinking yet and maybe we won't for awhile yet. And yes, poor little Sam was in shock, but I think he's doing better now! And thanks for helping me out with this chapter. (Remember when we were talking about what I should write? That was very helpful for me!) I don't know if I will get to what Lotho was doing out in this weather or not. But, there is a possibility that I just might!
????: You're welcome for the long response. It's my pleasure. I think if people take the time to review, then I should take the time to respond to their reviews and thoroughly as possible. I'm glad that you like how I portrayed Lotho. You see my Lotho isn't evil or completely mean. It's more like he's terribly mislead and I wanted to bring that to his character. I hope that maybe he can lose a little of his bad name through my portrayal of him. Thanks again for the reviews!
Please review because reviews are precious to usss!