A/N: This very short one-shot is dedicated to Heidi Erickson, because she somehow turned me into a Frodo-fan. I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into it, but here I am, nonetheless. Ugh. not only is this a Frodo-fic, it's an AU one where he has a girlfriend and everything! What has become of me? I'm a Sam-girl and I don't like Frodo!


I hate it when things like this happen. "Mad Baggins," they are calling me. It is upsetting poor Sam more than me. I don't mind. I suppose that I am rather mad, really, especially to them.

"Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't let them make fun of you like that!" Sam is saying. "You are the reason that they're even alive right now!"

I nod in response to please him, but I won't do anything, despite his unease about it. Rose is consoling him. She taps his nose with her finger and whispers something that is for no other ears to hear. Others think it rude. I know it is just their way.

I hear it again, "Mad Baggins," from the mouth of the blacksmith's son. He is jeering loudly, intending for me to hear, but it is no longer his persecution that is hitting closest to my heart. It's the teasing laughs of those lasses. They are the ones that make this hard. They make fun of both of us. They call me names and stare at my scarred hand when they think I'm not looking, but it's when they do it to her that makes me furious.

The poor dear! She used to have too many friends among the lasses to count, and now, they all shun her.

I see them whispering now. They keep casting not so subtle glances in our direction. I send a glare back at them, only earning myself more whispers and giggles.

But she is not upset in the least.

"Let them talk," she says softly. "It doesn't bother me." And now she takes my hand, my four fingered hand, in her own and tangles her fingers with mine. She often does it when we are alone, but now we are in the sight of many. I feel like telling her she does not have to do this, but just like every other time, no words will come. Instead, I try tugging my hand away from her. She only tightens her grip.

"Stop it," is all she says.

I may object at first, but I do love when she won't let go. She is not one to show affection publically, but I know that this is more than just affection.

She turns to look at me, and I see it again, those words that she has never spoken aloud, but that are made very evident.

"Frodo Baggins," she is saying to me. "You are never to be ashamed of that scar. They cannot see, they cannot see how very beautiful it is." And her look softens, and becomes a plea. "Don't leave me because of what they say."

I smile at her, telling her that I won't leave her. How could I when she has done so very much for me? She has shown me that there is still hope for me, despite the pain, sickness, and nightmares. She reminds me why I stayed.


A/N: Heidi, I still don't like you for making me dream about him. :P