So this started out as a special submission to a contest dealing with the "Feminist Movement in the Shire" ideas. I wanted to go all political and deep, but it came out as a flippin' love story for Sam/Rosie...jeez, I need a life. So I had to start over, but I figured I'd post this here, since someone will appreciate it. lol.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own Lord of the Rings. Gosh darn chaste kisses at weddings between Sam and Rosie...its turned me innocent.

Never had the Shire seen the like of this.

Dancin', music, and food were common enough, oh aye, us hobbits had seen more o' that than Men or Elves together, I reckon. Not saying as I'd met neither lot at the time, but it seems to me that nobody could make merriment like hobbits.

At any rate, this was new: undoubtedly so. Mr. Frodo an' Mr. Merry was looking right surprised at their cousin, Mr. Pippin. Needless to say I was too. So much so, I almost started catching flies in my mouth the way it were slack and wide.

It was in the eve of Mr. Bilbo's hunnert and 'leventh birthday, and Mr. Frodo's coming of age party. I was sitting alone at a table, watching Miss Rosie dance. She looked so pretty, lithely stretchin' her arms towards the sky and twirlin' to the music that beat fast and wild across the Party Field. Her ribbons had partially come undone, whirlin' as she danced, their blue tails followin' her movements.

Mr. Frodo had been dancin', and he must of seen my mooncalf look, for he bounded over an' exclaimed, "Go on, Sam, ask Rosie for a dance!" with a wide grin on his face.

I could do it. I thought. I could go up to Miss Rosie, make a bow, and request in a confident voice for a dance.

Who was I trying to fool?

"I think I'll just have another ale," says I in a resigned voice, makin' to get up and flee. I know the look of mischief in Mr. Frodo's eyes. It's the one he learned as a lad growin' up in Brandy Hall. It means someone's gonna get into trouble.

"Oh no, you don't," he laughs, and twirls me 'round, pushing me towards the flow of hobbits as they dance…right into Rosie's arms.

I don' know which Valar blessed me that night (Mr. Frodo knows all of their names, I'll ask him), but Rosie laughed, her face lighting' up delightfully and makin' her even more beautiful than before.

"Well, Samwise Gamgee, it's 'bout time you put in an appearance to the dance. I've been waiting all night," she giggled as we spun. I was trippin' over my own feet, but the happiness in her voice was unmistakable. I looked into her eyes, the color of warm honey and Sassafras tea, glowin' fair to set my heart hammerin' till it felt fit to burst.

I felt the color rise to my face, and I mumbled, "Sorry, Miss Rosie. I didn' mean as to make you wait."

We danced three whole dances together, until we was both tired and pantin' for breath. She curtsied and set off to find her friends. I looked at her retreating figure, hoping to hold her again in my arms.

I had gone off to find Jolly and the lads, and found them gathered in a secluded corner of the field where Mr. Frodo and his cousins had gathered everybody.

"What's goin' on, Mr. Frodo?" I asked. "Is summat amiss?"

"Pippin called us all together. He said he had a surprise for us," Mr. Frodo, whispered excitedly. "It seems to be some sort of game."

I looked out over the field, and there was two odd net-like objects on either side of the forty-foot field space. They was upright, and there was lines painted near them and around them. It did look like some sort of game.

"I made this game up with a group of friends. It's simple: One team has the ball, and they must get it down to the net. Then, you throw the ball at the net, and it will spring off. The point is to try and get the ball to hit the ground after it hits the net. The opposite team's job is to either stop the ball from getting down the field by blocking passes, or to catch the ball before it hits the ground after it bounces off the net," Mr. Pippin explained excitedly.

A few murmurs of approval went up.

"The rules," Mr. Pippin went on, "are these: One, each team only can have three passes to get the ball down the field. Two, if you drop the ball at any time, the other team gets it. And three, contact is allowed." He said this with a smirk and folded is arms across his chest. "Any questions?"

The group of lads began to chatter excitedly amongst themselves, each eager to try his skills at the new game.

A hand went up. "What is the game called?" one asked.

Mr. Pippin laughed. "Tookball, of course!" We all laughed.

We split up into teams, Mr. Merry as one captain and Mr. Pippin as the other. I'm proud to say I was the first one picked. I was on Mr. Merry's team.

Mr. Pippin picked Jolly for his team. Quickly, the teams were assembled, until one figure stood in the field opposite the others.

Rosie Cotton stood, an expectant smile on her face.

It was dead quiet.

"Um, hello Rosie. What are you doing here?" asked Fatty Bolger. "Do you want to watch?" The lads all brightened. A chance to show off afore a lass was a nice treat for them. I imagined myself sweeping to a glorious victory in her honor and her givin' me a champion's kiss, like in Mr. Bilbo's stories. But I had a feelin' watchin' wasn't what Miss Rosie had in mind.

Her smile wavered, and she said in an uncertain voice, "No-o, I'm goin' to play. It looks like I'll be on Mr. Merry's team."

Each lad had a different response. Some raised an indignant voice of protest, a few laughed, and Mr. Frodo pursed his lips warily.

I stayed in utmost stillness. Rosie, play a game with the lads? Was she loony? It as a contact sport, she would get hurt! My mind whirled in horrifyin' scenarios, each with Rosie lyin' on the ground bleedin'.

She did not seem to like anybody's reaction.

"Well, why not? I can play. I'm not as soft as Lila Bracegirdle or nothin'," she sniffed defiantly. "I can play jus' as well as any of you lads."

Jolly and Nibs looked at each other. "Rosie-lass, you could get hurt. A game like this is no place for a lass," Nibs piped up.

I'd never seen Rosie get so boilin' mad afore. Not even when Jolly accidentally bumped into her and made her spill two whole pails of milk. Her eyes sparked flames with promises of a slow and painful death to anyone who dared speak.

"Nibs Cotton! I was workin' in the fields with Da and Jolly afore you were out of nappies! Don' you go a'tellin me that I've got no place here!" she growled, jabbing a finger into Nib's chest.

I don' know what came over me. Logically, I knew Nibs had the right of it…partially. Rosie could get hurt. She was much smaller and thinner than the rest of us. If she got caught with the ball, even once, she'd get hurt and no mistake.

But, there was that fire. It flamed in her eyes as she dared anyone to defy her. It made her ever so beautiful, and I gazed at her, caught like a coney in a trap. I would do anything for her, an' my heart knew it.

"Let her play," I said above the din of voices.

Now, I'm not one as likes to be the center of attention. An' right then, that's exactly what I was. Everyone was a'lookin at me as though I had grown a grown a second head, an' maybe a second leg an' arm as well.

It was silent for a moment, and I could feel the heat rise to my cheeks, but Mr. Frodo saved me.

"I agree. If Rosie wants to play, well then, who are we to deny a lady?" he said in a resolute voice, the one he used for being the Master of Bag End. He glanced uneasily at Rosie.

"Rosie, you may play, but I cannot guarantee your safety. Lads get rough, and you might get hurt."

She did not appear to heed his words, for she was starin' at me, with a look as I couldn't make out. There was joy an' disbelief an' pride, an' something else I just couldn' place.

"Thank you, Mr. Frodo, but I'll be fine," she said with confidence.

And that was that.

The two teams lined up on either side of the middle of the field. Mr. Pippin's team had the ball first ("On account that it's my game," he'd said) and he yelled, "Game on!"

My team spread out, ready to defend the goal if the need arose. Mr. Pippin threw the ball down the field to Fatty, who caught it with ease and began to run down the field. When Nibs ran to meet him and block, Fatty threw the ball to Mr. Frodo.

Nibs tackled him as he approached the net, and the ball went to our team.

Next, Rauol sent the ball to me, but I was caught quick by Jolly, and was dragged to the ground.

The game went on in this manner, each side taking turns tacklin', runnin', and scorin'.

Not once did anyone pass to Rosie.

The sun was settin' behind the trees as we all decided we'd 'bout had enough. But the score as still tied. An' if you know anything about Tooks and Brandybucks, it's that they never break even.

"One more play, Merry!" Mr. Pippin shouted tauntingly. "Or is your team too tired?"

"Oh, I don't know, Pip. Looks like Frodo is about to pass out," Mr. Merry shot back.

"Yes, and Sam doesn't seem quite as alert either."

It was true, I was dog-tired. I'd had more than my fill of Tookball an' getting roughed and bruised for one evenin'. An' all I could think about was Rosie: how disappointed and sad and down she was. She was standing at the edge of the field, near the goal, waiting for the last play with a sullen look in her eyes.

I felt like a right ninnyhammer. All she wanted was to play; to prove herself worthy of our time and attention, an' we was treatin' her with disdain for her talents and dignity. Me included.

"Aye, I'm right sore, but I figure I have enough in me for one more round," says I. The dream of me winning the game for my team and getting' that kiss from Rosie had all but faded from my mind. Now, it was replaced with an image of Rosie scoring the winning point, and being praised by the lads as they celebrated her success. An' if she gave me a kiss anyways, why, I wouldn't be mindin'.

We lined up one more time, and Mr. Pippin hollered a final "Game on!" Jolly stepped back, and threw it quickly to me. Well, now I had to run towards the goal, and it looked as if all would go well. I would make a short range pass to Rosie, and she would score the final point.

But Fate has this way of teaching you a proper lesson.

Mr. Frodo had gained a second wind, and was barrelin' at me with a fierce expression on his face. He was playing to win. I knew I wouldn' make it closer to the goal. I had two options.

I could throw to Nibs, who was in a prime spot for the goal, or to Rosie, who stood a ways off and might not get to the goal in time.

For a split second, my brain feared for Rosie should she get caught. In the next second, I realized that she didn't care. All she wanted was a chance. So's I gave it to her.

Flickin my wrist just as Mr. Frodo brought me down, the ball sailed towards Rosie. She looked wide eyed for a moment at me, then focused an' got herself under the ball. She caught it smoothly, tucked it into her bosom, and began to run.

Oh, the beauty an' grace of her lithe steps took my breath away.

She dodged easily around Fatty, and managed to trip up Mr. Pippin as he made to grab the ball from her.

Unhindered, she sprinted towards the goal, aimed the ball, and sent it flying to the net. It bounced off, and no one could catch it before it dropped to the ground.

She'd done it!

All us lads looked dumbstruck for a moment, then I let out a great whoop of joy, and staggered to my feet, running towards her waving my arms like a lunatic.

The others began to laugh and run towards her as well. When we reached her. She merely shrugged, and said, "I told you I could play."

With a shout, Mr. Pippin an' Mr. Merry lifted her onto their shoulders are paraded with her held high. We all laughed and cheered, an' kept up until we came back into the circle of tents in the Party Field.

The Gammers and Gaffers was a bit scandalized, but there were none of us as cared.

When telling the story to my Elanor one day, Mr. Frodo described my Rosie as "pure poetry in motion". Ella was wide eyed as he gestured and spoke with laughter at how her Ma had both put both him and me to shame and taught us all a lesson that day.

"Aye," I said, leanin' in to kiss my beloved Rosie on the cheek. "I learnt it better than anyone. An' I guess my dreamin' wasn't all for naught. When we had all finally calmed down, I got up the courage to ask her if I could escort her home. She said, 'Samwise Gamgee, I thought you'd never ask!'" I chuckled, wrapping my arm around my love.

Elanor's delighted squeal resounded through the halls.

It's her favorite story.

Mine too.

Hoped you liked it! Read and Review me dears. And tell me what you think of a series focusing on Sam and Rosie's marriage/their life together post RotK. Thanks!