Title: Primum Non Nocere

Author: Frodo Baggins of Bag End (FBoBE/"Febobe")

Rating: PG (only for hurt/comfort and angst)

Warnings: Angst.

Author's Note: I adopted a Shirebunny! I did it! (Sam and Frodo are presented to Eowyn for the first time. What are their reactions to the first woman they've met of the race of Men?) Thanks for the lovely bunny, Shirebound. . .I so needed it. It should be no surprise to those who know me well that this kind of went FrodoHealers-bunny on me. Couldn't help it. :} The bunny just hopped over into that hutch and wiggled its lil' nose and wouldn't leave! Hope you enjoy it nonetheless. ;) A special thanks to NixNivis for confirming the Latin on the title! -Febobe

Primum Non Nocere (First, Do No Harm)

Part the First: Samwise

It would figure, wouldn't it? One o'them laws o'the world, my old Gaffer always called it back home. The worst time for something to happen is when it'll happen. Like when the garden's wet enough, you'll get a drenching rain that won't let up for three days and your crocuses and cabbages get washed clean out, not to mention your taters rotting. Or bad things coming in threes, like when Mum died and Da's joints acted up something awful for weeks and Ham took a fall and hurt his wrist and couldn't work for weeks either. That was a right bad spell. Runs the same way for everyone, I s'pose; Mr. Frodo says there was when his mum drowned, iand/i his da drowned, and then he took sick with pneumonia not many weeks after. Two parents, I'd count that as two bad things, so that's three right three, aye.

And Strid - I mean King Aragorn, or Estel, or whatever they call him now - getting called away for the first time, and Mr. Frodo falling sick. Sick enough to need more than a bit o'rest in bed and waiting on from me. Sick enough to need a real healer, somebody knows the kinds of awful wounds he's had. I know plenty about what he's been through, but not how to help him, except to give him warm blankets and keep him tucked up in bed and try to make him feel better that way. I try to give him warm drinks - hot broth, toddies, warm milk - but he won't take hardly anything, even for me.

But Faramir's not gone with the King; he's here to look after things, and so he's the one I call in to let know Mr. Frodo needs help. Not that I've much hope he'll know of anybody, but he's kind, so I tell him how Mr. Frodo's been taken with a bad chill and awful pain and nightmares and won't take bite nor sup (a bad thing any time, but thin as he is now, he can't afford that for even a day). He nods gently and comes to Mr. Frodo's big bedroom that was his nursery when he was a boy (Mr. Frodo gets awful tired out with Big Folk-sized everything, though Mr. Merry and Mr. Pippin are so fair pleased with their new-grown height that they prefer it) and sits on the edge of the bed, and talks real quiet to my master. Feels his forehead and tucks him in all nice and warm. It's a few minutes before he comes back to me, not that I mind any, seeing as how he's getting Mr. Frodo settled.

"Sam, you needn't worry. I promise that there is someone whom I think I can help. . .someone who will look after your master until the King returns, who understands well enough, I think, to bring him comfort and peace so that he can rest."

I look at Mr. Frodo, huddled up in a tight ball in the covers. He needs sleep worse than anything, sleep not full up with nightmares. If he could rest proper, and eat and drink a bit, then maybe he could hold on long enough for Strider to get back.

"Please."

When he is gone, I go back to Mr. Frodo's side, trying to soothe him a little more.

"There now, sir. Faramir's gone to fetch someone to help you, somebody to help look after you proper till Stri - King Aragorn's back. Soon you'll be feeling a sight better."

But even as I speak the words, I wonder. I know Master does, for he smiles wanly and says nothing.

It seems like no time of me sitting and rubbing Mr. Frodo's thin back before I hear it.

Voices - murmurs from the hall.

"Eowyn - The Lady Eowyn - The White Lady - "

Putting my head out of the room, I motion one of the passing guards close, keeping my voice down so as not to disturb Master's rest.

"What's all the fuss about? Has something happened?"

His eyes widen. "No, little master, nothing ill - only - the White Lady of Rohan herself is coming, the Lady Eowyn! She will be here soon, and everyone is excited - people are gathering in the halls for a chance to see her." He smiles. "I am certain you know how it feels, my lord."

I did, and I wasn't sure I rightly liked it. Uncomfortable feeling, like walking outside with not a stitch o'clothes on. Even Mr. Frodo didn't seem none too fond of it, and more than once he'd pleaded tiredness with the King to avoid it, though I've no doubt he was tired enough every one of those times. Sympathy suddenly flooded my heart for her, coming up through that lot o'gagglers by herself.

I couldn't help, though, but wonder what for. . .and wish I could get a look at her myself.

I knew who she was. The stories. . .Mr. Merry had told us all about her, too, so we'd heard more than just the pretty tales. The more Mr. Frodo heard, the wider his eyes grew. He looked like a little lad listening to fairy-tales about a great princess like Luthien Tinuviel. Only for Lady Eowyn being human, it made her all the more magic to us, for she was somehow more like us in some way. Mr. Merry said she was right interested in our folk, and I'd thought when he said that I'd like to meet a Big Person who was interested in hobbits.

"Sam?"

Mr. Frodo calls out for me, sounding weak as a kitten, the sound enough to pull me back inside without a thought more on that. "I'm right here, sir. Just tell your Sam what he can do for you."

A shake of the head, his dark curls bobbing. "Who. . .what. . .what's happening. . .outside?"

"Nothing to worry about, sir." I tuck the covers in around him more securely, making sure the back of his neck is kept warm as well. "That lady-warrior in the stories, the one Mr. Merry likes and was with in Rohan. . .Lady. . .E'wyn. She's coming through, and people are wanting a look, as they tend to do, sir."

"Oh." He curled up tight as he could, huddled in his blankets, still shaking like a leaf. "Cold. . .so cold. . . ."

I move to get him another blanket, but before I can even turn, there's a soft knock, and somebody puts their head in.

"Pardon me. . .Faramir sent me this way; he said that I might find the Ringbearer here?"

I nod, and at once she approaches, seeming at once to recognise Frodo, her long legs carrying her in great strides like Aragorn's do. . .but she smells of. . .of new-mown hay, not like some lady of the court at all. Fresh grass and sweet clover and hops, and a hint of carrots and apples and sugar. Outdoors. Her hands look fine and clean, though, but not hands that haven't never known a day's work. . .and she sets down a basket as she eases to her knees beside the bed, bending over Mr. Frodo nice and gentle, gold hair falling about her face in tumbled waves.

And for half a moment I almost forget about Lady Galadriel. . .or Lady Arwen. . .or Luthien Tinuviel from the stories.

This lady is real. . .real the way my Rosie's real, the way good taters and carrots and fine-tilled earth are all real, real the way the Shire's real. Elves are all fine and good, and I'm glad to know them. . .but this lady's real as Shire earth.

And I'm glad she's come, because somehow I think that's what Mr. Frodo needs right now more than anything else.

-to be continued-