West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
I'll Have No More of It
Sam defends his love against gossip and jealousy.
Author Notes: Surfing the big archives last night, I came across yet another view of Rosie Cotton as an inconvenience to be pushed aside, and clear and sudden as a bell at midnight, I heard Sam answering back. Here's what he said, straight, no chaser. :)
I've a word or two to say to you. To all of you.
I know what you've been sayin' about her, about my Rosie. Aye, I've got ears, I'm not daft. I know you've been speaking ill of she who's my dearest, my light. And I'm sayin' now that I'll have no more of it.
And well I know who among you've been speakin' such lies. You, and you, and you there as well. Aye, don't be tryin' to sneak out from under my nose like a faunt tryin' to escape a switchin'. I say I know what you've been doin', and you'll all sit and hear me out good and proper.
For a long while now, all any of you've been able to think is how strange it is, me and Rosie and Mr. Frodo livin' up there at Bag End. Not proper, you whisper to each other, and odd goings on, and other such poison. And well do I know that you blame it on her, thinkin' that it's Mr. Frodo's house and all, and who does she think she is bargin' in like she has? Sayin' she should step aside, and that it's his claim that's the strongest.
Well, and like it may be true. I've known 'em both most of my life, but it's Mr. Frodo who's my master, and Rose just a lass who caught my eye, as it were, til the day we went away. It was only a year that I traveled with him, but it seemed like twenty, and oft we thought we'd never make it home. And the burden was fair deadly on him, and ate him away from the inside, 'til naught was left but sinews and dust, and a light that shone through now and again, when it could get past the ashes.
But he was stronger than any of you think he was, for all that he looked little more than a ghost at the end of it. His heart and his bones were like an elf-sword, there weren't nothin' could break 'em. Nothin', but that cursed thing he bore. All I did was keep him fed and watered when I could, and try to keep the terrors and that nasty slinkin' thing away from him. Just a gardener's job it was, though it were a long ways away from any true garden.
But he was strong and still he is, though he don't seem it. Aye, I learned a lot durin' my travels, and stayed a time in the White City, and learned things there from the tellers and from books. Stories about old times, and about the terrible kinds of things that happen both in tales and out of 'em. And I learned what folk can be driven to, when life takes 'em down dark roads, and I tell you that Mr. Frodo's stronger than you know, even now. He's here, isn't he? He's here, and not buried in the ground like a kit too weak to go on livin'. He sees his days through, even the dark ones, and doesn't run from his fate.
Aye, I love him, more than I can say. I love him for that strength, and for all he's done for all of us. And I love him for his eyes like the sky, and his hands stained with ink, and his murmurs late at night when all the world's asleep and he sits up writin' with the ghosts hissin' and shriekin' around him. I love him powerful hard, and I'd do anything for him. And I have. I have.
But none of you, not a single one of you, know what that's like. To love someone so deep, hold him in your arms and have to watch him bein' eaten away, day after day. First his laugh, like a bell tollin' smaller and duller til it never sounds at all. The sparkle in his eyes filmin' over with weariness, like it were fadin' under dust that can't be wiped away. The spring in his step disappearin', becomin' a plod like a tired cart-pony, finally at the end even that bein' gone and all that's left is a crawl on hands and knees bleedin' and scabbed with ash. At the end everythin' that was him was gone, smile, song, stories, the glow of his warm heart beatin' against me, his touch. Everythin' but that steel strength that kept on pushin' him, and thanks be for that. Without it we'd all of us be dead or worse.
None of you know what that was like. Or what it was like to come back with him. What it's like to love someone who's only a ghost of what he was. Day after day watchin' and waitin', hopin' that maybe today will be the day I see him again, see some sign of the hobbit I loved from the very first mornin' he came strollin' up the hill behind his Uncle, all bright dark curls and eyes like them sapphires the Queen wears threaded through her hair.
But it's never that day, and it's a slow thing comin' that I've finally learned - it'll never be that day. The hobbit I loved is gone, gone forever. I'll never see that fire in his eyes again, or hear him laugh without stoppin', til I think he'll burst himself with it. He'll never throw marmalade cake at his cousins again, or dance like a lad round a tavern table, or best any of us at drinkin' ale. When I hold him now, it's with care that I do. It'll never be the hard wrestle it was when we were young and the fire took us both, when we couldn't get enough, slammin' each other against the walls and tuppin' like mad with the sweat rollin' off us, bellowin' like bulls roarin' in the barn. Strange to think on it, isn't it? But I tell you it was true, once on a time. There were days he was stronger than I was.
Now his limbs are like fine glass, and some nights he can't barely move, but with his eyes he asks for me anyway. And I touch him like he'll break in my hands, and his cries are soft like a babe's. And sometimes I come near to cramp in my legs and arms, with wantin' him back the way he was. I've had hours weepin' in the storeroom where he can't hear, rememberin' him as he was, and wishin' there were some way I could make him whole and happy again.
None of you know what that's like.
But there's one thing that takes me through it, keeps me strong for him, and that's my Rosie. Because she's so strong in herself, so strong and fine and full of sunlight. She's made of copper and gold and flower petals, honey and wine and them oranges from away South. There's never been a lass like my Rose, blossomin' bright and hot in the summer air. Her eyes keep me warm, and her lips call me love, and what's in her heart and under her skirts gives me what I need to keep on. If not for her, I don't know what I would've done. If not for the thought of her waitin' here for me, I don't know if I'd ever have returned, or cared enough to. If not for her, I don't know if I could face that bedroom door, or if I could keep bein' what he needs me to be when I close it behind me.
All them words you gossips call her, and all them nasty things you write to each other about her, I'll have you know now they're nothin' but lies. You don't know her heart, how big she is inside, how much bigger she is than any of you. Didn't she wait for me, when she could have had any of the lads in Hobbiton or Bywater? Didn't she help nurse Mr. Frodo when we'd come back from our travels and he fell sick from his wakin' nightmares, and hasn't she kept on doin' so? Didn't she hear my askin' for her, and take my hand even knowin' how it was with me and him? And never a complaint have I heard from her about it, knowin' as she does how dear he is to me, and that he needs what I can give him. And I can give him that because she's as she is, so fair and strong and kind.
None of you know her. None of you know what we have, and how it's worth more than the lot of you, with your poison tongues and your jealousy. None of you have a heart big enough to take in what she has, and you think she's a schemer or worse than one. You're all too small to know what she is, or want to. You're too selfish to let us be what we are, and have what we have with each other, lovin' each other and carin' for him.
No, you know nothin', the lot of you. Well, to the plague with all of you, but I'll tell you this. Just this one thing. I care not what you think or say of me, but I'll not have you speakin' ill of my Rose. You've no call nor right to do so, not a one of you. She's my wife, my light and my strength, the sun above me and the ground where I'll plant my family, and if any of you want to do her harm, or treat her like she's anything less than the Queen of my heart, you'll have to go through me first to do it. And if you think I've even half a fear of any of you, you're sore mistaken, you are. I've faced worse than you, a thousand times over. I love 'em both and I'll keep lovin' 'em, as long as I can. I won't give up one to keep the other, and I won't give up either of them to still a single viper's tongue. Keep a mind what I'm tellin' you here.
I'll have no more of it.
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