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A Spring for Hope

Author : periantari
Title : "A Spring for Hope"
Rating : PG
Theme: Spring Fever
Elements: echinacea/coneflower
Author's Notes: Part 2/3 Thank you to grey_wonderer for her encouragement and also for shirebound for her beta!
Summary: The fruits of Sam’s work post-Scouring of the Shire has a toll on him physically and mentally.
Word Count: 4539 (inclusive of all parts and Author's quotes which are starred and italicized to indicate they're from Tolkien)


Ash and fire. Bagshot Row and trees were all demolished. Rows of tarred sheds. The poor Party Tree was just an ugly charred stump. The old mill replaced by the brick building straddling the stream. The poor old mill! “If I hear ‘not allowed much oftener, I’m going to get angry.” ***

Sam woke up groggily, feeling disoriented. His poor Shire. What time was it? Did he sleep the day away? He threw away his covers and sat up. The curtains were drawn and beside him was water and a mug of tea. He felt warmer than ever and didn’t feel strengthened or different from his unintended nap.

“Sam?” Rosie glanced at him worriedly at his left side. “I am glad you’re up. You slept for almost two hours. Are you feeling better?”

“We were waiting for you. We have some willow bark for you, tea with honey for your throat and echinacea for your congestion -- you must take some,” added Frodo who was on his other side. “These should help for now. You barely had any before your nap.”

Sam was thirsty so he obliged without a word to take the teas his friends insisted upon. He sipped slowly at the willow bark tea since it had a slightly bitter taste. He felt foolish to insist that he could work today where he didn’t even feel like speaking. But his Shire needed mending… He had helped Frodo with the Quest for the greater Middle-earth but now his own gardening skills were needed far and wide in the Shire. It was spring-- spring meant planting...and other important tasks. Especially now.

“Sam?”

“I...am feeling dizzy,” Sam lay back down to his pillow. He did not want to share his worries with his friends for he was already bothering them with his minor flu. “Also, throat ...hurts. Sorry for…all.. this..trouble.”

“Don’t speak of this, Sam! Have some more water,” coaxed Rosie gently. She handed Sam another mug.

Sam shook his head. “Not yet. I ...will. Tea was ...strong.” Indeed, the willow bark was brewed to a high concentration because it would help with fever reduction.

“You’ve been overworked, Sam. You need to take it easier. No working for at least next two days. If you’re not better tomorrow, we will call a healer,” said Frodo, while applying cold icy cloths to Sam’s forehead and neck.

“No need, Mr. Frodo, I’m fine,” Sam replied resolutely. He’d battled colds and fevers before. Why would this time be different? “And Mr. Frodo, I’ll be better by tomorrow,” He reached for some handkerchiefs for his nose. “I just need some... rest today.”

‘“Finally you agree with us,” said Frodo with a smile. “Good, you’re not going anywhere today.”

“Are you hungry, Sam? Are you well enough for some lunch?” Rosie inquired. “You missed breakfast and elevenses.”

“No, not now. Maybe ...later,” replied Sam. “For now…I’m just... tired.” He felt his eyelids closing again. He could not fall asleep though for he was uncomfortably hot.

“Sam, why don’t you change into some more comfortable clothing? We will just be outside if you need anything,” said Rosie.

“I’ll be fine. Later...” Sam feigned sleep. He did not want to bother them anymore. He agreed he had to be better and intended to be so within the next couple hours. For he was never ill for more than a day. That is why his old Gaffer always relied on him to do most of the work. His Gaffer would be ashamed to see him resting like this and not helping more. HIs Gaffer was so happy to move back to Number 3. He had to help Frodo with Bag End as well. He heard his friends exchange a few quiet words.

“Sam, we are just outside,” Rosie glanced at him one more time and then left with Frodo to allow him some privacy.

Sam sat up, put his legs to the edge of the bed and stretched out his arms trying to energize himself. He did not have the energy to go to his drawer for his pajamas. He was still very warm, uncomfortable and dizzy. He took off his vest, belt and suspenders, but stretched back down, frustrated with his sluggishness. But this was one battle his mind could not win over his body as he felt his eyelids drooping and he fell into another restless sleep.

.......

“Garn! You can’t touch me. I’m a friend o’ the Boss’s. But he’ll touch you all right, if I have any more of your mouth. Don’t ‘ee like it Sam? But you always was soft. I thought you’d gone off in one o’ them ships you used to prattle about, sailing, sailing.” ****

Sam saw Sandyman and so many hobbits seeming to gang up against him. There were too many of them versus him to repair and fix the Shire. Why did everyone want to wreck his home? Would his efforts be wasted?

“You won’t get away with this, Sandyman!” cried Sam.

“But it’s not my fault! It is he who instructed us,” bellowed Sandyman pointing to a shadowed sinister figure that Sam could not make out.

“Get out now, from my Shire! You have no place here!” Sam’s voice sounded shrill in the cold Shire air. It didn’t sound like him at all.

“Saruman’s home could be all wrecked, and he could be turned out, but no one could touch yours. Oh no! Gandalf would look after your affairs Not he! When his tools have done their task he drops them.”***

“It’s not true! Gandalf did not mean for this,” cried Sam. He did not believe Gandalf would intentionally leave them to fend for themselves. But now his Shire was ruined, and for what?

“Go away, Saruman!” Sam cried.

“Sam, wake up!”

Sam woke up again and it seemed dark, but Rosie and Frodo were next to him, seemingly as alarmed as ever. He sat up with a start this time, seeming to fear that something had gone amiss? He shivered even though he had blankets wrapped around him.

“What happened? Why are you all here?”

“You were talking in your sleep! And you’re having nightmares, Sam! You really need more willow bark, water and some food now. It is late afternoon; food and medicine work hand in hand,” said Frodo as he helped his friend up to a sitting position.

Sam noticed a tray of food at his nightstand coupled with three mugs, cold cloths and handkerchiefs. His forehead were laid with many layers of cold cloths. Sam blushed to remember he was ill and that he was so inconveniencing both his master and his hobbit lass.

“Sorry…”

“Sam, there is no need to apologize. Our Shire will heal and you need to get well along with it,” said Rosie as she helped Sam up to some porridge and some chicken noodle soup.

“Rosie is right. Don’t blame yourself for the Shire’s condition. We had no idea that Saruman would come.”

“But Mr. Frodo, i did know! I saw! But I had to go with you,” Sam said as he burst into tears.

“What do you mean?” Frodo was confused.

“I meant, is I saw Sandyman a-cutting down trees as he shouldn’t in Lady Galadriel’s Mirror, sir! I could’ve come back but I couldn’t leave you. I couldn’t leave you, Mr. Frodo.” Sam was beside himself now, shedding free tears. It did not help his headache nor appetite. “But my Shire and my trees and crops…”

“Sam, dear Sam,” Frodo gave his friend a hug. “It’s not your fault with the Shire. It is no one’s fault.” Frodo felt like he was trying to convince himself as well. For all the happenings in Middle-earth, returning was the hardest and he felt exactly what Sam felt-- guilt. How could this have happened? It was the saddest hour of their lives seeing their Hobbiton almost unrecognizable with refuse, sheds and pollution. HIs own Bag End ruined. Frodo felt tears accumulating in his own eyes.

“It will all be better soon when your seeds will sprout,” he tried to allay Sam’s fears as well as his own. ”Our Shire would be healed, like you will be, dear Sam.”

“It really is no one’s fault,” echoed Rosie. ”Neither Mr. Frodo nor yours. No one could’ve known! Now, you have to get back to your old self and we will continue to heal the Shire. You’ve already done so much since you returned, Sam. No need to be so hard on yourself! Silly hobbit,” Rosie laid a hand on Sam’s cheek and kissed his fevered brow. “You too, Mr. Frodo… from the stories I’ve heard from Merry and Pippin, you hobbits went to the ...the Mountain of Doom and rid yourself of … something from the Enemy? That is incredible! How scary yet heroic!” Rosie’s face glowed. She loved Sam all the more for his courage. She had newfound respect for Frodo as well.

Sam felt better with these words and reluctantly took his porridge, some soup, and his teas with Rosie’s assistance. He had no appetite and still felt sick but he knew he had to have some food. Frodo felt heartened by Rosie’s words too. He had no pride in his role in the Quest but surely he had to put his own guilt aside to aid his Sam where Sam had chosen to go with him where he certainly had his choice.

Frodo sighed. Sometimes Sam was just like him with his stubborn ways. He had to let him know it was fine to not lay blame for no blame was necessary. It was harder for him though. Sam was different than he. Sam was the hero, not him. Sam let his loyalty guide his actions at all time. But what guided Frodo in his own conscious?

Frodo kept these thoughts to himself as he prepared some more cooling cloths. He did not tell Sam about Arwen’s words to him in Gondor nor did he want to worry his friend. And now, he would have to help heal Sam first and try not to think of his own hurts.

TBC

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Mar. 22nd, 2017 05:09 am (UTC)
“It’s not your fault with the Shire. It is no one’s fault.” Frodo felt like he was trying to convince himself as well.

I like that very much. Sadly, Sam was able to move on and Frodo was so injured -- inside and out -- that he never really could. I think it does him good to take care of Sam once in awhile. :)
periantari
Mar. 23rd, 2017 03:02 am (UTC)
yes, i think Frodo being there for Sam is very important for him. As we know, Sam always looks at Frodo as his guiding light. :)
kgreen20
Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
I agree with shirebound. It's good for Frodo to take care of Sam for a change, before he has to go away.
periantari
Mar. 23rd, 2017 03:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think so too! :) I posted in SoA also just now.
engarian
Mar. 23rd, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
Poor Sam. It was hard for all of the hobbits to return to a home that had been devastated by Saruman and his lackeys. I enjoyed this small tale and think it expressed their angst beautifully.

- Erulisse (one L)
periantari
Mar. 24th, 2017 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I am glad that i expressed the angst "beautifully". I will have one more part coming so be on the lookout! Thank you!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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