Written as a mathom for my LJ friends on my 59th birthday.
There came a moment during Frodo's fifty-ninth birthday celebration when Sam had to sneak away to the pantry to have a good cry. A few minutes later Huan found him there and, whining in concern, licked away the tears while Sam explained between hitched breaths that it wasn't that he was sad, oh no, but quite the reverse.
'It's only that sometimes I forget, like, and then I hear him laugh with his eyes a-sparkle, and it hits me hard: the burden he bore for so long, that no one else could have, and him never complaining, not once. My feelings get all twisted up, Huan, and I can't do naught but cry when I think how he might never have laughed again.'
Sam scrubbed his eyes with his jacket sleeve, whistled and stamped his feet then took a jar of blackberry preserves from the shelf to explain his absence and returned to the parlour. On the threshold he looked down at the little whippet and whispered, 'This is just between the two of us. Mum's the word, all right?'
Huan woofed softly, then hobbit and dog rejoined the party, where Frodo welcomed their return with a joyful, loving smile.