The Remontant Rose, by Lbilover

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A fairly recent Dictionary.com word of the day was remontant, with the below quote:
The rosarians of that time were so enthusiastic over these hybrids that they named them "perpetual." Later and more cautious rosarians have renamed this class "Remontant," meaning blooming again, as many varieties will bloom twice in a season, once in June and again in the early Fall.


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'Where are you taking me?' asked Frodo, not for the first time.

'Never you mind, Frodo Baggins,' replied Sam, keeping his hands firmly over Frodo's eyes as he guided him across the lawn.

'If you trip me, Samwise Gamgee...'

For answer, Sam huffed a low laugh, his warm breath skittering along Frodo's neck, raising pleasurable goosebumps.

Frodo subsided, allowing Sam to steer him toward whatever goal he had in mind. In truth, he trusted Sam absolutely, and even more, like a hungry child, he craved the protective warmth of Sam's sturdy body close beside him.

Eventually Sam brought them to a halt. Frodo wasn't certain precisely where they were, for Sam had turned him in circles before setting out from the front door of the smial, and the turf remained springy and level underfoot. But if Frodo could not see, he could smell, and what he smelled was unmistakable, if confusing.

Roses? In October?

Before Frodo had time to speak, Sam said, 'All right: one, two, three...' and he removed his hands from Frodo's eyes.

Frodo blinked against the slanting autumn sunlight, and then his eyes widened as they took in the sight before him. 'Oh Sam, it's beautiful,' he said, marvelling as he beheld a deep pink rose on a large bush with glossy deep green leaves and many swelling buds near to opening. 'But how is this possible?'

'You can thank the gardeners in Minas Tirith,' said Sam. 'I had some talk with them while we were there, and they were kind enough to ask my advice, though they know their own business well, and didn't need Sam Gamgee to tell them what to do. Any road, the talk turned to roses, and that's when I discovered that there are roses that bloom twice, in spring and autumn. They're called remontant roses, Frodo. I was flabbergasted, for we never had the like here in the Shire, leastways not that my dad knew of. I was told I could take home as many bushes as I liked, but I only took the one, not having room for more - and that a tight fit as it was. To be honest, what with dealing with them Ruffians and Sharkey and fixing up the Row and Bag End, I nearly forgot about it, but I made sure to use a grain of the Lady's gift in the soil to help it along. Which it did, seemingly. I don't know if you recall, Frodo, but it bloomed a fair treat in June.'

Frodo shook his head. 'I can't say that I do, Sam. So much was blooming, and what was one rose bush, especially with the miracle of the mallorn and all your trees...'

'That's true, and I reckon I had little enough time myself to do more than breathe a sigh of relief and thank the Lady. A part of me doubted if it really would bloom a second time, but I kept a close eye come autumn, and sure enough, two weeks ago new buds formed, and the first one opened this very morning as is. I couldn't wait to show you.' Sam's eyes sparkled with delight as he went on, 'Why, in a few years we might see remontant roses blooming in every garden in Hobbiton and Bywater, and even beyond. Think of it, Frodo.'

Frodo did, but the image Sam had conjured filled Frodo's heart not with joy but sorrow. He tried to school his features to conceal it, but Sam knew him too well now.

'What's wrong, Frodo dear?' he asked.

'I only wish... I wish...' Frodo faltered to a stop.

'What do you wish?' Sam gently, but inexorably, prodded.

Frodo did not speak for a very long time, only kept his gaze pinned to the blossom, noting the freshness and purity of its flawless velvety petals. Finally he said, 'I wish that I could bloom a second time. But I fear there is no chance of that. My season has passed.' 

Sam considered Frodo's words. He said, 'I could tell you that you're like this rose, and you'll bloom again in your season. But that would be a lie, Frodo.'

Frodo quailed inside. Was this it then, was all chance for happiness and healing lost forever? It must be, if even Sam - dear, optimistic Sam - could see no hope for him.

'It would be a lie,' Sam continued, 'because to me, you've never stopped blooming.'

Sudden tears filled Frodo's eyes. 'Oh Sam,' he said in a shaky voice. The next instant he was held tightly in Sam's loving embrace, and with the sweet scent of the remontant rose around them, they kissed.

~end~

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