Title: Caught Unawares
Character: Rosie Cotton
Disclaimer: Middle-earth belongs to Tolkien and his heirs: I wander there for fun, not profit.
Most of the time she can put the dull sadness to the back of her mind, as she sweeps and scrubs, bakes and stitches, feeds pigs and collects eggs. Even later, when the Shire darkens and closes in and folk are being carted off to the Lockholes, she keeps busy, sneaking baskets of bread or pots of stew from her mother to Gaffer Gamgee when the Chief's thugs aren't looking.
But sometimes – when she must pass by Bag End, and catches a stubborn rose's scent lingering between the stinking sheds – his absence stabs at her like sudden toothache.