Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lord of the Rings belong to their respective creators, Joss Whedon and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Author's Warning: major AU. Absolutely non-canon.
One day, Menegilda asked if she would like to go on an outing. She was going to Hobbiton, said Menegilda, to see a good friend of hers, who had recently had a baby.
She didn't really want to go. Everyone always looked at her and tried to talk to her, and all she wanted to do was sit in her room and try to remember all those important things that she'd somehow forgotten, like her own name. But Menegilda looked so worried she couldn't say no, and one early morning they both got into a little buggy with two ponies and Merimac drove them down the road to Hobbiton.
It was the first time she had really seen the Shire, but she tried not to stare because she felt that everyone else thought that there were things she should already know. So she held her breath and peeked from the corners of her eyes, and she wanted something to look familiar to her, for anything at all that was like something she might have seen before, and everything was very pretty and very bright, but she recognized nothing. She watched the houses go by, the newer, aboveground ones and the doors in the sides of hills, and she watched the river called the Water flowing by as they drove into Brogmorton, and she thought Menegilda held her hand extra tight so long as they could see the river.
They passed right through Brogmorton, though they stopped several times just to say hello to different people, because they had to hurry to get to Hobbiton with enough time to visit and come back. Every time, someone stared at her, and she wondered if they were looking for Frodo when they searched her face like that, and then it was her who held Menegilda's hand extra tight. Over the side of the buggy, she looked and looked to see if she recognized anything. Once she saw someone with red hair, and her heart jumped into her throat, but it was only a man's head sticking out of a window, and not what she'd thought at all.
Down the road from Brogmorton they came to where the Water turned into the Bywater, which Merimac said was almost exactly at the middle of the four Farthings. She saw Hobbiton up ahead long before they got there, and it was the prettiest place she'd ever seen, with big smials and lots of trees, and Menegilda said it was probably the only place she thought was nearly as pretty as Buckland.
The house Merimac left them at was small and old but neat and full of flowers, with a big garden. Merimac told Menegilda, "I'll see to the ponies and be back to take you to the Green Dragon for sup. Give my respects," and left, and then Menegilda took her hand and went up the little path right to the door.
The woman who came to the door was younger than Menegilda, but she was told to call her Mrs. Gamgee, and she curtsied in her yellow dress and told Mrs. Gamgee a very polite "Hello." Mrs. Gamgee was very nice, but she could see how the two grown-ups were looking at each other, like they wanted to talk alone. When Menegilda asked her if she wanted to go in and see the baby, she just nodded and went into the sitting room while Menegilda and Mrs. Gamgee talked in the kitchen over tea.
The Gamgee house was much, much smaller than Brandy Hall, with not nearly as many rooms or things, but she liked it better because it felt so much more like home. The sitting room was bright and cheerful, with a window full of flowers that looked out into the garden, and the baby was in his cradle by the fireplace, tiny hands waving in the air. Mrs. Gamgee had several children, Menegilda had told her, but they seemed to all be out.
She stood up on her toes and peered over the side of the cradle. She wasn't too sure what a baby should look like, but this one seemed all right, with all the right numbers of toes and fingers. A thick thatch of brown hair, big blue eyes, and a button nose, and the baby made a noise and reached one chubby hand for her face.
"His name is Sam," said Mrs. Gamgee's voice, and she dropped back onto her heels and looked to see Mrs. Gamgee and Menegilda at the door, watching. "Samwise Gamgee."
She turned and pulled herself up to look into the cradle again, and Samwise gurgled a baby's laugh and patted at her hands where they held the edge of the cradle.
She held his little fingers in one hand. "Hello, Sam," she whispered.
They stayed for a while, and Mrs. Gamgee even let her hold Sam for a minute before they left. When Merimac came to get them, it was getting dark and Menegilda decided they should go straight home rather than stop for supper at the Green Dragon, whispering to her son, "She's had enough for one day."
This time they had her sit in the middle, because it was dark and "You just never know, Mother" near the Old Forest. Merimac put a stout billy club between his feet and she spent the whole time looking up at the stars, stars that shone like the glints that wavered on the surface of the Water where the moonlight touched it, so many stars that she couldn't count them or find any shapes. Menegilda had an arm around her the entire time, and she listened to Merimac talking to his mother or whistling.
She was thinking of those others, those faces she remembered, and she was calling them up one by one and thought she had them all: the woman with red hair, the girl with the long brown, and the woman with black. She thought she might have someone missing, had some blurry feeling that she was forgetting something, but then she remembered how Sam had grabbed at her fingers and laughed when she tried to hold him in her arms like Daddy still sometimes held her, and she smiled as she fell asleep in Menegilda's lap.