Title: A First Time For Everything
Fandom: The Hobbit
Category: Birthday, Drabble, Fluff/Schmoop, General
Characters/Pairing: Bilbo & Frodo Baggins
Spoilers: For Frodo’s life pre-Bag End.
Summary: Hobbit custom says Frodo should give gifts on his birthday, not receive them.
Word Count: 464 words.
Date Written: 09/22/15
Disclaimer: All things Middle-Earth belong to JRR Tolkien. This fic is mine, written for fun.
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: I knew I wanted to do something for Hobbit Day, but wasn’t sure what. I came up with this fic the night before the Baggins Boys’ birthday, but it originally had a much sadder ending and I decided to quit before I got there. Birthdays should bring joy, after all!
Dedication: Happy Birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! The ship may have taken you over the sea ages ago, but you’ll be in our hearts forever.
It was uncommon for a hobbit to receive a gift on his own birthday, you see, as hobbits instead give gifts, or rather mathoms, as is hobbit custom. But, due to the coincidence of sharing a birthday with his favorite uncle, Frodo got quite used to receiving gifts for own his birthday.
The first time had been the year just after his parents had died. On that morning, he was woken early, scrubbing the sleep from his eyes, and saw his Uncle Bilbo smiling down at him.
“Well, up with you,” Uncle Bilbo had told him. “My birthday celebration musn’t wait a moment longer.”
Uncle Bilbo pulled a small package from his bag and handed it to Frodo, who swung his legs from the bed and looked quizzically at his uncle.
“What’s this then?”
“A present for you.”
“But it’s my birthday,” Frodo told him earnestly. “That’s not how it’s done.”
“Well, it is my birthday as well, isn’t it then?” Bilbo told him. “Go on, lad, open it up.”
Frodo unwrapped the gift from a small blue cloth that had protected it on its long journey from Bag End.
Inside was a tea cup, for a child it seemed, as it was far too small to be of use to Bilbo and yet the perfect size for Frodo’s hands. Painted around the outside of the cup was a glorious picture of greens and blues and golds, yellows that sprung from the cup and purples that blended back into it.
“It was mine, you see,” Bilbo told him. “When I was just a wee thing like yourself. Only it was always bare for me. Crisp clean white, Mother always said. So I painted it up.”
“It’s beautiful,” Frodo said, on the edge of his breath. The colors were enrapturing.
“It’s Rivendell,” Bilbo told him proudly. “Well, as near a likeness as I could manage, which I am afraid is not near enough.”
“Oh, but I’m sure it is,” Frodo told him. “And one day I shall see for myself, when we travel there together. Yes, Uncle Bilbo?”
“Indeed,” Bilbo told him with a wink. “Someday you and I will see the sun rise over Rivendell together and I promise, it will be far more than this tea cup could ever show you.”
Frodo flung himself at his uncle then, small chubby arms curled around Bilbo’s neck as tight as could be.
“I didn’t know you were coming,” Frodo mumbled into the skin of Bilbo’s neck. “I haven’t got anything for you.”
Bilbo wrapped his arms around Frodo’s small waist and lifted the boy up, legs dangling in the air, mess of curls pressed firmly against Bilbo’s cheek.
“There, lad,” Bilbo told him. “No need to fret. This will do quite nicely. Quite nicely, indeed.”