The journey home was ever long. A stay in the Houses of Healing with beds together, Aragorn tending to Éowyn and Rosie as their honor demanded. A leavetaking after Aragorn's coronation. A funeral in Rohan, with Théoden laid to rest beside his son.
In Edoras, after the others had left, Rosie found herself at a crossroads. Naturally, Éowyn was Shieldmaiden and would wish to protect her land and her people. How could she not? But Rosie woke many nights, dreams of the Shire lingering in her head. Frodo and his company had made their way to Hobbiton many months before, and Rosie had lingered, unsure where her road led.
One such night, the golden wolf found Rosie outside, staring into the darkness. She shed her fur and took her place at Rosie's side.
"You're thinking of home," Éowyn said. It was not a question. After battles and beds shared, their understanding was unspoken, and deep.
But Rosie did not expect the next words Éowyn spoke.
"I wish to see the Shire."
Hobbiton, and the Shire as a whole, had not been untouched by war, and evidence of scars remained after rebuilding. Rosie would have been right to stay, but she had been just as right to leave.
Even in the aftermath, the sight of a long-departed hobbit on the back of a golden wolf was a noteworthy event. Samwise Gamgee had been alerted by post of their impending arrival, and his presence and greeting held back all fear. All that remained was awe, and some measure of honor.
Rosie had had no interest in such accolades. They could have ridden horseback just as easily, but Éowyn had placed a saddle on her own back before leaving Edoras, amusement twinkling in her eye. There had been too little levity in the recent past, and Rosie could refuse Éowyn little. It had worked, anyway; Rosie's heart was light and free of anxiety as she hugged the relatives and friends she had been away from for so long, and Éowyn slipped away to dress and rejoin her on two legs with little notice.
They married under the party tree, flowers in their hair, with dignitaries from Rohan and Gondor sharing space with residents of Hobbiton. The resulting party lasted well into the night, and rivaled Bilbo's farewell birthday in scope and memory.
Pippin's present to them was a true surprise to Rosie: a house on the edge of town, built partially underhill and over at Éowyn's request, with areas to accomodate both their sizes. Rosie wept with delight when she first beheld the house, and Éowyn embraced her.
"What about Edoras? Your brother?" Rosie asked as she calmed enough to speak once more. "Don't you long for home?"
"My sweet shieldmaiden," Éowyn said, kissing the back of Rosie's hand gently, "you are my home."