Author and Artist: writcraft
Summary: Sam and Frodo rest for the evening.
Word Count: ~1,650
Author's Notes: It has been such a treat to be part of this fest and to try my hand at LoTR fan fiction. Thanks so much to A for the speedy beta on short notice.
The warm evening with its soothing breeze reminded Sam of lazy nights in the Shire. He ate a little lembas and pretended the bread was hot sausage stew with potatoes and lashings of gravy. His mouth watered as he imagined the crusty bread softening after being dipped in the thick gravy, sweetened with well-cooked onions. If he concentrated hard enough, he could imagine the warmth of the evening came from an open fire which crackled cheerfully and sent shadows dancing over the walls of his small home. He closed his eyes when he finished the meagre rations and made the motion of smoking a pipe, as he relaxed under the stars.
Their space was small and cramped, but there was grass instead of rock. The fires of Mordor seemed hidden for once, cloaked by thick clouds and the dark indigo evening. There was space enough to stretch out completely and when he wrapped his thick cloak around his body, Sam could almost have been resting on his bed with plump pillows and clean, simple linen. Somewhere in the distance the sound of birdsong caught on a gust of air and the whispers of long-forgotten trees carried on the breeze towards him. The familiar sounds comforted Sam, and his ears pricked up as he grasped for any remote strains of sounds from his former life. Sam took in every movement of the wind and let the still night take on a dream-like quality, filled with the scent of home and the memory of Rivendell’s lullabies.
“Are you thinking of home, Sam?”
“I’m always thinking of it.” Sam shifted closer to Frodo and offered him his lap as a pillow. He noticed not for the first time how pale and slender his master had become over the last few weeks. “You should sleep, Mr Frodo. We have a long day ahead of us and you need to keep your strength up.”
“I’m not sure I want to close my eyes.” Frodo turned his head to look up at Sam. The moonlight highlighted his pale, sharp features which were somewhat softened by the silvery light. “The fires burn even on the darkest of nights. There’s no rest to be found in sleep.”
Sam brushed his hand through Frodo’s hair and swallowed as he took in the way Frodo contemplated him, his gaze warm. “There’s not too much longer left, I don’t think. We’ll be there soon enough and then we’ll be back in the Shire dancing, singing and telling everyone about our adventures. We’ll have cake and tea and we’ll tell them what a time we had. Just you wait, sir. I’ll be pulling up the weeds in the garden in no time.”
“Where would I be without you?” Frodo’s voice thickened and he reached up his hand to cup Sam’s face. “Samwise the brave.”
“Stop it, Mr Frodo.” Sam’s cheeks heated as they always did when Frodo looked at him as if he could carry the sun, moon and stars. “You’re not to keep talking like that. You know it only embarrasses me.”
“I know.” Frodo smiled and his sombre expression eased for the first time in days. “But I think I would rather be embarrassed than scared, Sam.”
“Aye, perhaps.” Sam watched Frodo’s throat bob with the effort of swallowing back a wave of pain and took in the way his eyes moved quickly from side to side. He pulled Frodo closer and kept his hand moving through his hair. “Hush, Mr Frodo. I’m here. It’s only your Sam.”
The tension eased from Frodo’s body and he relaxed in Sam’s arms once more. His wide-eyed panic dimmed and his gaze settled back on Sam’s face. “I just want a night where the red flames of the watch-tower don’t burn through my skin. I think we’re safe for the time being, Sam. The Eye is looking elsewhere tonight and has no business with us.”
“Then we’ll talk of happier things,” Sam replied, determined. “We’ll pretend this is just another of Gandalf’s games and perhaps imagine we’re listening to Mr Bilbo tell us a story. It’s warm enough. We could be sitting by the fireside with Mr Bilbo, lemon cake, fruit cake and piping hot tea.”
“Oh, I do wish we could be there!” Frodo’s eyes brightened. A dark cloud crossed his features momentarily and then his discomfiture passed. “There would be lots of cake, I imagine?”
“Enough for a whole family of hobbits,” Sam confirmed.
“Then we would have to save some for the next evening and do it all again.” Frodo laughed and the sound warmed Sam thoroughly, for they had been too long without it.
The shadows shifted and Sam turned in time to see something disappear behind a nearby rock. He struggled to control a wave of distrust and anger and he clutched Frodo closer to his body. “I don’t trust that little sneak,” he hissed.
“Don’t spoil tonight, Sam.” Frodo sighed and clutched Sam’s hand tightly. Their fingers twined together and their palms pressed close. “It’s nice just to remember home, isn’t it?”
“Well then, I’ll not say any more on it tonight.” Sam bit back a protest and focused on making Frodo comfortable so he wouldn’t have to think of their unwanted travelling companion.
“What do you think they would say of us and our adventures?” Frodo shifted from his position on the ground and sat upright, pressing close to Sam for warmth.
“We’ve talked of this. Your story would be known across the Shire, and they’d ask about the things you’ve seen-”
“-No,” Frodo interrupted. “I mean what would they say of us. What would they think Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee were to one another?”
“They would think we were the best of friends.” Sam’s body responded to Frodo’s proximity just as it always did and an uncomfortable heat rose from his neck to his cheeks as wretched desire twisted his stomach into knots. “I’d never leave you, Mr Frodo.”
Frodo sighed and his breath warmed Sam’s face. “There’s no doubt we’re the best of friends.” He paused and the intensity of his gaze made Sam’s heartbeat quicken. “I expect when I tell people about our time together they’ll see right through me, Sam. Perhaps they will see my heart.”
Sam swallowed. He had wanted this for so long, and Frodo’s words allowed him to hope for something he had thought impossible. “Your heart wouldn’t be any of their business, would it?”
“Nobody’s business but ours,” Frodo agreed.
“So you’re not to worry about what people might imagine. Let them imagine!” Sam held Frodo in the circle of his arms, conscious of the warmth in his cheeks and the ache of desire which awakened long-forgotten urges. “I’m not good with big words, Mr Frodo.”
“I don’t think you need words, Sam.” Frodo pressed their entwined hands to his chest and Sam took a moment to appreciate the steady beat of Frodo’s heart.
“I don’t want to assume…” Sam trailed off and forced his gaze away from Frodo’s lips.
“You’re not assuming.” Frodo’s voice dipped into a low murmur. “I’m telling you.”
With an air of trepidation, Sam closed the distance between he and Frodo until their lips connected. Frodo met his clumsy kiss with a groan of appreciation.
Sam pulled Frodo tightly against his chest and allowed himself a blissful moment of forgetting. He kissed Frodo soundly and slipped his hands along Frodo’s sides, tracing the slender lines of his torso and pressing his palm against Frodo’s warm chest to feel the beating of his heart. They kissed again after a moment of catching their breath and Frodo edged closer to Sam, his breathing ragged and rough-edged.
“This is improper, sir.” Sam broke the kiss and hastened to add when Frodo’s expression turned pained. “You need your sleep. I’ll not be taking advantage of you.”
“You should let me be the judge of what I need.” Despite his words, Frodo buried his head in the crook of Sam’s neck. He trailed his hand along Sam’s belly, the touch sending a flush of fire and arousal through Sam’s body.
“We won’t sleep like this, Mr Frodo.” Sam captured Frodo’s hand as it travelled lower and he mustered all of his resolve to still the questing movements.
“I just want to feel you properly,” Frodo implored. He took in Sam’s firm expression and sighed, raising his hand to run his fingers along Sam’s cheek. “I don’t want to always wonder if it would be just as I have always imagined.”
Frodo’s words caused a wave of emotion to wash over Sam, and he tightened his lips in an effort not to simply take what was offered. “You will.” He pulled Frodo close and wrapped their cloaks around them both, nestling his face in Frodo’s neck and feeling the cold, heavy weight of the golden chain against his skin. He pulled back and met Frodo’s eyes at last. “When the ring’s destroyed, then we can be whatever you want to be Mr Frodo.”
“I think I just want to be yours, Sam,” Frodo murmured in response with a light yawn. He shifted in Sam’s arms, speaking in a haphazard rustle of words. “I’m not tired. I’ve had enough sleep.”
Sam listened to Frodo’s breathing rise and fall and swallowed thickly as the night gathered around them and the moon watched their intimate moment. “Just try for a moment. Try and sleep. Do it for your Sam.”
“Oh, Sam.” Frodo nestled close to Sam and closed his eyes.
Sam looked at the stars and listened until Frodo’s breathing became heavy with sleep. “You already are mine, Mr Frodo. You shouldn’t need me to tell you that.”
Frodo didn’t stir, and Sam contemplated the moon for a while longer before he too drifted into a deep sleep.
As Sam slept, the clouds parted and the fires of Mordor burned fiercely in the night sky.