West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Rainy Nights
The inevitable finally happens.
Author: Elderberry Wine
Rating: R


There isn't much light through the window early this morning, Sam, but I can still see your face as you lay asleep next to me.  Your arm is possessively curled around me, and you lay on your side facing me, your leg twined with mine, and I wouldn't move for all the mithril in the world.  The rain is heavy against the glass this morning, and that fills me with such joy and relief.  Another day, we've been given another precious day.

x x x x x

It was that lightning storm at the end of last summer that started it.  Huge black thunderheads had been building up all day on the horizon, and by late afternoon, the thunder could be heard coming ever closer.  The cicadas were particularly loud and there was an expectant air everywhere that afternoon.  I was out in the kitchen garden with you, urging you to stop your tasks so you could get home before the storm broke, but you were determined to finish the irrigation ditch for the tomatoes that you had been working on all day.

"It'll never do to let their feet get that wet," you told me stubbornly, working steadily on.  "And there's that much water in that cloud as could wash them away," you added, with an appraising glance at the approaching storm.

Even as we spoke, large fat drops began to fall, hitting the dirt path with small muffled thumps.  "You go in, Mr. Frodo," you spoke up over the wind, which had picked up as well.  "This storm'll be comin' in fast, and no mistake."  Quickly, you continued to dig the channel deeper.

My protests were drowned as a sudden burst of rain hit us both, and a jagged bolt of lightning ripped through the sky.  The clap of thunder was almost immediate.  "No, Sam, now," I exclaimed in some real fear, grabbing your arm and tugging it.  "This really will have to wait!"

Another bolt, that looked for all the world as if it were striking the top of Bag End's hill, swiftly persuaded you that I had a point.  "Aye, you may be right a'that," I heard you call out, as you hurriedly collected up your tools, and the both of us ran for the kitchen door.

The sky had gone as dark as if evening had fallen, and we were both thoroughly soaked as we stood dripping on the kitchen flagstone floor.  "Now, this'll never do," I heard you mutter determinedly, as you strode over to the kitchen fire to stoke the flames.  "I'd best be getting some tea started and some hot water for a bath before I go," you called back to me, busy at the stove.

"Sam!" I spoke sharply, frowning.  "I can't believe you intend to go back out in that."  Crossing my arms, I continued to drip all over the kitchen floor.

Surprised, you glanced at me over your shoulder, but my soggy state gave you new cause for concern.  "Just you wait there, Mr. Frodo," you called out, already leaving the kitchen, and shortly returned with a towel.  I wrapped it around myself, but refused to be distracted from the topic.

"Sam, you really will have to stay here until this storm is over," I pointed out.  "That lightning is dangerous.  This storm is far too close at hand for you to be walking out in it."  And just as if to prove the point, another large bolt rent the sky and the accompanying clap was nearly deafening.

Both of us couldn't help jumping a bit at that, and you chuckled shyly.  "Like as not, you have a point, Mr. Frodo," you answered, turning to busy yourself with the tea.

"I can take that," I informed you, taking the kettle from your hand.  "Here," I returned it to the fire.  "I'll heat some more water up.  For all that it's still summer, I think both of us will be needing warm baths."  Well, it was hard for you to deny that, soaked as we both were, so you went off to start pouring in the cool water.

I had the first bath and, warmly dressed in dry clothes, was readying a cup of tea for myself when I realized your predicament.  " Sam," I called in through the bathroom door, "you can't be putting those wet clothes back on again."

"I'd have no spare," I heard you call out, embarrassment obvious in your voice.  Well, I knew my clothes would never serve, but I thought fast, as I called out, "Wait a moment, Sam."

Hurrying to the front parlor, I grabbed a couple of large woolen blankets and quickly returned.  "Here, Sam," I called, opening the door a bit and depositing the blankets on the floor.  "Let your clothes dry out for now."

A little while later, you were in front of the parlor fire, your clothes spread out to dry on a bench nearby, wrapped head to foot in my blankets with only damp curls and a scrubbed face showing, as welcome a sight as I had seen in this all-too-familiar room for a long while.  I had convinced you that I would be able to find something satisfactory for dinner, even if it were not up to your usual standards of cooking, and you had settled back against the bench to wait.

Rummaging quickly in the pantry, I found potatoes, and bread and cheese, and, on impulse, I grabbed one of my best bottles of Old Winyards.  We let the potatoes roast in the embers, toasted the bread and cheese over the fire and opened that fine bottle.  It was one of the best meals I've ever had.  The fire burned low as we sat there, toasting not only Bilbo, but anyone else we could agree to admire.  I opened the book of Elvish tales that I had been reading, and told them to you far into the night, until the fire had nearly burnt out, and your eyes finally started to droop.  Then, side by side, we fell asleep wrapped in blankets, in front of the glowing embers.

x x x x x

I think it was after that night that I finally admitted to myself what I had felt for you for several years now.  I was truly in love with you, a fact that I fully intended to conceal from you for the rest of my days.  If Bilbo could manage a life of perpetual bachelorhood, I saw no reason his heir should not be able to do likewise.  True, it was not the future that I had envisioned for myself, when I was younger, but no other hobbit, neither lass nor lad, had ever meant more to me than a bit of fun.  And that was nothing on which to build a life.  Bag End would have to do without the scamper of little hobbit feet for another generation.

Your future, however, had been an entirely different matter.  Since the age when a lad begins to consider his future, it was always generally assumed that Rosie Cotton would be the future Mrs. Sam Gamgee.  Certainly, Rosie seemed to have made that assumption, and had been pleased with the prospect.  You had seemed comfortable in Rosie's company, although a trifle shy, which was more than could be said about you around any other lass.  Yet as time passed, nothing further seemed to happen.  If pushed to dance, you would invariably pick Rosie as your partner, and Rosie seemed to enjoy chatting with you upon your visits to the Green Dragon.  Neither party, however, seemed inclined to be rushing into a wedding.  The inhabitants of Hobbiton had given up on the both of you long ago, and moved to couples of greater interest.

I still wondered at times what had or had not happened between the two of you, but was content to still be able to indulge in wistful, albeit futile, daydreaming.  I definitely did not plan to ever question you regarding the matter.

x x x x x

Far off in the early morning, a cock faintly crows, although the sun is hidden behind thick grey clouds.  You stir in your sleep, so accustomed to awakening to that sound, but the warmth of our bed lulls you back to sleep again.  Your arm tightens about me as you press yourself closer against my side.  And it's so hard to keep from wakening you with kisses, just to see you smile at me, but I watch your face as you sleep, and wait for your eyes to slowly blink open on their own.  You tell me that I know so many tales and words, but I will never know those that will rightly convince you as to how beautiful and dear you are to me.

Heavy sheets of rain start to fall against the window, and I know that, at least for the morning, we are safe. 

x x x x x

Following that first thunderstorm, the following days remained clear and hot.  I had briefly asked you the next day if your Gaffer had been concerned as to your whereabouts.  You shook your head and muttered something about not being a bother, but couldn't help smiling back at me when I asked you in mock exasperation, "Really, Sam, do you think you were?"

But the matter was dropped there, and the days continued on at their normal lazy pace.  I kept the memory of that night as a treasure in my heart though, and when I was sitting alone in front of my desk, supposedly studying my latest translation, all I was seeing was the memory of your face, whether shyly laughing at the amusing tales, or lost in wonder at the more marvelous ones.  But I caught you watching me too when you thought I was not looking.  What were you thinking of, Sam?  What were you remembering?

x x x x x

You are not yet awake, but must be dreaming, for a smile crosses your lips and I hear you murmur my name.  What am I doing in your dreams, Sam?  Will you remember when you awaken?  Raising a finger to your dear mouth, I touch your lips softly, so softly.  Maybe you will dream that I am kissing you.  You sigh happily at that and settle down closer to me. 

x x x x x

It was the second thunderstorm of the summer that changed both of our lives.  That day had begun fair, but by late afternoon the air hung hot and sultry, and clouds were building on the horizon.  I brought some water to you as you worked in the back orchard, knocking the ripe plums into a basket, and you stopped gratefully for a moment.  From far off, the low hooting cry of the mourning dove was heard. 


"Dove's callin' for rain," you observed.

"Yes," I replied hesitantly, and by the look on your face, I wasn't the only one who remembered the last thunderstorm.  I took the pitcher back then, but kept an eye on the sky, and it wasn't long before thunder could be heard rumbling in the distance.  As I went back out to the orchard, rain drops were already beginning to fall.

This time, it was as if we had it planned out ahead.  Tea was made, baths were taken, and this time, you had spare clothes handy in the back pantry.  We had dinner in the kitchen, and there was no question, as the late summer rain fell heavily out of doors, that you were spending the night at Bag End.

Time had flown by so quickly as we ate.  We had discussed plans for the upcoming Harvest Festival, the latest news from Hobbiton, and even the doings at Brandy Hall.  Both of us were relaxed and laughing when time came to clean up, and without any further words, we comfortably began the dishes, you washing and I drying.

The light from the kitchen fire was beginning to burn low, and the fragrant rain-laden night air came through the partially opened kitchen window as we worked.  I was feeling blissfully content as I worked by your side when you turned to me, hands still in the soapy water, and asked, "Mr. Frodo, do you think we'll be needin' a fire in the study tonight?"

"Hmm," I murmured absentmindedly, "whatever you think best, Sam."  And dropping my drying towel on the counter, as a light jest I added, "Since we're doing dishes together, do you really need the 'Mr.'?"  Lightly laying a finger to your lips, I added, "Just 'Frodo' would do very nicely, Sam."

Where that came from, I'll never know.  But you turned and looked at me, your hands suddenly motionless, as if you had been waiting all evening for that.  And with an expression in your hazel eyes that I will never forget, half of hope, half of apprehension, you whispered, "Frodo," and then lightly, so very lightly, kissed my finger.

And all the world became still at that and there was only your face in the flickering kitchen firelight, unreadable, waiting, and the sudden slamming of my heart against my throat.  It was a gift I had never hoped to ask for, and there was no question but that I could not help but take it, come what may.  My hand curved around your cheek and closing my eyes, I let my lips meet yours.  Your hands left the dishwater, and I felt them close around my shoulders, warm, wet and strong, as you returned my kiss.  I had never been held like that before, by hands so strong yet so gentle, and your kiss was more sweet and tender than I had ever known possible.  From deep within me, came a longing sigh that I could no more have stopped than my heartbeat, and you answered by sliding your arms behind my back and kissing me more deeply than ever.

Finally I slowly and reluctantly broke apart from you. I had to see your face.  And there you were with your eyes glowing green and gold in the light with no more signs of fear or apprehension, and the same sweet smile I knew so well, the gardener's son that I had known nearly all my life, and yet you were not.  No, you were as beautiful as the most glorious summer's day I had ever seen, more wondrous than any hero out of my Elvish tales, and I couldn't believe you were looking back at me with such love in your eyes.

"Oh, Sam," I murmured caressing the side of your face, in awe at what had happened between us.

But you knew how to answer that best.  Throatily whispering my name, you found my mouth again, and this time I wrapped myself around you and held you tight, and returned your kiss with all my heart.

When we broke apart again, we were both breathing heavily.  I searched your face for a sign, for directions.  Did I dare ask for more?  But we were pressed together, still in a tight embrace, and when you shifted slightly, I knew.  You were as ready as I was.

"Come to bed with me, Sam", I whispered, watching your face carefully.  Any sign of reluctance, or hesitation, and I promise you, I would not have continued.

There was none though.  Instead your face lit up, and your arms held me tightly, and your lips were hungrily on mine once more, a brief deep kiss.  "Aye," you murmured when you let me go, "Aye, love, that I will."

And then we were jostling each other down the hall, trying to walk without letting go of each other, pausing several times to kiss eagerly, as if we still could not yet believe that the touch of each other's mouth was true.

When we finally got to the bedroom, there was a faint light only through the window.  The clouds had only thinned temporarily, but we gave no thought to lighting fire or candle.  I still don't know how we managed to get our clothes off, our hands were shaking and fumbling for buttons, but nothing stopped us until they had all been flung off in heaps on the floor.  "Lay down, Sam."  I knelt at your side on the bed as you lay back on the white sheet, and even in the darkened room, you were as golden and as glowing as the sun that had given you color.  Then you held out your arms to me with a smile and I was in them, throwing myself at you like one who was starved.  For that's what I was, Sam.  But you answered back my every move, and there was no time to explore, no time to pause, we were frantic and craving every touch, every press, every movement, until release came to both of us, swift and glorious.

As I lay there across you, both of our chests heaving as we fought to catch our
breath, I felt tears start to flow down my cheeks.  But they were tears of relief, not sadness.  So when you gently raised my head and carefully wiped them away, I smiled shakily back at you and apologized, "I'm sorry Sam.  It's just that I can't believe that you are not a dream."

You smiled at that and shook your head a bit.  "No more can I," you answered me tenderly.  "But if you are, well, I just never want to wake again no more."

I lay back then on the pillow beside you and felt your arms close around me.  "Sam," I whispered, running a hand through your tousled curls, losing myself in your gaze.  And then I said those words I'd never said before, "Sam, I love you so."

At that, I could see your eyes shine with tears of your own.  "And I you, Frodo-love.  Always and forever, me dearest."  And there was no possible answer to that but to kiss you again.

x x x x x

The dawn is approaching now.  Soon you will awake.  And maybe, if the rain continues to fall, you will smile sleepily at me and run your hands over me, and I will respond helplessly to your every touch, as I always do.  And we will fall into the familiar rhythm, our bodies joining as if they were meant to be always together, until the end can no longer be put off, and we will clutch each other tightly calling out each other's name as if it is the only hold to this world that we know.  Then we will drop back into each other's arms and laugh, and speak of our hopes and wishes, and imagine that the rest of our lives will always be just like this.

Ah, listen, Sam.  Listen, my beloved.  It's still raining.



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