West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive

 

 

Before Breakfast
Frodo introduces Sam to other joys besides food in the Bag End kitchen. (Sequel to Falling Into the Sky)
Author: Elanor Gardner
Rating: NC-17

 

******

It was still raining when they reached the window to Frodo's room.  In the pale light of approaching morning, the light wet mist made Bag End appear to be an isolated island in a sea of grey.  Frodo vaulted over the sill, laid the gillim down carefully on the floor and turned to reach for Sam.

Sam stood cradling his hand, which was throbbing now with every beat of his heart.  He was only just barely aware of his sopping wet clothes because, as he gazed into Frodo's bedroom, he suddenly felt oddly reluctant to just leap in.

He had hurdled that windowsill a thousand times, much to the dismay of the Gaffer, but always at Frodo's bidding.  He even remembered doing it once when his legs were much shorter and Frodo had grabbed him by the back of his breeches and hauled him over in a quick escape from something or someone. 

But this wasn't an escape from anything.  This was different. 

He would be in Mister Frodo's bedroom.  It had always been Frodo's bedroom, but somehow, now, after what had just happened on the hill, it was altogether changed.  Nothing was the same because of what had he had done.  Just going into Mister Frodo's bedroom meant something that he wasn't sure he understood just yet.

Frodo grasped his arm gently.  "Come on, Sam.  I'll help if your hand--"

"I should just get on home."  Sam stared at the dark wet mulch around his feet.  Despite the water dripping down his face and soaking the makeshift bandage on his hand, he just felt more secure standing in the soil.

The hand lingered on his sleeve for a moment, then withdrew.  "Home?"

Frodo's voice sounded suddenly odd and hollow in the heavy wet air.  Sam looked up into those eyes that somehow reached into him and set his whole being to thrumming with sensation, as if the earth beneath his feet was trembling with delight, sending delicious shocks up through his very bones.   He gazed at Frodo, standing there shivering just inside the window, shirt plastered to his slender form, breeches wet and moulded to him like a second skin, dark hair dripping, and thought those eyes must be like the sea was in a storm, all dark and deep and choppy. 

And he must look a sight himself, standing in the rain, dripping wet, gazing at Mister Frodo like a lovesick calf.  If Daisy saw him standing here she would knock him in the side of the head and mutter -- 'Half-wise fool.  As if the Master's heir would waste a trice on your like.'

Sam wondered what on earth he had been thinking.  And then he realized with a sigh he hadn't been thinking, except with that part of him that didn't think very well.   Now here he was, ten times the fool for believing even for an instant that he could ever be any more than...than what?  He probably had mistook something that Mister Frodo had never intended.  But, Frodo had said he felt the same, hadn't he?  Had he dreamed that?  Had he wished it true?  He looked down at his feet again, making sure they were securely planted in the soil, for it sure seemed as if Bag End was spinning and his thoughts were whirling with it.

"Sam?"  Frodo's hand touched his sopping sleeve.  "What's wrong?  Why can't you just come in here out of the rain?  It's not as if you've never been in here before."  That voice, normally so assured, now seemed full of uncertainty.

Uncertain?  Mister Frodo?  Sam looked up quickly to make sure that what he had heard in that voice was reflected in that face.  That face.  He could get so lost in that dear face. And now it looked so fragile, so...agonized.  As if Frodo thought he had broken something, done something wrong.

He remembered a moment, ages ago it seemed now, when he had seen that same look on Frodo's face.  He almost winced at the memory -- that moment when Frodo had thought Mister Bilbo was going to send him back to Brandy Hall.   And Sam remembered well what happened next -- that instant of fragile fear had been quickly replaced by something else.  Some dark, deep barrier had gone up behind those eyes.  Mister Bilbo had almost been unable to get past that wall.  Sam remembered it well, because he had been awfully worried himself by what he had seen in Frodo's eyes that day.  And he remembered that it had taken time, and talking, and lots of reassurances from the Master of Bag End, before that fear and uncertainty had completely disappeared, before Frodo had really smiled again -- that bright, broad grin of his that came from the very inside out. 

Without even thinking, Sam was over the windowsill and nearly lost his footing on the wet floor inside.  Frodo grasped both of Sam's arms and struggled to keep him upright for a moment as his own feet slipped.

They were both looking down at their feet, muddy and wet on the floor, holding onto each other and sliding around as if they stood on ice.  When they finally came to a rather unsteady halt, Sam found himself leaning heavily into Frodo, panting for breath. 

When Sam looked up, he found Frodo's eyes on him, and that bright smile with no trace of uncertainty now -- just something that looked like joy and disbelief all mixed together.  And he knew what that felt like, because he felt it himself.  Joy that Frodo was looking at him as if he were something rare and precious.  Disbelief that, just by coming over that windowsill, he could make that threatening wall -- that fear -- dissolve like fog.  Him -- Samwise Gamgee.  Mingled joy and disbelief that his Frodo wanted him here, in his room, in Bag End -- in his life. 

Sam felt his face go hot, standing there sopping wet, but feeling suddenly as if he had swallowed the sun and it was blazing inside him.   Oh glory, you don't know what you do to me when you look at me like that, do you? 

"No more than what you do to me," came the groaned response from Frodo to something Sam could swear he had not said aloud. 

And then there was a hot, and wet, and very demanding mouth on Sam's and two very capable hands holding him still and pulling him closer.  The room spun suddenly and the tenuous footing became slippery once more.  Sam slid into the windowsill and threw his hands back, then yelped at the stab of pain as his injured palm hit the wood.

"Sam!"  Frodo said anxiously, "I...I am so...I am an idiot.  Let's go get dried off and see to that hand."

"But, I don't know as I should."  Sam looked into the dark corridor beyond Frodo's bedroom door doubtfully.  "I mean, Mister Bilbo might--"

"Bilbo sleeps like a log and his bedroom is quite a distance from the kitchen.  We will be cleaned up, dried off, and have a great breakfast on the table before he even opens one eye," Frodo interrupted.

Sam looked down at his feet warily.  "But we'll track mud--"

"I'll clean up later.  Two sets of tracks are no worse than one, and I am heading for the kitchen!"  Frodo towed him out the door and into the hall, brooking no arguments. 

Sam wanted to sputter in protest, but he was afraid to make any noise at all.  The Gaffer would cut off his toes if he knew he was tracking mud all down the hall of Bag End, much less at this hour.  He stared at his feet as he walked.  The Gaffer would cut off other parts of him if he had the slightest idea what had just happened up on the Hill. 

Then they were in the much more familiar Bag End kitchen and Sam breathed a bit easier.

Frodo bustled around, lighting the lamps and candles until the room glowed warmly despite the tentative grey of the morning.  Stirring the banked fire, Frodo lit the kindling and quickly moved logs from the rack, looking up at Sam.  "I'll go get some towels and something for your hand, then we can think about breakfast.  Just relax.  I'll be right back."

And Frodo was gone.  Light and energy seemed to drain suddenly out of the room.  Sam stood there for a moment, stunned. He heard a slight noise back in the smials and started, realizing he couldn't just stand there dripping in the Bag End kitchen.  He should at least try to look as if he had some purpose being there. 

At least there was plenty of dry wood in the rack, considering that the rain looked to be around for a good bit of the day.   Sam poked at Frodo's hastily built stack and made sure there was a good blaze.  Then he attempted to fill the kettles for tea, but that was a bit more difficult with one hand.  He finally did it without wasting too much water.   He managed, a bit clumsily, to set out the teapot, measure tea, put out the sugar bowl, and two cups and spoons.  This felt more normal.  This felt like just any other time when Mister Bilbo or Mister Frodo invited him in and he ended up puttering around in the kitchen making tea or some such.

Picking up a lamp, Sam realized he couldn't manage with one hand.  He finally put the lamp down and found a flat-bottomed basket in which he could manage to balance the milk jug and the butter crock.  Then he headed for the cold cellar with the basket over his arm.  It was a bit clumsy, but he managed to set the basket down on a barrel top and get the milk into the jug as he retrieved the butter and eggs carefully.  Transferring the eggs one by one into the basket, he noted that Mister Bilbo needed to get some more from Miz Teasel, probably today.   He would have to remember to tell Mister Bilbo when he got up later and wandered in looking for his first cup of tea -- wandered in and found Samwise in his kitchen having breakfast with Frodo. 

And what would Mister Bilbo do when he found out what his gardener's son had just been doing with his heir?  For the Master of Bag End would find out.  It was only a matter of time, probably a pretty short time at that.  Sam had learned, when he was but a faunt and had heard and seen things he likely shouldn't have, that Bilbo Baggins could all but see through walls -- he likely already knew what had happened on the Hill.  Sam felt his face go hot and his hands grow cold as he stood there.  And if Mister Bilbo didn't know yet, he would as soon as he walked into the kitchen and saw Sam's face, for Sam knew he wouldn't be able to keep from blushing like some silly lass, just like he was blushing now. 

And the Gaffer.  Well, for one, the Gaffer wouldn't abide him being in here, acting like he belonged.  He'd tell him to just get on home before Mister Bilbo woke up and found him here.  He had never paid enough heed to what the Gaffer had taught him as it was.  The Gaffer always said he should keep his distance from Mister Frodo.  No matter that Mister Frodo offered his friendship.  No matter that Mister Frodo himself ignored his own fit station and status.  No matter, the Gaffer always said, for no good could come of reaching above your proper place.  And Sam had meant to pay heed, but when he was young he had found himself thoroughly enchanted with Mister Bilbo's fascinating, oddly fae cousin from Brandy Hall.  Frodo, for his part, had always treated Sam just as he treated one of his many cousins or friends, never as if he were a child, never as if he were of some lower station.   And Frodo had been a generous friend, helping Mister Bilbo instruct Sam in his letters, telling Sam so many unbelievable tales and helping him learn to read them himself, insisting on taking Sam along on long tramps and hikes, enlightening him in ways of the world outside of the Shire, and teaching him about the vast skyful of stars above them. 

Sam buried his face in his hands as he stood there in the chilly cellar.   He couldn't remember exactly when it had happened; he only knew that it had.  He had gone and fallen right into the stars in those eyes, realizing that what he felt for the slender, dark-haired lad who had been his friend for as long as he could remember was no longer just friendship, that he wanted him desperately -- with his body and with his heart.  And then he had been long past going back to keeping to his proper place.  He had been off in some wild dream that woke him to twisted, sticky sheets and heated memories of dazzling eyes and moonlit skin.  

"Sam?" 

Sam started, almost knocking over the basket full of foodstuffs.

Frodo was standing in the cellar door with the warm light of the kitchen behind him.  His arms were full of towels and clothes, as he was peering tentatively at Sam while Sam just stood there in the dark like a pillock.  

"Sir?"

"Are you bringing that up to the kitchen?"

Sam looked down at the cold stuff in the basket. "Oh.  Yes sir."  He padded up, following Frodo into the kitchen, setting the basket down on the sideboard then looking around for the milk pitcher and retrieving it from the table.

Frodo had dumped the towels on a chair.  He pulled a tan robe out of the pile and went over to Sam, holding it up.   At some point Frodo had changed out of his wet clothes into a dark green robe, belted hastily around him, although his feet and legs were still muddy.

"Get out of those clothes and we'll get them dried out in no time."

Sam knew he must look a fine picture standing there with the pitcher clutched to his chest, just staring numbly at the fine, soft garment that Frodo was holding out to him.

"Sam.  You are dripping all over Bilbo's spotless kitchen floor," Frodo said firmly.

"Take off my clothes, here?  I mean in the kitchen?"

Frodo looked at him strangely.  "We're alone in here, Sam."

"But Mister Bilbo might come in."

A little wrinkle appeared suddenly between Frodo's eyes as he stood there watching Sam closely.  "Then you can go back to my room to change," Frodo went on, looking beyond Sam into the cellar.  "Or go into the bathing room."

Sam licked his lips nervously as Frodo started to move toward him, looking concerned. 

"Sam?"

And what would Mister Bilbo say if he found Samwise Gamgee in his kitchen half-dressed?

Frodo stopped in his tracks and Sam wondered briefly if he had spoken his thoughts aloud.

"Go on and change, Sam.  You're shivering," Frodo said in a strange, flat voice.  "We'll get your clothes dried out and you will be back in them before you know it -- long before Bilbo even wakes up."

Sam took the robe in his good hand and turned to go to the bathing room in the cellar.  It seemed the safest choice.  Then he glanced at his bandaged hand.  He couldn't change his clothes alone.  His hand was even stiffer and more painful than it had been last night when he had found it impossible to lace up his breeches.   Then he remembered Frodo's fingers attempting to untangle those laces and what had happened when he did, and his entire body went hot and then just as quickly cold. 

He jumped when those slender fingers were suddenly on his shoulders.

"Let me help, Sam," Frodo's voice sounded soft, the way the robe felt in Sam's rough hands.  "I won't bite.  I promise."  

Insistent fingers tugged at the robe.  Sam clung to it for a brief moment, then let go, watching it fall onto the chair behind him.  The fingers were back on his shoulders again, lifting the sodden shirt up and then down and off his arms slowly, careful of the wrapped hand. 

Sam's skin went all goose bumps and prickly in the chill air as Frodo walked over to hang the shirt carefully on the rag line above the fireplace.  Then Sam realized suddenly that he was, indeed, standing half-dressed in Mister Bilbo's kitchen.  He glanced at the door into the corridor nervously. 

When he looked back, Frodo was standing right in front of him, watching him solemnly.  Sam stepped back without thinking, bumping into the chair and nearly sending it toppling to the floor.  He grabbed for the chair and his hand landed on the soft fabric of the robe hanging over it.  Snagging it with relief, he awkwardly attempted to slide one arm into it. 

Then Frodo was behind him, helping him carefully into the robe and stepping around in front to help him.  As Sam fumbled with the overly long sleeves, Frodo leaned in and reached around him with both hands to find the robe's belt.

And, for a moment, they both froze.  Sam with his face buried in russet-tinged curls, Frodo with his face a bare breath away from Sam's chest, his arms around him. 

Sam's eyes closed as he drank in that scent -- juniper and wildflowers and rain -- and he shuddered when he felt Frodo's warm breath touch the hairs on his chest.   He heard a stifled sound from Frodo somewhere in the vicinity of his breastbone and suddenly Frodo was gripping Sam's waist as if he needed support to stand.

"Oh..." Frodo breathed. 

"Oh..." Sam agreed, feeling suddenly dizzy with the need to pull Frodo closer to him, his hand lifting automatically toward that dark head.

But Frodo managed somehow to find the belt and tied it loosely.  He had slipped away and was back to the fire before Sam could move. 

"Let's get your legs cleaned off and then you can get out of those breeches and get them drying as well."  Frodo's voice seemed a bit hoarse.

"I can just keep 'em on I think," Sam muttered, his own voice sounding a tad strained to his ears.

Frodo poured water from one of the kettles into a half-filled basin on the floor and quickly stepped into it to rinse off his feet.  "Well, at least let me clean your feet off before I check your hand," he said as he wiped down his own legs with a dampened towel.  

"I can clean 'em."

"I am sure, Sam." Frodo looked up as he dried his own feet and legs efficiently.  "But I'm not going to risk that hand getting any worse than it already is." 

"It'll be all right.  I told you, I heal real quick." 

"I'm sure you do."  Frodo tossed the soiled towel in a basket already full of laundry and filled the basin once more.  He set it down on the floor in front of the fire and sat down on the stool beside it, holding out his hand.  "But I am going to put some of Bilbo's healing oil on it, Sam," he said firmly. 

There was no getting around Mister Frodo when he got that tone in his voice.  After a moment's hesitation and a nervous tug to try to tighten the belt, Sam walked obediently over.

"It just don't--"

"--feel right.  I know, Sam.  I know."  Frodo motioned Sam to put one foot in the basin.  Sam meekly did so and Frodo efficiently washed the mud off of Sam's lower leg.  Sam held on to the stones of the fireplace for support as Frodo lifted his foot and wiped at the curls.  Then Frodo carefully cleaned each toe and proceeded to dry everything just as thoroughly -- and Sam thought he might just collapse right there if he weren't holding onto the fireplace.

How could someone just wiping your toes make you feel like that?  Sam closed his eyes and shivered at the sensation that skittered up his leg and pooled low and hot in his belly.  His breeches would dry pretty quick at this rate.

"Sam!"  Frodo said, and Sam could tell he had already said it once, or maybe twice, by that tone. "Your other foot."

Sam's eyes snapped open and he almost fell over when he realized Frodo had let go of one foot and was waiting patiently for the other.  He shifted his weight, putting his other foot in the basin and suddenly realizing how very tight and uncomfortable wet breeches could be. 

The same attention was given to the other foot.  By the time Frodo finished, Sam was quivering and finding it hard to breathe, but Frodo didn't seem to notice.  He put Sam's foot down carefully and grabbed the broom, throwing a wet cloth on the floor.

"Just toss out that water and unwrap your hand, if you can, while I am doing this."  Frodo headed around the table and down the hall, quickly mopping up their muddy footprints, heading back toward his room.

Sam stood there for a moment staring after him.  It was all so confusing.  He wanted Frodo so much that his whole being seemed to vibrate with the need, but he was afraid of that feeling.  It seemed too big, too strong.  Like the way the sky and the stars felt when he had seen them over Frodo's shoulder. 

Over Frodo's shoulder.  That part was unbelievable too.  That he had seen that sky over Frodo's shoulder.  That all the hot sweaty dreams had not even hinted at the shattering reality.  Oh, yes, Mister Frodo was all ivory skin and shimmering eyes, but he was equal parts of hot demanding mouth and skilful fingers and insatiable flesh.  Sam closed his eyes; this wasn't helping.  He was painfully hard.   

Sam managed to move somehow and picked up the basin with his good hand, dumping it into the drain and pumping fresh water in to rinse it.  Then he obediently unwrapped the injured hand and realized that he couldn't feel the sting from it; another pain had driven it from his mind, the one that felt like hunger and want and needing something so badly you ached.   And here he was acting like he didn't want it, acting like he didn't need it more than he needed air to breathe or soil to work in.  Acting like he was afraid of it.  And he could tell that Frodo was worried and wondering exactly what was wrong.

Sam stared at his fingers, the broad nails crusted with dirt.  He wasn't even sure exactly what was wrong himself.  He realized he was afraid, but what was he afraid of?  Not the glorious feeling that made him want to sing and fly and laugh and cry all at the same time.  Not the way his heart rose into his throat when Frodo just looked at him.                   

No.  He closed his eyes tightly, at last putting a name to it.  He was afraid that this -- this wondrous thing he had with Frodo that he couldn't even put a name to -- would be gone.  Gone if he breathed wrong -- gone if Mister Bilbo found out that he had dared to touch Frodo with his rough hands -- gone if Daisy told what she had guessed about her brother's addlepated ways of late -- gone if the Gaffer knew he had dared to lift his eyes from seed and soil to the starry eyes of the Master's heir -- and Sam's whole world would be suddenly empty and meaningless.

The cut had bled again, but not too much before it had stopped.  When Sam unwrapped it, the towel tugged at the dried blood and he winced.  But then Frodo was beside him, taking the basin and rinsing it then filling it from the kettle and adding cold water from the pump. Sam just stood there, watching him, feeling as if the room was spinning around some vortex, and Frodo was the centre.

"Let's get your hands clean first."  Frodo took Sam's hand gingerly in his.  "Oh, it was a bad slice Sam." 

As Frodo examined the cut carefully, Sam suddenly breathed easier.  Somehow just having Frodo standing next to him, holding his hand, made him feel less afraid.  Taking a hand towel and warm water, Frodo carefully cleaned away the crusty blood.  He took soap and slowly washed the palm around the cut and then up his wrist, coming back to concentrate on the dirt that had caked under Sam's nails. 

Sam was so lost in the feeling of Frodo tenderly washing his hand, and the rippling wave of heat it sent along his skin and down into his belly, that he was certain he could not think.  But somehow he managed to wonder how his fingers had gotten so dirty.

Then he remembered, vividly, his fingers dug into the dirt of the hill holding down Frodo's hands -- holding him down so he could...oh.  He closed his eyes tightly, but couldn't stifle the groan.

He felt Frodo flinch in response.  "Did I hurt you?"

He shook his head mutely.  But when he opened his eyes, he knew that Frodo would not mistake the look there for pain.   And, as Frodo peered at him, Sam watched something hot and uncontrolled flicker briefly behind that concerned gaze, then disappear as quickly as it had flared.

Frodo turned hastily back to his task, picking up a bottle of some fragrant oil and tipping some out to carefully slide along the cut.  Those slender fingers worked so delicately that Sam didn't feel anything at all, except an ache somewhere totally unconnected to his hand. 

"Bilbo got this recipe from Elrond of Rivendell.  It seems to speed up the healing of cuts and scrapes and aches, so this should help."  Those skilful fingers were wrapping his palm again with a strip of white cloth and tucking it in tightly.  Then Frodo took more of the oil and worked it carefully into Sam's fingers and his wrist, massaging slowly as he went. 

"Now the other," Frodo said matter-of-factly, "I know it could use a good wash and I don't want you getting that bandage wet." 

Sam wordlessly held out his grimy hand.  Frodo didn't seem to notice that it was trembling as he took it firmly in his fingers.

Frodo was almost as gentle with this hand, as he scrubbed at the dirt-crusted nails and washed it thoroughly, then rinsed.  "You know, you and the Gaffer should use this on your hands, with all the rough use they get in the garden.  I've seen the Gaffer rubbing his as if they pained him sometimes."   Frodo rubbed the special oil into the other hand with a firmer touch.  He massaged Sam's wrist, then pushed his warm oily thumbs into his palm and up his fingers over and over.  "This oil has things in it that come from far off lands, Sam.  It smells exotic, doesn't it?" 

But Sam was overwhelmed by the sensations tingling up his arm and the memories of the other things those agile fingers could do.  He closed his eyes as his mouth went dry and a hot wave of need rolled through him, leaving his knees quivering.

"Can I...can I sit down?" he whispered hoarsely.

"Are you dizzy, Sam?" Frodo grabbed his elbow firmly, steering him to lean back against the kitchen table.

"I dunno.  I just need to sit down."

Frodo hooked a chair with his foot and pulled it over.  "I am an idiot.  You must be exhausted," Frodo muttered as Sam turned to sink into the chair, "but wait, just let me get those breeches off you before you sit."  Frodo kneeled quickly.  "I won't have you eating a nice hot breakfast in cold, wet trousers when you could be warm and dry."  His fingers pushed open the soft tan robe to undo the loosely tied laces.  And then, before Sam could move or even think, wet slick cloth was sliding down, releasing hot, turgid flesh.

"Oh, Frodo!"  Sam gasped and grabbed at Frodo's head with his good hand, threading still oily fingers into damp curls. 

"Oh, my," Frodo whispered hoarsely. 

Sam thought his knees would give way at that moment, with his wet trousers wrapped somewhere around his ankles and his hand tangled in Frodo's hair.  That would make a picture for Mister Bilbo to wake up to in his kitchen.

"Oh...Sam," came Frodo's hoarse whisper again, and Sam felt a hot pulse of air where he had never imagined feeling anyone breathe on his bare skin.

And when those slender agile hands slipped under the robe and around him, Sam forgot how to breathe.  He could feel each finger, like ten little brands, pressed hot and demanding into his bare skin, pulling him inescapably forward, to what?

To that touch of lips and tongue -- wet and hot and unmistakable -- right on that part of him that was aching to be touched.  Sam's eyes widened and his mouth open soundlessly.  If he could have pulled in enough air, he might have yelled in surprise at that moist, enveloping heat.  And if it had not been for those fingers on him, holding him firmly in place, he would have pulled away.

Instead, his knees gave way and he sprawled backward, landing on the table.  He just barely caught himself on his elbow and almost landed on top of the teapot.  Somehow he was halfway across the table, but Frodo had come with him, was standing there leaning over him -- into him -- and all Sam knew was the unbearable sensation that was threatening to suck him into some hot, slick, swirling oblivion.

And Sam didn't just feel, he saw.  The tan robe gaped open and -- just before he shut his eyes -- those smouldering eyes lifted to his and he saw that perfect mouth on him.

When his head bounced back on the tabletop, Sam barely registered the teapot's protesting clink, because some sound -- a scream, a shout, something -- was spiralling up from the very depths of him.  Only the dim knowledge of where he was kept him from doing anything beyond biting his lip so hard that he was sure he had bitten clean through.  But he knew that the muffled noise that somehow escaped him would wake Mister Bilbo, no matter how far away his bedroom or how thick his door.

Whatever Frodo was doing with his tongue and his mouth, he had to know that Sam couldn't live through it.  Samwise Gamgee would die here on Mister Bilbo's kitchen table.  He would just go up like tinder and leave Frodo with ashes in his hands. 

But first, Sam was sure, they would manage to break Mister Bilbo's favourite teapot in the process.

Instinctively, Sam started pulling with his hand, tugging up at that dark head to get the mouth away, up, anywhere but where it was teasing and tormenting past endurance.  But then it was worse, because that tongue was suddenly everywhere but where Sam really wanted it to be.  Sam pushed down at those slippery curls then and heard a throaty laugh and felt a hot breath of air against his hip.

"Make up your mind, Sam," came the husky whisper, breathed against the inside of his leg.  Then the tongue was back, circling maddeningly on the sensitive skin there and sliding up to his hip bone and across his stomach.

"Guh..." Sam managed.

"What?" came the amused whisper of hot air against his stomach, and then another kiss and slow lick across to the other hip bone.

"Guh..." Sam was beginning to worry now.  He couldn't get his mouth and tongue to work properly.

He could feel Frodo smiling against his skin, a hot shimmering feeling sliding through him until his whole body hummed with it.

"Breathe, Sam." It was a wet whisper of air against his hip.  "Just breathe."

Sam managed a gasp then, but it was cut off as his whole body jerked when Frodo, with one quick movement of his head, took him entirely into his mouth.

"Frodo!" he whispered hoarsely, his fingers jerking at Frodo's hair.

Frodo lifted his head away at that urgent cry, peering at Sam questioningly.  Meeting that hot stare, Sam tried to beg for mercy with his eyes, since his mouth clearly wasn't working well, and Frodo's gaze went suddenly cool and uncertain in response to the unspoken plea.

"Sam?" came the doubtful whisper.  "I don't want you...I want you to say no, if this makes you uncomfortable -- if you don't want to do this."

Sam flung his head back, hitting the table again and making the teacups rattle loudly.  Sometimes Frodo could be so...frustrating.

So Sam did the only thing he could think of and grabbed with one hand, tugging at dark curly hair and dragging Frodo's slender form up until he was almost on the table with him.  Then Sam pushed himself up and pulled that face to his.  Kissed him with everything that was swirling inside him.  Kissed him and hoped that the words he couldn't seem to say weren't needed.  Kissed him and knew that Frodo would know that this was all he had ever wanted and would ever want.

Kissed him and tasted himself in Frodo's mouth and shuddered.

He fell back and Frodo was left with his cheek against Sam's chest, breathing hard. 

"I...guess that means...yes," Frodo croaked.

Then Frodo leaned back, running his hands over Sam's chest and down across his stomach slowly.  Sam smelled the tangy, biting scent of the oil as he squirmed under that knowing touch. 

"Oh, Sam." Not only Frodo's fingers, but his eyes were exploring Sam as well.  Sam could almost feel the touch of that searing gaze trailing in the wake of his hands.  "You are beautiful.  Did you know that?" 

Sam still couldn't manage to put his tongue around any words, so he simply shook his head.  

"You are."  The head lowered again and Sam felt all the air leave his lungs. 

It felt as if Frodo was devouring him whole, with his tongue swirling and his mouth sucking and his head moving in some unbearable up and down motion that was just fast enough to keep Sam from thinking clearly, but just slow enough to make him want to--

Sam didn't realize he had lifted his hips off the table until Frodo groaned.  Then those agile fingers were skimming across the dark, sensitive circles of flesh on his chest, and down his sides and under him to lift him up further, even deeper into that mouth.  And Sam's head hit the table -- again -- and the cups rattled -- again.  

It felt to Sam as if the Bag End kitchen was sinking into the earth, spinning slowly down into some dizzying vortex of gold and green, and they were sinking with it.  Then, just when Sam thought that he was about to spin away into a golden whirl of heat and fly into thousands of pieces, Frodo's mouth was gone and Sam's shaking fingers grasped at air. 

Sam heard the rattle of the teapot and cups as they were moved quickly from table to sideboard and he took a deep, shaky breath.  Then he felt the table move and creak and knew that Frodo was climbing up -- right onto Mister Bilbo's kitchen table.

For just a brief moment, Sam had a vision of the table cracking down the middle and dumping them on the floor beneath. 

At least Mister Bilbo's teapot was safe. 

He lifted his head and opened his eyes and found Frodo straddling his hips. 

It crossed Sam's mind that they might be found like this -- on this table in this kitchen -- by a grumpy, awakened-out-of-a-sound-sleep Bilbo.  His mouth opened to tell Frodo, but then he forgot what he was going to say.  That dark green robe was gaping open and all Sam could see for a moment was ivory skin, slick with sweat, and those clever fingers, slickened again with oil, grasping--

"Oh, glory." Sam's head was falling back again, but Frodo moved forward and caught him, fingers smelling of pungent oil sliding around his nape, hot slick mouth sliding down the side of his throat to pause at the juncture of shoulder and neck and nip at the shadow there, then on down to the hollow of his neck, then back up to his ear, catching the tip in his teeth.

"Frodo...you..." Sam grabbed for that head and pulled that mouth to his.  He tasted himself once more in the dark heat of Frodo's mouth.   And he wondered what it would feel like, how it would be, to take Frodo into his mouth, to nibble at that arching velvet flesh with his lips and sample it with his tongue, and then kiss Frodo.  To let Frodo taste himself.  And he shivered at the thought.  Curling his fingers around Frodo's nape, he held him there.  He would never tire of this hot, sweet magic -- kissing his Frodo.  

Frodo shifted, and -- oh -- one hand, oil-slick and hot, encircled Sam's swollen flesh.  Sam tried to move his head and found the other hand holding him firmly in place, Frodo's mouth fiercely covering his, swallowing Sam's groans as that hand teased and stroked.  Then Sam felt Frodo's hardened shaft against his hip and shifted, trapping slick heat against slippery skin, and Sam smiled as he felt Frodo's fierce, choked cry vibrate against his lips.

And Sam was reminded again of how strong those lithe, lean muscles really were when Frodo managed to pull up and away, still straddling him, holding him and stroking.

"Sam," came the hoarse voice.  "I want . . . "

Sam reached out blindly, and what he was seeking rose eagerly into his groping fingers.  He was rewarded when Frodo hissed, then startled when Frodo grasped his wrist tightly.  Frodo's hand was shaking.

"I want you -- inside."

Sam stared up at him, "Wha..? "

And Frodo answered the question with his body, hands and legs moving quickly.  Frodo was shivering, almost quaking, leaning over Sam; his face intense, his eyes so dark they were almost black.

Sam's eyes widened as he sensed Frodo's foot sliding up next to his chest and saw Frodo's leg bend and flex beside him.  Then he felt Frodo's fingers firmly on him once more.  And something hot and oiled and incredibly tight slid onto--

"Fro...OH!" 

Sam's fingers flew up to cover his own mouth, his hips lifting instinctively, hard and fast into that slick heat.  When he heard Frodo gasp, he closed his eyes and fought hard to still his questing hips, only to groan loudly in response when Frodo, unbelievably, began to move.

It seemed impossible.  Sam wanted to look, but he couldn't manage to, as Frodo gradually began to move faster, but not fast enough.  The slow rocking motion was tormenting and Sam knew he was making some kind of pleading noise, but he couldn't stop.

And then fingers smelling of exotic oil from distant lands were on Sam's hand, covering his lips, stilling the whimpered moans.  Sam struggled to open his eyes and watch.  Frodo's head was thrown back above him, his skin sheened with sweat, his muscles taut with effort.  Just tracing with his eyes the shining line of throat and chest and belly down to joined bodies made Sam shiver.  Then Sam managed to grip the slender fingers that covered his mouth, and, slowly, suck them in. 

That heated body shuddered around him and Sam nearly came undone, groaning around the pungent taste of the oil on his tongue as he heard Frodo's hoarse growl.  Then Frodo was leaning into him, replacing fingers with fierce demanding lips and tongue, still moving relentlessly.  Sam lifted his head and wound his hand tightly in dark silky hair as his own mouth was plundered.  He felt as if he was being emptied into Frodo, becoming a part of him as Frodo swept them toward some whirling vortex that would overwhelm them both.

But it was not quite fast enough, not quite hard enough.  And Sam knew that Frodo was drawing it out, making it last, holding them both back from that vortex, until Sam knew he would scream, and plenty loud enough for them to hear down on the Row.  When Frodo leaned back, intent and breathing hard, Sam thrust upward in counterpoint, asking wordlessly for faster, harder -- more.  Then, gritting his teeth in frustration, he slid his hand between them and encircled Frodo's turgid flesh.  

Frodo made an undecipherable noise and stilled completely. 

Sam shivered when he looked up and those dark, bottomless, burning eyes were on him, pinning him to the table.  Then, eyes locked on Frodo's, Sam moved his hand.

"Oh...Sam!"  Frodo whispered hoarsely, closing his eyes, bending that dark head forward over Sam's chest, and lunging urgently against that slick grasp.

At that sudden frantic movement, Sam gritted his teeth and fought to stay with Frodo, fought to match that driving rhythm with his own.  His muscles shook, but he strained to watch -- to wait until he saw Frodo lose his own hard-won control.

His entire body wet with the effort, Sam was teetering on the edge of oblivion when Frodo lifted his head, his eyes seeking Sam's face for an instant.  Then those eyes closed and that mouth opened and Frodo's face went slack.  Sam heard his own name in a whispered groan as Frodo's neck arched backward above Sam into the beginnings of an indescribable release. 

Sam closed his eyes, unable to hold back any longer when Frodo's body clenched, fierce and hot, around him.  He heard the choked off wail above him as wet warmth spilt over his hand, then he was chanting Frodo's name over and over as his body quaked and the Bag End kitchen spun into darkness and warmth and greenness and glory.

***

A dim watery light shone through the Bag End kitchen windows from the rainy grey morning outside, but inside the room was filled with warmth and light, the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns and fried bacon.

Sam had tried to keep them focused on cleaning up the kitchen and getting quickly into their dried clothes, but Frodo had taken advantage of every opportunity to distract him -- planting a kiss on Sam's chest for every shirt button he buttoned for him, threatening to lace up Sam's breeches with his teeth and then doing it rather clumsily with his fingers, pushing Sam up against the wall in the cold cellar and kissing him senseless.  And to make it even worse, when he wasn't touching Sam with his fingers every time he was in reach, he was touching him with his eyes when he wasn't.  The worst was when Frodo dressed himself so very slowly in front of the fire, where the flames reflecting on that skin put Sam in mind of those ivory-coloured wild roses with just that hint of blush.  Sam couldn't think of anything at all with all that going on. 

And for the rest of his life, Sam would remember the laughter ringing off the walls, the joy in Frodo's eyes, and the persistent smell of a certain pungent oil.    

Somehow, in the midst of it all, Frodo had managed to put together a batch of his famous cinnamon buns and fried up bacon and eggs, with Sam's able one-handed assistance.  Now the kitchen seemed full of sunshine, despite the soggy day, and resounded with a rather raucous conversation about the merits of planting in the drizzle and how resting when one's hand was injured was not the least bit "lazy".

And Sam had managed to forget, for a while, the overwhelming fear that they would be discovered; that Mister Bilbo or, worse, the Gaffer, would find out somehow, about them, about -- this.  He had forgotten, until Mister Bilbo wandered in from the hall tying the belt on his robe, blinking in the warm light of the kitchen, and Sam felt his throat go suddenly dry and his stomach go suddenly sour.

"Heavens, Frodo, what are you doing baking buns at this hour lad?  Good morning, Sam."  Bilbo said, hiding a yawn with the back of his hand.

Sam stood up part way from his chair, blushing madly, but feeling his hands and feet go icy cold.  "Good m...morning, Mister Bilbo, s...sir."  He felt as if he was going to be sick, right there in the kitchen, on top of everything else he had done in there today. 

But Bilbo didn't seem to take notice as he waved him back into his chair and headed for his own normal place, already set at the head of the table.  Frodo threw Sam a quick glance as he carefully poured Bilbo a cup of tea.  "Good morning, Uncle Bilbo.  Did you sleep well?" he asked in a cheery tone.

Sam shivered, but caught the reassuring smile Frodo sent in his direction.  He looked down at the table, trying to stay calm, then remembered what had happened on its sturdy surface, and blushed even more.  There was nothing in the kitchen he could look at without blushing, seemingly.

"Hmph, until this morning at least.  All this racket.  What has gotten into you both?  I could hear you all the way to my bedroom."  Bilbo poured cream into his tea and ladled in far too much sugar.  "Oh, and happy birthday Samwise!  How is that hand of yours?  Frodo told me about that.  He was quite worried about you last night."

"It's fine s...sir," Sam whispered, swallowing uneasily.

"I put some of that oil of yours on it Bilbo, just to make sure," Frodo added.  Sam looked up to find Frodo's eyes on him and noticed that little anxious line was back between those eyes again. 

"Indeed?"  Bilbo took a sip of his tea and looked over the rim at Frodo. 

 "Well, I am certain that will make a difference.  In fact," Bilbo sniffed the air, "I can smell it.  Very potent that stuff.  Quite invigorating."

Sam's eyes widened and he gazed back at Frodo fearfully, then stared down at his plate.  He was going to be sick.  Mister Bilbo must know what they had done with that oil of his.

"I know the oil will help, but we've just been discussing how Sam should stay out of the garden for at least a couple of days so he can heal up, haven't we, Sam?"  Frodo said quietly.

Sam felt a little of the fear seep out of him at Frodo's low soothing tone.  He looked up and found Frodo smiling at him.  Frodo wasn't the least bit afraid of what Mister Bilbo might think or do.  As Sam gazed into that beloved face, he realized that he just had to hope that things would turn out for the best.  They had to.   

"Would you like some eggs and bacon, Uncle Bilbo?"  Frodo asked, his eyes not leaving Sam's face.

"Yes indeed, but don't you worry, that can wait.  First, I am going to get myself some of those cinnamon buns of yours, my boy.  You have left me some haven't you?" 

"Yes sir," Frodo responded absently, still gazing at Sam.

Bilbo gulped down the rest of his cup and rose to his feet with his plate in hand. 

"I can--" Frodo made to get up, but Bilbo motioned him back, heading for the fire and the plate of fragrant buns warming there. 

"Heavens lad, you are full of energy this morning.  Quite different from yesterday I must say."   Bilbo reached out as he passed to ruffle Frodo's hair affectionately. "I am glad to see it.  You had me a bit worried." 

Watching Mister Bilbo lean over the fireplace, Sam jumped when something warm touched his toes, and then he realized it was Frodo's feet.  Frodo's warm toes were covering Sam's cold ones under the table.  He looked up and found Frodo grinning at him broadly.  Then, to make it worse, Frodo slid one furry foot up Sam's ankle and hooked it around his calf.  Sam couldn't help but smile back nervously when the shivers that skittered up his leg made other things shiver as well.  A loud thunk startled him back to the moment, as Bilbo placed his plate, with two large cinnamon buns on it, firmly back on the table.    

"Lad, did you get that oil all over yourself?" Bilbo was holding his fingers up to his nose and sniffing delicately.

It was Frodo's turn to blush.  "I guess I did.  I...I forgot to wipe my hand off thoroughly after I put it on Sam's.  I must've put my fingers in my hair."

"Hmmm."  Bilbo responded, glancing over at Sam as he picked up his napkin.   

Sam was totally lost at that point, with Frodo's foot sliding slowly up and down his calf and Mister Bilbo gazing at him intently while he wiped the oil off his fingers.  He felt like he might as well be sitting there naked for all the good his clothes did him. And he wasn't certain, it seemed a bit odd, but he thought he saw Mister Bilbo's eyes crinkle, as if he were going to laugh.

"Indeed.  Well, yes, it is quite pungent and slippery," Bilbo said calmly, picking up the teapot and looking back over at Frodo.  "I'm just terribly glad no one dropped my favourite teapot with their slippery hands," Bilbo continued as he poured himself a cup.

It was Frodo's turn to go bright pink.  The foot toying with Sam's calf suddenly stilled.  And Sam was for certain he was going to be sick. 

But Bilbo had shut his eyes and bit into a bun with a lusty sigh. 

"Whatever it was that got you into the kitchen before breakfast this morning Frodo, I hope it happens again.  I could eat these every morning and never tire of them," Bilbo said, his mouth full and his eyes closed in bliss.

Then Frodo met Sam's eyes over the table and grinned broadly, his foot sliding even further up under Sam's breeches leg, his eyes shining.

"I am sure we can manage it, Bilbo," Frodo said with laughter bubbling in his voice.

Bilbo opened his eyes and looked at right at Sam, smiling brightly.  He leaned over and laid his hand on Sam's shoulder.  "You are a good influence, Sam lad.  You must come over every morning before breakfast if it gets this young slug-a-bed up at a decent hour."  He took another bite of the bun and turned back to Frodo. "Now, what did you say about bacon and eggs?" he managed around that mouthful. 

And soon the laughing conversation of three thoroughly satiated hobbits filled the warm, rather fragrant, kitchen of Bag End.

******

FINIS

 

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