West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive

 

 

The Making of Samwise
A history of Samwise Gamgee's life as he grows into his destiny.
Author: Bill The Pony
Rating: NC-17

 

Late one early November afternoon, the wind turns, scattering leaves and dust in a swirl through Hobbiton and carrying them halfway to Bywater. The watery yellow sunlight, which has failed all day to warm the damp air, fades behind leaden-grey clouds. Snow begins spitting from gathering clouds, carried on a thin north wind-- tiny flakes of ice at first, sharp enough to sting. Families quickly take their leave from the Bywater market, trudging down roads huddled in groups or departing on waggons and traps, headed towards their cozy holes.

Sam puts a bottle of milk in to his basket and turns to his sister, blinking the snow out of his lashes. If wintry weather is setting in, there won't be no telling when Mr. Frodo might make it back from Tuckborough. He tries not to let his shoulders droop with his discouragement. It's been a long fortnight indeed since Frodo set forth with his Took kin to see to Miss Mallow's affairs, and only one letter to tide Sam over-- short and businesslike, warning Sam about the unexpected delay of his return.

"Come on, May, we've got enough between us." Sam nudges her arm and nods towards the Road. The stalls are closing down anyway, for nobody wants to be caught out in the storm.

Sam and his sister start up the Road together, heavily laden with bread and milk and eggs and taters and other foodstuffs from the market. They have enough for a week, Sam reckons-- not just for the Gamgee family, but for him and Mr. Frodo, as well, should the master return. Sam edges between May and the brunt of the wind, rounding his shoulders against its buffeting.

A last few leaves, stripped from the late-autumn branches, tumble past in a wild swirl and drift with others against the Hill. "Let's hurry," Sam urges May, and they quicken their pace, Sam keeping a steadying hand on her back. He still has to put away his purchases and fill the woodboxes up at the smial, but he reckons he has enough time to see his family settled safely before he heads up to Bag End.

Number Three looks cozy and welcoming, smoke rising from the chimney, its little round windows alight with a warm glow. Sam still finds it strange sometimes to think it isn't his own home no more. But for all of that, it's still his family's home, and he still loves the little hole and the three hobbits who yet live there.

"Sam, 'ee best mind the weather." The Gaffer meets them at the door and takes Sam's parcels awkwardly before he can properly cross the threshold. His old dad pauses, waiting till May goes inside. His brows beetle into a scowl. "While you've been down to market, a pony cart come up the Hill." The lines of his frown cut deeper into his forehead, and he lowers his bushy eyebrows. "Not so long ago, neither. I reckon 'twas Himself back from Tuckborough."

Sam's heart leaps in his breast, but he tries to keep from showing it. He can't keep his breath from quickening, though.

The Gaffer scowls and rolls his eyes impatiently; no use trying to hide naught from him. "I reckon 'ee won't linger, knowing 'ee. Go off to him quick as may be, won't 'ee. But can 'ee lay us in a bit of wood before 'ee go?"

"That's my plan," Sam says, and trots back out to the woodpile, filling his arms with all he can carry. The Gaffer opens the door for him when he comes back up the path.

"That sky looks set to send down a blizzard," the Gaffer complains. "See how the clouds are louring? Even if I couldn't see, my old bones are telling me we're in for a snow. Don't 'ee dawdle." He rubs his gnarled hands together and watches anxiously as Sam goes back and forth till the rickety old woodbox is full. The Gaffer tends the door for Sam, helping all he may, for all that the pain and stiffness in his joints has to be terrible bad what with the cold of winter coming on.

"I ain't going to dawdle; I've got to get up to Bag End and put the supper on, and there's wood to bring in there, too, for I cooked a bit this morning, and left some of the fires lit in case he came home while I was gone the day." Sam hurries himself a bit more. He wants to be up the Hill before it gets dark or before it starts to snow in earnest, whichever comes first.

The Gaffer watches him piling the wood high in their dilapidated wood-box. "That's the trouble with all them fireplaces the Quality has to have," he grouses a bit. "'Ee can't keep up with 'em all, I daresay." He falls silent, his lined face set in a brooding expression. Sam just gives a grunt and feeds the fire with a last stick or two that won't stay stacked on top of the pile.

"I reckon some of that is for the Master." Gaffer nods to the parcels, which sit near the door.

"I'll sort it out." Sam matches word to deed and hoists his basket again after handing Marigold the goods he carried for May. She scampers off to the kitchen nook with them. Sam shifts his feet uncomfortably; he still isn't quite used to saying his Gaffer goodnight and going off to sleep under another roof-- especially considering what the Gaffer must think him and Mr. Frodo get up to of a night, and no matter that it ain't true-- yet.

"We're settled for the storm, I reckon." Gaffer fumbles in his weskit for his pipe. "Which is more than I can say for that Master of yours, I'll warrant!"

"He will be by nightfall." Sam still hesitates, wishing there was something he could say to bridge the gulf between him and his old dad, to let the Gaffer know he's happy up at Bag End with Mr. Frodo.

"Himself will still be fretting over Mr. Bilbo, I expect." The Gaffer turns a piercing eye on Sam, who sighs and nods agreement. "Well, 'ee best tell him I said that old hobbit's not one to be caught short out in the weather, not Mr. Bilbo Baggins!" Gaffer nods, decisive. "If I know him and his luck (and I worked for him all my life, so I reckon I do), he's found a nice hearth to warm his toes by, and a good host to do right by him with a bit of supper. He's doing a sight better than we are this winter's night, I'll warrant!"

Sam's eyes prickle with affectionate tears. "I daresay you're right, Dad," he murmurs. "But Mr. Frodo won't be settled in his mind until he knows the truth of it with his own eyes, seemingly."

The Gaffer shakes his head. "Himself won't bide content here forever in any case, I'm thinking." His voice goes gruff. "Took and Baggins and Brandybuck blood, all three? That don't make for a nice settled hobbit. I'm thinking he might have gone with Mr. Bilbo if not for 'ee. I reckon 'ee don't need the likes of me to be tellin' 'ee that, neither."

Sam nods, biting his lip and looking anywhere but his Gaffer's face. "He won't never go alone, if he goes. I'll go with him, if I have to track him till I catch him up."

"And that's something I don't need tellin' on my own account," his Gaffer answers him wryly. "All this prattle ain't tending the Master, Sam. Get 'ee gone up the Hill." The Gaffer scowls a bit, flapping his hands, and Sam gives him a wry little half-smile, grateful for the scolding.

"Goodnight. If you need anything, just give a shout." Sam swallows hard and leaves without no more talk, tucking his head down between his shoulders like a turtle and trudging up the Hill. The light is already failing behind the thick-layered clouds for all that it's only four o'clock, and the snow falls thicker, the flakes heavy and wet.

Still, it isn't the weather that slows Sam's steps as he nears the smial. There's somewhat else that kept him passing words with his father while the storm gathered, and he knows it. It was his own nerves over what's set to happen. Never mind that he wants it-- will Mr. Frodo have changed his mind? And will Sam know what to do, and do it proper? Here it is getting on towards Yule. Mr. Bilbo's been gone since September, but aside from a few kisses on their thwarted walking holiday, Mr. Frodo hasn't done aught with Sam at all.

Mayhap Mr. Frodo's grieving after Mr. Bilbo is done, now that he's stirred out a bit, but what if his melancholy comes back now that he's back at Bag End? What if that's what kept him in Tuckborough so long, not just seeing to Mallow's affairs?

It will be a sad holiday in Hobbiton indeed if the Master of Bag End doesn't take his proper place in the festivities, and Sam has a mind not to let it happen-- and more, he knows now just what to do, if only he can bring himself to dare.

He swallows hard, looking on up the Hill towards Bag End, hoping he has the courage that is needed. Only the kitchen window shows a light; Mr. Frodo's stomach has probably only just reminded him he's missed his tea, and finally stirred him out to put the kettle on for himself.

A creak of handbrake and the clop of hooves stirs Sam from his thoughts, and he steps out of the Road to let a light trap pass on its homeward journey, watching the pony blow clouds of steam out through its nostrils. Only the driver's eyes are visible over his muffler, but Sam waves anyway, and receives a mittened wave in return.

No point in delaying any further, not out here on the Road, nor even once he gets back up to Bag End. Time's wasting. He has to believe Mr. Frodo will still mean what he said he wanted to happen once he came back.

Sam hastens up the Hill and goes 'round to let himself in the back way, trying not to feel a pang of sadness as he walks through the garden, now bare of leaf and blossom. There are a few cold-weather crops still bearing, greens in particular, but this snow will most likely bring a hard freeze and finish them.

Sam quickly goes inside and patters up the hall; coming to the kitchen, he blinks with surprise and pleasure. Mr. Frodo is up to his elbows in flour, the first time he's cooked since Mr. Bilbo left, and there's meat and onions browning in a pan over the stove, and a smell of savoury things in the air.

"There you are." Frodo's cheeks are flushed with the exertion of his labour. "The fire was lit when I came in, but there was no sign of you in spite of the snow. I've been worried."

"No need to worry," Sam says stoutly, setting his parcels down. His heart hammers in his chest; Mr. Frodo's voice is calm and familiar, so normal it almost seems his master has never been away. He sorts through his purchases and takes a load into the near cellar, raising his voice to be heard. "It won't start to pile up for a while yet. If you're of a mind to finish the supper, I'll just go out and bring in wood, and pick the last of the winter greens."

"I was hoping you'd come back in time to do that. I've got a pot ready," Frodo answers.

"Then I'll fetch them in first." Sam finishes putting away his purchases and makes good on his word, heading out to the garden. The earth is starting to freeze, still a bit mushy under his feet, but with a bite of frost hardening the top layer of it and putting a skim of ice over any standing water. He busies himself quickly, not bothering with mittens, warming his hands from time to time under his arms. By the time he reaches the final row he wishes he'd brought a lantern, but he can work well enough by feel to get the last of them.

When he finishes, he hurries back into the smial, puffing and blowing, and carries the greens in to Frodo, who frowns at his dirty, red, chill-stiffened fingers, but takes the greens and puts them in a basin to rinse without comment.

Sam warms his chilly hands for a moment over the fire, then takes his mittens and a lantern as he goes out with the wood basket. There is snow enough now that he leaves tracks across the yard. It makes him think of a trick he's heard tales of from the Fell Winter: how hobbits tied a rope between their holes and their woodsheds so they wouldn't lose themselves feeding the fire and wander off in the blowing snow. There's some of his Uncle Andy's best rope hanging in the shed, a gift from Anson when they parted, but Sam doesn't reckon this storm will be bad enough to need it.

It takes half a dozen trips to fill all the woodboxes in the bedrooms and the parlours, and then four more for the kitchen, but he heaps every one as high as it will hold.

"Sam, don't you think that's enough wood?" Mr. Frodo pinches the crusts to seal around the top of his meat pies, eyeing Sam with some surprise as he works to balance the last load, creating a stack near twice as tall as the woodbox itself.

"I reckon it is and more, but I wouldn't like a storm to blow up and catch us without enough." Sam shrugs, a little sheepish, knowing he's just been working to keep himself from fretting. He takes the empty wood basket to its place in one of the cellars. Then he comes out to hang his wet coat and his hat and muffler to dry in his room. The meat pies smell so good his mouth waters; they won't have to be in the oven long, since the centers were already hot when Mr. Frodo put them together: just long enough to bake up the crust.

"Come and sit down to supper," his master calls before Sam can do more than start to fidget and look about for more work to do.

Reminded that Mr. Frodo has spent the afternoon doing a part of Sam's own job while Sam himself dallied at the market, Sam comes in to the kitchen with his head down, feeling a bit shy. "Let me help with getting that up, sir." The table is already set, and wine poured.

"No, just wash up and sit down," Mr. Frodo commands, pouring most of the water off the boiled taters into the basin and raising a cloud of steam, and Sam does, heartened by his master's show of spirit. A bit of Yuletide cheer seems to have caught Mr. Frodo at last, and he's cooked enough for a feast.

They fill their plates right from the stove, with greens and taters and peas and meat pies hot out of the oven. It ain't strictly polite, and it fair makes Sam blush. He don't say naught, though, for after these past months, he knows how Mr. Frodo hates having all the fuss of a fancy banquet set at every mealtime. Instead they sit down at the kitchen table, just the two of them with their heads together as cozy as you please, and begin to eat.

"How is Mistress Mallow?" Sam ventures when they are settled, cutting a bite from his juicy meat pasty with the side of his fork.

Frodo sighs. "She's well, though I don't suppose she's content with her lot. Thain Ferumbras lined up a marriage for her before we arrived, just as she expected. A Bracegirdle cousin-- a connexion of Lobelia's. A very hasty job, too." Frodo hesitates, looking at Sam, and then seems to make up his mind to continue, speaking quietly. "He was more than twice her age, with a reputation for having a heavy hand if a lass displeased him."

Sam clucks dismay in his throat; Frodo pours himself a glass of wine and swirls it, scenting its flavour. "It took me a fortnight to talk Ferumbras around. And Paladin-- he's set to be the next Thain, you mark my words; Ferumbras is grooming him for it. Chalcedony was right about how he's turned into a bit of a toady, though most of that's Eglantine's doing, I think. And Chalcedony--" he paused again, looking into his plate, rueful. "She didn't help her cause, I'm afraid. In the end, she gamed so many lads and husbands from Great Smials that Eglantine stepped in. She made Paladin take my side of the matter just to put an end to the visit."

Frodo pauses to take a bite and chew. "Ferumbras didn't take too well to Paladin acting the upstart, I'm afraid. But Eglantine was desperate. I rather think she may have been afraid Chalcedony would start on Paladin next."

"Aye," Sam says softly, well aware that Frodo would not discuss family matters in detail with a mere servant. His heart races with pride even as it fills with pity for Mallow. "She might even go after young Master Pippin, if she thought of it."

"She did," Frodo murmurs ruefully, eyes on his plate. "Though I don't believe Eglantine knows she tried it. Things would have been far easier all around if Anson wanted to court her, I'm afraid." He shakes his head. "I warned Pippin about the dangers of becoming a father, should he find he has a taste for her sort of gaming." He looks up at Sam, his expression wry.

Sam lets a whistle escape through his teeth. "It sounds like you've had a bad fortnight of it, sir."

"I won't say I wasn't glad to see Mallow go." Frodo sets his wine down, seeming satisfied with the bouquet, then notices Sam hasn't helped himself, and pours a glass for him. "She's gone down to the South Farthing, where she isn't well-known, to try her chances finding another place as a tumbler. She didn't want to go back to the Ropers, and I convinced her not to try her luck in parts east. They've no need for her at Buckland." Frodo smiles suddenly. "That reminds me of happier matters, Sam. When I came in, I found a letter waiting in the post from Bree."

Sam blushes; valet he might be, but he hasn't had the cheek to handle his master's mail. He's been putting the little bundles of letters on to Frodo's desk with their twine untouched.

"Bilbo wrote to me at last. He means to winter in Rivendell." Frodo's eyes shine, and he smiles at Sam, sunny and warm as a summer dawn.

Sam feels his own smile rising readily in answer. So that's what has the roses blooming in Mr. Frodo's cheeks! He picks up his glass, sampling the wine-- a fruity red, finer than any Gamgee has a right to.

"It's no surprise to me, sir, if I may say. My Gaffer, now, he said to me this very day he'd bet Mr. Bilbo Baggins wasn't going to weather no winter storm without his toes up on a warm hearth and a fine host working to keep him fed." Sam chuckles, content to leave the matter of Mallow behind. "I reckon you don't find any better hosts than Elves, and that's a fact."

Frodo smiles back. "No, I don't suppose you do, but I don't think I'd trade all the feasts in Rivendell for spending this Yule in the Shire."

"Do you mean to go to Great Smials, then, or Bucklebury, seeing as you had Mr. Merry and Mr. Pippin here last Yule?" The thought makes Sam a bit uncomfortable, but he keeps a cheerful face on it; he'll have to weather the servants' hall at both of those places eventually, and he reckons he'll manage when the time comes, though he isn't looking forward to it.

"No, I thought I'd stay here." Mr. Frodo looks into the wine in his glass and takes a sip, then cuts a bite out of his meat pie with his fork. "I'm looking forward to a cozy winter right here in Bag End."

Sam's heart swells, thumping so hard he's afraid Mr. Frodo might hear it. "The folk in Hobbiton will like that, sir. They'll need someone to bless the Yule log, and see to the speeches." Mayhap that's all Mr. Frodo means; not that he wants the time to spend alone with Samwise.

But Frodo smiles faintly, looking out at Sam from beneath his lashes. "That isn't exactly what I'm looking forward to." Then he covers his soft expression with a sip of his wine, and Sam sits perfectly still for a moment, his bite of greens and taters half-chewed, as his mind fair flies trying to contain all the possibilities his master's words might compass.

There's no doubt what Sam has in his mind, and that's a fact. What with the things he saw back in Nobottle, he's been hard put to keep up with laundering the linens he's left in a state every morning. With Mr. Frodo back from Tuckborough and all, now....

Sam blushes and tries to cover his dithering by swallowing his bite and taking another. "These meat pies, when did you learn to make these, sir? They're better than aught I can cook," he says hastily, his mouth full. Oh, but this isn't going to be near as hard as he'd reckoned it would be. His heart soars, dizzy with hope, and he has to make himself swallow.

"I used to make them for myself back in Brandy Hall with the bits and scraps of crust the cooks would leave over, and a bit of stewed beef and some herbs I pilfered here and there. I've often made them for Bilbo on frosty nights." A faint cloud passes over Frodo's expression, then clears.

"Next time, mayhap, you'll show me how," Sam murmurs, and receives a nod and smile in return, which makes his stomach dance like it's full of butterflies.

They busy themselves with eating after that, and leave the talk for afters. Sam's stomach flutters so he can't hardly make himself sit still, though Frodo shows no sign of nerves. When they're finished, his master starts to gather the plates, but Sam insists on washing the dishes himself, carefully priming Mr. Bilbo's new-fangled pump and filling the washbasin with water from its tap and from the kettle. Mr. Frodo lingers with him in the kitchen, sipping wine and watching Sam over the table, which makes Sam's skin prickle with anticipation and more than a little heat.

Heat enough they didn't need the kitchen fire, actually, when he pauses to think of it. He's in a state by the time he reaches for his drying cloth. "You go sit down and I'll be right in," he says to his master softly. Frodo nods and takes their glasses into the parlour with the remains of the wine.

Sam finishes drying the dishes and puts them in the cupboard, then carries the dishwater out into the snow. He doesn't bother with a coat for the moment it takes to dump it, hoping the cold air will dampen some of his unseemly enthusiasm, but he knows it won't be enough. By now the snow lies drifted up to his ankles, starting to weigh down the branches of the trees, blanketing the fields and the road in a veritable land of faery-- the whole familiar landscape lost in strange shapes of soft, glimmering white. The chill of the snow between his toes makes him dance a little as he hurries inside to wipe his feet on the mat.

As he stands there making sure he won't track mud down the tiles in the hall, the stillness of the smial settles around him, and it occurs to him fully for the first time that he and Frodo are truly and completely alone, and there will be no more interruptions. His hands begin to tremble, and his stomach turns over, giddy joy mingling with something that feels a good deal like terror.

Finally he masters himself, stilling his shaking hands, and pads up the hall. Frodo has kindled the fire in the parlour and sits waiting upon the couch with a book in his lap, his wine glass in his hand. Sam's glass stands filled and waiting on the table. Sam takes a deep breath, hesitating in the kitchen and the trembling of his hands starts all over again. He finds himself struggling with the sheer wanting that's built up over a whole autumn spent in this smial alone with Frodo, never touching him but always hoping, always waiting for some sign that never came. Not just the autumn, neither, but all the long years....

"Won't you come in, Sam?" Frodo lifts his head from his book and looks into the doorway where Sam stands, all a-dither. "There's still some wine, and I've lit the fire." He sits perfectly straight and his voice is mild, but his eyes are open wide, and as they fix on Sam, he can suddenly see the nervousness his master keeps hidden-- the same sort of uncertainty and fear of rejection that plagues his own heart.

"Mr. Frodo, you ought to come see." Sam hears a hitch thick in his throat. "The snow's so beautiful and all, and it's the first of the winter."

Frodo rises and sets his glass down, tucking his lap robe about his shoulders and padding out to answer Sam's call. Sam swings the door wide so the two of them can step out onto the stoop, where they are sheltered a bit from the snowfall by the bulk of the Hill and the branches of the tall oak that arches over the smial.

Sam pulls the door to behind them and they stand in the chill waiting for their eyes to adjust so they can see; a few downy flakes settle in Mr. Frodo's hair. Now that the snow has set in the wind is dying, leaving a gentle, still white hush lying over the land. No blizzard to come after all, but a tidy snowfall, Sam reckons, already three ankle-deep even where it hasn't drifted.

"My Gaffer warned for a blizzard, but the wind's died down. We'll get two hands or more, mayhap, but I'm thinking it won't blow," Sam whispers and steps up behind Mr. Frodo, his heart pounding. Now. He lets his hand fall on Mr. Frodo's shoulder and very slowly drift down his arm.

Frodo sighs, shifting to lean against Sam the slightest bit, tilting his head back to look up into the snowflakes that come swirling out of a sky like ink. "It's lovely, Sam." He speaks into the quiet, his breath a gentle puff of mist. Sam trembles, but not from the cold, yearning for the taste of that soft breath on his lips.

"It is," he whispers, almost fearing he might break the spell of peace that has settled over them. Frodo's waist is warm under his hand, and his back nestles firmly against the crook of Sam's arm. "But not so beautiful as you," he falters, hearing the awkwardness of the words, and their insufficiency, and he hides his embarrassment against Frodo's throat, which is warm and tastes faintly of salt sweat that has dried on the soft skin.

Frodo makes a low, vibrant cry that pulsates under Sam's lips. His head falls back across Sam's shoulder and he quivers in Sam's arms; Sam whimpers an answer and and licks softly at Frodo's skin, sucking little kisses along the line of Frodo's throat to his ear, his knees shaking. Frodo does not refuse him, does not push him away; he surrenders himself wholly in an instant, gasping with each touch of Sam's mouth, leaning his weight on Sam in a way that suggests his own knees are none too steady. Frodo's hand slides down and covers Sam's on his belly, clutching it against him tightly.

"Let's go in and find us a bed," Sam tugs Frodo's hips even closer, pushing forward with his own; he near faints to hear such a rumbling tone and such brazen words coming from his own throat, and he dithers again for a moment, abashed by the utter cheek of handling Frodo in such a way on the very stoop of Bag End. But the wanting is stronger than a lifetime of knowing his place, and he kisses Frodo again, mouthing lightly at his ear. "Please, sir."

"Sam," Frodo breathes, a gasp in his voice, his hand tightening over Sam's. "Oh, Sam--"

Sam answers Frodo with more kisses, and his mouth wanders to explore at the curve where Frodo's shoulder meets his neck, teeth grazing the skin lightly. Frodo makes a sound then, a soft little bleat, not even a word, and presses back against Sam, the frantic push of his hips all the answer Sam's body needs to hear. He slides both his hands to Frodo's belly, feeling the hard jut of Frodo's hipbones against his palms, and pulls Frodo tight against him, pressing forward gently, then thrusts again sturdily when Frodo whimpers and squirms. He reaches again, his left hand wandering with sure instinct until it covers Frodo's cock. The next roll of his hips pushes Frodo into his hand, and Frodo makes that sound again, that sweet little sound, and it drives Sam entirely beyond his control.

A snowflake lands on his cheek, and Sam almost fancies he can hear it sizzle as it melts; he drags Frodo back through the unlatched door and latches it again by pressing him up against it, kissing and nipping at the nape of his neck, the lap-robe falling forgotten to the floor. Some dim part of his mind is astonished by the force of what they've just unleashed-- this is nothing like kissing Jolly, nothing like soft summer heat in the fields; this is the heart of a furnace, the roar of a forge-fire fanned by a bellows, set free in wood so dry there'll be no quenching or containing it.

"Ah, tell me to stop," he hears himself gasp, and Frodo shakes his head fiercely, shoving his hips back against Sam. Sam thrusts his own hips forward in answer, hardly able to think. "Tell me if you want me to stop, or I'll have you," the words tear from Sam's throat, ragged and harsh. "Master or no, I'll--"

"Have me!" Thick and sweet like cherry cordial, the sound of Frodo's voice burns in Sam's belly, feeding his lust. "Yes, Sam!"

Somewhere in a more rational part of his mind Sam hears threads breaking and hears the ping and rattle of buttons scattering on the floor, but he doesn't care, for his hands are on Frodo's slender collarbones, and his mouth has fastened itself on Frodo's throat. A sob wracks him, unexpected, and he tastes his tears on Frodo's skin, heart so full he can't stop them, licking them off Frodo's throat and cheek even as he tugs at the shirt-buttons and the heavy velvet weskit, which is too thick for him to rip.

Frodo's fingers join his, scrabbling frantically at the cloth, and Sam suckles hard at his master's throat, impatient and needing.

"Bed," Frodo pants. "Not here, in a bed--" he pushes back and squirms, and Sam has just enough presence of mind to step back, dragging Frodo along with him. Frodo turns in Sam's arms to find his mouth, and they lock together, refusing to part as they stagger down the hall as best they can-- until they tumble against a door and hang fire, mouths wet and open, famished for kisses. Gasping, Sam wrenches himself away and near tears the knob off in his hurry to turn it.

The room happens to be Frodo's, or so Sam will later realize-- for now, he knows nothing but that Frodo is in his arms, squirming and biting at his mouth, blue eyes glazed with wanting, hair tousled and still a little wet from melting snow. The soft rug goes unnoticed underfoot as they stumble across the room, until Frodo hits something and falls on to it-- and it is the bed. He lies atop the coverlet flushed and panting, his shirt a wreck and his weskit undone; now he tears at the cloth, baring his chest to Sam's hungry eyes.

Sam blinks, some shouting voice of conscience and shyness nagging at his mind, and it shows in his eyes, seemingly, for Frodo speaks to quell it. "Yes, like this!" He all but hisses the words, arching his back, reaching for Sam, but Sam evades him and slithers out of his breeches, trembling, and jerks his shirt up over his head, near ripping the seams out of the shoulders before he can untangle himself and toss it away. Even in his haste, he doesn't dare lie down on top of his master.

Frodo doesn't share his hesitation, catching his arm and dragging him down.

Sam falls atop Frodo, crushing the air out of him in a huffing gasp, then rolls aside to let Frodo attack his skin-- Frodo is that far gone, licking and biting at every part of Sam he can reach even as he gasps to get his breath again, but something has firmed in Sam's mind. He will have this, he will have Frodo tonight, and knowing it gives him the strength he needs to control himself again.

"Easy now," he murmurs, and forces Mr. Frodo's hands to still. "I'll 'ave you, no fear, and never let you go, neither." He pushes Frodo's hands to his trousers, and together they wrestle them open and shove them down, leaving Frodo bare. Sam near purrs at the feel of all that silky skin under his palms.

Frodo sobers a bit as well, looking up into Sam's eyes and searching them; he relaxes with a sigh and lets his lashes close, but his hips push upwards against Sam's, and Sam gasps at the feel of Frodo's sleek body, hard against his own arousal.

"I won't last, not like that!" Sam husks, darting in to steal a kiss from Frodo's wet, open mouth, its tongue a flickering flame. "Put your hips against me, that's it." He turns Frodo on the bed till they lie nestled together, Sam's belly against Frodo's back, where he can keep things in hand, so to speak.

"I'll need something." He nuzzles in at Frodo's neck, mouthing the tender skin of his throat, finding the soft bright blush he sucked to the surface before and working it again, making Frodo moan. "To ease the way, like."

Frodo reaches out, blindly fumbling at his bedtable-- bless him, a little flask stands ready in the drawer, half-full. Sam chuckles in spite of himself.

Frodo groans, urgent and throaty, and Sam nuzzles again, still suckling at that sensitive spot he's discovered. "Hush, Frodo, hush..." he manages to get the words out between kissing and licking and tugging the cork out of the bottle with his teeth to coat his hand with the soft oil-- just enough, and then back in with the cork.

Frodo wails when Sam's slick palm closes around him, and Sam rumbles satisfaction, setting up a steady stroke-- slender and long, the flesh in his palm is, with plenty of sweet, soft skin to slide about the tip.

"That makes a nice handful," Sam murmurs at Frodo's ear, and feels himself blush again at his own daring. His voice shakes so that he doesn't quite dare speak again. His cheeks flame red, and he falls silent and keeps stroking, loving Frodo's sweet answering whimpers. To quiet his mouth, he give it another job to do-- working at the flesh of Mr. Frodo's throat, sucking bright blood to the surface everywhere he touches, but doing it so softly it won't hurt none in the morning, just leave a glow like a jewel once he's passed.

Frodo groans and presses his hips forward, pushing into Sam's hand, and Sam strokes him nice and steady, enjoying the rocking of Frodo's body against him and learning the taste of his skin. Not long, not long-- Sam strokes faster, making Frodo keen and writhe. He closes his fist tighter, to make Frodo gasp and shudder. Tighter still, dragging that soft skin down to bare the tip to the oil-slick stroke of his thumb, just so...

Frodo jerks so hard his head near strikes Sam on the bridge of the nose, but he doesn't scream or cry out, just lets his mouth fall open and shudders over and over, his whole body bowstring tight as he comes, warm slick pulses on Sam's hand.

Sam eases his mouth on Frodo's throat, heart trembling with pure joy and body quivering with his own need. He spreads his wet palm on Frodo's belly, feeling the slick warmth his master's pleasure has left, smoothing it over Frodo's skin-- over his flat, taut belly and his stiff little nipples. Sam and Jolly have already done this much, and learned to make one another whimper and cry out, each struggling to be the last to give in, each teasing the other with soft hot words. Mr. Frodo didn't reckon on Sam's plan to make him come first, mayhap-- not yet, but tonight that makes it all the sweeter.

"Frodo," he murmurs, easing his master onto his back and looking down on him-- his skin gleaming wet with sweat and oil and the thick glaze of his seed, his hair tousled and his mouth open, dragging in gasping gulps of air. Sam leans in and covers Frodo's nipple with his mouth, tasting the bittersalt savor of him there, then laps down across his belly and dips his tongue into Frodo's shallow navel for more. He's never tasted such a thing before, and the flavor is thick and bitter, but Frodo has given it to him, so he licks it up and then licks his own palm right where Frodo can see him do it, curling his tongue around his own fingers for the taste of his master.

Frodo moans something that might be Sam's own name, eyes hot, and tugs Sam up, mouth wicked and soft and lazy under Sam's, a soft murmur in his throat that Sam supposes must be a comment on the taste of the kiss. Sam lets himself slide easily against Frodo's sweat-slick belly, kissing him slow and deep and feeling the ache that burns in him, urgent and thrumming just under the surface of the kiss, coaxing Frodo to rouse again.

His petting hands find the bottle of oil nestled against Frodo's ribs, thankfully tight-corked, and he teases it open again, letting Frodo watch him. Frodo lies still, arms splayed languidly beside his head, eyelids heavy and mouth parted; his thighs move lazily as Sam strokes his palms along the insides of them. "Do you want me to--?"

Frodo's mouth curves upwards in welcome, and his eyes kindle with sleepy fire; in answer, he turns to his belly, one knee crooking to part his slim thighs. Sam's mouth goes dry and he licks his lips, tasting Frodo lingering there. So lovely, Frodo is: pale and smooth like the snow-blanket piling up outside, but as warm as the snow is cold, and all Sam's-- he's not about to melt away with the first touch of the Sun.

The oil is cool in Sam's palm, and he rubs it between his hands to warm it, watching golden droplets glide over his skin and fall to make gleaming circles on Frodo's back and his arse. He is so aroused his hands shake as he reaches for Frodo, curving his palms over those sweet hills and letting his thumbs trail down the narrow cleft, soft with pale down. He adds more oil then, a messy trail of it gleaming at the hollow of Frodo's back. Sam strokes the soft oil downward, fingers gliding on slippery flesh, daring to press and part his master's narrow cheeks. His thumbs brush low between them and Frodo moans, arms curling to clutch around a pillow.

Trembling, Sam strokes the soft flesh he has found, feeling it tighten and flex in response. It's one thing to see tupping done, but quite another to do such himself, and uncertainty threatens to overwhelm him. To buy time as he gathers his courage, he soothes Frodo, biting his lip to calm himself, hardly daring to press one finger inside until Frodo's hips lift, silently asking.

Sam sinks his teeth in his lip and presses, sliding in. His master is hot inside, and terribly tight in spite of the oil-- the thought flits through Sam's head that these covers will be a fright come laundry day; he flinches from the thought of May's expression-- and then he has to fix his mind on such thoughts to keep himself from coming on the spot when Mr. Frodo moans and shifts his hips, clenching tight around Sam's finger, then letting it slide deep.

"Frodo," he murmurs, moving down to press himself against his master's back, and Frodo gasps as his finger twists inside.

"Sam!" Frodo writhes, his fists clenching in the sheets. "Again, oh, please!"

He obeys, moving tentatively until Frodo groans and writhes again, hands twisting to fists in the sheets. Then Sam understands what he did the first time and tries again, pressing with more confidence and making Frodo gasp and mewl. Sweat drips in his eyes, stinging them, but he shakes it off, watching Frodo's hips begin to move with an urgent hitch-- wanting him harder and deeper.

"Frodo, love--!" Sam kisses his master's shoulder and presses in a second hesitant finger, which makes Frodo lurch and struggle to his knees, quaking, his head hanging low between his shoulders, hair half-soaked with sweat for all there isn't any fire lit in the room. His breath hisses through his teeth as he pushes his hips back, taking Sam to the third knuckle.

"Sam!" Frodo's voice chokes out sharp, and his arms quiver as though they won't hold him up. "Now, Sam, please!"

Sam pulls his fingers out, his head spinning dizzly-- he's all but forgotten to breathe!-- and wipes his hand on the tail of the sheet. He fumbles helplessly with the little bottle and near spills it as he pours its contents into his palm and slicks his flesh, which twitchs hard at the touch of his palm. Not yet, wait, he begs it silently, awkwardly slipping between Frodo's knees. His hands hesitate, then settle on the fronts of Frodo's thighs.

"Say if I hurt you," he hardly recognizes his own voice, it's so hoarse with wanting. "And I'll stop." Frodo's hips are smooth and slick as he nudges between them, probing very gently, not knowing the angle he wants.

"Sam!" Almost a sob, that word. Frodo falls forward on to the cradle of his arms, waiting.

Sam tries to press forward, but at first he can't make himself and then he slides away from his goal, miscalculating; his hands shake too badly and his throat feels tight like sobbing for fear that he might hurt Frodo. "Me dear," he breathes, and tugs at Frodo's thigh instead with his left hand, holding himself as still as he may in his right and drawing Frodo back, on to him.

Frodo moans into the pillow and helps by pushing back, whining softly as his body resists, groaning as tendons flex in Sam's arms and he keeps up the steady pull-- wicked-tight, fierce pressure building as Frodo's body yields with slow reluctance. Sweat rolls freely down Sam's forehead and his ribs, salty on his lips. He lets his head fall back, thinking desperately of the snow-- rolling in snow, filling his mouth with it, snow on his face and belly, cold--

With a lurch, Frodo's body gives way, and Sam slides past the worst of the resistance, then cries out without finding words as Frodo clenches tight around him, so tight it hurts. Dimly Sam hears Frodo moaning against his forearm and scratching at the sheets with a rough rasp of bitten nails on linen. A muscle in Sam's forearm twitches and he loosens his grip, his breath rasping in his throat, his tongue dry. "Frodo, Frodo--" the word tumbles from his lips, a low chant, and he has no idea when he began to speak.

His eyes close, red thunder roaring in his ears and pulsing behind his lids as he stares blindly through them at the lamp, struggling not to come. He battles with every ounce of his will: not to come, not to thrust, not to drive himself deep.

Then, unbelievably, Frodo moves, pushing back. Sam savages his lip, hands clenching to fists, as that vise-tight grip slides back on him, slowly letting him in. Frodo's gasps choke harsh in his throat with each slow surge and pause, and Sam's trembling hands find his back and ribs, sliding on sweat-slippery skin, trying to gentle him, but he keeps pressing steadily, his body swallowing Sam deep, until at last his hips nestle against Sam's, cradled in the crook of his body, and there is nowhere left for him to go. He moves, shifting until he is sitting up, legs spread wide over Sam's lap. He leans back for a kiss; Sam finds his mouth blindly, ignoring the awkward angle.

"Now," Frodo gasps between clenched teeth. "Take me."

Sam rocks back, hesitant, suns and stars exploding behind his closed lids, and pushes forward tentatively, but Frodo drives himself down even as Sam carefully pushes upward, and the thrust comes much harder than he means it to, ripping a sob of ecstatic anguish from him. He catches Frodo's hips instinctively, thrusting again, and Frodo meets him a second time, nearly knocking him backwards, so he braces and pushes again, strong and sure, tearing a cry from both of them, his eyes squeezing tight as the last fragments of control shatter and he plunges hard-- again, again, again, faster, his hips snapping fiercely and driving him deep, his slippery hands barely able to keep their grip on Frodo's waist.

Frodo's cries echo in the room, wild and desperate, though Sam barely hears them over the roar of his own pulse in his ears and the brilliant flare of pleasure coiling itself up to bursting deep within him, winding him tighter and tighter until it flashes like lightning and sings thunder through his nerves, shattering everything in its wake as he spends himself, slumping forward over Frodo and driving him into the mattress, their bodies wringing wet and still joined.

The world is still a few minutes later when Sam recovers control of his senses-- absolutely silent but for the shallow rasp of Frodo's breathing, which brings Sam swimming towards alertness with startling speed, his eyes blinking open.

He doesn't know how long they have taken, but the snow has stopped. Pale white light moonlight washes in through the frosted window, and Sam realizes they haven't even bothered to close the shutters nor light the fire. The air in his nostrils has a crisp, cold tang and smells of himself and Frodo.

Sam blinks at the light, shifting and feeling the stickiness between them tug at the hair on his chest and belly. He shifts to wrap them loosely in a fold of coverlet, dragging it up and drawing it over. He winces, thinking again of laundering it-- he doesn't even want to look at the mess he knows he'll find, so he lies right still again.

Mr. Frodo lies in his arms, tucked up under his chin, breathing softly. Their arms and legs are twined, and Sam's foot is asleep, but he smiles anyway at the soft glow of the moonlight in Frodo's hair, then blushes, remembering what he's done-- he fair let that get away from him, he did, talking so to Mr. Frodo and taking him so rough! He blushes harder, breath catching in his throat, hoping he hasn't hurt Mr. Frodo none, but oh, he wanted... and Mr. Frodo hadn't let him hold back none, pushing down on him like that!

Sam's arms tighten without his meaning them to, and Frodo stirs lazily. Sam winces again, curly hair caught and tugged in half a dozen places.

"There, be still," he murmurs as Frodo's lashes flutter and his eyes come open. "I've got you." He sweeps a curl back from Mr. Frodo's cheek and nuzzles against it. "You ain't hurt, are you?" His voice falls a bit, shy and worried.

Frodo's expression grows thoughtful, and he shifts his thighs, then hisses as Sam slides out. "No," he says anyway. "No more than I should be."

Sam blushes at that, disturbed to remember Mr. Frodo is so much his elder, already twenty years old when they met, and Sam just a child! Mr. Frodo had probably already done this even back then, though it makes Sam's heart ache to think it.

Frodo's hand slides across his back. "Sam?" His eyes grow dark and troubled as he gazes on Sam's expression. "You don't-- regret?"

"No!" Sam hastily stops his woolgathering. "Not a bit of it." He lets his own hands wander, then grimaces to feel sticky oil all over Mr. Frodo's back. "We've ruined this coverlet, I reckon," he ventures.

A smile blossoms on Frodo's face, mingling mischief and delight. "I don't suppose it would do to let May launder it." He shakes his head, nuzzling the tip of his nose against Sam's.

"It wouldn't, at that!" Sam finds a chuckle in his throat, and lets it free. "I'll do it meself." He trails his fingers up along Frodo's spine, and Frodo sighs with pleasure, lashes closing. "And aught else we muck up, too, I'll warrant." Sam leans in to press soft kisses at Frodo's throat, and Frodo moans, tilting his head. His arms slide around Sam, and Sam pulls him close, the slow rhythm of desire stirring him again, beginning to lap through him in gentle wavelets.

Frodo's sleepy eyes smile at him, and his chin tilts back as he draws a slow, sighing breath, arching under Sam's touch, his body like velvet against Sam's skin.

Slowly this time, carefully, they let the wanting sweep them away again together.

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