West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Post-party chaos. Remember that lost window of time between Frodo leaving Merry to keep ship by himself for a while and Frodo's reappearance only when Otho S.-B. demanded to see him? This is it.
"You! You, there! Rolo Bracegirdle, is it?" Merry cried, dashing across the room. The young hobbit that he caught roughly by the shoulders spun and blinked in surprise. Merry grabbed a fine pearly tureen from Rolo's hands and did not hesitate to crack him lightly across the back of the head with it. Frodo observed all of this with a mask of careful equanimity and replaced a small pictureframe that he had confiscated from the pocket of a young Goodbody moments before.
"Ow! See here--"
"No, you see here," Merry chided, tucking the tureen under his arm and ushering Rolo to the front door with an insistent hand at his back. "Bilbo had no intent whatsoever to part with it, and since he hadn't, I doubt Frodo's keen on giving it up. I don't care what your Mum fancies, but if it's the likes of this, why not try the mathom house? Out with you!"
Merry stood with his hands on his hips, shaking his head as he watched a sheepish Rolo scamper off to where his own folk waited loitering about a cart. Frodo stepped up behind Merry with a weary sigh and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"How many hours of this, now? Correct me if I'm wrong: three?"
Merry turned with a chuckle, patting Frodo on the cheek. "Nearer to four, cousin. Does that mean I get to keep this fine piece of work?"
Frodo smirked and tugged the tureen from under Merry's arm in one clean swipe. "Doubtful. Why don't you check the pantry again? I swear I can still hear them digging, and I don't look forward asking Sam to see to repairs--"
"Never you mind, sir, it's just as well," Sam called as he ran past, still in pursuit of a troublesome lad of about seven who had a mind to take off with Frodo's own pipe (probably because he wanted no more'n to smoke with his Da, Sam mused later). "It's been, what, nigh two seasons now since--hoy there, lad! You've no use for that, neither!"
Frodo watched Sam tackle the boy just off to one side of the hearth, wrestling both Frodo's pipe and a book of Elven poetry gently away. How understanding he was, how quick with a smile, and how quick with words that made the lad smile as well, even as Sam shooed him off with a bit of something he must have saved in his pocket...
"Frodo, someone could make off with the entire inventory and you'd not notice a whit," Merry remarked wryly, clapping Frodo on the back. "We can't all afford to keep an eye on your gardener, so we'll have to trust you to appreciate him for--"
"Be quiet," Frodo murmured, but shook himself all the same. "I wish you'd give Sam more credit than that. He's--"
"Easy on the eyes, and, not to mention, probably as handy in bed as he is about the hole," Merry replied cheerfully. "I've got you--"
Frodo's eyes widened. "Keep your voice down! Who told--no one--"
"Oh, a little bird, cousin. A little gray one it was, about the same shade as your eye, and near as round, too."
Frodo let go of Merry's arm, vaguely shocked to discover that he'd taken hold of it in the first place. "Well, you needn't go telling...Merry...I want you to understand, it's not as if--just because he's employed here, he's--"
"Oh, I see the way you look at him well enough, and better than that, I see the way you look. Get out of here, why don't you?" Merry chuckled.
"You mean..." Frodo blinked, then turned to watch Sam carefully place his book and pipe high on the mantel.
"Melilot was right. You look awful. You could use a rest, or a good tup, as the case may--"
"Enough," Frodo hissed, shoving Merry in the general direction of the door. "Just for that, you are standing watch, never mind that you volunteered. I'll return in a while."
Merry snickered. "If anyone asks, shall I tell them you're in--"
"Yes," Frodo said through gritted teeth, heading off a Bolger lass with a look before she crossed the threshold. "Indisposed."
"Well, then, you'd best get along and find Sam," Merry remarked helpfully. I think he's gone off to the kitchen, perhaps he could brew you up something for your head."
"I don't doubt it," Frodo murmured in absent reply, parting with a weak, casual nod in the direction of one of the older, more respectable hobbits that had business being there for the fact that his name was on one of the endless parcels Bilbo had left behind.
"I'll see to everything, don't you worry, and Meli's still about!"
"Thank you, Merry," Frodo called over his shoulder, but he was already halfway to the kitchen, trying very hard not to run. When he reached the entrance, he slipped around the corner and called, "Sa--"
"Oh, sir!" Sam started, nearly losing his hold on the teapot. "I thought you might like...Frodo?"
"No, not tea," Frodo said softly, and he felt as if the weight of every object he'd given and taken lock deadweight onto his shoulders. He met Sam's eyes hesitantly. "Merry knows," Frodo sighed. "Somehow."
"Reckon he's got eyes for that sort of thing, just as most of them Brandybucks have, seem--mmm."
Frodo leaned and kissed Sam briefly, then drew away and took the teapot carefully from Sam's hand and set it aside on the table. Sam swallowed and stepped up to Frodo, setting a hand against his cheek. "Sir?"
"Sh," Frodo whispered, and Sam's other hand came up to frame his face before he could say another word.
"It's hard on you, ain't it? All of it," Sam murmured, skimming his fingers up Frodo's temples to his forehead.
Frodo leaned into the touch, closing his eyes. "Lie with me for a while," he whispered, taking Sam's wrists gently in his grasp, kissing each in turn. "I've...I've ached..."
"Since we ain't done proper what we tried to this mornin'," Sam whispered huskily, nuzzling at Frodo's throat.
"Then, let's..." Frodo groaned softly, pressing Sam flush against the wall. "Oh, I could..."
"S'but around the corner, sir, begging your pardon," Sam whispered. "Wouldn't do to have some littl'un come tearin' in."
"No, it wouldn't...so..."
Between kisses, they somehow managed to stumble the short distance to Frodo's room and lock the door behind them. Frodo found himself pinned against it in turn, Sam's mouth soft and eager at his ear.
"How long d'you reckon--"
"However long it takes," Frodo panted, arching against the strong thigh slid up tight between his own. "Though, at the rate...you're going... Oh, Sam!..."
"Sir?" Sam backed down, tugging Frodo away from the door.
"Yes," Frodo whispered. He leaned to kiss the corner of Sam's mouth, left a light, brushing touch against Sam's backside before striding over to the bed. And then there was Sam's warmth behind him, and his hands, those dear hands, working at the buttons of Frodo's weskit, then...
"Here," Frodo breathed, unclipping his own braces, turning around despite Sam's muffled sound of protest. "It'll be easier if I--"
Sam set a finger against his lips, caressed gently. "You've been doin' this and that for everyone since sunup. You was even about to do for me, if you follow, but I think I've a mind to turn things around, if you'd let me."
Frodo's eyes slid shut at the feel of Sam's fingertips at his collar, parting it gently, finding the first button. He simply nodded, overwhelmed by the realization that his feet didn't want to support him any longer than they had to, not when Sam was working his way down the line of buttons with one hand and touching him so gently with the other. When Sam withdrew his touch, Frodo whimpered and sank down on the mattress. Sam followed and persisted at Frodo's buttons till the linen fell open, whispering against his skin as Sam's fingers chased it back.
"You're damp," Sam breathed against Frodo's cheek. He licked his thumb and ran a teasing circle around Frodo's left nipple. "I felt it."
"Not...as much as I can," Frodo winced, pushing up against another grazing of Sam's fingers. "Sam, if you could--"
"Oh, I could," Sam purred, and did something along the collarbone with his teeth that made Frodo yelp. "An' I will...shhh, easy...there's more ears about this place than you'd think...now, here's..."
Frodo fell back against the pillows at Sam's urging, let that soothing voice wash over him, as fine as any caress. Sam's mouth was at his throat, now, tongue lapping at the soft cries that Frodo bit back one after another. Frodo trembled--sure, callused hands stroking down his stomach, about his waist-- and then, Sam's mouth followed the line of his breastbone as far south as it could, until the wet trail of kisses tingled with the cool of September through his half-open window and the need that shuddered up to greet it. Frodo couldn't stay quiet this time; he clenched his fingers in Sam's hair. He couldn't.
"Sam! Please--oh...oh, oh..."
Sam slid his fingers through the slit left by the few trouser buttons he'd undone, a tender, stroking tease. "Like that, me dear?" he murmured softly.
Frodo's breath fled in a shaking burst. He pressed into the touch, nodding.
"Mm." Sam slid his fingers free and worked the rest of the buttons loose.
Frodo opened his eyes to watch, and he sighed at the sight. Sam's eyes and fingers focused almost gravely on the task of tugging Frodo's breeches off. Sam's shy, candid smile as he looked up to find Frodo watching, as his warm palms slid up from Frodo's knees to his thighs, and soon, that smile hovered at Frodo's lips, and it was all Frodo could do to shatter it with tongue and teeth and whimpering and yes. And if he could just find--ah, there--
"Ah," Sam gasped, and he lifted to let Frodo struggle with the lacings of his breeches, slowed his touching to long, easy brushes up Frodo's length.
"Now, Sam...get...get out of those before..."
"I'd be a"--Sam laughed; Frodo had worked his fingers inside, it must have tickled--"fool not to."
Frodo made a sound of protest as Sam eased his hand away and quickly withdrew his own. But it was more than worth watching again, Sam rolling to one side, struggling out of the garment impatiently, and Frodo laughed, too, and sat up to press a kiss at the back of his neck. Frodo never made it, because Sam crawled back to him and took a bruising kiss and Frodo couldn't think, could just slide his fingers up Sam's warm belly, clearing enough skin of the cotton shirt, then trailing back down to grasp Sam, which drew out a grateful groan.
"Let's not be fools," Frodo whispered. He ran fingers in soft circles at the nape of Sam's neck while his other hand persisted fondling until Sam forgot what intents he'd had otherwise, and settled down against Frodo with a breathless sigh.
"Aye, let's not," Sam breathed, and this time, their mouths met and did not part.
Frodo tried to remember the last time it had been this slow, this sweet. Only months in each other's arms, true, but there had been a few--pinning Sam fast against that blanket as they'd watched the stars, so faint a pressure, but so tight, until the wanting pulled so taut in himself that Sam chuckled a while at Frodo's impatient body before he came himself. It had been affectionate laughter, at any rate, and Sam had held Frodo every bit as close as he did in this moment, and Frodo could feel him bearing down harder and moving a bit faster, and he pushed up and cried encouragement into Sam's pliant, still-seeking mouth.
"Good?" Sam whispered. Frodo blinked hazily at Sam's swollen lips, oh, they wouldn't stop moving, not even for this, and he curled arms and legs tight around his love and nodded, tucking his head against Sam's shoulder, because any moment, now, any moment--
Sam. A few firm, final thrusts as he moaned Frodo's name into the pillow, then fell silent. Frodo let that thought carry him, and release washed through as gentle as sleep, stretched and subtle enough to burn more sweetly than any sunburst or unexpected snapping. Frodo swallowed tears and squirmed, gasping. It was slow to subside.
Sam had recovered enough to roll to one side; Frodo held on as they shifted, then settled with a sigh, pillowed on Sam's body. He found Sam's shirt buttons quickly, then struggled out of his own. Such an effort, it was. Frodo fell back against Sam's damp skin, panting. Sam's fingers were loose and gentle, lazily stroking through his curls.
"You ought to sleep a bit."
"Only if you'll stay."
Sam chuckled. "Where did you think I was goin'?"
"Nowhere, if you're as well off as I," Frodo groaned, closing his eyes as he pressed a puff of a kiss to Sam's chest.
Sam spread his hand between Frodo's shoulderblades and kneaded gently, molded a kiss against the top of his head in simple reply. And that was the last thing that Frodo recalled, until an unceremonious pounding roused them both.
"Frodo? Frodo, this really can't wait, I'm afraid. Otho threatened to storm this very door himself if I didn't fetch you. They seem to think you're hiding, and if I weren't of a like mind to you, of course, I'd be inclined to agr--"
"That's enough, Merry, tell them I'm...that...oh, tell them I'm coming!"
Sam snorted at the sound of Merry's chortling as he pattered up the hall. "Mind's in one place only, I'm tellin' you..."
"Yes, well, I'm hoping that in a few years Pippin will help him deal with that," Frodo murmured, leaning to kiss Sam back into the pillows. He trailed his fingers down Sam's chest, settled them warmly over his stomach. "Wait here?" Frodo asked softly. "I'll chase them off as quickly as I can. And perhaps tell Merry to move the remaining parcels out front, and lock the whole lot of them out to choose and squabble as they please. I don't want to think about--"
"Then, don't," Sam said quietly, and kissed Frodo's hand.
Frodo squeezed it. "You'll be here?"
"Always. Or perhaps in the bath, if you'd like."
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