West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive

 

 

Writer's Block
Frodo writes RPS fiction.
Author: Bodygardener
Rating: NC-17

 

'I don't think I'm meant to be a writer, Bilbo,' Frodo said wearily, sinking into his chair with a defeated scowl.

Bilbo frowned and tilted his chin so that his pipe jutted upward at a perturbed angle. 'Now there's an overflowing cartload of utter poppycock, if I ever heard it,' he commented disinterestedly from his seat by the hearth. Frodo scowled.

'No, it isn't, either. I've been at this desk all evening and I've not five lines to show for it. I'm angry and I'm frustrated, and I'm going to bed.' He pitched the pen onto the desk and it skittered across the paper in front of him, leaving a messy black smear where the quill caught the ink and smudged it. He regarded the spoiled page with a pained look.

Bilbo raised his eyebrows. 'That's enough of that, my young hobbit. Paper costs, you know. There's no call to be throwing tweenish tantrums.'

Frodo sighed and put his elbow on the table. 'I'm sorry, Uncle,' he grumbled, sinking his cheek into a stained palm. 'I suppose I'm just tired, but it really is frustrating! I don't expect I have to tell you that. I'll never write as well as you.'

'It's not a contest, lad,' Bilbo chuckled. 'I'm old, remember?'

'What does that have to do with anything? And you're not.'

'Oh, hush,' Bilbo admonished with a repressed smile. 'Anyhow. I've just a lot more stories to tell, is all I meant by that.'

Frodo snorted. 'Nonsense. Your characters, Bilbo...they're so colorful, and mine are flat and boring and tedious. I don't think anyone shall care when I have my most recent protagonist die a horrible death in the end. In fact I think I shall kill him quite out of spite,' he added ruefully.

Bilbo laughed. 'I do know my characters, very well indeed. How else could I write about them?'

'They're real people, then?' Frodo asked, frowning and toying with the feathered edge of his quill.

'Yes, yes, they're real people --- well, most of them. I shall give you some advice, Frodo, if you want it: write about what you know. And who you know, more importantly! My translations, and my maps, and my stories...they're all my adventures, not yours. How you expect to write about people you've never met and places you've never been is beyond me. I think you're trying to follow in my literary footsteps when deep down in that curly head of yours is a clever mind itching to find its own way out through your fingers. It's trying to tell you something. A writer needs to share his own passions, and his desires, and his pain, his hopes and his fears. All of this he draws from what he knows, Frodo.'

'But I haven't done anything, Bilbo,' Frodo protested. 'I've never left the Shire. Who's going to read about some spoiled hobbit who sits curled up with a book all day?'

The old hobbit regarded him thoughtfully. 'You don't have to have fought a dragon to write about what it's like to fight a dragon,' he said, 'but you do have to know what it feels like to fight something. If you can't articulate your feelings with respect to the most insignificant of subjects, how can you possibly describe your experience with the greatest? So there it is, then. Find that smallest thing that kindles a fire in you, boy, and feed it until it's a bigger thing worth the paper it's put on. Write about what you're passionate about.'

Frodo considered this for a long moment before he stood and stretched. 'Very well, Uncle,' he said finally, collecting his manuscripts under the crook of one arm. 'But I believe I shall consider your advice from the warmth and comfort of my own bed, for tonight.' He crossed the room and bent to plant a quick kiss on the old hobbit's forehead.

'And I had better retire soon as well, or risk my head caving in,' Bilbo said wearily, removing his spectacles to knead his eyes into focus. 'Good night, lad.'

'Pleasant dreams, Uncle,' Frodo sighed, and disappeared down the hall.

* * *


Frodo tongued the nib of his pen, too deep in thought to notice much the bitter tang of ink that threatened to stain the corners of his mouth. He lay stretched out on his stomach upon his cool bedlinens, listening to the songs of the night-dwellers outside his window and inhaling deeply of air heavy with the scent of lilac. He regarded his manuscript thoughtfully for a long while.

Sam, he finally wrote, is my ever faithful servant; trustworthy, straightforward, exceptional in his many skills.

He nodded in satisfaction; this was a good start. It sounded like a letter of reference, perhaps, but he could build from there.

How he had chosen Sam as his subject was vague. Frodo decided it unwise to consider the thought process in too much depth; this was a writing exercise, and if his subconscious had chosen Sam, he ought not to dispute it. Besides, words describing Sam seemed to come easily. Write about who you know, Bilbo had told him. And whom did Frodo know better than his Sam?

I do not remember any span of time when he was not about this smial before dawn, kindling fires at the hearths during those cold hours, or setting the kettle to boil long before I put bare toes to tile. He is a good servant, but he is also my friend, and oh, how I envy his sense of decency. I do not judge myself too harshly for such jealousy --- a hobbit of his honor should be envied by all who know him --- but greater than envy is my overwhelming admiration for Samwise son of Hamfast, my gardener's son.

Frodo stopped and shifted a little. The room seemed so completely quiet and isolated at this late hour, and it lulled him into a fair feeling of peace and security. Usually at such an hour Frodo would be sinking into his pillow, pleading with Sleep to take him sooner rather than later so that his morning tea would be earlier coming. He frowned as he came to this realization.

Why do I always look so intently forward to his appearance each day, before my eyelids open fully to regard the early sun on the sill? My usual involuntary gasp of breath at the squeaking of hinges is not simply in anticipation of tea, however perfectly brewed it is sure to be. How do I catch that first glimpse of him every morning without feeling that sudden rush of blood to my cheeks? How can I not delight in him as I do, when I lie wrapped in linens and little else --- caught with my hands occupied as they simply would not be, if not for the blissful unawareness of sleep freshly shrugged off? In his presence I both bless the sheets that conceal me and curse them in the same breath.

And then it's 'Good morning, Mr Frodo,' as he dutifully brings in my breakfast, and departs as quickly as he might as not to disturb me. I wish I could order him to stay, but we are not the only occupants of Bag End, and hobbits talk as only hobbits can. Imagine he and I holding conversation in my bedroom as calmly as you please, myself in naught but bedclothes --- what a sight for old Bilbo to see!

But I do imagine it, and it haunts me.

More and more frequently I dream of twirling one of Sam's honey-brown curls about my finger in the calm of some early summer afternoon...aware of nothing but the scent of the wilting lilacs outside my bedroom window and the sound of his breathing beside me --- oh, if I had such liberties I would have nothing to want for.

When I meditate on this one truth its meaning becomes painfully clear: I want this hobbit in my bed.


Frodo drew a sharp breath and set the quill down. He realized that his fingers were shaking: his penmanship was suffering for it.

Had he written that?

He scratched his knuckles distractedly as he stared at a page filled to overflowing where it had been completely empty not minutes ago. It had all come surging from him so quickly --- the words were smeared where he had forgotten in his haste to blot them.

It seemed that Bilbo was right, the old scoundrel.

Frodo's face flushed hot as it occurred to him that this was probably not what the old hobbit had in mind when he'd imagined how this evening's little gem of wisdom would be put to use. But as Frodo's frustration gradually ebbed the new sense of weightlessness and freedom he felt conquered his guilt.

He'd written this much, hadn't he? Why stop there?

He dipped his quill carefully and put it to the paper.

Sam's hair is almost golden (which is rare for hobbits) and beautiful beyond any poetry of my experience.

Frodo gnawed at his bottom lip. The words were sticky-sweet-sounding, but they were so true that he couldn't bear to change them. Besides, who but he himself would read this?

I lie beside him, fingers buried into his curls, and whisper this allusion into his neck. He giggles at my breath in his ear, and even the sound of his nervous laughter pricks at my skin.

'It ain't, either,' he says overmodestly, because he's Samwise Gamgee, Hobbit Who Does Not Know His Own Worth. Bless him, he actually ducks his head as if he could hide the offending hair that way.

'So my judgement is skewed, is that it?' I counter playfully. I try to catch his eyes with mine in the hopes that he will be forced to meet them, but predictably he drops his gaze. I can't help but to smile at that, although he doesn't notice as he's busy studying the pattern on the floor. In my heart I wish that one day he might break his own rules and meet my eyes and that smile for once, because these things are meant for him to see.

The ensuing silence hurts my ears.

'Do you want me, Sam?' I burst out, breaking it.

Direct and to the point: no 'beating around the bush', as Sam's expression goes. Simply and directly, that's how he likes to be spoken to. He doesn't hold with dithering about in conversation. I wonder if this will change his mind about that.

'M-Mr Frodo,' he pleads, brown eyes round as saucers, 'you know I do.'


Frodo paused.

'Now that's taking it a bit too far, Frodo Baggins,' he muttered aloud. It was one thing to write about Sam in a fond manner, but this was an entirely different thing altogether. Sam was a real hobbit --- how could he presume to write such one-sided thoughts regarding circumstances which would never present themselves? Continuing this exercise would prove to be a foolish decision; there was no doubt. What if Sam discovered it, and read it?

Swiftly, however, Frodo became aware of other, more urgent forces at work that demanded he did take things further. Such sentiment spelled out before his eyes made Frodo's heart swell, to say nothing of other less vital but equally emotionally distended organs. Besides, the entire premise was so utterly unbelievable; it wasn't as though they'd ever say such things in real life. Was there really so much harm in it?

Frodo sighed. 'You know I do...' he mouthed, and his eyelids fluttered momentarily in thought. Then the quill began to scratch across the page with renewed confidence.

'You know I do,' says Sam. 'It's all I want in the world. I reckon you know that, Mr Frodo,' he adds in a wounded tone, as though my asking has insulted his honor --- or he finds the reminder cruel, perhaps.

'Well,' I say brightly, as though I'm talking about planning a picnic, 'it's all I want in the world as well! So can you think of any reason why either one of us should be denied?'

Sam doesn't answer; he's too busy trying to catch flies with his mouth. When he remembers himself, he closes it with a comical snap. I stifle an outburst of laughter.

'You can't be serious, Mr Frodo,' Sam says in a choked voice.

I sit up straight. 'I demand to know why not.'

'Well, I...that is, you...'

'I thought I was Heir Apparent of Bag End. I didn't realize I was a jester as well,' I say with a decidedly exaggerated pout.

'Oh, I didn't mean it like that!' he protests, on cue. I'm almost ashamed by my ability to manipulate Sam, but, by the Shire, it's for his own good. At any rate, why he worries that I might be offended by his disbelief is beyond me --- wouldn't I have removed my hands by now from the front of his shirt, where they've so casually drifted, if this were so? Would I be working at his buttons?

Sam suddenly realizes I'm working at his buttons.

I do believe I have him a bit flummoxed; now he's opening and closing his mouth like a fish. 'I don't suppose any of this is serious,' I say coyly. I have his buttons unthreaded; the tails of his shirt hang pinned by his braces on either side, and the thick hair of his chest is visible. I slide my fingers through it and Sam's breath quickens as I curl them so that my nails scratch gently at his skin.

'You don't mind, do you Sam?' I prod, indicating his braces. He shakes his head. I help him shrug them off. He slides out of his shirt; I don't even have to ask him. 'Now you're getting the hang of it,' I remark mischievously. He blushes at that, but I see the first hint of a shy grin tugging at one of the corners of his mouth.


Frodo put his pen down and exhaled deeply, lifting his right hand to knead at his aching eyes. He allowed himself to envision against the black screen of his lids exactly how his next scene might unfold, shifting to accommodate the rise such thoughts inevitably caused. His left wandered unbidden into his lap and an involuntary groan escaped him at the relief brought on by the pressure of his own touch. It was like scratching an insect bite, of course: so good, and yet hardly satisfying for more than an instant.

With one hand

With one hand

Frodo unbuttoned his trousers

I unbutton Sam's trousers. He's caught in that void between self-consciousness and forgetting himself, and I realize he must be fighting his own guilty thoughts for the freedom to appease the desires of his body. I slip my fingers down into the trapped heat of his underclothes to stroke gently at his fiery skin, and it seems to help sway the argument in my favor. Sam begins to make barely audible, feverish sounds at the play of my hands.

My fingers flutter further downward to where his flesh is perfectly round and firm as ripe apples, full and taut. I click my tongue sympathetically.

'Goodness,' I say. 'Sam, you poor thing! When was the last time you---that is, don't you ever---'

The instant Sam realizes what I'm implying he drops his eyes to study decorated tile again. I'm amused by his attempt to salvage his dignity, considering where my hands are. 'I do,' he mutters, 'at home---the Row, that is. I have to, or I'd go mad, begging your pardon. But---nnngh!' (my mouth shapes a little round 'o' of feigned innocence as I give Sam a mischievous squeeze) 'I...oh...I guess that I don't near as often as I need.'

'Why not?' I inspect the evidence with a look of concern. 'You, my poor, dear, neglected hobbit, definitely need to be taken care of.'

Sam looks even more uncomfortable. 'I can't, sometimes. Even when he ain't at home, it still feels as he might pop in at any moment and catch me at it.'

He means his Gaffer; I don't have to ask.

'Well, he's not here now,' I assure him, laying soft kisses into the hollow of his throat while attempting to free him gracefully from his underclothes with one hand. 'However, if anyone is to catch us,' I add in a low purr as I abandon tact and yank the things over his knees, 'I'll take the blame for us both.'

He's so incredibly hard that I'm afraid he might indeed burst as he's threatened, and I am well on my own way, even though Sam hasn't touched me except to brace himself by my shoulders. I haven't needed him to touch me, not yet: the intensity of my body's reaction to his obvious pleasure convinces me that I could easily be driven mad with power this way. I take my own enjoyment from the misty glaze of his eyes and the tremors that shake his body when I discover a ticklish new spot to tease. It's literally in my hands.

'It', incidentally, is impressive. I've seen him naked before, many times, but never in the state of arousal he's currently in.

He plunges a hand into my hair and grasps it gently in his fist --- gently, but I'm stunned by the strength I can feel him struggling to restrain. Well-padded as Sam might be, he is even better muscled. I allow myself to envision what it would feel like to be crushed beneath that weight, and suddenly I do want him to touch me, more than anything.

'Oh, Sam.' They're breaths, not words. 'Would you?'

He swallows nervously. 'I thought you were never going to ask me, Mr Frodo---'


Frodo scowled.
Scritch.

'I thought you were never going to ask me, Mr Frodo,' Sam gulps, risking a glance at my face before he leans forward to extract me from my own clothing, a task made slightly more challenging by my refusal to slow the rhythm I have established.

'Why---oh, sweet Eru, YES, Sam---why, why must I ask you? Why can't you ask me?'

Sam stares at me as though he's never seen me before, despite evidence in his hand to the contrary. 'Because...you're my master.' This answer may or may not hold some degree of logic, but I abandon this line of questioning at the realization that the word 'master', on my servant's tongue, is concentrated liquid aphrodisiac.

(And how does he know to touch THERE, anyway?)

'Oh,' I say intelligently. I cannot be held responsible for my sudden and fervent increase of speed.

'Master,' he moans.

'Eru,' I mutter again.

'I'm c-close,' he croaks in a harsh whisper.

At the tension in his voice a charge snaps through me like the touch of a doorknob after a traverse across a carpeted room. A few more strokes and Sam cries out, loud, and the spoils of his pleasure arc over the back of my hand. Moments later I spill over Sam's, and we collapse onto our backs, covered in glorious stickiness, breathing like we've run halfway to Bywater and back at a sprint.

'That...' I half-whisper into Sam's collarbone, 'was like...like...'

'Fireworks,' sighs Sam. I look at him in surprise.

'Yes,' I agree. 'Fireworks.'


'Fireworks,' Frodo murmured into his quill. 'That would make an excellent title.'

After a few corrections he signed and dated the manuscript, gathered it together, and crawled into bed. He did not extinguish the candle.

An hour later, a satisfied Frodo dreamed of fireworks in the dark.

* * *


Frodo awoke to the squeaking of hinges and wondered vaguely in his foggy head why the sound made him uneasy. It was just Sam, of course, and Sam came in every morning---he'd tiptoe in to light the fire, and then he'd bring hot water for washing, and then he'd rouse Frodo later with the rustle of curtains and a cheerful greeting.

Frodo burrowed deeper into his bedclothes and dozed.

After what might have been a few moments---or perhaps an hour---his ears did indeed prick to the sound of rustling, but with a start Frodo realized that muslin curtains weren't nearly as noisy as all that.

Frodo sat bolt upright in bed.

'NO, Sam!'

Sam jumped, caught red-handed with a flustered look and a jumble of papers.

Frodo leaped to his feet, clutching his sheets about himself with one hand and snatching the manuscript from Sam's grasp with the other. Sam blinked.

'Did you read it?' Frodo very nearly shrieked. 'Did you?'

Sam wrung his hands. 'Forgive me, Mist----oh---I'm sorry! My curiosity got the better of me, sir, I---'

'Sam,' Frodo wailed, 'you weren't meant to read this. Sweet Eru. Blast it. Blast it!'

'I---I didn't mean no harm!' Sam cried. 'It had my name on it, sir---the pages were scattered and when I went to pick them up I saw my own name. And I thought if you were writing a letter of reference you might be sending me off, Mr Frodo, off to work somewhere else, and---'

'What must you think of me?' Frodo moaned, not seeming to hear. 'You weren't meant to read it, never in a thousand lifetimes---it's not supposed to be you---that is, it is supposed to be you, but I've stereotyped you horribly, and made you do things that---oh, Sam.' He sank back onto his bed and put his head into his hands. Curly dark hair shrouded his face, and he was thankful for it. His throat suddenly felt tight.

Sam was silent for a moment. 'I'd do whatever you told me to, Mr Frodo,' he said finally in a low voice. 'I'd like to.'

Frodo raised his head a little.

'Well, begging your pardon, sir, but as much as I like bringing you your tea in the morning, it ain't as satisfying a task as'---here he flushed scarlet---'as others I might do for you, if you take my meaning.'

Frodo shook his head dumbly.

'You know that, Mr Frodo,' said Sam.

'Sam,' Frodo said slowly, perplexed. 'You're...you're such a marvel. How is it that you can't look me in the eye to tell me my breakfast is ready, but you can admit something like this without so much as a stutter? How?'

Sam smiled shyly and dipped his head. 'Oh, I reckon that if you didn't feel the same way, you wouldn't be writing such stories as that one.'

'Oh.'

Sam set his jaw and stood up.

'Where are you going?' Frodo asked.

'Nowhere,' he said emphatically, and with a look of sudden resolve he grabbed a chair near the door and jammed it under the knob. He gave Frodo a sidelong glance. 'If Mr Bilbo asks you later, I was down in the woodcellar this morning. All morning, mind.'

Frodo blinked once and nodded. 'What are we going to do?' he asked hesitantly.

Sam chuckled. 'Well, I was thinking you might read a passage or two by my favorite author. But for starters,' he said, eyes twinkling, 'why don't we have tea?'

 

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