West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Some Dreams Never Change
A rather dark role-reversal AU.
Author: Aina
Rating: NC-17


Soiled fingers push locks of sweaty hair back from the forehead of the young gardener bent over a patch of moist earth, attempting to coax his seedlings into their beds. The sun beats down on the back of his neck, reaching skin even under his wide collar and cluster of dark curls, and he reflects sourly that he will be nursing sunburn by the end of the day as he returns his blackened fingers to the earth.

His heart isn't in his work today -nothing seems to be going right. He has none of the natural talent and feel for the earth that so many other gardeners of Hobbiton have -so he is only small use to growing things through the practicality of his half-skilled hands. He can do the job well enough, surely, and has learned the basics of the trade through necessity, but the mildest of distractions -whether it be thinking of some book he itched to return to, or the hoarse cry of a nearby warbling bird- and he loses all concentration entirely.

And lately? distracted, in his opinion, doesn't even begin to cover it.

Muttering a curse, he continues to wrestle with the fragile seedlings, pressing them into the earth dampened by his watering can. It is much too hot today for planting such vulnerable shoots -even he has knowledge enough to be aware of this, but the Master had wanted it done this morning, and he knows better than to dispute his opinion.

The gardener cradles the shoots as tenderly as his shaking hands will allow, marveling that, with only a little care, some soil, sun and water, these seedlings will flourish and grow, even from such fragile beginnings.

He will never cease to be amazed by the mysterious ways of growing things. Looking about himself, it is hard for him to believe that every geranium and snapdragon that flowers in the garden does so on account of his hands. He knows the workings of words and old verses of lore much better than he does the ways of nature, so every time a leaf shoots or flower buds under his care, he is astounded. Similarly, he is baffled when, after the same treatment, they sometimes fail.

Soil, sun and water -incredible, that such a combination can give life to something dormant as a seed. A bit like himself, really, when he allows himself time to reflect upon it. Three little things he needs to live; he has soil -a home and place to spread his roots, however confined; he has sun -food and work to earn his keep; All he needs now is a bit of water?

Suddenly, there is the sound of a soft footfall on the grass behind him, and he is alert; tensing as he moves carefully back onto his haunches, biting his lip. He doesn't need to hear a voice or a breath to know. Even the luxurious smell of Old Tobey filling his nostrils isn't what gives away the identity of the figure at his back. It is the way his body suddenly fills with the charge of a hundred storm clouds; the buzzing of a thousand bees; the tingling of one very low, burning place.

Heart pounding in his ears, he waits.

The Master always stands there for a few moments, whenever he comes to him when he's working -just looking his fill, taking his time. The gardener can feel his eyes all over him like the brush of a hand, roving over his narrow shoulders and down the curve of his hunched back. Finally, the signal comes. "Frodo?"

Brushing the soil from his fingers on the rough fabric of his trousers, Frodo straightens a little. "Yes, Sir?"

"It's very hot out here; why don' you come on inside?"

"I really have to finish this, Sir," He replies evenly, head still bent. His voice sounds meek, he can tell. Worse than that, be begins to tremble as his Master steps up beside him and crouches down. Never mind that it has happened more than enough times now, Sam coming to him in the garden makes him ache to his bones. It is a ritual well danced and played. The gardener knows what is coming next -there it is- Sam reaches out and takes Frodo's small, dirty hand in his large, soft one and strokes it gently.

"Leave it lad," he breathes, and Frodo can only nod, not even mustering enough emotion to be miffed about being called 'lad' by a hobbit twelve years his junior.

Sam releases his hand and stands, straightening as Frodo does the same. The gardener barely has time to brush off his breeches self-consciously before Master Gamgee is striding back towards Bag End, leaving Frodo scurrying to follow, seedlings forgotten like a passing wind.

The Gamgees of Bag End have always been a well-to-do family, very sympathetic and kind to the poorer families. The gardener supposed this was why they had been so willing to take him into employ when his Uncle Bilbo fled the Shire, leaving him stranded in an island of grief. Mister Hamfast and his children have been most accommodating to Frodo, and continue to pay him well, for all that they could easily find a much better gardener.

Master Samwise, reaching the front entrance, slows down to allow Frodo time to rush on ahead of him and yank on the brass knob, pulling the heavy green door open for him. Sam enters with a nod towards his servant, who follows quickly, drawing the door closed behind him.

Daisy and May are in the parlour as they pass, calling out to Frodo in their not-so-innocent flirtatious way. This Frodo will never get used to: the way the females of the upper classes treat him, flaunting themselves right before his eyes, as if tempting him, daring him?

But should he ever give in, and reach out but a finger towards the prize that is mercilessly dangled in front of his face every day, he would be on the road with his belongings tossed after him before he could even contemplate pleading seduction.

Sam, on the other hand?

Without speaking a word, they reach the smial's second largest bedroom, Frodo closing the door behind him slowly, listening for the dull 'click' that seems, to him, the ending of all life outside of this room. Sam sits on the edge of the bed, his expression relaxed, surveying the gardener standing there, back almost pressed against the door, his whole body tense.

Frodo can feel his eyes rove lazily all over his skin, and it almost makes him flinch, being all too aware of his dirty hands and knees and mussed hair. There are, no doubt, smudges of soil on his face, and the rough cotton shirt he wears had been Bilbo's, so it is faded and far too large for him, hanging and clinging in all the wrong places. His breeches are the opposite: too short in the leg and hugging at his hips. He is dressed more suitably to be wedged away in the back of the garden; not here -not in this company? Oh, if only he had known today his Master would call?

He rubs at his thin hands nervously and says "I should have washed up first, sir." Of course he should have. What was he thinking, to even come inside the smial in such a state? But when Sam comes to him like that, his large body warm and close, imploring him to follow, there is no space for further rational thought.

"There's water in the basin," Sam nods over to the washstand, which sits ready for his use in the evening. Frodo bites his lip. It seems far out of his place to be using the master's own wash basin, but really, what else can he do? He can't very well? not when his hands are like this.

The gardener inclines his head in a nod, turning his back on Sam as he steps over to the washstand. It would take too long to fetch hot water, but Frodo is happy enough with the cold, as his skin is still tingling with the sun's glare.

Taking up a neatly folded washcloth, he dips it into the basin and begins scrubbing at his hands. Yellow-brown spirals swirl into the clear water as he rinses the dirt away from his pale skin, working rigidly at every stubborn stain. He can feel Sam's eyes at his back, making his skin prickle. He had been working in the garden since just before dawn, so his whole body is doused in sweat and grime. Mild panic flares in his belly as he thinks of his state, and Frodo wishes there was some way to delay his Master for a half-hour while he runs for a bath.

"Frodo?" Sam's voice makes the gardener jump and realise he is standing frozen, staring into the basin.

"Are you all right?"

Frodo blinks, startled. Sam hasn't asked him that since the first time they? when he was unsure, skittish and had to ask him to stop every few moments or else he would explode with the intensity of it all.

"Yes, sir," Frodo nods, turning slightly towards him. "I just thought? perhaps I should? I really need a bath, sir."

There is a pause, and Frodo can feel Sam's eyes surveying him harder than ever.

"That's what the water's there for," he says eventually, "you can have a wash here."

Frodo nods, fingers clenching in the cloth. Sam's eyes burn him as he falls silent.

"Take your shirt off."

Four words, and Frodo is shaking worse than ever, anticipation and desire swelling in his gut like one of the fat roses in Daddy Twofoot's garden -the kind Frodo himself has never been able to successfully tend.

His hands rise to his buttons, turning his back fully to Sam once more. Quick and efficient, Frodo unfastens his shirt, shrugging to let the fabric fall down his back, gathering at his wrists. He struggles free, and the rough, faded shirt drops softly to the floor.

Frodo waits for long moments, but Sam says nothing, so he picks up the washcloth once more and begins running it up his arms, sighing at the luxurious feel of cool water on his heated skin.

Smoothing the cloth in fluid strokes, Frodo efficiently rinses the grime from his arms, armpits, shoulders and neck. He would be thoroughly enjoying the wash if it weren't for the silent, watchful presence of his master in the room. The older hobbit can feel him there, still staring, just sitting and staring until Frodo thinks he will almost burst with the tension pressing in on him from all sides, concentrated into two piercing pressure points that are Sam's eyes.

Suddenly, the bed creaks and there is a soft footfall as the master stands. Cloth pressed into his hairline at the back of his neck, Frodo freezes. Then Sam is stepping close behind him, and -there- his warm, broad hand presses onto Frodo's side, just below his ribs. Electricity and fire sweeps through his body, sending sensation soaring into every one of his limbs, right down to his fingertips and toes; right up to the top of his head, numbing all thought.

The washcloth falls, unheeded, to the stand, and Frodo is arching back, pressing his body against Sam's behind him. His hand flies up, finds Sam's curls and twines tight, drawing his head down as he cranes into him, seeking his lips. But Sam doesn't kiss him yet, Instead, he presses his face into Frodo's nape, making him writhe with an impatient growl.

Then Sam lifts his head, and his voice breathes softly against his ear, "You're beautiful, you know."

Frodo gasps. Sam has never?

He tugs on the younger hobbit's head again, harder this time, moaning in relief and desire as their lips connect. Sam opens to him, and Frodo gratefully plunges his tongue deep inside his warm, soft mouth.

Rough fingertips trace over the pale, smooth skin of his stomach as Sam's hands circle his waist. The older hobbit growls, torn between pressing back into the solid warmth behind him or froward into his caressing touch. Sam makes the decision for him as his arms tighten and Frodo is pulled flush against him. He can feel his master's arousal pressing into the cleft of his behind, and Sam cries out into his mouth as Frodo rolls his hips back into him.

Hands leave burning trails of desire all over Frodo's damp skin as he plunges deeper and deeper into Sam's mouth, taking all of him, fingers wound so tight in his hair he knows it is bound to hurt. But he doesn't care for the pain -all he wants now is to take and take and take that which is offered to him, giving back as he is able, all to feed the burning that has been swelling up inside from the moment Sam came to him in the garden.

Finally, Sam breaks the kiss, leaving Frodo panting breathlessly as he begins nipping his way down behind his ear, down his neck?

Frodo grips the edge of the washstand, bending his head over the basin with a hoarse cry as Sam's mouth fastens on the sensitive flesh of his collarbone, sucking hard. One reasonable part of Frodo's brain remains, and it tells him this is insane; they shouldn't be doing this with Sam's sisters just down the hall. Goodness only knows where Master Hamfast is. Frodo hopes he is out for the day -the Master knows of what he and his son get up to, but he certainly doesn't approve. Oh, they shouldn't be doing this? Sam normally chooses mornings when the girls are out to call on him? his mouth is trailing down the firm line of his back now, nipping, leaving stinging, blissful marks.

They shouldn't? oh, what is the point in arguing? He followed. He knew from the second Sam spoke that there would be no way he could deny him.

A deep moan tears through the room as the younger hobbit's tongue laves a path into the small of Frodo's back. Then his hands move to Frodo's hips, and he is shifting to his knees, nipping at the pale, softly furred skin just above the older hobbit's waistband.

"Sir, I?" Frodo gasps, "I need to wash."

"Aye," Sam agrees with a chuckle, and Frodo allows a faint smile which quickly fades as Sam breathes: "Hand me the cloth."


He gently kisses Frodo's lower back and repeats "Hand me the cloth."

Shrugging, Frodo picks up the washcloth and quickly rinses it in the basin, then passes it down to his master. He has to bite his lip against a cry as the wet, cold material suddenly meets his flesh, gliding up his sweat-prickled back, soothing at the burning marks where Sam's teeth have been. He arches into the wet touch and Sam's free arm presses at the back of his thighs, bracing him against the washstand as he fumbles at his breeches buttons. Oh yes, yes Sam? Frodo groans and dips his head over the half-filled basin once more as deft thumbs on his hips push the hugging fabric down, letting it slide all the way down his calves until it is pooling at his feet and he is bare before his master.

He flinches a little as he steps out of his trousers and small clothes -the magic ring his uncle left him is in his pocket, and he always feels strange about laying it aside. Probably because it is the last thing he has left of the old hobbit. Thinking on it now... he can almost feel it tug at the edge of his memory, like a siren call reminding him of a life he knew before the one he is living now. Before his reality had reduced to being pinned against a washstand by the arm of one who just as effectively could pin him there with his eyes alone.

The ring -just a simple gold circle with very little magical power- it couldn't possibly save him from this... He doesn't want to be saved. The itch to take it to his hands and let it reverse time in his imagination is so strong it hurts. Just to remember... to taste it again for a second... life before gardening -before he was alone -before Sam.

Sam. The washcloth suddenly returns at his hip, and Frodo gives a small jerk with the shock of the cold.

Before this, he is sure, the aching was never as deep.

Sam makes a soft soothing sound as he gently glides the cloth over Frodo's buttocks and down? And, oh, doesn't that feel heavenly. The older hobbit moans as Sam bathes the sensitive area of his upper thighs. Those breeches he'd been wearing, being too tight, made for a sweaty, sticky feeling on a hot day like today -so the wash is pure bliss. And that, coupled with the firm press and touch of Sam's hands, his breath ghosting across damp skin? Frodo wonders briefly what Sam would say if his knees were to just collapse, sending him sprawling into his lap.

The soft, damp cloth moves up to his tailbone and Frodo gasps as it begins sliding down between his buttocks, leaving a cool, wet trail that does nothing to take the heat from his burning skin. Sam glides the cloth all the way down the crevice of his flesh until Frodo has to shift his thighs apart, whimpering in the back of his throat at the gentle touch to sensitive areas that makes him shake from head to toe.

"Oh? sir?" he breathes, and suddenly, the cloth is falling to the floor, and something else wet, something warm -Sam's mouth- is pressing at the base of his spine. Frodo shivers, his knuckles aching and white where they grip the edge of the washstand as Sam kisses and nips at his skin, caressing him with lips, teeth, and fingers, moving down?

The older hobbit gives a sharp cry as Sam's tongue darts out, sliding down the cleft on the same path the cloth had taken. Frodo gasps and his arms give way, bringing him to his elbows on the washstand with a painful bump. His eyes clench tightly shut; now he is bent further over, Sam has perfect access to?

"Ah!" Frodo's eyes fly open as Sam's tongue presses lightly just there, and he has to fight not to back into him so fast and hard he will be knocked flat.

"Sam," he chokes. The basin is just below his face now, and he catches sight of his own reflection in the water. His cheeks are flushed red, his forehead damp with perspiration. There is a smudge of dirt just below his right eye, and suddenly, he feels very small. How, how does someone like him -a bug-eyed, skin-and-bone servant- deserve to have such, such, oh?

"Oh!" He jerks as Sam gently presses in, hot and wet, and the washstand shakes. A ripple of water spreads across the basin and his reflection, along with all thought, is lost.

Frodo throws his head to the ceiling, fighting not to buck as Sam's tongue slides slowly out and in and surely, his knees can't hold him much longer? His tremble must have given him away, for Sam suddenly moves his face back and releases his grip on his behind, allowing him room as he collapses into his lap.

Several breaths later, Frodo manages to gasp, "Oh, Sir? I'm sorry."

Sam's large arms hook about his waist, and his bare body is hugged to the gentlehobbit's chest. The warm chuckle that comes to Frodo's ears is soothing -at least to that part of him that isn't screaming with an ache to be touched.

Touch. His hands itch from wanting it; wanting to slide all over the younger hobbit's broad body -and just how did he end up being completely naked without Sam having removed a stitch?

He tilts his head back and turns it slightly to nuzzle at Sam's jaw, and he can feel the muscles move under his lips as the younger hobbit grins, leaning towards him.

"Perhaps we should get up off this floor," Frodo whispers absently as he twists further to press his lips to the soft curve where Sam's jaw meets his neck.

"Mayhap I like it on the floor," the younger hobbit purrs, his arms unfolding about Frodo's stomach as he slowly lets his hands trail down his body.

Frodo whimpers into his ear, one hand reaching up blindly to twine in Sam's hair as his wide, soft fingertips trace lightly over his hips, over his groin?

The brush of fingers to his desperate erection draws a deep cry from Frodo's throat. He can feel Sam's clothed arousal against his backside, so he pushes back against it, using his strong thigh muscles to lift and slide himself over the outline of that hard length, begging for more from Sam's hand.

Sam reciprocates, drawing his fingers slowly down Frodo's straining shaft to curl firmly at the base. The older hobbit writhes, rolling his hips in a rhythm that acts to slide his backside firmly over Sam's erection and pushes up into his hand desperately, making it quite clear that he will have none of the teasing his master loves to dish out.

There is a low grunt as Sam shifts his hips up to meet him, and Frodo bites his lip on a moan as Sam's hand moves to his rhythm, working him firm and sure.

But, oh, he needs more. He needs Sam's lips on his; needs to taste him and feel his wet warmth. With a whimper, the older hobbit throws his head back, tugging urgently on Sam's curls to draw his mouth down to meet his. Frodo kisses him hungrily, pushing his tongue deep inside, not even breaking away when a desperate moan escapes his mouth and pushes into Sam's. Harder and faster now he writhes, matching the furious movements of the hand on his arousal, and oh, it could very well be over soon, just like this. And somehow, that's a tad more disappointing than it really should be when it feels? so? good?

Suddenly, Sam stops. Frodo whimpers, cursing, and bites him on the neck. The younger hobbit seems to ignore him as he draws his hands up to Frodo's shoulders. Now he is pushing, gently urging the gardener from his lap and sideways. Frodo follows his guidance until he is lying on his back on the coarse knit rug of Master Samwise's floor.

Sam barely gives himself time to unfasten his trousers before he is shifting over and lowering himself onto Frodo's bare body.

And, oh, that's even better. Sam's hard arousal, still partially covered with fabric that they both battle to push away, slides against Frodo's and the older hobbit jerks up into him with a harsh cry.

Without further hesitation, Sam begins thrusting against him, pushing hard into his hot, moist groin. Frodo wraps arms and legs about the body above him, fingers clinging in his shirt, hips lifting and tilting fast, faster... Some small part of his brain yells at him to pull back, to slow down, because not much more and? and?

Frodo's scream breaks upon Sam's shoulder as he bites it, hard, his whole body snapping tense, muscles clenching then shuddering with release. Liquid surges between them, soaking flesh and fabric alike.

Frodo's body sags to the floor, arms and legs unhooking from about Sam's body as the younger hobbit quickly shifts his sturdy weight off of him and collapses at his side. As he closes his eyes wearily, the dark-haired gardener smiles.

This is when he likes it best; in the hazy stage between loving and getting themselves together before parting -this is when he can pretend.

He often likes to imagine that he has Sam all to himself; that outside the door there is no disapproving family and stony, judgmental eyes. If he closes his eyes hard enough, Frodo can pretend that it is nighttime -the hour of true lovers- not late morning when a master just happened to get an urge to call upon his servant.

It isn't always as hasty as today, but sometimes -no, often- Frodo wishes they had all night to spend in each other's arms -that they could collapse into sleep together and wake the same way.

But of course, he doesn't know if Sam wishes for the same. They have never spoken about it much -not openly and honestly, at least. Outside of the bedroom they are a little friendlier than master and servant should be, perhaps, but that is all. Outside of the bedroom, they pretend their relationship is a normal one.

But Frodo doesn't know -no matter how much he has thought over it in the long hours of sleepless nights- whether the coolness between them outside the bedroom is on account of Sam's family and keeping up appearances, or by deliberate design.

A small hum of inquiry from Sam brings the older hobbit back to himself and he realises that he must have whimpered out loud as the thought crossed his mind that perhaps he is what he's always dreaded: a tumble with the help, and nothing more.

Glancing at Sam, Frodo is struck by further realisation: he is still hard. His needy expression causes the older hobbit to look down, and sure enough, his flushed arousal is peeking out from beneath the open folds of his trousers.

"Oh! I didn't realise you didn't?" Frodo stops, blushing beet red. He hadn't lasted very long at all. But it hadn't troubled him, providing that Sam was the same.

All he has to do is step into the garden, and Frodo is shaking with a want that lasts even after release. Oh, to think that he doesn't have the same effect on Sam?

Frodo bites his lip in shame, but Sam smiles at him. He raises a hand and gently brushes his large knuckles down the sharp line of the older hobbit's jaw. "Looks like this is what I get for teasing you so, m'dear," he chuckles and Frodo's heart fairly glows to hear it.

"Yes," Frodo grins, and oh, it's times like this that he feels so sure that Sam loves him; and nothing could fill him and satisfy him more than that. "Let's see what I'm going to do about it, then, shall we?"

With renewed energy, Frodo springs lightly, his hands catching Sam's shoulders to pin him onto his back. Sam grins at him and Frodo can't help but smile back. This is how he likes it best: when the intensity between them fades just enough so he can dare to be playful. He has a feeling Sam likes it, too, so is surprised when the younger hobbit catches his hands as they slide down to push his trousers away.

"Mayhap we should get up off this floor now," he suggests to Frodo's inquiring glance.

Oh, of course. The gardener nods and quickly moves to help his master to his feet. Sam lets his breeches fall to the floor as he stands, and Frodo, continuing with his playful approach, steps close until their bare lower bodies press together and slides his hands up under the hanging edges of Sam's shirt at his hips.

The younger hobbit jerks, his damp and urgent arousal grinding against Frodo's soft flesh as he takes him into his arms. Frodo closes his eyes and yes, if he presses his face into Sam's curls, he can pretend that the sun shining through the drawn curtains is actually moonlight, and Sam is embracing him after a comfortable evening spent together and at the beginning of a long night of the same.

Frodo smiles to himself, riding the waves of emotion that flow through him and Sam's slow grind against his hip. The younger hobbit's mouth is warm and close to his ear as he breathes "come to bed," and oh, it's just so perfect that Frodo's heart leaps and just for one, blissful second he dares to believe, and fantasy crosses over into reality and he opens his eyes and?

Sunlight washes over his vision. Frodo exhales, but Sam felt that sudden surge of arousal that flooded his body, pooling into his groin, and is chuckling gently.

"I think mayhap I could persuade you into another go," he says fondly.

"Not much, and you could," Frodo replies in truth and Sam moves his face back to look at him.

"Come to bed?" he purrs, lifting a hand to gently brush his knuckles down Frodo's jaw in that tender way he loves to.

Yes. "I-I'm still dirty," Frodo squeaks in mild panic, "my feet and knees?"

"Don't worry about it, love," Sam breathes, "We'll have to wash the sheets anyway."

Love? An endearment, or something more? Oh, he craves to know more than anything?


Yes. Yes. Frodo nods and allows himself to be led towards the master's vast feather mattress.


The sun has almost vanished from the sky when Frodo finally returns to the garden. The day had passed into afternoon without him realising as he and Sam lay drowsing on the edge of sleep amidst the tangled, dirty sheets of Master Samwise's bed. An impatient rap on the door from Daisy telling them that Frodo was wanted in the kitchen finally drew them back to reality, and the gardener hastened to pull his clothes on, flushed pink with embarrassment that his mistress knew to find him in Sam's bedroom.

The younger hobbit had just pulled on his breeches by the time Frodo was dressed and their eyes met for a long moment. This was the part the gardener always felt most awkward about. Was he to thank him? Kiss him? Murmur words or regret until the next time they would meet behind the closed bedroom door?

Sam made no move, so Frodo merely inclined his head in a polite nod, and left the room.

His fists clench in the soil, feeling it crumble between his fingers. The earth has long since dried out, sucked of its moisture by the unforgiving rays of the summer sun. His seedlings, abandoned and unplanted, are dead.

His hands fall to his knees, his chin to his chest. He is sapped, squeezed empty and clean of every sensation, every emotion he so diligently clings to. Sam sucks it all out of him, leaves him bereft and dry like the dirt beneath his fingertips.

And for what? The sake of pretending that this is normal? To feed his errant fantasies with the half-fulfilling experiences he finds in real life? Being a vessel of release for the pleasure of his Master, and gaining, taking that same back from him?

And amidst all, the knowledge that long ago he fell in love with Sam Gamgee.

He can have so much of him, and yet at the end has nothing at all. His body is satisfied, but his mind, his heart aches for more.

On the outside, he has everything he needs. But inside, he is dry and starved. But what does it matter anyway? Even if Sam does love him -and Frodo is so sure that on some level, he truly does- there is no more they can offer each other.

All he can do is sit in the garden and wait for his master to call; wait for the day when he will stop calling. Wait for his pretending to stop haunting him.



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