West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Sam always knows what his master wants.
Author: Daffodil Bolger
A/N: Inspired by FIRST KISS by Wyna Hiros, with the artist's permission.
Sam always knows what his master wants.
Not with his head so much because Sam knows his head can too often talk him out of the things he ought not let himself be talked out of. His gaffer's always quick to tell him that his head is more useful for keeping hats off the floor than for thinking with and my, but wouldn't his gaffer have a few choice things to say about what's running wild in Sam's head now?
Even so, Sam thinks that on this particular point, he'd have to take one of his rare stands against his old da and risk a sharp box to his ears because this he knows, he knows. And even if Mr. Frodo his own self doesn't know what he wants most of the time, Sam does.
Not in the same way he knows that you mustn't pick beans before the sun's burnt the dew from them or they're like to rust on you. And not in the same way he knows that the best wood for a hot, smokeless fire is good, dry oak. No, this he knows with his bones, with his gut, with his heart: Sam always knows what his master wants.
Take for instance that first couple weeks or so, after Mr. Bilbo had run off without so much as a fare-thee-well and made Mr. Frodo the new Master and then Gandalf hadn't even waited 'til Mr. Frodo's head stopped spinning before he was up and gone, too. Even Master Merry eventually wandered home, probably thinking he'd done a good job of taking his cousin's mind off things for a time. But Sam knew what even Master Merry hadn't guessed at, close as he and Mr. Frodo were: Mr. Frodo was maybe just a little bit afraid to be alone. Not 'the bogey's out to get you' type of afraid and it weren't as if Mr. Frodo were jumping at shadows or some such. Mr. Frodo weren't some lass, after all. It weren't something his master did different or accidentally said or anything so simple as a tell, like in the way you could always tell Marigold was getting ready to haul off and clock you one when her upper lip started to twitching. It was just that Mr. Frodo were lonely and Sam just knew. He saw the eyes that looked just a little too bright, the smile that was maybe just a bit too cheerful and the way Mr. Frodo avoided going into Mr. Bilbo's study unless he absolutely had to and Sam just knew.
But even more, Sam felt it. There weren't any good way to explain it, leastways not any good way that wouldn't make him sound like some moonstruck lass. But Sam, though he'd never dare say such a thing out loud, thought that maybe Mr. Frodo's heart talked to his own in a way; real quiet-like and not in any language his head could get itself around. But his heart and his gut sure understood the ways of things and back then, when Mr. Bilbo'd gone and left the new Master plenty wealthier in coin but lots poorer in company, Sam had known that his Mr. Frodo were lonesome.
That's when Sam started spending more time up the Hill and doing about Bag End more than he ever had before. Not that Mr. Frodo needed taking care of, as the biddies who sat on the benches at the market were so fond of twattling to each other anytime the new Master happened by. He was just wanting for some company was all and, though Sam had his suspicions over whether his own company was suitable for the likes of a Baggins, Mr. Frodo had never objected to it before. So, Sam figured, since no one else seemed to give much of a bother about whether his master might be a little lonesome or not, well... Sam did give a bother and, since it were him as was already there and all...
So, Sam started doing for Mr. Frodo. It wasn't anything they'd talked over or agreed on, it just sort of happened. One day Sam was weeding the kitchen window box as Mr. Frodo was shambling out of bed to some breakfast and the next he was fixing that breakfast and pulling back the curtains to wake Mr. Frodo for it. It was easy, really. Mr. Frodo never said nothin' about it, just smiled and said thank you, nice as you please and ate his breakfast while Sam busied himself with setting the kitchen to rights, chattering about the doings around the Row and a routine just sort of started from there. At the end of that week, Sam found the coins in his paypurse to be more than they'd been the week before and he'd nodded his thanks and walked home with a bit of a bounce to his step. He might have even whistled. Not for the extra coin so much as the smile Mr. Frodo had give him along with it; a lovely smile, that. Sam had always thought so - especially when it touched his eyes like that.
Sam knew then that, what his bones told him, he should ought to pay attention to. And, for the most part, he does.
Sam knows lots of other things, too, though some of them, he wishes he didn't. For instance, there was that awful mess Mr. Frodo got hisself into with that Mr. Merry and how the future Master of Buckland could be so smart about land rights and growing crops and yet so blindingly stupid as to let Mr. Frodo push him into that young Took as he did was completely beyond Sam's ken. If Sam ever had Mr. Frodo for his own, as that Brandybuck had, you could bet that he'd hold on with both hands and dig in his heels, should Mr. Frodo ever decide that someone else was better for Sam than he was. As if anyone could be.
As much as Sam has to respect Mr. Merry for knowing all along that his cousin would up and try to go off by hisself and then working his arse off to make sure that he didn't, Sam will never be able to fathom how he let a one like Mr. Frodo slip through his fingers. Certainly Master Pippin were pretty enough as lads go and he definitely had his good points, many of which Sam is still in the process of finding out... but he ain't no Mr. Frodo and Sam will never understand how Mr. Merry just couldn't see that Mr. Frodo had pushed him off on Master Pippin because he thought he should and not because he'd wanted to. It near broke his master's heart, Sam remembers and there was Mr. Merry not two months later, whistling up the Row with Master Pippin in tow, nice as you please and never seeing the melancholy bent to Mr. Frodo's welcoming smile. But, Sam supposes, gentry don't always mean wise in all things, except in rare cases like Mr. Frodo and he can't really fault Mr. Merry for being a bit dull-witted when it comes to his cousin's heart. Mr. Frodo always takes such great pains to hide that heart, though Sam secretly thinks that's one of the least wise things about his master.
Take for example the trip here. Mr. Frodo'd been in some awful pain and weren't a thing anyone could do about that. Mr. Strider had tried some teas as he could and some rub-downs every time they'd made camp and those seemed to help Mr. Frodo quite a bit. But the warmth was what helped the most and the best way to get Mr. Frodo warm turned out to be getting him to huddle with one or all of them beneath a blanket and letting their own heat seep into his frigid bones. Such a simple thing and something every one of the hobbits and even Mr. Strider was more than willing to do. But Mr. Frodo wouldn't ask for it and most times, he'd say no to the offer; as if he were putting someone out, of all things. It made no sense to Sam but it seemed that his master would just as soon lay on the cold ground, shivering the night away as ask one of his friends to come and lay down with him so's he could get warm and maybe be able to sleep a little. Sam would never say so but, even though it were one of those things that made him love his master even more, it also reaffirmed his suspicions that, brave as Mr. Frodo was, he was a one who needed a great deal of protection and looking after. He'd jump headlong into a river to save one of his friends, Mr. Frodo would but he'd not so much as raise a hand and give a yell, if he were the one caught up in water over his head - especially not if he thought maybe asking for help would just end up getting someone he loved in trouble.
But Sam knew. And each time they stopped, Sam took to curling himself around Mr. Frodo where he sat, refusing to take the inevitable 'no' for an answer and pulling his master in 'til his back leaned against Sam's chest. A cloak or blanket wrapped snug around them both did the trick with Sam's heat sinking into Mr. Frodo and Mr. Frodo's trembling eventually ebbing a little. As awful as that fortnight was and as fearful as Sam had been for his master, he has to admit that he treasures those times more than anything else in the world, those times when his master would mould himself into Sam and let Sam tuck his face into his shoulder...
Mr. Frodo always smells of rain, somehow - even then, when he should have smelled like blood and death and road dirt and the clammy sweat that coated his skin. Even then, sitting behind his master with his limbs wrapped about him and willing the heat of his body into Mr. Frodo's, Sam could shift his neck a little, bury his nose in Mr. Frodo's hair and all he could smell was rain. It was a beautiful smell, a clean smell, even though every one of them was covered in the dusty layers of their trek and Sam often wondered if maybe it weren't the rain at all that smelled so good but Mr. Frodo hisself.
Well, now he knows that too because once again, Samwise Gamgee has his nose stuck in the silky, raven curls of Mr. Frodo Baggins. It was accidental this time, or at least, Sam is fairly certain that's what he'll be able to confidently tell anyone who might have the inclination to ask what he's doing with almost his entire face pushed into where his master's collarbone meets his throat.
You see, he were feeling poorly today and went for a lie-down with a book and when I come to check on him, he jumped up all jittery-like and the book went flying out of his hands and fell to the floor and then we both bent to pick it up and we sorta bumped into each other and that's how I ended up with my nose in my master's hair... and if my mouth maybe wandered a little and maybe brushed up along the smooth skin of his throat, well... All right there weren't really no excuse for that one but the thing is, Sam is doing some knowing again and right now, he knows that his master, Mr. Frodo Baggins, is doing some real hurting and is in want of some serious kissing. And maybe even some more than that.
How does Sam know? Well, there were his bones screeching at him, of course and his heart is busy making it's own argument in favor of it but this time, Sam has to admit that most of his information were coming from his own two eyes. All right and maybe from one other, less respectable source, as well but mostly from his eyes.
Mr. Frodo had laid hisself on the couch that stood on his terrace and promptly fell asleep with his book still closed and clutched to his chest. When Sam had come to check on him and see if he wanted to get up for afternoon tea, he couldn't help just standing and staring for a while. His master was still a little on the pale and wan side but Sam supposed that was to be expected after such a close brush with death... or worse, though Sam didn't often let himself consider such things. There was color creeping into his master's cheeks, though, Sam noted with some satisfaction and, even as that thought went through his mind, he caught himself reaching out his hand and allowing his fingertip to trace the soft rise of the cheekbone and skate along the edge of where the roses kissed the otherwise pale skin. From there it was only a very short way up to the contour of the smoky lashes lain against the now only slightly-bruised and sunken hollows of his eyes and since he was already there and all, he might as well trace the straight line of the nose down to those slightly-parted lips that pursed just a little at his touch and...
Surely that couldn't have been Sam's own name that Mr. Frodo had just murmured in his sleep? But even before he'd completed that thought, Sam knew that yes, indeed it was and further, he knew exactly what it meant, just as he knew instinctively that, if anything was to be done about it, Sam himself would have to be the one doing. Mr. Frodo would likely chew off his own tongue, rather than say anything to give Sam the impression that he was ordering him into some loving and so it was going to be entirely up to Sam to convince his master that Sam had been wanting this since right about the time he'd been old enough to know what 'this' was.
And there went his head a'clamoring at him, all about how Gamgees didn't go mixing with the gentry and cor, but didn't Sam have an awful lot of cheek, setting his cap on the likes of a Baggins and how could he have the brass to think that someone as brave and kind and fair as Mr. Frodo could possibly have designs on someone like Sam, of all people and Sam took each thought very firmly by the scruff of the neck and drop-kicked it into oblivion. His da were right on that one thing; his head did make a better hat rack than anything else and so he turned his ears to what his heart was telling him instead.
What his heart was telling him right then was that he really, really wanted to hear his name glide from that mouth on a breathy sigh again and so he moved his fingertips lightly over the angle of the jawbone and over the dusky rose of Mr. Frodo's lips. And sure enough, those lips twitched into the faintest smile and Sam's name came feathery and dulcet from between them. Then Mr. Frodo's eyes drifted open, hazy and soft and dewy with gentle sleep and he looked at Sam unguardedly for a moment, only for a tiny, split-second moment but Sam had enough time to really see into those eyes and he knew, he knew, he knew that he was right.
There was want in those eyes, their gaze un-shuttered and artless for only that briefest of moments but Sam saw the need there, too and, though he'd never dared hope, yes, he was near certain there was love as well and Sam suddenly knew, he just knew and he came very near to laughing like a loon and dancing across the floor until the sleep dropped suddenly from Mr. Frodo's eyes and shattered that naked vulnerability. Mr. Frodo gasped and bolted up from the couch, sending the book sailing to the floor and both Sam and his master had bent over at the same time to pick it up and now, here Sam is, on the way down to the ground with his face in Mr. Frodo's hair and his hand reaching blindly for the bound text and wanting this moment to stop right where it is for just a little while so that Sam can catalogue each and every sensation that is pounding through him. But no, on second thought, let's let time keep moving because now they both have hold of the book and Sam's other hand has somehow crept up to cup around the back of Mr. Frodo's neck. They are standing, straightening and Sam's fingers twitch at the back of Mr. Frodo's neck but, cheeky and shockingly improper as he knows it is, he refuses to move that hand and, instead, strokes his fingers lightly over the skin beneath his master's shirt collar.
Mr. Frodo is looking at Sam with so many things running circles behind his eyes and Sam can see every single one of them clearly. He wishes he had the time and the sort of language he would need to answer all of the questions that are flying over that face but this is it, it has to be now and it has to be right or Mr. Frodo will close himself up and Sam will never get another chance.
He wants to say that he loves him, has loved him since he was no higher than Mr. Frodo's hip and far too young to know what real, true loving was all about. He wants to tell Mr. Frodo that there ain't no need to try and protect Sam from anything because Sam can protect his own self very well, thank you very much and doesn't need his master deciding what's good for him, nohow. And he wants to say that master/servant is so far beyond the point in the first place that he might have to get himself all uppity and insulted if Mr. Frodo dares bring up the subject.
"You dropped this, Mr. Frodo," is what he actually ends up saying and, though his master's mouth opens a little and his eyes widen then narrow and his brows quirk together in that way that sends a thrill through Sam each and every time - and all of this before one second has ticked into another - Sam decides that he will allow his master no time to talk himself into being all noble and such-like. He bends forward and lays his mouth to Mr. Frodo's.
And, oh... this... this is... oh, he's never even dreamed it this good. He's caught Mr. Frodo out a little and so his mouth is open and compliant and oh, just so hot and perfect and Sam sinks into it, works his jaw and sweeps his tongue around 'til it's tentatively met with Mr. Frodo's own. Oh, Sam could lose himself and more than happily and he takes his time with this, seeking every crevice and cataloguing every response he brings forth.
There is a small, surprised noise from Mr. Frodo, as if he's just now realized what's going on and then he stiffens and tries to pull himself away. But Sam knows, he knows this is right and what his master wants, what he wants and so he tightens his grip on the back of Mr. Frodo's neck, pulls him deeper, releases the book to bring his other hand around to the small of Mr. Frodo's back and then he yanks his master flush against him. There is a gasp then a nerve-shattering moan, as their bodies collide, hips pressing and grinding and Sam matches that moan, all low and throaty and begging and gives back one of his own. Heat blooms inside him, spreads like lightning throughout his limbs and sets his fingers and toes to tingling.
Oh, Sam would happily die right this very minute if it meant that this was the last sensation he'd ever feel; his master's lissome body pressed into his own, lithe limbs twining about him, pulling him tight and tighter still and Sam's own hands settling over the swell of--
A sharp 'crack' as the book slips from his master's fingers. Mr. Frodo twitches a little, pulls away with a groan, lays his forehead to Sam's and just closes his eyes, breathing hard and running his fingers lightly through the hair that rests on the back of Sam's collar.
"Sam," Mr. Frodo breathes, barely even a whisper but it speaks to Sam's heart, sinks into his bones and Sam has to open his eyes, has to see. He pries his eyelids open, gazes long and hard into those piercing eyes, only inches from his own and yes, stars bless and keep him, there is love there in their depths and Sam almost weeps. Then those eyes fall closed, the brow furrows and there is a sharp intake of breath before Mr. Frodo chokes out "Sam," again. And it's different this time, a plea wrapped in desperation and a little bit of fear and Sam decides that he's taken enough time with this.
He slides his hands over his master's shoulders, smoothes the tensed muscles beneath his fingers and guides Mr. Frodo's arms down to his sides. Then he takes his master's head between his hands and gently kisses his brow, the tip of his nose and, finally - chaste and sweet - his mouth and all the while, Sam sends forth the song in his heart, lets it encircle his master's own. Then Sam moves back a little and, when Mr. Frodo opens his eyes, Sam catches his gaze, cuts a quick glance sideways and down to the couch then back up.
A slow smile curls at the corner of Mr. Frodo's mouth and an eyebrow lifts mischievously. His eyes seem to dance a little as he follows the direction of Sam's glance then meets his eyes with a bit of a smirk and the very slightest of nods.
Sam can't help but grin; he always knows what his master wants.
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