West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Barrel Rider
"...Frodo's plans most emphatically did not include Sam injuring himself because he was too bloody stubborn to ask for help wrestling an empty ale barrel up the cellar stairs."
Author: Willow-wode
Rating: NC-17


"Dregs, nothing but dregs!" Rorimac Brandybuck snorted. "Just what I'd expect from someone who cellars Old Winyards!"

Across the table from him, Bilbo glowered at the ale as if it were at fault--which it wasn't. Frodo hid a grin behind his hand and glanced over at Sam--who was still displaying great disappointment, for he had been the one to bring up the dreg-filled mug from the cool cellar and inform Bilbo that it was the last of the barrel.

If Sam hadn't witnessed Old Master Rorimac's curmudgeonly ways on visits previously, no doubt his gold-brown eyes wouldn't be so a-twinkle. But Sam had, several nights previous, informed Bilbo of the cask's near-emptiness--and being right about a consequence always made Sam a bit cheeky.

Frodo liked it when Sam was cheeky. It usually meant fun in the offing, and Bilbo's next words broadly encouraged it. "Well, there's nothing for it but to nip down to the pub, old hobbit." At those last two words Rory puffed up like a threatened badger; Bilbo grinned as his barb hit home, then rubbed his hands together, onto better game. "I seem to be confronted by barrels wherever I go--do you lads remember hearing about the time I rode one out of Laketown? And nearly drowned?"

Frodo started to reply in the affirmative; Sam nodded with a grin.

"They called me Barrel Rider, and made a song of me, and...have I told you that one, Rory?"

Rory slapped his hand on the table. "Of course you have! Me and everyone else you could connive into listening, and you've probably driven my sister's boy," he winked at Frodo, "distracted with that tale, over and over... hang the telling, Bilbo, let these lads alone and take me to the pub for some decent Buckland brew!"

Bilbo's eyes, dimming at the blunt refusal of his tale, brightened wickedly. "You're so sure the Dragon carries Buckland ales?"

"I set up that account m'self years ago," Rory returned, "and if Sara has lost it, then he'll be sorry when I return home, won't he?" He grinned and winked at Frodo once more; Frodo smiled back. His old uncle's moods were uncertain at best, but visiting Bag End and spending time with his tweenhood mate always found Rory in high spirits.

"Then get your cloak, old son, and we'll go," Bilbo conceded, chuckling. "No, Frodo, you lads stay here, let a couple of old timers have some fun. And Sam? As I remember, your own smial's hogshead has all but rotted out--why don't you take this barrel? Early Yule present."

It was quite the handsome gift--coopering was something tended to in the Northfarthing by a rather reclusive family, one well aware of being the finest of the trade. Their barrels weren't cheap. But neither was such assistance as the Gamgees'--Bilbo waved off Sam's protest and escorted Rory out the front door with a cheery fare well.

Frodo's brain automatically swerved towards the direction it preferred when he and Sam were assured time alone in Bag End--one of the few circumstances where interruptions were guaranteed few. A few kisses later, he'd convinced Sam of the likelihood of his idea and, whistling cheerily, went downstairs to the bath-room. Sam had promised to join him very shortly.

Unfortunately, Frodo had underestimated Sam's distraction and pleasure in acquiring that barrel. It was stuck.

Not only stuck, but stuck between the narrower bottom lintels of the cellar entry so fast that Sam was limping about the stone-laid flooring, swearing beneath his breath because he'd tried to kick it free.

Arms folded, Frodo looked up at the collection of bent wood and metal blocking the cellar. Cool air wafted past his ears, teasing at his hair as it rushed upwards and out the open door. This was not good. He started to ask how on earth Sam had managed to get the cask stuck in exactly that position, then he saw the hue to Sam's face and thought better of it. Despite annoyance on several levels, an admiring smirk played about Frodo's lips. Oh, my, yes--Sam had a temper, and on the occasions it surfaced, it was quite fetching to behold.

But both the barrel and the limping were worrisome. Bilbo gone, the smial theirs, and Frodo's plans most emphatically did not include Sam injuring himself because he was too bloody stubborn to ask for help wrestling an empty ale barrel up the cellar stairs.

Had Frodo realised he was doing such, he would have insisted on helping. But Frodo had been in the bath-room adjacent to the wine cellar, preparing a nice warm tub that he'd intended on cozening a certain gardener into sharing. Oil and water did mix, and quite well, in his opinion.

"There are many things," Frodo finally drawled softly, "that I'd rather be doing this evening than watching you cripple yourself."

Sam grumbled a few choice and thankfully unintelligible words.

"Why do you have to insist on doing these things by yourself?"

Another growl. Sam leaned up against the wall and examined his foot, flexing the toes.

"I was in the next smial."

"You en't," Sam retorted, "exactly dressed for the job."

Frodo looked down at his bath-robe with a shrug. "Well, I hadn't realised you'd be so bound and determined to shift the entire cellar."

"I wasn't thinking on the entire cellar, just that keg. It takes a bit of time to fill the tub and then heat it, so I thought I'd get the beggar shifted while you did that."

"Those things are too awkward to move by yourself and you know it. And there's no rush to move it; since Bilbo forgot to order one, a new barrel won't be delivered for at least a day or two." Frodo noted that Sam was no longer limping, but he still was glowering at the ale-barrel. Frodo sighed, knowing that anything else would have to wait until this knotty problem had been solved. Even waving a wet and lusty romp beneath his playmate's nose wouldn't budge him--'single-minded' was but one of many ways to describe Sam's mien at such times.

Pig-headed stubborn was another. Frodo grimaced ruefully and tightened his belt, arranging his robe more securely.

"Come on. Maybe between the two of us we can get that thing shifted before the bath water gets cold."

Sam was so annoyed, he didn't even make his habitual protest of "there's no need for you t' be doing that, mister Frodo". Another pleasant side effect of Sam-ire, this.

By the cellar door lintels where the keg was stuck, there was a definite upward breeze of cool air; more incentive to get something accomplished quickly. But after several side-by-side attempts to shift the thing--which resulted in little but a lot of grunting, swearing and sweating--Frodo slid to his knees on the steps with a heartfelt oath, and Sam collapsed over the wood. With a growl, Sam shook his fist at the keg in sheer frustration, ready to subdue the bloody thing by threat, if necessary.

Frodo grabbed that fist, unwilling for his companion to injure himself further. "Maybe if we go at it differently?"

"With an axe?" Sam suggested with rather truculent glee, then dimmed. "Nay, too much to replace."

An axe was certainly a thought which Frodo approved of. That nice, hot bath seemed to be getting further and further away, and surely Bilbo would understand...

"Let's try this." Sam set hard fingers to the upper right rim of the barrel. "I'll pull up here, and you pull up on that side, and maybe we can get it up past the bottom sill to push it through."

This particular arrangement ended up with them back to back, shoring up against each other in their search for purchase on the keg.

"How," Frodo said between tugs, "did you... ever contrive... to get it stuck... like this?"

"Bloody luck," Sam returned with gritted teeth. "I had it high enough... to clear the bottom of the door... but I tripped on the stair... came down right atop it... pull, mister Frodo!"

"I'm pulling!" After several more abortive attempts, Frodo released his hold, leaning against Sam's back. "It's hopeless. We'll never get it out this way."

In silent agreement, Sam laid his head back against Frodo's. "Try another?"

If it wasn't for that precious cool air escaping, Frodo would have bagged the entire thing, turned around and very decisively convinced Sam that bath-time was a much better idea--that a bit of sweaty exertion against each other, as opposed to this cursed bit of bunged up wood, was vastly preferable. And no doubt the bath was getting colder by the moment. Instead Frodo straightened then knelt, put his knee on the third step down and his other foot to the fourth, and settled his shoulder to the keg. "Maybe if I push upwards, while you push out?"

Sam grunted assent. With a huge sigh he straddled Frodo, leaning over his crouched form to set his hands to the keg. "Heave!"

They shoved. Hard. The keg squeaked against the door frame, but gave no quarter.

"Again!" Sam grated.

They threw their combined weight against the wood, which squalled again as if in protest, then rocked forward perhaps two fingers.

"Keep pushing!" Frodo gasped. "It's moving, just a little!"

With a growl, Sam lurched into it harder. The barrel inched forward again, ever so slightly, then Frodo's extended foot slipped. He let out a startled yelp, slid down several steps with a rattle of teeth and flailing limbs, grabbed for purchase and, when he stopped, found that he'd grabbed both of Sam's ankles. Sam's face appeared, seemingly disembodied, from between his muscular calves, hovering in upside down concern.


Laying his head back on the stair, Frodo closed his eyes, then gave an exasperated snort. "I'm all right. But maybe that wasn't as good an idea as I thought."

"Nay." Sam reached down between his knees, offered a hand to Frodo and pulled him back upward those three steps. "Leverage is what we're needing here, you're right."

Frodo yanked at his robe--it kept threatening to fall down one shoulder--and hitched at his belt. "Maybe if you're underneath doing the pushing and I just push straight? Perhaps more force from below is needed."

Sam nodded. The two hobbits switched places; Sam settling his shoulders to the underside of the cask and Frodo over him. They heaved.

And heaved.

And heaved.

The barrel rocked and squeaked, moved another few finger-lengths, then refused to budge any further.

"This," Frodo gritted from between his teeth, "is not... working!"

As one, they collapsed against the barrel, panting. Frodo looked down at Sam; Sam was laying back against the barrel, looking straight ahead, a bit glassy eyed. A concerned frown twitching at his brow--had Sam strained something?--Frodo gave the immovable keg a mild swat.

"Oh, bother the thing anyway. Go get the axe."

Sam shook his head, said a bit slowly, "Mister Bilbo would flay the hide off both of us--and that with... only his tongue... if he comes home and finds that expensive barrel good for naught more than matchsticks."

"Better matchsticks than that have it get too warm down cellar. At least it's Foreyule, not Forelithe--it's not that much warmer upstairs." That upward-travelling cool was flowing pretty freely up beneath his robe, to boot, a chill against sweated skin. Frodo shifted on the pads of his feet uncomfortably, flexing his protesting shoulders. "Bilbo won't be back until after mid-night, if past experiences between he and Uncle Rory and their penchant for drinking games involving cards are anything to go by."

Sam didn't answer, didn't raise his head, still contemplating... whatever.

"We obviously can't move this thing by ourselves--it's either the axe or I find a blanket to hang over it to help keep all the cool from escaping."

Still no answer.

"Come on, Sam," Frodo finally protested, "have a heart."

"I'm thinking," Sam said, still slowly, "I might not have a heart left unless you fix that robe of yours."

Frodo looked down, saw that his robe had pulled apart. Not only that, but Frodo's feet were still straddling Sam's haunches, and Sam was seated so that his face was directly at Frodo's hip level. Frodo's hips, once appraised of the situation, started to arch forward, and Sam's mouth, also and obviously aware of the situation, dropped open ever so slightly. His eyes, even more glazed, fled upward to Frodo's face. He didn't find much surcease there; Frodo's robe chose that moment to fall down one shoulder, and Sam swallowed, hard.

Perversely, Frodo wanted to chuckle; despite circumstance, things were looking up. "Perhaps," he said, raising his eyebrows, "I should hang my robe up on the door to keep the cool air in?"

"You," Sam said, hoarsely soft, "just don't want to shift this barrel."

"Maybe," Frodo replied, just as softly, "we could find a better way of trying to shift it."

Sam went startlingly quiet.

"It's a thought," Frodo said reasonably. Inclining his upper body forward, Frodo braced his hands against the stuck keg, his face inches away from Sam's. Frodo noted with a hint of pleasure that, as this change of position took his pelvis further from Sam's proximity, Sam looked distinctly thwarted. A satisfied smirk doing its best to claim more than just one side of his mouth, Frodo bent down further, let his voice tease breathily at Sam's ear.

"If, as you say, all we need to move this thing is a bit of..." he ran his tongue along the small, upswept point of Sam's ear, "leverage..."

Sam made a small, quite incoherent noise.

"Then perhaps if you put your back to it," Frodo went on, settling his fingers to Sam's shirt buttons, "things could get quite... interesting."

Another, even smaller noise. More a squeak.

"Perhaps if we bend over it just right?"

As Frodo's tongue worked a darting path down Sam's neck, Sam arched that neck, head pressing firmly against the wood. His eyes were closed. The updraft blew gentle fingers through his bang, golden threads tickling at his brow. His lips moved, but no sound came out for long moments, until finally he mumbled, "Trouble."

"How can we get in trouble," Frodo wondered, tugging at Sam's sleeves, "if we're trying to shift the barrel?" Obligingly, the shirt came free--not without a little help from its owner--held between strong back and stronger barrel.

"You," Sam found his voice and insisted, "are trouble. Have been since the day you arrived here." Frodo smirked and started to reply; Sam reached up and grabbed at the belt of Frodo's robe. "And you talk too bloody much."

Within a trice that belt was unknotted--but it wasn't tossed aside. Instead Sam grabbed both ties in one hand, pulling, and with the other he reached out, curled hard fingers about the back of Frodo's thigh.

Both motions caught Frodo off balance; he grabbed at the barrel with both hands as Sam latched onto his hips. The robe tie, discarded, slithered over Frodo's haunches and down one leg to spill onto the steps. Sam settled back against the keg, one hand still firmly pulling Frodo's hips toward him, the other trailing down, smoothing across Frodo's belly and between his legs, closing over the burgeoning reaction there. Frodo sucked in a quick, pleasured breath, then Sam's fingers left his erection to cup beneath it, rolling the taut pouch of fur and flesh then seeking, unerringly, the lovely spot just behind...

Frodo's head lolled sideways, his hands grasping the barrel and his hips gravitating forward... and sure enough, Sam answered his desperate invitation by digging his fingers harder and opening his mouth.

Damp heat, lips sliding over, teeth teasing, tongue lapping. Wheat-coloured curls, spilling across wooden staves and metal bands. Fingers reaching, then wrapping firmly about thick and throbbing base--those gardener's hands pulling with sure entreaty, coaxing growth without uprooting. Sam's mouth left him--cool air flowing over quivering need--then once again coming closer, blowing warmth to stave away any chill. A touch of tongue to tip, sliding beneath to tease at the sensitive crease there; Sam's other hand didn't cease its own actions, stroking and probing. Frodo's knees buckled for a second, beneath the delicious pressure of tongue and fingers--just so, and there. He pulled himself upward and forward, fingers biting into the metal edges of the cask, pushing deeper into that welcome suction, watching Sam lean back and take him in.

Sam's eyes were also open, watching him with a glimmer of heated satisfaction. At this it was all Frodo could do to not just thrust until he spent himself against Sam's talented tongue; instead he pushed himself away with an effort, persevered when Sam held on, hands and mouth, unwilling to let go.

"Easy," Frodo pleaded, wriggling back and down to kneel down before Sam. "If you keep that up, I shall be done all too soon."

A smirk settled upon Sam's face. "Aye, and it's nice to be told you're doing your job all too well.... oh."

This as Frodo reached out, gripped breech fabric and--moreso--the hardness beneath it.

"But so far," Sam mumbled as, one by one, his buttons were undone, "we en't yet moved this barrel."

"Maybe we both need to work on it," Frodo leaned forward. "And quickly. The tub is getting cold, you know."

Sam raised his eyebrows. "So you want quick, do you?"

For being a hobbit that 'well covered the ground he stood on', as many people admiringly stated, Sam could move as swiftly as a rabbit. Before Frodo could consider the consequences of their exchange, Sam was on his feet, arms about Frodo's waist, and he had whirled and all but tripped Frodo's dark-furred feet out from beneath him. Frodo found himself face down on the barrel with one arm behind him and the other reaching forward for purchase.

And--how thoughtful!--Sam's discarded shirt had somehow ended up beneath him, a thin barrier between wood and skin. Sam himself curled up behind Frodo, pressing down just firmly enough to keep him pinned there. Sam had obviously finished yanking down his own trousers--proof of this was nudging quite impatiently between Frodo's haunches, leaving damp caresses against the back of his thigh.

Frodo put his cheek against the barrel and sighed blissfully. Sam ran his hand up Frodo's captured arm, releasing it to kiss his nape. Deliberately he mapped a wavering and pleasurable line of kisses down Frodo's spine, running his hands up and down, smoothing ribs, waist, hips, back to waist and ribs. All the while he was rocking, rocking, Frodo sandwiched quite firmly between hard wood and harder flesh and slowly but surely losing what mind he had left.

"I'm thinking, love," Sam purred against his nape, "that things are hard set and needing to be moved."

Of their own volition, Frodo's toes curled against the step.

"Stuck pretty firm, I'd say," Sam told his right shoulder. "Needs a proper shifting."

"Now who's talking too much?" Frodo mumbled into the wood.

A chuckle, then one hand laid itself between his shoulder blades, kneading firm. The other hand curled about his jaw, caressing his cheek. Frodo lipped those fingers, drew them into his mouth, suckling. Sam gave a small moan, pumping his hips against Frodo's.

"We'll have to push fair hard, I reckon."

Frodo could hear the keg staves creaking beneath his ear, in lovely time with the quiet rhythm. "Not hard enough, yet," he gasped out.

"There's nothing to hand," Sam told him, "but I'm thinking you aren't willing to wait."

It was Sam's turned to gasp as Frodo nipped his fingers, reminder and entreaty both. Those fingers retreated, trailed wetness down his ribs and over his haunches, slicked down, twisted inward.

Frodo yelped, not from pain but because Sam knew exactly where to push, and how hard, and... and...

"Oh," he breathed, arms spreading outward, wide-flung against the rounded staves. There was a band of metal searing itself cold against his right nipple--it was delicious, one more quiver of sensation, one more feeling. "Yes."

Sam's fingers slid further, then retreated outward and stretched forward, teasing at the quivering, rigid flesh straining against the barrel, then drawing back. Frodo gave a protesting noise and tried to turn; that hand was still firm on his back, disallowing much movement, but from the corner of his eye Frodo saw Sam spit into his palm, then stroke it, wet and readying, over his own erection. Sam saw him watching, and a smile lit his eyes, and he kept stroking, kept eyeing Frodo.

"If you don't get on with it," Frodo finally growled, "I'm going to flip you over and tup you into this barrel until you scream."

"But Frodo, me dear," Sam said, ever so sweetly, "I en't the one as does the screaming."

Then that hand at the middle of his back shoved down hard, and Frodo was being filled, tight and hard and on the knife-edge of pain, which settled, steadied, then slid back and into bliss. Sam began to move, small little pulses that made Frodo jerk against the barrel, gasping out mewling little words that made no sense until they left his lips, and then resounded into the cool air in the form of more, and please, and oh, so good.

There was something to be said for the comfort of knowing a lover. Even after a bare year of coupling, Sam read him like a well-charted map, and could tell from the cant of his body or the timbre of his voice whether he wanted slow or fast, a gentle rocking or, like now, to be topped into the middle of next week. And when Sam was atop like this, it loosed something within him as well--a storm of delirious and delicious demand.

The wood creaked with the power driving itself against it. Frodo thought it shifted beneath him, but right now the entirety of Middle Earth was heaving about him, with Sam the only constant. The only response he could make to it was a writhe of pure gratification, which set a growl from Sam's chest and another, harder thrust of hip. Frodo gasped, and shoved back, propping himself against the barrel; Sam responded by wrapping one hand about his chest and grasping the door lintel with the other, thrusting deeper. Frodo lurched forward across the wood, letting out a sharp yowl as the resultant stab of heat lightning seared pure pleasure through his entire being.

"That's it," Sam panted with no small satisfaction against his hair, and did it again, harder.

Frodo was shuddering and writhing, and Sam was shaking and groaning, arching against him in a rhythm that was growing ragged and desperate, and sure enough, the very earth beneath their feet was moving...

The yelp that came from Frodo's throat suddenly had nothing to do with Sam's considerable skill at trajectory and speed and impulse, and everything to do with the fact that, if not the earth, something was indeed moving, and Sam was pulled from him like a cork from a bottle, and Frodo very nearly landed on his head as the barrel went propelling into the Bag End kitchen.

On hands and knees, gasping and not nearly spent enough, Frodo watched as the ale-cask rolled over and came to an abrupt halt beside the left-most cabinet.

"Bloody damn!" came the epithet in Sam's voice from behind him, quickly followed by several others, each more colourful and profane than the last.

Frodo half-turned, still on his hands and knees, to see Sam crouched in the doorway where moments previous the barrel had been, one hand stuffed down between his legs and the other bracing him against the door. "Sam, are you all right?"

Sam didn't answer for a moment, then looked up with watering eyes. "Aye. You just gave me a bit of a tug, if you want the truth. Are you all right?"

Frodo looked down at his own tightly-flared and frustrated anatomy and had the distinct impulse to howl. Instead he flopped down onto his side and said, very clearly, "Bugger all."

From the doorway, through gritted teeth, Sam nevertheless chuckled. "I think that was what we were trying, m'dear."

Silence fell, only disturbed by the slight rocking of the barrel.

"Well," Frodo said, pushing himself up to sit, panting. "We moved it."

Sam heaved himself up to his feet, one hand still protectively cupping his testicles. "It were a sight," he said, breathlessly ruminant. "I'm thinking when mister Bilbo tells his story of being Barrel-Rider," he added, "I'll be hard done to keep a smirk off my face."

Frodo collapsed back against the floor, laughing.

Sam was not unaware of the humour of his observation, but tweaked anatomy was obviously making him irritable. "Get off, you," he growled playfully. "'Less you want mister Bilbo to come in on us like this."

This resulted in more guffaws against the floor. Finally Sam, grinning himself, bodily pulled Frodo up from the floor. Frodo let him, still chuckling, and as Sam moved to upright the keg, Frodo started laughing again. The keg-righting was a credible effort, to be sure, but seeing as how Sam's breeches were still down about his ankles...

Sam shot him a wounded look, put his hands on his hips. Unfortunately, he didn't raise his breeches before doing so and the sight was... well...

Frodo tried to stuff both hands into his mouth to stop his laughter, but it was no use.

"I should drag you downstairs and dump you into that tub, cold or not," Sam pointed out. "I'm not the only one as is half naked, here."

"Hmm," Frodo raised his eyebrows speculatively. "I was just thinking--"

"And that's got me worried, knowing what trouble you are when you think too much--"

Frodo lifted one brow and continued, "--I said, I was thinking that we should go down and heat the water if it is cold. Warmth does wonders, you know. For pulled... bits."

It was obvious that Sam wanted to come up with some sly sally to this, but the means were escaping him. Instead he chuckled, shaking his head. "You're wicked."

"And very, very frustrated."

"You en't alone, there."

"Well, then. That's that." Frodo turned and went to the cellar door, started downstairs, then halted. Turning, he leaned on the cellar door and gave Sam a meaningful look. "Close the door when you come down, love," he drawled, and, blowing a kiss, he disappeared below.

Sam grinned then followed, albeit with a quick snatch upwards of his breeches and a decisive slam of the cellar door.

Silence. Then a muffled shriek resounded from below, and a splash.


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