West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
A Dream in the Black Land
Frodo dreams in Mordor, as Sam watches over him.
Author Notes: A detail I read about ROTK (the movie) got its
hooks into me, and this story grew from there over one sleepless night. Some
tales have teeth, and aren't afraid to use 'em! HIGH angst, het content,
injury, violence, non-con. This one's HEAVY, people.
This dream had enveloped him before, he realized. A green enchanted land, the air clear yet thick with the scents of herbs and flowers unknown, the light pouring like somnolent mist all round him. Blades of grass soothing his legs with their silken coolth. A breeze whispering to his hands.
She was here, and as before he lay with his head in her lap, drinking the joy of her warm amber eyes. He stroked fingers through the sunbright curls on her dainty feet, and felt laugher swirling gently in his blood, as she murmured to him in words he would not remember on waking...
Sam shivered in the chill breathless wind, the muscles along his spine threatening to cramp from its bite. He pulled his cloak tight around himself, and moved closer to his master to try and shield him from the wind. They had stopped to rest under a low wreck of stone and metal that rose before them in the gloom. Remnant of an engine of war, maybe, or some other foul device of malice abandoned now.
Nonetheless, the hobbits were grateful for the shelter, meager though it was, and Frodo had thrown himself down to oblivion with a choked sigh, the Ring on its chain slipping loose from his collar onto the granite with a clink that resounded in his ears like thunder. His last movement had been a hand weakly grasping it, as if to reassure himself of its safety while he slept.
Now Sam kept the watch, blinking to stay awake, to keep his eyes moist in the relentless breeze. The air was so dry here; it cracked the skin even when still. Frodo's lips had swollen and gone scaly days ago, and his finely-drawn eyes were caked with dust and sleep, his supple skin rough from starvation. If a looking glass had been handy, Sam might have seen the same thing, but he cared little for his own pains. They were so small, in comparison with what his master had to bear.
He startled a little when Frodo's eyes opened, but the glassy stare did not see Sam - a hand waved in front of the still eyes brought no reaction, though puffs of breath edged with tiny whimpers escaped his mouth. Sam sighed. He had seen this before, and always it worried him. It was uncanny, Mr. Frodo sleeping with his eyes open, as if he were an Elf and not a hobbit. It wasn't natural. Fretting, he watched for a sign that Frodo might wake, frightened anew for his master.
Her fingers caressed his brow, played with the dark glossy curls, and their tips brushing his skin raised a merry tingling he had not felt in...oh, he couldn't remember. A delicious strength lay in his bones, and he chanted words to the tune she was humming. Elvish? No, not Elvish. Some language he had never heard, or perhaps he had heard it, once, long ago in a place he could no longer recall.
He wondered at her. Of a size with him, yet lovely beyond his imagining, she had both sunbaked skin and a mane to rival the Elf-queen's. But she was no Elven maid, and the skirts of her gold-embroidered gown were tucked up as if for fishing in the shallows of The Water.
Honey, her deep voice was honey, and a blush rose from his cheeks all the way to the tips of his ears as he began to understand the words. Now she whispered to him, and as she did her hand drifted down to his chest and began to move in light circles. Her wrist was plump in his hand, her arm smooth as he stroked his way up. She murmured her desire while her fingers bared him, parting the clean linen of his shirt and sliding over his chest, encountering only silky skin glowing with health. Moving over him, they brushed a nipple and he gasped at the tiny shiver that buttoned the soft flesh up tight as a green bud. This had never happened before. They had never come so far.
Touch me, my love, her voice caressed him. I want you.
Sam's gaze passed from the dusty shadow of blue that had before been brilliant as the sky. He found it hard to look into Frodo's eyes now, the changes in him nowhere more evident. He looked instead at the column of his master's throat, where the warm scent in happier days had made Sam's head swim. But even there he found pain, for the edges of Frodo's shirts, both woven and linked, had parted, and with a low gasp Sam blinked back tears at what he saw.
There at the angle where neck met shoulder, the growing weight of that cursed thing had sunk day after day, setting the fine silver chain to sawing inexorably at Frodo's flesh. Already it had carved a stubborn furrow into his skin, blood seeping to crust at its edges. Sam had known how the Ring hindered his master's movement - he could see the burden of it bowing Frodo almost double at times as he struggled to keep walking. But this had not occurred to him, and he bit his lip at the added torment that Frodo had hidden from him.
Oh, Lady, will this never end? Would there be no place left unwounded, unscarred? Sam's hand stole gentle towards the hurt, fearing to touch it, not wanting to waken Frodo, or worse, to waken the pain. But it bit so into his flesh, and though he was no healer, Sam felt sure that the wound should at least have a chance to breathe.
The chain felt cool on his fingers as he lifted it a link at a time, but it stopped, resisting his pull at the point where it had mired. A bit more pressure, and Sam moaned in his throat at the slick of yellow fluid that appeared as the flesh parted and relinquished the white metal. And me with no medicine to soothe his injury, no, not even water to wash it, nor a clean cloth to wipe away the foulness! Sam felt that rip as if it tore through his own heart, and silently he cursed the chain, the wretched Ring, and worst of all its hated maker. Once, the curve of Frodo's neck had been tuned so fine that the softest kiss there would bring a gasp to his mouth and a curl to his toes, would turn his face eager and hungry towards his lover. Now it would always be numb, scarred, a pleasure stolen by hatred and fate.
It's not fair. Grief bowed Sam's head with its own weight, his hand trembling, when suddenly his wrist was caught in Frodo's grip, and the staring gaze turned fierce towards him.
Her caress had grown stronger now, quicker as it moved over him, and he reached up to pull her down where he could kiss her. The warm sweetness of her mouth kindled him, and his breath ran ragged as the heel of her hand pressed up from his thigh over the ridge of flesh pushing out against the seam of his breeches. She squeezed him there, squeezed a laughing groan from him, then playfully danced her hand back to stroke the sensitive skin of his neck.
Mmm, she sighed. How fine you are to me.
He moved quickly, snatching her wrist in his hand with a laugh. You, he teased as he sat up, and pulled to draw her close. He gazed into her eyes, his sapphire matched by her topaz, so lambent and open, and her lips parting moist made him urgent, as even more did her whisper,
Come to me.
The fingers bit into Sam's arm, bruising him. Perhaps his master still slept, for he did not seem to see him at all. Breath hissed through Frodo's teeth as he sat up, and when Sam tried to twist his hand free, Frodo jerked it hard towards himself.
"You!" he growled, and Sam's heart thudded at the blind intensity of Frodo's gaze. Gently he tried to pry the fingers loose, but to no avail. A steely strength was in that hand, wasted into bone and corded vein. It pulled Sam closer, then the other hand clamped onto the back of his neck.
"I know what you want," Frodo rasped. Sam's mind raced, trying to outrun the madness in his friend's eyes. Oh no, Sam thought, he thinks I want the Ring. He tried to answer, to protest his innocence, but his words were cut off as the dry cracked lips claimed his.
The kiss was strong, insistent, and for a moment Sam melted into it, opening his mouth to the memory of a fire sweeter than could exist in this land, in this parching gloom. But the spark was snuffed when Frodo pulled back, baring his small, neat teeth like a predator. His hand scrabbled at Sam's clothes, yanking at buttons to free his braces.
"Mr. Frodo, sir," Sam gasped. "You're dreaming. It's a nightmare, wake up now." He moved to cradle Frodo's cheek, but the hand at Sam's neck let go to slap his away. It fisted back into his hair, and Sam cried out as it dragged him around with sudden violence to throw him against the rock surface that sheltered them.
Now panic took him, and he bucked back against the arms that caged him, their hands flat against stone. The heat of Frodo's breath was against his neck, the biting mouth fever-hot, and a thrust against his backside revealed his master's arousal. No, no, his thoughts raced. He won't, he wouldn't, and even in his terror he prayed. Lady, please, spare him this madness...
"Frodo, me dear, wake up, ple--" Another jolt of pain as the teeth sank into his shoulder, and Sam snapped his mouth shut over a second cry.
Oh, his love, his beautiful one. The skin revealed as she glided out of her gown was sunkissed and tawny, an autumn wheat field rich before him in the sunlight. His glowing golden lady, flickers of light playing over her as if the sun were writing fiery letters across her warmth. He slipped his hand along her polished surface and over the perfect curve of her edge, and she arched for him, her own sweet fingers running over, around, down. He found himself bare, sinking into her blaze, panting to her, I know what you want.
She laughed, her golden eyes glowing hot. Yes, she moaned, now. Take me home, my love. Her head tipped back, and he bent to her throat, trailing his tongue down. She writhed under his smile. Ah, make me scream.
Heat rose through him like a wall of fire. He groaned at the burning and leapt into her, the red blaze of filigreed light on her skin maddening him, her voice deep and earth-shattering as she moved underneath his body. My own love.
Yesss, he hissed as he thrust. I'll make you scream.
The shriek tried to burst forth, but Sam bit down on his lip to stifle it. Pain sank its claws into him and ripped, but even in the midst of it he knew that a scream would be the death of them both. So he fought in silence as the thrusting waves sliced into him with their knife edges, agony bursting through his gritted teeth in thick chuffs of air. But he was no match for the iron grip that had him by the hair, grinding his face against the rock, or the fingers stabbing with lunatic strength into the soft flesh over his hipbone, the rounded heat of his thigh. Sam wept as he heard the voice, deep and monstrous, nothing like his beloved Frodo.
"I'll make you scream."
It's not him, he cried in his mind, it's the Ring, it's not him, not him, nothimnothimnothim... He reached up to the hand knotted in his hair.
"Frodo, please," he pleaded between silent wracking sobs, "Stop, please. It hurts, don't. Please." His breath staggered.
The fire seared him, flames rising through his skin. He couldn't see her anymore, couldn't feel her. Everything was shifting, burning. NOW, the voice demanded, HARDER. He panted, desperate, climbing towards his peak, so close now. MAKE HIM SCREAM.
The words slapped like ice across his face. What? He shook his head, struggling to clear it. But his body was still caught in the force shuddering through him, and he wrenched to tear himself free. The golden light thickened, muddied, and his skin crackled in the fire's heat, everything around him turning to ash in its wake.
As if from far off, he felt his hands cramped into vicious claws, and the voice that had grown huge and hellish fell away, smaller and smaller until it faded to silence, leaving only heartbroken sobbing in its place. With a final rush like the buffeting of evil wings about his face, Frodo woke.
There was a taste in his mouth, sweat and dirt and an ugly tinge of copper, as he opened his teeth from the flesh in which they were buried. He pulled his head back, his eyes blinking in a weak and rapid rhythm, and hair brushed his cheek, sun-bleached hair now dry and matted. As by degrees his body returned, so also did his awareness. The sensation of separating as Sam fell away from him, from his arms now gone nerveless, from -- Frodo looked down, and saw.
Skin, darkening with purplish bruises, and the secret drip of blood. His own flesh, stilling and sinking away from its victim.
No, no. This can't -- how -- I never -- no, NO NO! He reeled, the enormity of it trying to crowd into his mind. Then Sam, his friend, his companion, turned to face him, and Frodo moaned at the horror in his eyes.
"Sam?" he whispered. His answer was a flinch where Frodo saw the truth of it, saw it written in the tracks that coursed down the face he adored. Darkness reared, his mouth stretched and he drew in ragged breath to scream, but a strong hand clamped over his lips, and the shriek was muffled against it, against the callused palm that had gentled him countless times. Now it was he who struggled, locked in Sam's hard embrace, while soft hitching tears sounded again in his ear. The arms hung onto him stubbornly, thicker and far stronger than his now that the Ring had released him from its spell. Not until he sagged weak into them did the grip lessen, not until his voice dwindled to shattered whimpers did the hand over his mouth relax.
"Sssam -- I c -- Don't -- Sa --" He couldn't speak; every word he tried to utter choked itself off in a stab of agony. Though Sam's arms were around him, he could feel the tension in them, as though his love were poised to spring away from threat, from the predator in his arms. Despair clouded Frodo's sight, blackness pulling him --
"Is it you?" the voice, ah the voice he loved, he craved, "have you come back?" Sam could hardly get the words around the burning lake of tears. "Mr. Frodo --"
His master cried then, burying his face in Sam's neck as if he could burrow into him, into the comfort he'd always found there. They held each other, shuddering.
After a time, Frodo felt himself sinking to the ground, Sam's arms steadying him until he lay stretched out. A moment's separation, rustle of cloth being righted, and then the warmth again, his lover's arms. They clung to each other, now weak, now strong, desperate moans answered with sobbing whispers.
"-- madness -- oh Sam --"
"-- ease your poor neck, and --"
"-- can you ever ---"
"-- weren't you, Frodo dear, it --"
"-- foul, I'm a danger --"
"-- oh sir, no, hush --"
"-- fever -- fire burning me --"
"-- hurt so -- think it was tryin' to kill --"
"-- didn't know -- couldn't see --"
"-- nightmare, I knew -- knew you'd never -- couldn't --"
"-- hate it -- love it -- wants me --- ahhh --"
"-- here, love, not alone -- shh --"
They wept, and they wept, and they wept again, as the night wore on from darkness to darkness, love and faith a shelter against encroaching doom.
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