West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Friends And Lovers
Unusually cold weather results in unexpected heat
"Come back to bed, Sam."
You turn away from the window and a muted blue gleam peers at you through a tangle of black silk.
"It snowed hard last night. The younglings'll be begging your leave to sled the back acre, me dear. I could mull a keg of cider and we could join them. Make a day of it, like. What d'you think?" You climb back into the warm nest of blankets and he settles easily into the curve of your arm.
"Merry and Pip will like that. Later." He blinks at you sleepily and smiles.
There's a hot, hard something laying a trail of moisture up your thigh and you grin back. "Mmmmmm. And what might this be, Mr. Baggins?"
"Deduce from the evidence, Mr. Gamgee." He moves against you lazily and an answering heat courses through your body in a gentle swell of joy.
"I would. If I could think..." And you lose yourself again in the dark sweet taste of his mouth and the silken slide of skin against skin, and all the mornings of your life will for ever after bear his scent and the music of his voice.
Sam sighs blissfully as he stretches his feet as close as he dares to the blazing fire. The mug of hot cider he shelters in his hands warms his chilled fingers nicely, and he's altogether most satisfied with his world. And why shouldn't he be? The sky above him gleams - a pale robin's-egg blue, and there's nary a cloud to be seen. The low winter sun edges the snowdrifts with a rich braid of gold and throws rainbows off the icicles that adorn the bare branches of the beeches. The air has a pleasant sharpness to it that buzzes in his head like the best Buckland vintage, and it is very cold. Colder than the tits on a snowmaid, and Sam the gardener approves.
He considers his purview thoughtfully. The roses won't take no harm, bundled in burlap as they are and he's mulched the crocus beds well to protect the tender bulbs. The hardier varieties - the hyacinths and the graceful jonquils - will revel in this weather and although, as the Gaffer likes to remind him, he hasn't seen as many winters as that worthy has, he is nevertheless certain that he'll see more blooms than foliage come spring. The cold snap will do the orchards a load of good too, he muses. The apple and pear trees, the hardy peaches - they all need a hard winter to ensure a bountiful harvest and if the freeze puts paid to the pests as well, his cup is very like to brim over with blessings unlooked-for.
A shout from the top of the hill draws his attention, and he watches the sleds careen down the long slope, throwing up sprays of snow crystals that look for all the world like the wings of some wondrous bird. Merry's taken the lead, as always, and Pippin screams his ire at his cousin's presumption. A wager's been proposed, Sam guesses, and they've got the bit well between their teeth. He gives the cider a stir and stands to get a better view, just in time to see Merry fly arse over teakettle into the blackberry bushes. Again. The Buckland heir is a rash, inquisitive and impulsive sort, game for all sorts of deviltry. But he's also a fine figure of a hobbit, Sam thinks as he watches Pippin brush his cousin down, only to be wrestled into the snow with a yell of glee.
Sam doesn't really know what they think of his attachment to their beloved elder cousin and he's never presumed to ask, but they've made no protest, token or otherwise, a circumstance that Sam is thankful for. Blood is thicker than water after all, he thinks ruefully. And besides, the denuded state of the linen cupboard isn't due to his and Frodo's depredations alone, so they've no call to cast stones either. None at all.
He doesn't care much what they think anyhow. He has the only blessing he will ever need.
Sam smiles to himself as he watches a slight figure in russet leave off stabbing at the air with a stick and sweep the cap off its head. A mittened hand scrubs through dark curls and he hears the laughter of the hobbit-children clustered round as the cap is clasped to a breast and the figure falls backward to sprawl spread-eagled on the snow.
Well, now. That won't do at all. Sam frowns and shifts his weight on the log. It's as if he's shouted his thoughts across the furlong of field that separates them; Frodo picks himself up, turns in a tight circle and finds him unerringly through the snow-glare. He glimpses the white flash of a smile, then the cap is pulled down over the unruly mop and Frodo turns back to marshal the troops to the task at hand. Sam grins triumphantly.
You're rummaging on your knees in the closet, trying unsuccessfully to ignore the teasing toes that stroke your exposed rump. "I'm not having your cold getting any worse, and you'd know that, if you took thought to yourself," you say crossly.
"I hate caps," he mutters as he pulls the scarlet knit down over his ears. And you look at his laughing eyes, so very blue against pale, clear skin, and you thank Eru again for lighting up your world.
"Red becomes you, Frodo Baggins. It's a beauty you are, to be sure."
He blushes easily. Always has. "Even with the tip of my nose all raw?"
You cock your head consideringly. "It's a match, aye," you concede. Compliments and coddling aren't things that Frodo bears with ease, and it's a measure of his love that he accepts them from you without protest.
Sam narrows his eyes against the cold, peering at Frodo's handiwork. Bilbo's coming along nicely, all things considered, and a hillock of the white stuff behind the rotund snowhobbit is taking on a telling sinuous curve. Sam sighs and takes a pull from his mug as he watches the younglings carve the snow at Frodo's direction. Perhaps if they grow up with tales of dwarves, elves and dragons, they won't be as hidebound as their elders, he had said to Sam more than once. Sam doubts that Frodo's efforts will do much good, but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He understands, even if Frodo himself doesn't, that it's a way of repaying the old hobbit's kindness to a rootless orphaned lad. And who knows - like as before, among the gaggle of ducklings, there may lurk a swan.
The wind's starting to freshen and chill further, and as he draws a second mug of hot cider to take to his love, a flash of green catches his eye, bright against the snow. His gaze follows the floundering figure's progress, and he frowns as it disappears around the curve of the hill. There's something about the way Merry's all hunched over that bothers him and he sets the mugs down. His bump of trouble's itching dreadfully, and he needs to find out what's toward.
"Is summat wrong, Mr. Merry?"
The hobbit crouched on the kitchen floor staggers upright and stumbles. Sam takes one look at the wild-eyed face and leaps forward to rescue the kettle before it falls from the dangling hand. Merry's other hand seems to be - occupied.
"Oh Sam, thank goodness it's you! You'll know what to do, won't you?" Merry whimpers, clutching at Sam's steadying arm. He's shivering hard, Sam notices and his skin is as cold as ice.
"Do? About what?" There's a growing suspicion in Sam's mind, and his eyes drop downwards.
Both of Merry's hands fly to cup his groin protectively. "I can't feel anything, Sam," he whispers, his voice trembling. "I've never - I've always been warm there, and now - I can't feel anything at all!" The last bursts out in a choked wail, and Sam gapes in comprehension.
"Let's have a look," he says bracingly, hustling the agitated hobbit over to the settle and pushing him down on his back. Merry's bottle-green breeches are soaked with snow-melt, and Sam turns his coat aside to get a better view. He frowns at what he sees then. The front flap's been torn open at some point, the horn buttons lost - probably in the tussle with the blackberries - and Merry's underclothes are stiff with melting ice. And he doesn't have his woolens on either, blast it.
The wet coat and breeches are pulled off without ceremony, and the linens with them. Sam looks up and Merry's eyes are squeezed shut. "I can't look," he grits out. So Sam dispenses with the niceties, and has a tentative feel around. The tender skin is chilly, but not hard to the touch, and Sam's breath huffs out in a sigh of relief. Not frostbit, then. Not yet, anyway. Merry's sack is empty, though, and Sam has a moment of panic before he recalls that the balls must have retreated so far into the body that Sam can't hardly feel them. His normally substantial cock (not that Sam has ever seen it so, but certain hobbits talk in their cups) is shrivelled to a nub too, and Sam doesn't like the bluish cast of the goose-pimpled skin at all.
"Can you feel my hand?" he asks, and Merry shakes his head, his teeth chattering.
"Curl up on your side as tight as you can," he orders peremptorily, and runs to the hall closet to haul out all the coats and cloaks he can find. He piles them onto Merry and tucks a few under him for good measure, then he races to the nearest bedroom and pulls the covers off the bed as well.
Then he builds the kitchen fire high and puts the kettle on to boil. When he can't think of anything more, he returns to kneel by the stricken hobbit and takes Merry's hands in his. Merry needs to be kept awake, he thinks. He doesn't know what else he can do until the water heats up hot enough for a bath.
"Your hands are warm, Sam," Merry says, his eyelids fluttering open drowsily. "Feels so good. M'coz 's a lucky one." But he's still shivering, and when Sam asks, he still can't feel anything where it counts the most.
"Straighten out a bit, Mr. Merry." Sam prods and burrows through the coverings until he finds the bits he's looking for. The pale skin looks a little better in the wan light from the window, but it's still cold to the touch. He leans forward and huffs a warm breath across it, and almost bites his tongue in surprise when Merry's cock stirs ever so slightly under his nose.
"I felt that!" Merry squeaks, his voice high with hope. "Do it again, Sam!"
Why try for the uncertain when there's a sure remedy? Sam thinks. Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. He cups his hands over Merry's groin and takes the flaccid cock into his mouth. He's careful not to suck it or rub the balls though, because if he's wrong and Merry really is frostbit, he'll be singing high for the rest of his life. So he mouths it gently and breathes around it and just keeps it warm and snug the best he knows how.
Slowly, the frozen flesh begins to thaw under his ministrations, and Merry's shallow gasps become moans of agony as pain sears his skin. His scrabbling fingers clench into Sam's hair tightly and Sam shuts his eyes and spreads his elbows to hold the shuddering hobbit down. He can't afford to let go now - the smial hasn't warmed enough and the air is still chill and dank. And so he doesn't hear the front door open at all.
"SAM!" Frodo's voice is loudly harsh above Merry's groans and Sam jerks and rolls his eyes wildly. Oh Eru! he prays frantically. Surely he can't think that...NO!
"Nnnnpmphh..." he tries to get a word out, and Merry yelps against the scrape of his teeth.
"Merry! What..." There's a note of unmistakable anguish in Pippin's voice, and Merry's moans stop abruptly. Sam can feel his trembling shaking them both.
There's a silence that seems to stretch out forever, until he hears Frodo's voice again.
"It's not what you think, Pip. Be easy." Soft footsteps pad in the direction of the fireplace and Frodo adds, "Go fill a tub, quickly. The water's almost a-boil."
"I don't understand, Fro... Oh!" Running feet depart in the direction of the bath, and Sam feels a gentle hand slip under his curls to knead the back of his neck. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Frodo's other hand smooth the tangled hair from Merry's forehead, and he almost goes limp with relief. Almost. Suddenly, there's a familiar heat invading his body, a warmth that spreads from the pit of his belly and sends tendrils of keen pleasure out along well-worn paths. Merry's scent is sweet in his nostrils and on his tongue and it all adds to the strange surge of arousal he feels.
Soon Pippin returns, and Sam sways dizzily as Frodo helps him to his feet. They wrap Merry up in the quilt and half carry him to the bathing room, and Sam has enough presence of mind left to remind Pippin not to rub too hard, to make sure that the water's not too hot, and Mr. Merry...!!
"I believe it's too late to call me Mister anything, Sam." Is the last thing he hears in Merry's laughing voice before Frodo pushes him into their bedroom and kicks the door shut.
Then Frodo is devouring his mouth ravenously, and their tongues are tangling every which way, and they're both as hard and searing hot as iron rods put to the forge. They hardly hear the smash of crockery on the floor - it's a miracle they remember the oil at all - and then Frodo plunges deep into the very heart of him and he's lost. They're both lost. And Mr. Gandalf's fireworks are as nothing compared to the glory of their world aflame.
"Got to you too, did it?" Sam remarks when he finally recovers.
"Mmmmmmm... Merry likes you, you know." Frodo nips his shoulder gently. "A bit too much," he adds under his breath.
"Yes. He told me. And so does Pip."
"I wonder..." Frodo's voice trails off, and when Sam tips his face up for a kiss, there's a speculative tilt to his smile.
"How'd you know that it wasn't what it looked like?" Sam asks curiously.
"Deduce from the evidence, Samwise. You'd never leave cider unattended on the fire; the cauldron's scorched, by the by. And all those coats seemed a bit much, hm?" Frodo grins, but there's a solemnity in his gaze. "I always said you were a hot one, but I didn't mean it so literally. Thank you for Merry, my Sam - and I'm sure Pip seconds my gratitude. Your heart is as big as the sky."
Frodo must be right, for Sam's face feels hot enough to fry eggs on and it doesn't seem possible that he could be as happy as he feels right now. He buries his heated face in the softness of Frodo's neck and shuts his eyes tightly to savour the rush of it.
"I love you, you know."
"I love you too, my dear."
Your cup brims over with blessings unlooked-for. They seem to come in pints of late. But then again, perhaps you need to drink more deeply of it after all.
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