“Sam, you need to come in, it’s too hot,” Frodo ordered. “And you’re working way too hard.”
The young hobbit paused half way through his dipper of water, running a forearm across wet lips. “There’s lots to do, Mister Frodo. If you want me done early today I have to keep steady at it or there won’t be no time...”
Frustration creased Frodo’s forehead, and he frowned. “Sam…it’s all right if it doesn’t get done…”
“We’ve been over that before,” Sam admonished, sipping another long cool drink. “I have a job to do, and I won’t give nothing less than a full day’s work for a day’s pay.”
“Oh I can make sure you give a full day’s work…” Frodo whispered with a wink and a smile. His hand reached out to briefly caress a muscled shoulder, sliding down the plains of Sam’s chest to rest on his hip.
“That ain’t what you’re paying me for.”
Sam tossed the dipper back into the bucket. Shrugging off the hand he stepped away, his eyes angry.
The dark-haired hobbit knew he’d overstepped a boundary and the smile faded from his lips. “I know that, Sam.”
“You also know
my Gaffer keeps watch on me,” Sam sighed, picking up his hoe and turning to face Frodo. “If he thinks I’m not doing all I should, he’ll tan my hide. And then he’ll come every day to make sure I keep to task. I don’t know how you feel about that, but me…I’d prefer to have him stay home.”
“Me too,” Frodo admitted. He paused in thought, biting his bottom lip. The innocent gesture was all too enticing and the young gardener hobbit swallowed hard. “Will you come in at least for a few moments? I’ve made some lemonade. Please.”
Blue eyes begged him, the look filled with hope, and Sam felt his determination crumble into their depths. He couldn’t resist Frodo when he entreated with those eyes, and the junior master of Bag End knew it. Sam understood, beyond any doubt, that if he went inside, Frodo would
convince him to stay. Yet in spite of this knowledge, Sam admitted that some part of him really didn’t care.
“All right,” Sam breathed in resignation, setting the hoe against the side of the well, “but only for a few minutes.”
Smiling in victory, Frodo turned and led the way toward Bag End’s green front door. He’d won the battle of wills – he usually did – and his insides bubbled with excitement. He knew his offer was tempting. Though the young gardener enjoyed his job, he would much prefer to spend the afternoon out of the beating sun, wrapped in hot arms and legs instead of toiling in dry soil and sticky air. Like it or not, Sam was done with his gardening for the afternoon, and both hobbits knew it.
The inside of the smial was cool and dark, a refreshing change from the stifling heat of summer, and Sam took a deep sighing breath. He ached with wanting, had ached all morning in anticipation of an afternoon together with his dear Mister Frodo. He was young, after all and impatient, and the day was passing ever so slowly.
At the kitchen Sam paused to watched as Frodo poured liquid from an earthen pitcher into one of the ale cups.
“Here.” Frodo handed Sam the mug and the young gardener sipped a mouthful of the tart liquid to ease the dryness in his throat.
“My but that hits the spot,” Sam sighed, taking a deeper swallow. He glanced at his master through long lashes.
“Are you hungry?” Frodo asked offering him a plate of small cakes.
“No,” Sam admitted, then he teased with a grin, “least ways not for food.”
Sam decided he may as well make the first move and he licked his lips nervously.
Caught off guard, Frodo groaned, setting the plate down heavier than he intended. “Sam!”
“I’m sorry Frodo,” Sam laughed, gazing at the dark-haired hobbit his eyes filled with a passionate fire. He set down his drink and reached his hand out to move a dark curl from Frodo’s forehead, allowing it to loop around his finger. “I ought not to tease you.”
“No, you shouldn’t,” Frodo reprimanded, stepping close and sliding his hands up Sam’s chest. He could feel the heat of the gardener’s body warm against his palms.
“Frodo…” Sam gasped, trembling as the elder hobbit stroked him through damp fabric.
“Shhh,” Frodo hushed, working at the gardener’s shirt buttons. He slipped each one carefully through its opening, baring the taut flesh to his touch.
“You know I shouldn’t…not yet…” Sam protested weakly, though he made no move to stop the roving hands, “I can’t. I have to finish in the garden. The vegetables need hoeing and there’s the watering and…”
“I hate to see you work so hard,” Frodo growled softly, sliding his hands inside the open shirt to caress the light down of hair on Sam’s chest, “I don’t want
you to keep doing this just so we can have a little time together.”
“That’s okay,” Sam admitted with a groan, pressing into the hands that enflamed him. “I don’t mind a little extra work.”
“You shouldn’t have to push yourself so much,” Frodo continued. “You’re a tween, Samwise. You should be enjoying your life, not working it away.”
“That’s not for you to decide,” Sam breathed, trembling under his lover’s hands.
“Well it should be.”
“Frodo, I know what I want and I know what I need to do to get it.” Sam winked at him slyly. “I’m not afraid of working hard when it gets me what I want.”
“I don’t know, Sam. It’s one thing to work like this to take care of your family. That I can understand and accept,” Frodo agreed, gazing into the gardener’s eyes. “Working like this for me…”
“Oh Frodo, I’d do anything
for an afternoon in your arms,” Sam sighed, pressing a light kiss to rosebud lips. He caressed his master with adoring eyes. “I’d walk through fire for you.”
“That’s a silly thing to say,” Frodo whispered with a smile, stroking tight shoulders still slick with sweat from the long, hard morning of work.
As soon as the words left his lips, Frodo regretted them, noting the hurt and disappointment that bloomed in the younger hobbit’s gaze.
“But I mean it,” Sam murmured, his bottom lip trembling.
“I’m sorry, Sam,” Frodo apologized, smiling and soothing away the careless hurt with gentle fingertips to a rounded cheek. “Of course you do.”
Nodding, Sam smiled his forgiveness, closing his eyes in pleasure at Frodo’s feathery touch.
He’s so young,
Frodo thought, pressing tender kisses to the young hobbit’s beautiful face. With a lad’s sweet and romantic notions.
Taking a hand to lead his young companion down the hall and deeper into Bag End’s welcoming darkness, Frodo smiled indulgently at his naïve, beloved Sam.
Walk through fire, indeed.
I’d walk through fire…
Frodo’s mind whirled in a dizzying swoon. The grinding tremble of the dying mountain shook in counter point to the pulsing pain of his maimed hand. Burning globs of flame spewed into the air, splattering around him like a nightmare rain of shooting stars.
The Ring was gone at last, fallen with Gollum over the edge of the chasm. Frodo was free.
“Come on Mister Frodo! We have to get out of here.”
Eyes filled with pain and confusion, Frodo saw Sam coming toward him though the belching inferno.
I’d walk through fire…
Strong hands gripped him under the arms, pulling him from his knees and dragging him to feet made of stone. When he made no effort to move, the same arms lifted him – cradling him against a heaving chest. He could hear the terrified beating of Sam’s heart against his ear, could feel the trembling strain of a frightened and exhausted body as he ran. All around them, fire rained, licking at their heels.
I’d walk through fire…
The words kept echoing in Frodo’s head…a sweet and innocent declaration of love…spoken a lifetime ago. Had his dear Samwise even dreamed it would come to this?
I’d do anything, to spend an afternoon…
was it afternoon? In the twilight darkness of Mordor, Frodo couldn’t tell …to spend an afternoon in your arms.
And yet it was Frodo who now lay unmoving, supported in a circle of strength. Spirit broken, he couldn’t even grant his Sam that one reward for his hard work and long months of toil.
Slipping briefly from knowing, but comforted by the strength of a dear companion’s love, the words whispered through Frodo once again.
I’d walk through fire…
Darkness slipped like a wraith over the fields, snaking in stealth to envelop the garden’s of Bag End in shadow. Frodo stood at the window with guilt clutching his heart as he watched Sam toil on – finishing in the approaching darkness that which their afternoon of passion had made him leave undone until now.
For a moment, the last rays of a dying sun streamed through the fence, silhouetting the gardener in their blazing glow. Frodo shuddered, watching as they consumed the youth in a burning aura of light and flame.
As Frodo stared at the image, his heart beating with an unbidden fear, Sam’s words came back to him whispering down his spine like a premonition of doom.
I’d walk through fire for you.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.