Sam wasn’t too sure about his decision to take Frodo along with him on his day of fishing. So far, Frodo had no clue on how to fish at all. “So… we throw the hook in, and they bite it?”
“Well… no. Not just the hook, meanin’,” Sam said as they got to the small shore of the pond.
“Something for the fish to eat!” Sam said, pulling out his bait jar he’d packed together the night before. As he unscrewed the jar and began digging for worms, Frodo leaned over his small picnic basket.
“Oh, good then!” he said, pulling out some lunch items. Sam watched him, a confused look on his face.
“I know we get hungry quick Frodo, but we’d just eaten before we’d gone,”
“Not us Sam. The fish,” Frodo said with an all-knowing tone to his voice, as if he suddenly knew everything about fishing. Sam looked from Frodo to the sweet cake he held in his hands, realizing Frodo’s mistake. He couldn’t hold back a laugh at this.
“Frodo, I’ve enough worms for us both,”
“Yes. Worms. That’s what fish eat.”
“Oh.” Frodo said, putting the cake down. Sam walked over and brought his own pole and hook over.
“Now, you take the worm like this…” Sam went to say, holding up the hook to the worm. Frodo’s eyes screwed up in disgust, shaking his head as Sam stuck the hook into the worm, making it wiggle and squirm.
“Oh, Sam… I don’t think I could do that to the worm,”
“Um… Mr. Frodo? You’re about to catch fish by plungin’ a hook into ‘em!”
“Well I KNOW that. But I’m not going to eat the worms. I WILL eat a fish, no mistake,” Frodo said, his face looking shocked yet amused.
“I can hook the worm for you if you like,” Sam offered. Frodo shook his head, picking up his cake again.
“I’m going to use this,” Frodo said, going to break off a piece. Sam went to protest, saying that there weren’t ANY way a fish would take a liking to sweet cake. He decided, through his amused annoyance that Frodo would just find out for himself.
“All right, Mr. Frodo. You use that sweet cake. I’ll stick with what I know,”
Sam took a great sigh, staring at his motionless line in front of him, extended as far as it could go into the water. He made it bob slightly, trying to at least get a nibble. Honestly, you would think that the fish had grown legs and taken off for land; that is, if you didn’t see the hobbit standing nearby, pulling on a very excited and tense line. For about the twentieth time in the last hour.
“I think I’ve got another, Sam!!” Frodo cried, pulling relentlessly at the pole. Sam looked over slowly, watching his master dragging in another huge fish, its body flailing over the water, splashing madly. Sam forced a smile.
“That’s very nice, Mr. Frodo,”
Frodo grabbed the fish and took it from the hook. “Now… you’re sure you don’t want to try my own methods??” Frodo asked playfully, nodding to the half gone cake. Sam had refused thus far, his pride making him stave off of this new discovery.
“Worms have never failed me before, Mr. Frodo,”
Sam turned back to the water suddenly, seeing the line moving now. “OH! I’ve got one!!” he cried out, standing up. Frodo rushed over after putting his fish in the basket, hopping up and down.
“Oh, good!!” he yelled. Sam pulled and pulled, his excitement growing. He twirled the line expertly fast into his palm, stretching it and pulling back. “I’ve got it! I’ve-“ he went to cheer then stopped; a large leafy branch suddenly emerged, Sam’s line intertwining around its twigs. Frodo stopped hopping, looking out over the water as Sam drug it to them. He sighed with a groan, dropping his line.
“Oh, Sam… I’m sorry,” Frodo said, though he had a small smile on his lips. Sam freed his line and threw the branch to the sand, frustrated. He felt Frodo’s hand on his shoulder, patting it gently. “Well, it’s bigger than anything I’ve caught.”
“Don’t tease, Mr. Frodo,” Sam said, yet couldn’t help seeing the humor in this. He smiled up at him, shaking his head. “This is ridiculous.”
Later in the afternoon Sam and Frodo sat on their picnic blanket, going to enjoy their lunches they’d brought. As Sam poured some honey onto a fat biscuit he smiled up at Frodo. “Well, Mr. Frodo… I’d say you won the day,”
Sam chuckled, looking over to the large pile of fish in Frodo’s basket. “How many did you catch, anyways?”
Frodo shrugged, taking a bite of an apple. “About fifteen.”
“Fifteen… I suppose anyone gone fishing here soon will be disappointed, now that you’ve gone and emptied the pond.”
“I suppose, I suppose.” Frodo said, shrugging again. Sam watched him a moment; Frodo wore that sly little grin he’d have when he specifically wasn’t saying something.
“Mr. Frodo, you can maybe hide out from everyone else in town. But your Sam knows when you’re hiding something. So spill it,”
Frodo looked to Sam, his mischievous grin swelling to the farthest corners of his cheeks. “I suppose I can’t hide from you, dear Sam.”
“Then what is it? Come on now.”
“Well… do you honestly think this is my first time fishing??”
Sam blinked as he stared at Frodo, who was now giggling profusely. “Mr. Frodo…?”
“Sam, I grew up by a river.” He said, nearly choking on a bite of apple. “I hated worms then, and I hate them now; at least, using them on hooks and what not. I’ve ALWAYS used some kind of sweet treat to catch fish, and found it quite useful.”
Sam gawked at his master now, taken aback by his sneakiness. “You devil!” he finally blurted, making Frodo laugh even harder.
“That I am, Samwise. That I am.” Frodo said, winking. Sam blushed, looking away. In all honesty he knew his master to be a sly little thing at times, and it secretly thrilled him to know it. He’d tell him stories of growing up in Brandy Hall, all the trouble he and his cousins would bring upon the entire place. He’d sound wistful and bright, making Sam beam. Sometimes he’d wished he’d been older and grown up alongside Frodo and his band of troublemakers, instead of being brought up to never find any sort of trouble. Sometimes… sometimes he wished he’d been older and just with Frodo now, feeling more of an equal to him even with their roles as a gardener and a Master.
After their lunch they decided to head home. Before they did they inspected the fish, looking over what types they were. “That’s a nice trout, there,” Sam pointed to the long fish Frodo had taken out of the basket.
“Yes, it’s quite large. That will make a fine meal.”
“What’s this one…?” Sam said, bringing out an odd looking fish. Frodo shook his head.
“I don’t know.”
Sam inspected this creature; it had a rounded head and large lips, yet wasn’t a bottom feeder by it’s looks. Usually bottom feeders were slim and tight; this one was plump and rounded near the gills, all the way to its tail. He lifted it up and felt along its soft belly. “Oh, look here,” he said, pointing to an area of its underside. Both of them peered at it, finding a long wide line of bright and shiny pink skin. Frodo blinked.
“Wow… it’s very pretty,” he muttered. Sam nodded.
“Yea, it is. Not to mention heavy… perhaps we should ask Mr. Wally Fennel what kind it is,” Sam explained, referring to the town expert on fish. Frodo shrugged.
“Perhaps. For now, let’s head home,”
“Wow!” Marigold cried as Sam entered his hole, carrying seven large fish with him. “You caught all those??”
He shook his head. “I hadn’t caught a one,” he said. “Mr. Frodo did,”
His Gaffer sat up from the kitchen table, peering at Sam curiously. “Mr. Frodo did? And… why do you have them, Samwise?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow suspiciously. Sam rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Well, he certainly can’t eat fifteen fish before they go sour,”
“Fifteen??” Mari cried out, her eyes bugging. Sam shook his head and chuckled.
“Yes, he’s very much the fisher-hobbit,”
His Gaff smiled and chuckled. “Ah, sweet cake then?” he muttered. Sam frowned.
“Yes. How’d you know, da??”
“He’s imparted a few secrets to me hisself.”
“Oh, that DEVIL!” Sam cried, laughing now. “Well da if you’ll let me, he’s invited me to have dinner at Bag End tonight. He wants me to help eat his haul.”
His Gaffer sighed, sitting back in his chair with his pipe. “I suppose it bein’ a free day fer you, you may as well do as you want. But don’t be takin’ up yer Master’s time and all, and don’t overstay yer welcome,”
“I won’t, thanks da,” Sam said, giving him a small hug. “You enjoy some fish fer dinner!” he called before leaving the hole, skipping in his steps. If the truth were to be told, he loved being with Frodo on his free days. It didn’t matter that he was there throughout the entire week tending the gardens, as he relished the time spent there. He knew Frodo to be ever so lonely, holed up there at Bag End without so much as one friend passing through the doors to share times with. He’d lament to Sam every time his cousins would leave to go back home, even before they’d gone, expecting to be alone later. It made Sam happy to spend time with him, making sure his master was well taken care of and happy.
He was soon back at Bag End; before even getting to the back door leading to the kitchen he could smell fish being cooked inside, making him breathe deep. He knocked on the door.
“Come on in, Sam!”
Sam entered the hole, getting a full blast of wonderful aromas. Rosemary and other herbs and spices, along with fine cooking oils mixed with the cooking flesh of delicious fish. “Oh, it smells wonderful in here!!” Sam cried out, feeling his mouth go moist with hunger.
“Yes, I’m using a good recipe from Bilbo’s listings. It had said that rosemary is one of the finest herbs to use with fish,”
“Which ones are you cookin’, Mr. Frodo?”
“Well, I’ve gotten two trout made already. I know you love trout, so you can have them,”
“Oh Mr. Frodo, you don’t need to give me them. I’ll take any fish as long as it tastes good!” Sam said with a smile. “Anythin’ I can do to help?”
“Yes, why don’t you set the table? I’ll be done with these next two soon,”
Sam nodded, going to the cabinet holding all utensils and plates. He soon had the table set up elegantly as he could make it, even lighting a small beeswax candle. It felt right to, and made Frodo smile. “How romantic,” he said, giggling. Sam shrugged.
“It’s just nice to have ‘round, Mr. Frodo,”
Soon after Sam had set along napkins and cutlery, Frodo raised a giant plate of cooked fish to the middle of the table, placing it there elegantly. “And here we are! The fruits of our labor,”
“Erm, YOUR labor, sir,” Sam said, smiling. Frodo waved his hand casually.
“We can always say you caught at least one, to save face.”
They settled into their seats, piling on the other foods Frodo had prepared of peeled boiled potatoes, spinach with butter, and herbed rice. Sam couldn’t believe how Frodo’s cooking skills had progressed. “This is all so grand, Mr. Frodo,” he said as he mixed some butter into his rice.
“Well, I have a lot of time on my hands. Good for practice,” Frodo said. “Now then, let’s tuck into this fish!”
Sam allowed Frodo to take his then took the trout. He peered curiously to the bright pink flesh on Frodo’s plate. “Which fish is that?”
“That curious one… the one with the pink belly,” Frodo said, looking over it. He sniffed over it and smiled blissfully. “Wish we knew what it was. It made the most wonderful smells in cooking it.”
Sam began cutting into his fish, carefully spreading the flesh from the bone. He looked up, seeing Frodo taking his first bite of fish. He smiled as Frodo’s eyes closed, shaking his head slowly. “Yes, this is nice,”
“Good, good. We’ll have to go to Wally soon, see if they’re too uncommon to catch again,”
Frodo nodded, taking another bite. Sam enjoyed his own dinner, crunching into the tasty skin of the fish. He grabbed his mug of ale that Frodo had placed there, drinking down a few large gulps. This dinner was truly one of the best he’d had in awhile. Looking to Frodo he was surprised to see his fish half gone already, Frodo taking more bites of it eagerly. Sam laughed. “Slow down, Mr. Frodo! Don’t want to get a bone stuck in your throat!”
Frodo laughed low. “I can’t help it, it’s so good!”
“Still, just watch yerself,” Sam warned. Frodo didn’t seem to heed it as he continued eating at the same pace. He hadn’t even touched the other dinner items, Sam noticed. “Frodo, is it really THAT good??”
“Oh you don’t even know,” Frodo said, his voice going low and deep. Sam’s eyebrows rose; Frodo then extended a small bite to Sam upon his fork. “Here. Try it.”
“Oh sir, that’s yours-“
“I insist,” Frodo said, a curious look on his face. Sam shrugged lightly and bent forward, taking the bite. Frodo smiled upon him strangely, sliding the fork slowly from his lips. Sam had to admit, this fish had produced such delight in its flavor, making Sam chew it slowly to relish it.
“It is very good,” he mumbled through his eating. Frodo nodded slowly, going to the underside of it. He usually didn’t like the skin of fish, Sam realized, but he was surprised as Frodo cut into it and began eating away, taking the pink skin to his lips hungrily. Sam had noticed the look in his eyes, so peculiar. “Mr. Frodo, why don’t you eat some of those potatoes? I’ve noticed you haven’t even started in on ‘em yet,”
Frodo shook his head. “I’m fine with just this for now.”
Sam blinked as Frodo finished up the fish, leaving nothing but the spiky tender bones behind. Frodo sat back now, looking more pleased than Sam had ever seen him. Sam finished his own meal as Frodo sipped his mug of ale slowly. “So,” Sam said, wiping his mouth. “Is there dessert?”
“Oh, you can take anything you like. I’m full,”
Sam stood up slowly, taking their plates. Frodo was looking up at him strangely, curling his finger around the mug’s handle slowly. Sam turned to another plate and emptied Frodo’s unfinished dinner onto it, then placed the empty plates in a small basin of water. He grabbed up a small slice of sweet cake, one left behind from their lunch. “Well, that was an excellent dinner, Mr. Frodo. Thanks for having me over for it,”
“Wouldn’t think of not having you with me,” Frodo said. Sam extended a slice of cake to him. “Oh, no thank you.”
Sam shrugged and walked back to his seat. Their dinner now over, he figured he’d bring up the subject of new plants he planned on putting into the garden. “So, I was thinkin’ of puttin’ in some new verbena in the back part of the gardens. They smell so nice in the summer, and the leaves are great for the bath- Mr. Frodo?”
Frodo had sunk low in his seat, both hands on the table. He wore a blissful smile, his eyes half closed. “Yes?” he barely whispered. Sam looked at him edgewise now.
“Are… you all right?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. Perfectly fine.” Frodo said, moving slowly to be more upright. He slid his elbow on the table, putting his head upon his hand, a dreamy look over his eyes. Sam nodded slowly.
“Okay…” he drawled. He continued describing his plans for the garden, yet kept halting in words as Frodo would shift from one elbow to the other, his legs moving upon the underside of the table making the mugs tremble slightly. He was acting so strange; Sam couldn’t help but admit to himself. He began to worry; what if that fish was making his master sick? He really should have known better and went to ask Wally about it before having Frodo eat it.
Suddenly, just as Sam was about to talk of the rosebushes (partly as a distraction from the odd behavior in front of him, as he’d gotten the rosebushes in order the day before) Frodo sat back fully, moaning lightly. “Oh Sam…” he mumbled out, shaking his head from side to side slowly. “I feel so… I don’t know…”
“Oh no, are you sick?” Sam said.
“I don’t know… I don’t think so,”
“Well, is your stomach hurting?” he asked; he wondered if he’d be able to forgive himself if Frodo got violently ill. Frodo shook his head however, his lips parting slightly as he sighed deeply.
“Not at all.”
“What about your head? Is that aching?”
“No…” Frodo murmured. One of his hands rose to his shoulder; he rubbed at it slowly, kneading his fingers deep into his skin. “Ah, that’s nice…”
“Mister… Frodo?” Sam went to say, blinking at Frodo who was now biting his lower lip and grinning. Something was most definitely not right with this.
“Sam… I’ll be back… all right? I just need to… “ He trailed off as he stood up. He stumbled to his bedroom and shut the door. Sam stood up and went to the dishes, an odd feeling swelling in his stomach. If Frodo wasn’t growing ill, then what was going on?? He figured a tea was in order now as he began boiling some water.
Before he had the chance to wipe his hands, an odd noise came from the bedroom. Sam turned, trying to listen. Frodo sounded as if he were in pain; oh no, he thought. He was sick. Sam turned from the dishes and pot, going to the bedroom. “Mr. Frodo?” he called out. He now knocked on the door; he heard Frodo beyond it, panting heavily. He didn’t wait for any response as he opened the door, going inside.
He gasped. Frodo’s hand darted from his breeches, looking to Sam. “What…?” he asked blissfully, his eyes opening and closing slowly.
The walk to Wally Fennel’s was awkward; Sam had Frodo’s arm slung over his shoulders as if he’d gone too deep in his cups, trying to keep their awkward gait they made straight, failing miserably. Frodo’s head was at his shoulder, his voice purring low and light.
“Sam… it feels so odd,” he said, just as they’d gotten to Wally’s hole. Sam peered at the small porch, lines and lures hanging from the eaves. He passed by his fine crafted poles as he knocked on the door, trying to keep Frodo from slipping onto his knees now.
“It’s all right, Mr. Frodo, I’ve got you,”
“Good, good,” Frodo murmured, burying his face into the crook of his shoulder, still purring lightly. Wally then emerged, opening the door to find them there. His long arms folded across himself, resting on his stout little belly.
“Hello…?” he said, looking at the state of the two of them. “Ah, Samwise Gamgee, and Mister Baggins… how do you fare today?”
“I’m not sure, actually. I’ve got some important questions to ask of you.”
“Well, come inside then. Is he… all right?” Wally asked, nodding his head to Frodo.
“I’m not that sure, that’s why we’re here,”
Sam and Frodo entered the small hole, decorated in everything that would surround an avid fisher-hobbit. Plaques holding the bodies of large fish were on the walls, along with prizes he’d won during fishing tournaments. Sam brought Frodo to the small couch nearby, placing him down on it gently. “I’m sorry to bother you like this. I just figured you know everything there is to know of fish, and that’s what I’ve come for; anything you could tell us would help,”
“All right. Let me make us some tea then,”
Wally left them there next to the fire. Sam sat at the other end of the couch, wringing his hands nervously. He looked over to Frodo whose arms were over his head. He moaned low, putting his head back.
“Yes, Mr. Frodo?”
Frodo didn’t seem to want to talk however; he made his chest rise and fall hard as his body slid down the couch, his head sliding off the pillow it rested on. His feet were now at Sam’s left, his toes pressing into Sam’s thighs hard. Sam blinked, looking him over carefully. A strange smile rose on Frodo’s mouth, his tongue licking the upper lip. “You’re so strong, you know that? I love watching you in the garden. You make me jealous,”
“Um… all right,”
Wally then came back, balancing three mugs of tea on a small tray. Under his other arm was a thick book. “All right then,” he said, seeming to ignore Frodo’s strange behavior. He sighed, putting the teas on the table. He went to sit across from them on the small chair there, opening his book. “I take it you have a question about fish,”
“Yea, I do,” Sam said. “We’d been out today and Mr. Frodo here caught a lot of fish, and one of them I hadn’t seen before,”
Wally nodded, looking through his book. “Describe it. There ain’t a fish I haven’t seen yet, at least I’d think so anyways,”
Sam nodded. “Well, it was quite large. It had a round face with big lips,”
“Not a sucker fish?”
“No, I told that much,” Sam said, shaking his head. Frodo’s ankles were now on his lap, moving slowly back and forth. Sam coughed, clearing his throat. “It had odd colorations, never seen ‘em before on a fish. Its underside had a bright pink to it, gone down in a long line from neck to tail…”
Wally’s voice sounded as if he knew what he spoke of. Sam nodded quickly. “Yes. Do you… know what it is? Is it poisonous??”
Wally’s face went from serious to amused. He flipped open to a page; Sam peered at it; this must have been a book he’d drawn up himself, the drawing and descriptions writ there in an accurate yet rustic scrawl. He turned it to Sam’s eyes. He stared a moment, reading alongside the picture which was in fact what Frodo had caught and then eaten. “Pink Oyster?” he said slowly. Wally nodded.
“Yea, exactly. This is the one then?” he asked. Sam nodded, looking to Wally’s smile. “Well then. Mr. Baggins is in for a long, odd night,”
“What? What is it??”
“Well…” Wally said, leaning up in his chair and lighting his long stemmed pipe. He let it leave his lips, blowing out a long line of smoke. “Do you know the effects of oysters, Samwise?”
Sam shook his head. “I’d never eaten one.”
“Ah. Well, oysters are known as a ‘lover’s food’, one may say. The effects of an oyster makes one amorous and eager, a well known aphrodisiac,” he explained. “This fish is named after that because… well, its effects are quite potent. Well more potent than a barrel full of oysters.”
Sam swallowed. “Where do they come from?? I’d never seen one before today!”
“Oh, it’s odd that you’ve come across one.” Wally said, chuckling to himself. He flipped to another page, where he’d drawn up handmade maps. He pointed out a few brooks that led to the pond Sam and Frodo had fished at. “A long time ago, probably well before you were born, dams were built up at these two brooks,” he said, pointing out their locations on the maps. “These brooks lead up into other areas, rumored to be Elvish lands. It’s been said that strange little creatures come around from there and have traveled as far south as our own lands. Almost none of them truly dangerous, but…” he went to say, glancing over to Frodo with an amused grin. “They have odd effects, no doubt. So, dams were built up to keep these brooks to come into our waters, only trickling in enough to give the pond enough life, yet not letting anything else come through. I suppose they’re old and need some rebuilding…”
Sam stared at the book in wonderment. “So… do you know of this fish enough then? I mean… what do we do?”
“Nothing you can do, really. It’s not known what there is to counteract this sort of… thing.” He said, closing the book and sitting back. “Some teas and other things can calm it perhaps, but only for a very short time. This fish has been known to stay in the system and not be bothered with anything one might try to get rid of it with. But I’m sure glad to let you know that no, Mr. Baggins is in no danger. He’ll just be a little… odd,”
Sam looked back to Frodo; my, he looked a sight. His hands were rubbing at his neck, purring loudly into his shoulder.
After thanking Wally for his wisdom and insight, he led Frodo back down to Bag End. Again it was hard but he rushed with new vigor, knowing that he wasn’t going to go ill and die on him. Once there he set a fire in the hearth and stood up. Frodo lie on his stomach on the couch, his leg hanging down to the floor. He stared at Sam with a great smile. Sam turned away to go make some tea, the pot already warmed enough for it. He poured the water into a kettle and made up their tea, returning to the room where Frodo was. He was now on his back, his chest a few inches from the cushions. Sam cleared his throat. “Here you are, Mr. Frodo,” he said extending a mug. “You might do better sittin’ up, though,”
“Mmm,” Frodo murmured, sitting up slowly. He didn’t take his odd gaze off of Sam as he took it to his lips, sipping slowly. Sam sat by him, making sure he wasn’t touching him. He didn’t truly know how to think on this, or what to do.
“Are you feelin’ all right?” he asked.
“Quite.” Frodo replied, his voice thick.
“Would you… like me to tell you a story to pass the time?” Sam said, trying to recall any sort of story he’d heard in his lifetime. Frodo shook his head.
“All right…” he mumbled, sipping. His eyes blinked suddenly; Frodo was sitting up close to his ear. He didn’t say anything; he just sat there, moving his head back and forth. Sam sat shock still, blinking hard. “What are you… doing?”
“Smelling your hair.”
“Oh.” Sam replied as if that were an entirely normal thing for Frodo to be doing. He kept sniffing, his nostrils flaring, lips parting to let out small purrs. Sam coughed and sat up straighter, moving away from Frodo slightly. Frodo stared at him a moment, a faraway look in his eyes.
“I’m… sorry,” he mumbled. “It just smelled nice, from where… I sat,”
“It’s all right. You just made me itch a bit,” Sam said, pulling the thread of his hair that clung to his cheek; it’d been the moist breath from Frodo’s lips that made it stick, and that fact sent shivers down his back. “Let’s, um… play a game!” Sam said loudly and a little too cheerfully.
“Um…” Sam said. He stood up and reached up to the top shelf of Bilbo’s old bookcase. “How about the marble game?” he said, extending the small box.
“Okay.” Frodo said slowly, still not moving from his spot. Sam breathed a sigh of relief, figuring a nice pleasant game would take Frodo’s mind off his state. Of COURSE it would work! He sat back down and placed the box on the table. Once it was opened Sam smiled.
“All right then,”
Frodo moved to put his legs over the edge of the couch, staring at Sam with a glazed look as Sam set up the board. He realized how unsettling it was, just to be looked at with those eyes, him knowing what lay behind them. “Right. Shall it be my turn first?”
Sam nodded and sat back. Frodo leaned forward and grabbed a red swirled marble. He paused here, staring at it. “It looks a bit like the fish.” He said in a strange tone that made Sam blink.
“Well… sir, it’s a marble,”
Frodo nodded slowly. “I know.”
“Well all right then! You’ll be red, and I’ll be green…” Sam said, leaning over to catch up his set of marbles. Looking to Frodo now nearly made him drop the bundle he’d collected.
Out of nowhere, Frodo’s tongue had emerged from his mouth; the marble was held at the tip as it moved slowly around the red-ribboned orb, his eyes closed yet lashes shuddering. Sam swallowed hard. “Sir?” he implored in a tense, squeaky voice. The marble lowered, Frodo’s eyes opening, lips still parted.
“I… wouldn’t do that. You can choke if you… put it in your mouth.”
Frodo nodded dumbly, putting the marble down. Before Sam thought to turn back to the game Frodo huffed. “I don’t want to play this game.”
“Okay,” Sam said, putting the game back and going to place it onto the shelf.
“It’s too hot in here,” Frodo complained. Sam looked back to him; even though Bag End had remained cool with the summery heat outside, he was in fact sweating at his brow.
“Would you like me to draw you a cool bath?” he asked. This made Frodo’s uncomfortable face ease, a smile on his lips.
“Well it’s yes or no, if you don’t mind, sir,”
Frodo contemplated a moment. “No then… it might make things… worse,” he replied softly.
“Well, why don’t you change into your nightshirt?”
“Too hot, too hot,” Frodo said. Suddenly his hands grabbed at the arms of his billowy shirt, raising it in a swift movement above his head. Sam’s eyes sparked open a moment, seeing his master disrobe. He stared at the naked flesh of Frodo’s chest, his heart feeling as if a long, tight rope was tugging it, stretching and squeezing it. It made his breath hitch as Frodo lie down on the couch, stretching his arms and legs seductively. His eyes turned to meet Sam’s, biting his lip. “I’m so… so sorry, Sam. I know how…. Uncomfortable this must be, but… I can’t… can’t help it,”
“Its fine, sir. Don’t worry yourself none.”
“You can… go if you like.” Frodo answered. “I’d rather you didn’t, but you can,”
“No. No, I’ll stay right here to tend to you,” Sam said, betraying himself slightly in what he’d really, really honestly meant by ‘tending’. Oh, if his Frodo could read his mind right now it just may shock him back to… wait.
If anything could make Mr. Frodo come back to his senses, perhaps having Sam propose… some sort of naughty tryst would do it. Even if it meant being turned away, yes, he could just say it was PART of that ‘tending’, and it’d been only Frodo’s welfare he cared for. It was a half-truth, making Sam feel a little selfish. But he thought, with Frodo the way he was right now, maybe he could sate his own desires in one simple touch, while at the same time bringing Frodo back down to earth. “Sir?” he finally managed to say, his mouth watering at the prospect of what he was about to do.
“Yes, my Sam?”
Oh good glory, if that wasn’t an invitation… Sam walked carefully towards him, those gorgeous wide eyes staring up at him. Frodo seemed to have some sort of expectations rising. Sam sat beside him and sighed shakily. He put one hand on Frodo’s ankle and massaged him. “Oh…”
“Mr. Frodo?” Sam implored, seeing Frodo’s eyes go behind heavy lids, his tongue darting out to lick his upper lip. Mercy.
“Do you know… what just… that…” Frodo said, his chin nodding down to where Sam was touching. “Is doing, to me?”
“Well… I can make a stab at it,” Sam said, nerves firing. Before he could think Frodo’s eyes opened quickly, his torso rising from the couch to meet Sam’s.
“You know… what I’m thinking about? It’s what I think about a lot. A lot.” He said in a mindless manner. It almost made Sam flinch, his directness and unsubtle intent writ all over his face.
“Give me that hand. That one,”
Sam looked down at the hand caressing Frodo’s foot. He lifted it and brought it to Frodo, who took it with both of his. He stared at it a moment then slowly but surely brought it down, lower and lower. Sam swore he felt it brush along the skin by his navel before he realized that Frodo had gotten to a destination.