Old Winyards

Out of Focus

Out of Focus

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Chapter: Thirteen
Pairing: Frodo/Sam
Authors: Catherine and Thuri
Rating: A-M
Warnings: Schmoop with a touch of angst.
Summary: Sam feels very much at sea.

Author's note: Apologies for the late post. Perhaps I'll get the hang of travelling and posting on the same day, one of these years... *eyeroll*

Sam awoke feeling better than he had in several days, though still very much at sea with the changes in his personal life. He didn't know how things were going to work with Frodo being his employer and his lover, in the short or long run. His sisters and Hal were still conspiring on the best method of bringing the Gaffer around, and Sam was still laying low in Frodo's quarters. At any other time, there would have been no place on earth that he would rather have been than by Frodo Baggins's side, in his arms, in his rooms, in his bed.

But with his father being so adamantly opposed to any intimate relationship between his employer and his son, and Frodo having been too ill to help him define a role for himself on the Estate, he was left with no sense of self outside of his life with Frodo, and he didn't feel that he was giving Frodo all that he could. He felt emasculated, somehow, though God knew that Frodo made him feel good and proud as a man.

He looked down at his sleeping lover, noting the odd pallor that still overtook him in unguarded moments. Why wasn't Frodo getting better any faster? His appetite had improved, thank heaven, but he was still so exhausted, worse at every little exertion than seemed normal. Sam worried about making love to him, now, as it seemed to tire him out so completely. He swiped a hand through his hair in frustration. He had gone through and ruled out the list of things he could recall that might produce this pervasive exhaustion. "What is wrong with you, me dearie?" he murmured, kissing Frodo's forehead, softly. "Why are you so tired all the time?"

"Damned if I know," Frodo muttered back softly. "And all that paperwork piling up..."

Sam blushed. “I shouldn't ever speak out loud when I think you're asleep," he muttered.

Frodo laughed softly, turning over. "Don't stop. I like waking up to the sound of your voice."

Sam kissed Frodo, tender and deep. "Good morning, me darling," he said quietly, framing the pale face with his hand. "Ah, but you do a man good in the morning."

Frodo smiled softly. "Glad to hear it."

Sam kissed him, again, pulling him close. "How are you feeling?"

"Like death warmed over. So what else is new?"

"Frodo, this just ain't right. You've been sick for more’n a week now, and you were done-in for weeks before you got sick. You ain't been yourself since... Well, since that party." Sam worried his lower lip. "I'm that worried about you, love."

"You're not the only one," Frodo said with a soft smile. "Hope it's not mono, otherwise you've got it for sure."

"Ugh!" shuddered Sam. "I remember when Ham had that. Turned the same colour as them sick persimmons Mr. Bilbo had to cut down, an' all. I hope you don't have that, love, but if you do, then it just means that you can't drink for a year, and neither can I, and we'll simply have to find other ways of entertaining ourselves." Sam sighed ostentatiously.

Frodo giggled.

"You ain't turned yellow, though, so I don't think that's it," said Sam, after kissing Frodo with a growl that promised more. "Do you think you should see Dr. Peredhel again?" he asked.

Frodo sighed. "Probably..."

"Do you want some company, love? It– it ain't exactly my place, so it might be a bit awkward for you, but I'd be glad to go with you."

"I do," Frodo assured him, squeezing his hand. "Besides, you know all my symptoms better than I do..."

Sam swallowed. "Aye, that I probably do," he said with a small shiver, squeezing Frodo's hand back harder than he'd meant to.

"Ouch..." Frodo tugged himself loose, but then gathered Sam close. "My dear Sam..."

"Oh, Frodo, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you, like that." Sam brought Frodo's hand around to his mouth and kissed it. "I was so scared when you fainted on that hill. I thought I'd lose you before I could ever even tell you how much I admired you... how much I loved you all those years." He sank into Frodo's embrace, laying his head on his lover's shoulder.

Frodo hugged him closer. "It's all right, love." He was quiet, then for quite some time before sighing. "Sam? Are you any good with figures?"

"Yes, why?"

Frodo blushed. "You seem to be really bored lately, and...would you mind helping me with the estate paperwork?"

Sam blanched. "Fucking hell! Are you sure you wouldn't rather I just kidnap you and sell us both into white slavery? It'd probably be easier for you to take."

Frodo blushed. "I'm sorry, you're right, I shouldn't have asked..."

"Oh, now I've gone and done it again. Don't mind me, Frodo; I just wasn't expecting you to ask me that, at all. I thought when you asked me to help with the Estate that you'd be wanting me to help me Gaffer see to the outdoors part of things, where I'm more familiar with it. I had no idea you wanted me to help with the paperwork. I'd..." Sam swallowed hard, feeling a bit sick. "I'd be honoured to help as best I can. I only hope that I don't land you in gaol."

"You don't have to help, Sam," Frodo assured him. "It's just not getting done, now."

"Frodo-love, I want to help, for so many reasons." He kissed Frodo, fervently. "You're the most important one," he said.

Frodo pressed closer. "Oh Sam..."

Sam held Frodo to him. "And just so you know..." he interrupted himself to kiss Frodo senseless, "boredom ain't any of the reasons I’d want to be doing paperwork," he finished, breathless.

Frodo groaned. "God..."

Sam pulled away. "I should find Daisy, soon. Maybe she can get me some of me old clothes from Number 3. I'd be surprised if you could smell anything after smelling me in the same outfit for a week, bathing or no."

Frodo shook his head, surprised. "Can't smell anything, Sam."

"Well, your nose must still be on the blink. I pong!"

Frodo giggled.

"Or rather, me clothes do. Fortunately, I ain't wearing 'em, right now."

Frodo giggled again, burying his face in Sam's chest.

Sam held him close, trying to quell his arousal as Frodo nuzzled against him. His arousal had other plans. "Frodo-love..."

"Take me?"

"Oh, god..." In the face of such temptation, what was a man to do? He kissed Frodo. "Are you sure, love? I don't want to tire you out, again."

"I'd rather be sleepy and well-fucked."

Sam laughed. "Well, in that case..." He took Frodo in his arms and did the best imitation of a tango dip that his position on the bed would allow. He kissed Frodo, dramatically. "All you need now is a rose between your teeth," he said.

And Frodo laughed aloud, collapsing into Sam's chest. "Sam!"

Sam hugged him close, succumbing to giggles, himself. He tilted Frodo's chin up and looked into the eyes that had captivated him so many years ago. "C'mere, you," he said, fondly. He eased Frodo down onto the bed, never breaking his gaze. "I love you," he whispered, and kissed him, deep and slow.

"I love you, too," Frodo replied, surrendering himself once more into Sam's arms.
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