It was done. It was over.

As they laid there upon the hot rocks of mount doom, Frodo in Sam's embrace, Sam could only think about how utterly wrong he had been the whole time. How could he have even thought about Rosie Cotton, when in his arms laid the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes upon, safe maybe lady Galadriel?

That the lips were cracked, skin blemished and the eyes sunken in did not matter. It did not matter, because he knew that he looked the same. He missed a finger, but so what? What did matter was what he could see past all those flaws, superficial as they might be, and see the beauty underneath. He knew more than to judge by appearance.

"Frodo." He whispered, or at least he think he did

Every daydream seemed so stupid now. Who was he to think, that he could waltz back into the Shire and, if they by any chance had a shot at love, Rosie could understand him and what he had gone through? Fat chance at that. Frodo knew about all the pain and suffering, he had even suffered more than he had…

"Stupid dream…" He said to himself. He thought the sentence was lost to the wind, but Frodo's eyes snapped onto his, clearly, he had heard them.

"Why Sam? Is it wrong for a person to dream?" Frodo said meekly, just holding on to consciousness, not knowing what Sam was talking about.

"No, I didn't say that at all sir. It's just stupid that's all… I don't even know why I thought about it." Sam did not specify what part of his thoughts he meant; he was not quite sure what he was thinking himself. A puddle of lava came close to hitting them, and Sam moved them to a bit higher grounds.

"Oh what does it matter? We are going to die here on this rock anyway, who could safe us?" Sam despaired and felt the heat from the lava around them on his skin, and if he had been hydrated enough, he might have perspired from the warmth. His eyes watered, and Frodo felt a few tears land on his forehead. He took his hand and held it against Sam's cheek.

"Do not despair Sam and do not fear death. Think of what we have done for the future generations. Think of your family and every other family in the Shire, they can have a future now, free of evil and danger. The orchards and gardens are safe. Merry and Pippin are probably already scheming their next prank…"

Sam laughed through tears and hugged Frodo a bit closer. Frodo's thumb caressed the skin near Sam's mouth.

"And Rosie… I know how you feel about-"

"Begging your pardon Frodo, but I think I'm past thinking about Rosie Cotton in that way. It was just a hopeless dream after all… I do not even think that it was anything more than a crush. Stupid puppy love-"


"But it's true! Look at us! How can I ever think about having another woman in my arms, when you lay in them? How can I think of Rosie when you always look upon me with those big, beautiful, blue eyes of yours?" Sam froze and turned his head away from Frodo and his hand fell from his face. The look he had given him before he turned, told him that he had heard him. Quite clearly, it looked like.


"Now don't you go all 'Oh, Sam' on me. I know you heard, but I told you it's just a stupid-"

Before Sam could say anything more, he felt a peck of cracked lips on his clavicle, slightly sucking the skin there. Nothing more, but that was the nearest Frodo could reach without having to overexert himself. Sam felt his chest tighten and his throat go, possibly, even drier.

"Oh Sam!" Frodo muttered into his shoulder, lips pressed against the skin. "I don't know what to say-"

"You don't have to say anything mister Frodo. Just pretend you never heard it."

"What good would it do, Sam? We are going to die here anyway, so why pretend anything?"

They looked at each other and Sam thought once again how beautiful Frodo looked. He wondered when he first started thinking about Frodo like that. He closed his eyes and kissed the top of Frodo's head. Then he kissed his forehead and rested his own against it. He opened his eyes and looked into the blue ones before him, before they closed. He was about to lean I further, when suddenly he could hear a flapping close by and turned away for a moment to observe. His heart jumped.

"Eagles! Look, eagles mister Frodo! We are gonna make it! Gandalf is coming for us!" Sam said and looked down to Frodo. Frodo smiled at him and then his eyes closed again and his head lolled onto Sam's shoulder.


Sam heard the flapping of wings next to him, and before he knew any better, he was in the claws of one, and flying away only to see another take hold of an unconscious Frodo. The farther away they got from mount doom, the colder the air got, and Sam felt the effects of being close to the enormous heat of Mount Doom. His skin was burning, even now, but the wind was quite nice on his red and blistering skin.

He looked over to Frodo in the clasp of the other eagle, and then touched his hand to his clavicle.

It was not just because of the heat, that his skin there burnt.

When Sam woke up from a sleep he did not know he had fallen into, the first thing he noticed was relaxation. Release from all that pain. Sam thought that he had possibly gone to The Great Halls, but then he remembered the eagles, Gandalf and oh-

"Frodo!" Sam sat up in his bed and instantly a hand was on his chest, pushing him back. He heard Elrond mutter to him.

"Easy there, Samwise Gamgee, you have had a long journey. Rest now and we will answer to any questions you might have."

Sam looked up, saw Elrond, and was only slightly surprised to see Gandalf at his side. Elrond had a bowl of soup in his hand and handed it to Sam. Sam graciously took it and started to dig in. Even if he had questions in his mind, he was too hungry to ask right now.

"Careful it might be hot. This is just something to start out with, so that your body can get used to eating again. You were both very malnourished when you came here."

Sam looked up.

"How is Frodo? Can I see him?" Sam asked, looking at them both. The soup was nice and filling, nothing like the dry lembas bread he'd eaten for who-knew-how-long. It was Gandalf who answered his question with a small smile.

"You may as soon as you are fit to stand on your own legs. And Frodo is fine. He is resting, just as you should be."

They both got better eventually. Sam got better before Frodo, but thanks to the excellent care by lord Elrond, they both got better very quickly. Frodo didn't mention or talk about their conversation and actions on Mount Doom, and Sam didn't know if he had forgot it, chose to ignore it or a third thing all together. He also did not know if he was relieved or disappointed about it. For a few moments, up there, it had all seemed so good. It had felt like a brighter future was near. And it was. The future was bright indeed. The world was saved. Thanks to Frodo.

The rest of the fellowship came to visit them in Rivendell. Merry and Pippin were ready to journey back to the Shire, and Sam could not agree more with them. Frodo was reluctant to yet again say goodbye to Bilbo, but he knew that he belonged in the Shire. And Bilbo was in good care with the elves.

After they came back to the Shire, Sam had, in his mind, given up the idea of courting Rosie Cotton. The images of those few moments on Mount Doom haunted his dreams at night. He could not forget them, even though he tried. He tried for Frodo's sake, because he felt that even though they spent most their time together, that Frodo had distanced himself from him, and that it was his fault, for opening his big mouth. He had ruined a good friendship, all because of a stupid dream.

However, he continued to dream, and soon those dreams became his only escape from his, otherwise, tumbled emotions.

Smacking of lips, no longer chapped or dry, sounded and Sam felt as if his heart might jump out of his chest. A hand in his hair tugged him closer to those searching lips, and a tongue ran over the parting of his own, tasting the breath inside. Sam felt his arms tighten around a small waist and felt himself respond to the lips. He nibbled them and licked the cheek belonging to…


"Yes Sam?"

Sam snapped his eyes open and found blue staring back at him. Had it not been for the emotion inside them, he might have thought his dream had never ended. The eyes showed confusion and a bit of anxiousness.

"Mister Frodo! I'm sorry! I was just, taking a nap you see?" Sam tried reasoning, his voice hoarse. He looked around and found himself and Frodo in the garden behind Bag End. He was resting on a bed of moss, with Frodo looking down at him.

"Yes I see that Sam." Frodo said and his anxiousness was replaced with happiness inside his eyes. He smiled and offered his hand to Sam. He took it and Frodo hauled him up, standing beside him. "I thought you were having a nightmare again, so short of breath you sounded. I should know, I've been having my fair share of nightmares lately."

Sam didn't have the heart to tell him who was haunting him in his own dreams. He sighed and looked somewhere past Frodo.

"I'm sorry, you've been having nightmares and I've been ignorant to it all this time. Why you were the one to suggest I move into Bag End, so that we could help each other out with these things…" Sam sighed again and looked into the blue eyes before him. "I'm sorry." He repeated.

Frodo exhaled.

"It is fine Sam. I understand if you are not ready to share the episodes of your nightmares with me. I don't think that I myself could-"

"But that's what's wrong Mister Frodo! Don't you see?" Sam suddenly felt words storming out of him, words he had no control over. "I have had nothing but sweet dreams since we came back from Rivendell. Since we came back from Mount Doom."

Frodo looked at him again in anxiousness and flinched.

"Sam please don't bring this up…"

"No! I can't go around pretending to be healing from some epic journey with you, when I'm not! At least not the kind of healing you are doing. I can't go around any longer, letting you think that my 'getting short of breath' is not because I dream of escaping from evil monsters, but because I dream of being with you!" He sniffed and ran his finger under his nose. He turned away from Frodo and his stunned facial expression. "Here I go again, opening my big mouth. You big fool, Samwise Gamgee, can't you do anything right?"

He stood still for a moment and felt Frodo's eyes bore into his back. He almost heard his thoughts, so loud and big were they. It felt like the silence would never end, and his gaze drifted over the blooming flowers of Frodo's garden. Flowers he had planted after they came home from Rivendell in the spring. It felt like such a long time ago, when it had only been a few weeks, months at most.

He suddenly felt himself being turned around by gentle aristocratic hands. Frodo searched for his face and with his two hands on either side of his face, he stared deep into Sam's eyes, his own watering a bit. Sam spotted relief in the bright blue eyes.

"A big fool indeed."

Then he leaned in agonizingly slowly, slow enough for Sam to change his mind, to push him away, eyes locked on Sam's. However, Sam needed no time to think. His own hands and arms found Frodo's waist, rested upon his thin summer shirt, and – like his dream – pulled him into his embrace, effectively closing the distance between both their bodies and their mouths. It felt like a heavy burden lifted when their lips finally met. Now he didn't have to hold back and hide his feelings anymore.

Their lips met harshly at first, passion-driven, but then the pace lessened and they began to slowly mold their lips together. Sam shifted the position of his head and left Frodo's mouth shortly to breathe quickly, then smashing their lips back together again. Frodo's hands hesitantly drifted upwards and into Sam's hair. Fingers wounding through his thick locks and then he was tugging him closer, and Sam felt himself groan into his mouth. His arms tightened his hold on him, and he couldn't help but think to himself:

It's like my dream came true.

Sam broke the kiss and panted heavily. He looked disbelievingly into the eyes of Frodo and felt his stare going right through him, like he was in a trance. Then the eyes locked onto his lips and Frodo leaned in to capture them again. The kiss lasted shortly before Sam pulled away again. Frodo frowned and turned his stare to Sam's eyes, searching.

"What is it Sam? Is this not what you wanted?" He asked slowly, also panting.

"Please pinch me, for I think this is a dream. It cannot be real. Another one of my hopeless dreams…" Sam trailed off. Sam yelped as Frodo pinched him behind his ear, his other hand still in his hair. Frodo's eye showed mischief, and Sam couldn't help but exclaim.

"What was that for? Ow!" Frodo pinched him again and chuckled. His hand joined the other in Sam's thick locks again, and he pulled him in for another kiss, more driven by need this time, he opened his mouth and deepened the kiss.

Sam couldn't help but respond, for if this was indeed a dream, he didn't want it to end. He slowly licked Frodo's lips, teeth and then his tongue and Frodo shivered with pleasure. He exhaled into Sam's mouth and pulled away. Sam whined at that and Frodo chuckled and smiled.

"This is no dream Sam. Tell me, did you really dream about me just before? When you were asleep?" He asked curiously.

Sam's ears reddened, but he could not lie to him. "Sir, I did. I'm so sorry. I don't know why I-"

"You said I was beautiful."

"I- what?"

"On Mount Doom. You said I was beautiful, or that my eyes were." Frodo blushed. "Did you really mean that? Do you think I'm beautiful?"

Sam nodded and his eyes searched Frodo's. "I think every part of you is beautiful. I love your dark hair, your blue eyes-" Sam shifted his gaze to rest on Frodo's face, searching every inch, like he had used to in the darker hours of their journey to Mount Doom, when Frodo was fast asleep. "I love it when you smile, the way it reaches your eyes and make them glint with a blue fire."

Sam removed his arms from Frodo's waist and took his hands. "I love your hands. I ain't seen any hands prettier and smoother than yours, and always so gentle…" He kissed the left hand where Frodo was missing his finger, and Frodo sucked in his breath.

"And I don't know what to do. Oh Frodo, what should I do? This can't be real." Sam teared up.

"Why can't this be real? What is wrong?"

"We're both lads!" Sam said with sadness pouring out of his eyes. He let go of Frodo's hands. "This is not right, and what wouldn't my old Gaffer say? I can almost hear him right now-"

"I don't care." Frodo interrupted.


"I don't care about all that. Bilbo didn't care about people thinking differently about him, after he came home from his journey. I certainly don't care about what any hobbit in the Shire has to say about this. Except maybe Merry and Pippin... But can't you feel it Sam?"

Sam hesitated but asked him anyway. "Feel what mister Frodo?"

"Can't you feel how right this feels? Holding your hands, bodies close, kissing you…" Frodo and Sam both blushed. "It all feels right. Like what we are doing right now, is not wrong." Frodo came close and laid a slow kiss on Sam's lips. He felt no response and gave another kiss, this time slipping out his tongue and licking Sam's bottom lip.

Sam gasped and finally responded. He took Frodo's face in his hands and pulled away.

"Are you sure that you want this?" Sam asked. Frodo nodded.

"I want this, I'm sure. But Sam… What about you? I feel that you cannot accept this situation. I feel that you are putting up this defense, that you worry about what others might think."

"Of course I worry. That's my job right? Out of the two of us, I was always the worrier, remember?" Sam made a sound like laughing, exhaled and shrugged. "But I think you're right Frodo. I guess I'm afraid what others might say. Not only are we both lads, but even a simple lad falling in love with a noble lady is frowned upon. I guess you are above me in some ways."

"Do you think that Sam? That I am above and superior to you?"

"Of course not! I guess in some ways you are, but you are my friend-" Sam blushed. "I mean you are- We- I mean-" Sam stuttered and his face became even redder.

Frodo laughed and stroked Sam's cheek. He looked at him with that look Sam adored. Like when he had dropped his little box of spices, and asked Frodo to catch it. The look he gave him, when he told him the contents of the box, could always make his heart flutter. A sweet and innocent smile.

"Then what does it matter what everyone else thinks? If you want, we can keep it secret. I mean we are already living together and no one is raising any questions about that." Frodo suggested.

"You would do that for me?"

"You would do anything for me Sam, why should I not be able to do this for you?"

Sam cried out and embraced Frodo, putting his head on his shoulder. Frodo laughed and returned the hug.

"I would Frodo, I would. Let's do this, let's give this a shot. I want it; you have no idea about how long I've wanted this." Sam sniffed. Frodo could only laugh at his antics.

From then on Frodo and Sam had a secret relationship, one that went beyond that of friendship. They were discreet, and no one suspected that the owner of Bag End and his gardener had started this affair. The other hobbits could not know that when the lights in the windows of Bag End darkened at night, Sam and Frodo would not step into separate rooms to retire for the night, but lie together cocooned in each other's arms. When they went to The Green Dragon with Merry and Pippin, they would not hold hands under the table, but their eyes would lock onto each other longer than normal. Merry and Pippin had noticed this, but never mentioned it, and what was really to mention? They slowly became merrier than they had been in the past months, and Merry and Pippin suspected that their arrangement – of Sam moving into Bag End – had worked out. They did not risk heated kisses outside the walls of Bag End and its garden. Not even in the dark of the night outside The Green Dragon.

One day, many months later, Rosie Cotton walked by Bag End. She saw Master Frodo walk out of the front door, a tray with two glasses and a pitcher filled with lemonade, in his hands. He sat the tray down on the bench near the door, and just as he sat down Sam came around the corner of the smial and walked over to him.

Rosie noticed the way Frodo looked at Sam, it was like he looked at the most beautiful sight in Middle earth. And it was a sight indeed. He had sweaty skin, from working in the garden and a healthy glow around him. Some places in his hair, small twigs stuck out, and Rosie suspected that he had been trimming the trees in the garden. His smile brightened when he saw Frodo on the bench.

"For me?" He asked, pointing at the lemonade.

"For us, Sam. I thought I would join you on your break." Frodo said with a smile.

Before Rosie could witness more of the scene, she had to turn a corner in the road. Finally looking away from the pair, Rosie smiled to herself. She walked for a while by herself, thinking about the scene she had witnessed. She had noticed the looks Sam had been giving her at The Green Dragon, before he had went away with Frodo, Merry and Pippin on their adventure. Now, though, she couldn't remember those eyes and that stare ever being directed at her. Instead it had now turned towards his friend Frodo.

Rosie had seen a thing or two, being at the inn for so many years. She had also felt the burning in her neck from several other eyes during her time there, but it was not often that she acted on them. She had to be professional, if her customer became her lover, it would surely do bad to her business, as she always had to seem available, but still avoid being so. It could make men jealous, and Rosie had seen firsthand what jealousy and alcohol together in large amounts could do.

Seeing Sam's gaze being directed at Frodo, made her smile. Not only because it wasn't directed at her anymore, but because she also had noticed Frodo's own gaze, during his frequenting at the Green Dragon with Sam. His was more discreet though, and Rosie was sure that she was the only hobbit, that had noticed him gazing at Sam, long before Sam started looking after Frodo.

"What's got you smiling Sis? A young lad finally caught your eyes, hm?" Rosie's brother suddenly joined her on the road. He was carrying a heavy basket of firewood on his back. Rosie smiled at him.

"No, not anything like that. It was nothing in particular." Rosie softly said.

"Are you sure? You have a weird grin on your face. If I didn't know any better, I would say it was a lads doing."

"Oh, you could say it is." Rosie whispered to herself, looking back in the direction of Bag End, but it was now far away and out of sight.

"You could definitely say that."