Title: Warmth
Pairing: Sam/Frodo
Warnings: set right after FOTR
Disclaimers: Don't own, don't sue, don't ask, don't tell

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sam struggled out of the boat, pulling it to shore despite the fact that he'd just nearly drowned.

"Sam! Let me help!" Frodo called out anxiously, trying to climb out of the boat.

"No, no, Mr. Frodo, you stay right there, I'm already wet, you may as well stay dry," Sam grunted as he dragged the boat onto the shore. Frodo watched a moment; Sam's muscles bulged with the effort.

"No, I want to help," insisted Frodo. He felt guilty, so he jumped out of the boat and gasped; he had known the water was cold but now that he was immersed in it he could barely breathe.

"Mr. Frodo!" exclaimed Sam, looking over with worry. With a massive effort, he dragged the boat the rest of the way to shore, securing it quickly before running to Frodo. "You're freezing!"

"I-I'm all right," Frodo said, teeth chattering. He hated feeling useless. Sam was so patient with him, and he was putting himself in danger just being with him.

"Don't be silly, you're like ice," Sam fussed. He grabbed their packs out of the boat and pulled the other hobbit away from the icy water. "It's going dark, we need to make camp."

Shivering, Frodo let Sam lead him to a safe spot to make camp. He stood and trembled as he watched Sam start a fire, feeling stupid and useless. Some ringbearer he was, some hero; he could barely take care of himself.

"There we are, Mr. Frodo, come sit by the fire and get warm," Sam said soothingly, pulling the shivering hobbit over gently.

Frodo let himself be led, sighing at the fiery warmth, still shivering but grateful. Sam put a cloak down for him to sit on, and he scooted as close as was safe to the fire. Gradually, he started to thaw out, and watched Sam as he bustled around, setting up camp and fixing dinner as best he could with their meager rations. Frodo watched Sam in amazement; people put the other hobbit down, thinking he was slow or stupid, but he really wasn't. He was just methodical and dependable and oh so patient. And fiercely loyal. Frodo had no doubt that Sam would die for him, without hesitation. That kind of loyalty was almost intimidating. And it made him feel like he should be nicer to Sam. He watched him, feeling warm from more than the fire.

They ate slowly, trying to make the small amount of food last, and spoke little. Frodo was still shaken from the battle and Boromir's death. True, the man had tried to steal the ring, but it truly wasn't his fault; not many could resist its call. He was right next to the waning fire now, and he the cold returned. He couldn't remember a time when he wasn't cold and wet. Jumping into the water had been one of the more stupid things he had ever done.

He looked up to see Sam watching him with concern from across the fire. "You're still cold?" he asked solicitously.

Frodo nodded. He looked down. "My clothes don't want to dry," he smiled, trying to make light of the situation. In the grand scheme of things, and in light of their quest, the fact that he was a bit cold mattered little.

Sam's face fell. "I'm so stupid, Mr. Frodo! I forgot that when you're wet you're supposed to take your wet clothes off..." he trailed off, and Frodo could have sworn he was blushing.

"Take them off? I'll be even colder!" protested Frodo.

"No, no, I remember now, it seems that way but your, um, skin, needs to dry, or you won't get warm," Sam stammered.

"Oh," said Frodo faintly. Hobbits were generally reserved creatures, not given to running around unclothed; it wasn't sensible. But he could see the reasoning behind it; the clothes would probably dry faster off of him. "Ok." He reached for the buttons on his tunic and started trying to unfasten them. It wasn't working, though. His fingers still trembled from the cold, and they were clumsy on the small buttons. He could see Sam watching him, and finally he got up and moved around to Frodo's side of the fire.

"Let me help you," Sam murmured, reaching out and moving Frodo's hands out of the way. Frodo looked down and realised that Sam's hands were shaking.

"Are you cold too?" Frodo asked. Sam didn't look up at him, just concentrated on his buttons.

"No, I don't get cold, Mr. Frodo," Sam said softly, still not looking up at him. He had succeeded in unfastening Frodo's tunic and helped him slip it off.

Frodo was still shivering, but it wasn't any worse, and it did feel good to get the wet clothes off. Next was his shirt, which Sam helped him pull over his head. Now all that was left was his trousers, and Sam paused, staring down at the ties. He backed away, kneeling a few feet away, and, still looking away, mumbled, "I think you can manage the rest yourself, can't you?"

Frodo stared at Sam curiously. He was sure he had never seen the other hobbit blush, ever. Sam was sitting still, not getting up, and not looking at him. "Yes, I'm sure I can, Sam," Frodo said. "Thanks for your help." He fumbled with the leather strings, getting them partially undone while he peered over at Sam. His friend looked miserable. Frodo was concerned, so he left off trying to get the water-soaked strands untied and sat up, crawling over to Sam. He kneeled in front of him, clad only in his partially unfastened trousers, and said softly, "What's wrong, Sam? Not feeling well?"

Sam looked up, eyes fixed on Frodo's chest, then looked quickly away, hunched over more. He shook his head quickly. "I'm fine."

"You don't look fine," Frodo insisted, putting his hand on Sam's shoulder. Then he noticed that Sam's clothes were still wet as well. "You need to get your wet clothes off too!"

Now, Sam's face went from red to white. "No, I... can't," he said, trailing off miserably.

"Yes, you need to!" said Frodo. "You were right, I already feel better."

Sam shook his head, so Frodo went on. "I can't let you get sick, Sam! What would I do without my Sam?"

Sam raised his head now, eyes huge in the firelight. He still shook his head.

"Don't be silly, now," said Frodo, and moved closer, straddling Sam's thigh. He reached for the ties to Sam's tunic and started to unfasten them. Sam made a strangled sound and Frodo paused. "Are you all right?"

Sam didn't answer, just looked away, so Frodo continued. The knots wouldn't come loose easily, so he sat on Sam's thigh so he could get at them more easily. He finally got the tunic untied and pushed it off the other hobbit's broad shoulders. "There! Now the shirt..." Sam no longer protested, but neither did he help much as Frodo struggled with the wet garment. Finally, he pulled it off Sam's head and said, "See? Much better."

Then Frodo realised that he'd never seen so much of Sam. People usually assumed the hobbit was pudgy, but now Frodo could see that wasn't true at all; Sam was very solid, nearly all muscle. His chest was smooth and hairless and golden brown. He realised he was staring, and looking at Sam was giving him a funny feeling in his lower stomach. He decided he was much too close to Sam, and stumbled back, off of his lap, back to his side of the fire.

"Thanks," mumbled Sam, still not looking at Frodo. They sat in silence for a while, then Frodo decided he was tired.

"Shall we turn in, Sam?"

Sam nodded, but still didn't get up. "There's a bit of a problem with that, Mr. Frodo."

"What's that?"

"We... only have one blanket. The other one got soaked, and it won't be dry yet." Sam looked down. "You take it, I'll be fine out here."

Frodo looked at the blanket. "Don't be silly! It's freezing out here. The blanket is quite big enough for the both of us." He paused, wondering why his heart was starting to beat more quickly. "Besides, we'll be warmer, together."

Sam didn't speak, but nodded, so Frodo set about preparing the bed. He finished, then looked down at his trousers. They were still wet. "Sam? I'm afraid..." he blushed now, "That my pants are still wet, and I'll have to take them off... don't want to get the bed all wet..." Sam didn't answer, so he shrugged and turned his back to slide them off. He shivered from the cold, but secretly he was glad of it, because talking about taking his pants off in front of Sam had been starting to affect him... physically. He'd never really thought about it, hobbits matured quite slowly and he was quite young, but... He was glad of the cold air for once. It got rid of any inappropriate physical reactions. Somewhat.

He slipped quickly under the blanket, glad he was out of the wet clothes; he was cold but not too frozen. He watched as Sam fixed the fire so it could burn down on its own, and his arousal threatened to return as he watched the play of the muscles in the other hobbit's back. He blushed; hobbits of the same sex being involved wasn't unheard of, but not that common, and it wasn't really talked about much. But Frodo couldn't deny the fact that he was getting very aroused now, watching the shirtless Sam, and he was now worried that they had to share a bed and Sam would find out. Would the other hobbit be disgusted?

Finally, Sam approached the improvised bed, and Frodo could hear that he was hesitating. Then, Frodo heard the sound of clothing being removed, and it was all he could do to not turn and sneak a look at him, naked. He felt the other hobbit slide into the bed carefully, and Frodo could tell that Sam was trying his best to stay far away from him. A cold rush of air accompanied the other hobbit, but Frodo tried not to shiver. Tried to pretend he was asleep. Tried to pretend he was thinking of anything else but the fact that they were both naked, and he was very very aroused.

Sam lay very still, and at some point the act became reality as Frodo dozed off, lulled by warmth.

His eyes flew open some time later; he knew not how much because he couldn't see the fire or the stars. He didn't think it had been long. He wondered what had woken him; then he felt minute movement behind him. Sam was shifting in his sleep.

Not shifting, though. No. The movement was too rhythmic. Now Frodo became aware of Sam's breathing, too quick for slumber. Sam was awake, and he was... Frodo's mind jumped to conclusions, and he tried to suppress them. He shut his eyes tightly and tried with all his might not to picture what he was now sure Sam was doing. He failed. His own arousal returned full force when he heard Sam's voice whisper his name. He listened, awestruck, as the full import sank in. Sam was... touching himself, pleasuring himself, and he was thinking of him. Sam wouldn't be disgusted by him. Sam was turned on by him. Sam wanted him.

He also knew that Sam would never ever tell Frodo how he felt. And Frodo felt sure that in the morning light he wouldn't have the courage to say anything about it. Sam's breathing was becoming more ragged, and Frodo knew he had to do something. Soon, or the moment would be lost. He might not ever have this chance again, Sam would deny everything, for fear that Frodo wouldn't feel the same. But he did, and Frodo knew he had to act now, to take charge, even though he felt shy. Only if he was bold would this work; he had to act as if he knew what he was doing. He didn't, he just knew that he wanted Sam and Sam wanted him and they were together and this was right. One more whisper of his name from Sam's lips and Frodo knew what he had to do.

He rolled quickly, to take Sam by surprise. Sam was obviously engrossed in his fantasies, because he didn't immediately react. Frodo had time to move his hand under the blanket, to cover Sam's hand on his erection with his own hand.

"Mr. Frodo! I..." Sam's eyes were wide as he very obviously tried to come up with a plausible explanation. He tried to remove his hand but Frodo kept it there. "It's... it's not what you think..." he trailed off miserably.

"It's not?" Frodo whispered, tightening his hand around Sam's. "You said my name. You aren't thinking of me?" He could hardly believe he was doing this, was blushing bright red but he was so hard he ached. He was naked under a blanket with Sam, who was as aroused as he was, and he could now identify the feelings that the other hobbit stirred up in him. Need.

"Of course I am," Sam said automatically, then realised what he'd said. "I mean, I..." He looked away quickly. "I'm sorry," he whispered, barely audible.

"I'm not," Frodo whispered back, and very slowly began to move his hand, moving Sam's, still wrapped around his erection, in the process.

Sam moaned, a deep, low sound that made Frodo ache all over. "Mr. Frodo," gasped Sam. "W-what are you doing?"

Frodo moved even closer, moving his hand a bit faster, biting his lip. "Relax, Sam. Tell me what you want."

"You," the other hobbit replied automatically, breath hitching. "Always. You." Sam's hips were starting to rock now, pushing up into the caress. Frodo still kept his hand on Sam's.

"You have me, Sam," breathed Frodo in his ear. "And now I have you." Wrapping his hand more firmly around Sam's hand, he guided it along the hard length. He still couldn't believe he had the courage to do this, but it felt right. "Do you think of me, like this, often?"

"Yes, I mean no, I mean, I think of you all the time but," it was obviously quite an effort by now for Sam to speak clearly. "But I don't do this. Often. I feel bad about it."

"Don't feel bad, Sam. Especially now. Because I'm the one doing it to you now."

"But Mr. Frodo..."

"Just Frodo."

"F-Frodo," tried Sam, "You don't want me. Like I want you."

"You don't think so?" Frodo smiled. Desire was making him bold, and he moved closer, pressing his own arousal against Sam's side. "I disagree."

The moan that came from Sam's lips then was louder than ever, and made Frodo moan just from the sound of it. He rocked against Sam, and stroked him faster.

"Frodo! I... I'm going to..." Sam gasped finally, arching up, and Frodo felt his hand covered by wet heat as Sam groaned and gasped his name.

Frodo watched his friend's face as he surrendered to passion, thinking he'd never seen anyone as handsome. Not conventionally, perhaps, but Sam's fierce loyalty to him and his evident love made up for what nature hadn't given him, and Frodo knew he loved Sam too.

Panting, Sam tried to catch his breath and gather his wits. "That was..." he trailed off, looking at Frodo in the eye for the first time. "Frodo? You haven't..." He rolled over, bringing a hand up to touch the smaller hobbit's face. "Will you let me touch you now? It's all I've ever dreamed of..."

The adoration on Sam's face made Frodo pause, but he nodded, lying back and putting his arms above his head. "I'm all yours, Sam. Touch me."

Sam nodded reverently, and pulled back the covers. Frodo shivered slightly, and Sam explained, "Just for a moment. I want to look at you... so beautiful..." His eyes traveled over Frodo's slim body, down for a second at his straining erection, then back up. "I must be dreaming."

"You're not dreaming, Sam. Touch me, please? I want you to..." Frodo begged, the other hobbit's eyes on him raising his desire even more.

"I've never wanted anything more," breathed Sam, and he ran his hand tentatively down Frodo's chest.

Frodo arched up as Sam's hand neared his aching arousal. He moaned softly as the hand wrapped around him. "Yes..." he hissed. "So good..."

Sam had propped himself up on one elbow as he stroked Frodo, watching his face, eyes occasionally flicking down over his body. "Is this all right?" he asked after a few moments.

"Yes, Sam, it's so good, you're so good..." moaned Frodo, lost in the sensation of his best friend stroking his length. Perfect pressure, perfect friction, and he knew he wouldn't be able to hold back long. "Faster..."

Sam complied, stroking faster a bit roughly, and Frodo's mouth dropped open. How could it feel so good, so much hotter, when it was someone else's hand? "Please," he gasped, not even sure what he was asking for, straining for release. Just a bit more...

"Love you, Frodo," Sam said, almost too quietly to hear. "Beautiful."

Sam's voice pushed him over the edge at last, and Frodo cried out, climax taking him, making his mind shut down for a brief moment with the intensity of it all. It seemed to go on forever, waves of ecstasy washing over him, and he was helpless in their wake.

Some time later, he realised he was clinging to Sam's arm. He raised his head to look in the other hobbit's eyes, hoping that he wouldn't see regret. Their relationship had to change after this; was it a mistake?

But shining in Sam's eyes was only the love and devotion that had always been there. And Frodo knew that things hadn't changed, just gotten better. They fell asleep, entwined, and warm at last.

The End