Originally written in 2009 for the Timestamp Meme. My requester asked for a sequel to The Hay Wain.
Sam is asleep, sun-browned limbs twisted round by the sheets.
Frodo is still astonished. When they'd set out yesterday morning, stealing a kiss had been the height of his ambition. Now Sam sleeps in his bed, and has the night through.
During the long walk home through slanted autumn light, a question had taken shape in Frodo’s mind, outlined in doubt, coloured by fear: Oh Sam, is love, can love be, enough?
'Will you come in?' he’d asked almost shyly when they reached the top of the lane.
'Aye.' Sam's voice was steadfast, his gaze serene.
But there will be consequences. They both know it.
Frodo studies Sam's face, lax and peaceful in sleep. What alchemy has transmuted its dear familiar lines into pulse-pounding beauty? He leans in, a bee to sweetest nectar, and is stung deep inside as his buttocks shift. Pain and love, love and pain; for Frodo, one cannot exist without the other.
But he smiles as he glimpses some straw in Sam's curls and gently disentangles it. This he will keep as a talisman against doubt, fear, and fathers, he decides.
Sam is watching him, sleepy gold-dappled eyes warm with love.
It is enough.