Hope by Lbilover

How the roasted chicken scene might have gone instead, if I were writing the screenplay. :P


Sam drew a shaky breath and willed his heart to stop pounding. They'd survived the terrifying descent of the cliffs, and Mr. Frodo was safe; naught else mattered. His master was cradling in his hands the small box filled with salt that had nearly cost them both their lives. Frodo's head was bent, and his dark hair, damp with the ever-present mist, fell forward, hiding the expression in his eyes. But a wistful smile tucked in the corners of his mouth, and Sam knew that he was thinking of the Shire, of good food, friends, Bag End, and all that they had left behind.

He wanted to say something meaningful to Frodo, something reassuring, but was too oppressed by the omnipresent gloom to speak. Besides, didn't he miss those things, too, with a bone-deep ache that no words could allay?

His eyes were drawn to the delicate pointed tip of Frodo's ear, fully revealed to his sight. He felt shaken, as if a subterranean tremor had shifted the very rocks beneath his feet. He'd not have believed anything could distract him from the Quest, from the peril of their current situation and the lurking menace of Gollum.

But ah, that ear tip.

Sam could well remember the occasion when he'd first discovered just how sensitive it was to his caressing forefinger, how he could use it to draw a throaty moan from Frodo when he suckled it.

Held fast in memory's grip, Sam reached out and traced the line of Frodo's ear, up one side and down the other. Startled by the unexpected touch, Frodo raised his head. Their eyes met, and knowledge arced between them, of what they had shared in the carefree days when no shadow of the past haunted them, and the future had seemed bright and certain.


They came together in a swirl of Elven grey. As Frodo's chilled lips warmed beneath Sam's, the misty, inhospitable land around them faded, turned to a sunny garden abounding with flowers. When they parted, the illusion yet lingered, and Sam found his voice.

"We'll see it again someday, Mr. Frodo."

Frodo blinked, swallowed hard, and pressed the box of seasoning into Sam's hands. "Hold onto this, Sam,” he said. “Never lose it, for inside is stored something more precious than salt: hope."

Sam nodded and tucked the box against his breast. Hope. Aye, that he could hold onto.