Return Across the Sundering Sea by Lbilover

Originally written for Elijah's 30th Birthday Celebration for the prompt 'Mr. Frodo'. Okay, so I have a total Sean and Elijah roleplaying Sam and Frodo kink. So sue me! :D


"Lij, you almost done in there?"

Not that Sean needed the bathroom, but it was unusual for his oh-so-not-vain partner to linger over his nighttime ablutions, and he'd lingered long enough to wrest Sean's attention from the rather promising script he was reading.

"Be out in a minute," Elijah called.

It occurred to Sean that Elijah might be planning something special. Come to think of it, he had been acting a little secretive... A pleasant sense of anticipation hummed through Sean's veins. He set aside the script, folded his hands across his stomach and waited to see what developed. Elijah, when the mood took him, could be very creative.

A few minutes later, the bathroom light went out and a familiar figure stood silhouetted in the doorway. Sean stared at it in bemused wonder, at riotous dark curls, delicate pointed ears, brown velvet clothing and large, hair-covered bare feet.

It was Frodo Baggins.

"Elijah, what's going on?" By mutual agreement, Frodo and Sam had never entered their bedroom.

But not by so much as the flicker of an eyelid did Elijah betray that he'd heard Sean's question. "Sam, my dear Sam," he said, advancing into the room. "It's been so long."

The soft, cultured voice of the Master of Bag End, pitch perfect if deeper than it once had been, flowed over Sean with the lush richness of melted Shire butter.

All right... If that's how Elijah wanted to play it, Sean was game; he'd always enjoyed improvisation. "Mr. Frodo, you've come back. I thought I'd never see you again."

The laborious, even torturous, hours Sean had spent perfecting a west country burr paid off in the ease with which he found Sam's proper diction and tone, became the hobbit who'd followed Frodo to hell and back again.

"I've been called back from the West, Sam, for a little while. I had to see you while I'm here." Frodo came and perched on the edge of the bed, drawing one knee up to rest on the comforter.

"I'm right glad of it, Frodo, for I've missed you and no mistake." Oddly, until that moment Sean hadn't realized how true it was. He had missed Frodo, and everything Frodo symbolized to him and to Sam.

"As I've missed you, Sam," replied Frodo. "The years have been long, especially since Bilbo died."

"He died?" Actual tears stung Sean's eyes. It was exhilarating, if a little frightening, how quickly he was able to re-inhabit Sam's once achingly familiar skin, to submerge his real identity, to react as Samwise, not to act as him.

"Yes," Frodo said quietly. "He died two years ago. But it was his time and his passing was peaceful. Don't be too sad." Yet grief shadowed the unforgettable blue eyes that had haunted Sam's dreams; Frodo wasn't taking his own advice. He bent his head and picked with a nail-bitten finger at a loose thread in the comforter's stitching. "You know, Bilbo always used to say that there was no company quite like that of another hobbit. He was right."

With three stark words Frodo painted a portrait of his lonely life that wrung Sam's heart - and he was Sam now, albeit a slightly more modern looking, ten year older version.

"Your Sam's here now," he said softly. "You're not alone."

Frodo looked up; the light from the lamp on the bedside table caught at the angles and hollows of his face. It was less full than it had been when he was eighteen, for the passage of time had inevitably chiseled away the last traces of youthful softness. But he was no less the beautiful for all that.

"I know," he said. "Only I fear our time together will be all too brief."

"Then let us make the most of it."

Steadily, Sam held out his hand; Frodo set his in it. As he did, images flashed through Sam's mind of other times their hands had clasped: in the bitter cold of the Anduin river, in the blasted ruin that was Mordor, above the seething Crack of Doom... 'Don't you let go. Reach!' he'd exhorted Frodo, seeing resignation and death in his eyes. And Frodo had not let go - for Sam. They had been a lifeline for each other, and even the sundering seas had failed to sever that bond.

He gave a gentle tug; Frodo yielded at once. He lay back full length on the bed, and Sam bent over him.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was to watch you leave?" he said, framing Frodo's face between his palms and gazing intently into eyes he'd never thought to look into again.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was to leave you?" Frodo turned the question back on him. "I never stopped thinking of you, Sam, not ever."

"Nor I of you."

A tiny pulse beat rapidly at the base of Frodo's throat, where once the weight of the Ring had caused the chain around his neck to rub the skin red-raw. It was pale, unmarked, flawless once more. Sam stooped his head and set his lips to the spot, felt the pulse leap erratically beneath skin soft and warm as the velvet Frodo wore. He let his lips linger there, savoring the faint salt taste, then he brushed away the clustered curls from Frodo's temple, tucked them behind a pointed ear, and kissed the sensitive place just behind his earlobe.

"Sam," Frodo gasped. His hands grabbed Sam's shirt, fingers twisting into the white cotton, gripping it as if for dear life. "Sam."

Sam raised his head. Time hung suspended as they stared into each other's eyes, as it once had in a bedchamber in Minas Tirith. Now as then, everything around them melted away into insignificance, so that they might have been the only two people existing in the world. Now as then, they shared a silent communion that was almost sacred, for no one but the two of them could understand all that they had suffered and shared together. Now as then, that communion found expression not in words but in lingering looks and slow-blossoming smiles as the wonder of their unexpected reunion filled them with radiant happiness, and they knew they had survived to live and love another day.

Next time Sam bent his head, it was to capture Frodo's mouth in a soul-stirring kiss. It soon grew into something deeper and hotter and hungrier. Sam fumbled at the buttons of Frodo's vest and shirt, impatient to see beauties that had been denied to him for far too long while Frodo pulled with equal impatience at Sam's clothes. Naked at last, they wasted no time but with eager hands and mouths caressed and kissed and discovered anew how to pleasure one another. Soon they began to move, seeking and quickly finding the old familiar rhythm, glorying in the absolute rightness of their union.

Time fractured and splintered; the lines of past and present blurred. When the blinding ecstasy of release simultaneously overcame them, they might have been in Rivendell, celebrating Frodo's recovery from his stab wound; they might have been in Lothlórien, finding solace from their grief at Gandalf's passing; they might have been in Ithilien, breathing the fragrant herbs, so heady in their very homeliness; they might have been in Minas Tirith, marveling at their survival while desperately trying to believe that they could take up the mantles of their old lives as if nothing had changed...

They lay entwined in the aftermath, panting, hearts racing, awareness returning. Sam framed Frodo's face between his hands a second time and said hoarsely, almost angrily, "I let you leave me once, fool that I was, but I'll not let you leave me again, Frodo. When you return to the west, I'm going with you."

"I don't think I could have borne it if you didn't," Frodo said. "Oh Sam, why do you think I found an excuse to see you again? I would have begged you to return with me."

"There's no call for begging nor ever has been." Sam gentled his voice. "I love you, Frodo Baggins."

"As I love you, my dear Sam."

They softly kissed, and as if that kiss were a magic spell that released him from thrall, Sam shimmered and vanished... and he became Sean once more.

Sean was stunned, shaken to his very core by what had just happened. Every word, every gesture had come from outside himself as if Sam had truly inhabited him, heart and soul, and he was no more than the vessel to help a lonely, yearning hobbit reunite with his beloved. The body beneath his was more familiar to him than his own, and he had mapped every inch of it, over and over, in their lovemaking over the years; but it truly had seemed as if he were rediscovering it after a separation of many years. He'd never experienced anything like it before.

"Elijah?" He spoke the word tentatively.

"Yeah, it's me. But fuck... for a minute there I wasn't sure. Sean, what the fuck happened to us?"

"Isn't that supposed to be my question? You're the one who started it, remember?"

"I know, but sex wasn't part of the plan. Neither was all that stuff about Bilbo dying. I swear, Sean, it was as if Frodo just... took over and I was channeling him." He shook his head. "Weird shit, huh?" But there was a sort of wonder in his eyes that mirrored Sean's.

"That'll teach you to go dressing up like a hobbit, Lij." Sean tweaked an errant curl from Elijah's wig. "And why did you dress up like a hobbit anyway?"

"Because we're going back to New Zealand soon," Elijah said soberly. "I'm not eighteen anymore, Sean. I'm thirty years old and okay, I may look young for my age, but I sure as fuck don't look eighteen. I've been wondering if I can pull it off or if I'll look ridiculous and disappoint everyone."

"Oh Elijah. Why on earth didn't you tell me? I had no idea you were worried."

"Because if I'd told you, you'd have reassured me, but that wouldn't have been good enough. I needed to know, really know, that I could still be the Frodo to your Sam, that you could look at me and see him the way you used to. So I thought, the fuck, why wait for New Zealand? Why not put it to the test now, find out the worst." He touched the deeply grooved lines beside Sean's left eye. "You have the most honest eyes of anyone I've ever known, Sean. I knew I'd see the truth in them."

"And did you?"

"I saw my Samwise. He's the only truth I needed."

"You'll always be Frodo to Sam and to me, whether you're eighteen or eighty. You'll be brilliant, Elijah, and no one will be disappointed." Sean huffed a laugh. "I could have told you that, but I can't say I'm unhappy you put it to the test."

"Me either." He stretched with the languid sensuousness of a cat and rubbed at the creamy fluid spattered on his soft belly. Then he suddenly giggled.

"What's so funny?"

"Look at your ass."

"My ass?" Sean craned his neck and guffawed. One of Elijah's prosthetic hobbit feet was stuck to his right cheek.

Elijah plucked it free. "My sweaty feet strike again."

"Samwise and I still love you, sweaty feet and all, Mr. Frodo," joked Sean.

It was Frodo as much as Elijah who replied, in all seriousness and with his heart in his eyes, "I know."