Sweet Upon His Lips by Lbilover

Originally written for the Fic Promptly community prompt 'Earth'.

There was an inevitability to where Frodo and Sam at last made love: in the garden, but not on verdant lawn or among fragrant herbs. No, they fell, desperately grappling, onto fresh-tilled earth, heedless of the dirt besmearing their naked skin.

During their journey to Mordor such a state had been commonplace, and for Frodo it became but an outward reflection of the stain spreading on his soul from the evil burden he bore. Afterward, in the baths at Minas Tirith, he scrubbed his skin nearly raw, but privately concluded that his soul would never be cleansed of the Ring's corruption. He'd reckoned without one Samwise Gamgee, stout-hearted gardener, however. For in the clean, life-giving earth of the Shire, at the nurturing hands of the one who faithfully tended it, all stain was at last washed away and Frodo made whole once more.

Sam laughed softly when they lay spent and panting. 'Not the sort of planting I thought I'd be doing today,' he remarked. 'Not that I'm complaining, mind.'

Frodo laughed, too, from the lightness of a spirit newly awakened to joy. 'Nor I. Nor have I ever fancied learning to garden before, but I shall take up the pursuit with a vengeance now that I've had a taste.'

'Reckon you'll be a fast learner.' Sam gently brushed away with his fingertips the tiny clumps of dirt that clung to Frodo's damp cheek. 'If a dirty one.'

'No, Sam,' Frodo replied, 'not dirty but clean: cleaner than I've felt in a very long time.'

'Oh Frodo.' Sam blinked hard, on the verge of tears.

But Frodo laughed again. 'If happiness were a thing visible, my dearest Sam, you would be blinded by its brilliance.' Then he kissed his gardener, his lover, and tasted the earth sweet upon his lips.