Written for the Ship Meme prompts 'Crossover' and 'Humor'. A crossover, of course, with P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster. I always wanted to write one of those!
'Begging your pardon, sir, but surely you can't be meaning to wear that weskit into town,' said Gamgee, shimmering into my bedroom.
Sticklebacks. I'd been hoping to leg it from the smial before Gamgee got a gander at my new waistcoat. I had a feeling he'd cut up stiff about it, although it was in the latest kick of fashion: chartreuse green satin with horizontal lavender stripes and cerise velvet piping along the edges. M'cousin Merry has one exactly like it. Downy chap, m'cousin. Always knows what's what, what?
'Whyever not? Everyone is wearing them this season,' I said airily, straightening my shirt cuffs and admiring the reflecksh in the looking glass. I could see Gamgee's face behind me. It was generally one of life's pleasanter sights, I'd discovered. A sort of... whatsit. You know, a thing that makes one feel like capering about singing tra-la-la-la-la-la. A pick-me-up: that's it. But at that moment it was about as cheery as a Dwarves' dirge.
'Is that right, sir? Then, sir, I reckon everyone is looking a proper fool, sir,' Gamgee responded repressively.
I knew I was up against it when he started slinging around the 'sirs' as if he'd purchased them from the bargain bin at Belladonna's Mathom Emporium. It cut me to the quick. Why only last night, in that very bed behind us, he'd called me 'Frodo' and 'love'.
'You cut me to the quick, Samwise,' I said, turning a reproachful look on him. 'Why only last night, in that very bed behind us, you called me...'
'Sir, remember our agreement, sir,' Gamgee cut me off, his cheeks turning, as the poet said, red as something or other.
No funny business, not even any mention of funny business, during working hours: that was our agreement. But Gamgee had sirred me one 'sir' too many.
'Dash it all, Samwise, I jolly well won't remember it,' I said hotly. 'Our bally agreement be damned.'
We Bagginses don't go all 'Master of the Smial' often, but when we do, a fellow (or in this case a Gamgee) had dashed well better watch his whateveryoucallthem - As and Bs? Ws and Zs? Fs and Ss? Bullroarer Took had nothing on Frodo Baggins right then, I can tell you. So could Gamgee. Not that he would, of course. Close as my Aunt Lobelia's umbrella, and loyal? Those fusty old Elves m'uncle Bilbo raves about could learn a thing or two from Gamgee about loyalty (not to mention about mixing the perfect remedy when a fellow wakes up wishing he were dead after having had a few too many at the Dragon the night before).
But to get back to my story... The Code of the Bagginses don't allow me to talk about what happened next. But it was, as the poet wrote, something or other, all right. Gamgee stuck the 'sirs' back in the bargain bin and bought out the supply of 'Frodos' and 'loves', strewing them round the place like rose petals.
Later, Gamgee drew me a second bath and then shimmered off to the kitchen to work his magic with the frying pan. He's a veritable wizard with a buttered mushroom and an absolute genius with coddled eggs and fried potatoes.
I sponged off the old frame, dried it and toddled back to my bedroom to dress. That's when I discovered my new waistcoat had gone missing. Granted, things had got rather flung about after I pounced on Gamgee like the proverbial whatsis, but even a Baggins in a masterful mood can only fling waistcoats so far. I peered here and I poked there, but the dratted waistcoat was nowhere to be found.
A dark suspicion entered my mind. Gamgee. He'd got out of bed first, while I was still limp and gasping like a flounder. Had he seized the opportunity to make off with my new waistcoat? In the general way I'm perfectly content to let Gamgee manage matters, as he's a dashed sight better at it than I am. But not this time. A Baggins has his limits. I pulled on my trousers and shirt and marched down to the kitchen to confront him with his traitorous behaviour.
'Samwise,' I said, drawing myself stiffly up, like a troll at sunrise. 'My new waistcoat has gone missing. You wouldn't happen to know anything about the matter, would you?' My voice positively dripped with whatsit. You know, that emotion when you want to let someone know that you bally well know what they did but without coming right out and saying it? Sarcasm, that's it. My voice positively dripped with sarcasm.
'I'm afraid not, sir,' replied Gamgee, looking as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, drat him. 'But I wouldn't fret about it. No doubt it'll turn up sooner or later.' He gave the frying pan a little shake. My nose twitched like a hound at the 'view halloo'. Almost I started baying. 'Now, you sit down and eat these buttered mushrooms, sir, and I'll nip along to the bedroom and lay out your blue and silver weskit. You do look a treat in that, Mr. Frodo, if I may make so bold.'
Meekly I sat down at the table and mentally consigned my new waistcoat to the rubbish bin (if it weren't there already, that is). Somehow the lustre had gone off the whatsit, the shine off the thingumabib. To put it another way, I'd never be so foolish as to risk losing Gamgee over a bally waistcoat. I mean, dash it all, would you? I tell you what, you wouldn't, not once you'd sunk your teeth into Gamgee's buttered mushrooms.
I took a bite of the aforementioned ambrosial concoction and heaved a sigh of perfect satisfaction. 'The blue and silver it is, Samwise,' I said.