Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Beneath it all, part 14
Pairing: Merry/Pip, Frodo/Sam
Summary: Their community begins to grow.
Date: 26 March 2002

We shut our door behind us and I knew that Pip was crying again because the sniffles had started out in the hall while we were walking back to our rooms. Our parents love us and we know that but now I wondered what it would take to make them ... stop. And I knew that Pip was wondering, too.

"What will we do if our parents say we shouldn't be together?" His voice trembled and I took him in my arms, holding him tight.

"We'll explain that we love them very much but we can't ever live apart." I took a deep breath and kissed the curls under my chin. "There are other Brandybucks and Tooks to take over the family affairs while we take the families to new lands. I think my parents will understand. They always knew that I wanted to see the world."

"Papa can be ... serious about responsibility to the family." He sighed and kissed my throat. "Mama always defers to him."

I thought about Paladin and Eglantine Took. He could be very stern and I wondered with a chill of unease if he was anything like King Thranduil. Pip's beautiful mother stayed in the shadows of her husband unlike my own mother who strolled hand in hand with my father. She wasn't cold or distant just kind of faded to my eyes.

"We really have changed during this journey, Pip. We've grown up and started making our own choices instead of accepting lives like our parents have." I hugged him close then set him a little apart so I could look into his eyes. He blinked and tried to smile for me but it was an effort. "We need to go home and make sure everything is all right before we move on with our lives. Together, right?"

"Together, Merry." He took a deep breath and smiled for real. "Always together and never apart, that's what I want for the rest of our lives."

"Yes." I kissed him hard until we had to breathe. "And we'll help Legolas and Gimli get better. Sam has the same kind of fear, I'll bet. His Gaffer isn't going to understand at all why his boy wants to leave the Shire for good. We'll have to help him so Frodo and the babies don't get hurt."

Pip nodded and pulled away to go and get a clean handkerchief. "Did you notice anything odd about Elrond's sons? They must be real good friends of Legolas because Elladan was practically in tears when Elrohir brought Gimli back. He said something about his father before his twin hushed him."

I thought back to the two Elves who seemed much more roughhewn than the rest of the family. I suppose being Orc hunters for so many years was the reason. "Maybe they're in love with people that they think Elrond might not approve of? We can ask them if they want to join us in our new lands."

He cheered up at that thought. "Yes, we won't object to anyone they bring with them. We're going to be the friendliest settlement in all of Middle-earth. I like the healer, Rheanas. He's nice and kind of cozy, the way a really good doctor should be."

We got ready for dinner, going down the hall to join Sam and Frodo in their rooms. When we got there, Frodo was in bed propped up on a couple of pillows while Sam fussed over him. His wan face told the tale and I told him that we could leave if he wasn't feeling well.

"No, please stay." He shivered a little. "I seem to be connected to Legolas somehow since we drank that cordial. He feels quite dreadful and it seems to be spilling over to me." His blue eyes were red rimmed and his voice got caught up in a hiccup. "I'm worried that Sam's father will be upset like Legolas' father is. I don't want him to be hurt by loving me."

"Nonsense, Frodo." Sam brought over a tray with some broth and bread on it, setting it carefully in his lover's lap. "The Gaffer might bluster a bit and ask a few questions like but he'll not be throwing a perfectly good son away just because he thinks I've gone a bit queer in the head."

I snorted in sudden laughter and Pip started to giggle at his calm words. Frodo looked a little taken aback but soon he was smiling, too. He caught Sam's hand and raised it to his lips, brushing a soft kiss over the work-worn knuckles.

"I am so very selfish, Sam. I will never let you go even if it would be better for you if I should." He said simply and smiled tenderly at a suddenly blushing Sam.

"Good, I'm hungry. Are we having something more than broth?" Pip said plaintively, looking half-heartedly at the plain fare on Frodo's tray.

The table had a good assortment of other food and we picnicked in the big bed that held four Hobbits quite nicely. Frodo even managed to eat a bite or two of the leeks we'd grown so fond of. Sam spoke of taking seeds with us when we left. For the first time, we began to plan our trip back home. The wedding was over and the sooner we traveled to the Shire, the sooner we could take up residence in the Vestella Forest.

The plans began to take shape while we talked and soon, we were making lists of things we would need in our new home. Frodo's writing hand was the most legible so he began to write things down for us. Pretty soon the bed was littered with different pieces of parchment such as 'plants', 'books', 'ponies and what they need', 'building materials' that we might not find on site and dozens of other items.

We divided them up and each of us took a few to manage. There were even lists begun for Rheanas, Gandalf and the others who would be joining us. And somewhere in our planning, Frodo had decided not to come back to the Shire at all. He insisted that the books he wanted to buy from Lobelia I could get for him and it would be better all around if he wasn't even mentioned except very briefly.

Sam protested but Frodo just took his hand and laid it on his still too flat tummy. The illness the babies were causing and the long trip both to the Shire and then on to our new home might prove too much and Sam finally agreed. We'd travel faster that way, too. We might need a travel companion or two but I thought that Aragorn might have some ideas about who could go.

By the time we took our lists to our own rooms, we were both yawning ever so wide that it was all we could do to strip off our clothes and fall into bed. Curling up around each other, we kissed a sleepy goodnight and fell fast asleep.


Well, this was a fine to do, this was. I'd like to have a word or two with Legolas' father. Be he king or commoner, he shouldn't have thrown away his own son. It just made me want to cry but my poor Frodo was doing the crying for us both. For some reason, he and Legolas had been linked since the night they got pregnant and this last week had been a real misery for them both.

That still made me catch my breath that did. Frodo and I were going to have babies all by ourselves. When he was throwing up, I worried that he hadn't had enough time to heal before we'd gone and stressed his poor body all over again. Males weren't meant to have babies, I kept telling myself but there was this part of me deep inside that was glad and thought that he was the bravest Hobbit in all of Middle-earth.

He hadn't once complained or been anything but positive. It was like knowing that he was carrying new life kind of made up for his belief that he was a failure. I told him over and over that he wasn't anything of the sort but he'd still felt real melancholy until Gandalf had told us what had happened. Then he'd gotten real quiet for about a day or so. I was worried but unless he told me what he was thinking, I didn't have a clue what was going through that beautiful head of his.

But then he'd smiled at me, that real beautiful smile that made me catch my breath and told me that he was proud to be carrying my babies ... my babies. And that he wanted to build such a beautiful life with me that our children would be proud of us, too. These were just the first Sam-lings in a long line of them to come. He kind of took my breath away when he glowed like that in a sort of trance with his eyes all far away.

It really didn't seem all that odd right then that he had Elven blood in him, if you get my drift. I just held him real close and told him I loved him. He sighed all happy like and asked me if we had any of those peaches left. We were getting kind of low and I made a note to check the market to see if any more had come in. The traders were coming in all the time now instead of just once a moon.

Things were changing all over and it just didn't hardly seem possible that we'd been here over two months already. I came back to the here and now real quick when he caught his breath and rubbed his side. We'd been packing up some of the books that the King had said we could take with us.

"Frodo, let me lift those heavy ones. You rest for a bit." I pulled the big old leather bound book off the shelf and almost dropped it. The pages must have been made of gold or something because it was sure heavy. "We take many of these and we'll be needing about twenty wagons just to haul the books."

"Oh, Sam, they're not all that bad." He grinned at me and patted my arm while I settled it down all snug in the straw-lined crate. "And they'll be wonderful reading this winter when I can't get about much."

I halted all of a shiver when I suddenly pictured him all big in front with the babies. "We'll need to build real snug then. I'll make one of those slanted holders so the book can rest on it and all you'll have to do is turn the page."

He nodded and rubbed his stomach a little. I'd kind of noticed that there was a little bump where the babies were growing but nobody else would see them yet with his clothes on. I also realized that in two days I'd be leaving for the Shire and I'd miss watching him begin to swell.

"I know, Sam. Legolas has promised to sketch me every time I grow a little." Frodo consoled me. "I think we should go back to our rooms so you can memorize me with those skillful fingers of yours."

I went hot and cold all over. "I think you have the best ideas, Frodo. We can pack these old books later."

He grinned and took my hand, leading me through the crowded halls to the fourth level where we'd lived for the last two months. The Men and Elves that we met all bowed to us and I still couldn't quite get used to that. But soon we locked the door behind us and it was like that night all over again while his dozen hands undressed me so quick that I barely had time to get his clothes off, too.

Frodo was smiling and laughing when he chased me into the bed. I rolled so I could cradle him with all of me. "Oh, it's wrong for me to leave you, Frodo, my own."

"It's only for a little while, my Sam. You must go back and reassure all of the Shire that the war is over and the King really has returned." He kissed my chin and wiggled his beautiful body over mine. "But then you must hurry home to me, my dearest Sam, for I shall be very lonely without you."

Lonely wasn't the word for it. I brought his lips down to mine for one of his special kisses. I was going to be missing those a lot so I was going to store up as many as possible before we had to leave. But kissing almost always led to touching and then to moving and on to groaning and tonight was no exception.

His skin is so smooth and fine except where the nasty scars are but I always touch them real gentle and kiss them so he doesn't try to hide them anymore. I finally had to move and roll him onto his side so I could touch more of him. He trembles when I move my fingers real slow over his inner thighs up to his pretty cock. I needed to taste him tonight in the worse way so I pushed him over onto his back and eased my way down.

He hissed and squirmed around until he had my cock in his hand. Every taste of him was better than the last but he was licking me all over and it was hard to not pay attention to that wicked tongue of his. This time would be fast because I wanted to take my time with him later. I sucked real hard on his crimson crown and got that first delicious taste of him that always makes me want more.

But he was sucking hard too and pretty soon it was a race to see who'd drink first. Actually for the first time it was a tie and he was laughing and drinking me down while I had to chuckle and slurp every last drop of him. He was always sleepy after we made love lately so he napped and I got up to dress real casual so I could go down to the kitchens.

Cook Tarheel wasn't so busy tonight since there wasn't a big banquet or anything. He and I talked about what kind of spices might not upset poor Frodo's stomach. I had had to make up some abuse on our journey to explain his sensitivity and he'd been real kind about giving me some ideas about cooking for him.

"Now, Master Gamgee, I've heard that some of the Fellowship will be building a new community over by the Three Rivers?" His brown eyes gleamed into mine. "This is true?"

"Yes, Master Tarheel, we are settling there in the old Vestella Forest between the Three Rivers and the Blue Star Mountains." I wondered why he smiled so suddenly.

"Excellent, I have just the fellow to travel with you to become your cook." He beckoned to someone I couldn't see. "Jallico, I'd like you to meet Master Gamgee, one of the Ringbearers."

The Man he'd beckoned over stood slightly stooped shouldered about Legolas' height. His dark hair was streaked with silver but his green eyes were bright. He was missing a finger too but it was the right-hand little finger. I thought maybe I'd seen him before, working on a big cake for the last banquet. We shook hands and I looked at Tarheel for some kind of explanation.

"Well, it goes against the grain to send you off without a good cook who's working his way up to the Master level. Jallico here, apprenticed with me for the first ten years of his training before leaving to work in Rohan with my brother master. He came back to me with this great army that came to fight and is now in the process of disbanding." He smiled at Jallico then at me. "It is time for him to have his own kitchen on a grander scale."

"Well," I started hesitantly, "I'd be right glad to talk to the others and see if there's room for one more. I've got to say that it would be real nice to not have to cook after a long hard day of building our new homes. We're not going to be real important or anything. I think that we're going to be more a long the lines of a small town with scholars like Legolas and my Frodo, stone carvers like Gimli and gardeners like me."

"That sounds like a wonderful kind of community to me." His voice was deep like Gimli's and he had that rolling accent that I kind of thought of as Rohan's. "A small town of peace and quiet with hard workers is just the place for me. Cooking over a fire under a tarp is something that I've gotten real good at the last two years. But I'd like to help build a place that I could call home."

"I reckon you have gotten good at cooking outside." I smiled at him and he smiled back. "How are you at cooking for delicate appetites?"

"I've heard that some of the Fellowship aren't well after your long journey." He said that real diplomatically. "I think I can tempt a wayward appetite and appease a queasy stomach. I've got over two hundred recipes that are certain sure to please. And I even have the Master's permission to cook his famous dill potatoes."

My eyes lit up. "Oh my, that would bring you my vote. Some of us are heading back to the Shire to make sure everything is all right there and tell them about the new King. But we'll be leaving for the forest real soon after. Most of the party are heading out in six days so you'd need to be ready to move then."

"That will be no problem, the King has already told me that he'll gift me a horse and wagon with enough trunks to hold my spices, books and supplies." He said eagerly.

"Well then, I'll talk to Gimli and Legolas tonight and get back to you tomorrow if that's all right?"

"Thank you, Master Gamgee, I appreciate it." He shook my hand and I took our tray back up to tell Frodo all about it.

He'd awakened and was washing up when I opened our door. For once he had a good appetite and we ate heartily before deciding to go down to the baths for our evening wash. He didn't like to bathe with strangers and the others had noticed so we kind of had a couple of tubs partitioned off at the warm end of the baths. Since Frodo and Legolas couldn't steam in the really hot water because of the babies, we'd taken to soaking in one not so hot but big enough to hold four hobbits, a dwarf and an elf.

The others were already there soaking so Frodo and I washed all over before rinsing off and joining them. I told them about Jallico and Gimli approved at once. He admitted that he was a terrible cook but he did like to eat now and then. Legolas laughed at him, teasing him about his appetites. But Gimli's blush told me that it probably wasn't his stomach that Legolas was talking about.

But Legolas had news too. Elrohir and Elladan had asked permission to join us and Elrond had approved. I liked the idea of having such good hunters living with us and Frodo said he was real glad they wanted to come. He and Legolas shared a kind of special look and a little nod but I just tucked that away in the back of my mind for later mulling over.

Gimli was excited about a small party of Dwarves that had come to see the new King. One was an old friend who'd grown tired of war and wanted to work at building again. His name was Balic and he was thinking over Gimli's invitation to come and help us build our new homes. He'd been to the Blue Stars once when he was young and if he decided to come, he'd know where we could quarry some good stone.

It looked like our small town was going to grow all on its own and I was real glad of it. I had hopes that all our new fellowship would be all right with Legolas and Frodo. But not wanting to borrow trouble, I put those thoughts aside and held Frodo close to my side. My hand just naturally went to his stomach and I stroked the soft skin there, wondering when our babies might begin to move.

I'd be hurrying just as fast as I could to get back to him. I didn't want to miss a minute of watching them grow. It was going to be certain hard to be without him for a moon or so but the Shire would just have to understand that we were needed elsewhere. I watched our friends and said a silent prayer to the One that we'd all stay safe.

Kissing Frodo's cheek, I rested my head on his shoulder. And loved, especially loved.

The end for now