Summary: The elves recognize that common sense does not necessarily apply to matters of the heart. Frodo learns this can sometimes be a mixed blessing.
Categories: FPS, FPS > Frodo/Sam, FPS > Sam/Frodo Characters: Frodo, Sam
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Word count: 3545 Read: 1695
Published: June 15, 2009 Updated: June 15, 2009
In response to the Frodo_slash Group challenge for Middle-earth Valentine's Day fic. "Mety√ę mera" means "to put an end to wishing" in Quenya (I think, I hope). Many, many thanks and hobbit hugs to LeLe, World's Best Beta.
1. Chapter 1 by Nienna Calaquendi
Chapter 1 by Nienna Calaquendi
"Excuse me--Lord Elrond?"
The master of Rivendell looked up, initially peeved at the knock on his study door. Just because he had left it standing open was no invitation for anyone to interrupt his brooding. However, upon seeing young Frodo Baggins standing there, looking quite hesitant and generally irresistible, Elrond's stern face broke into a rare smile.
"Frodo, come in," he said graciously, crossing the room to usher the hobbit inside. "How pleasant to see you."
"Thank you," Frodo replied, feeling bashful and somewhat intimidated in the ancient elf's presence. "I'm sorry to disturb you, but do you have a moment?"
Elrond waved Frodo to a deep, comfortable chair before the fire and sat down across from him. "It's no disturbance, really. I'm always pleased to have a chance to speak with you."
Frodo's pale cheeks colored as he perched on the edge of his seat, feet dangling. "I just wondered if you could answer a question for me. I'm a little puzzled about something."
Elrond's brow wrinkled in concern. "And what would that be?" He couldn't help noticing how the hobbit's bewitching eyes seemed even bluer than usual, framed by the modest blush.
"I've been hearing your people discuss an upcoming holiday that I do not recognize. MetyŽ mera, they call it. I believe I understand the words, but I do not see the connection."
The elf lord smiled indulgently, flattered that the lovely young hobbit had come to him for advice on this particular subject. "And your translation?"
"It means 'to put an end to wishing,' does it not? But it seems they are talking about a particular day...?" Frodo caught his full lower lip between his teeth uncertainly.
Elrond's gaze lingered on Frodo's lips a moment too long before he caught himself staring and answered. "Your interpretation is correct, and it is indeed a particular day, the object of an ancient custom. Among my people it is considered unhealthy to repress one's... desires, shall we say. So metyŽ mera is a day dedicated to expressing those things that might otherwise remain unspoken, and to act on one's innermost wishes, whatever they may be."
All the risquť talk Frodo had overheard at every turn for the past few days was starting to make sense. Cautiously he ventured, "Whatever they may be?"
The elf lord nodded, studying the hobbit's innocent-looking features and wondering exactly how innocent Frodo actually was. "There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to matters of the heart, and nothing forbidden between willing partners. Oftentimes the heart knows what the mind does not yet realize. One has only to listen."
Frodo sat silent for a moment as he absorbed this new perspective. "Well then, there are customs associated with metyŽ mera, too, are there not? What of those?" Though he knew his face was reddening, Frodo forced himself to look the elf in the eyes.
"There are many ways of letting someone know that they are thought of in a special way," Elrond replied, smiling at Frodo with what the hobbit considered a strange gleam in his eyes. "Intimate dinners for two, the exchanging of sentimental gifts, love letters, long walks in the moonlight... Of course, the direct approach would be to speak of it openly with the desired one, and then to act on those newly expressed desires."
"Oh." Frodo couldn't think of anything more significant to say as his thoughts flew in the most distracting directions. As Elrond's smile grew wider and his gaze more intense, Frodo felt a sudden, nervous urge to end the conversation now. But he had one more quick question.
"When is it?"
"Two days hence, although the... celebrating has already begun. Why don't you let me get you a glass of wine, Frodo? I'll have dinner sent up for the two of us and we could discuss it further if you like." Elrond leaned forward in anticipation.
Frodo rose abruptly. "I'm sorry... that is, I... Sam is waiting for me." With a hasty bow he scurried from the room.
Frodo mulled over the conversation as he walked the winding paths of the elaborate flower gardens. Elvish customs were certainly different than those he was used to; hobbits had no equivalent holiday nor, he thought wryly, much need for one. Where hobbits took pride in their down-to-earth common sense, the elves seemed to recognize that common sense did not necessarily apply to emotions and desires. The latter could be a mixed blessing, Frodo thought, remembering with dismay how Elrond had leered at him.
In Frodo's opinion--and especially considering what he had heard about how the occasion was usually celebrated--metyŽ mera was no more than a convenient excuse for a seduction. He smiled to himself, thinking of someone he would very much like to seduce, with or without an excuse. He doubted Sam would have picked up much about the holiday, but he toyed with the idea of using metyŽ mera for justification. In the time that they had been at Rivendell, Frodo had come to the conclusion that he was falling head over heels in love, not to mention lust, with Sam--but how on earth to go about expressing something like that to his best friend?
Frodo wandered back toward the main house, bound for his chambers, so lost in thought that he didn't hear the deep voice that hailed him. He jumped when a large hand descended upon his shoulder.
"Frodo, are you all right?" Aragorn asked. "You walked right past without even seeing me."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I suppose I was a bit distracted."
Aragorn fell into step with him, having to slow his stride considerably. "May I walk with you?"
"Of course." Frodo didn't mind the company; in fact, he enjoyed Aragorn's friendship--the more so since they had been at Rivendell and Aragorn had cleaned himself up a bit.
"I've been meaning to ask you, Frodo... that is, um, I wondered... would you care to share a bottle of wine with me tonight after mealtime?"
"Will you not be spending time with Lady Arwen?" Frodo inquired, surprised by the invitation. It occurred to him that Aragorn was gazing at him even more intently than usual.
"Not necessarily; we allow each other time apart as we need it. We have a very tolerant relationship," he replied with a low chuckle.
Frodo pondered the various nuances of the ranger's words and concluded that accepting such an offer anytime soon would be a bad idea, considering all Frodo had just learned about the upcoming holiday... and considering that Aragorn had been raised among the elves himself... and especially considering the amorous look in Aragorn's eyes.
"Um, I already have plans for tonight," Frodo fibbed in his most polite voice. "But thank you very much for asking. Some other time, perhaps?"
He hurriedly excused himself and darted for the entrance to the main living quarters, leaving the ranger standing outside. As the door closed behind him, Frodo thought he heard a softly muttered, "Damn."
The dinner hour passed slowly for Frodo that evening, despite the fine food and Sam close by his side, for his thoughts were in a whirl. Both Aragorn and Lord Elrond had unexpectedly indicated a more than friendly interest in Frodo's company. This metyŽ mera business seemed to be getting out of hand--and he still had no idea how to go about speaking to Sam. And even if Frodo did, well, what might Sam think of his master's inappropriate advances? What if he was disgusted by the idea? Perhaps Frodo had misread Sam's constant hovering attention and the way his hazel eyes followed Frodo's every move. Perhaps... Frodo sighed, wondering if he should forget the whole thing.
Just then he glanced across the table to see Aragorn whispering something in Arwen's ear that made her look up and direct a warm smile right at Frodo--as did Aragorn. After a murmured word to her betrothed Arwen rose smoothly and glided over to where Frodo sat.
She leaned down to look him directly in the eyes. "Good evening, Frodo. How are you feeling tonight?"
"Much better, my lady, thank you," Frodo replied, feeling a bit cautious. A glance at Sam next to him confirmed that Arwen had Sam's undivided attention as well--in fact, Sam was watching her with that slightly starry-eyed expression he tended to get around the elves.
"I am so pleased to hear it," Arwen replied in her husky voice, gazing at Frodo through thick, dark lashes. "Aragorn and I wondered if you would reconsider joining us for a drink later on. Moonrise over the cliffs is quite lovely from our private terrace."
"Well, actually, though my shoulder is somewhat better it does still pain me a bit," Frodo fibbed hastily. "I don't feel... up to that tonight, I'm afraid."
Her brow wrinkled worriedly and she laid a soft hand on Frodo's arm. "Oh dear. I will mention it to my father; he will be concerned. Although a glass or two of wine might ease the discomfort...? Sam could join us if you like." She looked hopeful. So did Sam.
"No, Lady Arwen, I am sorry, though I thank you for the offer," Frodo said with a note of finality. "In fact, I was just about to retire for the evening. If you would excuse us...?"
Frodo retreated from the dining hall as quickly as was possible without appearing to hurry. Sam trailed behind, continually glancing back over his shoulder at Arwen. The infatuated looked in his eyes worried Frodo more than he cared to admit.
Once safely alone in his room, Frodo rushed through a quick wash-up and slipped into his nightshirt and robe. Sam would check on him one more time before turning in, as always. Frodo hoped by some miracle that he could lead their conversation in a more intimate direction than usual, perhaps getting Sam to reveal some indication of his own feelings. He had just settled himself comfortably-and alluringly, he hoped--on the bed, a mass of pillows at his back, when he heard a soft tapping at his door. His heart leapt in nervous anticipation.
"Come in," he called, willing his voice to be steady and putting on his warmest smile. The carved wooden door swung open to reveal... Lord Elrond. Frodo's smile froze as the master of Rivendell approached the bed.
"Good evening, Frodo," he said gravely. "I hope you will forgive the intrusion, but Arwen tells me your shoulder is troubling you."
Caught speechless with surprise, Frodo finally managed, "It's nothing, really. It's much better than it was."
The elf lord perched on the edge of the mattress, frowning slightly. "I must insist you let me check the wound. I've brought some salve that will help the pain."
Frodo sighed. Though Elrond had tended him many times before, Frodo felt markedly vulnerable considering the elf's earlier advances. However, the wisest course of action might be to get the inspection over with as quickly as possible. Before Sam arrived.
Frodo reached for his buttons, but a large, cool hand came to rest over his, stilling the motion. "Allow me," Elrond said softly, beginning to undo the tiny silver clasps slowly one by one and skimming his fingers lightly over newly bared skin. Frodo's heart pounded faster, not due to excitement but rather from resisting the urge to bolt.
Elrond raised an elegant eyebrow. "Is something the matter?"
"No, not at all," Frodo fibbed.
Elrond slipped the silky nightshirt off Frodo's shoulders and leaned close to inspect the puckered knife wound. He pulled a small glass jar from the folds of his robes and was just about to open it when a soft knock on the door was heard.
"Yes, come in," Frodo called out.
Sam poked his head inside, immediately freezing at the unexpected sight. Frodo reclined against a mound of pillows with his nightshirt pushed off his shoulders, his chest exposed. Elrond sat close to Frodo--too close, to Sam's way of thinking--and was leaning over him.
He lowered his eyes diffidently and mumbled, "Didn't mean to interrupt, sir. Just checkin' to see if you needed anything." He turned to leave.
"Sam, won't you stay?" Frodo requested. "Lord Elrond stopped by to tend to my shoulder."
Sam seemed uneasy, his hazel eyes downcast. "Um... I'd rather not, Mr. Frodo. Good night." He closed the door softly behind him.
Frodo leaned his head against the ornately carved headboard and closed his eyes. He regretted that the elf lord's presence had made Sam uncomfortable and resolved to go to him as soon as Elrond had finished.
After warming the salve between his hands, Elrond began spreading it gently over the knife wound and massaging the surrounding muscle. Frodo relaxed under his touch; the ministrations did make the injured area feel much better. He was starting to doze when the elf's fingers drifted lower and stroked Frodo's nipple. With a start, Frodo's eyes flew open to find Elrond's face hovering quite near his, and he wriggled away as much as he could.
"Uh, if you'll excuse me now, my lord, my shoulder is feeling much better and I would like to sleep." His voice squeaked despite his best efforts.
Elrond's grey eyes fixed intensely on Frodo's. For a moment Frodo feared that the elf lord might try to kiss him but, thankfully, he withdrew, seeming somewhat insulted. With a curt nod Elrond swept from the room, robes swirling around him.
Frodo climbed off the bed with a sigh, resolving to avoid Elrond altogether until the so-called holiday had passed. He buttoned his nightshirt and pulled his robe tighter around him before slipping into the deserted hallway and knocking lightly on Sam's door. No answer. A more forceful knock drew the same response. He gathered his nerve and turned the knob, peeking inside. Sam lay curled asleep, still dressed, atop his bedcovers. With a little wistful smile, Frodo pulled the door closed and returned to his empty room.
The next morning, Frodo puzzled over how to proceed as he washed and dressed. The unwanted attention being directed toward him was not only disturbing, but also served to distract him from his own romantic aspirations. He was becoming ever more certain of his own feelings toward Sam, heady desire and a deep, abiding affection compelling him to do... something. But what? And how?
After grabbing a piece of fruit from the bowl on his desk, Frodo headed for the library. Somewhere within the almost endless rows of ancient tomes he hoped to find practical advice, perhaps some clever elvish suggestions for successful metyŽ mera "celebrations." He had so little experience at romance that he almost despaired of ever letting Sam know how he felt.
Frodo gathered a stack of promising texts and retreated to a large window-seat at the rear of the immense hall. He was scanning their contents systematically when he heard soft, measured footsteps approaching. A quick fear seized him: would Elrond look for him here? Frodo felt anxious at the prospects of being cornered once more by the enamored elf.
It was not Elrond but Aragorn who appeared around the corner of the tall bookcases. His ruggedly handsome face broke into a smile when he saw Frodo.
"There you are, Master Baggins!" he exclaimed. "Not even Sam could tell me where you had disappeared to."
"I wasn't aware I had disappeared," Frodo replied, feeling annoyed by the interruption and more than a little guarded in the ranger's presence. "Were you looking for me?"
"As a matter of fact, I was," Aragorn said in a confiding tone. "May I?" he indicated the seat. Frodo's disinterested shrug didn't appear to deter him in the least as he sat. "I have something for you. A little gift." He pulled a small, battered leather-bound volume from his pocket.
Though books had long been among Frodo's greatest weaknesses, he was determined to maintain his indifference in light of Aragorn's possible ulterior motives. He met the ranger's eyes reluctantly and extended his hand.
"Poetry?" Frodo asked in a neutral voice, flipping briefly through the parchment-like pages before handing the book back to Aragorn.
"Indeed, and some rare and special poetry. Allow me." He looked quite pleased with himself as he flipped to a well-worn section near the back and began reading in a low, melodious voice.
Frodo noted that Aragorn's elvish was perfect, as expected, before he started paying attention to the words. Rare poetry, the man had said--but it was a love poem! Beyond that, a very suggestive one; the longer Aragorn read, the more erotic it became--and the more uncomfortable Frodo became. He dared a glance at the ranger and their eyes met. Frodo felt his face turning pink and slid off the seat, intending to flee.
In a quick, smooth motion, Aragorn caught him by the arms and knelt to face him. "Oh, Frodo, please don't be embarrassed. Don't go."
Feeling trapped and a little panicky, Frodo snapped, "Take your hands off me!"
Aragorn did so as if he'd touched hot coals, saying with a touch of desperation, "It's just that I've wanted so badly to tell you, Frodo..."
"Don't tell me. Don't even say it. I've had as much of this metyŽ mera nonsense as I can stand!" he said sharply, stalking away and leaving the surprised ranger staring after him.
The walk from the library to his chambers did nothing to improve Frodo's mood. Aragorn--and Elrond, too, for that matter--had gone entirely too far. Frodo had given neither one the slightest encouragement, yet it hadn't deterred them, and the one whose attentions he actually wanted remained completely oblivious. If one more person approached him about metyŽ mera, he swore he wouldn't be responsible for his actions! He slammed the heavy door to his room as hard as he could and gave it a swift kick for good measure.
He was crumpled on the floor tending to his injured toes a moment later when an urgent knock sounded.
"Yes?" he bit out through gritted teeth.
"Mr. Frodo, are you all right?" Sam rushed in, the worried look on his face deepening as he saw his master obviously in pain. "What is it?"
As Sam knelt before him, the concern in his deep hazel eyes suddenly made Frodo feel very foolish.
"Here, let me look at that," Sam fussed over the hurt foot, extending it despite Frodo's initial resistance and checking it over quickly. "Kicked the door, did you?" Though his face remained serious, there was the slightest touch of dry humor in his voice.
Ruefully Frodo admitted having done just that. He found that sitting on the floor with his foot in Sam's lap seemed to lift his black mood almost instantly. Even the stinging in his toes was more tolerable.
"Well, I'm sure you had a very good reason, sir." Sam looked up, eyes crinkling with repressed laughter, and began to massage the sore toes gently.
Frodo had to chuckle. "I thought so at the time. Now, however, it seems otherwise." He flexed his foot gingerly and moved as if to get up. Sam stopped him, pulling the injured foot back onto his lap, and the other one with it.
"Now, Mr. Frodo, I wasn't done. Just you sit still for a minute and let me give you a nice foot rub." He resumed his massaging, tending to the hurt area but gently working over both feet.
"That feels wonderful, Sam, but really..."
"Seems to me like you could use a little special attention. Let me take care of you," he replied, raising his eyes to meet his master's. Sam's massage had slowed and softened, his touch becoming more like a caress.
Frodo had had too many strange encounters recently to assume he knew what anything really meant. The yearning look on Sam's face encouraged him, but he couldn't quite let himself believe... "Sam, what's gotten into you?"
Sam took a deep breath and looked him squarely in the eyes. "Well, Mr. Frodo, it's like this. You might've heard the folks round here talkin', sir, 'cause I sure have. They have this holiday comin' up that's all about doin' the things you wouldn't have the nerve to do any other time. And, well... this is one of those things, if you follow."
Frodo found his jaw hanging open in amazement and quickly closed it. "You know about metyŽ mera?"
"Aye, it's been all the talk the last few days. Nigh impossible to miss, what with the woods bein' full of elves humpin' like bunnies and all."
"Elves humping like bunnies?" Frodo burst out in startled laughter.
Sam chuckled, giving Frodo a sly, sidelong look. "I was startin' to worry that maybe you wouldn't be safe among 'em, seein' how most of 'em look at you. Put ideas in my head, they did."
"Oh? What kind of ideas?" Frodo's heart pounded faster, anticipating hearing those ideas and sharing some of his own as well.
"Well, sir, I don't know if I can tell you, but I could show you--if you'll let me."
Sam found himself suddenly being pushed backward onto the carpet by an impulsive bundle of enthusiastic hobbit. With a grin, Frodo asked, "Where would you like to start?"
published 04 Feb 2003
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