Written for the Hobbit Smut Live Journal Community's "Games Hobbits Play" challenge. I was given the game of Charades, known in the Shire as "Act It Out."
R-rated Frodo/Eomer slash; other pairings, both het and slash, implied
The Rocky Road
by Laura Mason
"I don't care what Gandalf thinks, "the other hobbit's cabbages always look sweeter" is not a common proverb 'throughout Middle-Earth.'"
"Quite true, quite true," Frodo agreed, though his words were slurred so badly he might have instead been imitating the calls of the trukie-birds who lived on the edges of the Westfold.
"No Eorlinga plays pantomime in such a manner, either," Eomer continued. "Hand signals! The idea is to suggest the phrase, not to sign whole words to the others." The man tugged on Frodo's tunic to steer him down the correct corridor toward his sleeping chamber. It had to be along here somewhere.
Frodo's head was bobbing as he replied, "But of course you were playing Act It Out, as we do in the Shire, not your pantomime game." The way Frodo moved, as if his head were keeping time with his feet, also made it seem that he agreed when he was disagreeing. Perhaps Frodo thought he was shaking his head in a negative gesture. Or perhaps he was simply the most argumentative, contrary, stubborn, beautiful... Eomer shook his head, then smiled a rather evil smile. He'd let Frodo collide with the next wall or guard he veered toward, that would show him... something.
As they turned down another long, deserted hallway, Eomer smacked his own arm into the woodwork, and rubbed at it with a pouting expression.
For both the King and the former Ring-Bearer were drunk, as Frodo seldom allowed himself to beome. Somehow this night's small, private dinner and the parlor game that followed had relaxed Frodo so much that he'd overindulged, as his cousins more frequently did. Even Samwise had taken too much wine tonight. However, no one had realized it until Elrond's team acted out "courtship in the spring is healthy for the king." Faramir had guessed -- of course he had, for it was a Gondorian proverb. Gandalf was a terrible judge.
But the unfairness of calling that a "commonly-known" phrase was forgotten when Sam burst into tears. He'd immediately been comforted by Frodo, pulled into the Ring-bearer's arms and given tender kisses and caresses which made Eomer squirm in his seat. Yet that crazy gardener proceeded to blubber and babble about his Rosie until, when he wouldn't calm down, Sam was escorted to his room by King Elessar and his Queen. As honeymooners, those two were always ready to retire a bit early.
Of course, Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn had also left around that time, as did Eowyn and Faramir. Those who were lucky enough to have the one they loved close at hand, and accepting of their affection, were even now huddled together in a bed, or kissing in some dark corner of the garden. Eomer scowled at the thought. Some had one they admired, one who was desirable and brave and evidently quite available sitting right across the room from them -- yet oblivious to their existence. No, that person would hug and kiss others who apparently didn't even love them, and ignore someone who was trying to be pleasant and friendly and suggest that they could become rather close...
Well, all the rest of them were jealous and lonely. That was why they had remained so much longer drinking so much wine. Lord Elrond grew more sodden with each round; Gandalf became annoyingly perky after a certain number of healths were consumed, and began to think up even more outrageous phrases for each team to perform. Merry and Pippin drank themselves giddy and made such very pointed remarks about Gimli lusting after Legolas that Eomer thought he'd have to call the guards to keep all his guests alive.
But when Gandalf finally used a proverb of the Mark for Elrond's team, and Eomer triumphantly guessed "don't blame your horse when the road becomes rocky," everyone was suddenly weary of the game. Merry claimed they were too muddled to keep track of the clues and carted Pippin off to bed, half carrying his cousin. Eomer watched as the party finally broke up, Gandalf and Elrond stumbling away together while Gimli coughed, blustered, blushed, and swiftly followed Legolas toward the south garden, where the elf preferred to spend his nights under the clear sky and bright stars.
That had left Eomer staring at Frodo, slumped in his chair with a defiant, if confused, look on his face.
"Goodnight, Frodo," Eomer began.
"Not tired," Frodo managed. "Don't want to leave everyone."
"But everyone has left us, it would seem. Come, Ring-Bearer--"
"Hate that!" Frodo said, standing at last and stalking away -- though not in the direction of the door. Eomer followed him, and that was how he found himself still trailing after the hobbit as he drunkenly careened from wall to wall, somehow taking a tour of the Golden Hall without getting any closer to either of their rooms.
Frodo seemed to sway ahead of him, and when Eomer went to assist him, he bent too low, too quickly. It wasn't very clear in his mind, but somehow they both ended in a boneless heap on the floor, Frodo giggling but then becoming very quiet, held tightly in Eomer's arms. Eomer realized that he'd wanted to be holding Frodo like this for quite some time now, and was perfectly content to remain where they were, as they were. But the hall carpet was thin, there was no fire, and the Ring-bearer's heath was fragile. He could remember that, even drunk, just as he could remember the first time he saw those startling eyes turned on him, and felt that sweet smile blossom just for him.
Eomer managed to find his feet, keeping Frodo close to him, and led him into the first room, a parlor which Eowyn and her maids used on summer afternoons because it was well-shaded and stayed cool. Of course, it was no warmer than the hall at this time, but wood was laid ready in the fireplace, with plenty of kindling in a basket to one side. Eomer settled Frodo on a divan pulled close and stooped before the grate, smiling as he found the tinder box atop the mantle. The sparks quickly caught flame.
When he turned back to Frodo, whose face was illuminated by the glow, Eomer could only stare. The hobbit was beautiful, incredibly so, and yet there was such an air of sadness pervading him. He must have been hurt by Sam's drunken revelations.
"Frodo, are you warm enough?"
"Yes, my... Eomer." They'd had a struggle, both of them, to forsake titles and simply use each other's name, though they'd agreed to that friendly gesture during their first conversation, soon after reaching Minas Tirith with the King. Eomer now grudged each day he'd had to remain in the Mark, bound by duty and unable to spend enough time with Frodo to truly become his friend. If they'd had more time, perhaps he could sit beside Frodo and put an arm around him, instead of being so far... well, he was sitting right beside him, actually. Had Frodo moved closer? The hobbit was leaning into him, and Eomer found his arm was holding him close while his hand gently traced up and down Frodo's body, hip to shoulder.
"This is very comfy," Frodo said. "Thank you."
"You're most welcome, Frodo. I would do anything to make you hap..." Eomer stopped himself, then coughed. "I was surprised by Master Samwise this evening," he continued.
"He is very good at Act It Out," Frodo cheerfully said. "Most hobbits families play on winter evenings, for it's a very frugal game for entertaining large numbers of children. Of course, Bilbo and I had too small a household to get up a game, and we didn't often have that number of visitors. But I'm still quite good at it, if I do say so myself, for I learned to play at Brandy Hall, and, as you saw, Merry is no slouch, either. The Brandybucks are famous for their games, which can last for weeks during the holidays and get quite competitive."
Eomer shook his head, confused until he tracked the long, rambling speech back to its source.
"I didn't mean that Sam's skill impressed me -- though I certainly never would have thought to act out 'horse-stealing son of an orc' in such a fashion. I meant that his speech surprised me."
Frodo looked quizzical. Or like his nose itched.
"About Mistress Rose," Eomer prodded.
Frodo still looked -- well, confused, or about to sneeze.
"I--" Eomer felt foolish, but he plowed ahead. "I thought-- Well, actually many of us discussed-- That is, you and Sam have been so close, your relationship is very special and seems quite... loving, one might say..."
Frodo mercifully cut him off before he blundered any further. "Sam is my dearest friend, and we do love each other very much." The hobbit seemed quite sober as he said this, but the giggle which followed ruined the impression. "Hee. That sounds almost as if--"
"Indeed." One dry word, but Frodo was able to interpret quite clearly. He pulled away from Eomer and looked up into his face, smirking. The hobbit snorted, then fell back against the cushions and roared with laughter. Eomer blushed but couldn't help smiling.
"You--" Frodo gasped. "All of you talked about this?" Laughter rang out again, so sweet that Eomer laughed, too, thinking of how often they'd all wasted time pondering, watching Sam's abundant kisses to Frodo's hand and forehead, observing all the signs of their easy physical comfort. It was all perfectly reasonable after such a long journey, beset by so many hardships. "Oh, I've long thought that wizards and elves need some truly absorbing hobbies, what with living so long. But I'd no idea you Men were such gossips!"
Eomer shook his head. "Faramir and Aragorn are quite besotted, you know, and at the moment they look for love in everyone around them."
"But you have no excuse!" Frodo laughed.
"None," Eomer agreed, leaning forward and claiming those smiling lips in a long kiss.
The surprising thing was how enthusiastically Frodo joined in, kissing him back with a sweet abandon that made Eomer's blood pound. Perhaps it could be attributed to the wine they'd both drunk so abundantly. But as the embrace continued, their arms locking around each other, Eomer felt that any haze of drunkenness had been burned away, consumed by the wet heat of Frodo's lips and tongue.
Still, Eomer wasn't sober enough to attempt to leave this room and wander the halls searching for a real bed. No, they'd waste none of this precious time meant for learning each other's bodies. Truly, the sofa was more than comfortable when Frodo began pulling at Eomer's clothing with breathy little moans, his body writhing enticingly beneath Eomer.
The man stood and stripped himself as efficiently as possible, flinging his tunic in the direction opposite the fire rather enthusiastically. Then he turned to help Frodo disrobe, but found he was totally lacking the patience needed for the many tiny buttons hobbits used to fasten far too many places. No, there was no time for that, Frodo's lips were waiting, puffed and moist -- so everything the hobbit was wearing was impatiently pulled over a head or down off narrow hips, making Eomer glad that the Ring-bearer was still so thin. Each item that came off was carelessly flung after Eomer's own clothing to decorate the room.
Frodo's habitual pallor became great beauty in the glow of the firelight, and his slenderness made every motion graceful. At least, he seemed graceful until they tried to kiss, knocked noses, pulled back too suddenly and bumped heads sharply with Eomer. It was too much, and they both collapsed in giggles as they clutched at the sore spot. But they forgot they were naked on an overstuffed sofa with cushions covered in dainty, slippery fabric, and the force of their laughter dislodged them from the high, rounded upholstery. They wound up in a heap on the floor, clutching at each other, still laughing, though their mirth swiftly turned back to passion.
Eomer couldn't keep his hands still, nor keep his voice soft when Frodo's slender hands roamed over him. They devoured each other's mouths, explored each other's hardness, and soon Frodo was riding atop him, even more beautiful with his head thrown back and his face contorted with lust. Eomer's hands encircled both their arousals, stroking them together and against each other in such intense pleasure that they were both keening as if in pain.
When the explosion came, they could only clutch at each other and fall into an exhausted asleep.
A horrified female screech awoke Eomer, and made Frodo stir drowsily against his chest. They were still on the floor beside the now-cold grate, still nude -- and one of Eowyn's maids had just dashed from the room. Well, too bad, Eomer thought, wrapping his arms tighter around Frodo. What was the silly wench doing in his room anyway?
"Frodo, love." He kissed the hobbit, just to wake him, but couldn't stop with one kiss and had to explore a delicate pointed ear, rub his face in the soft, unruly curls, and enjoy the way Frodo's warm body rubbed against his own as the hobbit fought to resist awakening and remain asleep.
So when Eomer heard Eowyn's laughter, he knew he'd brought it on himself. He was used to being teased by his sister, of course. But not so poor Frodo, who'd jumped a foot at the sound of her voice, instantly awake, and was now trying vainly to cover himself, blushing a lovely rose-red.
His embarrassment brought out the demon in Eowyn, for she bowed very formally and said, "Frodo, good morning. I hope you slept well?"
"My sister," Eomer said gravely, sitting up and trying to give Frodo some much-needed cover. "Do you require this room so early in the day?"
"No, my dearest brother. I merely came to see what frightened poor Hafelda into hysterics. It must have been the great unwashed mass of you, combined with our honored guest's loveliness. I'm certain she thought the old tale of the beauty and the beast had come to life."
"How clever of you to realize that Frodo and I fell asleep while acting out that very idea! We weren't ready to leave our game of Act It Out, isn't that right, Frodo?" Despite his cleverness, Frodo wasn't terribly good at picking up a cue in such a duel. His look at Eomer combined frustration, embarrassment, and astonishment -- not very helpful at all, but still rather endearing to Eomer's eyes.
"Well, you certainly chose a strange place to play, my darlings, and evidently a very strange set of clues. But perhaps that is how the game is truly played in your Shire, Frodo?"
"Not really," the hobbit managed to stammer, still blushing furiously. He'd found his shirt, at least, and pulled it on. The long tails gave him just enough coverage for modesty. Eomer looked at him and frowned. He wanted Frodo naked again, the sooner the better.
"If you'd leave us, Eowyn, we'll vacate your sitting room much sooner. Frodo, would you do me the honor of having breakfast in my room?"
The hobbit looked up at him, and all his discomfort seemed to vanish. Instead, a bright smile broke over his face, his blushes fading until he merely looked healthy despite the dark circles always under his eyes. "I'd like that very much, Eomer."
"Good. My sister, could you arrange to have food brought to my chamber immediately?" He rose then, ignoring Eowyn's snicker since she left the room to do his bidding. "It is rather pitiful that a king may be so mocked in his own hall, isn't it?" He rummaged his tunic out of the pile of their clothing, then began to search for his leggings.
"I think it's very sweet. I've often wished I had a sister," Frodo said, donning his own trousers. "You two are great friends, aren't you?"
"I'm going to miss her very much, as will our people. Eowyn doesn't realize how important her work is, and how much we all rely upon her."
"Some day," Frodo began, pulling on his vest and refusing to meet Eomer's eyes. "Some day, my lord, you'll marry and your queen will fill her place."
"Another lady of the court may perform her duties, though it may take several others to do as much. But none of them can fill her place as my dear friend, advisor, and plague of my life." Frodo smiled at that, and Eomer crouched beside him so that he could look straight into those expressive eyes. "But I believe I've met someone who might fill all those roles, and that of my lover as well. Am I mistaken, Frodo?"
The glow of happiness on the hobbit's face was one answer, but his enthusiastic hug and kiss sealed their agreement.
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