Three Snippets About Sleep


ON WAKING UP

*

Morning, Bag End. Frodo's bedroom. Frodo's still in bed, though he's only visible as a lump under the quilts with a mop of dark curls poking out by the pillows. There's clothes strewn across the floor: the fine cambric shirt Frodo wore yesterday, a green waistcoat close-embroidered with fanciful flowers, a gray waistcoat whose careful stitching has been pulled nearly to the point of ripping and which newly lacks two buttons, and a tangled pile of trousers velvet and wool together. The morning sun, peeking through the half-drawn curtains, glows on the white nightshirt still lying neatly folded on a chair.

The door to the bedroom swings open, and Sam steps in. He wears only a shirt, unbuttoned and hanging loose from his shoulders. A gentle smile hovers about his eyes, and both hands are wrapped around a mug of something steaming, probably tea. He stops by the side of the bed and studies the lump. Absently, he takes a sip of the tea he carries.

Lump-Frodo stirs, then turns over onto his back, taking most of the quilts with him. The sunlight from the window lands squarely in his eyes now. Frodo sleepily winces and squinches his eyes more tightly shut for a moment, then blinks once or twice, waking slowly. His eyes at last focus on Sam. "Tea?" he says hopefully.

Sam chuckles and hands him the mug. Frodo drinks for a long moment, then lowers the half-empty mug with a satisfied sigh. "Sam, have I told you lately how much I love you?"

Sam bends down, careful of the mug, and steals a lazy, tea-flavored kiss. "And I love you," he says as he stands up again. "Breakfast ready in the kitchen, sir."

*
ON GOING TO BED

*

"Sam?"

Sam sat up straight, blinking hard. It had been a long few days since they arrived in Rivendell, but he wouldn't complain -- Frodo awake late into the night was far preferable to Frodo not waking at all. "Yes, Mr. Frodo?"

Frodo opened his mouth to say something, then closed it on a wry smile. His hand hovered out in the air, meant maybe for a pat on Sam's arm. Instead, Frodo raised his hand to brush the backs of his fingers down Sam's cheek and across his lips. "Soon, Sam-love," he said, voice soft and intimate as a kiss. "Bilbo says there's just one more thing he wants to show me, and then bed."

Sam smiled blurrily up at Frodo. "Yes, sir." It had better be only one more book, he thought as Frodo turned away again. Joy or no joy at Frodo's recovery, Sam couldn't keep his eyes open much longer.

*
AND ON ROLLING OVER AND DOZING OFF AGAIN

*

Frodo woke slowly, when he had the choice. This morning he did, although for a moment he thought better of it. He lay on hard ground, with a stone poking into one side, and only two blankets over him. One of his companions snored (probably the dwarf), while two more quietly (but not quite quietly enough) discussed what might be made for breakfast, and should they wait for the halflings. Something smelled awful, possibly the first try at breakfast. And occasionally cold water dripped on his cheek.

But Sam lay close behind him, one hand protectively around his chest, his nose buried in Frodo's curls. Frodo reached up and laced his fingers through Sam's, and went back to sleep to dream of making omelets in Bag End's kitchen.

end

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