LIGHT IN THE SHADOWS
The first thing of which Frodo was aware was the comforting solidity of Sam's arms around him. He kept his eyes shut, allowing himself to awaken slowly, at rest in that embrace.
Sam stirred. "Frodo?" he softly queried.
"Mm." Frodo shifted and nestled his face against Sam's chest.
Sam fell silent. Frodo contented himself to linger a while longer in the warmth of Sam's arms before reluctantly allowing his eyelids to part, tilting his face to look up at Sam.
Sam brushed his fingertips along Frodo's face in feathery strokes. "I wish you could see that light," he murmured, "how it shines in you."
"I see it," Frodo answered in a hush, reaching up to touch Sam's face. "In you."
A smile trembled on Sam's lips. "Truly?"
"Truly," said Frodo, smiling gently in return.
Motionless they sat, gazing deeply into one another's eyes, fingers curled lightly against one another's cheeks. In the world it was yet gray twilight, but to Frodo and Sam it seemed that a soft golden light shone from within each other, comforting them and guiding them through the deepest shadows that Middle-earth might cast over them.
Frodo let his palm press softly against Sam's skin, cupping his face. "Thank you, Sam."
Blinking, Sam let his own hand slide up, the fingers sliding into Frodo's curling brown hair. "Did it help?"
"It did. More than I dared hope."
Again they held one another's gaze, then, gently, Sam bent enough to press his lips to Frodo's. Frodo returned the kiss with tender affection, allowing himself to linger perhaps a shade longer than customary, but if Sam noticed, he made no objection.
"You know, Sam," said Frodo, looking to the window. "We can't see the sunrise from here."
"No," agreed Sam. "That we can't."
"Then let's go, Sam. I want to see the sunrise."
Eyes glittering, Sam smiled again at him. "All right, then." He helped Frodo to his feet, then with much ado and groaning raised himself. They gathered their things, gave a last glance to the westward window, then hand in hand descended the stairs to greet the day.