Heed No Nightly Noises

By Ariel ([email protected])

Credits and Dedication: The concept for this fic was arrived at while having a conversation with Regina (ReginaL on ff.net) over who in canon was Frodo most attracted to. We both agreed that Goldberry was definitely the one who he responded to best and we sort of came up with the basic idea of this story together. I admit to having snatched the 'ball' on this one because my muse was beating me over the head to do so, but since Regina agreed to let me write it, I wanted to dedicate this to her. So, without further ado, I dedicate this piece to my partner in crime, Regina.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction, written solely for the love of the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and situations used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises. The author receives no money or other remuneration for presenting this work but the pleasure of enjoying the Professor's creations. This work is the intellectual property of the author and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Genre: Book canon (sort of) - Hey, it coulda happened this way, you know!

Rating: R (explicit sex) - though you must expect that from me by now.

The voices wailed and the wolves yammered. There was a noise like a strong wind blowing, and on it was borne the sound of hoofs, galloping, galloping, galloping from the East. 'Black Riders!' thought Frodo as he wakened, with the sound of the hoofs still echoing in his mind. He wondered if he would ever again have the courage to leave the safety of these stone walls. He lay motionless, still listening; but all was now silent, and at last he turned and fell asleep again or wandered into some other unremembered dream.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 7 - "In the House of Tom Bombadil"

Again, Frodo's dream seemed to rise like the moon, a pale sliver on a swell of mist. He stirred but this time did not waken.

Out of the mist came a clear green light, like the glow of sunlight through young leaves. It filled the space around him and in that light everything looked fresh and bright as if it had just been new made. To his surprise, Frodo saw he no longer lay in his bed in Tom's house but in a fragrant garden crowned with the boughs of a fair spring. He could smell the scent of flowers and of earth newly turned, of green and growing things bursting with life.

He saw that he now wore a tunic of light green instead of his nightdress and the bed upon which he lay was wide and covered with a white cotton coverlet. He moved and caught the faint tinkle of bells above his head. A great arbor laden with clusters of ripening grapes crowned his bed and all about him was fruitfulness and bounty. He laughed in spite of himself, for suddenly it seemed as if the darkness of his earlier dream was nothing but a fading memory and that this image of exuberance was closer to reality than anything he had ever seen.

An answering laughter came to him from across the open space and Frodo gasped to see Goldberry dancing alone beside a silver spring. She beckoned him and he arose as one in the midst of an enchantment.

"Come, my sweet tongued friend," she cried. "Dance with me! I bring to you a gift and a blessing at the bidding of the Master. Will you take it?"

Frodo smiled with delight and in his dream he ran to her. Goldberry whirled in her vigorous dance but as Frodo approached she seemed to diminish so that by the time he stood beside the spring she was no greater in height than a hobbit maid.

"Fair lady Goldberry," he said in wonder. "This is truly an extraordinary dream! You are still as beautiful as a garden in spring-time, but to my eyes you stand no taller than one of my folk!" He paused, curious. Goldberry's lively form seemed oddly real in the midst of his dream - as if though his imagination had created the surroundings, she was a beauty so unimaginable that her image alone had weight and substance. She slowed her dance and came to stand before him. Her clear eyes glittered with excitement and Frodo wondered that he had not noted their color before this. Blue. Not the bright, merry blue of Tom's but a clear pale hue, the color of rainwater, the color of autumn skies reflected in the clearest pool. She looked suddenly very earnest and the crystal bright eyes, now at level with his, bored into him.

"I am bid to bless you, Frodo, son of Drogo," Goldberry said in a solemn voice. "Your people have known the blessings of your land and of those who watch over it from without and from within. There is also strength inherent in you, but you will need more than these simple gifts, for your road leads into darkness and beyond. You will have need of the power I can give you."

Frodo was so mesmerized by the lady's presence that he barely heeded her words. Goldberry was in his dream and as sweet and fragrant a lady as ever he had seen. Her beauty sang to him even more keenly than it had at their first meeting, when she had stepped lightly over the lily bowls to take his hand. For the moment he forgot that she was another's lady, and not a hobbit besides. It might have been inappropriate for him to feel more than admiration and fondness for her true self, but here, in the depth of his dreaming, where his own fancy had created a likeness of her to cherish, Frodo's desire rose.

"Fair lady Goldberry," he sighed longingly. "In waking lands you are another's wife and not even of my people, but here you are the answer to dreams I could not remember having." He gazed upon her suddenly intent face. "I should like to never wake," he murmured happily.

Her smile was soft, radiant and knowing, but the depth of it held sorrow, as if she knew she looked upon the face of the doomed. She took his face in her two hands and, to Frodo's surprise, kissed him deeply. Frodo's dreams earlier that night had been dark and strange, but this was beyond anything in his experience. The desire that had risen in him returned and swallowed his mind like a wall of flame. He found himself returning the kiss with a passion he did not realize was in him. His response astonished him almost as much as Goldberry's kiss had but though the heady scent of her filled his mind and the fire in his blood sang fiercely in his ear, he fought to control his ardor. He broke off and stared, aghast, into her blue eyes.

"Would you not take my blessing?" Goldberry asked, looking suddenly confused. "The Master has bid and I agree - you will have need of it on your journey - if indeed even what small favor we can do you would be enough." She laid a lily-white hand on his reddened cheek. "Why do you fear me, elf-friend? I will not harm you."

She had stolen his heart though brief had been their meeting. With reverence and awe he had held her above him, but this dream was stirring desires he had not even dared have. He ached to take her into his arms but from deep within him, his hobbit sense of propriety resisted. "It is unseemly..." he murmured but his voice held no conviction. She gazed at him with a knowing smile that was devoid of pretense or licentiousness.

"Even in a dream you may not pay homage to a lady?" she asked him quietly. Then she moved away from him, seeming to grow back to her former height as she did. "I am the lady of this house and to my master I am bid, but I was bound to the waters of this world before he won me." Her arms spread wide and in their circle Frodo saw a shimmering like that of the sun on still waters. "In the deepest depths of time, powers arose which few if any still remember. The Master is of that time, and knows the currents of fate and will. He has seen your journey laid before you as a ribbon shining in the blackness and would have you bound to this world before your thread is stretched to breaking. You will have need of my blessings... and his; from no other could this aid come, and even with it, you will need to draw on the hearts of others and on every ounce of your own strength to meet your fate." Goldberry cocked her head and seemed to shrink again before Frodo's very eyes. "Would you not take that which is freely and joyfully given?" She crossed to him and took his trembling hand in hers. "Even in dream I could bind you, and perhaps the memories I can leave you with will be a comfort when the darkness hems close."

Frodo's heart soared at her touch but he felt shame as well. How could he dream such things about his host's lady, even in the seeming of a hobbit maid? They had been so kind and gracious. It felt like the worst form of disrespect to hunger for her so. He could not give in to temptation even to an image of Goldberry's beauty! "You are the lady of this house," he forced himself to say. "And another... another's wife. It is unseemly to kiss... Or rather... " Frodo faltered and felt a surge of flame consume him as his thought wandered where it willed. Her blessing. With a slap of sudden awareness and a thrill of fear, he realized what she meant. She would lie with him if he accepted her. Her eyes glittered with warmth as she perceived his comprehension. She raised his hand to her lips and reverently kissed it.

In her touch, Frodo felt pity, in her countenance, concern, and in her manner and intent, no hint of evil will. She had been bid to come to him by her lord, his host, and was there of her own free will as well. So strange had been Frodo's dreams this night that he no longer questioned how he knew these things, but with this perception, came another harrowing vision. In that moment he saw himself as she did - a bright warrior before his last battle - doomed to face a foe he could never defeat. His ruin was in her eyes and it chilled him to the bone. What she offered him was a last gift to one who would never feel such comforts again; a brief sojourn into brightness while the sun still shone. Fear made his head swim like a draught of rich wine, but in the tenderness of her company, it became a wild yearning.

Frodo shuddered as the shreds of his resistance fell away. Her blessing was freely offered and this was, after all, naught but a dream. Perhaps if it were nothing but that none would be offended if he accepted her? Her warm hand in his suddenly cold one was as welcome as a summer rain and as she leaned forward to kiss him again, Frodo felt his heart leap in answer. A dream perhaps, but he could feel the sweetness of her lips and the dewy freshness of her skin. She wrapped her arms about him and he lifted her. She was now in form and appearance very like a hobbit maid, though Frodo had never seen one so fair. She laid her head against his breast and Frodo carried her to the bed in the center of the little glade. There he laid her on her coverlet and she spread her arms wide across the surface.

Frodo's resolve stiffened again as he beheld her. She was lovelier than any maid he had ever seen. Her gown was thinner than he'd first thought, but she seemed unashamed of her near nakedness and stretched across the bed in casual disregard of her effect on him. This lady was the wife of his gracious host. How could he think such thoughts about these honorable folk? Dream or no, Frodo felt shame color his cheek again.

"Dearest Lady Goldberry! I cannot! You are another's wife and among my people, such things are not done! Even in seeming! It would not be proper!"

Goldberry cocked her head and gazed up at him with a gentle smile and a twinkle in her eye. "You are wise in the customs of other folk, are you not, elf-friend?" At Frodo's miserable nod she continued. "And do all lands hold the same customs as your own?" He shook his head slowly, frowning, unsure of the point of her argument. "And you would agree that what is improper in one land may not be so in another?" Another nod. She smiled tenderly up at him and reached for his hand. "Then I put it to you, Frodo, son of Drogo, that in the house of Tom Bombadil, what I offer you is not unseemly but a valued gift. You would not only be wise to take it, but respectful of your host." She chuckled as he fidgeted, unable to escape her logic.

"If I do accept you, my dear lady, I fear my heart would break at our parting, for you are joy and wonder incarnate. How could I leave one who has touched my heart so?" The wind stirred the grapes above them and Frodo thought he heard music on that breeze. The words of the song filtered through his mind and he could not help but voice them.

Fair as the rising spring and tender as the willow,
Soft as the sunlit cloud and fresh as spring water,
Sweet as the falling rain and brightly pealing laughter,
I heed the call and take the hand of the River-daughter...

His eyes begged her for release, pleaded with her to pity his torment, but she would not be dissuaded. She sat up and cradled his cheek.

"Part we must, my sweet tongued friend," she said. "And you will have the strength to bear it, but until that time has come, let us dance this once together. You will feel no shame, for this is also my will and gift to you." And suddenly, Frodo became aware of the unimaginable span of years that were reflected in her bright eyes. There was wisdom there, and a regret so long past it was but a rumour of memory. "You will always think kindly of this house and carry our strength with you on your dark road." She stroked his cheek and her eyes grew round and full of present sorrow. "You will have need of it," she whispered.

And then her arms drew him close and she kissed him again. Frodo could feel the delight in her frame, the eagerness and joy.

He could naught but answer it.

Her body was as warm as a pool of light and into it he dove with a desperate vigor. She was alive and beneath her soft skin, Frodo could feel the pulsing beat of her heart like a secret river. She pulled at him and his garment fell away like shreds of paper on the breeze. Together they fell on the white coverlet and Frodo moved her filmy dress away from her waiting breasts.

She was as fruitful beneath her raiment as he had imagined and taking the warmth of her soft body into his mouth he was beset by a hunger that could not be abated. Her soft cries of delight filled his head, maddening him with desire. He wanted to fill himself with her bounty, plunge himself deep within her secret garden and gorge himself on her sweetness.

She was no less eager than he and arched against him. Her slim form writhed in ecstasy and her golden locks tumbled about him, enveloping him in the scent of warmth and passion. She offered, no, begged him to delight in her and Frodo could not deny her. His lips caressed her making her nipples rise hard against his impatient tongue. His hands gripped her waist and he pulled her firmly to him. Her belly danced against his and struck fire where their bodies touched. It stirred him to a height he had never imagined before.

Her body was sweet and the life in it astounded him. It was as if he could see her tender fire and knew his own spirit answered it. He drew his arms around her slim waist and covered her body with his own, claiming her and burying his face in her golden hair. She whimpered pleadingly and her hips jumped and danced against his, begging for him to enter her. Frodo had hoped to prolong this dance, but somehow knew there was purpose here as well as delight. He slid against her and parted her willing legs with his own.

She sighed and arched against him again. Frodo could wait no longer. He found her deepest folds unerringly but paused as his last doubt trembled in his mind. She opened her clear eyes and looked reverently into his. This was her gift and she smiled as she offered it. His reservation could hold no quarter against that timeless smile and was swallowed up in the desire it ignited. He curled himself against her hips and buried himself deep within her.

Her gasp was satisfaction, primal and real, and the sound of it seared him. He lost himself to the sensation of being inside this wondrous maid. She was warm and welcoming and in awe he delved her waters. She pulled at him, drawing him deeper into her body. His own groan of pleasure resounded in his mind and waves of rapture rose, crested and crashed through his body. He followed her beckoning undulations, driving himself into her with wild, joyful plunges and held tightly to her slender form; his only anchor in that chaos of passion.

Her song filled him and her sweet body bent to his will. He was maddened, untamed and yet the touch of sorrow still lingered. It made his thrusts desperate and hungry; a last dance indeed. The fevered pitch of their lovemaking crested and Frodo was taken by a wave of light. It built within him and drove down through his substance till he felt his entire being was shot into her body. Their ecstatic cries came together in the sunlit garden and he gave himself to her fully.

And then it seemed to him that his gift was accepted, taken and honored. Still locked in the throes of ecstasy, his heart was laid bare and a world of perception opened before him. He was nothing more than a spot of light in a maelstrom and yet he had been seen and was cherished. Strength from no source he could discern flowed around him and filled his mind. It comforted him and took away his sorrows. Then it was as if the strength found a portal and it came into him, blazing and charging him, fortifying his will and sanctifying his courage. He knew, in that moment, the true sweetness of life and that he had never before been happier just to be alive.

'I would give more if I could, honored guest and friend,' came the words echoing through the impassioned halls of his mind. 'But the old strengths lie unheeded in all places save this one. Take my gift as it is and use it well.'

'But it is but a dream!' he answered in like manner, not even wondering at his ability to do so.

'In this house, dreams may be more than mere fancies,' came his answer. 'But you have nothing to fear from them. We protect you and hold you in our embrace. Sleep now, my cherished friend.'

Goldberry's arms held him and settled him against her soft breast. She said nothing aloud, but cradled him against her like a child. Frodo sighed happily and gathered her body close, savoring one last taste of her sweetness. The dance was over, but he was still too overjoyed to feel regret at its ending. He sighed and in that caring embrace, passed out of his dream of light and passion into untroubled sleep.

They woke up, all four at once, in the morning light. Tom was moving about the room whistling like a starling. When he heard them stir he clapped his hands, And cried: 'Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My hearties!' He drew back the yellow curtains, and the hobbits saw that these had covered the windows, at either end of the room, one looking east and the other looking west.

They leapt up refreshed. Frodo ran to the eastern window, and if his companions noted he wore a tunic of lightest green in place of his nightdress, none of them mentioned it.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter VII, 'In the House of Tom Bombadil'' (sort of)

(Italicized text at the beginning and end of this fic are taken directly from the text of The Fellowship of The Ring' by JRR Tolkien.)