For Shirebound and Mews for their birthdays. Beta as always by RiverOtter.
The Gaffer watched, perplexed, as his Sam walked by Number 3 alongside Frodo Baggins. No longer did Sam walk a respectful half step or better behind his Master; no, now they walked side by side. Or the few times he had seen his son walking behind the young Master, it was more as if he were watching the older Hobbit to see to it that Mr. Frodo was not faltering in his step.
"Watch it there, Master--there’s a stone as has rose up, pokin’ through the lane," he heard Sam say.
"Thank you, Sam," Mr. Frodo answered, and without that hint of amusement his voice would reflect back when he was little better than a lad.
No, now he heard in Frodo’s voice the same respect toward Sam he’d always heard in Sam’s voice when addressing the Master of Bag End.
What was the world becoming, when master and man became brothers?