Title: Itch (1/1)

Author: Slipstream (slipstream_chan@hotmail.com)

Summary: Post quest ring porn of a darker sort. Even after the ring is destroyed Frodo is haunted by its presence within himself.

Notes: Originally a ficlet for the Evilfro LJ community. Archive with permission.

When it rains the stump on Frodo's right hand itches abominably. He scratches and scratches at it but the angle and his jagged mockeries of nails do nothing to assail the itch, so he bites, gnawing with blunted teeth, chewing at the scarred flesh. The little pin pricks of pain are sometimes enough to quell the tingle of bones long gone, but most of the time it just aggravates the itch, makes it deeper, makes it burn, all the way up his arm and through his chest to squeeze tight fingers around his heart.

There's another itch, too, one that doesn't wait for rainy days but prods and squirms in his throat, in his chest, pulses insistently against his eyelids. Every second of every day it throbs in time with the beating of his heart.

i'm not gone i'm not gone i'm not gone i'm not gone…

It's a mantra full of sharp edges, rolling like bitter ice around the corners of his mouth. He claws at it, too, scratches at it, draws blood and aggravates scar tissue at the hollow of his throat. Wailing flailing night fears while Sam holds down his pale spider fingers with his own strong hands, all words of comfort lost in the incessant buzzing of phantom gold around his neck.

…won't go won't go no sir…can't get rid of me can't get won't get won't be rid of me me me

Itch itch itch. Scratch scratch scratch. Scab and bleed and scar again. Claw it out, rip it out, chew it to pieces, stop the itch. Frodo's eyes roll as he twists and shifts within his clothing, too hot too much too sensitive, skin peeling like sunburn, itching, and there are hands holding him down and pressing wet cloths against his face, muttering and buzzing and drowned out by It.

…can't leave no no can't won't leave go no part of part of you me now you me us now…

His skin crawls, his mind crawls, he crawls within a corner of his self and tries to die. They've bound his hands and stuffed them in mittens to keep him from clawing his eyes out.

…don't try love don't try to go to leave us leave me get away claw away and bleed… won't work won't work won't work… tried already remember…? they hid sting remember…? tied you down remember…?

Frodo moans and tosses on the bed, twisting and tearing sheets. "G'way…" he cries, weak like a babe, tired and frustrated and sick and scared scared scared alone.

It has been speaking in silken whispers for so long that when It finally screams Frodo screams along with It as the fever spikes.

…YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME AND I CANNOT LEAVE YOU BECAUSE YOU AND I ARE ONE NOW US TOGETHER ALWAYS US US US US US! CANNOT RIP US CANNOT CLAW US CANNOT ITCH US APART NOW FOREVER ALWAYS…!

Someone shoves something in his mouth and he knows he's seizing but can't stop the arching of his back, the jerking of his limbs, the mad rush bump rush bump of blood pulsing through narrowed veins. He collapses breathless, bloody spit collecting at the corner of his mouth, and in his wild lucidity it seems that the itch has a shape and a face now, a dark face with a golden smile and a single red eye that bends to kiss him on his fevered brow.

…so you'd best get used to it used to it love mine us…