Frodo: Ferocious Warg

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The fellowship was preparing to move on; the nine companions had to travel by night and the hazy dusk of the late afternoon had recently settled into a cool evening, the stars just visible behind their dark veil of the oncoming night.

Each of the representatives, at least one of every race that walked upon Middle-Earth not under the sway of evil, were busy with their own intentions and thoughts - Aragorn was scouting the edges of the camp, keen grey-green eyes, practised by long years as a Ranger, scanning the dark trees that surrounded them for trouble as he prowled. Gandalf was smoking his long pipe contentedly, deep in thought, his midnight-blue eyes pensive, bushy eyebrows twitching. He was absently blowing smoke shapes: rings, castles, stars, ships and the such, the smokey-blue clouds shimering, matching his well-worn robes prefectly.

Legolas was merticulously sharpening his long white battle-knife with a whetstone and smiling rather smugly; the elven prince had been triumphant in the most recent battle of wills and wits with Gimli, forcing the stout little being to grudgingly acknowledge the Wood elf's victory, no matter how much the dwarf appealed and what he said to deny it. No doubt the incident would be dragged up in the inevitable arguments the pair were bound to have when the company next stopped, and, probably, whilst on the march as well.

The dwarf himself was now huffing and muttering to no one in particular about stuck-up elves, packing away his bedroll as far away from Greenleaf as possible. Sam Gamgee, the burly hobbit gardener and friend to all, was pottering about the site, tidying away the meal things and humming a jolly tune to himself, and Boromir of Gondor was sitting in an amused silence, slightly apart from the group, as he watched the simple yet incredibly interesting scene of two young and rather headstrong hobbits bickering with each other, as he pretended to polish his shield.

Though extremely cautious and wary of all species other than his own, the son of Denethor was getting to know and become friends with all in the fellowship, whatever their race. Boromir was in complete awe of the elf - he marveled at the seemingly perfect creature, the fair prince with deadly skills, yet a thoroughly kind and honourable being - and Gandalf the wizard commanded certain respects, though Boromir's father no longer held him in as high esteem as he used to. The Steward's heir had first viewed the stunted creature as all sturdy leather boots and no chainmail, no matter how bold-hearted Gloin's son bellowed to all that he was, though recently Boromir had had some friendly conversations with the dwarf and was getting to know and like him, if but slowly. But hobbits persisted in fascinating and continuily surprising him almost as much as the elf did. The way they spoke with each other, they're incredible and seemingly endless eating habits, their grooming, the perculiar way they did perculiar things, their hidden strengths... everything.

He had gathered thus far from listening to the debate before him that the halflings' predicament was a simple one - Meriadoc and Peregrin wished to wake their elder cousin, Frodo. The gentle young hobbit was, for once, sleeping peacefully; he'd curled up in his bedroll after his meagre breakfast and no one had had the heart to bother him thus far. The long, ebony curls poking over the top of his blanket were the only thing that alerted Boromir that a halfling actually lay slumbering beneath it. The cousins wished to wake Frodo, needing him to answer a very important question they had concerning pipeweed - as he was, of course, a fountain of knowledge for them to utilise - the problem was Merry and Pippin did not wish to be punched as a consequence of waking him. Their cousin, apparently, liked his sleep... a lot.

"Well, go on then, Pip. Wake him up," Merry said in a forcefully cheery voice - all high-pitched and false, as if there were no problem at all, as if Pippin were about to wake a meek coney instead of a ferocious warg.

"Me?" The younger hobbit looked positively horrified, and with good reason. "You know what Frodo's like about his sleep. I've done this before, you know, well... you were there, actually - he nearly broke my nose! And my father didn't even say anything to him about it, not once did he get told off! I know he'd do it again, whether asleep or no, but this time especially, he'll thump me one! You do it, you're older." Then Pippin's face brightened momentarily, and he continued in a lower, conspiratorial voice, "He always liked you best anyways; you're older, closer to him than me. I just annoy him, with my 'incessent chatter and nonsense', as he so rightfully calls it. You are whom Frodo really comes to see when we're together, you are whom he travels away from his beloved Bag End for. Some sensible conversation, not just my idiocy."

Merry glanced at him askance, a slight smile quirking his slack lips, "Flattery will get you nowhere, Peregrin. And Uncle Palidin thought you needed 'straightening out', that's why he said naught to Frodo," he said scornfully, though completely unable to mask his amusement. But then he frowned again, thinking hard, and after a while - "Mayhap we could.... chuck water over him? And we can run away really fast, away from here, anyroad, and... and he'll never know it was us! And he couldn't hit us, there'll be no proof!" Poor Merry is desperate, Boromir realised and chuckled, it was starting to show in the calibre of the plans he had thus far thought up. And the young one better hadn't talk much louder, he thought, lest Samwise hear him and do the striking instead of his Master.

"No," Pip dismissed the idea with a wave of his small hand, "we won't be able to deny it properly as he'll be all wet and someone must've done something to him - no one non-Hobbity would have, and Sam certainly wouldn't've done it, and even if he had, Frodo'd forgive him in a flash of a frying pan." Silence again, Peregrin's face, red freckles and all, was screwed up with concentration and Merry was biting his bottom lip, then... "I've got it!" Pippin's sparkling green eyes lit up suddenly, "We can pinch his nose! That always used to work; he never sleeps with his mouth open and he never wakes up straight away anyway, so there'll time to run for mushrooms... and he won't hit us because he'll think he woke on his own! It's the only way... a-and besides," the hobbit stammered, trying to justify his actions, "he'll thank us for it eventually."

Boromir snorted behind his shield; he severly doubted that. Frodo really did not get enough sleep anyhow - he was always checking everyone else was okay and content before he laid down for the day, and even when he did sleep, he was plagued with such strange dreams that he did not get a full rest. Boromir had watched him tossing and turning many a time on his watches, and, concerned, had spoken to Gandalf of it. The old wizard had apparently noticed the difficulty too as he had nodded deeply and pursed his lips, and had not seemed surprised.

While normally being a very pleasant, charming and well-mannered hobbit whom Boromir liked very much, Frodo could become rather irate when he was pushed and sleep-deprived. Pippin had been suppressing quakes of barely- controlled fear after his cousin had last exploded, and even Boromir had been taken aback by how fierce the serene little hobbit could suddenly become. Of course, Master Baggins always apologised after he snapped, and always strove to make it up to the company members involved afterwards - that was just who he was, and Boromir was thankful they had such a Ringbearer.

The Gondorim watched carefully from under lowered eyelids as the other two halflings began executing their plan. Merry had eventually, after much delegation between the pair, been elected to perform the said nose- pinching, as he was older, and anyhow, as Pippin himself had pointed out, was *far* more experienced at it. Boromir got the impression that this was the sort of thing that happened a lot in the hobbits' eventful lives back in... the Shire was it? He had heard from Gandalf, Aragorn and Legolas, who had all visited or at least skimmed the edges of the halflings' land, that it was a haven of peace and quiet, of green trees, winding creeks, happy little farms, jolly pubs and freshly-tilled earth. Boromir would've liked very much to have known the hobbits before the quest, just so he could see how they interacted in their own enviroment, and hoped that one day he could visit this shire of theirs himself. Also, he wondered if all hobbits always spoke with phrases and references towards food, or whether Lord Elrond of Rivendell had landed them all with exceptions. Though Boromir expected the former.

The Took was watching out for Aragorn, Legolas, Gandalf, and most importantly, Sam, who would all try to stop the twosome from exercising the necessary actions for the goodwill of all the fellowship and, indeed, for Frodo himself. He wasn't a very good look-out, Boromir noted with a smile; as he kept glancing back over his shoulder to see whether he should be running for his life or not.

Merry crept over to his peacefully sleeping cousin with all the stealth of an oliphaunt and, ignoring the urge to sweep the chestnut-brown curls that had fallen into his chestnut-brown eyes away, he reached out with a shaking hand. Boromir held his breath; Meriadoc was so close that if the young Baggins awoke now, all would be lost, including, most likely, Merry's front teeth. The Brandybuck's tongue was wedged between his pursed lips at the effort, he placed his slender fingers gently over the nostrils of Frodo's long nose, and pressed.

Nothing happened for a time, and Boromir was beginning to doubt the effectiveness of this apparently brilliant plan when Frodo suddenly started to choke. The poor hobbit was making such a horrid gagging sound as he tried to breathe in through his blocked nose that Boromir seriously considered getting up and going to help him, Frodo's back arched and his arms flew up in a violent frenzy in order to ward off whatever was causing him the acute discomfort, and Merry quickly released his hold with seemingly impeccable timing and ran. Pippin followed flame-of-Smaug hot on his heels, and they sped over to the other end of the camp as fast as their little legs could carry them, hoping with all their hearts that the plan had worked and they would be spared from the wrath of the Baggins'. But it was too little, too late; Frodo's winter-blue eyes snapped open suddenly, blinked his long, black lashes and unfortunately, through the fog of his still-sleeping mind, he caught sight of his cousins' fast-retreating backs.

Boromir tried not to laugh, he really did, but he could not help himself; who would have thought Mr. Baggins could go from horizontal to vertical in such a short space of time? All he saw was a brown, green and red blur, granted a very tired and groggy brown, green and red blur, but a blur nonetheless. Frodo literally flew past him, arms waving like a windmill's sails, long curls bouncing up and down, forest-green cape billowing behind.

The brave-hearted warrior of Gondor decided he could not bring himself to watch the guaranteed ensuing devastation, but a succession of cries and pleas for help, loud laughter, sharp yelps of pain and snatched sentances going something like - "That's the way to do it, young Master Baggins...", "...Put them down...", "Mr. Frodo, don't you need any help?", "Frodo, you'll hurt him!" and "... Fool of a Took got what he deserved, I expect..." forced Boromir to drag his golden-brown eyes up away from the perfectly-buffed and polished sheild to see the result of the fight. This time he did laugh out loud.

Frodo was sitting on top of his two cousins with his arms crossed, looking tired and grumpy but relatively pleased with himself. His once-smooth black locks were sticking up in all directions, in a quietly-sleeping-then- suddenly-windswept sort of way, and his clefted cheeks were red and shiny, but he seemed to glow with satisfaction. Merry and Pippin's faces were shoved against the ground, and their arms were pinned behind their backs, with Frodo making his seat on the immobilized limbs. Their yellow and brown tweed waist-coats were now filthy and no one could really make out what they were saying as the mouthfulls of mud and dirt they had hindered their abilities to voice their own opinions of the situation and their rather uncomfortable positions, but they didn't sound happy at all.

Samwise looked pleased, the wide grin plastered over his face made it obvious to all that he was exceedingly proud of his master. The gardener himself had privately thought that the two masters had needed a good seeing to, as they were getting rather too obnoxious for their own good. But Sam had lacked the position, authority and bravery to do it - his master, however, did not. But the young Gamgee kept sending slightly fearful glances Gandalf's way, sure they were all going to be rebuked for the light entertainment and that the wizard would call them all 'foolish twits' again and scold them.

Gandalf, however, was far too busy trying to look stern to catch the glances. The wizard was failing miserably at maintaining his serious expression - his lips kept twitching at the corners as he tried to suppress his smile, sending quakes of mirth down his long grey beard. But it was obvious he didn't have a problem with the incident as his deep, midnight- blue eyes had the light of the stars in them as they twinkled merrily. Aragorn was looking down and shaking his head, shaggy dark locks falling over his weathered face, amused but extremely disapproving of the whole situation. His large hands moved to settle on his lean hips as he then raised his eyes to the heavens to request from the Valar suibtable mercy and, indeed, the patients, to deal with the problem. He then returned his gaze wearily back to the odd hobbit-shaped pyramid.

Legolas had an perculiar expression on his fair face - he was smiling of course; an elf was not one to miss humour in any situation, but he was also obviously concerned and rather distressed for the well-being of the halflings Frodo was currently sitting upon. It was well-known in the fellowship that Greenleaf had a soft-spot for the periannath; he was always talking with at least one of them, finding out about their lives and geneology - he was extremely interested in anything to do with them and was an avid listener. Boromir chuckled as he knew that Legolas would sit, cross- legged like a enthralled schoolboy, and gaze up at whichever hobbit was perched on a stone, relaying stories to the elf for hours on end. The prince of Mirkwood was currently teaching all the Shirefolk practical things like archery, efficient fish-catching, the different sorts of birdcalls one might need to know and how to climb trees. He regularly saved Merry and Pippin from each other as well as Frodo and Sam, and the elf was often the go-between and messenger in the small disagreements the foursome often had.

It was strange for Boromir and apparently hilarious for Gandalf and Aragorn - who had both known the prince for a long, long time - that Legolas, a mighty elven prince and ferocious warrior, respected in all circles, was at the beckoned call of these creatures less than half his height just because he liked them and found them interesting and funny. Obviously, Greenleaf was teased endlessly by his best friend as the Ranger had never seen anything like it before, and was positive he would never again. His friend was so proud and stubborn, to have him fetching things for and amusing the hobbits would seem like insanity, that is, if one didn't know the elf properly, for who he really was.

Gimli, surprisingly, had yet to mention it. Though it is probably because he likes the hobbits too much to comment, Boromir guessed correctly.

That night's particular dilema made the prince almost seem to grimace as he moved forward to try and relieve his two fallen comrades of the, granted small, weight of his other short friend. And no small wonder, Boromir thought dryly, Gimli was laughing deeply, hand on his ample stomach as he slapped his knee with the other.

Boromir mirrored Aragorn and shook his head, trying desperately to look mature, though anything resembling having pride in oneself had fled from the camp with the arrival of one Meriadoc Brandybuck and one Master Peregrin Took. Denathor's son went back to polishing his battle-sheild so that it shone it's brilliant red colour proudly, reassured that Legolas, the Diplomat-in-all-things-Hobbitish, would help all of the halflings up from the ground and send them to their respective ends of the camp with a disapproving frown and a hearty wink for good measure.