The Smell of Rain

Disclaimer: In this story, I do not own the characters created by J.R.R Tolkien. I wish I did but I don't.

A/N. This is my first Fanfic, so please read and review. Your opinions are important to me. I hope that I can improve with them.

Ch. 1 A Long Awaited Hello

Merry breathed a sigh of relief as he looked up to see the beauty of Bag End. Not only was the shear beauty of Bag End's garden a sight that for a weary travelers eyes, but also just the thought of being inside the cozy abode Merry gave feeling and a sense of relaxation.

Merry bent down for a moment to catch his breath as a sudden flash of weariness overtook him. This surprised Merry, seeing as he never remembered becoming so fatigued from a fairly slow-paced walk.

"I am too young for this! I better make sure that I do more kitchen raids when I get home. Those chefs will give you a good run."

Bringing himself out of his reverie he continued up the steps of Bag End and knocked.

"Hullo!" Said Frodo as he opened the door. His blue eyes were practically beaming at the sight of his cousin. "I am so glad you are finally here. Where's Pippin though?"

"Well Uncle Paladin being as protective as he is, was none too thrilled about Pippin and I traveling together all the way to Hobbiton. Pippin should be here in a couple days. He is making part of the journey here with his sister, Pimpernel. Uncle Paladin also said something Pip and I always managing to get into some type of trouble when we are together."

"What ever would give him that idea?" Frodo remarked sarcastically.

"Yea it is-" Merry winced slightly as he touched his now throbbing head.

"Merry are you not feeling well?"

"I'm fine, I am just tired."

"That is definitely a first for you." Frodo laughed "Oh, where are my manners? Do come in, come in."

Frodo ushered Merry to the couch in front of the fireplace. Frodo watched as Merry absently rubbed his temples.

"Merry, I am starting to think that you stopped by the Green Dragon before coming to see me. Luckily for you I was just finishing up some 'herbal tea' that I concocted. It will make your headache go right away. hopefully."

"That doesn't sound good." Merry said grinning slightly.

Frodo glowered. Then got up and walked to the kitchen to retrieve the
'herbal tea'.

"At least try it first." Frodo said handing a cup of the 'herbal tea' to Merry. Merry took a sip and grimaced.

"It's umm. good Frodo." said Merry as he tried to get rid of the look of disgust that was planted on his face.

"Oh, please it can't be that bad!" Frodo said as he grabbed the cup back. He took a sip of his 'herbal tea'. His face scrunched up in disgust and Merry stifled a laugh. "Its horrible!" Frodo said in disgust. He then shrugged his shoulders and said, "Oh, well I tried."

"Frodo, I think I am going to hit the sack early tonight if you don't mind."

"Of course not. Here I'll show you to your room."

Merry tried his best to hide his ever-increasing headache as they walked thought the long hallways of Bag End. Merry hardly ever felt sick. This knowledge caused a shadow of dread to pass over him.

"It's probably nothing." Merry said to himself.

~~~~~~~~~

Frodo woke up to the soft sound of Sam's clipping of the rose bush under his window. He quickly got dressed and walked outside to greet the day.

"Good mornin', Mr. Frodo." Came Sam's cheerful voice.

"Good morning to your self, Sam." Frodo greeted back.

"Have Mr. Merry and Mr. Pippin arrived yet?" Sam said.

"Merry arrived last night and Pippin is expected to arrive sometime tomorrow. Oh, and thank you for helping me pick the herbs out of the garden yesterday."

"It t'was no problem, sir. How did the herbal tea turn out?"

Frodo blushed slightly and said, "Lets just say that I have a lot yet to learn about the art of making herbal tea."

Sam laughed and said, "I guess I'll have to teach ye one of these days."

"Thank you, I believe I will take you up on that offer. I am going on a small walk. So if Merry comes out looking for me would you mind telling him that I will be back shortly?"

"Sure thing, sir. Enjoy you're walk."

"Thank you, Sam."

~~~~~~~~

Inside of Bag End Merry laid down on his bed feeling terribly wretched.

"Oww! My head!" Merry groaned as he squinted his eyes from the incoming beams of sunlight. Merry didn't remember feeling this bad since when he got the flu as a small lad. Ignoring the increasing pain in his head Merry drifted into a restless sleep.

~~~~~~~~

Frodo had just woken up from a small nap he had taken under an oak tree during his walk. Judging by his stomach it was nearly time for Second Breakfast.

"Merry has probably eaten me out of house and home by now." Frodo said knowing all too well how much Merry is capable of eating. Grinning to himself as he thought of Merry's insatiable appetite, Frodo walked back to Bag End to hopefully salvage the remnants of his kitchen. Sam looked up to see his master walking towards him.

"There you are I was wondering where you had gotten off to." said Sam.

"I lost track of time. Has Merry come out yet?"

"No, sir."

"Hmmm. That's odd." Frodo thought aloud as he walked uncertainly into Bag End. He was surprised to see that Merry was not in the kitchen and by the looks of it hadn't been in it all morning. Frodo then walked to Merry's room.

He knocked. No answer. He knocked again. There was still no answer.

"Merry?"

Frodo heard a groan produce its self from within the room. He calmly opened the door only expecting to see an extremely lazy Brandybuck, but what he saw shocked him.

"Merry!"

*TBC*