Disclaimer: These characters belong to J.R.R. Tolkien. I just like to write about them.

Calling of Home

Summary: Symptoms present themselves for the first time since his healing after Weathertop and no comfort in Middle-Earth helps Frodo except the healing powers of knowing he will one day be going home.

It had started early that morning with fever, chills and a cold numbing sensation to the left side of his body. The white scar on his left shoulder turned a livid angry red as the symptoms persisted.

The only part that could be seen of the Ring-bearer was his curly dark hair sticking out from beneath the white fluffy duvet, shaking to the rhythm of his shivering body. That was how Sam found his master, cuddled into a fetal position, pain assailing the frail body.

"Mr. Frodo?" the gardener approached the bed, soft footfalls only a hobbit could produce, hearing muffled sobs. After a moment of getting no response, the callused hands gently removed the covers, exposing Frodo's sweat covered body to the outside air. "Oh, sir," his voice cracking as he cupped flushed cheeks into his warm hands, looking into Frodo's blood shot blue eyes echoing his tortured soul.

"Home, Sam. Please," the hobbit whispered reveling in the warmth of his gardener's hand.

Replacing the blanket over the shivering body tucking in the edges, Sam spoke, "Hang on, Mr. Frodo, I'll go get Strider," and the stout hobbit quickly made his way out of the room.

The once proud King, now Ringwraith crowned with steel, sat upon the tower as if he owned it. Perched there with his winged beast, looking down on all his minions marching their way out of Mordor to Minas Tirith. A piercing scream announced to all that the battle was underway. Taking flight from the tower, another wail was heard and all who were not Orcs, quaked with fear until he flew passed.

"I can feel his blade," Frodo murmured as a cry of pain escaped from pursed lips, hand holding his shoulder. Panting heavily, he lay beneath the ledge, eyes closed as he felt a large warm hand pry his away.

Aragorn had followed the distraught Sam back to the hobbit's room, where he observed Frodo having a nightmare, flailing against unseen foes, screaming out about some sort of blade.

"Oh, no," the King of Ardor and Gondor whispered to himself, rushing to the emaciated form lying within the blankets heaped onto the floor. Carefully extracting the Ring-bearer from his cocoon, small hands fought against the large ones without success as Frodo was cradled against Aragorn. "Frodo?" the healer asked wiping away stray sweat drenched curls from the too warm forehead.

"H...home?" the little shivering hobbit asked, pressing himself closer to the King's warm body.

Sam remembered all too well the words Frodo spoke through clenched teeth as he held his master's hand when the Ringwraith flew past at Minas Morgul. "It's his shoulder, Strider, he's dreamin about that Black Rider."

"What do you mean, Sam?" Strider asked taking a warm cloth, sponging the sweat from the hobbit's face.

"You know, ever since he been stabbed, he can sense things. Sense when those Black Riders were near. It happened when we were in that swamp Smeagol lead us through. Stopped my master cold it did. Sort of paralyzed. I had to drag him to a hiding place so we wouldn't be seen. It happened again when we were to climb those stairs..." Sam's voice trailed off as the last word was whispered as if he were remembering too. A cold shiver ran up his spine, shaking it off quick.

"Sam, lets get..." Aragorn started but was stayed as Sam quickly nodded his head.

"I know what to do, be back in two shakes, sir. Rest easy, Mr. Frodo," the stout gardener added as he stroked his master's forehead with his thumb before he left the room.

Aragorn shook his head as Sam padded out the room, but his heart's string was pulled as the frail form in his arms cried out once more in pain and said simply, "Home."

The bath had cooled Frodo's body, bringing the fever down. Several times, Frodo had grabbed at the healer's lathered hands, his blue eyes looking into Aragorn's, pleading with him to take him home. It was the only word he had spoken lucidly since he had been found earlier that morning before falling back into the bitter nightmare world as the hobbit flinched at unseen hands. It broke Strider's heart to see his friend in such pain, and nothing he did seemed to ease it. What concerned the Ranger the most was the listlessness, and the hobbits lack of protest when taking the medicinal preparations. He pondered what the Valar had in store for the brave shireling. It was not fair in the King's eyes, everything that Frodo had been through, what else would the little one have to endure before he could be at peace.

Tea time had come and gone, and the only ones in the room that participated were the cousins, Merry and Pippin whom had come by to see their ill relation.

"What is wrong with him, Sam?" Merry asked, his green eyes taking in the restless form as Frodo tossed his head side to side, knuckles turning white gripping at the covers.

"He seems to be in pain!" Pippin cried out as he could no longer keep quiet listening to his cousin whimper.

Sam, with his eyes downcast, embarrassed for his master's cousins to see him upset, answered the best he could before his voice broke, "I don't know. Neither does Strider. He thinks it might be that stabbing haunting him."

Merry shook his head, treading the stone floor until he made his way to Frodo's bed, hoisting himself up until he was sitting beside his cousin. He took his gloved hands and stilled the tossing head. "Frodo, my dear, how can I help?" he asked not expecting a response, stroking the master of Bag End's brow.

Frodo stopped his thrashing for just a moment as he recognized the voice. His puffy red eyes opened. His lips swollen from his teeth sinking into them when pain assailed him. One word, the same one that he asked over and over, "Home? Please? Take me home," he sniffled before his eyes rolled back into his head and once again oblivious to the waking world.

"You will be home soon, Frodo. Soon. You have to get better," Merry said, not sure if his cousin heard him. A tear slid down his cheek as a small hand clasped his. Merry was unaware that Pippin was standing alongside his legs, comforting him the best way he knew how.

"Come, Merry, we have duty. Sam will be here if anything should change," the youngest, but eerily the wisest cousin said.

"Aye, that I will be, masters. I will fetch you myself if anything should change," agreed the devoted gardener.

Satisfied that Frodo was in good hands, Merry leapt from the bed, walking dejectedly beside Pippin out of the Ring-bearer's room.

Evening came with no change. Frodo still tossed and turned, tearing up made beds until his body became tangled in them making him thrash even harder. Sam was at his wits end. Nothing, not even Athelas or the healing hands of the King relieved his master's tormented soul long enough to get a moments rest.

"Mr. Frodo?" Sam tried again, sad eyes looking from the lump in the bed to Aragorn who had so thoughtfully brought a dinner tray in for Sam and his master.

The King had set a chair beside Sam's, keeping the same vigil over the inflicted hobbit. Aragorn bit down hard on his pipe in his frustration. He had wished that his foster father was there to guide him, placing his warm hand upon the sweating brow for comfort. He thought he might know what the halfling needed as he listened to the whimpering form beside him.

A gust of air blew in from the front of the room revealing an out of breath white bearded wizard. "I came as soon as I heard," Gandalf huffed, his iridescent robes flowing behind him as he made his way towards Frodo's bed. Spying the curls protruding, his big but gentle hands uncovered the hobbit. "My dear boy," he whispered placing hands on either side of Frodo's head.

Big blue eyes the size of saucers opened, pleading with the Wizard. "Home?" he panted from his effort to speak.

Understanding, Gandalf gathered Frodo, blanket and all to his breast, kissing him on top of the head. "Yes, my dear boy. I will show you home," his voice broke, a tear escaping down his aged cheek.

The Wizard carried the Ring-bearer to the terrace, settling himself upon the bench manufactured earlier for the hobbit's desire to set outside while reading. Pulling the cover from Frodo's face, Gandalf whispered to the dear boy, "Look, Frodo. There it is and one day you will go there."

Frodo, cradled in Gandalf's arms could see the setting sun's rays dance upon the water, sparkling like a diamond. Gandalf began to hum while rocking the Ring-bearer and for the first time in the many hours of suffering, Frodo relaxed, a smile on his face as he drifted off into a pain free sleep dreaming of one day sailing across the ocean to lands of evergreen.

the end.