A/N: I felt like writing a bit of hobbit solidarity, so I did.
When Hobbits Know Best
"We won't leave him!"
"He needs rest, you'll have to leave him," explained the elf to the young hobbit defiantly staring her down.
"Frodo's always said that having us about makes him feel better, why is it any different now?" Pippin wasn't completely without support, he was just the only one who didn't mind his tongue around the elves. He was the only one tired and grumpy enough not to care.
"Because Lord Elrond has said that he should be left to recover in peace!" Merry decided to insert some of his more carefully chosen words,
"Are you suggesting we are incapable of peace?" the elf's reply was quick,
"It will be more peaceful without you than with you,"
"It'd be more peaceful if you let us get on and stopped arguing with us!" said Sam, his worry for his master had completely overridden his respectfor the elves. With all four hobbits so adamantly against her, the elf thought it best to go to higher powers.
"I shall see what Lord Elrond has to say," the elf left without another word and the hobbits ran back to the large bed. Pippin clambered up onto it and crawled over the great expanse towards his deathly pale cousin.
"Don't jostle him!" Merry half-whispered, trying to grab Pippin's ankle.
"I won't!" Pippin snapped back, though also quietly, "I just want to make sure he's still breathing," Pippin lay his head down on he pillow next to Frodo's and watched the small rise and fall of his cousin's chest.
Merry and Sam waited a while before saying anything more.
"You've seen him breathing? Now get off the bed before that elf comes back! Pippin! Pippin?" Merry hauled himself up onto the bed to get a better look at Pippin.
"What is it?" asked Sam. Merry rolled his eyesbutgrinned back,
"Fast asleep," Sam nodded and pulled himself onto the bed as well.
"Do you think we should move him?" Merry looked thoughtfully at Pippin for a moment but then shook his head.
"No, He needs his rest, he has bags under his eyes big enough to carry food for all four of us," Sam looked at Frodo with a small frown,
"What if he moves and hits Frodo? I don't think he should be that close, we should move him away," Merry took Sam by the shoulders and pushed him back onto the bed.
"Sam, stop worrying, Pippin sleeps like a log when he's really tired. We could get some rest as well, it would do us good too,"
"I'm not sleeping while Mr. Frodo is still looking like that," said Sam, motioning to Frodo's pale visage.
"You could relax a little at least," said Merry as he flopped backwards, hands behind his head, quite plainly ready for a little shut-eye himself. Sam agreed but was determined not to fall asleep, even if he hadn't slept properly in days and this was their first soft bed in a safe place since they left Tom Bombadil. Even they had been endlessly walking through dreary lands, even if they had been chased by black riders the whole way. Even if he was tired beyond words.
Aragorn slowly opened the door and peered inside, he could see four figures on the bed, all lying down. Hopefully all devoid of consciousness. He crept a little closer and stopped to listen, the breaths were all even and he even caught a faint snore. They were all asleep. Aragorn motioned for the elf to come in as well.
"Good," she said, "Now we can move them all back into their own rooms,"
"That would do no good," said Aragorn, "They'd wake up and come straight back in,"
"They shouldn't be left there, any one of them could move in their sleep and upset the Ring-bearer,"
"I agree," Aragorn thought for a minute, "If you were to get some bedclothes, I'm sure they'd be happy enough in a makeshift bed on the floor," the elf looked slightly cynical but left to retrieve some spare bedclothes. Aragorn took this time to check on Frodo's condition.
Aragornplaced his hand on Frodo's forehead, he was still feverish but certainly better than he had been. The colour was yet to return to his face though. Aragorn then looked at the other hobbits, none of them were truly at full health due to the stress and strain of the past week but it didn't seem any of them were going to fall ill any time soon. Nor would they let themselves when all care had to go towards healing Frodo.
The elf returned quickly with a very large armful of bedclothes.
"Will this be sufficient?" she asked,
"More than enough," Aragorn half-laughed, "They'll be able to burrow nicely into that," Aragorn instructed the elf to set out the blankets and duvets on the floor while he tried to decide which hobbit would be the best to move first.
He decided on Merry. Aragorn gently lifted the sleeping hobbit from the bed and moved him all of five feet to the very efficiently laid out blanket pile. Merry frowned in his sleep at the slight draft that was caused but then snuggled down into his new resting-place. The next hobbit Aragorn moved was Sam, though he had to be a little more careful. Sam wasn't sleeping as deeply as Merry was and there were a few moments when he nearly slipped into consciousness. As much as Aragorn liked conversations with Sam, it would be far easier if he didn't wake up. Lastly Pippin was moved but he was sleeping so deeply Aragorn thought he could've been dropped and he would still have remained in his current state.
Having moved the three hobbits successfully and seeing that they were settling down, the two that were still awake decided that it was about time they should get some rest, or at least that was what Aragorn decided. He bid the hobbits and elf a good night and left for his own room. The elf stayed a while longer to be sure the hobbits were settled before blowing out the candle and leaving.
"Estel! Estel wake up!" the elf shook Aragorn quite vigorously; he was quite deeply asleep. Aragorn sleepily hit at the hands that held his shoulders and they let go, he opened one eye and tried to glare at the face hanging over him. "Estel! Frodo's gone!" Aragorn was immediately awake, "I looked in his room to check on him but I saw that the covers were thrown back and he was not where he should be," Aragorn was up and out of bed in the wink of an eye.
He burst into Frodo's room, by the light of the moon spilling in through the open door he could see that the bed was indeed empty. He rushed to the other hobbits, it was not like them to ignore one of their kin wandering off. When he saw them it became apparent that they had not ignored Frodo and in fact, they had brought him back to their bed. Aragorn was shocked, could they not understand that Frodo needed rest and not friends coddling him? They were going to hinder his recovery if they kept interfering.
Aragorn grabbed the nearest arm (being sure that it wasn't Frodo) and pulled the attached hobbit out of the bed and out of his dreams.
Merry lashed out with his feet and managed to pull his wrist out of Aragorn's hand before sitting up and working out what was happening.
"Strider! What are you doing? What's happening?" he managed to say. Aragorn came down to his level and spoke sternly,
"What are you doing with Frodo in your bed? Do you know how dangerous that is? Frodo is very fragile at the moment! Just one of you moving in your sleep and knocking him in the wrong way could cause him great pain!" Merry stood up and dusted himself down then spoke back to Aragorn equally sternly,
"He was calling out in his sleep, what were we supposed to do? Ignore him? The only thing that calmed him was the touch of a warm hand!"
"But why drag him from his bed?"
"Don't be ridiculous Strider! We did no dragging. He said the bed was too large,"
"He spoke?" said Aragorn incredulously.
"Nothing more than the barely-awake babbling of a fevered mind but that was what he said! What would you rather we had done? Left him there to toss and turn all night?" Aragorn sighed and wiped his brow.
"I am sorry Merry, I did not think he would act in such a way," Merry brightened immediately.
"Not to worry, Strider, no doubt you are as tired as I. Why don't you sleep here so you can watch over Frodo and help us if anything else happens?" Aragorn nodded as his body suddenly regained its weariness.
Merry helped Aragorn into the bed, which was a much better fit for him than it was for Frodo. Merry then returned to his own bed.
Just as Aragorn's eyelids were drooping, the elf-maiden peered around the door.
"Estel!" she loudly whispered, "Did you find him?"
"Yes, I'm staying in here to watch over him,"
"You'll need your eyes open to do that," said the elf with a smile.
"Perhaps I'll need a little help then," Aragorn was too tired to smile.
The elf closed the door and sighed with relief, hobbits were very troublesome for their size.