Title: Ginger Care
Author: Frodo Baggins of Bag End (FrodoAtBagEnd/Febobe)
Characters: Frodo, Aragorn, passing appearances by Sam, Pippin, and Merry
Rating: PG.

Feedback: Welcomed. Constructive only, please. . .no flaming.

Summary: Between Weathertop and Rivendell, Frodo finds comfort in the care of his companions.

Story Notes/Announcements: This was originally written as a Shire Project request fic.

For permission to reproduce any part of this fanfic, please contact febobe at yahoo dot com



Yes, that. . .that was the smell. . . .

He had to rely more on smells now, on smell and touch and hearing - the brush of a hand against his: Pippin's, smaller than the others and smooth as fine silk; Merry's, steady and sure; Sam's, work-worn but warm and comforting. . .and Strider's, large, so large, rough with wear yet gentle.

He had to rely more on these now that sight was failing him, as he felt increasingly too weak even to sit Bill, though he dared not speak of it. Strider said they must continue, so continue they must. . .but he had been glad when the man had called a brief halt and disappeared into the brush again.

Frodo did not know whether he had returned. He had felt too tired to stay awake.


It was not a question, and he struggled to open his eyes, blinking bemusedly up at the tall figure bending over him.

"Frodo, I have a hot drink for you. You must try and sip it all down. I know it is hard, but you must try." Strider's arm slipped beneath Frodo's shoulders and head, cradling him as if he were a babe; the free hand accepted a - a cup? - from Sam, who stood by.

"Try just a little. Slowly, now."

Cautiously Frodo sipped. . .and would have laughed, if it would not have choked him so.


At once he nursed more eagerly at the cup, drinking as best he could, and Sam fairly beamed. Strider smiled.

"Do you like that, little one? It is wild ginger. The forests are covered with it for miles and miles around Imladris. . .it and all manner of healing plants. It should warm you a little. Would that there were some strong enough to aid you now! But soon, Frodo. . .soon."

Frodo shivered. "Tell me. . .please? The dark presses in so close. . . ."

"Of course." Strider's voice was gentle as he passed the cup back to Sam, gathering Frodo into his lap for warmth: the tiny Ringbearer was wrapped in every cloak and blanket they possessed, yet still he trembled like an autumn leaf. "I hear from your cousins that Bilbo has told you stories of Elrond. Yet Bilbo knew him as host only, never as healer. Thankfully, I might add. . .but I believe that he may be able to help you, Frodo.

"I grew up in Rivendell, and Elrond was my foster-father. . .and of course I was at times injured or ill, as all children are, save those of elvenkind. He could be such a strict tutor, but when I was hurt, he was kinder than summer, and it would never have crossed his mind to be otherwise to me, I think. Much less to a small guest. And if - " His voice softened. "If his daughter is there, the Lady Arwen, then - ah, Frodo! - she will not suffer you to be unhappy in the least beyond her power, or her father's. . .and that, I assure you, is a formidable combination." He chuckled softly, the low purr of it in his chest comforting against Frodo's shoulders. "They will put you to bed, and give you a warm bath as soon as it is safe to move you enough, and put you back with the bed freshly made up, its pillows like clouds. The rooms are all sunny and open and airy, so that you never feel closed in; they never seem stuffy or dark."

Frodo released a deep breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding. Breathing was so painful now that breath-holding was becoming almost second nature. He wondered idly when it would become so automatic that he would stop breathing in his sleep. Would the others notice? Or would he suffocate first?


He looked up into Strider's face and saw there only concern and comfort. . .and over his shoulders, the others: Sam, and Pippin was there, and Merry too. Dear Sam, who spent so much time making up teas he could keep down. . .little Pippin, who never failed to think up a story to try and take his mind from the pain. . .and Merry, dear Merry, who sat by him as watchful guard so much of the time, who always knew when he needed an extra blanket or some water. . . .

No. No good worrying about it.

They would be there.

They would all be there.

"Frodo, are you all right?"

Managing a small smile, he nodded.

"Yes. . .I. . .I'll be fine."

- the end -