July 2010: Story status remains as in-progress.
Disclaimer: The characters within belong to J.R.R. Tolkien. This is nonprofit fan fiction. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Frodo is in Rivendell recuperating from his Nazgûl wound. It just seems he cannot get a moment's peace.
Not a Moment's Peace
Chapter 1: Aragorn Pays a Visit
Frodo was exhausted. He had been in Rivendell for a mere few days, recuperating from his Nazgûl wound. All the elven glory was exhausting and everyone kept checking on him and his needs—too much so. It felt as though he could not get a moment's rest. Sam was sitting on a chair next to the bed, but he did not bother Frodo, as one hobbit could certainly understand another one's need for peace and quiet. Sam would have none of Frodo's pleas for actual solitude, but agreed on keeping quiet company.
Just then, another elf-maiden stepped in to see that everything was in order, and check upon any new requests that the patient might have. Grinding his teeth, Frodo thanked her for her thoughtfulness, and hinted that he would be quite fine by just resting there. The maiden smiled kindly and stepped quietly back to the hallway. Frodo turned to Sam, frustration written all over his face.
"Sam, I swear to you, if anyone dares bother me within the next hour to ask whether I'm fine or need something, I'm going to do something very nasty. I don't care who it is; I just can't take this constant fussing around!"
Sam was just about to reply something appropriate and conciliatory, when there was a knock on the door, followed by Aragorn stepping into the room.
"Morning, Frodo, Sam. I just came to check on how you are doing. Is there anything you might need?"
Frodo blinked and felt most uncomfortable. He lowered his head onto a pillow and thought of an appropriate response. Sam wasn't about to be so modest. Though he tried to hide it, a chuckle of laughter escaped him, and he started guffawing fervently. His mirth served to deepen Frodo's embarrassment and turn his cheeks to a faint shade of pink. That only provoked Sam further, and soon Master Gamgee was on rolling on the floor with laughter. Aragorn was genuinely puzzled.
"Am I interrupting, Frodo? Should I come back another time, perhaps?"
"No!" squealed Frodo. "I mean, no, you are not interrupting anything," he corrected quickly. "Sam and I were just... discussing trivial matters, that is all. Please, have a seat."
Sam tried to gather himself, and was quite successful, except for occasional giggles, which made Frodo frown at him. "Sam, please," he hissed desperately.
"Sorry, Mr. Frodo, I'll try and behave myself. Sorry, Mr. Strider," Sam said with voice full of guilt and eyes full of mischief, both of which Frodo ignored deliberately.
"That's quite all right, Samwise," replied Aragorn politely, hiding any awkwardness he might have felt. He took a seat beside the bed. "How are you feeling, Frodo? Is the wound bothering you?" Taking in Frodo's pale features and bloodshot eyes, Aragorn couldn't but wonder at the immense suffering the hobbit had endured and admire his strength. He is not a child, Aragorn reminded himself, but still he felt it was terribly wrong that such an innocent creature should suffer from something as terrible as a Morgul blade's wound.
"It is better, thank you. Lord Elrond did marvels with my shoulder. I feel much more alive." Frodo's voice faded away as he thought of the insinuations he had just voiced.
The moment was awkward before Aragorn changed the subject. According to Lord Elrond, the hobbit was going to recover just fine, and the weariness could only be expected. Frodo looked like he could was going to use some sleep. I must ensure that he gets privacy to rest properly, Aragorn decided. Out loud, he continued:
"Speaking of Lord Elrond: he has called a council in which he is expecting representatives from all over Middle-earth. The free races, including the dwarves, are viting Rivendell—a lucky coincidence, I deem. The fate of the Ring will be decided there."
"It will be quite a relief to get this burden off your shoulders, won't it, Mr. Frodo?" exclaimed Sam. Frodo nodded and sunk back on his luxuriously soft bed.
"Indeed," confirmed Aragorn with sympathy, while trying to ignore the nagging voice inside his head, saying that it wouldn't be that easy. He glanced at Frodo and noticed that the hobbit was on the verge of collapse, just trying to stay awake for the visitor's sake. Aragorn cursed his own inconsideration and took one last glance across the room to make sure everything was in order. Rising from his seat, he nodded at Sam and turned to Frodo to bid him goodbye. "I should leave now and let you rest. Perhaps I should come back later to check upon you, in case you should need anything?"
The last sentence woke Frodo completely. Another visit? Couldn't a hobbit with a great burden and a serious wound get a moment's peace here? "No! Please, I will be just fine. Sam will look after me. There is really no need to visit me. I need only rest."
"Very well, then, if you are certain," replied Aragorn politely. He gave small a laugh. "Perhaps I should advise the others to leave you to your rest, too. It wouldn't be very relaxing to have visitors all the time."
It wouldn't? Really, now, Frodo thought. "If you'd be so kind," he replied, keeping the sarcasm to himself.
Aragorn nodded and strode out of the room, closing the door behind him. Strangely enough, he could have sworn he heard a muffled laughter and an angry hiss behind the closed door. He shrugged and went to mind his business.
Meanwhile, inside the room:
"Mr. Frodo, what perfect timing Strider has. I almost died of laughter."
"I noticed," retorted Frodo rather icily.
"It was just too funny, thinking about what you had just—"
"Yes, Mr. Frodo?"
"Yes, Mr. Frodo."
Hearty thanks to Gypsie (Gypsie Rose) for the proofreading! (November 2003)
Published August 18, 2002. Revised 2010.