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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

I have just realized my lack of Aragorn-hobbit interaction, so I have a couple of ficlets coming up that involve some hobbits. This is one of them.

Prompt 21: Home
Fic: Thoughts of Home
Rating: G
October 2nd, 3018; Midgewater Marshes

It was the evening of the third day since they had set out from Bree, and to say that they were miserable would be a complete understatement. They had just stopped for the night, but their campsite was just as miserable as their trek; there was no peace to be found in the Midgewater Marshes.

The ground was damp, the air was chilled, and there was no dry wood or brush in the area, so they could not even light a fire. As it was, Strider would probably not let the hobbits have one, anyways; without the shelter of trees or hills, the light could possibly be seen by one of their enemies.

None of the hobbits were used to these conditions. If there was one thing that a hobbit valued, that would be comfort. Their current situation was hardly one any of them would call 'comforting'. The four of them were huddled up together, their cloaks close to their bodies and their voices low. A few feet away, sitting on a small rock was their guide, gazing out into the distance. Unknown to the hobbits, the Ranger was able to hear every word of their conversation.

"I miss the Shire," said Merry. "I've always wanted to see the outside world, but not like this."

"This isn't right, none of it," Sam stated. "This Wild, and these Black Riders, and this smelly bog and all of its midges." The others nodded in agreement.

"I can't wait until we're back home," Pippin said. "Once we get... It to Rivendell, we can then go home, right, Frodo?"

"Yes, I think so," Frodo said quietly. "By then, I will be quite ready to go home."

Strider listened to their conversation with a grim expression on his face. Home indeed. He could not but help thinking that their hopes were folly; they would be lucky if they made it to Rivendell unscathed, and after that... well, he was truly not sure. Right now he was just concentrating on getting the four hobbits to Rivendell, safe and sound.

As the four of them talked a bit more about the Shire, the Ranger felt a sudden pang of homesickness. He was not sure where it came from, for, if he were honest with himself, he had no true home. It was true that he had a small residence with the Dúnedain, and he knew that he was welcome to stay in Rivendell at any time. However, none of these he could call home; at least, not in the real sense of the word.

One day, though, if fate was with him, he would have a home in Minas Tirith, and beside him would be Arwen. Then, and only then, would he have a place he could call home.

For now, however, he pushed those thoughts out of his mind. Right now he had to concentrate on getting the hobbits safely to Rivendell.

He could think about home at another time.

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