by boriel

"You draw too much attention to yourself Mr. Underhill," hissed the ranger into Frodo's ear.

Grabbing him by his coat collar, he shoved Frodo ahead of him up the stairs. Unfortunately, Frodo slipped and went down and Strider ended up almost falling on top of him. In order to not land directly on the small body, Strider had to hop, skip and jump and instead landed directly on Frodo's left thumb with his mud caked boot heel.

Frodo yelped in pain, and that drew more attention from the pub patrons. Choking back a sob, Frodo was propelled once again up the stairs and into the room. As Strider slammed the door shut, Frodo turned on him angrily.

"You clumsy human, look at my poor squashed thumb. You have given me a subungal hematoma!"

His eyes widening in wonder, Strider tried to repeat the phrase,"a subdural himostasis? What the heck is that, oh short one?"

Frodo shoved his thumb under the ranger's nose for inspection. There, on the thumbnail, was a blackened area already developing.

"Oh, you mean a 'hit the wrong nail' boo-boo!" exclaimed Strider.

"That is easy enough to fix," and with that drew out his sword and held the very tip of the blade over the fire in the hearth until the point glowed a fiery red. Then he advanced on Frodo. "Give me your thumb, little one of the clear blue eyes."

As he advanced, Frodo began to retreat, until he could go no further. He suddenly felt the wall up against his back. Trapped, Strider stepped closer until he was invading Frodo's private space and grabbed the offending thumb.

"this won't hurt a bit, my furry footed friend. I just have to melt a wee hole in the nail and relieve the pressure."

At the very moment that Strider was about to set the glowing point onto Frodo's thumb, the door burst open and there stood sam with a candalabra.

"Let him go, longshanks, or I'll have your head."

"You have a stout heart, master Samwise, but this must be done." And with that he touched the redhot point onto the blackened thumbnail. Simulateous exclamations rang out - Sam yelling for the head of the ranger, and Frodo sighing a huge sigh of relief as the blood escaped the melted hole and relieved the offending pressure. It was so much of a relief, that Frodo swore his allegiance to this dirty exiled King on the spot, and for life.