Part II: Elbereth Help UsÂ… THE TWO TOWERS!!!!

Chapter 15

My head is KILLING me! I want nothing more than to resume unconsciousness, but IÂ’m awake now. I have to find Merry or Pippin. If they were still taken, or alive, that is. I open my eyes.
My hands are bound, and IÂ’m thrown over a UrukÂ’s shoulder like a garbage bag. I suppress a wave of nausea and slowly and inconspicuously look around. The orc beside me sees my head move.
“Boss! BOSS! The girl, she’s awake!”
Damn! I hope to God that there is a reason they keep me alive. Otherwise, IÂ’m dead.
My eyes widen, and my jaw drops as the “boss” approaches.
ItÂ’s her highness, Morwenna. I let out an angry growl. Yes, a growl. IÂ’m pissed now.
“Morning, Sunshine,” she purrs, but there’s no warmth behind her words. Only mocking triumph.
What would I say to her? Ah, I remember what I wanted to say—
“You *witch*! If you’ve hurt ANY of my friends,” I began, but she interrupted.
“—You’ll what? What are you going to do?”
She motioned for the party to stop. Way in the distance, I saw one—no two little hobbit heads. Thank God. She wouldn’t keep them if they were dead.
“YOU have a different fate, I fear, from them. They will be taken to Saruman. But I have another purpose for you.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that?”
“Do you think I’m stupid?!!!” she shrieked. I knew in my heart she meant it to be a rhetorical question, but I couldn’t resist.
“Uh, let me think…yes.”
She glared at me, snapping her fingers. The Uruk that was carrying me dropped me on my head, pinning me to the ground with his foot. Morwenna drew a blade from her dress.
Now, I will say again, I am NO coward. You can do anything to scare me, and believe me; IÂ’ll be as frightened as the next guy. But I believe in facing that fear head on without a show. No begging, no bribing.
The blade was close to my throat now. I was shaking slightly, but I would not give her the satisfaction of seeing me cower from her. ThatÂ’s not who I am.
“Do it!” I hissed. I was so scared. I didn’t want to die this young. But I got some satisfaction from provoking her. “Go ahead. I *dare* you!”
She didnÂ’t. Obviously she had some reason for keeping me alive, because right then I knew she would if she could.
She pulled her blade back and nodded to the Uruk pinning me down.
He kicked me, hard, in the stomach, knocking the breath out of me and leaving me to sputter and cough. With one last smirk Morwenna walked off, signaling for the Uruks to resume running. I was once again hoisted onto the UrukÂ’s shoulder.
It was going to be a long day.
Leave a review pleaseÂ…. And donÂ’t worry. This is NOT the end. 😉
Chapter 16
For the next two days, I was limited in my actions. You know what I mean. I was slung over a freaking UrukÂ’s shoulder with nothing to do but wait, and they made sure that I was never close enough to Merry and Pip. I got cuffed for humming, and it was four times he threatened to make me walk if I didnÂ’t shut up. If I wasnÂ’t so worried and hurt and tired it wouldÂ’ve been fun to see him get agitated then realize he canÂ’t do more than give me a little slap.
I didnÂ’t see her again, up close anyway. She rode up at the front, nearest to the leader-dude. I hope she was having a bloody good time, because I wasnÂ’t going to make the mistake of being in her mercy again. Next time, when she wasnÂ’t surrounded by her little goblin buds, I would rip her freaking guts out with my bare hands. Or did I say strangle her with her own perfect golden hair? Oh well, just as long as I get to do it.
It was dusk. Wait, what day was it? I had been there forÂ… three days! The Rohirrim were coming tonight!
“What are you so happy about?” growled the Uruk, obviously a little less than content at carrying around a pistol like me.
What should I say? I was feeling particularly mean.
“Oh, nothing…just— Fangorn’s really close isn’t it? I’ve heard that the trees there don’t take to orcs well.”
He snarled. “Well it’s a good thing I’m not an orc then, Human, isn’t it?”
“Same thing.” I said shortly. That was the last straw for him.
He threw me off his back, grabbing the Uruk next to him by the neck.
“You carry her,” he growled menacingly, walking ahead of us. I was so glad I wasn’t useless. He and Morwenna would be racing for who could reach my neck first.
My head hurt like hell. The bleeding had stopped, but I had begun to feel dizzy. Blood loss, shockÂ…and insanity. And I think my wrist is broken, or sprained or something. Lurtz did it when he tossed me over his head by my arm. And ropes around it didnÂ’t help.
Once again I was carted onto another Uruk.
You know, sometimes life really sucks.
Yes, yes, YES!!!! We are finally at the edge of Fangorn!
“Get a fire going!” I heard, and I was dumped on the ground. Apparently, Uruks didn’t know the meaning of the word “manners.”
How many times will I say this until it actually stops?
My head is freaking KILLING me.
Still, IÂ’m not going to complain… IÂ’ll just wait till the boys are all here- so that they can hear every minute of it.
The creaking of trees- then a din of orcs yelling at each otherÂ… like this is helping my throbbing headache.
“They are not for eating!”
Well, they most certainly arenÂ’t. IÂ’m not either. But itÂ’s not like Uruks listen to you, nope.
More shouting- then, the fight starts.
“Look like meat’s back on the menu, Boys!”
After a moment of completely and UTTERLY disgusting noises, I hear a different, silvery voice.
“Wait- where’s the girl.”
Oh. That would be me.
She strides over, alongside a giant Uruk that I assume to be the leader. Off to the side, two hobbits inch away from the frenzy. Morwenna and the Uruk donÂ’t notice. Well, here come more motherly instincts. Merry and Pip are SO lucky I like them enough to distract her, yes HER, for them. They owe me one.
I smile, in spite of my situation.
“Having a nice time playing with the orcs, Highness?” I ask.
She still holds a smug simper, though her knuckles are white from balling her fists.
“Once this is over,” she says (trying to sound intimidating, of course,) “I’m going to make your death as *slow* and *painful* as possible.”
“What a joy! I can hardly wait.”
“You,” she says, all hoity-toity, “are a fool. And before long you will beg me to forgive you.”
I roll my eyes. She always goes for the dramatics.
“Okay, sure. Whatever you say, Chief.” I try to salute her, but my hands are tied. Dang. Life kinda sucks right now.
Merry and Pippin are out of my sight range now, but something else is coming from the shadows. ItÂ’s a rider!
“Rohirrim!” some random orc yells
“Get her out of here, and find the halflings!” she hisses to the captain. As she turns to leave (saving her own hide is so courageous, though altogether it doesn’t surprise me) the Uruk lunges forward to grab me. This is my chance.
“HAI-YAH” I yell for effects, balling up my tied hands and punching the Uruk’s face. Unfortunately, he only curses me and grabs my arm roughly.
I start struggling; all the while riders come up around me, fighting all the uruks and orcs. I manage to wrench free from his claws long enough to lurch forward and slice the ropes with the sword thing in his other hand, cutting my own. I let out a yelp.
Once again, the Uruk snarls and grabs my HAIR. My effing hair. Pardon my French, but HELL NO!
ThereÂ’s a rider next to me, finally noticing that I donÂ’t have a weapon (and, by the way he was gaping, that I was a girl. MustÂ’ve been the hair, no?)
“Gimme a f***ing weaping, NOW!” I yell, slightly muffled; dodging an attack.
He gapes, but finally pulls a small knife from his scabbard. He tosses it to me, and resumes fighting.
Now, weÂ’re on equal levels. Sort of.
I keep fighting, until I receive help from more riders. They pick off the last orc, and I sink to my knees.
Okay now, I have been HAULED, hit, cut, slapped, grabbed, pushed, yelled at, and thrown WAY too many times in the past couple days. That, and a total lack of food and sleep can make you a bit rough around the edgesÂ…
WhatÂ’s a girl have to do to get some rest, faint?
Ugghh, I spoke too soonÂ…
Hey guys! Ready for the next chapter? I bet you are muahahahahahah! Well, as soon as everyone votes *coughcough* maybe it would come outÂ…
Anyways, sorry about the end of this one, but seriously; what do you think sheÂ’d do after all that stress and lack of energy? Even her hyperactiveness has limits. Ahh, if only it didnÂ’t, right?
Chapter 17
“Yes, my lord, she’s breathing!” I hear someone say, and I really don’t want to open my eyes. But, my better judgement (who knew I even *had* that?) got a hold of me, and I slowly slipped back into conciousness.
I look up to see a rider, the one who gave me the sword. He is hunching over me with a look on his face like I was already dead. But, no, IÂ’m alive. I can tell, because the pain is still very much there.
“Wow,” I croaked, “How long have I been out?”
“Very little time,” he said, just kind of sitting there and wondering what to do. About ten other riders surround me, and one with a tall helmet with a black plume motions for him to help me up. For a second, the world tilts, but my focus readjusted to a standing position. I’m light-headed and achey all over.
The black-plumed rider takes a short look at me and trots off to where the others are.
All eyes are on me.
“So,” I say, glancing at the soldier, “I guess you guys are the Rohirrim.”
That was probably the dumbest question I’ve ever asked. Including when I asked the lady at my dad’s office how to open the door (after pulling it for about five minutes) and then noticing a sign that said ‘Push to open.’
My question went unanswered. This guy, I noticed, couldnÂ’t be much older than me. He looked kind of out of place there, the youngest (and slight, almost lanky) one among the men. He had a kind of bewildered look on his face, like I was a science experiment that had jumped off the lab table and started doing a tap dance or something.
Anytime you wanna stop staring, that would be great. Tough crowd.
Before I could ask another question, the plume-dude came trotting back, this time with another guy on a horse. I spy with my little eye, a Lord of Rohan named Eomer.
Eomer eyed me, and (seeing I was a girl) his face softened a bit. He went from tough-guy macho man to tough but sort of sympathetic macho man who didnÂ’t want to send me home crying. Yeah, like that was going to happen.
“Who are you?” he asked me, “For what reason did the orcs keep you prisoner?”
He came across as just a teeny bit impatient. (Okay, up teeny bit to hugely and impatient to suspicious.) But I wasnÂ’t going to bother picking at him for being rude now, because I needed to know what the heck was happening. And I needed a horse.
“My name’s Elaina, and three days ago at Amon Hen my party and I were ambushed.” I wasn’t going to tell him why. Heck, I didn’t even know what the witch had up her sleeve. “You didn’t happen to see two halflings run into Fangorn, did you?”
At this, a murmur went through the riders, some whispering excitedly. I guess hobbits were a rarity in Rohan.
“No,” he said grimly. “But a rider was seen going west. Do you know of that?”
Ah, crap. That would be her highness, on her way to Isengard.
“Yes,” I spat, “She’s a spy for Saruman.”
Eomer completely went from youÂ’re-a-bit-fishy to okay-now-tell-me-who-the-freak-you-really-are.
“And how will I know you aren’t a spy,” he asked, to my complete and utter surprise. Yes, I was being sarcastic.
“I-” I began, but I didn’t know what to say. What *could* I say? Hey, man, I’m from 21st century America and I’ve inconveniantly dropped into middle earth and was caught up in the Fellowship of the One Ring which needs to be destroyed but I got sidetracked by a Mary Sue and some Uruk-Hai. Oh yeah, and orcs too.
Seriously though, I had to say *something*.
“I was called from Minas Tirith to Rivendell. Eleven of us set out, two men, a dwarf, an elf, four halflings, and Gandalf the Grey, myself, and the spy. We didn’t know she was a traitor until she turned on us. We passed through Lothlorien, and then sailed down the Anduin to Amon Hen.”
There, satisfied?
Obviously not, because he didnÂ’t lower his guard, and he didnÂ’t look any more trusting.
“Listen,” I said, annoyed, “Do you really think, if I was a spy, that I would have those orcs haul my butt three leagues, then try to hack me to pieces? I may be young and stupid, but even I’m not *that* ridiculously idiotic!”
That seemed to be it for him, and he nodded in agreement.
“Thank you,” I said. “Now, I’m sure my friends,” (oh, God, three or four?) “Are on their way right now. My guess is, you’ll meet them on their way here, and when they get here we’ll all continue on through Fangorn to find my other friends. Can you help me?”
He looked at me for a minute. Then, slowly, he opened his mouth to speak to me.
“Can you ride?” he asked, pointing to my wrist, which was all swollen and cut up.
“It’s broken, but it’s healing.” That was a big lie. It ached a lot, but I didn’t want him to refuse me a horse just because of it. I could manage. Besides, Aragorn was raised in Elrond’s house; I seriously didn’t think he grew up without any knowledge of healing.
He nodded, beckoning for a horse to be brought up to me. I mounted (not without difficulty, though) and swung my leg over the horse. My head was spinning, and for a second I thought my brain was unattatched to my spinal cord.
Okay, itÂ’s all good. IÂ’m good.
Eomer and the other riders began moving on again, and the boy fell back so he was riding next to me.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person in half an hour. This kid, Bryne, had been trained as a horseman with his dad since he was nine, he had a younger sister (who, amazingly, wanted to be a shieldmaiden), and his horse was named Heolstor, after his great grandfather. (Do you ever wonder if they ever got made fun of for their names? Like, this little kid in a medieval schoolroom going ‘Ha ha, your name’s Faestnung!’ and the other kid’s like, ‘Speak for yourself, your name’s Ideswiga!’) Yeah, at times like this you think a bit oddly.
But this kid was sweet. I swear, if I ever get a chance to make laws (yeah, right) the first thing I’m gonna do is make the combat-age 30. Kids like me shouldn’t be fighting in wars. We should be off skipping and licking our lolly pops. (Mental picture: Will Ferrell, in the “Little Cletis” scene of Zoolander.) Funny stuff, though I unfortunately don’t have the convenience of DVDs in the third age of middle earth.
“There they are,” said Bryne, pointing to where the front of the Rohirrim were heading. My heart skipped a beat.
I hastily dismounted (ai, again with the nausea) and pushed my way through the horsemen to the front.
I was greeted with four relieved faces.
AuthorÂ’s note, or NOTES, muahahahah!
Hey people, thanks to EVERYONE who voted. I love you all so much, and IÂ’m sorry if your vote was the opposite of this. Majority rules, cÂ’est la vie. And yes, FOUR hunters. Boromir is alive. DonÂ’t like it, donÂ’t read it. Once again, a review (good, or a bit less good, but donÂ’t be rude if you wanted to kill him, please) would be absolutely peachy.
(Trivia: The names I used are all real Rohirric names. Go ahead and look up what they mean! I found them in the Rohirric names Database here at COE. Those databases are really great tools to use for names when youÂ’re doing a fanfiction.)
PM me if you have any questions or comments. Thanks a million!
Chapter 18
The first thing I do is breathe. Yeah, it feels like I haven’t done that in a while. Aragorn’s eyes widen, and he smiles. He really smiles. Gimli growls, and said in a relieved voice, “You gave us a right scare, lass!” Legolas says something in Elvish, slightly sighing. And Boromir gets off his horse to envelope me in a huge hug. He mutters something that sounds like, ‘It was entirely my fault’ and squeezes all the air out of me.
Man, I love these guys.
Aragorn dips his head at Eomer, going over to talk to him. After a moment of quiet talking, Eomer is off. I wave goodbye to Bryne, and Aragorn leads a horse to me.
“Stop,” he says, when I try to mount. “There are things to be done first.”
He reaches for my wrist, all purple and puffy.
“You’re hurt!” Legolas said.
“No, really, I’m fine.”
Aragorn pulls a bandage from a pouch in his belt, and tightly wraps my wrist. When heÂ’s satisfied he turns me around and feels the bump on my head. Ouch, effing a! That hurt!
“Stop moving around!”
“Stop touching my head!”
“Don’t be so difficult!”
“Don’t be so pokey!”
I get four different shouts at me at once. It looks like they all need some sleep. “Sorry,” says Aragorn. “We were worried. We didn’t stop running.”
Awww, did they have to be so sweet?
“Well,” I said, “Hanging, literally, *hanging* around with Morwenna wasn’t a piece of cake, either. I swear, if she didn’t know I could be of use to her, I’d have been dead three days ago.”
“Making trouble?” Gimli asked deviously.
“Me? No way… well maybe a little. Did you think I would sit there and take it?”
“You?” said Aragorn sharply. Then he gave a crazy laugh. “I don’t think so.” Future kings are creepy. Seriously.
Boromir snorted disgustedly, murmuring, “Well, she deserved it, filthy traitorous—”
“I really think we should find Merry and Pippin,” I said, “They’ll be wanting something to eat soon. Is it time for second breakfast, or is it luncheon yet?”
“Between,” said Legolas. “But it hardly matters with hobbits. They won’t pass up a meal at any hour of the day.”
“So you’ve seen them, and well?” asked Boromir, showing a twinge of guilt. He flushed a bit, looking pointedly at a rock directly behind me.
“Yeah, they’re fine. Better than I did, actually. It was pretty smart to run right into Fangorn.”
Gimli gasped. “Fangorn! Might as well have sent them into Mordor! Darkness runs deep through that place…”
“Really, it’s a piece of cake. Not scared, are you boys? Because if you want to go home, that’s fine. A lot of men, er, *males* can get a little intimidated at this point…”
I got four glares. Gah, this is fun, despite the fact weÂ’re all on a totally serious mission to save the world.
“That’s not ‘cool’, Elaina.” Said Boromir, narrowing his eyes. He seemed to be on the verge of a smile. “Just get on the horse.”
I looked at Mr. Ed, grazing lazily. There should be a law against riding on the backs of four-legged, smelly, animals. No joke.
“Maybe I’ll just walk.”
“You’re not walking.”
“I’m not riding.”
“Then I have no choice,” he said, striding over to me and waiting.
“You wouldn’t.”
He smiled, hoisting me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and swinging me on the horse.
“Jerk!” I blurted, fighting back a laugh.
The others began to go, slightly sniggering.
“It’s my fault you’re hurt, and I’m going to ride with you.” He got behind me, wrapping his arms around me to grab the reins. I sighed, smirking and falling back.
“Okay,” I said, “I give in.”
Thanks to all my readers! I love you all so much. And God bless all those who live in Louisiana and Mississippi! Katrina knocked out my internet for a day, so this chapter would’ve been out yesterday (hey, nature isn’t always kind. Just ask Elaina as she is walking up Carahdras!). Two things I need to address.
1. Swearing- yeah, sorry guys, but her language makes Elaina a real, edgy person. Not that she has a sailor mouth, mind you, but she’s not changing her entire speaking style just because she’s in middle earth. I hate saying this, but if you don’t like that, than don’t read it! Sorry!
2. Beta- A lot of people have asked me if I have a beta. No, I do not. I do not plan to get one. Beta-ing just lengthens the time between updates, and spelling and grammar check on Microsoft Word are good enough. I don’t think there are any earth-shattering errors. But thanks to all who suggested some betas!
Chapter 19
Okay, not exactly the nice little scene I hoped. Passing a rotting, disgusting pile of orc-corpses then walking right into the creepiest looking haunted forest ever isn’t all that fun. Seriously, all you fan girls need to find a nice story to drop into, none of this following the most dangerous, smelliest, and suicidal route to certain doom. I’m thinking “Charmed” or “Smallville.” At least in those shows you get magic powers (not to mention Julian Mcahon and Tom Welling.) And television. And chocolate. Yes, I am homesick.
This place is scary. PJÂ’s set looks welcoming compared to the real Fangorn. All around, there are sinister, gnarled old trees, and anyone with claustrophobia would absolutely have a panic attack in here.
“I really don’t like it here,” I whispered. Yeah, it was that kind of place. *I* whispered. Like if we talked any louder, some crazy axe murderer dude would come running out of the shadows and chop the heck out of us.
“This forest is old. Very old,” said Legolas softly. He looked around, kinda worried. “Full of memory. And anger.”
“Oh, that’s lovely,” I said lightly, gripping Boromir’s arm tighter.
“I believe my flow of blood is being cut off,” he said, giving me an accusing stare.
Oops. Well, donÂ’t worry; IÂ’m not the least bit scared.
The trees began creaking, getting louder and louder until it was a bit obvious that this wasnÂ’t exactly your run-of-the-mill forest. Gimli raised his axe, shifting.
Yes, thatÂ’s very smart, just raise your tree-chopping axe in the middle of a haunted forest surrounded by pissed off trees. TheyÂ’ll love that.
“Gimli” Aragorn whispered urgently, “Lower your axe!”
“Not cool,” I breathed, now letting go of Boromir’s arm to bite my nails. Yes, it is one of my nervous habits. “So not cool.”
Legolas put his finger to his lips, the sign for “shut up right now.”
“Aragorn, nad no ennas!” he said, looking really scary.
“Man cenich?” Aragorn asked back. He looked worried now. We are all so screwed.
Wait, wait, hold up! My foreknowledge of this story is supposed to help! DonÂ’t be scared, stupid! You know itÂ’s only Gandalf!
I let out a snigger, commending my own stupidity.
Everyone but Legolas turned to stare at me.
“The White Wizard approaches,” breathed the elf.
I giggled. DonÂ’t ask me why, I just suddenly felt brighter, knowing we would soon have beds and food in Edoras.
“Are you mad!?” Boromir asked in hushed exasperation. I bit my tongue, but a smile still lingered on my face. Great, just dapper! You’re making yourself look nuts!
Aragorn let my insanity slip that time, giving us orders. I gripped my dagger, feeling more lax than ever.
Then, in a sudden burst of bleached white, that stupid wizard blinded me with his light.
When all the fuss died down, I dared regain my optimism. We all silently walked along, leading the horses and stepping lighter than before. The boys all had shock still on their faces. Like reincarnation was beyond possibility, especially in Middle Earth.
“So,” I said addressing Gandalf. “You had to kill the Balrog just for the last bottle of bleach in Arda?”
For a second, I saw a familiar spark in his eyes, like he had just performed some fireworks for some cute little hobbits.
“Impertinent child.”
I shrugged. Which seemed oddly disrespectful considering he was the new White Wizard and all. But I was too tired, too relieved, too *bold* to care. I had busted my butt for these people, and I knew that I had deserved the right to tease him. And now, for a while, I would get a little bit of rest and relaxation. Until, of course, I had to drag my butt to HelmÂ’s Deep.
“You haven’t yet told me of your little misadventure with the Uruk-Hai,” he said, with a mystery that somewhat reminded me of Galadriel. What *do* you learn when you die?
“To make a long story short,” I said lazily, “Elaina’s score: one… Morwenna’s score: zero.”
“Hmm,” he said sagely, “I figured as much.”
“Yeah, well… I couldn’t very well let Boromir get his butt kicked by those stooges.” I said, loudly enough for Mr. Man’s ego to hear me.
He turned around, raising his eyebrows and then sticking his tongue out at me.
“I had the situation under control,” he said coolly, “I just, wanted to let you get some too.”
“Oh, okay. Just a little misunderstanding, then.”
Gandalf chuckled and rolled his eyes. Yeah, I didnÂ’t think wizards were allowed to do that, either.
“So naive,” he said, the smile literally fading from his face. He looked grave now. And he was back to being the man, er *Wizard*, on a mission.
I didnÂ’t speak the rest of the time. But I kept my smile, because through all of my bad experience, I was glad to be with them all again.
AUTHORÂ’S NOTE: Yeah, IÂ’m a sucker for moments, too. DonÂ’t complain, just deal, ok?
Anyway, IÂ’m sorry for the update lapse. I already told you about the hurricane, but I really have no excuse the past couple of days. Did I mention one of my habits is procrastination? Well, just ask any writer you meet, and theyÂ’ll all say the same thing. Rome wasnÂ’t built in a day, and my story wasnÂ’t written in an hour. So expect writerÂ’s block to happen. Expect days where you will want to come to my house and strangle me until I update. But donÂ’t expect me to give up on my story, because even I canÂ’t do that. I love reviews!!!! (subliminal message: You will now click the review buttonÂ…)
Much love and cookies and chocolate,
Chapter 20
We were riding much too fast for my liking, but itÂ’s not like anyone listens to me. So we went on through to Edoras, sweeping through the green plains like punks to the exit of an Ashlee Simpson concert (heh, no offense. CouldnÂ’t resistÂ…)
I could almost feel the mighty canon moment before it came.
“Edoras, and the Golden Hall of Meduseld. There dwells Théoden, King of Rohan, whose mind is overthrown– for SarumanÂ’s hold over King Théoden is now very strong.”
Great. All around us are enemies and idiots. What is the peopleÂ’s motivation around here?
As we rode closer, the wind cut through the air (resisting the temptation to make another joke) and I looked up at all the drab, depressed people of Edoras. Nearing the gates, I saw the flag drift over the town and land at AragornÂ’s feet (or his horseÂ’s feet.) I looked up, seeing a fleeing white-robed person that I assumed was Eowyn.
We rode up the steep steps, greeted by either utter melancholy or disregard. Man, I was really beginning to love this place already. At least I would have some peace and quiet.
We stepped up to the opening doors, faced with two rough looking guards.
“We cannot allow you before Théoden King so armed. You must surrender your weapons to us.”
*Surrender your weapons!* As if we were there to attack them or something!
Gandalf nodded to Aragorn. He took out Anduril from its sheath and glared at the guard who was reaching for it. Aragorn shook his head.
“This is Anduril, the Sword Reforged from the Shards of Narsil.” He said boldly. I could see a glitter of pride in his eyes, and he refused to hand it to the man. “None but I may wield it. But I will lay it down myself, if I must.”
The guard nodded.
The other one reached for my long dagger that was a gift from the Lady.
“This is uhhh…. Vánmata… Yeah, I guess you can take her.”
Gimme a break, I had to think up a cool name really fast.
The others gave up their weapons, and as we stepped in to the hall I heard Legolas whisper in my ear, “Your knife’s name is ‘goose eater’?”
I barely held in my burst of laughter. I guess I needed to brush up on my Quenya.
I looked around the hall, a wide chamber with dark wooden beams carved with gold. The roof was gold colored thatch, also supported by dark beams. At the far end of the room sat the King on his throne.
Théoden was most obviously under some kind of spell, and I was surprised the people of Rohan didn’t just kill this Grima guy. I would be pissed if my king looked like that.
He was an old man. Well, thatÂ’s a bit of an understatement. This guy looked like he had died about three or four days ago. His skin was pallid and lined with millions of tiny wrinkles. His eyes were sunken and unfocused, and his lank and thin beard and hair were shock white. Yeah, like I said, he looked dead.
But he was Vanna White compared to the hunchback of a man next to him.
Grima. Eeeew. That guy was so gross.
He was hunched over, robed in a shaggy black cloak that once must have been very fine. His face was the color of sour milk, and black hair was greasy and unkempt. And—he had no eyebrows. See? Creepy.
“You are not welcome here, Gandalf Greyhame,” came a bitter and hissing voice from Grima. He reminded me of a greasy snake. “You are a herald of woe and ill news.”
I gave my prissiest glare, fighting the urge to put my hand on my hip.
“Silence, serpent, and keep your forked tongue behind your pointed teeth! I did not pass through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm!”
Alright, Grandpa! You show him!
Suddenly, Gandalf pulled his white staff from his grey cloak and pointed it at the king.
“His staff!” hissed Grima, inching away. “I told you to take his staff!”
Guards and men surrounded us, trying to get to Gandalf. The fight began, Boromir, Gimli, Aragorn, Legolas and I all clearing a path for the wizard.
The first guard that had taken “Goose eater” from me charged at me, but hesitated to harm me. He stared at me, obviously thinking I would start crying or running away or something. Good, let him think that.
This was my first fist fight, and I wanted it to be good, so I took advantage of the moment of his hesitation, grabbing him by the shoulders and ramming my knee between his legs. He slumped over, and I caught a sideways glance from Boromir. He looked at me, half shocked, half disapproving. He shook his head, but a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. No other man came to fight me. CanÂ’t for the life of me figure out why.
When all the men had backed away or lay on the ground, we all looked to the Wizard, who was whispering words in another language. He never stopped pointing his staff at Théoden. Wicked cackling came from the king’s mouth, and he wheezed and coughed and laughed thunderous laughter. Freaky, I know.
“You have no power here, Gandalf the Gre—,” but he was cut off by the blinding white light that had filled the hall.
Woohoo! Gandalf power!
Théoden lay backed against his throne and in a smooth and harsh voice said,
“If I go, Théoden dies!”
“You could not kill me, you will not kill him,” said the wizard calmly, still holding the staff.
A slender lady in a white gown came in, running toward him. Aragorn grabbed her and held her back, hissing “Wait!”
“I release you from the spell,” said Gandalf, closing his eyes and gently shaking his hand at the cowering figure. “Be gone, Curunir! Rohan shall be free of you!”
And, like that, the old man whimpered and nearly fell from his seat, if Eowyn had not caught him.
His white hair shortened and turned to a faded gold, and his skin smoothed. The glassy eyes became grey and focused again. This was Théoden.
He breathed deeply, looking at his niece.
“I know your face,” he whispered, looking at her. He stared all around him, and at the Wizard.
“Breathe the free air again, my friend,” said Gandalf in a weary voice.
The king rose, looking around. Everyone bowed.
What a show.
AuthorÂ’s note: Hope you liked it. Next chapter will be up soon; I have gotten all my writing juices going. Also a small message to you lurkers-and-not-reviewers:
ONLY the people who leave reviews get PMÂ’s on updates. So review, please.
Love always, Andie.
(P.S. Had a lot of fun writing this one! 😉 Kind of mixed movie/book/my own version!)

Someone is shaking me.
“Elaina? Wake up! It’s nearly midday!”

I am going to kill Boromir.

“Have you ever heard of rest? Do you people not get it?” My eyes were still closed, and I let out a growl, trying to shake a strong hand from my shoulder.

“Go away! I’m sleeping!”

“Really?” he asked, and I heard the amusement in his voice. Ten bucks says I open my eyes and his hands are on his hips.

“A bed, Boromir! I have a bed! Not moss. Not stone. Not grass. Not a freaking URUK’S SHOULDER. A b-e-d, BED!”
Okay, a little over the top. But believe me, this soft mass of pillows has been in my dreams for about three months. You would yell too.

ItÂ’s kind of creepy, the funny modern gestures he takes from me. I opened my eyes, and his hands were sitting on his hips. He rolled his eyes, striding toward the door.

“Where are you going?” I asked, considerably more pleasantly.

A small grin hit his face, like he was remembering some inside joke. “In case you didn’t know, Slug,” he chided, “It’s not exactly proper for me to be in here right now. But someone had to wake you before the meeting.”

“What do you mean?”

“I *mean*, I don’t want to be around when someone finds out I’m in a lady’s *bedchambers* before she’s presentable. Especially if that someone is Legolas.”

Hmmm, I thought. Now that would be funnyÂ…

“Oh, come on! I’m fully clothed…” I grinned wickedly. “Or, I *think* I am.” I began to lift the covers off, as if to check.

You should have seen it. I think his face went six shades redder. “Okay,” he choked, “Leaving—now.”

I laughed loudly, pushing the blanket off (to reveal my fully-clothed self) and promptly forgot my annoyance at being woken up.

“Chill, Babe. I was joking.”

“Right.” He stopped, crossing his arms over his chest. His ears were still a bit pink. “Well. We have a funeral to attend.”

Oh, bugger.
I hate funerals. With a passion.

But, suddenly, I had a much more pressing matter to address.

“Oh, wait!” I said when he turned to leave. “Boromir—what do I wear?”

He huffed cutely—the way men do when you ask them to hold your purse while going shopping. I smiled pleadingly. He muttered something that sounds suspiciously like ‘women’ under his breath, giving an exasperated shrug.

“Fine!” I called after him, pouting, “I suppose I’m on my own, then!”


Funerals make me want to kill myself. Truly.

When in ended, everyone came inside the hall, sitting down to eat. No one was really in the mood to talk, so it was unbearably silent except for the quiet talk of some of the soldiers and guards.

Geez. YouÂ’d think their prince died or something.

Oh, yeahÂ…

The silence was broken when Eowyn came in, ushering two small children onto a bench. They looked exhausted; their faces were smudged with dirt and streaked with tears. These were the ones from the destroyed village. I shook my head in a gesture of sympathy, nudging to Boromir. He turned and his eyes glazed over painfully. Obviously, he knew this was serious.

“Orcs.” I whispered simply. Boromir nodded in understanding, guessing who they were.

I sighed. I couldnÂ’t even imagine having to leave my home because of war. Maybe not knowing if your family was still whole.

Slowly, the throng of people cleared the hall, and Théoden came in to sit on his throne. The only ones left were the boys, Eowyn, Gandalf, Théoden, and me.

“They had no warning,” said Eowyn, stroking the little girl’s head. She looked pointedly at Théoden, expecting him to call the army out immediately.

Sorry, girl. Not gonna happen that easy.

“They were unarmed. Now the wildmen are moving through the Westfold, burning as they go. Rick, cot, and tree.”

“Where is Mama?” Beside me, Boromir stiffened.
“Théoden is wasting time,” he whispered, so only I could hear. “This isn’t going to stop, especially since *she* went crawling back to Saruman.” I nodded, narrowing my eyes at the memory of her blade at my neck. How many others had she threatened with her sword? Children like these? Or was she just a selfish coward who was using the quest to her own ends?

Bickering went on between the three; Gandalf, Théoden, and Aragorn. I thought about interjecting something about Grima and Saruman not expecting them to stay in Meduseld, but Helm’s Deep was just too important.

Legolas kept looking at me, waiting for me to say something. He knew I had some sense of forewarning, and hoped I could help with the situation. I shook my head slightly, not wanting to be drawn into it. If I changed anything, that was it. I screw up Middle Earth.

“Open war is upon you. Whether you would risk it or not!” Aragorn finished with a small glare.

Oh crap. Warning: do not piss Théoden off.
If it wasnÂ’t Aragorn making the comment, I would think he was an idiot. (Not to say he already wasnÂ’t a slight idiot. Future kings certainly areÂ…)

“Last I looked, Théoden, not Aragorn, was king of Rohan!”

CÂ’mon, grandpa. Help him out.

“Then what is the King’s decision?” asked Gandalf exasperatedly.

He looked trapped.

Two words. IÂ’ll let you guess what he said.

Of course, not bloody anywhere, except—

“Helm’s Deep.”


I was back to my room, to ONCE AGAIN, bloody *pack my bags*— Goodbye Bed, pillows, blanket. Sayonara bath (which I had taken the night before) with nice warm water and—

Oh yeah. Back to the story.

I heard muffled voices out in the hall. Pissed off voices. No.

*Livid* voices.

I picked up a few words, and stilled when I heard my name. My heart jumped in my throat. Practically bounding to the door, the voices got progressively louder until they were right outside my room. The dread rocks were back with vengeance.

The voice, which I recognized as AragornÂ’s, called me angrily out of my room.

I tripped over my feet to get to the hallway.

Yeah, he was *that* scary.

I came out, face to face with Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.

As I looked at each of them, I sensed a range of emotions.

Not good. Not. Effing. Good.

“What?” I asked rather meekly.

“Elaina,” said Aragorn. There was a definite warning in his tone. His eyes were cold.

What the hell did I do? They all just stood there, as if I were about to confess to putting drugs in Théoden’s tea or something.
First reaction: It was Haldir. (Trust an elf to frame you at every possible moment in Lothlorien. Even if you *were* the least bit-innocently, I might add- involved in it somehowÂ…)

“What is this?” he finally asked.

He was holding up something.

A book.

Not just any book.
One that had Frodo’s face plastered on the front of it, reading ‘The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.’


*My book.*
I gasped, trying desperately to fight the urge to grab it defensively from his hands. I was shaking all over.

“I… It’s…” I began, clearing my dry throat, “It’s not what you think!”

I looked to Gandalf for help. He gave me the *exact* same look my dad did when he found out I had snuck out one night to go to a party with Lindsay.

Disappointment. Like he knew I was smarter than that. It must be a universal thing, with these parental units.

Before I could say anything more, Aragorn shoved it back into my hands.

“I never want to see that again. *Understood*?” His voice left absolutely no room for any of my words.

I could only nod.

How could I explain myself? To them, I was any of their worst threats— a traitor, a fool, a burden, a risk. An accident waiting to happen.
What could I say? They certainly wouldnÂ’t believe me. I kept silent, praying they would just forget they ever saw it.

Pff. Not bloody likely.

With one last glare, he strode off, leaving the others in his wake. His angry footsteps echoed all the way down the hall, each one loudly sounding in my mind. Gandalf shook his head, going after Aragorn. He turned back to look at me, and for a moment I saw a kindly grandfather looking back at me, about to go and protect me again.

You have no idea how grateful I was then. He left.

I glanced back at Legolas, meeting a pair of painfully blank eyes.

He was summing me up, like before, when I had just met them all. Trying to figure me out, to find if I was really deserving of his trust again.

Which I wasnÂ’t. I didnÂ’t deserve anyoneÂ’s trust. I had put them in danger. If the book had somehow gotten into MorwennaÂ’s hands, or SarumanÂ’s, it would be all over. I would be the crown of Sauron and the downfall of their world.

Obviously in that moment, Legolas found something worth trusting. He threw me a thoughtful— almost soft— look, then patted Gimli on the back. They both left without a word.

I have no idea how long I stood in the doorway of my room. I was barely breathing, barely registering all the questions that hit my mind.

How did the book get out of my things? How had I forgotten it? What would they think I had done?

“Elaina?” came a quiet voice from down the hallway. Someone turned the corner.

It was Boromir.

“Gimli told me…” he began, but stopped. Thank freaking Jesus, Buddha, Rama, Allah— whoever— he didnÂ’t look mad, like Aragorn. I really couldnÂ’t bear it if Boromir’s eyes went icy like AragornÂ’s did.

“What?” I asked, the jest in my voice weak. “That I’m an incredibly *stupi*d jackass and I’m more trouble than I’m worth?” I looked away, trying to keep him from seeing how close I was to crying like a temperamental teenager. “Because I am,” I finished. There was a hint of desperation in my voice. For the first time since I had gotten there, I felt the sharp pang of absolute homesickness.

He didnÂ’t know what to say. He was just as shocked as I was.

“Well—” he said, looking incredulously at me, “I didn’t realize you were so *valuable* to us.”

I stopped cold.

My eyes met his, and something else tugged at me. Not shame. Not self-pity. Not distress.


Mind you, it wasn’t well placed. I really had no right to be angered by his words. For all intensive purposes, they were true. I was really quite useless to them. I wasn’t a soldier, or a wizard, or someone sought out for their great advice or knowledge. But I had become completely devoted. I wanted to become more than what I was before—a mess of modern teenage shallowness, with nothing to fight for or believe in.
I wanted to be like them, like the soldiers, and the wizards. Someone with a purpose other than to convert oxygen into carbon-dioxide and use up the worldÂ’s supply of fossil fuels. Someone who could be proud of their life.

Most of all, I wanted to be like him. Like Boromir—the ultimate hero.

So, I was pissed off. In fact, a bit beyond pissed off.

You can imagine my reaction when I was basically told ‘Hey, I thought you were just here to tag along. You weren’t actually supposed to *mean* anything to us…’

I snapped from my reverie, slamming the door on his unreadable face.


I was alone in my room, and I hurled the book into the fireplace with all the strength I had.

I had one thought.

I wanted to leave.

I couldnÂ’t stand another minute there. All the wonder, the awe at being there began to wear off. I couldnÂ’t stand staying, thinking I was just dead weight. I needed to be alone, away from anyone who didnÂ’t understand my frustration. Because, truthfully, I was thinking of only how terribly easy it would be for me to go back to my old shallow life at home. I didnÂ’t want to be that selfish person anymore, but I remembered just how easy it was to be that way.

So, as you now realize, I made a pretty stupid decision.

I wasnÂ’t staying there another minute.

As soon as I could, I was leaving.



A/N: Hahaha. I laugh in your shocked face.

Then again- sorry. I had to do itÂ… this story needs more juicy conflictÂ… And Elaina isnÂ’t one for rational thinking. Be real.

Please review! I LOVE to hear reviews. It makes me want to write more when I get a review! (So, reviewÂ… Duh!)

Oh, and donÂ’t worry. Her Highness, the Sue, makes an appearance VERY soon. Can you guess why? Hint: I am grinning wickedly right now.

A/N #2: One of the main reasons I like so much is that you can use bold, italic, and underline there. I have no earthly idea about how to use html codes on CoE. If anyone would like to give me some info on this, I would be mucho grateful. Also, another thing—the starred words *like this* are meant to be italicized. Since I cannot do that, I put the stars there to make known the stress on these words.
–BoromirÂ’s POV–

“I didn’t realize you were so *valuable* to us.”

Of all the damned half-witted, ludicrous, *moronic* words—

I just had to say something like that.

Just brilliant, I think to myself. Not that I have ever been renowned for my astounding rhetoric. ThatÂ’s more of FaramirÂ’s talent, actually. But, something like this? I bit my tongue.

I watched her harden with anger, and those eyes that so often held a mirthful glow now looked fierce. For a few moments, our faces locked. I couldnÂ’t move, really. It was like the heat from her anger was holding me in place.

Which also meant that I lost my chance to amend my meaning. Before I opened my mouth again, she had darted into her chambers and I was left in the hall with only the smart snap of the door closing.

New phrase of the week: Think before you speak.

The world would be a much better place. Eru knows *I* should comprehend that by now.

I sighed, running my hands over my face.

“Just give her some time, lad. The girl’s bound to come back around.” Gimli said, patting the bench beside him. “Nothin’s ever kept her before.”

I sat down next to him. “You didn’t see her face,” I argued back. Legolas closed his eyes, and if he wasn’t an elf I would say his deep breath was an aggravated sigh. Odd, I think, How well we read each other now. Before, we were all closed books. Except Elaina, of course. She had always worn her emotions on her sleeve. Anyone else would’ve seemed a fool or a simpleton, but with her— it was surprisingly endearing.

“That bad?” asked Legolas. I nodded. “Well,” he muttered, “It wasn’t *just* you, Boromir. Rather, all of us actually. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Aragorn *stomp* like an erratic child before. Sometimes I forget, but… it reminds me that he’s centuries younger than I am.”

Damned elves and their damned immortality. ItÂ’s like conversing with a rock.

Ugh, I need rest. Even my thoughts sound irritable.

“I’m not going to be able to sleep if I know she’s still angry with me,” I said finally, shaking my head. “I’m going to talk to her.”

I waved a good-night, heading back towards ElainaÂ’s rooms.


–GimliÂ’s POV–

The elf makes a very undignified snort. HeÂ’s carving something (showy elvish symbols, no doubt) into a beam in the side of the hall.

“Does he not realize that he would lose sleep over her whether she was angry or not?” he asks lightly, chuckling.

“Daft. Lad’s not known for using his head. Outside the battle field, anyhow.” I grin back, thinking of the way Boromir pushed himself running after her, when the Uruks snatched the lass. Didn’t miss a beat nearly sprinting three leagues. Guilt can do wonders, but it can’t drive a man like that. Somethin’ curious was happenin’, and the elf and I had a front row seat to it.

So, why not? May as well sit back and enjoy it.

–And, back to BoromirÂ’s POV–

She wasnÂ’t answering her door. The first few knocks, I couldnÂ’t really blame her. But, really, after the eleventh knock youÂ’d think she realized I wasnÂ’t going away without explaining myself. *Women.*

A serving-woman turned the corner, stopping when she sees me gradually lose it outside ElainaÂ’s room.

“She’s not in there, my lord,” said the girl.

Not in there?


“The stables, last I saw. She went to take her horse out for some exercise, or the like.”

I breathed out, relieved.

So why do I still have a bad feeling in my gut?


She wasnÂ’t back yet.

I had waited in the stables for just past an hour. And she still wasnÂ’t back yet. My panicked mind started jumping to all sorts of horrible conclusions, but I willed myself to calm down. There was only a certain number of things that could have occurred. One (in fact, the situation my instinct first focused on) was that she had run away. But I hardly thought, after breathing solidly a few times, that she would be so dense as to go out, alone with no where else to go.

Or, maybe she would.

*Orc shit.*

That seemed to be the first thing that came (as a coherent thought) when I realized she wasn’t coming back. Which was followed by some other colorful and obscene phrases that I had heard Elaina use—I blame myself for her sharpened tongue, as I was the one who went sparring with her. I would give all the white marble in Minas Tirith to hear a lady of Gondor use that sort of language. Really.

That ominous feeling I had managed to dull came back full force. I made the choice, then and there, to go after her.

Eru damn me if *anything* had already happened to her.


–LegolasÂ’ POV–

“They’re both gone?!!!”

Ah, that would be Estel.

The dwarf and I exchanged a quick glance, when he and Gandalf came stalking in. I leaned back, finishing the last of my breakfast and readying myself for the interrogation. Gimli growled, taking the foul-smelling pipe from his mouth to do the same.

“What did you say?” I asked, “Are you talking about who I think you are?”

He ignored me, plopping down onto a bench (as much as a king can), rubbing his temples. He was muttering something that sounded strangely like ‘I’ve never seen a worse day…’ And despite my worry, I could not help but smirk at his ruffled state. This is the man who usually held everything together- our leader. Now that Gandalf was back, I think he took a bit of rest from that. Obviously.

“It’s my fault,” he said finally, and gave me a self-aggravated stare. “I was harsh. I scared her away. She and Boromir could be dead, or worse.”

I snorted. Unlikely, that Elaina would allow herself toÂ… admit any defeat of sorts. Quite the opposite. And with the young steward at her heels, she would come to no harm. *That* I knew.

“So what are we going to do?” barked Gimli.

Gandalf sighed, running his hands over his staff. He looked calm, as though he already knew what was going to happen. “Nothing. We can do nothing for them. We leave in an hour for Helm’s Deep. It will be hard looking for them; no man can be spared. I must trust that they will not run into any trouble and look after each other. That is all that hope calls for.”

I trusted Mithrandir, but there was a few parts in his plan that didnÂ’t quite sit well in my mind. Like the part about doing nothing.

“Foolish, foolish children they are. Were they not part of our fellowship, I would banish them to Angmar myself.” Gandalf shook his head and patted Estel on the back. “Come, we leave very soon.”

I gave a quiet laugh, praying to Elbereth that they would be there to meet us at HelmÂ’s Deep.


A/N: Ok, then, this one was fun to write. DonÂ’t worry, though, we get back to Elaina in the next chapter. I have many wicked plans…

Chapter 23: A Walk Down Crazy Street


Stupid, stupid, stupid.

You know, sometimes itÂ’s hard to shut your conscience up. Like right now. I think my inner-voice wants me to commit suicide. Right now itÂ’s beginning to scream a range of really interesting obscenities and various parts of the anatomy. Yes, that is what happens when you spar with warriors. My money was on Boromir for the most intriguing curses (him being all macho war-dude and hard-bitten soldier) , but I was caught off guard when Pippin thwacked Merry on his hairy hobbit toe.

Hoo, boy. I have yet to figure out what a ‘Tûg Ceredir’ (!!!) is, but I saw enough delicate elvish eyebrows raise to new heights to know that Merry probably would not have said that in civil conversation. Haldir nearly choked on his morning lembas.

But any cursing my little Jiminy Cricket is yelling to me right now, I probably deserve. Perhaps. A little bit.

Okay. A lot.

I had currently given up on riding, as McFlurry (spur-of-the-moment name), my horse, was getting a little tired. So I dismounted and began to lead the rein on foot. ItÂ’s not like it mattered, though. I was utterly, completely, and undoubtedly lost. My closest guess was somewhere in the rough and dangerous countryside of Rohan; no food, no supplies, no freaking weapon. What was my mind saying again?

Oh yeah. Stupid.

I hadnÂ’t thought of anything in the moment I decided to leave. It was a choice based on pure selfishness, and a strong desire for home and familiarity which I had never really had the chance to get in Middle Earth. Homesickness was a bitch, and now that same bitch was coming back to bite me right in the butt. And kill me by way of:

A) Morwenna and her goonies. They were still out there, and there was more than enough chance that if she found me I would become cease to be the very stupid, yet very alive Elaina and become Haudh-en-Elaina. For those of you that donÂ’t really know any elvish, you might get the picture if I mention dirt mounds, bones, and a lot of other unpleasant things. See now?

B) Starvation, death by the extreme elements, consumption by wild animals and/or wargs, and any other sucky slow or violent death you can think of. Not as likely as option A, but still a definite possibility.

And C) Dangerously low levels of caffeine. The eventual shutdown of basic functions, basically. Extreme malfunction of motor skills, organs, and the nervous system. Did I mention I really miss my job at Starbucks now? I would take orders from all the inconsiderate consumers, annoying preteens, and coffee-based workaholics right now if I could have ONE damned caffeinated vanilla frappuccino. With whipped cream.

I think IÂ’m getting a bit delusional now. You may see that.

The point is, I had thought of none of those things when I so recklessly wandered off into the wild. And now I was cold, scared, and on the point of a mental breakdown. I had very nearly lost my new friends and their trust, been insulted by the man I had gradually come to like more than I cared to admit, and was now in a possibly worse, no; undeniably worse situation than before. Because, right now or in the very near future, I could die.

Just like that, my life—which had barely begun—could be over.

Dammit, Elaina! You will not cry! Repeat to yourself: You will not cry!

Too late.


And THAT is the best way to make a bad moment worse. Just when I start to show a bit of weakness, the person I wanted to see least in the world (and consequently the most, though I didnÂ’t want to admit it) came waltzing over to see me tearing up like some poor sod Mary Sue wanting a little sympathy from the mean, cruel world. As if I deserved anyoneÂ’s sympathy.

God, why do you hate me?
Not a valid question, but then and there it seemed pretty damned relevant. Nothing is more satisfying when youÂ’re angry at the world than blaming it on someone, anyone but yourself. Even if it is an all-wise and all-good entity.

“Thank Erú,” he breathed, hastily dismounting his own horse. I saw the pure relief in his face as he nearly sprinted over to me, and couldn’t keep from feeling a little guilty about not wanting to see Boromir. He had obviously been looking for me and seemed genuinely happy to find me. Maybe I wasn’t turning into the butt of some Vala’s mean joke. But as soon as the little feeling of contentment left me, I turned away from him and wiped my wet cheeks with my sleeve. McFlurry nudged me a little bit.

Okay, I know a divine hint when I see one.
(Or feel one in the form of a horse’s muzzle practically jabbing my elbow.) Erú works in mysterious ways.

Still— my temper and not-so-nice mood was pushing me, and in the battle between relief and intense anger, I’m pretty friggin’ sure the anger won. I turned to face him, aware that my eyes were probably red and puffy and my attitude was a little cold.

“Why did you come after me, Boromir?” I asked, my voice strained even to my own ears. “You really shouldn’t risk yourself. After all, you’re the one they need, right?” *Stop*, my head said. *Right now, before you hurt him.*

Do I ever listen to the voice of reason?

And somewhere inside me the shoulder-angel snorted in a very undignified way and shook its head.

“After all,” I continued, “What would it mean to lose me anyway? No, I’ll just get out of your way. We both have jobs to do, and I’ve reali—”

He stepped directly in front of me, taking the reins gently but very firmly from my hands. I saw him stiffen with some emotion, and there was an exhaustion and bitter note in his stance that I hadnÂ’t noticed before.

“Why do you say things like that?” hissed Boromir. His voice was very quiet, and I finally looked him straight in the eye. I realized his voice wasnÂ’t dangerously low because he was hurt–but because he was furiously angry.

There are some moments when all of your naivety, selfishness, and silly fits of useless antagonism hit you hard, and all in one breath.

I hate those moments.

Erú help me, I couldn’t keep from bursting in tears any more.

When they say ‘emotional collapse’, they really mean it. I sunk down on the rough grass cross-legged, putting my head in my arms and letting it all out in wracking sobs. Highly illogical, but at that moment it was all I could do. I was tired of feeling sucky. And right now, a good cry was probably the only thing that would clear my head.

I donÂ’t know when I first noticed that Boromir had knelt down beside me and put his arms around me. I felt like a little kid, sniffling into someoneÂ’s chest, clutching at his shirt for dear life, but it was a time I wonÂ’t ever look back on with mortification or embarrassment or anything like that. It was all very comforting; knowing someone wanted me to be happy and was making an effort to soothe me. It all seemed veryÂ…

Right. Almost Natural.

Woah, bad Elaina. Only one huge emotional epiphany per day, please. Not getting into that.

When all the sobs faded to hiccups and my breathing was once again even, I pulled back a little to look at his wet shirt. I gave a little watery chuckle. When I looked up at his face, he was smiling worriedly.

Oh great. Now I had him all worried that I was insane. Or mentally unstable.

I was probably both.

“I’m sorry,” I said clearly, wiping my eyes. I laughed a little again. Hopefully, he saw that I wasn’t going to swing into another crazy outburst. I tried to calm down. “That’s never really happened before.”

Apparently he realized I was finished, because he chuckled quietly and pulled me to my feet. I shook off all the leftovers of emotion, pulling him into a tight hug that spoke my gratitude.

“Oomph,” was all he said in a muffled voice. Now I laughed louder. My arms released their grip, and I felt more carefree than I had in a long time.

To all those self-pitying or depressed, angry and grief-stricken, I have only one thing to say to you: Have a good cry. Watch a sad movie, bust out the Kleenexes and find a poor soul to cling to like a barnacle. Trust me on this. I know.

I could only smile back as Boromir shook his head, a slow grin spreading over his face.

“Though I shall keep in mind that that was a very beneficial emotional release,” he said, still a little baffled, “I have to request that you warn me before the next one comes.”

I looked at him— from the top of his dark head, to his young face lit up with a handsome smile, to his hands crossed over his chest, and to his feet set apart in a posture that said he was regarding me with faint curiosity, like I was a Rubik’s Cube or a 1000-piece puzzle.

This was something Tolkien, PJ, or anyone else could never describe.

And this time, it wasn’t sobs that wracked my stomach painfully— it was pure, absurd laughter.

Yes, I realize now that sometimes, life is weird.

Fucking creepy too.


We were on our way back now to Meduseld. Boromir told me that if we hurried we would make it there before everyone began to pack up for HelmÂ’s Deep. I was relieved, if a little nervous, to go back and face the rest of them. For all the crazy things I had ever done, this had certainly been the worst as far as I remembered. And the fact that none of them probably gave half a damn that we were missing stung a little too. I mean, I knew that the people of Rohan came first and all, but I had expected someone to be out here looking for us. I was gone for less than a few hours and only Boromir alone had found me (easily, he said, because my horseÂ’s tracks were very clear) and in a very short amount of time. Would it really have killed them to send anyone out to find me?

‘Stop being pessimistic,’ that little inner voice said with a little more strength than before. I was more than happy to listen. You would be too if you were sick to death of crying and anger and all that jazz.

And I remained in that little state somewhere between content and giddy.

Right up until I looked over to see a slender silver arrow driven into Boromir.


AUTHORÂ’S NOTE: I am totally giving you all evil grins right now. HA HA! I can see your face!

Really, guys, trust me! ThereÂ’s been enough crying for now. DonÂ’t get too pissy at meÂ…

Thank you to all who reviewed the last chapter. May I remind (okay, command) you to press that lovely review button again?

Muchas gracias to anyone who provides me with feedback and presents good questions to me (TinNim, that is NOT a stupid question. Unfortunately youÂ’ll just have to wait and seeÂ… wink wink).

I feel the flow of inspiration right now, and this chapter is very odd, I think—but I like it, I think. I’m really trying to go deeper into the mind here. What is writing for, anyway?

And I know I promised a piece of Mary Sue vs. Elaina in this chapter, but Elaina and her damn mood swings got in the way. And a little Boromir.

(Shakes fist at both of them, who like to hog the spotlight. Somewhere backstage Morwenna is sulking about, trying to cheer herself by sneaking into LegolasÂ’ dressing room.)

Anyway, there will be an update soon, so please do not threaten my life in any way.

PS- IÂ’ll give a gold star to anyone who can figure out what a tûg ceredir is. Hint: It is Sindarin. And most definitely obscene. 😀

I think it goes without saying that anyone who reviews gets a PM on updates…


Oh HELL no.

She did not.

She did.

I heard a faint growl of anger, and it took me a moment to figure that I had made that sound. Boromir, whose eyes had widened and were searching around for the attacker, had only been hit in the arm. I’m lucky he is a seasoned warrior, because right now I was in freak out mode. I can’t tell you how panicked I would have been if I had suddenly seen three great black arrows in him— but right now, knowing I had kept fate—or destiny or whatever the hell it was before— from killing him the way he died in the books, I forced myself to accept the fact his death was no longer a certainty.

His stance was more reassuring than anything else. Apparently, he felt well enough to rip the sucker right out of his arm without turning a hair.

Dang. A bit anti-climactic, donÂ’t you think?

I can tell you now I am SO glad I was born a girl. Therefore I am allowed to gag at such things. Which I almost did.

He kept looking around, trying to find the source of the arrow, meanwhile grabbing my horse’s rein and pushing me very firmly and rapidly towards him without a second glance. “Get on,” he said in a matter-of-factly voice. Funny, it was almost businesslike. But I guess it is all just business when your fillout on applications for former employment is Captain of Gondor.

BoromirÂ’s leg swung over the saddle. And another arrow barely missed his head.

Shit. We are so screwed right now.

Boromir stopped, mid-movement. Frozen on the saddle, he seemed to forget that our need was more pressing than a halt to admire the great outdoors. But the reason he had come to a halt was a bit more serious. He looked at something- or someone- over my shoulder and scowled, motioning the ‘don’t move’ signal.

“Out for an early morning walk?”

God, her voice is annoying.

We were surrounded, and I have no idea how. One minute, it was just me and Boromir, the next moment she and a rabble of about six or seven Uruks all formed a circle around us. Morwenna was smirking, and for a single, blinding instance I had the overwhelming urge to slap her in the face.

Boromir sat up straight in his saddle, not daring to move. “Yes, actually,” he said through gritted teeth. His eyes flashed dangerously, and every so often a quick gaze would flicker over to me in a warning sign. “Just waiting for the Riders of Rohan. They’re due here about right now. If you leave now, you may yet live. Théoden King is not as forgiving as I am.”

I admired his cold bravery in the face of the enemy, but really— witty defiance is much more of my style.

I felt a stony smile spread across my face, and I narrowed my eyes.

“Or maybe you’ll be too late, and he’ll get to you anyway. Lucky for Grima, they let him go.” I sighed, as if bored by the whole thing. “Not this time, Sweetie.” I made myself sound as unruffled as possible. “The king wants revenge, and I doubt anyone will put a word in for you. I imagine your head would look good mounted on the wall of Meduseld.”

Her smirk faded, but Boromir threw me a withering look. He obviously believed in the hostage-negotiation approach.

Pfff. Yeah, like she was letting us go. IÂ’m sure sheÂ’d love to see me beg before killing me, but I wasnÂ’t going to oblige her.

In an instant, she had the Uruk nearest to me forcing me off the horse, and I stumbled from the saddle to the ground. Boromir paled a little, suddenly looking afraid. Trying to give him a comforting smile really didnÂ’t work, as I was currently being tied up and gagged.

Sometimes I fucking hate my life.

And there are other times I love it— like when Boromir takes the Sue by surprise and pulls out a sword to hack at the Uruk trying to bind my wrists.

In effect, giving me the time to get out of the way as said hacking continues. Alas, it was over all too quickly.

Seven fully pissed Uruk-Hai to a pair of exhausted humans (one without any weapon) was not really in our favor. After a few seconds of heroic but useless clashing, one had Boromir pinned down on the ground, a blade pressed sharply to his throat. He looked completely calm, as if he had not just attempted suicide. But he was much too drawn than I cared to see him. The poor guy was tired, and injured. His arm was still bleeding, and he winced at the slightest movement of his face— in that little scramble he had acquired a new cut above his eyebrow, one that looked pretty frigging painful.

“Don’t kill him.” Growled Morwenna, “We need him too. He’s the prince of Gondor, and a good bargaining piece.”

Prince? How much more of a bimbo could she be?

From that same little pouch before, she grabbed a handful of sparkling dust.

There was a flash of silver, then my vision clouded over and I was out.


When I opened my eyes again, I immediately saw pink.

Uurghghg, pink everywhere. I mean, IÂ’m a girl that likes the occasional pink something or other, but this? Everywhere I looked, pink walls (a tent, as far as I could guess. Were we in an army camp?) pink trunks, pink fuzzy rugs, couches, chairs, a floor length pink-lined mirror, of course, and complete with an open fuchsia armoire complete with a ridiculously immaculate wardrobe.

Gee, do you think pink is her favorite color?

And then I noticed a slight movement on the fuzzy rug beside me.

Boromir. What a relief.

He still looked peaky. Worse than before. And though his arm had stopped bleeding, I knew it was hurting him by the way he lay on his other side. He was breathing evenly, but in his unconscious he frowned as if having a bad dream.

Damn him, I was worried. Things had gotten much, much more unsettling, because I knew Her Highness had no intention of letting me escape again. And, I had dragged Boromir in it.

But, even worse was the fact that I had put him in harm’s way, without pausing to consider that even though he had avoided death at Amon Hen, it was still a very real possibility. A scary one, and a possibility I had NO intention of even considering— but one that wouldn’t go away just because I refused to see it as reality. I was scared.

And just when I had started to be happy.

I always choose ‘the opportune moment,’ don’t I?


Seriously, listen to what I am saying. MIDDLE EARTH SUCKS. Not the locations, the famous heroes and people, or the kickass history— but the process of the whole ‘saving the world against incredibly depressing odds’ thing— incredibly sucks.

Boromir stirred beside me, and I leaned over him to see if he was alright. He opened his eyes gradually, blinking himself awake enough to push me further away with his good arm. He sat up, stretching and throwing me a discontented stare.
“You know,” he said casually, with the barest hint of amusement in his tone, “I don’t much care for the warrior life anymore. Every time I get trapped in another damned quest to save posterity, it always ends up biting me in the ass.” He smiled slightly. “Or the ego.”

“Take up baking.” I replied, pretending to be deeply in thought. “I hear kneading the hell out of dough is great for stress-relief.”

We both sat there, smiling at the irony of it all.

Just then I remembered his near-fatal suicidal attack on that Uruk. Curiosity got the better of me.

“Why did you attack her when we were outnumbered?” I asked carefully, “Did I miss a cue or something? Was I supposed to jump on the horse and abandon you to a valiant and self-sacrificing death or something?” I frowned. “Because I wouldn’t ever go for that, you know.”

He smirked a little at my frank words.

“No,” he admitted, “But I did fear for you. At the moment, though, I was presently in an unpleasant mood. And I had the sudden desire to lash out at something. I knew her arrow came here,” and he beckoned his arm, “for a good reason. She wanted both of us alive, it appears. I suppose I’m to be ransomed off for a price, being the ‘Prince of Gondor’ apparently. That’s news to me, anyway.” He gave a rugged grin. “It seemed a good idea at the time.”

“Cool,” I said approvingly, amazed that it wasn’t only me who acted on impulse. To meet this great man who at his very best seemed perfect and at his least a noble and good-intentioned person, actually be the one making spur-of-the-moment moves—I can only say that I felt much better.

But in a moment, BoromirÂ’s smile had shifted into a confused frown. He narrowed his eyes, very obviously scrutinizing me.

“Are your eyes in the habit of periodically changing colors?”


He looked straight at me, then turned to look around the room for a makeshift mirror. Obviously, there was no need. I found three of them in the span of fifteen seconds.

Vain little witch.

Anyway, I walked over to the floor length mirror, focusing on my own eyes.


Wow. My eyes were never purple. I would know.

“What the hell?!” I gasped, squinting. I needed glasses. Or this was a joke. Boromir would start laughing and say ‘Ha, I got you! They’re Contacs!’ anytime now. I turned back to him. Nope. No such luck. He was still as bewildered as I was.

For a few moments, I just stared—dumbfounded as to why my eyes were changing. And to purple, of all colors.

“Elaina,” he murmured, “Your hair…”

“What?” I shrieked. Freaking out. Freaking out. What the hell is happening to me?

“It’s… redder!”

No. ItÂ’s just the tent. It just looks that way. No way am I changing.

Sure enough, my once perfectly plain brown hair was taking on an auburn-ish hue, and I could see a few orangy highlights picked up by the light.

“Oh, GOD!” I moaned, finally realizing. I threw my head in my hands to the amusement of a very baffled Boromir. Is it just me, or does my nose look a bit smaller? And my lips were never this… full. Damn. Damn that Mary Sue to an eternity of pissed off canon-writers and a thousand angry Thranduil’s!

“What is it?” he asked, and I almost smacked him when I could detect more than a hint of laughter in his tone. I looked up. Sure enough, his face was set in a serious mask, but the corners of his mouth twitched as though he was about to burst out laughing.

“This is not funny, Boromir!” I growled. “She is turning me into one of THEM!”

“Who?” He asked innocently.

“You may think it’s funny now, but when I suddenly up and GLOMP you to death, you’ll wish you didn’t.”

He could not hold it in anymore. He erupted in howling laughter, clutching his sides for air. When he caught his breath, he wiped his eyes and looked at me with raised eyebrows and a grin playing on his lips. “Do I want to know what a ‘glomp’ is?”

I met his eyes, trying my best to sound as severe as I could.

“Not unless you want a horde of jealous fangirls to tear me limb from limb.”

Of course, he didnÂ’t understand. But I think I made it pretty clear that this was not the time to be talking about any actions of glomping.

“She must’ve put some sort of spell on me,” I began. “It’s all way too… clichéd. I mean, I like my ugly face. I don’t want to up become a freaking Mary Sue!” Oh yes, there was a definite note of panic somewhere in there.

“Really, Elaina, your face is not ugly. Quite the opposite, actually. And what in Arda is a Mary Sue?” I glared at him, but was surprised when I saw no trace of sarcasm or humor in his face. He ignored my annoyance, waiting for my answer.

I sighed. He really wasn’t helping. “You wouldn’t understand if I told you.”

“Try me.”


Fifteen minutes later, Boromir stood with his arms across his chest, hearing of how the world of young writers changed the course of his life enough times to make him want to actually just die in peace from all those nice black Uruk arrows.

Evaluation for a Mr. Boromir, currently in permanent residence in Minas Tirith, Gondor.
Slightly shocked: Check.
A bit skeptical: Check.
Freaked out: Check.

Well, I think that covers it. You can only imagine it was news to them that he was involved in angst-slashy love with Aragorn, survived the war to marry the lovely younger daughter of Elrond, or ended up taking the ring, overcoming its power, and saving the world with it. Of course, I didnÂ’t tell him all of this. It might be a little overwhelming. But he knew the bare facts of the matter.

“So,” he said, drawing the word out. It was more of a ‘Soooo…’ When in the hell did the world get this crazy… kind of thing. It wasn’t helping me right now, that Boromir currently thought I was just as insane as the loony holding us prisoner in her pink tent of death.

“Listen,” I began, trying not to blush from mortification any more than I was. How do you expect someone to believe you when you’ve told them… you, oh—came from the future/and/or/another dimension where people think you’re a made up character in a fantasy book and play around with your life via Luckily, he did not just slap me to see if I wasn’t delirious or something.

He took a deep breath, and looked me in the eye. “Ok,” he said evenly, “If that is what you say, I believe you.”

Thank you, Jesus/Allah/God/Buddha/[insert deity].

But we still had the problem of actually getting out of there.


“What do you say?” I asked him, after another hour pacing and brainstorming. He observed me from his seat on the floor, grimacing when his arm accidentally brushed the large trunk he was leaning on. I frowned. “It’s all we’ve got for now. We have limited time. My guess is she gets us out of here before dawn, and if we have any chance to get away it’s going to be when we’re still in Rohan.”

He nodded. “It’s a good plan. A little risky, but then, all escapes are. It’s the best we have.” Boromir gave me a small smile of encouragement when he saw my grim face.

Really, though, even Morwenna wasnÂ’t stupid. This was going to be hard.

The warrior in Boromir suddenly returned, his ears detecting more than I could hear. His face was set, and he brought his hand up to his ear to signal to me. I listened carefully, but it wasnÂ’t necessary.

She was back.

A shriek of delight brought me back to my senses, and I swiveled around to the entrance of the tent. Her Highness, ridiculous dress and jewels and all, stood with her arms crossed over her chest. There was an absolutely infuriating smirk on her face.

Seriously, then and there, I wanted to bitch-slap the smugness right off it. She sneered at my disheveled appearance.

“Rough night, little fangirl?”

I winced.

“You know what?” my voice was shaking with pent-up anger, and I couldn’t help but think that she was annoying me so much I almost wanted to physically attack something with a pair of pinking shears. Almost. “It’s not really… no wait, it’s actually completely not funny when you’re using sarcasm.” I turned to Boromir, who was looking on with an expression caught between amused and disapproving. “Please, Boromir, tell me I’m not this fucking aggravating when I’m being sarcastic!”

He caught the laugh before it came out. Instead, a small cough erupted from his lips, making him bend over to fend off the giggles. Yes, giggles. The son of the Steward, Captain of Gondor’s army—fighting off not orcs, but laughter.

The Sue turned toward him. “You won’t have to worry about her anymore, Princeling.” A vague smile hit her face. “You see the transformation, do you not? I thought it fitting, being that soon enough she will be my slave, and one of us. I can’t have her embarrassing me with her own ugly face, now can I? I won’t stand for an unattractive army of my own kind”

What the hell?! Army? A fucking army of Mary sues? This just gets better every second.

“… Although, I might just not be so merciful. I admit I’d much rather see her dead. But I pity her own unsightliness.”

I snorted. And flipped the bird. “Pity that, you cheap tart.” Ouch. Maybe I was a little harsh.


Morwenna was not amused. In fact, she was anti-amused. Livid, more like it.

“You little witch!” she howled. I couldn’t help but think of the five year old I had to baby-sit every Tuesday night. She sounded astoundingly like the demon child Anna, after I took away her Barney privileges for kicking me in the shins. (Which was totally uncalled for. I actually do try to be nice when I look after the ankle-biters.) Anna’s response? Rip off the head of her favorite Barbie.

I couldnÂ’t help but be afraid that the Mary SueÂ’s reaction would be the same.

“I… You!” she sputtered. “When all this is over, I’m not even going to give you the pleasure of killing you. You’ll be the first slave on the road to Mordor! And you will beg me to bring you death!”

“So dramatic…” I muttered under my breath, but just loud enough for her to hear. “Really, all this stress can’t be good for that pimple.”

She froze. She turned.

Her eyes freaking popped out of their sockets.

Don’t take that literally. Her eyes were still there in her head. But believe me when I say—that was not a smart thing I had just brought to her attention.

And, like that, she screamed shrilly and was gone in a ‘poof.’ No more death threats, wailing, or smirking. But I’m pretty sure she was clutching her face when she left.

I turned around to face Boromir, currently trying to get air after his burst of insane laughter. I smiled.

“It always works,” I told him imperiously, and gave him a moment for him to catch his breath.

When he stopped shaking, he breathed deeply and patted my back. “You know, your metamorphosis is a bit disconcerting. I think, the sooner we get away, the sooner it wears off.”

I groaned. “Please, don’t remind me. I just love to hear how I’m turning into the next full scale ‘attack of the clones.’

He flashed a small, wistful smile at me.

“We must go.” And with that, our plan was set in motion.


[Ominous twilight zone music] Twenty minutes later!!!

“You, there!”

The orc in question woke up with a start.

“Were you just sleeping? Outside the prisoners’ tent, on the job?”

Said orc scratched his head in a profound gesture, reluctantly nodding to the hooded and cloaked mistress. She had the prisoner, the Gondor-man tied up and trailing behind her.

“They could’ve gotten away, you dolt-headed worm!”

‘Stupid mistress.’ Thought poor random orc. ‘Cares more about her hair than her world domination plans. She’s was wearing a pink frilly dress, for Sauron’s sake! Where did the world of evil go wrong?’

“Prepare the horse! I have orders from Isengard.”

The orc paused. “Pardon meh, mistress, but wouldn’t it be faster if yeh used that nice silver powder?”

For a moment, the mistress stopped. Bad news for random orc.

“BECAUSE,” she shrieked. Poor random orc could now see why Sauron employed her. “I’VE GONE AND WASTED IT ALL ONE THOSE IDIOT PRISONERS!!! I CAN’T EVEN FIND MY RIDING DRESS!!!”

It took the orc a full half-second to scurry off with a squeak to prepare the horse.

When he came back, the mistress was tapping her foot impatiently on the floor. She grabbed the reins, hoisting herself on the horse. She still held the rope bound to the prisonerÂ’s wrists, so he was forced to do the same.

“Now, you,” she said contemptuously to the man, “Any attempts to escape will only get you a one-way trip to Mandos.”

Orc shuffled like he didnÂ’t want to be there at the moment.

“And you,” she addressed the orc. “Don’t you dare let the girl prisoner escape! She’s a sneaky bitch.”

He nodded uncomfortably.

The two rode off into the early hours of morning, leaving poor little random orc to go to sleep at his post again.


My panic was returning.

“I don’t know where we’re going, Boromir!”

We had just passed the ‘okay’ point to be ourselves, out of earshot and sight from the small camp. We encountered no one else, but I couldn’t help but be on edge. If we were caught a third time, I was positive I would die young.

“Stop the horse,” he commanded softly. I did just that, and the warrior dismounted and untied his hands. I got off, nearly ripping off that ridiculous purple cloak that was in one of Morwenna’s trunks. It was heavy, probably made of some dead-weight fabric like velvet or something. Boromir remounted, beckoning me to get on behind him.

Before I took his hand, I noticed the shadows under his eyes.


He looked down at his forearm, distracted, rubbing it with a slow movement, but it dropped back beside him. He very nearly swayed in the saddle.

Oh my god! He was about to pass out!

“Boromir? Come on, I need you to stay conscious until we figure the way to Helm’s Deep.”

He snapped back to reality, nodding with a lethargic wave of the head. His voice was frighteningly quiet, very strained.

“See that star?” and he pointed up in the sky. “That’s Eärendil. It shines from the west, so we need only follow it along the mountains until we get there. We were not that far west from Edoras, so we have not passed the great fortress yet.” He tried to give me a smile, but it looked more like a painful grimace. “We should be there by twilight today.”

I nodded.

Climbing back behind him, I could not help feel a small wave of dread come over me as we rode to HelmÂ’s Deep.

Boromir was out cold within the hour.



Yay! Another chapter finished! Longer than I expected, but I guess thatÂ’s a good thing. A nice, fat, almost-end-of-the-year present for all of us still in school. Eleven days until I am free!

Which means, free to write at any time of the day. (Woot!)

Anywho, for anyone who reviewed the last chapter go here-

http:// andi-scribbles .livejournal. com/ (Remove the spaces)

Sorry, just banned replies to individual reviews in chapters. But I did reply! My livejournal is where I will be posting review replies from now on. The link to my LJ is also in my profile.

Please review!


The stuff about Eärendil is all true. I actually did research. Who would’ve thought?

AND, the winner of the Elvish obscenities contest IIIISSSSÂ….. (drum roll)Â….

Or rather, ARE

TinNim and starofdunedain!!!! Gold stars to you both! To collect your prize, please email me (the link can be found on my profile page) or PM me. Thanks to everyone else who participated.

The elvish words ‘Tûg Ceredir’ mean “fat maker/doer/creator.” The latter refers to the derivation of the word for ‘penis.’ As in, penis=a creator.

Lol, as soon as I find the link to Elvish obscenities, it will be posted.

Once again, you will now hit the review buttonÂ….



Chapter 25

“Open the gate!”

Someone’s shout rang out from the stone walls, and on the wall I thought I could see a dwarf and an elf sitting side by side. I couldn’t actually be sure, though—I was panicking. Boromir had fallen into a sleep. A very frightening sleep, for me anyway. He sat cold and still in front of me in the saddle, breathing in a very shallow and labored rhythm. I tried my best to keep him propped up, so he wouldn’t slip off the horse and injure himself anymore. Leaving me very little room to grab the reins, I had to hold his arm and chest against me. How we had ever gotten this far, I’ll never know. As the gate opened and we trotted in, some random soldier led the horse. All around people began to crowd, trying to see who we were. I looked around frantically for someone, anyone familiar, or a healer. Aragorn was nowhere to be found. I guess he was still on the way back from his little nuzzle with Brego. But the elf caught me by surprise, Gimli trailing behind.

“Ai Elbereth, Elaina!” he breathed, helping Gamling lift Boromir off the horse. Once they had gotten him down, Legolas turned to me, eyeing the dress with interest while still managing the worried look. Gimli sported somewhere between a bewildered expression of relief and a shit-eating grin. Somehow, I was not amused.

“So, Lass, while we were off protectin’ the population of Rohan, you and the lad decided to play dress up?”
I almost had the energy to reply in a sarcastic and sharp tone, but a sudden wave of strong exhaustion hit me. I swayed dangerously, slipping from the saddle.
Damn. How many times to I have to faint in this freaking year?!

Luckily, hard stone was there to break my fall.


Be proud of me, though—I actually managed to stay conscious. Legolas was able to hoist me up on my feet and push me to the nearest nurse’s station—which happened to be Eowyn’s.

The elf threw one last worried glance over his shoulder, and then went to help the other healer with Boromir. I winced, tugging at the annoying lace on the sleeves of MorwennaÂ’s gown. With as much strength as I could muster, I succeeded in ripping the sleeve with a satisfying tear. Eowyn eyed me curiously, drawing some hot water and spare clothes for me.

“Thanks,” I murmured as she handed me a tunic and some breeches. “Can you help me get out of this damned mass of frills?”
I was rewarded with a small grin, and she pulled me into a narrow alcove that protected us from the view of others. I was thankful for all the privacy. It seemed people hadnÂ’t stopped staring at me since I got to Middle Earth.

“My lady does not enjoy the finery of court clothing?” Her eyes were alight with humor, and a bit of light mockery colored her tone. I could tell she was still trying to figure out if I was as desperately sick of the medieval-type female role as she was.

“Yeah,” I grumbled. “I’d have run out of that tent in nothing but a barrel if it wouldn’t have ruined our plan of escape.”
I finally pulled the dress over my head with EowynÂ’s help, grabbing the shirt and tunic to replace it.

“Escape?” she prompted, and a faint mix of curiosity and awe passed across her face. “The masters Legolas and Gimli told me of your travel with them.” A strange, wistful expression broke her cool attitude. “A lady that rides with a company of warriors, eludes the Uruk Hai, takes a horse and a wounded man halfway across Rohan, and lives to speak of it?”

I finished dressing, tying up the lacing on the worn boots with a skeptical look to match her slightly jealous one.

“Listen,” I began, “Of course, it sounds all adventurous and heroic when you say it that way, but listen to me when I say—it’s not.”

She smiled a purely disapproving smile at my obvious distaste.

“Would you care, then, my lady, to become the King’s niece in my stead?” The disbelief positively radiated from her now, and she wore a grin that denounced me as a complete lunatic. “I would gladly take your place in the company of great heroes and leaders of men.”

I grinned right back, wincing and rubbing my sore neck.

“I’m sure you would,” I said encouragingly, “Feel free to do just that at any time. My shoulders are killing me. And I need a bath.”

She pursed her lips, rolling her eyes.

Then we both turned our heads when whispers of ‘he has returned’ rippled through the crowd.

“Lord Aragorn!” gasped Eowyn, grabbing my arm and pulling me along with her. She was sprinting.

Ok, Arwen, anytime you wanna show up that would be great. Like, now. Seriously, this looks like some twisted 90210 episode.

The ranger in question looked more like some hobo that just fell off a bridge and into a sewer. Yeah, he was that gross. Fortunately, he remained a safe distance away from me. Eowyn had broken off (me? slowing her down?) and ran full speed ahead. Poor girl. She only just saw Legolas grin and hand the Evenstar pendant back into AragornÂ’s grimy hand.

Oh God—will not feel sorry for Eowyn. Repeat. Er, dang it! She’s making the puppy eyes!

Eowyn muttered something about clean linens and dashed away. What a relief.

Uh-oh. Looks like the ranger spotted me.

My stomach lurched a bit. How do you expect me to react? You didnÂ’t see how mad he was!

“Elaina,” he muttered, and in that single word I heard a few choice emotions—namely relief, confusion, and disbelief.

“Aragorn.” I nodded my head casually as was possible. He just stood there for a second, eyeing me with some unreadable expression.

Then, I was pulled into a crushing hug.

“I am sorry,” he muttered. Pulling away and sighting my wrinkled nose and small smile, he chuckled. “I guess you didn’t catch me at the best of times.”

I laughed, trying to fight off the nervousness. No matter how much you’re forgiven for your mistakes, the shame is still there. “Well, that makes two of us. And I’m the one who should be sorry.” I paused, carefully observing his blank face. “I put you all in danger—twice—and if I could do it over again I would change it.”

He scrutinized my eyes for a second, and then nodded with a forgiving smile. “I must see the king—but before, where is Boromir? Is he well?”

I sighed, still a little embarrassed that I had dragged the poor man into the whole thing. “He’s alright—his arm was tagged by an arrow—”

“What? Is he alright?” Aragorn’s worry only made the dread rock in my stomach flip more.

“I think he’s fine,” I said, hoping to God he really was. “He’s just worn out. Legolas has seen him to a healer.” Aragorn relaxed visibly, then nodded and walked off to see the king. But before I left, he turned and touched my arm. His face was stern, but kind.

“We’ll talk after I see the King.”

Oh, shit.


Author’s Note: [cowers] Seriously, don’t kill me. I know this is a short chapter. I know it’s been a while since my last update. I’m really, really sorry. And I have complete confidence when I say, this story will be continued. With, possibly, a sequel. The reason for the lapse in update was this—I’ve been writing. Not this story (sorry), but working on an original piece of fiction, one that will hopefully blow everyone out of the water. It’s taken up a lot of my time in research and lists (the not fun part) and I’ve barely gotten to the actual writing part (the fun stuff ;). But that’s what I have to do. I can’t promise an update immediately, but I can say it will be soon. And, (hint hint) you can expect a little romance in the next few chapters. Which, by the way, will be longer. I’m on Christmas break, which means basically that all my time will be spent writing, revising, editing, and rewriting. So, have a great Holiday break!

Reviews are nice. Really, they are. They make me smile like a goofy lunatic.

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