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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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Of Skyescrapers and Subways
Submitter: Date: 2011/7/11 Views: 1449 Rate: 8.75/8
Author:Mornen
Summary: Summary: The company finds themselves in a strange, unknown world, filled with danger and machinery. How did they get there? Will they ever get back? And can they survive the 21st century? strange and orignal despite cliched description. revised and complete.
Rating: K+
Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Aragorn studied the falling rain. He watched as it poured, down from the sky, drenching the miserable city, and pattering pathetically against the glass. The city lights quivered under it, fading in and out with each new drop as it splashed unwillingly against the pane, and rolled down, wasted. He drew in a deep breath of smoke, and let it out slowly, watching with interest the swirling patterns that filled the air.

'Dunadan, must you smoke?' asked Legolas, turning to him again with pleading hazel eyes.

Aragorn sighed and opened the window.

'That's not what I asked,' said Legolas with a sad sigh.

'It helps me think,' answered Aragorn, twisting the pipe thoughtfully between his fingers.

'It is not the most pleasant habit,' said the elf chidingly.

'All right, why don't you go sleep with Boromir? He doesn't smoke,' Aragorn snapped in frustration.

Legolas sighed again, but fell silent.

Aragorn turned back to the now open window and studied the city again. They were high, very high—high looking out on a towering city. With buildings so tall, they seemed to reach the sky. Skyscrapers, they were called. He leaned back in his chair and tried again to think. If only Gandalf were with them, he would surely know what to do. Or would he? The land was so foreign, so distant; it seemed to have sprung from a half-remembered nightmare, perhaps not even Gandalf would understand. He turned to the elf, who was watching him in silence.

'Legolas,' he asked, 'do you have any idea of where we might be?' It was, by all accounts, the fourth time he had asked him this, and this time he got no better answer.

'No, Aragorn, I do not. If any of us were to know, surely it would be you.' The elf looked at him, waiting for an answer. Perhaps he wanted a solution to all of their problems, perhaps he wanted the world, perhaps he wanted an embrace, perhaps he simply wanted him to put his pipe out; it was hard to tell. So he did nothing. There was a long, uncomfortable silence.

'This is a world of men,' said the elf finally.

Aragorn nodded gravely. Men. The word hit him like a poisoned dart. He wondered if Legolas blamed him for this world. He looked over at the elf sitting so innocently and looking so sad and merciful that his fears soon faded. No, he did not.

'The hobbits hate it here,' said Legolas, matter-of-factly a moment later.

'Of course they do, it's too high for them.' Aragorn looked down again at the street twenty-two stories below. He could hear the hobbits in the next room, talking in soft whispers to each other about the terrible place that they had been magically brought to.

'Do you know where we are, Frodo?'

'No, I don't, Pippin.'

'Frodo, I'm scared.'

'I'm sorry, Pippin.'

'Are you scared, Sam?'

'Yes, Mister Pippin.'

'We're all scared, Pip.'

'Even Boromir?'

'Yes, even Boromir.'

'I don't believe you on that one, Merry.'

'Well, why don't you ask him?'

'I would, except I already know the answer. Do you think Strider's scared?'

'Probably.'

'And what about Gimli?'

'I'm not scared.'

'You aren't?'

'No.'

'Not even a little?'

'Not in the least. I'm a dwarf. We fear nothing.'

'Where's Boromir?'

'I don't know, Merry.'

'He went on a walk,' Aragorn called through the wall.

'In the rain?'

'Yes, he said he wanted to think.'

'Oh.'

'Strider, are you scared?'

'Yes, Pippin. Now, go to sleep.'

'Good-night, Strider.'

Aragorn listened as they went off in a round of 'goodnights'. They were a wonderful folk, but rather…innocent. He closed his eyes and tried to think of an explanation to their problem. Spontaneous transportation to unknown lands had not been his field of study. He did not know if even Gandalf could explain it to them. Or perhaps Gandalf was the one who had sent them there. It could be. It was so confusing now.

They had been traveling from Rivendell to Moria, defeated by Caradhas, and with, it seemed, no other options. He had counseled against Moria, begged Gandalf not to take them that way, but Gandalf had not listened, and perhaps he was right not to. And yet, the thought of Moria still burned Aragorn's heart. He had been there once, and it was not a memory that he wished to relive. But it had not been—Moria was not the doom that came to them.

He stopped a moment in his musings and watched Legolas's reflection in the window; the elf was brushing out his burnt golden hair, whispering to himself the words of an old song. He heard Boromir come in, the swish of the door as it opened, and the muffled bang as it swung shut.

'Boromir, you're soaked!' it was Merry's voice, rising high and worried.

'I'm all right, it's a warm rain,' Boromir answered.

Aragorn heard Boromir cross the hobbits' room and knock on his door. He glanced at Legolas to see if he was decent, and then told him to come in. Boromir walked in, drenched, with a grim smile on his face.

'This is indeed a strange world,' he said, 'you wouldn't believe some of the things I have just seen.'

'I would believe anything, now,' Legolas corrected him.

Boromir frowned at the elf, then turned his attention back to Aragorn.

'Go on, my friend,' said Aragorn.

'Well,' said Boromir, 'I was walking along, minding my own business,'

'Getting soaked in a dirty city,' Legolas added for him.

Boromir frowned at the elf again, who widened his hazel eyes at him innocently.

Aragorn sighed and rolled his eyes at both of them. Why had Legolas decided that not only would he hate Gimli, he would also antagonize Boromir at every occasion he could? Relationship problems were not one of his strong points.

'At any rate, I came across a bar,'

'And, being a mortal man, you walked in,' Legolas prodded.

Boromir glared at the elf. 'Which had a help-wanted sign in the window. I went in to inquire about the position, and, well, I don't know exactly how, but I was hired.'

'As what?' asked Aragorn.

'Bartender.'

'With no previous experience?'

'None. I don't know why he chose me, but it pays three times better than my old job. And it's a lot less work.'

'They probably chose you because you're so handsome,' said Legolas with a shrug.

'Thanks, Beautiful,' Boromir shot back.

The elf shrugged again.

'Congratulations,' said Aragorn.

'Thank-you. Well, now I've got to go take a shower.' Boromir walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

'That's a lucky break, if ever I saw one,' said Aragorn.

'About that,' said Legolas, 'how have you been paying for all of us anyway, seeing that you won't let me or the hobbits work?'

'It's a dangerous world out there.'

'So, what do you do, rob banks?'

'No, I lift boxes.'

'And Gimli?'

'He's a cashier, as you would know, if you asked him. Besides which, you already knew what I do. If you're going to start complaining that I don't let you go anywhere again, stop. You have to stay here and protect the hobbits. You know that.'

Legolas nodded, and fell silent.

Aragorn looked out the window again. He could hear the shower running, Boromir was singing. Legolas sat contemplating their fate awhile longer, then pulled out his nightclothes.

'I am going to change, don't look.'

Aragorn nodded, and watched the elf change in the window. What is this place anyway? He wondered. A distant city in a foreign country? Another world? The future? He shivered, and gave up his thoughts; he was growing tired.

Legolas was already in bed, gazing up at the ceiling and humming himself a lullaby. Aragorn closed the window and changed quickly, then slipped under the blankets beside the elf.

Legolas smiled at him. 'Sorry for being such a pain,' he said.

'You should really apologize to Boromir.'

'I know.'

There was another long silence, Aragorn reached over and turned the light out. Their small, white room disappeared into darkness. He looked over at Legolas; the elf's bright eyes glistened in the dark.

'I miss Mithrandir,' he said softly.

Aragorn reached over and stroked a few strands of his golden hair off his smooth cheek. 'So do I,' he whispered.

'Do you think we will ever see him again?'

'I don't know.' Aragorn pulled the elf close; he could feel the sadness in him.

'Do you think we will ever get back?'

'I don't know, Greenleaf, I don't know.

When Aragorn awoke the next morning, Legolas was already up, typing away on the computer. Aragorn rolled over and studied the clock. 5:43. He got up slowly and stretched a little.

'Morning, Aragorn,' said Legolas, without looking up.

'Good morning, Legolas.'

Aragorn walked to the bathroom, checking the hobbits as he passed by. They were still asleep, curled up together on the pullout sofa. He opened the door to Boromir and Gimli's room. Gimli was still sleeping, but Boromir was awake, punching the palm of his right hand with his left fist.

'Boromir,' he whispered, so as to not wake the dwarf. 'Are you all right?'

'I am fine, just suffering from a severe bout of insomnia. Do you know the time?'

'Almost 6.'

'I'm getting up.'

'You'd better wake Gimli up too.'

'Have you ever woken a dwarf before?' Boromir groaned. 'You're lucky, you know, getting the Elf and all. He snores.' Boromir nodded at Gimli.

Aragorn chuckled and headed to the shower. Showers were wonderful things. The water was hot and steamy; he stepped in and let it pour over him. The hobbits hated showers, they much preferred to take baths. Gimli was okay with them, and Boromir loved them. He had not yet asked Legolas his opinion. He slathered his dark hair with shampoo, and rinsed it out wildly. He rubbed the slippery bar of soap carefully against his skin, watching the little bubbles foam and then glide away with the streaming water. He loved showers. Clean, he stepped out and rubbed himself dry with a towel.

He walked back into the kitchen/living room, where the hobbits were still sleeping through Boromir's attempts at making breakfast.

'What are you doing to those eggs?' asked Aragorn, leaning over to look down at a mess of glistening yellow and brown sizzling on the bottom of the bright red teflon pan.

'I am trying to scramble them,' said Boromir, frowning down at them. 'They, however, do not have the faintest idea as to what they means.'

'Well, you had better give them a stir of they're going to burn,' Aragorn said, punching him gently on the arm.

'Too late for that.'

Sam stirred. 'What's that smell?' he asked.

'A cook knows,' said Aragorn, giving Boromir half a smile as he walked into his room.

Legolas had, by then, gotten off the computer, and was carefully braiding his hair.

'Boromir can't cook,' he said as Aragorn walked in.

'I know that.'

Legolas got up and looked out the window. 'Where are we?' he asked again.

Aragorn knew that he did not expect an answer. He walked over to the elf and put an arm around his thin shoulders. They stood in silence surveying the city. There were little people hurrying along far below them. Legolas could probably see them just as well as if he had been standing among them, but to Aragorn they appeared like miniatures come to life, scurrying about to avoid being crushed.

'Don't you trust me, Sam?' Boromir's voice wafted in from the kitchen.

'No, I don't Master Boromir. You're going to burn those eggs just the same as you burnt these ones. Now, you had better give up all notions of cooking and let me do the job, no offence taken, I hope?'

Aragorn sighed and let go of Legolas, he had to leave for work soon. He walked into the kitchen and waited for Sam to fix him a plate of eggs. He hated his job and he hated the city, but he couldn't think of anything to save them at the moment. At least the ring's safe. He thought as he picked up his fork. And I suppose that's the main point.

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