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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 Maine and Men
Submitter: Date: 2011/8/21 Views: 475
Summary: Summary: Sequel to Of Skyscrapers and Subways. The fellowship, joined by Elrond, moves out of Boston to escape from Saruman who is searching for the one ring. VCF
Rating: T

Legolas pressed back in the warm seat of the mini van, he was sitting behind the driver's seat, and the air coming in form the driver's slightly open window was cool and fast; he turned his face away from it and looked down at Pippin. The young hobbit was snuggled against him, sleeping. He touched his soft curls, wondering how he had managed; he couldn't sleep. The van was too strange a thing, too frightening a thing, to sleep in. He looked over at Elrond, driving so carefully and yet, so assuringly, his eyes fixed on the road; his mouth set in a tight line. Where did Elrond learn to drive? he wondered, pulling Pippin a tad closer. The hobbit whimpered, but soon fell silent again, breathing gently and trustingly by his side.

He turned to Boromir, who was nodding off beside him, his head drooping to one side and his hands curled in partial fists. His head shook a little with each bump the car made, and he seemed almost ready to fall over. Legolas turned, carefully so as not to wake Pippin, and looked behind him at the back seat, where the three other hobbits and Gimli sat, also sleeping, despite their earlier protest that they would never be comfortable in a moving vehicle. It's probably illegal to put nine people in a seven-passenger van. He sighed, almost everyone was sleeping, there seemed to be no one to talk to. He turned to Aragorn; he wasn't sleeping, he was studying the map.

Legolas leaned forward and peered down at the map Aragorn was holding. 'Where are we going again?'

Pippin groaned and Legolas sat back gently; he did not want to wake him up, he might get scared again.

'Maine,' answered Aragorn.

'Why Maine?' asked Legolas, trying to keep up the conversation.

'It is isolated enough to hide from—and close enough to keep an eye on—Saruman,' Elrond informed him without taking his eyes off the road.

' Ah, that's right, I'd forgotten.' Legolas frowned as he watched Elrond make a smooth turn. Where did he learn to drive? 'Elrond?'

'Yes, Legolas?'

'Where did you learn to drive?'

'It is not that hard,' he answered coolly.

'You mean you didn't take any lessons?' Aragorn demanded, sitting up straight.

'It is a fairly simple process,' Elrond replied calmly.

'Good grief!' said Aragorn, flopping back against his seat.

'What?' asked Boromir, snapping awake.

'Elrond has no driving experience,' Legolas told him flatly.

'None?' Boromir looked nervously at Elrond.

'I do not understand what everyone is so upset about, driving is not hard,' Elrond continued.

'You could kill us all,' Aragorn retorted.

'I could, but Saruman would. Trust me, Estel.'

Boromir sat back looking uneasy. 'Now I really can't sleep.'

'Join the club,' said Aragorn wryly.

The men fell into a brooding silence, and Elrond said no more, Legolas watched the land slipping by. They were traveling north in the darkness; they had been driving for the past six hours with only short breaks, and Elrond said that it might take another two hours or so to reach their destination. He already felt stiff. The glowing clock on the dashboard read 10:25 p.m. He rubbed his neck tiredly and thought back over their flight that day.

They had left the park and gone straight back to the apartment; Elrond had left them there to pack, while he fetched the van. Legolas still didn't know where they had gotten it, perhaps it was better not to ask, just as it was better not to ask where he had gotten his seemingly endless supply of money.

He had run into the neighbor before they had left. Janet Thorne; she hadn't seen him dressed as a man before, and had just stared at him in shock. 'We're moving,' he had told her. She had stared and blinked and nodded vigorously. 'It was nice to have met you,' she had said.

Boromir had called 9 Numbers and left a message saying that they had both quit; he had been dismayed over having to abandon Mr. Smith like that, it went against his honor to quit a job. Gimli however had been very glad to do the same to the store he had worked at. 'And I'll never work for Wal-mart again!' he had added after hanging up.

Elrond had come back with the van, a rather old navy blue Ford that the hobbits were terrified of, but they had been convinced to board it, mainly by Elrond's gentle, reassuring words. He had been uneasy of it too, but he trusted Elrond, and had gotten in without complaining. And so they had started their drive, a drive that seemed endless.

Pippin nuzzled his head against the elf's chest in his sleep. They were sharing a seatbelt, probably also very illegal. Elrond had explained to them the best he could how they had wound up in Boston. His words still echoed in Legolas's mind.

'It was the only way to save you that we knew of, and it itself was a terrible risk. Somehow, Saruman had found out where you were, and he had sent a band of wicked men to wait for you at the other side of Moria; they were his servants, men that he no doubt had cast under a spell. There was no way to warn you; Moria itself was a risk, but to have this afterwards? To crawl out of that nightmare, weary and worn to fall prey to a fresh attack, how could anyone endure that? There were at least fifty of them, and only nine of you, if that many could survive Moria; to let you face them alone would have been folly.

'And thus we decided to transport you away, although that in itself was a risk; Galadriel first discovered this means of travel, although what she was doing studying time and space displacement, I cannot say, at any rate this was the first time that she spoke to us about it, and the first chance that she had to try it.'

Aragorn had interrupted him then, asking him whether Gandalf had been aware of what was happening.

Elrond had nodded. 'Yes, Galadriel told him. He helped to accomplish it, although were he is now, I cannot say, for he did not remain in Middle-earth, and he is not with you.' Elrond had looked very distressed when he had said that, his grey eyes filling with tears.

'Are we there yet?' asked Merry suddenly, from the back seat.

'No, not yet,' answered Elrond. 'It should still be another couple hours.'

Merry sighed deeply and fell silent.

Legolas tried to give him a reassuring smile, but the stress of the day and his fear of the car hindered it. He fell back to his memories.

He had been the next to speak, asking Elrond how Saruman had followed them. Elrond had not had much of an explanation, just the vague hypotheses that perhaps he had learned separately or perhaps he had spied on Galadriel; there was no way of knowing for sure.

This was immediately followed by Boromir's none too polite remark of 'Or perhaps she was in league with him.'

This suspicion had been cast down at once by the elves and Aragorn as unfounded and unprincipled; and yet, Legolas doubted that Boromir had fully believed them.

'And why did you come?' Frodo had then asked.

Elrond had smiled kindly at him. 'To take care of you.'

That had been a sufficient answer for the time, although, it may have been better appreciated if it had included a means of getting back to their home. How had Elrond been able to leave Imladris?

'Do we have somewhere specific in Maine that we are heading to?' Legolas asked suddenly.

Elrond nodded. 'Yes, I have bought a house there.'

Aragorn groaned. 'I had already told the others that we would never stoop to forging money,' he complained.

'It is a necessary evil,' Elrond stated.

'That's what I told Boromir about our documents, but I said that this was crossing the line.'

Elrond shook his head. 'Your line, perhaps, but this must be done, and I will do it.'

'But, Master Elrond…'

'Do not argue with me, Estel.'

Aragorn fell silent, his arms folded and a sour look on his face.

Boromir looked uneasily at the elf lord. 'I thought that elves believed in honesty.'

Elrond smiled at him in the rear view mirror. 'Did you now? I suppose you also thought that elves could not drive.'

'Yes, I did,' said Boromir, confused.

'Would you like me to prove you right?'

'No. Thank-you.' Boromir also fell silent.

'Do you have a driver's license?' asked Aragorn suddenly.

'Yes,' said Elrond.

'Forged, I warrant.'


'Elrond, you scare me.'

'I came here to save you, not to kill you, do not worry, Aragorn,' soothed Elrond.

'I can't help it,' Aragorn muttered.

'Automobiles frighten me,' said Legolas.

'And they frighten the hobbits, but they trusted me enough to fall asleep.'

'Only after they nearly died of fear the first two hours,' Legolas reminded him.

'And only after Frodo got car sick,' Aragorn added.

'And before you mentioned that you never took any lessons,' Legolas concluded.

Elrond sighed. 'But they trusted me, nevertheless. Calm down, I know what I am doing, but if you keep bothering me, I will be far likelier to get in a crash.'

After that, everyone fell silent; the thought of a crash sealing their lips.

Legolas looked out the window, a city was coming up; he could see the bright lights shining in the darkness ahead of them. He wondered briefly what city it was, they had not passed this close to one for some time, rather driving along on the highway past fields and woods that looked as if they would be quite at home in Middle-earth. They only skimmed the outskirts of the city; it was not as big as the other cities he had seen, the buildings were smaller and they seemed somehow more approachable, some of them were brick, although most were made of cement. Why do men make their building so ugly? he puzzled to himself.

The highway soon pulled them away from the city past a few more fields and some scattered buildings with large, glowing signs announcing their names; they seemed to be mainly motels and restaurants. He tried to stretch his cramped legs out, but the van was too small. The weight of Pippin's small body was putting his arm to sleep.

'That was Bangor,' said Aragorn, his eyes scanning the map. 'The second largest city in Maine.'

'It didn't seem that large,' whispered Boromir, still nervous about speaking.

Aragorn shrugged and the silence resumed.

They soon pulled off the highway onto another road, smaller, and yet still quite busy. The landscape about them was now spotted with more buildings, and the cars drove in two directions, the oncoming ones sweeping the interior of the van with light before disappearing again into the darkness, just two spots of glowing red. Legolas shuddered and moved a bit closer to Boromir.

He lost himself in his memories again, remembering his father, his smiling face and his laughing eyes, his golden hair shining in the sunlight that trickled down through the heavy canopy of leaves. Thranduil had always cared so much for him, his only child; Legolas knew that he reminded him of his mother, the love that he had lost, a woman whom Legolas had never really known, but whom, he had been told, he could see every time he looked in the mirror. He looked like her, and he had more of her temperament, her good nature, her ever-present optimism that somehow or other, everything would work out; he had been told by his father that he was so much like her, that she had given him part of her soul, and yet, he did not know if he believed that. All that he knew of her was the faint memory of a gentle hand a kind voice, a fair face blurred beyond recognition, and then, nothing.

He stopped his musings and looked over at Aragorn, he had fallen asleep, he had been lost in thought for quite some time, he realized. A small city was slipping past, they were driving through it, the traffic was rather still, and the world outside seemed to be sleeping. Elrond caught his eye in the rear view mirror, and at once knew what he was thinking.

'You do look like her,' he whispered.

Legolas managed a feeble smile.

'This is Ellsworth,' Elrond said. 'It should be less than an hour now.'

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