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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: 1931 Rate: 8.75/8

Legolas hurried through the busy streets, not stopping until he reached their apartment building. Aragorn obviously knew of some danger that he could not foresee; he deemed it best to listen to him. He walked into the building and took the elevator up to their floor. It rose smoothly with a faint hum. He leaned against the interior rails and waited for the final bump that would indicate the ride was over. It was a strange thing, the elevator, a traveling box, where one was lifted like cargo on a pulley. It bumped to a halt and the doors glided open; he stepped out into the cool, clean hallway just outside their apartment. Hurrying to the door, he almost collided with a short woman coming out of the neighboring apartment.

'Pardon me,' he said quickly.

'No, no, it's all my fault,' said the woman, shaking her head vigorously. 'I am such a klutz.'

He gave her half a smile and pulled out his key.

'I should introduce myself,' said the woman, 'I am Janet Thorne, but you can call me Jan; I live next door.' She nodded her head vigorously at the door she had just exited.

Legolas looked at her curiously. She was small and thin, with shiny brown hair cut just above her shoulders and sparkling blue eyes. 'A pleasure to meet you,' he said, politely.

'And you are?' she asked.

'I am Legolas,' he said.

'Well, Legolas, it is so nice to meet you,' she asserted, taking his hand and giving it a firm, quick shake. 'I was just coming over to give you a warm welcome and these brownies I made. I got the recipe from my grand-mother, it's a family secret.'

'Thank-you,' said Legolas, and, unable to think of a reason to keep her out, let her in.

'A charming place!' she said as she looked around. 'It reminds me of my own home.' She smiled and handed him the plate of brownies.

He took it from her with another 'thank-you' and set it on the counter. Where are the hobbits? He wondered.

'Legolas, you're back!' said Frodo, stepping out from Boromir and Gimli's room, thankfully with socks on.

Jan turned on him. 'What a charming boy! Is he yours?'


Just then, the rest of the hobbits came out of the room, their curiosity aroused.

'Good-afternoon!' said Merry cheerfully.

Oh-no, thought Legolas, who had done quite a bit of studying into the customs and culture of the place in his rather abundant spare time, I'd better act quickly.

'Yes, he is. They all are.' He went and stood near the hobbits and put on his best 'proud mother' face.

'How charming!' said Jan, smiling at them.

'This is Fred,' he said patting Frodo on the head.

Frodo rolled his eyes.

'Sam.' He touched Sam's curls.

Sam looked confused.

'Mattie.' He tousled Merry's hair.

Merry smirked.

'And Pippin.' He picked him up and gave him a hug.

'Mum!' cried Pippin and hugged him back, pressing an excited kiss on his cheek.

The four hobbits looked greatly amused, and Legolas just managed to keep a smile on.

Janet Thorne surveyed them carefully, probably trying to decide if they were actually related. She frowned a little, then, either giving up or reaching her own private conclusion smiled brightly and exclaimed, 'How wonderful! I myself have a daughter. But she's in school right now.' She thought about this with a little frown. 'Do they go to school?'

'Actually, I teach them at home,' said Legolas with a quick smile.

'How…interesting.' She smiled again, obviously at a loss for anything else to say.

Legolas put Pippin down and twisted his hands together uncertainly.

'Won't you sit down?' asked Frodo, gallantly, waving to the sofa.

'Thank-you,' she said and sat down on the sofa.

'Would you like some tea?' Frodo continued, smiling invitingly.

'If it isn't a trouble,' said Jan with a quick glance at Legolas.

'Not at all!' said Merry, and Jan turned to him.

Legolas looked dismayed. 'I'll fix it,' he said, crossing over to the kitchen.

'So, Freddy, how old are you?' asked Jan.

'He's 12,' called Legolas before Frodo could say anything. 'Sam is 11, Mattie 10, and Pippin is 9.'

The hobbits smirked again, but made no protest.

'And what do you like doing?'

'I like reading,' said Frodo.

'Do you now?'

'Yes, ma'am.'

'What do you like reading?'

'History and lore.'

'Isn't that interesting. What about you, Sam?'

'I like to garden and cook,' said Sam, 'and I do love poetry.'

'You like to cook?'

'Yes, ma'am.'

'And he's one of the best cooks I've ever known,' said Merry with a smile. 'Isn't he, Pip?'

'Yes, Sam is a wonderful cook.'

'How old are you again, Sam?'

'Um, well,' Sam stammered.

'He's 11,' said Legolas.

She smiled again. 'Well, that must be fun—cooking with your mom, I suppose? What do you like, Matt?'

Merry smiled. 'I like eating,' he said, 'and smo…'

'Yes, especially s'mores. Matt is just crazy about s'mores,' interrupted Legolas with a grimace in Merry's direction.

'Yes, s'mores are good, aren't they?' said Jan, nodding vigorously her agreement.

Merry didn't answer.

'And what about you, Pippin?'

'I like to sleep,' said Pippin mischievously.

Frodo smirked. 'That you do, Pip.'

'Here's your tea,' said Legolas, handing Jan the teacup.

'Oh, thank-you.' She took it.

'Tell us more about yourself,' said Legolas quickly, sitting down on the sofa beside her; Pippin quickly settled down on his lap. This invitation, of course, launched her into a very long and very detailed story on her life that seemed to have no end and no beginning and no middle and no point. The hobbits listened enthralled; they were very social creatures, and had been dying for company. They even forgave her of the fact that she was a 'big person.'

Legolas listened to her story willingly enough, but with a worried eye on the clock. The afternoon was slipping away and he wanted to get out of his disguise before Gimli came back. If the dwarf caught him dressed as a woman, he would die of embarrassment, without a doubt.

'My, my,' said Merry, 'Isn't that interesting.'

'And you have such a wonderful husband from what I have heard,' added Frodo, 'Tell us how you met.'

Jan, of course, could not refuse such an offer.

Legolas looked again at the clock, time was slipping by. He touched his hair, which he had carefully braided over his ears, to make sure it still covered the tips. Yes, it did. Good. He looked at the hobbits; their curls were falling over their ears. Good. They were all wearing socks. Good.

'And your daughter?' said Frodo, 'How old is she?'

Didn't the hobbits know of their danger? They weren't supposed to have guests over for good reason. We might get caught. He looked at Jan, What would she think if she met a fictional character? I shouldn't have given her my name. He scolded himself.

'Really? She wants to be an actress? How interesting,' said Merry.

'Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, she has been cast in the lead role in her school play. They're putting on Cinderella. She was absolutely ecstatic when she found out. Cinderella has always been one of her favourite stories…'

Legolas listened to another session on her eight year old daughter. I hope she doesn't want to set up a play-date.

He was startled from his musings by the opening of the front door. 4:30 already? How did the afternoon pass so quickly? Gimli walked in, tired and grumpy. He stopped when he saw Jan.

'Hello, ma'am,' he said, with a bow.

She smiled amiably. 'Hello, I live next door. My name's Janet Thorne, but everyone calls me Jan. I was having the most wonderful time meeting your family, you do have the sweetest kids.'

Legolas and Gimli froze. Gimli looked at the elf, and started. He had not noticed the disguise before. Legolas looked distressed and folded his arms. He then unfolded them and tapped his fingers together.

'Actually…' he began.

'I was charmed. Charmed! And your wife is one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. You are one fortunate man.'

The hobbits smirked, every one of them, even Sam. They were trying hard not to laugh.

Legolas glared at them.

Gimli's face went red.

'We're actually not married,' said Legolas.

'Oh. No? Well, still you make a wonderful family.'

'We aren't a family. He's…a…' the elf choked a little on the word, 'a friend.'

'A family friend,' Pippin added.

Jan smiled confused, then blushed a little and nodded. 'Oh, well, yes. It was so nice to meet you all.' She got up hastily. 'And I do look forward to seeing you again soon, but I must be off. Good-bye! Good-bye!' She disappeared out the door.

The hobbits exchanged a look, then promptly burst into laughter.

'So who is our father?' asked Merry evilly.

'You don't deserve one,' snapped Legolas, glaring fiercely at them.

'Is it Boromir, or Aragorn?' asked Frodo, 'Let's see…'

'I think it must be Aragorn,' said Pippin.

'Yes, I can see that,' said Frodo.

'So, when's daddy coming home?' asked Merry.

'I don't want to talk to any of you,' Legolas declared, and locked himself in his room.

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