Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products authors' imaginations, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, in entirely coincidental... unless Tolkien thought of it first, in which case it's his. No Aragorns were harmed in the writing of this chapter.

Drew's Note: Sorry, the delay is partly my fault. My husband got a really good job and we had to move (yay us!), and I have only recently reconnected with the internet. Family's doing well and are adjusting well to the house - thank you for asking. So without further ado, here's the plot-advancing, mandatory chapter three. Bon appetite!

AW's note: Hmmm... two chapters per year... We're really sorry about this.  But honestly, we've been working really hard for this, and the humour is A+ ... Keyboard spray tested and all. So, sit back and get ready for your side muscles to cramp up in pain, and please enjoy the stupid antics of the modern day Fellowship fic that's done right.


Chapter Three: Chapter Three Goes Here

Mandos. I hoped they had cheese there. Good cheese, not that processed kind... although that is the best kind to make grilled cheese sandwiches with. That and onion. Mmm... grilled cheese with onion.

...

...Oh sorry. Where was I?

Oh right, my near death experience number fifty-three.

Father looked as if he would explode and take the equivalent of six city blocks along with him. He never had looked this angry before. Not even the time that I shave the cat when I was fifteen that one summer 'cause I thought the cat looked too hot. Or the time that I tried to dry the cat in the dryer after its bath. Or when I merged his prized Chinese fighting fish into one tank when I was cleaning the other.  And then didn't tell him that I had to flush *both* Brêg Morn'lim (1) and Bara Coll'lim (2) to their watery graves. Father won't even let me near the dog, H-ten'huan (3), now. She's Drew's dog.

He didn't even look as angry as that one time when he and Mother went on a vacation to Europe early in the twentieth century (they hadn't been there since the sixteenth century). They said that the place had really been cleaned up very nicely since the last time.  Drew had gone to England for two weeks and returned on a boat... oh what was the name... The Mammoth? No... Ti... Ti... Something about Titans.  It was a nice boat. Too bad it sank. It was new, too. Drew has the worst time when she takes vacations.

Anyway, you have heard of children killing the house plants by not caring for them well enough? Well, for me in this situation, it was the complete opposite. I cared too much, and I didn't have the heart to prune them. I thought all the plants looked nice like that; I missed the forest. In short, the plants forced me to move out and a week later, Drew found me camping in the backyard in the big, green, nasty, canvas piece-of-crap-tent. Boy, was she surprised.

"AW! I've only been gone a month!!  What happened?!"

So, I used to have a very green thumb, but I lost it. Now I have two blue ones; it's not quite the same.

*****
(Drew nudges AW in the ribs.)
Drew: (British accent) Get on with it!
AW: Right.
******

Upon seeing Father's face, I would have plugged my ears to save my ear drums from the strong barrage of sound waves that were soon going to be pounding against them, but I knew that that would only have made my death a long and painful one. There was nowhere to hide.

Ascarer Wilwarin! What in all of Iluvatar’s beautiful creation do you think you’re doing?!?!“  Even though I was a little bit taller than Father, he seemed to tower over me, but perhaps that was because I was most likely cowering. “Just because your driving licence was revoked for twenty years doesn’t give you the right to endanger your sister.  It is your job to protect her!!”  Let's not focus on the fact that I was the younger sibling. “Has that blue dye soaked into your brain and affected your better judgement, or is it just that you have yet to stop being such a child and think rationally?!”  Okay, that bit wasn't fair! It was Drew's idea! But there was no telling him that. His precious angel, Drew, would never think of something so off the wall as duct-taping hobbits to the roof of her car. Never in a thousand years. “Would you stop bringing dishonour to your family!  It’s bad enough I have a blue son!

Despite his blue skin, AW paled considerably.  Yep, it's me again.  AW kind of freezes when Father yells, seeing as the rage usually focused entirely on him, and motion tends to aggravate the situation.  It's like waving a red flag in front of a raging bull or waving Linux's Tux in front of Bill Gates.

AW showed no signs of movement.  Father showed no signs of slowing down.  Our guests showed signs of discomfort.  The neighbours showed signs of their interest.  It was time to intervene.  

Taking advantage of Father's pause for air, I stepped forward, inhaled slowly and took the plunge.

"Father, these gentlemen are having... problems with their car and are stranded in Sticksville, at least over night."

Having opened his mouth to continue his tirade, Father paused and shut his mouth.  I could almost see him switching gears.  He went from incensed to incredibly hospitable in a heartbeat.  He smiled at me.

"Thank you, sweetheart," he beamed, "that's my Durere'.  Always thinking of others."  

Since AW was no longer petrified, he felt it was safe enough to pout.  And not being able to leave well enough alone, he started with  "But Father, it was Drew's idea to-"

Gimli poked him in the ribs and glared.  AW glared back but said nothing more.

Father raised an eyebrow at AW which made him slink back a few steps. Father has eyebrows to rival the legendary Eyebrow of Doom (tm) (4).

"So Father," I stepped into Father's line of vision. Shut. up. AW. I'm trying to get you out of this with your hearing intact. "I suggested that our company could sleep in the backyard in the old tent."

Father laughed. "Of course, Durere. Come gentlemen, I will make some tea," and he turned and cheerfully headed to the house, to make tea in the coffee maker.

Our guests seemed rather taken aback at the abrupt mood swing and no one moved for a moment.  Turning, I smiled at them and nodded, "Please, come in.  He's perfectly safe."   I am so used to living among mortals that I muttered under my breath, "For the moment," forgetting that Legolas would overhear me.  He did, and gave me an odd look, before giving AW an even odder look.  AW hadn't moved.  "Just ignore him.  He's fine, and if he's still there at dusk, I get to dump a bucket of water over his head." I grinned, "I like that part."

The hobbit, Pippin, poked AW in the stomach to test a personal theory. AW didn't flinch. "Oy Merry, check to see if  'e still has a pulse. Wait... maybe 'e's asleep."

Aragorn stopped him. "Master Peregrin..."

Merry looked up at AW. "Somehow I don't see how he could sleep with that shouting, but I suppose anything is possible." Then we followed Father into the house, leaving AW as the temporary lawn ornament.

Supper was uneventful: the hobbits ensured there were no leftovers for lunch the next day, Mama wouldn't let anyone smoke after their meal saying it took her forever to get the smell out of the drapes, Father and Aragorn were in a deep discussion about the exodus of the Elves and the immediate decline of culture and civilization as a result, and Gimli and Legolas were telling me about their trip up from Mexico, where they had found themselves shortly after Aragorn's coronation. Upon hearing this, a little warning bell went off in my head, but I couldn't exactly place it. That sounded important. Blar, it'll come to me at two in the morning when I don't need it.

I glanced at the clock and grinned.  "If you will excuse me, Mama, gentlemen," I said, standing, "I have an appointment with a bucket of water and an odd looking lawn gnome." I nearly bumped into him at the door.  AW was coming in just as I was heading out, and he was already drenched.  Oh, pooh.

"Manwe quanta ho salpua ner nend sai n'ala ho fan ho e' a're." (5) He blurted out as Mama handed him a towel to dry off before he left the mat.

Pippin blinked. "Whut?"

I turned to him. "He says it's raining out."

"Hard," AW added as he towelled his hair, "And that also presents us with the problem of where our guest are going to stay tonight.  The sieve... I mean, green tent would not be a good idea in a downpour like this."

Mama jabbed Father in the ribs. "I told you we should have had it repaired long ago."

Father backed up slightly. "It was repaired long ago."

"That's the problem!"

I snickered inwardly. Mama was the only one that could control Father and it was good to see him blush with embarrassment once every decade or so.

I shrugged. "Why not the basement?"

Father's eyebrows shot up and AW ducked behind the wall, out of sight. "WHAT?! Eight men under the same roof as my Durere'?! I think not! Absolutely not!"

"But Father," I interjected, seeing the worried faces of our guests, "They have no where else to stay... the three bed and breakfasts were all booked for the lawn bowling tournament this week."

It looked like Father was trying to find an excuse to protect me from the eight strange men... especially the two shorter ones who were still carrying around the body of a ninth, but he couldn't think of one.

"Dome Gil," Mama said in her warning voice. "Don't you dare turn these men out on a night like this! If you do.... so help me I'll-"

Father sighed in defeat. "Very well, but only if there is not a peep from them after eleven and lights must be out by one at the latest. And under no circumstances is there to be a boy ever in Durere's room or is she to be downstairs after midnight! Is that understood? This is my house!" And with that he left the living room, signalling his defeat.

Mama gave a knowing wink at the guests, who breathed a collective sigh of relief knowing they would remaining dry that night.

So that's how it came about that eight men and a cadaver stayed in our house.  ... Eight men and a cadaver... Hmm.. sounds like a bad B-movie.

~*~*~*~

Gandalf was given the guest room in deference to his age and apparent frailty, Legolas claimed the hide-a-bed and insisted that he could never share with any of his companions.

"Legolas," Aragorn said hotly, "It is big enough for two to sleep there. You and I can very well share that bed."

The blond elf shook his head, smugly. "I will have to disagree friend.  It would be impossible for me to share this berth.  I sleep diagonally."

Aragorn blinked. "You what?!"

"I sleep diagonally," The elf insisted, "I could, therefore, not share this mattress with anyone else, and as I claimed this couch first, it is only fair that it be solely my own."

The human sighed, conveying an air of long-suffering, "Very well."

AW walked down the hall from the crowded rec room and pointed to a door to his right. "You could sleep in this room if you wish, Aragorn. It's our computer room and Father's office; I've slept here dozens of times when our house is over-run with relatives." Aragorn followed my brother and looked into the dark room he had indicated. He couldn't see much, but he did see how low the ceiling was.

"I do not believe that I would fit in there." He said, a touch of humour in his voice.

"Oh that! No, it's not all like that." He gave Aragorn an odd look. "Unless you sleep standing up..." I could see Aragorn roll his eyes as AW ducked into the room and switched on the lights. It was true that the ceiling was low at the door, but about three steps in, the ceiling was suddenly higher and one could stand up normally. There was a space on the floor large enough for a single mattress and no windows  - the room was pitch back, even if it was the brightest noon-day in history.

After looking around the room, Aragorn nodded approvingly. "Yes, I think I will sleep here tonight."

"Great!" AW beamed. "Oh, " and he lowered his voice, "and the good thing about sleeping in here," he added, "is there isn't enough room for anyone else too." Aragorn smiled at that, pleased that he would be joining Gandalf in the status of having a private room.

Finding places for all the others to find sleeping accommodations was a bit more difficult. We set up the rented pup tent in the back of the rec room beside the hallway and stuffed it with two single foam mattresses for the hobbits - they had their hearts set on camping, now that they knew there were no bears. Looking in, Pippin commented that it was better than sleeping in a tree any day. For the dwarf, we inflated an air mattress.  When I say 'we inflated', I mean AW inflated it; he likes the dizzy feeling he gets afterwards. As for the... stiff, we had him laid on the blanket chest, but only after we had covered it in plastic.

After sleeping arrangements were complete, Aragorn and Legolas borrowed some clothing for sleeping from AW, and the hobbits and Gimli borrowed a XL t-shirt each.  The dwarf also received a pair of shorts.  Gandalf refused all offers of sleepwear and we refused to think anything further on that subject. We had all changed and tried to decide what to do for the evening since we were trapped inside.

Legolas was feeling slightly uncomfortable having been closed off from nature, so to make him feel better, AW brought down his spider plant that had miraculously survived longer than two weeks. It did make the guest elf feel a bit better.  It did look odd, though, seeing him holding a pot of a sad looking green plant.  And he kept looking longingly at the old silver and blue tree-patterned wallpaper we had yet to rip down; Mama said it reminded her of the tales of Lorien.

We finally decided on a movie. I wanted Pride and Prejudice mini-series as a marathon, but being out-numbered nine men to one (Gandalf didn't vote), we watched the 1988 movie, 'Willow'; AW's choice. So for the next two hours, I had to sit through Aragorn's comments of how fake the swords looked, Merry's questions of why the Hobbits were wearing footwear, Pippins comments of seeing parallels with the Quest of the Ring, and AW's questions about why they used hockey tape to bind the baby during a black magic ceremony.

If I hadn't been sitting next to the plant clutching one, it would have been unbearable.

During the credits, the Hobbits decided that they'd start a pillow fight (with our giant, three foot squared pillows) and quickly got pounded by the older, taller and necessarily stronger males surrounding them. One of the pillows strayed from the owner's hands (later we found out it was Pippin's) and it struck Boromir squarely in the chest. To everyone's amazement and shock, Boromir spoke.

"To blaaaaaaaaave."

Everyone looked at the body, waiting to see if he would sit up and explain why exactly he had been playing possum for the last several months, but nothing happened.

Suddenly, I had an epiphany. "Did you hear him?!" I said excitedly. "Did you hear what he said? He said 'true love'! True Love! The most valiant thing to live for!"

Aragorn shook his head. "No, I don't think so. Boromir never did strike me as the romantic type."

AW smirked. "It sounded more like 'to blave'. You know... to bluff."

A look of horror then spread across Pippin's face. "'E knows I cheated at that poker from that day on the river!!"

Merry turned to his companion. "It was you that was cheating? I thought he meant me!"  The two of them exchanged shocked glances, then looked at the corpse, obviously relieved he was still dead.

After that, we settled into a calm game of 'Full Contact Origami,' more commonly known as Dutch Blitz. It was AW and I against the world, though team Gimli/Legolas did come close to beating us a few times. Following that was an interesting game of Life where Aragorn couldn't understand why we were forced to purchase pointless things like helicopters and cruises. Gimli found it amusing that his 'wife' didn't have a little beard, even after AW offered to pick up a fluff from the carpet and glue it on.

While the group was giggling and guffawing about Legolas' seventh daughter and Aragorn's newly purchased yacht, Gandalf had discovered Father's hidden personal library; hidden from mortals that is.  Father had concluded that the elderly gentleman would want something more fulfilling than watching the rowdy 'young people' "drive" around on a cardboard playing surface, and had, offered Gandalf the use of his libarary in the second basement.

Back in the regular basement, the group had settled down and was just talking about random things like favourite songs, locations and favourite foods (initiated by the hobbits, of course).  As Sam paused to take a breath while dictating his best recipe, it became quite obvious that the plant holding elf was getting tired of the small talk when he inquired, "So.... AW... do you like insects?"

AW blinked. The question had completely taken him by surprise - not an easy feat. Me too, as a matter of fact. A detailed recipe of venison stew was leagues away from insects, topic-wise, so naturally my brother couldn't see a connection. AW blinked again. "Should I?"

Legolas gave something of a smirk and continued. "Well, I could not help but notice the name your father called you when we first arrived home. I was just curious."

At this, AW turned slightly purple, which is for everyone else, the equivalent of blushing.

To understand AW's distress is to understand the daily torment in which he lived his life.  He lived in constant fear that someone would correctly translate his name.  He hated it, and I can't say that I blame him.  Most people dislike their name and wish they could change it for a variety of reasons: it's too common, it's too old fashioned, it's an over-used family name, it reminds you of one third of a children’s' singing group that travelled with a man in an elephant costume.  And while those reasons are all valid, none are even remotely close to why AW loathes his name.

AW had straightened in his seat and set his jaw, trying to hide the fact that he knew his secret was out and would be revealed to the others very shortly.

"I like the name, AW ...Ascarer Wilwarin; very... unique...." Legolas was apparently enjoying this. I could see that Aragorn was snickering quietly and Frodo was studying his foot hair industriously, trying to hide a grin.  Pippin and the others where ping-ponging between the blond and the blue.

I felt sorry for him and stood, and being gentlemen, so did everyone.  Everyone but my brother, of course.  Taking advantage of the chivalry, I suggested that maybe we would like to pause for a snack.  This idea was greeted with great enthusiasm, mostly by the hobbits.

We had to order in pizza because the hobbits had finished off dinner and I didn't feel like making more sandwiches. After ordering eighteen pepperoni pizzas and refusing to buy one for Boromir, who still hadn't moved since his... outburst, we started the waiting game. When Legolas found out it was a thirty minute wait for the food, he suggested something else to "sit in the hobbits' stomachs" till it arrived. I made popcorn and we headed back downstairs.

The instant everyone was settled and happily munching, Legolas turned his full gaze on AW again and picked up where he left off without missing a beat, "Wherever did you acquire such a unique name?" he asked politely.

"Where do you think I acquired it?" AW said, rather curtly. "You think I pulled it out of my a-"

"Where does anyone get a name?" I interrupted, glaring at AW, "Our parents... have a... strange sense of humour."  I had a feeling that was not going to be a good enough explanation. I was right. It wasn't.

"Waz 'is name mean, an'way?" Pippin asked with is mouth full of popcorn.

AW paused for a moment before answering, "Valiant Warrior".

Aragorn snorted. "Does not."

"...Accomplished... Musician," AW tried again.

Frodo grinned and replied, singsong, "I don't think so."

He tried one more time half heartedly, "Glorious Poet".

Legolas grinned. "Do you truly wish it to mean that? I would end my life if my name meant having anything to do with poetry."

Pippin was getting impatient. "Whut doz it mean?"

AW, feeling the pressure from three of the guests who knew what it meant, and the others who didn't, caved. He put his head in his hands and muttered loud enough for all to hear, "Impetuous Butterfly".

There several beats of silence before the snickering began.  The mirth was not content to remain a quiet snicker, and soon grew up to be snorts and sniggers followed by all out guffaws and roaring.  Poor AW hadn't moved, and I could see the tips of his ears.  They were dark purple.  He was mortified.  And there was nothing I could do to help.

The laughing went on for quite a while.  By the time the purple had reached down to cover AW's toes, and our guests were all on the floor gasping for air from laughing so hard, the door bell rang.  Although AW really doesn't like Mark-Paul Gosselaar, he was completely content to be saved by the bell. He jumped off the couch and leapt up the stairs faster than he ever did at Christmas... or for supper.

Slowly but surely, after AW left the room, the gasps became quieter in between the giggles. With the centre of attention absent from the basement, our guests regained their composure. A minute later, AW called down the stairs telling everyone that the pizza had arrived. At the sound of his voice, some snickers started up again. When we mounted the stairs, AW was nowhere in sight. I don't blame him for making himself scarce after what just happened.

The general consensus was to eat downstairs, so the hobbits collected their three pizzas each, the rest of us each grabbed a box and headed back down. There was very little conversation as everyone dove into their 'snack', and all that could be heard was the occasional request for more juice.  When the hunger pains had been satisfied, or at least reduced, Pippin looked at me and picked up the conversation where we had dropped it almost an hour before. Uncanny.

"While we're on the subject of names..." Which we weren't. "Why are you called Drew? Isn't that a verb?" he asked through a mouthful of pizza.

I felt my face get hot with embarrassment. We were back to the name thing? I looked down to my plate and fiddled with a crust. "It's just a nickname." I looked around and it was obvious that they wanted the back story to my name. I sighed. "When AW was small and just beginning to talk, he couldn't pronounce my given name, so he started calling me Drew. It's nothing special."

Legolas smiled kindly. "And nowhere near as.... odd... as your brother's."

I smiled, grateful for his effort to make me feel better. "Only because my parents renamed him after his fiftieth birthday. They felt no need to rename me."

"But whut doz yours mean?"

"Durere means 'Faith Alone'.  Mama and Father waited a long time to start a family, and when I was finally conceived, Mama felt that it was because of her faith. When I was born, they figured that I would have to live like that too."

Aragorn spoke up. "That's wonderful, Lady, but if your parents are into meaningful names, how does that explain AW's name?"

I chuckled. "He can be sweet and lovable one minute and the next, you wonder why you weren't watching him closely enough because you've finally realized he just set the backyard on fire. He has given Father innumerable headaches, and if elves ever got grey hairs, Father would be grey and bald by now."

At this, I heard AW's footsteps descending the basement steps. When he came into view, he was evidently avoiding any sort of eye contact with our guests. Apparently, AW had been sent down against his wishes by someone more powerful than he.

"Father has deemed it bedtime," he mumbled.

Merry looked at the digital clock on the VCR, which read ten-forty-three. "But didn't he say that lights out was at one? It's not even eleven yet!"

When AW heard this, he gave Merry a hard look. "I don't think you heard me right the first time, so I shall say it again. Father has deemed it bedtime. Now."

The way AW said this made our guests' memories to go back to their first encounter with our Father. They all agreed in unison that 10:43 was an excellent bedtime and began to line up for the basement bathroom.

That was when I had to go upstairs, but AW was still allowed to remain in the rec room. I'll pass the conch to him for now. Tata.

~*~*~*~

With Drew gone, not much had changed, other than Legolas snickering every time he glanced in my direction. He was enjoying this too much, not to mention he was the one who initiated the whole name meaning conversation in the first place. Guest or not, he was going to get payback... AW style.

The lights were out and everyone was in bed, excluding Gandalf who was still down in Father's library. Aragorn was shut up in the computer room, while everyone else was sharing the large rec room. The hobbits were jostling with each other inside the tent and Gimli was trying to silence them without bringing the wrath of Father down the stairs. Pippin muttered something about his stomach not feeling quite right and thought it might have been something he had eaten. I, personally, immediately thought of the expired olives. I hoped that would teach the hobbit a lesson on food smarts, but deep down, I didn't think so. I must admit, I didn't have sympathy for him, laughing at my name and all, and with him tossing and turning like that, I doubted the hobbits would get much sleep, if any. No need to get even with them... at least, not right away.

When I thought that everyone had settled down, excluding Pippin (who never settled at all), I perched myself lightly on of the back of the couch and did my best 'Snoopy being the vulture' impression. From my vantage point, I could clearly see the wretched blond elf sleeping on the hide-a-bed, eyes open, as all elves sleep. I could have jumped on him (and believe me, I wanted to see the elf's expression as a blue blur landed on him, waking him from a reverie), but it is always a good thing to remember that some elves have kept up with their warrior training and one should never leap on a elf if he's sleeping... especially if said elf could whoop your sorry duff into a lovely pretzel. But that wasn't what I was going for.

Not at all.

I know that mortals are awaked when their subconscious realizes someone is staring at them (trust me, I've done it millions of times at summer camp - it's too fun). For elves, it's worse.

Legolas didn't completely wake up, at least, not right away, but I knew that he could tell that there was 'an evil shadow' cast over him. Elves don't normally move in their sleep, but the blond one was visibly squirming under my unblinking stare. Ever so slowly, his form curled up into the foetal position as if to make himself smaller and therefore, vanish from my sight.

Fat chance of that happening.

Around two o'clock, I heard a loud bang from the computer room. I knew that Aragorn had got up for some reason, most likely the bathroom, and, forgetting about the layout of the room, had smashed his face on the low ceiling. No one emerged from the room after that, so he had either knocked himself out, or decided to lie back down on his own accord because of the pain. I was hoping for the first option.

Revenge number one.

At about three o'clock, Legolas looked as if he was frozen in some unseen terror... from a mortal perspective: a figure in a tight foetal position, with eyes wide open and his form inanimate. I pulled the camera from its case, made sure the flash was on and aimed.

I don't think I've seen an elf jump that high before.

Ever.

Nor did he catch me running up the stairs.  I've have plenty of experience with being pursued by Drew. That and I also threw obstacles down the stairs to trip him up.

Revenge number two.

~*~*~*~

I waited a while before emerging from my room the next morning. Partly because I was enjoying the captured moment of the previous night on Polaroid, but mostly because it's wise to be certain there are plenty of witnesses present when someone wants to kill you, .

When I walked into the kitchen, I was greeted by the scariest sight that no one, not even Morgoth, could imagine - Father before his morning coffee. When he is like that, he reminds me of a dragon who has just wakened to find someone walking into his cave and trying to take his treasure hoard. It is always best to tread lightly when the coffee is perking.

I was quietly pouring myself some orange juice, hiding behind the refrigerator door from Father, when the four hobbits came thumping up the stairs and groggily joined Drew, already sitting at the table eating her toast and tea. Father moved his sights from the coffee perk to the newcomers. He squinted, as if looking through a fog, his blue gaze wandering back and forth, from figure to figure, like a demented lighthouse beacon.  It reminded me of a blue version of the Eye of Sauron. The only difference between the two was Father could blink.

He blinked.

"Mani tiuy kantea hamien ie' mia sentre?" (6) He mumbled to Drew. Then quickly glanced at me. "Ascarer Wilwarin, avalatya i annon nin fridge, le innus or-iuitha i motor," (7) he added as a side note. I promptly shut the fridge.

Drew knew that Father never thought clearly in the morning, so she tried to explain the situation in a way that his still sleeping brain would understand.

"They are our guests, Father" Drew responded in English, for the benefit of the fat forms, "and I imagine they are looking for breakfast."

Father blinked again.

Drew tried again, "Their car died yesterday and you permitted them to sleep in the basement."  Seeing no comprehension, Drew tried one more time, "They are friends of mine, they heard of your famous quiche and decided they must try it."

At this, Father's face half lit up. "Ah yes, my quiche." His smile seemed to be drug induced. He turned to the Hobbits, "I put bacon in it."

"And mushrooms," Drew prompted.

He nodded benignly, "And mushrooms." For looking like the walking dead, the Hobbits cheered up considerably.

While Father was distracted, the mournful groans of the coffee maker quieted down, and I immersed myself in the exact science of preparing His morning coffee. It is at this time of morning that Father can be the most fun... or the most deadly. I rejoice to say that I have learned where the line is, and when to cross it. Using all the stealth inherent in my kin, I skillfully and silently slipped a hopefully perfect cup of coffee into place, where Father's hands would come to rest naturally. If my luck held, he would find the 'Still Perfect After 2000 Years' mug (received from Drew ages ago on his Begetting Day) and not my retreating hand.

Father, not consciously noticing the arrival of the mug, picked it up and took a sip. Drew and I each held our breath.

Nothing happened.

He didn't explode in a blinding rage. Drew and I exchanged glances; cue mental high fives and boogying.

Coffee, for me it is the forbidden drink. I'm not allowed to touch the stuff... or related products. Mama said that I didn't need it. Drew agreed, the motion was passed and became law. I'm allowed to eat chocolate under protest. Ah chocolate, how I love the-

BANG!

...

...What. In. Arda?!

WHUMP!

Everyone in the dinning room stopped and wondered what the sound had been and why it had come from the base...ment...

...wait...

I grinned. I knew what has caused the noise and as if on cue, Aragorn exploded out of the computer room, ranting in elvish about not having had a nosebleed this bad since Elladan had accidentally knocked him off the roof of Imladris while star-gazing. He had smashed his face into the low ceiling again. I suppose if he's nose wasn't bleeding, the whistle would be going full force.

For those of you keeping score - Guests: 1 - AW: 3

Suddenly, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. My self-preservation alarms were screaming at me. Out of learned instincts, I stepped back into Mama's umbrella tree and blended in perfectly. (It takes years to master this technique, especially difficult when one's skin is cobalt blue. I can also hide myself with twenty-two different plant types - if you care.)

I have learned to blend first, look for danger after.

When I saw it, I wished I didn't.

The coffee that had been in Father's cup only a minute before was now staining his housecoat and uncomfortably warming his exterior instead of his interior. Not to mention the invisible steam pouring out of his ears.

The first thing out of Father's mouth was as auto pilot as my reaction.

"ASCARER WILWARIN!!!" Naturally, I didn't reply, nor did I have to.

"It wasn't him, Father," Drew said quietly.

Father shot her a look. "And what makes it someone else this time?"

"Because, Father," she continued calmly, "He is right there, whereas the sound came from downstairs." She promptly pointed at me, hiding in the umbrella tree. Drew taught me how to blend with my surroundings so she can always find me.  ... Come to think of it, Hide-and-Seek never was much fun with her.  I think I should tell you now, this 'hiding-in-plant-life' technique only works when no one looks directly at me, and Drew told me later that I looked like a deer caught in the headlights when Father looked.

Aragorn didn't come upstairs right away, but there was some loud shouting, and from the sounds of it, solely at Legolas.

"What do you think you're doing, you blasted elf?!"

Quiet response.

"Then why did you fire it in the first place, if you knew it was me!?!?"

Response.

"I AM NOT SLOW!"

We didn't find out about the other half of the conversation until a few minutes later when both man and elf came up the stairs and joined us for breakfast, which Mama was still cooking. As soon as Legolas rounded the corner and spotted me, he shot me an 'I'm going to kill you in your sleep... slowly and painfully until you wake up and then I'll kill you some more' look, which I returned with a satisfied smile. Aragorn, on the other hand, was greeted by a very.... peeved Father.

The poor man looked from Drew to me, apparently for help.  I grinned at him.  He glanced back at Drew, who was sympathetic, but unwilling to step into the path of the storm.  He swallowed visibly and nodded to Father.  "Good morning, sir," he said, managing to sound mostly calm, "I see it's still raining.." He trailed off awkwardly.  Father had not moved one iota and was very close to poaching the eggs with the steam rising from his head.

From what I had seen of Aragorn the previous day, it seemed to me that he had met his match and then some. Father was past the point of explaining his wrath and was just smouldering silently. Well practiced in keeping her 'angelic image', Drew spoke up.  "You made him spill his coffee," she said helpfully.

With this new information, Aragorn glanced down at Father's housecoat to assess the damage and apologized profusely. "I will get you a new cup, sir."

I shook my head. "You're all ready on a sinking ship, Aragorn, I'll get it. Besides," I said walking to the coffee maker for the second time, "you would be sealing your fate if you got it wrong."

I would have got a glare from the dark one, if it weren’t for the fact that he was already under a very intense glare. He quietly sat down at the end of the table and tried to blend in with the table cloth. I would like to take this moment and say that I hide better than he does. Not that I'm bragging, or anything- oh, who am I kidding, of course I am! Go me!

After Father got his second cup of coffee, and everyone had sat down at the table, including the dwarf and Gandalf (Boromir was content to remain forgotten downstairs), we started to devour the very large breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, toast, cheese, waffles (with Drew's homemade maple syrup) and four types of jam.

Boromir... I knew I had asked about him already, but it's one of those things where questions still poke you in the brain and demand to be answered. Why in Arda were they dragging around a corpse with them? It was simply unheard of. I knew asking at the breakfast table was a huge faux pas, but I just had to. Thankfully, I was sitting beside Aragorn and I could keep the conversation quiet.

"Uh Aragorn," I tried to phrase the question carefully, "could I ask you a question?"

He looked up from his eggs and bacon with a 'what do you want?' look in his eye.

Ignoring his manner, I smiled and continued. "I asked Merry yesterday about... Boromir, why he's joined you on your journey... without his knowledge and Merry said that it was your idea."

At this, Aragorn let out a little laugh and shook his head. He finished chewing what was in his mouth before he proceeded. "When I said that I thought it would be a good idea for everyone to have one last trip together, I meant the living members of the Fellowship. I thought that the Hobbits would understand, but they ended up taking swimming lessons for several months to fish Boromir from the bottom of the falls at Rauros. When that didn't work, they just found an open plot hole and pulled him through it-"

But by this time, I had stopped listening. Something he had said made me pause. '...Did he said Fellowship?  He did, didn't he?' I glanced around the table, counting off the heads. Four Hobbits with the correct names, a dwarf and elf to represent their kind, an old man who was most likely an Istari, a 'man who would be king' and the death of one of their own.

Ai Valar!

Aragorn hadn't noticed that I had stopped listening to him. "-but I know something has to be done about Boromir. He is bound to start smelling very badly and very soon at tha-"

"Fellowship?!" I interrupted. "Did you say you were the Fellowship? As in 'The Quest of the Ring' 'Fellowship'?" This caused my family to stop eating. The Hobbits continued, of course.

Aragorn blinked at my question, but nodded slowly. "Yes, we just complete that quest..." Then he stopped. "How do you know of it?"

I turned to look at Drew. She had gone pale, and was staring back at me wide eyed. Through some form of freaky... mix-up... thing, Drew and I had brought the entire Fellowship home with us. And it had taken eighteen hours for us to figure this out. I looked at Father and for the first time in my life, he was pale and staring at Aragorn.

He had just intimidated the Legendary King of Gondor.

I promised myself that I would never be surprised at anything ever again.  You know... It's amazing how easy it is to break promises. I expected I would break it, truth be told.... I just .. didn't think I'd break it so soon.  Oy.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

1. Brêg Morn'lim = Fierce Black Fish

2. Bara Coll'lim = Fiery Golden Red Fish

3. H-ten'huan = "D for Dog" (Yes, were creative when we name our pets. Shut up.)

4. Eye Brows of Doom: Property of Elrond Half-Elven

5. "Manwe filled his bathtub too full before he got in today."

6. "What fat forms are sitting at my table?"

7. "AW, shut the door to the fridge, you will burn out the motor."


Author's notes, part two:
a)   Alright, we know the Elvish we're using is not Sindarin.  We are well aware of the fact that we are using Grey Elvish.  We figured that, since we're doing a parody of Tolkien fanfics, we can get away with using a parody of his languages.  Please don't kill us.

b)  And.. well, okay... we kinda lied about the 'no Aragorns were harmed' bit, but he'll recover.... we hope.