Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Chapter Four

Disclaimer: The original PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia. Lord of the Rings belongs to the Tolkien Estate. Song snippets from Martina McBride and Sparticus the Maple Leaf Queen. That last one is to be sung to the tune of that bloody annoying Mickey Mouse song. Bleeprin belongs to Meir Brin. We own Claudia and Ella, and such small things as the sun rug. Assume that any bad jokes are ours and good jokes are someone else’s. The fic we’re working off we most definitely do NOT own and do not wish to. Piers Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” series inspired the “drop everything and Discuss Life, the Universe, and Everything” bit at the end; sankyu to the PPC board for all the lovely feedback on that bit. Quote in Ella’s A/N at the end is from The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice—whom, even though she banned fanfiction on her books and is apparently rather full of herself, we love very much because she’s so damned quotable.

The Protectors of the Plot Continuum:
The Department of Author Correspondence

by Godforsaken and Lantarmiel

The hallway was grey—floor, walls, ceiling, all a uniform shade of grey that messed with depth perception magnificently. It was utterly undecorated, badly lit, and marked only by occasional doors that seemed to shift around. Two black-clad figures wandered down the corridor, one holding a small bottle clutched close to her chest, the other holding a brightly colored, small sun rug. One was singing happily.

“...I got a Mustang, it’ll do eighty, you don’t have to be my baby, I’ve stirred my last batch of gravy, you don’t have to.…”

The one with the bottle was silent, wearing a look on her face that quite clearly read “I have heard WAY more than enough stupid country music to last me the rest of my life and do NOT appreciate hearing this.” She yanked irately on her partner’s sleeve as they reached a door labeled “Department of Author Correspondence/The Lord of the Rings General Understudies: Agents Claudia Beth King and Ella Darcy.”

“We’re here.”

“We are? Oh—hi, Makes-Things.”

“Hello,” responded the young man who had just come out of the door. He immediately took off running down the hallway, in typical “Makes-Things Dealing With Agents” fashion.

“Nice to see you, too,” Ella said vaguely as she and her partner slipped inside the room.

Claudia immediately flopped down in the battered floral armchair in front of the console and pulled one of the drawers that was still an actual drawer open. She pulled out a small half-can of soda, placed it on the desk, opened the bottle and shook out a chickpea-sized white pill. She opened the can of soda and—


A Ilúvatar!” she cried, angrily dumping the pill back in the bottle of Bleeprin. “Not again!”

Ella whirled around from her corner, a panicky look in her eyes. “No! I have to sleep before we go on another damned mission!”

“Can we name our console ‘Morgoth’?” Claudia asked.

Ella stared. “Um... sure. Why?”

“Because it’s evil. And so we can yell ‘Morgoth!’ at it when it does something mean.”

“Fine,” Ella said, picking up the duffel bag (which, luckily, she had not unpacked). “What’s the fic about?”

Claudia skimmed the screen, wincing. “It’s a self-insertion, a Mary Sue, some sort of -mance—there seems to be Frodo, Legolas, and Aragorn in it—, and a Personal Fantasy. As basic as you can get... ‘This story is about a dream I had about the Lord of the Rings. I dreampt that I accompanied the Fellowship on the entire journey of the Trilogy. But on this journey I was an elf.’ Yadda, yadda, yadda... the basics. Shouldn’t be too painful.”

“Nyeh,” Ella said, managing to convey her disgust with empty-headed teenagers who shove their unoriginal, hormonally driven personal fantasies on the general population thus ruining The Great Professor’s work in the name of creative writing when we’ve all had that dream, dear in that single syllable.

“Hey, at least our friends in the Department of Redundancy Department fixed the chapter sequencing. It originally went ‘one, two, three, four, five, six, four, three, five, six, seven’....”

“Thank the Valar for them,” Ella sighed. “Orcs again, I assume?”

“Yeah,” Claudia sighed. “We’ll pick her off when she joins the Fellowship, and you’ll get to see... erm... most of in between Hobbiton and Rivendell.” She squinted. “Are there ‘rolling plains’ in the Shire? I was under the impression that it was all either woodland or civilized, and that farming fields didn’t really count as rolling plains.”

“Uh....” Ella peered at the ceiling for a moment, thinking. “How should I know? I’m sleep-deprived.”

“You can nap when we get there,” Claudia said soothingly. “Aw, crap—it’s blentverse,” she moaned, thus apparently erasing the soothing effects of her last comment.

However, her partner perked up. “Tom Bombadil?”


Ella picked up the duffel bag and chirped, “Let’s go!”

Claudia gave her an odd look and opened the portal. They stepped through.

The description of the setting consisted only of a mention of ‘vast rolling green plains’, which made the agents feel distinctly uneasy as they could not recall them either being there or not being there, and the sun ‘shining marvelously’, which made Claudia clap her hand over her eyes again and curse at great length.

Ella listened interestedly to Claudia as the Sue made long descriptions of her dress and realized she was an Elf, then joined her partner in the flow of bad language as the geographical impossibility of both being in Hobbiton and looking at it in the distance upset her equilibrium.

‘Emilie walked into the town trying to appear casual but failed.’

“Okay,” Claudia grumbled. “I’ve no idea whether we’re in Hobbiton or not, so I’ve no idea if the Sue just covered more ground than she should have or not, so we’re portalling to Bag End.”

“Gyah,” Ella sighed. “We were just in Bag End.”

“Erm... well... okay, we’ll portal to the party, especially since all we’ll miss is Frodo talking like a hick and more comma ostracizing,” Claudia conceded. “Just hope Upstairs doesn’t yell too much.”

“For skipping forward an evening? And missing a completely unpunctuated form of Bilbo's book title, and the Sue being all show-offy by pretending to know Gandalf? They can’t,” Ella replied, sounding more as if saying all that would make it come true than like she really thought it was valid.

“I’m afraid that’s really what we’re here to document, dear,” Claudia said, stepping through the portal into the next chapter.

“I thought we were here to kill her,” Ella muttered, following obediently.

“That too.”

‘Night had fallen and the stars shone brightly.’ (But at least not black.) ‘Many hobbits had already arrived. They became amazed when the elf walked into their presence.’

“As opposed to simply ‘they were amazed,’” Ella grumbled. “Gods, even Word grammar check picks up on that.”

‘ “Frodo what’s going on?” a chubby hobbit walked up to them.’

Claudia groaned. “So our last author started a new sentence for every ‘he said/she said,’ and this one fails to start a new sentence when she doesn’t have a real tagline?” she demanded.

Sam she guessed.

‘ “Sam, this is Elenya,” Frodo told him.’

“I thought she was Emilie,” Claudia objected, puzzled.

“Apparently she picked up an Elven name. Any idea what it means?” Ella replied.

“Erm... ‘Elena’ is Quenya for ‘of the stars’... but I don’t... oh, yes I do. It means ‘Monday.’”

Ella snerked.

The two agents slunk around the edges of the party, using the various tables, tents, and loud noises to shield themselves from the Sue. As soon as the Sue stopped admiring ‘all the tables of food’ and was brought by Sam ‘to the front table where she met more hobbits who accepted her right in when they learned how well she danced and could tell stories’, the agents unobtrusively pounced on the delicious Hobbit food. If there is one thing a PPC agent learns, it is to never, ever, ever, pass up a chance of pilfering good food.

‘Emilie watched as many hobbit lads and lasses danced. Frodo was in the midst of them.’

Conveniently for the agents, the scene was based in movie-verse and the author hadn’t mentioned how Frodo was dancing, resulting in the spiffy canonical Frodo Chicken Dance. The spiffy canonical Frodo Chicken Dance resulted in the following “conversation:”

“That hair….”

“Those eyes….”

“That magenta paisley vest….”


Not taking her eyes off Frodo, Claudia explained: “The magenta paisley vest. I like it, and it’s a good look for him.”

Ella stared at her partner, then at the rest of the scene, and back at Claudia.

Claudia continued to stare at Frodo.

“Claudia!” Ella hissed.

The agent in question turned to look at her partner, mildly irritated. “What?”

“You’re being fangirly. Go back to being Claudia.”

“I’m being artistic,” Claudia countered lamely, but she began paying attention to the messed-up canon—and, characteristically, asking rhetorical questions about it. “Since when is there a stage here? And why does the cake say ‘Happy Birthday Biblo’?”

Ella smiled happily.

‘ “Go on Sam. Ask Rosy for a dance,” he smiled at Sam.’

“‘Every name spelled wrong in _Rings_’… Valar, and it’s not even as if ‘Rosie’ is that difficult to spell. Or ‘Bilbo,’ for that matter. And there ought to be a comma there; ‘smiled’ isn’t a tagline…” Claudia continued.

Ella handed her the pen and clipboard. “Don’t tell me; write it down.”

“You really screwed up my mood, you know that?” Claudia demanded, scribbling furiously as Frodo pushed Sam onto the dance floor, ‘where Rosy was.’


‘Elenya watched all of them, but no one asked her for a dance.’ (“Cry me a river,” Ella deadpanned.) ‘She felt a little alone, but not in the least unhappy’—much unlike the agents.

“You said I could nap when we got here,” Ella informed Claudia.

“That I did. Nap, then; I’ll take care of the rest of this chapter.”

Ella curled up underneath a table, and Claudia continued taking detailed notes (and cross-referencing them and splitting them up into categories) and watching ‘Elenya.’

“Would you like to dance?” the Sue asked a random Hobbit boy, who had just brought her flowers.

‘The boy nodded his head immediately. She took his hand and walked into the center of the dancing. She took the boys hands and began twirling with him. He was very cute and very little compared to her. She giggled. But then the boy was tapped on the shoulder by Frodo.’

“I don’t suppose passive voice or boring action can go on the charge list….”

Ella seemed to half-awaken. “No, it can’t,” she mumbled, before going back to sleep.

‘ “May I cut in?” he asked kneeling down by the boy.

‘The boy answered him by running away to play with his friends. Elenya watched him leave and laughed. Frodo then bowed to her.

‘ “May I have this dance?”

‘ “Certainly,” she took his hand.’

Claudia’s vision swam. The Sue, who before had been ‘very tall,’ now ‘had remained the same height as that of her own world in America’ and, thus, ‘Frodo was not that much shorter than her.’ While the Sue was happy about it, Claudia definitely wasn’t.

She winced, and dove under the table with the sleeping Ella. “Help meeee…” she muttered to herself, very quietly and without much feeling. The sleeping Ella did not respond.

“This is probably the best bit of field work you’ll ever be assigned,” she reminded herself ‘as a red fiery dragon flew over their heads’, effectively pointing out that they were dealing with an author with barely a stage-direction grasp of description.

Switching names once again, ‘Emilie made her way into a large tent where she saw Gandalf keeping a close watch on two dirty hobbits washing dishes.

‘ “Merry and Pippin,” she said a little too loud.

‘ “Yes?” Pippin answered. “ Who are you?”

‘ “She’s an elf. I saw her dancing with Frodo earlier,” Merry answered.

‘ “Oooooh dancing,” Pippin chanted.’

Claudia whapped herself on the head with the clipboard. “Hobbits are not fourth-grade girls and do not behave as such,” she informed the office supplies.

The clipboard did not say anything. Instead, it was used for Claudia to whap herself on the head with a scant thirty seconds later, when Bilbo began his speech with the phrase “My dear Bagginses and Buffets.”

She debated whapping Ella awake to share in her misery, but as the rest of the chapter (which was, oddly enough, not the same thing as the rest of the scene) was relatively canonical—albeit phrased rather stupidly—she opted for scribbling down a few more things and going to sleep under the table herself.

“Claudia? Where are we?”

“Food,” Claudia mumbled.

Ella correctly translated that into “Wherever we are, I have just woken up there, and therefore I cannot and will not answer any questions until you have given me something to eat—preferably something caffeinated,” and quickly made her partner a café mocha, which disappeared almost immediately.

“You really shouldn’t have that replicator-thingy with you.”

Ella ignored the comment. “Where are we?”

“In Hobbiton, dimwit. Rested yet?”

“Yes. What’d I miss?” Ella inquired.

Claudia looked thoughtful, then guilty, and peered up at the Words. “I kinda went to sleep at ‘Bagginses and Buffets,’ but then there was Monday thinking that if she didn’t force Frodo to continue dancing with her than Bilbo wouldn’t be able to leave, or something along those lines—”

“—and a really stupid description of how Elf-y and glow-y she is when she’s dancing?” Ella guessed.

Claudia nodded. “Rather predictable, really. And nothing happens for a matter of months, because this author actually almost knows her canon, just doesn’t care enough to check the book.” She attempted to run her fingers through her hair resignedly, but the effect was rather ruined by the fact that her hair was now coarse and tangled so that her fingers got caught.

Ella ignored this. “Ah. We’ll portal, then?”

“I believe we shall,” Claudia replied distractedly, untangling her fingers from her dreadlocks.

‘They had spent some time in the garden and in the woods that day. They were coming out of a nearby in with Sam. Frodo had obviously had too much ale, but he had been in worse conditions. One night Elenya had a swig herself and Frodo learned the reason why elves do not drink!’

“But Elves do drink!” Ella protested, glaring at the group of three wandering the path from the Green Dragon to Bag End. “’Twas in The Hobbit.”

‘ “Goodnight Sam,” Frodo said walking out of the inn and nearly stumbling upon the steps.

‘ “Goodnight Mr. Frodo!” Sam said. “Goodnight Elenya!” ’

“Repetitive redundancy,” Claudia grumbled as they followed the fic characters.

“You’re really nitpicky on style,” Ella commented.

“Thank you,” Claudia replied, bowing.

“Gah. Don’t do that. That’s a Packy thing. Bad Packy memories….” Ella shuddered.

There was a brief scream from the open window, followed by a “Gandalf!”

“Um. So do we hang around the back and eavesdrop like Sam?” Claudia inquired, trying to think around the bad mental images.

“Sounds good.”

‘ “Can we not just put it away, Gandalf?”Frodo said standing up with the Ring in his hand. “ I mean no one knows it’s here do they? Do they Gandalf?”

‘ “There was another who knew that Bilbo carried the Ring’….”

The agents, positioned a safe distance from Sam but still within hearing range, dozed off as the mostly accurate but rather nondescript copy of the scene played out. They woke up when the Sue pulled out the feminist argument. Badly.

‘ “It is not wise for him to travel along, Gandalf. I shall accompany him,” Elenya said.

‘ “But you are a girl!” Frodo objected.

‘ “Do you not know that some of the world’s greatest heroines have been women? Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth!” ’

Ella started laughing hysterically, and buried her face in Claudia’s shoulder to muffle the noise. Claudia started laughing silently, one hand clapped over her mouth and tears in her Orcish eyes. When she could trust herself to speak, she whispered: “So where’s the list of heroines that weren’t?”

“Michael Jackson?” Ella suggested, sitting back up. Claudia went into a fresh bout of silent giggles, Sam was pulled up through the window, and the scene shifted randomly from movieverse to bookverse.

And then all of a sudden, they were in the Old Forest.

“Oh, look… it’s Chapter Four,” Claudia mumbled, rubbing her head.

“Ow…” Ella commented intelligently.

Santo mieda, but that hurt….”

“Temporal/Spatial Distortion…?”

“No, just a talentless chapter change….”

“So, what, we’ve been traveling for ‘many days’ and picked up Merry and Pippin already?” Ella asked, attempting to get a hold of the situation.

“Yeah… this fic goes way too fast… she hopes to make a difference in the story, bad girl—oh, she’s asleep under ‘the Old Willow Tree’’s spell… I think….”

“This chapter goes through all the Bombadil stuff, right?”

Races through.” Regaining her head, Claudia stood up and stretched. “She should be up soon. You take care of this.” She retreated out of sight and pulled out her CD player, and proceeded to rummage through her bag, mumbling something along the lines of “Where’s that damned second Goth mix?”

‘ “Awake elf! I need your help!”Sam shouted.

‘She immediately got up cursing herself for falling asleep. She helped Sam pull Frodo from the root of the tree.’

“…London After Midnight, Razed in Black… yep, here we go….”

“Shut up.” Scribble, scribble.

‘ “You know Sam? That beastly tree threw me in! I felt it! The root twisted me around and tipped me in!”

‘ “You were dreaming Frodo,”Elenya told him.’

Commas, dearie. And spaces.” Scribble.

Ella watched the too-fast action uninterestedly and listened to her partner mumble along to HATE! until:

‘Hey dol! Merry dol! Ring a dong dillo!’

Her face split into a huge grin, which looked mightily scary on an Uruk-hai’s face.

‘Tom helped them to release the two hobbits from the three. He then took them home to Goldberry.’

Claudia, noting the painful fast-forward, peered at the numbers on her CD player. “Twenty-three seconds. Yeek.”

Ella looked around the suddenly empty woods. “Erm. So… sleep, and then Wights tomorrow?”

Claudia nodded. “Mark down that she’s insisting on her own room first.”

“Duly noted.”

Thwack. “It’s much easier to shoot these things now than it was in training in Headquarters. I mean, I can string it.”

Thwack. “It’s the body. You can’t expect a teenage girl with a desk job to handle an Uruk’s longbow.” Claudia was clearly quite enjoying having actual upper body strength.

Ella pulled her arrow out of the tree trunk. “It’s so nice to have breathing space.”

“’Tis,” Claudia agreed. “And Monday’s getting tortured during it.”

A rather undefined amount of time had passed, and the agents were practicing archery as the Sue lay ‘in the dark cave of a barrow wight,’ which is most likely properly called a barrow. Or at least tomb.

Ella let fly another arrow, happily chanting along with the Wight underground. “Cold be hand and heart and bone, and cold be sleep under stone: never more to wake on stony bed, never, till—” she broke off, hearing discord.

‘never, toll the Sun fails and the Moon is dead’

“Ah, that’s it.”

‘In the black wind the stars shall die.”

‘That was the part Elenya couldn’t take. She fell to her knees and began to cry. The Elves loved starlight best of all things.’

“Emilie,” Claudia enunciated, “Is. Not. An. Elf.” She pulled out the Remote Activator. “We’re going to when we can kill her.”

Ella blanched. “We’ll be missing a lot of stuff….”

“We’ll miss her pass off her modernly impractical modesty on being an Elf as well. If we see that, I know for a fact that you won’t be able to resist jumping out and starting to rattle off the Narn i-Hîn Hùrin.” She paused. “Or maybe the Narn e-Dinúviel. Or something. You know your Silm stories; I just know their Elvish titles.”


Claudia sighed and pointed at the Words. “She refuses to take off the Wight’s dress. There’s also an Elven maidservant named Lelia, a dress with ‘Renaissance-fashion’ sleeves, and Elrond asking if she’s ‘a Moriquendi.’”

Ella read forwards to where Claudia was pointing. “Oh, dear. Gandalf says ‘no’? This girl doesn’t know what the Moriquendi are, apparently.” She continued reading forward. “And she takes the Bombadil refutement. Gah.” She shuddered. “When can we kill her?”

“The continuum is officially ruined when she joins the Fellowship, but since that actually gets skipped over, we can kill her when Legolas starts hitting on her,” Claudia growled.

“Legolas what?” Ella yelped.

“You heard me.”

“Get out that damn Activator already!”

Claudia obeyed.

‘It had been a long day Emilie thought to herself. She didn’t know how long it took for men to debate a problem and form a solution until the Council of Elrond. Now she knew why it took them so long to make up their minds.’

“’Cos it’s a really difficult problem?” Ella growled as she stepped through the portal into the gardens of Rivendell.

“’Cos guys are morons?” Claudia suggested cheerfully.

‘The dress, which she wore, flattered her figure very nicely.’

Claudia’s cheerful demeanor faded. “Does she really need to point out that she’s wearing the dress that she’s wearing?”

“Don’t make me have to set the DRD on you,” Ella warned as she pulled out the clipboard and pen. She started writing as the Sue randomly began dancing; apparently the beautiful scenery and starlight had gone to her head. Or else the Author just wanted an excuse to point out how pretty she was.

Who’s the leader of the week with pain and misery? M-O-N, D-A-Y, S-U-C-K-S, Monday sucks (Monday sucks!), Monday sucks (Yes it does!)…” Claudia sang softly.

‘She finally finished and was out of breath, but didn’t take her eyes off the beautiful scenery. She pulled the dress up which had been falling further down her shoulders. She was thinner than she knew.’

“I wonder if English is her first language…” Claudia mused. “I mean, she used ‘shined’ without a direct object earlier; that’s overregularization, which usually happens at age five or somesuch….”

‘She suddenly felt a chill run up her spine when she realized she wasn’t alone.

‘ “Another elf who loves the stars and enjoys dancing as much as I,” she heard a voice behind her say.

‘Elenya turned around and saw Legolas sitting on a bench with his arms outstretched. A crooked smile was fixed on her face. She whirled around to face him.’

“That looks damned silly,” Ella commented.

‘ “How long have you been there?” she asked.

‘ “Quite awhile. You were oblivious to everything but the sky above you and your feet below you. You are quite a dancer,” he said, widening his smile.’

Ella started to growl dangerously. Claudia raised an eyebrow.

‘ “I enjoy it. You are Legolas, are you not?”

‘ “Yes, I saw you at the Council of Elrond and heard you speak.” ’

“Well, evidently,” was Claudia’s rather pointless comment.

‘ “More like you were staring at me,” she added softly looking down at her dress.’

“That wouldn’t be adding so much as correcting,” Ella ‘added.’

“How can you softly look down at your dress?” Claudia demanded incredulously.

‘ “Well there never has been a woman at the council of Elrond,” he answered her.’

Claudia snerked. “Possibly because there haven’t been any other Councils of Elrond for one to attend?”

‘ “I am not a woman. Simply a girl.” ’

“She’s Britney Spears! Ah!” Ella giggled.

‘ “Age does not matter for the elves. I am three thousand years old but still have a full and endless life ahead of me as do you,” he stood up.’

Claudia sighed. “Standing up isn’t a tagline either.”

‘He began to inch closer to her. What would happen? She had not done much research about Legolas and his past.’

“There isn’t much information,” Ella said sadly.

‘She just remembered a story of him and Melia and how he was not unskilled at kissing.’

Ella and Claudia stared at each other.

“That’s... not in the canon,” Ella objected lamely.

“Isn’t there some whole... like... über-Catholic, symbolic... something... never mind. I have no idea what I’m talking about.” Claudia turned back to the scene at hand.

‘ “Most girls I’ve known would jump at this chance,” he smiled at her beginning to close the distance between them.’ Ella looked ill.

‘ “I am not one of them. You are too arrogant,” she said and began to walk away.’

“There are worse personality traits than arrogance...” Claudia pointed out, earning herself an odd look from her partner. “Like stupidity,” she clarified.

‘Legolas grasped her hand. It was a gentle touch yet firm at the same time.

‘ “Let me go!” she objected.

‘ “Your name. What is your name, I beg of you?” He turned to face her and she saw the pleading look in his eyes.’

“What, so now we have Desperate!AnnoyinglyDominant!Arrogant!Legolas instead of just AnnoyinglyDominant!Arrogant!Legolas?” Claudia bitched.

Ella whimpered and hid her face in her partner's shoulder. “This hurts....”

“There, there,” Claudia responded, patting her on the head in a very un-Uruk-hai-like manner.

“I get to kill her, right?”

“Yes, dear, you do,’ she replied soothingly before turning back to the scene in front of her.

‘ “We elves must look out for each other other,” Legolas said, brushing a hand across her cheek. She flinched as his hand caressed her cheek and continued to trawl down her neck.’

“‘Trawl.’ Interesting word choice. Wonder what it means.” That was Claudia.

‘ “What do you fear?” he asked moving his face toward hers.

‘She was trembling when she felt Legolas grasping her shoulders.

‘She whispered, “You.” ’

“Cheesy...” Ella mumbled into Claudia’s shoulder.

‘ “There’s no need.”

‘She couldn’t stop him though she tried. Her knees buckled. He caught her in his arms and enveloped her mouth in one soft kiss.’ Meanwhile, Claudia and Ella gagged. ‘She was stunned. There had been other guys she had liked in her own world, but this was the first time she had ever been kissed. She was only sixteen.’

Ella snapped her head up. “Oh, please. Sixteen’s not young for that.”

“Neither should it be old,” Claudia mumbled.

Ella read a few more sentences and blinked. “Remind me to bitch about this later.”

“You have to kill her first.”

“Alright,” Ella said agreeably. “I’ll need you to get Legolas out of the way for me. Shouldn’t be hard; he’s distracted.”

Claudia wasn’t used to traditional assassin-type work—the whole moving silently and killing the person without being seen thing wasn’t really used much in the PPC. But she was mostly invisible to Legolas, which was useful. She grabbed a knife and a length of rope and quietly crept up behind him.

If they hadn’t both been... preoccupied, she wouldn’t have survived; as it was, it was not too difficult to loop the rope through both of his elbows, tie a knot that would slide, and tighten it, trapping his arms behind him. The trick was to do it quickly. This she managed, and quickly put the knife to his throat, hissing: “Don’t move.”

Legolas obeyed, and Claudia started thanking every deity, whether mythological, fictional, or made up in the recesses of her own little mind, that she could think of. Including those that worked in the PPC.

Ella just grabbed Monday from behind and put a hand over her mouth, ignoring it when she tried the ancient trick of sticking her tongue out. She held the Sue’s face tighter when she tried to bite.

“Monday,” Ella began. “It is my duty as an agent of the PPC to inform you that you are arrested under the following charges: Causing personality alterations and character ruptures; causing female characters to be antagonistically feminist—in the worst way I have ever seen, might I add; stealing lines; joining the Fellowship of the Ring; upstaging canon characters; creating servants in canonically servant-less households; causing time compression; causing thousand-year-old Elves to act like spoilt human teenagers—to whit, making Legolas an annoying, smarmy, stuck-up dom; mangling of the English language; creation of mini-Balrogs—to whit, ‘Biblo’ and ‘Rosy;’ mangling of archaic English; mangling of the Elvish languages by picking an ‘Elven’ name that’s the Quenyan word for ‘Monday;’ not being able to decide if your name is Emilie or Elenya; not being able to decide if you’re a teenaged American human girl in an Elf’s body or an actual bloody Elf; landing here for no reason and not even trying to explain it; mangling the Elves’ standards of modesty; being unnecessarily stubborn—to whit, not taking off that bloody Barrow-wight’s dress and insisting on your own room at Bombadil’s; displaying extreme stupidity and causing canon characters to act stupidly; spending too much time describing yourself and your gods damned dresses and not enough on everything else; employing melodramatics and random melodramatic bits of backstory; annoying PPC agents; hitting on their lustobjects; causing dreadfully out of character versions of their lustobjects to hit on you; and being a Mary Sue.”

“And being both more clueless and more of a prude than I am,” Claudia supplied.

“Any non-sappy last words?” Ella demanded, lifting her hand away from the girl’s face.

“You can’t do this to me! I’m just a normal American teenage—”

“We don’t like normal American teenage girls. Especially not when they get dumped into Middle-earth,” Ella informed her, replacing her hand. “Claudia, hand me the Rem—”

“My hands are full. If I let go he’ll kill me,” Claudia objected.

“Erm,” Ella said, and looked thoughtful for a moment, biting her lip. Then she twisted Monday’s hair around and wrapped it across her mouth like a gag, and fished the Remote Activator from the bag on her shoulder. She opened a portal to Mount Doom and unceremoniously shoved the Sue through it. Then she fished out the ‘neuralyzer thingy’ and two pairs of sunglasses, tossing one to Claudia (who had a bit of difficulty putting them on without poking an eye out, but managed).

“Hey, Legolas.”


And then they were gone.

Ella shuddered as she flopped down on the couch. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Tinseltown!”

“You were going to bitch about something,” Claudia reminded her, settling in front of Morgoth.

“Ah, yes, I was.”


Ella took a deep breath. “At some point right before we killed her, she mentions that she’s never been kissed; she’s only sixteen. Then she mentions that she has a boyfriend. That makes no sense whatsoever—first of all, almost everyone’s been kissed by the time they’re sixteen these days. That whole ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’ thing is rare enough that it shouldn’t be paraded as the norm. And, if you’re sixteen and you have a boyfriend, but he’s never kissed you, than it’s not much of a relationship, is it?” she ranted.

Claudia looked thoughtfully at the arm of the chair for a moment, then responded: “That’s not necessarily true.”

Ella raised an eyebrow. “How?”

“I will grant you that people today are usually way too obsessed with sex and romance.” She continued looking thoughtful. “But,”—Ella could hear the space left for a tagline—“the main problem with that point in the story is that she hadn’t mentioned him before.” She looked up from the arm of the chair at her partner. “People aren’t logical about love these days at all. They chop it up into many different types and hold them way too far apart. Despite the fact that the media portrays falling in love with your best friend as a recipe for disaster, in my humble opinion, being friends with your significant other person is imperative for the relationship to work and not just… fizzle out once your hormone level stabilizes. So the fact that she doesn’t care enough about her boyfriend to miss him at all makes it obvious to me, much more so than the fact that he’s never kissed her, that you’re right—it isn’t much of a relationship. Whether or not he’s kissed her is nobody else’s business and shouldn’t be what the relationship’s built on anyway.”

Ella looked thoughtfully at her for a moment. “You do realize you’re analyzing a Sue’s romantic situation in terms of logic?”

Claudia gave an embarrassed grin. “Well, yeah. Emotions are one of the few things I think about practically. Which gets confusing. It explains why I hate the concept of ‘Twu Wuv’ so much, though.”

Ella sighed. “You’re impossible.”

“Earth of water, if I’m not mistaken, and a cynic,” Claudia corrected.

“No, I mean you didn’t address that it was probably just bad characterization.”

Claudia giggled. “That was silly of me. You’re probably right.”

“And furthermore—”

[BEEP BEEP BEEP?] “I’ll leave refuting your argument for another time, then. What’s the beeping for?” she sighed.

Claudia peered at the screen. “Apparently you’ve been randomly called to fill in an assignment for Agent Mel at the Department of Misplaced Flora and Fauna.”

“What’ll you do?”

“I have to go to the library and pick up some history thing… then visit a few people. We’ve no backwork, so we can take a break.”

Ella grinned manically, picked up the bag, and left.

Claudia sighed and ran her fingers through her once again wonderfully human hair, reveling in how Sueishly silky it felt in comparison to the coarse black mess of her Uruk guise. After a few moments, she skipped out the door in the general direction of the library.

[Claudia’s A/N: Bah, there was supposed to be another scene at the end, but all that I was planning on writing’ll get explained in the beginning of next chapter, ’cos I can’t figure out how to write it so it’s actually interesting. Which sucks, ’cos I wanted y’all to meet Sparticus and Sparticus. But that’d be another full marking period of not updating. Sorry it took so long, by the way. Life manifested and then intervened. *shrugs* ]

[Ella’s A/N: *shudders* Hate Legomances. Hate, hate, hate them. But I got to kill her, which was fun. Um, beginning of next chapter very fun. It is proof that we are semi-normal teens! Wow! *is thwacked viciously by an irate Claudia* “So until we meet again, I am thinking of you always; I love you; I wish you were here… in my arms.”]

[Joint A/N: *huggle all reviewers* Thank you very muchly to Jen Littlebottom, Camilla Sandman (*feel über-honored that Miss Cam reviewed our fic*), Wen Quendalie, Nenya Culariel, Starbrat, The Amazing Maurice, Elf Reader (dear, if you’re going to Start A Discussion, would it kill you to give me a way to contact you? Claudia’s responded on LJ; backread a few dozen pages), Thalia Weaver (you’re the one who’s joined Jay with continuing TOS. Ergo, you are better than we are), The Bookbinder’s Daughter (we think we’ve gone and fixed the Elf hair thing), and Elvea Aure. Yipes, so many big names for our humble ickle ficcy! o.O *bowworshipgrovel* Now, if you’ve made it this far, please review. We appreciate reviews very much.]