Sprite and Figwit returned from their outing late that afternoon. They found the Twins, Glorfindel, Legolas, Sake, Aldawen,
and Seamoose sitting together on a terrace, chatting in the afternoon sunlight. Figwit noticed that Sake and Seamoose were
sitting on opposite sides of the terrace, and pointedly not speaking to each other. If they absolutely had to communicate,
it was something like "Would someone please ask Seamoose to pass me that plate of cookies?" When this was done, Seamoose might
say something along the lines of, "You may tell Sake that she can have as many cookies as she wants, and that I said I was
"Still mad about the whole Elrond fangirl fiasco?" Figwit asked, sitting down next to Sake. Sprite plopped
down on his other side while Sake turned to glare at the dark haired elf.
"That and the fact that we weren't
mention AT ALL in the last chapter!" growled Aldawen.
"How was your outing, you two?" asked Glorfindel,
"Oh, it was great!" gushed Sprite. "We hiked along those ridges" - She swung her arm around
to indicate the hills surrounding Rivendell - "Then we had a picnic lunch near the Fords of Bruinen, and then we made our
way back here."
There was a pause. "Anything... interesting happen?" Elrohir asked. Elladan had another coughing fit,
and after a moment of trying to remain poker-faced, Glorfindel joined him.
"Well... We saw a fox!" Sprite said, in
a cheerful tone of voice which indicated that she knew perfectly well what Elrohir was talking about, but was not about to
give him what he wanted.
"And don't forget the eagle we saw near the Fords!" added Figwit in the same tone of voice.
Elrohir and Glorfindel looked disappointed. Elladan, however, was not going to let go without a fight.
said. "No exciting romance in the bushes? No activities that would bring the rating of this fic up several notches?"
and Sprite looked at each other. "Um... Nope," Figwit said. "I can't say that there was." Elladan was crestfallen. Sprite
caught Aldawen's eye and winked at her. Aldawen giggled.
The Lord of Imladris was in
a very bad mood. Over the past several days, he had been in several hiding places, but none had been
as bad as this one. The fumes from all the alcohol was making him feel light-headed and slightly buzzed, and having all this
wine so close but entirely beyond his reach was pure torment.
Not to mention the fact that an escape route was right
in front of him, just beyond the box. There was a hole in the wall of the liquor cabinet, a hole that was perfectly aligned
with a hole in the wall of Figwit's room. This could not be a simple coincidence.
Lord Elrond did
not much enjoy the company of rodents (such as mice and rats- you know, the sort that often inhabit old houses) but he put
up with them because of an unspoken agreement between himself and Rivendell's rodent population: They'd leave immediately
if he ever asked them to, provided that he never asked them to leave.
However, unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Rivendell,
the rats of Rivendell had formed a complex civilization, probably aided by the fact that after living so near Elves for so
long, some of the Elven intelligence had rubbed off on them.
The rat population, though, was currently in a state
of anarchy. Their king had died, and had left behind no heir. (Actually, the venerable King Ratticus was quite popular among
the ladies and left behind plenty of heirs. They just didn't know which was the real one.) So Ratticus's team of private police,
the Brotherhood of Extremely Elite Rats (or B.E.E.R.) was sent out to search throughout the walls of Rivendell for a suitable
replacement for their much-loved king.
Elrond started in surprise. A pointed, furry nose had poked itself through
the hole in the liquor cabinet. Elrond stiffened. Rats were all well and good when they were briefly glimpsed running across
the dungeon floor or as little scrabbly noises in the wall. That's also when you're six feet tall. When you're six inches
tall, rats can be slightly intimidating. Elrond was almost glad that there was a wall of plastic between him and this snuffling
rodent, however flimsy.
The rat crept into the cabinet and then turned around, beckoned, and was followed by five
other rats. Elrond blinked. All the rats were sleek and black, and they all wore shiny leather belts with toothpick-sized
swords. The first one (obviously the oldest and the leader) had a torn ear and a patch over his left eye. All of the rats
had a menacing, don't-mess-with-this-rodent glint in their eyes.
Elrond calmly evaluated his situation. The verdict
he reached: I'm screwed.
You see, when you are six inches tall and faced by half a dozen armed and possibly rabid
rodents, and all that separates you from said rodents is a flimsy sheet of plastic, the immediate future looks like it's going
to fail to contain anything like sunshine and butterflies.
Then a speck of dust landed on Lord Elrond's nose. He sneezed.
The six rats immediately turned and looked straight at him.
'Oh shit,' was the thought that
passed through Elrond's brain.
Sake, though not sadistic, found it quite easy to be bloodthirsty.
If she was awoken too early in the morning by the cheerful singing of happy little bluebirds, she could easily wring their
happy little necks. If anyone called her an Elrond fangirl within her hearing, she would not flinch at brutally murdering
them. If she was deprived of chocolate for too long she would have happily committed genocide in order to get some.
fortunately, at this moment in time Sake was quite cheerful, and happened to be humming a little Elvish ditty about bluebirds.
Let's hope she stays this way for the time being!
"Why so cheerful?" asked Aldawen, falling in step beside her friend
as Sake strolled down a Rivendell corridor. "Finally kiss and make up with Seamoose?" Oh Aldawen, don't push your luck...
"Mwee, no reason," Sake said, shrugging. "Elrond's gone, Seamoose is off somewhere else, and I'm feelin' fine!" After
a moment she added, "I'd as soon kiss Seamoose as Elrond. Or... Well actually, I'd rather kiss Seamoose than Elrond, because
Elrond's a git, but that doesn't mean I want to kiss Seamoose, because... Bloody hell, I'm confused!"
Aldawen patted Sake's arm sympathetically.
"You really should forgive Seamoose," Aldawen said after a moment, somewhat
warily (with good reason). "I mean, he didn't really do that much. It was just a joke."
"An ill-placed one," muttered
Sake. But then she brightened. "Maybe you're right!" she exclaimed. "Seamoose and I are fans of two Really Cool Elves; we
shouldn't be adversaries! Come on!" Sake grabbed Aldawen's hand and ran down the hall.
Suddenly Aldawen jerked to
a stop. "What's that sound?" she asked. "Is someone... crying?" Sake stopped, and realized that she heard the sound as well.
Muffled sobs were coming from an alcove off the hallway. The girls entered the alcove and found a girl sitting there on a
bench. Her knees were pulled up to her chest with her arms wrapped around them, and her head was bowed in grief. She was a
fangirl, by the looks of it.
"Hey," Sake said gently, approaching the girl. "What's wrong?"
The girl looked
up at her with bloodshot eyes. Sake sat down next to her on the bench and put a comforting arm around the girl's shoulders.
The girl burst into a fresh wave of tears and mumbled something.
"What was that?" Aldawen asked. When the girl didn't
answer, she tried a different approach. "What's your name?"
"Pineapple Princess," came the muffled reply. Yup, definitely
"Why are you crying, Pineapple?" Aldawen asked, sitting down on the girl's other side. She had shortened
the name for her own sake, and she wasn't going to call a potential Lego-luster 'Princess'.
"He's... He's just disappeared!"
Pineapple suddenly burst out. "I must have searched every inch of Rivendell, but he's just not here! How
could he disappear like that?"
"Who?" asked Sake, with a sense of foreboding.
whimpered Pineapple. She leaned her head against Sake's shoulder and sobbed, and she was revealed to be wearing a shirt that
said, "Elrond Rox My Sox!" Sake stiffened. She shot a look at Aldawen over the top of Pineapple's head. Aldawen look slightly
"Aldawen!" Sake hissed at the other girl. Hopefully Pineapple would not hear Sake over her wails. "This kid's
a friggin' Elrond fangirl! What am I gonna do??"
Aldawen smirked. "Well," she said,
"usually when I'm around someone who's upset, I try to comfort them."
Sake glowered. "But... Elrond
fangirl!" she hissed. Pineapple's head popped up.
"Elrond fangirl?" she gasped. "Where? Lemme atter! Elrond's MINE!"
She paused, and added, "As soon as I can find him!"
"Relax; you're the only Elrond fangirl in this general vicinity..."
Aldawen said soothingly.
"Oh, ok," Pineapple said, calming down. "I still wanna find Elrond." She brightened suddenly.
"Do you know where Elrond is?"
Sake and Aldawen glanced at each other. "Um... No, we don't,"
Sake said finally, carefully controlling herself. Anyway, it wasn't really a lie. They knew what had happened to Elrond, but
they didn't know where he was at this moment in time.
"Darn," murmured Pineapple, her chin resting on her knees. "How
could he just leave me like that? Without telling me?"
Sake was finding it very hard to control her
temper. She knew that it wasn't exactly Pineapple's fault that Elrond was the Elf who stole her heart, but she couldn't help
but feel the growing annoyance that she had towards anything that had to do with the Elf Lord welling up inside her.
savior came as a blessing in disguise. Seamoose appeared, hands in pockets, whistling off-key. He broke off sharply upon seeing
Sake, and backed up a few steps, ready to bolt.
"Hey Seamoose!" Aldawen called cheerfully. Seamoose glanced at Sake
and then gave Aldawen a quick, furtive little wave.
Pineapple looked at the fanboy. "Have you
seen Elrond anywhere?" she asked.
"Oh yeah, I just passed him heading towards the wine cellars," replied Seamoose
instantly. Pineapple squealed shrilly and sped off down the hall.
"She's going in the wrong direction," Aldawen pointed
out after a moment. Sake shrugged.
"Well, it got rid of her, didn't it?" she said. Suddenly she looked at Seamoose
with narrowed eyes. "You didn't really see him, did you? Because if you did..."
I made it all up!" Seamoose cried, looking ready to run again. "She looked like she needed getting rid of! Honest!"
Sake grinned suddenly, and Seamoose squeaked in terror.
"You're smarter than you look!" Sake said. "Thanks! By the
way, while you're here: I apologize for wanting to kill you. Forgive me?" She held out her hand. Seamoose, who looked as though
he had been preparing to faint, paused as the full weight of Sake's words sunk in.
"You mean..." he said, taking her
hand and shaking it, "you... aren't going to try to kill me anymore?"
"Oh, I didn't say that!" Sake
said cheerfully. "I was only apologizing for this last time!" She and Aldawen laughed at the look on Seamoose's face. They
each took him by an arm, and the three walked off down the hall.
In a dark corner of the alcove they had just been
occupying, and sleek black rat with a tiny sword around his waist sat, thinking over what he had just heard. Then he quickly
turned, and vanished into a hole in the wall.