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Part Seven
The Elfie-Boys
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Legolas vs. Figwit: The Ultimate Battle
The Elfie-Boys and Their BIG Egos
Legolas, Figwit, and the Liquor Cabinet of DOOM
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In which we finde rude awakenings, a devious Elf-Lord, and the return of an old friend

Figwit had been unable to sleep for several nights. He kept being awakened by strange noises; scratchings and squeaks from the other side of the room. He strongly suspected rodents. He could not, however, figure out why the rodents were choosing now to invade his room. They had always left him well enough alone in the past. But for a few nights now, Figwit could have sworn that he heard music and voices coming from the liquor cabinet, and was sure that he saw flickering lights through the cracks of the doors. Sprite, of course, seriously doubted this and attributed it to an overactive imagination caused by lack of sleep.

However, it was impossible to insist that Figwit's visions were nothing more than a hallucination when one night both Figwit and Sprite were awakened by a very loud crash. The Author will lightly and tactfully skip over the exact sleeping arrangements in Figwit's room, and will only say that both Figwit and Sprite awoke at the same time and leapt out of bed. (Whether there were two beds or one is unknown at the time of publication.)

"Whawas 'AT?" asked Sprite, in the barely coherent tone of voice of someone who has just been jerked awake when they were in the middle of a very nice dream.

"I have my suspicions," Figwit replied curtly. He had been kept awake all night by something that sounded suspiciously like a rodent drinking song and he himself was beginning to believe Sprite's theory about sleep-deprivation. This new disturbance, however, completely turned the tables.

"It sounded like it came from the liquor cabinet," Sprite said, more coherently this time. Figwit nodded.

"I'll, um... I'll just check it, then, shall I?" He said uncertainly. "Nothing to be afraid of. Just a silly old liquor cabinet."

"Don't encourage it." Sprite warned.

Figwit knelt cautiously in front of the cabinet and slowly reached for the door handle. He had almost grasped the handle when he hesitated, wondering if he really wanted to find out what fiendish souls haunted his liquor cabinet. But he quickly shook that thought away. It was just a liquor cabinet, after all. He quickly turned the handle, and the door of the cabinet swung open. Figwit and Sprite were given a very nasty surprise.

Sprite stifled a scream. The lower shelf of the cabinet was soaked with a dripping red liquid that looked like blood, and sharp, cracked bones protruded from the crimson puddles.

On closer inspection, the scene was much less gruesome. It did not, however, make Figwit any happier.

"The little buggers knocked over my only bottle of cranberry wine!" he raged. "I was saving that thing! It's my favourite." The bright red wine was beginning to spill over onto the floor. The cabinet was filled with broken glass. Sprite suddenly found it very difficult to keep a straight face.

Figwit sat back on his heels and glared at the mess, and then at Sprite, when she was unable to hold back her giggles. "What's so funny?" he demanded. "That's good alcohol you see seeping through the floorboards!"

Sprite did her best to control her laughter, and patted Figwit fondly on his head. "I'm sorry, Figwit," she said gently. "You amuse me..." Her voice trailed off.

"Oh yes," Figwit muttered. "Amusing!" He sighed. "Well, I suppose we're going to have to clean this up."

Sprite looked dubiously at the jagged shards of glass. "I suppose suggesting we leave it is out of the question?" she asked doubtfully. Figwit didn't even bother to answer.

----------------------

Elrond lay back on the squirrel-fur cushions. He had been pleasantly surprised, upon arrival to the city of Rodentell, to find a thriving metropolis, with a government, economy, and social structure. Sure, it was overrun with rats and mice, but that was really the point, wasn't it?

Elrond relaxed on the couch, and briefly wondered if he could get couches made out of squirrel skins for Rivendell once he was restored to his normal height. Then he remembered the brilliant thought he'd had just the day before of remaining this shrunken height forever, and ruling the rats. He was certainly much more appreciated in Rodentell than he was in Rivendell. But it was tiring having to brush gigantic rat hairs off his robes every day...

Elrond waved his hand and a mouse scurried forward bearing a plate of cheese. Elrond took a piece and bit in. Mmm, camembert... He could get used to this, he really could; being waited on hand and foot was such a luxury. Tomorrow after the coronation his position of power would be sealed and if he wanted to, he could even launch a full attack on the denizens of Rivendell. Granted, the Elves would probably soon grow tired of being poked in the ankle with miniature swords and pull a Pied Piper, but it would be fun to give it a try.

The coronation tomorrow would be a great ceremony, the likes of which had not been seen since... Well, since the late King Ratticus had been crowned. And considering a rat's life-span, that wasn't a very long time, but Lord Elrond liked to think that his coronation would be one-of-a-kind.

At the thought of King Ratticus, Elrond frowned. Even after death, Ratticus was causing trouble. Several gallant young rats, annoyed that the throne should be claimed by a humanoid, had come forward claiming to be sons and heirs of the late King. A few had already come to blows, and Elrond had spent an afternoon assuring the distraught mothers that their sons would be given proper funerals.

The thing was that all these young rats probably had some sort of legitimate claim. Ratticus was said to have been quite a ladies man, and he could have any number of bastard offspring running around. Elrond would have to do something about them; he couldn't let them get in the way of his kinghood.

Elrond was jerked out of his thoughts by the sound of someone saying his name. "Yes, what is it?" he snapped at the butler who stood before him.

"A scout from BEER is here to see you, my liege," the mouse said. Elrond waved his hand.

"Send him in," he said airily. The mouse bowed, and then turned his tail and sauntered out of the room. A moment later a young rat came in, looking nervous. Elrond had seen him before. Bile, his name was, or maybe Bilge? Yes, that was it, Bilge. Bilge bowed and then looked up at Elrond.

"What is there to report, young ma- Er, rat?" Elrond asked.

"There is unrest among the Elves, my lord," Bilge said. Elrond felt a twinge of annoyance at the title, but of course, he wouldn't be king until tomorrow, so he let it slide. For now.

"Yes?" he said, noticing that the young rat had stopped talking. "Go on."

"BEER has been at work, but the Elves are attributing the damage to mice." Bilge said, encouraged. Elronds eyes narrowed and he activated The Eyebrows(tm).

"Damage?" he asked, his voice dangerous. "What damage?"

Bilge quailed. "The damage to the prison we found you in," he squeaked. "The two Elves who look alike found the shreds of the box, and they spoke of mice. I heard them with my own ears!"

The smile that appeared on Elrond's face was possibly even more frightening than the glare that it replaced. "So," he said quietly, "My darling sons must suspect something, at least. Keep an eye on them, soldier. Report directly to me if they display any more suspicious behaviour." Bilge nodded. "Anything else to report?" Elrond asked.

"One more thing, my lord," Bilge replied. "A bottle of wine was knocked over last night in your former prison, and the dark-haired Elf was annoyed. He may take measures; it might be a good idea to send scouts to find a new headquarters for BEER, if the need arises."

Elrond frowned slightly. Though he was annoyed that the young rat was being so presumptuous as to advise him of his duties, Elrond knew that his suggestion did have merit.

"Very well," he said, nodding curtly. "You may go now." Bilge bowed and turned to leave, and Elrond had a sudden thought. He called after the young rat, "Soldier!" Bilge stopped and turned back to Elrond.

"Yes, my lord?"

"Who was your father?"

Bilge hesitated, though he knew that could be dangerous. He knew how Elrond felt about the heirs of Ratticus.

Finally, and hoping that Elrond had not noticed his hesitation, he said, "I do not know, my lord." Elrond nodded, and Bilge left.

-------------------------------

Figwit and Sprite walked down a hallway somewhere in Rivendell the morning after their little night time surprise. Figwit wanted to talk to Legolas and find out if he'd also had any trouble with rodents lately. Sprite had agreed to go along, but as they neared Legolas's rooms, she began to get more and more jumpy.

"I wish you an Aldawen would make amends," Figwit said finally. Sprite mumbled something incoherent. "At least tell her that Legolas knows you used to have a crush on him so that she doesn't think she's going around 'defending his honour' by not speaking to you," he pleaded.

"Oh, believe me, the moment Legolas got wind of our little incident he told Aldawen the whole story!" Sprite said. "Aldawen's just being stupid, thats all." Figwit decided to leave it at that.

As they drew closer to Legolas's room, a horrible sound reached their ears. "Is that what I think it is?" Figwit asked, an expression of mingled terror, disgust, and loathing etched across his face. Sprite nodded, a similar expression on her face.

"I think it is," she said. "I can't imagine why, though. I thought Elrond told them all to bugger off."

As they rounded a corner and came within view of Legolas's rooms, they found that their speculations had been correct. Surrounding the closed door were about two dozen fangirls, wearing shirts emblazoned with such slogans as "Leggy rox my sox," "I <3 the Prince of Mirkwood," and "Mrs. Greenleaf." Some of the girls milled around, a few occasionally trying the door handle. (It was locked.) About ten of them had joined together, and were singing in rather bad harmony:

"We love you Leggy, oh yes we do.
We love you Leggy, and we'll be true!
When you're not near us,
We feel blue.
Oh Leggy, we love you!!!1
"

Sprite, being a former fangirl herself, had the decency to look ashamed.

They managed to elbow their way through the crowd. Figwit knocked carefully on the door and called, "Legolas? You in there? Can we come in?"

Legolas's voice was heard through the door, causing the fangirls to quiet instantly and listen with rapt attention. "Are they still out there?"

"Um..." said Figwit. "Yes."

"I'm not opening the door if they're still out there!"

Figwit sighed. "How am I supposed to get twenty-four hormonal Legolas fangirls to get away from your door?" he asked. The reply was in Elvish and Figwit was, for once, glad that Sprite did not speak Quenya. From the look on her face, Sprite did not share this particular view.

Figwit turned away from the door and looked helplessly at Sprite. "I have an idea," she whispered to him. "Follow my lead." Figwit nodded.

"Gee, Figwit," Sprite said loudly, making sure all the fangirls heard her. "This looks pretty hopeless! Let's just go back to our rooms for now."

"Sprite!" Figwit hissed. "I want to talk to Legolas!"

"Just play along!" Sprite whispered. "I told you that I have an idea." She raised her voice to its previous volume. "I know! Let's go for a walk outside!" She grabbed Figwit's arm and pulled him down the hallway. "It sure is a lovely day!"

"Oh.. Oh, yeah. It is. Lovely day for a walk!" said Figwit, stumbling after her. "Sprite, what the Void do you think you're doing?"

Sprite hadn't answered him by the time they got outside. Figwit started to say something, but Sprite held up her hand to silence him. She put her fingers to her lips and whistled shrilly. A moment later they heard a swooshing sound above them, and a brightly-coloured oriental carpet with fancy gold tassels on the corners glided in front of them, hovering a few feet off the ground.

"Leroy!" Figwit said. The tassels waggled.

"How're you doing, buddy?" Sprite asked the carpet. "Long time, no see!" Leroy the magic carpet brushed against Sprite's knees with affection. "I have a favour to ask," Sprite continued. "Do you think you can bring us up to Legolas's window? His door is... inaccessible at the moment."

"Sprite..." breathed Figwit. "That is bloody BRILLIANT!" Sprite grinned. Leroy made it clear that he was glad to comply, and Sprite and Figwit climbed carefully onto the centre of the carpet. And then they were off!

In no time at all, Figwit and Sprite found themselves hovering outside Legolas's window. Sprite leaned over and tapped on the glass, and a moment later grinned at Sake's surprised face. Sake opened the window. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

"We want to ask Legolas something," Figwit told her. "May we come in?"

"There is a door, you know," Sake said, stepping aside as Figwit and Sprite clambered through the window.

"Yes, and it's currently locked and under heavy guard," Sprite shot back. Sake grinned as strains of "We Love You, Leggy" could be heard through the door.

Figwit looked around, trying to locate "Leggy." He soon espied the blond Elven princeling crouched in front of the door, peering through the keyhole. Figwit came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Legolas yelped, and leapt back.

"Figwit!" he said, standing up and clutching his chest. "You know I get jumpy when the fangirls are around; don't scare me like that!" He paused. "How did you get in here?"

Sake muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, "Elvish senses, my arse." She flopped down onto the futon couch and began twiddling her thumbs.

Figwit pointed wordlessly out the window, where Leroy still hovered happily, exuding the aura of a very happy dog. If Leroy had a mouth, he would be grinning ear-to-ear, and if he possessed a tail, it would be wagging furiously.

"Ah," said Legolas.

"I came to see if you were having any problem with vermin lately," Figwit said.

"Of course I am!" Legolas cried, gesturing towards the door. "You saw them first hand! I think we're beginning to see the side effects of getting rid of Elrond. He used to be able to keep those things away, but now they're everywhere!"

"I didn't mean fangirls," Figwit said, rolling his eyes when Legolas flinched at the word. "I was talking about rodents. I think they've been getting into my liquor cabinet."

Legolas giggled. "Sounds like the mice of Rivendell have discovered Happy Hour..."

While the two Elves talked, Sprite deposited herself next to Sake on the couch. "So..." she said after a moment. "Where's Aldawen?"

Sake jerked her thumb over to another closed door. "In her room with her laptop," she said, resuming her thumb-twiddling. "Moment she heard you'd come to call she holed herself up in there. Honestly, I've never seen her act this stubborn!"

"Did she tell you what it's all about?" Sprite asked warily. Sake laughed.

"Yes! I think it's hysterically funny, actually." Sake lowered her voice. "She even told me about Jack Sparrow, because she thinks that Legolas already knows about it. But don't say anything to him about it, because I don't think he does."

"Ok," Sprite said. A thought struck her. "Wait... You don't have a problem with the fact that I used to like Legolas?"

"No!" Sake said. "Like you tried to tell Aldawen, you're completely over it, and besides, it'd be rather hypocritical of me to be angry. Frankly, I'm impressed the two of you have been able to stick to just a couple lust objects for so long. You can't imagine all the guys I still lust over." Sake glanced at Legolas, and then back at Sprite. "But... Don't tell the Elf!"

Sprite grinned. "Not a word," she said.

Part Eight