Chapter six -- Wild Blue Yonder
~*~
"C'mon, Kurt, you can sleep on the couch tonight!"

Kate grunted. "I'm not sharing my couch with a dog."

"Who said anything about sharing?" As they opened the door to their response center, Anne shouted one of the few things she rarely said unless she meant it:

"HOLY CRAP!"

Sitting on the couch was a slightly bewildered-looking girl, who gave them both a strange look. "Wow, I don't get that greeting often. Are you the two who hired the people in this department?"

Kurt sniffed at her legs and wagged his tail -- obviously, the dog was more trusting than the two PPC's.

Kate managed a thin smile. "I hate to tell you, but we ARE the department. The Sunflower Official is the one who hires everyone." She glanced at her partner, who was almost as dumbfounded as the new person sitting on their couch. "Anne, are you okay?"

"Yeah. I think I've gotten over most of the heart attack... adrenaline can often be hazardous to one's health." Anne took a deep breath and nodded at the girl. "Who are you?"

"Carol. The... daffodil and the piece of bark at the front desk told me to come here."

Kate shrugge. "Yup, that's Otik... and I can't remember for the life of me who the daffodil is."

"Didn't she replace the daisy as Director of Personel?" Anne asked thoughtfully.

"Think so. Can't remember her name, either."

Carol cleared her throat. "While this could be entertaining, who are you two exactly...?"

"Whoa, sorry, forgot about you for a second." Though Anne's comment was somewhat made absently, Carol still grew a bit irate at hearing this. "Well, I'm Anne, and this is Kate. We handle the Mary Sue department for Lord of the Rings... we'd also add The Simarillion, but I personally couldn't get through the names of the kings without a headache. Have you had any field training?"

Carol nodded. "I just finished basic a few minutes ago, but I know what I'm doing. I was pretty good with Slashes," she added.

Kate shuddered noticeably.

"You okay?" The new girl asked.

"BAD memories. And they'll only get worse, most likely." She frowned and turned to the console, tapping buttons for their latest readout. "Goodie goodie, we've already got a Sue on call. She's a Legolust bunny... in the Air Force? What the heck?"

"Don't tell me she named her gun," Anne moaned.

Kurt barked and whimpered, settling himself on the rug at the other end of the room.

"Well... she's got "twenty year's experience", as the author puts it, a gun without a name, handcuffs, and a Cute Animal Friend -- a husky named Nanook... darn, why do they choose NOW to give us a 'fun' mission?" She muttered.

"There's a song in there somewhere... 'I've Been to the Canon on a Gun With No Name'?" Anne shrugged, peered over her partner's shoulder, and shuddered. "Her name is Rain Clearwater? Good gravy, where do these Sues get their names?!" She exclaimed in her best Pitfall Harry impression. Carol gave her a slightly frightened look as the assassin started towards her backpack. "This looks like it shouldn't take TOO long. What disguises to we want?

"I vote for Elves, personally. She seems to have a liking for them... especially after she handcuffs both Legolas AND Elladan." Kate growled low in her throat. "If she touches Frodo, she's getting that gun shoved and discharged up her nose."

"So you want this one?"

"Sure."

Anne hauled her backpack over her shoulder and tapped the disguise command into the console. "Okay, three Elves; two female, one male. Y'all ready?"

Carol gave her an empty stare. "...who's 'y'all'?"

It took a bit of physical restraint to keep Anne from beating her head on the remote activator.

~*~

"Darn these bloody annoying Sues and their bloody annoying forests..."

Kate sighed. "It's better than the fields."

Carol readjusted her backpack and jogged to keep pace with the two long-legged assassins. "...so," she panted, "when do we kill her?"

"Line snatcher," Anne muttered under her breath before checking the words. "Well, let's see... slightly off subject, she can't spell "revised" to save her life. How's about we jump her as she attacks Elrohir and Elladan?"

Her partner frowned. "I can't tell if that sounds too soon or too far along in the plot."

"What plot?"

"Good point."

Anne gave her a pleading look. "C'mon, it'd be faster than waiting until they get to Rivendell!"

"We can just 'port to Rivendell." Kate pointed out.

"But we have to rack charges, too."

Carol watched the tennis-match conversation until she noticed a clearing ahead of them. "Hey, be quiet, I see her!" She hissed.

"Don't tell me what to do!" Anne snapped back. Faint beeping from her pocket brought her attention forward, and she pulled out her Canon Analysis Device with a grim smile on her face. "Oh, great..."

[Rain Clearwater. Human female. Non-canon. Mary Sue.]

Kate glanced around for Legolas, who was now approaching the Sue from behind. She grimaced as she, too, brought forth her own device.

[89.99%! BLOODY HUGE CHARACTER RUPTURE, STUPID!]

"Remind me to kill Theo later for the personalizing my device," she snarled under her breath. "Oops, heads up -- the gripping dialogue strikes back..."

Opening her eyes, she groaned again and closed them. "Were definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto." she commented to the large dog laying next to her. Opening her eyes again, she stared up at the tall trees surrounding her, a light silver glow to the area. She was sitting on the ground at the base of an enormous tree, it had to be several hundred years old to be that big. Her A3 kit bag was several paces away and Nanook was next to her unconscious. Worriedly she quickly checked him over and sighed in relief when she found him breathing.

Anne fidgeted where she stood. "And while this is absolutely fascinating, can we kill her now?"

"No," Kate muttered.

"Bother you."

"You do..."

Standing up, she placed a hand on the tree to steady herself, as she tried to assess her situation, which any good NCO would do.

* Number one, she definitely wasn't at home anymore, she didn't even think it was anywhere in the US either.

* Number two, her commander was gonna kill her when she didn't show up for work today. She would be lucky if they didn't call her AWOL (Absent Without Leave). And if she were really lucky when she got back they wouldn't throw her in jail for it.

* Number three, she suddenly wished she had an aspirin, her head was killing her.

"Number four, she realized she just made a horrid attempt at comedy in a serious situation." Anne sighed angrily and leaned against a nearby tree. "And how does she know she's not in the U.S.? All she can see is this forest...!"

Carol rolled her eyes. "Are you always this picky?"

"When it comes to someone else's universe, honey, I can be pickier than anything."

Kate would have given her partner a strange look, but she was preoccupied with the words. Her face contorted in horror as she skimmed; she tapped Anne on the shuolder and pointed at the words with a shaky hand. "We have to wait until we get to Rivendell," she said hoarsely. "I hate to do it... she leaves with Legolas, Elrohir, and Gandalf -I don't know how he gets in there, but he does- on a trip to Lothlorien so Galadriel can change her into an Elf!"

Anne stared for a moment in silence before she cleared her throat and spoke. "Um, do you mind a quick rewind? You lost me back there."

"Where?"

"Somewhere after 'We have to wait until we get to Rivendell'."

Kate sighed and shook her head. "That's all we need to know. We can kill her before the soap opera evolves too far, but we'll have to be quick and possibly away from Legolas."

"I don't know..." Anne's face twisted in an evil grin. "We could get the newbie to hold him for us."

"What happens when he gets loose?"

"...we run?"

Carol shushed them and pointed into the clearing. "He's here!"

Sure enough, the PPCs turned in time to see Legolas creeping up behind Rain, who was still fooling with her bag, extra gun, and handcuffs. She tensed as he stepped on a twig, and when he put a hand on her shoulder, she whipped around and flipped him over her shoulder. Before he could retaliate, she slapped the handcuffs onto his wrists. Anne chose this moment to moan and beat her forehead into her fist, which (by some miracle) the Sue didn't hear.

"What are these?" he said, looking up at the strangely dress young woman in front of him.

"Huh?" she said, startled. She had been prepared for an attack, not curiosity. "Umm, their handcuffs"

"Hand Cuffs" he said, peering down closely at the metal rings about his wrists, before looking back up at her "Ok, you can take them off now, please." An amused expression flittering across his face.

"I don't think so, buster." she growled, after all it was he who had snuck up on her and she was not about to release him until she found out what was going on.

Kate made a face. "Gee, that's just about as bad as 'fuzz-bub'..."

"Hey," Anne protested, "I like X-Men: Evolution's version of Wolverine!"

"Buster?" he queried. "My name isn't Buster, it's Legolas. Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of the Mirkwood Elves."

"Seems like a he-said-she-said situation -- literally..." Anne sighed. "It's almost like reading a Harry Potter book. Plus, I thought we'd already established the fact that Elves don't use contractions...?"

Carol, if she had been in an Anime continuum, could have effectively sweatdropped. "I happen to like the Harry Potter books."

"Me too, but I often skip the repetitious bits after the dialogue. It annoys me."

Kate pointed at the Sue. "Look, this is the fun part!"

"Le. . .go. . las? I'm . . .in. . . Middle. . .Earth?" she stammered as bright points of light suddenly seemed to pop in and out of existence in front of her eyes. She swayed alarmingly as she spotted his pointed ears and suddenly fainted dead away.

Anne and Kate cheered for a moment, then remotely acivated a portal and passed through with Carol on their heels.

~*~

The PPCs stepped out a few yards away from another clearing (Anne found another item on which to complain: too many clearings in the overabundant forests) and glanced around at their surroundings. Rain and Legolas were sitting around the fire, engaged in conversation and oblivious to their observers.

"Hmm, time changed," Carol noted. "The sun has already set."

Anne blinked at her. "Yeah... we skipped three chapters, four nights, and three days; of course time changed just a BIT..."

"Be nice, Anne," Kate muttered, peering out into the clearing from behind a tree. "Okay, where are we?"

Her partner brightened. "Do you think we missed the twi--"

"AAGH!"

"--we didn't miss the twins." She sighed heavily. "I was hoping we'd 'ported past this..."

He watched as Rain forced marched another elf into camp, his hands secured behind his back with her handcuffs things. Leaves and dead branches caught in his disheveled black hair and a smudge of dirt, from where he had been shoved into the ground, adorning one check.

"So Elladan, I see you have meet my friend Rain." chuckled Legolas, ignoring the dirty look he got from the other elf.

"Funny, Legolas. Could you get these things off me?" he growled as he watched the woman saunter casually back around the fire and sit down.

Kate frowned as she pulled out her Canon Analysis Device and pointed it at Elladan. "This ought to be interesting..."

[73.46%! CHARACTER RUPTURE, YOU--]

She shoved the device back into her pocket before it could finish its readout and gave a thin smile.

"Don't kill Theo," Anne said in a whisper, "we need him to fix the console the next time we pummel our fists through the screen. ...uh-oh, they're talking again."

"So how is it that the a warrior, such as yourself, could be careless enough to get caught unaware by a woman, no offense Rain." Legolas countered, enjoying the sight of the normally stuck up Elladan flustered.

"None taken, Legolas" quipped Rain, leaning back against the log, enjoying the fact the she had taken down now, not one but two elves. "Just remember," she said, "he's not the only one who's been caught unaware." Laughing at the chagrined expression that flitted over Legolas's face and the startled one from Elladans'.

Elladan slyly looked from the woman's laughing face to the embarrassed expression now on Legolas's face. "Oh ho, so I'm not the only one, humm." he said, laughing harder as Legolas began to blush.

"Rain would you please release him, so that I can shut his laughing trap for good." Legolas growled, bouncing up from his sitting position to advance on Elladan.

Kate, not wanting to wait for Elrohir's arrival, groaned inwardly and nudged Anne "Can we GO already? I want to get this over with..."

"It wouldn't bother me if we left."

~*~

Carol glanced around her in wonder. "So this is Rivendell..." she breathed in awe, trying to see the city and keep up with the PPCs at the same time.

"Yes, it's beautiful," Anne muttered, giving her a sardonic glare. "Will you at least TRY to walk in a straight line? You walk like you're drunk."

"You're just jealous because Kate and I get to be female elves."

"Jealous, my foot! Y'all can have the dresses, I can't stand 'em anyway."

Kate shook her head and tried to ignore her partner. There was something about this girl that Anne obviously didn't like; and when she had that distrust towards someone, it was sometimes for a good reason... but only sometimes. "Hey Anne, if we hurry, we might be able to steal her clothes while she's bathing..."

Her partner immediately brightened. "Can we get the dog instead?" She asked earnestly. "He can keep Kurt company when we go on missions...!"

"Sure, if you can get him away from her."

The three stopped in mid-step as a female elf came skipping out of Rain's room in an uncanon-like manner. Anne shuddered and glanced at the words with a grin. "Okay... the handmaiden leaves, and Rain goes into the bathroom. Perfect!" She went inside the bedchamber alone, and in a matter of moments, came back with the husky on a rope-leash.

Carol eyed the dog carefully. "Are you sure he's not on her side anymore?"

"We can trust him." Kate knelt beside the dog and scratched him behind the ears. "What're you going to rename him, Anne?"

She looked thoughtful for a moment, but eventually a grin spread across her face. "Ein!"

"I thought Ein was an abnormally intelligent Welsh Corgie...?"

"Well, now he's an abnormally intelligent Husky! ...but the 'abnormally intelligent' part is probably moreso downplayed."

Ein barked in protest.

Anne held up her hands in defense. "Okay, sorry, I take it back!"

Just as they turned to leave, the handmaiden in attendance to Rain came skipping back to the bedchamber with a pile of clothes in her arms. The three suppressed a collective shudder and beat a hasty retreat, knowing the Sue would soon notice that her faithful dog was absent. They passed Elrohir and Elladan as they meandered about, and Anne took the opprotunity to whip out the Polaroid and take pictures before Kate nabbed it from her.

"Hey, not a lot of people remember them!" She protested, while her partner casually put the Polaroid in her own bag.

"But we don't need to make them think they're imagining strange flashes of light."

"Darn you..."

Carol glanced ahead and saw a familiar figure walking in a dreamlike state towards them. "Legolas at twelve o'clock!" She muttered hurriedly. "Should we follow him?"

For a moment, Anne made a noise as if to protest, but instead examined the words. "...y'know, you might be onto something," she admitted. "He IS going back to Rain's room, after all, and we need the charges... but I'm wondering if I can stomach a romance scene." She made a face and glanced at Kate, who was deep in thought. "What do you think?"

There was a pause before she could answer. "...well, if we kill her before Legolas gets there, we could get out of here..." She sighed. "But there are some charges later on that we need, too. It'd be a good idea to wait it out a bit longer -- at least until after the dinner tonight."

Ein's tail started wagging at the mention of dinner.

"Poor boy, doesn't she feed you?" Anne asked, bending down to pet the dog.

He merely whimpered, until the Elf brought out a part of the rations, which brought forth a more pleased expression as he ate.

"...okay, that's great. But do we follow her?" Carol asked.

Kate shrugged. "I don't care. We could teach Carol how to play cards and still have the charges from the words, if you want."

Anne grinned. "Familiar with Egyptian Rat Race?"

~*~

After seven rounds of Rummy, two games of Egyptian Rat Race, and five rounds of Spit had passed, Kate finally spotted Rain and Legolas on their way to the dining hall. The three hurriedly put away the deck and crept after them, not wanting to be spotted by the Sue, until they reached their destination. Elrohir and Elladan greeted the couple as they came in, and after they exchanged words, Legolas led his company to stand near the open double doors at the other side of the hall.

"Gripping dialogue and family tree mucking," Kate moaned, covering her head.

Upon entering the dining hall, Lord Elrond stood to meet them, his voice ringing out over the gathered elves.

"Welcome friends of old and new. I would like to welcome a very special guest this evening. Her coming has been foretold by the Lady Galdadriel herself, Lady Rain Clearwater, fiftieth generation granddaughter of Elros Half-Even, my brother."

Carol's and Anne's jaws dropped in surprise. "WHAT?!" They chorused.

Ein's ears flattened on his head at the screech.

Kate nodded. "I told you it was horrid..."

Rain stared up in disbelief at Lord Elrond, she was related to him. She was an elf, but how could that be. 'I don't look like an elf, so how could I be one.' she thought. She tried to remember what she had read about the elves. 'Elros,' she thought, brother of Elrond. 'What had happened to him?'

Her pondering was interrupted by Legolas, who with a stunned expression on his face was leading her across the room towards Lord Elrond. 'Wait a minute, shouldn't that be Uncle Elrond?' she thought hysterically. 'Get it together Rain.' she thought, straightening her back and employing her military bearing to cover her confusion. She schooled her face to display none of the emotions rolling through her.

"Ha, ha; so witty." Kate tried to crouch lower in their hiding place beneath a window. "But at least she's not his second daughter, taken from him by his jealous brother Voldemort..."

Anne shrugged. "Well, she could have been taken by a time-traveling outlaw and rescued from a life of slavery by Vash the Stampede. Luckily, we have yet to recieve a report for a Lord of the Rings/Trigun crossover."

She could hear the other elves in the room talking excitedly, as if she was some sort of surprise. Trying to focus on the moment at hand, she looked up into Elrond's gray eyes, who was currently smiling gently down at her, holding his hand out to her.

Withdrawing her hand from Legolas's arm, she took Elrond's as he led her up to the raised table at the head of the room. She swiftly threw an imploring look over her shoulder at Legolas. Catching the meaning in her eyes, he nodded softly and followed close behind. She sat in the chair that Elrond had pulled out for her, before he sat down on her left. Legolas quickly took the seat to her right, frowning at Elrohir who had tried to beat him out.

Carol glanced at the table. "I wonder what they're eating..."

Unconcerned with the menu, Anne rolled her eyes and glanced at the words. "Piece of cake! She leaves for her room, stops along the way, and is wide open for us! We can get her then, right?"

Kate shrugged. "Sure."

"Rain, dear. Are you not enjoying the meal?" Elrond asked as he leaned over to talk quietly to her, watching as she circled the food around her plate.

"I'm sorry, but I am just not hungry." she said, putting her fork down next to her plate and picking up the wineglass in front of her. She downed the entire contents quickly, wishing it was something quite a bit stronger than wine. 'Preferably a lot of something stronger.' she thought sarcastically.

Seeing that nearly everyone had finished and were departing, she folded her napkin and turned to Elrond, "Would you please excuse me Lord Elrond, I am not feeling well and would like to go to my room."

"Oh, I hope you feel better, dear. You and I will talk in the morning then. Shall I have someone escort you back to your room?" Elrond said, concern written across his features.

"I'll take her Lord Elrond." Legolas spoke up before anyone else could answer, pushing back from the table to stand up.

"No, please Legolas, stay and enjoy the company. I can find my own way." Rain said as she placed a hand on his shoulder to keep him in his seat. He looked up into her eyes and nodded, as he understood her need to be alone for the moment.

Anne grinned menacingly. "Our turn to inflict pain. Kate, she's all yours once she stops to rest. C'mon, Ein!" The dog rose and followed the three PPC's eagerly.

"I have just the arrows for the occasion, too!"

Once outside of the dining room, instead of heading up the stairway to her chambers, Rain turned and darted out an archway into the darkness surrounding the manor. Picking up the hem of her dress as so not to trip, she dashed quickly down a darkened path and deep into the forest.

Feeling a stitch in her side, she collapsed under a large tree and pulled her knees to her chest, rocking back and forth. 'What in the [heck] was going on here?' she thought hysterically, her emotions now free to run rampant over her.

[Anne's note: The sentence containing brackets was censored for this author's personal preference. I know some of y'all don't care that much if there is profanity, but I prefer to keep this as clean as possible.]

'How could she be related to an elf? Did this mean that she was in the past and Middle Earth was really Earth, not another world or dimension?' her mind was spinning, trying to take in all of the facts and process them reasonably. Taking a deep breath, she straightened and leaned back against the tree behind her.

'Ok, let's work this out.' she thought, her military logic finally kicking it.

* Number one, Uncle Elrond, nope better make that Lord Elrond until I know more. Lord Elrond's brother was my ancestor about fifty generations ago. Elros was his name. I wish I had my Tolkien books here so I could research him.

* Number two, If I am related to Elrond through his brother, doesn't that mean I have elfin blood flowing through me and if so is that why I have always had such excellent hearing and eyesight.

* Number three, If I am really related to the elves then that means this is Earth and not another dimension. So that would mean I have been dropped back into time. But for what reason?

* Number four, I really wish I had a fifth of tequila right now.

Sighing, she closed her eyes trying to clear all of the thought out of her already over-crowded head. That not working she tried reciting the Air Force Values over and over in her head until she could stop thinking about what all was going on.

"Hullo, lover," a voice growled from behind. Rain turned and almost fell over in surprise, but saw no one.

"...wh--who's there?" She stammered. "Legolas, if you're playing a trick on me, I'll--"

Three figures stepped out of the bushes clad in elven garmets; two were female, one male. The male elf stepped forward with his arms crossed and addressed her. "Lady Rain?" He asked, almost spitting out her name in disgust.

"That's me. What do you want?"

One of the female elves nodded once. "Anne, charge her."

"Rain Clearwater, you are hereby charged with the crimes of capturing (with handcuffs) the characters of Legolas and Elladan, bringing non-Middle-Earthean profanities to Middle-Earth, assaulting every English grammar rule at least twice, having a Cute Animal Friend (who is now in our possession), interacting with the characters of Legolas, Elladan, Elrohir, and Elrond; misspelling Elrohir at least twice, mucking with family trees, causing Legolas to fall madly in love with you, turning all of Rivendell into a soap opera/chick flick, and being a Mary Sue." Anne wheezed out the last part of the charges and bent over, her hands on her knees, to catch her breath.

Rain was obviously dumbfounded by their list. "What?"

"Didn't you understand any of that?" Carol scoffed.

"Don't get too into it, dear," Anne gasped, managing to right herself. "Let her have it, Kate!"

With a nod, Kate effortlessly drew an arrow from Anne's quiver and readied hereslf to fire her bow. "Any last words that aren't heart-wrenching or otherwise dramatic?" As Rain tried to open her mouth, the arrow flew through the air and struck her in the shoulder. "I missed!" She snarled, reaching for another arrow.

Too late. Rain was off and running, holding her hurt shoulder with one hand and the hem of her dress with the other. Kate fired again, this time striking her through the neck; Rain's corpse fell limp into the mud with a sickening squelch-type noise.

"Hmm, I must be better at moving targets," she mused as she handed Anne her bow. "Any ideas on how to dispose of her?"

"We haven't visited the Watcher yet..."

~*~

Twenty minutes and one slightly less-hungry Watcher later, the three collapsed in the response center with exhausted sighs. They watched Kurt and Ein make friends with one another, and both had settled themselves around Anne after the infomal introductions.

"If we have another mission already, I'm going to kill someone," Kate moaned.

Carol managed a laugh. "Aside from the Sues?"

"More along the lines of a suit-wearing sunflower..."

[BEEP!]

Ein barked at the noise, not quite sure of what it was, while Kurt tilted his head to the side.

Anne groaned loudly as she stood and examined the console. "Down, Ein. It's only the bloody message people."

With a meloncholy 'woof' from both dogs, Ein and Kurt retreated underneath the first desk they could find and shared a sigh.

"...well, good news is, it's not a mission."

"Thank goodness!" Kate exclaimed.

"More good news: Carol is to be transferred to the Bad Slash department!"

The girl grinned. "Yeah, I didn't really want to work here, anyway... too many girls in this department already."

Anne rolled her eyes and read on. "...okay, here's the bad news: we DO have another mission already. We need to head out as soon as we can get our gear back together."

Kate merely moaned from her laying position on the couch and covered her head with a pillow.
==========

Anne's note: ...Wow, this one was BAD. Not as bad as Arsarmwen or Erin, but still pretty hard to read. I didn't like it at ALL... Hey, be glad! We killed her before she beat up Legolas AND Aragorn! *mutters dark threats under her breath*

Okay, I admit, I searched on my own and found this one because I was bored. But the next two chapters will be stories that have been submitted! (C'mon, guys, I'm getting tired of having to look for myself! Especially when the fic has as many bed scenes as Unforgettable did... ¬_¬) And yes, we have another dog! Not that it's a bad thing, mind. I like having pets!

Kate's note: Oy, I hope this means I get a cat from the next Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter crossover. And for all wondering, even though some fellow PPCs are based on people we know, Carol was NOT. She was a random name Anne typed for plot purposes.

Any more crossovers? Going to other places is fun; and if anyone manages to find a LotR/CSI fic, I'll be amazed. We want to pair up with the CSI department (or at least I want to...) for a chapter. Anne says she's bringing in two fun people for either the Trigun or Inuyasha department, though, and I think I should be afraid. As long as I get a cat eventually, I'll be happy...