Unfortunately yes, this is the last chapter. I know my story is the shortest thing I've ever wrote (14 chapters for me is short, yes) but all good things must come to an end sometime. I feel if I make it any longer it will be so long and drawn out that everyone will just lose interest. I'll put as much as I can into this chapter and then I'll consider doing a sequel/continuation. I'd like a little feedback about that. But in the end, I just wanna thank everyone who reviewed so nicely (I didn't get flamed! "jumps around giddily*) and this was my favourite story to write (probably related to Edith, but I'm not sure). Thank you for all your support and bearing with me. Okay....onward to the final chapter of The Tolkien Conspiracy.


Chapter 14: The Road Goes Ever On And On...

Edith studied me carefully on her doorstep as she held the majestic set of novels she had been wanting since she first met me. "Are you sure?" She asked, half wanting to run and hide in her house built on Lord of the Rings, curling into a fetal position, stroking them while saying, "Precioussssssss." The other half of her knowing that our friendship was worth more then Lord of the Rings (at least to me). I nodded, brushing a bang out of my face and looking back at her. She stared for a moment at the books, running her fingers over them, like she was memorizing them without noticing. I at first thought the possibility of her running inside, crouching in a corner and saying, "Preciousss..." Was going to happen. Instead, she leaned forward (on her tiptoes of course, Edith's not really that tall) and hugged me.

Now, in the course of our friendship, Edith has only ever initiated a hug with me...two times. Once when I bought her the Spider-Man Soundtrack for her birthday. And the other when I drove her to Oxford Libraries and allowed her to flirt with those two Scholars. But now was third, and I couldn't miss out because Edith doesn't usually initiate a hug, so I leaned forward a little bit and hugged back.

"Thanks." She said, and released me. I smiled and nodded again.

"No problem."

"You're sure?" She said finally. I wanted to keep them. I knew I did. I felt like it was actually the Ring calling me and saying, "Delaney....come on Delaney...." I nodded though anyways and Edith smiled. She jumped up and down, carefuly not to drop them. I walked back to my car and waved a little bit, having a few more errands to run before going back to work.

I went past Tobias's house, having never seen it before. He was doing well for a guy just in University. Nice house with trees in the front yard and in the back. I could see the resemblance between his and Edith's. I just hoped his house had some right angles in it. Most of Edith's house is oval or circle. There's a few room that are actally rooms, But mainly it's actually kind of nausiating being in that house. I pulled the papers from my Dad's Library, all the Lord of the Rings stuff I could find shoved into a file box and headed to the front door. Setting it down I rang the doorbell. Why does it sound oddly like the beginning of Rohan's theme to the Two Towers? I didn't want to ask. Note to self: Never tell Edith there is Doorbells that sound like the Lord of the Rings. She'd get all of them and set them around her house, and just for fun press them all the time and make Cougar have a seizure.

"Hey." He said as he opened the door. I kind of stopped. What was he wearing? He was in nothing but boxer shorts and a old concert t-shirt. That was kind of un-Tobias. Still, I have to say he looks pretty good. "How's it going?"

"Fine actually, I was going through a lot of my Dad's stuff and I came across some stuff you might like." I handed him the box, quite happy ti be rid of it. Nobody has any idea about how much this stuff really weighs. He smiled and set it aside.

"Thanks. I was actually gonna ask you about that. How are you with the whole...sitaution." I liked how he had tried to put it lightly.

I smiled and confidently said, "I'm okay." Tobias grinned. "I mean I know it hasn't changed but...I dunno. Anyways I have to get to work so...um...I'll see you around." I said, waving. He smiled and shouted at me.

"Hey Delaney!" I turned around and he ran to meet me on the path. His neighbours, which I had noticed were on the porch, were a little shocked to see him like that. He stood in front of me and smiled again. "Come out with me." He said to me. "Come with me to dinner tonight." I softly grinned and nodded. He pecked me on the cheek and ran back inside, shouting out, "7:00!"

I got back in my car, the smile never leaving my face. I am going to dinner with Tobias, I thought to myself. I am. Not Edith. The thoughts of my death immediately changed. I was so gonna be making out with him in Heaven! I pulled out of his driveway, still laughing a little, before driving for my day at work.

Work sucks, litterally. I mean with the whole Tobias thing I at least had something to do. Now it was all just type up the article and get it in for publishing. Do as I had promised for Tobias, I thought with a girly-like blush. I had to say it was the finest thing I'd ever written, say for the fact that it made me look like a crack pot. I didn't mind. I remembered my father saying once, "Sometimes we all have to look insane to do the sane things." At least I think it was my father. For all I know it could have been my brother, but he never said anything like that.

I put in the last few words before printing off a rough draft. I glanced it over, looking around for the usual (spelling mistakes, grammatical errors...Reporters have to do that) And found about seventeen. When I get typing I don't stop, so I usually have to make about 5 or 6 rough drafts before they even make it to the Editor. I was printing out what I hoped to be my final copy, when there was a knock on my door. I looked at it, thinking it could be Tobias. Who knows? Maybe this time I'll be seeing Hogwarts? Instead, the man who walked in wasn't Tobias, but I let him sit anyways.

I couldn't look at him. It felt like I was ashamed to be with him and he with me. Still I willed my head up, his eyes averting my stare. I ripped the article from the printer and got his attention, still angry and upset.

"You know..." He began. "I remember when I used to read to you and Porsha." He said. Oh no, he was trying to get me to talk. "I just remember that one night we were talking about the end of the books, the time just before I left." I lowered my eyes to that. The time you buggered off? I thought with a sneer. "And I was just at the part, where Frodo was going to the gray havens, and we were at the part where Frodo begins to say, 'So I thought once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them." I opened my mouth to interject, wanting to scream him out of my office. "Neither of you girls understood that." He replied, "And when I tried to explain it to you, neither of you thought it was fair that Same couldn't go." He gave a weak laugh, trying to lighten the mood.

"You could have said something. Anything." I said. He shook his head.

"What would I have said?"

"Anything!" I shouted as loud as I could through the building. "You could have said something instead of buggering off like that. You could have told us a quote for the Almighty novels but no, you just up and leave. And now you think I won't understand anymore Dad? Christ, I have been trying to understand for 15 years!" I think he got my message. He just sat there and I calmed down. "So, just tell me something that's real okay? Not any of this Tolkien-written stuff. Tell me something real."

"I loved you." He said, starting to weep a little. "I don't think any of you kids understood how much I loved you. I wanted to just always be there, but I couldn't. I couldn't take your mother."

"Not many people can." I replied, also trying to lighten the mood. He continued.

"When I read to you it was almost like we were in Middle Earth together." He said. "Like we were just as we said we were going to be."

I looked up at him and he glanced at me. "And I'm not looking for forgiveness or a lack of hatred from you because I know I deserve it. And I'm not looking to be your father, I'm not even looking for you to like me. I just wanted you to know that I really did love you. Even if I buggered off." I sat at my desk, feeling my eyes burn again. He stood up. "I won't bother you again if you don't want it." I finally got up. I reached my arms around him and didn't strangle him surprisingly. Instead, I hugged him, and I hugged him like I used to.

I released him a second later and let him look at me for a second, before I thought of it. "Oh." I said, and I grabbed a rough copy. I showed it to him. "It should make some people believe it. My father looked at it, a small smile moving over his face. He took it by the top and ripped it downward. I grinned again.

"It was good." He said. "But I think you can think of something much better."


"So that's it then?" Tobias asked me. "You and your dad are okay and there's nothing more to say?" We were walking through the crowds of people at the fair that happened to come into London that night. I nodded, leaning my head into his shoulder. He put his arm around me.

"I think there's always something more to say." I replied. "There's always something someone else forgot." He put his head on mine for a second.

"I didn't forget anything." He said. I grinned. "At least I hope I didn't You never do know with me."

"No I don't." I replied, still smiling. We stopped a second and he just looked at me. I hoped he would kiss me again. I think actually it was the nicest thing ever when he kissed me. Made me feel kind of weird. Like my stomach was gonna burst. He actually leaned in and when were so close, when suddenly there was a shout.

"STEP RIGHT UP! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! For the ALL NEW, MIDDLE EARTH TOURS! With me, your host, Edith! Tickets are only 20 dollars for any place you want to go. Only true believers of Tolkien allowed!" He and I groaned. Edith was standing on a wooden platform in a crazy top hat and striped socks. She, luckily hadn't noticed myself and Tobias. We walked by and he put his arm around me again.

"Well, you know, a second date would be more memorable in Mordor wouldn't you say." I grinned and I looked back for a second, just savouring the memory of Edith wearing a top hat. I turned around again.

"I think I've had enough Middle Earth in my life to last me a lifetime." I replied, grinning, and Tobias kissed me once more.


Well, there we have it, the end of the Tolkien Conspiracy. By the way, just to remind everybody, the quote her father took is on page 382 in my copy of The Return of the King. The rights to Middle Earth all belong to Mister Tolkien and although I would like to have made the millions off them that he did, I cannot be that person (weeps). I hope everyone enjoyed the story as much as I did, and although I would love to have carried on, sometimes it's better to just leave it as is. Well, review and tell me what you think I should do next!

Also, the character Edith is based on my best friend Eden, who reviews and loves the books. She really is short in real life and has the boyant hair. Thanks for letting me use you Edith/Eden.

As for Tobias, he was just a figment of my imagination, based on all those guys you see in movies.

Tobias's Dog, although never shown, was a french poodle named Fifi, who developed a severe case of Kidney stones and nearly died. Okay, I was kidding about that. It was really a Dachshound (or however you spell it) named Gimli who did not develope kidney stones but did run away when Tobias went into Middle Earth. He was found a week later with the french poodle named Fifi and 17 poodle and dachshound (or however you spell it) puppies.

Cougar ended up living a long life in his home. Only twice did he ever tackle into Edith causing her to fall down. When he lived to be a hearty 26, he was put down after he broke three of his legs and was replaced with another Great Dane, this time named Stitch (Edith had recently seen Lilo and Stitch)

Edith ended up making thousands off Middle Earth Tours. She appeared in Delaney's second article, Chimpanzees with Revolvers, about the weirdest entrepreneurs. Despite all that, she actually met several of Middle Earth's finest and even tried to seduce Legolas, (who apparantly does resemble Orlando Bloom). She actually did end up meeting Johnny Depp when he came to Middle Earth Tours (he too is a big fan).

Tobias ended up coming into Business with Edith, and never had to work small jobs again. He and Delaney dated two years before he popped the big question, "Will you come into Middle Earth with me?" And then he asked her, in Rivendell, to Marry him. He ended up writing a book and making a good profit off that, mixed with Middle Earth Tours, which was later renamed Tolkien Tours because it was twice as catchy.

Delaney's father apologized to his whole family and reconciled with his wife (more then I can say for Delaney). They lived out a quiet life on a farm, Tolkien Free, and ended up retiring in happiness. The authorities never found out that he was never dead, so he was basically Telesolisitor free for the rest of his days. He ended up walking Delaney down the Aisle in Rivendell, where she and Tobias got married.

Delaney Marks ended up becoming one of the top reporters of London, and actually moved onto television when she was 27. She married Tobias a year ago and they are currently expecting a child, who will not be named by the father. She read the books just after the wedding and, although never was as obssessed with them as she had been, didn't mind that being the conversational topic 90% of the time in her home.

No reports of Tolkien's Portals ever made it into the media. Edith and Tobias were very careful about what they released to the press, and even though their business soon became International, Delaney was the only reporter to ever have been privvy to the information about The Tolkien Conspiracy.