1Wide-eyed, I looked around desperately for any sign of Pippin and Merry, but there was no sign of them. Behind me, I could hear Kurie trying to convince the fan girls that the man before them wasn't really Orlando Bloom, but they were having none of it. I looked back once to see how she was doing. The girls were just becoming more insistent, pushing past her and trying to get Legolas to give them his autograph. A couple were pulling at him in a worrisome way, but as I heard angry shouts from above, I decided that Legolas was a warrior and could handle himself.
Realizing the shouts above were coming from the food court, I quickly turned to Frodo and Sam, instructing them to stay put as I went sprinting towards the escalator. The shouts were even more angry now, and I could make out a crowd forming near one of the food stands, and I was under no illusions as to just who was in the center of that crowd. Pushing my way through was very hard, but eventually I reached the center where I could make out Pippin standing behind Merry, looking nervous and chagrined. Merry was defending his cousin against the manager of the Blimpies.
I ran over to the hobbits, facing the manager. "What is the problem?" I demanded, slowly placing myself in front of the two.
"The younger one ordered a meal and then tried to leave without paying." The manager said, rather calmly I thought for how angry his expression was. I realized the angry shouts were coming from the people who had been in line and were being held up, and refrained from rolling my eyes in frustration.
"Look, I'm sorry, let me pay. They're my cousins, and this is their first trip to the mall." The manager seemed appeased as I yanked my keys out of my pocket and dug out my debit card. While I did this, I turned meaningfully to the wayward middle-earthlings. "You see what happens when you guys don't stay with me? Maybe you could just say you were hungry next time, huh?" I asked.
Pippin's gaze stayed wide and innocent, which he seemed to be very good at, but Merry glared at me, as if to say, 'We're always hungry, what's that supposed to mean?' I ignored him, but went back to paying the manager for what turned out to be a rather large bill, glaring back at Pippin, who hid further behind his cousin, clutching his tray laden with food.
The manager gave a grunt of pacification after my card was approved, and the crowd began to dissipate back into a line. Annoyed, I shoved my cared back into it's slot in my college ID holder, then whirled on the hobbits, glaring. "Get back down to the others." I said, yanking the tray from a very disappointed Pippin, leaving the tray, but taking the food, knowing I would never hear the end of it otherwise, and would only have to pay to feed them later anyway.
As we walked towards the escalator, I could see a couple mall security guys running down the walkway. I followed them with my eyes nervously, and could see a group of girls beating against a door, which kept moving in an inch or so, then shutting again forcefully. I could see Kurie talking to one of the officers, and I sighed as I climbed off the escalator and began to jog that direction, pushing the twins of chaos in front of me.
"What's going on?" Pippin asked, and looked up to me as we made our way through this crowd. Merry looked as if he might hush his cousin, but I answered before he could.
"Legolas is getting a taste of earth fan girls...too much, by the looks of it." I made my way to Kurie. "What's going on?" I demanded. The mall security guy was running off to help the others dispel the crowd of feminine hormones.
"Oh, the girls didn't believe me. One of them ripped Legolas' shirt, and it all went downhill from there. Legolas ended up blockading himself in the men's room. Maybe we should have let him bring his weapons." Kurie joked, but I just glared at her.
"It's not funny, Kurie, we gotta get him out of here fast!" Kurie just nodded seriously. Suddenly, I felt a tug on my sleeve and looked down to see Frodo, who just pointed wordlessly down the walkway, where Legolas was poking his head nervously out of a door. I nodded my head in his direction for Kurie, then whispered, "I'm going to get him a hat and a change of clothing, maybe that will help." She nodded, and I turned to Frodo. "Tell Legolas to stay put, but do it discreetly. The girls don't need to know there's another entrance to the bathroom." Frodo immediately began walking in Legolas' direction, trying not to be obvious, and I shook my head as I went to get Legolas some clothes.
20 minutes later, we were walking through the JC Penneys, unmolested once again, though I was seriously considering buying leashes for the hobbits. Frodo and Sam weren't as bad, of course, but they still retained the curiosity of their kind, and so Frodo could be distracted into wandering off, with Sam inevitably following. Legolas was at my side, looking vaguely out of place in the clothes I had quickly chosen that didn't fit perfectly, but in my defense, I had no reason to know men's clothing sizes. Legolas had not gone far since we had escaped the fans, as if afraid that if he strayed too far from Kurie and I he'd be recognized and attacked again.
"Tell me again what those creatures were?" He asked, and I gave an annoyed grunt. Kurie just grinned as she sent Pippin into the child's dressing room with another pair of pants, trying to discover the hobbit's sizes.
"They're not creatures, Las, they're just human girls, like Kurie and myself. They just happened to be a variation called a 'fan girl.'" I pulled out another pair of pants and showed them to Kurie. I had started calling the middle-earthlings by my nicknames to lower suspicion, and while Legolas didn't like his new name, he didn't complain. Kurie nodded in response to the jeans I was holding and handed them to Frodo, holding Sam back when he tried to follow. The gardener glared at her, but she ignored him as she continued to look for something that would fit him.
"A fan girl?" Legolas made a face. "What is wrong with them?" He asked, browsing with one finger through a rack of shirts, obviously not impressed with the fabric or design. He said nothing about our clothing, though, for which I was grateful.
"There's nothing wrong with them, they just get excited to see someone they've always wanted to meet." Legolas still looked confused, and I sighed. "Look, lemme put it this way. Orlando Bloom became famous playing you in the film version of the books I was talking about." Legolas just looked more confused, and I ran a hand through my hair. "I can't explain film without showing you. I'll show you a LITTLE bit of the movie and your part in it when we get home. For, now, just try to understand that Orlando is someone they've heard a lot about and meeting 'him', or you as it may be, was too much excitement for them. They're not like that normally." I said, then just shook my head as he looked like he was going to ask more questions. "Las, I don't know what else to say, and I'm really tired. Let's just drop it for now and finish shopping. The sooner we get out of here, the better." Legolas didn't like being put off again, but he agreed with my last statement and said nothing, instead holding out a pair of pants that looked like they would fit Sam, expressionless. I smiled and took them. "Thanks!" Legolas nodded, and I noticed that for the first time since he had arrived, the elf was no longer glaring at me.