Chapter 8

A/N: Alright. This is going to be the last long chapter. Since everyone wants it posted more quickly, I'm going to compromise and write less, post more from now on. Chapter nine will be up as soon as I get it back from the beta

Thanks to IMPROVED Uber Rei Model 06 for betaing the second half. And for the first half, thanks to Kawabata-san who looked over it for me.

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"Kachou-san wa, Chiharu-san wo kako made okutte, hontou wa kaeshikata mo nai to iu imi ni nasaimasu ka?" ((Boss. Are you implying that you sent Chiharu to the past and really have no way to bring her back?))

Having just sent Chiharu back in time to get Myu, Professor Kudo and Astrophysics department chief, Kaneko Jin were seated in the department lounge having a cup of tea, when Jin had just shrugged non-chalantly and said "I don't either" to Kudo's statement he didn't understand how Jin was planning to bring them back to the present.

[Yet.] Jin corrected, [I don't know how to do it YET. That's what we're working on.]

"Demo desu ne! Moshi mada kaeshikata wo sagashi kakaranakatta ra, kakaru jikan ga zenzen wakarimasen ne. Sorya hyakunen mo kakaru koto mo aru desho ka?" ((But, y'know! If you haven't even started to look for a way to bring them back yet, then you don't know how long it could take! It could be a hundred years from now!))

Jin blew on his tea, making a rippling noise. [It very well may, but that will not make the slightest bit of difference because we are on two completely different time planes. We may come up with the answer a thousand years from now, but we may still retrieve them at the exact same moment we dropped Chiharu off. You should know this.]

"Wakarimasu keredomo.... Naze kaeshikata wo hakken suru mae ni Chiharu-san wo ima okuru n desho?" ((I understand, but... Why send Chiharu now before we've discovered a way to bring her back?))

[Because the longer my ex-wife is gone, the better.]

You could almost see a sweat-drop trail down Kudo's temple before he put his head down on the table and moaned; "Sen-nen da-tte..." ((A thousand years he says....))

[There, there, human.] Jin consoled, patting Kudo's scrawny shoulder with a taloned hand. [Lighten up. I believe I have noticed something when we sent Chiharu back in time that may expedite our work considerably.]

"Nan desho ka?" ((What is it, sir?)) Kudo mumbled without lifting his head.

[I felt Myu's presence.]

Kudo peeked up from under his unruly mop of hair. "Mm? Dou iu imi desho?" ((Mm? What do you mean, sir?))

[I felt that Myu was there watching us.]

"Bakemono desho?!" ((A ghost?!))

[Don't be ridiculous. Just tell me; did you not also feel that something extra was there? Up on the balcony.]

"Ano sa, ningen mo ga soiu dekimasu kana. Sou ieba, asoko ni hen na mono nanka atta ki ga shimashita sa. Shikashi Jikan Tsuro no sei shika ja nakatta to omoimashita ne." ((Um, I don't think humans can do something like that, but come to think of it, it felt like there was something spooky there. But I thought it was just because of the Time Gateway))

[Every living creature has a sense of time and space. It gives you a sense of existence,] Jin explained, [You indeed felt something there, as I did, although you could not see it. However, as a telepath, I could sense the presence more clearly, and to me, it was definitely identifiable as my daughter. Now, take a moment to consider this; Myu's consciousness appeared when we opened Chiharu's timewarp. Why?]

"Ano... ochikomimashita kara ka na." ((Ummm... because she fell in maybe?))

[Yes, but why? Why did Myu fall into Chiharu's time warp out of all other living things that exist in the world?]

Kudo's eyes suddenly got very wide. "Naruhodo. Sarimasen deshita kara ne. Myu wa mada koko ni itte kaesu koto ga kantan desho!" ((Of course! She didn't leave. Myu's still here, and it'll be easy to bring her back!))

Jin blinked. [Um....... no. She's definitely not here, not NOW anyways. The key is that she WAS here, and that she WAS teleported through your machine, the exact same way we teleported Chiharu, just at a different time.]

Kudo scratched his head sheepishly then finished off his tea, still not understanding what Jin was getting at.

Jin took a sugar cube from the dispenser. [Think. In the context of time travel, time reverses it's function as an independent variable. Time becomes space and space becomes time. The reason that Myu was sucked into Chiharu's time warp was because her own timewarp was *close* to it on the time plane, like one whirlpool merging with another.]

"Demo sa, hoka no jikan-bizumi ni eikyou suru to iu to, imada jibun no jikan-bizumi ni iru wake ni narimasu ka?" ((But wouldn't she have still had to be in timewarp to be effected by another timewarp?))

[No. Don't you see? She is still IN timewarp. She will be in the timewarp so long as she is not in her original timeframe-- our timeframe, that is.]

Kudo sat absolutely still, feeling faint traces of comprehension beginning to feather at his brain."Kachou wa..." ((Boss...?))

[Don't ask me. It's your project, and moreoever, your falt for not following university policy and setting up password-protection on the console. Otherwise my daughter would not have been able to get herself into this mess to begin with.] Jin downed his tea in a single gulp, and seeing the lost look on Kudo's face, he gave a hint, [You remember the physical law that matter cannot be created or destroyed?]

Kudo nodded.

[Well, that's still a law. When you try to put someone back in time, you try to add matter to a world he's not supposed to exist in, and take him out of the one where he's supposed to exist. That's not possible, and I told you that the moment you started this project.]

"Sou iu to, seika wa..." ((Then saying that, the result would be...))

[A sub-reality. Myu is not back in time. She is not part of history. She is on an offshoot. Nothing she has done has occured in our past, but is, right now, occurring in its own frame of time and space. It's like the "Never Ending Story"- did you see that?- the pages are written as you live the tale.]

Kudo was squinting his narrow eyes at Jin for a long moment, then suddenly, so suddenly h knocked the chair over, jumped up like a bucket of fire ants had just been dumped down the back of his trowsers and tore off towards the lab, calling after them. "Wakatta! Kaeshikata ga wakatta!" ((I got it! I know how to get them back.))

Jin stared after him, smiling faintly.

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The time was a little before 6 AM and in mid-summer, which meant that the sun was just now coming up. While the rest of the war party slept, the sleepy-eyed elf posted as look-out watched the eastern sky gradually grow ruddy with daylight. The twitters and cuckoos of birds were beginning to echo through the cool air, which was surely a signal that nothing dangerous lurked nearby, and besides, orcs rarely stayed up this late-- or early, rather. The lookout's eyes had already begun to glaze over, as he thought of catching up a little on lost sleep before the rest of the party stirred and begun morning preparations. He was contemplating the possibility of napping while standing in a tree holding a bow and arrow, when a hand came down on his shoulder. The elf jumped.

"If you did not notice me coming up here, Laesonif, then surely you do not feel the danger nearby.... Have you been dozing?"

Laesonif cringed. He knew who it was before he even turned to look at him. "My apologies, Lord Elladan. It was quite involunatry."

Elladan scrutinized the young warrior a moment before saying; "If you cannot govern yourself enough to keep from falling asleep, then perhaps you would be better suited to a more domestic occupation."

After all the martial training Laesonif underwent, and all the joy he experienced when at last he was accepted into the warrior ranks, doing anything else but fighting was out of the question. "I will try harder, I promise!" Laesonif scrambled to get off the subject. "You said you sensed danger nearby? I sense it as well. Shall I go scout?"

Elladan's gaze strayed to the trees, and he nodded. Laesonif dropped lightly from his perch and took off in the direction Elladan was looking. "No," Elladan stopped him, then motioned more to the left. "That way."

The Laesonif nodded, then dissolved quickly into the foliage. Elladan was left wondering what he would find out there. "Do you feel it too?" he asked.

Elrohir froze, utterly startled that Elladan had sensed him sneaking up the tree trunk below. With a grunt of dismay, Elrohir had no choice but to drop back down, his playful attempts thwarted. He recalled the time he had unsuccessfully snuck up and tried to dump a bucket of water on his brother's head not too long ago and asked. "How do you do that?"

Elladan ignored the question, and dropped to the forest floor beside his brother. "Something is amiss," he said importantly, closing his eyes to better concentrate on other senses. "There is a red sky. Blood has been spilt this night. I sense the uneasiness of the forest reflects this omen." He looked very pensive as he said this.

"Amanthon and I were shooting squirrels last night," Elrohir suggested.

Suppressing a weary sigh, Elladan told his mentally-younger twin; "This is important. If you have nothing relavent to say, then say nothing."

"You are the one who started the conversation."



"Aye, and I regret that I did," Elladan growled through his teeth.

"Then may I change the subject if it's relavent?"

Elladan nodded hesitantly.

"What did you say to Myu the other night that--"

"I didn't say anything to her!" Elladan snapped with sudden anger.

Elrohir looked taken aback, "Very well."

"There are several morning chores that need to be carried out before we may depart and continue our search for that orc band," said Elladan tartly as he started back toward the camp, "See if you can make yourself useful."

But Elrohir refused to stop following him. "While we're on the topic of Myu--"

"We're not on the topic of Myu." Elladan interrupted tetchily.

"--I have a question."

"No."

Elrohir followed his brother around a tree, he looked as though he were about to sit down on his blankets, but the presence of his twin evidently annoyed him enough to give him second thought. He walked back around the tree to see what else he could do, and did so at an unusually brisk pace. "The night before we left Imladris," Elrohir preambled, hurrying to catch up, "I saw Myu running through the courtyard toward the front gate of the house."

Elladan didn't answer as he stooped to shake one of his warriors awake who had overslept.

"She was crying," he added.

That gave Elladan a pause, but he was quick to shake off whatever nagging he felt at his conscience, "I am sorry to hear that, but knowing her, she is likely recovered of it by now... Brandweg! Awaken! There is much to do!"

The elf in question groaned, murmured something, then rolled over and wandered back down the path of elven dreams. Elladan stood in defeat. "I shall be sure to report him when we return home," he promised to himself.

"She was also carrying a bottle of wine," Elrohir rambled on, "I think it was the Dorwinion!"

"Enough already!" Elladan stopped and spun to face his brother, who had started following him again, "Why are you prying thusly about this matter?"

Elrohir shrugged. "I was just concerned for her."

Elladan blinked, then barked a laugh. "Imagine that! She has proven herself utterly invincible and you are concerned for her! What worse could happen to her than feeling a little glum every so often? Do you think her people even know what it is like to feel pain? To feel..." Something came across Elladan's mind that cut him off. He looked up then and noticed several curious eyes turned his way.

"'To feel loss'?" Elrohir finished for him, "Is that what you wanted to say?"

Elladan smiled wryly. Who better to read his thoughts than his twin?

Elrohir read that as a yes. It was his brother at his same old grievences about Naneth's ((mother)) untimely death again. "She is in Valinor, Elladan," Elrohir recited his usual condolences wearily, "She is free from suffering there, and we will see her again when we all leave Arda eventually. You keep bringing this up over and over again, muindor nin. And with the way we keep riding out and wreaking vengence on orcs, one would guess that it happened only yesterday, not more than a century ago. It is time to let go."

Elladan's smile faded. Perhaps his brother did not understand as well as he thought. "Nay, Elrohir. It is not her suffering that ails me now. It is adar's." Turning his back, he walked slowly back to his blanket, bunched it up, and used it as a cushion as he sat against the tree trunk, where he could speak more privately. Elrohir followed in suit and knelt beside him, waiting patienty. Finally, Elladan opened up. "Haven't you felt it? That fear of loss?"

Elrohir's expression was blank and still on standby for further explanation.

"Ever since we were elflings," Elladan began to explain, "We were told that we would live forever, and that our adar and our naneth and everyone we knew would all live forever. And then suddenly, one day, that promise was broken. And we realize that even elves live and die just like the trees and beasts of the forest. Could you not also assume that the sun, promised to us for eternity as well, will one day fail to rise and leave the earth in darkness? Thinking of that, you realize that nothing in your life can promise you forever. Everything you gain is meant to be lost, and everythihng that brings you joy will also bring you sorrow..." Elladan smiled ruefully, and added for a good measure; "Unless of course you out live it."

Elrohir wasn't very adept in functioning in such a serious conversation. So he just proffered up a neutral observation; "That's pretty depressing."

"Aye, it is." Elladan responded with a sigh. "And I have worried ever since, that if I bind myself to an elleth ((female elf)), I may be left behind as our adar has been. His suffering is no secret to any one..."

Elrohir's eyes widened, suddenly getting his brother's gist. "And that, you are saying, since Myu cannot be killed, you've... you've..."

"Aye. I have been courting her."

Elrohir's jaw dropped. "COURTING-- mmph?!!"

Elladan slapped a hand over his twin's mouth. "Keep your voice down! I am indeed courting her, for it is my decision. I do not wish to put my love and my faith into someone that may one day be lost to me. It is within my ability to love her, and that I will do. She seems to have nowhere else to go, and I know I can make her happy here."

Elrohir was speechless for a moment, then asked, "But will she make *you* happy?"

Elladan scowled at his brother. "If you love someone, they will make you happy regardless."

Taking a moment to recover from the shock and process what was just said, Elrohir suddenly chuckled to himself. "Elbereth. I can't wait until adar hears about this one! He's gonna have wargs."

"Elrohir! You are not to tell--" Elladan was protesting, but stopped short. At some point in time, heavy footfalls had mingled into the usual sounds of the forest. It was still too distant for human ears, but the twin elves had just now noticed it. The footsteps were deliberate, heavy and irregular, and in no way did they belong to anything planning an ambush. Even so, two of Elladan's warriors had already fitted their bows and got into position to assult the intruder if necessary.

Within moments, the supposed intruder was visible somewhat through the branches of a fir tree. Elladan immediately recognized Laesonif. But the other figure that he supported on his shoulder, the one that was making noise as he walked, wasn't in clear view. The newcomer, evidentally a Man, was clothed in black and caked with filth from head to toe. As he came closer, Elladan realized that much of it was dried blood. The Man looked like he was about to collapse.

"Hir nin," Laesonif nodded to Elladan and Elrohir as he finally stepped within the bounds of their camp, holding the Man's arm draped over his shoulder. "I found the one who caused the trees to be uneasy. He is hurt badly."

The Man was too weak to lift his head, and dark hair draped over his face, but much to Elladan's surprise, the man not only responded to Laesonif speaking in elvish, but also spoke the same language more or less fluently himself. "It is not for me that the trees are uneasy."

And it was then that Elladan knew who it was. "Gresham," both he and his brother uttered as one. His thoughts turned instantly to Estel, who was nowhere to be seen, and glancing at Elrohir, he could tell he was thinking along the same lines.

It was as though Gresham had read his thoughts. "Estel..." he began weakly, struggling to draw breath. There was a sickening gurgle as he inhaled, hinting that one of his lungs had been punctured by a broken rib. "Orcs have him... alive. They let me go to deliver a message..." The Man extended his free hand to reveal a sullied sheet of parchment clenched in it.

Whether it was that simple action alone that had expended the last of his energy, or that he was content to let go now that his mission was complete, Gresham at that moment collapsed and said no more.

PART 2: LEGOLAS' FATE

Somewhere hiding in the labyrinth of cellars below the last Homely Home....

It felt good. In fact, it had felt really good. He had never been dealt with in that manner and thoughts of that night refused to leave his mind. Little things like the panting in his ear or the scent still echoed in his mind and made him crave that encounter again. He was far past the sexually active stages of his life, but thinking about it freely made him feel like he was an elfling barely in his hundreds. And besides, there was not much else to do in here besides think tasteless thoughts and get oneself thoroughly hammered on aged liquor.

Raising the glass of warmed wine to his lips as he leaned back comfortably on pillows of royal-blue velvet, Legolas continued staring into the hearth with a reflection of the crackling flames in his thought-glazed eyes. His gaze began to stray over the soft bear rug and the crystal decanter and the tapestry, then finally settled on the window. He was about to drowsily remark how much of an eyesore those iron bars were when the clack of a lock indicated a sudden visitor.

The door would have flown of its hinges if they were made of anything but iron as the visitor, an dark-haired elf wearing robes of scholarly rank, entered stridently in quite uncalled-for haste. The racket was enough to give Legolas a start, during which some of the wine splattered from his glass and on to the collar of his velvet robe. With narrowed eyes, the dark-haired elf took in his surroundings in a glance and spotted the blonde elf on the sofa with a slight red flush to his face betraying his excessive intake of alcohol. "Why did you not tell us that she could speak the common tongue?" he demanded forthwith.

Legolas used a finger to rub at the wine stain now on his collar to little effect and gave up easily, giving the finger a surreptitious lick to remove some of the stickiness. He checked the finger for any discoloration then, seeming to notice the dark-haired for the first time, smiled irrelavantly and inclined his head to him. ".... Lord Erestor."

Unperturbed, Erestor asked the question again; "Why did you not tell us that this Kaneko Myu could speak the common tongue?

Taking care to set the wine down in his impaired state, he popped opened the decanter to top off his glass, purposefully taking his time. "Why should I tell you anything? As an inoscent Elf being convicted of a crime, it appears that you believe nothing I say to-- hup-- begin with."

"Nonsense. You have not been convicted."

"Then I suppose Elrond's people must enjoy placing Mirkwood ambassadors of noble blood to suffer solitary confinement for a number of days as a jest," he said, leaning back and closing his eyes as if to fall asleep. He suppressed a hiccup.

Erestor furrowed his brow and gestured meaningfully toward the luxurious wine and velvet Legolas was indulging himself in. "Valar! As if you are indeed suffering--"

"I am growing pale from lack of sunlight!" he interrupted indignantly.

"--And that 'number of days' has been barely even two," Erestor pressed on, "A (a) sentence that could have been utterly avoided had you cooperated and provided us with proper information. Had we known she had been hiding her ability to speak Westron, we could have interrogated her just after the accusation and you would have been spared any confinement whatsoever."

At that accusation, Legolas sat up, lost balance, fell back into the pillows, then propped himself on elbows, growling, "Do pardon me, but it did not occur to me that Elrond's people would have been so uninformed as to know not even whether a guest living within the Lord's house spoke a language they could understand."

"She had been deceiving us!"

"Then as a deceiver, she should be in this cell in my stead!"

"We cannot keep her in a cell."

"Oh? And by what excuse?"

Erestor was wondering why he was even having this conversation to begin with. Surely if he left now without a word Legolas had forget he had ever came here by the time the hangover wore off. "You know her strength. She can crush iron locks with her bare hands, and there is not an elf in Rivendell who can subdue her. Not even an army of armed orcs can subdue her."

"Then why not banish her?"

"How can we force her to leave a place if we cannot make her stay in one?"

"Quite..." Legolas had no idea why he said that when he thought about it, which would be much later on. He was too fuzzy brained to think of much of anything right now. He suppressed another hiccup.

Erestor was compelled to forge on, for he too was for having Kaneko Myu banished from Rivendell. "Even if I could devise a plan to trick the shallow-minded creature into leaving, it is still, by order of Lord Elrond and Lord Glorfindel, not permitted until we have ample time to document information about her kind..." Legolas had gone back to downing wine and he was more or less talking to himself at that point. "Lord Elrond is convinced that we must be prepared to defend ourselves should more of her kind find her way here, and, in extreme circumstance, mount an attack. Lord Glorfindel expressed in his dispatch-- he is away in Lorien at the moment-- that he would like to explore the possibilities of recruiting her to aid in Rivendell's defense against orc and goblin war parties."

Legolas seemed to be contemplating what Erestor said for a moment, but really wasn't. "...May I leave now?"

The answer to this began with a smirk, which was not a good prospect. "If you indeed, as you say, did not attack her then the opposite must be true, in which case you will need to be kept here for your safety, hir nin ((milord)). We cannot allow Elven royalty to be molested by incredibly muscular little girls, now can we."

Legolas blushed furiously. Had he had a few more glasses of liquor, he would have started a fist fight, shouting 'You son of a warg!' by this point. "You know very well this will not go over well in terms of-- hic-- diplomatic relations between our two peoples."

"And if we send your father word, we would have to mention this incident." If Legolas had anything near heat vision, Erestor would have had a hole in his head the size of a football. Taking the wicked glare as his cue to leave, Erestor bowed courteously and turned to open the cell door. "We will conduct the hearing immediately. You will have your freedom soon, hir nin ((milord)). Until then, I bid you a good--"

"I shall accompany you," Legolas interrupted, standing to slip on a pair of trousers under his robe. " I wish to speak with her."

But Erestor would have none of that. "The laws of our realm state--"

"The laws of mine state that a victim is entitled to witness a perpetrator's hearing. In this particular case, one party is a member of the Woodland realm, and the other is not one of your people. Therefore, Rivendell law should not apply."

Erestor had never thought of it that way before, but before he could debate the issue further, the wood Elf was already out the door. "Since when have you become so knowledgeable in justice and politics?" he asked as he hurried after the Elf prince.

To Legolas, it sounded like a contemptuous inquiry, so he decided not to answer. "Whither is the interrogation chamber?" he asked when he got to the main cellar hall.

"Help! Help!"

The shrill female voice pierced the silent corridors like nails across a black board. Erestor and Legolas flinched back, the latter having a few issues with keeping his balance. "That is not the maid," Erestor pointed out, "Could it be that--"

"Estel's in trouble, we've got to help him!" The shout proceeded a pair of maids who went scurrying for their lives across an adjoining hall, away from the source of the voice. A moment later came a bleach-blonde figure scrambling around the corner. She paused, assessed each hall, and immediately spotted Legolas. "Lego-kun!" she started toward them. It was indeed Myu, wearing that strange blue form-fitting costume she had arrived here in, the one with the strange symbols on the back.

"Calm down! I implore you," Erestor, the voice of reason, said as he stepped between Myu and Legolas. Much to his surprise, she picked them both up, hefted them over her shoulders and started carrying them down the hallway.

"I missed you," murmured the inebriated elf prince, patting the blonde and purple head.

"Put us down this instant!" cried Elrond's Councilor, wriggling furiously.

"We need to rescue Estel."

"Estel is with Gresham on an educational tour. What gives you any incentive that they are in danger?" Erestor wheezed, seeing as how her bony shoulder was cutting into his diaphragm, "And by the Valar, if you set me down on my own two feet, I shall walk with you. There is no need for this indecency!"

Held in the same position on the other shoulder was making Legolas' stomach a little upset. The fact he was drunk wasn't aiding matters either....

"Here." There was no real way to let Erestor down easily and the elf ended up on the floor. He stood, brushed himself off indignantly, then looked to make sure no one had witnessed the event.

"You do realize how absurd this sounds," he told Myu slowly, still not used to being able to communicate with her by conventional means, if this could be considered 'conventional', "Is there anything you do that makes sense or are your actions supposed to be completely random?" he asked rhetorically.

"Estel's really in trouble. I saw it."

The councilor folded his arms tightly across his chest, resembling a fatherly figure and said, "How did you see it? Did you abscond into the forest again, despite being told not to?"

Myu's eyes went wide, as if she were about to say something important and larger than life. Erestor braced himself. "No! I was in a dream matrix when I suddenly had a real dream and I was like floating in mid air and I don't know why I was floating in mid air and I was wondering why I was floating in mid air because there did not appear to be any physical forces acting on me and I was in like a forest and stuff and I saw Estel and he was tied up in ropes and stuff and seemed really depressed that he was tied up in ropes and stuff when an orc which I think was that orc who was hitting on me after I downloaded the Westron language pack after I ran away from Rivendell started being mean to Estel and he asked Estel about me but Estel didn't answer so he was about to torture him then I tripped and I don't know how I tripped since I was floating in mid air but I tripped and I saw mom and dad in the Konryu Butsudai laboratory but that's irrelevant so I woke up from the dream back into the dream matrix and my co-cerebral CPU chip told me that nothing happened but it really did happened because it seemed very real and it's never happened before so I really think Estel's in trouble."

Still draped over her shoulder, Legolas chuffed softly, enjoying the view, but coping with mounting stomach trouble. He clamped his mouth tightly shut as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Erestor's mouth was gaping. "Dear Valar. That was all one sentence."

"We've got to look for him. Are you going to come with me or do Legolas and I have to do it ourselves?" she asked, patting precariously close to the Mirkwood Elf's posterior. That was all it took to undo the last of Legolas' restraints and he convulsed. Myu stood frozen in utter shock as she felt something warm flowing down her backside. Then the face melted instantly to denial, then into anger, then into an exasperated acceptance. Then came the anger again. "Kono kusottare!" ((You little sh*t!)) she hollered at him as she threw him to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

"Le bain sui ninniach," ((You are beautiful like the rainbow)) Legolas drunkenly crooned at the irate face glaring down at him. He had some of the stuff in his hair.

Erestor had been watching the scene unfold to a degree of shock at first, but seeing the long greenish yellow trail streaked down Myu's back, his perpetually ceremonious behavior snapped somewhere inside, and he started laughing. At first it was a snicker, then a chuckle, and the next thing he knew he had collapsed to his knees bawling and started rolling on the floor gasping for breath. This started Legolas to giggling as well. Myu could only glare between the two.

One of Elrond's local scouts could not have picked a worse time to come scurrying around the bend with an urgent message. "Milord Erest--" the young Elf cried, then abruptly stopped.

A very embarrassed Erestor managed get to his feet, but the laughter refused to leave. "Yes Tinion-- heh, hee-- what hap-- what hap--"

"What happened, hir nin?" the scout asked with uncertainty, eyeing the red-faced Mirkwood prince rolling on the floor and the suspicious yellow-green stuff on Myu's back. "An urgent matter. Estel's mentor, Gresham has returned to Rivendell. He is dead, hir nin. And Estel has been captured by orcs."

Even Legolas stopped laughing on that instant. It was as abrupt as cold water poured over a flame. Erestor focused his gaze of disbelief first on the scout then on Myu. And there it lingered when he asked, "And who have you passed this information to before me."

"No one, hir nin. It was given to me by the rider himself, whom I met on the main road as he was bringing Gresham back to Imladris. The Man had died on the way here and the rider has not yet entered the city to deliver the news. He said only that Estel had been captured and that Elladan and Elrohir's party are searching for him. You are the first within the city to hear this, hir nin."

Erestor was stunned. Perhaps Myu was telling the truth. Since he knew nothing about her kind, it was possible she could be a prophet of some sort. "Do you know where Estel is, Myu?"

Myu blinked. "No." The councilor looked perturbed, so she added quickly, "But I know that he's being held hostage. The orcs are after me. I know this. You need me to go with you. You get Estel back, then I'll beat them all up for you and come back to Rivendell. How's that sound?"

Erestor debated. He knew he really should think this through more, but time played a heavy factor. He did not know he could trust Myu, but then why would she have raving about going to help Estel if she intended to hurt him. Even so, the party he might find some use for her as a diversion if anything. "Tinion," he directed the scout in Elvish, ((Form a party of our fastest riders. Take this creature with you.))

"Aye, hir nin," the scout bowed, then turned to Myu. "Come along. We have not time to waste."

"Oh, great, great, great, great," she squeaked, hopping up and down, tugging on the sleeve of the scout who was quite taken aback. "But Legolas and I have to wash up first. C'mon Legolas!" She chirped as she began dragging the incapacitated elf by the foot, eliciting a groan.

Erestor debated a moment on whether to stop her, but decided not to. A little adventure would do the snooty Mirkwood prince some good, he reckoned, then left the three to their own devices.

************

TicTac -- Thanx alot. It was a hassel, but it was good I got the chance to polish it up.

LevelTwentySeven Sorry, I got cut off the internet, and besides, I'm writing long chapters, which take a long time to write. I'm thinking of going for shorter ones like I used to so I can write them faster.

yoshi -- Thanks. I'm glad you like it

kaio I'm hoping to have all the characters meet each other eventually-- even Myu's dad

IMPROVED Uber Rei Model - - Sorry. I thought it was going to take longer, and I don't really have time to check the email during the weekdays... But thanks for betaing. I know you have midterms, so I know how busy it is. This semester I only have two midterms coming up, but my main problem is that I have two advanced Japanese translation classes and translations take HUGE chunk out of my time.

Joy4eva - After this, I'm gonna make shorter chapters, so they should be in sooner.

Ariaste - LOL. I know it's confusing, but think of it this way - it's foreshadowing. Something even wierder is goign to happen.

Ashes2 - Foreshadowing! It's foreshadowing! And don't worry about not being of sound mind. I don't think anyone has one-- some are just further away from it than others.

YueMichiruNaragisawaMiko - Thanks a lot. I'm trying to keep it funny, but it's hard sometimes... no, really it's hard all of the time =)

Morima - Hmm. I hope I didn't make Myu sound too beautiful-- maybe cute-- and definitely not omnipotent because she's very confused about her whole experience up till now. But maybe other things are too MS-ish, like being invincible and stuff. Good point.

Naomi Maxwell -- Well, erms sorry about that. I hope you don't mind betaing the next chapter. The first part of this chapter was mostly talking, so I betaed it myself. I already sent you the chapter, so if you look for that.

born to be hanged -- Thank alot. And, yeah, that's right Kate Bosworth. I was looking her up again for another pic, and I saw something saying she was engaged to Orlando Bloom-- isn't that the guy who plays Legolas? If that's true, then that's pretty creepy, because I just matched Myu to Kate out of the blue!

Aryll --- Thanks so much. I appreciate it, tho'I wonder about my ability of making plots, really, because I must have changed this one at least fifty times, and I'm still not completely sure it's not going to end up a mess, but oh well, at least I persist.