…This'll be Interesting…


Someone was shaking him awake.

"Mrghrh. Leg'las, go 'way," Aragorn grunted, shifting, and then frowning when something restricted his arms. "Ell'dan?" he grunted, suddenly suspicious, but once his eyes snapped open everything snapped back.

"Are you all right?" Laylen asked, leaning very close to his face. He jerked back instinctively, cracking his head on the side of the cart.

"I'm fine," he grunted through a clenched-teeth smile, forcing himself up into a sitting position.

"Colin escaped," Laylen said, and he exhaled in relief.

"Good," he replied, "That's very good."

"What's going to happen to us?" Laylen asked, her voice shaking a little, and Aragorn frowned a bit at the fear in her voice. He reached out and pulled her in to him, holding her close and resting his chin atop her head.

"It'll be all right," he said. "Colin will get help or cause a distraction, and we'll get out of here."

"But what if he's hurt and he can't?"

"Laylen," Aragorn, pulling her back and tilting her head up so he could look her in the eyes, "I'll get you out of here if I have to take on everyone out there on my own."

She smiled through watery eyes, and he grinned back, mentally praying that it didn't come to that, considering how his muscles clenched and unclenched against the pain that was still ripping through his body. He wasn't sure how he'd be able to, but he was planning on keeping his promise. Which meant that this time he actually needed to have a plan. A very, very good plan.

He glanced around the cart, considering what he had to work with. Not much at all.

Once he started something, he felt that most of the others would help, as long as he appeared to have the upper hand. However, he was equally sure that only one or two of them would be willing to start something with him, and even then, only if he guilted them about the girl.

There had to be…oh.


If he seized the perfect moment, and took them by surprise right when they were…

Hmm. There's no way it'd work.

But then, he'd had practice beating ridiculous odds, hadn't he?