Disclaimer: noun – a) piddly little statement squeezed into the top margins of a fanfic, with no legal fortitude whatsoever, that supposedly protects one from being sued by richer people whose property will be blatantly stolen and exploited in the pages to follow, but really just amounts to a poor college kid begging.

Author's Notes: If you catch the crossover, bully for you. J


           Dead bristles and brown shrubs crunched under their feet.  The plant life was littered across the ground, mostly tucked into corners of rocks or the hollows of a ravine.  Those that did not look to hold the colors of poison were wraps in spikes and spines.  He turned his head to each point of direction, and saw no tree taller than his shoulders.  The sky was empty, lonely, hanging above their heads like a wide blue sea that could crash and drown them at any moment.  He almost wished for it—an end, at least, to the unceasing heat.  Even the belly of a dragon would not be so intense as this, he thought.  Crags of rock rose to his left in a low, red range that reached for leagues, and far ahead he saw a phenomenon of land he'd never imagined: It was a mountain with no peak, sides rising steep but top flat as an ocean's horizon, as if the blade of a great warrior had cleaved off its head.

           "What is this land?"

           The human child, his guide, turned to him. 

           "The desert," she answered, twirling on the path, arms stretched to the overbearing sky.  "Isn't it pretty?"

           He looked back to the land, sweat beading on his brow.  "My people were always told that deserts are marked by great sand," he said, voice parched but curious.

           The little girl laughed at him.  Blond locks not unlike his own bounced with each rippling giggle.  Without warning she turned and kicked the ground, sending dirt and pebbles skittering into mess of brambles on the edge of the path.  A bird broke from the shrub like an arrow and arched upward.  Looking back at him, the child gave a smug, satisfied smile, as if she's just proven that fire was hot to touch, or that a stone tossed will drop eventually.

           She squinted at him, little fingers blocking little sun.  "I'm going to be a fireman when the floods roll back."

           When Legolas asked her why she would choose to be such a horrible thing, she laughed again.