Title: Miles to Go

By: Ring Red

Disclaimer: I own NOTHING! (pout)

Rating: R

Note: Yay! Not as much of a wait this time. I had some time to write over Spring Break and I am SO loving writing this part. We finally got back to some of the action. I want to thank all of you that reviewed for my last chapter. I'm so glad some of you are still reading. I know I can take forever with the updates sometimes. I'm glad everyone seems to be liking the Buffy/Legolas stuff…cause I just adore them. I did worry about how Buffy telling Legolas their secret would turn out and your reviews made me feel more confident with that and ready to keep writing. I love you guys and I really hope you keep letting me know what you think of the story or what you'd like to happen. It's so cool to see people who I have gotten reviews from before with earlier chapters. It's like your there with me as the journey goes along.

Anyway…this chapter is going to be a little different. I'm going to focus on someone other than Buffy and Legolas (gasp)…LOL. No, I really just felt like I needed to cover a couple different aspects of this part of the journey and I wanted to give the other characters their chance to shine. I know I get caught up in Buffy and Legolas. They are my little obsession. But I am aware of my obsession and I am seeking help. I love all the characters and I am going to try to stop neglecting them.

This chapter will also answer that long awaited question…what of Boromir? Hmm…

Hope you like! Feedback is more than welcome.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Frodo frantically drug the boat to the edge of the water. He threw his pack and supplies in. He had to get away. He had to go now before they found him. The ring called to them. The ring would destroy them all. No one could carry it but him. He had to do this alone. A hand landed on his shoulder and he froze...

"Hey there, little man. You okay?"

Frodo jerked away from the hand and spun around. He stumbled backward. "Willow!"

The redheaded sister nodded. "Yep, just me. You okay?"

"I...I..." Oh no. It had her, too. How would he get away? Could she let him go? "I have to go, Willow. You have to let me go."

Her eyes were sad. They didn't have the same wild look of Boromir's but Frodo couldn't trust them. "I know."

At first he didn't understand her words. Then they sank through his terror. "You know?"

"Yep." She answered. "I know about Boromir. I know you have to leave the fellowship."

It was a trick. It had to be. Anger surged through Frodo's veins. This wasn't right. She was supposed to be his friend. He jerked the ring out from beneath his shirt and held it before her. "Will you try to take it from me? Could you destroy it, Tasere?"

Willow sighed and knelt down on one knee. She looked easily at the ring. Then she looked back to Frodo's eyes and smiled. "It has no hold on me, Frodo. I'm not from this world, remember? The ring doesn't call to me." And he saw the truth in her eyes. Her smile was so sad and her eyes filled with tears. "I don't know if I could destroy it, Frodo, but I won't. I wish I could take this from you and spare you the journey ahead, but that task is not mine."

"It is mine." Frodo answered softly. She nodded. The ringbearer frowned. "Then why do you stop me?"

"Because I want you to know that you still have friends." She reached out to stroke his cheek and two tears escaped her eyes. "You still have friends who love you, Frodo Baggins, and we'll be waiting to see you again when your task is done." Reaching up with her other hand, Willow wiped away her tears. She forced another smile to her lips. "I plan on seeing you again, Frodo, and you better not disappoint me. I get very cranky when I'm disappointed."

Diving forward the ringbearer hugged the witch tightly. "I hope I see you again, too, Tasere." And he realized that he was crying as well.

Frodo wasn't sure how long they stayed that way but suddenly he heard someone approaching. He jerked back fearfully and stared at the forest and whatever threat it might present now.

"Mister Frodo!" Sam's call was frantic as he stumbled onto the shore. He looked first at Frodo and then warily at Willow. As he saw his master was in no danger he sighed in relief. "Oh, thank goodness, Mister Frodo! I thought I'd lost you for sure!"

Willow smiled and climbed to her feet. "Oh, I was also holding you up for Sam." She looked deeply into Frodo's stunned eyes. "Just because I can't come doesn't mean you'll be making the journey alone. Sam's going with you."

Frodo shook his head. "No."

"Oh yes I am!" Sam jumped in. He grabbed his pack and ran forward to dump it in the boat with Frodo's.

Frodo fought tears again. "Sam, you don't understand. You can't."

"Oh yes I can!"Before Frodo could argue further, Sam climbed into the boat. "Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee. Don't you lose him. That's what he told me and I don't intend to!"

Frodo looked flustered. Willow patted him on the shoulder. "Give it up. Sam's going." She smiled at Sam's determined expression. "That's Sam's Resolve Face." She ruffled Frodo's hair affectionately. "You don't want to make this journey alone anyway, Frodo. Just be happy of the company. You'll need it for what's to come."

Heaving a sigh of relief, Frodo nodded. "Okay then. We had better be off." He turned back to give Willow one more hug. "Thank the others for me. Help them understand."

Willow nodded. She fought the temptation to join them. She had sisters to look after. It definitely ranked in her list of hardest things to ever do, but Willow stood and watched as the little hobbit climbed into the boat with his companion. Then she helped them push off. "Take care of each other. I'll see you soon."

Frodo smiled and waved. Sam nodded seriously. "Thank you, Miss Tasere."

Willow waved and watched them go. Her eyes stung again and she took deep breaths to fight away the tears. She didn't have time for tears. She had to find her sisters. Willow forced herself to turn away and head back into the forest.

She couldn't find him. She was completely lost. Too many trees and they all looked the same. DAMN IT! Her sense of direction sucked as always. She didn't even know for sure if she was headed further into the forest or back toward the shore. She should've stuck with Buffy and Legolas.

Then Dawn froze as she heard it. The horn...oh god...they were going to be too late! She spun in the direction of the sound and dove into the trees again.

Limbs scratched at her face and snatched at her hair. She ignored them and pushed herself harder. She had to find him!

Finally she cleared another hill and could see something. She winced in revulsion. The Uruk-hai...they were everywhere. She searched for sign of Boromir and spotted him. He was killing as many as he could with Merry and Pippin pushed protectively behind him. The hobbits threw rocks at the demons and tried to help. They didn't stand a chance. She gripped her dagger tightly and ran down the hill. Briefly she considered pulling her crossbow off her shoulder but she sucked at shooting while running and she'd just waste bolts. Besides, she'd be as likely to hit Boromir as the Uruks he fought.

Dawn reached the bottom of the hill before any of the twisted creatures spotted her. She gave her Scooby version of a war cry and ran at the closest one. The demon sneered at what he judged an unworthy opponent but Dawn buried her dagger through his gut. She ripped the dagger free, shoved the dying demon aside, and dove toward the next.

Dawn took down five in a rush of rage and adrenaline before she heard it. The twang of a bowstring. Her head snapped to Boromir. The world seemed to crawl into slow motion as the arrow sliced through the air and struck true. "NO!"

Boromir faltered and looked down in shock at the shaft of wood sticking through his shoulder. He reached up and tried to rip it out.

Heedless of the Uruk-hai still surrounding them Dawn ran to her injured comrade. She swung wildly at anything in her path. When she reached him, Dawn stood protectively before him and looked for the archer. There were more arrows to come.

"Aara!" Boromir gasped as he fought to regain his bearings and moved up beside her. "Take the little ones and run! There are too many! I will hold them off."

Dawn's eyes burned with furious emotion. "I think not." She slashed another of the demons that came too close. "I do not run away and leave my friends to die."

Boromir fought the pain in his shoulder and struck out to kill another of the strange stronger orcs but his eyes were shadowed. "I know not that I am truly friend anymore, Aara. Please help me save them! Let me find redemption at least!"

Snorting in disgust, Dawn spared the Man of Gondor a reproving glance between jabs. "Self-sacrifice is not attractive on you, Boromir. Get over it."

"You know not what I've done!" He forced.

Dawn could see the tears trailing his cheeks and her heart clenched. Still, this wasn't the time for soft comfort. They were fighting to the death here. "I do know and I don't have time for this shit! You were tempted. We've all been tempted. Willow tried to kill me and Buffy and end the fucking world once!" With a growl, Dawn grabbed a nearby Uruk and slit its throat. "I won't say it again...GET...OVER...IT!"

That seemed to get through a little. He stared at her for a moment confused by her words but then he fought again with all his strength. Dawn sighed in relief and fought beside him. The archer, where was the archer? What she wouldn't give for Buffy's eyes...

She saw him! SHIT! Too late! The twang sounded again. Dawn didn't think. She just reacted. She threw herself in front of Boromir and took the blow. For a moment there was nothing and then unbelievable pain as she looked down to see the arrow embedded in her side. Her lips quirked with a twisted Scooby sense of humor as one thought flickered through her mind. She finally understood Buffy's hate-on for the Mirkwood Elves. This sucked. Dawn winced and yelped in pain as she fell backward against Boromir.

"AARA!" Boromir tried to catch her, but he was injured as well and thrown off balance. They both fell backward to the ground.

Dawn tried to make herself move through the pain as she saw the Uruk-hai push past them to grab Merry and Pippin. She rolled to the side and off of Boromir, but it was no use. The hobbits were carried away and when Boromir stood again he had many more orcs to fight. No one could go after them. Dawn knew it was supposed to be this way, but the bitter taste of failure still filled her mouth - or was that her blood?

Boromir blew the Horn of Gondor loudly again. Dawn winced at the loud noise. Where was Buffy? And shouldn't Aragorn be showing up about now? Then another realization dawned. The archer wasn't dead and Boromir was still an injured target! Fighting the pain, Dawn pulled herself over to a tree and propped her back against it. She looked up the hill again for the archer. She spotted him. He was laughing. Boromir stood fighting for her life against these sick abominations and he was laughing. Rage clouded Dawn's vision. She reached over to pull her crossbow off her shoulder growling through the pain the motion wrought. Her head felt light but she carefully took aim. That bastard was fixing to die.

The Uruk took his time as he drew out another arrow. He still had that sick smile on his face...

Dawn gritted her teeth and pulled the trigger. Her breath came out in a huff of relief as her bolt slammed into the monster's chest. Then she groaned as he swayed but kept his feet. The wound was fatal, but he was determined to take them with him. He took aim. Dawn prepared to fire again. There was no need.


Metal flashed behind the archer and then his head was ripped away. His corpse fell forward and Buffy carelessly ran over the top of it as she came tearing down the hill toward the remaining Uruk-hai. The scythe sang and she killed everything in her path. Legolas sprinted down after the slayer covering her back. In the other direction more cries rang out and Aragorn and Gimli joined the fray.

Deciding she could safely leave the clean up to the un-wounded, Dawn sighed and let her head fall back against the tree. "About damn time."

End of Chapter

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I hope to hear from you soon!

Ring Red