Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Lord of the Rings characters, places, etc. Also, a few parts in this story are borrowed from Seinfeld, which I do not own either.

What's Up Doc

Samwise Gamgee never smiled. It was believed that at one point in time, he was a high-spirited little hobbit barely out of his tweens who always found some reason to be happy, but that side of him had long since died away. Some people thought it was his daunting quest to Mordor and the fires of Mount Doom that had changed him. Others thought it was because he'd never gotten over moving from his old childhood neighborhood and into the big city.

Sam just thought it was his roommates.

He lived on the sixteenth floor of the Shire Apartment Complex, where he shared a home with three other hobbits: Frodo Baggins, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took. Not only did Sam have to tolerate living with them and their annoying, immature, sometimes even revolting habits, but he was also stuck paying for food, electricity, plumbing, and heating (as well as their shares of the rent) all on his own.

Seven years after destroying the Ring, Frodo was still searching for work, and Merry and Pippin had both been fired from bagging groceries at the local super market for "sampling" a ten-ounce package of mushrooms at the checkout counter. Now, the two worked as paperboys during the summer.

Worse yet was Gimli, Sam's neighbor who lived just down the hall. The dwarf, who smelled similar to the rotting heap of cabbages he kept in his refrigerator, would often pay a visit to the hobbits' apartment for various things such as food, beer, cooking utensils, or the ever-popular laundry detergent. Sometimes he would just plop himself down on Sam's couch and watch TV, attracting flies as he did so.

But whatever the reason may have been, Sam still never smiled.

And he was doing a particularly good job of keeping this up as he stood in the west wing of the St. Radagast Hospital, frowning down at the package sitting before him on his boss's desk.

He looked up at Haldir incredulously.

"... And you're making everybody do this?" he asked.

"Yes," Haldir said in a low, drawn-out Elvish accent as he filled out a stick-on label. "It's the only thing we can do until the cooling units are fixed."

"But Sir, I can't just leave a case of morphine sitting in my freezer. My roommates go through there a million times a day; something's bound to happen to it." Sam looked down at it again. "...Especially now that we're getting supplies from a new company. I mean look at this thing! They're gonna think it's an ice cream jar for crying out loud!"

"Well maybe this will help." Haldir stuck the label on top of the round lid. He was trying to be optimistic about the situation, as ridiculous sounding as it was, but he too was very familiar with Dr. Gamgee's roommates.

"This is only going to be temporary, Gamgee. The units should be working in two weeks, maybe less. I know we've never had to do this in the past, but everything just happened so fast. I never thought I'd live to see the day when a man came in here with a monkey wrench to steal piping."

"Yeah," Sam murmured. "Did they find him yet?"

"Yes, actually," Haldir said, beaming. "He was very easy to spot in the crowd. He was hearing an orange and yellow Hawaiian shirt; very bright."

The elf turned in his chair slightly, send Sam a mysterious sideward glance. "It was so loud we could have seen it in the dark," he said smugly.

Sam sighed as he picked up the case of morphine. "You got a portable cooler? It's a bit of a drive home."


Haldir reached down behind his desk and handed the red and white box to Sam. The hobbit stuffed the container inside, took the cooler's handle, picked up his brief case, and walked to the door.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Haldir," he said, and went out into the hall.

"... Dr. Gamgee?" Haldir called after him.

Sam stuck his head in the doorway. "What?"

"Where are you going?" his boss asked, then pointed in the other direction with his pen. "The parking lot is that way."

"Oh, I know that, Sir." Sam took a step back and stood in the doorway. "But I have to wait for the car to get here."

Haldir blinked. "What?"

"Well, you see Sir, the guys had to run some errands, and well, we only have one car, so..."

"Your roommates are picking you up?"

"Yes, Sir."

"... And ... they're coming here?"

"Yes, Sir."

Haldir sighed. "Alright. Just...keep them away from the rooms."

"Yes Sir." Sam disappeared into the hallway again.

Haldir sat back in his chair, letting out another heavy sigh. He stared up at the ceiling for a moment or two, then pulled out the June issue of THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER that he had been reading. He needed to take his mind off the soon-to-come onslaught of hobbits.

"'Elvis/Big Foot Child Found in UFO Wreck'," he read, raising his unbleached eyebrows.

Curiously, he turned the page.

(Well, that's the first chapter. Any good? Please R&R.)