The Fellowship of the Ring now consisted of eight of the original nine members: Gimli the dwarf, Legolas the elf, the men Aragorn and Boromir, and of course the four hobbits, Merry, Pippin, Frodo, and Sam. All that was missing was the Wizard, Gandalf, who had recently fallen into a deep crevasse in the Mines of Moria. All nine members had several issues apiece, most mental, and many were apparent as the remaining number wandered into the, as Legolas called it, "pretty pretty forest."

"Woe is me," Sighed Frodo. "This censored RING IS TOO censored censored HEAVY!"

"His mood swings are driving me nuts!" Legolas screeched, at the breaking point. His eye twitched as evidence.

"He's going through a lot," Sam whined for Frodo, as Frodo was too busy seizing to whine for himself.

Pippin clutched his head in agony. "STOP SHOUTING! Ow.... My head...."

Boromir checked his belt. "Hey, who took my ale?"

Pippin, his aching head put on the back burner, inched slowly behind Gimli.

"Where is it you, you unbalanced Halfling?!"

Pippin's eyes crossed. "Nowhere. Stop moving! Stay in one place. How do you split in half like that?"

"No more drink for you, you dirty little-"

"Whoa! Peace, dude, peace." Merry, breathing in another plume of his questionable "pipe weed," plunged a peace sign between the two. "Start focusing on more important things, like saving the trees. STOP GLOBAL WARMING!!!"

Gimli glared at those talking, as they were causing an uncomfortable headache to surface. "Mrs. Greenleaf, shut them up."

"I'm not a woman," Legolas Greenleaf whimpered.

"I don't know," Gimli goaded. "Those pecs look a bit large, elfie."

Legolas defensively clapped his hands to his chest. "Are not!"

Aragorn, who had been until recently sulking silently behind the rest, quietly informed the group of his disapproval of the events. "IF YOU DON'T ALL SHUT YOUR BLOODY MOUTHS RIGHT NOW I'LL CUT OUT YOUR TONGUES AND SHOVE THEM UP YOUR NOSTRILS!!!"

The company proceeded in silence. This didn't last as long as it could have, but at least the effort was made.

"You're breathing too loud," Legolas whispered to Gimli.

"I breathe just fine!"

"You sound impassioned. This is, of course, beyond the realm of possibility."

"You shut up."

"You stop breathing."


As one, the company stopped and turned to stare at Merry.

"Don't you dare stop breathing, Gimli," Merry continued harshly. "The trees need your hot air!"

"And just what are you implying, you little-"

Aragorn blinked meaningfully.

The company proceeded in silence.

"You're still breathing too loud," Legolas hissed.

"Am not."

Randomly, a newcomer, an elf like Legolas, fell out of a tree from above them, gracefully embedding his nose into the leaf-strewn soil.

"That's a nine-pointer," Pippin slurred.

The elf popped up, trying (and failing) to pass it off as intentional. He fumbled an arrow out and pointed the wrong end of it at Gimli.

"A dwarf breathes so loudly I could have shot him in really dim lighting," he pronounced.

"Told ya."

"Shut up, woman."

"I'm NOT..." Legolas started uncertainly. Finally, overcome with constant abuse, he curled into a ball on the ground, rocking back and forth and questioning his masculinity.

"I bet you're a virgin, too," Gimli taunted.

"Okay, and we're done," Boromir cut in before Legolas went well beyond the deep end.

The new elf gestured threateningly with the arrow's feathers. "All of you, with me. NOW. Any questions?"

"Why are you shaking like that?"

"That's YOU, Pippin."

"Oh. Right. MWEhehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe-" There was a suspiciously loud smacking sound, followed by a sudden silence.

"Woe is me," Frodo whined. "WHO THE MORDOR ARE YOU???"

"I am Tom-Etized, employee of the Apothecary Galadriel, who is the owner of the En san it tee Asi lum. It's elvish, I swear. On the name of Prozac."

The Fellowship members glanced at each other, not entirely sure of the newcomer's sanity; but then again, they weren't sure of their own. And though the elf's ineptitude with the bow was apparent and he seemed to possess no real threat, the company agreed that it was probably best to go with him. So the Ring bearer and his companions followed Tom Etized to the strange elven Asi lum.