Disclaimer: I don't own Lord of the Rings, and I don't own Jurassic Park, and I don't own Q.

Chapter Nine

Legolas looked around, searching the bushes for any sign of movement. He had to be out there somewhere.

At last, a few bushes rustled, then out of the woods, out of breath, bloody, and throwing everything he could reach at the raptors following him, came Ian Malcolm.

Ian saw the tree. The others were safe -- all of them. Good. But now there were six or seven raptors gathered around the trunk of the tree. Impossible.

By now, he was gasping for breath. The mathematician didn't have Legolas' speed, or Boromir's strength. He was quickly becoming exhausted.

At that moment, Gimli dropped out of the tree, landing on one of the raptors below. He got up and shook himself, grabbing the stick Boromir had dropped. Then he started after the raptors chasing Ian. "Go!" Gimli shouted to Ian as Gandalf dropped from the tree, staff in hand, to join him.

Ian ran, his lungs burning, a searing pain in his chest and arms where the raptors had clawed him. Just a little more . . .

Suddenly, a raptor jumped on his back. He could feel its teeth, its claws, ripping through his clothes.

Gandalf whirled around and struck the raptor with his staff. Its body crumpled on top of Ian's. "Ian!" Gandalf called. "Ian, get up!"

Slowly, his whole body shaking with the effort, Ian Malcolm got to his feet. "Can I help?"

"Yes; get up in the tree!" Gimli called. Ian didn't think twice; Gimli and Gandalf were talking care of the raptors. There was nothing he could do. Legolas and Boromir helped him up onto the branch.

"How y'all doing?" Ian asked, but he could already tell. Boromir was wounded, but not too badly. Legolas wasn't even out of breath. Aragorn, on the other hand . . .

He looked down. The raptors were running off. Gimli and Gandalf were running towards the tree. Soon, they were all safe.

Ian leaned against the tree trunk, exhausted. Boromir put a hand on his shoulder. "Well done."

"Thanks. You, too, you and Legolas."

"So what should we do now?" Frodo asked.

Gandalf looked around. "Catch our breaths and continue. Ian?"

"Sounds like the best idea, better than sitting in a tree forever."

"I meant how do you feel? You look terrible."

"I'll survive. The important thing is for y'all to get back where you came from, then we can worry about how I feel."

For once, Gandalf looked surprised. "Thank you . . . for understanding how important this is."

"Don't thank me yet; we're still here. And even if we can get back to the mainland, I don't know how we'll get you back where you came from."

"We'll find a way," Gandalf smiled.

He was just starting to climb down when Legolas heard something. "No, don't go down," the elf whispered sharply. "Get back up here, quickly. Something's coming."

Ian listened, and what he heard sent a shiver down his spine. He'd heard it, felt it, before, and the roar and the shaking of the ground were unmistakable.

"Tyrannosaur," Ian whispered as Gandalf returned to the branch.

"I can see it," Legolas nodded. "It's coming this way."

"Can we outrun it?" Gandalf asked Ian.

The mathematician shook his head. "No. Our best chance is to stay where we are, and stay perfectly still. It can probably smell us, but it can't see us if we don't move."

The huge dinosaur lumbered closer. Ian felt his whole body tense. Could they all stay quiet, and completely still? Was it even possible, with this many people, for not one of them to panic? To run? To even scream?

If there was any group, he told himself, that could do it, it would be these people. The Tyrannosaur came closer, and Ian froze. This was it.

Pippin stared, wide-eyed, at the dinosaur. It was so huge! Everything about it was enormous, especially to such a little Hobbit. Pippin was sure he couldn't scream even if he wanted to. His mouth was frozen tight with fear.

Merry was trembling. He was close enough to feel the Tyrannosaur's breath, to see into its open mouth. The dinosaur roared, shaking the tree. Merry clung to the branch, frozen with fright.

Sam felt the branch shake with the Tyrannosaur's roar. For a moment, he was sure he would fall. But the branch held, steadily, as the dinosaur kept on sniffing.

Frodo shivered, wishing in vain that he had the Ring, that he could put it on and disappear from the dinosaur's sight. Its huge eyes seemed to look straight at the terrified Ringbearer. But, still, Frodo didn't move.

Legolas sat completely still, his back straight against the trunk of the tree. Even if the dinosaur had good eyesight, he thought, it probably wouldn't be able to see him; he blended in well with the tree trunk, and both were equally silent and still.

Gimli had to fight an impulse to attack even something this huge. He wasn't used to hiding, to not being seen; it wasn't in the Dwarf's nature. But his size helped; he had an easier time hiding than the humans. And his clothes were dark, not easily seen against the wood.

Boromir seemed to know what the Dwarf was thinking, and put a restraining hand on his shoulder. The Tyrannosaur turned, and he froze. The huge dinosaur roared again and resumed searching.

Gandalf let out a breath, quietly. That had been close. Too close. This was impossible! How long was this thing going to stay? How long before it just gave up?

Aragorn was wondering the same thing, but for a different reason. He was having trouble breathing again, and was losing feeling in his arms and legs. He didn't know how long . . .

And then suddenly he found himself falling, falling into the air. He had no feeling, no control. Consciousness had left him by the time he hit the ground.

Ian saw Aragorn's body hit the ground, limp and still. The Tyrannosaur roared, and Ian knew what was going to happen. Unless . . .

He didn't think. He didn't have to. He knew he was the only one close enough; he'd been farther out on the branch. He dropped out of the tree, landing by Aragorn and then rolling, shielding the Ranger's body with his own. He was only vaguely aware of the pain as the huge dinosaur's jaws closed around him.

Then everything went black.

Elrond was pacing. Q, only a few meters away, was smiling. "What is it you want, Q?" Elrond asked.

Q didn't reply, but simply smiled at the Elf, which annoyed Elrond even more. Still, he continued to pace.

Soon, he came close to Q, who either didn't notice or didn't mind. Out of the corner of his eye, Elrond could see Glorfindel, ready for his signa.

Elrond nodded slightly, counted to three, and leapt at Q, swinging an arm around the entity's neck, catching him off guard. At the same time, Glorfindel rushed up, bow drawn. "Bring them back, Q!" he shouted.

Q only laughed. "Don't be ridiculous. Don't you realize I can disappear if I want to? Or that your arrows won't harm me?"

"Try it," Glorfindel glared. "Just try it."

There was a brief silence, and an astonished look from Q. "What did you do?"

"Surely you haven't forgotten the power of the Elven Rings," Elrond whispered in his ear. He tightened his hold.

Glorfindel pulled back on the string of his bow. "Now bring them back."

"NO!" Gandalf shouted, and he looked ready to jump down himself, even though he could do nothing now. But before he could even give it a second thought, there was a flash of bright light.

They were back.

Elrond released Q and rushed over to the others, who had appeared out of nowhere, just as they had gone. "What happened?" Elrond asked.

Pippin and Boromir were wounded. Aragorn was unconscious. And another man, a stranger dressed in black, was hurt, badly. "Glorfindel, go get help," he ordered even before his question was answered.

Gandalf got to his feet first. "We ran into some . . . problems."

Elrond nodded. "I see. You may explain later."

"Aragorn was poisoned."

"Do you have any of the poison; that would help."

"Some splattered on his shirt."

"And who is . . ."

"That's Ian. Ian Malcolm," Pippin piped up, startling the Elf. "Please, Elrond, if there's anything you can do, please help him, he's hurt very badly."

Elrond nodded. It was true. Blood was flowing freely from several wounds in his chest, and his clothes were torn and bloody. "I'll do what I can," Elrond assured the Hobbit.

But one look at his friend's face told Gandalf that would not be much.

Ian Malcolm could feel a dull pain as consciousness washed back over him. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Everything was blurry, but he could make out most of their shapes for sure. Gandalf, who now looked more at home, with a pointed hat to match his long grey robes. The four Hobbits, Pippin closest to him. Boromir, as tall and soldier-like as he had been. Legolas and Gimli.

"Where . . ." he started, but his voice was quiet, little more than a whisper.

"You're in Rivendell," came a new voice. An Elf came into view, tall and proud, but something in his gaze was sad as his eyes met Ian's.

"Rivendell," Ian repeated. "Then . . . you're home."

"Yes," Gandalf nodded. "We're back."

"Aragorn . . . ?"

"Over there," Gandalf motioned to another bed. The Ranger lay quiet and still, but breathing evenly.

Ian smiled weakly. "Good . . . it worked."

"Yes, you saved him."

"Frodo? The Ring?"

Frodo nodded, touching a small ring on a chain around his neck.

Gandalf smiled. "For the moment, Middle-Earth is safe."

Ian coughed, and stared at the ceiling. "Try not to focus on that, my friend. It's a large goal, a worthy one, to be sure, but a detached one."

"Yet an important one."

"Not as important as saving the lives of those in the world, each one of them with their own face, their name, their story." He turned to Merry and Pippin, lifting his arms slightly. Pippin clambered up on the bed beside him, followed closely by Merry.

"Gandalf," Ian smiled, eyes now fixed on the Wizard. "Never become detached, distanced, for people like these. It's them that make the war worth fighting, the world worth saving." He took their hands, squeezing them gently. "And you, Merry and Pippin, never doubt that. And never doubt that you have a part to play, things to do."

Pippin's eyes filled with tears. He wrapped his arms around the mathematician as if he would never let go. "Ian?"

Ian Malcolm smiled, and looked lovingly into the young Hobbit's eyes. "Don't be afraid, Pippin. This isn't the end. Farewell, my young friend, until we meet again." He smiled and held the Hobbit close. Then he closed his eyes.

Pippin felt Ian's arms go limp around him, but still he held his friend close, as if by sheer strength of will he could give him life again. Merry put his arm around his cousin, and they both lay there and cried.

Aragorn groaned softly, and Elrond was at his side in an instant. "How do you feel?"

Aragorn's eyes widened. "Much better now that we're back. What's --" He turned, to see the rest of the Fellowship. "Oh, no. What happened?"

Gandalf came over to answer his question. "You fell out of the tree when you went unconscious from the poison. Ian . . . he jumped out after you. He saved your life."

"The Tyrannosaur," Aragorn realized. He sat up, looking over at Ian's body.

Gandalf nodded. "I don't know if he knew . . ."

Aragorn looked up. "He knew. That was one of the things he'd said, that he'd been attacked by one before, and that he'd almost died."

Gandalf raised an eyebrow. He hadn't been listening to Ian too well.

Elrond watched as Gandalf helped Aragorn over to the rest of the Fellowship. Soon, Legolas, Gandalf, and Aragorn had their arms around each others' shoulders. Frodo and Sam were crying together. Boromir was on the bed next to Merry and Pippin, trying to comfort them. Gimli was kneeling beside him, muttering something in Dwarvish. Elrond realized it was probably a prayer or a ritual of some sort.

How strange, Elrond thought, that the whole Fellowship was affected by the death of an almost complete stranger. Maybe they had something in common after all. Maybe this man's death had given them the common ground they needed to truly become on Fellowship. Maybe there was more hope for their Quest's success than he'd thought.

Elrond smiled as the wind blew through the room. It brought a sense of peace, and almost seemed to whisper: "Hope in this. Trust in this. Remember. Life finds a way."

xWhit3StaRx -- Well, now you've found out what happened to Ian. :)

Calime07 -- Well, I don't really know when this is taking place, and now that it's over, I guess it doesn't really matter, but it couldn't really be during the third movie because Ian isn't even in the third movie. Sometime after the second one, I guess. :)

Elven hope -- Ian is the one in both the first and second movies. Yes, he's the one with the kid in the second movie, even though she's not his kid in the book. (sigh) He's the one they basically made the comedy relief in the first movie and he talks about chaos theory a lot. Does that help? Ummm, I think the dinosaur in the third movie is a spinosaurus or something, and, obviously, since this story is over, it is not going to make an appearance. T-Rex worked better, with Ian's memories and all. :) Against my better judment, I'm going to ask. What is a Utah raptor?

SNAITF -- Ummmm, oops. As you already know, I did kill off Ian. Didn't do it nearly as well as Michael Crichton, but, then again, I'm not writing a big long novel. Well, you see, by the time I got your review, I'd already written this, which isn't your fault because I was in Virginia, which is why I didn't get the review until a couple days ago, when all I had left to do was type out the chapter. And since I didn't feel like going back and rewriting a whole chapter just because no one wanted me to kill off Ian, um, he's dead. It would've been too much of a hassle to figure out a way to get him back to the US and get everyone else back to Middle-Earth. But those are all just excuses. The truth is I felt like killing off Ian and so I did it, plain and simple. I can do that; I'm the author. :)