A/N: Thanks, readers, for a fun (if a bit long) ride. I started this story when I was 15. I am now 23. Hey, at least I finish what I start. I hope you enjoy the conclusion.
Mr. Spock: Fascinating, but illogical.
Me: What, the story?
Mr. Spock: Obviously. The behavior of the female monarch is capricious at best, and belies her reputation as the allegedly "wisest and fairest" of her species.
Me: Who said anything about this story being logical?! And what're you doing here anyway?
Mr. Spock: To borrow the human vernacular, I'm shamelessly plugging your new LotR/Star Trek crossover fic.
Me: Ok, you have fun with that. These people have been waiting for the conclusion of this story for eight years!
Mr. Spock: A relatively short span of time, in the grand scheme of...
Me: To quote a stupid commercial, "Roll that beautiful bean footage!"
Aragorn glanced at the others, unsure of what to say, when suddenly, a shadowy figure burst out of the bushes beside them.
The Fellowship uttered various cries of surprise and distress, which were swiftly cut off when they saw that the newcomer was only a smallish animal. That is to say, all except for Merry/Sam. His pathetic keening carried on for several protracted seconds after the others' had ceased. Sam clamped Merry's hand over his mouth.
"Open your–er… my eyes, Merry!" Sam ordered. "It's just a monkey."
"Mon-monkey?" Merry stammered, squinting at the long-armed form dragging its knuckles as it shambled into their midst, favoring its left side. "Oh. I knew that."
The monkey seemed to be clutching a faintly glowing, greenish object in its right hand, which was why its gait was so irregular. It stopped, held the object – which turned out to be a small vial – aloft, and spoke, in the measured, sagacious speech of Celeborn.
"I've found it!" he reveled. "The solution to our predicament!" He scrutinized the odd cocoon lying prone beside him, and then nodded with a monkey smirk unmistakable even in the obscurity. "My Lady, the queen. From what heights you have descended! Well, anyway, I've found the antidote."
Legolas' and Gimli's eyes brightened at the word "antidote." Momentarily frozen, they suddenly lunged toward the monkey.
"Hand it over!" they shouted in unison. However, they were too slow. Celeborn leapt up and propelled himself off the backs of both their heads. They subsequently grubbed embarrassingly into the grass with their foreheads.
"Fools!" the monkey snapped, hopping onto Gandalf's shoulder and holding the vial safely behind him. "Do you want to return to your former selves or not?! This is not child's play! The potion must be handled with care!"
Legolas and Gimli sheepishly got to their feet, rubbing their grass-stained heads.
"You are right, milord," Legolas/Gimli said, humble and contrite. "Forgive me. I think I am going mad in this dwarven body."
"As am I in this elvish body!" Gimli chimed in. "I need body hair! I need a beard! I'll explode if I have to stay in this perfect body for one more minute. Especially now that the solution is right there in your hands!"
"I, too, greatly desire to return to my true self," Celeborn replied, lightly tapping the vial for emphasis, "but we must proceed with more caution. Still, there is little time to waste. Haldir and the others are on the hunt for us all, and could show up at any moment. Now, as for who shall have the antidote first, I see two clear volunteers. However, know that there is no guarantee that this will work. For all I know, my clever wife might have mislabeled it."
"Did you? Did you?" Legolas and Gimli demanded, nudging the supine Lady of Light accusingly with their boots. She mumbled something indistinct and fixed them with an icy glare.
"Leave off," Aragorn/Pippin ordered. "Just imagine what Lord Elrond would think if his specially appointed 'Fellowship of the Ring' returned to him transformed into toads… or some other foul creatures. He would most likely discontinue dealings with Lothlórien's queen for good."
Galadriel emitted a noise that sounded remarkably like a suppressed sigh, and shook her head slightly. None present were exactly certain what this indicated, but time was running out as surely as water from an upended pail.
"Just a drop now," the sagacious monkey advised, extending the vial toward the manifestly-eager-but-trying-to-hide-it dwarf and elf. "And be careful about it. If you break it—"
"We won't," Legolas reassured, though it wasn't very reassuring. The elven dwarf slowly tilted the scintillating glass vial up and allowed a drop of the glistening, oddly hued liquid to drip into his mouth. His companion impatiently snatched the antidote and did likewise. The others held their breaths in nervous anticipation, eyes fixed on the guinea pigs.
The dwarf made a strange face. Then the elf made a strange face. It looked as if they had just sunken their teeth into ripe lemons. The others gasped audibly and waited for them to begin the transformation into lizards or spiders.
"Relax," laughed Legolas. "It just has a nasty flavor, that's all."
"Tastes kind of like… moldy cram," Gimli added.
"You would eat moldy cram, wouldn't you?" Legolas sneered, rolling his unintentionally-borrowed eyes.
Galadriel's pale blue eyes turned both mildly ashamed and beseeching, but Celeborn paid her little heed. She clearly hated to feel so powerless, and under any other circumstances, she might have behaved in a desperate fashion to escape her captors' clutches. But she finally saw that her cruel "joke" had run its course, and inflicting her more potent and injurious powers upon the Fellowship would have surely been frowned upon by the other great minds of Middle-earth. After all, she had a reputation to keep up.
"Fine, whatever," she told them all telepathically, as there was still tape over her mouth. "Everybody take the silly potion. I'm sick of this freak-show anyway. Don't you think I have better things to do?"
Celeborn smirked and she made a strange "hmmm-hmmmm"-ing noise at him.
"Now let me out of this body wrap!" she continued, inside their heads. "This is so undignified. I feel like the world's largest immobile caterpillar."
"We'll let you out, Galaddy," said Legolas/Gimli, grinning, "right after we are ourselves again."
The change was hardly noticeable. It looked as if nothing had happened, except that, suddenly, Legolas' voice was coming from the right body and the elf was hopping up and down, screaming with relief, admiring himself, and kissing his own hands. "Oh, how I've missed me!" he said, sobbing.
Gimli's celebration was slightly more restrained. He looked down at himself, shrugged, then started back to the camp to grab his magical dwarf beard tonic. Legolas noted, with disgust, that he paused briefly to wallow in the only (but very famous) mud puddle in the Forest City. "Gah! Dwarves! Unbelievable."
Galadriel's prizewinning birdbath was conveniently close, so Legolas splashed some water on his hands and flicked the droplets dismissively at Gimli. "I wash my hands of you." A mud pie caught him in the back of the head. Legolas turned about, slowly, with a look that said he would kill dead whatever unfortunate soul had dared splat him with a pastry of wet soil. Whether or not he succeeded, this author does not know.
Pippin and Aragorn also switched back with little incident. Pippin, who had taken Aragorn's body into the city and had been busy there, running into a wall over and over again, was kissing the ground for no apparent reason. Aragorn, who had raced to join the others as soon as his mind was switched back into the correct body, looked at Pippin strangely and shook his head, sending his shaggy locks bouncing. Arwen then appeared out of nowhere, as she couldn't resist Aragorn's rangerly studliness, and grabbed him from behind. They kissed passionately, and Merry covered Pippin's eyes.
Gandalf just shrugged, feeling suddenly very fabulous and fashionable in his pink, fur-trimmed bathrobe.
Celeborn had a more difficult time of it, however. He found himself in the dungeon, where his monkey minded body had been. He climbed down from the lamp bracket, snatched up the toilet bucket, and began scraping it along the bars of the cell. "Hey! Hey! Let me out! It's me! It's Celeborn. Your Lord Celeborn, that is."
The guards came running. One of them swung the key ring around his finger annoyingly. "Are you sure you're Lord Celeborn? Weren't you just swinging from the lamp a moment ago?"
"Gah!" Celeborn exploded. "That wasn't me. My brain was switched with a monkey, you dolt! Galadriel set me up. Now let me out, will ya?"
"Fine, I'll let you out. Personally, I think you were more charming before she switched you back."
"That's it, you're out of a job, turnkey!" Celeborn fumed. "Now let me out or I'll be forced to use my über-awesome elf lord powers on you. You want to spend the rest of your life dead? Hmm? That's what I thought."
Boromir and Frodo's switch back, however, was perhaps the worst of all. Frodo, as you may recall, had taken Boromir's body into a cave, gone berserk and turned into Sméagol Lite, and then met the real Sméagol. Upon returning to his correct body, his mental illness inexplicably passed. Being away from the Ring, which was still with Boromir's body, had cleared his head.
Boromir, however, found himself in the woods by a stream, eating raw fish. "Ptooey!" He spat out a mouthful of cold, slimy, raw flesh. "Ohhhhh! That's just nasty!" He looked down and, horrified, took in his emaciated limbs and tattered clothing. "That foul Halfling! That foul, foul Halfling! Look what he's done to me! I'll teach him! I'll teach him!"
In his blind rage, he failed to notice Sméagol sitting at the river's edge, staring at him quizzically. Boromir leapt to his feet, and feeling rather weak, staggered back toward Lothlórien, foaming at the mouth.
When he reached the night-shrouded city, he immediately spotted the Fellowship, who all looked very pleased with themselves. They were clapping each other on the backs and munching dried figs and laughing. This made him even more furious, since they had no right to be happy when he was a wreck.
"Gahhhhhhhhhh!" he screeched, leaping with incredible strength toward Frodo. "I'll kill you!"
Aragorn pulled himself away from Arwen and slapped Boromir down like a kid in Wal-Mart. "Who're you?" he asked, somewhat freaked out.
"Who do you think, you box o' rocks?!" Boromir frothed.
"Oh," said Aragorn, recognizing the hate-filled voice.
"And it's all his fault I look like this!" Boromir continued, on the verge of sobs. "He tried to kill me, that's what he did!"
"It was the Ring," explained Frodo, looking very timid. "Since I was in his body, I wasn't as resistant to its power. I went crazy! It wasn't my fault."
"Then whose fault is it, I'd like to know?" cried Boromir.
"It's the Ring's fault!" Frodo tried.
"The Ring?!" said Boromir, pausing a moment, looking rather thoughtful. Then his eyes flamed up. "I'll kill it! I'll kill that foul, sneaking little piece of metal! Where is it? Where is it?" He began groping at Frodo's clothes, which was rather disturbing.
Aragorn grabbed Boromir again. "Cut it out, Boromir! Don't ya know that's the whole purpose of this quest, you idiot?!"
"Now we'll take a few more days here to recover, and I'm sure Lady Galadriel will lend us her best physicians to get you back on your feet. And to… uh… fix your baldness we'll…"
"We'll use my dwarf hair-growth tonic!" Gimli cried, holding up a glistening potion bottle proudly.
"Yay!" said the Hobbits, seizing a moment to dispel the tension.
"Okay," said Boromir, defeated. "But when we're on our way again, Ima kill that confounded ring! Ima kill it dead! Got that?"
"Yes, Boromir," said Aragorn, yawning. "Now let's get you to the medical ward."
And thus the Fellowship, restored to their original selves and having resolved all major conflicts (whilst leaving minor ones unresolved for laziness' sake), turned their thoughts once more to the Quest of the Ring. And all was well in the canon Middle-earth again, except for the occasional comment between Legolas and Gimli about being "ugly" or a "sissy" and so forth. And the fact that Celeborn treated monkeys with high regard thereafter. And the fact that Gandalf the White went before Théoden King in a pink bathrobe with fur trim. And the fact that Boromir hated the Ring with a purple passion thenceforth and therefore didn't try to take it from Frodo, and therefore didn't end up dying 'cause the Fellowship didn't split up when the Uruk-hai attacked. Much better ending. You're welcome.