I apologize for the long wait everyone...anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing! it's your imput that helps me out (and God knows that i need plenty of help), so feel free to leave a review to keep me out of the insane asylum and on fanfiction!

disclaimer: you should know by now what does and does not belong to me. if not...well, then...and I thought I had problems...

About five days later…

Legolas: (looks out over the plain, waiting for the rest of his companions to catch up with him)

The 8th: (catches up with Legolas) (looks out over the plain) What's wrong?

Legolas: (jumps into the air, slightly alarmed) (looks at The 8th, standing beside him, then at everyone else, who are good ways behind) How did you…

The 8th: (grins) Catch up with you?

Legolas: Yeah.

The 8th: Well, I've been only ten feet behind you the whole time, so it wasn't very hard.

Legolas: But…everyone else… (looks over at the rest, who are still pretty far back) (peers into The 8th's face) You're not an Elf, are you?

The 8th: (laughs) Not that I can determine…but maybe I'm wrong…

Legolas: (chooses to ignore The 8th's comment) (looks out over the plain again) What do you see, The 8th?

The 8th: (squints into the horizon) Umm…I see a large party of riders approaching us…they are riding very fast, and are being led by a tall, blonde-haired man. They have three horses that have no riders on them.

Legolas: (stares in shock at The 8th) Exactly…and how many Riders are there?

The 8th: (stares intently at the horsemen in the distance) (confidently) One-hundred and five.

Legolas: Are you sure you're not an Elf?

The 8th: Pretty positive…

At that moment…

Aragorn: (jogs over to Legolas and The 8th) (points into the horizon) Do you know what that rapidly approaching blur is, Legolas?

Legolas: (nods) Riders.

Aragorn: I thought so.

Legolas: Should we try and outrun them, or do we wait?

Aragorn: How far are they?

Legolas: (thinks) About five leagues.

Aragorn: I think we should wait for them. They are coming from the direction the Orcs went, and we might be able to get some news…plus, I'm still pretty tired. (looks around) (notices The 8th for the first time) What are you doing up here? I thought you were with Lavender.

The 8th: (sigh) Well, obviously, I'm not.

Legolas: (to Aragorn) I think it's best that you not pursue this further.

Aragorn: looks from Lavender and Gimli, who are just now jogging over to them, to The 8th) But…how did you…

Lavender: (sprints over to Aragorn's side) (to Gimli) HA! I win!

Gimli: (arrives out-of-breath) (grudgingly) Fine…you win…

Lavender: (holds out hand, palm up) I believe you owe me something.

Gimli: (grumbles) (reaches hand into pocket) (pulls out two gold pieces) (puts them into Lavender's out-stretched hand)

Lavender: (looks at her hand) I believe we agreed on three, Gimli.

Gimli: (scowls) (reaches hand into pocket) (pulls out another gold piece) (spitefully surrenders it to Lavender)

Lavender: (pats Gimli on the head) (grins) Good boy.

Gimli: (scowls even more) I'm not talking to you anymore.

Lavender: (shrugs) I'll live. (pockets gold pieces) (looks out into the horizon) What's that blur out there? (points)

Legolas & The 8th: (in unison) Riders.

Lavender: Ah. (to Aragorn) Are we gonna try and outrun them?

Aragorn: No, I think we should wait for them to come to us. (looks around) Let's go down into that depression at the foot of that hill so we can hide better. (walks over to the place indicated)

Everyone Else: (follows)

Everyone: (waits impatiently)

Aragorn: Whatever happened to that deck of cards?

Legolas: (shrugs) I think they were Pippin's.

Aragorn: (snaps fingers) Dang it!

Lavender: (nibbles a piece of lembas

The 8th: (to Lavender) Can I have some?

Lavender: Sure. (breaks a piece off for The 8th)

The 8th: (nibbles) (to Aragorn) This is really boring, you know.

Aragorn: (sigh) Yeah, I know.

Gimli: (sits, twiddling his thumbs) (to Lavender) Can I have a piece of that, Lavender?

Lavender: (offhandedly) I thought you said you weren't talking to me anymore.

Gimli: (grumbles)

At that moment…

Riders: (come thundering past the little depression at the foot of the hill, paying no heed to the people concealed there)

Aragorn: Well finally(waits as the last of the Riders thunder past him) (stands up) (yells) What news from the Mark?

Everyone Concealed at the Foot of the Hill: (hears a series of loud screeches and smell burnt rubber as the Riders slow their horses and turn them around)

Riders: (come pelting back towards Aragorn) (encircle him)

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: (brandishes spear at Aragorn) Who are you, and what do you want?

Aragorn: (in a rather amusing—for Lavender, anyway—attempt to appear tough) The name is Strider. I'm hunting Orcs.

Lavender: (giggles)

Legolas: (whispers) What's so funny?

Lavender: (whispers) Just listen to him! (stifles laughter)

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: (jumps off his horse) (gives his spear to another Rider, but draws his sword) (peers at Aragorn for a moment) (blinks)

Aragorn: Something wrong, friend?

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: It's nothing…at first, I thought you were an Orc, but that's obviously not true. But, you seem to be either lacking knowledge or sense if you're hunting Orcs like this. They were swift, and many. You would have been the one hunted if you ever caught up with the loathsome beings.

The 8th: (tries desperately to stifle laughter)

Lavender, Legolas, & Gimli: (stare at The 8th) (whisper in unison) What's so funny?

The 8th: (gasps for breath) Lavender…he just called your beloved a stupid Orc! (giggles)

Lavender: (clenches fists)

Legolas & Gimli: (stifle laughter)

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: (continues) And yet, the name you have given me is hardly a Man's…did you spring out of the ground? That is the only way I know of for you to escape our notice. (notices Aragorn's Elven-cloak) Are you Elvish?

Aragorn: Far from it. But I have just ventured from the fair land of Lothlórien, and the favor of the Lady goes with me.

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: Ah, so there is a Lady of the Wood, as the old tales say. There are few that escape her nets of enchantment. (looks at Aragorn apprehensively) But, one who has the favor of the Lady would also be able to cast his own web of enchantment… (backs away from Aragorn)

Legolas & Gimli: (stand up in anger)

Rider #27: (notices them) (jumps back) HOLY CRAP!!!

Legolas & Gimli: (stride towards Aragorn) (stand behind him)

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: (indicating Legolas & Gimli) Who are they?

Aragorn: My companions: Legolas, an Elf of distant Mirkwood, and Gimli, Dwarf and loyal subject of the King Under the Mountain.

Gimli: (in a rude tone of voice) And who are you supposed to be?

Tall Blonde Guy with Funky Helmet Who is Obviously the Leader: (glares at Gimli) As for that, the stranger has no right to question, but I will answer. I am Éomer, Third Marshall of Riddermark.

Lavender: (whispers) I've noticed that all men try to impress each other when they meet, but this particular meeting goes a bit farther than that. They're all acting like pompous asses.

The 8th: (stifles a giggle) Nicely put.

Lavender: (bows)

Gimli: Well, Éomer, I'll have you know that I excuse your foolish words of offense to the Lady, since it is a fairness you cannot even comprehend. But, if you say such things again, you would be a dead Third Marshall indeed.

Éomer: (is obviously pissed) If you were only a bit taller, you would be a head shorter at the moment, Master Dwarf.

Legolas: (fits an arrow to the string of his bow with lightning-fast speed) You are obviously blind, good Éomer, for the Dwarf stands not alone. If you take a try at him, you would be dead before your blow could reach him.

Éomer: I beg your pardon? (raises sword)

Lavender & The 8th: (cover eyes with their hands so as to not see the pending fight)

Aragorn: (smoothly steps in the midst of their argument, hands raised) And I beg yours a thousand times over, Éomer. Please forgive my friends' rashness. In time, you will come to understand why they are so upset, but now is not the time or place for it, and I'd prefer the use of speech rather than weapons to explain their reasoning to you. (looks pointedly at Legolas & Gimli) And I'll talk to you two about this later.

Legolas & Gimli: (bow heads in meek submission)

A couple of hours later…

Lavender: It was nice of them to give us these horses like that…and that pony for Gimli…

Gimli: Hey, don't make fun of my pony!

The 8th: (to Gimli) (primly) She wasn't making fun of the pony…she was making fun of you.

Legolas & Aragorn: (crack up)

Gimli: (glares)

Lavender: (to The 8th) Dude, that was so my line.

The 8th: Just because you're the one that usually says all the funny stuff doesn't mean us lowly others can't get some credit too.

Legolas: Yeah, Lavender. You shouldn't be so—

Lavender: (irritably) Oh, just shut up, Elf boy.

Legolas: Is that my new name or something? Geez…

Gimli: Yes.

Lavender: (cracks up)

Aragorn: (to The 8th) You know, I just thought of something…where the heck did they get the pony in the first place?

Lavender: (looks at the pony from where she is perched on a horse behind Legolas) He does sort of look familiar…

The 8th: (stares at the pony from where she is perched on a horse behind Aragorn for a few moments) (gasp) It's BILL!

Gimli: ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?!?! (stops pony)

Bill the Pony: Neigh.

Lavender: HOLY CRAP!!!! (jumps off horse, even though it's still walking)

Legolas: LAVENDER!!!! Don't do that!! (stops horse)

Lavender: (is currently patting Bill on the head) What? (looks around) Oh…sorry Legolas.

Aragorn: (stops horse) (amused expression on his face as he dismounts and helps The 8th off)

Legolas: (dismounts horse) (looks at Aragorn, who is still grinning) What's so funny?

Aragorn: (looks at Legolas for a second) (cracks up)

Everyone Else: (stares at Aragorn)

Legolas: What is so funny?

Aragorn: (tries to breathe through laughter) (is barely able to, as he is laughing so dang hard)

Lavender: (to Legolas in a slightly awed voice) Dude…what did you do to him? I've never seen anyone laugh so hard in my life.

Legolas: WHAT IN THE NAME OF— (eyes widen in shock and unwilling recognition) You have to be joking me…you seriously did not just think…oh my GOD! (stomps off with fists clenched, muttering under his breath)

Aragorn: (doubles over with renewed laughter)

Lavender, The 8th & Gimli: (look at each other with puzzled expressions)

The 8th: Do any of you know what just happened?

Lavender & Gimli: (look from Aragorn—who is currently pounding his fists on the ground and laughing, uselessly trying to get under control—to Legolas—who is swearing in Elvish and jumping up and down apparently trying to create a large crater in the ground—then look at The 8th) (shrug)

Lavender: (to reader) What about you? Do you know what's going on?

Reader: (is profoundly baffled, partly because Lavender is talking to him/her, and partly because he/she doesn't get the whole thing with Aragorn's laugh-attack and Legolas' temper-tantrum) (shrugs)

Lavender: I thought so.

The 8th: Just who exactly are you talking to when you do that?

Lavender: (matter-of-factly) The reader.

The 8th & Gimli: (look to the sky in supplication)

Hey, don't ask me…she's your friend, remember?…

Gimli: I HATE YOU, D'YOU KNOW THAT??????????

Why, thank you… (coughs) Meanwhile…

Legolas: (calmly walks back to the perplexed group of two annoyingly obsessive teenage girls, a dwarf, and an awesome pony named Bill) Okay, I'm good.

Aragorn: (somehow manages to get a grip on himself and reduces his all-out-laughter to a small chuckle) (gets off the ground)

Lavender: Aragorn, that has to be the hardest I've ever seen anyone laugh in my life.

Aragorn: (wipes the tears that he compiled while he was laughing from his eyes) Awe-inspiring, isn't it?

Lavender: (nods) (to Legolas) What the heck was that all about?

Legolas: (glares at Aragorn) (to Lavender) You don't want to know.

Aragorn: (stifles laughter)

The 8th: (groans) Oh no, not again!!!!!!

Aragorn: (is able to stop laughing) No, I'm good, I promise. Let's get going again. (mounts horse) (looks at The 8th) C'mon, The 8th, get up here!

The 8th: (looks at him warily) Are you sure you're done laughing? You're not drunk are you? Do you want me to drive?

Aragorn: (grins) No, I'm fine. Get on, or we'll leave you behind.

The 8th: (gets on horse) You wouldn't actually do that to me, would you? Leave me out here for the cold, and the Orcs, and the who-knows-what?

Aragorn: (opens his mouth to respond, but…)

Legolas: (as he climbs on his horse) Yes, I think he would.

Aragorn: Would not!

Legolas: Would too!

Aragorn: Would not!

Legolas: Would too!

Aragorn: Would—


(crickets sound)

Lavender: (looks around in terror) You've got to be joking me… (buries head in hands)

(pats crickets on the head) Good crickets!!!…

Lavender: (anguished moan) I HATE YOU, D'YOU KNOW THAT??????????

(sticks out tongue) Likewise, young Jedi…

Everyone: What the…

Never mind…just get on with it already!!!…

Legolas: The scary voice that sounds like an-extremely-bored-teenage-girl-that-is-currently-a-senior-in-high-school-sitting-in-front-of-her-computer-busy-manipulating-our-lives is right. We need to keep looking for Merry and Pippin.

(slaps The 8th for some reason or another)…

The 8th: OW! What the heck was that for? I HATE YOU!!!

My, I seem to be making a lot of enemies today…oh well, forget it, heed the words of the Elf-man and find the two Hobbitses (returns to that magical place where all narrators come from)…

Aragorn: I still don't understand how a voice can slap you…oh well.

Lavender: (climbs up behind Legolas on horse)

Gimli: (mounts Bill the Pony)

Aragorn: (looks around Everyone situated? Good. (shoots arm into the air) Hi ho, Hasufel!

Hasufel (Aragorn's horse): (rolls eyes) (thinks to self) "Hi ho, Hasufel" indeed!

Aragorn: (shakes reigns) (mutters) C'mon, you stupid animal…

Legolas: Need some help?

Aragorn: (hurriedly) No.

Legolas: (shrugs) (slaps Hasufel on the rump to get him going)

Hasufel: (startled, he gallops off)

The 8th & Aragorn: (scream) (nearly fall off)

Legolas, Gimli & Lavender: (smiles simultaneously light up faces) (watch as Aragorn and The 8th struggle to stay on the horse and regain control) (crack up)