It's An Odd Coincidence
Disclaimer: I don't own anything that you recognize. They all belong to their owners, and I'm just borrowing them for this little escapade.
Note: Due to me being a ditz, I mixed up my camp dates. It was 2-6 February, so I got loads of time to type this up. Hope you enjoy. :)
This is based on bookverse LotR (mostly) and movie-verse X-Men so Wolverine will probably be OOC to those of you who go by the comics.
Chapter 1: Bree vs. Brie
He was falling. It wasn't amusing at all to be hurled from the top of the Empire State Building. It was all the fault of the humans and their inability to accept mutants, really. If they'd been just a little bit more tolerant, Magneto wouldn't have turned militant, and if Magneto hadn't turned into a militant, then he, Logan Howlett, better known as the Wolverine, wouldn't have had to have this little disagreement with Magneto which had culminated in this not-so-little showdown on the top of the Empire State Building. And if there had been no showdown, Magneto would not have hurled Logan off the top of said building.
It didn't help that Logan had been one of the main players who'd destroyed Magneto's abilities, at least temporarily. If only those damn scientists had invented a 'cure' for mutation that was a bit longer lasting, as in permanent, then they wouldn't have had to deal with the same metal mangling militant mutant again.
The wind rushed past his ears, ripping through his tightly curled hair with the two peaks like the ears of a wolverine. He expected to hit concrete any moment, but instead, he found his fall cushioned by a mound of soft vegetation.
Logan shook his head to clear his thoughts. The sky above him was riddled with stars. That didn't look too much like the sky which he had known in New York, although, truth be told, he wasn't much of an astronomer. He was so dizzy from his fall and his near death experience. He hadn't even gotten to his feet when he felt the edge of a cold steel blade against his throat. He glanced down and vaguely registered that it looked like a sword. 'Who on earth uses swords?' he thought. He glanced up. Standing above him was a tall man with greasy long dark hair threaded with silver. On his cheeks were months of stubble. 'The guy needs an electric razor.' It was too dark to make out any other features.
"Who the hell are you?" Logan demanded out loud. "And you might want to get that thing away from me." He glanced pointedly at the sword.
"I should be the one asking the questions," said the man. He paid no heed to Logan's warnings. "Who are you? I saw you falling out of thin air. Where do you come from? Who do you work for? What is your business here?"
"Hold it! A man's brain can only process so much at a time, for God's sake!" said Logan irritably. What was this, the Spanish Inquisition? As if getting thrown off the Empire State Building by that metal mangling militant mutant was not enough, he was now being threatened and interrogated by a madman with a sword who dressed like Robin Hood. 'Count to ten, Logan,' he told himself. 'Getting angry isn't going to help you get out of here, wherever this is.'
"My name is Logan," he began. "Logan Howlett, although if you've heard of me, then I think you'll know me as the Wolverine." It was worth a try. He wasn't exactly an obscure character. Logan managed to rein in his temper. Friendly or not, this strange man might prove to be the key to his getting out of here.
"Logan Howl It?" said the man in confusion. "Why do you need to howl, and howl what?"
"No, no! That's my surname! What planet do you come from? Jesus!"
"What is a planet?" said the man. "I know not of that which you speak. And no, my name is not Jesus. You have not answered all my questions, stranger. From whence do you hail?"
"Holy crap, you speak like bloody Shakespeare!" said Logan, who was quickly losing what calm he had. "All right, I come from Canada, got it? Ca-na-da. That's up north of the United States—you do know what the United States are, right?"
"Shake spear? Shake what spear? I have no spear. The united states of what?"
Logan swore, and a stream of unwholesome words poured from his mouth, making his companion grimace. The man might not have understood the exact meanings, but they needed no translations.
"All right!" raged Logan. "You asked me questions and when I give you the bloody answers, you don't know what the bloody hell I'm talking about! And get that damn sword away from me, you moron, or you'll regret it!"
This certainly was a most unusual day, even by Aragorn's standards. He'd been getting ready to make camp when a man had fallen out of nowhere. And when Aragorn had started asking him questions, he'd given the ranger a whole lot of meaningless answers and then gotten furious when Aragorn said that he had not understood him. He listened to the stranger's outburst. The son of Arathorn had travelled the breadth and width of Middle Earth —almost— and he'd never seen or heard something quite like this strange man. The ranger was almost certain that this Logan Howl It was no servant of Sauron's, because the Dark Lord certainly would have employed someone who was slightly less...noticeable.
"Are you finished yet?" he asked Logan when the other man stopped for a breath, "because I did not understand a single word of what you've just said."
"Get. Your. Bloody. Sword. Away. From. Me."
"Why should I trust that you will not harm me?"
"Because if you don't get that sword away, I will harm you, got it, pal?"
Logan's threatening manner was not making Aragorn feel any more comfortable. Despite the other man's threats, he kept his blade against Logan's neck. Better to be safe than to be sorry. However, he was definitely not prepared for what came next. Later, he was sorry for not taking Logan a little more seriously.
There was a flash of silver. Aragorn leapt back. Three metal claws had erupted from between Logan's knuckles and Aragorn's sword lay in four pieces. Well, three pieces lay on the ground. The fourth was still in Aragorn's hand.
"I told you," said Logan.
"What do you want?" said Aragorn. Why was it that he always got into trouble?
"I want answers," said Logan. He retracted his claws, and Aragorn wondered if his other hand had hidden claws as well. If he could somehow persuade Logan that he meant him no harm, he would definitely take the man to Rivendell. Lord Elrond needed to see this. "First, where am I?"
"You are in Eriador, close to the village of Bree," replied Aragorn.
"Brie?" said Logan. Had he somehow fallen off the Empire State Building and into France? He knew that Brie was the name of a French cheese, and it was quite possible that some eccentric Frenchman had named a village after his cheese, or vice versa. 'Nice,' he thought. He was even better than Kurt Wagner, the teleporter. He bet that even Kurt could not teleport from New York to France.
"Yes, Bree," said Aragorn. At last, they were making progress, at least on the communication front.
"So, is this where brie cheese was invented?" asked Logan. His mouth watered at the thought of hot pizza with pepperoni, mushroom and brie, followed by an ice-cold bottle of Heineken. Fighting always made him hungry, and it had been a hard fight.
Aragorn looked at Logan blankly. "I presume that cheese made in Bree would be called Bree cheese," he said cautiously. What was the strange man playing at?
"So what are you doing, running around in France with a bloody big sword and dressed in this fancy costume?"
Aragorn looked down at his clothes. He knew they desperately needed a wash, but fancy costume? He would have thought that such a description would apply better to Logan's outlandish clothes. His garb was decidedly not fancy, and he wasn't wearing a 'costume' either, at least not in that sense of the word. "I beg your pardon?" he asked.
"Okay, I mean, what are you doing here? You don't look French to me."
"Firstly, my name is not 'Oh-kay'. You may call me Strider," said Aragorn. First, the man thought that his name was 'Jesus', and now 'Oh-kay'? Did he not know that it was common courtesy not to call a stranger by any names until the other person revealed his name? Of course, Aragorn was not about to reveal his true name to anyone. "Secondly, I never said I was 'French'." Whatever that meant.
"No, no!" said Logan. " 'Okay' is an expression! It means 'fine' or 'all right' or whatever the equivalent is in Fre...British." Wait, didn't the British speak English too? Maybe Strider was —Logan looked the man up and down in an attempt to determine his ethnicity— Italian. There was no other way he could explain the language barrier which existed between him and this Strider, despite the fact that they were both speaking in fluent English, as far as Logan was concerned. "Oh, never mind. Just take me to Brie, o—all right?"
The more Aragorn observed Logan, the more convinced he became that the man was mad. He even sounded odd. Elrond would be very interested in him indeed. "All right," he said, picking up the pieces of his sword and sliding them back into the sheath. The appearance of having a sword usually deterred those who would otherwise harm him. If that didn't work, well, he would have to trust that Logan truly meant no harm and could be relied upon in emergencies. "I'm staying here tonight, but tomorrow, I'll take you to Bree."
It was very wet, and Logan was getting more and more miserable. Damn this bloody French weather. Wasn't France supposed to be all sunny? He became even less happy when he saw 'Brie'. He'd imagined a French town to be quaint and picturesque. 'Ugly' was the only word he could use to describe this place. It looked like something out of Monty Python. He wrinkled his nose when he caught a whiff of the air. Did everyone in this place have blocked toilets? "This is Brie?" he hissed to his companion.
"Yes," said Strider. "We're headed for the Prancing Pony. It is an inn."
"The Prancing Pony? That's an odd French name. For one, it isn't even French."
"I never said it was 'French', whatever that means."
"But we're in France!"
"Who told you that?"
"You did! You said we were going to Brie, and since Brie is the name of a French cheese, I assumed that the village of Brie was in France!"
"That was your assumption. I don't know any France."
Logan grabbed Strider by the arm. "Wait, wait," he said. "Let's just clear this up. Where exactly are we?"
"I've told you before," said Aragorn. Logan had a very strong grip. "We are in the village of Bree."
"And where is the village of Brie?"
"And where is 'Eerie Ardour'?"
"In Middle Earth."
"Middle Earth? What the hell is that? Everyone knows that the core of the Earth is made out of molten metal. You know, I do know a thing or two, so don't try and be funny."
"Middle Earth is a place, otherwise known as Arda." Aragorn looked at Logan strangely. Even madmen knew what Middle Earth was, surely. Things were getting very odd indeed, and he was determined to find out just what was wrong with Logan.
The Prancing Pony seemed to be the normal everyday bar, minus the cage fights. More men in funny clothes were drinking, eating, laughing and gambling. Nothing seemed out of place, until Logan asked the bartender for the use of a phone.
"I won't be a minute, sir," said the cheerful fat barman, fetching a pewter mug and filling it with beer. Logan's keen nose caught the fragrant aroma of fermented wheat. After he'd made his phone calls, he would order himself some of that beer.
The barman handed Logan a tankard filled with foam. "There you go, sir," he said. "Your foam."
Foam? "What the... "No, not foam!" said Logan. "Phone!"
"Yes, sir, I know what foam is," said the barman. He seemed annoyed that Logan thought he didn't know what foam was. Muttering to himself about crazy people who belonged in lunatic asylums, he picked up the tankard and stalked away to the corner table where Strider was sitting with his hood hiding his face in shadow, smoking a pipe calmly as if it was every day that people got tankards full of beer foam when they asked for the use of a phone.
There were small people running about in the pub. They barely reached Logan's hip. Logan gave Strider a nudge. "Aren't they underage?" he said, pointing to the little people. They were an odd bunch, all with wild curly hair, and none of them wore shoes.
"Underage?" said Strider. Even though Logan couldn't see his expression, he could hear the other man's amusement. "They're all adults, but I know what you mean."
"You do?" said Logan. "That's got to be a first. So, why are they all midgets?" That earned him a glare from said midgets.
"Logan, they're hobbits, and they have good hearing. You don't want to insult them."
"It's not an insult to say that a midget is a midget," said Logan, a little more quietly, looking wistfully at Aragorn's tankard of beer, and it wasn't just foam. "Hey, Strider, you think you can lend me some more money?"
"I am going to have to," said Strider, handing Logan a few odd coins. "Why did you order foam?"
"I didn't order foam," said Logan, stressing the last word. "I asked for a phone. Hey, you don't happen to have one, do you?"
"A what?" said Strider. "No, I don't have a 'fone', whatever that is."
"You know, ring ring, Alexander Bell?" Living in a school came with a price. Logan gave up. Everyone in this 'Brie' and 'Eerie Ardour' was mad, including Strider. Either that, or he had somehow been teleported into a very backward third world country where they did not know about telephones. "Oh, never mind. Don't think I can explain it very well anyway."
He took Strider's money and went and ordered himself a pint of beer and a meal of stew. The bowl of stew did smell wonderful, but the lumps of meat in it looked odd. Some of them looked like bits of offal. Logan shrugged. He was hungry, and he'd had haggis before. He attacked his meal with a spoon. "Aren't you gonna eat?" he asked Strider in between large mouthfuls. "We've been walking the whole day."
"You can eat. I cannot afford to be distracted," said Strider. Logan finished his meal, and then stared longingly at Strider's pipe. He still had three cigars in his pocket, but once he finished them, he wasn't sure if he could get more in a place which didn't even have telephones. He contented himself with thinking about what he would do once he got back to civilized society.
The door of the pub opened again, and four more of those 'hobbits' came in. They were soaked to the skin. The one in lead looked about him warily, and Logan could sense his fear. He was behaving as if he was being hunted. Strider gently touched his elbow to catch his attention. "Watch them," he said.
"Why? You think they're gonna get up to some mischief?" asked Logan. Those four mid—hobbits didn't look like they could do much. In fact, they made him feel as if he was back in the Xavier mansion and babysitting.
"I don't know," said Strider. "Just watch them. Danger is nearby. I can sense it."
"Really? I can't."
"Just because you can't feel anything doesn't meant that it does not exist."
The four hobbits spoke to the innkeeper, who happened to be the man who had given Logan his foam, for a while, asking about the availability of rooms. They were led away by the cheerful fat man. Moments later, they returned. The dirt had been washed from their faces. Beer was brought to them, and the food came later. Logan goggled at the vast amount. How could four small people eat so much? The younger of them laughed as they ate and drank, but the older one, the leader, had a thoughtful expression on his face, as if there was a lot on his mind. That did not interest Logan in the least. Now that he'd drunken and eaten, he wanted to sleep and take a bath, not in that order. He didn't know why Strider was being so mysterious, as if telling him a wee bit more was going to kill him. Instead, he leaned back in his chair and did as Strider had told him; he watched the 'hobbits' through half-closed eyes.
The two younger ones seemed to be enjoying themselves and even the older ones were beginning to relax. Their tankards of beer were about the same size as their heads. It was a miracle that they could still walk in straight lines. Logan was very impressed. His keen ears caught snatches of their conversation over the din that the other patrons were making. The fat one —Logan was never one for being politically correct— was talking about the two of them and their incessant staring. He glanced at Strider to see if the other man had noticed that the 'hobbits' were getting suspicious. If Strider had noticed, he gave no indication of it. Instead, he calmly smoked his pipe.
The smell of smoke made Logan feel restless. He pulled a cigar out of his pocket. "What..." began Strider as Logan lit his cigar from his pipe.
"Sorry," said Logan, not sounding apologetic at all. "Couldn't be bothered goin' over to the fireplace." He put his cigar to his lips and took a deep pull, closing his eyes in appreciation. Nothing could beat a genuine Cuban cigar. Too bad he only had two more left, and this place didn't look like it sold cigars, never mind the Cuban variety. As if to prove his suspicions, Strider stared at the cigar.
"What is that?" he asked.
"It's a cigar," replied Logan. "Sorta like your pipe, y'know. ExceptI can't recycle it."
"Use it again," amended Logan. "Anyway, aren't you supposed to be watching the 'hobbits'?"
"I can do two things at the same time," retorted Strider. "And can you please lower your voice? They're not supposed to know that we are actually watching them." That last part was said in a barely audible whisper, but Logan caught it. He shrugged, and went back to smoking his cigar.
Aragorn was not only watching the Hobbits, but he was watching Logan as well. That last whisper would have escaped the hearing of most men, especially since the Prancing Pony was a very noisy place, and yet Logan seemed to have heard it clearly, or else he would not have stopped talking. Well, maybe now was not the time to worry about who or what Logan was. He turned his full attention to the hobbits. One of the younger ones had left the vicinity of the inn, while the other three had gotten up to go to the common room in the inn where most of the merry making took place. He gave Logan a nudge.
"What?" asked the other man lazily.
"We're going to follow them," whispered Aragorn. "And please, try not to draw attention to yourself."
Logan snorted, but he did not give Aragorn a retort. Instead, he pressed the burning end of the 'cigar' against his palm to snub it out. The ranger winced as the smell of burnt flesh reached his nose, and he wondered if Logan truly had something wrong with his head. What sort of man would burn himself on purpose? At least the other man did not seem to be enjoying it. Logan took away the cigar and stuck it back in his pocket. There was a large circular burn in the centre of his palm. However, as Aragorn watched, the mark shrank, and the darkened flesh became healthy again. Within moments, the burn was gone, as if it had not been there in the first place.
"Weren't you going to follow them?" asked Logan, indicating the common room. The hobbits were already out of sight, and there were sounds of laughter coming from the half-closed door.
"I was," said Aragorn, determined to mask his shock.
Logan smirked. "Well, lead the way then," he said. The ranger glared at him, but said nothing as he slipped into the room silently, as if he was afraid of being seen. Logan sauntered in after him, still smirking. He knew he had scared Strider with that little trick of his, and that made him feel good.
The common room of the inn was filled with smoke from the pipes of the inn's patrons. Logan blinked a couple of times, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim light, which came from one fireplace and three lanterns hanging from rafters. The place looked positively medieval! He leaned against the wall, next to where Strider was standing, as stiff and straight as a pillar.
"You know, considering that this is a place of fun, you can relax a little," he suggested.
"Relax?" said Strider in a low voice. "What do you mean?"
"Are you trying to tell me that you don't know what the word 'relax' means?" said Logan incredulously. "Geez, I'm really beginning to think that I've fallen into Shakespeare's time!"
"Perhaps you can explain the meaning of the word to me," said Strider, still keeping his voice just loud enough for Logan's ears to catch the sound.
"You know, rest, take things easy..." Logan trailed off. "I'm beginning to feel like a dictionary."
"Oh...forget I said anything."
Logan looked around the room. There were a lot of hobbits there, and they sat with their own kind. There were also a few other short people with bushy beards and low rumbling voices which were like the sound of rocks tumbling off a cliff. "What the hell are they?" he blurted out, before he could think about whether he should say such a thing or not. Even worse, he hadn't even bothered lowering his voice.
The murmur of conversation decreased in volume, and most people turned in his direction. He glanced at Strider. Even though the other man's face was hidden by shadow, Logan sensed that he would have liked very much to kill him. Just as well that most of these people probably did not know what 'hell' was, or else they might just have tried that. Logan held up his hands in apology, and they all resumed their conversations.
"Did I not tell you not to draw attention to us?" hissed Strider.
"Hey, I drew attention to me," said Logan, shrugging. "They didn't really see you."
"Most of them did not, but some of them did," said Strider. Logan immediately turned his attention to his companion, for Strider's voice was edged with worry.
"Err...erm...sorry," said the mutant lamely. "I'll just shut up, okay?"
Having recently learned that 'okay' meant 'all right' in Logan's strange dialect, Strider nodded and did not pursue the matter further. Nor did he explain to Logan about why he was so worried. The two men simply stood in their corner and watched the goings on in the room. That was when he noticed that he and Strider weren't the only ones standing in the shadows and spying, for lack of a better word. There were other men there, and they didn't seem to be paying much attention to the numerous conversations. Instead, he got the distinct feeling that he was being watched. He straightened himself, preparing for a fight, only to have Strider tug on his sleeve subtly.
"Act normal," he whispered, and then he pulled Logan to a table. The two men sat down. Strider flagged down one of the barmaids and asked her to bring them two tankards of beer. The way she looked at him implied that she was afraid of him. She nodded quickly and fled before he could say any more. Moments later, she returned, deposited the beer on the table, quickly took the coins which Strider offered her, and almost tripped in her haste to get away.
"We're not that scary, are we?" said Logan as the girl disappeared back to the main dining hall.
"Breelanders do not like strangers very much," replied Strider, "especially not large strange looking men such as you and me."
"Sounds like a friendly bunch," said Logan, raising an eyebrow. Strider pushed one of the tankards towards him, and he took it with a nod of thanks. "At least the beer's good." He took an appreciative sip, at the same time looking out for those 'hobbits'.
The serious one had now retired to a corner and was watching his companions. The other two hobbits, who now had enough alcohol in their bloodstream to loosen their tongues, were telling stories from their home. Logan almost snorted out loud as they described their mayor as a 'floured dumpling'.
Strider had stretched out his long legs before him and was puffing steadily on his pipe. Unlike Logan, he did look as if he was just enjoying the atmosphere, even though the other man suspected that he had not let down his guard one little bit.
The serious hobbit was now talking to the innkeeper, who happened to be the man who had given Logan his tankard of foam. The mutant strained to hear what they were saying over the sounds of laughter coming from the table at the very centre. Someone was telling relatively obscene jokes, much to the delight of the inn's other customers. Occasionally, both the fat man and the hobbit glanced in their direction, and Logan heard Strider's name being mentioned, as well as 'that strange man with horns'. He was about to tell Strider, but the other man cut him off.
"I know what they're talking about," he murmured around the stem of his pipe. "It is quite obvious. Logan, would you mind moving aside for a while? I want to talk to the hobbit alone."
"What if I say that you're not going to be alone for a while because the hobbit's not the only one who's interested in you?"
At that declaration, Strider stopped pretending to be half asleep and straightened himself. Logan was right. There were men coming towards them, and they did not look friendly. Even worse, his sword was in four pieces.
"I've got your back, if anything happens," he heard Logan say.
"Thank you," he whispered. "And until something happens, can you please not say anything?"
Logan did something funny, and it seemed to Strider that he was miming pulling something along his lips, whatever that meant. The other man gave him an odd look, and then sighed. "Right," he said. "I guess you don't have zippers here either."
"Logan, you just promised not to say anything."
The group of men surrounded them before Logan could retort. The flickering fire in the hearth cast dark shadows on their faces, making them seem even more malicious. They regarded Strider with some hostility, and barely paid any attention to Logan, something which the latter decidedly detested.
"What business have you in Bree?" asked the spokesman. He was a short burly man with a flat face and curiously slanted eyes. His legs were bowed, and his shoulders were broad. Logan tried to guess his nationality, and failed.
"My kind wander here and there," replied Strider easily enough, taking his pipe out of his mouth just long enough for him to answer the question clearly. "It just happens so that I have to spend the night here."
The man narrowed his eyes at Strider. These rangers didn't just wander around aimlessly. They always had a goal. "What were you doing then?" he asked.
"Wandering, and searching for a living, as always," said Strider. He indicated his weathered clothes and rundown appearance. "A man has to live somehow, my friend."
Logan snorted, but he bit back any caustic remarks that he had been about to make. He had promised to keep quiet after all. However, he wondered how on earth Strider was able to be polite to these gits, who were being more than rude. If it had been him, he would have told them to bugger off. Perhaps 'bugger off' was not in Strider's vocabulary. The man spoke as if he had gone to a posh school, like Eton or something. 'Friend' was certainly not something which Logan would have addressed the burly stranger as.
Upon hearing the snort, Strider gave Logan a warning look, but it was too late. The Wolverine had achieved what he wanted; the men had noticed him. "And what's this?" asked the burly man, eyeing Logan with a sneer as if he was some sort of exotic but repulsive specimen.
"What?" demanded Logan. "What do you mean 'what'? I think you mean 'who', mister." He took one menacing step towards the short stranger. Broad-shouldered or not, he wouldn't last long against the mutant's superior size and strength, and not to mention the metal enforced fist. Logan wouldn't even need to use his claws. Only Strider's hand on his arm kept him from beating the man into a pulp. Damn it all, why was Strider so diplomatic? Hadn't he ever heard of 'violent negotiations'? That's what that Anakin fellow in those Star Wars movies used, and he ended up being king of the world, or something like that. The only things Logan had ever paid attention to in those movies were the fancy spaceships and that very cute princess. Or was she a queen? Well, she was a gun-wielding lady, and that was all he cared about.
"Well?" asked the burly man, crossing his arms triumphantly.
"I'm a mercenary and an assassin, if that's what you wanna know," growled Logan. He flexed his hands, as if to demonstrate just what he could do. It wasn't exactly a lie. He had assassinated people, and he had been someone's hired thug. He just wasn't either of those things at the moment.
Strider looked at him in alarm, and the burly rude stranger suddenly didn't look so confident. The mutant glared at them, and his top lip curled up a little, revealing straight white teeth. He knew he looked menacing. He was the Wolverine, for goodness' sake! Logan sat back down, satisfied with the result.
At that moment, cheers erupted from the gathered crowd, who had not noticed this confrontation in the shadows. A hobbit —that overly thoughtful one, to be exact— was being shoved onto the large table in the middle of the room, which, for the moment, served as an impromptu stage. "Sing!" the drunken crowd shouted. "Sing!" The hobbit looked stricken, and then he began to belt out a ridiculous song about cows flying over the moon, leaping and jumping like an Irish dancer. The malicious strangers forgot about Logan and Strider, and they melted away.
"There," said Logan so softly so that only Strider could hear him. "See? All you need to do is show a little bit of force."
"You didn't tell me that you're a mercenary," said Strider. He sounded rather hostile. Logan completely understood his sentiments. Being a hired thug wasn't exactly an esteemed profession.
"I was," said Logan. "I changed jobs; I'm a respectable teacher now."
"What do you teach?" asked Strider incredulously. Logan was so uncouth; he could ill-imagine him to be educated.
"Literature," said Logan smoothly. Then he grinned when he saw the look on Strider's face. "Nah, just kidding," he said. "I teach the kids self-defence and physical education. You know, make them run and jump and all that." That did not make the other man any less shocked. If anything, he seemed even more incredulous.
"You teach young goats self-defence?" asked Strider.
"No, not young goats," said Logan. God, didn't this man know any slang? 'They don't even have phones,' he reminded himself. "I teach children —where I come from, we call children 'kids'."
"Right," said Strider. Too bad he didn't have time to have an in-depth conversation with Logan right now. He was rather fascinating, if he was indeed telling the truth. The ranger turned his attention back to the dancing and singing hobbit on the table. Gandalf had told him that he should be looking for a hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins, but who should be going by the name of Underhill. He watched as the hobbit made high leap, and then lost his balance. As he was falling, he suddenly vanished.
"What the...?" said Logan, springing to his feet. "Did he just teleport?" Were there such things as mutant hobbits?
Strider had no time to answer him, for the whole room had gone silent, and then everyone started talking. He searched for signs of the hobbit. Nothing. Just before he was about to panic —inwardly, at least— he felt someone bump into his chair. On the floor sat the flustered hobbit, and he was gasping for breath. "What did you do that for, Mr. Underhill?" he demanded. "They're all talking about you now, and no doubt everyone will be looking for you."
"How did you know my name?" asked the startled hobbit.
"I hear things," said Strider. "No doubt others will know your name as well —not 'Underhill', but your real name— and you just stirred that pot of trouble with your finger."
"I don't know what you're talking about," said the hobbit.
"Oh, I think you do," said Strider very softly. The hobbit grew pale. "Now, if you please, go back and reassure your friends that you are quite all right, and once this mess has died down, I would like a word with you, Mr. Baggins."
"Baggins?" asked a rather perplexed Logan. "I thought his name was Underhill." A look from Strider silenced him. Well, he could keep quiet for now, but sooner or later, he was going to find out the truth. Once Logan got his claws into something, he never let go.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this. It's my first time writing bookverse, so if you have any tips, advice, and/or suggestions, then feel free to tell me. I consider everything.