Disclaimer: You recognize it, I don't own it.
A/N: Okay, all I have to say is that I really want REVIEWS! This is going to turn into a more serious story, probably, so it should be entertaining. I hope.
"You are NOT sending me home now," Janet protested loudly at Liz's suggestion. She actually made it seem much more like a command.
*Look,* Liz said, looking at them sternly. There was an elf designated to translate for them within the house that did not mind the presence of such an odd elf. *You guys have already been here too long. Think about how much everyone must be missing you guys by now, and let's not forget all the school work you guys have missed. I can't go back, but you guys have to.*
"We don't have to do anything," Kathy protested. Whether she was more upset about the prospect of going back to school or having to give up a land filled with incredibly good looking elves, no one could quite tell.
"Yeah, I don't want to go," Leigh complained.
"You have a boyfriend already," Louise reminded her. "You have no reason to stay here. You should go home. The rest of us will stay to keep Liz out of trouble."
Liz got a sudden idea that might throw them off and return home, if their reasons for staying were as she guessed. *Fine, you can come. I'm going to visit with the dwarves in the Lonely Mountain. Elrond says that maybe they can fix this.*
She smiled as she saw doubt cross all of their faces. The truth comes out at last, she thought to herself in satisfaction as they warily looked to one another, rethinking their decision to remain if it meant leaving this elven paradise. None of them really wanted to do that, this was the place where they were safe and living a dream come true.
"I'll still go," Ruth said shakily. "I want some adventure, anyway. This place was starting to get a bit dull."
She got looks from everyone as though she had said something completely blasphemous. She cringed slightly under their deathly glares, but remained firmly rooted in her decision and reason for it, though her reason was a blatant lie.
Liz swore inwardly at her bad luck. She could see a few of the others join in Ruth's decision, though no one else would ever say that this place was boring. She had so dearly hoped that this plan would work, that someone would break and just leave for home.
"We have to stay anyway," Nicole said from a work table piled high with miscellaneous papers. She put down the quill that she had finally learned how to use and sighed slightly. "The wormhole moved to somewhere in Mordor, and it's staying there for about three years. We have to go there if we want to go home."
"I still want to know how you learned all this astrophysics stuff," Janet remarked.
*Fine then,* Liz said, accepting defeat. *I wasn't actually going there anyway. I just wanted you guys to go home. We have been invited to a second council tomorrow to decide what to do and to find out more about this fic author.*
"I can't believe you lied to us like that!" Leigh exclaimed.
"Yeah," Ruth said, "but I think we'll forgive her. Now what about this author? I don't know anything about how this is any different from the movie."
*That's why you need to read the book,* Liz commented amusedly. *From what I've seen, whoever wrote this has read the books and seen the movie.*
"They read it? Oh yeah, Faramir. Aragorn has a sense of humor," Nicole added.
"I don't think they liked the ending to the book much either. Elrond is still here- What is wrong with you?" she asked, turning to Ruth who had her hands clapped over her ears and muttering something to keep out their voices.
"Don't tell me what happens!" she exclaimed to them. "I haven't read the books yet!"
*The elves here all know the tale,* Liz said, her patience beginning to get to her. *If you really want to know what happened, go and ask one of them. They're always telling stories around meal times. Oh, and Frodo has all of his fingers here and Pippin is his movie self.*
Ruth made a spasm to cover her ears and a noise of partial annoyance and partial rage. Liz surpressed laughter beneath a broad smile, as the rest of them managed to do. They were all sure to take note of how to bother her for later.
The discussion of differences continued long into the evening, none really noticing that Liz had mentioned hobbits enough to question if they were here and none saw them that night at dinner amongst the laughter and mirth being spread amongst the room. Ruth spent the night listening to the tale of the ring as the elves knew it and Liz stayed to herself, often excusing herself for walks beneath the stars.
The next morning they were awoken by the translator, Celebwen. "You are all expected to attend the council today," she said as she arose them from their beds. "Where is Liz today? Has she gotten up and about already? It seems so early for those from where you come from."
"She's been a bit weird lately," Kathy said moodily as she got out of bed. Others had already done so and some followed her.
"Why can't you invent coffee?" Janet asked helplessly as she took a drink of fruit juice from one of the cups on the table. "When is this council, anyway?"
*An hour,* Liz said brightly as she came in, fully dressed and wide awake already in a tunic and breeches. She had fallen in love with the elven clothing and styles as soon as she had arrived and now freely wore them, immersing herself in the culture. *You guys had better get ready quickly, though. The more exciting stuff happens before the council starts.*
These words could not make any of them move any faster at their task of readying themselves and they arrived at the council right on time, twenty minutes after Liz had. They were surprised to find that not only the expected array of elves, as well as Aragorn and the Rangers had attended the meeting, but there were also hobbits in attendance as well as Legolas Greenleaf and Gimli, son of Gloin. They had no time to question, however, as Elrond began.
"Most of you already know why you have been summoned, though some are new to these matters and must be informed. There is a new threat rising from the east that is abruptly becoming a threat too great to ignore much longer. We must neutralize it immediately, before the new armies it is raising becomes immense for us to deal with. You have been called upon because you have already faced the wrath of Sauron first hand and know of what happened with the one ring. The knowledge of that ring is vital because this new threat is seeking to forge it anew."
"We know why we're here," Gimli said gruffly. "What about them?" He gestured vaguely to the girls who were, for the most part, listening intently.
"You're going to Mordor?" Nicole asked, making sure all this talk of the land in the east was indeed the right place. "We have to go there to get back home. And maybe find a way to fix Liz on the way."
*What do you mean maybe fix Liz?* Liz asked with extra sarcasm. *That was the whole reason you brought us here in the first place!*
"What is wrong with her?" Legolas asked, seeing no problem with anyone knowing and speaking in elvish.
Liz's friends looked at him incredulously. "She doesn't speak English!" Kathy exclaimed, stating what she saw as the most obvious thing in the world. "We have to fix her before we go home or else..." She left the end open, not for dramatic effect, but because she did not know what to say next.
"Is that indeed all?" a voice asked from behind them. An old man in a weather worn gray cloak stepped into the council area from the greenery that surrounded it. "That is a simple matter to solve."
"Gandalf!" many cried. The hobbits got up and mobbed him with hugs and words of greeting. It seemed that he was unexpected to all but Elrond, who only smiled slightly at his arrival. He took a seat once he managed to shake the hobbits and waited for the council to resume.
"I do not think it wise to take innocents into such a dangerous place," Aragorn said, looking at the girls as they shot each other serious looks not to laugh at term that he had used for them. "It would not be safe and they would only hinder our speed which is vital to the quest."
*Don't translate this,* she said quickly to the translator, not wanting her friends to hear her potentially insane idea. *Then you can just take me. The elves can do nothing to help me and I know, though Gandalf seems fairly confident, that he can't either.* She ignored Gandalf's snort. *I'm half elven now, I'll scout and be able to keep myself out of trouble if I need to. I don't particularly want to drag them into this, anyway. When it's safe to go, we can send the eagles back for them and bring them to the new wormhole.*
*It is not a good idea for any of you to face such dangers,* Aragorn retorted. *This is not a journey that will be like in the stories of old told round the fire, or however they are told in your world, but a serious quest. There will be much fighting and you will surely be in danger of being killed, untrained as you are.*
*How long could it possibly take for me to learn to use a bow or throwing knives? Since I got here, I have gotten better and better with all sorts of stuff that I couldn't do in my world unless my life depended on it. Now I'm here and my life does depend on it, so I will learn. And if you use that innocent little girl argument one more time, I will hurt you in a way that will have you down for a few minutes.*
Legolas let out a laugh. *She has spirit. Why not let us take her along, if she promises to take care of herself so well? If she becomes a hindrance, we can send her back on one of the horses to a safe place.*
"Then it's decided," Elrond said before Aragorn could figure out something to say in retort. He had liked Aragorn well enough for the husband of his daughter, but he could be so stubborn at times. "The new company of nine, in honor of the original quest for the ring and the second course to destroy it. You set out tomorrow, for it is best this time to make haste in your departure."
"What happened?" Louise asked, at a loss to figure out what had just happened. The rest of the council that did not speak elvish had similar looks on their faces and were trying to piece together the events that had just occurred without much success.
*Celebwen, don't tell them,* Liz said to the silvery hared maiden who looked as though she were about to do just that. She turned to her friends. *They wouldn't let me go,* she said, sounding as disappointed as she could. *They're taking Faramir instead.*
"Why would you want to go at all?" Leigh asked. "Look around! We have everything we need here."
*You already have a boyfriend,* Liz reminded her.
"No kidding," Kathy said. "Leave the hot elves to us."
Gandalf laid a hand on Liz's shoulder, startling her slightly. She snapped around to look up at the old man's kind face. "I still think there may be a chance to- what was the term you kept using?- 'fix' you. I do think that I could."
Liz smiled. *Go for it,* she said, sitting back into a seat with her arms crossed over her chest. *If I'm turned into a frog or something, though, I blame you.*
Gandalf said nothing more and proceeded to take up his staff and begin on a few spells. Liz's friends all watched in amazement as various spells were cast, some doing little more than tousling her hair slightly, some creating large colored whirlwinds that lifted her along with her chair up a few feet in the air. Not one of them had any effect.
*Knew it,* Liz said once Gandalf set his staff aside. *I'm hungry, who wants to grab a bite to eat?*
Laughing and joking, they spent the rest of the day discussing the oddness of Rivendell with all of these strange peoples about and how unfortunate it was that Leigh was not permitted to flirt with the elves. They enjoyed the food, but were beginning to feel homesick and hoping that it would not be too long before they could return to hamburgers and pizza from all of these natural foods. Even Ruth seemed to agree that she would probably give up all of this in an instant for a pizza, no matter how artificial and fattening it was.
A few of the girls, Janet in particular, had begun to get the feeling that everyone was in on a secret and they were not being told of it, though they all kept their thoughts to themselves until she fell asleep. Leigh woke up soon after with a dryness in her mouth to go out in search of water.
Liz came in a moment later, tired and looking a little dead on her feet. She looked ready to go out at a moments notice, wearing a travelers cloak and sturdy clothing for a long trek. She was muttering something to herself over and over, but, without Celebwen there to translate, Leigh had no idea what it was. Liz dropped a bag at the foot of her bed and fell asleep instantly with boots still on, unaware that Leigh was there at all.
Leigh shrugged, thirst forgotten, and went back to sleep herself, thinking of how perfect this venture was, even if everyone kept telling her that she couldn't flirt with the hot elves. It wasn't like the fact that she had a boyfriend could stop her from doing anything in this hot guy paradise.