Title: "Stopover in Middle-Earth"

Author: Darkover

Rating: K

Disclaimer: I do not own the character of Buffy from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer;" as far as I know, Joss Whedon does. I certainly do not own any of the characters of "The Lord of the Rings," which was written by J.R.R. Tolkien. No infringement of copyright is intended or should be inferred. I am not making any money off of this, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so please do not sue!

Characters: Buffy Summers, Angmar the Witch King, Eowyn, Merry Brandybuck

Summary: The forces of good are not idle, and that means sometimes destinies overlap. One shot.

Buffy threw herself into the vortex.

For a long moment, there was nothing except a swirl of colors and sounds. And then…

Buffy found herself standing on what looked like a battlefield. Some heavy-duty fighting had been going on. Lying on the field of battle was a young blonde woman in armor; her arm was hanging at such an angle that it was clear the limb was broken. Nearby was a very short barefooted guy, similarly dressed, so short that he must have been a midget or something. Both of them were unconscious.

Advancing on the woman warrior and her short friend was something that made Angelus, in full game face, look like a cuddly puppy. He—Buffy could not tell the being's gender for sure, but it didn't look like anybody who spent much time getting in touch with its feminine side—was very tall, black-robed, wore some kind of wicked-looking crown, and had no face. None at all, as far as the Slayer could see. More importantly, it had a flaming sword and a vicious, deadly-looking studded mace. Who or whatever this being was, it was making her Spidey-sense jump up and down screaming.

"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey," the creature said in a sibilant whisper, advancing on her.

Buffy stepped up to defend the two unconscious people. "Back off, tall, dark, and creepy! Take a hint—you don't want to mess with the Slayer!"

"Fool! No mortal Man can slay me!"

"I'm no man!" Snatching up a sword, Buffy drove it directly into the dark creature's face, or where a face would have been.

The creature made a hideous noise, shuddered violently, and then all the life, such as it was, seemed to go out of him. He imploded, falling in upon himself, emitting a great noise and a terrible stench as he collapsed. Incredibly, no one took any immediate notice, perhaps because they were all occupied with this own share of the fighting.

Buffy dropped the sword. The swirl of light, color, and sound began again….

Just before she faded from that world to go to another one, Buffy thought vaguely; Well, that was weird. Wonder what *that* was all about. Hope I did some good….