Title: Things start to fall apart, the center cannot hold.
Disclaimer: all I own is these two Sues. The odd phrase has been lifted from LotR. No, I'll rephrase that: the well-written phrases have been lifted from LotR. The odd ones are all mine.
A/N: I compounded the offence of reasonable grammar and spelling, which was commented on by one reviewer, by checking, correcting and reloading chapter 4. I apologise for the mini-balrog in this chapter; it was created on purpose. I also apologise for the cardboard cutouts, as far as characterisation is concerned, of the Fellowship that Mary Sue and Sue Mary seem to be travelling with.
The conflicting continua continued to strive for balance, and things kept changing.
Mostly, the plot continuum, or what was left of it, managed to retain a fragile balance, but the efforts of Lharalavantariel and Assansaibrivilieth to regain control of the story were starting to affect the combined film/book/slashverse continuum. Tension on the fabric of the continuum grew, and the effects were rippling through Middle-Earth like waves.
There are some things that even an ancient ball of rock that can survive a fire or being dropped from Orthanc can't take, and reality snapping in and out of focus all the time is one of them.
Saruman's Palantir cracked as he tried to wrest control of the Stone from Sauron. Denethor watched in horror as his Palantir turned translucent and shattered. Sauron's Palantir remained whole, but would only show the common room of the Barad-dur guards - not a pretty place by any account.
In plothole-torn Rivendell a golden-haired Elf walked back from the stables, and wondered what was going on. *Why* was Arwen's saddle in Asfaloth's stable?
Far to the south, a Haradrim tribe renounced Sauron, proclaimed that they were in favour of world peace and turned to cultivating pink roses. This was all rather pointless, as they were slaughtered by four neighbouring tribes within a month. The climate wouldn't have been right for roses anyway.
Somewhere far east of Mirkwood, a herd of pale blue unicorns fled when a dragon flew overhead.
Deep under Isengard, Lurtz and his Uruk-Hai popped out of existence as if they had never been. Ugluk paced up and down, snarling, awaiting Saruman's orders. He suspected they would be even less pleasant than usual, judging from the enraged sounds coming from the wizard's rooms.
Many things happened in many places, and still the ripples of instability continued to move through Middle Earth.
The group stood around, discussing the road ahead and arguing about how they should continue. Strider apparently wanted to try that mountain Assansaibrivilieth could never remember the name of, Boromir wanted to go south, Gimli wanted to say something, but couldn't get a word in, the Hobbits and Legolas kept quiet, and Gandalf was arguing for Moria. Assansaibrivilieth decided she *really* ought to take charge of the story here, as neither she nor Lharalavantariel fancied dragging themselves up and down that silly mountain for nothing, even if the snowy background would make them look stunningly pretty in their furlined cloaks. Lharalavantariel also hoped that, if they changed the story enough, she could keep Boromir alive.
"Gentlemen! Enough! The night isn't getting any younger, and we shouldn't stand aroung arguing when it's obvious where we should go," Assansaibrivilieth announced, though she wasn't pleased about having to agree with Gandalf, as she still hadn't forgiven him for that scolding over her sleeping while on guard. The others looked at her, waiting for an explanation.
"Moria, of course!" she continued. "Isn't it obvious? If we go over that mountain, we'll be visible to Saruman's spies all the way across... we should go through Moria, it's much safer." Gandalf appeared surprised at her support for his suggestion, and it was clear Strider didn't agree, though he didn't say anything.
"Very well, then," Gandalf said, "we will go through Moria. We will rest here tonight and travel on tomorrow morning."
Frodo looked annoyed, almost as if he had expected to be consulted in the decision.
The plan for the next day made, all fell into silent thought, and listened to the wind hissing among the rocks and trees, and there was a howling and wailing round them in the empty spaces of the night.
Assansaibrivilieth suddenly remembered from reading The Hobbit many years before, that there actually were wolves in Middle Earth, and that they were pretty nasty animals.
"Oh, no! Wolves!" she screamed. Strider had leapt to his feet.
"The Wargs have come west of the Mountains," he cried.
"We cannot travel in the dark; we must defend ourselves in this place," Gandalf said.
They made a fire in the middle of a circle of stones on the top of the small hill on which they had been sheltering. Those that were not on guard dozed uneasily.
Lharalavantariel was near to panic, while Assansaibrivilieth seemed to be looking forward to a fight.
"What's up with you?" Lharalavantariel asked her friend. "It's all going wrong, this wasn't in the film, we're going to die horribly, and you stand there grinning like a complete moron, because you want to show off how good you are to we-both-know-who!"
"You should talk, Miss Ooh-Borimor-my-feet-are-sore!" Assansaibrivilieth snapped back at her. "And it's not like anything really bad can happen to us anyway!"
"Oh, why not?" Lharalavantariel replied.
"Because we're Mary Sue and Sue Mary and nothing bad can happen to us here, certainly not now those horrible PPCers have gone for good! And I put some extra protection in that spell I did as well, so we're really safe here. Honest." Assansaibrivilieth reassured Lharalavantariel.
"Oh, okay then," a somewhat calmer Lharalavantariel agreed, "but where did the wolves come from then?"
Assansaibrivilieth ignored this last question, partly because she didn't know the answer, and partly because suddenly the howling of the wolves was all around them, and many shining eyes were seen peering over the brow of the hill.
Lharalavantariel backed away as close to the fire as she could get without setting her skirt on fire. Assansaibrivilieth, on the other hand, stood waiting for something to happen, when a wolf-shape appeared in a gap in the circle, gazing at them. Just as Gandalf was about to stand up, Assansaibrivilieth raised her hands and shot a fireball at the wolf, which jumped back, easily evading her aim. The wolf howled and it suddenly grew quiet, as if the pack had disappeared.
The night passed without further incident, and they set off for Moria the next morning, on their guard in case the wolves came back. Gandalf urged them to hurry, pointing out that the wolves were most likely still around.
"We must reach the doors before sunset," he said, "or I fear we shall not reach them at all if the wolves return."
The girls looked at each other at these words; Assansaibrivilieth motioned Lharalavantariel to follow her.
"We'd better be certain the wolves aren't coming back," Assansaibrivilieth said. "We must do the same as when we moved us closer to the mountains before." Lharalavantariel couldn't agree more, and they concentrated on bending the story their way.
Again, they were successful, but their intervention created yet another plothole, destabilising the continuum even further.
They moved at a brisk pace, the two girls struggling to keep up on the rough terrain. It took them most of the day to reach the lake in front of the gates and it was already growing dark when they made their way around it.
While Gandalf and the others concentrated on finding and opening the doors, Lharalavantariel pulled Assansaibrivilieth aside.
"Can we open that door already? I don't want to wait for that monster. Who knows what wi.... Hey," she suddenly changed the topic, "we *forgot* to bring the *pony*!! Assansaibrivilieth, come back!"
As soon as Lharalavantariel had mentioned the word 'door', Assansaibrivilieth had run off to the group at the entrance. "Hey, it's easy!" she exclaimed, "the word is 'mellon'."
The gates reacted as they were supposed to. Slowly, they opened, and a great stair leading into darkness opened before the Fellowship. Anxious to not meet that horrid giant octopus up close, Lharalavantariel and Assansaibrivilieth were the first to rush in, and they were followed rather more reluctantly by the rest of the company.
While Lharalavantariel asked Gandalf how they were going to close the gates from the inside, Assansaibrivilieth was throwing rocks into the lake from just inside, irritated that they'd forgotten to bring the cute pony and that Lharalavantarielwas asking that stupid old wizard for advice, rather than her. She was told to stop by Frodo, and did so reluctantly.
The harm had already been done though, and suddenly a tentacle lashed out from the water, grabbing Frodo and starting to drag him into the water. Sam, who was closest, was slashing at the tentacle with a knife, and as the arm let go of Frodo, they ran up the stairs as quickly as they could. Behind them, Lharalavantariel's question about the door was answered, as about twenty tentacles grabbed hold of the doors and slammed them shut.