Chapter Two

Holey Bike Shorts!

Surprisingly, Natasha doesn't kill me for the novel I'm writing about her and Clint. She just kind of clams up and refuses to look at Clint or me. Legolas and Clint continue to glare at one another, from opposite sides of the room. I don't think they'll ever get along.

Bruce and Tony have wandered off somewhere, and the rest of us are just kind of hanging around waiting. I'm not quite sure for what. Probably for me to figure out just how to write the Fellowship into the Avengers or visa versa but I gotta tell ya, I'm rather stumped.

So, we just…wait. Gimli's in the kitchen doing some baking, and Natasha and I are seated on the futon. The Hobbits are in a corner whispering (Plotting?), and random other characters meander in and out, casting looks my direction as if to say "figure it out already!" Trust me, guys, I wish I could, but this is all just a bit…odd. Odder than usual.

"So," Natasha says, taking my attention off the awkward silence. "The dark haired elf?"

I raise my brow. There's any number of dark haired elves wandering around among the golden and red haired ones.

"Not the twins, the other one."

I raise my other brow. Again, there's quite a few, though to be fair many of them are Peredhil, which isn't exactly elves, but more like Mongrels, but they're kind of proud of it.

"Not the healer guy either…" She sighs and gestures towards the bathroom. "The one on his hands and knees cleaning the bathroom in nothing but bike shorts!"

Oh! "That would be Erestor. What about him?" I glance his way, my eye appreciatively running over those aforementioned bike shorts hugging his elven frame. I do love when Erestor cleans the bathroom!

"Why is he just wearing bike shorts?" she asks, her eyes roaming as well.

"Some things we just do not question," I tell her. "We just accept."

"And enjoy the view?"

"Exactly."

"Okay, that works for me."

We both sigh about the same time identical twangs sound from opposite sides of the room. And the next thing I know, Erestor shrieks and falls flat on his face, an arrow protruding from each cheek (And not the ones on his face!)

I glare at the elven arrow, obviously of Eryn Lasgalen make in the standard green and yellow, while Natasha glares at the SHIELD issued arrow. Seems our archers have found something of a common ground after all.

Clint smirks and looks rather smug. Legolas, on the other hand, looks rather guilty. This is all kind of out of character for him. His jealousy is way out of place since he knows my heart is taken by the Balrog Slayer. Cute he may be, but he's not Glorfindel. (And Glorfindel isn't Clint Barton but I'm not about to acknowledge THAT attraction with the master assassin from Russia in denial sitting less than two feet from me!)

Speaking of Balrog Slayers, Glorfindel, his attention caught by the elvish cursing from the bathroom floor, sticks his head in and asks, "Are you well, Erestor?"

"Do I look well? There are two arrows in my arse!" Erestor snaps in that way only Erestor can, the manner that makes even Glorfindel take a step back.

But you don't kill a balrog if you're easily intimidated by near naked Chief Councilors flat on their faces with arrows in their ass. "Indeed."

Elrond steps in, shaking his head and taking assessment of the situation and most likely deciding how best to remove the arrows quickly without Erestor killing him, but suddenly Pippin shoves past him into the small room, his eyes wide. "Erestor? Are you dead? Say you aren't dead!"

"I'm not dead."

Merry pushes in to gape at the spectacle, because Erestor isn't humiliated enough at this point. "Whatever you do, don't answer Namo's call! Stay with us!"

Erestor groans. "I will walk this world as one of the Houseless before I go to that nutcase's halls!" Erestor snaps.

"Well, that's it," Pippin states matter-of-factly, "he's dying."

"Please do not die, Erestor!" Merry pleads.

Elrond rolls his eyes, unable to handle the medical emergency with distraught Hobbits in the way. He gives them a stern look. "If you wish to help Erestor, I need you both to go outside and find me a blue flower with red thorns."

Merry and Pippin glance at each other before rushing outside, two Hobbits on a mission for Agent Smith… Errr… Elrond. Frodo, who's been watching with casual interest, turns to Sam. "How long do you think it will take them to realize it was a Shrek gag?"

Sam just blinks at him, and Frodo drops his head into his palm. "I'll send Elladan and Elrohir to find them later. Blue flower with red thorns… Sheesh."

Natasha sits back looking a bit overwhelmed, which considering the things she's seen is rather surprising. "Is it always like this here?"

"Pretty much," I tell her. "And you never know just who might turn up."

The words are hardly out of my mouth when music that I suppose is meant to sound like an angel symphony but really sounds like Tinkerbell fills the air. I groan. A moment later, there in the middle of the living room stands Lord Námo himself…sans his normal black attire. Indeed, sans any attire at all! For the love of Manwë, he's BUCK ASS NAKED, unless you count the blue and yellow polka dotted shower cap covering his dark locks. He's got a chartreuse towel tucked under one arm and is holding a loofa and a rubber ducky.

"Do I want to know?" Natasha asks, looking as stunned as I feel, though really, at this point nothing should surprise me.

"Son of a bitch," Tony squawks as he walks in with Bruce. "What the hell?"

Bruce just stares a moment, then casually walks back out the door. I don't really blame him. The last thing we need is for him to Hulk out…or burst into hilarious laughter as Clint is doing. Steve, sulking in a corner (I still haven't figured out what his issue is. I always took him for a big sweetie) suddenly takes notice of the new arrival and turns the color of red thorns. The regulars only give Námo a glance and then go back to worrying about Erestor.

I roll my eyes and shove aside the wish to hide in a closet. Closets aren't safe in my house. You never know who might turn up in one. Or come out of one. "That would be Námo, Lord of Mandos. You would probably call him Lord of the Dead but that's not exactly right. It's complicated."

"More complicated than gods from Asgard?" Clint asks, holding his side from the laughter. "Because Thor and Loki were rather complicated, but that?" He points at Námo, who is completely unphased or ashamed in his nude form (a body is really pretty much the same thing as clothes to a Vala). "That's just…" He bursts out laughing again.

"I think I made a wrong turn," Námo states, looking around. "This isn't the baths on Saturn's rings."

I blink. Baths on Saturn's rings?

"Don't ask," Námo says, and I think if the Lord of Mandos says don't ask, you don't ask.

In the distance I hear a bit of thunder. Is it going to rain? It was perfectly sunny earlier, when I'd looked outside, before — Well, I glance around at the utter chaos that is my life…again — before THIS happened! "Definitely more complicated, though certainly not more ridiculous." I gesture at the Lord of Mandos. "Loki wouldn't show up naked."

A booming voice fills the room. "How little you know my brother, Authoress. He would indeed show himself naked."

Well, well, well… Guess that explains the thunder. It was inevitable, I suppose, that with speaking of gods and the Valar, that Thor has arrived. Why do I have the feeling that can't be a good thing?

To Be Continued….

Author's Note: I was kind of disappointed at the limited response so far to this story. Is it just not working? Alas, Hulk is sad. Sad Hulk cries. Crying Hulk floods the house. Please review. I know you'd probably rather I finish something else, but as I have stated, Legs is NOT HERE! My Tolkien muse is NOT cooperating and this is what I got. Maybe I should take a hint and just not go there. *sigh* Alas, this muse disguised as Nick Fury holding me hostage at gun point just won't shut up. Sorry…