Inserted in Chapter 1, just after Buffy & Dawn's first encounter with the Kratha demon. Before the scene in Seacouver at Duncan's house.
Middle-earth, next to the stone circle, mere moments after Methos and Legolas's disappearance...
"The solution to the puzzle appears to have worked," Arwen observed faintly looking around the clearing which now held two fewer people.
"Worked too well, if you ask me," Gimli complained. "Why did those lights take Legolas too? Adam was the only one looking to go home."
"I'd guess it is because he is also an immortal, though of a different variety," Aragorn speculated.
Gimli grunted noncommittally at this observation and said, "What I want to know is how to get him back."
"Is there anything we can do?" Arwen asked.
Aragorn thought over what he'd been told of the workings of the 'Gates' then answered, "I believe all we can do is wait."
"Wait?!" Gimli protested, worried about his friend.
"Legolas is likely with Adam in his world as Adam was with us in ours, he will be fine for the time being. In all likelihood, he must simply wait for the time to be right to make his return. Adam did say that these stones only worked once a year, the ones on the other side probably work in much the same way," Aragorn explained his theory.
"And if they don't?" Gimli asked.
"I don't know what we'll do," Aragorn admitted. "But, if the stones work as Adam believes they do, Legolas should return six months from now. We should wait for that time to pass with no sign of him before we begin to worry in earnest."
Gimli looked over the clearing in silence for a moment then asked, "I wonder what strange tales we will hear from him come summer?"
"I wonder that as well," Arwen agreed.
* * *
Inserted in Chapter 11, the day after they dusted the vampires at the school, just before the conversation in the kitchen between Joe, Legolas, and Buffy.
Per Legolas's instructions, Buffy had retrieved the target normally kept in the basement for stake tossing practice and set it up at the far end of the yard. Then she attentively listened to Legolas's in-depth description of all things regarding archery, from bow manufacture to the best stance for a quick aim--for the first hour at least. Then Buffy's eyes started to glaze over. Legolas--totally immersed in his most favorite topic and completely oblivious to Buffy's reaction--nattered on about the finer points of archery for another half hour.
Buffy, unable to take anymore, finally interjected, "You know, that's all really fascinating, great info, good to know and all, but maybe we could skip to the hands on portion of the lesson. I've always been the jump right in and get started type when it comes to learning stuff."
"I suppose we could do that," Legolas said reluctantly. As much as he liked introducing all and sundry to his favorite sport/pass-time/way-of-life, the thought of putting his 'baby'--his Lothlorien bow--in the hands of a rank amateur was slightly worrisome. "But, you must understand. Archery is an art. It takes years simply to learn the proper method of drawing a longbow. Don't be disappointed if your efforts don't yield swift success," Legolas cautioned as he slowly handed over his beloved weapon.
"Cool," Buffy said, getting her first up-close look at the bow. "Arrow?" she asked holding out one hand for one.
Legolas took one out of his sorely depleted quiver and handed it to Buffy. Noting that he had a grand total of five arrows left, Legolas made a mental note to spend the next few days replenishing his stock.
Keeping in mind everything Legolas had said during his interminable lecture, Buffy fit the arrow to the bowstring, pulled back, and let the arrow fly--all in one smooth motion. A split second later the arrow thwacked home in the target, four inches to the left of center. Buffy wrinkled her nose in consternation, and conceded, "You're right, getting the hang of this is going to take some time."
"Are you sure you've never used a longbow before?" Legolas quizzed Buffy.
"Uh... no. Why?" Buffy asked puzzled, they'd been over that already.
"For a first effort, that was amazing," Legolas said in wonder, mystical duties and a little hand to hand combat predisposed the elf to respect Buffy as a warrior. But, being a prodigy with a bow and arrow, that really meant something. "I've never seen anyone learn so fast, not even the hunters of Mirkwood--the best archers in Middle-earth."
"But I missed," Buffy protested, not getting what the big deal was.
"You hit the target," Legolas pointed out.
"And that's unusual for a first time out?" Buffy asked.
"Extremely," Legolas confirmed.
"Slayer powers," Buffy shrugged the matter aside, "go figure."
* * *
Inserted in Chapter 14, just after Methos and Buffy killed the fishy demons in that factory.
Duncan and Anya were comparing notes on rare artefact dealers and discussing the cross polination between the antiquities and mystical items trades when Legolas strolled into the shop.
"I was wondering where you were when Methos came in without you a few minutes ago," Duncan remarked.
"I took Dawn's suggestion and stopped in at Baskins & Robbins. A very hobbit-like invention, icecream. I'm surprised no one in Middle-earth ever thought of such a simple thing as freezing milk, cream, and flavorings, considering the results," Legolas explained.
"Icecream's a better invention than automobiles?" Duncan asked, grinning in bemusement.
"Infinitely better," Legolas agreed with a grin of his own, recognizing the seeming ridiculousness of his statement no matter the truth of it.
"But cars are almost inseparably linked to modern capitalism and consumerism. Even without the boon of increased mobilization, the way Henry Ford revolutionized industry alone makes automobiles the better invention--even if the idea was originally conceived by a demon who was tired of dealing with terrified horses and despite the fact that I personally like icecream better, especially if it's strawberry with chocolate syrup--cars are still the better invention," Anya lectured in all seriousness.
Duncan and Legolas paused for a minute, both at a complete loss for words after Anya's impassioned and somewhat odd speech. Then Duncan broke the silence by asking, "Since Methos didn't mention anything, I'm guessing you two didn't find anything on your search this morning?"
"No signs at all," Legolas confirmed. "It appears we must wait till the ceremony itself before we can attack."
"When Methos and Buffy get back, we'll draw up a plan of battle," Duncan replied.
"Get back from where?" Legolas asked.
"They went to kill some fish demons Buffy ran across," Anya answered.
"Buffy didn't think it'd be much of a fight," Duncan elaborated at Legolas's interested look. The elf was used to keeping busy, Duncan could tell all this wandering around town, looking for things that weren't there, was wearing on Legolas's nerves--the elf was getting bored. Duncan was a little bored himself, come to think of it. "Methos only went along to get his first up-close and personal look at demons."
"I've gotten everything I can do today done already," Anya suddenly said. "What are we going to do with the rest of the afternoon?"
"I don't know," Duncan said, brow wrinkled in thought.
"We've done all we can at present to prevent what is to come and weapons practice as well," Legolas added.
"Well, if neither of you have any suggestions, I've got an idea," Anya chirped brightly. "Miniature golf."
"Miniature golf?" Duncan asked incredulously.
"Everyone likes miniature golf," Anya declared. "Besides, it's not like you have any better suggestions."
Legolas shrugged his agreement to the suggestion not having any idea what miniature golf was but willing to try anything at least once--almost anything anyway.
"Miniature golf it is then," Duncan agreed.
Anya fetched her coat and purse. Then the peculiar threesome went out for an afternoon of miniature golf.
On the travel stuff:
I put Seacouver in Washington State, on the coast, right across from Vancouver Island because there's a National Park there and there were all those first season Highlander episodes where they went out in the woods. That would make it about a two hour drive to Seattle. L.A. is about a 24 hour drive from Seattle, so you'd definitely want to fly if you're going from Washington State to Southern California and aren't up for a roadtrip. Yes, there is something wrong with me. I go to an atlas site and look up distances for a work of fiction. Real life, I make stuff up.
Sorry, no Buffy/Legolas romance. I have this thing, I won't write non-canon based romance. Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike I might one day write. A little mutual admiration, light flirtation, maybe a fling, between a non-canon couple I might do, depending on how it goes. I feel comfortable making characters from two different sources friends, but true love is a little too much for me.
I can guarantee no Dawn romance of any kind (at least not any time soon). I think present day Dawn/any fully adult character fic is kind of creepy. She's just a kid. If I were going to hook her up with anyone, he'd have to be her own age and I don't have any candidates.
Thank you for reading and for all the kind reviews. I do take reader suggestions into consideration. If there's something you want to see, let me know. Heck, Methos wasn't even suppose to be in this one and now he's a co-star. I'm not making any promises, mind you. I do have a definite plan for this story and some things just will not fit. But, if I can think of a good way to work it in, I'll try.
My personal rule for extra Hellmouth powers is that you have to either be there to have them or have lived there long enough for the Hellmouth to change you. Since Legolas is going home before too long, he's going to lose his extra healing powers when he leaves.
As you may have noticed, not everyone got X-mas presents. That is because I suck at thinking up gifts and I got halfway through the list and gave up. No one was actually snubbed. Pretend everyone got everyone else something really nice that they truly appreciated. If you have any ideas to fill in the gift giving gaps, email me or put it in a review and I'll use them for the revised edition.
And, as I'm sure people also noted, the whole cast isn't Christian, but that really isn't a prerequisite for celebrating the secular parts of the Holidays. In my entire life, I've never been to church outside of funerals and weddings. But, I still have a big gaudy tree in my living room and you have to give people stuff.
I know there's a lot more Buffy/Highlander stuff in this one than LOTR, and I do try to even things out, but six charaters versus one and they're in Sunnydale so LOTR just can't have as much page time, unless I made it Legolas centric. The fact that I've always seen Legolas as the hang in the background and not draw too much attention to himself with inane babble type doesn't help either.
In case I was too subtle about it--just with Whistler dropping hints that is--the major thing about this apocalyse wasn't so much the Mayor. I figure Buffy and/or Faith would have managed to stop that. The problem would be Faith (and probably Buffy with her) would have died. Then the next, actually super, Super-Big-Bad would be left with just some newbie Slayer as an opponent, and thus world end-age.
I was originally going to present my scheme of how come Dawnie's an Immortal, but then I thought of how little the Immortals know about their own origins and how very little is known about the Key. I decided leaving it mysterious was probably the best way. However, I will say this: Buffy canon stands. Dawn is the Key and was made from Buffy's blood. It's something about her keyness that caused her Immortality.
Next story in the series is going to feature Faith in Seacouver but I'm waiting till after the Buffy Season 7 finale to start, to see what Joss does. And, I'm not a fast writer. Don't expect anything new from me for several months yet.