Explanation: When I was writing this, I had trouble dividing the story into chapters, and so I wrote an extra piece. In the end, it didn't really seem to fit in, so I left it out and archived it to the "X-Files."

"Part 3" or The Deleted Scene

[Continues from where the Fellowship is on their way to the meeting of Balefire Society and Boromir has claimed to be well and labeled Aragorn's inquiries as nonsense.]

"Is it, now… Boromir?" asked Aragorn softly and leaned toward Boromir, who suddenly decided his place was not by Aragorn's side, but rather by anyone else's side. He surrounded himself with all the hobbits he could find and grabbed by accident one extra that happened to be an unlucky passer-by.

"I rest my case," stated Aragorn, more amused than agitated.

All those past months, the Company had traveled with only one comb to share. All those months had passed without anyone touching that comb, since Gimli the dwarf had vowed not to touch a comb touched by an Elf. All the uncombed months had certainly left their marks on his beard and hair, which both had turned into a fantastic mess. Legolas the Elf would have been even more amused at this, had he not been preoccupied with his own woes. Gimli's beard became a legend and a constant source of entertainment, especially to "the cursed elf."

For instance, heard one morning at the camping site:

"Has anyone seen the frying pan?" Merry looked around accusingly, but no one confessed to the disappearance. He bored his eyes to Gimli's. "I left it there just a couple of minutes ago, right there where you are sitting."

Gimli denied any involvement with the mystery. He also took the opportunity to remind about his superior dwarven senses, which told him he had neither seen a frying pan nor was seated upon one.

The sight of Gimli's beard gave Merry and idea, he lifted the beard out of his way before the dwarf had time to object. "Here it is!" he cried happily at the sight of an old friend. The beard in his hands was now suspiciously vivid. He stuck his hands in, ignoring Gimli's angry protests, and pulled out a field mouse. "Oh, look, you have a mouse in your beard. Haven't you noticed anything?"

All except Gimli, the keen-sensing dwarf, joined him in his laughter. Frowning at the vividness of the beard, Merry stuck his hand inside once more and pulled out a litter of mousekins. That evoked a new bursts of mirth.

"Master Dwarf! I had no idea you were so fond of animals!" Legolas cried. "Maybe we should have accommodated the bear cub we saw to your beard. I am certain the mice would not have minded."

Amused sniggering was heard all over the camp, and that was something Gimli couldn't bear. His eyes shot daggers at the blasted elf. Dwarves do not lose to chattering elves where wordplay is concerned, he swore angrily.

"What fanatic ideas you fantasize, Master Elf. I do not fancy fandango such as this fantastic fantasy of yours."

The blasted elf grew vary and eyed his surroundings with a new interest. He seemed to almost prick up his pointed ears. Not willing to stop, Gimli added more heat:

"You seem to be in a fantigue, Master Elf. Surely it is merely the fantasist in your soul that gives the fantod." Legolas rose quickly muttering something about making an extra survey of the surroundings. He was just leaving the camp site as Sam cried out frantically:

"Where is Mr. Frodo?"

"Have you checked the beard?" answered a faint Elven voice from the forest. Sam chose to opt for a more thorough sweep in the surroundings. He threw a quick glance at Gimli's beardm, though, just to be safe. Suddenly, a terrified shriek echoed in the forest, followed by sword-slashing noises.

"It's Mr. Frodo!"

"And arachnids," added Aragorn absently.

THE END of The Chapter That Was Never Meant to Be

Notes: Thanks to all the readers over the years! The parody tag on this fic stands firm, and I thank you for your good humor. It is still painfully obvious that the fic hasn't been properly proofread, so… if anyone is up to the job, let me know. Thanks to you all.

Published September 3, 2002. Revised March 23, 2003. Revised 2010.