Of UNO and Thunderstorms

Chapter 26

Of UNO and Thunderstorms


Chapter Twenty Six

Francesca's POV

We travelled throughout the morning of the next day before stopping for lunch. Gollum ran off somewhere, Frodo was resting, and Sam and I were just chilling out. I picked up a particularly pointy stick and started drawing in the dirt with it, holding it like a pencil. Sam looked over my shoulder for a minute.

"What are you drawing, Miss Francesca?" he asked. "Sam, how many times must I ask you not to call me 'Miss'?" I replied. "At least once more, Miss Francesca. But it wouldn't exactly be proper for me to just call you Francesca." Sam insisted. Holy shit! He just quoted 'Pirates of the Caribbean'! I thought. "Fine. By the way, you just quoted the movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean'." I said. "Did I?" Sam asked. "Yes. Wait, how on earth do you know that movie? Did Kate and Olympia show you what movies are?" I wondered out loud, a small smirk on my face. "Yes, they did. I believe we watched 'Pirates of the Caribbean'." Sam told me. I burst out laughing at the thought of the Fellowship, Kate and Olympia sitting in their living room, completely sucked into that movie. I wondered who would have been the first to comment on how alike Legolas and Will Turner looked. Had I been there, it would have been me.

"It's something they would do." I shook my head. "Anyway, I am drawing a picture of that rabbit over there; but I haven't done a lot of rabbit anatomy so I'm pretty sure this is going to be awful." I changed the subject and pointed to a rabbit that was sitting under one of the scrawny bushes that was around. "That's not awful at all! It's a very good drawing, Miss Francesca." Sam complimented, looking at my drawing, then back at the rabbit. "Thanks." I said. Sam soon got up and started looking around. I continued drawing the rabbit.

Soon, Gollum came back carrying two dead rabbits with him. I glanced back at the rabbit I was drawing. The rabbit looked at Gollum, then at me, then scampered off. No! Son of a bitch scared off my rabbit! I pouted. Gollum quickly deposited the dead rabbits in Frodo's lap.

"Look. Look what Smeagol finds." Gollum said to Frodo, and started dancing around. Weird. Frodo had an amused smile on his face and looked at Sam, who sighed. I rolled my eyes and started to draw random squiggles in the dirt next to the rabbit. Then I heard a sickening crack and looked up to that Gollum had apparently snapped the spine of one of the rabbits. "They are young. They are tender. They are nice. Yes, they are. Eat them. Eat them!" Gollum exclaimed, then bit into one of the rabbits. I gagged. That's nasty! I thought.

Sam walked over and took the rabbits from Gollum. "You'll make him sick you will! Behaving like that. There's only one way to eat a brace of coneys." Sam scolded as he took out his cooking stuff and started getting ready to make a stew. "Sam, can I help?" I asked. I wanted to do something. Besides, I like cooking. Now, if only I could get Olympia and Kate to teach me how to make their famous tomato sauce. Apparently there's some sort of family secret to it or something like that. "Of course you can, Miss Francesca." Sam replied. Soon we had a nice little fire going and a stew boiling in the pot that Sam had. He stirred it and when I wasn't watching the fire I was drawing a picture of my cat Harry from memory in the dirt with my pencil/stick.

Soon, Gollum realized what we were doing and starting yelling in protest. "What's it doing? Stupid, fat hobbit! It ruins it!" he wailed. "What's there to ruin? There's hardly any meat on them." Sam retorted as Frodo went to get some plates out of a pack. "What we need is a few good taters." Sam continued. Sam! Shush! You're making me hungry! Mmm, potatoes. I thought. "What's taters, precious? What's taters? Eh?" Gollum asked. "Po-ta-toes. Boil them. Mash them. Stick them in a stew. Big lovely, golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish." Sam explained. Gollum made a face and blew a raspberry. "Even you couldn't say no to that." Sam commented. "Oh yes we could! Spoil a nice fish. Give it to us raw, and wriggling. You keep nasty chips." Gollum crawled up to Sam and got all up in his face as he said this. I stuck my tongue out. "You're hopeless." Sam said. I chuckled dryly as I put some finishing touches on my picture of Harry. It was then that we realized that Frodo was gone.

"Mr. Frodo?" Sam called. "Frodo?" I yelled. We soon got up, ditched the stew, and found Frodo crouched down by the edge of a nearby cliff, watching a bunch of men dressed in black. We crouched down near him. So much for the stewed rabbit. "Ah crap." I whispered.

"Who are they?" Sam asked. "Wicked men. Servants of Sauron. They are called to Mordor. The Dark One is gathering all armies to him. It won't be long now. He will soon be ready." Gollum answered. "Ready to do what?" Sam inquired. "To make his war. The last war that will cover all the world in Shadow." Gollum said. "Not if we've got anything to say about it." I stated determinedly.

"We've got to get moving. Come on, Sam, Francesca." Frodo said and started to pull us away. That was when we saw the giant demonic elephant things. They were carrying big carriage things on their backs with more people in them. "Mr. Frodo, look! It's an Oliphaunt. No one at home will believe this." Sam whispered in awe. Suddenly there were bird calls. I turned to look in the direction of the noise. If I focused in on the brush, I saw men there with green cloaks and hoods holding bows. Gollum crept away. "Smeagol?" Frodo asked.

Then the fight began. The men in the brush started shooting arrows at the men in black and the Oliphaunts. I watched as many of them fell where they were and the rest started yelling and chaos ensued. One of the Oliphaunts got spooked and came charging at us. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I thought. I tensed up, but couldn't move. Everything after that happened very fast. An arrow struck one of the guys riding the Oliphaunt. The guy fell and landed a few feet behind us, causing the Oliphaunt to turn away and run in another direction.

"We've lingered here too long." Frodo said as he scrambled to his feet. I stood up and made to follow him. Sam stayed rooted on the spot. "Come on, Sam." Frodo said and turned around, crashing right into one of the hooded dudes. I spun around towards Frodo, crashing into another one of the hooded dudes. Frodo struggled; Sam drew his sword and was knocked over by another hooded dude. I struggled against the hooded dude holding me. I stomped on his foot and elbowed him in the gut. Thank you Olympia! I ran towards Frodo only to be caught by another hooded dude. Damn. I struggled again and was promptly knocked on my ass and a sword was held at my throat. Son of a bitch! I thought. Frodo was pushed to the ground as well and there was another sword at his throat.

"Wait! We're innocent travelers." Sam told the dudes. I gave them huge puppy dog eyes. As if it would help. A man with his hood down came forward. He had long-ish blonde-ish hair and blue eyes. He reminded me a little bit of Boromir. What the amber lamps?

"There are no travelers in this land. Only servants of the Dark Tower." He said. "We're not servants of the enemy!" I yelled. I spluttered for a moment, trying to form words. A part of me wanted to tell this guy off, another part wanted to go a step further and do so in Italian. But the more sensible part of me took the warning that was in the look Frodo gave me and I shut up.

"We are sworn to an errand of secrecy. Those that claim to oppose the enemy would do well not hinder us." Frodo told the man calmly. Only Frodo could own somebody like that and be totally calm about it. "The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is...where he came from. And if he was really evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home. If he would not rather have stayed there...in peace. War will make corpses of us all. Bind their hands." The man said as he looked at the dead guy who had fallen off the Oliphaunt and walked off. Our hands were bound with rope and we were dragged along after him. I cursed him out in my mind. Then, of course, I remembered who the guy was. This was Faramir; Boromir's brother. I had a mini flashback of Olympia's many rants about how completely different the movie version of Faramir and the book version of Faramir were. Apparently, his character was completely butchered in the film. I wouldn't know, I've never read the books.

*Olympia's POV*

I was riding next to Legolas at this point in our march to Helm's Deep. I kinda felt bad for being one of the only ones riding. Every now and then I talk to Eowyn as she led the horse Gimli was on. Just the sight of Gimli actually riding a horse was a bit odd. I liked talking to Eowyn and I felt like a friendship was beginning to form between us. At one point Gimli had started talking about dwarf women. I'm not sure exactly how we got on that particular topic. But who am I to really care? With my friends, we've gone from video games, to YouTube videos, to movies, to school, to people, to deep philosophical stuff, and back to video games over the span of a single conversation. Yeah, sometimes Franceca, Kate and I are actually deep and philosophical. Natalie, no offense to her, isn't really one to talk about stuff like that.

"It's true, you don't see many dwarf women. And in fact, they're so alike in voice and appearance, that they're often mistaken for dwarf men." Gimli said, waving his hands around as he did. Eowyn smiled and looked back at Aragorn, who was nearby. "It's the beards." He whispered, gesturing to an imaginary beard. I chuckled. Aragorn actually does have a sense of humor! Eowyn grinned, shushed him quietly, and looked back ahead. "This, in turn, has given rise to the belief that there are no dwarf women, and that dwarves just spring out of holes in the ground, which is of course ridiculous." Gimli explained as Eowyn, Kate and I all laughed out loud. Gimli's horse randomly ran ahead a bit and Gimli toppled off, landing flat on his ass. This caused me, Kate and Eowyn to laugh harder and Eowyn to rush up and help him. Aragorn cracked a grin.

"It's alright. Nobody panic. That was deliberate. It was deliberate." Gimli stated. "Somehow I doubt that!" I grinned. Gimli attempted to glare at me, but ended up chuckling and shaking his head. In response to this, I stuck out my tongue at him. Legolas made an attempt not to laugh at this whole thing, but failed miserably when I looked at him and said in a silly singsong voice, "It's okay to laugh; you know you want to."

"I haven't seen my niece smile for a long time. She was a girl when they brought her father back dead, cut down by orcs. She watched her mother succumb to grief. Then she was left alone, to tend her king in growing fear. Doomed to wait upon and old man who should have loved her as a father." I heard King Theoden telling Aragorn. I frowned slightly as we continued to ride.

"Looks like somebody's getting better at riding." Kate grinned at me after a little while. I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, kinda." I answered. "I wonder….Do you think you'd be able to shoot an arrow from horseback?" she asked with a smirk. "Let's not push our luck." I replied. "I think you could do it." Kate insisted.

"As do I." Legolas added as he urged Arod up to my other side. "Seriously?" I asked. "Yes." Kate and Legolas answered in unison. "Okay." I raised my hands up in a sign of surrender and started laughing. "Ha! See? You can ride with no hands for a full sixty seconds! It doesn't even take you half that to shoot an arrow! I win!" Kate exclaimed. I laughed even harder and looked over at Legolas. "She is right, you know." He told me. I shrugged. Kate reached over and gave me a light punch on the shoulder.

Later on, as the sun started to set, we stopped for a break. I hopped out of Arya's saddle and petted her before letting her roam around with the other horses. Kate, Legolas and I all sat together a little ways away from Aragorn, who had started to clean his sword. Gimli wandered around a bit. Eowyn and some of the other women started cooking and a while later Eowyn had a pot of stew and was handing out some bowls.

"Gimli?" she asked as he walked by her. "No, I couldn't. I really couldn't." he responded and walked off somewhere. She offered some stew to Legolas, Kate and I, but we had all said no. She then walked over to Aragorn. "I made some stew. It isn't much, but it's hot." She told Aragorn as she filled a bowl and passed it to him.

"Thank you." Aragorn said and tasted the stew. He attempted to hide the grimace that came over his face. Eowyn looked at him, concerned. "It's good." Aragorn said. "Really?" Eowyn asked happily. She then turned to walk away. Kate and I shook our heads in mock disappointment when Aragorn tried to dump his stew onto the ground. Aragorn just gave us a look. Eowyn turned back and he quickly pulled the bowl up, spilling some in the process and making a face. For the sake of my new friend's feelings, I stifled my laughter.

"My uncle told me a strange thing. He said you rode to war with Thengel, my grandfather. But he must be mistaken." Eowyn stated. I bit back a smirk. Aragorn nodded. "King Theoden has a good memory. He was only a small child at the time." He responded. "Then you must be at least sixty." Eowyn said, kneeling down in front of Aragorn. Kate grinned and I fought back my laughter when Aragorn looked a bit embarrassed. "Seventy? But you cannot be eighty!" Eowyn continued and Aragorn looked at the ground. "Eighty seven." Aragorn answered. The shocked expression on Eowyn's face and Aragorn's embarrassed expression made for a hilarious sight.

"Kodak moment." I whispered to Kate, who laughed. "Kodak?" Legolas asked, looking puzzled. "A camera company." Kate stated. Legolas looked even more confused. "Kate, you confuzzled him!" I laughed. "You brought it up." Kate replied smoothly.

"You are one of the Dúnedain. A descendent of Númenor blessed with long life. It was said that your race passed into legend." Eowyn realized. Aragorn nodded slowly. "There are few of us left; the Northern Kingdom was destroyed long ago." Aragorn explained sadly. "I'm sorry. Please, eat." Eowyn said.

We stopped again later that night and I sat on my blankets with Legolas and Kate. "So, Olympia. You never told me what you named your horse." Kate stated conversationally as I watched our horses wandering around. "I named her Arya." I answered. Legolas nodded and Kate chuckled. "You would." She commented. "I know I would. That's why I did." I smiled. Legolas looked confused. "Arya is the name of a character in a series of books that Olympia read." Kate explained. "She was my favorite, so I named my horse after her." I continued. Legolas smiled and I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. Kate got up and left to go help Eowyn with something after a while. I'm not exactly sure what it was but I heard crying, then turned to see Kate helping Eowyn tend to a small child who had fallen and scraped up his knee. After that, Kate got her blankets and stuff, said she was tired, and promptly went to sleep.

I scooted closer to Legolas and gave him a hug. He laughed and wrapped an arm around me. "Meep." I smiled as I snuggled into his side. "What does that mean?" he asked. "What, meep? It means absolutely nothing yet at the same time it can mean anything. The word itself is complete nonsense. But the way you say it can portray emotions in a way that normal words usually can't. That was a happy 'meep'." I explained. "Ah." Legolas nodded in understanding. I nodded. We sat in silence for a while before I let out a huge yawn and decided to get some rest. "Buenos noches, mi amor." I said to Legolas as I wrapped myself in my cloak and lay down. "Olympia, you know I did not understand what you just said, correct?" Legolas told me. I face-palmed and sat up, realizing I had switched into Spanish. "It meant, 'good night, my love.'" I translated. Legolas smiled and gave me a quick kiss. "I love you too. Rest well." He told me. I smiled as I curled up close to him and fell asleep.

Author' note: Meep! I warned you; my Legolas/Olympia fluff obsession is back with a vengeance. Yeah. Here's wishing all of my fantastic readers a happy and safe holidays! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL! READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!

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