Of UNO and Thunderstorms

Chapter 33

Of UNO and Thunderstorms

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN LORD OF THE RINGS OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT I REFERENCE! NATALIE AND FRANCESCA OWN THEMSELVES RESPECTIVELY! I ONLY OWN MYSELF AND MY OCS!

Chapter Thirty Three

Francesca's POV

"Wake up! Wake up! We must go. Yes, we must go at once." That was the first thing I heard when I woke up a few days later. I jumped up and nearly pulled out my short sword. Then I saw that it was Gollum and relaxed ever so slightly. Sam sat up and Gollum moved out of the concrete cave-type thing we'd slept in. Sam looked over at Frodo, who was still sitting in his blankets, looking like he hadn't slept in days. My theory was that he hadn't. I'm not sure; I can't remember much of the last movie.

"Haven't you had any sleep, Mr. Frodo?" Sam asked. Frodo looked at him and shook his head. I bit my lip. Good god, if he doesn't sleep I think he'll pass out on his feet. I thought. "And I've gone and had too much. It must be getting late." Sam stated, looking outside. I stood up slowly, still tired.

"No. It isn't. It isn't midday yet. The days are getting darker." Frodo replied. I was about to say something, but then the ground started shaking. I fell flat on my ass and Sam wobbled on his feet. Mount Doom spurted fire in the distance. My eyes widened and I stared at the volcano. So that's where we're headed. I thought grimly.

"Come on! Must go! No time!" Gollum shouted back to us. "For once in my life, I agree with Gollum. We should go." I stated. "Not before Mr. Frodo's had something to eat." Sam protested. "No time silly." Gollum responded.

Sam ignored Gollum's protesting and came back into the cave. I shouldered my pack and waited by the exit. Sam went through his bag and offered Frodo some lembas. "Here," Sam told Frodo. Frodo took the lembas.

"What about you?" Frodo asked, noticing that Sam and I hadn't eaten anything. "Oh no, I'm not hungry; leastways not for lembas bread." Sam answered. Frodo looked at me. "I'm not hungry." I told him. "Sam! Francesca!" Frodo sort of scolded. "Oh alright, but we don't have much left. We have to be careful or we are going to run out. You go ahead and eat that Mr. Frodo. I've rationed it, there should be enough." Sam replied, passing me a piece of lembas bread.

Frodo finished chewing the piece of lembas. "For what?" he asked after swallowing. "The journey home." Sam answered. I smiled slightly. After Frodo finished eating, I helped Sam pack up the stuff and then we left. Gollum led us out into the dreary wilderness of bare, stunted trees.

"Come hobbitses, very close now. Very close to Mordor. No safe places here. Hurry." Gollum urged us as we went along. I looked around, not seeing much other than dead trees and a huge wall of darkness somewhere ahead of us. I shuddered to think that that was where we were going.

*Olympia's POV*

I don't know exactly how long we had been riding, but we were in Fangorn Forest again. I had more than half a mind to ask Gimli what he thought trees had to talk about now. I rode next to Legolas and Gimli. Kate was on my other side and we were all looking around warily.

"Gimli!" I whispered. The dwarf turned to look at me. "What do you think trees have to talk about now, hmm?" I asked quietly. Kate snorted and covered her mouth. Legolas politely tried not to laugh, he failed, and Gimli chuckled, rolling his eyes. We rode on for a little while until I caught the sound of laughing hobbits and smiled as we rode out of the trees. Pippin, Merry, and Natalie were all sitting on the ruins of Isengard. Merry and Pippin were smoking and drinking and Natalie was sitting quietly beside them with a mug in her hand. I really hope that's not ale. I thought as I caught sight of her.

Pippin laughed and held his mug out to us and Merry stood up and spread his arms out wide. "Welcome, my lords, to Isengard!" he called to us. It was obvious to me that he was a little…drunk, to put it nicely. I smiled up at them as we brought our horses to a stop. Aragorn smiled slightly and Gandalf just stared. I looked over at Gimli, who seemed none too pleased.

"You young rascals! A merry hunt you've led us on and now we find you feasting and…and smoking!" Gimli exclaimed. I nearly burst out laughing. "We are sitting on a field of victory, enjoying a few well-earned comforts. The salted pork is particularly good." Pippin slurred slightly. Merry smirked smugly. "Salted pork." Gimli stated. He was practically drooling.

"Hobbits." Gandalf muttered. "We're under orders, from Treebeard, who's taken over management of Isengard." Merry told us. I nodded. It was then decided that we would go see Treebeard and Saruman. So, we got the hobbits and Natalie down and they rode on horses with the rest of us. Natalie was sitting behind me on Arya.

"Hey, are you alright?" I whispered to my friend. There was no reply for a second. "I can't see a head shake Natalie." I reminded her. Natalie chuckled dryly. "I've been better." She stated, knowing I was talking about Boromir. "Well obviously. But seriously; how are you?" I pressed. "I'll be alright. I think. Thanks." Natalie replied. I nodded. "I can't see a head nod Olympia." Natalie said. I laughed slightly. "Yes you can. You're behind me." I told her.

"What did I miss?" Natalie asked. "Olympia fell off a cliff and almost died." Kate told her, riding up next to us. I couldn't see Natalie roll her eyes, but I'd bet she did. "Anything else?" Natalie continued. Kate gave me a knowing look and smirked. I raised an eyebrow at her. "I feel out of the loop. What happened?" Natalie asked.

"Something." Kate answered vaguely. "That's freaking helpful." Natalie said sarcastically. "Well, Olympia. Are you going to tell her?" Kate smiled at me. "Tell me what?" Natalie asked. "You're not going to make this easy for me, are you Kate?" I responded. "Oh no." Kate grinned. "I believe you owe me a story Olympia." Natalie stated. Somehow we hadn't reached Treebeard yet. But then again he was halfway across Isengard. I sighed in defeat. Apparently, I wasn't getting out of this.

"There's not much to tell really. I, uh, well you see. Hmm. How do I say this?" I started, not knowing how to explain me and Legolas and half hoping Kate would get impatient and tell Natalie herself. "Oh for the love of all that is good and holy! Olympia and Legolas are in love. Is that really so hard to say?" Kate directed the last question at me, smirking. A couple of people, mainly Éomer and Theoden, looked back at us with raised eyebrows. "Well when you say it that loudly, yes." I commented, feeling my face heat up. Natalie started laughing, and I elbowed her lightly in the gut. We rode the rest of the way in silence.

"Young Master Gandalf, I'm glad you've come. Wood and water, stock and stone I can master, but there is a wizard to manage here, locked in his tower." Treebeard told Gandalf upon our arrival at the tower of Orthanc. Wow, never thought I'd see the day someone referred to Gandalf as young. I thought. "Show yourself." Aragorn murmured, looking up at the tower. "Be careful. Even in defeat, Saruman is dangerous." Gandalf warned us.

"Well then let's just have his head and be done with it." Gimli commented. "No, we need him alive. We need him to talk." Gandalf explained. This earned him an 'Are you serious?' sort of look from Éomer. Then Saruman himself appeared at the top of his tower, leaning on his black staff and dressed in white robes from what I could see. "Speak of the devil and the devil shall appear." Kate muttered. I nodded in agreement.

"You have fought many wars, and slain many men, Theoden King. And made peace afterwards. Can we not take counsel together as we once did, my old friend? Can we not have peace, you and I?" Saruman asked Theoden. I glared up at the wizard.

"You say you want peace, but I kinda think you mean the other thing." Natalie muttered. "Did you just…?" I started to ask. "Quote Nick Fury? Yes, yes I did." Natalie cut me off. I rolled my eyes at her.

"We shall have peace…..We shall have peace, when you answer for the burning of the Westfold and the children that lie dead there! We shall have peace when the lives of the soldiers whose bodies were hewn even as they lay dead against the gates of the Hornbug, are avenged! When you hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own crows….we shall have peace!" Theoden shouted at Saruman. The tone of his voice portrayed two things. One, that he has a deep love for Rohan and its people, and two, that he was beyond the farthest reaches of pissed off that someone would purposely compromise the safety of his country.

"Gibbets and crows! Dotard! What do you want, Gandalf Greyhame? Let me guess…the key of Orthanc? Or perhaps the keys of Barad Dûr itself? Along with the Crowns of the Seven Kings and the rods of the Five Wizards!" Saruman yelled down to Gandalf.

Gandalf, however, did not respond to Saruman's taunting. "Your treachery has cost many lives. Thousands more are now at risk; but you could save them Saruman. You were deep in the Enemy's counsel." Gandalf told Saruman.

"So you have come for information? I have some for you." Saruman stated. He then held up in one hand a sphere almost the size of a bowling ball. The palantir. He paused for a moment to let everyone stare at the palantir. "Something festers in the heart of Middle Earth. Something that you have failed to see; but the Great Eye has seen it! Even now he presses his advantage. His attack will come soon. You're all going to die. But you know this, don't you Gandalf? You cannot think that this ranger will ever sit upon the throne of Gondor. This exile crept from the shadows will never be crowned King! Gandalf does not hesitate to sacrifice those who are closest to him, those he professes to love! Tell me, what words of comfort did you give the Halfling, before you sent him to his doom? The path that you have set him on can only lead to death!" Saruman told all of us. Quite personally, if I could have, I'd have shot him already.

"I've heard enough. Shoot him! Stick and arrow in his gob!" Gimli exclaimed. "Him or me?" I asked, gesturing to Legolas, then back to me. "One of you. Better yet, both of you!" Gimli answered. I smirked deviously and reached for an arrow.

"No! Come down Saruman, and your life will be spared." Gandalf called to Saruman. "Save your pity and your mercy! I have no use for it!" Saruman yelled. He then shot a fireball out of the bottom of his staff at Gandalf. The horses spooked and whinnied; but when the flames died away, Gandalf was perfectly fine. My eyes went wide and I raised my eyebrows. "Saruman, your staff is broken." Gandalf stated. Then, Saruman's staff basically exploded. "Holy shit." Natalie muttered. Wormtongue then appeared behind Saruman and I grimaced.

"Gríma! You need not follow him! You were not always as you are now. You were once a man of Rohan! Come down." Theoden stated as he saw Wormtongue.

"A man of Rohan? What is the house of Rohan but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek and their brats roll on the floor with the dogs? The victory at Helm's Depe does not belong to you, Theoden Horse Master. You are a lesser son of greater sires!" Saruman responded. So now he's resorted to just flat out insulting us? How much lower can he get? I thought.

"Gríma, come down! Be free of him!" Theoden completely ignored Saruman and continued talking to Wormtongue. "Free? He will never be free!" Saruman yelled. "No!" I heard Wormtongue protest. "Get down. Cur!" Saruman yelled at him, then bitch slapped him to the ground.

"Saruman! You were deep in the Enemy's counsel. Tell us what you know!" Gandalf commanded. "You withdraw your guard and I will tell you where your doom will be decided. I will not be held prisoner here!" Saruman yelled in reply.

As he finished that thought, Wormtongue came up behind him with a knife and stabbed him in the back, literally. In that same instant, Legolas and I both drew arrows and shot Wormtongue. Legolas shot him in the chest, and I shot him between the eyes. Wormtongue collapsed on the tower of Orthanc and Saruman tumbled off the tower and was impaled on the spiked wheel below. I winced.

"Send word to all our allies and to every corner of Middle Earth that still stands free. The Enemy moves against us; we need to know where he will strike." Gandalf told Theoden. Just then, the wheel began to turn. The palantir fell out of Saruman's robes and the dead wizard disappeared beneath the surface of the muddy water.

"The filth of Saruman, is washing away. Trees will come back to live here. Young trees; wild trees." Treebeard stated. Pippin then got down from Aragorn's horse and made his way through the water towards the palantir. Aragorn yelled to him, but was ignored. Pippin picked up the palantir and stared at it for a moment. "Bless my bark." Treebeard said upon seeing Pippin and the palantir.

Gandalf rode up behind the young hobbit and turned to face him. "I'll take that now, my lad. Quickly now." He told Pippin. Pippin handed the palantir up to Gandalf, who quickly wrapped it up in some cloth that he had and stared intently at Pippin for a moment. We then set out to ride back to Edoras.

"So, what are we going to do now?" Natalie asked as we rode. "We are going to party." Kate whispered to her. Natalie laughed and soon Kate and I joined in. "So, what were you drinking earlier?" I inquired. "Uh, it was ale." Natalie admitted. I face-palmed. "I shouldn't have asked." I muttered. Kate laughed.

"So are we changing before this party that's supposed to happen? Not for nothing but you two look kinda wrecked." Natalie commented. "What are we supposed to wear? It's not like we have extra clothes." I retorted. "Well, I'm sure Eowyn has some extra dresses she would let us borrow. I'm also pretty sure we could find something for Natalie." Kate suggested. I groaned and Natalie and Kate laughed at me. "Ha! I told you you'd have to wear a dress again at some point in your life!" Natalie poked me in the back. I made a face and groaned again.

Author's note: Ta-da! So I know I haven't updated in a while. Please don't be too upset. I've been very busy lately; my brain is now fried. Ha! More dresses for Olympia! Doesn't that suck? READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!

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