Of UNO and Thunderstorms

Chapter 36

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 Six

Francesca's POV

Sam, Frodo, Gollum and I were now wandering through a forest, if it could be called that. The trees were bare and stunted and everything seemed grey and bleak. I looked around at the place and decided that it couldn't exactly be called a forest. We hadn't seen another living thing in who knows how long. The sun was almost directly overhead. I've never been able to tell time by the sun but even I knew that it was about noon.

"It must be getting near teatime; leastways it would be in decent places where there is still teatime." Sam commented as we walked. I nodded slightly, wracking my brain to try and figure out where in the last movie we were, timeline-wise.

"We're not in decent places." Gollum replied. Well, can't argue with him there. I wonder if Olympia, Kate and Natalie are in decent places. I hope they are, and that they're alright. I miss them. I thought as we continued.

I couldn't stand this place, I constantly felt like we were being watched, for some reason. The whole forest looked unwelcoming. Suddenly Frodo stopped and started staring out into space. I looked over at him, confused and Sam took a step towards him.

"Mr. Frodo? What is it?" Sam asked. "It's just a feeling. I don't think I'll be coming back." Frodo said absently. I narrowed my eyes a fraction and Sam and I walked over to Frodo.

"Yes you will. Of course you will. That's just morbid thinking. We're going there and back again, just like Mr. Bilbo. You'll see." Sam encouraged him. I nodded to Frodo and we started forward again. I stayed next to Frodo.

"Sam's right you know. You gotta keep the faith, to quote Jon Bon Jovi. Everything'll be alright in the end." I said. Frodo looked at me. "What if everything is not alright?" he asked. "Then it's not the end yet." I replied. Frodo nodded and I smiled slightly. It felt kind of weird. I hadn't really smiled in a long time.

We soon came to a crossroads and the trees thinned out a bit. There was a huge statue there that looked to me, a little like the kings at the Argonath. But, this one's head had been knocked off and replaced with a, now rusted, metal cage-looking thing.

"I think these lands were once part of the kingdom of Gondor. Long ago, when there was a king." Frodo told us as we looked up at the statue. We walked past it to the other side of the crossroads. I looked over and saw the statue's head on the ground, flowers growing over its head almost like a crown. Apparently, Sam saw it too.

"Mr. Frodo! Look! The King has got a crown again." Sam stated as the sun came out from behind a patch of clouds and light up the fallen king's head. Sam and I smiled and Frodo's lips twitched in an almost smile.

Then another cloud blew in front of the sun, making everything go dark and gloomy and grey again. The almost smile fell from Frodo's face and Sam frowned. I screwed my lip to the side and made a face.

"Come on Hobbits! Mustn't stop now! This way!" Gollum called to us. And so we continued on.

*Olympia's POV*

Natalie, Kate and I found Aragorn, Legolas, Merry and Gimli talking amongst themselves outside the Golden Hall where Legolas and I had talked the night before. I just hoped that Natalie wouldn't bring up the fact that she and Kate caught us kissing, I really did not want to deal with the relentless teasing that would surely come from either Gimli or Merry. But, if she did bring it up, I could always talk about her little performance of the 'Cotton Eye Joe'.

"Hey guys. What's going on?" Natalie asked as we came up to them. I started humming to myself. "Hello! I was just telling Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas that it must be getting near teatime in the Shire." Merry told us. Kate shielded her eyes with her hand and looked up towards the sun.

"It's about noon. If it were Saturday, you two would be just getting out of Ju Jitsu." Kate commented. Natalie sort of smiled and I nodded. Suddenly I was wrapped in a bear hug from behind. Instinctively, I pinned the hands to my chest.

"Good. You were a brown belt; I trust you know what to do next." Natalie said and even though she was behind me, I could tell she was smirking. "What the hell do you mean 'was'? I still am, Miss Green belt!" I snarked, elbowing her in the ribs, ducking under her arm and pinning her in a shodan wrist lock. She laughed a little and Kate rolled her eyes and smirked at us.

This eventually led to a random sparring match between Natalie and me. Kate eventually decided she wanted to spar me for the first time in what felt like forever. It reminded me of competition season at the dojo. Every year, we would hold an in-house tournament for the kids' class. Typically, you aged out at sixteen. Though, I had missed my last chance because I'd pulled 2 muscles in my left leg the week before the competition and couldn't compete because of it. After sparring Natalie and my sister, we all sat down and were asked to explain the tournament.

"It was called the Shiai and our dojo had it every year in March just for the fun of it. We would be separated into divisions according to height, weight and belt rank." Kate started. "We competed against each other in sparring divisions, like what we just did and in forms divisions." Natalie continued. "Forms divisions were the divisions where we would show the different techniques we learned. There were first, second, third and sometimes fourth place winners from every division." I concluded.

"How were the winners chosen?" Aragorn asked. "There would be five judges who would give each person a score. The scores would be added up by Sensei Eileen and the people with the highest scores in each division would win." Kate explained. Aragorn nodded in understanding.

"There were also the sportsmanship and spirit awards. Those were given to the people who showed the best sportsmanship in the competition. Kate has won a sportsmanship trophy and Olympia and I have both won spirit trophies." Natalie added. I nodded.

"Typically you aged out at sixteen. So, all our Shiai careers were over when you all met us." Kate randomly stated. I pouted. "Olympia only got to compete until she was fifteen." Natalie said before anyone could ask about the pout.

"I take it you liked these competitions." Gimli commented. I nodded furiously. "I loved competing in the Shiai." I told him. "Why did you not compete when you were sixteen then?" Aragorn asked.

"She was injured." Kate explained. "I would have competed anyway, but sensei, mom and the doctor all told me no." I smiled sheepishly. "I remember you being really ticked off about that." Natalie commented.

"What did you do?" Legolas asked, turning his head so he could see me from where I was sitting next to him. "Technically, I didn't do anything. It was Max who hyper extended my left leg while we were practicing." I told him. Legolas just gave me a confused look.

"She was practicing with a friend of ours, Max. Max did the technique wrong and ended up accidently pulling two of the muscles in Olympia's leg. He felt absolutely awful for it." Kate elaborated.

"So that's what happened! I wasn't there when it happened and no one ever told me!" Natalie exclaimed. "You seem to get injured a lot, lassie." Gimli observed. "She does, doesn't she?" Natalie mused.

"It's not just me, I assure you. Kate and Natalie have gotten pretty banged up at times." I defended. Both of the aforementioned people raised eyebrows at me. "Don't give me that look! You know it's true." I told them.

"Yeah. I've had my fair share of bruises and broken bones. My cats used to scratch me all the time when I was playing with them. Apparently, my hair was also their chew toy. I've broken my right ankle, my left arm and a few of my toes." Natalie admitted.

"I've broken my left arm twice and I've broken my right leg." Kate admitted. I remembered all of these instances very well. "We used to give mom and dad heart attacks when we were younger." I said to my sister. "Yeah." She nodded.

"I can understand how a parent would be concerned when their child gets injured." Aragorn agreed. "Uh-huh. Olympia used to scare the living daylights out of everyone because when she would get hurt, she'd get up and say something along the lines of 'I'm fine! I'll be okay!' and then she would try to walk it off…and then promptly fall over and say 'Okay, maybe not.'" Kate explained.

"Only when it was bad. Most of the time I walked it off. Usually it wasn't really bad, so I didn't see why people got so worked up." I added. Natalie rolled her eyes and Kate reached over and ruffled my hair. I glared playfully at her and fixed my hair, humming under my breath again.

Soon we unanimously decided that it was time for lunch. So Natalie and Merry took a field trip to the kitchens and came back with some snack foods like rolls, cheese and apples. After eating, Gimli, Aragorn and Merry all left. Legolas, Kate, Natalie and I went back outside and sat down.

"So, Olympia. Remember how I shared a horse with you on the way back from Isengard?" Natalie asked. "Yeah." I nodded, not quite sure where she was going with this. "Is that your horse?" she asked. "Yeah." I smiled.

"Cool! What's her name?" Natalie asked. Kate smiled. "Her name is Arya. Kate's horse's name is Braylla." I answered. "You named your horse Arya? Like, from the Inheritance Cycle?" Natalie asked. "Yeah." I nodded. "Nerd." she smiled. "And proud of it!" I replied. She and Kate laughed and Legolas looked slightly confused.

"So, what now?" Natalie asked after a moment of awkward silence. I shrugged and leaned my head against Legolas's shoulder. Kate grinned for a moment, got up and ran back inside. Natalie, Legolas and I all stared after her for a moment.

"What exactly is she doing?" Natalie asked. "Why does everyone expect me to know?" I replied. I leaned my head on Legolas's shoulder as we waited for Kate to come back. Eventually, she came running back outside, holding a fiddle and its bow. I bit my lip to keep from bursting into hysterical laughter. Kate started to play the 'Cotton Eye Joe' again.

Natalie got up and started dancing, and Legolas and I just laughed. Eventually, she yanked Legolas and I to our feet and made me start dancing along with her. I continued laughing as we danced and Legolas just watched us. That was only until Kate nudged him towards us and Natalie and I ended up teaching him the dance. When Kate finished the song, I all but collapsed into a fit of laughter.

"What the hell is so funny?" Natalie asked, raising an eyebrow at me as we all sat back down. Kate still had the fiddle in her hands. "You don't remember, do you?" Kate asked, smirking.

"Remember what?" Natalie knit her eyebrows together. Kate smiled and looked over at Legolas and me. I nodded to her. "You got pretty drunk last night, so I borrowed a fiddle from some guy. This guy happens to be the guy whose fiddle I'm borrowing now, but that's not the point. I started playing this. You got up, on a table mind you, and started dancing! Merry and Pippin joined you after they figured out what they were doing. Legolas, Olympia, Aragorn, Gandalf and pretty much anyone sober enough to remember it this morning saw. It was hilarious!" Kate explained all in one breath. She, Legolas and I managed not to laugh until she was finished.

"I don't remember any of that!" Natalie exclaimed. "Well you were drunk when it happened. I didn't expect you to remember it! But trust me, it happened and it was funny." I told her. She Gibbs slapped me.

"So, now what?" Natalie asked after a moment of awkward silence. Kate grinned again. "I know this song is usually played on a guitar, but…yeah. I don't have a guitar." She said, starting to play a familiar tune on her fiddle and giving me a look. "Alright, fine. I'll sing." I smiled and rolled my eyes.

"I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known. Don't know where it goes .But its home to me and I walk alone.I walk this empty street, on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Where the city sleeps and I'm the only one and I walk aloneI walk alone I walk aloneI walk alone I walk aMy shadow's the only one that walks beside me. My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating Sometimes I wish someone up there will find me. Till then I walk alone.Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, aah-ah. Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ahI'm walking down the line, that divides me somewhere in my mind; on the border line of the edge and where I walk alone.Read between the lines, what's fucked up and everything's all right. Check my vital signs to know I'm still alive And I walk aloneI walk alone I walk aloneI walk alone I walk aMy shadow's the only one that walks beside me. My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating. Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me. Till then I walk aloneAh-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, aah-ah Ah-ah, ah-ahI walk alone I walk aI walk this empty street, on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Where the city sleeps and I'm the only one and I walk aMy shadow's the only one that walks beside me. My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating. Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me. Till then I walk alone"

I sang as Natalie hummed the end of the song. Once we had finished, Kate started playing another song on the borrowed fiddle. I almost felt bad for the guy she kept borrowing it from. Eventually, this led to a mini-karaoke party. Legolas wrapped an arm around my shoulders and I leaned my head on his shoulder again. Kate smiled at us.

"Why are you two so damn cute?" Natalie asked. Kate, Legolas, and I all laughed. Natalie eventually joined in. "Why do you think we would know?" I asked after I stopped laughing.

Natalie shrugged and Kate rolled her eyes. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Legolas smirk slightly. I fidgeted so I could see him better and raised an eyebrow. He just smiled at me and kissed my forehead.

"Aww! So cute!" Kate teased. I stuck my tongue out at her. "It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" Natalie grinned. I just rolled my eyes and Legolas gave me a side-hug. I smiled.

Author's note: Yeah, fluffiness is fluffy and filler-ness is filler-y. I know. And I have no excuse. READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!

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