Of UNO and Thunderstorms

Chapter 38

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 Seven

Francesca's POV

Gollum eventually led us to a wall in front of Minas Morgul. We all looked over the wall at the city, and I was terrified. The city itself was enormous and looked very threatening. There seemed to be an eerie blue-green light about it. The path leading into the city itself was empty of any and all forms of life and the gates at the end of that path were blacker than black. I shuddered.

"The Dead City. Very nasty place; full of, enemies." Gollum told us as we stared. Hmm. Full of enemies? You don't say! The Dead City seems like a fitting name though. I thought. Gollum then hopped the wall and started towards the front of the city. Sam and I followed him to the rocky stair on the other side of the path. Frodo, however, stopped and stared up at one of the giant gargoyles that stood in front of the gates.

"Hurry, hurry. They will see. They will see!" Gollum hissed at us. At this point, he noticed Frodo staring at the gargoyles. "Come away, come away. Look, we have found it. The way into Mordor. The secret stair. Climb." Gollum ordered us. I looked up the stone stairs in front of us and gulped. The large staircase was built into the side of the mountain and it looked very steep. And we're climbing that?! Fun…I thought.

Sam and I started to climb the stairs. I stopped mid-step when I saw what Frodo was doing. He was stumbling towards the gates of Minas Morgul as if he were in a trance. One hand was clutching his chest where I knew the Ring hung from its chain. Sam saw this too, and his eyes widened.

"No! Mr. Frodo!" he yelled. "Not that way!" Gollum shrieked. We all came to the unanimous agreement of running to Frodo to stop him. Sam grabbed one of Frodo's arms, I grabbed his shoulder, and Gollum tried to yank his arm.

"What's it doing?!" Gollum yelled as we tried to pull Frodo away. "They're calling me." He responded calmly. We struggled with Frodo for a moment before there was a bright flash of light and the ground started to shake beneath us. We all collapsed on the ground as an enormous signal went up from Minas Morgul. Frodo clutched his shoulder.

We all scrambled back to the stairs and his behind a large piece of rock at the base of the steps. I stared at the bright, towering signal. Whatever hope we'd had at passing by Minas Morgul unnoticed had just gone up in flames. Wonderful. One of those giant evil, dragon-type beasts rose up from the city and roared, perching itself on top of one of the buildings. My eyes widened as I saw the Witch King of Angmar sitting on top of the beast.

Frodo collapsed, clutching his shoulder and groaning in agony. The beast roared again and the Nazgûl let out a piercing screech. I grimaced and covered my ears with my hands, trying to block out the scream.

"I can feel his blade." Frodo groaned and clutched his shoulder again. Suddenly the gates of Minas Morgul opened up. I watched in horror as an army of orcs came out of the gates. The ground trembled under their marching feet and the Witch King's dragon-beast roared again as it took flight. I flinched slightly as the thing flew overhead.

"Come away Hobbits. We climb. We must climb." Gollum hissed to us. And so we began to climb up the stairs as the armies of Minas Morgul marched towards Gondor below us. I took deep breaths and tried not to think about what would happen if I fell down these stairs. That proved a hard thing to do seeing as the steps were very nearly vertical and climbing them wasn't easy.

After a while, Gollum felt it was safe to start talking again. I groaned internally. I was scared shitless, tired, and quite frankly, fed up with Gollum's bullshit. The last thing I wanted right now was to hear his annoying voice.

"Up, up, up the stairs we go. And then, it's into the tunnel." Gollum stated with an almost cheerful tone. I rolled my eyes and continued climbing.

"Hey, what's in this tunnel?" Sam asked. Gollum looked at him, confused. Suddenly Sam grabbed Gollum and pinned him up against the rock wall. "You listen to me! You listen good and proper. Anything happens to him, and you'll have me to answer to. One sniff that something's not right, one hair that stands up on the back of my neck, it's over. No more slinker, no more stinker; you're gone. Got it? I'm watching you." Sam threatened Gollum. I sort of felt bad about the demonic smirk that threatened to spread across my face as Sam issued that threat. Sam walked off and we continued to climb. I pointed my first two fingers towards my eyes, then at Gollum in that classic 'I'm watching you' gesture.

"What was that about?" Frodo asked as we caught up with him. "Nothing, just clearing something up." Sam answered. Frodo looked slightly suspicious but said nothing as we continued climbing the stone stairway.

*Olympia's POV*

Gimli, Merry, Kate, Natalie, Legolas and I were all gathered in the Golden Hall. We all talked amongst ourselves as King Theoden and some of his men poured over maps, trying to decide what on earth they were going to do next. I leaned against a nearby pillar and stared into space. Kate stood next to me and narrowed her eyes at Theoden.

Suddenly, Aragorn threw open the doors and burst into the Golden Hall. "The beacons of Minas Tirith! The beacons are lit!" he shouted as he rushed up to King Theoden. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing and looked at him. Kate and I glanced at each other. The Battle of Pelennor Fields was rapidly approaching, as was Aragorn's journey through the Paths of the Dead. "Gondor calls for aid." Aragorn stated.

A heavy silence lay over the room for a moment as everyone looked at King Theoden. Most of the looks were surprised and expectant, but Legolas and Kate looked warily at the king. I just raised an eyebrow.

"And Rohan will answer!" King Theoden told Aragorn. "Muster the Rohirrim. Assemble the army at Dunharrow, as many men as can be found. You have two days. On the third, we ride for Gondor…and war." King Theoden told Éomer as he left the Golden Hall in full armor.

Everyone dispersed soon after that. Kate and I immediately made for the stables to get Arya and Braylla and prepare them for the long ride ahead of us. We then went back to the room where what remained of the Fellowship had been sleeping in and packed up anything that wasn't absolutely necessary for the next two days.

After that, there wasn't much else to do. We started wandering around with Natalie. I bit my lip and held on to Kate's arm seeing as she was paying attention to where we were going and I wasn't. I mentally battled with myself about what we were going to do. Would we go with Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead or would we stay with the Rohirrim? Would we all even stay together again? Somehow I doubted that Kate, Natalie and I would all end up taking the same path to Minas Tirith.

Eventually, Kate led us back into the Golden Hall. Natalie and Kate sat down with Gimli and Merry. Aragorn wasn't there at the moment as he was probably preparing to ride for Gondor. I walked over to Legolas and stood next to him.

"Hi." I managed a small smile up at him. "Hello, Olympia." He returned my smile and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. I shuffled closer to him and leaned my head on his shoulder. We were silent for a moment seeing as I was still deep in thought.

"Something troubles you, meleth nîn. What is wrong?" Legolas asked. "How is it that you always know when something's bugging me?" I raised an eyebrow at him. Legolas chuckled.

"I'm scared, Legolas." I whispered to him. Legolas nodded. "As am I. It will not be easy to defend Minas Tirith from the forces of the Enemy. But I have hope that everything will turn out in our favor." Legolas told me. I smiled and gave Legolas a side-hug.

"Thank you, Legolas. I feel a bit better now." I mumbled. "I am glad I could make you feel better." He told me. Legolas then turned my chin up so I could see his face. "I love you." he whispered to me. "I love you too." I smiled. I gave him a quick kiss before we walked over to join Kate, Natalie, Gimli and Merry at the table they were currently occupying.

~~~~~meep~~~~~meep~~~~~meep~~~~~

Two days passed far too quickly for my liking. Kate and I were soon in the stables again getting our horses. The stables were obviously crowded, so Kate and I decided to go outside to get Arya and Braylla ready to go. As we were finishing up, Eowyn led her horse past us. Kate stopped her.

"Are you coming with us?" she asked. "I will only ride with you to the encampment. It's tradition for the women of the court to farewell the men." Eowyn explained. Kate nodded. I narrowed my eyes at Eowyn's horse and saw the sword partially hidden beneath the blankets. I walked over and pulled the blankets over the sword to hide it better and smirked at her.

"If you're only supposedly going as far as the encampment, it's best no one see this." Kate smirked too, gesturing towards the sword. Eowyn's eyes widened and she nodded in thanks. She then looked suspiciously at the both of us.

"Do not tell anyone." She told us. I put my right hand on my heart and held my left one up. "I promise that I won't tell anyone that you are planning to join us in battle." I whispered to her.

"I promise that your secret is safe with me Eowyn. However, I am going to make you promise to stay as safe as you possibly can." Kate stated. Eowyn nodded. "I will try. Promise me you two will try not to get injured." She pinned me with a stern look as she said that last part. Eowyn had known about the injuries I had received and probably didn't want to see me in the Healing Houses ever again. I didn't blame her for that; I'd nearly given her a heart attack in addition to scaring the daylights out of my other friends.

"I promise." Kate and I said in unison. Eowyn smiled and headed in Aragorn's direction. I glanced at Kate and after a moment we both started chuckling. "You realize she's about to repeat the first part of that conversation with him, right?" I asked.

"I just wanted her to know that we know." Kate laughed. I smirked and rolled my eyes. We soon mounted our horses and rode to where the others were gathering. I rode up next to Legolas and Gimli, who were both riding Arod. Legolas smiled at me. I smiled back and Kate mouthed 'So cute!' to me. I stuck my tongue out at her.

Natalie soon came over to us and I helped her up onto Arya behind me. She had elected to share a horse with either Kate or me seeing as she didn't know how to ride either and needed some help. I told her she could ride with me. This had caused Kate to burst out laughing and recount my misadventures in learning how to ride a horse.

"Horse men! I wish I could muster an army of Dwarves, fully armed and filthy." Gimli stated. I'm going to assume Natalie made a face, seeing as Kate looked at her and rolled her eyes. "Your kinsmen may have no need to ride to war. I fear war already marches on their own lands." Legolas replied.

"Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan. Oaths you have taken. Now fulfill them all, to Lord and Land!" Éomer shouted to the Rohirrim. And with that, the Riders of Rohan, three Elves, a young woman, a future king, a Dwarf and a Hobbit, galloped towards Minas Tirith.

"So, what happens now? I've never seen the last movie." Natalie whispered to me, a while into the ride. "All we really do now is fight. After the Battle of Pelennor Fields, which is where we're going now, we'll have the Battle at the Black Gates. That's the last battle. Then Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor and Arnor and everyone lives happily ever after as far as we know. Four years from now, give or take a few months, Frodo will sail to Valinor with Gandalf, Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel." I whispered back.

"So, we're in the home stretch aren't we?" Natalie asked. "More or less." I answered. "What do you think you're going to do once this is all said and done?" she continued.

"Go back to Mirkwood with Legolas. What are you going to do?" I replied. "I'm probably going to stay in Gondor. I've got a feeling Francesca's going to go to the Shire with the hobbits, considering she is one now." Natalie answered. I nodded. "Hey Kate! Come here!" I beckoned my sister, who was a little ways ahead of us. Kate slowed Braylla down and rode up next to me.

"What's up?" she asked. "We were talking about what we're going to do after this is all over. What do you plan on doing?" I asked in response. "Hmm. I'm going to make sure you get to Mirkwood safely. Then, I kinda really want to see Rivendell. I don't know whether I'll stay there permanently or not though." Kate replied.

"How did you know I was going to Mirkwood?" I raised my eyebrows at my sister. "Because I know you Olympia. And I know that you and Legolas are going to stay together." She answered with a smile. She then looked at Natalie and her smile got wider. I'm going to say that she could practically see the light bulb above Natalie's head.

"Do you think they'll get married?" Natalie asked. I blushed furiously and threw an elbow into Natalie's ribs. Kate was positively grinning. "Probably." She replied. I gave my sister a look that said 'Screw you.' Both Natalie and Kate chuckled at this and we continued riding.

Author's note: I'm alive! I feel really bad about being gone for so long, but…shit happened? But anyway, I'm back now and I'll try not to make you wait a whole freaking month anymore. READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!

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