Remember this is a crossover between XM/LOTR. Earlier parts can be read here:
Were lost, arent we? Sam asked as they had walked towards Mordor for days on end. The stony mountainside was hard beneath his bare feet, making him once again wish they could return to the Shire. He eyed his friend worriedly. It wasnt just the weather and the difficulty of their journey that worried Sam. He had noticed how the Ring was slowly killing his beloved friend. He had noticed how Frodo would take out the Ring at night, look at it like it was the most precious thing in the world and gently let his fingers run over it. The burden of the Ring was getting to Frodo, and weighing him down and Sam wished so badly he could help him ease that burden.
Maybe we are, Frodo admitted, looking out over the mountains that had begun to all look the same.
I dont think Gandalf meant for this to happen, Sam said softly.
He didnt mean for a lot of things to happen, Frodo agreed, his voice soft and sad. He missed his friend so much. He would know what to do, where to turn. Suddenly something moved at the edge of Frodos vision.
Its him again; Gollum. Hes following us, Sam turned around, instantly moving to a protective position in front of Frodo as he tried to spot the very fast moving Gollum with his eyes but he was already gone.
Hes drawn to the Ring. He had the Ring for so many years. Hes bound to it, Frodo said softly. Sam looked concerned at his friend but didnt comment on the fact that his voice held more compassion and sadness than fear or hate towards the creature that had been crawling after them; totally under the influence of the Ring.
Its getting darker. We could rest here for the night and Ill make us some supper, Sam suggested and Frodo nodded. He was forming a plan
a plan that involved Gollum.
Night had fallen and the Hobbits were apparently asleep; Sam lying close to his friend to try and give him some warmth and protection. Gollum drew nearer, mumbling to himself of how the nasty Hobbits had stolen his Precious from him
such nasty little thieves! The Ring was his! He saw the Ring around Frodos neck...that little thief has stolen it from him
stolen it. Furious Gollum reached for a small knife left out from the Hobbits supplies and he raised it high into the air; ready to drive it deep into Frodos chest. Suddenly Frodos eyes blinked and the bluest most agonizing eyes he had seem for a long time looked back at Gollum; no fear, no anger in them
only a pain filled understanding and sympathy. However another pair of eyes held neither as Sam moved quickly and had a rope around Gollums neck, violently tearing him off Frodo. Sams eyes were hard and cold, no sympathy or understanding in them at all
only disgust, distrust and anger.
Dont kill him, Sam, Frodo asked as he too jumped up from his sleeping role.
I can just tie him up and leave him here, Sam suggested, satisfied with that proposal.
No, no! Please
take me with you, Gollum pleaded, turning to Frodo for help, his eyes fixed on the Ring. Frodos eyes filled with understanding as Sams grew colder. Gollum didnt resemble anything at all; he was grey shinned, big eyed, his back covered with scars, didnt have more than a few hairs on top of his head and was naked save a small shed of clothing covering his genitals. Nothing in his appearance was compelling and his mumbling and often groundless violent outbursts didnt make it easier. Though Frodo saw none of that; he saw his soul, saw how tortured and shattered it was
and he understood
Well take him with us.
He tried to kill you! Sam protected, giving the rope a hard thug so Gollum was forced to move with him.
I know the way to Mordor. A better way. Yes. I can take you there, Gollum promised, his eyes still on the Ring. Frodo hadnt taken the Ring from him he reminded himself. It had been another hobbit
that nasty thief Bilbo. He could help this little hobbit and be near the Ring. Yes, yes
And murder us in our sleep?! Sam questioned, turning to Frodo. Surely he could see it was madness to trust this ungodly creature.
We take him with us. He can guide us, Frodo decided, his eyes shadowed as he looked at Gollum. Would he become like that? Could he prevent it?
Nothing. Sam, make ready to leave, Frodo cut him off, feeling the Ring tear in his soul in a way only Gollum would understand. Sam gave the end of Gollums robe to Frodo and began to pack everything up.
Stupid fat Hobbit, Gollum mumbled, his eyes shooting daggers at Sam. No, no
theyre kind to me, he instantly regretted his hate.
Gollum, listen to me, it was Frodo and Gollum turned to listen. I know you were once called Smeagol. That part of you is still inside you and I need you to promise me to see us safely to Mordor
in return Ill look after you, Frodo promised. Gollum was thoughtful. It had been ages since anyone had called him Smeagol
. It felt
I promise, master. I wont let you down, Gollum vowed. Frodo smiled at him though it was a sad smile, a forced smile. Then he cut Gollums rope and Gollum smiled warmly but surprised at him at this show of faith.
I know you wont, he told him. He turned around to see Sam having packed everything up. At least not intently
Frodo mumbled as Sam handed him his bag pack and they began to move again, Sam shooting angry glances at Gollum, wishing the creature would disappear and leave Frodo alone for good. He didnt trust him at all and he would be watching the creature closely
very closely. Nothing would harm Frodo as long as he lived, to that Sam vowed.
* * *
I wonder if Frodo and Sam are alright, Rogue said, as they were moving again, having left their little safe hold early in the morning. Scott had almost had a heart attack when he had found Ororo and Legolas missing but as soon as they began to awake they had returned, walking out of the group of trees nearby. Ororo had held a special glow around her and Rogue had smiled at her and embraced her while Scott had turned concern into a reprimand and had asked Ororo not to wander off. Ororo had reassured him both Legolas and her had been safe and careful. As soon as Legolas had heard their friends heartbeat change from sleep to awake they had come back.
Im sure they are. Sam will take good care of Frodo, Scott reassured her.
Hmm. Im still not at all happy that were letting the fate of this world and our lives lie in the hands of a child. I cant see why Frodo himself shouldnt be tempted by the Ring, use it and bang! Were all dead, Logan clashed his hands together to amplify his point.
I guess we dont know that but we just have to believe that Frodo is strong enough
or maybe more that the love that exists between him and Sam is strong enough to keep such dark thoughts away, Scott said though he frowned. Logan was right; he couldnt see why the Ring should be any safer in Hobbit hands than anything else. Maybe in Elf hands he could buy it because the Elves already had so much, had lived so long, had so much knowledge
. there would be few things with which to tempt them.
Talking about that
. Im a bit confused as to what kind of relationship Sam and him share anyway. Is Sam his friend, his servant
? Rogue began.
His dog? Logan suggested sweetly.
Ugh! Logan, Rogue mock hit him on the arm and he grinned and picked her up against her laughing protests, span her around and kissed the top of her hair before setting her down again.
Im not sure theirs are a relationship to analyse. The love between them is clear and thats really all that matters, Scott said, thinking of Jean and how much he loved her.
Yes. Love can never be wrong if freely given and received, Rogue agreed.
Speakin of that
.any thoughts on that dream you had yet? Logan asked Scott, his voice slightly worried. Scott had told his fellow X-men that he had dreamed of a Phoenix and of it turning into Jean and she had killed him.
Why should it mean anything? I just miss her and then with our journey and all
. His words didnt even convince himself.
Boromir told us he had come to Rivendell because he had dreamt of the Ring. This world seems to work on myths and fantasy and dreams as leads or as forewarning is among those things, Rogue warned, her voice worried.
As the Phoenix Jeannie had amazing powers
. imagine that kind of power in this world, with this place magic
., Logan thought out loud.
Jean came back, Scott protested, trying to forget his beloveds visit to the dark side so to speak and misuse of her powers.
Because of the professor and because of you but he isnt here and if she kills you
. Rogue couldnt even bring herself to think it but it had to be said as they were all thinking the same thing.
She wont kill me. She isnt even here, Scott protected, his voice leaving no room for argument but inside he was in doubt. Jean was back on Earth, safe and herself
she wasnt here
as the powerful Phoenix
. she wasnt
* * *
Can you keep up, Dwarf? Legolas asked as he ran back from his position next to Aragorn in the front to see to Gimli who ran last, breathing heavily. The other strangers walked between them while Ororo had flown ahead to keep an eye out for any approaching danger.
for this, Gimli protested, breathing heavily. Legolass eyes softened and he slowed his pace to walk next to Gimli. They walked for some time, neither speaking. Elves and Dwarfs had never held high thoughts about each other. Elves believed Dwarfs to be selfish creatures who lived in the dark, filthy and greedy creatures that cared for nothing but themselves. The Dwarfs believed Elves to be more concerned with their hair and themselves than anything else; in short vain, beautiful, egoistic and cold hearted creatures who forgot that not everyone lived forever.
..youre the Prince from Mirkwood? Gimli finally asked though he knew the answer but he didnt know what else to say. They rarely spoke anything but insults at each other. His breathing had returned to normal now as Legolas had slowed his pace and they walked together to catch up with the ever fit human King.
Yes. Legolas searched for something more to say. My heart bled for the Dwarfs in Moria. Your pain must have been great.
My pain is no greater than yours must be
knowing the Elves are leaving this land
leaving you here alone, Gimli spoke softly. Legolas looked surprised at him.
You know of this?
I do. I hope that should our mission succeed your people will return to this land
or never leave should it be before then.
Thank you, Legolass voice was warm and sincere. I wish I could say something to ease your pain about the loss of your people but not even the Elves have the power to raise the dead.
They live on in me. As long as I live and remember them
the Dwarfs live still, Gimli said, his voice strong as he fought his pain down. This wasnt the place and time to mourn though he began to wonder if it ever would be time to do so.
. instead of death join me in Valinor so the Dwarfs never die. Let that be your comfort as we move on, in our further battles. Let any bad blood between us be forgotten as we share this common pain and loneliness; Legolas said warmly and looked down into Gimlis eyes. The Dwarf fought tears but Legolass keen eyesight saw them anyway but he had spent enough time with Aragorn to know not to comment on it.
Words will never be enough to say what this means to me, Gimli said softly. His race wouldnt die with him; their legend wouldnt die with him. He felt as if a stone had been lifted from his heart.
You have been
a great help to the Fellowship, Legolas said and smiled.
Thank you, Elf. So have you, Gimli grinned.
thank you for saving my life in Moria, Gimli then said, almost as an afterthought though his eyes spoke of how much that had meant to him.
No thanks necessary
. between brothers in arms, Legolas said warmly. Gimli smiled and shook his hand as if they had now met for the first time which in a way they had.
Brothers, Gimli agreed.
Legolas. Come, Aragorns voice reached them.
We run together, Legolas said and started to run lightly over the plains, Gimli doing his best to keep up.
Go on, Elf. Ill catch up, Gimli shooed him forward and Legolas nodded, speeded up and reached Aragorn before Gimli had come halfway.
Elves, Gimli shook his head but a smile tug at his lips as he hurried all he could to see what it was all about.
Authors notes: Yes, I know
. Im not playing by the rules as laid down in LOTR but then since this entire fic and its concept breaks every rule in the LOTR world and I did warn you
and I know what youre thinking: when did this happen between Gimli and Legolas? Well, now apparently. I did say I wouldnt follow the films to the letter (and the books not at all). I needed a reason for Legolass sudden concern, friendship and protection of Gimli before they meet Eomer and this was the fastest way to give them a strong bond. I dont see it as unbelievable as our poor heroes *are* facing death and they all know they might not survive (an even greater risk for that happening with me as the author *EG*). Anyway, accept it or get off the wagon *smiles*
And remember that the Jean/Phoenix thing was addressed in earlier parts in case some of you are confused.
Hope you enjoyed and your comments and suggestions for future plotlines is always welcomed.
Thanks to Estelle for Beta and Jonas for kind comments and suggestions on how to put the LOTR lore to full use (or is that misuse? *G*).