Disclaimer: I do not own.
“You are safe now, little one.”
Groaning, Lois opened her eyes and looked up at the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen. “Where am I? Who are you?” While the last thing she remembered was finally making it out of Moria, she was now in a soft bed, in a room befitting a fairytale. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”
The woman sitting on the edge of the bed chuckled. “No, but you barely made it to my realm on time. If you’d been brought to me a half hour later…”
Lois gulped, and then shot up in bed. “Gandalf…” She winced at the pain in her side.
“He has fallen into Shadow, as you almost did.” The woman tilted her head and watched her silently, contemplatively. “You whispered his name while delirious, as if, as if speaking to him. Do you remember this?”
Lois frowned. “No. I must have been really out of it.”
She still watched her silently. “You mentioned something in your dreams, something…” she paused and shook her head. “It matters not now. All that matters is that you are awake. You’re friends have been worried.”
“Lana and Chloe have to realize that they can’t get rid of me that easily.” Lois joked, lowering herself back against the pillows.
“They have been worried, as have the hobbits, the dwarf, the humans, and the elf.” She smiled. “He carried you here.”
“Legolas?” Lois asked in surprise. “You mean he didn’t leave me dying by the side of the road while he had the chance?” She snickered. “He’s such a blonde.”
The lady looked intrigued by her but didn’t comment.
“I’m sorry, this is going to sound very rude, but who are you?”
She smiled. “I am Galadriel, The Lady of Lórien. You are safe within my woods, and should be healed by the morrow.”
Lois nodded, accepting this as truth. “Thank you.” She yawned.
“I shall allow a visitor to come and see you for a moment, then, you shall rest. For your future starts tomorrow.” She got up and gracefully walked to the door.
Intrigued by that, Lois frowned. What exactly did she mean by that?
“Lois!” The blonde cried out as she rushed to hug her. “We were so worried!” Gone was her bloodied dress and ripped cloak. Instead she was dressed in a lovely purple dress that trailed behind her as she walked.
Lois groaned at the force of the hug. “Chloe. I’m wounded.”
“I’m sorry!” Pulling away, her cousin sat on the side of the bed. “How are you feeling? Are you in much pain?”
“Only when crushed by my cousin.”
“I’m really sorry about that.” Chloe repented quickly. “Lana wanted to come, but I did mention that I was family, so I got the visiting right.” She then frowned. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were wounded? You could have been killed!”
“I would have gotten everyone killed if they’d been worried about me at the time.”
“Still…” Chloe chided. “If it hadn’t been for Legolas…”
“Why does everyone make him out to be my own personal hero?” Lois groaned childishly. “Now he’s going to get it into his head that I owe him or something.”
Chloe looked at her in silence for a moment. “I think he already considered himself your own personal hero, as you so dramatically put it.”
“Oh?” Lois asked. “And why is that?”
“He wouldn’t let anyone else carry you.” Chloe pointed out. “And you’re not exactly featherweight.”
“Hey!” Lois exclaimed. “What is it with people and calling me fat these days?”
Chloe smiled. “I think he likes you.”
Lois made a face of disbelief. “U-huh.”
“I’m serious.” Chloe protested. “He likes you. He protected you even when he was in danger.”
“Sounds suspiciously similar to what Luthor did to you.”
Chloe stilled. “There’s a difference.”
“No. There isn’t.” Lois sighed, feeling tired and worn out but really needing to talk to her cousin about this. “I’ve been waiting for you to talk to me of your own free will, but I realize that you’re not going to do so, so as your cousin I am going to take the initiative.” She cleared her throat. “You’re in love with Luthor. Obviously something happened during the time you were together and you’re hurt because he hasn’t gotten into contact with you after Lionel was put into prison.”
Chloe remained stubbornly silent.
“But the more I think about it, the more what Strider said makes sense—and it’s scary because he’s a guy.” Lois chuckled despite the topic. “You’re in love with Lex, and he’s in love with you. And the both of you are too stubborn to admit it and do something about it.”
Chloe sighed, her voice choking with emotion, her eyes watery. “I may never see him again, Lo.”
Lois reached over and squeezed her cousin’s hand. “If I know Luthor, he’s searching for a way to get you back, and he will, even if to do so he’ll end up destroying the whole world.”
Chloe chuckled, yet she still seemed about to cry. “You think?”
Lois was about to answer when she got a headache that throbbed so painfully she yanked her hand from Chloe’s and pressed them against her skull. She screamed in pain, the room circling around her, the sounds grating at her ears.
The last thing she saw before blacking out was the door flying open, and Legolas and Galadriel hurrying towards her bed.
Opening her eyes, Lois looked around her bedroom in her apartment. She blinked, looked around, and gave a little squeal. She was back! This was her room above the Talon! She’d been returned to Smallville!
Hearing sounds in her living room, Lois pushed her bedroom door open and exited with caution. Knowing her luck she’d have to return when the place was being robbed.
“I don’t care WHAT you do, figure out how this happened and bring them back!”
She paused. What was Lex Luthor doing in her apartment?
Hurrying towards the living room, Lois stopped at what she saw. Not only was Lex Luthor in her apartment, but so was Clark Kent and Jason Teague.
Her front door flew open and Oliver Queen, her recently ex boyfriend, strolled in. “I’ve called my people and they’re on it.”
“Mine too.” Lex nodded.
How…odd…to say the least. Lex and Oliver, who hated each other’s guts, were having a civil conversation. And in her apartment.
Lex suddenly looked up at her. “Lois?!”
Oliver looked in her direction. “There’s no one there man.”
She glared at him. He couldn’t see her when LUTHOR could? What was going on?
It was seem that Jason Teague couldn’t see her either, because he was looking at Lex as if he were insane.
“Lex, can you hear me?”
“Yes, I hear you.” Lex nodded, stepping towards her. “What’s going on Lois? Why do you—are you a ghost?”
She gulped. “I hope not.”
“Chloe. Is Chloe with you?”
She shook her head, both ignoring the other men in the room. “She’s back in Middle Earth. I don’t even know why I’m here.”
He ran his hand over his bald head. “Is Chloe alright? Is she safe?”
“For now.” She walked through Oliver before realizing what she did, and she shivered, the same time Oliver did. “That was…remind me never to do that again.”
Lex nodded. “Look, somehow a drink with distilled meteor rocks spilled on your television set and we believe that may have sent you to…Middle Earth?” He frowned. “Where exactly IS that?”
“Middle Earth?” Clark asked, standing up from the sofa in horror. “They’re in MIDDLE EARTH?” He obviously believed that Lois was there.
“He’s always been a bit slow, huh?” Lois said mostly to herself before returning her attention to Lex. “Look. I must be having an Out of Body Experience…” She paused. “Never thought I’d ever hear myself say that.”
Lex motioned for her to continue.
“I was injured. We were attacked in the Mines of Moria. Gandalf fell into Shadow.” Seeing the confusion on his face she sighed. “A friend of ours was killed. Chloe is fine, I’m the only other person who got hurt.”
“Are you okay?”
To say that she was stunned at how honestly worried he seemed for her safety was putting things softly. Maybe her cousin had had a good influence on Luthor Junior after all. “Yes, Galadriel said I should be fine…but then again I don’t think the horrible headache I had was ‘fine’.” She frowned. “And we don’t even have Advil in Middle Earth.”
“How do I get you guys out of there?” Lex wanted to know, as if sensing that their time together was short.
“I don’t know. I spilled that drink on the television while we were watching The Lord of the Rings. There was an explosion, and when we awoke we were in the scene we’d been watching.”
He listened attentively. “Do you think the same will happen again?”
“I don’t know. But I wouldn’t try it if I were you.” She paused. “Unless you bring your sword with you.” She smirked at the surprised expression on his face. “Chloe might have mentioned that you were good at academic fencing.”
He smiled softly. “Did she?”
“Yep.” Lois beamed at him for the first time since they’d met. Chloe had him SO whipped. “Aragorn said that you’d trained her well, he also said that you loved her.”
Lex went pale. “What did she say?”
Lois opened her mouth, yet the pain returned and she screamed before everything went black.
Gasping for breath, Lois shot up in the bed. She didn’t notice those congregated in her room, or the look on Galadriel’s face. What she did
notice was Chloe throwing herself on her once more, crying terrified.
“What happened?” Lois winced at the sound of her voice.
“You…you died.” Chloe whimpered.
Lois chuckled, pulling away, the pain disappearing slowly. “Um, hon, sorry to disappoint, but I’m alive.”
“No. You stopped breathing. You didn’t have a heartbeat.”
“She was alive, just in another sphere.” Galadriel whispered, coming towards the bed. “It is as you whispered while under the fever.”
“Running the risk of quoting Clark Kent…huh?” Lois asked, looking up at her hostess.
“You are of the Elves, my child.” Galadriel sat next to her. “Very little blood, but enough that once you entered Middle Earth it went from passive to active.” Her hand touched Lois’ forehead and she quickly pulled it away. “Gandalf knew.”
“Knew that I was an elf?” Lois choked out the word, still dubious.
“You’re not an elf, you have their blood in your veins, but not enough to make you an elf. A desendant yet not an elf.” Galadriel whispered. “But you are special. You were brought here for a reason.”
Lois gulped. That was what Gandalf had told her right before he…
Galadriel stood rapidly. “You must rest. Tomorrow, you leave my realm.”
“You’re kicking me out?” Lois asked, incredulously.
“No my child.” The beautiful woman smiled sadly. “If I could protect you I’d keep you here, yet your destiny is with your friends and with your chev.”
“My who?” Lois asked.
“In time, you will know.” With that Galadriel ushered everyone outside, and Lois began drifting to sleep. It was only right before she surrendered to its blissful darkness that she remembered her conversation with Lex, and that she should have said something to Chloe.
“I’ll tell her in the morning.” She whispered before succumbing to sleep.
For some reason or the other, Legolas was going out of his way to avoid her. Before they’d left Galadriel’s realm, she’d given the girls weapons. To Lana she’d given a staff, to Chloe, she’d given a sword, and to Lois she’d bestowed a magnificent bow and a quiver filled with arrows. Also, she gave her a sword.
That morning Lois had awoken completely healed, and ready for practice—yet instead of Legolas being her instructor as they’d accorded, Aragorn arrived, stating that Legolas had asked him to take his place as her tutor. To say Lois wasn’t offended was putting things softly, but since she liked Aragorn she pushed away the offense and enjoyed her time with him, especially since he was a sexy tutor, and to have him hold his arms around her while teaching her to shoot…well…she definitely didn’t feel slighted.
“You have a gift with the bow as Chloe does with the sword.” Aragorn told her, arms around her, breath against her cheek as he helped her aim once more.
“Maybe it’s the Elvin in me.” She snickered. “Not that I don’t believe Lady Galadriel was on crack when she said that.” She paused, enjoying the feel of his arms around her. “What is chev? ‘Cause I’m guessing it ain’t short for Chevrolet.”
His beard rubbed against her skin. “It’s the Elvin suffix meaning ‘beloved’ use to refer to life mates.”
“Life mates?” Lois gulped, turning to look at him. “But I haven’t even finished colle--.” She stopped when she realized that by turning her head she’d brought their faces close to each other’s. She gulped. He’s with an Elvin chick…he’s with an Elvin chick… She tried to remind herself, yet, as if on their own accord, her eyes closed and she leaned towards him, feeling his breath against her lips…
“We’re leaving Lothlórien now.”
Eyes flying open, Aragorn and Lois pulled away quickly, and she turned to see Legolas glaring at them from where he stood behind them in the garden. Blondie had horrible timing. Quite like a farm boy she knew.
Aragorn cleared his throat and nodded in his direction before turning to Lois with a small bow of his head. “Let us be off, my lady?”
She smiled up at him, blushing. What Elvin chick? Ignoring Legolas as he had been ignoring her since she’d gotten better, she walked passed him and went to say goodbye to their hostess.
She didn’t have to wait long, for Galadriel was not far behind Legolas, watching them in amusement. “Lois, daughter of Lane.” She raised her hand, and from her fingers dangled a chain with a star. “This is for you. It is the Morningstar, a treasure of our people.”
Aragorn paused, eyes wide.
Legolas watched in intent silence.
“I—I cannot take it.” Lois exclaimed, eyes wide. “This--.”
“Was meant for you to have.” Galadriel whispered as she laid it around Lois’ neck. “You spoke of it while passing into the Shadow. It shall guard you as you shall guard it.”
Lois’s fingers clasped around the intricate golden star that now lay around her neck. “But--.”
“Shh, my child.” Galadriel smiled, looping her arm around Lois’. “Now you must leave, and start the journey fate has destined for you.”
They canoed away from Lothlórien. Lana, Pippin, Merry and Boromir in one, Aragorn, Chloe, Frodo and Sam in another, and Lois, Legolas and Gimli in the last. Lois had wanted to go in the canoe with Aragorn, but as Legolas had pointed out, the hobbits trusted Boromir and Aragorn more and would feel safer with them—so Lois had given up her space next to the hunk whom she’d nearly kissed, for the good of the quest…although it didn’t mean that she didn’t mumble complaints every now and again.
The sound of birds flying up from the trees caused Boromir, Aragorn and Legolas to look at each other knowingly, a frown on their faces.
Turning the bend, two large statues of kings appeared on each side of the river.
“Wow.” Lois whispered, in awe of their beauty and splendor. “Dude. They must have taken forever to build.”
“You like, Lady Lois?” Gimli smiled from where he sat. “They are the Argonath. They are the kings of old.” He paused. “Aragorn’s kin.”
“Aragorn’s kin?” Lois asked, surprised. She smiled. “Brains, brawn, blue blood. The guy’s a ten and he doesn’t even know it.”
She didn’t notice, looking at the statues in awe as they floated by.
Soon they were forced to go ashore, for the river disappeared over a waterfall, and while Lois had always been the adventurous sort, she’d never willingly canoe over a waterfall.
“We cross the lake at nightfall.” Aragorn told them later by the campfire. “Hide the boats and continue on foot.”
“Why can’t we just do that now?” Lana wanted to know. “There’s still a lot of light out. Wouldn’t it be better to continue while there’s light?”
“Normally.” Was all the answer the Ranger gave her. “We approach Mordor from the North.”
“Oh yes?” Gimli asked in a voice that let everyone know that he was dubious of this plan. “Just a simple matter of finding our way through Emyn Muil, an impassible labyrinth of razor-sharp rocks. And after that” he waved a stick in the air for emphasis “It gets even better!”
Lana gulped, not liking the sound of where this was going.
Gimli continued naming the cons of going Aragorn’s way (in a very Boromir fashion), but Lois wasn’t listening to him, as were Chloe, Lana and the hobbits.
For some reason she felt her gaze land on Legolas, who had his back to them and was looking into the woods. She frowned, the same expression on his face as when he’d seen the whosebeens from whatland.
When Legolas turned and whispered something to Aragorn, both looking agitated and worried, Lois decided to get up and go for a walk, like Frodo and Boromir moments before. No one noticed her leaving, as no one had noticed Boromir and Frodo, but she didn’t mind, liking the peace better.
Plus, she needed time to think things over. Needed time to push the blonde elf out of her mind. He was just too irritating to be using up so much of her thoughts.
She didn’t know how long she was walking, or where her feet were taking her, but she gave a cry when she heard a voice behind her.
“Trying to get away from their arguing too?”
Turning, she placed a hand on her heart. “Frodo! You frightened me.”
“Sorry.” He smiled sheepishly, lowering his head. “I just needed to clear my head.”
“Me too.” She nodded, as they began to walk the woods together. While they’d never had a true conversation, their silence was comfortable instead of tense, as both enjoyed the other’s silence and the nature. They passed a fallen stature of a man, and continued on.
“None of us should wander alone. You two least of all.”
Giving another cry, Lois jumped backwards when Boromir seemed to appear from nowhere, carrying pieces of wood, obviously for their fire.
She didn’t notice Frodo’s smile vanishing at the sight of Boromir. She just shook her head. “What do you mean you two? You make us sound like mischievous two year olds always getting into trouble.”
“Well, so much depends on Frodo.” Boromir said offhandedly, reaching for another piece of firewood. “And you, Miss Lois, you have been hurt before.”
“Once.” She defended. “Once.”
He smirked at her, before turning to Frodo, taking a couple of steps towards him. “I know why you seek solitude. You suffer. I see it day by day. You sure you do not suffer needlessly?”
Frodo’s gaze was mistrustful, his eyes suspicious, yet he remained silent.
“There are other ways, Frodo.” Boromir pressed. “Other paths that we might take.”
“I know what you would say.” Frodo finally spoke, surprising Lois with his defensive tone. “It would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.”
For once she wasn’t insulted that she was being ignored. She didn’t like the undercurrent of their tone of voice and body languages. Something was going down, and going down now.
“Warning?” Boromir asked, making a face, coming towards Frodo once more. “Against what?”
Seeing Frodo take a step back, Lois frown and stepped in front of him protectively. “Personal bubble space.” She warned Boromir.
He ignored her and looked at Frodo, who hid behind Lois. “We’re all afraid, Frodo.”
“Pffst. Speak for yourself.” The female in their midst sniffed.
Once again, Boromir ignored her, eyes solely on Frodo. “But to let that fear drive us, to destroy what hope we have…don’t you see that is madness?” He took a step towards them.
“There is no other way.” Frodo protested from behind Lois.
A muscle in Boromir’s cheek jumped. “I ask only for the strength to defend my people!”
Once again glad to be ignored, Lois subtly reached for the handle of her sword. She didn’t like the look in Boromir’s eyes.
The Steward of Gondor threw his carefully collected sticks on the ground angrily. “If you would but lend me the Ring.”
“No.” Frodo answered with a steady voice. Of course, the fact that he was half hidden from view might have added to his courage.
“Why do you recoil if I am no thief?”
Frodo had ‘recoiled’? So much for the bravery then.
“You are not yourself.”
Boromir narrowed his eyes. “What chance do you think you have? They will find you. They will take the Ring. And you will beg for death before the end!”
Seeing his anger, Lois drew her sword and pointed it at him. “Not another step Skippy.”
He shook his head at her. “Fool.” His voice was raspy, sounding as if it belonged to another. “It is not his, save by unhappy chance! It could have been mine!”
“And I could have kissed Aragorn, the Prince William of Middle Earth, save by unhappy chance Legolas butted in.” She announced cheekily. “See? We don’t all get what we want.”
In the blink of an eye he drew his sword. “Against incompetent Orcs you may survive. But you do not want to duel with me, milady.”
“Then, I suggest you return to camp.” Lois said evenly. “You’re not being yourself. Frodo’s right. The Ring is influencing you. You’ve got to be strong.”
“You don’t understand it do you?” He growled. “It should have been mine!”
“Are we going to go over the ‘should haves’ once again?” She asked in a cheeky tone.
“I will only say this one more time.” Boromir told her in a deadly voice. “You do not want to duel with me.”
“And I’ll only say this once.” Lois responded. “Frodo. Run!”
He did something even better, he disappeared, in the blink of an eye.
“No!” Boromir launched himself as if to go after Frodo, but Lois blocked him. His eyes darkened with anger as he raised his sword and began to attack her with fury. “You want the Ring for yourself! You will take the Ring to Sauron and betray us!”
Dodging each strong blow grew harder. Boromir was a seasoned warrior, and she only knew the basics, so it took all of her effort to block his blows. “Listen to yourself Boromir! It’s the Ring talking, not you!”
He wouldn’t listen to her, delivering blow after blow until Lois’ sword flung from her hands and she fell on her knees. His sword pressed against her neck, his eyes narrowed, boring into hers, and then…and then he dropped his sword and fell to his knees as well, hands trembling.
Lois looked up in surprise. “Boromir?”
“What have I done?” As if now that he was not exposed to the power of the Ring he’d returned to himself, Boromir looked up at her in horror. “Milady Lois, I am sorry. I—Frodo—what have I done?”
“You did nothing.” Lois felt odd comforting the man who’d had his sword at her neck moments ago, but she did so nonetheless. “It was the Ring. Frodo knows that, so do I.”
It didn’t seem to comfort him.
The sound of metal on metal rang through the air, as did the sounds of roars.
“Orcs.” Rising to his feet, Boromir reached for his sword.
Lois quickly did the same, heart beating rapidly in her chest, remembering the feel of an Orc sword piercing her skin.
Nodding to each other, the two who’d been dueling not moments ago ran in the direction in which they heard Merry and Pippin’s voices, for if anyone needed rescuing, it would be those two.
They ran with all their might, and clearing the trees they saw Merry and Pippin surrounded by creatures that weren’t Orcs, but were larger and fiercer.
Boromir gave a cry and jumped in the way of a large creature about to hack down on Merry.
That seemed to break the hobbits out of their terrified stupor, and they pulled out their tiny swords, fighting as well.
Lois looked up at the tree next to her and climbed up it quickly. Pulling out her bow and arrow she used her vantage point and began to shoot at the creatures from above. Not only was it harder for them to hurt her, but she could easily shoot the monsters too close to Boromir and the hobbits for comfort, thus drastically thinning the amount of creatures her friends had to battle.
Boromir looked up and smiled at her thankfully before returning to his slaughtering.
She returned his smile, before she felt something in the air. The Morningstar warmed against the valley of her breasts, and she looked up, horrified to see a wave of creatures hurrying towards them. “Boromir! Merry! Pippin! Get out of there! More are coming!”
Boromir looked for a way out yet couldn’t. In an act of desperation he pulled the horn from his side and blew it loud and clear, obviously calling for help.
“There’s a passage to your right!” Lois called to them. “Go!” She saw how Boromir looked at her in desperation. “Forget about me! Save the hobbits!”
He nodded, blowing on the horn again before turning to Merry and Pippin. “Run!”
The hobbits did as told yet stopped when Boromir stood his ground, fighting the monsters that got by Lois.
She crouched on the branch, firing arrow after arrow, trying to kill as many as she possibly could, yet so many were getting through.
Boromir cried out in pain as an arrow pierced his chest. He fell to his knees, yet quickly stood and continued to fight off the advancing monsters.
Lois tried desperately to see which of the creatures had shot at Boromir, while shooting her own arrows, yet in the mass of bodies she couldn’t find the culprit.
Another arrow flew, imbedding itself in Boromir’s stomach, his scream of pain would forever haunt Lois’ nightmares.
“Boromir!” Lois screamed in horror, not caring that she was giving away her position to the enemy. “Boromir!” Her voice crackled with unshed tears. “Get up Boromir! Get up!”
He looked at Merry and Pippin, and forced himself up once more, fighting at hordes of monsters.
Lois bit back tears of joy as she swore to never again think of him as a coward.
Wounded as he might be, Boromir fought with the grace of a hawk and the ferocity of a lion, slaying all those who tried to threaten the hobbits. Although he swayed in obvious pain and dizziness from loss of blood, he drove fear into the hearts of the savage beasts he contended with.
He truly was a son of Gondor.
Another arrow pierced him between the two first ones, driving him to his knees.
“Boromir!” She screamed. “Dammit! Where is the archer?”
Merry and Pippin pulled out their swords and fought with the creatures for their guardian, who couldn’t stand. Yet they were easily manipulated. The creatures grabbed them and ran away up the hill.
Sensing her heart constrict, her breathing hard to do, Lois looked up in time to see the largest of the creatures, holding a bow and arrow as he stood before Boromir. They were the only two left, and the creature smiled viciously as he readied another arrow, this one to end the Steward of Gondor’s life.
“You son of a bitch!” Lois shouted in pain and fury, and her arrow flew true, piercing the creature’s ankle, causing it to fall to its knees in a howl of pain. “You bastard!” Two arrows imbedded themselves into it’s chest, and another into it’s arm.
She jumped down from the tree and this time let the arrow pierce his skull. The creature fell back in a howl of pain.
Rushing towards Boromir as he crumbled to the ground, Lois fell to her knees and hovered over him. “Boromir?”
He opened his eyes, and they were filled with pain. “They took the little ones.”
“I know.” She whispered in a choked voice, tears now freely running down her cheeks. “And we’ll get them back. Right now, we need to get you healed.” She sniffled, vaguely noticing Aragorn and Legolas hurrying towards them but stopping in mid-run when they saw them.
“I am sorry for trying to hurt you, my lady.” Boromir’s voice was choked, blood beginning to appear, tinting his teeth. “The Ring had no affect on you.” He coughed. “You would have made a good Queen for Gondor.”
“Come on now, you know you wanted Lana for that position.” She managed a laugh, yet it sounded weak.
Aragorn came to kneel by them. “Boromir.”
“Where’s Frodo?” The wounded man asked, turning to him.
“He is safe. I let him go.” Aragorn said.
Lois looked at him in horror. He’d let Frodo go off on his own? It was too dangerous!
“Then you did what I couldn’t.” Boromir whispered sadly. “I tried to take the Ring from him. I tried—I tried to hurt Miss Lois.”
Aragorn looked at Lois in worry before turning his attention back to Boromir. “The Ring is beyond our reach now.”
“Forgive me.” He stumbled on his words, raising a hand to touch Aragorn’s shoulder. “I did not see it. I have failed you all.”
“No, Boromir.” Aragorn too, was trying to hold back his tears. “You fought bravely. You have kept your honor.”
Lois cried softly by their side, squeezing the hand Boromir held. She was glad that neither Lana nor Chloe were here, they were probably wherever Gimli was. Neither should have to see this.
Boromir fought for each breath he took.
Aragorn went to take out one of the arrows.
“Leave it.” Boromir ordered. “It is over.”
“Boromir…” Lois whispered, closing her eyes tightly, refusing to believe his words.
“The world of Men will fall.” Boromir’s voice was weakening. “And all will come to darkness, and my city to ruin.” It was a plea to Aragorn, even Lois could hear that.
“I do not know what strength is in my blood.” Aragorn answered, his voice coming out uneven. “But I swear to you, I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.”
“Our people.” Boromir’s grasp on Lois’ hand tightened and she opened her eyes to see him looking at her questioningly.
“Our people.” She whispered back, words nearly indistinguishable between her sobs. Seeing Boromir look for his sword, she quickly reached for it and passed it to him.
He held it to his chest by the hand he’d used to touch Aragorn’s chest, despite the fact that his other hand was his sword hand. “I want you to give this to my brother, Faramir, when you are in the White City.” He told Lois, pulling a ring off of his little finger and sliding it onto her ring finger.
“I will.” She swore.
“She would make Gondor a fine Queen.” He told Aragorn, winced in pain, and then continued. “I would have followed you my brother. My captain. My King.”
His breaths were ragged, until he drew them no more, and his grip on Lois’ hand slackened.
“No.” She shook her head in denial. “No!”
A tear caressed Aragorn’s cheek. “Be at peace, son of Gondor.” Kissing Boromir’s head, he got up, pulling Lois with him.
“We can’t leave him here like this.” She looked up at Aragorn, not even trying to wipe the tears from her eyes.
“We won’t.” Legolas reassured her, his voice so close to her that she jumped, turning to find him a warm comfort behind her, his hand resting on her shoulder. “He shall have the burial of a king.”
Aragorn nodded, tears running down his cheeks. “A King of Gondor.”
They watched as the canoe on which Boromir was laid went over the waterfall. Lana cried against Chloe, who watched numbly, in too much pain to shed a tear. They’d been spared the fight, because Gimli and Legolas had hidden them at the first sign of what they’d called Uruk-hai’s.
“I never told him how much I liked him.” Lana was sobbing. “I should have told him.”
Legolas suddenly noticed something. “We must hurry. Sam and Frodo have reached the eastern shore.”
Aragorn didn’t move.
Legolas frowned. “You mean not to follow them.”
Lois hung her head. She’d known this all along.
“Frodo’s fate is no longer in our hands.” Aragorn said, his voice still betraying the pain of Boromir’s passing.
Legolas placed a comforting hand on Lois’ shoulder, and for once, she smiled up thankfully at him.
“Then it has all been in vain.” Gimli said sorrowfully. “The Fellowship has failed.”
Lois closed her tear-filled eyes and leaned into Legolas’ warmth, surprising both of them stiff. Yet Legolas cleared his throat and placed his arm around her shoulders, drawing her in closer.
“Not if we hold true to each other.” Aragorn answered Gimli’s statement, placing a hand on Legolas’s and Chloe’s shoulders. “We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left.”
“We should only take the necessary with us then.” Chloe announced, causing them to look at her in surprise. “If we’re to catch up with those monsters we’ll have to travel as lightly as possible.”
Aragorn nodded in agreement, putting away his knife. “Let’s hunt some Orc.”
“Yes!” Gimli cried out before hurrying after Aragorn.
Legolas gave Lois a reassuring squeeze before he started after them.
Lois, Chloe, and Lana nodded to each other before following the men.
As they camped that night, the girls sat by the fire while the men took turns keeping guard. Usually at the campfire they would laugh and speak of better days, yet tonight there would be none of that. The day had proven one to be mourned, and they did so by their silence.
Not only were two of their friends dead, but two had journeyed off to Mordor by themselves, and yet another two had been taken captive by carnivorous monsters.
Yes, tonight was not one for smiles nor stories of past adventures.
Lana sighed, looking into the fire. “I always wanted to get away from Smallville. But now, I’d do anything to go back. I’ve learnt my lesson. I have to stop complaining.” She whimpered. “My life in Smallville was great.”
Chloe didn’t seem to have heard a word Lana was saying. “If I ever see Lex again, I’ll kiss him before he can say anything to kill my nerve.”
Lois opened her mouth to say that she would have given anything to have Smallville around to torment, but a headache caused her to let out a blood-curdling scream.
Pressing her hands to her head she fell on her knees, the pain so great she felt sick. The Morningstar began to glow in the valley of her breasts, and she felt it throbbing like a heartbeat. It took her over, and she didn’t feel Legolas shaking her, asking her what was wrong. She didn’t hear Aragorn calling her name, or Gimli muttering to the ancient gods of the Dwarves.
Suddenly there was an explosion of light, and a green tear was visible in the air to their right.
The pain left Lois immediately, and she stood with Legolas’ help, turning to look at the tear.
Lex Luthor jumped through, holding a sword, and dressed in baggy sweat pants and shirt.
Gimli looked ready to attack.
“Lex!” Chloe cried out, running towards him and throwing herself at him. His arms tightened around her and, true to Chloe’s word, she didn’t allow him to even say a thing. Instead, she brought her lips to his and kissed him.
Lana smiled from where she stood by the fire when Lex groaned into the kiss and it grew more passionate.
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were surprised and amazingly enough, quite embarrassed. Obviously, such passionate displays of affection weren’t shown in public here in Middle Earth as it was on Earth. The three warriors even blushed.
Lois smirked at them.
Chloe pulled away slightly. “Lex--.”
“Chloe, I love you.” Lex whispered hoarsely. “I was so worried that you would be killed! I’d separated myself from you to keep you safe from my father only to know that because of that you’d been sucked into this movie! I—I should have told you from the beginning and kept you locked in my manor.”
Chloe smiled up at him in wonder. “You—you love me?”
“I do.” Lex pressed his forehead against hers. “I—I--.”
“I love you too.” She caught his lips with her own once more.
Lois cleared her throat, effectively pulling them apart. Her gaze met Lex’s and she smirked. “Hello Luthor Junior.”
“Lois.” He smiled. “Lana.”
The brunette waved.
Lex then looked at Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. “Hello.” When they nodded their hello he turned to the girls. “The tear won’t be open for much longer. We need to return now.”
Lana perked up. “You mean we can return to Smallville?”
“Yes.” He nodded. “I had my scientists go over what happened in Lois and Chloe’s apartment and they discovered a way to open another tear, yet only for a couple of minutes. We need to cross over now.”
Chloe nodded, smiling when he grabbed her hand and squeezed it. She quickly went to hug Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and then returned to Lex, her smile wide and adoring. “I’m ready to go home.”
Lana gave each man a kiss on the cheek before hurrying to Chloe and Lex. “I can’t wait to use indoor plumbing again.”
Lois paused, before clearing her throat. “Enjoy that for me.”
Her friends looked at her in surprise.
“Lois?” Chloe squeaked.
“I’m staying.” Lois shook her head at the pleading in her cousin’s eyes. “I can’t go now. Sam and Frodo are risking their lives to go to Mordor, and Merry and Pippin are in danger, I can’t go back home and be happy. I need to say.”
“These are fictional characters, Lois.” Lex told her. “They aren’t real.”
“I managed to convince myself of that until I was wounded by an Orc.” Lois chuckled darkly. “In our world they might be fictional, but Lex, they are real in theirs. And I cannot leave Pippin and Merry to their fates with the Uruk-hai. I have to stay.” She cleared her throat of the tears threatening her calm voice. “You can’t convince me to return.”
“We might never see you again.” Chloe whispered, running towards her and throwing her arms around her. “I might never see you again.”
“Hey, who knows, this might be like a video game.” Lois whispered to her cousin, trying to soothe her. “When we win, I’ll be sent back to the beginning, to where I started off, in our living room.”
“Chloe, I don’t want to cut your time with Lois short, but the tear is already beginning to close.” Lex’s voice was urgent. “If we don’t leave now we’ll be trapped here.”
Lana hurried over to Lois, gave her and Chloe a hug, before returning to Lex’s side and walking through the tear, disappearing through the green light.
“I love you, cuz.” Chloe whispered.
“And I you.” Lois gave her a strong hug before pulling away and giving Lex a look. “Take care of her.”
“I will.” He promised.
“Go.” Lois told Chloe, and she watched as her cousin and Lex went to the tear and walked through it together. Seconds later the tear closed completely, as if it’d never been there. “I wasn’t meant to leave.” She whispered. “I don’t know how I know this, but even if I’d tried to leave, Middle Earth wouldn’t let me. I just know it.” She lowered her head. “So it was better for Chloe go to thinking that it was my choice. Otherwise she wouldn’t have gone and she would have missed her only opportunity to return.”
“You are now one of us, Miss Lois.” Gimli told her solemnly. “We will take care of you.”
She turned and looked at the three men eyeing her protectively. Pulling her cloak around her tighter, she smiled, not at the fact that they were going to protect her—because she didn’t need a babysitter. No. What made her smile was the warmth they radiated towards her.
She finally had a family.
“Let’s get some sleep.” She told them, returning to the fire. “Tomorrow we’re going to kick some serious Orc butt.”
They smiled and gathered together around the fire, never imagining what lay ahead.