LilacFree (lilacfree) wrote,

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The fanfic NO ONE asked for...

Buffy The Orc Slayer
Part I
BTW, if there's a way to do tabs in this thing, someone clue me in.

This is set some time fourth season before Oz's departure, and late enough to be after news of the making of the LOTR movies. The story will try to tie in with the movie version of LOTR.

-----When Buffy walked into the Magic Box, Xander was sitting in front of a pile of books and evidently deep in study. This was so unusual a sight that Buffy had to have a closer look. She picked up the slim hardback and stared at the cover.
-----"Monster Manual?"
----- "There are some survivors of my old D&D group. We heard they're finally making a movie of 'Lord of the Rings' so we were inspired to get back together. Willow wants to play an elven Druid."
-----Buffy made a cross with her forefingers. "Get behind me, Geekiness. I thought you weren't allowed to play Dungeons&Dragons after high school. And Willow is cool now. She's dating a musician."
-----"You can take the geek out of high school and burn down the high school, but the geek remains a geek. Hey, why don't you play with us?"
-----"I could never get into those books. I mean, HAIRY FEET. Ew. "
-----Giles had walked over as they were talking. "I hear they're making a movie of 'The Lord of the Rings', he said with evident enthusiasm.
-----"Don't you start, even if you are English. You probably read the Harry Potter books."
-----Giles mumbled something that sounded like, '... very entertaining...' then went on louder, "It so happens that there are occult historians in the Watcher's guild who believe that Tolkien was describing real events that took place in the distant past, before all known history. His accounts of evil powers have many resemblances to entities only described in very obscure works."
-----Xander picked up the Monster Manual and made a show of flipping through it. "Maybe I should keep this around for reference, in case Buffy ends up having to slay orcs or giant spiders."
-----"Giant spiders, ew," said the Slayer.
-----This theory came to the ears of Willow Rosenberg, girl genius, hacker, and junior witch. She loved 'The Lord of the Rings.' Hobbits were cool, elves were cooler. If Middle-Earth was a real place, then she should be able to conjure a vision of it. All she wanted to do was look, how could that hurt anyone? Xander was her accomplice. Though he had been wary of magic ever since the bad experience with the love spell, the notion of actually getting to see Middle Earth was hard for a gamer to resist. The mirror of Galadriel inspired the shape of Willow's spell. She set up a large basin in the training room in the back of the magic shop. Xander helped fill it with water that had been left sitting out under the stars for a night. She and Xander sat on opposite sides, staring eagerly into the water as Willow chanted the spell she had made. "Let the mists of time clear, let us see straight. Show what once was, when moon and sun were young and the Elves still dwelt in mortal lands."
-----Buffy came in as Willow was chanting. Mist started to rise from the water and she came to look. "Willow, what's with the whammy?"
-----"Oh, I was just trying to conjure a vision of the past. Lookee no touchee," the redhead said in her best defensive didn't-mean-any-harm voice.
-----"Wow," said Xander, leaning forward. Light shone on his face that could come from nowhere other than the basin. Buffy knelt down beside them.
-----There was still mist on the water, and the image was wavery. It showed the crest of a hill on which stood a stone structure. The most striking feature was a statue of four eagles, facing the four points of the compass with their backs to the center. There were trees around, but lower so that they did not affect the clear view that one must have from the top of the hill. Nothing moved, but Buffy felt a sense of something wrong, some evil drawing closer as she did when vampires were near. She started to tell Willow to stop the spell, but then her gut clenched. The mist became smoke; the water became a whirl of fire and shadow. Slayer instinct kicked in and Buffy struck, pulling out Mr. Pointy and driving it down into the water with blurring speed.
-----The image was gone. And so was the Slayer.
-----Buffy groaned and struggled to sit up. Sounds of metal on metal assaulted her ears and stone was hard under her. She had fallen through smoke or mist, fallen... Willow, Xander! The Slayer came to her feet, shaking off the effects of the fall. Her friends were nowhere to be seen but she recognized the place from the image in the basin. The eagles, the platform... stairs. She noticed the stairs when a man ran up them, then turned at bay. He was tall, dark, and very good with a sword. He was outnumbered but his opponents were going down hard. The opponents... Ew was just not strong enough. They wore armor with attitude and they smelled bad. They reminded Buffy of the three warrior vampires that the Master had sent against her, but they were even uglier, and let's not forget, smellier. The tall man was alert, he noticed Buffy's presence and stared at her a second in surprised wariness, then turned just in time to block an attack and kick the ugly-smelly in the head, knocking him back down the stairs. "Stay up here, there are more orcs below," the man warned Buffy, then went to the edge of the platform and jumped. Buffy stayed where she was for a moment, because her head was spinning. Orcs. Were Xander and Willow watching this? She was in Middle-Earth and she had never even finished reading 'The Hobbit', or played Dungeons&Dragons, just when being a geek would have been really useful. From what Xander had said, orcs were easier to kill than vampires. She hoped he was right. As the Slayer charged down into battle, her war cry was, "HAIRY FEET!"
-----The orcs were big, but they weren't as strong or fast as vampires. Buffy picked up one of those nasty spike ended swords from a fallen orc and started hacking away. The armor was a pain. A good kick in the knee would bring one down where she could whack them in the neck, but her foot really felt the armor through her joggers. Two others came to help the first man and Buffy fight. One was a dwarf. Easy guess: short, blocky, beard, axe. The other... Buffy had to stare for a moment. Tall, pointy ears, blond hair prettier than hers, handsome, moved like a weasel on crack and could do things with a bow that were simply amazing. Must be an elf.
-----From down the slope came a loud tooting. The man with the sword dashed towards the sound leaving Buffy and the other two to finish up the orcs. "Lass," said the dwarf in a vaguely Scottish accent, "For a wee girl you're a fine warrior."
-----"That was Boromir's horn," said the elf, "We must go to his aid." He sprinted down hill, the dwarf stumped after him. Buffy paused uncertainly. With the fighting done she began to worry how she was going to get back home. She looked up in the sky and waved hopefully. "Willow? Xander? Help?" In the distance she heard metal on metal, more combat. The orcs lay in heaps around the hilltop, even uglier in death than in life, still /wrong/ as if their bodies were a form of evil toxic waste.
-----"I'm not figuring out magic girl. I'm the Slayer. I fight bad things. Evil," she said to the air as if Willow might be able to hear her. "And that's what I'm going to go do. But come get me, please?" And Buffy ran down the hill after the others.
-----The combat was finished by the time she arrived. She spotted the elf first, by the sunshine on his blond hair. How come he was so neat and clean compared to the others? He and the dwarf looked on as the swordsman knelt beside another man and kissed his forehead. A dead companion, then. The thick black arrows sticking in him made Buffy shudder. "I was too late," the swordsman said as he stood up. "The orcs have taken Merry and Pippin." He picked the dead man up in his arms and started carrying him downhill. Buffy could see the glitter of water in that direction.
-----The water was a wide place in a river. Downstream was a huge spur of rock sticking straight up at the edge of a waterfall. The sound was a constant low roar like bass subwoofers at a rock concert without the rest of the music. They laid the dead man out in the boat. The swordsman looked to Buffy. "We are grateful for your help in battle, lady. We did not expect to see any but orcs in this place. I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. These are my companions, Legolas of the woodland realm and Gimli, son of Gloin. Who are you and how did you come here?"
-----Aragorn had a stern face, but his voice was gentle and his blue-grey eyes met hers openly.
-----"My name is Buffy. I came here by accident. I have a friend who was using a spell to ... to look at a far away place, this place. It gave an image of that stone building up on the hilltop. I felt evil coming through the spell and I tried to stop it. And then I was here."
-----Gimli asked, "Your friend is a sorceress?"
-----"Uh.. sort of. She still has a lot to learn."
-----Legolas was gazing across the lake. "Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore. They are far ahead of us."
-----"The quest is going on without us, Legolas. It was Frodo's choice. And we will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment." The elf nodded agreement. Aragorn and the others pushed the boat with the dead Boromir out into the water. The current took it and it vanished over the edge of the falls. Aragorn began to strap on a pair of bracers that had belonged to his late companion. His face held grief and determination, and Buffy guessed this was some kind of memorial to Boromir.
-----"Buffy, I do not know of any way we can help you get home, and we have two friends captive by orcs. Yet to leave you alone here is unwise. There may be more orcs, and while you fought well you do not look like one used to traveling in the wilderness."
-----"You're right, Aragorn. I'm ..." Buffy tried consciously to leave out slang, she'd just confuse him, "I don't know much about how to survive in the wilderness. But where I come from, I fight bad guys like those orcs. Please let me go with you, and I'll do what I do best. I'm tough. I'm stronger than I look." She tried to hold herself in a strong and confident pose. Good thing she was dressed to patrol: jeans, sweatshirt, and a cap over her hair.
-----"I will speak for her," said Gimli, "She mowed those orcs down like hay at harvest. I've never seen the like of those kicks."
-----Buffy returned the compliment, "I thought I was good with an axe until I saw you in action, Gimli."
----- "Och, you are an axe-fighter? Try one of mine," the dwarf said, and tossed her one of his short axes.
-----Buffy caught the weapon, and hefted it with a slow appreciative smile. It was well made, sweetly balanced in her hands. Though she did not know it, right now she looked every bit the Slayer. And so it was settled. Buffy became the last member of the Fellowship.
----- "...three days and nights pursuit, no food, no rest..." Gimli was exaggerating. They'd had a few breaks. The first night had been the worst. It felt like the tail end of winter here. Buffy had curled up into a miserable, shivering little ball. Legolas, who didn't seem to need to sleep at all, drat his permanently gorgeously clean flowing blond locks, wrapped his cloak around her. All three had the same sort of cloak, a wonderfully muted grey-blue-green clasped with a leaf shaped brooch. The cloak's material was thin and silky but surprisingly warm. Buffy managed to sleep better after that, but the journey was taking toll of her stamina. Aragorn's example kept her going. He was human... no special elven or dwarven powers, and he kept running like he was made of iron. Buffy was bound and determined to hold up as long as Aragorn did.
-----The landscape was like nothing she'd ever seen before. Looking out over that expanse of green studded with rocks that modern landscapers would have cleared out was to know she wasn't in California any longer. The mountains in the distance looked as massive as the Rockies. But Buffy preferred a vista of a wide open mall to the great outdoors and her concentration was taken up by the need to move. One foot after the other. Like Gimli said, the secret was breathing.
-----Buffy was breathing her best when Aragorn dragged them all behind a rock. It took her a moment to recognize the sound she was hearing, she had only ever heard it before in movies: the hoof beats of horses approaching. The rock was good cover, the mounted troop passed without noticing them. There were some horses with saddles but no riders in the group, it confirmed the impression she had that they'd just come from a fight, and from along the path of the orcs the Fellowship had been tracking.
-----Aragorn stepped out from behind the rock after the last rider had passed. "What news, Riders of Rohan?" he called. Buffy felt relieved, Aragorn knew these people. They could get help. Rest. Baths. If anyone bathed in this world except elves. They all followed Aragorn as the troop of riders wheeled about and surrounding them. Help did not look likely, being spitted on a bunch of spears seemed to be in store for them.
-----A Rider pushed through the others to the front. His helmet had a white horsetail plume that looked about as clean as his own hair. Gimli had an attitude and Legolas backed him up heatedly. Buffy was glad Aragorn kept his cool and intervened.
----The leader took off his helmet and even in her wearied state Buffy reacted. He was /hot/. No lesser word would do, even filthy, sweaty, and smelling of horses, the man had the mojo. His news was all bad: his force had slaughtered the orcs, no survivors, and no sign of the missing hobbits. Eomer seemed to take to Aragorn, he offered them horses. Gimli opted out of one of his own, and Buffy had never ridden before. She ended up seated behind Aragorn. He had a nice broad back, and the rocking of the horse's stride had Buffy asleep, clinging instinctively to the tall man. It reminded her, as consciousness faded, of sitting on her father's shoulders at a child.
-----On arrival at the battlefield, Aragorn gently shook Buffy awake and helped her dismount. Gimli was already checking the pile of burnt orc carcasses. He pulled something out, a strip of ornate leather now mostly destroyed. "One of their belts," he said sadly.
-----Aragorn went to his knees and shouted in anger and loss. Legolas whispered a few grief-stricken words in elven. Buffy had not known the hobbits, but she felt a rush of warm feeling for these three very different people who showed their caring so openly.
-----Something had Aragorn's attention, he looked to the side, began what Buffy thought of as his 'Super Tracker' shtick. He could read disturbed ground like the pages of a book. Their mood rose as Aragorn tracked the hobbits to the edge of the spooky looking forest.
-----Galadriel leaned over her mirror, a rare furrow in her marble brow. She had lived so long that the time since her birth could not all be measured in years and yet she had never seen anyone like this young girl. So small and slender, deceptively fragile was she: capable of the grace of an elf yet awkward as young humans so often were. Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas all liked her. A good sign; Galadriel trusted their judgment of character. However, the arrival of Buffy Summers in this troubled times was as inexplicable as the chance that Bilbo Baggins set his hand down on the One Ring in the darkness under the Misty Mountains. Galadriel knew that despite Buffy's courage she was little more than a child even by the standards of mankind. "Such a weight of destiny on such small shoulders," the elven queen murmured. "May the Valar guide her."
-----Buffy blew on her burnt fingers. Her axe had heated so suddenly she could not hold it, and now the rest of the Fellowship were treating this weird old white-clad man with awe and reverence.
-----Apparently they had thought he was dead. Gandalf was the name.
-----"Oh, yeah, the wizard," Buffy said thinking aloud from her faint memories of 'The Hobbit'. Suddenly they were all staring at her.
-----"And who is this young lady, Aragorn?" The white robed man came forward and looked keenly into her face.
-----"Gandalf, this is Buffy Summers, who by chance not well understood crossed our path and fought by our side. Like our hobbit friends she is small but valiant of heart."
-----Gimli coughed, and reminded Aragorn, "And with a strong hand on her axe haft."
-----Buffy looked back at Gandalf. His gaze was a little hard to bear; under it she was more aware of her flaws. But beyond those, she was the Slayer. She'd looked a lot of things in the eye and she had nothing to hide. "I would have been lost without them. I don't know my way home, but I know what side I want to fight for."
-----"There is much that is strange about you, Buffy Summers, but there is a clean spirit behind your pretty eyes. I will give you what help I can to aid you in returning home, however little it may be. For I perceive that you are very far from there indeed."
-----Her butt hurt. Buffy was in the middle of a world she'd first heard of in a fantasy novel, there was war in the offing, and the natives were unfriendly but she was finding it hard to think about anything except how sore her rear was after bouncing on a horse's back for an eternity. The walk up the stairs that led to the entrance of the stone house on top of the hill refreshed her with the chance to use different leg muscles. Buffy pulled off her knit cap and tried to fluff her hair. It didn't feel as greasy as she'd expected, maybe because of the diet of lembas bread. At the top of the stairs, the guards asked them to relinquish their weapons. Buffy set aside the axe willingly: she preferred to fight humans with her bare hands instead of an edged weapon. She grinned at the reaction of the guards as Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn produced weapon after weapon. Her friends were nothing if not formidable, even Gandalf had a sword. He hung onto his staff, though, and Buffy wondered at the wink he gave Aragorn. She had been glad to discover that despite his aura of power, Gandalf had wit and a sense of humor. He reminded her a little of an older Giles.
-----From the outside, Edoras had an appearance that Buffy vaguely classed as Viking: stone and wood, banners, and armored men with spears. Inside, it was dark and musty with the smell of stale smoke. The king sitting on the throne at the far end had an aura about him that Buffy found seriously creepy. He looked like the resident of a bad nursing home that had been forgotten in a corner and sat decaying and cobwebby forever teetering on the lip of the grave. He mumbled his words as though he heard and spoke from some twilight place stuck between life and death. At his elbow stood a man in heavy dark furs who looked like he had been shape-changed from a sewer rat. His hair was black and hung in lank strings, his face was sickly pale and his blue eyes had the glaze of a dead fish. He spoke for the king, walking out to meet Gandalf and accusing him of being a meddler and bearer of bad news. Gandalf swept past him with a few contemptuous words, and the Wormtongue signaled to men standing off to the side. They jumped forward meaning to detain the company. Aragorn blocked the closest from reaching Gandalf and the others sprang into action. A pair of hands grabbed Buffy's arms from behind and at Slayer speed, Buffy kicked back over her shoulder, spun around and swept the man's legs out from under him. Sore muscles complained, but Buffy had no time even to wonder if she could get a nice hot bath to soak in. She had demonstrated her fighting ability and the attackers saw her now as a real threat. She checked her friends, they were holding up well. And not all of the guards were attacking; Buffy saw the guard captain, Hama, holding back his men. These she fought must be Wormtongue's personal goons.
-----Now Gandalf put his staff to work, extending it towards the decrepit king. "I release you, Theoden."
-----Buffy's skin crawled as the king began to laugh, a horrible senile sound. He taunted Gandalf and behind the aged voice she heard a second one, dark and resonant with power. Then Gandalf let his grey cloak fall away, and he shone in that shadowy hall like a sunrise. Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy saw a tall woman in a white dress and long blonde hair rush towards the throne, only to be intercepted by Aragorn.
-----The king sagged back in his chair, but the dark voice threatened, "If I go, Theoden dies."
----- Gandalf thundered, "You did not kill me and you will not kill him!" The king was flung against the back of his chair by a force that was like a blast of crisp clean air from a mountaintop. Then Gandalf lifted his staff and the old man sagged. The blonde broke free of Aragorn and rushed to keep the king from falling from the throne. As she knelt by him, the king started to alter, the decrepitude falling away from him until he looked old but healthy. From the watchers in the hall Buffy heard exclamations of joy.
-----There was such a thing as a hot bath. And soap, and liniment, and clean clothes. Buffy had not been much disposed to like Eowyn at first glance. She had too many qualities that Buffy wished to possess: height, golden naturally wavy hair, and she was clean enough to get away with wearing white. But by the time Buffy had lowered her tender derriere into a hot tub she had come to think of Eowyn as an angel of mercy. Tub might have been pushing it: it was a large copper basin that made Buffy glad to be petite. If she tucked her arms and legs in she could fit all herself inside, whereas Eowyn probably hung over the edges. It was draped with cloth so that one didn't have to directly touch the heated metal.
-----"I don't know how elves do it. Legolas is always so clean. The dirt doesn't stick to him."
-----Eowyn laughed, "I cannot explain it, he is the first Elf I have ever seen." She looked at Buffy with wonder. "Are there many shield maidens where you come from?"
-----"There are women who fight, yeah, but most fighters are men. I'm sort of a special case. I was Chosen to be the Slayer, and part of the package is extra strength and quick healing and talent for fighting. That's only the start, a Slayer has to train hard to use her gifts well. I'm always fighting someone bigger than I am."
-----"I saw you fight, you have great skill. Women of the Mark may learn warrior skills, but few see battle unless their homestead is attacked. My thought is that in these days all will wish their hand was strong on a sword hilt." Eowyn paused then added, "Your companions all seemed seasoned warriors. It is a heartening sight for those who oppose Mordor to see Elf, Dwarf, and Man fighting as loyal comrades."
----- "They're quite a team." Buffy reluctantly rose from the tub, accepting the rough linen towel Eowyn passed her. "They trust each other. I have friends like that. I miss them a lot." Eowyn didn't say anything else, but Buffy felt romance vibes. Speaking of which. "Eomer is your brother, right? I only met him briefly but I was ... impressed." Buffy hoped that Eowyn wouldn't take her up on the pause. She didn't know Eowyn well enough to tell the woman she had a sexy beast of a brother.
-----Washed, dressed, and brushed, Buffy felt happily girly as she followed Eowyn into the feasting hall. The dress was a kind of princess look, made of fine soft wool in a muted pine green worn over a linen shift. Buffy found that the drape of the long cloth had a flattering effect that made her feel taller. Her hair hung loose in shining curls and for a change she was looking forward to seeing Legolas' blond locks. There he was, beautiful as ever, standing by Aragorn who still looked rather scruffy even though he'd obviously groomed himself. If the man never shaved, how come he always had stubble and not a full beard? Stubble sort of looked good on Aragorn, bringing to Buffy's mind the image of Harrison Ford with more hair. They both had that rough and ready charisma.
-----Legolas saw the two women approaching, and bowed to them. "A fair evening this shall be in such company," he said in his clear voice. The compliment and the killer smile he gave them made Buffy's heart flutter. 'You like bad boys,' she reminded herself. 'No elves. Angel was centuries older than you, Legolas is a few thousand years older. It doesn't work out.' The guys definitely had a different attitude towards her. She had dressed like a boy and fought like a man, and now they were seeing there was a woman under all that. They had always been kind and polite, but there was an extra courtesy in their speech that yet fell short of flirtation. Buffy was all for it, it made her feel appreciated as a woman without any pressure. Everyone spoke in such old-fashioned terms; even she had started to fall into the same manner. The only person she had heard curse was Gimli, and that was in Dwarvish. She didn't know what he said, but it sounded like naughty words.
----- And she had been right. Eowyn was getting a thing for Aragorn. Buffy thought it looked like a good thing. In the little time she had known Aragorn she already felt great affection and respect for him. He was special: strong yet mild, reserved yet warm, brave without machismo. She found him attractive without being attracted to him. After a few minutes mulling this, Buffy found herself smiling wryly. That was it: he felt too old. Funny after admitting her attraction to Legolas, but there it was, she liked her older men to have a touch of boyishness.
-----Aragorn asked, "What makes you smile, Buffy? You have been silent too long. I would hear you laugh."
-----Buffy became aware that she had been staring at Aragorn. She quickly covered by nodding to Gimli and saying with a grin, "I was wondering if the beer was what made Gimli's beard so long. I've heard that washing hair in beer makes it soft and shiny." The dwarf had been defining 'quaff' for her, every time he drank from his tankard beer spilled in drops down his red beard. Now he gave a roar of laughter.
-----Legolas said playfully, "Buffy has it right, that is why 'beer' and 'beard' have only one sound different."
-----Aragorn rubbed his bristly chin, smiling at Buffy. "And you were thinking that I should drink either more beer--or less."
-----Eowyn rose quickly in the midst of this banter. For a moment Buffy thought that the Lady of Rohan was offended, but looking after Eowyn she saw King Theoden and Gandalf bringing in a pair of exhausted children. Eowyn took charge of the children. Buffy gave her a bit of a hand, but it was clear Eowyn didn't really need help. She had the children wrapped up and seated in front of bowls of hot food within a few minutes. Her gentle questioning had their story from them and then she sat by them as they ate and told the King what had happened.
-----'The Hellmouth is open," Buffy thought to herself as Theoden, Gandalf, and Aragorn talked about what should be done. Her attention was on the children. These were the kind of people the Slayer was meant to defend against the monsters. She thought of Joyce Summers and knew that her mother was just as frantically worried as the mother of these children must be. For the first time she felt the pangs of homesickness knowing how much she wanted to return to her own place and how little hope she had a finding a way back.

End Part I
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