Rating: PG -> PG-13

Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]

Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas

Notes: Mar! I verily have no notes! ^-^;;

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers, etc.) or Lord Of The Rings. I'm just borrowing people and places for a little while. Everything'll be returned once I'm done....except maybe for Legolas....um, what? *blink, blink* Did I say that out loud-? Heh, heh, heh....

Chapter Eleven: Waiting
by Senashenta

"How long have we been here, do you think?"

Takeru shrugged in response to Ken's question and looked across the shadowy cavern to where Gandalf was seated, staring down first one fork in their path and then down another. The wizard tugged at his beard, contemplating while muttering to himself at the same time. A sigh, and Takeru turned back to Ken. "I have no idea. Hours, at least..."

"I thought as much."


"How long do you suppose we're still going to be here?"

:Until Gandalf remembers the way.: Wormmon stated, lifting his head from his paws to glance at his partner, :which, given the way he's STARING like that....:

"-could take forever." Ken finished for him.


Ken heaved a huge sigh and rested his head in his hands. "No offense to Gandalf," he murmured half-to-himself and half-to-Takeru; "but I'm getting very tired of sitting here and doing nothing-"

Takeru nodded in agreement; at first, their stopping had been a welcome rest from their journey. The blonde had been completely happy to sit -- his feet were so beyond hurting, they were on the verge of numb -- but after a while it just got to be... tiring. He didn't think it was possible, but he was tired of resting. And it was the strangest thing that he had ever experienced...

...before Middle Earth in general, that is...

"Takeru. Ken."


Ken raised his head and both he and Takeru stared blankly at Ruki. The girl had silently walked up to them, and was standing nearby with her arms crossed and Renamon by her side; and naturally, she was frowning.

"Um... hi."


Ruki's lips thinned; "the six of us-" she said, nodding toward Wormmon and Patamon to include them in the statement, "need to have a discussion."

"A discussion?" Takeru snorted. "Who do you think you a-"

"Takeru!" Ken interrupted; "come on. There's something going on here that involves digimon, right? She's right. We definitely need to talk about it."

The Child of Hope scowled, not wanting to admit that Ruki might be right. But what Ken was saying was true, and even he (stubborn as he was, thanks to Daisuke and Yamato's influences) had to admit it. "Fine."

Ruki nodded crisply and gestured toward an outcropping of rock a few yards from them, and far enough from the rest of the Fellowship that they could talk without worrying about being overheard. Not that anything they said would make sense to the others, but it was a normal precaution for both the Chosen Children and the Tamers. Thus, all of them -- including their digimon -- would feel much more secure knowing that their conversation was a private one.

Ken followed the girl over to the silently-proclaimed meeting place; Wormmon and Patamon came quickly behind; Renamon vanished and re-appeared there shortly. Takeru sat, brooding, for a few more second before standing and walking over. Once there, he sat down stiffly on another large rock and crossed his arms. Patamon took a seat beside him with a sigh.

"First," Ruki said, "there's something following us."

"Um, what?"

The girl stared at Ken; "I repeat -- there's something following us."


Takeru rolled his eyes, "helpful, Ruki, thanks. What is following us?"


Renamon looked at her Tamer, responding to the half-question of her own name; "Frodo mentioned the fact that we were being followed to Gandalf a short while ago. I happened to overhear Gandalf's response."

"Which was?"

"It seems we are being followed by Gollum."

A cumulative blink.

"What's a Gollum?"

Ruki clucked her tongue, "how should I know? I'm just as in the dark as you two are, here, but look-" she held up her D-Power, showing them the glowing light that was emitting from it. "This thing's been going off for as long as this Gollum guy's been behind us."

"Why does she get to keep her D-Power, but we don't have our Digivices?"

"I don't know."

:Focus, Takeru.:

"God!" Ruki snapped, clenching her free hand into a fist. She glared at them. "Don't you two get anything? My D-Power's been going off ever since Gollum started following us!"


"Hn!" Ruki looked ready to ring their necks, "just like that octopus-thing earlier!"

"It seems that Gollum, too, is a digimon." Renamon explained flatly.


Takeru frowned, "so this is another Digital World, then?"



"Look," Ruki snapped, holding her D-Power out. She pointed it first at Renamon, then Wormmon and finally Patamon; the device activated for each of them in turn. "Now, see?" She turned the D-Power toward another outcropping of rock and the dense shadows around it. It activated again, shining brightly.

"That would be where Gollum is." Renamon told them.

"Okay, so-?"

"But watch-" turning around, she aimed the device toward where Gimli and Legolas were sitting, waiting, as everyone else was, for Gandalf... and the D-Power was dark and silent. "Nothing." She said, looking back at them. "This place can't be a Digital World if they aren't digimon, too."

:It doesn't FEEL like the Digi-World, either.:

"...so what is it if it's got digimon, but it's not a Digital World?"

They were all silent, considering. The problem for Ruki was that she hadn't had the same experiences with other Worlds was Takeru and Ken. As far as she was concerned, there were two: Earth, and the Digital World. Both Chosen, however, had the advantage of having been in at least one other World besides Earth and the Digital World, possibly two: the World Of Wishes (as they had taken to calling it) where they had battled Malo Myotismon, and the Dark Ocean World... though they had never actually proved that the Dark Ocean was a dimension in and of itself.

"Guys," Ken said finally, "think about the name."

"The name?"

"Hm," the bluenette nodded, thinking, "listen -- 'Middle Earth'."


"Middle Earth." Ken repeated, looking up. "Middle -- as in in-between, right?"

Takeru sighed, "Ken, you're not making all that much sense-" He was cut off when Ruki delivered a stinging slap to the back of his head. Whirling on her, he glared harshly. "What the hell?!" He shouted, making the others in their company jump and glance toward them; "holy fucking crap! What is wrong with you? I mean, shit!"

"Let him finish!" Ruki snarled, "of course what he's saying isn't making much sense! You didn't let him finish his fucking thought!"

:Beautiful.: Patamon groaned, :another one who's language is just as bad...:

Ken could only sigh tolerantly nod in agreement. "Anyway-!" He said, loudly, to interrupt their argument, "what I was saying..." he paused and raised an eyebrow. Takeru and Ruki both shut their mouths and waited, brooding. Ruki with her arms crossed, and Takeru with one hand pressed to the back of his head where she had slapped him. "So," Ken continued, "if you think about it, it makes some sort of sense."

:How?: Wormmon asked curiously, :I've never been to a World with some digimon and not...:

"Middle Earth..." the bluenette looked from Ruki to Takeru and back; "middle." He repeated, "halfway between Earth and the Digital World. Do you understand now? This is partly Earth and partly the Digi-World, so some of the people and creatures here and digimon, and some of them aren't."

There was another long silence as they all sat and contemplated Ken's ideas.

"It does make sense," Renamon commented.

:What about Legolas, or Gimli, or Frodo?: Wormmon wondered, :Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits aren't human, but they aren't digimon either. Not if Ruki's D-Power doesn't identify them as digimon. Isn't that the way it works?:


"Maybe," Takeru said, still rubbing his head, "they're part digimon... maybe Middle Earth's evolution patterns are different, and they evolved from digimon or something?"

"It's possible."


"Or," the blonde added, "they're just what they are."

:Now you don't make sense.: Patamon muttered.

Takeru shot him a look. "Patamon!"

:Well you DON'T-:

Ken patted Patamon's head gently and shook his head. "Go on Takeru."

"Yes, please enlighten us Oh Intelligent One-"

Renamon frowned, "Ruki-"

The girl smirked and kept her mouth shut.

Takeru glared at her, but continued; "maybe in this world Elves and Dwarves and all the other races are the equivalent of Humans-"

"One flaw in your idea, Doofus." Ruki stated, nodding toward Aragorn and then toward Boromir; "see? Humans already exist here. There doesn't have to be an equivalent for them."

Takeru glowered. "Well how the hell should I know, then? It was just an idea!"

"Ruki," Renamon sighed warningly, "must you be so condescending?"


"Can we focus here, please?"

:Not likely with those two.:

"That wasn't called for, Wormmon."

:But it's TRUE...:

"Still..." Ken shook his head again and stood, making both Takeru and Ruki look up at him.

"Um, Ken?"

The Child of Kindness pursed his lips. "This is getting nowhere, and frankly it's giving me a headache. And-" he added, turning, "since we've already covered all we needed to cover and there's no Aspirin in this World, I'm going before my head feels like it's going to split open." Turning, he walked briskly back to where he had been sitting previously. Wormmon and Patamon followed behind and settled nearby.

Takeru stared after him. <Um, what just happened here?>

Ruki spun around and stalked off, probably to find a wall to lean against.

Renamon sighed, sounding somewhat tired. "She really doesn't mean to be like that."

"I should hope not." Takeru glanced at the digimon.

"I was hoping her friendship with Legolas would change her a bit..."

"We can always keep hoping."

"I never said I wasn't going to." Renamon responded with an uncharacteristic wink. She glanced over to Ruki, making sure she knew where her Tamer was, "I think I'm going to look around. Perhaps I can find this Gollum and speak with it..."

"Is that I good idea?"

"I doubt there's anything it could do that I couldn't handle."

"If you're sure..."

Renamon, instead of responding, disappeared. Takeru shrugged to himself and stood. Stretching his arms above his head, he yawned and wandered over to Ken. Taking a seat beside the bluenette, he glanced up at Gandalf. The wizard was still seated where he had been...

Ken followed his eyes, "yeah. He hasn't figured it out yet."

"Has it ever occurred to you that we may be following someone who's just the tiniest bit senile?"



"Never." Ken nodded, "he's not senile in the least, Takeru."

"And you're saying that because-?"

"Takeru, he hasn't been here in years. Somehow I doubt that if someone picked a random location in the Digital World you or I would be able to find it without at least some thought."

"This is different."


Takeru grinned, "in the Digital World I didn't have to put up with Her-Royal-Bitchiness."

"That's not nice."

"I don't mean it to be. I also wouldn't take so long figuring it out that my butt got numb."

"Ha, ha."

"There is a plus in this, you know-"

Ken raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"

Takeru's lips twitched. "Well," he drawled, "we are alone in a dark cave-"

Ken flushed, "T-Takeru!"


The blonde's lips brushed Ken's neck and he twitched. "You can't... we can't... not here... the others are..."

Takeru sighed into the other boy's skin. "I doubt they've never seen people kiss before."

"But they don't know about us, and-"

"Aragorn knows."

"How does he-?"

"Renamon told me. And the others are fairly sure as well..."

"But -- they --"

Takeru kissed him lightly. "You're right." He sat back. "I can wait."

"I -- I --" Ken's face was a dark shade of red. "I-"

"Ah!" Gandalf's voice interrupted whatever Ken had been about to say. The magician stood, pulling Frodo up with him, and gestured toward one of the paths. "It's this way!"

Everyone else was on their feet in an instant.

"He's remembered!" Merry exclaimed, obviously relieved.

"Come on," Takeru took Ken's arm and tugged him up from the rock he had been sitting on. Together with Wormmon and Patamon they climbed up to the tunnel and followed the others inside.

"Gandalf," Frodo was saying from ahead of them, "how do you know this is the way?"

"Ah," Gandalf responded, "the air doesn't smell so foul down here. When in doubt, my boy," he chuckled, "always follow your nose."

Ken laughed and Takeru could only roll his eyes.

<A saying Daisuke and Taichi both use, and one that their stomachs prompted.>

But neither of them said anything as they followed Gandalf deeper into the Mines.


Me: Um... yeah. Just a lot of talking. So... yeah.

Takeru: Real intelligent sentence there.

Me: *glares* Because you always speak so well...

Ken: He thinks he does....

Takeru: What's that supposed to mean?!

Ruki: *snickers*

Me: *sighsigh* Alright, so the next bunch of chapters has a whole lot of action-type stuff in it. Hold on to your hats, folk!


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