Fellowship of the Ring, Revisited

Strider could have gone another half mile, at the least. But he didn't, for he could see that his companions were beginning to tire. They'd kept up well enough, during the day of walking, and the ranger had been able to gauge how far they could travel and how soon they would be able to reach Rivendell. He'd been impressed by the hobbits' stamina, and their determination. But now, though still an hour before dusk, they were obviously ready to stop for the night.

Frodo was still walking just a few paces behind him, and Strider suspected he would keep up no matter how far their guide chose to go, tonight. The others, however, were beginning to lag slightly, and they'd been talking among themselves about how much further and when was supper.

Strider would have preferred to get to Rivendell as quickly as humanly possible -- but they weren't, and it was unfair to expect them to keep the pace of a Ranger, regardless. Alone, he would make the trip in half the time he'd mentally allotted for their group to make the trip. But it wasn't he who had to get to Rivendell, so he kept his pace to that of his companions.

He began looking out for a spot for camp, and fifteen minutes later he'd found one and halted the party. The hobbits had cheered up immediately, and Sam and Pippin began gathering twigs for a fire while Merry dug into the bags for foodstuffs. Strider shook his head. At least he didn't have to worry about eating well, on this journey.

While they ate, he sat with Frodo, talking a bit about Rivendell and what they could expect of the journey there. It seemed to talk the hobbit's mind off his worries about Gandalf, and the Black Riders, and those stories led into others, and soon all of them were sitting around the fire they were letting die off quickly before nightfall, talking.

When he judged, by the yawns the younger hobbits were no longer hiding, that they would soon all be asleep, he excused himself. "I'll stand first watch, tonight, and give the surrounding area a quick look over, first." The hobbits just nodded, and continued their story-telling as Strider walked out of the camp, into the trees and growing darkness.

He began walking a circuit about fifteen years away from the edge of the campsite. There was nothing out in the night which alarmed him -- nothing close by. Satisfied they were safe, at least for the moment, he headed back to the camp to sit watch.

When he stepped into the small clearing, he stopped. There was a large... pile of hobbits, on the ground. He had a second to be alarmed, before he realized the pile was moving.


"What the bloody fuck are you doing?" came the startled whisper, and he clamped his jaw shut as soon as he said it.

The four hobbits paused, and turned -- some of them from rather interesting angles -- to look at him.

"Getting ready for bed," came Merry's voice, sincere and confused.

"You're--" Strider stopped himself, for they obviously knew what they were doing, and didn't need him standing over them, gaping and stammering like he'd never done anything of the sort, himself. Even if he hadn't, at least not... well, they were hobbits, and hobbits were said to be odd creatures. He cleared his throat. "I'll go check the perimeter again. Just-- um, don't make any noise. The Black Riders could be anywhere."

Four head bobbed up and down in acknowledgement, and as he stepped away, they returned to their... night rituals.

Strider took his time walking around the camp.


In the morning, he was wakened by a soft sound. His eyes flew open, and he was half-sitting up before he saw what had made the noise. Pippin was lying on his bedroll, head thrown back and mouth open... and one of the other hobbits had his head buried in his nether regions. Strider felt his face go red and he turned away quickly enough that he wasn't even sure who it was down there. He stood up and excused himself, pleading a call of nature.

He took his time with that, too. When he returned, all four hobbits were fully dressed and sitting around a small fire watching Sam make breakfast. They moved aside to make a spot for Strider to sit, which he did. He had to clear his throat twice, before he was able to say, "You know, it might be... wiser, to... forego certain things. We are in a hurry, and being chased by Ringwraiths, and all."

Four pair of wide, disbelieving eyes stared at him. "Forego?" Merry laughed. "Next you'll say we shouldn't stop for second breakfast and elevensies!"

Strider blinked. "For what?" He wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know. "Second breakfast," Pippin repeated, patiently. "Elevensies -- second and third meals of the day."

Strider was pretty sure he was going to regret saying this, but, "Um, no, actually we won't be stopping until nightfall, again. We'll rest for lunch, of course, but not... twice."

"What about afternoon tea and dinner? We missed dinner last night," Pippin said, sadly.

"You want to stop four times, for meals?" He was beginning to understand why hobbits weren't know for roaming around the countryside.

"Well," Merry said, thoughtfully. "We could, I suppose, make sandwiches for afternoon tea, and carry them with us. Eat while we walk. And a bag of fruit for second breakfast..."

Strider put his head into his hands. They were never going to get to Rivendell.


They were crossing the plains, headed towards the Weathertop. Strider was astonished to discover that, despite the hobbits' insistence on having six meals a day, and indulging in vigorous sex each night and morning, they were keeping pace with him and the schedule he'd set. He didn't want to admit that he was going a bit faster than he might have, if only to get to Rivendell -- and Arwen. *Listening* to the hobbits morning and evening was driving him buggy.

Suddenly he turned, alerted by some sixth sense, and saw a rider, dressed in black, behind them, on horseback. It was gaining fast. "Hurry!" he called to the hobbits, and turned to run, heading for the slight shelter of rocks, some ways ahead. It might not offer any real protection, but it would give them something to put at their backs while they fought the rider off.

The hobbits, and Bill the pony, broke into a run. Strider could only hope they would make it in time, and risked glancing over his shoulder to check the rider's progress against their own.

They'd not quite reached the rocks, when he heard the thundering of hooves, and spun around to run for the rear of their trail. "Keep going!" he shouted at them, drawing his sword to meet the rider.

The hobbits stopped -- the pony kept going, at Sam's slap to its hindquarters -- and gathered in a semi-circle. Strider had no time to yell that he'd meant for them to *keep going*, when he'd said "keep going", as the rider was almost upon them.

The four hobbits stooped down to the ground, but Strider didn't dare look to see what the hell they were up to. Then they stood, and, all together, let fly with stones they'd picked up.

Two hit the horse in the head, and two hit the rider in the head. The rider flew back, and the horse screamed, rearing. The rider tumbled off, and the hobbits ran forward. The horse ran a few yards away, then stopped and stood, facing them.

After a second, Strider ran after the hobbits. The Black Rider was gaining his feet, and Strider held out his sword. "Get behind me!" he shouted, and again the hobbits seemed to have no idea what he meant by that. Merry and Sam leapt towards the rider and Frodo and Pippin ducked down, again, and Strider could see stones in their hands.

Strider strode forward, realising he was going to have to force himself between them, in order to get the hobbits to safety. Merry and Sam hit the rider, Merry at his legs and Sam at his waist, and the Ringwraith bent over to pluck them off its robes. Strider raised his sword, then halted as Frodo and Pippin hit the Ringwraith in the head with four stones.

It staggered, and Merry fell to the ground. As he got to his feet, he said, "What's *under* there?" He pointed at the long, black cloak.

"The Ringwraiths are shadows of the nine kings!" Strider yelled, not quite sure why he was explaining this *now*. "They are neither alive, nor dead. They have no form but their twisted spirits, bent to the power of the One Ring and their Master who uses it."

"Really?" Sam asked, sounding surprised. He grabbed the edges of the cloak, and leapt backwards. The cloak came off in his hands, and left... nothing. The four hobbits stared at the cloak. Strider stared at the air where the cloak had been.

There was nothing there.

"You mean, we've been being chased by a black robe on a horse?" Merry asked, dumbfounded.

"No! No, the Ringwraith--" Strider began. He looked around. It had to be *somewhere*. Now it was obviously invisible, and would be impossible to fight. He turned around in a circle, wondering where it might have floated to. The hobbits were shaking out the cloak, and looking it over.

"Nice material," Frodo commented.

"Yeah. Wonder who made it? D'you think the orcs do their own weaving?" Pippin asked.

"We should ask Gandalf, when we find him. He'll know. He knows everything," Sam said with certainty.

Strider couldn't find any sign of the Ringwraith. It wasn't hitting anyone, it wasn't doing nasty, bodiless evil Ringwraith things.

It didn't seem to be anywhere.

The horse was grazing, quietly.

"Strider? Hey, d'you think we can take the horse? We'll get to Rivendell much faster if we can swap out riding," Sam called over.

"What?" Strider spun back to face the hobbits. "No, you can't take the horse! Hobbits can't ride horses. You can only ride ponies. Besides -- evil horse! It belonged to a Ringwraith, remember?"

"Who said we couldn't ride horses?" Frodo asked. "All we need is a ladder to get on their back -- you'd do for that, Strider."

"Yeah, and Bill belonged to that mean ole human guy. See how that turned out? He found us those truffles, yesterday." Sam said, and the other hobbits nodded, smiling at the memory.

All right, so the truffles had been good -- but Strider was pretty sure it was pigs, who were supposed to sniff them out.

"I've an idea," Frodo was saying, and the hobbits were once again ignoring Strider. "I'll put the ring on for a bit, and attract a couple more Riders. We'll clobber them, take their horses, and all of us can ride to Rivendell."

The hobbits loved the idea. Strider closed his eyes.

Gandalf was going to kill him.


Aragorn -- and he could say that, now, even in his own head -- was so glad to be in Rivendell. They'd been here for weeks, or days, or months, depending on who you asked and he'd got to spend every single night with Arwen. Wheeee! No more hobbit orgies right next door, but a real, live girl who had sex with him.

The hobbit orgies were all the way on the other side of the building. Aragorn didn't ask about them, didn't want to know, and pretended he didn't see the way even Bilbo skipped down to breakfast. Elrond had muttered how unusual that was, but Aragorn didn't offer an explanation.

He was currently on his way to the secret council meeting Elrond had called. Everyone was in town, now, and it was time to talk about what they were going to do. He reached the patio set aside for their use, and wondered how a secret meeting could be held out of doors where just anyone could wander by. He didn't ask, because Elrond was already miffed at him about something. Aragorn didn't want to know -- he just wanted to get the Ring dealt with, so everyone could go home and he could keep having sex with Arwen without thinking of four small, hairy, naked bodies doing things he didn't want to think about.

When he reached the patio, he found everyone else already there -- including Frodo's three hobbit friends.

"I thought this was a secret meeting?" he asked Elrond.

"It is," the elf replied, sending a sideways glance at the hobbits.

"Relax! We didn't tell anyone," Pippin said, cheerfully. "We know how to keep secrets. Why, I, myself, have never told anyone about Merry's mother wearing only her pink hat, when she cleans the house."

Merry thumped him, and Sam asked, "The pink one with the feather?" Pippin nodded, and Aragorn went back to studiously ignoring the hobbits.

Elrond did the same, beginning the meeting as though the hobbits weren't there. He explained the danger facing them, and the dire need for them to decide something quickly, before he who must not be named, could find the ring.

"Then why've we been hanging around here for so many weeks?" Merry whispered.

"Shh!" One of the elves seated nearby glared at the hobbits.

"What are we going to do, then?" Aragorn asked.

"The ring cannot stay here, Aragorn. It must be destroyed." Elrond gave him a steely-eyed look, and Aragorn wondered if maybe Elrond didn't *want* Aragorn making time with his daughter.

"Fine! Lemme at it!" Gimli, the dwarf, grabbed the ax from the dwarf sitting next to him instead of his own ax, for some reason, but which turned out to be a fortuitous reason because as soon as he hit the ring, the ax shattered. The dwarf whose ax had just been destroyed growled at Gimli.

"Er, all right, what was that?" Gimli asked, pointing at the un-shattered ring.

Elrond sighed. "It won't work. Believe me, if it were that simple, we'd have done it any time Frodo was in the bath. No, it can only be destroyed by the hottest fire, in the same pits where it was created: the Crack of Doom."

The four hobbits snickered. Elrond looked at them, astonished.

"We call Fatty that," Merry explained. "When anyone tries to give him a good fucking -- they slide right off, because his buttocks are so fat. No hobbit has ever managed--" He stopped, and everyone looked gratefully at Gandalf, whose hand was over the hobbit's mouth.

"So, we've got to take this thing to The-- er, Mount Doom, then?" Gimli asked.

Elrond nodded. "Someone must take it. Someone we can trust. Not dwarves."

The meeting exploded into a torrent of 'well, they can't either's and 'not a chance, bug-face's. After a moment, Aragorn heard, "Er, I've got a question." It was Frodo. He said it again, louder, and finally everyone started to quiet down, and looked at him.

"Crack of Doom, right? Hot fire, hot enough to melt down a magical, evil ring?"

There were nods, all around.

"Can't we take it someplace else?"

Everyone stared at Frodo. Aragorn saw several expressions of confusion, some of astonishment. Legolas was digging into a satchel.

Frodo looked around at everyone. "I mean... instead of going to one that's surrounded by orcs, and Saruman, and evil eyes?" The other three hobbits raised their fists and made three identical, strange gestures, sticking their thumbs up between two fingers. "Surely there's another volcano in the area?" Frodo continued. "They don't tend to appear by themselves."

"Yeah, volcanos form over faults, which are long lines," Merry added.

"Got it!" Legolas exclaimed. He was holding up a map. "There's one, here." He came forward and spread the brightly-coloured map on the dais. Pointing, Legolas said, "I'm pretty sure it's still active, too. It was last time we tried going down for vacation. Nice place, little island right off the coast. Warm, sunny, nice beaches. Natives are friendly, if a bit under-dressed." He waggled his eyebrows and the elves behind him made 'yeah, man, righteous' noises.

"Great! Can we go, then?" Frodo looked up at Elrond.

Elrond stared down at the hobbit, silently. Then he looked up at Gandalf, then Aragorn, then Legolas, and Gimli, and one of the other humans. "Yes. Fine, go. All of you, I don't care. Just destroy the blasted thing."

"All right!" Legolas pumped a fist into the air. "I've gotta go pack. Hey, Gandalf, can you shrink a surfboard?"

Aragorn watched Elrond lowered his head into his hands. He snickered. At least it wasn't *him* this time.


"Look, all I'm saying--" Boromir said, in a low tone.

Aragorn interrupted him. "We can't. Don't you think I would have done something before now if I could?"

"But, Sire -- er, Ara... um, Stri-- look, it's *distracting*. I can't even clean my sword properly, without thinking all sorts of... phallic things, with all that going on. It isn't decent!"

Aragorn sighed. They were walking along behind the group, trying not to appear too obvious about their topic of conversation. Aragorn was, at any rate. He didn't want to get into another debate about the health requirements of keeping the juices flowing, and relieving stress in such trying times, yadda yadda. Not after Frodo had suggested that part of his problem was *frustration*.

"Deal with it, Boromir," Aragorn growled. "Everyone else is."

Boromir laughed. "The elf joins in, Gandalf just watches, and Gimli goes off to gather firewood and grumble about how he wants the blondie to boff *him*. That's not dealing."

Aragorn glared at him. Before he could respond, though, he heard the hobbits' voices rise. He sighed. *Now* what?

"I'm telling you, it's a bad idea," Sam was saying to Frodo. Merry and Pippin were looking at Frodo, but not saying anything.

"Oh, come *on*! What's once more gonna hurt?"

The four hobbits had slowed their pace, and the rest of the party was gathering around them. If they were stopping to have sex, again, Aragorn was going to skin somebody.

Maybe Boromir. He was a safe target.

"Mr. Frodo, I really think it's a bad idea," Sam said again. He sounded honestly worried.

"What's going on?" Aragorn asked. The four hobbits looked up at him. He was struck by how perfect a height they all were... He shook his head, sharply, and focused on Frodo's reply.

"I just want to put it on for a *bit*. I'm worried it'll slip out of my pocket, or something."

"What? The *Ring*?" Aragorn was shocked. "Are you insane?"

"Frodo, we talked about this," Gandalf said sternly.

"But I want to! I can't help it." Even as he spoke, Frodo's hand was creeping towards his pocket. Sam slapped it down.

"Stop that."

"Look, just... don't think about it," Aragorn offered. Lame, he knew, but they were standing out in the middle of a field, and any of the remaining four Ringwraiths could come by, at any moment. Or Saruman might find them, or... well, they needed to keep moving.

"I can't help it," Frodo said, softly. Aragorn was struck by the urge to cuddle the man, and slapped himself mentally. "I can feel it..." Frodo's hand hovered just above the pocket. Sam's hand hovered right above his, waiting to slap him again.

"I've got an idea!" Pippin suddenly cried. He ran over to where Bill stood, and dug through the saddle bags. He pulled out a large round... thing, and brought it over to Frodo. "We'll just tape it to you!"

The other hobbits looked impressed, and agreed it was a fantastic idea. "You'll what?" Aragorn asked, feeling stupid. Luckily, the other tall people looked like they felt stupid, too.

"We'll ta-- er, bind it to his skin," Pippin explained. Frodo had pulled the Ring out of his pocket and was holding it up. Pippen peeled a layer of cloth off the round thing in his hand, and tore a strip off. Sam and Merry, meanwhile, were--

"What are you doing? We don't have time for that!" Aragorn exclaimed. They stopped, Frodo's shirt half open, and looked at him. "No, Aragorn, look. They're going to bind the ring to me, see?" Frodo said quickly. He helped his friends pull his shirt open, then all four of the hobbits looked at Frodo's chest.

"Hmm, that's a problem," Merry said, thoughtfully.

Aragorn hesitated to ask. So he didn't.

"No, it isn't," Pippin said happily. "We'll just put it down here." He reached out with his free hand and tugged Frodo's pants open.

"What the bloody fuck are you doing?" Boromir exclaimed.

"See? It's perfect!" Pippin said, and he held up the cloth, and Frodo pressed the ring against it. Somehow, it stuck.

"It's magic?" Boromir asked, amazed.

"The best kind of magic," Sam agreed. "Now, look."

Aragorn hated to look -- they'd pulled Frodo's pants down enough so they could almost see his dangly parts. He did *not* want to know.

"It's a little small for there, isn't it?" Legolas asked.

"Oh, we're not putting it *on* him," Sam explained. "Since Mr. Frodo hasn't any hair on his chest, Pippin's just putting it where he's hairy."

Pippin did so, placing the strip of cloth, with the ring underneath, against Frodo's pubic hair. Pippin pressed the cloth firmly, then stepped away. The cloth, and ring, stayed put.

"I don't get it," Gimli said.

"The next time Frodo gets the urge to put the ring on -- he'll have to tear that off, to get at it." Pippin smiled, proudly.

"Yeah! And I'm not about to rip off my short and curlies, just for an all-powerful evil ring. *Ouch*!"

The hobbits seemed pleased, and congratulated Pippin, as Frodo pulled his pants up. Aragorn was still fairly sure he had no idea what had just happened.

"How did you know to bring that... magic cloth?" Gandalf asked.

"Oh, Merry brought it," Pippin said. "He uses it to bind himself up, when he wears those short skirts for me."

"I wondered why it was flesh coloured," Gandalf said, nodding.

Gimli gave Aragorn a pleading look. Aragorn agreed. "All right, let's move on. We've spent enough time... er, here. Let's go."

They started walking again, and Aragorn heard Sam asking if Frodo could walk all right. Frodo said it wasn't unpleasant, there was just a gentle, constant pull that was actually rather nice.

"Hey, what happens when it's time to chuck the Ring into the volcano?" Frodo suddenly asked.

The hobbits looked at each other. After a moment of silence, Pippin shrugged. "We'll worry about that when we get there. Hey! Maybe we can shave you."

Aragorn hurried forward, so he wouldn't hear any more. He rather expected Boromir to be hurrying along with him, and glanced back. To his horror, he found Boromir looking at the hobbits, thoughtfully.

Fuck, he thought. One more down. Maybe tonight he'd invite the dwarf to play a game of draughts. He glanced back towards Gimli.

Actually, he was rather the right height, as well...


"Hey, Frodo," Legolas said, not moving from his position.


"I was just thinking." Legolas fell silent once more.

"Yeah?" Frodo prompted, though from the sound of it he wasn't any more eager to carry on a conversation as Legolas. Aragorn was surprised either of them was awake.

"The Ring," Legolas finally said. "Thought of a way to get it off?"


They fell silent again, and Aragorn glanced over. Neither had moved, and they bothlooked as lifeless as only the truly relaxed could look. Or the actual dead, but given they'd just had a conversation, albeit short, Aragorn was fairly sure they weren't.

Pippin shouted, in the distance, but none of them looked up until, a few minutes later, he shouted again. The shout was louder, much closer. Aragorn glanced up and saw Sam, Merry, and Pippin, running towards them. No one stirred.

The three hobbits collapsed in the sand beside Frodo, who lifted his head and faced them. "D'you mind?" he asked.

"Sorry." Merry laughed, and scooted away to where he was no longer dripping onto Frodo. He looked around at their group, and asked, "Where's Gimli?"

"Oh, you know Gimli," Gandalf replied, sitting behind Frodo and Legolas. Aragorn glanced back, and couldn't even tell if Gandalf had opened his eyes at the commotion of the three hobbits returning from the ocean. The brim of his pointy hat was pulled down to shade his face, and nothing moved except his mouth as he said, "Muttered something about dwarves not being sunbathers. We told him he could set up an umbrella, but then he started on about sand on his ax and on and on. We left him indoors."

"Oh. Too bad -- the water's great!" Sam nudged Frodo. "You sure you don't want to come with us?"

"I'm surprised you're back so soon," Frodo replied, sounding amused. "You've only been out there all morning."

"We were hungry!" came the unsurprising reply, from Pippin. "Any sandwiches left?"

Aragorn felt that -- what with nearly everyone present, and some vague resemblance of coherency showing, he ought to get them focused on their whole reason for being here. He propped himself up on his elbows, and squinted against the sunlight. "Frodo -- you know we really should do something about the Ring."

The hobbit glanced over at him. "I will." He continued to lie there, in the sun.

"Shaving didn't work," Gandalf pointed out. "Which I don't quite understand -- Pippin, you said that Merry binds himself up all the time."

"Yeah, but I shave myself *first*," Merry told him, accepting a paper wrapped sandwich from Sam, who was handing them out to everyone who would take one. "Piece of cake pulling it off freshly shaved skin."

"Ah." Gandalf nodded.

From behind him, Aragorn heard Boromir clearing his throat. Aragorn closed his eyes. "Freshly shaved? You wouldn't..."

Merry grinned, and stood up. Stripped as he was for swimming, they could all see quite clearly, including Aragorn who peeked and immediately regretted it, that he hadn't in fact been shaved, for a couple of weeks. "Did you want to--" was as far as he got, before Boromir had leapt up and hurried over. He picked Merry up and slung him over his shoulder, then turned and ran up the beach.

"Good grief," Aragorn muttered.

Legolas gave him a lazy smile. "As though you haven't got a fetish or two hidden away."

Aragorn glared. "This isn't about my fetishes. This isn't even *supposed* to be about sex. We're here to throw The Ring into the volcano and destroy it. Remember?"

Frodo frowned at him. "I'm going to. Soon as... well, the tape will get old and brittle eventually, and tear right off." He gave Pippin and Sam a doubtful look. "Won't it?"

"I don't know, Mr. Frodo," Sam shook his head. "I taped up an old rake handle, once, and it stayed on tight for years."

Frodo and Sam looked down at Frodo's groin. He was tanning nicely, Aragorn noticed, though soon he'd have to flip over. Aragorn glance down at himself, and realized he wasn't the only one. He rolled over now, while he was thinking about it, and lay his head down on his arms.

"Maybe we could..." Sam began. His hand hovered right above the strip of magic cloth.

"If you pull that, Samwise Gamgee, I'm not going to have sex with you ever again."

Sam pulled his hand back. "Well, I just thought -- one quick yank, and it'd be all over."

"You want to yank something?" Frodo suggested in a completely different tone of voice.

"I'm all covered in salt and sand," Sam told him. "Let me run up and shower first?"

"How about I come up and shower with you?" Frodo stood up, picking up his towel and giving it a swift shake.

"Frodo," Aragorn interrupted them. "The Ring?" They really had to get it destroyed. Soon.

The sun felt *so* good on his back. He wondered if he could get Legolas to put some of that oil on him, that Gandalf had said would prevent burns.

"What if we do it tomorrow, or the day after? There's a virgin sacrifice scheduled for tonight, anyhow. We don't want to get in the way." Frodo was already heading up the beach, Sam right behind him.

"Besides, it's a really long hike up the side of the volcano," Sam put in. "We wouldn't want to start so late in the day."

Aragorn sighed, and waved his hand. "Whatever."

The two hobbits ran up the beach. Aragorn closed his eyes.

They'd been on the island for almost four weeks, now, and he knew that they had to get the Ring destroyed before too much longer. Tomorrow was certainly soon enough -- except they'd been invited to a luau, by the friendly, under-dressed natives. Well, there was always the day after -- except they wouldn't be getting up early, the morning after a luau, would they? Aragorn didn't want to hike up a volcano with a hangover, that was certain.

The day after that, though, was the weekend, and he knew none of them would want to go anywhere near the volcano. Monday they'd be resting up after the weekend - so, Tuesday. Sounded good. Aragorn made a mental note. Tuesday, volcano. Destroy Ring.

Now, though, he wanted a nap.

He suddenly heard another shout, and jumped when something hit him in the back. Pushing himself up, he saw what had hit him. Growling softly, he sat up, picked the ball up, and tossed it back, hard, towards the group playing volleyball down the beach. "Damn Uruk-Hai," he muttered, and lay back down again.