Not In Kansas Anymore
Not In Kansas Anymore
Buffy sat amongst the softest sheets she had ever felt and looked at her surroundings with wonder. She lay in a large, rather ornate bed made out of what looked to be several tree trunks intricately carved with all sorts of fantastical animals and symbols. Seated next to her staring in surprise was a scruffy but not unattractive man. He was a warrior, she saw it in his clear grey eyes. His presence exuded authority and he held himself like a king. Buffy had never cared very much for authority, especially when it was gawking at her with its mouth hanging open.
“Did anyone ever tell you it was rude to stare?” she snapped.
Strider shook himself and closed his mouth, what was wrong with him? “My apologies, you merely surprised me waking up so suddenly.”
“How long have I been asleep?”
“The better part of two days. It was not a restful sleep at times either. You cried out often about Glory and Dawn.” Strider walked over to the door, “Would you care for some food or drink?”
Buffy numbly nodded her head and Strider slipped out the door to get the food and alert Elrond that the girl was finally awake. His words brought the memories of that night rushing back over Buffy with frightening clarity. She had jumped off the tower into the portal. Why wasn’t she dead? She was supposed to be dead. She gave her life for Dawn’s and to save the world. Tears pooled in her eyes, where was she? It looked like something out of a movie or a book. And that man had been dressed oddly with a sword at his hip. Who carried a sword around at their hip these days anyway? A sound came from the other side of the door and before it could swing open Buffy sucked her tears back in before they could fall. Crying wouldn’t solve anything. She had to find out where she was so she could figure out how to get home.
* * *
Legolas sat silent on the soft grass of Rivendell’s garden. His eyes were open but his mind wandered in the world of waking dreams. It had not been his intention to slip into such a state, after all it was the middle of the day and the sun shone bright in the blue sky. He had been walking among the trees and flowers considering his opinion on the fate of the One Ring when suddenly he found himself on the ground, his mind wandering in a blossom filled forest. He watched as a golden figure dressed in white spun in quickening circles among the trees until she collapsed in heap on the forest floor. Legolas walked slowly forward and the girl rose, looking him straight in the eye. There was no fear in her gaze only a touch wonder and some curiosity. She spoke in the Common Tongue marking her to belong to the race of men, although her rounded ears and small stature had already given that away. He understood the words she spoke but not the meaning. Angel? Heaven? Santa? She had referred to him as a buster, what was that? Perhaps some honorific title from her homeland? Suddenly the world darkened and Legolas could no longer see the girl, she was lost in the shadow. He began to cry out but was suddenly hurled back into his own body .
The elf looked up at the towering figure of Gandalf. “The strangest thing just happened.”
“You will have to tell me of it later,” the wizard said pulling Legolas to his feet. “The girl is awake.”
Legolas followed Gandalf through the winding corridors as the wizard hastened to reach the room the girl occupied. Legolas felt the need to rush as well and if he hadn’t been with the wizard he would have broken into a run. Why had he dreamt about her? If he didn’t know better he would think that he had been pulled into her dream but as that could not be possible he hadn’t a clue what had happened out in the garden. The only thing he was sure of was that he had to talk to this girl and soon. As they reached the area just outside her door Gandalf put a restraining hand out in front of Legolas.
“You should wait out here with the rest of the Council. Elrond and Aragorn are already inside. The girl may be frightened by all these new faces”
“I beg your pardon.” Gandalf looked at the elf with surprise.
“I have to see her, to talk to her. Gandalf I was trying to tell you , while I was in the garden I was drawn into a waking dream. She was there, she spoke to me of things though they made no sense to me.” The elf wasn’t backing down and the wizard could tell there would be no stopping him from getting inside. Rather than instigate a fight Gandalf merely sighed and motioned Legolas to enter the room first.
* * *
The door swung open and a tall man swept gracefully into the room followed by the Scruffy But Not Unattractive Man. Buffy eyed the newcomer carefully. He also exuded power but of a different sort. His brought a sense of ageless wisdom and knowledge to the room. He had a stately appearance with his flowing robes and long braided hair. He seemed other worldly as he almost floated over to sit beside the bed. Buffy’s eyes never left him and as he came closer her eyes widened. His ears were pointy.
“Your ears are pointy.”
He looked amused, “I am an elf.”
“An elf,” Buffy repeated softly. Something was tugging at her brain asking to be remembered. “The dream. I - I had a dream with one of you guys. One of you elves. It was so strange I thought I was dead. I thought I was in Heaven and he was an angel.” But she was not dead and she was not in Heaven she was-, “Where am I anyway?”
“You are in Middle-Earth.”
“Oh. So is there a Top- Earth and a Bottom-Earth around here as well?” Buffy quipped.
“Pardon?” Both men looked at her in confusion.
“Never mind. So I am in Middle-Earth with an elf and a warrior. Well, at least its not a Hell dimension.”
“My name is Elrond and I am the ruler here in Imladris or if you rather Rivendell,” said the elf.
“I rather,” said Buffy.
“Behind me is Ara - Strider.” Elrond gestured to the Scruffy But Not Unattractive Man who was pouring a cup of water from a pitcher he had brought in. “He is of the race men as are you. Mithrandir, or Gandalf, should be here shortly.”
“Is this Gandalf an elf too?” Buffy accepted the cup of water from Strider with a grateful nod. The water was blessedly cool and surprisingly refreshing.
“Gandalf is a wizard.” Strider pulled back a bandage on Buffy’s arm to check on the scratch on her forearm. As the bandaged unravelled it revealed not a long red scratch as had been there the previous day but the smooth slightly pink skin of her forearm.
“This is impossible. There was a very deep cut here yesterday and now it is gone. There is not even a scar.” Strider rubbed his fingers over the soft skin where the wound had been.
“I’m a quick healer.” Buffy said softly pulling her arm from Strider’s gentle grasp. Strider looked as if he would have said more but Elrond noticed the tension in the girl’s shoulders and he decided to change the subject.
“You know our names, Lady. Will you grace us with yours?”
“That’s my name. Buffy.”
“Buffy,” both men repeated her name trying the strange word out on their tongues.
“It is an odd name,” Elrond said.
“I like it. What does it mean in your land?” Strider asked.
“Um. . . mean? I don’t think it means anything except . . . Buffy,” she shrugged her shoulders. These guys were weird. There was a knock at the door.
“That must be Gandalf.” Elrond said.
“Come in,” Buffy called.
The door opened and tall pale haired elf entered the room followed by an equally tall old man with a long grey beard. God, was everyone here over six feet? Buffy was beginning to feel like a midget. Her eyes studied the old man and she recognized something in him. He had the same ageless wisdom as Elrond but he also reminded Buffy of Giles. She immediately trusted him to guide her in the right direction. She met the gaze of the other elf, which had not wavered off her since he entered. She remembered him immediately and froze.
“This is Gandalf the Grey,” Elrond waved to the old man who nodded his head towards the girl. “And this is -”
“We’ve already met.” Buffy said softly still staring into the blue eyes of the elf prince.
“How -” Strider began but was interrupted by Legolas.
“You were -”
“- in my dream.” Buffy finished.
“This is most interesting.” Gandalf commented rubbing his beard. “Did you both have the
“There was a forest and the trees they were singing such a beautiful song.” Buffy looked to Gandalf.
“Singing, you say?” The wizard queried while raising one bushy eyebrow.
“Yes,” Buffy continued, “I was spinning around and around and when I stopped he was there.” She nodded to Legolas. “Then the shadow came and I couldn’t see him anymore. It was so dark and then there was fire. It- it wasn’t just fire. It was looking at me - the fire was. I think it was an eye, an eye made of fire.” Buffy shivered at the memory and a cold tendril of fear crept in and touched her heart.
Gandalf and Elrond looked at Buffy in shock. Why was Sauron interested in this one human girl? Clearly she wasn’t from this world and she didn’t appear threatening in the least. Yet, if what Elrond believed was true, that she had been sent here by Iluvatar himself, then she must have some power over the dark lord. After all power was manifested in many ways, perhaps she held some knowledge that could be used to fight against the growing power of Mordor.
“This is very troubling my dear,” Gandalf pulled on his beard in thought. “You have seen the eye, very few ever have and fewer still remain alive to tell of it.”
“The eye?” Buffy looked from Gandalf to Elrond.
“The Eye of Sauron.” Elrond stated softly drawing sharp gasps from both Strider and Legolas. They both moved towards Buffy as if to protect her from an unseen foe.
“What could the Dark Lord want with her? She is just a girl!” Strider said.
“Hey!” Buffy gave an indignant cry.
“I meant no disrespect, Lady,” said Aragorn apologetically. “I spoke out of turn.”
“You’re forgiven.” How could she refuse such an eloquent apology. Boy, the guys here sure were polite and she was beginning to enjoy it. “Now who is this Sauron who has his eye on me? And why are you all so afraid of him?”
“Pray be a little more patient Buffy,” Elrond began, “I have called a Council of all races of Middle-Earth and all will be explained there. It was during the opening of the Council that you appeared -”
“There was a great flash of light then you fell from above us of onto to the floor.” That sounded like the portal to Buffy. At least she knew how she got here, now she just had to find out how to get back to Sunnydale, back to Dawn and her friends.
“I suspended the Council until you were awake and could attend. If you feel up to it I would like to call it now as time grows short.”
“She needs to rest -” Strider began but was hushed by a wave of Buffy’s hand.
“I feel fine. I just had a two day nap.”
“But Lady you had very bad fall-” Aragorn protested.
“I’m fine. And what’s with the lady thing I told you my name was Buffy.”
“It is nice meet you Buffy,” Legolas said softly.
“Buffy,” said Gandalf, “how odd. What does it mean?”
Buffy ignored the wizard and pulled her gaze from Legolas to look at Elrond. “Call the Council. I’m ready.”