What could not be
Note: all character's here are Tolkien's, from LotR and Silmarillion.
And so, as a result of the now-known actions, Pippin got beaten, Saruman got a renowated Orthanc and an extra Grima (he didn't need either, but that's details), and Gandalf - a palantir. Into his eternal and limitless ownership.
Eru, how wonderous was it! Absolutely dark, opaque surface that hid in itself the mystery of genuine creation. Excelent technological characteristics. And finally, the possibility to contact the last in Endore decent Maiar (namely in power, and not in habitual and ethical qualities, of course).
And to contact him was a must. At least so that that invalid of vision would stop staring from side to side with his only eye, and chose at least some direction (better, of course, the useful one) and stopped pretending to be a hybrid of a radar and a lighthouse. And also gave the group on the special mission under the code name "Hobbit, hobbit, and Gorlum as an extra" to finally reach the only decent volcano that survived in Mordor.
Only one difficulty existed. This particular Maiar, even though now bereft of the very weighty in the means of magic accessory, was extremely powerful without any jewelry. Either he kept some inner strengths, either he had those strengths in much greater quantities that he was presumed to have - even by him. Also, the given subject had not only human, orc, warg, and Eru knows what other resources, but also a rare charm. Never mind Saruman and his voice! This one didn't even have to open his mouth... In short, Gandalf preferred not to risk it. One knew him... you'll chat for an hour or two, and then you'll find yourself in the company of Nine with some special Maiar ring on a finger. The accounted-for jewelry numbered exactly twenty, but who knew him... a self-taught goldsmith, Eru damn him, nobody can him all the same...
"I'll take it," suddenly said Aragorn, a long-time ward and one could even say, a friend. Irrelevant of the monstrous difference in ages.
"Yes, you have the right to it," Gandalf's tongue spoke before the mage had even time to think about anything.
He produced the incomparable creation of the ancient noldo master, whom - of all people present - in person had seen only he. The palantir was wrapped into a not very new and a bit dirty rag - nothing better was at hand.
For a moment Gandalf's fingers touched the arm Aragorn, which appeared to the mage rather too hot... And the dangerous bundle vanished in the Strider's saddle-bag as if it never was.
Gandalf wasn't used to taking his words back. And tries not to think that the right of the King (future one) ont the property of a royal tower (past one) is of course, non-argumentive, but respectable Feanor, unfortunately, knew naught about any Minas-Itil, never saw humans, didn't really have time to meet any sinda, and towards the Second House felt the wide-known-about icy rage. Thus it could be bravely suggested that the palantir created by him didn't even suspect about his federal belonging. In the end the mage spat, deciding that you couldn't undo all the same what has been done, and therefore it was not forth thinking about, and in the flush of feelings wished that the accursed Saruman would fall into the newly created lake together with his favorite toy and not very favorite servant. One shouldn't throw just anything just anywhere.
* * *
Aragorn chilly looked at the retreating wizard. A guest from the West. Well-well.
The ability to get anything from anyone, excluding only the Valar, didn't go anywhere since the times of Aman. Only... one needs to become a man to understand that. Earlier behind his back (and if to tell more precisely - before his stronghold) stood multiple armies, and the very land of North definetly didn't share the Valarite opinion that it - such as it was - a Perversion.
Those lands were no more a long time now. But the heart remained.
'Wretched youngers! What, they couldn't hold on to it? As they could do nothing before, only showed-off, so now they didn't learn anything either'.
He vanished in a tent and began to press the well-known to him button on the Feanor's device...
Visibility was good.
As he supposed, the all-terrible Red Eye was a banal laser reactor, additionally armed with ultrasound. 'Nazguls, nazguls... back in school one should listen during the lessons, and not sleep...'
Former Sauron would never incarnate into such, to say frankly, disgusting guise.
Failing to find anything interesting in the Eye, Aragorn aimed for the Maia and sent his thought to the object in demand - since the communication with the Palantir didn't cause any difficulties. And then he saw...
Aragorn laughed merrily and hurriedly stuffed his hand into his mouth. It was completely unneccessary for someone to look into here... Especially those hobbits, who appeared from nowhere and now orderly ruined the life of his former first aide...
In the lost amidst Darkness tower, built in an elven style or simply taken from the elves - Sauron always had a weakness to such buildings - at an open window sat a man with long dark hair, bunched at the back into a tail. In one hand he held a tall glass, filled with some pale liquid - clearly not lemonade, in the other - a lit cigar...
The Dark Lord, taking advantage of the fact that his multiple armies were busy preparing the decisive battle, and commands - with distribution and feeding the arriving allied forces, looked at the Moon, rocked on a chair, and clearly enjoyed life.
"And you didn't waste any time, assistant," smiling, Aragorn noted.
Speaking in the language that was barred amongst the dwellings of elves.
And upon his head, momentarily, appeared a dark crown of a Power not belonging to mankind.
Not waiting for such rough intrusion into his private life the Maia fell off the chair in a crash.
"W... w... w... where?"
"Elendil's heir?" Aragorn inquired, smiling a completely inappropriate for the Leader of the Rangers predatory smile. "Dead, I believe. As he left for your Mordor for Gollum, so he didn't appear ever since."
"S... s... s...?"
"So that's me. And so excuse me, but I'm keeping the palantir. Any more questions?"
"Would you keep stuttering already! Over all, listen: firstly, the idea with the rings was really stupid. So the One will be destroyed..."
"No way!" Sauron yelled, jumping up.
"You're like a parrot," the Dark Vala frowned. "Two hobbits are going to Mordor. You - don't intervene with them. Got it?"
"And the ring?"
"Will make another. Or if you want - I'll make you one as a gift."
"But my strength?"
"That's why you won't intervene. You should sprad artifacts around. Everything must be held close to oneself. Your ring will melt - you'll recieve everything back, everything that you stupidly inserted into it."
"Your Mordor won't go anywhere. The ring will melt - so you should create an illusion. Well, something like..." Aragorn grew thoughtful, "the crumbling towers, the falling eye, the erupting volcano... In short, I pointed-out the basics, work-out the details. And furthermore, stop being here - hurry to Orodruin and wait for hobbits there. Otherwise who knows who'll get that power..."
"I am obeying," said Sauron, finally beginning to look not like a degenerate aristocrat, but like a first aide of the greatest of the Valar.
"Oh, almost forgot. You move orcs now to Minas-Tirith, and also those... allies. The dimmer ones. The rest should go east. They'll be useful. And tell the Corsairs - let them hide. I'm bringing the Dead to them soon."
The Maiar nodded and whistled. His summons brought a real monster (much uglier than the dragons, those were simply cute - Morgoth notted mechanically to himself). Sauron got onto his steed's back with one jump. The monster did a dead-man's-curve and sped to the Mountain of Doom.
The rest of the night Aragorn spent studying the art of disguise.
"You didn't tell anything to the Enemy?"
"Who do you take me for?" asked the sharply aged and fatigued Aragorn, trying not to touch his face by accident, and erase the drawn wrinkles.
* * *
A year passed.
Light held a clear victory. Aragorn married Arwen, so similar to Luthien, and his rulership become the noon of the united Arnor and Gondor. The lands of the true King knew neither famine nor enemies.
The elves left Middle-Earth, taking Mithrandir with them. Aragorn didn't accompany him - he got tired of Olorin back in Aman...
And the first assistant of the King in everything very quickly became a a dark-haired man that appeared in Gondor from parts unknown, with a completely foreign name of Hauer, who stubbornly flared his shaved chin and who collected his luxurius curls into a tail despite all traditions and the basic rules of courtesy. So stubbornly, that after six months practically all of Gondor - as male, so's female - started to imitate him.
Then the man grew a beard, then had a shave, then invented jeans... and only the personal request of the King forced him to make peace with the fact he beame the leader in fashion, and so he shouldn't change his image every week.
And non one, except for professor Tolkien, didn't notice the rise and the spread over the smiling the of the New Shadow.