Title: At the Ford of Bruinen
Series: Ties in with my Anya in ME fics, but you don’t have to read them
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don’t own them. Not even the Monty Python joke.
Verse: LOTR (book) and BtVS
When: reference to the last episode of season 7 and the beginning of FOTR
Characters: Anya, Nazgûl, Frodo, Asfaloth, brief appearance by Aragorn, Glorfindel and the other hobbits
Summary: Anya arrives in Middle-earth. She is not pleased. (Un)luckily there are conveniently placed Nazgûl for her to get her frustrations out.
A/N: I do not own these characters, places, etc. Rated thusly for some swearing. My second fic. Manip included (don't own the images that went into its making).
The Bruinen River flowed calmly across the ford, the shallow water passing across the rocks and pebbles creating a serene sort of melody. But the absence of other sounds revealed the rising anticipation and tension permeating through the woods on both sides of the river. There was no bird song, the music the water created also seemed slightly muted and the leaves were oddly silent without any wind to move them. The very land seemed to hold its breath, waiting for something to break the stillness.
As it happened, the stillness was broken by an outburst of light above the right bank. A dull thud against the soft ground followed by an ungraceful ‘oof’ broke the silence and heralded the arrival of a highly disheveled woman. Anya sat there for a moment, stunned by the fall, before looking upwards at the portal illuminating her face. “Oh no, you don’t,” she muttered and quickly gained her feet, ignoring the slight dizziness accompanying the action. She glared at the rippling portal and tried to jump back into it - without much success since it was beyond her reach. Letting out a growl of frustration, she tried to grab the floating phenomenon again, but it stayed out of her reach, twinkling and shimmering mockingly, before disappearing entirely. For one stunned second, Anya stood there disbelieving.
Then, a scream of anger ripped across the ford as Anya started yelling up at the sky; “GET THE FUCK BACK HERE, YOU PITIFUL EXCUSES FOR PTB’S! HOW BLOODY TYPICAL FOR YOU TO DROP ME OFF IN A CIVILIZATION FORSAKED PLACE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT!”
Oblivious to all else but ranting her frustration out on the Powers That Be, Anya didn’t notice the faint thundering of hooves, barely audible over her screams. Despite the yelling woman, the tension at the ford rose.
“I CAN’T EVEN DIE IN PEACE WITHOUT YOUR MEDDLING! FIRST THE FIRST AND NOW THIS! I HOPE YOU’LL CHOKE ON YOUR OMNIPOTENT SALIVA YOU SANCTAMONIOUS BAST-”
Her tirade was abruptly cut off as she noticed a galloping white horse coming directly towards her. She moved out of the way quickly as the horse gracefully whirled past her to a halt. Annoyed at the disruption of her tirade, Anya turned to face the rider, not noticing for the moment that he was barely hanging on to the horse and seemed quite ill.
“Who the Hell do you think you are? You can’t just run people over like tha-”, he stopped, finally noticing Frodo. “Whoa. Who’s the midget person and where did he come from? I think I’m having vague and as of yet unrealized thoughts that I don’t like this place.”
Frodo, was, in fact, not even looking at her. His attention was completely riveted on the other side of the ford where nine Nazgûl were trying to cross the river (and overcome their fear of water). His scrutiny of the other bank finally made Anya drag her attention to the figures in black sitting astride equally black horses. Instead of becoming terrified as most mortals do in face of the Nazgûl, their arrival only seemed to piss her off even more.
“Hey, you misbegotten fashion rejects!” The Black Riders stilled their horses in surprise. Did she just insult the most feared servants of the Dark Lord?
“Yeah, you guys covered in black sheets! Something tells me you weren’t chasing after the midget at breakneck speed to give him back his wallet.” This, to her, was a totally valid way to react. Black riders chasing the hobbit = their fault for cutting of her tirade. And she was just getting started, leaving a lot of steam still needed to be let out. Despite the fact that most people ran away in sheer terror of these particular beings, Anya decided that she had found the perfect outlet for her frustration.
The Riders had halted for a moment in confusion, before that gave way to anger. Some of them voiced their grating screeches, while the Witch King demanded, “Give up the Halfling, wench!” Their horses still pranced nervously on the bank.
Anya ignored the slight skitter of fear and in a perfectly logical fashion concluded that giving up the midget person to such obviously evil creatures equaled a very bad thing - which meant that she had to keep them from this side of the river. This notion quickly evaporated when what they said fully sank in.
“At least I get some, you Dracula wannabe! When was the last time you even had sex? Or is your face so ugly you can’t look at yourself? Tall, dark and screechy went out of fashion ages ago!” She stood facing them, hands on her hips, clothes ripped and muddy with a partially comatose Hobbit on a horse beside her. Only the shallow waters of the ford separated them from the enraged riders.
They screeched in fury and finally led their horses in the water, intent on killing the insolent mortal. Anya only glared at them more, her further comments not helping, “Oh yeah? You want a piece of me? Wait ‘til I set Buffy on you! You’ll soon be wishing you hightailed it out of here while you still had the chance! I’m so not scared of you it’s not even funny! A bunny outdoes you in sheer appearances. I’ll give you some points for bad attitude, but I’ve seen way scarier; Hell, my ex-boyfriend could give you a run for your money on sheer bad temper!” Neither she, nor the, by now, livid Nazgûl noticed the Bruinen steadily rising, the waters flowing swifter and wilder.
The Witch King decided that he would take great pleasure in slowly torturing the insolent woman. Ignoring the threatening panic caused by the water, he dismounted in the water intent on dealing with the loudmouth human himself; his anger sustained his panic far more effectively than his formidable will. Advancing, he drew his sword, one hand reached out to choke her. The others halted in anticipation (as much as they could feel); they were only now getting the first glimmerings that something was wrong.
As the Witch King did not have many original thoughts, he said, “I will take great pleasure in your pain. You will cower before the Eye!”
Anya continued glaring in displeasure, not above goading them even more, “Is that the best you can do? I’ve seen grannies that had better one liners than you! You better turn back, or I’ll just taunt you a second time!”
Screeching at this latest insult, the Witch King of Angmar, leader of the Nine, lunged forwards exuding all of his terror, with no other thought than killing the puny mortal; the Ring and its pulling call were momentarily forgotten.
For a split second, still standing at the same place, Anya’s eyes widened at the lunging figure in black. However, just before he reached her, he was swept away by the released torrent of water under Elrond’s command. Anya stood stock still, the water raging only inches from her face, her mind and body still reeling from the cold malice of the wraith. She stood there frozen, all of her forced bravado leaking out of her from the shock of that close call.
As the waters calmed and the rest of Frodo’s companions crossed the river, they were greeted with the unusual sight of a female staring blankly ahead. Asfaloth was standing next to her protectively; a rapidly fading Frodo still perched unsteadily on his back. They rushed over, the other hobbits crying out Frodo’s name, while Glorfindel spared nary a glance for the strangely clothed and disheveled woman, instead choosing to get up on his horse. He barked out a few instructions to Aragorn and left in a whirl of gold and white, galloping towards Rivendell, sick hobbit in hand.
Aragorn warily approached the woman, hand reached out to tap her on the shoulder. She blinked once or twice, finally seeming to notice the dirty man beside her. Cheerfully she put on a smile and said, “I am never taunting big black guys in sheets again,” before passing out. Extremely confused and ignoring the hobbits’ worried chattering, Aragorn barely managed to catch Anya before she hit the ground.
“What a strange woman,” he mused. He almost dropped her in shock when her words registered.