Fallen Leafs, Part IX
by Areli


Aragorn and Gimli finally reached the tower only to find it surrounded by orcs and goblins. The Uruk-Hai combed the area in search of any intruders. 

"Now what will we do?" Gimli wondered. Aragorn shook his head. 

"I am afraid I do not know." They flattened themselves against the stone wall as a few orcs passed by. An idea passed through him. 

"Dwarf, I have an idea." Gimli leaned towards Aragorn as he whispered his idea. 

"We simply surrender and pretend that we have joined with them. We can get Legolas, and fight our way out." 

"That is suicide!" Gimli whispered fiercly.  

"We managed to defeat most of the Uruk-Hai back and survived did we not?" Aragorn retorted. 

"Not without loosing Boromir." Gimli huffed. 

"I have no other ideas." Aragorn said stiffly. Gimli mumbled but went on to the open path and put his hands up as every creature put their weapons at him.  

"Do not shoot!" he cried. "I wish to join with Saruman!"  

Aragorn came into the open and pleaded the same thing.  


Saruman watched the two creatures come out into the open and hold their hands up. They dropped their weapons and were escorted towards the entrance of the tower. Saruman smiled.  

"So the two companions come and attempt to save their friend. But can they save themselves?"  


The two companions were shoved into the throne room. Saruman sat in his grande chair and eyed them curiously.  

"They claim to want to join you!" one of the orcs yelled in a distorted voice.  

"Ah so they claim. We shall see how loyal you will prove to be." Saruman said to them.  

Aragorn went up to Saruman and bowed before him. 

"I am at your service." he said looking at the ground. Gimli came up and did the same. 

"My axe will go against all who oppose the White Hand."  

"Truly? How odd that you should suddenly appear. Are you not after your lost companion?"  

"No. We do not care about him." Aragorn said.  

"I never liked elves anyway." Gimli added.  

"Hm yet how to tell..."  

"What test must we go through in order to earn your alleigance?" Aragorn asked. 

"You, Aragorn, son of Arathorn. An heir to the throne of Gondor." he turned to Gimli, "Gimli, son of Gloin prince of the dwarf kingdom. You ask what test I need of you?"  

"Indeed we do."  

"How interesting indeed that you two of all creatures in Middle Earth should suddenly wanted to join forces with me." Saruman mused. 

"We have for quite some time." Gimli said. "It wasn't until Legolas finally joined that we realized our error in ever opposing you Saruman."  

"He speaks the truth." Saruman grabbed his staff and pointed it at them suddenly, sending them flying against the other wall.  

They simply fell to the ground and stood up again only to bow before Saruman again.  

"I hurt you yet you still pledge yourself to me." 

"Indeed we do." Aragorn said. "Do with us as you will."  


After a long moment Saruman finally stood up from his throne. 

"Very well. I shall test you. Yet not tonight. Rest in one of the rooms I have and we shall discuss this further tomorrow. If you cause any problems I shall not hesitate to kill both of you."  

He smacked his staff agaisnt the ground and orcs filled the room. 

"Take them to the second chambers for the evening." the orcs nodded and escorted them out of the room.  


Saruman sat back down in his chair and closed his eyes. 

"I wonder how long the companions will remember their goal for...I wonder what they will do when they realize that they will fail?"  


Aragorn flopped down on his bed and wondered how they were going to find Legolas in the tower without Saruman knowing.  

"There is no way this will work." Gimli said.  

"One must always try I suppose." 

"To try is to fail."  

Aragorn said nothing more for he was already lost in thought as to where they could be keeping Legolas.  

"Probably in the dungeon...." he said softly. He stood up. 

"Where are you going?" Gimli asked. "If they catch you we shall die."  

"I do not fear death." he looked down at Gimli. "Nor should you."  

"A dwarf fears nothing." Gimli answered. 

"Then stay here and think of an excuse for my absence if they come." Aragorn said as he took off everything on him that was metal, save for the silver necklace Arwen had given him.  

He traced it softly and held it to his lips.  

"Arwen, please aid me in this." he whispered, kissing it.  

Aragorn then put on his elven cloak again and slipped out the door.

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