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Experiment Gone... Right?

Chapter 1: Experiment Gone... Right?

by Viv

Challenge: Use the line “Never underestimate the power of denial” in a short fic. Include references to karaoke, especially Gloria Gaynor’s "I Will Survive". Bonus for mentioning the color orange. [AN: Alas, this fic does not contain the optional scantily clad Legolas scene. (50-point deduction)]

This fic is dedicated to all other fics about beaming canon characters to modern Earth, preferably to a fangirl's bedroom.

Speaking of, all canon characters belong to the Tolkien estate. Yadayada. And onward...

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Amanda popped her gum loudly, her fingers flying on the keyboard. Her eyes ached from looking at the screen, but she was so close. Almost done.

Her room was small, cramped, dark. Posters and torn-out magazine photos papered her walls, and little armies of toys marched along rows of green bookshelves. In the nook above her bed rested the Sacred Trilogy, leatherbound, and the Silmarillion with gold leaf edging.

Beside her computer was a tangled mess of Radio Shack parts, computer hardware leftovers, and some custom-looking wiring mechanism. She flipped a switch, and the tangle hummed to life. An otherworldly orange glow suffused her face and the little computer area. She smacked her gum harder, waiting for the onscreen prompt, typing to the machine.

The electronic gizmo—actually an interdimensional portal—made a soft bleating sound.

Amanda typed in one last line of code, pressed Enter, and sat back.

“Come to me, elf boy,” she whispered as the bleating sound grew louder and the whole room began to glow orange.

#

He blinked. Closed his eyes. Thought about home. Opened them again.

Nope, this was definitely someplace else. He’d heard stories about things like this: being transported to other dimensions. But it had always happened to someone else. Never to him.

He looked around, noting the nauseating elf fixation: pictures everywhere, little malformed replicas, even swirly green bedding. This fangirl must have it bad.

Fangirl? Yes, there must be one around here somewhere… He found her on the other side of the bed, face-down beside the mess of beeping, warm, inorganic bits. The interdimensional rift must’ve knocked her flat out. He rolled her over onto her back and brushed the hair out of her face.

She was human, of course. And really quite cute. All dark curly hair and not-quite-adult chubbiness. Her fingertips were nearly raw, like she chewed her nails too much. And there was a little glob of something nasty stuck in the hair behind her left ear. But it was her breath that floored him: Soft, warm, minty, utterly innocent.

He touched her cheek, feeling that breath on his wrist, and he trembled.

Her eyes fluttered open, dark and luminous. She stared up at him.

“You are alright,” he murmered.

She smiled, and his belly constricted painfully. There was nothing in any universe quite as compelling as utter adoration, shining out of a pair of brown eyes. And he knew a thing or two about compulsion.

#

Roxanne had a hard time keeping her mouth shut. Her best friend Amanda sat across in the booth, all tangled up with the result of her most recent interdimensionality experiment. Giggling. Holding hands. Just like any fangirl whose experiment had gone remarkably right.

Didn’t she know? How could she not realize?

From a distance, Roxanne heard the emcee call out a number, and looking down, she noted that their table had been called.

“Uh, Amanda. Are you up to it tonight? I don’t really, ah, feel like singing,” said Roxanne.

“Oh, no. Let me,” said the experiment, locking eyes with Amanda. Amanda blushed and watched him saunter over to the platform and mic. Her eyes followed him adoringly.

Roxanne sat dumfounded. Flummoxed.

Beside her, her own experiment seemed a little uncomfortable. Was he bored? He usually liked singing and stuff. She nudged him and told him to be still. He tugged on her sleeve, and she finally realized that he wanted to get up. Oh.

“Hey, Amanda, we’ll be right back. ‘kay?”

Of course Amanda didn’t even seem to hear. The music was starting.

Roxanne and Pippin threaded their way to the back of the karaoke den, hearing, of all things, “I Will Survive” thrum into the air behind them.

“Holy shit,” Roxanne whispered.

“Ah, Roxanne, lass, can I ask you a question?” asked the hobbit, and Roxanne had to smile at his adorableness.

“Sure, Pip. What’s up?”

“Er, so you think Amanda knows she summoned Gollum?”

Roxanne looked back to the stage, saw the slimy bug-eyed green guy really getting into the music. Pointing at someone in the crowd. Oh. Amanda, of course, who looked back at him radiantly.

“Never underestimate the power of denial, Pip. Never underestimate the power of denial.”

Oh no, not I
I will survive
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive

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Fin.