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A Taste of Blood

"Jay, you mentioned Bleepka?" Acacia said wearily as she staggered back into the response center.

"Yep," her partner replied. "I got some at the last SNAOL meeting and completely forgot about it."

"I'm just glad you remembered NOW."

Jay dug the bottle out of the bottom of the closet and threw it to her.

[BEEP!]

Acacia blinked. "No. I refuse."

Jay hopped over to the console. "Oh, no... another split-mission. I'm heading off to meet someone new—why did they saddle me with this? We can't be the only ones who aren't attached to Legolas." She sighed. "Screw. Enjoy your Bleepka... I need to go meet this new agent."

**

"I'm bored," a brunette said while reclining on a couch.

"Well, you can hardly hope for excitement in this department," answered an Asian who was sitting in front of the computer, chatting away.

The two were sitting in their office in the RPF department, though no one knew why it was still there since the category was banned from fanfiction.net. But once in a while, someone got so obsessed with a certain celebrity that they just had to write and post a story about that person. And that was what the limited numbered RPF agents (right at the moment, their numbers were up to four) were for. Such instances were rare, however.

[Beep!]

"Then again, maybe I'm wrong," the Asian said. "We have got to get Makes-Things to turn that damn thing down."

"When was the last time we heard that?"

"I dunno, three weeks ago? Oh goody, I just got called to the DAVD."

Wait, scratch that, their numbers were now up to three presently.

"Lucky," said the brunette.

"Don't worry, I'll give you all the details when I get back."

"Promise?"

"Okay. Now if you excuse me, I have to go meet my partner for the day. Oh how fun will this be." She grabbed a Milky Way before leaving. One should always have a bar of chocolate with them at all times.

**

Jay plodded down the hall with something less than her usual vigor. Strangely enough, the sight of one's favorite character forced to molest his seven-year-old daughter dampens the spirit.

She was paying as much attention to her surroundings as usual, and nearly collided with another agent walking in the opposite direction.

"Oh, darn it! I dropped my chocolate!"

"Sorry," Jay said. "Five second rule," she added helpfully.

"Uh." The agent, who was a petite Asian girl with large glasses, looked longingly at her chocolate before picking it up and taking another bite. "Watch where you're going next time."

"Sorry," Jay said contritely. "I'm looking for an agent... er... her name is... GAH! I've forgotten." She sagged dramatically against a wall. "Now I have to go back and ask Acacia."

"You're not the only one, the computer told me to go see an Agent..." The girl searched her mind before coming up with the name, "Well, it skips my mind at the moment. Well, if you excuse me, I've been walking around for ten minutes looking for the DAVD. This place needs a map."

She took another bite before continuing.

"I mean, really, how is one supposed to find their way around this place without getting sucked through some portal and ending up who knows where? Shouldn't there be a map posted at every hallway for convenience? When this is over, I got to go up to the boss and complain. I'm very good at that." She said all this without stopping.

"Fah! Only those of complicated minds need maps. And incidentally, if I can distract you for a moment, I'll have you to DAVD in a jiffy. I'm heading that way myself."

"Oh goody! It's mostly because I don't usually leave the RPF department. Which I wish I did more often. The last time I actually went out in the field was about three weeks ago. It gets too boring over there."

"Real People Fic? Really? I was there, once. Got kicked out." Jay flinched.

"How? It's not that hard, you don't do anything most of the time. I don't understand why they still have the department. We're all getting fat from just sitting around,” she said incredulously.

"I tried to kill Vin Diesel," Jay said, grinning manically. "Acacia took a sabbatical just after xXx came out, so they sent me to deal with... it was a real-person slash fic. And... he was..." Jay stopped. "It was traumatic. I eventually got both men exorcised, but Mr. Lindemann had to keep me from throttling Vin..."

"Exorcisms can get messy sometimes. Once, I tried to do that to Britney Spears after an AU fic that placed her as a normal girl. She still dressed sparingly. I couldn't get 'I'm not a girl, not yet a woman' out of my head for a week, " said the girl, taking a step back from Jay. "Can we go now?"

"Congratulations." Jay smiled. "You just got there. You were completely distracted, and so was I..." She pointed behind the other agent. "Lookit."

The girl turned around. Sure enough, there was the sign "Disturbing Acts of Violence Department."

"Well, that was quick." For once, something she said came out short. "Nice meeting you, Agent...?"

"Jay. Name's Jay."

"I'm Dee."

"Dee! That's the name! I'm looking for you. Have you seen you lately?"

The girl (now with a name) blinked several times at Jay before opening the door. "You first."

"Sure. Say, since you're Dee, do you have any info about this fic we're supposed to be doing?"

"No, they just told me to come down here. Aren't they supposed to give us the information when we get there?"

They both stepped inside the room, which was painted red and black. Not the happiest place to be in, that was for sure.

"Yeah, if they're doing split teams."

"Hmm, perhaps they want to keep it a surprise, since it could be bad. Then again, how bad can it be, right? What department did you come from?"

"Mary Sues, mostly."

"I just hope it doesn't involve Legolas." Her eyes went quite glassy at the mention of his name.

Jay stopped. "Er. That's one of the bits of info they DID give me. Apparently he kills himself. I figured they'd assign someone who wasn't emotionally attached." She thought a moment. "Given their track record, though, I really shouldn't have thought that."

Jay pressed further inside; the director was nowhere to be seen, but there was a portal waiting for them in his office. There was also a sheet of paper containing most of the pertinent info.

"Hooo boy."

"What! He kills himself?" A look of pure horror came over Dee's face. "What have they done to him? The author deserves to die for torturing him! Let me see that!" She snatched the paper away. Her hand started to shake as she read it.

And for once, nothing came out of her mouth.

"Yeah. I hope Acy leaves some Bleepka. You look like you're going to need it."

"Do you think I can keep this? My partner wants to know about this mission." She stuffed the paper into her pocket. "Let's go." Her eyes were gleaming in a murderous way as she looked at Jay.

"I do hope they have decent disguises set on this thing," Jay said warily as she stepped toward the portal. "Would be just like them to strand us in Rivendell looking like Nazg—" Her words were cut off as she disappeared.

The surly Asian had pushed her in and all too eagerly jumped in after her. They both reappeared moments later as dwarves, both with long braided beards and axes.

"Yes, finally, a weapon." Dee picked up her axe and started swinging it. "We don't get many of these in the RPF department. You can't hurt real people, blah blah blah. Though I wish I could have been something taller, like an elf. Always being short sucks. Hey! What'd they do with my chocolate?"

It was nighttime and they were both in a forest, with the moon shining above and the stars scattered across the sky. Yet, it was silent. Typical Legolas-torture story.

"Okay," said Jay quietly. "We have to wait until the really, really bad poem is over, at which point we exorcise—oh, cripes, exorcise the entire area of Damien's grave—and it should go back to normal."

"Can we dig up the Mary Sue's body and chop her up?" Dee said excitedly, clutching her axe tighter with relish. There was that gleam again.

"Hmm. Whatever makes you happy. I bet you don't get to do much hurting over in RPF, and incidentally, get out of the way, here comes Legolas."

He wandered through the forest and finally found the grave of his lost loved one. The soil was soaked from the rain. Legolas felt as if the Heavens were crying with him.

A gasp came from Dee, both from excitement at seeing her lust object for the first time, and from sorrow. Jay had to cover her mouth to get her to hush up, and to keep her from running to Legolas. Now the Mary Sues agent understood why Upstairs kept the girl in the RPF department.

He dropped to the ground and felt as if he were to explode that very second. It was time, he thought. He couldn't handle it any more. Legolas took the knife from his under his wet robe and did what he should have done before.

"I love you, Damien," he said just before he did it.

Jay blinked at the Words. "Dear LADY the ANGST." Then she flinched; she seemed to do that a lot. "Call that poetry? That's not POETRY. 'TIER' is poetry. That's just stupid... " She backed against a tree, bracing herself for the complete wash of Angst that was about to be unleashed.

Slit...

White flesh

Red blood droplets seep through

Legolas slit his wrists as the clearing around him turned blue and a lonesome violin began to play.

Dee got enough self-control to stand there, though there was the gleam as she gripped her axe even tighter. "From what I read, it's not even the author's own poem. No... Legolas."

"Think happy thoughts. Think 'this will be over soon.' The blood loss will probably purge the author's influence..."

"Happy thoughts, happy thoughts," the Asian said quietly to herself, though Jay put a restraining arm on her, just in case. "My poor Legolas. Are you sure we can't kill the actual author?"

Pulsing veins pump warm, corroded blood

Of tyrants at their own game

Break the skin

Circle breaks

I am free.

Legolas lay there while he bled to death. He stared up at the sky waiting. Just before he died, he forced a smile on his white face while a single tear slid down his face.

"That is the worst death scene EVER," Jay snarled. "Darnit. Exorcism!"

"Huzzah! Kill kill!" Dee cried as she came charging into the clearing, where Legolas lay bleeding. "No, stay with me, Legolas! You'll be fine! We've got to get him out of here!"

"Just a second." Jay pulled out a copy of The Two Towers, left from her last mission. "Get thee behind me, Angst! The power of Tolkien compels thee!" She brought the book down firmly on the elf's chest; he spasmed, coughed, and sat up.

"Such an original line," said Dee as she sat behind Legolas to support him. Then, she took the transporter and pushed the button for the portal back to Headquarters. "Let's go."

"Huh-uh. Not until we purge this bloody grave."

Legolas' eyes stared upwards blindly, as if he didn't know what was happening (which he didn't). Dee carefully laid him down before taking pouch from her belt.

"Here," she said, putting a few candles into Jay's hand. "You know the drill, put these into a circle." She took a handful also, along with a lighter. "These bottomless pouches are a great idea."

"Fire!" Jay commenced to setting them about and lighting them with gusto, almost singing her beard (which was brown and, by Dwarven standards, attractive) once or twice.

"Pyromaniac," the Asian commented under her breath as she set down the last candle for Jay to light.

"Shall you do the honors, or shall I? Or, wait, you wanted to dig up the corpse."

Dee glanced at Legolas, who was lying there struggling to breathe. "No, we need to save him. I'll do it."

She took a copy of The Return of the King from her pouch, opened it, and held it up to the air. "Begone, foul authoress, from this place! You have no more control here!" The circle started to glow and a gust of wind went through it, blowing out the candles (for dramatic purposes).

The authoress' essence coalesced above the grave. "Noooo! My Story Is Just Beginning! All will know the tragedy of Damien, second daughter of Elrond! And her doomed love of Legola—!"

"Oh, quiet," Jay said, and slammed her over the head with The Two Towers. The authoress/Damien crumpled in a heap. The grave shivered, and collapsed dramatically in on itself.

"Well, that was anti-climatic," said Dee.

Legolas leaped to his feet in typically annoying, perky-elf fashion, and looked around keenly. Normally, a canon wouldn't notice two agents; on the other hand, one of them had just made a grave disappear, and the other had thunked him in the chest with a heavy book.

Dee gasped. "Legolas, you're okay!" Once again, there was the restraining.

He looked taken aback by the two dwarves, especially the one who was looking at him in a way that was making him uncomfortable. If he had his bow, he probably would have shot them. Thankfully for them, he did not.

"They usually are," said the taller dwarf, gathering up the mystic feminine figure who had collapsed to the ground. "You know? I've got the perfect place for her."

"Where?" said Dee, practically jumping up and down in excitement, not taking her eyes off Legolas. "Khazad-dûm, the Watcher, from the top of Orthanc, Mount Doom, where?"

"If you won't be terribly disappointed by a little dimensional side-trip, I know a very nice music video where a bomb will shortly be going off."

"Of course not! We're taking him along too, right?"

"Legolas? It might be a bit traumatic..." Jay shrugged. "No skin off MY nose..." She pulled out her remote activator and called up a portal. "Here we go! Everyone sing it—'I want'."

"I want what?" Dee asked as the portal closed behind them.

They found themselves inside a large, posh bank.

Ich Will.

Few agents can stand to be in a music video for very long; the music permeates everything. And they're usually quite bizarre.

Ich Will.

A thin man in a very smart suit was sitting on one of the teller counters, watching cheerfully as the bomb on his chest ticked down.

"Hallo, Mr. Bombe!" Jay chirped.

"Guten Tag, Jay," he said, waving. "Another... what is it you call them... Sue? Or maybe you just want to follow Him around with your camera—"

"Sue! Sue! Er... sort of. Not stalking him with the camera REALLY!"

"Hi, I hate to interrupt, but we have a Mary Sue to get rid of and an elf to repair. Can we get rid of her already?" Dee asked.

Legolas was looking around at the strange environment the two Dwarves (who had now transformed into Men) had dragged him into. The shorter of the two had an extremely tight grip on his wrist.

And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get her to let go.

Jay hit the unconscious Sue over the head with her book again for good measure. "Be seeing you!" She paused to process the question.

The man with the bomb smiled and looked down. "You had better hurry, Jay."

The bomb's time readout was down into the single digits.

"WOOPSletsgoitwasagreatbankrobberycongratsontheaward!" Jay grabbed Legolas and Dee and yanked them back.

"Exactly what kind of music video did you drag us into?" Dee demanded.

"A very GOOD video," Jay said. "A pity we missed the call-out and audience response, but it's really not fun being in there when he goes off."

"Gah! I'm glad we're back," said Dee as all three of them reappeared in the same black and red room.

Jay blinked. "Dee? You have a canon character by the wrist, Dee..."

The Asian didn't look surprised. If anything, she griped Legolas' wrist tighter. "And I'm going to hold on for as long as possible. He's still too confused to do anything."

"Dee, do you know how much trouble I got in when Alice followed me—"

It's about time the both of you got back, said the Thorn that was sitting behind the desk.

"—ooops. You're here. Ahah."

Tell me you didn't take a Lord of the Rings character into a German metal music video.

"We didn't take a—"

HONESTLY.

"... But... but..." Jay wilted.

Don't you remember what happened the last time you did that? You agents never learn.

"I've never taken a Lord of the Rings character before—"

Hah. Seeing 'Bück Dich' incapacitated Vetinari for some time.

"Well, YES, he couldn't stop LAUGHING... I think it did him good, really."

"Um, can we go straighten Legolas out now? I don't think I can stand seeing him like this much longer," Dee said as she looked from Jay's face to the Thorn's.

Jay and I will be talking, won't we?

"s'm." Jay grabbed Dee and rushed her out the door.

"Pardon," Legolas said coldly, speaking for the first time, "is it possible that either of you will tell me what has just happened?"

"Nah, this is one of those instances where ignorance is bliss," answered Dee as she followed Jay down the hall. "And has anyone ever told you that you are extremely hot?"

The elf blinked, not understanding her question. "Many women have told me that, as a matter of fact. Do you know what it means?"

"It means she wuvs you," Jay said. "Most of us have a thing for characters like yerself."

Dee blushed scarlet as they got to the infirmary. "I don't love him, I'm just obsessed with him. There's a difference."

"Am I supposed to be comforted by this?" Legolas grumbled.

"Nope. Count yourself lucky she doesn't have a camera."

"Oh, damnit! I forgot to bring one! Do you have one, Jay? I would really like a picture!" She stopped as she saw Legolas looking slightly aghast. "For my scrapbook, memories."

They both got him to lie down on the bed after much consoling, more on Jay's part since Dee refused to let go of Legolas' wrist.

"I'll give you the camera if you let go," Jay said, dangling it just out of reach.

Dee looked at her hand, holding tightly onto Legolas' wrist, and at the camera.

Before she could make a decision, Dr. Fitzgerald came in. "Ah, you again," he said to the elf. "I stopped counting how many times you've been in here after five hundred."

The elf looked confused. He was sure he had never seen this man in his life. Though, there was a sense of familiarity.

"So, what was the situation this time?"

"Suicide over Elrond's daughter Damien. His true love," Jay said helpfully.

"Damien?" Dr. Fitzgerald actually chuckled. "Did she look like Sam Neil?"

Jay grinned.

"Damn Mary Sue," Dee said under her breath.

Before Legolas could protest, Dr. Fitzgerald ran a dermal regenerator across his skin and healed up the nasty scars. "All done. And I'LL be sending him back, Dee."

Dee frowned.

"Let go, Dee," he advised.

"Damnit."

"Come on," Jay said kindly as they were escorted firmly from the infirmary. "I'll buy you a slushie. Or, they're doing a good Bleepka cocktail nowadays—"

"Can I have that picture, though?" she asked hopefully.

"Oh, all right." Jay winked and handed over her camera. "You have fun."

"No, take a picture of me and him." She ran and sat next to the elf on the bed.

Click, went the camera.

"Thank you so much!"

Finally, she let go, and Dr. Fitzgerald escorted Legolas to the portal.

Dee gazed wistfully after him. "Bye, my beautiful Elf," she quietly said. "I expect this in my mailbox sometime soon.

"My partner's up for an interesting story, maybe I should file in a complaint to Upstairs to get them to move me. Other than the angst, this was pretty fun! Chocolate?" She took a bar of Hershey's from her pocket.

Jay took the bar solemnly. "This could be the start of a short but sugar-filled relationship," she declared.

END


[Editor's note: No author's notes for this one. I should mention that this episode required a slightly heavier editing treatment due to some very confusing paragraphs, though. A few have been broken up and/or rearranged so that events are presented in the order in which they actually happen, and so it's (hopefully) more clear who's doing what.]

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