A young girl sat at a coffee shop, a large book clutched to her chest. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and soaking the fabric of the chair, and her sobs echoed about the room.
“Miss, miss!” A man shook her shoulder gently but received no response. “Can you hear me? Do you need help?”
“FRODOOOO!” sobbed the girl.
“Somebody call the Fandom Hospital! We have a serious case of feels!”
Minutes later, an ambulance tumbled through the streets, its sirens blaring the Doctor Who theme. It skidded to a stop and the doors opened, dozens of fictional characters pouring out of the doors.
“I’m a doctor, let me through!” cried John Watson, elbowing through the crowd.
“Oi, so am I!” yelled the Ninth Doctor, running after him. Two small figures trailed in his wake.
“No, you’re not! Where exactly is your medical degree? You’re a time-traveling alien, not a doctor!” John knelt next to the girl and tapped her cheek gently. “Can you hear me? We’re here to help.”
“Check the book!” cried Peregrin Took, running up behind the two men. “That’ll help.”
The Doctor grabbed it and pulled it open to the spot marked by a wrinkled receipt. “Oh, no. Last chapter of Return of the King. I cried then, too.”
“I’ve got this.” Pippin elbowed them aside and stepped up to the girl.
She gasped and enveloped him in a huge bear hug. “Silly Took… brave cousin… cousin… why… had to leave…”
“Merry!” wheezed Pippin. “Reinforcements!”
John extracted him from the bear hug before he could be crushed. “We need to get her into the ambulance.”
“There’s no time for that.” Artham Wingfeather landed next to them, ruffling his wings. “I’ll take her. I’m quicker.”
“Thank you.” The men stepped aside and Artham lifted the girl into his arms. He took off, flying above the city rooftops with the stricken female. The others loaded back into the ambulance and it reversed its course.
Artham touched down on top of the hospital and laid the girl on the waiting stretcher. Captain America examined her, then nodded to the other members of the welcoming committee. Moments later, the stretcher burst through the doors of the main floor.
“We’ve got a 3791!” shouted Steve. “Extreme case!”
“Again?” said the Tenth Doctor. “That’s the second one this day.”
DOOOO WEEEEOOOOOOOOO began to blare from the street below.
“The ambulance is back,” called Janner Wingfeather, peering out the window. “What should we do?”
Merry and Pippin burst through the doors, panting.
“It’s… Frodo…” wheezed Pippin. “Leaving. Diversion… technique…”
A TV was wheeled up to the girl’s bed. Someone popped in a DVD, and scenes of when Frodo was happy and laughing danced across the screen.
“But he’s going to be so sad later!” sobbed the girl. “And there’s two few of those!”
“Oh, where are Frodo and Sam when you need them?” groaned Merry.
“They’re with the other case.” Ten peered down at the girl anxiously.
“Music?” suggested Janner. “Leeli has her whistleharp.”
“She’s crying too loud. She won’t hear it.”
Pippin boosted himself onto the bed, only to be pulled into another bear hug. “Merry, she’s going to cry herself to death!” he gasped, loosening her grip.
Merry followed him up. “I don’t think you can cry yourself to death. Can you?”
“We’re losing her!”
“Wait, we’re done over here!” Frodo and Sam came running over. “Can we help?”
“Just in time.” Ten lifted the pair onto the bed.
“Can you hear me, miss?” Sam waved a hand in front of her face anxiously.
“She’s gone into a feels coma,” sighed Frodo. “Sam, quick, sing something. It might bring her round.”
“Alright, but you sing too.”
Together, the pair began their song.
“Sit by the firelight’s glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for Always.”
The girl slowly opened her eyes. “F-Frodo? Sam?”
“It’s alright. We’re here.”
She hugged both of them tightly, her words coming out in a flood. “OhFrodoI’msosorryyouhadtogothroughallthatandyouweresobraveandamazingbutitdestroyedyouandyouhadtoleaveMiddleEarthforeverandI’msosorry!”
“Shhh,” soothed Frodo. “I had to do what I did. If I hadn’t, Middle-Earth would’ve been doomed. I may have had to leave, but at least my home was saved.”
“And you two had to be separated…” gasped the girl.
“Yes, but we got to see each other again,” said Sam.
“That was when I needed to go. My job was to stay in Middle-Earth and raise a family and rebuild the Shire. And when I got to see him again, it was almost worth all the time apart.”
“My dear Sam.” Frodo smiled and put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t have been completely happy in the Shire. I’d been wounded too deeply while carrying the Ring. But Sam… Sam wouldn’t’ve been completely happy in the West. It wasn’t time for him to go yet.”
The girl gave a huge sniff, her sobs beginning to subside. Frodo gave her an encouraging smile. “Better?”
“A little. You’re a hero, you know. I couldn’t’ve done what you did.”
Frodo looked at the sheets and slid off the bed. “I’m glad you think so.”
The doors flew open, and in came Captain America with a young girl on a stretcher. “We have a 24601! Severe case!”
The rest of the hobbits slid away from the bed to make way for the new arrival, Pippin glancing around the room. “You know, I haven’t seen Sherlock in a while. Where’s he gone?”
“Ohhhh no,” said John. “Sherlock is never coming in here again. Now help me find the Barricade Boys!”
An absolutely furious Peggy Carter burst in the door. “Oh, I’ve found them. They turned one of the wards into a barricade!”