Celeborn grumbled and put another card on the table.
‘Why do you always have to win? Why can’t you respect your elders?’ whined Celeborn.
'It’s not my fault I can play! And since when do you say “respect your elders”?’ smiled Frodo.
‘Since I got on this bloody ship. It’s been a week and we haven’t gone anywhere yet! And there’s nothing to do besides lose to you and your card games!’ Celeborn sighed. ‘I’m so much more laid-back now. I don’t feel proud and elegant like an elf should be.’
‘Hm…’ thought Frodo. ‘Maybe you’d feel better if you practised playing cards. Play again?’
‘Oh, no! I don’t want to waste what little dignity I have left on you and your waste-of-time card games.’
‘Waste of time? How is this a waste of time? What else are you going to do while we wait to get to the Grey Havens?’ asked Frodo.
‘I was hoping we wouldn’t have to wait,’ Celeborn murmured.
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ said Frodo.
‘I’m not a very patient elf!’ explained Celeborn through gritted teeth. 'I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t stand seeing you beat me at everything, seeing Elrond drone on and on about Arwen, seeing Bilbo talk about whatever the hell his wrinkled brain can come up with, seeing Gandalf whine about the staff he lost in the ocean, and especially Galadriel nagging me to keep everything tidy, to be polite, eat with my mouth closed, blah blah blah… honestly! I mean, she’s my wife and all, but spending a few millenniums together is enough, isn’t it? Can’t wait ‘till I get of this godforsaken ship.’
Celeborn stood up, annoyed, knocking his chair over backwards. He growled, turned around and walked straight into a familiar sight.
‘Um, hello sweetie,’ he croaked.
‘So that’s how you see me?’ asked an enraged Galadriel. ‘As one big nagger? And you still married me? Wow, you’ve got guts!’
‘Honey it’s not like it seems!’ pleaded Celeborn. ‘It’s only for a century or two that I started getting annoyed.’
‘And that makes it any better?’ shrieked Galadriel. ‘Why don’t you stay in Middle Earth for a little longer and cherish the time you’ll have without me? That’s what you were supposed to do in the book!’
‘What book?’ inquired Celeborn.
‘Um…’ answered Galadriel awkwardly. ‘Don’t worry about it.’
‘No, come on! Now that we’re passing over the Sea, you may as well tell me,’ said Celeborn.
‘And that’s another thing I hate about you. You’re so stubborn! Everything has to be your way. You don’t even try to make me happy!’ Galadriel’s voice started to get hoarse.
‘I don’t know how to make you happy,’ explained Celeborn. ‘You don’t tell me what I can do for you. The only things you tell me to do is put everything away when I’ve finished using them! Yes, I do try to make you happy!’
‘Tidying up is what makes me happy. And you never did that. Not ever. Not even now on this ship do you lift a finger!’
‘What?’ Celeborn stared at her in disbelief. ‘There’s absolutely nothing to do on this boat, so there’s nothing to clean up!’
‘Oh, right,’ sarcastically said Galadriel. ‘So there’s absolutely nothing that you dropped on the floor because you’re too lazy to put it in your room, is that it?’
‘Exactly,’ answered Celeborn.
‘So what do you call this?’ Galadriel pointed to a big, lumpy sack lying in the middle of the deck. ‘I haven’t said anything about it because I thought you would have enough sense to pick it up after a week! I never thought you were th—’
‘It’s not mine,’ interrupted Celeborn. ‘I have no responsibility for that thing – whatever it is!’
Galadriel gawked at him, dumbfounded, before turning to Frodo who was watching the argument and rather enjoying it.
‘It’s not mine!’ he quickly said after noticing the accusing look on her face. ‘And it’s not Elrond’s, Bilbo’s or Gandalf’s, either. They all brought small bags of food.’
‘Well, it’s got to be someone’s,’ Galadriel stated.
She walked up to the bundle and bent down to pick it up. Halfway through, she stopped, with her bottom in full view of Frodo, who just stared. She started gasping desperately, but no one seemed to notice until two minutes later. Celeborn, knowing something was wrong, went to see.
‘What is it n—’ he stopped talking as his gaze was drawn to the bag. He now saw the figure of the bag, the shapes of it and knew what was inside, because sliding out of a hole in the sack, was nothing other than a human (or elf, dwarf or hobbit) hand…