Hey, readers! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I am personally quite in love with it. Aren't Kíli and Tauriel absolutely adorable? Poor Tauriel, though. I bet she so wished to have fallen in love with that six foot tall prince. Yet destiny has a mind of it's own.
If you have noticed, I have actually changed the setting to the Netherlands, because Amsterdam was a location that I wanted to use, and yet I totally thought it was in Denmark! I literally - okay, look: Danish, Denmark; Dutch, the Netherlands, Holland? How the hell am I supposed to remember any of that? But anyways, thank you for coping, and I'm sorry if you're upset with the slight discontinuity.
I researched a bit of Amsterdam trivia. Tourist attractions I found here; the weather I found here; and about the ice skating I read here.
The piece to which Kíli was skating is "Time to Say Goodbye" by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. You can see the video that inspired Kíli's motions and listen to the song here.
A swallow is a type of bird commonly noted in the Russian background, and it's long tail gives the camel spin, a popular spin in figure skating, it's name in Russian. When Tauriel mentions Kíli to look like a swallow, she is probably seeing him do the camel spin, right?
Also, even though Tauriel does not express her thoughts in figure skating terminology, because she is not a professional figure skater herself, I used this to guide me through which motions are which, and I will be using it in Kíli's chapters.
Next week, I won't be posting a chapter, because I'll be writing a Johnlock Valentine's Day fic as a Secret Valentine gift. Please check it out? I will love you forever!
Thanks again to my beta, StarlitTauriel!
The pine green color of Tauriel's dress, hidden only partially over a cozy yet fashionable course jacket, matched the Christmas Trees speckled all over the skating rink. She passed her hands over her skirt nervously.
Even though she wasn't planning on meeting anyone that night, in her heart and spirit she held her mother. She could hear her mother's quiet laughter and feel her mother's warm hand over her little one, from so many years ago, when her parents first took her to see the city. Amsterdam was one of the most unusual places, according to Tauriel, who was a girl raised on Mirkwood's moors. People detested each other's company, unable to tolerate the busyness of their interconnected lives. Yet somehow, they thrived in it.
She really loved Amsterdam. As a teenager, she watched videos compilations online of people's trips around the globe, and Amsterdam was one sight to see. It was a whole new world for tourists, provincials, and countryside folk alike. It had a vast choice of museums and exhibitions, such as the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum; Protestant churches standing from as early as the fourteenth century, such as the Oude Kerk, Nieuwe Kerk, and Zuiderkerk; the Royal Palace on the Dam, and other architectural masterpieces; concert halls and opera houses such as the Concertgebouw and the Stopera; the Heineken Brewery and Albert Cuyp Market found in the De Pijp, and even a string of red-light districts. Tauriel had never been to the latter, but Legolas had once tried to get her to accompany him to De Wallen for "a new and wonderful experience of a lifetime", and Tauriel, under the impression that Legolas would probably be smuggled into a prostitution ring himself, beat the idea straight out of him. Now, Tauriel stood at the Leidseplein, a perfect plaza for ice skating at Christmas. At seven in the evening, the bustle of the streets was already beginning to dim, and the lights were being turned on in the cozy flats of Dutch citizens spending Christmas Eve in the comforts of their home and family. She was not alone at the ice skating rink, however, and her resolution to appreciate the day drew her forward.
As she waited in line to pay for the entrance, she marveled at the sight of little kids bundled up in winter apparel, their mothers probably doing all they could to protect them from the light winter breeze. It wasn't even that cold a winter - the snow had been light the previous evening even in Mirkwood, which was north of Amsterdam, causing the city to be almost free of any precipitation. Only a moderate drizzle had occurred that afternoon, and it was apparent today in the slippery surface that was the ice, in contrast to the usually coarseness fallen snow and low temperature provided. It was six and a half degrees celsius, which was very good for a December evening. The black tights and thick woolen socks hidden underneath her floor-length dress, as well as her long sleeves, kept her warm enough.
Having gone through the line, Tauriel sat down at a bench nearby to strap in her figure skates, beginning to feel nervous already. The last time she had stood in these, it was after her first and last experience with extreme and unadvised alcohol usage. She had gone out to a local Mirkwood pub with Legolas and some of their university acquaintances, who had thought it would be a great idea for their drunk unstable selves to get some skates and fool around on the frozen lake nearby. Obviously, Tauriel was the one to be slammed with full force onto a particular span of thin ice, resulting in a near death experience, an iceblock of humanoid, and even a call to 112. Tauriel remembered it almost fondly, still cringing at her lack of responsibility and state of inebriation, which had led to the said events.
Sitting in that exact location near the skating rink, Tauriel could make out a sight that had been previously hidden from her by a couple of decorated pines. It was a gathering of a small yet growing crowd about a third into the rink, and it appeared to be encircling something fascinating. She heard occasional gasps and applauses, feeling the energy reverberate from the audience. Maybe it's a performer? Tauriel mused.
Striding over to the edge of the rink and getting onto the ice was a challenge in and of itself, helping her predict her level of success on the actual ice - no success whatsoever - with one hundred percent accuracy. However, as she was now interested in what was going on, she shakily made her way further onto the ice. Just as she neared the edge of the now dense crowd of people, she heard the background music transform into something recognisable - a piece from her romanticised past, "Time to Say Goodbye." Using her height to her advantage, she peered over the heads of the people in front of her. Staring at the sight before her, her jaw promptly dropped.
Never in a billion star lifespans would she have imagined Kíli, that almost-forgotten persona of her yesterday in her day-to-day life, standing - no, not standing, thriving and pulsing life on a pair of skates with confidence and exuberance, gliding along the ice like a spring swallow.
She looked on, enamoured by the connection each of his movements formed with the music. He began from a crouched position, rising with the first infection of music into a glide, arms extended and one leg repeatedly guided in a series of calm spins and twirls. She noted his training attire, a tight black t-shirt and biker pants, which, under regular circumstances, would not have protected him from the cold. Both fit his body quite snuggly, outlining the contours of his defined yet lean muscle, even where she could not see his dark skin. His hair was pulled back in a tight braid that extended to the small of his back, its length almost a match for hers. Despite his clean-shaven look, expression of sheer bliss, and light smile, he seemed older than she could have imagined after meeting him yesterday.
Suddenly, with the introduction of the chorus, his movements became sharper and more intense, with the flinging of arms in time with the cymbal crashes as well as the build of tension in his sitting spin, which he extended into a standing one and followed it with a butterfly-like jump. He looked at home on the ice, relaxed but explosive, calm but intense, serious yet joyful. Tauriel could not remember seeing something so sublime in her entire life.
The jump seem to appear from out of the fringes of Tauriel's universe, which was narrowed down to staring at the beautiful sight before her. It was a triple axel - Tauriel knew only the basics from watching the Olympics in the previous years - followed immediately by a double axel, causing applause and enthusiastic whoots from the audience. Tauriel broke her trance with difficulty to find herself having broken through the crowd to the front line. Had Kíli's eyes been open as he coasted the opposite side of the rink, he would have noticed her.
As the thought flashed through her head, the rise and fall of the music seemed to pull Kíli into a brilliant toe touch, and he opened his eyes to greet the wild cheers. However, they locked only on her.
Tauriel aimed for a smile, just to test it out and see if she could avoid looking like a fool, but she undershot and landed on a grimace. Not only had she been caught staring, but the clear shock written on his face caused him to momentarily still his moments, throwing him off of the tempo of the music. However, he quickly recovered, and, to Tauriel's poor lack of luck, flashed her a familiar, gleeful grin.
With the fall of intensity within the piece, Kíli skated over to her in obviously unchoreographed yet still graceful motions. A murmured surprise passed over the audience as he stopped in front of her, looking up to meet her eyes, overflowing with emotion. He extended a hand, and she took it, shivering as surprisingly slim and long fingers caught her own. She could barely register being pulled into his embrace, and she could barely stop herself from falling over when he gave her an experimental ballet-like twirl, causing him to gently laugh.
"I'm only a singles skater, Tauriel," he whispered, pulling her along with him. The chorus returned, and he glided around her excitedly, occasionally dipping to be almost horizontal, and at other times doing small jumps, letting his hands brush against hers. The opera voices of the song extended into intense chords, signifying the end of the piece. At each note, Kíli, with his original dance long forgotten, built up the intensity with spins, slides, and jumps, finally falling to his knees in front of her in a passionate statement.
Tauriel could feel tears beginning to stream down her face, and she pressed the palms of her hands into her eyes, willing to hide her often overbearing emotions from Kíli. Could this mean anything more than a show for the audience? The surrealism of it all was threatening to come up and choke her, but Tauriel battled it down with the adoration that was seeping through her entire body, solely for the man that was now looking up at her with a worried expression. Her hands, lifting from her face and revealing her tear-stained cheeks, extended to him. He stood, lightly taking her hands and pulling her to him, and wrapped his arms around her waist, fitting his forehead into the crook of her neck.
Standing there, in the midst of cheering onlookers, in Kíli's sturdy and protective arms, with a few of his long hairs tickling her shock-stricken and tearful face, and underneath the fall of tiny snowflakes, Tauriel felt the most content in the longest of times.