A/N: It is going to be a three-shot "3 Baskets of Laundry" united by the motif of laundry (I hate folding laundry! :D), but what will be in the next two I have no idea, depends on the Word of the Day :) I am just posing more challenges for myself for fun :)
1. to injure with deep disfiguring wounds by cutting, tearing, or crushing
2. to spoil, injure, or make incoherent especially through ineptitude
3 BASKETS OF LAUNDRY
Dale, right after Chapter 7 of "Thorin's Morning After"
Every time you fold laundry in front of Thea the proceedings are the same. She gives you a few reproachful side glances, then she picks up one item from the basket holding it by the very edge with the tips of her fingers, her nose wrinkled and brows frowned in disdain, then she gives you a deep sad sigh, and shakes her head. And then she tells you how "men fall in love with their eyes, and women with their ears." Except her statement is usually much more crude, "love" replaced with "sack," and "ears" with another part of female anatomy.
Today is no different. Except you are the first to speak this time. While she is staring in disgust at your plain undertunic, her own lacy and exquisite undergarments already folded and carefully placed in a silk lined basket, you fidget with a pair of your simple drawers and mumble, "Thea, remember that Dwarf I mentioned?" She lifts her eyes at you, "Perhaps you have mentioned one a time or two." She is grumpy, she is judging you. Thea loves clothes, she lives for them. Your choices make her sad. Let us face it, unlike you she has a lot to decorate. Putting an opulent luscious dress on you, on the other hand, is like decorating a twig with a Summer Solstice wreath, put simply, useless and humiliating for both participants.
"So that Dwarf..." You just cannot bring yourself to start talking, but she is a good friend. She sighs and puts down your undertunic. Her face is obviously showing that she is subjecting herself to the torture of listening you talking about feelings only because she loves you deeply and forgives your flaws. "Yes, Wren, the one you met in Erebor, have been pining over for months, fought in a battle with and whose life you saved. And oh, we should not forget, whom you deflowered two weeks ago and were crying over in a drunk stupour," she just cannot let it go, "oh, did I mention you snatched his purity?" "You did, just an instant ago." "Yes, Wren, you deflorated him," you instantly regret expanding her vocabulary, "and repeatedly bedded in a course of one night and half of the next day, including performing at least one fellatio," damn her vocabulary again, and there were two, but you would rather die than correct her, "and you did not feel obliged to share details about it!" She lifts her brow pointedly.
"I told you everything!" "I am certain, you have not, and demurely mumbling and vaguely gesturing does not count as sharing the valuable knowledge with your friend, Wren!" You hide behind a tunic that you are folding. "And that is a disgustingly plain colour, Wren! Only you can wear a tunic of swamp water colour and find it acceptable! You are hopeless, you need to buy some cambric and go to that seamstress at the docks. The frock she can make for you! No Dwarf will be able to resist!"
You chew on your lips, "Well, you see, Thea, the Dwarf I mentioned, well, he did not." She is staring at you with her narrowed eyes. "Pardon me, Wren?" "He came back, the day after we talked about him… The next day after he and I..." You blush and make vague gestures with two hands, intertwining your fingers and letting go. Thea gives you a pitiful look. "He came back for me..." She is thinking it over. You are bracing yourself. And then she grabs a folded sheet from the bench you are sitting on and smacks you to the head. "Are you an imbecile, Wren?"
She lifts her hand again, and you cover your head with your arms. "What did I do?" "You refused! Why else would you be sitting here and not enjoying yourself legging off with your Dwarf in the mountain city?!" You wince from the crudeness and its complete inappropriateness when used regarding this certain Dwarf.
"I did not refuse him! I did not! I told him to come back for me on the Autumnal Equinox, and then I will go with him to Erebor!" She freezes with the sheet in her hand. You breath out in relief. And then she smacks you again. "Now what?" You are rubbing your head and try to smooth down your curls that immediately seized this chance to bounce out of your hairdo. "And you are only telling me this now?!"
"I could not bring myself to, I still cannot believe it myself..." You feel the corners of your mouth droop mournfully, "I cannot believe I agreed to leave everything here and go..." You press your hand to your forehead, you feel dizzy just thinking about it.
Thea lowers the sheet and looks at you attentively, "So, Wren, let me straighten this story in my head… Your Dwarf came back for you, offered you to go with him to the mountain city, and do I understand it right, to be his wife?" Now you feel nauseated, this part worries you most. But before you tell her that it was your idea to wait three months and that you refused to marry him to protect your independence, which will cause another storm of sheet smacking, you need to disclose one tiny detail you might have failed to mention to her. The rest can wait.
You slightly move away from her on the bench. "Before we talk about what is going to happen to me there, I need to tell you something..." Thea narrows her eyes. "Yes, Wren?" You gulp. "His name is Thorin Oakenshield, and he is the King Under the Mountain." You blurt it all out in one long word, which sounds like "Hinamesthorinoakenshieldnhisthekingnderthemountain" and shrink away from her.
The pause stretches. She is sitting in front of you taking short shallow breaths in. And then the sheet attacks start again, "Are you out of your cursed mind, Wren?! Hiding this from me?! Are you mad?!" You are whimpering, the blows do not hurt, but she is still terrifying. "Do you know how I feel right now, Wren?! Do you know how I feel?!" "No," you are whining trying to avoid another smack.
She lowers the sheet, "Betrayed, Wren, I feel betrayed." She is serious, and you stare at her. "Why did you think you needed to hide this from me? I am your best friend, Wren!" You drop your head, "I felt it was not my secret to keep." You hear her sniff and lift your eyes at her. Her eyes are indeed red. "Oh, Thea, I told you everything I could. I swear, I would not think of hiding something from you, if it was mine to tell."
She wipes her eyes. "And how did you endure all this yourself, Wren? The things you must have thought…" You try to smile, but you are still so raw from all the turbulence of your decision and what proceeded it and overwhelmed by the uncertainty of your future that it comes out as a grimace. She presses her palms to her burning cheeks. "Oh, and you agreed to go with him! Does that make you a Queen?" You groan and hide your face in your palms.
"Can we talk about what I am going to do in Erebor in a minute or two? I really cannot stand this conversation right now..." You look at her pleadingly, and she readily nods. "I think I need some time to think it over myself, Wren, because if he is the King, the story becomes..." And then suddenly she freezes, and her mouth falls open. Her eyes are distant, and she makes a strange noise.
"Thea?" "Thorin Oakenshield..." "Yes..." You are looking at her in confusion. "The King Under the Mountain?.." "Yes. What is it, Thea?" "Taller than most Dwarves, dark hair, blue eyes, impressive nose, the body to die for?" "What?!" You are staring at her.
"I have seen him. When we came back to Dale, and it turned out the city had been attacked while we were away… And I came looking for you in the infirmary, and he was leaving, and someone told me, "Look, it is the Dwarven King, the King Under the Mountain," and I said I wish I was that mountain..." She is still lost in her memories, and you grab the sheet and smack her to the head. With force.
"That is my Dwarf you are talking about right now, Thea! Snap out of it!" Her hazelnut eyes focus on you, and she smiles widely. "Oh Wren! You are the most magnificent trollop I have ever met in my life!" She jumps off the bench and goes down on one knee in front of you. She grabs your hand and reverently lowers her head. "From now on you will be known as Wren, the Queen of Big Fish!" You cannot help but chuckle. "You are the Goddess of Seduction and the Queen of Dwarven Cocks! You are the Divine Bobcat in the Sack!" You are plainly laughing now.
And she flops on her backside and presses her palm to her forehead in the exact imitation of your previous gesture. "Maiar, Wren, you are in trouble!" You could not agree more.