HOW TO MOVE ON
Chapter 6 – We Come Full Circle
Author's note—please, please, please read these segments with their songs. This, my dears, is the last chapter, but I hope you'll understand that it is not the end of the story. You'll see why ;)
Inside a cabin of wood deep within a forest of Middle-Earth lay a dying woman. Surrounded by a sea of white linen blankets and pillows, her aged husband had done everything in his power to make sure she was comfortable, but the both of them were aware of what was happening. Time had taken its toll.
But this did not diminish the smile of the old woman, nor the glisten of her eye as she looked on the face of the old man, still attractive to her despite the many lines and folds scattered across his brow and cheeks.
"My Salvation" Antonymes
"We knew this would happen at some point." Danika said weakly, her wrinkled, feeble hand squeezing Kili's as he sat beside the bed.
"Doesn't make it any easier…" He muttered as a lone tear fell down his withered face, catching on the creases of his withered, old cheek as it made its way down.
"Would you have done anything differently in our lives?" She asked, vulnerable eyes searching his and fearing his disappointment.
"Oh, come now," He patter her hand and smiled. "You know I'd have everything just the way it was. Adventure upon adventure, and then a happy home, sons and daughters who gave us grandchildren…" and then he winked, a difficult thing to do with his crinkled, old eyes. "You made every day an adventure."
She sighed, shutting her eyes for a moment. "It won't be long until I leave you for the next one. I'm sorry."
Kili then bent and kissed her forehead, the soft brush of his lips sending a thrill throughout Danika's body. No matter how long she'd lived, his touch never ceased to excite her. "Where do you think you're going? And without me?" Opening her eyes again, Danika's heart stuttered when she saw his sad smile. "I'll be along shortly."
Danika knew he understood she was referring to death and she might have argued, might have begged him to live as long as he could manage for the sake of their children, but her heart was fluttering and it stole her breath.
At first, she was afraid of the sensation—knowing, though she couldn't be sure how she knew, that it was her descent into death—but then a rational part of her took over.
What was she afraid of? She had lived a long and full life with the one she loved, with few regrets to plague her.
Was she afraid of pain? As though death might hurt? But there was no pain—it was as smooth and satisfying as the shallow breaths into deep sleep.
No, she was not afraid anymore—especially when looking into the smiling face of Kili. His smile was so confident and comforting, as though he were ushering her out of the world.
Danika summoned the last of her wakefulness to send him a smile of her own, drifting away into eternal slumber and peace. "Love you…"
"Northern Lights" Lights and Motion
Kili could see that Danika was gone.
Her eyes were open, but unseeing, as if she was looking past him. The smile on her face relaxed, but remained a grin, even in death.
Reaching out with a wizened hand to shut her eyelids, Kili allowed his hand to stray to her grey hairs, knowing for certain that he was alone in the room.
But not for long.
Raising his creaking bones from the chair, he groaned as he crawled onto the bed with shaky limbs. Sliding his nearly-useless legs under the blankets and curling himself around his wife's body, Kili sighed and wrapped his arm around her waist, as he had done when she slept.
He was nearly panting, exhausted from the exertion of hauling himself into the bed and waiting for the pain in his ribs to subside.
Kili was sick.
It was a fact he'd easily hidden from Danika as her own health faded, and he knew he'd only held on this long because his will wouldn't allow him to perish before he had seen her safely into the afterlife.
Riddled with wounds from their adventures, his ribs throbbed and burned with the badges of his greatest merit—his protection and care of Danika. She had been no wilting flower, but they had clearly been thrown together because she needed him. There was no shame in it: where he was weak, she was strong; where she was vulnerable, he would guard her.
But the pain did not make him fear death—it was only a reminder that he had done his duty; that he had achieved his purpose, and it satisfied him. And since he'd done that duty to the fullest, now he could see to his own passing. Already, he could feel his limbs shutting down.
Pressing a kiss to Danika's cheek before burrowing his face into her hair, Kili inhaled her scent and whispered, "I'm coming, love."
"No Hay Problema" Pink Martini
Danika blinked. She was sitting in a wide waiting room—taupe walls, plush red chairs, and a water cooler with paper cups in the corner of the room, but for the life of her, she couldn't remember how she got there. Furthermore, she couldn't remember what she'd just been doing…
"Where am I?" She asked aloud. It was only after she spoke that she realized the chairs were being occupied with characters she recognized from the movie, The Hobbit.
"This is the waiting room, lass," said Balin from his chair.
"The waiting room? For what?" She said with a quizzical brow.
"The fan fictions." He shrugged. "Each of us are called upon to go through the door when it's our turn to occupy a fiction. Each fills whatever role he's been given."
Danika stifled a laugh and sat beside the older dwarf. "I'm assuming yours is just like in the movie; the one who gives explanatory dialogue and backstory."
Balin shrugged again. "In one fiction, I had an alleged affair with Thorin's sister, Dis, but for the most part, you're right. Still," he glanced around at the other waiting dwarves, "being an older dwarf means I'm safe from the fan-girls."
Danika peered around Balin, nodding at Thorin. "What's he so upset about?"
"Probably another smut story with Bilbo Baggins." Balin said, reaching for a magazine.
"They do that?" Danika asked incredulously, her disgust showing plainly.
"It's called slash, I think." He said numbly, licking his finger and pulling at the corner of the magazine page. "They bear the brunt of it, but there's still poor Dwalin and Ori."
Now Danika's eyes scanned the room for Dwalin. The bulky warrior was sipping from a paper cup beside the water cooler while Bombur laughed at the bubbling noises that came from it. Meanwhile, Ori was as far away from Dwalin as he could manage, weeping in the arms of Dori.
Before she could ask another question, though, Danika was startled by the abrupt opening of the waiting room door when Kili appeared through it and plopped tiredly into a chair. This was when Danika realized Fili was sitting nowhere near him, though the blonde dwarf peered at his brother from across the room.
"How was it?" Fili teased.
Without looking up from the magazine he was holding, Kili extended his middle finger at his brother and blurted out a profanity.
"Another Mary-Sue." The blonde guffawed.
"I didn't realize those two hated each other so much." Danika whispered out of the corner of her lips at Balin.
"You can't expect them to be brotherly and loving ALL the time," Balin snickered. "That's pretty much all those two ever do: slash, family comfort—and they're always making Fili out to be this whiny and protective figure—Mary Sue's, and whump."
"Wait, what's whump again?" Danika asked through squinting eyes, trying not to stare at the axe in Bifur's head.
"That's the, uh," Balin scratched his chin just beneath his beard, "the hurt one. The one where they beat you senseless to evoke sympathy."
"I can't believe how many people like that," Danika sneered. Turning her head to face Kili, she called out, "There's one fan who thinks you're adorable WITHOUT bruises—I like you just the way you are."
Just as before, without looking up from the magazine, Kili held up his middle finger toward her. She stuck her tongue out in reply, crossing her arms and sinking back into the chair.
"Don't be too hard on him, he gets the most slash."
In red letters above the door, Kili's name appeared. "Again?" The archer grumbled, slapping down the magazine on the table. Heaving an exasperated sigh, he stood and looked around the room with his hands on his hips. "Alright, which loser is coming with me this time?"
Thranduil's name suddenly appeared just above Kili's.
"Oh, Mahal, no…" Kili's hands dropped to his sides. "No, no, no, no…"
"Wait, Kili!" Fili suddenly shouted, rising to his feet and putting his hands on Kili's shoulders. "I can't let you do this! Let me protect you and go in your place!"
Kili stared into his brother's face. "Wait, really? You'd do that for me?"
Fili broke into laughter, slapping his knees. "No! I wouldn't." Holding his sides in laughter, he dropped to Kili's previous seat. "It doesn't work like that anyway, so you're just gonna have to suck it up."
Kili took a few tentative steps toward the door before Fili added, "Literally."
"You'll get yours soon enough," Kili snarled before disappearing through the door.
"I can't believe what goes on here." Danika murmured. "I think I'm gonna be sick."
Balin leaned over to hand her a trash can, but she waved it off, feeling the sensation pass.
"At least they get some action with the lasses," Bofur grumbled from his seat. "I only ever get Bilbo pairings."
"Aw," Danika scooted closer to him. "There's gotta be a nice Original Character out there waiting for you."
"Not likely," he said, putting on a pretend goofy smile while he mimicked himself. "Hi, I'm the funny miner with the hat, I only ever have stupid things to say while I encourage other characters in their adventures."
"That's not very fair." Danika said, putting an arm around his shoulders. "I'll write one for you, how about that? A nice brunette lass who laughs at everything you say and understands that you have a deeper side?"
Bofur nodded. "That'd be nice. Could she look like Beyonce?"
"Why doesn't anyone ever write anything for me?" Dori complained as Ori slunk off to the water cooler, splashing water all over himself like he was trying to take a bath.
Danika peered at the disgruntled Dori. "What's your name again?"
"At least you don't have to say things Out Of Character," Gandalf muttered. "And at least you don't have to resist the urge to correct grammatical errors!"
"Grammatical errors!" They all grumbled together.
Danika shook her head. "Some of them are just starting out, give them a break!"
"Oh, I'll give 'em a break." Dwalin growled, smacking his fist into his hand.
Danika paused for a moment. "Wait, so why am I here, again?"
Balin shook his head. "Not sure, lass. Maybe you're an OC."
"Better not be mine," Bilbo whined, rubbing his hands against his face. Realizing that he'd said it out loud, he apologized. "I'm just so tired from all this Bagginshield…"
"Maybe you're mine," Tauriel smiled from her seat.
"Er," Danika bit back the urge to gag, "I'm flattered, but I'm not really into that…"
The door swung open and out came an injured Kili, cuts and bruises marring his face, and a very haughty-looking Thranduil. "Until next time, slave…" The elf-king simpered.
Fili's eyebrows rose. "Bondage, eh?"
Kili crossed the room to sit beside Danika, raising his middle finger at Fili again.
"Poor thing," Danika said, reaching for a tissue and dabbing it at Kili's bleeding cheek.
"Thanks," Kili murmured, clenching his hands to keep them from trembling.
Everyone's head turned as Kili's name appeared above it.
"I JUST got back!" Kili shouted, spit flying from his lips. "I can't be expected to walk through the door like this!"
But his name flashed brighter, as though insisting that this is EXACTLY what he was expected to do. And just above Kili's name appeared Danika's.
"Are you kidding me?" Danika shrieked, dropping the tissue. She spared Kili a disgusted glance. "I don't even like you all that much."
"Gee, thanks." Kili said as he stood, touching his still-bleeding lip.
"That's not what I meant." She said with a roll of her eyes. "I'm a Thorin girl."
Thorin snickered from his seat, reclining against his chair with his hands clasped behind his head. "Sure. Whatever you want, sweetheart." But the way he said it was more twisted and devious than affectionate.
Danika sighed, clenching her eyes shut. "Fine. So, how do we do this?"
Kili looked at her like she'd grown a second head. "Um, you WALK through the DOOR."
"Well, yeah, I get that." She said, following after Kili as he came closer to the door. "But are we supposed to hold hands as we go through, or what?"
"We don't know if you're a love interest, yet." Kili growled. "So let's not rush to any conclusions. Just walk through the door." He groaned.
"Okay," she said with a preparatory sigh. "Here goes nothing!"
I'm sorry, my dears, I didn't have it in me to write any more. I re-read this over and over and over again, perfecting it and shaping it and realized, "This is it. This is the end."
But I promise- in the future- there will be more. Just not right now. I need to let these two be for a while. Now that I've protected them in this never-ending circle of adventure and life, I need to let them be. Especially after the Battle of Five Armies, which broke my heart so much that I needed this fic to erase that pain. I knew Fili and Kili were going to die, I'd read the book hundreds of times before the movies, but the way Peter Jackson did it... well, I didn't have any closure. Now I do. There are so many small adventures that must have happened in between each of these chapter, so maybe once in a while I can add a new chapter as a bonus, but I hope you understand.
*sigh* now that my rant is all done...
I'm in the middle of another story right now- The Rehabilitation of James Buchanan Barnes: A Winter Soldier Story
I would love if you would give it a read- for those of you who haven't seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I strongly suggest that you see it soon. (By the way, NO, I did not abandon the Hobbit fandom for the Marvel fandom, but I do need a distraction from being so upset with the Hobbit movies. All that money and they wasted their opportunity... at least with Marvel, if they don't do something right, likely they'll re-release a new version of it in a few years, but the tragedy of the Tolkien Cinematic Universe is that we'll NEVER get a remake of the Hobbit. That's hard for me to live with right now)
Wow, all the drama in this author's note. I guess this is my way of saying good-bye, and I don't want to! You all have been such amazing readers and reviewers and I don't want to lose you. I will definitely be working on Goblin Wars, but I need a break from the Hobbit at the moment. Believe me, when I DO upload, you'll like it much better because I'm going to finish the entire story before I upload the first chapter- that way I'll be able to consistently upload every other day.
Ugh, I don't want this to end. But it has to. I love you all so very much. I've moved again and it gets hard when I can't bring my friends with me, but at least I have all of you...
Ugh. Just do it, Cassandra. All done. Okay. So, yes, please read the Bucky Barnes story- you would make me so happy!
Oh, wait! By the way, if any of you are writing fictions, please let me know- I love reading and it's hard to wade through the fan fiction site- and I'll leave you a slew of reviews.
Okay, now I'm done.
Please read the other story.
*sigh* Really, now, bye.