That time when Thorin thought he saw a mermaid in the river, while Wren was only trying to keep low and cover her naked self from his view.

A/N: My darling, Neewa, I'm so happy to have you back! :D

The first time I read your prompt I read "lake" instead of "river," and since my inspiration moves with the speed of light, three seconds later it was too late to change since the whole fic was already half written in my head. So, sorry, it's going to be "lake" :)

"There is no such thing as a mermaid!" Thorin roared shaking his mug with ale, splashing it all over the wooden table. No one heard him, loud drunk voices filling the hall. Dwarves had been drinking third day in a row, celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Five Armies. Dwalin was armwrestling with his brother on the other end of the table. Since both of them were completely cross-eyed they had trouble locking their hands to say nothing of participating in any sort of competition. Kili was sleeping on the table, having dropped his head on folded arms. Fili was still surprisingly upright, but that was as much as it could have been said about him. He was standing in the middle of the hall in astonishment studying a statue of Thorin. Thorin hated the statue, it was an ostentatious gift from Dain Ironfoot and showed so little semblance to Thorin that he initially thought he was given the statue of Dain himself. Perhaps that was Ironfoot's plan all along.

"There are mermaids in the Lake!" Dori tried to sound impressive but his speech was too slurred. "Ask Nori!"

"He can't confirm, he is under the table," Bofur toppled another mug into his throat and hiccuped loudly. "But the legends do say there are lakes in the mermaids..."

He tried to focus his bleary eyes on Thorin, when suddenly Kili lifted his head and yelled, "Let's go see!"

"There are no..." Thorin started anew when with a loud thud Dwalin fell on the floor. "We would know! Bard would have told us!" He dropped his eyes on the floor and slightly kicked the sleeping King of Dale. Booming snoring was his answer.

Fili suddenly pulled two long daggers from under his collar, on his back, and yelled, "To the Lake!" He rushed to the door but missed, and with a loud bang his blond head met the doorframe. He collapsed on the ground in a clumsy tanglement of limbs and with a happy smile of his face.

"That's it!" Thorin slammed his palm into the table and rose on his feet rocking from side to side like a small tree in a storm, "I am going to go and check, and you will all see there are no maids in the Lake!"

Fili sniggered from the floor. "There are maids in the Lake, I've met them myself… Lovely maids… Round amaids... Soft maids..." He made happy smooching noises and curled in a ball, obviously dreaming of some of his former conquests.

"I'll go with you, Uncle! You are my King, I'll follow you everywhere," Kili got up, flailed his arms and rushed out through the door, a large wine skin swinging in his hands.

Eventually several Dwarves reached the lake, Thorin was certain Kili and Bofur were there, but the rest was rather blurred. They continued drinking all the way, having loaded wine and food on a large cart. Balin who had stayed in the hall, his face in a plate with roasted mutton to be precise, at the very last moment suggested they loaded the King of Dale on it too, and thusly a company of a questionable amount of Dwarves, perhaps a hobbit, they might have lost him in the passages of Erebor, he kept on falling of Bombur's shoulder, and an unconscious Bard the Bowman reached the Lake.

They spend another dozen hours drinking at this improvised picnic, when Kili mumbled in sleep something about tits and tails, and Thorin finally remembered the purpose of his noble quest. He jumped on his feet, wobbled, fell, got up again and decisively started marching towards the Lake. To be honest, he was moving in zigzags, but he did it majestically.

The moon was shining bright, and he swore loudly. There were damn mermaids in the Lake. One of them was currently washing her long wavy hair sitting on a large boulder. She was humming a song as well, which sounded horribly out of tune, and he cringed. A vague memory stirred in his clouded mind, that the legend claimed the mermaids were to lure men into water and to their certain demise by their voices, but after he tried to give the mermaid an attentive look, his eyeballs not quite being under his control, he had to concede that this particular mermaid didn't need any singing abilities. She was slender, had an enticing long neck and small breasts, her arms were moving fluidly and seductively, a large comb in her hand, fingers of the other one running through what he now saw were bright copper strands, and she was sparkling. Her small appetizing body, and a tail, and she indeed had a tail going under water, her pert buttocks on the boulder, all of her was glowing and glittering. Her bum and hips were visible, while the rest was under the surface of the moon lit water, and Thorin made a step forwards, tripped over a root of weeping willow and with a splash and a dirty swearing in Khuzdul he landed on all four.

The mermaid squealed and jumped into the water. Thorin expected her tail to make its appearance like a fish's one would, in a wide arch over the water, but he just saw her head emerge above water again, her hair sticking to her forehead and shoulders. He focused on her face. It was indeed strange, otherworldly, angular. The eyes were slanted and gleaming in the dark.

It spoke, but Thorin was shaking his head trying to chase away the loud buzzing in his ears, and he didn't hear.


"Please, turn away." It had a confident melodic voice and sounded irritated. "I need to come out, and I am not dressed."

"What about the tail?" His thoughts were meddled, "It is sort of a dress."

The mermaid mumbled something under its voice, and he realised it was staying where it was very shallow, probably scooting in water, to hide its chest from his eyes. That was rather strange for a mermaid, he'd assume it would want to lure him into depth. He plopped on his backside and gave it a more attentive look.

It looked irked, its delicate nose was twitching, and he somehow guessed it was cold. The night was brisk, and he clapped his palm over his eyes.

"Here, I'm not looking. You can come out." He was cheating and peeking between his fingers. He wanted to see how it would crawl out on its fish tail.

There was no tail. There was a pair of very slender, shapely legs, adorable feet and lovely thighs. The glistening he saw earlier was the chemise, long and demure, and he licked his lips for some reason specifically imagining kissing these little round knees.

She was grumbling, "Maiar help me, where does a girl need to go to take a bath in peace?" She pulled on her modest skirt that he now realised had been hanging on a bush the whole time, and bent down to pick up a bar of soap. Her bum was sticking up, and he dropped his hand and stared. She was buttoning up the skirt and looked up meeting his eyes. She squeaked and covered her breasts with her hands. He whined in disappointment, they were mouth watering, with taut bright red tips.

She quickly pulled a tunic over and stuffed her belongings in a basket. She was clearly preparing to leave.

"Are there any more mermaids in the Lake?" He asked, and she gave him an attentive look.

"No, there are no mermaids in the Lake." He sighed and tried to get up. "Are you planning to go investigate?" He nodded enthusiastically, and she put the basket down and approached him.

"You are going to drown," her tone was decisive, she was making a statement, not questioning it. "You are a Dwarf, you can't swim properly." He derisively puffed air to show she was being ridiculous. "There are leeches there," she tried again. He waved his hand in a nonchalant gesture.

"It's about time they try some blood from the line of Durin. They have never had a feast like that..."

The redhead stopped right in front of him and scooted. Her eyes were at the same level as his, and, mermaid or not, they were mesmerizing.

"Blimey, the King Under the Mountain," she drew out and cupped his face. She had a cool palm and smelled of lilacs. He leaned in, she had enticing lips. "How did you end up so far from your mountain, my King?" The respectful moniker tickled his spine and made him lunge ahead and catch mouth. She didn't move away for seven and a half seconds. "And in this state no less..." The second hand joined the first one on his jaw, and she scratched his beard, as if a cat, with her short nails, making him rumble low in his chest. She giggled, "My oh my, a purring Dwarf..."

He wanted to say he was not under any circumstances purring, but she kissed the tip of his nose, and he decided it was quite alright.

"Alright, your majesty, let us return you to where you belong. How did you end up here?"

"We are celebrating..." He made a vague gesture towards their camp site, and she nodded.

"Right, the Battle of Five Armies..." Her tone was soft, and he leaned in and pressed his face into her neck. It was very comfortable, and he purred again. It was just her here, he might as well admit it did sound like purring. Who knew he could make such sounds at all. She got up and stretched her hands to him, "Let us take you back, my lord. It is not proper for the mighty King Under the Mountain to sit his butt down in silt."

Thorin woke up with a horrible headache, his back sore, his arm having fallen asleep, but in a surprisingly fair mood. He rubbed his eyes, without opening them, with his left hand, and tried to lift the second arm to run it through his hair, when he realised there was some weight pressing it to the solid ground he was sleeping on. Firstly, the ground quite obviously meant he had been sleeping outside. He didn't remember even going outside. He remembered drinking in Erebor halls, and then he remembered a mermaid. That was the second thing he needed to process, but he opened his eyes, and a lot became clearer.

A small redhead was sleeping on his arm, curled into his side, her nose buried into his chest, her delicate hand clenching the collar of his tunic. The first thing he noticed were the bright freckles on the turn-up nose, the second was her slender leg wrapped around his.

He picked up an orange curl with his free hand and twirled it around his finger. It smelled of lilacs, and he smiled.

"You didn't let me leave last night," she spoke without opening her eyes. Judging by the furious blush quickly flooding her high cheekbones, she wasn't planning to open her eyes and fully face him any time soon. He chuckled. "You threatened to go fishing for mermaids if I left. I couldn't render Erebor kingless."

He rolled her under him, and that's when she opened her eyes. They were no less hypnotizing now that he was less inebriated. She was stretched under him, taut and cool and made of flesh and no magic, but no less extraordinary.

"That is very noble of you, fair maiden. Such a horrible sacrifice for the sake of my people." He cocked a brow, and she lightly bit her bottom lip in a flirty lopsided smirk. He quickly decided that the lip would be what he'd start with, then the collarbones, then the breasts, then still surprisingly the knees, and of course the buttocks. There was a small detail left, a consent to ensure. He was planning to ask, afterwards seduce, and if everything else fails, to bribe.

"I am afraid the destiny of my Kingdom is in your hands now, my lady. Are you willing to confine yourself to my mountain to make sure I do not get a sudden urge to go swimming any time soon?" She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Yes." That was a good answer, simple and final. He chuckled and pressed his lips to hers. There were apparently mermaids in the Lake, and he was fine with it. Her taste flooding his senses felt like the best kind of drowning.