A/N: And here is the epilogue, my duckies!
In it we are going to see all the classics of Timeline #1 :)
Those of you who liked these Thorin and Wren are gently encouraged to check out Me Without You :) The protagonists of it are once again Thorin and Wren from the original timeline, and the story is born out of the same pensive mood of mine.
It's been a year without one day since I started writing, and it was last December when I watched UJ (I was late to the party :D), I was going to 'Muzzah Rushah' for a visit, and I wanted to carry a bit of my King with me, thus the first little snippet was born. The circle is full, and in Me Without You I want to return to the roots, to the very piercing and genuine "sqeeeeee!" I heard in my heart when Bilbo opened that door… Thank you for reading and being with me on this journey!
Love you all,
Months rushed by, the Summer came, rainy and cool, Thorin worked in the forge in the town, by the end of Autumn people got accustomed to the presence of a Khazad, only a few still grumbling and meeting his walking along the streets with stares of mistrust. Children were the first to accept him, they would greet him at the market, he would treat them to apples, they were often seen playing in the field near the forge he set for himself in an old abandoned house on the edge of the town. His craft was exceptional, and after a while the old smith left the town, having lost all his constant patrons.
Winter came, unusually warm, and at the end of the next Spring Thorin took his first born son in his arms for the first time. Thror, son of Thorin had his father's eyes, his hair promised to be dark and wavy, and those who knew nothing of the life of the Dwarf who had once ruled the Kingdom Under the Mountain would assume Thror's mother to be of Khazad as well. Nothing in his features was from the healer, and the same was to be said of his sister, born three years later.
More years passed, and another Autumn came. The days were still hot, leaves were hardly touched by gold. The roof of the healer's small house was to be repaired, the Winter promised to be severe.
She left for a day to gather herbs and mushrooms in the woods, and to attend to her patients, Thorin was carrying shingles from the pile by the road and carefully placing them by the wall. He was wondering whether they had bought enough, when a tall figure clad in grey appeared from behind the nearest hill.
Thorin felt the presence of another person behind him, and his hand still by the old habit slipped to his belt, but it found no scabbard there.
"Thorin, son of Thrain," the wizard's voice was warm, and Thorin smirked and turned around.
"Tharkun," the Khuzdul name given to the old man sounded harsh and as if unfamiliar to Thorin's ears. Only in his sleep or in the early hours of morning when his hands would caress the smooth skin of the red haired healer, the words of his native tongue would escape his lips.
"How are you faring, old friend?" Gandalf the Grey stopped in front of him, and Thorin gave him a warm-hearted bow. It was not a gesture of a King, an haughty nod he had been bestowing everyone around him for decades. With pleasure Gandalf noticed the softness in the features of the Dwarf, the lightness and ease of movement, hardly any limp left in his left leg.
"Preparing for Winter, my friend. Do come in, join me at the table."
"Where is your wife, Thorin?" Gandalf sat down on one of the four chairs in the kitchen, and Thorin set a kettle on the stove.
"She is taking the children to the river, she is hoping to lure my first born into water. He is strangely aversed to bathing."
"Is it so?" Gandalf pulled out a long pipe from his sack, and Thorin softly halted him with his hand.
"Forgive me, my friend, but you cannot smoke in the house." Gandalf was putting the pipe away when they heard loud voices outside. The wizard looked through the window and saw a small red haired woman walking quickly to the house, carrying a small girl in her arms. After her ran a boy, his features were hardly distinguishable under the layer of dirt and silt.
"Amad, amad… Ama-a-a-a-ad," the girl on the healer's arms was whining, and Wren huffed air out in irritation.
"I am not changing my decision, Unna, and you are not asking your father either. Maiar help me, he will allow you anything, and we will have another sleepless night."
"Hulwul, amad, hulwul..."
"Maiar be merciful, why did he have to teach your this word?!" The healer seemingly asked herself. "No more treats, Unna," the healer's tone was firm, and the girl pouted, and suddenly her parentage became obvious. Her black brows drawn together, she looked every bit like Thorin, son of Thrain when Elves would be mentioned in his presence. Gandalf chuckled.
The boy stopped at the gate to the yard, and his mother looked back at him.
"Are you not coming in, Thror?" Her tone was venomous, and the boy lowered his head.
"I do not wish to make Father displeased with me," there was a pause, and the healer put the girl down who immediately ran towards the swings set between two ash trees. "I will take a bath tonight, amad. I apologise."
"For not washing or having a fight with the baker's son in the silt?"
"For both," the boy's voice was hardly audible.
"Something tells me the second transgression of yours will not upset your father," the healer threw frustrated look at her older son, and then suddenly she laughed and patted his stooped shoulder. "Come inside, I think your appearance at the moment is more likely to entertain him than cause any grief. The slime and silt do bring some fond memories."
Children had gone to bed hours before, and the three people in the kitchen had been talking, cordial in their glasses and memories on their minds. Gandalf spoke of the lands he travelled through, of the Mountain. Thorin was nodding but showed little interest. Fili ruled Erebor, his letters were frequent and detailed, Thorin never read them, giving them to his wife. She would relay the main events to him over dinner, but his face would remain unreadable. His heart had been closed for the Mountain, and she never insisted. Gandalf spoke of the Skinchanger Beorn and his service to the lands, of cleansing the Goblin caves, of the restoration of Dale, of Balin's plans of travelling to Moria.
Sharing memories seemed to please the Dwarf more, and soon they were laughing and recollecting the Quest for Erebor, and Wren having heard some of the stories still listened with immense attention. Some of the tales she would hear as bedtime stories for her children, and she laughed noticing the changes the original events had overgone on the lips of the father of two younglings.
The guest left the small house when the first rays of the rising sun were skimming the roof, and Thorin and his wife slid under their covers of their oaken bed, and he pressed her into himself. No words were said, his hands caressing the cool skin of his little healer, her lips pressed to the scorching skin of her King. That night they conceived their second son, Dain, son of Thorin, a boy with chestnut hair and green eyes of the colour of meadow grass, with his mother's high cheekbones and his father's noble profile.
They lived for many years, and when seemingly age was finally catching up with them, Wren once again realised that the smells bothered her and dresses did not fit. Othin, the youngest son of Thorin Oakenshield was born on a frosty Winter morning, and was met with smiles from all his family members. It seemed to portend the rainbow of different grins one could always see on his face, from soft and loving for his mother, respectful and adoring for his father, to the fierce terrifying snarl he wore when the war came to the Middle Earth, its dark heart burning in Mordor, and Othin and his brothers joined their kin at the walls of Erebor.
And thus concludes the story that started with a promise and ended in peace.