A/N: Christmas music and excessive biscuits make me giddy and fluffy! And you know by now, what chocolate does to me :) This story is just a four-piece fluff with a bit of sexy at the end. I am considering occasionally writing drabbles about this pairing, just because Thorin/John's profession in this one tickles my pickle and Wren is such an endearing version in here, innocent and curious :) The drabbles will be added at the end of the story, although they will probably take place all over their timelime.
The fire is big, it's growing fast, and it's one of those chip pan ones. It has moved into the third flat by the time they got there. He sends Phil and Killian to the ground floor, and he and Dwalinson swing axes and bash on through the door into the corner flat.
In the middle of the smoky, burning living room there is a mental silver cloud, and John has no better word for it but 'portal.' It is wobbly, looks like mercury puddle suspended vertically, and John yells to Dwalinson, "Tell me you see it too!"
"Aye, and losh michty me!" Dwalinson makes a step towards the thing, and John grabs his sleeve.
At that moment the cloud thing wavers, and a small figure falls out of it, after which the barmy portal thing makes a hissing sound and disappears. The person on the floor is an ickle young woman, in a long medieval looking dress, dark green, her ginger hair in heavy braids. Dwalinson emits a long tirade full of "crivvens," mentioning of several deities and convoluted descriptions of male reproductive organs. John steps to the woman and rolls her on her back. She is pale, freckled and doesn't look like an alien. He doesn't know why he expected something from Avatar. The film was shite anyroad.
At that moment something loudly snaps in the ceiling, and it's time to go. He picks her up from the floor, she weighs nothing, a slender arm falls limp, and he notices small hands and silver rings.
He passes her to the medics, and he has a job to do. They rush back into the building, and at the stairs he presses the hand into Dwalinson's chest. "Not a word to a single living soul!"
"Help me Boab, why would I share this?!"
"Fair enough," John nods, and they join Bofurson at the HGV platform.
The same evening he comes to the hospital to check up on her. Dwalinson politely declines, meaning he scowls and asks, "Are you takkin me on?"
She is sitting on the bed, in the hospital garb, her extraordinary hair in one braid. He quickly remembers Rapunzel. The braid is probably below her waist. Her mouth is half open, and it seems she has forgotten how to breathe. She is staring into TV with Naked Jungle rerun.
He knocks at the door frame, she jumps up, squeaks and pulls the duvet to her chin. She has unusual eyes, slanted and of some strange colour, and right now they are probably twice the normal size.
"Hi, I'm John. I was on the fire team that got you out of the building." How does one ask an ickle cute ginger if she is an alien? She is biting into her bottom lip and blinks several times frantically. "What is your name?" The nurses told him she hardly spoke since they brought her there, she is unscathed physically, no ID, just a barmy dress, strange underwear and little leather slippers. No vaccination marks, but she is completely healthy.
"Wren," she has a soft voice, and he makes a step inside her room. "My name is Wren." She has an accent but it's nothing he can identify. Something from the Isles though.
"Nice to meet you." He has nothing. He spend the whole drive here coming up with smart remarks, and he is tongue tied. Suddenly she gestures on a chair near her bed, and he sits.
"Were you present there when I… arrived?" Oh so they are talking about it. Rad.
"Yes. There was a silver cloud in the middle of the room, you fell out, it closed. Where did you arrive from exactly?"
"We call it Arda. How do you call this place?" She gestures around herself, and then another naked backside on the screen catches her eyes, and she blushes. It looks adorable, like red watercolour suddenly spilling on her cheekbones.
"Do you want me to change a channel?" He offers helpfully, and she tears her eyes off the telly, with difficulty, although she seems to be equally trying not to see anything as well, and her remarkable eyes meet his. Suddenly her face wavers, and her lips twist. She is fighting tears, but then takes a deep breath and grounds herself. John is grateful, he has low tolerance to crying women.
"John," her bright red lips wrap around his name, and it tickles his spine, "I will be honest with you. Nothing around me is… familiar. I do not understand anything that is transpiring here. This," she lifts her hand and points at the telly, "And this," she point at the lamp on the side table, "We have candles for that. And we do not have horseless carriages, and we heal with herbs and not the small white coins they told me to swallow." Her face is suddenly miserable. "I am terrified, and I cannot tell anybody anything because no one will believe me. Were it the opposite, I would not believe a person claiming they live in a world of white walls and magical crates with moving paintings."
"I believe you." Her eyes fly up to his face, and she smiles to him shakily. He would like to say he is curious or feels sorry for her, but he is a Thorington, deceit is cowardice, at least such was the motto his Victorian baronet of an ancestor had on his family crest. He took a fancy to her the moment she looked at him.
A fortnight later he picks her up from the rehab and takes her to his flat. He visited her almost every day, and she looked so miserable that he felt like grabbing her like a rugby ball and running out with her under his arm. They cut off her amazing hair, it's just down to the shoulders now, and she looked so pale and hacked off in the grey tee and soft bottoms they gave her that on the drive to his place he stops by a shopping center. She looks instantly terrified, but he drags her into H&M and commands a shop assistant to go slow but take proper care of her. He is large, has an authoritativeness of the station manager and has a certain presence, people listen to him.
Half an hour later his ginger comes out of the shop in cute denim and a long soft jumper, her cheeks rosy from pleasure, and he realises she keeps on catching her reflection in shop windows. They buy her shoes as well, she has size two, and she blushes even more from compliments and attention. By then all he can think about is how fit she is, and to give himself at least some breather from imagining how her lips might taste and how his fingers would feel buried in her mad curls he sends her into lingerie shop alone, while he is nervously smoking outside. It's starting to snow, and he considers sticking his head into a drift.
Through the whole time in the rehab she didn't complain once but with each day she was more and more apathetic. Her eyes were becoming dull, and he just blurted out to her that she should come stay with him. She started mumbling her usual wordy arguments, but he could see how desperately she wanted to escape the grey building and the food which made him want to end himself in right there. He explained to her it was called 'lodgers' and that men and women were flatmates in his world all the time, and she grabbed his hand and said 'yes, John, please, I do want to flatmate with you.' He realised that if she ever says 'John, please' again he'd probably agree on virtually anything. John, please, would you be so kind as to kick a live lion and stick your head in its muzzle? Yes, Wren, darling, anything for you. And he would probably immediately google the nearest zoo.
They arrive to his flat, he has prepared the spare room. Through the drive she was clutching the handle on the door, she has an obvious barney with cars, and then his mobile rang, and she jumped up with a squeal. Yeah, Top Gear ringtone was a wee bit too much for her frenzied nerves.
She comes in and stands by the door, fidgeting with the handles of her shopping bags. He decisively pulls them out of her small hands and grabbing the delicate little fingers he pulls her on a tour around the flat. She is shell shocked, and all she does is nods. He realises she is close to conking out, and he shows her to her room. He bought a bed the day before, and bedding, and a lamp, and she is staring at it. She also has her own bathroom, and he shows her into it too. She mumbles that they have explained to her what shower is in the rehab. And this, she says, and points at the loo. Her cheeks are burning again, and he gives her her privacy.