*Sorry I haven't updated in so long! I had Science Olympiads, in which Drew (who not only is my best friend, but a big fan of my writing as well) and I placed 3rd in Mission Possible. I also had a bit of an accident that injured my arm, but it's better now. So, now I can write!

*This is the final chapter, everybody! No more! I want to thank all my reviewers, off FF.net and on, for all their support and words of encouragement. I hope you all will read the sequel, Pheonix Rising, which, by the time I post this, will be up, at least the first chapter.

*Oh, and if you like Eowyn/Faramir fics, like me, please read The Houses of Healing, by Siberia, which is REALLY good! Her other fics are superb, as well.

*This chapter is set at Deidre's coming-of-age, approx. three months after her return.

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"This is it," Deidre said to herself as she walked into the hall. "My coming-of-age." She was nervous, for tonight she would officially become an adult. It wasn't like she wasn't prepared, she was a far better scholar than the twins, and she was excellent at fighting. She was a bit unsure about of what would happen.

The hall was filled with light. Practically everyone she knew was there. Elladan clapped her on the back, smiling grandly. "Finally, you've caught up with us," he said, teasing. Their coming-of-age had been the month before, and they had lorded it over her every day since.

"Why not? I've surpassed you in everything else, save the footrace," Deidre replied. The footrace was the only thing they could beat her at, but she didn't mind. She beat them at everything else.

"Very funny," Elrohir said, grinning.

"So's your face, but you don't see me making comments on it," Deidre retorted. Elrohir's face went scarlet, and Elladan snickered. She loved vexing them, Elrohir especially.

She moved over to where Elrond and Celebrian were standing, but was ambushed by Arwen, who jumped up and hugged her. "Now you're of age, you won't stop playing with me, will you?" Arwen asked.

"Of course not! I know how much you like my stories, thithen muinithel," Deidre said, swirling Arwen around, then returning her to the ground. "Now let me go say hello to Naneth and Ada, okay?"

Arwen nodded and trotted off to find someone else to talk to, and Deidre walked over to Celebrian. "You look beautiful!" her aunt said, beaming as she saw Deidre.

"Thanks," Deidre said, blushing. She was wearing a new emerald green dress that matched her eyes and set off her hair quite nicely.

"There's only one thing I can think of that could make you look more wonderful," Celebrian said, pulling a small box from behind her back. "And that's this." 'This' was an exquisite necklace of mithril, on which was strung a single ruby carved into a blooming rose. The rose had emerald leaves, which were veined in silver, and attached to the base of the rose.

Deidre gasped. She had never seen anything so stunning. "Thank you, Naneth," she said, embracing Celebrian. "And you, too, Ada. I've never seen anything so beautiful."

"You're welcome, Deidre," Elrond said, walking over to her. "A rose for the rose-maiden." They laughed. "Rose-maiden" had been Deidre's nickname ever since she was little. It was fitting, for Deidre's hair was often compared to the petals of a rose, and her eyes were as green as newly unfurling leaves. And as for her temper, well, every rose had thorns.

"Hey, let us in on the fun!" Elladan and Elrohir ran over to her, followed by Arwen, and soon everyone was hugging each other, almost crushing Deidre. She would never forget this night, that's for sure.

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As she looked over all the presents she had received that night, Deidre sighed. There was a fine dagger from her grandparents, its handle inlaid with electrum and mithril, which had been her grandmother's when she was younger. Lord Glorfindel had given her some new arrows, along with a note asking for a rematch. Deidre laughed, remembering the look of absolute shock on the older elf's face when Deidre had beaten him in a friendly archery match. Lord Glorfindel Inglorion, slayer of balrogs and one of the mightiest elf-lords in all Middle-Earth, beaten by a youngling! He had been teased about it for weeks.

From the twins, she had received a beautiful silver leather bridle for Swiftrun. Deidre had checked it thoroughly for itching powders and boobytraps. You never could be too careful.

And from Arwen, her sweet little sister, came a small wall hanging, lovingly embroidered. It depicted Arwen and Deidre riding through a field of roses, Deidre on Swiftrun, Arwen on her pony, Blackie. Arwen must've worked so hard on it, making every stitch as perfect as she could. Arwen had always looked up to Deidre, practically hero-worshiping her. Deidre didn't mind having her underfoot most of the time, she liked children. And Arwen was so sweet and trusting, it soothed Deidre's cynical tendencies immensely.

She looked at her other gifts. Several were from young males trying to win favor with her. No sense of originality in the bunch. Typical gifts to a maiden: combs for her hair, poems praising her beauty, that sort of thing. Frankly, the whole business of courting made Deidre nauseous. What maiden in her right mind would give up her freedom?

When Celebrian had explained to Deidre the facts of life, as well as the rules of courting, Deidre's first reaction had been to gag and act like she was going to throw up. While it may have seemed juvenile, it perfectly expressed Deidre's views on that particular aspect of life. She had vowed never to fall in love. It was nice, as a concept, even worth dying for, she supposed. But she never cared for it herself. When you were in love, you gave away part of yourself to another person. She didn't think she could trust anyone enough to do that. She doubted she ever would.

She sighed and out her gifts away, getting into her nightdress. She had a family that loved her, a home, and enough secret places nearby to hide in for any but the most dire situations. Life was good.


*At the time of this posting, the first chapter of the sequel, Pheonix Rising, is up. A little storytelling and a harmless prank go out of hand. What will happen when Elladan and Elrohir play the biggest prank Imladris has ever seen?

*And thanks to all of my reviewers! Especially those not on FF.net! That includes Laura, Becca, Annalyse, Drew, Alex, Mitch, Alex (not a typo, there I know two guys names Alex), Mike, Regan, and last but not least, compassionforothers, who reviewed over neomail. I really like you guys! And Rachel, I forgive you for making fun of Legolas. Sam is okay, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing. Thanks for the great plot Naz- Bunny, by the way!