A/N: And so here we come to the end. Sorry for the delay, I was camping. I can't thank those of you that have followed and reviewed enough. It means the world to me that you have come along on my adventures. I hope you have enjoyed them and that this ending works for you. :) I do not know if I will start another Middle Earth fanfic or not; I'm not sure right now what else I could tell. I do have another Star Wars fic in the beginning stages and I also have a fic based on World of Warcraft (video game I've played for eleven years) almost ready to start posting. If you follow me you should get an update when I finally start posting (if you're interested in those of course). I have several other things in the works as well (some actually feature Thorin and Rhae under different names but in our world). Thank you again for all the support!
Peregrine: When you get to this point ... thank you! I'm glad you were enjoying how I included him. I never really mentioned Kíli's marital status in the story that came before this (To Seek the Pale Enchanted Gold) so it was kind of left up to the readers. :)
Petal: I'm so glad you have enjoyed the story and have come along on my journeys. :) I have tossed around the idea of some one shots that deal with some of the characters from 'If the Dark Returns' but I don't know if I'll get to it. Thank you again and I hope to see you pop up when I post a new fic! :)
Blondiez: Thank you! It was a rather satisfying chapter to write. :) Hehehe ... some how they avoided that necessity. :)
Sparky: Lol, no, nothing like that will be necessary. Apparently they were very careful haha! I'm so glad the chapter was able to make you smile!
We all know the drill, nothing but Shae and the AU stuff is from my brain. The rest is from Tolkien's.
14 months later ...
Shae stood uncharacteristically still as those around her put the finishing touches on her dress and hair. She had been ordered not to even think about looking in the mirror until told to do so and she was putting forth a valiant effort to obey that command. Her mother and Dis could not stop smiling as they wove the fine silver strands in her hair and clasped the metal and gems around her neck and waist. Besides being extremely curious as to what they were doing to her Shae was rather surprised at how calm she felt. They had been waiting for this day for quite some time. A few problems had arisen during the beginning of construction of the main keep and they'd had to push back when they had planned on leaving Annuminas for Minas Tirith. It had been frustrating but it was certainly better to wait than to leave and spend their wedding worrying about what was going on back in the North. Now ... now it was finally time and she was quite ready.
"Alright, nâthuê kurdu. You can look now." Giving her mother an excited smile, she turned slowly towards the long mirror on the wall. What she saw had her speechless. A deep wine red underdress, beautifully embroidered with silver, showed at her neckline and down her arms in stark contrast to the silvery white overgown. It fit tight to the waist, the point of the bodice dipping under the silver and gem studded belt, then fell loose to the ground where it pooled around her feet. The sleeves were only gathered at her shoulders and hung to touch the ground. Though the dress was the creation of Minas Tirith seamstresses the jewels were from Erebor. An amazing necklace of dark red rubies circled her neck with matching stones forming the tiara on her head. Her hair was mainly left loose with only one heavy braid flung over her right shoulder and two thin braid with various beads in them laying down the front of her dress. Never would she have imagined looking as fine as her mother did when dressed for special occasions and as she stood there staring at the intriguing image reflected in the mirror Shae felt the flutter of nerves in her stomach. Trying to will them away she stepped to Rhae and threw her arms around her.
"Thank you, amad," was all she was able to whisper. Rhae pulled back and smiled then placed a kiss on her forehead.
"I could not have asked for a better daughter. You have made me proud, Shaella, and I wish you all the happiness in the world."
Before she could get choked up any further Dis claimed a hug and then Thorin walked in to escort her to the ceremony. He stood still, watching her, as Rhae and the other ladies quietly filed out, not speaking until they were alone. His silence unnerved her even further. When he finally moved towards her it was almost as if he were walking through water he moved so slowly but as he got close enough to her Shae could see the emotion playing in his eyes. She reached out and took his hands. The strength in them, the familiar calluses from years of holding a sword, were comforting and soothed her nerves somewhat.
"You look beautiful, ghivashel." He ran a hand over her hair. "The jewels in Erebor pale in comparison."
"Adad..." she said, her cheeks flushing.
"No, let me say my fill. Mahal knows I've never been good at saying what I'm feeling." He squeezed her hands. "You have always been my little jewel, my little treasure. After you were born those feelings actually scared me for a while; I was afraid the gold sickness was trying to take hold of me again. I have watched you grow up into strong, wise woman just like your mother. When you returned home after all you'd been through and had to tell us of Moria and Balin I couldn't have been more proud of you, nathith."
Shae hadn't felt like crying until now. To hear such words from her father rattled the tenuous hold she'd had on her emotions since he'd walked in the room.
"I only ever wanted to make you and amad proud and to find my place."
"There has never been a moment when I wasn't proud of you, Shae. Perhaps I didn't always say so but it is the truth nonetheless. You came to us at just the right moment, after your mother had lost our unborn child, and pulled us from our depression over that loss. Since then you have never failed to put a smile on my face ... even when I wanted to strangle you for your obstinate, headstrong ways."
She laughed at his teasing. "I come by those ways honestly from both you and amad."
"You do indeed." Thorin reached up and fingered the beads in one of her braids. "I know you have felt I've tried to shield you, to hold you back some when compared to your brothers but it was your similarities to your mother that caused me to act so. I did not want to lose you to the elves or the Rangers though I was well aware of your desire for adventure. It wasn't until I was forced to let you go that I fully realized - thanks to your mother - that you had promise within you and in order to fulfill that you had to live your own life. You would never live up to your potential, your destiny, if I kept you tight within Erebor. He took a deep breath and smiled, his blue eyes shining with affection and a few tears. "You will always be my mizimith and I couldn't have let you go to just any man ... though I would have preferred you marry a dwarf."
"You like Boromir, adad," she replied with a grin, swatting at his shoulder.
Thorin chuckled, the sound low in his chest like she always remembered. "I do. He is a strong, honorable man and the two of you seem to suit each other quite well. I have no doubt he will treat you as you should be treated and protect you well."
"Of course he will and if he doesn't ... well, I have two strong dwarven swords by my side to whip him back into shape."
He laughed again and pulled her into a tight embrace against his chest. Shae breathed in the scent of him, the smell of leather and pipe smoke the same as always, locking the memory away tightly since she knew it would most likely be some time before she saw him again. That thought had her choke up again and she wiped furiously at the few tears that had escaped.
"I will be sending Maec with you permanently so you will always have a way to quickly send messages to us or your cousin Fíli."
"Will you and amad ever come and visit Annuminas?"
"I do not know, my heart. It is quite a ways to travel at our ages but if the new king here in Gondor is as strong as he seems perhaps the roads will not be as hazardous." He placed a kiss on her forehead. "Our thoughts and hearts will always be with you, Shaella."
She threw her arms around him again. "Men lananubukhs menu adad."
"Men lananubukhs menu Shae." He pulled back a bit. "Now, I do believe we've talked enough. That Gondorian will be getting impatient."
She nodded as she wiped at the last tears, took her father's arm, and left her chambers with her back and shoulders straight.
The crowd cheered as Aragorn, with Gandalf by his side, pronounced them married.
"This has been a long time coming, my friends," he said with a grin.
"Too long," Boromir replied giving Shae a loving glance.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" He looked at the king in confusion for a second. "You can kiss your bride now."
"No need to remind me of that!" he laughed then pulled her against him, claiming her lips hungrily. The crowd cheered louder and when they were forced to part they turned to face those gathered. Boromir could not remember a time when he'd been so happy. Looking out over their guests he knew that such a gathering probably would not have been able to take place if his father had still been Steward. Denethor would have fought him hard over marrying someone not a full blooded Gondorian, no matter that she was half Dunedain. His eyes took in all the dwarves that had come: Shae's parents and brothers, her cousins Fíli and Kíli along with their families, her aunt Dis, Gimli, and several other dwarves whose names he couldn't remember. He was glad of their friendship and even more glad of the strength they could lend if a situation ever called for it. His gaze then settled on Faramir, Eowyn beside him, and his little brother raised an eyebrow with a smirk. Boromir knew exactly what he was thinking and he had to agree with him. Thank the Valar he'd finally come to his senses.
He glanced down at the woman by his side. When she'd appeared he'd been struck speechless and he was pretty sure his mouth had been hanging open. There on her father's arm, Thorin's raven crown glowing the sunlight, she had looked every inch the princess she was and he felt humbled that she had accepted him. He would spend the rest of his life proving to her that he was worthy of the love she'd so willingly bestowed.
Shae was just as moved by the moment. She had gotten control of her emotions by the time they had arrived at the courtyard but a completely different one slammed into her as soon as she saw Boromir standing on the steps with Aragorn and Gandalf. Dressed in black and burgundy, gold shining on his sleeves and at his neck, he took her breath away. In a few short moments that dashingly handsome man would be her husband and her footsteps had quickened right in time with her heartbeat ... and now she stood by his side as they made their way down the long center aisle. She couldn't keep the smile off her face as they greeted their guests. This was what true happiness and contentment felt like.
When they were finally seated at the table on the raised dais for the celebration feast Boromir leaned close, kissing her gently.
"I promise I will prove worthy of you, Shae."
She looked at him in surprise. "You have nothing to prove to me."
"I feel I do and nothing will sway me from that."
She grinned with a small shake of her head. "Aye, I'm well aware of how stubborn you are."
"Besides, I promised your father and your brothers that no harm will ever come to you. I do not doubt they'd make the trip to Annuminas in record time if that raven of yours told them I had failed to uphold that promise."
Shae laughed out loud, her gaze swinging to land on her family momentarily. Thorin and Rhae returned her gaze with love and pride while Durin and Rho almost looked like they were going to stick their tongues out at her. Her older brother then looked pointedly at Boromir and she could only laugh harder. Life would never be dull, of that she was certain.
Turning back to her husband, she kissed him hard. "Menu zirup men." She could see him trying to translate her words and kissed him again, this time lightly. "You complete me, Boromir."
nâthuê kurdu: daughter of my heart
ghivashel: treasure of all treasures
nathith: young daughter
mizimith: jewel that is young
Men lananubukhs menu: I love you
Menu zirup men: You complete me
Preview of untitled World of Warcraft fic
With a sigh she headed back to the house, dropping the basket by the front door, and continued down the path to the road headed towards Goldshire. When she reached the crossroads she found her usual spot at the base of a tree across from the gryphon master, settling in to watch the travelers on the road. Anytime she felt despondent she would find her way there, watching the adventurers in shining armor or fantastically embroidered garments, weapons glittering on their backs or at their hips, as they hurried to and from Stormwind. She would always make up stories about the ones that really grasped her attention, imagining the amazing places they had traveled to or the monsters they had slain. It helped her feel less isolated. She had heard of and learned about the different areas of Azeroth: the mighty dwarven city of Ironforge in the north, the jungles of Stranglethorn to the south, Darnassus, the home of the night elves, and even the Horde city of Orgrimmar far away across the sea. Ever since hearing of all these places the desire to see more than the dirt roads and trees of Elwynn Forest had filled her. It was a strange feeling. There was no real reason for her longing to see more of the world. Besides her parents' refusal to let her go to Stormwind City she had never had any reason to be upset at home. Her parents were loving and provided for the family as best they could from their small farm. She and her siblings got along. It was a good life, certainly better than some of the children she'd seen from Westfall, but still ... she was young and she knew there was a lot to see out there. Those unknown wonders continuously called to her. One day she would find a way to see what wonders were hidden behind the walls of Stormwind and beyond.
"Rae?" Her mother's gentle voice pulled her from her thoughts. "Watching the travelers again?"
"Yes," was her short answer. There was a soft sigh and her mother squatted down next to her, lightly touching her chin to make her look up. She met Eveline's kind and surprisingly sympathetic gaze. "The world is not as amazing as you want to believe, my dear. There are horrible things out there." The jangle of metal interrupted her and they both looked up to watch two horses gallop up the road, a paladin in gleaming gold and white and a hunter in brown leather. "Those two face unimaginable dangers every time they are sent out by the king's command. It is not an easy or glamorous life despite what it may look like on the outside."