I have loved The Hobbit, like a lot of people, for a very long time. I read the book and watch the Rankin/Bass movie at least one or twice a year and listen to the audiobook a couple times too a year. I have always wanted to get lost in that world and when reading the book, how I envision the dwarves is vastly different from what I saw in my head and certainly not the way they appeared in the cartoon or the recent release of the movie. This little ficlet is a release of frustration on my part because I really want to be there... so if I have to write myself there then so be it. I know this will likely be a weird thing to read but I thought it would be sort of fun too. So just take the journey with me and see. I have wanted (because I just love Balin to death for different reason than liking someone like Thorin or Kili and Fili or Bofur...)

Title: Woman of Man: An Unexpected Journey

Rating: PG for action and some perilous scenes

Pairing: none

written by: Me

Summery: a woman landing in Middle Earth just before the dwarves meet Bilbo in Bag End. Her presence there throws things off a little and while they are on their journey to Erebor, they try to find a way to send her back home. She grows attached to several of the dwarves, Balin being the most prominent. So by the time they do manage to find a way to send her back, she has second ideas about going because not only does she adore and love Balin, she loves the other too and fears for them because she knows what will happen. Will she have the strength to turn away from them and let their original course take its action or will she try to save them? Read on!

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters except the OC in it. She is not romantically involved with anyone. If she does end up liking one of them, it won't interrupt with the story and it won't be a big huge deal. This is action and fantasy not a romance story as I am usually apt to write. She has an emotional tie with Balin (as cute as he is, I can't even think of people writing anything sexual about him) but that will be her focal point, purely platonic... not romantic. And lets face it... he is frigging adorable! You know you squee'd as soon as the door opened and you seen his cute little face and huge white beard all curled up at the bottom! Don't deny it! He was the closest to what I saw the dwarves actually looking like. Hope you enjoy! :)

(edited for spelling mistakes)

The blanket Angel received for Christmas was rolled up and stuffed under her head as she lay on her side on her bed and looked out her bedroom window to the frosted air outside, the electric heater on full blast, warming her small room. She was mostly hidden under her faded old cartoonish blue blanket with robotic figures on it. Only the very top of her red hair could be seen and blue eyes reflecting the very low ambient light of the moon shining down on the hardened snow outside, casting her night dark bedroom in a soft blue radiance that is only there when the moon touches snow.

She didn't normally have her blinds open to the world; she preferred to hide from it. Often the world she knew was cruel to her so she wanted nothing to do with it. She, like lots of others, would lose her rational side in the lore of long stories with intricate particulars and heartwarming, tear jerking goodness that only they perceive to fully understand sans the writer of this lore.

Her Golden-Basset mix Indiana lay at the foot of her bed so that she could not lay full out, forcing her to lay in a fetal position but she didn't mind if her sister was the closest thing to her that she held dear, then her dogs were the second closest. Her Black Lab Goliath lay in the corner on the floor, snoring loudly. She snuggled against the bed and wrapped the blanket around her tighter as a cruel and merciless wind blew outside, whistling around the eaves and kicking up loose snow off ledges and the ground, making gossamer trails of snow spirits lifting upward and returning to the Queen of night sky… the moon with the halo around her head of frost as she glared down on Earth with her face full and bright.

Angel has heard legends and tales of folklore about the different spirits who lived on the moon, or were the moon and its power. But she knew it was just that… tales told to enchant; a world where magic happened and even in the evilest of deeds, the listener or reader would give anything to be there and feel, hear, see, smell and taste that world of fantasy that could be sweeter and bitter than our own.

Angel is 34… she had always been a nobody ever since she was born. But that made her normal… like everyone else that was her age, born into a family not seen on the news or in movies… no tales sung about her and her kin, nothing to remember but from what the family carries on over the centuries, which wasn't much. No great deeds to her name or her family. They just went on as time did. Steady and slow.

She had done as most do. They play as a child in mystical flights of fancy; they go to school, make friends, graduate, work and go back to school. But with her… play was augmented by torment from an abusive relationship with her father, neglected in fact by her mother but not willingly. It wasn't just her… her sisters and brother had gone through the same. Her peers hated her for all the trifle things peers would hate their own. The odd-ball… taller than all the boys or at least most of them; pale… red hair… lack of proper social skills… the works and she didn't make it easier on herself when she refused to try to impress any of them so they would stop torturing her by conforming to the masses.

Why impress those so cruel they can't enjoy someone for being different or just plainly be content with them? She didn't want to associate with the likes of those bigoting bastards. Preferring to pretend she knew personally the characters in her favorite books and movies and cartoons. It was a much happier place in her head and she wondered if there was ever such a thing as loving someone for something other than family and not be sexual, to feel that love and appreciation that she wished from another without the same stipulation of family and amorous covetousness.

She contented in steeling away into fantasy… to forget the long knife of reality that loved to stab her in the face, much less her back. She had fallen into many a tale. Many have come and gone… many have come and stayed, the ones that really moved her. She did not care that she is in her thirties and living a life of losing her time in a perpetual fantasy. She did her work… she paid her bills, what was it to anyone else if she stayed to herself and conversed with elves… or wizards… or giant alien robots? She wasn't harming anyone if only herself. But these stories were something she could make something out of…

Some dark stories of zombies and hero's who save the world from bioterrorism. To unwitting and sometimes confused and conflicted people who lost their memories or family members in an abandoned town where evil lurks in every corner until they find they brought themselves there by revelations at the end of their journey. Or about an old mad scientist released from an insane asylum by an F.B.I. agent to help assist on cases of Fringe science.

Some more technical stories of alien robots that come to earth after being chased by the evil race of the same alien robots who are trying to harvest our planet for energy to revive their own dying planet. Or robots built by man with a Super A.I. that gives them emotions and they are capable of love and are led by an eight year old Japanese boy. Or a masked marauder… clad in black… a white Fawksian mask who has an obsession with November. Or a hero boy wizard and his friends. Or perhaps that story about the little people with the big furry feet who mingle with elves… dwarves and wizards. About a ring of power… and the little things could be the most useful in success in the downfall of great wickedness.

She loved all these things, these things that would come and stay and rotate in her mind at all times.

The past ten years have been unkind to her. She supposed she should be grateful she is still in one piece but she really had wished it had gone better. Her family had been ripped apart several times by one awful scenario or another, they come back together as close knit families do, but never quite the same… somehow a little more damaged than before like trying to use a bent wheel on a bike. You can put it on the frame but it won't ever work properly. She had suffered injury that resulted in several surgeries to her abdomen that made life now on occasion a living hell. Pain it caused, and not a little of it. She has cancer. Most of the cancer was removed but it left her barren. A 34 year old woman, who never had children… who never will. For a long time, and til this day it bothers her. She still weeps.

Thinking about the hardships… not just of the world, but her own, she closed in on herself and grimaced as she looked out her window to the trails of snow returning to the sky on the breathy wind of the Queen of Night; felt her dog Indiana adjust near her feet before going still again and she closed her eyes wishing… wishing something would come and take her away. Something extraordinary would sweep her from reality and drop her into one of her worlds that she escapes too when she opens a book, pops in that DVD or turns on her PS3. She felt a despairing tear fill her eyes but they did not fall. She was teetering too far on the edge of sleep to cry for the things she will never experience. A curse of the human to have to plod endlessly along in the same song and dance as the rest of the nobodies who go on unrecognized and unknown… oft uncared about… especially when that person felt they could offer so much.

Down the rabbit tunnel she went into the dreamscape of sleep and her eyelids flickered on the last trail of conscious thought… of the movie she seen today at the theater with her two sisters. How the tale was a visualization of one of the books she tended to lose herself in once in a while… she smiled at parts that occurred to her that were similar to the book. The reenactment of such parts with faces to put with the words, character portrayals of sometimes familiar faces and the dire wish she could be part of it… or at least stand in it and see it happen if not directly involved.

She had gone from limbo into the deepest void of unconsciousness before the brain starts to flash images of the dream world to where everything is possible… and her eyes suddenly popped open as if a loud noise had woke her up. There was no noise but what sounded like the caw of an eagle in the distance echoing over space and time. The sound of the wind was making her hair blow hither and thither. Her blue eyes took in where she was looking out her window and across the street to the black windows of the adjacent house was now a field… emerald grass and flowers, no icy hard show with wafts of snowy powder dangling in the air. The air was warm… but still night. She realized she was not covered. Her head lay on a patch of tufted grass. She was on the ground rather than in her bed. She lay there, still looking ahead at the sprawling field that seemed to go on forever. Rolling seas of green shifting grass in a breeze at night, the sound of trees shuffling and what may have been crickets chirping. She thought this must be a very vivid dream and she decided not to move. Hoping her dream world would just allow her to get up and move about a little, she would like to see where she is.

"Excuse me, miss…" A gentle hand touched her shoulder and she jumped. She turned over and looked to see a little person standing there with a lantern in his hand. She laughed a little when she seen him because she knew exactly who he was. She had seen him on the movie she just watched about Hobbits.

"Oh, sorry. Am I laying in your field? My dreams landed me in a funny place, Bilbo." Angel said. The little man with the lantern and patchwork night rob perked up for a second when she said his name before he could introduce himself.

"I beg your pardon, Miss. There are a few oddities that I have experienced fairly quickly so it may have addled my mind. Likely I forgot something very simple or very important but…' Bilbo looked closely at her, the soft of the moon reflecting palely on his small face. "Who are you? Why are you in The Shire? How do you know my name and… pardon me, but… we don't usually mix with the big folk and a lady like yourself no less." He looked her over and noticed her clothing. "If you don't mind a question or two more… That is strange clothing, not something I am accustomed to seeing not even on the likes of man… and… are you lost?"

Angel quirked her head to the side and smiled. The feel of the grass against her bare legs felt so real. It smelled real. The scent of cut lawns and flowers with a faint hint of farm mixed with the fresh air of night. Her plain gray t-shirt was very loose and her black shorts were common for her to go to bed in. She was also aware of just how detailed Bilbo and his surroundings looked.

"That's a lot of information to answer all at once." She said with a smile looking up at him. She lumbered to her feet and stretched. She noticed that he blushed and looked away from her. She dropped her arms as if exasperated.

"My name is Angel. I am in The Shire simply because I am dreaming it… you are a figment of my imagination. Well… the dream of you is… you aren't MY imagination, although I can honestly say I wish you were. This is a dream. And a good one too. My dreams aren't usually this explicit." Angel said, wiggling her toes so that the grass went between them. "I know you because I have just read about you and watched a movie about you and your adventures. It was quite something, I love it." She said and grinned at him. "I know big folk don't usually appear here in The Shire so… I will only be here for a little while. I have to work in the morning and my alarm clock will go off and wake me up… that's if one of my dogs don't wake me up first." Bilbo looked very confused now and the arm holding the lantern had lowered.

"You think you're asleep?" Bilbo asked. Angel nodded. He was too confused to say anything else because everything she said made no sense. He understood the concept of having to get up and work… but movies… adventures… her reading about him… and dogs waking her before too long. She thinks she is dreaming…?

"If I am not asleep, then how did I get here?"

"That, Miss, is a very… very good question." Bilbo said and lowered the arm with the lantern all the way.

Angel is a tall 5'8" and to Bilbo's 3 foot stature, she had to look down on him quite drastically and he had to look up at her very much the same. Angel looked about and saw soft lights from round windows set aside The Hill and in the near distance, the open door and steps leading up to Bag End. A firelight glow was on the gray stone spilling outward from his open door.

"Do you have dwarves in your house? Or Gandalf… or Frodo?" She asked, marveling on just how well constructed the dream was. It was so real she could swear she was really there. She started toward Bilbo's door and he came after her, striding after her in a jog to her long legs.

"Dwar- Frodo? What? Who is Frodo and why would I have Dwarves in my house?' Bilbo stopped suddenly as she did and he had jogged right into her side and tumbled to his backside, the lantern clattering to the road and breaking. "Drat!" Bilbo squawked. Angel's smile faded. She turned and saw Bilbo lying on the ground and she knelt to pick him up.

"Oh sorry. I forgot… you're younger so you don't know who Frodo is. You do know who Gandalf is though, yes?" She asked and started a little slower forward again so Bilbo didn't have to get winded to keep up.

"I… think he makes fireworks. A conjurer; a wizard that has queer tales about him where ever he goes. That Gandalf?" Bilbo asked, his brow wrinkled in astonishment. She nodded.

"Yeah that one. Has he come to visit you yet?"

"Good gracious no. Wizards won't bother with the likes of hobbits. We are a quiet and plain folk." Bilbo said, lifting and looking at his broken lantern sadly, thinking he would have to replace it. Still… she had a funny feeling he wasn't being completely honest with his answer about Gandalf. If she remembered aright, he wasn't too happy that Gandalf had visited him.

"Oh, yeah I forgot." She said idly as she looked around, still enamored by the realty of the dream. Bilbo looked up at her.

"You wish to come in and have some tea? I have nice spice cakes as well. I can feed you before you leave." Bilbo said. He figured that she was lost and likely confused. She probably had some ale where she never had before and got drunk and wondered off. Bilbo wondered how drunk she would have to be to get this far away from where the big folk usually dwell. The nearest place is Bree. She couldn't have wondered this far from Bree wearing this strange clothing. Not even in the badlands do they wear such things.

"Sure! I have always wondered about Hobbit hospitality haha!" she laughed and plowed through Bilbo's gate and right up to his door, not allowing him to properly show her in, she let herself in. She perhaps didn't feel she needed too wait for him to open the door for her, the door was already open. She also figured since this was a dream that he would already know who she was and welcome her into his home. However her dream threw her a fastball and she had to make due. Besides, it will be interesting to see how she can manage to make friends with him, if she can. She also wondered too… as she walked through the low ceilinged house with the tube like halls and comforting warmth of firelight, how far off from Bilbo meeting the dwarves from the book she read did she land in this dream. She wondered if she would sleep long enough to meet any of the dwarves or Gandalf.

She worked her way to the dining room and looked in with a smile. She could see the hearth was alight and warm. She walked in, seeing the hobbit hole in much greater detail than her head or movie could ever afford her and she was startled a little, a funny feeling developing in her gut that told her there was something wrong… or vivid about this dream to the point of impossibility. Her smile, as the time in detail lengthened, faded and she was starting to look a little more perplexed than anything else.

She sat down on the stout chair and looked around her. She knew something was wrong when the dreamstate hasn't given her something completely unreal to know for fact that it was a dream. Okay, to her and anyone else, the existence of hobbits, wizard and such were the work of myth. So that in itself, her being here of course, was something completely unreal to let her know she was sleeping and having a wonderful dream… by completely unreal, she meant… flying houses with lasers coming out of the windows and shooting the houses below… don't laugh, she has had a dream like that. Or… of horses so small you can hold them in your hand…one hand. So far, nothing so strange as flying war houses and tiny Clydesdales has shown themselves.

Bilbo was in the doorway to the dining room and looking at her suspiciously. She could tell he was trying to be polite, as she knew from reading; hobbits try to be patient and gracious to their visitors. She rested her arm on the table and tapped her nail on the surface nervously.

"The tea is on the heat… it should be done in a few minutes." Bilbo said, not moving from his spot near the doorway.

"I have to say this dream is very realistic. I hardly ever have such well structured dreams where absolutely nothing but waiting for tea to boil is happening." She said, her face a little pinched with worry. Bilbo nervously smiled.

"That is dreams, Miss… this I am sorry to say is not a dream. Are you here from the West?" Bilbo asked.

"I'm from America. Maine to be precise. I used to live in Massachusetts but I moved to Maine when I was 19 and have lived north ever since." She noticed the strange look on Bilbo Baggin's face. Her face mirrored his. Okay, now it was getting stranger. If this knowledge she has is in her head can be said without so much as an uncertain stutter from her, and the dream she is having is in there also, it stood to reason that her dream version of Bilbo would know America, and Maine and Massachusetts without a quizzical look. At least… that is how she perceived dreams to work. The people in her dreams would be limited to her knowledge even if they had never come across it until she mentioned it. For they are in her mind and they reside with her thoughts too.

"What region is that? I am very learned in maps… I have never heard of America… is… is it another… world?" Bilbo knew that was the idea of children to think of things so ridiculous but so outlandish she was that he could instinctively think of anything else. "Are you foreign? You have to be… I have never seen your garb before… nor have I ever heard your lingo."

"Uh… well yes I guess you can say that." Angel said. She smiled again. It just had to be a very intricate dream and she will just let it play out as it sees fit. She didn't see any other reason not to. It wasn't like she was in Silent Hill or Resident Evil where the likelihood of her waking herself from the dream would be swift. She is in Hobbiton. The Shire… with a respectable and hospitable and… because he happens to really look like Martin Freeman from the movie the Hobbit, she thought he was rather attractive. Too small of course, but he was rather easy on the eyes.

"I think I hear the tea… excuse me." Bilbo backed away slowly and left her to retrieve the tea. She watched his shadow move down the hall when something or someone knocked at the rounded door that she could see from her seat in the hall. She leaned over and heard Bilbo's feet padding across the polished wood of the floor and grumbling to himself.

"Who on earth…'Bilbo muttered as he made sure the front of his night robe was closed, he reached over, grabbed the handle and hauled his door open. From where she sat, she could not see who was there but a figure stepped in and it perplexed Bilbo far greater than she had… or at least… he hid his real surprise upon seeing her in his field.

A short man, short but still taller than Bilbo walked in and started freeing himself from the bulky robes he was wearing. She could distinctly see the strange tattooed marks on his head that shaped to the crown of his skull. She grinned as she put her steepled hands over her mouth in awe because she knew who that was, unfortunately that meant that Bilbo really didn't know who it was, but he had lied to her about Gandalf. If this person has come to Bilbo's house… then Gandalf had already offered him the journey.

The person who entered Bilbo's home stepped quickly in her direction, his thick brow line heavy and he looked as if he were constantly scowling. He looked mean as he got closer and she could see a missing piece of his ear brought into sharp relief in the firelight.

"Whose this?" The dwarf said gruffly. He didn't ask Bilbo… he asked her who she was. She had a hard time keeping the smile off her face as the dwarf looked at her. She stood as best she could and looked down at him.

"I'm Angel… its nice to meet you, Dwa-" She stopped talking at the serious look on the dwarf's face. She swallowed hard. It was one thing to freak Bilbo out by saying his name to him before he was allowed to even formally introduce himself… but this is a dwarf… and from all initial impression of him, not one to suffer shocks to his person by having his name said to him before he could give it.

"If I didn't know better, I would think ye came here by accident. Ye don't look like you belong here at all." He said. Never the less, he extended his thick arm and hand and she took it graciously.

"Dwalin… at your service, Miss Angel." He bowed to her, much the same way he bowed to Bilbo to which she hadn't seen. She was mystified… she looked at her hand as he stumped over to the table and looked down at a plate she hadn't noticed, or rather… forgot about that had food on it. Dwalin helped himself much to the chagrin of Bilbo who bit his lip, huffed and apparently went back to retrieve the tea water.

Angel sat back down and looked down at her bare knees and feet. She felt slightly conscious of her clothing compared to Bilbo and Dwalin and she wrapped her arms around her legs slowly when she noticed Dwalin looking at her again. In her books, these characters… men and women were always incredibly modest. Every bit or most of their bodies covered… what they must think of her.

"Sorry about my appearance. I really hadn't expected to drop in. It was sort of unexpected. But I can say I am excited, especially if I am allowed to come on the journey too. Again… assuming my dream lasts that long." She said innocently but stopped when Dwalin stood up sharply and looked at her angrily.

"How do ye know about our journey? Who told ye about it?"

"What journey?" Bilbo asked, a little more alarmed with a tea kettle in his hand looking between Dwalin and Angel as if he just came into the room when Dwalin rose from his seat like a spring. Angel's face went a little pale but the color came back fairly quickly.

"I… I know about it because I am not from here. You… and everyone who comes after you are going to Erebor to fight Smaug the dragon… to take your gold back." She said and thought it summed it up pretty well. Dwalin's eyes became steadily wider and wider with anger. She stopped at the precipice of telling him what happens at the end of the book but decided that it probably wasn't for the best to tell him that sort of thing.
"What are ye a conjurer? A witch?" Dwalin asked in a heated tone. She shook her head.

"No… I- I'm a human." She said, touching her fingers to her chest. This dream was getting a little intense, Dwalin looked as if he wanted to hurt her… probably thought she was some spy sent to kill them all before they reached journey's end..

"Gandalf made no mention of dragging a strange woman along." Dwalin said, his arm muscles flexing.

"She means no harm. Really, she is just lost and hospitality dictates we open our door to the lost traveler… I can have whom I please in my home… stranger or no. "Bilbo stepped in. Dwalin pointed at her with a thick finger and looked at the hobbit roughly.

"She isn't coming with us. Thorin won't have it! The road where we are going is no place for a female." Dwalin said. Angel pursed her lips auspiciously.

"Well you will appreciate me if I tell you where to go and what to do."

"She knows that too?!" Dwalin fired up again. "Woman is there anything ye don't know?"

Angel smiled and shrugged.

"I don't know when this dream will end, but I have to say… you two are quite fun to be with. I can't wait to tell my sister when I wake up." She said and rested her hands smartly on her lap and stared at both Bilbo and Dwalin in turn with an appreciative smile.

"What the devil is she yapping about?" Dwalin said after a protracted pause. Bilbo shrugged and was about to say he had no idea when the doorbell rang again. The hobbit hole went quiet and Angel smiled even more. If Bilbo looks like Martin Freeman and Dwalin looks like Graham McTavish… then the next dwarf to come in will look like his respected actor too… she hoped because when she first saw this next dwarf to grace them with his presence she fell so in love with how cute he was she automatically dubbed him her favorite. His snow white fluffy hair and strangely curled beard… he was like a big gnome doll she wanted to carry around under her arm like a child with a favorite doll.

While Bilbo had gone to the door, as she knew he would, confused… Dwalin had gone to the shelf nearest him, apparently spotting the jar of cookies and jamming his hand in the opening like a big kid. She watched him with a fond smile and turned her head toward the door when she heard the voice of the newcomer rise to call attention to Dwalin.

"Oh!" The melodic voice said and Angel could swear she could nearly recite what he was about to say to his brother as he approached, but she sat quietly and watched it happen, the way a child's eyes would watch a Christmas display on Christmas Eve outside a storefront display.

"Evening brother…'

"By my beard! You're shorter and wider since last we met…" Dwalin said curiously as he looked down at the top of the newcomers white fluffy hair. Angel knew if someone had said that to another in the waking world it was likely to cause some fight, but this dwarf chuckled and grinned so heartily it reached his twinkling eyes.

"Wider… not shorter.' He corrected and added his own jibe to his brother. "But sharp enough for the both of us." Dwalin didn't get offended just like the other; he was pleased with the criticism. They chuckled immoderately, gripping each other as brethren do and when she knew they would they collided heads. She had seen it done before but it didn't stop her from bringing her hand to her head as if she could feel her brains too rattling around in her head from the blow. But it was nothing to the appalled look on Bilbo's face. They chuckled fondly at one another, Bilbo was trying to get their attention but their attention was taken when the newcomer looked toward Angel and he smiled at her.

"Who is this?" He asked as he approached her. Dwalin looked over his shoulder as his brother passed him and scowled.

"A female… what does she look like? Ye're not going blind too, are ye?" Dwalin jabbed at his elder brother who came over to Angel and bowed at her.

"Balin… at your service, milady." He said and she smiled toothily at him as he stood up.

"Angel… at yours." She said, nodding her head. She felt odd being so formal, people just don't do this where she is from, it was a pity too because she was just not used to people being polite to each other like this and because it wasn't how she would normally introduce herself to people, the words and actions seemed alien to her and didn't feel right coming from her, but Balin seemed pleased enough with her respect.

"Odd name. I've been all over the map and never heard that name outside lore… Where exactly are you from, my dear?" Balin asked and looked at her t-shirt and shorts, bare legs and messy red hair. He took a gloved hand and took a hank of her hair away from her ear, looked at it and then dropped her hair again. "You're not an elf, elves are fair folk… or a dwarf, you are too tall and thin. You can't be a hobbit so you must be a woman of man. But I can't tell you where you are from by your garb and I have seen many traditional dresses… are you a wonderer?"

Angel looked mildly offended by his first remark but thought to herself that he may not have meant it the way he said it. Elves are supposed to be extremely beautiful. She was lucky if she was average in the attractiveness department. So rather than be offended she smiled up at him. She didn't have to look up too much, he was kind of short and despite the fact that she was sitting on a low chair, she only had to crane her neck a little.

"I'm not from here."
"That's obvious, but where are you from exactly?" Balin asked.

"I have already said it… if Bilbo didn't get it, I don't think you will." Angel said. Balin's slight smile faltered.
"Try me."

"What's to try? She is spouting about it being a dream… that this to her is naught more than a fantasy of the mind. Like we're not really standing here." Dwalin said as he plunked his arse down on the seat and pulled a plate of biscuits toward himself. Balin looked at his brother and then back at the stranger.

"You think this is a dream?"

"Well if it's not a dream, what is it?" She asked and giggled to herself. She had heard that line in a game series she loves and couldn't believe the opportunity to say it was given to her.

"You know how to tell if you are dreaming do you not?" Balin asked as a loud knock resounded through the hall that made Bilbo turn exasperatedly toward his door. Angel's eyes were diverted from Balin's for a moment to see Bilbo rush down the corridor and open the door, struggle with someone at the door and two younger dwarves come in. A hand came under her chin and drew it back. Her eyes were looking at Balin again and she grinned, just because even at this angle and distance he is still adorable.

"What… you mean pain?" Angel asked. Balin took his thick gloved forefinger and thumb and pinched her arm hard and she yelped, pulling it to her chest to guard it from being pinched again.

"They say you can't really feel pain in dreams, or if you do, it's not as bad as it really would be." Balin said, gesturing with a nod of his head toward her arm. She looked at him as he gave her a knowing smile and walked to the other side of the table and a handsome dark haired young dwarf walked by, looked down at her, smiled for a second and continued on as if he could care less about who she was, why she was there and why she looked so different. Angel wasn't really bothered by his indifference, what she really was bothered about was that her arm still throbbed and her dream hasn't gone to something really weird and unbelievable yet. No blurry edges, no random flying pizza over the moon as random ideas flashed in her mind as she slept.

"This isn't right… I am asleep aren't I?" Angel said to the floor as a pair of boots came in front of her and she looked up to see the second blonde haired young dwarf looking down at her and bowed.

"Fili… at your service. That one is my brother Kili… you're not part of our company are you? My Uncle said nothing of a woman of man coming with us." He asked and she opened her mouth confused as she rubbed her arm where Balin had pinched it.