A/N This is the first in the series of oneshots and short stories that I plan on writing based on "Only time will tell". Most of them, if not all will be AU in regards to the soon to come sequel, but since "Only time will tell" is based on divergence of paths you can consider these ones as being different choices taken. There will also be some pre-"Only time will tell" oneshots around here and maybe even some missing scenes - like the troll scene or the "what do we do with a huge dragon corpse in the middle of our Great Hall scene" - that will take place during "Only time will tell." They will be in random order, each with its own summary depending on where my muse takes me XD I'm looking forward to seeing what you think about them.

Disclaimera: Don't own anything!

Overall warnings: may be hints of Thorin/Bilbo, Dwalin/Ori, Dwalin/Nori, Bofur/Nori, but that depends on how you read them honestly. Most of them can be seen as strong friendships ( which is what they are intended to be in most chapters, but not all). Also there will be mentions of character death, blood, gore, violence, war, medical procedures etc.


"It does not come as a surprise to him that he can follow Frodo in his dreams; after all a bond as strong as the one between him and his adopted child cannot be easily broken, not even by time or the many miles that separate them. Part I/III"

Part I: In dreams I follow you

He followed Frodo in his dreams every step of the way. Whereas in the past his dreams had been a hindrance, now he welcomed them with open arms because it was the only way in which he knew how his precious nephew was doing. He walked the fields of Hollin with Frodo and saw Saruman's crebain as they scouted for signs of the Fellowship. Atop Cradhras he felt the cold bite of snow and shivered under his blankets as he watched Aragorn and Boromir make paths through the snow to lead the hobbits back to safety.

Then came Moria; the piercing darkness was stifling even in his dreams and the sense of dread was present in his soul as well. There was something waiting in the darkness, an evil preparing to show its face. It felt like Smaug, but even more powerful and older, much older. It was because of Moria that he woke up in the middle of the night, bitter tears streaming down his face as he held back choked sobs. A hand caressed his hair gently and a deep voice asked in the darkness of their room.

"Who?"

Such a plain, simple word that held so much meaning; that 'who' held in it years of friendship, of smiles and tears, a promise of an unexpected but welcomed adventure and a life that changed completely.

"Ori, Balin, Oin," he said shakily before recalling fire and shadow dragging a friend in the darkness. "And Gandalf..."

That day he called the remains of the Company to tell them what he had seen. He held Dori as he broke down and sobbed for his little brother and watched as Dwalin punched the wall repeatedly, his knuckledusters eventually shattering with the force of the hits. He placed a hand on Nori's shoulder and his soul crumbled when he saw the pure anguish in the Spymaster's eyes who forced himself to be strong for Dori. He listened to Gloin talk about his brother until the dwarf's voice was hoarse with pain and tears; he let Gloin know that Gimli was alive and well and had avenged both his uncle and his kin in the depth of Moria where the orcs had ambushed the Fellowship.

Afterward he allowed himself to collapse in pain and cry his soul out. He cursed the Black Pit that had taken four dear friends and felt himself shatter with each tear he shed until strong arms engulfed him and kept him close as he cried out his grief.

The Fellowship's arrival in Lothlórien the Fair gave him his first night of carefree sleep in a very long time. He saw the Lady of the Woods through Frodo's eyes and was mostly certain that she had sensed him as well. He woke with a smile on his face at the crack of dawn and whispered with a small laugh:

"Gimli is besotted with the Lady Galadriel. He is also becoming friends with Legolas Thranduilion."

An outraged sputter came from the warm body pressed into his side, but neither said anything else, merely used the opportunity to cuddle a while longer. Later that day the look of outrage on Gloin's face would lift the spirits of those who lost so much in Moria.

However, Lothlórien was soon left behind and the Fellowship pressed forward towards the falls of Rauros. Even in his dreams he felt the Ring whisper incessantly and knew that Boromir was falling under its power. The look in the Gondorian's eyes was the very look that had been in his eyes for years without end while he had been forced to endure the weight of the Ring and the whispers in the darkness. In his sleep, his hands sought pockets and precious trinkets that were no longer there. Other hands, bigger and calloused, stilled his movement and murmurs in Khuzdul lulled him back to security, yet the weight in his mind was still there, pressing, stifling...

He knew Boromir would succumb before the man long before the man realized that his mind was wrapped in darkness. He saw the man attack Frodo and froze when his nephew had to use the Ring to escape. He too saw the Eye in the shadow world calling, seeking, beckoning... When Frodo decided he would go alone he wanted to shout and tell him that it was folly, that he could not go alone, that he would not make it. It was fortunate that Samwise was a most stubborn hobbit and loyal to a fault.

Then the Uruk-Hai came, Boromir fell and his young Took and Brandybuck cousins were captured and his dreams took a turn for the worst.