While Mr. Tolkien may be the author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, I am is sure of one thing. The spirit of Durin the Deathless would not stop pestering this poor bard until she'd written down what he told her. Durin, along with many of Tolkien's readers, could not abide how Thorin, Fili and Kili were simply killed off to make room for Dain II Ironfoot's line in the story. The Direct Line of Durin simply must not end. Thus Durin was awoken from his death slumber and traveled through the ages to correct this grave mistake. Thorin, Fili and Kili in fact survived and this is their story after the battle of the Five Armies.

She silently glides into the crowded dwarven tavern underground, and keeps her hood up to cover the stark red of her hair and her pale gently freckled complexion. As she looks around and sees only dwarves, she's able to verify it's safe here and breathes a sigh of relief. It's warm in here and it feels good to pull her hood off.

The barkeep is keeping the ale flowing and she and he must be the only sober ones in the place. Durin's Day always brings out the most celebratory mood in this people.

There's a lively game of cards over in the corner. After being on the run, it seems forever and a day since she could let her guard down and have a bit of fun. So she grabs a pint, and heads over to see which game they're playing. Ah, Staunch - she's only seen this one played. The round ends and an unexpectedly young dark haired, tan skinned dwarf with only stubble for a beard turns to get up to refill his drink. The a big pile of gold at his spot says he plays particularly well.

"Pardon, Miss," he excuses himself as he tries to push past her.

"I'll buy you a pint, if I can sit beside you to learn the game," she offers and pushes - because she's not letting him get by until she can get an answer.

He looks her up and down and it's obvious he's quite drunk because of the ridiculous lopsided smile on his face and his slow reaction. He nods agreement good naturedly and returns to his seat. She's relieved he didn't decline. dwarves do not always welcome outsiders.

When she returns with his drink and a few extras, he pats the bench beside him, "I'm Kili by the way - at yer service. So, it's rather like human poker...Have ye played that? Good!" he laughs heartily. It seems like he was going to keep on with the thought, it it escaped him. "I'm Sayla, at your service," she finishes the thought readily enough, It's a lot more complicated, isn't it?"


As the night turns into morning, she's caught on readily enough. She and Kili are the last at the table playing. Everyone else went home or passed out. He's had uncanny good luck, despite her hopes that the drinks she offered him would give her a small edge. She thinks to herself that his luck has to break sometime. He breaks her thoughts with a challenge in slurred words, "Sssso, ye seem pretty enough. But that pretty arooound yer neck. That caught my eye the instant I ssssaw ye."

Her hand protectively goes to her chest to cover her gold heart shaped ring with ornate etchings. "Sorry, it's not something I can gamble." She gets up to leave and thank him for teaching her the game.

"Aww, do na' gooo yet. I jusssst want a lookssssee that'ssss all." He looks genuinely sad that she'd just leave. She wonders if it was rude of her, when instinct took over with the question of her jewelry.

"Just a look, then I should go." She cautiously concedes and walks over to him. Her hands cover the piece as she pulls it out of place and into the open. Her hand remains to cover where the piece left her chest.

"Ssssuch a delicate nattttural beauty to it," He admires it in her hand. "May I sssee it more clossssely?"

Her hand comes closer to his face, as he gets out a monocle magnifier. He seems to sober for a moment as he looks eagerly and intently, "Gold in a heart shape, yes. But na a smithing technique I know. Who made this, Sayla? And what are these markings, runes?" His hand wraps around it.

"I...I did. They're fire runes and very powerful," she states nervously as she tries to step away from his grip on the piece. But his grip is strong and she can't pull away with out lifting her hand from her chest. So she stays put.

"It's na a pendant is it? How does it attach?"

"No. It's not at pendant. It's a ring. Now please let go."

"I want to sssssee it." His grip crushes hers and she releases the piece. There's almost a lustful look in his eyes as the drunken speech returns.

She can't risk making a scene, even with so few around. So very grudgingly, she waits while he finishes inspecting it. "I need it back now, please."

"But it looks like it would fit me."

"No, please don't! You don't understand. There's a heavy price with that ring!"

"I'll pay it. How much do ye want for it."

"No it's not like that!" She continues with gritted teeth and a quiet snarl, "Now stop it and give it back."

His obsession with the ring doesn't waver. It's as if he simply doesn't hear her, "I'm sure it fits."

In a panic, with both hands, she grabs for the ring - but too late. She snaps into a trance, as the ring clamps down on his finger. Now, it's not removable and the heart indent pricks the top of his finger down to the bone. "Gah! What did it just do to me?" his look of concern asks the unspoken question of what's next.

"Are you willing to accept this ring and all that it represents," she says so softly it's barely audible. Her gaze is a bit sad but mostly blank in the trance.

He starts to panic and try to get it off, "Yes, yes. anything to get this off my finger."

"It can't be removed now that you accepted," a tear rolls down her cheek despite the trance. The ring lets up a bit though.

"Accepted what?" he demands.

She snaps out of the trance and she whispers with more tears, "Marriage."

The confusion and the pain have sobered him up. "No, no. Na so. Did na... I do na know what yer talking about."

She takes is hand, "Whether you meant to or not, 'tis done. Take care, for that's my heart you wear."

"This can't be happening. I must be so drunk I'm imagining this...I need to sleep this off. Good morrow to ye... Miss," Kili mumbles trying to dismiss himself, gets up and walks out of the tavern in a daze.

She silently follows him and thinks, "You think this is a problem now. You have no idea...It could compromise everything!"


She paces back and forth as she wonders what to do, while he snores away and sleeps off the alcohol. He has no clue that she followed him. She heaves a big breath in and a sigh out. Then she resigns herself to make the most of this. The ring on is hand shows a small dark patch next to the indent in the heart shape. Her hand brushes over his as she whispers, "We've got to get that fixed before it gets worse. I'll do my best Kili."

Author's notes:

I wanted the dwarves to have an accent not to unlike what they have in the movies. But I chose to simplify it for my sanity. Their "ye" is like "yeh", not "yee" or "yey". "Na" is like the scottish word "nae" for "not" but more of a halt at the end.