A quiet moment.
Angua, are you and your friends planning on getting to know Nobby’s new girlfriend like you did with Tawneee? From what I’ve heard, things are getting pretty serious with them, so it may be a good idea to introduce yourself to her. Plus since she’s new to the city, she might not have many friends yet, so I’m sure she would appreciate it.
Angua Von Uberwald sat in a run-down bar. She’s at one of the few tables at the middle of the room, and there’s a wide berth of empty space around her. The regulars prefer to be tucked away in shadowy corners, and normally she’d join them, but she needed to stay visible. And at least she’s not drinking alone.
Sally Von Humpeding was a few chairs away at their shared round table. Though there was no actual wars or official blood feuds between werewolves and vampires, there was a lot of progress to be made before the two species got along.
And, of course, there was Cheery Littlebottom--no, Cheri Littlebottom--to break up the tension. She still got nervous in normal dwarf bars, even as her gender gained acceptance in the mines, so she often joined the differently alive when they happened to go for drinks in the same building. That and without her, the pair would no doubt fall into passive-aggressive banter that, while usually in good faith, could easily cross the line into something actually hurtful.
Finally the one they’d been waiting on walked in. Shine of the Rainbow, a sweet (if not sweet-smelling) goblin who was apparently engaged to Nobby Nobbs. It wasn’t the first time they’d gone for drinks with the goblin, but it had certainly been a long time*.
They chatted idly about how things had been going outside of work. Angua would talk about her and Carrot and maybe even Gaspode, if the mutt had been around recently. Shine would offer a few words, maybe even a sentence, about how things were going with Nobby, and the others might offer advice, if needed. Cheri would comment about her difficulties finding a dwarf that was attracted to dwarf women, and Sally would exclaim how little she cares for anything more than simple flirting.
And then Sally would go back to being Watch Captain in Bonk, and Angua would return to Pseudopolis Yard or her place with Mrs. Cake, and Cheri would head back to her residence in the dwarf districts, and Shine would go... wherever she went. But all four women** would nevertheless be in Bier’s the next time one of them wanted to get a drink with company that didn’t necessarily understand, but was willing to listen.
*Cheery--Cheri--would argue that it hadn’t been that long at all, actually, which Sally would happily agree with. And Shine would light up the bar with her smile and Angua would roll her eyes to hide a wry little smirk.
**With the exception of Sally, who unlike the others, has never made any particular comments on her gender and, in fact, invites those around her to use whichever pronouns they think might fit her best.
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A Starlit Moon
Thorin Oakenshield x Original Female Character
Chapters: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten
Series Warnings: Typical violence, magic, fluff, angst, mutual pining, slow-ish burn?, insecurities, major character death, possible smut (at this stage I am undecided, will update when I get to that point)
Determined more than ever now, over the next few days, Louisa taught herself to rest her mind, to tune everything out except herself. She wondered why it had taken her so long to do this to begin with, and was more than relieved to discover that it assisted with the pain as well, keeping it almost entirely at bay.
There were more than a few awkward looks as bruising appeared along the bridge of her nose and under her eyes, none of them comfortable with the image. She was almost glad that she couldn’t see herself, what she was feeling from the others was more than enough to tell her that it looked a lot worse than what it actually was.
With her head starting to get clearer, she decided to return to her studies with Gandalf, who was more than pleased to see that she seemed to be improving more. The others didn’t agree so much, especially when they all watched a small flame appear in her hand, but they kept quiet on the matter, just happy that she was improving and hadn’t let the incident slow her down.
Sirius was also learning quickly, and while he still seemed unusually small, he now followed most directions that Louisa gave, much to the amusement of the company. Some of them weren’t about to admit it, but they were impressed she’d managed to train the wolf pup, no matter how attached he was to her. Although, they still had to chase him away from their packs on occasion.
With improvements showing, it was clear that Louisa was a lot happier, and that put a lot of them at ease, no matter how much further she still had to go.
Thorin waited for the pain to fully fade before he approached her about further training, and while she was still reluctant, the dark colouring under her eyes still a reminder of what had happened, she agreed.
What she didn’t expect was to be taken out of sight of the camp, and it took her a moment to realise that the two of them were alone. They had not been followed.
“Is Fili not allowed to train me anymore?” She asked, a little hesitantly.
There was an emotion that she couldn't pick buried beneath a small chuckle. “This is not against Fili's teaching capabilities, I promise, after all, I taught him. I simply believe that we need to change how we teach you.”
Louisa stared at him, unsure of what to think of this, but Thorin just raised an eyebrow. “Unless you would prefer to continue with everyone else watching?”
“No,” She said, maybe just a little too quickly, breaking away from his gaze. “I just...” She had nothing to finish the sentence with, suddenly unsure of her own emotions, and this time, not because there was too much noise around.
“We will take this slow,” Thorin said calmly. “Get you used to holding a sword before using it. Once you are comfortable enough with that, then we will continue onto the movements.”
Louisa glanced at him. “How quick were you to realise I was that uncomfortable?”
Thorin gives her a gentle smile. “You mean apart from your outburst when you saved Sirius? Very quickly.”
“I still feel like I'm validated in saying that.”
“Well, that's what I'm hoping to change,” Thorin said and drew his sword. “Here.”
Louisa looked at him a little nervously, slowly and cautiously taking the sword off of him. It was heavier than the one she'd been practicing with before, but Thorin seemed aware of this too.
“Relax,” He said, his gaze flicking for a moment to the bruising under her eyes. “It's not going to spring out of your hands and hit you.”
“Well, I would prefer that that didn't happen again.” She said it lightly, but the nervousness was still there.
“That's why we are taking this slow.” Thorin's hands gently rest on hers. “Now, adjust your grip like this.”
Louisa hadn't been sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn't this. With patience and understanding, Thorin slowly adjusted her grip and stance with the sword, his touches gentle and guiding. She found herself more than surprised when she suddenly found she could hold the sword evenly and strongly in front of her without feeling over balanced and off centre.
“Good, now, try a swing.”
She glanced at him a little apprehensively.
Thorin gave a small, reassuring smile and nod. “Go on.”
Taking a small breath, she did as he asked, the sword cutting cleanly through the air, and while she still felt a little awkward, for the most part it had felt a lot better than anything that she'd done before.
She couldn't help it, a smile creeping to her lips. “Wow.”
“You should not doubt yourself so,” He said, holding out his hand so she can pass back the sword. “Anything can be taught with enough time and patience.”
Louisa handed back the sword, feeling a little odd without it now. “I wouldn't have thought the road was the time or place for such a thing.”
He chuckles. “Not normally, no, but then, you are a faster learner than what you let on.”
She doesn't say anything to this, not wanting to let on that he was probably right, and after a few more minutes, the two of them start to head back to camp.
“Thank you Thorin,” Louisa said softly as the noise of camp returned. “I appreciate it.”
He glances at her, but just nods, the two of them quickly going their separate ways in camp.
A routine started over the next few nights, alternating between learning with Gandalf and learning with Thorin, and while questions were asked on how things were going, no one seemed to want to give an answer to the rest of them.
One thing they had noticed was that the book Louisa had been reading had been put away. Her other book was now coming out more frequently, and while she did sometimes flick through the earlier pages, most of the time she went to the page with the sketch she was working on, or a new page to start another sketch. They all knew that she could draw, but none of them had yet been brave enough to ask her about it.
Everything then seemed to change one evening as they decided to camp in what appeared to be a destroyed home.
Louisa was almost instantly anxious. Something about this place was not right. She stood staring at the forest, trying to work out what it was, but it was either too far away, or something so new that she wasn't sure what to expect.
Gandalf was quick to notice her discomfort, and on top of what he saw, approached Thorin about moving on. Thorin would have none of it, but it wasn't until she felt both Gandalf's and Thorin's annoyance grow that she turned to pay attention to the discussion.
She was more than stunned when Gandalf started to storm off.
“Stay here Louisa,” He snapped a little. “They will need at least some warning should something be coming.”
She frowned after him, watching him go. “I'm not a warning bell.”
There was nothing any of them could sat that would ease Louisa away from the edge of camp, occasionally glancing the way that Gandalf had gone, but mostly watching the forest. She had also tried to protest putting the ponies out of sight within the forest, a protest that got worse as Thorin ordered Fili and Kili to watch them, but no one seemed willing to listen.
Bilbo took her over a meal, following her gaze after a moment to the darkening ground around them. “What’s out there?”
“I don’t know.” She said, frowning a little. “It’s nothing good. I wish they’d listen.”
Glancing back, Bilbo finds Thorin watching them. “It’s been a fair while since we’ve all had a good night sleep in a decent bed. I wouldn’t hold it against them too much.”
Louisa sighed and took the bowl off of him, feeling Thorin’s gaze on them. “Thank you Bilbo, I just don’t like feeling useless, and so far, I feel as if I’ve just been more trouble than they expected.”
“You are learning,” Bilbo said with a gentle smile, looking back at her. “They understand that, even if they don’t say it, and even if they argue with you every now and again over it too.”
It takes Louisa a moment but she smiles and chuckles, giving Bilbo a grateful look.
Bilbo grins and nods. “Don’t let it all get you down so much Louisa. We still have a long way to go.”
She nods and goes quiet again, her gaze looking back out.
He hesitates for a moment longer. “Are you going to be alright here?”
Louisa nods, glancing back at Thorin, who finally looks away. “Yes, of course, although I’d feel a lot better if Gandalf came back. Whatever is out there, I feel like he is going to be needed in dealing with it, or at least, I’d feel better if we have to face it.”
“He’ll be fine,” Bilbo said. “Just as we will I’m sure, and you can only do what you do. No one should expect anything else from you.”
“Let’s hope you’re right,” She said quietly, her unease growing. “I’ll be fine Bilbo, maybe go and give Fili and Kili some supper too, I’m sure they’re more than hungry.”
Bilbo watches her for a moment and nods, moving off, leaving her be. She kept herself still and as focused as she could, her own meal forgotten as she waited for whatever it was to show itself. She wasn’t sure, but she thought it was getting closer.
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Bundy: Well , I mean , I don't recall having been to that area , but , but , if l'd met a young woman I would remember it. I would remember it now , but as I say my purpose in being there was to sort of get away , and be , be by myself and think.
Fisher: Were you by yourself for quite a bit of the period of that time on that trip?
Bundy: Well , um , on that particular trip?
Fisher: Yes , in January.
Bundy: Well , ...in all probability I was , yes.
Fisher: Do , do you remember being alone or with someone on the trip?
Fisher: Alone. OK. Uh , I'm gonna come right to the point , I want a truthful answer to this.
Bundy: Um hmm.
Fisher: On January the 12, of 1975, did you kill that young lady up there near Snowmass-at-Aspen, Colorado?
Bundy: I certainly didn't kill anyone anywhere, and I, wherever it was, I didn't kill anyone!!
Fisher: But you don't recall any of the occurrences that happened on that trip.
Bundy: Well , yeah , of course , I wasn't paying a great deal of attention to specific places or signposts or mileage traveling , uh , but one thing you would remember.
Bundy: I mean (laugh) , it's certainly almost , I won't say that it's , it's , unfortunately it concerns you very much , but if you , if you meet someone you'd remember , especially if you start up a relationship with them , that was not my intention , nor did I do that. Uh , and as far as the question , did I kill anyone , I certainly didn't. It sounds absurd to say so , but you'd remember if you've done something like that , I certainly didn't.
" There are two ways for police to investigate crimes. They can go to a crime scene , search for clues and follow the clues to a logical conclusion, or they can begin with a suspect , decide on that suspect , and then somehow make all of the evidence fit only that suspect. Ladies and gentlemen , I am that innocent suspect. "
- Ted Bundy
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