Several days had passed and Tauriel had yet to visit Kíli again. Every day she tried to make her way to the café or even text him, but every time she hesitated, and the more time went by, the harder it seemed to get. Not that he had texted or called her either, which she found slightly annoying – though she knew she was being a hypocrite.
To be fair on her self, school was getting tough, multiple deadlines coming up, causing her to work late and be exhausted afterwards. She had arrived late at her archer trainings this week, something Celeborn had questioned her about, for she normally was never late. But he understood the workload she was under, his granddaughter often reminding him of the fact, and thus forgave her.
Arwen herself however wasn’t very forgiving, questioning Tauriel constantly.
“I just don’t understand why you won’t see him.” The raven beauty started the conversation as she had done the past few days. Tauriel groaned, wanting to cover her ears.
“No, I really don’t.” Arwen continued, “You had a great date, but now you’re just put off by two people who don’t approve.”
“Yes exactly! And they are not just people, Arwen, they are my family.”
“Bullshit.” And Tauriel turned to Arwen, looking in shock, for her friend was never one to use such language. “Don’t look at me like that, I mean it! You normally wouldn’t care what they say. You’ve done plenty of things that both of them would object to. I don’t think this has anything to do with them, or a least not as much as you’re trying to make me believe. No, I think you’re just scared.”
Tauriel raised her eyebrow, challenging.
“And what would I be so scared of?”
“Love.” Arwen replied simply, the word hitting Tauriel in her chest. “You’re afraid to fall in love.
They both fell silent, Arwen watching her carefully, while Tauriel pondered on her words. She bit back a harsh reply and slowly came to the realization that her friend was right. But she also immediately went into the defensive, like any trapped animal would. She narrowed her eyes, flashing her bright green gems on Elrond’s daughter.
“Yes,” she said carefully, admitting her weakness. “I am afraid of love. It can miraculous and fantastic when right but…” and her eyes darkened of memory. “It can also be hurtful, cruel, and ruthless. If that is what love is, then I do not want it.”
“So what?” Arwen raised her eyebrow, “just because it could hurt, you’re going to turn your back to it all together?”
“What, no! I just need to take it slowly. I am not turning my back.”
“It definitely looks like it. Tauriel I haven’t seen you as happy as you were these past weeks. Do you think this would make you happier? You like him, a lot. You haven’t stopped talking about him, and now when things get a bit more difficult, a bit too close, you’re going to back out?”
“I am not backing out of anything!” Tauriel said, raising her voice, before covering her face with her hands, pulling them through her long hair. “You don’t understand.” She mumbled. She heard Arwen suck it her breath out of anger, something very unlike her friend, who was generally very calm.
“I don’t understand? Of all people, you think I don’t? You know all the struggles Aragorn and I went through, and still go through! It was never easy for us! There was always struggle, and people who didn’t agree with our relationship.” Her blue eyes flashed dangerously and Tauriel knew it wasn’t a good idea to interrupt her now. She felt ashamed of herself as Arwen called her out.
“When his father died, do you think that was easy? When he sunk down into a depression, not knowing what to do. Or even now, do you think it’s easy to have a boyfriend who decided that he wants to be a doctor, travelling to warzones. When he’s gone, I worry every single day, hoping he’ll come back. And when he’s back, I worry about when he will travel again. And now you think I don’t understand?” tears were forming in her eyes and Tauriel engulfed her into a tight hug. She rocked Arwen back and forth.
“I am sorry.” She whispered. “I wasn’t thinking, I am sorry.”
They stayed like that for a while, rocking each other back and forth sitting in the park, watching people walk by. Arwen dried her tears and as she looked at her friend, they started to laugh.
“You can be so stubborn sometimes!” She told Tauriel who laughed and stuck out her tongue.
“Sorry mum!” She said mockingly.
“Seriously though, you’re both so young and obviously like each other. Give him a chance ok? It’s not like he asked you to marry him.”
“That’s true. I guess I just panicked.” Tauriel admitted and Arwen nodded her head.
“Yeah… let’s just hope Éowyn doesn’t get cold feet!” They laughed.
“No, she definitely wouldn’t! She and Faramir are made for each other.
Faramir was the younger brother of Boromir, Aragorn’s friend. While Boromir followed into their fathers footsteps and became a doctor, Faramir, being more in touch with their mothers creative side studied architecture, and had recently completed his first successful project, with more offers flying in everyday.
Éowyn was an army nurse. Her brother Éomer was also a good friend of Aragorn’s as they had been in the same class in high school. Though going to different universities, Aragorn studying medicine and Éomer law, the two men still had regular contact. It had been during high school when Éowyn and Aragorn had, had a brief romantic relationship. However their relationship didn’t last especially after Aragorn met Arwen and Éowyn was introduced to Faramir at a party. Now they had formed a strong friendship, with Arwen (and Tauriel) considering Éowyn to sometimes be the sister she never had. She had been overjoyed with the news that her friends were getting married.
“Mum is thrilled with the opportunity to dress up so she wants to go shopping with us for dresses!” Arwen shared excitedly and Tauriel smiled. But the red head was also a bit worried. She had a completely different taste than Arwen and her mother, who had a love for soft, flowing, very feminine dresses. She however had a bit more practical taste, liking everything to be elegant but clear cut, reflecting her no-nonsense attitude. Arwen sensed her friend’s hesitation and laughed.
“And don’t listen to what mum has to say all the time, just choose whatever you want.”
“Don’t listen to your mother, or don’t listen to you?” Tauriel asked with a winked causing Arwen to smile cheekily. “When did you want to go?
“We have a family friend, Míriel, who is a fashion designer with her own line Perindë. She has beautiful gowns! Mother arranged a visit two weeks from now. Would that work for you?” Tauriel thought for a second.
“That should work for me. We’ll be way on time, it won’t be in 2 months. Oh that reminds me! I still have to find something to wear to Kíli’s uncle’s birthday, well if he still wants me to come of course.”
“Two months is nothing, then we have enough time if we don’t find something with Míriel. And of course he’d still want you to come, I am sure of it! Can I help you pick something out?” Arwen asked excitedly, her blue eyes twinkling happily making Tauriel chuckle.
“Sure of course, but I doubt it will be that fancy, at least I don’t think a ball gown will be necessary.”
“But you do have to make a great entrance, I’ll make sure of that!”
They sat together in silence for a while, watching leaves fall down from the trees, creating an ocean of gold by their feet.
“I hope Boromir will be back on time for the wedding.” Arwen suddenly said and Tauriel looked at her, she had a faraway look on her face.
“Of course he will. He wouldn’t miss his brother’s wedding for the world. Besides, I thought Aragorn said his mission was almost over.” Her friend seemed to have snapped out of her trance and smiled.
“Yeah of course, it’s silly of me. It’s just that there’s been so much bad news coming from there.”
“True, Mordor is a war-zone, but Boromir is a doctor, not a soldier. Besides, we shouldn’t just rely on the news, it’s heavily biased towards bad news anyway.”
“Yes, you’re right. I am just happy Aragorn decided to stay here this time.”
“I didn’t know he was asked to go as well.”
“Yes he was, but he had only just gotten back from Harad and wanted to spend time with his mother, and me of course.” She said winking and Tauriel smiled back. She checked her watch and grabbed her things together.
“I’ve got to run Arwen.” She said and gave her friend a tight hug. “Thanks, I mean it.” Arwen smiled back.
“I know you do. We’ll keep in contact, I am going to need some advice for my essay, you’re better at recognizing herbs than I am.”
“Don’t worry, just send it and I’ll check it.”
“Great! And Tauriel, promise me you’ll go see him.”
Tauriel turned and smiled.
“I will! Going there right now.” She winked and Arwen squealed with joy.
“Oh great! Let me know how is it goes ok?”
“Of course!” Tauriel said and waved as she walked away.
She made her way through the quaint and beautiful streets of Dale that were seeped with history but made also caught up with modern times, being the perfect blend between old and new. She turned right into one of the main shopping streets where Café Bree was located. As she got closer and closer she felt her heart beating faster and her hands trembled slightly, betraying her nervousness. She was surprised as she recognized Kíli standing outside, and it took her a while to realize he was calling on his phone. As she got closer she picked up part of the conversation. He didn’t sound to be in a great mood.
“Of all the times you could have gone, you choose to go now? You said you’d wait until after Uncle Thorin’s birthday…” He ran his hand through his chocolate brown hair as he listened to the response.
“You can’t just take a few days off when you just got there. Besides what’s there to gain with this mission? You’re way too young anyway…” It seemed to be a heavy argument as she heard him slip into a heavy accent, throwing in Khuzdul words she did not recognize.
“I am sure your mother would have much preferred for you to stay here just as your dad… Oh that’s bullshit, he prefers counting money to fighting!” Again the person on the other line went on a rant.
“Ok first of all, “ Kíli countered, “You are far more reckless than I am. But sure, good luck trying to make it back on time, just remember we’ll have a great betting on it back here. Fíli and I are betting against it… Yeah, all right bastard. Just do me a favour and don’t die. Bye.” He hung up, clenching his hands into fists making Tauriel heavily doubt if this was the right moment for her to come her. As she about to turn around, when he looked up, his brown eyes catching hers and her heart stood still.
Everything inside her seemed to melt, especially when a smile formed on his face, making her weak in the knees. How could she have possibly thought it would have been best not to see him anymore? She would not have survived not seeing that smile. Shyly and nervously she stepped towards him, twisting her hair along the way. They didn’t say anything to each other until they were standing perhaps two steps apart. His smile seemed to have broadened along the way.
“You finally came.” It wasn’t a question, merely him stating a happy fact. She blushed lightly.
“Yes, I couldn’t stay away longer… I… Kíli I am so sorry. I was just a mess and confused… I just didn’t know what to do… I am sorry I left you hanging.” Tauriel stuttered, feeling more and more guilty with every word she uttered. But instead of an angry reaction she had been expecting Kíli rather seemed overjoyed and softly and carefully held her hands with his own, smiling up at her.
“It’s okay,” he said and she felt tears form in her eyes, not feeling she deserved any of his sweet comments. He raised his eyebrow at her.
“You hate crying.” He said causing her to laugh, a single tear escaping.
“Then don’t,” he reached out and whipped away the tear with his finger. “There’s nothing to cry about anyway. Come on, there’s a Caramel Macchiato waiting for you.” Holding her hand he led her inside.
“Thanks.” She told him smiling. He smiled back at her squeezing her hand.
They sat at one of the wooden tables on the top floor, close to the windows. She sipped her long-awaited macchiato and he seemed happy with an espresso. She had explained to him what happened between her and Legolas and Thranduil.
“I know it might sound weird that I listened to them, but they are my family. Usually they are not at all this strict. Thranduil was a lot more liberal with me than his own son, and I know that they mean well… they just have a weird way of showing that sometimes.” She said honestly and felt a burden lift from her shoulders. Kíli had been very understanding thus far. But she knew she had hurt him and thus the feeling of guilt remained and she knew that wouldn’t disappear so quickly. They had to rebuild some of the trust between them as he had eloquently put it.
“I know how important family is. If Fíli or my mother hadn’t approved of you, I am not sure if I would be sitting here.” Tauriel laughed.
“But they haven’t even met me!”
“They will soon, and I think they will like you even more then.” He winked.
“You still want me to come, because I can understand that after…” but before she could continue he silenced her, pressing a finger against her lips.
“Of course I still do silly. It takes a lot to get me mad enough to take someone off the guest list.”
“You sounded pretty angry outside.” Kíli frowned at the remembrance.
“That was Gimli, he’s my cousin. Well technically cousin-twice removed or something like that. But we grew up together like close family. He just turned 18 a few months ago and applied for the army, got in and he accepted a mission to Mordor, the idiot.” Kíli paused for a second, trying to find the right words. “I mean I am very proud of him of course, we all are. He’s a very brave and intelligent guy. But obviously we are also very worried about him. News reports haven’t been very positive lately. We just hope he gets out alive and well, and of course before the birthday. It’s a special year this time; my uncle’s birthday falls together on Durin’s Day, a national celebration in Erebor. So I just want everyone to be there. “ Now it was Tauriel’s turn to hold his hand in support.
“I think it’s great you and your brother want to organize this, not only for your uncle but everyone around you. It must be a huge task.” Kíli laughed.
“Yeah you could say that, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time.
“So tell me,” He asked after a few minutes of peaceful silence. “What made you turn back?” She looked into his twinkling eyes and winning smile, his lips looked very kissable right now…
“Arwen… Arwen convinced me to go back.” She said and Kíli smiled.
“Then I will thank Arwen most sincerely next time I see her, her task wasn’t easy.” He winked, giving her a cheeky smile. She felt herself blush as she laughed.
“And why would you think that?”
“Because you are a very stubborn lady.” He said tapping his finger softly on her nose.
“Hmmm perhaps… or maybe you persuaded me yourself…” Kíli laughed.
“And how did I do that, I tried to give you as much space as possible.”
“Thanks for that Kíli, I mean it. But it also worked.”
“I missed you.” The words were out before she knew it and he grew still, his eyes boring into hers. Neither realized they started to move closer together.
“Tell me,” he almost whispered, their faces coming ever closer. “What do you want?” She sucked in her breath, knowing there was no way to back out.
“I can’t deny this connection, it would be wrong, unnatural… Kíli, I want to try us together…” as soon as those words left her lips, he captured them with his own and they shared a long kiss. She felt herself relax completely, this felt right, absolutely and completely right, and damn anyone who would try to tell her otherwise. Softly they broke apart, both their faces flushed. He stared dreamingly into her beautiful green eyes and smiled.