Fat. Ugly. Freak. Bitch. Stupid. Useless. Slut. Worthless. A burden. Weak. That's what you felt every time you looked in the mirror. Or rather your reflection at the lake you and the company had stopped at for a break. You joined the company of Thorin Oakenshield when you left your last class at the local community college. Somehow you were magically transported to Middle Earth and you were still unsure as to how that had happened. The Company had discovered you by chance as you had been running from two vile creatures that you later learned were Orcs. Thorin and Kili had heard your scream for help nearby and had come to your rescue.
That had been almost a year ago and the Company was now like your family. You looked at Thorin as a father; Dwalin, the protective uncle and Balin as a wise grandfather. Every member had a special place in your heart. Kili more so than the rest. You had felt an instant attraction to the dark haired archer and after knowing him, your feelings began to run deeper. But you knew that the young prince would never look at you as nothing more like a sister, like Bofur and Ori did. You weren't very lady-like; swearing like a sailor (which highly amused the dwarves and made Bilbo stare at you in shock); nor were you beautiful or model skinny or a master at weaponry and fighting. Thorin and Dwalin had trained you in sword fighting, which you were mediocre at best, and Kili had taken it upon himself to teach you archery. You had excelled in that more and Thorin had gifted you with a bow and arrows set for you that he had snagged from the Troll horde for future use.
Although you no longer felt like a damsel in distress, you still thought of yourself as a burden, that you were slowing the company down. Now, staring at yourself in the lake water, you felt the vicious taunts and words of your high school classmates come at you like a tornado. Every cruel word, whisper, and sadistic smile ran through your head. You knew in your heart that none of those thoughts were true; you were someone and you deserved to be happy, but your mind kept pushing you back, making you doubt and question yourself.
You broke out of your trance when you felt a hand on your shoulder. You whipped your head around and saw Fili staring at you with concern.
"You alright, lass? You've been staring at the lake for a long while." he questioned softly.
You considered Fili to be your best friend. You had been unsure of the mustache-braided blonde but once you got to know him, it felt like you had known him for years. He had confided in you after a heated argument with his brother and you in turn shared your thoughts and feelings with him. It was the start of a wonderful friendship.
You shook yourself out of the memory. "Yeah, Fili. Everything's fine. My mind is just wandering is all." You tried to give him a genuine smile but it came out as more of a grimace.
"Talk to me, Y/n. You're not fine. Something's truly bothering you."
You sighed and began to speak, but was cut off as Thorin addressed the group.
"We'll keep going for another hour or so, then find somewhere to make camp for the night. Let's get going." he ordered and everyone began to gather their things and saddle their ponies.
You looked back at Fili. "I'll explain it later when we stop. Cool?"
Fili cocked his head, still unfamiliar with your way of speaking at times. "Cool? No, I'm rather warm."
You closed your eyes and shook your head in silent laughter. "No, Fili. I meant 'cool' as in 'is that alright'.
His eyes brightened in understanding, grinned and nodded his head before heading over to his pony. You snorted in amusement and finished gathering your things before mounting your pony and following the company onward.
Evening had fallen so you and the company had found a place to rest for the night, lighting a fire and enjoying Bombur's cooking. You were relaxing by a tree, watching the rest of the dwarves amuse themselves with songs and inside jokes. You may have been an official member of the company but you still felt out of place among the group. Gandalf and Bilbo were by themselves; Gandalf smoking his pipe as he rested against another tree across the way from you; Bilbo in deep conversation with Balin sitting by the fire.
You heard footsteps approach you and looked up to see Kili standing next to you, watching his kin and company. You scrutinized him, taking in the profile of his strong jaw and handsome nose, his full lips puckered in observation as his dark hair looked black in the moonlight. His brown eyes casting over each dwarf, the wizard and hobbit. He turned his eyes toward you and you turned your head away quickly. You could feel his stare on you for several seconds before he spoke.
"An interesting group, aren't we?" His voice was pure honey to your ears. "You know, we're all around if you need to talk. There's no need for Fili to be the only one you confide in."
You swore you could hear a jealous tinge in his voice as he spoke and you slowly turned your eyes to meet his. The puppy dog stare that gazed back at you had traces of concern, what you thought was longing and something else you couldn't identify. After a few seconds, you looked away. "It's nothing personal, Kili. I promise you."
You heard him give a huff. "Somehow I doubt that," he whispered and walked away towards Balin and Bilbo, seating himself down beside them.
"You know he fancies you, lass." A soft voice spoke up beside you and you glanced up at Fili with a dumbfounded expression before he sat down next to you. "Surely you realize my brother's in love with you. And you with him."
You rolled your eyes at him, not believing a word he was saying. Kili, a prince, an Heir of Durin, in love with you, a lowly human. "I may be in love with him but I highly doubt that he loves me back, Fili. No one can be in love with me. It's impossible."
You could feel his eyes glaring at you, burning holes into your skin. "Why would you say something like that?" he asked in shock. "You're a wonderful woman, Y/n. Any man or dwarf would be honored and lucky to have you by their side. Why would you even think such a ridiculous thing?" His voice had turned slightly angry. "Is this what you were thinking of at the lake?"
"Partly." You sighed. "My childhood wasn't happy like yours and Kili's, Fili. I was made fun of and ridiculed horribly in school by others and when you keep hearing the same things said to you over and over, you begin to believe what you hear. You start thinking what they're saying is the truth. I mean, look at me, Fili. What could I possibly have to offer him?! I'm fat and ugly. I can barely keep myself alive in battle...I'm not a proper girl for a prince to fall for. I'm a freak, although I don't mind that part... I'm not worthy to have someone love me like that, no matter how much I wish for it to be true. I'm just a burden. To you, to Kili, to the entire company..." Tears had started dropping down your face as you had ranted your feelings. You brushed them away before anyone could notice.
You felt Fili put his arm around you in an awkward hug. "Oh, lass. Don't believe such nonsense! You are never a burden! They're all idiots." You felt a quiet laugh leave your lips by his use of your frequent slang. "You have so much to offer anyone you deem worthy of your love and devotion. We all love you in one form or another. Kili just loves you deeper, as you are, with your uniqueness and all. To him, your being different fascinates him. You've opened his eyes to things he never thought possible. You deserve each other and happiness together and all that 'jazz' as you say."
You smirked at that. "I really wish I could get my mind to believe all that, Fili. I really do. Thank you for trying though. If you'll excuse me, I need a moment to get myself together." You gave him a quick hug before standing and walking away from the group, through a group of trees. A little ways away, you found a fallen log and sat yourself down, your mind jumbled by so many thoughts; what you believed to be true and Fili's words of comfort. You were so consumed by your thoughts that you almost missed the sound of a snapped twig. You turned sharply and readied your knife, standing slowly, observing your surroundings for the intruder.
"It's just me, Y/n. You're safe." You relaxed at the familiar voice before re-sheathing your knife and sitting back down, avoiding Kili's piercing gaze as he appeared out of the shadows, walking towards the log, before sitting down beside you. "You disappeared from my sight. I got worried."
You smiled gently at his concern but didn't speak. You heard him sigh sadly. "Why won't you talk to me, Y/n?" Still you said nothing. "Do you hate me that much?"
Your head shot up at his words and looked him in the eye. "No! I don't hate you, Kili! I could never hate you!"
He stared in your e/c eyes. "Then why won't you talk to me? Tell me your thoughts...your dreams, what you feel... Why won't you let me in?" He spoke the next question so softly you almost didn't catch it. "Why won't you love me as I love you?"
You gasped at that and felt tears form in your eyes. You lowered your head and closed your eyes quickly to catch the tears but they fell softly down your cheek as you whispered, "You don't mean that, Kili. You can't. I'm not worth loving like that."
A firm hand grasped your chin and turned your head to face him. You kept your eyes downcast and closed, refusing to see the pity you were sure was in his stare.
"Look at me, Y/n." he whispered. You shook your head. "Look. At. Me. Y/n." He repeated more firmly. You sighed softly and opened your eyes, brown eyes meeting e/c eyes. "I love you... I love you so much it's both scary and exhilarating at the same time. You bring out the best in me, Y/n. Make me want to be a better dwarf. Someone to make all your dreams and wishes come true. I want you with me, always. I love you. Most ardently." He said the last line with his signature grin, knowing it was a favorite quote from a story you had shared with the company.
You felt your eyes water as he spoke but a small smile formed on your lips. How could this dwarf, who was so out of your league, return your sentiments with a passion as fierce as yours? "You shouldn't love me, Kili. There are much better women out there, worthy of your affections. I'm not."
His eyes flashed in anger before calming to their usual calm. "Never, ever say that again. You are the only one worthy of my affections." He paused for a second, then spoke. "I heard what you said to my brother, about how you see yourself." Your eyes widened in fear and shame. Before you could voice your humiliation, he continued. "My hearing is better than most. Being an archer, I've had to learn to hear what others wouldn't, no matter the distance. I'm sorry I eavesdropped, but I'm glad that I did. None of what you said is true. You are never a burden. Especially to me. To me, you are perfection and I'll spend the rest of my life proving that to you, if you allow me. Just say you'll be mine."
The tears streamed down your face, though these of happiness. You gave him a smile before answering. "I'm yours, Kili. I love you, too. So, so much."
The smile he gave was of radiance and pure elation, before he leaned closer to you and touched his lips to yours. 'This is what a first kiss should be like', you thought. Full of love and bliss. You felt your heart beat so fast, you thought it would explode; his mimicking yours as he deepened the kiss.
You both parted, breathing heavily. He smiled at you and tucked a loose strand of hair behind your ear before standing. "Come. We should get back before they send someone to find us."
You nodded in agreement and followed his lead, heading back to the company. He gave you a soft kiss and a smile before you reached the campsite, that you returned wholeheartedly. 'So this is what it feels to truly be in love and be loved in return', you thought to yourself. Finally, you had your happiness and you hoped that it would last forever with your prince by your side.