I’m really concerned that when I write kidfic, this is where my brain goes:
From the Erebor & Weeds ‘verse, 15 years later:
After lessons, Athelas goes to complain at Bofur for a bit in the Overseer’s Hall.
“You gave your sister another black eye?” he says, making a tsking sound. “Athy-Lass—“
“She hit me first.” No one seems to find this a very good reason, since Marigold looks like a smaller copy of their small mother while Athelas is every inch of her a daughter of Durin, but she expected at least Bofur to be on her side.
“Did you lose any teeth?”
“One’s a bit wriggly, that’s all,” she says, curling her lip to show him. He peers very seriously at her mouth, his hand holding her chin. She tries not to breathe or make any noise that might indicate that she loves him with an unending passion and devotion, because while Mum has said that a little fun never hurt anyone Father has said that anyone caught looking at his daughters for more than five seconds at a time will be summarily beheaded until they’re a hundred. Which confused Athelas at the time because you can’t really behead someone until they’re a hundred, only then Glóin-dwarrow explained dangling modifiers, but still, it’s eighty-five years until she’s a hundred which is approximately forever and she doesn’t want Bofur getting beheaded because that would mean she couldn’t marry him.
“Ah, it’s nothing,” he agrees, and lets go. “I’m sure she’s the worse off.”
“I’m sure she’s sparring with Tauriel and learning more filthy elf tricks.”
“Well they’ll not do her any good, will they?” Bofur says, cheerful. “You can still give her a thumping, and that’s what’s important.”
“I suppose,” Athelas concedes. She cranes her neck to look at his drafting table. “What are you working on?” she asks. Sigrid says that a sure way to a man’s heart is pretending to care about the things he cares about; Athelas suspects men are simpler creatures than dwarves but it’s not a bad strategy to adopt, and anyway she really does like to talk about mining with Bofur, who’s always got stories to tell about cave-ins and rockfalls, and will take her down to be the first to see the new caverns when they’re discovered, lit only by their torches and the gleam of the rockface.
“We need to close down one of the secondary seams in the fivedeep west tunnels,” he says. “Too close to the river. But that means finding work for the miners stationed there.”
“Can’t you get them to work on that cavern we found a few months ago?” she says, digging around on his desk. When she marries him, the first thing she’s going to do is clean his workspace. “The surveyors said it didn’t have any seams, but it would make for a nice park. The floor needs to be smoothed and wasn’t there a spring?” She finds the surveyor’s report, underneath a stale piece of bread and what looks like a pot of honey. “Honestly, Bofur,” she sighs.
But he just tousles her hair. “You’ll put me out of a job, Athy-Lass,” he says, grinning, and it’s very difficult not to confess her undying love for him on the spot but she manages it.
She tries not to breathe or make any noise that might indicate that she loves him with an unending passion and devotion
oh god i’m crying