Calm The Fire: 100

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“Náriel?” Thorin got her attention, she was looking distantly around, he wasn't sure whether she was lost in thought or what. But she didn't look totally here. “When was the last time you slept?”

“...I haven't. Not really.” Náriel admitted. “Half an hour...an hour tops.”

Thorin reached out slowly and put a hand on her cheek. She still had sooty tear tracks on her skin. Rubbing his thumb slowly under her eye he couldn't help but notice how this simple action was seemingly setting her off crying again. Or at least, her shoulders were shaking and she was trying to keep the sobs in.

“I'm sorry,” he whispered while gently pulling her close. Náriel just nodded and wrapped her arms around him tightly. “For what I said earlier, and anything in between.”

This made her laugh. “Anything in between!” She repeated and hit him on the back. “You silly Dwarf! Anything in between!” She laughed through her sobbing and tears. Thorin leant his head on top of hers and rubbed her back gently. “Does this 'anything in between' include resigning Lake Town to ruin?”

“We tried.” Thorin said firmly while she pulled away and looked up at him. “Truly we did.”

“You could have come and helped!” She exclaimed and shook her head. Thorin cupped her face in his hands. This is what everything seemingly boiled down to. “You didn't come and help...” Náriel said quietly while squeezing her eyes shut and crying again. “You were dead to us. All of you, we thought you were dead.”

“And we thought you were the same.” Thorin said, her eyes slowly opened. “Do not think I am ignorant to Esgaroth's demise. I watched from the balcony as the streets were swept up in fire. And I couldn't help, we couldn't help, we were helpless. No matter how fast we'd have travelled, we'd never have got there in time. Lake Town would still be lost.”

“But it's the thought that counts!” Náriel said while looking up at him with teary eyes. “It's the thought that counts...and, the knowing...the knowing that we were still alive.” Náriel frowned and reached up to place her hand against one of his. This was the real first time that she had touched him since reuniting, she was refusing to remember slapping him. He was here, really here, it wasn't a dream or anything.

“We're alive,” Thorin said firmly while making her look at him. “We're alive.” He repeated while she slowly blinked. More tears fell from this action but his thumbs quickly wiped them away.

“We're alive,” Náriel repeated quietly while he gently kissed her on the forehead and then leant his head against hers. Opening her eyes she looked up at him. “Were you hurt?” She whispered.

“No. Not seriously,” he admitted, emotionally perhaps a little frayed, physically not so much. “You?”

“No,” Náriel blinked and let out a quiet laugh.

“What?”

“We're resilient.”

“Aren't we just?” He questioned with a smile as she huddled closer to him. They were valid words. No matter what they both seemed to stay standing and ready for whatever was next. Though whatever next wasn't something Thorin wanted to wholly think about really. Náriel looked around suddenly and frowned. “What is it?” He questioned quietly.

“The Great Hall.” She said while her eyes flicked to him. “We're in the Great Hall?!” She suddenly seemed overly happy with this.

“Yes?” Thorin replied awkwardly.

“Do you not remember? I won't hold it against you if you don't.” Náriel smiled and put her hands on his chest and looked up at him as he stood in thought for a moment.

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