A/N: OK, you know how you say you’re not sure if you’ll do it, and THEN the story wants to be written? It’s frustrating…anyway only the wacked out idea behind this belongs to me, everything else belongs to Tolkein and Whedon…seriously. Please read and review, feedback is better than food! Love xx ShezziBilbo’s Hole, The Shire
Father? Did she just call him father? Wondered Frodo, staring in amazement. Gandalf had grabbed the young woman in his arms, and was holding her tightly, her arms slowly responding, wrapping around him and returning the hug.
“Mith’mir,” Gandalf stroked her hair. “You came home,” tears clouded his eyes, and he let them fall, running down his cheeks.
Dawn was confused. She knew this man, knew she knew this man, that he was her father, and that was her name, Mith’mir, but she also knew that she was Dawn Summers. She hugged him, holding tightly to him as though testing to see if this was another dream, although she didn’t believe it was. She was shaking, she could feel herself shaking, and she leant back to look into the face that she knew so well, even though she had only ever seen it in her dreams.
“Mith’mir…” he murmured, cupping her cheek in one hand.
“Yes…and no,” replied Dawn, looking up at him.
“What do you mean?” asked Gandalf, confused.
“I am Mith’mir…but I have only lived her life in my dreams. I am also Dawn Summers, daughter of Joyce Summers and younger sister of Buffy Summers, a great warrior. I found out this last year that Dawn Summers never really existed, that she was merely a physical construct used to hide a very powerful force called the Key, which could destroy our entire world. For the last year, my only dream of Mith’mir has been of…the last day.” She looked up at him with pain and sadness in her eyes.
“I remember everything about her life, as though I truly lived it, but…wait a minute.” Dawn’s eyes turned thoughtful, and she slowly started to nod, putting some of her Watcher and Wizard trained intelligence to work. “I think I might know what happened…” she said, slowly, reasoning it all out in her mind. “This is only a theory, but, what if the monks rescued me when I was kidnapped, presumably by Glory’s goons, and, needing some way of protecting me, they implanted the memories of being Buffy’s sister…and created a life for me in that world. But they couldn’t completely eradicate my memories of Mith’mir, so they made them into dreams. From the time that I was actually living there, I have only had one dream, the one where they took me away.”
Gandalf frowned, he wasn’t really able to follow her reasoning, but if it worked for her, that was all right. Suddenly, she looked up at him, and seemed to study his face before speaking, switching seemingly unconsciously into Elvish. “Ada, how long was I gone?
she asked, eyeing him carefully. “You look older than I remember,
” she reached out a traced a finger lightly over the crows feet at the corner of his eyes. “Not much, but a little. How long?
Gandalf drew in a deep breath, and smiled sadly as the smell that was so uniquely hers filled him before replying. “More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since you were stolen from this world,” he told her, speaking in the Common Tongue for Frodo’s benefit, his Elvish was all right but not brilliant.
“One hundred and…fifty,” said Dawn, slowly. “Oh, Ada,” she grabbed him in a hug, knowing the pain he must have gone through, and wished she could do something about it. Gandalf wrapped his arms tightly around her, and felt the weight of grief truly lift from him for the first time in so long. True, he had been pretty much insane for the first decade or so, once they had found that there was no way to get her back, and the Elves had had to lock him up to keep him from hurting anyone.
Frodo was confused. The girl…she couldn’t even be as old as he was, but she called his mentor father, and it seemed as though she meant it in the familial sense, not just a term of respect or affection. The Gandalf said that she had been stolen…one hundred and fifty years ago? What in the name of the Valar was going on here? He wanted to ask, but at the same time was loathe to interrupt them. He heard Bilbo in the corridor, and decided to leave them to it for now, slipping quietly out of the room.
Bilbo stood in the hall outside of his guest room, rubbing his hands together worriedly. When the door opened and his nephew exited, closing it behind him. “Who is she?” he demanded, excited and agitated.
“Her name is Mith’mir,” replied Frodo, his expression confused. “She calls him Ada, and he says she was stolen from here more than one hundred and fifty years ago. That’s all that I really understood.” Bilbo frowned, thinking, then shrugged.
“Ah, well, Gandalf will explain himself when he is ready. Now, my boy, I have something to give you, before I go. Yes, I am leaving. I am going to travel again, and maybe, just maybe, finish my book. The house, of course, is yours, and I have left instructions for those things that are to go to others. Then there is…” suddenly, Bilbo stopped talking, and turned away. “Would you like some tea?” he offered, as though he had not been about to say anything else.
“That’d be nice,” replied Frodo, confused and concerned by his uncle’s behavior. He followed him into the kitchen, where they sat, sipping tea and casting curious and concerned glances in the direction of the guest room.
Eventually, Gandalf and Dawn pulled apart, and Dawn’s stomach grumbled loudly, letting it be known just how long it had been since she had put anything in it.
“Hungry?” asked her father, smiling down at her, and she nodded, expression slightly chagrined. “Come on then, we’re in a hobbit hole and hobbits…”
“Always have food,” they chorused together, before laughing. Dawn shook her head, confused. The longer she was here, the more time she spent with her Ada, the more her memories of being Mith’mir came to life. It was strange, particularly since her other memories weren’t fading or becoming more dreamlike but simply existing side by side with the others. Ada handed her a tunic, which she quickly pulled on, and they made their way out of the room.
Gandalf led his daughter out of the room and down towards the kitchen, where he could hear the two hobbits talking quietly. They fell silent as the two Istari, or the one Istari and the one Istari/Elfen halfbreed entered the kitchen. Dawn, suddenly remembering something, raised a hand to the side of her head. Yep, her ears were getting pointier. She had never had the truly pointed ears of a pure elf, not like her childhood playmate Legolas, but her ears did betray that side of her heritage most clearly out of all of her physical characteristics.
“What of Legolas?” she asked suddenly, her voice lilting in an Elven accent, as it always had in her dreams, nothing like the valley girl she also remembered being. She sighed, this was going to take some getting used to.
“He lives,” replied Gandalf, shrugging. He had not seen the elf in some time, the memories it inevitably brought up so painful that the decision had been a mutual one.
“Is he happy? Does he have a life-mate? Has he learnt to be a responsible prince or does he still spend all of his time running around Mirkwood?” she asked, eyes alight with curiosity.
“I haven’t seen him in some time, Mith’mir. You must understand, it was too painful for us to see each other. For both of us, the memories were too powerful when we were together. I do know that he has no life-mate, and still spends most of his time in the woods, possibly even more so than when you were younger,
” he sighed sadly. Dawn nodded, understanding and acceptance flooding through her.
“I would like to see him,” she said, softly, and Gandalf smiled.
“And so we shall, my darling. We’ll go to Mirkwood, but first we will stop and visit Rivendell. I would like you to meet some of the people I have befriended in our time apart.” She nodded, and they turned their attention to the food.