Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy, nor the Hobbit. This is merely for entertainment purposes.
Summary: “She clawed her way out of the ground as if birth by the very earth itself, a force of nature the likes this world has never seen…” Gandalf tells Bilbo and company how exactly he came to meet Buffy Summers.
2nd in the ‘Golden Haired Girl’ Series.
Pairings: slightly Buffy/Thorin
The sun was painted in vivid oranges, and pinks as the sun started to dip down towards the horizon. The company had road in relative peace. The dwarves all conversing with themselves, sometimes with Gandalf. But rarely with Bilbo or Buffy. It wasn’t hard to see they were following their cold leader’s actions. Bilbo felt slight dishearten about the quest now, after all who would want to journey with a group who obviously begrudge them being here? However Buffy were always kind, and Buffy had taken him under her wing though whether or not that would be good or bad, Bilbo didn’t know.
“Halt!” Thorin had the company stop, and finally given the orders to setup camp. Bilbo slid off the pony with a wince, and caught Buffy giving him a tiny sympathetic smile. “You alright there, Bilbo?” She asked.
“I’m fine,” Bilbo mustered up a smile for her. “Just a little sore.”
Buffy nodded. “You’ve never rode a pony before so that’s expected,” she said, placing a hand on his shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
“Summers,” Thorin barked.
Biblo watched irritation flash through her eyes, but it was gone by the time she raised to look Thorin square in the eye. She always did that. Met Thorin’s stare straight on, as if his fierce expression did nothing but bore her. Biblo wished he had that kind of courage. “Yes, your majesty?” Buffy said, sweetly.
Thorin’s lips pressed into a thin line knowing that when she said ‘your majesty’ it was not out of respect, but out of mockery. A vein throbbed in his forehead, and he all but growled, “Gather fire wood.”
“Your wish is my command,” Buffy said, sarcastically. “I’ll be right back, Bilbo,” she told the hobbit, before dropping her hand from the hobbit’s shoulder. An action that didn’t go unnoticed by Thorin, whose scowl became even more fierce. Buffy however ignored it, and walked on by. Bilbo wondered what Thorin hated more, being ignored by Buffy or being so easily dismissed by her as if he were nothing more than a person passing on the street. It was strange seeing him so vexed since he had barely spared Buffy, or Bilbo for that matter, two words since the journey had began.
Bilbo gulped when Thorin’s gaze landed on him, and he found himself stuttering, “I-I’ll be over by Gandalf.”
Thorin did not stop him, and Bilbo had never been more thankful when Thorin went back to ignoring him again. He settled his blankets out and Buffy’s as well, before settling done beside Gandalf who was smoking his pipe while Buffy was away. He hadn’t had the luxury because every time he let out a puff of smoke, Buffy had gleefully told him the several ways that smoking could kill him. It took the fun out of it, Gandalf had whispered to Bilbo one day. The things that Buffy had said almost made Bilbo never smoke again. Almost
, he thought as Gandalf passed the pipe over and he took a long drag.
He watched the dwarves finish up their work before all settling around their soon to be campfire when Buffy brought back the wood. Thorin stood on the further edge of the group, leaned back against a large rock, his eyes scouring the edge of the forest.
“What’s he looking for?” Bilbo asked Gandalf.
“Lady Buffy,” Balin surprisingly answered. Balin was one of the few dwarves that openly conversed with Buffy and himself despite the dark glare that Thorin would send him every once in a while.
“But…” Biblo frowned in confusion. “But I thought he said he wasn’t responsible for us…”
“Ah, lad,” Balin chuckled. “Our king is a very complicated dwarf. He don't always say what he truly means.”
Bilbo wanted to know what he meant by that, but shook his head. It wasn’t his place to know what was going through Thorin’s head, and honestly Bilbo didn’t want to know. He leaned back slightly to make himself more comfortable when he glanced over at Gandalf, a thought suddenly occurring to him. “Gandalf…how did you meet Buffy?”
Everything went silent, and his question had sounded ten times louder than it actually was. Gandalf found himself under several gazes, all filled with curiosity. Even Thorin’s gaze had slid towards the wizard. “Well…it’s not really my place…” the wizard grumbled out.
“But you brought her into our company,” Dwalin pointed out, scathingly. “Don’t we have a right to know?”
Bilbo glared, wanting to say no, but he admittedly was shamefully curious as well. Gandalf let out a huge sigh before silently holding out his hand and Bilbo handed him back his pipe. Gandalf took a couple of puffs before giving a low hum. “It was several years ago, ages honestly…I had been traveling near the outskirts of Gondor when I happened upon her. Well, happened upon isn’t exactly how I should put it…”The air had been thick, riddled with tension as if it knew something was about to happen. Something that the Grey wizard did not as he led his stead along the Cliffside. Dark clouds billowed around in a mysterious pattern, like a funnel reaching down towards the earth. A mysterious light was coursing through that funnel, and before Gandalf attempted to use his magic to try to identify the mysterious phenomenon lighting as red as blood surged out of the funnel. It struck against the earth violently, the ground shaking with a great roar. Gandalf held on tight as his horse reared up, almost bucking him off. It struck one, twice, three…so many times that Gandalf lost track before suddenly, there was silence.
Everything halted, as if the world was holding its breath. The dark clouds dissipated, leaving nothing in the clear blue sky as a sigh that it had ever been there at all. The red lightning had long since burrowed into the earth leaving scorch marks and the grass alit like embers burning away into ashes. Gandalf stood transfixed by what had happened, and felt uneasy at the silence that surrounded him before slowly he urged his horse forward. The horse gave a low whine, but shuffled forward anyways. It felt like eternity passed before he finally reached the scorched earth.
“What happened next?” Oin asked, his eyes wide. Fili leaned in eagerly, while Kili’s attention was solely on Gandalf. Not that Bilbo blamed him, Gandalf could weave a tale, entrancing all around him. Even Dwalin, who was feigning sharpening his blade, was listening intently, but the most intent listener of all was Thorin. He had been trying to figure out the golden haired woman for the past several days, trying to see what was so special about her that would warrant such loyalty and confidence in her abilities from the Grey Wizard. Something that warranted why her golden hair, sparkling eyes and sun kissed skin haunted his mind ever time he closed his eyes.
“Perhaps I was at the right place, at the right time,” Gandalf mused, fiddling with his pipe while looking thoughtful. “Or perhaps, I was there because I was meant to be. When I saw her…it was an image I would never forget, a haunting image it was.” His blue eyes darkened, as the smoke swirled upper into the darkening sky. The stars were just starting to appear. “She clawed her way out of the ground as if birth by the very earth itself, a force of nature the likes this world has never seen…” Gandalf held his staff warily, prepared for an attack from whatever creature was pulling itself free from the very earth. The wizard found himself stunned again, when it was not some vile creature that was thrashing up from the earth. It was a woman! She was so small, almost mistakable for a child, and when her face was free from the dirt, she began to scream.
A horrid, agonizing sound that would be forever engrained on his mind.
She still managed to scream even as she choked violently on the dirt. She heaved, her tiny body trembling as she pulled herself halfway out before she slumped to the ground, coughing the dirt and blood. Gandalf leapt off his horse with a surprising grace and reached the screaming woman’s side. No matter what he did, she wouldn’t stop screaming.
Never more had he wished for the uneasy silence to return, because the screaming was the most horrible, heartbreaking thing he had ever heard.
Gandalf paused, closing his eyes. It was a memory he wished to forget, how broken Buffy had been when she had entered this world. “For several weeks, she would not speak. Hardly would eat. The only time she had any reaction was when nightmares would plague her, and she would cry out in her sleep. Beg to be sent home.
That she didn‘t understand why she wasn’t home. Then when would wake her from her nightmares, she‘d go back to being silent once more.”
Thorin’s gut clenched, knowing the longing for one’s home better than anyone else. The pain of not belonging anywhere, to truly never knowing peace. Thorin drew a deep breath and turned his gaze back towards the forest, his eyes desperate to find that familiar flash of gold.
Gandalf continued, “It was as she was merely a husk, not an actually living person. Even Lord Elrond of Riverdell,” several dwarves scold at the elf’s name, “had deemed her beyond help. I, however, did not believe that. And I was right.”
“How? How were you right?” Bilbo’s voice sounded so soft, as if he were afraid to speak to loud or it would break the spell that story had on all of them.
“I was attempting to take Buffy to Lorien, hoping perhaps the elves there could help where Lord Elrond could not. It was when we passed a small village, where Buffy came to life again,” Gandalf smiled, remembering the memory.Smoke.
The streets were lined with smoke, as shouts and screams greeted Gandalf and Buffy. The Grey Wizard’s lips turned downward, while Buffy’s face was ever blank. They walked further into the town and found a crowd gathered around a burning house. Everyone seemed to be desperately working together to put out the flames in fear of the fire jumping to the other house built so close. Men were running from the nearby creek with buckets of water, but alas the fire was ablaze and had no way to be tamed.
The Grey Wizard wished he could offer help, and opened his mouth to say a spell when a green blur rushed past him. He could only watch in open mouth shock as Buffy shoved her way violently through the crowd and straight into the burning building without a moment’s hesitation.
“Why would she do that?” Kili asked, bemused.
“I wondered that myself until she burst forth from the flames, soaking with sweat and out of breath and in her arms was a babe, barely four months old.” The wizard let the group digest that before continuing on.
“How did she know the babe was inside?” Bofur translated Bifur's question, out loud.
“‘I heard it,’ she said to me.” Gandalf put away his pipe, knowing Buffy would be back soon. “Buffy could not ignore an innocent’s cry for help.”
“Telling my life story, eh Gandalf?” Buffy’s voice sounded pleasant, but as everyone slowly turned to see Buffy standing there with all the firewood in hand, there was a sharp kind of smile on her lips. It looked more like a snarl than an actual smile.
Gandalf had the decency to look a tad ashamed, but the Grey wizard knew that her story would be the building blocks for trust with dwarves so he was only a little guilt. Bilbo looked downright ashamed.
“It’s my fault,” Bilbo announced. “I asked.”
Buffy’s eyes looked at him. There was a slightly guarded look as she regarded him. Balin added, trying to be helpful, “We all wanted to know, lassie. The hobbit isn’t only in the blame.”
Buffy was silent, then she knetl down where they prepared to make a campfire and setting all the wood down. She rose swiftly, and shot Gandalf a cold glare then sent one to all the group. “Maybe next time you should remember curiosity killed the cat,” she said, spinning on heel and walked to the very edge of their camp and out of sight.
Bilbo felt his stomach clench uneasily, he didn’t want to lose his friendship with Buffy over this. He made to get up when Balin placed a hand on his shoulder. The hobbit looked up at the older dward, who shook his head lightly. “Give her time, laddie,” Balin stated. “She’ll talk to you when she needs to.”
Bilbo didn’t like that idea at all, but reluctantly sat back down. As Bombur cooked, Kili and Fili banter trying uplift the company’s mood. And no one noticed Thorin slip out of sight as well.
Buffy had settled down at a nearby stream, and took her boots off, so she could soak her feet in the cold water. She let out a content sigh as the water flowed over her skin. “You know,” she spoke after a moment, “I’m a big girl, and can take care of myself?”
Thorin came into sight, and Buffy tilted her head to quirk an eyebrow up at him. Thorin was silent, studying her for a long moment. His eyes admiring how the moonlight shined off of her golden hair, and his hand clenched tightly as he felt the need to find out if that hair was as silky as it looked. He watched her expression slowly fall into something more wary as if she could sense the sudden desire that welled up inside of him. He closed his eyes, drawing in his control reminding himself that this woman was nothing, but a member of his company. A member he didn’t even want. He reopened his eyes to find she had turned her attention back onto the water.
“You’ll catch your death,” Thorin commented.
“That would put a skip in your step now wouldn’t it,” Buffy mused, her laughter light.
It would not. He didn’t say, but he felt it. The idea of her death was not a pleasant one, and unsettled him much like the woman herself unsettled him. Instead, he found himself asking, “Why join this quest? Why help us get out home back?” He needed to know her reasons, something inside of him demanded to know them.
Buffy froze for a long moment, before pulling her feet out of the water. Lazily she picked up her boots, and Thorin found himself admiring her delicately shaped derriere. He had never found himself attracted to a slender woman before, most dwarf women were stocking like their male counterparts. They did not have beards like most thought, a lie construed to keep what few dwarf women there were away from the other Races in order to keep themselves from going extinct. Buffy was short, shorter than him, but her frame was lithe and delicate. Something he had never appreciated as attractive until her. She was so small compared to him making him feel like a giant who could easily swoop her away, and he found that he liked that very much. She rose and turned towards him, and her simple answer took his breath away.
“Because it’s the right thing to do.”
She gave him a small, genuine smile before leaving him standing with only but himself to keep him company. Solitude was nothing new to him, but when Buffy walked away to give him some, he found the solitude bitter and unwelcome.
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THANK YOU ALL! Rrs are appreciated.