Not In My Eyes
The next days were spent discussing the details of the journey. The council was held on the twenty fifth of October, and it was decided that they would leave on the twenty fifth of December. After those days passed she listened to tales of what had happened over those sixty years.
The grandson of Bard the Bowman was there as well, and looked at her the way Gimli did, the way that she would look at heroes that she had been told tales of as a child.
She rejected the silly seeming notion that she was some sort of legend, saying,
"I shall believe it when I look upon the statues, and when I listen to the stories, and hear the songs. Until then I shall only be a woman, for that is what I truthfully am."
She spent time with her old friends. They were curious how old she was, and how that the years did not take her youth from her. All were confused about the time differences between the two worlds. When revealed that she had only aged three years they were happy for it, and sad for it. She was accursed with these dark times, and it seemed more likely than ever that she should fall. Her friends would not speak of their sadness and worries to her. And instead talked of the dwarves that were still living in the Kingdom Of Erebor. Which were Dwalin, Gloin, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur. Bombur was now so large that he could no longer move himself from place to place.
"What of Balin, Ori, and Oin?" she pressed
"They..." Kili spoke,
"We do not know." Gloin quaked. It would appear that is the reason that Gloin had come to Rivendell, to seek advice of the Elves of the account of Balin. Nymeria hopped that no foul fate had crossed their path. They were dear to her heart, and this world did not need any more sorrows as of now.
The Hobbits had taken a particular interest in her. Often they had seen the handkerchief that Bilbo kept in the inner pocket of his coat, and they have heard tales of her. Even with the way Bilbo spoke of her, which was in a loving way, but never did they think that he loved in a such a way. Nymeria was the only woman, in all of this known world, that made him think of marriage.
Legolas had taken time to talk to her, and to help her become reaquainted with her battle skills. Nymeria had felt that her skills had dulled, and on the second day of training regretted asking Legolas to be her sparring partner. Her back was bruised from the multitude of times that he had thrown her into the dirt. Still she persisted, her hands grew strong once more, and she was almost able to defeat him; in her eyes this was a success. He did have an eon or two of practice on her.
The two others of the Fellowship, were of the race of Men. One Aragorn, the second to volunteer for this quest, and the other was Boromir. Aragorn treated her the way her brothers used to, kindly and with open arms. He seemed to not doubt her and encouraged her in her training. Boromir's doubt in her was there from the start, he had not spoken one word to her. In his eyes it was clear that he did not like the idea of a woman coming along. Nymeria could not care less about his opinions, she was a woman and a warrior, and she did not have to prove herself to the likes of a man such as that.
The days dwindled down, soon the Fellowship would have to leave the solace of Rivendell. Nymeria was doubting herself, and wondered what her part of this journey would be. What part did the Valar want her to fill. The great fourteen creators of Middle Earth have chosen her twice, and she still was in consternation about that ordeal. Perhaps they wanted her to save someone, as she did before. No longer could she give her life for that of another. The thoughts polluted her mind viciously.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Someone knocked on her room's wooden door. She stood from the chair that she rested in, pulling her robe tighter over her dressing gown and prepared to curtsy.
"Come in. It is not locked." She suspected it to be the Elf maidens who had often helped her dress. The door swung open, under its arch stood Bilbo. She smiled kindly as he tried to turn his eyes away from her, seeing that she was not properly dressed.
"Bilbo," she said making him place his eyes upon her, "do not be so bashful." She sat back in the elaborately designed chair. "Come, sit with me. Say what you have come to say."
Nymeria had never seen him more nervous, mind the time he fainted at the thought of the Dragon Smaug. He shuffled his feet before place one in-front of the other and walking to the chair opposite her, across the small round table. For a while they sat in silence, listening to the songs of the birds. It was a silence that was comfortable, the silence that you could share with a person that you loved and it was understood.
"You have changed my girl." he said while looking at her.
"So have you, my dear Hobbit." she smiled and turned her eyes from the window to Bilbo. All he could do was smile at that.
"I can still remember that first morning I laid eyes upon you. Confused and unsure, and lovely. And when I learned about your tragedy, I could not have any animosity towards you, not that I did before but..." The happiness fell from his face, "I came to apologize for what I said at the council, I should not have embarrassed you in such a way, an old fool I am. Confessing love in the midst of so many." She stood, and glided to Bilbo's side and took his hand.
"You did not embarrass me." she felt bravery swell within her, "Bilbo I loved you... and I do love you." And together they wept for the love that they shared and could not experience. "I was wrong Bilbo, you have not changed."
"Can you see no difference in me." She shook her head, her red tresses swept her shoulders.
"No. There is not a difference. Not in my eyes, you are still the one that I do love." She sighed, "This is quite the sorrowful, what fate has done to us. To unite us only to tear us away, and then to reunite us at a time in which it is too late." Bilbo pulled her handkerchief from his breast pocket, and dabbed her cheeks. "I have wondered often, these past weeks. Of why you have not taken a wife and had children.”
“It was a path that I was supposed to walk with you. With anyone else it would have been a miserable time.
"That path was offered to us, was it not. And I chose the road that led me away from this world, I hope that my choice has not led you to much misery.”
“It has not.” then that unique silence filled the room and they sat till the sun burned bright in the sky.
Two days before the Fellowship left Nymeria was given travel clothes and weapons. They were all of Elvish make, lighter than air but very durable and warm. She looked at herself in the polished mirror. Her hair was set in a way that it could not become and issue. This was the cleanest she would be in a while, she knew how the wild could be, but she was ready for those challenges. She was not weak, and going without a bath was the least of the things that she had to worry about.
She looked over her things before packing her bags. Food, sleeping pack, extra clothing, water skins. She then armed herself, as soon as they left the Valley of Imladris, only the Valar knew what the enemy had in store for them.
Arwen Undomiel had gifted her with two daggers that were made by her brothers, Elladan and Elrohir. Arwen, who was the most beautiful of all it would seem, had a look of love about her. There was no certain proof of this love that Nymeria had, but she knew the look of love when she saw it. And she saw it where Aragorn looked at Arwen, there was a hope in Nymeria’s heart that the two would be reunited at the end of this quest.
A great many gathered to see the Fellowship off. She made her way past all that she had become quite close to in the past two months. Elladan and Elrohir, Glorfindel, Lindir and Arwen were a few that she had cared for. And the Men of Dale, and the Dwarves of Erebor. She decided that these were the people that she would fight for.
"The Ring Bearer is setting out on the quest of Mount Doom and you who travel with him," Elrond spoke to the Fellowship, "no oath nor bond is laid to go further than you . Hold to your purpose and may the blessings of Elves, and Men, and all free folk go with you." He raised his hand as a gesture of farewell. Nymeria looked to Bilbo one last time before facing away.
"The Fellowship awaits the Ringbearer." Gandalf stated, Frodo looked nervous and unsure, but he turned and walked through the arches of Rivendell’s gate. Moving forward step by step and whispered
"Mordor, Gandalf, is it left or right ?" Hand upon his shoulder Gandalf quietly responded,