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“I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO DO BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW!”  Dwalin thundered, stomping around Bag End.

“You should marry her!” Balin suggested cheerfully.  “A sweet little hobbit lass will do you a world of good!”

“Not you!” Dwalin roared.

“You should marry her!” Kili offered.  “Her heart is full when she’s by your side; she told me so herself!”

Dwalin snarled in frustration and scrubbed his hands across his face.

“You really should marry her,” Thorin said calmly, quirking an eyebrow.  “You know why.”

Bilba took particular notice that her husband had given Dwalin The Eyebrow and made a mental note to worry the details out of him later.  Balin also noted this and narrowed his eyes suspiciously at his brother.  When the large dwarf’s eyes skimmed over her, Bilba shrugged.

“Should you marry her? I don’t know.  You seem to have a lot of reluctance,” the hobbit woman said lightly.

“It’s not that I don’t wish to!” Dwalin blurted.  “Blackberry is sweet and saucy and if the rest of the world didn’t exist, we’d be happy all our days!”

“What’s the rest of the world got to do with it?” Bilba prompted, sipping her wine.

“What about my duty to my king?!” Dwalin demanded, gesturing to Thorin.  “I keep Ered Luin running on an even keel in his absence and make sure none suspect where he is!  Popping home with a wee hobbit maid on my arm would raise a few eyebrows.  Why can’t you people be more widely scattered?”

“You keep Ered Luin running all by yourself, do you?” Balin asked coldly.

“’You people’?” Bilba asked just as icily.

“Why don’t the two of you stay here?” Bofur suggested. “It wouldn’t be hard to convince people you’d gotten yourself killed out in the world.”

Dwalin blinked as though that hadn’t occurred to him.

“It would be nice to have another dwarf in residence,” Thorin stated casually.  “In case I found myself in need of help.”

“We could help, Uncle!” Fili protested.

Thorin put his finger to his lips and waved his heir away.

“That – that husband . . . former husband of hers, he’s clearly regretting losing her,” Dori offered.  “He’s already tried to take her back by force once.”

Balin gave his lover a curious look.  Dori shrugged.

“You know he’ll try again, sweet wee thing that she is,” Bofur said.  “Little saucebox with a wicked tongue and poetry in her heart.”

“Um . . . Thorin took mine,” Nori stated simply.

There was a moment of awkward silence, then the whole company burst into laughter.  Even Dwalin slapped his thighs and bent over at the waist.  The bit of silliness broke the tension and the big dwarf scrubbed his hands over his scalp as he straightened.

“I’m still not sure what—“

“Do you wish to lose this one, too?”

Dwalin went still.

“My sister adored you, but it took you so long to act she moved to another,” Thorin said quietly, staring across the years at nothing in particular.  “In the end you two had so little time together.  Now your heart has found another.  Would you risk losing her as well?”

Bilba expected a row after that.  Instead, Balin came to collect his younger brother, Thorin went to his side, and the three of them retired to the study together.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A cold front moved in overnight.  A howling wind stole under doorways and shook shutters.  Precipitation that was half icy rain and half wet snow blanketed Hobbiton.  Winter had finally set its teeth into the Shire.

Blackberry was not looking forward to hauling her wine cart to town in this slop, especially with one wrist in a brace.  It was hard enough to pack the damn cart one handed.  Eyeing the icy slush on the road, she was starting to think Dwalin might have had a point about the shoes.  No sooner had the thought crossed her mind than she saw the big dwarf coming up the road.  Blackberry grinned.  She would have been happy to see damn near anyone willing to push her cart for her, but she was especially glad to see her lover. It was absolutely going to kill her when he left in the spring.

“Brought you something,” Dwalin announced when he was at the end of the walkway.

“All I want is you,” Blackberry returned.

The big dwarf ducked his head, looking pleased.  Then he produced a pair of boots in her size.

“I’m not having you walk all the way to town barefoot.” He announced gruffly.  “Am I going to have to hold you down and put them on?”

Blackberry considered the footwear.  In truth, she really didn’t want to walk through the slush.  She’d be willing to try the boots just for that fact.  But she was thinking of something Lil told her just after she went to live with him.

‘Blackberry, my darling, not everyone says ‘I love you’ with words.  Some people can’t say it in words.  So they say: ‘Have you eaten? Are you getting enough sleep?  Let me do this for you.  Do you need anything?’  That’s how they say ‘I love you.’ You need to be sure to listen.’

Justilo said ‘I love you’ the normal way.  But he didn’t show up with boots because it was cold or drag her out of the rain or come to push her cart for her.  

It was going to absolutely destroy her when Dwalin left in the spring.

Dwalin, for his part, took Blackberry’s silence for assent.  He knelt in front of her and slipped the boots onto her feet.  Blackberry’s small hand rested on his shoulder as he lifted one foot, then the other and laced up the custom boots.  In truth, they were barely more than waterproof slippers with soft leather for a sole and colorful felt on the top, pulled up in a little point over the toe.  Ori and Bofur had knocked them together.

“Well?”

“They feel good,” Blackberry said.

“Good.  How is your wrist, does it hurt?”

“It’s not bad.”

“I’ll push the cart, at any rate.”

Dwalin took the wine cart and started towards town.  Blackberry walked at his side.  After a few minutes, she reached out and snaked her arm around his bicep.  Dwalin took his free arm and threw his cloak over her so she could leech some of his heat.

Oh, she was going to die in the spring.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blackberry wasn’t particularly surprised to see Hobbiton empty, especially with this weather.  She was a bit surprised to see the forge closed, but perhaps Thorin hadn’t thought it worth opening if everyone was going to stay in today.  Which meant Dwalin could have been home staying warm instead of walking her through the ice and cold.  

Tears stung the hobbit woman’s eyes.  Luckily, Dwalin didn’t seem to be in the mood to talk.  That was a bit odd; words usually flowed between them easily.  Perhaps he was considering springtime as well.

The lights were on in the inn and Blackberry went to open the door for Dwalin.  She opened the door only to be face to face with pretty much all of Hobbiton.  The tables groaned under a feast.  What few flowers were available this time of year decorated the rafters.  And nearly every hobbit she’d ever met, as well as Thorin and his company, stared at her expectantly.  Dwalin, dragging the wine cart through the door, did not seem surprised by any of this.

“I don’t think we brought enough wine, luv,” Blackberry said weakly.

“Has he proposed yet?!”

KILI!!!!</b>”

“I’m going to remember that, lad!” Dwalin promised, eyes flashing.

“Pro-posed?”

Dwalin turned to Blackberry, suddenly jittery.

“I don’t know where we’ll live or what we’ll do,” he announced shortly.  “And there won’t ever be children.  And I’m probably going to get myself killed at some point.”

Many of the hobbits and a few of the dwarves were starting to cringe at this proposal.

“But I’ll never find another perfect wee saucebox like you.”

Dwalin fished a ring out of his pocket.  He knelt down but before he could even speak, Blackberry threw herself into his arms.

“Yes!  Yes, yes, yes!”

“You’re supposed to wait for him to ask, you impatient hussy!” Maro thundered, laughing.

“Mind your business!” Blackberry shot back.  

Dwalin laughed and kissed his bride, secretly relieved that he didn’t actually have to say the words.  He slipped the ring onto her hand.  To dwarven eyes it was a rather low-quality sapphire, dark and of cloudy color.  But it was the exact same shade as Blackberry’s eyes.   After a few more kisses they got back to their feet.  Rosemary brought them both cups of wine.  

“You sneaky thing!  You set up an engagement party without me!” Blackberry said, hugging her friend.  “If I’d known, I’d’ve brought better wine!”

“Engagement party?  Honey, this is the wedding feast!” Rosemary corrected her.  

“Wedding feast?  I can’t get married now, we don’t have flower crowns.  I guess they aren’t very dwarvish.”

Thorin came forward, grinning evilly.  He had not forgotten the teasing he’d received at his own wedding.  Dwalin was not getting out of the flower crowns.

“We did the best we could on short notice,” Bilba said, coming up behind him. “Luckily, my Aunt Laurel has a greenhouse.”

The first dwarf’s bride in Hobbiton lifted a garland onto the blonde curls of her soon to be sister-at-arms: crocus for cheerfulness, hyacinths for rashness, and lily-of-the-valley for a return to happiness.

“Wasn’t that fortunate, Dwalin?” Thorin chortled.  “Why, you might have missed the flower crowns with a winter wedding.”

“Very lucky,” the bald dwarf growled, eyeing the flowers in his king’s hands.

“This one is spider flower for a hasty wedding,” Thorin announced, pointing. “This one is violet for faithfulness, and this one is viscaria.  It’s an invitation to dance.”

“I tried to get him to pick out nicer meanings,” Bilba said, hugging Blackberry.  “But that was about as good as it got.

Dwalin sighed.  Blackberry would probably let him get away with not wearing flowers on his head – she had even conceded that they weren’t very dwarvish – but he remembered how she wore the boots without protest even though shoes weren’t hobbitish.  

“Just for the ceremony,” Dwalin growled, taking the brightly colored weeds and placing them on his head.  

Nearly every dwarf howled with laughter.  Dori and Ori seemed to find the sight charming and Kili had been thrown to the floor and had Nori and Fili standing on his back as punishment for the outburst.

“Not that it isn’t amusing, but let’s get things going before my almost sister-in-law comes to her senses,” Balin said, gesturing.  

There were parchments spread across a table.  The Thain was leaning over them, reading.

“And you say if any of these clauses are violated, the marriage is null and void?”

“Standard dwarven marriage contract,” Balin said with a shrug.  “Just the basics; infidelity, abandonment, abuse, criminal dealings.  Once the marriage contract is signed, we’ll have a toast to our family, our king, and Mahal, then bind their hands together.  They’ll be as husband and wife.”

“Sounds quick,” the Thain said uncertainly.

Blackberry cast a look at Dwalin, who was trying not to glower under his flower crown.  

“We can do a quick dwarvish ceremony,” she said with a grin.

The big dwarf looked relieved.

“After I read the contract,” she said, leaning over the papers with the Thain.  

Thank the gods for the general literacy of hobbits; it only took a few minutes for Blackberry to sign her name.  Dwalin signed as well, the toasts were made and their hand bound together with silk and gold ribbon.  

“At least kiss the bride so it feels like a wedding!”  The Thain pleaded.  

Dwalin did so, then ripped the flower crown off the second their hands were unbound.  This prompted a round of laughter, which led to a toast, which led to drinking and feasting.  Shortly after luncheon the newlyweds decided they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other any longer.  They rushed upstairs to the inn’s honeymoon suite and within a few minutes, the crowd was cheering as the big chandelier rocked on its chain.

“Well, this was a pleasant surprise!” Bofur announced, putting his feet up on a stool.

“The Thain says he may even institute marriage contracts,” Balin said, a bit of dwarvish pride inflating his chest.  “And Our Blackberry is now safe from that annulment annulment.”

“Oh aye.  Does the Thain know Dwalin can legally take that twat’s head if he likes?”

“I didn’t mention that part,” Balin admitted.
Okay, so this is pretty much the end of the first part.  I do have more story for these two, but I think I'll actually break it up into a whole other story.  

If you're wondering why the damn thing was called Green Ginger Wine, it was inspired by this song -----> www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkKDM5…



      


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:iconriverotter7:
riverotter7 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2018  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Awwww!
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:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
They're so cute in their own way!
Reply
:iconanimeboyluv:
animeboyluv Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2018
A peculiar wedding for a peculiar pair. It's perfect!
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it's almost as if he realized a surprise wedding would mean skipping planning a real one.
Reply
:iconendgamerazari:
EndgamerAzari Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018
The boots part is especially cute.  ^^
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, let's face it, Dwalin is never going to wax poetic about his feelings.  But he will take care of her just as hard as he fucking can!
Reply
:iconwelsh-witch:
welsh-witch Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I like the ending to this chapter. the last lines made me chuckle.
Reply
:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Blackberry is married to a dwarf; that means she operates under dwarvish law now. XD
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