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Crowning Glory

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Tauriel was combing her hair. Even if this wasn't a rare event, Kíli quickly decided that it could do with some study. She had, after all, rather a lot of it, and in the firelight she might as well have been combing strands of bronze. Not quite pure copper, nor rose-gold, no matter how much the latter might suit a ballad. Bronze, a metal for jewellery and weaponry both.

Still, the thought of rose-gold was one that wouldn't leave.

“And what,” Tauriel said, giving him an amused glance, “has you looking so speculative?”

“I, uh.” He grinned at her. “Had an idea. Would you come here?”

Her eyebrows arched, and she tilted her head curiously. “Very well,” she said, voice overly gracious even as her smile dimpled. She unwound herself from the stool, and made her way over. He'd seen Tauriel walk over snow as if it'd been as solid as a dirt road; her quiet as she walked over stone shouldn’t be surprising. And yet, it still was. Kíli suspected it might always be surprising. It was a thought to make him beam like a fool, although he mostly kept it down.

(Always.)

“Your comb, milady?”

Tauriel handed her comb over, still arching her brows. “Shall I take a seat on the floor, too?”

Ah.

“...aye. Didn't think that bit through, uh-”

“I'm hardly going to fade away,” she pointed out, still entertained, and sat down on the floor next to their bed between his legs.

At least there's a rug down, Kili thought, and gathering her hair out of the way he laid an apologetic kiss on the nape of her neck. If it hadn't been for his leg, she could have sat at a chair while he stood, but...

No matter. They adapted.

The colour of her hair shifted as he worked with it, and it slid easily through his fingers like silk. Both of those were worthy enough of admiration from a Dwarf. And no Dwarf would ever admit to enjoying working with good material too much. He wasn't about to start changing that...but her hair was ridiculously soft.

It was also ridiculously, frustratingly long. Not too much time had passed before Tauriel laughed.

“What are you doing, Kíli?”

“Something very clever.”

“Oh, I'm sure.” Tauriel hummed a little to herself, obligingly tilting her head forward at his murmured request. “For someone who doesn't do this to your own hair, you know what you're doing,” she said then.

She was fishing, but he was pretty sure the laws and habits of secrecy about his people's customs did not apply to his wife.

“My own's different. Can't be bothered unless it's a fancy party. But I'll braid my kin's.” Not that his mother's hair had ever been this long, nor Fíli's, or Uncle Thorin's. “And friends', back in the Blue Mountains. Never got as far as courting...Uh, it's not formal? It's not a rite of passage, it's just a tradition. If people choose.”

It was not as if the elaborate styles of hair and beard took care of themselves.

“My people wear our hair much more simply,” Tauriel said. Then, very quickly, “Not that I object to this. This is...nice.”

“Well, I'm glad it meets with your approval,” he said cheerfully, and earned a light swat to his shin for the tease in his voice.

“There,” Kíli said at last, securing her hair with a clip of Dwarvish make. Tauriel reached up, and lightly skimmed her fingers over his handiwork. Then she twisted around to look at him, her expression delighted. He'd worked part of her hair into a braided coronet, leaving the rest still flowing down freely like she normally had it. He could picture diamonds and pins of gold twinkling like stars amongst her locks, but for now, it was just her. It was enough.

“I, uh, haven't found you anything nice from the treasury hall yet,” he explained, suddenly tongue-tied. “But, I thought I could give you that. Um.”

Tauriel was still looking delighted. She shifted around so she was kneeling in front of him, and then leaned in to kiss him.

“Thank you,” she said, and there wasn't a force around that could stop him from smiling in return.