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Dog Days

Chapter Text

The crushing pressure on your lungs as they filled with water would leave anyone traumatized for years. The painful feeling of cold biting and invading every crevice of warmth in their chest until they were left dead and limp, would haunt them for the rest of their life. If anyone would know this, it would be you.

 

You had tried to get away quickly, knowing good and well you could have outrun your ‘sisters’ without even trying. But you were hurt. You had twisted your ankle worming your way out of a tangle of enraged limbs, and had now only to rely on a speedy limp.

 

They were out to kill you, and you deemed that to be a bit rude.

 

Why couldn't they just let you leave the gang peacefully? Why couldn't you just start anew with your life and forget you ever even joined the stupid group to begin with? No, they couldn't do that. That would only be merciful.

 

So instead, you had to die.

 

And that was where you were at the moment. You put up a good fight when you were caught, screaming and kicking viciously, clawing any girl who got too close. Of course, it was all in vain.

 

Someone had knocked you upside your head with something hard and heavy, probably a cracked brick or something, because you felt the damn thing crumble into your hair as blood seeped from the new wound it created.

 

You let out a cry of pain, eyes fluttering as black spots dotted across your vision, and your stomach clenched. You felt your tongue grow heavy, and with a wave of raw terror, you realized you were going to lose consciousness. They would kill you then, and probably dispose of your body so carefully no one would know where to even think about finding your remains.

 

You didn't know exactly when you passed out, just that when you came to, you couldn't move at all. Your arms, legs and feet were bound tightly together with some sort of heavy duty bungee cords, and by the harsh stabbing in your arches, you could tell that rocks had been shoved into your shoes.

 

You saw that you had been moved from where you last were, your surroundings seeming to be a huge warehouse with the stench of mildew growth emanating from the walls. A salty breeze blew into the area, only briefly improving the quality of the dank, moldy air.

 

Then you saw her. Your leader. Your murderer.

 

You had an idea she would take you wanting to leave the hardest. She was your best friend after all. She probably felt as though you had betrayed her by wanting to break free. She didn't speak as she walked over to you, pulling you up from the wet floor.

 

You opened your mouth to speak her name, then reeled back as the back of her hand made contact with your face. The metallic taste of blood filled your mouth as you recovered from her slap, your dry lips tearing from the force of impact. Blinking away the sting, you met her eyes and saw that they were brimming with tears.

 

“You've hurt me, [Name]. You’ve actually hurt me today.” She spoke, her pretty bottom lip quivering slightly. “What happened girl? We were supposed to be perfect sisters, together forever. Why are you trying to abandon me? Abandon us?”

 

Her voice rose, and from the shadows, six girls around the same age crept out to flank their leader. They seemed new, for you hadn't recognized any of their faces. Probably some little siblings that had been freshly adopted into the ‘family.’ Oh how you pitied the poor fools.

 

“You know this isn't right, Sweet, none of this is. I can't live like this, always running from the cops, stealing, never seeing my family. I've cut myself off from my mom because of this.” You said, your throat tight. “I don't want this anymore. I don't want this life. I can't do it.”

 

You saw your Sweet's eyes darken dangerously, but her facial features were eerily calm. “Fine,” she spat, turning away. “I won't make you.” Hope fluttered in your chest. Did this mean she was going to let you go? You felt a smile tug on the corner of your lips.

 

“If you don't want this life, I suppose you'll forfeit the option to live all together. Goodbye [Name].”

 

Your heart sank into your aching feet instantly, and with a tsk, Sweet stalked away, not giving you a second glance. The girls beside Sweet advanced upon you, yanking you up from the ground and dragging you away.

 

You screamed, doing your best to fight like hell. “No! No Sweet let me go! Stop this!” You shrieked, feeling hands lift you up and carry you as you thrashed violently, attempting to wiggle free. A huge wooden chest was brought into your view, and you were absolutely certain that this would be your final resting place.

 

With some difficulty thanks to you, you were lowered inside and blanketed by more rocks before the lid was lowered on, darkness swallowing you whole. The only light that bleed into your dark prison, was through tiny scattered holes just big enough for a finger to fit in.

 

You felt yourself be lifted again, and carried outside. The distant sound of waves crashing against a solid wall met your ears. They were going to throw you into the ocean! Panic made your breathing hitch, and you felt your head spin. The pain behind your eyes was absolutely horrendous, but you were in for so much worse.

 

The drop off from the top of the wall had been so sudden, that you jerked around for a split second before your temples slammed into the wooden sides of the chest. With a splash, you were gone.

 

Water entered the chest slowly at first, but then began to pick up the pace quickly as you sank. It started as a puddle first, then began to swallow you up in greedy gulps, the chilly black water sloshing around in tiny waves. Terror made you struggle, but you knew there was no use. You were done for.

 

The water overtook your torso, then covered your shoulders, chin and nose, and out of instinct, you held your breath. You prayed for death to come quickly as you exhaled and automatically gulped down mouthfuls of thick salty water.

 

The chest was full of water now, and you knew you didn't have much time left. Your vision flashed with red hues, probably your blood vessels bursting from the lack of oxygen. Your fingers felt as though they were going to explode, their tips throbbing and swelling with pressure.

 

You felt a strange calm when you finally accepted your oncoming death, and you were glad when the pain stopped. Your body grew cold and broken as the pressure intensified, and your soul was set free. Then there was darkness, and you let go.

Chapter Text

Bilbo considered himself a good host. He liked to think that he had lots of patience for social gatherings. However, he did not like when said gatherings were unexpected. Especially when the guest just showed up at an unholy hour of night with ravenous appetites that seemed to have no end.

 

Thirteen dwarves, thirteen nearly barbaric, heavy, hairy men lumbering about his quaint Hobbit Hole, ravaging his kitchen of all the food and wine available. And still they were hungry! Damn creatures were worse than his relatives! The image of Lobelia screeching hellishly as she made off with even more of Bilbo’s spoons made him think again.

 

No, not that bad.

 

Bilbo was certain his guests would shatter every bit of glass in his home, including his mother's lovely china, but they didn't. Not even one scratch. He was actually quite amazed. Amazed that the house seemed untouched, and amazed that the dwarves actually made him smile about it, when Bilbo tried his absolute hardest to remain angry.

 

The amazement didn’t end there though, and soon Bilbo found that he'd come to travel with the dwarves on their quest to do what again-? Oh yes. Reclaim their mountain. From a dragon. With a sigh, Bilbo rolled his shoulders, wondering how in the world he even had control over his own two feet. He'd always said that if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.

 

Today it seemed he would be swept of on an unexpected journey father than anything he could ever imagine.

 

The dwarves were a hardy bunch. It was probably due to the fact that the lot hadn't really had any place to live for the good majority of their lives. That, and they probably lifted and threw around trees for sport. Seriously, just by bending over, Bilbo got a much unwanted view of one of the Durin's rippling muscles.

 

So he wasn't quite sure why he was surprised when a huge wooden crate seemingly fell from the sky onto Thorin’s shoulders, flattening him into the ground. And he was unharmed.

 

The disgruntled Dwarf King heaved the offending furniture off of himself, scowling like a badger. “Break it down.” Was all he said, shrugging off any hands of worry with a curt nod. Bilbo wondered, that if he were in the same situation, would have gotten the chance to even scream before his neck snapped in half?

 

“Best not to worry about it,” Gandalf piped up from beside Bilbo. He jumped, whirling around to face the old wizard. Was he reading his mind? Could he do that? Bilbo wasn't sure he remembered hearing of such a skill the old man possessed.

 

Gandalf smiled kindly. “Suppose it was good luck the thing didn't land on you, don't you think Mr. Baggins?” Yes, good luck indeed. Bilbo thought with a sniff.

 

“It's a bit heavy uncle,” remarked Fíli, the golden haired dwarf. He pulled at the lock curiously. “It has a lock too. Maybe something important is inside?” His brother, Kíli piped up. “I am also curious. Can we have a look? Please?”

 

Thorin just grunted, trying to discreetly rub his hip, which Bilbo barely caught from the corner of his eye. Taking this as an invitation, the two young dwarves went wild, grabbing their axes and beating the lock in. It went flying into the grass with a quiet thud.

 

“Over excited young ones, “ Bilbo heard Gandalf quip quietly, to which the hobbit smiled a bit. The two dwarves placed their axes to the side, smiling widely. Their curiosity was awfully contagious, and Bilbo couldn't help but get closer as well, peering over Kíli’s shoulder.

 

“Well go on, open it up!” Fíli encouraged, “can't you see our burglar wants to know what's inside too?” Bilbo decided to disregard the teasing for now. He watched memorized as Kíli carefully opened the top, slowly pushing it away.

 

Bilbo couldn't stop imagining what might be inside such an odd looking crate. Maybe gold? Or countless exotic gems? Or maybe some sort of lavish silks a lost Lord had cast away for safekeeping?

 

All of Bilbo's fantastic fantasies ended ever so shortly as terribly cold water rushed out from the top, spilling onto his feet. The crate was tipped over to scatter the contents. Something else brushed against Bilbo’s toe, something feeling a lot like a finger.

 

With a jolt of horror, Bilbo shrieked loudly, scampering backwards clumsily as he shook the wet, dead appendage away from his person. Nauseated, Bilbo sucked in a breath, trying not to make anymore contact with the deceased, shuddering as the image of a sopping mop of (h/c) hair slouched fourth.

 

It reminded him of when he was only but a young hobbit, naïve, and clumsy, a bit more than he was now.

 

He had found a bag of drowned kittens floating along the lake by Hobbiton. He really wasn't supposed to even leave his home, his mother specifically said not to go past the small village they lived in, but he couldn’t help it.

 

Stories of elves hiding within the darkness of forests called out to him mystically, and young Bilbo found himself stumbling into a chilly body of water, then somehow making it home, and clutching the sodden bag tightly to his chest as he wailed throughout the night, his dear mother holding him gently, rocking him back and forth.

 

But this wasn’t a cat. This a was human, a daughter of man. Thorin’s nephews scattered about, pulling the girl up to a sitting position. Her (s/c) cheeks were pale and flushed, her hair draped ungraciously over her bruised features. It seemed she was in some sort of a struggle before being… drowned. But who could have done such a thing?

 

“Alive!” Bilbo barely registered Fíli call out to the other shocked party members. Thorin rushed over, Bofur at his side. While in his daze, Bilbo had failed to notice that the girl’s chest heaved ever so slightly, then a dark mix of water and blood was hurled onto the grass. Frozen, all members of the Company watched as the girl shuddered and coughed, shoulders sagging.

 

The girl sat up, shrugging off the dwarves at her side, eyes staring forward in a cloudy daze. Her odd clothing stuck to her body like a second skin, her… cleavage the most affected. “Miss, would you tell us who you are and exactly how you’ve gotten into this situation?” Gandalf asked.

 

The girl blinked, as if confused. She stood, swaying a bit, then opened her mouth as though she were to answer. Her voice barely made it out of her throat in a quiet whine, then she slumped forward, out cold as her body made contact with the ground before anyone could move catch her.

Chapter Text

Everything burned. Your fingers still throbbed, a clear indication you were still alive. At least, you thought so. You thought being dead was supposed to be painless. If you were really dead, then why the heck did everything still feel like you were being crushed by a truck?

 

Your chest clenched, and you felt your lungs flare as you took in a sharp breath. You couldn’t control the watery cough that dribbled past your lips. Already choking again, and you still had yet to open your eyes. They felt as though they were cemented shut, and you struggled to even lift them the length of an eyelash.

 

Something shifted beside you, causing high alert to course through your limbs. Someone was here with you. Had they pulled you out of the chest? You didn't feel the cold damp wood anymore, so maybe. But how?

 

Last you checked you sank to the bottom of the bay.

 

You heard voices, far away at first, then eventually your ears adjusted. Male, the speaker was a male due to the deep, gruffness in the voice. “We will not keep her,” it said.

 

Huh? Keep you? Automatically you decided you weren't in a hospital. Deciding you were finished with laying on your back, you forced your eyes open with extreme difficulty and shot up. Where the strength to do so came from? You weren't sure.

 

Your head reeled dangerously, but other than that you were fine. Your eyes adjusted to natural, pale orange light around you. A sunset? You were still outside then. More movement caught your eye, and you whirled around to face… a man. Quite the odd looking one too.

 

You’d seen a lot of short men in your life, but this guy took the cake. What was he like, four feet tall? Had a cuteish face, curly hair that would put even the purest breed of poodle to shame. But oh, his feet. His huge ass feet. They were at least twice your size, and so very hairy. You wondered if he ever got cold at night.

 

Finding it impolite to stare, you blinked and turned your head away from his feet ever so slightly. “Hello.” You spoke, clearing your throat. Damn, it felt rough just to even breathe. Your voice was hoarse, probably because you were screaming when before you drowned. God dammit Sweet. You bitch. Your old friend’s betrayal was still fresh on your mind.

 

The little man waved back, giving you a small smile. “Hello there, are you feeling alright now?” He handed a small cup of hot liquid smelling strongly of herbs into your hands, then turned away to grab what seemed like a blanket of furs.

You felt it was impolite to refuse, but you couldn’t bring yourself to drink. It was far too soon. The last thing you wanted was to put more water in your body after having too much of it only a short while ago. Speaking of such, how long were you out?

 

Had your mother been called? Didn’t seem like so. Not like she would answer. Not after what you two had last said to each other. “Where am I?” You asked, placing the cup onto the soft, dirt floor. It wasn’t hard to assume that you had been moved far away from the harbor, the scent of water had long since stopped flowing through the breeze.

 

“Just outside of Bree.” The man answered you softly. “Do you know how you got here?” Bree? Where the hell was that? Didn’t sound like anywhere in (Y/H). “Bree?” You parroted back, unsure of how else to relay your confusion. “Is that near (Y/H)?”

 

“I have never heard of (Y/H). I don't usually travel much.” The man seemed a bit disgruntled, a bit confused himself. Just who the hell saved you? “I'm (Name).” You stood up, wobbly at first and extended your hand for the little man to shake.

 

He immediately went beet faced, and took your hand into his much smaller ones. “My apologies miss! So nice to meet you, but how rude of me! My name is Bilbo Baggins, I am a hobbit of The Shire, good to make your acquaintance.”

 

You smiled back. “Good to meet you too,” you responded genuinely. But what the hell is a Hobbit? And The Shire? What? A voice broke into your conversation. “It is good to see you awake and well my dear, you have given us all quite the fright.”

 

You cursed yourself for jumping, startled a bit. An elderly man wearing a blueish grey robe and a pointy hat sat a few feet away from you and your new ‘hobbit’ friend, a kind smile gracing his face. “I am Gandalf the Grey, a wizard.”

 

A wizard? You blinked, and resisted the urge to roll your eyes. Wizards didn't exist. That's fairy tale material, along with witches and dragons. “Is there something wrong my dear?” Gandalf asked you. May as well come out with it. You were kind of getting sick of pretending you weren't freaked out.

 

“Is this a prank?” You blurted out. “Like, seriously? Why would you do that?” Gandalf and Bilbo exchanged confused looks. “I can assure you, no one here is joking.” Your jaw twitched a bit as your teeth grinded together irritably. “Riiiight, so can you just point me to the nearest town? I’ll use a phone from here.”

 

Another odd exchange of puzzled glances. You let out a sigh of frustration through your nose. Maybe they were telling the truth. Maybe these guys actually weren't human. Maybe you had somehow fallen into an alternate world where mythical creatures existed. It made a bit of sense. Who the hell has ever heard of a Hobbit? Things were starting to scarier and scarier.

 

You had just drowned, and now you're alive again. Gandalf's getup was pretty convincing to... And Bilbo had some of the craziest feet you'd ever seen. Were his ears pointed to? You began to panic. Oh hell, what if there are no working toilets?! Please god, don’t actually tell me I’m trapped somewhere without a phone or anything modern. Please, please-

 

“May I ask what exactly a ‘phone’ is?”

 

Dammit. Now what do I do?

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since you had woken up a modern girl in middle earth. You explained your situation to Gandalf as best you could, and he in turn vowed to help try to send you home to the best of his abilities. You were grateful for this of course, but you still were a bit miffed.

 

You didn't want to stay any longer than you had to.

 

In the meantime, you got to know your company. Originally, it was an even fourteen, not counting Gandalf. He popped in and out at times, maybe for a smoke or something. You weren't really sure.

 

There were thirteen dwarves, thirteen names and faces you had to remember. While you weren't too good with names, you could easily recognize faces. You were sure you'd get the hang of everything at some point.

 

So far you had memorized six of the names and faces. That left seven more.

 

The leader of this rag tag group was Thorin. He reminded you of an alpha wolf. His pack had nothing but the utmost respect for him, and trusted him with their very lives. Thorin was a bit grouchy however, which reminded you of an old badger.

 

You were certain it was only the stress of the situation you were all in that made him this way. He seemed pretty loving and friendly towards his nephews, Fíli and Kíli when he was in a good enough mood, so you decided he was okay to trust.

 

Fíli and Kíli were Thorin’s young nephews. You noted that they were pretty friendly by default, and were good enough company to keep you from being bored. They told amusing stories to pass the time as you all traveled, gaining a small smile or two from you. You were sure the younger dwarves’ mission was to get you to double over with laughter at some point.

 

Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, three cousins you believed, were the next fellows you had become acquainted with. You didn't know much about Bifur only that he was a toy maker, and that he had the rusted remains of a fucking axe , stuck in his head.

 

Although you found that to be quite badass, it was still unnerving to look at. Damn did it hurt?

 

Bofur and Bombur were more closely related than Bifur because they were brothers. Bofur seemed to be a pretty chill guy, he didn't talk much, at least not to you. He had a very nice singing voice, which helped lull you to sleep some days.

 

Bombur was your favorite. This immense dwarf was by far the fattest one in the Company, but that never stopped him from hauling ass when he needed to. Wherever Bombur was, there was surely good food. You made sure to keep tabs on whatever he was interested in. It could bode well for you.

 

While living with your new acquaintances, you discovered some interesting quirks.

 

You found that after some time of living with the group, Thorin liked to sleep in the nude every now and again. The other dwarves were the same in habit, which as an idea itself was kind of cute. Like little kids imitating their parents.

 

But then again, it was also creepy because they were again, naked. You found yourself sleeping a good distance away from the group often. Bombur was a sleepwalker, and there was no amount of blinking, crying or bleach in the world that could erase that image.

 

Today was like every other day since you had arrived; long, boring travel. You longed for your home, for your modern day comforts. Before you died, you planned to sneak away for a movie. Deadpool 2 had just come into theatres, and you were hella excited to see the Merc With a Mouth mindfuck theatres again.

 

You sighed, slouching against Bilbo’s pony Myrtle’s soft mane. Due to the fact that there were only enough ponies for the original members of the Company, you were stuck riding with someone. You hoped that Bilbo didn't mind you sitting with him.

 

It was easy for you to trust the hobbit. He was a warm hearted little guy with impressive manners given the situation. Bilbo had shared with you the details of how the company had appeared on his doorstep and eaten all of his food just before he had the nerve to sign himself into their mission as their Burglar.

 

You wondered how he had enough patience for all of these shenanigans in under a short period of time. It must be the pipeweed he and Gandalf occasionally smoke together. Yes, that was it. It seemed like some good stuff. Maybe they would let you have some?

 

It had been some time since you'd gotten high, and you kinda missed the plant giving your eyes a new light to the world.

 

Myrtle stopped moving, and whined softly as Minty, Thorin’s pony came to a stop ahead of her. It must be time to set up camp for the night. You thought heaving yourself off of the small horse. The rest of the Company’s ponies trotted over to a patch of greenery, settling down to rest while their riders got off and stretched.

 

You helped Bilbo off of Myrtle, vaguely aware of the fact that the little man heated at your touch. He cleared his throat, an indication that he was quite uncomfortable. Holding back a smirk, you turned away to nurse your sore rump. Sitting on a small horse for countless hours was sure to hurt anyone.

 

The sound of cloth folding alerted you to Gandalf placing himself down near your resting place. “Oh, hello there Gandalf.” You spoke, smiling at the old wizard. He pulled a pipe from his cloak and returned your friendly gesture. “Hello there (Name). How has this trip been treating you lately? Feeling a bit sore I assume.” He said, eyes full of mirth. You flushed, embarrassed that it was so obvious, but you were just rubbing your ass.  

 

Playing it cool, you just shrugged. “I suppose so. Things are a bit different than what I’m used to is all.” Was that entirely true? You had to run a lot when you were in your world, so it wasn’t that you couldn’t keep up with the Company, it was just that you couldn't stand sitting still. Yes, that was it. “But at the same time,” you continued, “things are kind of the same.”

 

The old man raised an eyebrow, waiting for you to continue. “I was always on the move. I… wasn’t in the best situation for a girl my age, you know?” Gandalf assured he really didn’t. “I didn’t make the best choices in who my friends were, and pretty soon I was in over my head. I couldn’t get out fast enough, and well, as you saw, it got me drowned by my friends.”

 

You weren’t really ready for the sad look upon Gandalf’s face, you weren’t really ready for anything at the moment. “Why would the do that?” Gandalf asked you, drawing a breath from hit lit pipe. He exhaled, and you gave a crooked grin, chuckling dryly. “We had differing opinions.” The wizard said no more on that topic, but lay his aged hand on your shoulder and gave you a gentle squeeze. Something in your stomach tightened.

 

“Well my dear (Name), I do hope you’ve come to accept us all as better friends. He stood up to leave, and you wondered if Gandalf had only ever come over just to talk to you. What for though? Small talk? You half hoped it was something about how to get you home, but it didn’t seem so.

 

Something clattered to the ground next to you as Gandalf walked away, the smoke from his pipe whirling around him. It seemed like some sort of stick, or cane, and your first reaction was to grab it, thinking it as a walking stick for the old man. You reached out to grab it, your fingers closing around it’s thin frame.

 

A painful shock raced up your arm, your nerves feeling as though they were going to explode. Pressure ached terribly in your head, and a bright light opened in front of your eyes. Images exploded across your vision. You couldn’t possible recognize any of them, you couldn’t tell who was there either. Your mouth flew open in a shriek of terror and pain, then you collapsed, your arms tingling. 

Chapter Text

“I do wish you would stop falling out on us like that.” Teased Gandalf as your eyes fluttered open. You honestly felt as though you had been struck by lightning, your body hairs were still tingling like mad. “Is she going to die?” You heard Thorin ask quietly from beside you. The Dwarf King held a wet cloth to your head, something you didn’t register until you shifted your weight. He didn’t seem panicked, not even too concerned, just a bit disgruntled.

 

That good ol’ Thorin.

 

“How do you feel (Name)?” Your hobbit friend held a worried expression on his pale face, and you groaned in response, rolling over onto your stomach, gently pushing Thorin’s cloth away. “M’fuckin’ everything hurts.” You slurred, noting that even your tongue felt heavy. What a freaking zap! Who keeps something like that lying around?

 

With a laugh, Gandalf helped you to your feet. “She will be just fine, just a minor shock is all.” Minor? I can see two of you right now dude! You wanted to laugh with them, but felt your throat clench. Water. You really wanted some water. You saw that it was now pitch black in the sky, and it would be around the time Bombur would be finished cooking.

 

Food and water sounded really good right now. Or maybe a root beer, or soda. Something better be ingested right fucking now though, that’s all you knew. You guided yourself over to the fire, following an increasingly pleasant scent wafting through the air, Bilbo trailing behind you.

 

“You’ve ‘died’ twice already now!” Laughed Fili, moving aside for you to plop down beside him. “What will she do next?” Piped his darker haired brother. You smirked, noting their poking was only out of worry, covered by humor. “Relax boys, I’m a bad bitch, you can’t kill me!” You leaned back, giving a hearty laugh as Bombur announced dinner ready.

 

You woke up sometime in the night, feeling a terrible sense of wrong. You immediately sat up, wondering if you had somehow gotten transported somewhere else. You seemed to still be in the forest you fell asleep in, and looking over your shoulder you saw- yes, the Company. Thank goodness they were wearing clothes. Bifur, who was supposed to be keeping watch, had dozed off sitting up. You smiled. There was no danger anyway.

 

So what was it? You didn’t feel as though you were being watched, but you definitely knew something was off. Your stomach twisted and flopped around. Maybe you were about to start your period? In that case, you’d like to bathe before setting off again, and becoming soaked in your own menstrual blood…

 

You tore a piece of cloth off of a cloak that was given to you by Gandalf, and hauled ass over to a lake you all had passed on the way to your campsite. You made sure you were safely alone before throwing your clothes off and leaving then halfway folded on the shore.

 

You started out confident in what you were doing, heading straight for the water and imagining how good it would feel on your hot, sore limbs, but then you faltered. The moment your toe made contact with the shallowest part of the lake, all instinct rushed to pull you as far away from the mouth of the pool.

 

You felt as though you were choking, water rushing back into your chest and filling your lungs up, burning, tearing themselves apart. You scrambled away from the water, tears spilling over your eyes. You couldn’t breathe. All breath was stolen from your body.

 

Don’t go there! Your mind screamed at you. You turned a shaky, teary glance towards the lake. You could only see the dark insides of the chest filling up with icy, black water again, the rocks in your clothes back and digging into your skin. You will die now just like you died then. Do you want to die? No, you don’t. Get away.

 

Right, right. Get away. Got it. You decided if you were at any risk of bleeding right now, you would have had stronger cramps anyway. Maybe you ate too much. Yes, that was it. You hugged your body tightly, feeling your limbs tremble like leaves in the wind. I can’t… I’m afraid of water?

 

So now you were a hydrophobe. Great. What to do now? You knew for a fact that you couldn’t keep dodging baths, at some point you knew you would probably really need to splash with some soap, and plus… you were on some crazy cross country journey. You couldn’t afford to be afraid of something so trivial. What if you had to cross a river at some point and were being chased by something dangerous? If you froze, you’d die.

 

But if you go, you might drown. You might die again.

 

With a sigh, you rubbed your tired eyes and decided you’d start out slow. You found the idea of forcing yourself to cope extremely stressful, and opted to refrain from doing such. You started back towards the water. Everything seemed to become a lot more pressurized, your legs wobbling and feeling as though they were made of lead.

 

You took one step into the cool pool, and it took everything within you to keep from jumping right back out. There’s still time to get out. You could always try again later… or never. You brushed your thoughts away and continued. Another step. Your ankles, then calves were swallowed up by the water.

 

You stopped at the very beginning of your waist. That was as far as you were going to go. You tried to focus on how good the water felt on your hot, sticky skin in order to drown out your panicking mind. Ironic, right?

 

You began combing your hair with your damp hands, slowly getting your mane wet from the tips to its roots. You didn't quite have the courage to submerge your head in just yet.

 

Since being in this strange new world, you had forgotten to massage your scalp- only bothering to pull out the bothersome knots in your hair in order to look good for the day. Now that you had some time to yourself, you could relax for a few moments.

 

It stung at first, pulling through your matted hair with your fingernails, but eventually the labor grew easier, and you fell into a trance of rubbing and combing your sensitive scalp. You closed your eyes in bliss, nearly falling asleep on the spot.

 

Something soggy thumbed against your leg suddenly, snapping you out of your daze. You let out a scream, jumping about in a panicked frenzy, then tripping over your own legs. You fell backwards with a loud splash, water flooding into your open mouth and nose.

 

You clawed at anything you could grab, desperate to pull yourself up out of the pool. I'm drowning! Dammit I knew this was a bad idea! What was I thinking? Stupid! Stupid! Stu-

 

A hand snaked around your wrist, pulling you up into a sitting position. You furiously rubbed away the water trickling through your hair and down your face to see Kíli staring at you with a borderline amused expression.

 

“Could you have been any louder?” The young dwarf said cheekily, leading you out of the water. Your entire body was on fire with embarrassment, one arm across your breast and the other over your nether regions to preserve any remaining modesty you might still have. Forget about dignity!

 

Kíli refused to leave you be, even when you asked, more like demanded he leave. He insisted upon seeing you back to camp safely. “Wouldn't want you to fall in again without someone there to pull you out, right?” The brunette teased.

 

Throwing your clothes on, you had a bit of trouble getting your pants over your rear for some reason, feeling extremely uncomfortable once you did. It felt so wrong somehow, but you couldn't put your finger on why. At the moment, you didn't really care anyway. You'd deal with whatever it was later if it came back to bite you in the butt. You began to walk back with Kíli.

 

You trailed behind the dwarf, feeling uncharacteristically queasy. That thing in the water… was it a snake? You didn't get any type of look at what touched your leg, so you weren't too sure. Dear God… what if you got bit? What if you were poisoned? You felt your heart twinge with fear.

 

Something churned in your stomach, and you felt so terribly nauseated you thought you'd empty your guts onto the ground. A wave of vertigo crashed over your head, and you lowered yourself to your knees. Your body was just so… so hot! Where did this heat come from?

 

“K-Kíli…” You gasped, watching your vision go blurry. Were you about to pass out again? You kinda hoped not. You were kind of sick of it by now. Mercifully(?) you remained awake, however an odd sight greeted you.

 

Your hands, which seemed pretty normal before were shuddering, twisting and warping into a foreign shape, dark hairs growing from your skin. In a matter of seconds, your hands were replaced by paws. You let out a startled yelp, trying to bring your changed hands to your face for better inspection. A muzzle intercepted.

 

Oh God, oh God no ! What happened to me? How did-? You twirled, your terrified gaze falling over your now canine body, in which your clothes hung loosely from. Kíli, who you had forgotten was with you the whole time, approached you slowly. Had he seen you transform?

 

By the look of wonder on his scruffy face, probably. He called your name softly. You didn't hear. You were too busy watching your new fluffy tail wag like mad without your consent. The force of it nearly made your entire butt wiggle on with it.

 

“Holy shit, I'm a dog!”