Takes place after the Carrock. Bilbo gets bruised after the fight and the Dwarfs are completely baffled at this strange injury as Dwarrows don't get bruised so easily and when they do, they're light in colour, not notcieable, but feelable. So, this dark, angry colouring on the Hobbit's skin not only confuses them, but scares them and they try their best to figure them out all while Bilbo tries to explain everything to no avail.

Dori had had quite enough. The Halfling kept wincing and rubbing at his shoulders and ribs and his back, too, and it wasn't pleasant to see the little one in pain, so when they next stopped, he walked over to him and requested him to take off his coat to allow him to make sure nothing was broken. That was when he saw the dark marking underneath that thin white shirt the Shireling wore.

"What are these?" Dori pulled Bilbo's shirt open, gentle fingers poking at the deep purple shading across the Hobbit's shoulder. "Oin!"

Twisting around, Bilbo caught sight of the dreadful marks, blossoming like an evil flower across his shoulder. "Dori, don't worry yourself-"

Oin came over and turned the Halfing around, slipping off the shirt, his medical eye taking in this wound. "Hmm. I've never seen an injury like it."

"It isn't an inju-"

"Hush." Dori said, patting Bilbo's hand soothingly. "You'll be alright."

"I know, bec-"

"Shh, lad, I'm trying to think what these could be." Oin ordered, narrowing his eyes at the darkened skin.

'Really,' Bilbo thought. 'Trust that Wizard to wander off when you need him the most!'

Ori seemed to be feeling curious, for he shuffled over, looking at the Hobbit who was being made to sit down by his eldest brother whilst their healer gazed at his shoulders. He took one look at the discoloured skin and shrieked. "Oh, my goodness! What happened?"

Nori ran over, putting a protective arm around Ori's shoulders. "What is it?"

Ori pointed at Bilbo's back. "Look!"

Nori gulped. "Oh, gods..."

"It's nothing-" Bilbo tried to explain.

"Nothing?" Dori snapped. "This is not nothing, my lad, this is..something and it's something bad! Shh, and let Oin look at you."

"Perhaps one of the others might know." Oin decided. "Gloin! C'mere and look at this!"

Gloin looked appalled. "What are these wounds?"

"I don't know, see." Oin admitted.


"Bilbo, shh!" Dori ordered.

"What are you lot doing by-" Kili started asking. There was a pause. Then he started calling for his brother, giving the Shireling worried looks.

Bilbo sighed. 'These Dwarfs,' he internally decided, 'are the most fussiest people I've ever met.'

Fili decided the best course of action would be to touch the areas that were bruised to see if that alone could get the markings to go away. At Bilbo's wincing and hissing at the contact, the blonde Dwarf apologised and stroked the Hobbit's hair, lightly as though he thought he could easily break him.

Bofur must have sent Bifur over, for the grey-bearded Dwarrow ambled over and looked gravely at the markings before going back to his cousins and returning with them.

"You are all overreacting!" Bilbo said despairingly.

"Stop being so argumentative and thankless!" Dori said. "We're worried for you, now please be quiet!"

"What's going on?"

'Thank goodness,' Bilbo thought, 'Thorin won't stand for this nonsense!'

Clear blue eyes ran over the bruises. They blinked and the Dwarf king ran a hand over his burglar's back, trying to see if he could dicover the reason behind these markings. "What are these, Oin?"

"I cannot tell." Oin explained. "They are foreign to me, lad."

Bilbo had had enough of this madness. "You're all being absurd." he announced. "There is nothing wrong." And with that he stood.

Roughly six pairs of hands pushed him back onto the log Dori had seated him upon. He began rubbing at the markings the six had managed to touch, glaring at the Dwarfs he knew had touched them.

"Have you never had bruising before?" He asked crossly.

"Of course!" Bofur snapped.

"That's what these are!" Bilbo growled. "For pity's sake, the lot of you-"

"These aren't bruises! You can't see a bruise!" Nori said.

"Well, I suppose Hobbits can!" Bilbo retorted.

"These markings are terrible." Thorin pointed out.

Patience well and truly gone, Bilbo snapped. "Well, I can see you and your nephew share the same intelligence! I know they're terrible, but they are not life-threatening. I, however, will be life-threatening, if you don't let me stand up when I wish." He stood up again,snatching up his shirt and walked in the direction to the little brook by their camp.

His resolve to not speak to them for the rest of the night crumbled when Ori greeted him by wrapping his arms around him, looking into Bilbo's eyes with unfairly sad, deep blue ones and a request that Bilbo not be angry that they irritated him. The Company must have sent Ori on purpose.

Blasted Dwarfs.

"I'm sorry for -" Bilbo began to say, feeling guilty. They had been trying to help and snapping was no way to repay that.

"It's alright." Ori said, hugging him again. "No worries." the scribe pointed to a stump, indicating that Bilbo was to sit there. "Let my brother put balm on your back."


To his surprise, it was Nori who came up, a little pot in his hand. "Don't worry, I'll be gentle."

Though he felt a little doubtful, Nori was true to his word, his touch tender and careful. By his side, Bilbo could hear Dori singing in a strange tongue that he would later discover was a song to encourage healing. Sitting opposite, Ori was sketching, looking up every few seconds and smiling before going back to his artwork.

I was working on Recreation and the first three lines happened and I suddenly had an extra-cute plot bunny with whiskers and a funny little nose. And this happened. Hope you liked it!

Love from Shania. xx