Sneaking Suspicion

Disclaimer: I don't own The Hobbit, and J.R.R. Tolkien would be spinning in his grave if he knew fanfiction for his books existed. I base all I know on Dwarven behavior on what I've read or seen from the Hobbit/LOTR movies. If anyone is out of character, I apologize now.

A/N: This is my first sick!fic, as the community puts it. Thus, we now get to see my take on a sick Nori. Set after Thorin and Bilbo hug in the movie.

Bilbo Baggins thought he had seen everything by now. The once sheltered hobbit had come a long way from his old viewpoints, and he knew it. Of course, Bilbo thought with a small smirk of pride, he had every reason to act different now that he had his ring. Absentmindedly, Bilbo reached into his waistcoat pocket for the ring, his fingers running across the slightly scratched gold surface as he played with it. Yes, Bilbo thought, with his ring in his possession, he could now withstand anything thrown his way.

Except possibly Thorin Oakenshield's glorious hugs that made Bilbo's legs weak whenever he received one. However, Bilbo had no intention of revealing that particular fact to anyone, least of all the most majestic dwarf he had ever- Bilbo's interior monologue was interrupted at this point by the sounds of retching. Being a gentlehobbit, which meant he cared deeply for his friends when and if they got sick, Bilbo decided to investigate.

What Bilbo found was Nori, his beard pulled aside by a concerned Dori as he dislodged the contents of his stomach onto the grassy plain near the camp. Seeing the Dwarf thief sick shook Bilbo, who now wondered what it took to make Dwarves start retching. Feeling a bit less brave at this point, Bilbo started to turn around, intent on finding Oin and informing him of what was occurring. Bilbo's curiosity, however, got the better of him, and he turned around again to see that Nori had stopped retching, much to Bilbo's relief.

"Nori, what happened?" Bilbo called to his friend, though he dared not get too close, fearing that Nori might be contagious. Concerned as he was for the Dwarf thief, Bilbo was not willing to get sick at the moment.

"None of yer business, Master Burglar, so find someone else to bother, like Thorin." Nori snapped back at Bilbo. The Dwarf's head was spinning, and Nori was in no mood to exchange pleasantries with Bilbo, or anyone else save Dori and Oin at the moment. Judging by the look on Bilbo's face, Nori guessed he had offended Bilbo with his rough answer. Nori didn't care, though: his business was his own, and master burglar or not, Bilbo had no right to pry. Stiffing a groan, Nori walked away to find Oin, Dori at his side.

Two hours after he'd seen Nori retching, Bilbo found out what was wrong with the Dwarf thief from his brother Ori. According to Ori, Nori was allergic to, of all things, mushrooms, and had gotten sick when Bombur had mistakenly put a mushroom in with the stew the other night. Outwardly, Bilbo was solemn, but inwardly the hobbit was stunned. Being a hobbit, he loved mushrooms, and as such could not understand for the life of him why you wouldn't eat one. When Ori had left, Bilbo let a small chuckle escape. If Nori was sick, Bilbo reasoned, he could be easily stolen from. Bilbo had decided rather quickly that stealing would be the best way to get back at Nori for the rude comment he'd given Bilbo earlier.

Later that day, when Nori was curled in his bedroll in an attempt to rest and regain his strength, his dagger was lifted from its sheath at his side, quickly disappearing from view. When Nori awoke and found it missing, it took a stern order from Thorin himself to prevent Nori from tearing apart the entire camp in order to find it again.

"Serves him right, being told off by Thorin like that." Bilbo chuckled softly to himself, a look of pleasure on his face when he heard the news. When Nori stalked past Bilbo that evening, Bilbo kept a straight face. After all, he assured himself, no one would suspect him of stealing Nori's precious dagger.