I felt like writing a short fic about Dwalin and Nori's first meeting because some of the people I follow ship them together :) Reminder that requests are very much open and I would be delighted to write for you!

Warnings: some swearing and thieving

It was an easy, in and out job with a very small chance of being caught. The Blue Mountains were silent at this time of night, the indigo sky speckled with bright stars casting a dim lim over the gray slopes and stone. It was so dark that anyone awake, and there were very few awake, would never spot the figure slowly climbing up the rocky cliff of the mountain towards a mansion built on the slopes.

Nori swore softly as the rope burned his bare fingers and continued to heave himself upward until he collapsed onto the balcony. He wiped his bleeding fingers on his cloak and adjusted the satchel around his shoulder after slipping the rope and hook inside. Crouching, he carefully opened the balcony door of Lady Freya's room and smiled.

Her bedroom was filled with lavish rugs and furniture, mahogany wood and plushy velvet seatings around a coffee table. There were dwarven patterns to every piece, along with a few exotics items from the Shire, such as her mirror engraved with delicate flowers. Nori snuck a glance at the thick curtains around her four-poster bed, smirking when he heard her peaceful snoring.

He padded towards her desk, his footsteps silent against the overly thick rugs, and pulled his lock openers from out of his pocket. He began to work on the lock in the center of her desk, where he had been told there were some very pretty necklaces. Let's hope that his source had been correct. Neris wasn't the most trustful of Men (for she was a human woman and a damn good scammer) but she was right (for the most part) about job opportunities.

Nori picked through the lock in no time, quietly opening the drawer and frowning once he saw that it was empty. Why go through the trouble of locking an empty drawer? He trailed his hands on the sides of the drawer, pressing harder than necessary in some places. A satisfying click was heard and he smiled under his braided beard. He gently slid the wood of the hidden compartment away and pulled out the small box.

It was engraved with geometric silver designs, the silver glinting in the dim moonlight. Nori tried to open the box, nearly groaning aloud when he saw that the lock was far too delicate for his lock pick. He had lost his smaller pair on another job from that meddlesome blacksmith. Nori put his hand back into the compartment and grinned once the cool metal of the tiny key touched his palm.

A ruby and gold necklace shone in front of him, the gleam reflecting in his green eyes. He smiled triumphantly and shoved the necklace in his satchel, placing everything back into its proper place. He was ready to strut out the place when he realized that the snoring of Lady Freya had stopped. His blood ran cold and he slowly turned around to see a wide eyed dwarrowdam, her skin darker than usual in the dim light and her braided hair free of its beads.

Suddenly, fury twisted her face and she shrieked, "GUARDS!" so loudly that Nori was sure his ears popped.

Time to go.

He ran past her, the vicious dwarrowdam reaching out and nearly tearing a braid from his star-shaped hair. He supposed he deserved it after getting caught stealing from her. Nori didn't waste any time unloading his rope and hook, opting to skid recklessly down the mountainside. His ankle was burning with pain by the end of it and he cringed when he saw Freya leaning over her balcony, screaming into the distance.

He almost laughed. Who was she talking to? No one was out this time of night! Except for the-

Oh. Shit.

Nori stared in horror as two armored guards barreled toward him and he most certainly did not yelp like an injured dog as he ran away from them, thank you very much. He yelped like a full grown dwarf. Nori darted between stone houses and buildings, attempting to lose the guards through the twists and turns of the lower parts of the city he was leading them into.

He was sure he lost them and let out a breathless laugh. "Suckers," he muttered mockingly and walked right into an absolutely terrifying guard.

This one had a bald, tattooed head along with a bushy beard and sharp blue eyes. There was a scar across his eyebrow and his nose looked to be broken at least twice. Nori slowly looked up at the angered guard and noticed the symbol on his left shoulder. The captain. He had run into the captain of the city guard. Splendid.

"Hello," Nori said weakly and was shackled before he could even plead, "I didn't do it!"

Nori banged his head against the bars of the cell door, his hair askew and coming undone and an overall sour expression on his face. The captain of the guard- Dwalin, he was called by the other soldiers- was watching him with a menacing scowl. Nori blew him a kiss and the soldier nearly broke the wooden mug in his hand.

Nori, satisfied with himself, plopped down on the bench and looked around at the other prisoners, one blond dwarf and one dwarf with bronze skin and high cheekbones. "So," he said conversationally, "How are you two?"

The blond gave him a look that could curdle fresh milk and the dark haired one rolled his eyes. Nori sighed and stood up, leaning against the bars.

"Oh, captain, my captain," he drawled and wondered if Dwalin was going to punch him in the jaw anytime soon.

"What do you want, thief?" snapped Dwalin and Nori didn't miss how his eye twitched in anger.

"I need to take a piss," Nori said bluntly and held out his shackled hands. "Mind getting me out? Just for a few minutes, of course."

Dwalin scowled even more, if possible, and roughly handed him a bucket that smelled of urine. Nori's nose wrinkled. "Alrighty, then. Thanks, Cap."

He placed the bucket aside and focused on glaring at the captain of the guard, who stared back with his arms crossed. Nori was about to say something to flatter him, butter him up to get him out early, when a voice pierced the heavy silence of the musty room.

"Nori!" the unmistakable voice of Dori cried and Nori banged his head against the bars. His brother came into view, half dressed with a little Ori, covered in scarves, in tow. Nori felt a pang in his gut at his dwarfling brother seeing him in a jail cell, but tried to look nonchalant.

"Ah, brother dear," Nori said. "I was hoping to get this guy-" he jerked a nod at Dwalin "-to let me out. Maybe you can convince him? Dori?"

Dwalin's head snapped. "Dori? Son of Cori?"

"Yes," Dori said a little unsurely, but quickly nodded at Nori's look. "Dori, at your service. This is my younger brother, Ori."

"At your service!" squeaked the child once he looked up from his carved fox toy.

"My brother, Balin, speaks highly on your teashop," Dwalin said gruffly.

"Finest tea in Ered Luin!" Nori piped up. "You should come. Soldiers get a discount. Soldiers who don't bash my skull in get a free cup!"

Dwalin looked as if he wanted to do nothing more than to bash his head in, but contained himself in the presence of Ori. "The bail is fifty silver."

"Fifty silver?" Nori and Dori shouted at the same time, startling Ori who was looking deeply at his toy.

Dwalin nodded. "Aye. Can you pay it?"

Dori grumbled under his breath about troublesome brothers and dug into his pocket. He managed to produce enough money and forked over a silver bead as extra. Dwalin counted the money and laid it neatly on the table. Unlocking the cell door, he opened it with a swing and out strode a smug Nori.

"Thank you, my dear guardsman," Nori said cheekily. "I hope to see your ruggedly handsome face yet again!"

Before Dwalin could throttle the thief, Dori dragged his two brothers out of there. He gave Nori a firm lecture on stealing, something he had heard a dozen times before, and finished with a huff, stalking off to his bedroom door. Nori rolled his eyes and ruffled Ori's bowl cut, inciting a giggle from the dwarfling.

"Can we read a bedtime story tonight?" Ori asked sweetly and Nori shook his head, feeling pain and ache spread into his bones.

"Maybe tomorrow," he promised and Ori nodded, scampering off to bed.

Nori took one last look at their cramped kitchen and living room before going into his bedroom. As he shot the door, he made a promise to himself to get his family a house so luxurious that Lady Freya would be jealous. With a sigh, he closed his door and stumbled into bed.

Maybe someday.