A Baggins' Welcome
a/n: A thought crossed my mind in the film: Frodo was always getting injured or near death yet Bilbo is doing pretty good for himself. Yeah, I had to change that. I know there is some minor timeline screw ups in this so it is strictly movie-verse. Also, no Kili/Bilbo? I will change that. I will call it...Kilbo...or Bili or...I don't know, I'm too old for this :P Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy and I do plan on making a part 2 that explains some things I've left unclear.
Bilbo Baggins had been taking a small afternoon nap when he heard the commotion happening down the hall. With the arrival of his dear nephew he found it fitting to stay close to him. He trusted Lord Elrond, and rightly so, to sew the young lad up and to make him good as new. He checked up on Frodo's progress every few hours and he had remained healing and steady. So when he heard the cries he figured that Frodo's pack had finally caught up with him.
Sure enough, Samwise Gamgee stood looking at the closed door leading to the healing room. The poor lad's cheeks and eyes were burning red and he shook as though it was freezing. Bilbo had known Samwise since he was a small tot and knew how dearly he cherished Frodo. Even though he had a lovely bond with lad consisting of vegetables and local gossip, he had never seen him so upset. His heart pulled him to comfort the lad to which he made his way over as fast as his old bones would carry him.
"Master Samwise," Bilbo had to call to get the young lad's attention, "It is so lovely to see you here!"
Sam took one look at Bilbo before breaking out into heavier sobs. Bilbo's heart broke seeing the pain the hobbit had in his soul and laid a reassuring arm around his shoulders. Outsiders to Rivendell knew little of the power that the elves had for healing and mending.
"Samwise, do not shed these tears," Bilbo smiled at him. "Frodo is simply giving Lord Elrond a Baggins' welcome!"
"Begging your pardon, Mr. Bilbo, but I'm not following you," Sam sniffled and looked up at him with big brown eyes.
"Have I ever told you the story of how I found myself in Rivendell the first time?" Bilbo asked and saw the hobbit slowly shake his head. "I arrived just like Frodo did, near death and hanging on by only a fraction of life if it wasn't for my dear friend."
"I never head that before Mr. Bilbo nor of your friend…" Sam's eyes already filled with hope.
Bilbo gave a small chuckle before his face fell. A small pang ran in his heart as he thought back to that mighty adventure. The fondness he had looking back on such a time was minuscule compared to what still existed in him for one certain dwarf who cared for him more than anyone else he had ever known.
"He was a loyal dwarf, more loyal than his brethren he was to me," Bilbo looked down at this hands, "He was always making sure their 'thief' was safe and in one piece. I'm not sure I would have made it if it wasn't for him."
"What was his name, Mr. Bilbo," Sam asked.
Bilbo looked up at the healing door and took in a deep breath as he remembered...
"Kili!" Bilbo yelled, running past the trees and deeper into the green forest.
Sweat dripped down his forehead as his feet carried him, calling out the dwarf's name. A sudden quelling of fright in his stomach nearly made him faint. His eyes frantically searched the greenery and stones. He feared it was already too late when a sudden roaring caused him to let out a small 'whelp!' and turn suddenly.
A mighty force collided into him and sent him flying into the soft dirt and twigs. Bilbo let out a loud 'getoffme' before shoving the now laughing bulk off of him.
"You are a horrible seeker, Boggins!" Kili snorted as he rolled onto his back. Placing a gloved hand on his stomach, the dwarf let out a few more howls as Bilbo cocked his eyebrow towards him.
"You didn't even give me a fair chance!" Bilbo pouted as he brushed the twigs off of her jacket. "Either way, we should be bringing this firewood back."
Kili jumped up onto his heels and picked up a few fallen logs, still laughing as they made their way back. Bilbo may have seem frustrated but truthfully he was glad Kili was around to make his days seem less of a mistake. The others had yet to see him as part of their companionship and Kili was the only one to give him a fair chance. True, this dwarf was immature and reckless but he had a way of making Bilbo smile that made his youth seem fresh instead of annoying.
It was incidents like this that allowed Bilbo to open up to Kili. Bilbo was aware that the two brothers were the closest to each other than any of the other members and he felt half way intruding between that. Yet when the order for firewood was given, Kili always volunteered to go as long as Bilbo tagged along.
The others probably saw this as a chance to loose the 'thief' to discuss matters they felt unworthy for him to hear. Gandalf had assured him that this was all in his head and no secrets were being kept but Bilbo knew the truth. He simply wasn't welcomed there and probably would never be. Get the job done and get out, that was Bilbo's new motto.
As the night would fall Bilbo would listen to the dwarves' tales of the mountains and lands they used to roam. For his whole life he had been so focused on elves that he failed to realize just how interesting these fellows were. Of course he did not let them in on the fact they enchanted and baffled him. Instead he silently ate his apple or his piece of smoked meat and perked up his ears.
Tonight he was told a tale of death and desolation, loss and lineage, all things to make even the cheeriest of men to frown. This set him in a very strange mood and he felt the need to slip away for a few moments. Since the dwarves only noticed his presence when they needed something, he felt he would be unnoticed. He was quite wrong.
Bilbo had found smooth boulder just big enough to sit either two hobbits or one Bombur and proceeded to rest upon it. As he was reflecting on his life and how differently it had before, his ears picked up a noise coming from behind him. By now he had deduced that softness of the step belonged to Kili.
"What has distressed you?" Kili asked and sat next him.
"You have no stories of happiness, do you?" Bilbo let out a small breath. "Of course we do!" Kili let out a chuckle.
"It does not seem like it," Bilbo said.
Kili put up a finger as if he had one but his face fell into concentration trying to find a tale of happiness. A few times it looked like he had something but his face would just fall again when he realized it was another sad tale. Finally he gave Bilbo a big smile and pointed to the sky.
"Do you see the stars?" Kili asked. "After the mighty fight in Moria, dozens of hundreds of stars fell and the sky was a giant star shower above them. Thorin looked up to the sky and yelled to the surviving members, 'Lads! Look upon the sky and know that this is the greatest honor a dwarf can ever have! Even the stars fall for our departed to guide them forth in their next adventure!' So, Bilbo, whenever you see a star fall, it is in fact just a star leaving their world to guide a brave warrior on to their next quest…how is that for a fine story!"
Bilbo gave Kili a soft smile and lightly shook his head. Still, a tale of war and death, but he appreciated what Kili tried to accomplish. To humor him, Bilbo laid back against the rock and looked up to the sky.
"What are you doing, Boggins?" Kili laughed.
"Hush, I'm trying to meet more dwarves!" Bilbo shushed him.
Kili let out a hardy howl and laid down next to him. They rested there for nearly an hour just watching the stars and waiting for one to fall. Kili spoke of his mother and his home and asked about Bilbo's life. Bilbo found himself talking of Bag End, of his garden, or his own mother, of the Gaffer's special brew…yet Kili was not bored of it. As they heard Fili calling for them, Kili turned and placed his lips close to Bilbo's ear.
"I would like to see your Shire one day," Kili whispered before he jumped to meet Fili.
Bilbo squinted towards the sky for a moment and tried to figure why this simply request made his stomach turn over and his heart to jump into his throat. But he pushed it away and followed the brothers back to the group.
All could not remain well, of course. Soon they found themselves being hunted and before long the Orcs were among them. Radagast the Brown led the Orcs away as fast as he could as the company ran hidden behind rocks. Gandalf had given him a sword but Bilbo was far too afraid to use it, so instead he just raced behind. As most stories go, they got caught and were soon getting attacked by the strange Orcs on their wild beasts. Gandalf had managed to find a hiding spot and yelled for them all to enter.
He was the second to slide down and watched as the rest piled in afterwards. Yet Kili did not follow. Bilbo climbed up towards the opening and watched as Thorin called for Kili to get in. He looked back towards Gandalf and saw the wizard looking at him with concern.
"Kili!" Bilbo shouted after Thorin yet Kili did not respond.
Gandalf was shaking his head and motioning to Bilbo to come down by the rest of them. Thorin was enraged as he screamed at Kili to drop the bow and come into the tunnel with them. Bilbo saw that Kili was being overtaken and he wasn't even sure the dwarf could make it back to the tunnel without being attacked by one of the wargs. Taking a deep breath and knowing Gandalf would kill him for this sooner than later, Bilbo jumped from the hiding place and ran to Kili's side. He wasn't sure why he made the decision or what he planned on doing once he got there but he knew he had to do it.
Bilbo noticed the Orc before Kili did. It was a viscous creature with blackness oozing from every pore on its body. With a sword lifted above its head, it silently made it's way to Kili. The dwarf was too busy with a warg to his left to notice either the Orc or Bilbo. Taking a deep breath, Bilbo picked up a giant rock and flew it towards the Orc in hopes of slowing it down. It hit him in the face and caused him to take a step back for a moment. With that little time given to them, Bilbo jumped in front of Kili and screamed at him to run. Sadly, the words did not register as quickly as the Orc's swords could jab.
Bilbo saw the sword entering him before he felt it. The blackened blade burned on it's way out and he knew then it had been slick with poison. As soon as the metal fully left his body did the pain begin and he let out a loud howl. A rough burning deep in his gut spread up to his chest and down to his toes. He saw the blood land onto the grass when his knees buckled. The burning was so bright and so rigid that he felt he would never be whole again. His skin was seared where the blade had penetrated and he felt sick.
It only took a few of the smallest moments before the Orc was dead and Kili's arms lifting him in the air. The movement sent another ripple of pain up his back and his spine arched as he let out another scream. In all his short days he had never experienced pain as such. Once, as a small child, he fell too close to a fire and burnt his shin, which did not heal for weeks. He had been living his life since then convinced he had gone through the worse.
Once in Kili's arms, his world began to turn grey. It was very difficult for him to focus his eyes on the dwarf's face. He could not tell if Kili was angry with him for being so stupid to jump in front of the sword or frustrated that he now had to run across the field with him bleeding all over the place. Bilbo could hear him shouting something to him but his ears could not pick up the words. Hurt, in pain, and disappointed in himself for getting them in this mess of trouble, the hobbit decided it would just be a better idea if he closed his eyes and stayed quiet while they figured out this mess. But once his eyes were shut, he found he truly could not open them and the world around him got dark before all sound was gone.
Truth to be told, Kili was neither angry nor frustrated but terrified. He had been careless in believing that he had the situation under control. He should have made for the passage when Thorin yelled at him to. He should not have tried to play the hero. He saw the Orc running to him and figured he had another few moments to shoot a warg to the left. Never did he expect Bilbo to jump in front of him and take the sword to his gut. Time stood still as Kili looked into the eyes of the Orc as he drove his wicked blade through his friend. Darkness was in this creature's soul as it gave the weapon a twist before pulling it out. Bilbo's screams were the trigger for Kili to stab the foul creature in the throat with a small dagger he managed to retrieve from his belt. The hobbit then was kneeled to the ground, letting out small whimpers and hugging his middle. Kili saw the blood pooling out of him, stained dark purple with flecks of a strange whiteness. The smell was that of iron and sulfur. Poison was the only answer.
It was when Kili picked up Bilbo in his arms that he saw how serious the injury was. Bilbo's face was contorted into a scream when his body was moved and his shirt, as well as his hands, was burning from the poison blade. Kili yelled at Bilbo to wrap his arms around his neck and found the hobbit could not hear him. He begged as he ran towards the rocks for Bilbo to listen, to be alright, to talk to him, but there was no response. Soon, the hobbit shut his eyes and even though he still letting out ragged little breaths, he remained still and quiet.
"Kili!" Gandalf shouted, now running towards the Orcs that were closing in, "Get into the passage and follow the trail! Make haste!"
Kili pushed his legs harder and slide down towards his fellow dwarves. It was then he realized he was holding the hobbit close to his heart. There was a bright light and suddenly the opening was closed. Gandalf had sealed the exit. They were safe, but lost without their wizard.
"Set Baggins down, we should check his injury," Thorin demanded.
Kili found it difficult to let Bilbo go. Fili put his hand on his shoulder, giving him strength to pass him onto Thorin. With a heavy heart, Kili put his head on Fili's shoulder.
"This is all my fault," Kili moaned out.
"Be strong," Fili gave Kili a reassuring slap on the back. "The hobbit was set on keeping you safe. We all watched as he ran out to you. He chose to protect you."
Thorin was looking at the wound mark, seeing how deeply the flesh had been seared. It was not so deep and did not injure any major organs. Any man, hobbit, or dwarf could have survived this wound within a few days with a nice stich up and some rest. But this blade had been covered in poison, one of which Thorin had never seen. From the looks of it, it was fast moving. Bilbo was paler than he was the day they had met him and sweat was running down his face. His body was finding it hard to defeat the poison. Although Thorin expected where the tunnels might lead, he knew they had no other option.
"Kili, pick up the lad, we make for the exit." Thorin commanded. "We move out."
"But we don't even know what is at the end of these damned tunnels!" Gloin shouted.
"It is the only way out," Bofur pointed towards the new wall.
Kili noticed that Bilbo began to shake. At first it was just a small tremor in his foot but it soon erupted into a full seizure. Kili shouted for help as he jumped down to Bilbo and held his arms down. Fili was quick to respond and held his legs down, both holding him still so he wouldn't hurt himself. This was far too much for Kili, already feeling guilty, that he began to let out small sobs.
"Please, Bilbo, please stop this," Kili begged.
Luckily, the seizure lasted only moments before Bilbo stopped and opened his dark eyes. But they were glazed over and he focused only on the ceiling. His mouth began to move as if he was talking to no one in the cave. Kili picked Bilbo up again, studying his moving lips and just thankful breath was coming out of them. With the first act of his own will, Bilbo instinctually wrapped his arms around Kili's neck and Kili could have cried out of joy that he was still with them, if only slightly.
"Come now, lads," Bofur pointed out to the opening, "Gandalf said he'd meet us there. It is the only chance for Bilbo's survival."
So they made haste, running through the tunnels and searching a way out. Thorin marched head of them, occasionally yelling out if the hobbit was still with them. Kili found it difficult to respond, so focused on Bilbo's movement and the way his eyes stayed set on the ceiling that Fili had to shout back to their leader. The wound had clotted but still smelled of something distinct and metallic. His skin was seemed transparent around the seared flesh. It would take a miracle to find away to heal the wound back together. Soft words began to come out of his mouth and he muttered in a language that Kili did not understand. Gloin hissed when he recognized the hobbit was speaking in the Elvish tongue. All was going fine with the journey, no strange twists or drops, when there became a fork in the road. They had been running for less than a quarter of an hour.
"Let Bilbo rest for a moment," Thorin told Kili, "Bofur, go down one tunnel, Fili the other. Be quick and see which each leads."
As the two ran off, Kili set Bilbo down, making sure to wrap his cloak up in a pillow for the hobbit's small head. Thorin placed his hand on Kili's shoulder as he watched Bilbo's actions.
"Kili…do not feel his death his your fault," Thorin spoke quietly.
"How can you speak of his death when he is draws breath?" Kili snapped, placing a hand of Bilbo's face. "He will make it through this, and when he does, I will stand next to him for all his life. He is the most loyal of any dwarf, man, elf, or hobbit I have ever had the honor of knowing."
It was then Bilbo took in a deep breath and a small cough before turning to Kili. His eyes were the same brown color they had been in the past and his lips were set in a small smile. Kili grabbed the hobbit's hand yet still felt the ice they had become.
"I had a dream," Bilbo began, his voice so thin, "Of a lady all in white. She was so beautiful and majestic that I wept at her feet…she must have been the queen of the stars…"
Kili took in a deep breath, his heart pounding. For the first time in his life, he did not want to hear about the stars.
"Everything was so grey and she turned so herself. She spoke to me and I begged her to wake me up…"
Bilbo began to shake again, a small tremor in his leg that was too noticeable to Kili. The other were taking too long and Kili would not sit here and listen to Bilbo's last speech without getting him help. Picking Bilbo up again, he took off down the darkest hallways. He could hear Thorin shouting for him to come back, but there was no stopping him. He passed Fili but did not stop. Bilbo still shook in his arms, those small hands wrapped around his neck and the cold sweat kept him soaking.
"She told me to concentrate and to search for the light," Bilbo moaned out. The initial wave of shock must have left the hobbit for he was moan and writhing against him. Thorin had told him once that when a soul leaves the body, it is a painful experience and that is why you see dying dwarfs fidgeting and crying out even in sickness. He feared this was it as the raced through the darken tunnel. He had to keep Bilbo talking.
"Did you find it, Boggins?" Kili tried to keep Bilbo cheerful.
"I searched and searched and she told me to look harder," Bilbo said before crying out, clenching his hands into Kili's rough leather quiver. "I told her she had to wake me up, I had to wake up…"
Kili turned a corner and found they were stepping out into the brightness of an Elven city. Kili had a hatred for elves as most did but knew this was their only option. Not thinking twice, he ran down the trail towards the city.
"You did wake up so you must have found it," Kili told Bilbo, giving a quick glance towards the hobbit.
Bilbo was so pale yet gave him a big smile. Softly, the hobbit placed a hand on Kili's face. Kili stopped just short of the bridge and gave Bilbo a much harder look. The hobbit was dying, this Kili knew, but his smile was still the brightest he had ever seen. Kili placed his hand over the smaller one and gave it a squeeze.
"You are the only light," Bilbo muttered.
With these small words, Bilbo began to lose focus once again and let out a few small whimpers before digging his face into Kili's armor. There was little time, Kili knew, and no more than ever did he feel that Bilbo's moments were numbered. As he stepped onto the small bridge leading towards the great steps of the city, he found an elf coming down to greet them. Kili pumped his legs harder to reach him.
"Master Dwarf, may I ask what brings you to our city," The elf asked.
"Please, he's been stabbed by a poisoned blade," Kili huffed out, "He is dying. He needs assistance."
"I'm sorry," The elf said, looking down at the dying hobbit. "I must get Lord Elrond's word to allow entrance to strangers."
Kili nearly screamed at the elf if it wasn't for a soft voice that fell to them from the top of the stairs. A woman dressed in silk, called down to them before seemingly gliding down to the steps. Her skin was like snow and her eyes were pools of waters staring down. Kili did not feel fear but hope.
"Lindir, this hobbit has been poisoned," She scolded the elf and bent down to look at him. "He needs to get to my father's healing waters right away. Follow me, Master Dwarf."
The she-elf raced up the steps with Kili close behind her. Although the scenery was beautiful, he did not take a moment to look at it. They ran through open rooms and past Elven beauties before coming to a door made from the finest of oak.
"We must be quick, Master…?" She asked.
"I am Kili of Thorin's company, and this is Bilbo Baggins, also of Thorin's company."
"Master Kili, Master Baggins, follow me." She opened the door.
The room was large and in the open, as most of the rooms were. It had several beds that were unused and in the back stood a bath with water constantly falling from the ceiling. The water fell into a large circular tub only a few inches off the ground that could easily have had the whole company standing under the waters. The room smelled of spring in the Mountains.
The She-Elf instructed Kili to place Bilbo on a nearby bed and to remove his coat and undershirt. Kili was quick in doing so and removed the blood stained mess from Bilbo. Bilbo's eyes squeezed shut as Kili removed his suspenders from his shoulders. The hobbit's skin was pale and hairless, so very different from his own body. It was strange how beautiful Kili found the hobbit's skin and how distraught he felt seeing the open wound breaking form the illusion of Elven beauty in something so small. The wound was darkened with the white poison leaving small traces around the edges. It no longer burned but Kili knew there would always be a mark to remind Bilbo of what he had went through if he managed to live through this. Which he would, Kili was sure of it.
The She-Elf returned and picked Bilbo up in her arms. Bilbo opened his eyes for a moment to look at her before turning his gaze to Kili. With his cracked lips, he spoke.
"Make sure you watch for my star," Bilbo tried to smile but let out just a ragged breath. Kili turned away, no longer being able to look at what he had done.
"Bilbo Baggins, I am Arwen Evenstar and you are in my father's home." She whispered to whimpering hobbit as she rushed to the waters. "I am going to help you."
Kili stood back as Arwen went to the falling waters and stepped into them. Her back was turned to him and he watched as the water clung to her body. She sung in the words of her people as the water fell on them and when the song was over, he watched as Bilbo's arms fell from her neck. He feared the worse. Yet when she turned, he saw that Bilbo's wound was nearly mended with only a bright pink scar where it had once been. The hobbit drew a steady breath but remained asleep.
"Will he live, my lady?" Kili asked as she set the wet hobbit on a nearby bed.
"It will take time and even I cannot guarantee it." Arwen said as she went to the door. "Stay with him and I will send for my father when he returns. "
With that, she left and Kili was alone with Bilbo. The hobbit looked remarkably better and Kili let out a sigh of relief. To think that this all happened in less than an hour truly made Kili question time itself for it was the longest hour he had ever lived. Taking an armchair, Kili sat close to Bilbo's bed and took his hand in his. The poison had not fully left him and Kili knew there was about to be a whirlwind of pain for the poor hobbit. Yet all he could think of was Bilbo's smile as Kili had looked upon him before entering Rivendell. How sweetly Bilbo muttered those soft words.
"I don't know if you can hear me, Bilbo…" Kili began and gripped his hand tighter. "But when you wake up, I will forever be in your debt. I will forever be your loyal companion and will stand by your side until my death. I am swearing my fidelity to you and all you must do is live…" Kili's voice cracked and the heavy sobs he had been holding in came out. "You are the finest thing I've ever seen and worth more than gold, dear Bilbo. Please just be well."
He brought Bilbo's hand to his lips and left a soft kiss on his knuckles before cradling his own hand and Bilbo's against his cheek. Perhaps it was the guilt of knowing this could have been prevented or perhaps it was something more but all Kili knew was that he had never felt so lost in his entire life. But like most stories, in the darkest of times a light breaks through. Bilbo gripped Kili's hand back.
"Tell me what all this sobbing is about," Bilbo groaned as he tried to sit up.
Kili howled a loud 'whoop!' and brought Bilbo up into his arms. Bilbo let out a loud 'getoffme!' and Kili apologized and set him down. The hobbit lightly rubbed the scar on his stomach before letting out a soft laugh.
"I'm alive," Bilbo smiled.
"Yes," Kili chuckled, "I never doubted you for moment."
The door opened and a very tall elf entered with Gandalf. Gandalf shook his head slowly at Bilbo and rested on his staff.
"Figures it would be the hobbit to jump in front of a orc's sword," Gandalf said. "Good thing you've got a dwarf with legs like wind and the healing of the Elves to say your sorry behind."
Bilbo gave Kili a small smile again. He could see the happiness in the dwarf's eyes and did not even try to pull his hand away from him. For the first time in his life, he was happy to have someone so close to his side. Of course, he would never tell Kili that he remembered the complements he had given him as well as the promises. Bilbo would instead smile towards this cheerful dwarf in utter respect and devotion and hope that perhaps Kili still felt the same when Bilbo wasn't at death's door. For Bilbo's stomach still turned and his heart still jumped at the thought of Kili and he was now certain that it was a very good feeling after all.