a/n: Thank you all so much for dealing with my shoddy writing! I do really appreciate the reviews. I figured I could take this seriously and try to write like an adult, but once again screw it, this is fanfiction and I might as well have fun with it. All is completely AU, of course, and slash is here as well. Last warning, rating with probably go up soon. Not entirely sure so don't take my word on it. Enjoy!

"Did you love him?" Sam asked.

Bilbo had half forgotten he was telling this tale to another person. Sam's eyes were now dry and full of wonder. Bilbo cleared his throat and decided that the rest of the account was not appropriate for the young hobbit.

"Come now, Samwise, I'm sure Master Elrond will allow you into the healing room if we ask politely," Bilbo said.

"But did you love him, if you don't mind me asking?" Sam pressed again.

"Maybe another time we can talk more about this," Bilbo responded. "But for now go on and see Frodo."

Sam looked as though he wanted to ask one last time but the thought of Frodo pulled him away from Bilbo and to the healing room. Bilbo was thankful and finally let out a sigh of relief when the gardener was given entrance. Sam was a noble hobbit and Frodo should be delighted to have such a loyal companion by his side. Loyality….this was why Bilbo was so careful to avoid the subject of Kili. Yes, perhaps once he loved the dwarf and some days more than others he still adored him. But scars run deep and grudges are hard to pass. Kili would always be his first taste of sweetness to the heart and one not easily forgotten. Yearning, he made his way down the hall to his room.

Bilbo was used to solitary nights but some were lonelier than others.

"You sure you can stand just fine?" Kili asked, his hand still resting on Bilbo's lower back.

"Yes, Kili, I am fine," Bilbo sternly said, taking a few steps to prove his point. "I feel nothing but a small ache where the scar rests. Nothing a little bit of cream can't handle."

Another day had passed and night had fallen once again. They were to leave in the morning by orders of Gandalf. Thorin, Balin, and the wizard were now seeking council with Elrond on the matters of the map. Bilbo was to go with them but with Kili denied entrance to the secret gathering, he felt best to stay behind and rest up. With Kili nearby, of course.

The other dwarves had stopped by to see if their hobbit still drew breath. Bofur stayed for a short time to chat and Fili came in and out as if he suspected Kili to do something stupid but otherwise they had hours to themselves. The two would fall into deep conversation about the different worlds that they knew. Kili was interested in the Shire since he had seen so little of it. He was dazzled by the life Bilbo led and Bilbo was dazzled by the amusement. Simplicity was something Kili must not have known. They made their way outside still speaking on matters of hobbits. Bilbo was sat in an upright chair looking towards the stars. Kili was sitting upon a balcony fearing neither height nor falling.

"So…you are saying you simply pay this Gaffer lad to weed your garden?" Kili snorted.

"I suppose," Bilbo shrugged. "I mean…I help when I find time."

"And where is your time usually?" Kili asked.

"My books or my writing." Bilbo smiled at the thought.

"Or eating?" Kili laughed.

"Excuse you!" Bilbo became defensive and rested his elbows on his knees. "We don't eat all the time. We just have breakfast and second breakfast…elevenses, lunch,tea…dinner, supper…ok, maybe we eat more than dwarves but still!"

Kili proceeded to let out another loud chortle before falling silent. Bilbo found he could not produce words to break the strangeness that had fallen over them. Instead his attention turned to how the moonlight tumbled upon Kili. He looked as though he was a statue in this Elven home. His left leg perched on the railing in line with his body and his right leg swinging just inches from the floor created a hypnotizing effect. The light had cast a shadow upon him that left his face in darkness yet his eyes glittered under his furrowed brow. If Bilbo could he would very much like to have touched his face to make sure he wasn't carved from stone.

"Is there a misses at home? "Kili broke the silence with the bizarre question.

"No Misses Baggins," Bilbo said, holding up his left hand. "Bachelorhood for me."

Kili jumped from the balcony and placed his back against the railing, letting his arms spread against it. The dwarf gave him a peculiar smile. Bilbo wasn't sure what in the world it meant.

"Why would that be?" Kili asked.

"Never really connected with the lasses, I suppose," Bilbo found it queer explaining why. Dozens of hobbit lads remained bachelors but he never really given it grand thought. "They are fine folk, don't get me wrong, I just prefer the company of…"

"Lads?" Kili grinned.

"Myself!" Bilbo found Kili's answer insulting and jumped to his feet.

Kili groaned an apology behind him but Bilbo was having none of it. Although Bilbo was furious with the accusation he knew that it was at least half-truth. He never found lasses as appealing as the other lads. Plenty of times he had watch young Hamfast work and wondered what it would be like to have the strong tanned hobbit in his own bed. But he never acted upon these desires. It just wouldn't have been proper.

Frustrated, he made his way to the healing waters after lighting a few candles in the darkened room. His scar was aching something fierce and he felt that the warmth of the blessed waters would soothe his pain and his mood. It was still difficult to lift his arms over head without an immense hurt running down his side. He let out a loud hiss of breath when he tried.

"Damn this scar!" He shouted, his hands clutching at the throbbing.

"Here…give me your arm," Kili stated as he came towards him.

"No, I can do it myself," Bilbo growled but once again a ripple of pain ran through him.

"Let me help you, you stubborn thing," Kili demanded.

Bilbo finally agreed and Kili softly pulled the shift sleeves away from Bilbo's arms and then pulled it away from his head. Bilbo felt the chill in the air hitting his body and small bumps formed on his arms. Kili tossed the shirt to the side and reached for a cloth. The dwarf had done this dozens of times and Bilbo was beginning to feel as though he had become dependent.

"You don't have to wait on me anymore," Bilbo kindly said.

Kili dipped the cloth in the water and rung out the excess. There was a luscious grin breaking across his face. Bilbo could not stay mad at him.

"Will you just hush," Kili saidand came to stand before him. "I enjoy helping a helpless kitten."

"I am not a kitten," Bilbo said through an embarrassed smile.

Bilbo's breath caught as Kili placed his hand on his bare shoulder. He did not feel the pressure of the cloth as his concentration stayed on the fingers lightly pressing into his skin. He tried to steal a glimpse of Kili's eyes but found they were already focused on him. The air was so think between them that he felt he would have to swim to break away. Of course, being a Baggins, he did not know how to swim and was stuck in Kili's gaze.

"I know it's an ugly scar," Bilbo tried to laugh, "I wouldn't look at it if I didn't have to."

Kili's gaze broke and he looked down at the scar.

"No, it is not ugly," Kili stammered. "It's actually beautiful."

"You are mad," Bilbo whispered.

Kili shook his head and put the cloth on the nearby table. Taking a small step back, Kili took to his knees and placed one hand above the scar and another resting on Bilbo's hip. His eyes squinted as he peered over the scar for a few moments before looking up at Bilbo.

"I've further investigated and have come to the same conclusion." Kili hinted before leaving a small kiss right below the scar. "Scars are trophies won in battle. Wear it with pride…which I know you hobbits have much of."

Bilbo wanted nothing more than to have those lips meet his own. Kili's hands did not leave his body as he rose to the good foot taller that he was than Bilbo. His heart was racing and his thoughts fleeing. The lady in grey, the sword plunging him, stars, strawberries, Kili's promises…

"Alright then…"Bilbo muttered. "I'm just going to take a bath."

He turned to the healing waters to suppress the smile on his face. Although the kiss was strange it was exhilarating. His mind in a dizzy haze, he unbuttoned his breeches and let them fall to his ankles. It was then he recalled Kili was in the room. Turning quickly, he covered himself and spluttered out an apology.

"It's alright Boggins," Kili joked. "I've seen nude dwarves before."

"I am not a dwarf though," Bilbo declared as he took a step back. "I am a…"

His word was lost as he hit the rim of the bath and fell in. The healing waters were just high enough were he could comfortably sit in them and would only come up to knee height for a walking Elf. Falling in did not leave him in any danger but did cause a nasty bruise on his backside. Kili ran to the edge of the tub and grabbed his flapping arms.

"I'm fine!" Bilbo shouted.

He was conflicted. Being a Baggins forced him to pick pride yet the Took side of him begged for the idea of the exotic dwarf. He wasn't sure which lineage was going to win this fight. So he forced Kili's offer of help away and moved to the other end of the waters. Curse them for being so clear. He would have done anything for some soap to fill the tub with bubbles. Instead he was forced to cover his nether reigns with his hands. This all seemed to amuse the dwarf which in turned angered the hobbit. Kili began to further intrigue him as he unclipped his armor and began to remove his boots.

"What do you think you are doing?" Bilbo asked, moving to the farthest end of the tub.

"You've never bathed with another male before?" Kili laughed.

This dwarf was testing his patience.

"I've been told to bathe in these waters, Kili, and I don't think Master Elrond would appreciate you just jumping in and getting dirt everywhere. "

Kili shrugged and tore his shirt away. Bilbo felt his jaw fall and swiftly pushed it back up. Having grown up with hobbits Bilbo had never seen someone who looked like him. Deep muscles created by fighting were graced by dark hair from his chest to the rim of his pants. It took such strength for him to pull his eyes away.

"I think this 'Master Elrond' doesn't need to know," Kili cooed and slowly unbuttoned the first row of his pants. "Also, I believe I owe you a massage. I did promise."

Speechless and stunned, Bilbo's eyes didn't bother leaving Kili's hands. His hands pulled each button away from their loop until his pants were free to drop. Bilbo knew that Kili was enjoying his pleasure at the sight but even the Baggins' side was telling Bilbo to pay attention. Finally the pants fell to the floor and Kili entered the bath hurriedly.

"It's cold out there!" Kili laughed.

"Um…yes." Bilbo stuttered and found there was more than one reason for his hands to remain where they were.

"Turn around then," Kili said while making a twirling motion with his finger. "Back to me. I figure that you are still sore from your wound and I know how to take care of that."

Bilbo nodded and slowly turned his back to Kili. He had to manage his breathing and convince his mind stay focused when Kili began to massage the knots away from his back. So he let his shoulder relax and enjoyed the warmness of Kili's hardened palms and the soothing waters. Each grip Kili created was a breath of new life to his sore muscles. Awakening happened throughout his body as Kili explored it. Slowly they moved towards each other. Having started with Bilbo arm's length away, he now found himself nearly in Kili's lap. But as he just entered the deepest of relaxations with Kili rubbing his hips his respectability caught up with him.

"Whoa, whoa!" Bilbo hollered and jumped from the water and to the dry ground. He quickly snagged a towel and wrapped it around his middle.

"What happened?" Kili asked, standing and revealing himself for all to see.

"Don't get me wrong, it felt nice but…"Bilbo started but groaned when he caught sight of Kili's figure. This was too much, he decided, as he pulled his breeches up. "This is not appropriate."

"Then tell me what is appropriate?" Kili asked as he got out of the tub. "You leaving your home to journey with a bunch of dwarves you have never met because a man with a pointy hat told you do? This is your chance to do things you have never done before." Kili threw the towel away and pulled his own pants up. "Isn't that what you wanted? An adventure?"

In the simplest of ways that was the answer. It was what he had wanted. An adventure. A chance to be someone he wasn't. A chance to see the world and do things he had never done before. Everyone had to start somewhere. This was going to be his somewhere.

"May I kiss you?" Bilbo stuttered.

"Please," Kili urged and brought him up in his arms.

Bilbo had never kissed another person and wasn't sure what he was expecting. Bilbo's toes just touched the floor as Kili clung onto him. Kili's rough lips gripped his own and he let out his breath as he sunk into the kiss. Allowing his lips to mold into Kili's, he finally brought his arms around that strong neck. It was not as complicated as Bilbo had always imagined and came quite naturally. The next part was a bit of a surprise.

There was a grand difference between Bilbo and Kili's ages. Bilbo was grown and matured for a hobbit and having lost much of the childish practices and urges years before. Kili was still young for a dwarf and when the need hit him he acted upon it. So after their kiss, as Bilbo pulled away to say something, Kili found it would only be suitable to attack Bilbo was a much harder and passionate kiss. Bilbo opened his eyes in disbelief as Kili shoved him against the nearby table. Bilbo was unsure how to act as Kili pushed his body against his own. Their bare chests pressing against each other felt nice but slightly suffocating. It was when Kili grabbed Bilbo's leg and wrapped it around his waist that Bilbo knew he had to stop this before it went to far.

"Kili, calm down," Bilbo marveled still at how out of breath he was.

"Why?" Kili asked before kissing Bilbo's neck.

"Oh goodness that feels…no, Kili, we need to stop." Bilbo pulled away and considered the situation. "I am Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, a respectable hobbit of The Shire. Now here I am hundreds of miles away and doing thing I would have never done back home!"

"Without a shirt on as well," Kili chortled.

"With the nephew of Thorin Oakenshield no less!" Bilbo smirked. "Perhaps Gandalf was right. I do have some Took in me."

"We should bring that side out more," Kili grinned and placed a hand upon his cheek.

Bilbo smiled at the gesture. He wasn't sure how to proceed since he had never had a lover before. He had always been under the impression he would remain a respectable hobbit until his death but this adventure had brought out a different side to him. He wanted to live as he had not in the past. He wanted secret kisses from an admirer. He wanted to gaze upon a body and predict what he would do to it later. Finally fate had brought him that person in the form of a dwarf. True, Kili was young and this was dangerous, but Bilbo was willing to take the chance.

"We mustn't tell anyone about this," Bilbo disclosed. "I don't believe they would understand."

"Agreed." Kili's boyish grin failed to leave his face.

"We also must never make hint this is happening."

"Of course," Kili beamed before laying a kiss once again upon Bilbo's lips.

Bilbo smiled and realized how cold he was. Taking Kili's hand, he brought him to the foot of the large bed. With a tilt of his head, Bilbo crawled in and was pleased to see Kili following him.

"I've never had someone before," Bilbo shyly whispered as he pulled the covers around them.

"Never?" Kili said and rested his hand on Bilbo's covered hip. Bilbo shook his head. "Then I can't expect you to give me pleasure if you don't know what it feels like. I'll just have to show you."

Bilbo smiled and awkwardly placed his hand onto Kili's shoulder. Kili let out a moan and softly began kissing him. Their timing was sloppy at first but soon it became a dance. Kili tasted of smoke fire and Bilbo took in as much of it as he could. His hand swayed from the top of Kili's arm to his wrist and back. Their legs were tangled in each other and Kili would press his concealed hips against Bilbo's. They kept things slow and soon found that weariness was taking hold of them. The candles melted to wax and the flames were extinguished by the wind as the new lovers slept in each other's arms.

The sun was just waking as Bofur made his way to the healing room. Thorin had been told they must leave unnoticed in the early morning. Bofur elected to wake Bilbo and Kili as the rest of the company packed and waited just outside of Rivendell. Bofur was a jolly sort and never thought bad of anyone. So when he opened the door without knocking to the healing room he did not expect to find Bilbo seemingly nude wrapped in Kili's arms.

Bofur stood there for a moment, his eyebrows shot to the top of his head and his jaw to the floor. Taking a step back, he closed the door and thought for a moment. Kili was in bed with their burglar. Then he smiled.

"It could have always been an Elf," Bofur chuckled and set a rapid set of knocks upon the door.

A chorus of 'Just a minute!" sang from behind the door. Bofur kept to himself smiling. Although it was not known to their race to have relations with hobbits…or anyone else for that matter…Bofur figured it would all be fine. It wasn't harming him so why should it matter to him?

Bilbo came out first, his hair a bit muffled but his pack on his back and looking better than he had when they entered Rivendell. Kili came out after him and was still clipping up his armor.

"Oh, you smell nice there, Bilbo, taken a nice bath, have you?" Bofur said, enjoying the hobbit's embarrassed cheeks. "And you actually look clean Kili! Hopefully Master Baggins was giving you some lessons in cleanliness."

Kili muttered something under his breath and hurried them along. Bofur kept his smile wide and they made their way to the entrance where the rest of the company was kept. As they traveled the pathways, Bilbo's feet suddenly stopped and his eyes went wide. He looked as though he had seen a ghost.

"What is it lad?" Bofur asked, noting how quickly Kili raced back to Bilbo.

"It's just…."Bilbo did a double take before pointing to a balcony high above them. "That woman there with Gandalf…she was in my dreams."

"Are you sure?" Kili asked. "The sunrise may be tricking you."

"I've never been more certain," Bilbo said.

"If so, that would be the Lady Galadriel," Bofur explained. "She is here to see Gandalf. We really must be going, though."

With that the trio went off to meet the rest of the company and continue their journey. Bofur smiled at the lads as they walked side by side. He could see by the way Bilbo so openly talked to Kili that the hobbit was truly comfortable at last. He could also tell by Kili's smile that the dwarf completely adored the little thing. Also, Bofur couldn't help but notice Kili slipping out the name 'kitten' a time or two.

Bonus Scene:

"Lord Elrond, you must come quickly to the healing room!" Lindir pleaded. "Something horrible has happened!"

Elrond made haste to the room. The healing room was something of special importance to his people and if something were to happen to it he wasn't sure what he would do. Coming upon the room, he took in a deep breath before entering. Everything looked as if nothing had been touched saved for the slept in bed.

"Is this a joke, Lindir?" Elrond cocked his eyebrow. "I don't find this humorous."

"It is the tub..."Lindir pointed towards the waters.

Elrond slowly made his way to the tub and peered in. What he saw was pure horror. The waters still flowed clear but around the tub was a dark ring of grim and dirt. As if a dwarf had been in the waters...

"Gandalf!" Elrond shouted so loudly that the birds flew away from nearby trees and the grazing deer slunk back into the woods.

Gandalf, who had just finished talking to Galadriel, heard the call and knew it could not be good. Pushing the brim of his hat over his eyes, Gandalf hurriedly tried to escape the wrath of the angry Elven Lord.