A/N- I don't own anything. This idea came up half-way through my previous story and I wondered; Why not? And, as I have time to spare, I immediately got started on it. Hope you enjoy what's up so far! Smaug smiles and grants mercy to those who review :)
1. A Baggins but a Took too
It was quiet, like always. Unlike it had been when those twelve dwarves had swarmed his home. Bilbo sneaked around his little hobbit hole, making absolutely certain that the dwarves had indeed left and were not sleeping around. Indeed, they were gone and he was surprised to find that everything had been left in absolute order, as if nothing had happened. The only thing that proved that the wizard and the dwarves' visit had been indeed real where two things: his empty larder, and the scroll waiting for his signature.
Bilbo couldn't take his eyes of the paper, staring at Thorin and Balin's signature, inviting him, tempting his curious side. Bilbo shook his head. No, no, this adventure promised to be dangerous, uncomfortable and very, very long. Gandalf had said so, there was no promise for his return. Was his curiosity worth his life? All of the dwarves had been trained at least in some art of fighting, while he knew nothing, and they suffered the same risks that he did. What could possibly stop him from being the first to die? Nothing and no one!
He took the scroll, skimmed through it lazily and started walking to the exit of his house and buy some supplies, he opened the door and was met with the tranquility and silence of the Shire. The too tranquil town where he'd spent all of his childhood, growth and if he didn't move out, would be his place of death. Yes, the life and death of any respectable and common hobbit should have.
His home was higher than the rest so he had a perfect sight towards the horizon, to the hills and trees that hid whatever was behind them. Hiding this tranquil, calm place from whatever was forth.
Too tranquil. Too calm. Too quiet. Too boring…
What was out there? Desire and curiosity started to arise in him. Just like when he was a child and ventured into the woods in the search of elves. Yes, he remembered, part of him now still wanted to wander, while the other bickered. He remembered how dissapointed he would come back to these walls at finding nothing, hours and hours of search to come back empty handed, to only listen to great adventures and stories books told.
And now, he was being offered to take part in an adventure and... he rejected it?
He was not only a Baggins of Bad End of the Shire, he was also a Took. Within moments Bilbo looked at the paper in his hands and without further words he closed the door and readied a bag with clothing and provisions. He sat on his desk and with feather in hand he started to fill in the missing space, his mind and body overflowing with adrenaline.
When done, he took off, running through the grass, passing by neighbors, houses and harvest, caring little for the disapproving glances he got from many, as only one thought ruled in his mind; he was going on an adventure! He would see what was beyond the Shire! He ran and ran, following the trail that lead away from the Shire, and the beginning of his adventure, a smile on his face as the paper flapped with the wind. He just hoped they weren't too far, or he wouldn't be able to catch up to them.
"Wait! Wait!" He screamed as he faintly spotted the dwarves. At the sound of his voice they stopped and Bilbo soon caught up to them. He slowed down, catching his breath and pushed his chest forward, like a proud peacock as he lifted his arm. "I signed it! I signed it!"
Some were surprised, others seemed to disapprove and minority just didn't really care, but Bilbo did not miss Gandalf's smile as he handed the paper to Balin, who turned to Thorin to confirm the validity of Bilbo's words.
Bilbo loturned to Thorin, not knowing what to expect, perhaps see delight or satisfaction, he waited and waited but the dwarf gave no noticeable expression, just the same hardened blank face. "Give him a pony." He ordered and turned to keep on his way, and Bilbo hated to say it, but that slight fact of unimportance hurt him more than he believed it would.
"No, there's no need for that. I can walk." Argued the hobbit, obviously scared to mount these four legged creatures, but the dwarves wouldn't hear and in a blink of an eye, he found himself sitting on a pony, Myrtle her name was.
"I'm glad you came, my dear Bilbo." Gandalf hummed as joined the terrified Bilbo's side, who had his fingers locked on the pony's rails like his life depended on it. He was then startled by a set of small bags been thrown over, tingling as they flied and landed. He inquired and Gandalf chukled. "They made wagers to see if you'd come or not."
"What about you Gandalf?" Asked the hobbit, quite hurt that not many thought he'd come, the wizard made a blank face, ignoring Bilbo's, who was imagining the worst, until he stretched his arm and caught a little bag, a smile on his face.
"I never doubted you, my boy."
Bilbo smiled along with the wizard.
"What was that?!" Gasped Bilbo, scooping his surroundings like an eagle, Fili and Kili looked at each other, their frisky intent obvious to all but tired Bilbo.
"Orcs." Whispered Kili, taking a bite of bread. "They attack during night when no one is aware, when you're most weak, and leave nothing, not even bones. They say they have a taste for hobbit meat, you should be careful Mr. Baggins."
Bilbo gulped loudly, his fear growing evidently, his back glued to the stone wall. He then jumped in fright when the two dwarves burst out into laughter, making Bilbo realize they had been toying with him. He frowned and was about to say something, but Thorin's words devoured his own.
"Do you think it's funny?" He snapped, making theyoung dwarves cease their laughter and look wide-eyed at their uncle. "Orcs are nothing to laugh about."
Bilbo found Thorin's anger intimidating and threatening, yet he couldn't understand, why so much hatred towards orcs? Not like he was defending them, no. he just wondered, and Balin told him.
The story of how Azog, the pale orc, lead the armies of orcs against the dwarves, beginning the vicious battle over Mordor. How he beheaded and killed Thorin's grandfather, Thror, and almost succeeded to kill Thorin as well, and how in the end the young dwarf prevailed and lead them to victory but had lost many in the battle, including his brother; Frerin.
Then Bilbo understood, Thorin was one who had endured much in his life; exiled from his home by Smaug the Terrible, betrayed by allies, and rightful king of the people of Erebor. Thorin was a man with many burdens and emotional scars.
"There is one, I would follow." Finished Balin, admiration obvious in his voice as Thorin stood before him, back towards the group, his blue eyes staring into the horizon, filled with several emotions, good and bad, yet determined. "There is one that deserves to be called king."
And Bilbo couldn't help but agree. Thorin was not an usual dwarf, and that just made him much more reliable and respectable. Bilbo had never met anyone like these dwarves before, let alone anyone as fascinating like Thorin Oakenshield.
Everyone was asleep, except for Bilbo, who found it difficult to sleep in the harsh mountain floor, rocky and harsh, nothing compared to his warm bed back in the Shire. He turned and twisted his body to try and make the uncomfortability bearable, but in the end, he gave up and decided to poke the camp fire with a stick, entertaining himself more than he believed he would, unaware that two set of blue eyes were staring at him from the darkness.
"You should sleep, Halfling. We will leave first hour of the day." Thorin made his presence known, stepping out of the shadows, startling Bilbo. "We will not wait for you."
Bilbo stuttered. "I understand, but it's not like I'm awake because I wish to."
Thorin rose an eyebrow.
"You see I've never slept outside before. And to be quite honest I'm not liking it much either. It's rather uncomfortable…and cold." He shivered violently, pulling himself closer to the fire to warm up. Thorin glared at the hobbit for longer, who was himself peeking at the king from the corner of his eyes, not knowing what to do.
"You'll get used to it." Commented Thorin and took a seat by the fire, taking out his sword and running thick, calloused fingers through the smooth metal. Ignoring Bilbo who now took his turn to stare at the older dwarf in the most obvious manner. They remained like that for a while, until Thorin spoke again. "Is there something you want?"
"Oh, no, not at all."
"Then why are you staring at me?" Bilbo was surprised that even if they weren't making eye contact, he could still feel threatened by the gruff, deep voice. Everything about Thorin was intimidating, and screamed danger. "Am I amusing or what?"
"No! Anything but that!" Oh, be quiet, you fool, don't make him angrier! Bilbo internally slapped himself. "I just find you interesting." And fascinating. "You are not like most dwarves."
Thorin stopped tending his sword and lifted his face to make their eyes meet. Bilbo immediately froze, not daring to move a muscle. "Do you know all dwarves?"
"Then how do you know I'm not like most of them?" Bilbo knew that Thorin was just making that question to make Bilbo realize how stupid his previous statement had been, which made him flush all the way to his ears. Never, ever, had anyone made him feel embarrassed or stupid, and here was Thorin, treating him like a child.
"I was trying to make a compliment by making a comparison to what I read of your kind, which is not extraordinary—mind you— and to the rest of the company—which truly hasn't amazed me either."
"We're not here to impress you, hobbit." Hissed Thorin, sheathing his sword back in place and moving over to examine his infamous oak-shield, leaving Bilbo gaping, mouth hanging in a lack of words.
Things obviously weren't going as he had planned, he was trying to get on Thorin's good side, but it seemed that when he opened his mouth, his Took side took over and spilled whatever stupidity came in mind. If he was succeeding at something, that something was making Thorin hate his guts.
Bilbo sighed. "That's not what I meant! This-this is obviously coming out all wrong. What I meant to say, is that you stand out from the rest, you are admirable and I believe your people would do well with a leader such as yourself to learn from."
"I understood the compliment; it is appreciated but not necessary." Said Thorin, his voice soft and accessible, something Bilbo couldn't think possible. Then, the unimaginable happened, Thorin smiled. Smiled at him! "Why is your face red?"
"It's not." Blabbered Bilbo, a hand over to his face, trying to hide the blush that had crept over his face. Confused and dazed he hid in the shadows; why on earth was he blushing? It was just a simple smile. Just a smile, for Baggins' sake! It's not the first time someone did so! Gandalf did it, Balin too, Kili and Fili as well!
"I know what I saw." Accused the dwarf, his confusion obvious.
"It must be the cold." Lamely lied Bilbo, eyes away from Thorin as he tried to calm himself. Suddenly, he had something heavy and warm fall over his shoulders, and Bilbo whipped his head to turn over and Thorin returning to his seat, his coat gone, the same coat was now hanging loosely on Bilbo's shoulders. "You can give it back by morning."
Bilbo was about to say so otherwise, but then his shivering body made his jaw click shut. "Thank you, how kind of you." He said, it was the most polite thing to say at the moment, and Thorin made no further comments, making silence rule between them again.
"How old are you, Halfling?"
Thorin's eyes grew wide. "You're young."
"Young? Why, thank you, I am told I do look rather youthful, but in the Shire I am considered a mature hobbit."
"That's not what I meant. Fili and Kili are over twenty five years older than you, and they are children in our eyes." Explained Thorin.
"Oh." No wonder everyone treated him as if he were a child, to them he was indeed a child. How awkward, strange and interesting. "Yes, well, maturity is also defined by one's wisdom and mind, not simple age."
"Fifty years of wisdom is not the same as hundred fifty years of wisdom."
"You have experienced more than I, but that doesn't exactly mean expansion of knowledge. Age is irrelevant." Concluded Bilbo.
"Your knowledge and wisdom will always remain limited nonetheless. With time comes change, in change comes experience, from experience you gain knowledge, and from knowledge wisdom. Age is relevant. You wouldn't understand, you can't even live beyond a couple of changes; your life is too short, you'll die before you can witness one."
Bilbo gasped, frowned and then pouted. "That remark was unnecessary, just plain rude in fact."
"It's the truth." Thorin belittled, and Bilbo felt like he was being scolded like child, which he hated. He certainly was not a child!
"Yes, well, I'm sorry I can't live beyond a hundred years to biker to youngsters about my adventures and great deeds." Bilbo stood up, towering over the dwarf, who looked at him lazily. "You may be a great king and all, but I will not let you treat me like a child. I am a Baggins, and I will be treated as such!"
With that he turned on his heels and walked over to his sleeping spot, his back boldly facing Thorin as he accomodated himself. Pushing the thought that Thorin might kill him for his insubordination to the darkest corner of his mind. Hobbits might be lazy, but they are not stupid, and they certainly have their pride, and Bilbo was certainly going to protect it. The hobbit gave out a yawn, closed his eyes and ignored the dwarf's gaze burning his back and tugged the coat around himself, finding it rather warming and soft.
Thorin's coat smelled of wood and grass, just like he'd expected it so, and for some reason he liked it and reminded him of the Shire, with that thought in mind he cuddled in it, and soon found his sleep. Absolutely oblivious that Gandalf had been awake the whole time, amused by the hobbit's boldness.
End Chapter 1