Hello again, I would apologize for my ridiculously late updating, but then again a wizard is never late or too early ;) Nonetheless, thank you all for being so patient and supportive of me. Anyways, I read in one of the reviews they'd like to see Thorin's point of view, and as I liked the suggestion I took it up, so here it is, its pretty short, but I hope you enjoy this chapter and do leave your thoughts about it! I always enjoy reading your opinions :)
Patience. It is an interesting concept, and one Thorin vastly lacked. Stubbornness, on the other hand, was something he had in large quantities, like any other proud dwarf.
But patience…hardly any dwarves had it. Thorin was proud to say that he knew one who had it, Fili may have his moments, but if there was anything that could describe the boy, Thorin would call him patient, and he was hopeful for his nephew's rule in future after he perished.
Yes, that's how it would have been. Reclaim Erebor, or die trying. Thorin hadn't had much hope for a future for himself. For his people? Plenty, but not for himself. Why should he? His father and mother were dead, so was his brother, and to his sister he was but a reminder of what she'd lost.
He remembers her grief so clearly, its so bittersweet it still hurts. Thorin would never admit it to anyone, not even to himself, but he'd shed more tears in the silence of the dark than one could possibly be able to, but it was in the comfort of solitude that he found a resolve to his broken soul.
He'd take back Erebor, whatever its cost.
The Shire was not any more different than the human lands he'd witnessed, and was slightly revolted with its habitants, all giving him dirty looks as he made his way through the green lands. How dare they lay eyes upon him as if he were a mere scum?!
He was King of the mountain, king of Erebor, and son of Thrain!
He questioned the validity of the infamous Bilbo Baggins. Never had the Halflings ever seem to be useful other than for eating, and to say he was skeptical was an utter understatement. Thoughts of what could possibly go wrong swarmed his mind, and little did his harsh opinion change when he talked to the Halfling.
That's what he'd thought.
"You have heavy bags under your eyes."
His eyes do not move to look at the Halfling, his eyes vaguely focusing on the Shire. But that did not falter the hobbit's will or curiosity, who cleared his throat and spoke higher. "Do you not sleep well?"
"I don't like sleeping." Snapped Thorin, his mind questioning why nobody had pulled the hobbit away from his side, then he remembered that most had left to the Inn or were packing whatever food the hobbit had left—which dare he say, was a surprising amount of food for one small Halfling to have.
"I've heard nightmares are horrid." Spoke the Halfling casually. Something in Thorin clicked.
He couldn't be possibly be suggesting…
The leader of the company had had enough, and Thorin turned his head ever so slowly, to meet Bilbo's curious gaze, utterly annoyed by the others relentlessness. "I don't have nightmares, Halfling."
"I never said you did." Bilbo answered with a dry, sheepish smile. But an honest one. Honesty, now there was something he hadn't seen in a while, outside from the company. "Hopefully, they will be soon gone."
"They will never be gone." Muttered Thorin. His voice deepened, full of remorse, guilt and regret.
"Well, there's nothing a good pack of weed and tea fail to comfort." Added Bilbo in a matter of fact manner, making the wizard choke on his pipe, he knew Bilbo had good intentions, but his comment might not have the same effect on the king. And so he was yet again correct as Thorin pursed his lips into the thinnest, straightest line. Patience, a part of his mind whispered.
"Are you jesting with me, Halfling?" He growled threatening, making the hobbit finally take a few steps back in fear.
"Me? No! No, no, no!" Replied the other, wailing his arms before him and his eyebrows furrowing together, and Thorin quickly acknowledged his honesty, and for a moment the king of the mountain was taken aback by Bilbo's persona. The hobbit was being painfully nice, unlike many of his kin, to the point it was unbearable, and here Thorin was, treating Bilbo like garbage.
Thorin internally sighed. There was no need to be rude to the hobbit, in the end, he would not come along.
"Oh would you look at the time." Commented Bilbo, looking out the door, which Thorin followed his gaze to look at the pitch darkness. "I suppose I'd better not keep you any longer, you do have a long quest before you."
"Indeed." Part of him was grateful, yet another…
"Then I guess this is goodbye. Well then, it was a pleasure meeting you, Thorin Oakenshield, may you be victorious in your quest."
Thorin watched the hobbit leave the room.
Useless…he thought. Little had his opinion of the hobbits use changed but…but then why did he want Bilbo to come along?
They had endured so much considering of how little time had passed, and no matter how many times Thorin had tried to keep the hobbit out of his mind he had utterly failed to do so. He didn't find him fascinating, beautiful or anything outstandingly in that matter, but that just made it harder for him to understand, why did he enjoy the hobbit's company so much?
He reached out for it whenever the opportunity offered itself.
He hated it…this feeling of absolutely obliviousness. Why? Why? When their gazes met….the strangest emotions surged. He didn't know if they were good or bad, he just knew they were ambiguous as the state of Erebor.
And the face Bilbo made when they reached Rivendell ignited something in him he could not understand or describe. It was something similar to hate, vaguely similar, not as strong, not as wretched. But an acute burning, a little box in the back of his head, whispered the darkest and foulest things.
'Bilbo Baggins would side with the elves rather than us!'
So many things wretched in his mind, so mild and evil it seemed impossible that Bilbo was the origin of such feelings. Or was he really? His hate for elves had mingled so deep into his persona that it eventually became part of him.
Elves, they had betrayed his father, his grandfather and his people, they would surely turn on him, Bilbo would surely turn his back on him. He was certain!
He didn't understand why he cared so much about Bilbo's allegiance; he was no great swordsman, or burglar for that matter, or archer, or scoundrel…he was nothing really, but then again Bilbo was not entirely lacking of courage, bravery or willingness.
Bilbo Baggins was something else.
"Say Mr. Baggins, what is it about the elves you find so fascinating?" Asked Fili with curiosity, making Bilbo the center of attention, who had been sitting by Balin eating his food silently, until Fili disturbed him with the question; a question he was eager to give an answer to.
"What isn't there to like about them?" Retorted Bilbo. "Everything about them is sublime."
"Specify, Halfling." Thorin challenged.
"Heh, maybe their alikeness in their ridiculous, pointy ears!" Commented Dwalin, taking a savage bite of the sausage, poking Fili with his elbow, the blond shyly smiling at his elder before he focused on the hobbit once again.
Bilbo frowned and can't help to reach over to feel his own ears, suddenly feeling self-conscious.
"There are several things about elves that make them fascinating, and their ears have nothing to do with it!" Pointed out Bilbo in a matter of fact manner, while the dwarves looked at each other in confusion—whatever Bilbo saw in elves was beyond their grasp, therefore, Bilbo expanded. "They are beautiful, gentle, soft, sweet and very, very, very well-mannered."
"You mean they are a bunch of wussies." Gloin pointed out mockingly. "They aren't strong or powerful like us!"
"Their food is a joke, no wonder they are so skinny. I could break their little figure with two of my fingers." Said Dwalin, snapping his fingers, and Bilbo believed him. Nothing could stand a chance to Dwalin, the man was an absolute brute.
"I believe their food to be quite balanced." Defended Bilbo and took another mushroom into his mouth, humming out in pleasure as well as enjoying the disturbed expression on the dwarves—it was as if he was eating the most disgusting thing in the world. "It's healthy, you all should learn the definition of the word…especially you Bombur."
Bombur stopped eating to process Bilbo's statement, but then shrugged and kept on eating with joy.
"There's nothing wrong with being oversized, master hobbit."Ori stepped in and Bilbo immediately stopped eating and his eyes shot open. He blinked once, twice, and then tilted his head down to look at his body, then back up to Ori and blushed in embarrassment.
"Oversized? Are you calling me fat?"
The dwarves laugh again, making Bilbo's blush only deepen. He was aware he'd gained a few pounds in the good life at Bag End, but he didn't think it was that bad. He cleared his throat. "Either way, I wonder if its their eating habbits that help them reach such height. They're even taller than humans, or so Gandalf has told me."
"Yes, I agree, they're abnormally tall, are they compensating for something?" Dwalin snorted, pulling his hand up and wiggling his little finger, making the company burst into laughter. "Oh! Oh! I wouldn't be surprised if they did, they all look like women! Poor beardless lads! Have they no shame?"
Bilbo frowned and brushed a hand over his chin. He couldn't remember if any sort of facial hair had sprouted as of late, then again, he couldn't remember any hobbit having more hair than they did in their lower regions, especially their feet. Did that count? He'd have to ask Balin afterwards, in private.
"Maybe that's what the hobbit likes; Feminine men." Adds Gloin.
Bilbo had to spit out everything that was in his mouth, there was no helping it, that statement was enough to give any hobbit a heart attack.
"Oh, he reacts! So it is indeed true!" Laughed Fili, while Balin patted Bilbo's back, comforting the choking hobbit.
"I do not like feminine men!"
"Oh, so manly men then?" Ventured Kili, thick eyebrow arched, joined by his brother who tweaked his brows playfully.
"No!" Bilbo was less than comfortable talking about this matter. Yes, he'd been with women, he liked them, but men... didn't seem all that bad-Oh, shut it Took! What was there about men that he could possibly find appealing? They are sweaty, hairy, muscular, tough... He felt like dying there and then when he realized he'd spoken his mind. "Elven women and men are beautiful, I just appreciate what both genders offer." Bilbo facepalmed. Just shut up, Bilbo, shut up. "I do not like feminine or hairy men, I just like elves, and that's the end of this conversation!" Bilbo soon changed the subject. "How are your women like?"
"Ha! All dwarf women look like men." Chortles Kili. "I wouldn't be surprised if they grew a beard any time soon!" Gaining a glare from his uncle that obviously translated into; Watch it, your mother's a dwarf.
"You're just jealous, my little Kili, that you have no beard." Teased Fili, who showed off his beard like a treasured price, making Kili hunch slightly before he came up with a smart remark.
"I'm still the handsomest one between the two of us, brother." He smiled wickedly, the dwarves whistling and taunting at the youngest's bold response, and Fili pointed at him with a playful grin.
"True that! Soon we won't be fighting orcs, but women demanding your hand in marriage."
Bilbo laughed along with the company as the dwarves began joking around with the other members, retelling stories from their youth, forgetting the previous matter, talking about their mothers and their memories of a younger Thorin, a man that remained as the one much like today, but—in the words of Kili—much more youthful and handsomer, making Bilbo conclude that Thorin's crankiness was not a thing of age. Which made another question pop up, how old was Thorin? Thorin was said to be old, but olthe definition of 'old' may not be the same to dwarves as if was to hobbits.
"You hold elves in high regard, Halfling." Bilbo was slightly startled by the close proximity of the dwarf king, but quickly composed himself. "You don't seem to appreciate us in the same manner."
"I just happen to like the elves more than your kin." Bilbo had to add more, if he'd left it like that Thorin would have certainly beheaded him.
"What?" He hissed.
"I didn't mean to sound rude! But where I come from, manners and gentleness are highly expected from one, and it's obvious that our cultures are extremely different. You head bang, while we shake hands, you burp while we compliment, and you're inconsiderate of many, while we have to consider everyone. The elven culture and our own is closer than that of dwarves." Thorin crossed his arms, and nodded as if taking note of some valid, important information. Bilbo tapped his fingers and suddenly he felt something hurt, nostalgia? He sighed, a saddened glance fixing on his face, and looked at the night sky. "It's not that I dislike dwarves, no, not at all! It's just that...I suppose I miss being treated like a respectable gentleman rather than a useless burglar."
"I didn't know our treatment upsets you."
"Not upsetting, more like, unsettling." Explained Biblo, looking back down to Thorin, spotting something unfamiliar in the hardened dwarf. "It reminds me that I'm far from home." Bifur offered him a drink, Bilbo took it, then moved to give another to Thorin, who rejected it, and instead handed it over to Nori, who was more than grateful for it. "But I guess I'm being unfair, my king. You've been away from your home far longer than I have. I'm sure you must miss it as much as I miss mine." He offers the king a shy, compassionate smile then quickly turned his gaze away, absolutely missing the relaxation of Thorin's face muscles to reveal a little smile, barely visible under his beard.
The dwarves cheer for something Bilbo didn't quite catch and drink, most of them had their drinks spill from the side of their lips, spilling over their coats and chest. They remove the cups, and as soon as they did there was a symphony of burps.
"Bah! This ale tastes like orc piss!" Growled Dwalin.
"How would you know what orc piss tastes like, aye?" Asked Oin, appareantly innocently but everyone could see the evil in his eyes.
"Yeh, how do you know?" Ventured Bofur, making some of the dwarves stare intently at the warrior, try to push him for an answer. Bilfur said something in dwarfish and all laughed, except Dwalin and of course, Thorin, who had the strongest poker face of them all.
"What did he say?" Asked Bilbo to Balin, who shook his head in disbelief yet couldn't contain a smile.
"Obscenities, my young lad."
Bilbo turned to Thorin and pointed at Bifur as if making an example of his previous point. "See what I'm talking about?"
"I would believe you hobbits closer in our mannerism than that of elves." Argued Thorin. Making conversation between them rise once again, which Bilbo found to be quite pleasant, unlike what he had believed days before, which had been the primary reasons why he'd kept out of Thorin's way most of the time.
"Some would say we have a little bit of all. Though I would say that we hobbits do is keep out of trouble, live comfortable lives and ignore the problems of the world."
"So you live in ignorance?" Thorin concluded bluntly.
"I wouldn't put it in such term, but to answer your question, yes, we keep to ourselves most of the time." Except the Took's, their problem was poking their nose in anythiing that they saw. Bilbo had part of it, but could keep his curiosity in a leash.
"So you've never been outside of your…Shire, before?"
Bilbo shook his head. "This is my first adventure, it is frightening as well as exciting experience, nonetheless, I'm glad I took this opportunity. I would have no other company other than the one I have now." He took another sip of his drink, and most of the dwarves burped in contentment, making Bilbo wince. "Though I wouldn't mind a change in manners."
"Keep dreaming, lad. That'll never happen with this lot." Informed Balin with a wink. Bilbo sighed. Dwarves had to be known for something, besides their lack of wits. Well, Thorin and Balin were exceptions, likeable exceptions. But he knew he was still not respected by either, to them he simply was a liability, if not a fool, and he intended to proove them otherwise, especially Thorin.