The last chapter. This one was a bit awkward to write, because my little sister (still too young to even understand the difference between "a" and "the" (those don't exist in Finnish)) kept appearing from somewhere and demanding to know what I was writing and why I was writing "a stupid story in English" when I could be painting Easter Eggs with her. (I did, eventually, paint some eggs with her, so don't worry.) Hopefully you'll enjoy this fic more than my little sister and hopefully it's less awkward for you to read than it was for me to write. :D

Thank you for everyone who has given me feedback while writing this story. The reviews have been lovely and cheered me up a lot. So thank you! And a special thank you to 80icrazy80 who has supported me so much when writing this story! :)


"This truly has been a day of surprises," Bilbo agreed, plucking Thorin's robes a bit, trying to pull the tense king closer, "but surely not all of the surprises have been unpleasant, have they. I don't think they have. There have been many pleasant surprises as well, have there not."

Thorin's hands felt large and calloused when they enfolded Bilbo's much slender wrists. With a deep sigh, Thorin tugged the insistently plucking hands off his robes.

"First," Thorin said, studying the soft hands in his hold, "first, Bilbo, Fili barged into my chambers uninvited and unwelcome, interrupting all of my Acts of Repentance in order to insist that I should go to talk with you – which I eventually did, trusting him and his assessment of the situation. Then, once I had made a complete fool of myself by loitering in front of the royal healing chamber for almost half an hour, wondering what I could possibly say to you, I finally gathered myself and knocked on the door – only to cause you further injury, only to make you bleed."

Thorin's gaze flickered briefly to Bilbo's – thankfully unbruised – nose, before it was determinedly focused on Bilbo's hands once more. Thorin lifted the hands up to his face and pressed his lips against the knuckles of Bilbo's left hand. He did it slowly, gently, almost hesitantly, as if he was afraid that Bilbo would get frightened of his touch and pull away.

When Bilbo didn't flinch but leaned into the touch, Thorin seemed to gain more confidence and let his lips graze the knuckles of Bilbo's right hand as well.

"After that," the king continued, his voice but a murmur, "I found out that my love for you had gone unnoticed, that all of my declarations of dedication had been for nothing. To put it mildly, halfling, I fail to see how any of the surprises of today have been anything other than unpleasant."

Bilbo sighed and gave his friend a sympathetic smile, one that went unreturned.

"It does seem like I was the one who had all the pleasant surprises," he had to agree, "with not getting banished and with being courted by you and with... with everything. But perhaps, if you would allow it, I could give you at least one pleasant surprise to make today's other surprises less unpleasant?"

With a wary look upon his face, Thorin tightened his hold around Bilbo's wrists.

"A... surprise," Thorin repeated slowly, managing to sound both cautious and reluctantly curious at once. "A pleasant surprise, you say. Bilbo, if you are thinking that it would be a 'pleasant' surprise to turn invisible and to disappear again, I must ask you to reconsider: never disappear again. Once was distressing enough."

"I wasn't planning on disappearing again," Bilbo promised – before he suddenly froze, realizing what had been just said: Disappearing. Turning invisible.

The Ring!

Bilbo felt his breath catching in his throat when the Ring suddenly filled his thoughts. How could he have forgotten about his magic ring? Where was it? Did Thorin still have it? Had Thorin found out about its power?

Thorin didn't seem to notice Bilbo's sudden freezing, as all the tension drained from his shoulders upon hearing Bilbo's promise not to disappear again. Thorin let out a relieved breath and gave Bilbo a brilliant, affectionate smile, running his thumbs up and down the bottoms of Bilbo's palms.

"Speaking of disappearing," Bilbo said slowly, lifting his gaze from the stroking thumbs up to Thorin's gentle eyes, "do you happen to know where my Ring has disappeared to? Fili said you found it in the Guarding Level and put it into your pocket."

A dark expression passed Thorin's face and Bilbo was unexpectedly pulled against the king's chest into a warm and protective embrace.

"Yes, I found that thing," Thorin said, his voice full of disdain, while Bilbo couldn't help but pet the large chest absent-mindedly, pleasantly surprised to be suddenly hold so firmly against it. "Surely you don't want it back, Bilbo? In fact, you cannot have it back, as I destroyed it this morning."

"Wh- Thorin, you what?" Bilbo sputtered, his warm cheek pressed against the cool surface of one of Thorin's silver chains. "You destroyed my Ring? Why in Aulë would you do such a thing?"

Thorin shifted on his feet awkwardly, but his arms were still secure around Bilbo.

"I had my reasons," Thorin coughed. "I'm perfectly aware that this may sound slightly... senseless and even quite a bit sentimental, but whenever my gaze fell upon that cursed ring, my mind was filled with horrible voices, with your harrowing cries and Fili and Kili's voices pleading me to keep their kingdom safe, to secure their future, 'no matter the price'. Then I heard... Then I heard other things as well, things I certainly had no desire to listen to. I know it was your ring and I hope that it didn't have too much sentimental value to you, but I knew – I know – for a fact that I didn't and don't want that thing anywhere near my kingdom or my people. It is better that it is now destroyed."

Bilbo didn't know whether he should have frowned or raised his eyebrows at Thorin's words. It was all very typical Thorin: now that Gur and the crickets were dead and, thus, unable to face Thorin's wrath, Thorin needed something else that he could take his anger out on. After his own bedchamber had been destroyed, the golden ring Gur had been fascinated by was probably the most suitable target for Thorin's hate and anger. For Thorin, the ring had been, after all, just an ordinary ring, while Bilbo was aware of its real power, of its rare ability to turn its wearer invisible.

Bilbo was also very much aware of the fact that the Ring couldn't actually talk. If Thorin had truly believed that it could, he must have been very anxious, worn and under a horrible amount of pressure to think that his fears were being voiced by a cursed ring.

Oh, poor, poor Thorin.

"How, exactly," Bilbo said, keeping his voice as calm and soothing as he could, "did you destroy my Ring?"

"I threw it in the fireplace," Thorin grumbled and Bilbo couldn't help but stretch his neck to look at the fireplace, at the grey ashes and the dying embers. "I threw it in the orange flames. It must have melted by now, but once the fireplace is cold enough, I will make personally certain that that is, indeed, the case. I will rest more easily when I have seen the melted gold myself. That ring... it wasn't a particularly good ring, Bilbo, believe me. It is certainly better that you don't have it anymore."

Bilbo hummed thoughtfully and pressed his ear against Thorin's chest. While listening to the steady heartbeats, he formed a quick plan in his mind.

If the magic ring truly had melted in the fireplace, Bilbo would take the melted gold and ask Gloin – or Dori, perhaps – to make him a new one with it. Perhaps the gold would still have certain magical abilities, even in its new form. On the other hand, if the Ring had somehow managed to survive the heat of the flames, all Bilbo would have to do was to find the Ring before Thorin did. If the Ring hadn't melted, Bilbo would take it and hide it in his pocket, before finding another golden ring in its place and melting it for Thorin to find. That way, Bilbo would have his Ring and Thorin would have a melted ring and they would both be happy.

Bilbo loathed to deceive Thorin like that, but sometimes Thorin could be so unreasonable: really, destroying such a precious ring because Thorin was angry, because he felt that he needed to avenge Bilbo – by Mahal, that would have been such a waste of a fine magic ring!

Bilbo would explain everything to Thorin, one day, when the king was in a more reasonable state.

Thorin cleared his throat, interrupting Bilbo's plannings.

"I shall, of course, make you another ring to wear," Thorin promised. "One with more pleasant memories attached to it. I hope it will be to your liking. Consider it your betrothal ring, a token of my love and affections."

"I will look forward to wearing it," Bilbo said, feeling delighted at the prospect. "But in the meantime, my love, I would really like to give you a pleasant surprise, if only you would allow me to do that."

"Certainly," Thorin said, sounding relieved – probably because Bilbo hadn't yelled at him for destroying the Ring, "as long as you don't disappear while giving me this 'pleasant surprise'. Although, we do need to talk about the gift of the hobbits eventually, Bilbo. I need to know under what circumstances you can turn invisible and why it sometimes appears that you are unable to do so. Information like that might turn out to be crucial for us in the future and I do need to write it in my book."

"Oh, um," Bilbo said, flushing and ashamed of himself, ashamed of not having told Thorin the truth about the 'gift of the hobbits' – apparently, Thorin hadn't found out about the Ring's ability, if he still thought that hobbits could turn invisible at will. "Er, Thorin, that will be quite a long conversation. Could we, perhaps, have that particular conversation some time... later?"

'Later' meaning the time after Bilbo had found out whether 'the gift of the hobbits' had melted in the fireplace and whether Thorin was still inclined to destroy the said gift if it turned out that it hadn't melted.

Frowning, Thorin hugged Bilbo closer to his chest.

"As you wish," Thorin murmured, his breath hot and wet against Bilbo's forehead. "We can talk about the gift of the hobbits later. I am planning on spending the rest of my life with you by my side, after all, so there should be plenty of time for us to have conversations – as well as mutual silence, of course. I do enjoy our mutual silences, as you well know."

Bilbo did know and he really, really liked their mutual enjoyment of their peaceful, companionably silent moments. If Thorin didn't have something to say, he prefered to stay silent, which was something Bilbo had gradually grown to love about him (although it could get quite frustrating too, at times).

But really, oh, how he loved Thorin!

"That I really do!" Bilbo blurted.

"Love you, Thorin, that is," he added and Thorin's frown smoothed down, turning into a look of silent, barely contained joy.

"My headstrong halfling," Thorin said affectionately, his eyes sparkling with happiness. "My affections for you are deep and most sincere as well: If you so asked, I would slaughter you so many orcs and goblins that you could make a mountain of their skulls. If you asked, I would mine rubies and sapphires and diamonds, all for you, and place them into the eye orbits of the skulls in your skull mountain for you to admire."

Bilbo winced.

"That's not necessary," he said, grimacing. "Really, Thorin. I don't want a mountain made of skulls. But thank you, anyway. As you have, once again, tried to surprise me pleasantly, I do think that it is now my turn to give you a pleasant surprise."

"A pleasant surprise would be greatly appreciated, I believe," Thorin agreed. "Feel free to make my day better by surprising me – pleasantly – any time you wish."

"I think I will," Bilbo mused, "but first, I just have to think of a way to surprise you, as I haven't exactly planned anything beforehand. Hmm, let me see..."

Frowning, Bilbo considered all the things he could do to surprise Thorin in a pleasant way. In the end, there really was only one surprise that Bilbo considered pleasant enough for Thorin, under the circumstances – a kiss.

Bilbo wriggled in Thorin's arms, until he was facing the king and could press their bodies properly together. Thorin's eyes widened momentarily when Bilbo twined his arms around Thorin's neck, sinking his hands into the thick black hair, boldly and eagerly.

When Bilbo stood up on his tiptoes and pulled Thorin's head down, the look in Thorin's eyes suddenly changed: where there had been pure joy before was now hunger, where there had been a playful twinkle was now dark pools of want and need and desperate yearning. Thorin's chest was heaving, but his breaths were silent. His hold around Bilbo wasn't tight at all, if anything it felt even looser than before, as if the king was afraid that he would scare Bilbo away by holding too tightly.

Bilbo smiled a small encouraging smile, as he touched Thorin's nose with his own, giving Thorin a little nuzzle.

"Have you already guessed what your surprise is going to be?" he asked softly, his breath grazing Thorin's lips.

"I... am certainly curious to know what will happen next," came Thorin's answer, his voice such a deep baritone Bilbo could feel it rumbling pleasantly against his own form, echoing in the sound boxes his body formed. The sensation made Bilbo shiver and he closed his eyes.

"That we are both, I suppose," he then decided, opening his eyes and looking up at the dark eyes, eyes that were staring down at him with intent, with raw lust and arousal – they were so deep and full. There were awe and care in Thorin's gaze, as well, and perhaps a bit of his usual worrying (Thorin always worried). Love there was, most certainly, and Bilbo had to wonder why he hadn't noted it before. Thorin had given him that same loving look so many times in the past, after all...

"I haven't planned this," Bilbo whispered, his heart pounding loudly in his ears. He felt dizzy and hold onto Thorin more tightly – he was most certainly not going to faint in a moment like this! "I'm going to give you your pleasant surprise, Thorin, but after that, we will have to work together, if we want something... more. We will have to use words to tell each other what we like and don't like. And we will stop immediately with whatever we're doing, if one of us so wishes."

Thorin, still staring at him with intent, grunted and nodded firmly. Coming from Thorin, that was as good as a pledge.

Licking his lips, Bilbo gave Thorin a determined nod of his own, and so they were ready for their newest adventure.

Slowly, Bilbo leant forward and pressed his lips against Thorin's.

The kiss was gentle and considerate, pondering even, but it didn't last for long, barely for more than three eager heartbeats.

Then Bilbo was already leaning back and meeting Thorin's eyes.

"Were you pleasantly surprised?"

"Can we do that again?" Thorin asked gruffly in a way of answering, his gaze flickering from Bilbo's lips back to his eyes. "I understand, if you don't want to, but I would certainly like to have... more."

"I would like to have... more, too," Bilbo said, swallowing.

He leaned forward again and gave Thorin's lips a few slow, soft kisses. Thorin returned in kind, but after a while, after they had both come to the conclusion that the other wasn't likely to bolt away any time soon, the gentle, light kisses became more daring, more curious, bolder and bolder. Their moment was full of mutual trust, both of them exploring and letting the other to explore.

Thorin tasted of cleansing leaves and something that made him Thorin and Bilbo reveled in the lovely taste.

Before long, Bilbo's stomach was full of sparks, while all his thoughts and worries abandoned his mind, flying out of his ears one after another like young birds leaving their nest for the very first time. Suddenly, there wasn't anything in Bilbo's world but Thorin and him – Thorin's soft lips tasting his own – Thorin's large hands rubbing his lower back, pulling him closer – Thorin's beard not-quite-but-almost-scratching-his-skin...

Groanign, Thorin took Bilbo's lower lip between his own and sucked gently, yet determinedly. Bilbo gasped and moved his hands from Thorin's neck to the lovely face to stroke the beard and the cheekbones, to hold Thorin in place to deepen their kiss. He opened his mouth properly and licked Thorin's lips, let his tongue found its way into Thorin's mouth and explore the hot wetness with curiosity.

Thorin grunted and pushed Bilbo against the stone wall. Bilbo let out a breathless chuckle and opened his eyes to look at Thorin, not really even wondering when he had closed his eyes.

Thorin was flushed and breathing heavily, looking at Bilbo with such pure awe that Bilbo felt his gaze softening, his heart melting. He ran his forefinger down the side of Thorin's face and Thorin closed his eyes, exhaling shakily and leaning into the touch.

"Will you be mine, Bilbo?" Thorin asked in a hoarse voice. "Will you be mine for forever?"

"For as long as forever is," Bilbo promised. "Yes, Thorin, I am yours and you are mine, as much as a king can truly be anyone's."

"I am yours," Thorin assured and opened his eyes, meeting Bilbo's gaze with sharp determination. "For forever."

Bilbo couldn't find anything to say to that, and so he responded by licking Thorin's lips, happy that he was now allowed to do that. Thorin hummed and pulled him into a proper, quite passionate kiss.

Bilbo inhaled the scent of Thorin's skin, of his sweat, of his hair. He listened to their breathing, their quiet gasps and slightly louder groans, as they kissed and rubbed against each other. They were both hard – their private secret, the moment that was just for the two of them, never to be shared with anyone else.

Bilbo's fingers found their way to the fastening of Thorin's robes and he unfastened the silver clasps, pushing the heavy robes off the broad shoulders. The robes fell down onto the floor with a rustling noise and with a few clear clinks, as the silver chains came into contact with the hard stone surface.

Thorin halted with his grinding and kissing in order to give Bilbo a frown. He didn't look amused at all.

"You are undressing me, halfling," he noted, kicking the fallen robes out of his way and behind his back with one swift, graceful movement. "Are you aware of what that might lead to?"

Bilbo offered Thorin his most wicked grin, untucking Thorin's shirt, before the king had even managed to finish his question.

"Guess twice," Bilbo said softly, giving Thorin a kiss.

"Of course I know, you silly thing," he then sighed against the unmoving lips, reaching out to smooth down the concerned frown on Thorin's forehead. "There are many kinds of books in the Library of Thousands of Books, as you might know, and I have studied these kinds of affectionate relations very carefully for the past few months, just in case you would show any interest in making love with me. You need to trust me, Thorin, just as I trust you. I know what I am doing and I am perfectly aware of what I want."

"And what is it that you want?" Thorin asked gruffly, although his fingers were gentle, as they curled in the loose, white fabric of Bilbo's shirt.

"Judging from the way your body is reacting, probably the same thing as you," Bilbo said. "I would like it, if we could keep on kissing like we have done so far. But I would also like it, if we could touch each other and if we could wear less clothes, or no clothes at all. I would like to watch you and touch you in a state of undress, Thorin. I would also like to... like to know what it would feel like to have you inside me."

Thorin was completely still and quiet for quite a long while after Bilbo's admissions.

"You are very daring today, Bilbo Baggins," he finally said in a thoughtful voice. "I would like to grant some of your wishes, but I don't think I should penetrate you today, as you have only just found out about my feelings for you. We do have time, after all, my love. We have time for long conversations and for shared silences and for mutual gratification. We don't have to do everything at once. We don't need to hurry. We can take our time."

"I know that," Bilbo assured. "I really do, but I would still like to have you in me today, if you are willing. I may have only just found out that my feelings for you are returned, but that doesn't mean that I haven't imagined the two of us together before. I have thought about us together so many times and I would finally like to have in reality what I have had in my mind for such a long time."

Thorin tightened his hold on Bilbo's shirt.

"We'll..." he coughed. "We shall see what happens. We will kiss and touch and get undressed. We shall plan as we go."

"Oh, no," Bilbo said, shaking his head and causing Thorin's frown to deepen. "We shall explore as we go. I don't think we will need any planning with this – apart from some oil, that is. Some oil would be very much appreciated, considering I will have to be stretched."

Thorin groaned and pushed Bilbo more firmly against the wall, pressing his face on Bilbo's angle of the neck. His desire was sharp against Bilbo's side and Bilbo knew that Thorin could feel the answering hardness on his lower stomach.

"Very well then," Thorin said, his wet lips causing Bilbo to shiver, as they grazed Bilbo's skin with every uttered syllable. "We shall... explore together, Bilbo. But first, we will need to bathe – I'm afraid I didn't have time for that earlier, otherwise occupied as I was."

Not half an hour later, they found each other laying on Bilbo's bed on their backs, both of them fresh from a warm bath. Bilbo was wearing nothing but his bathing robes, while Thorin hadn't bothered with modesty or towels at all. They had washed themselves thoroughly to make the exploring more pleasant for each other, and all the necessary planning – a bottle full of oil on the nightstand – was done.

Thorin hadn't washed his already reasonably clean hair, as it always took the locks over a day to dry out (and Bilbo wasn't fond of a giant, wet bunch of hair in a bed with him), but his skin was glowing pleasantly. His face was relaxed, as were the muscles of his body. Bilbo let himself look at Thorin, admire the strong built, the well-formed muscles, the dark hair on his belly and chest and thighs that somehow managed to make Thorin look all the more stronger. Thorin looked wild, untamed, but also safe and cozy and familiar, laying by Bilbo's side contentedly, as if he had always belonged just there.

Bilbo loved Thorin so much.

Thorin was stroking himself lazily, his eyes travelling over Bilbo's still covered body. The hunger was still there in the sharp gaze, but Bilbo wasn't being pressured. It was obvious that Thorin was waiting for Bilbo to make his move, before anything else would happen; they both knew that if Bilbo so wished, he could send Thorin away and Thorin would simply rise from the bed and leave.

Bilbo wasn't going to send Thorin away. No, not at all, even though there was one problem: Thorin was so handsome and breathtaking, while Bilbo wouldn't describe himself with either one of those words. What if Thorin didn't like his form, his very undwarvish body? Thorin had seen him naked before, of course. When travelling in the wild together for such a long period of time it was difficult not to, at some point, but this was the first time Bilbo's body would come under such close scrutiny.

Bilbo turned his head to his side to meet Thorin's gaze.

"What if you don't like the way I look?" he asked.

Thorin let go off himself and caused the bed to creak loudly by rolling to his side to loom over Bilbo.

"But I have already seen the way you look, my halfling," Thorin said with obvious confusion. "I assure you that my eyes are in quite a good condition. Surely you haven't been under the impression that I am blind?"

"Of course not," Bilbo huffed, crossing his arms across his chest, looking up at the burgundy ceiling. "I meant, what if you don't like the way I look undressed?"

It took Thorin some time to answer, and when he finally did, he sounded truly bemused.

"I don't understand," Thorin admitted, furrowing his brow. "Have I not made it clear that I find you desirable? I have seen you undressed before – several times when we were still travelling – and I did enjoy the lovely sight, every glimpse of it. And the memory of it, as well, quite a few times actually, alone, in private... Although, a coarse being like me should not be given the privilege to touch someone like you, Bilbo, so if anyone should be worried that they might get rejected, it would be me."

"You won't get rejected by me," Bilbo said firmly, looking at the ceiling still, but aiming his words at Thorin. "And you have every right to touch me, I enjoy it when you do."

Bilbo felt Thorin taking a hold of his arms and uncrossing them slowly, placing them carefully by his sides. When Thorin slid a finger under the belt of Bilbo's bathrobe and began to untie the already loose knot, Bilbo met the king's searching gaze with a small, shaky smile.

"We'll only go as far as you are comfortable with," Thorin gave his solemn word. "Just tell me so and I will stop."

"I do know what to do, if I'm not comfortable with what you're doing," Bilbo said drily. "As I said, we need to trust each other for this to work. We'll tell each other what we like and what we don't like and when to stop."

Inclining his head in an affirmative, Thorin opened Bilbo's bathrobe.

Then he just stared.

Bilbo swallowed hard, feeling Thorin's gaze on his skin tracing the fair hair on his chest down his belly and groin, all the way down to his legs and to his feet.

"Beautiful," Thorin whispered in awe, sitting up and moving the bathrobe with his hands to take a closer look at Bilbo's body. "So lovely..."

"You could, um," Bilbo coughed, wriggling a bit, feeling nervous but also quite excited, "you are allowed to touch, if you'd like."

He had barely finished his sentence when Thorin was already leaning down to kiss him. They kissed for a while, their touches gentle and curious, until Bilbo found his courage again and began to ask for more. Thorin complied, placing his hands onto Bilbo's thighs and kneading them with confidence that spoke of decades of experience.

"You might not be my first, halfling," Thorin confirmed Bilbo's assumption, "but you shall be my last; I will complete the courting to make you officially mine and I shall never embrace another now that I have you."

"I will never embrace another either," Bilbo promised. "Not that I have. Before. That is."

Thorin looked at him sharply, surprise evident on his face.

"You have never slept with anyone before?"

Bilbo raised his eyebrows at Thorin, because "have you slept with anyone?" was simply such an odd question to ask in their current circumstances. Every hobbit spent their first years sleeping between their parents, or siblings, if they had any. Hobbits, in general, enjoyed sleeping close to each other, so of course Bilbo had slept with someone in his lifetime, with many someones, in fact. Why would Thorin want to ask something like that in a moment like this? Was this another dwarven thing Bilbo wasn't aware of? If it was, Bilbo wasn't certain that he liked it at all.

"You know I have," Bilbo answered slowly, looking at Thorin warily. "Or at least I thought you knew. Didn't you see me sleeping with Bofur, when-"

"Bofur?" Thorin's voice unusually high. "With Bofur? With B- No, Bilbo, I certainly did not know that you have had relations with Bofur! I thought that I was the only dwarf that- When did you and... Bofur- For how long-"

It took Bilbo and Thorin a lot of miscommunication, many misunderstandings, some yelling (from Bilbo) and twenty three swear words (from Thorin), but eventually they managed to figure out that 'sleeping with someone' simply meant completely different things to them and that Bilbo had never had "relations" with Bofur. After they had managed to figure all that out, they were both relieved but also quite a bit annoyed with each other.

Annoyance, however, Bilbo found out, could be very arousing when naked in bed with an irritated Thorin, as Thorin turned his irritation into something else completely. (Well, almost completely. There was still a lot of irritation there, Bilbo could tell.)

"Infuriating hobbit," Thorin grumbled, grinding them together, thrusting against Bilbo with angry, frantic movements. "Impossible halfling!"

"No, you're the one who's impossible!" Bilbo snapped, wrapping his legs around Thorin's thighs to pull the king closer – it felt so, oh, so good. "And you are infuriating! You are so infuriating that you are like an onion covered in chee- ungh."

Thorin stole the rest of the sentence by claiming Bilbo's lips. For the next few moments, they fought over the control of Bilbo's mouth, both determined to win. Thorin pushed Bilbo down against the mattress, lifting his hand to hold Bilbo's slipping left thigh more firmly against him, while Bilbo growled into their kiss and did his best to show that his mouth was his, even though Thorin was welcome to visit.

It became obvious rather soon that Thorin was winning the battle with his stronger tongue, which meant that Bilbo had to use his brain, which he then naturally did: he slipped his hand between the two of them and wrapped his fingers around Thorin, giving the hard organ a gentle squeeze.

As Bilbo had anticipated, Thorin gasped – and Bilbo managed to use the situation to his advantage and lick his way into Thorin's open mouth.

It took Thorin quite some time to collect himself, it seemed, as he had closed his eyes and was breathing heavily through his nose, his muscles completely still – completely still with the exception of the hot organ that Bilbo could feel pulsing and twitching under his touch.

Once he had his breathing under control again, Thorin opened his eyes and began to answer Bilbo's kisses, more calmly but just as thoroughly.

Eventually, they did have to broke apart for a breath. By then, they were both panting and very much aroused. Bilbo was already leaking, and so was Thorin, judging from the wetness Bilbo could feel against his stroking hand.

"I think," Bilbo panted, "I think it's... that it's time for the... oil."

Thorin didn't say anything, but pressed a series of kisses on Bilbo's neck and chest.

"Do you want me to... to prepare me myself," Bilbo continued, "or would you like to-"

"I would be honoured to," Thorin interrupted. "I would be honoured to do to the stretching for you, Bilbo, if you truly are willing."

"I am willing, Thorin, if you are."

"I am."

"So am I."

A moment later, Bilbo laid on his stomach, his bottom thrusted high in the air with the help of some helpful pillows. Thorin was shuffling behind him and Bilbo listened closely how the oil bottle was bobbed open.

The hand placed on his left buttock wasn't entirely unexpected, but Bilbo swallowed anyway, twisting his neck to look at Thorin.

It appeared that Thorin felt Bilbo's gaze, as he glanced up briefly, before looking down at Bilbo's bottom again.

"I am terribly tempted to smack your behind," Thorin said, rubbing the cheek almost experimentally. "It would be most gratifying, I am certain..."

"You are not smacking any part of me!" Bilbo forbid, scowling. "I'll yell at you, if you do."

"Yelling would hurt my ears."

"Smacking my bottom would hurt my bottom."

"I suppose it would," Thorin sighed, sounding regretful, and Bilbo – with a sharp "hmphd" – turned back to his pillow, resting his head on it.

Thorin didn't smack Bilbo's bottom, but he took his time preparing it. By the time Thorin managed to fit the third finger in, Bilbo was already so close to coming that his words weren't making much sense anymore, not even to himself.

Thorin withdrew his fingers. He gave Bilbo's bottom a pat that was as questioning as a pat in the bottom simply could be. Once he had received a nod and a muffled "yes", he took his position behind Bilbo.

Thorin felt slick and hot and oh, so very gentle and careful, when he pushed in, and Bilbo couldn't have described the sensation, not even if he had been in his full mind – the way Thorin filled him – the way he was aware of places he had never before even thought about...

Thorin was kissing Bilbo's shoulders and Bilbo's back, running his hands soothingly along Bilbo's sides, putting there just the right amount of pressure.

"All right, love?" Thorin asked in a hoarse groan, after the initial pain Bilbo had felt had turned into something akin to pleasure.

"Ngh- yes," Bilbo assured.

It didn't take too many thrusts from Thorin for Bilbo to come, but fortunately Thorin – thrusthing, clutching at Bilbo's hips, shaking with need, swearing, groaning – wasn't too far behind, collapsing soon after on top of Bilbo in a relaxed heap of sweat, contentment and happiness.

Neither one thought it embarrassing that they hadn't lasted for too long – they could always embrace each other again, after all.

It would take Thorin closer to a decade to finish his Hobbits: the People of Earth and Light, as he would feel that it was always lacking and not good enough for his hobbit. Bilbo would assure that the book was perfect and that two thousand pages were certainly more than enough, but Thorin would just shake his head in a quiet, affectionate manner, pull Bilbo into a kiss and whisper all the new things he had learnt about hobbits that day against Bilbo's lips, until Bilbo would end the king's ramblings by deepening the kiss and giving Thorin something else to think about.

Now, though, reveling in the memory of their first shared moment of intimacy, they knew none of that. They didn't know it yet, but in the years to come, they would smile when recalling how awkward they both had been and how they had feared that the other would bolt. Now, in Bilbo's bed, they knew little else but the words that Thorin whispered in Bilbo's ear and the way calloused fingers stroke soft curls that were still damp and pine-scented from bathing.

Neither one of them spared a thought for the Ring – the Ring that hadn't melted in the orange flames, for the One Ring couldn't be destroyed by ordinary fire. Bilbo would later find it among the cold ashes and, after some hesitation, slip it into his pocket – it was just a magic ring, after all, and if Bilbo kept it hidden, Thorin would never find out about it. And what Thorin didn't know couldn't possibly hurt him.

So that's it then, the end. Thank you for reading! If you're not too busy, feel free to surprise me pleasantly by telling me what you thought about the chapter.

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you get to eat lots and lots of chocolate. If you don't, here's a bunny bringing some virtual ones for you to enjoy =(:x) 000