Bilbo had taken keen note of the food habits of the Dwarves. They enjoyed meat, potatoes, and bread. They ate quite a bit of it and tended to stray from anything that wasn't a root vegetable. Every dinner since he had first stepped foot from his hole was either a stew or a strange mash that consisted of those three ingredients. Although Bilbo liked a nice hearty meal every now and again, he was a hobbit with a horrible sweet tooth.
Bilbo was quite happy with the knowledge that they did not enjoy fresh berries as much as he did when they stopped to rest for the one warm night. Just a few feet behind their camp was a strawberry shrub that he had been eyeing greedily for a few hours. Once most of the company had settled down, he planned on attacking.
So he listened to Gloin argue with Fili over what was the easiest way to behead an Orc. He tolerated Bombur's loud chewing as he sat so close to his sensitive ears. He even discussed the difference in wines with Dori, which made his hunger for the berries grow ever stronger.
Finally the Dwarves became quiet and one by one they fell asleep. Bilbo waited until the chorus of snores began to slip away into the forest. Doing his best with what burglar skills he possessed, he quietly made his way to the fruit. Taking with him a small bowl, he eagerly picked the plump red strawberries until the shrub was bare.
What he did not suspect was someone else had been spying on him.
"What do you got there, Boggins?" Kili's whispered from behind him.
Bilbo let out a sigh of disappointment as he turned to find the young dwarf frowning at him. Bilbo had forgotten that Kili was on watch.
"Holding out on us, are you?" Kili took a few steps closer, his eyebrows knitted together in the middle of his forehead.
"No, no, just collecting them…to share…" Bilbo started.
For a dwarf Kili possessed quite a bit of speed when he grabbed the bowl of berries from Bilbo's hands. A good bit of the red fruit fell onto the ground while Kili examined the rest. He would pick one up and look it over before deeming it unworthy and throwing it to the ground. Bilbo almost cried seeing the perfectly acceptable sugary goodness fall into the dirt and stomped by the mighty boot of Kili. It was as if the dwarf was teasing him with that cocky smile and the purposeful destruction of perfectly good food.
Kili finally picked up the last strawberry and marveled at its plumpness. It was the darkest shade of red and the juice fell from the tip of the berry. Bilbo watched as dark juice discolored Kili's fingertips. He had never wanted anything more in his life than he wanted the berry currently held between Kili's stained fingers.
"Well, this seems to be the only acceptable one in the whole bunch," Kili announced, holding the fruit up above his head. "I suppose, since you said these were for sharing, I should take the first bite?"
Bilbo winced as the berry slowly fell onto the dwarf's lips and soon between his teeth. Yet, through his anger, he was fascinated by how careful Kili's lips molded around plumpness and how the juice fell onto his lips when the flesh was broken. He had only taken away the very tip of the strawberry, leaving behind a mouthful. Cockily he chewed the small bit, smiling the whole while.
Bilbo let out a loud huff and clenched his jaw.
"Ah, Boggins, this is the finest strawberry I've ever tasted." Kili licked his lips and held the strawberry up to the moonlight. "This particular fruit could only be dreamed of and it is such a pleasure that our thief would so kindly share it with me."
Bilbo could no longer stand it. He had to jump to grab Kili's extended wrist, but gripped it with both hands and forced it towards his face. He engulfed the strawberry all the way down to the small green leaves. Looked up towards Kili, seeing the stunned expression of a dwarf that had been beaten, he slowly took a bite. Kili had been right, it was the sweetest fruit he had ever tasted. His eyes flicked shut and he had to suppress a moan. It seemed like it had been ages since he had something sugary and delightful. The juice fell between his lips and he slowly swallowed the mouthful of the perfect fruity pulp. Pulling away, he enjoyed the last bits of the berry before opening his eyes.
Kili's eyes were wide as dinner plates and his lips made a little 'O'. Bilbo held his stance, though, and gave him a shrugged smile. He had bested the young dwarf but he was unaware of how much bravery Kili still possessed. So all Bilbo could do when Kili grabbed the back of Bilbo's head to bring it closer to his own and licked the juice on his lips was to freeze and take in a sharp breath. Never before had Bilbo had someone else's lips so close and he wasn't sure how to react. It was only a few moments before Kili drew away and gave him another cocky smile. Bilbo was speechless.
"Finest I've ever tasted," Kili smirked and turned back to his watch.
Strawberries hadn't always been his sweetness of choice. Cakes, raspberries, candies, pies, apples…so many other things in this world had usually filled the void. But shyly smiling as he touched his lips, he decided that strawberries were the superior dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth.