/ / / A Secret Revealed \ \ \

Bilbo stopped working to get himself a cup of tea and found biscuits left over in a container Gimli had delivered to the hobbit from the Shire. He sat before the fire and wondered how long Thorin would be gone that night. Bilbo had no siblings, and only a few family members that he liked – mainly Tooks too, but he had been able to see the genuine affection between Thorin and Dís and was glad for it.

Bilbo could not sit any longer. He stood up and carried his tea and biscuits into his bedroom. Thorin's present was very close to being done. Bilbo had not expected it to have come together so quickly but every time he sat to work on it he had been able to complete more work than he ever had before. Bilbo set down his half-finished cup of tea and went back to work; his fingers almost itching to do more. Bilbo worked harder the closer he got to finishing until with a final stitch he sat back and realised he was done.

He spread his work out and checked over it but with a great yawn and still no sign of Thorin he decided to check it in the morning. He folded it up, tucked it under his bed and crawled in to sleep. Bilbo awoke and somehow knew it was early but he got up with excitement. He ducked his head into the main room, unsurprised to find Thorin was not there. Bilbo had to smile at the fact that the terrifying dwarf he had met in the Shire had spent the entire night with his sister.

Bilbo pulled his gift back out and set to checking it thoroughly and carefully. He would not be a Baggins of Bag-End if he gave a gift like this without it being perfect. While he worked he thought about how he might go about giving it to Thorin.

He made his plan.

He would need to go down and beg, borrow, or buy something special to make for dinner and then he would give Thorin his present and after that…well, it would make a hobbit blush to think about what Bilbo wanted to do after that.

Bilbo ran his hands over the gift, it was perfect, it was the best thing he had ever made and if Thorin accepted his gift then it would be utterly perfect.

Someone knocked on the door and Bilbo ran his hand over the gift one last time before folding it up and going to answer the door. Calia was standing on the other side, she frowned when she saw Bilbo.

"Hello, Calia," Bilbo said, opening the door wider.

"Bilbo, I am here to see Thorin." Calia said looking past him.

"He is not here at the moment."

Calia tilted her head at him strangely. "Why are you here? I thought you would have moved out."

"No," Bilbo said with a wary smile. "I am still living with Thorin."

"Why, I mean…you are planning to move out soon, correct?" Calia asked.

"No, why?"

"Well, it would be odd if you lived with Thorin and I."

Bilbo felt coldness creep swiftly into his bones. "Why would you and Thorin be living together?"

Calia took a step back and grimaced. "I am sorry. I thought you knew. I will let Thorin tell you. Could you just tell him I stopped by?" Calia smiled awkwardly and stepped back.

"No," Bilbo said, "you have to tell me now. Come in for some tea."

Calia looked down the passage awkwardly and nodded before walking in quickly. "I am sorry; I thought Thorin had told you."

"I have been quite busy down on the farms," Bilbo said. "We have not seen one another properly for almost a full moon's journey until today."

"Oh," Calia sat stiffly with her hands in her lap as she watched Bilbo with sorrow. "Thorin really should be the person to tell you what is going on."

"I will get us some tea," Bilbo said and disappeared into the kitchen with a heavy stone of dread growing in his stomach. He came back and set the tea in front of Calia. "Tell me."

Calia sipped at her tea. "Bilbo, I know you have feelings for Thorin and I really do not want to hurt you."

"It is fine," Bilbo said unable to feel the heat from the tea in his hand suddenly.

"I know you saved Thorin and I will always be so thankful to you for that. As you know, my father and Thorin's were great friends and they always wished to join their families."

"And you and Thorin were their way to do it," Bilbo said nodding his head. "That makes sense."

"When Erebor fell, you know how full of pride Thorin is, he told me to try and find someone else but I knew he would achieve this. I knew he would get Erebor back and now that he has, you must understand…to him the fact he did not have Erebor meant he did not have anything to offer and now he does."

"And the engagement is back on," Bilbo said feeling like he was very far away from his body and his mouth and this terrible revelation.

"I am sorry." Calia said again and put her tea down. "I should not have said anything; I should have left it to Thorin."

"No," Bilbo said with a sharp shake of his head. "I appreciate it. Dís arriving obviously forced it from his mind. I will make other arrangements."

"There is no rush, we will still need to go through the formal courting rituals of course. I simply…I am sorry, Bilbo."

"I am very happy for you both. Thorin is an amazing dwarf and I hope you realise how lucky you are."

"I do," Calia reassured him. "We have known one another our whole lives."

"Yes, you have, and you will do an amazing job as queen."

"Thank you, Bilbo Baggins," Calia said. "Everything the dwarves have been saying about you is true; you are an utterly good hobbit."

"I appreciate that," Bilbo said and took a sip of his tea but he could not tell how it tasted or if it had gone cold.

"I should leave you. I truly never meant to hurt you."

"You did not," Bilbo said. "Thorin and I had no agreement or anything of the sort."

"But you like him."

"He is an amazing dwarf."

"Yes," Calia stood and started for the door and then turned and stepped back. "I am so pleased you understand, goodbye, Bilbo."

"Goodbye," Bilbo said not bothering to stand. He did not notice the door close or the cold and dark slowly take over the room as the fire died. He continued to sit there, holding his cup of tea, and tried not to think.

With a start Bilbo stood up and started to move. He was not sure how much time had passed but he cleared away the dishes and washed them without thinking about it. When that was done he spent a moment cleaning around the room and making it presentable before he found the bag he had purchased in Lake-town and started to pack. When he was ready he reached under his bed, he pulled out the gift, and carried it into the main room. It might not have been the way he intended to give it to the King but it was still Thorin's gift. He placed it gently on Thorin's bed and left it to find a piece of parchment. He wrote Thorin a note and placed it carefully before he unfolded the gift where Thorin would not be able to miss it.

Bilbo felt like his chest was one giant ache and nothing in his recollection had ever felt like this but he kept moving.

Bilbo trailed his fingers along one of the long lines of stitching and turned with a sigh. He picked up the small bag he had packed with the things he would need immediately and left Thorin's room. He was going to go to Bofur's room but then remembered the lovely reunion he had seen earlier and turned the other way instead to impose on Fíli and Biorn.

He realised that Thorin might be there and he did not think he could see him yet. He ducked into an empty passage and dropped his head. He wanted to cry but he had obviously not lost anything that had been real so he steeled himself, took a deep breath, and continued not sure where he was going to go now.

/ / /

*Ducks and runs away...*

Not sure if you're going to want to know this now but I said we were close to our resolution (three chapters) but I'm not planning to end this when they get together.