AN: Just so all of you readers know, this story will in no way hamper the two Thilbo stories I have promised. They are already both done; I'm just revising and waiting for the opportune moment to post.
So this is a story I started to write, but then got another idea for. It was originally going to be the other T story I had promised, but then I decided to write two different ones. I might expand this story, but I have to know what you think first, because I'll leave it so it can be either a one-shot or continued.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own LOTR or the Hobbit. I wish I owned Aidan Turner and Martin Freeman though…hehehe…
It hung like a heavy weight in his pocket. A secret, a treasure and a burden. A secret because nobody else knew of it and he wasn't going to tell. It felt good to have something that was his; it gave him some use, even if others didn't know it. A treasure because of its power and of its beauty and a burden because he felt that he alone would have the power to do something risky, but he couldn't if he were to keep it a secret.
It had been several days since the pillar, since he had been overall accepted into the group. The dwarves would clap him on the back occasionally, and Thorin would send him small glances filled with gratitude. Bilbo's heart raced when he intercepted those looks, and his cheeks would always redden when the king smirked at his easy flustering. His eyes would go toward the ground and when he looked up, Thorin would act like it had never happened.
This went on until they got to the fortress of Beorn. Needless to say, if Bilbo thought he had seen everything—like trolls, goblins, orcs and glowing swords—he was wrong. The giant bear-man was constantly shifting between his human form and his bear form, both enormous even to Gandalf. Everything was large; the plates, the bowls, the chairs, the silverware. It was all very disconcerting, especially to a Hobbit, but the one good thing about all the oversized objects was that the beds were huge as well.
As soon as they were shown their rooms, the first thing Bilbo did was lay down on his bed. He actually let out a groan on pleasure as the soft feather down mattress enveloped his small frame. It was like floating on a cloud, it was so light and airy.
"Enjoying yourself Master Baggins?" Bilbo's eyes snapped open and he shot straight up, staring at Thorin, who was leaning against the open doorframe smirking at him. He swallowed thickly before answering.
"Y-yes. I believe I am. I've missed sleeping in an actual bed."
"As have we all," the king muttered before turning and walking down the hall out of sight. Cocking an eyebrow at the dwarf's strange behavior, Bilbo collapsed back down onto his bed with a puff. Dinner would be soon, thanks to their very gracious host, but a quick nap seemed to be in order. The Hobbit's head started falling to the side, and soon his eyes fluttered closed and his breathing slowed.
Unbeknownst to him, a finger brushed a stray lock of brown hair off his forehead before trailing a finger over his delicate cheek.
When Bilbo woke up, he felt strange. Like something had happened that he had missed. Loud, raucous laughter reached his ears and he bolted out the room, remembering that he had fallen asleep right around supper time. He tried to sneak in, but when he saw that all of the plates were nearly empty, he slunk off to the small stream he had discovered on the way to his room earlier.
The water trickled over his toes as he dipped his feet in the warm liquid. Leaning back, he propped himself up on his arms before lying down and letting his legs dangle over the side of the stone he was on. Small rays of sun managed to float down through the treetops of the fortress and warmed his face. When he heard footsteps approaching him, he didn't move, but simply cracked an eye open to see Thorin staring down at him.
"Do you need something Thorin?" He had never felt comfortable calling him 'my king' like the others did, even though his loyalties laid with the stubborn dwarf, as did his heart. Wherever Thorin went, he would follow, and he would try to do everything in his power to help. He had never before had a kinship like the one he did with the dwarf king, and he did not want to lose it.
"I guess Hobbits really are simple creatures." It was meant to be an insult, but Bilbo found himself smiling anyway. He had found that Thorin was not very good at expressing emotions like gratitude or thankfulness, which was undoubtedly the reason he was standing here. And though he was very finicky about manners, Bilbo couldn't find it within himself to care. Thorin was trying, and that meant the world to the Halfling.
"Yes, we are. Are you just now figuring this out, after you've made fun of me this whole journey?" he asked coyly. Thorin sat down beside him, a frown marring his handsome face.
"You know, if you were hungry, you could have just said so." Bilbo's smile dropped; Thorin was always so serious, especially when others were trying to have fun. "I'm sorry my kind is so…rude when it comes to food. I'm surprised you joined us after seeing the display you did." Bilbo's eyes popped wide at the king's words. 'Rude'? He was calling dwarfs rude? Slowly he sat up and stared at the king cautiously. "What?"
"Is everything all right? You are not being yourself…"
"Everything is fine," Thorin replied coolly, hiding his shock and nervousness behind his hair.
Suddenly the back of a hand was pressed against his forehead.
"You don't feel feverish…" With a light chuckle, Thorin pulled the hand down and rested it on the ground, briefly holding it in his own before letting it go.
"I am simply trying to help. You are a member of this company now, Bilbo Baggins. And I am sorry I did not treat you this way before." The Hobbit smiled when he realized what this was about. So Thorin was finally apologizing? It was about time. "Now go and get some dinner. I saved some for you, though it is not much; it will be sacrificed to my nephews if you dally."
Bilbo laughed and scampered of, unaware of the eyes trailing his departure. Thorin turned back to the stream and ran a hand down his face with a tired sigh. He was a king; he got what he wanted and he did not ask permission. He was in charge of people, not the other way around, and his orders were obeyed. He did not take advantage of this power, but he did not shy away from it either. So why was he suddenly so nervous? So unsure? He had never been before, not since the Halfling called Bilbo Baggins had entered their journey.
These questions had been running around his mind for quite some time.
He was sure it had something to do with the burglar, though he did not know how. He did not look on him as his kin or his brother, like he did the others. And if that wasn't how he was looking at him, then how? Thorin didn't know, and when he realized his actions and words around the Hobbit always seemed to flow on their own accord, he did not want to face the possibility that he had another type of affection for the young man.
But images of the Hobbit were constantly plaguing his mind. Even before Bilbo had saved his life, he had felt strange and even a bit awkward around him. Now his thoughts were consumed with curly brown hair, soft porcelain skin and the delicate curves of his companion's body. Soon he found himself staring at the Hobbit for no reason, and wanting reach out and run a gentle finger down his cheek.
But these feelings were not suitable for a king. Maybe if they were directed at a dwarf woman, but they weren't. Thorin found himself thinking not of the consorts he had had in the past, but of the Hobbit in front of him. Even if they did retake the mountain and he married, it would never be Bilbo, and that was the problem. Suddenly he was no longer his people's king, but whatever Bilbo wanted him to be.
He kept silent about his inner warfare, hiding away and distancing himself from the others. It was in moments, like the one by the stream, that he lost his control and couldn't help but seek the Halflings company.
Nevertheless, it was unacceptable for the king to dally in such a way. So he shut his feelings up, put on his usual stoic face and returned to his companions, acting as if the Hobbit across the fire mattered no more than any of the others.
"Why are you so stubborn?!" Bilbo shouted before stomping down the hall to his room, slamming the door shut. "Stupid, insufferable dwarfs!" he huffed. Several seconds later, Thorin stormed into his room and shut the door, staring him down with his large arms crossed. "Go away."
"No. This is an important matter and we will discuss it!"
"There is nothing to discuss! I've told you before that I will not give up on this company. You hired me so I could get inside Erebor, that's why I'm here! I'm small, agile and Smaug doesn't know the scent of Hobbit. You know you need me for this mission, yet you still try to toss me away!"
"I am not 'tossing you away'; I'm just concerned for your safety. You have become a member of this group, that is true. You have proven yourself many times over. But I will not be responsible for your fate. I don't want you to die fighting for something that isn't yours. You think I have not had the same talk with Fili and Kili? They are far too young for this journey; their mother almost skinned me alive when she found out they were coming. I'm trying to protect the people I care about, and as much as your skills may be needed, your life is more valuable." Bilbo bit his lip; it sounded like there was something the king wasn't saying, but he was too mad to think about that. Thorin was trying to push him away, and he wouldn't allow it. He couldn't. Not if he wanted to protect his king.
"Thorin, I won't leave this company. I won't leave you. This isn't your decision to make." Thorin glared at him before storming over until he was right in front of him.
"I am not asking, Hobbit."
"Neither am I." They stared at each other before Thorin spoke again.
"You are not trained in the way of the sword, you cannot fend for yourself and you have no idea how to track or stay hidden. Just because luck has blessed you twice does not mean it will happen again. I am doing this not only in your best interest, but everyone else's as well." Bilbo sputtered indignantly at the insult. He could most certainly fend for himself! The only reason Thorin didn't know that was because he had kept the ring he had found a secret.
"You brought me along on this journey because Hobbits can pass unseen if they choose. That was your purpose right? Well I can, and I will, if you just give me the chance!"
"Yes, that is true, but things have changed. Azog the Defiler is alive and tracking us, and he will not desist until we are dead. In those situations, nobody can look after you. You would be dead before we reached Erebor; that is why I am ordering you to leave. You will still get your reward, if that is what you're worried about."
"Reward? Reward? You think I'm staying just for that?! I'm staying because I care! Because I don't want to see any of you get hurt!"
"Your intentions may be honorable-"
"No! I will prove it to you. If you want to throw me out, you'll have to catch me first!" Bilbo streaked past a shocked Thorin and ripped the ring out of his pocket. Casting a quick glance to his surroundings, he found no one watching and slipped the ring on just as his bedroom door opened.
The world leeched of color and fine strands of wispy white fog floated off of the king as he stormed past, searching for the Halfling he had already overlooked.
There will be at least one more chapter after this, so watch out! And a sneak peek of next chapter to anybody who reviews! :D
P.S: Sorry to all whole like my story Spiral Into Erebor, but I had to take it down mostly because I'm too busy to write it right now and my main priority is this story. It might be back up, but not for awhile. Once again, sorry to any who liked it.