The descent down the side of the Carrock is exhausting with his injuries and Thorin has to put forth effort to not flinch whenever he steps too heavily, jarring his bruised and battered body. The majority of his wounds may be healed but he was still painfully sore.
The rest of the company is quiet in their trek downwards to level ground, keeping their attentions ahead of them and their voices low. Dwalin and himself take up the rear of the party, keeping an eye on the rest of their friends as much as they watch the ground. Gandalf and the Hobbit lead them at a comfortable pace.
"I'm sorry I didn't get to ya." Dwalin's voice is heavy with regret when he speaks up suddenly, and Thorin pauses in walking to regard his closest friend for a moment. He takes in the taller Dwarfs queasy expression, not knowing whether to chalk it up to the height they find themselves at or the fact that Thorin had almost died. Thorin drops his hand onto Dwalin's shoulder with a smile and a firm squeeze.
"I know if it had been in your power you would have been before or right after Mister Baggins, my friend. You are still my most loyal of friends." The grimness in Dwalin's face relaxes slightly and he nods his head, patting Thorin's hand where it lies on his shoulder.
They stay silent as they begin walking again, having begun to lag behind the rest. The quiet isn't uncomfortable between them and they are only a little ways away from the base of the Carrock when Dwalin speaks up again.
"Mighty amazing little creature he is. The Hobbit, I mean." Dwalin doesn't look at Thorin as he talks, his serious eyes trained onto the ground in front of his feet, keeping watch out for wayward stones that might trip them up. Thorin's own gaze lifts up to seek out their Burglar, gazing at the small back while Mister Baggins stumbles along beside Gandalf. Shame fills his chest as he thinks back on all the things he'd said, and how he'd treated Mister Baggins so unfairly.
"Yes, he is. Quite brave. I regret that it took him charging an Orc for me to realize his worth. I've acted most shamefully." He murmurs miserably, lowering his head to scowl darkly at the ground beneath his boots.
"Aye, you've been a right arse." Dwalin grumbles, glaring at Thorin with a look of stern look of dissaproval that makes Thorin cringe.
A solemn nod is the only reply he can give Dwalin, unwilling to explain his attitude and actions as they continue down the slope in silence. Soon after, they reach the bottom and the river that lies at the Carrock's base.
His nephews waste no time in running at the water, tugging at their clothes hazardously and nearly tripping over each other. Everyone else moves at a more leisurely pace, taking the time to fold their clothes away from the water so nothing of theirs would get wet. Thorin looks around for a moment, eyes' scanning the surrounding area to make sure it's safe for them to rest at. He deems it safe enough and is just about to shrug off his outer coat and furs when his eyes land on the Hobbit.
Mister Baggins stands off to the side, looking into the water hesitantly, fidgeting with the hem of his button-less vest. Thorin tells himself that he really should look away when the Halfling shrugs his jacket and green waistcoat off his shoulders and then beings to fiddle with the two buttons of his white undershirt. So intent was Thorin's gaze and mind focusing on the Hobbit that he nearly jumped when Dwalin bumped shoulders with him and a nod of his tattooed head.
"Seek out his company more. He likes ya too much to stay mad at ya. At least not for too long."
Painful hope spreads throughout his chest at the surety in Dwalin's voice, his eyes search Bilbo out again and he's pulse jumps when his gaze locks with the dark blue eyes that he'd been fighting so hard not to think of as lovely. The Halfling is already in the water and when he realizes that he's been caught looking at Thorin his cheeks flush and he ducks under the water before paddling away in a different direction.
As Thorin stands beside Dori, awaiting Gandalf's signal, he struggles not to worry over being turned away from lodgings and food. A majority of their supplies were lost in the Goblin caves, and they wouldn't last long without food and bedrolls. They had no money to buy replacements either and he's not sure he wants to risk Nori in attempts to procure their necessities. The thoughts make his stomach churn with worry and stress and he puts a considerable amount of effort in thinking of something else. As it has done so more and more as of late, his mind decides to settle on the Hobbit.
There really were several good reasons to like Mister Baggins. Selfless, Determined, and his nephews liked him alot. Thorin wouldn't lie and say he didn't like the adorable pinched look the Halflings face would take on whenever he was faced against an indignity of his person. When Bilbo had just settled onto his pony after chasing them down, he'd began to despair over not having a handkerchief, Thorin hadn't been amused or though it endearing at all at the time, only annoying and proof that he would be useless on the journey. When he looks back on it now physically needs to fight down a smile, as he's sure Mister Baggins himself would. The Hobbit had changed much since the start of their journey and Thorin had hopes that he himself has as well.
He had treated the Halfling badly at first because he had genuinely thought the tiny creature would be useless and get in their way. But as the Hobbit had helped with the small everyday tasks with an air of determination to be of use (studiously ignoring Thorin's orders to sit out of the way), Thorin's anger evolved. Mister Baggins was obviously not used to being on the move, or of sleeping out in the wilds. The Hobbit was used to unlimited good food, never without a roof over his head, and a warm and welcoming bed. There was no way their soft burglar would last once things got more dangerous, and no matter what he'd told Gandalf he would feel responsible if Mister Baggins was struck down. His conscious would forever be marred with the fact that he had upped the small happy creature from his comfortable and safe home, only to be killed and never able to return. There was no way he would be able to handle that.
When Gandalf's call comes he is snapped out of his thoughts and he shoos his worries away as he marches forward to meet their hopefully welcoming host.
It's been a lazy morning for Thorin and his company, with both the Wizard and Beorn being gone. The animals had set up a big breakfast in which everyone enjoyed, laughing and talking while they ate their fill.
Th next day finds several members of the company sitting around outside, relishing the warm sunlight that makes its way through the thick trees.
Fili and Kili are roughhousing close to the deck that Balin sits, and the older Dwarf laughs while watching the two young ones struggle against each other.
Dwalin is sitting with Ori and Nori, the three laughing over the things Ori has written and drawn in his little book. Thorin's spirits lift at the happy smile and look of contentment on Dwalin's face, and a grin spreads across his face when he notices that Dwalin's hands rests atop Nori's between the two.
His eyes move on to seek out Mister Baggins, and he finds him resting on his back directly in a ray of sunshine, his pipe in hand. The Hobbit lifts his head to puff on the pipe and his eyes lock in on Nori and Dwalin, Thorin's chest warms at the bright happy smile that slips onto his mouth. A moment later the blonde head falls lazily back to the green grass.
Thorin pauses to observe Mister Baggins. The small man had been showing an increasing interest in both Dwalin and Nori since Rivendale. Usually, Thorin would spy the Hobbit watching the two, and occasionally even himself, while they all sat around the fire. Soon after he would get a dazed look on his face and begin to squirm in his seat, not long after that the Halfling would excuse himself for bed and rush off. There wasn't a doubt in Thorin's mind why Mister Baggins would squirm after peeking at the Dwarves, but he really wanted to know exactly who it was that the Halfling was focusing his thoughts on.
Jealousy at the thought that it might not be himself that Mister Baggins thinks about surges up within him, but it easily quelled. He knows that Dwalin would never stray from Nori, and from the way Mister Baggins watch both Nori and Dwalin made him think that the Hobbit knew of the twos intentions towards one another, he couldn't really see the small man encroaching on a relationship like that. He also has a hope that, if he works hard enough at it, he can dominate the Hobbits attentions until only Thorin is included in the Hobbits fantasies. He knows he has a lot to make up for, but Dwalin's words give him confidence as he makes his way over to where the smaller man lies upon the grass.
"Mind if I join you, Mister Baggins?" He stands in front of the resting man and smirks when the dark blue eyes shoot open and the Hobbit bolts up to a sitting position, wildly looking up at Thorin.
"Pardon? Oh! No! I mean yes! I wouldn't mind that at all! Some company would be lovely." Thorin sits down, ignoring the wide eyed stare trained on him. Thorin chuckles at the flushed and rambling Hobbit. "Um, you can call me Bilbo. If you'd like, that is."
"I would like that, Bilbo. You may call me Thorin." So far he had only been referred to as 'Master Oakenshield' by Bilbo. Thorin found that Bilbo's name on his lips pleased him, and he loved that he could say it as much as he wanted now. Hopefully he wouldn't make a fool of himself and abuse the new privilege.
Bilbo gapes at him before a shy and happy grin spreads across his face.
"Ok then, Thorin." The blonde drops back to the ground, leaning up briefly to puff on his pipe again, before holding it out to the Dwarf, a blissful smile accompanying the offer. A lovely flush makes its way across the smaller man's cheeks when Thorin smiles back down at him and accepts the pipe, sucking in the sweet smoke and holding it for a breath. While he lies down onto the grass he lets the smoke leave his mouth slowly. Thorin takes care to leave a small gap between their shoulders, he doesn't want to scare Bilbo off by being to forward. His heart thunders in his ears and a flush finds its way to his cheeks when the small gap is covered and Bilbo's shuffles closer so their shoulders lie flushed together.
He stops hoping and starts believing that he still has a chance at happiness with his Hobbit.
Thank you for reading! If there are any mistakes feel free to tell me!