Thorin assumed the reason why he was so tired that week was because he kept pushing himself to finish as early as possible so that he could spend time with his husband and his family. While this is partially true, the fact of the matter was that Thorin Oakenshield was capable of working much harder for much longer before reaching the fatigue level he had on this particular week. Indeed, at two years after the reclaiming of Erebor things were almost.. easy. Dwarrows were an industrious race, and their dedication into rebuilding their home helped relieve their King of many hardships, even if Thorin sometimes felt he ought to do it all on his own as an act of penance.
It was undeniable that King Thorin was a dedicated and involved leader, but he was also very greedy. There was a marked difference in Thorin's greed versus that of his father's and grandfather's, however, as after the gold lust had left him during the Battle of Five Armies, he found himself hoarding something different: the security and comfort of family and home. It was something that had seemed unobtainable to him not even half a decade earlier and would not have been possible without his selfless husband and their quest. Even in his happiest moments with his sister and her sons, Thorin had never felt sure of himself or his place in the world when they were exiled in Ered Luin. What use was a dwarf King without a mountain? The distress Thorin felt when he couldn't provide sufficiently for his people was only exasperated further in the lean times when he couldn't even provide for his small family.
Fíli, Kíli, and Ori were examples of how much the youngest generation had suffered from the lack of home, being so much less stout than their elder kin had been at their age. They were healthy, no dwarf worth their beard would let a precious child suffer, but they didn't have the means to thrive until they had the stabílity and the wealth of Erebor behind them. Sometimes Thorin was distressed by how much work was still needed to fully restore his ancestor's halls, but he could see how far they had come just by his nephews' physical growth. Fíli, though he would grow no taller, was broadening across the shoulders and bulking up at a frankly shocking rate (he blamed it on having to exercise so much after Bilbo's meals, which Thorin thought was an incredibly valid point). Kíli, while not widening as quickly as his brother, had had as much beard growth in two years as he had in the rest of his life combined. He was so proud of it he finally let Fíli and Dís braid his hair. Thorin hadn't really understood what beard growth had to do with hair-braiding, but he knew how much not having a proper beard distressed the young prince, so he could only take only take the new braids in Kíli's hair as a positive sign.
(Kíli had in fact demanded braids from each of his relatives, Bilbo taking a malicious joy in putting a very feminine braid into Kíli's hair as pay back for when the boys had designed "girly" braids to deal with the Hobbit's curly hair. Bilbo later took it out and matched Thorin's braid after Kíli had actually preened after being mistaken for a lady dwarf in the markets of Dale.)
The point is, while Thorin worked hard, he never lost himself in it. Always counting down the time until he could return to the royal quarters to help Bilbo work on his large garden on the balcony, or just to enjoy one of the many Hobbit meals that peppered the day. Thorin also never, ever missed dinner (or a later supper, if he was especially busy that day). Bilbo had told him how important sharing meals were to Hobbits, and that he never recalled a single day where he didn't share at least one sit-down meal with both his mother and father. Dinner was for families and friends to bond and catch up on the goings-on of the day. Thorin wouldn't let work get in the way of this important time, he just couldn't risk harming the ideal life that he had created.
Sometimes he felt a little guilty for being so greedy for his home, but then he disregarded the thought because nothing was worth losing Bilbo, nothing. Afterall, wasn't home what he and the company risked their lives for? Bilbo always told him there was no sense in guilt, because by indulging in the comforts of home, he was merely accepting his fortunes. Just because it wasn't gold doesn't mean it wasn't treasure.
If Thorin maybe gave the nobles of his court the impression that missing key meals with Bilbo was grounds for divorce in Hobbit culture, well, he let them think that. Royal divorce was unheard of, but as the wronged party Bilbo technically would be entitled to not only all of Thorin's wealth, but the fortunes of the people who had stood in the way of a happy marriage (i.e the nobles who kept of vying for Thorin's attention at all hours). It was, perhaps, an underhanded method. But neither Bilbo nor Thorin cared when all of a sudden the "very important issues that demanded the king's attention" stopped after Thorin retired for the evening. Turns out the nobles and busybodies became much better problem solvers when the threat of diminished treasure halls entered the picture.
So Thorin was understandably perplexed when a routine week of work drained him so completely. At first he feared it was because he was becoming lazy. After all, there were three times the week previous that Thorin hadn't even left he and Bilbo's apartments until after second-breakfast even though normally he only stayed for the first. But Thorin had been good this week, taking only light breakfasts to keep room for afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. No, this exhaustion was different and bone-deep, but he kept on powering through, insisting on ensuring that the clearing of the westernmost passage of the emerald mines was being done safely and efficiently. It was when Thorin peered down one of the service shafts that he was suddenly overcome by an intense bout of vertigo. His world shifted on its axis (and possibly even its axes) as Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thror, son of Thrain, King Under The Mountain promptly lost his hold on the world and fainted.
"What a silly, irresponsible, stubborn git!" Bilbo fumed after Óin had told him what had happened to his husband. "I nearly had a heart attack, Master Óin! Someone really needs to tell these dwarrows to come up with better wording! 'The King has fallen' is NOT what I want to hear EVER, but especially not when Thorin was too much of a fool to realize he had a fever and just had a little fainting spell."
Óin rather appreciated how loudly the consort was voicing his complaints, as he didn't even require his hearing trumpet to understand every word, but he didn't think his patient who was resting in the next room shared his appreciation. "Aye, bit tactless of them, but all sicknesses need to be treated with the utmost care when ye live underground."
Biblo paused his frustrated pacing, finally looking at the healer with something other than his frustrated glare. "Oh?"
Óin nodded and folded his arms, trying to think of the best way to put his explanation.
"The thing about living under mountains, laddie, is that if one person gets sick, it can cause everyone else to get sick too. Especially in the mines where everyone works closely together, disease can spread too easily from one person to the next, that's why we immediately quarantine people into their homes until they're cleared by a physician" Bilbo looked contemplative, folding his arms and scratching his chin as he worked whatever thought that was going through his head.
"I suppose it would be rather easy to debilitate Erebor's work force if people were allowed to contaminate each other as they pleased, but that doesn't explain why I had a messenger run to me like Thorin was dead rather than with the flu."
"Well, it's not every day one's king is brought to his knees, eh? He is sick, even if he'll get over it if you take care of him right." Óin chuckles and motions to a table of assorted satchels. "You'll have to make sure to drink this tea and stay hydrated, I'll be by later to check up on him, but don't be afraid to call if his fever gets much worse."
Bilbo frowned and nodded to himself, "I guess there isn't much we can do until it breaks, then?"
"Not particularly, make sure he eats something salty, keep him comfortable and do not," Óin pauses and points at the closed door in which Thorin is hidden behind, "let him convince you that he is fit to leave. Even a King's authority does not override a healer's opinion when it comes to public health." Bilbo looks amused and chuckles as he leads Óin to the exit.
"Thank you, Óin, I'll be sure to remember that." Óin gives a slight bow and departs, leaving the Hobbit a chance to breath and finally confront his Dwarf husband.
The blinds are drawn and the fire is blazing and Thorin is a sweaty, chilled mess in the middle of their bed. The air is thick and Bilbo is incredibly glad that there has never been a case where contagious sicknesses pass between species.
"I'm sorry I frightened you," Thorin croaks from his spot, eyes only half opened as he breathes slowly from his mouth. Bilbo exhales and his shoulders drop, a small smile on his face as he removes his outer layers and climbs onto the bed. Seating himself with his back against the headboard, Bilbo unbraids Thorin's hair while Thorin wraps his arms around Bilbo's waist and rests his head in his husband's lap.
"Heard that, did you?"
"You were very loud."
Bilbo sighs and proceeds to stroke the salt-and-pepper locks all while noticing the sweatiness of the King's scalp, confirming that he really is sick. "It isn't your fault, darling. Though I'm not sure how a warrior-king who is supposed to be in-tune with his body failed to notice he had a fever that got so bad he passed out in the middle of an inspection."
At this the dwarf grimaces and closes his eyes, burrowing himself into the softness of his Hobbit's stomach and thigh. "In retrospect I have been tired all week, but I had just assumed the work was getting to me."
Bilbo hums and brushes Thorin's bangs away from his face, "I suppose I should have realized, you've been rather grumpy in the mornings this past while."
At this, the king cracks open an eye and honest-to-Aulë pouts, "I was not grumpy."
Bilbo's face splits in a wide grin as he twirls a particularly grey clump of hair around his short finger, "oh yes you were, not at me, but you kept on snapping at the boys for being so energetic at breakfast. You know that isn't the way to deal with either of them, Thorin. I believe Dís might have joined in just to see you riled up."
Thorin's scowl deepens up to the point that it hurts, and so he returns to pouting which seems to be much less taxing on his weakened body. "Don't let her fool you, she isn't a noblewoman at all, she taught them everything they know and that's why our heirs are such brats."
"Durin's descendants are doomed to be a little devious after this, hm?" Bilbo mused, and Thorin glared weakly up at him.
"That isn't funny, you aren't funny, âzyung."
"See? You are too easy Thorin Oakenshield, and yes I am. I'm the one who makes you laugh the most, after all."
"I don't laugh because you're funny, I laugh because you make me happy." Bilbo flushed, pleased at his husband's sweet words but also a little worried that it was a sign that Thorin's fever was worsening. While Thorin was a surprisingly attentive and romantic lover, with the exception of his fleet of pet-names for Bilbo, he was mostly shy with his words except under special circumstances. Moving his hand from Thorin's hair to his forehead, Bilbo felt the heated flesh and worried at his lip a little. Thorin would be fine, too strong to succumb to something like this, but it wouldn't be a pleasant sickness at all.
"Thorin you are burning up, are you not overheating underneath all those blankets?" Thorin shook his head and grabbed Bilbo's wrist and the Hobbit could feel how sweaty and clammy his hand was.
"Chilled, actually. Come under the covers?" Bilbo smiled softly and kissed his husband's forehead.
"Just let me change into sleepclothes, dear. Shan't ruin these ones with all the sick." Thorin nodded and let Bilbo go, his eyes sliding shut as it seemed all of the strength keeping him awake had diminished. Leaving the suite for a moment to retrieve Óin's healing tea, he filled up a kettle with water and placed it to heat on the fire, also grabbing a glass of clean, cool water to give to Thorin should he desire it after. After changing into light sleepwear the Hobbit woke the king briefly to feed him his tea and water. Bilbo knew without a doubt that Thorin was thoroughly out of it when he didn't even complain about the tea's taste. Which was awful (Bilbo tested it). Instead, Thorin made rather immature grabby hands at his Hobbit, and while he didn't have the strength to do it properly, he did his best to tuck Bilbo into his arms as if he were an oversized plush animal created in Bofur and Bifur's toyshop.
"Rest well, Thorin." Thorin grunted in response, and not even a minute later he succumbed to his body's need to recover, his heavy exhales moving the curls at the top of Bilbo's head. Though the heat from both the fire and Thorin's fevered body should have been overwhelming, Bilbo's natural inclination to being overheated was always to be overcome with a heavy feeling of drowsiness. Soon, though he had been well-rested all day, Bilbo felt the siren call of sleep and soon joined his husband in a recuperative haze.
Bilbo did not know how much time had passed, if it was late or impossibly early, but he awoke somewhat disorientated to the feeling of Thorin's fingers softly grazing his cheek. The Hobbit's eyes fluttered opened and he gazed lazily upwards at his King who looked drowsy, but better.
"I love you," Thorin said in lieu of what he probably meant to say, but Bilbo pulled him down with a gentle grip on the back of the dwarf's neck to give him a soft kiss anyways. Thorin gave him a dopey smile in response, his eyes still glazed from the fever. Giving Bilbo another short kiss Thorin seemed to remember what he was going to say.
"I mean it," he says huskily, in that way that sick people can sound miserable and sexy at the same time. "I love you, thank you for taking care of me."
At this, Bilbo tuts, shuffling up a little to better meet his husband's eyes. "Were you expecting me to let you suffer alone? I remember you taking quite good care of me after the barrels, even if you were a bit overbearing about it."
Thorin makes an attempt at rolling his eyes before kissing the tip of his consort's nose and continuing with his explanation, "it's not that. It's.. I'm not sick often, but even as a child no one ever.. stayed with me when I was sick."
Bilbo frowned, taking in the information. From what he knew of Thorin's mother she was a rather caring dwarf, he couldn't imagine her shirking her motherly duties. Especially when Dís immediately began looking for their mother's healing broth recipe when she heard Thorin had fallen ill. Thorin tapped Bilbo's nose as if he knew exactly what his husband was thinking.
"Not because of neglect, âzyung. I just.. was never comfortable with people fussing over me." Thorin shifted a little, his hand moving smoothly from Bilbo's cheek to play with the mithril bead at the end of the only braid Bilbo wore that day.
Thorin was quiet for a while his eyes fixed on the bead as Bilbo stared contemplatively at Thorin's face. "And you're okay with me fussing over you?" He questioned when it appeared that Thorin wasn't going to immediately continue.
Thorin nodded, his eyes lifting to meet Bilbo's as a gentle smile graced his normally stern features. "I don't have to worry with you, I don't have to be King, or even patriarch in our bedroom… you've seen me at my worse, my Hobbit…" Thorin paused again, placing a kiss on Bilbo's cheek. "You've seen me at my worst and you're still here, I hope that you can forgive me that as a result I am quite selfish for your attention, instead of loathing it I find myself greedy for your 'fussing'." Thorin nodded once more, but his confession seemed to drain him, and he slumped into the crook of Bilbo's neck, placing a kiss there as Bilbo's hands moved to cradle his head.
"I'm glad, I really truly am so glad that you trust me so much, Thorin." Nuzzling a little into the top of Thorin's mane Bilbo sighs contentedly. "We're married, I will do anything and everything to make you feel loved and safe, just as you make me feel, just as we promised each other." It then after feeling another light kiss on his neck Bilbo realizes Thorin's strength is rapidly leaving him and if he falls asleep in their current position one or both of them will awake with a terrible kink in their neck. As smoothly as he can manage, Bilbo moves Thorin onto his back and adjusts his pillow into the best position before grabbing a cool wet rag to wipe the King's forehead. Already asleep before Bilbo can complete his task, Thorin's light snores drift throughout the room, the sound's only competition is the crackling of the steadily dimming fire.
Bilbo crawls out of bed, frowning as his sweaty clothing peels damply always from his skin as he moves to add more wood to the fire and then to refill the glass of water. After finishing his business in the washroom, Bilbo re-enters the bedroom and looks fondly at his husband, who has shifted slightly toward his consort's side of the bed. As Bilbo crawls back in and tucks himself against Thorin's chest, the Hobbit can't help but think that maybe after Thorin is better he will delay Óin's approval for Thorin's release so that the royal couple may spend an entire day in bed for more enthralling reasons than illness.