A/N: I believe this is the first time that I will start writing a story without knowing exactly what my plan is...where it will go, how it will end. This is an AU, inspired by all the wonderfully written fics with Bilbo and Thorin married. Of course because I like the dark and morbid, there will be a bit of a dark theme here.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even the title which is taken from the song by Five Finger Death Punch. Well, scratch that. I DO own a car. I pay my taxes. But whatever has to do with the Hobbit - nothing. Zilch.
Pairing: Thorin/Bilbo…more perhaps…
Warning: Slash, issues with consent (non-consensual sexual situations), politics, violence and cultural misunderstandings/insensitivity.
Chapter Warning: None.
Summary: In which one Bilbo Baggins finds himself married to Thorin, King Under the Mountain and everyone expects him to be happy about it.
Timeline: This is in the 1320's (Shire Reckoning). Bilbo is well into his 30's and considered and adult by Hobbit standards. Disregard anything to do with the Ring, the Journey or anything historical because this is completely deviating from that at the moment.
Far From Home
"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
An Unexpected Arrangement
"Please listen to reason, Bilbo!"
There were too many hobbits in his sitting room. As if they meant to overwhelm him by their sheer numbers to force his hand in this…this…debacle. But he was a gentle-hobbit, and though a bachelor knew how to treat his guests. Each invader had a seat to take weight off their feet, each had been served tea with the option of cream and sugar. He served each one, tightlipped but ever the gracious host.
If he had been less of a Baggins, he would have dragged each and every single one of them out of home by the hairs on their feet.
"Your name was chosen by the king's advisor himself! We had no hand in his decision!"
Bilbo stood facing the fireplace, watching the flames dance and crackle in the hearth. He took no tea himself, his hands, usually clasped behind him were instead across his chest, fists clenched in agitation. He could not face the hobbits behind him. If he turned he would surely hurl abusive language not fit of a hobbit of his stature and age.
"Since when," Bilbo managed after a tense breath, "do hobbits fall under the rule of the dwarves?"
There was the sound of a fist slamming into his table. Tea cups rattled, and Bilbo clenched his jaw.
"Confound it, Bilbo Baggins! The whole of our Watch would stand no chance if pitted against a dwarven army!"
Bilbo whirled around, turning to glare at the hobbit seated right behind him, flanked at all sides by his officers and the mayor of Hobbiton, who stood to the corner wringing his hands. Bilbo spared his mayor little thought, keeping his eyes on Isengrim Took III, current Thain of the Shire. Isengrim III hadn't been Thain long, yet seemed to put on airs as if he ruled the Shire and its inhabitants as if he were a king from the lands of man.
He was a relative of his mother's, but he could equal to the Sackville-Bagginses with how much Bilbo detested him at the moment.
"Do you have any clue what you ask of me?" Bilbo asked him heatedly. "I have neither choice, nor am allowed to voice my protest. I cannot even confront this…this dwarf who you seem ready to roll over and hand over my life away to him!"
The Thain shook his head, fist still clenched on the wooden table. "This isn't an easy decision, Bilbo. No matter how it seems."
"I don't see you lining up your kin to spare me," Bilbo bit back.
This made the Thain surge up, and though he was a very round hobbit, his stance was strong and his height towered over Bilbo. But Bilbo was a Baggins, and this was his home, and he would not be cowed.
"It was your name he chose!" Isengrim bellowed, shoving an enraged finger into Bilbo's chest. "Let me tell you there was little hesitation once the dwarf had read through all the prospects. He did not request for more names, he did not ask for further details, or to even have audience with anyone else. 'This one. Bilbo Baggins. He will suite my lord,' he said. What would you have me do?"
Bilbo knocked the offending hand away, and shouted, "You should never have acquiesced to this arrangement in the first place!" He felt himself begin to shake with emotion, and pulled back with gasp. "I refuse. I won't do it."
"Please Bilbo," begged the mayor from his corner. "Listen to reason!"
"There is no 'reason' to speak of! You are asking, nay, demanding that I leave my home and be escorted by some dwarf emissary to…to be…" at this Bilbo sputtered, "married to some dwarf king ruling his gloomy mountain! This is utter madness, and I will have no part of it! I'm a Baggins of Bag End; this is my home and this is where I intend to stay!"
"You are also a Took," rumbled Isengrim, glowering down at him. "You carry the bloodline of both aristocracy and leadership, and with that come a heavy responsibility."
Now it was Bilbo's finger that pointed at the Thain's wide nose. "If you fancy the idea, you marry and leave me to my affairs."
"Bilbo," once again the mayor spoke, his voice trembling. "The Blue Mountains are to our west, the Misty Mountains to the east. I was there when the dwarf pointed out at how…" the hobbit gulped loudly, and wiped at sweat beading at his brow "…how the Shire was located between the two dwarf kingdoms. Oh, Bilbo if you could only have heard the way he spoke of it!"
Something hideous twisted in Bilbo's gut, as if he had eaten rancid fish that had been burned to mask its foul taste. "I don't understand," he said, frowning at the silent occupants that cluttered his sitting room.
The Thain spoke, "It was a threat. How do you believe the Shire would fare in a two front war with the dwarves, Bilbo Baggins? How many days before the Shirriffs of the Watch last before being butchered and farthings from Buckland to Westmarch overrun?"
Bilbo looked up at him, horrified at his words. "They wouldn't," he said. "They have no reason to…" he stopped at the grave looks aimed at him.
These were not the average hobbits of the Shire. They were the mayors and clan heads from each town; all who would have been called for and present for such a meeting between the Thain and an advisor to a dwarf king. Each hobbit believed that there was a threat, and each one stood in united agreement to the demands that were being leveled at Bilbo.
There would be no allies to take up his cause, to argue for his rights. Even his own mayor of Hobbiton stood sweating and quivering as he begged Bilbo to agree.
Something in either his stance or expression must have changed, for the Thain took a deep breath and placed one thick hand on his shoulder, warm and firm.
"What would you have me do, Bilbo Baggins?" he asked again, gently.
"There has always been a Baggins at Bag End," whispered Bilbo, and he could not mask his growing despair.
"You aren't the only Baggins in the Shire."
The dwarf king's advisor did not have the stature of a warrior, but his eyes were old and cunning, and his flowery words filled with sneaky manipulations and hidden agendas. Every single strand of hair on his head and the thick beard that trailed in two tails down his chest were the starkest of white, however his movements were strong and he did not dodder with decreased mental capacity.
He was a king's chosen for a reason.
Standing behind him was a towering mohawked monstrosity of a dwarf warrior. Practically the height of a human male, with the thick musculature expected of his race and the scars and tattoos of a season warrior, this dwarf was of little words and plenty glower and grunts. He did not speak unless to say something in their harsh language to the advisor, and despite how not a single hobbit present was ever armed, the warrior always had a large ax out and ready.
He was the king's advisor's guard for a reason.
Thain Isengrim Took III took a sip of warmed mead, studying the dwarf who sat across from him reading over the contract with a seeing glass perched over one eye.
"He did not consent to this," the Thain said, placing his mug down and fingering the handle. "We had to practically hold him down and force his hand to sign the contract."
"Hm. Shame." The white whiskered dwarf did not look up from his reading.
Had he been a braver hobbit, Isengrim would have thrown the mead into the dwarf's face.
Had he been a stronger hobbit, Isengrim would never have allowed this.
Instead, he swallowed the angry bile that threatened to choke him, trying again to find some hint of pity. "He is quite distressed, as you can imagine. Like most other hobbits he has never left the Shire. Not only that, but he comes from a respectable family and is not used to such…heavy handed affairs."
"He is related to you." Again, the dwarf's eyes did not leave the contract.
The hobbit managed not to flinch when he replied, "His mother was the Old Took's granddaughter. My niece."
The dwarf turned the page, one thick finger brushing against the newly dried signature. "I had heard she was a bit odd for you folk. Went traveling with wizards and such. Spirited, wasn't she?"
Isengrim did not want to even think of what Belladonna would think of him. "Bilbo is quite spirited at the moment," he tried, hoping to place doubt in the dwarf's labyrinth of a mind and stall these unpleasant proceedings. "He just might try to flee during your journey. What use would your king have in such a disobedient spouse?"
Now the old dwarf removed his glass and turned his gaze to the hobbit Thain. He smiled, sweetly condescending. "My lord will find whatever use he wishes with Bilbo Baggins. I have made no mistake in my choice." He leaned back and lifted the contract; his guard stepped forward and took it with care. "Have no fear, once settled your kin will have little to complain about. Though the halls of our mountains are deep, there is plenty wealth and comfort."
"The Shire is his home."
"No, Thain Isengrim son of Gerontius." The dwarf stood from his seat and said to his towering guard, "Make sure all the supplies are ready, Dwalin. We leave at dawn."
The large dwarf warrior walked out without a word, leaving the two alone.
"This is his home," he tried one more time. It was the least he could do for his niece's only child.
Balin son of Fundin shook his wizened head, only now his eyes showed the faintest hint of pity. "His home is the Kingdom of Erebor, where my lord Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror awaits him. Make sure our Bilbo Baggins does not pack too heavily, for the road will be a long one to journey."
Soooo…..yeaaaa….like I said, my goal is for this story to be a bit darker than other arranged marriage fics. Please let me know what you think. Like I said in the first note, I don't have a plot planned (just a general idea where the characters will go), so any discussion could very well affect where the story will go. You can visit me at my tumblr account and we can chat!