Chapter Fourteen.

Bilbo woke the next morning feeling rather squashed and his cry of, "Get off you great lump," woke most of the company. Nori merely swatted at him trying to get him to shut up. By the time the hobbit had managed to wake the thief the rest of the dwarfs, bar Ori who had pulled Bilbo's coat over his head, were up and preparing to move out. To Bilbo's relief and Dori's horror the Durin brothers took charge of the stubborn scribe and the hobbit set about sorting his pack. To Thorin's surprise the hobbit was the only member of the company who didn't complain about breakfast on the move, instead the smaller man was humming to himself happily as he crunched into an apple. Thorin forced himself to look away. The hobbit was a creature that confused him greatly, absently running a hand down his pony's mane he felt the flowers and looked back at Bilbo in speculation before deciding that he was far too innocent to have understood the flowers' meaning. Thorin was just glad Dwalin hadn't been with him the day he'd learnt the meaning of some of the flowers. He glanced at the hobbit again to find him fastening a spray of Alyssum to Ori's knits. Thorin looked at the hobbit again hearing Bilbo's voice waft over the company. "Now Ori," he smiled at the blushing scribe, "Don't take on so please. I can't fight like the rest of you so this is the best I can do to offer protection." Thorin went back to staring straight ahead and so did not see the scribe nearly pull Bilbo from his saddle with the force of his hug, or the same thing occur when Bilbo grabbed Fili and Kili to do the same thing.

The rest of the day passed with that being the only excitement and by the time they reached a burnt out farmhouse even Thorin and Dwalin were ready to stop. Boredom overtaking their need to cover as much distance as possible. Thorin knew he was being petty when he argued with the wizard, but he was the leader of the group dammit and it wasn't like the old man had given any reason for them not to stop. Soon he had the company working. His nephews were guarding the ponies; the hobbit and Bombur were starting food. Dwalin was gathering wood and seemed to have gained a tag along in the silent Ori. The scribe's brothers were still moving the untied packs to the camp site, Nori looking to distracted to be bothered with his light fingered ways for once and Dori looking like a pack mule. Thorin smirked into his beard wizard had over reacted he thought and settled himself comfortably in a corner of the burnt out building the have a smoke.

A slight movement by the fire caught his eye and Thorin looked up to see the hobbit stalking away from the rest of the company towards the tree line with two bowls in his hands. He decided the hobbit looked annoyed and when Bofur rapped his brother's knuckles with the serving ladle settled back with a huff. As Bilbo attempted to stomp away, (really he thought, how am I supposed to show I'm annoyed if I can't make any noise), he caught sight of Nori fastening a spring of Alyssum to Bifur and his mood mellowed slightly. He slipped between the trees and up to the Durin brothers puzzled to see them standing stock still staring at the ponies. Really he thought I know Thorin told them to watch the ponies, but I think they are taking it a bit far. He handed their bowls to them and when there was no response from the two normally ravenous brothers sighed, "What's the matter?"

Kili answered with out looking at him, " Well we were supposed to be looking after the ponies," he paused and Fili took up the flow sounding a bit breathless, "Only we've encountered a slight…problem." Bilbo looked back at Kili knowing how this dance went a raised an eyebrow, Kili obliged, "We had sixteen," he groaned. Bilbo looked at Fili and the blonde dwarf turned to him, "Now we have fourteen." Bilbo resisted the urge to smack his own forehead and struggled to resist the urge to slap the brothers around the back of their heads, which was probably how he ended up agreeing to see if he could free the ponies himself. Once like a brown owl twice like a barn owl he snorted quietly, like the dwarfs would be able to tell the difference. He heard them blundering off behind him, hopefully to warn the others and he crouched behind a rock close to the three rather ugly, smelly creatures he had to rescue the ponies from. He mightn't like the beasts but even he'd had to admit they were useful. He listened to the three trolls talk. And decided the smallest of the three might actually have brain cells, trying to avoid that one Bilbo crept around to where they had the ponies tied, trying to ignore their conversations about mutton, to stop himself gagging or laughing he hadn't decided yet. Focus Bilbo, he chided ponies first you can get lost in your head later. Being as cautious as he could, which by all intents and purposes meant the trolls should not have known he was there until he was gone, Bilbo started to saw through the ropes hold the makeshift corral together. He would have preferred to throw the blade than get this close but he couldn't afford to lose weapons yet. He was so focused on his task that he didn't notice just how close he had come to the sneezing troll, until he found himself lying on his back covered in, Bilbo froze and looked up at the startled troll. Bugger he thought, I actually liked this jacket troll snot will never come out of the cord. He blinked at the trolls before deciding they were actually talking to him, "I'm a Burg…a hobbit," he spluttered out.

The troll with the completely squashed nose leaned towards him, "What's a Fluranurgahobbit then?" Bilbo quashed the urge to vomit at the smell of his breath, "Is there more of them?"

"Nope," squeaked Bilbo as the grip on his ribs tightened, before glowering when he was called a liar. He did not lie merely didn't tell all. There was no more of him. They were talking about holding his toes over the fire and his ribs hurt and he had hoped Fili, Ori and Kili had liked him enough to rescue him even if the rest didn't. As if his thoughts had summoned him suddenly the dark haired dwarf was standing there. Sword drawn, head flung back and a snarl on his lips. "Drop him," he commanded the trolls, obviously overestimating the things' intelligence.

The third troll peered at him, "You what?" he asked before turning to the other two, "Can we eat him too?"

Kili looked at Bilbo who shrugged from his now upside down position before throwing a thankful smile at the young dwarf. Kili straightened his shoulders and hollered "I said," he swung his sword menacingly, "drop him!"

Bilbo groaned when he felt the grip change, he knew what that meant, "Kili look…" his words were drowned out by laughter, "Okay," said one of the trolls, "catch."

Bilbo saw Kili's lips move silently echoing that last word, and sighed in relief as the dwarf tried to catch him. Of course they both went down. Bilbo straddling the dark haired dwarf. "Thanks," he muttered as a battle cry went up behind him, "sorry I squished you," he panted as he pulled the dark haired dwarf to his feet. "Duck," he squeaked as he heard a whistling of air behind him and he surged forward landing on top of the dark haired dwarf again. He raised a delicate eyebrow and Kili grinned up at him for a second before rolling him off and joining the fray. Bilbo watched with a raised eyebrow before deciding dwarfs were mad. He sighed and went back to releasing the ponies he managed and ducked just as a large hand went to grab him. "Stay still you," he looked with wide eyes at the troll who was demanding he stayed still to be captured before changing his previous statement, the Trolls were mad the dwarfs insane. He ducked again, rolling out of reach of a grabby hand. Grumbling to himself he got up and dusted himself down sliding his dagger back into its sheath and hoping the dwarfs hadn't noticed. He looked up in time to see Ori land hard on the ground and the fighting stopped. Nope, decided Bilbo I am not letting them get away with that. He stooped and picked up a shard of bone, using the silence as a distraction he stabbed it through the foot of the troll who'd throw Ori, "You Ugly," he pulled the bone free as the troll's howl shook the dwarfs from their stupor. Dwalin rushed towards Ori and the rest (dwarfs and trolls) looked in shock at the small very annoyed creature brandishing a bloody bit of broken bone. Bilbo knew he barely came up to the trolls' ankle but it had hurt Ori dammit. He stabbed again putting all his weight behind, "You Ugly, ignorant, smelly, How dare you?!" he screamed, pulling the bone free, Kili and Fili grabbed his arms pulling him back just as the large foot swung towards where they were standing. "Get off," he growled, "Concentrate on killing them, I'm checking on Ori." he pulled out of their grips and ran over to where Dwalin was crouched beside a groaning Ori. He slapped the large dwarf round the back of the head, "go fight," he grunted. Dwalin looked at him before nodding and running into the fray with an impressive battle cry.

Ori looked up at Bilbo, and reached a hand out to be helped up. "Urgh," groaned the scribe, "Ow." In the middle of checking Ori over Bilbo felt the swipe of air coming towards them and managed to get Ori out of the way. He knew he must look ridiculous and shot the scribe a don't laugh look before his arms and legs were grabbed a hold of. He frowned down at Thorin and was amazed when the dwarf leader threw down his weapon. Bilbo was now very confused and for the first few minuets of been thrown on top of the dwarfs in a sack he could only lie and look at the stars wondering which deity he'd pissed off in his youth. A movement next to him brought him back with a bump and he looked up to see several of the company on a spit above the fire, and Ori trying to stand. Understanding what the young scribe was trying to do Bilbo struggled to his feet and tilted his head sideways, hoping Ori understood. The scribe stopped muttering in Kuzdul (Bilbo made a mental note to get the lad to teach him some swear words) and caterpillar crawled into the shadows to the left. Bilbo hopped over to the trolls, ignoring the amazed stares of the dwarfs lying behind him, and the worried expressions of the dwarfs on the spit.

"Excuse me," he called, reverting back into polite hobbit mode. "I do believe you are making a mistake."

He tried not to flinch as the nearest troll leant in, "a mistake?" it questioned.

"Aye," squeaked Bilbo, before clearing his throat. "A mistake…with the seasoning. I think you will need much more than sage. I mean have you smelt this lot?"

He steadfastly ignored the outrage behind him, forcing back a grimace or a grin (he hadn't decided yet); as he thought the dwarfs were going to be much more offended by the end. The cooking troll, Bilbo decided he'd figure out what was wrong with that thought later, leant to wards him, "what's a fluraburga know about cooking dwarfs anyway?" it muttered suspiciously.

Bilbo paused, "I know you …need to," he saw a flash of grey. Bloody wizard he thought should have been here sooner. "erm…you need to skin them first."

His shoulder relaxed even as Dwalin screamed death threats at him from the spit and Bofur looked at him with betrayed eyes. The trolls were debating it and if they kept it up dawn would be upon them before they decided. He groaned mentally smacking himself for thinking to soon. Bombur was dangling upside down above a troll's mouth looking pleadingly at him. He sighed, the one out of the pile who had seemingly understood was going to be eaten; his shoulders straightened and for the first time n the journey he filled his coat out properly. He could feel Thorin's attention on his back but he glowered up at the trolls putting on, what he hoped was an innocent face, "No not that one he's infected," he yelped, "He's got worms in his tubes." The troll believed him and flung Bombur back onto the pile with a strangled yell shaking his hand. Bilbo decided to follow through, "in fact they all have, I wouldn't risk it if I were you there infected with parasites." He heard the dwarfs start up behind him and forced his shoulders to stay straight and kept his eyes on the trolls, as if daring them to contradict him. A flicker of wool caught his eye and at the same time the dwarfs changed their minds and were debating who had the biggest parasites. Bilbo kept steady as the biggest troll approached him, "How do we know he's not lying?" it whispered, "I know what its doing." A loud crack filled the glade (followed by a yelp of someone who missed their jump) and the morning sun streamed through just before the hand closed around him. Bilbo relaxed and hopped over to a large pot by the fire knocking it over and dousing the flames, as he did he met Nori's eye and the thief grinned at him, Bilbo forced himself to look innocently into eyes so much like Ori's and raised a questioning eyebrow. His yelp when a hand closed on his shoulder wasn't faked though and seemed to convince Nori. Bilbo turned sharply to look at Ori who seemed to be half his normal size, at Bilbo's questioning look the scribe merely shrugged and helped him out of his sack before going to help his brother's off the spit. Bilbo heard a sharp slap and a whisper as he turned away "How dare you Mister Dwalin," hissed the scribe, "next time he might just decide to let you be eaten."

Grinning Bilbo decided that Ori had a good idea and paused before letting Fili and Kili out of their sacks. They looked at him with puppy dog eyes and he stared down at them, before clipping them both around the ear. As he was helping the two pouting brothers wriggle free he heard some of the conversation between Gandalf and Thorin. "…no thanks to your burglar," Thorin had ground out; Bilbo listened more carefully to see if the wizard would defend him. When no defence was forthcoming he marched over to the two seething idiots. Standing behind Gandalf he coughed and forced his face to remain annoyed when they jumped a foot in the air. "Anything you wish to say to me Master dwarf?" Bilbo enquired sweetly. "No?" he tilted his head at them, "Master Wizard, same question." Bilbo drew both his eyebrows down, and despite being the smallest of the three the others took a step back. "Now let me explain something," Bilbo stated quietly and calmly, "Be offended all you want Master dwarf, but if it wasn't for the fact Bombur, Bofur, Fili, Kili and Ori were in as much danger as the rest of you I would have happily left you to your own devices. None of the rest of you respect or even like me. I can live without them, but I am fed up of the attitude of Master Dwalin and yourself. What ever stick you both have up your arse when it comes to regarding me, remove it. Promptly!" Ignoring Thorin's flabbergasted expression he turned to Gandalf who was trying to back away, "Ah no Master Wizard I have words for you as well. Stay!" Thirteen pairs of eyes looked on in shock as the wizard did as he was told. "You Master Wizard are a menace. I do not trust you. Yes yes I know I am a hobbit, sweetness and light and all that, doesn't mean I trust you. At all in any shape or form." Gandalf drew himself up as if to speak and Bilbo pointed a finger at him, "You want reasons? Fine! You vandalised my property after I had politely told you to go away. You invited strangers to MY home, with out any prior warning to me. What else?" Bilbo tapped his chin with a finger and turned away, his eyes taking in the rumpled dwarfs before him. His anger grew at the way Ori cringed, the heartbroken expressions on the faces of Fili and Kili, he took in how Bombur had one elbow drawn into his side as if protecting his ribs and the singing on Bofur's hat. "Oh yes Master Wizard I have an even better one than those," he hissed spinning back to the wizard and glowering up at him. "How about you beggared off in a sulk knowing where we had stopped was dangerous, muttering about stubborn dwarfs," Bilbo took a step towards him, "You threw a temper tantrum like a toddler when a King, a leader didn't just take your 'no' as an answer and wanted a reason why! You stormed off with out any warning to the rest of us knowing we were in danger. You didn't even manage to make it back in time to save us. That was up to Ori!" he stomped away from the two gob smacked beings behind him and started to check over the five dwarfs he had come to know.

AN: Thank you to all those lovely people who left me reviews. I hope I managed to keep this scene in line with the rest of the story, it was actually harder to write than I thought. Tolkien and Peter Jackson's humour is slightly different to mine. Please let me know what you think of it. I look forward to you reviews.