Disclaimer: If I owned it would I be posting here?
Bilbo was pissed. No he was terrified! Pissed! Terrified! PISSED! TERRIFIED! Damnit he didn't want to be here!
Distract yourself, he thought, think about something other than how terrified you are to be in this tunnel, in this mountain; off to face a dragon. And don't think about how pissed you are at your so called freinds. About how they could hardly wait to shove you into a coal black hole. About how not a single one expected you to come back.
Stop it! Just stop it! Calm down! Think of something else!
Think of the Shire. Where you never fight orks. Where your freinds are honestly your freinds and not about to toss you to a dragon. Where you can have an honest meal and a nap in the warm afternoon sun.
I am so tired.
I am so cold.
Where am I?
He had come to the end of the tunnel. Looking out into the great hall his jaw dropped. A mountain of gold. A mountain of gold inside a mountain. He had to resist the urge to laugh and laugh hysterically at that!
He didn't know how long he stayed there just staring. Finally he sagged against the corridor wall. He looked over all the gold and couldn't bring himself to care. Not a single piece of it was worth all the trials and pains that were gone through just to get to it. Not a single piece was worth having left his safe, warm hobbit hole. Bilbo sighed. He was just too worn, too tired,; too cold. He couldn't remember anymore the last time he had been warm, full or anything other than frightened, cold and hungry.
He finally looked around at the giant room that seemed so small in comparison to the glittering mass of treasure and realized that he could see. There was light. Not overwhelming, but enough to see most of the room; if not the opposite wall or ceiling. Bilbo had been so engrossed in his own thoughts that he hadn't realized. This finally awoke the hobbits native curiosity and set him out into he room, but not before he slipped his ring on. He may be a bit distracted but this Baggins was no fool!
Stepping into the room Bilbo looked around for any sign of Smaug. Not seeing the giant beast he made his way to the pile and started to climb, he had to know where the light was coming from. Upon reaching the top, it made quite a nice plateau, he saw the source of the light.
The source of the all pervasive light was The Great Dragon.
Sleeping. Smaug The Great Sleeping Dragon.
Bilbo didn't move, didn't breath; didn't dare turn and run for fear of awakening the beast.
But then his shoulders slumped. What did it really matter. He could turn back, grab some gold and return to the dwarves; but what then? He would just be sent back in again he knew. To either steal more gold or to find a way to kill the monstrous lizard. Those dwarves expected him to do everything that they were too afraid to try and then some! But no more! Why should he steal for them when it wasn't important enough to risk their own lives? Why should he seek to harm this creature when it had never threatened his home?
Bilbo made up his mind. He was done with quest. Done with craven, gold hungry dwarves. Done with cold, hard beds and never enough to eat. Finally, he was done with all this fighting; no more, none! He was just too tired for it anymore.
Decision made Bilbo felt better. Until he looked over at the slumbering light source again.
His shoulders slumped and reality came back from its small vacation to parts unknown. He could make bold statements all he wanted but that didn't mean he could carry them out. He was a Hobbit, by the Shire! If he somehow survived his 'friends' when he told them he quit he still had a long dangerous journey home. And, oh yeah, how could he have forgotten, he was standing in the middle of a dragons nest!
He was going to die. He had known it for awhile he realized, but it had never really clicked before. He was going to die. He was never going to see the Shire again or attend a banquet or be warm. He was going to die and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He felt strangely free.
I guess all I can do now is decide how I want to go, he thought.
Did he want to be cut down by his 'friends'? Starve to death or be eaten by orks on the road? Or instant death by incineration?
Final decision made, Bilbo closed his eyes and removed his ring.
He was still alive.
He took a chance and opened his eyes.
Smaug hadn't moved. Hadn't twitched as far as Bilbo could tell.
Well of course, he thought, why should anything I do be easy, even this.
With an exasperated sigh, Bilbo looked at Smaug. Really looked. His first thought was "beautiful". His second thought was put on hold by the first thought.
Golden scales glowing with their own inner radiance. Huge delicate looking relaxed wings. And something that Bilbo couldn't name, a soft haze of contentment in repose perhaps. It all came together to a single word 'beautiful'.
Before he knew he was moving Bilbo was already halfway across the plateau of gold, his destination clear. Looking over the magnificent creature that was to be Bilbos' death all he could think about was how much he just wanted to touch one of those vibrant scales. Or perhaps one of those pearlecent wings. O how he would love to see those spread wide and shimmering in the sun!
Stopping half an arms length from a lidded eye as big as his head, Bilbo paused. Smaug hadn't yet stirred, only the faint rise and fall showing he was breathing, and now that he was so close Bilbo could hear a faint whistling of breath. The little hobbit wondered for a moment if he really didn't have another option. He didn't want to die, he just didn't see any other choice.
Thinking over everything again Bilbo renewed his conviction. This was his choice. His final choice and no one could take this away from him.
Reaching out his hand Bilbo felt along the crested ridge just above the too large eye, surprised to find it so soft a warm. A small smile parted the would be thieves' lips as he ran his hand along the edge of scales, a gentle warmth permeating his skin. looking for a sign that his would be doom was stirring and seeing none made Bilbo a bit more bold. Placing his hand on the dragons cheek he started walking towards hinge of the jaw. There were some interesting crests there as well and he just had to see if they were as soft as the ones above the eye.
They were. Much to hobbity delight.
But the excitement was starting to ware thin. And Bilbo had to cover a yawn. With the exciement and terror of seeing Smaug, planning his own death and actually touching a dragon he had completely forgotten how exhausted he was.
Looking around for a place to lay down and sleep until the giant scaled beauty woke to kill him, and not seeing anyplace that didn't scream cold and hard, Bilbo had an idea. Smaug was soft and warm, and he hadn't woken up at the few caresses he had received, so maybe it would be alright to snuggle up with him. I mean, he thought, hes going to kill me anyway I might as well get something beforehand.
So with that thought in mind Bilbo cuddled up to Smaugs' jaw, just behind the crests, wrapped his cloak around himself and drift into exhausted sleep feeling warmer and more comfortable than he had at anytime since leaving the Shire. And perhaps even since leaving his childhood bed behind.