AN: This is the end. Let me know if you want more and I'll do my best for you.

Disclaimer: Not mine!

As he came over the mountain peaks, supplies left behind to be reclaimed later, Smaug braced himself.

This was a land of evil so great it repulsed even him, but he must bring his charge to the fiery mountain he could now see in the distance.

With a fortifying breath, and a quick check on the insensible bundle on his back, Smaug, last of the Great Dragons on Middle Earth, entered Mordor.

He could feel it now. The Presence. The Presence, centered around a tower on the opposite side of the volcano from which they approached.

Smaug had every confidence that, one on one, he could make short work of Sauron, but he would never risk Bilbo in the crossfire of such a battle.

Nor could he risk the Ring falling back into the hands of its Master.

So they snuck up on the mountain, staying as hidden as possible in the bleak, starless sky.

A fireball whizzed past. Then another. The sky lit up with the trails of the fiery projectiles.

Skimming low, Smaug razed the catapults, and the workers controlling them. But it was too late.

The hue and cry were sent, the alarm sounded. They had been spotted.

Smaug flew higher, the arrows and spears could never harm him, but a luck shot might reach his back and he could not allow that.

The mountain loomed ever closer, but always still so far away; they would reach it of course, there was no other choice.

Making a bee line for his destination the dragon ignored all but the largest attacks, which he simply avoided.

He could hear the screeching of the Ring Wraiths in the distance, and a flash of light reflected from the forbidding clouds above told him that the Master of the Ring knew of their presence now as well.

Finally landing, they were just outside the tunnel entrance to the heart of the volcano.

Looking behind, Smaug took note that their pursuers would be upon then in an hour, maybe less.

Carefully handling his most precious hobbit, the dragon quickly pulled himself into a smaller shape. Not caring about looks, only speed, he now resemble a small dragon on two legs.

Carrying his semi-comatose lover, he entered the cave and walked up the ledge that looked down into the pool of molten rock below.

This was it. They had done it.

Now all that was left was to awaken his love from his stupor, and be done with the Ring once and for all.

Bilbo had curled in on himself, staring at his closed fist as if it held all the answers he could ever seek. The sight made Smaugs' chest clinch.

Even if he got the golden menace away from the small man, there was no way to know if permanent damage had already been done or not.

"Bilbo, Bilbo my sweet. Can you hear me?" Not so much as a twitch in response.

"My love, we are here. It is time to destroy the Ring." He got a response to that, though not one he liked.

Bilbo curled more tightly, protectively, around the cursed thing.

"Please, Bilbo." Nothing.

Seeing the faraway, lost look that adorned the delicate features of the one person in existence that meant more to Smaug than anything else ever had or ever would; he knew what he would have to do.

The only thing he could do; to save the soul of this being who had quickly become his heart.

Taking a step forward, he spoke the last words he would ever say to his love in this lifetime.

"Bilbo, my heart, I told you once that I would follow you wherever you went, even after death."

Another step closer to the edge, he could feel the heat wafting upwards now and had to spread his wings to steady himself.

"I had hoped we wouldn't be at this point for several decades to come, but life doesn't give us what we want, does it."

He carded soft strands of hair through his fingers one last time.

"I'm sorry I couldn't protect you the way I promised I would."

Looking down at the molten core of the mountain that would finally be the end of Smaug the Terrible.

"And I'm sorry this is going to hurt you as well."

Lifting a foot to take their last step in this world-

"no"

He looked down into an impassive face- had he imagined it?

"No"

He hadn't.

Though small, the voice was firm; a pair of dulled but still beautiful brown eyes looked up at him.

"No, Smaug. Don't."

"Bilbo..."

"Not for me. Please."

"The Ring must be destroyed, love."

His foot still poised to take them over the edge, he waited.

Vacant features turned towards a clenched fist.

A small arm moved outwards, over the fiery depths.

The fist opened, reveling the plain-looking gold band.

"Smaug?"

"I'm right here, Bilbo. Always right here."

A deep, shuddering breath, and the hand began to tilt.

A small whimper from the tiny body in his arms caused the dragon to clench around him more protectively.

"It'll be alright, love. I promise."

The Ring began to slide.

It tumbled through the air, two sets of eyes riveted upon it as the small piece of metal fell towards its destruction.

As the gold was consumed, the mountain began to rumble.

As the magic dissipated, the ground began to crumble.

With no time left to waste, Smaug ran.

Not taking the time to reform his full body, he leapt into the air just as the volcano began to erupt and the ground gave way.

Flying high, he could see the whole of Mordor, sinking into a great black pit.

Looking to his love, cradled in his arms, he began to worry.

Bilbo was unconscious. Asleep perhaps, but unlikely.

The Ring destroyed, now came the hard part.

Ensuring that no lasting harm had befallen his one and only.

The grey wizard could help asses his hobbit, he had headed towards the Elves, hadn't he.

Turning towards the mountain peak holding their supplies, Smaug rushed with all haste.

SMAUGBILBOSMAUGBILBOSMAUGBILBO

Waking up in a soft bed, covered in warm blankets, Bilbo had the strangest notion he was at home and dreaming.

Opening his eyes, he first noticed that he wasn't in his room at Bag End. The second thing he noticed was, he wasn't alone.

"Smaug?"

"Yes, love. It's alright, you're fine. Sleep. Lord Elrond says you need plenty of it, and one shouldn't argue with Elves on health concerns."

"Smaug." The small man wanted to say so much, but sleep was steadily pulling him away.

"Sleep. I'll be here when you awaken. Always here." A soft brush of lips on his forehead and the hobbit was lost to dreamland once more.

"Smaug?" Even before he opened his eyes again, the small weak man was calling for his lover.

As he struggled to sit up, not having heard a response to his call, strong but gentle hands pushed him back down; hands that didn't belong to his dragon.

Opening his eyes he looked into the grizzled visage of Gandalf the Grey.

"It's alright, young Baggins, your dragon has simply stepped out to chat with Lord Elrond; he will return shortly."

"Gandalf?" He was very confused.

"What are you doing here?" He couldn't remember how he got here. How had he come to be in Rivendale?

"How did I get here?"

Whatever the wizard was to reply with was lost as the door flew open and a flustered man shaped dragon stumbled into the room.

"Bilbo." The relief in that voice was palpable.

"I knew I heard your voice."

Without further a'due he climbed onto the bed and wrapped the, now happy, hobbit in his arms.

Just as Bilbo was snuggling into Smaugs' chest, the Elvin Lord arrived.

"Ah. So this is why you took off in such a rush. Hello, again Master Baggins."

"Hello." His reply came muffled, as he was still pressed against the other male.

"Well, as our talk was over anyway, I will bid you good eve."

With nods all around, the elf lord left to attend to his subjects; many of whom were still startled at having a dragon walking amongst them.

Left in peace, the three sat in silence a moment.

Bilbo still waking up and just happy being held by his love, Smaug ecstatic to hold his hobbit once more and Gandalf amused to watch the two.

"So," the old conjuror finally broke the silence, "our dear Bilbo was just wondering how he got here."

"Do you truly not remember, love?" The small man simply shook his mane of tangled locks.

"The last I remember we had just had lunch on our first day out of Lake Town." Looking at the two larger men in his room, Bilbo saw the concern pass between them.

"Why are we now in Rivendale? What happened to the Ring?" Had they not destroyed it? Had it fallen into Saurons' hands?

Seeing worry run across small features, Smaug hastened to reassure his love.

"You destroyed the Ring, never fear on that score. But the day you remember is three months in the past.

"Before its destruction the cursed thing... hurt you. So I brought you to Gandalf and then brought you both to Lord Elrond.

"If he couldn't heal you, then no one on Middle Earth could."

Tightening his arms around the frail form of his heart made flesh, Smaug buried his face in soft hair to hide his pain.

Taking up the tale, the wizard gave the dragon time to compose himself again.

"And surprised I was to see him. A dragon doesn't come barreling out of the sky asking for help everyday, you know."

"More like demanding it." Came the retort from within a mound of curls.

"You were distraught. So if I say you asked for help, then ask for it you did."

The hobbit smiled a bit at this friendly banter, he was glad his friends were becoming friends.

But needing to know just how bad things had gotten, if he was to help in his recovery, Bilbo asked the question he knew Smaug wouldn't want to answer.

"Just how badly was I injured, Gandalf?" He felt his dragon stiffen next to him.

"Young man, the first thing you need to know is that this was not you fault, and that goes for you as well, Dragon."

Smaug finally lifted his head to level an incredulous eye at the wizard.

"The Ring, which you have destroyed, was very powerful; and full of strong manipulative energies.

"It tried its best to stop you from continuing your mission, and when that didn't work; it set out to harm you in order to dissuade Smaug here."

Poor Smuag! The small man clutched at his lovers' chest. Too have gone through that! To have seen him in such a way!

"W-what exactly did it do to me?" Smaug finally spoke up at this.

"It turned you into a nothing. You didn't eat. You didn't sleep. You just lay, wherever I set you, and stared at that horrific piece of metal.

"I didn't think I would get you back... I... I almost lost you." The last was said in a brokenhearted whisper.

"I'm here now love. I'm not going anywhere." He stoked the smooth cheek of his dragon in reassurance.

Seeing as how he was no longer required, the grey wizard made a quiet exit.

"I almost lost you."

"I'm right here." Tilting his head he met soft lips with his own.

"I'm not going anywhere." Adding more pressure he managed a quite respectable kiss, for all that they were at wrong angles for it.

Breaking for air, he had to let Smaug know he hadn't been lost.

"I love you."

"And I, you."

A quiet moment of contentment and then inspiration struck the small man.

"Marry me."