Prompt: I'd like to see Thorin asking different members of the company for courting advice, there is a load of Fili and Kili helping him so it'd be nice to see some of the other members sharing their own little courting techniques.
Seven Ways to Court a Hobbit
Balin was the eldest of the company and the wisest, he was the one Thorin looked to when he needed guidance, he had served the Durin's for most of his life and had seen young Thorin blossom and grow into the fine young prince that he was.
That was not to say that he hadn't slapped him over the knee every once in a while and even now Balin was quick to reprimand his king if need be. Thorin trusted him with more than his life, the entire company did.
So it made sense that Thorin would ask Balin for advice on how to court a Hobbit.
"I assume you're referring to a certain burglar." Balin hummed in amusement, because he had seen this coming for weeks now. "Not to worry lad, Hobbits are simple creatures. A simple thank you every now and then would soften his heart."
"But I have little to thank him for." Thorin huffed.
"I think we all have much to thank him for," Balin smiled puffing absently at his pipe.
Thorin couldn't help but feel a little disappointed in Balin's answer. He had been expecting middle-earth shattering advice, advice that would instantly sweep the Hobbit off his feet but instead he had been given the opposite.
The opportunity arose three days later when Bilbo absently packed up Thorin's bedroll from the night before while the dwarf saddled his pony. "Thank you." Thorin mumbled, trying to smile when Bilbo's eyes widened and a faint flush coloured his cheeks.
"Y—you're welcome." Bilbo stuttered dropping his eyes and shuffling his feet with a soft smile at Thorin.
# # #
Thorin turned to Dwalin on the second week, he had been thanking the Hobbit for almost very little thing he had done. So much so that Bilbo had begun to worry that perhaps Thorin had hit his head.
"Demonstrations of strength." Dwalin stated simply, as though it had been obvious.
Thorin looked dubiously over at Bilbo fawning over Ori's latest sketch, he didn't look the type to be impressed by muscles and displays of dominance but neither did Ori and it was obvious from the way the young dwarf trailed after Dwalin that he was besotted with him.
"We should spar like we use to," Dwalin suggested. "You will have the Hobbit at your feet come night fall."
Thorin nodded absently and when Dwalin rose to his feet he realised that he didn't really have any other option. Thorin had no qualms with fighting Dwalin, for the dwarfs size and structure Thorin had bested him at sparing hand to hand for years. It drew in a crowd almost as quickly as the decision had been made with Bofur and Nori instantly setting the betting pool up.
They had only thrown five or six punches at one another before Thorin realised that Bilbo had turned slightly green and had turned away, the distraction had led to Dwalin's fist connecting rather abruptly to Thorin's jaw knocking him off kilter.
Thorin landed with a heavy thud and the rest of the company cheered and grumbled amongst themselves, Fili and Kili helped their uncle to his feet and when the swelling had gone down on his eye he could see Bilbo stood with his arms crossed looking sternly disappointed in him.
While Bilbo tended to Thorin's cuts and bruises that night, reprimanding him and vocally expressing his loath of violence, Thorin glared at Dwalin and Ori giggling and mooning at each other across the fire. It had worked, just not in Thorin's favour.
# # #
Thorin didn't even ask Bifur, the dwarf just levelled his pony with Thorin's the next day his eyes stern and serious as he muttered a rather suggestive recommendation to how to court the Hobbit. Thorin's cheeks turned an almost unhealthy shade of red.
Bofur was quick to steer his cousin away and apologise, he could still hear Bifur shouting his outrageously rude suggestion from the back of the company and was quick to divert Bilbo's attention when he looked round to see what all the fuss was about.
Thorin didn't even bother to put Bifur's advice into practice.
At least not until Bilbo had accepted his courtship.
# # #
Thorin turned to Ori next, clearing his throat and folding his arms over his chest he stared down at the youngest member of the company and coughed again to draw his attention upwards.
Ori flushed nervously and stuttered out an apology before casting his notebook aside and wringing his hands together anxiously. "You and our burglar are close." Thorin began instantly feeling himself the fool. Balin and Dwalin had been his closest companions since Erebor, branching out for their help seemed only natural, he hardly knew Ori.
"Oh!" Ori smiled, his entire face lighting up in delight as he nodded. "Yes, I find Mister Bilbo highly fascinating."
Thorin shifted his body for a brief second and huffed. "I wish to court Master Baggin's, I wish to know how to show my affections."
"Oh," Ori frowned. "Well we don't really speak much of courting rituals." He added nervously pulling at the loose thread of his gloves. "I think he would appreciate flowers, he is always talking about his garden."
Thorin huffed his thanks and turned on his heels.
He had spent the best part of their journey stopping to pluck some of the brightest flowers he had seen, he knew very little of the meaning of flowers but they looked pleasing enough despite all of Fili and Kili's teasing over his shoulder.
"Are these for me?" Bilbo asked lifting the tiny bouquet from Thorin's rough hands. "Th-they're lovely, thank you." He smiled and Thorin felt his own mouth twitch up when Bilbo lifted them to his nose and sniffed, his cheeks a soft pink colour.
He would thank Ori later.
# # #
"Food," Bombur began pointing his porridge ladened ladle in Thorin's direction, "is the key to any man's heart. A Nice home cooked meal and you'll have him fawning all over you. That's how I got my wife... or rather how she got me."
"We all know that Hobbits like good food," Bofur chipped in cheerfully. "Aulë, knows he talks about it enough."
Thorin looked over to Bilbo fussing over his nephews, each of them sheepishly nodding along to what the Hobbit was saying, Thorin's heart melted and he turned back to Bombur and Bofur's cheery smiles.
"Very well, I will prepare our meal when we stop for the night." He decided, turning abruptly on his heels and dragging his two nephews away from the bewildered Hobbit by the hoods of their cloaks.
Thorin had sent the pair of them in search of food, anything with meat on as would be fitting a courting meal, Kili had returned brandishing wild rabbits and lake side trout. Fili trampling behind him with arms full of wild potatoes and carrots. Thorin didn't thank them, rather stuffed them into his pack and announced that they were to continue walking until the sun set.
Fili and Kili fell into step with Bilbo, both of them chuckling at the tickled pink cheeks of their Hobbit. When they stopped for the night Bombur easily set up the pots and pans, Nori lighting the fire and Bofur fetching the water from the lake.
No one mentioned anything when Thorin rolled up his sleeves and busied himself over the pot, even if some dubious looks were shared amongst the company.
When he finished Thorin dished out the charred remains of Kili's rabbits and Fili's carrots, glaring at any of them who dared to criticize his hard work. Bilbo was the last to be served, he had seen the rest of the servings and debated if it was worth skipping to hold out for Bombur's breakfast.
But Thorin gave him the largest portion out of the lot and quirked his brow in that little half smile that melted Bilbo's heart and he thanked the dwarf and poked at his plate until Thorin settled in beside him.
Bilbo's lips pinched together and his stomach clenched in protest when the sickening crunch of the rabbit rang in his ears. The bitter taste of smoke and fire filled his mouth and he almost gagged in the same unbecoming way Gloin had.
Thorin glared down at his own plate and cursed before throwing it down to the ground, he then took Bilbo's plate from him and attempted the same, he would not allow his intended to eat such a horrid thing. "Hey! That's mine."
"You deserve better," Thorin defended gruffly, turning stunned eyes to Bilbo when he yanked the plate back. "I am no cook."
"Which I'm sure we are all thankful for." Bilbo mumbled. "You however tried and I am enjoying it."
"It is burnt."
"I have had worse." Bilbo backed making a show of taking another mouthful of the rabbit. He cringed inwardly but Thorin's tight smile was enough for Bilbo to swallow it down and present Thorin with an empty plate moments later.
# # #
"Gold!" Nori exclaimed when Thorin dared to ask. "And gems, silver bands and long golden chains. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires."
Dwarves courted in riches, they showered their intended with rings and chains and gifts of fine silks. Impressing them with wealth and stature. Thorin imagined that many of the gifts Nori had given Bofur during their courting had been stolen, but he didn't mention anything.
"Nothing impresses anyone more than riches and Bilbo said himself that Hobbits love to receive gifts." Nori added with a cheeky wink.
So Thorin presented Bilbo with little sacks of gold coin and golden bands, he gave Bilbo the few gems he carried in his pack and the most beautiful beads from his hair. He slipped gifts under Bilbo's jacket at night and presented him with gems once they had finished dinner.
To accept the gifts given was an acceptance of courtship, Thorin thrilled when Bilbo tucked the rings in his pack and flushed as he wrapped the gems up in his pockets.
Until they were sat at the fire side three days later and Thorin had taken off his father's ring intending to present it to his Hobbit as verification of their affections.
"Thorin, stop." Bilbo whispered, pushing the ring back into Thorin's palm. "I cannot accept this. Any of them." He added handing the gems back with a sorrowful look.
Thorin glared at the little bands and the array of gems.
His rejection had never been clearer.
# # #
It had been almost two weeks before Bilbo had had enough of Thorin's sulking. "What is wrong with him?" Bilbo asked between Fili and Kili who both looked up at their brooding uncle and frowned.
"He is heartbroken." Kili mumbled, hissing when Fili elbowed him in the ribs.
Bilbo swallowed hard. "Heartbroken?" Bilbo felt a little heartbroken himself, of course Thorin was in love with someone, how stupid he had been in thinking that a Dwarven king would be interested in a silly little hobbit. "I did not realise, is it a member of the company?"
Fili stared at him for a long time before he frowned. "You honestly do not know?"
"It is you," Kili answered when Bilbo tilted his head in confusion. "Uncle has been trying to court you."
# # #
"If we were in the Shire," Bilbo smiled settling himself at Thorin's side on watch that night. The rest of the company were tucked up quietly in their bedrolls, Bombur's snores echoing across the clearing as Thorin turned to look at the Hobbit. "I'd bake you my favourite velvet cake."
Thorin furrowed his brow in confusion.
"I'd probably try and persuade you to let me braid those flowers into your hair and fill up your plate with enough food that you would melt by the fire and not want to get up. We'd dance and sing, I'd probably laugh at you." Bilbo chuckled. "I'd give you my father's ring and my mother's brooch."
"I think you'd probably kiss me first," Bilbo flushed and Thorin shut his mouth and stared out over the river. "And I would unquestionably accept your father's ring as a token of your affection."
"But you did not, you refused my gifts." Thorin sighed, dipping his head when Bilbo scooted closer and curled himself absently under the dwarves arm. "You are most dear to me Bilbo Baggins."
"In the shire we court each other with crowns of flowers and homemade pies, we dance together and exchange tokens of affection." Bilbo yawned. "When you presented me with the flowers I had hoped that my affection was shared but I dared not hope. I'm only a Hobbit."
"You are much more than a mere Hobbit." Thorin huffed.
"I accept your courtship." Bilbo smiled leaning his hand on Thorin's thigh to allow his lips to fit easily against Thorin's. It was soft and slow, Thorin's hand settling softly on Bilbo's waist and his stomach flipping excitedly when Bilbo pulled away lips red and breathlessly giddy.
# # #
When Bilbo woke later in the morning he found a messy crown of flowers by his fingers and Thorin's fathers ring in his pocket, Thorin himself had moved his bedroll in the night and was sleeping peacefully at the side of him.
His hand stretched out towards the Hobbit and his fur coat draped over the pair of them. Bilbo kissed him awake and settled the crown on Thorin's head when the king blinked at him.
"I am not wearing that." Thorin groaned, smiling when Bilbo face lit up with a laugh.