“This has gone on far too long!”
Thorin was shoved from the bed, very rudely, and landed on the floor with a thump. He glowered at his hobbit love and checked his poor nose for damage.
“What are you on about you mad burglar?!”
“THIS!” Bilbo, kneeling on the bed, raised his arms in the air and gestured wildly at everything and nothing.
“Four weeks of your brooding, it’s gone on long enough and I can’t take it, I CAN’T TAKE IT I say!” Bilbo hopped off the bed and dug through Thorin’s wardrobe until he found a suitable tunic and threw it the unamused dwarf.
“What do you expect me to do with this?” Thorin grouched and shook the clothing in his fist.
“Put it on of course. We’re going on an adventure.”
Thorin’s stomach sank and twisted unhappily. He had not left his chambers weeks and was reluctant to do so until Balin confirmed that his orders had been executed.
“I will not be going on your adventure.” He announced staunchly. Bilbo turned to look at him from where he was collecting Thorin boots and a wooly set of socks and arched his brow.
“You won’t?” Bilbo asked coolly and Thorin shook his head stubbornly. He would not be bullied by an imp. Even if that imp was his beloved.
“You won’t put on your shirt or you won’t go on an adventure? Because if you will not put on your shirt I have no issue with hauling you off naked. I have not the jealousy of dwarves and the benefits of your getting out of these Valar cused rooms would far outweigh any oglings of your natural furs!”
Thorin had built up an awful flush of embarrassment and anger. “I’ll not be spoken to lik-”
“Like a recalcitrant pebble in need of a mother’s scolding? Well yes, I hardly dreamed I’d be in the position to be doing the scolding but someone has to be the adult in all this.”
With that he tossed the boots at his dwarf’s head, steel toes clanging against the wall after a well timed duck. “I’ll be in the hall and it will be your bits dangling over the abyss if you aren’t dressed and ready to come with me in ten minutes!”
The door slammed as Bilbo left, Thorin still seated on the floor tracing the sewing on his tunic and fighting hard to swallow the lump in his throat.
Thorin dressed and brushed the tangles from his hair with more force than was strictly necessary. Bilbo’s phrasing had hurt him deeply, over the abyss indeed. How he didn’t understand why Thorin had confined himself, contained himself, was infuriating.
It was all for Bilbo. For his sister-sons, still recovering from his mistakes.
Thorin exited his room, door knocking against the wall loud enough to make him wince, and did not find Bilbo immediately within his sight. There was no sign of him down either way of the hall and after a moment of hesitation he peaked behind where the door had met the wall seconds before.
A sniffle caught his ears. He followed it a short way and found his love curled up against the bannisters on a small terrace, looking over the city.
Elbow on knees, face in hands, and large toes curled, Bilbo Baggins exuded weakness. It was the same weakness that Thorin had scorned him for upon their first meeting, tittering and dawdling, that which nearly lost him his burglar early on had it not been for the Goblin trap amongst Stone Giants. It was the helplessness of one who was out of their depth. But Thorin knew Bilbo was anything but weak.
Hearing his approach, Bilbo looked up at him, eyes red from rubbing. It was with shame that he noted the dark bags under his eyes, the tightness of his lips and the furrow of his brow. He had shirked his duties and there were few to pick up the slack.
Thorin offered a hand, and once Bilbo was on his feet he drew the hobbit in a deep embrace.
“I’m sorry,” Bilbo muttered thickly into his ear, gripping his back. “I shouldn’t have- I’m just so tired, Thorin. I’ve never been so tired before, not even sneaking around those dungeons…”
Thorin stroked his hair.
“I’ve been cruel to you,” He grumbled back. “I left a king and council’s duties to you. But I-.” He swallowed hard. “I have been frightened.”
They parted, hands sliding into each other. Bilbo took a deep breath and looked him in the eye.
“I know you are scared. Of what could happen, what has happened. But this is not, this is not sustainable, Thorin.” He squeezed the larger hand.
“Hiding from your fears...that is not the Thorin that I have come to know. You are more than that sickness and you can overcome it. It does not rule you.”
Thorin was biting his cheek, growing impatient.
“Balin has had most of the gold removed from the halls, statues and trinket have been packed away, wallpaper have been scrapped. Murals covered up. This is you culture, your history do you not wish to even try?”
“I do!” Thorin growled. “I have dreamt of the Erebor’s splendor for over a century and mourned her decay since we chases Smaug from her depths, but the risk is too high!”
“What risk?” Bilbo asked angrily. “What do you have to lose? Truly?”
“ You! I could hurt you again, I’ve done it once before. What if I am...what if I am weaker to it now?”
Thorin pulled one of his hands free and rubbed the heel into his burning eyes.
“I cannot risk that, not again.”
Bilbo was silent, staring, still.
“I understand,” He croaked and cleared his throat. “But please Thorin, just- just once. Come with me this once. We will have a set of guards just outside and if you fall we will remove you immediately.”
It was the gauntness that convinced Thorin. The tension in beloved’s shoulders.
“For just a minute,” He rasped.
“I’ve changed my mind,” Thorin said loudly.
The treasury loomed ever closer, newly fitted doors glaring at him from down the hall. Among the guards waiting for them was Dwalin, arms crossed, brows raised, as Bilbo shoved him from behind.
“Nope, you promised me.”
“I shall make it up to you later.”
Bilbo shook his head and gave up pushing him for dragging him by the arm.
“It will be but a moment. They will open the doors and you will peek inside and if you feel so much as a bit of gas we shall haul you out again.”
The guards bowed to him, eyes hard and proud, but kind.
“I swear to you, My King.” Orna, a dwarrowdam immigrated from the Iron Hills, stepped forward with her arm across her chest and at a half bow. “No harm will come to the future Consort or yourself. We are prepared to handle any situation that arises.”
Dwalin grasped him by the shoulder. “I have seen you at your worst,” He rumbled. “I would not see you there again.” And moved to grasp the brass knob of the door.
Thorin clenched his eyes shut and felt a hand shove him forward.
“Thorin, please, just open your eyes.” Bilbo whispered from beside him. A minute passed. Then another, and Thorin risked peeling one eye open.
All around him in neatly sorted piles or weighed sacks, was gold. Far off from where they stood he made out ancient relics and weapons, and elsewhere were gems and ore. A banking station had been set up a few steps to the left in the corner, where a number of dwarves had ceased their work and were watching him with big eyes.
“Thorin! It is about time for you to pay us a visit!”
Gloin clambered up the steps to greet him, blocking Thorin’s view of the grand hall. “We’ve only just completed inventory! We’ll be distributing to parties owed over the next week. Our Burglar-well…” Gloin glanced sideways at Bilbo’s unamused expression.
“Our Consort-to-be has worked out how best to distribute the wealth amongst the returning dwarrow and the guilds, and let us not forget reparations to Lake Town. It will be considerably less crowded in here when we are through!”
He seemed somewhat sad about this. He gave Thorin a hard pat on the shoulder and wished him a fine day. “You know where to find me!” He roared jovially and returned to his fellow bankers.
“Are you alright, Thorin?” Bilbo’s fingers tightened around his own.
“I-” Thorin stared around him.
He moved forward, holding onto Bilbo for support as he walked among the piles. Walking to stand in front of one of the largest piles of gold, mixed with crowns and and necklaces, he stopped and stared with wide unseeing eyes.
“I don’t feel a thing.” Thorin admitted lamely. Bilbo snorted and smacked him on the shoulder, stepping away to cross his arms.
“Nothing?” Bilbo asked, a relieved yet smug tone entering his voice.
“Nothing at all?”
Thorin turned to smirk at him, feeling lighter than he had in a long while and can’t keep back the chuckle that rises out of him.
“Perhaps a little hungry,” he finally manages, and bring Bilbo close for a kiss, sweeping his fingers through Bilbo’s golden curls and pulling his lips away only to rest his forehead against his love’s.
“We can remedy that too,” Bilbo breathed.