Bilbo tossed and turned in his bed. His large, luxurious, most comfortable bed in creation, that was also very, very empty.
Bilbo was going to kill a dwarf.
Because Thorin was late.
"Argh!" Bilbo shot out of his wonderfully warm bed and violently threw all of his blankets off causing them to spill onto the floor.
"He knows I can't sleep without him," Bilbo snarled to himself.
He stalked around the grand bedroom he shared with Thorin. He snatched up his rob and tied it around himself. All the while he ranted to the empty room:
"Confounded dwarf. Just see if he gets any sex for the next week. Forget that, the next month." Bilbo huffed loudly, "Fifth time this week he's been late! The fifth! And he promised he'd be on time tonight."
Bilbo flopped down onto the armchair in front of the fireplace. He buried his face into his hands and sighed. Bilbo hadn't slept in nearly a week. He was beyond frustrated and beyond exhausted. Sleep evaded him whenever he wasn't sleeping next to Thorin and The King Under the Mountain had been spending the past week in the annual trade discussions with the Mirkwood Elves and Dale. The discussions started early and went long into the night. As consort to the king, Bilbo had been to a few of these meetings but the constant arguing, snide remarks, and backhanded comments never ceased to give Bilbo a pounding headache, so he chose to skip most of them.
Bilbo massaged his temples for a long while before sitting up. He wasn't going to get any sleep as long as Thorin wasn't there so it was no use sitting and sulking.
Bilbo tightened the sash of his robe and headed out into the sleeping Lonely Mountain.
Erebor was still and quite due to the lateness of the hour. The only dwarrows Bilbo Baggins ever came upon during his night wanderings were guards on their night shifts that would bow respectively to him as he pasted and murmur, 'Consort Baggins'.
Bilbo nodded to one such dwarf that guarded the door to his and Thorin's chambers during the nights.
"Good evening, Consort Baggins," The redheaded, heavily tattooed dwarf bowed low to him.
"Good evening, Frár, I thought I asked you to stop this 'Consort Baggins' nonsense and call me Bilbo?" He raised an eyebrow and craned his neck at the dwarf who rivaled Dwalin in size.
The corner of Frár's lip twitched as he tried not to smile, "My apologizes, uh, Bilbo. If I may ask, where are you off to at this late hour?"
Bilbo hummed thoughtfully, "I'm not sure yet. Wherever my feet take me I suppose."
"Would you like me to accompany you?" Frár asked.
"Oh, no I should be fine. I put a couple of poisoned daggers in my robe before I stepped out," Bilbo assured him (one could never know if someone was planning on assassinating you. It didn't happen too often, Nori was a very good Spy Master and usually found these sorts of things out before hand, but it was better safe than sorry).
Frár bowed his head politely, "If you are sure, Consort Baggins."
Bilbo wagged his finger at him, "Now none of that."
Frár laughed, "I beg your pardon, Bilbo."
"That's better! Well, I'll be off then. Good evening, Frár," Bilbo started down the hall.
"Good evening, Bilbo, and happy wanderings," Frár responded.
"Oh!" Bilbo reappeared from around a corner, "If Thorin should return before I do, tell him that he and I will be having words when I get back."
Frár looked amused, "I will pass it on."
Bilbo nodded, "Thank you."
Bilbo took random turn after random turn. In the seven years that he had lived in Erebor he had made it his mission to know every nook and cranny of the Lonely Mountain.
It hadn't been easy at first; many a dwarf had had to come rescue him. But thanks to his night time wanderings he knew Erebor almost as well as any other dwarf born and raised there.
He took a right then headed down a flight of stairs that spiraled into a large hall. Bilbo paused and looked around. He guess by the tapestry that depicted a majestic looking Thorin with long, flowing dark locks decapitating Azog the Defiler that he was near the kitchens. There were actually quite a lot of these sorts of artwork all over the mountain (carvings, paintings, tapestries etc.). He remembered this one especially because it was one of the first to be created and Bilbo had laughed himself silly over the ridiculousness of it (once in the privacy of his and Thorin's chambers of course. He didn't want to be rude to the artist; it was a rather pretty tapestry— if not a tad over the top).
Bilbo smiled fondly up at it. He wondered if he should sneak into the kitchens and procure himself a midnight snack. Bilbo shrugged. Why not, it's not like anyone will be in at this time of night, he thought.
He took a right turn then a left, walked up a short staircase and pulled open a large wooden door.
There were only a few lamps lit in the huge, empty kitchen causing large shadows to be cast about it. However, Bilbo was long over a childish fear of the dark. He patted the pocket of his robe that concealed his daggers; he was quiet capable enough to take care of anything that might try to jump out at him.
Bilbo made his way to where he knew the pasties were kept; he was craving something sweet tonight.
He was humming to himself and rummaging through some tasty looking options when he heard a loud clattering, a tinkling of broken glass, and then a familiar voice cursing.
Bilbo snatched up a bakewell pudding and headed over to investigate.
He found Bombur, Bofur, and Bifur all standing over a shattered glass platter that seemed to have been knocked off of a table.
"Oh dear," Bombur was saying sadly, "I didn't mean to knock it over."
"I'm sure no one will mind, you are the head Royal Chef after all," Bilbo said reassuringly.
The three of them all started and jerked around to stare at him.
Bofur slapped a hand to his chest, "By Mahal, Bilbo, you damn near scared me half to death."
Bilbo laughed, "I am sorry, Bofur."
Bofur smiled his dimple-y smile and ruffled Bilbo's hair much to his annoyance, "No harm done."
"Ooooh, is that a bakewell pudding?" Bombur asked when he caught sight of the pastry.
Bilbo nodded and took a bite, "And it tastes fantastic."
"Are there anymore?" Bombur inquired.
"I should think so," Bilbo responded.
Bombur clapped his hands in delight, "Does anyone else want anything?"
"I'll take an apple tart," Bofur said.
Bifur mumbled something in Khuzdul.
Bombur nodded and headed off to the where the pastries were.
"You look tired, Bilbo," Bofur stated as he leaned against the table..
Bilbo rolled his eyes, "Thanks."
"Thorin still in that trade meeting?"
Bilbo scowled, "Yes. I can't wait until all of these discussions are over. I don't think I can handle much more of this no sleep nonsense."
Bofur gave him a sympathetic look.
Bombur walked back in and handed his brother an apple tart and his cousin a banket and for himself he had two bakewell puddings, three betmännchens, and a birnbrot. He told Bilbo, "I should think they will be done soon. I served them dinner today and all it sounded like they were doing was insulting each in their native tongues and as well as a few other languages."
Bilbo groaned and thumped his head against the table, "Wonderful."
Bifur patted him on the back while Bofur said, "Don't worry Bilbo! I'm sure things will turn out fine."
"Not if a war ends up getting started because of these blasted meetings," Bilbo grumbled.
"I'm sure it won't come to that," Bofur reassured. "Maybe," he added cheerfully.
Bilbo turned his head to glare up at him, "You are doing wonders to comfort me," he said sarcastically.
Bofur beamed at him, "I know."
Bilbo sighed and sat back up, "What are you three doing up, anyway?"
Bofur patted his brother's round belly, "Bombur was craving a midnight snack and Bif and I were up so we thought we would accompany him."
Bilbo hummed in response and they lapsed into comfortable silence as they ate their pastries.
Bilbo heard the door being thrown open and the sound of arguing— very familiar pair of voices arguing.
Nori and Dori came stomping in followed by a silent Ori, who was far too used to his older brothers arguing to pay it any mind.
"Durin's Beard, Dori! Can stop mothering me for five fucking minutes!" Nori yelled throwing his arms in the air.
"No I will not!" snapped Dori, "Because I'm your older brother and I'm supposed to take care of you."
"By the gods," Nori snarled, "You are impossible."
"Looks like it's been a fun night with the 'Ri brothers," Bofur commented.
"You have no idea," Ori mumbled.
Bilbo patted him on the shoulder.
"You look like shit, Bilbo," said Nori as he took a seat at the table. He had gotten into the liquor cabinet and was drinking a tanker of beer.
Bilbo sighed and took a seat across from him, "Thanks, Nori."
"Is Thorin not done with his discussions yet?" Ori asked as he sat next to Bilbo.
Bilbo shook his head, "No, not yet."
Dori tisked and took a seat next to Bombur, who was still eating his multitudes of pasties, "It's not healthy for him to be in these meetings for so long. Too much stress, for both of you."
"You try telling him that," Bilbo mumbled.
"So what brought you three here to the kitchens at this time of night?" Bofur asked as he took a seat on the other side of Bilbo.
"I wanted something to eat—" Ori started.
"And I wanted a beer because Dori was nagging me—" Nori continued.
"Because you are being reckless!" Dori shouted.
"Damnit Dori! It's my job! I'm the fucking Spy Master! I case you had forgotten." Nori growled slamming a fist against the table.
They watched in mild amusement as Dori and Nori dissolved into more fighting.
"You said you wanted a snack, Ori?" Bombur asked.
"Huh? Oh yeah... Are there any pastries?" He wondered.
"Tons," Bilbo told him.
"Oh, are there any Blachindlas?" Ori asked.
"I think I remember seeing some. Let me check," Bombur said.
"Thank you, Bombur!" Ori called after him.
"Of course, does anyone else want one while I'm up?"
Bilbo, Bofur, and Bifur requested another of the pastries that they had already had and Nori and Dori stopped their bickering long enough to shout their orders before starting up again.
Just as Bombur was coming back with their requests the kitchen door was pulled open again.
"Is no one sleeping?" Bilbo wondered aloud causing Bofur to chuckle.
"It would seem so."
Oin and Gloin stared at the group that had all assembled themselves around the table.
"Looks like we weren't the only ones craving a late night snack," Oin said loudly.
Gloin nodded his agreement.
"Huh?" Oin said holding up his ear trumpet, "Did you say something?"
"No, brother I did not," Gloin said rolling his eyes.
"Is that a bossche bol, lad?" Oin loudly asked Nori.
"Yeah, it is," Noir replied taking a huge bite of it.
"Are there anymore?"
"Yes!" Bombur said.
"Oh good," Oin said as he and his younger brother went to procure themselves some pastries.
The volume in the kitchen had increased tenfold with the arrival of Oin and Gloin. Bilbo smiled to himself and thought the only way this could ever get any louder is if Fíli and Kíli were to suddenly show up.
Fate must have been listening to his musings because the next thing he knew the door was being thrown open and Fíli and Kíli came crashing through it, laughing.
"What are you lads doing here? Shouldn't you be in the trade meeting?" Gloin asked.
"Kíli, the moron— Ow!" Kíli had smacked Fíli upside the head, "What?! You are!" Kíli rolled his eyes and crossed his arms (he looked very much like a pouting puppy). "As I was saying, Kíli fell asleep against my shoulder during the meeting—"
"No one noticed! They were too busy arguing!" Kíli defended.
"No, they didn't notice," Fíli agreed, "that was until you started snoring like a toll."
"I did not!"
"Oh yes you did! You were so loud that Uncle Thorin kicked us out of the meeting because the Lords kept glaring at you!"
"Well it's not my fault the meetings are so bloody boring," Kíli huffed.
"They are boring but at least I could stay awake." That comment earned Fíli a punch in the arm from his brother.
Fíli turned to glare at him brother and Kíli puffed out his chest and glared back at him, seemingly daring his brother to punch him back.
Bilbo cut in as quickly as he could before the two started a full out brawl right in the middle of the kitchen, "So is the meeting still going strong?"
"Huh? Oh yeah, it didn't look like they were going to be finishing anytime soon," Fíli said.
"At this rate they'll be going until dawn!" Dori shook his head in disbelief.
The whole group began grumbling about the ridiculousness of trade meetings (they mostly blamed the elves). Fíli and Kíli grabbed themselves some pastries too and joined the rest of the company around the table.
Bilbo smiled to himself. It had been so long since so many of them had been altogether laughing and eating and drinking. It was hard to find time to all met up anymore. Everyone was so busy with their new jobs and the only time they seemed to end up all in the same room together was if something grave was happening. But now here they were, happy and enjoying their late night pastries.
"All we're missing is Dwalin, Balin, and Thorin," Ori whispered to him.
Bilbo smiled and nodded, "But they will stay with Thorin in the meeting for as long as it takes to come to an agreement."
Dwalin had taken on the duty as head guard for the royal family and Thorin's personal guard while Balin was head advisor to the king. They would stay by Thorin until hell froze over.
Bilbo was just thinking this when Ori leaned over and whispered, "Speak of the devil."
Bilbo looked up to see Dwalin and Balin walking into the kitchen.
"I thought Thorin told you two to get your asses into bed," Dwalin raised an eyebrow at the two princes, who tried to look as innocent as possible as they ate their pastries.
"Well, you see—" Kíli started.
"We were going to but—" Fíli continued.
"We were feeling ever so hungry—" Kíli cut in.
"Because we had skipped lunch—" Fíli added.
"So we decided to get a late night snack—" Kíli said.
"Yeah, some pastries!" Fíli agreed holding up his carac to illustrate his point.
"And what are you two doing here?" Bofur asked Balin and Dwalin in return.
"The same thing everyone else seems to be here for, a midnight snack," Balin said, smiling.
"So is the meeting over?" Bilbo asked Balin when his brother and him had sat down with their pastries, and in Dwalin's case a tanker of mead.
Balin nodded, "For now. Thorin ended it saying that everyone should get a good night’s sleep and they would continue at midday tomorrow."
"I hope it went well today," Ori said.
"As well as it could with those tree-shagging, pointy-eared bastards," Dwalin growled.
Everyone nodded at Dwalin's statement and began insulting elves amongst each other. Bilbo rolled his eyes and finished off his fifth bakewell pudding before standing up.
"Well, I'll be off! Have a goodnight, everyone!" he said.
"Goodnight Bilbo!" they chorused.
Bilbo left the kitchen with a wide smile. He walked swiftly through the deserted hallways. He was eager to get back to his husband.
When he came to his door he found Frár exactly where he had been when Bilbo had left hours earlier.
"Is he back?" Bilbo asked.
Frár nodded, "His majesty, King Thorin, did return but not ten minutes ago."
"Thank you, Frár, goodnight."
"Goodnight, Bilbo," He responded and Bilbo gave him a smile before slipping into the chamber.
He found Thorin in the armchair by the fireplace with his forehead in his hand.
"Hello, love," Bilbo said softly as he came to stand in front of the King.
Thorin tilted his head up and moved his chin to rest on his hand.
"Frár said we are to have words," he murmured, and then he sighed and added, "Bilbo, I am sorry—"
Bilbo placed a finger to his lips to silence him. Bilbo felt his heart clench. Thorin looked so utterly exhausted. He had dark, purple bruises under his eyes from lack of sleep and stress. The furrow between his eyebrows was deeper than normal and He looked pale and worn.
Bilbo gave him a small smile before leading in and kissing him softly.
"Let's go to bed," He murmured against Thorin's lips.
Thorin sighed and moved to lean his forehead against Bilbo's, "I love you."
Bilbo laughed, "I know. I love you, too."
He snatched up his husbands hand and pulled Thorin towards their large, comfortable bed.
"Come on, you look terrible" Bilbo said teasingly as Thorin barked out a laugh.