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Bilbo Dragon-Slayer - A Coats & Customs Interlude

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“And what has my so-solicitous brother sent us this time?” Thorin asks curiously.

“A tapestry,” Gimli says, “but I don’t know what of. We haven’t unrolled it. Oh, and Kes sent a letter.” He hands it to Bilbo, who opens it warily and then frowns. Thorin leans over to see what it says.

I am so very sorry - I told him it was a bad idea, Kes has written. Thorin and Bilbo eye the long roll of tapestry with growing trepidation.

They unroll it in the great hall, which is the only space large enough - it’s almost as tall as the walls, and wide enough that it takes half a dozen dwarves to get it to hang properly. And then they all stand back and gape.

It’s Bilbo - Bilbo Dragon-Slayer - looking as heroic as it is possible for a tapestry figure to look, in the act of stepping on the dragon’s heart as it coils about in its death-throes. They all stare for a long, long moments. Finally Bilbo clears his throat.

“I don’t recall wearing dwarven armor during that particular unpleasantness,” he says faintly.

“No,” Dis says, sounding like she’s muffling giggles, and doing it badly. “I don’t seem to recall you brandishing a mighty sword, either.”

Thorin bites his cheek to keep from guffawing, and finds his voice long enough to croak, “I didn’t think you had a beard, then, either, beloved.”

Gimli has both hands over his face, and his ears are nearly as red as his beard. “That explains why Kes was so put out,” he mutters. “Oh Mahal, that’s...appalling.”

“Precisely the correct word, yes,” Bilbo says. “Thorin, my love, now that we’ve...ah...admired this glorious work of art sufficiently, I think it should go into storage so that the...ah...colors don’t fade in direct light, don’t you?”

“I think that is a marvelous idea,” Thorin says, still trying not to break into horrified laughter.

“And then,” Bilbo adds, “I think we can very safely never mention this again.”

“As you desire...Bilbo Dragon-Slayer,” Dis says, grinning widely, and Bilbo covers his face and groans. “Oh hey look, I think that little one in the corner is supposed to be me!”

Thorin decides that discretion is, in this case, the better part of valor, and beckons to Gimli. “See that this gets taken down and put somewhere in the back of one of the storage rooms, will you?” he murmurs, and once Gimli nods, picks up his little husband and makes a strategic retreat.

Bilbo starts laughing about halfway to their rooms, and Thorin joins in, shaking his head. “I have no idea what my brother was thinking,” he admits.

“That assumes that he was,” Bilbo retorts. “Oh, Valar, what a terrible likeness!”

“You are my little beardless hobbit,” Thorin says fondly, “and you need no armor, nor mighty sword, nor billowing beard to be hero enough for me.”

“My love,” Bilbo says, smiling, and stretches up for a kiss.