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Royal Gifts

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Bilbo settled down heavily on the couch, hand splayed over his rounded belly. The furniture in the royal suites was a mix of compromises, chairs and couches sized for a dwarf, but with footstools and step stools scattered about and worked into the décor in such a way that a hobbit could find a great deal of comfort in it.

He found it hard to complain too much about the oversizedness of it all when he had grown so large himself. Bilbo rubbed a little awkwardly as he felt a kick.

“I know, you’re as cramped as I am. Well just be patient, it’ll be some time yet,” Bilbo spoke affectionately to his belly.

“Talking to yourself again, Mister Baggins?” Thorin’s voice carried across the room. Bilbo chuckled.

“Hardly, I was talking to your son and you know it,” Bilbo spoke affectionately, twisting a little to look at the door. There was so much to do now, some days he hardly saw Thorin. Fili was officially heir, a full blooded son of Durin would reign after Thorin and keep people from speculating too hard that Bilbo was aiming for control of the riches of Erebor, but there was still a great deal to do to make sure the slowly rebuilding dwarven kingdom was running smoothly.

“I hope you are not too lonely here,” Thorin made his way across the room, to crouch and poke at the fire that kept the chill of the mountain at bay. Even with the great forges relit and heat being piped throughout the mountains to all of the living areas, Bilbo found it was often on the edge of too cool for his comfort. It could be endured though, like many things it was a small price to pay for the end results.

“Of course not. I could easily go out and find someone to talk with, or call them here for that matter. Most of our friends would hardly refuse me without good reason. No, I like the peace and quiet, I’m quite certain we’ll be thinking back on it wistfully a few more months from now,” Bilbo spoke lightly.

“Does that mean you wish me to leave you to your peace and quiet?” Thorin said solemnly, but Bilbo knew him well enough to hear the well hidden teasing note under the words.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Bilbo patted the couch beside him, pleased when Thorin made his way over to sit beside him.

“When have I ever?” Thorin said, and then continued before Bilbo could bring up any of the too familiar stories. “I brought you a present.”

“Is it something to eat? I know it’s my right, but I feel guilty asking people to fetch me things from the kitchen every hour,” Bilbo said hopefully, and Thorin chuckled.

“No, but if you wish we can take dinner together soon,” Thorin reached into his coat, pulling out a slender box. “Would you wear this? It would please me greatly.”

“Oh Thorin,” Bilbo sighed, but it was more of a token protest than anything. Finding baubles, or having them made, was something that made Thorin happy. And it was hardly as though a few gemstones here and there would bankrupt Erebor, it was more that Bilbo generally felt foolish in the finery the dwarves donned with such ease. He was a hobbit, after all, and even the nicest of his clothing and jewelry would have had him still looking rather plain at Thorin’s side. Not that he could have squeezed into most of it at the moment.

Bilbo opened up the box, and couldn’t help a small oh of surprise. He had expected something more in line with the usual dwarven aesthetics. The jewelry and decorations Thorin and the others favored ran to precise lines and repeating shapes, symmetry that showed off the skill of the craftsperson in its unwavering meticulousness. He knew Thorin loved to see him in such designs in a possessive streak that was charming in its own way and Bilbo was happy to indulge, but was rarely what he would have picked out on his own. In contrast, he could hardly imagine any dwarf donning the simple crown in his hands. It looked as though he held a circlet of flowers, ones that caught the dim firelight and sparkled deep in each petal and bud. Examining them more closely he could see it was a clever mix of cut gems and enameled metal to form each perfect flower. Though a metal flower circlet had no need of anything to bind them together, the base of them looked to be metal wire intricately woven in the geometric knot work echoed in the embroidery on Thorin’s clothes. It was a subtle touch, but one that brought a smile to his face.

“Balin reminded me that one of the things Erebor was always known for was our craftsmen’s ability to tailor each piece to the individual rather than sticking to any one style, and suggested I should put that skill to use,” Thorin smiled, and Bilbo could very easily imagine how that conversation may have gone. “Does it please you?”

“Remind me to thank Balin for the suggestion then. And it does please me, very much. It’s not going to break if I put it on, is it?” Bilbo asked, halfway teasing. The flowers looked like they might break at a touch, but he knew the odds were excellent it was stronger than it looked.

“It shouldn’t break, as long as you don’t take a hammer to it,” Thorin reached to lift the circlet out and gently place it on Bilbo’s curls. It felt hardly any more heavy than a sturdy hat and Bilbo doubted it would go tumbling off his head under normal circumstances.

“How do I look?” Bilbo asked. The closest mirror was in another room and he had no intention of hauling himself up before he had to just to satisfy his own curiosity and vanity.

“You look breathtaking,” Thorin leaned in to brush his lips against Bilbo’s forehead. “And the crown suits you nicely as well.”

“You don’t need to flatter me you know, it’s hardly as though I’m going to up and leave you after everything,” Bilbo smiled at the light touch.

“You know well enough I despise flattery,” Thorin said easily, kissing his lips this time, and then shifting down to place a kiss of the rounded top of his belly before looking up at him. “Are you ready to make an appearance at dinner?”

“Only if you’ll help me get properly dressed. I can hardly show up in public in a crown and housecoat,” Bilbo said primly, offering Thorin his hand.

Thorin chuckled as he helped Bilbo to his feet.