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May, Myself, & I

Chapter Text

The Shire was made for running.

Soft, lush, green grass seemed to bend over under large Hobbit feet with every intent of making those steps lighter.

A small pack of faunts could be found stirring mischief, stealing cooling pies, soiling laundry on the line, or chasing adventure in every borough.

The shire was a place of peace.

****

Fauntlings grew up, and most stopped their running. A few Tooks found adventures, to be sure, but no one would speak of them much. Too Tookish by far for the rest of the Shire.

And then there was Bilbo Baggins. A Took, through his mother, but altogether a hobbity hobbit.

One quiet morning, the whole of Hobbiton was turned on its pointed ears as the confirmed bachelor, staunchly Baggins-ish Baggins of Bag End ran through the whole of the town, parchment trailing behind him like a flag or a tail.

Some of the hobbits shared that he had mentioned an adventure, other mentioned that Gandalf fellow, anreven more mentioned dwarves.

Very un-hobbtish, the whole lot of it, the non-Took adults agreed, shaking their heads together. The Tops just grinned when they heard of their kin finally giving in to his blood.

And the faunts? Their eyes lit up when any of their friends mentioned it. An entirely new game was begun where those who went on adventures had to run off to join their companions, trailing something behind them.

Much to the consternation of whichever hobbit had laundry on the line that day.

Chapter Text

Durin was crowned with seven stars.

Durin was the first of Mahal's seven sons.

Thorin had lost seven loves.

His mother died two days after Dis was born. At the time he didn't know why, but he learned very quickly that childbirth frequently claimed dams even more frequently than battle would claim dwarrow.

His grandfather had been lost for decades before his death, madness gripping pieces of him and pinching them away forever, but that didn't make the shock of witnessing his head roll by any less traumatic.

It was his brother's death which cut his legs out from under him and left him in the healing tents for two days before he was able to step up to take the mantle of leadership in the gaping hole left by his father and grandfather.

He was with Fili and a very pregnant Dis when news of the mine collapse was brought to them. His tired mind didn't make the connection as quickly as his sister, who sat down on the nearest chair with a low moan. And then he remembered: her One, Vili, had been inspecting that mineshaft with the head of the guild.

His father's death wasn't confirmed for many decades after that, but Thorin wore that loss like a raw wound, seeking out every opportunity to recover him, or news of him.

Kili's shout joined his as the blade plunged through Fili's back to pierce his front. Blood was roaring in Thorin's ears, so he didn't hear anything else as he watched his golden nephew be un-skewered, and dropped from the cliff.

Right past Kili. His precious rayadith looked hollow as he stared down at his older brother, screaming. Thorin lost sight of his surviving nephew in the chaos, and when lying in a tent under Oin's care--dying, he knew he was dying--Balin confirmed that Kili had not survived the battle and had been brought to lie beside his brother by the she-elf who'd saved his life in Laketown.

Seven loves ripped away. But Dis would lose even more, and with that thought, a large maw of darkness swallowed him whole.

No stars in sight.

Chapter Text

Monday mornings were baking mornings.

Tuesdays were for beating the rugs.

Wednesdays were for scrubbing the floors.

Thursdays were for washing laundry.

Fridays were for mending.

Saturdays were for visiting.

Sundays were market days.

Mondays were little Bilbo's favorite days.

Would Mumma be making a pie? Loaves of sweet cinnamon bread? Cookies? Biscuits? Cakes?

Almost always, she made all of it. And absolutely always, Bilbo was her volunteer taste-tester, spoon stirrer, and ingredient pourer.

They were a great team, ignoring the spots of flour or cocoa that seemed to decorate them by the end.

Mondays were Bilbo's favorite with his mother.

Even in adulthood, the word "Monday" seemed to coat his tongue in sugar whenever he said it.

Chapter Text

Thorin looked in his mirror and waited.

The heavy feeling in his gut was still there and probably wasn't going away.

But.

But there was another feeling.

One that tugged at his shoulders and made him stand a little straighter.

An emotion that seemed to whisper "fuck 'em" in his ear.

Taking his finger and wrapping his lips around it, he dragged his finger out of mouth before smacking his lips.

Feeling as brave as he ever would, he stood and left his room and headed to the kitchen.

"Nice guy-liner, Uncle," Fili said around a mouthful of his sandwich.

"Yeah. And the lipstick is a nice touch. Bilbo won't know what hit him!" Kili's ear-to-ear grin did a lot to shrink that heaviness in Thorin's stomach.

"You think?"

"Oh yeah," Dis replied for her sons, her nonchalance shrinking that weight even further.

The doorbell sounded, and Thorin moved to answer it.

"Hey, Thor-".

Thorin looked at his gaping boyfriend for about a minute before Bilbo managed to pull himself together.

"Well, I'm going to have to add some new fantasies to the list I guess," Bilbo chortled. "You do keep me on my toes."

"Have fun, uncles!"

"Good night, boys," Thorin called, before heading out with Bilbo.

Chapter Text

A baker's dozen of dwarves was currently sleeping in his smial, and a wizard besides, and breakfast would need cooking.

He was going to need a lot more eggs.

Well. Bagginses don't do anything by halves.

Bilbo managed to beg, buy, sweet-talk, and steal every egg in Hobbiton, in addition to several scores of rashers of bacon, three loaves of bread for each dwarf, and a whole bushel of tomatoes fresh from his own garden.

Breakfast would be perfect.

~~~***~~~

Bombur burst into tears when he saw the fine spread. "It's just... It's just so lovely," he blubbered.

"But, where'd he find it all?" Balin asked, remembering the empty larder from the night before.

"Is it hobbit magic?" Oin asked suspiciously.

Kili shrugged and grabbed a plate and started serving himself, leading the others to do the same, all stepping quietly around the sleeping hobbit curled up on the bench in front of the food.

"S'good!" he whispered loudly.

"Eggs!" Bilbo shouted, sitting up suddenly, nearly knocking poor Ori boots over mittens.

"And they smell delicious," Bofur nodded at the hobbit. "Lovely meal."

Bilbo turned to look at his handiwork before sailing tiredly. "Hmm. Yes. Second breakfast."

"Second breakfast?" Dwalin asked surprised.

"Second breakfast," Nori echoed with greater emphasis on the first word. "Tell me more."

Chapter Text

PART ONE

Kili stared at his reflection in large silver mirror in his rooms. He knew he wasn't the deafen ideal like Ori, Nori, or--even more impossible--Dori.

But he had the Durin nose--a slim beak-like neb that gave his features a distinct profile, a royal profile shared by his uncle. Fili's nose was more like their father's, squat, round, and attractive. His coloring was Durin blue eyes and raven-dark hair, but those were his only good features.

Well, that's not true. He was strong, certainly not the strongest dwarf, but far from the weakest.

And his craft--jewelry making--was a true gift from Mahal, for he was a true and dedicated master of that craft.

But the rest?

Too tall, too lean, barely any beard, an affinity for archery, and a fondness for the elven form.

The archery was a boon at times, and the lack of facial hair aided that, though neither fact detracted from the teasing or odd looks he received.

He only looked to Tauriel now, his other half, the One chosen for him by Mahal, and it allowed and explained his affinity in a way no dwarf could mock him for, any more.

The height was not unusual for his family, Thorin and Dwalin among the tallest of dwarves were still several inches taller than him. His mother said his uncle Frerin was tall too, but Kili had no memories of him, so he could only mentally put him in Thorin and Dwalin's range.

But the leanness.

Dwarves weren't lean, by design. They were stout.

Barrel-chests, broad shoulders, large thighs and arms, and heavy.

Kili had a lean frame, narrow shoulders, slender arms, and not a large amount of weight. He certainly outweighed their Hobbit Burglar, and could carry his tiny uncle if needed, but he was still leaner than even Ori who could carry Dwalin all day if he wanted.

Kili turned to the side and watched his body become even smaller, cutting in half, as though he was disappearing. He hated it.

His body wasn't... He wasn't beautiful. It was ugly. He was ugly.

How could a Prince of Erebor be half a dwarf?

~~~***~~~

"Can we leave the lights on this time?" Tauriel asked her husband.

Kili stilled in his trail of kisses, fingers freezing in her red hair. "Why?"

"I want to see you, and I love the way you look when I ride you, all flushed and content."

~~~***~~~

TBC

Chapter Text

Nori wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

He wished he could clean his memory the way he would be washing his face and mouth.

The heavy, salty flavor lingered in his cheeks and behind his teeth.

But he couldn't spit like he wanted to. He wasn't allowed to.

It was his first official day in the Dead Rock gang.

They dwelled on the ledges of dead rock beneath the city, stones that crumbled underneath less nimble steps.

You wouldn't last long in the Dead Rock if you weren't quick.

After three months of living in the Stone, the surviving initiates had to put themselves through a series of tests to prove their loyalty, their endurance, and their ability to become Master in the craft of Deceit.

Nori pushed himself to standing, knees sore from the unforgiving stone they'd been pressed against.

He shuffled back into the spot he'd been in when he'd first been summoned to the room, awaiting judgement or further instruction.

"Well, you do give good head, lovely, made me think you wanted it more than I did. That's a gift, for sure."

Nori nodded, mind blank, emotions bundled tightly into a ball in his chest. There would be time for them later. Emotions would only cost him his life here.

Any hint of vulnerability would lead to his immediate death. Most likely a quick death following a long drop into the bowels of the mountain.

"And the rest?"

Nori nodded, and emptied his pockets.

The three other dwarves in the room swore.

Nori waited as they examined the money pouch, family beads, and hearthstone of their leader.

"Damn."

Nori tilted his chin up only slightly, to see the calculating look in the boss's eyes.

"Well, we've definitely got several uses for you, pretty thing. Don't touch my hearthstone or beads again or you will be praying for a quick death. And the next time ou take coin from a member of the gang, you lose a toe. If you still live in the dead rock long enough to touch another bit of gang gold, you'll be sent after your toe."

Nori nodded, eyes following exactly where the leader returned his belongings, family bed slipping back onto the braid by his ear.

"Now. Show me how you managed to get that while sucking me off. I was distracted, but neither of these two noticed either."

Nori shrugged and gave a short demonstration, hands never lighting on the leader, but shaping a mimicry of his earlier movements.

The second-in-commmand whistled. "Mahal sure blessed you, didn't he, gorgeous?"

"Your touch is mithril-light, Prettyfingers. Welcome to the Dead Rock guild. You'll apprentice with me," the leader intoned quietly. "When you finally come of age, I expect you might be the greatest master of our guild yet, so long as you keep your fetching ass out of prison long enough."

Nori nodded, stomach still roiling with disgust in counterpoint to his heart which was leaping with delight. He could pursue a mastery in his craft! He was (unofficially, as the guild wasn’t recognized) an official apprentice!

“Mahal be merciful,” he prayed. “That I can learn to master my craft and change the initiation rites.” He whispered his thanks into his fingers as he left the boss’s office and hurried to the nearest pub to drown the taste and, if he was very lucky, make himself sick enough to empty the entire contents of his stomach.

Chapter Text

A wizard is never late.

Nor is he early.

He arrives precisely when—and where—he means to.

No matter what anyone else might have to say about it.

Bilbo Baggins has been a joyful fauntling, brimming with Tookish mischief and Baggins kindness.

The Fell Winter has dimmed the light in the eyes of many hobbits, and they had proved resilient in the way they returned to their former selves.

Except for Bilbo.

Oh, he had certainly mourned his parents, and attended several funerals for kin, companions, and those who now called him landlord in his father’s stead.

As was proper.

And he continued to live that proper life until the grief was more bearable and less smothering, day by day. By the time he was done with his grief, propriety was all he remembered for daily life.

And it was certainly a respectable way to live, so why going changing a very peaceful life?

Gandalf decided to shake his late friend’s child out of his stupor and back into himself. What better way to begin than with a hearty serving of Tookishness?

Surprise guests? A Baggins couldn’t turn them away.

Dwarves? Belladonna has told a fair share of stories of meeting Men, Elves, and even Dwarves to her son.

Adventure? The little boy who had been lost in the Old Woods enough times that Goldberry had adopted him as an honorary nephew?

Dragon? The young lad who had charged at an ‘invading’ wizard with a wooden sword, and tackled invading wolves with a large cook pan?

Perfect.

It was with a low chuckle that he carved his rune into the round, green door.

Chapter Text

The rain came out of nowhere. The sun was even still shining with no sign of the clouds causing the rain.

Dori moaned and paced in front of the store window. He’d managed to duck into the tea shop before it started raining, and had stayed for a cup while he waited out the weather.

One didn’t walk in the rain in designer threads, imported from Italy, worked into his own design, and settled just enough to give the appearance of effortless style.

But the rain hasn’t stopped. And his meeting would be starting soon. He’d had the good sense to be early, allowing him time for the tea. But now he was beginning to tread that line between early and on time, and his nerves were itching under his skin.

He stepped aside to let another patron enter, taking care to stand well out of the line of rainwater sluicing off the fellow’s umbrella.

“You’re Dori?”

Dori paused and looked at the complete stranger in slight shock and a little concern that he actually knew the man and couldn’t place him.

How could he have forgotten that mustache? He nodded at the man, still a little flustered.

“Nice to meet you,” came the reply with a grin. “My name’s Bofur. My brother,” here the man gestures to the baker behind the counter, a jolly-looking man with bright ginger hair, “texted me that one of his favorite regulars needed a lift, what with the sudden sunshower.”

Dori blinked at the baker and then at the stranger. “Oh.”

“My car’s just out front. I’m an Uber driver, but don’t worry, this ones on the house.”

Dori allowed himself to be shepherded out the door and into the car under the force of Bofur’s umbrella and steady chatter.

“So,” Bofur asked once he got into his seat, “what’s the address?”

Dori have it to him and sat quietly, humming in the right places as Bofur talked about his family, the weather, how the local team of... hockey players? Rugby? Something sports team... were doing this season. Apparently the new coach was a joke and should be cut.

“But, listen to me, jabbering your ear off like a numpty! Tell me about yourself; how’s the wife or husband?”

“I am not married.”

“Girl or boyfriend, then.”

“I am unattached.”

“Well, that’s a shame. I thought the people of our good city at least had eyes in their heads. Look at you, stunning! A gorgeous man with incredible style, the highest taste in food and tea according to my brother, and the manners to not tell me off as a fool for jabing at you.”

Dori flushed but said nothing.

There was a minute of the most intense silence he’d ever sat through as they parked by he entrance of his office building before Bofur said, “You wouldn’t happen to have a thing for talkative chaps with mustaches and cars, would you?”

Dori smiled. “How about I give you my number and we find out?”

Chapter Text

PART TWO

~~~***~~~

Tauriel stared down at her sleeping husband.

Elves didn't need as much sleep as dwarves did. So, the Elf Under the Mountain spent many nights watching her beloved in his sleep.

Kili slept like a puppy. Tauriel couldn’t think of a more dignified comparison and so never brought it up to him, but with limbs akimbo and often moving with his dreams, a puppy certainly came to mind.

He was a furnace and burned brightly in his sleep, warmth emanating from him effortlessly and his soul shining brighter when unplagued by his doubts.

Tauriel knew some of her husband’s insecurities, though not because he had confided in her. She had seen his face when others praised a dwarven paragon of beauty or when someone muttered a comment about his “elf-like” features.

She saw how he chose to dress, woolen layers under his cloaks, designed to fill him out in the shoulders and chest, suggesting a figure of a larger build than he possessed.

She suspected that was why his hair was often down too. His head was smaller, at least in comparison to the shape he claimed to have, and the bulk of his thick hair muffled that.

She trailed her fingers across his brow. He was wider than her, everywhere but the hips, where they were very nearly evenly matched. His forehead was broader and taller than her hand and fingers if she laid them across it.

She certainly wasn’t going to complain about the hammer Mahal had generously endowed him with.

Nor would she disparage his dexterous fingers or tongue for that matter.

She wanted to send a gift as a personal gesture of her gratitude to whoever taught him a particularly delightful trick that applied the three in conjunction.

His round ears were not as sensitive as hers, but felt lovely beneath her fingertips. And she enjoyed the way he shivered when her callused fingertips brushed through the fur on his stomach.

Or the noises he made whenever he was with her.

But. Even without all of that, she would find him stunningly attractive. He could look like Gloin or Bombur, round and red, or like Daim, stout and silver. He could favor Beorn, or Bilbo, or even Thranduil.

It wouldn’t matter at all. He was beautiful. Not only because of their soul bond, but because of his ready grins, his cheery pranks, bad jokes, and eager laughs. His serious passion and devotion to those he loved.

The shape of his soul could have made even an orc look lovely, she thought idly.

But she was terribly pleased with his packaging and tried to show him as often as she could.

~~~***~~~

TBC

Chapter Text

Bilbo fumed.

“Are all of the locals such-such-such perfidious imbeciles?”

Thorin smiles blandly at an offended mother shepherding her child away from their stand at the farmer’s market.

“Do none of them understand how impossibly rewarding it is to get any sufficient crop of these to grow in our Blue Ridge Mountains?”

Thorin sighed and used his handkerchief—Christmas gift from his partner—to remove the sweat gathering at the back of his neck and temples. “Love, you know we came here because the Market is a big draw and we can build an online clientele. All these potential customers-“

“Are certainly idiots if they would dare call my sunflowers “ditch weeds”.” Thorin supposed steam might actually be rising from Bilbo’s slightly pointed ears.

Thorin continued as if Bilbo hadn’t spoken., “Aren’t going to approach our table if you continue to huff and stew at them. What was it you told me, repeatedly, on the drive here? Keep my customer face on?”

Bilbo rolled his eyes. I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d known they’d all be such fools.”

“Bilbo. It was nearly a twenty hour drive. We’re here now, and those earlier customers were quite pleased with the flowers and produce, right?”

Bilbo sniffed.

Thorin chuckled and reached out for Bilbo’s hand. “At least the boys are having fun over at the museum.”

Bilbo managed a smile. “Frodo was so excited to get to see the dinosaurs.”

Thorin nodded, “And after this wraps up, Fili and Kili will bring him back to the hotel, and we’ll go back to the hotel, wash up, and hit the Power and Lights district for some barbecue and cookies. So no more grouching at idiots who clearly know nothing about sunflowers.”

Bilbo nodded and rolled his shoulders to relax them. He smiled at a trio of college-age girls approaching the table.

“These are all so pretty!” exclaimed the first one.

“Look! Succulents and air plants!” cheered the second.

“Orchids! And... oh. Why are you selling these? Most folks just mulch them with dandelions.”

“Was there anything you were looking for in particular?” Thorin interjected, shoving Bilbo over to the collection of tomato cartons and some eager looking customers.

Chapter Text

“A noise like a hurricane,” Balin intoned.

“A what?” asked Fili.

“A hurricane.”

“What’s that?” Kili chimed in.

The boys were thirteen and eight respectively, Fili barely out of toddlerhood, and Kili still shaky at walking.

“It is like a thunderstorm, but louder and larger, with winds that will tear a village of men to rubble and send it miles away. There is rain enough to cover the tops of houses if they were still standing, and the wind is strong enough to uproot trees, and throw boulders as far as it pleases.”

Twin looks of awe were directed at him, the heirs of Durin riveted to his tale.

“Whooooaaaa,” Kili said.

“Yeah, how do you know all that? have you ever seen one, Balin?” Fili looked up at his tutor with gleeful anticipation.

Balin nodded. “I have. When I was very small. My father took me with him to an oceanfront settlement. We didn’t realize it was coming until it was on us.”

Balin rolled up his sleeves and showed his pupils the myriad of white lines across his forearms. “There were branches and wood and other things in the rushing water.”

The boys trailed delicate fingers over the white webbing.

“I was certain I would die. I found a tree that hadn’t been pulled up, and I clung to it for dear life, my arms and legs all bloody and torn. I didn’t sleep a wink, I couldn’t. The noise...”Balin trailed off.

“Adad found me two days later.” Horrified gasps sounded and Kili hugged himself tightly.

“My injuries were minor, but infection set in, and I burned with fever for a week before I came through.”

Fili Hughes Kili to his side and shook his head.

“But I survived, and Amad gave my ada such an earful when she saw the state of me, much like your mother gives Thorin.” The comment produced the desired chuckles and Balin continued on.

“So, when I heard the noise from the battlements of Erebor, the noise of my nightmares... Your uncle saved my life, pulling me aside, for I was frozen with fear of the sound and shock at the sight of anything other than an ocean storm.”

“Whoa.” Kili didn’t seem to know what else to say.

“You’re really brave, Balin,” Fili declared.

“Shall we get back to the story, then?” Balin asked kindly.

Both boys nodded eagerly.

Chapter Text

Thorin held his son and stared down at the tiny face in awe. He and Bilbo has made this little person.

Truly, Bilbo had done the majority of the work, but the babe had Durin-dark hair, and furry feet several sizes smaller than the average Hobbit newborn, for all that he hadn’t come for another season entirely beyond Bilbo’s initial estimate.

Thorin never thought he would father children.

He had made his peace with his fate—honestly. And had delighted when the role of uncle was granted to him twice over. He had been blessed when so many had not.

And he had been blessed again.

“Hello, Frodo. It’s your Adad. Your Papa says you might know my voice, but just in case I thought you should know.” The babe’s mouth moved a little in his slumber, mimicking feeding. “You are weary from your battles, little warrior.” For birth is certainly a battle-for both the birthed and the one being born. “I love you, little one. You are very, very loved.”

Dis exited the birthing chamber with a slightly overwhelming smile.

“Bilbo is well?”

Dis nodded. “And so is Frodo’s little brother.”

Thorin was not to proud to say he nearly dropped his firstborn in surprise and thanked every single one of the Valar twice that had been seated when Dis had dropped that particular mineshaft on his head.

“Two?”

Dis nodded.

Thorin moves into the warm room behind her and saw she spoke true: there, in the arms of his One lay another precious bundle.

“Mahal has blessed me with such riches...”

“I always knew you were His favorite.”

Thorin ignored his sister completely and moved to reunite his sons and kiss his hobbit.

Chapter Text

Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam love the curtain game.

Bilbo played it with Cousin Lobelia. You had to hide from whoever was looking for you, and not come out until they’d gone, or said they give up. It was a grand game!

Sometimes the foursome would play it with each other.

Once, Sam tried to play it with his older sisters but they didn’t know the rules and got worried and weepy when they couldn’t find him.

So, the four quickly agreed to only play it with each other.

One warm summer night, Frodo and Merry were huddled in the limbs of the Party Tree when they heard Sam calling their names.

Shimmying down the tree, they hurried to him and learned that he and Pippin had been playing the curtain game and now Sam couldn’t find him.

Poor Sam had tears and snot all over and looked miserable so of course his friends wanted to help.

They went through the whole of Sam’s house and garden. They went through Bag End and its garden, and then they went to Bilbo.

“Uncle Bilbo, we cant find him and,” Frodo hiccoughed sobs between each breath and looked just as miserable as the two playfellows with him, “what if he’s hurt or lost or hungry or lost and hungry or hurt and hungry or all three?”

Well. That simply wouldn’t do.

Bilbo headed off the small search party and led them into Hobbiton, where some revel or other was at work in the Green Dragon. Bilbo wagged a finger at the boys, “Stay right here until I return.”

The boys didn’t move a muscle until they saw Bilbo returning with their lost companion curled up in his arms.

“Pippin!” cheered Sam.

“Oh, Pip!” exclaimed Merry.

“You found him, Uncle!” Frodo sang.

“He was plum tuckered out, curled up behind the bar with Mrs. Cotton.”

Delighted with the happy ending, and the excellent hiding place, the boys troupes back to Bag End to await child-gathering parents and talked happily songstress themselves by Bilbo’s smoking bench.

As Pippin’s parents rounded the corner, Bilbo leaned over to say, “how about next time, you curl up in Frodo’s bed, and lets leave the Green Dragon for your tween years, eh?”

Chapter Text

I’ve been debating making this prompt idea into a longer work, so, the post here will just be a placeholder for the future notice of the his work showing up.

Premise: You don’t see color until you meet your soulmate. What if you met in a dark jail cell alongside twenty others you’d never known before?

Nori/Dwalin, possible Nori/others?

Nori/OMC, Nori/OFC, Nori/Dwalin.

Dwalin knows he met his One and that is someone in that jail cell. So he waits for them to come forward but no one ever does.

This ain’t a huge surprise, given that he is a guard and they are all criminals.

Fem!Nori

Chapter Text

“I cannot, in good conscience, accept your proposal.”

They were the hardest words Dori had ever said.

Balin looked broken, and then staggered back a step. “No?”

Dori bit down on the guilt he felt over causing his One pain, and the pain he himself felt. “No.”

Balin’s face showed hurt for another moment before shuttering. “I. I see.”

Dori nodded, unable to speak further. Couldn’t he just leave this was already so terrible and the more he lingered the more excruciating it became

Balin squared his shoulders before trying, “If I have done anything to make you uncomfortable or afraid or find me unworthy in any way-“

“No!” Dori blurted unthinkingly, eyes wide. The very thought Balin being even less than perfect struck like a dagger through his torn heartstrings. “No,” he repeated more calmly, “you are perfectly suitable and worthy of any omega.”

Balin puffed up a bit at the praise before dropping his shoulders in confusion. “Then. Why? Why refuse my suit?”

Dori shifted in his seat. He hadn’t wanted Balin to know his name, but the alpha wouldn’t take anything less than truth. He’d always loved and feared the alpha’s perception.

“I. I am the problem.”

There. Now. Now Balin would agree and leave and everything would be miserable but Balin wouldn’t hate him and-

“Not possible.”

The tone was clipped, the words dismissive, but Balin’s gaze searched Dori’s expression keenly.

“But true,” Dori allowed quietly. “I. I am not... untouched.”

There was silence and then, “Are you bonded?” The Alphas brow furrowed and his nostrils flared as he tried to detect the scent of another.

“No, Mahal be praised.”

Balin arched a sharp brow at that but didn’t interrupt.

“But I did...” Dori exhaled before charging into it, not holding anything back. Let Balin see for himself why he shouldn’t be with Dori. “Ori is... Ori is not my brother. He is my son.”

There is a minute of silence. Then another.

“But he is only sixty years younger than y-“ Dori saw the moment understanding clicked in the Alpha’s mind. “You were underage. It had to be your first heat.”

Dori nodded.

Balin looked supremely uncomfortable. “Were you...” Balin would probably express polite sentiments and then leave. As he should. “Were you willing?”

Dori blinked up at the Alpha. No one had ever asked that before. Of course he had been willing, they’d said; heat makes omegas willing. He stared at Balin a long time before he started crying. “No.”

Dori’s eyes were blinded by tears but his nose immediately sensed the rage rolling off the Alpha.

“Who was it?” The words were spoken calmly, in stark contrast to the volatile emotions Dori could sense in his One.

Dori shook his head. “I... I...”

“I would see him flogged for you, and while nothing could ever undo what harm he gave you, he owes you much for the care of your beautiful son.”

Dori wipes his face and stared at the angry Alpha. “What?”

“And he deserves death, so that you no longer fear him.”

Dori stared in wonder at Balin. “I never knew his name.”

Balin nodded. “A description then? I will have him hunted down and justice will be served.”

Balin paused. “I see that you might not want a mate after... after surviving such an attack. And then raising Ori on your own...” Balin looked calmer now, but his rage seemed like a sleeping flame to Dori, ready to burn when needed. “I understand if you do not desire... physical affection or a bond after that.”

“You would still offer?” Dori asked, flabbergasted. “Even though I am not, not-“

“Not what? You are everything good and beautiful and perfect for me, Dori. This does not make me want you any less. Though I understand if you are uninterested, and I won’t bother you anymore, so long as it is what you wish.”

Dori stared at Balin for a long time. Could he dare?

“I have often wished that... that Ori had a father, a good one. And I have often wished that my Alpha might... might adopt him.”

“I would do this even if you refuse me, Dori. He is a good lad, and gifted with a craft in my own guild.”

Dori’s heart felt lighter than air. “I wish to accept your suit. And I wish... I wish to be bonded to you.”

The Alpha grinned through tears. “Then I am yours, Dori. All that I am is yours.”

Chapter Text

Bilbo had Mahal’s own luck. Any fool could see it.

Erebor seemed to hold her resident hobbit with a fondness that didn’t extend to her dwarves. Not that any dwarf doubted her love for them, but she seemed to shine for Bilbo.

Mines that Bofur and hardened crews with centuries of experience would swear were empty suddenly showed emeralds or rubies or opals for Bilbo’s curious gaze. And not partial clusters either; rich, vibrant veins which somehow managed to weave around natural supportive columns of green stone.

Bilbo was equally blessed among the bad rock; there wasn’t much in Erebor, but what little was there always held true for the hobbit, no matter how long he stood or walked over it. Bilbo had rescued three faints from ledges that shouldn’t have held either Bilbo’s weight or theirs, let alone both at once.

There was even an instance of a mine collapse, and Bilbo happened to be among those closest to the devastation. He stood by a pile of precarious stone as rescuers hauled it away carefully, piece by delicate piece, and Bilbo led the retrieval party once the opening was large enough. One of the miners lost a hand, another his leg, but all kept their lives.

Some even whispered that the stale air had begun to smell sweet once they heard the hobbit’s voice, but most wrote that off as hallucinations from bad air.

There were stories of him fooling three trolls, sneaking past a mountain’s worth of goblins, evading the attention of every elf in the Greenwood for three weeks, and of his very first battle leaving him the victor against Azog, and saving the king’s life.

That’s not even counting the dragon. Or the great battle.

Bilbo had been wounded, and unconscious for two days after the battle, and no matter how hard the dwarves and his friends searched, none could find him, or the body they were beginning to believe he had left behind.

And then, the very last searched heard a hoarse cry. And wasn’t Mali startled when he saw hobbit feet poking out from under the bodies of four dead orca and one large warg.

Bilbo wasn’t crushed, though his ribs were bruised, thanks to the mithril shirt he wore. A gift from the king!

But there were even more stories.

Every dwarf who had fought with Daim swore there was an attempt on the job it’s life. He’d eaten a plateful of bowler mushrooms and drank an entire pot of chamomile tea in the great hall some months after the battle, and had declared them both delightful.

Poisons which took a dwarf instantly, painfully, to Mahal’s Halls, and the hobbit was cheerful as ever, untouched and showing no signs of suffering at all.

Of course, the same could not be said for the poisoner once the company caught him.

He was given the same meal and died piteously.

Bilbo also boasted a unique form of luck. When all three kings of the area, Bard, Thranduil, and Thorin, were in a tense or angered mood, a simple word or gentle touch from the hobbit to any of them immediately swept the matter away and restored good moods and diplomacy.

But there was something even curiouser about the hobbit: his luck extended to the company, sometimes.

When one or several dwarves of the company were not with the hobbit, still the luck seemed to surround them. Tripping would-be assassins, bad stone managing to hold, or new veins of copper and silver sprouting as if before their eyes.

The hobbit was a lucky touch indeed, and most certainly blessed by Mahal.