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Where We Began

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The moon shined down and cast a pale light, illuminating the rolling hills of the Shire. Thorin never thought he would end up here again. For some reason it surprised him that everything looked the same. Hobbits truly were creatures that didn’t like change.

Turning back, he glanced at Fili and Kili who were standing not too far back, nervously whispering between themselves. Next to them was Tauriel and Legolas and he couldn’t help but smile at them. His nephews found their ones and now Thorin was here to get his. If only he would find it in him to knock on the door.

He knocked on the door and held his breath. This could go one of two ways: Bilbo could open the door and quickly shut it in his face or he could invite them in and act like everything was fine.

For some reason he thought it would be the first one.

The green door opened slowly and Thorin was confused. He didn’t see anyone.

“Who are you?” A voice asked and Thorin noticed a tiny hobbit standing between the door and the door frame.

“Thorin Oakenshield, at your service.” Thorin bowed to the young hobbit and the young boy started to laugh.

“And who might you be?” Thorin asked him.

The young boy frowned, “Uncle says I’m not allowed to talk to strangers. But you’re not a stranger. Uncle told me everything about you.”

As if on cue a voice shouted, “Frodo, send whoever is at the door away. It’s almost time for dinner.”

“But uncle, it’s Thorin Oakenshield! Like from your stories!”

It sounded like something dropped and it wasn’t long before the door was being pulled wide open. Standing right in front of him was Bilbo. His Bilbo. It had been over three years and Thorin was surprised that he hadn’t aged a day.

“It can’t be…” There we’re tears forming in Bilbo’s eyes and Thorin felt a tug in his chest.

“Bilbo, it’s me. Fili and Kili are here too,” he pointed to his left and watched as Bilbo’s eyes drifted over and took in the other four people in his yard.

Bilbo shook his head so slightly that Thorin would’ve never noticed if he hadn’t been watching Bilbo so intently, “You died. I saw you. I held you. Buried you.” Bilbo choked back a sob.

Thorin’s lips twitched; he was trying hard not to frown. He wanted to speak but the little hobbit spoke up, “I’m hungry. Can Thorin come inside? I wanna hear about the dragon!”

Bilbo looked down and swallowed. He picked Frodo up and held him in his arms. “Yes. Well, come in. Dinner is getting cold.”

Thorin looked over at his companions and signaled for them to come in. Stepping into Bag End was like a step back in time. It smelled like good food and the hall was warm from the roaring fire. This, too, looked exactly the same. Thorin couldn’t help but smile as he watched Bilbo fuss with the young hobbit’s hair. Frodo, he thought his name was.

Bilbo, still not acknowledging Thorin, let Frodo down and he came running over to him. “Uncle says he’s not feeling well and he needs a moment.” Frodo looked over to the dwarves and elves that were huddled by the door.

Fili stepped forward, “Fili.”

“And Kili.”

“At your service.” They bowed at the same time and the young hobbit laughed.

“I know you. You’re in uncle’s stories, too.”

Thorin was impressed that this young hobbit wasn’t afraid of them. Bilbo’s...unexpected nephew was more than happy to run up to everyone and introduce himself but, as Frodo said himself, he knew them.

“I’m Frodo,” he said. Finally he looked up at the elves and that’s when the hobbit started to look nervous, but only slightly. “Elves.”

That made Legolas and Tauriel laugh.

Tauriel got down on her knee, “Hi Frodo. I’m Tauriel.”

Legolas followed her lead and got down as well, “And I’m Legolas. It’s nice to meet you.”

Frodo stared at them in awe, “I know everything about the elves.”

Tauriel and Legolas looked at each other and shared a smirk, “Is that so?”

Frodo nodded his head, “Oh yeah I was told all about the mean elves and the prince and the captain of his guard who locked up Thorin and his company.”

Legolas couldn’t help but chuckle awkwardly as Tauriel turned a bright shade of red.

“Uh, Frodo, where has your uncle gone?” Thorin asked, trying to break some of the tension.

Frodo looked over at Thorin, “Probably the bathroom.” He looked away from Thorin, obviously more interested in the elves than in him. He didn’t mind.

Thorin walked through the house, trying to find out what bathroom Bilbo might be hiding in.

The door of the master bathroom was closed and the light was on. Thorin walked over and knocked on the door, “Bilbo, please open up.”

There was a muffled cry on the other side of the door. But no other sound came. It seemed like Bilbo had no intention to open the door. That was fine.

“I know this is a lot. And I’m sorry Bilbo. I wanted to tell you sooner I thought maybe I should send a letter but I thought you deserved to be told in person. I could never find a good time to leave Erebor. I wanted to come see you I wanted—”

Thorin stopped talking once the door opened and he saw Bilbo in front of him, tears streaming down his face. “How?” His voice wasn’t harsh just...broken.

“It was a uh… sleeping death. Whatever the Orcs hit us with slowed our heart rates down to the point it seemed we were dead. We would’ve stayed that way if Thranduil hadn’t figured it out.”

Bilbo stared at him and Thorin couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He did his best to not shift awkwardly under his gaze.

And then Bilbo collided with him, wrapping his arms around Thorin’s waist and sobbing into his chest.

Thorin quickly put his arms around Bilbo, pulling him close. “It’s okay, I’m here. I’m sorry for not telling you sooner.”

It took a few minutes before Bilbo could calm his breathing. Bilbo looked up at him and Thorin wiped the tears that stained his cheeks.

“I was so alone Thorin,” he sounded so sad, “I missed you everyday. I couldn’t… I couldn’t stay in that mountain without you. But if I had stayed… if I had stayed I would’ve known you were alive.” The tears started to fall again and Thorin felt his heart constrict.

“You did the right thing going home. What would Frodo do if he didn’t have you?” Even though he knew nothing about their situation it seemed like something bad must’ve happened for Bilbo to step in and take in the child.

Bilbo startled and jumped away from him, “Frodo! Oh no. He said he was hungry.”

Bilbo wiped the tears from his face and ran out of the room, Thorin trailing not far behind.

Whatever ideas of food the hobbit had seemed to be long gone as Thorin and Bilbo came into the living room and saw Frodo sitting on the floor with Kili and Legolas, playing with his toys. Tauriel and Fili were curled up into each other on the couch, watching with peaceful smiles on their faces.

Thorin observed Bilbo as he took in a deep breath and took a step forward. He couldn’t imagine what he was thinking. Here were Fili and Kili alive and breathing and with elves. There was no more crying and Thorin was almost proud of Bilbo.

“Fili, Kili,” Bilbo said at last, “I’m very happy to see you both. And Tauriel and Legolas. Seeing you both is a wonderful surprise.”

They all broke out into smiles and it warmed Thorin’s heart.

“It’s wonderful to see you Bilbo,” Fili said, “We have much to catch up on!” Fili looked over at the elf sitting next to him, “Like how Tauriel and I got married last year.”

Thorin watched as Legolas’s face dropped.

“And I’ve been asking Kili to marry me for the past two years and he’s said no three times and yet those two got engaged before even properly courting each other.”

Kili leaned over and kissed Legolas on the cheek, “Patience, Amralime.”

The moment was over quickly because Frodo stood up and walked over to Bilbo, “I’m still hungry.”

“Yes yes, come on all of you. There is plenty for all of us.”

They all sat at the table and ate and drank. For a brief second, Bilbo caught Thorin’s eye and something flashed in them that Thorin couldn’t place before the hobbit tore his gaze away, focusing on what Frodo was saying.

Odd, he thought and raised the cup to his lips, trying not to think about it.

After dinner Frodo went back to playing with Kili and Legolas while Fili and Tauriel started to doze off. It was nice and peaceful but Thorin wanted to get Bilbo alone again.

Bilbo seemed to have the same idea because he placed his hand on Thorin’s arm and squeezed, “Can we talk?”

Thorin nodded his head and Bilbo led him back into the master bedroom and he shut the door behind him. Bilbo shifted his feet and the dwarf wondered if he should talk or let Bilbo start first.

“I thought the three of you were dead. And now, having you in my home, alive, and seeing you interact with my nephew… it’s a lot. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all.”

Thorin understood. Of course he understood. It was wrong of them to barge in here and force their presence on him. They should’ve sent a letter, that would’ve been the smart choice.

Guilt bubbled in Thorin’s chest, “I’m sorry, Bilbo. We shouldn’t have showed up here like this. I should have written you when I was awoken from my sleeping death. I just needed to see you. I missed you so much. When I woke up, I still felt awful for the things I said to you even if you forgave me before I… We will go. We’ve already imposed enough on your hospitality.”

Before Thorin could even think about moving, Bilbo’s arm shot forward, grabbing Thorin’s arm again, “What you said, on Ravenhill, did you mean it?”

“You mean when I said I love you?”

Bilbo inhaled sharply. His voice was quiet, barely above a whisper; “Yes. Did you mean it? Do you love me Thorin?”

Thorin shook his head, “Yes Bilbo, Mahal, yes.” He meant it. He’s felt this way for a long time. This brave hobbit saved his life, saved him from being eaten by trolls, outwitted a dragon, and held him as he took his final breaths. Of course he loved this hobbit.

Bilbo smiled and pushed into Thorin’s arms, burying his face into the dwarf’s chest. Thorin found himself confused by Bilbo’s actions but didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around the hobbit.

“I love you, Thorin Oakenshield. I hate that you waited till you were dying to tell me and I hate that you didn’t write when you woke up but I still love you. It’s weird, I feel like if I close my eyes for too long you’ll disappear.

Trying not to chuckle, Thorin pressed his lips to Bilbo’s temple, “I’m here. I will not disappear.”

Bilbo fisted at Thorin’s traveling robes and pulled at them, trying to prevent him from ever leaving him again, “Would you mind if one of the boys watched over Frodo tonight? I want… I want you here, with me. I want you to be the first thing I see when I wake up.”

Thorin’s heart swelled at that, “Bilbo, do you trust my nephews enough to watch yours?”

The hobbit’s lips quirked you into a smile and that told Thorin all he needed to know.

“I’ll be right back,” Bilbo walked out the door and back to the living room and Thorin barely heard Bilbo asking Fili and Kili if one of them could watch Frodo. Kili eagerly volunteered Legolas and himself to watch Frodo that night.

Then Bilbo was back in the room, closing the door behind him, and once again melting into Thorin’s embrace.

The words were so quiet that Thorin almost thought he was hearing things but Bilbo’s soft, “Don’t leave me.” reached Thorin’s ears.

“I won’t.” Thorin promised as he ran his hair through Bilbo’s hair. The blond hair was soft against his fingers and he thought he wouldn’t mind if they stayed like this forever.

“Let me… let me get my night clothes and then… will you sleep in here with me? I just… want you next to me.”

Thorin nodded and Bilbo ran off to the bathroom with his pajamas. Part of him was worried the hobbit was only going back in there to lock himself in and cry again but Bilbo emerged not long after, stifling a yawn.

Bilbo slowly made his way to the bed and looked over at Thorin who was still standing in the middle of the room.

“Well, are you coming over here or not?”

He wasn’t sure why he hesitated but the idea of sleeping in Bilbo’s arms spooked him. It was everything he dreamed of for years but now that it was real, and Bilbo wanted him as much as Thorin wanted him… it was a lot to wrap his head around.

Growing irritated, Bilbo walked over and grabbed Thorin’s hand, dragging him to his bed. Thorin didn’t fight him and allowed himself to be led the couple steps towards the bed and he laid down, Bilbo lying next to him and curling into his side.

“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry anymore over you and the boys but having you here makes me want to cry—from happiness not sadness.”

Thorin smiled down at him, brushing his cheek with his hand, “There’s nothing wrong with crying, my love.”

Bilbo choked back a sob as he pressed his head into Thorin’s chest, “Goodnight Thorin. You better be here in the morning. This better not be a dream.”

The morning sun cast shadows around the room and Thorin blinked his eyes open. Bilbo was still pressed to his side, holding onto him. He could hear sounds on the other side of the door, signaling the fact the others were awake. Thorin wanted to get up and see what they were up to but he knew if he did that he would face Bilbo’s wrath and that is something he didn’t want.

So, he laid there and stared out the window, watching the trees move in the breeze. It was nice. Peaceful. And Thorin could see this being his life. Waking up next to his hobbit, having tea, growing old.

Erebor was in the back of his mind though. He had to go back eventually and be king though he knew Dain would do fine without him.

After all he’s done to regain his homeland would he throw being king away for a hobbit? Perhaps.

The body next to him started to move and Thorin knew Bilbo was starting to wake up. He couldn’t help but smile as those beautiful eyes blinked up at him.

“Good morning,” Thorin said to him.

“Thorin…” Bilbo’s voice was soft and unsure but the next thing Thorin knew, Bilbo was pulling him down and crashing their lips together. Bilbo was kissing him. The dwarf closed his eyes and kissed back. It was better than anything he ever imagined.

When Bilbo pulled back Thorin noticed the tears forming in his eyes again, “I really thought it was a dream.”

“It’s not.”

“I’m still angry with you.”

“I know.”

A loud crash startled both of them and Bilbo shot out of bed, “If anything is broken I will kill them! Sting is still sharp you know!” And then Bilbo was charging out of the room.

When Thorin finally followed he wasn’t that surprised to see Kili on the ground rubbing his head after what looks like him running into one of the many bookshelves by the look of the books and knick knacks surrounding him on the floor.

“Kili, do you care to explain?” Bilbo was staring down at him—Thorin was sure he looked very angry by the way Kili seemed to shrink into himself.

A giggle stopped Kili from answering and Thorin looked over to Frodo who was being held by Tauriel.

“It’s my fault uncle,” Frodo said, “I was chasing him.”

All the anger Bilbo seemed to melt away as Frodo talked.

“In Kili’s defense, Frodo is very scary,” Tauriel said with a smile on her face. The child gave out a cry of delight.

Bilbo let out a huff as Kili stood up and brushed himself off.

“I’m sorry Bilbo, I’ll make Fili clean it up,” Kili said as he shot his brother a glance.

“Oh no, don’t drag me into this. I’m sure Legolas would love to help you though.”

Legolas was standing by Tauriel and he shook his head, “Nope. This isn’t my problem.”

Kili rolled his eyes, “Wow. I’m hurt.”

They all started to laugh and Thorin couldn’t help but smile at all of them. It was good to be here like this, alive and happy and together.

Kili started to put the books back as Fili made his way to Tauriel. He watched as his nephew pat Frodo on his head and then Tauriel pulled her husband in for a kiss. Fili and Tauriel would make good parents one day. Thorin hoped he’d be alive to see it.

Bilbo quickly prepared breakfast and they all sat down and ate. They chatted the morning away and if Bilbo’s eyes watered during this, no one mentioned it.

Thorin was happier than he could even imagine. There was still much to talk about but they would get there. Right now, they were happy and that’s all that mattered.