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Gleaming

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Bilbo looked at the rings clustered on his fingers, and the heavy chains around his neck, and the ropes of jewels tied rather nicely into his curls, and said, "Thorin?"

The great and terrible King Under the Mountain, still bruised from battle and just a little singed-smelling, hummed to show he'd heard. His clever hands continued their task of tying rare sea pearls in the few braids Bilbo's hair managed to hold. "It's time to stop," said Bilbo.

"I disagree."

"I can't move like this."

"You have nowhere else to be. There's no need for you to move."

And that was dwarf logic for you.

Bilbo sighed and rolled over onto the dwarf. All the breath rushed from him in a gust that ruffled Bilbo's hair, and the hobbit could not help smiling at how effectively he'd made his point and stopped the foolish dwarf from his decorations. He had quickly learned that Thorin was what you might call...delicate. He had to be let down gently or else he'd pitch a royal fit, as evidenced by the brief banishing of Bilbo after the Arkenstone incident.

Which, as it happened, had just been affixed to his brow by the ingenious use of gold rope and the remains of some old dwarf-king's crown.

Thorin's face shone with the light of the Arkenstone, all blue-white-red like a flame, and it took Bilbo's breath away, making him forget what he meant to say for quite a while. Right up until Thorin tried to add another ruby to the mess hanging at his throat.

Bilbo smacked his hand away and declared, "This is ridiculous. I'm sure it would offend someone to see that you've gone and given all your kingly...things, to a hobbit."

"Things?" Thorin echoed.

"The Arkenstone, for starters. All the trouble you went through--all the trouble I went through--and you've thrown it away on me."

"It has not been thrown away," Thorin snapped, and his voice was suddenly that of the warrior who faced the Defiler and cursed the Elven king, and would have slain Smaug with his own two hands if given the chance (and even now he wonders which of the three this king of kings hated most), and Bilbo is almost afraid.

But then Thorin smiled with a flash of wide white teeth, there and gone again, and Bilbo laughs at the strange and wonderful sight.