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Thorin’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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If Dis had not been a widow, Thorin would have told her to make some new children while he ‘rid’ her of her old ones. “Better luck next time,” He would say. Or perhaps “When once you don’t succeed, try try again”. 

 

It was a harsh thought (he had daydreamed of leaving them in a food court somewhere in a different state, like one would a puppy) but will the shrill screams of Kili and the garbled shouting of Fili in the backseat of his car, she was lucky he didn’t just stifle them with pillows where they sat. From the rear-view mirror, he could see the two toddlers kicking at each other from their separate car seats, squealing what seemed like baby-profanities at each other in octaves undiscovered by man and angel before this day.

 

And to think, this wasn’t even the worst of it. 

 

The morning had begun like any other. Thorin had gone to the diner down the street from his apartment, checked his emails over his cup of black (black as night, black as death, black as the void) coffee and a greasy English breakfast. He was to catch a flight out to Erebor Castle in Wales, the newest restoration project that his construction company (Durinson and Durinson, co-owned with his brother Frerin) had taken in. He was particularly excited about this project because there was compelling evidence that the previous owner of Erebor Castle, some 400 years ago, was an ancestor of the Durinsons. The flight wasn’t till evening (Thorin liked to take his time before going to the airport, just in case he forgot anything while packing) and he had ample time to loiter and catch up on recent events over the phone.

 

He regretted asking in a group chat what everyone was up to. Frerin was announcing his intention to go on (yet another) vacation with his current (yet another) model girlfriend whilst implying that Thorin should do the same (’You’d think ‘Thorin’ meant ‘live and die alone’ in Khuzdul!’), Boffur was talking about cracks they’d recently found in the heart of Erebor Castle, where the main pillar was (’A huge hole, Thorin, with cracks all around! The size of a baseball, and it looks like a stone was there, and was ripped out.’) and finally Dis mentioning that she had suddenly had to pull an extra shift in the hospital after a large fire had taken place in an office building downtown. She had called him shortly after he had read the message and begged him to go to her house and relieve her poor neighbor of babysitting duties. 

 

He had protested, of course, but what could he do? He’d seen Dis’ neighbor, the poor old man (Grandelf? Gandrolf? Gandy. He’d go with Gandy.) could hardly walk without his walking stick. What was he to do with two scrambling toddlers with hearts possessed by sugar-infused devils? So he had grudgingly agreed. After all, he had time, didn’t he?

He had never been so wrong in all his life.

 

Three ruined shirts, one ruined kitchen, half a singed beard, two injured strangers, one flat tire and an eaten plane ticket later, Thorin was finally  on the way to the airport with half a bag of luggage (he’d think of what to do later with the fact that he had two pairs of clothes for a 6 month trip to nowheresville, Wales) no ticket and plentiful murderous intent. The boys were now having a screaming match to see who could scream the longest without losing their breath. They were soon to find that it was Thorin.

 

“FOR THE LOVE OF MAHAL, SHUUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!”

 

The bellowed ‘up’ had stretched on for so long, he had nearly forgotten to end it with a ‘p’. The two demonspawn were silent…for, like, a second. Then they were squealing in delight and clapping their hands ecstatically, Fili insisting on ‘om more!’ which Thorin had begun to deduce meant ‘one more’ 

 

“You will both be the death of me.” Thorin wheezed as he turned into the airport parking lot, once more earning squeals of delight and probably agreement. He could see Dis in the distance, looking tired but happy to see them. He couldn’t park fast enough  and got out of the car, rounding it quickly and pulling her into an embrace.

 

“We can leave them in the woods. The wolves will take them in and raise them as their own.” he cried desperately, taking her hands into his.

 

Dis didn’t bother with a reply, rolling her eyes as she opened the backseat door to a cacophony of ‘Mummy’. Against his better judgement, he allowed Dis and her satanic infants to accompany him to get his ticket reprinted and his passport checked (he needed to know if the bite Kili had left in one of the pages would deter him from flying. Luckily, it just made the immigration officer cringe at the saliva-filled indents). 

 

Finally, it was time to check in his luggage.

 

“It wasn’t so bad, was it?”

 

“It was horrible. Never again.”

 

“You always say that, but you don’t mean that.”

 

“No, I always mean it, I assure you. I just hardly ever get what I want.”

 

“Oh come off it, you love them.”

 

And really, there was no time for Thorin to debate how loving someone does not mean one can stand them for more than half an hour at a time, for he had noticed the security guards milling about and pointing at the screen where his baggage was being x-rayed. 

 

“Is there a problem?” he asked carefully.

 

“I’m going to need you to step back for a moment, sir.” the security officer stated. Thorin read the man’s nametag quickly. He needed to reassure them that there was nothing unseemly in his suitcase, and he reached for it quickly.

 

“Mr. Hamfast, if you’d just let me open my suitcase you’ll see there’s nothing-”

 

Aaaand he was on the ground. The security guards were freaking out all around him, calling for backup and such. For a while, Thorin felt like shouting at them to stop. He decided he had spent all his energy on surviving the day, and really, he had nothing left to fight with. Instead he just turned to look at a shocked Dis and said calmly “I can promise you, this has everything to do with those Changelings of yours.”

 

“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” a shout called over the rest. 

 

“Sky Marshall Baggins!”

 

“It’s Lieutenant Baggins, Hamfast, regardless of whether I’m Sky Marshalling for the day or being a regular Metropolitan Police Officer.”

 

“Lieutenant Baggins, sir! This man has a gun and what looks like a box-like mechanical device in his suitcase. It could be a bomb.” Hamfast said quickly.

 

“WHAT?!” Thorin and Dis shouted simultaneously in shock. 

 

“Where’s he heading? Baggins asked.

 

“Wales, the 2030 flight.”

 

“That’s my flight…did you call for the dogs?” Baggins asked quickly. As though willing them into existence, Thorin heard barks nearby. After some shuffling, he craned his neck to see the dogs sniffing at Thorin’s suitcase with urgency, before barking like mad. “It’s a bomb!” Hamfast wheezed, causing slight panic amongst the airport security, and really no one was as panicked as Thorin was in that moment. It was assuaged, surprisingly, by the man named Baggins himself.

 

“Calm yourself, Hamfast. If I’m not mistaken, they’re trained to howl should there be traces of narcotics or explosives. Is that right, Mr. Azog?” Thorin wished he could see this Baggins fellow, but he was standing just out of sight of Thorin’s (limited) peripherals.

 

The officer with the dog (and an unsettling scar on his face) nodded somberly. “They’re just excited. They smell something they like.” he said, pointing the dog at Thorin. Thorin held still, frozen in fear as the dog (was it a dog, or was it a bear?! It was HUGE) snuffled at his body, before stopping at his coat pockets and reenacting their mad barking. 

 

Hamfast and the others flinched once more. Just when Thorin thought he had become a drug mule on what was undoubtedly the worst day of his life, the man he assumed was Baggins knelt next to Thorin, thrusting his hands into Thorin’s coat pocket. He pulled out what seemed like a handful or red-brown dirt. Sniffing it quickly, he chocked on a laugh and looked at Hamfast. “Fish food. He has fish food in his pockets. Check the suitcase.” he said before giving Thorin the most pitying look.

 

Thorin could hardly take his eyes off of Lieutenant Baggins’ kind face, even as Hamfast announced that the gun was a bb gun and the box was what appeared to be a toy race-car controller, all of which was liberally sprinkled in fish food as well. 

 

“Right.” Lieutenant Baggins said as he stood up, holding a hand out to Thorin, who took it graciously as soon as all the hands holding him down let go. Once he was standing, he found himself looking down at Lieutenant Baggins, who was a good head shorter than himself, and really it was strangely…adorable. He wasn’t sure how long he was staring in wonder at the man before him when he heard Dis clearing her throat next to him. 

 

Ah yes. That reminded him. He spun around on his heel, glaring daggers at Dis’ smug face.

 

Fish food.

 

“Yes.”

 

Fish food?! I am covered-Dis, I don’t know if you understand-I am saturated- completely covered-in-in-FISH FOOD?!”

 

“Towy hunggy!” Kili insisted. Because it made complete sense in a toddler’s mind that a grown man such as Thorin would eat fish food. 

 

“You don’t even own fish.” Thorin said tiredly.

 

“Gandalf does.” Dis said cheekily, before adding “It’s been fun, but maybe I’ll just let you take the rest from here. You seem to have the matter…well in hand.” with a glint in her eyes.

 

What the devil was she talking about? Her wicked eyes were flashing between Thorin and something just over his shoulder, and he really didn’t have time or patience for more surprises and- Oh. He was still holding Lieutenant Baggins’ hand. Lieutenant Baggins’ who was snickering as he waited for Thorin to realize that he had in fact gripped that hand even tighter as he addressed the fish food issue with Dis.

 

He released it quickly, mumbling his apologies and thanks. Lieutenant Baggins just chuckled and said it was fine, before holding out his hand once more for a handshake.

 

“Bilbo Baggins, at your service.”

 

“Thorin Durinson. Thank you very much for that service, Lieutenant.”

 

“You seem to have had quite a rough day.” 

 

Thorin groaned in agony at the thought and handed his passport to a sheepish looking Hamfast to be checked. “You have no idea…” he managed to say, even as he passed under the metal detector into the boarding area. “I’m entirely convinced my nephews are in fact the anti-Christ in two bodies.” 

 

Bilbo chuckled as he headed through the metal detector, not even flinching as it beeped about him; but then again he was paid to be armed on this flight. Just then, the overhead speaker announced that a flight was delayed, and of course it had to be Thorin’s flight. His luck was just like that today.

 

“Well, Mr. Durinson, it would appear our flight is slightly delayed. Would you like to perhaps get a cup of coffee while we wait? You can tell me about your horrible day, and I can tell you about a rather funny incident I recently encountered on the way to work. It involves fish food and a handsome stranger.”

 

Well…perhaps this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day wasn’t really so bad after all. Perhaps he’d let Fili and Kili live after all. Perhaps today had just been luck in disguise. Bilbo’s laugh as he sipped his cream and sugar filled coffee made him think it was entirely possible. 

 

Yes, Thorin decided. Today was his lucky day.