Halflings do not have the right word for mine like the dwarves do.
Deep in his veins Thorin feels possession burn bright and hot and, for the first time in his life, feels foolish for it. He feels foolish for the knowledge that Bilbo does not and could not feel the same all-encompassing desire - the innate sense that he should covet, conquer, own and hoard the beautiful thing in front of him.
It is a most disconcerting sensation, for one unaccustomed to being on the wrong foot.
Certainly Bilbo is affectionate in a way that is both touching and unsurprising, there is no doubt about that. In the mornings he kisses Thorin awake on his brow and cheeks and lips. He goes out of his way to catch Thorin’s eye, to brush against him in passing in a way that is reassuring and maddening at once. In the evenings, depending on their company, he either snuggles in and falls asleep next to Thorin’s side with contented sighs, or gasps and turns delighted shades of red when Thorin rolls him on his back and takes him, kissing him breathless. There is a sense of belonging in the way his small frame fits perfectly against Thorin’s, something final and sweet in it.
That he is Thorin’s is no doubt. The depth and breadth of his devotion, however...Thorin has seen the sickness of loving something too much and too fiercely, and wonders if it is perhaps a flaw in the blood of Durin’s line that has been awoken in him. It is either sickness, he thinks, or Hobbits and dwarves must love differently, and he does not know which is worse.
Yet Thorin tries because he cannot make Bilbo understand through words alone; language is faulty in that way and Bilbo does not understand Khuzdul besides. He tries, and though Bilbo meets him with sweet-faced confusion and compliance when he starts pulling him close for no reason, pressing bites to his lips and neck between kisses, he does not know if he succeeds. He tries, and then reins himself in, not wanting to frighten Bilbo with this thing he cannot explain.
The days grow shorter as they draw nearer the mountain, the nights colder. It’s a crisp evening with an early dusk when the company stops in the clearing of a lush and wooded copse. The packs are slung off and firewood gathered, though most of them drop off into a doze before they even unroll their bedding.
Though Thorin is weary, he’s far too wound to even consider a rest before supper and the first watch of the night - so he finds Bilbo, currently between Fili and Kili as the brothers break sticks and branches down to size over their knees, cracking jokes and bantering back-and-forth playfully. Bilbo, he’s proud to note, holds his own just fine with his nephews, sliding in a few quips of his own at exactly the right places.
“Master Baggins, would you care to accompany me on a walk?” Thorin says brusquely. “...alone,” he adds, ignoring the sudden cheeky grins and elbow-nudging his nephews are exchanging.
Bilbo pauses, flint for the fire already poised to strike in his hands. “I...think there’s already enough firewood, but if you’d like -”
“I’d like it very much,” Thorin says.
“Oh, I’m sure there will be plenty of wood,” Kili says, “though I’m not sure gathering is what you’ll be doing with it -”
Thorin leaves the clearing, rolling his eyes as Fili and Kili dissolve into snorts and giggles at his retreating figure. His nephews may be senseless gossips but they meant well. Bilbo was sharp enough to know this and to rib back at them, whenever he got the chance. It was gratifying to watch. His hobbit could hold his own: Thorin takes it as another portent that the Hobbit is meant to be by his side.
The forest is thick, the trees bearing expansive, tangling roots. There’s a definite frosty snap to the air, though it is not quite cold enough yet to see their breath. Thorin stops abruptly, between the enormous outstretching roots of a particularly sizeable tree, once the dim glow of their encampment’s fire is distant behind them. Bilbo stops just short of running into him, and for a moment they stand in the dark and quiet, before Thorin pulls him forward and cups his face between his hands. Bilbo’s eyes close and his lips part expectantly; they’re soft and yield beautifully to him when he kisses him. At first it’s firm and sweet, with just the right amount of tenderness in Bilbo’s soft sigh of happiness and the way his skin warms under Thorin’s fingers, but something warm and growling uncurls in Thorin’s gut and he has to nip at Bilbo’s lower lip, to claim that mouth in bites and bruises. A helpless sound, hopeless and sweet, escapes from Bilbo’s throat and that snaps Thorin out of it.
He breaks away, opening his eyes and drinking in the tousled curls and mouth made ruddy from kissing, the blush when Bilbo opens his eyes and holds his gaze. For long moments he contents himself to look, just to stare at his treasure without price and try to bank back the roar of mine, mine, this is mine, thrumming through him before Bilbo grows bashful and lowers his gaze.
“Is there a problem?” he asks, which gives Thorin some pause.
“Is there?” Thorin replies mildly. He takes slow, even breaths to steady himself, to hold back the impulse to seize and keep.
“You’ve been acting a bit....” Bilbo shifts uncomfortably. “Strange, lately. With the holding and the biting and the looking at me like you’re going to eat me.”
Thorin feels himself grow shamefaced and drops his hands, taking a step back. “I...did not realize it was making you uncomfortable. My apologies.”
“No, no, you’re fine,” Bilbo says, blinking - either at the apology or Thorin backing down. “I would have said if it was making me uncomfortable. I was just wondering why.”
Frowning, Thorin shakes his head. “I cannot explain it to you.”
Making an impatient noise in his throat, Bilbo scowls, rolling his eyes skyward for an instant. For a moment Thorin is reminded of Gandalf, an echo of save me from the stubbornness of dwarves, but then Bilbo says, “You could...try, maybe?”
“There are no words for it.” Thorin feels his mood darken. “None that you would understand.”
For a moment Bilbo looks like he has taken insult, but he exhales audibly and asks, “Can...can you show me?”
Thorin hesitates. If he wanted to be exacting he has been trying to show Bilbo, but the pause while he tries to explain why it would be a terrible idea is long enough for Bilbo to decide for him. The hobbit closes the distance between them and stretches up to kiss him, the difference in their heights just great enough to make things difficult if Thorin does not tilt his head. Already the hobbit’s fingers reach for the many clasps and fastenings of Thorin’s clothing; the dwarf recovers himself quickly enough to make short work of them and strips Bilbo in turn.
Caging the smaller body in under his, having shrugged off his furs as a cushion against the damp and chilly grass he claims Bilbo’s mouth with kisses that turn hot and filthy, and grows lightheaded with the sensation of Bilbo squirming in delight underneath him. Logically he knows there is not much difference in the sizes of dwarves and Hobbits, save for the difference in height and the bulk of smith-forged muscles versus Bilbo’s softness round the middle, but he feels so much larger than Bilbo, pressing him into the soft furs with only his weight. He long ago gave up the pretense of not letting their difference in sizes go to his head, the effects of Bilbo’s squirming and their proximity making themselves very apparent.
Underneath him, heat is edging the bashfulness out of Bilbo’s expression. Underneath the king he is a warm, soft, tender thing, fingers searching between the gaps in tunics and breeches for skin and smiling when he finds it. Thorin shuts his eyes and has to breathe in long and slow gusts when nimble fingers - burglar fingers - undo his flies and unceremoniously shove his breeches down just far enough to take him in hand. His fingers are cold at first but that’s soon enough forgotten when arousal and friction take over, agonizing strokes that quicken only when Thorin makes an admittedly ignoble noise.
“What you - oh, what you do to me -” he finds himself grinding out - and cannot finish, for Bilbo brings a hand up, spits in it, and wraps it around him again, jacking him with ease of familiarity and no real intent save for the pleasure of watching his face.
“What I do to you?” Bilbo asks mildly. He’s perspiring only slightly, though his face is appealingly red and his hand is slick and filthy. The way they’re pressed together, his own arousal is hot and obvious against Thorin’s hip, but he’s made no move to bring himself off. “Is that what this is all about?”
Thorin is about to say something, something to recover his dignity, when Bilbo twists his wrist a certain way on the upstroke, palm slipping smooth over the ruddy head of his cock, and obliterates any thought save for yes yes mine yes. His brow furrows and he’s caught in the hellish in-between, unsure if he wants to topple headlong into completion or a chance to collect himself and take Bilbo here, on the ground, like he originally intended.
His mind is made for him when the hobbit stops abruptly and conscientiously wipes his sticky hand on his thigh, obvious enough about where he wants this to go. The bottle, laid down to the side on the chilly grass, is fumbled for and unstoppered, and before Thorin has fully collected himself two of his fingers are coated in faintly medicinal-smelling oil and are being guided by Bilbo’s hand between his thighs. Thorin is familiar with the intimate press, the way Bilbo will gasp and flush hot beneath him when he’s breached by thick fingers - two, now; before Thorin had to start slowly with one and if that hadn’t maddened him with lust nothing did - and the stuttered breath when he twists them a particular way. He feels himself heat up to the tips of his ears as he watches Bilbo’s face crumple in pleasure, warm with arousal and the fire of possession in turns.
Bilbo relaxes around the two fingers, then a third when he coats it in oil and slips it in. It takes less time to prepare him now than it did when they first stumbled their way into this, a small mercy, given that although Thorin would gladly while away an evening fingering Bilbo just to watch the subtle differences in his expressions of pleasure, he doesn’t bear the patience for it tonight. Around him Bilbo grips sweet and true, every so often shivering hotly in a way that sends a jolt of pure arousal straight through the king. He licks his lips and crooks a finger experimentally, searching.
When his broad fingertip glances across it, Bilbo tightens around his fingers, involuntarily drawing his legs up and closer to his chest, his mouth dropping open in a noiseless gasp. He’s so sensitive here, Thorin knows intimately. More than once has been the time where Bilbo has come messily, untouched, from Thorin fucking against that sweet spot within him. The memory makes Thorin feel like he’s going a bit mad.
“Please say you’re ready.” Lust has stolen his tongue, made it thick in his mouth. He withdraws his fingers and reaches for the bottle of oil again, loving Bilbo’s faint groan. Pouring the oil into an open palm, he laves it quickly over his cock, quickly slicking himself up. “If I don’t have you soon - I can’t -”
“Am I ready?” Though Bilbo is short of breath, he sounds faintly incredulous. “I swear, Thorin, if you don’t...!”
Thorin’s abrupt push in halts any threats the hobbit is about to make. Though the tightness around him feels amazing, everything his blood has been demanding, the slow slide and burn of resistance is worrisome. Bilbo’s face screws up. The line of his brow is so fraught with tension that Thorin leans down and kisses it before he knows what he’s doing, limbs shaking as he holds himself back, just barely. “I thought you were ready, Bilbo, I’m sorry -”
“Don’t apologize,” Bilbo says, voice tight and thready. “It’s just...it’s a bit much, at first. Give me a second, I’ll be fine.”
Thorin gives him more than a second. He gives him as much time as he needs, trying not to jostle him too much as his hands search and comfort, squeezing Bilbo’s shoulders and rubbing slow circles down his arms before cradling him hot and close against him. It takes some time, but soon enough the tense moments pass and Bilbo’s body finally yields to him. Thorin feels the soft give of surrender all around him and carefully cants his hips, the final push home and then they’re as close as can be, Thorin’s broad hips pressed all the way against Bilbo’s inner thighs.
It’s briefly dizzying. They’ve coupled many times, in many, many positions - some more inventive than others, thanks to Bilbo’s clever mind - and yet this....this, now, is like nothing he’s ever felt. The connection and his own sense of possession is overwhelming. In his arms and all around him Bilbo’s so small, like something Thorin should cherish - but Thorin has seen Bilbo’s remarkable bravery and resilience. There is so much in this small body to treasure. There is so much to love.
Tenderly, he withdraws and circles his hips back in a gentle press, at the same time he reaches to caress his palm against the head of Bilbo’s flagging erection, coaxing him back to hardness. A groan sounds soft in the woods - whether it’s him or Bilbo, Thorin can’t tell. It doesn’t take long before Bilbo’s cock is hard and eager against him, ruddy pink and dripping ever so slightly. The sight of it guts him, shakes the tenuous grip on control he’s maintaining.
He hunches over to press his lips to Bilbo’s again, making a muffled sound when Bilbo responds enthusiastically, if sloppily. Small hands reach up to tangle in his hair and clutch at his shoulder. He thrusts in helplessly, harder than is prudent, and cannot stop himself after that.
Vague noises make themselves heard behind the rush of blood in his ears and the sound of flesh upon flesh; all the sounds of a nighttime forest and, from far away, the Company that they slipped away from. But above all of these is a murmur, so soft it is akin to the babbling of a faraway brook or wind rustling the treetops, and that it is his Hobbit talking comes as a great surprise. Lust-addled babbling during their coupling is nothing new, but the realization of what Bilbo is saying takes him like a blow to the gut -
“This is - I haven’t felt like this with - it’s you, it’s only and always you that can make me - oh, Thorin -” His hand scrabbles against Thorin’s in something like urgency, until he links their fingers together and squeezes because he cannot say anything more.
In the space of a second Thorin grasps it, however briefly - this disparity in the loves of dwarves and halflings. He loves overwhelmingly and tries not to be overwhelmed by it himself; he hoards Bilbo’s affection with not Dwarvish greed but with passion; in the squeeze of Bilbo’s fingers he finally understands it - understands that he is Bilbo’s just as Bag End is Bilbo’s, that he is loved to the depths of a heart that is used to loving something long and comfortably and quietly. It is clear and almost blinds him with brilliance; utterly conscious of the places their bodies are connected he gives a muffled shout and comes harder than he’s ever come in his life, hips crashing and stuttering against Bilbo’s as he squeezes his hand back.
When his vision clears around the edges and the world returns to its axis Bilbo is panting beneath him, squirming in an attempt for friction. He is muzzy, but still has the presence of mind to wrap move their hands, still entwined, to Bilbo’s erection. He’s still hard, the tip of his cock leaking steadily, pearly fluid that together they smear up and down the length of him. Thorin tightens his grip and works him progressively faster until Bilbo’s mouth drops open and his eyes close and with a gasp he, too, comes messily, streaks of white painting his heaving chest almost up to his neck. Thorin wants the image etched on the backs of his eyelids, wants to burn it on so he’ll never forget it.
For several long moments they can only breathe and come back to themselves. The sounds of the forest, once distant, creep back to the periphery. Bilbo’s eyes flutter open again and he smiles up at Thorin, and his smile, oh. It burns like nothing Thorin’s ever felt before, nothing like fire or gold. His smile is all the good things in the world, honey on warm bread and smokey-smooth pipeweed and the sundrenched green of a summer garden.
Then he opens his mouth and says, “You great idiot. Is that what you were trying to say?”
Thorin starts, affronted. “It - It wasn’t easy.”
Bilbo huffs a laugh, settling back against the furs and pulling Thorin down for a lazy kiss. “I know it wasn’t, but I’m glad you did,” he murmurs against Thorin’s mouth. Thorin could argue, but for this moment, his muscles ache with the satisfaction of a good fuck and Bilbo’s mouth is sweet, and all around them is the scent of crushed grass and sweat and the faint tang of medicinal oil. Beneath him, Bilbo’s heart beats in tandem with his. Their fingers are still tangled like an intricate knot, or a promise.
It may be madness to feel as he does, but at least now it is not a lonely affliction.