flakedice: (sun-wheat)
[personal profile] flakedice
Title: Relatives & Family III
Author: Flakedice
Fandom (Hobbit/LOTR/SIL/crossover): Hobbit
Characters/pairings: Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield
Rating/warnings/etc: PG. Nothing worse than the book or the movies
Summary: Lobelia is seeking to ruin what remains of Bilbo's reputation in the Shire. Torn by grief and guilt, Bilbo is doing little to stop her. But not everyone is willing to let Bilbo fade.

Green Hills:

Relatives & Family III

Bilbo sank back against the door, listening to the soft scuff of Gerontius' feet along the path. The quiet squeak of the gate as the Thain finally left Bag End entirely.

He knew that Lobelia had been stirring up trouble. That his actions were now strange to the Hobbits of the Shire. How could they not be, now that he had travelled the wide world beyond the Shire? Having seen what he had seen, Bilbo had changed. And there was no possibility that he could be the same.

The Shire had once been all he knew. Bag End the pride of parents, his anchor once they had gone. He could sit in the armchair where his father had sat and sit on the bench he had once shared with his father each afternoon. He could harvest the herbs his mother had lovingly cultivated and add to the pages of the same ledgers she had written.

The Shire had been all he had and all he needed.

Until Gandalf had appeared and marked his door.

Bilbo's fingers traced the glossy paint of the door at his back. It was cold to his touch.

A quest to steal from a dragon. His father would have been horrified. His mother worried, but she simply would have been doubly careful in helping him pack. Bilbo smiled weakly. He wouldn't have left his handkerchief behind if Belladonna had been involved in the packing. He likely wouldn't have run out in his Sunday best either, he reflected ruefully.

He hadn't the slightest idea of what he was doing when he set out. Which had been part of why it took so long for the Company to warm to him. It had taken several weeks to get used to sleeping on the ground and eating only three meals a day at best. Even longer to start feeling like he was contributing instead of being a small complaining piece of hobbit-sized baggage. It had been a stiff learning curve but after saving Thorin from Azog, Bilbo had found his place. It had been a feeling he'd never felt before. A sense of belonging beyond anything he'd experienced in the Shire.

Bilbo's smile faded. But in the end, he'd made a hash of it all. What place he'd earned for himself, he'd lost. Given away when he bartered the Arkenstone for an alliance Thorin had refused to consider.

To the day he died, Bilbo would remember the look of betrayal in Thorin's eyes. The pained and angry words he'd spat out. The feel of Thorin's fingers at his throat, scrabbling at his wrist to tear at the bracelet he had gifted.

Bilbo slid down the door, curling up when he hit the floor, wrapping his arms around his knees. He twisted the bracelet around his wrist, the stones glinting with subdued fire. One finger dipped beneath the warmed metal, tracing the skin beneath. It had been torn and bleeding as he scrambled over the wall, the stones stained. His wrist had been scabbed for weeks. There was not even a scar now but the skin was still tender, a ghostly echo that never healed.

Bilbo squeezed his eyes shut, pressing his wrist to his forehead. The stones of the bracelet were cold against his skin.

It wasn't his by right. Not anymore. Not when Thorin had made it abundantly clear that he would never tie himself to a traitor, one who had betrayed him so utterly.

He had refused to speak Bilbo's name. Even after Ravenhill, when Bilbo had crossed a battlefield and run halfway up the mountain to warn him, Thorin had been unable to look at him.

The bracelet was digging into the skin of his forehead. Bilbo pressed into it, the bite insignificant compared to the sharp pain stabbing through his chest.

He should have left the bracelet when he stole away during the night. He had intended to but in the end, he'd been unable to take it off. It had been another theft, smuggled out under the stained bandages wrapped around his wrist like the mithril mail hidden beneath his tunic and his stolen cloak.

He doubted anyone would notice the loss in the face of the riches reclaimed form Smaug.

Bilbo raised his head, eyes tracing over the glittering trail of stones elegantly looped around his wrist. Diamonds for brilliance and quickness of thought. Deep blue for the House of Durin and deep abiding loyalty.

Bilbo let out a pained huff of breath that sounded all too much like a whine. It was no wonder Thorin had tried to take it from him.

He pressed a hand into his eyes. It had fallen apart so quickly once they'd entered the mountain. And in the end, he had been almost desperate to get away.

But Gerontius was right. Bilbo may have put distance between himself and Erebor but his regrets had followed him. He may not have seen Thorin or the rest of the Company since he had left but thoughts of them lingered. They haunted him.

Perhaps Gerontius was right. It was time to put his regrets behind him and accept what had happened. To say his piece and be done with it.

Bilbo slowly got up, one hand on the door for support. He had laughed in the face of a dragon. He was the son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took.

Bilbo straightened with a mixture of Baggins resolve and Tookish determination. He would write a letter and be done with it. After all, Thorin was in Erebor and he was in the Shire. The worst he could expect was an angry reply or an even deeper furious silence.

Bilbo padded down the hall towards his study. The scattered attempts at past letters were strewn across the floor and he gently nudged them aside with his feet.

For a moment he regarded the mess of his desk. More half-finished letters covered its surface. A number of books were piled on one side. The map of the Lonely Mountain sat propped up against them. And the portrait of Thorin-

Bilbo eased the parchment free from pile. He stared down at the beloved features, eyes lingering on the soft gaze, the smile that curved the usual grim cast of Thorin’s lips. Bilbo traced over the lines around Thorin's eyes, the line of the smile that softened his expression. Down the line of his braid, lingering on the beads woven into his greying locks.

One bead in particular.

Bilbo closed his eyes. He opened them after a deep breath and gently set down the sketch, on top of a pile of letters. Slowly he moved papers and books until he had enough space cleared to work. He pulled his chair out and slowly sat down.

Bilbo reached for a fresh piece of parchment and set it on the desk before him. He drew in a fortifying breath and then picked up his quill, dipping it in the ink well.

To Thorin Oakenshield,
King Under the Mountain,
Son of Durin and
Ruler of Erebor...


On to Confrontations & Reconciliation

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