“Dammit KilI! Not again!” You groaned, running after the mischievous dwarf laughing at your struggles. “How am I suppose to do night watch if you keep stealing my sword!”
“Dunno,” Kili grinned, moving swiftly through the forest around the camp. “Maybe you should pay more attention to your surroundings so your stuff doesn’t get stolen. You are doing nightwatch after all,” Kili winked at you.
“That’s not fair!” you growled. “Last time you did night watch, you lost the ponies and nearly got us all killed by trolls!”
“Sure! Blame me, not Fili!” he crossed his arms gruffly, obviously unhappy with your response. Serves him right.
“He is more responsible than you. You’re reckless, y’know,” you grinned evilly with a chuckle, using his mother’s words against him. “Now sword,” you raised your eyebrow, holding your hand out for your weapon back, “unless you’d like me to be killed because of my lack of a weapon.”
“Noooooo,” he heaved a heavy sigh and gave the sword back to you. “Please though,” he lowered his tone, his eyes locking with yours. “Be careful. I don’t like that Thorin is putting you on guard so by Mahal please be careful.”
You rolled your eyes, making sure to keep your composure in front of the darling prince. You didn ‘t know why he was so worried over a simple night watch. You had done it plenty times before, and Thorin would not have trusted you with this task if you were not fit to defend the camp and yourself. Your eyes glided by his glimmer of worry and concern. You had no knowledge of the dwarf’s thoughts or desires, nor the argument he previously had with his Uncle over your safety. He was still uneasy that you had accompanied them, wishing you would have instead stayed in the Iron Hills with his mother.
But you were not one to allow action to pass you by, and protecting yourself was something you had grown accustomed to in the presence of this playful dwarf. Lately, it was this dwarf that had been causing your thoughts more trouble than usual, his voice, his words, his actions parading in your head enough to make you nearly blush in front of the young price.
“Kili, I’m always careful,” you shook your head, smiling lightly at his worry. “I have to go or Thorin will be mad. Get some rest,” you whispered, your lips tempting to divulge other choice words while he stood before you.
Kili bowed to you and smiled, whispering, “Of course dear,” before he left for the cave where the company was residing.
You paid no mind to his actions, but your heart said otherwise, wanting those very words to be directed for you and only you. You had grown to know the young dwarf prince since you were both children. Though human, your family had helped the dwarves fight in their war but none survived besides you. His family took you in and raised you. Over the years, he became more than a friend to you. If only he felt the way you did. It would make the relentless flirting more bearable.
You sighed, taking your seat before the fire, the stones and leaves of the forest floor digging into your hands. You paid no mind, enjoying the dance of the flames in their orange and red hues. It gave you comfort and peace, something you severely lacked traveling with the company. Lately, your thoughts had been quite jumbled with visions of desires for the younger dwarven prince flashing through your head as the flames ate the wood.
You tossed another branch into the fire in an effort to keep it alive. Thorin had warned against it, not wanting to attract more attention to the camp than necessary. You were, however, freezing and if you were made to keep watch, then you preferred to not be an icicle. Thus, that argument was won.
Even with the blazing flames, your skin crept with goosebumps, feeling the cool breeze wave over your tiny body. If you closed your eyes, you could almost feel Kili’s arms snaking around you, his chapped lips grazing your cheek, his callused fingers rubbing against your arm to keep you warm. Your heartbeat thumped against your chest as the drums did during big celebrations in the Iron Hills. It was relentless, the torture your mind brought you through. Would the yearning never end?
Your fingers fumbled with the braids Kili and Fili had given you before you embarked on this journey, a promise that they would keep you safe. Dis had nearly placed an axe to both of her sons if they did not return with you. You chuckled to yourself, your eyes flooding with visions of you and Kili roaming around the fields back home. Would you three even make it back alive?
Your eyes stung lightly with the ash blown in the wind as you tried to focus on the blurry twinkles of starlight in the night sky. You wouldn’t allow yourself the privilege of tears. This was a much needed journey for the company. As wary as you were about the cause, you knew how much it meant to the dwarves to take back their homeland. At least you were here with them, your odd family that you had grown to love so much.
You rubbed your eyes, attempting to remove the ash from your eyes when your ears stopped you from your menial task. Every movement in your body stopped. The sound of crunching leaves lurked behind you, barely above a whisper. Your fingers curled around the hilt of your sword, the other hand grasping your matching dagger.
Careful footsteps crept behind you. You were quick to stand up, turning around with your blades pointed at the victim. “Who’s there?” you asked, your voice wanting to mimic the tremble that reigned in your heart, but your body stood still. Your eyes narrowed, trying desperately to identify the victim in the dark, the flames only elevating the silhouette of the person. “Who’s there?” you repeated, your tone darkening as the night with the lack of an answer.
“It’s…it’s just me,” came the weak shaking tone.
“Bilbo?” you peered with the fire lighting the hobbit’s face a little more. “Bilbo!” You sighed in relief, setting your weapons down. “What are you doing sneaking up on a lady during any type of duty!” You shook your head, happy that it was only him instead of another murderous creature who had a taste for dwarf, hobbit, and human flesh.
“I….I only thought you would enjoy some company and dinner,” he said softly, shaking from the experience. You nodded in understanding. It was to be expected. The poor hobbit was only just getting use to running from being killed.
“Ahh, heh, sorry. It’s a reflex,” you chuckled sheepishly. “Please,” you motioned to the ground next to your weapons, “have a seat with me.”
The hobbit nodded, shuffling aside the leaves in order for him to have some place to sit that wouldn’t completely dirty his clothes. “I must admit that you did startle me, but your reflexes are quite honed,” Bilbo smiled kindly.
“Yours would be too if you grew up with Fili and Kili,” you smiled at the hobbit, leaning back on your arms as you stared at the night sky above. You rather liked the hobbit. He was good company and had his merits, besides the inability to fight, something that would be perfected during the travels she was sure.
“I suppose to. They did leave me alone with those trolls,” he laughed heartily.
“They tend to do that,” you laughed, pulling your knees closer to your body to keep yourself warm from the wind. The fire helped some, but it wasn’t enough since it had to be kept at a low flame to avoid attracting attention per Thorin’s orders. Bilbo noticed your shivering state, perking up to remove his cloak.
“Here you go Miss,” he smiled warmly, draping it over your shoulders. “No need for the lovely lady keeping us safe to freeze out here.”
“Ummm, thank you,” you blinked, looking at him in an odd manner. You were rather unsure of what else you could say to his gesture. Yes, the dwarves were kind to you and accepted you as family, but being accepted as their family meant you were placed in the middle of all their boisterous activities and treated as one of the dwarves. That unfortunately also meant that chivalry was not always shown towards you as one would expect. Certainly not with the company of thirteen of them placed together in the same place.
“Won’t you be cold as well?” you finally managed, pulling the cloak closer around your body.
“I assure you, I’ll be fine. My mother always taught me to be gentle and polite to women, no matter what race they were,” Bilbo smiled, helping you feed another branch into the flames. “Besides, I rather like the fire. It reminds me of home.”
“Yes, it is quite peaceful out here,” you bit your lip and smiled, feeling much more at ease. “It’s a nice change compared to our usual adventures as of late,” you giggled, allowing your body room to stretch a bit.
“Ahh yes,” Bilbo nodded. “It must be nice to accompany your friends. I know Fili and Kili enjoy having someone else travelling along with them.”
You couldn’t help but blush at the mention of Kili’s name, your fingers twirling around one another nervously. “I…I honestly have no idea what you mean, dear hobbit.”
“Ohhh, but I think you do, dear friend,” Bilbo grinned. “I may be quiet, but I am quite observant. I see the looks you two share regardless of whether you think you’re cleverly hiding it!”
“W-what? You do not! There are no looks!” you exclaimed, perhaps a bit too much. You grumbled at the hobbit’s clever ways, absentmindedly playing with the beads Kili had braided into your hair so long ago before you immediately stopped your action. Curse that adorable dwarf for squirming himself into every part of your life! If you could not have him out of your thoughts, the least he could have done was stay away from your hair. Your frustrations were interrupted by the realization that seconds had passed by without you uttering a single word to Bilbo.
“Aahhhh, there it is!” Bilbo laughed triumphantly. “The early blush of a girl in love,” he smirked. “I must say, it is a lovely thing to see after traveling with so many dirty dwarves for days. The pink on your face suits you quite well. In fact, I think you look rather pretty with a blush.”
“I….umm…thank you,” you stuttered, turning away from the fire so as to not alert Bilbo of the truth in his words.
“No need to thank me, my dear,” Bilbo kindly. “I only speak the truth. He would be mad to not fall for a lady such as you. Though…” the hobbit shifted himself closer to you and pulled his draped cloak closer to your body to clasp it shut.
If only it was Kili who thought that about you. You sighed, your mind flooding back to your dear prince. Perhaps there was a chance with your young prince, but you doubted he would give you the chance. They had always treated you as family, and you feared that would be where your place would stay for the remainder of your time with them. It wasn’t until you felt Bilbo’s arms around you that you were aware of how close the hobbit truly was to you at the moment. One move and your dinner would have spilt into the fire, a deed you drastically did not want to occur.
“W-what,” you gulped, “what are you doing?”
“You’ll see, dear friend,” Bilbo winked as he pulled himself back into his usual seat, adjusting your dinner accordingly. “You really should eat though. You haven’t had a proper meal yet.”
“I suppose you’re right,” you narrowed your eyes at the hobbit. You had already learned much from him. With his observation skills and his twisting of words, she had no doubt that Gandalf had chosen him for the pure use of those abilities. “I am rather starved,” you said slowly, your eyebrows furrowed in confusion as the hobbit smiled, puffing his pipe contently.
You only managed a few small bites of the stew before you heard a loud noise crashing behind you. You stood up quickly, startled as you reached out for your weapon to face your unwillingly victim before your eyes widened at who that victim, lying flat on his face from the stumble he presumably took actually was.
“Kili?!” you let out a sigh, thankful that they weren’t being attacked but annoyed that he had interrupted your meal. You groaned, pulling him up before you slapped his arm. “What the hell are you doing sneaking on me like that?! I could have killed you!”
“Ha! As if,” he scoffed, dusting the dirt off his clothes before turning his attention towards you. “I could have asked you the same thing!”
“What do you mean?” you groaned, using your sleeve to clean the dirt off his adorable face. “I’m keeping watch as Thorin commanded me too. You do remember who Thorin is right? Your uncle? The…”
“Rightful king of Erebor, yeah yeah,” Kili finished, rolling his eyes. You both had heard his uncle’s speech one too many times when preparing for this journey. He straightened up, his eyes as angry as the flames burned. “I do believe my uncle commanded you keep watch. Not keep that hobbit company!”
Bilbo merely looked up with a small smile, turning back to the fire as he listened to your argument. It was rather enjoyable for him to watch, his eyes twinkling as Gandalf’s usually were.
“That hobbit! That hobbit is my friend who brought me food!” you growled along with your stomach. “Which is more than you had done!”
“How was I to bring you food if I was suppose to be taking care of the ponies!”
“You’re always taking care of the ponies Kili! It’s your job!” You ran your hands through your hair, clearly frustrated. You had no idea what ponies had to do with your conversation. Actually, you had no idea what anything he said had to do with your current situation in general. “And this,” you said tightly through pressed lips, your fingers trembling from the anger, “is what Thorin had assigned for me to do for the company, to keep you safe! Why is that so hard for you to grasp!”
“Because you shouldn’t be keeping me safe!”
You were about to say something until you heard his words pausing your actions. You saw his eyes, and it broke you. His normal playful eyes, sparkling as the sun touched the waters, were casted over. “Kee…” you murmured softly, your hand instinctively reaching out for his.
“I’m suppose to be watching the camp,” he muttered, unable to face your eyes. “I should be bringing you food. I should be protecting you, not that damned hobbit.”
“Oy! I’m still here!” Bilbo protested, grumbling at the words, which Kili completely ignored.
“It scares me enough that you joined us on this quest, but for you to be doing such dangerous tasks…. “ he shook his head, looking at you with pleading eyes. “It should be me keeping you warm, me holding you. No one else.”
You tried to form words, but your mouth disobeyed you as did your throat. Was…was he jealous? Of a mere hobbit? You could think of nothing to say that would suffice your thoughts. So you said nothing. You stood there, a smile slowly curling on your bashful face as your brought your hand still wrapped in his to your lips. “No one else will,” you said softly against his trembling hand.
You watched as Kili’s eyes softened at your gentle touch. He reached his hand out to touch your pale face, his forehead so close to yours. You could feel his breath against your cheek, his lips so close to yours. “By Mahal, I promised I would bring you back alive, and by Mahal, I promise that I will protect you as my only one,” he murmured to your ears. “That task is mine and mine alone.”
“Yours alone,” you nodded against him, tilting your head to give him a kiss on the cheek when he captured your lips instead. You gasped as his hands unclasped the cloak and embraced you, his lips deliciously warm and soft against yours. You closed your eyes and smiled into the kiss. He was indeed your Kili, and you were his.
After what was indeed fluid moments but felt as yearning hours, you broke apart, smiling at the dwarf who had grew to be the love of your life. You could hear Thorin in the distance calling Kili back for some form of duty. “Go. He needs you,” you smiled gently. “Don’t worry. I’ll be here.”
Kili nodded, reluctantly letting go of your hand to accompany his uncle. You bit your bottom lip, pleasantly surprised. Your body was quite warm now. Even the night chill had no effect on you.
Bilbo chuckled as he stood back up, grabbing his cloak as he went. You turned to him, crossing your arms as you peered your eyes at the clever hobbit. “What did you do?”
“Whatever do you mean, my dear?” he smiled blissfully so. “I neither said or did anything that was not truthful nor observant.”
“Mhmmm,” you raised your eyebrow at him.
“Call it an act to help a treasured friend. Now I must be going. I do believe I am needed with the company as well,” Bilbo laughed at your behavior. However, before walking away, Bilbo turned to you and grinned. “Perhaps now, Kili will not trick me into facing a multitudes of trolls either.”
You giggled, shaking your head at the clever hobbit. “Thank you, dear friend.”
With those words, he bowed deeply and winked. “At your service.”