Thorin grumbled and opened one eye to glare at the flat, happy face in front of him. “Bilbo,” he groaned as he rolled over. “Your dog is licking me again.” Thorin wasn’t a morning person on the best days. Being licked awake by a slimy, wiggly tongue and having to stare at the snorting, goopy face before him was not the beginning of the best day.
“Acorn is basically your dog, Thorin. She likes you best. That’s why you get morning kisses.” Bilbo actually sounded upset about not being woken up in such a manner.
“She needs her eyes wiped.” Thorin noted as he already reached for the handkerchief on the bedside table meant for wiping the eyes of both pugs.
“Tomato’s eyes are clean already and he’s waiting for his sister so he can get his breakfast.” Bilbo’s voice had turned into the higher tone that Kili often referred to as the pug voice.
Thorin finished wiping off the leftover sleep goop from the fawn pug’s face. “Go to Bilbo, Azaghal.” He rubbed the wrinkles on top of the pug’s head before lifting it up and putting it on the floor.
He watched with a smile as Bilbo got both dogs into their specialty crafted harnesses, made out of fine clothes and attached to a chain so that they can follow behind Bilbo without him having to worry about them bolting off in the wrong direction. Even though both dogs were great at following behind Bilbo outside, they were not meant to live in a mountain.
At first, they would often find something to distract their interest and run off into one of the many caves and get hopelessly lost. Even though everyone knew who the pugs were owned by and would do their best to stop the pathetic whines and quickly deliver them back to Bilbo, Thorin had hated how worried Bilbo got over their safety and had special ordered the harnesses.
By the time Thorin actually managed to wake himself up, get dressed, and walk out into the small kitchen area of the royal suites, Bilbo was mixing together the pugs’ breakfasts. “It’s windy outside,” Bilbo commented over Tomato’s whines as the pug tried to balance on his hind legs. “Alright, breakfast time.” He happily called as he grabbed the two silver bowls. Bilbo hadn’t accepted the golden ones that Thorin had originally offered from the dragon’s hoard.
Both pugs happily circled around until Bilbo placed the dishes down next to the water dish. The pugs happily munched away and Thorin went about getting to his chair where Balin had already set up his daily schedule and some notes to go over for the day. Bilbo puttered around by the stove and Thorin reached down to scratch at the furry body already finished with their own breakfast.
Bilbo placed a plate down before Thorin and kissed him on his cheek. Thorin, as per their usual routine, grabbed Bilbo’s hand and pulled him back for a proper kiss. They ate and discussed what they would do for the day. “Down,” Thorin chastised when Acorn jumped onto her hind legs, with her front paws on his chair. When she actually went down he smiled and gave her a pinch of his eggs.
“Thorin, no table scraps.” Bilbo scolded even as he gave Tomato some eggs as well. “It’s only fair; we can’t show favorites.” He responded to Thorin’s look.
They finished breakfast and Thorin bent down to rub at both pugs’ backs before giving Bilbo another kiss and going to find Balin.
After a meeting with the counsel, Thorin returned to his room in order to take off his crown since he would then be allowed to walk around the mountain in a more ‘casual’ attire. Upon returning to his chambers, Thorin smiled to see his nephew’s running around the room with yappy barks trailing after their laughter.
“Morning, uncle!” Fili greeted as he ran past with Tomato nipping at his ankles.
“Good morning,” Thorin knelt down when Acorn approached him with a wide, panting grin on her face. Her curly tail wagged furiously at seeing him return and he let her lick his face as he rubbed her velvety ears.
“Get the ball, pugs.” Kili urged in an attempt to get his playmate back. Thorin had been worried that the dogs would never learn their names since they were called three different titles depending on who talked to them. But Thorin was surprised to find that Acorn responded to that name, Azaghal, and pugs. Tomato usually didn’t listen to being called a pug but he still responded to Thomek just as well as Tomato.
Thorin changed and returned to find that Tomato was panting on the cold floor in an attempt to cool off his stomach while Acorn was already snoring on the couch. He left to return to his throne where Balin no doubt had more papers and requests for him to see to.
Bilbo joined him for lunch with the pugs happily trailing behind him on their harnesses. He was once again happily greeted even though it had only been about an hour or so since last seeing them. Then Thorin joined Bilbo for a walk out of the mountain, accepting Acorn’s leash when it was handed over to him. Thorin also held Bilbo’s hand as they stepped out of the mountain and unhooked the pugs to let them run freely through the grass.
“Thorin,” Balin found him later with an amused look on his face. “You do have a kingdom to maintain.” He reminded even as he patted Tomato. Thorin frowned at the unneeded reminder as he stopped rubbing Acorn’s stomach. Bilbo sighed as he moved to stand up from Thorin’s lap where he had been lounging and braiding flowers into Thorin’s hair.
“At least I finished the braid today,” Bilbo seemed accomplished by that fact as he kissed Thorin goodbye.
“Sit, Azaghal.” Thorin ordered the pug, knowing from past experience that she would try to follow him into the mountain otherwise.
When Thorin finally finished for the day, he knew that his sparring with Dwalin had not lasted as long as it usually had. He could hear snoring from outside of his chambers. He tried to quietly close the door, knowing that Bilbo would be angry if the dogs were disturbed too early from their allotted dinner time.
Sure enough, Bilbo was sleeping on the couch with a book on his chest. Tomato was on his lap, snoring on his back, and Acorn was lying between Bilbo’s spread legs, her head propped up and not snoring as loudly.
Thorin tried to sneak past but Tomato startled awake with a bark that had Acorn start barking as well and Bilbo glaring at Thorin. “You had to come back early.”
“Nice to see you too, my heart.” Thorin kissed Bilbo’s forehead and then patted both pugs until Tomato settled down again. Acorn jumped off of the couch and followed Thorin around the chambers until she went in search of Bilbo.
“It’s too early still.” Bilbo was reminding the pugs as they both were sitting on the floor before the couch, staring hopefully up at him. “They make their eyes so very round and sad looking.”
“That’s their default expression.” Thorin joined him on the couch. “Are you still reading that book? I would have thought you’d be done with it by now.”
“I hit a rather boring part during the middle of it, hence my unplanned nap.” Bilbo confessed. Thorin hummed an agreement just as he did every day when Bilbo complained of his unplanned nap. Tomato whined and scratched at Bilbo’s leg. “It’s too early!” Bilbo sighed and shot Thorin an angry look. “They usually sleep up until I wake them for their dinner.”
“I know.” Thorin chuckled as Bilbo sighed again and went into the kitchen for their meal with the two dogs trailing hopefully behind him. “Azaghal, Thomek, come here.” He called for the dogs as he walked over to the small bin with the gathered toys and bones. He grabbed a braided cloth and began to shake it invitingly in front of Acorn’s face. She happily grabbed one side with her mouth and growled playfully as Thorin shook her head from side to side.
Upon hearing the sounds of play, Tomato came bounding into the room and bit at Acorn. She snapped at him and he ran around the couch, Acorn giving chase as Thorin went to sit back down on the couch with the toy. He watched the two tumble about until Acorn became bored and decided she’d be much happier sitting next to Thorin on the couch. Tomato was happy to have Thorin shake his head from side to side for hours if given the chance. Thorin was just glad that Tomato actually would fetch the toy once thrown unlike Acorn who couldn’t decide if it was worth her time or not to bring the toy back.
As if given an alert, Acorn jumped from the couch and padded into the kitchen with Tomato on her trail. “Yes, yes, now it’s dinner time.” Bilbo’s voice floated back out to Thorin and he stood from the couch to watch. “Are we hungry? Oh, yes, we look hungry.” Bilbo grinned at the wagging tails in response as he picked their bowls off of the ground.
“They don’t look hungry, they’re getting fat again.” Thorin commented.
“That’s because of all the table scraps you give them. Don’t try to deny it, I know you do it.” Bilbo argued. “Besides, they’re shedding their winter weight still. We’ll take them for longer walks in the mountain once it’s too hot for them to play outside for very long.” It was a very familiar argument between the two of them.
Thorin watched as the pugs spun and then happily dug into their meals, engulfing everything and licking their bowls clean before switching to double check that the other hadn’t missed a spot. Bilbo began to put their own meal together and Thorin went to get drinks for them both. A nice, cold ale for himself and some of that elvish wine that Bilbo preferred for some odd reason, to help them end their days. He already knew that he’d take a bath after dinner and Bilbo would join him after the pugs had fallen asleep on the couch again.
They’d join the pugs on the couch, Bilbo with his book and Thorin with some paperwork or a book for himself. Thorin might hum a little and Bilbo would definitely join him. Tomato, meanwhile, would chew on a bone and Acorn would drag Thorin’s boots from the front door to her barely used bed at the end of their own bed.
Then Bilbo would go into the bedroom, scold Acorn for licking Thorin’s boots, and fall asleep with Tomato curled up beside him. Acorn would remain by Thorin’s side until Thorin finished his papers and then go to her usual corner of the bed when Thorin slipped in to move Tomato onto Bilbo’s other side so that he could cuddle his beloved. Bilbo would wake up long enough to kiss Thorin and mumble something about more snoring to fill the room. But he’d grab Thorin’s hand as he drifted back to sleep.
As Thorin placed the drinks onto the table and watched the pugs walk around the room, once again playing with each other, he smiled. It wasn’t the lifestyle he had expected for himself before he had reclaimed Erebor, but he wouldn’t change a thing.