Thorin frequented the same café every day at the same time. Originally it had been to visit his friends and family that worked there; it was one of his few chances to see them nowadays. He’d been busy ever since his promotion at the firm he worked at; but, he found time to go out once a day for a quick bite to eat and a nice fresh cup of coffee. After a year of this routine, the café hired someone new.
He stood out like a sore thumb. His hair was a dirty blonde and incredibly curly. He was a petite thing, with feet that looked a little too big for his body. He was definitely and odd looking one. Though, that was compared to his family who were all large, loud, and incredibly hairy. Thorin learned from his nephew that the new employee was named Bilbo. Bilbo: what an odd name. Though, Thorin thought it suited the small man rather nicely.
It wasn’t long until Bilbo realized Thorin was a regular customer and as such was someone he needed to meet. Thorin arrived at 3 o’clock, just like every other day, newspaper tucked under his arm and his cellphone out in his hand. Bilbo knew that Thorin was probably busy and didn’t really have time to talk so Bilbo decided to make this short and sweet.
“Hello sir what can I get for you?” Bilbo asked. Thorin raised a brow at that.
“I’ll have my usual,” Thorin stated, his attention now on the small man.
“Um…Sorry I don’t know what you’re usual is.”
“You should. You’ve been here for four months now.” Thorin stated, his eyes narrowing slightly.
“Is it common practice where you are from to notice someone for four months and not introduce yourself? Where I grew up that would be rude.”
“Are you always this difficult with your customers? It’s a wonder this place is still in business.”
“Tell you what, you introduce yourself and your coffee for today is free. No charge.” Thorin stared at the man, his eyes revealing nothing.
“My name is Thorin,” he said in a low voice, “Now get me my coffee, Bilbo.” Bilbo blinked in surprise. He wasn’t aware Thorin already knew who he was. He nodded and hurried to make Thorin’s drink. He passed it to the taller man and watched in mild amusement as Thorin took a sip, his stormy eyes widening.
“I thought you said you didn’t know my usual order.”
“How could anyone work here for four months and not know Thorin Oakenshield’s usual order? Honestly, it’s ridiculous.” Bilbo expected Thorin to yell at him, to demand to talk to his manager or something for lying just to get his name. Instead, Thorin’s lips quirked up into a tight smile.
“Well played, Bilbo,” Thorin said before nodding his head and leaving.
“What was that?” Kili, one of Bilbo’s co-workers, asked as he appeared from the back room.
“I just wanted to meet him. Since I hadn’t yet.”
“No. When people want to meet one another they go, ‘Hey I’m so and so!’ and shake hands,” Kili said, “That, dear Bilbo, was flirtatious and tricky.”
“You think I was flirting with Thorin?”
“I would bet money on it,” Kili stated as he leaned against the counter, “Though I can’t blame you. Uncle Thorin is pretty handsome.”
“HE’S YOUR UNCLE?!” Bilbo’s eyes widened in complete shock and Kili couldn’t help but laugh at the look on his face.
“I thought you knew that? Thorin is related to everyone who works here some way or another. We’re one big family.”
“If that’s the case, then how come Thorin isn’t working here?”
“Uncle Thorin comes from a family of lawyers, it was only natural that he became one too,” Fili said, appearing from the kitchen.
“How do you two always manage to just show up?”
“It’s just what we do,” the brothers said in unison, smiling mischievously.
Thorin returned at his usual time, only this time there was a smirk playing on his lips. The look slightly frightened Bombur, who was working with Bilbo that day. But Bilbo saw it for what it was: a challenge.
“Thorin. What can I get you?” he asked.
“I want to try something new. I’m trusting you won’t disappoint me,” Thorin stated as he pulled his wallet out of his pocket.
“Well what are you in the mood for?” Bilbo asked having no idea what sort of drink would please the lawyer.
“Surprise me.” Ah. There it was: the challenge that Bilbo had spotted when Thorin had entered. He nodded and quickly put together a coffee with a hint of pumpkin flavoring. He sprinkled a pinch of cinnamon on top before handing it over to the lawyer.
“There, hope it’s to your tastes,” Bilbo said with a grin. Thorin took a sip, his smirk fading.
“Is this pumpkin?” He asked, raising a brow at the smaller man.
“Hm.” He pulled out the proper amount of money and handed it to Bilbo before nodding and leaving.
“I don’t believe it,” Bombur said after Thorin was out of sight.
“What?” Bilbo asked, grin still in place.
“He likes you,” Bombur said, sounding shocked. Bilbo laughed at him before continuing on with his work. Thorin didn’t like him; it was a ridiculous notion. Especially considering they didn’t know anything about one another. Yet, for the rest of his shift, Bilbo couldn’t help but wonder if maybe there was a small chance Bombur was correct.