Standing there on the silver beach, Thorin Oakenshield stared pensively towards the east. The golden dock that stood there silent was visible to his eyes without being too close or too far. It had seemed like hours since the call for the last ship went up and the elves had rushed towards the sea and slowly but surely he had gathered his friends and they had gone plodding down towards the ocean.
They had all stiffened in hope when the horns went up but he shook his head mournfully and they all slumped back in sadness.
He turned to watch his company, all of them playing in the sand and the sea. Dwalin and Balin beating up Ori and Nori and Bofur, Kili and Fili splashing around in the water with Bofur taking special care not to get his hat wet. Just like old times he mused. When the cares of the world were none and they had played in merriment or he thought the time when Bombur had fallen into the enchanted river and was asleep for a week; which in thought at that time was vey scary but now in the light of the Valar everything that had happened on that journey sixty odd years ago was hilarious to say the least.
Another horn went up and the dockside went up in cheers as on the horizon a small boat came into view. He didn't have to look around at his friends to know that all small talk and playful games had stopped and that they as he was, all focused on this one blip in the skyline.
The boat drew ever closer and soon enough they were all able to see the figures on board.
"Gandalf!" came the cry from Balin; and they all cheered for their old friend and co - adventurer. Three figures stood proudly on the bow of the ship, each far to big even in the distance to be compared to a hobbit; but as the ship began draw into its bay holdings at the dock, the man now ousted as Gandalf turned around to the holdings and beckoned up two pint sized people.
The cheering stopped suddenly in the light of this new revelation and in, barely a second with Thorin in the lead, each of the dwarves ran helter skelter towards the dock.
"Bilbo!" Came the cry of Kili which was soon echoed by his brother Fili and the rest of the dwarves yet only Thorin stayed silent and as they all neared the golden dock he slowed to a halt and let the others continue on before him.
"Aren't you coming Thorin?" The ever smart one said.
"Nay, Dwalin, not at this moment. Let him greet the others first, for I will get my chance in a bit." Dwalin nodded and ran after the others who had reached the dock and it's inhabitants. Just like his brother, Thorin sighed, too knowledgeable for his own good.
The grey haired hobbit turned around in shock at the call of his name and before he could even process the sight of Valinor he was bundled down to the wooden planks with twelve heavy and stinky dwarves on top of him.
He knew there was twelve and only twelve because he had managed to count each one jumping onto him and inwardly panicked that Thorin hadn't made it to Valinor.
He felt a shiver make his way through his body and when the dwarves finally let him up, they gasped in shock at what they could see. He had changed. More than changed, gone back in time! For now as he looked to the others the same as he had appeared to them that very first time they all had met. He sat up slowly, take into account all of his friends and when he looked at the end of the dock he saw the one person he had wanted to see most in the world.
"Go on then!" Bofur whispered in his ear, "He's all yours, always has been." With those words in mind, he rummaged around in his pocket and pulled out his ever faithful pocket handkerchief.
"Mustn't forget this now" he grinned at them and they all laughed back.
He finally stood and walked slowly towards the end of the dock.
Thorin turned around from where he had been staring at another part of the distance, desperately trying to keep his eyes away from the scene that he was not apart of.
I'm a king not a fool, resounded in his head and he shook himself desperately trying to believe it. Yet when the sounds of feet pressing against the worn wood reached his ears he tried desperately not to move even though all of his instincts were screaming at him to turn around and face this new fear of his.
But when the light pressure of fingertips reached his face he could not deny himself forever and with a spin in the sand he gathered up in his arms the one he loved and the one who hopefully loved him back.
A whisper came from the small hobbit inside his arms and he bent his head downward.
"What was that little half-ling?" He asked, curious.
"I said, my king, I love you." Bilbo replied, shifting his head to stare Thorin in the eye and he was swept into a kiss that curled both of their toes.
Thorin stood out on his porch, staring at the little village him and his friends had set up with good will from the Valar and so lost in his thought he hardly sensed an arm being wrapped around his waist and a small sigh from the body pressed up behind him.
"What are you thinking about Thorin" the body asked, finally rousing him from his thoughts.
"Nothing, little love. Only that I'm glad we're all back together."
And they were. For in that moment, and until the world ended they would be together. The company, with the thirteen dwarves and the lone hobbit together reminiscing over their big journey and begging Bilbo for stories about his life afterwards.
With Bombur still as large as he was, and Bofur still clinging onto his tatty old hat. They were together. They were home.