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The Strength of a King

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Bilbo Baggins felt something the moment he first laid his eyes on Thorin Oakenshield. The Dwarf entered his home with such a strong demeanor, inlaid with incredible sorrow. Bilbo couldn't look away. None of the other Dwarves had such an effect on Bilbo. They were all unique in their own way, but certainly did not hold the same presence that Thorin Oakenshield possessed to his very bones. The presence of a king, and a great one at that.

Of course then the Dwarf opened his mouth and spoke,

"So this is the Hobbit," his deep melodic sound ghosted over Bilbo. And if he hadn't been caught by the Dwarf before, that had certainly set it in stone. Unfortunately Thorin didn't seem to have even a small amount of interest in the Hobbit. In fact he purely had feelings of disdain towards the company's burglar. It was true, of course, that Bilbo had absolutely no experience in adventuring, fighting, or even burgling for that matter. So it came as no surprise that Thorin held him in low regard at first. But as time passed, and the disregard seemed only to worsen, Bilbo became more and more distressed. He was a respectable Hobbit, and did not understand where such dislike came from. He'd almost left, almost abandoned the Dwarves to return home to his beautiful shire, but the urge to prove himself to the Dwarf king was so strong, he had to stay. He would help the Dwarves get their home back, and only then would he feel he deserved the right to return to his own home. Perhaps in the process he would manage to convince Thorin that Hobbits, at least this Hobbit, were worth looking twice at.

The arrival of the Pale Orc had terrified Bilbo. For a small moment he thought Thorin Oakenshield was going to die and he absolutely could not let that happen. Somewhere along the journey the Dwarf had become very important to him, very important indeed, and the Hobbit refused to allow the king to die. Not before he had claimed his throne in Erebor and placed the Arkenstone in the rightful place in his crown. Bilbo had charged, not caring about his own life. In that one moment, all that mattered was protecting Thorin. Protecting his…well he wasn't sure what exactly.

When Thorin had grasped him hard to his chest in thanks Bilbo knew. He cared for the Dwarf, very much so, and would have died happily in those arms. He'd smiled and barely let his eyes close in happiness when the Dwarf let him go all too soon. Bilbo spent the next few days in a blissful haze. The Dwarf would occasionally pass a grin in his direction, and his eyes would gleam just a little as well. As days passed Thorin spoke more with Bilbo and often sat next to him during mealtimes. Thorin would walk next to him, catching him when he tripped and inquiring about his wellbeing. The Dwarf king no longer hated the Hobbit; in fact, Bilbo thought he might actually be starting to like him, just a little.

One evening, the company rested just on the outskirts of Mirkwood Forest, preparing to enter its dark depths the following day. It was in this moment that Bilbo's bliss was interrupted. The Pale Orc had not given up on his revenge so easily. Wargs travelled fast and so the orcs travelled fast atop them. The Dwarves had been cornered and unprepared in the middle of sleep by Azog and his pack. They were stripped of their weapons, tied up and thrust down in the middle of the circling orcs.

Bilbo shook with fear. Gandalf was away again, their last remaining hope. He always had a knack for showing up when most needed, but this time he was blatantly absent. The odds of escaping the orcs seemed very slim.

Azog laughed heartily circling on his warg and spoke to the company,

"Thorin Oakenshield, you are a slippery little Dwarf, but this time, I do not think you will be getting away. Where are your eagles now?" Azog dismounted and walked in front of Thorin holding his missing arm in front of the Dwarf's face. Kili twitched slightly wanting to protect his uncle but a fierce look from his brother had him staying still in his place. The rest of the Dwarves knelt in a silent and very tense manner.

"I intend to get my revenge for this, Dwarf, I hope you feel pain every moment as I crush your skull," and Azog lifted his arm to strike.

"NO!" Before he'd realized what he was doing Bilbo had shouted, nay, screamed at the Pale Orc. He had to do something to stop this. To protect the Dwarf king. All eyes turned to him, Thorin's in confusion as though asking what the hell he thought he was doing. Bilbo had no idea. The other Dwarves just seemed plain surprised. Azog's head whipped around to look at the Hobbit and the orc's face crumpled up in anger,

"YOU!" He roared, "You killed one of my orcs, creature. Perhaps I should get my revenge on you instead!"

Bilbo shook in fear. Now he'd gone and done it, he would certainly die on this day. As Azog approached him Bilbo's sight roamed over to Thorin. Azog bent down and followed his gaze. The Dwarf's eyes were dark and filled with worry, watching intently.

"What's this? A Halfling saving a Dwarf? And a Dwarf, concerned for a Halfling. How very interesting. I think I may be able to kill two birds with one stone."

Azog grabbed Bilbo by his hair and dragged him in front of the other Dwarves. Bilbo's face crumpled in pain and he scratched at the ground with his feet. The Pale Orc held his claw near Bilbo and spoke to him, spit hitting the side of his face,

"Perhaps I should cut you up here and eat you for a meal in front of your companions!"

"Stop this madness!" Thorin's voice interrupted, "It is me you have dispute with, let the Halfling go."

Azog grinned, his sharp teeth glinting in the moonlight,

"No, Thorin, son of Thrain, I think this will hurt you more."

Thorin tried to rush forward but an orc held a blade to his throat. Bilbo could see rage alight in Thorin's eyes and an emotion he had never seen there before. Was Thorin afraid for him?

"Tell me Halfling, why do you wish to save this Dwarf?" Azog asked running his hand down Bilbo's face to grasp his chin, "he's quite pitiful for a king don't you think, not even a kingdom to call his own."

"You're wrong! Thorin would be a great king! H-he's a better king than many, even without a mountain to call his own," Bilbo replied with a shaky voice. Thorin watched Bilbo intently, his eyes never moving from the Hobbit.

"Is that so," Azog gurgled, "and would you call him your king, Halfling?"

Bilbo started at the question. He had never thought of such a thing. Bilbo had never called anyone king. Would he offend Thorin by thinking of him as his own? A Hobbit following a dwarven ruler was a ridiculous notion, but Bilbo knew he would never meet a king greater than Thorin Oakenshield.

"Why…yes, yes, I suppose I would," Bilbo responded despondently.

Azog grinned triumphantly then approached Thorin again whose eyes were still wide with surprise,

"Isn't that just touching? A Hobbit, thinks of you as his ruler, Dwarf," Azog walked back towards Bilbo and grabbed his face again,

"You know the Dwarves will never respect you, beardless as you are. And yet, you follow this one. Let me test your loyalty," Azog beckoned one of his followers over and took Orcrist from them. The sword emanated a vivid blue and looked menacing in his hands.

"A true king's followers would die for him," Azog responded then he sliced the orc beside him in half with a single swipe of the blade, blood spurting across Bilbo's face, "do you see Halfling?" Bilbo gagged, watching the orc's body fall in pieces to the ground before him. The Pale Orc walked behind Bilbo, placing his claw atop the hobbit's head. Bilbo winced as he felt the tip of Orcrist poking at his back.

"Now tell me, would you die for your king?" Azog whispered pushing the blade in just a touch, piercing the surface of the Hobbit's skin. Bilbo twitched in pain then began trembling, breathing quickly and nearly hyperventilating. He couldn't do this. He feared death, he wasn't ready. He made eye contact with Thorin again and the emotions he saw there surprised him. Thorin looked ready to push his neck right through the blade that rested there if it meant stopping Azog. Bilbo smiled at him, as convincingly as he could manage and he saw Thorin's eyes narrow just slightly.

"Yes," Bilbo whispered, "Yes, I would die for him."

Many members of the company were stunned. The Hobbit had astonished all of them. Thorin looked at him in wonder. Before long the deep throaty laugh of Azog floated in the air around all of them and his voice boomed,

"Let's test that theory!" He shouted thrusting Orcrist forward hard piercing through Bilbo's back and out his chest.

"Mr. Baggins!" Bofur shouted in surprise.

"NO!" Thorin yelled struggling against the multiple orcs holding him back. Blood dripped down his neck from the blade now slicing at his skin.

Bilbo gasped. He'd never felt pain like this before. A glance down showed the shining blue blade visible out the front of his vest which was quickly becoming stained with red. Azog pulled the Hobbit's head back sharply with his claw.

"Show the Dwarf king how much pain you're in. Tell him how much it hurts!" Azog snarled.

Bilbo coughed and gurgled as he tried to look at Thorin's face again, his sight fading in and out. There were so many emotions set in the Dwarf's, no, his king's eyes. He had to be strong for him. He couldn't let Azog win this battle of wills.

"I f-feel no pain," Bilbo spoke softly, his voice unsteady.

Azog growled and twisted the blade in Bilbo's chest causing the Hobbit to cry out.

"Your expression says otherwise, how about now, Halfling?"

"I feel no pain," Bilbo spoke once more, looking only at Thorin. The dwarf's eyes were blazing with fury.

"I-I feel no pain. I feel no pain. I feel no pain."

Azog grunted and thrust the blade in one more time then kicked Bilbo off it to the ground below. Tears leaked from Bilbo's eyes to the dirt and mingled with his blood. He could see the red pooling and growing as he struggled to take in air, tasting copper on his tongue.

"Useless little creature," Azog grumbled, then spat onto Bilbo's back.

Thorin howled in rage and tore at his bonds until they split, his arms snapping out at the orcs surrounding him. He grasped the weapon at his neck and thrust it around, killing two orcs with one swing. He sliced Fili's bonds apart, trusting in him to free the others, and charged at Azog. The Pale Orc looked up surprised and raised Orcrist to attack but Thorin was too fast, his blade sliced through Azog's arm, Orcrist falling with a clang to the ground. The orc screamed and hobbled at the loss of his remaining good arm swinging his claw around roughly. And still Thorin's rage could not be contained. The Dwarf king wielded Orcrist again and swung both blades at the Pale Orc, slicing his head clean from his body. Azog's body staggered and fell hard to the ground twitching.

It seemed that Gandalf had arrived again, very late in Thorin's opinion. The other Dwarves and the wizard were fighting off the remaining orcs and wargs, not struggling in the least with the advantage they held now. The orcs were weak without their leader. Thorin lowered his weapons breathing hard and turned to where the Hobbit lay. The sight was terrible. Blood seeped from the Hobbit's back and front and his body trembled occasionally. The Dwarf king wasted no time in reaching his side.

Bilbo felt his bonds untie, his arms falling quickly to the ground, and then a hand turned him gently to lay him on his back. He could see Thorin above, looking at him intensely as the Dwarf's large hands tried desperately to stop the bleeding.

"Thorin," Bilbo whispered, "It hurts so much."

"Shh, I know. Quiet now Halfling," The king responded; a bloody hand reaching up to stroke Bilbo's forehead. Bilbo felt his eyes drooping and his body going limp as he passed into unconsciousness. By now the others had stopped their fighting. As Gandalf approached Thorin spoke quickly,

"He needs proper healing, or he will die."

"Yes…he may not make the trip back to Rivendell," Gandalf responded drearily rubbing at his beard, "but it is the best option we have."

"I must try," Thorin said as he hoisted the Hobbit up in his arms and began the journey back. He did not concern himself with thoughts of elves. Thorin thought only of saving the very brave creature he carried. Naturally the rest of the Dwarves made no argument, simply gathering up their supplies and stolen weapons, following in their king's stead.

It was a miracle that kept Bilbo Baggins alive throughout the journey back. His face had gone pale and sticky with sweat. Bofur wrapped his wounds many times in an attempt to keep the bleeding at bay. Fili and Kili brought him fresh water at frequent intervals. Twice he had stopped breathing altogether and the Dwarves rushed to resuscitate him. Thorin never put him down. The Dwarves did not sleep, they just continued on, until they reached the edge of Rivendell. Elrond for once seemed to understand urgency and began tending to the Hobbit and accommodating Thorin's company immediately. He did not question them on their quest, or sway them not to continue.

Bilbo suffered from infection and a great fever and Thorin did not leave his side. He mopped Bilbo's brow frequently and poured water down his throat gently. When the fever broke Thorin took the time to bathe him in bed as well, studying every inch of the Hobbit's body and tending to it with care. He noticed the frailty of the Halfling, how thin his legs and arms were, not littered with the muscles Dwarves possessed. He saw how the Hobbit's ribs were visible in his side from not eating as much as usual. He observed the tiny waist and slender hips, the worn feet the Hobbit walked on bare of cover. And finally his eyes rested on Bilbo's face, his eyelashes long resting on pale cheeks. His upturned nose, his lips parted ever so slightly. Thorin saw the creases that rest between his eyebrows, a definite sign of constant worry. The dwarf brushed his fingers there as though to soothe away the marks then pushed his hand back into the Hobbit's curly soft hair. He placed the locks over an ear then dragged a finger across the ear's pointed tip. The Hobbit was beautiful.

Thorin remembered how Azog had targeted Bilbo as though he were his weakness. But the Hobbit wasn't a weakness at all. In fact, Thorin was beginning to think the Hobbit might be his greatest strength.

A small noise came from Bilbo's lips before he scrunched his eyes up and slowly lifted his lids. The Hobbit blinked away the sleep there then focused glassy eyes on Thorin. The Dwarf's hand still rested next the Bilbo's head his fingers stroking Bilbo's ear slowly.

"Thorin," Bilbo croaked out, and then coughed a couple times to regain his voice, "I'm glad you are alright. I thought…"

The Dwarf did not say anything, just placed his finger over Bilbo's lips to hush him. Thorin's eyes searched his until he eventually spoke,

"You are lucky to be alive, Hobbit. Orcrist mercifully missed your spine, and your wounds were clean ones. Despite this there were several times I thought you might not make it," Thorin paused for a moment before continuing,

"You have more honor than any Dwarf I have ever met, Bilbo Baggins." Thorin moved his hand from Bilbo's lips and placed it over the Hobbit's heart. Bilbo's face flushed ever so slightly, he only now noticed his nakedness, and Thorin was glad to see colour in those cheeks once more. Without thinking Thorin began to lean over Bilbo, his hair dragging across the Hobbit's body. Bilbo looked into the Dwarf's eyes as he moved closer to his face. He could see the nestled hairs peeking out the top of Thorin's loose shirt and the movement of his Adam's apple, both of which caused his heart to flutter. Thorin was but an inch from Bilbo when a loud knock at the door caused him to push himself off the bed entirely and quickly cover the Hobbit's body.

"Thorin!" Bofur came crashing into the room and the dwarf king turned himself away from the Hobbit his hands clasping together behind his back.

"Oh! Mr. Baggins, you're awake. I'm glad to see you are doing just fine," Bofur said his eyes crinkling in a happy smile. "Sorry to interrupt, but supper is ready if you wish to join us tonight Thorin." The Dwarf king nodded and muttered his thanks and Bofur bowed slightly and left, winking at Bilbo while shutting the door lightly behind him. Thorin stood facing the closed door, breathing in deeply for a few moments before he spoke,

"Now that you are awake I will leave you in peace. I…will return later with something for you to eat. I'm sure you're hungry." Thorin did not turn back to face the Hobbit, but instead walked briskly towards the door of the room.

"Wait!" Bilbo choked out and gasped in pain when he tried to move too quickly. Within seconds the Dwarf was at his side, returning him to a comfortable position and chastising him.

"You need rest Halfling. Your wounds are still healing; such quick movement could cause them to tear again," Thorin spoke, his voice surprisingly gentle.

"I'm sorry," Bilbo whispered between breaths, "I…I wanted to apologize, for delaying your journey."

The Dwarf king watched him intently for quite some time before he encased Bilbo with his deep tone,

"You have nothing to apologize for Hobbit," Thorin seemed unsure how to proceed, "…without you, I would be dead and worthless to my fellow Dwarves. You…said you would die for me. Not many of even my closest friends have spoken such words. I cannot thank you enough."

"But…what if, you miss your chance at entering the mountain?" Bilbo pressed, his eyes lowering in shame. Thorin gazed at him before he leant in to embrace the Hobbit, one arm behind Bilbo's head, and the other at the small of his back. All the while the Dwarf was careful not to aggravate his injury. Thorin placed his mouth next to one of Bilbo's ears and spoke with confidence,

"Bilbo Baggins, tell me what chance I would have without you? Gandalf was right when he said I would not succeed without you. Every passing day I think less of the missing Arkenstone, and more of you. What's another year if it means saving a close friend. If we reach the mountain and have missed our chance, we will turn back, rest, gain allies for one year and then try again."

"You…you think of me as…a f-friend?" Bilbo asked, his eyes open in wonder.

"Hmm...," Thorin responded, pulling back to look Bilbo in the face, "yes Bilbo, a friend, and a companion. Perhaps something more." Thorin's hand was softly rubbing circles into his back, tickling at Bilbo's skin.

"M-more? I'm not quite sure what you mean," Bilbo stuttered.

The king set Bilbo's head down on the soft pillows beneath him, and slowly slid his body under the Hobbit's coverings. He placed his legs between Bilbo's thin ones, spreading them gently, and was careful not to rest himself on the Hobbit's wounds. This time when the Dwarf leant in he was not interrupted and his rough lips met Bilbo's soft ones in a chaste kiss. Their mouths moved together lightly creating discreet wet noises that echoed in the room. Thorin's hair cascaded over Bilbo, causing chills to run across his shoulders. When Thorin pulled away from Bilbo's lips the Hobbit's face and body were aflame with colour and his lips were parted wantonly.

"I think you know what I'm implying Hobbit, however exactly what more means is yours to decide," the Dwarf explained. Thorin held his body up with one hand while the other began to touch Bilbo along his side. The Dwarf started low at Bilbo's knee, dragging his war honed fingers up the slope of the Hobbit's thigh. Bilbo felt decidedly naked in this moment, and vulnerable beneath the still clothed Dwarf king. Thorin's hand ghosted around his hip and next to the healing wound in the centre of Bilbo's chest, before caressing over a nipple and resting atop his heart. His hand continued up over the Hobbit's collar bone and around his shoulder. Bilbo shivered at the touch.

Thorin sat back breathing hard and began untying his breeches. Bilbo watched Thorin reveal his arousal and shuddered at how well-endowed the king was. Thorin pushed himself against Bilbo's now very hard cock and thrust there gently, while stroking under the Hobbit's thighs.

"Th-Thorin!" Bilbo gasped his eyes unable to focus on much of anything. The Dwarf pulled away briefly and lined his arousal up with Bilbo's entrance then leant down again and breathed into the Hobbit's ear.

"Tell me to stop. Tell me to stop and I will," The king uttered, though Bilbo could feel the wetness of his arousal against him. The Hobbit fluttered his eyes closed against Thorin's neck, breathing in the scent of his king. The Dwarf was musky and smelt of rich spices. Bilbo loved it.

"No," he replied, with as much strength and confidence in his voice as he could manage. Thorin grasped at his thighs and pushed into Bilbo's body gradually, groaning while he did. Bilbo moaned and reached up to grab Thorin's thick locks, running his hands down and through them to touch the Dwarf's toned chest over his thin shirt. Thorin rocked against him methodically while running his hands all over the Hobbit's body. They stopped briefly resting on both sides of the wound in Bilbo's chest.

"What would I do without you, Bilbo Baggins?" Thorin asked thrusting just a bit harder. The Dwarf reached down and hoisted the Hobbit atop him, setting him upon his lap. The angle was deeper and Bilbo scratched at the Dwarf's back.

"Ah! Thorin!" Bilbo gasped in pleasure. Thorin grabbed the bed board behind Bilbo with both hands; his strong arms stretched taught, and continued to thrust up and into the Hobbit. He took the Hobbit's lips again with his mouth, running his tongue upon them and then within, Bilbo moaning around the Dwarf's tongue.

"Am I hurting you?" Thorin asked against Bilbo's lips, and he reached down with one hand to stroke the Hobbit's throbbing arousal. His fingers ran over the tip, spreading it slightly, then back down to grasp him tightly continuing his stroking.

"Ah…no!" Was all Bilbo could say before he shook against Thorin hard, threw his head back and came against the Dwarf. Thorin watched Bilbo's face all the while continuing his thrusting, rubbing the Hobbit to completion. It took all of Thorin's will not to release then and there within his love. Bilbo collapsed against the Dwarf king breathing quickly. He shifted slightly and noticed the hardness still within him.

"Thorin…you didn't..," Bilbo began nervously when Thorin interjected.

"I plan to make love to you the rest of the evening, Halfling," he said soothingly, "Unless of course, your body can't handle it?" The Dwarf then thrust slightly implying what was yet to come.

"Oooh, aah…I..I think I'll m-manage somehow," Bilbo replied gripping Thorin's biceps, the pain of his wounds long forgotten.

"Tell me what you said before," Thorin spoke, lifting Bilbo's head to look into his eyes, "Tell me I'm your king." Bilbo opened his mouth slightly, remembering what he had said to the Pale Orc. So Thorin did not mind after all. Bilbo smiled, happiness visible in his eyes.

"You are my king, Thorin Oakenshield. And always will be," Bilbo spoke as Thorin moved within him tenderly, "And you'll be the death of me yet!" he panted with laughter in his voice. Thorin kissed him gently and held the Hobbit tight against his chest.

"Not if I can help it, Bilbo Baggins, not if I can help it," Thorin's voice was soft and commanding, and Bilbo sighed against him heart alight in bliss once more.

So it came to pass that a Dwarf made love to a Hobbit in an Elvish bed, for many nights and many days while a certain wizard pondered the changes yet to come with a grin on his face. The future held countless surprises indeed.