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Thorin and Bilbo

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Thorin did his best to focus on shortening his stride as he slowed to match the hobbit's more leisurely pace several steps behind their company; it simply would not do to let their burglar lose his way or, Mahal forbid, be snatched up by some less than savory creatures.

The air was still and humid within the sparse grove of beech and walnut where they made camp. Bilbo sighed peacefully and turned his gaze from the stars to Thorin, whose eyes reflected the dancing flames of the campfire as he played a quiet melody on his harp to complement the chirping crickets.

As Bilbo struggled to become more at ease with his place in the company, he was happy to note that at least one idle pleasure would be allowed him without reprimand. The hobbit was always glad to listen closely to whatever Thorin had to say, even, he was slightly embarrassed to admit, when it was not quite his place to hear it.

After a time, it ended up being that Bilbo had discovered he'd developed a new hobby. More often he began to get a bit bolder with his questions when Thorin's disposition seemed relatively easygoing. He enquired about simple, perhaps overly mundane aspects of the dwarf's life under the mountain. The stories about Thorin's younger years with his family were his favorites. As painful as he knew it must be once the tales were over, Bilbo greatly cherished the soft, nostalgic smile that would form upon Thorin's lips as he remembered those times of true happiness.

The second time they kissed, Bilbo was ready for it. He eagerly welcomed Thorin's chapped lips pressing lightly against his own, didn't try to suppress the smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes when he felt Thorin's fingers brush his. Their first kiss was exhilarating and new, but their second was a reassurance. It was all Bilbo needed to initiate the third on his own.

Oftentimes, Bilbo found himself lamenting the terribly few culinary indulgences that life on the road afforded until one lucky night when they happened to camp next to a great blackberry bush. With a stroke of inspiration, Bilbo had set about fixing them up with an egg and some sugar graciously donated by Bombur. The next morning they were distributed between the company as a treat after their tired rations of bacon and old bread. Ori looked especially happy, as Dori had easily conceded to allowing him sweets for breakfast. Noticing that Thorin had yet to fetch his own share, Bilbo scooted closer and held out his plate in offering. The dwarf looked unsure but picked a small greenish one and chewed it carefully. The highlight of Bilbo's day was seeing Thorin's face twisted up over the undisguisable sourness of the berry.