The lights of Erebor shine like a beacon against the dark of the mountain as a masked rider gallops under a starry sky. The hoofsteps are silent, as no soul but the rider can hear them. The wind blows against the walls of the mountain cold and harsh, but the peoples inside are blissfully unaware, safe and warm.
The rider bangs his fists upon the wall of the door, queuing a small, hidden window to be opened, two small eyes peaking out from the opening. “What’s yer’ business?” Asks a gruff voice in a dwarvish accent.
“I come on behalf of a mister Bilbo baggins,” replies the rider, “I bring for him a letter.”
“Very well,” replies the dwarf, his eyes narrowing slightly. “Do you know of Mister Bilbo?”
“I am but a mere messenger, I do not know the business of the items which I deliver, but this letter must be opened as soon as possible. I do not know of this ‘Bilbo.”
“Fine then,” nodded the dwarrow, reaching a hand out of a small opening in the doors to take the letter. “You’ll be off now. Erebor is highly vulnerable in these days.”
The rider turned their horse around with a nod and rode off into the night, hooves clopping,lleaving the dwarf by his lonesome with the letter. He looked down at it curiously but refused to open it, twitching his lip. “Hey, Ori!” The dwarrow suddenly yelled down the small entrance corridor, his irish voice ringing off the walls.
“Yes, Bofur?” replied Ori, his voice sounding small in comparison as he peeked his head out of a nearby door.
Keep watch for a short while, will you?” Asked Bofur, his braids bouncing as he stood. “I’ve got a letter to deliver.”
Ori started to slowly walk down the hall, rubbing his eyes as he yawned. “A letter? What for?”
“Can’t tell you that,” Bofur shook his head bluntly, his footsteps rushing as he made his way down the hall with haste, leaving Ori to shrug to himself. Bofur slowed down once he was out of Ori’s sight, in one of the larger halls of the city near the center of Erebor. His brown eyes gazed around as the light of twilight peeked in, moonlight reflecting off the wall. The only sounds he heard were his footsteps on the hard floors.
After a few easy steps, Bofur reached the king’s quarters (which was always close to the city’s center) and banged his fists heartily on the wooden door. He had the wait a few minutes for Thorin to answer.
“What could be so important that you must wake me at this hour?” the king snapped, opening the door. His eyes were only half open, still in his sleeping robes.
“It’s a message for Bilbo,” replied Bofur, holding out the scroll, “I’ve been told it’s urgent.
“Urgent?” mussed Thorin, his eyes widening, taking the scroll as he gazed at it curiously. “Under what business is this message?”
“It’s not my right to know,” Bofur shook his head. “It’s to be unopened until Bilbo sees it, and that’s all I am to know.”
“Thank you, Bofur,” nodded Thorin dismissively, his eyes focused on the scroll. “I’ll.. Give this to Bilbo.”
-POV of Biblo-
“Bilbo, Bilbo, darling, you must awaken,” whispered Thorin, shaking the hobbit until he rose, his eyes bleary, still half-asleep. “It’s urgent,” his lover’s voice was slightly tense, laced with fear, setting off a few alarms in Bilbo’s waking mind.
“I’m up! I”m up,” rose Bilbo quietly, blinking his eyes of sleep.”What’s the matter?” the hobbit looked up at Thorin attentively from the covers.
“A message. I was told it’s urgent,” Thorin tensed, handing Bilbo the scroll.
“Urgent?” Bilbo furrowed his brows, taking the scroll and reading the sending address. “Why, it’s from the shire. I can't see anything ‘urgent’ happening there,” Bilbo half-joked, opening the scroll to it’s full length, reading it with haste. The hobbit’s face dropped as he read, reading the words to himself unintelligibly as he rose from the bed and finished reading. “Oh, dear,” a concerned frown was written on Bilbo’s face, his eyes distant as he looked into nothing. “Oh dear,” he grabbed a bag from a drawer and hastily started shoving some clothes of his, along with a few valuables into it.
“Bilbo, what did the message say?” Demanded Thorin as the hobbit put a robe on over his night clothing, hurriedly mumbling only to himself, his eyes wide with distraught.
“Bilbo,” the dwarrow took ahold of Bilbo, forcing him to face himself, leveling their eyes with Thorin’s gentle gaze. “You’ve gone mad, darling,” the king whispered, forcing himself to calm as Bilbo looked down for a moment, the panic in his eyes faded slightly. “Tell me, what is wrong?”
The hobbit swallowed and closed his eyes for a moment, before meeting Thorin's again and holding that gaze. “My- My cousins have-” he whimpered-”passed and in their will they wanted me to take care of their son, my nephew, Frodo. He’s only about three years old,” Bilbo sighed, as Thorin’s eyes widened. “I’ve got to go back to the shire, Thorin. Will you come with me?”
Shock and uncertainty brewed inside Thorin, his eyes darting around nervously. “Do they not have someone else to take care of their son? A closer family-member , perhaps?” questioned he, as Bilbo proceeded to give him a look as if he had killed someone.
“No, Thorin,” Bilbo replied a moment later with surprising levity to his voice, his gaze steady and stubborn as a bulls. “They asked me to take care of their son, and that’s exactly what I am going to do. Whether you like it or not.”
“My duty is here, Bilbo, you know this,” replied Thorin, crossing his arms, “My people need me.” The dwarrow paced, paused for a few seconds and rubbed his breaded chin, looking down. “How long will you be gone?”
“I’m not sure, Thorin,” Bilbo continued pacing around, getting his things as Thorin stopped. “A long while I, suppose. You can’t just expect a young hobbit who's been through so much to pack up and leave for a dwarven city. Now, that would just be silly,” Bilbo rambled on, shaking his head.”
“I cannot just drop my growing kingdom and people to play nanny,” Tensed Thorin, putting his head in his hands, rubbing his temples. “My duty is here.”
“But this is my family, Thorin,” exasperated Bilbo, gesturing with his arms. “Do you not remember all the stories I have told you of them? Do they mean nothing to you?” Bilbo’s voice wavered off as he looked down in confliction, before he met Thorin’s own eyes again. The hobbit’s eyes glistened in the twilight that filtered in the room. “I love you , Thorin, and I want you to come with me.”
Thorin couldn’t meet Bilbo’s eyes as he put his hands on his hips, looking down in quiet guilt.”I cannot just leave, Bilbo,” he refused softly before lifting his head again, a stubborn glint appearing in his eyes as he regained composure. “What will my people do? What is Erebor without its king?” he asked, a part of him regretting what he said as Bilbo looked back at him like a wounded animal.
“I can’t believe you, Thorin!” fire alit in the hobbit’s eyes suddenly, slinging the bag he had packed over his shoulder, stomping to the door.
“Bilbo, you must understand!” Thorin pleaded, some of that dwarfish stubbornness faded but his voice rose, advancing a few steps towards the hobbit.
“No,” Bilbo turned around, his eyes a sword in Thorin’s heart. “I helped you discover your own family- and your home. If you can’t help me support mine in a time of need, then I want nothing to do with you. I don’t want to hear it,” the hobbit’s voice was incredibly steady, his eyes stone set on Thorin as he spoke.
“Goodbye, Thorin,” his breath hitched as realization hit Bilbo, but he managed to swing the bedroom’s door shut with a bang in the king's conflicted, upset face.
The hobbit quickly clothed into travel wear, tears beginning to slip from his eyes as he thought out about what just had happened.
He had just walked out on the love of his life for good, not planning to come back. He had just walked out on the man he was sure he was going to marry. ‘Did I make the right choice?’ the hobbit asked himself as he slipped out the door of the king’s quarters into one of the kingdom’s main halls, the hobbit’s footsteps making no sound as the first lights of dawn seeded in through the main windows.
Bilbo was now alone with his thoughts as he slowly padded to the gate, tears slipping from his eyes steadily.
He thought about how much he loved Thorin, and how Thorin loved him. How it was he that broke him from a deadly gold sickness, and how it was Thorin that got him to stay in Erebor for the time he did.
Bilbo also thought about his family, and how important it was for a hobbit to stay loyal too. ‘
But then again,’ Bilbo thought to himself, ‘isn’t Thorin my family as well?’
The hobbit sighed just as he reached the gate, his eyes puffy. He had made his decision.
The Hobbit sighed again, before stomping up to the gates, past Bofur, who had continued keeping watch of the city. Bilbo banged his fists in a guilty frustration against the large door. “Let me out, Bofur,” he demanded in a quiet rage,
The dwarrow stepped out of his guard’s cubby, his eyes widening. “Not so fast, lad!” He cried, “where are you off too, anyways?”
“Home,” replied Bilbo bluntly, his eyes set on the door. “Let me out,” he whimpered, “Please.”
Bofur’s face dropped- “Alone?” he asked quietly, taking a few steps towards Bilbo with reluctance. “Lad, was it the letter?” A rare sincerity was laced in Bofur’s words, his eyes suddenly sad.
Bilbo nodded stiffly and closed his eyes, clenching his fists, trying to shut out the hurt. A few tears slipped from his eyes. “My nephew, his parents... passed. I must go back to the shire,” Bilbo’s voice wavered as he forced himself not to sob.
“Oh, Bilbo,” Bofur sniffed and embraced his tiny friend, who over their time together became quite fond of him.
Bilbo couldn’t take it, letting out a quiet sob into Bofur’s coat, clenching onto him.
“There, there,” Bofur soothed the hobbit, holding him as if he were his own child. “Can you not bring your nephew here?”
Bilbo shook his head simply as he pulled back, his cheeks tear stained. No more sobs escaped his lips as he looked down. “I may not come back, Bofur,” he raised his head to meet the dwarrows brown eyes, some composure back into him as he forced himself into a traveling state of mind. One that forced him not to feel hurt: only survival. “But this is family business,” he sniffed, “and family business is very important to hobbits. Let me go.”
Bofur smiled sadly at the hobbit’s raw bravery. It always seemed to surprise him. “If you must,” he nodded. “But at least let me get you a pony.”