Actions

Work Header

The One with the Writers

Work Text:

My dear Bilbo,

I would like to formally invite you to join myself and various other authors of different genres for our first ever Authors Convention!

Unfortunately, I am informing you on such short notice as the convention begins this follow Friday, the twelfth of July, and will continue until the Sunday the fourteenth. Fortunately though, the Sunday is not compulsory although I have already booked your hotel room until the Monday morning.

I do hope you'll come. Enclosed is your train tickets for the twelfth to the fifteenth, hotel bookings for the dates and a schedule for the two days activities.

See you soon!

Gandalf

 

 

That's how Bilbo finds himself lugging a suitcase around a train platform, with his dear friend Ori scrambling along behind him whilst being practically suffocated by his own suitcase that doesn't have wheels, trying desperately to find the train for god knows where their dear friend, and editor, Gandalf had booked for them.

"Are you sure we're on the right platform in the first place?" Ori huffs, and Bilbo waves him off as he pushes a path through the crowd for them, until finally he sees a train parked underneath the number thirteen, and he lets out a little "aha!" before steering Ori towards it.

Luckily they're early, so there's barely anyone else on the train just yet, and Bilbo is spared from the humiliation that's him trying to lug his suitcase up into the stowaway area in their coach. Thankfully Ori is much stronger than he looks, and as soon as he's finished shoving both their bags away they turn towards the seating with their tickets clutched in their hands.

"Seats thirty-nine and forty," Bilbo mutters as he takes off down the aisle, being mindful his laptop bag doesn't hit anyone or thing as he goes. Thankfully they've managed to get seats in one of the more roomy coaches, and Bilbo slips into his seat with Ori right beside him.

At once they both lift their bags and plonk them down on the table separating them from the other two chairs, and Bilbo spares a thought for the fact there's going to be two others no doubt sitting with them, before Ori is dragging out his own letter he'd received from Gandalf and slapping it down between them.

"So, the schedule," Ori starts as soon as Bilbo's moved to get a good look at it, "seems a bit disastrous really. What's Gandalf thinking including a pajama party?"

"Because Gandalf is crazy," Bilbo explains, pulling out his laptop and phone before handing his bag to Ori for him to stow away above them, "and I think he spends too much time with Radagast."

"At least they're competent editors," Ori points out, and Bilbo grudgingly agrees before turning to his laptop and begins clicking away at some of his documents. 

Ori hums beside him as he watches over his shoulder, and Bilbo can literally hear the question he wants to ask, so he sighs and turns to look at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Yes?"

"Do you reckon he'll be there?" Ori asks, grinning as he reaches over to tap Bilbo's laptop screen to point at the desktop, "Mr Thomas Oakenshield?"

"Why on earth would he be there?" Bilbo asks as he swats Ori's fingers away and takes a look at his desktop screen himself, smiling at the pile of books. It's a photo his friend Balin had taken on one of his stays at Bilbo's house. Apparently seeing the haphazardly stacked books, all by the same author, on Bilbo's bedside table had been quite picturesque, and Bilbo loves the way the sun shines just wonderfully on all the books with Thomas Oakenshield printed over the hardcovers.

"Because he's one of Gandalf's authors?" Ori points out, and Bilbo rolls his eyes.

"Ori, he won't be going," he says with a sigh, "I doubt someone as well know as Thomas Oakenshield will be attending an authors convention."

"Well, Terrance Took is incredibly famous," Ori counters, "and you're sort of him."

"I'm not that famous," Bilbo protests, even though it's a blatant lie and Ori gives him a raised eyebrow before grinning at him.

"But how do you think that'd feel, Bilbo?" Ori sighs, almost dreamily, "meeting your favourite author? Haven't you ever wondered what he looks like?"

"I don't spend all my time romancing ideas on Thomas Oakenshield, Ori," Bilbo laughs, "far from it. I enjoy the his, or her, work. That's all." But Ori still just gives him a cheeky grin leaving Bilbo to huff as he turns back to his laptop, only pausing to look at desktop picture once.

They sit in silence for a long time, Ori pouring over the schedule and taking a few moments every now and again to jot some notes down on a refill pad between himself and Bilbo, and Bilbo continues to fine-tune one of his chapters for his latest book as he jots down his own and mixes Ori's into some of his plots.

It's not until someone clears their throat that the two look up, and Bilbo realises that the train had been slowly filling, and in front of them were two men, one a literal bear and the other looking like he'd sucked on a lemon or something. Of course, Bilbo does notice that the Lemon Sucker is gorgeous in a completely cliche sense, with his lovely long hair in a few sparse plaits before being pulled up in a ponytail, and, wow, those are some impressive blue eyes, and of course his bone structure is just magnificent even though his nose is slightly big, but then again it does suit him…

"Hello," Bear Man says, knocking Bilbo from his admiration of Lemon Sucker, and Ori chimes the greeting back while Bilbo nearly swallows his tongue at seeing the blush on Ori's face. Really? For Bear Man? Ori thinks Bear Man is attractive? He has tattoos on his head.

"You must be our partners for the trip," Bilbo finally says after a long pause where Ori and Bear Man just sort of stare at each other and Lemon Sucker looks more and more irritated by the minute.

"Unfortunately," he replies, and Bear Man drives his elbow straight into Lemon Suckers side with a hiss of "rude".

Nothing else is said besides a few murmurings between Ori and Bear Man until the other two are settled down across from them, Bear Man with a laptop and Lemon Sucker staring forlornly out the window. Odd combination, Bilbo thinks to himself, but he ignores them and instead reaches out and snatches the refill from Ori to scribble a few things down about possible characters for their books, grinning when Ori snickers as he reads over his shoulder.

"You're off to the authors convention too, then?" Bear Man says after a moment, and both Bilbo and Ori look up with flushes before Ori nods his head with a grin.

"Yes! Yourselves?"

Bear Man nods before gesturing at Lemon Sucker, "we're both clients of Gandalf Greybeard. Crazy old coot sprang this on us last minute."

Bilbo can't help but laugh, "at least you're not the only ones then. He sent us letters last minute as well."

"So you'll have a copy of the schedule then?" Lemon Sucker suddenly asks, and Bilbo can't help but feel a bit of irritation at him for being so rude. Pretty face, horrendous attitude, and he jots the note down quickly.

"Aye," Ori answers for them both as he hands over his schedule, and both Bear Man and Lemon Sucker start pouring over it with mutters and what definitely sounds like a small argument.

Bilbo doesn't particularly pay attention though as he turns back to his laptop and Ori continues to write on the refill, giving it up occasionally for Bilbo to scribble things down and once more take some ideas.

Thankfully the trip mostly goes by in silence, only broken a few times like when the ticket man comes around and Bilbo has a panic looking for his ticket until Lemon Sucker picks it up from under the refill, and mostly by Bear Man and Ori having short conversations. Of course, peace can't last forever, and it's not until Bilbo's taking the refill once more from Ori that Lemon Sucker pipes up.

"Isn't that plagiarism?" he asks, and all of them go still at the word. It's like taboo for writers, and even Bear Man looks stunned that his friend would say it.

"What is?" Ori asks, and Lemon Sucker gestures at the refill pad.

"What you're doing," he says, "writing down ideas and taking them from each other. Isn't that a form of plagiarism?"

"We're volunteering information to each other," Bilbo explains, feeling very terse. How dare he accuse them of plagiarising. "it's not plagiarism if both parties agree. And currently Ori and myself are agreeing to share information. We work within the same genre, we often co-write each others stories, why would we not share?"

"Because it's frowned upon?"

"Only in cut throat genres," Bilbo snaps, "and I assure you that we are not in a cut throat genre. Not to mention we're not assholes."

Lemon Sucker's eyes narrow at that statement, and yes Bilbo admits he did just step over the mark with that statement, but the man has been a jerk and Bilbo is just fed up. 

"What you're doing is taking ideas from 'Ori'," and he gestures at the other briefly just in case Bilbo has no idea who he is of course, "and passing them off as your own by including them in books. That right there is the exact definition of plagiarism."

Bilbo goes to snap something back, furious by this stage, but he's cut off by the intercom calling out that they're finally approaching their last stop, and Lemon Sucker barely spares Bilbo a look before he's shoving at Bear Man and they disappear down the aisle.

"You okay?" Ori asks after a moment of silence that Bilbo doesn't like.

"Fine," he snaps as he slams down the lid of his laptop, and he's already regretting coming on this god awful trip.

 

 

"Wake up!" Ori cries the next morning, and Bilbo groans as his friend starts jumping on the bed screaming with excitement, and Bilbo manages to blink one bleary eye until the clock on his phone shows him it's… seven o'clock in the morning.

"What are you doing, Ori?" he demands as he pushes him of the bed with a crash and sits up to rub his eye, "the convention doesn't start for another couple of hours. I could've slept for those couple of hours."

"You need a shower is what," Ori cheers as he stands up and starts pulling on Bilbo's hand, "not to mention we still have to get to registration which opens now, and I would like some breakfast before we have to go to Gandalf's 'Facebook Party Fun!' which is no doubt going to be as painful as it sounds."

He's got a point, Bilbo registers as he tumbles out of bed and groggily heads for the shower. Thirty minutes later and he's being bundled out of the hotel by Ori, knitted scarf, gloves and hat shoved on, because unsurprisingly "god knows where" turned out to be "coldest part of Earth Gandalf could find in a three hour traveling distance". Bilbo honestly doesn't even know the name of the place, some mashed up shamble of words, but Ori's giddy with excitement as he pulls him through the cold into the convention building across the road.

Registration is simple, and Bilbo is glad when they get out of the press of authors all signing up. He recognizes a handful, like Bofur who does marvelous comics and graphics novels, his cousin Bifur who is the best children's author Bilbo's ever come across, Ori's brother Nori who does an odd mix of crime and history, Beorn who does splendid books on animals and Bard who excels at supernatural. Bilbo raises his hand to all of them in greeting, intending on saying hello to them when he can, and follows Ori as he tugs him out the door and right into, oh hello, Bear Man and Lemon Sucker.

"Morning," Bear Man says with a grin, and Ori giggles, giggles, as he nods.

"Hello, Dwalin," he pauses before smiling at Lemon Sucker, "and hello to you, Thorin."

Thorin, Bilbo thinks, looking at the man who gives Ori a small smile, nice name for a dickhead.

"Morning, Bilbo?" Bear Man, Dwalin, says, and Bilbo frowns as he sticks out a hand.

"Yes, good morning, Dwalin is it?" and Dwalin takes his hand and shakes it quite hard, enough so Bilbo contemplates going to the hospital to see if he's broken anything, before he turns to Thorin and reluctantly holds his hand out to the man as well, "and, ah, to you to, Thorin."

"Good morning, Bilbo," Thorin huffs as he takes Bilbo's hand, and Bilbo's quite surprised at how small his hand is compared to Thorin's as it's literally enveloped by his warm palm. He holds their pose for a moment, just sort of sinking in the warmth, before he coughs and pulls away his hand.

"You're joining us for breakfast then, I assume?" he asks, and at their nods he makes a side note to tell Ori off for being a little shit.

The small group turn and make their way down the road again, no doubt towards the little cafe Ori had pointed out to Bilbo last night before Bilbo had stormed up to their room and face planted his bed, leaving Ori to his own devices and… oh wow, stupid thing to do if having to share breakfast with Bear Man and Lemon Sucker was the consequence.

Thankfully Bilbo has no actual obligation to acknowledge them as Ori chatters away to them both, then they're all sitting down and choosing what to eat, and really it's a good twenty minutes before they have their food on the way and hot cups of coffee in front of them and Bilbo is expected to join in conversation.

"I, ah, write sci-fi and fantasy," he says after Dwalin asks him what his genre is, "I lean more towards fantasy to be honest, although I've only ever published a few books."

He's not that prepared to give up much more information, having worked under a pseudonym for his entire life so people outside of his friends couldn't badger him. His books are popular, no doubt about it, but Bilbo would rather keep to the sidelines instead of being in the limelight. 

"So, what do you write?" he asks after a short silence, and Dwalin looks relieved at the interruption as he answers.

"Romance," he says, and Bilbo has to put his cup down and force himself to swallow his mouthful at the same time as revaluate everything in his life.

"Romance?" he squeaks, and the way Dwalin laughs makes Bilbo thinks he gets this reaction all the time.

"Aye," and Dwalin winks, winks, "I'm the lucky creator of the Andreas, Harley and Sophia love triangle. Casper Helios, at your service."

"You're the devil," Bilbo snorts, laughing a little over the pseudonym because it does not suit Dwalin in the slightest, before he thinks of the Fifty Shades of Pride series Dwalin's clearly referring to, "writing that triangle. I'm fully in support of Andreas finally realising that he doesn't love Sophia and Sophia doesn't love him and that Harley loves him and they live happily ever after."

"Ah, but it's all about getting past pride isn't it?" Dwalin points out, "Andreas has always been expected to marry Sophia so he's always put aside his feelings for Harley, and Sophia has always loved Harley, but Harley has always been committed to Andreas, and honestly they're all so full of their pride and duty they can't see past it all."

"The devil," Bilbo repeats, and Ori giggles beside him in a sort of sickening way, before he turns to look at Thorin with a raised eyebrow, "and yourself?"

"Horror and suspense," Thorin answers, and Bilbo tries not to get a tad excited because Thomas Oakenshield is from that genre.

"Oh? I haven't heard of you before."

Thorin looks reluctant before he starts to answer, "I use a pseudonym," but he's cut off from continuing, if he was actually going to, by the sudden mess of the food arriving, Gandalf crashing through the door with a cry of "my babies!" as he swoops towards them, Radagast appearing quite literally out of nowhere right next to Dwalin, and Bilbo cringes at the sound of crunching cartilage as Dwalin's fist meets Radagast's face.

Well, at least the bacon looks well cooked.

 

 

Gandalf is quite literally insane, and Bilbo can't stop looking around at the mess of people crowding around tables and chairs.

'Facebook Party Fun' clearly hadn't been enough torture for them, Bilbo thinks as Gandalf breezes past and shoves him into a seat across from another man.

"Hello and welcome, ladies and gentlemen!" Gandalf calls as soon as he's on stage, and Bilbo wonders who's bright idea is was to give the man a microphone, "I'd like to introduce you to Speed Dating: Author Edition."

"Insane," Bilbo mutters, getting a concerned look from the man across from him, "completely bollocks."

"How it goes is, well, it's just like speed dating," Gandalf mutters, frowning a little before smiling at them all, "except I don't quite expect you to be finding romance, unless we're talking about the genre!"

There's a small laugh from the crowd, and Bilbo head-desks.

"Now, you'll have five minutes with a different author for the next hour, and don't worry! We'll be continuing later this afternoon for another hour so you'll each be able to meet at least a small chunckof the authors present here!" The saddest part, Bilbo thinks, is that Gandalf looks so genuinely convinced this is a brilliant idea.

Twelve people, Bilbo realises after a moments counting, he only has to talk to twelve people before this torture is over. He should count himself lucky.

"Begin!"

The gong beside Gandalf rings as he hits it with some sort of drumstick, and honestly who gave him a bloody gong?

With a forced smile, Bilbo turns to the man across from him and holds out a hand, "Bilbo Baggins," he says, "sci-fi and fantasy."

"Legolas Bloom, house and garden," and Bilbo can't stop himself from getting quite excited because he just loves gardening, and from the pleased look on Legolas's he clearly loves the attention.

"Tauriel Lilly," a gorgeous red-headed lady says as she moves over to Bilbo's table when Gandalf hits the gong, "health, mind and body."

"Bofur Nesbitt," says his friend on the third gong hit, and Bilbo almost sags with relief as he grins at him, "comics and graphic novels, but you know that."

"Saruman Lee," a bearded man awfully similar looking to Gandalf but in a more scary way, "religion."

"Elrond Weaving," and Bilbo's a bit stunned because he adores this man and his writing, despite his general I hate everyone attitude, "biographies and autobiographies."

"Galadriel Blanchett," says another gorgeous woman, and her grin scares Bilbo a little so he's surprised when she simply says, "poetry."

"Oin Callen," a older fellow who Bilbo quickly realises is bloody deaf, "medical dramas."

"Bifur Kircher," he growls, voice only just understandable, and Bilbo smiles encouragingly at him as he pats his friends hand, "children's books."

"Gollum Serkis," and Bilbo almost gets up to convince Gandalf to hit his dreadful gong as the creepy pale man all but leans over the table into his space, "erotica."

"Azog Bennett," this one isn't much better, still creepy, but less… well terrifying, "young adults."

"Lindir McKenzie," and finally back to normal, Bilbo thinks as the man gives him a gentle smile, "craft and hobbies."

Finally, finally, Gandalf hits the gong for what is hopefully the second to last time, and Bilbo forces one last grin on his face until, of course, Thorin plonks down in the seat across from him.

"No," Bilbo says instantly, shaking his head, "no way. Change with Lindir. At least he's lovely. I'm so done, I don't need you talking to me for the next five minutes."

"Like I'm thrilled about it as well," Thorin mutters as he leans back in his chair, hands in his pockets and being completely rude. Not that Bilbo can talk as he crosses his arms with a huff.

"What have you got to complain about," he snaps, "at least I haven't accused you of plagiarism."

"I wasn't accusing you of anything," Thorin sneers, "you just took it that way. Not my fault you read into things too much."

"My fault?" Bilbo almost screeches, and Lindir looks over in concern, but Bilbo waves him away as he shakes a finger at Thoirn, "you're the jerk who said it in the first place! If you'd just shut your trap and said nothing, then maybe we wouldn't have this animosity between us."

"Maybe if you hadn't overreacted-"

"Overreacted? Overreacted! I'll show you overreacted," Bilbo screams as he lunges over the table and slams them both to the ground, his fists flying and he registers a yelp of pain before Thorin is scrambling to stop him.

The room erupts into chaos then, and Bilbo feels hands pulling him off the squirming Thorin as he shrieks insults and various inappropriate words while Gandalf is smashing his gong as loudly as possible and he can hear Ori calling his name, telling him to stop, but he ignores them all in favor of teaching Thorin a lesson in respect.

It's only when Dwalin's hand closes over his collar and pulls him away, probably similar to a kitten being dragged from it's squabbling siblings by it's mother, that he stops, breathing heavily and furiously as Dwalin shakes him a little and deposits him right beside a frowning Gandalf.

"Attacking my other authors was not part of the invitation, Bilbo," he says sternly, and Bilbo sighs as he glances over to see Dwalin dragging Thorin to his feet, and he both winces and feels satisfied at seeing Thorin's split lip. 

"Sorry, Gandalf," Bilbo mutters, watching Thorin hiss as he daps at his bloodied lip with his thumb, just as Ori finally gets through the crowd and stumbles into Bilbo, "won't happen again."

"It best not," Gandalf agrees with a nod, before he's turning back to his gong and smacking it a few times with the end of his microphone, "alright! Nothing to see here! We're just going to cut this Speed Dating: Authors Edition a bit short, and move on to our first seminar on characters! Everyone please move over to the stage for Heroines: Swooning damsels or Bad ass babes?" he peers down at Bilbo and pokes him with the microphone, "be good."

Bilbo snorts and winces when Gandalf purposefully smacks the gong right beside his ear, but then the man is disappearing with the crowd and Bilbo's left standing with Ori, Dwalin and Thorin, all staring at him until Ori nudges him.

"I'm sorry," he suddenly grits out, knowing it's the right thing to say, "I… well, I overreacted."

Thorin does mighty well in not snorting, and Bilbo can see he wants to, but Dwalin is nudging his friend also and Thorin looks at Bilbo with a grimace.

"Apology accepted," he says before reluctantly continuing, "and I also apologize. For causing you unnecessary grief," another nudge from Dwalin, this one obviously harder, "and for being a jerk."

"Apology accepted," and Bilbo gives him a little smile before he sighs and moves forward, "here", he says as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handkerchief. Gently, he presses it to Thorin's bottom lip, wincing at the blood soaking the fabric, but Thorin's hand covering his, the pleasant warmth Bilbo felt earlier this morning returning, and the gentle smile he feels against his fingertips makes it worth the ruined handkerchief.

"And you thought it was bad I was attracted to Bear Man," Ori hisses in his ear, only loud enough for him to hear, and Bilbo doesn't stop himself from snapping his leg back and kicking Ori right in the ass.

 

 

They all agree on escaping for an early lunch, and Bilbo is glad for the fresh air despite the cold as he steps outside, Ori right beside him as the other two follow behind. Across the road he sees Bard and Beorn chatting, and he raises a hand as hello before Ori is pulling him over to see them.

"Hello, Bilbo," Bard says, giving him a smile as Beorn pulls him into a gentle hug. 

"Morning, you two," he answers, grinning at them both, "I didn't know you knew each other."

"You'd be surprised how much the supernatural and animals mix," Bard laughs, before he turns to the others, "hello, Ori, pleasure to see you," and he looks up at the other two before his eyes narrow, "haven't seen you in a while, Durin."

"Same goes for you, Bowman," Thorin says as he offers his hand, and Bilbo's surprised when Bard takes it and pats the man roughly on the back. 

"You know each other?" he asks in disbelief, and both give him nods.

"Thorin helped me get into the business," Bard explains, not having let go of Thorin's shoulder or hand, "he read my stories back when he was an editor and told me that if I didn't get my ass into gear he was going to set it on fire, then see how far I ran with it," he shakes his head, "was enough of an encouragement that I had my first book published within the month."

"You were an editor?" Bilbo asks, and Thorin raises an eyebrow.

"I could've told you, if you weren't too busy trying to beat my head in."

"Oh ho ho," Bard laughs, grinning at them, "so it was you two who got into a fight? Tauriel and Legolas came out earlier gossiping about it, told Beorn and myself on their way past. What on earth happened there?"

"Thorin's an idiot, and Bilbo get's offended easily," Dwalin supplies, and Bilbo glares at him as he steps forward, "Dwalin Durin, aka Casper Helios."

"The romance author?" Beorn asks as he steps forward to shake Dwalin's hand while Bard stands there with his mouth wide open, "I love your animal shifter series. Your portrayal of them in their animal forms is astonishing."

It all sort of flows from there, all six of them moving in a large group down towards a local cafe that's supporting the convention, and Bilbo finds himself sitting between Thorin and Bard at their large table, Dwalin deep in conversation with Beorn across from them, Ori having coaxed over Tauriel and Legolas from their seats to join them and was sitting chatting to Tauriel while Legolas seems to have become the sole fix of attention for Bard, and Bilbo tries not to smirk at the blushes on their faces as they flirt quite pathetically.

"A table of authors," Bilbo mutters, "all at various levels of crazy. This'll end well."

"Tauriel seems to have her head on her shoulders," Thorin points out, and Bilbo laughs as he leans closer to whisper in his ear.

"She was telling me about her experiments using grass for treatment of wounds. She's just as crazy as the rest of us," and Thorin grins at his observation, only wincing once as the skin on his lip stretches, and Bilbo sighs, "I really am sorry."

"No harm, no foul."

"Yeah, that only works if I didn't harm you, and your lip sort of begs to differ."

Thorin gives him a funny look, and Bilbo thinks he's about to say something important, only for the waitresses to turn up and hand them all menus with fake grins and cheesy lines.

Waitressing would suck, Bilbo thinks, and he scrambles for a pen in his pockets as he grabs his napkin to scribble down an idea about a waitress heroine, unaware of Thorin reading over his shoulder.

"Do you just do that sometimes?" he asks, "jot down ideas on random pieces of paper when you get them?"

"Harry Potter began on a napkin on a train ride" Bilbo points out, looking up with a raised eyebrow, "and now it's the most popular young adults series in the world."

"Fair point."

From there the conversation turns into a group wide discussion of books. The others talking about their genres, and when Thorin starts to talk about horror and suspense, Bilbo can't stop himself from shuddering inside a bit. Thorin has such a wonderful way with words, his voice able to pitch to different tones, and he spoils them all by reciting half a chapter from one of his future books.

They talk about their ways of writing books, and Bilbo shares his of focussing on one book and one book only at a time, but writes ideas down in painfully vague details for him to come back to and figure out later, and Ori makes the table laugh when he expresses his frustration over trying to read Bilbo's irritating notes, and Bilbo finds himself interested in Thorin's technique of writing whatever, whenever, and then piecing it all together.

"What better way to make a horror suspenseful than by not knowing what's going to happen yourself?" he says, and Bilbo chews his salad thoughtfully at the idea, "if I don't know how it's going to play out until I've pieced it all together, how do you think the reader, someone who isn't writing it, is going to feel?"

"Smart," Bilbo says, waving his fork in the air, "but potentially disastrous. What about plot holes? If parts you've written don't add up?"

"Horrors always have unreliable narrators," Thorin points out, but his smile looks pleased, "so I can either pass it off as that, or fix it. And if one person still sees the plot hole, then so be it."

"That just makes them an idiot," Bilbo says, stabbing at his salad harshly, "an idiot who can't see the bigger picture."

Thorin smiles at him almost softly, "exactly." 

Conversation rages for a little longer, and Bilbo moves around the table to join Legolas and Beorn in their discussion about nature, and he watches as Bard accosts Thorin with a grin and waving arms. He over hears the words "co-write" and "supernatural horror", and he can't help but grin a little.

Maybe Gandalf is on to something with these writers conventions?

Then again, he thinks as they walk back into the hall in time to see Gandalf banging his gong and calling out "How to Write Sex Scenes: 101!" at the top of his lungs, maybe not. 

"He's bollocks," he mutters and Thorin laughs beside him.

 

 

Somehow Bilbo manages to get through the two hour long lecture on how to have sex and how to write it, along with the second hand embarrassment from Ori when he's asked to read out an erotic scene from, surprise surprise, one of Dwalin's books. Of course, the other man looks sympathetic when Ori sits back down flushing a flaming red, but Bilbo had seen the flustered look on Dwalin's face when Ori had been reading about Andreas and Harley's dicks in a strangely husky voice.

Ugh. No. Bilbo was not okay with this. And by the looks of it, Thorin was the complete same as he looked at his friend in disgust.

Next up is the second speed dating hour, and Bilbo suffers through another encounter with Gollum, who reads Bilbo out an awful piece of his own erotica, and he's positive he's going to have nightmares for weeks now.

Then finally it's four o'clock and Bilbo only has to sit through one more lecture, and this time it's on creating worlds for fiction, which turns out to be pretty fun when they're all separated into groups and are asked to create a world themselves. Bilbo instantly attaches himself to Ori, who attaches himself to Dwalin of course, and with Dwalin comes Thorin and Bard joins them with Beorn, and somehow Tauriel is there with Legolas, and Bilbo finds himself once again sitting around a table with seven other authors all from different genres.

Gandalf comes around and gives them all an A3 piece of paper with instructions to depict their world however they want, whether writing or pictures, and Bilbo has half a moment when he's tempted to abduct Bofur from the nearby table for the mans drawing talent, only for it to turn out that Thorin isn't half bad at it himself.

"A map," he decides, taking the paper and pens from the willing uncreative lot around him, and begins to draw a few rough lines here and there, "much easier than certain parts.

They start off with drawing a rough land mass, before forests, adding them into large clumps in random places and Legolas names them with Tauriel, then rivers dotted everywhere before Thorin starts placing mountains and great plains with the others pointing out areas until finally Bilbo stops Thorin.

"What's that?" he asks, pointing to a lone arch past the forest of Mirkwood but too far away from the Iron Hills to be considered a part of it, and Thorin looks at it almost fondly.

"The Lonely Mountain," he says, "or Erebor. Home to the dwarves," he grins at them all, "Durin's Folk."

Bilbo almost wants to smack him as the table erupts into shouting, everyone throwing ideas around, although none seem to be arguing about Thorin's placement of dwarves, but more asking if they can add their own. Somehow Bilbo manages to calm them all down, and after a quick muttering with Thorin they decide to go around the table clockwise and allow everyone to pitch their ideas.

An hour into the exercise, and Bilbo is looking at the most gorgeous map he's ever seen, dotted with trees and mountains and rivers, and places have been named and species have been placed around the land. He can't help but grin at just how well they've all managed to, well, work together to produce something beautiful.

"We should write a book," he suddenly says, and everyone freezes as they look at him, "based on all of this. It'd be amazing."

"Are you a bit dehydrated?" Ori asks, reaching up to touch his forehead and Bilbo swats his hand away.

"No, no, I'm serious," he stresses, looking at them all before settling on Thorin, "we've already got the world set up, and we've all got the ideas. Thorin could write about his dwarves, Bard about the humans, Beorn on his shapeshifters, Ori on the gods, Tauriel on the elves, Dwalin on the… orc things, Legolas on the wizards," he grins at them all, "I could write about my hobbits. We could do this guys, we could all co-write a book."

Everyone seems to be nodding along, but its Thorin who pipes up with a frown. "I think getting eight different authors with eight different genres and experiences to write one book might be harder than it sounds, Bilbo," he explains, "and that definitely sounds hard."

"But it doesn't have to be," Bilbo laughs, "no, you said yourself, Thorin, that you favor writing erratically then fitting it all together. That's what we could do. We all write about our species, we all write individualized stories, then you can put them together, make them all fit."

"Bilbo," Thorin argues, "there's a huge difference there. For one, all of our writing types are completely different. At least my writing is always the same so it's easy to meld together, but imagine a suspense and horror author mixing with a, well a mind, body and health author? It won't work."

"We can make it work," Bilbo says softly, and he can't stop smiling at the idea, "we can do this. We can at least try."

Thorin looks ready to argue more, but Bard cuts him off before he even starts by saying, "bloody good idea, Bilbo. Would you be the coordinator then?"

"I've never been able to coordinate anything in my life," Bilbo chuckles as Ori rolls his eyes, "but there's a first time for everything right? So, here," he reaches out and places a piece of refill in the centre of the table, "write down your email addresses and we'll see what happens, yeah?"

The others still look a bit skeptical, even Bard, but it's surprisingly Thorin who takes the refill first.

"Well, if you're convinced we can do this madness," he says as he writes down his details, and Bilbo tries not to think of all the possibilities at seeing his cellphone number written down too, "might as well join you."

"And I shall be your editor!" Gandalf's booming voice makes all of them jump as he suddenly appears beside Thorin, looking at them all with a grin that Bilbo would definitely identify as borderline psychotic, "this is wonderful news! A book written by eight well-known authors? This will go down in history!" 

Eight well-known authors? Bilbo frowns as he turns to look at Thorin. He's definitely heard of everyone else around the table, pseudonyms or not, but Thorin he hasn't. Then again, the man still hadn't told him what his pseudonym was.

"You've never said," he tells the man, "what's your pseudonym?"

Thorin gives him a small smile as he says, "Thomas Oakenshield," and Bilbo promptly swallows his own tongue.

 

 

"Panicking won't do you any good," Bofur says from between Nori and Ori as they watch Bilbo pace up and down the bathroom in front of the sinks, hands in his hair as he tugs on it because Thomas Oakenshield is Thorin Durin.

"I insulted Thomas Oakenshield!" he screeches, and the others all wince as they exchange looks of surprise that Bilbo wants to hit off their faces, "Thomas Oakenshield."

"Is it really that bad?" Nori asks, and Bilbo doesn't stop himself from storming forward and clipping the man over the back of the head with his fist.

Even Ori looks at his brother with a raised eyebrow and an unimpressed look. "It's a pretty big deal, Nori," he says, "Bilbo's been in love with this guy for years. Ever since his first book came out."

"His books, I love his books," Bilbo snaps, but Ori just waves him off.

"Honestly, I'm surprised he hasn't pitched himself off the roof yet out of despair," Ori winces as he pats Bilbo's arm lightly, "for insulting Thorin or for being accused of plagiarism by him, maybe even both? Bilbo values this guys opinion quite well."

"And you waited until right before dinner to freak out about this?" Bofur asks, and Bilbo has to agree that it sorta is quite inconvenient, especially because the others are just outside holding seats for the four of them in the already crowded restaurant, but still.

"What do I do?" he moans as he drops his head into his hands, peeking through his fingers at the others, but Nori just shrugs as Bofur sighs and grabs Bilbo's shoulders.

"What you're going to do," he starts, "is march right back out there, sit down in the seat Thorin has no doubt saved for you, and you're going to treat him like a normal human being. No flipping out. No freaking out."

"There's a reason you lot use pseudonyms," Nori points out, and Bilbo nods along with him, "and that's to avoid these exact situations. Be a normal person. Hell, talk to him about this book idea or whatever it is you're intending on doing. Just don't go all creepy on him. Maybe compliment him on his books but don't…"

"Don't recite every chapter like its your bible," Ori helpfully finishes before he puts his hands on his hips and narrow his eyes, "and you're going to go do this right now, especially considering I'm missing out on a lovely dinner with Dwalin thanks to you having an unnecessary meltdown over nothing."

"Dwalin?" Nori shrieks, "dinner with that brute? What on earth do you think Dori will think of you dating him? What're you going to tell him?"

"Oh shut up, Nori," Ori snaps, "I'll tell him when you tell him you're dating a man who wears a dead animal on his head twenty-four seven."

"Hey! My hat doesn't look like a dead animal!"

Bilbo watches as his three friends deteriorate into a squabbling pile, feeling completely helpless. They're right of course, despite the shared insanity, and he slowly backs from the room until he's out in the restaurant and Thorin's gesturing at him from their group's table.

"Everything okay?" he asks as Bilbo slumps into the seat beside him, and Bilbo offers him a tired grin.

"Yeah, Nori's just having a meltdown over the possible Dwori thing," and he can't help but grin harder as Thorin starts laughing at the nickname. Across from them he sees Dwalin give them an odd look, but Bilbo waves him off as he reaches out for his glass of wine. 

Thorin nods at him as he chinks their glasses together before he laces his fingers together and leans his chin on them. "So, I was thinking," he starts, and Bilbo can't help but laugh.

"Oh gosh, how much did that hurt?" and Thorin lightly smacks his arm as he growls.

"Idiot," he says, and he sounds fond to Bilbo, but that might just be Bilbo deluding himself, "I was thinking about the book idea. It's great, really neat," he frowns as he purses his lips before he looks at Bilbo with a smile, "but it just needs plot. We can't give all eight of us authors free range and actually expect a proper story to come from it. Tauriel might start rambling about one thing, and Dwalin another, something that can't be connected. It's all well and good, but they'll need direction. A sort of guide to write to."

He must see Bilbo looking at him with a soft smile as he flushes and asks "what?" almost sounding embarrassed.

"It's sort of obvious now that you were an editor," Bilbo explains as he swirls his glass of wine between his fingertips, "you talk like one. Well, a sane one."

Thorin snorts as he drops his hands to drum his fingers against the table, drawing Bilbo's attention. "Editing never really set well with me," he says, "I was one of Gandalf's employees actually," and Bilbo almost chokes on his tongue, much to Thorin's amusement, "yeah. Shocker. I don't know how I survived the midnight editing marathons he used to pull on me."

"What made you stop?"

"Gandalf made me publish my first book," he grins at Bilbo, "Imps and Freaks, and for some reason it was a stunning success. Gandalf tried to get me to come out in public, but I refused. I'm not interested in the fame game. I've seen what it can do to people, to families."

"I know what you mean," Bilbo says quietly, "I refused to publish under my real name for the same reason. I prefer the quiet life to outrageous book launchings and fans in the streets."

"Exactly, so I told him no and began to cut down my hours until I became solely an author," he smiles as he picks his glass up for a drink, and Bilbo's slightly disturbed at how lovely he finds watching Thorin drink, "I still get midnight calls from Gandalf to help him with some editing, apparently Radagast doesn't get him in some senses. It's mainly for his larger authors, like my personal favourite, Terrance Took."

Bilbo promptly chokes on his drink, coughing spectacularly as he spits it back into his cup, and everyone turns to look at him in worry as he splutters over the table, Thorin rubbing his back as he raises an eyebrow.

"You alright?" he asks, and Bilbo waves him off as he sits up straight and wipes his mouth with a nearby napkin.

"Terrance Took, huh?" he squeaks, and Thorin slowly nods his head, "I wouldn't think you'd be one for his work. He's all fantasy and sci-fi."

"What, a horror author can't appreciate other genres?" Thorin asks, and Bilbo flushes as he looks at his lap in embarrassment, "no no, I know what you mean. It's odd to associate authors with works outside of their own. But I personally love Took's work, something about their writing is just inspiring. Their first book was actually the last one I edited before I left my job. Never got to meet them though, it was all done through correspondence with Gandalf."

"You edited my work?" Bilbo can't help but shriek, and Thorin's eyes go spectacularly wide.

"You're Terrance Took?"

They stare at each other for a long long moment, eyes comically wide, before suddenly they're bursting out laughing, leaning on each other as they cackle away and Dwalin hisses at them to shut up across the table and oh god Bilbo thinks this is possibly the best disaster ever.

"Yes," he says after they've calmed down and they're looking at each other with matching grins, "I'm Terrance Took."

"Terrance Took," Thorin hums with a smile, "where on earth did you get that from Bilbo Baggins?"

"My mother threatened my father that she was going to run off with me and rename me Terrance Took, Took being her maiden name, during one of their fights when she was pregnant and mood swingy," he explains with a fond smile, "and you? Thomas Oakenshield?"

"My, ah," Thorin's smile turns nostalgic as he looks at the table, and Bilbo notices the way his fingers tighten around his wine class, "my brother always use to call me Oakenshield, mainly as a joke, because I'd always protect him from bullies. Strong as an oak tree, he'd heard mum saying once, so Oakenshield I was," he pauses and smiles softly at Bilbo, "and he always told me he was going to call his first son Thomas after the Tank Engine, so when they'd sit down and watch it he could tell his son he has to grow up to be as good as Thomas the Tank Engine, and it'd make his parenting job so much easier."

"He sounds like fun."

"He was," and oh, Bilbo knows that look, that looks of sadness, and he can't stop himself from reaching over and squeezing Thorin's hand tightly and offering him a small, but sincere, smile.

"Ironic really," he says, "that we hate each other for the first twenty-four hours that we know each other, and then find out that we're coincidentally each others favourite authors," and Thorin looks a bit shocked before his face melts into a smile and Bilbo shamefully admits, "I have all your books on my bedside table all the time. You were the one who actually inspired me to publish my works, not Gandalf, but I read one of your authors notes and, well, I was just moved."

"Yeah?"

"Don't write for others, write for yourself, and above all, write what you love," Bilbo quotes, and he watches Thorin's face light up, "I always wrote for other people. And it wasn't until I read your words did I realise that was why it never felt right."

"Stroke of genius, then," Thorin says as he raises his glass, "you're a fantastic author. Thank you for choosing to publish your words."

"No," Bilbo says as he chinks them together, "thank you."

 

 

"Are you serious?" Ori demands as he flops down on Bilbo's bed, still decked out in the ridiculous pajamas Gandalf had forced them all to wear for their pillow fights, and Bilbo sighs as he throws himself down beside him.

"Yeah, turns out Terrance Took is his favourite author," he says, "and that my first book was the last book he ever edited. Gandalf is such a dick for not telling me."

"My dear boy," comes Gandalf's voice as he swans into the room, and it goes to show how use to him they are when neither Ori or Bilbo flinch, nor question how he got in, "it was much more delightful seeing you find out for yourself."

"Well you could've at least warned me," Bilbo grumbles, and Gandalf snorts as he shakes his coat over the two of them, sprinkling some more of that wretched glitter from the fairy shower all over them and Bilbo's bed.

"And what? Ruined the surprise?" Gandalf snorts as he maneuvers around until he's sitting between the two, "why, Bilbo, I wouldn't is to do that. The shock on your face when you found out that not only was Thorin, Thomas Oakenshield, but is also your fan and the real editor of your first book, was positively priceless. It'll keep me smiling for the next few years, no doubt."

Bilbo huffs and blows a strand of hair from his forehead out of frustration. "What happened to his brother?" he asks, and he definitely feels Gandalf stiffen beside him, "he didn't say much when I asked him. Only mentioned there was an accident before he moved topics."

Gandalf contemplates him for a long moment, eyes narrow as he purses his lips before he shakes his head. "It's not my place to say," he finally mutters after a moment, "Frerin is a very touchy subject for Thorin, very private."

"Hang on, Frerin?" Bilbo sits up with a frown, "as in the main character from Imps and Freaks?"

"Based off his brother, I believe," Gandalf says as he stands up, showering more glitter everywhere, "well that's enough from me. I must be off."

"You can't just leave now-" but it doesn't matter because Gandalf is already gone and Bilbo is groaning as he flops back beside a half asleep Ori, "bloody impossible that man."

"What one? Thorin or Gandalf?" Ori mumbles and Bilbo hits him lightly with a pillow before completely derailing the conversation and asking about Dwalin, which, yeah, is a plenty good distraction as Ori starts rambling.

Unfortunately they end up staying awake for far too long, and don't fall asleep until early morning. Which in turn makes them drastically late for the second day of the convention, and they're only woken up by Nori and Bofur hammering on the door and screaming bloody murder.

Thorin looks sickeningly refreshed, Bilbo realises as he stumbles into the room and collapses in the seat beside him.

"You don't look like trash at all," he comments, and Bilbo shoots him a glare that easily wiped away when Thorin hands him a coffee, and he doesn't question it when he see Dwalin handing one to Ori just a little further away. He'd wondered who Ori had been texting as they'd scrambled to get ready.

"Thanks," he mutters as he downs half the cup at once and straight away regrets it as he burns half his mouth, "as long as I don't look like the wrong end of a horse, I'm okay with it," and Bilbo's pleasantly surprised when Thorin laughs beside him before he inclines his head towards the stage where Radagast is blabbering about something or rather.

"Book Boyfriends," Thorin says, and Bilbo shudders, "Gandalf decided this morning that we needed a lecture about how to properly write, and I quote, "steamy sexy men", and we're being treating to a lecture on sex in, oh, ten minutes."

"Didn't Ori cover that shit yesterday?" Bilbo groans, head flopping back to thunk against the chair, "specifically with Dwalin's erotic scenes?"

"Apparently Radagast wants to go over the BDSM side of things," Thorin snorts, and Bilbo contemplates drowning himself in coffee, "but personally I'd rather burn in hell."

"Not without me, you won't be," Bilbo laughs, and Thorin gives him a smile in response, before Bilbo stands and stretches his shoulders. "Come on," he says, holding out his hand for Thorin to take as he pulls him to his feet, "I'll go tell Gandalf we're brainstorming for our new book. At least then we'll be able to get out of Radagast's lecture."

Thorin looks perfectly content to go along with him, and Bilbo quickly hunts Gandalf down and manages to con their way out of the lecture until they're walking down the street in silence but together.

"That was awful," Thorin says after a moment, and Bilbo can't stop himself from bursting out laughing.

"I know right," he grins up at Thorin, "luckily we don't have to come back until tonight, even then we don't have to if we don't want to. Radagast is finishing his lecture, then it's lunch for them, a key speaker of some sort then booking signings after before Gandalf sets them free on the city until he calls us all back for some group photo party thing. Begins at seven sharp."

"Which means eight in Gandalf time," and Bilbo agrees with a hum as they continue to walk, occasionally bumping into each other as they go.

"I feel like we've spent more time eating than actually being in the convention," Bilbo points out after another moments silence, and Thorin laughs and agrees, "on the plus side Gandalf's paid for everything so far-"

"Do you wanna go do something?" Thorin cuts him off, and Bilbo raises an eyebrow at how flustered he looks, "as in, something away from here. Just for a bit of a break."

Bilbo looks at him long and hard for a moment, considering the offer, before he grins and steps a bit closer. "Like a date?" he teases, and Thorin rolls his eyes as he pushes Bilbo lightly.

"I was meaning more of an escape," he says, but he doesn't resist when Bilbo links their arms together, "and there's bound to be something to do around here."

"Get out of the cold, maybe?"

Thorin just gives him a grin. "I know the perfect place then," he says as he tugs Bilbo down the road.

Of course, sitting in a cafe bookshop right beside a fire with hot chocolates wasn't what Bilbo had imagined at that, but he could honestly say he enjoyed finding their books on the shelves and questioning every little detail about them. He loved seeing Thorin's face light up when he asked a good question, he adored having Thorin ask him the good questions, and if Bilbo pretended to be sleepy so he'd have an excuse to lean on Thorin's shoulder as he read out some of Bilbo's favourite passages… well, that's his business isn't it?

 

 

They get back to their rooms a little later than expected, dropping in briefly to take the obligatory group photo with Gandalf before leaving his crazy party and stopping in at the hotel bar. Bilbo finds himself not really wanting to leave Thorin at all, enjoying his company way too much as they sit huddled together in a table by the corner, and Bilbo delights in finding someone who's happy to play the judging game with him. 

He's sad when Thorin drops him off at his room, and he can't stop himself from giving the man a shy kiss on the cheek before scrambling into his room and grinning fiercely at a surprised Ori and Dwalin. 

"I think I'm in love," he says dramatically as he swoops forward and flops backwards on to Ori's bed, splitting the two up, "honestly, he's much more than I ever imagined him to be."

"Thorin or Thomas?" Ori asks, and Bilbo giggles, giggles, as he rolls over onto his stomach. 

"Both."

"I think I best get to Thorin," Dwalin grumbles, and Bilbo only then notices the... lack of clothing the other two are wearing, and he quickly buries his face into his pillow as kissing noises fill the room, "he's probably going to be higher than this one."

Ori sees him out the door, something Bilbo barely notices, until he's calmly sitting down beside Bilbo and patting his bottom. 

"Well chop chop, then," he says as Bilbo swats away his hand, "don't come in here and stop the first good lay I would've had in ages and then not tell me details."

"He's lovely," Bilbo swoons, knowing he sounds utterly ridiculous, but Ori is just grinning at him as Bilbo squirms on the bed in excitement, "he knows all the right questions to ask and things to say. He has an amazing history with books, I mean I never realised just how connected through them we really are. His authors note in his first book was what inspired me to write, and my first book was the last he ever edited," he grins as he wriggles into Ori's side, burying his face in his thigh, "we're each others favourite authors, Ori. I don't think you understand how amazing that is."

"And ironic," Ori huffs, but his hands are in Bilbo's hair and he does sound excited for Bilbo, "so, why are you here with me than with him?"

Bilbo sobers at the question, sitting up abruptly and leaning forward to rub his hands over his face. "When we were down at the pub, I realised that..." he sighs as he leans against Ori, his mood having dropped heavily, "I realised that when I first met him, I hated him. And I'm wondering if maybe I don't like Thorin, and I just like Thomas?"

"They're one and the same, Bilbo," Ori chastises, "honestly, there really isn't anything to worry about there. You warmed up to Thorin before you found out his pseudonym anyway. Over the book idea? Over lunch before that? You're just being ridiculous."

"I just feel that maybe I'm being superficial?"

"Authors don't have split personalities, Bilbo. You're Bilbo Baggins and Terrance Took, but Terrance Took is Bilbo Baggins. Thorin is himself and Thomas, but Thomas is Thorin. Do you understand what I mean?"

Bilbo laughs softly, "it's quite confusing, but yes. I'm Bilbo Baggins who writes under a nickname, and Thorin is Thorin Durin who writes under his."

"Exactly," and Ori lightly hits the side of his head, "so don't be such a dollophead. And tell me more, like maybe about the origin for his pseudonym?"

Bilbo still has some issues, still thinks that maybe he's more heavily invested in the idea of Thomas Oakenshield than the person Thorin Durin, but he still turns around and babbles pathetically and incoherently to Ori until once again they don't fall asleep until late, or early.

"I think we ate and talked about boys more than did author stuff this entire trip," Bilbo comments the next morning as they lug their things once more down the train platform, and Ori laughs as he agrees.

"It was still really lovely," he points out, and Bilbo grins as him as they finally make it to their coach and begin the painful process of lugging their things on board. 

That is, until a hand comes down to join Bilbo in pulling it up and Bilbo finds himself staring at a smiling Thorin.

"Would you like a hand?" he asks as Bilbo just stands there stupidly, with his hand still on the handle even though he's not even holding it up, staring at Thorin with an open mouth.

"Good morning," he finally manages to stutter out, and Thorin grins at him as he moves past with their luggage, and Bilbo glances over to Ori in time to wretch at seeing him lock lips with Dwalin. Quickly he turns around and scurries up behind Thorin, proving how useless he is when he stands there and watches Thorin stow away their bags.

"You'd think they'd be over each others tongues by now," Thorin says, nodding his head at the other two, and Bilbo laughs as he tries to ignore the indecent sounds coming from the couple.

"Clearly not," and Thorin grins as he stands up and calls out to Dwalin. The two break apart with gross smacking noises, and Bilbo has a moment of being thankful to Dwalin's appearance meaning he doesn't have to lift Ori's devil of a bag as he's distracted by tattoos and muscles.

Eventually they're settled, and once Ori says that they're all sitting together once again they make their way down the train aisles until Bilbo finds himself being pushed up against the window seat, Thorin beside him and Ori snuggling into Dwalin across from him.

"You disgust me," he says to Ori, but his friend just laughs before purposefully dragging Dwalin into a revolting slobber battle.

"Ignore them," Thorin laughs lightly as he leans closer, making Bilbo blush as Thorin's thigh presses against his and their hands are maybe a millimeter or so apart from where they both lie on the table.

Thankfully they're not early like last time, and the train leaves fairly quickly. At first Bilbo thinks he might have to just suffer through the 'Dwori' show across from them, but once again Thorin distracts him by thumping a large refill pad followed by the map from their exercise and gives him a grin as he offers for them to maybe start planning their story.

By the end of the trip, Bilbo is practically sitting in Thorin's lap with his back to his chest and his knees resting on Thorin's thigh as they pour over the map and mess of words on paper, adding details here and there. Every time Thorin laughs Bilbo can feel his breathe tickle his ear, his chest rumble against his back, his hand squeeze Bilbo's from where it rests on top of his, and every time he talks Bilbo shudders at the words and Bilbo knows they must look a sight with his permanent blush, but from Ori's sweet smiles and Dwalin's smug grins, Bilbo thinks maybe they don't look half bad either.

When the train stops though is when he realises that, well, Bilbo hasn't really thought this through. Doubt comes crawling back with a vengeance, fueled by the fact that, well, Bilbo hasn't really talked to Thorin about this at all, so he scrambles off of Thorin quickly and refuses to meet his eyes as all four of them patiently wait until everyone else has filed out of the coach.

"Bilbo," Thorin calls as soon as Bilbo hits the platform with his bag, and the doubt churning in his stomach almost has him running into the crowd, but he forces himself to stop as Thorin comes up beside him with his hand reaching out to rest on Bilbo's shoulder, "what's wrong?"

"There's one thing," Bilbo says as he shrugs Thorin off and turns to face him, "we hated each other when we met the other day, hell, the only reason we maybe sort of like each other is because we found out we're both each others favourite authors, and, well that's sort of one major plot hole in our story."

"True," Thorin hums as he moves forward to look down at Bilbo with such a gentle and patient look, "but then again, I filled up my half of the hole early on the day we met by deciding that I actually like you, maybe even have feelings for you," he grins, "instant attraction and all that."

"That only happens in fiction."

"Never realised I lived in a fictional world."

"You're insufferable."

"And you're the only one seeing the plot hole," he swings his arm around Bilbo's waist and pulls him in close, chest to chest, "doesn't that make you that one idiot reader who doesn't see the overall picture?"

Bilbo looks at him with wide eyes, his bottom lip trembling a little before he glances down at the ground. "Did you really like me when you first saw me?"

"I'm terrible at showing my feelings," Thorin says with a wince, "and that led to me accidentally accusing you of plagiarising. It was the first thing I could think of, and I so desperately wanted to talk to you."

"I called you 'Lemon Sucker' in my head until I heard your name," Bilbo admits, and Thorin looks thoroughly thrown before he's tipping his head back and laughing.

"I remembered you as 'Master Burglar' until I learnt yours from young Ori."

"'Master Burglar'?" Bilbo repeats, staring at him in confusion, "how on earth did you come up with that?"

Thorin grins at him, and it's a cheesy smile that reminds Bilbo of rom coms, and he raises an eyebrow as Thorin leans forward to press their foreheads together.

"Because you stole my heart on sight," he says, and Bilbo groans out loud as Thorin laughs, before he grabs Thorin's cheeks roughly and presses their mouths together in a kiss.

 

 

My dear Bilbo,

I would like to formally congratulate you on your new found series "The Lord of the Rings", and it's one off prequel "The Hobbit". 

I must say, they are a delightful set of books, and I do enjoy the masterpiece of "The Hobbit" that yourself and Thorin Durin worked on so diligently, and the combined talents of Bard Bowman, Beorn Bear, Tauriel Lilly, Legolas Bloom, Dwalin Durin, Ori Brown, Thorin and yourself to create the world of Middle-Earth shows just how gifted all you writers can be.

I now have the copy of the map of Middle-Earth framed on my wall, along with a drawing of the Grey Wizard that Bofur Nesbitt drew for me. I find myself rather attached to the character, he reminds me a lot of myself.

The book launching will be on the fourteenth of July, a silent tribute to the day the idea for this series was created three years ago, and although I doubt very much Thorin or yourself will be attending as Thomas Oakenshield and Terrance Took, I would like to say that you are both most welcome to come anyway.

I hope you are well,

Gandalf

P.S. Of course I shall be coming to the wedding! Consider this my RSVP and my demand to be considered as part of the wedding party (the reverend maybe?), and I look forward to seeing the future Mr and Mr Durin very very soon!