Bilbo walked out into the ballroom. He should be happy to be among Hobbits again, even if they were a lost colony on the coast beyond the Blue Mountains. No one was quite sure where their boat had been swept to, but likely the inhabitants of this strange land would have left the company to flounder and drown if Bilbo hadn’t been with them. And even better, they were invited to join the hostess’s Yuletide activities. As a matter of fact, he would have been quite pleased indeed if it weren’t for what passed for Hobbit fashion here.
Bofur was standing by the hallway, double fisting drinks. He had been washed and bathed, but put right back into his own clothes as it was unlikely their hostess had clothing big enough for the dwarves. Lucky bastards. Bofur smiled when he saw Bilbo, then blanched.
“Bilbo, I don’t know how to tell you this, but . . . . I can see your tonker, mate.”
In truth, there was a layer of fabric in the way, but the trousers were cut so that the outline of a gentleman’s parts were clearly discernible.
“I know you can see my tonker,” Bilbo answered with way more calm than he felt. “Everyone can see my tonker. It’s – it’s quite on display.”
“That’s what they gave you to wear?!”
“The latest fashion, apparently,” Bilbo answered woodenly.
“Just stand behind me,” Bofur said.
He turned towards the dance floor. The rest of the company was clustered at it’s edge. Dwalin peered over his shoulder at the two approaching them.
“These hobbits are naked.” He announced in such a small, lost voice Bilbo almost started laughing.
“Bloody hell, they got Bilbo, too!” Ori wailed.
“It really isn’t that bad,” Bilbo said, starting to chuckle.
Aside from the trousers and the fact that the jacket was cut far too short to hide anything, they really were fine clothes. The shirt was so white it nearly sparkled, with a tall collar and a cravat tied right under his chin. The waistcoat gleamed gold and the jacket was black velvet. If it weren’t for the thin, linen trousers, it would be quite a smart look.
“I think these women forgot to get dressed after their bath,” Nori observed dully.
Bilbo followed his gaze. And immediately felt much better about his own ensemble. His trousers might have been thin and clingy, but at least you couldn’t actually see through them, which was more than could be said for the underdresses the hobbit women wore.
“Mr. Baggins! There you are!”
Their hostess glided through the throng of celebrating hobbits.
Magnolia Burrowdown, a.k.a. ‘The Duchess’ was a hobbit woman close to Bilbo’s age. Her wealth was in shipbuilding and chandlery. She had blonde hair with only a few streaks of gray in it, a pleasantly round form and breasts that were impressively perky for her age.
Bilbo knew this because he could see them.
Magnolia’s overdress was a rich green silk brocade with little cap sleeves and opened in the front to show her underdress. A narrow sash in blood red was tied just under her breasts. Her underdress was low cut, tight across her bust and flowing free to her feet. It was colored a pale peach with tiny chips of abalone shell glued here and there. Other than the shell, it was completely transparent. The woman’s nipples and the golden rings decorating them were on proud display.
Despite such a view, Bilbo’s eye was drawn to Thorin powering his way through the crowd, dragging Kili by one of his large, round ears. The elder Durin’s cheeks were painted pink and he was torn between looking up only enough to see where he was going and keeping his eyes on the floor. Kili was taking the opportunity to gape at as much female flesh as he could.
“Please forgive whatever it is that Kili’s done, Mistress Burrowdown,” Bilbo said. “He’s at that age.”
“Just came of age, eh?” Magnolia said with a smile. “I remember when I turned thirty-three; I put my leg over anyone who couldn’t run away fast enough.”
The casualness with which she announced such a thing reminded Bilbo of admitting that he snuck extra pieces of pie as a faunt. Not that such antics hadn’t gone on in the Shire, but it wasn’t talked about openly. These nautical Hobbits were something else, indeed. He’d normally be shocked by this behavior, not to mention the dress, but seeing the company of gruff, tough warrior dwarves staring at their boots and blushing turned it into high comedy.
Thorin slung his nephew to face the Duchess, actually took a look at her and his words died on his tongue.
“Don’t apologize, Master Dwarf,” Magnolia said, waving over a servant with a tray of drinks. “You are my guests and this is a party. Shag whoever you like, darling.”
The last was directed at Kili, whose eyes nearly popped out of his skull.