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The bath in the fountain gets Dwalin going, though it makes Bilbo blush to the tips of his ears, and Fíli and Kíli wrestle so much that Thorin declares a sparing match right after. They dry off and clothe their naked bodies, though the recent memory still burns in Dwalin’s mind, and they relocate to a different garden that the elves quickly hurry away from. They fan out to sit and chat, Thorin catching an elf to bark at to fetch his swords. Balin and Dori nestle down between two flowerbeds and drape over each other’s laps, whispering and cuddling. Bofur and Ori are worse—Bofur pushes Ori right over a stone bench, yanks his trousers down his legs, and starts eating him out like Bombur with a cheese wheel.

It’s not that Dwalin blames Bofur. He spent a good time ogling Ori’s body in the fountain—cute and small but round and squishy in all the right places, turned ripe red from the sun with his auburn hair flattened slick across his forehead. He has the most adorable smile, and he covers his blushing face in his hands as Bofur wracks moan after moan out of him, only a few meters from Dwalin. It makes both Dwalin’s cock hard and his skin crawl. He’s been alone too long. It was one thing on the road, busy trying to lift Thorin up, but it’s harder when they have a moment to rest, and he becomes aware again of just how many attractive dwarves he travels with. Nori wanders over and sits down on the bench, chatting to Ori while Bofur works, a mischievous smirk on his face. Poor Ori looks like he’ll drown in a mix of pleasure and embarrassment, but Dori’s too distracted to save him from Nori’s teasing. Bofur’s too busy shoving his tongue into Ori’s asshole to shoo Nori off, and it leaves Nori untouchable, the sun slowly drying his elaborate hair back into its points. He inserts himself so easily into the fray and Dwalin’s line of vision, so that Dwalin’s caught staring between his charismatic confidence, Ori’s sweet blush and plump rear, and Bofur’s eager face. When Nori starts to weave his beard back into its multi-level braids, Dwalin has to look away, because it’s all too much perfection in one simple frame.

Luckily, an elf returns with wooden practice swords, and Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli start going at one another. They play two against one, but it’s an even match: Thorin’s unstoppable. Dwalin watches him in masked admiration and awe, trying vainly to block out Ori’s whimpers.

Then someone tugs his sleeve and ruins it. Dwalin glances sideways, already settled into a glare, to find Bilbo now huddled next to him, bright red across both cheeks. “Why isn’t anyone doing anything?” Bilbo asks, hushed and high pitched. When Dwalin just knits his brow together, Bilbo nods over to where Bofur’s lapping a wet line up Ori’s crack. “About them.”

Confused, Dwalin grunts, “Do what?” Bilbo looks so shocked by the question that he doesn’t even answer. Ori lets out a particularly loud cry, and over Bilbo’s shoulder, Dwalin can see Bofur’s teeth sunk dully into one thick globe, flushing his skin pink but not piercing. Bofur nuzzles into it after, first with his big nose and then the scruff of his chin, and then he’s lapping at the teeth marks and licking across to the other side, while Ori trembles and begs. Nori tugs one of Bofur’s braids to get his attention for a quick joke that makes them both laugh.

That makes it even harder to look away. It’s so many forms of happiness in one: absolute comfort in friendship, and family, and fucking. It makes Dwalin glad for them, honoured to know them, and envious as ever. If they were staying in Rivendell a day longer than they had to, and he knew he had the time to fumble through the fallout, he’d go over and try to weasel his way into whichever one of them would have him. But he’s been too busy serving kings and fighting battles to quite know how. He doesn’t have Bofur’s charm or Ori’s inviting nature or Nori’s finesse. So he sits where he is and wonders if all hobbits are as fussy as Bilbo. Maybe they don’t make love in public. Maybe that makes them less prone to jealousy. But it also seems lonelier somehow, and Dwalin finds it difficult to get his head around another culture. Elves completely boggle his mind.

Eventually, Ori cries himself hoarse, and he falls into gentle sobbing and pleading, drowned out by the clash of the Durins’ wooden swords. As much as Dwalin adores his leader, he gives up and just watches Bofur pressed into Ori’s rear. He goes and goes, his tongue full of too much stamina in whatever he does, until Ori screams so loud that it makes Nori drop the clip for his second braid. Bilbo actually turns to press his face into Dwalin’s side, like he can just block out the world and come out again prim and proper. Dwalin unabashedly stares right over him.

Afterwards, Ori slumps, panting hard and whining and squirming, clearly having finished. Bofur gives one last, long lick and emerges with a grin and an affectionate nip to Ori’s tailbone. Nori pretends to clap, and Bofur gets up to mock-bow, before opening his trousers and lining up to Ori’s licked-open hole. Nori, shameless, watches Bofur’s cock disappear inside.

Dwalin watches too. Bofur fucks Ori nice and easy, while Ori lies limp and smiling dizzily, taking each thrust without complaint. When Nori starts to run his hand through Bofur’s mustache, looking hungrily at his mouth, it breaks Dwalin. Pretending it’s for Bilbo’s sake, he grumbles, “Let’s see if those elves have a decent brew anywhere, lad.” He forces himself to his feet. Bilbo blinks at him, then hurriedly leaps up too, jumping on the chance to get away. They give the Durins a wide berth and wander out of the garden, just in time to catch Fíli’s final cry of victory and Thorin’s proud laugh, Kíli clamouring to go again.

Even inside the house of Elrond, the sun is burning bright.