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Growing up in the Shire Bilbo had been exposed to many seasonal celebrations, and some that weren't seasonal at all. In fact Hobbits, in general, tended to celebrate anything and everything. They gathered together in great organized festivities. There was drinking and singing, music and eating. Sometimes, when Gandalf decided to stop by in his travels there was even a fantastic firework display. But most importantly, there was always dancing.

The Hobbits of the Shire learned how to dance from an early age, their mothers pulling the laughing children along with them and spinning them around in groups. Bilbo had always loved dancing, even from the very first time. He remembered his mother gripping him tightly by his hands and walking backwards with a smile on her face. There were flowers everywhere; his mother had even tied strands in his hair and down her long braid. The soft light from lanterns glowed across their faces as they sang along to the sweet tunes. His mother had turned him endlessly around in a dance, lifting him to spin, until he was riddled with soft laughter and fell asleep with exhaustion.

She had taught him all of the dances she knew, showing him how to sway and explaining that it would come easily if he let the music flow through his veins. She was right, he could feel the music and he quickly became a natural. Bilbo danced frequently. Even when he began to stop socializing with other hobbits Bilbo often danced within the walls of Bag End. It calmed him and brought him great peace, and his mother would dance along and play songs on her fiddle. However it had been several years since he'd last danced at all. In fact, the day Belladonna Took had passed Bilbo seemed to lose all interest in dancing whatsoever. It was his mother's adventurous spirit that inspired him to dance, and now that ever-present soul was long gone. A spirit that Bilbo thought he would never feel again. He locked dance away within himself, unwilling to free his mind in the act, while he buried himself behind the door of Bag End.

The day thirteen dwarves and a wizard sat together in his home he felt it. It was unrecognizable at first. He was angry and frustrated. They were a messy and rowdy bunch; however the sensation was definitely there. He felt it when they sang at his dinner table. He felt it when they ate and chattered like wild animals. He felt it when Thorin Oakenshield knocked at his newly painted door. He even felt it when the melodious sad sounds of a long lost home washed over his ears. None the less, he ignored it, passed it off as nothing. Until he woke up to an empty hobbit hole once more. Things were always more noticeable when they left, and his heart felt just as empty as his home.

And though Bilbo would later say he followed the dwarves on a whim, on a crazy notion that he wanted to go on an adventure. He actually followed them because that morning, standing in his cozy home, Bilbo had felt utterly and terribly alone. He wanted that feeling back in his heart; he wanted that soul once more. And he knew, when he looked at the portrait of his mother on the wall, she would have wanted that for him as well.

It was true that sometimes Bilbo still felt lost and alone, but that feeling, that essence, was always there in the presence of Thorin Oakenshield's company. Bilbo suspected it would even be there in the presence of just Thorin Oakenshield himself. Many nights Bilbo listened and watched as the dwarves sat around a fire and played on their instruments. They would sing, and laugh, and create such beautiful music. Occasionally they bobbed their heads and tapped their toes. For some reason though, that Bilbo did not quite understand, they never danced.

The hobbit was terribly confused. What was music without dancing? What was singing without moving? What was celebration without twisting and turning to embrace it? For many nights Bilbo watched and listened, too afraid at being spurned. However a night came, when he no longer felt alone. After Thorin's acceptance of him, Bilbo's soul felt even more at home. Now though, it jumped with excitement, it itched to run, and it wanted so desperately to dance. So he thought, why not give in, just this once?

The evening started with a wonderful meal, and although it was similar to everything else Bombur had cooked on the journey, something about it tasted fantastic. Perhaps it was because they had not eaten properly in several days, or even at all for at least two. Perhaps it was just that they were finally a true company, and that Bilbo finally belonged. Whatever it was, everything was perfect. After the meal Bofur had taken out his clarinet and started a simple tune. The other dwarves knew it and joined in. Soon joyous songs were belted into the evening. The dwarves sang and tapped and bobbed. Bilbo closed his eyes and let the music wash over him. It was magical. No longer could he resist the temptation.

Before he had time to think he rose to his feet. Bilbo flared out his arms and twisted to the sounds, his body moving fluidly along with the beat. He kept his eyes closed, and though he heard subtle shifts and pauses in the music for a moment or two, soon they started up again, just as beautiful as before. His hips swayed, his hands waved, and he positively glowed in the light of the fire. The dwarves were awed. Never had they seen such a thing. Dwarves danced occasionally, but typically it was a much more traditional act. Rarely did they just dance, for the sake of dancing. Their eyes followed the hobbit as he twisted and turned in a circle around the fire. It was mesmerizing.

Bilbo soon began to feel strange. Though his soul was at peace, and he felt happier than he had in many years, it still felt wrong. After all, what was dancing if you danced alone? He had always danced with others, large groups of hobbits at the celebrations, or just his mother in his home. Either way, dancing without another was lonesome. Bilbo paused and opened his eyes at the feeling, glancing around at the company. He flushed slightly under their scrutiny, but the embarrassment abated when he saw only curiosity and wonder in their eyes. He turned quickly, looking at the closest dwarves to him and moved forward to grip their hands.

Fili and Kili gasped as Bilbo pulled them to their feet, dragging the two along with him. He let go of them, leaving them standing awkwardly beside each other and grabbed Bofur next, dancing and spinning in a circle with the cheerful dwarf. Bofur seemed to understand and grinned back at him, dancing as best he could, though it was more of an unusual skip than anything else. Bilbo grinned at him and moved to tug Ori by his sweater, the young dwarf squeaking a bit and looking back pleadingly at his brothers who followed him along. They laughed together and jumped, and it was Ori that pulled Dwalin to his feet, tugging him surprisingly aggressively along with him. The burly dwarf seemed scandalized at first, but before long was captivated by the little scribe and trudging along with him. Even Gandalf rose, moving along to the music, with the occasional chuckle here and there, though never putting down his pipe.

Bilbo of course still enchanted many of the dwarves. He moved with certain finesse, his soft skin shining and his short honey curls bouncing along as he danced. The dwarves were a clumsy folk, moving with more ruggedness and a little off beat, but all the same they had fun, and Bilbo had fun with them. It was not long before all of the dwarves were on their feet, dancing along while they played their instruments, all of the dwarves but one.

Thorin Oakenshield still sat pensively on a log around the makeshift dance floor. His elbows rest on his knees, his hands clasped gently in front of his mouth. He watched the hobbit dance, completely entranced by the movement of his hips, and the waving of his thin arms. His eyes glazed over as curly hair blew in a light breeze and soft lips turned up in a blissful smile. The dwarf king followed Bilbo Baggins with his eyes, around and around in circles.

Bilbo was shocked when he lifted his lashes and looked directly at Thorin's eyes. There was a hunger there, that made Bilbo's heart beat faster than ever before, and his breath came in a rush that was not entirely due to his dancing. The hobbit wondered why the king had not joined them in their festivity, simply deciding to watch instead. Slowly Bilbo moved towards him, still dancing and swaying his hips along the way. And Thorin watched him, unblinking, as though afraid to miss a single moment. The hobbit sat next to the dwarf on the log and turned his head to gaze at him.

"Why do you not dance, Master dwarf?" Bilbo asked him as he looked directly into Thorin's eyes. The dwarf observed him for several moments before moving his hands away from his face and sitting up straighter.

"A Dwarven King's first dance must be with his betrothed," he stated, and Bilbo sensed a certain melancholy in the statement. The hobbit could not imagine, being denied such a thing at a young age. Bilbo looked out upon the other dwarves, now joyously fumbling around with one another when a thought struck him.

"But what of Fili? Will he not someday be king?" Bilbo asked, suddenly worried that he had made a grievous mistake somehow. Should he not have pulled the Durin heirs to their feet to dance with him?

"Fili is already betrothed, and has been for some time now. His first dance was with Kili," Thorin said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. Bilbo looked back at the dwarves again, and sure enough, Fili's hands were joined with Kili's and they moved together around the fire with wide smiles upon their faces, their fiddles long forgotten.

"Are they not…brothers?" Bilbo asked, though he was already grinning at the happiness of the two as Fili leant forward to kiss his brother's nose.

"It is the heart that chooses for us, and their hearts have always belonged to one another. They were betrothed at a young age. When Erebor is reclaimed, they will be wed there, within the walls. It will be the first wedding in our home after we have it back," Thorin spoke gently, and he looked upon his nephews with a smile, before glancing back at the hobbit. Bilbo glanced at him before asking a question on a whim.

"Married before even you Thorin? Has your heart not yet chosen another?" he asked, looking up from beneath his eyelashes. The dwarf's eyes studied Bilbo, and he fidgeted under the gaze.

"It has," Thorin said, eyes lingering on Bilbo's face, before he turned to look back upon the rest of his company. It seemed the dwarf did not wish to elaborate. Bilbo rose gently and stood in front of Thorin for a moment, considering what he would next say.

"For what it is worth, my King, I would be honored to have your first dance," Bilbo whispered, and he moved back to join the other dwarves in dancing, a deep flush upon his face. He closed his eyes, the music taking him again, his body moving along to it as though it were meant to do nothing else. He lost himself in swaying, even humming along to the music, until a gentle hand upon his shoulder started him from his movements. He felt breath upon his ear and a second hand around his waist when a husky voice penetrated his very soul.

"Then you shall have it," Thorin whispered to him, placing a chaste kiss on his neck. He turned Bilbo, pulling their bodies together before capturing the hobbit's lips with his own. The other dwarves stood motionless, momentarily stunned by sight in front of their eyes. They kissed for ages, Thorin encasing his hands in Bilbo's hair as their mouths moved in a dance of their own. Then the dwarf and hobbit finally pulled from one another and Thorin gripped Bilbo tightly and led him along in a dance around the fire. Gandalf winked at the hobbit and smoked away on his pipe, the rings taking the shape of silly hearts. The other dwarves laughed and cheered, starting up an exciting melody, and dancing along with the new couple.

Bilbo laughed right along with them, overcome with happiness. He twisted and turned around everyone, always returning to the dwarf king's side. He felt free, his soul sated, and he raised his arms and moved with glee. He joyously witnessed his friends celebrate around him. And though it was like watching a group of Oliphaunts stepping around a butterfly, Bilbo would not have had it any other way.