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Paint My Heart With Dreams of You

Title: Paint My Heart With Dreams of You
Pairings: Established Thilbo, developing Kíli/Bilbo
Rating: NSFW; angst and grief, canon character death
Word Count: 7852
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit there would be probably be more angst
Summary: Thorin dies in the BoFA, leaving Bilbo grief-stricken and pregnant with his child.  Kili steps up to take care of Bilbo and raise the baby like his own.


Thorin Oakenshield was dead.

The dwarf king had fallen honorably in battle against their overwhelming foe and his last strike had claimed the head of Azog the Defiler, but these feats were little comfort to the ones he left behind. Indeed, as his nephews looked down upon his body, the only thoughts in their minds were that his death was such a waste and Fíli was not ready to rule in his place.

“Has anyone told Bilbo yet?” Kíli asked his brother, voice dull with exhaustion and with grief. “He'll want... he'll need to say goodbye.”

As he spoke these words , the young dwarf choked on sorrow and he curled into his brother's shoulder with a sob. Fíli wrapped his arms around the other and held him tight while they mourned their uncle, their future, and the joy that his love had brought into the world. I do not think anyone will be joking much these days, especially not our burglar.

Thorin's romance with the hobbit had been one of the few bright spots during their journey and everyone had rejoiced to see their lord smiling again after spending so many years alone. While their relationship had had a rocky start, the pair soon overcame their differences to find love and they had pledged to marry once the Lonely Mountain was reclaimed. That announcement had been greeted with celebration for they all liked the hobbit and Bilbo would have made a brilliant Consort of Erebor. He tempered his lover's stubborn pride with pragmatism and together they would have led the Sigin-tarâg to prosperity and honor. In fact the whole company knew that the only reason Thorin had agreed to negotiate with Bard and the elf king was because of the hobbit at his side.

So while his nephews had teased the couple mercilessly over their besotted glances and inability to spend any time apart, truthfully they were as happy as the rest to see the fond light in their uncle's eyes. But now that light was gone and Thorin's life gone with it and Kíli wondered what had been the point? Why would the Maker grant my uncle love just to tear the two apart and leave such gaping wounds behind?

“No, no one has found our burglar yet and I almost hope that they never do with only this ill news to give him. Maybe it would be better for them to meet Mahal together than for Bilbo to be left behind.” Fíli eventually replied and Kíli could hear the same grief and confusion in his brother's voice.

But the young dwarves had no answers with which to comfort and all they could do was support each other in grief as they stood together in all things, until a clamor of voices called for them outside.

The brothers pulled themselves together, wiping away the traces of their grief and prepared to go be wonderful again. Then they exited the pavilion which held Thorin's body to discover the rest of their company gathered around the flap and in the midst of them their hobbit stood. Bilbo was bloody and ragged but unmistakably alive and Kíli ran forward to sweep him into a hug. The dwarf held his friend tightly, thankful that there was one more life the battle had not taken, and yet when he finally pulled away there was worry in his heart. For he could see from the others' expressions that they had not told the hobbit of his uncle's fate, and neither he nor Fíli knew how to break such news.

Yet they could not hide the truth forever and Bilbo would likely not forgive delay, so they gathered their courage to face whatever pain would come.

“My dear hobbit,” Kíli whispered, taking him by the hands. “I am so glad you see you alive, but we must talk. There is much we have to tell you and little of it good.”

In turn Fíli wrapped an arm around the hobbit's shoulders and led Bilbo back into the tent, dismissing the rest of the company to other duties. Dwalin would stay to guard the entrance and send away any who might overhear their conversation, for this task belonged only to family.

After they entered, the brothers stopped just inside the flap and sat Bilbo down in a chair, careful to avoid looking at the curtain which blocked the view of their uncle's corpse. But when Kíli knelt at his feet, looking up at him with sorrow in his eyes, the hobbit began to realize that something was terribly wrong and he had a horrible suspicion of what could make the young dwarves weep.

“What is it, Kíli? I know we won but at what cost? Did someone fa-?” Bilbo's questions cut off sharply as he realized which member of their company he had yet to see. “It's Thorin isn't it? Was he wounded? Tell me he still lives!”

Kíli looked at his brother helplessly, unable to destroy the hope on their burglar's face and as always, Fíli stepped up to shoulder the burdens he could not. The new king of Erebor laid a gentle hand on each of those that he held dear and he caught Bilbo's eyes as he slowly shook his head.

“We won yes, but the price was far too high. My uncle fought valiantly and slew the Defiler but his wounds were great and he did not live to see the dawn. I am so sorry but there was nothing we could do and our hearts bleed with you.”

The hobbit screamed then, a shriek of agony and denial that echoed across the battlefield echo and all those who heard it knew the endless depths of his despair. Within the pavilion there was only the sound of sobbing as Bilbo curled around the young dwarves at his feet and they wept together for the life that had been lost.

Eventually their tears dried up and Kíli met the hobbit's red and haunted eyes, feeling his heart clench at the unending sorrow there. “I need... Can I see him?” Bilbo asked in a hoarse whisper and the brothers drew him gently to his feet.

They wrapped their arms around their friend, one supporting him on each side while they led him to the rear of the tent and drew the curtain back. Thorin had been cleaned and redressed from the ravages of battle so that one could almost think that he was sleeping and the hobbit let out a choked moan at the sight. The dwarves helped him settle by their uncle's side and then drew back, giving him some space to say goodbye.

Bilbo looked down at that beloved face which had smiled lovingly at him such a short time before and found that he couldn't say a word through the agony that stabbed his chest. But he wanted to scream at Thorin, scream that it would have been better for him to live on as a coward than to leave the hobbit here alone. Damn you! Damn you and your stupid stubborn pride. Yet, Bilbo also knew that the dwarf whom he still loved could not have abandoned his warriors to fight without him and remained at peace with himself. It would have broken Thorin as much as any blade and the hobbit wondered if their love had simply been doomed.

Grief and anger were warring furiously in his heart while he stared down at that beloved face, and he wanted to despair for he had no idea what he should do now. Bilbo could not imagine remaining in Erebor without Thorin at his side, every carved door and bit of treasure a sharp reminder of all that he had lost. And yet how could he leave the friends and family that he'd found in order to go back to the Shire where no one would understand?

Because Gandalf had been right. The hobbit was different now and somewhere in his heart he knew that returning to Bag End would not ease his pain or sorrow. He had been through war and death, his hands were calloused and his clothes worn and nothing would ever be the same.

He let himself forget these calculations for a moment to simply mourn the life that could have been, fingers stroking slowly down Thorin's cold, unmoving cheek. There were tears blurring his vision as Bilbo leaned forward and pressed one last kiss upon the other's lips before steeling himself for the discussion that must come.

“We need to talk... we need to talk about the future and there is something that you must know.” The hobbit said softly and at his urging, Kíli and Fíli joined him by the bed.

“We don't have to do this now, Bilbo. You have earned the right to grieve.” The older brother told him, placing a hand on his arm before their friend could speak. “And you will always have a place in Erebor as long as the line of Durin rules.”

“Which is why I must speak, Fíli. There are things you do not know which could change the future of this kingdom as much as any war.” His tone was serious and when Bilbo spoke like that the dwarves had learned to listen because he always seemed to be right in the end. So the brothers rubbed the tears from their own eyes and waited attentively for the hobbit to gather his thoughts.

“You are the first to hear of this, other than Thorin, and while it may sound crazy I assure you it is true. I- I carry your uncle's child, your cousin and his final legacy.”

“I- how is this possible? Are you sure?” His brother asked, always the skeptical one of the pair, but Kíli believed Bilbo, no matter how strange it seemed. It was there in the way the hobbit spread one protective hand across his stomach and the dwarf felt a spark of hope within the overwhelming ocean of his grief. Perhaps Mahal has left us with something after all, even if the trade does not seem fair.

The dwarf looked back at Bilbo as he continued, the conviction and quiet exhaustion in his voice confirming the truth of what he said. “Yes, Fíli, I am sure or I wouldn't have mentioned it. It is not common among hobbits but I know the signs and I would not raise false hopes.”

“So why are you worried?” Kíli asked, recognizing the frown on Bilbo's face. “Shouldn't this be good news? It is good news, isn't it?”

“Maybe, maybe not. Think it through, little brother. I know you've seen the way that Dáin looks at me, at us.” The other dwarf told him, nudging him in the shoulder.

“Yeah, like we're young and stupid but what... oh. Do you really think he could use a child like that? A baby?” The idea was almost unthinkable because dwarven children were their people's greatest treasure and were to be protected at all costs.

“I don't know, but he does not think either of us are worthy of the crown and I have already heard whispers that Dáin should take the throne as Regent or as King. Adding uncle's child to the mix would only complicate matters and you know it. Every dwarf with a spark of ambition will want to marry Bilbo and claim the child as his own while their opponents will try to declare him unworthy because of the child's tainted blood. We have enough problems already without adding this mess to the mix...” Fíli sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I was hoping that if we could just delay any confrontation until the rest of our people arrive, Dáin would back off without a fight but even if Roäc reaches Ered Luin tomorrow this could still take a month or more.”

“Right, if we can keep this a secret until mother and father get here then everyone would have to think twice before challenging us.” Kíli agreed as he thought it over. “There would still be issues once we announced it but at least we'd be in a better position to uphold our claim. How long do you think it will be before everyone notices your, uh, condition?”

“Well I'm not entirely sure since I've never done this before but I don't think I'll start showing for a few months. After that we could let people think I'm just getting chubby for awhile but eventually it will be obvious.” Bilbo answered with a hint of his old sass before sinking back into sorrow. “And I know this will complicate things further, but I do not want anyone to know that this child is Thorin's other than a trusted few.”

“But this is a miracle and it should be celebrated. What about uncle's legacy? And no dwarven child is ever left unclaimed, if you stay there will questions and rumors anyway.” Fíli told him, trying to make the hobbit see the flaws in his request.

“You are staying, aren't you? You're not going back to the Shire for good?” His brother asked anxiously before Bilbo could answer.

“No, no I am not leaving.” The other was quick to reassure him, sending Kíli a faint smile. “I will not deprive my child of their heritage but I also will not allow anyone to use them or me as a tool for power and the best way to keep us safe is to keep this secret. I know it will be difficult but there must be something we can do.”

“There is. Marry me.” Kíli told him after he thought for a moment and the other two looked at him in sharp surprise.

“What?! What are you talking about?”

“Marry me, or any of the company really, but I think I would probably work best. You need someone who knows about Thorin and would be willing to raise your child as his own.” He explained and he could see the light of realization dawn in his brother's eyes.

“Of course. If you married, your secret would be safe and no one need ever know that the wedding was only for convenience. It would have to be one of the company since they already know about Thorin and that would keep the timing right, but most of the others already have partners back in Ered Luin. And it would be best if you married Kíli or I because then your child would still be part of the family, just seen as a son or daughter instead of cousin.”

“But since you will be King, there would still be the problem of succession and arguments about legitimacy if I wed you over your brother.” Bilbo finished and the dwarves nodded.

“Exactly. No one would bother challenging Kíli's child and if I eventually did make them my heir everyone would have had time to get used to the idea. Assuming you don't want to be Consort anymore? I mean, you would still be a valuable adviser either way.” Fíli added, not wanting the hobbit to think they did not value his diplomatic skill. Besides, no matter what the brothers thought was best, the choice had to be Bilbo's as well if this was actually going to work.

“Being your adviser is more than enough. I would have been happy to rule as Consort by Thorin's side, but without him...” The hobbit trailed off, shaking his head before looking back up at Kíli with a frown. “However, I can't ask you to tie yourself to me like that. You deserve to have a life and family of your own.”

“You are not forcing me into anything, Bilbo, I volunteered and I know what I am offering. It would be an honor and joy to raise my uncle's child, I swear on Mahal's name, and helping you is not a hardship.” Not when I will never have a family any other way.

“All right, if you're sure. But we can still stop this if either of you think of a better plan.” He nodded his assent and smiled weakly, eyes still drawn to Thorin's empty form. “When should we begin?”

“Don't worry, we have time. Kíli and I will tell the others and announce your engagement some time after uncle's funeral, but there is much to do before we even think about a wedding.” Fíli told him as his brother stepped forward and laid a gentle hand on the hobbit's shoulder.

“Just rest for now. Rest and mourn our uncle as you must. We will take care of everything.” Kíli whispered, before the dwarves walked quietly from the tent. The two of them had plans to make and a recovery to oversee so they would hold off their own sorrow until they had a space to breathe. But their hearts were with the hobbit who laid down by Thorin's side and wept himself to sleep.

---

The King Under the Mountain was interred in state beneath the halls of Erebor, Orcrist and the Arkenstone placed with him in his tomb. Only a few were there to witness his passing and at their center stood the three who missed him most: his nephews and his burglar.

As the pallbearers placed Thorin's body in the cradle of stone, Bilbo buried his head in Kíli's shoulder and when the dwarves began to sing, their sorrow resonated with the pain in his own heart. Their song echoed around the cavern, bringing tears to even Thranduil's eyes and the company grieved for their fallen friend and king.

After the song ended, the mourners began to drift away, offering their condolences to the three who stood before the tomb. The hobbit could hardly hear the words through the sound of his despair, but he managed to nod and smile with the support of the brothers at his side. As the slab slid closed, locking Thorin away until the end of days, Bilbo knew that he would never return here, no matter how heavy his grief weighed upon his heart. Perhaps for some a grave could be cathartic but the hobbit wanted to remember his lover as he was: strong, honorable, and vibrant, not this cold stone that death created. He would keep Thorin's memory alive within his own heart and the child that they shared and this would have to be enough.

It was nearly a week later when Bilbo and Kíli announced their engagement and the story of their romance captured the imaginations of the armies in their midst. The people needed hope after all the death, hope that their friends and family hadn't died for nothing and what could be more encouraging than love in those dark times.

Urged on by their warriors, the leaders of all three armies came to congratulate the couple since Thranduil and Bard had become quite fond of the hobbit during their negotiations and even Dáin had some kind words to say. His speech was more of a surrender than a blessing, but the promise that he would not challenge Fíli's succession as long as he ruled his people well was all that the brothers needed. Their cousin had honor to match his ambition and without Thorin's child as a catalyst, he would not fight them without cause.

Indeed his acceptance quieted the whispers for there was no one else around which a faction could align and Bilbo was comforted by the knowledge that their lie would keep his son or daughter safe. He still wasn't entirely happy with the situation for it felt like a betrayal of Thorin to let another take his place and a betrayal of Kíli to let him throw his life away. Yet their friends knew the truth already and it had been the dwarf's idea so the hobbit could not find it in himself to object when such secrets were the only way for him to stay.

Though he still felt guilty sometimes when he had the energy to feel anything but exhaustion, the needs of rebuilding and the new life growing within him stretching the hobbit thin. The dwarves were careful to keep him from physical labor but there was no reason to squander his gift for diplomacy and he appreciated the chance to keep his mind off broken dreams. Such negotiations were the lifeblood of a prosperous kingdom and Bilbo wanted to help make Erebor great again so that his love could rest in peace.

Yet whatever guilt he felt about the necessity of secrets was nothing to the guilt he felt the first day that Kíli made him laugh. The young dwarf had been a rock of support in Bilbo's grief and he considered him his dearest friend but taking some comfort from the other's presence was not the same thing as being happy.

So it startled Bilbo when several weeks after they had made their relationship public, Kíli was telling him a story and the hobbit couldn't help but smile at his exuberant descriptions.

The spark of warmth within him was more than he could take and he fled back to their tent, the dwarf calling his name as he ran. The hobbit slid to the ground, burying his head in his knees and let his guilt overwhelm him. How could I forget about Thorin, even for a moment? How could I smile without him at my side?

Kíli found him like that, rocking back and forth as he muttered to himself and dropped down next to him on his knees. “Bilbo are you all right? What's wrong? It's not the child is it?”

The hobbit didn't answer other than to shake his head, so the dwarf wrapped one arm around him and tugged him to his side, trying to chase away whatever demon had him in its claws. “You're safe, I promise. I'm here, I've got you and I'll listen if you want.”

He waited patiently and after ten minutes the other stopped shaking, though he still would not meet Kíli's eyes. “I- You made me smile. How could I smile when Thorin is dead?”

“Oh, Bilbo. That's not...You don't have to be unhappy forever, none of us do.” The dwarf whispered, pulling the hobbit closer. “I know you love my uncle and you will never forget him, but that doesn't mean you must mourn his death through every second of your life. We will grieve for him as we must but there can be moments of joy as well.” The dwarf told him, sharing the same words his uncle had given him when one of his boyhood friends had died.

“No. I can't...” He could not accept any truth in Kíli's statement, not when Thorin's loss was a bleeding hole within his chest and there had been no joy after his parents died. Gandalf had asked Bilbo where his curiosity had gone and the truth was it had died with Bungo and Belladona Baggins, snuffed out by his grief.

It had taken him years to smile after their funeral and while life had gone on it was a far more barren existence than it had been before. So how could there be any joy now that the love of his life was gone? How could he have been happy so soon after his loss?

However, Kíli's voice was implacable and the hobbit found himself listening to the other's words despite his doubts. “I would not lie to you, Bilbo, but if you cannot believe that you still deserve happiness then tell me this. Do you want your child to feel loved?”

“What?! Of course I do!” Bilbo looked up sharply, offended by the question. “How can you ask me that?”

“Because I must. Now tell me, will they feel loved if you are miserable? Will your child be happy if every time you look at them you cannot smile without descending into guilt? Your son or daughter deserves better than to live beneath my uncle's shadow, every breath a reminder of your loss. I am not saying that you must stop grieving now, but please allow yourself to feel any joy that comes.”

These words struck the hobbit as a plea for his own happiness could not because he knew that Kíli was right and his child deserved more from him than that. So Bilbo nodded slowly as love for this new life helped overcome his guilt, at least enough for him to regain control. He wiped his eyes roughly and let the dwarf pull him to his feet, ready to face another day.

After this conversation the hobbit found things slightly easier, for while he still spent most of his time in sorrow, Bilbo slowly learned to accept the happiness as well. And there was happiness since his friends would never let him fall into brooding for too long.

Though the hobbit sometimes resented their interference he did appreciate their help because he wanted to have hope even if it was difficult and he wanted to give his child as bright a future as he could. While he often spent his nights crying into Kíli's chest in the tent they shared, during the day he tried to lose himself in the work of rebuilding Erebor and there was always something that needed to be done.

Even when Bilbo wasn't negotiating treaties with the elves or the men of Dale, he had a relationship to fake and a marriage to plan. They had decided not to have their wedding until the rest of Fíli and Kíli's clan arrived from Ered Luin, but the couple still needed to work out how they would join their lives and keep their secret safe. Once they started, the hobbit discovered that he actually rather enjoyed these discussions, he and Kíli sprawling around their tent as they hammered out the details large and small.

Despite their differing backgrounds, the two found compromising surprisingly easy for their desires tended to coincide. For example, Bilbo wanted a room as close to the surface as possible because the thought of living with miles of rock above him made him faint and in turn all the dwarf required was a fantastic view. So they settled on a southern suite with a balcony towards Esgaroth to fulfill both of their desires and then moved on to other things.

Sometimes Fíli would join them on these evenings, throwing out ridiculous suggestions whenever the two had a disagreement and their fight would be forgotten as they dissolved in laughter. However, three months after the Battle of Five Armies, the dwarf's presence filled Bilbo with nervousness instead when he told his brother that their parents would reach them soon. In fact the hobbit spent the entire day before their arrival pacing nervously despite Kíli's reassurance, because how was he supposed to meet the siblings of his dead lover and tell them that he was marrying their son?

Yet all his worries turned out to be baseless for the brothers explained everything beforehand and whatever they said had left its mark. Their father, Víli, turned out to be a taciturn warrior of the usual dwarven mold, who met Bilbo with a quiet smile and welcomed him into their clan. In contrast, Dís just muttered, “So this is the hobbit,” and then dragged the couple off to start on wedding plans.

The queen mother had definite ideas about how her son's marriage should occur and everyone quickly learned to stay out of her way as what they had envisioned as a small and quiet ceremony turned into an production of which the Valar could be proud. However, while it initially seemed strange to put so much effort into making their fake wedding magical, once Dís explained her reasoning they had to agree.

For the couple could understand the need for a symbol to lift their people’s spirits and over the last months their love had become just that. By now the hobbit was starting to show and the news of his pregnancy had been taken by most as a miracle and a sign of the blessings Mahal would grant their kingdom in the days to come. While there were a few angry whispers about half-breeds, they were few in number and quickly silenced by Dwalin's protective glare.

So they nodded and smiled each time Dís suggested something fancier and when the day finally came, their wedding was a spectacle indeed. However, it was a tasteful spectacle and Bilbo was too busy trying not to cry to pay much attention to the décor anyway.

Because it should have been Thorin at the altar with him, Thorin pledging to cherish him for life and instead it was Kíli who placed a ring upon his hand. Despite the tears that welled up in his eyes , the hobbit found the strength he needed to continue in the other's smile for Kíli seemed to understand his sorrow and did not hate him for it. So the ceremony passed by in a blur and before Bilbo knew it, the dwarf was leaning down to press a chaste kiss upon his lips and they were wed before Mahal and Erebor.

If they snuck out of their reception rather early then anyone who noticed simply assumed the couple wanted to break in their new bed and if their marriage was unconsummated then no one would ever know. In fact they did spend that evening curled together, Kíli holding his husband as the hobbit cried himself to sleep one final time.

After Bilbo was finally lost in slumber, dreaming of his uncle and the life they could have had, the dwarf tucked him in gently before preparing to sleep in his own bed. Then he leaned down to kiss the hobbit on the forehead and Kíli could not help but marvel at how his life had changed. While he still missed Thorin in the cracks on his own heart, the dwarf had mourned his uncle and now he was ready to look to the future instead. It stretched out in front of them as nothing but possibility and all Kíli knew was that he would make Bilbo happy if he could.

Some six months later, their lives changed again when the hobbit bore his child, Thorin's daughter screaming her way into the world. Kíli waited outside through the entire birth, shoved from the room by Dís and the healer after his pacing ticked them off, and the first he knew of his cousin was her disgruntled wailing cry.

Fíli was right behind him when the door finally opened and the dwarves rushed into the room only to stop short in awe. For at the sight of Bilbo sitting against the headboard, a tiny blanketed girl cradled in his arms, the brothers were overcome.

“Just look at her,” Kíli cooed, hugging his husband tightly. “She's got the Durin nose all right.”

“That she does, but it looks much better on her then it ever has on us. She's going to be stunning when she's grown. What are you going to call her?” His brother asked and to their surprise the hobbit shrugged.

“Um, I don't actually know yet. I wanted something dwarvish since we're staying here in Erebor, but nothing I've thought of has been quite right.” Bilbo explained before looking over at Kíli. “Any suggestions?”

It was well worth the pang in his heart at the reminder that Thorin should have been there to name his daughter in order to see the shocked delight on his husband's face and the hobbit smiled fondly. I haven't been entirely fair have I? He will be her father too and I should try to remember that.

“How about Ghivashel?” The dwarf offered hesitantly. “It means treasure of all treasures in Khuzdul and somehow it seems to fit.”

“Ghivashel...” Bilbo repeated, testing the name out on his tongue before nodding his agreement. “I like it. Now come here and let me introduce you properly.”

The brothers were delighted to follow his instructions and the hobbit had to smile again at how quickly his daughter turned fierce warriors into mush. They grinned and giggled and gasped every time she moved and as Kíli looked down on the baby in his arms he was filled with an overwhelming love. Hello little one, he thought, cradling her carefully. You don't know me yet but you are the child of my heart and I promise that I will raise you as my own.

---

Ghivashel grew quickly as all dwarven children do and was soon running her parents ragged chasing her down the halls. But for all of their exhaustion neither Kíli nor Bilbo would have changed things for the world because they had named her truly and she was the light of both their lives.

Sometimes Bilbo even found himself forgetting that Ghivashel was not his husband's child, for Kíli was her father in all the ways that mattered and the hobbit was not sure exactly when this thought stopped filling him with guilt. Perhaps it was the day their daughter took her first steps and the dwarf swept her up into his arms and beamed with pride, or perhaps it was the way that Kíli told her stories, never too busy to ease her boredom or her fears.

While the hobbit still loved Thorin and would always miss him, he could not be miserable with their child in his life, and every time she smiled he felt his sorrow lessen. His husband also kept his spirits bright and Bilbo found that they worked well together, partners as much as friends.

By the time Ghivashel was ten, life in Erebor had settled into a routine for the last of the repairs and restorations had been finished some years before and the kingdom was growing prosperous again. Fíli was a fair and beloved King and his brothers were some of his most trusted advisers because none could match them in diplomatic skill. Indeed they would often act as his representative to other nations and Ghivashel was spoiled rotten by the elves and men of Dale as well.

Every time they traveled, Bilbo was reminded of the lies that they were telling, of the great love that simply did not exist. For the elves would sigh enviously over their romance and Bard always offered tips on balancing fatherhood and relationships when he had too much ale.

Which just made the hobbit prince feel awkward, thankful that their secret was still their own but unsure of how to take this admiration. He was certainly fond of Kíli, considering him his dearest friend, and maybe he even loved him in a way. But while he could no longer imagine life without him, Bilbo had never considered making their relationship physical as well, except to wonder sometimes if the dwarf ever regretted the choice that he had made.

Until the night he wondered far more than that.

Bilbo came back late one evening, giving a friendly nod to the gate guards as he walked by. He had never quite accepted his new station and traveled incognito whenever he could, but as the only hobbit in Erebor most dwarves knew him on sight. This night he had been planning to stay in Dale in order to attend a trade negotiation in the morning for the talked were due to start early and Bard was always glad to offer his hospitality. However that meeting had suddenly been canceled so despite the late hour he had decided to make his way back to the comfort of his own bed instead.

It had been a long day and the hobbit wasn't thinking about much of anything as he quietly pushed open the door to his and Kíli's suite, just wanting to collapse onto his bed. But then Bilbo heard a rough moan coming the room that he and his husband shared. While each of them still slept alone, that space was theirs and the hobbit was surprised by the surge of jealousy he felt at the idea that Kíli had a partner on this night.

How dare he bring someone here?! He thought furiously as he tiptoed closer. What if our daughter woke up and saw them together? We've kept this secret for ten years and now he's ruining it for a quick fu-

For a moment his brain went silent, mouth gaping open at the sight that met his eyes. There was no other with Kíli in their bedroom, no one but the dwarf splayed out on his bed. While Bilbo had seen his husband before, he had never seen him, not like this. Had never watched him glowing in the candlelight, an endless expanse of tanned skin and taut muscles and he flushed hot with a sudden surge of desire.

He wanted to look away for this was a betrayal of both his loves and yet the hobbit couldn't even blink. Instead he watched the other stroke himself firmly, back arching off the bed and with every gasp that Kíli made, Bilbo's lust burned higher.

The dwarf had obviously been at this for awhile because his cock was hard and leaking in his hand, hair fanning out from his head in a sweaty tangle. Bilbo wanted to taste him, to lick inside his mouth and bite at the throat bared beneath the hobbit's hungry gaze, but instead he just sank back against the wall. Through the crack in the door he could still see Kíli working his length furiously and despite himself Bilbo slipped a hand quietly into his trousers as well. Other then a few furtive moments in the bath, he hadn't done this since Thorin and it was the hobbit's turn to throw back his head when he pulled his aching cock out into the air.

But he couldn't keep his eyes off Kíli for long and he watched the dwarf intently, rubbing himself in time with the other's hands. Bilbo knew it wouldn't take long for him to reach completion, not when it had been so long, and he wanted to enjoy himself before he had to start feeling guilt again. So the hobbit gripped his cock firmly, teasing a thumb over the tip but it was his husband's moans that finally sent him over the edge.

Moments later Kíli came as well, his voice little more than a strangled groan as he spilled into his hand. “Bil- Bilbo!” The hobbit jerked up sharply at this, thinking that the other must have seen him standing there but when Bilbo opened his eyes the dwarf gave no sign that he had noticed his presence. Indeed he was sprawled out bonelessly on the bed, carefully licking his essence off his fingers and his husband had to tear his eyes away when he felt another pang of desire in his chest.

“You should really stop this Kíli,” The dwarf muttered, a sad smile playing on his lips as he stared at the ring upon his hand. “You're only making yourself miserable when you already have more than you ever thought you'd get.”

These words finally galvanized Bilbo into action and he knew he needed to leave so he could think. Thus the hobbit cleaned himself up quickly, trying to ignore the scummy feeling as he wiped his hand on his pant leg, and snuck back out the way he came. Then Bilbo grabbed another candle to light his way down the hall for he was determined to find the one person who would give him the answers that he sought.

His initial surprise was quickly being overrun by anger and when he reached Fíli's chambers, he banged through the door with a growl. “How long has Kíli been in love with me?” He demanded furiously, glaring down at the dwarf he had startled from sleep. “And why did no one fucking tell me?”

“It wasn't important. It's still not important. Couldn't this have waited until morning?” Fíli asked with a groan, throwing an arm over his eyes.

“Not important! What do you mean it isn't important?! Or was this all just some secret plan to make me feel the same?” Bilbo asked, his voice rising in a shriek as betrayal gnawed at his chest. I trusted him! I married him and let him raise my daughter, how could he keep something like this from me?

“Of course not!” The dwarf finally sat up to look at Bilbo and his voice softened as he recognized the hurt on the hobbit's face. “He's loved you almost from the beginning, but before he could say anything you and uncle fell for each other and my brother would never have tried to ruin what you had.”

“But why didn't he tell me after Thorin died? That is why he asked me to marry him isn't it?”

“You love my uncle. Telling you about Kíli's feelings would only have caused you to feel guilty about what you couldn't give him and made you refuse his help. And he asked you to marry him because he loves you and he wants to make you happy, not because he had some secret plan. If you had decided to leave instead then he would have let you go. How did you find out anyway? Kíli said he'd never speak.”

“Oh, um...” Bilbo blushed and found that he couldn't sustain his fury against the embarrassment and confusion Fíli's words had created. And now that he was thinking more clearly it was easy to believe that Kíli had never meant to hurt him since his husband had one of the kindest hearts that he had ever seen.

Though he also wanted to understand just what the dwarf was thinking, because his choices simply did not make any sense. “I don't get it. He just plans to pine over me forever without saying anything?”

“My brother is happy to stay by your side in whatever way he can and he adores Ghivashel so marrying you was not a sacrifice. There was no other plan than that; he just prefers to keep his feelings secret rather then bear the pain of your refusal.”

“Why would I refuse him? I mean, I'm kind of angry at the moment since he never told me any of this, but Kíli is amazing.” And really rather attractive, the hobbit thought to himself, finally admitting that being in love with his husband would not be hard at all.

“Because you love my uncle?” It was the dwarf's turn to look at Bilbo quizzically and now the hobbit was sure that there was some fundamental misunderstanding in their words.

“I did, I mean I do. But it has been ten years...” At the blank incomprehension in Fíli's gaze, he finally burst out. “Do dwarves never love more than one person in their life?”

“Of course not. Mahal built us loyal and once our hearts are given we love until we die.” These words were said as simple fact and the hobbit felt the last of his anger disappear.

“Oh. Oh dear.” Bilbo sat down on the edge of the bed and put his heads in his hands. Kíli really doesn't expect anything from me. He's ready to spend the rest of his life pining at my side with no reward except my happiness, mine and Ghivashel's. I've been so blind.

The hobbit felt Fíli place a gentle hand on his shoulder and ask worriedly, “Are you all right Bilbo? You're not still mad at Kíli are you?”

“No, I'm just mad at myself for never realizing how he felt. We've wasted so much time.” He sighed, then nodded resolutely and stood up again. Bilbo was never one to back down from a challenge and he only stopped when Fíli spoke up from his back.

“You better be sure.” The dwarf said, hope and doubt warring in his voice. “Otherwise you'll shatter my brother forever and he deserves better than that. So take care of him, please.”

“I will.” The hobbit promised. “I'm halfway in love with Kíli already; I've just been an idiot til now.”

“All right then, I'm holding you to that.” Fíli sent Bilbo a crooked smile which the hobbit returned before he walked back to his suite, entering slowly in case his husband had started up again.

But their rooms were silent so the hobbit ducked inside the nursery to check on Ghivashel. His daughter was sleeping deeply and he watched her fondly for awhile before leaning down to press a light kiss to her head. She grumbled fitfully, wrinkling her nose, and he stroked her cheek before continuing into his bedroom.

Kíli was sleeping as well, lying sprawled across his bed in his normal nightshirt and the hobbit was filled with a wave of tenderness at the sight. How did I never realize this before? Bilbo wondered, noticing the way the dwarf made his heart beat faster in his chest and warmed his spirits just by being there. I guess I was so used to being friends that it simply never occurred to me and I needed something like this to knock some sense into my brain.

So instead of slipping into his own bed as usual, Bilbo walked over to Kíli and sat on the edge of his, tucking a lock of hair behind his ears. The dwarf grumbled just like their daughter, and the hobbit had to laugh at the resemblance as his husband cracked open one eye.

“Bilbo?” He muttered sleepily. “You're back early. Is everything all right?”

“Everything's fine, Kíli. Better than fine actually, my meeting was just canceled so I thought that I'd come home instead.” The hobbit reassured him stroking the other's hair until he settled again. “Can I...Can I stay with you tonight?”

Kíli seemed startled at this, but after a moment his surprise melted into a sweet smile. “Of course, love.” He replied, opening his arms and when Bilbo curled into them he found that they fit together perfectly after all. The couple would have to work out the new parameters of their relationship in the morning but for now the hobbit just wanted to savor the warmth of his husband's embrace and he tucked his head under Kíli's chin with a contented sigh.

Life really does go on, Bilbo mused before sending out one final prayer as he drifted off to sleep. I hope you're happy Thorin wherever you may be, but while I will always love you it is time to truly say goodbye.


Finis

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
rata_toskr
May. 5th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it.

And it did take Bilbo 10 years so I think he shares some of your romanticism. Personally I don't think he stopped loving Thorin at all, but his heart is large enough to love more than one person at once and I think if the one who died truly loved you they would want you to be happy more than they'd want you to pine over them for the rest of your love.
ferowyn
Dec. 29th, 2013 11:21 am (UTC)
This is really sweet, too!

Poor Kili!
Thinking that Bilbo'll never love any but his uncle, and still offering to marry him, knowing that he himself will never love anyone but Bilbo as well.

You write beautifully!
rata_toskr
Dec. 29th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
I think in my head every member of the Durins is ridiculously self-sacrificing when in love. That's the only explanation I have for all the fics like this.
ferowyn
Dec. 29th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
I have to admit I really like that headcanon xD (It makes for wonderfully bittersweet fics)
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