Pairings: Onesided Thilbo,[Dwarf]Kíli/Bilbo
Rating/Warnings: Light R; Warnings for stalker creepiness, jealousy, non-con tendencies (but no actual non-con)Word Count: 3163
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit there would be probably be more angst
Summary: Nothing would stand in the way of Thorin courting Bilbo, not even another member of the company getting there first.
Thorin Oakenshield wanted the hobbit and so the hobbit would be his. He was a king after all, even if in exile, and what he wanted, he always got.
Now the dwarf coveted Bilbo Baggins with a burning avarice that had ignited at the sight of the hobbit's ferocity in his defense. It had been a thing of beauty to see the halfling bring down an orc without hesitation and the flashing of his blade had sparked a possessive lust in Thorin's battered mind. He had passed out with the image of Bilbo protecting him from Azog playing behind his eyes and when he woke, the dwarf could not resist the urge to pull the halfling close and breathe the scent of death into his lungs.
However, Thorin waited until they were alone to make his intentions clear for he knew that Bilbo might take some slight convincing to believe his sincerity given how the dwarf had treated him before. Yet the hobbit could hardly blame Thorin for thinking him unsuited to this quest when his appearance had been so deceiving to dwarven eyes.
How was he supposed to have known that Bilbo's soft exterior hid a core of solid steel? A core which now called to the dwarf for forging, enticed him to take the hobbit and transform him, shape him like an untempered blade.
Thorin wanted to remake him and he wanted to bed him and he saw no reason why he could not do both. Indeed Bilbo had admitted that the dwarf's doubts had been reasonable and so Thorin was not expecting more than a cursory argument when he took the halfling aside and informed him of his new place.
“You have shown your worth Master Baggins and I find myself admiring your charms. I assume you feel the same and I would do you the honor of courting you officially so that we may fulfill our desires.”
The dwarf waited for the gasp of pleased surprise at the accolade he was granting one outside his race and station but when he looked at Bilbo, all he saw was shock.
“Oh, that's...unexpected. I'm flattered really because you do have, uh, charms of your own, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to refuse your...kind offer.”
At first Thorin thought he must have heard the halfling wrong for surely this commoner did not just casually spurn the love of a king? However, when Bilbo turned to leave, the dwarf realized that he was serious and he grabbed the hobbit's arm tightly in order to stop his retreat.
“Wait! You must tell why you would so easily reject me. Surely I am good enough for you?”
Bilbo turned to face Thorin and shook his head. “It's not a matter of worthiness, although your arrogance certainly isn't doing you any favors. But my heart already belongs to another member of this company and so I cannot grant you what you seek.”
With these words, rage suffused the dwarf and his grip tightened as he growled. “Who?! Tell me who dares to claim my prize. I will rid you of their touch so that we may be together.”
However, instead of being flattered by Thorin's jealousy and willingness to fight for his hand, Bilbo just looked horrified, jerking his arm free as he backed away. “No I will not! I am not yours to claim and you will not hurt him. He has done nothing wrong by loving me.”
The hobbit retreated quickly, obviously hoping that his denial would be the end of it, but Thorin knew better and he called out to the other's back. “I will change your mind, Bilbo. We are meant to be together and you will see it soon enough.”
From then on Thorin watched the hobbit continually, trying to discover who had stolen Bilbo's heart. When he found them he would teach his companion the error of his ways and take the halfling's love for himself. However, Bilbo must have noticed the dwarf's scrutiny because he was careful to distance himself from everyone and treat no one with more than a casual friendship.
Thorin could not even determine the culprit based on who was most distressed by this change because the Mirkwood dampened all spirits equally and at least five of his company shot Bilbo worried glances when he went off to sit alone.
At the same time the hobbit continued to reject all of Thorin's advances, refusing gifts, compliments and sword lessons with exasperated glares. Yet the halfling's determination only fueled the dwarf king's ardor because the harder Bilbo tried to run from him, the more his blood thrilled to the chase. He was sure that the hobbit would give in eventually and his claiming would be all the sweeter for the effort it took to bring him down.
Thorin was so sure of this that when Bilbo sliced him free of the spider's webs, he leaned up and kissed the halfling fiercely. He received a punch to the face for his efforts but the dwarf just licked the blood off his lips and grinned ferally while the hobbit ranted furiously.
“Yavanna's mercy, what is your problem? How many times do I have to save your stupid life before I can order you to leave me alone? I don't want you and you're ruining everything! He thinks I don't love him anymore because I've been avoiding his company so that you don't slit his throat in the insane hope that I'll fall into your arms. So will you just fuck off?”
He puts up a good fight, Thorin thought as the hobbit stalked off to free the rest of the company. But I'll have him yet, especially if my competition has almost given up.
The dwarf swayed upright, still woozy from the spider's venom, and walked into the woods to relieve himself while the others gathered themselves together. He was not paying attention to his surroundings, too caught up in his own smug thoughts, until suddenly he found himself staring at a ring of elvish spears pointed at his throat. Then something slammed into the back of the Thorin's head and when the dwarf woke it was to see Thranduil staring down at him.
“My apologies for the rough treatment but my people are wary of strangers in these dark years. Though you aren't a stranger, are you? It has been a long time, Thorin Oakenshield, have you finally come to take your kingdom back?
Thorin growled and refused to answer but the elf king just sneered at him as he motioned for his guards to help the dwarf to his feet.
“Do stop your posturing. We both know that nothing else would bring you to pass through my woods and if you wish to throw your life away on this foolish quest then I am hardly going to stand in your way. Indeed I would like to offer you my hospitality so that you may rest and recover before you continue on your journey.”
“In exchange for what?” Thorin asked suspiciously as Thranduil stepped off his throne and walked towards him.
“Nothing at the moment. Simply repay me in full should you survive to see your purpose through. Now I believe my soldiers have found more of your people wandering the forest, unless there just happens to be another company of dwarves traveling through these parts. Shall we go meet them so that you may tell them to cooperate and save us all a great deal of trouble?”
The elf king led Thorin to his grand entrance hall where the dwarf found the rest of his companions, beaten and battered but alive. Even the hobbit was there, standing off to one side and watching everything with cautious, worried eyes. However, despite their rough treatment everyone brightened to see their leader safe and sound and perked up even more when Thranduil offered them food and shelter. But as the group moved inside there was a cry of shock and Thorin turned to see Kíli crumple to the ground, Fíli staggering under his brother’s weight.
“Kíli!” Thorin called out, running to his nephew's side as the others gathered around. He shoved them out of the way to make space for Óin, who knelt down quickly and examined the lad for injury or sickness.
“What's wrong with him?” Someone asked in distress but the dwarf could not find a cause. Kíli just lay there pale and unresponsive and though his nephew was breathing, he would not wake.
Eventually the company carried him inside and lay him on a bed for Thranduil's healers to examine. It pained Thorin to leave his nephew in the care of elves but for all his hate, he knew that they were skillful in these arts. So despite their protests, the dwarf herded the rest of his company out of the door and gave the healers space to work, though he made sure that Fíli was allowed to remain by his brother's side.
As Thorin left his nephew's chamber, Balin tapped him on the shoulder and pulled him down the hall. “I did not wish to speak of it in front of the elves, but I may know what ails Kíli.” The old dwarf said, his face serious and his eyes pained. “It is the kurdulganaz.”
Hearing this, Thorin just shook his head in confusion. “The kurdulganaz? But that is our people's most sacred bond, the love forged by Mahal's own hands. Why would it make my nephew ill?”
Balin would not meet his king's questioning gaze but his voice was grave when he answered.
“There has not been such a bond among Durin's Folk in over a generation, but when I was a youth I saw one with my own eyes. The only children of two rival families in Dunland fell in love and declared their intention to wed as karûdulganaz, but their parents forbid it and locked them both away. Their families hoped that the separation would make them forget about each other, but after several weeks they called for the healers urgently because both their children had fallen deathly ill.
I saw the lad myself for he was a friend and he looked just like Kíli does today- pale and cold as stone, as if his spirit tried to flee his mortal form. No remedy could help them and only once the lovers were reunited did light and life come back into their eyes. Karûdulganaz cannot survive without each other, that is why our laws protect them and why those families were punished as they deserved.”
Thorin felt a dawning panic when he understood the meaning of this tale and he asked desperately. “But no one else in the company has fallen ill, surely they must if the bond were true?”
The old dwarf finally looked at him and now there was pity in his eyes. “If he were a dwarf yes, but other races could respond differently and it must be recent if Kíli is only failing now. So you know as well as I who his kurdulganaz must be.”
He must have dismissed Balin then for the other dwarf left him to his thoughts, but he was too wrapped up in self-recrimination to remember what he said.
Mahal forgive me, what have I done? Thorin wondered, horror-stricken by his own blind arrogance. The hobbit had not been playing hard to get, he had been fleeing truly and how mad must Thorin have seemed for Bilbo to think he had to protect Kíli from his uncle's wrath.
If I had known the truth I would never have hurt him...and yet I did, didn't I? My possessive lust has nearly killed him because I could not believe that there was one who did not want me. The dwarf was filled with an unending guilt for Thorin loved his sister-sons dearly and the thought that Kíli's death would be on his hands shocked him out of his hubris as nothing else could.
With clear eyes he could now see the truth of his actions and he swore that he would make things right. Thorin would make this right and he would never allow lust or greed to so cloud his mind again. Thus, when Thranduil's healers left his nephew's room and informed him that Kíli's sickness was of the spirit not the body so there was nothing they could do, the dwarf just nodded vaguely. He already knew what must be done, he just needed the courage to do it.
Eventually Thorin pulled himself from his guilt induced stupor and squared his shoulders firmly; he was the rightful king of Erebor and he would own up to his mistakes. So the dwarf summoned his fellows and stood before them, pacing as he spoke the words he must.
“Balin and I believe that we know what is wrong with Kíli,” Thorin said, raising his hands to silence the commotion that followed. “My nephew discovered his kurdulganaz along our road but their love did not go unchallenged and his perceived rejection has caused his heart to fail.”
Half the company heard these words with shock as they too realized who Kíli's love must be, but the younger members of the company simply looked around in obvious confusion.
“What in Mahal's name is a kurdulganaz and why would they reject my brother?” Fíli finally asked in frustration when no further explanation was forthcoming.
Thorin turned toward him but his eyes were on Bilbo and he prayed that the hobbit understood the true meaning of his words.
“Most dwarves fall in love like any other folk, with courting and heartbreak and messy rejections, but this is not always the case. Sometimes a dwarf will find their kurdulganaz, the one chosen by Mahal himself to be their one and only love. It is rare and has not happened in over a century but once they meet this One there is no life without them. As for the rejection...that is my fault.”
The dwarf king dropped to one knee in front of Bilbo and bowed his head in supplication. “I have done you an unforgivable wrong and committed a terrible dishonor in my pursuit. However, I swear on Erebor itself that I will trouble you no more. You may court my nephew without fear of reprisal and you may name your punishment for my sin.”
Thorin's speech was heartfelt but the hobbit just shook his head. “You were an idiot, an aggressive, arrogant idiot, but I do not want to punish you. All I want is to see Kíli.”
As Bilbo turned to leave, the dwarf felt terror run through him for he could not live with mercy when there was such shame upon his heart. “No!” He cried out, barely stopping himself from grabbing the hobbit's arm again. “You must name your conditions so that I may regain my honor.”
The desperation in Thorin's voice made the other stop and when Bilbo turned to face him, the softness in his eyes belied the steel within his voice. “I am not sure that you deserve such absolution,” the hobbit replied and the truth in his words made the dwarf king wince.
“However, I will grant it because this company still needs their leader and you are the best one that we have. Since you would not listen to me, grant me one future moment when you will do as I ask without question or complaint, though you may ask Balin to discuss it with me if you think me truly mad. Also while I know you care about your people, I would have you think on others more and recognize that your desires are not the only ones that matter in this world. If you do this then one day I will count your sin washed clean.”
Thorin nodded his head in acceptance of the hobbit's terms and from behind him there was a chorus of Khuzdul as his company declared witness to his oath. When he looked at them to gauge their reactions, the dwarf saw a mixture of admiration for his humility and anger at what he'd done, though only Fíli looked at him with hate.
Now that his heir knew of the pain Thorin had caused his brother, the dwarf knew it might be a long time before his nephew forgave him and while it was justified, he discovered that he could not meet Fíli's accusing eyes.
He was brought from his guilty thoughts when Bilbo left the room and Thorin rose quickly, following the hobbit to the chamber where his nephew lay asleep. At the sight of Kíli, Bilbo gave an anguished cry and ran to his side and Thorin was surprised to find that there was no jealousy when the hobbit intertwined their hands. All of his desire had been burned away by penitence and he felt only a surge of protectiveness toward the karûdulganaz before him.
The dwarf king moved to guard the door and give the couple some privacy as Bilbo leaned down to whisper love and reassurances in Kíli's ear. Though he could not hear the words, Thorin's heart ached at the tortured pleading in the halfling's voice and his guilt threatened to swallow him again.
That is because of me, he thought in self-condemnation. There is no one else to blame and even if Bilbo one day grants me absolution, I will always carry this scar upon my soul.
So a wave of overwhelming relief washed over Thorin when he finally heard his nephew stir and a hopeful joy replaced the despair that had been in the hobbit's voice. “Kíli! You're awake. I'm so sorry; I should never have let you think I didn't love you because I do, I really do.”
When the dwarf looked through the crack in the door and saw his nephew staring up at Bilbo, the love and adoration on their faces made him wonder how he could have ever missed the signs. They came together in a kiss and Thorin shut the door gently, leaving them to their reunion as he went to tell the others the good news.
The company would have to remain here until Kíli recovered enough to travel and the dwarf knew he needed to discuss the matter with Thranduil to ensure his hospitality. Although Thorin could feel his old anger churning in the back of his mind at the thought of owing the elf an even greater debt, Bilbo's voice was louder and the dwarf vowed that he would change.
He would fulfill the other's terms and become worthy of the hobbit's mercy so that when he passed into Mahal's keeping, Thorin would be able to stand in his Creator's presence and face him without shame.