Warnings: Obliviousness, fluff and some serious denial.Word Count: 1088
Disclaimer: If I owned the Hobbit, it would be sweet as hell.
Summary: Bilbo is not falling in love with a dwarf. The idea is simply ridiculous and that's all there is to it. Even if Kíli is too pretty for his own good.
Bilbo Baggins most certainly did not have a crush on a dwarf. The thought of it was simply ridiculous because Kíli was far too young for him and a prince besides. So it was surely the heat not the sight of his smile that was making the hobbit woozy and if he was weak in the knees it was only from walking so far.
Never mind the fact that the weather had been chilly ever since they left the Shire and their journey so far had been spent on pony-back; Bilbo was sure that it was still the sun to blame. He was much too old to be falling in love for the first time, much too old to be blushing whenever Kíli looked at him like that. So of course the hobbit wanted only friendship; his long years of loneliness were just making him susceptible to any pretty smile and the novelty was bound to wear off in time.
It's not like the younger dwarf meant anything by it when he left his brother to ride at Bilbo's side, Kíli was simply curious about their burglar. After all, he was young and life was still exciting and it made perfect sense that he would want to know about where the hobbit had come from.
So what if none of the other dwarves listened to his stories with the same wide-eyed fervor? That's just because they were older and more jaded, such great warriors thinking little of his peaceful Shire life. Thorin in particular seemed to despise Bilbo for his weaknesses and that right there was another great reason not to fall in love.
So he didn't. The hobbit definitely did not spend his evenings pining across the fire, admiring the play of light on Kíli's face. He definitely did not start dreaming of what might be possible after their quest was completed, no thoughts of being held in those strong arms.
If Bilbo let the dwarf and his brother talk him into doing things that he should have refused outright, that was just because he was getting into the spirit of adventure and had nothing to do with wanting to impress the archer with his bravery. Though the way his heart fluttered when Kíli rushed to his rescue was somewhat harder to deny.
Harder but not impossible for a stubborn Baggins and the hobbit quashed his blushing ruthlessly even though he wanted nothing more than to wrap himself in the dwarf's arms. That was just the fear talking, his close brush with death making him cling to comfort when it was offered and he's sure that he would have done the same no matter who it was. Really. Even if the betrayed look that Kíli sent him after the dwarves were captured hurt more than all of Thorin's dismissive glances and Bilbo would have done anything to make him grin again.
But thankfully no one died that night or in the chase which followed and the burglar had a very good excuse for being out of breath when that was done. So what if the archer had ghosted his steps the entire time the company was in Rivendell? That's entirely understandable given the mistrust of elves these dwarves carried with them and it's not as if the hobbit minded his company.
While growling at Elrond's sons whenever they walked near did seem a bit excessive, Bilbo felt a bit like growling himself when the elves offered to show Kíli their archery range and he left without a word.
However, that didn't mean that he was jealous, he had just grown used to having the dwarf's undivided attention and a few hours spent in Elrond's libraries sorted him right out. The Lord had the most wonderful collection of books and scrolls that the hobbit had ever seen, including a number of hard to find treatises on the dwarven race. It was only natural that Bilbo wanted to learn more about his companions and while his eyes kept drifting toward the section on courting rituals, he never read a word.
It was really just coincidence that the burglar stumbled upon the perfect gift for Kíli that very evening and decided to practice his thieving then and there. Elrond would never miss one small box of arrowheads, not when his armory was filled from floor to ceiling with the things, and the way that the archer's eyes lit up helped to squash the twinge of guilt that Bilbo felt.
Indeed he was too busy wondering where all the air had gone when the young prince hugged him tightly, his heart threatening to beat out of his chest from the warmth of that embrace. So how could the hobbit resist trying to keep that smile on Kíli's face as their journey grew more difficult and it took such little effort to make the other glow? Just a few small trinkets, nothing too elaborate or fanciful and it's not like he meant them to coincide with dwarvish courting gifts.
Bilbo never read that paragraph, remember? Well, maybe just a few lines here and there, but the burglar certainly meant nothing by it when he offered to comb out Kíli's hair after their flight. The archer just looked uncomfortable with his locks all tangled from the wind and if he had left the task to Fíli it would have taken half the night.
He simply wanted to get some sleep like any proper hobbit would and if he ran his fingers through the dwarf's hair a few extra times, it was soft, all right? Thorin hardly needed to make such a fuss about his actions or glare at him so fiercely when the burglar asked if he could do it again sometime. Really, he'd earned a bit more respect by now and if Bilbo wanted to brush his friend's hair every evening, no persnickety old dwarf lord was going to stand in his way. Maybe the hobbit shouldn't have shouted that quite so loudly when Thorin asked what he thought he was doing, but none of the others seemed to mind.
Although Kíli actually looked rather stunned at first, staring up at Bilbo like he'd never seen him before. However, before the burglar could start to worry that he'd said something insulting, his friend smiled brilliantly and threw his arms around the hobbit's neck.
"Of course I'll marry you," the archer whispered and while Bilbo should have protested that he'd never asked that question, he was rather too busy being kissed to care.