Chapter 4: A Romance Grows
Pairings: Kíli/Bilbo, hints of a couple others
Warnings: Can I warn for epic fluff?
Word Count: 1841 (10,791 so far)
Summary: Kíli is a virgin. Bilbo is a unicorn. Together they fight goblins and cuddle epically.
Art: Unicorn!Bilbo 1, Unicorn!Bilbo 2.
Chapter 1: A Wizard Meddles
Chapter 2: A Quest Begins
Chapter 3: A Burglar Woos
Bilbo's days in Rivendell were lovely. The unicorn had always liked elves; most of them were so flighty that physical desire barely registered and even those that were married often felt like virgins to his kind. Indeed, this wasn't the first time Bilbo had visited Elrond and the elf lord's hospitality was just as good as he remembered, advice and food offered in equal measure to help Thorin's company.
This left Bilbo free to spend all his time with Kíli and that's exactly what he did. They explored Rivendell together, marveling over the armory and begging morsels from the kitchens, the archer's dimples as effective on elves as they were on unicorns.
When they grew tired of exploration, the couple switched to cuddling and they spent hours in each other's arms. Kíli and Bilbo curled up together in nooks and crannies, holding murmured conversations as they talked over everything that they had been afraid to say before.
“I really think that I might love you,” Kíli admitted shyly a few days into their stay. “It seems so fast but I can't imagine life without you now.”
“The feeling is mutual, darling,” Bilbo promised, pressing a kiss to the archer's hair. “I love you with all my heart and while we haven't known each other long, unicorns fall quickly. We can tell when we meet the right person and I knew that you were special as soon as you tumbled through my door. I had never seen a heart like yours before.”
“Well, I had never seen such a lovely smile. Honestly, Bilbo, I'm the lucky one. I never thought I would find anyone who could make me feel this way and I'm so glad that Gandalf chose you as our burglar.”
“Don't say that too loudly,” the hobbit joked. “Our wizard is smug enough already about enticing me to join your uncle's company. As though I would have followed any old virgin all the way to Erebor.”
“Did you really join this quest for me?” Kíli wondered. “I mean, you aren't a burglar. Everyone knows that. I think uncle even knows that; he's just glad you work for free. So why would you leave such a lovely home for me when I don't have anything to offer? I won't have anything until we reclaim Erebor.”
“I don't care about your family's treasure. All I want is you,” Bilbo told him fiercely. “You're my home now, Kíli, and winning your love was well worth the risk to me. Besides, it's not as though I'll never see Hobbiton again. Bag End will still be waiting when our quest is done and even if you prefer to live in Erebor, my relatives would never forgive me if I just disappeared. Weddings are serious business in the Shire and they've been planning mine for years.”
“I... Would you mind if we went back?” Kíli asked uncertainly. “If we made our life in Hobbiton? I want to help reclaim my family's homeland, I do, but I can't imagine living there. I'm not a real prince, not like Fíli. I'm just Kíli – I'm clumsy and reckless and rubbish at diplomacy.”
“Of course we can live in Hobbiton,” Bilbo replied, hugging the dwarf more tightly. “As far as I'm concerned, Bag End is yours as much as mine and I think we'll both be happier with your uncle on the far side of the world. Although, I should warn you, hobbits can be awful gossips and I did promise your brother that he could visit anytime.”
“Don't worry, I can deal with Fíli,” the archer chuckled. “And I don't even mind the whispers. I just can't deal with politics.”
“Then it's a promise. When this quest is over, we'll return to Hobbiton. Just remind me to grab our wedding present on the way.”
“Wedding present? What wedding present? We're not even married yet.”
“It's from your brother. He was sure that we'd go back to the Shire and it seems he knows you well. But it's a surprise so you'll have to wait until we get there. Think of it as an incentive to keep your reckless streak in check.”
“Oh, come on, Bilbo. Just tell me.” Kíli reached out and tickled the hobbit's elbow, Bilbo twitching away with a started laugh.
“That's cheating, love.”
“I had an older brother. Everything's fair game,” the dwarf retorted with a mischievous grin. However, before he could tickle Bilbo again, the hobbit poked him in the stomach, taking advantage of Kíli's flinch to slip out of his arms.
“Well, in that case...” Bilbo said with a grin. “You've got to catch me first.”
The hobbit led Kíli on a merry chase through the halls of Rivendell, the pair almost bowling over several groups of elves along the way. One of these included Elrond, their host on his way to meet with Thorin and Gandalf to discuss their strategy.
“Excuse me! Sorry! Coming through!” Bilbo called out with a laugh, dodging around the elf lord’s steward so that Kíli had to leap a table or slam right into him. The dwarf gave it his best shot but he stumbled on the landing and only the elf’s graceful side-step averted disaster then and there. Not that Kíli realized who he’d almost hip-checked, too focused on catching Bilbo to care about the steward’s spluttering.
Thankfully, Elrond was too amused to be insulted by their antics and watched the pair run off with an indulgent grin. “Take a left please; I just cleaned the library.”
Bilbo obliged the elf lord, leading Kíli through the outer doors and into the meadow where the rest of Thorin's company was lazing in the sun. If anyone asked, the dwarves would claim to be sharpening their weapons, but Fíli hadn't touched his blade in at least half an hour and Balin's snores were barely muffled by his beard.
Kíli tackled Bilbo right into the center of the circle, the two of them tumbling down laughing in the grass. The hobbit dumped a handful of leaves in the archer's hair, Kíli letting out an awkward shriek before retaliating with a double handful of his own.
“Get him, little brother,” Fíli cheered from the sidelines. “Make our family proud.”
He ducked when Kíli chucked a clump of dirt at his head, the missile landing in Nori's lap instead. Ori burst out laughing at his brother's shocked expression, only to have a fistful of grass ground into his hair. Dori came to Ori’s defense while the younger dwarf took this excuse to tackle Dwalin into Balin and the situation devolved quickly after that. Soon most of the company was involved in an all out war, throwing grass and insults while Kíli and Bilbo just lay in the middle of the chaos and laughed until they cried
When the battle finally ended, only Fíli had somehow come through unscathed and the group was quite a sight as the dwarves walked back to their rooms. Dwalin led the column, his head held high and his expression daring a single elf to comment on the grass lodged in his beard.
None of the elves were foolish enough to take the warrior’s challenge, though a score of stifled giggles followed in his wake. Of course, quite a few of those giggles actually belonged to Kíli, the archer walking at the back of the line with Bilbo and completely failing to keep his mirth in check. Indeed, Kíli barely made it to the room that he shared with his brother and his hobbit before he fell to his knees and cackled helplessly.
“Did you see their faces?” the archer gasped between guffaws. “Only Balin could look so dignified with flowers in his hair.”
“I'll give you that one, love,” Bilbo chuckled as he knelt down by Kíli. “Though you're hardly one to talk. I swear you've got half the meadow in your bangs right now. If you don't comb this out soon then you're going to tangle like a thicket. Do you have a brush that I can use?”
The dwarf flushed red at the question, his laughter cutting off so abruptly that Bilbo worried he'd crossed a line by accident. But Kíli's embarrassment was tinged with joy not anger and moments later he was pulling the hobbit to his feet. He settled Bilbo on the edge of his bed and sat down in front of him, handing up a comb with a charmingly shy grin.
That smile made the burglar a little breathless – how could one person be so adorable? – but he was hardly going to pass up the chance to touch the archer's hair. It was as soft as down beneath his fingers, if a little full of knots and leaves right now.
So the hobbit started at the bottom and began to untangle Kíli's tresses, the dwarf slowly turning to mush beneath his hands. He let out a low groan when Bilbo stroked the comb across his scalp, a rumbling purr from deep inside his chest. Indeed, Kíli was half asleep by the time the hobbit had worked the knots out of his hair and the archer was just too cute to move. So Bilbo kept brushing instead, only waking Kíli when Fíli came to tell them that dinner had been served.
The other dwarves fell silent as the pair walked into the hall, looking at them with a mixture of approval and surprise that the archer didn't understand. Not until he caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror and his gaze landed on the intricate braiding in his hair.
Bilbo must have done it while he was dozing and Kíli quickly decided that these braids were never coming out. For the hobbit had woven a delicate web through the archer's hair, protecting his vision without making him feel constricted as his mother’s braids had often done.
Honestly, Kíli couldn't help preening as he took the hobbit's arm – his companions wished they had a partner who could braid as fine as Bilbo – and there was a spring in his step that had not been there before. Because these braids were perfect and Kíli loved them. He loved Bilbo and while he had known that the hobbit loved him in return, this was proof to everyone just how much he was adored.
Not that Bilbo had any idea why his braids had made the dwarf so happy and he resolved to ask Fíli for an explanation as soon as he had the chance. Although, in truth, the reason didn't matter since the hobbit would brush Kíli's hair every night and gladly if it made him glow like that. All their days should be as lovely as this last week had been.
Unfortunately, Rivendell would never be the home that Thorin dreamed of and once Elrond was able to decipher the message of the moon runes, the company moved on.
Chapter 5: A Mountain Shakes