Chapter 6: An Archer Dreams
Pairings: Kíli/Bilbo, hints of a couple others
Warnings: Can I warn for epic fluff?
Word Count: 2182 (16,675 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 5: A Mountain Shakes
Chapter 2: A Quest Begins
Chapter 3: A Burglar Woos
Chapter 4: A Romance Grows
Beorn's house was wonderful. It was sunshine, flowers, and enormous buzzing bees. A warm fire in the hearth and warm food on the table and Kíli never wished to leave. The dwarf would be content to spend the rest of his life lying in the skin-changer's southern meadow, green grass beneath his head and a herd of ponies running through the field nearby.
Although, what made this moment truly perfect was the hobbit at his side. Bilbo was lying in the grass with his head on Kíli's stomach, purring quietly as the dwarf ran gentle fingers through his hair.
They'd been dozing in the sun for several hours and Kíli's muscles had gone liquid from the heat. He was warm and drowsy, their panicked run through the Misty Mountains a forgotten memory. Indeed, that part of their journey felt like a completely different world from this gorgeous morning and it seemed impossible that only a few days earlier, Kíli had been wet and cold instead.
Of course, Beorn hadn't exactly been happy when a baker's dozen of dwarves suddenly showed up on his doorstep and there had been a moment when the archer was sure that they'd be eaten after all. But the skin-changer had softened upon seeing Bilbo and with a bit of gab from Gandalf, Beorn had been convinced to offer them supplies and shelter for a week. This was a lucky break since Thorin's company sorely needed the assistance; the dwarves had lost all of their food with their ponies in the goblin caverns and no one wanted to rely on hunting when crossing Thranduil's wood.
Indeed, Thorin had a tendency to snarl at the mention of the elf king and from the stories Beorn had told them over dinner, Mirkwood had only grown more unpleasant since Durin's Folk had fled. The skin-changer had spoken of orcs and spiders as well as elven warriors and Kíli had dreamed of death that night.
Over the next few days, every member of the company had repaired their clothes and made their weapons ready for the next phase of their journey. Kíli had fletched new arrows to replace the ones he'd lost or broken while his brother put a shine on his remaining knives; Fíli only had about a dozen now and he was quite bitter over each and every loss. Truthfully, the archer couldn't decide which had been more annoying: listening to his brother complain about chipped daggers or listening to Glóin and Bombur extolling the virtues of their wives.
When Kíli couldn't stand the bickering any longer, he had gone to help Bilbo with his preparations and the hobbit made quick work of his darning with the archer's help. That freed him to assist Beorn with packing and to train with Dwalin when the warrior had the time. While the unicorn didn't need any help fighting with hooves and horn, he still wasn't entirely comfortable with a sword or dagger in his hands.
Still, between Bilbo and Gandalf, Thorin's company should be able to counter any evil magic they found within the forest and the unicorn's trick with light had already proved useful more than once. At least they wouldn't have to worry about running out of torches in the dark.
Still, this was a small comfort considering that the dwarves would be entering Mirkwood with no clear picture of its dangers, Beorn offering only rumor in the place of facts. The skin-changer had never entered the forest himself; he could not leave his home unguarded and relied on other travelers to bring him news of the world. All the dwarves could do was try to plan for everything and know that this might not be enough.
However, none of that seemed very important at the moment. The archer could not think of danger on such a lovely morning; worries about the future had no business here.
Kíli and Bilbo had snuck off from the latest planning session when Thorin and Gandalf had gotten into their thirteenth argument, rightly figuring that nothing useful would be mentioned after that. The hobbit had led Kíli outside before shifting into a unicorn so that the dwarf could ride.
They had danced across the grass, Kíli laughing with delight as Bilbo kicked and spun. The unicorn had raced with Beorn's ponies, singly at first, and then the entire herd had sprinted through the meadow with Bilbo far in front. His speed was unmatched on open ground even with a rider and Kíli didn't think he'd ever be able to travel on a normal horse again. Because the unicorn's hooves barely touched the earth as he flew across the meadow, answering the archer's every shift of balance like they shared one mind.
Indeed, Kíli had been grinning ear to ear when Bilbo finally halted, all worries forgotten in a rush of wild joy. His hair might have been tangled and his cheeks red from the wind, but the ride was more than worth the slight discomfort and the archer knew his hobbit would be happy to fix his braids again.
Bilbo always combed his hair so carefully and the thought of his braiding still made Kíli blush. For the unicorn's exquisite plaiting was proof that someone truly loved him, proof that any dwarf with eyes could see, and whenever Kíli doubted that he could be that lucky, he just had to touch the braids twined through his hair.
So the dwarf had slid off the unicorn's back and thrown himself down into the grass with little thought to his appearance, his grin growing wider when the hobbit shifted and flopped down at his side. Neither of them had spoken because there was nothing to be said; they'd just curled up together to watch the clouds float by. Kíli had known that one of the others would call them back eventually, but he fully intended to enjoy his freedom until that moment came. He would happily take Fíli's teasing about being an eternal virgin for a life of days like this.
Speaking of which...
“Hey, Bilbo,” Kíli murmured, nudging the hobbit until he turned his head.
“Hmm? What is it, love?”
“How do unicorns have children?” the dwarf asked quietly. “I mean, I'm not complaining. I love you and I'm happier than I ever thought to be, but if your mother was a unicorn and your father was a hobbit, how does that even work?”
Kíli had been curious about this for a while, but he'd never asked for fear of insulting Bilbo accidentally. He knew all about touchy subjects – he was a Durin after all – but drowsy warmth had loosened his inhibitions and he truly wished to know more about his beloved's family.
Though, apparently, the dwarf had been worrying for no reason because Bilbo just gave him a wink and answered, “Magically, of course.”
“That's not a real explanation,” Kíli replied, leaning up on his elbows so that he could look the hobbit in the eye. “If you don't want to tell me, you don't have to. But I'm curious – I want to know everything about your life.”
“I know and I want to tell you,” the hobbit promised, taking Kíli's hand. “But, all joking aside, magic really is the explanation. Unicorns don't breed like other races; once we fall in love, we can choose to have a child and the magic does the rest. I've heard of unicorns that are half-elf, half-dryad, and even half-dragon; the only things that matter are virginity and love.”
“So we could...?”
“Yes, we could have children,” Bilbo finished when Kíli trailed off helplessly. “If you wanted to. Our children would be part unicorn as I am since those gifts run true. My great-great-great-grandmother, Arabelle, was the last pure-blooded unicorn in the Shire. She left a child with Nondan Took before continuing her travels and her descendants have carried the same magic ever since. But I don't know whether our children would also be part dwarf, part hobbit or some mix of the two. Given a choice, I'd have our kids look just like you.”
“I don't even... children?” the archer stammered. He could barely wrap his mind around the idea even as a fierce joy welled in his chest. Kíli had assumed there'd be no children when he'd agreed to marry Bilbo and he'd been all right with that; the dwarf planned to spoil Fíli's children rotten anyway. But the unicorn had just changed that in an instant – he had given Kíli the gift of possibility.
So the dwarf sat up and tackled Bilbo into a hug, burying his face tightly against his beloved's neck. “Thank you. You have no idea... just.... thank you.”
“That's a yes to children then?” the hobbit murmured, returning his embrace.
“Yes, definitely yes,” Kíli said before pulling back again. “I mean... I don't want them right now. I want to go back to Hobbiton and build our life with just the two of us together. But after a few years to get settled, or maybe a couple decades; then, yes, I want a family. I want that more than anything.”
“A decade or two sounds perfect, love,” the hobbit replied, his smile as bright and happy as the archer felt inside. “Once we're home, we can start our family any time we want. Bag End was built for children, you know; it will be good to fill those rooms again. It's always felt a little empty with just my ghosts for company.”
“Well, it won't be empty now,” the dwarf told Bilbo fiercely. “You have me and I have you and neither of us is going to be lonely anymore.”
“I know, love. I know,” the hobbit said. “Have I told you how much I adore you recently?”
“Only half a dozen times this morning,” Kíli replied, letting their conversation take a lighter tone again. “Although... I wouldn't mind hearing those words another dozen more.”
“Good. Because I plan to tell you. I'll tell you that I love you and I adore you and I can't live without you every hour of the day. It's the truth, you know? You've made my life so much better and I wouldn't change a thing about you,” Bilbo told the archer tenderly, pressing a kiss against his brow. “Although, that said, I may have to teach you something about proper bathing once we're home again.”
“You are such a shit,” the dwarf laughed. He flopped back down and took the hobbit with him, rolling them over so that Bilbo was lying in the grass. “You're an arrogant, crazy, brilliant, completely jumped-up excuse for a mountain pony but I love you anyway.”
Kíli and Bilbo were still tangled together giggling when Fíli finally came to get them, the other dwarf shouting out of Beorn's back door.
“Brother! I know you're out there! Grab your hobbit and come eat dinner before there's nothing left.”
“Patience, Fíli! We're coming!” Kíli replied, his head popping from the grass. “Don't let Bombur eat it all.”
The dwarf stood up, brushing dirt and leaves from his tunic in a futile attempt to look presentable while Bilbo did the same. He leaned up to pick a few more twigs from Kíli's bangs before the pair strolled over to Fíli arm in arm.
“Tell me, did Gandalf and Thorin finally come to an agreement?” Bilbo asked the dwarf with a cheeky grin.
“Of course not,” Fíli sighed. “Beorn came back and pulled them off each other before sending them to different bedrooms to cool off. With any luck, we'll have some peace tonight. I never knew there were so many ways to argue about a single road through the forest – give those fools two options and we'd be here until the fall.”
“You're probably right,” Kíli agreed. “Honestly, if they don't stop this then Thranduil is going to hear us coming from a mile off and our only destination will be the elf king's dungeons. If we get captured, I hope that he lets Bilbo share my cell. I'd get lonely otherwise.”
“Well, I certainly hope it doesn't come to that,” the hobbit chuckled. “But if it does, I'll see what I can do. I've never sweet-talked an elf king but I'm sure that I could sway him if I had to; I am a unicorn.”
“Really? I didn't know that? Please, Bilbo, tell me more,” Fíli cried out theatrically, throwing his hands across his chest. “Tell me all about your adventures with my virgin brother here.”
“Fíli!” the archer groaned. He let go of Bilbo and tried to swat his brother, but the other dwarf just danced out of the way.
“Come back here,” Kíli shouted, chasing after Fíli as he ducked back into Beorn's house. The hobbit just watched them go, shaking his head in amusement at the dwarves' antics before following them inside at a much more measured pace.
Chapter 7: A Company Walks