Title: Bilbo Takes Charge
Pairing: Pre Bilbo/Thorin
Fandom: The Hobbit
Warning: Mind Control
Word Total: 2605
“Bilbo! What are you doing?”
The Hobbit looked up from his knot work and sighed. The Princes were both staring at him as if he had grown a second head. Then again, he did have Thorin tied up like a roasting goose at his feet.
“Taking care that we survive this mess,” Bilbo told the boys with a slightly manic grin. “Do be a dear and get Balin, eh, Kili?”
The dark haired prince looked at his brother and raised an eyebrow. Fili stared hard at his uncle and Bilbo could see the thoughts moving through the dwarrows mind. When the blond made his decision, he quickly signed an Iglishmek word and Kili ran off.
“What did Uncle do, Bilbo?” Fili asked with a deep breath.
Bilbo looked at the boy before him and reached out a hand. Placing it on the younger man’s shoulder, he gripped it firmly. “Your Uncle didn’t do anything to me, Fili; he was just being an ass about what’s going on outside the gates. The Dragon Sickness has taken too firm of a hold and I can’t let him lead you all to your deaths.”
“But Bilbo, he’s my king.” Fili told him.
The Hobbit stared at the Dwarrow and smiled. The contract he had signed had been very through in detailing what was expected of a member of the Company. As the only Hobbit in the group, he had taken time to read it carefully and had a very good understanding of exactly why Fili was getting twitchy.
“I know that there are restrictions on how member, of the Company can act, Fili, but I have this covered,” Bilbo told him.
“You tied up Uncle, Bilbo. We’re in Erebor now and the contract has been completed,” Fili argued.
“If it’s been completed, Fili, we would have been paid out and dispersed,” Bilbo took a deep breath. “Until Balin or your Uncle closes the trip, we are all still under contract.”
The blond prince took a deep breath and nodded “Okay. I can see that. It still doesn’t explain why you have Uncle trussed up like a roasting goose.”
Bilbo snorted lightly at the thought. For all Thorn had a fat head, he was far too lean to cook. “He’s too lean to cook,” Bilbo muttered as he looked at the king. The snort of amusement that burst of Fili sounded slightly mortified, but amused. “Anyway. There’s a provision in my contract that states: If, in circumstances that can be considered detrimental to life and limb, all actions necessary can be taken to preserve such. Provided the overall goal of retaking Erebor is still being pursued.”
Waving his hands at the king, Bilbo tried to put everything he had considered into words. “We’re here. Smaug is dead due to your Uncle and brother remembering the tale that Bard told us. He was even kind enough to die outside Erebor, I just hope it wasn’t anywhere near Laketown. But we don’t have firm control, there’s no food beyond what we’ve brought and you can bet that the dragon did will lead to a bitter harvest for us.”
The shrug he got for that from Fili was eloquent in its subtle agreement. Bilbo was going to take to what he could get.
“Fili, Thorin is deep in dragon sickness. He’s fixated on the gold alone. Food, rest, making peace, paying the Company? All of that has fallen to the wayside,” Bilbo insisted.
The prince opened his mouth and then stepped. Bilbo watched as the Dwarrow rubbed his hands over his face. He wasn’t going to smile, but he was sure he had him.
If he had Fili as the Crown Prince, he was a bit ahead. Now he needed to get Dwalin and Balin. Balin was mostly in his hand due to his crushing grief over how far Thorin had fallen under the spell of the gold. Dwalin had been looking at his friend with heartbreak in his eyes as well.
“He’s my king.” Fili spoke into the palm of his hands, voice despairing.
Bilbo’s heart broke as well. “I know, lad. But right now, he’s ill. And that means until he’s well, we need to watch out for him and Erebor.”
“So you knocked him out with a cast iron frying pan and tied him up?” the Prince flailed his hands at the tied up monarch.
“Well, I wasn’t going to stab him,” Bilbo huffed. “And finding something hard enough to knock out a dwarf, let alone your Uncle was hard.”
The snort of laughter that broke free caused his eyes to widen. Fili pinched the bridge of his nose and then sighed. “Can we at least move him out of here?”
“Good idea,” Bilbo agreed. Here was the spot they had picked for Bombur to prep food was too close to the gold. For a gold mad person, having the shiny stuff in sight would be bad.
“I’ll get Dwalin and Gloin to move him,” Fili sighed. “And tell them this is on me. Until Uncle wakes up sane, I’m Regent, so the responsibility has to be on me.”
The nod Bilbo gave him was accepting. He kept an eye on the King as the Prince moved off. Bilbo made sure to sharpen his ears to let him know when the dwarves were approaching. He picked up the pan when Thorin stirred. Eying the other carefully, he got ready to bean his friend again.
“You are such a troublesome dwarf,” the Hobbit muttered. “Hard headed, determined to believe that you are right and utterly infuriating. I did not want to do this, but I can’t let you kill us all.”
Boots against stone made a distinctive sound and he could tell who it was by the way the boot falls happened. Bilbo, as a Hobbit, was used to paying attention to feet. Dwalin took good care of his and Gloin had learned to.
“Ah, lad. You dumb bastard,” Dwalin muttered as he looked at Thorin. The big dwarf cast shrewd eyes at Bilbo and then the grip he had on the pan. Scared eyebrow raised, he nodded in respect. “Grab his feet, Gloin.”
The red headed dwarf glared at Dwalin before turning his gaze to Bilbo. “If he abused you, you’d let us know?”
Bilbo had no idea where Gloin had gotten that idea, but he could honestly say no. The Hobbit just shook his bed. “Out of all of us, Gloin, he’s done the least to me. But Thorin’s dangerous. Mostly to himself, but he wasn’t dangerous to me.”
“At least not yet, lad. But given how he’s been behaving, that might change,” Dwalin huffed softly and went around to pick up the King under the Mountain’s head and shoulders. “Best be having a good grip on that pan. He’s awake.”
Steel blue eyes opened and Thorin glared up at his friend. “Traitor. All of you are traitors. When Dain gets here, I will have you shorn, shaved and driven out of Erebor! You will be forever known as clanless, faithless…”
The bright ping of a cast-iron pan being expertly rung split the air. “You are being an ass, Thorin. I just hope when you wake up again, this will have passed,” Bilbo huffed as he shifted his grip on the handle again.
Dwalin was pale when the Hobbit looked at him. Opening his mouth to ask the Dwarf what was troubling him, he was dissuaded when he shook his head. “One of the most painful and horrific things that can be done to a dwarf is to shave him or her bald. You’ve seen how particular we are about our hair.”
Bilbo nodded. It had surprised him how particular the Dwarrow were with their hair. Dori and Nori had very intricate hairstyles that needed frequent attention, the long masses of Gloin’s locks needed constant care, and the rest were no different. Even Balin. His short snow white locks attracted dust and dirt faster than a small fount could cause a mess. So yes, he was aware that Dwarves were very particular about their hair.
Gloin grunted as he heaved Thorin’s legs up and supported his weight. Shaking back his own red mane, the fiery dwarf sighed. “What Thorin was threatening was exile and disgrace lad. At this point we can only hope that when he regains his self, he won’t follow through with it.”
“I know little of dragon sickness,” Bilbo told the cousins, “But I did ask Lord Elrond in Rivendell what might happen if we succeed.”
The two Dwarves moved forward and Bilbo followed, pan at the ready. Grunting at the effort, Dwalin glanced at him and jerked his head at the masses of gold they were walking around. “Going to enlighten us as to what the tree shagger had to say?”
The Hobbit coughed to stop the inappropriate chuckle from escaping. “Well, he did mention that he didn’t shag trees and he had no idea why all Dwarrow thought elves had sex with them.”
Gloin tripped over his feet and had to do a hop skip step to keep from trying to split Thorin in half. “They think what?”
“You lot call them trees shaggers.” Bilbo answered. “Lord Elrond said that none of the elves he knows has ever had sex with a tree. Or an Ent.”
Dwalin cleared his throat and fired of a rapid stream of Khuzdul at his cousin. Bilbo didn’t take the language shift as a slur against him. All the dwarves in the Company were at the very least bilingual in verbal languages and from the pattern of snorts he had heard in Rivendell, possibly multi-lingual. Then retreating to their… Father-tongue? Had proven to be very common when there was a misunderstanding.
Huffing out grunts of agreement the two Dwarves started forward again. Bilbo kept a wary eye on both and when Dwain opened his mouth, he mentally braced himself.
“Is it the word ‘tree’ or ‘shagger’ that means sex?” the older Dwarf asked.
Bilbo froze between one step and the next and then winced. Languages, translations and total misunderstandings. Oh. My.
Clearing his throat, the Hobbit explained the two words in Westron. “Tree is the individual plant that makes up a forest. Shagging is an informal term meaning to have sex.”
The Khuzdul flew hard and fast over his head and Bilbo ignored it. He was keeping a careful eye on Thorin. No eye movement that he could see and all his muscles were relaxed. So far, so good.
“We always thought shagging meant going up a tree,” Gloin burst out. “Not having sex with it.'”
Bilbo didn’t even try to save himself when he tripped over his feet at that announcement. “What?”
Years of animosity between the two races and it could be a translation error at the heart of it? For fucks sake! Bilbo wanted to take his pan and cave in the heads of every dwarf or elf that had gotten the language wrong! And maybe smack the wizards for not noticing!
It took the whole walk back to the room where they had decided to store Thorin to explain what the problem was. Khuzdul was a static language. By Gloin’s own admission, the language of the Dwarrow hadn’t changed much since Mahal had given it to them.
So Bilbo wasn’t surprised at how shocked the Dwarrow were at the mutability of the other raves languages. Weston was the most mutable of them all. it borrowed from all the languages it met and changed the meanings of words over the centuries. Bilbo had books from several hundred years before and the words were very different.
From the way Dwalin was reacting, that wasn’t the way with the Dwarrow. If it wouldn’t make all thirteen of his Dwarves lose their minds, he would ask to learn the language. But he was a bit wiser than that and didn’t.
Not to say that he hadn’t learned some of it, just because they used it all the time. Small words, it’s true, but he was starting to react when he heard them. Fili and Kili were especially bad at not translating their conversation back into western when he was there.
Bilbo stared harder at Thorin and waved his pan at Dwalin until the big dwarf looked his way. The Iglishmek signs for he’s awake flowed from his fingers without even thinking about it. From the way Dwalin frowned, he wasn’t expecting it.
But he didn’t interfere when Bilbo drew his arm back and reintroduced the pan to their king’s head. “I can’t keep doing this,” he told them.
“Why not, lad,” Balin asked as he stood at in the door.
He wasn’t going to jump out of his skin. Bilbo was determined. Plowing forward he waved at the unconscious body of Thorin. “If I hit him too many more times, he might end up with damage. He might end up being more obnoxious than he already is.”
The smile that crossed the older Darrow’s face was rueful. “So what do you advise?”
He took a deep breath before answering. Bilbo had plenty of experience with standing up to everything in the Shire, but very little with the Company. But now he needed to show there was more to him than his way of walking quietly. “Oin is a fully trained and qualified healer. I’ve seen him pull cures and medications out of the most interesting places. So I’m sure that he has some kind of sedative that he can give Thorin.”
“He does lad,” Balin conceded, “And we can get him to come in and pour a dose down Thorin’s throat.”
“We need to figure out what to do when someone figures out the dragon is dead,” Fili leaned into the room to look at Thorin. “Uncle snores fit to wake the dead when he’s in that position. He wakes himself up a lot.”
Bilbo looked down at his friend and nodded. Thorin was laying on his back with his head tipped back and he could see how that would lead to snoring. “Roll him on his side?” he asked.
All the Dwarrow looked at their king and nodded. “The cloak will cushion things enough and will keep him warm,” Fili offered. “But we might want to take his cloak pins off.”
Bilbo reached down and swiftly pulled the sharp gold pieces off the cloak and tossed them at Balin. The concierge plucked them out of the air with a deftness that belied his age. “Once Oin has the sedative down Thorin’s throat, I would like to get Ori to stand watch over him.”
Dwain nodded. “Ori’s a good lad and perfectly able to take care of Thorin as needed.”
Gloin grunted his agreement before stomping off to fetch his brother. Bilbo looked at the Dwarrow in front of him and drew in a deep breath. “Do we know how long Smaug’s influence will linger over the gold?”
“What do you mean lad?” Balin asked sharply. The older dwarf moved closer to Bilbo and the frightening level of intelligence that normally hid behind the affability shined through.
“When I was a faunt, my grandmother told us about dragons and how they guard their hordes.” Bilbo started. Rocking back and forth on his heels he started waving his hands. “She said that the dragons lay a spell over the hordes they guard to keep their valuables safe and unstolen. If a thief were to come over to steal from a dragon, the spell would make them want to stay and guard it. But she said it faded eventually.”