|thorin oakenshield has acclimated to this world. (kinglike) wrote in blackpoint,|
@ 2014-12-08 16:57:00
|Entry tags:||bilbo baggins, thorin oakenshield|
Bilbo wasn't entirely certain what he would call of this. Madness, most certainly, complexing, yes, frustrating, oh very yes, and there was a dread in his belly he'd felt many times over his journey. Gandalf did tell him he might not come home, and the more he traveled, the less he thought it likely that he would. He would have been eaten a thousand times over in exchange for Thorin not dying in front of his eyes. It was a particular grief to him because the last words between them were not kind. The Arkenstone was in his grasp, and he could see that vicious gleam in Thorin's eyes. They had no time to make amends, or for Bilbo to say he trusted the stone in his friend's hands. But did he? It was difficult to say now, in his grief, if it was his grief that said such sentimental things.
The experience on the magic box bewildered and hurt him, so he simply gave up on it. He set it down on the floor as if it was made of the very blackest of magics, which he believed it was, and he thought about the ring in his pocket. The Arkenstone was there too, and he held them both close to his heart, as if they might deliver him from this ugly place. The Humans walked around, there were some who pointed and whispered about him, and Bilbo felt as if fleeing was the best possible option. He could use the ring and go, but then he would have no answer about this magic, and he would be in trouble in truth.
He looked bedraggled. Dark hair was in matted curls, his clothes muddied and torn, he'd been fleeing from a dragon after all. Bilbo looked even smaller than he usually did, sitting on a wooden Human bench. Well, he could leave, but he did say the false King was allowed to see him. He would prove it to his own eyes that it was a lie, and then … he didn't have a next move, but he did have the first move. And that was something, yes it was, so he waited.
In twenty years time, Thorin Oakenshield had experienced a great deal. He’d built a business and grown acclimated to this new world. His appearance had changed. He’d developed close friends with individuals he’d have never met. He’d become famous for things beyond his source, and that was an incredible thing. He’d been pulled back through the portal all over again and started the process once more, to the same success. And yet, in all of that and for all of the changes, he’d been largely alone in terms of those who knew from home. The arrivals of his two younger versions had ostensibly left him with children to tend to, and that had been rather nice in theory, but it wasn’t the same.
To have Bilbo Baggins show up so suddenly, and after so long, had been a startling thing for him. Thorin had felt a sense of joy, something that had stemmed in no small part from the nostalgic feelings coursing through him with all of the advertisements for the last film. He’d experienced 2014 before, after all. Reliving it now was only somewhat less sad than it’d been then.
He’d gathered some clothes for Bilbo, shoving them in the large bag he carried with him, which also contained his means of proof. Still, only so much could be done if Bilbo insisted on disbelieving him. As much proof as he could bring, he still looked nothing as expected. He wore jeans and a jumper, and had a coat, all of which were hardly the sorts of things he’d have worn when last Bilbo had seen him. And yet, he was still Thorin Oakenshield. He spotted the Hobbit easily, and smiled in spite of himself as he made his approach, shoving his phone into his pocket in the process. “Master Hobbit,” he said upon his arrival. “Welcome to Hawaii.”
Thorin Oakenshield had a presence, but this man was nothing like what Bilbo expected. He looked ordinary, as ordinary as a Hobbit, in those ridiculous clothes, in this ridiculous place. He was shaven. Bilbo was not accustomed to hiding his thoughts, no, Hobbits were terrible at it. Their emotions and thoughts were honest and forthright, and showed on their face whether they liked it or not. He was baffled and incredulous, to say the least.
The voice, though, that was familiar. He'd heard it not that long ago, but connected with ... whatever those trousers were, it made no sense. Bushy eyebrows furrowed at him, and he got to his feet, eyeing the dwarf. Sting was left on the bench, that at least he wasn't ready to swing about yet. Bilbo had no ability to defend himself outside of the times he was lucky enough to survive, but he was brave. Unexpectedly brave, who knew he had it in him? Gandalf, apparently.
"You look ridiculous," he said, because that was precisely true. And he was an honest Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, most of the time. Outside of the voice and size, this didn't seem like Thorin, but those two were in his favor. Hm. Anyone could be a dwarf and have a deep voice, he argued to himself. "You don't have a beard, that's all wrong."
Thorin had long ago learned that his great asset to fitting in was the fact that he was not nearly as short as most of his race. In fact, amongst them, he was noted for his excessive height. At nearly 5’5”, he was altogether not out of place in this world. He was solid, though, his body entirely muscled from growing up in mines, training as a King, and from leading his people across the world. That set him apart from most of the men in this world.
He lifted his eyebrows as Bilbo stood, letting himself be looked over with an almost amused expression. Brave little Hobbit. Thorin from years past did not appreciate the little creature who stood before him, but one removed as he was certainly did.
“You get used to it,” he commented, smiling. “Give me a day and it’ll make a reappearance. My hair grows excessively fast.” He rubbed at his shaven chin. “It’s not as easy to blend in and be successful in this world when you look so much like someone from another.” He reached into his bag, drawing out his all-too-familiar sword and extending it to Bilbo to examine.
Bilbo was good natured, as most of his kind were, but he did always have a bit of a mouth on him. After his parents died he was a wealthy and independent bachelor, happy to settle into a particular type of life. Others considered him eccentric, but in an acceptable type of way. He had a sharp edge to his tongue, the 'sass' Thorin referred to, and it spoke to his taste in telling stories and riddles and talking circles around people. Perhaps some part of him was reacting to Thorin's person, because it wasn't very polite to say such things to a stranger. Especially not at only a smidge above three feet, and thin boned these days too.
Thorin Oakenshield scared him at first, intimidated him, he craved his approval, to prove his worthiness. Once he gave up on that, and didn't give a care about it, that was when he ended up earning it. "Since when does the King Under the Mountain care about fitting in?" Thorin always paved his own way before. It was an admirable trait, and an infuriating one, since Hobbits tended to blend when they could. Dwarves were stubborn and aggressive, it didn't come as easily to them.
His snippiness evaporated when the sword came out, and he looked young for a moment, the color going from his face and eyes widening. He'd seen the blade not too long ago, and wondered which nephew would take it up, keep fighting. This was a man who had Thorin's eyes and voice and sword, but seemed a stranger otherwise. Bilbo's eyelashes fluttered several times, eyes unfocused, and he only touched the hilt with a single finger before pulling it back.
"Stop it. Stop smiling. Stop being ...." Alright this was definitely not something he was capable of dealing with, what Hobbit would? He'd seen many a strange thing, but this made it all real, and Bilbo sat back down, breathing deeply. "I saw you die."
Thorin was that same person at his core, absolutely. He did not crave acceptance, by any means, but he had found it impossible to return home. He’d needed to acclimate in order to make it here. He’d hesitated to change his appearance for years before finally agreeing, and it’d taken longer still for him to come to actually quite like the style. It wasn’t his preferred look, to be sure, but it worked.
“He doesn’t. But he understands that there is no kingdom here to rule, and one must adjust to one’s surroundings after years and years of being trapped.”
He saw the expression on Bilbo’s face, and knew that his sword had been a good place to start. “I cannot stop,” he responded. “I am who I say that I am. This place makes little sense, but it is the way of things now.” He moved closer to sit on the bench beside him. “I know you did. I’m sorry for that.”
"No, no, no, I've gone mad, that's the answer. Quite mad." It made sense, really, although going mad probably wasn't supposed to make sense. This was a strange type of hallucination to come up with. Thorin without his beard, wearing bizarre clothing, in a world full of strange buzzing sounds and towering Men that stared. Bilbo ran shaking hands through his hair, and wanted to be in the Shire. Or even with the dragon again, because it was the type of madness that fit.
He tilted his head, hooking curls behind sharp little ears, and scooted a little away when Thorin sat down. It was strange to him. They bonded, yes, they had a type of connection, as wanderers did when they walked together. But Bilbo was Bilbo, and Thorin was Thorin. He was never this friendly or familiar, and it was nearly as confusing as the beardless state. "I have it, you know. Or do you know?" He was suspicious a little. "The stone. Is that why you're here?"
“You aren’t the first to assume as much upon arriving here,” Thorin responded, stretching his legs where he sat. This was all a product of his years spent here building a life. He was comfortable here, and really quite liked it in most ways. There were many, many things he hadn’t completely mastered yet, but he did well for himself.
Thorin wasn’t really all that much closer to Bilbo in their actual timeline, but he’d had him in Blackpoint for a time and had so missed him when he went away. The ease in his life, and the comfort that came along with it, was certain to be unnerving. He wasn’t put off by Bilbo’s reaction, therefore. At the words, though, his eyebrows lifted and a moment of surprise flitted across his face. “You have the Arkenstone with you?”
Thorin's surprise was genuine, but Bilbo was immediately on the defensive. "What if I do? How much good would it do you here, with your beardless face and strange blue trousers?" It was technically Thorin's inheritance, he knew that, but the dragon's warnings worried him. As ridiculous as that was, considering it came from the creature that killed Thorin. But Bilbo sensed it, the power, the same way the ring called to him, and the look in Thorin's eyes when he threatened Bilbo said plenty. His ancestor went power mad for a reason.
Instead of cowering or backing up more, the brave little Hobbit simply stared back at the King and folded his arms against his chest. There. He wasn't concerned in the least. "I'm not about to see you alive again only for you to plunge into darkness. I'll throw it in the ocean, don't think that I won't." Of course Bilbo was no match for the dwarf, if he did decide he wanted it, but he was going to pretend otherwise for now.
The surprise was shaken by Bilbo defensive words, and his brow furrowed. “It would do me no good at all here, as a matter of fact,” he answered. “Though you have no right to keep it, given that it belongs to my family.” He softened then, shaking his head. “I reacted poorly in Erebor, when I came to retrieve you. I should not have done that.”
He did not expect Bilbo to cower, and was glad that it didn’t happen. “I leave the judgment to you, Master Baggins,” he said finally, reaching to rub at his chin again. “I would like it, but you were right to hesitate in giving it back to me. I do not know what power it holds in this world, but it may yet be as dangerous here as it was there.” He shrugged a shoulder. “You decide.”
"I don't want to keep it. That was never my intention." Bilbo wondered if his protectiveness spoke of greed, because it was far from his intention. The stone held no interest for him, it didn't speak to his heart. Its owner mattered, that was the only power it had. He relaxed slightly when Thorin apologized and got a little awkward about it. "Yes, well, it wasn't a situation that brought out the best in anyone." He swallowed past his tightened throat, because that was treading on bad ground for him. Having this version didn't change what he witnessed.
Letting him decide gave the Hobbit a great deal of unexpected power, and he was uncertain what to do about it. He wasn't meant to make grand sweeping choices, he was no King. He hesitated only a moment more before taking the stone out and handing it over. He'd been careful in his handling of it; just because he was wary of it, didn't mean he'd treat a valuable object poorly. "Bilbo. You can call me Bilbo, if you like."
“It wasn’t designed to, I don’t believe. Those sorts of journeys are fated to test everyone involved in more ways than merely the physical. Some of us did better at overcoming our obstacles than others,” he said. “It took me many, many years to understand that.” And viewing the films and reading the book a handful of times. He was well-versed in his own successes and failures as a leader, and had been given enough time to evaluate how to let those influence him.
When Thorin finally got a firsthand glimpse of the stone, there was a notable clench in his heart. He’d spent so many years of his life before the portal searching for this beacon of home, this ancestral heirloom that had been stolen along with everything else. He accepted it as it was handed to him, staring at it a moment as the sun reflected off of it, and then he pushed it into a pocket in his bag. This was both for Bilbo’s sake and for his own, because holding it filled him with a lot of emotions and motivations that he wasn’t prepared to feel. “Bilbo,” he said, nodding. “Do you believe I’m who I say I am?”
"I'd probably believe it more if you weren't being uncharacteristically humble and looked like you. You're as beardless as I am, that's simply wrong. This is strange magic. I wonder if Gandalf will come looking." Gandalf usually managed to, from what Bilbo could tell, but that didn't make the wizard all-knowing. If they were in some other world, and Gandalf thought them dead … this was probably it. Bilbo was not too happy about it. He looked crestfallen at the idea, actually. "I'm never going to go back to the Shire, am I?"
It was a question he asked of himself a long time ago, when they started, in the middle, toward the end. If he did go back, he was going to be irrevocably changed, he knew that. But at least it would still be home. Now Bilbo was in this place with too much going right over his head. He was a simple Hobbit, how could he make sense of this? He saw Thorin put the stone away, but he was glad at least to have it out of his hands. It was a heavy burden. "We don't belong here."
“I’ve been here some twenty years,” he explained again. “It has taken a toll. I have developed a great many friendships and assorted other relationships, and have grown a business for which my appearance must be maintained. It grows very quickly, though,” he responded. “I have not seen Gandalf in the time I’ve been here. You were here briefly, and two elves at one point. Kili as well, also briefly. But never Gandalf.” He sighed then. “I fear neither of us will see our proper homes again, but this place is not so bad as it sees at first glance.”
"I was here? How was I here? I was not here. I would remember this." He didn't like the idea of not remembering something. Bilbo wished Gandalf was there, maybe he wasn't because the magic here knew the wizard was stronger. Everything made more sense once Gandalf got involved. It was more dangerous, yes, but safer at the same time. He looked at Thorin, troubled. "I really should get back. It was our fault, Smaug's anger toward the town. They were in trouble." Thorin might not be able to go back, and for good reason, but Bilbo was still responsible. It was the right thing to do, to try to make it right, even if he got eaten in the process.
“You were. I have some of your things, in fact. Some clothes in this bag belong to you. You had adopted a cat, who was never particularly fond of me but came into my care after your departure. It lived quite a long life,” he said. “It is all a bit different in the present, because of the multiples and diverse timelines, but in the original incarnation, we appeared in both places – both here and back home. You would not know you’d been taken any more than I would’ve.” He reached to push a hand back through his still very thick hair. “It isn’t our fault, it’s mine. My reasons were justified, but I was blinded by them and by greed,” he responded. “It took many years to see that as truth.”
Bilbo eyed Thorin for a few long moments as he processed what was being said. "You have some of my things in a bag after enough years that a cat grew up and died." Twenty years of holding onto things, now that was strange, and he couldn't for the life of him figure out why that would happen. Eccentric, perhaps, but Bilbo was eccentric. "I like animals more than people," he admitted easily. He got along well enough with the dwarves, and occasionally with others, but Bilbo didn't have the ease with social situations other people did. He liked being solitary, at home, until everything changed.
"Still you, you, you," Bilbo said with a sigh. "You're responsible for your choices, and so are the rest of us. No one forced me to walk to the Lonely Mountains and have a conversation with a dragon that led to disaster. The blame is shared, and I won't hear otherwise." He wasn't one to blame others for his mistakes, not even when he wanted to.
“I kept them with my own,” he responded. “They were tokens of my – our – home world. When you were here before, we became closer in friendship. I mourned your departure, and so was led to keep the irritable cat and what you’d left behind.” He shrugged a bit. “At any rate, it is lucky that I have those clothing, because my tailor is not available for the next week and it would’ve been a challenge to find garments in your size.” For his own part, finding trousers the right length wasn’t an issue, and finding them to fit his broad frame wasn’t a difficult either; it was the combination of the two that was a trial. He’d found a proper tailor some time ago, though, and it made all the difference.
“It is an argument neither of us will concede to losing,” he responded, smiling. He considered telling Bilbo of the films, but decided to wait, sure that there was much that Bilbo still needed to get stable in his mind before more was added. “Would you rather stay here for a time, or return to New York with me? My girlfriend, Melissa, lives here on the island, and the other two versions of me are here as well, though they are from before meeting you. Regardless, you would have company if you chose it.”
Bilbo peered at him as if he expected to catch a lie, because it seemed strange to him. Thorin becoming friends with him, enough that he mourned. Certainly there were times when he thought himself close with all the dwarves, perhaps even friendly, as they fought together and survived adventures. But Thorin, outside of a few bright moments, kept himself aloof from most of them. Especially Bilbo, who was but a halfling that Gandalf forced them to take. "That's the type of sentimental befitting a Hobbit, not a Dwarf." And he smiled.
"Girlfriend?" The word seemed wrong, and he thought it through. "Your lady, you mean." He didn't know Thorin had one of those, but it was twenty years later. "Why are you in this New York and not here, were that the case? Too many Thorins on one island?"
Thorin was both bothered and unbothered by Bilbo’s disbelief simultaneously. It reassured him that this version of the Hobbit was not truly his, but that did not matter in the long run. He could settle with those looks, and shrug them away easily enough. He was confident in himself and the life he’d come to lead, and he was happy. He smiled in response to Bilbo’s words, nodding a bit.
“I do. Girlfriend is a term more common in this world, but they mean much the same. She’s a nurse at a hospital here in Hawaii – a healer, using the science of this world rather than magic. I had moved to New York before meeting her. My business is based out of there, and I’d lived there for the twenty years before I was pulled back through the portal. I am here often to tend to the younger Thorins, and some of her children live in the City. We see each other often.”
Bilbo thought it over, and it was depressing in truth, uncertain of where he belonged or if he'd belong in this strange place. He didn't like it. He didn't like the looks or the confusion or the magic. But there was no way around it, far as he could see. "Well then." He got to his aching feet. "There's no sense in being down. We're not being attacked by a dragon. That was better than a few minutes ago." Hobbits rarely stayed down for long, it wasn't in their code. He shook off the soot from his clothing. "I'll go with you. You're the only person I know."
“Exactly,” he responded, nodding, and then he smiled. “I hoped you would say as much.” He stood, pulling the bag back over his shoulder. “Would you like to change before we travel? Travel itself will be by magic, but it’s quite quick. It’s a strange sensation, carried out by witches from other worlds, but it certainly is better than the technology of this world.”
"No, I'm not certain I feel comfortable about it here. There's all these people staring." There weren't a lot of people staring, but enough of them walked by here and there that it made Bilbo nervous. He really hated getting a lot of attention, it was why he was excellent as a burglar, mostly he stayed out of the way. "Travel by magic …." He was wary of it, but he knew it was going to happen one way or the other. "Do you have tea in your home? I could use some tea."
"It gets easier," he responded. "All of it does in time. And you adjust well, whether you do so happily or not." He smiled at that. "Come along, then. Let's get you somewhere more stable, and somewhere full of tea."