You came to a screeching halt, barely managing to keep from running in to Kili who had done much the same in front of you when Thorin had appeared to level him with a disapproving and scolding glare.
Fili on the other hand did not have as much control and came barreling into you, throwing you into Kili and in turn all three of you to the floor in front of Thorin. The dwarf looked down at the pile in front of him as you all scrambled to get up, standing in a row in front of him like small children in front of an angry parent.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Thorin growled and Kili went to respond but you beat him to it, “It was my fault Thorin. I was messing with Kili and things got a little out of hand.”
He just glared at you, “Fili. Kili. A word.”
You shot them an apologetic glance as they trailed their uncle and then darted away to the only place you knew you could go where there would be no conflict with anyone, elf or dwarf alike. The stables with Blossom. You didn’t even bother to tread lightly as you normally did, letting your footfalls echo as you went and your thoughts return to what you’d looked to Fili and Kili to forget.
You stormed in and flopped down in the pile of hay near Blossom, “I shouldn’t have come back Bloss… we could have gone to stay with Radagast, I’m beginning to think that perhaps there’s something to his way of life.”
“I would have missed you.” you shot up, an array of hay sticking out of your hair, and found Bilbo standing in front of Blossom with a couple of carrots in hand.
You went bright red, focusing on your lap, “I’m sorry Bilbo. I didn’t see you there.”
He gave Blossom another carrot, “It’s alright. I’m used to not being seen.”
“That doesn’t make it all right.” You said quietly, pulling your legs in to sit cross-legged.
“Why are you here (F/n)? Shouldn’t you be with Kili?”
There was bitterness in his tone and you looked up curiously, “Thorin wasn’t exactly pleased with our antics… I’m afraid I may have gotten Fili and Kili in trouble. Honestly, I should have known better and kept my distance but they are so insistent and I just wanted to forget for a while. Fooling around with them made me feel so… normal.”
You sighed, hanging your head in thought for a moment, “I think I might stay.”
He looked over at you for the first time since you’d come in, there was hay stuck to not only your hair but your clothes as well but you obviously didn’t care and your face was troubled, “Don’t you think Kili would be rather upset if you stayed behind? Having you around seems to please him.”
You gave him a confused look, “What's with this sudden concern for Kili?”
“Nothing… the two of you just seem rather cozy.”
You tilted you head at him, getting up to join him as you placed a hand on his shoulder, “What’s the matter Bilbo? They haven’t been picking on you again have they?”
He looked up at you, seeing that your face was set in a frown and you looked deeply concerned, forgetting all you own troubles as you began to fret about his. He shook his head, “N-no they haven’t. I was just… He kissed you.”
Your eyes widened in realization as to what he was getting at and you suddenly engulfed him in a hug with a small giggle, “Oh Bilbo… are you jealous? Because I can assure you that, while dangerously flirtatious he may be, he is still only a friend.”
Bilbo relaxed a little in to the hug and you pulled away to look at him, “And he knows my heart already lies with another.”
Just as Bilbo went a little pink and opened his mouth to respond, Blossom dropped his nose between the two of you and gave an impatient nicker, lipping at your shirts until you separated. You chuckled and patted his nose, “It would seem you forgot to give him his last carrot.”
Bilbo movements got flustered as he stumbled, “O-oh right. The carrot.”
You let out a soft laugh, shaking your head as you left, “Behave yourself Bloss.”
“Are you really going to stay?” he asked, not realizing you’d left, and let out a sigh when he turned to find the space behind him empty. At least he knew now that you didn’t fancy Kili but at the same time you’d left him with just as many questions and so few answers.
Despite being a little enthused that Bilbo had been jealous, your thoughts were still troubled and your original place of peace was occupied by your little awkward hobbit friend so you needed to find another.
You picked the roof of a remote balcony, away from all the places the dwarves were likely to hang out and looking over the elven haven and the open sky. You flexed your shoulder a few times to try and keep it from getting stiff and then tugged your knees up to your chest, resting your chin on them so you could watch the sun slowly dip down in the sky to disappear behind the mountains. You had been up there for quite a while when there was a voice from below, “I thought I might find you here.”
You sighed, “I never could hide from you Gandalf.”
There was a soft chuckle as he emerged to lean against the balcony railing, his back to you, “I also know when you are fretting, my dear.”
“Lord Elrond has given the option for me to stay here, in Imladris, should I chose.”
“And you are considering it?”
It was quiet for a moment and you softly answered, “I am.”
You could hear the frown in Gandalf’s voice, “You are not required to remain with me (F/n), you have improved enough that you if wish to you may leave my mentorship.”
“I am conflicted Gandalf. Imladris can offer everything I ever wanted- a home, acceptance, consistency- but I’m beginning to think it is the people that surround you that make a home and as nice as Lord Elrond is… he is not the one who’s company I desire.”
“They do not hate you (F/n), even Thorin harbors some good will towards you.”
You tucked your nose in your knees, “You did not see his face when he caught me playing with his nephews.”
Gandalf gave a heavy sigh, “You must give him time to adjust (F/n). He is stubborn.”
“And if the others feel as he does? I would rather remember them as they were and not as they will be.”
There was a small silence, “He wishes me to continue on… or at least that is what I believe. He seems conflicted as well.”
Your mentor gave no response and you dropped down from the roof to join him against the railing, “What do you suggest I do?”
He looked down at you for moment and then looked out again, “When we began this journey, I gave you the option to stay behind, to stay with Radagast, until I could return. Do you recall your response?”
“I said that I would gladly accompany the descendants of the line of Durin on their journey to reclaim the mountain for I believed they deserved to have a home and I felt their pain of living without one.”
“Has that changed?”
You tilted your head in thought for a moment, “I suppose not.”
He turned to look at you, reaching to pull some of the straw out of your hair, “Then I believe you have your answer.”
“It would seem so,” you said giving a soft smile.