It was two days now, they had travelled in two days and a few hours. Erebor were closer for them than ever, right now it was raining outside the small cave they had found.
Smaug had made sure the cave were alright, he could scent if something were wrong in it. The evening had been over them, Bilbo had told Smaug they should stay in the cave for the night.
So there they were, Bilbo sat close to the small fireplace they had made. His hands had been close to the fire, to warm them up since he were a bit cold. Right now, he were alone since Smaug were outside to find something they could eat.
At times Bilbo were afraid of letting Smaug be alone, special when people by now knew about his humanoid dragon form. Smaug could be in danger if the wrong people pass by him, but the hobbit also knew that Smaug could fight hard.
The Halfling sighed, he rubbed his arms around himself and closed his eyes. He felt almost shy over to return to Erebor, but then again, he would see the dwarves.
He had thought about The Arkenstone too, he should hand it back to Thorin. After all it was the heart of Erebor that Thorin just had giving him, somehow he could see the hint behind it.
Bilbo looked over at the cave entering, seeing Smaug returned dripping wet but with a smaller animal in his right hand.
Arh, they could feast for a single night, before they could move on in the morning.
"You are getting cold if you stay wet, come here." Bilbo said, as he fiddled a bit in his bag to get a blanket out. He heard a small thud, knowing Smaug threw the smaller animal on the ground next to the fireplace where he after that sat down beside Bilbo.
Bilbo threw the blanket around Smaug's shoulders and tugged it close around him, he noticed Smaug had been awful silence since he returned. He always use to say something, comment or speak his name.
What's different now?
"You alright, Smaug?" Bilbo mumbled, his hand had gently rubbed Smaug's shoulder.
Smaug nodded, he looked tired at his face as he stared into the fireplace.
Bilbo made a short node, he had stood on his feet and got over to the smaller animal. He knew how to handle them, since he too had learned a bit from Smaug about hunting and skinning an animal.
He took a few minutes to do it, but he soon got the meat over the fireplace so they could roast it to perfection. Bilbo looked at Smaug against the cave wall, he looked like he had fallen asleep with the blanket tightly around him.
The Halfling smiled a bit, he could take the watch for tonight. He wasn't really tired, and he knew that Smaug haven't slept the last two days.
He took the meat off the fireplace, where he carefully ate a bit as he sat himself nearby the cave opening. It still rained outside, funny how it always seem to do that. Maybe it was because they were near winter times again?
Bilbo fold himself to a ball, his knees against his chest as he looked out at the cave. He could hear the cracking fire behind him, the easy breathe from Smaug when he were asleep.
A few hours ahead, then they would be in Erebor. The Halfling sat there for hours, he were lost in thoughts as he only stared at one place outside the cave. The rain were an easy sound, it wasn't heavy so it was calm to listening to.
He was starting to get tired, but he wouldn't fall asleep. What if someone came while they were asleep? He wouldn't like that, neither would he like if something happened to Smaug.
Bilbo closed his eyes, he had rested his chin on top at his knee. He slowly started to fell asleep, his body gave up to stay awake even when his mind shouted and screamed at him that he should.
He was just not build to be awake for long times, only if he were out walking. Right now, he just felt like sleeping.
Bilbo's head shoot up when something grabbed around him, he was ready to fight, but as soon he felt the warmth against his back. He knew it was Smaug behind him, he let out a relief breath as he leaned back against Smaug.
"Don't scare me like that." The hobbit spoke, as he rested his head on Smaug's shoulder. He felt the blanket getting around him at the front, while Smaug hugged him close to his chest.
"I thought you were asleep, I wouldn't wake you up." The humanoid dragon answered, he had rested his chin on top at Bilbo's head and hugged the Halfling close so he could warm him.
"I didn't meant to fall asleep, I think my brain was exhausted." Bilbo mumbled, he nuzzled himself a bit more against Smaug, his hands clung gently on Smaug's chest as he rested his head against Smaug's shoulder.
He always felt nice when Smaug held him like that, it was so warm and lovely.
"You can sleep now, I will have the rest of the watch." Smaug mumbled, his hand gently stroked Bilbo's back while he kept them close together.
Smaug didn't need to say that twice, since Bilbo slowly fell asleep against him.
Smaug had looked outside, he saw a bit of light over the hills nearby. Gently and carefully he lifted Bilbo, he made him on his back and made sure the blanket stayed around Bilbo by now.
Smaug then started to walk with Bilbo on his back, they were only a few miles away. Nothing that Smaug couldn't carry his Halfling to, it would be easy.
It took him around two hours, he carried Bilbo on his back but as soon they were closer than ever. He slowly started to call Bilbo, so he could wake him up.
"Treasure…" Smaug called gently, he had looked back to see Bilbo nuzzled his head against Smaug's shoulder.
"Uhmm?" Bilbo hummed loud enough for Smaug to hear.
"We are there, just a few steps more and we have reached Erebor." Smaug explained, he knelt ab it down and got Bilbo on his feet. Smaug turned, his arms getting around Bilbo as the Halfling still were half asleep.
"I didn't walk…" Bilbo mumbled, trying to make sense on how they could be close when they were in a cave.
Bilbo rubbed his eyes, he got a better view over where they was at now. He could see Erebor, right behind Smaug. It was still a bit early in the morning, but he knew they were close to when the Dwarves could be awake.
"I carried you, you are not heavy so it was easy for me to carry you." Smaug said, as he held a hand at Bilbo's cheek.
Their eyes met for a short moment, before Bilbo blinked a bit.
"Of course, I forgot how you can be when we are out here." Bilbo mumbled, he let Smaug stand on his feet before they slowly walked toward Erebor.
As soon they had reached the doors, the Halfling saw that they got opened. A few guards stood there, looking at them with strange looks.
"What are your doing in Erebor, Halfling?" One of them asked, as he looked at Smaug with narrowed eyes.
"Uhm, sorry." Bilbo said, before he looked up at Smaug then back again to the guard.
"I am Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield should know me…us." Bilbo correct himself, he had placed a hand on Smaug's arm. He thought something were wrong, he didn't know if the guards trusted him or Smaug for that matter.
"Get the king, we cannot be sure if it's someone who we can trust." The guard said before the other had gone ahead, to fetch their king.
Smaug tried to hold a growl back, but his instincts were on to protect Bilbo if the dwarves tried anything. He had hold Bilbo close to him, his eyes being on the only guard they stood with.
"Master Baggins! What a surprise to see you here!" Thorin's voice called out, as he walked down from the stairs nearby.
"Let them in, they are friends of mine. The very Burglar who helped us to take back Erebor." Thorin explained, as the guards made a light node at Thorin.
"I see you even bought Smaug along, been a long time since last." Thorin said, as he had reached them both.
"Truly it's been long time, even when it's almost a few weeks ago if so?" Bilbo asked, he had managed to smile a bit while Thorin embraced him.
"You are both welcome here." Thorin said with a low voice, he had held a bit back from Bilbo and looked at him from head to toe.
"Not much of a burglar anymore, eh?" He asked with a chuckle, even Bilbo chuckled a bit and smiled at Thorin.
"Defiantly not. I'm taking one day at the time along with S-"
"Along with him yes, sorry to interrupt to say his name," Thorin said, as he leaned closer.
"The other Dwarves aren't still found of his name, better not speak it out loud unless you want a dwarf fight." The king under the mountain said, before he leaned back again.
"Indeed, thanks anyway." Bilbo said, as he looked up at Smaug.
"Come along, I can show you both to a room you can be staying at." Thorin said, he had turned and walked a few feet away.
Bilbo grabbed Smaug's arm, pulling the humanoid dragon along so they could follow.
Smaug had yet not spoken a word, since he had been looking around. The dwarves had really rebuild the place fast, to know how dark and disgusting it had been last time he walked inside the mountain.
Thorin kept speaking with Bilbo and Smaug, he showed them to a room that they could stay at, before he took them along to the dinner hall.
Bilbo ended in a rather huge Dwarf mess, each and every dwarf who had known Bilbo from their journey, they had all greeted him and hugged him. They welcomed him and Smaug to Erebor, even though, Smaug yet haven't spoken a word.
Instead, he had wondered off, letting his little treasure have the time with the dwarves to speak of old days if that matters so much for him.
The humanoid dragon had been careful, he had avoid any sort of guards. There was something he didn't liked, something about Thorin there wasn't the same.
Smaug had turned into a doorway, the doors closed behind him and he looked ahead for him. He stood stunned, the sight in front at him had been so familiar. So lovely and precious…
The mountains of golden coins, treasures of all kinds were here.
How he missed laying underneath the coins, sleeping in them until he couldn't handle more.
"Home…." He mumbled, his eyes only being on the coins in front at him.
He slowly started to step forward, his hand reached out for a few of the coins.
Suddenly, Smaug roared out in pain, as something got wrapped around his wrist and drew him back from the treasures in there. He tried to spread his wings out, trying to get away.
Even they soon got clapped something around them, so he had no chance of escaping.
More than 10 dwarves where over him, they tied him up, making sure his tail and wings were to no use at all.
"So Smaug the dragon returned to Erebor, how pitiful to look at you now when you aren't in your dragon form." A dwarf said, as he had knelt down in front at Smaug.
"I hope you had a good life outside Erebor, because now. You won't be escaping the dungeons below, you shall rot down there."
Smaug growled deeply in his chest, this was a trap!
Of course! How could he even let his shield down for that filthy dwarf!
He needed to get to Bilbo!
Smaug tried to struggle, he tried to get free from his binds so he could get to his mate.
"B-Bilbo!" he tried to shout his mates name, he wanted him to be safe!
"Oh, your little hobbit protector won't hear you, Smaug. He won't even know what happens to you. Take him away!" The dwarf called out, as Smaug felt he got pulled along the floor.
He shouldn't have trusted Thorin….
He shouldn't had thought, that Thorin Oakenshield could be a good man. The goldsickness, it was still driving him mad!
But the worst, Smaug won't know what will happen to Bilbo now. Bilbo where his treasure, his mate, his One.
He couldn't let them…
He couldn't let his mate get hurt…
But he couldn't fight against the dwarfs without getting killed himself.
He was cast into a cell deep down in the mountains dungeons, the sound of the door closed and locked where heard. Smaug still tried to get free, his binds where loose now, so he could at least get out from the ropes and throw them away.
He stared at the door, even with the powers he had, he couldn't break down the door unless he had been in his dragon form.
"Barrel Rider…" he whispered in the thin and cold air in the cell.
Meanwhile, in the dinner hall Bilbo had listen to Balin and Kili's tales. How the Orc's that day he got stabbed flee like cowards.
It wasn't a day he do like, since it was a day where Thorin and Smaug had been fighting so badly.
Even the thought about that they had worked together for saving him, which was a thing he never could get out.
Bilbo looked a bit around, now that he thought about it were was Smaug?
Bilbo turned his head back again to the dwarves, seeing their faces almost filled with concern.
"Sorry, I only thought where…Smaug went…" Bilbo mumbled, as he looked over at the door.
"I'm certain he went to your room." Thorin said, as he grabbed his goblet from the table.
"I do admit, he must be tired after our journey. He hardly slept doing the nights, since he wanted to be sure no one attacked us in the nights." Bilbo explained, he had held his hands down from the table and looked at the others.
Something weren't right, the way Balin tried to avoid eye contact and Kili looked away from him as well.
Something was up…
"I think I will return to my room, I could feel a good long sleep too." Bilbo said, as he slowly stood from his seat.
At the same time, a guard came inside and up beside Thorin while Bilbo was on his way out.
"My lord, we spotted the humanoid dragon outside Erebor. He looked like he was going away, do you want a patrol out looking for him?" the guard asked, that made Bilbo stop in his walk where he turned and looked at Thorin.
"He left on his own?" Thorin asked, while his eyes were on the guard.
"Yes, My lord." The guard answered.
"No…" Bilbo said, as he had walked near them again. "He wouldn't go alone, special not leaving me behind." He said, as he looked at Thorin and the guard.
"You are certain, that it was a humanoid dragon and not just a human?" Bilbo asked the guard.
The guard nodded, he looked up at his king again.
"If he choose to walk along, master Baggins. I am certain something were up, I cannot tell what's going on inside Smaug's head." Thorin explained, he had placed a hand at Bilbo's shoulder as a comfort.
"Has he been odd lately?" Thorin asked, while he looked at Bilbo's face.
"Now you mention it, he was a bit weird doing our trip. He almost didn't spoke a word like he-"
The hobbit stopped himself for speaking. Could Smaug really just want to get rift of him? Then just walk away?
No…no…Smaug wouldn't do that, he couldn't do that either because..
"Bilbo?" Thorin called his name, as he held a hand closer to Bilbo's cheek.
"S-Sorry, but I don't think Smaug just would leave like that. Special not….after writing a note." Bilbo said, as he looked at Thorin.
"Maybe he will return soon." Balin said with a node, as he smiled at Bilbo.
"Yeah…maybe he just wanted to go hunt, he loved to do that on his own too." Bilbo mumbled, he had slowly stepped away from Thorin.
"I will see you guys later, I think I will need that nap." Bilbo said, while he walked out from the dinner hall.
If his thoughts were correct, something were terrible wrong.