Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Survival
Fandom: The Hobbit
Relationship: Thorin Oakenshield/Bellarose Baggins
Genre: Alternate Universe, Rule 63
Word Count: 979
Warnings: No beta
Author’s Note: I picture Annabelle Wallis as the female version of Bilbo.
Summary: Bella tries to leave, and Thorin thinks that’s just hateful.
* * * *
Bellarose Baggins considered herself a proper hobbit despite the fact that she’d traipsed across Middle-earth with a bunch of dwarrow. Perhaps, in the end, she’d trusted them too much because when she’d found that foolish stone—it hadn’t even crossed her mind not to take it directly to Thorin. Maybe her feelings for him had blinded her to the madness at first. She took solace in that, but she couldn’t ignore it anymore.
She finished packing the last of her things and ignored the two sacks of gold she’d been brought. Balin had ensured she was paid but how she was to transport that home? It would just get her killed. She’d taken enough to buy a pony and supplies in Lake-town though she was unsure of her welcome in the ramshackle Human community. She’d managed to talk the Company into having a real plan, so Smaug had died in the mountain—none of Bard’s fears had come to pass. Yet, Thorin had ignored several messengers from Lake-town, so Bella had no idea what they wanted.
She managed to get all the way to the large doors in the front of the mountain before he made himself known.
She stopped in her efforts to open the door and shifted her pack on her back. “I need to go.”
“It’s dangerous right now,” Thorin murmured. “Dain brought news—orcs.”
“And elves! And Men!” Bella huffed. “All of you fighting over what? Gold? Power?” She shuddered and patted her pocket where her ring was. The longer she had it, the more she wished she’d never picked it up.
“It is how we all make way in the world.”
“Not hobbits,” Bella protested. “I’m not meant for this!” She waved her hands around.
Thorin caught one of her hands and pulled her to him. “Bella.” He took a deep breath against her hair. “Stay with me.”
“Because I deserve more than this, more than what you’re offering.”
“What hobbit could offer you more?” Thorin asked hoarsely. “I would make you a queen.”
“A lonely queen for your lonely mountain,” Bella said. “Because gold means more to you than I ever will.”
“I…” Thorin took a deep breath. “I love you.”
“It doesn’t matter!” She protested. “I can’t trust you!”
“I’ve never given you cause not to trust me,” Thorin protested.
“You promised me that you weren’t gold-mad like your father, like your grandfather,” Bella hissed. “You’ve barely left the stupid room full of gold since I gave you thrice-damned rock!” She pulled her arm free of his hand. “I’m going home to the Shire where things are beautiful and peaceful.”
“And marry some proper little hobbit and give him children,” Thorin supplied. “Grow food in your garden for his table.”
“Well, that’s how my people make way in the world!” Bella retorted.
“I’m not insane,” Thorin said finally.
“Prove it,” Bella demanded.
“How?” Thorin asked immediately.
“What do the Men from Lake-town want?”
“The Master is demanding gold for nothing,” Thorin snapped. “And I think he’s holding Bard hostage. I sent a letter to Bard telling him that I would fund the rebuilding of the Dale.”
“Well, why haven’t you gone to rescue him?” Bella demanded. “He sheltered and helped us, Thorin! We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Bard and if he’s half the archer he’s rumored to be then you need him to fight in this ridiculous battle that’s about to start!” She poked him in the chest. “And that’s another thing—how are you supposed to fight the orcs and the bloody elves? If that isn’t a sign of madness…” She huffed and turned toward the door. “Open this thing, so I can go.”
She tugged uselessly on the door handle. “Why are your stupid doors so big? That stupid dragon would’ve never gotten through these stupid doors if they were a normal size.”
His hand settled over hers. “Please stop trying to leave me. It’s the most hateful thing I’ve seen in a hundred years.” Thorin cupped her elbow and turned her to face him.
“I can’t compete with gold,” Bella whispered. “I’m just a woman—a hobbit.”
“Gold tempts me more than I ever thought it would. The madness ruined my father right before my eyes. I’d never want to give in to that obsession.” He rubbed his thumb over her bottom lip. “But you—I surrendered to you months ago despite my best intentions. Tell me what you’d have me do, Bellarose, and I’ll do it.”
“Make peace with Thranduil. Give him his damned jewels because they’ll mean nothing if we all die at the hands of the orcs.”
Thorin closed his eyes briefly.
“If you want me to stay with you, to make a life with you,” she paused when he opened his eyes to stare at her, “to make babies with you then you have to prove to me that you won’t be ruled by your stubborn pride and greed.”
“I’m here, Your Majesty.”
“Find that foolish elf’s jewels and send them to him. Tell Dain to arrange a meeting with the other leaders, so we can make a plan to deal with Azog and his army.” He stayed focused on her as a spoke. Shadows moved all around them as the rest of the company left them. “Anything else?”
“I can’t ask you not to fight in the days to come,” Bella whispered.
“It’s my duty to lead my people,” Thorin agreed.
“Just…” Her breath caught, and she sucked in a deep breath so she could acknowledge what she’d really been running from. “Just please survive.”
Thorin kissed her then—a mixture of desperation and relief. She was asking for the one thing she knew he couldn’t promise. Bella clenched her hands in his hair and let him pull her away from the doors.
The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum, The Workshop. The prompts come in two forms — a word challenge (the theme) and a single character challenge. I post my responses to the prompts on the forum first and eventually they’ll make it to my website. Each is a stand alone piece with no potential for expansion.
These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.