Your Heart is the Place I Call Home
– ฉบับแปลภาษาอังกฤษของฟิคนี้ค่ะ -> Your Heart is the Place I Call Home
– ลิงค์ของฉบับอังกฤษใน AO3 -> AO3
The night wind was cold and biting.
Bilbo Baggins remembered himself feeling so cold his fingers went numb since the early evening. The blanket he had been carrying and his best coat seemed to be useless against the cold wind blowing over this cliff. But he already got used to the fact that comfort and convenience were something that would not be founded in this journey, so Bilbo tried to pay no attention to the cold and told himself to sleep.
But now, a touch of something soft made the drowsiness of the little hobbit fade away. First Bilbo thought he was dreaming of his bed in the Shire too much he began to actually feel warm, but then he started to realise that it was not a dream. There was really a heavy fur fabric blanketing over his body, protecting him from the cold, biting wind.
Bilbo got up slowly, rubbing his eyes. Then all the drowsiness was gone when he saw that the thing that was covering him was the fur coat which belonged to the leader of the company, the person who seemed to dislike him from the start until after the past few days that they barely escaped from the Orcs.
Bilbo folded the coat up. Its touch and scent reminded him of the moment on the other cliff while the sun was rising, the moment that the arms of the King under the Mountain took him into an embrace. The warmth he felt was too much to possibly be described by any words, because it was the warmth that surged up and fulfilled his heart.
For goodness’ sake, what was he thinking?
The hobbit shook his head to chase away the thought then looked around for the coat’s owner, but there were just the sleeping dwarves surrounding him. He counted them one by one and found that the only missing person was the one that he had been looking for; this must surely be the time for him to stand watch.
The bright orange fire made the hovering shadow visible. Bilbo looked away to the edge of the cliff, there was a silhouette standing in the dark. The black of the night when painted with sparkling starlight was bright enough to make everything clear to him, and the sight of the other staring up into the vast sky had made Bilbo realise even more how majestic and dignified Thorin Oakenshield was.
…But still, he looked so terribly alone.
Bilbo knew very well that in spite of what had happened Thorin might still get irritated by his inexperience, and engaging him into a conversation might increase that feeling even more, but this nonsensical thought made Bilbo unable to just sit tight. The small hobbit slowly stood up, trying to be as silent as possible because he did not want to disturb the sleeping dwarves, and then tiptoed to the edge of the cliff.
No wonder Thorin knew it was him; the grey eyes glanced in his direction then went back to the view in front of him. Bilbo pressed his lips together. The hobbit had already been prepared for the certain awkward silence between them, so he decided to start a conversation since he knew very well the other would not do so.
“Um…I…I came to return this…” Bilbo bent down his head just a little, his voice stuttered as usual when he was excited. Then he passed the heavy, dark-coloured, folded coat back to the owner “Er…Ummmm…thank you very much.”
Thorin answered shortly in a low voice and took it back. Bilbo’s heart skipped its beat for a second when their fingertips brushed against each other, and he made himself forget about that by starting to talk again.
“Ummmmm…so, what are you doing?” He turned to look into the same direction, answering his own question when the other said nothing. “Oh I see…you’re watching the stars, right? There’re plenty of stars tonight, very plenty indeed…as we are up here in such a high place…”
“No, Master Baggins.” The low voice answered in the serene tone. “I’m just watching…Erebor.”
Even though the other interrupted in the middle of his sentence, Bilbo did not mind him at all because Thorin’s voice was so tender. The yearning mixed in it was clear. The tone which Bilbo knew very well that it was not frequently used by the owner. It made his eyes follow Thorin’s gaze. The high mountain was hidden behind the mist and clouds, towering up and shadowing the night sky.
“You must miss it a lot.” Bilbo said softly “Erebor, I mean, right?”
Thorin looked at him. And in Bilbo’s extreme astonishment, the King under the Mountain smiled. It was a gentle smile. And even was just a trace, it still made that stern face and piercing eyes look so tender.
“It was the most beautiful place…” The grey eyes flickered, as though reminiscing the past. “It was the place that united all the tales and stories. It was my and everybody’s home.”
Bilbo nodded. As the matter of fact, Erebor in his imagination was far from the definition of ‘home’, because the home that Bilbo was familiar with was a grassy hill warmed by sunlight and sweet scents of the greenery, not a great kingdom rich in gold and numerous gems. But in spite of the difference, he was confident that everybody wanted to have a place to go back to, and that was the reason he was willing to go on this journey despite knowing how dangerous the path awaiting would be.
“I know you will laugh at me when I say it.” Bilbo said softly, looking deep into those grey eyes “But I want you to know, that I will do everything in my power to make you get Erebor back.”
This time, the gentle smile changed into the amused one. “Thank you very much, Master Baggins. I’m certain that you’ll be the greatest strength among us all.”
Bilbo frowned a little at the king for making fun of him, but continued to speak anyway. “Believe me, Thorin. I’m sure that you all will successfully retrieve Erebor, I really do.”
Amusement faded from Thorin’s grey eyes. He spoke slowly.
“I really wonder where a little hobbit like you gains such great confidence.” Thorin looked at the other, letting out the truth that he had been keeping with himself all this time lest his companions lose their spirit. “Sometimes even I myself doubt that is this all just a vain attempt, that whether or not I’m chasing a hopeless dream…”
The stern face turned to the fire. Whispered so low it seemed as if he was just murmuring to himself.
“I failed once, and that led to the countless dead.” Heaviness glowed so clear in his eyes and voice. “And now, we have just dwarves and a wizard, not a thousand soldiers like that time…”
“Have you forgotten to count me in?” Bilbo interrupted, trying to make his voice cheerful. “Gandalf said I’ll help to make the plan succeed. And I said I’ll do anything for you. Therefore everything is going to be just fine.”
Thorin looked quietly at the speaker, who seemed to not know about the gentleness flickering in the glance at all.
“And what makes me believe so is because we have you.” Said Bilbo, firmly yet calmly, smiling as usual. “You’re brave and generous. And you always put the others before yourself. Thorin, though I may not know much about battling, but I do know that such qualities are what a great leader has.”
The listener answered nothing, unable to take his eyes off the other’s face. He had thought of Bilbo Baggins as a burden that did nothing but complaining, but since the moment that this little hobbit jumped in front of the Orcs to save his life until now, Thorin began to realise that his own misunderstanding might be even more than what he had admitted to the other earlier.
Silence fell upon them. Then he repeated what he had heard. “You said you will do anything for me, is that right Master Baggins?”
“Er…um…that’s right…” Bilbo stuttered a little bit. He just realised that the promise sounded strange, the kind of strangeness that did not do his heart much good. So he added. “I mean…um…I’m willing to do anything for your plan to succeed. Yes…that’s it…”
Thorin laid his hand on the hobbit’s shoulder. The bemused smile was painted upon his lips once again, but his voice was tender and firm. “Thank you, Master Baggins. Your words really mean something to me.”
Bilbo lowered his head, and then murmured, feeling a little indignant, and yet he could not deny that he did feel strangely shy. “Could you please stop making fun of…me…”
The last word of the sentence fell behind because those strong hands gently held him close, and then Bilbo found himself once again in Thorin Oakenshield’s arms. The arms that were still so warm they made his heart feel at peace as well as skip its beat. The strangeness which Bilbo thought there must be something definitely wrong with him, and it was getting even worse when Thorin held him tighter, lowering his head to whisper into his ear.
“No…Master Baggins.” He could not see the King’s face right now, so even Bilbo himself did not know why he thought that Thorin was smiling, but he really did. “…I meant every word I said.”
The hobbit in his arms whispered something, the habit which Thorin had started to notice lately. He smiled a little more, and then forgot about everything else when the other’s short arms raised up and held him too. That whispering sound had now became clear.
“If that’s true, then I…um…ummmm…I’m very glad that you think so.”
The action and words were simple, but Thorin found himself feeling so blissful and serene like never before. The King remembered that the last time he felt like this was when Erebor had not yet fallen, when he had not lost the beloved home and family. The warmth he had forgotten for so long, but Bilbo Baggins could easily bring it back to his heart as if he did not have to put any effort.
After a while, Thorin let the hobbit go. He gazed up to the stars again and spoke softly. “I suggest you go back to sleep, Master Baggins.”
“And what about you?” Bilbo asked, frowning “Did you get any sleep yet, Thorin?”
The King under the Mountain started to frown too. “I’m fine; you better do as I said.”
“Ummmm” the hobbit answered but had no intention of following the order. He walked to shake one of the sleeping dwarves. “Fili, wake up. It’s your turn to stand watch.”
“H…huh…?” Fili said drowsily, yawning. “Ma…Master Ba…Baggins…?”
“Yes. Yes. It’s me.” Bilbo tried to make it short. “Thorin called you to stand watch.”
“Did Uncle say so?” The golden brown-haired dwarf was suddenly wide awake. He grasped his weapon and said. “Thank you very much for telling me, Master Baggins. Uncle, please take some rest and leave this to me.”
Bilbo smiled as Fili walked out to stand watch. But then he startled a little bit when he heard Thorin’s voice. “Tell me, Master Baggins, how many more times exactly will you go against my orders?”
“I…um…ummmm” The hobbit stuttered, and then neatly put the conversation to its end. “Anyway, Fili is already awake. I think you better get some sleep.”
He nodded with his own words and went back to lie down at his former spot. But before closing his eyes, the warm touch of Thorin’s thick coat covered over him once again.
“Oh…I think you should not…”
Bilbo sat up, but his sentence was cut short by the calm yet firm voice. “You have been shivering since the evening. That’s annoying. You better keep that.”
The hobbit was speechless. Now he knew clearly that Thorin had given him this coat since the evening. By just counting the past hours, even he himself did not know how the King stood up with the cold. Therefore right now Bilbo could not let himself have this coat any longer. The black eyes watched the other that now had lain down and paid him no more attention, the hobbit pondered for a few seconds then decided what he was going to do.
The King under the Mountain looked quietly at the starry sky. He knew very well that a person who lived in such a peaceful and fruitful land like the Shire would definitely regard this journey as a tough and inconvenient task. Therefore, it really got on his nerves when Thorin had to bear with all the inexperience of this hobbit. But when he thought about it all over again, the King found that even though had been complaining for countless times, but Bilbo Baggins never actually turned his back on this journey. What really made the hobbit want to go back was just the only one thing.
…his own words.
And when he listened to the words and saw the deed of Bilbo Baggins in these past few days, the King had to admit that his prejudice was far too great. Thus he thought that he should now do something to make up to what he had done, and the first thing might be to understand the nature of this hobbit. Thorin was certain that Bilbo must not be able to stand such cold surrounding, but what he did not expect was that the other tried to sleep without giving any complaint as usual.
But actually, Bilbo had stopped complaining for quite some time, it was him who did not bother remembering.
That made the King under the Mountain show such gentleness he had never shown upon anyone before by giving his coat to the hobbit who was trying to stand the cold. And as now that he heard the sound of the other moving toward him and the fur rustling, Thorin started to think of what more he had to do to stop this hobbit from returning his coat.
“Master Baggins, haven’t I told you…”
Thorin was beginning his sentence when the fur coat was placed down, and then all the irritation vanished away when the little hobbit lay down beside him.
“Um…I think…ummmm…your coat is very big.” Bilbo said, trying to keep his voice even to hide his shyness. “I- it’s very cold…ummm…we better share it. Ummmm…yes, yes…like this is better.”
Thorin was stunned, and then laughed softly with the hobbit’s stubbornness, not knowing at all how much such loving laughter could make the listener feel even more shy. So the hobbit spoke quickly.
Bilbo’s heart was still beating so fast and even faster when the King’s arm helped to spread the coat evenly over his body, the arm that lay down but did not lift up even though now the coat was already covering him properly.
No, this was not…this did not look at all like Thorin was holding him…right?
Bilbo decided to say nothing and pretended as if he did not know a thing when he moved closer into the embrace, making Thorin smile. He held the hobbit tighter and closed his eyes.
“Goodnight, Master Baggins.”
Though the distance awaiting was still so far, but tonight, they both felt as if they were already home.
อะเหะเหะ เพิ่งเคยได้แปลงานเขียนตัวเองเป็นภาษาอังกฤษค่ะ ตื่นเต้น >< ลงใน AO3 ไปแล้ว เลยคิดว่ามาลงในนี้ด้วยก็ดี
ตอนปรินท์ฉบับภาษาไทยออกมา มันประมาณห้าหน้าเอสี่ค่ะ แต่พอเขียนแปล…ปาไปเกือบสิบหน้าเอสี่ Orz อาจเป็นเพราะทิพย์เขียนตัวโตด้วยมั้ง เพราะพอพิมพ์จริงๆก็แค่เจ็ดหน้าเอง แต่ตอนแรกที่ยังไม่รู้นี่สติแตกไปเลยค่ะ กลัวว่ามันจะเวิ่นเว้อไป ;W; ค่อยยังชั่ว…
แฟนอาร์ตของเรื่องนี้โดยพี่เกดส์ @kadeart …ดูตรงนี้ได้อีกลิงค์นึงนะคะ จิ้มเลย
ตอนลงฉบับปะกิดนี่ลงครั้งแรกในหน้า AO3 ค่ะ…ใช้ไม่ค่อยเป็นเลยล่ะฮืออออ เห็นคำว่า kudos ทีไรชอบคิดต่อว่า “ชินอิจิส์สสส์” เรื่อยเลยด้วย …แย่จัง ;W; เสื่อมตลอดเลย
โปรเจคแปลยังมีอีกค่ะ คือเรื่องการเลี้ยงต้อยของทรั่นราชา เคร๊ๆๆๆ แต่พอลองเริ่มแปลไปนึดนึงแล้วไม่รู้ทำไมมันยากกว่าเรื่องนี้ฟฟฟฟฟ O<-<