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Keeping Safe Is Family Business

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His mind was a loop of What did I do What did I do What did I do since the moment he stepped forward, which could be five seconds or five hours ago, he wasn't sure. Everything seemed to stop around him, no one moved or said anything and the only thing he could hear out of his own mind was his erratic breathing. He would die, he knew that and he was terrified. That didn't mean he regretted it, not for a second, but he could still pray for Gandalf to save them, couldn't he?
He took another step out of what little safety the company could give him and that was when the noises and the movement started to register again. There was cheering from all over Goblin Town and some of them jumped up and down, even bringing their little plattform out of balance, until the Goblin King silenced them with a loud yell that almost hurt as much in his ears as the stench hurt in his nose. Yes, he would die, but it would be with good reason and maybe the others could escape while the creatures around them were entertained with him.

The little boy, because he was nothing more in Bilbos eyes, looked at him with so much fear and terror that the hobbit took a fistful of his cardigan and pushed him back into his brothers arms.
He didn't want to die, but he could pray that the others would escape while he distracted the monsters. There were a few stories he had heard while he was in Bree with his parents, just a little boy himself, hiding under a table at the inn and listening to the men there. And maybe he didn't hear much, because his father found him and pulled him out onto the street by his ear, but he knew enough to know that he didn't want to survive goblin torture either. Not wanting to die, not wanting to survive. He was soft, maybe he would die quickly, but that probably wouldn't give the company any time to escape. He had to try to hold on as long as he possibly could. A thin goblin grabbed his arm and he shut his eyes tight, thinking of his parents, trying to draw strenght from them.
"All dead. No one's gonna care anyway.", he whispered, not registering the sudden quiet from behind him as he more or less willingly came up in front of the Goblin King.

He was rounded and looked at like cattle on the market and it didn't matter that he didn't like it, that his skin crawled and he trembled in fear, because as long as he was only looked at they didn't hurt him and maybe someone in the company was already forming a plan to escape. Didn't Nori escape from countless prisons? Please let him be able to get everyone out of here.
Then, without any warning, there was a sharp pain in his back and not just in one place and he couldn't stop the cry, or the second as the whip came down again. He was a hobbit, a soft, useless little thing when it came to the wild and he wasn't accustomed to pain. But, he thought as he got hit the third time and he managed to choke the scream down, only wimmering a little, he would die knowing that it wasn't sweet little Ori in his place.

There were loud voices and shouting from behind him, but he didn't dare turn around now, he didn't want to see them - but more importantly he didn't want them to see him, because he was crying, it hurt so much, but he couldn't let them see, they shouldn't see that he just wasn't able to buy them a lot of time. The fourth time hit him right on another wound and cut deep down, making him try and fail to keep the scream in. His lip was bloody now and the snot smeared around his nose and it hurt so much more than he could have imagined and the whip came down again and then there was a bright light and Gandalf called them to fight, but Bilbo couldn't even stand up, even as he tried.
Out of nowhere there were arms around him, strong arms he never felt before and he got thrown over a shoulder and then he blacked out a little. He came back to himself to fire and smoke and Dori looking around frantically, trying to see a way out when there just wasn't one and he could feel the world tilt on its axis - or maybe it was just a tree tilting over a really deep cliff and the hobbit couldn't help but wimmer. That brought the silver-haired dwarf to look at him.
"You have to hold tight, Master Baggins! Hold on as tight as you can!", he yelled over the blazing fire and the wind and Bilbo did just that and clung to the tree trunk with all his might. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Dori and Ori, grabbing hold of a branch and was a little eased. They were dwarfs, surely they had the strenght to stay safe.

That was, probably, a little hasty, as he saw the branch just snap and the two dwarfs holding onto Gandalfs staff. And even as he stretched his arm out he couldn't reach them - and he wouldn't be much use, would he? He would never be strong enough to get them to safety onto the tree trunk and he sobbed with the thought of that, because he just couldn't do anything. Without a clue what happened behind him he still tried to reach the two, still cried and looked desperately into Doris silver eyes and it wasn't fair that he just noticed how beautiful he was seconds before they all died. Another sob, then a loud wail as the two brothers fell into the abyss and he couldn't stop screaming, couldn't stop crying and he couldn't believe they were dead. Gandalf said something, yelled something, but he didn't hear him. He just clenched his eyes shut and cried and then he screamed again because there were giant claws dragging his body from the tipping tree and then he was falling, landing and flying and he hated the eagles, because if they had arrived just a minute earlier, if they just -
They sat together on a giant bird, Ori infront of Dori and so very much alive. Bilbo looked around then frantically, because they were alive and then the others probably were too. He counted them all and even if he wasn't sure with Thorin, he knew the rest of them was well and he couldn't help the laugh that bubbled inside his throat, couldn't help the relief he felt and cried of entirely different reasons, because they got out, they were all alive - and please, please, let Thorin be alive too - and he could relax a little again. No goblins, no orcs, no fire and no dying trees and the best of everything - still alive Dori and Ori. He probably would never forget the mental image of Dori losing his grip, of falling deep down, of - no, no, he shouldn't think like that. He could see them and they were fine! The silverhaired dwarf holding his brother tight against his chest and the little one having a yelling conversation with Nori, who was maybe a little singed but as alive as the others and as relief swam his body he completely forgot his pain.

He didn't feel the heavy gaze of certain silver eyes on him.