Calm The Fire: 112

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"It seems that I have come none too soon." Gandalf said lowly and seriously while letting out a heavy sigh. "Perhaps it is wise to hear them out?" Gandalf questioned.

Thorin shook his head his earlier thoughts reappeared. "You're all in league together!" Thorin exclaimed in exasperation. Turning away from Bilbo and Náriel he briefly looked over his shoulder at them. "Never again will I have dealings with Wizards or his friends, and I shall avoid dealings with Elven kind even more so." He turned and gestured a hand to them. "Speak, let us hear your reasons for such actions."

Bilbo gave a fidget and tried to summon up more inner courage to say his piece. "I'm sure that this is all rather hard to deal with."

"Hard is putting lightly." Thorin shot in his direction cynically.

"Quite..." Bilbo coughed and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "Well remember when you said I could have anything as my fourteenth share? Maybe I took your words too literally. That was at a time when you seemed to think that I had been of some service. But may I ask, is this all the service of you and your family that I was promised, Thorin? Take it that I have disposed of my share as I wished and leave it at that." Bilbo said sounding a little out of breath from his rushed explanation of his reasons for doing what he did.

"I didn't know that's what you saw it as," Náriel looked to Bilbo with a frown. She never knew that he saw it as his share. He looked at her sadly. Shaking her head she just let the matter slide. It was a detail which she found herself not wishing to comment on.

"How did you see it as?" Thorin asked her.

"Something which needed to go so you could see with some clarity." Náriel replied simply. "I believed with it gone the illness which has taken over your mind would have lessened. I was seemingly wrong. It made it worse. I wanted it gone in hopes of you returning to how you were. So when Bilbo came to me I told him to take it away. I didn't take into consideration how stubborn you truly are, and persistent." Náriel said quietly while sighing heavily. "Let's just leave at it that. I'm fighting a losing battle of trying to get through to you."

Thorin stood and thought over both their words. He looked from one to another. "'Leave it as that' you both say. And I say to you both; leave. Leave and don't return." He looked over the barricade at the group who had witnessed the whole thing. "This betrayal runs deep. It seems that I was not meant to reclaim the Arkenstone. For it I will give one fourteenth of the treasure. Setting aside gems, those can be accounted as the share of these traitors and with these rewards they shall leave. Divide it as you wish, I'm guessing they'll get enough though. You can take them if you wish, they have no friendship here." Thorin stepped close to Bilbo and Náriel and looked from one to the other with a truly heartbroken betrayed expression. "Leave, go with your friends." With that he turned away again and listened to the quiet scrambling sounds.

"What of the gold and silver?" Bilbo asked from Náriel's side. The two had managed to half climb over the barricade.

"That'll come when arranged." Thorin looked to them. "Now leave!" He shouted, the two continued on their downwards journey.

"Careful, Bilbo." Náriel put her hand on his shoulder when he lost his footing.

"Until then we keep the stone." Bard said while watching as the Hobbit and Elf Princess walked slowly forwards.

"You're not setting a very good impression as King Under the Mountain." Gandalf said with a heavy sigh and looked up at the Dwarves, especially Thorin. "Things may change though."

"They may indeed." Thorin replied bluntly. Admittedly he was already thinking of any possible ways to reclaim the Arkenstone when Dain arrived and keep the promised amount of treasure.

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