Laying on his deathbed, in the last homely home of the elves, the Valar visit bilbo. Something went wrong, Frodo and Sam failed their task. Bilbo has been charged with going back, back to the very beginning. He is being sent back to his twenty fifth year of age. With just a short twenty-five years before he is meant to go on his grand adventure. He means to make the very most of those years, even if that means he will be dubbed the "Mad Baggins" long before the adventure with the dwarves of Erebor.
*I own nothing from LOTR or the Hobbit. All copyrights and credits go to the appropriate owners...
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WARNING: THIS STORY WILL HAVE SLASH THEMES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. It will have romance later in the story.
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Let me know if y'all want the pirate section super detailed or if you want a brief overview like the Robbin' bit.
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Hopefully that would be enough to save his allies. He hoped he had made something of a difference for the lower level. He would never realize how many people he had truly saved. Nor just how far word of Robbin' Hood would spread.
Bilbo stood outside a dirty mannish city that was built next to the coast. It was dirty and loud. A view of dirty men and scantily dressed women filled the streets with the stench of old ale, unwashed bodies and sea water that drifting through the streets. No sign of law anywhere in the town. (Think Tortuga from POTC)
The old Bilbo would have baulked at the site, but this new Bilbo, the runaway thief with a price on his head, deemed it perfect. It was a perfect place to hide out until the Robbin' Hood nonsense had sorted itself out.
Bilbo walked himself to the nearest tavern, one of the many that decorated the filthy (in all manner of the definition) streets.
He walked in and sat himself onto one of the few unbroken, dirty barstools that stood at the bar and asked for the normal.
The bar tender handed him a large bottle full of warm brown liquid and a semi-clean shot glass. Rum, the bartender called it.
It was cheap, cheaper than any liquor he had ever bought, and it was beyond sweet. Sweet like the brown molasses his mother put onto her cakes. It took him back to the shire for a split second and he could almost smell the fresh grass of his distance homeland before it was once again replaced with the foul stench of unwashed men. Despite the sweet that lingered on his tongue, the liquor still burned nicely and savagely going down. All in all, Bilbo decided it was his new favorite thing.
The reminder of the shire brought forth a slew of memories, making an innocent trip into memory lane into a brutal reliving of his misadventures.
Bilbo had made it halfway through his third bottle when he was joined by a large, dirty dwarf, interrupting his steadily growing dark thoughts. His calloused hands were covered in spotted dark grime and he smelled of mildewed seawater.
"You need another bottle, friend?" The rough bur of his mountain accent made his voice seem lower than it really was, and his watery blue eyes and long, glowing red hair reminded Bilbo of Gloin. He missed Gloin.
Bilbo only nodded, not vocalizing the turmoil going on inside his pounding head. Why couldn't it be time for the quest already. He missed his boys (unbidden the image of a blue-eyed dwarf rose into his drink-addled mind). He missed his Thorin. That thought was almost enough to shock him into soberness. His Thorin? Since when was the majestic dwarf, who had given his life for his people, given his life for Bilbo, His Thorin?
The rough but kind looking dwarf spoke again, once again keeping his thoughts from going to a place he didn't want them to go. "What's a nice-looking lad doin' in this type a' town, lookin' to drown in his rum fo'? You got a look on your face that says you lost somethin'? You wanna talk about yo' troubles?" As he said this, the dirty faced dwarf signaled to the barman for another bottle before handing it off to Bilbo.
Bilbo sighed into his, now full, bottle. He had given up on the glass halfway into his first. "I'm hidin', on the run. Got to get out of the area for a little while. Go' m'sef into some trouble with the law in Gondor, the greedy rats. Starvin' those poor people. How was I the bad guy for gettin' 'em some extra food?" Bilbo's words slurred under the influence of the numerous
The dwarf looked up sharply at that, "Are you tellin' me you're the Robbin' Hood? Stealin' from nobles to feed the poor families that live in Gondor with naught but your bow an' arrows? The one with 750 gold pieces on hi' head?" [Author Note: I made a gold piece equal to a pound in 1270 Europe. The price on Bilbo's head is equal to (roughly) 550,000 US dollars today.]
Bilbo only nodded, trying to make the room stop spinning. He had been shocked at the price too.
"You fed some very good friends of mine, y'know, at the risk of your own neck too. I was there a couple o' weeks ago ta' check on 'em and they had been better than they had in years 'cause of you."
Bilbo turned toward the un-named dwarf at that, before turning his eyes toward the ceiling and smiling bitterly. "Lot of good it did 'em in the long run. They're still starvin' and I'm on the run."
The dwarf looked contemplative for a moment before speaking again, "You ever sailed before, Robbin?"
Bilbo shook his head, not answering the dirty dwarf sitting next to him at the equally dirty tavern bar, who was still calling him by the wrong name.
"I can give you a spot on my ship if you wan' it. We'r lookin for some good new blood anyway."
Bilbo deliberated for a moment. It wasn't like he was doing anything but killing time anyway. He might as well… The muggy thoughts that liquor produce called forth the rather nebulous strain of thoughts. What did it matter what he did between now and then?
Bilbo downed the last of his shot before shrugging, "Why not, I've always wanted to be a sailor. The contract a standard 6 years?"
A highish clear laugh came from the dwarf, making Bilbo realize it was in fact, not a male at all. It was a woman, a dwarven woman. The dwarf stuck out her hand for a shake," Aye, it is. Captain Sloin's the name. Its nice ta' meet you Robbin'."
Her name made Bilbo pause, "Like Oin and Gloin sons of Troin? I know dwarves normally have family names."
She laughed loudly at that, though there was a cold tinge to it. "Aye those'd be my uncles. I was their sister-daughter in relation."
"Ah, interesting. Nice to meet another of your family then." Bilbo left it at that and Sloin only hummed in response. Drunk as Bilbo was, he wasn't drunk enough to pry at an obviously touchy subject. Sloin seemed to appreciate that.
Sloin and Bilbo finished the bottle she had bought, and Bilbo bought 5 bottles to-go with Sloin staring disapprovingly while he did so.
"Didn' take you for the over-zealous drinkin' kind." She continued to glare slightly as they walked out into the fresh (dirty, disgusting) air. "I don't allow over-indulgence on my ship Master Hood; I hope you are aware."
Bilbo nodded, committing the words to memory as rules before responding, "Aye, I wasn't planning to drink it all at once. I'll admit readily I had more than I meant to tonight. Surprisingly enough, I only like the stuff because it reminds me of home. I shan't be unreasonable with it, on my honor, Captain." Bilbo bowed slightly as he spoke and walked, a high task for a drunk hobbit.
Captain Sloin's countenance lightened at the reassurance and her eyes showed some amusement. His bow must not have been as steady as he had hoped. "I respect that. I of all people can understand the need to have a little bit of home with you. It does the soul good."
The conversation continued in that fashion as the Dwarf and the Hobbit made their way to the docks, Bilbo sobering up as they did so. He inwardly thanked the resistance to ales and liquors possessed by Hobbits, dear Pippin and Merry not included.
They walked through the docks, going almost to the end when Sloin stopped at several rowboats. "This is one of our small boats. We use this so we can get to shore without having to worry about the hull brushing the sea-floor." She explained, going into more detail than she normally would.
"And a hull is… the bottom of the ship, no?
She smiled, "Correct! We'll make a sea-dog of you yet."
They both got into the rowboat and began making their way out of the harbor. They had rowed, silenty, for some time before they came upon a ship. It was made of a dark black wood, it looked reasonably new, and most noticeably, it was massive. Once they made it onto the ship, Bilbo could see the pristine shape the rest of the boat was kept in.
Even now, while they were in port, the crew worked to clean and polish the beautiful wooden deck of the ship.
Bilbo and Sloin made their way to the Captain's quarters, at the very end of the deck. As Sloin walked, she shouted encouragement to the men and women working on the decks beside them.
She finally turned to Bilbo as they made their way through the door into a Captain's Office. "Welcome to the Sea Siren, your home for the next six years. We're remarked as the fastest ship in this ocean. Nigh uncatchable they say." She chuckled as she bragged about her ship to the short Hobbit.
Bilbo nodded, craning his head to take in everything he could see. He looked through the windows, turned back to see the deck, and craned to see the sails billowing high in the wind. But it was the desk in her office that caused bilbo to start. Because sat the desk was an Elleth. Beautiful, with glowing golden hair and bright blue eyes, she looked like she could be Galadriel's younger sister.
The Elleth smiled magnificently when they entered the door and she rose gracefully from the paperwork covered desk.
"Another sailor, Sloin?" The Elleth smiled as she spoke.
"Aye, We needed some new blood and I'm doin' him a favor. Tiath, meet Robbin' Hood."
At those words, the Elleth stopped, "This is Robbin Hood? The theif who single handedly made a joke of the Minas Mithril Guards for Months? That Robbin Hood?"
Sloin nodded and the newly named Tiath gaped as much as an elf ever does. If Bilbo hadn't been around elves for so long, he would have thought she was simply interested.
The Elleth and the dwarf continued their conversation, leaving Bilbo standing in the doorway with his effects.
For a lack of anything else to do, he observed the elf and the dwarf.
What interested Bilbo about the whole situation, was the obvious love and care between the two. It was almost like they were together.
Bilbo continued to wonder about that thought as the Sloin and Tiath continued to discuss the merits of having him on board. His curiosity grew as they bantered, going back and forth in the way of a couple who were completely at ease with their partner. And they were, they were like an old married couple.
Finally, (in a move that had nothing to do with the numerous bottles of alcohol hat he had just consumed), he simply asked them. "How long have you both been together?"
They paused in their bantering, seeming to remember that he was there for the first time in 10 minutes. Sloin answered, "What says we are together, hmm?"
Bilbo shot her a dry look and she laughed at it. "8 Years, we've been together for 8 years."
"I had guessed it was at least that long, the way you two argue like an old married couple."
"We do? We aren't married, though." Tiath was the one who questioned.
Bilbo laughed at that one, "Doesn't change the way you act, though. Let me guess, despite Sloin being the Captain and you being the…"
Bilbo trailed off before questioning, "First mate?" At their nods he continued," And you being the first mate, you share quarters and responsibilities. You present a united front to your crew and never try to undermine the other's authority with said crew, who are like your children."
Both women stared at him wide eyed for a moment, before Sloin laughed and clapped him on the shoulder, making his knees almost buckle.
"You're an observant one, I'll give you that!"
She continued to laugh even as Bilbo snorted in response. "It's my job to be observant. Especially when it comes to people… and things. Normally, pretty shiny things"
They both laughed before Tiath said, "I think you'll fit in with this bunch nicely, if you like hoarding shiny things so much."
Bilbo protested violently, hauntedly. "NOT hoarding, never that…." Flashes of a hand around his neck and air below his feet ran rampant through his mind. Sickly shining gold swarmed his conscious and he could almost smell the musty scent of dragon in the air. He could almost taste the blood in his mouth from the bite on his tongue, that he had clamped down on to avoid screaming.
He gasped for breath, trying to clean his airways of a memory.
They both eyed him curiously before the they moved closer to the desk. Tiath pulled out a prewritten contract from a desk draw while Sloin watched, leaned against the desk, her eyes trained solely on her love.
Bilbo couldn't help but laugh at the lovesick look in their eyes, even as they prepared the contract.
The contract itself was long and written on a yellowed paper that smelled of old books.
Even in the Before, any signing of contracts made him remember that ridiculous run to the company, his contract waving in the wind behind him.
He had a feeling he was going to enjoy the next 6 years.