Thorin didn't like it, but he understood the necessity. There was a pandemic and as a nurse, Bilbo had to attend to those admitted. It just so happened that when the rotations for the month were posted for who would be assigned to that specific ward, Bilbo's name came up.

"Ghivashel," Thorin said as he held Bilbo's hand. "I wish that this did not happen."

"As do I, Thorin," Bilbo replied. "But duty calls."

Bilbo was going to be deployed for two weeks at the hospital, then he would be quarantined for two weeks before he could come home. They were supposed to get married that month.

"Don't be so upset Thorin," Bilbo squeezed his hand. "You've done all you could."

True. Thorin had closed their country's borders as soon as news came that there was a pandemic, he tried to make sure that all their citizen's were safe, but people were hardheaded. Even a leader as beloved as Thorin could only command so much discipline.

It had been a two months since the pandemic was announced. A month since it had been reported in Erebor, and now Bilbo was going off to fight it.

"I need a haircut," Bilbo joked as he twirled his hair around his finger. "Even the female nurses are cutting their hair short."

"I've heard," Thorin nodded. "Hair will grow back."

"Thorin," Bilbo turned to face his husband. "I'm actually very much frightened of this assignment. But even as your husband I cannot back down. Especially as your husband."

It would not have sat well with Bilbo if he used his husband's position to ask to not be assigned to that team. Neither of them abused their status.

"I know," Thorin said as he embraced the other man. "You have your duty, and I have mind. I will miss you.

"I should hope so," Bilbo's eyes began to water as his voice trembled. "I will miss you too."

"Come home to me Ghivashel," Thorin tightened his embrace. "Come home to me alive and well. Be ever vigilant."

"You too," Bilbo clung to his husband. "Never let your guard down. Always wear a mask and wash your hands. Never be complacent."

The two held on to each other, neither wanting to let the other go. It was a war against an unseen enemy, and they were only on the defensive. Tomorrow wasn't promised, but they would spend each day apart living for their reunion.

"Stay safe."