Pairing/Characters: Ori, Dwalin, Bard, Balin, Dori, Ruan (OMC); Ori/Dwalin, Balin/Dori
Fandom: The Hobbit
Word Count: 1,261
Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: More explanations and Ruan comes to stay.
Notes/Warnings: Continuation of the coffee shop!au. My apologies for the delay. I'm taking online classes, so the homework has to take priority. No beta.
Keeping his arms wrapped around Dwalin's waist, Ori looked from him to Bard. "Did you confirm that Dwalin is the father?"
"Not yet," Bard admitted. "We'd need a DNA sample from Mr. Fundinson to do that.
Dwalin nodded. "You'll have it. I take it you'd like me to take care of the boy?"
"Provided the paternity test proves he's yours," Bard nodded, keeping his hands clasped. "If it indicates that someone else is his father, we will contact him."
Ori stroked Dwalin's side, wondering what he could say. Before he could think of anything, Dwalin asked, "What will happen to the boy if his father isn't alive?"
"Then he'll go into the foster system." Bard grimaced, as if he didn't like the thought.
Dwalin hummed thoughtfully. "I'd like to meet the boy. Can you arrange it?"
"Only if he turns out to be your son." For the first time, he sounded apologetic.
"I understand." Dwalin sounded resigned. "What do you need for the DNA sample?"
Bard opened the briefcase he'd brought with him and pulled something out. "I just need a swab of the inside of your mouth."
It was accomplished with a minimum of fuss and Bard returned the swab to his briefcase. "Is there anything else?"
"Nothing else until we've done the paternity test." Bard looked from one to the other of them. "I apologize for disturbing you."
Dwalin saw Bard out while Ori remained seated on the couch, his mind whirling with the thought that Dwalin could be a father, reminded once again of the age difference between them. Fifteen years ago, he'd been ten, still grieving for his mother. Fourteen years ago, Dori, just turned eighteen, had successfully won custody of eleven-year-old Ori and fifteen-year-old Nori. He scrubbed his hands across his face, wondering what he should do now. He didn't particularly want to return to the party, but the others would wonder if he disappeared without saying his goodbyes. He jumped when Dwalin sat down beside him once more. Quietly, his lover asked, "You all right?"
"Why are you asking me that?" Ori turned to him with surprise. "You're the one who just found out that someone you cared for is gone."
When Dwalin wrapped his arms around him, Ori gladly leaned into him, comforted by his warm bulk. "You're looking out of sorts."
"It's nothing." He decided it'd be best not to burden Dwalin with his worries. He'd have enough on his plate if the paternity test came back positive. "Just a lot to take in, you know?"
He smiled when Dwalin kissed the top of his head. "I know."
"Everything all right in here?" Balin asked the question a few minutes later.
Blushing, he reluctantly straightened up. He blushed even more when he realized Dori had come in with Balin. Still holding Ori close, Dwalin told them, "Everything's fine. We'll be out in a minute."
"He hasn't done anything to hurt you, has he?" Dori's question was clearly directed at Ori and he managed to blush even more.
He shook his head as he stood up. "No, Dori. Dwalin would never hurt me."
"Damn straight." Dwalin stood up as well, slipping his arm around Ori's waist.
Together, they trooped outside to rejoin the party. Ori forced the conversation with Bard to the back of his mind for now.
Dwalin refused to think about what Bard had told him until after the others had gone home and he and Balin had cleaned up after them, with help from Ori and Dori. That done, he took a shower to clean off the chlorine from the pool. Only then did he let himself think about Lana with her fiery red hair and laughing blue eyes. How much she'd enjoyed every day as it came, so vibrant and happy. He slumped against the tile wall, shoulders shaking and chest heaving as he finally mourned for the woman who'd always held a special place in his heart, even after they lost touch.
Dwalin didn't even flinch when the shower door slid open and Ori joined him. Without a word, the lad wrapped his arms around Dwalin and rested his cheek against his chest, right over his heart. Dwalin wrapped his arms around Ori in return, fingers digging into his back and sides hard enough to bruise. Slowly, the tears stopped and he just leaned against the tiles, his mind blank. He didn't realize he was shivering because the water had turned cold until Ori turned the water off and coaxed him out onto the bathmat.
Then the lad rubbed him briskly with one of the big, fluffy towels, getting his blood flowing again. Noticing the water still beaded on Ori's skin, Dwalin grabbed the other towel and returned the favor, ending by draping it over the lad's head and ruffling briskly. Ori objected with a muffled, "Hey!"
"Thanks," he told him gruffly when Ori tugged the towel off his head.
"You're welcome." Smiling tenderly, he led Dwalin into the bedroom and they curled up together under the covers, just holding each other close. Though Ori fell asleep quickly, Dwalin remained awake for several hours, thinking of Lana and this boy who could be his son.
A few days later, Bard returned to the house, with a teenager who had to be Lana's son. His curly hair was red-brown and his eyes were blue-gray. The boy was tall for his age and skinny. Dwalin invited them into the living room and invited them to sit. Bard perched on the same chair he'd occupied before while the boy sprawled across the sofa. "We've confirmed that Ruan Drayson is your son, Mr. Fundinson. Are you willing to take custody?"
"I am." Dwalin nodded. He'd thought about the matter a lot over the last few days and Ori had expressed his unwavering support of the idea. He looked at the boy, who'd kept his expression neutral. "I'm sorry we haven't met before. I lost touch with your mother years ago."
Ruan shrugged diffidently. "Mom didn't want you to know. Said she was the one who forgot to keep up with her birth control pills, so it wasn't your fault that I was conceived."
"Last I checked, it takes two people to conceive a child." He wasn't surprised that Lana had thought that way, though. For all that she tended to live in the moment, she wasn't the sort to pawn responsibilities off onto others.
Bard nodded, having retrieved some papers from his briefcase. "You need to sign some paperwork and Ruan's things are in the trunk of my car. Who else lives here?"
"My brother, Balin." Dwalin took the papers from Bard and began to look through them, knowing from Thorin's experience with Smaug that he should know what he's signing before he put his name to it.
He looked up when Bard cleared his throat. After a moment, the social worker asked, "What about the man who let me into the house that day? It seemed as if he was very comfortable here, as if he'd been living here."
"Ori's my lover." Dwalin all but growled at him. "Is that going to be a problem?"
Ruan sat up straight, but didn't react any other way. Bard shook his head. "No, no problem. I just thought he lived here, too."
Dwalin shook his head this time. "Just me and Balin."
He signed the papers and impressed Ruan with his strength when he lifted the boy's luggage out of Bard's trunk. After waving him off, father and son headed inside together.