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Between a bear and a dark place

By Oblivian03

Other / Drama

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own the Hobbit.

"Grab the door. The door!" a gruff voice half yelled, it's tone piercing the cool evening air.

"Oin wasn't home," a second voice informed, "And I couldn't manage to locate his assistant either."

"We'll have to manage ourselves then. We do not have time to race around trying to find them," the first speaker replied, small amounts of an urgent frenzy dripping through the mostly calm exterior of the spoken words.

Bursting through the door, two figures too in their surroundings, the taller of the pair burdened by a third being in his arms.

"Clear the table," Dwalin said, nodding to where a heap of papers laid strewn across a wooden surface.

"But surely Thorin-"

"Thorin will forgive you given the circumstances," Dwalin growled, "Now hurry or we'll lose him."

"Aye," Bofur grunted in submission.

Without another word, the toymaker swept the papers to the floor, clearing the table situated in the main room of the house Thorin Oakenshield shared with his sister and two nephews. Several bowls shattered as they hit the floor, but neither Bofur nor Dwalin flinched at the sound, and it was only moment later that Dwalin finally relinquished his precious burden.

"I need water and a cloth," the warrior barked, a command which Bofur scurried to fulfill. Turning back to Kili, the bald dwarf grimaced at the wounds the youth had sustained. Blood was clotted in some areas and streaming in others, thankfully all wounds having stopped gushing the red liquid as they had been doing previously right before Dwalin had bound the injured dwarf.

Without hesitation, Dwalin pulled out his hunting knife, the strips of cloak knotted too tightly around Kili's arms and torso to undo by hand. Piling the blood-soaked material by his feet on the floor, the seasoned warrior moved onto the brunette's tunic, contemplating what to do for a brief moment before coming to the decision that what was left of the garment was not worth saving. It did not take long for the burly dwarf to cut away the remains of the ruined tunic leaving Kili's chest naked, but no less bloody. In this time Bofur had reappeared by Dwalin's side, laying the cloth and bowl of water he had retrieved on the table by Kili's motionless head.

"How does it look?" he asked, wringing his hands nervously as he did so.

"I need to sew some of these up," Dwalin replied bluntly, not one for stating the obvious or giving comfort when there was none to be found. Bofur swallowed inaudibly.

"I'll see if I can find some needle and thread," he said with a worried glance at the unconscious youth.

"And a candle, and alcohol if you can find any," Dwalin added as he reached for the items the toymaker had brought him, "I will need to run the needle through a flame to clean it." The warrior had been trained enough in piecing his men back together after battle to know that much.

"And the alcohol?"

"Not ideal, but will help clean his wounds," Dwalin replied before lowering his voice to a mutter, "And I fear we may need a drink or two before this is over."

Bofur nodded at his words and moved off, sparing one last glance at Kili as he done so. Dwalin in turn set his face in a look of determination, drenching the cloth he held in the bowl of water before beginning to wipe away at the dried and running blood which had long since turned his arms and most of Kili's upper torso a scarlet red.

As the burly warrior continued with his task, the water in the bowl became darker and darker, and more than once Dwalin was forced to leave the side of his charge in order to change the water. Cleaning Kili's wounds proved to be a hard task for they were extensive, spanning across most of his chest and right arm, as well as tearing through the flesh of the lad's right shoulder and part of his left arm as well. The lacerations were not deep, but the shredded flesh only split more blood of which Dwalin needed to clear away.

"Bofur," the tattooed dwarf called, "Hurry up!"

"Here you go, here you go," the toymaker answered, bustling into the room with all Dwalin had asked for.

"Light the candle and hold the needle over the fire," Dwalin instructed as he took the bottle of alcohol from Bofur and opened it. Taking a deep breath, he poured it over the smallest of Kili's wounds, swearing when the lad jerked and unhinged his mouth in a scream.

"Easy there, lad. You're alright," Bofur said as he ran over, dropping the needle he had been holding in favor of holding down the thrashing dwarf on the table.

Dwalin nodded in acknowledgement to the toymaker and continued with his task, grimacing as each scream tore through his ears. Blood was gushing everywhere again, making both his and Bofur's hands slippery as they tried to keep a struggling Kili flat against the wooden surface he laid on, or at least flat enough so Dwalin did not have so much difficulty in cleaning his wounds out with the alcohol. The task became easier when Kili fell limp as he gave into the darkness surrounding him unable to stand the pain any longer. The young brunette let out the odd moan or two and his face remained twisted in pain, but he made no further sign he was aware of what was happening around him. At this, Dwalin dropped the bottle in his hands and reached out for the needle.

"Where's the thread?" the seasoned warrior asked of the toymaker opposite him. Bofur quickly fished a spool of black thread out from one pocket and placed it in Dwalin's hand.

"Do you need me to, or can you do it yourself?" he asked, his face pale from the sight he had just witnessed.

"I can manage," Dwalin answered, his face a mask of concentration as he squinted in an effort to poke the thread through the eye of the needle in his hand, fingers wiped clean of any excess blood. It took the burly dwarf several tries, but soon the needle was threaded and ready for use.

"Find something to use as bandages," Dwalin half growled to Bofur who was continuing to watch the proceedings with poorly masked nerves. The toymaker immediately dashed off and, free of any distractions, Dwalin began the grim task of closing up the torn flesh of the young dwarf before him.

In and out, through the skin and then through again, it was with a practiced and steadied hand in which the seasoned warrior sewed the youngest nephew of Thorin Oakenshield up. With his face an impenetrable mask, there was nothing to give away the fact that Dwalin's heart was fluttering away madly within his own chest. There was just so much blood on him, the boy before him, and the table upon which the boy laid.

"There's no bandages around here," Bofur called from within one of the other rooms in the house.

"Then tear up a fresh sheet and make sure it's clean," Dwalin barked back, his eyes still fixated upon the task of which his hands were performing.

A sharp groan cut through the empty space of the room and Dwalin swore silently to himself as Kili showed signs of waking yet again, the brunette's eyes flickering rapidly underneath his eyelids. It would be a good sign any other time, but the last thing either him or Bofur needed was to be stuck the youth, for a conscious Kili would mean another reaction to what could almost be described as an irrational pain.

Mahal, please keep him under if only for a while longer so I can finish patching him up in peace, Dwalin prayed desperately, speeding up the process of sewing up the wounds that had been dealt to Kili as much as he could without risking a mistake because of his hurrying.

The sound of material being ripped filled the house, almost cutting out another moan which Dwalin could barely hear through the sound of blood rushing in his ears.

"Stay under for a little while longer," Dwalin could hear himself muttering to the brunette who laid before him, "Come on, I need you to not wake until I have finished."

Then, almost like a miracle, he was done.

"Here's the bandages," Bofur said, walking back into the room just as Dwalin was setting aside the needle, "Do you need help?"

"If you could support him," Dwalin replied, grabbing the pile of torn linen from Bofur's arms and, lifting one arm of the still unconscious dwarf before him, began to wind the cloth around the now mostly closed injures. Bofur helped where he could, wrapping up Kili's other, less wounded arm before supporting the youth as Dwalin bandaged his chest and shoulder.

"Leave him here or move him to his room?" Bofur asked, brushing away a few loose strands of hair from his face, smudging drying blood over his forehead in the process not that he cared.

"He might as well be comfortable," Dwalin said in answer and without so much as glancing one another, the two dwarves each took one end of the young brunette and carried him to his bed where they set him gently down.

"We need Oin," Bofur said quietly, breaking the stretch of silence which had begun to fill the room.

"Aye," Dwalin agreed, "We may have stopped the bleeding, but I'm afraid there are a lot more injuries he may have yet suffered, both visible and not."

Bofur frowned, his eyes tracing a line of an already darkening patch of skin with worry.

"Shall I go or you?" he asked, glancing up at the taller dwarf opposite him. Dwalin's face bore a grim look.

"I will," he said in answer, "I can explain what happened better than you can. Watch him."

"Will do," Bofur answered as they both exited the room, Dwalin to find Oin, Bofur to grab a chair.

The toymaker gave Dwalin a clap on the shoulder as the gruff warrior stood in the doorway before disappearing back into the room where Kili now laid. Dwalin shot one last look in the direction of the wounded dwarf and sent a quick prayer to the gods, hoping beyond anything that the young lad would still be breathing upon his return.


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