Between a bear and a dark place

Chapter 19

The world seemed as though it had fallen to pieces around him, leaving him alone in a void of eternal blackness. Then he opened his eyes and yellow light graced his vision.

Kili blinked, tearing his gaze away from where it had rested looking out the window. The sun was low in the sky, signifying evening, and the young dwarf found himself wondering how long he had been out of it for.

Lifting his head, Kili winced, a sharp, dull pain flying across his arms and chest. Looking around, the young dwarf found himself to be in the room he had so often shared with his brother. Looking down, Kili regarded himself, trying to find answers to the questions inside his sluggish head. White bandages stared back up at the brown haired dwarf from beneath the covers that had been drawn up to Kili's shoulders. The youth frowned, trying to remember when he had been wounded and what the last coherent thought that he had was. He had been hunting with Dwalin. Something had happened, though Kili could not remember exactly what had occur-

"Oh," the young dwarf rasped softly, his head flopping back onto the pillow beneath it, "Oh…Mahal."

Kili could feel his body beginning to shake with fear as the memory of the attack assaulted him. Closing his eyes, the young dwarf tried to block out the images to no avail. Gnashing teeth followed by rage filled eyes and slashing claws rampaged through his mind, ripping and tearing and….

A door opening somewhere in the house and several muffled voices mercifully tore Kili from the nightmare inside his head.

The youth tried to focus on what was being spoken outside the room, but his mind was still slow and his hearing incomprehensible at best. Instead Kili chose to sink into the bedding around him allowing the somewhat damp cloth to lay over his body like a second skin. Breathing as deeply as his damaged chest would allow, the brunette felt himself floating on the edge of an empty abyss much like the one he had been trapped in before, not yet in its grasp but not entirely clear of it either.

Kili pried open his eyes as he heard footsteps outside the half open door to the room. He was tired, but the young dwarf recongised the hurried gait of the dwarf who was now only several feet away from him.

The injured youth watched as his brother halted beside the bed, a weary smile forming on his lips as Fili crouched down to look into his eyes.

"Kili, what have you gone and gotten yourself into now?" the blonde asked in an exasperated and slightly high strung voice. Kili made the effort to flash his teeth in one of his trademark grins, albeit a weak one, only succeeding in causing Fili's blue eyes to spark with further concern.

"I had an accident while hunting with Dwalin," Kili answered lightly, or as lightly as his hoarse voice would allow. Fili frowned, resting one hand on his brother's shoulder. Kili reached up to grab the blonde's arm in a move to reassure him, the covers falling off the younger of the two as he did so. The young brunette heard his brother draw in a shuddering breath as he beheld the bandages encasing him.

"Kili…" Fili began, seemingly lost for words. Kili's smile faltered for only a moment before he was back to trying to maintain a brave face.

"It's not as bad as it looks."

Fili frowned deeply at his brother.

"Uncle said you were attacked by a bear, Kili," the blonde rebuked, "How can it not be as bad as it looks?"

Kili's face fell, becoming a mask of barely hidden pain as his various wounds made themselves known. He had never felt more tired in his entire life, yet he did not want to fall asleep again so soon, not when he so desperately needed his brother's comfort.

"Fee…" Kili whimpered softly, his voice barely even a whisper. Fili stared down at the brunette, the angry lines on his face smoothing over in a heartbeat.

"I know nadadith," the blonde said gently, arms moving to brush the hair of his brother's forehead. Kili stared up at him with pain in his large brown eyes.

"I-"

"Kili!" came the loud cry of Dis' voice, the dwarfish woman cutting off her youngest son.

Kili flattened himself against the bed, wincing at both the noise and the movement. Dis, however, ignored this and made to sweep the young dwarf into her arms. Thorin barely stopped her in time, saving his nephew from the pain of being pulled up so soon and so abruptly after waking.

"You're awake," the stoic dwarf said with no small amount of relief as Kili silently allowed his head to be hugged tight by his mother.

"Oh, my boy," Dis cut in, smoothing Kili's hair. The youth leaned his head into her, eyes growing tired as his body protested the jostling. A cup was pressed against his lips and a moment later the brunette could hear his uncle muttering words encouraging him to drink. Kili did so, and as he swallowed he felt a rough hand press up against his forehead.

"You're fever is down," Thorin said in what could almost be mistaken for disbelief. Kili managed a confused frown.

"Fever?" he asked softly, still finding his voice from all the time he had been asleep. The brunette blinked slowly, desperately trying to keep awake as he sought an answer from his uncle. Thorin smiled down at him softly, smoothing the youth's hair back gently.

"Yes, a fever," he said in a pained voice, "It settled in almost immediately after Dwalin brought you here."

Kili didn't know whether to feel guilty or pleased that his generally stoic uncle had felt so pained over his obvious ill state of health. As it was, the thought of being pleased only deepened the guilt he felt at causing his generally stoic uncle so much pain, or at least it would have if he had not been drifting back to sleep at that very moment. Still, there was one thought in his mind that would not go away.

"Dwalin?" the young brunette asked as his uncle laid him back down on the bed, the older dwarf having somehow managed to unwind Dis' constricting arms.

"He is not here," Thorin answered softly as he pulled the covers back up around his nephew's shoulders.

"Where…then?" Kili breathed, struggling as sleep began to strengthen its pull on him.

"Rest. You need it," Thorin said, evading the question with ease. The brunette before him wrestled his eyebrows into a slight frown of worry and concern.

"Is…he…?"

"He is fine," the youth's uncle said as he retreated to the door, "Now rest."

Kili obeyed the command, not out of obedience, but because he no longer had the strength to escape the clutches of the darkness pulling at him. He could feel the presence of his mother beside him, humming softly in his ear for a short while before he could hear her light footsteps make towards the door. That left the young brunette alone with his brother, something that allowed peace to flow over Kili just as much as sleep.

"You'll be up in no time," Fili murmured in his brother's ear, Kili turning his head towards the sound as he finally fell into oblivion.


TRANSLATION:

Nadadith - little brother


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