Between a bear and a dark place

Chapter 22

He had been caught off guard and disorientated, thrown from his pony only moments ago. Now he found himself on the ground, screaming almost voicelessly as claws tore through his flesh, the young brunette desperately trying to cover his face and head from the attack. What seemed like a hundred stones worth of weight was behind each blow, the force riveting throughout his entire body. With each agonisingly slow moment that passed, the young dwarf could only pray that the pain would end. Then it did and the world turned as black as his brother's golden hair.

"Kili!"

The brunette slammed his eyes open, the brown orbs staring at the blue ones a hair's breadth away from his face.

"You were having a nightmare."

More like reliving a memory. Kili kept his thoughts to himself.

"Are you alright now?" Fili's voice sounded overly concerned as he moved back to give his younger brother space.

Kili nodded his head, wincing as pain sparked along his chest and arms. Across from him his brother didn't look too sure.

"You are sure you are fine? Do I need to fetch uncle?"

"I am fine," Kili said, trying to reassure his brother as he winced.

"You are not fine," Fili rebuked harshly. The blonde then softened his gaze just as he had done when he had first laid eyes upon his bed ridden brother. "I am sorry, Kee."

Kili struggled to pull one hand from under the sheet that constricted him. "Fee…"

"What do you need?" his brother asked hurriedly, the urgent tone from before settling in again, "Water? Are you hungry? Do you want me to fetch uncle?"

Kili simply looked up at Fili, his brown eyes wide and vulnerable, saying everything that his mouth could not. The older of the two stopped his tirade of words and drew in closer, taking his brother's hand and smoothing his ruffled hair.

"It is alright. I am here and not going anywhere," the blonde said gently.

"I was…." Kili couldn't find the words he wanted. It didn't matter however, because his brother could.

"Afraid? Scared?" Fili pressed his forehead to his brother's. "You had every right to be, nadadith."

"I was more than scared," Kili breathed, drinking in his brother's presence.

"I can't imagine what it must have been like." Fili had moved back to his previous position, blue eyes searching his brother's face. "Don't think about it though. You are here and that is all that matters."

"It's not like that," Kili murmured.

"Then what is it like?"

Kili couldn't answer, he didn't know how to. He remembered all too clearly the bear and the pain and his screaming, but it wasn't something that could be put into words. It was something that he didn't think he had to put into words.

"It's…it's…." Kili gazed hopelessly at his brother. The blonde gave him a small smile.

"It's alright if you can't explain it. Forget I asked. Why don't you drink something instead," Fili suggested, turning to pour the youth some water from the pitcher on the stand beside him.

The blonde then helped the young brunette to drink, allowing Kili to lean up against him. Even after Kili had drained the cup he remained by his brother, focusing contently on both their breathing.

"So you're bedridden again. Guess I shouldn't be surprised." The light jest from Fili made Kili smile slightly.

"I wonder how long it will be for this time?" he asked the air. Fili looked down on him and ruffled his hair gently.

"Knowing you, who knows?" he answered, blue eyes gleaming.

Kili winced as a more noticeable pain tore through his body. He scrunched his eyes, but otherwise did not react until the second bout of pain. This time he let out an audible gasp, scrunching his brother's tunic with his hands clearly in pain.

"It's alright," Fili soothed, barely masking his worried tone, "Mother will be back with Oin soon and he will be able to give you something."

"It's not…too bad…yet," Kili replied in between deep breaths. The brunette felt Fili brush one hand against his head, pushing aside the younger dwarf's fringe as the blonde's forehead was briefly pressed to his own head again.

"Of course it's not," Fili responded, glancing towards the door, "Here, I will lay you back down again."

Kili shook his head softly and leaned further into his brother. "No." The young dwarf craved his brother's company too much to relinquish it. To the brunette's relief his brother did not object.

There was a soft knock on the door and the fabric beneath Kili's cheek rustled slightly as Fili turned towards the sound.

"It is good to see you awake young Kili," Oin stated as he made his way into the room, Dis and Thorin close behind. The healer stopped short and looked around the room before turning to the dwarves behind him. "I should be fine with just Fili. I will tell you what you need to know after."

Thorin frowned but nodded his head, pulling Dis out with him. The two did not go far, however, staying to hover at the door instead. Oin shot them a glance and sat on the bed across from his patient.

"Are you in any pain?" he asked.

Kili mumbled into his brother's tunic, not yet wanting to leave its warmth.

"Pardon?"

"That was a yes," Fili clarified for the healer above his brother's head. From the corner of his eye Kili watched Oin tweaked one corner of his lips grimly in response.

"You will be for a while," the healer said to the brunette. Kili merely breathed into his brother's chest in response.

For a while there was silence as Oin proceeded in checking his patient besides the sound of breathing in the room and Fili's occasional murmur to Kili as the younger squirmed in pain. The blonde helped to support his brother as Oin began to change the bandages around Kili's arms and torso.

Beneath his cheek, Kili could feel Fili's breath catch in his throat as the extent of the damage that had been done to him was revealed. The brunette lifted his head slightly, brown eyes meeting the blue ones of his brother and trying to reassure the older dwarf that he was fine. As Oin continued to prod with his fingers, however, that reassurance was lost in another wince and Kili watched as Fili masked his shock with an expression of comfort instead.

"You're alright," the brunette heard the blonde breath in his ear. Kili merely closed his eyes, the pain increasing once again. He focused on inhaling the scent of his brother, made foreign from his travels yet always familiar in the way brotherly scent was. It was almost sweet in a way, musky and relaxing.

"There, finished," Oin remarked as he pulled the last bandage into place around Kili's chest.

Kili took the opportunity to fall back into his brother, biting his lip as the movement stretched his wounds. The dwarf pulled one corner of his mouth down, however, when it became clear Fili wanted to place him back on the bed. Reluctantly the brunette allowed himself to be laid back down, unable to put up much of a struggle in any case. A moment later though and Oin was lifting his head again.

"Drink," the healer ordered and Kili swallowed without hesitation. Experience had taught him to accept whatever he was given by Oin or else have the same thing forced down his throat. The older dwarf patted his head appreciatively. "You will be up in no time," he said before exiting the room, Thorin and Dis moving aside in the doorway before following.

"Kili," Fili said once the others were gone, something clearly on his mind that he wanted to voice. Kili only hummed exhaustedly in response, beginning to feel drowsy from the concoction Oin had given him. So instead Fili smiled down on his brother and stroked his hair. "Sleep nadadith. I will be right here."


TRANSLATIONS:

Nadadith - little brother

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