Between a bear and a dark place

Chapter 25

Kili watched his brother from the corner of his eyes, weaving his fingers through the sheets at his side. Bofur had gone, seeming to have taken the somewhat more relaxed air with him. Now the room had filled with an indescribable sort of tension.

"Is there anything to drink?" Kili couldn't bare the silence and his mouth felt drier than the coal.

Fili extended his arm to the jug on the table and the cup beside it. "Here."

The older dwarf made to lift his brother up, but Kili shook his head. The youth squirmed around, drawing in a sharp frown before managing to move his back up against the head of the bed. This coaxed a smile from Fili, the blonde adjusting the pillows behind his brother's back before allowing Kili to sip from the cup.

"So you don't remember the attack?" Fili's question brought up flashes of alternating growling and screaming.

Kili closed his eyes and drew in a breath. "I don't remember much of what happened after before waking. There was a moment when I thought I recongised someone, uncle maybe or Bofur, but it's not…clear. I was…out of it at the time."

The brunette could still remember the felling of his body being in spasm, the feeling of hitting the ground, jolting his bones in the process. A presence had been there, but the young dwarf had been too disorientated and confused to take notice of his surrounds.

Fili, oblivious to his brother's discomfort, smiled reassuring and ruffled the younger dwarf's hair. "It doesn't matter. You're lucid now."

Kili merely closed his eyes again, not wanting to think about anything that had happened. "How was your trip?" The question was unexpected.

"My trip?" Fili repeated, his eyes blinking in surprise. "Uh, I guess it was alright for the most part. Travelling there and back was boring, but I did find…. What am I talking about? You were injured, are injured. You don't want to hear about-"

"I was the one who asked," Kili cut in, the corner of his mouth twitching upwards at his brother's reaction. The youth's brown eyes held the older dwarf's own blue gaze.

"I missed you." Fili's words were as honest as they could come.

Kili sneaked one hand over the top of the one beside him. "As did I."

The blonde across from him was silent for a moment, the dwarf dropping onto the bed in such a way that he could lean his head against Kili's shoulder. Fili sighed, letting out a rush of air that brushed at his brother's hair.

"I wish that for once that I could go somewhere and leave you and not have to return with you somehow injured," he said, neither blaming or condemning his brother. His words were spoken as if they were almost meant for the air alone, but still they drifted to a second pair of ears.

Kili looked down at where the blankets hid his legs from view. The brown haired dwarf knew the exasperation his brother felt was justified, yet he also knew that he could not help his nature, if it could even be described as his nature. From as young an age as he could remember the young dwarf could not think of a time when he had not somehow been in a 'risky' situation or had gone a single day without a bruise gracing his exterior looks.

Kili flexed the fingers of his right hand inconspicuously. The movement did not lessen the discomfort in his right arm, yet the brunette did not want to make a bigger deal out of it for fear of his brother overreacting.

"It could have been worse, you know." The words that had sprung from Kili's lips were the first to have entered the youth's head. Beside the brunette Fili pulled a face making the younger of the two wish that he had kept the thought to himself.

"If by worse you mean you could have been killed…." The blonde looked up to his younger brother. "I don't want to think about what could have happened, Kee. It's bad enough you are torn up this badly already."

Kili tore his gaze away from the blue eyes of his brother and fixed them on the door at the end of the room. "I understand."

The youth began to fidget again, bending his arm as far as the bandages constricting it would allow. The pain in the limb was beginning to make him restless, but the brunette tried his best to remain still so as not to jostle his brother.

"Are you hungry?"

Kili merely shrugged, trying to maintain the blankness that had taken over his mind for the past few moments. From the corner of his eyes the brunette could see Fili analysing him.

"When was the last time you ate?"

Kili shrugged again, closing his eyes and leaning back against the wall as his brother pulled away from him. A stern finger prodded the brunette's side prompting him to reopen his eyes. "I don't know," Kili said, half frowning at Fili's blonde hair.

"I'll talk to mother about getting you something," the dwarf's brother said. Kili nodded and watched as his brother stepped out of the room.

Humming softly to himself, the young dwarf tried to lay back down on the bed. He stopped, however, when a flash of pain ripped through him from the movement of his wounds.

"Need some help brother?" Fili's question had a light tone to it. The blonde drifted over to help Kili down. "Mother is going to make you a broth. She agrees that you need to put something in your stomach."

Once he was settled flat on the bed, Kili allowed his eyes to drift close again. His muscles were yearning to be stretched, yet his wounds had protested such actions once already. A light tap on the head managed to draw the brunette's attention back to his brother.

"Don't go to sleep yet or mother might think you don't like her cooking," Fili teased.

Kili offered a small tweak of the lips. "And if I go to sleep regardless?"

"Then I would just have to wake you up again."

Kili closed his eyes in complete safety. "You would not."

The brunette could hear his brother sigh beside him as he dragged a chair closer to the bed. Kili huddled beneath the covers before changing his mind, the warmth they provided only serving to add to the warmth he already felt. He squirmed around a little, trying to get comfortable before a hand came down to smooth the hair on his forehead.

"Alright?" The single word contained all the love that Fili held for his brother.

Kili smiled around his pulsing arm and head, eyes still closed. "I'm fine."

Fili smiled back at the youth and ruffled his hair. "I know, nadadith, I know."


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