Between a bear and a dark place

Chapter 39

Just ambling along caught up in his own private thoughts was one of the things Bofur did best. That and drinking and making merry, but it was too early in the morning to do either of those things. Or at least that is what his brother and cousin would argue. Him, he didn't mind how early it was or allow the time of day to decree when he should be cheery. And why shouldn't he be cheery? His headache from the day before was gone and showed no signs of returning. That in itself was a miracle.

This was the last day Bofur could let his store rest solely in Bifur's care. Already he had spent too long away from it in the past week, neglecting his duty as one of its owners. One more day would not hurt however, and the toymaker still had one delivery he had failed to make before.

Fisting his non-occupied hand, Bofur rapped on the wooden door before him, the surface hard and smooth. He tugged his hat more firmly over his head as he waited for one of the occupants in the house to answer.

"What can I do for you, Bofur?" Dis asked, a glow around her that had not been there before. The dwarf in question shifted slightly.

"Would you be able to give Kili this?" he asked holding out the object in his hand. He was uncertain whether or not he should go in, whether he wanted to go in. This indecision must have shown on his face because the next thing he saw was Dis pushing him inside with a gentle yet firm hand.

"You should give it to him yourself," she insisted. "Kili will want to see you if he is awake."

Bofur could not help but stop in utter shock. "He's awake?"

Dis nodded, the joy shinning in her eyes now making sense. "It was a little after Fili arrived home. He fell asleep soon after, but he is healing."

"That's great news," Bofur laughed, a large grin running rampant across his face. Had the dwarf in front of him been a male and of a lesser status then the toymaker would have been heartily slapping him on the back, as it was Dis was both female and of the line of Durin. This left Bofur with the option of clasping her hand in a sign of enthusiasm at the good news directly related to her youngest son.

"Still so proper?" Dis asked as she shook her head. Without so much as a warning she enveloped the toymaker in her arms, careful not to damage the gift for her son as she squeezed him once before letting go.

Bofur blinked once, the grin on his face slowly fading to a more normal level as he looked around the room. "Where's Thorin?"

"Gone on a patrol," Dis answer. "He left this morning and will not be back for most of the day." She frowned at the dwarf before her in good humor. "Now go and do what you came to do."

Bofur obeyed, feet moving jovially to the door that hid the youngest of the surviving descendants of Durin. The toymaker almost rapped his knuckles against the door a second time but decided against it least he should pull Kili or Fili from sleep. Quietly pushing the slab of wood open, he looked into the room and found his eyes meeting with blue ones identical to those of the female outside.

"He's asleep."

The statement was an obvious one, but Bofur thought nothing of it as he looked down on the peaceful form centered in the center of the bed. Though Kili's eyes were shut tight, his expression was one of peace and happy obliviousness to the world around him. Pain and sickness did not seem to radiate off him as it had before, a good sign if anything.

"You must be relieved," Bofur said, his gaze moving to the young dwarf's brother.

Fili laughed. "Relieved doesn't even begin to describe it." The blonde looked down fondly at his sibling. "I don't think there has ever been a time when I wanted his eyes to open more."

Bofur gave a reassuring smile. "Well he's healing now."

Fili closed his eyes for a moment. "And I am glad he is." There was a pause of silence before the blonde pulled back his eyelids and gave the toymaker a look. "What are you doing here?"

Bofur fingered the carven wood in his hand self-consciously. "To give your brother a gift I meant to give him before, well…." The dwarf trailed off, not sure what to say.

A different kind of silence filled the room, a bad one filled with unhappy memories and 'what ifs'. Bofur fiddle awkwardly in the soundless moments eventually resting his gift on the pillow beside Kili. The toymaker fiddled some more before looking up to Fili's approving and thankful eyes. A sudden thought struck him.

"Has Dwalin been to visit yet?"

Fili shook his head at the question. "Not since…the last time." It was clear the blonde still held some guilt over what had transpired upon his first meeting with Dwalin.

Bofur frowned but said nothing. There was nothing he could say to the younger dwarf that would change the mind of a certain tattooed warrior.

"Could you tell your brother that I came by and that I owe him a song or two?" the toymaker finally asked. When Fili nodded Bofur opened his mouth to voice his other request. "Do you also have parchment and something I can write with that I could borrow?"

Fili nodded a second time before getting up and exiting through the door.

Bofur waited patiently for the blonde dwarf to return, accepting the items with a flourish of his teeth. The toymaker could feel one particular blue gaze upon him, but he ignored it in favor of scribbling down his message.

"Thank you," the dwarf said finally as he stood and gave back the writing instrument to Fili. The latter creased his brow in confusion as Bofur exited but the older dwarf paid him no mind.

With a polite nod to the Lady Dis on his way into the open air, Bofur began his journey to the message he had created. Upon reaching the third door he had come across that was not his own. For a second time he made himself known loudly and for a second time he waited. When it was clear that no one would answer the dwarf bent over and slid the parchment under the door. Then he stood up and walked away, praying that his message would get through a certain thick skull.

Without meaning to, Bofur began humming. A bird on a roof nearby began to whistle the same tune. Kili was awake and the world was indeed looking up.


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