Between a bear and a dark place

Chapter 40

His hand brushed against something hard. Withdrawing his fingers Kili opened his eyes and stared ahead, taking in the foreign object that laid beside him. Without meaning to the brunette tweaked his lips as he extended his fingers once more.

"Bofur left it when he came by," Fili said, answering the unspoken question in his brother's head.

Kili turned his brown gaze back to where the wooden bird sat perched in its immobile state. Its lifeless eyes followed his every movement not appearing lifeless in the slightest. The curve of its beak seemed to gleam in the natural light that was streaming into the room and, if Kili so desired, he could fancy that each breath of his ruffled the elongated feathers of the bird's wings and tail.

"Bofur also said that he owed you a song."

Kili looked back up to where his brother sat, unconsciously closing his hands around the wooden object in his lap protectively. He sent a small grin the older dwarfs way. "I'll be sure to take him up on that offer." When Fili's gaze did not lose its intensity the brunette allowed his lips to once again act as a shield for his teeth. "What?"

The blonde dwarf shook his head, shaking off the question with the rapid movement. "Nothing."

"Come on," Kili complained, a frown creasing his forehead. "I'm your brother. You never keep anything from me."

"Not that you know of," Fili replied, his demeanor suddenly changing, but before Kili could go along with the lighter mood his brother had returned to merely watching him with his own thoughts locked carefully behind his bright eyes.

Looking around their shared room, Kili scrounged his mind for something to say. What did one say after having been asleep for so long? What was the weather like? How's your sword practice going? None of them sounded right and the brunette was left grasping at nothing but air as he sought to end the silence.

"Where's 'amad?" It was a simple question, but Kili could think of nothing else to say besides pushing his brother to tell him what was on his mind. The young brunette did not want to push however, not when he knew his brother had already been through enough turmoil to cause him to almost black out. He still remembered the emotional words that had been spoken at his bedside while he was aware but unable to wake.

Whatever pain he had felt at the situation, Kili was sure it had affected his brother worse.

"I think she is lying down," Fili replied. "She was cleaning the house a while ago."

Kili smiled again, this time at the image of his mother vigorously scrubbing clean the table that they ate at. She was a determined character and once started would not stop until its surface could reflect the face of a single person a hundred times over. She was a hard worker, but never complained just like his uncle was.

"Where's uncle?"

Fili's face took on a grim satisfaction as he replied. "Out on a patrol."

Kili stroked his thumb absently along the smooth head of the wooden bird he had received. His flesh moved up and down with each of the fine grooves he came across, the sensation grounding Kili and taking his mind off the aches that had come with waking. He decided to try again with his brother. "What are you thinking?"

Fili blinked once then threw out one hand to rub across his brother's nearest one. "That I'm glad you're awake, glad that you're alive."

"Zâyungi zu, nadad," Kili replied, his eyes glowing warmly.

Fili's own eyes spoke volumes, but he only needed two words. "Me too."

The pair lapsed back into the silence of their own unspoken thoughts. A few grins were exchanged here and there, and a short bark of laughter was given as several jokes exchanged between wandering eyes, but for the most part Kili reveled in the peace of his own mind.

His brother, mother and uncle seemed to be merry in their proceedings despite what had happened and the unintended grief he had given them. Bofur too seemed fine from what Fili had told him of the toymaker, and despite the fact he had been ordered to remain in bed by Oin until such time as he was deemed 'fit' to walk again, the healer brought with him a calming aura and several witty quips. The despairing atmosphere that had descended upon him during his time of frustrating immobility was gone, banished a little further, it seemed, every time he opened his eyes.

Kili could not shake the feeling however, that someone was missing however, someone he had yet to see, yet to thank.

The young dwarf frowned as he thought back to the few times he had been truly awake. A multitude of words and faces swept over him, but there was one face that the young dwarf could not remember seeing. "Has Dwalin visited at all?"

For the briefest of movements it looked as though guilt had taken up residence in Fili's eyes before it disappeared, if it was even there in the first place, and the blonde replied to his brother's question. "I don't think he has had the chance to stop by yet."

"Oh." That was it, one word, the entire exterior response that Kili had to his brother's statement. Inside the healing dwarf's head however, his thoughts were jumping from one idea to the next.

He could not remember much from what had happened. Sure he could still picture the rage filled eyes of the brown furred monster that had attacked him, but what had transpired along with the fear and pain had been beyond his comprehension at the time. That wasn't to say the young dwarf was not aware of another, trusted dwarf suddenly appearing above him swinging an axe and bellowing like a berserker in battle.

Dwalin had saved his life. That much Kili was sure of. So what reason did the warrior have to refuse seeing him?

Closing his eyes as he rested his head back against the pillow, the brown haired dwarf allowed his mind's focus to be fully drawn to the rhythm of his thumb against carven wood. As he drew in a breath of air Kili smiled. If he were to speak the deepest truth that resided within him of that moment it would consist of one simple thought that he shared with his brother - he was glad he was alive.



Zâyungi zu, nadad – I love you, brother.

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