I have returned with a new chapter.
Sorry if the chapter is a little sloppy. I wrote it out quickly and kind of spontaneously in a single sitting. I was hit with inspiration after watching some behind the scenes videos about the first Hobbit film.
Hope you like this chapter.
It was four hours later when Dori found himself back in the healing house, outside Nori's room. At the moment, he was still out of sight, just outside the door frame, listening to his two brothers talk.
These last four hours were trying for Dori. He'd led the healers to the crumpled heaps that were still in the alleyway and reluctantly assisted in getting them back to the Healing House. Then he returned home to let off some steam. He had chopped and restocked the wood, cleaned the house and patched up a hole he'd punched in the wall.
When he finally returned, he spoke to the elderly healer about his brother's status. He was told that Nori's wounds were tended. There was a broken rib and arm, some cuts and bruises but over all, he'd be fine. Dori thanked him with a quivering voice and made it to the room. From outside the room, he heard Nori's voice, now with a little more strength, pouting some nonsense to a quiet Ori, more made a sound of awe every so often. There were such fantasies that the he was filling the youngest's head with. Taking a breath to calm his nerves, Dori walked into the room.
There he saw the middle brother laying on a bed, bandaged, with the dwarfling sitting on a stool next to him. When the eldest stepped in, Nori went quiet as Ori turned to look at him. "Dori!" youngest finally spoke. "Where've you been? The healer said Nori's gonna be ok,"
The eldest nodded. "I know, I spoke with him. He also said you were a big help. Were you?" Dori was forcing a smile.
The look of happiness on Ori's face faded into a kind of embarrassment as he cycled through "ums" and "ahs" attempting to hide the face that he'd left the room during much of the examination. It had not been easy for him to watch.
"He was a trooper," came Nori's weakened voice and Ori looked at him. The middle brother gave him a smirk and a wink, as if to say he'd keep the secret.
Dori looked at Nori when he spoke, his expression faulting a bit as he said softly. "Of course he was," then he looked back at the dwarfling. "Ori, can you step out for a bit, I need to speak with our brother,"
Ori's brightness dulled and his face dropped before he lower his head and nodded. He believed he knew what was to come as he made his way to the door. Just before exiting, he turned back to look at the eldest. "Dori, please be nice. He's still hurt and needs to heal. Don't be hard on him,"
There was silence for a moment between all three of them before Dori spoke. "I'll try," he said with some difficulty. Ori brightened just a bit then left the room, walking down the hall to some seats.
Dori closed the curtain in the doorway and let out a sigh. However, his moment was short lived when he heard Nori. "Yeah right," he said. The eldest looked at him as the middle brother sat there with an unconvinced look on his face. "We both know you're not gonna go easy on me. You just flack out lied to the kid," there was a short pause. "Here I am, injured in bed and you just lie. You're probably gonna break my leg cause you think I'm going to escape out the window..." and he continued to talk.
Dori stood with his eyes closed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. He knew what the other was doing, running his mouth like that. This was the same thing Nori did when he was a kid and got in trouble with their mother. He would say everything on his mind in an attempt to either find an excuse or get the upper hand. The older brother knew that this happened when Nori knew he'd done something wrong, the younger would just never admit it.
Despite the knowledge, this talking was doing nothing to calm the elder down. "And I know the truth Dori," his brother continued. "You don't give a damn what happens to me," in response, Dori's eyes shot open then swiftly looked at Nori. The thief paused as he connected eyes then he smirked. "Yeah, there, I can see it in your face. I'm right. You despise me. You think I'm a disgrace to our family. I'm the burden. You're only here cause you promised mum you'd look after me. You don't care about me. You probably only keep Ori around cause you like the control. You don't care. You don't care about anyone but yourse-,"
There was silence after Dori slapped Nori across the face. It was a stunned silence on Nori's part as his uninjured hand touched his stinging face. He turned slowly toward his brother, the one who had never actually hit him before, in order to see his expression.
One might think the elder was furious, with his tight lips and knotted brow, but his eyes. His eyes were watery and looked like they were in pain. Then, through his tight lips, his spoke. "Don't you DARE say that," his voice quivered. "I don't care..." his voice still quivered as he lowered his hand. "I... don't care?" his voice was stronger. Then, he slammed his hands on a vacant part of the bed which caused the furniture to creak with protest under his strength.
"Do you know what I think while you were away? Do you?," he let out of frustrated sigh as he paced across the room. "Does he have somewhere to sleep? Is he eating? Has he made someone angry? Is he captured? In jail? Is he even alive?" he spun back to his brother, throwing his arms in the air. "Damn it Nori! Every night. Every single bloody night, I lie awake fearing that you're dead in some ditch somewhere, half eaten by scavengers. I see that image in my head every single night," the intensity in his voice simmered down as he sat heavily on the stool. "The only comfort I have is knowing that you're clever. You're a moron but you're clever enough to never let that happen to you," he let out a sigh. "I've also started knitting in order to calm down enough to think that," his last part was spoken in a resentful manner.
There was silence. Nori was not used to this kind of outburst from his brother. Dori was never like this and to admit all of that was mind boggling. Nori actually felt bad for what he said. Through this silence, he looked his brother up and down He needed to say something.
"You... knit?" was what he ended up saying. He was not avoiding the subject. He was just trying to to break the tension.
Luckily, Dori caught on. "Well, now I do and it's your fault," he glanced at his brother. "Why else to do you think Ori's wearing what he'd wearing?"
Nori attempted to shrug. "I thought he was going through some strange phase,"
"You honestly think I'd buy stuff that looked that cheap?" the elder questioned with no real seriousness.
Nori smirked. "You got a point," this came with a light chuckle between them that quickly fell to silence.
This lasted for a little time as the brothers just sat there, not quite looking at each other, neither of them knowing what to say next.
"I'm not trying to control your life," Dori was the first of them to speak. "You just disappeared. You suddenly packed up and vanished. Ori barely knows you," he let out a sigh. "If you want to travel, you can travel. All I ask is a letter, every month... two month? Just something to let me know you're ok," he looked to his younger brother. "I do care..."
Nori gave a slow nod. "Yeah... I know," he returned the look, connecting eyes with his brother and patting his still stinging face. "You held back. That slap would've broken my jaw otherwise,"
Dori raised a brow and crossed his arms. "I can still break it if that will teach you to not run your mouth. I hope you don't do that when you travel,"
"You said it yourself," Nori said as he started to get that flare back in his voice. "I'm too clever,"
The elder rolled his eyes. "You're going to use that against me now,"
This was met by laughs from both dwarves and this time it was genuine.
When it had died down, they looked a each other for a moment then Nori fidgeted and looked away. "This is getting awkward, this brother stuff isn't normal for us,"
"Agreed," Dori spoke as he stood from the stool. Neither of these brothers were going to admit they like the bonding time. The eldest stretched then looked back. "You'll finish your healing at home. You'll have a soft bed, a good meal and we'll pack you up properly before you next go," he pointed at his brother. "No arguments,"
"Fine, fine," Nori was no going to argue.
"Good," he lower his hand and nodded. "I'll tell Ori then arrange for you to be released," he took one more look at him then walked from the room.
There was a smile on Nori's face as he watched his brother leave. This smile was a fond smile. It was good to know that someone truly cared. After a moment, he sat back in the bed as he thought for the first time since he left them, that some time at home would be nice.
So, there it is. This could be the end but it actually might not be. I may have a final chapter floating around my mind. It would be a shorter chapter to tie things together. Of course, I also might not.
Thanks for the reviews and may you all be well.