A/N It seems that I will never tire of writing about these two. This is set a short time after the end of the first film. As always feedback is appreciated and I hope you enjoy :)
Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own The Hobbit in any way, shape or form.
Fili liked to watch his brother sleep.
Admittedly, he was well aware of how strange that must sound – which was precisely why he'd never mentioned it to a living soul – but there was something about the peaceful mask that slipped so effortlessly onto his brother's face as he slept that made Fili yearn for the comfort of home.
His brother was a rather fussy sleeper and always had been. Fili could remember gently rocking him as a babe, smiling warmly as the tiny bundle drifted off in his arms. Only he and his mother possessed this precious ability to calm the baby; the one time Thorin had even attempted it had resulted in Kili letting out an almighty wail that seemed to rock their entire home. Without the comfort of those he trusted most, Kili had been extremely difficult to settle.
This hadn't changed too drastically as he'd grown older. Kili preferred the warmth and strength of his elder brother's arms to the prospect of a lonely night in his own bed. Fili had become accustomed to the fact that, at some point in the night, he would inevitably be lightly prodded into wakefulness before feeling his little brother's weight settle beside him underneath the covers. At first Fili had grumbled in annoyance at his little brother's nightly interruptions but after having to comfort Kili through his umpteenth nightmare he'd decided that he could hardly send him back to his own cold bed where the monsters lurked.
Before their quest, Fili had thought it was a habit that his brother had long grown out of. After all, he was far too old to rush to his brother's side crying about the goblins under his bed or the pale orc from Balin's tales that was somehow out to get him. Fili would have laughed at such childish notions had the sheer terror in Kili's dark eyes not ignited a fierce need to protect him. However, it had been many years since such nightmares had plagued his little brother.
Fili occasionally missed the prospect of comforting Kili but there was always the odd time where he was gripped by illness and could not steal a few hours of sleep unless he was cradled in Fili's arms. Or there were the harsh winter nights where Kili would climb into Fili's bed without uttering a single word in the hopes of obtaining some warmth.
Mind you, it had been decades since Kili had required Fili's aid for this particular reason.
Kili had been rather shaken up ever since the incident on the mountains several days before. Fili supposed he himself should have been just as frightened by the memory of their separation but, if Kili's reaction was anything to go by, the fear of being crushed by the rock was perhaps not as destructive as the sheer terror that those few moments of thinking Fili dead had brought his little brother. Even a few days later Fili would occasionally catch Kili staring in his direction with an expression of awe, as if he could not quite believe that the elder was truly present. If possible, Kili lingered by his side even more so than usual and Fili could still recall how desperately his little brother had held him as the eagle flew them away from the threat of Azog.
And then, there was tonight. Fili's rest had been disturbed by his brother's harsh, troubled breathing and he had awoken to find Kili's brow furrowed and his eyes flickering underneath his lashes as he faced some unseen terror in his sleep. It was a look that Fili had not been forced to witness mar his brother's features since they'd both been mere children and his first instinct was to shake his brother gently to save him from whatever horrors his subconscious was forcing him to endure. Kili jumped at the contact and woke with a jolt, his eyes wide and panicked and his entire frame trembling. Fili hushed him soothingly, stroking his fingers through long, matted hair like he had done many years ago.
"You were dead!" Kili's breast heaved as he continued to panic and Fili noted just how glazed over his eyes were. His dreams were continuing to terrorise him. "I lost you…"
Kili let out a shuddering breath and Fili edged closer to him, wrapping his arms tightly around his frame in order to provide some feeble form of comfort. He stroked the small of his brother's back until the trembling ceased and he felt Kili rest a hand over his chest in order to seek out a strong heartbeat. Fili responded to this small action by hugging him tighter, doing whatever he could to chase away the demons that plagued his brother. "I'm still here, aren't I? I'm not leaving you that easily."
Kili nodded and gulped, slowly going limp in the warm security that his brother's arms provided. His head shifted slightly in order to meet his brother's gaze and Fili laid off him a little to give him space. The younger swallowed before - in a mere whisper so as not to disturb the rest of the company any more than they already had - muttering a familiar 'can I sleep with you tonight?' that Fili hadn't heard in years.
Fili chuckled softly in response before kissing his brother's damp forehead. "You know that option is always open to you."
Kili had rested his head against his chest and Fili proceeded to gently cradle his brother before sleep claimed him once more, and even then it was a long time before Fili allowed himself to surrender to his own slumber.
He had awoken as the first rays of sunlight streamed through the trees and smiled fondly at the precious weight resting by his side. Kili's nightmares seemed to have subsided and he was now dozing peacefully in the familiar comfort of his brother's arms. The lack of fear and the pressure of the quest on Kili's sleeping features left him with an almost childlike innocence and Fili could almost swear for a moment that they were back home in the Blue Mountains and not on their uncle's perilous journey. The notion filled Fili's chest with a warm ache and he found himself yearning for their lost childhood once more. At least there was this small comfort for now, and that was more than enough for him in that moment.
It came as a disappointment, then, when he was forced to rouse his brother under Thorin's orders as they prepared for yet another long day ahead of them.