UPDATE: Later chapters are significantly longer and more in depth than this one. I may come back and rewrite this chapter once the story is finished, as it is very severely lacking as compared to the later chapters.
So this is a fill for a prompt that goes more or less as follows:
Due to certain happenings, Fili believes he's a deer. At first, the other dwarves find it hilarious and a suitable punishment for all the pranks he's pulled, but as time goes on and Fili starts tackling the other dwarves to show dominance, bolting at first signs of danger, and insisting on leading his 'herd' to new grazing spots (oddly enough, Bifur and Fili have never been closer), the company is more than ready to find a cure.
The OP wanted some hilarious shenanigans to go down, and trust me, there are plenty in the next chapters! (as a side note, search for Dean O'Gorman in Young Hercules acting like a deer. That's what prompted most of Fili's behavior and provided the avatar for this story. I must say, it had me dying of laughter!) Currently unbeta'd.
"Bombur, hurry with that stew! Half these lot look fit to start eating pebbles!"
Gloin's gruff voice echoed across the camp to Bombur, who was stirring what meager scavengings the company had found into a barely edible sludge. Aware of the renewed grumblings of the famished dwarves, Bombur raised his head, narrowing his eyes at the more vocal half of the group. "If it's all the same to you, there isn't much here that will quell any belly growling. You expect me to make a decent meal out of rabbit food?" He flourished the assortment of greenery that had been picked out for eating along the way. This earned a snort from Gloin.
"We'd 'ave had actual rabbit for the stew if someone'd actually remembered to check the traps this mornin'."
Several shouts of protest rang out, calls of "not my duty" and "could have easily been you" rising above the din. The banter continued to bounce between the hungry dwarves, pulling a long suffering sigh from Thorin, who stood leaning against a large boulder on the outskirts of the camp. He let his eyes wander along the company, searching out two in particular amid the noisy bunch.
At his silent command, the brothers turned away from watching the argument unfold to gaze at their uncle in slight trepidation. Kili's mouth still hung open with the protest that had died in his throat at his uncle's call.
Thorin raised an eyebrow at him before finishing his order. "See what you can find to... liven the stew up. Best to keep our strength."
The brothers exchanged a glance before suppressing matching grins of amusement. Thorin would never admit it, but his obvious distaste for the bland broth Bombur had been forced to concoct these last few days was starting to make him even more short tempered than usual. Fili stood, brushing dirt from his knees and ushering for Kili to follow.
"Aye, uncle. We'll just have a quick look around then."
Relieved to be away from the grumblings of the group, Fili and Kili stalked through the trees surrounding their makeshift encampment. The occasional rustle would taunt an arrow to be nocked or a sword to be tensed, but whatever animals were occupying the forest were clever enough to stay just out of reach. After the fifth curse from Kili at the escape of what could have possibly been a fairly smug squirrel, Fili suggested they look for herbs to use in the morning's meal.
Kili shot him a reproachful look. "That'll go over well. 'Oh, aye! Don't mind us here, just bringing back some more greens to embellish those greens you've got cooking there!"
Fili rolled his eyes with a grin, elbowing his brother into the foliage. "It's better than going back empty handed. C'mon then, might as well try for something."
Kili disentangled himself from the prickly bush he had landed in and set off with a huff past Fili. He might have nudged his brother roughly into a tree while passing by on accident. Not that he would admit anything.
Trailing a few feet behind his brother as they made their way further into the forest, Fili glanced around at the forest floor. Nothing looked particularly appetizing. The young prince furrowed his brow, eyes darting along the bushels of vegetation.
Maybe if they were to just pick some grass and lie through their teeth, the company's imagination would provide the flavor. Or perhaps if they found-
Fili looked up at his brother's hiss to discover Kili was no longer in front of him. A glance to his left showed his brother crouching low in the dense bushes, eyes trained ahead, intent on some object he could not see. Fili shuffled over with a questioning look, earning a grin and a slight head tilt from Kili. Eyes following the direction he indicated, Fili tensed. A rocky drop off led to a small clearing where a deer was innocently grazing, unaware of the ravenous attention now placed upon it. Kili grinned widely at Fili, bringing his bow up slowly and gently nocking an arrow. Fili returned the grin and shifted slightly so as to provide his brother room to aim. As Kili leveled the arrow in line with the deer, he released a breath and quirked an eyebrow.
Taking this as a sign for more space, Fili shifted further to the side-
-and met open space.
With a startled shout, Fili tumbled over the side of the incline, rolling ungracefully down the steep face into the valley. The deer started and immediately bolted for the trees on the other side of the clearing, disappearing into the greenery. With a shout matching Fili's, Kili launched himself over the edge, deer and bow forgotten. He skidded down the slope after his brother, who had yet to right himself. Before Kili could reach him, Fili tumbled over a particularly prominent rock, sailing through the air before landing with a resounding thud, his head snapping back to crack ominously against the rock face.
Cold dread filled Kili as Fili did not move, and he quickened his haphazard sliding. Reaching the bottom, he ran to Fili, rolling him over anxiously and swallowing thickly when his brother limply sprawled across the grass, eyes shut tightly.
"Fee! Fili, speak to me!"
Kili hastily gripped his brother's wrist, relief momentarily washing over him as he found a strong pulse. A quick examination revealed no major injuries aside from the odd bruise or scratch, however the sound of Fili's head hitting the rock reverberated in Kili's mind. That would definitely smart for quite some time. "Fili, c'mon! I'm supposed to be the clumsy one!"
No reaction was emitted from Fili.
At this point, Kili began to panic. What if he couldn't wake him up? Of all the ways to end the journey, falling off of a cliff for the sake of stew? Kili banished the thought roughly out of his mind as he resorted to lightly shaking Fili's shoulder.
"Brother, please! You have to wake up!" He gingerly ran a hand over Fili's head, searching again for any signs of extreme injury. His fingers brushed against what felt like the beginnings of a sizable lump, when without warning Fili's eyes shot open. Before he could even sigh in relief, Kili let out an exclamation as his brother pushed him away.
Sitting up in puzzlement, he stared as Fili looked around the clearing with wild eyes.
Kili rocked to his feet and crouched slowly, holding his hands out in front of him. "Fili?" he asked tentatively. Shock nearly knocked him back over as Fili turned to look at him with an expression that could not be described as anything other than a "deer in the headlights" panic.
"Fili! It's alright! It's me, Kili! You took a bit of a tumble, but you're fine now!" Fili continued to stare in mild panic, no recognition passing his face. Without warning, he shot to his feet, swaying slightly. Kili mirrored his movements, concern etched visibly on his brow. Had the fall addled his brother's brain? "F...Fee?" What happened next, Kili would never forget in all his lifetime.
Fili shot him one last glance before lifting his arms in front of him and began to prance away across the clearing as quickly as his dwarf legs would carry him.
Kili stood rooted in spot, momentarily stunned. Had his brother, heir to the line of Durin, nephew of the great Thorin, prince of Erebor, just pranced away from him? After surviving a particularly nasty fall?
When he finally gathered his wits enough to turn around and face his brother, Kili found himself once again frozen in place at the sight before him.
Fili now stood where the deer had been standing, slightly crouched, with a fistful of grass dangling from his mouth, chewing with an almost serene look on his face.
The golden haired dwarf whipped his head around, staring openly at Kili now as he continued to slowly chew. A thought dawned on Kili.
Maybe the fall had knocked some sense out of his brother. The last thing he would have known would have been the deer... Kili took in a sharp breath as realization hit him hard.
For a moment, he did not know whether to burst into laughter or tears.
Shirking off the urge to do either, Kili stepped cautiously towards his brother, palms facing outwards, and began to coo slightly. "It's alright. I'm just coming over to join you. No need to stare at me like you are now. It's... ah, it's beginning to be slightly unnerving, Fee. You can stop that... any time. Preferably now..."
Before Kili could take another step, Fili darted forward alarmingly, head-butting the younger dwarf painfully to the ground. Kili blinked past the stars clouding his vision up at his brother, who wore a fleeting, grim look of triumph before flopping down in the grass beside him and promptly passing out.
A rich moment passed in silence before Kili took in a deep breath. Covering his face with his hands, the young dwarf let out a long, low groan.
"For the love of Mahal and all that is sacred, why must these occurrences always happen to me?!"
So what do you think? Is it worth continuing? Let me know in the reviews. Judging by the comments, I'll see if I'll be pursuing this one!