Guess whose back? After a bout of writer's block, I finally managed to find the time and inspiration to update! Looks like this two-parter just turned into a three-parter, so sorry about that! Or not! LOL As always, thank you guys so much for the follows and the lovely reviews! Your comments keep me going! And to the guest who made all the music suggestions- Thank you! I haven't had the time to listen but I'll certainly check them out. Also, for those of you who have an AO3 account, I've started another story called "Boys of Summer." It's a modern-AU featuring a non-related Fili/Kili so if you're into that kind of thing, I'd love for you to check it out! I'm still debating whether or not to add it on here….any thoughts? And of course, feel free to follow me on Tumblr if you haven't already at ringerpotteravengerhooker7. And you may want to refresh your memory and read the last chapter before reading this! Ok, I'll shut up now! Enjoy!
"Your uncle is right, Fili," Dis snapped, "This isn't your fault; it's his."
Thorin paused, taken aback at his sister's cold tone. Dis continued walking, not bothering to stop or look back. If Thorin felt guilty before, he now felt a hundred times worse.
Fili glanced between his mother and uncle as he sat quietly in Thorin's arms. He could tell from his crestfallen expression that his uncle had been hurt by his mother's comment and he was beginning to grow nervous. The tension between the two was obvious and Fili couldn't help but feel that if he had kept a closer eye on Kili, none of this would have happened- Kili wouldn't have been injured and his mother and uncle wouldn't be mad at each other. He never liked it when Dis and Thorin fought. It didn't happen often, but it never failed to stress Fili out when they did. They were a family. They were supposed to be happy and loving, not angry and short with one another. What was worse was that he never knew how to fix it. He had expected today to be fun. It was his and Kili's first time at the market. Now he doubted if they'd ever go back… Letting out a distressed whine, the young heir buried his face in his uncle's furs.
Sensing the blonde's misery, Thorin rested his cheek on top of the youngster's head, "It's going to be alright, Fili."
Fili didn't say anything; he only snuggled closer to Thorin while anxiously wringing his fingers together.
Kili was silent other than the little whimpers that escaped when Dis' movements jarred his injured wrist. The cut on his face was beginning to cause the surrounding skin to swell. His right eye was nearly swollen shut, worrying Dis every time she glanced down at her youngest. Dried blood and tears still clung to his cheeks. Dis wanted nothing more than to get Kili cleaned up and tucked safely into bed. Although he was hurt, Dis knew her young son was partly to blame. Yes, Thorin was supposed to be watching him, but Kili knew better than to wander off without telling anyone. She'd make sure to reprimand him for his mistake, but she was well aware that he was currently suffering enough for his actions. As for Thorin, Dis felt guilty about her harsh words. She had snapped them out of anger and regretted it almost immediately. She knew Thorin would never intentionally allow harm to befall her sons and that he was probably beating himself up about it. She'd apologize later, but now her main concern was getting Kili's wounds tended to.
After a brief stroll in silence, the family of four arrived at the healer's humble home. Sitting Fili gently on the ground, Thorin approached the door and knocked.
They heard rustling from inside before the silver-haired dwarf swung open the door, hearing-trumpet held up to his ear as he took in the sight of his visitors.
"Thorin? What's going on?" he asked before eying the young dwarf Dis held protectively in her arms.
"Kili had an accident at the market today," Thorin quickly explained, avoiding the particular details, "He's got a cut on his face and his wrist may be broken."
"Well come on in and I'll have a look at him," Oin said, "Just set him on the bed in the spare room."
Dis quickly shuffled inside, Thorin and Fili on her heels. Once Kili was laid on the bed, Oin moved next to him and carefully took the lad's face in his hands so he could examine the wound. Then he poked and prodded at the damaged wrist, ignoring the gasps and tears from his patient.
"Nasty cut that is," the healer tutted while Dis stroked her son's hair. "Thankfully it doesn't appear to be deep. I'll wash it and put some paste on it to prevent infection and speed up the healing. As for the wrist, I believe it is only sprained. I'll bandaged it up and leave it to heal on its own."
As Oin went to fetch his supplies, all three dwarves let out a sigh of relief at the diagnosis, grateful that it wasn't as serious as they had feared. Thorin moved to sit in a chair next to the small bed and winced at the stiffness in his back. Maybe he'd see if there was something Oin could get him for the pain before returning home…
When the old healer returned, his arms were full with clean, white bandages and a bowl of herbal paste. Dis held on to Kili's uninjured hand as Oin wrapped up his injured one before gently placing it in a sling.
"The lad's lucky not to have lost his eye! Just a tad more to the left and he could've been blind," Oin revealed as he began washing away the blood covering Kili's face.
"We'll consider it a blessing then," Dis answered.
Kili winced as Oin applied the paste over his cut.
"It stings!" he cried, squeezing his mother's hand harder.
"I know, Love, but it'll help make it better. I promise," Dis assured him.
Fili moved to Thorin's side and wrapped his arms around his uncle's larger one. Thorin lifted the boy into his lap and the pair watched on silently until Oin had finished caring for Kili.
"Take this," Oin ordered as he handed a jar over to Dis, "Just rub it over the cut twice a day until you use it all and make sure you keep his arm in that sling for at least two weeks. He should have a quick recovery but, as always, if anything unexpected happens just bring him back here."
"Thank you, Oin," Dis said sincerely.
Thorin repeated the sentiment, adding, "Once again I find myself in your debt, old friend."
"Think nothing of it, Thorin. After all, tending the wounded is my duty."
"Nevertheless, your work is appreciated. And I'm about to find myself asking for another favor."
"Oh? What can I do for you?"
"You wouldn't happen to have something I could take for pain, would you?"
By the time the family had made it home, Kili had finally given in to exhaustion and passed out in his mother's arms. Entering their house, Dis laid Kili down in his room before joining her brother and son in the kitchen.
"Fili, Dear, why don't you go wash up while I start dinner?"
"Yes, Momma," Fili answered, recognizing a dismissal when he heard one.
As Fili left the room, Dis went over to the baskets Thorin had managed to keep up with and took out a few of her purchases.
"I'm sorry, Dis," Thorin spoke softly as his sister started a fire for cooking, "What happened today was my fault. It was my responsibility to watch them and I allowed myself to get distracted."
Dis sighed, turning towards her brother who sat awkwardly at the table, staring down at his hands.
"I forgive you, Thorin." Dis said, causing the other to look up at her. "You should have been watching them, but Kili knew he shouldn't have run off without telling you and I'll be sure to speak to him about that once he wakes up. And I, too, must apologize to you brother. I didn't mean what I said earlier. It's just…I was so scared. We both know that situation could have been far worse. You heard Oin. Kili could've lost an eye…or even his life. Plus, we're still not even sure if this incident has messed with his mind. I worry about them so much," Dis confessed as she joined Thorin at the table, "Especially Kili! I know he's still young, but the poor Dear is so reckless. I only hope that's something he'll grow out of…"
Dis seemed to fall into a trance after her speech. Lost in thoughts of the future, silently praying mistakes of the past would not be repeated. Thorin placed his hands on top of hers and offered a small smile.
"We'll do well by them, Dis," Thorin promised, "All we can do is continue to guide and protect them and they'll grow into fine young dwarves who will do nothing but make us proud. I'm sure of it."
Dis returned her brother's smile before rising and going over to one of the baskets again. With a sly grin, she pulled out a small bag and dangled it in front of Thorin who shot her a confused look.
"I thought about keeping these from you, but seeing as how my anger has passed, I suppose you deserve them," Dis said, tossing the bag to her brother.
Thorin undid the tie and peered into the mysterious bag to reveal a dozen river stones. The same stones his sister had promised to heat up in order to ease his sore back.
"Thank you, Dis," Thorin chuckled, "These are much appreciated."
"I'm sure," Dis countered, "Don't think I didn't notice every wince you made while carrying Fili."
Thorin bowed his head in acknowledgment, a guilty grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. Just then, Fili returned from washing up, feeling completely at ease upon seeing his mother and uncle smiling. He lingered in the doorway, a smile reaching his own face, but afraid to enter in case he was interrupting something. Thorin noticed the boy out of the corner of his eye and beckoned him closer.
Dis smiled as she watched her son hop up on Thorin's lap.
"You feeling alright, Fili?" she asked as she walked over to stroke her son's hair.
"Yeah, I'm ok," he shrugged but Dis could tell he was just as stressed out about today's events as she and Thorin were.
Smiling sadly, she said, "I'm sorry your first trip to the market was cut short."
"It's fine. I'm just glad Kili's ok," Fili answered while rubbing tiredly at his eyes.
Both Dis and Thorin always marveled at Fili's concern for his brother's well-being. Dis was confident that as long as he was around, Kili would always be looked after.
Giving his nephew a kiss to the cheek, Thorin suggested, "How about we return to the market tomorrow and buy you and your brother something?"
Fili grinned shyly as he nodded and Dis chuckled at him before focusing on finishing up dinner.
Once supper was prepared, Thorin went to fetch a sleeping Kili from his room. He entered quietly, easing down onto the soft bed and gazing worriedly at his nephew. His injuries hindered his normal sleeping positions and made it so he had to lie on his back. Lying on his right side would press his injured cheek into the pillow, while lying on his left would require him to lie on his injured wrist. Thorin shook his head fondly as he granted his nephew a few more seconds of sleep. Dis wasn't wrong about Kili being reckless, though he'd allow some more years to pass before deciding if it was permanent. Knowing Kili, it probably would be. That thought alone was enough cause more of his hairs to turn silver.
Brushing his knuckles along Kili's unscathed cheek, Thorin watched as the burnet's eyes shot opened, well, one eye that is. His right eye was still swollen shut. For a moment, he looked panicked, but quickly relaxed after recognizing his uncle. He went to rub his hand over his sleepy face before Thorin intercepted.
"Be careful," he reminded the youngster, "you must leave the cut alone so it can heal."
He pouted, "It hurts, Uncle Thowin."
"I know, I know," Thorin soothed as he scooped the boy into his arms and gave him a kiss on the nose, "Your mother has dinner ready. Are you hungry?"
Kili nodded as Thorin rose from the bed and made his way to the kitchen. Thorin allowed Kili to sit in his lap and assisted him with his eating. He didn't eat much because he complained that his cheek hurt every time he went to chew. Once everyone had finished, the family settled in the sitting room. Dis sat in the rocking chair, holding a son in each arm, while Thorin relaxed in a cushioned arm chair and enjoyed a smoke.
"Kili, can we talk about what happened today?" Dis asked before either of her boys decided to doze off.
"What about it?" Kili countered as he gazed curiously up at his mother.
"Well," Dis began as she shifted slightly, "for starters, do you remember what your uncle and I told you to do this morning when we first arrived at the market?"
Kili's gaze shifted to Thorin, who simply raised his eyebrows expectantly, before looking down guiltily.
"I don't know…" he mumbled in reply.
"Oh, I think you do," Dis challenged, "We told you specifically not to run away from either of us. If you wanted to go somewhere, you were supposed to ask. And did you?"
"Precisely. And look what happened to you because of it. You caused your uncle and brother and I to worry and you were very badly hurt. And that's not even the worse that could've happened. What if someone had taken you? What if you had gotten hurt in some place where we couldn't find you? It was a very foolish thing to do, Kili."
"I'm sowwy," Kili muttered as he shamefully hid his face in his mother's neck, shuttering at the thought of what could have happened to him.
"You better be," Dis chided, "but I do believe you've learned your lesson, yes?"
Thorin noticed how Kili appeared unusually solemn as he nodded against his mother. Yet, somehow he had the feeling that even though Kili felt guilty now, he'd be back to his old ways in no time.
"Very well," Dis conceded, "Now I do think it's high time you boys were off to bed. Say goodnight to your uncle."
Several goodnight hugs and kisses later, everyone settled in their beds, eager to put the stressful day behind them. Or so they thought.
"Kili! Kee! Calm down!" Fili begged, "You're alright. I'm here. It's ok!"
Despite his desperate attempts at soothing his brother, Kili would not calm down. Like most dwarflings, Kili was no stranger to having nightmares. But Fili knew right away that this one was different. Usually, Fili would hug on to his little brother tightly, assuring him that he was safe, and Kili would nod and fall back to sleep. This time, he could not be comforted. No matter how close Fili held him, being mindful of his injuries of course, or how often he told him that he was fine, Kili's tremors would not stop. He shook like a leaf in his brother's arms as tears fell down his cheeks and he struggled to breathe. Fili didn't know what to do. He tried asking his sibling what he had dreamed about but he would shake his head and sob harder. It seemed Kili couldn't shake whatever foul visions that had plagued his mind. Just as Fili was beginning to feel hopeless, the bedroom door opened to reveal a very worried Dis holding a candle.
"Momma," Fili gasped in relief as frantic tears filled his eyes.
Alarmed at the distressed state of her children, Dis scurried to their bedside, setting the lit wax on the nightstand.
"What's wrong?" she implored, "What's happened? Has he bothered one of his injuries?"
"I don't know," Fili yelped, "He won't stop crying!"
Dis took her youngest son from the older one's arms, pressing the left side of his head to her shoulder.
"Ssshhh. It's alright, Love. Momma's got you," she lulled distraughtly.
Although his sobbing began to cease, Dis could still feel her son trembling in her arms. Still holding him close she asked,
"Kili. What happened? What has frightened you?"
When he didn't answer, Dis sat him on the bed next to an anxious Fili and took hold of his chin. His eyes were widened in fear and his skin was pale, making his cut appear redder than normal. Brushing his hair from his eyes, she repeated the question,
"Kili, what happened?"
Finally, he seemed to be coming to his senses, relief replaced the fear that afflicted his eyes as he gazed at his mother then threw an arm around her neck.
"You won't let them get me, will you?" he whimpered.
"Let who get you, dear?" Dis asked as she returned his hug greedily.
"The strangers with the knives," he whispered despairingly.
Dis' forehead creased in confusion at this admission. It appeared Kili's accident had traumatized him more than she had realized.
"No one will ever harm you, Kili. Not as long as I can help it. Or Uncle Thorin for that matter. No need to worry, dear. It was only a dream." Dis answered as she offered a reassuring smile.
Kneading a hand in his mother's hair, Kili asked, "C-can I sleep wif you?"
"Of course you can, Sweetheart," Dis replied as she kissed his forehead.
Securing Kili with one arm, she held out her free hand to Fili, "And so can you."
Fili accepted the offer gratefully. As the overwhelmed trio headed down the hall to her quarters, Dis silently hoped that all would be well in the morning.
All was not well.
Ever the early riser, Dis awoke as soon as the sun was popping up over the horizon. She was momentarily alarmed by the unfamiliar weight on either side until she remembered what had taken place the night before. Glancing down at the peaceful faces of her sleeping sons, she grinned. They looked much more at ease and for that, she was glad. Not one for lounging about, she carefully crawled out of bed so as not to disturb her sleeping children. She planted a soft kiss on each of their foreheads and tip-toed to the door. As she reached out to turn the knob, a cry erupted from behind her. She spun around to find Kili making his way out of bed and running to her.
"Don't leave me, Momma!" he wailed, "They'll hurt me!"
Scooping him up in her arms once he was near, she exited the room before the commotion caused Fili to stir.
Closing the door behind her, Dis pulled Kili back and brushed the tangled hair from his face.
"Nobody's going to hurt you, Love. I promise," she assured the hysterical child as they entered the kitchen, "Look. You're home. You're safe. See? No one is here but you, me, Fili and Thorin."
Kili's features calmed as he took in his surroundings, lessening his grip on his mother's gown. Sensing his relief, she eased him into a seat at the table although she still had to pry his hands away from her clothes.
"There, there," she cooed as she pat his head, "Would you like me to get you some milk?"
Kili nodded, albeit a tad absentmindedly. He didn't say a word as he waited and kept his eyes on his mother as if she would disappear should he look away. This behavior was odd. Kili had never reacted to a dream like this before and it worried Dis. She was aware that what had taken place yesterday could cause her son some trauma; she only hoped he would relax as the day went by. While she poured him a glass of milk, Thorin stepped through the doorway and took a seat beside Kili.
"Morning," he greeted groggily.
Kili jumped when his uncle spoke but relaxed once he saw who it was. This didn't go unnoticed by either Dis or Thorin. Kili climbed down from his own chair and scrambled into his uncle's lap, relieved to be in close contact with someone.
"Good morning, Little One," Thorin said as he snaked an arm around Kili's mid-section and checked over his injuries.
Instead of responding, Kili clung on to Thorin's arm and buried himself into his uncle's chest.
Thorin glanced up at his sister worriedly, "What's the matter with him?"
Dis sighed as she sat in front of Thorin, placing the glass of milk on the table.
"He had a nightmare last night."
Thorin nudged the clingy child in his lap.
"Is that true, Kili?"
Kili grasped Thorin's arm even tighter (if that were possible) and looked up at his uncle with weary eyes.
"You won't let them hurt me, will you Uncle Thowin?"
His eyes pleaded for conformation, causing Thorin's chest to tighten at the sight of him. The thought of anyone harming his Kili made him angry. He would never allow such a thing to happen.
"I would protect you with my life, Kili," he promised, "No one will ever harm you as long as I'm around. Understand?"
Kili nodded and collapsed back into his uncle who embraced him protectively. Dis smiled at the sight before scooting the milk across the table.
"Here you go, Love. Drink up."
"I pwomise I won't run away from you again," Kili said as Thorin handed him the milk, "That way the strangers can't get me."
Thorin and Dis shared a glance. Sure, they had wanted Kili to be mindful of strangers and leaving without their permission, but not like this. He wasn't supposed to be terrified of ever being around others to the point where he clung onto them like his life depended on it. Had they made it seem that way?
It was then that Fili emerged, hair mussed up from sleep, and a crease in his brow. He made his way over to his brother and rubbed his sibling's knee.
"Are you alright, Kili?" he asked.
Kili slipped his uninjured arm around his brother's neck and nuzzled his cheek.
"I'm ok, Fee," the younger replied.
Thorin ruffled Fili's hair, causing the pair to break up.
"Fili, what do you say to eating some breakfast then heading to the market to pick out some toys for you and your brother; just like we planned?"
"NO!" Kili screeched, causing his brother to step back, "Don't go, Fili! The strangers will get you! Don't go!"
Fili hugged his brother close when he noticed tears starting to build in his eyes.
"The strangers aren't gonna get me, Kee," he whispered into his brother's hair.
Dis met her brother's eye as her sons continued to hug. One thing was certain; Kili was experiencing some level of post-traumatic stress and they needed to figure out how to fix it.