More Than He Bargained For

Kili still shook slightly, whether it be from the cold and the wet or from having the ground ripped from underneath him and his brother snatched away from him he was not sure. He tried not to think about the moment the stone giant had fallen into the mountain face, the moment he was convinced his brother had been crushed…

A gentle touch to his arm brought his attention back to what he was doing. Fili offered him a warm but understanding smile. Kili gave a small nod and turned his attention back to looking around the cave for a suitable spot for the two to unfurl their bed rolls.

"Fili, Kili."

Both boys paused briefly. What had they done now? Quickly they turned to face their uncle who had appeared behind them.

"Uncle Thorin," Fili acknowledged as Kili gave a small nod. Thorin looked over each of his nephews in turn.

"Are either of you hurt?"

Both boys blinked in surprise but quickly shook their heads.

"Nothing but mere scratches," again it was Fili who spoke. Thorin gave a nod… and a small smile.

"Good. You should get some rest," he gestured to a large area to his left. "There is a good spot over here."

The two brothers exchanged a quick, confused look as Thorin turned away again. He did not normally bother about where they slept – so long as they were quiet and did not keep the rest of the company awake with their constant chatter. Obligingly though the two made their way over to the spot their uncle had suggested, rolling out their bedrolls. They were just about to lay down when they found themselves pulled backward by strong arms, Thorin holding each nephew close to each side.

"Know that I am proud of you both. And that I pray I never see a day I outlive either of you."

After a brief pause, in which Fili and Kili both leant in to their uncle and returned the embrace, Thorin took a step back, rolling out his own bedroll so it lay lengthwise across the heads of his nephews. Laying down he rolled onto his side to face the two younger dwarves as they too lay down, both lying on their stomachs to face Thorin.

At the other side of the cave Bilbo watched the exchange with a faint smile on his lips. Maybe Thorin was not so harsh on his nephews after all.