This takes place before my other fic, 'Trouble-makers'. :)

Pebbles in the Well

Fíli ran down the winding cavernous corridor ahead of his brother, the glinting crystals embedded in the rock walls blurring into one shining gleam.

'Fíli, wait for me!' Kíli's little voice called from behind him. 'I'll tell Uncle Thorin when he arrives that you were being mean!'

Reluctantly Fíli slowed to a trot, allowing his younger brother on his shorter legs to catch up with him.

They continued on their way back to their quarters, where their uncle was expected to arrive soon. They passed through the busy part of the underground community where the bread ovens and food stores and wells were to be found. As they walked they spotted a small lone figure by one of the wells, crouching down on the floor playing with something.

Fíli recognised the figure instantly.

'Look, Kíli, it's little Gimli!'

The figure looked up when be heard his name called.

'I'm not little!' Gimli cried crossly. 'I'm nearly as old as you, Kíli! I've even got my beard plaited!' he continued.

Fíli and Kíli sauntered up to Gimli and looked at what he was toying with. Gimli tried to hide the objects but Kíli was too fast. Quickly he snatched up the things - and laughed.

'Pebbles! Whatever are you collecting pebbles for, Gimli?'

Gimli looked at the floor, his face as bright as his beard.

'My da said I wasn't old enough for the family jewels, ' he muttered crossly. 'So he said to collect pebbles instead.'

Kíli looked interestedy at the collection of pebbles in Fíli's hands. They were small and smooth, in varying shades of grey; some the colour of shadows, other like clouds on an overcast day.

'They're very nice, Gimli,' Kìli said kindly; he didn't think there was anything wrong with collecting pebbles.

But Fíli had apparently lost interest in them, as he thrust them back at Gimli who caught them reverently.

'Would you like to fight, Gimli?'

'Fight?' Gimli spluttered, surprised by this sudden change of topic.

'Yes, fight. Kíli and I have just finished our lesson today - I beat him of course-'

'No you didn't, Fíli!' Kíli cried out at this falsehood.

'Alright, Kíli did manage to beat me once or twice-'

'It was twice,' Kíli muttered.

'Stop interrupting! I'm trying to challenge Gimli!' Fíli protested.

'I'd like to fight!' Gimli piped up.

Fíli's face brightened. 'You would? Good! No weapons, ok?'

Gimli nodded eagerly, and Kíli stepped back the better to watch. The two young dwarves squared up to each other and began to wrestle, struggling to best the other. Gimli was smaller and this allowed him to wriggle out of Fíli's grasp. He wrapped his arms around Fíli's legs, nearly toppling the older dwarf over.

Fíli stood stock still, glaring at the little red-headed dwarf looking up at him triumphantly. Fíli scowled, and into the silence that had descended said, 'Gimli, let me win or I will throw your pebbles into the well.'

'You wouldn't, though! ' Gimli crowed, not releasing his grip on Fíli's legs.

'I would. Kíli, pass me the pebbles-'

But before he could get any further Gimli immediately let go and scrambled up.

'Alright! You win! Just don't hurt my pebbles...' he said, his face pleading with Fíli.

Fíli immediately brightened considerably again, and patted Gimli on the head.

'Thank you very much, Gimli. That was a very good fight.'

Gimli scowled at Fíli as he clutched the pebbles to his chest. He didn't reply.

'Come on, Kíli!' Fíli called brightly. Kíli ran to catch up with his brother, but he sent a quick look back at Gimli. The red-headed dwarf's face spelled revenge - and Kíli would happily jump onto any bandwagon which would shrink his puffed-up brother's head to normal size.

Kíli would help Gimli avenge his pebbles.

A/N: I hope you eenjoyed this. Little dwarves are so cute! :)

As you can tell, there will be another one following on from this one. What will Kíli and Gimli do to get Fíli back...?!

Please review, and thank you so much for reading! :)