It was almost the last week of Autumn. The Company of Thorin Oakenshield were tired of waiting for the secret door of Erebor to reveal itself. Fortunately Smaug hadn’t appeared, so the dwarves assumed he wasn’t yet awake. The sun was setting and they took cover near the doorstep. It was Kíli’s turn to watch until midnight, then his brother would replace him and finally their uncle would finish the night.

Despite the cold of the approaching Winter, they didn’t dare light a fire so that their presence should remain unknown. His eyes moved across the dark analysing every single movement even if it was calm. He was the youngest of the company so he had energy to stay awake longer. Suddenly, his ears caught movement behind him. Quietly, he held an arrow to the bow and pointed it ready to shoot when he turn. Quick as the shades of that night, he turned and fired. The arrow flew near the right ear of a blond dwarf.

“Hey, Kíli! It’s me!” An angry voice whispered.

“Don’t scare me like that then, Fíli! Next time it will be an accurate shot for sure,” after a small pause he continued. “It’s my watch and it’s still early for you to come. Go get some sleep.”

Fíli sat near his brother and began playing with a small rock.

“Not tired at all.”

The truth was that it wasn’t the first night he couldn’t sleep. For many weeks now his heart had tightened every time that his thoughts led him to his brother. He couldn’t stop remembering when they were children living with Thorin and their Mother. On cold nights they used to sleep together embracing each other in the furs. In that moment, he wanted to be with Kíli. Just the two of them. Together. Since they were constantly in imminent danger, merely the thought of seeing him dead was unbearable.

“Kíli, I was wondering …” The youngest nodded to encourage him to go on. “Ah, just forget it.”

The other shrugged and kept his eyes on the view ahead. His heart was beating like the wings of a trapped fly on a cobweb. He wanted to say so many things to his brother. But his brain wouldn’t allow him. It seemed too wrong in more ways than one.

A cold breeze blew and Kili leant against his brother. The elder wrapped one arm round him.

“Fíli. I’m really glad you couldn’t sleep,” he took a deep breath. “I mean … this is a real adventure. I hadn’t the slightest idea it would be like this. But now I’m beginning to understand I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, if there even is a tomorrow. Day after day, I feel like I shouldn’t have come. Neither you… I mean… Oh, nevermind, I’m hopeless.”

“You idiot.” Fíli forced a laugh.

He couldn’t stop thinking what he really meant. It was usual to be scared like he was and to seek the protection of his older brother. Nothing more than that. Deep down he was really scared something might happen to Kíli as well. Despite the brotherly love, he began to see his younger brother more than just a child and family. As he sensed the youngest snuggling he cuddled him.

“Like you’d really care if I fell off a cliff,” Kíli said, joking.

However, his brother didn’t like the joke – at all. The silence echoed in that dark cold place.

“I couldn’t bear to lose you, Kíli.”

Kíli moved away slightly so he could stare at his brother. His expression was serious and his eyes were fixed upon his in the dark. He so felt embarrassed he hid his face in older brother’s chest. ‘It’s nothing but a paternal care for me … Why am I acting like this? He only sees me as a child and that’s why he’s saying these things. But then, why don’t these feelings go away?’ he thought sighing.

When Fíli felt his brother wasn’t looking at him, his greenish eyes fixed upon Kíli. His hand ran through Kili’s dark hair, grabbed his chin and lifted his face. Only a few inches separated the brothers now. Both of them were nervous and afraid. They weren’t sure if the other wanted the same. Kíli closed his eyes in embarrassment. They were male dwarves, plus they were brothers. Fíli with his mind full of doubts just had enough guts to kiss his brother lightly on the forehead.

“Little brother …”

Kíli felt quite disappointed. He opened his eyes and couldn’t move a muscle. Fíli held the youngest dwarf tightly. ‘Of course he doesn’t want anything. It’s just my mind trying to turn something I want into reality. He’s my brother after all.’

“Don’t want to ruin everything.” Fíli accidentally spoke his thought aloud but hoped his brother hadn’t heard.

Kíli had heard it. He thought, But what is there to ruin? What does he mean? Is it because of Thorin? I mean… It can’t be the way I want it to be. Oh stop it already! It was true that they were both males and they were brothers, yet they had such a strong connection.

“Oh damn it!” The youngest said while he brought his lips towards his brother’s.

Fíli couldn’t believe what was happening in that moment. He closed his eyes and grabbed his brother’s nape. Their lips sealed in a warm kiss. Their tongues embraced in a passionate dance. Kíli dug his fingers into his brother’s shoulders. It felt so wrong and tender at the same time. All the love accumulated in all those years exploded in that kiss. When they finally gasped for air, the blond threw the other dwarf a caring look.

“Now you can rest for a while,” Kíli said smirking.

Fíli laughed. In that moment was hard to quiet his soul and to sleep. However, his body was exhausted so a few minutes later he was sleeping. The younger caressed Fíli’s beard. There wasn’t a thing that could bring his happiness down. Or so he thought.

Some minutes before it was Fíli’s time to take the watch, he opened his eyes. When he realized where he was he was totally shocked. After some time he remembered everything though he couldn’t believe it. The brothers traded a short but wet kiss and he woke to the reality of their situation, a little worried.

“What time is it?” he asked.

“Almost your turn.”

He felt relieved. Then came to himself. If Thorin even dreamt that was happening…

“What would Uncle said if he discovered us like this?” asked Kíli aware of the situation.

Fíli caressed his dark hair.

“He can’t …” he started. “Stay here with me, get some sleep. I’ll wake you up before Thorin’s watch. You can go to your place and pretend you’re sleeping. Then I’ll wake him up. He’ll never know.”

Kíli smiled and kissed him again. They held their hands with his fingers tangled. A few minutes later he was sleeping. He wasn’t dreaming with goblins, orcs, or the fire and flames of Smaug. No. For the first time in many weeks he had no nightmares. He could rest his body and his mind.

On the other hand, Fíli was insecure that someone would see them. But he felt so comfortable, so warm. He laid his hand in his brother’s. There was nothing that could scare him or trouble his mind except their Uncle.

After some hours he decided that was time to wake his brother up. Something inside him told him to hurry up, but there was plenty of time. He started to kiss his forehead, then his nose, then his cheeks, his chin ending with a lingering one on his lips. Kíli opened his eyes and returned the kiss. With that much affection they didn’t notice the footsteps of someone approaching.

“Fíli… Kíli…”

Suddenly they realized Thorin was standing there looking at them; disappointed. They stood up in a second. Kíli stare at his Uncle’s expression terrified while Fíli couldn’t remove his eyes from the ground.

“Thorin, this is a misunderstanding…” Kíli began.

“Silence!” Thorin yelled. “This has to be a huge mistake. What you were both thinking? This cannot be happening! You are both dwarves! You are brothers! Heirs of Durin! I cannot …”

The brothers didn’t dare trying to explain, nor make a plausible excuse.

“Kíli, you are young and careless but I never thought you could do such a thing … And you Fíli … Do have any idea who are you?” Fíli didn’t answer. “If something happens to me, you will be the King under the Mountain! I thought you were fully aware of that! Now, you two are not going to be alone together. Not for a second! And if someone finds out about this, consider yourselves both dead dwarves. Now get out of my sight!”

Fíli went to join the rest of the group. Kíli instead tried to talk to his Uncle but it was a total disaster. The brothers felt bad about their actions. But worse was the pain of discovering they loved each other and they couldn’t be together. The night fell upon their hearts.

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