Kili’s head snapped around to his brother who was staring at him with wide, warning eyes.
“Didya hear a single thing I said, lad?” Dwalin growled.
Kili shook his head, his hair whipping over his forehead. “No. Sorry, Dwalin.”
The rough old dwarf stood with a grunt and lumbered away from the pair, grumbling something about stupid boys. Kili’s distant gaze returned to the fire in front of him and he blindly stirred the stew in his lap that he had barely touched.
“Brother, you need to get some good rest tonight or Dwalin will flog you to death. What’s got you so exhausted anyway?” Fili asked.
“I’ve had second watch for the last two nights. I hate second watch! I might as well not sleep at all,” he said gulping down some of his food.
“Well, that’s your fault for taking Ori’s watch. You’re just too kind to us, young prince,” Fili sang, elbowing his brother’s side.
Kili growled. He hated it when anyone of the company called him that. “Oh, for the love of Mahal, Fili. What was I supposed to do? Let him be sick all night from that so called “fish” you boiled for dinner? It’s a wonder anyone was well enough to stand watch that night.”
“That fish was delicious and you know it. You just wanted to be (Y/N)’s golden prince in shining armor.”
Kili’s gaze lifted to you sitting across the fire and he felt himself flush. “What are you talking about? Don’t be stupid, Fili.”
“Oh, come on. Ori was begging for someone to take his place and you volunteered right away once she was there to witness it. That smile she gave you was prize enough for ya, eh?”
“Shut your trap, will ya? I’m tryin’ to eat,” Kili said, praying his brother would do as he asked.
Once there was quiet around the fire, Kili risked a glance to you again. He smiled to himself, remembering the sweet grin you gave him as he finished off his bowl of stew. He’d go a week more without sleep if you’d smile at him again. It made his heart melt.
The company slowly retreated from the fire and set out their bedrolls. Kili spoke with Fili as he did so, keeping his eye on you and secretly setting up next to you. He plopped down on it, satisfied with his work. But when he turned to your roll, you weren’t on it. You had returned to the log in front of the fire.
Fili rolled his eyes at his younger brother and decided to help him out. “(Y/N)? Not going to sleep yet, lass?”
Your shoulders slumped. “No. I have first watch tonight, remember?”
Before Fili could answer, his brother stammered, “I’ll take it for you, (Y/N). I’m not tired anyway.”
You narrowed your eyes at him and he gulped. “Liar,” you smirked. “You’ve had watch the last two nights and you look exhausted.”
Kili’s stomach flipped. Had you really been paying that much attention to him? He cleared his throat and said, “What a compliment, lass.”
You chuckled. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
A grumble from Fili convinced Kili to roll over and try to sleep. Soon, everyone around him snored, but despite his weariness, sleep wouldn’t take him. He shuffled and peeked at you from under his arm.
You were studying the stars. He smiled to himself and felt the familiar tightness in his chest that he felt every time he looked at you. Your eyes and smooth skin sparkled in the starlight as you wrung your fingers in your lap. He hated the loneliness that came from being on watch and he couldn’t bear to leave you in it.
He stood, taking his cloak with him, and asked if he could join you on the log. “Can’t sleep,” he said.
You scooted over and grinned in thanks when he sat next to you and covered your shoulders with the fur lined cloak. From behind you, you heard a rustling and you shot around, dagger in hand and threatened what turned out to be a rabbit in the night.
You let out your held breath and smiled. “While I think you should be sleeping, I’m glad you’re here. I always get spooked by the littlest things when I’m alone on watch,” you said, smirking at Kili’s chuckles.
You returned your dagger to the holster on your thigh, running your thumb over the intricately designed head.
“That’s really beautiful. And you wield it well,” Kili said.
“It was my brother’s. I stole it from him before I left,” you said with a laugh. You clicked the handle out of place and then back again. “It needs to be repaired, but it’ll do for now.”
Kili reached out his hand for it and tried to ignore your touch as your fingers brushed his. He twirled and tossed it in his hand, going over the mechanisms and details. “Give me two days and I’ll forge you another once we get to Erebor. Give me three and I’ll forge you an even better one.”
“What can you do in four?” You laughed at his wide eyes and squeezed his forearm. It was a habit of yours and he adored it.
A harsh wind blew and you clutched his cloak around you, noticing his warmth and scent envelope you. You looked to his bow at his feet. “How long did it take you to carve your bow?”
He lifted it. “This? About a day.” He shrugged.
“A day?” You almost yelled.
He smirked and held it out to you. You looked to him in question. You knew no one was allowed to touch his bow but him. Not even Fili. “Take it,” he said.
You held it flat in your hands as if it were made of the thinnest glass. You ran over the smooth etchings with the tips of your fingers. “It’s magnificent. I’ve always wanted to learn to use one. They’re so much more accurate and graceful. It takes such strength…”
Kili’s smirk grew as you trailed off. “It’s not so hard. You’ve seen me do it a hundred times.”
“But you’re so skilled-”
“And you’re so… perfect,” he said before he could stop himself.
Your chin fell as you tried to push your rising color back down. “I’m far from perfect.”
His rough fingers lifted your cheek and pulled your gaze to his. He whispered your name as his stare flitted from your eyes to your lips. Just as you were about to meet, you stopped.
A wave of dread and embarrassment crashed over him. He drew away quickly but before he could say a word, you set his bow down and slid your fingers through the hair around his ear, bringing him back to you.
“I didn’t want to drop your bow,” you said with a wide grin.
You kissed his surprise-parted lips and felt him smile against you. His arms wrapped around you and held you close with a firm grasp. You melted into his touch, into his kiss, feeling small and safe against him.
He rested his forehead on yours after pecking your lips one last time.
“Thorin will kill you if he finds you distracting me while I’m on watch,” you whispered.
“I’m distracting you?” Kili laughed.
“I’ll kill ya both if ya don’t shut yer yaps and go to sleep,” Dwalin grumbled from below.
You leaned into Kili and giggled into his shoulder as his fingers intertwined with yours. “You really should sleep,” you told him.
He brought your hand to his lips and kissed it. “Not a chance.”