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You stumbled when the elf behind you shoved you hard on your back. Luckily, Kili wasn’t far and he caught you, supporting you with his tied hands.

“Don’t touch her,” he growled fiercely.

You trudged along at the back of the group as the company was led (pushed) through the gates of Mirkwood and down into the cellar jails. You dreaded what would come next. You weren’t afraid orcs, wargs, goblins, or anything of the like, but elves you just weren’t fond of. The corridors smelled weird, their clothing was ugly, and their speech was too gooey to understand. And why in Mahal’s name don’t they braid their hair back so it doesn’t get in their face all the time? Helpless, appalling creatures with zero backbones.

The only comfort to you in this moment was Kili. Since you were shoved, he always had a hand on you. The only fear you had while you were in Mirkwood was being separated from the company, and you knew Kili wouldn’t let that happen. Sure, he was dense sometimes and always played his tricks on you, but his honor and loyalty was matched by no other. Besides his brother, who was at the front of the charge.

“Look at this one,” one of the elves behind you said to his comrade. He was speaking in the common tongue simply to aggravate you. “If it wasn’t so curly, her hair would be almost elven.” He hit your braid and it whipped over your shoulder to the front.

You whirled to him, growling. “Do not touch me again.”

“Fierce little thing, isn’t she?”

“Just because you took her weapons, doesn’t mean you won’t lose a hand to her,” Kili warned. His inflection was almost amused, he was speaking from experience.

You looked to him and your glare broke as you smirked. He knew not to mess with you too much.

Soon, the winding staircases led to the dungeons. All the cells were fairly close together in the bottom floor of the tall cellar. From high above, you could hear annoying, soft, boring music. “So not only are we stuck in the elven dungeons, but we have to listen to their blasted fairy music all night as well?” you said. Kili chuckled at that.

Then he was pushed harshly into the last cell. You moved to follow him, but the elf who had been teasing you held onto your arm with a vice like grip. “No, no. You come with me.”

The bars of the cell slammed closed and Kili ran to them, reaching for you through them. “No! She stays with us- she stays with me! Let her go, now!”

Panic rose in your chest. You knew this would happen, you couldn’t trust elves. You looked around quickly seeing no escape and every one of your comrades already in locked cells. You pulled your arm from the elf, but he only leaned closer to you.

“Can’t have a lady down here. It wouldn’t be right. Even if you are a dwarf.”

You looked to Kili and tried to find some sort of strength. You breathed deeply as the elf circled around you and held your jaw tight in his long fingers. “And you are a pretty one, aren’t you?” he whispered in your ear for only you to hear.

You jarred your face free and spat on his hand.

“If you take her with you, she’ll find a way to escape. She’ll free us all and I will find you and kill you, elf.” Kili’s glare was dangerous. His bright teeth were bared, his neck was red with fury and his eyes dark and animalistic.

The elf’s lips returned to your ear, grazing against your neck as he spoke. “Is that what you want? To stay in these dungeons instead of having a nice dinner with me?”

“Dinner is not all you’d be wanting,” you said.

He straightened, tightening his grip on you. He opened the cell door enough to throw you in and then slammed it closed again. “Fine. Rot down here. I don’t care.” He stormed off, up the stairs and far away from you.

You blinked away your tears of panic and frustration as Kili helped you up off the hard floor. “Are you all right? That bastard elf. I should’ve ripped his head off when I had the chance. How dare he speak to you like that. Touch you like that? Mahal, I could just… Are you all right, (Y/N)?”

You nodded, brushing the dirt off your trousers. You stepped away from him, turning your back while you gathered yourself. “I’m fine.”

“No you’re not. You’re bleeding.”

You looked down. You had landed hard when the elf pushed you into the cell. “It’s just a scratch. It’s nothing.”

“Here, let me help you,” Kili said, taking your hand in his.

You ripped it away. “I’m fine.”

“You won’t be fine when it festers!” He grabbed you and pushed your back against the wall. “Why are you always so stubborn when I’m trying to help you?” His voice echoed through the cellars. Then he checked himself, taking a deep breath. “Stay put.”

He brought the hem of his tunic up to his mouth and ripped it with his teeth. He pulled off a strip from the bottom and wrapped it securely around your palm. “I’m sorry. I’m taking my anger out on you and I shouldn’t be.”

“No, I- I’m stubborn.”

“I know that. I’ve always known that.” He tied a knot in the makeshift bandage and held your hand, bringing it up to his lips. He kissed your fingers. You couldn’t read his expression and his eyes didn’t meet yours as he spoke. “I should have made you go into the cell first.”

“You didn’t really have a choice in that,” you said.

“Well, I should have done a better job of protecting you.”

“I can protect myself.”

He sighed. “I know that.”

You squeezed his hand as much as your injury allowed. “But I know that if I can’t, you’ll always be there to help me. To keep me safe. To-to keep all of us safe.”

He stared at your feet. “(Y/N), when I thought that elf was going to take you away, I…” he shook his head, lost. “I just, I couldn’t…”

“I know.”

“No, you don’t. I couldn’t do anything! If he… If you ever…”

“Kili,” your fingers brushed his cheek. “I know.”

His hand rose to the back of your head and his lips crashed to yours. His kiss was urgent, needy, protective. You were his.

“If we could stop kissing and figure out a way to escape, that would be great.”

You drew away from Kili, laughing at his brother’s voice. “It’s your turn to come up with the plan, remember?” you called to the next cell.

Kili kissed your forehead and told you to sit. He landed behind you with his back against the cell wall and pulled you between his legs, letting your back rest against his chest. His arms encircled you securely. “You should get some sleep. I’ll keep you safe.”

“I know you will.”