Your eyes blew wide and rolled at the noisy, booming laughter of the dwarves at the table. The elves of Rivendell had finally left the company alone, except for a few guards, while you dined and drank. It had been weeks since you ate such fine food and sat on something other than the ground or hard stone. You were actually enjoying yourself until the jokes started flying. You blamed the strong elven port.
You laughed with them as the dwarfs you’d gotten to know picked on you. “If only (Y/N) could forge a stew like she forged a dagger.” Hilarious. Even Thorin jumped in, leaning on Dwalin in laughter as he joked about your temper and your clothes. You didn’t all together mind, but you were grateful when they moved on to someone else.
“Did’ya see all ‘em elves with their archer bows? And those… arrow baskets on their backs?” Dwalin tried to whisper but he was shouting even louder than normal.
“Quivers, Dwalin,” Kili corrected, laughing with you.
“Oh, a course you’d know, lad. You’re just like ‘em. Too afraid to get into the real action! You’d rather fight from afar!”
Thorin straightened, but most of the company joined Dalwin in laughing at Kili.
“It actually takes a lot of skill—” Fili started.
“Yes! It takes a lot of skill to run from a fight! Tis against dwarf nature!” Dwalin cried.
Fili stood, slamming his fist on the table, but Kili waved him away. “Let them joke. I need some air,” he said.
You watched him leave. Suddenly the company’s laughter felt like orc screeching to your ears and you couldn’t stand it any longer. You skidded back your chair and wandered off to follow Kili.
You moseyed through the open corridors and though you tried to avoid them, you passed a few elves. They didn’t exactly look at you with kindness but they allowed you to pass. Finally, you saw one that looked familiar. You recognized him from your arrival. “Have you seen—”
“Outside,” the elf said, gesturing down the pass.
You grumbled your thanks and snuck outside, grateful to finally step on grass again instead of the neat stone that ran through almost all of Rivendell. Ahead, you saw Kili sat on a bench under a large tree where your packs and weapons were left. You sat next to him and he sent you a soft smile.
“You following me?”
You elbowed him. “Anything to get away from Dwalin’s awful jokes.”
“They didn’t mean it, you know,” you said. They’re drunk out of their minds.”
He chuckled. “I know.”
“Dwalin couldn’t even forge a bow, never mind shoot one.” You watched him roll his eyes. “I’m serious. It’s really incredible what you do. It’s one thing to take out your anger and fight sword to sword with a foe, but it’s something else to be calm and focused enough to hit a target in the heat of battle. You never miss.”
“You speak like you’d want to learn,” he said. You looked at him with a smirk, waiting for the joke. But his eyes were sparkling with excitement and his smile was sincere. “I’ll teach you.”
“No, I’d end up killing you by accident,” you laughed.
“(Y/N), I’ve watched you fight, I know you’re strong enough. You have the mind for it too. It could be a good skill for you to have.”
Your curiosity was getting the better of you. You stood and spun to him. “Okay. But no laughing at me when I inevitably screw this up.”
“You’ll hear no laughing from me,” he said, reaching for his bow and quiver of arrows. “Come over here,” he said, leading you to the middle of the clearing, about ten yards away from a thick trunked tree. He handed you the large bow and turned you by your shoulders so your back was to him. “You do your fighting with this hand, so you’ll stand this way.”
The smooth wood of the bow was worn by Kili’s grip, so you knew where to hold it. “Good,” he said. You felt his chest against your back as he took a step to you and his warmth sent your stomach fluttering. His fingers brushed your neck as he pushed your hair over your shoulder and he let his hand trail down your arm. “Straighten your elbow. There you go.” His fingers wrapped around yours on the bow. “Loosen your grip. Like you’re holding a bouquet of flowers instead of strangling an orc.”
You laughed, but the sound dissipated as his other arm came around your body with the arrow. He was holding you close now and every word sent his breath fanning over your bare neck.
“Hold the arrow at its end,” he said.
You pinched it with your forefinger and thumb. “Like this?”
He hummed and you felt it vibrate in his chest. “You can do that.” He rested the arrow against his thumb on the bow to show you a new grip on the arrow. He twisted your hand so it was flat and laid his palm over the back of your hand, lacing his fingers in yours. He held the arrow between his fore finger and your middle finger. “Or you can hold it like this.” His voice was low in your ear.
Your gaze moved to your other hand on the bow as you felt his thumb glide over your knuckles. “Now nock the bow on the bend of your finger. That’s right. Now draw it back to your ear.” He guided your arm back so his hand brushed against your cheek. You felt him adjust his stance so his entire front was glued to your back. You wondered if he could feel your heart pounding.
“Aim,” he whispered. “And loose.”
The arrow flew straight and fast into the center of the large trunk, but Kili didn’t move from you.
“Well done. You did it,” he said.
You turned your head, feeling yourself flush when your nose brushed against his. “I did nothing. That was all your doing.”
“Try again, then.” His arm left you only so he could take another arrow from the quiver behind his back, and then his warmth returned to you. He helped you nock the arrow and left you alone to aim, moving his hands to your waist.
You took a deep breath, looking down the arrow to the center of the tree. Just when you thought you were lined up with the target, you felt Kili’s lips on your neck. He began with soft, pecking kisses, but they grew warmer and soon his tongue was caressing your skin.
“I will never hit the mark with such a distraction,” you said, secretly reveling in his touch.
You felt him smile against you. “Do you think there are no distractions on the battlefield?” His breath rolled over your skin and his grip tightened on your hips. “Would you rather have an orc attacking you or my lips?”
You loosed the arrow and it soared to the center of the tree, just above the earlier one. You let your head fall to the side, giving Kili more room for his onslaught. “I think you know the answer to that.”
“Then I think we will have to cut our lesson short.”
You set the bow on the ground and turned in his hold, wrapping your arms around his neck and returning his kiss. His lips were soft in texture but firm in hold as he knitted your mouths together. He made a shiver run through you as he carded his fingers through your hair and cradled your head in his palm. He hummed against you, perfectly content to hold you and kiss you just like this for the rest of the night. Sadly, you were then interrupted.
“Ki! Where-woah, uh, sorry. Sorry. We’re- we’re having a meeting, Thorin told me to come get you guys. Mahal, give a guy a warning.” Fili kept rambling until Kili stopped him.
“Go! Go back. We won’t be far behind.”
You laughed, watching Fili slink away, shaking his head. “I hope he doesn’t blame me for this,” you said. “I just came for the archery lesson. I didn’t know it would lead to… this.”
Kili wrapped an arm around your shoulders and led you back to the halls of Rivendell. “Well, did you like… this?”
“Eh, it was okay, I guess.”
Kili spun you and kissed your lips once more. “I’m crazy for you too.”