“You look good,” Kirin said, ruffling Kili’s short hair. “You could almost pass muster at boot camp.“
Kili shot a shy smile at Dis. "Yeah, she…did a good job."
"She cut your hair when you were a kid because you used to try and bite the barber,” Kirin said. He had his hands in his back pockets, a habit Kili had picked up, and was wearing that sad, sort of happy smile he wore when he thought about the past. Kili wondered if maybe, years down the line, he’d pick that habit up as well.
“I’ll see if I can find some pictures,” Dis said.
Kili nodded, still rather hesitant. He had thought what he had had with Fili, and Kina when she was there, was what family felt like. But having his dad’s standing at his back in that calm way he had and the way Dis was smiling happily at him…
“Oh, hey,” Kirin said, pulling something out of his back pocket. It was in a gift store brown bag sleeve and he handed it over to Kili. “Figured you’d be happy to leave this place behind."
Kili took it, trusting the brace to actually hold him up, and pulled out the postcard. He rolled his eyes. "Gee, thanks, dad."
"It’s a hobby of his,” Kirin said. “His way of kissing off a place."
Dis arched an eyebrow as Kili handed the postcard and sleeve back to Kirin.
"Every place has postcards, no matter how obscure they are. Whether it’s about a state or a tourist place or whatever. Gas stations around the world have it. Good industry."
"If no postcards then a magnet,” Kirin said.
“I’d love to see them all some time,” Dis said.
Kili nodded. “Think you could post them to us?” At Kirin’s nod he offered another unsure smile at Dis. “That’s okay, right?"
Dis reached out, just the tiniest bit up, and ruffled his hair until it was sticking up all over the place and he was laughing. "There we go,” Dis said. “Better."
"I should be able to help you lug this one home before I leave,” Kirin said. “Docs here said he didn’t have to have the constant supervision anymore but they like you and Dwalin being there in case anything happens."
"My stitches are out,” Kili said.
"Doesn’t mean anything and you know it,” Kirin said, pointing a finger at Kili. “You are ridiculously skilled at hurting yourself."
Kili rolled his eyes at him. "Shut up. You are such a liar."
“We’ll be fine,” Dis said.
“Of course you will,” Kirin said, “you always are.”