Ori/Dwalin. "You want me to do what?”
“You want me to do what?"
Ori blushes under Dwalin’s intense glare, fidgeting and glancing away.
"It’s just that… well, you see, I’ve always wanted to practice off a model, but Dori says that all I need to know I can find in books, but what - what does he know about drawing? How am I ever supposed to do it well if I’m just tracing someone else’s… And, and we’ve got a little bit of time now, and I just thought-”
“Are you calling me a model, lad?” Dwalin huffs, half amusement half some remnant of indignation, and Ori stares at him for a moment before blushing even more.
“Oh, no, no I just - well, I mean, I never get the chance to… Oh, forget it. Forget it. I’m so sorry I - I ever bothered you, Master Dwalin, I’m just going to… go now, I-”
Balin was right - awkwardness follows the boy around like a bee follows the scent of flowers. But it’s… good. Well, tolerable. Dwalin hasn’t used the word adorable in a very long time now, but if he has ever met anyone fitting the description, it would have to be the youngest of the Ri brothers.
“So,” he says firmly, to stop the lad from hastily standing up and scurrying away, “what am I to do? Just sit here while you scribble?”
Ori stares at him again, that doe-eyed disbelieving look that no dwarrow out of his fauntling years should be able to conjure, and Dwalin is suddenly very aware that he himself is still topless, rivulets of water traveling down his back where his hair sticks to it - the bath in the river had been most refreshing, but he wonders how long that feeling will last now. Settle down, you old sod, you’ve far too many years behind your belt to start getting uneasy around pretty young things now.
“Would you?” Ori peeps, “I mean - if it isn’t too much trouble… Just for a little while…”
If it isn’t too much trouble. Dwalin wonders if stealing glances at the young dwarrow’s face, stern and yet ever so open and clear in its concentration as he draws his likeness in quick expert strokes of charcoal on old paper, is an amount of trouble he can yet allow himself. And if Dori’s going to skin him alive right after he finds out he’s been sitting in as model for his young brother, or give him some time to live and be lulled into a false sense of complacency.