Title: Care and Comfort
Author: H. Savinien
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Tolkien, New Line Cinema, et cetera, not me.
A. N.: Non-binary dwarves!
Summary: Family cuddles and caring focused on Bofur.
Resting against Bombur's warm bulk, Bofur replaited one braid, sighing at the mess of flyaway strands and the complete loss of one of the wire bits that usually secured it. It was hard to keep hair tidy on the road – Nori's continued maintenance of those elaborate poufs was astonishing dedication and made one wonder how the dwarf ever found time to sleep. A tap on the shoulder brought Bofur's head around. Bifur stood there with their little pot of oil, shaking an admonitory finger. Bofur smiled and gave the mess of hair over to cousinly ministrations. Bifur's hands were always gentle without a weapon. They always had been, since they all grew out of fumble-fingered adolescence.
Bifur confiscated Bofur's hat and sat on it, waving away Bofur's quiet squawk of protest. “Never any respect for a dwarf's hat,” Bofur muttered. Bifur nodded in time to the words, the cadence well-worn over the years. Fetching the comb out of Bombur's pack, Bifur popped it behind one ear, unclasped the remaining twists of wire and set to working careful fingers through the tangled remnants of braid. Bifur's hands were chilly and the spear callouses caught once in a while in a lock, but Bofur leaned into the touch, side warm against Bombur, and felt comforted even in the damp forest. Once all Bofur's hair was free and generally falling in the same direction, Bifur set to combing it out. Slowly, from the bottom of the rough locks, Bifur picked apart knots and smoothed tangles, warm and sure. Each lock poofed out into a crackling cloud of tiny storm sparks as the comb's teeth released it; Bifur patted them down with a chuckle. When Bofur's head was a snapping, smooth mane, Bifur began combing in the oil, parting and separating the strands for the two braids Bofur favored.
Nestled between sibling and cousin in a corner of warmth, Bofur smiled and hummed a few of the low bars that began their grandparents' homecoming song. Bifur added the baritone part as the first braid pulled tight and held the longer notes, letting Bofur's tenor scamper around in some harmonies. Bombur's steady snore faded into wakefulness and Bofur felt the shift as Bombur turned to curl closer in, eyes blinking open. Bombur's voice added in muzzily, murmuring the words along with their humming. One hand landed heavily on Bofur's shin and patted clumsily.
Bifur wrapped the wire around the end of Bofur's braid, flipping it out of the way. Bofur shifted around to lean back against Bombur again, giving Bifur a better angle for the other braid. Bombur, head pillowed on one arm, held out the other for the comb. When Bifur passed it over, Bombur took an uncoordinated swipe at Bofur's mustaches, which made Bofur laugh and broke the melody. Bofur confiscated the comb and took over the mustache grooming for facial safety. Bifur tugged the second braid snug, wrapped the end, then leaned forward to rest against Bofur's shoulder with a sigh. Bombur subsided back into a doze and Bofur snuggled in to rest, surrounded by family.