“Just shove your shyness down your throat and talk to him for Durin's sake,” exasperation rolling off of Nori. “What's the worst that can happen?”
The topic of Ori's shyness and potential mates was continually up for conversation. Nori would not let it go that his younger brother was nothing like him.
“He might hurt me,” Ori tried to stick with logic to battle Nori's nonsense.
Today, Nori and Ori were manning the cloth stall that the Brothers Ri worked together in. Ori was busy handling accounts while Nori was rifling through the merchandise.
“If he tries to hurt you Dori and I will show him the error of his ways.” The only thing that Dori and Nori could ever agree on was protecting Ori.
Ori harrumphed and turned his back on his devious brother. Bodily pain was not the hurt he was worried about. Even though the object of his affections had big arms, the kind of arms one could use to bring pain, they were very nice and Ori looked at them frequently, Ori was not worried about being beaten. A retort was on the tip of Ori's tongue that he could protect himself thank you very much and his practice with the slingshot was coming along nicely.
“I bet you can't even utter one word to him if you tried.” Nori was a sly bastard when he needed to be, but Ori and him had played this game before. Plus Nori never would bet against Ori. So bringing up a bassis of a bet was Nori fishing for an insider's opinion for an actual bet he has.
“Keep your money out of my business.”
“Oh come on, I have a wee bet with Bofur that you with at least talk to him.”
“And here I thought you were actually trying to help your brother and not make money off of his personal life.” Ori hissed at Nori. Their conversation had began to attract attention. Ori really hopped that 'he' did not look across the way at him.
Nori looked as chagrined as one like him could. “I am worried about you. You're an adult now, you should be having dalliances-” a salacious wink from Nori, “not working yourself to the bone. At least not this way.” How Nori can go from having a suggestive tone to admonishing Ori and back again in so much as a breath was beyond Ori.
“I am fine. I do not need those 'dalliances' that you are so fond of. I am perfectly content with my books. I do not need, nor want, some companion to be in and out of my bed. I AM NOT YOU!” Ori stopped. His speech had crescendoed to the point that his last sentence was yelled at Nori. Ori's checks were flushed from his mounting anger. Nori smirked and made a motion with his eyes toward the stall across the market.
Ori glanced over at the object of his affections and the center of Nori's focus and saw Thorin Oakenshield staring at him with some emotion in his eyes that Ori could not pin down with just a glance.
Now Ori's cheeks flushed for an entirely different reason.
Turning around Ori ran away from the market. Calls from his brother fell on deaf ears as Ori ran home. His heart was pounding, the throbbing of his veins making him sick.
Thorin Oakenshield finally looked at him and he had been having a tantrum fit for a dwarfling. Ori was doomed to never have a relationship, that was it. Mahal was cursing him for some reason. Perhaps for the faults of his good for nothing brother.
Nori planned all of it. Nori is the only one in all of Middle Earth that Ori is himself with. Ori is not shy and submissive with Nori, and in return Nori is not as devious and thieving with Ori.
Running into the Brothers Ri home, Ori dashed to his room and threw himself on his bed. He resolved to stay there until he died of embarrassment. Until his sweet death by mortification came he would try to understand his brother's motives.
Nori more than likely had Ori's best interests in mind when he concocted his plan. But if he thought that the idea of Ori being with Thorin was hopeless, like Ori considered it, then he would not have cared if he ruined what little chance Ori had with Thorin. Ori thought that Nori probably wrote the whole thing off as a crush.
Ori groaned into his pillow.
This had ruined his plan to woo Thorin Oakenshield. He had a whole plan that would use his shyness and quiet demeanor to seduce Thorin. All his meticulous planning was shattered because now Thorin's first impression was that of a petulant dwarfling. Ori really did not want to bring attention to his age. He was a completely consenting dwarlf who would not mind whatever the majestic king would do to him.
Nori must hate him. Or just enjoy watching Ori suffer.
The latter Ori decided.
A hesitant knock on the door.
“Nori I don't ever want to see you again.”
“What about Dori? Will you speak to Dori?” Nori yelled through the door.
There was no way out of a conversation now. Dori would just break down the door if Ori barred him entry and Nori would just pick the lock if Ori excluded Nori from the conversation.
Resigned, Ori let them in.
“Oh lad, look at the state of your rooms-”
“-and look at the state you're in-”
“Dori we need none of your babying now we-”
“Oh yes we have to clean the house, we can't be having royalty over in this pit.”
“-You planning on letting the king into Ori's room?” Nori spared a wink for Ori during Dori's tirade.
Ori blinked owlishly, “I'm sorry, but I do not understand. What is going on?” Ori looked from on brother to the other. Dori was flitting around and cleaning up as he went. Nori was leaning against the wall and trying to hide a grin.
“Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, is coming for supper. Balin just informed me. Thorin wants to speak to you.”