A Tale of Two Brothers

A/N: Welcome to my second hobbit story. This is three short moments in the lives of Fili and Kili that brought us to where we are today!

The Incident with the Babe

Note: in human years: Kili is a newborn, Fili is 5.

The more Dis's belly seemed the swell, the more Fili seemed to keep his distance from his beloved ma. It's not that he didn't love his ma anymore, he just didn't trust her swollen stomach. The baby growing inside his mother seemed to make her more tired and was also causing her pain in her back and legs. The belly had ruined many of the games Fili was used to playing with his mother.

In the young dwarfing's eyes, as the belly grew bigger, mommy grew less fun to play with.

But then again, on the other hand, the bigger her tummy got, the more Fili's mother seemed to glow. Her radiance seemed to light up the room and her laugh would make Fili's heart feel so happy he thought it would burst. Laying his small head on his mother's swollen tummy, Fili thought to himself, 'If ma is this happy, the baby can't be all bad.'

When the baby came, Fili was banished to his own bedroom. His ma and da were in the bedroom with the midwives, and Fili was forbidden to come anywhere near. Tears came to his eyes as he sat and waited. He brought his small legs to his chest and hugging them close as a new concern came to him; was he always going to be kept away now that there was a baby?

As if sensing his heir's tears, a light rap on the door perked Fili up. "Uncle!" Fili exclaimed and rubbed his eyes, trying to wipe the tears from his face before his uncle saw them.

"Everything alright, Fili?" Thorin said, sitting on the floor beside his nephew. He could see the dwaflings eyes were red and swollen. Fili sniffled in response. Thorin said nothing, simply sat and watched the child. He knew from his dealings with his young nephew that Fili would open up to him as soon as he felt ready. Even though he was barely older than a babe himself, Fili already seemed to sense the importance of controlling his emotions before he spoke. 'He will be a fine king one day,' Thorin thought with pride.

After sniffling a few more times Fili finally spoke to his uncle. "They don't want me around." Fili said, small voice cracking slightly. "There is not room for me anymore, they can't love me as much now." Fili finished with a sigh.

Thorin smiled at his nephew "Is that what you think, little one?" Thorin said before embracing the small dwarf in his arms. "You are wrong, Fili. You see, your parent's love is not finite, like your ma's apple pie. You don't have to give some away. You do not have less of it, simply because you have to share it with another child. A parent's love simply expands to include the two of you. Your parent's love has no limit."

"Are you sure?" Fili asked his uncle.

"Of course I'm sure. Just like you, I too am the oldest brother." Throin said, with a wink, knowing that would make Fili smile. "And you know what else, Fili?"

"What?" Fili said, now smiling as if he understood this connection that he and his uncle shared as oldest siblings.

"Your little brother or sister, they are going to look up to you and love you, and you are going to love them more than anyone else in the world." Thorin said with a smile.

"Really?" Fili asked, smiling wider.

"Really." Thorin said, thinking of his own relationship with Frerin and Dis. "You must protect your younger sibling, for they will be more precious to you than anyone else."

Interrupting the moment, a voice called out to the two oldest siblings. "Thorin! Fili! Come here! There is someone who can't wait to meet you!" Fili's father called out from the master bedroom.

Fili darted out of the room and down the hall before Thorin could even stand back up. Dis was lying on the bed, hair damp with sweat, but glowing even more than Fili could ever remember seeing her.

"Fili, come meet your little brother."

Fili climbed onto the bed with his mother, eyes mesmerized on the small bundle in her arms.

"Meet Kili" His mother whispered before placing the small bundle into Fili's open arms.

Fili's blue eyes locked with his new brother's dark ones. The baby had been fidgeting until Dis placed him in Fili's arms. Now the baby stared at Fili with as much intensity as Fili stared back at him.

"Kili" Fili whispered, a smile forming on his small features. "I've got you, brother. I've got you."

As soon as he was in his older brother's arms, the small babe seemed to relax, closing his eyes and falling asleep.

Fili knew right then that his Uncle was right. For suddenly while holding his baby brother, Fili had no more concern about the love of his parents. Kili was all that mattered to him. Without even knowing something had ever been missing, Fili felt complete.

The Incident with the Wolves

Note: in human years, Kili is 10, Fili is 15.

Ever since Kili was old enough to walk, it was as though Fili had a permanent shadow. He didn't seem to mind, for as the two brothers grew they became known almost as a single entity. It was always "Fili and Kili" this, "Fili and Kili" that.

And Fili wouldn't have it any other way.

That's not to say they didn't fight, as even the closest of siblings do, but their arguments would often end in a short burst of tears quickly cured by sticking out of tongues and followed up with giggles with Dis rolling her eyes and sighing at their antics.

The brothers were an inseparable force, which is why Fili was so surprised when Kili started training with the bow instead of the sword like Fili. He couldn't deny that his brother had an uncanny knack for the weapon, but it surprised him. Fili had expected that he and his brother would spend their training together mastering swords. Instead of begging Fili and Master Dawlin to allow him to train with them, Kili would often follow his brother to the practice field and practice his archery off to the side.

"Your brother, he's turning out to be pretty talented with that elvish weapon." Dawlin said with a smile. Fili was on his well-deserved break after a particularly intense round of sparring. He had been improving greatly and was loath to admit that his selfish side was upset his younger brother wasn't watching and complimenting his moves.

"Elvish?" Fili asked, glancing over at his brother. Kili was aiming at a target he had hung from a tree. He had drawn what Fili imagined to be a goblin face on it and was putting arrow after arrow into the center mass of the body.

"Ay." Dawlin said "I haven't had many dealings with the elves since Erebor fell, but they always seemed to carry bows and arrows. You don't see many dwarves with them." Dawlin said thoughtfully. Dawlin didn't mean anything in particular about the bow. Contrary to what some may think, Dawlin was a warrior. He knew that a warrior needed to use whatever his skills were to keep him alive in battle. Should it be a war hammer, an ax, twin blades, or a bow, Dawlin would use whatever skill he had to keep himself alive and to fight for his king.

Unfortunately for poor Kili, Fili was not yet as wise as Dawlin. He wasn't a prejudiced boy, not in the slightest. He had many friends in Erid Luin that were children of men. But his Uncle spoke so terribly of elves that it concerned him for his brother to emulate them in the slightest. And since Fili had never yet met an elf, he didn't have his own experiences to wipe clean the stories told by his Uncle.

Fili decided then he didn't want his brother using a bow.

The next day, while helping his Uncle in the forges, Fili came up with a plan. He was an apprentice, lacking the skill and training his Uncle had, but he had the skills to make a sword. Surely if he made one nice enough, one that was created completely by his own hand as a gift for Kili, his brother would ditch the bow for the new weapon.

Any extra time spent over the next few weeks Fili worked out his plan. He used his lunch break every day to perfect the weapon. When it was finished, Fili couldn't be more proud of the job he had done.

He practically skipped the whole way home, he was so excited.

Kili was thrilled with the sword. He hugged his brother tightly and balanced the weapon in his hand. "I need to work more with the sword," Kili said with excitement. "I'm definitely not where I'd like to be!"

As the two began suiting up to go out to practice, Fili was dismayed to see Kili place his quiver and bow over his shoulder.

"Don't you think you can leave those behind, Kee? We are working on the sword after all?"

"Might want to practice archery after." Kili said with a shrug. "Besides, I feel better with them."

Fili sighed, disappointed, but did not press it. How could he criticize something that made his younger brother feel safer?

A few hours later the boys were spent from their sparring. "You'll be a swordsmen yet, little brother" Fili said with a grin. Kili's bow and arrows lay forgotten on the ground 10 feet away.

It had been a perfect day for Fili. Unfortunately, the universe was not done teaching the young princes of Durin that day and a nearby howl sent a chill up both brothers' spines.

"wolf?" Kili said, raising immediately to his feet and glancing around them.

"Wolves." Fili corrected, seeing at least two pairs of beady eyes now eyeing them through the trees.

"There are too many of them." Kili said nervously, as another two approached from the other end of the woods. The brothers were now back to back, surrounded by two wolves on either side. Fili held his sword fast in front of him, he could feel his brother shaking. With a heavy heart, he knew his brother was right. They didn't stand a chance against four wolves at close range. They were still too young.

Not at close range.

"Kee, your bow. You can take out two before they get close to us. Then I can get the other two once they are in striking distance of my sword." Fili realized. "Quickly, run and grab it, before they get much closer." He felt Kili nod against him. His brother took a deep breath before sprinting the 10 feet to the bow, in one smooth movement sliding the quiver onto his back. The sudden movement sent the four wolves charging at the brothers.

With speed and agility that shocked Fili, Kili notched the bow and fired. His aim was true and the arrow hit the first wolf in the leg. The wolf slowed, but did not stop his run. Kili aimed a second arrow at it. Since the wolf was slower this time, he was able to hit it square in the head and the wolf fell to the ground. The three living wolves were now only 20 feet away when Kili fired again. A second wolf fell.

They two living wolves were too close for archery, but it didn't matter anymore. Fili had the skill to take out one with his dagger and a second with his blade.

Their different skills made them stronger together. Fili never questioned Kili's bow again.

The Incident that Changed it All

"I got you something." Fili said, a grin spreading on his face. He had just returned from an extended trip, peddling some of their wears in a nearby village. Thanks to his family's talent in the forges, their items were always sold pretty quickly, and Fili was happy to bring home enough golden coins to get them through the winter.

Kili hated being separate from his brother, but his skills had been needed at home. A cold snap seemed to be coming earlier this year and Kili was one of the best hunters in the village. He had been spending his days scouting the woods for food they could dry out and preserve in case the crops of the farmers didn't make it through the freeze.

"And what would that be." Kili said with a grin. Although no mere dwarfling anymore, he still enjoyed it whenever his brother brought home a trinket for him. It reminded him that even when they were separated, his brother still thought of him.

From his pocket, Fili pulled out a necklace made out of leather with a pendant on the end. The leather was a warn dark brown and the little pendant had some markings on it which Kili was unable to read. "Thanks Fee," Kili said with a grin, placing the necklace around his neck. "What do the markings mean?"

"Brother." Fili said simply. "That way, it's always known you belong to someone." Fili said with a wink, pulling a matching necklace from beneath his tunic for Kili to see.

As Kili threw his arms around his older brother, he thought his heart would burst out of his chest. Fili returned the hug with the same passion, taking in a moment to enjoy his return to his family. He truly never felt complete unless he was with his brother.

"Come on, brother, let's get an ale. Welcome me home the proper way." Fili said with a grin, throwing his arms over Kili's shoulders and leading him towards the door.

It was colder than usual, and immediately, Kili wished he had brought his hood with him. That feeling passed quickly though as the walk to the local Inn and pub went much faster with his brother by his side. Still, the warmth of the pub was welcome when they finally arrived.

Fili went to order two pints while Kili claimed a table for the brothers to set up camp. The feeling in Kili's fingers finally returning when his brother set down the ale in front of him.

"So, did you miss me Kee?" Fili said with a smile. "What news have I missed?"

"The hunts been quite well, actually. I've managed to catch a buck a few days ago. Mum smoked out most of the meat. Should get us through another moon or so." Kili said with pride.

Fili was always glad to hear of his brothers successes, but that was not what he was asking about. His voice lowered as he tried again "you know of what I speak, Kili." Kili let out a sigh at his brother's words and took a long drag from his pint.

Kili did know of what his brother spoke, but that did not make the topic any more desirable. He felt as though he should at least get to consume one full ale before turning to the topic at hand.

"Uncle speaks of ravens and signs in the sky. He thinks the time is near that he should try and retake Erebor. I think he met with a wizard recently who gave him further information. I overheard him talking to Balin." Kili whispered.

Despite the serious tone in his brother's voice, Fili couldn't help but smile. "Overheard?" Fili said with raised eyebrows. Kili winked in reply. "Ok, I was eavesdropping from outside. If they don't want to be overheard, they shouldn't leave the window open, should they?"

Fili took a long drag from his pint. "Do you think he means to take us along?" Kili asked his brother and Fili grimaced. He had his suspicions that his Uncle would not want both of them to journey with to Erebor, specifically that he would try and convince Kili to stay home with his mother. The idea was absurd. Thorin could tie Kili to his bed and as soon as he got loose he would follow them on his own.

Besides, as hesitant as Fili was to take his brother into danger with them, he was far more adamant that Kili could not be left behind. He needed his brother with him. He needed to look out for him.

"Aye, brother, I think he does." Fili finally answered.

Kili nodded and Fili could practically see the nervousness radiating off him.

"He wouldn't get very far without your bow, now would he?" Fili said, encouragingly.

"Nor without your swords." Kili replied with a smile, his free hand clasping the pendant Fili had given him earlier.

They would reclaim their homeland together.

Sure enough, Fili's prediction came to be. Within a few days of Fili's return his uncle pulled him aside and told him of his plan to reclaim Erebor.

"I want you by my side, Fili. You are the heir to the throne. It is as much your kingdom as it is mine." Thorin concluded.

"And I want to be there when we look on the great halls of our fathers for the first time since the mountain was lost." Fili said, sure and strong. His uncle nodded and the tips of his mouth turned up into a smile.

"But what of my brother, Uncle. What of Kili?" Fili followed up. He looked his Uncle dead in the eye.

Thorin sighed.

"I worry he is too young. Still too inexperienced." Thorin started. Fili started to interrupt, but before he could Thorin continued "I know of your brother's skill. I witness it every time he brings home a buck or a hog to feed the village. I see how perfect his shots are. I've seen him use a sword too. He's been impressive."

"Then why not?" Fili said, anger rising, making his cheeks red.

"I just worry. His recklessness may get him killed. He does not see consequences for in actions. I just don't want to see him hurt." Thorin said, voice pleading at Fili to understand.

Fili looked at his uncle. He knew Thorin meant well, but he had been preparing for this moment for weeks now.

"I belong with my brother, Uncle." Fili said calmly. "I go only if Kili goes as well. I will not leave him behind. We belong together."

It was with a heavy thigh that Thorin nodded. In a way, the king without a mountain knew this conversation would end this way even before the subject was broached.

''Then you will both join the company."

Authors Note: please let me know what you think! I may expand the story, do some more childhood stories. I'll consider this a test run!