Despite the title, this piece of fan-fiction focuses mainly on Fili. He's my favorite of the 13, and there just aren't enough stories out there centered around him.
Disclaimer: I will say this once and once only, I do not own The Hobbit or any if it's characters.
It started at his naval. A dull throb that gradually gravitated to his lower abdomen. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but not overbearing, and so Fili gave little thought to it, thinking it was simply his stomach disagreeing with the Elven cuisine they had feasted on back in Rivendell.
The Company had left the Hidden Valley only that morning, just as the Sun rose on the horizon painting the sky in soft hues of mauve and orange. There were no farewells exchanged between the dwarves, the hobbit, and their elven host. They simply left and made their way to the Misty Mountains, where they were to wait for the grey wizard, Gandalf – or Tharkûn as the dwarves sometimes called him. If all went well, the journey would take roughly two days.
They stopped mid-morning for a brief break. Thorin, Dwalin, and Balin huddled over the map, while the others took the time to rest and deal with personal matters. Fìli also took up on the opportunity, but found he was not able to relieve himself.
On they went up hills, across fields, and through streams. The dull ache in Fili's stomach slowly changed to a sharp pain at his lower right side. It was a bit more uncomfortable than before, but not enough to keep him from pressing on. He was a dwarf, a Prince of the House of Durin, he would not allow a cramp to slow him down.
The Company stopped again when the Sun was high in the sky for a meal of bread, dried venison, and assorted berries. By now, malaise settled over Fili, and this was a pity because he loved berries. He could never get enough of the sweet, juicy treat. Thus, when Bilbo offered him a handful, to everyone's surprise Fili declined.
"Are you alright?" Kili, his brother, asked cocking his brow.
"Of course," Fili lied, intently studying his meal to avoid eye contact. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"You turned down berries. You never turned down berries."
"Not hungry is all." That wasn't entirely a lie. He had barely taken two bites of his bread and meat.
"Is that all?" Thorin asked, looking his eldest nephew over. There was sweat on Fili's brow - of course they all had sweat on their brows - but this was more than what was normal, strands of gold hair clung to the sides of his face, and there was a glossy sheen over his pale blue eyes.
Fili felt slightly warm beneath the collar, but he would not admit it. They had a long way to go and he did not wish to slow them down; so with a firm nod of his head he assured Thorin it was nothing more.
The dwarf king could tell something was not quite right with his heir, but decided not to push the matter. Instead he informed the lad it would be a while before they stopped again and he best try to finish his meal.
Fili heeded his uncle's words and tried to eat more, but was only able to get a few more bites down, before it was time to move on. Wrapping the leftovers in a cloth, he tucked them away in his sack. If his appetite returned later he could easily eat it on the road. It never did.
As the day drew on the pain gradually intensified. Every step he took only seemed to make it worse. He could also feel his temperature rising, and for the first time since they began their quest months ago, Fili was uncertain of how much further he could push on.
"Fili, are you sure you're okay?" Kili asked walking along-side his brother, who had fallen to the back of the line.
The blond assured the younger he was fine, but Kili did not buy this for a moment. Fili's pace had slowed significantly and he was sweating profusely despite having removed his fur collared coat.
"I'm fine, I promise," Fili said seeing the concern on his brother's face, "I'm tired . . . it's been a long day, that's all."
Kili was not convinced, "Why don't you stop and rest? I'm sure the others wouldn't mind a break."
"I told you I'm fine," Fili snapped, wincing as he grabbed his side. A spasm, none like he had ever felt before ripped through his body."Mahal!" he hissed, a slew of Khuzdul swears following. He was bent over, eyes squeezed shut, and teeth clenched. He could hear his brother calling out to him, but his voice was distant as if there were miles between them.
"Fili?" Kili reached out for the blond. Upon feeling his brother's hand on his shoulder, Fili pushed him away spewing directly on the spot where the dark prince previously stood.
Kili looked on, unable to avert his eyes. He wanted to look away - honestly he did - but simply could not, and did not know why. It wasn't until he heard his uncle call out, that he did turn away.
Thorin, who was at the head of the line, made his way to his nephews at the rear. He wasn't running, but his gait was wide and his stride steady.
"Is everything alright? What's wrong?" he inquired, coming to Kili's side. By now Fili was done losing his lunch; possibly his breakfast as well. He remained bent over, hands on his knees, trying to gather his bearings.
"You all right?" Thorin inquired, studying his eldest for the second time that day.
"Aye, I'm…I'm better," Fili assured them, straightening himself out. In truth he did feel better. The pressure had subsided, returning to a dull throb.
"You sure?" his uncle asked. Again, as he did earlier, Fili offered Thorin a firm nod. This time he managed to include a small smile for good measure.
The blonde's face was pale, but it was probably only a temporary after effect from emptying his stomach, so Thorin thought little of it. "All right," his voice was low, then making his way to the front on the line he gave the order to move on.
They had not gone far, a few yards or more, when the dullness slowly began to twist its way back into the stabbing ache at Fili's side. He tried to ignore it, he had already caused a scene and did not wish for an encore. Yet, the pain rapidly intensified and with a few more steps he was on his knees wincing.
"Fili? What's wrong?" there was panic in Kili's voice as he watched his brother curl into himself, "Fili!"
By now everyone had stopped to see what all the commotion was about. Thorin and Oin, the Company healer, ran toward the pair. Despite being twice the distance, Thorin made it to his nephew's side first.
Fili was rolled up in a ball on the ground with his arms wrapped around his mid-section. Kili was leaning over him, whispering comforting words in his ear, unsure of what else to do.
"Fili?" Thorin gasped falling to his knees beside him, brushing gold locks aside to see his nephew's face. The young dwarf was in agony; his body involuntarily trembled from the affliction.
"What's the matter lad?" Oin inquired, kneeling beside the fair prince, "You'll need to loosen up if I am to look you over."
Fili heard Oin, and he really wanted to allow the old healer to look him over, yet he curled into himself more as another spasm went racked his body. Once it subside, Thorin and Kili coaxed him in a somewhat more relaxed position for Oin to examine him.
"Does that hurt?" the old healer asked gently applying pressure to Fili's right side, who was lying on the ground with his head resting on his brother's lap. Surprisingly, this actually provided some relief. It wasn't until Oin removed his hand the pain return and Fili was curling in on himself again.
"What's wrong?" Thorin and Kili asked in unison, brown and blue eyes darted from their kinsman to the healer.
Oin didn't say anything, but gave a subtle gesture with his own eyes to Thorin that it would be best to speak elsewhere. Taking the hint Thorin, looked to Kili, "We'll be right back," he assured as the two elder dwarves rose to their feet and stepped away. This did not sit well with the dark haired prince. Private conversations amongst elders, especially ones they felt a need to have away from the young, were usually not good.
The two walked a several yards, before coming to a stop. Facing the old apothecary, Thorin repeated his question, "What's wrong?" The concern in his voice was evident.
Glancing back over to Fili, still curled up on the ground, Oin let out a heavy sigh, "This is not good...not good at all."
Continue? Yay or nay? Your comments and thoughts are much appreciated.