Into the Wild

A/N: I had been spending some time deciding what I wanted to do as far as a multichapter Hobbit story and this is where I landed. This sort of AU will be a "what if" Fili and Kili were separated from the company in Mirkwood. Plenty of brotherly love from the boys. Special thanks to Kurem for bouncing some ideas with me!

Chapter 1: Separation Anxiety

The poisonous stinger dug itself into Fili just seconds before his brother. They had been surrounded and outnumbered, yet they fought valiantly, each trying to protect the other. The company was falling one by one, and as loath as he was to admit it, Kili's sole concern became for his brother. Everyone and everything else became meaningless. Without even realizing it, the two had become isolated. The fight to defend themselves had drawn them away from their Uncle and friends. It was also not going well for the two brothers. Fili, for one, was growing weary. His arms felt as though they each had been filled with iron. Kili had long run out of arrows and was reduced to using daggers and swords, and the spiders seemed to be getting closer to him every second.

At some point, it became clear that they were likely the only two left fighting. They were hopelessly outnumbered. Kili saw the spider that would get Fili a second before it happened. "Fi-" he yelled, a hopelessly late warning as the stinger plunged itself into Fili's neck.

The last thing Kili would see before a sharp pain in his neck turned his world dark was his brother being flipped to the side and rolled into a web as limp as a rag doll. It was a sight which Kili knew even then would haunt him until the end of his days.

Fili woke up first. His long nose gave him an extra advantage in the web. Just enough fresh air made it through to him, clearing the effects of the poison faster and ultimately saving his and his brother's life. It was difficult for him at first. It took him a few moments to remember where he was and what had happened. For a little while he simply lay in his web trying to orient himself. He couldn't see much at all and couldn't move much either. The only thing that kept him from hyperventilating was the thought of Kili. The last thing he could remember seeing was his younger brother's terrified eyes. After that, everything went fuzzy and dark.

Fili knew he had to get out of the web. Kili was there somewhere, and wherever he was, he was scared. He needed Fili there to reassure him, to protect him. After a few minutes of careful wiggling, Fili managed to get his hands on a dagger concealed in his tunic. With a few quick motions, Fili was able to cut himself free. He took a moment to gather his surroundings. The spiders seemed occupied elsewhere, as Fili couldn't see any in the vicinity. He did see a dwarf size web bundle near him and without a second hesitation, Fili cut the bundle loose.

He followed the bundle to the forest floor where he immediately ripped the webbing off what he just knew in his gut was his brother.

"Kee." Fili whispered as he shed the webbing to reveal his unconscious brother. "Mahal, I am sorry little brother. I am sorry I didn't protect you better." He whispered, pulling his brother into his arms and pressing a gentle kiss to Kili's brow.

After some moments of being exposed to the fresh air, Kili began to stir.

"Come on, Kili, I'm sorry, but you must wake." Fili said shaking his brother in encouragement. Fili hated to rush his brother before he was ready, but he knew the spiders could be back any moment and they had to find the rest of the company. Should the spiders return, they stood little chance out exposed in the open.

"Fee?" Kili said weakly as he opened his eyes and blinked up at his brother. "What..?"

"We were caught by spiders, we managed to break free. I'm worried they will come back, brother, so we must move as quickly as you are able." Fili encouraged, cleaning the last of the webbing out of his brother's hair.

Kili nodded and tried to right himself. The sudden movement was too much for the weakened dwarf who immediately rolled to the side and was sick on the forest floor. Fili moved to rub his brothers back. "Better out then in, as they say." Fili said with an encouraging tone, even as the guilt stabbed him in the stomach.

"I don't…" Kili started to say. They were interrupted as one of the giant spiders returned; deeply upset finding its dinner now free on the forest floor.

"It's free! It's free!" The spider said, causing Kili's eyes to go wide. His brother quickly laced an arm around Kili's waist and began encouraging him to move as quickly as possible. He had limited weapons left on him, and their best bet was to get to the rest of the company as quickly as possible. Kili's bow was still secure around his body, but his quiver was empty.

Kili had drawn his sword from its sheath, but did not seem to have the strength to hold it. Fili gently took the sword from his brother, before guiding his brother to a seated position against one of the tall trees. Fili stood his ground in front of his brother as the spider advanced. When it got close enough, Fili swung it at the beast. To their delight, the spider let out a shrill yell before remaining unmoving on the ground.

Fili turned back to his brother, his smile at the win quickly fading as he took in his brother. Kili did not look good. His skin was pale and his eyes heavy. He was collapsed against the tree where his brother had set him down, and his hair was hanging limply around his face.

Although his heart ached doing so, Fili knew they had to move. They were too weak, too exposed. His brother was hurting, but there was simply no time to rest. "Come on Kili, we can't handle much more." Fili said before forcing himself to help pick his brother up, placing his left arm around his brother's waist and encouraging him to keep moving.

Half an hour later, the brothers found themselves completely and utterly lost. There was no sign of the company anywhere and no signs of the spiders either.

"Can we rest for a few moments?" Kili asked weakly. It was then Fili realized how close his brother was too collapsing. He could feel his body shaking against him.

"I think that be wise, you look dead on your feet, Kee." Fili said, keeping the tone light as he lowered his brother onto a large boulder.

"I just need a little time to work the poison out of my body." Kili responded with a sigh. Then he added softly, "I really could use some water."

Fili frowned. They had no water and no food, and Kili knew that. They had been in Mirkwood for far too long before they had even run into the spiders and had been in poor shape supply wise even before that. Kili was a lot of things, but he wasn't a complainer. He would suffer in silence before admitting he was hurting. Fili knew that to even ask about water, knowing they had none, meant that his brother's thirst was a bigger problem than a simple inconvenience.

Fili had to figure this one out. "Stay here, brother. I'm going to climb a bit, see if I can find a water source. You and I won't survive without one." Fili advised. Kili's face clearly showed his dislike for the plan. He didn't want to risk being separated from his brother and run the risk of either being alone in Mirkwood. However, he didn't see a choice and he knew his brother was right. They wouldn't survive long enough to find Thorin and the company without water.

Kili gave a curt nod signaling his acceptance of the plan before Fili slowly began his assent.

NOTE: Thanks for checking out chapter 1! I'll take any constructive criticism! And of course I appreciate all reviews, so please let me know what you think!