A/N: Okay, if you don't realize that I own nothing of these characters ...then that's just sad. This is a work of fanfiction. This piece takes place after the BO5A with a varient ending that is far from canon. I don't speak elvish, dwarvish, or any dialect thereof. This is written for enjoyment and fun, constructive criticism is welcome, but I have no need to hear how it's not canon. I know that part. Please, I hope you enjoy.
Kili woke up in a condition he had not expected. Alive.
The first face he saw was one that was welcome in the extreme. Oin. The gray-bearded dwarf was good with the wounded. Wounded was good. Wounded wasn't dead. Dead.
Kili frowned, ignoring the pain starting to radiate in from body parts he wasn't even sure he was fully aquainted with in the first place. The image in his head was of his Uncle Thorin, wounded, heroic, dying. But the name that first passed his lips was, "Fili."
Oin didn't answer. It wasn't good that Oin wasn't answering! Kili reached up and was amazed to find that his right arm wasn't answering him. That wasn't good either. Kili's eyes widened with panic.
Someone pushed Oin's shoulder and the gray-bearded dwarf shifted to allow someone else into the line of sight. Kili's breath stilled for a moment. Tauriel.
Wonderment, amazement, and disbelief. He stared. "You, you can't be here. You are far away."
"I've heard this particular poetry before." Tauriel cut him off. "Lovely as it is, we do not have even a moment to spare. You must sleep."
Kili shook his head and then nearly gagged as pain swamped him. Groaning he dropped his head back as his vision swam alarmingly. Red. All he could see was red. Blood? No, his eyesight refocused and he realized that Tauriel's hair was blocking his view. Careful not to move his head any more than he needed, he followed the waterfall of red silken hair up to the creamy star-lit satin of her skin. Bemused he watched her bring a cup to his lips.
The young dwarf warrior started to drink, them went still. His mouth firmed. She'd said sleep. He'd heard her say, sleep. And he hadn't heard the answers he so desperately needed. "No."
The elf didn't react. Oin did. "You bloody arse of a dwarf! Drink this now, we don't have any time left! We're trying to save your foolhardy and feckless life!"
"Fili. Thorin." Kili asked, stubborn as those of his race were wont. His jaw set and his dark eyes showed the determination that he was willing to use to keep from sleeping until he had his answers.
"Your brother hovers near the shadows as you do, and you will be joining the other if you do not take this now!" Tauriel looked gentle and beautiful, and continued to look as ethereal as starlight embodied upon middleearth even as she squeezed his wounded arm and sent a pain sharp enough to make him cry out coursing through his body. Mouth open for an exclamation of pain meant an opening for the healer. Oin grabbed the cup and poured the burning liquid down his throat, then closed his mouth with his large blunt hands until Kili was forced to swallow.
Choking and gagging at the rough taste of something that burned all the way down to his belly, Kili turned his sight away from both Oin and Tauriel. His dark eyes widened with despair as he saw Dis. His mother. She was standing over a litter holding a body. A dwarven body, one with blond hair soaked in black blood. A sheet being pulled up to cover the face. A face that Kili knew only far too well.
Despair crawled over the young dwarf as he watched his mother throw back her head, wailing the song of grief too deep to hold. Balin, that venerable old dwarf, was holding Dis close even as he added his own voice to hers.
Kili fought to keep the blackness at bay, but his sight faded before his hearing. Sleep slammed into him like a dwarven hammer even as he heard more and more voices, throats thrown back as the halls of Erebor sang the songs of the fallen
"He's given up." The words were as cool and smooth as a brook in the mountainside. "Perhaps it was not a kindness to bring him back."
Kili didn't moan, nor did he move. Words washed over him, voices came and went. Painful times came when he was shifted, rolled, tended, or wrapped with bandages. What did he care? Sometimes the words made sense, mostly they didn't. Then again, a lot of the time the words were Elvish, not a language he was very good with. So why could he understand now?
"The lad is strong, his blood his strong, he will return." Deep voice, rougher than anything the elves could produce. Dwarf. But not the right dwarf. Not his brother, not Fili. Not ever again this side of life. Only death would reunite them.
He didn't cry. Crying meant moving, and moving meant life. If he never moved again would anyone notice? Would he just slip past the shadows into the other side?
"Perhaps we should do for him what we did for the other?" Kili's mind recognized that particular elven voice. Tauriel.
The first voice spoke again. Cool, even, Elven. Male. "It would be foolish to move him. He is not well enough. The other was different, he was flailing and yelling. Pulling at his sutures and reopening fell wounds. No, what we did was to keep him from becoming worse. This one is at least still."
"Too still." Tauriel's voice lacked inflection, but even Kili could tell it was a protest.
"It might do the lad more good than harm." The dwarven voice. Bofur. Kili placed the accent and inflection at last. It was Bofur. There was even a hint of pipeweed in the room. Not lit, nothing smoking, but the scent of a lifetime lover of the pipe.
Kili's throat tightened painfully. Oin and Bofur. Two, alive. Two and a half if you counted Kili himself, he mused silently.
"If he knew his brother still breathed, it would go easier on him." The dwarf continued.
Breathed? Brother? Kili squeezed his eyes and flinched. Brothers at arms. All thirteen of them, fourteen if you included Bilbo, which he did. But only one brother mattered now. The one his mother had sung into the Halls of the Fallen.
"I protest this action." Male voice. "He simply should not be moved. When we did this with the other it reopened wounds that should have been left in peace to heal."
Tauriel's voice was quiet, but no less commanding for a lack of volume. "Bofur."
"No, no." The male voice sounded slightly put-out. For an elf, Kili wondered if that was a strong emotion? "Oh, my prince. Good. These, two, were about to make a most unwelcome move."
Bofur cleared his throat and then launched into an impassioned speech on why Kili HAD to be moved, for the lad's own good. Listening, Kili hoped he would lose. He didn't want to move. He hurt too much, inside and out.
Prince Legolas, apparantly, didn't care. He cut off the other male elf almost rudely. "It matters not. Live or die, what is one less dwarf in the world?"
Bofur was clearly insulted, huffing and puffing as he protested. "But, but ...you came to our'n aid in the battle! Well, after you'n all tried to take what ya wanted, but still and all, you'n your kin came to our aid! It was a grand sight it was!"
"I followed the orders of my king and father. Nothing more." Legolas blew off the words as of no consequence. "If they want to move the dwarfling, let them. If it kills him, it's not on us."
Kili suspected that the blond prince had left the room, as he said no more. Instead a pair of elves moved toward him. The first one to touch him got a hiss from Tauriel. That beauty instead instructed the elves to carry the entire bed, so as to jostle him all the less with Bofur jabbering on his agreement.
"No." Kili wasn't sure that he had even managed to speak, or if the protest had been solely within his mind.
The elves slowly put the bed down again. Bofur fell silent for a moment. "Lad?"
Good, he must have really spoken. Straining, he tried again. "No."
Tauriel leaned in, suddenly hovering over him. Even with his eyes closed, Kili could tell when she was near. There was a clean smell, no scent, not like the silly women among the world of Men. This was the clean, clear smell of the forest. It pulled at things deep in his soul, and ruthlessly he pulled away from his own feelings.
He wanted to explain, he wanted to yell, he wanted to grab her and shake her until she understood, he wanted to hold her. He wanted her to hold him. All he managed was to turn his head toward the wall, away from her scent, her presence.
"Your brother lives. Fili lives."
"Liar." She lied. Hurt and betrayal roiled up within him. How dare she lie to him? He'd seen his brother's body, he'd heard the songs. He'd seen his mother's sorrow and her tears.
"Take him." Tauriel stood up, moving away from him. That shouldn't have made him feel cold, but it did. Soul chilled, his brother would have called it. Like he had when their father had left the world of the living to rest among their dwarven forefathers. Fili.
"No." He coughed on the word, his voice raspy and hoarse beyond measure.
They didn't listen to him, carrying his bed out the door. Weak and weary as he was, Kili managed a snarl and opened his eyes for the first time in two weeks. He might once have marvelled at the beauty of the Elven architecture, or wondered at the soaring staircases and the delicate carvings. Now he only felt hate. Hate that they were trying to make him live.
He heard Tauriel gasp as he tried to roll off the side of the bed, only to moan and cry out as he put weight on his right side. "Stop that!" Her voice grew sharper with command, and he grew more stubborn. Kili gritted his teeth and tried for the left side. But he was weak, managing to get only one leg off the bed. And if that leg happened to smack some random elf, all the better. To his disappointment, he struck no one. The only one hurting was him.
"In here! Hurry."
Kili rolled to the right again, more from instinct than thought. Pain swallowed him and he groaned, curling up bit from sheer reflex. Angry now, he opened his eyes and frowned at the graceful elven male carrying his bed. Balling up his left hand, he struck the elf in the eye.
Unhurt, but shocked, the elf stopped. Unfortunately, the elf on the other side of the bed didn't. The whole bed tilted alarmingly. Bofur made a grab and caught the head of the bed, as did Tauriel. But the foot fell, causing Kili to slide down the sharp incline and onto the cold floor. In pain, and heaving, Kili grimmaced up at them in sharp triumph.
"I said ...No ... Fili?"
Shocked, Kili was lying on the floor next to another bed. One that was occupied. The last time he'd seen that hair it had been covered in drying blood, with the face covered. Now the hair was clean, the skin was uncovered, and the cheeks were ...moving. "Fili?"
His older brother's face settled into a wan smile, no less genuine for being weakened by injury. "Kili. You causing a stir?"
Red hair fell down beside his face an instant before Tauriel's face bent down next to him. "Call me a liar again, and we will have to face off on the battlefield."
"Any, anytime ..." Kili managed, his eyes never leaving his brother. He wanted to reach for Fili, but his arm wasn't working right. he looked at his right side, paling as he saw that it was splinted and wrapped and there were blood stains on the fresh white bandages.
"You opened up our hard work." Tauriel scolded.
Unable to come up with a complete thought, much less a sentence, Kili just blinked at her. Then he grinned widely.
The change in his face made Tauriel blink and an answering smile crossed her face before she could bring her expressioon back into line, falling back into that elvish look of mere observance.
"Thorin?" Kili asked with excitement. "Where's Uncle?"
Tauriel's expression tightened slightly. Kili looked over at Bofur, who was suddenly staring into the bowl of his unlit pipe. Finally, he looked to the one he'd always looked to his entire life. "Fili? Where is Thorin?"
But his brother's own gaze had dropped. "Kili ..."
"No." Kili protested. "I saw you die. I heard the songs, I know you were dead. I know it. Now you're not. So what about Thorin?"
Bofur cleared his throat and took a deep breath. Then he did it again. Finally, he sighed. "Lad. The line of Durin has been severed. You're all dead. Some just more dead than others."
"Huh?" Kili shook his head.
"Brother, there are three tombs in Erebor that are new. Well, more than that. But three royal. Me, you and Thorin. Only one is occupied." Fili's voice sounded dull with resignation.
Bofur sighed deeply. "Lad, much has happened of late. Dain arrived in time to help turn the tide, but Thorin had already fallen. You'n Fili were grave wounded. Dis came too, she saw. She saw Dain's face when he'n his saw the treasures of Erebor, she saw the speculation on his ugly mug."
Tauriel put her hand on his shoulder, Kili gratefully turned to look at her, even as he knew the news would be anything but good. "You and Fili were hovering near death, too near for Dain."
"King Dain, King Under the Mountain." Bofur interjected.
Kili protested wordlessly, turning a frantic look at his older brother.
"If Fili had stayed 'alive' he would have died before morn." Bofur chewed on the stem of his pipe, clearly wishing it were lit. "Dain, well, he likes being king."
"And the treasure." Tauriel added sadly.
"It be Dis, your'n own mother, who made the call. She and Balin." Bofur continued.
Fili laughed without mirth. "She knew we would never survive to take the throne, not even with our bloodlines. Dain has the armies and the might. Balin refuses to serve Dain, he is going to try and take Moria back."
Kili shook his head, even as Tauriel slid her arms beneath him. He protested as she rose with him in her arms. Blushing he protested. "Put me down."
"You need to be in bed." She retorted.
"Joining me?" Kili leered.
Bofur choked on sudden laughter and even Fili managed a weak chuckle. "Boy'n, you are too weak to even sit up. Leave off'n the lassie now. Least we know he's feeling better."
"When do we go back?" Kili asked, puzzled when everyone fell silent. He looked around, a bit offput that everyone was staring back at him. "When will we be well enough to go back to Erebor?"
"Oh laddie." Bofur's voice was beyond sad.
"You won't." Kili's head turned toward the doorway. Prince Legolas had apparently been watching them this whole time. He seemed cold and distant as he glared at the dwarf being held by Tauriel.
The other two elves set the bed to rights as the Silvan she-elf placed her charge onto the newly straightened sheets. One gave a small nod of his head, the other tightened his lips in disapproval. Kili thought it might have something to do with him being the one he'd punched earlier.
"Seriously, how long before we're well enough to travel?" Kili asked again, wondering if Tauriel's hand had really lingered on his neck for a moment or if that was mere wishful thinking on his part.
Prince Legolas stepped into the room, looking as solid as a statue, and with about as much emotion as one as well. "You can leave now for all I care."
Bofur sighed again, wincing as he rolled his head for a moment. "Lad. You're dead."
"Am not." Kili protested, grinning weakly. He really was beat, even if he was elated at seeing Fili.
Fili groaned and took a deep breath. "Brother, for all the world we're dead and we're going to stay dead. The line of Durin is over."
Kili frowned, trying to work through it all in his head. "We can take Dain."
"Dain maybe, but not his armies. Or anyone he has allegiances with. Like Bard?" Fili sounded resigned, and not terribly happy.
"Or my father." Prince Legolas supplied this last bit of news with perhaps a bit of spite in his tone. "Gandalf ...and others ...have bargained for your lives. Not your throne."
"But ..." Kili's eyes widened with the enormity of what was being presented. "We can't let everyone think we're dead. What about mother?"
Fili sighed, balling his hands into fists. "Whose idea do you think all of this was?"
Shocked, even Kili fell silent.