Hello new readers!
This is going to be a kiliel heavy story. It takes place after the movie Battle of the Five Armies, however the ending of the movie is changed. Through flashbacks, it will be shown what happened in this version. But, basically everything up until Thorin, Kili, Fili, and Dwalin go off on their own towards the end is the same.
It is rated M for implied, slightly descriptive sexual content and battle gore.
With this being just prologue, you can expect the regular chapters after this to be much longer. Enjoy :)
Starlight shone down through the treetops, peaking through crevices and gaps in the leaves. In this area of the forest, there was no heavy sickness in the air. Grass and green plants covered the land instead of horrid spider webs and decaying wood. This was home. At least, it had been for nearly six hundred years.
Now, Tauriel wasn't so sure.
With a heavy chest, her fingers lightly traced the outline of her bow, or rather her new bow. The memory of her king, Thranduil, slicing through her old companion flashed through her mind momentarily, but she quickly pushed it aside. This bow was perfectly suitable, having been made from the finest materials of the woodland realm. It was a fine weapon, but Tauriel did not know it well enough. Three months was hardly enough time to form a bond between bow and elf.
Her stomach gave another uneasy churn, like it often did when she reminisced of time surrounding the battle. Thinking of it should have brought her relief. Even after going against every order, practically every elven rule, her king forgave her. Of course, Tauriel was no longer captain of the guard. That was expected, but she allowed to return. On top of her gratefulness, there should have been elation.
Instead, Tauriel fought the urge to grip her chest as the ache inside grew worse. She should have stayed inside, she suddenly realized. Although it was ever present, a constant reminder, the ache was always dull when there were other things grabbing her attention. Alone, however, the ache consumed her.
It was here, alone and in pain, that she allowed her mind to think of him.
"Mellon." Tauriel did not have to turn around to know who had silently come behind her. She kept her position, sitting upright on a large boulder and looking into the forest. The figure came onto the rock beside her, holding his own bow. "Why do you sit out here alone?"
"I wished to be by myself," she confessed. Legolas' brows furrowed, but he looked into the forest as well. "I did not mean to worry you."
"You often prefer to be alone now." His voice was firm, but not angry. "I hardly see you at meals. You never wish to spar anymore. You haven't been the same since our return from Erebor, Tauriel. I've tried to let you be, but it's only getting worse."
Tauriel didn't know what to say. Speaking the truth could result in argument she didn't wish to have, or even something quite worse if Legolas were to speak to his father. Being quite familiar with her king's wrath, she was not eager for that outcome.
"Is it because you are no longer captain?" he questioned when she didn't respond. "I'm sure after some time and you've proved yourself once again, my father will restore your title."
"It is not that," she answered, glancing at her friend. Her slight smile did not hide the anguish in her eyes. "My punishment was well deserved, dear mellon. Your father was more than fair."
"There was a time when we told each other everything." Legolas watched her smile slowly fade. "Why can you not trust me this time?"
Tauriel let out a nervous rush of air. A painful lump grew in her throat. She could count on one hand the number of times she'd cried in her six hundred years of life and was not happy about adding to the list. However, Legolas was right. He was her closest, dearest friend. If she wanted to cry and spill her darkest secrets, there was nothing to fear from the elf beside her.
"I feel trapped." Her voice wavered and she furiously blinked back the water that threatened to spill from her eyes. "He may have fought well in the battle, but your father still does not care about the sickness in the world, Legolas. We are being confined to our walls and nothing more. That is not a life I want."
"Your kin is here, Tauriel; your home. What more could you desire?"
Tauriel knew he realized the answer as soon as the words escaped his lips. He took in sharp intake of breath and she finally let the tears flow down her cheeks. Like a fire to parchment, the ache ravaged her torso, wracking a heavy sob through her throat.
"I think I'm ill," she confessed, through heavy tears. Legolas was still and silent beside her, like stone. "I know it's impossible, but I hurt every day. My stomach feels like rapids and I cannot sleep, even though I am exhausted. I have never been more tired in my life, mellon." Legolas did not say anything. Furiously wiping away the trail of tears, Tauriel could not bring herself to look at her friend. Although her confession lifted a small weight off her shoulders, she still felt unwell.
"I do not want to fade," she whispered. "I miss him."
The arrow embedded itself in the target with a solid thud.
Kili growled under his breath, stalking across the training hall and ripping it from the wood. He glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone had noticed, but it seemed as if he was alone. Breathing a quick sigh of relief, he took his spot across from the long line of targets.
"If I'm not mistaken, that arrow just landed in a target you were not aiming for."
He uttered a curse and turned to see his brother leaning against one of the stone pillars. Fili smirked and folded his arms, nodding to the bow in Kili's hands.
"I've missed targets before," Kili lied easily, pulling back his bow a second time. Fili raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. "It's a common mistake."
The arrow plunged into the far edge of the round target. Kili muttered a second curse and took another arrow from his quiver. Fili gave an unamused snort from behind him.
"Bofur shared some interesting news today." Kili remained silent, keeping gaze forward. "Turns out you've been volunteering for the night watch every evening for weeks." Fili paused, watching his brother's back. "Been missing meals, refused to go hunting-." The arrow flew past the target, clattering against the stone walls "-and now you're missing targets."
Kili firmly set his jaw, concentrating on keeping his mouth shut. As he reached behind him for a fourth arrow, a gloved hand grabbed his wrist and he spun to find his brother directly in front of him.
"You used to talk to me, brother," Fili hissed, his grip growing painfully tight. Kili ripped his arm away, but Fili only leaned in closer, the teasing gone from his eyes. "You're worrying everyone. Uncle thought you were upset about the battle, that we just needed to give you time-."
"I'm fine," Kili said through clenched teeth. "I'm not upset about anything. Tell the others they're worrying for nothing."
He tried to turn, Fili grabbed his shoulder, forcing Kili to face him again. "For three months we've been home, Kili! We've taken back Erebor! Our kin sits on the throne! This is everything we've ever hoped for! Why don't you celebrate, rejoice with the others? All you've done is avoid everyone." Kili gave him a hard shove, shaking off his hand, but Fili wasn't deterred. "Kili!"
For the first time that evening, Kili looked at his brother's face.
Like water bursting from a dam, every emotion, every hatred flare in his chest, agonizing remembrance, and deep longing from the past three months came rushing to him all at once. Even though he spent every second of the day forcing himself to keep her out, his mind was suddenly full of flaming crimson hair and sharp green eyes. A rusted, serrated knife twisted at the wound in Kili's chest and he grimaced, glancing away from the panicked look of his brother's face.
"Just talk to me," Fili whispered, his features softening.
Kili tried to speak, but no words came out. Since before he learned to talk, he'd been confiding in his brother. He trusted Fili with everything. Before the battle, there'd never been a secret between them.
"She just-," Kili choked, instantly biting the inside of his lip. Now he looked anywhere, but the pained expression on Fili's face. The memory was all too clear; her soft skin in the moonlight, the small, tortuous gasps that escaped her lips, the back of her head as she walked away, never turning around. "She just left."
Fili stayed silent, not trying to hold his brother again, but it only lasted a moment. "It's the she-elf," he whispered. It wasn't a question. "She's the reason."
Giving a stiff, short nod, Kili walked past his brother without looking back.