I do not own the characters or world.

Matchmaker(S), Matchmaker(S) (part III)

Dis wasn't a mother that never let her children three feet from her side. She didn't buzz about them like a swarm of angry bees whenever they scraped their knees. She didn't shout at them for beating each other with sticks when the mood hit them. She didn't refuse to let them out of her sight.

No. Her boys could take care of themselves.

Still. Even she was a bit worried when dinner had passed and she hadn't seen them since breakfast. And if she was growing a bit concerned, that didn't bode well at all for Thorin. He hadn't started pacing yet, but his foot had been tapping on the ground incessantly through all of dinner, and she could see his right eye twitching minutely every few seconds

He and Dis had settled down by the fire after dinner, and Dis entertained herself with sewing a button back onto Fili's cloak. Thorin was doing no such thing to occupy himself, and Dis was completely unsurprised as he finally burst out, "They should be home by now."

"Aye," Dis said, keeping her voice measured and her eyes fixed on her handiwork. "So they should."

Thorin huffed slightly, sitting back in his chair, crossing his arms. "It's long-since dark out. Where could they be?"

"I assure you, I haven't a clue," Dis murmured.

"So they could be lying somewhere in a ditch bleeding out."

This gave her a bit of pause, fear jerking at her heart, but she quashed that feeling as quickly as she could, telling him, "They'll be home soon."

"And if they're not?"

Finally, Dis set down her sewing, letting out a sigh. "What do you want from me, brother?"

"I want you to let me go out to look for them," he answered readily, leaning forward in his chair.

"No," Dis shot back instantly, setting her sewing aside with a sense of finality. "We've no idea what direction they've gone in, or how far they've gone. We'd end up getting hurt ourselves."

"Sister," Thorin began his tone edging on a growl. "I held my own at a hundred battlefields. I killed Azog the Defiler—"

"Aye," she cut him off. "At the battle of Anzinuzibar with the blood of your grandfather pooling at your toes, the smell of defeat thick in the air. I know. The point is, I have given you my reasons, and you will either except them, and stay here, or you will ignore them and still stay here."

Thorin jerked up to his feet, air escaping him in an annoyed hiss. There was the pacing. "Dis, my nephews, your sons, could be out there, cold, and lost, and frightened, or dead for all we know—"

"Oh, ye of little faith," she snapped, rolling her eyes. "Do you put no stock in a mother's intuition? If my children were dead, I would have some feeling of it, I would think. And I feel nothing, so we can only assume that this is just some of their usual mischief."

"Their usual mischief doesn't keep them out until all hours of the night with no word of warning to us!"

"So perhaps it is some unusual mischief they have chosen to get into now," she barked back, jerking up out of her chair and making her way into the kitchen. "Now, brother, I would prefer if you would stop making demons out of things that aren't there, and sit and wait for them to return."

Thorin stared hard at her for a moment, and Dis wondered, offhandedly, if her sisterly authority had finally worn off. Would there ever be a day when he stopped taking stock in her commands? Mahal almighty, she hoped not.

He broke their gazes with a huff, sitting back down into his chair with a vengeance, wrenching his pipe off of the side table.

Dis stared down at her hands as she braced them on the tabletop, trying to quell the worries that bubbled up in her chest. They were fine. She knew that. She knew it.

She had just picked up a log from beside the fire when a sound outside the walls of her home gained her attention. Crunch by crunch, she became certain that the sound was footsteps. And if she wasn't entirely confused, it was the sound of two sets of footsteps. Part of her wanted to believe that it was her children, finally slinking back home. But their footsteps were never that heavy.

A chill ran down her spine as suddenly, all of the possibilities, all of Thorin's once daft suspicions seemed real. Mother's intuition? What in Mahal's name was she thinking?

Her eyes met Thorin's as she dropped the log, standing upright slowly, trying not to let panic overtake her. Whatever was coming, she needed to be ready for it.

Thorin set his pipe down carefully as it quickly began apparent that the footsteps were growing louder, closer. Thorin gave her a reassuring, but tense nod as he stood silently, tearing his gaze away from her to lock it onto the door. "Who goes there?"

His barked question left a void of silence outside, and Dis' heart clenched up in her chest.

That knot untied itself in an instant at the sound of Fili's voice, tired and muffled but strong, calling out, "It's just me, uncle!"

Just him? Where did that leave—

"Kili's here too."

Mahal, her son knew her twice as well as she knew herself.

She had hurried to the door by the time Thorin was opening it up. Fili stumbled past the threshold. His hair was mussed beyond wonder, face smeared with dust, clothing grimy. Dis didn't find this half as disturbing as his brother, splayed across the boy's back, his head lolling.

"Fee," Dis sighed, kneeling down next to him. "What's happened?"

"Kee fell asleep," Fili informed her, nodding sagely as his brother let out a long snorting snore.

"I can—"Dis was cut off as the sound of a throat clearing caught onto her attention. She lifted her eyes to see a much taller, darker silhouette blocking out the doorway behind her son. Dis' blood ran cold again, as she ushered her children a bit behind her, saying in a slightly suspicious tone, "Now who's this?"

"Oh, that's—"

"Lady Sigrid, grand-daughter of Girion of Dale," the stranger announced, sweeping the hood of her cloak away from her face. The lamplight from the house spilled faintly out over her, illuminating her sharp features, framed in a halo of dark hair.

Thorin stepped up before Dis could reply. "So I meet your acquaintance. Dis." She opened her mouth to reply, but Thorin beat her to it, sending her a look that told her not to dare question him. "Take the boys back to bed now."

Fili looked ready to protest, but Dis didn't let him, plucking his brother away from him, and coaxing him towards her room. As much as she could order Thorin about, that was a mutual relationship. Plus, Dis had a strange feeling about this woman. What was she doing with Dis' children?

"Mama," Fili burst out once the door had closed. "Why'd uncle send us away?"

"He has to have a private talk with Lady Sigrid," Dis explained, seating herself on the edge of her bed, balancing the drooping Kili on her knee. "Now, enough of that, how about you tell me what happened today?"

"Well, we went out," Fili explained with a shrug, plopping down onto the floor, ripping off his boots. "We had to find something."

"Something?" Dis repeated as she worked Kili's boots off of his feet. Kili seemed to wake slightly at this, grumbling, but Dis silenced him with a hush.

"Something," Fili confirmed. "And we found her, so we came back home. We already took Ori home."

"How responsible of you," Dis commented a bit sarcastically.

As per usual, her son missed the sarcasm altogether, nodding. "Aye. I took good care of them."

Dis sighed, setting Kili's shirt aside, to look at Fili. He was pulling Thorin's bedroll from his shoulder, looking weary, but entirely content with himself. Content with the way he kept his little company safe. Mahal willing, he would make a great king someday.

She broke from this reverie to lift Kili up, tucking him under her blankets, against her pillow. He was filthy, of course, but she dared not take the children back out to wash up until she knew the coast was clear. He immediately curled into a ball, snuggling closer to the mattress, a smile lighting his face. Fili hopped onto the bed next to her. "Are we sleeping here? Where will you be?"

"I'll move you two later," she explained, lifting the covers for her older son to crawl under. "Once Lady Sigrid's gone."

"Mmkay," Fili hummed, sighing as he settled into the blankets. "I love you mama."

The comment caught her slightly off guard, but left her smiling, warmth bubbling up in her chest. "I love you too, my lion heart."

She brushed a kiss against Kili's forehead, before standing from her bed, making her way towards the door. Her blankets would be all full of mud and dust, no doubt. But it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.

When she emerged into the common room, Thorin and Lady Sigrid were seated at the table, seeming to have fallen into a terse silence upon her entering. Dis sat herself down at the table, smiling slightly at the woman. "So, do explain, how did my boys manage to drag you here?"

Lady Sigrid smiled slightly, though it was tired. "I was actually making my way here anyways. I have some…negotiating to work out with your brother. But I ran across your children on my way here, and they went mad. According to them, they were 'trying to find a lass for their uncle Thorin'."

Evidently, this was the first that Thorin had heard of this as his face darkened a few shades behind his beard, and his words lost their usual eloquence. "Well I—I've no idea what that—where they got that from."

Dis, as well as Sigrid fought laughter at this. Mahal above, Dis loved her children. She must have done something right, raising them. "It seems they took initiative where you would not, brother!"

"I do not need initiative, or a lass or—"he cut off his vicious growling at Dis as he seemed to remember that Sigrid was there. He cleared his throat, trying to recompose himself. "Lady Sigrid, I'm afraid that it's very late. There is a small house in town for travelers. Call there and mention that I sent you, and they'll give you a place to stay tonight. We can finish our discussion tomorrow."

Sigrid nodded as she stood quite gracefully. "I hope that you'll consider my propositions, Thorin."

Thorin chose quite diplomatically not to answer that at all, instead giving her a nod. "Until tomorrow."

With one last half-smile towards Dis, Sigrid gathered her gear, and swept out the door, closing it behind her.

"Propositions?" Dis asked as soon as the woman was out of earshot. "What was she talking about?"

"She wants some sort of assurance," he nearly spat. "She blames us for the destruction of Dale, and says that her people deserve repayment."

"She forgets that we have nothing, then," Dis snorted. "Our king is living in a cottage. What do they want from us? Fleas?"

"No," Thorin sighed. "She wants a portion of our wealth, should we reclaim it."

"Reclaim it?" Dis repeated, incredulous. "What are you—No."

She recognized that look in her brother's eye. Guilt. He did not think it so strange, the thought of reclaiming their wealth. "Absolutely no!" she said again, keeping her voice below a shout only because her sons were sleeping a door away. "We have discussed this before, and we have decided that it is insane. Suicidal."

"Dis," Thorin began, rubbing at his temples.

She cut him off, smacking her hand onto the table, leaning forward. "Can you not just be happy with the life we built here? Can you not—"

"It is late," Thorin said above her. "And I am tired."

He stood, and Dis opened her mouth to speak, but he continued. "We are both far too weary to have this argument again."

"Wait," Dis called after him as he started towards his room. He stopped, and turned to face her, hearing that the argument had left her tone. She schooled her features into a straight face as she deadpanned, "Should I tell the lads they'll have to try and find another lass for you?"

Thorin flushed again, and turned, grumbling, towards his door. "Goodnight, Dis."

"Or perhaps you're not totally turned against Lady Sigrid?" she continued, speaking to his back. "I mean, I think I saw some sparks—"

"Goodnight," he snapped, slamming his door closed.

Dis was left chuckling to herself, a grin lighting her face. "Goodnight indeed, brother.

She was about to stand, to prepare herself for sleep, when a door creaked open. In a moment, Kili's head, bedraggled and sleepy-eyed poked out from behind her door. "Mama?"

"Kee?" she asked, smiling bemusedly. "What are you doing up?"

He made his way over to her instead of answering, and crawled his way onto her lap, wrapping his arms about her neck, resting his little head against her sternum. "I'm hungry."

"Are you?" Dis hummed.

Kili nodded against her. "I really am."

"And what do you suppose we do about that?"

Kili was about to answer, when Fili came into the room with a sigh. "Kee! Well, I—Sorry mum," he huffed, faking frustration at his brother with a hearty shake of his head. "I told him not to bother you, now when you're so—"

Dis cut off his amateurish acting, lifting a brow. "You're hungry as well aren't you?"

"Well…" with one more look, he sighed, giving up his ruse. "Aye. I am."

Dis stood with a chuckle, balancing Kili on her hip. He was getting heavy, she noted. She wouldn't be able to tote him about like that for too much longer. "Then let's say we get ourselves a snack."

That was just dandy, wasn't it. The emotions got a bit real, here, or course. What did you expect from me, really? I enjoy the tenseness of Thorin and Dis' relationship. They love eachother but they're both very hotheaded and opinionated.

That said, this was the last entry for this little miniseries. It's been fun. Now, next I could do something a bit angsty and dark, or I also have a little one-shot highschool AU sort of in the universe of autumn evenings. So let me know by review or PM which one you wanna see. Just review anyway, though. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Thorin and Dis' relationship, little Fili and Kili ect.

Thanks for reading! See you all in a bit.