Author's note: Takes place in a made up time several years before the Unexpected Party when several of Thorin's Company live together. Enjoy!
Fili wiped the sweat from his brow. It was summer, and chopping wood in the heat and dry air made him wish he didn't have as much hair...as un-dwarven of a thought as that was. But it also made him hungry. So very hungry. Thoughts of summer treats from the markets danced through his mind. Meat pies and even fruits. Cold turkey legs coated in honey and oats, dipped in berry sauce. But his mind was primarily on one item. His favorite dessert and it wasn't meaty at all. Apple-berry pie. The size of his foot in width and the sweet scent of his favorite childhood memories baked into the crust. There was one waiting for him at home, and it was what was getting him through the afternoon. Knowing the juicy treat would melt upon his tongue in a matter of hours. But a fear was harboring in his mind... Bombur.
He had both feared and addressed this issue from the start. Bombur ate nearly anything. Or more like, anything. 5 plates of sausages, a barrel of apples, he was even known for the occasion egg shells when entire eggs were gobbled down. When he bought this pie yesterday evening, he made sure to hide it. Where not even Bombur's warg-like nose could find it. For Bombur's usual evening entailed dinner, 2nd dinner, 3rd dinner, and the same amount of dessert courses to follow. Searching every cupboard, and if you wanted a snack after 7... it must be eaten with the caution of hiding a ring of power. There likelihood of Bombur finding it was low. Or so he believed...
1 Day Earlier...
The markets colorful festive flags danced around the pair of brothers as they cruised the stalls. Smells of baked goods, baking goods and most importantly cooking meat wafted about the hungry dwarves.
"I'd take all this home if HE wasn't there." Kili said as he stared longingly at a row of turkey legs rolled in oats and syrup. The HE meaning Bombur of course. Fili raised his brow, not knowing if he should share his plans of buying a pie just for himself with his brother... what if he spoke of it in front of the others? What if in front HIM? The pie would be gone faster than you can say Fili. Keeping the pie a secret from the bottomless pit of a Bombur was nearly impossible already, but having someone else know about it... it's like telling a dragon where your gold is. But then again... if Kili found out Fili ate an entire pie without sharing, he would be bound to have hurt feelings. He was dramatic like that. He would tell him when the time was right, so that HE would not find out... Though his plan was short lived.
Fili scurried off while Kili was distracted, having planned out his purchase the day before, the location and exact pie he wanted was found quickly. As he handed the coins to the baker, taking the dribbling purple pie, steaming through leaf shaped slits, in hand, his brow sank and eyes narrowed.
"Would you look at that." Fili turned about, wrapping the pie in the plaid towel it came in.
"I do look at it because it's mine." He said to Kili who stood behind him eying the thing.
"Once its past the door its everyone's. Bombur's rule." It was true, HE did decide once Ori's carefully diced turkey and egg salad was his own when the poor dwarf simply left to fetch more salt. To which HE took greedily whence he returned, Ori heartbroken.
"I bought it. It's my treat. For me. And I'm saving it for later."
"Why, I'm starved."
"Kili!" He snapped, taking back his idea of sharing the pie with his brother after this playful greed.
"What?" He said innocently as they weeded through the market. Dwarven women taking double takes at the pair but with a pie in hand they took no notice.
"Look." He sighed, giving in and thinking perhaps he could use a hand when the time came to hide it. He may need him in the end... "The only way I'll let you have a taste is to help me do the impossible." Fili met his brother's dark gaze. "Keep this a complete and utter secret from Bombur."
"Sounds easy enough." Fili relaxed a little. "If I get half." This was getting into dangerous territory. Bartering for the safety of this steaming tender treat. Fili bit his lip, adjusting the grip of his precious in hand.
"A slice?!" Kili barked in disbelief. Indeed a slice to a hungry dwarf was the equivalent of a small bite to a man. And the only one known to eat only slices was Thorin, sugary sweets usually weren't his favorite.
"You're toying with giving me away to HIM! How am I supposed to trust you won't even if I do give you half?" Kili glared.
"Guess you shouldn't trust me. Not like we're flesh and blood." With that Kili hurried ahead towards home. Behaving as hurt as if Fili had just denied him the right to his own gifts at Yuletide. "Don't be surprised when you find a red exploded mess on the floor." He grumbled to Fili as he disappeared out of the market and into the woods. Fili sighed, hoping his brother would come around in the end. And quit his dramatics, but depending on his boredom with that day the wind could blow either way. If it were up to him, and him only to keep this safe from HIM, it would be a task he could do alone. But now he had multiple enemies on the other side.
Fili browsed the markets a little longer, coming up with the idea that could buy him some time when he got home. If bought a few small desserts and meats, he could distract Bombur for precious seconds of slipping the pie into his room. Fili left the market feeling sick inside. A bit peeved. And heavy handed as he balanced all his goods. It wasn't fair he had to spend his own money on food that would be used as a distraction, to save the life of his own apple-berry pie. He considered just eating it all right now, but he wasn't hungry enough to truly enjoy it. And had been waiting so long for this he wanted just the right moment to eat it.
Fili carefully arranged his other treats atop the pie as to hide it, and headed for home. It was a long walk. A thoughtful walk. A careful walk. In the half hour it took him to arrive, he had thought of just the right spot to hide it. And it was now or never. Fili paused at the door, took in a deep breath, and
flung open the door with a smile. Bombur merely glanced up from the bread he was buttering till his large nose caught of whiff of what was in Fili's hands.
"Yes, it is what you think it is. Onion and beef pies, honey roasted lamblets, and 1 pig foot." He tried to grin, the latter even seemed gross to him. Bombur's eyes asked what he Fili answered with a smile, "And yes they are all for you." Fili glanced around the room, the only other in sight was Bofur whom was napping by the unlit fireplace, and he heard shuffles coming from he and Kili's room.
"No, they are just for you." Bombur's eyes lit up, ate his bread in one bite and held out his hands. Fili bit his lip carefully placing all items but the pie in front of the massive dwarf before sidling backwards whilst the redhead was distracted. Though this distraction only lasted a matter of seconds... had he seen anyone eat faster it would have been by magic, for Bombur had tossed the meat pie between his rosy lips (it was small), the pig foot (it was from a piglet) and the lamblets (well, those were fist sized...) and was finishing chewing as Fili was crossing the room. Just when he thought he was safe, Kili's dangerously impish face appeared before him, blocking the way to the hall. Leaving his brother exposed... right in line of sight of HIM.
"Kili! Excuse me I'm just-"
"I've been looking for you all over Fili. I have something of great, great urgency to talk to you about." Fili narrowed his eyes, knowing he was going to do all in his power to make him suffer.
"Later, I'm busy." The two could hear the smacking of Bombur's lips as he finished off his treats between their glaring silences.
"You see it's about dinner." Fili had just enough time to stuff the pie sideways into his furs before Bombur's blue eyes skipped to them at the mention of 'dinner'. Fili's heart was racing. Not only was the impeding danger of Kili giving him away terrifying, but the longer he was in the room... the easier it would be for Bombur to sniff out this prized juicy treat.
"Oh?" He glanced cautiously at Bombur.
"I'm afraid there won't be enough, for all of us."
"Well the market is still on why don't you head on over."
"No... I'd rather have something that is already in this room for dinner." Bombur looked about the room, knowing if there was something large and edible to eat he would have gotten to it already.
"There's a turkey in the cupboard." Fili said quickly in Bombur's direction, the fat dwarf rising with unexpected speed, and opened the wooden door. Fili took the opportunity to shove past Kili but he grabbed his arm.
"All right all right I'll give you half!" He shouted in a whisper against his face. Kili smiled.
"Fine. But it will take more than that to keep me quiet forever." With that he released him, and with a slammed door Fili vanished into his room. Leaving a confused turkey-less Bombur and a plotting Kili alone. He had to hide it somewhere even Kili couldn't find it. And that would be difficult, for he had always been a master finder in a game of hide-and-seek where as Fili was a great hider... which gave him an idea. Kili would look every bizarre nook and cranny for this thing. And not the opposite. The most most obvious spot may indeed be the least obvious, he thought.
So in all his stressing and sweating, after all were in bed, and while Kili was out for an evening walk, he sat the pie, still blanketed by the plaid towel, in the middle of the dining table. Taking out the flowers from a decorative bowl in the center, settling in the pie instead then spreading the yellow pungent daisies back upon the pie. All one would notice was simply a new towel had been added to the flowery bunch, though with careful eyes there were unlikely lumps... but he hoped and hoped that the strong scent of the daisy would surpass the expert nose of HIM...
As he lay in bed, of the odd course of the day, he thought to himself he ought to just eat it now. But after all he went through to keep it safe, he couldn't. And even more didn't want to just despite Kili. He wouldn't let him win by eating the thing early. We'll see who gets this half a pie. And it will be me, he thought to himself. And though he had imagined the time to eat it would to be after a long adventure, after a bad day, the time came just right on the next afternoon after splitting wood in the heat of the sun.
On Kili's walk that night, he had been planning just exactly how he would eat the pie. Find it, hold onto it, then just as Fili were to check on its location get a slice in the face before watching his brother eat the whole thing. Genius, he thought. Though, as genius as he thought it was, as did Fili think of his hiding place, neither of them expected what was to befall this pie in the end...
Fili pealed up the sleeves of his tunic. Smiling into the sweet smelling afternoon, yellow daisies, the same he placed about his pie swaying around his boots as he carried the ax and some wood back to the house. The cool breeze tickling his sweaty skin through his partially unlaced tunic while he walked as a happy dwarf. That morning the pie was untouched. As he knew it would be when he got home, hungry bellied and smiling. But as Kili often liked to point out, Fili was not always right.
The smirking stare and smug eyes of his brother were waiting for him when he came upon the house. And the amount of pride on his face could only mean one thing. Fili tensed, the ax still in hand, eyes narrowed. Dropping the wood to the ground. "Hello brother." Kili said tauntingly, balancing on the legs of a wooden chair as he leaned against the house. You see, Kili thought he had discovered Fili's hiding place when really, it was a wadded up bath towel from Bofur."You could have hidden an Oliphant more sneakier than that." At the Fili jumped into a sprint, Kili's smug eyes flashing panic as he flew from his chair. Stumbling onto his knees as he tripped when the thing fell over. The two brothers racing each other for the door.
"Help help he's trying to kill me!" Kili exclaimed while Fili attempted to throw him away from the doorknob. But in the middle of his 'attempted murder' Kili flung open the door and the two brothers came tumbling it, when the mangled mess paused, Kili with a fist full of Fili's hair. Their eyes came face to face with Thorin's large muddy boots dusted with...crumbs? The two slowly looked up.
"You look fairly alive to me." Thorin said, dusting his hand off on his tunic. Leaving behind a purpled stain... the same color were upon his lips, his hand... and on the table before him. An empty pie tin. Only Bombur, whom walked in at that moment (having heard a dish being sat down), looked as upset as Fili at the realization that it was not his brother whom had taunted and plotted and tempted to take his prized pie, but Uncle Thorin, famous for not caring for such sweet treats. And knowing this made Fili more heavyhearted than ever. He wouldn't have even enjoyed it.
"You hate sweets we all know that," Fili said with a sharp tone. Thorin gave him a funny look.
"I take it one of you so queerly stashed this in the flower pot?"
"Flower pot? But-" Fili kicked at his brother as the realization the he, Kili, had also been bamboozled hit him.
"Is there any left at all?" He asked hopefully. Thorin raised his brow, stepping aside as for them to see Bombur.
"Ask him." At the sight of Bombur's purple lips, Fili let his head fall to the floor.
"Guess I won then." Kili decided, getting up from the floor telling himself this was indeed a victory. With a half smug half unsure face he sauntered into his room, sliding his finger across the empty pan and licking it on his way out. Fili got up, looking anywhere but at his uncle when Thorin nudged him.
"Was it yours?" Fili nodded.
"No matter now." Thorin sighed, feeling generous, and even a bit cheery today after discovering that he did indeed like pie he handed Fili a coin. "Go on." Fili smiled, grabbing Thorin's arm.
"Now go!" Fili nodded before scurrying out back towards the market. When little did he know, but a few moments after the front door slammed behind him, Thorin called Kili back to the kitchen.
"As your father used to say when he'd had finished off a keg 'You're only the winner when you have the dinner' You want to truly win, Kili? Better try and catch him. For it seems I'm the one with the full belly here..." Kili looked to Thorin, then out the window to the stirring branches as Fili vanished into the trees. And was after him faster than you can say pie.
I hope you enjoyed, please review! :)