Fili screamed. Unaware of the red tears upon his knuckles and the pain in his arms. Fighting the orc with every muscle he had. But no matter how hard he fought. It wouldn't budge. The thing was too strong. And Kili was too far. But he had to get there not matter what it took. Kili was outnumbered.

The beast's breath was upon his face. Slimy grip against his body. Sword wedged against his.

"Kili!" He roared, enraged by the impossible yet close distance between them. He could see the fight and anger in Kili's eyes. Just as Fili thought he had stabbed the beast and made a leap for his brother, a piercing pain erupted from his back. The sound of sword dragging across metal splintered his ears as it was yanked from his armor. Fili fell to his knees. Breathless. His braids falling in his face.

"Fili!" Kili bellowed. Swinging at the orc before him with the rage of a fire. Fili's eyes grew heavy. His arms going numb. "Fili!" Kili bellowed again. But his voice shifted to a gasp as a sword pierced his backside. Fili's blue eyes rolled to meet his brother's before he fell to the sodden orc treaded ground. The taste of blood fresh upon his tongue. The pain of his wound strangling him into a lulling sleep. He couldn't hear much but his own blood rushing by his ears. When a voice crawled out from the sound.

It was Thorin. His sword guided by rage into the bellies of orcs and wargs. He had watched his nephews fall as he swung. They had been trying to protect him. Each other. And were now collapsing like fallen trees with branches who reached for one another but we're unable. Fili saw scuffling through blurred vision. Flashes of red and black. The chiming roar of the battle muffling. His breathing growing slow and tight, like trying to draw breath in water. The last thing he saw was Kili's hand reach for him before he was suffocated by darkness.


The chamber was silent beneath the mountain. Where the roars and grumbles of a great dragon once echoed. Three dwarves lay like corpses laid to rest. Blanketed by jewels and cloaks weathered from their journey. Darkness engulfed them and a chill that tingled to bones. Fili's mind was sloshing like water in pail. But slow and lost. Where was he? With a great effort he cracked open his eyes, but what he saw did not change. Black. Was he dead? Fili blinked. Thinking he could make out the modeled look of a cave above him. His breathing was slow, so slow that moving even a finger felt like moving an army. His heart beat with an unusual pattern like slow dripping water. He blinked again. And after a few tries managed to drag his arm up to his chest. But that was all he could move for the moment. The side of his body where he was stabbed remained paralyzed.

Still as his chest between sluggish heartbeats.

In and out of consciousness Fili went. His body awakening by the hour. His heart rate so slow. His mind so heavy. His body so numb he may as well be dead. As many knew him to be. Was he? Fili answered this question differently each time he opened his eyes. Memories of the battle trickling in and out of his mind.

Dead. I must be dead. Fili said to himself, the words difficult to comprehend even in his mind. Having his left shoulder growing in sensation again, he felt a humming and deep pain begin to spawn. A small trickle of blood starting up as his heart rate inclined. He prodded at the wound with his right hand, wincing. Pain means a feeling. Feeling means I must be alive to feel it. His mind told him lazily. Fili licked his dry lips, chapped and bloodied. After several tries and the passing of an hour that felt like blinks, Fili sat up. Not realizing if he were to shift an inch to the side he would roll off the stone platform he had been placed on. Gold dwarven inscription boarded the rim.

The stone beneath his tingling finger tips was cool. He battled this bizarre weariness and managed to keep his eyes open. Adjusting to the darkness. The pain in his shoulder increasing. But as it did so, his breathing quickened to a normal pace. His heart rate climbing to a steady tune.

Fili pulled his cloak tighter around him. How long had it been since the battle? Where was the rest of the company? Were they all dead? Questions were flying through his mind faster than he could try and catch them with an answer. Fili dragged his legs to his chest for warmth. Realizing this was not where they fought. Someone put him here. Was he a captive? Had they lost the battle?... That's when from the corner of his blue eyes caught something that seemed to glow. He turned, shimmering even in utter darkness. The Arkenstone. His heart fell through his bones when he recognized the wrist guards about the hands holding the stone.

Thorin.

His uncle lay still as the stone beneath him. Eyes closed. That's when he noticed through the darkness, another body lay on the other side of Thorin. Kili. Fili nearly tumbled off his stone at the sight of the pair. Looking like corpses. And his certainty of that being true is what made him remain on his stone for a few deathly moments. It couldn't be. He had lived while they had not couldn't be. It was then he realized what Thorin and Kili were laid upon. And he himself. Funeral pyres. Confusion swept him to his feet. Landing with a toppling thud. Catching himself on the edge of Thorin's stone. His head spinning as blood rushed to his limbs after being still for days. His legs weak and aching.

Fili reached out, placing a hand on Thorin's fingers enwrapped around the Arkenstone. He winced. Expecting the eerie chill that hammers like a cold wind into you when touching the dead. But it did not come. Fili's brow furrowed. It must be in his mind that his uncle appears not all gone. Yes it must be, for when he lay his cold palm atop Thorin's breast. Pressing his ears against his armor. His listening was answered with not a single beat.

He pulled away.

Fili strode towards Kili. Not wanting to look at the face of his brother. Upon meeting his placid expression Fili's heart splintered into a thousand pieces, shattering like glass through his veins. A pain worse than his wound. Tears falling from his eyes and painting the dusty stone. Fili leaned over. Gripping Kili's ice-like hand.

"Oh Kili." He wept, holding it tight. The memory of his death haunted his sight. The sound of his call. It was his fault, all Fili's fault. He lay his head upon his chest. "Why." He closed his eyes. His breathing slowing as his pain worsened from all this movement. "I'm sorry Kili." He whispered. Tears making pathways down the dirt upon his cheeks. "I'm so sorry." He took a deep breath, holding onto his little brother's hand tight.

When he heard a muffled thump. Then another. Barely audible.

Fili's crying paused. Lifting his head and looking about the cavern for a source of the sound. Nothing.

He lay his head back down. There it was again. A quiet bump of a heartbeat lifted his armor for the flash of a moment. Before going still for a time."Kili..." he whispered, his voice hoarse and hopeful. He kept his ear to his chest, like ice against his stubbled cheek. Till he heard another beat. Yes, beat. You're alive.


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