Prepare yourself the tissues, you're going to need them.
Too dependent on each other, Thorin had said. Yes, useful in a fight because they moved around each other like water, guarded and shielded and attacked in synch.
But outside of battle? Fili had heard time and time again that they were too close, even for brothers. Always around each other, always shadowing each other. Where one was, the other wasn't far. It had been a rule in Ered Luin to be watchful when only one brother was around because the other was most likely up to mischief.
So Thorin had sent Kili to fetch water while he had Fili stay behind and bide his time.
It left Fili uneasy and he didn't stop fidgeting. It only grew worse when the sun sunk lower and lower and yet his brother had not returned. He could feel the others shifting restlessly and Thorin looked as if he regretted sending his youngest nephew away.
Good for him, Fili thought bitterly and resumed his task of sweeping the edge of the forest Kili had disappeared into.
The sun sunk lower.
It was then that Fili stood up, ignoring the looks and his uncle's reassurances. He marched past them all and into the forest. He was no tracker but he could see a couple of bootprints in the mud that could only belong to Kili.
So Fili followed them.
Dread settled in his stomach as he walked deeper and deeper into the forest and the dread and the worry turned his caution into dust.
"Kili? Where are you?"
Something told him he needed to find his brother. And soon.
It was dark. Silent. It was….unnatural. Kili's vision sharpened and blurred again, a silent groan leaving his lips.
He was laying on the ground on his side, staring at his limp hand that refused from moving because of his broken collar bone. Said hand was covered in crimson, his fingers twitching uselessly.
It felt like his body was on fire, his muscles protesting with each careful move he tried to make from the pondle of blood he was laying in. His side was torn apart as well as his stomach, Kili's hair messed up, missing hair and scalp bleeding from all the hair lifting Azog pulled on him.
His leg wasn't moving, the bone probably broken. Basically his body was one bloody lump of bruises, cuts and missing parts left for death.
Then he heard it, the sweetest voice calling for him, the only voice he wished to hear and for a moment Kili was sure he had died.
"Kili?" Fili stopped and held his breath, ears straining to hear anything.
In the distance, he could hear ragged breathing.
Fili was off like a shot, jumping over an overturned tree and ducked under a branch that seemed to have come out of nowhere. Then he screeched to a halt.
His brother, his precious little brother was lying in a pool of his own blood, he was torn and broken and a noise clawed its' way out of Fili's throat that sounded like the noise of a wounded animal, as if someone had punched him in the gut.
His legs gave out on him for a second before his caught himself, propelling himself forward to crouch down at Kili's side. His hands hovered, not sure which part he was allowed to touch without causing his brother further harm.
"Kili, please, open your eyes. It's Fili!"
His hands finally found the hand which wasn't lying in a pool of blood and cradled it close.
Kili's hand was as cold as a frozen lake.
Kili coughed up blood, turning his head slowly thinking for a moment that his eyes lied to him. Then he heard his brother call to him in desperate voice and he realized that Fili was there.. Really was there.
"Fi….li…" He croaked out voice breaking, eyes filling with regret and sorrow as he tired to squeeze his brother's warm hand without success.
He didn't want Fili to see him like this, failed, and tears slid down his chin. "I….fa…ile…d…"
"No. No, you didn't fail." He didn't know what Kili was talking about, who he was talking about. What mattered was that he would get Kili back to camp as soon as possible, they would be able to tend to his wounds there.
Surely Oin would be able to keep the infections at bay, mend the broken bones. Kili wouldn't leave him like this.
Couldn't leave him like this.
"Ssssh. I'm here now, Kili. Everything is going to be okay. Just stay with me, please." His voice suddenly sounded lost. Lost and desperate and sad and filled with despair. He cleared his throat and wet his lips, forcing his voice back into the shape of steel as he rubbed Kili's hand, trying to get some blood back into it.
He didn't know which injury to bind first. The one on Kili's arm was bleeding a bit more sluggishly than the rest. Did that mean he had to bandage it first?
Panic was clouding his judgement.
"I….tri..ed…" Kili coughed nearly shouting at the pain it caused, panting heavily closing his eyes to get his vision sharpening again.
He knew he couldn't survive, there was no way Fili could move him in the condition he was in. He had been bleeding too much. Fear shot through him as he realized he was dying, he was dying in the age of 77 and more tears spilled from his eyes.
"I…h-he…" Kili tried to speak shakily, clutching weakly on Fili's hand, his brother who always was his anchor. The thought that Fili would have to go on without him hurt.
No more laughter after pranking some poor dwarf, no more singing around the campfire, no more drunken stories with a pint of ale, no more sleeping together curled against his brother's chest.
A strangled sob left Kili's lips, more tears sliding down his chin mixing with the blood.
Fili took a sharp breath and pressed his cheek against Kili's hand, desperately trying to find something that Kili could take comfort in, something that would make him stay as long as possible.
His brother simply couldn't leave. They'd both known that their journey was dangerous, was likely to end in desaster but this—
This had been in some far away future where everything had gone wrong. Where they would have been standing on a battlefield, facing row upon row of goblins and orcs, both older, both with grey in their hair and wild laughter still in their voices and-
Not like this. Not with one of them lying broken on the ground of some nameless forest, blood feeding the earth.
"Don't leave me, Kili." FIli didn't know why his voice sounded so choked, when tears had started running down his face or when grief stood vigil over his heart.
"Tell me who did this to you so we can face him together, side by side."
But he was slowly starting to realize there was no way he would be able to lift and carry Kili back without causing further harm.
This was the end of their journey for his brother.
And the knowledge made Fili feel sick.
"I…do…n't….w-want…to…" Kili sobbed quietly, each shake and tremor making him more and more pained, his expression desperate and scared.
He didn't want to leave his brother, he didn't want to leave Thorin, this world. Thorin…oh Mahal, what would Thorin say? He'd blame himself for his death, he was sure of it. He'd leave his brother empty, without his shadow following him anymore.
"A…A-azog.." He finally whispered out, his hand clutching on Fili's as he started to breathe more heavily, his body convulsing in waves of pain and agony and he knew he wouldn't last long anymore. "I...I lo..ve...you..."
Azog. The Defiler.
One more reason to take him down, one more reason to severe his ugly head from his body, to make him bleed and scream and—
Fili snapped out of the cloud of rage settling in his mind, pulled out of it by Kili's words.
"I love you, too. Please! Kili, don't go! Don't go without me, I need you to-!" Fili bit the rest of the sentence of with a was being selfish. Kili was in pain and didn't they animals in pain out of their misery?
A almost hysterical laugh bubbled past Fili's lips. So his brother was an animal now, nothing more than a rabbit Azog had hunted down and toyed with like a mountain lion.
Gently, he reached out and brushed the dirty bangs away from Kili's face so his brother would at least get one last look without anything other than the blood and pain clouding his vision.
Fili forced a smile on his lips but it was shaky and broken and it soon fell into shambles as he sobbed, eyes squeezing shut.
With a cracked noise, Fili leaned down to press his lips against Kili's blood-stained ones.
Kili smiled shakily up at his brother, reaching up with newly mustered strenght and placed his good hand against Fili's cheek. "Pro…mise…me…" He panted out, his eyes starting to unfocus again.
"Re…memb…er…me….when…y-y…ou….laugh…" He breathed in shakily, more tears escaping his eyes. "Not….w-when…y..ou….cry…"
He sobbed silently un the kiss, brushing his fingers through his brother's hair weakly. "I…love…" He coughed more spilling blood from his mouth, his body trembling in pain. "B-Brother…"
At the moment he sounded more like his 33 year old self, lost and alone without his brother.
His body arched in a painful and violent arch, a strangled gasp leaving his lips before he relaxed and went limp.
The hand on Fili's cheek slid down on the ground leaving a bloodied smear on his skin.
The trembling of his lips stopped.
The mischievous light in Kili's eyes had died out.
The prince of Erebor, the brother of Fili, the heir of Thorin Oakenshield, Kili…was gone.
The sound Fili made was wretched and ugly and full of pain. Desperately, he cradled his brother's body close, rocking back and forth, trying to— He didn't know what. Share warmth with a body that would never move on its own again? Trying to shake Kili awake until he jumped up and laughed his wounds off? Rocking him like he had done years ago when their mother hadn't been home and Kili had been crying and fussy?
It was surreal. Kili couldn't really be gone, he couldn't have left him behind, they'd always waited for each other, had always had each other—
A hysterical laugh bubbled past Fili's lips and he threw his head back. He couldn't tell if the scream he let out was filled with mad laughter or raw sorrow.
He only knew that the brother he loved with all his heart was dead.
If someone asked him later how much he remembered after, he would shrug his shoulders and look away, haunted and hollow-eyed and closed off. He knew that at one point, the others had found him, pulled him away from Kili's body and pushed him into Thorin's arm where he had laughed and cried and gotten snot all over his uncle. His king's rumbling voice had been filled with the same grief Fili was feeling but really, what did Thorin know?
After the sadness came the anger and Fili beat his fists against Thorin's chest until he had screamed himself hoarse while Oin check for something, anything in a body that had gone cold.
Kili was dead and Fili was alone.
Writing this was literal pain, I don't remember the last time I cried like this. Reviews are appreciated, let me know what you think!