As per usual, an evil little plot-warg (because no bunny can ever be as vicious as these plot-creatures that attack me constantly) came at me last night and now I can't SLEEP because I have to write it. One scene, it's in my head, I'm just trying to write one scene and throw some stuff around it to make it plausible. Please don't kill me, or flame, I'm tired. *sigh* This is what I get for a watching the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit all in a row on my day off and then reading fanfiction all night when I should really just listen to the pillow that's calling my name... Oh yeah, I don't own anything. Not the Hobbit or Thorin or Kili or *sadly* Fili.
The word spreads like an evil, burning fire in a dry forest. For every dwarf that is told anew, there is disbelief, confusion, sorrow, sympathy, a fearful wondering about the future. How it happened, no one is really sure. For every time the tale is repeated, a new explanation, a new theory comes up. Those that might know aren't telling.
The facts are few. Fili is dead. Killed by some danger outside their safe little land. Kili is alive, but gravely injured. Fili's body has not yet been found, but not for lack of searching. Even now, Thorin has a group of men out searching. The exiled King has not been seen since he returned with his youngest nephew. Kili is in danger, not only of his wounds, but the from the power of his grief.
The rumors are too much, too many. How did Fili die? Where did he die, why? Who killed him? Was he caught off guard, or was he outnumbered? Did he sacrifice himself to save his brother? Was he cut down or eaten? How did Kili survive, and why? Where they traveling, camping, hunting? Foul enemies like orcs or goblins, wild animals, humans, elves; who was responsible for this tragedy? Or was it possible there was no fault at all, a terrible but not unheard of accident? Did Kili make it out of the mysterious circumstances alive because of his brother or in spite of him? How had Thorin found Kili, but not Fili? Why could the dwarves not find the heir's body? Had it been dragged off for food or sport? Did Thorin hide himself out of fear for his wounded sister-son, grief for his lost sister-son or both? Was he at Kili's bedside, or was he directing the search parties? Why was he so certain Fili was dead? Could they really convince themselves it was true until the body was brought back?
There are too many questions and too few answers. The lack of explanation makes the reality vague but no less painful.
Handsome Fili is dead. Many mourn his death. Fili was loved, greatly. It was impossible to resist his ever present smile. He had the majesty of his uncle, the blood of Durin was strong in him. His strength in the forges was equaled by his skill with his two swords. Fili had an easy nature that made him pleasant to be around. Unlike his younger brother (who the people loved too, just not as many considered him friend), Fili's temper was almost legendary because he didn't seem to have one. He could withstand much, and he understood others in a way that helped him forgive things that his uncle could not. Fili could be generous and incredibly kind to those that were in turn nice to him. It only made him that much more adored, because they wanted to be in his good favor. Few could find it in their hearts to dislike the teasing, playful, encouraging, helpful, loyal, eager to please, slightly crazy dwarf that lit up their days with his unfailing warmth and bright sunshine hair.
But what happens next only adds to the endless list of the unexplained. What happens next goes down in the history books, and is told in many a tale by a fire or barrel of ale.
There is a clamor at the entrance to the small, underground village. Many of the men grab weapons and run towards the ruckus. The children try to hold their ground in curiosity as their mothers try to pull them away from the sounds of metal on metal. But it's no enemy or rabid animal attempting to crash these gates.
It is Fili, the heir himself. Fili is alive!
Has he come back from the dead? Some say yes, others snort and point out he simply had never died to begin with.
Fili is charging through the doors like a wildman with a battle cry that rivals that of Thorin himself. The young blond is delirious with fever and blind with pain. The warriors and guards can see this, so they distance themselves. Fili is bleeding from several open wounds, and his clothing is covered with thick, black blood. His swords are almost unrecognizable, hidden by the foul pitch. Still he swings at any that dare come near. Fili is mad with rage, and few dare to come near him. In his lost and tortured mind, everything is a threat and he doesn't dare rest long enough to give in to the darkness that haunts him. His strength is that of one who has already lost his senses and is fighting with nothing but aimless hatred to drive him. Dwalin, great weapons master that he is, almost loses his arm trying to get close enough to disarm the boy. So after several near-hits and near-misses, they form a ring around him, shielding the other inhabitants from the insanity of their lost prince.
Through it all, Fili staggers ever forward, a destination clear in his mind. Amidst all the curses and threats, Fili screams one word endlessly.
The healers who are tending to Kili have heard little more than the others, but they have been warned to keep their mouths shut or risk losing their heads. So the female dwarf can't tell her friends that Thorin rarely leaves Kili. She can't tell them that the poor princeling has wounds so severe the dwarf can't even sit up without assistance. She can't reveal that Kili seems to be dying from a broken heart. She can't relay to them that he cries in the night for his missing brother. She can't tell them he asks where Fili is every time he wakes up, and screams all over again when they have to remind him. None cry so hard, none miss their heir as much as Kili does. For Fili was his other half, his world. To be ripped apart might just be more than he can bear, for even she can see his soul breaking and fading.
She never forgets what happens next. And she'll tell her friends all about it in the shadows of the night after.
Kili is asleep. It's far from peaceful, but it's quiet. Which is more than can be said about any other rest he's had during his recovery. Suddenly, with a roar like that of a dragon, the dark-haired boy is sitting up and screaming. He's scrambling with a fury, trying to get out of his bed. The other healers come running at the sound of her cries for help because she can't hold him down by herself. For all his pain, the young dwarf is unnaturally strong. He fights them all off, throwing her halfway across the room as he rises on unsteady legs. Some watch in fear, some with incredulity as he manages to stand. He's so injured he shouldn't be physically able to get up. It should not be possible. Has his mind finally collapsed and left insanity in it's wake? For her part, the female can only stare in horror and fascination as her charge half-flies, half-stumbles out the door, screaming one word over and over.
Thorin is sitting in his room. His pipe is in his fingers, but he can't even bring himself to smoke it. His beloved nephew, his heir, his golden-haired child is gone. His last hope, his only chance of Durin's blood surviving, might as well be gone. Thorin remembers his father going mad with grief. The dull ache in his chest puts the old image alongside that of Kili wailing in his forlorn voice. The king fears his youngest nephew-his only nephew will suffer the same fate. Kili's heart is destroyed, and his body won't hold out much longer. Gasping suddenly for air, Thorin curses the weakness of his soul, because he can't breathe, he can't live without them, his sister-sons. He's too far in his grief to consider the other dwarves of Erebor, and what will become of them. He can't care anymore.
Balin sits beside him, but Thorin has no knowledge of this. The dark-haired king is lost to his suffering, and his white-bearded friend can only look on with despair.
Thorin is valiantly attempting to recover his wits, to hold himself together against this ocean of darkness. He has long tried to hold it at bay. Eventually, it overtook him. He tries to rise above, to swim and survive as he's done in the past. The waves of emotion are strong, and he is almost dragged under again when he senses something off.
He doesn't hear the screaming coming from two different directions. He doesn't see the chaos. He's too far away. Yet deep in his heart, something wakes up with a fiery breath. Something heavy and flaming is pulling him, drawing him. He can feel the need to go, to follow and find.
Thorin stands up so suddenly he sways, startling Balin. Then he is moving, running towards the alarm of the people that they won't discover until they are down several passages. The dwarves are just as surprised by his timely arrival as he is by the scene unfolding. Balin later swears that Thorin has inherited some form of Sight, to be able to know when he is needed so desperately. Thorin swears with just as much vigor that he has no such thing, and it was simply the blood of his kin calling to him. For needed he is, and calling they are.
Fili is still making his way down the hall. His destination is known only him, and no one else can guess what it might be. He's all but broken, leaving a gruesome path of dwarf blood and orc blood. Those guarding him, surrounding him, whisper in awe and fear. His presence has answered many questions, and sprung up twice as many instead. Obviously, Fili was not dead. The seach party hadn't been able to find a body because there wasn't one. Apparently, he and Kili had been attacked by orcs. Somehow, Kili had escaped or been left behind. Thorin must have found the younger one alive, and enough evidence to make him believe the elder had been murdered. But whatever the number, Fili had managed to slay all of his opponents single-handedly and fumble all the way back home. Also, it seemed that Fili could not recognize that he'd made it into safe territory, if he was seeing only orcs still and not concerned friends, allies.
It is this vision of raw anger, battle lust, and power that ignites the legendary tales. Fili has yet to fall, and the sheer amount of blood on his body bears witness to how many foes he's ended. Fili, with his sunshine hair and gentle smiles, is truly the heir of Durin, of Thorin. It is the only possible explanation for the fact that he can still be alive, can be so strong-willed and proficient in the way of war. Kili's dark hair and proud temper cannot make him as much Thorin's prince as Fili's master swordsmanship and majestic nature. Fili will always be Thorin's beloved heir, and Kili will always be Thorin's beloved nephew. It makes neither of them lesser than the other, it is simply who they are.
Kili too is stumbling through the stone paths. His dark clothes and unkempt hair are doing well to disguise him amongst the rocks. His own screams are not so loud and often, but they are somehow all the more penetrating. He's moving too fast to walk, but he's not quite sprinting either. The dwarves he passes glance his way, but by the time they recognize who it is they've just seen, he's already out of sight. His injuries are not forgotten, only ignored. Kili's strength lies not in his arms or chest, but in his heart and mind. He doesn't stop, doesn't hesitate, because he can't. His soul is guiding him to a light, and the darkness behind him is no match for the sweet call. His wounds are open, but he doesn't feel the blood leaving his body and marking his trail. He has one goal. With the determination of the very stubborn and a power found in few outside his bloodline, Kili marches on.
Kili is weaving myths of his own with his actions. How else to explain the will to go on and fight a battle that anyone else would have surrendered long ago? With his endless joking and strange hobbies, he does not accept new friends easily. But those he does are hard and fast. He would go to the end of the earth, or farther, to save a friend or family member. He is steadfast and wild. Kili has no throne waiting for him. But Kili is warrior and not even his broken body will stop him. For every dwarf he dodges and avoids, there is another ahead of him, obstructing his destination. Still, he doesn't quit. Considering he's spent so long in bed trying to heal, it's amazing he can even walk, but he's not just walking, he's running and darting around the people like they were only trees in a forest. For there is only one cure that can heal his soul.
Thorin arrives with the timing of a wizard. He skids out of a passageway, Balin hot on his heels, to land in a perfect vantage point. On one side of the open cave area, Fili continues slashing his sword at a group of dwarves. They want to disarm him, to get close and help him, but they cannot. Beautiful, golden Fili is too crazed to let anyone near. The few that try risk beheading.
The tortured cry of mingled love, relief, fear and awe that tears itself from his throat is joined by another familiar voice. From the opposite side, Kili is making a mad dash for his lost brother. Broken, wounded, fading Kili is not only upright and out of the infirmary, he is looking more alive than he has a right to be. Dwarves of all types, workers and mothers and politicians alike reach out their hands to try and stop him. But Kili has the momentum of a troll now and he passes through them like water in the river.
Thorin can see, he knows where Kili is aiming. He shouts a command at Dwalin. Dwalin hears, and turns. His young, reckless little cousin is not thinking. He only wants to reach his brother. But Fili is all anger and blade. His older, little cousin will surely kill his sibling if Dwalin does not catch him, hold him back. He thinks not even Balin will forgive him, let alone Thorin, if he should fail.
Dwalin is being pushed by fear. Kili is being pulled by a love stronger than anything else in the world. It's no match. It's not even close.
Kili slips right in between the massive dwarf's arms, and throws himself in a final lunge for Fili.
The observers all around can only cry and stare in horror. It's happening to fast for them to do anything more. They are already mourning again. If the orcs weren't enough to kill Fili, this surely will. If the loss of Kili's brother wasn't enough to drive him mad, then that deadly, black-coated sword will do the trick and bring him down. As if the suffering inflicted on their leader wasn't enough, this will surely finish the work Smaug and Azog started. It's too cruel and too unfair. The people of Erebor are about to lose their royal family again. If the robbing of their home, if the murder of their two kings, if the pain of their successors, if the aching of trying to settle in a new place that could never be home was not enough to completely devastate them all, this will surely be the end.
Most of them turn away, unable to witness the tragedy unfolding before them. But those are the ones who miss what happens next. It is perhaps this part of the scene that the stories make out to be the most supernatural, the most extraordinary.
Just when it looks like Kili is about to impale himself on his brother's outstretched sword, Fili throws the weapon away at the last second. It lands with a clatter that resounds through the agonized silence of the chamber. His arms are open and free, catching his younger brother flawlessly.
Fili, literally blind with illness and infection, had sensed his brother, and only his brother, disarming himself just in time to avoid death. Was it because of the bond they shared, nurtured and twisting together from the moment they'd met in life? Was it simply a matter of blood; would Thorin have been able to calm him just as easily? Was it because Fili had been able to hear Kili's voice, calling out to him through the darkness? Or was it something else entirely?
Thorin is the first to react. Gasping with relief, sobbing with joy, he scrambles down towards his nephews. Most hear or see him coming and clear the way. The ones that don't are roughly shoved aside. Fili falls to his knees, still cradling Kili against his chest. Dwalin is shouting, ordering the guards to take the swords the little one has dropped and get away, all of them. Exhausted, and finally ready to give in, Fili's body begins to fall. He doesn't hit the ground because his uncle is there to catch him. Holding the two children in his arms, Thorin can't care less right now that his subjects are watching. He kisses them and clutches them tight, alternately cursing their names and thanking the gods for returning both of them to him. Rocking them as if they were only infants, tears fall from his face onto the orange-red hair, Thorin can only whisper promises of gratitude and protection and love to his sister-sons.
The reunion is far too short for anyone's liking, really. Thorin could happily sit there for several days without moving, just to hold his precious nephews and know that they are alive. Fili has never felt so safe in the arms of his uncle, and he'd probably die there in bliss. The road home has been long and treacherous, but now he can finally rest. Kili has no plans to let go of his brother anytime this decade, thank you very much. Never has so much emotion threatened to tear him asunder. It felt as though his heart was razed and burned to ash. Now it is beating strong once again, like a phoenix rising. The dwarves of Erebor and Ered Luin alike wouldn't mind watching this tender moment for at least an hour or so.
But Fili has yet to be treated and Kili has managed to undo everything they've mended so far. So with Thorin carrying Fili in his arms, Dwalin carrying Kili, and Balin walking ahead to part the waters, they make their way back to the healing rooms. They have to walk side by side because Kili refuses to release his death hold on the blonde.
The healer dwarves are practically beside themselves. They move with frantic purpose. Through all the organized pandemonium, Thorin is tied between his nephews with invisible chains of iron. Not one is foolish enough to try and move him. More than just cleaning the wounds, stitching and bandaging, they must work around the royal trio. Kili still won't let go, and Fili starts fighting them if they move him too far away. Dwalin and Balin, bless them, push and shove two beds together. The reassuring presence of his brother is enough to make Fili and Kili complacent. It takes many hours, but finally Fili and Kili are both resting peacefully. Their wounds are clean and stitched and bandaged.
One female dwarf stays nearby, ready to come forward at the slightest sign either of her charges need help. When she sees Thorin starting to drift off, she none too subtly suggests he lie down on the bed. He offers a token resistance, but she maneuvers him in-between his nephews with the skill of a healer. When he's finally situated comfortably against the pillows, with Fili on his shoulder and Kili against his chest, she grins smugly and goes back to her post. An almost purr-like sound begins to vibrate in his throat. The healer apparently knew her business because this is first time Thorin has felt he can sleep since he found Kili outside the village. He can feel the two children, hearts beating, alive and warm. It's the greatest reassurance he could have. He is happy, and they are safe. Fili lives and Kili is whole again. Finally he surrenders to the darkness, which is much more welcoming and pleasant than he'd thought.
Review please! Tell me how it turned out because if it weren't for the spell-check this thing would probably look like gibberish so I'm in no condition to evaluate this one-shot.
I sleep now...
*When I wake up in the afternoon, I'll probably regret posting this. If you really hate it, I'll take it down. And if you like it, I might take it down anyway, if only to rewrite it into something worth reading. Tell me what you think!*