Author: StarLight Massacre
Title: Always Kíli
Warning: Violence, language, blood, completely injured Kíli and protective Fíli and Thorin.
Pairing: Not applicable.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from The Hobbit; all rights go to J. R. R Tolkien. I make no money for this piece of fictional writing and never will.
Additional Information: This fic is a mix of both movie and book. A happy compromise of both worlds and my imagination which likes seeing poor Kíli all hurt and in pain.
Summary: Kíli was the youngest; he was of Durin's line, so he was strong and could endure much, but injuries early on in the quest lead to more further on, whether it be orcs, wargs, goblins or even uneven ground, Kíli's luck is not favourable, though the quiet strength he wields pushes him to persevere despite his injuries. Thorin feels equal parts concern and pride for Kíli, his youngest sister-son, who had proven much, to him, to himself and to the company of dwarves.
Kíli grunted loudly as his ankle twisted painfully as he ran faster to avoid being seen by the wargs and caught on an awkward patch of ground. He stumbled, but Fíli was there to steady him and drag him along. His older brother was always there to catch him and help him along.
"Stop!" Was the command given and they stopped immediately behind a crop of rocks.
They stayed and listened, Kíli fingered his bow nervously. He could hear the wargs further away, chasing after the insane wizard, but a thrill of fear shot through his chest when he heard the snarling of a warg close by. They had been scented out and found by at least one warg.
He swallowed as he caught the eyes of his kin, he was the only one who had any decent skill with a bow, he knew what he had to do, he was afraid, but he knew what was expected of him. He took a slow, steadying breath, swallowing his fear as he heard the warg just above them, coming closer. He had to kill it and its orc rider before it attacked and killed any of their party.
He caught his Uncle's eye and nodded, spinning out from the rock, making himself seen, making himself a target and took out the warg first as the higher threat. He, however, hadn't expected the orc riding the warg to have a bow of his own, or to rally as quickly as it did after its ride had been felled and before he could even clear another arrow of his own from his quiver, the orc had aimed and fired quickly and messily and though the arrow that went through the meat of his upper leg had Fíli screaming his name and caused many shocked gasps from his kin, Kíli just calmly nocked another arrow, he aimed true and shot the orc from the rock, where it fell and was set upon by Thorin and Dwalin.
Fíli was immediately by his side as fast as he could get to him, always by his side. He helped him take the weight from his leg, blood making his breeches dark and wet in a patch around the arrow shaft.
"Can you walk Kíli?" His Uncle, Thorin, asked him sternly.
Kíli swallowed and swore not to disappoint his Uncle. He nodded sharply and bit back the pain that shot up his thigh when he put weight on his leg. It was starting to go numb and icy cold.
He forced himself to walk. Pushing Fíli off gently, he wouldn't endanger his own brother by relying on him to walk. Fíli needed his hands free for his swords.
"No Fíli. I can walk. I'm alright." Kíli insisted even though it was a struggle to talk steady and stand up properly together.
They heard the wargs before they saw them, snarling and growling, their orc riders shouting dark curses to one another. They had heard the snarling, choking and squealing of the warg and its orc rider they had just felled and it had given away their position.
"Run!" Thorin ordered and Kíli listened to that order instinctively, as he had been trained to, and found himself running, stabbing pain shooting up his leg every time he put his foot to the ground.
He actually overtook his kin, a feat with an arrow in his leg, but he had always been the fastest, nimble and lithe where his kin were broad and stout, it had always been a sore point in his youth, he remembered many a night where he cried onto his Mother, his Uncle and his brother about the names he was called by the other dwarflings; hairless, elfling, grass eater, they had teased him mercilessly for every slightly imagined flaw, including his use and prowess with a bow, so unlike a 'proper' weapon of a 'proper' dwarf. He remembered being coached to ignore them and hone his own skill set to his strengths and not to try and fit himself into the skill set of others, he was glad now that he had listened to his family.
The pain was numbing and cold, it was unlike any other wound he had ever received, in training, on hunts or on patrols around the Blue Mountains, his entire leg was numb now and his body felt cold, it was getting harder and harder to breathe the longer he ran, putting weight and pressure on the wound.
He stopped, turned and shot down another warg gaining on his companions before joining in the running once again. His ankle injury from before was going numb too, which could only be a good thing as his injured leg was now pain free, leaving him able to keep pace with the rest of his kin.
He stopped, turned and shot another arrow through the head of a warg. He gasped in a quick, deep breath before carrying on running, this time close to the back with Bofur and Bombur.
"Keep it up laddie." Bofur encouraged with a puff. "You're the only one with enough skill to take them down from a distance."
Kíli nodded and turned swiftly, there were two wargs close by and his hesitation at which to shoot first cost him his shot. He was getting slow.
He was now behind the company and he paid for that too when the two wargs he'd missed both circled around him and cut him off from the others and the wargs still behind him prevented him from running the other way, pinning him down on all sides.
One charged and he held his bow out to stop those lethal teeth from closing around his face. He ducked and rolled backwards, away from the warg, that was another thing that made him so very different to the other dwarrow, his flexibility.
"Fíli!" He called out desperately to his big brother as he tried to find a way past the snarling wargs, realising with a lurch that he was injured and surrounded on all sides. He was scared.
"KÍLI!" He heard his Uncle yelling out sharply for him and he looked across to see his Uncle standing alone on a rock what seemed like seven leagues away. The rest of the company, including Fíli, were gone, not a single one of them in sight.
"Uncle!" He called out as he darted nimbly past one warg, only to be knocked off his feet by the orc on a different warg.
The beast's jaws closed on him almost before he hit the ground and he couldn't help but scream, loud and ragged, before stopping suddenly to catch his breath which had left him suddenly when those jaws clamped around him tight, forcing all of the air out of his lungs with a small gasp. His Uncle was just suddenly there, thrusting his sword through the neck of the warg that had its sharp teeth clenched into his body.
The beast ripped its head to the side and Kíli was dropped, the numbness of his leg was overruled and forgotten in the all-consuming burning pain in his middle area. His chest, his stomach, his sides, everything was burning pain. His Uncle was stood over him as he tried to get his breath back, writhing and gasping on the grass. He had landed on the arrow in his leg, snapping the shaft and pushing the head into his leg further.
"Can you stand Kíli?" Thorin asked, his voice rough and gruff with concern, though Kíli only heard sternness and displeasure. He'd put his Uncle, his King, in life threatening danger.
His Mother's frantic last words rang out, sharp and sudden in his mind, 'you'll be a liability to them all' and he was.
He forced his body up, drawing his sword. His breath came hard and shallow; it hurt too much to draw in deeper breaths, but he would stand and he would fight to his end.
"I can stand Uncle." Kíli replied, forcing his weight onto his leg, gasping softly as he was quickly forced to swing his blade at an approaching warg, which sent flames searing through his chest and sides.
"Get behind me Kíli!" His Uncle ordered, but Kíli didn't know if he could even make it that far, never mind that his stubbornness and pride wouldn't allow him to hide behind his Uncle like a tiny dwarfling. He wouldn't be able to bear the shame of it.
Kíli didn't have time to argue his case as he suddenly found himself behind his Uncle anyway, when Thorin surged forward and cut down a warg and its rider with several blows from Orcrist, putting Kíli at his back.
But even that wasn't safe as the orcs had led their wargs to circle them. Kíli quickly pressed his back to his taller Uncle's and breathed in a deep a breath as he could manage which sent a hideous flare of pain through him.
He grabbed his sword and swallowed back the choking bile that wanted to escape his throat. He would not show weakness in front of his Uncle. His King. His pride wouldn't let him and Fíli would never let him live it down.
He swung at the approaching warg and killed it with several blows; its orc rider came at him, but was also cut down.
He could hear his Uncle grunting as he cut down his own orcs and wargs, they had to get out of this and quickly. They were outnumbered and surrounded, they wouldn't survive if they stayed here, there were too many wargs, too many orcs and too many opportunities for the wretched beasts to fell them.
Before Kíli had a chance to say any of this, his Uncle had already thought of it and acted, cutting down a lone warg to his right as well as its rider, grabbing Kíli's upper arm and hauling him through the gap before another warg could take its place, running for the crop of rock he had been stood by before he realised Kíli was cut off and surrounded and unable to reach safety.
Kíli was so shamed that he wanted to curl up and let himself die when he stumbled on his numb leg and fell painfully to the ground on his hands and knees, endangering them both, but his Uncle said nothing, he just grunted and he took a firmer grasp of Kíli's arm and the younger suddenly found himself dragged up to his feet again roughly and Kíli swallowed painfully, utterly mortified, as his attempts to help only hindered his Uncle.
"Stop moving Kíli!" Thorin almost yelled at him, scooping him into his arms like a newborn babe and running with him.
Kíli had enough of his brains still to pull out his damaged, but still usable, bow once again and aim at the wargs getting too close to them, but every shot jarred his body with pain, there were too many still and he was slow.
He felt his Uncle fall and wondered if this would be the end, only to realise they were actually sliding down a near enough sheer rock drop and into a small tunnel.
He was in Fíli's tight embrace only moments later, though his Uncle refused to let him go into Fíli's hold, instead hoisting him higher and more securely, holding him tighter and Kíli wondered if he was in trouble. No, he knew he was in trouble for his actions and what he did and caused, the real question was how much trouble was he in and would he be sent home like some errant dwarfling at the end of it.
They heard the blast of a horn only a moment later, but the exertion he had forced on his already taxed body and the adrenaline that had kept him going was wearing off, leaving his one leg and hip coldly numb and the rest of him in a red hot fire. He cried out softly, muffling the sound with his own fist so they were not found out, as someone touched the broken arrow shaft in his leg; it was jutting out by only an inch of splintered wood.
"This needs to come out and quickly."
Kíli swallowed as he recognised Óin's voice. A hand touched the skin around the arrow and he squirmed and kicked out at Óin, only just managing to bite back a scream, but not quite stifling the grunt of pain.
"Don't do that Kíli." Thorin told him sternly, holding both of Kíli's arms.
"Hurts." Kíli moaned.
"I know, but you need to let Óin look at it."
"Look at me Kíli." Fíli encouraged, standing at his brother's head and cupping his face.
"Hurts Fee." Kíli moaned.
"I'm not surprised." Óin mumbled. "That arrow was coated in poison. I'm shocked that you're still standing after getting hit with it laddie."
"What?!" Thorin demanded roughly.
"We must keep moving." Gandalf said hurriedly as the body of an orc fell down the rock face and into their tunnel. "We are not safe here."
Thorin agreed and hurried down the increasingly narrow pathways, holding Kíli securely, watching his head and his legs. His youngest sister-son was entirely too tall and big for this, but the moans of agony tore through him like a sword. Kíli was in pain, he had been injured badly, shot with an arrow right before his very eyes and poisoned at the same time and there was nothing he could do about it.
Kíli started coughing and he couldn't stop and he couldn't catch his breath, he coughed so hard his mouth filled with thick saliva that he couldn't breathe past. He spat to get rid of the excess fluid only to gasp when it came out dark and red. It wasn't saliva it was blood and a thrill of fear made his eyes widen.
"Fíli!" He called out weakly and wetly.
His brother turned, concern already lining his face and making it pinched and tight, but the fear on his face as he saw Kíli's mouth and chin decorated with blood stabbed through the younger brother's heart.
"Óin! He needs help now!" Fíli demanded as he dragged the elder dwarf to his brother.
"We must keep moving!" Gandalf insisted.
Thorin looked at Kíli's young face, the short scruff, that was all he had managed to grow in seventy-seven years and insisted hotly was a beard, was covered with bright blood that was trailing from the corner of his mouth. They had to keep moving, but Kíli needed help. He was torn so cleanly between his head and the quest and his heart and Kíli that for once he had no idea what to do.
"Help is just ahead, we must keep moving." Gandalf said softer.
Thorin nodded jerkily and took a breath, setting a punishing pace through the narrow pathways, he knew what Gandalf was up to, he knew what lay ahead, but he found himself not caring as Kíli let out a high keening wail of agony, more blood spilling from his mouth to join that which was already on his chin, running down his neck and over Thorin's arm. It was all he needed to make his decision, Kíli's blood was warm, but not as warm as it should have been, his youngest sister-son was dying in his arms and if anything or anyone could prevent it, he wouldn't argue.
Thorin had not expected the level of help the elves had given them. Food, safe accommodation for as long as they needed, baths, clean clothing whilst the elves repaired their own battle torn clothes, but most importantly, healing.
His own arm was wrapped up tight where an orc blade had sliced him long and shallowly, but deeply enough to warrant seeing to, but young Kíli was sleeping still, two days hence from their run in with the orc pack.
The elves had been highly concerned with the arrow wound, which the poison had helped fester until the edges of the wound were rough and burnt. They had not thought Kíli would pull through after his high activity, which had increased his heart rate, after getting the wound had helped speed the poison through his body, but they underestimated the robustness of the dwarrow.
Seven warg teeth had been carefully removed from Kíli's body, two from his left side and one from his belly, one from his right side and three from his chest. They had snapped off inside of him as Thorin had stabbed the warg through the neck, causing the beast to rip its head away from Kíli's body violently enough to break its own teeth, which then caused further pain to his youngest sister-son.
Thorin looked at Kíli and could only feel pride at how Kíli had handled the situation, at how he had forced himself to keep standing, to keep fighting, even through such pain and injury, the company were still talking about what he had achieved. He never would have believed it of Kíli, or Fíli for that matter. He had underestimated them, seeing only the small children they had once been, sat on his knees in front of a fire with the treats and toys he had bought them from the town of men and not the adults they had grown into.
It was especially difficult to see Kíli in such a way, the babe he had raised as closely as his own from his birth and his Father's sudden, untimely death. Fíli had been old enough to remember his Da, thus always knew Thorin as his Uncle and in his role of older brother and protector of Kíli, had sought independence from a young age and hadn't seeked the coddling and comfort that Kíli always had. Speaking of his eldest sister-son, Thorin looked to the other chair opposite his own, on the other side of Kíli's bed.
Fíli had been frantic and terrified, it had taken a lot to calm him down once they had arrived at the valley of Imladris and to keep him from his brother's bedside as the elves healed him. He had barely slept for the two days they were with the elves, but Thorin was happy to see him sleeping now, fitful though it might be. He had thought his brother dead, they all had when they had heard his scream cut off in the middle, yet still Thorin had dived into the attack, if only to retrieve Kíli's body before it was dishonoured by being eaten by those hideous beasts, to find him still alive and fighting. Kíli had made him so proud.
Balin entered the house of healing and Thorin stood to receive him, walking towards him, rather than have him closer to his sister-sons and wake them.
"What news?" He asked softly.
"I thought you might like an update."
Thorin nodded sharply.
"We are all well settled, though Ori refuses to eat the food provided by the elves."
Thorin sighed heavily, he had known something would go wrong with the elves food, as it seemed they survived mainly on vegetation and not on meat and though dwarrow did eat vegetation with their meat on occasion, it was by no means the staple of their diet.
"Tell Ori he must eat to keep up his strength, I would not have anyone begrudging our hosts hospitality by cooking in their lands, dwindling our provisions, while they are graciously providing us with food. Kíli is still too sick to be moved and I would not needlessly risk his health in such a way over a few leaves."
Balin nodded as Thorin rubbed his head wearily. He complained to Fíli about not sleeping, yet he had had hardly any sleep himself since arriving, he just wished to see Kíli's eyes look upon him once more, without the shadow of pain and fever that had been in them the last he had looked upon them.
"Kíli has also gained a name for himself amongst the company." Balin told him with a smile.
Thorin snapped his head to look at Balin, silently asking him what this name was, Kíli had been called so many awful things in his youth that it had often upsetted his youngest sister-son and made him feel rage beyond boiling, making him wish he could swing his fists at the dwarflings that had teased and hurt Kíli mercilessly and had put that look of abject misery on his young face, making him feel unwanted, out of place and like he didn't fit in.
He had lost count of the many times Fíli had come home with a blooded lip or a black eye, scraped knuckles and various other bruising, giving the excuse that some dwarfling somewhere had called Kíli this or had pushed Kíli to the ground or had made his baby brother cry. Each time he would coach Fíli that he was a Prince, that he was his immediate heir and he needed to conduct himself with dignity, but when it came to Kíli, Fíli lost all reasoning and ability to conduct himself in any manner other than violent and fiercely protective.
"The rest of the company are calling him Kíli Wargsbane." Balin said with a proud smile. "Bofur is making him a necklace from his broken bowstring and the teeth pulled from Kíli's body for when he wakes."
Thorin wanted to chuckle, but thought better of it lest he wake said Kíli Wargsbane from his healing sleep.
"I think that is a name he can be proud of." Thorin said softly, pride lacing his own tone.
Balin smiled sadly in understanding. He knew of the names Kíli had been cruelly given in his youth and none of them were worth repeating and none of them were true, except perhaps Kíli Beardless as he was in his seventy-seventh year and still only had the scruff of a young dwarfling and a female one at that. Not that he'd ever dare say such a thing aloud, Thorin was his friend and Fíli and Kíli had been near and dear to him since their births.
"Is everything else under control?" Thorin asked, breaking Balin from his thoughts.
The dwarf nodded with a smile. "Oh yes, everything is fine and under control, though trying to spot hazards and stop trouble from happening is a full time job."
Thorin nodded and gripped Balin's shoulder to show his thanks for watching over the others in his stead. He didn't want to leave Kíli, neither of them brought up the fact that the elves didn't hold out much hope for him or that they believed he would never wake from the poison he had encountered, no matter that it had been sucked out of him, they didn't need to, it was there in both of their eyes and in the lines heavy upon Thorin and Fíli's brows, they all knew what the elves thought, but Thorin held out for his sister-son. Kíli Wargsbane would wake up; Thorin would make sure of it, no matter how long it took.
Kíli woke with enough grunting and groaning that the dwarrow clustered around his bed had ample warning that he was awakening.
Fíli was by his brother's head, smoothing the hair from his face gently when his eyes blinked open. It took several more blinks before his eyes could focus and several short moments after that before Kíli smiled softly at Fíli, finally recognising his brother's face.
"Fee…" He groaned weakly.
"Don't speak Kíli." Fíli told him worriedly. "You're going to be fine."
"Hurts." Kíli moaned weakly.
Fíli shared a concerned look with Thorin before the older dwarf was just there beside Kíli.
"What hurts Kíli, show me."
Kíli flinched from his harsh tone and Thorin would have apologised for his gruffness if they had been alone, yet he knew he could not apologise, nor take back his tone, so he settled for looking at Kíli sternly to convey how important this was and that he couldn't hide his injuries or lingering pains.
Kíli's small hand slipped to his upper thigh, the arrow wound and Thorin let out a shaky breath. The elves had said they had done their all for Kíli, that his wound still pained him, the wound that had seeped poison into Kíli's body, was a bad omen.
Kíli struggled and tried to sit up, but gasped in pain as his stomach and sides were disturbed.
"Lay still Kee." Fíli encouraged.
"Can't reach." Kíli said softly.
"You can't reach what?" Thorin asked confused at the strange behaviour of his youngest sister-son.
"It's not your arrow wound that pains you, is it?" Fíli asked.
Kíli blinked slowly, his face marring into a frown.
"Name the body part that hurts Kíli." Fíli offered.
"Did the elves say he had an ankle wound?" Fíli demanded.
Thorin shook his head as he flipped the blanket on Kíli's legs over to study both ankles. They were both bruised, but not enough for Kíli to feel such pain and neither had a visible wound. Thorin took one ankle into his hands and felt along the bones, applying gentle pressure and twisting slowly and carefully, then faster and harder when Kíli made no whimper.
He picked up the other ankle and immediately felt the difference. This ankle was swollen slightly bigger than the other under his probing fingers, it was hot to the touch and the smallest amount of movement and pressure had Kíli crying out and almost screaming.
"This is either broken or sprained." Thorin sighed. "How did you ever stand on this Kíli, let alone think you could walk on it! When did this happen?"
Kíli looked at him, a strange look on his face that was frowning in confusion of his words. Kíli was having trouble understanding him.
"Did you get this injury when the warg dropped you Kíli?" Thorin asked more clearly.
Kíli shook his head. "Before I got hit with the arrow. I twisted it on uneven ground. Fee caught me before I could fall."
"You'd twisted your ankle and didn't tell me?" Fíli demanded. "I thought you had merely stumbled on a stone!"
"You were running on a possibly broken ankle?!" Thorin demanded almost before Fíli had finished speaking.
Kíli looked from his brother to his Uncle and back again, that look of confusion on his face.
"I needed to run." Kíli replied confusedly.
"No you didn't! You were asked if you could stand, all you had to say was no and I would have carried you!" Fíli hissed.
"You needed your hands."
"You could have gotten on my back, Kíli!" Fíli insisted.
"I'm not a liability. I'm not!" Kíli insisted and all at once Thorin and Fíli understood and they both let out identical breaths.
"That's what this is about?" Thorin said softly, running a large, thick hand through Kíli's hair. "I told you Kíli, your Ma didn't want you to come, she would have said anything to get you to stay, even resorting to claiming you unfit and ill experienced. You're not a liability to this company or the quest Kíli."
"Of course you're not laddie." Bofur claimed strongly, holding out a length of string. "We would have been mauled or eaten if not for you and that bow of yours."
Kíli frowned after a moment when he recognised the string as from his own bow. He took it and blinked at the row of teeth attached to the bowstring. He recognised them as warg teeth and he sucked in a breath.
"You have been renamed." Thorin told him with a smile. "You are my nephew, my youngest sister-son, Kíli Wargsbane."
Fíli, having not heard that his brother had earned his own name, or what it was, snorted and laughed.
"Congratulations Kee." He said sincerely nonetheless, taking the bowstring from his hands and tying it around his neck. "May you fell many a more accursed beasts on our travels. Wargsbane indeed."
Kíli laughed lightly and touched the teeth one by one.
"Where did you get so many?" Kíli asked curiously.
"Your body lad." Dwalin replied gruffly. "Those teeth were pulled from inside of you by the elves."
"Elves?" Kíli questioned with a frown and reminded Thorin that Kíli had fallen unconscious before they had reached the end of the narrow pathways, and likely didn't remember much from being inside them either.
"You are in Imladris." Gandalf spoke up, appearing at the door. "In the house of healing in the last homely house of Lord Elrond."
The appearance of two elves sent a murmur through the dwarrow, but Thorin inclined his head, no matter how briefly, though he did tense up for battle when one approached Kíli.
"His ankle is possibly broken." He reported gruffly, forcing himself to calm. For Kíli.
The elf looked at him and then at Kíli's exposed ankles, looking from one to the other, before lightly touching the injured one, telling just by sight that it was the damaged appendage.
"Sprained." The elf said softly. "A bad one and it has been jostled and has suffered trauma from movement. The ankle has been forced to carry on with such an injury, causing swelling and a great deal of pain."
The elf applied a greenish paste and wrapped Kíli's ankle up tightly, much to his howls of protest, even as his brother tried to shush him.
Kíli was put back to sleep with a liquid that the elf fed to him and Thorin was relieved not to hear Kíli's cries and moans of agony any longer. The look on Fíli's face alone made him feel anger beyond belief. He felt that he could tear the heads from those orcs and wargs with his bare hands, if only it would stop his two sister-sons being in such pain, the one in emotional pain, the other physical.
Now that Kíli had awakened once, he felt much more at ease in leaving him with his brother as he accompanied his companions back to the courtyard they had set up as 'theirs' to catch up with goings on. It had been fifteen days since the attack and he was itching to leave this place, no matter how friendly, helpful and accommodating the elves were being.
He prayed that Kíli got well soon, he wanted to leave, but he would never drag Kíli with him if he was unable to even walk and was likely to pick up an infection and fever in the process. His heart was winning out over his head. With the news that they had to reach Erebor before Durin's Day weighing heavily upon him, he knew time was not on their side, yet still he didn't move them on, because he knew Kíli was not ready to leave and if he tried to leave without Kíli, Fíli would stay behind with his brother and his company would be down his two sister-sons and he needed them both, he had always liked having them close by and he had sworn to his younger sister, Dís, that he would look out for them and protect them, he could hardly fulfil that promise to her if he left them here alone with elves.
The days that followed saw an increase in the amount of time Kíli was awake and he stopped moaning about the pain and started instead laughing and joking with his brother once again, eating heartily, though he was put out that he wasn't allowed his pipe or any ale while in the house of healing. It warmed Thorin's heart to see him so well and happy after the days of seeing him lying still and silent, so pale and cold in the bed or after, when he had awoken, moaning and wriggling as much as he could manage in agony.
They had been in the valley for nineteen days when trouble came in the form of the elf-witch Galadriel and the white wizard Saruman.
Kíli was only just doing better and his ankle had healed enough with the elvish medicine for him to hobble on, but he had problems walking for too long, but they were being forced to leave and quickly.
Thorin hated that he had to drag Kíli out of the house of healing, out of the valley and back into danger before he was ready, but they had no other choice.
Fíli carried his brother for most of the way, with Thorin ducking in to help him when he needed a break, Dwalin carried him happily up into the mountain pass like he weighed nothing and all the while Kíli was sullen and silent. Thorin knew he hated being carried like some hapless maiden or a helpless dwarfling, but it couldn't be helped and he refused to risk further injury to Kíli by letting him be stubborn and walking for himself.
Their quest was made even more miserable when it started pouring with rain, thunder and lightning crashing and flashing above them. Kíli's bandaging was getting soaking wet and Óin did not like that at all.
When they came across the stone giants, Thorin's heart went into his throat as he watched Fíli sidle closer to Dwalin and Kíli. They had to get away from this and get Kíli into dryness and relative safety.
Dwalin put Kíli down to press them both against the mountain when huge chunks of rock fell from above them and still they were almost knocked down into the darkness below. The giants continued fighting, or playing, whatever they were doing hurtling chunks of the mountain at one another, putting them in danger and putting Kíli at risk.
They scuttled along the side of the mountain, Fíli coming to take Kíli's hand, holding onto him, just in case and Thorin nodded to himself in approval. He had been something of a father-figure to the boys after their own had been killed in a mining accident just after Kíli's birth and he had made sure to instil the need to protect one another deeply into their minds, Fíli more so as Kíli was his baby brother and like his Father had with him and Frerin, he pushed that need to protect the younger more harshly upon the older. It was the elder's duty to protect all younger siblings and he made sure to let Fíli know that lesson as well.
When the giant on their side of the mountain split the mountain into two, Thorin wanted to scream and yell when he heard Fíli shout out his brother's name and looking across had it confirmed that Kíli was stuck on the wrong side of the split along with Bofur, Bombur, Glóin and Nori.
Thorin was helpless to do anything as the small group were taken away on the body of the stone giant, though he couldn't help screaming out for Kíli when the stone giant fell against the rock face. He couldn't lose Kíli now! Not now, not ever, not his youngest sister-son!
He rushed around the treacherous mountain path, rounded a corner, to find all of his company, including Kíli, who was sat on Bofur's lap, were unharmed. He almost sagged with relief, stopping for just a moment to catch his breath before rushing to pick up Kíli, despite his complaints that he didn't need to be coddled.
They found a cave not too long after that and he settled Kíli down in the centre, making sure he was surrounded by the others to keep him warm, making all of his company change clothes as Óin changed Kíli's bandaging.
Fíli refused to leave Kíli's side and when it came time to bed down, they were so close together Thorin would wager there was no room between them to fit the edge of an axe. Not that he was going to try, he happily set up his own bed roll on the other side of Kíli, which made the younger dwarf groan, but Kíli said nothing, just allowed his Uncle and brother to sandwich him up tight as Bofur took the first watch of the night.
Thorin felt terrible as he listened to their burglar, Bilbo, throwing all of his harsh words back in his face. It seemed as though he had been too harsh and intolerable of everyone on this quest, including his own sister-son.
When a small groove in the floor started swallowing the sand from the floor, Thorin swallowed tightly and sat up, shouting out a warning, grabbing Fíli's arm as he tugged a sleepy, confused Kíli onto his lap to brace them, just before they fell.
The tumble was fast and disorientating, it was all Thorin could do to hold onto Kíli with his one arm to shield him from further injury whilst holding Fíli with his other hand to keep him close by.
He hit the ground hard and Kíli landing on top of him knocked his breath away, but hearing Kíli's whimpers and choked gasps of pain had his arm holding him tighter to his chest. He tugged on Fíli's arm and it slipped from his grasp as Fíli stood quickly to help his brother and Uncle up, Thorin regretted letting his arm go after what happened next, when he reached out for Fíli again and lost a hold on Kíli, who was quickly dragged away by a sudden rush of goblins.
The shoving and tugging further under the mountains angered him as he lost sight of both his sister-sons, but he heard Kíli cry out more than once as he was treated roughly with his injuries. He saw Dwalin lash out and then Kíli's head popped up against Dwalin's chest and he breathed a little easier, though he would have liked Kíli to be by him, his priority now was finding Fíli in this mass of people and beasts.
They arrived at a clearing where the huge, fat goblin king sat, Thorin could hardly understand him through his rolls of neck fat that hung down to his chest and once he assured himself that his company was safe, Ori sandwiched between his two older brothers Dori and Nori, Fíli was stood with Óin and Balin, Glóin in front of them with Bifur and Bombur. Dwalin was off to the side with Kíli resting against him and Bofur on the other side, protecting Kíli as much as they could without drawing attention to the fact that that was what they were doing, he felt able to step forward as the leader of the group.
"What brings you here?" The fat goblin king demanded.
"We are passing through." Thorin answered tightly. "Nothing more."
"They lie! We found them on the front porch, oh tremendous one! They have weapons." One goblin cried.
The goblins threw down all manner of their weapons and Thorin could have snarled as his own blade, Orcrist, the goblin cleaver, slid out of its sheath, showing itself to the goblins, who instinctively recognised the elvish blade that had slain hundreds, perhaps thousands, of their ancestors.
There was mass panic and anger and the goblin king started calling for all manner of things, torture devices by the sound of them, to be brought up and he just wanted to be closer to his sister-sons. Fíli was closest to him, but it was Kíli he was mostly worried for, he was the youngest of their company; the goblins would recognise that by the stubble Kíli had for a beard and he was already injured. He had to do something that didn't draw their enemies' attentions to their quest for Erebor. If they found out that Erebor was lying possibly unguarded, filled with treasure, they would seek to take it for themselves without a thought.
The goblins' song of torture and death was hideous and Thorin heard Ori whimpering between his older brothers and Thorin was reminded forcefully that Ori was fifty years older than Fíli, but with less experience of this type of situation, Ori was more of a scribe than a warrior, and where Fíli had been training daily with sword, knife, axe and hammer from the day he had been old enough to wield them, Ori was more content to spend his time with Balin, learning his letters and the histories of the world, but he had insisted that he would not be left behind when his two brothers went on the quest. Thorin wished now that he had put his foot down in Ori and Kíli's case, but it would have been for nought, he knew that Kíli at least would have just tracked after them if he had tried to leave him in Ered Luin with his Ma.
"Bring forth the youngest!" The goblin king cried loudly and Thorin felt his heart sink, he had known they would go for the youngest of their company. He had just known it.
Dwalin tried to keep the goblins away from Kíli, but when they swarmed all over him and Kíli and Bofur, there was nothing to be done when Kíli was yanked forward and kicked heavily onto his knees, the goblins ripping off his tunic in strips, leaving his upper body bare, showing the bandaging that was already present, the goblins tugged and ripped these too, leaving Kíli panting and biting the insides of his cheeks to hold back his pained grunts. Why was it always Kíli?
"Leave him be." Thorin said sharply and deeply. "He knows nothing of my plans."
"I suppose you would ask us to let him go?" The goblin king laughed at the absurdity of the suggestion.
"I would ask that you try to get the information from one who actually holds it." Thorin replied stubbornly.
"That you imply is only yourself!" The goblin king growled. "Perhaps seeing the youngest of your clan tortured will loosen your tongue! Knife him!"
Thorin flinched for his youngest sister-son as he made a pained grunting noise, clenching his jaws together hard to keep from screaming as the rough edge of an unsharpened blade was forced through his skin, tearing it non-too cleanly.
"Leave him be!" Thorin growled deeply, trying to keep his calm so he didn't out anyone. "We merely pass through these parts to seek out distant cousins in the Iron Mountains." Thorin spoke as if that truly were what they were doing.
"Why would this be so secret that you wouldn't tell me? Knife him again!"
Thorin closed his eyes as Kíli did scream this time, the rough edged knife sliding through his left nipple and causing too great a pain for him to keep quiet.
"We dwarves are secretive, you know this!" Thorin tried. "It is not in our nature to share anything with anyone!"
The goblins didn't need to be told this time, they just lashed out at Kíli with their unsharpened blade, reopening one of the holes that a wargs tooth had been removed from.
"Kíli!" Fíli cried out, struggling against the goblins holding him. "Take me instead!" The older brother offered desperately.
"Calm yourself Fíli." Thorin encouraged as gently as he could, but still his deep voice held an edge of gruffness that most took for him being dismissive or uncaring. He hoped his sister-sons at least knew different by now.
"A brave, honourable offering." The goblin king answered. "But we want the little one who will squeal and scream as we kill him slowly and painfully. Not one who will endure it silently, we like hearing him scream, don't we?"
There were enthusiastic, excited cries and yells as Kíli cried out raggedly as the blade was dragged over his shoulder, pressing into his flesh deeply. He was still recovering from his last injuries, he was not in perfect health and now he was being subjected to this horror on top. He needed time to heal, Thorin knew they should not have left the elves, it had been too soon, but the meddling white wizard had wanted to put a stop to their quest to reclaim Erebor and he would not just abandon his home when that damnable dragon, Smaug, within might already be dead and other enemies would be closing in on his home, on his family's legacy and treasure.
"I say we clip the boy." The goblin king suddenly announced. "He doesn't need all that hair and I'm sure he can manage without all of his fingers too!"
Thorin felt himself go pale at the thought of Kíli losing any of his body parts. His nimble fingers were what enabled him to be such a quick and perfect marksman, losing just one would ensure he never fired a bow again.
"Not the hair!" Kíli moaned out.
Thorin would have very much liked to have hit his youngest sister-son at that moment, or maybe shaken him as it seemed he had lost much of his wits. Hair grew back, albeit for Kíli it had always been a slow thing, but fingers, no matter how much waiting one did, would never grow back.
"Kíli!" He hissed.
"Don't tell them anything!" Kíli said firmly through gritted teeth. "I'm not worth it."
It settled it, as soon as they were out of this disgusting, despicable place, he was going to shake the sense back into Kíli and pray it worked. Thorin would tell these goblins anything if they looked to so much as clip one of Kíli's nails.
"Then perhaps, as he seems so taken with his long, flowing hair, we should fulfil his wish to join the ranks of the maidens and take away the manhood he has no more need for." One of the goblins suggested and Thorin went paler than pale at the thought of his own sister-son being mutilated and dishonoured in such a way.
"No!" Fíli yelled out, thrashing and fighting the goblins holding him, preventing him from reaching and protecting his baby brother.
The goblin king roared with laughter. "Yes! Take his manhood! He is but a boy anyway, he has had no chance to use it and now he never will."
Thorin wanted to be sick as the goblins started to paw at Kíli's breeches, ripping the leather ties as he struggled and squirmed. Apparently he didn't mind losing a finger over his hair, but losing his manhood was a different story. Thorin would have rathered lose a whole arm than his manhood.
Fíli was screaming, the company were grumbling and shouting out and Thorin was silent, he lashed out at one, then two goblins that had him held between them and he was on Kíli, pulling him away from his own captives, hunching over him as the goblins poked and pinched him.
He refused to let Kíli go, even as he was jabbed with the tip of blunt knives. The blinding white light had him clenching Kíli crushingly tight and he made a small pained noise, but Thorin just couldn't bring himself to let him go or to loosen his arms from around him. A touch to his arm almost had him lashing out an elbow, before familiar golden hair caught his eye and Fíli was suddenly on his knees and hugging Kíli tightly.
"Quickly! We must leave!" Gandalf's voice rang out through the screeches of the goblins.
The dwarrow armed themselves with their weapons and Thorin helped Fíli support Kíli through the tunnels and over broken bridges. It was hard work as Kíli tried to hold onto his breeches as he ran, stumbling and losing his footing as often as a newly toddling dwarfling.
Thorin couldn't even feel anger or frustration with Kíli, he had been through so much on this quest and in such a short amount of time, he felt pride and love for his sister-sons, but he wanted them out of this situation quickly and safely, they didn't have time for Kíli to get over his pain, so once again he swung Kíli into his arms like a child, because there was nothing else he could do. Dwalin, Nori, Fíli and Bifur settled around him as he carried a heavily protesting Kíli, throwing him into one arm to cut down a goblin that had gotten through their guards, though Kíli was now too heavy to carry in one arm for too long, unlike when he was a babe when Thorin could carry him in one hand, or when he was a small dwarfling and he could carry both Kíli and Fíli around for hours as he took them exploring the woodland areas, teaching them what he knew of what was poisonous or dangerous, how to start fires and how to find shelter if they ever got lost in the woods, not that he had ever let them so far from him as to ever get lost. Wherever they went as dwarflings, if he wasn't working in the forge, he was trailing after them on their adventures, trying his best to fit into the role of a father-figure for them, it hadn't come naturally by any means, but he believed he had done a good enough job, though he believed now that he might have coddled Kíli a bit too much.
"Uncle, I'm fine to run on my own!" Kíli insisted.
"I'm not taking that risk!" Thorin answered with a puff as he carried on. Perhaps he should have also given Kíli a few more lessons in wits.
Thankfully it didn't take them long to get to the entrance with Gandalf leading them out and daylight had never been more welcomed.
They were led further away from the mountain and Thorin was relieved to see that they were on the side they needed to be and not on the side they had started out on. He would not have liked to have taken Kíli back over the mountain in his state and if they didn't, then they would never reach Erebor before Durin's Day.
They stopped to catch their breaths a little way into the forest behind the mountains, far enough away to feel safe. Gandalf counted and named them as Thorin slipped Kíli to the floor and got Óin to look at him, Fíli holding his hand.
"I thought for sure I was going to lose my manhood back there Fee!" Kíli said breathlessly, as if he had been the one running through the mountain and beyond, but Thorin could excuse him this once.
"You've not got much to lose Kíli." Fíli chuckled teasingly, making his brother puff up and slap at him.
"You should be sympathetic to my plight brother!" Kíli insisted.
"Where is Bilbo?" Gandalf asked suddenly and desperately. "Where is our hobbit?!"
Thorin looked around and felt anger well within him as Nori informed them that he had seen the hobbit slipping away before the goblins had rushed them off. Before Kíli's torture right before his very own eyes.
He stood with his hand on Kíli's uninjured shoulder, gripping it tightly and let himself vent all his anger and feelings towards that damnable hobbit. He should never have allowed Gandalf to talk him into letting him come with them, bad enough he had Fíli and Kíli to look after without tagging along a blasted hobbit too.
When said hobbit stepped out from behind a tree, he was still insanely angry as Óin was still tending to Kíli's new injuries and wrapping up his previous ones, his wargs tooth necklace being tightened lovingly by Fíli, so of course he took it out on the hobbit as much as he could with him coming back despite not having to.
Moving on was difficult as Kíli was now sleepy from his injuries and his ordeals, he had been put through too much in too short a time, not for the first time, and not for the last, Thorin asked silently why it always had to be Kíli.
Thorin settled Kíli down more comfortably, doubling up Kíli's bed roll with his own to make sure the hard, unyielding ground didn't agitate the injuries he had and covered him over lovingly with three blankets, Kíli's, Fíli's and his own.
He felt old, weary and old. He brushed Kíli's hair away from his face and bent over him, making it look like he was adjusting Kíli's blankets while he actually pressed a quick, bristly kiss to Kíli's forehead. Not that he cared about what other's thought, especially not the dwarves around him, for he knew they wouldn't say a word, but more because he wanted it to be a special moment between him and Kíli. Though when he pulled back Fíli was pointedly looking in the opposite direction, a knowing smile on his lips.
Thorin gave him an affectionate shove, sending Fíli sprawling, before his oldest sister-son laughed and came to sit beside him, leaning against him, seeking reassurance and comfort, a rare display for Fíli, but Thorin didn't mind as he threw an arm around him and tugged him closer.
"Kíli's going to be just fine. He's been through a lot, but he still stands strong, tall and proud. He is a true heir of Durin, as are you."
Fíli smiled slightly before he sighed and echoed Thorin's own thoughts.
"I know he's no longer a dwarfling, that he is grown and is capable, but why does it always have to be Kíli, Uncle? Ever since he was small, it was always him the others hated, Kíli that they attacked and belittled. Why not me or both of us equally? Why just Kíli?"
"I couldn't tell you Fíli, perhaps it was merely that he was younger than you and you were always so adept at your training, Kíli took a little longer to get the hang of stances and counter balance than you did, perhaps they saw that as a weakness and took advantage of it while they could."
"It was only because he was too short to wield the swords." Fíli insisted.
"He was a winter babe, food was scarce and he was not fed as often as perhaps he should have been. Winter babes are always smaller for a while." Thorin explained.
"It was always Kíli." Fíli sighed sadly, giving no hint that he had heard his Uncle. "He was always different, Uncle. Remember I used to squash bugs with my training sword for practise? Kíli always cried incessantly when he caught me doing it, told me that the bugs had never done anything to me and that I was being a bully. He can't grow a beard, he can't even get a proper moustache, he loved being outside and being with animals, the other dwarflings kept calling him an elfling and upsetting him. He killed a bird in anger once to prove he wasn't an elfling and spent the next week crying over it once he had calmed down and he stared calling himself a monster. He actually buried the bird in the garden and would pick wild flowers to lay on its resting place."
Thorin startled at that story, having never heard it before. He must have been away at the forge when this had taken place, though he couldn't understand why Dís had never told him about it after he had come home.
"When he found a bow for the first time, when he made that shot perfectly with next to no instruction and only instinct, I thought my heart would burst with pride for him, he was so happy he had found a weapon all of his own, but even that wasn't good enough for anyone else, he was called odd for loving the weapon of the elves, he was called an elfling more and more, a grass eater, he was even called a tree fucker once by a man in the street, that's when I came home with the side of my face split open and Ma wouldn't let me have anything sweet for a month."
Those instances Thorin did remember, he could hardly keep the proud grin from his face as Dwalin had told him that no one would ever match Kíli's instinctual skill with a bow. It wasn't a sword or a hammer or an axe, like the typical dwarrow weapons, but Kíli was so adept with a bow that Thorin had taken Kíli along with him hunting and when he had grown taller and had started using a sword more easily, he didn't see the need in taking Kíli's bow from him, no matter that it was seen by other dwarrow as a cowards weapon, he was good enough with both weapons to warrant keeping both and with such diverse weapons, Kíli was at an advantage for whatever situation he found himself in.
He remembered also Fíli coming home with the side of his face broken and bleeding. He remembered his sister's fear and worry and her anger that a grown man had done such a thing to her little boy. Fíli had never told them what had happened; only that a man had attacked him in the street and getting the tale from Kíli was even harder as he just started crying and sought out Fíli for comfort. It had only been a week later that little Kíli had clambered onto his lap in his night clothes, rubbing sleep from his eyes as he enjoyed an ale with Balin, Dwalin and Óin and had opened his sweet little mouth and asked what a fucker was.
Thorin had been so angry he hadn't been able to sleep and no amount of demanding or pleading from either of his sister-sons revealed where Kíli had heard such a disgusting word. He had had no idea that the two instances were connected and now he knew what had happened and he wished to know who the man that had said such a thing to Kíli and had hurt Fíli so badly, so that he might repay the favour.
"It was always Kíli Uncle, and I hated it. I tried to protect him, but he didn't make it easy. I loved him, I still do and I always will, I never would have wanted him to change, not now, but when we were younger, I used to wish that he would fit in more, that he would stop being so strange and making himself a target, but he was so different, so kind, sweet and loving that I could never bring myself to tell him to just stop, not when he turned to me with that smile of his. I used to just grin back at him and bear it because I loved him so much and didn't want anything about him to change, but it was so hard. He made everything so hard."
Thorin sighed and squeezed Fíli's shoulders.
"You were a brilliant older brother to him Fíli. He couldn't have asked for better, not even I looked out for my younger brother Frerin as much as you did Kíli. I regret that, but seeing you two together warms me. You have always loved Kíli and after your Da died, you swore to protect Kíli in his place, even though you didn't have to and look at him now. He's grown into a fine young dwarf and it's because of you Fíli. You taught him, you helped him, looked out for him and protected him, the bond you two share will never be broken, not even by death I don't think, as much as the thought pains me."
"I stood and did nothing Uncle. I watched them hurting him and did nothing." Fíli whispered, tracing his fingers over the stubble at Kíli's jaw.
"What could you have done Fíli?" Thorin asked him harshly. "What could any of us have done?"
Fíli shook his head. "I should have done something! Anything." He said desperately.
Thorin shook his head. "There was nothing any of us could have done Fíli."
"I wish it had been me."
"And Kíli would have wished it was himself in turn and I would have still wished it was neither of you. It happened Fíli, now we just have to help him through the aftermath of it."
They fell silent and reflective as the company around them moved about, cooking and cleaning themselves up and tending their bloodied weapons. If they looked over at Kíli more often than usual and with more concern, nothing was said about it.
At the first howl of a warg, Thorin wanted to tear his hair out. Kíli had been asleep for only a short while, his injuries had only just been freshly treated and bandaged, couldn't they have one night where they were left in peace for him to heal a bit.
He grabbed his sword as Fíli unsheathed both of his own, swinging them loosely to warm up and get himself ready. Thorin dropped to one knee and shook Kíli awake, making sure to shake his good shoulder.
The gasping choke that Kíli awoke with made his heart heavy, but he pulled Kíli to his feet regardless.
"We have to go Kíli. Wargs." Thorin explained before he could be asked.
Kíli's glazed eyes blinked, then blinked again and Thorin could see the effort his sister-son put into waking up and preparing himself. He unsheathed the sword at his hip and Thorin felt pride well within him at how far Kíli had come from the little dwarfling who would present him with a fistful of muddy flowers freshly ripped from his Ma's garden and a shy grin every time he returned home from the forge to visit his sister and her two sons.
He wished Kíli didn't have to fight, he wished he didn't have to move him from the comfortable little nest he had been cocooned in, but if wargs and orcs were coming, then it wasn't safe and he couldn't afford to leave Kíli sleeping and unaware, it would be foolish.
Thorin chose to run rather than face down an unseen and uncountable foe, his mind firmly on Kíli's quivering arms, which made his blade unsteady. If there were too many wargs, then Kíli would surely be killed.
They ran quickly, Thorin keeping behind Kíli, who was being urged on by Fíli at his side. Dwalin was beside Thorin, urging all the dwarves on, running near enough sideways to keep an eye behind and an eye in front, on his kin.
Ori fell and Dwalin almost fell over him before he dragged him up from the floor with a snarl and shoved him forward, keeping hold on his arm as he ran to catch up with the rest of the company, almost pulling poor Ori off of his feet behind him.
They came to a cliff top and Thorin cursed aloud. They were cornered and their orc chasers came into view, snarling wargs giving chase and would soon be upon them.
"Climb!" Gandalf shouted desperately. "Climb the trees!"
Thorin immediately got Fíli up into a tree and picked an unhappy, complaining Kíli, who insisted he could climb himself, and handed him to his older brother before swinging himself up with them.
He looked around and made sure all his kin were in the trees, groaning as the hobbit only just managed to get into a tree with Dori's help in time for a warg's mouth to close on thin air.
Thorin held Kíli tightly so he didn't fall as the wargs began jumping to try and snag their feet and legs. Though when the trees started toppling, Thorin thought that was it for his family, right before Kíli did a feat he never would have thought possible from his injured self and jumped from one tree to another, urging Fíli to do the same. He had to stop underestimating his sister-sons.
In the last tree over the cliff, Thorin held onto Fíli's arm, who had Kíli smothered in his embrace. The tree was too small and thin and as the wargs started jumping at it, it started leaning over the edge with the pressure and their added weight in its branches.
It tilted right down and most of his kin were sent scrambling for their lives, including Kíli, who had slipped down to the lower branches, his face was filled with panic as he tried to get himself over the branch, Thorin watched the bandaging on his shoulder turn red with blood. His shoulder wound, which had only just stopped bleeding an hour ago, had reopened.
Fíli lowered himself down and wrapped his legs around Kíli's chest, using the strength in them to pull him over the branch and take the weight off of his injured shoulder.
Thorin stayed long enough to assure himself that Kíli was alright, before he turned to glare at Azog, the pale orc who had beheaded his grandfather at the battle of Azanulbizar what seemed like a life age ago, who was atop a white warg just on the other side of the clearing.
A rage he couldn't control took over him and he pulled himself up and stood on the tree trunk, walking down it, his kin scrambling and slipping on the branches around him, unable to help, unable to stop him.
He didn't remember what happened next, he remembered taking out his sword and picking up a portion of a damaged tree, like he had so long ago at that battle, but everything was a blur, a rage filled rush and the next thing he knew was pain.
He tried to breathe, tried to remember what had happened, but the next thing he became aware of was Azog calling for his head and an orc laying a blade over his neck. He had enough left to try for his sword, enough left to feel a thrill of fear, for himself and his two sister-sons that he would be leaving behind, before the little hobbit he had been belittling all throughout the journey tackled the orc on the downswing, just before it would have killed him.
He saw a flash of Kíli and wanted to yell at him to get back in the tree, get back to safety, before the darkness took his mind and his sight.
Fíli wanted to hit both of his reckless, stupid family members. His Uncle for running off to face the pale orc for revenge alone and almost getting killed in the process and Kíli for running off already injured to help Bilbo face off against the orcs and wargs, keeping his namesake of Wargsbane by killing several of the accursed beasts before taking an orc blade to the stomach.
The Eagles that had come to investigate the fire Gandalf had started took them to a crop of rock high above the ground, where absolutely no enemy could get to them without them knowing of it.
Fíli held Kíli tightly as he watched Gandalf heal Thorin. He relaxed minutely when Thorin woke with a grunt and forced himself to stand, though he needed help to get to his feet. He watched as Thorin started hissing angrily at Bilbo, before he pulled him into a strong hug and pledged him his life, as was proper.
Fíli laid Kíli down and stood to receive his Uncle, he didn't know he was crying until his Uncle used his rough, calloused thumbs to wipe the tears away.
"Where is Kíli? Where is your brother?!" Thorin asked urgently, wrongfully thinking that Fíli was crying for his fallen brother and not because he was just so glad to have his brother and his Uncle both with him still.
Fíli stood to the side and showed Kíli, lying on the rock. He looked pale, bloodied, covered in soot, ash and blood, his own, Fíli's, orc and warg.
Thorin rushed to him and fell heavily to his knees beside him, pulling him onto his lap and Kíli gasped painfully. His eyes cracked open and Thorin almost sobbed in relief.
"You look awful, Uncle." Kíli commented weakly.
"Why is it always you, Kíli?" Thorin grumbled, pressing their foreheads together.
Kíli just grinned at him. "I'm not a good a fighter as you are Uncle, enthusiasm only takes me so far, I need more skill."
"Is Kíli Wargsbane admitting he is unskilled in something?" Fíli teased.
Kíli chuckled. "Only this once brother. I'll get better though and I'll heal. I won't let any orc or warg take me down, not without taking them down too. Maybe not even then."
Thorin shook his head. "Just try not to get any more injuries Kíli, your Ma is already going to have my head for the injuries you already have."
"They couldn't be helped Uncle, we have to reclaim our home, a few sacrifices have to be made, I don't mind."
Thorin held onto Kíli tightly and the others made themselves as scarce as the small crop of rock would allow them to.
"My sweet boy, my sister-son." Thorin murmured, his heart feeling lighter than it had for an age at hearing Kíli refer to Erebor as his home, even though he had never been there or even seen it. "I have loved you since before you were even born, before I even knew you were a son and not a daughter. I have raised you as my own, I love you and Fíli as my own and I could not bear to lose you, if sacrifices have to be made, I would rather it be myself and not you or your brother."
"Sometimes we don't get to choose the sacrifice Uncle, sometimes it just happens." Kíli told him wisely.
Thorin let out a small huff of a laugh. "When did you become so wise?"
"I think it was some when between the goblin blade going through my shoulder and the orc blade through my stomach." Kíli replied.
Thorin's eyes widened and he scrambled clumsily with Kíli's tunic, lifting it to see the new wound decorating his sister-son's stomach.
"Oh Kíli." He sighed as his fingers gently probed the split skin.
"I'm alright, it wasn't too deep, just a shallow scratch, Óin thinks I'll be fine as long as I don't get any infections."
Thorin breathed easier at that. "Make sure you clean all of your wounds regularly, get Fíli or I to help you if you need to, but make sure they are kept clean."
Kíli nodded his understanding and Thorin sighed, pressing his lips to Kíli's muddy forehead.
"You rest up now Kíli; we'll be staying here for tonight." Thorin told him, watching as Kíli settled himself down at that news as comfortably as he could on the rocks; they had lost all of their provisions and equipment, having left it all when they had first heard the wargs and orcs. All Thorin could offer to Kíli for comfort was his own fur coat from his back, which he gave up gladly to cover Kíli, who fell asleep quickly and fitfully. He needed rest and lots of it.
"Uncle?" Fíli called out softly and with a last glance at Kíli, he rose and made his way over to Fíli and the rest of the company, stood on the peak of the rock, looking out to the horizon.
Thorin's heart almost stopped beating when he saw the Lonely Mountain on the horizon. Erebor. His home. He swallowed and gripped Fíli's shoulder tightly and squeezed. This entire quest was for that mountain, the danger, the injuries, it was all for Erebor. For the home they should never have lost in the first place.
He looked back at a sleeping Kíli and he swore to himself that he would take Kíli there and that his youngest sister-son would see the magnificence of Erebor after all he had been through. Thorin wanted to be the first to see his face light up in delight and wonder at the view of his new home, the home he should have always had, the home he should have grown up in.
Thorin pulled Fíli in closer to him and brushed his dry lips against the side of his head gently and briefly. "One day, hopefully after a long time, that mountain will be yours." He swore to his oldest sister-son. "I will reclaim Erebor from that dragon for you and for Kíli; I will give you back the home that should never have been taken from you. We shall rebuild it, reinforce it and bring it back and beyond its former glory. I swear that you both will see the splendour and brilliance of Erebor and will have twin thrones on either side of mine, you are my heirs and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for either of you, though Kíli has got to stop getting himself injured."
Fíli smiled at that and looked over at his sleeping brother. "Kíli is Kíli." He said simply a hint of love and a note of pride colouring his tone. "I'll look out for him more on the journey Uncle, but it is always Kíli."
Thorin stayed silent at that, but he echoed the last. It was always Kíli, but he would get both of his sister-sons to Erebor and if he could at all help it, he would get all of his company to Erebor, including Bilbo the hobbit, to whom he now owed his life.
A/N: I am debating between making this a three part fic, right up to the end and beyond the book and film, but I don't want to carry this on, because it is a mix of the book and the films, without seeing the upcoming films, so I think leaving it here for now until the Desolation of Smaug comes out this December, then I can write the second part and when the third film, There and Back Again, comes out in 2014, I'll write the third part.
But until then, let me know what you think of this little plot idea, as always, it has not been read through by a beta, as I don't use them, so all mistakes are my own, but if you could point them out if you find any, I will fix it as soon as I can.
StarLight Massacre. X