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28 March 2013 @ 01:50 pm
Brother Stand Beside Me [3/?]  
Title: Brother Stand Beside Me
Chapter: 3/?; In which Fíli remembers
Pairing: Fíli/Kíli
Author: lilja_june / vollmondnacht
Genre: Gen, Romance
Rating: T
Summary: I’ve found I always liked the parts in my stories most where Fíli and Kíli are still quite young… so I decided to write a short story/drabble series with that.
Disclaimer: I don’t own The Hobbit or any of the characters. Nor do I own the title which comes from a song by Heather Dale.
Comments: I'm clearly doing something wrong when I write baby dwarves and it still gives me feels... The part in italics is obviously a flashback.

In which Fíli remembers

It’s a warm day in early summer. There’s not a cloud in the sky and a warm breeze is rustling gently through the leaves of the trees. Near the bank of the clear stream coming down from the mountains there are two young dwarves lying in the grass. Fíli and Kíli are lying side by side in the warmth of the sun, their hair still damp after going for a swim.

It is an anniversary today. It’s not a happy one, though. Today it has been 42 years that their father is dead. Fíli doesn’t even have to think about the number, he just knows. It’s always there and it’s like there’s this part of his mind that always keeps tracks of how long it has been. He doesn’t think about it all the time, of course, but when he does it’s clear as day. It’s usually a day where he distracts himself with something or another and tries to keep himself and Kíli out of their mother’s way.

“How long has it been?” Kíli suddenly asks and it seems to Fíli as if his brother has been reading his thoughts. “42 years today…” he answers without bothering to check whether they talk about the same thing. “Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?” Kíli remarks and he sits up.

Fíli does the same and they sit next to each other in silence for a while. “Do you remember much about him? About father, I mean?” Kíli looks at his brother questioningly. Fíli takes a moment before he replies. “Bits and pieces. There are things I remember very well, like how he sounded when he laughed when he played with us… but other things are sort of hazy.”

“Do you remember what he looked like? I’ve heard people say more than once that you take after him.” Kíli smiles as he looks at Fíli. “Well, they’d know better than me, right?” Fíli shrugs his shoulders. “I mean, I was six when he died, I don’t remember him all too clearly. But yeah, he had blond hair as well, I do remember that. And blue eyes. I also remember that he smiled a lot, at least when he was with us… at home.”

Kíli hums in contemplation and stares off into the distance. “I wish I’d known him. It’s awful to think how… well, I was there. But I was too young to remember anything about him.”

Fíli doesn’t actually know what is worse. Kíli not remembering at all or himself who had known their father and knows what he’s missing. It’s equally bad, probably, but in different ways. In the end it comes down to both of them knowing that something’s missing and they won’t get it back.

“You don’t remember a lot, then…” Kíli says. “In general, no. But there is something I remember very clearly.” “So what’s that?” Kíli looks at his brother curiously. “The day father died… I remember everything about it,” Fíli says quietly. “Can you tell me?” Kíli asks tentatively and Fíli nods.

It had been a day in June, not unlike the one 42 years later. Sunny all day and quite warm. Fíli had spent all afternoon sitting in the sun in front of their house, playing with the wooden toy animals his father had carved for him. Kíli was sitting next to him but you could argue about whether or not he was playing along with his brother. Kíli was still only a toddler, he couldn’t even walk or talk properly yet. His “playing” with Fíli mainly consisted of trying to steal the toys away from him and then proceeding to chew on them. Fíli had stopped being annoyed about it because he understood that it was just what little children did. And he always got his toys back, even if they were wet from his baby brother’s drool…

Their mother was sitting not far from then, keeping an eye on her boys as she sat on the bench in front of the house and was peeling potatoes for dinner. Up to that point, it really wasn’t a day out of the ordinary.
Fíli could tell things weren’t how they were supposed to be when it was getting dark and his father wasn’t home yet. He was out in the woods on a hunting trip, with their Uncle Thorin and some others. The dwarves usually didn’t have to travel far to find good game and thus rarely stayed outside overnight. Still, it did happen from time to time. But then it had usually been planned so in advance.

Fíli noticed his mother becoming fidgety, although she tried to hide it. A change in plans didn’t have to mean a bad thing but it always meant that something unforeseen had happened. It wasn’t long before she put Kíli to bed (who had already fallen asleep on her lap as she told her sons a story) while Fíli insisted on staying awake until his father returned. But Dís wasn’t having any of this and so Fíli found himself in bed next to Kíli shortly later. There was a bad feeling he couldn’t understand but he was sleepy and drifted off to sleep within mere minutes.

He had no clue what time it was when he woke up. It was, however, still dark outside. Fíli heard noises in the house and at first he thought it was just his father who had returned from the hunting trip. But then he noticed there were other voices, people speaking in hushed tones, or at least attempting to. He recognized his mother’s voice and then also his uncle’s. But why would Uncle Thorin come back to their house in the middle of the night? Something wasn’t right…

Fíli got up. Before he left the room, he draped the blankets back over Kíli properly. His little brother had a talent for kicking all the sheets away from himself in his sleep. He was still sleepy and confused when he found Dís and Thorin standing in the hallway. “Mama?” he asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “Where’s father?”

“Go back to bed, Fíli,” his mother answered and it was then that he noticed her red-rimmed eyes and how constricted her voice sounded. “Is something wrong with father?” Fíli asked.

Instead of answering, Dís looked at Thorin. “Maybe we should let him see him. We don’t know how long…” His uncle trailed off at that point and Fíli realised that whatever had happened, it was
bad. Dís nodded and tears started welling up in her eyes, although it was clear that she tried very hard not to cry.

Thorin approached his nephew and crouched down in front of him so they were at eye level. “Fíli, listen,” he said and rested his hands on the boy’s shoulders, “Something bad happened. Your father, he… had an accident. He’s very badly injured. You can go and see him. But you need to be a brave boy. Can you do that for him? Be strong and not cry?”

Fíli nodded and looked as serious as a six year old dwarfling could look. “Okay,” Thorin said. He got up and took Fíli’s hand, leading him into his parents’ bedroom. There was another dwarf there with his father. Fíli had seen him before and knew he was a healer. The elderly dwarf stepped back when Thorin entered the room with Fíli and as he left the room, Fíli could hear him speak quietly to his mother.

His father was lying in bed, Fíli could see that his torso had been wrapped in bandages. But blood was already seeping through and his father looked dreadfully pale. Fíli hesitated and Thorin gently nudged him towards the bed.

When Fíli approached the bed, his father opened his eyes and it took a moment until his gaze focused on his son. “Hello Fíli…” he said quietly and tried to smile, “Look what a mess your father has gotten himself into.” Fíli gnawed on his lower lip. “But you’ll be alright again, won’t you?” he asked.

“Come, sit here with me,” Fíli’s father said and his voice sounded strangely hoarse. Fíli did as he was asked and scrambled up to sit on the edge of the bed. “Are you gonna die?” By now Fíli was really trying his hardest not to cry. “I think I am… don’t cry, Fíli. You know we’ll see each other again one day.”

That was easier said than done and Fíli couldn’t stop the tears from rolling over his cheeks. But he nodded anyway. His father reached out to ruffle his hair gently. “You’re a good boy, Fíli. I know you’d make me proud. Listen… when I’m gone, you’re the man in this house. You have to look after Kíli, protect him. And look a bit after your mother, too. You can do that, right?” “I can. I promise,” Fíli said earnestly. His father smiled weakly. “That’s my boy.”

“He died the morning after that. I learned years later that it wasn’t an accident. They had been surprised by a small number of stray orcs that had ventured too far west,” Fíli ends the story.

Kíli has been uncharacteristically quiet the whole time. “Do you wish you hadn’t asked?” Fíli asks. Kíli shakes his head. “No… it’s just… all of this happened and I don’t remember any of it. I was just a useless babe. It can’t have been easy afterwards,” he says thoughtfully.

“Hmm… it wasn’t,” Fíli agrees, “Mother grew very distant for a while. It was like… she was there but yet she wasn’t. She was so consumed by her grief. She did everything that had to be done but she was so… detached.” “What?” Kíli asks, confused, “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”

“Because I didn’t talk to anyone about it. And I think the only other person who noticed was Thorin. And you know him… I don’t think he knew how to deal with it. Mother had already lost so many people close to her, he wasn’t going to tell her to stop mourning her dead husband.” Fíli can only try to understand how hard life has been on their mother. She has lost her grandfather, her father, her brother and on that day 42 years ago, her husband. Life has been anything but kind to her in that aspect.

Kíli doesn’t reply and instead just looks thoughtfully at something in the distance. He sighs. “I can’t even imagine mother like that… she always seemed so strong to me.” “Even a strong person is allowed to break down at times. I think she snapped out of it when she noticed how it affected us.”

“Us? How?” Kíli frowns. “I remember you cried a lot after father died. You were never a whiny child before. And even when you did cry, I could make you stop when mother couldn’t. I pulled a funny face or something and you stopped crying.” Fíli smiles as he remembers that. “But after father’s death that didn’t work anymore… the first few months were a hard time for all of us. And it’s a time I’d rather forget, to be honest. But then mother pulled herself together, for us mainly. And I think now she only mourns for father on this day, on the anniversary of his death.”

Kíli plucks out a blade of grass from next to him and chews on it. “I know,” he finally says, “You might think I haven’t noticed how you always try to get us out of the house then, so she can have some time alone. I’m not dumb, you know?”

Fíli grins and elbows his brother in the side at the accusation. “Never said you were.” Kíli looks at him. “But you do think I’m too young for many things. You keep things to yourself because you think I can’t deal with it. But I can! You can share those things with me… it’s less of a burden then.”

In reply, Fíli smiles and then moves closer to pull his brother into a tight embrace. “I know,” he whispers and then he pulls back and rests his forehead against Kíli’s. “But I can’t forget what I promised father. I will protect you. Always.”

Kíli smiles widely at hearing that. “I’m not stopping you. But let me return the favour. Let me protect you, too.” Fíli chuckles. “I’ll try.”

“Good,” Kíli says, “And now we’ll go home and then we’ll surprise mother and make dinner for her!” Kíli all but jumps up and pulls Fíli to his feet as well. “You sure that’s a good idea?” Fíli sounds sceptical.

Kíli laughs as he drags his brother along behind him. “What do you mean? My ideas are always good ideas!”
Current Mood: okayokay
Stella: Touch the Skystella_fiver on March 28th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
As sad as this is, it's also very well written. I really like the dynamics between them.

That flashback gave me the chills.

*hugs to the babydwarves*

*and the author of course* <3
Hanna: muumi huglilja_june on March 28th, 2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
thank you for the comment, darling <3

everyone says the like the dynamics, so i'm starting to think i'm really doing a good job with that. i shouldn't let that get to my head xD

i wasn't sure if the flashback still was too shallow and everything... so i'm glad to hear that.

*huggles them too and huggles you back*