Thorin walked quickly down the dark streets that led to the Healing House in the Blue Mountains. If He was late for Dis' birthing, she would never forgive him. She had threatened him before with drugging his ale and shaving him bald while he slept if he missed it. And knowing his fearless sister for all of his One hundred and Thirteen years, he knew that she would do it. He glanced up at the rapidly darkening sky and broke into a sprint, silently praying to Mahal that he would get there in time.
He burst into the Healing House panting. He managed to ask a Healer Woman, between hastily sucked breaths, where Dis was. She smiled indulgently at him and politely directed him towards the birthing rooms. He was glad that even in these poor lodgings of his exile, the people of the Blue Mountains were kind to Dwarves and had accepted them and allowed to build a life here. He set off again at a trot to find Dis' room.
Fain, Dis's husband sat on the floor outside the birthing room, beside the plush benches provided by the Healing House. His hair and beard were in a mess; with strands sticking out all over the place and braids loose and messily plaited.
"Fain," Thorin acknowledged the Dwarf male, in his deep tones.
"Thorin King," Fain said in shock as he looked up to see who had greeted him. Thorin rolled his eyes as Fain sprang up and bowed to him.
"I'm not king Fain," Thorin admonished.
"Not yet," Fain half smiled back. Thorin swallowed down that weird feeling of pride that someone would remember his line and the deep hate that he had for Smaug for starting its destruction.
"How is Dis?" Thorin asked gesturing at the doors with his head. Fain sighed and sank back to sit on the ground.
"She was screaming not too long ago and then she was cursing in modified Dwarvish, once or twice in Khuzdul and I think she even signed some more hideous ones in iglishmek. But as far as I have gleaned, she is still in labor," Fain said in a dull voice, he paused then continued "Thorin..what if…"
"Dis' is of the line of Durin," Thorin said a bit too quickly, "She will give birth to a strong Dwarfling child and live to rear it." Thorin looked towards the door and swallowed his fear at the silence behind it. He could not and would not even entertain the thought of Dis or her child, dying in childbirth.
Fain said nothing but the look in his eyes said it all; fear hope and gratitude. Thorin sat down on the floor beside him and they both kept a silent vigil waiting for news of one of the people that they cared for the most. The Birthing Healers found them in the same position when they opened the door. Fain and Thorin jumped up and at a smile and nod from the Head Healer, Fain gave a undignified scream and pushed his way into the room calling out Dis' name. Thorin was about to follow him but stopped. A father meeting his offspring for the first time was a private moment between a Dwarf and his mate; he had no right to rush in.
Instead he inquired from the Head Healer of Dis' health and the health of the child. The Healer answered him in matched solemn tones but when he asked what gender the child was, the healer glanced back into the room and winced.
"I was given explicit instructions that I should not tell you Master Dwarf," The Healer said in a somewhat peeved voice, "I would usually give out a hint, but your sister is rather…persuasive in her arguments and threats." With that the Healer had left him and walked away. Thorin muttered some very bad words in Khazdul and sat back on the ground outside the door.
"Thorin, son of Thrain, get your metal loving Dwarf self in here!" Dis called out to him. Thorin snapped his head up and leapt to his feet. He frowned after he realized that he had done the actions without even thinking about it. His little sister was certainly getting to bossy. He put on his best stern face and strode into the room.
"Just because you gave birth," Thorin began marching menacingly up to the bed where Dis lay, "Does not mean that you can…" His eyes flickered to the small bundle in Dis' arms while he spoke and suddenly words failed him.
His heart skipped a beat then began to beat faster. He walked as if in a daze up to Dis' bedside and looked down into the face a tiny Dwarfling boy. Wisps of blond hair stuck out from under the cloth that covered the child's head. Thorin felt his chest become tight at he reached over and pulled the cloth back so that he could see the full face of Dis' baby. The child stirred and let out a small cry. Thorin felt his heart clench. A strong urge to grab the child and hold it to him swept over him.
"Go ahead," came Dis' soft allowance.
Thorin hesitated only a second before he moved and took the child up into his arms. He cradled the tiny bundle and looked at the face with awe drinking in every perfectly formed feature; from its little eyebrows, and closed eyelids, stubby nose and slim pink lips. Impulsively he bent and nuzzled the soft cheek. The child cried again and he snapped back his head afraid that he had hurt it. But he looked down to see a pair of grey green eyes looking back into his. His heart, that he was so sure was made of stone, melted when the child raised its tiny hands and touched his chin. Then the child smiled at him. Thorin found himself smiling back albeit a bit crookedly.
He looked away from that beautiful face and to his sister. He saw that she had tears on her face. It shocked him; for Dis hardly ever cried. But somehow he understood the reason she had tears.
"What are you going to call him?" Thorin asked. Dis swallowed hard, and then replied.
Thorin nodded. "That is a good name," he said and turned back to nuzzling his nephew. What he didn't realize was that he had tear streaks on his face to match those of his sister's.