From the Perspective of an Elder Brother
Author's Note: I came up with this idea after seeing the Hobbit for the first time in December. A friend and I got to an in-depth discussion of the background stories of characters and we both noticed that Kili is dressed rather like a ranger. Add that to the archery, limberness (seriously...during Blunt the Knives Aiden is doing cartwheels in the background), and uncanny affinity for trees (cue twirl into the tree during the Warg attack) and we decided he probably had some ranger training. Being one of Thorin's heirs and also the youngest member of the Durin line I doubt Thorin would let him go galavanting around with a group of Men for most of his "teenage" life we decided that Kili must have traveled with rangers every once and awhile (similar to how we all figure Legolas would go traipsing across Middle Earth with Aragorn now and again). Thus...this story! I'm rather proud of it myself. I don't normally do stories in first person but this story was just begging to be done from Fili's point of view. I've had half of it typed up for ages (we're going on almost 7 weeks now) but got stuck. I finally forced myself to try and find my way out of the writing maze and I'm very content with the outcome. As I've said in my Family story I imagine Fili and Kili's personalities to be more along the lines of two years apart rather than the five they actually are. (SInce their ages are the equivalent of 18 and 20 during The Hobbit) Picture Kili being around 15/16 and Fili 17/18 during this story. Reviews are always appreciated. Please enjoy!
I watched as my baby brother stormed into our bedroom and knocked everything off of his side of the desk. He sat down on his bed, taking off his boots and flinging them as hard as he possibly could at the wall before falling onto his back with a frustrated half yell. I slowly closed the book I had been reading and put it next to me before walking over from my bed to his and sitting down, "Something wrong?"
Kili looked at me and I could see the frustration and anger in his eyes, "I hate Thorin sometimes."
"It's a long story."
"And I've got time."
Kili sighed and rolled on his side, facing away from me, "You know that I've been training with the rangers I met at the market."
I nodded. Weeks ago Kili and I had been wandering the market trying to keep busy as our mother shopped. We had run into a group of rangers who had commented on Kili's bow. When the dwarves around us had boasted of his skill they had made the offer for Kili to train with them while they were in the area. Kili had eagerly accepted and has spent his free time since then learning what he could about being a ranger.
"They want me to travel with them. Not far. Just in the area for a bit. They think my skills are good enough. That I'm good enough to be a ranger. I went to ask Uncle about it."
"He said no?"
"He called me a foolish child. Told me I should have known better than to even ask. That I should grow up. He didn't even let me explain."
I sighed, but before I could say anything Kili spoke again, quietly, "I'm just so tired of being the one member of our family who hasn't done anything."
I immediately protested, "Kili you know that's not true."
"It is. I don't mind being the baby of the family. I don't. Most of the time...but lately...I'm just sick of being the only person in our family who hasn't done anything of value."
"Our great-grandfather: created Erebor. Died in battle. Our grandfather: a great warrior. Uncle Frerin: died in battle. Father: died in battle. Uncle Thorin: King, great warrior, built a life for us here in the Blue Mountains. Even Mum...she's strong, raised us on her own and no one can rival her cooking...and you...you're the golden child."
"I am not!"
"You are Fili...you are. You're Prince. You're the responsible one. The warrior. Everyone loves you. And I don't mean that in a jealous way. You're my big brother. I could never be jealous of you. I just want everyone to realize that I can handle myself."
I put my hand on Kili's shoulder, "We do."
"No, you don't. Uncle still thinks I'm a petulant child who can't do anything by myself. Mother is steps away from still trying to cut up my meat at dinner. Even you sometimes...hover."
I couldn't argue. We were all protective of Kili. He was the person we all felt we needed to take care of, though not always for him, "I may hover but only because I feel I need to. Not because of you but because I'm your big brother. Makes me feel important."
Kili sat up with a roll of his eyes and shoved me lightly, "No Dwarf has ever been a ranger. At least none that I've heard of. I want to go with them. Not for long. They asked me to join them. The things I could learn..."
Kili trailed off and dropped his head onto my shoulder and I knew what I was going to do before I even spoke, "Want me to talk to Uncle?"
I felt Kili's head lift, "Would you?"
I stood and ruffled his hair before he swatted me away. Leaving our home I headed to our uncle's rarely used study a few halls down. I steadied my nerves before knocking. There was a gruff 'Enter' in response. Walking in I found Uncle Thorin at his desk, "Here on behalf of Kili?"
"How did you know?"
My uncle sighed very quietly, "He left angry. You usually come to fix things. My answer is still no."
I could feel my frustration for Kili's sake rise, "Uncle you know how good he is with a bow. He's limber and stealthy. He's learned so much from the rangers already. Think of what he could learn if he traveled the area with them for a few weeks."
"Do you really want him to leave for a few weeks?"
I pondered that for a few moments before speaking softly, "No. I don't...but this isn't about what I want. This is about what he wants."
Thorin went silent at that and I held my breath, wondering if I had gone too far. After what seemed like hours of silence he finally spoke, "He's too young."
"He wouldn't travel far. Kili told me he'd stay in the area...He wants to prove that he has value as a warrior."
Uncle Thorin looked at me and nearly scoffed, "Of course he's a warrior. He's of Durin's line. Warrior is in his blood. If I didn't think he was a warrior I wouldn't bring him on orc hunts, He has some of the best aim I've seen among Dwarves."
"I know that...but Kili doesn't seem to. He really seems to want this. He's been out with them every day after he's done with training so he can train with them. He never shows this much focus unless he really is interested. It would be good for him."
Thorin grew silent again and I could only hope that he would agree with me, "It's too dangerous. How do I know I can trust these men? These rangers? I can't intrust Kili's life to them."
I felt another flash of anger for my brother's sake, "He's not a child that needs to be cared for. He's a warrior, you just said so yourself. And these rangers have done much to earn our trust. You wouldn't have allowed them near the Blue Mountains if they hadn't."
Thorin sighed softly and turned away from me to face the fireplace, "I'll go have a talk with these men first."
I felt a small jolt of triumph, "They're trustworthy. They work with the merchants and have stayed inside the mountain when there's bad weather. The chieftain, Amon, is a good man. He'll take care of Kili...I wouldn't trust him with my brother if I didn't know that."
Thorin nodded at me and I took my leave. I found Kili still lying on the bed, looking as depressed as he had when I left him. I stood in the doorway silently, waiting until Kili noticed me himself. Eventually he did. He sat up, eyes hopeful, "What did Thorin say?"
I settled down on my own bed and got comfortable, "He said he'd talk to them."
Kili groaned and flopped back down, "Thanks for trying."
"That's doesn't mean no."
Kili gave me a look, "It doesn't mean yes either."
I threw my pillow at him which he dodged easily. He threw his own pillow back at me and, unfortunately his aim was better. It hit me square in the face, causing Kili to break into laughter. I pounced on him with a growl and we were soon rolling across our bedroom floor, beating each other with pillows. Our fun was ruined when Mum walked in, ending our wrestling match just as I was gaining the upper hand on my brother, "Boys. Dinner. Knock it off."
We sat up and separated, Kili's hair hanging in his face, a tangled mess. Mum just shook her head slowly before exiting the room with a call over her shoulder, "Brush your hair and braid it. Thorin wants us to dine in the Food Hall."
Both Kili and I groaned. The Food Hall meant we both had to look presentable. I got up and grabbed the brush from the bedside table, yanking it through my hair to get rid of the knots before tossing it to Kili. I pulled my hair back into one braid and tied it with one of the leather thongs we had laying around before glancing back at Kili. My little brother was in a heated fight with his snarled hair and was starting to look more and more frustrated. I held back a laugh and he glared at me. I kept my mouth shut and eventually he managed to tame his hair somewhat and threw a simple braid in it on either side. We exited the bedroom together, Kili still managing to look like a disheveled mess. Mum was waiting for us by the door, looking immaculate as usual. She looked me over first, tucking the few strands of hair I missed into my braid before turning to Kili, "I thought I told you to brush your hair."
"He did," I smirked.
Kili punched me in the arm before Mum wrangled him, running comb that she produced out of nowhere through his hair. Eventually Kili looked presentable and we left home, wandering slowly to the Food Hall. My brother and I spent our walk ramming into each other until Mum put herself between us, effectively ending our game. The Food Hall was crowded and noisy as it always was. Uncle Thorin was seated at the head table along with four Men, all clad in green/grey cloaks. I heard her Kili groaned next to me, "What?"
Kili jerked his head in the direction of the table, "Those are the rangers."
"So? Uncle wants them to dine with us. It's not like he's going to eat them."
"Don't be so sure," Kili mumbled, "I'm pretty sure I saw him turn a Dwarf to stone once just by glaring at him."
We fast approached the table, Thorin gesturing Kili to sit to his right. Kili sent me a pleading look and I could only shrug in response. I couldn't get him out of this one. The rangers all greeted Kili with enthusiasm which Kili tried to return. I sat across from my brother, Mum sitting next to me. The Men greeted me with the same gusto as they had Kili, and Mum much more reverently. Dinner began and the conversation was easy. I ate, enjoying both the food and the stories that the rangers told. Uncle Thorin joined in the conversation, even smiling at few of the stories and relating to others. The only one who wasn't enjoying himself was my brother. Kili hadn't touched his food or his ale and sat, wide-eyed, that picture of nerves. I kicked him under the table and he seemed to snap out of it, looking at me rather annoyed, "What?"
"Relaxed," I hissed back at him, "It's going fine. Thorin hasn't pulled out the sword yet, That's always a good sign."
Kili's shoulders relaxed a fraction and I jerked my head in the direction of his plate. Kili took the hint and began eating, albeit rather slowly. My brother was just starting to return to himself when our uncle spoke, effectively ruining what I had been working hard at for the past few minutes, "I understand you've been training my nephew."
Kili sunk low in his seat with a soft groan. The chieftain of the rangers, Amon nodded, "Aye. We met him in the market a few weeks past. Your nephew has great skill with a bow."
Thorin looked at him as if he had stated something as obvious as 'rocks are hard', "I'm well aware of that. He mentioned that he's learned a few other skills from you."
The Human next to Amon, a blonde haired fellow named Blegwyn who had a great sense of humor responded, "I wouldn't say we taught him. Just gave him a chance to stretch his legs so to speak. He's incredibly limber and stealthy...especially for a Dwarf."
Kili perked up slightly at the compliment but his body still held more tension then I had ever seen. I kicked him again to get his attention. When he glared at me, I mouthed 'breathe'. Kili nodded slightly and took a deep breath. I tuned back into the conversation to hear my uncle talking, "-asking him to join you."
Kili tensed right back up again and I could feel myself doing the same. Amon handled himself well, holding our uncle's gaze firmly, "We did ask. We tend to travel this area fairly often and would appreciate his skills when we're here. I would ask for him full time if I knew we could have him."
I felt my stomach twist, a few weeks here and there was one thing but they weren't taking my brother from me. I'd go with them if I had to. Luckily Thorin seemed to have the same idea, "He's not becoming a full time ranger. He has responsibilities here...he's also one of my heirs. I won't risk him any more than I have to."
Kili shut his eyes, clearly seeing where this was going. I was about to protest and plead my brother's case yet again when Thorin spoke again, "However...I do understand that he has to be allowed some freedom. He's a highly skilled warrior and I fully believe he can handle himself. As much as I would rather have him here, I've been told that this isn't about me."
Thorin's eyes met mine and I felt myself grinning. My uncle's mouth twitched slightly before he turned back to Kili who was staring at him with large puppy eyes, "I would have your word that you will do your best to keep my nephew safe."
Amon rose and held out his hand to Thorin, "His life before mine. I swear it."
Thorin grasped his arm in a warrior's shake, "Then I relinquish Kili to you."
Amon grinned, "We'll leave in two days time."
I couldn't resist jumping from my seat to race across the table to Kili. My brother seemed to be in shock, still staring blankly at the place where Thorin and Amon's hands had been. I shook my little brother and he turned to me, "Kili...you're a ranger."
He let the words sink in before he grinned broadly, "I'm a ranger!"
Two days later I stood with my mother, my uncle and Kili at the entrance to the Blue Mountains. Kili was clothed in dark clothing in greens and grey, his pack slung over one shoulder. He looked strangely...majestic in his new ranger cloak- curtsey of Mum-, majestic and more like Thorin and less like my baby brother. Amon and Bregwyn, along with three other rangers entered the mountain, hanging back to allow Kili a chance to say goodbye. Mum was first and after multiple promises to stay safe, and many tears from our mother Kili turned to Thorin. Thorin looked him over slowly before nodding. Kili stood there awkwardly, unsure of what to say before our uncle pulled out a wrapped bundle from behind him. Kili opened it slowly and found an ornately carved bow, clearly better made and much more equipped for battle than the bow he had been using previously. Kili stared at it open-mouthed before getting ahold of himself, "Thank you."
Thorin hugged him tightly, "Use it well. Stay safe."
Kili nodded before turning to me with a rueful grin, "Well?"
I walked toward my baby brother, feeling strangely melancholy. Kili and I had never been apart a day in our lives since his birth. Having him gone for two weeks was going to be a challenge, "Take care of yourself, Little Brother."
Kili's smile faded slightly, "I almost don't want to go now. I'm not used to us being apart."
"I know how you feel," and I did, truly but, "But you need to do this. You're a ranger now. First Dwarf ranger. Go make us proud."
Kili latched onto me the way he used to when we were little, "I'm gonna miss you."
I hugged him back just as tightly, "Please stay safe."
Kili nodded and pulled back, "I will. Promise. Take care of Mum while I'm gone. And don't let Dwalin force you into extra shifts at the forge."
That reminded me of something. I pulled out something I had been working on for the past few days from my pockets and held it out to Kili. He took it almost reverently and stared at it for what seemed like forever. Finally I got impatient, "Well?"
Kili looked up at, his face awed, "Did you make this?"
I shrugged, "Figured you'd needed a knife since you're always stealing mine. I had some extra time in the forge so..."
Kili tucked the small knife and sheath I had made him into his bracer with a smile, "Thanks. It's perfect."
He hugged me one last time, kissed Mum on the cheek, and grasped Thorin's forearm before running to join the squadron- sorry his squadron of rangers. He was just about to leave when he turned back to me with a grin, "Fili!"
I took a step toward him and he threw something at me. I caught in out of reflex and looked down to see MY knife.
"Guess I won't be needing this since you made me one!" he called back over his shoulder.
I shook my head with a grin. Together, Mum, Uncle, and I walked outside of the mountain and watched as Kili disappeared into the surrounding forest. Mum and Thorin headed back inside and I went to follow before turning back to where I had last seen Kili, "Stay safe Little Brother."
With a sigh I went back inside where Thorin was waiting for me, and instinctively I knew we were both counting down the days until Kili returned.
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