"Sometimes…I forget you have passed."
165 years…It is truly hard to imagine that a 165 years had passed since the Quest to Reclaim Erebor…
…165 years since the passing of the only father he had ever known and his other half, his brother.
"Just last week I mistook poor Ellna as you." He laughed, but it was bitter sweet. As the people of Erebor could tell you, long had it been since King Kili had laughed in real mirth. "Poor lass…she deserves far more than I have given her."
He moves to sit in his seat besides the tomb of his brother. Commissioned it 10 years ago by the best of Erebor's stone carvers, he had sent for its making when it became clear that he would never be able to keep himself from returning to the Inner Caverns.
"Mother is well though she cannot bare to make the journey. She is an older dwarf now, though be careful not to say that in her presence, and the dampness of the inner mountain is to hard on her lungs. But you forgive her don't you?"
Kili can still see his brother when he closes his eyes. Hair as bright and soft as gold. Eyes a soft, soft blue filled with warmth and mirth. Skin rough and tanned from too many hours working in the training grounds outside Ered Luin. And smile ever present.
He can see him now. Smiling at him. Scolding him for being so bitter, so old.
"Thorin's wife, Dorli, has just given birth to their first child. A girl though they have yet to decide who to name it after - grandmother or mother. Fili is terrible put out. I told you of that absurd contest they've been having didn't I? Even when they were little they would fight each other to be first…I fear they shall never grow out of it…"
Fili would have encouraged it. He knows it. For all that his brother would pretend to act mature, he was the instigator of the majority, if not all, of their childhood pranks. His favorite would ever be the incident with the blue goat. Even now it brought a smile to his lips.
Though, quickly, he sobered.
"I think I shall be stepping down soon." he says after a moment of silence. "The crown has grown heavy, my brother. And I think I have done as Uncle would have wished. He will not begrudge me this."
'Be strong, my son,' Uncle had whispered to him on his deathbed. He can still feel the touch of his Uncle's hands on his face. They way they had felt so warm and safe before they fell limp to the bed. 'Rule fast and swift and better than I ever could.'
And while he had not ruled better than his Uncle or his Brother could have - the Battle had robbed Erebor of a far brighter future - he had done his best and could only hope his sons would be far better rulers then he could ever be so as to pick up the slack.
"And I can feel a chill in my bones, Brother. I can feel it in the stones."
He had been slowing recently. Rising late and retiring early. Ellna had been running the healers ragged looking for a cure, had even contacted Lord Elrond. But he knew the truth. He was not meant to live to be as old as his mother - 360, may Mahal bless her hands.
"I am tired now, Fili. Like overworked metal made brittle from the fire…I have turned brittle…"
He smiled and for a moment it was almost real.
"Wait only a little longer, won't you, Brother? Uncle? I will join you soon."
Notes: In my headcanon, Kili was 70 - 75 during the Quest and as such would be about 240 years old. Seeing as Dwarves live up to 250. I'd say he was pretty good to go. Dis is ancient though. Bless her heart.
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