Pairings: None (this part),[Overall Pairings]Various/Kíli, het & slash
Word Count: 638 (2112 total)
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit there would be probably be more angst
Summary: Five times Kíli broke someone's heart and one time they broke his
Some days Thorin could not bear to look his younger nephew in the eye.
It was not that he hated him because in truth the dwarf loved Kíli deeply and his sister-sons were one of the few things that brought light to his dark heart. There was little enough joy to be had after Durin's Folk fled the Lonely Mountain and after the Battle of Azanulbizar, and the dwarf treasured his family all the more for what he'd lost. But sometimes the light would catch Kíli's smile just right and Thorin would have to turn away, heart aching and mind filled with ghosts of better days.
It was always Frerin whom he saw then, his younger brother who had perished at Azanulbizar, struck down cruelly by an orcish blade. His happy, laughing brother who should have been there to meet the nephew that shared his smile and his blood.
As Kíli grew so too did the resemblance and Thorin could never decide if Mahal was granting him a second chance or punishing him for his sins. Because in his heart, the Lord of Durin's Folk knew that he should have done more to save his people, and he should never have let his brother fall. This guilt was a wound that would not heal, a festering seam of grief that Thorin could not ease.
So Kíli became used to his uncle's odd temperament, how he would suddenly stop in the middle of their lessons and stare at him as though he bore a different face. He had asked Dís once, what sorrow her brother carried on his heart, and she told Thorin that she had not known what she should say. They had never spoken of Frerin, would not speak of him, but her son could be strangely perceptive and Dís did not think that he entirely believed the excuses that she gave.
Yet Kíli had never asked his uncle and Thorin just ignored the situation because he did not need to be happy to be king. Until the afternoon when they were searching through old storage in preparation for returning to the road and his nephew gave a delighted cry.
“Oh, what's this?” Thorin turned to see Kíli holding a bow, Frerin's bow, and with the light behind him the lad could have been his brother come alive again. The dwarf felt the grief within him surge forward, shattering the walls of duty that he'd used to hold it back, and he dropped to his knees and buried his face in his hands.
Kíli ran to his uncle's side and clasped his shoulders helplessly while he asked him what was wrong. However, as he tried to fight back his tears all Thorin could gasp out was, “My brother, that was my brother Frerin's bow.”
“Brother?” His nephew looked down in surprise at the weapon in his hand and quickly offered to put it back, but this only made the dwarf shake harder.
“No!” He protested, the thought of Frerin's memory locked away and once again forgotten somehow worse than the agony within his heart. “No.” Thorin said again, more calmly as he managed to pull himself together and looked up into Kíli's worried eyes.
“Keep it. Keep it and learn to shoot it well in honor of his memory. Frerin would have been proud for you to have it and a weapon has no glory without use.”
Kíli promised that he would do as his uncle asked and over time his skill at archery surpassed even his teachers' while the sight of him lost its former pain. Thorin still felt his heart bleed sometimes when his nephew grinned, Frerin's bow slung across his back, but it was a clean wound now and he had hope that one day it would heal.