Kíli was to tell Thorin and anyone who enquired that his brother’s old injury was troubling him. Since they were to be leaving Dale the very next morning Fíli’s absence would surely go unnoticed… at least, by most.
Kíli watched dismally from atop the rebuilt stone battlements as the lone ram and its traveller slowly trekked their way along the moonlit path between Dale and the Erebor.
"What are you thinking?" Tauriel asked softly as she stepped up beside him, as swift and silent as the night breeze.
Kíli swallowed. "He told me Thorin will abdicate in five years, and that when he is King..." He looked up at Tauriel. "He will give his blessing for us to marry."
Tauriel 's eyes widened and she looked to the lone figure on the Mountain path. "He would risk that; your brother would risk a revolt against his Kingship, for us?" She breathed.
"Yes. But he won 't do the same for himself!" Kíli cursed, slamming his fist against the cold stone and wincing as pain shot through his hand. But he did not care. “It shouldn’t have to be like this.”
But alas, he knew it had to be so. Should Fíli declare himself and ask Sigrid to be his wife and Queen, it would be considered tantamount to the dissolution of the Line of Durin. For as much as the Dwarf families were loyal to their kin, they were also fiercely proud of their lineage.
"Those who might revolt; these are the same kin who would not stand behind your uncle when he set out to reclaim the Mountain?" Tauriel mused.
"It was a fool’s gamble." Kíli reasoned. Then at length, he stared at her. "What are you thinking?" He asked cautiously, almost hopefully; because Tauriel 's brow was furrowed as she bit her lip in thought.
"I 'm ...
... middle of paper ...
... had to say, and you never let the fact that you are a girl stop you. Damn it, Sigrid, you have spent your entire life fighting for this family! Why won’t you fight for yourself now?"
"I am fighting!" The words came out a strangled cry as Sigrid whirled around to face her sister, the dress swishing heavily in her wake. "I am fighting with everything I have so that in a few years you and Bain won 't be forced into my place, that 's why. I 'm fighting for you!"
Tilda just stared at her and there was something close to disgust on her face. "No, you’re not fighting, Sigrid. You 're being a martyr."
Sigrid stepped towards her sister. "Not every fight can be fought with a sword or and arrow, Tilda. But I will make the same choice every single time if it means you don 't have to." And she put her arms around her younger sister and held onto her tightly.
And life went on.
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