The first time Kíli reached for consciousness he was overwhelmed by what greeted him. The world was over-bright and harsh sounds grated at his ears. He thrashed where he lay, trying to bring his surroundings into focus. A lilting voice cut through the fog of his mind, and a soothing hand was laid on his brow. The words were foreign, but the voice was familiar, and he let himself fall back into oblivion.
The second time Kíli could remember waking he opened his eyes to a darkened room. The stone ceiling above was new to him, but the smell evoked memories of his childhood. He had never been a particularly careful child, always more preoccupied with whatever adventure he had been on at the time. He tried to remember now why he should be waking in a healer's bed. His sluggish mind sifted through recent events. The battle, Fíli falling, Bolg, and...
"Tauriel." Kíli struggled to raise himself up as her name passed his lips.
"I see how it is," came a sleepy voice from the next cot over. "Not even a thought for your dear brother?"
Kíli focused on the figure rising next to him and was laughing with relief as his brother closed the distance and reached for him. They embraced for a moment, both relishing in the fact that the other had survived before Fíli pushed him back to lie down.
"But how?" Kíli shook his head in disbelief, confusion plain on his face. "I saw you fall."
The elder Dwarf lit a lamp on the bedside table and turned it down low before he made himself comfortable on the edge of the bed, one leg on the cot and facing his brother. "Aye, and I've had a bit of a limp since then, but it gets better by the day."
"And Thorin?" He made to sit up again and with a huff Fíli moved to help him.
"Driving Óin mad at every available opportunity." It was said with exasperation and a fond smile as he propped his brother up with pillows. "The King Under the Mountain will not suffer to be confined to his bed."
Kíli smiled at the image that evoked. "And the others?"
Fíli nodded, settling back again, "All well. It seems that we three took the brunt of it in our company." He looked to the Dwarves laying in the beds around them. "Not all of Dáin's men were so lucky."
Silence hung between the brothers for a moment. He desperately wanted to ask his next question, but was afraid of what the answer might be. "And Tauriel?"
Fíli leaned back on his elbows with a grin, clearly enjoying his brother's discomfort. "Who?"
As much as he loved his brother, Kíli was in no mood to be tormented. "You know exactly who I'm talking about," he demanded.
"Ah yes. You're lady love," the blond Dwarf teased with a chuckle.
Kíli could feel his cheeks heating and his anxiety begin to dissipate at his brother's light hearted manner. Surely he would not jest if the answer were dire.
Finally his brother gave in and with a tilt of his head put the younger Dwarf's fears to rest. "She is here. In the mountain."
"Where?" Kíli's eyes searched the long hall as if she were to be found hidden in the shadows.
"Sleeping I would imagine," Fíli's playful tone turned sardonic, "like all those who have any sense about them."
He was the furthest he could be from sleep and pushed himself further up on the pillows. "Has she asked about me?"
"Go back to sleep, brother," Fíli pleaded half-heartedly, though Kíli was certain the other Dwarf knew that would not happen anytime soon.
The young Dwarf huffed, as petulant as a child, and crossed his arms over his chest for emphasis. "I've been asleep for what feels like ages." He relaxed again as a new thought occurred to him. "How long has it been?"
His brother cocked a brow and said in mock seriousness, "Nearly seven days." He continued on in a lighter tone. "That really is quite impressive. I believe you now hold the new record for time infirmed."
Kíli kicked at his brother's leg and then winced as the movement twinged the wound in his side.
Fíli sat up in concern. "I should let Óin know that you're awake. Thorin too."
He waved away his brother's worry. "I want to see Tauriel." At the doubtful look he received, he pressed on. "I need to see her."
Fíli shifted on the bed and looked away without responding.
The apprehension from earlier returned with a vengeance. Kíli's voice was soft when he asked, "Where is she?"
Fíli still would not meet his gaze when he answered. "She spends her days here, helping Óin." The next was said with a forced cheer, "And mooning over you, of course."
Kíli refused to be diverted. "And where does she spend her nights?"
"You must understand," Fíli started vehemently. "When she came to the gates covered in blood and you in her arms, no one knew what to think."
Ignoring his brother's warning tone, Fíli pressed on. "At first, most presumed that you were dead, and she, a messenger of Thranduil sent to gloat. Dáin wanted her head right then and there, or so I've been told. It was Bofur who spoke for her first. Who argued that she had saved your life in Lake-town."
"Fíli!" What little patience Kíli had was slipping away. A loud snort and a grumble came from a bed in the darkness.
His brother waited until the sounds of snoring once more filled the air before answering in a hushed voice. "You know as well as I there is only one way that Dáin would welcome an Elf into Erebor. And with Thorin still unrecovered from the battlefield it was his voice the people were following." Fíli met Kíli's gaze and finally answered with a sigh. "The dungeon. She spends her nights in the dungeon."
The pair would have made quite the sight, if anyone had been around to see it. Two hunched figures stumbling down the majestic corridors of The Lonely Mountain. One, a Dwarf who could barely keep himself upright, being all but carried by another with a hobbling step. Their hushed voices carried over the polished stone floor as they bickered.
"Thorin will have my head if he finds out about this. I ought to take you straight back to your bed," Fíli threatened as they began to descend the last stairway to the dungeons.
"But you won't, because you know I'll just come back on my own." Kíli couldn't keep the smug tone out of his voice and he leaned a little more of his weight on his brother's shoulder as punishment for suggesting that they turn around. "I may fall and break my neck, and then what would you do?"
Fíli huffed in annoyance. "Get a good nights rest I'd imagine." Despite his words, they continued on without pause. "And just what do you plan to do at the end of this journey, oh Obstinate One?"
Just a few more steps would put them back on flat terrain again, and that much closer to Tauriel. Kíli tried to quicken their pace and the two nearly tumbled down the last of the steps.
"Easy there, brother," Fíli cautioned as he steadied them both.
Kíli nodded his thanks and they started off again.
"What do you think I'm going to do," Kíli answered. "I'm going to get her out."
An unfamiliar shadow filled the arched doorway leading to the dungeon proper, blade in hand gleaming in the light. "Who goes there?"
Both brothers drew themselves up to full height as they reached the nearest torch and could be seen.
"Master Fíli, Master Kíli," The guard said in surprise. He sheathed his sword and gave a quick bow. "Wha' are ya doin' 'ere?"
Fíli cut off his brother's, no doubt, colorful answer. "We've come to check on the prisoner."
A second guard joined the first scratching at his beard as he inquired, "'s a bit late for tha', ins' it?"
Losing patience fast, Kíli pushed away from his brother and, using the wall for balance, made his way past the guards. He trusted his brother to take care of the nuisance.
The cells of Erebor had been empty for many years now and dust was still thick on the bars as Kíli approached the nearest chamber. His brother's voice faded to the background as his hands wrapped around cold iron. There, sitting on a half decayed mattress, was Tauriel. She was a vision, even in her filthy surroundings. He could see her eyes light up as they found his and then dim again in terror as he sank to his knees.
She called his name and was at the cell door in an instant. The journey here had cost him much of his energy and he relished in the reprieve that sitting brought.
Kíli's smile was wide and bright as he looked at the Elf kneeling on the other side of the bars.
"You should be in bed," Tauriel admonished, as she laid her hand on the side of his face.
"How could I," he started, moving one hand to press against hers where it lay on his cheek, "when I learned that you were here?"
Kíli watched her fight a smile and delighted in it.
She pulled her hand away, but did not release his grip, settling both hands in the space between them. "I am fine. And it is only in the night when there are fewer eyes to watch over me."
Kíli's smile dimmed. "You shouldn't need to be watched at all."
Tauriel tilted her head. "I understood the conditions when I entered the mountain, and I agreed to them."
"But that was Dáin's bargain." Kíli could feel the anger at this injustice rising within him. "Has Thorin had nothing to say on this matter since then?"
Tauriel began to respond but stopped and spoke to the Dwarf behind him instead. "The king is on his way, I presume?"
It was Fíli's voice that answered in the affirmative. "Your jailers have run to wake the mountain. It is no small thing that you are awake brother." He smirked at the pair kneeling hand in hand. "I'm to be your guard for now, so no funny business."
Kíli nodded, ignoring the jibe, before turning back to Tauriel. "Thorin will fix this," he promised her. "There is no reason for you to be jailed like an enemy when you are the furthest thing from it. You do not belong in here. He will understand."
Tauriel gripped his hand tighter for a moment but there was doubt in her eyes.
Fíli shuffled to the nearest wall and leaned upon it to take a bit of the weight off of his leg. "Don't mind me," he waved a hand at his brother, "Shouldn't you be waxing poetic by now?"
Kíli shot his brother a look of bewilderment. "What?" He looked back to Tauriel for an explanation and was surprised to see a blush stain her cheeks.
"It would seem that your tongue gets away from you," she spoke quietly, as though divulging a great secret, "when you are delirious."
Kíli gave her his most charming smile, the one that never failed to win over the maids of Ered Luin. "Oh?"
She smiled softly and looked at him through her lashes. "That's twice now. Will you always need to be out of your mind to spin me such sweet words?" she teased.
"My lady," he began and brought her hand up to lay a kiss on her palm, "I would spend the rest of my days on the edge of delirium if it would but make you smile."
Fíli groaned but the two only had eyes for each other.
Kíli pressed their joined hands against his heart. "Kurduimê (My heart)."
For a moment, he was certain she was about to respond in kind, but instead Tauriel pulled away and he could see her closing herself off. Kíli feared that he had pushed for too much, too quickly. Her eyes flickered to the doorway and she stood back from the bars. It was then that Kíli could just begin to hear the sounds of booted feet on the stairs and he sent her one more soft look in the hopes of laying to rest whatever fears those steps had brought.
Kíli struggled to rise and Fíli pushed from the wall to help him. Both were standing, shoulder to shoulder and heads held high as Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain, made his entrance. Even in a night robe their uncle still carried a regal bearing and they dipped their heads to him as he drew near.
"Kíli, it is good to see you awake," Thorin allowed a small smile, "but could you not have waited until the morning to seek out new trouble?" He laid a hand upon Kíli's shoulder before pulling the young Dwarf into an embrace.
Kíli grunted at the impact but returned the grasp just as tightly. "Sorry, but this could not wait until the morrow," he insisted, pulling away to face the elder Dwarf once more. "There has been a mistake."
Thorin heaved a great sigh and paced away from his nephews. When he turned Kíli could see that his uncle was not of a like mind. "I know what you will ask, and the answer is no."
Righteous indignation rendered Kíli mute before he began to stutter in denial. "How can you- I don't understand- you can't be serious!"
Thorin shook his head and made his way back to them. "This is neither the time nor the place to discuss the matter."
A considerable racket could be heard approaching, but Kíli had no care for what the noise might bring. "Now is the only time to discuss this," he insisted, "Tell me, why must Tauriel reside in the dungeon?"
Thorin glared down at his nephew. "Is it not enough that your king commands it?"
A pile of Dwarf bodies filled the doorway as a mixture of familiar faces and new stumbled to a halt. Those of Thorin's Company were eager to greet their newly healed comrade and those of Dáin's men were curious to see what the excitement was about, but none wanted to enter when they saw the scene playing out before them. Kíli spared a glance at his friends before scowling once more at his uncle. "This is how you would repay one who has saved the life of your kin?"
A buzzing could be heard from the onlookers, gasps and grumbles. Fíli spoke up to head off the clash that was brewing. "Does the light of the sun truly make a difference in a mountain?"
The look Thorin sent towards Fíli would have pierced Mithril and the blond Dwarf lowered his eyes.
Kíli could see that he had lost his ally but was determined not to back down. "This is wrong and you know it."
Thorin turned to him again, "Do not presume to tell me what I know, boy."
There was another clatter from the hall and Dáin appeared next, pushing his way through the masses. "Wha's the meaning o' this?" He demanded.
Thorin's eyes closed for a moment in agitation before he turned to address the irate Dwarf. "My nephews were just about to return to their beds."
"Well that's not going to happen," Kíli responded immediately and he heard Fíli groan in exasperation beside him.
Tauriel spoke up for the first time since they had been interrupted. "I will be fine," she moved back to the bars and lowered her voice. "Kíli, go. It will be sunrise soon enough and the matter will wait until then."
Dáin spoke up again, "She's my prisoner and I'll thank you to remember tha'."
"She is my prisoner as she is in my dungeon." Thorin's voice boomed throughout the long hall, "All of you, OUT! Back to your beds."
Fíli took hold of Kíli's arm to help him on the journey back, but Kíli shook off his brother's hand.
"I am NOT leaving her here!" He planted his feet and tried not to ruin the effect by wobbling.
No one made a move to leave as they all waited to see what would happen next.
"Dwalin," Thorin called, "Would you escort my young nephew back to his bed?" His tone was courteous, as if he had not just been yelling a moment before. "It seems he is still out of sorts and not thinking clearly."
The large Dwarf gave Dori and tap and a nod and both broke free from the crowd. Kíli looked on wide eyed as they brushed past Dáin to hook one of his arms each. He ignored Dori's soft entreaty to leave and tried to break away from them. He could tell that the two Dwarves were trying to be careful with him and he fought all the harder for it, a roar of anger tearing from his throat. It was not until he heard Tauriel's voice again that he paused in his efforts.
"An ngell nîn, mell nín (Please, my beloved). Go with them." Kíli looked up to see the Elf pressed to the bars, her normally stoic features were twisted in distress. "Do not hurt yourself struggling."
The fight drained out of Kíli and he allowed the two Dwarves to drag him away. He held Tauriel's gaze until he was pulled out of sight.
The literal translation for 'An ngell nîn' is 'for my joy'. All Sindarin and Khuzdul words are courtesy of Google and more time than I will admit to spending on research. If you catch a mistake, please let me know.
Also, I have only watched each movie once and at the time of release, so I have had to rely solely on the clips that I can find on Youtube. Again, if I make a mistake, you know what to do.