the hobbit has done something that no other fandom has ever managed to do
it has made me ship an incestuous couple
and i am still super iffy about this fic idea of mine, but basically
fili has known for years that his brother is his one. has known that his steady devotion and strong affection for kili is more than brotherly, that the manner in which his eyes trail after his brother’s form is less than appropriate, and that no other person will ever stir his heart the way kili does.
but he doesnt entertain the idea of saying anything because kili reached maturity more than a few years back, and he hasnt shown any indication of returning fili’s feelings yet. and fili knows, as do all dwarves, that not all ‘ones’ are reciprocated.
and fili isnt willing to tarnish the bond he has with his brother over feelings hes not entirely sure are returned.
so on the journey, he tries to keep his feelings to himself as best he can, although he knows he mostly fails. he simply cant help himself when he fusses over kili’s braids, or tends to his brother’s injuries with a careful eye and soft touch. bringing kili his food first has always been a habit of fili’s, as well as ensuring him the best cut of meat and the warmest fur for sleeping.
his love is all-consuming, he knows, but fili is more than aware at how oblivious his brother is, so he continues on with his treatment despite the considering looks some of the company throw his way.
when fili overhears a conversation between his uncle and balin, however, he is utterly brokenhearted.
“everything all right with the lad?” asks balin, and fili knows he is speaking of kili from the way both men turn at stare at the young prince.
“hes informed me of his intention to court once we retake erebor” thorin replies moodily. “boy should focus more on the task at hand instead of day dreaming of an unsecured future”
balin chuckles as all color drains from filis face. “oh, leave him be. besides, a marriage can help raise the spirits for when we reestablish erebor. i know that my own dear brother has already planned a spring wedding for himself and ori”
thorin only sighs.
balin continues. “my heart goes out to fili, though-“
and it is at this point that fili cant handle it anymore and rushes out, because pity was never something he could stomach, not when he was a small dwarfling with little food and not now that he is an adult dwarf with a broken heart
(what balin was going to say, of course, was “i don’t know how he’ll deal with such an excitable and energetic spouse”. thorin hums and agrees, because kili is known far and wide for his endless supply of energy)
so fili rushes out, clearing a path for himself away from the camp, away from his love whom will never care for him. because although fili has tried not to get high hopes, his heart is still crushed with the thought that he never stood a chance at all.
it is bilbo who finds him, surprisingly.
bilbo wasn’t even looking for fili when he went out on a walk far from camp that evening. hed simply wanted to be alone for a moment, away from the confusing king that’d been consuming bilbo’s thoughts for the longest time.
it wasn’t that the king was still treating him like a bug under his boot- no, it was the fact that thorin was trying to be nice. and the small part of bilbo that has admired thorin since the moment he showed up on his doorstep cannot handle the small tokens of friendship the king is offering
because, damn it all, bilbo doesn’t want the dwarf’s friendship
so before he made a fool of himself with his silly affections, bilbo decided to take a walk, and that is when he happens upon fili
and he’s about to walk away, figuring that the prince also wished for some privacy, but his ears twitch almost instantaneously with the sound of fili’s crying
and bilbo is much too much of a baggins to leave a hurting friend alone, so he gathers his resolve and hugs fili, fiercely, because he knows that whatever is ailing fili isn’t physical
it takes a moment, for fili to relax in his arms. but bilbo simply holds on and whispers soft words of encouragement and love, petting golden hair with a timidness bilbo hadn’t quite known he still had. and after a while of this, of them sitting there on the cold floor, fili starts to speak
he tells bilbo a story, first, of when he and kili were only children, living in a small house with their mother and uncle. he explains that money was always scarce, as was food, but regardless of this, he had a good childhood. he knew love, unconditional love, from thorin and his mother, and so when he was young, he’d liked to pick flowers in the outskirts of town.
he’d bring them to his mum, sometimes more weed than flower, and shed always take them with a kind smile and a strong hug. hed even give some to thorin, occasionally, and fili’s lips twitch slightly when he explains the gobsmacked expression his uncle wore whenever this happened.
but, fili continues, as he grew older and matured out of such childish customs, he still wanted to bring flowers to one person. and hes never stopped wanting to since.
it is at this moment that bilbo understands- and he only hugs fili closer, for he knows how terrible heartbreak is. he still remembers those last few years of his mother, right after bungo passed, and bilbo would not wish that kind of pain on anyone
fili slowly explains the conversation he heard between thorin and balin, and bilbo, unsure of what to say, begins to share his own romantic history
he hasn’t got much of one, if he were completely honest, and his failed courtships are more embarrassing than not, but he figures that if fili is sharing such a vital part of his soul with him, reciprocation is at least polite.
so bilbo speaks of the brandybck girl who’d had it in her head for years that they were in love and destined for one another, and how bilbo had to hide in his own bushes of she were to suddenly appear when he was gardening.
he talks of a goold hobbit, who seemed very sincere in his affections for bilbo for many a month, only for bilbo to find out that all the dirty scrap had wanted was a share of bag end. and so, he continues, he’s been alone ever since, given up on romance for good, and has long since accepted his status as an old spinster.
and fili listens intently, momentarily putting aside his own dilemas for the sake of hearing of bilbo’s, and they both chuckle quietly over old tales and they sympathize with each other, and they hold one another close for comfort.
its a while before they head back to camp, but when they do, bilbo and fili sit just a bit closer around the fire and lean into each other’s warmth just that much more
before, fili viewed the hobbit no more favorably than his uncle had, although less frustrated with bilbo’s incompetence and insistence on frivolous things like handkerchiefs and more worried about the hobbit’s life-expectancy given his lack of skills in surviving. he was also less harsh on bilbo because of kili’s fondness for him, but fili hadn’t seen any benefit to there being a hobbit among their company either way. even after the incident with azog, fili only added foolhardy bravery as an additional trait of the hobbit.
now, though, he can see that bilbo is more than just a bit of foolish courage wrapped in a small package. bilbo’s love of soft-living is comfortable, fili thinks, for the hobbit knows what it is to appreciate a good cup of tea and a warm blanket. and now that bilbo has seemingly deemed fili to be in need of such comforts, he finds himself more often than not coddled like a babe.
bilbo is far better company than his own dreary thoughts of kili and his brother’s unknown spouse. fili’d much rather sit and listen to bilbo’s surprisingly sarcastic commentary as they traveled, and if fili took to taking more of bilbo’s weight in carrying things around, then the hobbit was none the wiser.
despite his spending so much time with bilbo, however, fili was still surprised when his usually oblivious brother actually noticed that fili was avoiding him.
"awful close with the hobbit, nowadays, aren’t you?" kili asked, uncharacteristically somber that morning as they loaded up their ponies.
"i suppose you could say that," fili replied nonchalantly. "he’s more interesting than you’d think, and he’s quite a clever one."
Kili huffs. “never knew you to like clever, before”
fili stops for a moment, remembering the way bilbo held him tightly and without reservations when he’d been wailing in the woods. “things can change, brother.”
"so it seems," kili mutters, throwing his last bag harshly over his steed and climbing on briskly.
fili stares after him, longing festering in his gut like an open wound, but he forces himself not to follow. instead, he turns in search of bilbo, desperately in need of some hobbit coddling in that moment.