When the cry goes up that the king is fallen, Tauriel snarls, and fights just a little harder toward where she had last seen Thorin and his nephews. Particularly his nephews, since if Thorin is fallen, they will not leave him until they are dead, and she has become unreasonably fond of them both. They are mortal, and will die eventually, but she would prefer that it isn't today.
She is not the only one, and she meets the gaze of the woman who'd taken the role of King of Dale for a moment, nodding before they fall in together, Tauriel watching Sigrid's back, and Sigrid doing the same in return. A bow usually isn't the choice for a close battle, save for Legolas, but Sigrid makes it look as natural as Tauriel's prince.
There is a clear space around where Thorin lies insensate or dead on the ground, and it is held by more than just the two princes. Tauriel is glad for that much, and she finds a space in the line to add her own aid, while Sigrid aims her arrows - now taken from the bodies on which they fight, if they're whole enough to use - over their heads and around them to take out orcs and wargs.
Her own focus narrows now, keeping her place and keeping Kíli and Fíli on either side of her alive. Let others worry about the fallen king, for the rest of the battle, even for her own king, this is where she must be.
Tilda bites her lip hard, refusing to let herself cry when she sees her dwarves again. Kíli's all over blood, and she cannot see where it's from, doesn't even know if it's all his. The elf-captain is with him, though, and even though Tilda can't understand the words she's using, she can understand what she's saying. She hopes the elf-captain wins the battle she's fighting. Because Tilda doesn't want to lose her dwarves.
Fíli is biting his lip as hard as Tilda is biting hers, one hand clenched tight around Sigrid's as the wisewoman stitches his arm back together. It looks like something bit him, and everything is torn. Tilda looks up to meet her sister's gaze, and bites her lip harder to keep from making any noise. There's despair in her sister's eyes, and she hopes it's not for Fíli or Kíli.
Thorin is missing, though, and Tilda looks over the others a moment before she turns and flees from the healers' tent, looking for the rest of her dwarves. Thorin is missing, and Óin, and Nori. She hopes they're all in one place; she's sure they must be. Cannot be dead, she won't let them be dead.
There's another tent set up, and she ignores the dwarves at the front flap, ducking around, and wiggling under where the canvas isn't pinned to the ground. She's right, and she tastes blood in her effort not to make a sound. Pieces of bloody armor are on the ground, and Thorin is on a bed of sorts, bandaged and bloody and very pale.
Óin sees her first, and gestures her over without a word. Tilda nods, and whispers, "What do you need me to do?"
"Empty this of water, and refill it from the pot on the fire outside." Óin hands her a bowl of bloody water, and Tilda scurries to do as she's been told. Anything to make sure all of her dwarves live through the night. That they live to see their wounds healed.
That they live so she can make them all laugh again, and no one has to cry.
Bilbo cannot help the tears on his face as he looks out from the battlements over the mire of the battlefield. The tents that had been hastily erected for the wounded are half of them gone again, those who have survived moved into the Mountain or sent home to Mirkwood. The rest hold only cold bodies that will be buried in stone or cold earth before winter freezes the ground too hard to do so. Then they, too, will vanish, and leave only the blood-soaked field, with patches of scorch where the bodies of orcs were burned.
He wants desperately to go home, yet he as fiercely wants to remain in the Mountain, and he's not sure how to deal with either emotion, not quite. Certainly, whatever choice he makes, he will do nothing until the dead are buried, and honored properly. Bilbo cannot slip away like a thief, no matter how much he hurts.
A rustle of movement makes him turn his head, meeting the Durin-blue eyes of Dáin, who he's come to know rather more than he intended in the days since the battle.
"You have fourteen different people looking for you, hobbit." Dáin comes out onto the battlement, looking out at the field as Bilbo has been. "Two of them Kings."
"They can wait." Bilbo knows that both Sigrid and Thorin will want him to act as the go-between with Thranduil, since he's the only one who can talk to the elven king without wanting to throw things at him, at best. Or shout at him. "All three of them."
Dáin snorts, an amused smile crossing his face a moment, though it fades quickly. It's good to see he can still be amused, though he doesn't have much to smile about of late. "And the rest?"
"Who else is looking for me, and why?"
"The wizard, the little Dale girl, Óin, and the rest of Thorin's Company who aren't being kept in their beds by dire threats." Or dead, goes unspoken, and Bilbo draws in a deep breath, blinking away tears again. He doesn't like to think about those who had died. The more he does, the more he wants to just sneak out in the night, and flee back home alone.
"I'll find them later. And if you find Óin again before he finds me, tell him I don't need stitches, bandages, poultices, or draughts." Bilbo winces at the sharp note in his voice, but he doesn't apologize for it. Dáin doesn't seem to notice, or he doesn't seem to care, still as stone as he looks over the battlefield.
Bilbo sighs, and closes his eyes, though it doesn't stop him from seeing everything he wants to hide from. Two bodies laid out still and cold as stone, Ori and Glóin both still bloodied from the battlefield, too pale beneath the red and black that stained their skin. Fires burning with roiling black smoke that stinks and chokes. Thranduil, holding a broken body in his lap, and snarling at any who came too close.
He draws in another shuddering breath before opening his eyes, and turning to flee from the battlements. He should find Gandalf first, and maybe the wizard can talk him out of leaving before the first snows fall.
Notes: Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli are alive. Fíli may or may not be able to use his arm again, and Kíli is currently dosed on the best pain draughts possible, and Tauriel has appointed herself the person to keep both the princes from leaving their beds until Óin says they may. While Thorin is being kept in bed by Nori, who is making promises for later if Thorin behaves and doesn't get up until he's given permission.
ùhùrud = battle
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.