Axe & Bow Archive Entry


A Night's Musing

by Gecco

Legolas had his best inscrutable 'court' face on whenever he was forced to be present in his Father's court or when dealings with various visiting dignitaries. He had learned long ago that it was an excellent deterrent to avoid unwanted attention. Some mortals of course where utterly oblivious to it and came over and tried to talk to him anyway. A few of the braver ladies even trying to get him to dance with them, but most took note of his aloof manner and left him alone. Though it did not stop them from wistfully watching the graceful and exotic archer from a distance.

At the moment he stood artfully with a goblet of wine in hand, next to Aragorn in the temporary camp of the Rohirrim, the dark-haired Ranger at the moment talked and drank with King Theoden, who sat regally on a chair in the grass as the celebration rolled around them. The celebration taking place in the center of an open area in that nights camp, the many tents and tethered horses to be seen nearby.

Both Aragorn and Legolas graciously declined another invitation to dance by a willowy yellow-haired woman, who looked disappointed at their refusal, but it was soon forgotten when a handsome bearded solder under Eomer's command, swept her laughing away into the fast-pace dance.

King Theoden smiled as he watched his people revel around the campfires, the long and hard won battle at Helm's Deep days before seeming especial sweet after their stinging defeat in the Second Battle of the Fords of Isenwith before, now the Rohirrim rode to the aide of Minas Tirith. It was during this night that they took a moment to revel, not knowing their coming fate in the battle they knew was to come. The army camped for the night on the plains as they made their way to Gondor heading towards the White Mountains in the distance. Theoden's knowing eyes watched as Aragorn and Legolas kept themselves apart from the rest standing near him, unlike the surviving Rangers and the rest of his own Men that mixed freely. Every now and then declining offers of company, refreshments and invitations to join the celebrations around the various merry fires, unlike the small Halfling and their Dwarven companion. Theoden was pleased to catch an occasional glimpse of the copper-haired Dwarf laughing and mixing with the crowd, he had even seen the Dwarf dance a few times with the occasional Lady. Surprisingly energetic and able to dance as nimbly as any Man, the small almost childlike form of Merry kicking up his heels as he did an impromptu jig, tamping the grass beneath the thick soles of his feet whenever the mood struck him. Thought the small being's spirit didn't seem as high or as carefree since Gandalf had departed from the Golden Hall with his companion Pippin days before, the White Wizard dashing off with the Halfling after the little being had apparently found one of the seven lost Seeing Stones.

"You must forgive them Aragorn, Legolas," Theoden said, speaking up after the Ranger and Elf turned away another offer to dance. "We are no strangers to Gandalf. The Wizard has visited us often through the years," he said, a note of resentment coming into his voice as his eyes narrowed a bit. The touchy subject of Shadowfax still smoldered between them the King and the wandering Istari.

The Horse Lord snorted under his breath before taking a long sip from his goblet then looking back to the Ranger and archer standing on his other side, the good humor back in his countenance.

"But you three-- you are something new and different! Almost all here- save few, have seen an Elf, a Dwarf, and a Ranger from the North in the flesh before. Let alone all three! Not to mention Halflings!" He laughed, while motioning for a servant to refill his cup. A young coltish lad with a decanter hurried forth and did as commanded, also refilling Aragorn's goblet, Legolas smiled at the wide-eyed child, but waved away the offer to top his cup.

"I believe you are right, my good King," came Aragorn's voice. "I fear that we are a bit of a novelty at the moment, though I think the ladies find our Dwarven friend most amusing. I hope they do not wound him to much with their teasing," he chuckled, before raising his own goblet of wine to his lips.

Theoden glanced curiously at Aragorn, as if not understanding what the Ranger had meant before he glanced briefly in the Dwarf's direction some distance away near one of the fires, where a group of women had gathered. It was then that the merry sound of laughter erupted from the group as Gimli apparently said something while graciously stopping one of the ladies from refilling his mug again.

Legolas felt a frown tug at his lips, thinking about what Aragorn had just said. He didn't like these strange humans making fun of his friend, he didn't want the Dwarf's feelings hurt when he found out the group was laughing at him. Especially after the Dwarf had fought so honorably on their behalf, saving Eomer and had even taken injury in the struggle to defend the keep. The homely Dwarf, like most of his race might be found lacking in looks, but Legolas knew that Gimli more then made up for it with his spirit and good heart.

The two Men and Elf watched as Eowyn came over to the twittering group and shooed the disappointed ladies away before the Shield Maiden herself turned and engaging the amused looking Dwarf in a animated conversation of her own. It was during this time that the blond haired Eomer walked out of the crowd and joined the rest of them, giving them all a polite greeting after giving a full bow to King Theodin before coming over and engaging Argorn in a conversation of tactic.

The celebration continued on and Legolas continued to stay near Aragorn as the Ranger continued to converse with Theoden and Eomer, every now and then answering when one of the three asked his opinion on something or other, but for the most part he simply listened with half an ear. After over an hour of this however he became quite bored with their talk, which mostly centered around the great feats and accomplishments of Men in Middle-earth and decided to find Gimli. Having started to keenly feel his Dwarven companion's absence from his usual place at his side.

He also didn't like for Gimli to be out of his sight for too long, especially after the events of Helm's Deep and not being able to find him, the Dwarf's presence having become a deep comfort to him. His strange friendship with Gloin's son having started sometime before the Fellowship had entered the blackness of Moria, though it had been thin and tenuous then. But he also knew that he had started to have much deeper feelings for his Dwarven companion during their stay in Lothlorien. Yet it was only after the battle of Helms Deep and those terrible hours thinking that he might have lost his friend, that Legolas could no longer deny his feelings.

Stepping away from the others he went to find his absent friend. For the next few moments where spent wandering around the peripheral of the main celebration while he looked around for the Dwarf, but still had no luck finding him amid the crowd of mortals. Soon the Wood-elf came to stand next to one of the horses tether in front of one of the many large tents, stroking it's long face as he softy spoke to the animal in Elvish, still watching the celebration still in full swing. Many of the revelers where already well into their cups, though there was a full contingent of King Theoden's Men keeping watch and taking turns, while those not on their shifts got to join in the party. It seem alien and improper to Legolas to celebrate the dead and a coming battle in such a fashion. If this had been a Elven community this would be a time to reflect on all those lost and collect one's thoughts for the events ahead. The mood properly somber as the air would be filled with mournful singing for the dead as it had been in Lothlorien at the news of Mithrandir's fall in Moria. As he thought about this he spotted Eomer walking over to him, a mug of ale in the Man's hand.

"Master Legolas," Horse Lord greeted, giving him a nod of his head as he reached out with his free hand and gave the horse Legolas stood next to a fond pat. "Have you seen Master Gimli?" The Man asked, while his sharp brown eyes looked around as if he suspected the Dwarf to be nearby as he took a drink from his mug.

Legolas felt a flash of annoyance and a hot prickle of something else as he looked at the broad shouldered Marshal of the Riddermark, who stood only a few inches taller then he. He did not know the exact cause for his dislike of the Man, only that it had started the moment the Man had threatened his friend and that it had grown since their ride to Helms Deep. He had disliked the way that Eomer had simply swooped in after Gimli had been complaining about wishing to walk, rather then bump like a sack on Gandalf's saddle. Then the Man invites the Dwarf to ride with him before Legolas could even open his mouth and offer a seat with him on Arod. During the ride to Helms Deep the Elf made sure to stay close and for Arod to keep pace with Firefoot as they flew across the landscape. He did not like Eomer's change of behavior towards his friend. From blatant hostility-- to a keen interest and now the Man had came and greeted him, but clearly only doing so because he sought the Dwarf's company. If it where not so laughable one would almost think Eomer were truly interested in his Dwarven friend.

Legolas quickly pushed these thoughts to the side, but before he could even open his mouth and answer Eomer's question, a female voice broke in and spoke for him. They both looked to see the tall and slender figure of Eowyn come forward to join them.

"Our friend has managed to slip out and retired to his tent some time ago," she answered he brother, coming to stand next to him. She then gave Legolas a proper greeting, which the Elf returned with a graceful inclination of his head and a hand to his breast.

"Master Legolas, I hope you are enjoying yourself," She said warmly, she stood in rich maroon dress befitting a proper Lady of her station, her yellow hair braided about her head.

"Yes. Thank you, I most certainly am," Legolas said with a smile, raising his cup to her and her brother, who was noticeably looking else where.

It was then that Eowyn, seeing her brother's attention was distracted, gave Legolas a playful wink before snatching her brother's mug from his hand. Immediately causing him to turn back with an exclamation.

"Hey, now!"

"Why brother! How thoughtful!" She exclaimed cheerfully before he could say more, taking a big sip as he glared in exasperation at her. Some things never change when it came to siblings, no matter how old they got or what race they were.

Eomer continued to glare at his sibling, but was unable to keep a straight face when she started to do an impression of his dour expression before taking another long leisurely sip from the stolen mug. Legolas silently watched the brother and sister interact, thinking about his own brothers, being the youngest of four.

Eomer finally gave a bark of laughter, putting his arm around her and pulling her in for a one armed hug before turning to the quietly watching Elf.

"Forgive us Master Elf, but my kind sister here has just offered to get me another ale," he said.

"I did?" Eowyn asked, regarding her brother with a cocked eyebrow.

"Yes, you did," Eomer answered, a smirk on his face as they looked at one another before he turned to Legolas once more. "If you'll excuse us," he pardoned as he steered his now snickering sister in the direction where the spirits where being kept. With that they both walked away, Legolas watched as afterwards they went over to join the small group of King Theodin, Aragorn and the newly arrived Hamin.

The Elf continued to watch the milling mortals for awhile before deciding that this might prove the most opportune time to spend some time and talk with Gimli alone about his feelings, and more precisely to see if he felt the same. With that he gave the horse a final pat and a few parting words before he went to find some wine. Being the son of King Thranduil, who was a collector of fine wine, he in turn was rather picky about his tastes. Most of the wine he found from King Theoden's cellars was barely palatable, but he managed to find a still full wineskin of some reasonably palatable wine.

He then headed back towards the maze of tents, moving through the milling crowds gathered around the various fires, the celebrating mortals unconsciously getting out of his way as he moved through them. Their eyes unable to help but follow the archer's green clad form as he glided past. Legolas knew he was being watched, but for the most part ignored the admiring looks, he had no interest in any of these mortals. He returned Merry's cheerful call with a friendly wave as he past the large barrel of ale that Merry stood next to, happily waiting for a beefy Man to pour him both another drink.

The lithe Elf was almost past the clearing when he glided by the group of women that he had seen crowded around Gimli earlier, still twittering amongst themselves, most looking quite tipsy. He felt a flare of anger as he glanced at them from the corner of his eye. It was not right for these people to mock his friend, poor Gimli couldn't help the way he looked!

As he continued on walking amongst the many tents now, his thought once again turned inward. How strange it was that his heart dearly desired Gimli, yet he found a part of himself was still repelled by him as well. If only Gimli was taller, his form not so squat, his features not so different. If only he was more attractive-- if only he was more Elvish looking! Legolas gave a tired mental sigh. He recognized the beautiful and noble soul in Gimli and it is was to that soul that his heart was drawn to, but if only Gimli's form were not so repellent! If only his form was as attractive as the soul it housed, he though. He didn't even want to think about all that hair that his friend's squat body was no doubt covered in.

Body hair is not attractive to most Elves, in fact, it was an utter repellent for most. It was just one of the reasons that many Elves could not understand why Arwen would lay with a mortal Man, let alone give up ones' immortality for one. But at least Aragorn was tall and had some Elven blood in his ancestry (no matter how diluted), Gimli didn't even have that. Even so Legolas could not deny his feelings and while his eyes still could not fathom the attraction to his homely friend, his heart proved blind and had clearly made it's choice. No matter how ugly he was, Legolas had fallen for the Dwarf. Though he realized that he was not being vary fair to his friend, who knows. Perhaps Gimli was considered quite handsome by Dwarven standards?

With a martyrs resignation Legolas went to find his friend, butterflies tickling his stomach.

It was a few moments later that Legolas found himself in the quiet maze of tents, standing outside side the flap to the large tent he shared with the Dwarf, Aragorn's tent being right next there's. He was just reaching for the heavy canvas flap when his sensitive ears caught the sound of footsteps coming from the way he had just come. The Wood-elf turned to see who it was, thinking it could possibly be Aragorn before quickly deducing that they did not sound like the Ranger's soft distinctive tread. He's question was soon answered when a fair-haired young Man walked around the corner of one tent.

The long haired soldier immediately stopped in surprise at seeing him, clearly not expecting to see anyone else, he wore the uniform of one of the Men that rode under Eomer's command. The human carried a decanter of ale and two dull pewter mugs. Legolas quickly recognized him as one of the Horse Men that had first confronted he, Gimli and Aragorn as they hunted the Orcs that had taken Merry and Pippin across the plains.

Legolas still had said nothing as he watched the solder glance down at what he was holding, noticing the wineskin in his pale hand and the tent he stood before. A frown suddenly pulled at the Man's mouth before he turned to glare pointedly at the Elf, his bearded chin tilting up, the mugs and decanter dropping to his sides. His manner clearly irritated, the soldier glared at him a moment more before turning and storming back the way he had come.

Not understand, nor particularly caring about the strange soldier's ire. Legolas put the mortal's strange behavior out of his mind, then turned and quietly ducked into the tent, the heavy fabric sliding closed behind him.

He took a moment to look around the dark and spartanly furnisher interior as he unclasped his cloak from Lorien and tossed it on the large chest that stood by the entrance, where Gimli's own cloak rested. The interior of the large tent was lit only by the flickering light of the small fire, carefully built so it would not spread and that the smoke could escape into a opening in the roof of the tent. The bed was actually nothing more then a two simple bed rolls put together and piled with various furs in the middle of the room, near the main support pole of the tent. Between the bed and the fire where Gimli's axes, travel pack and gear, the weapons spread out and glistening, clearly having just been sharpened and cleaned. There was another closed flap on the other side of the tent providing another exit, the only other bit of furniture was a small foldable table on the other side of the bed.

Legolas immediately noted that the large bloodstained and tattered book they had found in Balin's tomb rested upon it. Acting as a sober reminder of their ill fated trip through the mines of the once great Dwarrowdelf, the loss of Gandalf and a sad reminder of the disaster of the Dwarves final attempt to take back the halls of Khaza-dum.

It was then that Legolas' sensitive ears perked at the sound of someone humming in a smooth deep voice, he quickly deduced that it was coming from somewhere outside. Placing the wineskin on the bed, he walked to the other tent flap to investigate, his soft skin leather boots not making a sound as he lightly walked to the dark opening and crept threw. Once outside he realized that the humming was coming from a smaller bathing tent nearby, he saw no light from within, but the humming was definitely coming from there. With much stealth he found the opening to the small tent and slipped it.

At first he could see nothing, so dark was it in the small tent as he listened to the humming of a song he had never heard before, along with the sound of sloshing water and the wringing of wet fabric. While Elves have the best eyesight of all the peoples of Middle-earth, their night vision while better then that of a Man's, was still limited. Though there were a few Elves who had been truly gifted with good night vision. Slowly his eyes adjusted to the darkness and now saw that there was a very small opening high up on one side of the tent, from which streamed pale starlight allowing Legolas to just make out the dark figure kneeling on the floor in front of a small wooden tub on the floor while washing what Legolas assumed was a pile of clothes.

Legolas felt a smile pull at his lips as he watched the industrious Dwarf scrub at a particularly stubborn stain as he continued to hum happily to himself, still unaware that he had an audience. Legolas had never heard Gimli sing or hum, only his deep chant when they had traveled in the dark lonesome halls of Moria. He had also never heard someone hum in a true baritone before and while it was nothing like the silvery Elvish singing he was used to, he found it was surprisingly pleasant to the ears and it made him wonder what Gimli's singing voice was like.

As Legolas mussed about this he stepped forward to lean against one of the thick wooden support poles holding up the tent and continued to observe and listen, unfortunately when he did this the sleeve of his light tunic snagged on a rough knot in the wood. Noticing this he unthinkingly tugged his arm away, causing a small rip in the material, but the Elf didn't have time to curse his bad luck.

For at the sound Gimli's dark form froze and Legolas watched as in a blink of an eye the Dwarf had suddenly snatch something from next to the pile of clothes, spun around and was on his feet in a fighting stance, his left hand making a sharp outward movement. Legolas' sharp eyes caught the momentary flash of metal.

It was only his lighting-fast Elven reflexes that saved him as he managed to duck to the side and avoid the large Dwarven knife that deeply imbedded it's self in the wood of the post where his chest had been just a moment before with a loud 'THUNK!'.

Legolas turned wide eyes to look at the large knife that was stuck almost half way into the hard wood, clearly someone was still a little keyed up from the pervious battle. That had been too close, even for his comfort as he calmed his heart after the sudden rush of adrenalin to his system.

"Legolas?!" Cried a voice in shocked disbelief.

Said Elf turned to look at the owner of the voice, it was still too dark for him to clearly make out Gimli's features but he knew the Dwarf could probably see him perfectly well. So he kept his manner relaxed and regarded the stocky that stood as high as his shoulder with an elegant eyebrow raised, his voice droll. "Yes?"

Seeing this Gimli's stricken worry and shock quickly turned to anger. "Bloody fool!" Gimli shouted. "What in Mordor do you think you where doing, sneaking upon someone like that- a good way to get yourself dead!"

"I was not aware that you were skilled at knife throwing," Legolas said conversationally, ignoring what the Dwarf had said and in turn making Gimli growl in utter frustration.

"You never asked," Gimli finally grumbled, deciding it was just not worth getting worked up over as he walked over and yanked his knife from the post with ease.

Well this certainly was not what Legolas had intended when he had come to their tent to enjoy the Dwarf's company.

With a dismissive sniff and a flip of his black hair the slender Elf turned on his heel and strutted from the small tent, ducking out into the night. Gimli glared after him before rolling his dark eyes, "Brat!" he muttered under his breath before turning to finish up what he had been doing.

It was ten minuets later when Gimli had finally finished and ducked into the flap of their tent.

"Legolas?" Gimli paused as he walked into the space within, the flap closing behind him. In all honestly he had thought the Prince of Mirkwood had left long ago, so he was a bit surprised to see the Wood-Elf lounging cat-like on the bed, looking lost in thought as he stared unblinkingly into the fire.

Legolas was shaken from his thoughts and looked up at the sound of Gimli's voice, to see him standing there. The Dwarf's large almond-shaped eyes glowed a bright bronze color as they reflected the light of the fire like a cats's, his discarded clothes and knife held in one hand as he walked over to where his travel pack was. Legolas had seen Gimli's eyes glow in the dark like this many times during the quest, but it still never ceased to be startling.

They had all discovered this Dwarven trait two days out from Rivendell. They had all been sleeping except Gimli, who was on watch, when poor Pippin, having got up to maybe see if he could sneak some food from Sam's pack, near jumped out of his skin as he let out a shrill yell of fright when he looked at the Dwarf on watch, who had been tending the fire. The yell in turn caused everyone in camp to leap up, most out of a sound sleep, weapon's in hand, including a startled Gimli as they hurriedly searched around for an attacking enemy. It took a few moments for them all to calm down and to finally deduce what had caused Pip's yell, much to the small Hobbit's chagrin. Gandalf rolled his eyes as it became clear what had happened before grumpily explaining about Dwarven-night vision before going back to bed muttering into his grey beard. This was old news to he, Aragorn, Frodo and of course Gimli, but it was news to Legolas, Boromir, the rest of the Hobbits. For the next fifteen minutes, Gimli good naturedly sat still and let Merry and Pip crowed around him as the asked him questions as the others went back to bed. Pippin alternating shading his eyes and telling the Dwarf to look this way and that. Before both, their curiosity satisfied, finally went back to bed.

Legolas gave himself a mental shake and finally answered. "Aye?"

"What are you doing here?" Gimli asked, genuinely curious as he glanced over his shoulder at the pale Elf now sitting up on the bed while he stowed away a small cake of soap back in his pack.

"This is my tent as well, Master Dwarf. Or have you forgotten?" he said a bit haughtily, looking pointedly at the Dwarf. He was still a little miffed at having a knife thrown at him.

Gimli just grunted in annoyance before rolling his eyes as he turned and laid his damp clothes by the fire to dry before standing up. He only wore a simple red under tunic, trousers and a belt buckled at his hips along with his thick boots. His straight copper-hair hung down his back in a long heavy rope that reached down to his rump. Legolas watched him pick up the blade that he had thrown at him earlier and tuck it back into his left boot, the warrior in the Elf making a mental note to remember where the weapon was hidden.

"Thought you'd be with Aragorn, secretly gibbering away in Elvish," Gimli said, turning to look at him as he stood before the fire.

Though he asked it partly as a little jab at the Elf, he did find it aggravating that Aragorn and Legolas had the habit of lapsing back in Elvish and in turn cutting him out of their conversations. He remembered that it had driven poor Boromir to understandable distraction on the quest, who would loudly demand that if they were to speak at all, speak in common so that they all may understand. Luckily for Gimli, on his father's insistence that he learn, he knew some Elvish. Nothing terrible extensive, but enough to get by with. Not that he would tell Aragorn or Legolas-- he was having too much fun listening in on their conversations. It had also proven to be a very useful skill in both Rivendell and Lothlorien.

"Well, why aren't you there?" Legolas countered with a question of his own, dodging the jab with one of his own. Knowing how it aggravated his friend when he did this. "I would think that a loud rowdy party with plenty of ale, would be something you would greatly enjoy," he drolled. But the Dwarf seemed to be in a strange mood this evening and did not rise to the bate.

"Aye, that I do at times. But I preferred some quiet this evening," Gimli answered honestly, not feeling in the mood for their usual sparring. "So again-- why are you here and not at Aragorn's side?"

Legolas gave a tired sigh, he too did not feel like their usual play and he felt his unease from before creeping back.

"Aragorn, he is-- he is not as he once was. Since Boromir's passing he has changed. I find he is changing even more so the closer we come to Gondor." he said truthfully, a pang of sadness and confusion in his chest as he listened for a moment to the sounds of the Men outside.

Gimli nodded his head in agreement, but did not seem concerned. "He is amongst his own kind now and can no longer hide. He has a destiny to fulfill and in those final moments he shared with poor Boromir as his life ebbed, I believe he came to truly realize that even though he has been raised in Rivendell, acts and speaks much like you Elves. In the end he is still-- and always has been, a Man.

"But come, that cannot be the reason you chose to be here and not in his company? If it is not company you seek, then surly the open air and the twinkling of the stars outside would be more to your liking?" Gimli asked again while tossing another log on the fire.

"True," Legolas answered as he forced himself to stop fidgeting with his tunic before taking a deep breath. "Yet... I found myself this eve desiring no company... save yours," he said seriously, now looking intently at the Dwarf, waiting for his reaction.

Hearing these words caused Gimli's attention to snap back to Legolas. Had he heard that right?, he thought to himself as he locked eyes with the Elf. Who seemed almost nervous as he absentmindedly tucked one of his small braids behind a delicately pointed ear.

Yet as swiftly as the moment had come it was gone as Legolas promptly broke their gaze and his demeanor changed as he picked something up from the bed.

"But come! Look! I did not come here to you empty handed, I come baring gifts," he said with a silvery laugh, proudly holding up the wineskin.

Gimli couldn't help but mentally shake his head at the Elf's sudden strange change of behavior, it never ceased to amaze him at how quickly the Wood-elf's moods could shift. He did however notice the forced quality of the Elf's sudden cheer or the way he swiftly took a rather long gulp from the wineskin after unplugging it.

They both lapsed into an uncomfortable silence before Legolas decided to break the oppressive quiet.

"Now that I have explained myself, what of you? Why such caution when in the camp of allies?" he asked, his luminous eyes looking pointedly at the Dwarf's thick boot and the now hidden dagger within. Watching as Gimli ran a hand through his hair as he moved to stand next to the fire before crossing his muscular arms over his chest and leaning casually back against one of the smaller support posts holding up the tent.

"Habit, mostly. I feel no ill will here, but it is good to be a might cautious. Even amongst allies. Especially if those allies are Men," he explained truthfully. "In my time amongst them I have seen them do many strange things-- especially when drunk!" he snorted with a wry shake of his head, remembering some prime examples he had seen in his various travels in the past.

Legolas gave an agreeing nod to this, he too had seen how strangely some Men acted under the affects of too much alcohol and shared Gimli's thoughts. A kind and mellow Man when sober could suddenly become a belligerent unthinking demon when thoroughly sloshed, their ears becoming deaf to all else but their own wants.

For the most part when an Elf drank too much, they became sleepy or overly cheerful. Most Dwarves, being able to hold their alcohol well, usually had to drink a staggering about of alcohol to get truly drunk, which usually caused unsteady motor functions, lethargy and overall silliness.

"You seem to get along well enough with the Lady Eowyn and her brother, as well as the other Men here," Legolas said conversational, tossing him the wineskin, which he caught. The Elf felt a twinge of something, remembering the times he had seen the Dwarf with ether of the blond humans and the easy way they interacted. He did not like Eomer and it seemed strange to him how Gimli and the Third Marshal of the Mark had gone from exchanging threats and glares, to easy conversing and laughing with one another and even more so since their time together during the previous battle. He had also observed, with some annoyance, that both of the strange blond haired siblings seem to make a point of wanting and seeking out the Dwarf's company.

"Aye, that I do. Eomer needs to watch his mouth when daft notions get into his thick head-- but I like him well enough. He's honorable and a good warrior with a belly full of fire," he laughed, a humorous smile on his lips. "As for the Lady Eowyn, I like her very much. She reminds me a bit of home," he said with a wistful chuckle.

"How so?"

"She is a lot like many of the Dwarrow-dams I know back home in Erebor."

"Dwarrow-Dams?" Legolas asked, rolling the strange word over his tongue as he cocked his head curiously.

"Females, Legolas. Dwarf Women," Gimli explained, tossing the wineskin back to him, which the Elf easily caught one handed.

Silence once again fell around them as Legolas took a long gulp from the wineskin as he stored away the tidbit of information about Dwarrow-Dams and how the Shield Maiden of Rohan supposedly was much like them. Though whether Gimli meant that they where similar in temperament, abilities or looks; he had no idea. Though if he had to guess; it was the first. As he thought about all of this he turned his green eyes about the tent, watching the many deep shadow jump and dance as the flames painted everything in shades of orange and red.

It is so dark in here..." he noted to himself as he looked around the darkroom from his seat on the bed. He almost jumped when Gimli answered him, not realizing that he had said it out loud.

"One doesn't need much light to rest by," the Dwarf said with a shrug of his broad shoulders as he continued to lean against the post behind him. There was a tense quiet that settled again as they tossed the wineskin back and forth as a few times, both lost in their own thoughts, both wondering why they suddenly felt so uneasy and restless. This continued on, the only noise being the occasional pop and hiss of the fire and the muffled sounds of the celebration outside.

"Gimli?" Legolas suddenly asked, seeming out of no where and in turn shattering the quiet. Feeling anxious as the Dwarf turn his attention to him, thinking about his thoughts before and just why he had come here. What if this was a mistake? What if Gimli did not feel the same as he? Did Dwarves dislike Elves for the same reasons that Elves disliked Dwarves? He thought about all this before taking a deep breath and asking his question.

"Why do you suppose our peoples truly dislike one another?"

Gimli was quiet as he studied Legolas, his large dark almond-shaped eyes searched Elf's face, seeming to decide if he was asking theoretically or truly wanted to know. He finally decided that Legolas meant it and disserved the truth, though he hoped this would not damage their strange yet powerful relationship that he had come truly to cherish. It was so strange how he had come to this final acknowledgement of the feelings in his heart, it had grated him so when he first realized that he was falling for the Elf. An Elven Prince of Mirkwood to be exact, and he had greatly fought and denied those troublesome feelings for as long as he could. Before finally admitting utter defeat on their long three day run across the golden plains of Rohan. Knowing that it had only been his determination to save Merry and Pippin from the uruk-hai and the love for the lithe Wood-elf that he managed to swallow his pounding heart and force himself to get on the back of that big horse. Holding on for dear life to the slim yet strong body in front of him as he willed himself not to panic and his body not to tremble in terror as they flew across the grass lands on that beast.

"There be many reasons, we both know there be much bad blood between our peoples," He finally began, remembering a similar conversation he had had with his father when he was young. "Though everyone has their own reasons. The hunting and slaughter of the 'Flawed ones' (1.), the sack of Menegroth, the wars, insults, slights. I can not speak for those of your kind, but I myself had my own reason to greatly dislike yours even before I learned of my Da and uncle's imprisonment in your father's dungeons."

Legolas listened intently, his mind filling with memories as he gazed into the merry fire, watching the flames consume the logs of wood, thinking about Gimli's words and the past. Remembering the interruptions of their special once a year feasting and celebrating that night long ago in the woods. Being one of many in the court that day when a haggard and be spelled Thorin Oakenshield was dragged before his father's throne. Then later being in the very hunting party that found the rest of the ragged looking Dwarves, sick from spider venom and hunger, wondering lost in the forest, capturing and bringing them before his father. He remembered how they had seemed to look and act just as he had always imagined them from the many stories he had heard. Now that he knew of their quest, thanks to the old Periannath (2.), Bilbo Baggins, he could understand some of the Dwarves bad manners and ill temper that day.

"But for many-- including myself. It is to be constantly treated and looked down on as if you are unworthy--unequal. When beings know nothing of you, nor do they care," Gimli finished, his head leaning back against the post behind him as he watched a moth fluttering above the fire, swooping ever closer to the beckoning flames.

"Well, don't we all feel that way at times, even I--" Legolas started to say, but Gimli just gave a mirthless laugh as he shook his head at his words.

"No. Not you, Master Elf. You will never have to face what I truly speak of," he said, looking down and spearing Legolas with a unreadable look in those glittering dark eyes.

The moth unnoticed by both beings continued it's deadly dance with the flames, seeming tempted ever closer, even as the heat threatened to singe it's powdery wings.

Legolas tilted his chin and gave the Dwarf a challenging look, that clearly stated that he thought his thinking wrong. Gimli meet his gaze without blinking before finally letting out a tired sigh.

"Legolas, have you ever walked into a room filled with all manner of people... and everyone there either ignores you utterly or looks down at you like you are some foul and hideous thing that has dragged it's self from the rubbish heap. You are something to be scorned or laughed at-- even the ones that are polite and seem can see it in their eyes, behind that pleasantly smiling mask. The false cheer, the way their eyes unconsciously narrow in the corners whenever they look down at you and are forced to speak with you in that overly polite tone," He said, his deep smooth voice filling the dark tent.

"They look at you like a dead orc or some begging mongrel. It matters not that you are fair or homely by your own people's reckoning, be you poor or wealthy, sick or hail--it matters not. You are utterly repugnant, not because of who you are, but what you are. A Naugrim...a naug," Gimli spat the derogatory term, as if it was a foul taste upon his tongue.

Legolas gave an internal flinch at the deep bitterness laced in the Dwarf's voice as he said that final word. How often had he himself uncaringly used the same insulting terms without a thought? Nougrim, stunted-ones, how would he feel if all mortals uncaringly called him and his kind "Seelie" or simply the "Fading-ones" or some other such insulting term without a care as to it's meaning?

Unseen by both the foolish moth finally danced too close to the licking flames and it's delicate wings caught alight. It fluttered for a moment before falling to the ash below, it's body consumed by the hungry fire, having lost it's small life for its infatuation with the beautiful flames.

"Well surly your kind must think similarly of us. That we Elves are ugly. Our bodies too long and gangly, hairless as babes, our skin too pale and sickly," Legolas finally countered, unwilling to admit defeat just yet. But Gimli just gave a derisive smile as he looked back at him with those intense eyes.

"No, Legolas... that is not it at all," he said his voice now holding a truly tired quality about it. "And in the end that be what it truly comes down to I think. Elves... the wanted and loved ones, the Valor's favored Ones. Your kind be beautiful to all, Men, Hobbits, even to Dwarven eyes. Skin like pale alabaster, your eyes like dazzling gems, your bodies move and dance with the grace of swans. Fair is hardly an adequate word-- is it any wonder your kind are Iluvatar's most favored children?" He asked softly, and Legolas felt a blush rise to his face as he watched those deep brown eyes rake over his seated form and heard the honest praise in those words. Legolas had no words to counter what had been said and he unconsciously bit his lip as his troubled thoughts swirled in his head.

Elves, immortal, wisest and fairest amongst all beings. We have come to so utterly believed that. We are Iluvatar's first and favored children, are we not? How proud and perfect we immortals be. We who have come to believe in our own perfection and superiority, we have truly come to think that we are better then all other beings. We with our long seeing eyes that miss nothing...yet miss what is right before us. In our ego and self-absorption we have become blind to much.

Because someone does not look like us-- does that make that being automatically a thing of ugliness? If they do not sound like us, does that make their voices rough and foul?
Legolas thought to himself, remembering all the old tales and even his own lofty thoughts from earlier that evening.

He lifted his head and once again regarded the being before him leaning casually against one of the deeply driven posts, thick muscular arms crossed over a broad chest, looking just as lost in his own thoughts as he. One side of the Dwarf's body was painted in the orange and red glow of the fire, the other half was lost in deep shadow, the fire casting sparks in the thick dark copper-mane and beard.

And it was in this moment that Legolas suddenly saw the Dwarf in a whole new light, as if seeing his friend truly for the first time.

Why had he truly thought Gimli homely? He had no warts or such blemishes on the skin that could be seen, he was clearly not fat-- even with all his clothes on, nor was he foul smelling, his manner was proper and polite (when he chose to be polite), and his wit sharp. The Dwarf was usually quiet and thoughtful and while he did not move with the elegance of an Elf, there was no denying that Gimli had a grace all his own.

Had he truly thought Gimli ugly because he was simply a Dwarf? Where all Dwarves uncomely simply because of what they where?" Legolas thought to himself.

What Legolas did see was skin that he had thought in their first meeting to be rough and ruddy, was in truth tanned and smooth. A strong featured face with high-cheek bones, a small nose and a large pair of expressive rich brown eyes. Upon his brow was an inflamed and scabbed over cut that healed above his left eye, a wound received during the previous battle, the bloody cloth that had been around it long since disposed of. A thick copper mustache hid the Dwarf's top lip, leaving only the plump bottom lip to view, the rest of the thick copper beard was clean and immaculately brushed, forked and braided. It hung down only to the young Dwarf's broad chest, it would still be long years before Gimli could eventually tuck it into his belt.

The Dwarf's overall face was smooth and relatively unlined and now that Legolas truly studied him he realized that Aragorn had a much more lined and weather-beaten face in comparison. And though Gimli stood at five foot one, standing shoulder height to Legolas's own stature, his frame was thick and strong, his broad upper body shaming any Man or Elf's, his arms and legs corded with thick hard muscle. Yet his hips were narrow, his waist trim and though he might not run and leap as lithely as an Elf, Legolas knew his friend was capable of moving with shocking speed and agility when needed.

Is this what Gimli truly looked like? Is this what Eomer, Eowyn and others see when they upon this stocky Warrior? Is this what Galadrial had seen? Legolas suddenly remembered the young soldier outside before he had stepped into the tent, how he had glared at him before storming away. It now struck him, that the soldier had been planning to do the very same thing as he! Yet by Aragorn's comment and manner from earlier, clearly the Ranger also saw Gimli as most Elves would, through a tinted lens. Which Legolas supposed only made sense since the dark-haired human was raised by Elves and in turn would unconsciously adopt many of their beliefs and biases.

For all the many miles with this being, fighting beside him, being through so much together-- Legolas came to the embarrassing realization that he still knew almost nothing of his friend and now of the eager desire to learn more about this being he found himself undeniably drawn.

His thoughts turned to a memory of the past, of a day when he was on guard duty down in the dungeons of the palace where most of the Dwarves were being kept, having been assigned the tedious and unpleasant task as a punishment by his father the King for a particularly messy prank he had played on his second eldest brother. Involving honey, flour and a sack full of cursing spiderlings. Being terribly bored, he remembered pacing the dark underground halls and silently peering in at some of the prisoners, most simply slept or paced restlessly around the cramped space of their cells. He remembered peering into a particular cell and watching a brooding black haired Dwarf sitting on the low cot as he angrily scratched runes on the wall, he now knew that this Dwarf had been Gimli's father, Gloin. When Legolas had first meet Gimli in Rivendell he had thought he looked much like his father, or any other Dwarf he had seen for that matter. But now he could see that while he shared some common traits with Gloin, Gimli also looked much different from his sire.

For long moments the air was quiet, save for the occasionally pop of the fire and the distant and muffled sounds of the celebration still taking place outside. Gimli raised the wineskin to his lips and took another swig as he waited for Legolas to speak as he idyll watched the Elf's graceful silhouette jerk and dance with the other shadows on the far wall behind the bed.

"You do not look much like your father," Legolas finally heard himself say aloud, watching as the dark intense gaze turned to him again.

"I take after my mother's side," Gimli answered with a simple shrug. Apparently not minding the change of topic as he ran a thick hand through his dark copper-hair, tucking a few long stray strands behind a gold ringed ear. "She was of the IronFist Clans, my father is of the Long Beards."

"Gimli? Are you fair by your peoples measure?" The Elf's next question seem to throw the Dwarf off a bit, both of his copper eyebrows raised in surprise before they lowered and his large eyes narrowed in sudden suspicion.

"You mock me. I see your game," He said, though there was no true heat in his voice.

"No! I seek nothing of the sort!" Legolas earnestly denied, before hesitantly continuing. "Truly, I--I just wished to know."

Gimli regarded the Elf with a long look that clearly read, why?, but after a moment decided to answer the question. Though there was a clear undercurrent of caution in his deep voice now.

"I am considered desirable by my people's reckoning. I have also heard that I am comely by the standards of Men. My bed-partners have found me fair...Though I am no doubt quite hideous to you and your kind." He snorted ruefully.

"That is not true," Legolas denied, watching as one of Gimli's copper eyebrows went up as the Dwarf regarded him with a look of disbelief. Legolas gave a shake of his head before taking a deep breath and continuing.

"I will not lie to you, I once to thought so. But now... I am no longer blinded by half truths and old wise-tales..." He trailed off, as if not able to find the proper words before trying again.

"I have found that a false glamour has been lifted and now I see you truly," he said, his lilting voice in a near whisper as he gazed at the powerful creature across from him. "And you are beautiful to my eyes."

Gimli was struck dumb at Legolas' words and he stood up fully, his arms uncrossing and falling to his sides as he stared at the earnest looking Elf. Gimli was no stranger to his looks and had used them to his advantage more then once. He had never had a shortage of bed mates, both male and female, but to hear he was attractive from an Elf- and this Elf in particular!

Now came another dreaded another question to Legolas' mind, a nagging fear.

"Do you find me attractive as well, Master Dwarf? Do you find me fair?" He asked, plucking at the edge of his green tunic.

The question hung in the air as Gimli silently gazed at him, watching the orange glow of the flames bathe the ethereal being sitting on the bed, the soft black hair pooling around those slender shoulders like a fall of shadow, green eyes glittering like stars. Gimli closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, allowing his sensitive nose to fill with the pheromones in the air, knowing their subtle language did not lie. At the moment they spoke of no deception, but attraction and an underling nervousness.

Gimli finally opened his eyes and stepped away from the fire, coming to stand directly in front of the Elf and for once it was now Legolas who had to tilt his head up into look at the Dwarf.

"How could any being not find you fair?" Gimli finally murmured, looking down at him as he reached out and tracing the Elf's face in a feather-light touch, watching those dazzling eyes look up at him.

"Legolas, you are like a mithril knife of the finest craftsmanship. Bright, beautiful, elegant-- yet strong, sharp...deadly. You are fierce and wild, yet your smiles are pure sunlight. Your skin glows as if you swallowed the moon and your eyes are like chips of cold jade when you are angry. Yet when you are happy... they are the green of new leaves in the blush of spring," he waxed poetically.

"What color are they now?" Legolas breathed, his ears tingling with Gimli's voice.

"Now... now they are burning emeralds," Gimli said as he gazed into his eyes.

"Such a honeyed tongue... surly you could charm the moon to show her full face with but a request," Legolas said with a smile, a flush now on his fine features. But once again Gimli's expression became serious as he looked down upon the Elf and his words grew sober.

"When I first meet you, under that covered walkway in Rivendell by the gardens. Watching you dance across that thin railing on nothing but your toes, singing to yourself, face to the sky. I thought you beautiful with the voice of a nightingale. It was as if you had appeared from some fairytale or fanciful poem.

"But I also thought you silly, spoiled and an arrogant ass." He watched as the Elf flinched at his words, hurt sparking in those green eyes before the Elf sharply turned his head away clearly not expecting to hear such words. But Gimli gently reached out and clasped him by the chin and turned Legolas' now frowning face up to look at him again before continuing, needing to tell all and have Legolas truly understand.

"I used to hate your kind, Legolas. Long ago I encountered Elves...on a roadside..." He trailed off as if the words would no longer come and for a moment Legolas watched as a white-hot anger and an burning sorrow flare momentarily in those deep eyes before it faded as Gimli's true gaze came back to the present and Legolas' pale upturned face. "I thought what the elders had said was true. I thought your kind shallow, petty, your pretty faces only masking cold cruel hearts within. Yet I have learned so much since being in your presence, talking with you, fighting with you- killing with you. As well as our stay in the Lady's golden wood. I was wrong about many things," he said, watching as the frown slowly left the Elf's features.

"Though you are still quite the arrogant brat at times," He added, a rueful smile now on his face as he watched the Elf's eyes narrow and his lips turn into a pout.

"I could say much about you, I hope you know!" Legolas huffed, the frown back as he crossed his arms.

"Oh, yes! I know this very well! You made sure to tell me at every possible chance on our long quest, should I recite them for you?" He teased, a roguish smirk on his lips.

Legolas couldn't deny the truth in those words, but didn't show it as he glared at the Dwarf, who was now chuckling at his pouting expression.

"And I have no doubt that you where right a few times," Gimli added, flashing straight white teeth as he laughed good naturedly, taking the sting from his words.

Legolas decided not to say anything, but instead make his next move.

Gimli took a step back as the Elf gracefully got up, preparing to apologize, thinking that he had offended and said too much and that the Elf intended to leave. But he words immediately halted in his throat when the dark-haired Elf did not begin to walk away, but instead began undoing the ties of his light forest green tunic, letting the material slip off his shoulders to the floor, next came the long soft skin boots and other accessories, followed finally by his dark leggings. When he was done Legolas stepped gracefully out of the pile of clothes, leaving Gimli a complete and unobstructed view of his pale flesh.

His undeniably male form was long and slender, sculpted with muscles from years of running and leaping through forests and wielding his long white knife. His legs were long and supple, his arms strong and tightly muscled from drawing his bow. Except for the long black hair of his head and the small thatch of downy black curls between his legs, his smooth skin was utterly devoid of hair. His frame was finer and more elongated then a Man's, his chest a little more narrow, his bones lighter. His body was made for speed and agility. Gimli was reminded of long legged deer and graceful cats as his eyes roamed over the Elf's lithe form. His eyes followed the flat expanse of his stomach down to narrow hips and to his genitals. Legolas' arousal being much like the rest of his body, long, smooth and slender.

Legolas patently waited, watching the Dwarf's eyes roam over his body, waiting for his reaction before those eyes once again turned up to look back into his. Gimli's smile from just moments before was gone, replaced by an intense expression that Legolas couldn't read, but Legolas did not see any disgust or rejection reflected there and in fact the Dwarf took a step closer to him.

Greatly daring Legolas reached out to touch Gimli's face, but suddenly found his hand halted by an almost painful grip of a large callused hand now holding his thin wrist. He was a bit startled and knelt back down on the bed, his wrist still held in that iron grip, the Dwarf standing taller then the Elf on his knees. Confused green eyes quickly searched the Dwarf's face to see if he was angry or if he had somehow misinterpreted something, but he saw no anger or second thoughts. What he did see in those large eyes was a look genuine interest, heat, but also a note unease. As if Gimli was still not entirely sure of what Legolas planned to do.

"What is the matter? Are you frightened of me?" The Prince teased softly, cocking his head birdlike. It was quiet as those dark almond-shaped eyes studied him before answering.

"I'm afraid you will break my heart." Came the quiet reply and Legolas felt a jolt at those heavy words, watching the open honesty in Gimli's face.

"I cannot break what I do not have," Legolas managed to reply, looking into those rich brown pools as he licked his suddenly dry lips.

"I can not give what you already own," Gimli said, the movement of that tongue moistening those soft lips drawing his gaze.

"I though your love reserved for the grand Lady Galadriel?"

"The Lady be grand indeed. Like the sun, blinding and bright in her grandeur, her light warming all that it touches, " he waxed, and Legolas felt a spark of jealousy as a twinkle of light came to those dark eyes at the thought of the Elvin Queen of Lothlorien.

"Yet my love is not reserved for her alone, but for those I choose. For like the sun, she is a beauty meant to be worshipped from afar." The Wood-elf watched as the twinkle in those dark eyes change and was replaced by something else, something more, something that burned with a hot primal fire. A fire that promised to burn if touched. A fire that Legolas found himself, like a moth, undeniably drawn.

"And as glorious as the sun may be... I am a creature of the evening and have fallen in love with the night and the glow of the moon," Gimli finished, his deep voice now holding a husky quality to it that sent a shiver dancing up Legolas' spine.

The strong grip on his wrist lessened and became gentle as it was turned over, Legolas felt his heartbeat speed up as he watched Gimli then lift his slim wrist to his parted mouth, watching as a nimble tongue lazily move across the delicate skin in found. He felt his breath hitch at that hot wet touch, as it seemed to leave a burning trail over his pale skin that all to quickly cooled.

He made a small noise of disappointment when Gimli released his wrist and moved a step back. But his disappointment soon evaporated as he watched Gimli reach up and undo the two thick braids in his beard, running his thick fingers through the now lose hair, leaving the braids of his mustache before stepping up and kneeling before to him again.

The invitation was clear and Legolas took it, immediately sinking his fingers into the warm copper hair.

The only other beard he had ever felt had been that of Gandalf's, during a visit to Mirkwood long ago. As a small and curious Elfling he remembered Gandalf placing him on his knee and allowing him to touch it, after all he had never seen a beard before except for the Wizard's. He remembered vividly the feeling of how course and wiry it felt as he ran his small fingers through it. The hair of the Wizard's beard had been so different compared to the rest of Gandalf's long course grey-hair, how terribly alien it had seemed. Before he had promptly grabbed a handful and yanked; much to Gandalf's cursing and pained displeasure. That had been the first and consequently the last time the Wizard had allowed the Elf anywhere near his beard.

But the beard he was feeling now was nothing like Gandalf's from long ago, this was thick and as silky as the rest of Gimli's heavy smooth hair. It was now that he could truly understand why Dwarves took such care and pride in their hair and beards as he ran his long fingers though the rich copper strands.

What would this beard feel like on my face? Legolas though to himself. He had never kissed someone with facial hair before, let alone a Dwarf. He finally looked up again and let his hands fall from the beard, Gimli opened his eyes to look at him, having half closed them as he enjoyed the Elf's petting.

"I want you to do something."

"Oh?" Gimli asked, cocking an eyebrow.

"I am a prince and therefore can command those I chose to do my bidding," Legolas said, a wicked smile now on his fair face as he grabbed Gimli by his thick belt and drew him closer, wrapping his long legs around the Dwarf's hips. One pale foot rubbing against the back of a muscular thigh through the material of the Dwarf's trousers.

"And what is your command, your majesty?" Gimli asked, a note of amusement now in his voice.

"Kiss me," The Elf breathed, his voice thick with want. He watched through lowered lids as a smile graced the Dwarf's lips at his command.

"Easy enough," Gimli said, and with that he bent down and gave Legolas a quick peck on the cheek before moving back.

The Elf looked back at him in surprise, mouth slightly agape, his eyes wide in disbelief. "Call that a kiss?" His soft voice demanded, holding a clear note of disbelief. Sounding perfectly the role of miffed royalty, used to having their commands followed.

"It was what you commanded, my Prince," Gimli said a teasing note in his deep voice, a roughish grin on his handsome face. Legolas now saw his game and decided to play along.

"Am I not sweet, do my looks not please you?" Legolas asked, a note of almost challenge in his silvery voice, his green eyes aglow with desire, one pale foot rubbing along the back of Gimli thigh.

Gimli let himself simply drink in the vision before him for a moment. The Wood-elf's smooth delicately featured face was flushed with passion, his emerald-green eyes flashing in the firelight. His kissable lips glistened like some succulent pink fruit that promised sweet addiction at first taste, his slim graceful form and pale flesh bared and free for the taking. Gimli closed his eyes briefly to take in the scent of the lithe creature before him, the light perfume of springtime blossoms, sunlight and the rich smell of deep forests filled his senses.

"Sweeter then bee pollen on a warm summer wind... " he murmured, opening his eyes once more.

"Then I beseech you again... Kiss me!" the Elven Prince breathed, moving closer face tilted up till there lips were almost touching. He could tasted the Dwarf's hot breath on his mouth, the copper-hairs of his mustache tickling his face, his fingers tightened on the belt as a small moan of want escaped his throat.

It was the moan that proved to be Gimli's final undoing and this time he did kiss him, the game forgotten. For in the next moment Legolas found his lips claimed by a hot hungry mouth as he felt two large calloused hands gently cup his face, his own pale arms coming to wrap around the Dwarf's thick neck.

The searing kiss was fuelled with the flames of arousal, passion, and utter need for the other. Their tongues dueled for dominance before it began to slow to a easy pace of exploring, tasting and memorizing.

Legolas found his senses utterly filled with Gimli, his scent, the intoxicating smell of smoldering fires, metal and cinnamon, the feel of hot skin against him, his taste. As they continued to kiss he quickly found out that Gimli's silver tongue was capable of more then charm and honeyed words, feeling light-headed and dizzy with lust.

He felt Gimli's big hands leave his face and move down over his body, over his ribs to then grip his waist. Not breaking the kiss he felt Gimli partially kneel down for a moment, the grip on his waist tightening before he felt himself lifted up. His long legs instinctively tightening around Gimli's hips as the Dwarf easily lifted him up and climbed onto the bed until he knelt in the middle of it, Legolas in his lap. Gimli now once again having to be the one turn his face up so as not to break their kiss.

They continued this way until they finally broke apart again, it was then that Legolas suddenly pushed Gimli back onto the bed before coming to straddle him as he looked playfully down at the Dwarf, his soft black hair falling around his pale face.

"I have never taken a Dwarf as a lover and wish to do some exploring," Legolas said, lust and genuine curiosity shinning in his emerald eyes.

"Then by all means," Gimli said, spreading his hands in invitation as he relaxed. With that Legolas picked up the Dwarf's long copper braid from the bed, marveling at the heavy thickness of it in his hands before he carefully untied the thong of leather and unwound the intricate weave. When he was done he ran his hands through the now loose mane, which was even longer out of its braid. The hair was as thick as horse hair, but instead of being course it was soft and silky.

Gimli quietly watched, his face inscrutable as Legolas then reached down and ran his hands once again through his beard before moving it to the side as clever fingers began to undo the laces on the front of Gimli's red tunic.

After the laceing was undone, Legolas steeled himself for the sight of the no doubt forest of thick hair under the red fabric. Yet deciding that no matter what, terrible dense fur or not, he would still desire Gimli before finally taking a deep breath and pulling back the material of the tunic and barring part of Gimli's chest to view. What he saw made him pause wide-eyed.

Gimli regarded the silent obsidian-haired Prince with a thick copper eyebrow raised. "Is something the matter?"

"It is just... I had thought... I expected a thick pelt, yet I see none," Legolas tried to explain, except for some copper hairs on his chest, Gimli seemed surprisingly hair free. And in turn another ignorant story Legolas had simply believed had again been shattered.

"Disappointed?" Gimli asked as he cocked his head a bit, a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

"No, no! I was just under the impression of your kind being rather..." he trailed off, not finding the words he wanted.

"Horribly hairy?"

"Not the exact words I would use," Legolas said, a note of scolding in his silvery voice as he bent down and gave Gimli a playful nip on the exposed flesh of his chest. "But yes," he admitted, now tugging the tunic up and over Gimli's head and arms with his help. He then let out a delighted gasp after he had thrown the red tunic over his shoulder and saw what lay beneath.

"Now I find not hair, but warm skin painted with wondrous art!" he said, while tracing the intricate patterns and runes over Gimli's chest, left shoulder and arm in utter fascination.

"Do your people, not do such body adornment?" Gimli asked, pleased at Legolas' seeming delight in his tattoos. The art of tattoos and piercing was nothing new to Dwarves and was quite common. While tattoos were not unknown to Men, they where not all that common either, but he knew nothing of Elven custom of such body adornment.

"No, we do not. Some times we paint ourselves with special dyes... but nothing permanent."

It was then that Legolas noticed what else covered Gimli's body, the smooth tanned skin was interrupted by many pale scars, both large and small. Some of the wounds must have been truly horrific by the look of some of the larger ones.

"So many scars," he murmured in a more somber tone as he traced the numerous lines of scar tissue.

Legolas had seen and had gotten his own fair share of cuts and injuries in the past, some pretty nasty, but his pale skin was still flawless and unmarred. Elves did not scar and even though he knew that mortals did, it still seemed terrible alien. He could not imagine what it would be like to carry a mark of every wound that you had ever received, acting as a constant reminder of the incident that had caused it. By the sheer numbers and the sizes of the ones before him, Mirkwood was apparently not the only difficult and dangerous place in Middle-earth to grow up.

"Do they disturb you?" Gimli watched the Elf's reaction with some trepidation. He was not ashamed of his scars, they were a badge of honor by Dwarven standards, but he knew of the Elven ability not to scar and quickly heal. Would Legolas be disgusted at the sight of his many scars, would he think him disfigured in some way? But his fears proved to be unfounded.

As Legolas lowered his head and traced a particularly large scar that ran from Gimli's right shoulder to just above his right nipple, with a pink tongue.

"Will you tell me about them?" He asked, when he sat up again.

"One day... but not now," Gimli answered, reaching up and delicately tracing the El's pale cheek the back of two broad fingers.

Legolas turned his face into the touch then swooped down for another heated kiss before he forced himself away again to continue on his exploration. Trying not to shiver under the burning gaze of those intense dark eyes that watched him and his every movement.

He caressed his hands over the broad rock-hard muscle of Gimli thick chest as he took in the Dwarf's form. Legolas could see that the Dwarf's flat muscular torso was shorter then that of a Man's or Elf's, more compact, allowing for his thickly corded arms and legs to have more length. Gimli looked as if he could carry a mountain on his back if he chose to.

He ran his hands over Gimli corded arms, marveling at the heavy muscles that were as thick around as Legolas' own thigh. His forearms were tight with tendons, the skin heavily scarred and seeming tougher and more capable of taking abuse, the wrists themselves were thick, feeling more reinforce. Gimli's hands were a marvel all their own, larger then Legolas' own long slender ones, it was almost frightening to know how much strength was in those hands. Hands that he had once seen delicately snatch a fire-bug from the air and hold it so young Pippin could have a better look at it before letting the fragile insect fly off unharmed. He had also seen those same hands crush thick orc bones and bend metal with frightening ease. Thick, calloused and scarred, yet they could move and do things with a fluidity and sensuality to rival any Elvin musician.

Legolas returned his hands to Gimli's broad chest and then lightly scratched a path down over the chiseled muscular abdomen. Watching the muscles bunched and tensed beneath that hot skin under his touch, following the trail of copper hair until reaching the barrier of a thick leather belt and the top of Gimli's trousers.

Gimli's body was a contradiction, strong yet surprisingly agile, thick yet smooth. Yet it made perfect sense in the end. Was it not said that Aule was most proud and considered his two greatest achievements the creation of the great lamps and the creation of the Dwarves? Why would the greatest smith of the Valar make his children ugly? It was clear now that he did not make his children ugly. And while it might not be true for every single Dwarf, Gimli's body was a true blend of strength, function and beauty.

"Does my body displease you, Master Elf?" Gimli asked, finally shaking Legolas from his internal musings.

"Nay. Far from it, my handsome Dwarf. Though I do think you a bit overdressed at the moment," he said, tugging playfully on the thick leather belt around Gimli hips.

With that Legolas moved back as Gimli sat up and pulled off his thick boots and tossing them one after the other, off the bed, then deftly undoing the buckle of the belt and finally pulling his trouser down over his hips before they too joined the rest of their clothes on the floor.

Legolas could now see that there was another small tattoo of a sickle moon inclosing a flame on Gimli's left hip, but that was not what drew his immediately attention.

"I see what your kind lack in height, you makeup for in other areas," he said appreciatively with a big blink, looking at the thick shaft of flesh that now rested proudly against the Dwarf's lower abdomen.

Gimli gave a low chuckle to that as he leaned back on his elbows. "And I'm considered average by my peoples' standard," he said with a smug smirk on his face.

But Legolas soon wiped that smug look off Gimli's face when he leaned forward and wrapped a cool hand around that hot shaft before moving lower to fondle the heavy set of testicles he found, watching with a smirk now on his own pale face as Gimli closed his eyes and his head lagged back as he let a deep groan of pleasure. It was soon followed by a disappointed growl when Legolas let go.

"Now then, I have had my chance to explore. Now it is only fair that you have yours," the Elf said, sitting back, watching as Gimli sat up but with a truly predatory look in his dark eyes.

But before Legolas could do or say more he was suddenly seized and dragged onto the Dwarf's lap and quickly wrapped in a hot embrace as steel-like arms curled around his waist as big hands moved over his smooth thighs and along his ribs and back. There was such strength in those hands, such pressure, that it felt to Legolas as if Gimli could simply plunge his fingers into his very being.

Legolas arched into the touch with a soft gasp, his supple body beginning to heat up as a fire within was stoked into a raging blaze, his stiff arousal now rubbing against Gimli's own and his ridged stomach. He let go of Gimli's shoulders and began to caress his long fingered hands up and down the Dwarf's thick arms and shoulders, reaching around to stroke the broad muscular back, running his nails over the thick warm skin.

Gimli heard himself let out a deep rumbling purr of pleasure at the Elf's touch. Legolas in turn loving the vibration against his body as Gimli nibbled the underside of the Elf's jaw and neck, his beard a teasing tickle along Legolas' heated skin, causing him to sigh and make small humming noises. The Dwarf wrapped his arms fiercely around the Elf's waist, crushing the lithe body to him more as he explored the Elf's pale throat, until finding a specific point and bit down on the sensitive juncture of Legolas' elegant neck. It was not hard enough to break the skin, but he heard the sharp intake of breath followed by a keening wail as the Elf jumped and writhed on his lap. Feeling the pleasurable sting as Legolas dug his nails into the skin of Gimli's back and scratch a line from the middle of his back to his right shoulder blade. Legolas's body seeming to tighten like the string of a bow before almost seeming to melt in his arms as he releases the bruised flesh and gave it a soothing and apologetic lick of his tongue.

In truth Gimli wasn't sure how Legolas would react, nips and bites being a common thing in Dwarven lovemaking, so he was sure to be very gentle with Legolas.

Still kneeling, Gimli let Legolas arch limply back until the Elf's head and shoulders rested on the bed as he let his mouth wander over the rest of the Elf's body, licking the delicate hollow at the base of Legolas' throat and the artful sweep of his collarbone.

A thrilling shiver ran through Legolas at the feel of Gimli's beard and teeth. The feeling of large sharp canines scraping gently over his sensitive flesh, those teeth lightly nipping him every now and then as that hot mouth explored his skin. He gave a keening cry, arching his back as that hot mouth found its way to a pert rosy nipple, the feeling of calloused fingers tease and pinching the other. Yet all too soon for his liking the mouth and hands moved on, leaving the nubs of flesh pebbled and swollen.

Gimli continued to kiss, caress and lick his way down over the Elf's supple body, following the line of his flat stomach, pausing to dip his tongue into the navel there. Hearing the gasp and watching as the muscles of that pale stomach jerk and tighten in response to the touch before moving lower to the sharp jut of a hip bone. Hearing the disappointed whimper when he avoided the Elf's still untouched and throbbing arousal, ignoring the tug of the pale hand now tangled in his hair as he licked and nibbled lower still to the Elf's creamy thighs. Getting into a kneeling position beside the prone Elf, Gimli then picked up one slender leg as he sat back on his heels, bring that long limb to his mouth once more as if to feast on the Elf's flesh.

Legolas had been biting his lip when he gave a surprised yelp as he felt those big hands, one behind his knee and the other under his other hip, grip him and suddenly lift his entire lower body completely off the bed as if he weighed nothing. His long flexible body now laying partially twisted, his head and shoulders still on the bed, his hair sprawled across the furs as he fisted the sheets with a groan, his other leg hanging limp as his other one was held in a strong grip.

Gimli marveled once again at the complete lack of hair on Legolas' body as he licked his way down the leg. Feeling the solid lean muscles beneath that cool skin as he listened in delight to the pants and moans in the tent. Pausing to kiss and lightly nip the sensitive skin behind the Elf's knee, hearing the sharp intake of breath and feeling the jolt in the body in his hands.

Legolas watched through half-lidded eyes as Gimli moved on to his calf, his flushed face partly pressed into the furs as his whole body strummed with arousal as he felt the hot heat of that mouth sweep across his lower leg.

He was however quite startled and unprepared when the look on Gimli's face suddenly turned from heat and desire-- to utter revulsion, his nose wrinkling and his eyes wincing as he jerked his head back and immediately dropped Legolas' leg. His green-eyes immediately snapped wide as his lower body hit the bed with a bounce while Gimli turned his head and loudly spat. Then hurriedly began wiping his tongue on one of his thick forearm before quickly looking for something else to scrub his tongue with before finally settling with the bed sheets.

Legolas quickly sat up confusion next to him, his heart pounding in his chest, thinking that Gimli had suddenly changed his mind and was revolted by what had taken place. Was he revolted by him? His mind was awhirl with these thoughts as he watched Gimil, now done with the bed sheet, look around for something on the floor before apparently spotting it. The Elf watched with wide worried eyes as the Dwarf promptly climbed over him and leaped up off the bed before dashing over and snatched the wineskin from where it lay forgotten on the rug in front of the fire.

Ripping the cork out the Dwarf chugged a long swallow, before taking a mouthful of wine and swished it around his mouth before spitting it into the fire, causing the flames to momentarily flare.

"Ugh! By Durin's balls! What is that foul substance on your leg!?" Gimli demanded loudly, turning around to look at the Elf still on the bed. Who had now drawn his long legs up under him, unconsciously having pulled the rumbled sheet over himself, looking upset and almost waif-like.

As Gimli's words sunk in, Legolas nearly collapsed in relief, the worry and hurt draining out of him in a rush. He had completely forgotten that he had sustained a large scrap on his leg during a fierce skirmish with some Uruk-hai as he followed Aragorn up some stairs during the previous Battle at Helm's Deep.

"Forgive me, I had forgotten that Aragorn insisted on applying one of his putrid smelling ointments on a small scrape I had sustained," he apologized with a laugh, running a hand through his black tresses as he took the bed sheet and wiped the oily remains of the ointment that Gimli had unfortunately mostly licked off. He then looked up, an amused smile now on his fair face. "I take it that the ointment tastes as bad as it smells?"

"Bad, tis an understatement!" Gimli snorted, wrinkling his nose again as he stood there nude by the fire. One large hand on his hip as he looked back at the Elf still on the bed, the Dwarf's form painted in the glow of the fire, looking like some powerful primal creature made of fire and smooth stone. The gold rings decorating his ears glittered in the light, his thick mane of hair was lose and mused from their previous activities.

"Well that be the last time I do that-- unless you take a bath first!" Gimli snorted, before raising the wineskin and finishing off the last swallow, not wanting to waste it. Legolas watched as he then walked back to the bed, uncaringly tossing the empty skin over his broad shoulder as he strolled over and climbed back onto the bed again. Coming to knell in front of the sitting Elf, who had let the bed sheet fall.

"Now then! Where were we?" Gimli asked, his broad hands on his own thighs as he gazed expectantly at the Elf, head cocked. But before Legolas could say anything, Gimli interrupted.

"That's right!" he said cheerfully and the next thing Legolas knew he was flat on his back with the Dwarf's solid weight on top of him. Legolas could taste the wine in his mouth as they kissed, their tongues battling once more. For many long moments the only thing heard through the tent was the occasional hum and rustle of the sheets and the muffled sounds of their kissing. Until Gimli finally pulled away, raising himself up on his arms and looked down at the Wood-elf, eyes ablaze with arousal, his breathing heavy.

"Have you ever laid with another male?" Gimli asked, his dark eyes roaming over the feast of pale flesh beneath him. His thick copper-hair hanging around his face, partially covering Legolas view of him.

"Yes, but only with other Elves," Legolas managed to pant.

"Then I think it best that I lead in this dance. For I have experience with not only my own kind but that of humans, both female and male," Gimli said, watching as a frown began to crinkle the skin between the Elf's dark eyebrows as he thought about what Gimli had just said.

Seeing this Gimli quickly swooped down and gave him another searing kiss before Legolas could voice whatever it was that he was going to say, and soon it was forgotten as the Elf let out a deep moan under Gimli's skilled ministrations, letting the Dwarf take the lead. They continued to kiss before Gimli eventually moved down to kiss along the side of Legolas's slender pale throat, moving over the sweep of his collarbone and down his chest. Stopping to suckle and pinch his hard nipples, making the archer toss his head about on the bed before following the taunt line of the pale abdomen.

As Gimli moved down his thick copper-hair covered the Elf like a heavy curtain, which Legolas rubbed his face against as he ran his fingers through it. He gave a cry as he felt a callused hand suddenly grip his rock-hard erection, feeling it began to firmly stroke him. The feeling of the thick heavy cloak of hair around him and that wonderful feeling of that hand, nearly overwhelming him.

Gimli was delighted to have so sensitive and responsive a lover, feeling the long body buck and pant under him as he continued to pump the ridged shaft in his hand, hearing the near shriek that was suddenly muffled as he ran his thump over the sensitive and leaking tip. Gimli turned his head and flipped his long hair back to uncover his lithe lover for a hungry unobstructed view. He saw that one of Legolas' hands fisted the furs beneath them as he bit his other hand, muffling his cries of pleasure.

Gimli couldn't resist and moved up to pull that hand firmly away, Legolas gave a loud whimper before the Dwarf silenced him with a hungry open-mouth kiss. Gimli let go of his erection as they continued to kiss and caress one another, now grinding both of their painfully hard erections against the other, hands roaming over hot skin.

They finally broke apart for air, both panting heavily as the gazed at one another. Then using his free hand, Gimli gently took hold of one of Legolas' pale ones, that had been moving along his chest and raised it to his mouth and put two of the long pale digits into his hot mouth. Swirling them around with his tongue, his burning eyes never leaving Legolas' as he raised himself up and over the Elf's body, so as not to crush him. He then pulled the hand away, moving the hand down across Legolas' pale stomach to his weeping arousal. The Elf gave a moan as his two fingers were coated with his own precome, before Gimli moved the hand further down between Legolas' slender legs. Still using Legolas' own fingers he probed at the Elf's entrance with the fingers, before gently pushing one of them in, the message of what he wanted Legolas to do was clear.

Legolas lifted one of his long legs up and back so he could have easier access to himself, feeling Gimli run a hot callused hand up the sensitive underside of that leg. It felt so strange to Legolas to be feeling and stretch himself so intimately with his own fingers, yet it was wonderfully thrilling as well as he kept his luminous eyes locked with Gimli's burning ones. After Legolas had worked two of his long fingers comfortably into himself he felt Gimli pull his hand away before gently inserting one of his own fingers.

Legolas raised his hips off the bed slightly at the feel of that large thick finger while Gimli prepared him. He now understood and was grateful that his lover had made him use his own fingers first. Gimli continued to stretch him a finger at a time, stroking his other hand along the Elf's pale side as he licked and nipped at Legolas' throat, taking his time until he had eventually worked three thick fingers into him, messaging and scissoring his fingers until he felt the Elf was ready. He then leaned down over Legolas and took his mouth in a deep passionate kiss as he positioned himself between his long legs before he moved back and began to slid into the Elf's tight channel with care. Legolas turned his head into the furs and gave a hiss as he was breached, one of his pale hands fisting the bed sheets, the other in Gimli's copper-hair. He had never had anything so big before, it felt as if he would split apart. Gimli paused for a moment to let Legolas adjust to him before slowly working the rest of himself in until he stopped again, fully seated. He ran a soothing hand up and down the Elf's taunt side, laying a few consoling kisses on the Elf's chest as he patiently waited for Legolas to adjust to the sensation of his thick girth.

Legolas had his eyes tightly closed, his head thrown back as he shuddered under the press of him, the painful feeling of being so utterly filled, never before had he felt so stretched. But slowly he adjust and he felt Gimli begin a gentle rock of his hips

The pain began to dissipate as small waves of pleasure began at the steady rocking until the pain was gone, leaving only the now crashing waves of pleasure. He sighed in contentment as he pushed his hips forward and felt Gimli's cock sink further inside him, his trapped arousal rubbing against Gimli's taunt stomach.

Taking this and the moaning as a good sign, Gimli began to move with longer steady strokes, hearing a loud cry of pleasure it brought. As they built a rhythm he relished in the heat and silken tightness surrounding him, the scrape of fingernails across his back and the moans and pants from the writhing body beneath him.

They began to move in tandem, the air soon filled with moans, grunts and the heavy slap of skin. Their combined shadow danced and fluttered with the other shadows on the canvas wall of the tent in the low glow of the firelight.

Legolas' pale flesh seem to glow brighter as they climbed higher in their pleasure. It felt to Legolas as if their bodies were merging, twining into each other, earth and sky, fire and water. He threw his head back in abandon, eyes shut, mouth agape. His back then arched off the bed, his body becoming as taught as a bow as his fingers and toes convulsively curling as he came with deafening shriek of completion. Gimli paused as Legolas quaked in the throws of his orgasm, his breathing heavy as he watched in wonder as the Elf's sweaty skin brightly glowed, seeming to actually give off a light of its own before it began to fade back to it's usual glow.

Legolas finally opened his eyes and looked up into the dark heated gaze of his lover as he lay panting on the bed, his soft dark hair spread out on the sheets like a dark halo. His eyes fluttered close again with a deep moan as Gimli bent down and gave him a searing kiss.

The kiss ended and he let out a whimper as he felt Gimli began to move again. He shuddered as he clutched at the dense muscled body above him, long legs and arms wound tightly around his lover as he buried his face in Gimli's neck and beard as the Dwarf moved to his own completion. Legolas continued to moan and whimper as the movements became quicker and harder, each thrust now seeming to drive the very breath from his lungs. It was long moments before the body in his arms finally tensed and he felt his own back lose contact with the bed as Gimli lift himself up on his strong arms, head thrown back, eyes closed as a deep rumbling groan of pleasure vibrated through his chest as he achieve a mind-blowing orgasm, grinding his hips into the Elf's.

Legolas gave a loud keening wail of his own as he was suddenly taken by an unexpected second orgasm, his nails digging into the Dwarf's back, leaving red half moons on his tan skin. As blinding bright colors seem to flash behind his eyelids.

When Legolas finally came back to himself he felt utterly drained, never in his long years had ever experienced two such intense orgasms and it was not long before he fell asleep. The wonderful feeling of now being held against Gimli's strong body, the feeling of a large calloused hand stroking along his back, his head pillowed on a broad chest, the silky feeling of Gimli's beard against his cheek as he finally surrendered to sleep.



Some time later Legolas found himself sprawled on the rumpled bed, his movements languid in the afterglow of their lovemaking, his body feeling sore but in a satisfying way. Now that his arousal had been satisfied his mind was a jumble of thoughts and feelings again, how had things changed so much in this one night?

He turned on his side and once again studied his lover, who at the moment now sat on the edge of the bed, combing his thick hair. His body softly illuminated by the red glow of the embers in the fire.

Legolas intently watched that strong broad back, the heavy muscles that bunched and moved under the tanned skin as the Dwarf ran a bone and silver inlayed comb through the deep copper fall of straight hair. He noticed with a tingle of heat the marks his nails had left and he felt a spark of primal territorial pride knowing that Gimli carried his mark. Showing any, if any saw, that the Dwarf was his. He could also see that there were many pale scars here too as his green eyes followed a line of intricate stylized star tattoos that ran along Gimli's spine. The largest one starting at the base of his thick neck and down, gradually decreasing in size down his broad back leading to the tattoo of a sickle moon on the Dwarf's lower back, the sharp points of it facing up. Though Legolas did not yet know their meaning, he did notice that there was a continuing theme of stars, fire, and moons to Gimli's tattoos and he was fascinated to know why. What was the reason for them, did they have significant meaning to something?

Gimli finally finished combing his hair and flipped it back over his shoulder, the thick fall of copper once again obstructing Legolas' view of his back. It was so long that the ends touch the bed as Gimli leaned back a little as if contemplating the darkness of the tent. Sensing the prickle of eyes upon him Gimli looked over his shoulder and noticed that his lover was awake.

Seeing this he got up to put his comb back in his travel pack, disappearing into the shadows before appearing again and padding back to the bed, the soft red light of the dieing embers making him look like some primal and seductive spirit called forth from the darkness by the cry of a yearning heart, like in some fantastical fairytale. Without a word he came to lie down next to the pale Elf, on the warm furs. There they lay on their sides, facing one another, their warm breaths mingling, so close...yet not touching. A silent uncertainty now laying between them. They stayed like that, neither moving, both afraid to break the moment and face the uncertainties this night had set into motion, until the Elf reached out a graceful hand to touch the other.

'When had it all changed?' Legolas idly thought to himself as he slowly ran his pale fingers over Gimli's handsome tan face. Tracing over the warm smooth skin of his temple and cheek before delicately caressing a thumb over Gimli's plump bottom lip as Gimli lay still, quietly watching him with those dark almond eyes. Those mysterious brown eyes that told all, yet gave away nothing.

'Maybe there wasn't one moment... A long look, listening to his voice, watching the way he moved in battle, our quiet walks in Lorien maybe. Or the realization that a part of me feels missing when he is not at my side.' Legolas mussed, now moving his hand lower and sinking his long fingers into the thick copper of the Dwarf's silky beard, feeling the strong jaw beneath.

'Perhaps it was the battle through the long night... Running behind Aragorn as we fought our way on the wall. My arrows all but spent as I followed, but all the while 'he' was nowhere insight.

The fear that I had lost him, more terrifying then any Orc sword or blast of Orthanc fire.'

The pale hand continued to move lower, over the Dwarf's heavy collarbone, across the wide plain of that hard pectoral to finally come to rest over the heavy beat of the strong heart within.

Long moments passed as they continued to silently study one another, simply enjoying the close presence of the other, lost in their own thoughts. Legolas watched as Gimli's eyes after a time took on a quality that he had seen several times during their long quest. Sometimes the Dwarf's eyes would change, the light shift and his eyes would gain such an old look about them, as if they had seen far to much already for his age.

"I hate it when your eyes look like that," He said, his soft lilting voice no more then a whisper, watching those same eyes now turn thoughtful.

"Like what?" Gimli asked with a blink.

"Like now, your eyes... sometimes they seem so old... sad," He tried to explain, shifting uneasily as his hand dropped to the bed between them, not finding the right words to voice his thoughts. "I am many times older then you, yet when you look at me like that... I feel as if I was the child. How is this possible?" The Elf asked, a small confused frown now marring his face.

It was now Gimli's turn to reach out and run his large calloused fingers through the soft silk of Legolas' obsidian hair before gently tucking some cool strands behind a delicate leaf-shaped ear, then moving to caress the Elf's smooth pale cheek with the back of his thick knuckles.

"I am no child, Legolas. No matter how much older you maybe. I was a Dwarf of 'many journeys' long before our fellowship, " he said finally, and for a moment Legolas saw a deep sorrow come into those dark eyes before disappearing as soon as it had come as Gimli's smooth baritone continued. "But you are not a child either... if nothing else, this quest has proven us both warriors and not children."

Gimli then rolled onto his back and turned his rich brown gaze to the shadowed ceiling of the tent, his dark eyes troubled. Silence descended between them again as they lay there silently on the bed, the dieing embers burned low, giving only the occasional pop while bathing the interior of the tent in a soft red glow. Legolas' sharp Elven ears could no longer pick up the sound of the celebration outside, most likely having died down while they made love.

Love? Is this love?
He suddenly asked himself as he looked at the Dwarf's profile, silently thinking about Gimli's words and the turbulent feelings in his own mind. His stomach was a flutter, unsure, he felt dizzy, but his heart beat an empathic "yes". It was exciting...and frightening. For this would surly not be an easy road for either of them and he did not want to think about the many consequences their union might bring. But then again... were not the greatest treasures worth fighting for?


The Elf blinked his emerald eyes and focused his attention back to his lover, watching Gimli turned his head and faced him again.

"Where is this going? Gimli asked softly, hardly more then a whisper, finally finding the courage to voice the uncertainty that had curled around his own heart. The meaning of those words hanging heavily in the air around them and it was then that Legolas knew that Gimli's thoughts were also as his own.

"I don't know," he answered truthfully. "Yet all I know is that I want to be by your side... where ever this journey may lead us." Legolas whispered as he gazed back into those burning brown pools.

Without a word Gimli reached out and gathered the Elf close, Legolas resting his head once again against Gimli's broad chest, while the Dwarf wrapped a warm arm around his waist and covered them both with the thick furs. For two such different beings they fit together perfectly.

There the two warriors lay, content, and warm for the rest of the night until the dawn arose and they where called once again to duty at Aragorn's side. But for now they lay, quiet and content.




Yes, I un ashamedly ripped-off some lines from the movie "Legend", but I thought they fit perfectly here ~_^. Hope you enjoyed it!


(1.) The "Flawed Ones" is just an idea of what the Dwarves might have called the 'Petty-Dwarves'. Which are noted to have been hated and driven out by regular Dwarves because they where consider rebellious and lazy as well as small, ugly, and deformed. Later most of the Petty-dwarves that inhabited the forest land of the River Narog and delved the halls of Amon Rudh and Nulukkizdin where destroyed by the Sindarin Elves that came into that land, not knowing what manner of being these people were, they hunted them for sport. Until they learned that they were but a diminished Dwarvish people who had become estranged from regular Dwarves.

(2.) Periannath is another term for Hobbits.

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