Axe & Bow Archive Entry


Wine and Chocolate

by Almas Muse

Gimli heard the bedroom door open and eagerly went to greet his friend, happy to see his love after a long day apart. Legolas looked tired, worn after enduring meeting after meeting with advisors and delegates and not for the first time did he wonder what possessed him to take on the role of Ithilien's leader. He looked apologetically at the dwarf, knowing he'd been waiting for him.

"Forgive me, my love. The last meeting took longer than expected."

Gimli waved off the apology and proceeded to help the elf out of his cloak. With dwarfish care, he folded the fabric with neat creases while Legolas flopped unceremoniously in a large chair in a dramatic show of exhaustion. Gimli had to hide his smile at the elf's graceless state. In that moment, Legolas reminded him of a pouting child.

The wearied elf looked at him with pitiful eyes and sighed. "Remind me, love," he began in a tired voice. "Why did I choose to be leader of this colony?"

Gimli smiled as he turned to put the cloak away. This was a typical game between the two. "Something about wanting to bring the peoples of Middle Earth together."

He heard an unelvish snort from across the room.

"You wished to restore the beauty of this forest," he added.

He turned to see Legolas roll his eyes, unimpressed.

"And you wanted to be close to me."

Here Legolas turned an expressionless gaze in his direction as though he were calculating the costs and benefits of the last reason offered. Gimli had to smile openly at the elf's sarcasm.

"Well, then I hope you appreciate the sacrifice I make to keep us close," Legolas said sinking lower into his chair. "I had no idea people could do a lot of talking about nothing. I think we have finally resolved an issue but then someone brings up an obscure point about something or other, and we're discussing the exact same issue in a different way. How does my father do it?"

"You and your father are completely different elves," Gimli replied, sitting across from the elf. "For one, he has more experience dealing with formal negotiations than you. No point comparing yourself to him." He proceeded to untie the laces and remove Legolas' leather boots; the elf complying listlessly as he let each foot drop heavily to the floor. Out of habit, Gimli inspected the fine boots, wondering when was the last time the elf treated them with a protective coating. He planned on doing it himself first thing in the morning. "Well then how do you do it?" the elf asked, sounding exasperated. "You lead Algarond so well and you are as inexperienced as I."

"You are a fine leader, my friend," Gimli said reassuringly, realizing that Legolas' day must have been particularly bad for him to remain so pessimistic. "You just have to learn not to bring your work home. Dwelling on matters causes self-doubt. You must learn to leave it."

Legolas sighed and looked away. "Easier said than done."

Gimli set the boots aside, looking at his elf with concern. Of late he had been worried that Legolas was taking on too much in the elves' effort to restore Ithilien's forest. He wasn't quite sure why for the elves had shown nothing but confidence in the prince's ability to lead. However Legolas' behavior showed an anxious mind, fretting over details and second guessing himself. The elf needed a distraction and Gimli had just the thing. "I'll help you. I have a gift."

Despite his insistence on being grumpy, Legolas' interest piqued at the mention of a gift. His dwarf was always coming up with imaginative ways to please him. The last gift was a colorful variety of roses displayed decoratively on his bed; a single red rose resting in the center. That was nice. He wondered what Gimli had in store for him this time. "Really," he said with an arch of an eyebrow. He gave nothing away in his posture, which remained limp in the chair.

Gimli, however, was not fooled and knew he had the elf's full attention. "Yes," he said, rising to go to his pack on the other side of the room. "My traders returned from their travels not too long ago and brought with them some interesting things that I think you will find pleasing." He produced an unusual bottle and a rectangular box tied with a beautiful yet elaborate ribbon. "Now this is a bottle of the country's finest red wine but I think you want to save that..."

"I think I'll have the wine now," Legolas said quickly, sitting up with keen interest.

Gimli looked at him with disapproval, realizing belatedly that he should have presented the wine last. It would be difficult keeping the elf's attention now but finally he shrugged in resignation and went about pouring the elf a glass. Legolas sniffed the contents with a trained nose before taking a cautious sip. His eyes fluttered shut in bliss.

"So how is it?"

"Oh, Gimli, it is beyond words. Please, you must try some."

Gimli did not particular enjoy the taste of wine as his lover did. He preferred ale and certain types of liquors. But the elf insisted and Gimli knew he had no chance in presenting his second gift as long as this whim was not met, so he indulged the elf by taking a glass.

Not bad, he thought as he drained the glass.

They sat in companionable silence enjoying the new wine. Legolas extended his empty glass towards him and Gimli happily obliged him by refilling it. It was not long before the elf looked visibly relaxed.

"What lands did this wine come from?" Legolas asked, eyeing the liquid in the light. "It is most exquisite."

"In the southern lands," Gimli replied. "Trade routes are finally starting to open up after being terrorized by orcs for so long. I think you will have no problem maintaining your supplies of this wine if it is indeed to your liking."

Legolas nodded and took another appreciative sip. The robust taste of oak and black cherries lingered on his tongue and blended perfectly. He would certainly have to keep this wine well supplied in his stocks and perhaps send a bottle or two to his father, that is if he felt like sharing. "Oh, Gimli. You are too kind to me. I almost forget I had such a tiring day."

"There is more, my friend. I saved the best for last."

Legolas leaned forward, smiling as he watched Gimli carefully untie the elaborate bow of green and silver ribbons from around the box. "Such beautiful work!" he said, admiring the rich colors of the complicated bow craft. "A pity you have to destroy it to reach the present inside."

Gimli snorted humorously and shook his head. Typical elf. "If it makes you feel better, here," and he tosses a handful of ribbons towards the elf. "They put plenty of ribbons on it. What sense does this make?" The dwarf continued to remove the complex patterns of ribbons, growing a little frustrated.

"Ah, my love, it is not sense, it is art!" Legolas said laughing. His deft fingers had proceeded to weave the ribbons into an intricate crown, which he plopped on top of his head when he was done. He turned his head from one side to another so Gimli could see the full effect and the dwarf laughed.

"Lovely!" he said teasingly, pleased to see his elf in a playful mood.

Finally, he managed to open the box and revealed to Legolas an assortment of succulent pieces of different shapes and shades of brown. The scent that reached the elf's nose was rich and sweet.

"What is this?" the elf asked smiling. "The scent alone fills my belly with pleasure."

"A rare delicacy," Gimli answered. "It is called chocolate."

"I think I would very much like to visit this mysterious country one day," Legolas said, eyeing each piece of chocolate hungrily. There had to have been at least two dozen morsels before him. "We can't let the dwarves have all the fun."

Gimli smiled. "Anything I have is yours. You know this."

The prince met his gaze briefly before looking away shyly. It amazed him at times how the dwarf's intensity could make him blush like an inexperienced youth but he was truly pleased by his attentions.

"Here. Try one."

The wood elf's hand rose hesitantly over the box, caught in uncertainty over which morsel to try first. They all looked so enticing but he finally chose one and raised it to his lips. He took one cautious bite and it was as if his mouth burst with pleasure.

He was completely caught off guard and the sudden sensations made him giddy in their assault. He paused momentarily but then began to chew slowly, drawing out the rich flavors to their end, relishing in the caress of the creamy texture on his tongue and the euphoria that engulfed him in a gentle cocoon of warmth. Food never affected him like this. He felt buoyed with something akin to sexual satiation. He sighed contently.

Gimli, for his part, didn't know what to make of Legolas' reaction. The elf's smiles and laughter had fled and became quite serious when he took a bite of the chocolate. The dwarf feared he didn't like it until he heard the long sigh of content. Legolas looked at him serenely.

"So what do you think?" the dwarf ventured cautiously.

The elf said nothing but nodded his head as he continued to savor the new tastes.

Gimli decided to be a little mischievous. "I feared you would not like it," Gimli said, making an effort to sound disappointed. "It is an acquired taste for certain."

Legolas looked at him as though he suddenly grew another head, his mouth full of chocolate and his eyes wide in disbelief. Gimli struggled not to laugh at the elf's expression and continued with his act. "Well, at least the wine was not a failure," he sighed. "I'll get rid of this." He rose from his seat as though he were going to dispose of the box along with the chocolate. Legolas grabbed his arm quickly.

"Don't you dare! Give it here!"

Gimli laughed, broke free and moved to the other side of the room, putting the chocolate out of Legolas' reach. The elf rose out of the chair quickly to pursue him.

"Ai, careful dwarf! Do not drop it."

"But I thought you didn't like it," Gimli teased.

Legolas couldn't help but smile but continued to play along with Gimli's game. "Now you tease. It is my present."

"Aye, so it is," Gimli said thoughtfully, "a present you have no love for."

Legolas' expression suddenly changed from feigned hurt to coy seduction. "Well then I suppose I must show you my appreciation for your gift."

The sultry cadence of his lover's voice was all too familiar to Gimli and he raised his eyebrows in interest as the lithe elf slowly walked towards him, accentuating every line and curve of his body. The dwarf found he had to swallow against the constriction in his throat as the woodland prince slowly knelt before him, running his long fingers into the folds of his clothing. His blue eyes deep and full of desire never left the dwarf's and conveyed promises of a night of unbridled passion. Before Gimli could react, Legolas seized his mouth in a deep, passionate kiss.

'The elf is too good at this,' he thought distantly as Legolas wrapped his long arms around him. The kiss was slow and tasted of chocolate. Gimli lost himself in the moment, game forgotten, as he returned the kiss with equal passion. He felt his lover's hands first frame his face then move to rest on his shoulders. A soft moan escaped the elf's lips as he changed the angle of the kiss and pressed closer to the dwarf's body. A cool hand slid off his shoulder to gently squeeze strong biceps and before Gimli realized what happened the kiss was broken...and the chocolate was gone.

The dwarf blinked at the suddenness, struggling to ground his senses in the present but soon recovered when he saw the look of triumph on the elf's face who had perched himself high on the back of his chair like a beautiful bird, the box of the chocolate delicacy in hand. It was strange to see the elf so unnaturally balanced but it did not distract the dwarf from realizing he'd been duped.

Legolas continued to smile at the dwarf as he took a piece of chocolate and popped it into his mouth. His eyes widened in surprise. "Gimli, this one has a cherry in it!" but became guarded again when he saw the look on his lover's face.

Gimli approached slowly, his intent to retaliate clear with every step. Legolas leaped down quickly and started backing away in anticipation of a chase. His face was bright with laughter.

"Gimli? Beloved? Don't do anything hasty..."

Gimli launched himself at the across the room and Legolas, too busy laughing at the spectacle they were making, did not get out of the way in time and both elf and dwarf tumbled to the floor with a loud thump. The chocolate, thanks to Legolas' quick reflexes, was for the most part saved from the sudden impact. Only a few pieces were scattered about the floor.

Nonetheless, the elf pouted over those pieces while wincing a little in pain. "My chocolate."

Gimli sat up away from Legolas, fearful that he may have hurt him. He hadn't actually expected to hit the elf. "I'm sorry. Are you alright?"

"Oh, yes," the prince said resignedly, looking at the lost pieces with a forlorn gaze. He then looked at Gimli with a hint of discomfort in his eyes. The dwarf noticed immediately.

"Then why are you grimacing in pain like that?"

"Because I was hit by a dwarf and landed on my arse, that's why."


"What? Gimli..." The elf sat up gingerly next to the dwarf. He thought he may have bruised something down there but didn't want to mention that to Gimli. His lover was clearly feeling enough guilt. Besides, a bruised arse was the least of Legolas' concerns. "Well, it looks like you have to go and get more chocolate for me!" he said brightly.

Gimli blinked in astonishment at the elf's sudden change in mood. "What? Now?"

"Well, not right this minute," the elf replied slowly, although he gave Gimli a sideways glance that suggested that wasn't a completely bad idea.

The subtlety did not go past the dwarf. He sighed and laid down flat on the floor. "You like that chocolate that much, huh?"

Legolas laid down next to him, taking the pressure off his backside. The two companions gazed up at the ceiling, not caring that they looked a little ridiculous lying in the middle of the floor with chocolate scattered about. "Well, Gimli, did you try the chocolate? I don't think you would be asking me that if you actually tried the chocolate..."

"Yes, yes, I did," Gimli said quickly before the elf started force feeding him the sweets. "I'm just not obsessed with it like you are."

The prince sniffed haughtily doing his best impression of offended royalty but it was marred by the fact that while they talked, he had acquired a piece of chocolate and was in the process of eating the bite size morsel.

Gimli laughed and soon the elf joined him realizing the absurdity of the whole situation. It was a carefree laugh, free of the stress and strain of duty. It filled Gimli's soul with happiness just to hear it. "I'm happy you find my gifts pleasing," he said with a chuckle.

Legolas turned and gazed at him with warm tenderness and mirth. "I find them most pleasing but nothing compares to you, my kind and thoughtful dwarf." He rolled over close so that he was draped over the prone dwarf, resting a gentle hand on his lover's chest. "My life would be a long, empty existence without you in it. You are my greatest gift."

Gimli smiled as he gazed up at startling blue eyes before pulling the elf close for a lingering kiss. The room became quiet except for the soft sounds of rustling clothes, moans and sighs of love. Nothing could spoil this moment, Gimli thought.

"Seriously though, you will get me some more chocolate, yes?"

"Yes, Legolas," sighed Gimli.

"And don't forget the wine."


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