15. Chapter Fifteen
In the wind one should hew wood,
in a breeze row out to sea,
in the dark talk with a lass:
many are the eyes of day.
In a ship voyages are to be made,
but a shield is for protection,
a sword for striking,
but a love for a kiss.
The gulls. Alas for the gulls. Alas for the sea, and for Legolas, son of Thranduil, longing for the sea.
His heart was heavy, even with the victory of battle. What joy could be had in that, when so many still awaited? What joy could be had in a fallen enemy when his blood stained the ground and a new took the fallen's place so quickly?
What joy was in Middle-earth when the sea called?
Minas Tirith glittered cold and white, as the moon soon would. Warriors were already sleeping; wary and tired they were from the battle. Gimli had vanished temporarily, getting news of the hobbits and other missed friends.
Legolas wished for him, to feel anything but this terrible longing in his heart. His father had spoken of the sea-longing, but never how strong its grip was. Even now, he looked to the West where the wind came from.
Did it come from the Sea, carrying whispers of the waves, calling for him?
The raven brought death, the seagull brought pain. Alas for the birds!
Alas for his heart, for it was torn between two desires and he did not know which was the strongest.
"Legolas?" Gimli said, appearing by his side. "We may enter the city in the morning and visit the hobbits. They…"
He got no further as the elf turned around and fell to his knees, bringing the dwarf's lips to his in a crushing kiss. The intensity of it nearly had Gimli falling backwards, and the dwarf seemed more than a little startled.
Parting his lips, he nevertheless allowed the elf access to the much desired warmth and Legolas clung to the short form next to him. His heart could not feel longing if it was aflame. His blood could not sing of the sea if it was delirious with fever.
"Legolas?" Gimli asked, breaking the kiss gently.
"Gimli, nîn meleth," the elf muttered, nestling his head on the dwarf's shoulder. Dark hair scratched his skin, but that too was a feeling other than longing. Hands came around him to stroke his back, melting away tension.
"We might be seen here," Gimli said softly.
Legolas lifted his head. "There are trees nearby, their leaves offering shelter."
"As long as we do not climb them," the dwarf replied, then saw Legolas's face. "Nay, Legolas."
"It is like flying in an embrace, my friend, high above the grass, caressed by skin and wind alike."
"And fall to your death," Gimli replied, looking grim. It was enough to bring a smile to the elf's lips. "I am a dwarf, not a bird."
"So you are," Legolas whispered, staring into the dwarf's deep, mirroring eyes. "And I am an elf, trapped with an elf's desires."
"The sea," Gimli muttered, bowing his head. "Alas, it would seem that I will lose you, and not you I."
"I will not leave you," Legolas whispered fiercely. Gimli said nothing, but doubt was in his eyes. "I will not. I bound myself to you, Gimli, son of Glóin, and to that I hold because I wish to."
But even to his own ears, the words sounded weak, quickly taken by the wind. So he let his lips do what his words could not – reassure them both of the fire that burned between them.
Gimli tasted deeply and freshly of something he could not identify still. Perhaps all dwarves tasted of it, he had no one to ask for comparison. Or perhaps this was the unique taste of only Gimli, reminiscent of the sharp, earthy air of autumn.
The moon rose. Short of breath, they found a desolated spot by the tress, sinking to the grass with the darkness a blanket over them. Legolas was impatient, tearing at the dwarf's clothes, desiring skin against skin, to *feel*.
The wind died down, becoming a soft breeze of spring, brushing at Legolas's skin. A ghostly touch it seemed, as the pale moon gave an eerie light this night.
Cloth fell to the ground, weapons were discarded, but even now within reach. There was no full rest to be had while war still lingered. But it was a kind of rest this, a moment of life so desperately needed amidst the winds of death that swept over all.
Legolas bit into Gimli's shoulder as his body buckled under the dwarf's skilful hands, stroking and caressing in patterns of exquisite torture. How could Gimli know so readily what he needed, and give it so unconditionally?
He closed his eyes as light began to gather somewhere in his body, every stroke and touch creating more and more until he felt adrift in a sea of light. But anchored to the earth, to the son of the earth.
"Gimli," he whispered in reverence as lips brushed against his, soothing and warm. His body tensed and he flung out his arms, the sea of light exploding in a white fire that swept through him.
"If it was possible to capture the beauty your face holds now, all dwarves would visit from far away lands to behold it," Gimli whispered softly, leaning his head on the elf's chest as Legolas began to regain his sense of now.
"It would pale against the image of you," Legolas replied, exhaling slowly as his breath begun to calm. "Alit with a light that shines even in the dark. You are beautiful for what you are, Gimli. Such beauty never fades."
'But was that enough to hold onto?' he quietly wondered, clinging to Gimli even as the longing arose in his heart once more.
It would have to be. For he could not leave his heart, even if it was pained.
"I will not leave you," he whispered.
It had to hold true.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.