What he found unattractive in the beginning, he now finds irresistible. Legolas laid across Gimli’s chest loving the prickly texture of the dwarven beard and the hard chest that radiated comforting heat underneath. He sighed deeply inhaling the earthy scent of his lover and imagined that it gave him revitalization in spirit. His soul and body throbbed with the aching pleasure of their love and he knew that his long life was now complete. Before he had been a shell, hollow and empty, searching but not knowing what he was looking for. He found his purpose in Gimli, his reason for staying on Middle Earth. Each day he lived anew through the experiences his dwarf shared and would share with him. He was reborn.
His favorite place was now pressed against the sturdy chest wrapped protectively in strong arms as a hand tenderly stroked his silken hair. In all his life he never felt so guarded, so cherished. He had lived an existence of constant danger for so long that the unfamiliar feeling was initially unnerving but he quickly grew accustomed to the arrangement seeking that comfort like a drowning person clutching desperately for safety. He was able to let go within Gimli’s arms. He did not have to be a Mirkwood archer or fierce warrior always at battle ready, he could simply be and he loved it. He loved him.
They were spending their last night together before each returned to their respective homes, Legolas to his woodland realm, Gimli to his Lonely Mountain. A moment that should have been marked with great joy, Legolas met with trepidation. He idly played with the reddish-brown strands, mulling over anxious thoughts as the dwarf stirred beneath him sensing the underlying tension of his elven lover.
“Will you not sleep, Legolas? Tomorrow is a long day.”
The young elf lifted his head looking into Gimli’s brown sleepy eyes. His spirit lifted at the sight of Gimli’s lazy smile, a large hand coming to rest on his cheek in tenderness. He shut his eyes at the feel and turned his head offering a sweet kiss into the palm.
“My heart is not at ease tonight,” he whispered.
Legolas hesitated not sure how to put to words what his heart felt. Each day that brought them closer to home made Legolas uneasy. It gnawed persistently at his heart and try as he may, he could not ignore it.
“Let us not go home, beloved,” he said impulsively. “Let us travel and see Middle Earth together as we planned.”
Gimli laughed quietly at the elf’s impetuosity replying, “We have been away from home long enough, dear one. Middle Earth can wait.”
“Until tomorrow,” the elf persisted anxiously not ready to give up on his request.
“You can take me to those wonderful places you have spoken of in your stories. We can leave tomorrow. We do not have to delay.”
Gimli studied the elf’s eager, pleading eyes and wondered at this sudden change. He wondered if all elves were as impulsive as Legolas.
“Why are you reluctant to go home, Legolas?” he asked seeking to understand.
The elf frowned slightly before resting his head against Gimli’s chest. “It is not that I do not wish to return home. It is just…that..”
Gimli waited patiently staring up at the stars as he soothingly stroked blond locks hoping to draw out the elf’s concern. “Its just what?” he asked.
“I do not want to be without you,” came the quiet reply. He lifted his head and regarded the dwarf evenly. “I do not know if I will ever be able to but I know now that I cannot. I wish us to be together a little longer.”
Gimli sighed as he struggled with how to bring comfort to his elf. Legolas could see the many calculating thoughts dance in the dwarf’s eyes as they stared at each other. He was eager for a solution so he waited for Gimli’s.
“Would you feel better if I accompanied you to Mirkwood, then?” Gimli asked. “I can delay my journey home if it would bring you comfort.”
Legolas heart leapt at the prospect. A part of him knew he was being childish, knew it was asking a lot of the dwarf to delay his much anticipated homecoming. But the idea, now presented, was too tempting to set aside even for the dwarf’s sake.
“Yes, my love, it would,” he whispered as he leaned in kissing Gimli tenderly. He straddled the dwarf’s strong body, reveling in the feel of heat and the gentle pressure of encircling arms. It was not long before he was gasping once again that night at the warm penetration and jolting thrust of hips as his anxious heart was temporarily put at ease by the strength of Gimli’s love.
Their return to Mirkwood was met with a hero’s welcome as the elves happily welcomed home their woodland kin and gave their curiosity over to his dwarven companion. The king graced Legolas with a rare smile and although he appeared very inquisitive about his friendship with the dwarf, he did not openly question Legolas about it and instead welcomed Gimli as a hero.
Celebrations were thrown every night in honor of the heroes who helped to vanquish the smothering evil. In the wood, Gimli saw the Mirkwood elves as they have not been seen for centuries, free from danger and darkness, joyful and mirthful, as is their true nature. Gimli was vaguely reminded of his father’s stories of the Mirkwood elves and their elusive gatherings. This time however, there was no one standing ready to extinguish the lights at the sign of danger nor was there a shuddering hum of tension as though all were prepared to flee at the slightest provocation. All were free of dread as they danced and sang under their beloved trees. The king with his crown of rich green leaves had an air of peace about him that was a welcoming sight to his subjects.
Legolas took an active role in the revelry while Gimli preferred to sit and watch the merrymaking from a distance. “Dwarves do not frolic,” he had said when Legolas teased him about his participation or lack there of.
Despite his unwillingness to dance and sing, Gimli was still quite popular with the other elves, most of whom never seen a dwarf in person. Gimli’s natural charm wove easily amongst the elves as he sampled the wines, admired the craftsmanship and shared stories of adventure, all with the magnetic personality that won him so many friends during the war. Legolas was happy that his lover was having a pleasant stay but was not particularly thrilled by some of the more fulsome attention he received from the other elves.
He could not remember the last time he felt the burning emotion of jealousy, such feelings untypical amongst elves, but he found himself experiencing it more and more as others began desiring Gimli’s consideration. During one of the celebrations Legolas saw a particularly flirty she-elf approach Gimli and strike up a conversation. Legolas felt an immediate hostile sense of possession that he would have found surprising if he were not singularly focused on this perceived threat. The noise of the gathering fell to the background and he did not notice the curious glances of passersby as the intensity of his jealousy grew raising his body temperature to an almost uncomfortable state. When the unsuspecting elf casually placed her hand on Gimli’s shoulder, Legolas thought he would scream in his rage. He stalked over under the guise of joining the innocent conversation but the intense hostility of his elven glare chased the uncomfortable elf away.
“Are you alright?” the dwarf asked discreetly noting the elf’s unusual behavior.
With the threat gone, the sudden sensation seeped away leaving Legolas disconcerted by his new range of emotion. “I am fine,” he said not too convincingly. Gimli merely looked at him opting to discuss the matter later. They sat together quietly watching the merrymaking for the remainder of the night.
During their stay in the woodland realm, they had to hide the nature of their relationship until Gimli’s last night before leaving for the mountains. They found a secluded area and made passionate love under the canopy finally allowed to let go after holding back for so long. Afterwards, Legolas laid on his side with Gimli pressed against his back; the dwarf’s arms wrapped snuggly around the lithe form of the elf. Gimli nuzzled the area between the shoulder blades occasionally kissing the sensitive skin. Under normal circumstances, the sensation would have given the elf boundless pleasure but melancholy gripped the elf so tightly that he felt the stinging tears well in his eyes.
“I do not want you to go,” he said despairingly.
Gimli could hear the tears in his voice and wrapped his arms tighter around the elf. “We will only be apart for a short time,” he replied soothingly. “We’ll be together again soon.”
“Not soon enough, I fear.”
Gimli was now concerned He had never heard the elf sound so despondent. “What is it that you fear,” he asked.
“I fear change,” the elf answered. “I fear what would become of us once people begin to learn of the nature of our relationship. What if our time apart changes the way we feel despite our best intentions.”
“I don’t think that’ll happen,” Gimli replied confused by the elf’s train of thought. “Have I given you reason to doubt my loyalty?”
“No,” Legolas answered turning to face the dwarf, his eyes shining with unshed tears. “Have I?”
Gimli framed his lover’s face adoringly with one hand, his thumb stroking a high cheekbone. “No,” he whispered.
“Our love,” the elf began tentatively, “feels so strong that sometimes I think nothing could ever break it. But it is so new and unique, it is almost delicate in its novelty. I fear that I might do something wrong, damaging the bond we share. I would do anything to protect it.”
Gimli looked at Legolas with new understanding as they finally reached the root of Legolas’ insecurities.
“Legolas our love is not a passing fancy or a silly thrill, it is so much more than that. There is no force on Middle Earth that could break our bond.”
“This I keep telling myself yet my heart quakes with uncertainty,” the elf said as he lowered his eyes, ashamed of his doubt.
Gimli sighed as he thoughtfully rubbed Legolas’ shoulder. This sort of talk was new to him. “You speak as though you seek guidance or reassurances.”
“Either one will suffice,” Legolas said raising his eyes to Gimli’s. “Tell me what you want of me in our love so that it may be sustained during our time apart. How does one love a dwarf?”
Gimli gazed silently at Legolas contemplating the strange request. “Alright,” he said adjusting his position slightly pulling the elf closer to him. “I will tell you what I want of you. I want you to know you’re all that matters to me. I want you to share your dreams and fears with me so that they will be mine as well. Come to me for anything, big or small. There is nothing you can say or wish that would not be worthy of my time. And finally, my dear Legolas remember that you’re never alone. My love for you will never falter or fail. It will go wherever you may go.”
Legolas swallowed the lump in his throat, his heart pounding with the devotion of the dwarf’s words. His emotions threatened to run free once more and he closed his eyes at the intense wave of love for his dwarf.
“Can you do this for me, Legolas?” Gimli asked softly.
Legolas opened his eyes with renewed faith. “I can do that,” he said with more love than he thought possible.
The next day as he watched Gimli’s shadowed form disappear over the horizon as the dwarf made his way to the Lonely Mountain, Legolas played Gimli’s words of devotion over in his mind never growing tired of its tenderness. He finally understood trust and faith through his dwarven lover. He smiled gently as he saw the shadowed form turn and wave in his direction. Legolas knew full well that at that distance the dwarf could not possibly see him but the dwarf acted on faith that the elf would stay and see him, a final gesture of love that would lift the young elf’s heart. Despite his knowledge of Gimli’s lack of elven sight, Legolas returned the wave having faith that his lover would know it was there.
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.