10. Never Quite Be The Same
The elves moved about the clearing, piling the orc bodies to be burned. The uninjured dwarves pitched in, but as they worked their eyes would stray across the clearing to where the wounded were being treated. Off to one side, an elf woman worked on one of the objects of their scrutiny. Gimli’s eyes especially lingered on Legolas’ still form.
Lainel bent over the elf before her, bandaging the nasty looking wound. As she pulled the bandage taut, he jerked away from her touch.
"OW!" He exclaimed with a sharp wince. "that hurt! Do you have to tug so hard?"
Lainel sighed. Male elves were impossible patients, especially this one! "Daerada, you must be still while I bandage this. And quit complaining so! It is not a serious wound. You’ve had much worse! You are acting like an elfling!"
Legolas pouted in exasperation. He had had much worse, which was why he wanted to be on his feet and moving. This wound could have waited until they reached the halls. He promptly told his granddaughter such but was silenced by a glare.
"I will wrap this now, or I will tell Daernaneth how impossible you are being!" She watched with a satisfied smile as his mouth snapped shut. "You were actually very lucky. Despite the amount of bleeding, this will heal quickly. I thought you had been killed! And it was simply a cut on your back and a blow to your hard head."
Legolas glared at her smirk, but inwardly he adored her teasing banter. She was his through and through. And given the reverse situation, they’d be having the same argument. He looked up as Gimli strode over from where he had been talking with his brothers.
"How are you doing, lad?" The dwarf’s voice was brusque, but the elf could hear the emotion in his friend’s tone. "You gave us quite a scare." Dwarven eyes narrowed at him. "Do it again, and I’ll finish the job!" Gimli had truly thought he had been killed!
"I am fine, Master dwarf, thanks to you and your brothers! No cause for alarm. I’ve taken much harder hits than this before." He paused as Lainel snorted softly. Legolas raised an eyebrow, but she ignored him and continued her healing duties.
Once again Lainel was glad the palace healer, Istuion, had taught her this skill. She wondered how many times that ancient healer had bandaged her Daerada in some fashion or even saved his life. Too many times to count, I’d wager. She wisely kept her thoughts to herself.
Legolas looked over to where Arden was being treated for the gash in his thigh. The dwarf looked up and the two locked eyes. Arden stared at the elf for a moment, then a slow smile slid across his face, and he bowed his head to the elf. Legolas returned the smile, and a new friendship was forged.
Several weeks later, Legolas again approached the Lonely Mountain alone. He was again met by a party of Gimli’s brothers but there was laughing and back slapping, instead of thrown axes. Legolas teased three of the dwarves over their skimpy beards, which were just beginning to grow back in. "You look like miniature scruffy rangers!" he teased. His laughter echoed in the morning air.
Galin watched from a hidden spot, smiling to herself. She would no longer be needed to keep those four in line. She thanked Mahal that Gimli had seemed to gain much sense on that quest he had gone on to Mordor. Secretly, she felt they had all just been on a similar quest, and now, once again, there was peace. She turned to move back towards the mountain when gruff words reached her ears.
"Arrogant elf!" Gimli’s voice full of indignation rose above the others.
Galin shook her head and smiled. Well, at least they weren’t attempting to kill the elf or seriously hurt him. Peace might not be the correct term to describe the newly forged bond between the brothers and the elf.
Just after the mid-day meal, Gimli led Legolas back to the infamous pool, still beautiful and more appreciated during the right time of day. Gimli’s brothers were already there, and as usually happened when males get together, a water fight was soon under way. For over an hour laughter could be heard coming from the pool, but the day was slipping by. It was time to wash and be gone before the ladies arrived.
Legolas reached for the dwarven container of cleanser, working it through his long golden hair, scrubbing for a few minutes to get clean all the way to his scalp. As he rinsed it clean, he noticed the water around him had taken on a strange, cloudy brown tint. He froze.
Glancing down at the ends of his hair, he heard the snickers behind him. Dyed! His hair had been dyed a reddish brown by the cleanser!
"GIMLI! I’m gonna KILL YOU!"
Five dwarves ran all the way to the mountain with a red-haired, red faced, bare-chested elf right behind them, dragging on his leggings as he ran in pursuit. Unnoticed by the males, the dwarf-women looked after the elf with appreciating eyes. When he disappeared from view, Astil finally spoke up.
"I fear that things will never quite be the same around here."
Giggles filled the air as the women continued on their way to enjoy their bathing time in peace.
Later that night a dwarven bellow echoed through the mountain passages. Glóin fumed when no trace could be found of his eldest son or that elf! He glanced at his wife in bewilderment. As much as he loved Astil, he often questioned their sanity at having children.
Then he glared at his bed, throwing another irritated glance back at his wife. By the look on her face, he knew what would happen. So grumbling, he made a grab for his pillow, took a blanket from the wardrobe and bedded himself down on the couch in the sitting room. Let ‘Mother’ handle this crisis, he thought.
Shaking his head, Glóin spoke his final thoughts aloud before sleep claimed him. "I’ll banish them all tomorrow." He yawned. "Should never have had kids." He stretched. "Of all the places that warg had to give birth, it had to be in my bed!"
Astil peeked through the door, holding one of Draugalu’s cubs tenderly. A smile crossed her face at her husband’s last words and as the snores started, she spoke quietly to the small creature in her arms.
"At least it wasn’t spiders…"
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.