32. To Greet the Spring
Haldir looked at Melpomaen. “Why me?”
“Because you are the one who wishes to leave,” said Melpomaen. “I will leave, but I do not wish to, not as you do.”
“We will go together then, and I will speak,” said Haldir.
That day he asked Gelion, who was the under-captain in charge of the day shift now, for permission for himself and Melpomaen to speak with Captain Legolas, which was readily granted. They were to see him in late afternoon.
A cheerful voice said, “Come in,” when they knocked at the half-closed door to the captain’s room. Legolas was seated at his desk, pen in hand, scribbling into a ledger. “Just a moment,” he said, not looking up. “Let me just. . .” He finished his calculation and laid the pen down, lifting his gaze. “Haldir, Melpomaen. You wanted to see me?”
“Yes,” said Haldir, taking a half-step forward. “Sir. Legolas.” He took a breath and continued, “I’m afraid that we must respectfully and regretfully decline the offer of the king your father. We will not be returning to his halls.”
“I see.” Legolas’s voice was distant. He leaned back in his chair and folded his hands together. “I’m sorry to hear it, and I know the king will be also. Is that all?”
Now Haldir looked at Melpomaen for support. Melpomaen said, “I hope you are not too disappointed, or displeased? It is not a decision we came to lightly.”
“No,” said Legolas, “I do not think that. But I confess that I regret it.”
“We will not be leaving immediately, of course,” said Haldir. “The season is not yet advanced enough to begin our journey. Do you here celebrate the coming of spring? I have heard nothing of it, and the day is but a week away.”
Legolas shook his head. “Nothing like midwinter, no. The turn from winter to spring here is often marked by snowfall rather than thaw, and so it is not thought much worth celebrating.”
“Where we have lived before spring arrives earlier. We are accustomed to marking the turn of the season, therefore. If you would like, we would be pleased to have you celebrate privately with us,” said Melpomaen.
Legolas flushed. He well remembered what had happened at midwinter. It was nothing of which he was ashamed, but was it something to repeat? For he was sure that was what Melpomaen alluded to in asking him to celebrate with them. Then again, if Melpomaen and Haldir were to leave and not return, he was very likely never to have an opportunity again to be as close as one could imagine to friends.
Haldir watched the varied emotions play across Legolas’s face, and made a small gesture with his hand to hush Melpomaen when his lover would have spoken. This was a decision that needed to be made without anyone’s help.
At last Legolas said, “Yes. I will celebrate the coming of spring with you.”
Over the next week, in their spare moments, Haldir and Melpomaen prepared for their guest. Spring might be upon them by the calendar, but here in the northern forest, there were as yet no budding leaves or first flowers to bring the spring indoors. Instead they ensured that their room was as fresh and clean as they could make it. Melpomaen wheedled some lengths of cloth in bright green and soft yellow from the quartermaster, and hung them on the walls, producing a springlike effect, even though there was still snow on the ground outside.
In Mirkwood, since the coming of spring was not celebrated as midwinter was, there were no arrangements for the guards to take shorter shifts than usual that day in order to have time for festival, and so they watched as usual at the gate that guarded the entrance to the caverns. Neither of them spoke to their companions of their plans for that evening, naturally. They merely slipped out from the mess immediately after the evening meal and went back to wait for Legolas to be able to join them.
When he arrived, he admired the way that they seemed almost to have brought the outdoors to their room through their clever arrangements, but seemed strangely ill at ease. After speaking of inconsequentialities for a few moments, Melpomaen asked Legolas what disturbed him so.
“Well,” said Legolas, “I see what trouble you have been to, and I do not want you to think that I do not appreciate it, but I had wanted to ask if perhaps you would come to my rooms tonight instead.”
Melpomaen turned and raised an eyebrow at Haldir, who was standing a little behind him. Haldir lifted his shoulders and smiled. “If you would prefer that, then certainly. It is not as if we would be able to celebrate in the way to which we are accustomed in any case.”
Legolas rose from the chair in which he had been sitting, his face shining with pleasure. “Thank you. Just give me a few minutes and then follow me to my rooms.” He hurried out.
Melpomaen shrugged and said doubtfully, “I wonder what he has in mind? Surely he did not misunderstand our invitation?”
“I don’t think so.” Haldir shook his head. “But perhaps this is his way of declining it, or controlling the situation, setting his own limits? I suppose we will find out soon enough.”
Before they left the room, Haldir gave Melpomaen a quick embrace and whispered in his ear, “I love you.”
Melpomaen kissed him in reply. Then they set off down the corridor.
Haldir tapped at Legolas’s door. They heard a few muffled thumps and then Legolas’s voice, also curiously choked – was he holding back laughter? – said, “Come in.”
When they entered, Legolas was not the only one present. Dúlin was there, and Gelion, Erentar, and Lasmir; Meneldil, Belegorn, Guilin, and several other Elves with whom they had become acquainted over the past few months. Even King Thranduil himself had come.
“I know you aren’t actually leaving for some weeks yet,” Legolas half-apologized, “but since you are used to marking the coming of spring with some kind of festival, I thought that an early farewell party might serve the purpose.”
Dúlin said, “And I hoped that I could persuade you, Melpomaen, to play your new piece for everyone here. I brought my pipes for you.”
Melpomaen blushed. He had never had as high an opinion of his abilities as a composer as Dúlin did, but he mumbled an embarrassed affirmative and took the instrument that she was holding out to him. He needed no music – he had it by heart. When he raised the pipes to his lips, the chatter in the room stilled.
Catching Haldir’s eye, he began to play. The music rose in a rippling melody that evoked wind and water, like a breeze blowing along the pebbled banks of a stream, perhaps, and then continued on, telling of mists filling hollows and eddying over fields, and among them someone striding, tall and proud and yet part of the world he moved through. When the song ended, there was silence, until gravely King Thranduil put his hands together and clapped applause.
He thanked Melpomaen and said, “I am sorry I can stay no longer, and sorrier still that my son was unable to persuade you to remain here. To lose two warriors of skill, and one such a talented musician as well, will be a loss, but I respect your wishes.” He inclined his head, bidding them all a good night, and departed.
The rest stayed for some time longer. Legolas had thoughtfully provided several flagons of wine and bowls of spiced nuts and dried fruits. No one asked why Haldir and Melpomaen were refusing Thranduil’s invitation, a lack which Haldir noted, though Melpomaen did not. Instead the conversation drifted from music to other arts, then split into several groups. Those with whom Haldir spoke recalled memories of past springs and talked over all the usual topics of those who have a place and a position in common, but perhaps little else.
None of the guests seemed inclined to make a night of it. Dúlin was the first to excuse herself, and the other Elves soon followed suit. When the last of them had gone, Melpomaen caught Haldir’s eye and nodded toward the door. Legolas stopped them, saying, “Please. Stay.”
“Are you sure?” asked Haldir gently.
“Yes,” said Legolas. His hands went to his hair and began to loosen the braids that held it back from his temples. As he did so, he walked toward the door and slipped the latch into place. Turning, he faced them.
“You have shown me possibilities. I think that I should return the favor, at least in part, as much as I can.”
Slowly, deliberately, he began to remove his garments. One by one they fell into a pile on the floor at his feet, and Legolas emerged from them like the land emerging from the snow and ice that clothed it in winter.
Only half-conscious of what they did, Haldir and Melpomaen had seated themselves on a bench, grasping each other’s hands as they watched Legolas disrobe. He moved toward them, and taking their free hands, tugged them to stand up, leading them into the other room where his bed waited.
A pair of candles in sconces on the wall lit the room with a soft glow that flickered along the lines of muscle on Legolas’s arms and legs and torso. He bade the other two to stand while he undressed them, each in turn, folding tunics and leggings and undergarments with care and placing them to one side. When they were all three bare, Legolas put his arms around the others’ waists and drew them into a shared embrace, kissing first Haldir’s cheek and then Melpomaen’s.
To Melpomaen’s surprise, Legolas was not yet noticeably aroused. His own member had been half-hard all evening, in anticipation of what he hoped would happen, and he could see that Haldir was also feeling desire. It puzzled him that Legolas was not responding, and he reached out to cup his hand around the other Elf’s face.
Legolas flinched back a little at the touch, but his voice was steady as he said, “Melpomaen, why don’t you lie on the bed? Make yourself at ease, and watch.”
Melpomaen followed the suggestion and rested comfortably on several pillows, turned a little to one side to see what would happen. Legolas had Haldir stretch out at full length, face down, his head turned toward Melpomaen. He took up a bowl of pale-green ointment and began to massage it into Haldir’s skin, beginning at the shoulders and working his way down along the spine with a brief excursion to tend to the arms. He rubbed it into Haldir’s buttocks, then his thighs, down to his calves and finally his feet. At the first touch of the salve Haldir’s eyes had widened, his mouth forming into an “O” of surprise.
“What is it?” mouthed Melpomaen, but Haldir only shook his head slightly and let his eyes fall closed, clearly enjoying the sensation. One hand was tucked under his hip and Melpomaen felt sure that he was holding himself.
The ointment had a strong aroma of herbs, with a slightly bitter underscent that Melpomaen could not place. As Legolas continued to knead it into Haldir’s legs, working his way back up to Haldir’s torso, he looked over at Melpomaen, winked, and reached out with a dab of salve on his fingertips to touch it to Melpomaen’s chest, then brushed it over his own groin before continuing.
Melpomaen gasped. At first the ointment felt cold on his skin, but then it quickly changed to a heat that penetrated, soothing and stimulating at once. He hoped that he would be given the same treatment as Haldir was receiving.
When Legolas decided that Haldir’s back muscles were sufficiently limp, he shifted positions to the center of the bed and asked Haldir to turn over, which he did, eyes still closed. Legolas now repeated rubbing in the salve, again moving from neck to feet and then back. He carefully avoided touching Haldir’s member, but he did not interfere when Haldir grasped himself and began a gentle, almost idle stroke.
At last it was Melpomaen’s turn. He was more than ready, quivering with anticipation and suppressed desire. He had watched not only Haldir touching himself but had also seen Legolas’s organ gradually become erect, and knowing that they were feeling pleasure increased his own. The salve felt just as good on his back as he had expected. It did not burn, but tingled pleasantly, leaving a sensation of warmth behind even after Legolas moved onward. Legolas’s touch itself was not especially arousing to Melpomaen, somewhat to his surprise. What he found more stimulating was the thought that Haldir was there, listening, seeing him under Legolas’s ministrations.
Legolas duplicated the same actions he had taken with Haldir, first rubbing the ointment into every inch of Melpomaen’s back and buttocks and legs, then encouraging him to turn over to repeat the process on the front of his body. Melpomaen watched Legolas’s face now, as he stroked firm muscle and skin. The face of the king’s son was intent with concentration, almost preoccupied, and yet calm. Melpomaen realized then that the isolation, the loneliness that Legolas experienced might be inevitable, but he put the thought aside. Tonight was not a night for such grim speculations.
After finishing with Melpomaen, Legolas moved so that he was kneeling between them on the bed. He sat back on his heels and waited. Haldir was the first to speak.
“I enjoyed that very much indeed, Legolas. What would you have us do for you in return?”
Still Legolas was quiet, but he frowned a little, a crease appearing between his eyebrows.
Melpomaen said, “Or is it that there was something else you wished to do?”
Legolas nodded. He looked from Melpomaen to Haldir, his eyes pleading, then slid his left hand along Haldir’s thigh, stopping just short of the hipbone. His fingers twitched almost imperceptibly. Melpomaen realized a heartbeat sooner than Haldir just what Legolas meant to do, if he were permitted. Although he did not know whether it would work or not, Melpomaen was willing to let Legolas make the attempt. If the Mirkwood Elf felt obligated to them for whatever help they had been able to give him, it was meet that they should allow him to pay off the debt in such a way, if he chose to try.
While Haldir still paused, uncertain, Melpomaen reached down to take Legolas’s other hand and guide it to his own aching member. When Haldir saw this, he shifted his hips closer to Legolas, so that Legolas’s hand nudged against his cock, and the other began to touch him.
It felt nothing like either being caressed by his lover or touching himself, Haldir decided. Being stroked by Legolas did not reduce his desire, but neither did it bring him nearer to its peak. It was an odd sensation, and after a few moments he laid his fingers on Legolas’s wrist, pausing his motions.
Legolas met Haldir’s eyes. “Do you not like it?” he said, troubled.
Haldir shook his head, saying, “I neither like nor dislike. It feels. . .” he sought to find the right word, but the best he could say was, “It feels. . . bloodless.”
Now Legolas looked at Melpomaen, who nodded reluctantly. “I fear the same is true for me. It is not your fault, certainly; I think it must have to do with our bond.”
“Probably,” said Legolas in dejected tones. “I wondered if that might be the case, but I wanted to try.” He bent his head forward, his hair falling to hide his expression.
Melpomaen thought about it. “I wonder,” he said slowly, “if all three of us touched one another at the same time, how that would be?”
“We can only try,” Haldir said. “I’m willing to try.”
Legolas looked up again, hope on his face.
“How best can we do this? If we all sit up?” said Melpomaen in doubtful tones.
They tried it, sitting in a tight triangle, legs tucked under and to one side, their hips meeting at the center, and found they were able to grasp one another with enough ease to make the attempt.
Legolas took a breath and once again reached out to find his fingers meeting Haldir’s at Melpomaen’s groin, and the reverse on the other side.
Having Haldir’s touch joined with Legolas’s was much more to Melpomaen’s liking, and he could tell from Haldir’s reaction that his partner felt the same way. He looked at Legolas, feeling the unfamiliar skin against his fingers, and deliberately drew his thumb in a circle around the head of Legolas’s shaft.
Melpomaen had wondered if, since neither of them felt an increase in desire as the result of Legolas’s touch, whether the same would be true for him. But it seemed that was not so. Under their combined caresses Legolas began to pant, his hips bucking as, for the first time, he felt a loving touch that was not his own. It was not long before Legolas heard himself making high-pitched sounds in the back of his throat and then with a wrenching groan released into their joined hands.
He took a moment to recover; in the meantime Haldir and Melpomaen continued to pet and fondle each other. When Legolas had recovered himself enough to join in again, he relinquished his grasp on each of them for a moment, and reaching for the bowl of salve which had been pushed aside, he spread a little on his hands. That induced new sensations – the touch of Legolas’s hands alone might be a matter of some indifference, but the stimulation of the salve overcame it.
Haldir was not certain if, alone, that would have been enough, but with Melpomaen caressing his sac and the base of his member, he found himself suddenly ready to spill, and did, his cock convulsing in their embrace. Still throbbing, he shifted a bit to reach Melpomaen more easily.
Melpomaen now brought his own hands to join those of Haldir and Legolas at his groin, the slippery wetness of their seed mingling on his shaft. He took their two hands and moved them to his chest, where they could pinch his nipples to hard points, and he stroked himself faster and harder as they watched. Haldir leaned over and kissed him on the mouth, trailing his tongue along Melpomaen’s cheekbone until he could whisper in his ear, “I love you, meldanya.”
Melpomaen turned his head slightly to nip at Haldir’s earlobe and whispered back, “And I you.”
Legolas, meanwhile, ran his free hand along Haldir’s side, resting it on his thigh, but continuing to play with the tender flesh of Melpomaen’s chest at the same time. Melpomaen began rocking his hips backward and forward into his hands. He had a sudden longing to be inside of Haldir’s heated passage. It seemed perhaps unfair to ask for that, however, since it would exclude Legolas, so Melpomaen contented himself by simply remembering the feel of Haldir under him, pliant and open. With a final few thrusts he reached his climax.
They broke a little apart, exchanging tired but contented smiles. Haldir raised Legolas’s hand from his thigh and kissed the palm of it, saying, “Whatever you may have felt that you owed us is well repaid, my friend.”
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.