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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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Chamber of Lovers

by Adina

Rating: NC-17
Warnings: This is slash, NC17, and mostly PWP.   It's the first NC17 story I've written in LOTR, and probably the last.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JRR Tolkien. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
Feedback: Yes
Summary: Prequel to Back to the Beginning. Legolas visits the Glittering Caves for the first time with Gimli
According to Tolkien, dwarves desire only one person their entire lives.  (Don't blame me, that's what Tolkien says.) Therefore this is not only a first-time story, it's Gimli's *first* first-time, god help me.

Thanks to Madam Morrigan and Jae Gecko for the beta and Michelle for sending me the Sindarin dictionary when I really needed it.


The company gathered in the courtyard of Medusheld filled it to crowding with horses and riders, baggage and pack-animals, servants and on-lookers. King Elessar could not travel with so little state as Strider the ranger, especially not with the highest lords of Elvenkind at his side. Most of the company were already mounted, ready to ride.

Legolas led Arod from the stable himself, waving off the servants. After he sprang to the horse's bare back, he leaned down to offer Gimli a hand. The elf made even such an inherently graceless move look elegant. Gimli folded his arms across his chest. "King Eomer has offered me a pony such as the hobbits ride," he said gruffly, teasingly.

Legolas smiled and straightened, laying the proffered hand on his thigh. "And yet I see no spare pony here," he said, ostentatiously looking around the courtyard as if he expected to find the animal hiding behind a railing. "Perhaps he means to bring it after the rest of the cavalcade leaves?"

Gimli smiled. "Aye, perhaps he does." If he did Gimli had no intention of being there.

Legolas leaned down to offer his hand again. "Alas, Master Gimli," he said as Gimli grasped it. "I fear you must endure my company for a while more." Gimli leaped as he heaved, and managed to scramble onto Arod's back behind him. Arod shifted restlessly, but stilled at a soothing word from Legolas. Mounting such a tall horse had never grown easy, no matter the months of practice.

After Eowyn brought the stirrup cup to the company and they drank in turn, Aragorn bowed to her from his saddle and signaled the company to a walk. Legolas remained silent as they rode through the city, surrounded though they were by the king's bright company. The city folk stopped their work to stare and cheer as the riders passed. The black banners that lined the streets for Theoden's funeral procession were gone, replaced by colorful garlands to celebrate Lady Eowyn's troth-plighting to Lord Faramir. Even the death of the king could not dim the people's joy at the union of Rohan and Gondor and the end of the threat from Mordor.

"You need not ride with me if you do not wish," Legolas said at last as they neared the city gates. "It cannot be comfortable riding on Arod's rump without saddle or blanket."

Gimli snorted. Comfortable? His arms were wrapped around Legolas's waist, his face pressed to his back. If he concentrated he could catch a faint, clean, intoxicating scent. It was not comfortable, no--but it was bliss. "Shut up, elf," he ordered. "You talk too much."

Warmth spread through Gimli's body at Legolas's laugh. The strength of his desire for Legolas surprised him; the dwarven body was slow to grow to full desire and the feeling was still new to him. The awakening that had started in Lothlorien was near its final tempering, he thought.

The company passed through the city gates and Aragorn raised his fist for a slow trot. Gimli tightened his grip around Legolas's waist and the elf began to sing.


Four days later, when they neared Helm's Deep, Legolas and Gimli asked and received leave of Aragorn to ride ahead. Erkenbrand, master of Westfold and Helm's Deep, met them at the gate. "Master Legolas, Master Gimli," he greeted them with a bow. "My lord informed me that you might ride this way and bade me make you welcome."

Legolas returned his bow. "Our thanks, Lord Erkenbrand. Yet know that we are only an hour or two ahead of King Elessar's company."

Erkenbrand smiled. "We know of his coming and a welcome shall be prepared for him as well." A servant came to take the horse and the lord himself moved to help Gimli dismount.

Once he was down Legolas sprang to the ground without assistance. "Your pardon, my lord, but we are here on an errand. With your permission we would go directly to the caves." Gimli stared at him in some surprise. Legolas had been most loath to enter the caves when Gimli had first described them, surely he was not so eager to see them now. Legolas turned and met his eyes. "I would keep my promise to you without delay, my friend," he said softly, as if they were alone before the gates.

"Nay," Gimli said equally softly. Legolas was far too honorable to break a promise or even admit reluctance. "The morning will suffice," he said more loudly, including Erkenbrand in his speech. "For I am weary with travel and would wash the smell of horse off my hide."

"A compromise, then! A bath and dinner and then we shall see these caves of which you speak so eloquently."


The lord of Helm's Deep delegated a guide to show them to the caves' mouth, though Gimli knew well the way. He stopped in the entryway, unaccountably nervous. Would Legolas, an elf born to trees and green fields, see their beauty as he did? He had seen them only briefly, after long and weary battle, while still reeling from orc-cut to his scalp. What if they were not so wonderful as he remembered?

The lord's messenger bowed. "My lord bids me to remind you to take care. These caves are vast, and they are not fully explored. You would not wish to get lost."

Legolas laughed. "Remind your lord, if you please, that my companion is of Durin's race. I do not believe a dwarf knows how to get lost underground." He took lanterns from the guide and held one out to Gimli. "Shall we?"

He took the lantern and smiled at the elf's confidence in him. "Indeed." He bowed to their guide and led Legolas through the gates that barred the entrance to the caves.

The first few caves were piled high with the Rohirrim stores until neither floor nor walls could be seen for the crates and barrels that filled them. He pressed further in until they encountered the first bare room, a dull and gray space no bigger than the storerooms they had just passed through. He hurried through, trying to hide his anxiety. The next one--was it as his memory painted? Stepping through a narrow opening he held his lantern high and was rewarded by Legolas's gasp echoing across the vast and empty space.

The floor dropped off before their feet, though a stair cut in the rock showed that some at least came here before them. The roof rose high above them, great opalescent stalactites hanging down in fantastic twisted spires. A small stream wended its way across the cavern floor, skirting massive pillars of stone reaching for the roof. Crystals in the walls reflected their lamps back as a thousand tiny stars. Legolas turned to him with awe in his eyes.

Gimli pointed to the stream. "The Men of the Mark," he said, "came here to fetch water."


Following the stream--cold and crystal clear--to the wall of the large chamber brought them to a series of rooms, one behind the other. Gimli showed Legolas the blind, nearly transparent fish living in the pools; the rock crystals growing in the walls; the tiny drop of water on the tip of a stalactite that might, in an elf's lifetime, add a quarter of an inch to its length. Legolas listened to his teachings with wide-eyed attention.

Legolas ducked through the low opening to the next chamber first, more eager even than a dwarf to see what wonders it would reveal, and then froze in the opening. Gimli has to step into the water to pass him, to see what so transfixed him. The sight made him forget his wet boots.

The chamber was dominated by a twisted pillar that flowed from the ceiling with the grace of falling water. At some point in the distant past, perhaps, it had been two separate spires, for one half was pure, pearly white and the other a rich golden yellow. The two colors twined about each other like roses on an arbor.

"It is beautiful," he whispered.

"Aye." There was a strange note in Legolas's voice, as if he would say more. Gimli looked up at him and saw a sight more beautiful than any rock. The elf's eyes shone with longing, color painted his normally fair cheeks. Gimli turned back to the pillar to see what had brought him to the blush. The white stone formed a tall, fair figure, embracing a shorter, darker figure in gold, caressing each other with limbs entwined. He felt his cheeks warm in turn as fire flooded his body. He thought he had known desire, but that was only a pale echo of what he felt now. This was what he had been waiting for, that urgency of which his elders refused to speak.

He tugged Legolas further into the chamber and took the lantern from his unresisting hand. Setting both lanterns on a convenient shelf of rock, he unpinned his cloak, setting the leaf broach beside the lanterns and spreading his cloak on the smooth, dry sand at the foot of the pillar. He reached up for the clasp on Legolas's cloak only to find his hands caught in Legolas's. The elf knelt, bringing their heads on a level with one another.

"I do not--" Legolas started to speak, his voice shaking. Gimli freed a hand and laid a finger on Legolas's lips to silence him. Legolas had waited so long, banking his desire until it could be matched by Gimli's own, and must still fear to rush him.

"No," he said. "You have been patient with me. But now--" He laughed, dizzy with joy. "Now is the time! An hour ago would have been too soon, an hour from now--" He blushed. "Torture."

Legolas chuckled and let his hands fall, letting Gimli unpin his broach and set it aside, before spreading his own cloak beside Gimli's. Gimli pushed Legolas down onto this improvised bower. The elf fell, seemingly casually, into a pose calculated to inflame the blood.

Gimli chuckled. "A pretty picture, my friend. Perhaps I should carve a statue for posterity." He knelt beside his love. "But alas. I have more...pressing...business."

Legolas laughed and pulled him down for a kiss. "You are cruel, Master Dwarf," he whispered when they drew apart for breath. Gimli said nothing as he brought his hand to Legolas's face, mapping eyes and lips and brows. Legolas closed his eyes and Gimli lightly brushed his fingers over his lids. The elven features were sharper, more finely cut than any dwarf's. Gimli bent over him and kissed the tip of his nose, then traced one fine, fair eyebrow with his tongue. Legolas growled; Gimli relented and kissed his mouth again.

They had kissed before, slow, thorough exploration in Ithilien and Gondor. Legolas's tongue insinuated itself into his mouth; the intensity of tongue on tongue shook him. Experimentally he pushed back against Legolas's tongue and thrust his own into the other's mouth. Legolas's arms snaked around him, clutching at the back of his jerkin and attempting to pull him closer.

After a leisurely exploration of his mouth, Gimli pulled away again and looked down at his face. He wanted to laugh with joy. This beautiful creature was *his*. He tugged at Legolas's tunic, suddenly impatient. "You have too many clothes on," he growled.

"Do I?" Legolas's play of innocence was ruined by the hunger in his eyes. "Perhaps I should take some off." He pulled his tunic over his head. "Is that better, Master Dwarf?"

He forgot the game they were playing. "Aye," he said, distracted by the sight in front of him. The elf had been as modest as a dwarf around him since Lothlorien, bathing and dressing only in private to save Gimli embarrassment. This was the first he had seen Legolas less than fully clothed. The elf had no hair on his chest, none at all, only smooth, fair skin. The sight should have been bizarre, even grotesque, but here and now they were the only two people in Middle-Earth. Nothing could be strange, only new. The elf shivered, but not, he thought, with cold. He hugged him close and whispered in his ear. "You are beautiful."

Legolas licked his ear, tickling slightly. "And now you are wearing too many clothes."

He let Legolas remove his jerkin and shirt, suddenly nervous. What if he was too strange for Legolas to accept? Legolas could leave, return to Lothlorien with Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, find another lover there-- He could not watch Legolas's face as his own body was revealed.

"Oh!" The exclamation held only surprise, not unmixed with pleasure. "I did not know your beard extended so far!" he teased.

Gimli went limp with relief. He should have remembered the elf's fascination with his beard. He started to say that it was no part of his beard, only normal chest hair, when Legolas began stroking from his chin to his chest and down the narrowing stripe of hair on his belly to his waist. All thought of explanation fled, leaving nothing but a desire to curl around Legolas and beg for more.

Legolas repeated the stroke, seemingly fascinated by the texture and feel. Gimli laid his hand on Legolas's chest in turn, earning a smile from the elf, though he did not seem to find it as overwhelming as Gimli did. He tried moving his hand to the vestigial breast that male elves had in common with male dwarves. Legolas sighed with pleasure when he rubbed the little nub there.

He copied Legolas's stroke down the elf's belly, fascinated by the fine, downy, all but invisible hair near his waist. His hand strayed from flesh to cloth and over Legolas's groin. Legolas moaned and Gimli snatched his hand back as if burned.

"I am sorry! Did I hurt you? Legolas--" Tears came to his eyes. Clumsy fool!

Legolas laid a finger on his lips to silence him. "I am not hurt, my friend. My love. That was pleasure, not pain." Gimli dared to look up and meet his eyes. There was no doubt in his eyes, only love and concern and a light that could only be desire.

"I feel like a child given a diamond to shape," he admitted, looking now only at Legolas's chest.

"Oh? And how would that child feel?" Legolas, asked, twining his fingers in Gimli's hair.

"Excited. Terrified. Ignorant." His voice dropped to a whisper. "Certain he will fail and destroy something precious beyond words."

"Love is nothing so fragile as a diamond," Legolas said. "One wrong tap will not shatter it. Or me." He tugged at Gimli's hair until he was forced to look up at him again. "Will you let me show you? I had thought to let you take the lead, to move at the speed with which you were comfortable, but--" Gimli realized with a start that Legolas was as uncertain as himself.

"Tell me what to do," Gimli said. "In this I am your apprentice."

Legolas went very still for a long moment and then smiled. "Lie back," he said, "and let me worship you." He pushed Gimli onto his back and kissed his brow, and then rolled to his knees to kneel by Gimli's feet. After tugging off Gimli's boots and socks he bent to kiss the tops of both feet. Gimli blushed, suddenly very glad he had insisted on baths before coming to the caves.

Next Legolas reached for the fastener on Gimli's breeches. Gimli hesitated and Legolas waited, motionless. Finally Gimli nodded. Perhaps Legolas was right to do this quickly. The elf was still waiting, watching his face. Only after Gimli smiled and nodded again more firmly did Legolas unfasten his breeches and help him wiggle out of the rest of his clothing. Legolas gazed down at him. "Oh, my." He leaned over and walked his hands up on each side of Gimli's body until he was poised full-length above him. "Have I told you how beautiful you are?" he asked once they were face to face again.

Gimli grinned. "Once or twice." Or a dozen times. He was not an elf and might never become accustomed to listening to a lover sing hymns to his body, but he would certainly enjoy the opportunity.

Legolas shook his head. "I have been sadly remiss. Alas, I have not the patience now." He lowered himself until his body lay full against Gimli's. Gimli gasped at the sensation of flesh against flesh, flesh against cloth. He was breathing hard, as if he were running a race, yet he had done naught but lie there. Each breath brought with it a scent that deepened his arousal and confusion. Wrapping his arms around Legolas he clutched him tight, desperate to be part of him but with no idea how.

"Shh," Legolas soothed. "All is well. I will not let you fall."

What a strange thing to say! Yet the sensation was not unlike being poised on the edge of a precipice. He could trust Legolas to hold him safe. Gradually he relaxed his hold.

Legolas brought up a hand between them, laying it on Gimli's chest, and then moving it to draw circles around the nub on his breast. Gimli hissed as the nub hardened and Legolas bent his head to take it into his mouth. A line of fire burned through his nerves, straight from his breast to his groin. Legolas's hand, now free, moved to his groin as well, those long, thin fingers wrapped around his--around his-- He cried out, a wail that echoed and re-echoed through the caves. Legolas released him, peering at his face with a wicked smile playing about his lips. "Did that hurt?" he asked. "Should I stop?"

Gimli growled, babbling something incoherent, not even sure what language he spoke. Legolas kissed him lightly, running his tongue over the corner of Gimli's mouth, and then wrapped his hand around his penis again. He stroked down the shaft from crown to root and then back up to run his thumb over the tip. It was good, so good, too good-- He cried out, but Legolas did not tease him again by stopping.

Legolas continued stroking, a slow, steady movement. Tension built like the earth before a quake, waiting to spill forth and shatter him. Legolas was watching his face with an avid, almost hungry look. "Legolas!" Gimli cried. "Please!"

Legolas speeded his strokes. "Let go," he said. "I have you. Let go!"

The earthquake struck and Gimli fell. He flew.


Gimli came back to himself wrapped in Legolas's arms. He pulled the elf down for a long, slow kiss. "Am I dead?" he whispered, wanting nothing more than to lie here for all eternity with Legolas.

Legolas chuckled. "The dead are not so sticky," he said, shaking his head. He sobered. "It happens sometimes, when the lovemaking is--intense--that you sleep for a while."

He brought forth a wet cloth and Gimli noticed that he had removed the rest of his clothes. How long had he been out? The cloth was cold and Gimli shivered as Legolas wiped the sticky mess from his belly. The sensation was oddly arousing, despite the cold. He felt his penis start to stir to life again as Legolas wrapped a hand around it to wipe it clean. Legolas's own penis was rampantly erect, beautiful, and *his*. Growling he snatched the cloth from Legolas's hand and tossed it aside. He pounced, rolling Legolas on his back and pinning him to the ground. Legolas laughed and pulled him down for another kiss.

Legolas loved his mouth and might have been content with just kissing, but Gimli wanted more, everything, all of him. He broke the kiss and moved down Legolas's body, tasting chin and neck and the hollow at the base of his throat. He paused there and traced the line of one sharp collarbone with his tongue before closing his teeth--gently, very gently--on the muscle joining neck to shoulder. Legolas threw his head back with a moan, exposing his neck and giving Gimli full access.

Gimli laid careful not-bites along the elf's neck and down his shoulder before transferring his attention to his breast. He licked at the nub there and then sucked it into his mouth, fondling it with lips and tongue, not daring even to pretend to bite. Legolas had other ideas.

"Bite," he gasped. "Please!" he wailed as Gimli let his teeth close on Legolas's flesh. "Harder!"

Gimli bit down, afraid to cause pain, yet eager to give Legolas what he desired. Legolas's hands were tangled in his hair, encouraging his attention. "Harder," he begged. "Nago!" Gimli released the nub, suckling at it and soothing it with his tongue, before biting down again as hard as he dared. With a wordless shout Legolas arched his back, pumping his penis against Gimli's thigh.

Gimli released the nub again when Legolas ran out of breath and soothed it with his tongue. Legolas was panting, whimpering slightly, but not, he thought, in a bad way. Pulling back slightly he saw that his breast was red and somewhat painful looking. Legolas's face was flushed and damp with sweat, yet at the same time he looked more peaceful than Gimli had ever seen him. A rush of pride suffused him. *He* had done this to Legolas, to his beloved.

He slid down until he had a good view of Legolas's penis, still standing stiffly erect. It was longer than his own, but thinner, much like the elf himself. It fit his hand perfectly when he wrapped his fingers around it, just the right thickness. He stroked from the root to the tip, and then paused, running his thumb over the head of it, fascinated by the velvet soft skin there.

Legolas moaned. "Do that again. Please!" The last word was gasped out as Gimli obeyed.

The scent of him was stronger here and even more intoxicating. He darted his tongue out to lick at the head, curious if it tasted as good as it smelled. Legolas's hips bucked, nearly driving Gimli's own fist into his face. Gimli pinned him flat before going in for another taste. The taste was different from the scent, but still good, salty and sweet at the same time. More intoxicating than the scent or smell were Legolas's moans and broken attempts to speak. Moving his encircling hand back down to the root of Legolas's shaft, he took the entire end of it into his mouth.

"Elbereth!" Legolas cried.

Gimli growled around his mouthful of flesh, jealous of even the goddess's name on his lover's lips. He squeezed the root of Legolas's penis possessively and sucked harder on the head. Legolas moaned and clutched at Gimli's hair.

"Herion reviad!" he cried, trying to pull Gimli's head away from his groin. "Meldon--" Gimli resisted the pull, not yet ready to give up the taste or feel of him. Legolas arched against him, driving his penis deeper into Gimli's mouth. "Ai! Gimli!" His mouth filled with liquid, bitter but not unpleasant. Legolas froze, every muscle tensed, and then suddenly relaxed.

Gimli continued to explore with his tongue, intrigued by the taste and change of texture, until Legolas again tugged him away. This time he obeyed, crawling up to lie beside Legolas. The elf pulled him in for a slow, gentle kiss. When Legolas's lips relaxed against his mouth Gimli released the kiss and pulled back.

Legolas was looking up at the twisted pillar under which they lay, but Gimli did not think he truly saw it, recognizing the waking dream state that served elves as sleep. From this angle the pillar did not look as interesting--or perhaps it was only the haze of desire that made it look so suggestive before. Reaching over Legolas, he pulled the far edge of one of the cloaks over them both. They had time--no one expected a dwarf to emerge from a new cave for many hours, if not days.

He grinned. They had time to sleep, and when they woke....



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