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Disclaimer: The characters and setting are not mine and I make no monetary profit from their joy/suffering.
Summary: One night in Lorien, this is how Gimli and Legolas spend their time.
A/N: This was originally drafted as a chapter of Broken Child, but it certainly stands on its own, I think. I might later include it in Broken Child, but if I do, I'll probably change it a little, so this will always be a nice little standalone.
Legolas guided Gimli through the trees to a small clearing. There was a cacophony of sounds and Gimli could see several elves sitting around in the twilight, tuning various instruments. Some looked up at their entrance, and there were a few odd looks cast in his direction. Apparently, however, word had spread that the Dwarf was to be made welcome in all of Lorien.
Gimli and Legolas leaned silently against a tree as the music began. The melody was simple to start, a single reed flute. Soon other instruments joined in, weaving a song that spiraled gently into the heavens. A strange instrument began to play, and it took a moment for Gimli to realize it was Elven singing. Unable to make out the words, Gimli simply appreciated the singing for it's timeless ethereal quality. There was a pause and the music changed, becoming more quickly paced. One or two of the elves stood and began to dance in time to the music. There was a movement to his left, and Gimli turned to see Legolas rising to join them. A smile formed under his beard as he watched his friend enjoying the music, the Elf's body lithe and almost weightless on the grass. There was a tap on Gimli's shoulder and he turned to see an Elf offering him a skin of wine. He murmured his thanks in Elven which got him an appreciative smile from the Elf. Taking several swallows, Gimli passed the drink along, having to shuffle along the ground to pass it.
As he handed over the wine, Gimli saw a large instrument sitting unused beside the Elf. After getting the Elf's attention, he asked in halting speech if he could use the instrument. There was a discussion, and the woodwind was handed to him with a slight bow.
Sitting back under against his tree, Gimli studied the instrument for a moment. There was another tap and the wineskin - or perhaps a different - was passed again to him. Taking a few more draughts, he passed it on, already beginning to feel a tough lightheaded. After watching the dancers for a moment, he went back to studying the woodwind.
It wasn't exactly what he was used to, but it was close enough that he could make it out. The song had changed once again, slower, but there was still dancing, if it could be called that. He watched Legolas for a moment, noting how the moonlight glinted off his face and hair, how his body seemed to move bonelessly among the other equally fluid dancers. Gimli closed his eyes and focused on the music. Bring the wooden instrument to his lips, he began to play, matching the music, but with a distinctly Dwarven style.
Keeping his eyes closed, Gimli continued to play, noticing how much this song reminded him of a ballad from his home. When he finished, he opened his eyes and realized the others had stopped and all attention was focused on him. Only his beard and hair hid the deep blush of his face.
One of the female Elves knelt before him and smiled, her hands touching the instrument. "Your ways are deep, visitor." She said in hesitant, but accurate Common Speech. "Your music is not like we play here. It feels ... Older. Your people know the bones of the earth and it is in your sounds. Will you play more?"
"Please?" Legolas asked softly, resuming his seat beside Gimli.
It was the please that did it. Giving the Elven lady a nod, Gimli put the instrument again to his lips and began to play the first tune that came into his head. It was a children's song, but the Elves didn't seem to care as they absorbed every note.
While Elven music was largely timeless, Dwarven music was on the whole very old sounding. The Dwarves were closer to the earth and her bones than the Elves, and it showed in their music. The notes were deep and resonant, echoing through the woods like an ancient chant.
Through the evening, Gimli worked his way through every song he could remember, and several skins of wine. He was ready to stop when Legolas touched his hand. "One more? Please?" he asked softly, his eyes glowing in the moonlight.
Gimli lost himself in those eyes for a moment before returning to himself. "One more, and then we must welcome the sun," he gestured towards the gathering dawn barely visible through the trees. As he began to play, Gimli didn't think about what he was playing. It wasn't until halfway through he realize he'd been playing a love song. He looked around the circle as he played, his eyes not lingering until they fell upon Legolas.
The Elf had drawn his knees up to his chest and was facing Gimli, a distant smile on his face, his eyes unfocused as the music washed over him. Gimli kept his eyes on Legolas for the rest of the song, barely admitting to himself that he wasn't playing for a curious group of elves who wanted to hear Dwarven music. He was playing a song of love to one Elf, and the rest of Lorien and the world could go to Mordor for all he cared.
After he finished, Gimli returned tried to return the instrument, but the Elf refused. Legolas said the Elf felt he could no longer do the instrument justice and wished Gimli to keep it as a token of friendship.
When he tried to stand, Gimli realized how much he'd had to drink. Legolas tried to help, but didn't look to be in much better shape. Falling over several times, they were overcome by giggling. Deep Dwarven laughter and light Elven laughter echoed through the forest as they made their way back to the sleeping chambers Legolas been given. Gimli thought Legolas was trying to help him, but dimly wondered if he wasn't a walking prop to keep the Elf upright. Finally collapsing onto a pile of bedding, they didn't bother to untangle themselves before they both fell into a drunken sleep.
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Waking slowly, Gimli felt a familiar sensation and tried to sit up. His way was blocked by something warm and heavy on his s shoulder, pinning his arm down. Opening his bleary eyes, he saw Legolas' head nestled in his shoulder, the Elf's hand buried in his beard.
He studied the sleeping face for a long time, noticing that in spite of expectations, he didn't look that different in sleep than he did awake. Perhaps Elves didn't dream? Moving slowly, Gimli tried to untangle himself but stopped when he felt a definite tug at his beard. Sliding his hand into the coarse hair, he found Legolas' fingers tangled loosely in his beard. Wrapping his short fingers around Legolas' longer ones, he tried to dislodge the hand without walking the owner.
Legolas' head shifted and Gimli turned to look into his endless blue eyes. Sitting up, Legolas smiled and wiggled his fingers, working them between Gimli's, lacing them together in his beard. The Elf's pink tongue darted along his lips and Gimli held still as Legolas moved forward. The Elf's lips were smooth and sweet on Gimli's mouth. His tongue flicked out and he could taste the remnants of last night's wine mingled with another tangy flavor. Before Gimli had time to register, Legolas broke the kiss, sitting back and looking nervous. Gimli smiled and slid a hand up Legolas' arm and into his hair. Drawing the Elf towards him, he kissed him softly, his hand stroking the back of Legolas' neck. Legolas smiled at the soft rasp of Gimli's beard as he deepened the kiss, pressing his mouth more firmly against the Dwarf's. Tongues met and caressed for a moment before they pulled apart again.
Leaning in for a third kiss, they were interrupted when Legolas heard a sound outside his sleeping area. The Elf sat up and turned just in time to see the flash of a bare foot vanish around a tree. Gimli sank back against the bedding, one hand covering his eyes as he sighed heavily. He could feel Legolas moved and lifted his hand to see the Elf rising. "Are you ashamed?" the dwarf asked quietly, again closing his eyes, covering them with his hand. There was a long silence and Gimli was about to repeat himself when he felt slim fingers over his gently lifting his hand.
"Should I be?" Legolas asked, a smile playing at his lips. His look became a little uncertain and he whispered "Are you?"
"Nay!" Gimli's answer was immediate and vehement. "We've done naught to be ashamed of, at least in the ways of my people."
"Nor mine," Legolas pressed his lips to Gimli's for a quick kiss, then stood again. "We should perhaps join the others for breakfast. And unless I'm mistaken, there would be no point in trying to hide anything."
Gimli nodded and stretched before standing. "What, exactly, would we be hiding?" he asked cautiously.
"Perhaps we should discuss that after, when our stomachs have had more food and less wine in them."
Something about Legolas' tone bothered Gimli, but the dwarf said nothing as they walked to the canopy that had been set up for the other members of the fellowship. It was not the first time they entered the area together after a night away, but it as the first time conversation had lulled. Legolas seemed oblivious and joined a chatty conversation between Aragorn and some of the Lorien Elves.
Gimli sat at the table and began to eat, noting everyone's expressions. Merry and Pippin seemed to bubble with barely contained glee and kept passing each other glances followed by ear to ear grins. Sam and Frodo kept stealing glances at him and Legolas throughout the meal, and seemed to be in general good spirits. Boromir was hunched over his plate, speaking with no one. The one time Gimli caught his eye, the Man scowled and returned to his food. Aragorn spend most of the meal still deep in conversation but caught Gimli's eye once. The man had given him a small smile and a smaller nod before returning his attention to the Elves.
Having finished his meal, Gimli sat back and lit his pipe, watching Legolas through half closed eyes. He noticed the Elves Aragorn and Legolas were talking to gesturing in his direction. Legolas caught his eye and waved him over. Sitting between Legolas and Aragorn, Gimli listened to Legolas translating for the other Elf. A number of Elves had heard of Gimli's playing, but had not been on hand to hear it themselves. They were requesting an encore. After a glance at Legolas, Gimli agreed, saying he needed to retrieve his instrument.
After taking their leave of the group, Legolas and Gimli returned to the Elf's sleeping area in silence. After some searching, they located the wooden instrument. "Will we talk later?" Legolas asked quietly.
"Do you wish to talk now?" Gimli was taking the private moment to scratch a few spots under his armor and his conversation was interspaced with soft grunts and sighs.
"There is not time," Legolas crouched, leaning against a tree to put himself at a more equal level to Gimli for conversation.
"No, not at the moment." Gimli stepped closer to Legolas, reaching a callused hand to stroke his cheek. "No time, but are there regrets?"
Legolas shook his head, rubbing his cheek against the hand. "None.
be late." He kissed Gimli softly and stood, leading him to where the elves
awaited his music.
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CHAPTER 3: Breathing and Drums
Notes: This was inspired by R. Carlos Nakai's "Spirit Seekers Ceremony" which is the song link I sent earlier today (http://www.iocane.net/music) - Very, very primal, IMO, and I couldn't breathe while listening to it, which is what I was during while writing the bulk of this.
Reaching the clearing, Gimli and Legolas assumed their positions much as they had the night before. The crowd was sparse to begin, but soon filled out, occupying most of the clearing. Taking up his flute, Gimli began to play. It was one of the songs he had played previously, but no one seemed to mind, and he rather liked the song himself. He caught Legolas' eye several times as he played, feeling his pulse race at the smiles the Elf gave him, wondering if what he saw in those blue eyes was real.
After several songs, Gimli noticed one of the Elves playing a small drum. Glancing at Legolas, Gimli got an idea. Requesting a break, he had Legolas ask if there were larger drums available. After a bit of searching, they found one slightly larger, but it was not enough to suit Gimli. Explaining his needs to Legolas, he watched the Elf retreat into the woods to do as he asked. With Aragorn now acting as translator, he taught the Elf with the first drum a rhythm he needed for a song he wished to play as the finale. Once he was satisfied the woman had gotten it right, he began to play a light, airy song, deciding it was a fitting prelude to his finale. The song he played was a simple tune, no words, often played as background music during the arrival of guests to a wedding.
While playing a slow, almost somber wedding march, Gimli could see Legolas across the clearing, bearing with him a hastily made drum large enough to bathe two hobbits in. Ending the march, he nodded to the young drummer woman as Legolas approached them, setting it down in front of her. Gimli listened as she tapped out the pattern he taught her. Nodding, he felt himself tremble with anticipation at the song. He'd never tried to play it before, and was in awe of those who could do so. Reserved for the final song of a wedding celebration, the song had a very primal effect on most who heard it.
Standing, he gestured for silence before raising the flute to his lips. He waited for the first drumbeat. Then the second. Then began playing. His playing followed no set pattern, a sharp contrast to the steady, regular drumbeat. As he played, Gimli scanned the crowd, watching the effect it had on them. He noticed with some amusement that the Hobbits were wrapped in cloaks, only the tops of their heads poking out. Several Elven couples that had before now been merely sitting close were now far more intimate, and he noticed at least one couple had already fully succumbed to the music and was departing. Many others looked as though they wished to do so.
Directly opposite him, he caught the eye of Galadriel. Raising an eyebrow, he noticed she was holding hands with her husband. Celeborn turned to look at her, and Gimli recognized the look. He could see the Lady of Lórien open her mouth slightly, as though gasping. She met his eye once again and he gave a subtle nod as if confirming her question. Rising, the Lord and Lady left the clearing, as stately and dignified as ever they were. There was little question, however, of what they were going to do. As if permission had been granted, the other elves departed quickly in groups of two or three.
Out of the corner of his eye, Gimli caught sight of Legolas and nearly dropped his flute. The Elf was kneeling, legs folded neatly under his body. His slender fingers dug into his thighs and his mouth hung partly open, with his eyes mostly shut. The young prince looked to be in ecstasy.
Suddenly another flute joined his - lighter, faster, and far more Elven in its playing. Across the empty clearing, Gimli could see a tall Elf woman. As she approached, her gaze was fixed on the woman behind the drum, who likewise had eyes only for her. By unspoken agreement, Gimli ceased his playing, dropped his flute and reached for Legolas. They made it as far as the nearest tree before Legolas fell to his knees and they kissed with a tender savagery.
They got a few more steps before Legolas worked open the ties of Gimli's shirt. Unable to tell anymore if it was the drum or his blood pounding in his ears, Gimli pulled Legolas to him once more. Stripping, their caresses seemed to match the music still floating through the air. Finally laying naked on their sides, Legolas produced a small vial of oil. Panting lightly against the Elf's neck, Gimli slid a finger in on a drum beat, matching his movements to the rhythm. Slowly, so slowly he added another, and finally a third finger, his fingers pulsing with the music that filled the air. Legolas made no noise besides his labored breathing, as though not wishing to drown the delicate notes still drifting on the air.
Their bodies throbbing with the drumbeat, they moved so Legolas was on his knees, legs wide, with Gimli standing behind him. Finally draping himself over Legolas, Gimli's hair and beard mingled with Legolas' as they draped over the Elf's pale shoulders. Again waiting for the drumbeat, he slid into his lover, each drumbeat pushing him farther inside. As if the music were guiding him, Gimli's hips moved in a beat as steady as the still playing drum. A slender Elven hand reached up and tangled in Gimli's hair, pulling him closer as Legolas' body pressed upwards. Never speeding up, never breathing the rhythm of the drum, Gimli pushed them both towards the height of pleasure. Wrapping a firm hand about the waist of his lover, he stroked in time to the rest of his body.
Finally, never losing the steady, pulsing beat, they shuddered, gasped, and spent themselves. The music still flowed within their veins as they settled on their sides, still joined. Legolas turned to speak, but Gimli stopped him with a kiss.
Eventually the music itself faded and died, though few in Lórien could tell.
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Issue No.: 2.6
Site Last Updated: 11 May 2003