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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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Heart's Ease

by Jacquez H. Valentine

Warnings: None
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.
Summary: Legolas loves, and yet the sea calls.
A/N: Thank you to Debra Fran Baker for the comments on an earlier version.

I had ever been light of heart and keen of wit and a better hand at the bow than all my kin. Yet never had I loved, nor been so torn in all my life, as after the War of the Ring. Gimli Gloin's son, mortal and yet strong as an oak, had my heart, but the sea called and I shook with the longing for them both.

And in the Glittering Caves, Gimli drew me down and kissed me, and for a while my heart was content.

And in Fangorn, we loved under spreading boughs, and for a while my heart was glad.

And yet the sea called, and my heart cried out in answer.

Gimli held me then, in the long nights after we departed Fangorn, as I turned my eyes to the sea and sang my grief. "Stay," he said. "Stay, my dearest friend. Stay a while longer." And so I stayed, and we traveled together, to his home and then to mine, and we brought our people to the Caves and to Ithilien.

And Gimli rode me with a skill he had never shown on horseback, bending my body to his will and easing my heart with each deep stroke within me. I could lose myself in him or with him, spending a night or a day in joy, but always the sea called me.

The gulls woke me from sleep until I slept no more unless Gimli was with me. Their urgent voices demanded I leave my lover behind me and sail to the Undying Lands, but I had Ithilien to make fair and mortal friends to love, and so I stayed.

Years passed, and I felt like a mortal Man, their passage weighing heavily on me.

One night, warm in bed, Gimli held me in his arms and said "You are not happy, Legolas."

I turned my face away, but I could not hide from him. "I am not," I answered, "except when I am. Yet those times are rarer these days, my most-beloved." I kissed his hand and his mouth, and held him close. "You ease my heart," I whispered, and felt his smile against my chest. "Stay with me," I said, as long ago he had said it to me. "Stay with me." And so it came to pass that Gimli Gloin's son dwelt in Ithilien, a ruddy Dwarf amongst pale clear Elves, and I could laugh again.

But Gimli's skin grew paler, and his hair and beard white, though his face did not line and his limbs were still strong. One day I looked on him and saw he had a light upon him, like one of my kind, and my heart leapt as it had not for these many years. For what could it be but a blessing - of the Lady, perhaps, whose gift he still held close?

"Come with me," I said, for he had already forsaken his kin and his homeland, and I knew what he would say. "Come with me over the sea, most-beloved. There is a blessing laid upon you. Come with me."

"Yes," he said, and kissed my chest, and my hip, and his fingers and tongue knew all the secrets of my body. The passion in him, also, was untouched by the years or the whiteness of his beard.

I began to build a ship to take me over the sea, and Gimli watched me with fond eyes. I sang as I built, for light was in me and in my most-beloved. Word came before the ship was half-complete that Elessar the King, who had been Aragorn in the days of his youth, lay dying.

We rode astride one horse then, Gimli and I, and I felt him weep against my back as the horse carried us to Minas Tirith. And we came to the city, and bade him farewell, and I went out to speak to Arwen. Her grief touched only her eyes; in all other ways she seemed still the wry gentle woman I had known of old. "Our son is ready to rule," she said, "and oh, I long for my mother to comfort me." I kissed her brow and caught her tears in my hand, but there was no peace I could offer her. She smiled at me, and said, "You will never know this pain, Legolas. Gimli will sail with you, will he not?"

"He will," I said, and she nodded.

"I foresaw this, but knew not how. Now I have seen him, and I know."

I kissed her again, and she went back in to her husband, that she might be with him at the moment he drew his last breath. And Gimli came to me, and laid his hand upon my arm, and I looked down at him.

"He will not last the hour," Gimli said, "and you and I will be the last of our Fellowship upon these shores."

"We shall not stay long," I said, and raised my face to the night. Surely there was rain on the wind. Surely I wept not - not for myself, nor for Elessar, nor for Middle-Earth.

The mourners cried out within, and Arwen's voice rippled out in song.

Yet still Gimli stood beside me, hale and strong, and still the sea was calling.

And oh, my heart was light.


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