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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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Through Rohan

by Jacquez H. Valentine

Category: Poetry
Rating: PG
Warnings: None.
Disclaimer: Based on characters and events created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Used without permission. No money made, no harm intended.
Feedback: Certainly.
Author's Website: http://www.dementia.org/~jacquez/writing/
Summary: A quiet moment of companionship; a break in the action.
A/N: For Cara

Gimli bent over the basin and wrung out his beard, then went to sit by the fire to comb and dry it, working through the thickest tangles with his fingers. He took care, but even so, some of the knots made him wince.

Legolas, sitting nearby, spoke without lifting his head from fletching arrows. "Why not use the comb in my pouch? It will clear tangles the easier, without breaking the hair."

Amused, Gimli raised his eyebrows. "If you think I'm going to listen to the advice of a beardless boy--"

"I am the elder of us, hairy boar."

Gimli huffed into his beard. "This boar has tusks!" Legolas looked up at last, his eyes merry and his expression fond. Gimli laughed, and reached out to tug gently at a stray lock of Legolas's hair. "Beardless you may be," he said, "but your hair does the Lady proud, though it be not so fair as hers."

At that, Legolas, too, began to laugh. "Fair words, my friend. You will love me as you do her next!"

"Nay," Gimli answered, combing out the last knots in his beard, "for my love for her is that of a warrior for a queen too high to touch. My love for you is a more earthy kind."

"Ah." Legolas slid the arrows into his quiver and laid it beside him. "And how do you love me, Gimli Gloin's son? As you love a fellow warrior?"

"Nay, lad; another way."

Legolas smiled and propped his elbows on his knees. "As a companion, then?"

"Nay, lad; another way." Gimli fluffed his beard carefully, enjoying the banter and the pleasant heat of the fire.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Legolas's smile grow wicked. "As a brother, perhaps?"

"Are you blind, Master Elf? Have you not watched my ways closely? Another way."

"Ah." Legolas opened his pouch and took out his bone comb, tipped with silver. He worked it through his own hair, then braided it back with nimble fingers. "Now," he said, "what other way could there be?"

Gimli snorted and began to braid his beard. "I cannot imagine," he said, dryly, and Legolas stood and joined him by the fire.

"Here, friend," Legolas said, and knelt to braid a strand of Gimli's hair as he had braided his own. "Leave an elf-lock in thy hair, as a symbol of the love between us." As he made to stand, Gimli caught his hand. Legolas drew in a sudden breath. "Gimli," he said, "can you not imagine? I can, but I dare not speak."

"Aye," Gimli said. "I can imagine." He drew Legolas closer, and ran curious fingers over skin that had known neither beard nor razor. "You are strange to me, my friend. Strange to the eyes and to the touch. I cannot call you fair, for that word I have sworn to the Lady herself. Yet lovely as a jewel I may call you, and beautiful as a meadow in sunlight."

Legolas pressed his cheek to Gimli's palm, and his skin and breath were summer-warm. "Strange are you also to me, but I had rather your strangeness by my side than the fairest of my own kind." Quick as lightning, he leaned forward and brushed his mouth over Gimli's. His color was high when he sat back, and his eyes turned aside.

Gimli raised Legolas's chin and joined their mouths again: longer, deeper, sweeter. He released Legolas, who kept his eyes closed and lips parted. Gimli touched his fingers to Legolas's mouth and whispered "Cold and clear as river-water, Prince of Mirkwood."

"Have I been cold to thee?" Legolas answered, shuttered eyes opening. "Let me remedy that now." So saying, he seized Gimli's beard and pulled him close. "I'll warm thee as no dwarf has been warmed by elf since the world began." Then he smiled. "Except, perhaps, Narvi, warmed at Celebrimbor's fire--"

"You talk too much," Gimli said, and stopped his mouth with a kiss. He spanned Legolas's neck with his strong hand, rubbed his thumb across the strut of collarbone. Legolas laughed and leaned closer, until they were pressed chest-to-chest. After a time, Gimli broke the kiss and said "We have no time for more than this, now. But I shall hold you to your promise of warmth."

Legolas touched his forehead to Gimli's, smooth skin to rough. "I shall not start betraying promises now, my friend. You will have all the warmth you could ask of me." He fingered the elf-lock in Gimli's hair. "Wear that now as a symbol of my promise as well as my love, son of Gloin."

Gimli took his hand at that, and smiled at him over the knuckles. "Until the end of my days, elf. Until the end of my days."


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Issue No.: 2.6
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