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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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Of Braids and Boxes

by Oakenshield

Rating: PG
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.
Feedback: Please.
Summary: Everything looks different from the same height…
A/N: Well... Someone had to do it sooner or later! ;) Movie-canon, obviously. Written in an hour before going to work, so pardons for any mistakes. Merry Xmas all!

"Why should I bend down?" Legolas carped. "I always have to bend down. You'll be the death of my back, Gimli." He looked down at the Dwarf and smirked. "Besides, you need to be above me to do this."

Gimli sighed, exasperated. "Then please tell me how I am supposed to reach?" He grasped the comb in his hand and peered up at the Elf. "Why so fussy about your hair, anyway? You'll be looking a complete mess by tonight. It was all right to start with anyway."

Legolas combed the last tangle from his hair with his fingers, freeing it from the tight braid and letting it fall loose down his back. "Why did you spend so much time fussing over your beard, getting all your plaits and braids just so?" he countered.

"Firstly, because it's not practical to go into battle with everything flowing loose," he stated, "and secondly because… because we Dwarves like to look terrible to our enemy. And terrible means not looking scruffy and unkempt." He sighed. "You're going to tell me it's the same for you now, aren't you?"

Legolas nodded with a smile and some of his hair fell down over his shoulders. A strand slipped from behind his ear to fall along the side of his face and he tossed his head to free it.

"But you look beautiful anyway," Gimli said softly, feeling an embarrassed flush creep over his cheeks as soon as the words were out. He noticed a slight blush taint Legolas's cheeks and the Elf's eyes lingered on him a second too long for his comfort making something flutter uncomfortably in his stomach.

"Then go back to your first point," Legolas refused to back down, though Gimli noticed his voice was a little shaky. "It's impractical, and now my hair is all loose, you'll *have* to do something with it." He gave a triumphant smirk.

Gimli swallowed hard to contain the odd feeling of lust that was rising from his heart. He'd often looked at his friend with silent desire but it had never felt as strong as this. "I could suggest that you do it yourself," he said, trying to keep his unsteady breath from showing in his voice.

"We elves always do each other's hair," Legolas explained. "Come on Gimli, we don't have much time!"

"Yet you've had no other Elf with you on this journey," Gimli could see himself winning the battle of words at last and grinned.

"I have had Aragorn," Legolas told him, straightening his shoulders. "He can do a good job of others' hair even if he cannot find the time to do as much as introduce a comb to his own."

"Yes, and now you've made him mad at you." Gimli sighed as he saw the remorse in his companion's eyes and regretted his words. He couldn't bear the doleful look the Elf fixed on him. "Oh! All right!" he gave in. "I'll do your hair! But don't expect it to be perfect."

Legolas smiled gratefully at him. "Shall I sit down?"

Gimli stretched up on tiptoe to try to reach the Elf's head, but couldn't reach with enough balance. He slumped back, defeated. "It might be an idea." He glanced around the sparse room, looking for something for the Elf to sit upon so he could reach easily. A pile of wooden boxes were piled untidily in the corner of the room. "Would you like me to fetch you a box?"

"You could," Legolas said softly, his voice tense with suppressed laughter.

"What's so funny?" Gimli dragged a box over and placed it by the Elf.

"Nothing." He lowered his head and sniggered into his hand. "I just thought I should rather be saying that to you."

"What?" Gimli couldn't help but smile through his frown as he followed the blond's gaze down at the box. "Oh, I see! Well, fine! Have your joke at me!" He jumped up on the box, and stared him in the eyes, trying to keep up a serious facade. The laughter was knocked from his chest along with his breath as he finally stared face to face with Legolas.

Legolas blinked at him. "Everything looks different," he whispered. "Having you at the same height as me, I mean. I'd never noticed how dark your eyes are. They're like coals… Hot coals." He bit into his lower lip.

Gimli found the gesture tantalising and he stared as Legolas chewed on his lip, flicking his tongue out to moisten them. "I used to think your eyes were cold," he whispered, following the path of his tongue with his eyes. "But they're not. They're just deep..." He stared into the blue orbs, seeing emotions he had never noticed before, though he had looked for them. "Deep with so much pain, and fear, and regret." He pressed his hand against the side of the Elf's face, and the comb dropped to the floor forgotten. The braids were forgotten. The battle was forgotten. "Why have you been so afraid to show me before?" He felt a single tear touch his hand.

"Because you've never got this close before," Legolas replied, closing his eyes and shuttering his emotions again. He leaned into the touch against his cheek.

"I've never been this close? I've never looked you in the eyes like that?" Gimli wondered aloud to himself. Or did the Elf mean more.

"You've never been this close," Legolas whispered again. "No one has ever been this close…. this close …." He gasped as Gimli ran his hand up into his hair, stroking against his ear.

"To what?" Gimli felt his heart thud beneath his shirt in anticipation as he absently rubbed his thumb up to the point of the Elf's ear, feeling him shudder.

"To my heart," Legolas said softly, opening his eyes to stare into Gimli's. "I've never felt like I do in this very second. I've tried to ignore it, I've tried to fight it but I can't anymore."

"Shh." Gimli pulled his hand out of his hair and pressed a finger to his lips. "I know."

"Do you?" Legolas cautiously kissed the tip of his finger. "Do you know how I feel?"

"I know how I feel," Gimli said hoarsely as Legolas's lips caressed the length of his finger before pulling it into his mouth. "By Durin, you are terrible!" he groaned.

"Am I so terrible?" Legolas took Gimli's hand in his and nibbled gently at the skin between his thumb and first finger. " I love you, Gimli, whether it is right or not. Does that make me terrible?"

"You love me?" Gimli felt a hand come to rest at the small of his back, pulling him in closer. Even though Legolas was speaking the words, he could hardly believe it was true. So this was what this strange feeling was all about? It was love?

"I have since Lorien," Legolas smiled, winding his hand into the Dwarf's beard. "Are my feelings returned, Gimli? Please say they are."

Gimli nodded, choked with emotion. "They are. I love you." He laughed out loud in elation. "I love you Legolas!" He grasped the Elf by the shoulders and pulled him towards him to press a kiss to his mouth. He felt Legolas smile against his lips as he slid his arms around his back, pulling him deeper into the kiss. The Elf's tongue slipped easily into his mouth, forcing him to shake off his shocked numbness and respond. The warmth was like fire, flowing to his heart and groin in equal amounts. He clutched the Elf closer to him. "Legolas—"

"Gimli! Legolas!" A bang on the door forced them apart with a start. "It's time. Come."

"Coming, Aragorn!" Gimli hopped down from the box and dashed out of the room, flustered with the Elf behind him hastily trying to braid up his hair.

"Let's hope the box survives this onslaught too," Legolas whispered at his ear as he passed him to catch up with Aragorn. "I intend to put it to good use." He winked as he turned around the corner.

Gimli followed behind, laughing quietly to himself at the possibilities.


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Issue No.: 2.6
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