6. Chapter Six
A/N: Yes, though I am following bookverse, I have chosen to go with a blonde Legolas, but a dark-haired Gimli. It's all about the contrasts, baby!
Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the words' glory
Will never die
In honourable reminisce
The wind picked up, almost as if it was howling mournfully for the fallen. The stars mourned too, as pale and cold as the moon. There was no warmth in the night, no comfort in the sky.
Yet morning would bring no comfort.
Aragorn had already fallen asleep, the Ranger's face deeply troubled even so. If the man dreamt, it was not peacefully. Legolas stood nearby, watching the dark sky with a strange calm.
Gimli felt no such calmness.
His feet hurt, his hands hurt, his side hurt but most of all his heart hurt, almost like a fatal wound.
Boromir was dead. Frodo and Sam had ventured alone into darkness. Merry and Pippin might be lost to them too. The dwarf's heart wept for the fates of all of them.
Death had come. And he had not stopped it. He could have chased after Merry and Pippin, he should have. He had felt a worry in his heart, a feeling of impending doom. But when Legolas had run off, he had not thought, he had not paused to even consider where he should go.
He had followed the Elf. Boromir had fallen defending the hobbits and the Fellowship was broken. Death had come again, as the ravens had warned.
He bowed his head.
“You should sleep,” Legolas said softly without even turning. He seemed but a shadow against the sky, though his hair shone palely in the night.
“I cannot. Death haunts us, Legolas. Gandalf fell, Boromir fell and the hobbits may suffer an ill fate. I cannot sleep.”
“We may all suffer an ill fate.”
“Galadriel spoke of this to me,” Gimli replied. “I have failed the Fellowship. I chose poorly.”
“No.” Legolas turned, walking over to the dwarf with soft steps. “Frodo chose his path. We cannot help him. We can only hold hope in our hearts that they will walk out of the darkness again.”
Gimli looked up at the elf, whose face was filled with only caring and warmth. Legolas did not understand. He could not. He was immortal, and yet Gimli had chosen to protect him, perhaps the one among them who least needed protection.
'I chose you over the Fellowship,' the dwarf though miserably. 'Alas for Gimli! Alas for my heart, for it has betrayed me.'
He bowed his head again, unable to meet Legolas's eyes. Never had he known a living being with more intense eyes.
“Gimli,” Legolas said softly. “You offered me comfort. Now let me comfort you. Tell me what troubles you. It is more than the fate of the hobbits and the loss of Boromir.”
“I...” Gimli began, realising suddenly he was not even sure what it was himself. He felt – What did he feel? Pain. Confusion. Fear. Longing. So many emotions it was hard to tell one from the other. A web which had caught him, and he did not know how to untangle it.
“Will you remember me after I die?” he suddenly asked, the question coming from a dark corner in his mind he had not been aware of. “Will you remember Boromir and Gandalf too? Forever is a long time.”
Legolas sat down, his hair blowing slightly in the wind. His eyes remained on the sky though, watchful.
“I am an Elf. We do not forget, Gimli. We sing of the past, of those lost to us. They remain with us; a whisper in the wind; a song to the stars; a memory in our hearts. I sung for Boromir, I will sing for you.”
“Yes, but what will you sing? What words will you use for Gimli, son of Glóin?”
“Gimli,” Legolas said forcefully. “Look at me. We need you. You are a friend, a valiant warrior and I will not let you think otherwise. We need your stout courage for this hunt, or it will fail.”
Gimli lifted his head, seeing the intense light in the elf's eyes. No longer was it directed at the sky - it was directed at him, and his heart shivered.
“I need you,” the Elf said more softly. “Never has an elf grown to rely so much on a dwarf, and his gruff words and snoring at night. When I sing of you, it will be words of praise. What can I give to comfort you but that?”
“A kiss,” Gimli muttered. He did not realise what he had said until he saw the elf's startled expression.
“Nay. Say nothing, Gimli son of Glóin. You ask odd things of the elves. But I offered you what comfort I could give and I will give it,” Legolas interrupted. “Then you will sleep, my friend, lest I knock you down to force you to rest.”
Gimli stared at him, wondering if it was a dream, and if it was, if he could remain within it always.
The elf leaned forward, his golden hair mixing with Gimli's own black in the wind. Light and dark, elf and dwarf, immortal and mortal.
And then all thoughts abandoned the dwarf as lips softer than autumn rain met his own. He closed his eyes, for he could not hear and see anymore. His senses were but focused on one thing. He was not even sure if his body trembled or not, for he was not even aware of it.
There was just the warmth and softness comforting him, a thousand times more intense than a dream would ever be. A waking dream, taking his breath away. Sweet and unfamiliar the elf tasted, yet as refreshing as a drink of a mountain spring.
All too soon the contact was broken, and gentle hands guided him to the ground.
And he did.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.