|Author: Athea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Beneath it all, part ten
Pairing: Legolas/Gimli, Merry/Pip, Frodo/Sam
Summary: The purple potion has far reaching effects.
Warning: The story goes AU in a big way and if reading about male pregnancy is a squick for you then this series is over for you. Sorry but there are wonderful stories out there that will please you more.
Date: 12 March 2002
I watched Legolas throw up into the pottery bowl for the fourth morning in a row and worried a little harder. He said that he was fine but he was down to eating bread and clear broth. I'd searched the markets for fruit and greens that he might be able to keep down but so far only the peaches had stayed down. He'd eaten one and enjoyed it immensely. So, I'd gone back and bought out the entire bushel from the old woman hunched over her wares in the bright yellow and red booth.
Frodo had gone off his feed also and I know Sam was worried about him. But peaches seemed to appeal to him too so between the two of them none went to waste. I dipped a cloth into some cool water and bathed Legolas' face with it. I'd learned to have a glass of water waiting for him to sip after one of these bouts and I held it out mutely for him to take or not.
His face was so pale that it frightened me. All the beautiful golden color had leached away, leaving him wan and drawn. But he still managed a smile for me when he took the glass. "Thank you, beloved. I think it's not so bad today."
He'd been saying that for the last four days and I nodded as if I believed him. But I was more determined than ever that when the Elves came bringing Arwen to marry Aragorn, I'd have their healer look at him. I'd included a message to Elrond when our king sent word to them and hopefully he'd heed my words and bring one with him.
Legolas sipped at the water and I held him close, my head resting on the fair hair that I loved to brush. If we could just get through this morning, he usually felt better by the afternoon. He leaned back against me and I hugged him tighter. "Perhaps, just this once, you'd go back to bed for a little nap. You were restless most of the night."
"Nay, I just need a few moments to settle my stomach then I'll go see how Frodo is." He smiled and sipped a little more water.
A knock at our door made me let go of him and I did so reluctantly, crossing the cool granite tiles to the sturdy oaken door. "Sam, good morning. How's Frodo?"
The Hobbit nodded with a frown on his face. "A little better, Gimli. I thought of an old Shire remedy for stomach upsets and brewed up some of it for him to drink. It stayed down all right and he feels like getting up. So, I brought some for Legolas, in case it might help Elves, too."
"Thank you, Sam. We'll try anything at this point." I nodded gratefully and we exchanged a look of pure comradeship. He brought the covered pot in and over to the fire where Legolas was still sipping his water.
Once he traded the water for a cup of the amber tea, he perked up almost at once. I could smell a fruity aroma about it but his smile was almost back to his normal brightness. "Sam, what a wonderful thought. Raspberry leaf tea is an old Elven remedy as well. I'd forgotten all about it. Usually it's a woman's panacea for the nausea of childbearing."
"Aye, it's used for that in the Shire, too. But it can be used for general nausea and hangovers as well." Sam smiled happily. "Some of those salty biscuits help a treat when Frodo is feeling real bad. I wish the Houses of Healing knew what was wrong with the two of you."
My lover patted his hand. "Frodo is still recovering from the deprivations of your journey. As for me," he shrugged, "I just have a touch of the summer sickness, I expect."
I kept my mouth shut with a real effort. I didn't think it was the summer that had anything to do with it. Somewhere deep inside of me, I was afraid that it was loving me that had brought on this sickness. That a remedy might mean we'd have to part was a thought that tore me to shreds. I'd spoken to Gandalf the night before and he'd promised to think on it.
What good was a wizard if he couldn't find solutions to dire problems?
Perhaps I was over-reacting but the fear of losing him grew with each day of sickness. Was I cursed to always lose the one I loved? Usually I could dismiss such a foolish notion but not now. Not when the other half of my soul was hurting. Another knock on the door sent me back to open it. This time it was Gandalf and Frodo.
"I've done some research, my friends." The wizard looked a little strange and an arrow of fear struck my heart. "Let's sit down and I'll explain."
He took the chair near the fire while I sat on the hearthstone so I could cradle Legolas between my legs and hold him tight. Sam and Frodo sat side by side, holding hands.
"Well now, I have to first say that there is nothing wrong with either of you. If I am correct, what is happening is just the normal progression of a condition that usually doesn't effect male Hobbits or Elves." He stopped and reached for his pipe but quickly put it away when my lover turned a pale green.
Clearing his throat once or twice, he continued. "Perfectly normal. That is ..."
I glared at his unaccustomed mumbling. "What, Gandalf? What is perfectly normal?"
His eyes went from the Hobbits to us then back again. "Well, I think it might be best if I showed you. There's a small spell that will tell us for sure if what I conjecture is happening, really is . . . happening."
Legolas sighed impatiently. "Then cast the spell and be done with it."
Frodo agreed. "It's better to know than to just keep on throwing up for no apparent reason. Will it hurt?"
"No, not at all. It's more of an aura reading than anything else, a spell to show what condition your body is in." Gandalf sat up a little straighter and got nods from all of us. He closed his eyes and murmured something under his breath then I felt the air tingle and thicken around Legolas.
I didn't let go of him but watched in awe at the cascade of colors that now encircled him from head to toe. Most of his body shone with a pale pink light but his stomach glowed a deep purple, almost the same color as the old cordial he'd drunk two moons before. I looked over and saw the same thing over Frodo's stomach, wondering with a sick feeling in my own middle if the wine had been poisoned.
"Well, I was right." Gandalf looked shocked and relieved at the same time. He cleared his throat a couple of times then began to smile. "Elrond should be bringing the Varyan scrolls with him and we can hopefully read up on this condition before too much time passes."
"What condition?" I got out through gritted teeth. Damn wizards!
"Legolas, Frodo, for the first time in the Third Age, you're ..." he faltered and took a deep breath. "The two of you are pregnant."
My mind blanked completely.
How could that happen?
I blushed suddenly and completely. I knew exactly how it had happened.
"The cordial wasn't a love potion but one of conception?" Legolas said faintly.
"Exactly." Gandalf nodded. "The two of you are mated to males but that happened in the First Age so they created a potion to help whichever one of the pairs wanted to carry the child. I expect that it is Elf specific so that answers the question of whether or not there is Elven blood in the Baggins' lineage."
"But I'm a dwarf." I whispered, still in shock.
"Yes, that may throw a complication or two into Legolas' pregnancy so we'll have to watch the progression carefully. If you'll notice, there appear to be two centers of purple inside of both of them. The scrolls will tell us for sure but that may mean that Frodo and Legolas are carrying twins."
Legolas turned in my arms with the brightest smile I'd ever seen on his face. "Gimli, I do love you. Now, perhaps Glimmer will be born to carry on your line."
A son? My son? A child both Elf and Dwarf?
Tears filled my eyes. "Perhaps he will be the first blond Dwarf in this new age. I love you too, Legolas Greenleaf."
Frodo and Sam were both crying and holding each other. I could see the shock in Sam's eyes that had to be in mine. Legolas had buried his head against my chest and I held him tightly, still trying to wrap my mind around this wondrous event. I'd given up that old dream so long ago that to have it resurrect itself was truly a life-altering event. Not to mention what it might mean for my Elven lover.
"Male bodies aren't made to deliver babies, Gandalf." I blurted out.
"No, that's a part of the knowledge that I'm hoping the old scrolls will give us." He stroked his beard and looked from one of us to the other. "The next eight months will be quite eventful and you're all going to have to stay near competent care. Have you thought about where you want to live?"
Sam spoke up. "Frodo and I want a place of our own, near the Shire but not in it, exactly. And now, that'll be even more important. I don't want anyone making fun of him for being pregnant."
That caught my attention immediately. Others of both my kind and his would decry our love and would surely be aghast at the further thought of two males being pregnant. More than ever, I was glad that we'd already had this conversation. "Sam's right. We're neither fish nor fowl now that we love each other. We want a place with trees and mountains both."
Frodo wiped away his tears and smiled at us all. "The map room two floors down has enough maps that surely we'd be able to find a place for all of us. Right now, we can hide what's happening but in a few months, Legolas and I will begin to show and then the fat really will be in the fire."
"Good thinking, Frodo." Gandalf stood with a swirl of his white robes. "For now, I suggest we tell no one. In a few days when you've picked out a place, we'll need to see if our new king would kindly grant a deed for some land to a few of his Fellowship."
"We need to tell Merry and Pippin." Sam said while helping Frodo to his feet. "I'm thinking that they'll be real good at planning and building and such."
I stood and tenderly helped Legolas to his feet. Leaning in just a little, I placed a soft kiss on his abdomen. "Welcome, little ones."
He smiled and burst into tears. "Oh, Gimli. Thank you for not being upset."
I snorted. "Nonsense, beloved, I'm half the reason that you're pregnant."
Chuckling and brushing away the sudden tears, he laid a strong hand on my shoulder. "My most beloved and virile lover."
My gaze caught Sam's and his blush told me that we'd need to have a private talk of our own once this surprising day was over. Until then, I pretended to preen. "Of course."
Legolas was laughing when we went through the door. I brought the covered teapot and the cups. We might just need them.
Frodo lost his energy first followed quickly by Legolas. I sent them both back to their rooms with Sam to make sure that they got there. The map archivist was an elderly Man by the name of Bramble and he knew his maps. I had the feeling that he'd memorized every single one. He'd listened to our requests and kept a steady stream of maps coming to our table.
He'd frowned when I set the teapot down but when Frodo had a sudden attack of nausea, he watched him sip the tea with a sense of the same relief that the rest of us felt. We'd narrowed the field quite a bit over the last two hours and Gandalf had gone to the scroll archives to see what Minas Tirith had on the region we'd selected. I was pouring over the last map that showed a small mountain range with a series of lakes that were fed by three different rivers.
The forest, that covered the mountains and the surrounding valleys, was called Vestella if I read the crabbed hand rightly. I knew the mountains as the Blue Star range and it was a minor range that boasted few precious minerals. That meant there would be few of the Dwarven clans who would contest our claim to them. Legolas had mentioned that the forests had been the site of at least one Varyan clan.
That might prove valuable if some of their lost records could be found.
"Gimli, I found several mention of the Blue Stars and the Vestella Forest." Gandalf returned with both arms filled with scrolls. "They even had two Varyan scrolls that I've never seen before. Elrond will be pleased. When Legolas has to slow down his activities, he could translate them. What I read, sounded quite archaic."
"Varyana?" Bramble had returned with another map. "I seem to recall a map with a like heading. Would it be of use?"
Gandalf's eyes sparkled. "Certainly. I would be most pleased to see it. I thought very little survived of their time."
Bramble laughed a dry, rusty chuckle. He'd certainly perked up with our visit. "Old things and old people just naturally find their way to my archive."
I hid a smile and rolled up the best map to lay aside for now. One of the scrolls was in the elder Dwarven tongue and I took it to puzzle over while I watched Legolas sleep. I still could hardly believe what Gandalf had told us. Not even seeing the purple glow had made me truly understand the great change that had come to us. Nothing about this odd journey had discomfited me the way that thinking of a child combining both my race and Legolas' had done.
Slipping inside our door, I closed and locked it behind me. The scroll went on the table and I climbed up to sit by my lover's side. All the pain lines had eased away and his golden hair lay tangled on the white pillowcase. He'd stripped down to skin and the sheet was all that covered him. One white arm lay outside the sheet and I gently traced the long muscle that gave him such prowess with his bow.
He was carrying our child ... perhaps two babies even now lay nestled within his body. They were the result of our love and that had been the greatest miracle of my long life. But they were so far beyond any wish that I might have made that I felt overwhelmed by it all.
"Gimli, come to bed." His eyes opened and he smiled at me. "I love you. Are you sure that you wish this great and frightening event to come to pass?"
"Yes." I suddenly knew what I was feeling. "Frightening, yes. But they are the physical proof of our love and that is the greatest gift I have ever been given."
"Oh, yes, my dearest love, I have been blessed with your love." He raised the edge of the sheet and beckoned me inside.
I hastily undressed and joined him, his long arms pulling me tight against his cool body. "We will have a long and eventful life together, Legolas. Any child that combines our traits will be a handful. Perhaps we should start interviewing nurse maids now?"
He chuckled and kissed me slowly but passionately. When we had to breathe, he pulled back only far enough to gaze into my eyes. "We shall conduct those interviews when we need to. It will be nice to look among those coming for the wedding."
That reminded me of the coming confrontation with the Elves from Rivendell. "If we can just keep Elrond from killing me, we may have a chance to gather a few other Elves for our new community."
"Never fear, Gimli, he will welcome you as he once welcomed you to Rivendell. He is one who knows the power of love." Legolas began to kiss his way down to my chest. His long hair tickled and I felt myself begin to harden. "He will probably be quite jealous once I brag of your virility."
"Legolas!" I was slightly shocked at his teasing but his laughter told me of his intent. "Just for that, I shall ravish you without mercy until you beg for release."
"I am counting on that, beloved." He bit my left nipple and sent a bolt of lightning through me.
With a flex of muscle, I pulled him beneath me and looked down into his laughing eyes. I felt his body with mine and again realized that his had changed beyond all recognition to me. I slid to one side and kissed the flesh over the still-taut abdomen. "Go to sleep, little ones, I'm going to ravish your ..." I paused, disconcerted.
He laughed. "If I'm to bear this child or children to life, I'm prepared to be a mother."
I kissed him again. "Beloved Legolas, thank you for bearing this blessing for us."
"I would do it again in a heartbeat, Beloved Gimli." His hand stroked my cheek. "Now ravish me, my virile dwarf."
So I ravished him, slowly and carefully.