|Author: Athea (email@example.com)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: New Beginnings, part eight
Summary: Things get worse.
Date: 21 April 2002
Something was going on. I've been a hunter all my life and I knew when someone was being stalked. Gimli's accident and almost death had cast a pall over our new home. But I could sense since then that he was seeking something or someone. The Hobbits were helping him, asking questions of everyone in the guise of conversation. They all seemed to center on the day of the accident when my brother and I were hunting.
Did that mean that we were considered quarry?
From fragments of conversation that we overheard, we pieced together what must have happened. Someone had set a trap for Gimli and the ghost had saved him. Legolas was so connected to his lover that he'd felt his pain and fallen unconscious also. We were determined to help root out the assassin but it hurt a little to think that we were on the suspect list.
My tenderhearted brother was devastated that Legolas might think that one of us could possibly hurt his bonded. He'd cried bitter tears until I suggested that our cousin might not even know that it wasn't an accident and any suspicions were held by Gimli. That made him feel a little better, for how could the Dwarf know that Legolas had long been a shield for us.
We had trusted him with our greatest secret and he had created a screen to help hide our love. Whenever we were together, he flirted with Elladan while my brother flirted back. That flirtation hid our need to be together with no others in the way. Neither of us would ever do anything to hurt the beautiful Prince but Gimli could have no way to know that.
Still, we wished to help. So we began to scout our small town, finding nooks and crannies that might hold a person who wished to listen. But all the time that we were guarding Gimli and watching out for him, it never occurred to us that Legolas might be the next target.
Or rather, the tiny babes he carried.
We ate most meals at the meeting hall. Jallico was a good cook and it felt great not to have to cook for ourselves. Smiling at Master Weaver Matso, I stopped to flirt with his eldest daughter, Salurr. Tilly just laughed at me and wagged her finger in front of my face. They both knew that it was a game and gave me back as good as I gave. And if I was very lucky, El' might chastise me later. Looking for him, I found him talking to Legolas while Gimli quartered the room with his eyes.
Merry and Pippin were on either side of Frodo while Sam chatted with the gardener, a Man by the name of Harriman. I fell into conversation with Balik at the table where we usually sat. A new series of tunnels had been revealed by the cave-in that had almost killed Gimli and he wanted to go exploring soon. I found the world beneath the ground a fascinating one and offered my help.
He nodded once before smiling at Jallico's entrance with the first of our dinner dishes. The cook left everything out on the long table next to the kitchen door and returned for the next batch of dishes. We all served ourselves usually but Sam finished his conversation to get his dinner and Frodo's. Gimli always did the same for Legolas and tonight was no exception.
Elladan joined me once he got our friend seated at his table. Legolas looked tired as if he wasn't sleeping well but I saw him stroke his stomach with a dreamy look. I had the feeling that something had changed and hoped that he'd told my twin the news. But for now, I selected the onions and beans that Jallico made so well along with some of the rabbits that we'd snared earlier.
The larger our community grew, the more hunting we needed to do. Often we ranged far from here so we didn't over hunt our own lands. Elladan joined me with his own plate filled with the rolls he loved. Our conversation grew general and we ate with an appetite. Once most of us were full, Jallico and Pippin brought out dessert. The young Hobbit was working with our cook and had been for several weeks. He had an inventive turn of mind and liked making dessert.
Most of his ideas had worked out well although the orange cream upside down cake had failed to rise. But it tasted good and so we'd told him. Tonight was a tart rhubarb-strawberry crumble and we all pronounced it very good while Jallico and Pippin waited anxiously for our words. They smiled and finally ate some for themselves. Legolas just tasted it before shaking his head.
I thought I saw his lips say 'too tart but delicious just the same' before he picked up the teapot that sat near his place and began to pour a cup of dark tea. I looked up in time to see an arrow appear out of nowhere and shatter the earthenware pot in midair. Legolas froze but Gimli jumped out of his chair and raced for the kitchen door. Not even thinking, I followed him in time to hear him curse.
"Damn ghost! If I ever get my hands on him, I'm going to wring his neck." His dark eyes glared up at me.
"He had time to kill any of us, Gimli. I think we'd better find out what was in the teapot that he felt was such a risk to Legolas." The thought came to me so quickly that I surprised myself with my own words.
Gimli blanched and pushed past me immediately. I could see Rhea attending to the Prince and I cast a keen eye over the others milling about. For some reason, it was the look on the gardener's face that struck me as odd. Anger twisted his whole face then it disappeared as quickly as it had come, a look of concern the only thing I could see.
Anger at the attempt or the rescue? I shook my head and crossed to Elladan, putting an arm around his shoulders and squeezing once. He leaned hard into my side then straightened while I murmured what I'd seen into his ear. Nodding, he crossed to Frodo's side where he could comfort the small Hobbit while I returned to the kitchen to see if there was any trace of our 'ghost'.
Crouching low, I gazed over the floor. It was a maze of footprints going from the table to the cupboards then to the stoves and back again. For a moment, I didn't realize what I was seeing but I followed one set of footprints from the outside door to the sideboard and back again. Thinking back to a visit I'd made a few days before, I could almost see the two teapots that usually sat there.
Legolas and Frodo were the only two who drank the raspberry leaf tea and that was the counter where their teapots usually sat to steep before each meal. Someone had come in and put something in their tea. I crossed the room and sniffed hard but the smell of rhubarb was too strong. Hopefully Rhea would be able to analyze the remains of the tea. While I stood there I heard a faint sound.
Blanking out the excited conversation from the other room, I turned my head slowly.
< soft thump>
It was coming from overhead. Then while I strained to hear more, silence settled in like a blanket. Whoever it was had left. Suddenly odd bits of things began to come together for me. The ghost who came and went with such assurance was using the roofs and probably the trees to move from one part of our colony to the other. And I was also sure that he had been here for a very long time.
He probably knew these buildings from the inside out. He might have even helped build them once upon a time. His care for Legolas might mean he was an Elf or he might have once been a healer and committed to caring for others. Whatever the reason, he had formally declared himself on our side. But if he knew of the attempt to hurt Legolas, why hadn't he come forward and told us?
"Elrohir, let's see Legolas safely home before leaving." My twin's voice came from the doorway and I could see the question in his eyes.
But I shook my head slightly and made the sign for 'quiet' with the fingers of my left hand. "Good idea, El'. I could find nothing here. Whoever it was is gone."
"Rhea has taken the remains of the tea from both pots to the clinic. He thinks they might contain mugwort and rue." Elladan shook with barely controlled anger. "Legolas would probably have survived but the babies wouldn't have."
I felt the same flash of anger and the need to take him in my arms for comfort. Following him from the kitchen, I saw that the Hobbits had already left. Sam would want to get Frodo to safety at once and I agreed with his priorities. We walked our Prince and his bonded to their home and I could see how shaky Legolas was. The attempt on him he might understand but never would he be able to forgive the hurting of innocents.
Elladan and I walked home in silence. Only once we were inside our small cottage did I hug him close and still his questions with my lips. Every time I kiss him, the whole world goes away, leaving just the two of us. His strong arms held me close and he let me plunder his sweet mouth with fervor. I would never get enough of him, not if we lived forever. But eventually we had to breathe.
"What did you find?" He asked, walking backwards and pulling me with him.
So I gave him my thoughts and he nodded in agreement. We would go to Legolas and Gimli tomorrow and share our knowledge with them. Together we might be able to coax the ghost out of hiding and discover the person who was so determined to strip our Prince of his bonded and their children.
We bathed, washing each other carefully. I reveled in the hot water after centuries of cold river baths while we hunted Orcs. Elladan smiled at my enjoyment and smoothed soapy hands over my chest. His hands slid lower and lower until he was tickling my sides with his callused fingers. I chuckled and squirmed a bit but he just kept on moving down until I sighed at his loving touch.
Taking our time, we finished washing before getting out and drying off. Then with a single sultry look from gray eyes so like my own, Elladan led me back into our cozy bedroom. We didn't have much furniture, just a bed and a trunk to hold our things. But on the wall above our bed hung our bows and quivers. Legolas had chuckled when he saw them and chided us on our warlike art.
I hadn't thought of them as art, I just wanted them nearby in case of an emergency. Our bed was plain with no frills or fancy woodwork. It was just a platform with more storage underneath and no head or foot boards. But our sheets were deep green like the forest in summer and the goose down quilt was the same. Arwen had woven the cloth while Elladan and I had stuffed it ourselves from the geese that we'd caught over the years. It had lain at Rivendell for a decade while we kept bringing in new feathers.
And now it cocooned us with warmth while we met in the middle of our bed. I pulled Elladan closer and kissed him with all the passion that I saved for him. Once I'd thought that a good Elf had no passion but simply passed through life as an onlooker. But that had never suited me and I felt like the greatest failure in history. But after Mother left for over the Sea, I'd been so angry that I'd stormed off to kill as many Orcs as I could find.
Elladan came with me and it was then that I confessed my feelings of hate and anger. To my astonishment, he agreed with me and told me that he would stay by my side until we had avenged her. It took a century for us to admit to what we were really feeling. Our passion for each other overwhelmed any need for revenge. But hunting Orcs kept us far away from 'civilized' Elfdom and kept our secret from getting out.
"Where are you, Elrohir?" My twin held my face between his hands and feathered soft caresses to the sensitive skin.
"Back to the beginning when I felt like such a failure. When you held me close and told me that you felt as I did." I admitted with a shamefaced grimace.
"Silly Elf, we are two halves of one whole. What you feel, I feel also. It has been that way from the moment we were born and will remain until we pass on." He smiled at me and began kissing his way from my lips to the spot beneath my ear that makes me shiver.
"Silly, am I?" I rolled him to his back, pinning him with my body while I tried to look stern. "I guess I must remind you that I am the elder and therefore you should obey me."
He chuckled then gasped when our cocks rubbed together. "By five minutes only, Elder Brother."
I looked down into his eyes and saw the same need that I felt. We needed to reconnect and I knew just what we both wanted. Spreading his legs with mine, I knelt up in the small space and gave him my fingers to suck. His tongue bathed me while his breathy moans hardened me completely. I plucked at his hard nipples then pulled my fingers from his moist mouth.
Sliding them between his cheeks, I slipped within the small hole that was my home. It took only a few moments to loosen him enough for me. Pulling them out, I pushed his legs back and apart, nudging his entrance with my cock and waiting for him to give me the sign I needed. His smile was my signal and I thrust hard, sliding in until my balls rested against his cheeks.
"Elrohir," he sighed, his hands sliding up my arms to bring me even closer. "Beloved."
"Beloved," I said against his lips. This kiss was our vow re-spoken each time we made love. My tongue entwined with his while my cock slid slowly in and out.
His fingers spanned my throat then slid down to pinch my nipples tenderly. I remembered what he'd said about Legolas' nipples getting so sensitive. Reaching behind my head, I pulled my leather tie free and let my hair fall down to shroud our faces. He gasped and shivered when I pulled just far enough away so I could brush the ends of my hair across his chest.
"El'!" His tanned skin rippled against mine and it was my turn to shiver.
Our pace began to speed up and I could feel the little tingle deep inside of me that would grow bigger and bigger until I shook myself apart. He suddenly flushed from head to toe and I thrust one last time deep inside of him. We came together the way that we usually did, me flooding him and he releasing between our stomachs. My skin rippled everywhere we touched and I fell forward into his arms with a sigh of relief.
He held me close and murmured my name over and over in my ear. Our hearts slowed gradually and I listened to the heartbeat that meant more to me than my own. Our love was against every teaching of Middle-earth but I could not believe that the ancient gods would be so cruel as to condemn us for the sin of loving each other.
Nor would they let Legolas and his lover lose the babes that were the expression of their love. My brother and I would do everything in our power to make sure that those who had given us a haven would survive this attempt to destroy them. Tomorrow we'd see about a strategy to bring the serpent in our midst out into the open. This hunt would be for the lives of our friends.
This hunt would be our greatest challenge.