|Author: Athea (email@example.com)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: New Beginnings, part twelve
Pairing: Sam/Frodo and Gimli/Legolas
Summary: Things begin to settle down.
Date: 11 May 2002
I'd been here for two days before I got the chance to sit down with my son's bonded. Their friends had carefully protected him from me and once I'd heard from Gimli what that idiot Thranduil had done to his son, I quite understood their fear. But I'm a very patient Dwarf and eventually we found ourselves together without a chaperone.
Legolas sat in the rocking chair that I'd brought them and I could see he was nervous but bravely ready to listen to what I had to say. I looked at him and marveled at his beauty. I could see what Gimli saw in him but damned if I could see what he saw in Gimli. My son is a good man and a brave one but beautiful he is not.
Watching them together though, I saw their mutual love and caring. Now that, I understood and slowly I was beginning to see how well they complimented each other. Legolas had strengths that I only now began to see. His carrying of their children was something that I couldn't conceive of.
"Legolas, relax." I told him gently and watched his hands twitch once then settle on the wide arms of the rocking chair. "I'm not here to yell at you or accuse you of seducing my son. Are the two of you friends?"
His eyes widened and a little smile curved his lips. "We were companions first, friends second and lovers third. My feelings grew over the space of our journey. I thought nothing would come of them because," he shrugged gracefully, "I couldn't see why he'd want me."
I blinked in surprise. "Then you're blind, Legolas. He told me yesterday that you are like sunlight walking and even I can see that."
The blush started at his throat and rose to the tips of his ears. It is one of his most endearing traits. He truly doesn't seem to see his own beauty.
"I ... I don't know what to say." He struggled for a moment. "Gimli is the beautiful one. His strength and great heart drew me to him like iron to a magnet."
"He's a good Dwarf and a sensible one." I allowed him that although I couldn't see any beauty in such traits.
His smile blossomed again and one hand went to his swelling belly. "He delights all my senses and he always will. A well made iron cooking pot is just as beautiful as a mithril tiara and ten times more useful."
I chuckled. This Elf was a smart one. "Agreed. Now, what about these children? Are you ready to die for the sake of birthing them?"
He smiled tenderly and smoothed both hands over his stomach. "Come here, Gloin. Please?"
I moved to his side and he took one of my hands, laying it low on his right side. Beneath my rough fingers I felt a flutter, almost a tapping against his skin. "They are worth any sacrifice on my part. But I truly believe that the knowledge to birth these two is available and we will all three survive."
Stroking the small spot brought a little more determined flutter. "I can hardly conceive of such bravery but I can see that you possess it in great measure. What would you wish from me during this time?"
Legolas dropped his glance for a moment and I wondered what was going on inside that beautiful head. When he raised those wide blue eyes to me, tears shimmered. "Stay a father to Gimli. Give him your love as you have all his life. Be there for him if ... if something does happen."
"Durin's Beard, Gimli chose well when he fell in love with you." I exclaimed and watched his surprise. Taking a chance, I reached around him and hugged him tenderly.
He froze for a long moment but I didn't squeeze too hard, letting him make up his mind about me. And finally, he rested his head on my shoulder and sighed very, very gently. I hugged him closer and rocked him a little while he sniffed just a bit and perhaps blotted a tear or two on my soft black tunic. He was a brave one, he was.
"You're not at all what I was expecting." He sniffed a little harder and I reached for my spare handkerchief.
"Here you go, dry those tears and blow your nose, Legolas." I handed him the kerchief and he blushed a little before taking it. "When Gimli was very small, he called me Papa. Would it hurt too much to call me that? I don't want to usurp anyone's position."
He blew his nose and raised his chin. "You aren't usurping anything ... Papa."
That shy little smile melted my heart the same way I expect it melted my son's. "Good. Now that we're all comfortable, I want you to know that I'm staying until my grandchildren arrive. I'm going exploring in White Cap and doing a little carving of some of that beautiful blue marble you've got here. But first I'm going to help a couple of your neighbors finish off those three houses that are waiting. Purely selfishness on my part, of course, so I can have my own place."
That dimple appeared with his smile and I realized that Gimli would be beating would-be suitors off his golden lover with an ax for the rest of his life. Such beauty came along once in a great while and I could see that my son had his job cut out for him. It was only right that I give him the benefit of my years of experience.
"Dearest Papa, you couldn't be selfish if you tried. You're thinking of Rheanas and his family's comfort." He took my hand in his and laid it high on the other side of the mound that grew before him. "There, that's your grandson saying hello."
I felt the thrum beneath my fingers and marveled at the strength it portended. "These little ones are going to be a handful from the moment they're born. You're going to need some extra help."
"We will always need you, Papa." He said simply, with his heart in his eyes.
Now it was my turn to sniff just a little. "Well then, I guess I'd better be working on building a nice house for my next few years."
"Good." He said decisively. "With the help of the others, we should have all those houses ready by the Yule. That is an auspicious time for new beginnings."
For a moment, I saw the imperial prince inside of him that was his birthright. I was going to have a long talk with my son one of these days. I definitely wanted to know how this whole thing came about. But we could save that for a cold winter day when we were snowed in. I'd get the two of them to tell me their story in front of a roaring fire while we were at our leisure.
Legolas was not what I'd expected. He loved my son with all his heart and he was giving me the grandchildren that I'd given up expecting. Somehow, I would work to heal the hurt within him at the rejection of his foolish father. If I could fill just a small part of the empty space in his heart, then I would have done a great and good service to this most interesting new son.
Frodo cheered up immeasurably once Legolas and Gloin had their talk. Even I noticed how happy and relieved Gimli was but it was the Elf who smiled his way through each day, more serene as each winter day wore on. I helped work on the three vacant houses and I had to marvel at Gloin's workmanship. We all learned about making a place weather tight from him. When we added on to our home, I was going to be really vigilant and apply the lessons I'd learned.
A month into Gloin's visit, the skies turned to snow and Elrohir told us that it would be a bad one. I stopped at the dining hall and borrowed some flour and sugar since I knew that Frodo would want me to bake if we were snowed in. I had all the other ingredients in our snug little kitchen no matter what craving he came up with. Smiling to myself, I made my way slowly to our little hobbit hole.
He was waiting for me in the hall and I scolded him gently while closing the heavy oak door behind me against the harsh wind. "Don't you go catching a chill, Frodo."
"You're sopping wet, Sam Gamgee, I'm not the one who'll be catching a chill." He rubbed my head briskly with a nice warm thick towel. "Now off with your coat. I've got a nice hot bath and some tea all ready for you."
My voice was muffled by the towel. "Are you going to be in the tub with me?"
He laughed out loud. "Certainly."
"Good, let's hurry." I peeked out and watched that big smile bloom for me.
"Get those boots off then." He scolded me while grinning ear to ear.
I shucked them off and hung up my coat. Our home was warm and I was yawning by the time I got into the front room. Frodo was dressed in the pretty blue Elven robe that Legolas had gotten for him. It was made bigger in the front and sides but even so, there wasn't much overlap right now. The babies had grown in a real spurt and he complained about getting as big as a house.
He looked just fine to me but then I wasn't the one carrying around all that weight. I hugged him tight and kissed his cheek. "I love you, Frodo."
"My own Sam," he kissed me back and smiled at me. "I love you, too. Tomorrow we can read some Elvish poetry that I translated today. You'll like them."
"Anything in the medical scrolls?" I had to ask while leading him back to the bathroom.
He shook his head. "Nothing but Lorrin came in this morning and talked about one of the things we need. Come into the tub and I'll tell you about it."
We both got in and I picked up the soap first, Frodo smiling at me while I washed him from head to toe. The babies were restless this evening and I could feel them kicking us both although poor Frodo was taking the brunt of their energetic moves. But he never complained once, just rubbed his hands over them and hummed a little. That always made me want to cry for some reason.
"My turn, Sam." His eyes gleamed into mine, the pretty blue glowing like the sapphires that Gloin had showed us. Taking the soap from me, he began to scrub away at my back. That always felt so good. "Now, Lorrin said that since there's no way to birth the babies like a female does, his people had to cut them out of the mother's body."
I turned quickly and stilled his hands. "Cut?"
He nodded. "But there's a special tool they used for it so there wasn't so much blood loss or pain for the mother."
I shuddered and pictured a knife cutting Frodo open while blood ran everywhere. Any cut big enough to bring out the babies would be huge. I didn't want to ever see him bleeding like he'd done after Mount Doom from his poor finger. Crimson drops that marred his white skin and just kept dripping ... and dripping ... and dripping.
"Sam, come back to me." Frodo's voice was sharp and his hands shook me by the shoulders. I blinked and focused on him. "It's not what you're thinking, love. Lorrin said that there's a herbal salve that they put on the place where the baby kicks the hardest. That numbs the skin so I won't feel anything. The incision is only about five inches long and when the baby rises to the surface, Lorrin will cut open the special sac he's living in and pull him right out."
I was still shaking a little but the more he talked, the less catastrophic it sounded. "But there's two babies this time."
He nodded and caressed my cheek. "Once one is born, he'll coax the other one over to the opening and bring him out the same way. Then the umbilical cords will be tied off and he'll sew me back up. Lorrin said that I should be up and about in seven or eight days. There's another salve to rub on the stitches and within two or three months all that will be left is a thin white line."
Frodo started washing my front while I thought about what he'd said. Something at the very first came back to me while he rinsed my fingers and kissed each one. "What kind of special tool are we talking about?"
His busy hands stilled and his eyes dropped to stare intently at my fingers. "Um, it's a surgical instrument that the Varyans used to make."
"And are there any still existing?" I had a bad feeling about this.
The shaking of his dark curls gave me the answer that I feared. "They used crystals attuned to each individual. But the cave where they found them is still there and Lorrin said that we would go as soon as this storm lets up to find the ones that will work on us."
"But we're Hobbits not Elves. How can the crystals be attuned to us?" I said in despair.
"I don't know, Sam. I only know that Lorrin said that there are only certain crystals that will vibrate for all peoples. He said that occasionally they had to work on Dwarves and Men so I'm sure that Hobbits will be all right." He was trying hard to convince me but I could see that he was a little afraid, too.
But I didn't want him brooding so I pretended to understand. "I'm sure too, my own Frodo. We'll go and find the right crystal then we'll settle in all snug and wait for the babies to tell us when they want to come out."
His eyes cleared and that pretty dimple flashed out at me. "Gandalf promised to be here when the babies are born, too. My own Sam, he won't let anything bad happen to me or the new twins. We're going to be all right, just wait and see."
I nodded and we finished our bath. Frodo had Pip bring some of the rabbit stew from the dining hall with some nice fresh baked bread so we had a cozy dinner in bed. He chattered on about some of the scrolls that they were translating and I watched him with loving eyes while he told me about how the weather had changed over the last few thousand years.
It kind of brought home how old Lorrin was since he'd been around since almost the very beginning. I wondered what that would be like, to live and live while everyone around you was growing old and dying off or passing through the Havens to the Sea. I shivered at his loneliness and Frodo scolded me about catching a chill. We set the dinner tray aside and he cuddled me under our nice warm covers.
We couldn't make love anymore because he'd gotten so big and Rhea had warned us against exciting the babies so much they might decide to come early. I wasn't taking any chances and even though Frodo had told me that he'd be glad to make me come with his hands and mouth, it just wasn't fair to him. The bigger he got the less he seemed to need any lovemaking.
He still liked to kiss and cuddle though so we did an awful lot of that. I still hadn't caught up on all the ones I'd missed while I was in the Shire so I was real glad to keep on loving him how-some-ever I could. Tonight was no exception but he tired more easily these days and all too soon, he was sound asleep in my arms.
I watched him sleep and said a prayer that there was a crystal tuned to Hobbits. We needed to find it soon because at the very most, we had a month before our babies would want to be born. Closing my eyes, I hugged him close and prayed.
There had to be a crystal for us. There just had to be.